The Interbeing Perspective

So, if we continually exchange matter with the outside world, if our bodies are completely renewed every few years, and if each of us is a walking colony of trillions of largely symbiotic life-forms, exactly what is this self that we view as separate? You are not an isolated being. Metaphorically, to follow current bias and think of your body as a machine is not only inaccurate but destructive. Each of us is far more akin to a whirlpool, a brief, ever-shifting concentration of energy in a vast river that has been flowing for billions of years. The dividing line between self and other is, in many respects, arbitrary; the “cut” can be made at many places, depending on the metaphor of self that one adopts. We must learn to see ourselves not as isolated but as permeable and interwoven—selves within larger selves, including the species self (humanity) and the biospheric self (life). The interbeing perspective encourages us to view other life-forms not as objects but subjects, fellow travelers in the current of this ancient river. On a still more profound level, it enables us to envision ourselves and other organisms not as static “things” at all but as processes deeply and inextricably embedded in the background flow.


Scott D. Sampson's beautiful passage on the interconnectedness of ourselves and the universe. We are a process in the background flow of the universe.

Folksonomies: interconnectedness

/society (0.430467)
/society/unrest and war (0.317661)
/science/phyiscs/atomic physics (0.312564)

Interbeing Perspective Scott (0.978164 (positive:0.675924)), largely symbiotic life-forms (0.977219 (neutral:0.000000)), background flow (0.789093 (negative:-0.088415)), D. Sampson (0.549181 (positive:0.675924)), larger selves (0.486380 (neutral:0.000000)), current bias (0.472829 (negative:-0.438269)), ever-shifting concentration (0.468929 (neutral:0.000000)), profound level (0.466425 (neutral:0.000000)), vast river (0.455129 (neutral:0.000000)), fellow travelers (0.449239 (neutral:0.000000)), species self (0.426554 (neutral:0.000000)), biospheric self (0.425541 (neutral:0.000000)), ancient river (0.416914 (neutral:0.000000)), universe (0.238062 (positive:0.515799)), interconnectedness (0.228832 (positive:0.675924)), trillions (0.220222 (neutral:0.000000))

Scott D. Sampson:Person (0.820784 (positive:0.675924))

Universe (0.942868): dbpedia | freebase
English-language films (0.753686): dbpedia
Physics (0.731808): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Force (0.726094): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
World (0.689733): dbpedia | ciaFactbook | freebase
Space (0.647410): dbpedia | freebase
General relativity (0.632678): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Self (0.613790): dbpedia | freebase

 This Will Make You Smarter
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Brockman , John (2012-02-14), This Will Make You Smarter, HarperCollins, Retrieved on 2013-12-19
  • Source Material []
  • Folksonomies: science


    25 AUG 2012

     Science Koans

    Riddles and paradoxes of existence that might crack your noodle on which to meditate.
    Folksonomies: meditation koan riddle
    Folksonomies: meditation koan riddle