In this following context, what does the phrase 'outward circumstances' mean? Does it mean 'outward world' or 'physical world'?


Whoever is jealous, niggardly, haughty, carries within himself the tendency to grudge everything to others, and to despise them. Accordingly, germs that are destined to develop in poor outward circumstances, possess affinity for him.


  • The 'outward circumstances' are those of the subsequent life of a reborn person. Feb 6 at 10:00

1 Answer 1


This is in the context of the Buddhist idea of Affinity as it relates to cause and effect, about which I am no expert.

For context, my understanding of this statement is that the germ will operate in the world poorly, cause harm or ugliness or disease. As a result it will have an affinity for a person who exhibits the laundry list of character defects listed above. They would attract, and be attracted to, each other.

The 'outward circumstance' of the germ is what could be observed of that germs behavior.

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