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World as Ocean

From Guy Claxton's The Heart of Buddhism, Chapter 5 ends with:

In our everyday view the world is like a box with people and things rattling around in it. In the Buddhist view it is more like an ocean, on the surface of which waves are born, travel for a while, interact, and then subside again. Or, as Alan Watts was fond of saying, just as it is in the nature of an apple tree to 'apple', so we are the fruits of a world that 'peoples', each one of us in exactly the right place, doing exactly the right thing — which may, funnily enough, include feeling that we are in the wrong place doing the wrong thing. Whatever we are we are at home, and death is absolutely safe.

If what we are is waves, how then could any man, woman or child be an island, entire unto itself? Buddha tells us that the experience of nirvana, of the land of no-self, is most peaceful in the aftermath of desire and aversion. But it is also most generous and kindly; after all, in this country we are all family, and it is without any effort or thought of personal gain that we help each other out. As Albert Einstein wrote in a reflective moment:

"A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."

(cf. Einstein on Self (2010-01-31), ...) - ^z - 2015-03-25