pt1 wrote: TMingyur wrote:
However, as far as I know, in Theravada, dhammas cannot be equaled to concepts, as you seem to do above.
When spoken about or taught then what is conveyed by speech are of course concepts. Do you deny that?
I agree, but the topic wasn't about how people communicate, but about ultimate realities (dhammas) arising and falling, so let's stick to talking about the ultiamte realities.
Well but if something is discussed as it is the case here the persons involved are thinking and expressing their thoughts through speech/writing. So either there is silence or there is speech which conveys concepts to the listener/reader. This means that from the perspective of the subject being involved in discussion either their is direct perception of what you may call "ultimate reality" or there is "thought about" which is not "ultimate reality" but "concept of it".
Only if you hold a realistic view that "reality" = "sensation" = "concept" would you say that ultimate reality and thought/concepts are identical. But if those were identical then there would be no chance for liberation because if everything would ultimately be and exist exactly the way it appears to the subject then the subject could not attain insight which is different from wordly conventions and views.
I got the impression you were saying dhammas do not arise and fall because it's a concept (illusion in other words).
If you draw the line between sensation on the one side and thought/synthesis/concept on the other then you have to conclude that "arising, abiding and cessation" cannot be directly perceived but have to a the result of active synthesis on the side of the subject.
As I understand it, conditioned dhammas are seen to arise and fall through insight. So, it really happens, it's not an illusion. That is why anicca, dukkha and anatta characteristics of conditioned dhammas can be understood through insight - i.e. the arising and falling of a dhamma is anicca because it arises only to immediately fall away, it's dukkha because it cannot be controlled (made to last longer or go away at will) and it is anatta because it is fully conditioned by other just as uncontrollable dhammas.
Yes, agreed. This I would call valid "conventional reality".
My understanding is that in Theravada, dhammas are said to have characteristics - anicca, dukkha and anatta as common characteristics of all dhammas (except nibbana), and individual charactersitics pertaining to the function of each particular dhamma.
That is completely compliant with tibetan teachings. It is just that conventional and ultimate truths are discerned with scrutiny.
I guess I'm not sure what you mean by discerning with scrutiny. If we stay in the ultimate realm, ...
But this is what I reject: We cannot stay in an "ultimate realm" because "ultimate realm" is nothing but a conventional saying, i.e. it is not beyond conventional reality. Now the question would be whether it is an valid conventional reality or an invalid conventional reality (like "the child of a barren woman"). The Sautrantikas say: Valid is only what can be either directly perceived or inferred.
I understand that dhammas are discerned by wisdom in the moments when they arise and fall and become an object of citta at the time.
Yes. But from the perspective I am referring to "object of citta" means interdependence of "object" and "subject/citta": There is a cause for the arising of an appearance but at the same time there is the subject affecting this appearance. If we neglect this interdependence we have "conventional reality" that may be called "nominal reality" too.
Concepts on the other hand cannot be discerned because they are said not to arise and fall since they are an illusion.
Concepts are concepts. They are illusions only of they are referred to a postulated
reality "beyond", e.g. to the sensation that is one of the causes of concepts if we refer to the type of concepts about phenomena that can be perceived by sense perception. Concepts of this type may be conventionally right or conventionally wrong.
Another type of concepts are "mere" concepts, i.e. concepts that lack any correlate of sense perception. Examples of this type are "mere fantasy" and/or metaphysical concepts.
So, conventional truth is never the subject/object of insight. That's how I understand it at the moment.
This depends on your view.