Topic 2: The Human Condition


In the Buddha’s Words, pp. 19-40 (“The Human Condition”).


yoniso-manasikāra, careful (wise) attention, contrasts with unreflective living, the skill of seeing what is worthy of seeing, as it really is.

Uninstructed worldling, instructed noble (ariya) disciple

eight worldly concerns:

    • gain and loss
    • fame and disrepute
    • praise and blame
    • pleasure and pain

Divine messengers: old age, sickness and death.

Five khanda, aggregates, building blocks of human personality, things we identify with:

  • rūpa, form
  • vedanā, feeling
  • saññā, perception
  • sakhāra, (volitional) formations
  • viññāna, consciousness

impermanence, origin / passing away (arising / falling)


  • directionless wandering, the endless round of rebirths,
  • a kind of compulsion that at the micro level feels like being stuck or trapped for want of the bigger picture, soap-operatic existence.

Nibbāna (Nirvana), final liberation, complete escape from sasara.

Attachment, clinging, path of renunciation

Gratification, danger, escape

Greed, hate, delusion (lobha, dosa, moha)


Eyebrow raisers:

plains of misery, hell realms, deities, rebirth


Audio 10/6/2013










2 Responses to “Topic 2: The Human Condition”

  1. Nevitt Says:

    I’ve been listening to your talks online. In the last one you say about volitional formations, “The idea of a decision maker is a very tenuous idea.” What implications does this have for the doctrine of karma, which presupposes a real decision maker, does it not?

    • bhikkhucintita Says:

      Karma presupposes decision, or intentionality, and the results thereof, but not someone who makes a decision or has intentionality. It is all just processes and processes conditioning other processes.

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