Thus have I heard:The end of the world can neverBe reached by walking. However,Without having reached the world’s endThere is no release from suffering.I declare that it is in this fathom—long carcass, with its perceptionsand thoughts, that there is the world, theorigin of the world, the cessation of theworld, and the path leading to the cessation of the world.(Anguttara Nikaya 4:45)
This radical statement, attributed to the Buddha in the Pali canon, constitutes no less than a Copernican revolution in thought, with far-reaching consequences for our understanding of the human condition. It redefines “the world” in a way that flies in the face of both the scientific and the religious traditions of the West, but is remarkably well suited to the postmodern views emerging along the cutting edges of the new cognitive and neurological sciences.