Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby Virgo » Thu Apr 08, 2010 1:35 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Virgo,

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.


Hi Retrofuturist,

I would decline entering such a discussion. Why? Firstly because Tilt dislikes the Abhidhamma so strongly that he will only make bad kamma. Secondly, because it is a classical Maha-vihara Theravadin view that dhammas have a certain fundamental realness and thingness and that clinging to them is suffering. It is elucidated in the Abhidhamma and Commentaries. And indeed the Buddha has said, "Clinging is suffering". He does not mean clinging to the idea that there are "things", but clinging to those actual "things" as permanent, as a self, and as relating to happiness. These "things" are the objects that are insighted leadiing to dispassion and causing the mind to turn away from conditioned dhammas. Being that it is a classically accepted view, I just can't see myself arguing for it on a Theravada Buddhist board.

Kevin F.
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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby Virgo » Thu Apr 08, 2010 1:36 pm

tiltbillings wrote:You are arguing, Kevin, that dhammas are things with some sort of "thingness" nature?


Absolutely.

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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Apr 08, 2010 4:34 pm

Virgo wrote: Firstly because Tilt dislikes the Abhidhamma so strongly that he will only make bad kamma.
Not at all. There is no evidence of that in what i have said here here, and such a statement is a bit libelous. I rather like the Abhidhamma Pitaka. I am simply not enamoured with some of the later, more modern, interpretations of the Abhidhamma.

It is elucidated in the Abhidhamma and Commentaries. And indeed the Buddha has said, "Clinging is suffering". He does not mean clinging to the idea that there are "things", but clinging to those actual "things" as permanent, as a self, and as relating to happiness.
Now, you just made a claim about what the Buddha said and meant, please back this up with the actual teachings of the Buddha.

These "things" are the objects that are insighted leadiing to dispassion and causing the mind to turn away from conditioned dhammas. Being that it is a classically accepted view, I just can't see myself arguing for it on a Theravada Buddhist board.
(Insighted?) In other words, it would seem, you are unable to support your claim that your position is congruent with the Buddha's actual teachings.

Virgo wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:You are arguing, Kevin, that dhammas are things with some sort of "thingness" nature?


Absolutely.
And the nature of this thingness is what?
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 Virgo » Thu Apr 08, 2010 5:20 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Virgo wrote: Firstly because Tilt dislikes the Abhidhamma so strongly that he will only make bad kamma.
Not at all. There is no evidence of that in what i have said here here, and such a statement is a bit libelous. I rather like the Abhidhamma Pitaka. I am simply not enamoured with some of the later, more modern, interpretations of the Abhidhamma.



tiltbillings wrote:
Virgo wrote: It is elucidated in the Abhidhamma and Commentaries. And indeed the Buddha has said, "Clinging is suffering". He does not mean clinging to the idea that there are "things", but clinging to those actual "things" as permanent, as a self, and as relating to happiness.
Now, you just made a claim about what the Buddha said and meant, please back this up with the actual teachings of the Buddha.

See all the things listed in this sutta: http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books9/Bhikkhu_Bodhi_Mahahatthipadopama_Sutta.htm

tiltbillings wrote:
Virgo wrote:These "things" are the objects that are insighted leadiing to dispassion and causing the mind to turn away from conditioned dhammas. Being that it is a classically accepted view, I just can't see myself arguing for it on a Theravada Buddhist board.
(Insighted?) In other words, it would seem, you are unable to support your claim that your position is congruent with the Buddha's actual teachings.

See the stages of insight listed in the Visuddhimagga.

Virgo wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:You are arguing, Kevin, that dhammas are things with some sort of "thingness" nature?


Absolutely.
tiltbillings wrote: And the nature of this thingness is what?

The three characteristics of all conditioned dhammas are anicca, anatta, and dukkha.

This conversation is done.

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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby ground » Thu Apr 08, 2010 5:49 pm

pt1 wrote:
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.

Not really but also not categorically "no". Actually this is the view of Sautrantika.

pt1 wrote:However, as far as I know, in Theravada, dhammas cannot be equaled to concepts, as you seem to do above.

When spoken about or taught then what is conveyed by speech are of course concepts. Do you deny that?

pt1 wrote: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.

That is completely compliant with tibetan teachings. It is just that conventional and ultimate truths are discerned with scrutiny.

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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:07 pm

Virgo wrote:This conversation is done.

Kevin

No, it is not. When my grandkids settle down, there will be, of course, a fair amount to say here.
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 retrofuturist » Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:16 pm

Greetings Virgo,

Virgo wrote:Secondly, because it is a classical Maha-vihara Theravadin view that dhammas have a certain fundamental realness and thingness and that clinging to them is suffering. It is elucidated in the Abhidhamma and Commentaries.


But are you certain about that? It's true of Sarvastivada (and thus why it came under such intense scrutiny from Mahayanists, with Nagarjuna leading the charge) but is it true of Theravada? The Patisambhidamagga (Psm II 211) states that the five aggregates are devoid of own-nature (sabhavena-sunnat), and the commentarial tradition also states that since the aggregates have no own-nature, dhammas are devoid of own-nature. "Attano eva va bhavo etasmit natthr ti sabhavena sullat" (PsmA III 634). This appears to directly oppose the view you attributed to the Mahavihara.

In that E-Sangha topic I mentioned earlier, I was investigating whether the position you state here was actually so, because I couldn't see how it was consistent with the notion of sunnata found in the suttas. After reading that Dhamma Theory text, it seems that the Abhidhamma Pitaka didn't make this alleged claim, and that the commentators (whilst bordering on it, in an attempt to defend Theravada from charges of wrong view) didn't make it either. If you've not done so, I would recommend reading it given your interest in the subject, even if you don't want to discuss it here, or engage in debate over it.

Virgo wrote:And indeed the Buddha has said, "Clinging is suffering". He does not mean clinging to the idea that there are "things", but clinging to those actual "things" as permanent, as a self, and as relating to happiness.


To that end, I would point you back to the two Bhikkhu Nanananda quotes I posted on the first page. Again, I don't require a response, but the text on Dhamma Theory is certainly worth a read... and being hosted on abhidhamma.org may give you some confidence in its value (at at least, lack of heresy).

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 pt1 » Fri Apr 09, 2010 1:42 am

TMingyur wrote:
pt1 wrote:I believe that is how dhammas (phenomena) are understood in Tibetan tradition.

Not really but also not categorically "no". Actually this is the view of Sautrantika.

Thanks for the correction.

TMingyur wrote:
pt1 wrote:However, as far as I know, in Theravada, dhammas cannot be equaled to concepts, as you seem to do above.

When spoken about or taught then what is conveyed by speech are of course concepts. Do you deny that?

I agree, but the topic wasn't about how people communicate, but about ultimate realities (dhammas) arising and falling, so let's stick to talking about the ultiamte realities. I got the impression you were saying dhammas do not arise and fall because it's a concept (illusion in other words). As I understand it, conditioned dhammas are seen to arise and fall through insight. So, it really happens, it's not an illusion. That is why anicca, dukkha and anatta characteristics of conditioned dhammas can be understood through insight - i.e. the arising and falling of a dhamma is anicca because it arises only to immediately fall away, it's dukkha because it cannot be controlled (made to last longer or go away at will) and it is anatta because it is fully conditioned by other just as uncontrollable dhammas.

TMingyur wrote:
pt1 wrote: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.

That is completely compliant with tibetan teachings. It is just that conventional and ultimate truths are discerned with scrutiny.

I guess I'm not sure what you mean by discerning with scrutiny. If we stay in the ultimate realm, I understand that dhammas are discerned by wisdom in the moments when they arise and fall and become an object of citta at the time. Concepts on the other hand cannot be discerned because they are said not to arise and fall since they are an illusion. So, conventional truth is never the subject/object of insight. That's how I understand it at the moment.

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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby pt1 » Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:09 am

Virgo wrote:He does not mean clinging to the idea that there are "things", but clinging to those actual "things" as permanent, as a self, and as relating to happiness. These "things" are the objects that are insighted leadiing to dispassion and causing the mind to turn away from conditioned dhammas. Being that it is a classically accepted view, I just can't see myself arguing for it on a Theravada Buddhist board.

Could you perhaps be a little more precise about what you mean by "things":

1. I don't think anyone here disagrees that dhammas have characteristics (tilakkhana and individual ones).
2. There does seem to be a lack of clarity on whether conditioned dhammas actually arise and fall or not, though I might be just misreading others (TMingyur in particular).
3. The biggest issue seems to be if there is anything else beside the characteristics and conditioned arising and falling that goes to make a dhamma into a thing? Do you think there is?

I personally don't feel there's anything else beside the first 2 points, and these are insufficient to call dhammas "things", because that would defy anicca at least. Sure, dhammas have characteristics and they conditionally arise and fall, but that doesn't make them little self-existing things imo. In fact, I feel that this goes into the whole domain of exist/doesn't exist dichotomy, which was supposed to be avoided in the first place by stressing that dhammas are conditioned by nature (sabhava, no?).

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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby Wind » Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:19 am

All this talk about "thingness" have confuse me. LOL I guess I'll just have to try my best to attain concentration to see what these phenomena really about. :tongue:
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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby pt1 » Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:36 am

retrofuturist wrote:The Patisambhidamagga (Psm II 211) states that the five aggregates are devoid of own-nature (sabhavena-sunnat), and the commentarial tradition also states that since the aggregates have no own-nature, dhammas are devoid of own-nature. "Attano eva va bhavo etasmit natthr ti sabhavena sullat" (PsmA III 634). This appears to directly oppose the view you attributed to the Mahavihara.
Can you please translate the PsmA passage?

Anyway, I think these are two entirely different topics. I.e. Patisambhidamagga here refers to sabhava in terms of conditioned and unconditioned - so by denying sabhava in any of the aggregates, it reiterates that dhammas are conditioned, not unconditioned. On the other hand, sabhava also seems to be used in the commentaries to refer to characteristics of dhammas, not whether they are conditioned or not.

For comparison, here's first the Psm and its commmentary which use sabhava in terms of conditionality, and then a post by RobertK I have saved where he quotes commentary and subcommentary on a sutta that use sabhava in terms of characteristics of dhammas:
"What is voidness in change? Born materiality is void of individual
essence[1]; disappeared materiality is both changed and void. Born
feeling is void of individual essence; disappeared feeling is both
changed and void. Born perception...Born being is void of individual
essence; disappeared being is both changed and void."

Footnote 1 (from the Saddhammappakaasinii, the Commentary to the Pa.tisambhidamagga):
"'Void of individual essence': here sabhava (individual
essence) is saya.m bhavo (essence by itself); arising of itself (sayam
eva uppado) is the meaning. Or sabhava is sako bhavo (own
essence); own arising (attano yeva uppado). Because of existence in
dependence on conditions (paccayayattavuttitta) there is in it
no essence by itself or essence of its own, thus it is 'void of
individual essence'. What is meant is that it is void of essence by
itself or of its own essence.


the majjhimanikaya tika (mulapariyaya sutta) has the following
to say. I use bhikkhu bodhi's translation p39.
It comments on the atthakatha which says "they bear their own
characteristics, thus they are dhammas."
The tika(subcommentary ) notes. "although there are no dhammas
devoid of their own characteristics this is said fro the purpose
of showing that mere dhammas endowed with their specific natures
devoid of such attributes as being etc... whereas such entities
as self, permanence or nature, soul, body etc are mere
misconstructions due to craving and views...and cannot be
discovered as ultinately real actualities, these dhammas
(ie.those endowed with a specific sabhava) can. these dhammas
are discovered as actually real actualties. And although there
IS NO REAL DISTINCTION between these dhammas and their
characteristics, still, in order to facilitate understanding,
the exposition makes a distinction as a mere metaphorical
device. Also they are borne, or they are discerned, known ,
acccording to their specific nature, thus they are dhammas"


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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:47 am

Wind wrote:All this talk about "thingness" have confuse me. LOL I guess I'll just have to try my best to attain concentration to see what these phenomena really about.
No need to worry about "thingness." Simply pay attention, without comment, to what comes into the field of awareness. No thingness - no thing - to be found, simply the rise an fall of our experience, of what makes us up.
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 retrofuturist » Fri Apr 09, 2010 3:29 am

Greetings pt1,

pt1 wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:The Patisambhidamagga (Psm II 211) states that the five aggregates are devoid of own-nature (sabhavena-sunnat), and the commentarial tradition also states that since the aggregates have no own-nature, dhammas are devoid of own-nature. "Attano eva va bhavo etasmit natthr ti sabhavena sullat" (PsmA III 634). This appears to directly oppose the view you attributed to the Mahavihara.
Can you please translate the PsmA passage?


Here it is in context: http://www.abhidhamma.org/dhamma_theory ... l_corn.htm

Now this commentarial definition of dhamma as sabhava poses an important problem, for it seems to go against an earlier Theravada tradition recorded in the Patisambhidamagga. This canonical text specifically states that the five aggregates are devoid of own-nature (sabhavena-sunnat).46 Since the dhammas are the elementary constituents of the five aggregates, this should mean that the dhammas, too, are devoid of own-nature. What is more, does not the very use of the term sabhava, despite all the qualifications under which it is used, give the impression that a given dhamma exists in its own right? And does this not amount to the admission that a dhamma is some kind of substance?

The commentators were not unaware of these implications and they therefore took the necessary steps to forestall such a conclusion. This they sought to do by supplementing the former definition with another which actually nullifies the conclusion that the dhammas might be quasi-substances. This additional definition states that a dhamma is not that which bears its own-nature, but that which is borne by its own conditions (paccayehi dhariyanti ti dhamma).47 Whereas the earlier definition is agent-denotation (kattusadhana) because it attributes an active role to the dhamma, elevating it to the position of an agent, the new definition is object-denotation (kamma-sadhana) because it attributes a passive role to the dhamma and thereby downgrades it to the position of an object. What is radical about this new definition is that it reverses the whole process which otherwise might culminate in the conception of dhammas as substances or bearers of their own-nature. What it seeks to show is that, far from being a bearer, a dhamma is being borne by its own conditions.

Consonant with this situation, it is also maintained that there is no other thing called a dhamma than the "quality" of being borne by conditions.48 The same idea is expressed in the oft-recurrent statement that what is called a dhamma is the mere fact of occurrence due to appropriate conditions.49 In point of fact, in commenting upon the Patisambhidamagga statement that the five aggregates -- and, by implication, the dhammas -- are devoid of sabhava, the commentator observes that since the aggregates have no self-nature, they are devoid of own-nature.50 It will thus be seen that although the term sabhava is used as a synonym for dhamma, it is interpreted in such a way that it means the very absence of sabhava in any sense that implies a substantial mode of being.


With associated notes...

[quote]46. Psm II 211.

47. Abhvk 414; DhsA 63; PsmA 18; Mvn 6.

48. Na ca dhariyamana-sabhava allo dhammo nama atthi (AMM 21). Na hi ruppanadrhi alle rupadayo kakkha'adrhi ca alle pathavr-adayo dhamma vijjantr ti. Allatha pana avabodhetut na sakka ti O sabhavadhamme alle viya katva attano sabhavat dharentr ti vuttat (ibid. 22).

49. Yathapaccayat hi pavattimattat etat sabhavadhammo (VsmT462). See also Abhvk 116; VsmS V 132.

50. Attano eva va bhavo etasmit natthr ti sabhavena sullat (PsmA III 634).[/quote]

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 retrofuturist » Fri Apr 09, 2010 3:42 am

Greetings,

tiltbillings wrote:
Wind wrote:All this talk about "thingness" have confuse me. LOL I guess I'll just have to try my best to attain concentration to see what these phenomena really about.
No need to worry about "thingness." Simply pay attention, without comment, to what comes into the field of awareness. No thingness - no thing - to be found, simply the rise an fall of our experience, of what makes us up.


:goodpost:

All I would add to that sentiment is to see if there's anything constant and unchanging to be found via any of the six sense bases or the five aggregates.

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 » Fri Apr 09, 2010 3:44 am

pt1 wrote:
TMingyur wrote:
pt1 wrote:However, as far as I know, in Theravada, dhammas cannot be equaled to concepts, as you seem to do above.

When spoken about or taught then what is conveyed by speech are of course concepts. Do you deny that?

I agree, but the topic wasn't about how people communicate, but about ultimate realities (dhammas) arising and falling, so let's stick to talking about the ultiamte realities.

Well but if something is discussed as it is the case here the persons involved are thinking and expressing their thoughts through speech/writing. So either there is silence or there is speech which conveys concepts to the listener/reader. This means that from the perspective of the subject being involved in discussion either their is direct perception of what you may call "ultimate reality" or there is "thought about" which is not "ultimate reality" but "concept of it".
Only if you hold a realistic view that "reality" = "sensation" = "concept" would you say that ultimate reality and thought/concepts are identical. But if those were identical then there would be no chance for liberation because if everything would ultimately be and exist exactly the way it appears to the subject then the subject could not attain insight which is different from wordly conventions and views.

pt1 wrote:I got the impression you were saying dhammas do not arise and fall because it's a concept (illusion in other words).

If you draw the line between sensation on the one side and thought/synthesis/concept on the other then you have to conclude that "arising, abiding and cessation" cannot be directly perceived but have to a the result of active synthesis on the side of the subject.

pt1 wrote:As I understand it, conditioned dhammas are seen to arise and fall through insight. So, it really happens, it's not an illusion. That is why anicca, dukkha and anatta characteristics of conditioned dhammas can be understood through insight - i.e. the arising and falling of a dhamma is anicca because it arises only to immediately fall away, it's dukkha because it cannot be controlled (made to last longer or go away at will) and it is anatta because it is fully conditioned by other just as uncontrollable dhammas.

Yes, agreed. This I would call valid "conventional reality".

pt1 wrote:
TMingyur wrote:
pt1 wrote: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.

That is completely compliant with tibetan teachings. It is just that conventional and ultimate truths are discerned with scrutiny.

I guess I'm not sure what you mean by discerning with scrutiny. If we stay in the ultimate realm, ...

But this is what I reject: We cannot stay in an "ultimate realm" because "ultimate realm" is nothing but a conventional saying, i.e. it is not beyond conventional reality. Now the question would be whether it is an valid conventional reality or an invalid conventional reality (like "the child of a barren woman"). The Sautrantikas say: Valid is only what can be either directly perceived or inferred.


pt1 wrote:I understand that dhammas are discerned by wisdom in the moments when they arise and fall and become an object of citta at the time.

Yes. But from the perspective I am referring to "object of citta" means interdependence of "object" and "subject/citta": There is a cause for the arising of an appearance but at the same time there is the subject affecting this appearance. If we neglect this interdependence we have "conventional reality" that may be called "nominal reality" too.

pt1 wrote:Concepts on the other hand cannot be discerned because they are said not to arise and fall since they are an illusion.

Concepts are concepts. They are illusions only of they are referred to a postulated reality "beyond", e.g. to the sensation that is one of the causes of concepts if we refer to the type of concepts about phenomena that can be perceived by sense perception. Concepts of this type may be conventionally right or conventionally wrong.
Another type of concepts are "mere" concepts, i.e. concepts that lack any correlate of sense perception. Examples of this type are "mere fantasy" and/or metaphysical concepts.

pt1 wrote:So, conventional truth is never the subject/object of insight. That's how I understand it at the moment.

This depends on your view.

Kind regards
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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby Virgo » Fri Apr 09, 2010 3:47 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Virgo wrote:This conversation is done.

Kevin

No, it is not. When my grandkids settle down, there will be, of course, a fair amount to say here.


The conversation between you and I, concerning this topic, is done. You may speculate about dhammas all you like until your grandkids grow beards.

Paramattha means ultimate or absolute. There has to be a thing for some dhamma to exist ultimately or absolutely, ie. actually exist as opposed to a concept which exists conventionally. That doesn't mean it is a person, or a self, or is owned by a person or a self. It means that a thing that arises and falls away by conditions. These things are anatta... not-self.

Please, please don't ask me to give you a quote. Paramattha is a word in pali. It means ultimate or absolute. In the Abhidhamma, certain dhammas (things or phenomena) are presented as paramattha (citta, cetasika, rupa, and nibbana are). I don't need to provide a quotation. And this is not a "modern Abhidhamma view". Blah, blah, blah.

Thanks,

Kevin
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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Apr 09, 2010 3:52 am

Greetings,

pt1 wrote:I got the impression you were saying dhammas do not arise and fall because it's a concept (illusion in other words).

TMingyur wrote:If you draw the line between sensation on the one side and thought/synthesis/concept on the other then you have to conclude that "arising, abiding and cessation" cannot be directly perceived but have to a the result of active synthesis on the side of the subject.


Good observation TMingyur. Without this-ness, there cannot be otherwise-ness.

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 retrofuturist » Fri Apr 09, 2010 4:03 am

Greetings Virgo,

Virgo wrote:Paramattha means ultimate or absolute. There has to be a thing for some dhamma to exist ultimately or absolutely


Would you say dhammas (including paramattha-dhammas)are suñña?

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 pt1 » Fri Apr 09, 2010 4:38 am

Hi retro and Kevin,
retrofuturist wrote:Here it is in context...

In point of fact, in commenting upon the Patisambhidamagga statement that the five aggregates -- and, by implication, the dhammas -- are devoid of sabhava, the commentator observes that since the aggregates have no self-nature, they are devoid of own-nature.50 It will thus be seen that although the term sabhava is used as a synonym for dhamma, it is interpreted in such a way that it means the very absence of sabhava in any sense that implies a substantial mode of being.

Thanks retro, it seems it came from the Psm commentary I quoted :)

Anyway, that is certainly one of the uses of sabhava, but I don't think that the other use of sabhava in commentaries which refers to characteristics of dhammas necessarily implies any sort of substantiality either. I'm not sure why Kevin seems to disagree. Perhaps you can explain Kevin? Thanks. E.g. see the commentary to mulapariyaya sutta I quoted above from RobertK - in particular:

"these dhammas
are discovered as actually real actualties. And although there
IS NO REAL DISTINCTION between these dhammas and their
characteristics, still, in order to facilitate understanding,
the exposition makes a distinction as a mere metaphorical
device. Also they are borne, or they are discerned, known ,
acccording to their specific nature, thus they are dhammas"

I take it that the fact that characteristics can be discerned does not mean that there is anything extra there as distinct from these characteristics.

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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby Virgo » Fri Apr 09, 2010 4:42 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Virgo,

Virgo wrote:Paramattha means ultimate or absolute. There has to be a thing for some dhamma to exist ultimately or absolutely


Would you say dhammas (including paramattha-dhammas)are suñña?

Metta,
Retro. :)

Undoubtedly. They are enmpty of self-nature, but they are still there. They still arise and fall away and have an effect on the world. Visible object that is green, is certainly green. I do not claim that the green is only an illusion, but only that the self built up around the green, such as "I am green", "I own a green article", and so on, are illusions. "I own a green article", may be true conventionally, but that is not the ultimate truth. That is not the heart of the matter.

kevin
Last edited by Virgo on Fri Apr 09, 2010 5:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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