Friday, March 7, 2014

Connecting the Whole

Looking out from Vulture's Peak near the ancient city of Rajgira, Bihar, India, 21st February 2012. This is the place where The Buddha gave his most significant discourses more than 2,500 years ago.

Astonishingly, what he taught has much in common with our modern sciences of quantum physics, cosmology and psychology, particularly on the nature of the interconnectedness of all phenomenon.

For example, The Buddha claimed the idea of a fixed self is an illusion. And modern brain and behavioural scientists would agree with him about there being no evidence of an essential core, indivisible identity. We only exist - conventionally speaking - through the stories we tell about ourselves.

Just like modern biologists, The Buddha held that all things are in a state of flux: life is growth and decay, all phenomena arise and dissipate, everything is impermanent, and nothing can be truly relied on in and of itself.

And finally, The Buddha's idea that nothing exists as an independent entity but rather arises through multiple causes and conditions is a fundamental tenet of ecology.

What does this have to do with wise leadership? Well, if interconnectedness is written into the creed of both Buddhism and the biological sciences, it might prove valuable to see what else The Buddha said about the nature of mind, ethics, compassion and wisdom!

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