Chapter Nine: Analysis of Prior Existence

Some assert that sight, hearing, and the rest,
As well as sensation and so forth,
Are in the possession of, and belong to,
Something that precedes them. [9.1]

If there was no thing,
How could there be sight and so forth?
Hence, prior to these factors,
There is an abiding entity. [9.2]

Before sight, hearing, and the rest,
And before sensation and so on,
What are your grounds for speaking
Of that abiding entity’s existence? [9.3]

If this remains in the absence
Of sight and these other factors,
Then they will undoubtedly be present
Even in the absence of that. [9.4]

Something manifests somebody,
And somebody manifests something.
How could somebody exist in the absence of anything?
How could something exist in the absence of anybody? [9.5]

This is not present before
The totality of sight and so forth.
Yet each factor among sight and the rest
Individually makes it manifest. [9.6]

Unless it precedes the totality
Of sight and the rest,
How could it possibly precede
Each of them individually? [9.7]

If that which sees were that which hears,
And what hears were that which senses,
This would exist before every one of them,
Yet that does not make sense. [9.8]

If the seer, the hearer, and the one that senses
Were all different from each other,
The hearer could be present at the time of the seer
And there would be multiple selves. [9.9]

Sight, hearing, and the rest,
As well as sensation and so forth-
Among the causes from which these emerge,
There is no existence of that. [9.10]

Sight, hearing, and the rest,
As well as sensation and so forth-
If there is no one to whom these belong,
Then they do not exist either. [9.11]

That which does not exist
Before, together with, or after sight and the rest
Will no longer be thought about
As existent or nonexistent. [9.12]                    <- Prev   Next ->     

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