cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

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Spiny Norman
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat Dec 14, 2013 10:00 am

SamKR wrote: But until we are stuck with the sense of self/other and sense of space & time, there is nothing wrong in using time -


But given that we are stuck with the sense of self/other, aren't we also inevitably stuck with the sense of space and time?
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby Mr Man » Sat Dec 14, 2013 10:15 am

I am not sure if you are "deliberately" trying to misrepresent but comments for the gallery like "Well, that is interesting, and so much for the Dhamma, so much for actually practicing. No need for all that meditation practice, folk." are a misrepresentation and in my opinion are not needed. I also think snide comments in like " think he got confused by an after the fact description." are also not needed.

If I am not being clear enough for you I'm sorry. Possibly I do not have the tools available to communicate effectively but I try.

The conversation started with a comment about seeing "contact>feeling>perception>proliferation". I understood the ">" to mean sequentially and my initial point was that it is "thought" (or a thought process) that connects the dots.

Retreats are most definitely "contrived" but because something is contrived does not need to mean it is without value. The are also a later development.

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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Dec 14, 2013 10:36 am

Mr Man wrote:I am not sure if you are "deliberately" trying to misrepresent but comments for the gallery like "Well, that is interesting, and so much for the Dhamma, so much for actually practicing. No need for all that meditation practice, folk." are a misrepresentation and in my opinion are not needed. I also think snide comments in like " think he got confused by an after the fact description." are also not needed.
If one follows your line of thought up, as you expressed it in writing, to the point where I made the "so much" comment, it clearly follows from what you wrote. And given what you had said up to the "confused" statement, what you said reads as if you were in fact confused.

If I am not being clear enough for you I'm sorry. Possibly I do not have the tools available to communicate effectively but I try.
Okay.

The conversation started with a comment about seeing "contact>feeling>perception>proliferation". I understood the ">" to mean sequentially and my initial point was that it is "thought" (or a thought process) that connects the dots.
Again, I have no idea of what you are talking about here in relation to my retreat story. The problem is that you leave way too much left unsaid, which makes for a difficult dialogue.

Retreats are most definitely "contrived" but because something is contrived does not need to mean it is without value. The are also a later development.
Maybe "contrived" carries different connotations in Albion, but it is an unfortunate choice of words.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
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dheamhan a fhios agam

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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby SamKR » Sat Dec 14, 2013 2:34 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
SamKR wrote: But until we are stuck with the sense of self/other and sense of space & time, there is nothing wrong in using time -


But given that we are stuck with the sense of self/other, aren't we also inevitably stuck with the sense of space and time?

Yes, I think so.

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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby SamKR » Sat Dec 14, 2013 3:16 pm

rohana wrote:
SamKR wrote:
yam kiñci samudayadhammam sabbam tam nirodhadhammam
Whatever is of coarising-nature is all of cessation-nature.

To arise is to experience; if there is no experience there is no arising. Whatever arises or experienced (whether arising in a billionth of a second OR arising and perceived to be lasting for years or even several lives) - all those khandhas (sets) - are of the nature of cessation.

I think this is pretty much the way I understand it. What the sōtāpanna realizes is the universality of impermanence - that anything that arises must sooner or later, cease.

rohana wrote:From Sāmanēra Bodhesāko's essay on aniccā, which I'm currently reading:
... The statement “All circles are round” describes not a statistical observation but a structural necessity: if it isn’t round it’s not a circle. ...
Change: A Circular Argument

:thumbsup:
I also believe that what a sōtāpanna sees through is the universal necessity of cessation of whatever arises. Here the term whatever is important - it includes everything of all levels of experiences and objectifications - includes all five aggregates of "past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near". The sōtāpanna sees that these aggregates of suffering, which might have been in bhava from "an inconstruable beginning", are all subject to cessation - and gains full confidence in the dhamma that leads to nibbana.

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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby noname » Sat Dec 14, 2013 3:50 pm

Hello all,

cittas arise and pass away billions per instant


To say that the problem (dukkha) is made of billions of tiny problems (dukkhas) does not solve the problem, it doesn't even address the problem. One pile of excrement or billions of it - it's all the same: excrement. You have to look for the excrement in the pile, not for the pile(s) or their distribution in time and space. If you cannot see the excrement in a single pile, you are not going to see it in billions either. The time factor has nothing to do with the recognition of excrement as excrement, i.e. with the recognition of experience as dukkha. Remember: It's about suffering and the cessation of suffering, not about putting the excrement under the microscope. Impermanence must be seen through suffering, not in isolation from it. What does your suffering stand for? Why are things other than you want ("impermanent")? See this, repeat seeing this, and be free from it.

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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby Thule » Sat Dec 14, 2013 5:51 pm

Ancient Sarvastivadins had slower faculties than Theravadins?
The Buddhist schools used the characteristics of conditioned phenomena as a hermeneutic tool with which to reinterpret impermanence in terms of momentariness. The Sarvāstivāda-Vaibhāṣika proposed a fully-fledged doctrine of momentariness according to which all physical and mental phenomena are momentary. The Sarvāstivādins use the term “moment” (kṣaṇa) in a highly technical sense as the smallest, definite unit of time that cannot be subdivided, the length of which came to be equated with the duration of mental events as the briefest conceivable entities. There is no Sarvāstivādin consensus on the length of a moment, but the texts indicate figures between 0.13 and 13 milliseconds in modern terms (Gethin 1998, 221; von Rospatt 1995, 94–110). This usage presupposes an atomistic conception of time, for time is not reckoned indefinitely divisible. Indeed, the term kṣaṇa is often discussed in juxtaposition to the concepts of material atoms and syllables, which are likewise comprehended as indivisible.
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/abhidharma/#TimImpMom
(by Noa Ronkin)

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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby Mkoll » Sat Dec 14, 2013 7:45 pm

noname wrote:Hello all,

cittas arise and pass away billions per instant


To say that the problem (dukkha) is made of billions of tiny problems (dukkhas) does not solve the problem, it doesn't even address the problem. One pile of excrement or billions of it - it's all the same: excrement. You have to look for the excrement in the pile, not for the pile(s) or their distribution in time and space. If you cannot see the excrement in a single pile, you are not going to see it in billions either. The time factor has nothing to do with the recognition of excrement as excrement, i.e. with the recognition of experience as dukkha. Remember: It's about suffering and the cessation of suffering, not about putting the excrement under the microscope. Impermanence must be seen through suffering, not in isolation from it. What does your suffering stand for? Why are things other than you want ("impermanent")? See this, repeat seeing this, and be free from it.

:goodpost:
Peace,
James

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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Dec 14, 2013 8:03 pm

Thule wrote:Ancient Sarvastivadins had slower faculties than Theravadins?
The Buddhist schools used the characteristics of conditioned phenomena as a hermeneutic tool with which to reinterpret impermanence in terms of momentariness. The Sarvāstivāda-Vaibhāṣika proposed a fully-fledged doctrine of momentariness according to which all physical and mental phenomena are momentary. The Sarvāstivādins use the term “moment” (kṣaṇa) in a highly technical sense as the smallest, definite unit of time that cannot be subdivided, the length of which came to be equated with the duration of mental events as the briefest conceivable entities. There is no Sarvāstivādin consensus on the length of a moment, but the texts indicate figures between 0.13 and 13 milliseconds in modern terms (Gethin 1998, 221; von Rospatt 1995, 94–110). This usage presupposes an atomistic conception of time, for time is not reckoned indefinitely divisible. Indeed, the term kṣaṇa is often discussed in juxtaposition to the concepts of material atoms and syllables, which are likewise comprehended as indivisible.
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/abhidharma/#TimImpMom
(by Noa Ronkin)

That's an interesting article. Of course, that time-scale seems more plausible than the "billions" that we see quoted on this thread. I couldn't find a discussion of Theravada time-scales in the article, but perhaps I didn't look hard enough.

:anjali:
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby Thule » Sat Dec 14, 2013 8:40 pm

mikenz66 wrote:That's an interesting article. Of course, that time-scale seems more plausible than the "billions" that we see quoted on this thread. I couldn't find a discussion of Theravada time-scales in the article, but perhaps I didn't look hard enough.

Yes, if I recall correctly the article didn't mention Theravada time-scales and my "slower" comment was when compared to the "billions" used in this thread, but it was interesting to see another early school's approach, at least for me.

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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby SarathW » Sun Dec 15, 2013 11:17 pm

In regard to OP please also consider the Serial Present and Momentary Present description in Page 50 of the following link:


http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books9/Nyana ... tudies.pdf

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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby SarathW » Mon Dec 16, 2013 12:28 am

Please also read P174:
"The billionth part of a flash of lightning is a metaphor ................."

http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books9/Nyana ... tudies.pdf

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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby robertk » Mon Dec 16, 2013 4:02 am

Actually Nyanaponika is taking liberties with the word 'metaphorical' in that sentence. Time itself can only be understood by understanding the rapidity of the arising and ceasing of namas in series.

There really is no self , but because continuity hides the rise and fall we imagine "I" can decide, I can try, I can apply sati..

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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Dec 16, 2013 4:52 am

robertk wrote:Actually Nyanaponika is taking liberties with the word 'metaphorical' in that sentence.
Not that you have shown. You have made no actual argument for the reality for the "billions" of cittas arising and passing away in an instant. It is something found in much later commentarial literature, but that does not mean that it is so. It is not found in the suttas and you have not shown that it is found in the Abhidhamma Pitaka texts, either. Ven Nyanaponika makes a far better argument in his book for his position than do you for yours here in this thread. Actually, you make no argument. You have simply asserted that this much later commentarial position is true.

There really is no self , but because continuity hides the rise and fall we imagine "I" can decide, I can try, I can apply sati..
Of course, this is the Sujinist position, which make no real sense and has no real basis in the suttas.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby Sylvester » Mon Dec 16, 2013 7:20 am

Why the Commentators ended up with the theory of khaṇa (moments). I suspect this stems from how the Commentaries interpret 2 key messages in the Abhidhamma.

Firstly, in the Vibhaṅga's treatment of DA, there is an alternate to the 3 lives presentation, where all the 11 links are compacted into a per-citta basis (see s.248 to 255 of the Paṭiccasamuppādavibhaṅgo). Then, there is the presentation used in the Dhammasaṅgaṇī, where you have relationships laid out in a very standard pattern -

Yasmiṃ samaye (insert type of citta under discussion), tasmiṃ samaye A hoti, B hoti, C hoti etc etc


What's striking is that the Vibhaṅga and the Dhammasaṅgaṇī both employ the relative clause structure of "Yasmiṃ samaye ....tasmiṃ samaye ....". The Comy would treat both ya and ta locatives as being temporal locatives, meaning that whatever is in the principle clause (the ta clause), they must all be concurrent and simultaneous with the subordinate ya clause. Everything has to happen all at once in each citta. This includes the unfortunate side effect from this -

Yasmiṃ samaye akusalaṃ cittaṃ uppannaṃ hoti somanassasahagataṃ diṭṭhigatasampayuttaṃ rūpārammaṇaṃ vā saddārammaṇaṃ vā gandhārammaṇaṃ vā rasārammaṇaṃ vā phoṭṭhabbārammaṇaṃ vā dhammārammaṇaṃ vā yaṃ yaṃ vā panārabbha, tasmiṃ samaye avijjāpaccayā saṅkhāro, saṅkhārapaccayā viññāṇaṃ, viññāṇapaccayā nāmaṃ, nāmapaccayā chaṭṭhāyatanaṃ, chaṭṭhāyatanapaccayā phasso, phassapaccayā vedanā, vedanāpaccayā taṇhā, taṇhāpaccayā upādānaṃ, upādānapaccayā bhavo, bhavapaccayā jāti, jātipaccayā jarāmaraṇaṃ.


The citta has to arise concurrently with its decay. The occassion (samaya) in this case has to be compressed by the Comy to the smallest possible hypothetical to accomodate this reading of DA on a per citta basis. As a logical inference, this seems reasonable if one decides to read both the locatives as being temporal locatives. But are they necessarily so?

While "Yasmiṃ samaye ....tasmiṃ samaye...." will be correctly interpreted as importing simultaneity most of the time, there are examples from the suttas where the tasmiṃ is not functioning as a temporal locative, but as a referential locative (see AN 9.39 where the same construction is used to describe the jhanas and thinking). Warder gives copious example of the relative pronoun ya and the demonstrative pronoun ta carrying different inflectional senses, and there is no reason to suppose that the Comy was correct in reading both locatives as being temporal ones.

So, if the Comy had not followed the Sarvastivadins in reading the samaya as time, but had instead read these passages as -

On whatever occassion A arises, then with reference to that occassion X, Y, Z


I suspect the Comy would have totally dispensed with the theory of moments. X, Y and Z would then not be need to be simultaneous with A, nor with one another.

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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby Sanjay PS » Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:36 am

noname wrote:Hello all,

cittas arise and pass away billions per instant


To say that the problem (dukkha) is made of billions of tiny problems (dukkhas) does not solve the problem, it doesn't even address the problem. One pile of excrement or billions of it - it's all the same: excrement. You have to look for the excrement in the pile, not for the pile(s) or their distribution in time and space. If you cannot see the excrement in a single pile, you are not going to see it in billions either. The time factor has nothing to do with the recognition of excrement as excrement, i.e. with the recognition of experience as dukkha. Remember: It's about suffering and the cessation of suffering, not about putting the excrement under the microscope. Impermanence must be seen through suffering, not in isolation from it. What does your suffering stand for? Why are things other than you want ("impermanent")? See this, repeat seeing this, and be free from it.



An excellent , excellent post , most insightful and useful . May we all not digress from what has been mentioned . Thank you.

sanjay
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The path of Dhamma is no picnic . It is a strenuous march steeply up the hill . If all the comrades desert you , Walk alone ! Walk alone ! with all the Thrill !!

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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby Thule » Mon Dec 16, 2013 2:28 pm

The Sarvāstivādins use the term “moment” (kṣaṇa) in a highly technical sense as the smallest, definite unit of time that cannot be subdivided, the length of which came to be equated with the duration of mental events as the briefest conceivable entities. There is no Sarvāstivādin consensus on the length of a moment, but the texts indicate figures between 0.13 and 13 milliseconds in modern terms (Gethin 1998, 221; von Rospatt 1995, 94–110).

Not much to do with Buddha Dhamma, but I was curious how they ended up with that specific number:

von Rospatt p. 99, note 218:
Vi 701b8-12: "120 ksanas (0.014 seconds, more precisely: 0.013 period) make up one tatksana
(1.6 seconds). 60 tatksanas make up one lava (1.6 minutes), which [thus] has 7200 ksanas. 30 lavas
make up one muhurta (48 minutes), which [thus] has 216.000 ksanas. 30 muhurtas make up one day and
night (i.e. 24 hours), which [thus] has 6.480.000 ksanas."

24 h/day * 60 min/h * 60 s/min = 86,400 s/day
30 muhurta/day * 30 lava/muhurta * 60 tatksana/lava * 120 ksana/tatksana = 6,480,000 ksana/day
=> 1 ksana = 86,400/6,480,000 = 0.013 seconds

So it seems that 13 milliseconds mentioned in the first quote is based just on the way they divided a day into smaller units of time.


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