Christopher Titmuss Dharma Blog

A Buddhist Perspective

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Ten Questions on Causation for Reflection and Meditation to support Wise Action

We often live in the spell of cause and effect as if the cause had an independent existence not related to anything else.

Let us explore our typical ways of viewing in cause-and-effect terms to reveal the limits of any view. Dogma consists of grasping onto a view, making it a fixation in the mind, without realising the limits of the view.

Take your time to read the ten questions. You could use the scoring or not scoring of a goal as a metaphor or a successful or not successful activity.

Read slowly. Read aloud. You may get a deep sense of the foolishness of holding onto a position instead of applying wisdom.

Ten Questions on Causation

  1. If something arose (such as a goal or successful outcome) solely from something else, such as the penalty taker, then the penalty taker could produce the same result every time.  If the penalty taker cannot produce the same result every time, then the penalty taker is not a single cause of the goal.
  2. If something arose from something else (outside the penalty taker and goalkeeper), then what would that something be?
  3. Would that something in something else be the same or different?
  4. If something neither arose from itself, nor other, nor both, then from what did it arise?
  5. Can something arise without conditions?
  6. If so, then wouldn’t life consist of things and situations independently arising? Wouldn’t such independent arising show nothing has any relationship to anything else?
  7. If everything that happens is due to God, Inshallah, chance, fate, destiny, luck, karma, evolution, DNA or past lives, should we consider our lives like a cork on the ocean of unrest and all actions out of our hands?
  8. If we claim that there are none of these influences, do we think we have free will and free choice to get anything we want so that everything is in our hands (or feet, such as the goal)?
  9. If we claim powerful influences shape our lives, then what percentage of these major influences shape much of our lives? What percentage does not shape our lives?
  10. If we say, we have free will/free choice, independent of these influential forces, then what would be an expression of a free will independent of such historical influences of causes and conditions, including memory, energy and behaviour? If we possess free will, we would score a goal every time. If we do not have free will, why put ourselves down?

May all beings be free from clinging to view

May all beings explore dependent arising conditions

May all beings abide with wisdom

Do I Create My Own Suffering? Does Another Create My Suffering? Or between us, we create suffering? Or is it Chance, Fate or Destiny?

The Buddha expressed a profound concern on our holding to personal views about the causes of suffering. If we do, we can blame ourselves, blame others, both ourselves and others or believe in circumstances we cannot prove.

I would advise every person looking into suffering to read and re-read the following words of the Buddha until deeply understood. In the bamboo grove in the Squirrel Sanctuary, Raghir in Bihar, India, the Buddha had  an inquiry with an austere yogi from another sect: Continue reading 

Genetics, Neuroscience, Social Darwinism and the Limits





Headings :

 The Greek Gods and God have sunk into the black hole

‘A Recurring Struggle for Existence’

The Dark Shadow of Social Darwinism

The Rise of Genetics and Neuroscience

Bad Science

The Brain Cannot See Itself just as our Eye cannot see itself

Are Certain Geneticists on the Downward Slope to making GM babies?      Continue reading 

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