And Why it Matters for Buddhist Practice
by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
“…For the moment, however, we can focus on one of dependent co-arising’s most obvious features: its lack of outside context. It avoids any reference to the presence or absence of a self or a world around the processes it describes.
“Instead, it forms the context for understanding “selves” and “worlds.” In other words, it shows how ideas of such metaphysical contexts are created and clung to, and what happens as a result. In particular, it shows in detail how the acts of creating and clinging to metaphysical assumptions about the existence or non-existence of the self or the world actually lead to birth and suffering. This means that dependent co-arising, instead of existing in a metaphysical context, provides the phenomenological context for showing why metaphysical contexts are best put aside.”