Pope Benedict XVI denounces tobacco industry–honestly!

 From “Caritas in Veritate” (Charity in Truth) An Encyclical Letter by Pope Benedict XVI, 2009

30. In this context, the theme of integral human development takes on an even broader range of meanings: the correlation between its multiple elements requires a commitment to foster the interaction of the different levels of human knowledge in order to promote the authentic development of peoples. Often it is thought that development, or the socio-economic measures that go with it, merely require to be implemented through joint action. This joint action, however, needs to be given direction, because “all social action involves a doctrine”. In view of the complexity of the issues, it is obvious that the various disciplines have to work together through an orderly interdisciplinary exchange. Charity does not exclude knowledge, but rather requires, promotes, and animates it from within. Knowledge is never purely the work of the intellect. It can certainly be reduced to calculation and experiment, but if it aspires to be wisdom capable of directing man in the light of his first beginnings and his final ends, it must be “seasoned” with the “salt” of charity. Deeds without knowledge are blind, and knowledge without love is sterile. Indeed, “the individual who is animated by true charity labours skilfully to discover the causes of misery, to find the means to combat it, to overcome it resolutely”. Faced with the phenomena that lie before us, charity in truth requires first of all that we know and understand, acknowledging and respecting the specific competence of every level of knowledge. Charity is not an added extra, like an appendix to work already concluded in each of the various disciplines: it engages them in dialogue from the very beginning. The demands of love do not contradict those of reason. Human knowledge is insufficient and the conclusions of science cannot indicate by themselves the path towards integral human development. There is always a need to push further ahead: this is what is required by charity in truth. Going beyond, however, never means prescinding from the conclusions of reason, nor contradicting its results. Intelligence and love are not in separate compartments: love is rich in intelligence and intelligence is full of love.

31. This means that moral evaluation and scientific research must go hand in hand, and that charity must animate them in a harmonious interdisciplinary whole, marked by unity and distinction. The Church’s social doctrine, which has “an important interdisciplinary dimension”, can exercise, in this perspective, a function of extraordinary effectiveness. It allows faith, theology, metaphysics and science to come together in a collaborative effort in the service of humanity. It is here above all that the Church’s social doctrine displays its dimension of wisdom. Paul VI had seen clearly that among the causes of underdevelopment there is a lack of wisdom and reflection, a lack of thinking capable of formulating a guiding synthesis, for which “a clear vision of all economic, social, cultural and spiritual aspects” is required. The excessive segmentation of knowledge, the rejection of metaphysics by the human sciences, the difficulties encountered by dialogue between science and theology are damaging not only to the development of knowledge, but also to the development of peoples, because these things make it harder to see the integral good of man in its various dimensions. The “broadening [of] our concept of reason and its application” is indispensable if we are to succeed in adequately weighing all the elements involved in the question of development and in the solution of socio-economic problems.

The Dalai Lama denounces the tobacco industry–sort of!

Project XI will periodically list the various pronouncements that characterize the philosophies of our religious leaders. 

“In the present circumstances, no one can afford to assume that someone else will solve their problems. Every individual has a responsibility to help guide our global family in the right direction. Good wishes are not sufficient; we must become actively engaged.”

 “It is necessary to help others, not only in our prayers, but in our daily lives. If we find we cannot help others, the least we can do is to desist from harming them.”

 “…unless the direction of science is guided by a consciously ethical motivation, especially compassion, its effects may fail to bring benefit.”

 “pain is inevitable, suffering is optional… “

 

“ …we have bigger houses, but smaller families. More conveniences, but less time. We have knowledge, but less judgments; more experts, but more problems ; more medicines but less health.”

 “The foundation of the Buddha’s teachings lies in compassion, and the reason for practicing the teachings is to wipe out the persistence of ego, the number-one enemy of compassion.”

 “We should reflect on the idea that since the beginning of time sentient beings … lack the eye of wisdom … and they lack the necessary guidance of a spiritual teacher. Moment by moment they are indulging in negative actions, which will eventually bring about their downfall.”

 “As free human beings we can use our unique intelligence to try to understand ourselves and our world. But if we are prevented from using our creative potential, we are deprived of one of the basic characteristics of a human being.”

 “Our most and primary task is to help others. İf you can’t help, would you please give up hurting them?”

 “I pray for all of us, oppressor and friend, that together we may succeed in building a better world through human understanding and love, and that in doing so we may reduce
the pain and suffering of all sentient beings.”

“Is this what you have in mind,’ I asked the Dalai Lama, ‘when you say in teachings that the buddhas and bodhisattvas of the world are the most selfish beings of all, that by cultivating altruism they actually achieve ultimate happiness for themselves?’
–Yes. That’s wise selfish,’ he replied. ‘Helping others not means we do this at our own expense. Not like this. Buddhas and bodhisattvas, these people very wise. All their lives they only want one thing: to achieve ultimate happiness. How to do this? By cultivating compassion, by cultivating altruism.”

 “When something needs to be done in the world to rectify the wrongs, if one is really concerned with benefiting others, one needs to be engaged, involved. This is action out of compassion.”

 “The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual’s own reason and critical analysis.”

 

“A good motivation is what is needed: compassion without dogmatism, without complicated philosophy; just understanding that others are human brothers and sisters and respecting their human rights and dignities. That we humans can help each other is one of our unique human capacities. ”

 

“Self satisfaction alone cannot determine if a desire or action is positive or negative. The demarcation between a positive and a negative desire or action is not whether it gives you a immediate feeling of satisfaction, but whether it ultimately results in positive or negative consequences.”

 If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them.

It is necessary to help others, not only in our prayers, but in our daily lives. If we find we cannot help others, the least we can do is to desist from harming them.

Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.

Sometimes one creates a dynamic impression by saying something, and sometimes one creates as significant an impression by remaining silent. (Project XI says: Every day 100,000 kids have their first cigarette, 6,000,000 tobacco deaths every year—enough silence of our spiritual leaders!)

Today, more than ever before, life must be characterized by a sense of Universal responsibility, not only nation to nation and human to human, but also human to other forms of life.

With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.

“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”

 

“Silence is sometimes the best answer.”
(Project XI says– “Sometimes silence is deadly!”)

“There is a saying in Tibetan, ‘Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.’
No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.”

 

 “Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.”

 

“Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively.”

 

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.”

 

“The more you are motivated by Love, The more Fearless & Free your action will be.”

 

“All suffering is caused by ignorance. People inflict pain on others in the selfish pursuit of their own happiness or satisfaction”

 

“Hard times build determination and inner strength. Through them we can also come to appreciate the uselessness of anger. Instead of getting angry nurture a deep caring and respect for troublemakers because by creating such trying circumstances they provide us with invaluable opportunities to practice tolerance and patience.”

 

 “When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.”

 

“A good friend who points out mistakes and imperfections and rebukes evil is to be respected as if he reveals the secret of some hidden treasure.”

 

“Irrespective of whether we are believers or agnostics, whether we believe in God or karma, moral ethics is a code which everyone is able to pursue.”

 

“When we are motivated by compassion and wisdom, the results of our actions benefit everyone, not just our individual selves or some immediate convenience. When we are able to recognize and forgive ignorant actions of the past, we gain strength to constructively solve the problems of the present.”

 

“The creatures that inhabit this earth–be they human beings or animals–are here to contribute, each in its own particular way, to the beauty and prosperity of the world.”

 

“If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.” (Project XI respectfully asks religious leaders to use their weapons of charity and truth against the deadly tobacco industry!)

 

“You must not hate those who do wrong or harmful things; but with compassion, you must do what you can to stop them — for they are harming themselves, as well as those who suffer from their actions.”

 

“Every single being, even those who are hostile to us, is just as afraid of suffering as we are, and seeks happiness in the same way we do. Every person has the same right as we do to be happy and not to suffer. So let’s take care of others wholeheartedly, of both our friends and our enemies. This is the basis for true compassion.”

 

Deep down we must have a real affection for each other, a clear recognition of our shared human status. At the same time we must openly accept all ideologies and systems as means of solving humanity’s problems. No matter how strong the wind of evil may blow, the flame of truth cannot be extinguished.”

 

“Compassion is not religious business, it is human business, it is not luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability, it is essential for human survival.”

 

“Whether one is rich or poor, educated or illiterate, religious or nonbelieving, man or woman, black, white, or brown, we are all the same. Physically, emotionally, and mentally, we are all equal. We all share basic needs for food, shelter, safety, and love. We all aspire to happiness and we all shun suffering. Each of us has hopes, worries, fears, and dreams. Each of us wants the best for our family and loved ones. We all experience pain when we suffer loss and joy when we achieve what we seek. On this fundamental level, religion, ethnicity, culture, and language make no difference.”

 

“We are but visitors on this planet. We are here for ninety or one hundred years at the very most. During that period, we must try to do something good, something useful with our lives. If you contribute to other people’s happiness, you will find the true goal, the true meaning of life.”

 

“If you have only education and knowledge and a lack of the other side, then you may not be a happy person, but a person of mental unrest, of frustration. Not only that, but if you combine these two, your whole life will be a constructive and happy life. And certainly you can make immense benefit for society and the betterment of humanity. That is one of my fundamental beliefs: that a good heart, a warm heart, a compassionate heart, is still teachable.”

 

“Sometimes one creates a dynamic impression by saying something, and sometimes one creates as significant an impression by remaining silent.” (Project XI says: QUI TACET CONSENTIT!)

 

“I believe all suffering is caused by ignorance. People inflict pain on others in the selfish pursuit of their happiness or satisfaction. Yet true happiness comes from a sense of inner peace and contentment, which in turn must be achieved through the cultivation of altruism, of love and compassion and elimination of ignorance, selfishness and greed.”

 

“With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.”

 

“If I am only happy for myself, many fewer chances for happiness. If I am happy when good things happen to other people, billions more chances to be happy!”

 

 “It is our collective and individual responsibility to preserve and tend to the environment in which we all live.”

 

 “Today, more than ever before, life must be characterized by a sense of Universal responsibility, not only nation to nation and human to human, but also human to other forms of life.”

 

“Blessing must arise from within your own mind. It is not something that comes from outside. When the positive qualities of your mind increase and the negativities decrease, that is what blessing means. The Tibetan word for blessing … means transforming into magnificent potential. Therefore, blessing refers to the development of virtuous qualities you did not previously have and the improvement of those good qualities you have already developed. It also means decreasing the defilements of the mind that obstruct the generation of wholesome qualities. So actual blessing is received when the minds virtuous attributes gain strength and its defective characteristics weaken or deteriorate.”

 

“The topic of compassion is not at all religious business; it is important to know it is human business, it is a question of human survival.”

 

“Time passes unhindered. When we make mistakes, we cannot turn the clock back and try again. All we can do is use the present well.”

It is not enough to be compassionate, we must act.” — Dalai Lama

Welcome to Project XI !

Welcome to Project XI!  Help us try get the world religious community to put an end to big tobacco and the cruel joke this industry continues to play on us.  Every day kids and adults start their addiction to tobacco, the most reliable anti-depressant in nature.  That’s right, tobacco (that is, the nicotine and harman in it) is an anti-depressant.  That’s why smokers get depressed and irritable when they try to quit.  And people who do quit often do so by taking the antidepressant buproprion–to take the place of the tobacco!

Too bad tobacco addicts have to get their drug in the form of tobacco–the plant causes mouth cancer and the smoke causes throat and lung cancer and heart disease!

The effects of nicotine and harman don’t last too long; they wear off after about an hour so addicts have to smoke again to feel better!

Tobacco is such an effective antidepressant, anti-anxiety, and psychostimulant that the brain can never really fall out of love with it!

Tobacco smoke injures whoever is breathing it in– the pet cats and dogs of smokers get feline and canine asthma! Smoker’s kids get asthma too!

The U.S. spends $500 million  every day to pay for the medical treatment of diseased smokers!  Over $ 200 billion yearly!

6,000,000 (six million!) people die, worldwide,  every year from diseases caused by tobacco!

Every day 100,000 kids have their first cigarette!

Tobacco companies have killed more U.S. military than all the wars in the history of the U.S.!  A bullet on the battlefield would have been a more merciful death than the surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy necessary to treat smoker’s cancers!

Smokers need a cigarette first thing in the morning, last thing at night. Smokers will wake up in the middle of the night to smoke.  They have to smoke in order to feel normal.  Just like salt helps you and me to taste our food better, smokers need tobacco to sharpen their pleasurable sensations.  Smokers smoke after they eat, urinate,  after sex and after any activity that gives any sensation of pleasure or happiness.  Tobacco is “salt” for yor mood!  While un-“salted” french fries are not very tasty, an un-“tobaccoed” brain is not very happy.

The world religious community remains blind to the worldwide tobacco scandal. Help Project XI enlighten them.

Please help us to help them see!  Tell your friends about Project XI.  Thanks!!