Q. Why does Buddhism say that there is neither birth nor death?
Do you think that there are right and left? What is right? What is left? There is no fixed right and no fixed left. Right and left are not real but just imaginary lines that we create. Anything can be right or left according to your perspective. What is right to you can be left to someone else. This means that nothing is right, and nothing is left, unless we assign imaginary labels.
Let me ask you some similar questions. How old are you? Where are you living? When were you born? My answers to these questions are that I am 65 years old, I am living live in Seoul, Korea and that I was born 65 years ago, or in 1953. These are very common questions and answers that we can have in our daily life.
However, if we give a little more thought to these questions and answers, we can see that ‘I am 65 years old’ means ‘I have been dying for 65 years’, that ‘I was born 65 years ago’ means ‘I started to die 65 years ago’ and that ‘I am living in Seoul Korea’ means ‘I am dying in Seoul Korea’. Do you think that I am wrong, if I answer, ‘I have been dying for 65 years’, instead of ‘I am 65 years old’? Then, are we living or dying? This question is like ‘Are we right or left?’.
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway
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