Date: Wed, 11 Oct 1995 11:47:55 +0100 From: "peter.harvey" [email protected] Subject: Samsaara:line or circle?
Ken O’Neil writes: Samsara is not even a chain; literally meaning "going in circles" it has more in common with the wheels hampsters run in, expending great energy yet getting absolutely nowhere.
The hamster-wheel analogy is a nice one, but actually sa.msaara means ‘wandering on’ (and on, and on and on… (yawn)). We are more like free-range hamsters that keep wandering about here and there, without much sense of direction, and often coming back to similar situations (never exactly the same, given impermanence).
Note that while the Tibetan ‘wheel of life’ puts the twelve links of Conditioned Arising in a circle, no early text that I know of puts things like this. It is never said, that link 12 (death) conditions link 1 (ignorance).