Memory & momentariness

Discussion of Abhidhamma and related Commentaries
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Alex123
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Memory & momentariness

Post by Alex123 »

Hello all.

According to Abhidhamma, cittas are instantaneous, and no two cittas arise at the same time.

How can one comprehend words then? One needs to be able to "connect" many moments together, and add corresponding concept to make sense even of one word. But previous moments don't exist anymore. How does it work according to Abhidhamma?

Thanks.
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robertk
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Re: Memory & momentariness

Post by robertk »

From Nyanponika Abhidhamma Studies: Researches in Buddhist Psychology

In order to understand
how “remembering” or “recognizing”, too, is implied
in every act of perception we should mention that
according to the deeply penetrative analysis of the
Abhidhamma the apparently simple act, for example,
of seeing a rose, is in reality a very complex
process composed of different phases, each consisting of numerous smaller combinations of conscious
processes (citta-vãthi) which again are made
up of several single moments of consciousness (cittakkhana)
following each other in a definite sequence
of diverse functions. Among these phases there is
one that connects the present perception of a rose
with a previous one, and there is another that
attaches to the present perception the name “rose”,
remembered from previous experience. Not only in
relation to similar experiences in a relatively distant
past, but also between those infinitesimally brief
single phases and successive processes the connecting
function of rudimentary “memory” must be
assumed to operate, because each phase and each
lesser successive state has to “remember” the previous
one — a process called by the later Abhidhammikas
“grasping the past” (atãta-ggahana). Finally,
the individual contributions of all those different
perceptual processes have to be remembered and
co-ordinated in order to form the final and complete
perception of a rose.
jinic
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Re: Memory & momentariness

Post by jinic »

As far as i know, the instanteneous-momentary citta is not abhidhamma but a much later commentary interpretation.

Please show where the theravadin abhidhamma states that citta arises as one thing, exists for some time and ceases, even for a moment, and i will right there reject the abhidhamma.

If each citta arose & ceased as one thing before another arose & ceased as another thing, then you would have to be able to delineate a 'in between' the two as neither the end of the first nor the beginning of the second.

1st citta would be one end, 2nd citta would be another end, with something in the middle.

These ideas are logically flawed and are rediculous.

If you separate the two citta having delineated a difference, then from what did the 2nd citta originate? From nothing. And what became of the 1st citta? Nothing.

Extracting something from nothing and reducing something to nothing. It's non sensical and should be ridiculed.

Contact would have to arise in the beginning, persist in the middle and cease at the end for each citta.

This is directly contradicted by sutta.

Manocittavinnana arises as one thing & ceases as another.
what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another. Just as a monkey, swinging through a forest wilderness, grabs a branch. Letting go of it, it grabs another branch. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. In the same way, what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another. https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Contact is one end, origination of contact is another end and a cessation of contact is the middle.
“Contact, mendicants, is one end. The origin of contact is the second end. The cessation of contact is the middle. And craving is the seamstress, for craving weaves one to being reborn in one state of existence or another. 
https://suttacentral.net/an6.61/en/suja ... ript=latin
The conditioned element changes as it persists
“Bhikkhus, there are these three characteristics that define the conditioned. What three? An arising is seen, a vanishing is seen, and its alteration while it persists is seen. These are the three characteristics that define the conditioned. https://suttacentral.net/an3.47/en/bodh ... ight=false
Last edited by jinic on Mon Jun 20, 2022 8:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Alex123
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Re: Memory & momentariness

Post by Alex123 »

jinic wrote: Mon Jun 20, 2022 7:01 pm As far as i know, the instanteneous momentary citta is not abhidhamma but a much later commentary interpretations.

My post was about Abhidhamma commentary because I would not have this question about Abhidhamma Pitaka.
Jack19990101
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Re: Memory & momentariness

Post by Jack19990101 »

Alex123 wrote: Mon Jun 20, 2022 10:13 am Hello all.

According to Abhidhamma, cittas are instantaneous, and no two cittas arise at the same time.

How can one comprehend words then? One needs to be able to "connect" many moments together, and add corresponding concept to make sense even of one word. But previous moments don't exist anymore. How does it work according to Abhidhamma?

Thanks.
The citta mentioned, is not thinking or sanna.
It is the citta as 3rd satipatthana establishment. it is not in the head, it is around the heart or chest.
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confusedlayman
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Re: Memory & momentariness

Post by confusedlayman »

Createw diapassion
I may be slow learner but im at least learning...
pegembara
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Re: Memory & momentariness

Post by pegembara »

Alex123 wrote: Mon Jun 20, 2022 10:13 am Hello all.

According to Abhidhamma, cittas are instantaneous, and no two cittas arise at the same time.

How can one comprehend words then? One needs to be able to "connect" many moments together, and add corresponding concept to make sense even of one word. But previous moments don't exist anymore. How does it work according to Abhidhamma?

Thanks.
Not necessarily Abhidhamma, but can you have two or more thoughts or words at the same time in your experience? Or is it rather a series or string of words?

Or when you see a "face", do you see it all at once or is it rather a series of events like noticing the mouth, lips, nose, and eyes and then piecing them together?
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.
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Alex123
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Re: Memory & momentariness

Post by Alex123 »

pegembara wrote: Tue Jun 21, 2022 4:43 am Not necessarily Abhidhamma, but can you have two or more thoughts or words at the same time in your experience? Or is it rather a series or string of words?
I cannot think two thoughts at the same instance. It is always one thought, then split second later, the next one.

When it comes to a single word, it might be a conscious memory that lasts as long as it takes to non-consciously string letters together & determine the meaning (non-conscious process).
Or when you see a "face", do you see it all at once or is it rather a series of events like noticing the mouth, lips, nose, and eyes and then piecing them together?
While it feels like "all at once". From what I understand, there is A LOT of non-conscious processing going on, with consciousness getting "the headline of the news".
Jack19990101
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Re: Memory & momentariness

Post by Jack19990101 »

The view is not right.


There is no time outside citta. Time is internal element of khandas(sankhara, fabrication).
Don't think in a way time is ahead of citta.
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