- Gain, & Loss;
- Status, & Disgrace;
- Praise, & Blame;
- Pleasure, & Pain.
Obviously the eight worldly conditions, or as I think of them as four desire boosters, and four anger boosters with all clouding reality as it is. These four pairs are dualities which hold us back from enlightenment, by moving us and distracting us from reality instead of us moving and focusing on reality as it actually is. So we constantly worry, concerning ourselves with what we have, and/or what we had rather than accepting each moment as it is.
In part 13 of the Tao Te Ching called self it says
Both praise and blame cause concern,
For they bring people hope and fear.
The object of hope and fear is the self
For, without self, to whom may fortune and disaster occur?
Therefore, Who distinguishes himself from the world may be given the world,
But who regards himself as the world may accept the world.
I remember a story of a conversation The Buddha had with a King. The King asked The Buddha what was the cause of all the troubles in the world, and The Buddha replied 3 times (as he was asked 3 times) that it was Love that causes all the troubles in the world, I believe it is because Love brings all of the eight conditions when it is with "Conditions", "Attachment", and "Bias".
The Eight worldly Conditions as I see them is the cycle of change in our life and how we deal with them is the key to living happily throughout our lives if we are attached to something to much - or one side of the coin - then when it is absent or its counter is present we feel hurt, dejected, and despair, yet if we are not attached to either side we can be happy with what we have. The life we live is not constant, not permanent, so we all to one degree or another have these conditions happen as they are the cyclic nature of this existence, as all life is subject to change.
With a mindful and detached (seeing things as not me, mine, I) approach to life we no longer worry about what might happen, or what is but accept thing as they are in this moment and live life to the fullest in equanimity.
As we look at the Conditions above in pairs it can be notice that there is a path between these, it is a straight path, because we move with things (as they are) bot by things, fighting against the change. It is not a easy path to tread, but it is a balanced path, it is the Middle Way as taught by The Buddha, the way Leading from stress (Dukkha) to ease (Sukkha).
This Middle Path is the development of Wisdom, Ethical Conduct, and Concentration.
- Wisdom ( Pañña) 1. Right View 2. Right Intention
- Ethical Conduct (Sila) 3. Right Speech 4. Right Action 5. Right Livelihood
- Concentration (Samadhi) 6. Right Effort 7. Right Mindfulness 8. Right Concentration
When these are developed fully we gain two extra factors of the path that of 9. Right knowledge 10. Right liberation. These factors can be seen as the end of the path the gates of the deathless one walks through when nibbana happens. This does not mean that the other factors disappear, only that they are so fully developed through ones training that they are naturally part of ones being*.
Develop Wisdom, Develop Ethical Conduct and develop Concentration and you won’t be one who the world is given, but one who accepts the world, as the world.
* Being here does not refer to a self but an individual. It is a convention rather than denoting some form of self doctrine.