The Physical World versus the Spiritual World in Indian Thought

Kenneth Leong
3 min readNov 5, 2023

A Buddhist friend and I recently had a discussion about the “31 Realms of Existence.” My friend thinks that these realms should be taken literally and that they are real. I, on the other hand, think that these realms are metaphors. Who is right?

It dawned on me just the other day that some of these realms correspond perfectly with the jhanas a meditator…

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Kenneth Leong

Author, Zen teacher, scientific mystic, professor, photographer, philosopher, social commentator, socially engaged human