Are mind and matter the same?

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Are mind and matter the same?

Postby SarathW » Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:10 pm

Abhidhamma says that the smallest matter (Kalapa) consist of 17 thought moment.
Is the matter refer here , same as the matter such as a rock?
Does this mean that mind and matter the same (ie. Matter is a result of mind)?
:thinking:
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Re: Are mind and matter the same?

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Feb 13, 2014 9:15 pm

Reminder: This is the Abhidhamma forum, and replies should conform to the guidelines of this forum: viewtopic.php?f=18&t=374

Sarath, could you give a quotation from somewhere, such as the Abhidhammatthasangaha, so that we can understand what you are referring to?

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Re: Are mind and matter the same?

Postby culaavuso » Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:03 pm

SarathW wrote:Abhidhamma says that the smallest matter (Kalapa) consist of 17 thought moment.
Is the matter refer here , same as the matter such as a rock?
Does this mean that mind and matter the same (ie. Matter is a result of mind)?


The Buddha declined to take a position on the closely related issues of whether matter exists (SN 12.15) or whether the soul and the body are the same thing or different things (MN 63). Perhaps it would be useful to consider: in what way is the answer to this question useful towards the goal of disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, calming, direct knowledge, self-awakening, Unbinding? Is it possible to understand and follow the noble eightfold path independent of this knowledge? The five aggregates talk about form without taking a position on whether there is matter that "exists" causing the experience of that form.

SN 12.15: Kaccayanagotta Sutta wrote:By & large, Kaccayana, 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 actually is 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 actually is with right discernment, 'existence' with reference to the world does not occur to one.


MN 63: Cula-Malunkyovada Sutta wrote:"So, Malunkyaputta, remember what is undeclared by me as undeclared, and what is declared by me as declared. And what is undeclared by me? 'The cosmos is eternal,' is undeclared by me. 'The cosmos is not eternal,' is undeclared by me. 'The cosmos is finite'... 'The cosmos is infinite'... 'The soul & the body are the same'... 'The soul is one thing and the body another'... 'After death a Tathagata exists'... 'After death a Tathagata does not exist'... 'After death a Tathagata both exists & does not exist'... 'After death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist,' is undeclared by me.

"And why are they undeclared by me? Because they are not connected with the goal, are not fundamental to the holy life. They do not lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, calming, direct knowledge, self-awakening, Unbinding. That's why they are undeclared by me.

"And what is declared by me? 'This is stress,' is declared by me. 'This is the origination of stress,' is declared by me. 'This is the cessation of stress,' is declared by me. 'This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress,' is declared by me. And why are they declared by me? Because they are connected with the goal, are fundamental to the holy life. They lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, calming, direct knowledge, self-awakening, Unbinding. That's why they are declared by me.


MN 63: Cula-Malunkyovada Sutta wrote:It's just as if a man were wounded with an arrow thickly smeared with poison. His friends & companions, kinsmen & relatives would provide him with a surgeon, and the man would say, 'I won't have this arrow removed until I know whether the man who wounded me was a noble warrior, a brahman, a merchant, or a worker.' He would say, 'I won't have this arrow removed until I know the given name & clan name of the man who wounded me... until I know whether he was tall, medium, or short... until I know whether he was dark, ruddy-brown, or golden-colored... until I know his home village, town, or city... until I know whether the bow with which I was wounded was a long bow or a crossbow... until I know whether the bowstring with which I was wounded was fiber, bamboo threads, sinew, hemp, or bark... until I know whether the shaft with which I was wounded was wild or cultivated... until I know whether the feathers of the shaft with which I was wounded were those of a vulture, a stork, a hawk, a peacock, or another bird... until I know whether the shaft with which I was wounded was bound with the sinew of an ox, a water buffalo, a langur, or a monkey.' He would say, 'I won't have this arrow removed until I know whether the shaft with which I was wounded was that of a common arrow, a curved arrow, a barbed, a calf-toothed, or an oleander arrow.' The man would die and those things would still remain unknown to him.


AN 3.65
AN 3.65: Kalama Sutta wrote:So in this case, Kalamas, don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, 'This contemplative is our teacher.' When you know for yourselves that, 'These qualities are unskillful; these qualities are blameworthy; these qualities are criticized by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to harm & to suffering' — then you should abandon them.
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Re: Are mind and matter the same?

Postby SarathW » Fri Feb 14, 2014 1:12 am

Thanks C.
I need some clarification for the following.

Anicca, i. e., the fleeting nature of both mind and
matter. Changeableness is a characteristic of everything
that is conditioned. All conditioned things are
constantly changing, not remaining static for two
consecutive moments. Mind, in fact, changes even
faster than matter. Normally matter endures only for
seventeen thought-moments. Commentators state
that, during the time occupied by a flash of lightning,
billions of thought-moments may arise.

Page 462:
http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/abhidhamma.pdf
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Re: Are mind and matter the same?

Postby culaavuso » Fri Feb 14, 2014 1:28 am

SarathW wrote:Mind, in fact, changes even faster than matter.


This sounds similar to what's described non-numerically in SN 12.61
SN 12.61: Assutavā Sutta wrote:It would be better for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person to hold to the body composed of the four great elements, rather than the mind, as the self. Why is that? Because this body composed of the four great elements is seen standing for a year, two years, three, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, a hundred years or more. But what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another. Just as a monkey, swinging through a forest wilderness, grabs a branch. Letting go of it, it grabs another branch. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. In the same way, what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another.


There doesn't seem to be any reference to kalapas in the sutta however.
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Re: Are mind and matter the same?

Postby santa100 » Fri Feb 14, 2014 4:26 am

SarathW wrote: Abhidhamma says that the smallest matter (Kalapa) consist of 17 thought moment.
Is the matter refer here , same as the matter such as a rock?
Does this mean that mind and matter the same (ie. Matter is a result of mind)?

From page 462:
Anicca, i. e., the fleeting nature of both mind and
matter. Changeableness is a characteristic of everything
that is conditioned. All conditioned things are
constantly changing, not remaining static for two
consecutive moments. Mind, in fact, changes even
faster than matter. Normally matter endures only for
seventeen thought-moments. Commentators state
that, during the time occupied by a flash of lightning,
billions of thought-moments may arise.

The paragraph didn't say that matter is "composed" of 17 thought moments. It just says that matter lasts only for 17 thought-moments before it changes state again. Just an analogy on a macro level, the human body sheds about 40,000 skin cells per minute. Over a 24-hour period, humans lose almost 60 million skin cells and new ones are constantly replacing old ones. So although you seem to be the same moment to moment, the "you" a moment before is not the same "you" a moment later..
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Re: Are mind and matter the same?

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Feb 14, 2014 4:36 am

Also, translating rupa too literally as "matter" may well give the wrong impression of what the texts are actually addressing. It seems to me that the Abhidhamma is about the analysis of experience (in this case the experience of form) and if you read these passages in that way they may seem less mysterious.

:anjali:
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Re: Are mind and matter the same?

Postby dhamma follower » Fri Feb 14, 2014 1:33 pm

Hi Sarath,

Mike said:

It seems to me that the Abhidhamma is about the analysis of experience


This is very well put and an extremely important point.

Let me share with you a little more...

According to the Abhidhamma, nama (mentality) refers to the element which can experience something, as opposed to rupa (materiality), an element which can NOT experience anything but can be experienced by the former.

Rock, for example, is not a rupa. It is a concept which is formulated from the experiencing of seeing a kind of rupa called visible object. The rupa which is visible object always arises with other rupas in a group called kalapa, but only visible object can be seen, the others can either be touched, smelled, tasted. The rupa lifespan is 17 times longer than that of the citta which experiences it, so once it arises,it can be experienced by 17 cittas at most, in a process called sense-door process. After the rupa which is visible object has fallen away, shape and form are known in another process called mind-door, then the idea of a rock, or a table or a tree appears. So, what is seen by the eye consciousness is not a rock, but only visible object. The idea of a rock comes later, by thinking about what's seen. As it happens so fast, it seems to us that what is seen is a tree or a rock, or a house, but it is not so in reality.

Similarly, what is touched is hardness, softness, heat, cold, motion, pressure. The idea of rock comes later in a different process than the body-processes through which these characteristics are directly experienced. Just like now, hardness, heat etc... are being experienced and immediately followed is the idea of keyboard etc...

So nama and rupa are two different realities, the distinction between them is an important step before understanding their conditionality and impermanent nature.

Hope this helps,

Rgrds,

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Re: Are mind and matter the same?

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Feb 14, 2014 9:06 pm

Thanks DF,

Penetrating the details of the Abhidhamma is not easy, and not for everyone. Can I remind readers that the purpose of this thread (and the Abhidhamma Forum in general) is to share our understanding of Abhidhamma, not to argue about it's usefulness or authenticity. The proper place for such argumentative discussions is: The great Abhidhamma Pitaka authenticity debate.

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Re: Are mind and matter the same?

Postby SarathW » Tue Apr 01, 2014 3:43 am

Some interesting info:
The foregoing observations should show that the mental as well as the material
dhammas are not actually separable one from another. In the case of the mental
dhammas, the term used is satsattha (conjoined); in the case of the material
dhammas, the term used is avinibbhoga (inseparable). This raises the question why
the dhammas are presented as a plurality. The answer is that, although they are not
actually separable, yet they are distinguishable (vibhagavanta) one from another
.96
It is this distinguishability that serves as the foundation of the dhamma theory.

Page 16

http://www.stefan.gr/buddhism/books/abh ... theory.pdf
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