Monday, April 12, 2010

Monday Meditation: The Freedom of Interdependence

Today I’m thinking about these two quotes:

“Interdependence is a fundamental law of nature. Not only higher forms of life but also many of the smallest insects are social beings who, without any religion, law, or education, survive by mutual cooperation based on an innate recognition of their interconnectedness. The most subtle level of material phenomena is also governed by interdependence. All phenomena, from the planet we inhabit to the oceans, clouds, forests, and flowers that surround us, arise in dependence upon subtle patterns of energy. Without their proper interaction, they dissolve and decay." --Dalai Lama

"A human being is part of a whole, called by us the 'universe', a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest -- a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affectation for a few people near us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty." --Albert Einstein

To truly recognize that “I” am not really here, independent and separate of anything else, is a scary concept when looked at in a certain light. And yet, I’m finding a wonderful comfort in considering that I am not just here, but that I affect and am affected by everything else in the cosmos. I need not, therefore, seek reality outside myself because I am reality. True, I do not exist by way of my own character. For all that I can make choices, I am not self-powered or autonomous. Ultimately, all things -- including me -- exist in dependence upon causes and conditions. And yet, this is not a limiting or exclusive concept to my mind. In fact, I find it helps me to see with more clarity the universe and my place in it (such an oxymoronic phrasing that).

What does this mean to you? Is this a scary concept? Is it empowering? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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