The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying

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The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying

38 THE TIBETAN BOOK OF LIVING AND DYINGand that at every moment its nature is subtly changing. This iswhat we mean when we say things are empty, that they haveno independent existence.Modern science speaks to us of an extraordinary range ofinterrelations. Ecologists know that a tree burning in the Amazonrain forest alters in some way the air breathed by a citizenof Paris, and that the trembling of a butterfly's wing inYucatan affects the life of a fern in the Hebrides. Biologists arebeginning to uncover the fantastic and complex dance of genesthat creates personality and identity, a dance that stretches farinto the past and shows that each so-called "identity" is composedof a swirl of different influences. Physicists have introducedus to the world of the quantum particle, a worldastonishingly like that described by Buddha in his image ofthe glittering net that unfolds across the universe. Just like thejewels in the net, all particles exist potentially as differentcombinations of other particles.So when we really look at ourselves, then, and the thingsaround us that we took to be so solid, so stable, and so lasting,we find that they have no more reality than a dream.Buddha said:Know all things to be like this:A mirage, a cloud castle,A dream, an apparition,Without essence, but with qualities that can be seen.Know all things to be like this:As the moon in a bright skyIn some clear lake reflected,Though to that lake the moon has never moved.Know all things to be like this:As an echo that derivesFrom music, sounds, and weeping,Yet in that echo is no melody.Know all things to be like this:As a magician makes illusionsOf horses, oxen, carts and other things,Nothing is as it appears. 9Contemplation of this dreamlike quality of reality need notin any way make us cold, hopeless, or embittered. On the

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