Reflections on the Interbeing
I came across the term “Interbeing” recently and I found out that it was created by the Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh, initially I thought it was synonymous with the concept of interconnectedness, but then i had a closer look and I found this: The observation that we “inter-are”, while true and poetic is not really the most important element of “Interbeing”.
The important part is the realization that there is no independent self – that the perception of self, of “me”, of “mine”is an illusion.
Awareness that “I” am made of “non-I” elements leads to the understanding of non-self and it is the realization of non-self that brings an end to suffering. (https://bodhileaf.wordpress.com/2009/05/25/understanding-interbeing/)
The reason why this interpretation of the term is so interesting for me is because it poses a few questions that I think quite often in relation to photography, such as: Can we ever go beyond the point of view of the separate self, therefore beyond a story-based perceiving?
Is there a seeing in which the observer and the observed are not understood as two seperate entities? and what is the significance of this, how does it affect our perception? Does it mean the loss of qualitative discrimination?
all images and text © Alexis Vasilikos