For as long as Trinlay could remember, his main wish was to deepen his understanding of the dharma, but he was also interested in Western science and philosophy. He imagined becoming a bridge between the two worlds, East and West. After completing the Bac, Trinlay divided his time between studying with learned Tibetan scholars in India and studying at university in France.
His appreciation of the classical philosophers, such as Plato and Aristotle, continues. “They have a lot in common—more than is generally thought—with the great Asian masters.
They all ask the same questions: Who are we? How do we define reality? What is mind? How should we live our lives? How can we face death? What happens after we die? While all schools of thought use reason, logic, and sophisticated language, their conclusions may be radically different.
There is some common ground, but Buddhism has its particularities: the Buddhist view of emptiness or essencelessness is an obvious example.”