are the ten worlds?
Our life condition determines how we face and handle each
situation in life and the environments we create. It is a basic tendency to act
in a particular way, make causes to stay healthy, acquire things, and enjoy
life. Buddhism calls these life conditions “worlds,” and they number ten: hell,
hunger, animality, anger, tranquillity or humanity, rapture, learning,
realization, bodhisattva (compassion, service to others), and Buddhahood.
The causes we make are conceived in our minds. Our bodies
move to give these ideas a form, such as our homes, human relationships, our
communities, cities, nations, states, and the world. Just as our body and mind
are inseparable, people and their environments are also inseparable. We can
only create a reflection of the life tendency or “world” that we are in. For
example, people who have a basic life condition of hell will create an
environment that reflects this condition. What do you see as you look at your
own environment or at the world we have collectively created?
Regardless of our basic life condition, or of what “world”
we are in, our emotions and experiences do not remain stable. Everyone will
experience anger, joy, calmness, and learning something new. A person in hell
can experience rapture when his pain is temporarily relieved. People who are in
the world of Bodhisattva feel rapture when they are able to help someone, but
might be plunged into anger when they see someone mistreat others and be
plunged into hell because they can do nothing about it. Each of the ten life
conditions contains the potential for all ten within itself. It is a person’s
interaction with his or her environment that determines which of the ten worlds
will manifest in life at any given time.
The important point to remember is that just as we all
possess the potential to manifest the worlds of anger, rapture, and learning,
we also possess the potential to manifest the world of Buddhahood when we fuse
our lives with the Gohonzon through strong and steady faith and practice.