SAN ANTONIO, TX— Sikh Research Institute (SikhRI) hosted Infinite Wisdom Day 2011 on 7 July at the Concept Therapy Institute in San Antonio.
The theme for this year, “Resistance, Rebellion and Revolution,” was discussed by a panel of nine local representatives of different moral and spiritual philosophies. “People choose to resist and rebel, and people make revolutions,” said Harinder Singh, chief programming officer for SikhRI.
“Who and what we are is inseparable from the stories we tell. Some stories are elitist, some popular, some conservative and others subversive. One thing is for certain: We need insights into the struggles of ordinary people as they fight injustice, exploitation, and domination.”
Dr. Ken Southwood, a Quaker, addressed the important role that ethnicity and nationality play in what are frequently framed as simply religious conflicts. “Terrorism is the tool of the weak in that it is the weapon of groups without sufficient territory, weapons or numbers,” said Dr. Southwood. “Religion and patriotism are terribly entangled and Quakers try to disentangle the two.”
Many of the panelists spoke of the role of unity, cooperation and mutual understanding among people of different backgrounds and religious and spiritual perspectives. They emphasized the conflict can be solved through peaceful methods of cooperation and consultation. Dr. Jan Puckett spoke of the principles of Buddhism, which ask people to seek constantly to act from infinite compassion—never from fear, never from hatred.
“The human instinct to get together for the common good is what has allowed human beings to survive through all this time as a species,” said Dr. Puckett.
“What you think about what is beneficial for others, when you question if you are acting out of kindness, then you are freeing your mind.”
Dr. IJ Singh explained that Sikhi is a religion which encourages “a revolution of the mind,” an overhaul in thinking and consciousness, and it is through this place of self-development that Sikhs often step into the civic and political arenas to fight for the rights of others.
More than 70 people attended the event.