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Is there any dependence between these? My understanding is that ignorance is the main cause for samsara (the first of the 12 links of dependent origination). Ignorance meaning not recognizing our true condition. But is attachment a necessary condition for anger? For greed?

  • You could read the poem Greed and Aggression by Sharon Olds – user2341 Jul 4 '17 at 0:28
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Ignorance meaning not recognizing our true condition.

More particularly:

And what, bhikshus, is ignorance (avijjā)?

  • Not knowing suffering,
  • not knowing the arising of suffering,
  • not knowing the ending of suffering,
  • not knowing the path leading to the ending of suffering.

This is called ignorance.

(Paṭicca,samuppada) Vibhanga Sutta

My understanding is that ignorance is the main cause for samsara

Ignorance sets the ball rolling. Ignorance is one prace you can break Dependent Origination by understanding the 4 Noble Truths at the experiential level. Hence it is one condition for the samsaric existence.

Other place DO can be broken is but not letting craving arise which results from your reaction to sensations due to contact.

Is there any dependence between these?

(1) the latent tendency to lust reinforced by being attached to pleasant feelings;

(2) the latent tendency to aversion reinforced by rejecting painful feelings;

(3) the latent tendency to ignorance reinforced by ignoring neutral feelings.

Pahāna Sutta

But is attachment a necessary condition for anger? For greed?

Attachment or it's flavours are necessary conditions for greed. Anger is a form of grief hence you can include anger also.

  1. From endearment springs grief, from endearment springs fear. For one who is wholly free from endearment there is no grief, whence then fear?

  2. From affection springs grief, from affection springs fear. For one who is wholly free from affection there is no grief, whence then fear?

  3. From attachment springs grief, from attachment springs fear. For one who is wholly free from attachment there is no grief, whence then fear?

  4. From lust springs grief, from lust springs fear. For one who is wholly free from craving there is no grief; whence then fear?

  5. From craving springs grief, from craving springs fear. For one who is wholly free from craving there is no grief; whence then fear?

Dhammapada - Piyavagga

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Difficult question to answer about greed & anger, which probably require attachment & thinking because they are more complex defilements.

It is probably easier to consider more subtle & primal defilements, such as lust & aversion/irritation.

It is easy to discern how quickly lust, for example, arises when seeing a sexy object.

Lust & irritation (dislike) definitely arise prior to attachment, according to the Pali suttas.

On seeing a form with the eye, he lusts after it if it is pleasing; he dislikes it if it is unpleasing. He abides with mindfulness of the body unestablished, with a limited mind, and he does not understand as it actually is the deliverance of mind and deliverance by wisdom wherein those evil unwholesome states cease without remainder. Engaged as he is in favouring and opposing, whatever feeling he feels—whether pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant—he delights in that feeling, welcomes it and remains holding to it. As he does so, delight arises in him. Now delight in feelings is clinging. With his clinging as condition, being comes to be; with being as condition, birth; with birth as condition, ageing and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair come to be. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering.

MN 38

  • Is it correct to say that attachment is the reification of phenomena as truely existing and independent? – jivko Jul 3 '17 at 7:16
  • probably not ... attachment is START OF the reification of phenomena as truely existing and independent. reification concludes at "birth" ("jati"), where the idea of "a being" ("satta") is fully reified. Attachment is probably the initial grasping of the object and the 1st arising of the self-concept. – Dhammadhatu Jul 3 '17 at 7:37

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