Discourse Scholarship

Conditionality (Idappaccayatā) vs Dependent Origination (Paṭiccasamuppāda): Part 2, Conversations with Leigh Brasington

Edit: If you want to start with Part 1, that’s here.

The meditation teacher Leigh Brasington wrote a book on Dependent Origination which he self published and made available for Dāna on his website. He kindly (and enthusiastically!) read my previous post on DO and Conditionality.

With his permission, here’s an image we cobbled together:

(Concepts not to scale)

A few notes:

  • We agreed that Idappaccayatā (Conditionality) is the over-arching concept that all phenomena are conditioned by other phenomenaPaṭiccasamuppāda (Dependent Origination) falls inside this larger circle of I.
  • Leigh claims that what differentiates I from P is that P equates to necessary conditions, whereas I is conditionality in general. (If this sentence makes no sense to you, disregard. I’ll write more about it later the series. Because <250 words, yo.)
  • I agree with Leigh that P is necessary conditions. But I disagree that is the only differentiator. Instead I agree with what I understand Akincano Weber to have articulated: Gotama was primarily interested in personal psychology, in ethics, in living well. When he discussed P, he did so in reference to these things. I think the salient differentiator (P from I) is the psychological and ethical expression of necessary conditions.
  • In any case, the Twelve (or however-many) Nidānas (Avijjā –> Jarāmaraṇa), MN 18 (The Honeyball Sutta), and SN 4:11 (Quarrels and Disputes) are all examples of P (and by extension, examples of I). Leigh unpacks these in his book. Check it out if you’d like to know more. :)

With friendliness!

PS: Bonus points if you correctly guess who drew which parts of the diagram…

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