Teachings on Interbeing with Carl Sagan

These teachings on interbeing with Carl Sagan may help us all recognize the interconnectedness of all life on earth. This beautiful video explores “the pale blue dot” that we live on and asks us to be kind to one another.

He says,

The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena…Our planet is a lonely speck in the great, enveloping cosmic dark. In all this obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to where our species can migrate… To me it underscores our responsibility to be more kindly to one another and to preserve and cherish the only home we’ve ever known – the pale blue dot.

When Neil deGrasse Tyson was twelve years old, he was invited to Cornell University in Ithaca, New York to spend the weekend with Carl Sagan. This visit inspired Tyson to become one of the outstanding astrophysicists of our day.

In my interview with Tyson in 2011, we discussed the insight of interbeing, the insight of interdependence. Tyson said,

I would say in modern times, (I need to define modern as in the last century). What you said recent times was 25 years. In modern times, we have come to learn about ecology. I’ll use a single word but more specifically the interdependence of life, animal life, plant life, water supply, atmosphere.

It’s a system; systems engineering is all about inter-connectivity and parts that create one functioning whole. These concepts emerged as 20th Century revelations about the world that we live in.

So you can say that Buddha, Buddhist teachings knew this from the beginning. However, if you go before the 20th Century, in mid-19th Century, so go earlier than that. What you did had very little consequence outside of your zone, outside of your…

Outside of your [zone], people were far enough apart and were not so aggressive on the environment that their behavior would affect someplace else. So that in fact there was not this deep interconnectedness of it all. Because there was a susceptible…

from Cosmology and Buddhist Thought: A Conversation with Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson

So, it is not too late to practice loving kindness for all beings and make this tiny blue dot an enduring habitat for humanity and millions of other species. Take time each day to find something you can do in a kindly way to make life on earth full of joy and happiness.

In addition, be present for your experience so that you can notice acts of kindness that other people do for you. Be sure to express gratitude for these acts of kindness.

What acts of kindness can you do for yourself that would brighten up your day? For example, take a walk in the woods, treat yourself and a friend for breakfast, or simply take a nap.

Cosmology and Buddhist Thought: A Conversation with Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson

Cosmology and Buddhist Thought:
A Conversation with Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson

Cosmology and Buddhist Thought have Interesting Overlapping Ideas

In the book, you will learn about

  • Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson’s vast knowledge of the cosmos from the Big Bang to life in the Goldilocks Zone
  • the Foundations of Buddhist Thought
  • about Exoplanets – planets that orbit stars other than our sun
  • Interbeing – the insight that everything in the universe is Interconnected
  • the unavoidable Impermanence of all things
  • time scales and how they affect your life
  • the nature of the self and nirvana
  • how humans affect the ecology of Mother Earth
  • some interesting thoughts about consciousness and religion
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