robertk wrote: ↑Sun Nov 19, 2023 3:27 am
The numbers are literal (roughly, obviously). However this is the understanding of the Buddha and the great arahats like Sariputta
I doubt that Buddha teached a specific number of cittas or nimittas (whatever one would conceptualize dependent on this term) which would arise per second. One would have to define 'one second' very precicely - so that the information about a specific number of arising cittas or nimittas (per second) would make sense. You speak of a number that would 'roughly' make sense. Suppose the 'one second' meant by the commentator lasts about 1,2 times the length of todays precicely defined 'one second' - would the outcome of the number of arising cittas per second be also 'roughly' right - in your opinion?
For the explained reason I cant imagine a wise man trying to give a precise or roughly precise number of arising 'mental elements' or some sort of that per second,
More apporiate /wiser seems to me this kind of explanation / statement:
https://suttacentral.net/an1.41-50/en/s ... ript=latin
“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that’s as quick to change as the mind. So much so that it’s not easy to give a simile for how quickly the mind changes.”
This statement covers the 'basic idea' (also) and it doesnt lead or doesnt invite to much more speculations and (in the end ...) unsuccessfull efforts to take a number like one trillion somehow 'literal' (I suppose no one is able to conceptualize not just the name of that claimend reality ('one trillion' or '1 0000 0000 00000000' etc per second) but also its meant content - that would be the conceptualisation of 1 0000 00000 0000 00 etc objects at one time. Last but not least it seems advisable (to me) to understand such a concept like 'time' (if one must or wants to think 'one time') also as matter of perspective -> 'time is relative'.
The aim of my postings in this thread is to question those kind of speculations: How much cittas or nimittas or whatever would arise objectively (!) in also one (absolute, objective) second. This kind of thinking seems to me like a wishful belief in a certain other (kind of: 'absolute') reality, in the end something one can cling to by investing feelings and thereby taking those concepts for self. I did not want to question, that everything changes 'all the time', that a lot of thoughts and perceptions of (seemingly) stable and same things and beings are illusionized. For me fire is a good metaphor for concsiousness. Sometime its flickering very fast.
I was glad to see your effort in explaining. Your remark that everything that arises is different from another is in my opinion very important! Although one would have to explain more toroughly on that understanding which one aspect culimates (or can lead to the conclusion and the danger of taking just a concept for self again) in that concept (there are only differences). I see this remark of yours as a hint to a better understanding of anatta
I want to add some citations which (to me) seem helpful especially in hinsight to the name and concept 'world'. I thought it could help if I also post Buddhas explanation about the concept and its truth 'All / Everything' (i want to add, that I find, its a kind of strange translation: 'The All'. What is meant is better said with the names 'everyting' or 'all'). I also want to add a passage of MN44 - some helpful words to 'clinging to'.
https://suttacentral.net/an4.45/en/suja ... ript=latin
“Reverend, I say it’s not possible to know or see or reach the end of the world by traveling to a place where there’s no being born, growing old, dying, passing away, or being reborn. But I also say there’s no making an end of suffering without reaching the end of the world. For it is in this fathom-long carcass with its perception and mind that I describe the world, its origin, its cessation, and the practice that leads to its cessation.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
"Monks, I will teach you the All. Listen & pay close attention. I will speak."
"As you say, lord," the monks responded.
The Blessed One said, "What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All.  Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range."
https://suttacentral.net/mn44/en/sujato ... ript=latin
“But ma’am, is that grasping the exact same thing as the five grasping aggregates? Or is grasping one thing and the five grasping aggregates another?”
“That grasping is not the exact same thing as the five grasping aggregates. Nor is grasping one thing and the five grasping aggregates another. The desire and greed for the five grasping aggregates is the grasping there.”