This week I have been mulling over Buddhaism and Lovelock’s Gaia Theory. Buddhist Philosophy is based around the idea of ‘Interconnectedness’ i.e your existence as being a consequence of all factors at this time. For the buddhist the world is an infinite network of conditions and everything that exists is a temporary manifestation at a particular time and place of the whole network. Everything that exists today is because of everything that existed the way it did yesterday.”This being so, that arises. This no longer being, so that ceases.”-Buddha
The Gaia theory is also about the world and its network. It puts forward the view that everything in the world has evolved together as a single living, self-regulating system. Therefore earth maintains itself to ensure life is possible. No element of it should be viewed entirely by itself. Surprise, Interconnectedness!! And I thought ‘If all the atoms on earth are subject to this interlinking, what does this say about us and our true nature?’
My first thought was to concentrate on the physical body and how on feeding it from birth, I could indeed see how its manifestation would fit both theories. My physical body only grows from being fed from the earth(fits both theories); that growth I go through is part of the constant state of flux to be found in this world(again fits both theories);and then a time will be reached when this world cannot sustain me and I die. “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust”. So my physical body is recycled into the system again. And again fits both theories..
I then thought ‘Back up there Bessie!’ IF all I am is a collection of atoms formatted in a certain way at a certain time then why did nature bother to give me a consciousness?(Not mentioning the G word just yet!) To be tied to an ever changing system seems very pointless. To have a consciousness that can understand constant change but be unable to do anything about it devalues that consciousness and is ultimately cruel.
And this is what struck me;- Most spiritualist school of thoughts in one form or another incorporate prayer,ritual, meditation etc, as a means of being still or quiet; a method to show the mind how to battle against the constant change that it must suffer from being part of this world. Now you must ask yourself WHY should this be so? I do not agree with Buddhist philosophy that this is to rid yourself of suffering; it is merely to find relief;to find our true nature. If finding mental peace is the only way to get though this world then why weren’t we just created that way? Created with the kind of consciousness that can live with constant change and does not have to work at pushing the outside world away. It is this fact that I think points to the existence of souls. We suffer so that we will understand ourselves. Suffering in this world comes from conflict. Conflict arises due to contradiction. We feel suffering because the conflict lies in the contradiction between the true nature of ourselves and of that in the world about us. The world about us is physical; our true nature is un-physical. The world about us is constantly in ‘flux’; our true nature is constantly of being ‘unchanging’. We/souls exist unchanging and outside of this physical world. And (psst.) these souls come from the G word! xP