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Comments on: What is dependent origination? http://www.rogerdarlington.me.uk/nighthawk/?p=12317 Roger Darlington's personal blog Wed, 18 Sep 2013 13:55:42 +0000 hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.0 By: Linda B http://www.rogerdarlington.me.uk/nighthawk/?p=12317&cpage=1#comment-27925 Wed, 18 Sep 2013 13:55:42 +0000 http://www.rogerdarlington.me.uk/nighthawk/?p=12317#comment-27925 For me, dependent origination’s 12 links are most easily understood broken down into three parts.

The first five links talk about what I think of as “the givens”: Given that we come into the world ignorant of the ways in which we create our own suffering, given the way our nature drives us to create a sense of self, given that our minds will constantly seek information about that self and its place in the world, given that the preceding links cause us to categorize everything we encounter in terms of “self/advantageous” “unlike self/disadvantageous” (usually translated as “pleasant vs unpleasant” in Buddhist lingo), and given that our senses are driven to seek out information that supports our growing beliefs about self and the world…

Then we have the middle section which details the things we do over and over and over because of those givens: information comes in to us and we sort it in terms of how it affects us, and how well it matches up to beliefs we are developing. (In modern terms this could be more-or-less described using definitions of “confirmation bias”.) Experiences harden into opinions. Opinions into dogma.

The final section describes the results of the what we did in the middle section: our beliefs result in us being (behaving) in the world in a way that is consistent with what we have come to believe about ourselves and the world. It is in this sense that we “live in samsara” — an illusory world we have created ourselves.

I define “dukkha” (the word that gets translated as “suffering”) as what happens when our image of the self and the world bumps into the actual world.

If you’d find a description of dependent origination written for the here-and-now useful, I did a series of articles on it which you can find here:


By: Andy http://www.rogerdarlington.me.uk/nighthawk/?p=12317&cpage=1#comment-27778 Fri, 06 Sep 2013 20:53:01 +0000 http://www.rogerdarlington.me.uk/nighthawk/?p=12317#comment-27778 Roughly speaking the Buddha’s teaching on Dependant Origination analyses the process by which suffering arises and how it can cease. At its most practical it provides guidance on how we can suffer less in our own lives. If this is of interest, I can dig out some suitable material for you, Roger. (It’s quite a deep subject, and I’m no expert. However it can be used, as I mentioned, at a very pragmatic level regarding day-to-day living. A bit like you can use a car without fully understanding the inner workings of its mechanisms.)