Chapter Eleven: Analysis of Beginnings and Ends

When asked whether any beginning can be seen,
The Able One answered in the negative.
Cyclic existence has no beginning or end;
There is no before and there is no after. [11.1]

When something has neither beginning nor end,
How could it possibly have a middle?
Therefore, cyclic existence cannot
Be either sequential or simultaneous. [11.2]

If birth came first
And aging and death followed later,
There would be birth without aging and death
As well as birth without anyone having died. [11.3]

If birth occurred later,
And aging and death before,
How could this causeless aging and death
Happen to someone who was never born? [11.4]

Birth, aging and death
Cannot occur simultaneously,
For the one being born would then be dying,
And both would be lacking their cause. [11.5]

As it is impossible for them to occur
In sequence or simultaneously,
Why would anyone think
In terms of birth, aging and death? [11.6]

Not only does cyclic existence
Have no beginning,
But also cause and effect,
Characteristics and their bearers. [11.7]

Feelings and those that feel--
Whatever there may be.
The same applies to all things;
None have a beginning. [11.8]                       
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