Before we talk about clinging, we need to understand craving.

Before we talk about craving, we need to talk about the six senses and sensation.

The six sensation is aptly summarised in the heart sutra.

Our physical bodySensationObject
EyesSightSights objects
EarSoundAudio objects
NoseSmellSmell objects
MouthTasteTaste objects
BodyTouchTactile objects
MindThoughtsThought objects

We experience life through our senses. When our functioning eyes encounter a sight, the sensation of seeing arise. We say there is an eye contact.

When sensation is being differentiated or discriminated, the following “concept” pairs arise.

  1. Pleasant or unpleasant
  2. Agreeable or unagreeable
  3. Good or bad

When we experience a pleasant sensation, we feel happy and at ease. When we experience an unpleasant sensation we feel unhappy and become distressed.

Every sentient being wants to experience pleasant sensation and avoid unpleasant ones.

However, the concept is not universal or standard. What is agreeable to one person maybe unagreeable to another. Thus, conflict arise. Sometimes people try to impose their “concept” upon others. When we teach people to discriminate or differentiate, we are imposing our “concept” upon others.

When a person desires more of a pleasant sensation, craving arises. Therefore, we have six cravings. To satisfy our craving, we want to possess the relevant sensation object. A person craving for sci-fi movie will try to possess many sci-fi movies. A person craving for religion wishes the whole world to be like his place of worship.

All of us have craving, but excessive and uncontrollable craving becomes an obsession. Prolonged obsession becomes clinging. In short, it becomes a reflexive second nature.

There are 4 types of clinging.

  1. Clinging to sense pleasures.
  2. Clinging to wrong views. There are 62 types of wrong views.
  3. Clinging to wrong practices. Such as cultural practices or religious practices.
  4. Clinging to an illusory self. “I”

These clinging causes rebirth.

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