This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

NOTICE:
This Dark Age is now available in paperback on Amazon. The print version is MUCH cleaner than this online version, which is largely unedited and has fallen by the wayside as the project has grown. If you’ve appreciated my writing, please consider leaving a review on the relevant paperback volumes. The print edition also includes new sections (Military History, War Psychology, Dogmatic Theology).

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Anicca

Now we come to Impermanence, which serves as a general law of existence:

“There are five things which no Samana, and no Brahman, and no god, neither Mara, nor Brahma, nor any being in the universe, can bring about. What five things are those? That what is subject to old age should not grow old, that what is subject to sickness should not be sick, that what is subject to death should not die, that what is subject to decay should not decay, that what is liable to pass away should not pass away. This no Samana can bring about, nor any god, neither Mara, nor Brahma, nor any being in the universe.”

The Buddha emphasizes the eternal succession of Becoming, the Round of Existence, or Samsara.

“I will teach you the Dhamma. That being present, this becomes; from the arising of that, this arises. That being absent, this does not become; from the cessation of that, this ceases.”[1]

The reader must take care to focus on the concept of causality here, for it is everything. The situation of the living being is the outcome of causes accumulated and expressed through Samsara and everything is determined by everything else. This is why it is said that “Dhamma-analysis is knowledge concerning conditions.”[2]

As we will see, this does not lead to determinism as such, but rather point us in the direction of liberation from Suffering: it tells us where peace is not to be found, and that is a necessary preliminary to an escape. There is no way to overcome causality within the order of Becoming, since Becoming is situated within causality and has causality as one of its basic conditions.

[1] Majjhima Nikaya, ii, 32.

[2] Vibhanga.

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