What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close

Opposites Attract: My Dialogue with His Holiness The Dalai Lama

April 6, 2013, 9:00 AM
Dalai

I first met the Dalai Lama in 2000 at his headquarters in Dharamshala, in the northern part of India.  And I had absolutely no interest in the Dalai Lama. I only went because I was invited to talk to him as a scientist, as a part of a group of five. And I knew I could invite a silent observer. And my daughter was interested in the Dalai Lama and I thought, "Wouldn’t this be a wonderful treat for her?" So I introduced her as my spiritual leader.

To my amazement, I just hit it off. I felt like I’ve always known him and he seemed to have had the same reaction to me.  And so in the past 12 years, we’ve now spent over 60 hours in one-on-one intense dialogue.  I can’t think of two people who are more dissimilar than us.  I’m married with two kids; he’s a monk.  I’m a non-observant Jew; he’s a Buddhist.  I’m trained in western science; he’s trained in Buddhist philosophy.

We’re within a year of each other in age.  One thing we have in common is we have the same arthritis in the same leg.  But we also love argument and neither one of us ever gets angry in argument, and we love to switch positions just to see where it will lead.  And we love the fact that talking with each other we discover things that neither of us knew before.  And so that’s been the subject of one book of dialogue. It’s called Emotional Awareness, and now a series of videos that I’m editing where people will be able to see the two of us and get some idea about how this east/west dialogue is working.

It’s been an enormous treat and an adventure.

 

Opposites Attract: My Dialo...

Newsletter: Share: