Apparently, almost all of us living on Earth are the results of specific Bardo Thodol events, that led us here. We all failed to get to the higher realms. Except of course those who voluntarily chosen this place to serve and educate. And those for whom this realm is actually a promotion. We were all reborn.

Considering the countless number of realms, wouldn't it make more sense for people to be much similar in nature being born in one place? Does it mean that all the differences (smart/dumb, greedy/generous, kind/evil, materialistic/non-materialistic, spiritual/ignorant, educated/illiterate...etc) are less important, than something fundamental that unifies us? what is it then? Lust? desires? Outside world is the result of one's development and ultimate true nature of the beings here, so we all deserve what we have? Why such gigantic variety and number of variables? to increase the choice selection for the next life?

  • Hello IIya and welcome to Buddhism SE. We also have a Guide and a Resource tab for new users that you might like. Enjoy your time here.
    – user2424
    Jun 19, 2017 at 22:46

5 Answers 5


The truth is, we don't all live in the same world. The world you perceive is a projection of your mind, so what you see largely depends on your energy which in its turn depends on your karma. Phenomenal reality is not an aquarium full of fish, it's more complicated than that. To the extent that our energy is similar, which means we have made many similar choices in the past, our realities will be overlapping and vice versa.

Someone who came here to teach, may not at all live in the same reality that you live in, but they can project an image into your reality.

My teacher said, a murderer lives in a very different reality than his victim, but they overlap around a few attachments they have in common.

It's complicated, but for practical purposes it's enough to know that it all depends on karma (long term) and on your energy/state of mind (in the immediate timeframe). Karma is what we can control by being careful. Energy can be tuned in meditation and also by controlling your attention. Also, Karma affects your future energy, and energy affects your choices, therefore your karma.

  • Just to clarify: if we live in the different worlds, when you turn on the news, do you see what i see? when you walk in the forest, do you see only the beauty of the flowers and trees or also observe the fox devouring the chipmunk? Or you implying the multiple parallel universes that are somehow bridged via karma mechanisms? I am not arguing, only wanted to make sure that I understood you. I will definitely do more reading on the subject, whatever I can find.
    – Ilya
    Jun 20, 2017 at 14:18
  • 3
    I certainly don't see what you see - because my interpretation is different, what I pay attention to is different too.
    – Andriy Volkov
    Jun 20, 2017 at 15:00

The short answer is Kamma and ignorance.


The three marks of existence are those fundamental properties that are universal throughout Samsara, no one is born in a truly different state.

The Buddha did not ask 'why' with regards to variety, but one could say that variety within Samsara is perceived to be infinite because without Atman finality cannot be drawn in a concrete fashion (no concrete or Essential delineation of 'that which exists and is (can be) perceived' and 'that which exists but is never (can never be) perceived' is possible)..

“Contacted, bhikkhus, one feels, contacted one intends, contacted one perceives." SN 35.93

Contact is what unifies experience, empty of contact, there isn't much to talk about. Intention, right intention, is what determines our lives, whether this one or the next. Intention is what determines what Kamma one acquires, and hence the fruit one reaps.


I'm not sure that people in our realm are so fundamentally different.

For example, the Dalai Lama is quoted as saying,

As human beings we are all the same. We have this marvelous intelligence, which sometimes creates problems for us, but when influenced by warm-heartedness can be very constructive. In this context we need to appreciate the value of having moral principles.


Firstly, as a human being, His Holiness is committed to the promotion of human values such as compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, contentment and self-discipline. He says that as human beings we are all the same. We all want happiness and do not want suffering. Even people who do not believe in religion can benefit if they incorporate these human values into their lives.

  • diversity in Karma lead to diversity of life expectancy, attractiveness, health, experiences, etc.
  • diversity in genetics leads to changes in appearances and health also.
  • diversity of habitual tendencies which have build up over time different habits of which some may be generosity, kindness, etc.
  • diversity of of past Sankhara also may lead to ignorance, situation which lead on to attachment, aversion, etc.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .