On conditionality and the nature of things

I don’t believe in fate or coincidence, I believe that things that happen are meant to happen and that the complex situations we find ourselves in are important to our growth – good or bad.

This means that when I use a word like fate, random or coincidence I really mean, ‘well isn’t that a surprise that such and such has manifested itself in that particular way and at a particular time in my life’. Although, I think you may agree that ‘what a coincidence’ is a more appropriate way of putting it in everyday language.

I attend a Buddhism class on most Monday evenings. I’m not religious, I don’t go to church, I would hate to be someone who preaches and I think everyone has a right to choose how they live their lives, and FYI, I’m atheist or agnostic depending on what mood I’m in.

I find the teachings of Buddhism particularly interesting as it seems to align with my world view anyway – and I almost find it spooky the more I learn because the more I realise that what it teaches is true for me.

On Monday I learnt that the word Dyana, said a bit like banana means meditation in Pali, and that Dana, spoken like Anna means generosity. I already mentioned that I didn’t believe in fate and for me, it is no coincidence that my name is sounded phonetically in one and spelt differently in another of two key teachings in Buddhism. In other words, Buddhism and I were meant to hit it off and I know it because it feels right.

The principle of conditionality is one that I find fascinating and it teaches that things are maintained by a complex web of conditions. That everything is in a network maintaining something else, that nothing exists independently, that everything ceases when the conditions supporting it cease, that everything is in a constant state of flux and change. This conditionality according to Buddhism applies to all of the physical environment and also the conditions of the human mind.

***INSERT EUREKA MOMENT***

You mean to say that everything that is happening right now is due to conditions that ‘I’ created? Yes is the short answer. You were responsible for your successes and you were responsible for your fuck ups – all of them. Now this becomes a little hard to swallow when you look at external or freak accidents, like being run over, being mugged or any of the infinite other horrific things that could happen to you at any time.

Maybe I am a bit orthodox here but even in these seemingly ‘random’ (there’s that word again) conditions, one cannot take the self out of the situation. Therefore, for me conditionality is still evident and even though we will never be able to know all of the complex conditions that are constantly interacting, reacting and both falling apart and in to place, they are there none the less. And the more we accept that, the easier it is to flow, or get out of your own way and follow the path of least resistance. That’s a mixture of understanding where you are now, where you want to go and accepting that you have no control over how the world responds to you and some control over your own actions – so concentrate on what you can do and then sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. Let the conditions you’ve created do the rest.

Until next week…

Photos

Vlewminder – Friday Love

Andrew Mehri – Crazy prof

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