Back to Basics – Dependent Origination

Everything is interconnected. Everything affects everything else. Everything that is, is because other things are. This is the teaching of Dependent Origination.

This teaching has many names. It is called Interdependent Origination, or (Inter)dependent Arising, or Co-Arising, or variations thereof. It’s called Conditioned Genesis and Causal Nexus and many other things. It would be nice if English-speaking Buddhists could agree on a term, but so far we haven’t.

Nothing Is Absolute

No beings or phenomena exist independently of other beings and phenomena. All beings and phenomena are caused to exist by other beings and phenomena. Further, the beings and phenomena caused to exist cause other beings and phenomena to exist. Things and beings perpetually arise and perpetually cease because other things and beings perpetually arise and perpetually cease. All this arising and being and ceasing go on in one vast of beingness.

In Buddhism, there is no teaching of a First Cause. How all this arising and ceasing began, or even if it had a beginning, is not explained. The Buddha emphasized understanding the nature of things as-they-are over speculation of what might have happened in the past or what might happen in the future.

It might be said that the Buddhist version of Genesis is: Stuff happens, because other stuff happens.

Click on Dependent Origination to read a better and more detailed explanation.