Introduction: One – Pantheism – Indra’s net

On our way to the movie “Powers of Ten” by Charles and Ray Eames, you and I encounter a beautiful world. It looks like a beautiful glass palace where everything – as tiny glass jewels – reflects in each other and with each other. The image below shows an enlargement of a tiny part of this world.


Suddenly we recognize this glass palace from descriptions in books: this looks like “Indra’s Net” [2]. We are fully enclosed in this world; you and I and this world are one and perfectly reflected in each other[3]. But we arrive at the outer skirt “One”. Although everything is reflected in everything, independency is emerging between the particles. You and I will give an impression of Indra’s net.

Indra’s net is an infinite grid, which is very finely woven. It is transparent – empty – full of infinite and transparent and reflective glass beads that shine into each other. Each glass pearl or jewel is infinitely small and shines its  divine [4] beauty. This splendid world appears – by its dazzling jewels – the pinnacle of pantheism. But by the complete consistency of the net, this world completely transcends pantheism.

First, a static description of the net. The jewels are in constant connection with each other, as each jewel is reflected in all the other jewels. All other jewels are also reflected in one jewel. One jewel is the entire network because the entire network is reflected in this single jewel, and this single jewel is seen by all other jewels. One single jewel is the network, and all the other jewels are shaping this single juwel.

Now comes the magic: the net just starts to move. If one jewel starts moving, the complete net is moving and changing. If the entire net vibrates, the single jewel vibrates accordingly. Because each individual jewel twinkles with all other jewels, change is a constant perfection. The whole network vibrates in and with itself. Each jewel is playing its game and it shapes the net. All jewels are playing their game and they shape every single jewel. Each jewel constitutes all and all jewels form each single jewel. “One” is the entire network and “One” is every single glass pearl in the net. Between one glass jewel and the whole network is still no distinction.

We continue through this beautiful world and approach stage “Two” on our Odyssey. A forerunner of initial clustering of the glass jewels is gradually unfolding. You and I and everything around us, start to cluster. The image below shows a schematic and static display of this clustering. In chapter two we will encounter the first primal rupture and the further divisions that will disintegrate everything as crackled.


In the next post we will – as promised – look at the 10 minute film of Charles and Ray Eames’ Powers of Ten “of 1968.

[1] Source image:

[2] See also: Cook, Francis, Hua-Yen Buddhism: The Jewel Net of Indra

[3] See also: Cleary, Thomas, The Flower Ornament Scripture, a Translation of the Avatamsaka Sutra. Boston: Shambhala, 1993 p 363. According to the Avatamsaka Sutra, particles within Indra’s net have compassion, feelings and needs. They are aware of anger, joy, knowledge and ignorance. They can make everything within their reach happy. Indra’s net can be healthy and ill.

[4] The word “Deus” for God is derived from the root “div”, meaning “shine, increase, rejoice” in Sanskrit. Source: elektronic version of the dictionary Monier-Williams – MWDDS V1.5 Beta.

[5] Source image:


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