cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby SDC » Tue Dec 10, 2013 7:56 pm

pulga wrote:
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.


Solid post, pulga, and I would to draw attention to the portions in red.

I am pretty much with Ven. Ñāṇavīra on this one. Time is a construct built on an interpretation of experience. An analysis of that construct can be useful only in an effort to understand the experience and break it down. However once broken down, time is no longer a factor. So this is idea of dhamma being subeject to time seems counterproductive, since dhamma is - in the words of Ven. Punnaji - "That which bares. The ground of experience." Time is not more fundamental than that.
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby Mr Man » Tue Dec 10, 2013 8:59 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
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:
Mike


Hi Mike
The question "what do you use to do this" was almost rhetorical. Isn't the tool also part of the process and not separate? I'm not sure that contact, feeling and perception can really be separated or be seen as distinct on an experiential level.
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby SamKR » Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:42 pm

Mr Man wrote:Hi Mike
The question "what do you use to do this" was almost rhetorical. Isn't the tool also part of the process and not separate? I'm not sure that contact, feeling and perception can really be separated or be seen as distinct on an experiential level.

They can be seen as separate (distinct) on an experiential level, though they cannot be separated out from each-other since they co-arise.

"But how does a monk know, how does a monk see, so that ignorance is abandoned and clear knowing arises?"
[...]
"He sees the eye as something separate. He sees forms as something separate. He sees eye-consciousness as something separate. He sees eye-contact as something separate. And whatever arises in dependence on eye-contact — experienced either as pleasure, as pain, or as neither-pleasure-nor-pain — that too he sees as something separate.
"He sees the ear as something separate...
"He sees the nose as something separate...
"He sees the tongue as something separate...
"He sees the body as something separate...
"He sees the intellect as something separate. [...]
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby SamKR » Tue Dec 10, 2013 11:05 pm

SDC wrote:
I am pretty much with Ven. Ñāṇavīra on this one. Time is a construct built on an interpretation of experience. An analysis of that construct can be useful only in an effort to understand the experience and break it down. However once broken down, time is no longer a factor. So this is idea of dhamma being subeject to time seems counterproductive, since dhamma is - in the words of Ven. Punnaji - "That which bares. The ground of experience." Time is not more fundamental than that.

:thumbsup:
I think each arising that can be labeled, may arise with a sense of "duration" (whether perceived to be long or instantaneous ). During each such "duration" any arising that arises can be regarded (labeled) as just one arising (whatever it is - "past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near"). :thinking:
yam kiñci samudayadhammam sabbam tam nirodhadhammam
Whatever is of coarising-nature is all of cessation-nature.

To arise is to experience; if there is no experience there is no arising. Whatever arises or experienced (whether arising in a billionth of a second OR arising and perceived to be lasting for years or even several lives) - all those khandhas (sets) - are of the nature of cessation.

Also, I would like to add that experiences do not happen in time. Rather, sense of time is created (sankharized) due to avijja-based experiences. Therefore, cittas arising and passing away billions per instant - and not being experienced - does not make much sense to me these days.
Last edited by SamKR on Tue Dec 10, 2013 11:44 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby Mr Man » Tue Dec 10, 2013 11:29 pm

SamKR wrote:
Mr Man wrote:Hi Mike
The question "what do you use to do this" was almost rhetorical. Isn't the tool also part of the process and not separate? I'm not sure that contact, feeling and perception can really be separated or be seen as distinct on an experiential level.

They can be seen as separate (distinct) on an experiential level, though they cannot be separated out from each-other since they co-arise.

"But how does a monk know, how does a monk see, so that ignorance is abandoned and clear knowing arises?"
[...]
"He sees the eye as something separate. He sees forms as something separate. He sees eye-consciousness as something separate. He sees eye-contact as something separate. And whatever arises in dependence on eye-contact — experienced either as pleasure, as pain, or as neither-pleasure-nor-pain — that too he sees as something separate.
"He sees the ear as something separate...
"He sees the nose as something separate...
"He sees the tongue as something separate...
"He sees the body as something separate...
"He sees the intellect as something separate. [...]
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


Hi SamKR
Thanks for the sutta link. Doesn't this "something separate" mean that he does not identify with each of these things rather than he sees the one thing as separate (distinct) from the other?
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby SamKR » Tue Dec 10, 2013 11:32 pm

Mr Man wrote:
SamKR wrote:
Mr Man wrote:Hi Mike
The question "what do you use to do this" was almost rhetorical. Isn't the tool also part of the process and not separate? I'm not sure that contact, feeling and perception can really be separated or be seen as distinct on an experiential level.

They can be seen as separate (distinct) on an experiential level, though they cannot be separated out from each-other since they co-arise.

"But how does a monk know, how does a monk see, so that ignorance is abandoned and clear knowing arises?"
[...]
"He sees the eye as something separate. He sees forms as something separate. He sees eye-consciousness as something separate. He sees eye-contact as something separate. And whatever arises in dependence on eye-contact — experienced either as pleasure, as pain, or as neither-pleasure-nor-pain — that too he sees as something separate.
"He sees the ear as something separate...
"He sees the nose as something separate...
"He sees the tongue as something separate...
"He sees the body as something separate...
"He sees the intellect as something separate. [...]
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


Hi SamKR
Thanks for the sutta link. Doesn't this "something separate" mean that he does not identify with each of these things rather than he sees the one thing as separate (distinct) from the other?

Maybe that is another interpretation but the Buddha has always made distinction among the five khandhas, and his meditation instructions (for example, anattalakkhana sutta) clearly indicate that one should be able to distinctly see each of the five aggregates .
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby Mr Man » Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:09 am

SamKR wrote:Maybe that is another interpretation but the Buddha has always made distinction among the five khandhas, and his meditation instructions (for example, anattalakkhana sutta) clearly indicate that one should be able to distinctly see each of the five aggregates .
Yes but can we actually observe the moment where one instance of contact changes to feeling and then feeling changes to perception (as a chain)?
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:14 am

Greetings,

Mr Man wrote:Yes but can we actually observe the moment where one instance of contact changes to feeling and then feeling changes to perception (as a chain)?

MN 109: Maha-punnama Sutta wrote:Saying, "Very good, lord," the monk... asked him a further question: "Lord, what is the cause, what the condition, for the delineation* of the aggregate of form? What is the cause, what the condition, for the delineation of the aggregate of feeling... perception... fabrications... consciousness?"

"Monk, the four great existents (earth, water, fire, & wind) are the cause, the four great existents the condition, for the delineation of the aggregate of form. Contact is the cause, contact the condition, for the delineation of the aggregate of feeling. Contact is the cause, contact the condition, for the delineation of the aggregate of perception. Contact is the cause, contact the condition, for the delineation of the aggregate of fabrications. Name-&-form is the cause, name-&-form the condition, for the delineation of the aggregate of consciousness."

* - Delineation (paññapana) literally means, "making discernible." This apparently refers to the intentional aspect of perception, which takes the objective side of experience and fabricates it into discernible objects. In the case of the aggregates, the four great existents, contact, and name-&-form provide the objective basis for discerning them, while the process of fabrication takes the raw material provided by the objective basis and turns it into discernible instances of the aggregates. This process is described in slightly different terms in SN 22.79.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby SamKR » Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:22 am

Mr Man wrote:
SamKR wrote:Maybe that is another interpretation but the Buddha has always made distinction among the five khandhas, and his meditation instructions (for example, anattalakkhana sutta) clearly indicate that one should be able to distinctly see each of the five aggregates .
Yes but can we actually observe the moment where one instance of contact changes to feeling and then feeling changes to perception (as a chain)?

I think nothing changes to another thing (contact remains contact and feeling remains feeling). The Buddha said, "When this is, that is", which means one depends upon another (for example, feeling depends upon contact). He did not say, in the context of dependent origination (as far as I know), "When this is, this changes to that". When this is, that automatically arises (and therefore, 'that' is said to be dependently arisen). That is the Dhamma (nature) described by the Dhamma (teaching), in my limited understanding. And this 'this-that' process need not necessarily be understood as happening in time.

These arisings can be seen distinctly even when they co-arise. We just need to shift the attention (say, from perception to feeling). I find it easier to disginguish consciousness, perception, and feeling, and sometimes sankhara but I find form (rupa) to be tricky. But I believe rupa, being a part of experience, can be seen directly as rupa (and not merely be inferred based on perception).
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby pulga » Wed Dec 11, 2013 2:09 am

SDC wrote:I am pretty much with Ven. Ñāṇavīra on this one. Time is a construct built on an interpretation of experience. An analysis of that construct can be useful only in an effort to understand the experience and break it down. However once broken down, time is no longer a factor. So this is idea of dhamma being subeject to time seems counterproductive, since dhamma is - in the words of Ven. Punnaji - "That which bares. The ground of experience." Time is not more fundamental than that.


Thanks, SDC. I don't know much about Ven. Punnaji, but I'll take a look at some of his videos on YouTube.

The point I was trying to get across regarding the OP is that it isn't illegitimate to postulate moments of infinite brevity so long as we keep in mind that it is the structure of experience that we are trying to understand. Ven. Ñanavira not only held dhammā to be eternal but also to be in motion and this requires a hierarchy of consciousness cum name-and-matter. We're dealing with a phenomenology of movement. He explains it well in his letter to the Hon. L. Samaratunga:

The infinite hierarchy of consciousnesses, one on top of the other, is always there, whether we are engaging in reflexion or not. The evidence for this is our consciousness of motion or movement, which does not require reflexion—we are immediately conscious of movement (of a falling leaf, for example)—, but which does require a hierarchy of consciousness. Why? Because a movement takes place in time (past, present and future), and yet we are conscious of the movement of the falling leaf as a present movement.... [L.93]


http://www.nanavira.org/index.php/lette ... nuary-1964

And from Fundamental Structure:

A thing changes, then, after an infinity of moments. And since the structure is hierarchical, each moment must itself endure for an infinity of moments of lesser order before it can give place to the next moment. And, naturally, the same applies to each of these lesser moments. It might perhaps seem that with such a congestion of eternities no change can ever take place at any level. But we must be careful not to introduce preconceived notions of time: just as the structure is not in space but of space (amongst other things)—see §I/2—, so the structure is not in time but of time. [FS ii, §5]


What I find intriguing – just a little bit intriguing – is if Ven. Ñanavira is correct how all this might have played into the development of the Abhidhamma. Did the gist of the commentarial interpretation arise suddenly ex nihilo out of some puthujjana's head or was it a gradual and grand distortion of the implications of the Buddha's original teachings?
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby SamKR » Wed Dec 11, 2013 3:01 am

robertk wrote:cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

I have a question:

If billions of cittas arise and pass away per instant, then each citta arises and passes away in even a smaller period: instant/billions. Let's call this smaller period of time a nano-instant. My question is: is there such a nano-instant of time when a single citta arises and passes away?
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby robertk » Wed Dec 11, 2013 4:00 am

SamKR wrote:
robertk wrote:cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

I have a question:

If billions of cittas arise and pass away per instant, then each citta arises and passes away in even a smaller period: instant/billions. Let's call this smaller period of time a nano-instant. My question is: is there such a nano-instant of time when a single citta arises and passes away?

That was a mistake when i typed the title. I meant to say split second. The numbers are given in the Commentaries.
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby robertk » Wed Dec 11, 2013 4:07 am

mikenz66 wrote:
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:
Mike

Mike even something as crude as a computer processes quite quickly, as I understand it. Honestly it is obvious to me , without talking about insight, that it must be true that millions, or billions, if not trillions , of moments arise and pass away per split second.
As I said I have even met people who think they are seeing and hearing at the same time! Simply because the arising and falling is so fast.
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby SamKR » Wed Dec 11, 2013 4:17 am

robertk wrote:
SamKR wrote:
robertk wrote:cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

I have a question:

If billions of cittas arise and pass away per instant, then each citta arises and passes away in even a smaller period: instant/billions. Let's call this smaller period of time a nano-instant. My question is: is there such a nano-instant of time when a single citta arises and passes away?

That was a mistake when i typed the title. I meant to say split second. The numbers are given in the Commentaries.

Hi Robert,

Thanks for the reply but my question is: Does a single citta arise and pass away in some duration of small time (however small it is)? I am not asking what that exact duration is but I am just curios to know if there is possibility of such a duration in which a single citta arises and passes away.
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby greenjuice » Wed Dec 11, 2013 5:43 am

Is there a sutta foundation to call cetasikas that arise cittas? IMO citta is an entity, like the rupa is, it is a mahabhuta that is bhavanga, and when it gets born in a rupa it manifests itself as nama/ manas, and it is in it that cetasikas arise.
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby robertk » Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:17 am

SamKR wrote:Thanks for the reply but my question is: Does a single citta arise and pass away in some duration of small time (however small it is)? I am not asking what that exact duration is but I am just curios to know if there is possibility of such a duration in which a single citta arises and passes away.


All sankhata (conditioned realities) have the characteristics (sankhata-lakkhana)of origination (uppada), cessation (vaya), and the alteration of that which exists (thitassa annathatta) .
In other words they arise , persist for an infinitesimally short time and then disappear.
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby robertk » Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:20 am

Is there a sutta foundation to call cetasikas that arise cittas?

Cittas are not cetasikas.

IMO citta is an entity, like the rupa is, it is a mahabhuta that is bhavanga,

This is completely muddled.


and when it gets born in a rupa it manifests itself as nama/ manas, and it is in it that cetasikas arise.

Even worse.
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby Mkoll » Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:44 am

In the highest Pure Abode: the Akannitha, beings there live for 16,000 kalpas or aeons. Taking the aeon to be 16,000,000 years, that means that the beings there live for 256 billion years.

The mayfly will live as an adult for as little as 30 minutes before dying.

Our perspective of time is limited because we have only one perspective: the human one.

Is there such thing as an objective measure of time or is it all relative, dependent upon the observer and the conditions?

“Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That's relativity.”
― Albert Einstein

:popcorn:
Peace,
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby greenjuice » Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:47 am

It sounds to me that you are using "cittas" for cetasikas that arise in the mind. If anything is muddled, it is the flux view of person, which is ultimately annihilationist.
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby Mr Man » Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:47 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

Mr Man wrote:Yes but can we actually observe the moment where one instance of contact changes to feeling and then feeling changes to perception (as a chain)?

MN 109: Maha-punnama Sutta wrote:Saying, "Very good, lord," the monk... asked him a further question: "Lord, what is the cause, what the condition, for the delineation* of the aggregate of form? What is the cause, what the condition, for the delineation of the aggregate of feeling... perception... fabrications... consciousness?"

"Monk, the four great existents (earth, water, fire, & wind) are the cause, the four great existents the condition, for the delineation of the aggregate of form. Contact is the cause, contact the condition, for the delineation of the aggregate of feeling. Contact is the cause, contact the condition, for the delineation of the aggregate of perception. Contact is the cause, contact the condition, for the delineation of the aggregate of fabrications. Name-&-form is the cause, name-&-form the condition, for the delineation of the aggregate of consciousness."

* - Delineation (paññapana) literally means, "making discernible." This apparently refers to the intentional aspect of perception, which takes the objective side of experience and fabricates it into discernible objects. In the case of the aggregates, the four great existents, contact, and name-&-form provide the objective basis for discerning them, while the process of fabrication takes the raw material provided by the objective basis and turns it into discernible instances of the aggregates. This process is described in slightly different terms in SN 22.79.

Metta,
Retro. :)


Thanks for the sutta reference retrofuturist. The delineation (paññapana) function is interesting.
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