Is a Non-simultaneous Interdependent Relationship Identical to Causality?

Publish Date:2022-03-07

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According to Buddhist doctrine, all interdependent relations are causality. In the case of non-simultaneous interdependent relationship, the seed is the cause, and the shoot the effect. This is non-simultaneous causality. In the case of simultaneously interdependent relationship, if the teacher is the subject, then the teacher is the cause and the student the effect; if the student is the subject, then the student is the and the teacher the effect; this is simultaneous causality. Of course, these are simple examples. In fact, causality is extremely complicated. From one point of view, a certain cause produces a certain effect, while from another angle, the very same cause may lead to a different effect. For instance, A may be B’s teacher in terms of teacher-student relationship; at the same time, he may be C’s father in terms of father-son relationship; then he may be D’s husband in terms of husband-wife relationship. So if A is taken as the cause, then B, C, D and all others are the effects. From this, we see one cause with a multitude of effects. If all the others are causes, then A is the effect. From this we see a multitude of causes with one effect. In reality, there is no absolute effect. The universe is thus a boundless net knitted by uncountable sequential causalities in terms of time, and mutually dependent relationship in terms of space. (From Essentials of Buddhism: Questions and Answers)

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