Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Universal Tapestry


We live in a highly complex world which exists in a highly complex universe. Humans naturally can only perceive a few levels of our intricate universe and with the help of scientific instruments we can deepen (or broaden) or senses and peer into levels we were previously unaware of. By peering into these new levels of reality we begin to understand the interconnectedness of all life. Buddhist have an interesting concept that relates to all reality being connected and thus dependent on one another.

Pratītyasamutpāda
The doctrine of Dependent Origination, a fundamental Buddhist teaching on causation and the ontological status of phenomena. The doctrine teaches that all phenomena arise in dependence on causes and conditions and lack intrinsic being. The important corollary of this teaching is that there is nothing that comes into being through its own power or volition, and there are therefore no entities or metaphysical realities such as God or a soul, (ātman) that transcend the causal nexus.
Our individual existence depends on everything else and vice versa. Everyone and everything is part of the universal tapestry, a God-sized web of reality, where each thread depends on the other in a chain of cause and events. To Buddhist, because all things are mutually interdependent, no single reality exists on its own outside the web. There is no need for a creator God in Buddhism because they focus on the human condition as enumerated in the Four Noble Truths: The Nature of Suffering, Suffering's Origin, Suffering's Cessation, and The Way Leading to the Cessation of Suffering (the Eight Fold Path).

If everything is mutually interdependent, regardless of the existence of a creator God, how then do we guide ourselves in this complex reality? If we choose to enrich and reduce suffering in the lives of our fellow man we will be rewarded likewise. In Genesis 12 God told Abram to leave his family, friends, and country behind so that the Lord may lead him to a new land. When Abram chose to leave his old life behind he was awakened to a new life of mutual interdependence. All those who blessed him were blessed, and in him all of the families of the world will be blessed (Gen. 12:1-3). We must take our daily actions and attitudes into consideration when we come across our brothers, our fellow threads. There are those who do not care, or understand, and attempt to unravel threads from the universal tapestry. This does not bring anyone any good and further continues the cycle of suffering. You can not end suffering with suffering, but by understanding the connections we share as brothers we can begin to bless one another.

1 comment:

Cioara Andrei said...

Foarte interesant ce ai postat.M-am uitat pe blogul tau si imi place ce am vazut chiar e frumos si interesant.Felicitari si sigur am sa mai revin!

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