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RLG100Y1 Lecture Notes - Impermanence, Dukkha, Mahayana

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Walid Saleh

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Bhuddism is to attain Nirvana, the final and highest good.
Conditions for existence
Suffering another way of emphasizing samsara
Anitya Impermanence: change affects everything
Anatman no self:
Bhuddism’s 5 Aggregates (groups): Together they constitute “me” the individual
being. This is an answer to anatman, no self. Self isn’t there but this is. These 5
aggregates are what we experience as self. What ever we feel is at least in one of
these. You can’t take solely one. There is no self that defines us but the 5 aggregates
together. It is delusional to think that there is beyond this.
The Body/Form
o 5 senses
Mental Activities (in the sense of feelings)
o Much of it is in direct response to physical stimuli. Generated from the
physical world.
o A mental activity in higher order than feelings.
o Gives you recognition, gives you knowledge about the world.
Volitional activity (will, desires)
o E.g. I see an apple, I want to eat the apple, and I want to steal etcetc.
o An awareness of our selves as conscious beings
Notion of Connectedness: Them being together, connect you, nothing besides
them. The mechanism that makes us function is causality, cause and effect. The
problem: If there is no self, how can I remember and experience things?
Theory of Causal Connectedness / Dependent Arising:
12 Steps
1. With Ignorance as condition, Mental Formations arise
a. Ignorance: misconception of connectedness
b. Ignorance gives us formation, makes us think we exist as such
c. Not knowing suffering, not knowing the origination of suffering, not
knowing the cessation of suffering, not knowing the way of practice
leading to the cessation of suffering: This is called ignorance.
2. With Mental Formations as condition, Consciousness arises
3. With Consciousness as condition, Mind and Matter arise
4. With Mind and Matter as condition, Sense Gates arise
5. With Sense Gates as condition, Contact arises
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