The mind of discrimination and non-duality explained by Thich Nhat Hanh


Does animals counsciousness equals men's? Is an electron alive? What is counsciousness and does every living thing has it? These questions finds their answer in this great explanation and philosophy of Non-duality, explained by Thich Nhat Hanh.

Filmed at University of Virginia, The astrophysicist Dr. Trinh Xuan Thuan interviews the vietnamese buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, about the counsciousness of living things in our world. From animals to electrons, to plants, and why not stones : are they gifted of cousciousness? 

Thich Nhat Hanh in dialogue with Astrophysicist Dr. Trinh Xuan Thuan - University of Virginia

Dr. Trinh Xuan Thuan, with a scientific mind, advance that electron can't have consicousness and that there is a level of counsciousness for each living thing, and therefor, animals or plants can not be as developed and counscious as a human one. 

"I think there are degree's of counsciousness, A dog's conscioussness might not be the same as a man's (...) we cannot put all these things is nature, or in the universe on the same level. So I would ask you opinion of that. Would you still say that an electron is the same as a human being?" asked Dr. Trinh Xuan Thuan

Thích Nhất Hạnh


The answer from Thich Nhat Hahn leaves everyone speechless and points out the mind of discrimination implied whitin the Astronomist's question.

​This mind of discrimination is the mind hidden in this scientific logic is the foundation of all kind of suffering.

"We know that when we look into our cells as a human being, wee see that human being is made of only non-human elements" says Thich Nhat Hanh.



From the Ustinov Forum Prejudice Awareness


For more information about the Tich Nhat Hanh: you can visit his website by visitng his wikipedia page :ích_Nhất_Hạnh

Video cortesy : Bart Georgi Chashymie

Website :


thich nhat hanh photo




#buddhism #discrimination #Perception #Non-Duality #philosophy #True

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Anthony, the video is the sort of discourse that can both fascinate and frustrate. The speaker of this wisdom is known to me , not personally , but he has visited the city where I am based. Also,I attended , as a part of my university studies , one of Europe's great philosophy and theology colleges. During my course of study , I came to one conclusion. It was this; In a way , I was there to try to find the meaning of life. But I realised I would never discover it in that way ! Not from books . Not from thinking too much about it . Perhaps from living more and thinking things through during the course of doing so. I , as a Liberal , not a socialist ,by nature , in the political field rebel against a completely egalitarian way of looking at things. Equality, yes, but with diversity , and the Liberal's watchword, flexibility. Are all species equal ? Are we equally entitled to the same level of respect species by species ? Yes , to a degree , or , maybe to a great extent , but where do we go from here?I am a vegetarian , must I now feel guilty eating a plant ? As a Liberal , I am , too , not a conservative so I am open to be persuaded . But please try not to make me feel too bad about my plate full of vegetables !
Haha thank you for your words of wisdom Lorenzo! I swear I will respect your plate full of vegetables even if I feel bad for them ;) I agree with your argument though, and I kind of understand what the buddhist is saying by the "mind of discrimination" notion. It is more of a sentiment, than a rational or scientific/logical explanation. I do believe that plants have counsciousness for example, probably very different than a human being, but trying to find which one is more developed feels wrong, since they can do stuff we can't and and inversely. What the buddhist is saying, sounds more like : "and where does knowing that an electron doesn't have any consciousness leads you?" What would it change? Would you feel superior or different in a way that you would change your behavior with them? By extent, let's apply the logic on other living things, plants, animals, water... Do they have more importance than us? It's like by wanting to know that, you allow you mental logic to compare and somehow discriminate at a certain level, your self of the other. So I kind of think YOU, Lorenzo, and Mr. Thich Nhat Hanh have a lot in common :)
Anthony, you , me and our esteemed friend would surely get along fine ! Yes, in your posting you have raised important matters, we are indeed humbled before nature. There is a danger of elitism which is every bit as bad as the most extreme egalitarianism if taken to its own extremes too. It is all about balance. And there we can look to our mentor on this site ... "I have always had a very keen sense of balance .Balance was the all-important thing.It's almost metaphysical...the truth is very often in the middle of things and it isn't the result of a compromise. It's so small we can hardly see it, but it's there that I look for it and never on an extreme." Sir Peter Ustinov

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