Spiny Norman wrote: ↑Sat Nov 05, 2022 12:01 pm
If I'm looking at the apples, then perception of "red" would arise, persist for a short time, and then cease. Then my attention might be drawn to some green appples next to them, so perception of "green" would arise.
Is that what you mean by "momentariness"?
Note that we are dealing with seconds here, not billionths of a second.
I think your questions are worth considering. I have only studied concepts like dependent origination and emptiness and have been obsessed with it. Let me try to explain this the way I currently see it. I'm just learning so bear with me. I have heard people said that dhammas arise and cease millions of time in a second, so I've tried to use reasoning to see if it's valid in a logical sense.
My teacher says that every dhamma arises from contact of two dhammas (e.g. A & B). After there is contact between A & B, A & B cease, A1 and B1 arise. If there is no contact between A & B, there will never be A1 and B1. If A instead contacts C, we will not have A1, but another 'A'. Think of two rocks (A & B) colliding in a certain way (middle parts of the two contacting) as an example. Each of them will break just slightly, creating two new rocks (A1 & B1) and a few very small rocks. We may even say that if A & B collide in a different way than described, there will be another pair of 'A' and 'B' instead of A1 & B1.
In terms of the six sense sphere, we know that perceptions arise only when there is contact. We may see no apple and still say that we know apples are red, in that case there is no perception born of eye contact. That "redness" is only a concept (born of mind contact).
Suppose you watch this video.
You notice that the colors are changing constantly. How do you recognise that change? Because there are many moments of contact within a second. Which means many moments of consciousness, and of perception.
But I will argue that there are clear limits to our perceptions. If a bulb go on and off 50 times per second, we can never recognise that. We may go blind I suppose. Maybe normal people can only have a maximum of 20 moments of perception per second? Who knows.
Compared to the colors in the video, perception of an apple appears more consistent. In reality, we know that the apple is making constant contact with the environment (air, light), so the apple we see is a new one every moment. But of course we are blind to these small changes. Only if we detect changes can we logically say that our perception of the apple has changed. So in terms of logic, if we see a red apple for 3 seconds without detecting any changes, we may say that the perception lasted 3 secs, or that there has been a series of short perceptions, each last 1/20 sec. It's the same for me.
Of course if we can see reality with meditative experience, it will be much clearer. Now we just speculate.
P/S: There are many demonstrations of how our minds interpret (perception) the raw data (consciousness) and distort reality in the process. Maybe strong meditators can perceive things closer to that raw data.