Is matter (rupa) a denser vibrational form of energy?

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Re: Is matter (rupa) a denser vibrational form of energy?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:33 am

Greetings Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:understand the words to mean in the context the Buddha was teaching in

MN 28 wrote:"And what is the wind property? The wind property may be either internal or external. What is the internal wind property? Whatever internal, belonging to oneself, is wind, windy, & sustained: up-going winds, down-going winds, winds in the stomach, winds in the intestines, winds that course through the body, in-&-out breathing, or whatever else internal, within oneself, is wind, windy, & sustained: This is called the internal wind property. Now both the internal wind property and the external wind property are simply wind property. And that should be seen as it actually is present with right discernment: 'This is not mine, this is not me, this is not my self.' When one sees it thus as it actually is present with right discernment, one becomes disenchanted with the wind property and makes the mind dispassionate toward the wind property.

"Now there comes a time, friends, when the external wind property is provoked and blows away village, town, city, district, & country. There comes a time when, in the last month of the hot season, people try to start a breeze with a fan or bellows, and even the grass at the fringe of a thatch roof doesn't stir.

"So when even in the external wind property — so vast — inconstancy will be discerned, destructibility will be discerned, a tendency to decay will be discerned, changeability will be discerned, then what in this short-lasting body, sustained by clinging, is 'I' or 'mine' or 'what I am'? It has here only a 'no.'

Interestingly, he doesn't classify vibration (movement) as vayo, which leads me to wonder whether the concept of movement etc. as vayo is even what he meant.

mikenz66 wrote:...meditative experience...

MN 28 wrote: 'This is not mine, this is not me, this is not my self.' When one sees it thus as it actually is present with right discernment...

...inconstancy will be discerned, destructibility will be discerned, a tendency to decay will be discerned, changeability will be discerned..

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: Is matter (rupa) a denser vibrational form of energy?

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:39 am

Sorry, Retro, I read that sutta as simply talking about motion, whether in the body or externally. And so on with the other properties. I really can't figure out your angle here...

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Re: Is matter (rupa) a denser vibrational form of energy?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:50 am

Greetings Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:Sorry, Retro, I read that sutta as simply talking about motion, whether in the body or externally. And so on with the other properties. I really can't figure out your angle here...

It's a sutta explaining how vayo is experienced and to be discerned... isn't that what's being talked about?

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: Is matter (rupa) a denser vibrational form of energy?

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Jul 07, 2011 7:52 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:Sorry, Retro, I read that sutta as simply talking about motion, whether in the body or externally. And so on with the other properties. I really can't figure out your angle here...

It's a sutta explaining how vayo is experienced and to be discerned... isn't that what's being talked about?

Metta,
Retro. :)

Sure. Which is why I don't understand what you are trying to argue exactly. Ben asked how one does these contemplations. As I understand it, wind property is about motion and distension. That's simply what definition of the wind property is. Similarly, the earth property is hardness. And so on.... So that's what one looks for in one's experience. One discerns hardness/softness, motion, heat/cold, etc in one's experience, and, as you say, with luck, discerns that they are inconstant, unsatisfactory, and not-self.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"Furthermore...just as a skilled butcher or his apprentice, having killed a cow, would sit at a crossroads cutting it up into pieces, the monk contemplates this very body — however it stands, however it is disposed — in terms of properties: 'In this body there is the earth property, the liquid property, the fire property, & the wind property.'

"In this way he remains focused internally on the body in & of itself, or focused externally... unsustained by anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself.


From an earlier post:
retrofuturist wrote:Interestingly, he doesn't classify vibration (movement) as vayo, which leads me to wonder whether the concept of movement etc. as vayo is even what he meant.

He doesn't have to classify wind element as motion, or earth element as hardness, etc. Those are simply the accepted meanings (as I understand it).

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Re: Is matter (rupa) a denser vibrational form of energy?

Postby Viscid » Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:49 pm

What's the point of even classifying objects in terms of the four dhatus? It's an archaic, outdated system used by the Greeks, Japanese and everyone-in-between which has been replaced by far less vague ideas about the composition of our physical reality.

Saying that the four dhatus are merely descriptions of experience; stickiness, hotness or whathaveyou is a silly rationalization people make when they need to reconcile the words of The Buddha with modern physics. Early Buddhists thought that Fire, Water, Earth and Wind were the primary components of matter, each expressed in different magnitudes in the things which they compose.

'It's hard because the earth element predominates.'
No. We can do away with idea this now. It's useless.

"Furthermore...just as a skilled butcher or his apprentice, having killed a cow, would sit at a crossroads cutting it up into pieces, the monk contemplates this very body — however it stands, however it is disposed — in terms of properties: 'In this body there is the earth property, the liquid property, the fire property, & the wind property.'

"In this way he remains focused internally on the body in & of itself, or focused externally... unsustained by anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself.


Why not think today, instead of terms of the four dhatus, that the body is composed of hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen? It accomplishes the same thing, with far less factual inaccuracy.
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Re: Is matter (rupa) a denser vibrational form of energy?

Postby Kenshou » Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:13 pm

Even if back then they took the 4 elements thing literally, that doesn't disqualify the qualities that have been classically categorized under the 4 elements as objects of contemplation for the form aggregate. No need to throw out the baby with the bath etc.
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Re: Is matter (rupa) a denser vibrational form of energy?

Postby Viscid » Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:23 pm

Kenshou wrote:Even if back then they took the 4 elements thing literally, that doesn't disqualify the qualities that have been classically categorized under the 4 elements as objects of contemplation for the form aggregate. No need to throw out the baby with the bath etc.


Keep the qualities (the baby,) throw out their categorization (the bath water.)
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Re: Is matter (rupa) a denser vibrational form of energy?

Postby Kenshou » Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:39 pm

Sure. Though I think the categories are fine enough, as long as we remember that they're just names and not literal elements.
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Re: Is matter (rupa) a denser vibrational form of energy?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:53 pm

Greetings Mike,
mikenz66 wrote:Sure. Which is why I don't understand what you are trying to argue exactly. Ben asked how one does these contemplations.

One does them as the Buddha instructs.

The sutta explains what is experienced and how it is to be discerned. Simple.

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: Is matter (rupa) a denser vibrational form of energy?

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:57 pm

retrofuturist wrote:One does them as the Buddha instructs.

Of course.
retrofuturist wrote:The sutta explains what is experienced and how it is to be discerned. Simple.

Yes. And I have no reason to doubt that he was talking about experiencing hardness, motion, etc.

I must be completely misunderstanding you, because I simply cannot figure out what else the suttas could be talking about. Are you saying that he was not talking about hardness, motion, and other such perceptions?

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Re: Is matter (rupa) a denser vibrational form of energy?

Postby kirk5a » Thu Jul 07, 2011 11:00 pm

Viscid wrote:Why not think today, instead of terms of the four dhatus, that the body is composed of hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen? It accomplishes the same thing, with far less factual inaccuracy.

Because you can't directly observe, in meditation, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen in the body. So that would be useless for the analysis of experience.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: Is matter (rupa) a denser vibrational form of energy?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jul 07, 2011 11:14 pm

Greetings Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:I must be completely misunderstanding you, because I simply cannot figure out what else the suttas could be talking about. Are you saying that he was not talking about hardness, motion, and other such perceptions?

No - I'm just saying we do the meditation in accordance with the Buddha's instruction.

So when Ben asks, "I'm interested if and how people observe rupa, or the vibrational quality of rupa, in their meditative practice", the answer is in accordance with the Buddha's instruction. A relevant portion of which is...

MN 28 wrote:The wind property may be either internal or external. What is the internal wind property? Whatever internal, belonging to oneself, is wind, windy, & sustained: up-going winds, down-going winds, winds in the stomach, winds in the intestines, winds that course through the body, in-&-out breathing, or whatever else internal, within oneself, is wind, windy, & sustained: This is called the internal wind property. Now both the internal wind property and the external wind property are simply wind property. And that should be seen as it actually is present with right discernment: 'This is not mine, this is not me, this is not my self.' When one sees it thus as it actually is present with right discernment, one becomes disenchanted with the wind property and makes the mind dispassionate toward the wind property.

Rightly or wrongly, I'm guessing you're confused by my response because you're assuming that it's incomplete and that there should be something more to it, perhaps? Some unstated ingredient?

Are you assuming we need to go hunting for the wind property in order to initiate the above process?

Are you assuming that the qualitative experience of the wind property itself actually matters, other than that it has the three characteristics?

Are you assuming that the "wind property" needs to be formally designated as one's primary meditation subject, to the exclusion of other experiences?

Are you assuming that adhering to the Buddha's instructions requires a separate unstated "technique"?

I'm not having a go at you in asking those questions - I'm just trying to drill down to possible reasons why you might find my response confusing or incomplete - it's an attempt to resolve that underlying confusion.

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: Is matter (rupa) a denser vibrational form of energy?

Postby Viscid » Thu Jul 07, 2011 11:35 pm

kirk5a wrote:
Viscid wrote:Why not think today, instead of terms of the four dhatus, that the body is composed of hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen? It accomplishes the same thing, with far less factual inaccuracy.

Because you can't directly observe, in meditation, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen in the body. So that would be useless for the analysis of experience.


Yeah, I guess I may have misinterpreted the meditation as imagining the body as merely a product of constituent elements rather than it being a focus on its sensations. However, it'd still be preferable to interpret bloating as bloating, not as some imaginary 'wind element.' It's simply unnecessary.
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Re: Is matter (rupa) a denser vibrational form of energy?

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Jul 08, 2011 1:20 am

retrofuturist wrote:Are you assuming we need to go hunting for the wind property in order to initiate the above process?

No hunting necessary. My position is very straightforward. In the context it is clear that the wind property has to do with motion, and the earth property with hardness, etc. No need to hunt for those, simply necessary to follow the instructions and observe them:
"Furthermore...just as a skilled butcher or his apprentice, having killed a cow, would sit at a crossroads cutting it up into pieces, the monk contemplates this very body — however it stands, however it is disposed — in terms of properties: 'In this body there is the earth property, the liquid property, the fire property, & the wind property.'


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Re: Is matter (rupa) a denser vibrational form of energy?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Jul 08, 2011 1:21 am

:thumbsup:

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: Is matter (rupa) a denser vibrational form of energy?

Postby Freawaru » Fri Jul 08, 2011 8:45 am

Viscid wrote:Why not think today, instead of terms of the four dhatus, that the body is composed of hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen? It accomplishes the same thing, with far less factual inaccuracy.


But it would be useless for Awakening. One cannot directly know hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen. The chemical elements are beyond perception. Not to mention baryons and leptons. But one can perceive and directly know the tactile elements.
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Re: Is matter (rupa) a denser vibrational form of energy?

Postby Freawaru » Fri Jul 08, 2011 8:47 am

kirk5a wrote:
Viscid wrote:Why not think today, instead of terms of the four dhatus, that the body is composed of hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen? It accomplishes the same thing, with far less factual inaccuracy.

Because you can't directly observe, in meditation, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen in the body. So that would be useless for the analysis of experience.


Oops, had not seen your post. :zzz:
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Re: Is matter (rupa) a denser vibrational form of energy?

Postby Sylvester » Fri Jul 08, 2011 9:37 am

Sorry for the late intrusion.

I wonder if the equation of rūpa with matter might not be an inadvertent effect of a translation quirk by BB, who sought to improve on Ven Nanamoli's original rendering of cakkhuvinneya rūpa (eye cognisable forms) and rūpakhandha with the uniform "form"? BB achieved this by distinguishing the latter from the former by the addition of "material".

It seems as if there is an unspoken premise that rūpakhandha refers to our kaya/body. On this score, the Khajjaniya Sutta's reference to rūpa which is ruppati (vexed/deformed) by flies, heat etc could be read as making the equation between rūpa and kaya. However, I think wordplay involving 2 etymologically unrelated words is probably not going to be conclusive for such an important doctrinal issue.

Against the Khajjaniya Sutta, you have abundant suttas which actually distinguish the body/kaya from rūpa as follows -

ayaṃ kho me kāyo rūpī cātummahābhūtiko mātāpentikasambhavo ...

This body of mine is endowed with form, composed of the four primary elements, born from mother and father ...


This formula is found in the typical DN 2 fruits refrain, as well as suttas such as MN 74. It seems pretty clear that rūpa is distinct from the body, and appears to be predicative instead.

Rūpa is given a three-fold enumeration by the Sangiti Sutta, DN 33 as follows -

1. sanidassana-sappatigha (visible and impinging)
2. anidassana-sappatigha (invisible and impinging)
3. anidassana-appatigha (invisible and non-impinging).

Leaving aside the later Abhidhammic analysis of this sutta and of rūpa in general, I wonder if the suttas might not have contemplated something else for rūpa and the 4 great dhatus. I tend to agree with Mike that the dhatus are simply qualitative aspects of experience. This would suggest that rūpa is probably less "ontically" substantial than what we customarily take it to be, whether as matter or as energy.
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Re: Is matter (rupa) a denser vibrational form of energy?

Postby rowyourboat » Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:21 pm

Ven Sariputta seems to suggest that the dhathus refer to the different phases of matter- solid, liquid, gaseous and plasma .. well in line with classical physics.

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

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Re: Is matter (rupa) a denser vibrational form of energy?

Postby daverupa » Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:55 pm

The point is not, as in the physical sciences, to develop an exhaustive and exclusive accounting of the constituency of matter, but rather to develop an exhaustive and exclusive modality for describing the possible range of human experience in order to showcase three characteristics which inhere: anicca, dukkha, anatta. The four elements are thus intended to be understood together as fully encompassing human experience, not teased apart so that one can set about tabulating objects.
    "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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