Sam Vega wrote:Whence the change; how can one type of thing turn into another? That it does, can be taken on faith. But my original question is whether there is any further insight into the how of this change.
Sam Vega wrote:...one type of phenomena...
This appears incorrect to me, as it still reifies kamma-vipaka as "one type of thing" and "another type of thing", each of which "exists in time". Thus is substance metaphysics, and ought to be rejected. Therefore, asking a further "how" question with this foundation in place is unwarranted.
Sylvester wrote:But I think the Buddha was a practical "realist", ie to the extent necessary for us to accept that the external world is "out there".
I don't think the Buddha intended that we accept an external world out there, I think he was practical insofar as he accepted it as the naturally-occurring human perception of things (avijja, anyone?) and was at great pains to distinguish the Dhamma in contradistinction to those natural assumptions. This is why paticcanirodha is described as "against the grain", and as hard to see.
It may help to consider the "three phases of matter" in the Dhamma, as it were: arising is manifest, ceasing is manifest, change while standing is manifest. Here's the Pali for us:
Rūpassa [Vedanāya; Saññāya; Sankhārānam; Viññānassa] kho āvuso uppādo paññāyati, vayo paññāyati, thitassa aññatthattam paññāyati.
There is no change of one thing into another thing, there is simply conditionality. The fact that the order is not
"arising - change-while-standing - ceasing" is logically significant, despite the fact that this order would seem to make more sense. If it were "arising-changing-ceasing", it would make sense as a characteristic of a thing-in-time that arises-changes-ceases.
Rather, there is arising OR ceasing OR change-while-standing - i.e. a process 'beginning', a process 'ending', or a process '-ing'. If you like, the nature of ones experience is such that the process is not perceived as a whole, but it is perceived piece-meal - which is to say, "over time". However, it is illegitimate to infer ontological entities on that basis.
MN 136 wrote:
'After doing an intentional kamma by way of body, speech and mind (whose result is) to be felt as pleasure, he feels pleasure; after doing an intentional kamma by way of body, speech and mind (whose result is) to be felt as pain, he feels pain; after doing an intentional kamma by way of body, speech and mind (whose result is) to be felt as neither-pain-nor-pleasure, he feels neither-pain-nor-pleasure'
It's that "to be felt as" component which is bracketing kamma-vipaka together as a process in toto
, rather than as two discreet events. Of note here is that suffering is not a required component - after doing kamma, there is concomitant vipaka, but dukkha is not a requisite component of that vipaka.