His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje’s latest book, Interconnected: Embracing Life in Our Global Society, was released at the Habitat Centre in Delhi, India on April 22nd, 2017. This book is a continuation of the Karmapa’s previous book, The Heart is Noble. Primarily, Interconnected is based on the conversation and discussion that His Holiness the Karmapa had with the students from the University of Redlands, California. The University has since transcribed the discussion and published this book.
The topic of this book is “interconnected-ness”, which is an important and well known topic from the Buddha’s teaching. This is a presentation of the view and practice of interconnected-ness. As you all know, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has traveled all over the world speaking about interdependence, and giving teachings and talks about it. You all have heard about it. So here, this book is a presentation of the Karmapa’s thoughts, his understanding of interdependence, as well as his life experience.
The Karmapa’s primary thought is that we do not only see interdependence as a philosophical topic, something we talk about in philosophy but, instead, something that we can also develop an understanding of within our own human lives—something that we can see with our eyes, something that we can feel with our hands, and something that we can hear with our ears. First, introducing the view of interdependence in the book, the first analogy or example was how we review the clothing that we wear, the food that we eat or the things that we drink. They are all dependent upon one another and there are many different interconnected relations. They are not just a philosophical view. Basically, they all come from “interdependent-ness”, the interconnected-ness of many different causes and conditions. This is something that we can actually experience within our own lives. We can see interdependence not just as a philosophical topic, but instead it is a living value that we can hope for. So the Karmapa’s hope is, this is the understanding that everyone can take from the book.
In particular, in this day, this is the age of the internet and information array, we can see this in a way that everyone in the world is more interconnected with each other. We can see how this happens through information technology—the internet. Even though we have these internal and external connections, sometimes it is difficult for us to feel a strong connection internally within our mind. But, it is important we do feel such a connection. We have to feel strong connection of our thoughts with each other. This is what we call the “inner net”– not just the external physical connection, but we also need to have a strong understanding or a strong feeling for the internal mental connection that we have with each other. This is very important. It is important to understand we are connected with each other not only physically, not only in terms of external things, but we need to feel the internal connection that we have with each other. This is one of the main topics that the Karmapa is trying to show in this book.
Available online: http://www.wisdompubs.org/book/interconnected