6: Elephants – Thinking

It is said that the Buddha said that with our thoughts we make the world. There is a trivial sense in which this is just not true. Try right at this mo­ment to think of an elephant. Yet does an elephant appear? Not for me… Maybe it appears in another place, maybe thousands of years ago, or in the far distant future. Perhaps the elephants we think of appear on a distant planet, on a special Elephant Planet, in a galaxy, far, far away. But there is a non-trivial sense in which, of course, what the Bud­dha said is true. However we judge the world, whatever we think of it makes it the world we expe­rience. For none of us does there exist a world that is independent of our thoughts such that we could, if we so wished, compare this world with the one we experience in virtue of the judgements we form of it. We have only one world, the world that re­flects back to us all the judgements we make of it, and that is the only world we can ever live in.




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