Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

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Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby Wind » Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:42 am

When a phenomenon rise and fall where does it rise from and where does it fall to? And what is the duration of one moment of rising and falling? Are all phenomena rising and falling on a continuous basis without break or are there moments of absences of rising and falling?
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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby Ben » Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:10 am

Hi Wind,
Wind wrote:When a phenomenon rise and fall where does it rise from and where does it fall to?

From that which conditioned its genesis and to that which it conditions.
Wind wrote:And what is the duration of one moment of rising and falling?

Depends on the particular phenomena. Cittas rise and fall, according to the Abhidhamma, a "mind-moment" rises and falls billions of times within the blink of an eye. The rise and fall of rupa is, apparently, seventeen times slower than that of mental phenomena.
Wind wrote:Are all phenomena rising and falling on a continuous basis without break or are there moments of absences of rising and falling?

I think they are rising and falling continuously. Try and think of it as 'vibrating' or 'oscillating'.

The duration of material phenomena: The lifespan of a citta is termed, in the Abhidhamma, a mind-moment (cittakkhana). This is a temporal unit of such brief duration that, according to the commentators, in the time that it takes for lightening to flash or the eyes to blink, billions of mind moments can elapse. Nevertheless, though seemingly infintessimal, each mind-moment in turn consists of three sub-moments - arising (uppada), presence (thiti), and dissolution (bhanga). Within the breadth of a mind-moment, a citta arises, performs its momentary function, and the dissolves, conditioning the next citta in immediate succession. Thus, through the sequence of mind-moments, the flow of consciousness continues uninterrupted like the waters in a stream...

Material phenomena as well pass through the same three stages of arising, presence, and dissolution, but for them the time required for these three stages to elapse is equal to the time it takes for seventeen cittas to arise and perish. The stages of arising and dissolution are equal in duration for both material and mental phenomena, but in the case of material phenomena the stage of presence is equal to forty-nine sub-moments of mental phenomena.
-- Ch. 4 Compendium of the Cognitive Process, A Comprehensive Manual of the Abhidhamma, Bhikkhu Bodhi


kind regards

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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:15 am

Ben wrote: Cittas rise and fall, according to the Abhidhamma, a "mind-moment" rises and falls billions of times within the blink of an eye.
According to the very late Abhidhamma. The Abhidhamma Pitaka texts do not specify a set time that I have seen.

Also, billions of times within a a blink of an eye is actually rather meaningless other than a way of saying that mind contents move with great rapidity.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby Wind » Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:24 am

Ben wrote:Hi Wind,
Wind wrote:When a phenomenon rise and fall where does it rise from and where does it fall to?

From that which conditioned its genesis and to that which it conditions.



In other words, do you mean when a phenomenon disappears, it vanish back to unconditioned state?
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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby Ben » Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:27 am

Hi Tilt
I'm still waiting for my mail-order cittometer to arrive. When it does - I'll let you know how fast my cittas rise and fall!
BTW, do you have a reference that supports your contention that the billions of mind moments in a blink of an eye is in fact a later commentarial construct? Certainly, Ven Bodhi mentions disputes between commentators on the validity of the sub-moment classification but he seems to be silent on the genesis of the duration of the mind-moment idea.
Thanks!

Ben
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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby Ben » Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:29 am

Hi Wind
Rather than focus on my words, have a look at the words of Bhikkhu Bodhi. Ven Bodhi is a reliable authority whereas I am not.
I also think Venerable explains things much better than I.
metta

Ben
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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby Wind » Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:38 am

Ben wrote:Hi Wind
Rather than focus on my words, have a look at the words of Bhikkhu Bodhi. Ven Bodhi is a reliable authority whereas I am not.
I also think Venerable explains things much better than I.
metta

Ben


The portion you posted of Ven Bodhi explained the duration of mind-moment well. But I don't see where he spoke about where such phenomenon rise from or where it disappear to. Do you have a link where he expands on this subject?
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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby Ben » Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:43 am

No Wind, I don't have a link, just the hardcopy of his work.
I recommend it!
kind regards

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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby pt1 » Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:57 pm

Wind wrote:Do you have a link where he expands on this subject?


Online version of that book

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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:03 pm

Wind wrote:
Ben wrote:Hi Wind
Rather than focus on my words, have a look at the words of Bhikkhu Bodhi. Ven Bodhi is a reliable authority whereas I am not.
I also think Venerable explains things much better than I.
metta

Ben


The portion you posted of Ven Bodhi explained the duration of mind-moment well. But I don't see where he spoke about where such phenomenon rise from or where it disappear to. Do you have a link where he expands on this subject?

Where does a sound come from and where does it go? Be careful not assume a thingness to "phenomenon."
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby Alex123 » Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:10 pm

Wind wrote:When a phenomenon rise and fall where does it rise from and where does it fall to? And what is the duration of one moment of rising and falling? Are all phenomena rising and falling on a continuous basis without break or are there moments of absences of rising and falling?


It doesn't come from anywhere when it 'rises', nor it goes anywhere when it 'falls'. When you light a match, A flame doesn't go from some storehouse, nor does it go to flame-heaven when the flame ceases.

Rise & fall simply means appearance (due to causes) and cessation (due to absence of those causes).


With metta,

Alex
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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby Nibbida » Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:09 pm

I'm the farthest thing from an authority on this, especially all matters Abidhamma, but I'll take a stab at it anyway. I'm in Abidhamma kindegarten.

The experience of "arising" of a phenomenon refers to the causes/conditions coming together, while the experience of passing refers to some or all of the underlying causes/conditions changing. A "thing" never existed, so there is nowhere that it came from and there's nowhere for it to go. The "object" is a concept that we impose on the experience of changing phenomena, a continuum. I've heard several teachers express this saying to look at "objects" as verbs rather than nouns.

To use the example of a tree, there is no "tree" so to speak, there is the (changing, interdependent) process of tree-ing. The tree comes into existence by certain causes coming together, and ceases the same way. But really, what we're referring to is our perception of the tree (the visual image of it, for example). Like anything else, that perception arises and passes based on causes & conditions.
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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Apr 08, 2010 12:25 am

Greetings Wind,

Wind wrote:When a phenomenon rise and fall where does it rise from and where does it fall to? And what is the duration of one moment of rising and falling? Are all phenomena rising and falling on a continuous basis without break or are there moments of absences of rising and falling?


I think this question only has value in experiential rather than ontological terms, so I would recommend setting aside any notion of a thing that objectively and ontologically rises, exists or passes away... and focus on the experience of rising and falling, or perhaps more correctly, change. Why would change be more correct? Because notions of rise and fall are relative to a conceptualisation of how a certain "thing" was previously (e.g. the sound of the car engine got louder, the smell of the incense is diminishing)... and hence, fall back onto a past reification of experience based on ignorance. Even a citta is a conceptualised "thing" and reification is not connected with emptiness.

As Bhikkhu Nanananda says in the Nibbana Sermons...

Bhikkhu Nanananda wrote:Whatever becomes an object of that conceiving, by that very conception it becomes otherwise. That is to say that an opportunity arises for an otherwise-ness, even as `death' has come together with `birth'. So conceiving, or conception, is itself the reason for otherwise-ness. Before a `thing' becomes `otherwise', it has to become a `thing'. And it becomes a `thing' only when attention is focussed on it under the influence of craving, conceit and views and it is separated from the whole world and grasped as a `thing'. And that is why it is said:

Yaṃ yañhi lokasmim upādiyanti,
teneva Māro anveti jantuṃ.

"Whatever one grasps in the world,
By that itself Māra pursues a being."


Bhikkhu Nanananda wrote:Knowledge and understanding are very often associated with words and concepts, so much so that if one knows the name of a thing, one is supposed to know it. Because of this misconception the world is in a tangle. Names and concepts, particularly the nouns, perpetuate the ignorance in the world.

Hence, it is important to distinguish between concept and reality.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby Virgo » Thu Apr 08, 2010 2:02 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Wind wrote:
Ben wrote:Hi Wind
Rather than focus on my words, have a look at the words of Bhikkhu Bodhi. Ven Bodhi is a reliable authority whereas I am not.
I also think Venerable explains things much better than I.
metta

Ben


The portion you posted of Ven Bodhi explained the duration of mind-moment well. But I don't see where he spoke about where such phenomenon rise from or where it disappear to. Do you have a link where he expands on this subject?

Where does a sound come from and where does it go? Be careful not assume a thingness to "phenomenon."

Why not? I thought this was a Buddhist board.

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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Apr 08, 2010 4:04 am

Greetings Virgo,

Would you care to clarify what you meant by that rather cryptic comment?

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby Virgo » Thu Apr 08, 2010 4:08 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Virgo,

Would you care to clarify what you meant by that rather cryptic comment?

Metta,
Retro. :)

I am not sure, Retro, but It appears that Tilts statement is denying the existence of paramattha dhammas as real "things" that arise and fall away. This is a Theravada Buddhist board, though, I hope.

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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Apr 08, 2010 4:15 am

Greetings Virgo,

Virgo wrote:I am not sure, Retro, but It appears that Tilts statement is denying the existence of paramattha dhammas as real "things" that arise and fall away.


I remember at E-Sangha there was a lengthy discussion in the Theravada section on the reification of dhammas, and the extent to which they were real "things" which "exist". Alas, that interesting discussion seems to have disappeared into the ether (as it would be a handy reference right about now), but I don't think it would hurt to retrace some of the arguments put forward there, and this topic seems a suitable one in which to do it. Perhaps you may wish to counter what you believe Tilt is suggesting, or this line of thinking from "The Dhamma Theory - Philosophical Cornerstone of the Abhidhamma", published by BPS, which I think I recall him presenting at E-Sangha.

Y. Karunadasa wrote:The Pali Abhidhamma Pitaka did not succumb to this error of conceiving the dhammas as ultimate unities or discrete entities. In the Pali tradition it is only for the sake of definition and description that each dhamma is postulated as if it were a separate entity; but in reality it is by no means a solitary phenomenon having an existence of its own.

Source: http://www.abhidhamma.org/dhamma_theory ... l_corn.htm

Virgo wrote:This is a Theravada Buddhist board, though, I hope.

This is, and you're not using that as a trite mode of argumentation, I hope.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby ground » Thu Apr 08, 2010 6:50 am

Wind wrote:When a phenomenon rise and fall where does it rise from and where does it fall to? And what is the duration of one moment of rising and falling? Are all phenomena rising and falling on a continuous basis without break or are there moments of absences of rising and falling?


"phenomenon" actually is a name for the conceptual synthetic concatenation of moments involving recollection of former moments with reference to what is called "present moment" but which is not findable at all.
Based on that there is the talk about "arising" and "abiding" and "cessation" of phenomena although there is no "arising" and "abiding" and "cessation" at all if conceptual synthesis is discarded.

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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Apr 08, 2010 7:02 am

Virgo wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Wind wrote:The portion you posted of Ven Bodhi explained the duration of mind-moment well. But I don't see where he spoke about where such phenomenon rise from or where it disappear to. Do you have a link where he expands on this subject?

Where does a sound come from and where does it go? Be careful not assume a thingness to "phenomenon."

Why not? I thought this was a Buddhist board.

kevin
You are arguing, Kevin, that dhammas are things with some sort of "thingness" nature?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby pt1 » Thu Apr 08, 2010 12:05 pm

TMingyur wrote:
Wind wrote:When a phenomenon rise and fall where does it rise from and where does it fall to? And what is the duration of one moment of rising and falling? Are all phenomena rising and falling on a continuous basis without break or are there moments of absences of rising and falling?


"phenomenon" actually is a name for the conceptual synthetic concatenation of moments involving recollection of former moments with reference to what is called "present moment" but which is not findable at all.
Based on that there is the talk about "arising" and "abiding" and "cessation" of phenomena although there is no "arising" and "abiding" and "cessation" at all if conceptual synthesis is discarded.

I believe that is how dhammas (phenomena) are understood in Tibetan tradition. However, as far as I know, in Theravada, dhammas cannot be equaled to concepts, as you seem to do above. To do so is to deny the possibility of insight ever taking place, since insight specifically deals with dhammas, not concepts. My understanding is that in Theravada, dhammas are said to have characteristics - anicca, dukkha and anatta as common characteristics of all dhammas (except nibbana), and individual charactersitics pertaining to the function of each particular dhamma. I believe it is these characteristics that are understood through insight when citta takes a certain dhamma for an object. Of course, the fact that dhammas can be seen to have individual characteristics does not mean that they are self-existing entities that somehow defy anicca and conditioned nature of their arising and passing (again, except nibbana).

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