Knowing People:

Cultural Intelligence

World Cultures, Philosophies, and Religions

Core Teachings

 

"I always believe we are the same; we are all human beings. Of course, there are many differences in cultural background or way of life, there may be differences in our faith, or we may be of a different color, but we are human beings, consisting of the human body and the human mind. Our physical structure is the same, and our mind, and our emotional nature are also the same. Wherever I meet people, I always have the feeling that I am encountering another human being, just like myself. I find it is much easier to communicate with others on that level. If we emphasize specific characteristics, like I am Tibetan or I am Buddhist, then there are differences. But those things are secondary. If we can leave the differences aside, I think we can easily communicate, exchange ideas, and share experiences."7 ~ Dalai Lama

Lao Tzu Buddha Meditation Jesus Mohammad Meditation: FAST MEDITATION: Meditation Secrets of Patanjali, Lao Tzu, Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, Gurdjieff, Krishnamut
 
 

 

 

Buddhism     Christianity    Confucianism     Islam     Sufism     Taoism     Zen

Buddhism

According to Buddhism, life is a consistent misery: birth is misery, old age is a misery, separation from a loved one is a misery, inability to achieve a desired goal is a misery.

The Wheel of Life in Buddhism

The cause of this suffering is attachment to life, the craving for existence. To end this misery it is necessary to get rid of of this craving by stifling all desire. A person must suppress in himself any aspiration for existence, any desire, passion, attachment to anything. A person would ultimately reach perfection by following the Noble Eightfold Path to become an arhat (a perfect person, saint) and attain Nirvana. Nirvana is the final, ideal state towards which a sage strived. Nirvana signifies the end of the eternal cycle of reincarnation which lead any living creature from one transmigration to another through constant suffering.

The Four Noble Truths – the teaching about misery, the cause of misery, that this cause can be eliminated, and that misery can be ended by following the correct path:

  1. Everything that exists is filled with suffering

  2. Suffering is caused by desires

  3. You can get rid of suffering by stifling all desire

  4. The Noble Eightfold Path leads to the end of suffering:

    1. Right mode of seeing things

    2. Right thinking

    3. Right speech

    4. Right action

    5. Right mode of living

    6. Right effort in every mode of being

    7. Right mindfulness

    8. Right meditation...More about Buddhism   Buddhism about Happiness

 

Christianity

Christianity is a monotheistic religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ as presented in the New Testament.

Christians believe that, as the Messiah, Jesus was anointed by God as ruler and savior of humanity, and hold that Jesus' coming was the fulfillment of messianic prophecies of the Old Testament. Christians generally believe in the immortality of the soul. Forgiveness of sins is one of the key marks of Christianity.

These beliefs are key to the Christian faith:

  • There is one God and only one God. He is personal and knowable. He manifests Himself in three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

  • God created the universe and all that is in it. God is a person, but of a somewhat different type than human beings. God is entirely spiritual. He exists in a sphere outside the physical universe he created.

  • The Bible is the Word of God. It is inspired and inerrant in its original autographs. It is a complete and final revelation of God.

  • Jesus Christ is God manifest in the flesh, born of a virgin, without sin, and the chosen Messiah who will one day set up his kingdom on earth.

  • Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins, was buried, rose again from the dead, ascended back to heaven, and will one day return to this earth again... More about Christianity   Jesus on Love

 

Confucianism

Founder: Confucius, Chinese philosopher and reformer (B.C. 551 - 479)

Confucianism is the moral and religious system of China. Its origins go back to the Analects, the sayings attributed to Confucius, and to ancient commentaries, including that of Mencius.

Core value – balance between individual variety and social harmony.

The main theme – wisdom inside and kindness outside: "The wise man admires water, the kind man admires mountains. The wise man moves, the kind man rests. The wise man is happy, the kind man is firm."

Keys to success: Virtuous life and adherence to performing your duties

Three main principles:

  1. Jen – humaneness, love of fellow men; the central virtue of Confucianism and the most important characteristic of the ideal man (chόn-tzu)

  2. Li – morality, uprightness, custom, observing rules

  3. Chi – virtuous life

The practice of jen is governed by li: "To conquer oneself and turn to li; that is humaneness."

To achieve Jen, you must maintain decent relationships (wu-lun) with people, especially in the five pairs of social roles:

  1. Between father and son

  2. Between the ruler and the subject

  3. Between the older and the younger

  4. Between husband and wife

  5. Between friends

Practicing Jen – "doing without a purpose" because you must, not because you want

  1. Shu: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you (mutuality)

  2. Chung: Don't do unto others as you wouldn't have others do unto you (loyalty)... More about Confucianism   Confucius Quotes

Islam

Islam means submission to Allah (God).

The word Islam means "entering into a condition of peace and security with God, through allegiance or surrender to him".

Islam was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad who lived from 570 CE to 632 CE in Mecca.

Muhammad (or Mohammed), A.D. 570-632, is the founder of the world religion of Islam and is regarded by Muslims as the messenger and prophet of God (Allāh), the last and the greatest in a series of prophets of Islam. Muslims consider him the restorer of the original, uncorrupted monotheistic faith (Islam) of Adam, Abraham and others. The name Muhammad literally means "Praiseworthy".

Six Articles of Belief:

  1. There is only one God without limit, called Allah.

  2. Muhammad received the Quran as a copy of the eternal Quran which is inscribed in heaven.

  3. God created heavenly beings called angels to serve God and they are opposed by evil spirits.

  4. God sent his prophets to the earth at their appointed times, and the Prophet Muhammad was the last and greatest messenger of God.

  5. There will be a last day of world history called the Day of Judgement. Good and evil will be weighed in the balance. The wicked will be punished and the just will enjoy eternal life in Paradise.

  6. Everything in the universe has a predetermined course. Nothing happens without the will or knowledge of God.

Islam  

Islamic Wisdom Quotes

Sufism

Sufism is a mystical branch of Islam. It is practiced mainly in South Asia.

Islam adopted the mystical and semi-monastic trend of Sufism (sufi is a coarse wool fabric) between the eight and tenth centuries. Sufism grew within Shiism, but was also taken up among the Sunnites. Sufism was influenced by the ideas of Mazdaism, perhaps Buddhism and even Neoplatonism. The adherents of Sufism did not pay much attention to superficial ritual; they sought true understanding of God, a mystical merging with the divine.

  • Sufism emphasizes the direct knowledge of the divine within each person.

  • Its followers see music, dance meditation as a means to spiritual quest.

  • The ecstatic dancing ritual of dervishes is the most recognizable aspect.

  • Sufism is based on the principles of self-esteem and love.

  • Sufism opposes orthodoxy, caste/creed division.

  • Sufism "affords freedom within a structure"

Rumi

Rumi on Love

Enneagram

 

Taoism

Tao is Chinese for "Way" or "Path," and forms the basis for Taoist philosophy.

Taoism in general received a great jolt from Lao Tzu's powerful teaching.

Lao Tzu about a Wise Leader

Taoism points our attention towards our natural capacity for transcendence. "A unique gift of the Taoist tradition is that it does not see transcendent experience as separate and "other" but fully integrates inner and outer, everyday and mystic, pragmatic and transcendent. The Tao is a path we can all readily follow without fears of falling over some esoteric edge, because the Tao points directly to everyday reality and says, right here before you, in your everyday routine, you will find transcendence – you will encounter the Tao."8

Yin and yang are symbols of the Tao and Taosim. They are the dynamic force of the Tao, constantly interacting with one another.

The Tao of Change Management

The Tao of Business Success

The Tao is the law of nature and the basic principle of universe. It is the law of your true self. If the follower of the Tao understands the principles, structures or trends of human nature, human society and the natural order, then he can expend least energy in dealing with them. When he does exert this power at the right moment, his efforts will have a spontaneous, natural or unforced quality about them... More about Taoism   Taoist Parables

Zen

Zen way of thinking about the world is based first of all on clarity and preciseness of images, as opposed to the Western approach based on formal logics. The secret of Zen philosophy is that it can be expressed not only through words and writings, but also through arts, paintings, calligraphy, customs, and ceremonies (e.g. tea ceremony is also some kind of  philosophy).

Key ideas of Zen:

  1. True enlightenment comes suddenly. Special preparations may be necessary, but it' actually comes through experience.

  2. Action can be achieved by inaction, where the result is achieved by "Not-Me"

  3. Enlightenment and experience are closely connected, while books, texts and theory don't open the way to nirvana.

  4. True wizard lives in every person and every thing. The man does not need to seek recluse or to be an ascetic to achieve enlightenment...More about Zen   Zen Parables

 
 

 

See also:

One World One Way Many Paths

One World Quotes

East vs. West: Philosophy and Cultural Values

 Culture Dimension Scores for Selected Countries

 

 

 

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References:

  1. Eastern Philosophy, Richard Osborn and Borin van Loon

  2. History of Religion, Sergei Tokarev

  3. The Rider Encyclopaedia of Eastern Philosophy and Religion

  4. Key Concepts in Eastern Philosophy, Oliver Leaman

  5. A History of Western Philisophy, Bertrand Russell

  6. The Art of Worldly Wisdom, Baltasar Gracian

  7. The Art of Happiness, HH the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet and Howard C. Cutler

  8. Seven Masters, One Path, John Selby

  9. Learn Zen Meditation, David Fontan

  10. Tao Te Chin, Lao Tzu

  11. The Tao of Leadership, John Heider

  12. Buddha, Deepak Chopra

  13. What the Buddha Taught, Wlapola Rahula

  14. The Art of Living: Vipassana Meditation, William Hart

  15. Learn Zen Meditation, David Fontan

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