Mathematical Musings on Form and Emptiness
By Fiji Konstanzer

In Buddhism, cause and effect are symmetrical. It's like: 3 + 5 = 5 + 3. If 3 and 5 switch places, it does not matter. The outcome is not changed. Either way, you get 8.
Let's extrapolate. Say you chant for someone else's happiness -- that's your "cause." Because the formula of cause and effect is symmetrical, the effect of your cause rebounds on you.
In life, this translates to kindness plus consideration equals consideration plus kindness. Also, I suppose, idiocy plus bullshit equals bullshit plus idiocy. You reap what you sow. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It all comes back to you. This is the algebraic symmetry of the Universe.
Universal symmetry is described in the Heart Sutra:
"Here, O Shariputra, form is emptiness, and the very emptiness is form; emptiness does not differ from form, form does not differ from emptiness; whatever is form, that is emptiness, whatever is emptiness, that is form. The same is true of feelings, perceptions, impulses, consciousness."
If you look deep enough at a two disparate things, you can see the sameness, the connection. You can be at a cocktail party talking to a total stranger with nothing in common, then realize: "You're a carbon-based life form? Oh my god! Me too!" It is the beginning of something beautiful.
Or look at Einstein. He said that energy and matter are basically the same and can be transformed into each other at will. The energy of sunlight is transformed into matter each day as my orange tree grows in the sun. Then I eat the oranges and they become part of me. In other words, energy becomes matter.
Nichiren Daishonin said a similar thing in The Gift of Rice: "[The Lotus Sutra] teaches that the mind itself is the great earth, and that the great earth itself is the grasses and trees...the moon itself is mind, and the flower itself is mind. You should realize from this that polished rice is not polished rice; it is life itself."
So what happens when I die and the matter of my body disintegrates? Do you suppose that's the end of the story? The mass of me is transformed into energy. (I want to drop a few pounds, but this is extreme.) To paraphrase Walt Whitman, look for me in a grain of rice. I will be smiling at you from a spicy tuna roll. Maybe then I will nourish you more than this article.
Here, O Reader, matter is energy, and this very energy is matter; energy does not differ from matter, matter does not differ from energy; whatever is matter, that is energy, whatever is energy, that is matter. The same is true of feelings, perceptions, impulses, consciousness.
Energy is conserved. You can slice it and dice it, turn it into a piece of fudge, move it here and there. But the total amount never changes.
What's more, for every positively charged electrical particle, there exists its negatively charged counterpart. For every Buddha, there is a Devadatta. For every Abba, there is an Eminem. See the symmetry?
Just remember that 3 + 5 = 5 + 3. Do the math. We'll all be fine.