High Times Greats: The Dalai Lama

A 1975 interview with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.
High Times Greats: The Dalai Lama
Dalai Lama/ Shostal Associates

For the October, 1975 issue of High Times, Robert Singer interviewed the Dalai Lama, with assistance from the Venerable Tenzin Geyche as interpreter. In honor of the Dalai Lama’s 86th birthday on July 6, we’re republishing it below.

After nine years of uneasy Chinese occupation and socialization, the Dalai Lama fled the Red Army invasion of Tibet in 1959. Since then he has been busily organizing communities for some 80,000 Tibetan refugees who have made their way to India, Nepal, Bhutan and Europe; he has established archives and centers for the study and preservation of lamaistic Buddhism, Tibetan culture and traditional medicine and astrology; and he has continued to work for the peaceful return of his followers to their homeland and for the reestablishment of religious freedom in Tibet. More absorbed in worldly affairs than any of his predecessors, the fourteenth incarnation of the Dalai Lama, now 40, still remains a simple Buddhist monk, living by a strict ascetic routine. Above all, he is the living god of the Tibetans, at home or in exile.

Associate Editor Robert Singer recently interviewed the exiled Tibetan god-king at his refuge in Dharamsala, India. He writes: “The Dalai Lama was his usual delightful self. Involuntarily liberated by the Chinese from the elaborate centuries-old court rituals of Lhasa, His Holiness seems to relish playing host to the pilgrims who arrive from around the world to visit the Tibetan encampment here in the mist-shrouded foothills of the Himalayas and one cannot fail to be captivated by his intelligence, frankness, warmth and humor.”

The Dalai Lama spoke in English and Tibetan. The Tibetan was translated by his private secretary, the Venerable Tenzin Geyche.

High Times: After your political troubles in Tibet with the Chinese, are you still wholly concerned with and satisfied by the spiritual matters and religion and meditation, or are you a pragmatist?

Dalai Lama: Yes, as a religious person, certainly I’m taking a keen interest in the religious field and also, I myself practice daily. I’m learning. In the meantime, as a Tibetan, we lost our country and our population is around six million and the majority of Tibetans still are in Tibet. Now the question is, the majority of Tibetan people were never satisfied by this present situation of Chinese occupation, particularly among the younger generation. They never show any sign of satisfaction. So therefore, we are carrying this movement, despite many difficulties, and I’m quite confident that one day we will regain our country. Therefore, we are determined. I always feel the human determination is much more stronger than external weapons and external pressures, forces.

High Times: Why did China go into Tibet in the first place?

Dalai Lama: Many reasons. Of course, “liberation” (laughs)… I don’t know.

Interpreter: But the question still is, liberation from what?

Dalai Lama: (Laughs.)

High Times: The Chinese say that their takeover of Tibet was a liberation from feudalism. Whether the Chinese were right or not, was Tibet ready to be reformed?

Interpreter: We had the intention to make certain reforms.

Dalai Lama: The old system cannot cannot remain.

Interpreter: On the whole, you see, the Chinese method of trying to bring about reforms was not suitable for the people.

Dalai Lama: And the Chinese people… all these changes, and after change took place, the whole benefit go to Chinese, not for Tibetan mass. This is the point.

High Times: What has it done for Tibet?

Dalai Lama: Now, for example, now road…

Interpreter: His Holiness says, for example, communications has improved, food production has increased…

Dalai Lama: Much increased.

Interpreter: Much increased. Then many more schools have been established…

Dalai Lama: Health.

Interpreter: And health conditions have been improved. But His Holiness says, now if you ask who are using the better roads, the newly built roads… you see, most of the roads are used by the Chinese military convoys.

Dalai Lama: Now then, food production.

Interpreter: His Holiness says food production has increased a great deal but Tibetans are still facing starvation. His Holiness says Tibet has never in its history experienced famine or starvation. And then like the ration that the Chinese provide for Tibetans, it only lasts… for about three weeks. Now for example, like concern about schools, education…

Dalai Lama: In schools particularly… there are Chinese children as well as Tibetan children. School itself… about food it’s different. For Chinese boys and girls and Tibetan boys and girls, separate… different food.

Interpreter: And also there is a difference in the quality, also in each kitchen… His Holiness says, basically most of these schools are just like labor centers. You see, like they’ve set up many hospitals and clinics and dispensaries, but from the reports that we receive from Tibetans… very small benefit comes to the Tibetans in the health facilities that are provided.

Dalai Lama: Because here we are acting according to the wishes of the Tibetan people, so therefore, we must know inside Tibet what is happening, what is the people’s thinking. If the majority of the Tibetan people are satisfied, and the relations between the Chinese and Tibetans become as a human relation, real brotherhood, if something happens… there’s no question, there’s no reason to shout, to cry, to fight. No problem.

High Times: If the Chinese invite you to return to Tibet, giving up your status as the Dalai Lama, but remaining a Buddhist if you wish since, you know, they say they offer freedom of worship, would you return under those circumstances?

Dalai Lama: There’s no question about it. This is not the question.

Interpreter: His Holiness’s return is not concerning this question…. His Holiness says the question is about the problem of Tibet itself.

Dalai Lama: Not Dalai Lama. Dalai Lama is an individual, one person—nothing important… Yes, at the moment, I’m working, I’m serving in this respect, in this field, because the majority of Tibetan people…

Interpreter: …because they respect and love His Holiness.

High Times: The Chinese are using Tibet as their base for nuclear testing and for launching ICBM missiles. How do you feel about that?

Interpreter: His Holiness says, that’s very unfortunate… His Holiness says, for one, they are spoiling… doing harm to our own country.

High Times: How do you think that the godhead will reward the karma of the Chinese communists?

Dalai Lama: Karma theories… very complicated.

Interpreter: His Holiness says, everybody’s involved—Tibetans, Chinese, everyone… including the Americans… because His Holiness says, as a result of this Tibetan problem, everyone is affected in some way. It’s all interdependent. Everyone who has a connection or who is related, the karma reaction is also related. And according to Buddhism, there’s not much emphasis on God. If someone believes in God, then he can interpret it in his own way…

Dalai Lama: (Laughs) I don’t know.

Interpreter: But what His Holiness feels is that the present situation in China will not remain like this for long. A change will come about. Even now they seem to have… problems.

High Times: Who was the most unforgettable Chinese communist you ever met?

Dalai Lama: Like Mao Tse-Tung and Chou and Liu Shao-chi I knew quite well… oh… great respect…

Interpreter: His Holiness had great respect for them. His Holiness says, but Chou En-Lai —His Holiness used to feel that he was a bit cunning…

Dalai Lama: A bit clever…

Interpreter: His Holiness says, but the other leaders like Mao and Liu Shao-chi—His Holiness’s impression was they had real personality, they were calm and straightforward and showing compassion.

Dalai Lama: And from… certain viewpoint, like a peasant. I have great respect (laughs). But I don’t know… After… during and after Cultural Revolution, then my respect… confusion…

High Times: The Soviet Union has been very vocal in denouncing China’s move into Tibet and called it China’s Vietnam, called it imperialism. But in light of the fact that the Soviet Union itself has expanded quite a bit in Eastern Europe, into, say, tiny enslaved Latvia, how do you feel about getting that support from them?

Dalai Lama: (laughs) Is this politics?

High Times: Politics, yes…

Dalai Lama: Well, I see the politics… originally, I think, is one kind of instrument which served the human society, I think, that may not be dirty right from the beginning. But these days, somehow (laughs) I don’t know… some people call dirty politics. This is really dirty in certain field… there’s no honesty… no sincerity… no truth, no peace. (Laughs.) This is really dirty. And mainly selfish. Real bad.

High Times: Was the Central Intelligence Agency involved with your flight from Lhasa in 1959?

Dalai Lama: No.

Interpreter: This is entirely wrong. They had nothing to do with the escape of His Holiness.

High Times: Has the CIA helped the Khamba guerrillas who were fighting the Chinese?

Interpreter: His Holiness cannot say clearly about this.

High Times: Do you have any relationship with the CIA or with the United States government?

Dalai Lama: No.

High Times: They’ve not contributed to the Dharamsala community?

Dalai Lama: The usual channels.

High Times: The usual channels…

Interpreter: His Holiness says, through the American Embassy there is some relation, but…

Dalai Lama: (much laughter) This I don’t know…

High Times: When you visited Europe recently, were you the first Dalai Lama to visit the West?

Dalai Lama: Oh, yes.

High Times: What did you think of it?

Dalai Lama: (laughs) I don’t know…

Interpreter: His Holiness says… there’s an imbalance like… there is some great wealth, some great poverty. His Holiness says, in some fields you have excess, in some you have a lack of things.

Dalai Lama: But of course, it’s a human society… everywhere materially, developed or developing or underdeveloped. Basically a human society. There are various kinds of problems (laughs).

Interpreter: His Holiness says, it’s quite a headache… the human society.

Dalai Lama: When you are hungry, you feel: oh, once my stomach is full, then all problems… are solved. For me… Easterner… we are rushing to copy Western civilization… So now you see, there’s only one thing… for example, the Western civilization…

Interpreter: His Holiness is saying, the Western civilization became proud of their material progress. But, His Holiness says, when His Holiness in the West, the very thing that they should be proud of… His Holiness says, there are many people who are getting fed up with these things.

Dalai Lama: And were complaining. As long as human physical is there, the material progress should be there. But it’s important to know… try to combine the mental peace of mental development, as to this physical comfort… This should be balanced, or combined. Then I think, then you may solve more human problems than at present.

High Times: Do you think that Asia is losing some of its spirituality because Western practices, both capitalism and communism, are proliferating so rapidly here?

Interpreter: His Holiness says, right now because most part of Asia is poor, this is also a big problem. His Holiness says, with an empty stomach, it is difficult to work on mental development. His Holiness says, like if a person, out of fear of poverty and desperation, if he believes in some kind of a religion or has faith in certain religious… beliefs, certain religion, His Holiness says, then that is not a genuine sort of belief, but… it’s just like being forced into it through desperation.

Dalai Lama: It’s so complicated…

Interpreter: His Holiness says, as you were saying… proliferation of the Western influence may have caused some confusion.

High Times: Do you think that the best answer to Asia’s material problems would be a form of socialism that guaranteed complete religious freedom and other freedoms?

Dalai Lama: Socialism?

Interpreter: His Holiness is a firm believer of socialism, from the point of… and His Holiness is taking the view of human society’s needs.

Dalai Lama: From a social theory or economy theory, in this respect, I am more left. I always had some admiration about Marx’s theory. But now again, if you put Asia as a whole, one Asia… on these, you see, different system—economy system or government system or these systems, I think the nation or the race, all these involvements, the political situation, all the history bygone and the neighbors and the population… I think many considerations should be needed. This is my personal opinion.

High Times: You were saying before that a person couldn’t really deal with his spiritual needs on an empty stomach… what do you like to eat?

Dalai Lama: Hm…

Interpreter: His Holiness says, the most delicious…

Dalai Lama: (Laughs.)

Interpreter: His Holiness said, he doesn’t know because he hasn’t taken all the different kinds of food.

Dalai Lama: (laughs) I think, compare Indian food and Chinese food… but definitely Chinese food is much better.

High Times: Are you a vegetarian?

Dalai Lama: No, my institution is peculiar. At the beginning, I’m non-vegetarian, as most of Tibetans. Then, after some time, I’ve become vegetarian. I remain a few years as a vegetarian, strict vegetarian. Then I got some disease and failed and again, I’ve become a non-vegetarian… like this. This is my story.

High Times: So now you’re a non-vegetarian.

Dalai Lama: Yes.

High Times: You were a vegetarian, though, for religious reasons…

Dalai Lama: No.

High Times: No?

Dalai Lama: No…

Interpreter: Not exactly religious. Because of His Holiness’s personal feeling, he changed.

High Times: When you were in the West, did you have French food, Italian…?

Interpreter: Italian spaghetti was…

Dalai Lama: (laughs) I like… Yes, very good… good. And steak.

Interpreter: Steak also.

High Times: Do you ever have Coca-Cola?

Dalai Lama: (laughs) No. Once, yes. I think in early Sixties, yes. Now, no more.

High Times: How’d you like it?

Dalai Lama: It caused some trouble in stomach. All these cold drinks not suitable.

High Times: What do you do to relax? Do you have any pets or any hobbies?

Dalai Lama: Reading and thinking… Sometimes these philosophical things. If you think of these philosophical things… it seems to me some relaxation . . .

Interpreter: His Holiness says, sometimes like… when His Holiness thinks on these philosophical points, it relaxes him.

Dalai Lama: Philosophy.

High Times: Do you read any nonreligious books?

Dalai Lama: Yes, yes.

High Times: Novels?

Interpreter: Yes, His Holiness does… His Holiness says, he’s read a great deal about Nazis…

Dalai Lama: (Much laughter.)

Interpreter: He doesn’t know why, but he…

High Times: Did you read Albert Speer’s Inside the Third Reich?

Interpreter: His Holiness says, he does not remember the name. Some books on history… His Holiness has some interest…

High Times: What interests you about the Nazis?

Interpreter: His Holiness feels that when His Holiness was very young, maybe the attraction came… one, maybe from the Spartanist discipline and then also maybe because they have been very ruthless.

Dalai Lama: I think one reason… when I was young… during the Second World War… during that period, I got information through the Tibetan newspaper which published in Kalimpong. That is the only source. Now during that period, I got the impression the Nazi Germany…

Interpreter: …is someone who had no friends at all.

Dalai Lama: Allies fight—they are many countries. So I got the impression…

Interpreter: His Holiness was under the impression that Germany was being bullied by the Allies.

Dalai Lama: (Laughs).

Interpreter: As a result of that, he developed some kind of a sympathy for them.

High Times: Did you know that a lot of ministers in Germany’s Third Reich, Hitler’s government, were interested in many different kinds of occultism and religious mysticism, and I haven’t seen the relevant documents, but I have read that the German government before World War II regularly sent deputations to Lhasa…

Dalai Lama: (Laughs.)

Interpreter: His Holiness says, when you get some of these authentic documents, could you send it here?

Dalai Lama: (Laughs.)

Interpreter: His Holiness says, one or two expeditions may have come from the West…

Dalai Lama: I think one… just before Second World War… one group… one body visited Lhasa and they visited, I think, a few places…

High Times: Was it a political group? Scientific?

Interpreter: Mainly scientific, yes. Of course, you’d never know whether it’s politics or… His Holiness says, you could just judge them from their externals.

High Times: There is a story that at the end of World War II when the Allied Forces entered Berlin, they found a group of Tibetan monks, a hundred monks who were dressed in the uniforms of…

Dalai Lama: (Laughs.)

High Times: …of the Waffen S.S.

Dalai Lama: (much laughter) This I don’t know…

Interpreter: His Holiness says that Germany has been one of the European countries which has been most interested in Tibetan culture aspect, and many books have been written about the culture and religion of Tibet. It seems that quite a lot of books on Tibet…

High Times: Have you ever wondered why that is?

Interpreter: His Holiness says, it is something interesting… someone could make a research on this kind of thing. His Holiness says… for example, the swastika, the Nazi swastika, that’s the same as the Hindu… and also the sign of the original Tibetan native religion. The same sign. We used the swastika, but it’s clockwise. Maybe there’s some…

Dalai Lama: (Laughs.)

High Times: Are you interested in astrology?

Dalai Lama: No.

High Times: You don’t think that the movement of stars has any significance for life on earth?

Interpreter: His Holiness says, he doesn’t care much for this. But then, of course, that doesn’t mean like His Holiness would…

Dalai Lama: Some people say, according to their own experience, it has some effect… from these stars. So… I do not know.

High Times: Do you ever watch television?

Dalai Lama: Yes… yes.

High Times: Indian television?

Dalai Lama: Yes.

High Times: Do you think that you’d like to have a television show to broadcast into Tibet?

Dalai Lama: You mean, future Tibet?

High Times: In future Tibet, yes.

Dalai Lama: Certainly… yes. As I mentioned, we Tibetans are human beings… Tibetan nation as a human society. We need every facilities.

High Times: But to you as a…

Dalai Lama: Except these spacecraft.

Interpreter: Except spacecraft. His Holiness says, these are for the rich… the ones who have the money to…

Dalai Lama: (laughs) They can spend millions of dollars for these projects—very good. But…

High Times: There might be other people on other planets… and I’m sure it would be interesting to talk to them.

Interpreter: His Holiness says, according to Buddhism, we believe there are people in other planets.

Dalai Lama: But quite impossible to contact by this physical…

High Times: Do you think people on other planets can be contacted through…

Dalai Lama: Mentally… yes.

High Times: Telepathically?

Dalai Lama: Yes.

High Times: Have you ever contacted them?

Dalai Lama: By me? No.

High Times: Or has any Tibetan…?

Dalai Lama: Maybe… (laughs).

High Times: Do you see many movies?

Dalai Lama: No… Mechanical things… recently I… I’m fond… I like very much.

High Times: You like movie projectors?

Dalai Lama: Yes.

Interpreter: His Holiness is very fond of these mechanical things, and likes sometimes dismantling and putting them together, repairing…

Dalai Lama: (examining tape recorder) Before the week’s end, I may do some repair… on this sort of thing… tape recorder.

High Times: You probably know more about this tape recorder than I do.

Interpreter: His Holiness is very interested in this kind of thing. His Holiness is interested in…

High Times: Well, if you notice it not working, please tell me. Do you have much experience with the young Westerners who come here?

Dalai Lama: Quite a lot.

High Times: What do you think of them?

Dalai Lama: Nothing in particular… but important to… I mean, it is good to meet different people and talk…

Interpreter: You have a closer feeling…

Dalai Lama: The human contact is very important.

High Times: You were born a god, the living Buddha…

Dalai Lama: (Laughs.)

High Times: Is that right?

Dalai Lama: Oh, certainly… I am Buddha (much laughter). I am Buddha. Then you also would be a Buddha, small Buddha… smaller Buddha (laughter). Certainly… no.

Interpreter: Wrong interpretation.

Dalai Lama: See… reincarnation of Buddha… the reincarnation of Buddha…

Interpreter: There is a complicated theory behind this.

Dalai Lama: And from this philosophy or this belief can be… including…

Interpreter: His Holiness says, from this theory, including the institution of the Dalai Lama, there are other such… which come into this.

Interpreter: His Holiness says, when you say that someone is reincarnation of Buddha, it needn’t be the Buddha himself.

Dalai Lama: Now… I’m the Dalai Lama. Certainly I am not Buddha. I’m ordinary human being. But meantime, I have some force…

Interpreter: There is some connection from the past life. That is definite… some force, some influence.

High Times: Do you remember any of your past lives?

Dalai Lama: Not at the moment, but when I was young, there were many signs which I show to other people…

High Times: Are you celibate?

Dalai Lama: Yes.

High Times: And you have been celibate in your previous incarnations as Dalai Lama, which would be 400 years by now. Do you regret having been celibate for 400 years?

Dalai Lama: (laughs) No! According to Buddhism, to control yourself is one of the most important things… the control and the control of desire, including sex, you see.

Interpreter: His Holiness says, with the control of these, you approach nirvana closer. His Holiness cannot say whether his previous incarnations were celibate or not.

High Times: Certain Tantric writings advocate sex as a means of reaching nirvana.

Interpreter: Tantric, you said?

High Times: I think Tantric, yes.

Dalai Lama: This is just a misunderstanding, misinterpretation, I think. In Tantra, there are certain yoga practices… symbolized… some there are in practice, but some are much different than usual sexual things.

High Times: If sex is a distraction from the pursuit of nirvana, would you say that people who enjoy a lot of sex are therefore free… are they depriving themselves of the highest freedom, which is religious?

Interpreter: There are some differences. But in the sexual life or conduct, according to some… there are certain rules, and within those rules, you know, it’s better.

High Times: Marriage, for instance. Do you have any premonitions of the future?

Dalai Lama: No. First, you should qualify it… firm meditation or strong meditation… sound meditation… samadhi. Unless you spend few years in a very removed, secluded place, it isn’t possible to practice.

High Times: Well, if someone lived piously and ascetically, practiced samadhi in the way in which it must be practiced, then would he have, you know, the ability to have premonitions of the future?

Dalai Lama: Yes.

High Times: Have you ever…?

Dalai Lama: Yes… my friends, they have practiced this samadhi according to their own capability…

High Times: Do you think that there are other powers of the mind which samadhi can unlock? Would it be possible, for instance, to astrally project, to leave the physical body?

Dalai Lama: Certainly.

High Times: Have you ever developed your own psychic powers?

Dalai Lama: No.

High Times: If you had, would you have been able to use them militarily, against the Chinese in Tibet?

Dalai Lama: No. It’s not possible to become that powerful. Now this again involves the mass karma. So you see, for example, this suffering of the Tibetan masses… many involved. Now, one single person’s magic power could not change this. Now in India, in the past, when Lord Buddha was in India, his whole native country was invaded by one king. At that time, Lord Buddha could not do anything.

High Times: Is it possible for people to develop their psychic powers and use them collectively?

Dalai Lama: Collectively… no.

High Times: Under the present political situation, how will your successor be chosen?

Dalai Lama: I don’t know (laughs). Not my responsibility. At the moment, my responsibility is to fight, and retain our rights…

High Times: Can the use of drugs help a person who is looking for enlightenment?

Dalai Lama: No. I don’t think so.

High Times: Have you ever taken any drugs?

Dalai Lama: No. The reason is… enlightenment should be curried by the full alert mind. But if you take these drugs and these things…

High Times: Many people in the West use drugs and claim that it helps them in their religious—

Dalai Lama: Maybe. In exceptional case.

High Times: I’d like to show you a book that was published in America about ten years ago…

Dalai Lama: Yes, I think I got one…

High Times: The authors wrote this as a guide to the use of LSD, based on the philosophy of the Bardo Thodol, [the Tibetan Book of the Dead] and they claimed that the Bardo Thodol is only metaphorically about what happens after death; what it’s really about, according to them, is about the loss of the ego or identity through a mystical experience. And they felt that you could have a valid mystical experience, and understand a death and rebirth of the ego, through the joint use of LSD and the Bardo Thodol.

Interpreter: His Holiness hopes they find the book helpful.

High Times: But are they correct in saying the Bardo Thodol is not a book about death but about religious mysticism, about what you might experience, say, in samadhi?

Interpreter: Actually the book is about death… But there are meditations which some people practice about death before dying. But the book, this particular text, that is about the death…

High Times: I want to ask you again about telepathy and psychic powers. Do you think that the Tibetan Book of the Dead, the Bardo Thodol, has any meaning as a guide to psychic experiences?

Interpreter: Possibly, it can have. His Holiness says there are other texts also which are similar. His Holiness says there are many texts about the mind and sort of a tele-analysis of the mind.

High Times: Conversely, do you think that psychic experiences as they’re known in the West—telepathy, astral projection—are essentially religious experiences?

Dalai Lama: No.

High Times: Could a person be enlightened and not know it, someone who had simply never had the benefit of being exposed to the teaching of a religion?

Interpreter: His Holiness says, religion is able to change the mind of a person.

Dalai Lama: Anything rich… rich benefit or rich effect from control your mind… that means your mind has become good, better and better and better. That means less anger, and less selfish teachings. That is religion.

High Times: But in other words, you don’t think it would be possible to discipline the mind without a religion.

Dalai Lama: Practice samadhi, practice samadhi itself… may not show as a religious contact. If you practice samadhi… motivated solely or only or mainly for some psychic power, or some magic… just like your own benefit in order to destroy, in order to conquer. If you practice for this purpose, if you practice samadhi, that’s wrong… not religious.

Interpreter: It’s not possible to attain enlightenment without having any religion…

Dalai Lama: Or nirvana… That is what nirvana or Buddhahood means—complete purification of mind.

Interpreter: Unless you are able to control your mind, you cannot purify your mind.

High Times: The fact that we can do certain things, if we meditate properly, that we can have certain psychic powers, indicates that there are other planes on which we can exist. In that case, why is it that humans have to be encumbered with, bothered with going through the physical stage?

Dalai Lama: I think this is now one basic thing —nature. We believe nature is nature, because by nature there is a being, because by nature there is suffering. You want something to achieve. These are not created by God… the god of Buddhism. We do not accept creator… so, you see, something in nature…

High Times: Do you think that children have a perception of spiritual reality which they express childishly but which nonetheless is very valid?

Interpreter: His Holiness says he is not sure whether they can by themselves. For some it is possible, His Holiness says, but without any outside influence or environmental influence, if by nature the child is able to… sort of through his own character and thinking, then His Holiness says he might get a clear picture as to the influence of his past life.

High Times: How should a person educated in the West begin to seek enlightenment?

Dalai Lama: Enlightenment… I’m not much for the thinking about Buddhahood or nirvana, but I’m more concerned or more interested in practical things—that is, harmony, brotherhood, you see, kindness to each other, respect to each other, then live really in harmony, and brotherhood, taking universal responsibility, central universal responsibility. This sort of real thinking—I think we can build such a way of thinking and way of life. As to socialism, I think… not by force, but by step-by-step method… through… mainly through teaching and through environmental influence and parents’ advice and government system, economy system, and all, as we discussed, television and radio broadcasts, newspapers, all these facilities showing the right path, then I think… some hope. And also this… that’s the only alternative, I think. If this present, the atmosphere, you see, talking peace, practice no peace; talking justice, practice no justice; talking harmony, unity, practice just opposite. Talking—people’s benefit, people’s rights, people’s liberty, and practice selfish… not good… If in human society, justice is lost, then really no hope.

High Times: Your Holiness, what is the relationship between Tibetan Buddhism and Zen Buddhism?

Dalai Lama: Both come from India.

High Times: Buddhists have developed fighting, you know, the martial arts—karate, kung fu, samurais…

Dalai Lama: Oh, yes… yes.

High Times: What do you think of that, as a pacifist? Is that real Buddhism?

Dalai Lama: (laughs) I don’t know.

Interpreter: His Holiness says it depends on the condition of the political…

Dalai Lama: If foreign invasions are there…

High Times: There are a lot of legends in the West about Tibet. One is that during the 18 years of his life for which the Bible does not account, Jesus Christ visited Tibet and studied here. Do you know this legend?

Dalai Lama: I don’t know.

Interpreter: His Holiness says, he heard about this and saw the book, but His Holiness has no first-hand report.

High Times: Then there’s the Abominable Snowman, the Yeti.

Dalai Lama: (laughs) Yeti (laughs).

High Times: Have you ever seen one?

Dalai Lama: I also inquiring about this.

High Times: You’re interested in it also?

Dalai Lama: Yes. But, I mean, some of the local people, from time to time, these local people are coming here to see me. So I inquire, and they believe there is something.

High Times: Your Holiness, one more question. Can people write to you here at Dharamsala? Do you have time to answer your mail?

Dalai Lama: (laughs) Yes… yes.

High Times: Thank you, Your Holiness.

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