The Emptiness of Dependence
There is a common idiom that says, “It takes two to tango.” It was not until I was older that such a miniscule phrase holds such truth; the tango is a fiery dance, set in motion by the beauty of two bodies, and without both partners, the dance does simply not exist. The Dalia Lama states in his book about the theory of “dependent origination,” There are no subjects without the objects by which they are defined, there are no objects without subjects to apprehend them, there are no doers without things done. There is no chair without legs, a seat, a back, wood nails, the floor on which it rests, the walls that define the room it’s in, the people who constructed it, and the individuals who agree to call it a chair and ...view middle of the document...
Therefore, because all things happen in reliance upon causes and circumstances, they are empty of fundamental existence. If everything and ourselves are empty, then do we exist in and as each other, and does that make us no longer separate, just like there is no ocean without a wave, no watch without a watchmaker, or the tango without two dancers? For example, in order to end suffering and to bring destruction to our self-egos in reach the state of emptiness, the Eighth fold path can be followed. Although each part is individually empty in nature, In order to reach the state of emptiness, one must practice all eight parts because it is nature of them working together that contributes to the state of emptiness; one cannot stand by itself. Without one of the parts of the path, the custom could be unstable if other parts are missing; therefore, it is empty because it connects to other parts that are also empty. Ironically, emptiness and dependent origination complement and reinforce each other.
During my reading and studying, this theory of dependence truly forced me ponder my own beliefs and even to connect them. Everything that is in existence is because are things are in existence; everything is connected. I remember in my World Religions class, there was also the belief of no self in Buddhism; therefore, we are separate from everything else, but also both mind and body. We have our own reality of being our independent and empty selves, but also being both mind and body stressing that we are still dependent on two other entities. Although with a separate self, I personally believe that in return, we are linked to everything else, even a higher power, and this is how I make my personal correlation between the two theories and interpret them in my way.