Deus non alligatur. God is not bound. Nibbanam paramam sukham. Unbinding is the Highest Happiness. The Heart is Divinity. God is the primal radiance of Divinity. Nature is the primal manifestation of Divinity. The Buddha is the primal realization of Divinity. La ilaha il Allah. Allah is Complete Wholeness.

22 May 2007

The Three Marks of Existence

In traditional, Theravada Buddhism, there are the tilakkhana, the three marks of existence: everything conditioned (or, "arising from causes and conditions") is anicca; everything conditioned is dukkha; everything both conditioned or unconditioned is anatta. Anicca is interpreted as "changing"; dukkha, as "suffering"; and anatta as "not-self".

Another, jivantic way to look at the tilakkhana is thus. Anicca remains as "changing".

Dukkha, though, goes beyond "suffering" or "unsatisfactory": since any one thing changes, that thing (physical or mental event) continually offers an excuse for humans to stop loving. The second mark of existence, then, is that conditioned phenomena (because they constantly change) too easily give reasons to stop loving, to stop being open, and to close off our hearts. (As seen from the posting on "dukkha" below, dukkha can refer either to (1) the actual lack of love; or (2) the potential inducing of the lack of love.)

Anatta goes beyond the simple "not-self" idea, as well. A "self" is something enclosed, limited, and bound within a circumference. That which is not-self is not-enclosed, not limited, not bounded. Thus, conditioned phenomena (because they change) are not bound: they arise-out, exist, and descend-in. Unconditioned phenomena (because they do not change) are not bound, either. Conditioned and unconditioned phenomena are both "anatta", unbound, in one way or another. But the basic mark is unboundedness. Being unbound, they cannot be captured, limited, enclosed.

Enlightenment is the acceptance of change, the refusal to stop loving, and the embodiment of unboundedness.

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