The End of the World
By choosing compassion over fear, we can preserve the world for future generations
If we listen to doomsday discourses and prophecies and live in fear, the world may well come to an end. Why? Because belief, intention, collective consciousness, rumor, and propaganda have amazing power.
Q: There’s been so much talk about the end of the world lately that I’m beginning to take it seriously. There’s no agreement about how the apocalypse will be triggered, but the leading candidates seem to be the end of the Mayan calendar in December 2012, the massive solar storms predicted for next year, or a meteor shower in 2014. Will the world really end soon?
A: Yes, the world really will come to an end. But only after we’re gone—and not before that—so it’s not a big concern. If the sun is collapsing or a band of giant meteors is heading our way, we have no power to prevent it. But we do have the power to create catastrophe. If we listen to doomsday discourses and prophecies and live in fear, the world may well come to an end. Why? Because belief, intention, collective consciousness, rumor, and propaganda have amazing power. If we fail to do anything constructive and instead spend our time discussing apocalyptic calamities, we will make big trouble for our fellow beings and for ourselves.
Fear invites danger. If we all become so frightened that we start stashing bottled water and hoarding food, if we tunnel into mountainsides and move into these dark holes, no one will be left to protect, nourish, and nurture the earth. In that case, the world will certainly come to an end.
We should concern ourselves with preserving and promoting higher values rather than worrying about the end of the world. Damaging self-understanding, love, compassion, and kindness will bring civilization to an end.
When we are driven by fear we engender calamity. In an attempt to ward off danger, we become violent and dangerous to ourselves. Even if we do not actually destroy the planet by such actions, we will destroy much of humanity’s strength, vitality, wisdom, knowledge, peace, and tranquility. We should concern ourselves with preserving and promoting higher values rather than worrying about the end of the world. Damaging self-understanding, love, compassion, and kindness will bring civilization to an end. That is a very big destruction.
We cannot stop the planet from being engulfed in powerful solar storms, but we can use our power to maintain our values and to strengthen our faith in ourselves and in a higher reality. If we lose trust in ourselves and have no faith in a higher reality, if we no longer trust our family, friends, or neighbors, we will devolve into a barbaric society with a barbaric mind-set. Clearly we see that people with a barbaric mind-set already exist in so-called civilized societies. If they become the majority—and those of us with higher values and a brighter vision become a minority—life will become miserable. That’s what will bring the civilized world to an end.
Spiritual head of the Himalayan Institute, Pandit Tigunait is the successor of Swami Rama of the Himalayas. Lecturing and teaching worldwide for more than a quarter of a century, he is the author of fourteen books, including his recently-released The Secret of the Yoga Sutra, and his autobiography Touched by Fire: The Ongoing Journey of a Spiritual Seeker. Pandit Tigunait holds two doctorates: one in Sanskrit from the University of Allahabad in India, and another in Oriental Studies from the... Read more>>