Indra’s Net

Richard Lang recently emailed me about the concept of Indra’s Net. When I Wikipedia’d it, I found that it’s a name for a Buddhist concept of the interconnectedness of everything in the universe:

Francis Harold Cook describes the metaphor of Indra’s net from the perspective of the Huayan school in the book Hua-Yen Buddhism: The Jewel Net of Indra:

Far away in the heavenly abode of the great god Indra, there is a wonderful net which has been hung by some cunning artificer in such a manner that it stretches out infinitely in all directions. In accordance with the extravagant tastes of deities, the artificer has hung a single glittering jewel in each “eye” of the net, and since the net itself is infinite in dimension, the jewels are infinite in number. There hang the jewels, glittering like stars in the first magnitude, a wonderful sight to behold. If we now arbitrarily select one of these jewels for inspection and look closely at it, we will discover that in its polished surface there are reflected all the other jewels in the net, infinite in number. Not only that, but each of the jewels reflected in this one jewel is also reflecting all the other jewels, so that there is an infinite reflecting process occurring.[7]

What a coincidence. Given that the whole concept of Indra’s Cloud is about the ecological interconnectedness of people & nature, and that I used string to sew together the bottles so they form a kind of “net”, and that the plastic bottles are somewhat reflective … NOT TO MENTION the Indra connection… I couldn’t have planned it better myself.

Richard’s work also connects to the concept and is worth checking out. I’ll do a post on his work soon.


This Terry Winters drawing

looks kind of like these bundles of bottles I’m sewing together.

I’m remaking a small section of Indra’s Cloud for a show. Never thought I’d be doing this again.

Thank you Freecycle. And thank you Poland Springs for making bottles with thinner plastic, which are so much easier to push a needle through.