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Lions Roar : September 2005
CAROLYN ROSE GIMIAN is afreelance editor and writer who has edited many of the books of Chögyam Trungpa, including the recent compilation, The Sanity We Are Born With: A Buddhist Approach to Psychology. She is currently working as the co-author with Diana Judith Mukpo, widow of the late Chögyam Trungpa, on Mrs. Mukpo’s memoirs, to be published by Shambhala Publications in 2006. 5 6 SHAMBHALA SUN SEPTEMBER 2005 THE KALACHAKRA TANTRA talks about a time when the three lalos, the barbarian kings, will rule the earth. In the 1970’s, Buddhist author Chögyam Trungpa referred to the three lalos as “the Three Lords of Materialism.” That transla- tion has been adopted as the standard, perhaps because it so aptly describes the attitude that rules the modern world. Indeed, materialism is king. The Three Lords are the Lord of Form, who rules the world of physical materialism; the Lord of Speech, who rules the realm of psychological materialism; and the Lord of Mind, who is the ruler of the world of spiritual materialism. All Three Lords serve their emperor, ego, who is always busy in the background keeping his nonexistent empire fortified with the ammunition supplied by the Lords. According to the Buddhist understanding, the ego is a collection of rather ran- dom heaps of thoughts, feelings, perceptions, and basic strate- gies for survival that we bundle into a nonexistent whole and label “me.” The Three Lords act in the service of this basic ego- mania, our deluded attempt to keep this sense of self intact. Meet The Three Lords of Materialism Lords Form, Speech, and Mind—perhaps you’ve already made their acquaintance. We think they’ll make us happy and secure,but as CAROLYN GIMIAN tells us, everything wrong with the world and our lives is their creation. ILLUSTRATIONS BY MICHELLE LAPORTE