Raven 47: The Way Things Are

A saying going back to 1909: "Life is just one damn thing after another." And so it is. This. This. This. But where does each damn thing come from? Everything comes from everything: interdependent co-arising. Sometimes we think one thing leads to another -- but it takes all things to lead to anything. So what exactly is the problem? And what is Raven's croak?

Raven took her perch on the Assembly Oak and said, "The problem is that one thing seems to lead to another."
Owl asked, "Isn't that the way things are?"
Raven said, "Not really."
Owl cocked her head. "You just said . . . ," she began.
Raven croaked.
Whence a butterfly?
   a crowd?
   a funk?
   a river?

Whence this illusion of single sources?
   of causal chains?

Whence a breeze?
   a committee meeting?
   a joke?
   this question?
Case by Robert Aitken; introduction and verse by Meredith Garmon

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