We must begin by frankly admitting that the first place in which to go looking for the world is not outside us but in ourselves. We are the world. In the deepest ground of our being we remain in metaphysical contact with the whole of that creation in which we are only small parts. Through our senses and our minds, our loves, needs, and desires, we are implicated, without possibility of evasion, in this world of matter and of men, of things and of persons, which not only affect us and change our lives but are also affected and changed by us… The question, then, is not to speculate about how we are to contact the world – as if we were somehow in outer space – but how to validate our relationship, give it a fully honest and human significance, and make it truly productive and worthwhile for our world.

— Thomas Merton – Love and Living

We are the world

2 responses »

    • Yes, and I think that this change in our relation to the world will only happen through diminishing self-concern by developing and validating an authentic selfless and compassionate relation to the world. This would be the ‘Method’, 4 of the 6 Paramitas (Generosity, Morality, Patience and Diligence) in Buddhist Philosophy. But these have to be developed in parallel with ‘Wisdom’, the 2 other Paramitas (Wisdom and Mediation). Developing ‘Method’ is developing an authentic way of being-with-others and developing ‘Wisdom’ is an authentic method of developing being-alone. By combining both Wisdom and Method we can validate a truly productive and worthwhile relationship to the world where we are the world and where the observer is the observed by keeping an observer and an observed as two separate entities, but in oneness, and thus not falling into one of both extremes of thinking. And indeed, I personally think that this realization (or change of relation) is something that every human being can achieve in his life and of course, living it is a lifetime’s work. But I guess it will flow naturally as soon as it is realized. Thanks a lot for this food for thought. 🙂

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