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The 12 Parts of Dependent Origination - Dhamma Wheel
A Buddhist discussion forum on the Dhamma of the Theravāda
This Uposatha Day I read David's book "The Complete Book of Buddha‘s Lists -- Explained". I truly like "The 12 Parts of Dependent Origination and the Three Causes of Kamma" and I would like to share with you all.
The 12 Parts of Dependent Origination and the Three Causes of Kamma [By Dr.David N. Snyder]
The balanced ―middle way approach of the Buddha‘s teachings has proven itself in other aspects of life as well. For example, the Buddha‘s Dependent Origination, which is a 12 part cyclical process of arising, decay, death, and rebirth of all things is a ―middle way position between the extremes of ―free-will and ―determinism. Western philosophy has been struggling between these two extremes, the reason being because both free-will and determinism are partially correct and partially incorrect. The Buddha‘s Dependent Origination takes features of both and thus, correctly explains things. There is will or volition and there are conditions, but all without a ―first cause or first event.
According to Dependent Origination everything is relative, conditioned, and inter-dependent. A simple formula that helps define Dependent Origination is; when this is, that is, this arising, that arises, when this is not, that is not, this ceasing, that ceasing.
The twelve parts to Dependent Origination are: through ignorance conditional volitional or willful actions or kamma formations take place. Through willful actions there is conditioned consciousness, then conditioned mental and physical phenomena, then the six senses (five physical senses and the mind), then conditioned contact, then conditioned sensation, then conditioned desire, then conditioned attachment, then the process of becoming, conditioned birth, then decay, death, sorrow, pain, etc., and then the process starts again. The free-will theory maintains that one‘s self is the sole explanation for phenomena. Each individual chooses his or her actions and there are no outside forces. The free-will explanation places permanence and all authority to the self.
The determinism theory is the direct opposite which states that there is no will in anyone and each individual performs actions much like a programmed robot. Each person‘s life is predetermined by environmental and genetic factors which no self or soul has any control over. In determinism theory all of our behaviors can be predicted. Just as a computer will produce a definite outcome with specific data entered, so too will a human react with the same data (life experiences, etc.) according to determinism.
Both extremes provide good points and are convincing. This is because both are partially correct. The natural and social sciences have demonstrated quite conclusively that we can be very deterministic. For example, people who have gone through childhood traumas or various other similar life events tend to have the same consequences to their personalities, positive and / or negative. Twin studies have shown how identical twins sometimes have the same behaviors even when raised separately, pointing to genetic deterministic theories.
Other studies have shown that twins sometimes have completely different personalities and behaviors even when raised together. When identical twins are raised together they are basically (at least as children) receiving the same diet and care and have the same genetic code. Yet studies have found their behaviors and interests completely different.
The Buddhist commentaries state that Dependent Origination includes the arising of effects in dependence upon a conjunction of conditions. This suggests that no single cause can produce an effect, nor does one effect arise from a given cause. There is always a collection of conditions giving rise to a collection of effects. (Abhidhammattha Sangaha) Natural and social scientists have always looked to multiple causes as rarely does any effect result mostly from one cause. They use control groups and other techniques to isolate possible causes to at least narrow their theories down to fewer possible explanations. This is fully compatible to the principles of Dependent Origination.
The ―missing link which needs to be added to the deterministic theory is the thinking mind, the element of free-will and kamma formations. Kamma formations can be from a current or a past life, in fact the differences between many siblings, can probably best be explained as evidence for re-birth, past lives.
The German Born Buddhist nun, Ayya Khema, describes the interplay of free-will and determinism as follows:
―One has to imagine a dog tied to a leash. This leash is our old kamma. The dog can move as far as the leash stretches. If he does only good things in his domain, then the leash gets longer and longer; more and more possibilities of doing good or evil come about. (Khema, 2001) The above description by Ayya Khema teaches us that we have the free-will to make choices, but we are also conditioned or determined by our past choices and environment. By making more and more good choices, we can open up our opportunities and become less deterministic.
Dear "whynotme", Since you used icon...you might like 'green color'... then I'll use more green color in my posts..my laptop died yesterday...I just bought a brand new laptop that provides many beautiful colors...I'll try to choose colors that more pleasant to eyes...promise/cross my : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyZAJQgrXKk yawares