Saturday, December 8, 2012

Emptiness in the Age of Oil

Think the United States has never invaded another place for oil?

Ogoni State, Nigeria

The Ogoni people of Nigeria have recently been forced off their land for the last forty years.  Big oil companies such as Shell have been the chief sponsors of the Nigerian government’s human rights abuses.  The cause, of course, is the oil rich fields on the Ogoni territory.

So can we stop this human atrocity?  Some would say we can’t because we need to drive to get from one place to another.  True, but is oil the only source of fuel we can use?  If we truly tried, don’t you think we could find a way to transport from one place to another without oil?  Well, according to the Buddhist notion of Sunyata (emptiness), as explained by quantum theory, all things in this world can be reduced to particles.  They have no real existence from their own side and do not become real until the mind interacts with them and gives them meaning.  They have no inherent existence of their own and are filled with limitless potentialities.  A chariot is not merely a chariot but several pieces of wood and nails holding them together.  Thus we could find a new thing with the same potential to allow us to commute and change our world?

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