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Buddhist Philosophy

If You Didn’t Exist, Nothing in The Universe Could Exist

Interdependence means there has never been a beginning or an end

Steve Johnson

You see that fucking cheeseburger yer eating?

If that didn’t exist, you couldn’t exist and vice versa.

It’s what the Buddhists call interdependence. It’s the notion that everything in the universe relies on everything else for its existence.

When you were born, you were made up of your mother’s egg and your father’s sperm. Since, then all that has gone into you has been food, drink and air from other sources outside of yourself.

When you think about it, where is the ‘you’ in all of this?

Without your mother, you couldn’t exist, and she couldn’t exist without her parents, who couldn’t exist without theirs.

You couldn’t exist without the oxygen, which couldn’t exist without trees which couldn’t exist without the soil, which couldn’t exist without the rocks.

If rocks didn’t exist, you couldn’t exist either.

You are made entirely from things other than you

Even your name has come from someone else.

When you look for yourself, you will find nothing but the other stuff in the universe, and when you look for that other stuff, you will find nothing but even more other stuff.

This is not just tricky language.

Can bread exist without flour? And can that flour exist without wheat? Can that wheat exist without the soil, without the rain? Without the baker?

Without fire?

And if you follow this chain of everything being reliant on everything else for its existence, you won’t find an end.

Take one single particle out of the universe, and the whole thing is over

So why bother wondering how it began?

Since everything is reliant on everything else, everything must have arisen simultaneously.

But if the everything needed to support everything else wasn’t there at some stage, how could everything have appeared since it could not have come into being without everything already there to support its existence?

Infinity is the only possibility



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Frank T Bird

Frank T Bird

Australian author of urban stream-of-consciousness fiction and psychedelic short stories.