The Five-Minute Buddhist Books

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Dependent Origination

Dependent Origination

Remember that everything is impermanent and subject to eventual change. What seems to exist today will be dust in a few years, and was probably something else in the past. For example, look at the table or desk in front of you. What is it? You should probably answer, ‚ÄúIt’s a table.‚Äù

But what is that table? It’s wood, metal, glue, paint, and so on. The molecules of wood are complex, but include a large amount of space; if you take the amount of space inside those molecules as an indicator, the table in front of you is mostly nothing.

The wood from that table used to be one or more trees. Those trees were part of a forest. The forest was made by sunshine, rain, dead animals remains and droppings. What about the carpenter who made the table? His life, dreams, work, education, and his entire history went into his being at the right place at the right time to build that table. What went into making the carpenter? His ancestors, all the food he ever ate, his education, emotions, karma and life history. What about all the people that influenced the carpenter? When it comes right down to it, that table is the entire universe.

You are that table, and that table is you. There is no individual self, we all depend on everything else in order to be created and survive.

“I am you and your are me and we are all together” — The Beatles

And yes, that’s probably the only Beatles quotation you’ll ever see me use.

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