The Three Characteristics Of Existence
Having Knowledge about the Dependent Origination Of Consciousness we are going to learn about the three characteristics of existence.
What are The Three Characteristics Of Existence?
All formations are “transient”; all formations are “subject to suffering”; all things are “without an Ego-entity.” Corporeality is transient, the feeling is transient, perception is transient, mental formations are transient, consciousness is transient. And that which is transient is subject to suffering; and of that which is transient, and subject to suffering and change, one cannot rightly say: “This belongs to me; this am I; this is my Ego.”
Therefore, whatever there be of corporeality, of feeling, perception, mental formations, or consciousness, whether one’s own or external, whether gross or subtle, lofty or low, far or near, one should understand, according to reality, and true wisdom: “This does not belong to me; this am I not; this is not my Ego.” Suppose, a man who is not blind, was to behold the many bubbles on the Ganges as they are driving along; and he should watch them, and carefully examine them.
After carefully examining them, they will appear to him empty, unreal, and unsubstantial. In exactly the same way, does the monk behold all the corporeal phenomena, feelings, perceptions, mental formations, and states of consciousness-whether they be of the past, or the present, or the future, far, or near.
And he watches them, and examines them carefully; and, after carefully examining them, they appear to him empty, void, and without an Ego, Whoso delights incorporeality or feeling, or perception, or mental formations, or consciousness, he delights in suffering; and whoso delights in suffering, will not be freed from suffering.
So I say
How can you find delight and mirth, Where there is burning without end? In deepest darkness you are wrapped! Why do you not seek for the light?
Look at this puppet here, well rigged, A heap of many sores, piled up, Diseased, and full of greediness, Unstable, and impermanent!
Devoured by old age is this frame, A prey of sickness, weak and frail; To pieces breaks this putrid body, All life must truly end in death.