cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Dec 10, 2013 8:32 am

robertk wrote:Votthapanna citta simply performs its function in a series of cittas. This is the teaching of the arahats and Buddha.
You have not shown that to be the case. it is certainly the teachings of the later commentaries.
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.

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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby kirk5a » Tue Dec 10, 2013 8:43 am

robertk wrote:Votthapanna citta simply performs its function in a series of cittas. This is the teaching of the arahats and Buddha.

What evidence is there this is the teaching of the arahants and Buddha?
It is not the case that one hopes to experience votthapanna citta, as there are other nama and rupa that are also appearing and may be object of understanding such as vedana, or color or sound or seeing(cakkhu vinnana).

Now that we've been talking about it, I do actually hope to experience it. Especially since there are supposedly billions of these mysterious things occuring. That there are other nama and rupa also appearing is no argument for why one cannot experience it. So are you saying that there is no possibility to directly experience these billions of cittas?
"Immediately thereafter there arises the functional, rootless mind-consciousness-element (Tab. I, 71), accompanied by indifference, while performing the function of 'determining' (votthapana) the object......

Yes, "determining" the object. Which means?
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby daverupa » Tue Dec 10, 2013 11:29 am

mikenz66 wrote:Is there no interest in discussing how the sutta and Abhidhamma texts relate to actual experience?


Why didn't you mention the commentaries here? Because a comment from within those is what we're talking about; to ask about interest in the suttas and abhidhamma is a red herring.

I mean, allegedly the point of 'billions' is to showcase anatta at the level of citta, but this is nowhere described by the Buddha. Observing rise and fall is so described.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby Babadhari » Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:17 pm

here is a quote from the Venerable Pa Auk Sayadaw's book 'The Working of Kamma' : PAGE 53

'For us properly to understand the workings of kamma, it is first of all
necessary to understand something about the workings of the mind. The
Buddha explains that when the mind is alert, then within a snap of the
fingers, very many thousand million consciousnesses arise and perish:
they arise as series, many thousand million mental processes (citta-
·vīthi). Most of them are mind-door processes: many thousand million
mind-door processes arising and perishing like a river in full flow.'
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Aflame, with birth, aging & death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs ......

Seeing thus, the disciple of the Noble One grows disenchanted. SN 35.28
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby daverupa » Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:24 pm

kitztack wrote:The Buddha explains that when the mind is alert, then within a snap of the
fingers, very many thousand million consciousnesses...


The problem, of course, is that the Buddha does not seem to have said this at all, in fact.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:19 pm

daverupa wrote:
kitztack wrote:The Buddha explains that when the mind is alert, then within a snap of the
fingers, very many thousand million consciousnesses...


The problem, of course, is that the Buddha does not seem to have said this at all, in fact.


And in any case human perception simply isn't geared up to notice change at this sub-atomic level.
I'm a lumberjack, and I'm OK....
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby pulga » Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:25 pm

A universal becomes an abstraction only in so far as an attempt is made to think it in isolation from all particular or concrete content—divorced, that is to say, from existence. The stricter the reflexion the less the abstraction.

...abstractions and ideas are the same thing; and, though they do not exist apart from images, they are not anchored to any one particular image; but, in the sense that they necessarily have one or another concrete (even if multiple) imaginary content, the abstraction is illusory: abstraction is a discursive escape from the singularity of the real to the plurality of the imaginary—it is not an escape from the concrete. Ven. Ñāṇavīra – SN Mano


But just how strict can reflexion become? What Ven. Ñāṇavīra is describing here can apply to our experience of a lived moment of near infinitely brief duration as well as our experience of the infinite universe – cf. the structure of a line, or better our looking at a line. It isn't about seeing such moments but rather understanding their structural necessity. I do think however that the Abhidhammikas went horribly awry in pondering over such matters.
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby Babadhari » Tue Dec 10, 2013 4:23 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:And in any case human perception simply isn't geared up to notice change at this sub-atomic level.


you may have your opinion

kind regards

kitz
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Aflame, with birth, aging & death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs ......

Seeing thus, the disciple of the Noble One grows disenchanted. SN 35.28
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 5:57 pm

daverupa wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:Is there no interest in discussing how the sutta and Abhidhamma texts relate to actual experience?


Why didn't you mention the commentaries here? Because a comment from within those is what we're talking about; to ask about interest in the suttas and abhidhamma is a red herring.

A typographical omission.
daverupa wrote:I mean, allegedly the point of 'billions' is to showcase anatta at the level of citta, but this is nowhere described by the Buddha. Observing rise and fall is so described.

Yes, is is described, and it's easy to see experientially that hundreds (at least) would be a realistic number for that rise and fall described in the suttas. It seems to me that thousands (or so) might be easily possible with the sort of training described in ancient and modern texts. Do you have any comments on that?

Whether it's hundreds, thousands, or billions it's still anatta at a very fine level.

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

Postby kirk5a » Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:07 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Yes, is is described, and it's easy to see experientially that hundreds (at least) would be a realistic number for that rise and fall described in the suttas. It seems to me that thousands (or so) might be easily possible with the sort of training described in ancient and modern texts. Do you have any comments on that?

Whether it's hundreds, thousands, or billions it's still anatta at a very fine level.

I am still needing more explanation as to what we might look at to see hundreds of in a split second. It's easy to see experientially hundreds [of what]? Please describe with specificity what you are seeing hundreds of, rising and falling in a split second.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:18 pm

Sense impressions at the various doors, feelings, thoughts, and so on.

Please note that I'm not claiming to be able to identify and count hundreds of these per second. I'm saying that it's quite apparent that this is going on (even without any particular training), by simple observation and calculation. A little retreat-level calm and mindfulness makes these phenomena much clearer, so I extrapolate that discerning hundreds, or possibly thousands, might be possible with sufficient training.

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

Postby kirk5a » Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:31 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Sense impressions at the various doors, feelings, thoughts, and so on.


Ok, thanks. I can see how one might estimate hundreds of sense impression "bits" so to speak. But what about "mind-door processes"? Are you able to discern any of this stuff going on?
A complete thought process, occurring through the physical sense doors, is made up of seventeen thought moments (citta kha.na). These are:

A bhava"nga that flows by in a passive state when one of the five physical sense organs comes in contact with its object (atiita bhava"nga).
A bhava"nga that vibrates for one thought moment (bhava"nga calana).
A bhava"nga that cuts off the flow (bhava"nga upaccheda).
A citta that turns towards the object through the sense door that has been stimulated (pañcadvaara-vajjana).
The appropriate sense consciousness; in the case of the eye, for example, eye consciousness (cakkhu viññaa.na).
Next a thought moment — the sampa.ticchana citta — which has the function of receiving the object.
When the object has been received another thought moment, called the santiirana citta, arises, performing the function of investigating the object.
The act (kamma) itself, especially if it was a weighty one.
9 to 15.
The object having been determined, the most important stage from an ethical standpoint follows. This stage, called javana, consists of seven consecutive thought moments all having an identical nature. It is at this stage that good or evil is done, depending on whether the cittas have wholesome or unwholesome roots. Therefore, these javana thought moments have roots and also produce new kamma.
16 and 17.
Following the seventh javana the registering stage occurs, composed of two thought moments called tadaalambane. When the second registering citta has perished, the bhava"nga follows, flowing on until interrupted by another thought process.
These thought moments follow one another in extremely rapid succession; each depends on the previous one and all share the same object. There is no self or soul directing this process. The process occurs so rapidly that mindfulness has to be alert and brisk to recognize at least the determining thought moment — the vottapana — so that one can govern the javana thought moments by wholesome volition.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el322.html
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:37 pm

No, I think that would take a lot more work than I have put in.

However, seeing such things as contact>feeling>perception>proliferation is quite possible, with some calm...

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

Postby Babadhari » Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:39 pm

mikenz66 wrote:No, I think that would take a lot more work than I have put in.

However, seeing such things as contact>feeling>perception>proliferation is quite possible, with some calm...

:anjali:
Mike


well said mike
Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion.
Aflame, with birth, aging & death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs ......

Seeing thus, the disciple of the Noble One grows disenchanted. SN 35.28
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby kirk5a » Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:40 pm

It's interesting that author feels it is actually important to be able to discern the vottapana. Contrary to some recent replies which were backing away from giving importance to discerning this.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby kirk5a » Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:43 pm

mikenz66 wrote:No, I think that would take a lot more work than I have put in.

However, seeing such things as contact>feeling>perception>proliferation is quite possible, with some calm...

Sure. But again, this thread is about gargantuan numbers in a split second.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby Mr Man » Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:46 pm

mikenz66 wrote:No, I think that would take a lot more work than I have put in.

However, seeing such things as contact>feeling>perception>proliferation is quite possible, with some calm...

:anjali:
Mike


Hi Mike
So you can see and differentiate between contact, feeling, perception, proliferation sequentially? And this isn't an overlaid mental exercise? What do you use to do this?
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 7:29 pm

kirk5a wrote:It's interesting that author feels it is actually important to be able to discern the vottapana. Contrary to some recent replies which were backing away from giving importance to discerning this.

My recent replies were pointing out that it is possible to discern quite rapid processes. So what is described in ancient and modern texts does not seem completely out of the question (though the numbers seem exaggerated).

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

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 7:43 pm

Mr Man wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:No, I think that would take a lot more work than I have put in.

However, seeing such things as contact>feeling>perception>proliferation is quite possible, with some calm...

:anjali:
Mike


Hi Mike
So you can see and differentiate between contact, feeling, perception, proliferation sequentially? And this isn't an overlaid mental exercise? What do you use to do this?

Developing calm and paying attention, as instructed in suttas and commentaries.... I mostly practise in a Mahasi style but I don't think that specific techniques are the issue here, or my detailed exeriences What I'm describing is not uncommon. Of course, there's always the possibility of overlays and preconceptions. It's helpful to have experienced teachers to talk to. I might add that what I've briefly described here (I've no interest in discussing fine details of experience outside of a small-group live context) was apparent quite early on, before I'd read any texts.

As I pointed out earlier, the point of Dhamma practice is to eventually realise Nibbana. That also seems rather far-fetched on the face of it...

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

Postby kirk5a » Tue Dec 10, 2013 7:55 pm

mikenz66 wrote:My recent replies were pointing out that it is possible to discern quite rapid processes. So what is described in ancient and modern texts does not seem completely out of the question (though the numbers seem exaggerated).

Aren't you a physicist? If you were to measure some quantity in the hundreds and someone came along and said actually it was "billions" ... would "exaggeration" be a likely explanation for the gulf between your number and his?
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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