We can't change the past. So isn't the past permanent?

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retrofuturist
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Re: We can't change the past. So isn't the past permanent?

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings,

Your assumption is that the past exists... there's no justification for that assumption.

What does arise is memory, recollection and thoughts associated with the past... these mental constructs have the ti-lakkhana.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

"Overcome the liar by truth." (Dhp 223)

char101
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Re: We can't change the past. So isn't the past permanent?

Post by char101 »

The fact that it is in the past means that it is impermanent. Past = no longer existing.

pegembara
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Re: We can't change the past. So isn't the past permanent?

Post by pegembara »

If the past were permanent you can't grow old. You wouldn't be able to call it the "past"!
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

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Re: We can't change the past. So isn't the past permanent?

Post by dhammapal »

char101 wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:37 am
The fact that it is in the past means that it is impermanent. Past = no longer existing.
Isn't that like George Orwell's 1984 where Winston Smith's office job was changing the past in the Ministry of Truth?

dhammapal
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Re: We can't change the past. So isn't the past permanent?

Post by dhammapal »

The question should have read "So isn't the past permanent truth?" Thanissaro Bhikkhu translates anicca as inconstant not impermanent, so memories only momentarily arise and pass away even though in conventional truth there is a true history. Nibbana is ultimate truth. The fourth precept isn't a precept to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, but to abstain from false speech, which means not tampering with memories which would stir up delusion in the mind.

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Ceisiwr
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Re: We can't change the past. So isn't the past permanent?

Post by Ceisiwr »

retrofuturist wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:28 am
Greetings,

Your assumption is that the past exists... there's no justification for that assumption.

What does arise is memory, recollection and thoughts associated with the past... these mental constructs have the ti-lakkhana.

Metta,
Paul. :)

The impossibility of presentism due to the relativity of simultaneity lends credence to the block theory of time, in which the past and future exist right now.
“Bhikkhus, whatever is not yours, abandon it. When you have abandoned it, that will lead to your welfare and happiness. ” SN 35:101

pegembara
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Re: We can't change the past. So isn't the past permanent?

Post by pegembara »

What Are False Memories?

Although memories seem to be a solid, straightforward sum of who people are, strong evidence suggests that memories are actually quite complex, subject to change, and often unreliable. Memories can be reconstructed as people age and also as their worldview changes. They can falsely recall childhood events, and through effective suggestion, can even create new false memories. They can be tricked into remembering events that never happened, or change the details of things that really did happen.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/ba ... e-memories
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

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Ceisiwr
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Re: We can't change the past. So isn't the past permanent?

Post by Ceisiwr »

pegembara wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 4:05 am
If the past were permanent you can't grow old. You wouldn't be able to call it the "past"!


There would still be old age, sickness and death in a block time universe.
“Bhikkhus, whatever is not yours, abandon it. When you have abandoned it, that will lead to your welfare and happiness. ” SN 35:101

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Re: We can't change the past. So isn't the past permanent?

Post by Spiny Norman »

It seems like people have been debating these questions for some time!

https://suttacentral.net/kv1.8/en/aung-rhysdavids
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Re: We can't change the past. So isn't the past permanent?

Post by Spiny Norman »

Ceisiwr wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:16 am
retrofuturist wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:28 am
Greetings,

Your assumption is that the past exists... there's no justification for that assumption.

What does arise is memory, recollection and thoughts associated with the past... these mental constructs have the ti-lakkhana.

Metta,
Paul. :)

The impossibility of presentism due to the relativity of simultaneity lends credence to the block theory of time, in which the past and future exist right now.
Yes, with block theory the past would exist permanently, independent of memories.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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Sam Vara
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Re: We can't change the past. So isn't the past permanent?

Post by Sam Vara »

It's not the case that because we can't change something, it must be permanent.

We can't change solar eclipses or even the wrong views of people here on DW, but they are impermanent.

That might be why the Buddha used both impermanence and resistance to human agency as evidence of dukkha.

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Re: We can't change the past. So isn't the past permanent?

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings,
Dinsdale wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:35 am
Yes, with block theory the past would exist permanently, independent of memories.
Perhaps "block theorists" are Sarvāstivādins?

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

"Overcome the liar by truth." (Dhp 223)

SteRo
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Re: We can't change the past. So isn't the past permanent?

Post by SteRo »

dhammapal wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:15 am
We can't go back and change the past. So the past is permanent history isn't it? How does that fit in with impermanence, suffering, not-self and the Unconditioned?
What is called 'the past'? Aggregations of recollections, i.e. aggregates. If that 'past' appears to be different from the aggregates then that's like the self appearing to be different from the aggregates. Only a small distance to 'this is my past', 'this am I', 'this is my biography'.

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Ceisiwr
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Re: We can't change the past. So isn't the past permanent?

Post by Ceisiwr »

retrofuturist wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:24 am
Greetings,
Dinsdale wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:35 am
Yes, with block theory the past would exist permanently, independent of memories.
Perhaps "block theorists" are Sarvāstivādins?

Metta,
Paul. :)

Perhaps they were right? :shrug:
“Bhikkhus, whatever is not yours, abandon it. When you have abandoned it, that will lead to your welfare and happiness. ” SN 35:101

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