October 1, 2008

Interbeing

New York Times pundit Thomas Friedman wrote a paragraph in his column [“Rescue the Rescue”] yesterday, on the bailout legislation, which directly brings to mind the Buddhist idea of interbeing:
We’re all connected. As others have pointed out, you can’t save Main Street and punish Wall Street anymore than you can be in a rowboat with someone you hate and think that the leak in the bottom of the boat at his end is not going to sink you, too. The world really is flat. We’re all connected. “Decoupling” is pure fantasy.
When I first read about interbeing [in a Thich Nhat Hanh book, no doubt], I thought the idea so obvious that it was barely worth noting. But, truly, the way each of us thoroughly penetrates each others’ lives, such that our every breath and thought is borrowed, it is an amazing, profound and humbling thing. There is nothing original about any of us, nor is there anything essentially individual, permanent or stark. We are each just a near-random scoop out of the batter of human-beingness, which allows any of us who are aware to fully appreciate and sympathize with the plight of others and have keen insight into others' points of view.

See the world as your self.
Have faith in the way things are.
Love the world as your self;
then you can care for all things.

Laozi 570-490 BCE, Chinese Philosopher, Founder of Daoism
from Tao Te Ching: A New English Version, Stephen Mitchell, tr., 1988
And the King will answer them, "I assure you: Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me."
Matthew 25:40

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