SDC wrote: ↑
Sun Feb 25, 2018 2:52 am
boundless wrote: ↑
Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:21 pm
Thanks for the elaboration about samsara
. Even though I need further reflections on this issue,
I now understand how a temporal infinity (no beginning and no end for the cycles of the universe)
can be compatible with the "imponderability".
I cannot remember where, perhaps aflatun does, but Ven NN mentions something about impermanence is in regard to that infinity. That experience can be infinite yet impermanent, i.e. that infinity is always available even if it isn't being considered. So you can see why assuming permanence at the foundations of what is fundamentally both infinite, therefore impermanent, creates all sorts of problems. A whole other can of worms, but something to consider.)
In keeping with our current theme of digging through the brain to find sources for things remembered (and failing
) these come to mind:
Notes on AN 1.51
Ven. NN wrote:This is not all, there are further implications of one’s ignorance of the infinite structure—namely, permanence. The uninstructed worldling confuses the notion of infinity (no beginning, no end) with the notion of eternity, or rather identifies the two. In this way, a present experience is regarded as eternal or permanent. What a puthujjana does not see is that eternity implies infinity, but the infinity does not imply eternity.  Because of the nescience in regard to this, the puthujjana’s experience of infinity assumes permanence. In other words, his citta is regarded as permanent; he regards his Self as permanent. If one would be able to see the infinity without eternity, or even to see it as impermanent, the notion of Self, and everything else that depended upon it, (which required the notion of permanence), would cease without a remainder. Knowing infinity as something present (i.e. arisen) but impermanent (for the very reason that it has arisen on its own accord), clears the mind of any obstructions, any superimposed interferences with the infinite structure.
And footnote 7:
Notes on AN 1.51
Ven. NN wrote:7. The reader might notice that Ñāṇavīra Thera in ‘Fundamental Structure’ (op.cit. p. 107) refers to the endurance of a thing as ‘eternal’. This structural ‘eternity’ is what is meant here by ‘infinity’. It is just how one decides to designate these terms. If we were to choose the term ‘eternal’ to describe the property of the structure, we would additionally have to qualify it by saying: “A thing endures for ever. A thing is eternal… until it ceases.” I, personally, prefer ‘infinite’ so that the distinction between the inherent nature of the arisen experience (infinity) becomes apparent from the puthujjana‘s appropriation of it (eternity).
Apologies for over sharing, but some other possibilities from some recorded talks (my notes/transcripts, caveat emptor
Discerning the Mind
12:20 (Seeming infinity of mental states)
Ven. NN: It doesn't matter, even if it stays forever, its still impermanent. You know that it will have to cease. So it might like, last forever, infinitely, so to speak, there is no end in sight when you look at it, but the fact that its arising is manifest means that's why it will cease. So infinite things, are impermanent. They will come to an end, with their infinity. So when the new thing arises, the new mind arises, new infinity arises, then that infinity is also impermanent...
Other dude: That's another thing yeah. Everything that...well, these things that arise, they always arise with a sense of being forever...
Ven. NN: Yeah...they arise with infinity. They arise...because there is no end in sight, there is no end in terms of the possibilities...and that's what's mistaken as forever. But actually you can have an infinite range of things, and then that's taken away, and then you don't have an infinite range of things anymore. So that's how infinity is impermanent. So yes I think I said that in one of my essays. If basically...if a person would be able to discern infinite from permanent
Other dude: Or see...
Ven. NN: Well discern the difference and then you will recognize "Ah. Actually permanence comes from me. The assumption of permanence. The assumption of forever." Infinite its kind of...everything is infinite in that sense, because everything arises with infinite amount of possibilities. When it arises. But when it ceases, it ceases with infinite amount of possibilities. And when a new thing is manifested, or rather a different thing is manifested, also. So everything arises in that, like infinite structure of possibilities, like infinite mind, infinite ...infinite permutations...like, there is no end in it. You can be seeking out, and trying to encompass them all, but you won't. There will always be more, to more and more, to more and more... until it ceases. So the whole thing, the entire domain, the entire domain of infinity from the past to the future, that's
ceases. On a particular level, yeah, things last forever, in that infinite sense, until they cease on the general level, which is where they cease. So that's why its another mistake to look for impermanence in actual cessation of things. When you look for them and you want to see their destruction and say "ah, that's impermanence." No, that's just another arisen thing with infinite possibilities. You're just witnessing a phenomenon, an arisen phenomenon of destruction. And that has arisen. So that's what I mean when I say before, or I say often...things are not impermanent because you see them cease. Things are impermanent because they have arisen in the first place. So their manifestation means, that's why they're not in your control. Because they are manifested. You can't even conceive "you" creating anything, "you" manifesting anything. Impossible. And even when you think of you creating something, if you look closely, whatever you're kind of working with in your mind in terms of you...that
was given beforehand. So you always come in second.
The Uncertainty of Impermanence 00:00 (Our inability to step out of experience)
Other dude: So anicca applies to the point of view. Would you say? Rather than to things, like the book or your lamp...
Ven. NN: If you want to apply, or rather you can say anicca can apply to both, through
the point of view. So if you want to apply anicca to the things, as it sometimes might have been done, you need to, you have to apply it only to those things upon which your point of view depends, upon which your sense of self depends... upon which the center of your experience depends. Basically upon things that you took as mine. But its not anicca...will never be understood in its nature, if you try to approach it, think about it, as some sort of law of physics or whatever, whereby everything is impermanent...thus, everything is constantly changing...thus, everything will come to an end. That might be true in a theoretical sense, but in terms of freeing you from suffering, that understanding simply won't do. Because anicca results in freedom from suffering when you see your own sense of self, your own center of experience, undermined by
it. But if you look look at the random things that you don't care, you've absolutely no emotional connection to whatsoever, its simply irrelevant to you, you can see them as impermanent as much as you like, it won't make a big difference. And that's the thing, as I said before, people associate impermanence with witnessing the destruction of the things. Witnessing its ending means "ah, its impermanent." But that can never be applied to your own point of view. Because that would require you to see your own seeing as impermanent, basically in order to see that you have to see your own seeing, ending. You have to see the end of your own seeing...Well its impossible. That would require you to step out of your experience as a whole-the five aggregates-and then see them disappear. And then say "OK they are impermanent." But that's simply inconceivable, because you can't step outside of them. There is no outside of them. When you think about outside of the five aggregates, that experience as a whole is within the five aggregates.
So then it becomes clear that the impermanence the Buddha was teaching about that does pertain to the five aggregates and freedom from the whole thing, cannot possibly be the impermanence of "Oh, I just seen a thing being destroyed, thus its impermanent." That's a worldly impermanence. So in that sense, as I think we discussed before, anicca, its much more than what's thought of as impermanence. Or rather whatever translation is found it will probably need to be explained heavily, because people already have deeply rooted notions of impermanence, permanence, whatever else.
4:05 (Infinity, the "point of view" and the impermanence of the structure of experience)
Other dude: So by saying...experiencing that point of view...by seeing it phenomenologically...you can't say that it is permanent or impermanent...because that would just be an assumption. Because you'd have to step out of that point of view to be able to see: "oh it began now."
Ven. NN: ...Exactly yeah. Permanent or impermanent is applied to it (my comment: the center of experience) secondarily, as an assumption on top of it, while in reality what your experience shows you is basically, there is that center of experience, and that's it.
Other dude: There's a sense of infinite, always being there...
Ven. NN: Always being there, infinite kind of, infinite kind of appearance in terms of the infinite possibilities...which means infinite possibilities of its being there which means being there infinitely. But that
is what's confused as lasting forever. But no matter how far the thing reaches-there is no end in sight-if that whole structure is swept away...it means none of it can remain standing. Thus you don't apply the idea of anicca to things individually or things that you can gather through your senses, you apply it to the structure of your senses.
Other dude: The point of view? And...?
Ven. NN: And the very root of it. If that's abandoned on that level through seeing that you have no control, no mastery over it-you certainly have nothing to do with its arising-you realize for that reason...well I don't even want to say for that reason it will come to an end. Because again it will induce people to think "Ah I will witness the end." You can't even conceive of that. Basically, its better to say: "For that reason, it will never be mine." When you see it as truly impermanent, as truly arisen on its own, independent of you, its inconceivable for you to have any say in it, its just there. For that reason, it will never, ever, be yours, even in a remote...the wildest of fantasies. You can't even access it even in that theoretical idea of ownership. Impossible. When that realization pervades your mind-through and through and through and through-you will simply stop appropriating anything, no matter what arises on what level or what sense, how or what experience...the idea of taking it up is gone. And that's all it takes.
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53
"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.
That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."