You know what an app is: a software application that runs on a specific platform, such as Windows, Android, Linux or iOS. A software platform is associated with a hardware platform, such as a PC, smartphone or Mac. Your life is also an app that runs on the platform of your consciousness and ontology, associated with your body.
This is true whether you’re aware of it or not. Most of what we perceive and experience is software. Our bodily senses and other hardware inputs are run through an extensive processing system that abstracts their information into symbols for more efficient processing.
We often see that two people experiencing the same event ascribe very different meanings to it. That’s because they are running different software. Because of this, it is true that we each live in our own world, with a unique experience. Even if the Cartesian conceit of a shared world full of hard-edged objects is factual (a prospect upon which modern science has shed considerable doubt) individual interpretations of experience make it a moot point.
The Buddha taught that we create the world we live in, and our experience of that world by our thoughts, words and actions. Mastery of the law of kamma (karma) by the process of becoming, Dependent Origination, is the path to perfecting the app that is your life. We explore Dependent Origination deeply in The Dharmasar Solution.
“Monks, I will teach you new & old kamma, the cessation of kamma, and the path of practice leading to the cessation of kamma. Listen and pay close attention. I will speak.
“Now what, monks, is old kamma? The eye is to be seen as old kamma, fabricated & willed, capable of being felt. The ear… The nose… The tongue… The body… The intellect is to be seen as old kamma, fabricated & willed, capable of being felt. This is called old kamma.
“And what is new kamma? Whatever kamma one does now with the body, with speech, or with the intellect: This is called new kamma.
“And what is the cessation of kamma? Whoever touches the release that comes from the cessation of bodily kamma, verbal kamma, & mental kamma: This is called the cessation of kamma.
“And what is the path of practice leading to the cessation of kamma? Just this noble eightfold path: right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. This is called the path of practice leading to the cessation of kamma.
“So, monks, I have taught you new & old kamma, the cessation of kamma, and the path of practice leading to the cessation of kamma. Whatever a teacher should do — seeking the welfare of his disciples, out of sympathy for them — that have I done for you. Over there are the roots of trees; over there, empty dwellings. Practice jhana, monks. Don’t be heedless. Don’t later fall into regret. This is our message to you.”