Emptiness, Interbeing And Reality

This video is entitled, “Where Science and Buddhism Meet: Emptiness, Interconnectivity and the Nature of Reality” by Gerald Penilla. I have changed the name to “Emptiness, Interbeing and Reality” to demonstrate the importance of the insights of emptiness and interbeing and how they relate to the nature of reality.

Quick photo of the fragrant orchid (see below)

Quick photo of the fragrant orchid (see below)

If you have followed my rantings over the past two years, you know that interbeing is a term coined by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh (known as Thay by his followers) to emphasize the interconnectivity of all things. He says, “The is like this because that is like that!”

These concepts are also covered in my book, Cosmology and Buddhist Thought: A Conversation with Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Gerald Penilla states that “Emptiness can be understood as a field of potential in which every possibility arises from… Emptiness… seems to parallel the concept of the quantum field within quantum physics.”

He relates emptiness to the wave, particle duality, and tells us, “A particle’s reality is not predetermined but defined by the very mind that’s perceiving it.” Almost everything is empty space.

With regard to interbeing or interconnectivity, Penilla refers to it as “Oneness.”

Here is part 1.

Here is part 2.

Thay teaches us that to say something is empty, you have to answer the question, “Empty of what?” Consider the beautiful, fragrant orchid on my desk. Thay would say that the orchid plant is empty of a separate existence. It has to depend on many not-orchid elements for its existence. For example, it needs a tree or pot to live in where it can get the water it needs to nourish the plant and produce the wonderful fragrant. It needs the sunshine, and my loving care, now that it is on my desk.

Thay says that the orchid has to inter-be with everything else, and therefore, it is empty of a separate self. Emptiness and interbeing are two aspects of the same reality.

I left the world of quantum physics at the age of 29. Within the last 15 years, I have once again become interested in quantum physics and cosmology, especially as it relates to Buddhist thought.

Do you find this video interesting? What didn’t you understand? I’d like to know by your questions are and would be happy to answer them in the comments or in an email.

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