To begin with, we are going to divide the real into two sets: everything that is conditioned and everything that is not conditioned.
Now, is there something like being conditioned and unconditioned?
Obviously not. Either it is, or it is not.
Well, we will call «Samsara» the set of everything that is conditioned. If it is conditioned, that is, it arises due to conditions and ceases due to conditions, it belongs to Samsara.
And we will call Nibbāna to the unconditioned. Nibbāna there is only one, there can be no more.
Imagine that there are several sets of unconditioned objects. For an object to belong to one or another can not be due to conditions because they would be conditioned. So where is it placed? Which is absurd because the unconditioned has no place, nor time, nor dimension. It does not make sense to classify that which is not anywhere, or at any time, nor does it accept classification (all this, conditioned things). Therefore, Nibbāna is unique.
ORIGIN OF SAMSARA
Everything that is conditioned depends on the conditions. But the conditions are given if and only if the information exists, because the conditions are information. And the information is given if and only if there is ignorance. Put in reverse: if there is no ignorance, information is not possible and without information there is no possibility of conditions, that is, Samsara could not exist. In short, we will say that Samsara exists because previously ignorance exists. Similarly, we can say that Nibbāna, therefore, lacks ignorance. In other words, Samsara is the domain of ignorance and Nibbāna is the domain of non-ignorance.
For those who like the terms Pāli, these actors are:
Information: Cetana (which works keto, or mind)
CITTA AND NAMĀ-RŪPA
Once we have conditions, we can have causes. If we have causes, we will have phenomena, which are precisely the result of the causes that are necessary conditions for the phenomenon. A phenomenon is an experience. And an experience needs a process that experiences and a process that is experienced. They can not be given independently. There is no point in experimenting without an experimenter, nor does it make sense to experiment without experiencing.
For those who like the Pāli:
Citta : Consciousness
Namā : Set of conceptualizations, of mental objects, of qualia-name pairs.
Rūpa: Set of information input and output processes that work as a socket or connection with the rest of the Samsara.
What you experience is Citta, or Consciousness and what is experienced is Namā-Rūpa or Interface.
That is, we have the conscience and the interface, conditioning each other to make the phenomenon that occurs due to conditionality arise (by definition the phenomena discussed here are conditioned, the unconditioned is Nibbāna) that is given due to the information, that It occurs due to ignorance.
As a consequence of the existence of what experiences and what is experienced (consciousness and its interface) experimentation takes place, which we will call contact . The contact are all the processes of information transfer between both.
When the contact takes place, the conscience experiences an emotional reaction (emotion etymologically means what is before the movement) that impels it to react or not. The emotional reaction is a prior evaluation that judges whether the information received represents a threat, an opportunity or nothing at all. We understand that a being feels if he experiences some kind of reaction to certain stimuli. The emotional reaction may not occur (indifferent reaction) or change if it is unpleasant or not change if it is pleasant. We see this in any being that can feel.
SED, ANSIA, DEPENDENCE
It is very important to realize that they are automatic processes.We must also understand that the will does not exist and the reaction will depend on the previous conditioning. Thus, it is possible to decondition the conscience so that it does not identify anything either as a threat or as an opportunity. In the case of humans it is relatively simple because the human uses a simple parameter to identify the threat or opportunity that is the happiness differential . A phenomenon that is presented that increases the level of happiness is considered an opportunity, whereas if it decreases it is considered a threat. If neither increases it nor diminishes it, it does not react. In this way, in a general way, we can contemplate the ordinary human being as a drug-dependent serotonin being, whose mission in the brain is precisely to reward or punish oneself to modulate behavior. This junkie considers that the ultimate motivation of what he does is to be happy, or to be less unhappy, so he will be guided according to this irrational impulse instead of logic. This is a very dangerous form of ignorance: acting on the impulses of drugs and not on what is convenient.
The motivation to act depends on your own generation of drugs considering that, in a magical way, the conscience will know what is best without doing any kind of rational evaluation.
At this level we see that the ordinary human behaves like an irrational animal, instead of a thinking being (homo sapiens).
This is a first level of intervention. Deconditioning the conscience to its pre-evaluation of happiness, we eliminate this link and all the following. There is no emotional reaction but rational reaction. At the brain level, the reaction is left to the prefrontal lobe (human neocortex) instead of to the limbic system (reptilian brain).
The search for happiness is what characterizes what we will call «ordinary man», that of a rational animal has very little, being closer to reptiles or amoebas than to what a rational human being is. Functionally this type of individual could be described as less than human and more than animal as it is governed by its drug addiction, its addictions that can not satisfy in any way, entering fully into the definition of peta or «spirit» hungry. Hungry for money, for sex, for power … for happiness. They are those who are known as fools, and as fools if their dependence also makes them violent.
In dependence on craving is that attachment arises, stickiness.The conscience takes it as its own, appropriates it, makes it its own. At this moment is when an erroneous conception of a self that possesses arises. I and possession are the same. Thus arises what has come to be called the Cartesian theater, that is, imagines that there is a homunculus that is who observes everything that happens in the mind as if it were a theater and who owns it. The Self thus extends to everything possessed.
It is called Cartesian theater because Descartes proposed it and imagined that there must be a gland that he called pineal, which should be the connection between the «I» or «soul» and the body.Later, a gland was found that, in memory of Descartes, gave it that name.
This stupid conception is the one that endorses the existence of an atman or a soul that would be the last observer. This is an outrage because who observes the observer in the observation? Following this same stupid reasoning would require a homunculus within the homunculus and so on to infinity.
And not only the idea of the atman but even the idea of the «mental moment» introduced in the Abhidhamma in which only one process is executed at a time, as if people had only one neuron.
There is none of that and it is evident and proven. All neurons think, everything is theater and there is no observer. Everything is a process and there is no subject of observation. So when you ask yourself, what is reborn? The answer is obvious: nothing. Or there are those who, in the theater, the theater is empty. Not atman, neither soul nor me.
Attachment works by recreating a parallel reality in the mind in order to calm the craving. And, as is evident, since magical thinking does not exist, what is desired does not condition the reality of the senses and even less determines it. Subject to conditions foreign to desire, reality is contrary to the mental construction that the attachment has made, so it feels an aversion to loss, or something that you have, aversion, or something that was projected to be I was going to have, attachment. Re-adaptation to reality requires discounting the loss, breaking the built synapses, leading to a physical pain called suffering.
But attachment not only produces visible damage here and now in the form of suffering. It is worse.
It is at this level that a second method of intervention can be made, a behavioral reprogramming consisting in readjusting the behavior so that it does not bend to aversion or attachment. That is to say, that nothing be done moved by aversion or by attachment. It is this second behavioral level where the Buddha’s method called «Eightfold Noble Way» is inserted.
In essence it consists of a behavioral reprogramming in the form of eight steps that repeat cyclically in the form of a spinning wheel that is the representation of a model of continuous improvement, whose goal is to do nothing motivated in aversion or in attachment, reevaluating in each cycle what we consider to be correct or not to achieve this objective. It is basically developing the conditions of an ethical conduct, precisely because the purpose of ethics is to avoid suffering itself.
Compared with the previous method, it has to deal with the emotional reaction while the other, more radical, does not need it because it cancels it.
The first method also avoids the suffering due to physical pain because the signals that the body emits are identified as simple signals and not as alarms that jump through the air. This is done by applying a little concentration where the signals appear and transforming them into another type of signal that does not alarm, for example, in colors. It is called synesthesia. Pain information continues to appear, but for information purposes.Do not forget if you want to keep the body intact.
POSESIVITY, ADHERENCE, COUPLING
The second undesirable effect of attachment is that it conditions the possessiveness, adherence or attachment of consciousness to namā-rūpa, considering the interface and everything that comes with it as its own. It is no longer a simple cold execution of information processes. Here we are already talking about the citta getting hooked on Samsara even beyond the interface on which it is held.
EXISTENCE IN SAMSARA
Possessiveness or adherence conditions that citta is not separated in any way from Samsara even though the namā-rūpa interface decomposes and disappears. When the interface degrades and disappears, what we call death or end of life, citta can not stop interacting with Samsara. On the one hand, depending on the conditions it brings, on the behaviors to which it is accustomed, this program will engage in initially executing the type of rūpa to which it is conditioned, cogenerating a new namā from the conceptualizations and recreate a complete rūpa depending on what it manages to hook.
The craving for existence can be so great that it does not hook only to a minimal rūpa interface, but to more than one. The execution of each of them will lead to new lives and, of course, as stocks are maintained, they will continue in new lines.
The tendency is always, in general in Samsara as a whole or closed system, to greater disorder, that is, in general to more than one life and more disordered interfaces, that is, tending towards hell.
But since existence itself is an open system, it can go in greater order. In that case, a single life would be given at a level greater than or equal to that of the previous interface. In other words, seeing the global perspective of the beings that wander in the Samsara, they tend to multiply going downwards, although some of them rise punctually and manage to level up with a jump. The current of Samsara in greater entropy, that is, towards hell. In that direction everything is easier because it releases information. On the contrary, it requires a lot of information, much non-ignorance or wisdom, to go upstream.
Once the existence has set in one or several lives, they give rise to the birth in the plane or dwelling corresponding to each of them.
OLD AGE AND DEATH
Everything that is born necessarily dies. For those who have cut this line of conditionality, the disappearance, degradation of the namā-rūpa interface coupled with the absence of possessiveness implies that it is definitively liberated from Samsara. Not having anything that conditions it, citta is unconditioned. And as we saw, the unconditioned is unique and is called Nibbāna. Said in a poetic way, citta merges into Nibbāna, although consciousness actually becomes Nibbāna.
For those who continue to be stuck with conditionality, death is nothing more than a new lottery with a probable destination in hell, where everything will come, endlessly, sooner or later.