In this series of talks with Fabien Ouaki, a French businessman, the Dalai Lama focuses on the state of the world, individual problems in everyday life, natural and human mysteries, death, metaphysics, and the creation of the universe. At one point, the Dalai Lama says: "It is essential that leaders of nations cultivate peace of mind, an altruistic attitude, and a true sense of universal responsibility." These three Buddhist practices come up again and again whether the subject is money, global disarmament, or the ideal of a world body dedicated to the protection of humanity in general beyond all notions of artificial frontiers.

The Dalai Lama believes that human nature is basically gentle and compassionate, and the religions should help people develop these qualities. Altruism is good medicine: "We had a rule in Tibet that anyone proposing a new invention had to guarantee that it was beneficial, or at least harmless, for seven generations of humans before it could be adopted." It is that spirit of interdependence and mutuality that pervades this discussion of positive solutions to some of humanity's most intractable problems.