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A Quick Question on Conditionality

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  • upasaka@aol.com
    Hi, all - There are many lists the Buddha provides in the suttas showing conditions leading to other conditions. In most of these, the causative conditions
    Message 1 of 31 , Nov 15, 2007
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      Hi, all -

      There are many lists the Buddha provides in the suttas showing
      conditions leading to other conditions. In most of these, the causative conditions
      listed are among the requisite conditions. In the Upanisa Sutta, however, they
      are supportive - for example suffering being supportive condition for
      confidence (saddha). I have three questions in this regard: 1) In what way does
      dukkha support saddha?, 2) In general, are all supportive conditions requisite? (I
      suspect not.), and 3) As for requisite conditions, for a given dhamma (or a
      dhamma of a given sort) to arise, are there alternative sets of requisite
      conditions, or is there a unique set? (Ordinary experience suggests several
      alternative sets of conditions, each set on its own leading to the same result as
      each other set. For example, happiness in the form of mudita arising from
      the good fortune of others versus happiness arising from hearing the Dhamma
      well spoken - the "gladdening often referred to on hearing a Dhamma talk by the
      Buddha).

      With metta,
      Howard

      /Thus is how ye shall see all this fleeting world: A star at dawn, a bubble
      in a stream, a flash of lightning in a summer cloud, a flickering lamp, a
      phantom, and a dream/

      (From the Diamond Sutra)




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    • sarah abbott
      Hi Howard (Ken O & all), ... S: I think you make a good point that for many (actually most) people, suffering is a cause for despair rather than faith. (Also,
      Message 31 of 31 , Dec 1, 2007
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        Hi Howard (Ken O & all),

        --- upasaka@... wrote:

        > Howard:
        > For many people, suffering, rather than a cause for faith can be
        > cause
        > for despair, hence my questioning. But I think I do now see how dukkha
        > can be
        > a supportive condition for confidence (in the Dhamma), and that is when
        >
        > suffering leads to questioning, searching, and hearing the Dhamma.
        > ----------------------------------------------------

        S: I think you make a good point that for many (actually most) people,
        suffering is a cause for despair rather than faith. (Also, as faith has
        come up recently in many other threads, I'd like to suggest that for
        so-called Buddhists or non-Buddhists alike, without right understanding,
        the so-called faith is most likely to be attachment, rather than saddha.)

        I recall a discussion with K.Sujin in which there was discussion about
        this topic of old age, sickness and death as conditioning confidence and
        wisdom in the Dhamma. In brief, she was stressing that most people think
        that when they're sick or suffering that there can't be awareness or
        wisdom. The Buddha stressed that it's very, very ordinary and common to
        grow old, to be sick, to be parted from the beloved and so on. Dhammas
        such as seeing and visible object are just as real and common at such
        times, so there can be awareness right then and there rather than waiting
        for different times again.

        Usually we think a lot about ourselves, about our sickness and about our
        suffering. By understanding the ordinary dhammas at such times, it's a
        condition to think less of ourselves.

        So it's not a question of thinking more about sickness and suffering to
        prompt more confidence, but a need to understand more about seeing,
        visible object, hearing and sound and other dhammas appearing 'just like
        now'.

        Metta,

        Sarah
        ========
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