Can effect arise simulteneously with its cause?

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Alex123
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Can effect arise simulteneously with its cause?

Postby Alex123 » Sat Jun 26, 2010 4:46 pm

Hello all,

Can cause and its result occur simultaneously? How can this be? Any examples? I can understand and see how there can be two mutual causes (example 2 cards supporting each other so they don't fall). But it seems hard to reconcile how two things arise together at the same time with one being cause and other the result.

Ex: contact and feeling. Do they arise at the same time? According to Theravadin abhidhamma yes. But feeling doesn't cause contact, contact is the cause of feeling, right?. How can effect arise simulteneously together with its cause at exactly the same time? Shouldn't it come (even a nanosecond) later?



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Re: Can effect arise simulteneously with its cause?

Postby beeblebrox » Sat Jun 26, 2010 5:21 pm

When I was younger (maybe 10 years ago), I had this idea that the separation between cause and effect was an illusion... they're actually one thing, split up by our perception.

This was based on the idea of non-duality. Right now... I think it's a bit silly. :tongue: It's just yet another viewpoint that doesn't really contribute to anything.

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Re: Can effect arise simulteneously with its cause?

Postby OcTavO » Sat Jun 26, 2010 5:25 pm

Not related to Theravada Buddhism, but possibly of interest to you on this topic: Retrocausality

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Re: Can effect arise simulteneously with its cause?

Postby smokey » Sat Jun 26, 2010 5:37 pm

Cuase and effect are a transformation from one thing to another, but it actually remains the same thing.

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Re: Can effect arise simulteneously with its cause?

Postby Goofaholix » Sat Jun 26, 2010 8:23 pm

I don't see how that's possible by definition, but I guess the difference could be a split second. It might seem that way when the two exist at the same time for a while, or when the affect passes away before the cause.
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Re: Can effect arise simulteneously with its cause?

Postby cooran » Sat Jun 26, 2010 9:02 pm

Hello all,

My understanding is that the Buddha never taught that there was on cause and one effect. He taught conditionality.

"Freedom of the Will" in the light of Theravada Buddhist teachings
Journal of Buddhist Ethics, Annual, 2007 by Peter Harvey

Excerpt:
Unlike the theory of linear causality--which led the Vedists and Jains to see the relationship between an act and its result as predictable and tit-for-tat--the principle of this/that conditionality makes that relationship inherently complex. The results of kamma experienced at any one point in time come not only from past kamma, but also from present kamma. This means that, although there are general patterns relating habitual acts to corresponding results ([section]9 [M. III.203-206]), there is no set one-for-one, tit-for-tat, relationship between a particular action and its results. Instead, the results are determined by the context of the act, both in terms of actions that preceded or followed it ([section] 11 [M.III.209-215; e.g., a bad action may not be immediately followed by a bad rebirth if one has done strong good actions beforehand, or develops right view near death]) and in terms one's state of mind at the time of acting or experiencing the result ([section] 13 [=A.I.249-253]). As we noted in the Introduction, the feedback loops inherent in this/that conditionality mean that the working out of any particular cause-effect relationship can be very complex indeed. This explains why the Buddha says in [section] 12 [A.II.80] that the results of kamma are imponderable. Only a person who has developed the mental range of a Buddha--another imponderable itself--would be able to trace the intricacies of the kammic network. The basic premise of kamma is simple--that skillful intentions lead to favorable results, and unskillful ones to unfavorable results--but the process by which those results work themselves out is so intricate that it cannot be fully mapped.
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_7 ... 265/pg_13/

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Re: Can effect arise simultaneously with its cause?

Postby acinteyyo » Sat Jun 26, 2010 9:07 pm

Goofaholix wrote:I don't see how that's possible by definition, [...]

The only interrelation between cause and effect don't have to be necessarily time, the relation between them can also be a logical one.

In my eyes dependent origination (paticcasamuppāda) is an example for cause and effect arising simultaneously.

Action (kamma) and its results (vipāka) is an example for cause and effect arising successively.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Api cāhaṃ, āvuso, imasmiṃyeva byāmamatte kaḷevare, sasaññimhi samanake lokañca paññāpemi lokasamudayañca lokanirodhañca lokanirodhagāminiñca paṭipadan. (AN4.45)

:anjali:

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Re: Can effect arise simultaneously with its cause?

Postby Alex123 » Sat Jun 26, 2010 11:32 pm

acinteyyo wrote:
Goofaholix wrote:I don't see how that's possible by definition, [...]

The only interrelation between cause and effect don't have to be necessarily time, the relation between them can also be a logical one.

In my eyes dependent origination (paticcasamuppāda) is an example for cause and effect arising simultaneously.

Action (kamma) and its results (vipāka) is an example for cause and effect arising successively.

best wishes, acinteyyo


Wow. Acinteyyo, how can result arise together (at exactly the same time) with its cause? Does it negate the meaning of the cause as something that has to precede (even by a nanosecond) its effect?

In the case of paticcasamuppāda there are moments where time plays a role. Ex: how can birth arise at the same time as aging&death?
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Re: Can effect arise simulteneously with its cause?

Postby cooran » Sun Jun 27, 2010 9:08 am

Hello all,

Nina's answer on dsg:
================================================================
Re: [dsg] Can cause and its result arise together at exactly the same time?
Dear Alex,
Op 26-jun-2010, om 18:43 heeft truth_aerator het volgende geschreven:

> Can cause and its result occur simultaneously? How can this be? Any
> examples? I can understand and see how there can be two mutual
> causes (example 2 cards supporting each other so they don't fall).
> But it seems hard to reconcile how two things arise together at the
> same time with one being cause and other the result.
-------
N: No, kamma and vipaaka could not arise together.
---------
>
> A: Ex: contact and feeling. Do they arise at the same time?
> According to Theravadin abhidhamma yes. But feeling doesn't cause
> contact, contact is the cause of feeling. How can effect arise
> together with its cause? Shouldn't it come (even a nanosecond) later?
------
N: Here we have to distinguish cause that produces vipaaka and a
factor that is a condition for another reality. Contact does not
produce feeling, it is a condition in several ways for the conascent
feeling.

Vis. Ch XVII, 231: Text Vis. 231: Herein, in the five doors contact
beginning with eye-contact is a
condition in eight ways, as conascence, mutuality, support, result,
nutriment, association, presence, and non-disappearance conditions, for
the five kinds of feeling that have respectively eye sensitivity, etc.,
as their physical basis.
--------
N: Eye-contact accompanies seeing-consciousness. This contact
conditions the feeling accompanying seeing-consciousness by way of
conascence and other conditions that are conascent. It is the same
for the other sense-contacts. Nutriment-condition is mentioned,
because contact is a mental nutriment for the other conascent dhammas
including feeling. Contact as a mental nutriment supports the
prolongation of the cycle of birth and death.
Eye-contact ‘contacts’ visible object so that seeing and the other
cetasikas, including feeling, can experience that object. The
vipaakacittas that arise in the same process after seeing has fallen
away, still experience visible object. The accompanying feelings are
strongly dependent on eye-contact and it is the same in the case of
the other sense-door processes. The cittas in a sense-door process
succeed one another extremely rapidly. They all experience the same
sense object and are dependent on the same sense-door which has not
fallen away yet.

-----------
Nina.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastu ... age/108140
===============================================================

with metta
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Re: Can effect arise simultaneously with its cause?

Postby acinteyyo » Sun Jun 27, 2010 9:21 am

Hi Alex123,
Alex123 wrote:Wow. Acinteyyo, how can result arise together (at exactly the same time) with its cause?
It depends on the interrelation of cause and effect. You seem to be concernd only with temporal interrelation. In that case the results obviously have to arise after its cause. There are cases where the cause determines a result logically, where time doesn't play any role at all concerning their interrelation.
Alex123 wrote:In the case of paticcasamuppāda there are moments where time plays a role. Ex: how can birth arise at the same time as aging&death?
I knew that this question would come up. It depends on your understanding of paticcasamuppāda. It reminds me of Ven. Ñanavira Thera who said:
The Buddha has said (Majjhima Nikaya 28) that he who sees the Dhamma sees paticcasamuppāda; and he has also said that the Dhamma is sanditthika and akālika, that it is immediately visible and without involving time (see in particular Majjhima Nikaya 38). Now it is evident that the twelve items, avijjā to jarāmarana, cannot, if the traditional interpretation is correct, all be seen at once; for they are spread over three successive existences. I may, for example, see present viññāna to vedanā, but I cannot now see the kamma of the past existence—avijjā and sankhārā—that (according to the traditional interpretation) was the cause of these present things. Or I may see tanhā and so on, but I cannot now see the jāti and jarāmarana that will result from these things in the next existence. And the situation is no better if it is argued that since all twelve items are present in each existence it is possible to see them all at once. It is, no doubt, true that all these things can be seen at once, but the avijjā and sankhārā that I now see are the cause (says the traditional interpretation) of viññāna to vedanā in the next existence, and have no causal connexion with the viññāna to vedanā that I now see. In other words, the relation sankhārapaccayā viññānam cannot be seen in either case. The consequence of this is that the paticcasamuppāda formulation (if the traditional interpretation is correct) is something that, in part at least, must be taken on trust. And even if there is memory of the past existence the situation is still unsatisfactory, since memory is not on the same level of certainty as present reflexive experience. Instead of imass'uppādā idam uppajjati, imassa nirodhā idam nirujjhati, 'with arising of this this arises, with cessation of this this ceases', the traditional interpretation says, in effect, imassa nirodhā idam uppajjati, 'with cessation of this, this arises'. It is needless to press this point further: either the reader will already have recognized that this is, for him, a valid objection to the traditional interpretation, or he will not. And if he has not already seen this as an objection, no amount of argument will open his eyes.

However this thread is not the right place to discuss the various interpretations of D.O.
It depends on your understanding.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Api cāhaṃ, āvuso, imasmiṃyeva byāmamatte kaḷevare, sasaññimhi samanake lokañca paññāpemi lokasamudayañca lokanirodhañca lokanirodhagāminiñca paṭipadan. (AN4.45)

:anjali:

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Re: Can effect arise simulteneously with its cause?

Postby PeterB » Sun Jun 27, 2010 9:27 am

" time does not play any role at all "..... :thumbsup: . Time is dependant too. It is not the field in which things arise.

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Re: Can effect arise simulteneously with its cause?

Postby cooran » Mon Jun 28, 2010 7:06 am

PeterB wrote:" time does not play any role at all "..... :thumbsup: . Time is dependant too. It is not the field in which things arise.


Hello PeterB,

Sorry for being so blind .... but in which post does your quote above come?

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Re: Can effect arise simulteneously with its cause?

Postby PeterB » Mon Jun 28, 2010 7:16 am

It isn't a direct quote. Its the result of editing a quote.

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Re: Can effect arise simulteneously with its cause?

Postby cooran » Mon Jun 28, 2010 7:37 am

Ummmmmmmm :shrug: Can you give the unedited quote, or ...
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
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Re: Can effect arise simultaneously with its cause?

Postby beeblebrox » Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:16 pm

Cooran, I think it came from Acinteyyo's second post:

acinteyyo wrote:
Alex123 wrote:Wow. Acinteyyo, how can result arise together (at exactly the same time) with its cause?
It depends on the interrelation of cause and effect. You seem to be concernd only with temporal interrelation. In that case the results obviously have to arise after its cause. There are cases where the cause determines a result logically, where time doesn't play any role at all concerning their interrelation.

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Re: Can effect arise simulteneously with its cause?

Postby Ben » Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:03 am

Hmmm....
If memory serves me well I think I was reading something related to this in Vism in the Dependent Origination chapter. From my readings, which I hope to confirm later, a cause and effect cannot arise simultaneously.
However, will get back to you on that one.
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Re: Can effect arise simulteneously with its cause?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Tue Jun 29, 2010 2:15 am

cooran wrote:Hello all,

My understanding is that the Buddha never taught that there was on cause and one effect. He taught conditionality.

...
with metta
Chris


This is how Prof Y Karunadasa always explains and stresses it, too. He has details in his "Dhamma Theory" booklet.

However, the Sarvastivadins did have a particular later causal system wherein cause and effect arose simultaneously. From memory, it was called something like "sahajata" (together-born) cause. This is mainly in their "six causes" system, rather than their somewhat earlier "four conditions" system.
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Re: Can effect arise simulteneously with its cause?

Postby PeterB » Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:34 am

Ben wrote:Hmmm....
If memory serves me well I think I was reading something related to this in Vism in the Dependent Origination chapter. From my readings, which I hope to confirm later, a cause and effect cannot arise simultaneously.
However, will get back to you on that one.
kind regards

Ben

From a temporal standpoint Ben that's true, however if time is arising dependently along with everything else then simultaneously or sequentially have only relative existence. Which of course has enormous implications when applied to other processes. Rebirth for example.

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Re: Can effect arise simulteneously with its cause?

Postby Ben » Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:55 am

Hi Peter
I think I well and truly did my head in trying to immerse myself in Buddhaghosa's explanation of dependent origination. I know I've done my head in because I'm going back for another go! I'm not much of a theoretical physicist but in my rudimentary understanding, causality seems to presume that temporality is a field in which causality operates. Taking temporality out of the equation doesn't help my understanding of causality. But then I'm not suggesting that it doesn't explain things well for others.
Anyway, you reminded me to go digging through Vism again, and that can't be a bad thing - or can it??.
metta

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Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

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Re: Can effect arise simulteneously with its cause?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jun 29, 2010 8:11 am

Greetings,

Ben wrote:I think I well and truly did my head in trying to immerse myself in Buddhaghosa's explanation of dependent origination. I know I've done my head in because I'm going back for another go!

That's funny. :lol:

I remember encountering those chapters of the Visuddhimagga and thinking to myself whether any of the Theravada bhikkhus who had inspired me to that point (e.g. Ajahn Chah, Ajahn Sumedho, Thanissaro Bhikkhu) had actually understood, or felt the need to understand the immense and intricate complexity of the explanation, let alone derived any benefit from it. The words on the pages seemed worlds away from the pithy words of Ajahn Chah who said that everything is teaching us.

Ven. Buddhaghosa may well provide an answer to the question, "Can effect arise simulteneously with its cause?"... however not enough of the Buddhaghosa rendition of Dependent Origination actually 'stuck' for me to comment. Again, that's neither here nor there, but that was my experience, and Ben's comments made me smile.

Metta,
Retro. :)
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