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?
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tiltbillings
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Oct 27, 2010 6:38 pm

5heaps wrote: i see. you understand perfectly the things that are contradictory by nature (ie. "there are no things only processes"), but then fail to understand things which make sense (ie. if moments dont exist then production and cessation are simultaneous)

as for the meaning of the word, one description of moment is the minimum duration of time in which an action can complete. another description is 'the shortest instant of time'.
I have no idea as to what you are talking about. Please address the OP; anything else is off topic.
>> 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

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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by beeblebrox » Wed Oct 27, 2010 6:43 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
beeblebrox wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Still have no idea as to what you are talking about.
You'll probably say this is also irrelevant to the thread... but that sounds like a poor state to be in. :thinking: Get yourself out of it. You're fixating on things that apparently isn't giving you any insight...
Why are you making this personal? What is being talked about here are ideas, not personal stuff. You seem to want to make this about me. That is more than off topic.
OK, I apologize. (No insincere stuck-out-tongue smiley stuff here.) I didn't really intend to make this a personal thing... only to give some insights into this thing the best I can. (Even if they turn out to be mistaken.)

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tiltbillings
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Oct 27, 2010 6:46 pm

beeblebrox wrote: OK, I apologize. (No insincere stuck-out-tongue smiley stuff here.) I didn't really intend to make this personal... only to give some insights into this thing the best I can. (Even if it turns out to be mistaken.)
I accept your apology.

Basically, I am asking what could Nanavira possibly mean by this: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval?
>> 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

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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by Sobeh » Wed Oct 27, 2010 7:06 pm

tiltbillings wrote:Then obviously Nanavira is not particularly adept at expressing his ideas. I am simply reading the text of what he wrote as it is written, and I see no reason from how Nanavira wrote what he wrote not to take what he has written as it is written. If he meant to say something else, then he should have said something else.
He does, in his Notes. We might critique the phrasing in the letter on account of it being truncated and potentially misleading, but the Notes themselves flesh out in detail what was mentioned in the letter in brief. I'd not try to derive Dialectics from Hegel's correspondence, so too I'd not try to derive Fundamental Structure from Nanavira's correspondence.
tiltbillings wrote:I have yet to see anyone here tell us what the "something" is and what exactly it means that it is "unchanged" for an "interval," what ever that might mean in this context. So far, and this is so in what follows, we get a lot of bouncing around of these words and some rather ill defined ideas, but no clarity.
It's very clear to me, and to others. That you continue to find the concept(s) difficult is not a valid critique of the content, but at best a critique of the presentation, a critique with which I can agree. However, the ideas aren't thereby impenetrable. It's rather brilliant philosophy, and no more complex or obscure than, say, Kant or Hegel.

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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by 5heaps » Wed Oct 27, 2010 7:13 pm

Sobeh wrote:It's rather brilliant philosophy, and no more complex or obscure than, say, Kant or Hegel.
aside from this interval thing, do you really think it is correct to say that just because a thing is momentary that it no longer makes any sense to say it is an "it"? that it loses all identity?
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain inter

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Oct 27, 2010 7:17 pm

Sobeh wrote:. It's rather brilliant philosophy, and no more complex or obscure than, say, Kant or Hegel.
Give me Russell for expressing complex ideas, but what is interesting is that no one here has yet been able to really make clear what Nanavira is talking about when he states:

something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Why do we need Kantian or Hegelian or Sartre-ian overlay written prolixities? It should be a fairly simple question to answer.
>> 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

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tiltbillings
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Oct 27, 2010 7:18 pm

5heaps wrote:
Sobeh wrote:It's rather brilliant philosophy, and no more complex or obscure than, say, Kant or Hegel.
aside from this interval thing, do you really think it is correct to say that just because a thing is momentary that it no longer makes any sense to say it is an "it"? that it loses all identity?
This is not to the point of the OP. Please stay on topic.
>> 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

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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Oct 27, 2010 7:48 pm

Moderator note: Off topic msgs will be removed without further comment. If one wants to discuss a somewhat related topic that does not directly address the OP, please feel free to start a new thread.
>> 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

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beeblebrox
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by beeblebrox » Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:01 pm

Ñāṇavīra wrote: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval
The reason why he said "at least for a certain interval" is because "something that endures unchanged" is anicca, not a permanent state.

Incidentally... this is what I found in the dictionary for the word "interval"... it's interesting, possibly ironic:
–noun
1. an intervening period of time: an interval of 50 years.
2. a period of temporary cessation; pause: intervals between the volleys of gunfire.

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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by Sobeh » Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:12 pm

"something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval"

Samadhi Sutta (AN 4.41):
"And what is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to mindfulness & alertness? There is the case where feelings are known to the monk as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. Perceptions are known to him as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. Thoughts are known to him as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. This is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to mindfulness & alertness."

I fail to see why this concept is causing you so much consternation, Tilt.

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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:15 pm

Sobeh wrote:"something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval"

Samadhi Sutta (AN 4.41):
"And what is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to mindfulness & alertness? There is the case where feelings are known to the monk as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. Perceptions are known to him as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. Thoughts are known to him as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. This is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to mindfulness & alertness."

I fail to see why this concept is causing you so much consternation, Tilt.
Consternation is your word, having nothing to do with the topic at hand. I'll ask again, do these "feelings" persist unchanged while they are persisting? Is that what Nanavira is saying, because it would read that way if one take him at his word.
>> 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

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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by BlackBird » Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:18 pm

Sobeh wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:I have yet to see anyone here tell us what the "something" is and what exactly it means that it is "unchanged" for an "interval," what ever that might mean in this context. So far, and this is so in what follows, we get a lot of bouncing around of these words and some rather ill defined ideas, but no clarity.
That you continue to find the concept(s) difficult is not a valid critique of the content, but at best a critique of the presentation, a critique with which I can agree. However, the ideas aren't thereby impenetrable. It's rather brilliant philosophy, and no more complex or obscure than, say, Kant or Hegel.
Agreed.

Hi Tilt, if you read the following I am quite sure you'll be able to make more sense of what is being said here:

http://pathpress.wordpress.com/bodhesak ... e-of-time/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

It's maybe a couple of pages long, presented in a more digestible manner and should only take you 5 minutes max.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta

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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain inter

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:01 pm

BlackBird wrote:
Sobeh wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:I have yet to see anyone here tell us what the "something" is and what exactly it means that it is "unchanged" for an "interval," what ever that might mean in this context. So far, and this is so in what follows, we get a lot of bouncing around of these words and some rather ill defined ideas, but no clarity.
That you continue to find the concept(s) difficult is not a valid critique of the content, but at best a critique of the presentation, a critique with which I can agree. However, the ideas aren't thereby impenetrable. It's rather brilliant philosophy, and no more complex or obscure than, say, Kant or Hegel.
Agreed.

Hi Tilt, if you read the following I am quite sure you'll be able to make more sense of what is being said here:

http://pathpress.wordpress.com/bodhesak ... e-of-time/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

It's maybe a couple of pages long, presented in a more digestible manner and should only take you 5 minutes max.
The first sentence:
The doctrine of flux is often associated with the notion that time consists of particles (“…at this point in time…”) which move sequentially past something known as “the present.” While only one point (or “moment”) “at a time” is co-synchronous with “the present” (a concatenation of concepts reminiscent of a tangle of rusty barbed wire) other points, equally real, exist in the past and the future.
This is a Sarvastivadin point of view, not Theravadin. That is a big mistake.

Thus, a song is a sequence of notes of defined intervals. The notes change, but the song (which is the context within which the notes are characterized) remains the same song until it is finished. It would be meaningless to say, as the notes follow one another, that the song is changing. Our very sense of what a song is is that it is, precisely, an organized sequence of notes. It is because the notes change (and not their organization) that there is a song at all, let alone the same song.
It is a clever point, but what does it have to do with the mind/body process, which is the only “thing” that really matters? The mind/body process is the basis for awakening. Conceptual structures are an interesting things and are useful, but it is a category shift to talk about conceptual structure persisting in contrast to the mind/body process. And it is an interesting thing contemplate the nature of them, but it seems to be a stretch to draw conclusions from them about the nature of the mind/body process, if that is what is happening and that is not at all clear. Of course it is the mind/body process that gives rise to the notion of self, a supposedly unchanging something that seemingly endures "for at least a certain interval."
But on the next higher level there is no change at all: what is remains what it is until it ceases to be what it is. If the song is part of a more general performance then we can say that though the song has ended and another has begun there is still the same concert, for the concert is the background to the songs.
So, what remains unchanged is nothing within the mind/body process; it is some sort of conceptuial structure derived from it.

So the “something that endures unchanged” is some sort of conceptual structure thingie that arises from the mind/body process - maybe, but then in all likelihood I have not a clue as to what is being said here. Seems all too prolix. The fundamental issue, of course, is the idea of identity, but identity is not based upon anything actual within the mind/body process that persists for a while unchanged. That is a delusion. Of course, delusions have a conditioned "reality" that can seem to persist. Given all of that, I am still not sure what Nanavira is talking about when he says something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval.
>> 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

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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by BlackBird » Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:13 pm

Here's another can of worms that I've been trying to avoid - Nama rupa is not seen as a 'mind body process' by the Nyanavarians (for want of a better term). Nama-rupa is the 'experience', it is what we 'experience' as opposed to an objective conception of a dualistic mind and body (which inevitably lumps in consciousness under Nama, something we are both aware the Buddha never did.) Therefore it's quite illegitimate to try and place what Ven. Nyanavira is saying within an orthodox concept-box. However it is perfectly reasonable that you did so, since not I nor anyone else had thus far brought this to your attention.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta

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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by Prasadachitta » Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:28 pm

If a thing exists or an act is performed for some purpose, then that purpose is (from the viewpoint of the thing or the act) extra-temporal regardless of how long it endures “by the clock.” If we do something merely for the pleasure of doing it, then even though the pleasure lasts not a whit longer than the actual doing, nevertheless from the point of view of the doing the pleasure is extra-temporal. It is endowed with a substantiality which the action does not possess. And it is “the point of view of the doing” that we normally adopt while involved in an activity .

“The eternity which man is seeking is not the infinity of duration, of that vain pursuit after the self for which I am myself responsible; man seeks a repose in self, the atemporality of the absolute co-incidence with himself.”[7] As soon as a thing is taken up as being “this, my self” it is immediately accorded the status of being what everything else is for. It is thus regarded quite literally as extra-temporality personified.

This last bit is very beautiful. Most of this essay seems like a very good description of Samsara and the way in which it appears totally inescapable. However, this last bit which deals with purpose and how " It is endowed with a substantiality which the action does not possess." is the very beating heart of Samsara. I believe that Buddhist practice is a way of cultivating a perfect hybrid between action and its purpose so that they both become "extra temporal".

Im not so sure about this as a foundation for his line of reasoning.
It is only against a background of sameness that change can be perceived.
This seems like a trap. Perhaps its why Samsara is so difficult to see but its not necessarily an absolute.


Thanks for the essay Blackbird I enjoyed it.


May you be Well

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

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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by Kenshou » Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:29 pm

Blackbird-

I don't recall namarupa being considered "an objective conception of a dualistic mind and body", somehow excluding experience, by anyone. Maybe my ignorance of the orthodoxy is showing, I don't know.

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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by BlackBird » Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:31 pm

gabrielbranbury wrote: Thanks for the essay Blackbird I enjoyed it.
Hi Gabe, that was only page 3 out of 12, there's plenty more there if the matter interests you, however I found it gets a lot more terse towards the end.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta

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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:33 pm

BlackBird wrote:Here's another can of worms that I've been trying to avoid - Nama rupa is not seen as a 'mind body process' by the Nyanavarians (for want of a better term). Nama-rupa is the 'experience', it is what we 'experience' as opposed to an objective conception of a dualistic mind and body (which inevitably lumps in consciousness under Nama, something we are both aware the Buddha never did.) Therefore it's quite illegitimate to try and place what Ven. Nyanavira is saying within an orthodox concept-box. However it is perfectly reasonable that you did so, since not I nor anyone else had thus far brought this to your attention.
Note that I write mind/body. I do not see this as dualistic. Secondly, it is what we experience. Let me quote, again, what I have quoted here any number of times:
Recall that from the perspective of the Buddha’s teachings in the Pali, the ‘All’ {SN IV 15} is composed entirely of phassa, contact between sense base and sense object. We can only directly know phenomena within this ‘world of experience’, so from the Theravadin perspective, we cannot know whether there really exists a ‘brain’ or a ‘body’ apart from moments of intellectual consciousness, of seeing (the image of a brain), and so on. The discourses of the Pali describe an individual world of experience as composed of various mental and physical factors, nama and rupa. These two are not the separate, independent worlds that Rene Descartes envisioned.

"…the Buddha spoke of the human person as a psychophysical personality (namarupa). Yet the psychic and the physical were never discussed in isolation, nor were they viewed as self-subsistent entities. For him, there was neither a ‘material-stuff’ nor a ‘mental-stuff’, because both are results of reductive analyses that go beyond experience."53

The physical and mental aspects of human experience are continually arising together, intimately dependent on one another.

53 Kalupahana 1976: 73, refers to D.15{II,62}, where the Buddha speaks of both
physicality and mentality mutually dependent forms of contact (phassa).
Physicality is described as contact with resistance (pat.ighasamphassa),
mentality as contact with concepts (adhivacanasamphassa).


STRONG ROOTS by Jake Davis, page 190-1. http://www.dharma.org/bcbs/Pages/docume ... gRoots.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
>> 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

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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by BlackBird » Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:36 pm

Kenshou wrote:Blackbird-

I don't recall namarupa being considered "an objective conception of a dualistic mind and body", somehow excluding experience, by anyone. Maybe my ignorance of the orthodoxy is showing, I don't know.
No you're quite possibly right, and I have been misconceiving the Theravadin interpretation for quite some time. My conception of the 5 Khandhas (which equate, in Nyanavarian philosophy to Nama-rupa + consciousness) was always something that Theravada determined to be public-fact - A categorization of 'faculties' of the mind and body, as opposed to a description of what presents itself to the individual through the sense doors.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta

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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:39 pm

Kenshou wrote:Blackbird-

I don't recall namarupa being considered "an objective conception of a dualistic mind and body", somehow excluding experience, by anyone. Maybe my ignorance of the orthodoxy is showing, I don't know.
It looks like you do know.
>> 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

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