Note that the Buddha includes the unconditioned as an element, it is comparable with the conditioned, but the opposite of it (Iti. 43), just as everything in nature like light and shade, is composed of opposites. The conditioned is everything (the ‘All’) bound by the cycle of birth and death, also known as samsara in the context of human lifespan. The factors that determine conditioning are moral. Through necessity progression on the path itself is accomplished by skillful use of conditioned phenomena, but they do not produce the unconditioned element (nibbana), only lead to it. The unconditioned has no cause, but due to the Buddha’s showing the way, can be reached through the path.
The conditioned cycle like its physical counterpart the turning world, it has a momentum which requires effort to escape, and requires isolating conventional and ultimate realities as separate elements:
“And who is the individual who goes against the flow? There is the case where an individual doesn’t indulge in sensual passions and doesn’t do evil deeds. Even though it may be with pain, even though it may be with sorrow, even though he may be crying, his face in tears, he lives the holy life that is perfect & pure. This is called the individual who goes against the flow.”—AN 4.5