Is everything "one" or are we just inter-connected without a center?

General forum on the teachings of all schools of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. Topics specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
kausalya
Posts: 186
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:52 pm

Re: Is everything "one" or are we just inter-connected without a center?

Post by kausalya » Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:29 pm

Both and neither... it depends on what is conducive to your mind and helps you achieve the view. I can't read your mind, so I can't say which, but any number of similes could be useful.

In any case, now is the union of the three times, and we are all reflections of one another's mind and collected behaviour. There is no individual subject, object, or action performed.

muni
Posts: 4530
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:59 am

Re: Is everything "one" or are we just inter-connected without a center?

Post by muni » Thu Jun 28, 2018 7:33 am

Indra's net?
As said the buddha' teaching is dependency-emptiness. Can there be anything out ( on itself) of the nature of dependence-emptiness? On itself?

I see what Kausalya writes. I can be wrong but sounds a bit as this;
The moral of Indra's net is that the compassionate and the constructive interventions a person makes or does can produce a ripple effect of beneficial action that will reverberate throughout the universe or until it plays out. By the same token you cannot damage one strand of the web without damaging the others or setting off a cascade effect of destruction.
Last edited by muni on Thu Jun 28, 2018 7:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
“ Only the development of compassion and understanding for others can bring us the tranquility and happiness we all seek. ”
H H Dalai Lama

"Relax." nirvana-samsara do not stray from spaciousness.

User avatar
Aryjna
Posts: 1008
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:45 pm

Re: Is everything "one" or are we just inter-connected without a center?

Post by Aryjna » Thu Jun 28, 2018 7:38 am

muni wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 7:33 am
Indra's net?
As said the buddha' teaching is dependency-emptiness. Can there be anything out ( on itself) of the nature of dependence-emptiness?
I see what Kausalya writes. Sounds as well a bit as this;
The moral of Indra's net is that the compassionate and the constructive interventions a person makes or does can produce a ripple effect of beneficial action that will reverberate throughout the universe or until it plays out. By the same token you cannot damage one strand of the web without damaging the others or setting off a cascade effect of destruction.
And this, not literary of course:
"In the Heaven of Indra, there is said to be a network of pearls, so arranged that if you look at one you see all the others reflected in it. In the same way each object in the world is not merely itself but involves every other object and in fact IS everything else. In every particle of dust, there are present Buddhas without number."
These are quotes by random people, whose interpretation of sutras is at best questionable.

muni
Posts: 4530
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:59 am

Re: Is everything "one" or are we just inter-connected without a center?

Post by muni » Thu Jun 28, 2018 7:46 am

Aryjna wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 7:38 am
muni wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 7:33 am
Indra's net?
As said the buddha' teaching is dependency-emptiness. Can there be anything out ( on itself) of the nature of dependence-emptiness?
I see what Kausalya writes. Sounds as well a bit as this;
The moral of Indra's net is that the compassionate and the constructive interventions a person makes or does can produce a ripple effect of beneficial action that will reverberate throughout the universe or until it plays out. By the same token you cannot damage one strand of the web without damaging the others or setting off a cascade effect of destruction.
And this, not literary of course:
"In the Heaven of Indra, there is said to be a network of pearls, so arranged that if you look at one you see all the others reflected in it. In the same way each object in the world is not merely itself but involves every other object and in fact IS everything else. In every particle of dust, there are present Buddhas without number."
These are quotes by random people, whose interpretation of sutras is at best questionable.
What is important for me is whether they reflect the dependency-emptiness or not. And I see there useful stuff in it, like we are not something on itself which actions remains on itself.

I had deleted the second quote since when thoughts look to that, headaches can be the result.
“ Only the development of compassion and understanding for others can bring us the tranquility and happiness we all seek. ”
H H Dalai Lama

"Relax." nirvana-samsara do not stray from spaciousness.

muni
Posts: 4530
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:59 am

Re: Is everything "one" or are we just inter-connected without a center?

Post by muni » Thu Jun 28, 2018 7:53 am

More:
"Our life is vast. It does not stop at the limits of what we personally experience. It is not something concrete or bounded. I do not think it is valid to view our life as limited to just ourselves -- as if our human life extended only as far as
our own body. Rather, we can see that a life extends out in all directions, like a net. We throw a net, and it expands outward. Just like that, our life extends to touch many other lives.
Our life can reach out and become a pervasive part of everyone's life."
http://www.khandro.net/objects_nets%20and%20knots.htm


And practice perhaps...an example of inseparable experience-experiencer? Oneness without one? Without ness?
When one displays the Buddha mudra with one’s whole body and mind, sitting upright in this samadhi even for a short time, everything in the entire dharma world becomes buddha mudra, and all space in the universe completely becomes enlightenment.
“ Only the development of compassion and understanding for others can bring us the tranquility and happiness we all seek. ”
H H Dalai Lama

"Relax." nirvana-samsara do not stray from spaciousness.

User avatar
Supramundane
Posts: 214
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2016 11:38 am
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia

all or nothing? what will it be....

Post by Supramundane » Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:29 am

One way to understand Mahayana Buddhism is to contrast it with Hinduism. In some ways they are two sides of the same coin: Nirvana seems to be very similar to "Moksha", or Liberation. But we can increase our understanding of Mahayana Buddhism by contrasting it with Hindusim, Advaita in particular.

The critical nuance can be expressed in this way: Hinduism seems to advocate a world view in which the self is One with everything: the realization that I have always been Brahman. One realizes realizes the illusion of separateness, so there was nothing to attain to begin with. Buddhism is like the negative photo of Hinduism: Buddhism sees the self as ultimately empty, and if everything is empty, then all is One too.

One system states there is a non-self while the other states that everything is the self... could they be the same?

In my view, the superiority of Buddhism and Mahayana Buddhism in particular, and the reason why i consciously chose it over all other religions and philosophies, is that the Buddha did not place himself outside the phenomenological world; the Buddha places himself squarely in the phenomenological world as part of that world and seeks Enlightenment in the here and now. Buddhism does not advocate a joining-connecting union but rather a negating principle. Sunyata is the main imperative and sunyata itself is not a force or an ultimate reality: it is empty too (so there is no anatta but no nanatha either).

Which takes me back to the wording of your original very astute posting title: it is a union in an inter-connected system without a center.
well said!

Some say living is just an escape from dying: not so. ultimately we were never alive and we never ultimately die. the self cannot merge with the world because the self is a not-self and is/was always interconnected with the world!

hope this was clear:)

krodha
Posts: 2416
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:30 pm

Re: all or nothing? what will it be....

Post by krodha » Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:10 am

Supramundane wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:29 am
Buddhism is like the negative photo of Hinduism: Buddhism sees the self as ultimately empty, and if everything is empty, then all is One too.
Phenomena that are empty are unfindable. It is impossible to posit a universal or singular entity if no entities can be located.

Hinduism, specifically non-dual Vedanta, Samkhya and so on, is proposing an ontological position.

The Buddhist view of emptiness is an epistemic insight into the misconception of ontological entities which reveals ontology is truly impossible.

The two views are quite different.

Simon E.
Posts: 5625
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 11:09 am

Re: all or nothing? what will it be....

Post by Simon E. » Thu Jun 28, 2018 10:30 am

krodha wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:10 am
Supramundane wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:29 am
Buddhism is like the negative photo of Hinduism: Buddhism sees the self as ultimately empty, and if everything is empty, then all is One too.
Phenomena that are empty are unfindable. It is impossible to posit a universal or singular entity if no entities can be located.

Hinduism, specifically non-dual Vedanta, Samkhya and so on, is proposing an ontological position.

The Buddhist view of emptiness is an epistemic insight into the misconception of ontological entities which reveals ontology is truly impossible.

The two views are quite different.
This... :thumbsup:
Gone fishin' :smile:

boundless
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:47 pm

Re: Is everything "one" or are we just inter-connected without a center?

Post by boundless » Thu Jun 28, 2018 10:58 am

kirtu wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:19 pm
Marc wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:12 am
kirtu wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:03 am
I'm not sure I'd say "marginal" although it is primarily an East Asian teaching. There are in fact references to it in Tibetan Buddhism but they are usually indirect.

Kirt
Hi Kirt,
What do you have in mind as regard to its presence in Tibetan Buddhism ?  
Thx
M
These are basically oral teachings although sometimes they crop up in print.

So they are not direct oral teachings. That is, a lama does not directly say something like "all things are deeply interconnected/interrelated" (actually in Nyingma sometimes a lama does mention deep interrelatedness but this is usually in reference to karma in some way). But they will sometimes mention that karmic influences basically result in deep interconnections over very long time. Sometimes other interconnections are also mentioned. This is not the typical teaching of the East Asian schools wrt what we can call "interbeing/interrelatedness/interconnection" except for some Zen teachers.

On both sides the teaching is very subtle. And pretty much only people inclined dharmically to this teaching pick it up (so I am suggesting that there is a specific set of people for whom "interbeing/interrelatedness/interconnection" is natural and one of the perfect teachings in the sense that they respond to it naturally).

Kirt
Very interesting, thanks :twothumbsup:

User avatar
Supramundane
Posts: 214
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2016 11:38 am
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia

Re: all or nothing? what will it be....

Post by Supramundane » Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:21 am

krodha wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:10 am
Supramundane wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:29 am
Buddhism is like the negative photo of Hinduism: Buddhism sees the self as ultimately empty, and if everything is empty, then all is One too.
Phenomena that are empty are unfindable. It is impossible to posit a universal or singular entity if no entities can be located.

Hinduism, specifically non-dual Vedanta, Samkhya and so on, is proposing an ontological position.

The Buddhist view of emptiness is an epistemic insight into the misconception of ontological entities which reveals ontology is truly impossible.

The two views are quite different.
i see what you are saying.

but perhaps they are so different as to be mirror image opposites of each other, if you follow me.

emptiness cannot be divided; entities cannot be distinguished from each other. therefore, in a sense, they are uniform, unified, i.e. one.

User avatar
Grigoris
Global Moderator
Posts: 17677
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: all or nothing? what will it be....

Post by Grigoris » Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:24 am

Supramundane wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:21 am
i see what you are saying.

but perhaps they are so different as to be mirror image opposites of each other, if you follow me.

emptiness cannot be divided; entities cannot be distinguished from each other. therefore, in a sense, they are uniform, unified, i.e. one.
If we were all one, then if I pissed myself you would feel wet and warm, but you don't (luckily for you :P ), so obviously we are not one.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

User avatar
Supramundane
Posts: 214
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2016 11:38 am
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia

Re: all or nothing? what will it be....

Post by Supramundane » Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:51 am

Grigoris wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:24 am
Supramundane wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:21 am
i see what you are saying.

but perhaps they are so different as to be mirror image opposites of each other, if you follow me.

emptiness cannot be divided; entities cannot be distinguished from each other. therefore, in a sense, they are uniform, unified, i.e. one.
If we were all one, then if I pissed myself you would feel wet and warm, but you don't (luckily for you :P ), so obviously we are not one.
maybe my view is too simplistic. i'm developing a complex about my simplicity.

kausalya
Posts: 186
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:52 pm

Re: all or nothing? what will it be....

Post by kausalya » Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:52 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:24 am
Supramundane wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:21 am
i see what you are saying.

but perhaps they are so different as to be mirror image opposites of each other, if you follow me.

emptiness cannot be divided; entities cannot be distinguished from each other. therefore, in a sense, they are uniform, unified, i.e. one.
If we were all one, then if I pissed myself you would feel wet and warm, but you don't (luckily for you :P ), so obviously we are not one.
:rolling:

smcj
Posts: 5827
Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 6:13 am

Re: Is everything "one" or are we just inter-connected without a center?

Post by smcj » Thu Jun 28, 2018 7:20 pm

If we were all one, then if I pissed myself you would feel wet and warm, but you don't (luckily for you :P ), so obviously we are not one.
I actually think that’s a valid point. The previous Kalu R. made the same point only using the start of the digestive process as his analogy. He said, “if we were all one then when one person gets hungry then everybody would get hungry.”
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

croco
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:30 am

Re: Is everything "one" or are we just inter-connected without a center?

Post by croco » Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:26 pm

Polarbear wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 11:28 am
I would like to excuse myself beforehand if I'm not able to express this in an understandable manner. I'm aware of pratitysamutpada, but what I'm wondering is whether everything is just interconnected or if also everything is part of something bigger, like the universe? I've heard someone expressing reality as a round ball with light inside of it, and that we and everything around us are just light shining through small pinholes of the ball. Is this something that is discussed or am I just treading on irrelevant topics? At the same time I'm aware of the concept of anatman stretching itself to include the universe, and to mean that there also isn't a "world self" aside from the non-existence of our individual selves.
I am not going to answer your question but i do implore you to go and look for yourself. If your ego cannot be destroyed for more than an hour at a time then i would strongly recommend you work hard to achieve that level. Though very difficult considering it only falls in between thoughts and to be conscious and not have an ego... well yes. You see the conundrum.

My last ego death... hmm. My ego. Made me think. After my last ego death i sometimes believe i am losing touch with this reality. Unsure if this is even this. So strange the comfort is in the rat race. That the precipice of breaking free of this reality terrifies me. Sometimes i wish i never lifted that veil.

Apologies. Back on topic. :crazy:

What i saw in my ego death is what i experienced and i in no way say this is your truth. It is my truth. Your truth is yours to discover.

In my quest to learn more about myself i discovered ego death. Perhaps achieved about 6 times in my life. The last ego death about a month ago was terrifying to the point where even mentioning it sends a cold sweat down my spine and twitches my neck. It is much more comfortable to believe that i am me and you are you. Because it would imply that reincarnation is plausible. Or Heaven or Hell. Or any other religious after life. All of which is a lot more comforting than believing that you are not even really here to begin with.

Hence the opposition to oneness as it directly voids the afterlife belief in Buddhism.
Fortunately i am not a Buddhist. Merely a new student of it.

User avatar
Aryjna
Posts: 1008
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:45 pm

Re: Is everything "one" or are we just inter-connected without a center?

Post by Aryjna » Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:50 pm

croco wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:26 pm
Polarbear wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 11:28 am
I would like to excuse myself beforehand if I'm not able to express this in an understandable manner. I'm aware of pratitysamutpada, but what I'm wondering is whether everything is just interconnected or if also everything is part of something bigger, like the universe? I've heard someone expressing reality as a round ball with light inside of it, and that we and everything around us are just light shining through small pinholes of the ball. Is this something that is discussed or am I just treading on irrelevant topics? At the same time I'm aware of the concept of anatman stretching itself to include the universe, and to mean that there also isn't a "world self" aside from the non-existence of our individual selves.
I am not going to answer your question but i do implore you to go and look for yourself. If your ego cannot be destroyed for more than an hour at a time then i would strongly recommend you work hard to achieve that level. Though very difficult considering it only falls in between thoughts and to be conscious and not have an ego... well yes. You see the conundrum.

My last ego death... hmm. My ego. Made me think. After my last ego death i sometimes believe i am losing touch with this reality. Unsure if this is even this. So strange the comfort is in the rat race. That the precipice of breaking free of this reality terrifies me. Sometimes i wish i never lifted that veil.

Apologies. Back on topic. :crazy:

What i saw in my ego death is what i experienced and i in no way say this is your truth. It is my truth. Your truth is yours to discover.

In my quest to learn more about myself i discovered ego death. Perhaps achieved about 6 times in my life. The last ego death about a month ago was terrifying to the point where even mentioning it sends a cold sweat down my spine and twitches my neck. It is much more comfortable to believe that i am me and you are you. Because it would imply that reincarnation is plausible. Or Heaven or Hell. Or any other religious after life. All of which is a lot more comforting than believing that you are not even really here to begin with.

Hence the opposition to oneness as it directly voids the afterlife belief in Buddhism.
Fortunately i am not a Buddhist. Merely a new student of it.
The point in Buddhism is not some afterlife. If by "it only falls in between thoughts" you mean that you are trying to expand the gap between thoughts, this is clearly identified as a mistake, which may have serious repercussions. The feeling of dread is not a good thing at all. I think it is important to examine why you consider these experiences to be definitive and to point to a greater truth, as opposed to your every-day experiences.

As for not really actually being here, that is pretty much a given in Mahayana.

croco
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:30 am

Re: Is everything "one" or are we just inter-connected without a center?

Post by croco » Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:07 am

Aryjna wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:50 pm

The point in Buddhism is not some afterlife. If by "it only falls in between thoughts" you mean that you are trying to expand the gap between thoughts, this is clearly identified as a mistake, which may have serious repercussions. The feeling of dread is not a good thing at all. I think it is important to examine why you consider these experiences to be definitive and to point to a greater truth, as opposed to your every-day experiences.

As for not really actually being here, that is pretty much a given in Mahayana.
Oh no i never intended to say it was the point to it. I am merely saying an afterlife gives us great comfort. If it did not and we were content in dying religion would not exist. If there were no questions to our existence why would you pursue a spiritual path? There would be no point to it.

If we never needed to eat why would you consume food?

I think the dread is normal. The dread is a necessary part towards to ultimate truth. I never bought into the peace happiness narrative. I firmly believe anger, fear and hate to be a big part of personal growth. Yin Yang?

Being slightly unhappy is OK to nudge a person to explore themselves. Complete loathing of ones core... now that is the fuel to do a 180 degree in life. I literally went from merrily living my routine in life to being the most attentive husband possible in a matter of 1 night. Or 1 ego death.

There is much good to come from bad. I am just hoping that the community here is not too rigid in their thinking. :group:
We are all students.

User avatar
Aryjna
Posts: 1008
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:45 pm

Re: Is everything "one" or are we just inter-connected without a center?

Post by Aryjna » Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:26 pm

croco wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:07 am
Oh no i never intended to say it was the point to it. I am merely saying an afterlife gives us great comfort. If it did not and we were content in dying religion would not exist. If there were no questions to our existence why would you pursue a spiritual path? There would be no point to it.

If we never needed to eat why would you consume food?
There is always a reason, why are there beyond morbidly obese people, they clearly do not actually need to eat. In order to sustain their body at least.

I would not use the term afterlife as it suggests that this life is the definitive or main one and then there is something else. Reincarnation is not comforting at all, given that there is nothing but suffering involved.

croco
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:30 am

Re: Is everything "one" or are we just inter-connected without a center?

Post by croco » Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:30 pm

Good point. But that is where religions and I disagree with one another. :reading:

User avatar
Aryjna
Posts: 1008
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:45 pm

Re: Is everything "one" or are we just inter-connected without a center?

Post by Aryjna » Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:16 pm

croco wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:30 pm
Good point. But that is where religions and I disagree with one another. :reading:
Where do you mean?

Post Reply

Return to “Mahāyāna Buddhism”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Anders, shanyin, Supramundane and 52 guests