Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:29 pm

daverupa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:But if you are able to really attend to these things with concentration and mindfulness, one sees that the mood/mind-state/toothache are a constant flow of change.


Are you saying that one sees flux, here?
Flux? What do you mean by that word?

What you see when you look at a fire?

When the Buddha said this:

    ". . . the perception of impermanence should be cultivated for the removal of the conceit 'I am.' For when one perceives impermanence, Meghiya, the perception of not-self is established. When one perceives not-self one reaches the removal of the conceit 'I am,' which is called Nibbana here and now." U iv 1.

I think the Buddha meant that the perception of anicca was not meant to be a conceptual act; rather, it is what is experienced when in the seen just the seen, the heard just the heard, etc.

The fire persist as a result of its fuel, but it is easily observed to be, in that context, constantly changing. Next time to you have a toothache, use the pain as a meditation object, simply pay attention to it. In a very real sense, the pain persists as result of the causes and conditions, but the experience of the pain when simply attending to it, is that the sensation is not still.
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: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby sublime » Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:47 pm

Talking about experience is useless. Then you have to get into what is an experiencer. The idea is that you are going to find out there isn't one. It's not the experience of impermanence that matters, it's perception of it. Perception happens by way of six senses. Once you know everything is impermanent the mind figures out that it's because nothing lies at a base. Then one can give up having any views, which is the fruit. Or you can just give up having any views; you don't have to focus on impermanence, which is more or less a teaching. One can just accept the teaching because it makes sense. The Atthakavagga talks about no views in a standalone way.
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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Dec 13, 2011 5:11 pm

sublime wrote:Talking about experience is useless.
It depends upon what is meant here. Sometime it takes a while to figure out the language to get to the same page in order to actually talk with each other.
Then you have to get into what is an experiencer. The idea is that you are going to find out there isn't one. It's not the experience of impermanence that matters, it's perception of it.
And have I said anything different from this? I don't think so. The whole point is to see that the "experiencer" is a conditioned/conditioning part of the process. There is no singular agent behind all of this.

The problem is, of course, using words, and we are probably not being on exactly the same page with each of the important words used here. The word "experience" here is not being used by me with any great rigor, but what I an talking about in terms of meditative practice are those things we perceive/experience via the mind/body process with which we tend to identify. Of course, the "we" -- the "experiencer" -- is an add-on that is seen as part of this process as it is clearly perceived.
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: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby sublime » Tue Dec 13, 2011 5:28 pm

This has gone on long enough! Let's dispense with the language games and stop not talking about not talking about what we're not talking about.
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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Dec 13, 2011 5:35 pm

sublime wrote:This has gone on long enough! Let's dispense with the language games and stop not talking about not talking about what we're not talking about.
Damdifino what you are talking about here. At least from my end, I was trying to make a good faith effort here to try to talk about a subject that is not always easy to talk about. You don't need to jump down my throat over this.

I shrug my shoulders.

Image
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: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 6:02 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
daverupa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:But if you are able to really attend to these things with concentration and mindfulness, one sees that the mood/mind-state/toothache are a constant flow of change.


Are you saying that one sees flux, here?
Flux? What do you mean by that word?

Seeing the change in the mind-state ("mood") satipatthana is certainly difficult, but not impossible, as Tilt indicates.

As I understand it (as I've heard it explained by teachers from various Theravada schools), it' is important to be able to see that moods are unstable, otherwise it's very tempting to attach the "self" who is in a "calm meditator mind state".

:anjali:
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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby sublime » Tue Dec 13, 2011 7:03 pm

I'm verklempt. It was not my intention to upset. I could just flog myself, mea culpa mea mulpa mea culpa. Experience. What are we talking about? Mind. It's nothing. It's no body's fault. Honestly, sheesh. We should have a pot luck.
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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby Kenshou » Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:18 pm

What?
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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby ancientbuddhism » Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:35 pm

sublime wrote:Talking about experience is useless. Then you have to get into what is an experiencer. The idea is that you are going to find out there isn't one. It's not the experience of impermanence that matters, it's perception of it. Perception happens by way of six senses. Once you know everything is impermanent the mind figures out that it's because nothing lies at a base. Then one can give up having any views, which is the fruit. Or you can just give up having any views; you don't have to focus on impermanence, which is more or less a teaching. One can just accept the teaching because it makes sense. The Atthakavagga talks about no views in a standalone way.


‘‘Iti kho, bhikkhave, tathāgato daṭṭhā daṭṭhabbaṃ, diṭṭhaṃ na maññati, adiṭṭhaṃ na maññati, daṭṭhabbaṃ na maññati, daṭṭhāraṃ na maññati; sutvā sotabbaṃ, sutaṃ na maññati, asutaṃ na maññati, sotabbaṃ na maññati, sotāraṃ na maññati; mutvā motabbaṃ, mutaṃ na maññati, amutaṃ na maññati, motabbaṃ na maññati, motāraṃ na maññati; viññatvā viññātabbaṃ, viññātaṃ na maññati, aviññātaṃ na maññati, viññātabbaṃ na maññati, viññātāraṃ na maññati.

“Thus it is, bhikkhus, when the Tathāgata sees what is to be seen; he does not imagine the seen, does not imagine the not-seen, does not imagine what
is to be seen, and does not imagine a seer. When hearing what is to be heard; does not imagine the heard, does not imagine the not-heard, does not imagine what is to be heard, and does not imagine a hearer. When thinking what is to be thought; does not imagine the thought, does not imagine the not-thought, does not imagine what is to be thought, and does not imagine a thinker. When cognizing what is to be cognized; does not imagine the cognized, does not imagine the not-cognized, does not imagine what is to be cognized, and does not imagine a cognizer.

AN. 4.1.3.4 (4.24) – Kāḷakārāmasuttaṃ
Fingers walk the darkness down
Mind is on the midnight
Gather up the gold you've found
You fool, it's only moonlight.
If you try to take it home
Your hands will turn to butter
You better leave this dream alone
Try to find another. – Townes Van Zandt ‘Lungs’

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)

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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby dhamma follower » Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:37 pm

daverupa wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:What does jhana do to make it right knowledge then?


Jhana makes the mind pliable, easy to wield, etc etc. This is how jhana conduces to liberative insight.


So what this insight consist of, and how precisely?

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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby dhamma follower » Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:05 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:However, it is the idea of rapid successions that I've been trying to defend, because it is a very important step, IMO, in the understanding of the three characteristics.

It seems that assumptions of conceptual realism underlie what you are trying to establish. In Early Buddhist Metaphysics: The Making of a Philosophical Tradition (p. 122), Noa Ronkin characterizes conceptual realism as follows:

    The early Abhidhamma dhamma analysis also intends to ascertain that every psychophysical event is knowable and nameable, and that the words and concepts employed in the systematic discourse that is thus developed uniquely define their corresponding referents. In this respect the dhamma analysis … paves the way for conceptual realism – a worldview that is based on the notion of truth as constituted by a correspondence between our concepts and statements, on the one hand, and the features of an independent, determinate reality, on the other hand.

The individuation of unique particulars requires apperceptive memory recognition (saññā) and conceptual designation (paññatti) for differentiation. All such individuation is relational and conventional and therefore phenomena cannot be ultimately established as "truly existing things" or "the ultimate irreducible data of objective existence" independent of the cognitive process as the philosophical view of conceptual realism would have us believe. Early Buddhist Metaphysics (pp. 245-247):


I don't buy into this classification of realism...I think it is a product of too much philosophies.
That dhammas can be first experienced in their individual characteristics then their momentary nature doesn't make them to exist independently from consciousness. And that is all what counts.

Dependent upon a sense sphere and sense object coming together, the corresponding consciousness arises. When attention is averted elsewhere, that specific consciousness ceases. Furthermore, during the duration of this experience that specific consciousness undergoes change and alteration. This duration is relative to the attention given to the object of consciousness and is therefore not restricted to any fixed momentary limit


It doesn't take a Buddha to realize that we become aware of something because we are attentive to it, every normal person can notice that. The problem is we notice it with the idea "I am"...However, attention is also not-self, conditioned by other factors, which are conditioned by other factors again and so on...In a world when everything depends upon each other, one element changes implies change on all the others. That's why I said DO implies in it momentariness.

When you say consciousness undergoes change and alteration, what does that mean exactly? The only function of consciousness is to reflect, to know, so if it changes, that only means another object has arisen and so another consciousness has arisen too.

When you walk, your step might cover a distance of 30 cm, but 30 cm is made up from very small parts of the motion. Similarly when consciousness is seemingly attentive to one object for a certain time, it is made up from minute moments of conditioning.

Furthermore, there can not be real insight on the dependent origination without thoroughly understand the individual characteristics of dhammas, because it is the first step to understand that there is no one behind the experience, directly. Only with this understanding can one come to see that this dhamma arises dependently from that dhamma and so on, otherwise, the conceit "I am" is there and no insight, no understanding happens.

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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby Nyana » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:59 am

dhamma follower wrote:I don't buy into this classification of realism...I think it is a product of too much philosophies.

The idea of a determinate reality comprised of discrete momentary dhammas is a product of too much unchecked ideation.

dhamma follower wrote:In a world when everything depends upon each other, one element changes implies change on all the others. That's why I said DO implies in it momentariness.

The alteration of what persists (ṭhitassa aññathatta) doesn't entail a theory of discrete momentary dhammas. Neither does DO.

dhamma follower wrote:When you say consciousness undergoes change and alteration, what does that mean exactly?

It means that the alteration of what persists can be discerned (ṭhitassa aññathatta paññāyati). SN 22.37 Ānanda Sutta:

    With consciousness an arising is discerned, a falling away is discerned, and an alteration of what persists is discerned.

dhamma follower wrote:When you walk, your step might cover a distance of 30 cm, but 30 cm is made up from very small parts of the motion.

How small are these "very small parts of the motion"?

dhamma follower wrote:Similarly when consciousness is seemingly attentive to one object for a certain time, it is made up from minute moments of conditioning.

How minute are these "minute moments of conditioning"?
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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Dec 14, 2011 6:48 am

dhamma follower wrote:I don't buy into this classification of realism...
There is no real need to.

I think it is a product of too much philosophies.
Which is so on both side of this argument, traditional and modern, leading to a serious arthrosclerosis of opinions and much of what is of value gets lost.
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: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby SamKR » Wed Dec 14, 2011 7:00 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:When you walk, your step might cover a distance of 30 cm, but 30 cm is made up from very small parts of the motion.

How small are these "very small parts of the motion"?

Unimaginably small!
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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby Nyana » Wed Dec 14, 2011 8:07 am

tiltbillings wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:I don't buy into this classification of realism...
There is no real need to.

Either one can establish their conception of a moment independent of their imagination or they cannot.

tiltbillings wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:I think it is a product of too much philosophies.
Which is so on both side of this argument, traditional and modern, leading to a serious arthrosclerosis of opinions and much of what is of value gets lost.

There were many centuries of Theravāda tradition before this theory made its appearance. What value is there in holding on to untenable conceptual accretions such as this theory of momentariness?
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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby danieLion » Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:13 am

Hi Ñāṇa,
Ñāṇa wrote:It's common in teachings and texts on vipassanā to hear that mind (nāma) and matter (rūpa) are actually comprised of discrete, momentary things undergoing incessant dissolution (bhaṅga)....

Questions:

(i) Is it really true that mind (nāma) and matter (rūpa) are discrete, momentary things undergoing incessant dissolution?

(ii) Is it really true that matter is comprised of momentary kalāpas which undergo incessant dissolution?

(iii) If so, how do you know this to be true?

(iv) If not, can "insight" into conceptual fictions really be considered insight at all?

:candle:

Re: (i) & (ii). Compare to the four laws of thermodynamics, particularly laws 1 & 3 (a.k.a. entropy) (the "first" law is The Zeroth).
Re: (iii). You don't know. You trust the math (and with crossed fingers, the scientists).
Re: (iv). No. Vipassanā (by necessity) involves tilakkhana experiences, not (contingent) bhaṅga or kalāpas experiences.
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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby Nyana » Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:48 am

danieLion wrote:Re: (i) & (ii). Compare to the four laws of thermodynamics, particularly laws 1 & 3 (a.k.a. entropy) (the "first" law is The Zeroth).

What do the laws of thermodynamics have to do with the mind?
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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:54 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:I don't buy into this classification of realism...
There is no real need to.

Either one can establish their conception of a moment independent of their imagination or they cannot.

tiltbillings wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:I think it is a product of too much philosophies.
Which is so on both side of this argument, traditional and modern, leading to a serious arthrosclerosis of opinions and much of what is of value gets lost.

There were many centuries of Theravāda tradition before this theory made its appearance. What value is there in holding on to untenable conceptual accretions such as this theory of momentariness?
For all of that, dhamma-follower still does not by necessity of any argument you have put forth need to buy that label of realism, but rather than marshalling your impressive learning to fruitlessly try to beat the bejesus out of all of this, rather than tearing it all down, you might want to try to find what in all of this actually works and build on that. That would be far more skilful and interesting, and certainly infinitely less annoying.
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: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:23 am

Greetings,

But how does the "untenable" "actually work"?

:shock:

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: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:41 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

But how does the "untenable" "actually work"?

:shock:

Metta,
Retro. :)
That is assuming it is all wholly untenable, but if that is the assumption, then poo on it.
But what I said: you might want to try to find what in all of this actually works and build on that. it is kind of interesting as to what is being talked about here. Is it just the notion of discreet, momentary dhammas, or is it that and the subtext of this thread of the Burmese vipassana traditions having no real legitimacy? So, it is all untenable?
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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