Saturday, April 19, 2008

[The Random Factor #40 (2 of 5)] The interdependence of all things

Part 1: Emptiness
Part 2: The interdependence of all things
Part 3: Our mental and physical realities
Part 4: Clearing the Mind of Obscurities
Part 5: Meditation on Emptiness & Compassion

Part 2 : The interdependence of all things

Greetings brothers and sisters of Earth!

Continuing an exploration of Buddhist
thought resulting from a week of teachings
with the Dalai Lama in Hamburg Germany July

The topic was Aryadeva's 400 Stanzas, also
known as Four Hundred Verses on the Yogic
Deeds of Bodhisattvas, a text at the heart
of Tibetan Buddhism.

Key Concepts

- Emptiness
- The Interdependence of all things
- Our mental and physical realities
- The goal of clearing mind of obscurities
- Meditation on emptiness & compassion

Ok, let's just look at the interdependence
of all things.

------ Interdependence -------

According to Buddhist thought, a great
misconception of the mind is that the
characteristics of an object are part of
the object itself, when "in reality", they
are conceived by our mind and filtered by
our beliefs.

The existence of THE PERCEPTION of these
objects is not refuted, but the objects
themselves are said to not have any
independent or "inherent existence."
Buddhists refer to this understanding
of natural phenomenon as Emptiness.

Because of the nature of interdependence
all objects can appear to exist in
infinite ways. That is to say a starving
person views a hamburger much differently
than a vegan after a big meal. Therefore,
the only "actual" existence of an object
is in it's interdependence.

2000 years ago they didn't have many
possessions or objects to use in
discussion, so in Arydeva's book "the pot"
was the subject of many stanzas. After
hearing about the pot for a week we had
enough of that pot, so I have tried an
updated illustration.

Your computer monitor's existence depends
on the company that manufactured it. This
company is dependent on the companies that
made the components for the monitor. And,
in turn, the companies that made the
components of the components and the
companies that mined the resources that
became the components and the companies
that made the tools used to do the jobs
needed by all the companies making all
the components for your monitor.

And, of course, the monitor is dependent
on the computer the monitor plugs into, and
is therefore dependent on the computer,
not to mention the electrical grid that
powers it all. Without all this in place,
your monitor would not quite be the same,
would it?

Your monitor's existence in your life is
also dependent on the store where you
bought it, and the company that shipped

All the people employed at all these
companies are dependent on food to do
their job, and that food is dependent
on the people who grew, sold, delivered,
and prepared the food.

Your monitor's existence is also dependent
on geniuses who made breakthroughs in
electricity, computing, optics,
manufacturing, even transportation and
economic breakthroughs... and the parents
who raised them and the schools
that challenged them.

And, don't forget about the dinosaurs and
the comet that killed them and time itself
which turned them into crude oil, the big
bad oil companies which drilled for the
oil, and the companies that created the

And, definitely don't forget about the
big bang which led to the formation of
the elements from which the monitor,
the components, the food, the trucks,
the people, the dinosaurs, the company
offices, and all the tools are made.

Your monitor exists in the eyes of the
company that made it as "a sale", A genius
looks at your monitor and thinks "good
thing those LCD cathodes don't use more
than 1 kv." the trucker sees "a package",
and the dinosaurs might complain, "hey,
that was my ass!"

This lesson of the nature of interdependence
tells us there is no such thing as "separate."

Such things may have some affect on a person's
perspective on life.

How far would the Dalai Lama's message have
spread without the invasion of the Chinese?

Part 2 of 5 in
"A Closer Look at the Dalai Lama's teachings"

Part 3: Our mental and physical realities

Some Guy

p.s. The Dalai Lama's in the news getting respect
and giving the Chinese fits.

For CNN's look at why


This text published originally in the newsletter
The Random Factor at

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