Given that except Nirvana everything is impermanent, is it true that everything is unconditionally changeable? In other words whether, given something ,isn't it true that it will change no matter whether there is any reason behind it or not? Can we say all conditions are superfluous for a change to happen? Can we say change happens with or without conditions ?

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3 Answers 3


I understood the doctrine as being that conditioned things are caused:

  • They exist when all the conditions for their existence are present.
  • They cease to exist when conditions for their existence are no longer present.

For example:

  • A fragile thing (e.g. a sand castle) exists for as long as nothing hits it, and ceases to exist when that condition is no longer true (i.e. if something hits it)
  • A living thing exists as long as it's born and fed and healthy and not too old (etc.), and ceases to exist when those conditions change

What I said above about "conditioned" things is generally true of "put-together things" or "compound things" -- everything that's made (or compounded) of several things put together will eventually come apart.

I'm not sure about "reasons" -- perhaps reasons are man-made or artificial. For example the question "Why did the apple fall from the tree?" has several possible explanations -- maybe "reasons" can be called empty, like "things" are.

  1. All conditioner have 3 sub-characteristics (upāda[jāti], ṭhiti[jarā], and bhaṅga[maraṇa]) according to the description of 5 aggregates and 12 dependent originations.
  2. Saṅkhāra means cause of effects. This is conditioner aggregate of dependent origination.

    Saṅkhata means effect of causes. This is conditioned aggregate of dependent origination.

    Because saṅkhāra of saṅkhata, have to be saṅkhata of the other saṅkhāra.

So, nothing is no condition, except nibbāna. And that everything, except nibbāna, must be changed (jāti, jarā, and maraṇa) by it's multi-conditioners.


No, it is not true that everything is impermanent. Only compounded phenomena are impermanent. Non-compounded phenomena are permanent- for example, concepts.

For a phenomenon to arise, it depends on some conditions and causes- they are not arbitrary or superfluous. Nothing arises out of anything. Phenomena which occur are definitely because of causes.

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