When & why did the teaching on momentariness emerge?

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robertk
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Re: When & why did the teaching on momentariness emerge?

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pegembara wrote: Wed Nov 22, 2023 7:28 am
robertk wrote: Sun Nov 19, 2023 9:54 am Take touching something hard like a table: the experience of the hardness is well explained in the Commentaries. The actual touch moment is one in a process. And even then it is not just one moment that is known but many that make up the sign, the nimitta of hardness. Then so many mind door processes that know - this is table.

So before knowing Dhamma we lived immersed totally in concepts. The wise get closer to the actual realties but still it is the sign that is known.
Or take the experience of a bell. There is the touch of hardness and coldness, the smell/taste of metal, the hearing of the sound and the seeing of its shape. All these temporary or momentary processes are stitched together to create a "bell" ie. the bell is a fabrication or empty.
“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.

That’s how a mendicant directly knows what should be directly known and completely understands what should be completely understood. Knowing and understanding thus they make an end of suffering in this very life.”

https://suttacentral.net/an6.61/en/suja ... ript=latin
:sage: :sage: :sage:
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robertk
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Re: When & why did the teaching on momentariness emerge?

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justindesilva wrote: Wed Nov 22, 2023 7:03 am
form wrote: Wed Nov 22, 2023 3:32 am Emerge to fill up the blanks in the suttas.
If this is addressed to me then I wish an excuse. I am trying to participate in this forum as best as possible after a revival of a stroke one & 1/2 years ago. But I am handicapped in a manner by needing rest and not being able to stay too long on writing answers. If somebody feels my responses are inadequate I do not mind having a better rest . I just had my 81st birthday yesterday. But meditation has proved very beneficial on a faster recovery specially samatha .
With metta .
Happy birthday Justin!
I think form was replying directly to the OP title about 'When........emerge?'
justindesilva
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Re: When & why did the teaching on momentariness emerge?

Post by justindesilva »

robertk wrote: Wed Nov 22, 2023 9:32 am
justindesilva wrote: Wed Nov 22, 2023 7:03 am
form wrote: Wed Nov 22, 2023 3:32 am Emerge to fill up the blanks in the suttas.
If this is addressed to me then I wish an excuse. I am trying to participate in this forum as best as possible after a revival of a stroke one & 1/2 years ago. But I am handicapped in a manner by needing rest and not being able to stay too long on writing answers. If somebody feels my responses are inadequate I do not mind having a better rest . I just had my 81st birthday yesterday. But meditation has proved very beneficial on a faster recovery specially samatha .
With metta .
Happy birthday Justin!
I think form was replying directly to the OP title about 'When........emerge?'
Thankyou for wishing me and appreciate your kind words .
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Sasha_A
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Re: When & why did the teaching on momentariness emerge?

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robertk wrote: Sun Nov 19, 2023 6:50 am I can add a simple analogy.
Movies are filmed at about 24 frames per second - the number of frames is really minimal- and yet it appears to be a continuous playing.
And any such frame must last for some time in order to be visible. Something that lasts no time cannot be perceived, discerned and known, it cannot cause anything and cannot be the effect of anything - it does not exist at all in the most absolute sense, even theoretically.
robertk wrote: Sun Nov 19, 2023 6:50 amThis world that seems so solid is an ephemeral, complex concantanation of elements that fall away instantly, but the continuity makes it seem so lasting.

Without the teaching of the Buddha, going back to the analogy, we wouldn't even be at the level of the 2 year old who has heard about the many frames of a movie. At least, though, we are in the fortunate position of having access to the Dhamma so that there is the possibility of seeing gradually into this matter.
I am sorry, but knowledge of the constantly changing world, including ourselves, is an essential part of school education in the natural sciences: biology, physics, chemistry. There's absolutely nothing supramundane about this knowledge, or about observing these changes directly or indirectly.

Something that is changing can be taken as mine, I and myself - it can and is taken as Atman in practice all the time.

It seems that the whole idea of the momentary emerged from a lack of education in reasoning and philosophy - from a lack of understanding of what Atman is and what makes Atman Atman. And the understanding that something that is changing cannot be Atman or cannot be taken as Atman is absolutely and totally wrong, both theoretically and practically.

Without a right understanding of what atta is as a philosophical concept, there's no right theoretical understanding of anatta and anicca and why that which is anicca is dukkha and why that which is dukkha is anatta, what the noble search is and why it's noble.
It is merely dukkha that comes into being, dukkha that stands and disappears,
Nothing apart from dukkha comes into being, nothing other than dukkha ceases.
- SN5.10
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Re: When & why did the teaching on momentariness emerge?

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Sasha_A wrote: Wed Nov 22, 2023 11:16 am
Without a right understanding of what atta is as a philosophical concept

Every designation implies an atta. To believe it has merely to do with a philosophical concept. More with your ignorance.
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Re: When & why did the teaching on momentariness emerge?

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Here is a quick DeepL translation of some exerts from the article 'The ultimate foundation of the Indian philosophical dispute about atman and anatman' (emphasis is mine) :
Ātman is introduced into the Indian philosophical context in the upper Upanishads, and the then commonplace meaning of the word is undoubted. It is a masculine noun functioning as a reciprocal pronoun…

To reconcile the everyday and philosophical use of the word atman 'itself, self', let us note the following. For any Namesake it is true that Namesake has and cannot not have opinions, beliefs and experiences about Namesake (I have deliberately created a somewhat artificial syntactic construction in order to avoid the use of the reciprocal pronoun and not to fall into a vicious circle) - this is a property of consciousness - but it is not evident from anything that these beliefs and experiences will be successful, intelligent, correct or even sensible. A madman also has a belief about himself, but it is insane.

As far as the atman as self is concerned, the philosophical objective of the Upanishads is this: to expose a possibly unsuccessful belief about the self in order to arrive at a final, successful, irrevocable and therefore eternal belief and experience of the self.

And according to the Upanishads, all human beings have a false self-understanding, a false opinion of themselves and an experience of themselves before they begin to investigate and search for themselves. If a madman considers and feels himself a teapot, a common man - a living body of a certain sex and age, a thinker - an intellect enclosed in a bodily shell, then from a non-philosophical point of view we would consider the first opinion the worst and the last the best, but according to the Upanishads, all these opinions are perverse, because they have a common vice: they fall into objectification.

For whoever or whatever a man considers himself to be, he himself, i.e., atman, is the one who considers, and not what he considers himself to be. In the words of Yajnyavalkya, "that by which [man] discerns any of this, by what will he discern it? Well, by what does he discern the discerner?"

The term "subject" is heterologous, i.e. it denotes some object of philosophical interest, but in its meaning it is not any object. The absence of the concept of atman in European philosophy reveals its truth as the absence of interest and of appropriate intellectual means of discovering and self-disclosing the fundamentally non-objectifiable, i.e. the very self, and not the image of the self.
...
In fact, psychologically speaking, this, the feeling of subjectivity and the feeling of mastery, is what differentiates inner action from hallucination and other phenomena in which I am not in control of myself. Such situations are always undesirable! There is little doubt that bad things can happen to me when I am not my own master. On the contrary, in a situation where I am my own master, when nothing happens without my will, nothing bad can happen to me.

Hence the aspiration of the Upanishads becomes clear. Although it is formulated in the texts as a search for "atman" or cognition of "atman", in reality behind it is the aspiration to be or become the master of oneself. Elementary reflection convinces a person that he is not always and not in everything his own master, that he is not the only master, and, as it is said in the Upanishads, where there is duality (i.e. the presence of something or someone beyond my control besides me), there is danger. But how would one preliminarily, before accomplishment, comprehend the realisation of the formulated task of becoming a master of oneself? Is it possible to make oneself a master without being one? Obviously not: the agent who will make me a master from not being a master, will thereby dispose of me in a masterly way. He is the master. And he already is. But where and how is he? I am not experiencing myself as a complete and uninterrupted master right now! Part of the answer is that the master can only be discovered, but cannot be created. Since Indian culture primarily contrasts action with knowledge, and since finding oneself as a master, as it turns out, cannot be action, it is left to be cognition. Hence discovery is called cognition.

This answer, however, is incomplete and should be clarified later.

Next, let us simulate by thought a situation of complete success in the above-mentioned endeavour. Suppose someone has "realised atman" or "discovered himself as a full master". Is it possible for this achievement to be lost? No, for there is no one to problematise it, much less take it away. If someone or something takes away my being a master from me, then he is the master and I am his household! But then it follows that either I have not reached the final result, or the assumption made is wrong. So, the final result is fundamentally irrevocable by nothing and nobody. In particular, it cannot be cancelled by death. Therefore, the firm discovery of oneself as a master is also the discovery of oneself as immortal, and no bodily biological circumstances can shake this immortality. Thus, the search for the self turned out to be existentially and metaphysically the most important enterprise.
In the context of atta, the fact of change or the nature of the change is irrelevant, especially if it is something that has nothing to do with me, because it says nothing about my mastery over myself. I am not the owner of myself only when what I consider to be myself and mine, my own self, is subject to changes of any kind beyond my control, in which case such changes and the very subjection to them is a burden, a bondage, a fetter - it is dukkha.
It is merely dukkha that comes into being, dukkha that stands and disappears,
Nothing apart from dukkha comes into being, nothing other than dukkha ceases.
- SN5.10
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robertk
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Re: When & why did the teaching on momentariness emerge?

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Sasha_A wrote: Wed Nov 22, 2023 11:16 am
And any such frame must last for some time in order to be visible. Something that lasts no time cannot be perceived, discerned and known, it cannot cause anything and cannot be the effect of anything - it does not exist at all in the most absolute sense, even theoretically.
Yes if something lasts no time it wouldn't even exit at all. However, while dhammas arise and fall exceedingly fast they still exist, momentarily.
Sasha_A wrote: Wed Nov 22, 2023 11:16 am Something that is changing can be taken as mine, I and myself - it can and is taken as Atman in practice all the time.
That is because they do not discern the true nature of dhammas as rising and passing.
p.59 sammohavinodani (the dispeller of delusion)
241. But it is owing to not keeping in mind, owing to non-penetration of what and owing to concealment by what that these characteristics do not appear? Firstly the characteristic of impermanence does not appear owing to not keeping in mind, not penetrating rise and fall owing to its being concealed by continuity (santati).

the ChachakkaSutta:

If anyone should say, ‘Feeling is self,’ that is not tenable. For an
arising and a falling away of feeling are discerned. Since its
arising and falling away are discerned, the consequence would
follow: ‘My self arises and falls away.’ Therefore it is not tenable
to say, ‘Feeling is self.’ Thus feeling is non-self”
[…]
If anyone says, ‘The mind is self,’ that is not tenable. The rise and fall of the mind are discerned, and since its rise and fall are discerned, it would follow: ‘My self rises and falls.’ That is why it is not tenable for anyone to say, ‘The mind is self.’ Thus the mind is not self.

(MN 148/M III
283)
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Re: When & why did the teaching on momentariness emerge?

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robertk wrote: Thu Nov 23, 2023 9:26 am Yes if something lasts no time it wouldn't even exit at all. However, while dhammas arise and fall exceedingly fast they still exist, momentarily.
If the dhammas exist and are true, then to the same extent does what is made of them exist and is true?

What do you think, can something unchangeable be perceived or be a perceiver, be recognised or be a recogniser, be known or be a knower? Can something unchangeable interact with anything at all?
Sasha_A wrote: Wed Nov 22, 2023 11:16 am Something that is changing can be taken as mine, I and myself - it can and is taken as Atman in practice all the time.
robertk wrote: Thu Nov 23, 2023 9:26 amThat is because they do not discern the true nature of dhammas as rising and passing.
Once again, this is what is taught in regular schools, let alone higher education.

So what you're saying is that if a person sees, say, a beautiful woman and feels desire for her, in order to get rid of the desire, he switches his vision to the 'microscope' mode, as a result of which he doesn't see a woman, but rapidly appearing and disappearing dhammas, and so he gets rid of the desire for that woman, right?
It is merely dukkha that comes into being, dukkha that stands and disappears,
Nothing apart from dukkha comes into being, nothing other than dukkha ceases.
- SN5.10
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robertk
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Re: When & why did the teaching on momentariness emerge?

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Sasha_A wrote: Wed Nov 22, 2023 11:16 am
And any such frame must last for some time in order to be visible. Something that lasts no time cannot be perceived, discerned and known, it cannot cause anything and cannot be the effect of anything - it does not exist at all in the most absolute sense, even theoretically.
Yes if something lasts no time it wouldn't even exit at all. However, while dhammas arise and fall exceedingly fast they still exist, momentarily.

Take the example of knowing "that is a rose". In fact that quick recognition is composed of many, many moments.

ABHIDHAMMA STUDIES BUDDHIST EXPLORATIONS OF CONSCIOUSNESS AND TIME
NYANAPONIKA THERA
Not only the “taking up” but also the “making” and the “remembering” of marks may be relevant to all cases of perception if it is understood as follows: What really happens in a simple act of perception is that some features of the object (sometimes only a single striking one) are selected. The mental note made by that perception is closely associated with those selected features; that is, we attach, as it were, a tag to the object, or make a mark on it as woodcutters do on trees. So far every perception is “a making of marks” (nimittakaraṇa). 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 of seeing a rose, for example, is in reality a very complex process composed of different phases, each consisting of numerous smaller combinations of conscious processes (cittavīthi), which again are made up of several single moments of consciousness (cittakkhaṇa) 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 Ābhidhammikas “grasping the past” (atīta-gahaṇa). Finally, the individual contributions of all those different perceptual processes have to be remembered and coordinated in order to form the final and complete perception of a rose.
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Re: When & why did the teaching on momentariness emerge?

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robertk wrote: Thu Nov 23, 2023 3:07 pm
Sasha_A wrote: Wed Nov 22, 2023 11:16 am
And any such frame must last for some time in order to be visible. Something that lasts no time cannot be perceived, discerned and known, it cannot cause anything and cannot be the effect of anything - it does not exist at all in the most absolute sense, even theoretically.
Yes if something lasts no time it wouldn't even exit at all. However, while dhammas arise and fall exceedingly fast they still exist, momentarily.
Take the example of knowing "that is a rose". In fact that quick recognition is composed of many, many moments.
Never the less there is a rose, and to say that that rose is not exist is the same as to say that all that it consist of is not exist.
And the only thing this says is not that the rose does not exist, but that the rose is a rapidly changing process of alternating dhammas in this particular combination, which in the end is called the rose.
It is merely dukkha that comes into being, dukkha that stands and disappears,
Nothing apart from dukkha comes into being, nothing other than dukkha ceases.
- SN5.10
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Re: When & why did the teaching on momentariness emerge?

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Staying near Sāvatthī … Then Ven. Kaccāna Gotta went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One: “Lord, ‘Right view, right view,’ it is said. To what extent is there right view?”

“By & large, Kaccāna, this world is supported by [takes as its object] a polarity, that of existence & non-existence. But when one sees the origination of the world as it has come to be with right discernment, ‘non-existence’ with reference to the world does not occur to one. When one sees the cessation of the world as it has come to be with right discernment, ‘existence’ with reference to the world does not occur to one.

“By & large, Kaccāna, this world is in bondage to attachments, clingings [sustenances], & biases. But one such as this does not get involved with or cling to these attachments, clingings, fixations of awareness, biases, or obsessions; nor is he resolved on ‘my self.’ He has no uncertainty or doubt that mere stress, when arising, is arising; stress, when passing away, is passing away. In this, his knowledge is independent of others. It’s to this extent, Kaccāna, that there is right view.

“‘Everything exists’: That is one extreme. ‘Everything doesn’t exist’: That is a second extreme. Avoiding these two extremes, the Tathāgata teaches the Dhamma via the middle: From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications.
https://www.dhammatalks.org/suttas/SN/SN12_15.html
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Re: When & why did the teaching on momentariness emerge?

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Sasha_A wrote: Thu Nov 23, 2023 3:21 pm
robertk wrote: Thu Nov 23, 2023 3:07 pm
Sasha_A wrote: Wed Nov 22, 2023 11:16 am
And any such frame must last for some time in order to be visible. Something that lasts no time cannot be perceived, discerned and known, it cannot cause anything and cannot be the effect of anything - it does not exist at all in the most absolute sense, even theoretically.
Yes if something lasts no time it wouldn't even exit at all. However, while dhammas arise and fall exceedingly fast they still exist, momentarily.
Take the example of knowing "that is a rose". In fact that quick recognition is composed of many, many moments.
Never the less there is a rose, and to say that that rose is not exist is the same as to say that all that it consist of is not exist.
And the only thing this says is not that the rose does not exist, but that the rose is a rapidly changing process of alternating dhammas in this particular combination, which in the end is called the rose.
Where is this rose? How is it known? The whole point of Buddhadhamma is that a rose cannot be found to exist substantially.

“So you should view this fleeting world—A star at dawn, a bubble in a stream, a flash of lightning in a summer cloud, a flickering lamp, a phantom, and a dream.” - Vajracchedikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra

Of course you and I see roses, but ultimately a rose cannot be found.
“The teacher willed that this world appear to me
as impermanent, unstable, insubstantial.
Mind, let me leap into the victor’s teaching,
carry me over the great flood, so hard to pass.”
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Re: When & why did the teaching on momentariness emerge?

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Sasha_A wrote: Wed Nov 22, 2023 12:24 pm
In the context of atta, the fact of change or the nature of the change is irrelevant
This is completely misguided. Anicca undermines atta completely, in any form. That which arises dependently cannot be found ultimately.
“The teacher willed that this world appear to me
as impermanent, unstable, insubstantial.
Mind, let me leap into the victor’s teaching,
carry me over the great flood, so hard to pass.”
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Re: When & why did the teaching on momentariness emerge?

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Ceisiwr wrote: Thu Nov 23, 2023 7:23 pm That which arises dependently cannot be found ultimately.
Dependent arising is not about ultimate existence
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Re: When & why did the teaching on momentariness emerge?

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cappuccino wrote: Thu Nov 23, 2023 9:08 pm
Ceisiwr wrote: Thu Nov 23, 2023 7:23 pm That which arises dependently cannot be found ultimately.
Dependent arising is not about ultimate existence

And roses can of course be found.
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