Sharing by Peter

photo by Sondra

“Interbeing” is a new word and a new concept introduced by Thich Nhat Hanh.  He employs this new word to explain the interconnectedness of all things in the universe. 

A sheet of paper, for example, is an interbeing as it is connected with a cloud through a chain of relationships.

Without a cloud, there will be no rain;

without rain, the trees cannot grow;

and without trees, we cannot make paper. 

If the cloud is not here, the sheet of paper cannot be here either.

So we can say that the loud and the paper inter-are. 

According to this concept, everything in the universe exists in relation to everything else, and no single entity can be understood in isolation from the rest. 

In Buddhism, one of the core teachings is NON-SELF or NO SELF. The common understanding of SELF is INDIVIDUAL SELF (my SELF, Your SELF, her SELF, his SELF). It is largely based upon the principle of INDIVIDUALISM.  If we apply the concept of ‘Interbeing’, it might help us understand better what NON-SELF really means.  It simply means we should abandon INDIVIDUAL SELFs and adopt one universal INTERBEING  SELF instead. 

“Nothing happens until something moves. When something vibrates, the electrons of the entire universe resonate with it. Everything is connected.”

—- Albert Einstein

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