Buddhism Essay

Essay by liz20College, UndergraduateA+, November 2014

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Elisabeth Hartmann

World Religions

October 15th, 2014

Alan Shear

Interdependent Origination

The principal of Interdependent Origination is a description of the process of arising and termination of suffering. This evolution of interdependentness states that everything is interconnected. Everything affects everything else; everything that is, is because other things are. Those who fail to understand the real significance of this all-important doctrine mistake it to be a mechanical law of causality, or even a simple simultaneous arising, even at the first beginning of all things, animate and inanimate. The sacred and the mundane are equal because as we understand that Buddha says that what is around is and who we are, are all interconnected. The process begins with an understanding that our sense of "self" arises spontaneously in response to a set of conditions. (158) A more practical Buddhist approach to understanding Interdependent Origination is shown in the "Twelve Link Chain of Causation."

The Buddha said that there are twelve links in the chain of Interdependent Origination. This chain teaches how Interdependent Origination works. Each link in the chain that binds us to the wheel of death and rebirth leads to the next link in the chain. Of the twelve links, ignorance, craving and grasping are the "weakest" links - they are readily broken ending the process of causation and brining nirvana. (159) There is a new doctrine called Shunyata or "emptiness". Perhaps this is the most difficult concept to grasp in Buddhism; it is also at the heart of Buddha's teachings. If emptiness itself is understood as nonempty, on the other hand, then for a phenomenon to be denominated empty is for it to be completely nonexistent. It's merely conventional character would stand against the ultimate reality of emptiness itself. The principle of Interdependent Origination is closely related to...