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RE: Evolution...Interconnectedness

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Posted by Glenn on October 20, 2000 08:15:48 UTC

First of all may i know yourself please.Were u a an athiest or deist or a scientist or what?..Alhough i came from Christianity, still young and 19 years old, i still respect others beliefs..and i`m only a lay believer and not a speclialist of buddhism .What i would like to impart with u is the way what i have learned from my buddhist practice and its teachings.We`ll whether u believe if it is true or not but i do believe what Buddhism teaching us is about the reality of one`s life.We experienced it in our daily living,it is not only a mere theory but also it seen in actual living.
To explain about our interralated and interconnected of all things in the whole cosmos,the Buddhist principle of the oneness of self and environment (esho funi) means that life (sho) and its environment (e) are inseparable (funi). Funi translates as "two but not two." This means that although we perceive things around us as separate from us, there is a dimension of our lives that is one with the universe. At the most fundamental level of life itself, there is no separation between ourselves and the environment.

Buddhism teaches that life manifests itself in both a living subject and an objective environment. Nichiren(1222-1282) wrote, "Life at each moment encompasses . . . both self and environment of all sentient beings in every condition of life as well as insentient beings--plants, sky and earth, on down to the most minute particles of dust."

"Life" means the subjective self that experiences the effects of past actions and is capable of creating new causes for the future. The environment is the objective realm where the karmic effects of life take shape. Each living being has his or her own unique environment. For example, a person whose inner life is in a state of hell may perceive the environment of the inside of a crowded subway train as being hellish, while a person in the state known in Buddhism as bodhisattva might manage to feel compassion and a sense of camaraderie with fellow passengers.

People also create physical environments which reflect their inner reality. For instance, someone who is depressed is likely to neglect his home and personal appearance. On the other hand, someone who is secure and generous creates a warm and attractive environment around them.

An elderly couple tend a watermelon field
According to Buddhism, everything around us, including work and family relationships, is the reflection of our inner lives. Everything is perceived through the self and alters according to the individual`s inner state of life. Thus, if we change ourselves, our circumstances will inevitably change also.

This is a liberating concept as it means that there is no need to seek enlightenment outside ourselves or in a particular place. Wherever we are, in whatever circumstances, we can bring forth our innate Buddhahood, thus transforming our experience of our environment into "the Buddha`s land"--a joy-filled place where we create value for ourselves and for others.

As Nichiren wrote, "If the minds of the people are impure, their land is also impure, but if their minds are pure, so is their land. There are not two lands, pure and impure in themselves. The difference lies solely in the good or evil of our minds." (Here "evil" means self-centered and shortsighted actions based on greed, arrogance, fear and aggression.)

The single most positive action we can make for society and the land is to transform our own lives, so that we are no longer dominated by anger, greed and fear. When we manifest wisdom, generosity and integrity, we naturally make more valuable choices, and we will find that our surroundings are nurturing and supportive. Often, we cannot foresee the long-term results of our actions, and it is hard to believe that one individual`s choices can affect the state of the world. Buddhism, however, teaches that through the oneness of self and environment, everything is interconnected.

The more we believe that our actions do make a difference and base our actions on our interconnectedness, the greater the difference we can make.


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