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"Interbeing" - a Taoist master explains how we are all connected

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posted on Aug, 12 2012 @ 01:49 PM
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Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Taoist monk. He is a brilliant man, and has beautiful ways of explaining the tenets of Taoism.

One subject that seems to rattle many Westerners is the concept of interconnectedness, and the idea that we are all irrevocably connected to one another and everything.

An analogy I like to use is to imagine the universe as an organism, a complete and functioning, living, organism. Imagine we are cells of that organism. Just as we have blood cells, bone cells, skin, hair, etc. etc., we are an integral part of this organism that is existence...which, in my view, is GOD.

Thich Nhat Hanh describes it this way:

If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper. Without a cloud, there will be no rain; without rain, the trees cannot grow; and without trees, we cannot make paper. The cloud is essential for the paper to exist. If the cloud is not here, the sheet of paper cannot be here either. So we can say that the cloud and the paper inter-are. “Interbeing” is a word that is not in the dictionary yet, but if we combine the prefix “inter-” with the verb “to be,” we ha vea new verb, inter-be. Without a cloud and the sheet of paper inter-are.

If we look into this sheet of paper even more deeply, we can see the sunshine in it. If the sunshine is not there, the forest cannot grow. In fact, nothing can grow. Even we cannot grow without sunshine. And so, we know that the sunshine is also in this sheet of paper. The paper and the sunshine inter-are. And if we continue to look, we can see the logger who cut the tree and brought it to the mill to be transformed into paper. And wesee the wheat. We now the logger cannot exist without his daily bread, and therefore the wheat that became his bread is also in this sheet of paper. And the logger’s father and mother are in it too. When we look in this way, we see that without all of these things, this sheet of paper cannot exist.

Looking even more deeply, we can see we are in it too. This is not difficult to see, because when we look at a sheet of paper, the sheet of paper is part of our perception. Your mind is in here and mine is also. So we can say that everything is in here with this sheet of paper. You cannot point out one thing that is not here-time, space, the earth, the rain, the minerals in the soil, the sunshine, the cloud, the river, the heat. Everything co-exists with this sheet of paper. That is why I think the word inter-be should be in the dictionary. “To be” is to inter-be. You cannot just be by yourself alone. You have to inter-be with every other thing. This sheet of paper is, because everything else is.

Suppose we try to return one of the elements to its source. Suppose we return the sunshine to the sun. Do you think that this sheet of paper will be possible? No, without sunshine nothing can be. And if we return the logger to his mother, then we have no sheet of paper either. The fact is that this sheet of paper is made up only of “non-paper elements.” And if we return these non-paper elements to their sources, then there can be no paper at all. Without “non-paper elements,” like mind, logger, sunshine and so on, there will be no paper. As thin as this sheet of paper is, it contains everything in the universe in it.
Source

I offer this thought in good faith, with hope that those who insist on "us v them", and "it v me", and physical "boundaries" (which I believe are a function of our limited sensory perception) , as well as a physical, anthropomorphized "God" can be enticed to think just a bit further than their set 'understanding' of that which "passeth understanding."

I'm starting this on the coattails of the excellent thread regarding Buddhism www.abovetopsecret.com... that is now active, and hope that those of you with interest in the Eastern thought will find something to "grab hold of" to help you understand the differences between Western (Abrahamic) and Eastern (New Age) theology and philosophy.

Enjoy. I will look forward to your thoughts (if any), when I return to my computer. For now I'm going out for my daily "meditation" in the "garden" of my backyard, to contemplate the perfect completeness and sublime beauty of that which is right now, my life.

Namaste




posted on Aug, 12 2012 @ 02:04 PM
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Interesting thoughts...
which i agree with and have discussed with peers multiple times

Also someone who agrees:



posted on Aug, 12 2012 @ 03:13 PM
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Ahhhhh.... I love what Taoism has to offer.

This is how I think and more close to what I relate to spiritually..... Just beautiful how we are all connected, hence my signature.



posted on Aug, 12 2012 @ 03:27 PM
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I love synchronicity! or is it the interconnectedness of like minded-individuals!

S+F


I saw this preview a few days ago, and have been pondering the aspects of existence and all things that make us question - 'why'?

Either way, here is a preview to a movie about this very topic, the interconnectedness of all mankind, through time - past present and future, every decision you make not only impacts you, but also the future - present - past.

Death - Life - Birth.

A story that transcends time - and involves re-incarnation i believe.



Awesome



posted on Aug, 12 2012 @ 04:13 PM
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Originally posted by wildtimes


I'm starting this on the coattails of the excellent thread regarding Buddhism www.abovetopsecret.com... that is now active, and hope that those of you with interest in the Eastern thought will find something to "grab hold of" to help you understand the differences between Western (Abrahamic) and Eastern (New Age) theology and philosophy.

Enjoy. I will look forward to your thoughts (if any), when I return to my computer. For now I'm going out for my daily "meditation" in the "garden" of my backyard, to contemplate the perfect completeness and sublime beauty of that which is right now, my life.

Namaste


Abrahamic is considered Eastern also. Abrahamic is Semitic. Western thought stems from Roman and Greek philosophy.

Perhaps you can find some perspective within Zoroastrianism, which is older than Hinduism and Buddhism.



posted on Aug, 12 2012 @ 05:01 PM
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Ahhhh! So we are all connected?

Kinda like The Borg in Star Trek.

Individualism is not such a bad thing. Without individualism we would never have had Mozart, Michaelangelo, Socrates, and many other individuals who have contributed much to this world.

Individual free will is the antithesis to collective socialism or hive mentality (The Borg.)

We all make individual choices in our lives and we will all be answerable for those choices. Big government or the NWO will not advocate for us at judgement day as they each, individually will be answering for their own actions.

Down with the NWO, down with socialism, down with the Borg hive!

Live free or die!



posted on Aug, 12 2012 @ 05:39 PM
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reply to post by WarminIndy
 


Abrahamic is considered Eastern also. Abrahamic is Semitic. Western thought stems from Roman and Greek philosophy.

And yet, the "Christian" religions are an offshoot....and cover the entire Western world.....
I agree, Roman and Greek philosophy is a very important source for what is "modern" thinking.



posted on Aug, 12 2012 @ 06:03 PM
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Originally posted by wildtimes
reply to post by WarminIndy
 


Abrahamic is considered Eastern also. Abrahamic is Semitic. Western thought stems from Roman and Greek philosophy.

And yet, the "Christian" religions are an offshoot....and cover the entire Western world.....
I agree, Roman and Greek philosophy is a very important source for what is "modern" thinking.



I was just clarifying your statement "Abrahamic(Western)." You should have just said "Christian (Western)" instead


But modern "New Age" is not based in ancient thought either. "New Age" is nothing more than an amalgamation of some Eastern systems. We can agree that Muslim (Eastern) is definitely not the same as Hindu (Eastern). No self-respecting Muslim will say they are Western and consider themselves to be Eastern, they are Abrahamic.

Just to clarify Eastern and Western. Western Christianity and Eastern Christianity are not the same either. The Byzantine church was the basis for all of the Eastern Orthodox churches. The Roman church was the basis for Western Orthodox churches. Hence, the Russian Orthodox Church is very different than the Vatican. Even though they have their foundation in Jesus, that is where they diverge. That applies also to the Coptic Churches in Egypt, they are Eastern.

When you make the distinction between Eastern and Western, make sure you clarify it. Muslims could read your post and be offended because they consider themselves an Abrahamic Eastern system.



posted on Aug, 12 2012 @ 06:08 PM
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reply to post by WarminIndy
 

Thanks, Indy....point noted and filed....


Yes, I debated what term to use for "Western".....
I realize that the Abrahamic religions are from the MidEast....nevertheless, the offshoots of the original "Abraham" (Jewish) doctrines have evolved into the Western "Christianity"....

Again, thank you for pointing out the discrepancy!
Maybe I should have said "Occidental" v "Oriental", like Alan Watts did.



posted on Aug, 12 2012 @ 06:17 PM
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Originally posted by wildtimes
reply to post by WarminIndy
 


Maybe I should have said "Occidental" v "Oriental", like Alan Watts did.


That would work!



posted on Aug, 12 2012 @ 10:02 PM
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reply to post by 1PLA1
 


In my humble opinion and experience - interconnectedness and individuality are not mutually exclusive.



posted on Aug, 13 2012 @ 07:05 AM
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reply to post by Open2Truth
 


In my humble opinion and experience - interconnectedness and individuality are not mutually exclusive.

Indeed, friend!!

Thanks for your comment.



posted on Aug, 13 2012 @ 07:17 AM
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reply to post by Im a Marty
 


Either way, here is a preview to a movie about this very topic, the interconnectedness of all mankind, through time - past present and future, every decision you make not only impacts you, but also the future - present - past.

Death - Life - Birth.

A story that transcends time - and involves re-incarnation i believe.

THANK YOU!!

Oh my goodness...that trailer is EXACTLY what I believe...
*sigh*

I didn't have time to watch it yesterday, but thank you whole-heartedly for plugging that into this thread!!!

I wrote on another thread about how I believe we reincarnate in groups, in different relationships, genders, roles perhaps...or perhaps not.

Like that very weird feeling that you recognize someone you've never "met" before and it's a WHAM! in your face kind of recognition....and you know...you just KNOW...that this person is somehow significant in your life already, and then you just can't stay away....

(it doesn't always turn out happily, either, which only reinforces my belief that we have unfinished business from lifetime to lifetime.)

I hadn't heard of this movie yet, but be assured I will be attending it, and buying a copy when it's available...do you know if it is based on a book? (The kind of book I hope one day to write myself....yes, I'm a frustrated author and screenwriter...have been working on both for 20 years....I LOVE LITERATURE AND MOVIES!!)



posted on Aug, 13 2012 @ 09:40 PM
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Since when was Thich Nhat Hanh taoist?

He is Buddhist.

Big fail on this thread.



posted on Aug, 13 2012 @ 10:01 PM
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reply to post by NotReallyASecret
 


Since when was Thich Nhat Hanh taoist?

He is Buddhist.

Big fail on this thread.



Nice.

You don't realize that Taoism is a form of Buddhism?

Tao is a metaphysical concept originating with Laozi that gave rise to a religion (Wade–Giles, Tao Chiao; Pinyin, Daojiao) and philosophy (Wade–Giles, Tao chia; Pinyin, Daojia) referred to in English with the single term Taoism. The concept of Tao was later adopted in Confucianism, Chán and Zen Buddhism and more broadly throughout East Asian philosophy and religion in general.

In Taoism, Chinese Buddhism and Confucianism, the object of spiritual practice is to 'become one with the tao' (Tao Te Ching) or to harmonise one's will with Nature (cf. Stoicism) in order to achieve 'effortless action' (Wu wei). This involves meditative and moral practices. Important in this respect is the Taoist concept of De (德; virtue).

Tao...Buddhist Interpretations

edit on 13-8-2012 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 13 2012 @ 10:27 PM
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A monk's needs are provided for all he has to do in life is meditate and think. Nice job if you can get it.



posted on Aug, 14 2012 @ 07:42 AM
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Originally posted by wildtimes
You don't realize that Taoism is a form of Buddhism?



Its not a form of Buddhism.

And Thich Nhat Hanh is well known, so its like calling the pope jewish.



posted on Aug, 14 2012 @ 08:56 AM
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reply to post by NotReallyASecret
 


Its not a form of Buddhism.

And Thich Nhat Hanh is well known, so its like calling the pope jewish.



The concept of Tao was later adopted in Confucianism, Chán and Zen Buddhism and more broadly throughout East Asian philosophy and religion in general. Within these contexts Tao signifies the primordial essence or fundamental nature of the universe. In the foundational text of Taoism, the Tao Te Ching, Laozi explains that Tao is not a 'name' for a 'thing' but the underlying natural order of the universe whose ultimate essence is difficult to circumscribe.


Do you know what the concepts of Tao, and Zen are? I think I do, but I have a long way to go. Have you read Hanh's books and websites? Tao is a concept of the natural order of the universe. I was raised in Occidental culture, and when I started studying Zen and learned about the Tao and Buddhism, it was hard to wrap my head around it all. But I managed, and I'm getting better at it. Think of it as a "second spiritual language." Sometimes I mix up Spanish words, too, although I can carry on a fine conversation with a Spanish speaker.

In any case, I doubt he would want us squabbling over such an inconsequential semantic issue. If I could, I would change the title, so that you could be happier. But, alas, I cannot. Nor can I spend much time wondering why you are being hostile and nit-picky bout it, and calling the thread a "fail". Take away from it what you will.

It was meant to be inspirational, an analogy for connectedness, and he writes prose that is quite typical for English-language Tao/Zen/Buddhist principles. Tao is the root concept; Buddhism adopted it. He is a Buddhist; therefore, he is a Taoist thinker.



edit on 14-8-2012 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 14 2012 @ 09:11 AM
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Originally posted by wildtimes
He is a Buddhist; therefore, he is a Taoist thinker.




As I have mentioned several times on this board, I am a Buddhist.

The fact that I am also Taoist is news to me.



posted on Aug, 14 2012 @ 09:17 AM
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reply to post by NotReallyASecret
 


You inspired me to do some more learning. I came across this website:
www.knowbuddhism.info...

It explains how long after Lao-Tzu lived, common "Taoism" degenerated into spell-casting due to the inability of the common people to get the concept of yin-yang and Lao-Tzu's philosophical teachings (which are, undeniably, hard to grasp);

EDIT: Imagine that!! It's like the equivalent of Evangelical Fundamentalist "Christian" Preachers even?? Far cry from the "Christ-like" lifestyle, eh. Wow!! I had no idea....so,

if you are referring to that sort of street-corner magickal Taoist (which I had never heard of), then you are absolutely correct, Hanh is a Buddhist monk, not a cheap spell-caster. I did not know that the term Taoist was derogatory; I used it as an adjective, and should not have, apparently.

Thank you for stimulating me to do some more research to expand my own understanding (even though you insulted me rather than adding to the discussion -- it might have been interesting!)


edit on 14-8-2012 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)



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