Everyone, who has ever been interested in Buddhism, knows that the Buddha came to the conclusion that people themselves are the cause of human suffering. The whole fault is their attachment to material values to the detriment of the values of the spiritual world.

That's the main question: why are we unhappy? The answer is obvious -- we are selfish. We care about ourselves only. Is there any way out? There is and the great Teacher has pointed it out: a man must be freed from selfishness.
Buddhists believe that there is suffering -- dukkha. Dukkha means "impatience, impermanence and intolerance. "But suffering is just an effect. The reason is our eternal craving: desire to possess, appropriate and consume.
The Buddha experienced everything that the mortal could: bliss and luxury of the palace life, yogic meditation, philosophical doctrines, power and poverty, satiety and hunger, loneliness and penance.
The Buddha is the embodiment of love and compassion for all living things. His personality is characterized by breadth of mind, greatness and incredible fearlessness. He was born for the good of people. Buddha aspired to truth, to victory over worldly vanity because people were unhappy. His only concern was to help them. He never cared for himself in all his life.
Buddha was often asked if there was a God and He answered that He did not know. When He was asked about the purpose of the existence of mankind the Buddha answered: "Do good and you will be happy."

The current population of the earth is 7.5 billion people; a little less than half are of working age. According to the International Labour Organization, almost 6 per cent of them – more than 200 million – do not have a job. The ILO would not tell how many people work for a salary that barely allows them to make ends meet.

According to experts' forecasts, the development of technologies will gradually displace people from the labour market. This applies to all spheres: production, transport and services. Robots will assemble cars and drive them along the roads that were made by the same robots. Computer programs will keep accounting; write music and act in blockbuster films.
Unemployment of hundreds of millions of people will lead to disastrous consequences: if a family member loses a job he would not be the only one who suffers but his children and retired parents as well. We are expecting the collapse of a consumption-oriented economy. This will bring such horrible disasters as we have not yet seen.
The mass of unoccupied, hungry and embittered people will become the breeding ground for the flowering of the most radical ideologies and trends from Nazism to religious fundamentalism. In combination with budgetary paralysis, this will lead to collapse and self-destruction of many existing states. Aggressive non-state actors, such as ISIS, will take their place.
But there will be no peace in the apparently prosperous countries as well: the militant and uncreative regimes will wreak havoc and horror all over the world. Struggle for exhausting resources, first of all for water, will become extremely intensified.

I was slightly upset when I received a sms from the editor of the "Russian Pioneer" asking me to write about ships. Well, I do not like vessels sailing the seas and oceans. I will be honest – I get sea sick. Seafaring is not my best option. I was born in a place where the steppe touches the sky – in Kalmykia.

And then I thought, do they want me to write about ships? No problem. I will write about the ship, which is dearer to me than anything in the world. Read, please.

First, a little bit of history. For many thousands of years, mankind has come a long way from primitive reed rafts to caravels and gracefully flying along the waves brigantines to powerful and astounding nuclear-powered icebreakers.

However, the brightest intellectuals striving forward to new horizons could not make us to see that our planet is the very same ship drifting in a far from safe space of the Universe. What's so surprising about this? Do you remember the famous chords of the Beatles song about the yellow submarine? “We all live in a yellow submarine.”

That's how we all live – in one yellow submarine. Or on the same ship. And we sail the ocean called Life. And so what? We live and we do not complain.

Probably, there is not a single boy who did not dream of becoming a sailor. We also dreamed about this in Kalmykia. It may seem strange but only at first sight. What seems to be unattainable is always the most attractive. To anyone, who has not seen anything larger than the city pond, the ocean seems something incredibly majestic and those who conquer elements are fabulous giants.

The cunning is an old companion of man. However, while everyone considers the high intelligence as a positive quality everything is a little different when it concerns cunning,

There is an opinion that cunning always walks hand in hand with lie and cheat. Therefore, people mistrust cunning person, but they do not consider cunning to be an exceptional vice. There are a lot of sayings about cunning in Russia that are not quite condemning it but rather lowering it to the level of not the most worthy occupation. The tales about mischiefs and rascals always evoked a smile on the faces of Kalmyks. We have a fairy tale about an old man named Keeda. He had nothing but a red and bald headed ram. With the help of natural savvy and cunning, the old man managed to acquire seven camels, a horse and a fur-coat in a short time. It was necessary to him, however, to sacrifice the ram, but in the end he was none the worse off. This character is treated kindly in Kalmykia and his sculpture is located in Elista.
It is interesting that sometimes the cunning ones become the victims of cunning. Remember Homeric "Odyssey" that was entirely based on caused by his actions misadventures of the hero. Having cunningly defeated and blinded the Cyclops Polyphemus, Odysseus brought upon himself the wrath of the sea god Poseidon, the father of the giant. Yes, Odysseus was forced to cheat in order to avoid death, but in retaliation Poseidon prevented Odysseus from returning home for 20 years.

Communication and contacts among people were the most important component of civilization from time immemorial. Every breakthrough in this field shook humanity. The ability to quickly and precisely receive information created empires and ruined them. Do you remember the simple trick that the Count of Monte Cristo used to crushed his enemy - the banker Danglars just by bribing the telegraph employee to deliver the wrong message? Compare this to the power of the internet, which allows us not only to communicate directly with almost any inhabitant of the Earth but also provides access to all the world’s spiritual and cultural benefits. Everything that seemed to be an unattainable dream a hundred years ago — the opportunity, without leaving home, to attend lectures by leading scientists, to see the famous theatre plays, to get familiarized with the works of outstanding painters — became a reality.

According to estimates of the International Telecommunication Union, there are 3.5 billion internet users worldwide, that is half the world's population. Of course, this figure is somewhat cunning: after all, only the number of devices is considered. If you have a computer, smartphone and a tablet that have access to the Internet, you will be registered as three users not as one. Nevertheless, the figure is impressive.
But how does the internet army affect our life? Has the global society become more educated, spiritual and intelligent than it was half a century ago in the pre-internet era?

Check-in, take off, landing, customs. Same all over again: take off, landing... More than a hundred countries a year; another country, meeting and theme every three days. That is the life of the President of FIDE - one of the world's largest sports federations.

I write these lines during the short interval between trips. However, many politicians and businessmen share such life style. The modern man is less tied to any particular place. By necessity – some more and some less – scientists and artists, journalists and engineers are touring the world. There are more and more people who feel that they are the citizens of the world.
Civilisation develops and people can travel to the places that were the ultimate dream of professional travellers before. Someone said, "The world is getting smaller." I remember a song from my childhood with the lyrics: "The planet has become a little smaller. You can travel all over it in an hour. You can get anywhere within fifteen hours of flying, plus another 15 minutes by taxi." But, in my opinion, that is not because the Earth is getting smaller but because a man is able to reach farther.
This means that all the cultural riches of civilization, from the Egyptian pyramids to spacecraft launch from Cape Canaveral, became available to any willing person. Anyone can visit Lake Baikal or the Rocky Mountains. Anyone can see the Mona Lisa at the Louvre or "Stranger" in the Tretyakov Gallery. And that's perfect.

A week ago, I returned from Chisinau, which I visited on the invitation of the President of the Republic of Moldova Igor Dodon.

I was doubly pleased by this trip. Firstly, I like Moldova. My first visit there was in 1997: I held one of the first meetings of the FIDE Presidential Board in Chisinau. Moldova enchanted me with a special aura and by the locals, who like chess and respect chess traditions.
Secondly, my old and good friend Igor Dodon is not only a major political figure but also the head of the National Chess Federation. His election to the highest State position was good news for 600 million chess players in the world.
It is not by chance that the FIDE promotes the slogan "One billion chess players - one billion clever people". After all, chess develops not only the intellect but the ability to calculate the consequences of your actions, which is necessary for every self-respecting man. The ancient game instils the respect for the opponent, motivates to learn by his example and forget own ambitions and resentments. These qualities must be inherent in any politician claiming to get an important position.
The more chess players will be in the world, the more intelligent people will appear in positions of power. The number of conflicts will decrease and cooperation among countries will increase. More decisions will be made for the interests of ordinary people.

On the human race at his feet

Sallying forth, sword in hand,
Through blood and filth,
Where the burning metal is shining!
And Satan leads the dance!

Above lyrics are known to any comparatively educated person. But how many people give a thought to the fact that the throne of the precious metal was overthrown, when Charles Gounod’s opera – based on "Faust" by Johann Goethe – was first shown on the Paris stage in 1859? And that it was occupied by a dull brown-black viscous slush with a fairly specific flavour.
The gold still has not lost its appeal to a man. Meanwhile, nearly 200 years have passed since the oil has become a driving force of human civilization. And, alas, if we compare the number of lives sacrificed to those gods, the comparison will be not in favour of gold.
The history of oil looks ambiguous. Humanity is familiar with this fossil resource for more than five thousand years: the ancient inhabitants of the Middle East used it for lighting and construction, and the ancient Egyptians have been using it to mummify the dead. However, the true booming of oil began only in the late XIX century along with the advent of the internal combustion engine.
The first motorists bought fuel for their self-propelled devices at pharmacies in volumes, which were too small to start opening special shops. Industrialists, responsible for ‘car addiction’ throughout the world, provided the rapid growth of oil production.

In April 2016, the American Museum of Natural History hosted the scientific conference, whose participants debated whether we live in the real world, or all that we see is a creation of someone from the virtual space like the plot of The Matrix.

The question is not new. The Greek philosopher Plato asked it as far as 2.5 thousand years ago. The conference participants decided put the odds at 50-50 that our entire existence is a "matrix" programme. Moreover, if we are really living in a virtual space, we cannot prove otherwise. However, I think if we talk about the matrix as a canvas, which determines destiny, each of us has its own. And it is formed in childhood.
My childhood was hardly a quiet one. Up to a certain age, I was practically on my own: my parents worked a lot and my grandmother was unable to keep up with a lively tomboy. I grew up on the street, where I joined a friendly and inventive gang. There was nothing we would not do! We roamed the outskirts of Elista, climbed the apple trees in the other people's gardens, and organized badminton and chess championships. We fought with the boys from the neighbouring yards.
Eventually, my relatives got fed up with looking for me every night and decided to send me to a kindergarten. I was horrified by what I saw there after a disorderly street life: imagine moving in formation for a walk or lunch. For some reason we had to sleep in the middle of the day. That I could not stand: I ran away to friends through an open window. They found us on the pond late in the evening. It was the only day that I went to kindergarten: The manageress refused to take me back in the morning.

Last autumn, major military operations against militants of the terrorist organization ISIS began in two countries of the Middle East almost simultaneously. The Syrian-Russian coalition and US military power attacked the militant gangs in Syrian Aleppo and Mosul in Iraq.

From the standpoint of a layman, the scale and the stated goals of these attacks are alike as two peas in a pod. However, the Spokesperson for the US Department of State John Kirby considers such comparison to be insulting. According to him, two military "dictators" - Assad and Putin -exterminate the peaceful opposition and civilian population in Syria, while the Air Forces of 66 countries exclusively attack only terrorists in Iraq.
If we ignore the lie that has become second nature to the American officials and military, we would have to admit that Kirby is relatively right: there is a difference. The Americans and their allies valiantly overcome the difficulties that they have created in Iraq by overthrowing if not much gentle but quite moderate regime of Saddam Hussein.
For all its power, America and the Americans are not willing to learn from their mistakes. Just in the last 25 years, they tried to "bring democracy" or rather impose the convenient for them regimes in Iraq, Somalia, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria. Obviously, overseas elites consider that bringing democracy to a country means its massive bombardment (derisively referred to as "humanitarian") and provoking a civil war.

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