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Socratic Method / Re: Legal Reasoning
« on: November 26, 2011, 06:19:06 PM »
creme caramel - I read carefully all your posts and I can understand where you are coming from! First I would like to point out that there is a very interesting post made on this board about "Indra's Net"




Buddhism's philosophy of interdependence lets us see our differences as a vast interconnected web. In fact, the image Buddhists use to illustrate this is that of Indra's net. At each intersection of the strands of this net, which is the universe of different selves, is a jewel -- a "self" -- which reflects all the other jewels in the net. No single jewel, then, is self-sufficient. Its existence depends upon, and reflects, all the others. And so, in Buddhist lingo, each jewel is Empty of self-existence!


There are several aspects of Indra's Net, as described in the above quote, that signify it as a crystal clear allegory of reality:

1. The Holographic Nature of the Universe

Long before the existence of the hologram, the jeweled net is an excellent description of the special characteristic of holograms: that every point of the hologram contains information regarding all other points. This reflective nature of the jewels is an obvious reference to this. This kind of analogy has been suggested by science as a theory for an essential characteristic of the cosmos, as well as as the functioning of the human brain, as beautifully described in The Holograpic Universe by Michael Talbot.

2. The Interconnectedness of All Things

When any jewel in the net is touched, all other jewels in the node are affected. This speaks to the hidden interconnectedness and interdependency of everything and everyone in the universe, and has an indirect reference to the concept of "Dependent Origination" in Buddhism. Additionally, Indra's Net is a definitive ancient correlate of Bell's Theorum, or the theory of non-local causes.

3. Lack of a substantive self

Each node, representing an individual, simply reflects the qualities of all other nodes, inferring the notion of 'not-self' or a lack of a solid and real inherent self, as seen in the Advaita Vedanta school of Hinduism and Buddhism in general.

4. Non-locality

Indra's Net shoots holes in the assumption or imputation of a solid and fixed universe 'out there'. The capacity of one jewel to reflect the light of another jewel from the other edge of infinity is something that is difficult for the linear mind, rational mind to comprehend. The fact that all nodes are simply reflections indicates that there is no particular single source point from where it all arises.

5. Innate Wisdom

The ability to reflect the entirety of all light in the universe attests to the inherent transcendant wisdom that is at the core of all nodes, representing all sentient beings, and to the inherent Buddha Nature.

6. Illusion or Maya

The fact that all nodes are simply a reflection of all others implies the illusory nature of all appearances. Appearances are thus not reality but a reflection of reality.

7. Universal Creativity

A familiar concept in various high dharmas is one of an impersonal creative intelligence that springs forth into reality through the instruments of all living beings.

8. The Mirror-like Nature of Mind

The capacity to reflect all things attests to the mind being a mirror of reality, not its basis. This is a common thesis among various schools and religions.

The universe as an enormous interconnected web at the intersections of which there are these "jewels," each one of them reflecting the other jewels in the net. Because each jewel does not have a real existence in itself, no single one is self-sufficient. Its existence depends upon and reflects all the others'. When one of them is touched, all the other ones are affected. Every jewel contains information about the others in the net. Moreover, there is not a single point from where everything else derives (horizontal, as opposed to vertical pattern). Each of every one of them is intrinsically and equally important to the whole. To top it all off, because all nodes are simply a reflection of all others, what we are dealing with is appearances, with them being not reality, but a reflection of the reality.

What would all this mean in "Western-world" terms? Well, what it first means is that, as individuals in a society we are better off prepared to understand ourselves and society itself if we see ourselves as parts of a bigger whole, being, as we are, on equal footing with one-another. You see, the forest, not the tree. Unfair distribution of resources globally, not the beggar.

Second, it means letting our 'selves' out, connecting with the other on a personal, emotional level, in order to come to self-realization, having understood our place in the big picture of the 'whole.' Listening more carefully to what our souls have to say, with each one holding thumbprint truth - because each soul is a complete, uninterrupted record of evolutionary experiences. Trusting our emotions, the intuition's messenger of truth, in order to come closer to fully understanding and being our 'selves,' without ascribing blindly to preconceived notions and beliefs. That way, we would be more self-conscious when revising, throwing away, or replacing theories as we see currently do, since discarding or replacing 'self' hurts and is humiliating.

Until 'self' is let out, until we become active participants, all-important - instead of half-important to the whole - we limit ourselves to the role of that objective observer, objectifying the human condition. It is only by connecting with people on an emotional level (empathy), that we can penetrate deep into their true 'selves,' having discovered much about our own 'selves' in the process.

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