Explain the Concepts of Anicca and Anatta

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Explain the Concepts of Anicca and Anatta

The concepts of anicca and anatta make up two thirds of the three marks of existence, which is the fundamental basis for the Buddhist world view, and essentially, it is that everything in our world is conditioned, impermanent, causes suffering and is dependent on everything else.  Buddhists believe that people do not really understand and realise that the world is this way and so they believe this ignorance is the root cause of the suffering they endure. Buddhists believe that in order to achieve enlightenment, individuals must dismantle the ideas they have of the world and themselves so that they may understand how things really are. The Buddhist path relates to freeing yourself from a distorted view of reality and the suffering that it brings.

Anicca is the concept that everything is impermanent and changing and implies that nothing is permanent or stays the same. In Buddhism, anicca is believed to be a fact of life; as soon as something comes into existence, its impermanence is guaranteed. Although we understand that things change, most of us still believe that there are at least one or two things which are permanent. The Buddha came to the conclusion that there is nothing which is not subject to change and explained that this change, or impermanence, operates on two levels; the gross and the subtle.

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The gross level of change is obvious physical changes – people aging, day turning to night, the weather changing as well as thoughts and feelings. This change is what people commonly call change – something that we observe that does not need scientific methods to be discovered. This idea of a gross level of change is important to Buddhists as they believe that change in this sense is undeniable.

The subtle level of change is sometimes called ‘momentary change’, meaning that everything is constantly changing from moment to moment as the universe is in a constant state of movement. Despite ...

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