sumbodhi asked: “Regarding the experiments – since phenomena are conditioned does that mean that we actually create the conditions for the results to manifest rather than ‘magically’ make them happen?”
“Magic” implies things can happen without causes and conditions. For anything to happen there must be CAUSES and CONDITIONS.
– For example, for a tree to come to exist there must be a seed AND there must be suitable conditions (like good soil, water, and sunlight) for the seed to germinate and grow.
sumbodhi asked: “I read the mind actually creates suddhātthakā in minute quantities, but do they pop into existence just like that and not as a result of conditions? Would our mind be the direct ‘condition’ then? Would the results in the experiments be related to the experimenter’s creating suddhātthakā?”
Yes. Our minds do create suddhātthakā in minute quantities.
– There are always six root causes: lobha, dosa, moha, alobha, adosa, amoha.
– The conditions are per Paticca Samuppada. That is why Paticca Samuppada is sometimes translated as “Conditional Arising.”
– However, there is no simple explanation.
That is why I started the “Origin of Life” series. It will also address your other question under the other topic of consciousness and matter.
– Both questions involve getting to the heart of the Buddha Dhamma.
– It may take some time to go through the required steps. But both those questions will be answered at the end.