Have you ever wondered, why you feel pain, why you feel pleasure; why you don’t want to feel pain, and why you want to feel pleasure?
Does this surprise to you when the same thing/incident makes someone happy and someone sad?
Do you ever think why pain or pleasure arise, happiness and sadness arise?
You can feel and see the effect of pain and pleasure, happiness and sadness, but do you know what causes pain and pleasure to occur, happiness and sadness to occur. The Buddhism explains this well.
The Buddhist Philosophy of Cause and Effect
In this world, nothing exists without being caused. Human beings perceive and access the world through the fundamental phenomena of cause and effect. Since there is an effect of pain and pleasure, there is also a cause of pain and pleasure; since you can see the effect of happiness and sadness, you must also realize that there is a cause of happiness and sadness.
Why Things Exist: The True Reason of Existence
The Buddha and the Bodhisattva have nicely explained this. According to the Buddhist philosophy of cause and effect, things – celestial as well as earthly, animate as well as inanimate – exist because of cause. The Buddhist philosophy states that things are caused in four ways:
It would be caused by itself.
It could be caused by something else.
It could be caused by both
It could be caused by nothing at all.
Once a thing is caused by one of the aforementioned reasons, it is bound to create an effect. Effect is the result of cause. The cause and effect are qualitative as well as quantitative distinct phenomena. They have their own inherent attributes, and they do not require one and another.
Why there is effect?
A seed will one day grow into a tree. However, the existence of the seed is without the need for the future tree. Similarly, the tree will exist without any need for the seed to be still around. The existence of the tree is distinct from the existence of the seed, and vice versa. Seed and are two different realities.
In this example of seed and tree, the seed is the cause, and the causal fields such as water, light, warmth etc. bring the effect that is the tree. As long as there is seed (cause), there is bound to be effect (tree). A seed will cause a tree, however, both of these are different realities.
The union of your father and mother causes you to exist. But the union is not you, the effect (you) is very different for the cause (union). Life causes death (effect), but life and death are two distinct phenomena.
The Cause and Effect
The effect is the outcome of cause. However, cause and effect are fundamentally the same thing, or that they are different, or that they are related as part and whole. The cause can be regarded as preceding the effect, as following it, or as being simultaneous with it. You feel pain or pleasure, there is a cause of pain or pleasure, there is an effect of pain or pleasure.
The Buddha and the Bodhisattva explained cause and effect to illustrate the cycle of birth and rebirth and answer questions such as why are we here, what do we do, where do we go?