Norman Fischer

‘Each of the six perfections is suffused with the perfection of understanding, which sees the truth of the empty nature of all things. Naturally our discussion of simple ethical conduct would end with mystery and emptiness. Just as there is in reality no giver, no gift, and no recipient, so also there is no hurting, no one to hurt, no one to be hurt. There is no ethical conduct.

Saying this may sound scary, as if anything goes and, once we appreciate emptiness, we can go ahead and commit as many sins as we want. But this isn’t the case. Seeing that there are no actual persons, that being is the flow of love, makes us much more passionate about doing good and not doing harm. We’re not trying to be righteous, we’re not acting out of fear; we simply act in accord with the way things are. There’s no other way.’ (The World Could Be Otherwise)

It’s easy to type this, or read this, and say, yes it is so, but as the title of the book suggests, it does not play out in the world this way. And yet, we all have the capacity to understand reality in this way, and to behave in accord with that understanding. And all we can do is try it for ourselves to the best of our ability.

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