Buddhists talk about abstract and concrete things, particulars, parts and wholes, etc., and Theravada Buddhism is often I think thought of in terms of an analysis of parts, breaking things down into smaller components and the Buddhist 'dharma'.

But do they talk about "insides" at all?

I'm asking because surely everything with a beginning has an inside, but death, which must occur and so begin, can't have an inside in at least some senses, at least supposing that there is no after-life.

3 Answers 3


I think you must be thinking of 'middle'. Things have beginnings, middles, and ends. And yes the suttas are filled with discussions of all three.

"It was not until I had thoroughly understood the six senses, the origin of the six senses, the satisfaction of the six senses, the problem with the six senses, the end of the six senses, and the way to the end of the six senses, that I knew of myself that I had attained the highest attaining."

Buddhism also discusses 'inside' vs. 'outside' or 'internal' vs. 'external' which is more easily understood as 'personal' vs. 'impersonal'; subjective versus objective.

  • interesting reply, thanks
    – user2512
    Dec 29, 2019 at 21:30
  • there is 'mutual inclusion' as the middle, right?
    – user2512
    Dec 29, 2019 at 22:49

Just occurred to me, in terms of "middle":

Each of the ten realms or worlds are contained within each realm, the "mutual possession of the ten realms" (Jap. jikkai gogu).

In Tendai. Whereas in Huayen

Samsara is reality as experienced with dukkha. Awakening of Faith in Mahayana presents these aspects as mutually inclusive and inseparable.


The aggregates of mind and body, being ever subject to cause and effect, as we saw above, pass through the inconceivably rapid moments of arising, presently existing, and ceasing (uppaada, .thiti, bha"nga), just as the unending waves of the sea or as a river in flood sweeps to a climax and subsides. Indeed, human life is compared to a mountain stream that flows and rushes on, changing incessantly (AN 7.70) "nadisoto viya," like a flowing stream.


  • somewhat helpful thanks
    – user2512
    Dec 29, 2019 at 23:36

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