I consider most of the things written here as not really conducive for my question.
Anyway I see some problems arising.
Anicca wrote:Great questions - Why one citta at a time? What is the proximate cause for the cessation of a citta?
We are discussing merely the awareness of an object - not comprehension by knowledge or wisdom - that is macro level -
So "citta" means awareness of an object according to Abhidhamma? Is it a synonym for viññāna? The question seems still unanswered, what is "one citta"?
Anicca wrote:at the micro level of citta - a photon of light enters the eye - a molecule of aroma enters the nose, etc. While it may seem as if more than one photon can enter at a time, or one molecule of odor - whatever - when it gets funneled into the pipeline for processing it is 'one at a time'.
Hmmm... perhaps this is a cop-out - but "one at a time" because this is the subhava or 'intrinsic nature' of this ultimate reality, our consciousness. Every citta has an object and it cannot accomodate more than one object. This does not explain 'why' - but just like a movie appears as continuous motion on the movie screen - the intrinsic nature is a rigid moment framed and separate from the next. 2500 plus years ago the monks were not only 'seeing' each frame - but actually walking around and looking at the borders of each frame.
Many, many, many every second. Amazing. Quantum by defintion.
All this only works on the assumption of absolute particles, like a photon. Acting on the assumption that a photon, for example is one inseparable object. Because, if that assumed object (a photon) would be considered as separable, in other words can be seperated, consists of different "things" or arises in dependence of other things, whose coincidence is the origing of that particular object, then in that case, there is not only one object in a time but more (namely which determine the particular object). To believe there are particels which are the smallest objects, not further separable is nothing but a supposition.
All there is, is nama-rupa. When we for example talk about an object to simplify an issue, we usually pick out just a part of the whole and create an assumed "object" out of the part as if it would be somehow independent assuming the seperation would be appropriate at all. It is incorrect to suppose an experience to be made out of a lot of smaller experiences, which can be examined separately.
When you look at the orderly diagrams of "this followed by that" at the citta
level it looks like the "Paticca-samuppada-vibhanga Sutta: Analysis of Dependent Co-arising"
where you find the complete cycle of "this leads to that followed by this followed by that... "
So, in summary - for the same reason that we live our many many lives in a sequential 'one at a time' orderliness - we experience each of our many many moments of consciousness in a sequential 'one at a time' orderliness. The proximate cause for the the dissolution of a citta is its arising.
This is completely against dependent origination. It says in MN38:
When there is this this is, (...) When there is not this this is not (...)
"this leads to that followed by this followed by that"
Not a single word anywhere to be found which says "followed" or something like that.
If "citta" is in one way or another consciousness (viññāna) it depends on nama-rupa and nama-rupa depends on consciousness, but the dependence is: "When there is viññāna, there is nama-rupa. When there is not viññāna, there is not nama-rupa." Since there are 10 more links of dependent origination, first of all avijja, it seems to be incorrect that "one citta" ceases before the next one arises, because this would imply that nama-rupa ceases, too and furthermore all links of dependen origination together would have to cease together including avijja. But we know, that avijja doesn't arise and cease all the time.
This is the problem I see with "one citta at a time"
I would appreciate it, if we try to define "citta", its origination and cessation as clearly as possible according to the Abhidhamma first, before any further discussion is made. Because it seems to me, that otherwise we're just going towards serious misconceptions.
best wishes, acinteyyo