What Is It That Exists?

One of the best ways I have found to understand what exists is from the Tibetan Buddhist teachings. Any object can be considered in 3 ways

The object is made of its components

For instance, the laptop is made up of the screen, the keyboard, the CPU, the memory, the casing and so on. Even a solid object like a stone can be considered to be made of up of atoms and molecules.

The source from where the object originates

To take the same example, the screen of the laptop might be manufactured in China, the CPU in Malaysia and other components in different places and the final assembly would have happened in USA. Similarly, the stone that you see on the road has come there from somewhere. Maybe it broke off a mountain, got carried in a truck and fell down there.

It is an object because we give it a name

This is easier to see for things which are changing rapidly. For instance, we give the name Katrina to the hurricane that swept across the US. But what is a hurricane but the movement of air in a certain pattern. The hurricane is no longer there but the air which was part of the hurricane is still around. By giving a name we create an object. This way of thinking is radically different from the normal way of thinking that we give a name to an object.

​If you really want to see the world as it is, then learn to see everything from these 3 perspectives. Take a leather shoe for instance. See that it is made up of the sole, the upper portion and the lace. Then see that the leather would have originated from some animal, processed and then made in to a shoe. Finally, it is a shoe because you think it is. This point might need some insight but try to see it. Can you see the object without giving it a name?

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