Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby Virgo » Fri Apr 09, 2010 5:06 pm

Hi Pt,

pt1 wrote:1. The rupa that is pressure actually arises and falls away
2. and can touch the body


By "touch" I don't mean literally. It means there is a kind of contact where nama aprehends. The eye-sens never "touches" color when it sees it, yet it aprehends it. That is the sense it which I used the word here.

pt1 wrote:So, I don't see what is the additional substantiality that's needed in the above steps that would make dhammas more of a "thing" then when a dhamma is simply defined by conditional arising and falling and the characteristics? Thanks.

Best wishes


Pt, you may define it however you wish. The point is that paramattha dhammas are real in the ultimate sense. Saying they are "things" or not may be another thing. Even if I say they are "things", I don't hold that they have a self-nature of some sort. It just shows that they are realities. That is all.

Be well,

Kevin
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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Apr 09, 2010 7:40 pm

Virgo wrote: The point is that paramattha dhammas are real in the ultimate sense. Saying they are "things" or not may be another thing.
Is this your definition of existing in the ultimate sense?

[Even if I say they are "things", I don't hold that they have a self-nature of some sort. It just shows that they are realities. That is all.
"Self-nature" is "sabhava." Buddhaghosa says that dhammas have sabhava. As for being "realities," what does that actually mean?
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 pt1 » Sat Apr 10, 2010 1:56 am

TMingyur wrote:I don't think that it is reasonable to discuss views where we disagree because our "backgrounds" may be too different.
So I am just replying because you have addressed some questions to me although it is very likely that our "understandings" of words applied here will not "meet".

Thanks for trying TMingyur.

TMingyur wrote:
pt1 wrote:
TMingyur wrote:Yes, agreed. This I would call valid "conventional reality".

Not sure I follow, why conventional reality if we're discussing dhammas?

From my perspective all that is expressed in words and terminology is either valid conventional reality or conventional error according to the criteria mentioned above.
Good to know for future discussions. Is that how terminology is classified in Tibetan tradition also? In Theravada, so far I'm aware of only conventional and ultimate.


TMingyur wrote:
pt1 wrote:
TMingyur wrote: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.

There's room for error here as I'm not familiar with the terms you're using. "Interdependence" - that's conditioning? "Appearance" - that's a dhamma or a concept?

"Interdependence" of "A" and "B" just means that "A" (which appears to subject B, i.e. is the image) being the effect of a primary cause A* is also affected by "B" which sort of transforms it into it "A#" and which in turn is affected by its own "creation" "A#". Theoretically this may result in an infinite regress however from experience we may say that this is not necessarily so but usually this process is restricted to the process starting with sensation and ending with apprehension.

I suspect this is where our differences really are. As I understand abhidhamma at the moment, dhammas can certainly be said to condition one another when they arise (e.g. feeling and perception condition each other on arising) and this could be likened to your "interdependence" I think. But I don't think it can then be said that they create something third (your A#), because each dhamma has its own particular function, i.e. feeling cannot perceive, and perception cannot feel. So, at least in terms of insight, citta will take either the dhamma perception, or feeling, at one time as object, but not both, nor a combination of the two. In following cittas (or rather mind-door processes) concepts can then become objects of citta and the experience of that feeling can be thought about, and this could be likened to creating something third (A#), but this would not be a dhamma as object anymore, but only concept(s).

TMingyur wrote:
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....
View means "perspective" and from different perspectives things appear differently.

Ah, well, that's the thing, as I understand abhidhamma at the moment, it appears to say that concepts (on which conventional truth is based) never take part in insight itself - i.e. concept is not the object of citta at the moment when insight occurs (i.e. when citta is accompanied by cetasikas of panna, sati, alobha, adosa, etc) but a dhamma is.

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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby pt1 » Sat Apr 10, 2010 2:22 am

Hi Kevin and tilt,

Virgo wrote:By "touch" I don't mean literally. It means there is a kind of contact where nama aprehends. The eye-sens never "touches" color when it sees it, yet it aprehends it. That is the sense it which I used the word here.

Thanks for explaining. In ultimate terms though, I think "eye sense apprehends color" would still simply mean "rupa conditions sense-consciousness". Do you agree?

Virgo wrote:Pt, you may define it however you wish. The point is that paramattha dhammas are real in the ultimate sense. Saying they are "things" or not may be another thing. Even if I say they are "things", I don't hold that they have a self-nature of some sort. It just shows that they are realities. That is all.


Okay, but here is my problem - I still can't really see on what do you and tilt actually differ. You keep saying "dhamma is a thing", and tilt keeps saying "no, it's not". Yet, you both seem to agree that dhammas arise and fall depending on conditions, and that they have characteristics. So, on what do you actually differ that really matters?

Would you both agree that arising and falling of a dhamma, as well as characteristics of a dhamma, can be experienced directly through insight? If not, why not? Is there some other property of dhammas that I'm missing and that you see as crucial in this argument?

Sorry for being blunt, but to me it seems both of you are just arguing about words - conventional at that, like "things", "realities", etc. It's just frustrating... Another reason why I think in such very precise matters, ultimate terminology should be used, because there's less room for confusion than when using conventions like "thing, nature, real, etc". In fact, that's why I think I need to disagree with tilt's conclusion about paramattha/samutti kathas, but I'll do that in the other thread so as not to clutter this one. Sorry for the rant.

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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Apr 10, 2010 2:37 am

Greetings pt1,

pt1 wrote:Another reason why I think in such very precise matters, ultimate terminology should be used, because there's less room for confusion than when using conventions like "thing, nature, real, etc".


To me, much of it seems to have to do with the definition of the technical term dhamma as used in Theravada Abhidhamma. Since that's the crux of the Abhidhamma, if there isn't agreement on that, no amount of "ultimate terminology" is going to help.

Metta,
Retro. :)
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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 » Sat Apr 10, 2010 2:49 am

:focus:
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 » Sat Apr 10, 2010 3:40 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings pt1,

pt1 wrote:Another reason why I think in such very precise matters, ultimate terminology should be used, because there's less room for confusion than when using conventions like "thing, nature, real, etc".


To me, much of it seems to have to do with the definition of the technical term dhamma as used in Theravada Abhidhamma. Since that's the crux of the Abhidhamma, if there isn't agreement on that, no amount of "ultimate terminology" is going to help.

Thanks retro. So far, we seem to have two quoted usages of sabhava - for conditionality and for characteristics of dhammas. Everything else seems to be an argument about how we interpret those passages. E.g. whether dhammas are things or not, which doesn't seem that relevant to me since it doesn't reveal something new about dhammas. I mean, I keep wondering whether Kevin or tilt know something else about dhammas, beside conditionality and characteristics, which might be very important.

One important thing I can think of is whether these two (conditional arising and falling, and charactersitics) can be actually experienced in insight, or not (what would make them just conventions then as well), though I haven't got a confirmation from Kevin or tilt yet whether this is the important bit or not. I think the two can be directly experienced, and I think Kevin would probably agree with this, so would be interested to hear what tilt thinks as I couldn't really gauge it from his statements as yet.

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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Apr 10, 2010 4:04 am

Greetings pt1,

pt1 wrote:E.g. whether dhammas are things or not, which doesn't seem that relevant to me since it doesn't reveal something new about dhammas.


On the other hand, I think this is a very important point... particularly for anyone trying to work out how to approach and regard the Abhidhamma, and whether it's a framework they wish to use when observing the "rising and falling of phenomena". The Buddha taught suññata, and if aspects of the Abhidhamma appear to contradict suññata, it's a good opportunity for someone interested in the Abhidhamma to explain how it is in accord with suññata. It may be very obvious to someone who has spent much time with the Abhidhamma how it is in accord with suññata, but it is not obvious to those with limited exposure to, or understanding of the Abhidhamma.

A dhamma with ultimate "thingness" would not be ultimately suñña (empty, void), and this is a valid concern to raise.

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 » Sat Apr 10, 2010 4:10 am

Virgo wrote:I don't care to know to be honest with you Pt. I don't come here to...

I understand that communication is difficult at times, but for the sake of the community would like to ask to try and work with each other. I think you'd agree that everyone has been a lot more tolerant toward you in this thread, so perhaps the best is to just forget about the past and be patient. I remember I used to be very hostile towards abhidhamma and commentaries, but luckily people were tolerant and now I've come to appreciate them very much. I don't think tilt or anyone else here is nearly as hostile towards abhi and comms as I used to be. I don't think it's wrong if we can all express varying opinions and even argue on a particular matter. And I do understand that you have strong faith in the teachings which is why it sometimes might be hurtful when people seem to reject them. But please remember that we are all different and for some of us faith is not as strong as other faculties, which might lead to more critical thinking and questioning than in your case.

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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby pt1 » Sat Apr 10, 2010 4:26 am

retrofuturist wrote:
pt1 wrote:E.g. whether dhammas are things or not, which doesn't seem that relevant to me since it doesn't reveal something new about dhammas.


On the other hand, I think this is a very important point... particularly for anyone trying to work out how to approach and regard the Abhidhamma, and whether it's a framework they wish to use when observing the "rising and falling of phenomena". The Buddha taught suññata, and if aspects of the Abhidhamma appear to contradict suññata, it's a good opportunity for someone interested in the Abhidhamma to explain how it is in accord with suññata. It may be very obvious to someone who has spent much time with the Abhidhamma how it is in accord with suññata, but it is not obvious to those with limited exposure to, or understanding of the Abhidhamma.

A dhamma with "thingness" would not be ultimately suñña (empty, void), and this is a valid concern to raise.

I don't know, you might be right. To me it kind of seems that "thingness" or "non-thingness" is similar to considering self/no self - it's just going too far into what's not helpful anymore since it's going away from conditionality and thus the entire argument is flawed no matter what side is taken.

Anyway, regarding voidness and insight and dhammas, this passage seems relevant:

Vsm XXII,118 wrote:(14) Insight into states that is higher understanding is stated thus:
'Having reflected on the object,
Dissolution he contemplates,
Appearance then as empty—this
Is insight of higher understanding' (Ps.i,58).
Insight so described occurs after knowing materiality, etc., as object,
by seeing the dissolution both of that object and of the consciousness
whose object it was, and by apprehending voidness through the dissolution
in this way: 'Only formations break up. It is the death of formations.
There is nothing else'. Taking that insight as higher understanding and
as insight with respect to states, it is called 'insight into states that is
higher understanding'. Through its means misinterpreting (insisting) due
to grasping at a core is abandoned, because it has been clearly seen that
there is no core of permanence and no core of self.

Importantly, I think "knowing materiality, etc., as object" means that materiality (rupa) as a dhamma is taken as the object of citta, and "etc" stands for any other dhamma, so this seems like a generic description of how it happens.

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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Apr 10, 2010 9:28 am

pt1 wrote: I don't know, you might be right. To me it kind of seems that "thingness" or "non-thingness" is similar to considering self/no self - it's just going too far into what's not helpful anymore since it's going away from conditionality and thus the entire argument is flawed no matter what side is taken.
Speaking of conditionality, you might find it very useful to read Ven Nanananda's CONCEPT AND REALITY and THE MAGIC OF THE MIND. While not Abhidhamma books, they are insightfully useful in dealing with the issues raised here.

http://www.pariyatti.org/Bookstore/prod ... cfm?PC=322

http://www.pariyatti.org/Bookstore/prod ... cfm?PC=409
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 » Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:25 am

retrofuturist wrote:G
A dhamma with ultimate "thingness" would not be ultimately suñña (empty, void), and this is a valid concern to raise.

Metta,
Retro. :)

Hi Reto, Pt, all,

I think this is a problem of understanding. Some people get ancy when they hear that paramattha dhammas have sabhava, or that they actually exist. You see, these things are real-- real "things". They actually exist, for a short duration of time and then fall away. People think that if things "exist" then there must be some self in them or to them. But that is not the case. In fact, it is precisely because things exist for real as individual things that their is anatta, no so self or beings. Paramattha dhamams are conditioned dhammas. They only arise by conditions, not by their own will or by any will. They arise and fall because of conditions. Because there are these real parts, there is no real entity. The "being" is not real ultimately, only conventionally; it is a concept. What is real ultimately is only parts, like nama and rupa. A "chair" does not exist ultimately, only through conventional thought (conventional thought by the by misses the mark and is deluded). What exists are the rupa that arise and fall away, which are all seperate particles, and which we may conceive of as a "chair. The parts are real, but there is not being, person, or "thing". Nevertheless, nama and rupa are real things that exist in the _ultimate_ sense. It is precisely because uncontrollable nama and rupa that arise only by conditions exist and are real that there is no "self".

All citta, cetasikas, rupa, and nibbana are real in the ultimate sense. They are paramattha dhammas. They arise solely by conditions, except for nibbana.

Again, because these things are real, they make up what we perceive as "wholes", but the "wholes" are only conceptual, and not real in the ultimate sense.

As far as the "things", paramattha dhammas, having a self, they do not because they cannot control or will anything; they only arise by conditions and fall away.
I hope this helps, and is clear.

*I said earlier that I don't think paramattha have any self-nature, but I was incorrect. What I was getting at was that they are anatta, which is correct. Sabhava is translated as self-nature and ultimate phenomena have sabhava but that simply means that they exist as individual "things" it does not me they have a "self" the way we would think a person or a god has a self (which of course they don't but delusion can think they do). I think translation of subtle concepts can be tricky.

I hope this helps. All the best,

Kevin

P.S. This is in response to you Retro, Tilt, and Pt, as I feel it explains what I am trying to express and addresses all of your queries, including yours Retro about dhammas being sunna. They are sunna, because they are anatta (empty, void of atta or self), wether they exist in an ultimate sense or wether they do not. Sunna that they don't actually exist in an ultimate sense either is a Mahayana concept, not a Theravadin one.
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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby Alex123 » Sun Apr 11, 2010 1:38 am

Hello Kevin, all,

Virgo wrote:I think this is a problem of understanding. Some people get ancy when they hear that paramattha dhammas have sabhava, or that they actually exist.
You see, these things are real-- real "things". They actually exist, for a short duration of time and then fall away. People think that if things "exist" then there must be some self in them or to them. But that is not the case. In fact, it is precisely because things exist for real as individual things that their is anatta, no so self or beings.


Well, the reason why some people get edgy is because it appears as an extreme view refuted by the Buddha.


Staying at Savatthi. Then a brahman cosmologist 1 went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, exchanged courteous greetings with him. After an exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, he sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to the Blessed One, "Now, then, Master Gotama, does everything exist?"
"'Everything exists' (sabbamatthī) is the senior form of cosmology, brahman."
"Then, Master Gotama, does everything not exist? (sabbaṃ natthī)"
"'Everything does not exist' is the second form of cosmology, brahman."
"Then is everything a Oneness?" (sabbamekatta)
"'Everything is a Oneness' is the third form of cosmology, brahman."
"Then is everything a Manyness?" (sabbaṃ puthutta’’nti)
"'Everything is a Manyness' is the fourth form of cosmology, brahman. Avoiding these two extremes, the Tathagata teaches the Dhamma via the middle:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


Note: By "everything" it can mean 12 ayatanas. SN 35.23



Virgo wrote: Because there are these real parts , there is no real entity . The "being" is not real ultimately, only conventionally; it is a concept. What is real ultimately is only parts, like nama and rupa. A "chair" does not exist ultimately, only through conventional thought (conventional thought by the by misses the mark and is deluded). What exists are the rupa that arise and fall away, which are all seperate particles, and which we may conceive of as a "chair. The parts are real, but there is not being, person, or "thing". Nevertheless, nama and rupa are real things that exist in the _ultimate_ sense. It is precisely because uncontrollable nama and rupa that arise only by conditions exist and are real that there is no "self".


"By & large, Kaccayana, this world is supported by (takes as its object) a polarity, that of existence (atthitā) & non-existence (natthitā). But when one sees the origination of the world as it actually is with right discernment, 'non-existence' with reference to the world does not occur to one. When one sees the cessation of the world as it actually is with right discernment, 'existence' with reference to the world does not occur to one.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html



Virgo wrote:Again, because these things are real, they make up what we perceive as "wholes", but the "wholes" are only conceptual, and not real in the ultimate sense.


Again, what you say seems to border on:
1) everything is manyness (sabbaṃ puthutta)
and that
2) everything (paramattha) exist (sabbamatthī)
and
3) non-existence (natthitā) of some things (concepts).

All of these are obstacles to right view.

"It isn't right, monks, that sons of good families, on having gone forth out of faith from home to the homeless life, should get engaged in such topics of conversation, i.e., conversation about kings, robbers, & ministers of state; armies, alarms, & battles; food & drink; clothing, furniture, garlands, & scents; relatives; vehicles; villages, towns, cities, the countryside; women & heroes; the gossip of the street & the well; tales of the dead; tales of diversity, the creation of the world & of the sea;talk of whether things exist or not"
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html



http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


With metta,

Alex
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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby Virgo » Sun Apr 11, 2010 2:19 am

Hi Alex,

Alex123 wrote:Hello Kevin, all,

Virgo wrote:I think this is a problem of understanding. Some people get ancy when they hear that paramattha dhammas have sabhava, or that they actually exist.
You see, these things are real-- real "things". They actually exist, for a short duration of time and then fall away. People think that if things "exist" then there must be some self in them or to them. But that is not the case. In fact, it is precisely because things exist for real as individual things that their is anatta, no so self or beings.


Well, the reason why some people get edgy is because it appears as an extreme view refuted by the Buddha.


Staying at Savatthi. Then a brahman cosmologist 1 went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, exchanged courteous greetings with him. After an exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, he sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to the Blessed One, "Now, then, Master Gotama, does everything exist?"
"'Everything exists' (sabbamatthī) is the senior form of cosmology, brahman."
"Then, Master Gotama, does everything not exist? (sabbaṃ natthī)"
"'Everything does not exist' is the second form of cosmology, brahman."
"Then is everything a Oneness?" (sabbamekatta)
"'Everything is a Oneness' is the third form of cosmology, brahman."
"Then is everything a Manyness?" (sabbaṃ puthutta’’nti)
"'Everything is a Manyness' is the fourth form of cosmology, brahman. Avoiding these two extremes, the Tathagata teaches the Dhamma via the middle:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


Where did I say that everything exists or that everything does not exist?

Kevin

Note: By "everything" it can mean 12 ayatanas. SN 35.23


That is a distortion. This can be evidenced from the rest of the Tipitika, including the Abhidhamma, which clearly teaches about panatti (concepts) and paramattha (ultimates).

The "all" in that Sutta, refers to all those things that are real that a being experiences. It, in fact, gives a conceptual construct which points a person to realities and turns him or her away from grosser concepts about a "world" seperate from ones direct, moment to moment sensory experience. It in fact supports the idea that there are realities and concepts. Had you read the very short article I recommend to you recently, you would have saved yourself so much trouble here and on DSG by now, Alex. You won't even read it, though. At least then you could understand what it is you are disagreeing with, rather than misunderstand your opponents position time and again.


Alex123 wrote:
Again, what you say seems to border on:
1) everything is manyness (sabbaṃ puthutta)
and that
2) everything (paramattha) exist (sabbamatthī)
and
3) non-existence (natthitā) of some things (concepts).

All of these are obstacles to right view.


See above. I never said everything exists, ie. nothing is real, or everything does exist, ie. which would mean there are real "people" (concepts).

It is neither of those. The fact is there are realities, and there is delusion, a reality called moha, which misaprehends those realities, causing concepts to become the object of citta.

Kevin
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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby Alex123 » Sun Apr 11, 2010 2:38 am

Hello Kevin,


could you please say how to reconcile:

When one studies paramattha dhammas one should remember that they are real, that they are not beings, people or self, that they are not women, men, or different things.
http://www.abhidhamma.org/sujin3.htm


And

sutta
"By & large, Kaccayana, this world is supported by (takes as its object) a polarity, that of existence (atthitā) & non-existence (natthitā). But when one sees the origination of the world as it actually is with right discernment, 'non-existence' with reference to the world does not occur to one. When one sees the cessation of the world as it actually is with right discernment, 'existence' with reference to the world does not occur to one.http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html



How to reconcile
Those who are slow in understanding as regards rupa can understand realities as explained by way of ayatanas
http://www.abhidhamma.org/sujin3.htm


With

sutta
"'Everything exists' (sabbamatthī) is the senior form of cosmology, brahman."
'Everything is a Manyness' (sabbaṃ puthutta’’nti) is the fourth form of cosmology, brahman
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


-----------------------------------------------------


S.: Only paramattha dhammas can be the object of satipatthana.
http://www.abhidhamma.org/sujin3.htm


What about anapanasati, 4 postures, cemetery contemplation, 32 bodyparts and similar "concepts" being used in Satipatthana sutta? MN10/DN22
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html



With metta,

Alex
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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby Virgo » Sun Apr 11, 2010 2:47 am

pt1 wrote:One important thing I can think of is whether these two (conditional arising and falling, and characterisitics) can be actually experienced in insight, or not (what would make them just conventions then as well), though I haven't got a confirmation from Kevin or tilt yet whether this is the important bit or not. I think the two can be directly experienced, and I think Kevin would probably agree with this, so would be interested to hear what tilt thinks as I couldn't really gauge it from his statements as yet.

Best wishes

Hi PT,

What can be directly experienced during real insight, ie satipatthana, is only one of the three characteristics of conditioned dhammas, ie. either the anicca (impermanent), anatta (not-self), or dukkha (suffering) aspect of the single dhamma apprehended at that time.

When the anatta aspect is penetrated, there is understanding of conditionallity and uncontrollability. The Visudhimagga, in fact, defines anattaness as uncontrollability (due it arising and falling based only on conditions). It is not self because it is uncontrollable by an entity. It is uncontrollable because it is conditioned by various conditioning factors over which there is no power.

Thus, one can traverse all the stages of insight as panna becomes keener and keener aprehending the not-self characteristic of arising dhammas during satipatthana. It traverses all the stages of insight until dispassion toward presently arising, conditioned phenomena becomes so strong that it conditions panna to be able to turn away fully from conditioned phenomena for the first time, and actually take the unconditioned element as it's object because that is the only alternative. At that time the lokutarra maga citta arises, and nibbana is known. One is then no longer a worldling.

I hope this helps.
Kevin
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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Apr 11, 2010 3:07 am

Virgo wrote:I think this is a problem of understanding. Some people get ancy when they hear that paramattha dhammas have sabhava, or that they actually exist.
No antsyness here, but it is interesting that in an above msg you claim: “Even if I say they are "things", I don't hold that they have a self-nature of some sort.” But now you seem to hold that they do have a self-nature, sabhava, as I pointed out by referring to Buddhaghosa.

You see, these things are real-- real "things". They actually exist, for a short duration of time and then fall away.
It depends upon what you mean by the word “exists.”

People think that if things "exist" then there must be some self in them or to them. But that is not the case. In fact, it is precisely because things exist for real as individual things that their is anatta, no so self or beings.
And this, of course, makes no sense, though whatever it is that you might mean could be expressed a bit more skillfully. It may be that what you are saying is that the self-nature (true-nature) of an “existing” thing is its emptiness of a self. But if it is empty of a self, it is certainly empty of any sort of ultimate or absolute existence no matter how brief or how long, given that ultimate or absolute existence is a defining characteristic of a self.

Paramattha dhamams are conditioned dhammas. They only arise by conditions, not by their own will or by any will. They arise and fall because of conditions. Because there are these real parts, there is no real entity.
And a “part” is not an entity? If a part is real, it then is, obviously, an entity.

The "being" is not real ultimately, only conventionally; it is a concept. What is real ultimately is only parts, like nama and rupa. A "chair" does not exist ultimately, only through conventional thought (conventional thought by the by misses the mark and is deluded). What exists are the rupa that arise and fall away, which are all seperate particles, and which we may conceive of as a "chair. The parts are real, but there is not being, person, or "thing". Nevertheless, nama and rupa are real things that exist in the _ultimate_ sense. It is precisely because uncontrollable nama and rupa that arise only by conditions exist and are real that there is no "self".
Nama and rupa are no different from the chair in that they are made up of “parts” and when certain parts are put together in particular ways, we have either nama or rupa, just like the chair or chariot. And the parts themselves would have to be conditioned. If the parts are unconditioned they cannot condition anything. Given that you, Kevin, have not shown that nama and rupa are not in any way ultimately different from a chair (which is made up of conditioned parts), you cannot reasonably argue that a chair is only conventionally real and nama and rupa are somehow ultimately real, given that they have essentially the same conditioned nature.

All citta, cetasikas, rupa, and nibbana are real in the ultimate sense.
But you have not shown that “citta, cetasikas, rupa” are any more real than a chair, all of which are made up of conditioned "parts." (Nibbana is a different animal altogether.)

Again, because these things are real, they make up what we perceive as "wholes", but the "wholes" are only conceptual, and not real in the ultimate sense.
Only half correct. Because we perceive them as wholes, we conceptualize them as existing somehow other than in a conventional sense.

As far as the "things", paramattha dhammas, having a self, they do not because they cannot control or will anything; they only arise by conditions and fall away.
I hope this helps, and is clear.
Having no “self,” there is no need to posit any sort of absolute reality to dhammas of any sort. The reality of paramattha dhammas is no different from that of a conventional “dhamma.”

Positing some sort of absolute existence to paramattha dhammas unnecessarily reifies them. Paramattha is simply a more refined way of talking about the flow of experience. It is not a matter of these things existing or not-existing, the idea of which the Buddha rejected.
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 tiltbillings » Sun Apr 11, 2010 3:32 am

Sorry, pt1, I missed this first time around.

pt1 wrote:One important thing I can think of is whether these two (conditional arising and falling, and charactersitics) can be actually experienced in insight, or not (what would make them just conventions then as well), though I haven't got a confirmation from Kevin or tilt yet whether this is the important bit or not. I think the two can be directly experienced, and I think Kevin would probably agree with this, so would be interested to hear what tilt thinks as I couldn't really gauge it from his statements as yet.
What one experiences with mindfulness practice, bare attention, is simply the rising and falling - the flow of experience - of what we are. There is nothing else but that. It is in the rising and falling of our mind-body process that there is the "seeing" in what we see, touch, taste, hear, cognize. In that, the seeing of the rise and fall of the very experiences that makes us up, as mindfulness and concentration grows clearer and stronger, we "see" anicca, dukkha, anatta and conditionality. It is after the fact that we might call the insight from our "seeing" anicca or dukkha or anatta given that the "seeing" is non-conceptual.
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 Virgo » Sun Apr 11, 2010 3:39 am

Tilt take it with the Buddha who authored the Dhammasangani.

Kevin
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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Apr 11, 2010 5:46 am

Virgo wrote:Tilt take it with the Buddha who authored the Dhammasangani.
There is not a thing I have said in my above msg that contradicts the Dhammasangani. And do not forget that Dhammasangani goes hand in hand with the Patthana.

The problem is, Kevin, you, in your above msg, have given us no reason to see any ultimate difference between a chair and a cetasika, given that they are both ultimately made up of conditioned “parts” and are empty of self. The further problem is that when you start positing that dhammas exist, you have jumped into the realm of ontology, which raises the questions of existence, essences, which is clearly a position rejected by the Buddha in the Kaccayanagotta Sutta.

Clearly the Abhidhamma Pitaka texts are not ontological texts; rather, it is the flow of our total mind-body experience that is the subject of the Abhidhamma Pitaka, the phenomenology of our interdependent experience. And the function of the idea of dhammas in the Abhidhamma Pitaka texts is as a way of looking at our experience, of seeing aspects of our ever flowing experience in relationship to the causes and conditions that shape it, giving insight into conditioned/conditioning/transitory/empty of self nature of all of what we are. It is not that dhammas exist; rather, it is that the idea of dhammas can be used to help us see what our experience is, giving us insight into the three marks. The idea of dhammas is not to establish that some sort of existence/thing exists, which is what happens when it is claimed that dhammas exist.

Paramattha has to do with a refined way of talking about our experience, but being “paramattha” neither makes it more true nor more effective than the “conventional” suttas teachings.
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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