Chapter One: Analysis of Conditions

Not from itself, not from another,
Not from both, and not uncaused
-- Nowhere does anything
Ever arise. [1.1]

There are four conditions:
Causal, objective, immediately preceding,
And, likewise, the ruling.
There is no fifth condition. [1.2]

The nature of things is not
In conditions and so forth.
If there is no thing itself,
How could there be anything other? [1.3]

Actions do not have conditions,
Yet there are no actions without conditions.
Without an action there are no conditions,
Yet no conditions are involved in an action. [1.4]

They are known as conditions
Because things arise in dependence on them.
Yet as long as nothing arises,
Why would they not be nonconditions? [1.5]

Neither for the nonexistent, nor for the existent,
Could there possibly be conditions.
For the nonexistent, what would be conditioned?
For the existent, what role could conditions play?. [1.6]

If no existent, nonexistent, or both existent and nonexistent
Phenomenon comes into being,
How can we speak of “effectuating conditions”?
When this is the case, they do not make sense. [1.7]

It is explained that, with existent phenomena,
There are no observations whatsoever.
How could a phenomenon for which there is no observation
Ever relate to an observation. [1.8]

If fire depended on fuel,
An established fire would be reestablished,
And fuel would end up,
Existing without fire. [1.9]

Since there is no existence
Of things that have no nature,
Saying, “this occurs because of that”
Would not make any sense. [1.10]

In separate conditions and their gathering,
The effect is entirely absent.
How could something that does not exist in the conditions
Ever arise from them? [1.11]

If, without being present there,
It were still to arise from conditions,
Why would it not also arise
From that which is not a condition? [1.12]

The effect may be of its conditions’ nature,
But these conditions have no nature of their own.
How could the effect of that which is not an entity itself
Be of the nature of that which conditions it? [1.13]

Hence, it is not of the nature of its conditions,
Nor of the nature of that which are not its conditions.
As there is no effect, how could there be
Conditions as well as nonconditions? [1.14]


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