Background for the Book on "Unity in Diversity"
Tarab Tulku Rinpoche, the initiator of the Tendrel - Unity in Duality Conference, had for a long time wished to organize a special meeting between ancient inner science and modern western science. Finally all the conditions were present. The coming together of great capacities from different disciplines within modern science; the completion of Tarab Rinpoche's great work in Tibetan, of which the presentation of Tendrel¹ is but one chapter and which fascinated His Holiness the Dalai Lama so much, that he immediately told his secretary to find time in his otherwise very tight schedule for him to take part in the conference with very short notice; as well as the coming together of the necessary human and financial resources for creating a conference of these dimensions.
¹ Tendrel (Tib.: rTen 'Brel) is in short "the interrelated nature of phenomena", a Tibetan term which most often has been translated to "the interdependant origination", and it is a most important tenet basic to all types of Buddhism.
The reason for Tarab Tulku Rinpoche to create the Unity in Duality - Tendrel Conference was first of all to introduce to Western scientists certain main universalities of ancient wisdom, they may not yet be aware of. On the one hand Rinpoche felt it would be interesting for western scientists to become aware of certain parallel investigations and results, but also to recognize that these two approaches in their meeting could be profoundly enriching each other and could form a base for an entirely new approach to appear.
To make possible a real meeting between these two parties, Tarab Rinpoche was creating a common ground beyond cultural and religious conditioning by means of introducing Tendrel, the interrelated nature of reality, in his interpretation of Nargajuna's and Tsongkhapa's Tendrel as well as in regard to the Tendrel nature as exposed in Unity in Duality, knowing that all disciplines of science - ancient as well as new - would be able to relate to them in a profound manner. In that way Tarab Rinpoche created a base for communication and for deepening mutual exchange and understanding, which in the future hopefully will be of help for the implementation of the best from the ancient and modern worlds.
However, there was also another reason why Tarab Tulku Rinpoche chose the topic of Tendrel. Rinpoche envisioned that the realization of the Tendrel nature of reality would have a great positive impact for humanity at large. He felt that if we would really understand the Tendrel nature, it would naturally change our view of existence, of reality and of ourselves and of the interrelation of both. And if this understanding were to be implemented we would have the most powerful means at hand to change our way of existing.
It was Tarab Rinpoche's idea to create a series of conferences on this basis. The conference in Munich in 2002 was the first, and it should concentrate mainly on the research into the Tendrel nature in regard to the object-pole of the subject-object interrelationship, which relates to hard-core science's research object, the so-called 'outer' reality. The second conference should be concentrated on the Tendrel nature in regard to the subject-pole, which relates to the research object of the human sciences, our 'inner' world.
In the Munich conference however we were already slightly opening to the second area as well with the psychological approaches in regard to the Tendrel nature presented in two of the papers. But in the next Tendrel - Unity in Duality Conference, which is scheduled to take place in Paris in 2007, the Tendrel nature of the subject-pole will have the main emphasis.