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University of the Third Age Course: Readings

The readings for Part 1 of the course on Indian and Asian Philosophies and Religions are from Lo Guest's books 'A Layman's Introduction to Asian Philosophies and Religions' Volumes 1 and 2. These books are not currently available online, but can be obtained in print from Tony Downey, the convenor of the U3A courses.

The following readings are for Part 2 of the Course on 'Basic Concepts of the Ancient Wisdom':


Consider the manifold consequences of our cooperation with one another. The stores are open; the buses are running; people show up for work; children are dropped off at school, educated, and picked up again; most people are fed, clothed, and housed, and those who can't do these things for themselves often receive help. Toddlers, sick people, and the senile elderly are not left to roam the streets unattended; their relatives, friends, or institutions care for them. Cooperation is the norm, an art form so commonplace and so expected that we are no longer even aware of it. We institutionalize our tending in professions such as nursing, teaching, child care and elder care. We institutionalize our aggressive and protective side as well, in military and civilian protective services, for example. But on the whole, daily life is largely devoted to the cooperative exchange of goods and services that help us to achieve a better life. The most marked characteristics of human daily life are caring and cooperation, not the unbridled selfishness that many describe as "human nature."
-- Shelley E. Taylor