Evola’s take on “Conditioned Genesis”, or the elements that make up the twelve stages of dependent origination, was that its ongoing perpetuation is by and large “invisible” to sentient beings that remain unawares. At first, Siddhartha was reluctant to reveal it:
“Profound, hard to perceive, hard to understand, peaceful, elevated, not reducible to discursive thought, subtle, accessible (only) to the wise” this doctrine is called.’ It seems that it may have been due to the common man’s difficulties in understanding it that Prince Siddhartha at first hesitated to reveal it: “a doctrine that leads on against the current, internal and profound, it will he invisible to those who are ensnared by craving, wrapped up in the shadow of ignorance.” (The Doctrine of Awakening, pg.57)
This demands a thorough investigation into the nature of avidya, one that can only be tapped with the transcendent factor:
Indeed, we are dealing here with the results of a transcendental investigation, realized—according to tradition—in states of consciousness corresponding to the three watches of the night, during which Prince Siddhartha’s spiritual activity brought him to superrational illumination, to bodhi. (ibid, pg. 57)
It also needs to be made clear, however, that the nature of dependent origination is not something beyond understanding, but that it also needs to be made aware through right-reasoning:
“He who sees conditioned genesis”—it is said—sees the truth (dhamma) and he who sees the truth sees conditioned genesis.” And again: “Of all things which proceed from cause, the Accomplished One has explained the cause and also its destruction. This is the doctrine of the great ascetic.” It serves as the immediate basis for practical action, and it is the generator of “tranquility” (the opposite state to dukkha), because its meaning is this: “If that is, this comes of it; with the origin of that this originates; if that is not, this does not come of it; with the end of that this ends.”‘ By knowing what are the causes in virtue of which we come to a stale of samsāric existence, we also know that their removal also removes this same state of samsāric existence. For this reason the doctrine of paticca-samuppada constitutes the premise for the two remaining truths of the Ariya: namely, the third truth concerning nirodha, that is, the possibility of the destruction of the state marked by dukkha; and the fourth truth concerning magga, or the methods to be followed in order to achieve such a destruction. (ibid, pg.58)
Evola proceeds next to break down the nature of ‘conditioned genesis’—paticca-samuppāda—and how the cycle of its formation originates. For our purposes here, a clear-cut snapshot of the -twelve dependent steps- was offered in the previous blog and thus it is best for us to focus now on its basic element—avidya—ignorance, or the unaware state:
The significance of this term in Buddhism is not essentially different from its significance in other branches of the Indo-Aryan tradition, the Samkhya or the Vedānta doctrines, for example, and where it might be figuratively illustrated by saying: man is a god who is unaware that he is such—it is his unawareness alone that makes him a man. It is a question, then, of a state of “oblivion,” of deliquescence, by which the primary motive for identification with one or other form of finite and conditioned existence is determined. (ibid, pg.59)
This is even fine-tuned here with the notion that excessive ‘mania for existence’ is a ‘mania for ignorance.’ The delinquent mind is held in a manic-spell, likened unto:
…the idea of an intoxicant drug that can alter and pervade an entire organism with a disturbance or a “mania,” We must imagine a state of drunkenness that makes a man forget himself and, at the same time, makes an irrational action possible. The close relation of avijja, ignorance, to āsava, mania, is confirmed not only by the Fact that, as we have seen, this same ignorance is described as an āsava-avijjasava—but still more by the fact that the state of intuitive knowledge or wisdom, panna, as opposed to that of ignorance, is very frequently said to be, attained when the asava have been neutralized or destroyed. (ibid, pg.60)
At its worst, the delinquent mind has, in fact, an overly obsessive mania for ‘too-much existence’—so much so that it completely overwhelms one, and negatively so. It’s like today’s depiction (above) of a door left-wide open in the middle of one’s mind. Some will argue that this is a depiction of simply having “an open mind”—one that is open to all possibilities. In a certain sense they are right, yet “too many possibilities” can be a very dangerous, even deadly affair. Take for instance our overly obsessive Obamacized culture here in the US, it’s one that has truly “left the door wide-open” for all manner of ill-fated outcomes, both here and abroad; the door has been left wide-open here for disease and pestilence, the latest being-leaving the door wide-open for exposure to Ebola—an ill fated situation that puts the lives of potential untold numbers at risk in the days to come.
What we are experiencing (with ever increasing regularity) in these tragic times is that we are being exposed to an exclusive ‘horizontal and temporal series of samsaric episodes’. As Evola states:
…this idea refers, however, not to the transcendental series, but to the horizontal and temporal series of samsāric existence, about which it is, in fact, stated in the same text: “Samsāra does not lead towards what is free from death. And it is not possible to chart the first point of the journey of beings who are hindered by ignorance and hounded by craving” (ibid, pg.60).
…and therefore according to the temporal interpretation, an ignorant man is described as one who, having descended into birth, cannot apprehend that the law of the world is dukkha, cannot see its origin, nor deliverance from it nor the path by which this deliverance is obtained: ignorance is thus ignorance of the four truths of the ariyan. Having been determined by the asava, by intoxication or mania, this particular ignorance establishes the samsāric state of existence and determines the substratum (upadhi) that protracts it. (ibid, pg.61)
It’s interesting how Evola includes at this junction the ultimate alternative stance with the following quote from Udana, 8. 1-3:
“There is, O disciples, an unborn, not become, not compounded, not constructed. If there were not this unborn, not become, not compounded, not constructed, no escape could be seen here from that which is born, become, compounded, constructed. But since there is an unborn, not become, not compounded, not constructed, so an escape is possible from what is born, become, compounded, constructed.” (ibid, pg.60)
It is clear from all this that whatever is “born, become” into existence is bound by the samsaric laws of that existence. The Doctrine of Awakening offers a release from that bondage:
“When the real nature of things is made clear to the ardent, meditating ascetic, then all his doubts fall away, having realized what this nature is and what its cause is.”And again: “When the real nature of things is made clear to the ardent, meditating ascetic, he arises and scatters the ranks of Māra, like the sun which lights the sky.” At this point the samsāric demonism comes to an end. (ibid, pg.70)
Evola concludes this section with a quote from the Dhammapada:
“What we are is the result of our thoughts; mind is the foundation of all our conditions; they are mind-made.” “The world is guided by (samsaric—inclusion mine) consciousness, drawn along by consciousness, subject to the power of consciousness that has arisen.” It is the mind that “deceives man and kills his body.” Because of it, there “exists all that has a form.” “The mind, our destiny, and our life, these three things are closely connected. The mind directs and guides, and determines our destiny here below, on which depends our life: thus, in a mutual perennial succession.” But the mind depends on the man: it may lead him to the world of agitation and impermanence, yet to it Prince Siddhattha owed his awakening, his becoming a Buddha. (ibid, pg.72)
In the spirit of the Dhammapada, which ‘mind’ do you adhere to—one that is infatuated with the ways of delinquent intercourse, or the Bodhi-Mind, one instilled with Buddha-gnosis? Our Lankavatarian maxim here in Unborn Mind Zen is perhaps more clearer now than ever before—“what the mind focuses on determines its reality”. For the ascetic, that Reality is the Dharmadhatu; for the hedonist, that reality is samsaric-hell.