368 THE TIBETAN BOOK OF LIVING AND DYING This book is giving you a sacred technology, by which you can transform not only your present life and not only your dying and your death, but also your future lives, and so the future of humanity. What my masters and I are hoping to inspire here is a major leap forward toward the conscious evolution of humanity. To learn how to die is to learn how to live; to learn how to live is to learn how to act not only in this life, but in the lives to come. To transform yourself truly and learn how to be reborn as a transformed being to help others is really to help the world in the most powerful way of all. The most compassionate insight of my tradition and its noblest contribution to the spiritual wisdom of humanity has been its understanding and repeated enactment of the ideal of the bodhisattva, the being who takes on the suffering of all sentient beings, who undertakes the journey to liberation not for his or her own good alone but to help all others, and who eventually, after attaining liberation, does not dissolve into the absolute or flee the agony of samsara, but chooses to return again and again to devote his or her wisdom and compassion to the service of the whole world. What the world needs more than anything is active servants of peace such as these, "clothed," as Longchenpa said, "in the armor of perseverance," dedicated to their bodhisattva vision and to the spreading of wisdom into all reaches of our experience. We need bodhisattva lawyers, bodhisattva artists and politicians, bodhisattva doctors and economists, bodhisattva teachers and scientists, bodhisattva technicians and engineers, bodhisattvas everywhere, working consciously as channels of compassion and wisdom at every level and in every situation of society, working to transform their minds and actions and those of others, working tirelessly in the certain knowledge of the support of the buddhas and enlightened beings, for the preservation of our world, and for a more merciful future. As Teilhard de Chardin said: "Some day, after we have mastered the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity,... we shall harness ... the energies of love. Then, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire." In the wonderful prayer of Rumi: O love, O pure deep love, be here, be now Be all; worlds dissolve into your stainless endless radiance, Frail living leaves burn with you brighter than cold stars: Make me your servant, your breath, your core.
SERVANTS OF PEACE 369 One of my deepest hopes for this book is that it could be an unfailing, loyal companion to anyone who makes the choice to become a bodhisattva, a source of guidance and inspiration to those who really face the challenge of this time, and undertake the journey to enlightenment out of compassion for all other beings. May they never grow weary or disappointed or disillusioned; may they never give up hope whatever the terrors and difficulties and obstacles that rise up against them. May those obstacles only inspire them to even deeper determination. May they have faith in the undying love and power of all those enlightened beings that have blessed and still bless the earth with their presence; may they take heart, as I have constantly taken heart, from the living examples of the great masters, men and women like us, who have with infinite courage heeded the Buddha's deathbed words to strive with their whole being to attain perfection. May the vision that so many mystic masters of all traditions have had, of a future world free of cruelty and horror, where humanity can live in the ultimate happiness of the nature of mind, come, through all our efforts, to be realized. Let us all pray together for that better world, first with Shantideva and then with St. Francis: For as long as space exists And sentient beings endure, May I too remain, To dispel the misery of the world. Lord make me an instrument Of thy peace, where there is hatred, Let me sow love; Where there is injury, pardon; Where there is doubt, faith; Where there is despair, hope; Where there is darkness, light; And where there is sadness, joy 0 Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek To be consoled as to console; To be understood as to understand; To be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive, It is in pardoning that we Are pardoned, and it is in dying That we are bom to eternal life.