For example, two different people will look at the same factual situation yet feel very differently about it because they have two different learned experiences. If feelings were real, if they had intrinsic existence, they wouldn’t vary person to person.
The habit-energy of seeing the world through our ego-mind keeps us from experiencing things as they really are, with dispassion, free of labels. And is the direct cause of samsara. See my post, “Reality Is Not What We Experience.”
But there is another level to the teaching of things not having intrinsic existence. All elements of nature … whether it’s the sun, the water we drink, plants growing … none of these things have intrinsic existence. They are all dependent on something else. The sun is the product of the cosmic forces that create suns and keep them going. The water we drink is the product of a complex interaction of meteorological and geologic forces. Plants are dependent on so many things - light, water, nutrients - which are in turn dependent on a variety of natural forces.
So there is nothing on this earth or in the heavens that has intrinsic existence. Everything is or was dependent on something else. Everything is interconnected.
One reason why the issue of global warming is not much of an issue for most people is that they really don’t understand the immensity and power of this interconnectedness. They think, “So some people will be displaced by rising oceans and we’ll have to adapt to warmer temperatures. No big deal.”
They don’t understand that once man starts disrupting the normal flow of this interconnectedness, which is the product of millions of years of evolution, we have no idea what the end result will be. But if I were taking bets, I would say it is more likely to be disastrous rather than the ho-hum scenarios that most people picture.
Just as an example, I read a while ago that the enormous weight of the Greenland ice sheet impacts the axis of the Earth’s rotation and the location of the poles. If the Greenland ice sheet melts, as it is doing with increasing speed … each year the sheet is loosing 287 billion tons of ice … the axis and the location of the poles will change. How much no one knows, but the loss of just a fragment of the Greenland ice sheet, as well as Antarctic and North Pole ice, is already having an impact with the North Pole moving ever so slowly towards the UK.
Depending on how much the poles shift, the results could be truly catastrophic for mankind. Probably not as catastrophic as a nuclear winter, which would mean the end of life on earth, but it could mean wiping out much of nature and thus much of life on earth. We just have no idea. But whatever the change is, it is likely to be significant and life-altering, not just something one can easily adapt to.
Never forget the interconnectedness of all things. And pass this message on to others whenever you have the opportunity as there needs to be a huge groundswell of public support for action on global warming.