No Singular Effects

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No Singular Effects

Postby bhavanirodha » Mon Nov 21, 2011 1:40 am

Dear all,

I have often read or heard this axiom regarding Paticca Samuppada, "a cause never gives rise to just a single effect, nor do effects ever arise from just one single cause." I can't seem to find a Sutta withfcthe Blessed One saying this. Anyone know for sure if He actually said this?

Metta and peace,
Andrew
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Re: No Singular Effects

Postby Ben » Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:07 am

Greetings Andrew,
I can't help you with a reference within the Tipitaka but I do remember reading it in the chapter on dependent origination in the Vism. There may also be a footnote to it linking it to a sutta. Unfortunately I don't have the proximity to my copy nor time to investigate.
kind regards,

Ben
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Re: No Singular Effects

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:09 am

Greetings Andrew,

Welcome to Dhamma Wheel.

bhavanirodha wrote:Anyone know for sure if He actually said this?

I don't recall any suttas that say this, but I too have heard this axiom.... interesting question!

The closest I can think of in a sutta context is that nama-rupa and vinnana are said to be conditions for each other, whereas in the usual explanation, nama-rupa is the condition for salayatana. You could argue that's one cause giving rise to two effects.

In the suttas, it is also said that avijja is the cause of avijja, whereas standard dependent origination sequence also has sankhara dependent upon avijja.

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Re: No Singular Effects

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon Nov 21, 2011 4:08 am

I don't know if there is an explicit reference, but there is sort of an implied teaching of that when causation is discussed.

For example, the five levels of cause and effect:

Non-living matter (physical world), Seed (biological world), Mind (psychological), Kamma, Dhamma

(Note that kamma is only one of the levels of cause and effect and does not explain everything.)

There are many causes and effects listed in the Tipitaka, especially the Abhidhamma, which I think implies no singular effects, which by the way is compatible with modern psychology and the social sciences with their use of examining multiple causes and effects, probability, factor analysis, and spurious relationships.

The Paṭṭhāna book of the Abhidhamma goes into detail about the 24 causal relations.
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Re: No Singular Effects

Postby bhavanirodha » Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:42 pm

Dear all,

Thank you all for the quick replies. Ben's pointer to the Visuddhimagga was bang on. Vism. XVII:105'ish I think it was, although the only canonical reference seems to have come from the Patisambhidamagga.

Just to clarify, I take no real issue with this axiom, I was merely trying to establish whether it came right from the Blessed One.

Metta and peace,
Andrew
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Re: No Singular Effects

Postby ancientbuddhism » Mon Nov 21, 2011 6:54 pm

bhavanirodha wrote:Dear all,

Thank you all for the quick replies. Ben's pointer to the Visuddhimagga was bang on. Vism. XVII:105'ish I think it was, although the only canonical reference seems to have come from the Patisambhidamagga.

Just to clarify, I take no real issue with this axiom, I was merely trying to establish whether it came right from the Blessed One.

Metta and peace,
Andrew



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