Friday, January 30, 2009

CoZ 2: Dependent Origination and the Twelve Links

This is my homework assignment for Compass of Zen class #2. See my previous posting for a better explanation of what I'm doing.

Mutual causality, dependent origination or pratityasamutpada
To arise from conditions.
To be extinct from conditions.
If I exist, that exists.
If I cease to exist, that ceases to exist.
In simplest terms, mutual causality means that the existence of a thing is dependent on the existence of all other things. That really, nothing has an intrinsic nature of its own but is valued based upon its relationship to everything else in either time, space or both.

Mutual causality is relativistic in appearance. Each person, place or thing creates it's own world. My past experiences create for me associations with objects and ideas that are my own. The sun I see is not the sun you see. But I did not name it "sun." Nor did I compress hydrogen until fusion occurred making the sun. So even though I create my own world, my world is dependant upon other causes.

If you think about it, we create time and space. When you are bored, time moves slowly. When you face a person, North is different for you both.

Time creates primary cause and space controls condition and inevitable result. Where time and space meet (or where cause and condition meet), we get a result (effect).

Here is an illustration to help:

A good example! If someone is very attached to alcohol (cause) and they are attached to a situation where alcohol is abundent (condition), they will going to suffer (effect). Being attached to a primary cause and a condition or situation, the result will always be suffering.

To escape suffering, you must escape time and space. You must escape cause and effect. Put down your opinions, conditions and situations.

The Twelve Links in the Chain of Dependent Origination

Within the thought process, there are twelve steps which arise that always lead to suffering.
  1. Ignorance. This is the arrival of a thought which indicates we do not understand the impermanence of the world.
  2. Mental formation (karma). The solidification of the thought which is dependent on our habitual views.
  3. Consciousness. Or rather, "I am."
  4. Name and form. Once you have "I," you have "not I" and you begin categorizing phenomena.
  5. The six senses. Eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind begin here leading to:
  6. Contact. Interacting with stuff and labeling it.
  7. Sensation. This is the effect contact has on our senses. From here on, we are controlled by our six senses.
  8. Desire. "I like that."
  9. Clinging. "I want more."
  10. Existence. "I think therefore I am."
  11. Life. "I am alive and I am 37."
  12. Old age, suffering, death. That's life!
These steps can be worked in different orders or by looking at different sections. Steps 1-5 focus on the self without any outside influence. Steps 1 and 2 can be seen as you "previous life," be it an actual life or those things that exist before your mind is formed. Steps 6-10 are your interactions with the physical world. They also represent your "current life." 11 and 12 abstract constructs of what you believe will be. You see yourself as an age and that at some point, you will grow old, get sick and die. These two are also viewed to be your "next life."


Anonymous said...

Nice fill someone in on and this fill someone in on helped me alot in my college assignement. Gratefulness you seeking your information.

Anonymous said...

Well I assent to but I about the collection should prepare more info then it has.

Blog Archive