Nature of Reality

According to the Encyclopedia of Eastern Philosophy and Religion, “transitoriness or impermanence is the fundamental property of everything conditioned.”[1]  Nothing within conditioned reality stays the same and everything material is constantly changing.  Reality is merely in a state of flux, in which all objects are affected by time and space.  Nothing ever remains concrete and divorced from an ever changing array of conditions and circumstances. Everything that appears in this world grows, lives, and eventually perishes with the passage of time. Nothing is absolutely unchanging and no objects of perception can therefore “have an enduring structure or metaphysical status.”[2]  To have an enduring essential quality is contrary to Buddhist ideology.  There are no forms out in the world that remain untouched by this constantly changing world.  There is no center, no metaphysical component responsible for the creation of an eternal and absolute force.  All phenomena within conditioned reality is in a constant state of change. This is the true nature of reality; a mark of existence, a characteristic of this world system. Reality is thus inconstant.


[1] Ingrid Fischer-Schreiber, Franz-Karl Ehrhard, Kurt Friedrichs, and Michael S. Diener, Encyclopedia of Eastern Philosophy and Religion (Boston: Shambala Publications, 1986), 13.

[2] Carl Olson, Original Buddhist Sources: A Reader (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 2005), 4.

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