cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby robertk » Thu Dec 12, 2013 7:44 am

AN i.10 :
“I consider, bhikkhus, that there is no phenomenon that comes and goes [so
quickly as mind. It is not easy to find a simile to show how quickly mind
comes and goes.”
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Dec 12, 2013 8:04 am

robertk wrote:AN i.10 :
“I consider, bhikkhus, that there is no phenomenon that comes and goes [so
quickly as mind. It is not easy to find a simile to show how quickly mind
comes and goes.”
However, that is a long, long way from such obviously made-up numbers such as " 58,823,530, 000,000, 000,000) times per second." In other words, this sutta does not support the mega numbers thrown out by the later commentaries and the late Abhidhammattha-sangaha. Certainly with the cultivation of concentration and mindfulness, the rapid coming and going of the mind can be seen, but that is not at all in the fantastical, totally unrealistic league of " 58,823,530, 000,000, 000,000) times per second." When is the last time you counted to a billion?
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: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby robertk » Thu Dec 12, 2013 8:34 am

it is true that some teachers take a lower number than the billions mentioned in the Commentaries.
Mahasi sayadaw states
http://www.budsas.org/ebud/mahasi-patic ... cca-01.htm
Consciousness of any kind, whether it be rebirth consciousness or otherwise, is a matter of very short duration. It has only three points of time, viz., arising (//upada//), being (//thi//) and passing away (//bhanga//). According to the commentaries, these mental units arise and pass away by the millions in the twinkling of an eye. The moment of each unit is so short that it does not last even the millionth part of a second.
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby robertk » Thu Dec 12, 2013 8:36 am

Still I think the number must be in the billions or higher. After all even crude computers - which are material- process at very high speeds.
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Dec 12, 2013 8:43 am

robertk wrote:Still I think the number must be in the billions or higher. After all even crude computers - which are material- process at very high speeds.
Because a computer can process at high speeds, humans can? And your basis for that is?
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: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby robertk » Thu Dec 12, 2013 8:45 am

Well the Buddha compared mind and matter and said that mind arises and passes very fast: more so than matter.
Anyway just an analogy to consider.
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:01 am

robertk wrote:Well the Buddha compared mind and matter and said that mind arises and passes very fast: more so than matter.
Anyway just an analogy to consider.
You seem to be missing the physiological constraints that mind operates with. Also, when was the last time you counted to a billion, or even a million? The Buddha never used numbers such as that.
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: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu Dec 12, 2013 11:30 am

SDC wrote:I doubt the commentators see time this way, but it seems they are assuming that time is on the level of dhamma. How can that be possible? Is nibbana in time too?


Perhaps this is explained by the distinction between the conditioned and the unconditioned?

( sorry, going off topic here )
Well, oi dunno...
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu Dec 12, 2013 11:33 am

tiltbillings wrote:You seem to be missing the physiological constraints that mind operates with.


Yes, I don't think we're capable of experiencing time periods much below a second. To do that requires scientific instrumentation.
Well, oi dunno...
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby robertk » Thu Dec 12, 2013 11:58 am

Spiny Norman wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:You seem to be missing the physiological constraints that mind operates with.


Yes, I don't think we're capable of experiencing time periods much below a second. To do that requires scientific instrumentation.

Thete is no "we" outside of the khandhas looking in.
Satisampajanna are momentary elements that arise and fall away instantly .So sati and panna can arise, just as quickly as lobha or aversion, or seeing, etc. and insight the immediately preceding processes.
Think of when we are kneeling in front of a buddha rupa reciting "namo tassa bhagavato...", or listening to the monks recite Abhidhamma at a funeral. At times there is focus on the words and meaning, at other times other thoughts or sights intrude.
Amd in the same way sati can slip in while going about our daily life.
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby SDC » Thu Dec 12, 2013 12:29 pm

robertk wrote:
SDC wrote:I doubt the commentators see time this way, but it seems they are assuming that time is on the level of dhamma. How can that be possible?.

Umm this is a rather unfortunate conclusion as the Commentaries are emphatic that dhammas are NOT on a level with time. Dhammas, elements, khandhas are all that actually exists. However, the elements like cittas arise and pass away in unbroken series. So to discuss and understand this time is a necessary convention. AS Narada says (see the post by SarathW above)
What is time? Strictly speaking, it is a mere concept
which does not exist in an absolute sense. On the
other hand what space is to matter, time is to mind.
Conventionally we speak of past (atãta), present
(paccuppanna), and future (anàgata).
Past is defined as that which has gone beyond its own
state or the moments of genesis, development, and cessation
(attano sabhàvaü uppàdàdikkhaõaü và atãtà atikkantà
atãtà).

pAGE 215
http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/abhidhamma.pdf


The quoted statement was referring more to the commentators seeing the implications of the association. I should've made that more clear. I am all for allowing time as a convention, but I hope this is made clear when it is used. I am not sure it always is.
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby SDC » Thu Dec 12, 2013 12:46 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
SDC wrote:I doubt the commentators see time this way, but it seems they are assuming that time is on the level of dhamma. How can that be possible? Is nibbana in time too?


Perhaps this is explained by the distinction between the conditioned and the unconditioned?


Sure. And that's fine. I just think it is important to keep time out of discussions about dhamma and not just those related to nibbana. Draw attention to its limitations as a convention when it is used. That's just me though.
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:42 pm

robertk wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:You seem to be missing the physiological constraints that mind operates with.


Yes, I don't think we're capable of experiencing time periods much below a second. To do that requires scientific instrumentation.


Satisampajanna are momentary elements that arise and fall away instantly .


OK, but I'm saying that in terms of perception "instantly" is about a second.
Well, oi dunno...
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:45 pm

SDC wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:
Perhaps this is explained by the distinction between the conditioned and the unconditioned?


Sure. And that's fine. I just think it is important to keep time out of discussions about dhamma and not just those related to nibbana. Draw attention to its limitations as a convention when it is used. That's just me though.


But then how do we experience anicca if not in terms of time? We could say anicca is the experience of change, but isn't the passage of time implicit in change?
Well, oi dunno...
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby robertk » Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:29 pm

Appendix to the Kathavatthu,by mrs rhys davids , pali text society,

writes:

“...

'N
ow it is clear from the Kathavathu that, for Buddhism, time-distinctions
have no objective existence of their own, and that reality is confined to
the present. The past reality has perished; the future reality is not
yet become.........

'....In Ledi Sayadaw’s words: “As in our present state there is, so in our
past has there been, so in the future will there be, just a succession of
purely phenomenal happenings, proceedings, consisting solely of arisings
and ceasings, hard to discern...because the procedure is ever obscured by
our notion of continuity.” ..

'Thus they who have not penetrated reality ‘see only a continuous and
static condition in these phenomena


‘http://realtruthlife.blogspot.com/2011/06/kathavatthu-appendix-iii.html#.UqnNUDIayK1
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby robertk » Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:43 pm

SDC wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:
SDC wrote:I doubt the commentators see time this way, but it seems they are assuming that time is on the level of dhamma. How can that be possible? Is nibbana in time too?


Perhaps this is explained by the distinction between the conditioned and the unconditioned?


Sure. And that's fine. I just think it is important to keep time out of discussions about dhamma and not just those related to nibbana. Draw attention to its limitations as a convention when it is used. That's just me though.

why would you want to that?
‘W
hatsoever material quality,
bhikkhus, whether past, future, or present, is either internal or
external, gross or subtle, common or excellent, distant or near, is called
the material aggregate. Whatsoever feeling......?” MN,iii.16f
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby SDC » Thu Dec 12, 2013 3:50 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
SDC wrote:Sure. And that's fine. I just think it is important to keep time out of discussions about dhamma and not just those related to nibbana. Draw attention to its limitations as a convention when it is used. That's just me though.


But then how do we experience anicca if not in terms of time? We could say anicca is the experience of change, but isn't the passage of time implicit in change?


The experience is there, but time is not a necessity to observe it. It can observed with or without it. It’s just an additional construction, perhaps we could even use the word “secondary”. I’m not saying not to use it, but if through using it you are supporting it to be far too fundamental, then it may inadvertently protect this idea of existence.
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby SDC » Thu Dec 12, 2013 3:52 pm

robertk wrote:
SDC wrote:Sure. And that's fine. I just think it is important to keep time out of discussions about dhamma and not just those related to nibbana. Draw attention to its limitations as a convention when it is used. That's just me though.

why would you want to that?
‘W
hatsoever material quality,
bhikkhus, whether past, future, or present, is either internal or
external, gross or subtle, common or excellent, distant or near, is called
the material aggregate. Whatsoever feeling......?” MN,iii.16f


I accept it as a convention, but I’m cautious to keep it in its place. So I don't mean to keep it out completely. But, if the structure of the entire experience is there with time as an additional construction used to give the experience a more defined, coherent appearance, then ultimately it isn’t factor. Why try to observe the dhamma according to it? That seems to put it beyond the conventional.

I know it seems like I’m making a mountain out of a molehill, but subtle assumptions such as this have the potential to throw us off. Once again, this is just the way I see it, and I may be wrong.
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby daverupa » Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:02 pm

Ñāṇavīra Thera wrote:...How do you know anything about changes that you cannot perceive?...

Perhaps you will object that it is ridiculous to speak of one's curtains 'fading discontinuously', and from the commonsense point of view I would agree with you. But the fact remains that we do not 'see our curtains fading'; what happens is that one day we 'notice' that the curtains 'have faded'; and this is a sudden perception. No doubt, after a few more weeks, we shall notice that the curtains have faded still more, and we shall infer that all this time the curtains have been gradually fading 'without our noticing it'.

'But' you may say 'do we not sometimes actually see things in process of changing—as when, for example, the lights are quickly lowered at the cinema and fade in five or ten seconds?' We do: but observe that, in the first place, the change is from 'steady light' to 'fading light' and then from 'fading light' to 'darkness'. In other words, 'fading light' is perceived as a thing distinct from both 'steady light' and 'darkness', and the change from one to another of these things is discontinuous.

In the second place, there are reasons for supposing that what we actually perceive when we see a 'fading light'—which has the same essential structure as a 'flying arrow'—cannot be properly described as 'continuous change'.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby SamKR » Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:33 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
But then how do we experience anicca if not in terms of time? We could say anicca is the experience of change, but isn't the passage of time implicit in change?

In terms of dependent origination and cessation, in my opinion. Mere observations of oscillations over time will not give any insight of anicca the Buddha is talking about. The observation should be accompanied by the understanding of dependent arising and cessation: when this is, that is; when this is not, that is not. Time is not an issue - it can be used as a convention or can be ignored in the focus of contemplation according to own's level of practice. The important thing is the understanding of dependency. When there is any arising (experience) there is always just this dependent arising, when there is cessation there is just the cessation. I think each arising is timeless; sense of time is imputed when there is a sense of an observer (here) observing these different arisings (there) one after another. I think time becomes irrelevant once there is mere observation. But until we are stuck with the sense of self/other and sense of space & time, there is nothing wrong in using time - if there is understanding that this time also does not exist inherently and is of nature of dependent arising and ceasing. This is just my limited understanding, which is subject to change.
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