INTRODUCTION TO ONENESS
BY HIS HOLINESS THE DALAI LAMA
All the world’s major religions have a similar aim, so harmony between them is both important and necessary. I firmly believe that although they may have substantial differences of philosophical outlook, all religions have the same potential to be of help to mankind. Each emphasizes methods for improving human beings by developing such qualities as generosity, love, compassion and respect for others.
All sentient beings want happiness and try to avoid suffering. This common experience is reflected in the common themes of love and compassion found in all religions. The apparent philosophical differences are similarly a reflection of people’s different interests and inclinations. To make such differences a cause for conflict would be in contradiction of the broader religious aim of establishing peace and harmony. A comparison of sayings from the different religious traditions, such as the ones in this book, will certainly engender a deeper awareness of the qualities they have in common. This in turn will contribute to a greater sense of harmony and respect between them.
MOTHER TERESA’S PRAYER FOR ONENESS
During a private conversation between us while I was writing the first edition of Oneness, Mother Teresa told me that she greatly appreciated the book’s comparisons between religions. They were valuable and important, she said, because they could foster understanding and harmony between people. Near the end of the conversation she told me, "I pray that this book accomplishes what God wants it to."
By this, she explained, God has a special purpose for every action. People’s individual desires and egos, however, often distort this. Her prayer meant that she hoped people would not thwart or alter God’s intention for the message of Oneness.
Her words also indicate that by allowing God to determine the course of events in any worthwhile undertaking, the greatest chance for success is assured. Although our personal thoughts, plans, and activities play an integral role in God’s working for the success of projects, it is necessary to "let go" even while remaining attuned with God. In this way, our desires can be supported most fully and efficiently by the Almighty’s universal awareness, which extends beyond our own limited comprehension.
© Jeffrey Moses