On Thursday after His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama spoke, students, faculty and staff came together for an open discussion at Agape House.
Associate professor of philosophy, Dr. Steve Barbone, said he expected there would be much discussion after seeing and hearing the Dalai Lama. He expected to have questions and hoped others at the event would have answers.
“He was saying much, much more and I didn’t expect to hear, learn, be open and that would be a good path,” Barbone said.
Questions about the event, truth, honesty and humanity were a few of the many points discussed.
Campus pastor, Rev. Darin Johnson, responded to the question about paying money to see the Dalai Lama, even though he has been working toward peace for years.
Johnson said anyone can watch videos of the Dalai Lama speaking, but he was not solely paying to see him.
“The reason why I paid for four tickets was so I could be in that room with other people who shared this value of compassion,” Rev. Johnson said. “To me, it was an act of faith or trust in humanity.”
What does that truth mean and how can all humanity come to an understanding? In regard to what the Dalai Lama discussed, this was one of the questions that guided the forum.
San Diego State student Ammar Najjar said the Dalai Lama often used the word “truth” followed by the word “honesty.” He said defining truth as being honest is a good way of living.
“Not all of us have control of whether knowing the metaphysical truth, like the idea that corresponds to reality. Sometimes that evades us,” Najjar said. “But we know ourselves and when we are being honest or not being honest.”
The open discussion debated reason, thoughts and intellect as well.
“I think he also challenged reason on its own when he talked about how intellect with negative emotions could be used for violence as opposed to intellect with compassion,” Johnson said.
Barbone jokingly said he does not think he will be figuring out the square root of pi when he is dying to explain affection.
“The thing that you want is affection. You don’t care if you are famous or rich.
And affection comes from the verb affect, to change,” Barbone said. “The mother who is comforting her baby is not intellectualizing about it.”
SDSU student Andrew Sabat said the Dalai Lama affected everyone forever during the open discussion.
“This does have an impact on us for the rest of our lives, whether we’re conscious of it or not. It does change the way that we think and how we interact with people,” Sabat said.
Both Philosophy Club and Agape House Lutheran Episcopal Campus Ministry sponsored the event and the Department of Classics and Humanities supported the event.