Theory of 3000 Conditions in a Single Life-Moment

Systematized the Lotus Sutra.

"Life has infinite potential, so there is reason for optimism". Ichinen Sanzen

The renowned sixth-century Buddhist scholar T'ien-t'ai (538-97) developed a meditative practice to enable people to perceive the boundless extent of their lives at each moment. He also developed a theoretical system to describe this reality. He called this "three thousand realms in a single moment of life" (Jpn. ichinen sanzen). Ichinen sanzen demonstrates that the entire phenomenal world exists in a single moment of life.

Enlightenment is an awakening to the true nature of life, including the profound realization of the interconnectedness of all things, the inseparable relationship between the individual and the environment and the ability of each human being to powerfully influence both. This realization leads the individual to assume personal responsibility for his or her own condition of life and for that of the environment. This responsibility is furthered by an understanding of the simultaneity of cause and effect. Each thought, word and/or deed has an inherent effect both on the individual and the environment. Although that effect may not be immediately realized, it is there. When the time is right it will manifest. That may occur in this life or some future existence.

Life is dynamic, constantly changing, and infinitely malleable. So we have infinite potential. For this reason, we should always be hopeful and determined, no matter what our momentary feelings or circumstances.

Life has 3000 conditions in a single moment. The point of this analysis is to show that we are never stuck in a particular life state, but that life is constantly changing and infinitely malleable through self improvement. Thus the conclusion of the theory of 3000 Conditions in a Single Life Moment is that we should be hopeful and determined at all times, because we always possess infinite potential to improve ourselves and our surroundings.


There are: 10 life states, times their mutual possession, making 100 states, times the 10 factors, making 1000 states, times the 3 realms, making 3000 conditions in a single moment of life: 10 worlds or potential conditions of life, which are each mutually inclusive (10 x 10) x 10 factors x 3 realms of existence.

The 10 life states are: Hell (helpless suffering or the world of self-absorbed misery), Hunger (extreme want, or greed, condition of craving), Animality (fawn on the powerful, bully the weak depending on whether one perceives them as more or less powerful than oneself), Anger (arrogance, retribution competitiveness and jealousy masked by the pretense of virtuousness), Humanity (transient calmness, dependent on good circumstances the joy of expanding one's knowledge), Rapture - Heaven (transient joy, dependent on good circumstances the world of desires fulfilled), Learning (from books, teachers, experience, independent of circumstances), Realization (from experience, intuition, nature, meditation, independent of circumstances also includes the absorbed world of creative pursuit), Altruism (caring for others - service to others), and Enlightenment (some degree of oneness with one’s innermost nature and the macrocosm the most creative and wholly positive potentiality).

These 10 states are mutually inclusive, making 100 states; thus someone who is enlightened may feel anger for social justice.

The 10 Factors explain how we change from one life state to another. They are: Appearance (how you look), Nature (what you’re like inside), Entity (the essential identity that gives rise to both Appearance and Nature), Force (your life force), Influence (how your life force affects your surroundings), Latent Cause (John was compassionate), Manifest Cause (John fed a stray cat), Latent Effect (John carried the destiny for two years that someone someday would do him a kindness), Manifest Effect (two years later someone returned John’s lost wallet with all the money), and Consistency from Beginning to End (John is unlikely to kick a dog).

The factoring of these 10 Factors now makes 1000 states. Then there are the Three Realms: The first one is The Realm of the Individual Consciousness - your awareness on all levels, including subconscious and psychosomatic; it includes the elements of form, perception, conception, volition, and consciousness. The second realm is The Realm of Living Beings - plants, animals, and all sentient beings. The third realm is The Realm of the Environment - your neighborhood, your region, the earth, the solar system, our galaxy, and the universe. The three realms represent the actual world of human beings, divided into body and mind, or self and environ­ment.

In this way, the philosophical principle of the Ten Worlds and the 3,000 realms not only clarifies the total aspect of life but reveals within the depths of our lives the eternal and unchanging Law. When we realise that the workings of our individual lives, arising from this fundamental Law. are as vast as the universe, we cannot help but feel awed by the wonder of life. Moreover, we can understand that our life exists not merely for the sake of our own ego, but is to be used for the sake of the universe.


Thus the grand total is 3000 conditions in a single life moment.

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