While we are
in the process of discovering who we really
are—as opposed to who we think we are—we
perceive differences between ourselves and others,
and no-one can deny that differences do exist—differences
in race, nationality, culture, language and
so on. Often, however, we pay too much attention
to these differences.
There are two
kinds of Truth: Conventional, and Ultimate.
To communicate, we must use terms like ‘people’,
‘houses’, ‘cars’, ‘food’,
‘you’, ‘I’, etc., but
they are true only on the conventional level;
ultimately, there are no such things as ‘people’,
‘houses’, ‘cars’, etc.
How come? Well, take a book, for example: What
is a book? Was it always such, and will it always
be so? It is a composition of things that are
also compositions: paper, ink, glue, color.
Not long ago, it was not a book, and before
long, it will become something else. It has
an identity as a book only in context, which
changes; ultimately, there is no book. Seen
in this manner, the book disappears before our
eyes, even while we are holding it, and in fact,
we disappear, too!
We do not see
this clearly, however, and so we cling onto
our ideas about differences. This is something
common, regardless of race, religion, nationality,
and so on, and in this way, there is little
difference between us.