something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
Post Reply
Nyana
Posts: 2233
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by Nyana » Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:05 pm

beeblebrox wrote:I'd say that it varies... the earth is present for a very long time; this body is present for a shorter time; and thoughts are even shorter.
Hi Beeblebrox & all,

Again, there is no need to accept the theory of radical momentariness to clearly see for oneself the alteration while persisting (ṭhitassa aññathatta) of fabrications.

And by extension, specifically regarding physical processes, if there is no alteration in the circulatory system or the central nervous system of the body (for example) then you are very likely either (i) dead, or (ii) soon to be dead. And even a dead body undergoes a process of decomposition.

Alteration or change or flux is common to all physical things on both micro and macro levels.

All the best,

Geoff

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 23044
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by tiltbillings » Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:06 pm

Paññāsikhara wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Paññāsikhara wrote:

I'm not sure if it is this exactly which Tilt is referring to as "bad philosophy", but it is pretty bad.
I would have gotten to it eventually, but thanks for your very clear exposition.
Sorry if I stole your punchline... :tongue:
Not a problem.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 23044
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by tiltbillings » Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:17 pm

>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

User avatar
beeblebrox
Posts: 939
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:41 pm

Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by beeblebrox » Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:28 pm

tiltbillings wrote:Ooooh, "It's not my fault if you confuse between all of these. (That's probably a sign of a poorly-developed dhamma vicaya.)" An ad hom. Goodness.
I apologize. :tongue:
tiltbillings wrote:Ooh, another snap. I do not subscribe to the cartoon notion of “total flux.” It is a straw-man notion. The question I have what does the supposed “endures unchanged for at least a certain interval of time” actually mean.
I'd say that this idea of enduring means 100% "unchanging" is also a cartoon straw-man. The words are not perfect, you know? (That's why I view them as anatta.) I also doubt that these states are literally "standing" like the bipeds do.
Ñāṇa wrote:
beeblebrox wrote:I'd say that it varies... the earth is present for a very long time; this body is present for a shorter time; and thoughts are even shorter.
Hi Beeblebrox & all,

Again, there is no need to accept the theory of radical momentariness to clearly see for oneself the alteration while persisting (ṭhitassa aññathatta) of fabrications.
I agree, there is no need to bring the idea of "momentariness" too far, but...
Ñāṇa wrote:And by extension, specifically regarding physical processes, if there is no alteration in the circulatory system or the central nervous system of the body (for example) then you are very likely either (i) dead, or (ii) soon to be dead. And even a dead body undergoes a process of decomposition.

Alteration or change or flux is common to all physical things on both micro and macro levels.
There also is no need to bring the idea of a "flux" too far. (I see no extension, by the way.) There are momentary things, and there are flowing things. One also sometimes has the quality of other, to a varying degree... but that's no reason for us to go to one extreme or other. That is basically a recipe for saṃsāra in a nutshell.

All the best,

Zaphod

Nyana
Posts: 2233
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by Nyana » Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:49 pm

beeblebrox wrote:There also is no need to bring the idea of a "flux" too far.
I agree, there is no need to bring the idea of flux too far. The penetration of conditioned arising (paṭiccasamuppāda) in both forward and reverse sequence will eliminate adherence to any views of existence and non-existence.

All the best,

Geoff

5heaps
Posts: 334
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 12:19 am

Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by 5heaps » Sun Oct 24, 2010 1:06 am

Ñāṇa wrote:The penetration of conditioned arising (paṭiccasamuppāda) in both forward and reverse sequence will eliminate adherence to any views of existence and non-existence.
many suggest that simply saying that momentary impermanence is produced posits existence and nonexistence -- for it is an existing thing upon which the cessation of the thing depends. one cant really posit any other more offensive instance of existence and nonexistence than this, unless one enters atman land of unchanging essences etc.
beeblebrox wrote:I'd say that this idea of enduring means 100% "unchanging" is also a cartoon straw-man. The words are not perfect, you know? (That's why I view them as anatta.) I also doubt that these states are literally "standing" like the bipeds do.
exactly. furthermore, "'abiding" technically implies being unchanging, even if we posit that abiding has a starting, abiding, aging, and disintegration to it. for it is that "abiding" itself which is subject to those 4 factors over time. if it were not "abiding" over that period of time, you couldnt say something starts, abides, ages, and is destroyed
A Japanese man has been arrested on suspicion of writing a computer virus that destroys and replaces files on a victim PC with manga images of squid, octopuses and sea urchins. Masato Nakatsuji, 27, of Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture, was quoted as telling police: "I wanted to see how much my computer programming skills had improved since the last time I was arrested."

User avatar
Prasadachitta
Posts: 974
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:52 am
Location: San Francisco (The Mission) Ca USA
Contact:

Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by Prasadachitta » Sun Oct 24, 2010 1:39 am

5heaps wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:The penetration of conditioned arising (paṭiccasamuppāda) in both forward and reverse sequence will eliminate adherence to any views of existence and non-existence.
many suggest that simply saying that momentary change is produced posits existence and nonexistence -- for it is an existing thing upon which the cessation of the thing depends. one cant really posit any other more offensive instance of existence and nonexistence than this, unless one enters atman land of unchanging essences etc.
beeblebrox wrote:I'd say that this idea of enduring means 100% "unchanging" is also a cartoon straw-man. The words are not perfect, you know? (That's why I view them as anatta.) I also doubt that these states are literally "standing" like the bipeds do.
exactly. furthermore, "'abiding" technically implies being unchanging, even if we posit that abiding has a starting, abiding, aging, and disintegration to it. for it is that "abiding" itself which is subject to those 4 factors over time. if it were not "abiding" over that period of time, you couldnt say something starts, abides, ages, and is destroyed
Hi 5heaps,

I dont understand. Why do you say that abiding technically implies being unchanging? It seems to me that while abiding an object remains within certain parameters which are recognized as the threshold within which the designation remains valid. It seems to me that just because there is no ultimate parameters does not mean that the discernment of relative differentiation between what was, is, and what comes next cant be described. Why does reality need to conform to linguistic norms. Regardless of what we call it, happening happens.

Metta

Gabe
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332

5heaps
Posts: 334
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 12:19 am

Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by 5heaps » Sun Oct 24, 2010 2:21 am

gabrielbranbury wrote:Why do you say that abiding technically implies being unchanging?
because functioning things arise in dependence on their respective causes and conditions, and they are empty of independent natures (ie. being independent of their parts). any conceptual designating happens after the fact (or at least separate to), and so when dealing with impermanence we are dealing with factors pertaining to the physical and/or mental aggregate (though we could do it to any compounded object), not concepts.

is that clearer? in other words if compounded things were not dependent on their parts but depended just on linguistic function then your point about a threshold would have some meaning. however if a mere collection of parts occurs separately to linguistic function then how could the threshold idea have much meaning? compounded thing is compounded thing regardless of what you call it or what threshold one imagines there to be.
A Japanese man has been arrested on suspicion of writing a computer virus that destroys and replaces files on a victim PC with manga images of squid, octopuses and sea urchins. Masato Nakatsuji, 27, of Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture, was quoted as telling police: "I wanted to see how much my computer programming skills had improved since the last time I was arrested."

Individual
Posts: 1970
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:19 am

Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by Individual » Sun Oct 24, 2010 2:23 am

Perhaps the complexity of the experience\truth\reality cannot be readily or infinitely reduced to a series of clearer and clearer terminology, but that at a certain arbitrary point, one has to state that certain things are merely unconjecturable.

If we had a machine which could transmit the electrical activity from one brain to another, perhaps this might address the issue because it would be clear that:

Either there is a differing perception (and the origin of your opponent's perception is not something you understand)

Or

You have the same perception but are using different terms because of the ambiguity of language, the non-clarity of language.
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra

User avatar
Sobeh
Posts: 329
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:35 am
Location: Salt Lake City, UT, US
Contact:

Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by Sobeh » Sun Oct 24, 2010 3:04 am

It's a good point: whether the same or different (and, perhaps to remind us, whether both the same and different or neither the same nor different), perception is nevertheless understandable as a human function. That's all the Dhamma needs to assert in order to be effective.

User avatar
Kim OHara
Posts: 4999
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:47 am
Location: North Queensland, Australia

Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by Kim OHara » Sun Oct 24, 2010 3:16 am

BlackBird wrote: The point here is not concerned with the specifics (which is what Tilt seems to be caught up in) but that for anything to 'exist' it must remain so for some period of time, or else it cannot be said to be, for it is already something other. Flux presumes perpetual change and that breaks the principle of self identity, for if flux were true, then nothing would in fact exist, because it would not 'be' at all, it would be otherwise.

Now you might say that flux is true in the scientific sense that things are in perpetual motion at a minute level that is far beyond our perception. For example that a chair may 'appear' to be the same chair it was a minute ago, but it is changing all the time, at an atomic level (or however you want to slice it). However to us, the chair remains the same until it changes. So we have a problem, we can either assert the existence of the chair, or we can deny it. To assert the existence of the chair, to say that the chair exists in my experience is to deny the idea of perpetual change. To deny the existence of the chair is to say that although it 'appears' to be a chair, it is in fact in perpetual flux, along with the rest of our world, and we do not see that because we are ignorant of the Buddha's teaching. Now if you re-read the first quote, you will see that this is nothing more than the two contentions that the Mahayanists make. It is the same argument, unfortunately that Orthodox Theravadins make.

In light of the above, this should now make sense. If it doesn't, I'll try to expand when I get home later on.
Hi, Jack,
This does all make sense to me (if I understand it correctly, and I think I do) but the bit I have bolded seems to me to be a typically (perhaps specifically) European dichotomy: A or not-A, with no other possibilities.
There are, in fact, other possible positions to take: A and not-A; neither assert nor deny A; the 'unanswerable question' position. The second and third of these arise repeatedly in the suttas, though I'm not sure about the first. There is also what I think of as the pragmatic contextual response (it probably has a better name) which is that if thinking of A as existing is useful at the moment, consider that A exists; if not, not. It's actually my preferred position, FWIW.
:namaste:
Kim

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 23044
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by tiltbillings » Sun Oct 24, 2010 3:25 am

beeblebrox wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Ooooh, "It's not my fault if you confuse between all of these. (That's probably a sign of a poorly-developed dhamma vicaya.)" An ad hom. Goodness.
I apologize. :tongue:
An apology with an ugly smilie thingie sticking its tongue out? That has to be sincere.
the two headed guy wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Ooh, another snap. I do not subscribe to the cartoon notion of “total flux.” It is a straw-man notion. The question I have what does the supposed “endures unchanged for at least a certain interval of time” actually mean.
I'd say that this idea of enduring means 100% "unchanging" is also a cartoon straw-man. The words are not perfect, you know? (That's why I view them as anatta.) I also doubt that these states are literally "standing" like the bipeds do.
You'd say that, but the issue is not what you'd say, but what Naavira likely meant since he is the one using this phrase - something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval - and contrasting it with the idea of 'in continuous flux'. http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 863#p94863
It would seem that Nanavira's point is very poorly drawn.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

Nyana
Posts: 2233
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by Nyana » Sun Oct 24, 2010 3:57 am

5heaps wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:The penetration of conditioned arising (paṭiccasamuppāda) in both forward and reverse sequence will eliminate adherence to any views of existence and non-existence.
many suggest that simply saying that momentary impermanence is produced posits existence and nonexistence -- for it is an existing thing upon which the cessation of the thing depends. one cant really posit any other more offensive instance of existence and nonexistence than this, unless one enters atman land of unchanging essences etc.
Hi 5heaps,

There is no path without the three phases of (i) no analysis, (ii) slight analysis, and (iii) superb analysis which eliminates the extremes of existence and non-existence, etc. The latter is realized by penetrating conditioned arising (paṭiccasamuppāda) in both forward and reverse sequence.
5heaps wrote:functioning things arise in dependence on their respective causes and conditions, and they are empty of independent natures (ie. being independent of their parts). any conceptual designating happens after the fact (or at least separate to), and so when dealing with impermanence we are dealing with factors pertaining to the physical and/or mental aggregate (though we could do it to any compounded object), not concepts.

is that clearer? in other words if compounded things were not dependent on their parts but depended just on linguistic function then your point about a threshold would have some meaning. however if a mere collection of parts occurs separately to linguistic function then how could the threshold idea have much meaning? compounded thing is compounded thing regardless of what you call it or what threshold one imagines there to be.
There is no need to establish functional things as anything more than mere nominal designations (paññattimatta).

All the best,

Geoff

alan
Posts: 3093
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:14 am
Location: Miramar beach, Fl.

Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by alan » Sun Oct 24, 2010 4:11 am

Let's remember that Nanavira's statement was in reference to a position held by the commentaries, and he made it to point out why he had changed his practice. He is opposed to the prevailing ideology, and challenges it. Good for him. I like his attitude.
Was he correct in his logic? I haven't seen any argument here that convinces me otherwise. Sure have seen the same old emotional responses, however.

By the way, did you know it is not possible to ever get where you want to go?
Zeno shows the way there. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeno's_paradoxes" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

5heaps
Posts: 334
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 12:19 am

Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by 5heaps » Sun Oct 24, 2010 4:24 am

Ñāṇa wrote:in both forward and reverse sequence.
what exactly is this referring to? the stages of insight - namely, having enough familiarity with them to be able to induce realization regardless of whether one approaches progressively or from the point of view of the goal then backwards?
There is no need to establish functional things as anything more than mere nominal designations (paññattimatta).
you dont mean that objects are just designations right? you mean that subtle objects (such as cause and effect of physical things, karma, etc) do not need to be directly realized beyond the level of conception for insight to occur?
A Japanese man has been arrested on suspicion of writing a computer virus that destroys and replaces files on a victim PC with manga images of squid, octopuses and sea urchins. Masato Nakatsuji, 27, of Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture, was quoted as telling police: "I wanted to see how much my computer programming skills had improved since the last time I was arrested."

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: narhwal90 and 58 guests