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The Ancient Ruins of Baalbek

The Ancient Ruins of Baalbek. Photo by tunart/GettyImages.


“I think it is a mistake to regard people as abstract groups, to identify them in terms of ethnicity, religion, nationality or class, rather than seeing them as individuals. Such thinking only divides people and will never bring about real dialogue or true friendship.”[1]The New Human Revolution, vol. 7, p. 238.
—SGI President Ikeda

The ruins of Baalbek, situated 50 miles northeast of Beirut, Lebanon, is a large archaeological complex of ancient temples and other structures built during the Roman Empire. The Temple of Jupiter, which is believed to have been erected in the mid-first century, graces this month’s cover.

During his visit to the historic site on January 23, 1963, SGI President Ikeda shared these insights regarding dialogue among religions in volume 7 of The New Human Revolution.

Dialogue Based on the Human Being

Dialogue should focus not on religious beliefs but on human life. This is of course not easy, but if people do not communicate on this level, things will only get more difficult . . .

Buddhism originally had no different denominations or schools, nor was it intended for any specific ethnic group or social class. It was a teaching expounded for human beings, for all humanity.

Nichiren Daishonin’s only concern, as well, was how to bring happiness to all human beings. [Second Soka Gakkai President Josei] Toda once said that the Soka Gakkai should distinguish itself as a “human religion.” Everything should always be based on concern for the human being. Let us also always act with that big-hearted spirit.[2]Ibid., pp. 238–39.

Notes   [ + ]

1. The New Human Revolution, vol. 7, p. 238.
2. Ibid., pp. 238–39.