Buddhism, the basics


An initial short commentary



Old Buddhism


The Sakya Buddha’s primary insights were:


“All that is subject to arising is subject to cessation.”

 “Yan kiñci samudayadhamman sabban tan nirodhadhammanti.”





“A thing arises because of conditions; it ceases when the conditions for its arising cease!”



From this he concluded that the transiently arisen is dependent on (i.e. determined by) conditions, hence can’t be owned.


Consequently, his liberating (from suffering) insight was:


Detach, and be free from suffering!



Ergo, if you cling or get addicted to what doesn’t last and you can’t own, you’re going to suffer. But you can change the conditions from which you arise (a novel though for ancient Indians).

And that was the Sakya Buddha’s basic message. The rest of his own and the 5 Schools’ and scores of sect’s highly entertaining gobblede-gook served initially to provide lunches, then palaces; indeed the Tibetan monks actually parleyed their way to an entire country.






Suffering (Pali: dukkha: distress, sorrow, etc.,.), he concluded, arises by responding (i.e. clinging) to two, albeit sequential universal conditions, namely that arisen things (i.e. beings) must cease/die, and that all arisen things are dependent (un-free).



His successors later adlibbed a long list of specific common, everyday causes of sorrow, such as greed (i.e. desire), hatred and stupidity, this, no doubt, to make his product more user friendly.




See:  The 4 Noble Truths, old and new








The great fear amongst the ancient Indians, specifically those who invented the Upanishads, was death and re-death and no escape therefrom.




Old Buddhism describes ‘a thing’ as arisen from a conditions cluster.


New Buddhism describes an ‘output’ as an emerging (from inputs) phenomenon, or more abstractly still, as on-going ‘wave interference or discontinuous quantum interaction  pattern’.


Both the notion of ‘thing’ and of ‘output’, hence of stable objects, are fundamentally misleading. ‘Thing’ and ‘output’ actually function as ongoing discretely discontinuous processes (i.e. as lives or birth sequences, hence as mini-samsaras) reified, hence quantised by an observer who arbitrarily slices (or decides) the processes. 200 years after the Old Buddha, Nagasena still had not grasped the problem.



This was later misrepresented (in the mightily flawed 3 Charactristics Sutra) to mean that the arisen was ‘fully’ dependent, and which seems not to have been the Old Buddha’s view. The initial state of a ‘thing’ or output (e.g. the DNA) would be determined by the final state of the conditions cluster, i.e. by ‘karmic’ residue. After all, the Sakyamuni himself, like all arisen things, altered his karma.


In short, he offered to escape routes. 1: detachment and 2: change the conditions (i.e. karma), for instance via the 8-fold Noble Path.



Sorrow (distress, suffering and so on (Pali: dukkha)) does not necessarily arise from dependency or transience/death. In the everyday situation suffering signals failure to respond @ best to whatever condition presents for new arising (i.e. a new birth), specifically the response of detachment.


In short, sorrow punishes underperformance, thereby driving change.



New Buddhism understands sorrow (distress, suffering etc.,.) to function as a Guide & Control device, the other function being happiness (i.e. joy, elation and so on; Pali: sukkha). Elation rewards upgraded perform-ance, thereby driving continuity.



New Buddhism


The modern version:



“In the long run we are all dead.” (Keynes’ variation).





“Output happens because of input; output ceases when input ceases.”




From this it can be concluded that output happens as transient interaction pattern dependent on that which interacts.






Sorrow (i.e. distress, suffering and so on) happens as response to failure to control input thereby failing to determine output (and stay alive wholly fulfilled).













In fact, suffering  happens as high-level language signal about systems (survival, i.e. fitness) failure indicator (in Christian speak: the wages of sin).










Happiness signals systems success (i.e. function completion). Ecstasy signals out-performance.







The basics elaborated