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Selected Teachings of Buddha
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Soulstar Adventures

  The Ten Worlds or Basic Life Conditions

The basic life conditions, or The Ten Worlds which expand into the three thousand worlds of momentary existence through mutual possession, and factors of time and place, are the basic emotional, mental, and spiritual states that humans experience from moment to moment in life.

Each world can contain elements of the other worlds and it is rare to be entirely in one 'world' at any one time. However, most of us are mainly in one basic life condition at any given time.

Basic life conditions are conditions of daily life, rather than external conditions.

  The First World: Hell

Hell includes all conditions of suffering and despair. In this state, we are utterly devoid of freedom and undergo extreme and indescribable suffering.

  The Second World: hunger
  We are consumed by desire and sense of lack. Hunger is a state characterized by an insatiable desire In this state, we are tormented by relentless craving, and by our inability to satisfy the craving.
  The Third World: Instinct/animality
  The state of Animality is governed by instinct, with no sense of reason or morality. In the state of Animality we are in fear of the strong, but we despise and prey upon those weaker than ourselves. We are dominated by a selfish ego, and are compelled by the need to be superior to others in all things, despising others and valuing ourselves alone.
  The Fourth World: Anger
  The fourth world is anger, and includes all aspects of anger, hostility, and rage from whatever motivation, and whether directed to others or to ourselves. The state of Anger can involve striving for power and domination.
  The first four states of being are collectively called
The Four Lower Worlds.
  The Fifth World: humanity/tranquillity
  The fifth world is the normal basic state of neutral humanness. In this state, we can pass fair judgment, control our instinctive desires with reason, and act in harmony with our environment or society.
  The Sixth World: rapture

The sixth world is Heaven or Rapture. This state indicates the sense of pleasure and ecstasy which we feel when desire is fulfilled. However, the joy in this state is temporary and disappears with the passage of time, or with even a slight change in circumstances.

It is said that the shortest road to Hell or suffering is from Rapture.


The six worlds from Hell through Heaven, are where the majority of us spend most of our time. Moving back and forth among the six worlds. In these states, we are governed by reactions to external influences, and we are therefore extremely vulnerable to changing circumstances.

  The Sixth World: learning

Learning is a condition that seeks some lasting truth. Generally, we enter this life condition after pursuing the truth of life through the teachings of others.

This life condition is relatively free from avarice, anger, stupidity, arrogance and doubt, as well as from bias or depravity. However, a selfish or arrogant mind, although hidden, is still present to some extent in this life condition.

  The Sixth World: realisation

Realization is a condition in which we seek some lasting truth through our own observations and effort. and attain a degree of emancipation by perceiving the chain of causation, or by observing the natural order.

In other words, we understand cause and effect as the nature of life in the universe. Because this is a life condition reached upon discovering the truth in the universe after much effort, the sense of fulfilment felt in this state may be deeper than that gained in the World of Learning.

Realization as well as Learning can often turn into arrogance, because we become stubbornly attached to our own realization with its limited perspective.


Learning and Realization are called the two vehicles. The defect of the two vehicles lies in the fact that in these states we may primarily seek only our own salvation. and enlightenment.

  The ninth Word: bodhisattva or compassionate altrusim

In this state, we aspire to enlightenment and we devote ourselves to compassionate actions, and dedication to altruism.

In this state we dwell among common mortals of the Six Paths humbly, while respecting others. We draw evil to ourselves and give benefit to others. This life condition is characterized by the great desire to extend help to those who are suffering.

  The ninth Word: bodhisattva or compassionate altrusim

This is the highest life condition in all of the Ten Worlds. It is a state of perfect and absolute freedom, in which we enjoy boundless wisdom and compassion, and we are filled with the courage and power to overcome all hardships.

This is the condition which underlies the rich, altruistic activities of the Bodhisattva, in which we take the sufferings of others as our own and we defy all obstacles to help others change their destiny, by demonstrating how to help people call up their own Buddhahood from within themselves.


The elements of cause and effect which is basic to universal phenomena or Karma are:


The aspect (appearance).


The nature.


The entity.


The power.


The action.


The cause.


The relationship.


The effect.


The reward (or result), and


The consistency from beginning to end.

    ©Peggy Jentoft 1998



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