retrofuturist wrote:If you subscribe to the insight-knowledges framework, you're automatically subscribed to the theory of momentariness... much like if you subscribe to maps, you're automatically subscribed to notions of direction, relativity, distance, terrain etc.
This is clearly a matter of opinion.
Source: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... gress.html
Mahasi Sayadaw wrote:Maturity knowledge occurs only as a single moment of consciousness; it does not recur
Do you know any teachers who teach the insight-knowledges framework devoid of the theory/view/ditthi of momentariness? The very insight-knowledges themselves are couched in terms of moments.
Source: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el370.html
Mahasi Sayadaw wrote:In reality, single moments of mind arise and pass away continuously, one after another.... These instances of arising, noting and passing away appear like a string of beads. The preceding mind is not the following mind. Each is separate. These characteristics of reality are personally perceptible, and for this purpose one must proceed with the practice of contemplation... Everything comes into existence for a moment and then passes away. Nothing can remain even for the blink of an eye.
mikenz66 wrote:any experiential approach to the Dhamma has to eventually let go of the concepts used to practice it
My concern with what I've read of the Mahasi framework (please note, this is not an attack - it's a concern that I'm more than happy to have addressed in a calm, reasonable and non-combative manner) is that, as per the quote immediately above, Mahasi Sayadaw presents something that is conceptual/philosophical/ditthi (i.e. theory of momentariness)...
"single moments of mind arise and pass away continuously, one after another"
... but rather than aiming towards the "let[ting] go of the concepts", as you say, it seems intent on attempting to experientially validate and affirm those very concepts as real....
"These characteristics of reality are personally perceptible, and for this purpose one must proceed with the practice of contemplation"
This leads then to the subsequent concern that the purpose of Mahasi Sayadaw's practice of contemplation, and all this talk of reductionism and breaking experiences into the smallest "chunks" possible, is actually about validating the theory of momentariness. Mahasi Sayadaw claims that...
"Everything comes into existence for a moment and then passes away. Nothing can remain even for the blink of an eye."
Proving the theory of momentariness (i.e. the instantaneous succession of "does not Exist", "Exist", and "does not Exist" - in spite of the tensions between this notion and suttas like Kaccayanagotta, Phena and Kalakarama) seems to be the very purpose of the bhanga-nana
"Knowledge of Dissolution" insight-knowledge, which tradition has it, sets forth an array of knowledges/insights pertaining to fearfulness, misery, disgust etc. for the earnest meditator.
The Buddha advises that we should, "remain focused on inconstancy in all fabrications" (SN 55.3), but I don't understand the necessity entwined in the insight-knowledges framework that this must relate to the inconstancy of these allegedly-real, microscopic momentary cittas and kalapas, which the Buddha never once talked about. To me this seems unnecessarily limited and prescriptive, and I do not understand why it cannot or should not relate to "all fabrications", or "all conditioned experience" as per the Buddha's instruction.
Why does it only apply to some microscopic atomic moments not typically observable in daily life? How does some experience only supposedly experienceable and creatable in meditative "lab conditions" encourage the ongoing abandoning, dispassion and cessation in daily life? Even if I could prove to myself, "Yes, there are truly discrete momentary dhammas and they arise and dissolve in an instantaneously serial fashion", so what? To me that's not terrifying, disgusting, horrifying etc. It feels like an end-goal very disconnected from the Buddha's mode of instruction, and the Buddha's own reasons for why we should cultivate dispassion and abandonment.
Rather, it feels to me like an ancient science experiment... one compromised by the hypothesis "begging the question" with respect to the existence of these dissolving kalapas. As I said in my opening post in this topic, if there turn out to be kalapas, I'm more than happy to say "hi" when I see them, but I'm not going to build a "seeing things as they really are" practice on hunting around for something which may or may not be factual, which does not have a compelling case for being true, and which wasn't mentioned by the Buddha. To me, such a pursuit seems very alien, as no dhamma or sankhara is more anicca/anatta/dukkha than the next, so why hunt for these theoretical equivalents of sub-atomic particles, purportedly only visible only with a powerful microscope, when our entire samsaric life is already replete with sankharas, ready and open for investigation?
As you quoted Geoff in your post, "the mind is highly susceptible to the power of suggestion as well as the urge towards confirmation bias and other cognitive biases" and on this basis, I choose to leave these inductive practices, quests and frameworks alone. Therefore, by side-stepping them, the questions posed in the original post are not important to my practice, and I am thankful that this is the case...
(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?
I do not share your optimism that the practice can be conducted in a vacuum, independent of the philosophical or ontological assumptions that underpin the methods and goals of that very practice, but I wish you all the best in your continued endeavours to do so.