End or Save the World

Q: Everyone seems obsessed with the end of the world. In mythology and current events, people seem to actually look forward to some final destruction. I want to avoid it. What can I do?

A: We human beings put ourselves in such horrible danger because we:
  1. Know deep within that the only way out of this mess is by learning the meaning of dukkha, suffering
  2. But are confused and think that we can learn that meaning by creating dukkha for ourselves, and that we can teach that lesson by creating dukkha for others
  3. And we do not know that the way to learn that meaning is by fully accepting dukkha as it arises without ever creating it.
As a result of this confusion, there is a quiet but constant desire in society for an enormous creation of suffering, a terrible destruction of all the world with fire and hatred and pain and misery. In this scenario, the terrible conditions kill off most people but those who survive are somehow purified. We maintain an interest in this sort of end of the world (as is spoken of in the Christian Bible and as the Mayan calendar cycle is supposed to predict) and put enormous resources into creating a technology (nuclear warfare) that can accomplish such horror at any time.

We believe that destruction will work. We believe it will work despite the fact that the terrible, hate-and-fear-based, miserable end of societies has occurred many times and such an act has never once resulted in a purified, peaceful society.  We believe that despite the fact that people accept suffering every day and such an act invariably results in purification and peace within the society of those people and their acquaintances.

We must learn this lesson often and completely. In my opinion, we have learned it completely when we see that to accept suffering and to resolve suffering are the same thing.  We realize that we cannot take actions that fully resolve suffering unless we accept it.  We realize that we cannot fully accept suffering unless we take action to resolve it.

This is the way to save the world.