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Reply To: The Child of Symbolic Disguise,” with Norland Téllez, Ph.D.”


Norland, I agree too that the Mesoamerican Religious Symbolism of “dawning” is a wonderful example of “inter-being.” Especially through the farming. If ones hands are in the soil planting seeds, it becomes a sacred ritual and there is an awareness of “inter connectivity” as you say. Love that. I have more thoughts perhaps for later, but wanted to share this passage from Thicht Nahn Hahn’s book “Peace is Every Step” since heard of his passing.

The chapter on “inter-being”


From Peace is Every Step
Thicht Nahn Hahn:


If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper. Without a cloud, there will be no rain; without rain, the trees cannot grow; and without trees, we cannot make paper. The cloud is essential for the paper to exist. If the cloud is not here, the sheet of paper cannot be here either. So we can say the cloud and the paper inter-are. “Interbeing” is a word that is not in the dictionary yet, but if we combine the prefix “inter-“ with the verb “to be,” we have a new verb, inter-be.
 If we look into this sheet of paper even more deeply, we can see the sunshine in it. Without sunshine, the forest cannot grow. In fact, nothing can grow without sunshine. And so we know that the sunshine is also in this sheet of paper. The paper and the sunshine are inter-are. And if we continue to look, we can see the logger who cut the tree and brought it to the mill to be transformed into paper. And we see the wheat. We know the logger cannot exist without his daily bread, and therefore the wheat that became his bread is also in this sheet of paper. When we look this way, we see that without all these things, this sheet of paper cannot exist.
  Looking even more deeply, we can see ourselves in this sheet of paper too. This is not difficult to see, because when we look at a sheet of paper, it is part of our perception. Your mind is in here and mine is also. So we can say that everything is in here with this sheet of paper. We cannot point out one thing that is not here time, space, earth, the rain, the minerals in the soil, the sunshine, the cloud, the river, the heat. Everything co-exists within this sheet of paper…….

As thin as this sheet of paper is, it contains everything in the universe in it.”  -Thicht Nahn Hahn