deathless teaching

You are not the same as or different from
Conditions on which you depend;
You are neither severed from
Nor forever fused with them –

This is the deathless teaching
Of Buddhas who care for the world.

To have become a person means to have emerged contingently from a matrix of genetic, psychological, social and cultural conditions.  You are neither reducible to one or all of them, nor are you separate from them.  While a person is more than a DNA code, a psychological profile and a social or cultural background, he or she cannot be understood apart from such factors.  You are unique not because you possess an essential metaphysical quality that differs from the essential metaphysical quality of every one else, but because you have emerged from a unique and unrepeatable set of conditions.

From Verses from the Center: A Buddhist Vision of the Sublime (commentary on Nagarjuna’s Mulamadhyamakakarika) by Stephen Batchelor

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