With regard to Thanissaro’s paper: I have left off reading it because I cannot have faith that it is correct. If just one aspect is incorrect then how can I have any confidence that other aspects are correct? With regard to Paticca Samupadda: I already had a fair understanding that PS is the foundation of how we accumulate kamma bija/energy; that it is the reason for bhava, and that it is the primary way of understanding conditions, causes and effects. PS has very broad implications for the entire Buddha Dhamma. I think that understanding PS allows one to identify kammic conditions (kamma bija) that exist in one’s kammic profile, which leads to an understanding of the possible conditions that could energize causes in the present life. I think that it is ignorance (avijja) that PS explains how it is that kammic energy fuels future rebirth. In this light, I think that PS is the PRIMARY teaching that explains how suffering arises.
Understanding PS, I believe, is the key to stop accumulating or adding (san) negative kammic energy to, what I call, one’s kammic profile. Clear understanding of PS allows one to see one’s gati and how one’s own gati is attached to, and in some instances, is dependent on, negative kamma bija.
I would explain it to someone this way:
Let’s say that alcoholism or addictions seems to be prevalent in a family. Aside from genetic predispositions, children of substance addicts live with certain social and cultural traditions within the family. Due to ignorance, a child may grow up to abuse alcohol themselves. However, a person who is aware of the proclivity to abuse alcohol, avoidance of alcohol altogether will break the chain of dependency. The same may hold true for children in abusive homes. Since a child is born to parents with matching or similar gati, then the chance of being predisposed to such things is likely to be high. Understanding PS causes a person to be more knowledgeable that feeding such proclivities (gati), creates a cycle of increasing (san) negative kammic energy, compounding the propensity to suffer greater in future lifetimes.
In this modern age, I can see where the behavior or succumbing to consensus without investigating the truth of a matter, is a prevalent example of PS. Doing so compounds one’s ignorance. I think that consensus plays a big role in the dissemination of false ideas and concepts about the Buddha Dhamma.
Is the chart below correct?