by Scott Bradley
by Scott Bradley
Since all the ten thousand things are inextricably netted together around us, none is worthy of exclusive allegiance.
(Zhuangzi, Chap. 33; B. Ziporyn)
I used this quote in a recent post and it spoke to me at that time beyond the parameters of the subject at hand. This is a statement of profound ecological insight. All things in the Universe are inextricably interconnected. This is not a feel-good sentiment, but fact. Humanity has so abusively impacted Earth, that we may be on the very cusp of a tragic discovery of just how true that is.
For some strange reason I have felt the need to establish a philosophical justification for actively caring...about preserving Earth. Silly me. I care. How could that not be enough?
I care because I am one of those ten thousand things inextricably netted together with the rest. I do not speak here of scientific fact, for this connectedness is not just an intellectual realization, but organic and, I dare to say, spiritual. To care for Nature as a Totality is to care for oneself; to love Nature is to love oneself. "I and the ten thousand things are one."
There is a gate here. I see gates everywhere. But some gates beckon more than others. This gate yawns wide and invites like a mother's arms.
Because all things are interconnected, no one thing can claim exclusive allegiance. This includes me. The Vastness beckons. Losing one's self here is to realize not only one's self, but the Vastness, the Great Openness...that which is all things and infinitely beyond all things...that which is beyond all naming.
May I presume to suggest an exercise? Let yourself experience the fundamental value-equality of all things. You and...that stone. Experience this, and you will have experienced Unity.
You can check out Scott's writings on Zhuangzi here.