I feel like a fish that has just discovered water. How it is, how it moves, how it moves me.
There is nothing harder to see than the air in front of your eyes. All this started when I saw what was in front of me: the air.
Wisdom is like that. Millions of searchers looking for and what they seek was the air that never stopped being in front of them. Twenty-five centuries have passed since the Buddha, tired of living, left him and since then no one has seen the air. And if you do not see the air, you can not understand it and if you do not understand it, you can not mold it and without shaping it you can not access the jhānas and without the jhānas there is no possibility of any kind of progress.
Knowledge against Wisdom has its advantages. It is progressive, every time you can know more things. It’s competitive, you can know more than another. Also reward. On the contrary, Wisdom is to see the trick to the conjurer. Here there is no progression: you see it and already. The magic is over. And no one can convince you that magic exists.
Wisdom defrauds. When you see how everything is, how reality is, you see it as simple, so obvious, so logical, so seedy … There is no progressivity in seeing the shabby. So many years behind knowing what was behind the veil that when you pull it out you only see the trick, you only see the air.You are the fish that discovers the water.
You thought that so many people, so many centuries of search would have a brilliant, complex, convoluted result. And not. He is so foolish that it was impossible for anyone to see him.
The human being is distinguished in this aspect. It is known the anecdote of the study that did to the employees of a company to see their level of attention to which they were asked to write down all the objects from the door of the company to their house.
None included the magnificent tree that was at the door of the company.None, of course, related to the last butt thrown on the sidewalk.
It is truly a problem for the human not to see the air as for the fish to conceive the existence of water.
Like Descartes with his «ego cogito, ergo sum», I will start with something that is evident: conditions exist and are present in everything.
To any part that we direct our sight we will see that what we see is there, exists, appears, we can see it … by a whole set of conditions that have turned the fact of seeing, a phenomenon, in real, that is, in possible.
Because the real is possible.
In the same way we can review the rest of the senses. We perceive phenomena because they have come into existence, they have become possible and it has been thanks to conditions.
But, in turn, what is a phenomenon ?, that is, what is perceived, what is thought, what is experienced.
It is another condition. Having seen a tile on the floor is a condition that we step on it, or that we remove it, or that we ignore it …
Phenomena are also conditions.
That is, there are no strictly conditioned phenomena, there are conditions conditioned by other conditions.
Here there are only conditions. Nothing more and nothing less.
The PERT graphs that serve to organize projects come to my mind quickly, in them they are only expressed by arrows, processes that lead to other processes, never «states». And from there, we move on to the ROY graphs that ignore the processes and look at the states that are being reached in the project.
Now, they are both equivalents, and this is so because both states and processes are conditions. If they do not occur, the project does not advance. And the work of the project managers is to condition in a sufficient way so that the set of conditions in which the project is represented comes to fruition with the conclusion of the same.
Well, now let’s see that everything that is given, apart from being a condition, is the product of conditions.
Nothing better than to resort to the method of the tree of causes, which is the logical system by which the investigation of accidents is carried out.And logic and observation are used exclusively.
Given an accident, this is caused by a series of immediate and obvious causes. For example, we have a dead worker on the floor. Of course he has arrived there in some way, and is a worker who should not be dead, and we see that he has died of a fall. And if he is dead, it is because he was not protected despite the fall. What he did there, is a cause, but it is also a consequence. It belonged to the staff, it arrived just before the accident, it was up. Because to fall you have to be up, you have to have arrived and you have to be there for organizational reasons. He belonged to the staff because he was hired, because he was kept in it. He was hired by someone, he was subjected to a selective process, he surpassed that process. The selective process was designed by someone, and someone executed it and someone revised it …
Any effect has causes and those causes are in turn effects of other causes.So ad infinitum.
Causes and effects are conditions.
The conditions only condition conditions.
One condition may or may not be the cause of another. If we remember there are only 8 possibilities to relate all the conditions in causes and effects. We remember,
- Necessary condition
- Sufficient condition
- Condition not necessary
- Not enough condition
- Necessary condition but not enough
- Condition not necessary but sufficient
- Necessary and sufficient condition
- Condition not necessary and not enough.
All effects are related to causes through one of these 8 possibilities. There’s no more.
Technically, all conditions are information, what else?
Being information, as we saw, it is energy and it is what moves reality.
I repeat: conditions are energy.
Energy is a physical quantity, therefore, it has its field. A field represents the spatio-temporal distribution of a physical quantity; that is, it is a property that can be measured in the environment of each point of a region of space for each moment of time.
Reality runs in the field of ignorance.
Ignorance is what holds information and, therefore, conditions.
And we can represent this field as a field of order. This means that for each point there is a certain order level. Thus to greater order less ignorance, and vice versa, to less order, greater ignorance.
We will call this system Samsara: a field of ignorance moved by conditions, which are energy. That energy is concentrated in orderly conditions, and released in messy conditions.
Since Samsara is a closed system, disorder tends to increase, so entropy is an underlying condition of the whole global system.
From this point of view we can define life as a non-linear increase of order in a limited region within the field of ignorance that requires contributions of energy from its environment that contributes to degrade, and death the process that releases that energy. We can change the word energy for its equivalent in this case that are conditions. It would be like this: We can define life as a non-linear increase of order in a limited region within the field of ignorance that requires contributions of conditions from its environment that contributes to degrade, and death the process that releases those conditions.
In the end, the balance is not static, but tends to release conditions.
This is of fundamental importance, because the history of Samsara has always gone from states with very little conditionality to states of maximum conditionality, and that is how it has evolved. In «Buddhist» terms, the states of least conditionality are the realms of the devas and those of maximum conditionality are the different hells. Therefore, in the long run, everything will end up in the lowest hell, that is, at the minimum level of order.
Life evolves by building order by disorganizing the environment by sucking energy (information). For this, life needs to interact with the environment and for that it must experience the medium. This experimentation is based on sensors that provide information in different types that must be processed. That information always consists of a basic system of interruption that we will call emotional reaction. It is a very simple system, always present that delivers three values: pleasant, unpleasant and neutral. This happens from the simplest and primitive amoeba to the human being in the form of reptilian brain or limbic system.
The pleasant causes statism, the unpleasant causes change and the neutral does not provoke reaction. For example, in the case of an amoeba, if we put it in one place and subject it to heat, while it is pleasant, it will remain still.If the temperature increases too much, the sensation becomes unpleasant and the amoeba will move until it finds a cold place. When you find it will stay there until it gets too cold so it will move back to a source of heat.
For this, the amoeba must have previous values of what is pleasant, unpleasant and none of that. When comparing, it triggers the reaction.These reactions will cause changes in the environment that, even if only by proximity, will affect it in the future.
That is to say, amoeba is a processor of conditions being itself a set of conditions.
The attachment is to react in favor of the pleasant sensation, for it two elements are needed, to have a table of pleasant values and the received sensation that is described as pleasant. Pleasant sensation tends to statism. The aversion is the same, but in opposite sign. The unpleasant feeling needs the same as the previous, except that the values are described as unpleasant. The reaction is one of change, of rejection, so that it starts up until that sensation disappears, if it is possible.
As conditions change, the rate of change in the environment determines the speed at which you can go from pleasant to unpleasant and vice versa.In orderly environments, with low ignorance, the changes are minimal and with little effort you get back to a pleasant situation. The most orderly environments are the worlds of the devas. However, environments of high ignorance changes are very frequent, so that the system is continuously changing. The most disordered environments are the hells.
It is evident that being in a pleasant situation and moving to an unpleasant one, provokes a painful reaction that is called suffering. When there is movement, there is change, so there is suffering. Lesser in the kingdoms of the devas, medium in the human kingdom, greater in the underworld.
That is to say, the Samsara, being constant change is constant suffering.
You can stop suffering in two ways, or else the previous values are erased and thus nothing is pleasant or unpleasant, or else, it is about conditioning the system so that it does not react to the environment when experiencing suffering. If the system refrains from conditioning the environment, the medium ceases to be hostile to the system.
In the same way, concepts are also conditions created by conditions that condition their environment. Although they are different in nature from physical conditions, they condition the physical world through necessarily an awareness that processes these conditions, while physical conditions do not need any consciousness to function.
In short, the physical world is made up of bosons and fermions that, as we have seen, are no more than classes that maintain methods that are conditions. The objects of those classes are the particles that are also conditioned by a space and a time. Both space and time and particles reside in a vacuum that supports them and that is also another condition.Space is conditioned by time since the very void that contains it expands, and time is only the proper concept of each particle, so it is only a useful condition.
In summary, it is evident that in Samsara there are only conditions, so nothing is substantial. A condition is not substantial. Everything is impermanent, which is also evident, conditions are dynamic entities subject to constant change, and they are suffering for that same change.
Nibbāna is the unconditioned phenomenon. It is outside the field of ignorance. Therefore, it is not a condition or contains any condition.Therefore, look for neither space nor time in Nibbāna. Precisely for that reason there is no multiplicity, it is unique: if there were more than one, it would be in «another place» or «in another moment» and that does not exist.
As we saw in previous chapters, Nibbāna can condition as many Samsaras as required, but never the other way around. And Nibbāna can not condition itself. This is why it is insubstantial, even if it is permanent and satisfactory.
This perspective of reality, the conditional one, does not require the phenomenological point of view and it arrives at exactly the same place.
Phenomenology and conditionality can describe reality as it is: insubstantial, impermanent and unsatisfactory.
It is as simple as a condition, which is a condition.
All are conditions in Samsara.
So when someone asks what is kamma ?, I can only answer … and what not?