using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Lions Roar : May 2007
SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2007 49 ing over your house you could possibly afford, but if you had trusting neighbors, people who really cared about you, you’d be much more safe. In the book, you say that it is time for the right hand to know what the left hand is doing. What do you mean by that? Many people live with two sides of themselves out of touch with each other. They complain about paying their taxes but don’t complain about what their taxes actually buy, like cluster bombs. A mil- lion of these bombs, originally supplied by the U.S. government, were left in Lebanon. Children will come and pick them up, and they will blow up in their faces. Then you have all these maimed and dying children. But since your right hand, which wrote the check for the taxes, has learned not to care about the left hand, which has actually sent this off to the IRS and the government and the military, you pretend you are innocent. Well, you’re not. That’s what I mean. Of course, I know how difficult it can be to be- come fully aware and bear responsibility, and even though I figure there’s very little I can do to actually stop the war, I feel like I can make every effort to be aware. Not to be aware is very soul-shredding. People might say, “I didn’t know they were mak- ing tanks big enough to level people’s houses.” Well, they should know that. You may not be able to dis- mantle the tank, or even stop paying for the tank, but you can know that’s what is happening. Often, though, we feel that if we spend a lot of time finding out such disturbing information, we will just become more depressed. Have the courage to be more depressed. In a world like this, where we are—as Americans, anyway— paying for so much suffering, who wants to be Little Miss Sunshine? It’s scary. You have said that when you write fiction, you write the book for the characters. Was there someone specifically you were writing this book for? Oh, yes, for our times. My regular publisher, Random House, didn’t want to publish this book, because my editor said they didn’t know what they could do with it. But I kept saying to them, “We live in a time when things are so dire, and politics especially. The political discussion is so discouraging that people need a book that is political but is at the same time infused with spiri- tuality. They need a book that instructs them to step back and meditate, sit and contemplate, rather than dissolve into despair.” So I offered this book as a companion for this specific time, which I consider probably, along with millions of other people, the most dangerous, frightening, unstable time that the earth has known and that human beings have ever known. But your regular publisher didn’t see it that way? No. I think they may not have understood how much nourish- ment we get from teachers who encourage this kind of aware- ness. Even when we feel we can’t change things, it’s important to have awareness of what has happened. If you are unaware of what has happened, it means you’re not alive in many respects. And to be unalive in many places within yourself means you are missing a lot of the experience of being on this planet. And this planet is not to be missed. ♦