The End of The World: Smithereens!

Guide to the Bodhisattvas Way of Life by Shantideva chapter 1 verse14a. "Just like the fire at the end of an age, it instantly consumes all great evil." History books don’t mention the fire at the end of a great age, do they? Perhaps the book burned up. Nothing survives, nothing survives.
You might think, “If there was just one man and one woman left, they could repopulate the whole world again, like Adam and Eve. We could hide them in a little cave under ground, and when it was safe they could begin again.” This is a version of the story of Noah’s Ark. When Tibetans heard this story, we thought that this was a memory of the great destruction and beginning. At the end of a minor age will be destruction by fire, water and wind. At the end of a great age, there will be the bursting of a planet, the entire planet would disappear. Is that scary for you?
Student: No.
Rinpoche: Alright, then I’m going on. Worlds have disappeared before. From physics and astronomy, we already understand that other worlds have blown up or perhaps a comet crashes into the Earth. We live in a fragile environment, and this world has gone on for quite a long time, so far. It has evolved to a point where society has a very sophisticated technology.
American society and world society today is still not at the height of technology. It’s just our own system of technology. Even in this world-system there are fragments of stories of technological societies that have come and gone, disappeared with hardly a trace. However, now we have a technology combined with a huge population.
I’m not saying the world is coming to an end any time soon. However, even great mountains, which appear to be so solid, will quickly turn to dust when the final event comes. You are not going to be around to see that. Before that mountain turns to dust, living beings will not be there to witness because they will have been gone by then.
This is the ultimate disaster, meaning this world would be entirely gone. Forget about pollution of the oceans, forget about the tigers’ population going down, forget about the endangered salamanders. There’s not going to be any water, any salamanders, anything. There’ll be no life at all, not even the smallest plant. And there will be no one left to blame anyone because this is the cleansing-- into what? Smithereens. You’ve heard of the Big Bang, how it started. Well, this is the smithereens where it goes to.
“Like the fire at an end of the age.” Those studying this in the Orient might nod here, saying, “Yes, yes, yes.” However, the main point is this: Shantideva says by entrusting yourself to the emerging awakening mind, liberation is so certain that it will instantly consume every single one of your dysfunctions, yes. Every dysfunction, every distortion that you have will be instantly annihilated within the awakening mind.

exerpt from teaching 9-2-2002 High Holy Theater http//www.white-conch.org

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