Saturday, March 31, 2012
Chain of Causality
Home everywhere, happy anywhere (in this case, Savathi), Sakyamuni Buddha caught his friends’ attention when he kindly shouted out,
“Hey, let’s look at the links in the chain of causation!
Well, originally we haven’t a clue.
This is called “ignorance” -- the typical case of temporary amnesia necessary to learn what we need from our human experience by making it all seem real.
From this ignorance, we begin creating stories. These stories eventually coalesce into a sense of self-consciousness, which generates more narratives and memory files about our shiny new fictional identity in order to confirm its existence.
This “me project” requires perception, memory, and imagination to merge with the life force and enliven the cognition of individuated physicality via the various sensory faculties. The “person” is born.
Now, this sense of self is primarily feeling, and what’s being felt is desire. This desire means to grasp and cling until it is satisfied – no, it can’t slow down, it cannot rest.
This is also called “becoming”. It is the creative impulse which takes breath and birth, an appearance in time, and thus is also subject to impermanence.
For all of that which resists and conflicts with change, that strives to hold on to the slightest wisp of a story: dissatisfaction, suffering, and grief is the outcome.
And that’s the whole damn thing in a nutshell!
On the other hand, awakening to our true nature and condition dispels ignorance, and from the remainder-less fading and cessation of that very ignorance, comes the end of the personal story.
From the end of all such stories comes the realization of the insubstantiality of any narrator – the end of self-conscious identification -- nothing to name, nothing to crave, nothing to cling to, nothing to become.
Free at last!
From there, one can actually do some good!”
Having heard this, the friends all nodded in agreement, saying to each other,
“How about that!”