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Indra's Net

Recently I came across a fascinating self-referential image. In Finding the Still Point: A Beginner's Guide to Zen Meditation John Daido Loori writes (Chapter 11: The Great Way):

One thing, all things, move among and intermingle without distinction ... refers to the metaphor of the Diamond Net of Indra. Everything throughout space and time is interconnected, and at each connection—at each point—is a diamond that reflects every other diamond, so that in this vast net, each diamond contains every other diamond. ...

Indra's Net [1] is discussed in various places, e.g. in Hunab Ku: 77 Sacred Symbols for Balancing Body and Spirit by Karen and Joel Speerstra (Chapter 36: Dolphin):

The Buddhists have a wonderful concept of the universe called the Diamond Net of Indra. They say there is a vast net containing everything, everywhere, and a multifaceted diamond is caught at each nexus point in the net. Like a sparkling hologram, each diamond reflects every other diamond. Looking at one, you see the entire net throughout space and across all time. If you shake one piece of the net, all other parts tremble; each is codependent on the others. ...

And I saw, but totally failed to remember, a discussion of Indra's Net more than two decades ago in Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, where Douglas Hofstadter notes (Part I, Chapter IX: Mumon and Gödel):

... The endless connections which all things have to each other is only hinted at here, yet the hint is enough. The Buddhist allegory of "Indra's Net" tells of an endless net of threads throughout the universe, the horizontal threads running through space, the vertical ones through time. At every crossing of threads is an individual, and every individual is a crystal bead. The great light of "Absolute Being" illuminates and penetrates every crystal bead; moreover, every crystal bead reflects not only the light from every other crystal in the net—but also every reflection of every reflection throughout the universe.

How many other such images have I forgotten? Apparently my crystal bead is rather cloudy!

^z - 2009-06-21

I like this!