The Ten suchnesses_
Are a Mahayana doctrine which is important, as well as unique, to that of the Tiantai (Tendai) and Nichiren Buddhist schools of thought. The doctrine is derived from a passage found within the second chapter of the Chinese translation of the Lotus Sutra, and is also known as the ten reality aspects, ten factors of life, or the Reality of all Existence.
The principle of the Reality of All Existence not only analyzes what modern science would analyze in physical substances to the extent of subatomic particles, but also extends to mental state. Accordingly, everyone’s mind has existing within it the ten realms of existence which are said to be found within one another. The suchnesses reveal the deepest reality inherent within all things, and, consequently, innumerable embodied substances existing in the universe are interrelated with all things.
The suchnesses, one through nine, operate according to the law of the universal truth, namely from the “complete fundamental whole” under which no one, no thing, and no function can depart. All things, including man, along with their relations with everything else are formed from the Reality of All Existence that is the Ten Suchnesses.
The doctrine consists of ten words that are preceded by the words “such a” or “such an”_
Reality of life itself_
Such a Form (phenomenon)_
Appearance_the attributes of everything that is discernible, such as color, shape, or behavior
Such a Nature (character)_
Nature_the inherent disposition or quality of a person or thing that cannot be discerned from the outward appearance.
Such an Embodiment (entity)_
Embodiment_the substance of life that permeates as well as integrates both appearance and nature.
Functions and workings of life_
Such a Potency (ability)_
Power_life’s potential energy.
Such a Function (activity)_
Influence_the activity produced when life’s inherent power or potential energy is activated.
Such a Primary Cause (direct cause)_
Internal cause_the potential cause in life that produces an effect of the same quality as itself, i.e., good, evil, or neutral.
Such a Secondary Cause (occasion or condition)_
Relation_the relationship of secondary, indirect causes to the internal cause. Secondary causes are various conditions, both internal and external, that help the internal cause produce an effect.
Such an Effect (result)_
Latent effect_the dormant effect produced in life when an internal cause is activated through its related conditions.
Such a Recompense (reward or retribution)_
Manifest effect_the tangible, perceivable effect that emerges in time as an expression of a dormant effect and therefore of a potential cause, again through its related conditions.
Such a Complete Fundamental Whole_
Consistency from beginning to end_the unifying factor among the ten suchnesses. It indicates that all of the other nine suchnesses from Appearance to Manifest Effect are consistently interrelated. All nine suchnesses thus harmoniously express the same condition of existence at any given moment.
In Buddhist phenomenology and soteriology, the skandhas (Sanskrit) or khandhas (Pāḷi), aggregates in English, are the five functions or aspects that constitute the sentient being: matter, sensation, perception, mental formations and consciousness. The Buddha teaches that nothing among them is really “I” or “mine”.
The five skandhas
The sutras describe five aggregates:
_“form” or “matter”
_external and internal matter. Externally, rupa is the physical world. Internally, rupa includes the material body and the physical sense organs.
_“sensation” or “feeling”
_sensing an object as either pleasant, unpleasant or neutral.
“perception”, “conception”, “apperception”, “cognition”, or “discrimination“
_registers whether an object is recognized or not (for instance, the sound of a bell or the shape of a tree).
“mental formations”, “impulses”, “volition”, or “compositional factors”
_ all types of mental habits, thoughts, ideas, opinions, prejudices, compulsions, and decisions triggered by an object.
“consciousness” or “discernment”
In the Abhidhamma: a series of rapidly changing interconnected discrete acts of cognizance.
In some Mahayana sources: the base that supports all experience.