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Lions Roar : May 2013
IT HAS BEEN FIFTY YEARS SINCE my father, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, came to the West to introduce his vision of how to create a good human society. On this anniversary, I have been reflecting on the meaning and purpose of his inten- tion, particularly since my life has been integrally mixed with the development of the Shambhala vision. This contemplation has led me to write The Shambhala Principle: Discovering Humanity’s Hidden Treasure. The book is a first-person narrative revolving around questions I asked my father when I was a child. Whether his responses were direct, poetic, whimsical, or mystical, he continuously returned to the topics of basic goodness and enlightened society. This book highlights the question Do we, as humans, believe and trust in the basic goodness of humanity, as well as of society? It identifies the question of human nature as the most important global issue that we face today. Humanity has come to a crossroads—we can either destroy the world or we can create a good future. At this time, there is tremendous doubt regarding the inherent goodness and worthi- ness of our species. If we draw the conclusion that humanity is not inherently good—that we do not possess inherent wisdom— what hope can the future possibly hold? In that case, it seems inevitable that the forces of fear and doubt will escalate, creating an internal environment that is detrimental to the human mind and heart, as well as to the external environment. In these challenging times, it is tempting to collapse into our own personal existence, hoping the world’s woes will not affect us too harshly. However, it is difficult for any of us to escape the social and climatic changes that color this particular crossroads. Whether intentionally or not, we are all forced to contemplate the nature of our existence, and more importantly, the nature of humanity. The conclusions we draw will affect our global future. The Shambhala Principle presents the dialogue I had with my father regarding how basic goodness relates to society, economics, and politics, as well as to health and the environment. Trungpa Rinpoche did not approach basic goodness from a naïve point Are We Basically Good? The question of human nature is the most important global issue that we face today, says SAKYONG MIPHAM RINPOCHE. If we conclude that humanity is not basically good— that we do not possess inherent wisdom—what hope does the future hold? SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2013 13