How Many Buddhas?
I recollect one tradition where there are ten Buddhas, or Buddha-like gods. These gods do cooperate in the maintenance of the cosmic cycles. In a relational world, however, there would be no separate Buddhas. They would not just wander in off the street and then decide to make a world together.
From our creaturely perspective, our greatest problem seems to be how to draw people together. The creator, however, is presented with just the reverse problem: how to draw distinctions. The natural, relaxed state of a relational world is rather like that of a compressed glue-ball, or would it be a black/white hole? Actually, this might be kind of like nirvana. It would be both everything and nothing, all the oppositions would naturally tend to cancel out. Why not just leave well enough alone? I am sure there are days when Buddha wonders about this herself.
How many glue-balls? Let's call on another master: Leibniz: One. Next question? Didn't someone say that black-holes (white-wholes?) have no hair? They are indistinguishable, one from the other. And so, according to Leibniz, all indiscernibles are necessarily identical. This could also be Hegel's Absolute, the beginning and end of all disparate existence. Unless you embed these absolutes in a preexisting spatial manifold, there is absolutely nothing to keep them apart. And let me remind you that beyond and before space and time there are no such manifolds. We are left with the one, ultimate, bootstrapping potency. The Buddhas are the white-whole's hair. In the end it is not so important as to how many Buddhas there are, as long as we recognize that they have no choice but to cooperate in any creative endeavors, because their own existence and derivative potency necessarily depends upon it. They are all just part of the same bootstrapping process.
<-- Prev. Next -->