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

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings,

I apologise I haven't got the headspace to get too deeply into this conversation, but this point made me think.
Alex123 wrote:Change requires time, and if something doesn't last long enough to change, how can it change?
Maybe a purpose of Nanavira's analysis is to demonstrate that the classical Theravada notion of paramattha dhammas, and the orthodox Theravada notions of flux, are mutually exclusive frameworks even though both are regarded within the tradition as "ultimately" true?

Metta,
Retro. :)
"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)
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by Alex123 »

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

I apologise I haven't got the headspace to get too deeply into this conversation, but this point made me think.
Alex123 wrote:Change requires time, and if something doesn't last long enough to change, how can it change?
Maybe a purpose of Nanavira's analysis is to demonstrate that the classical Theravada notion of paramattha dhammas, and the orthodox Theravada notions of flux, are mutually exclusive frameworks even though both are regarded within the tradition as "ultimately" true?

Metta,
Retro. :)
I have read on one board that apparently some do seem to hold this view that cittas/cetasikas themselves do not change, and since wholes do not exist, what really can change?

Change on one level can only be seen in comparison to something on a layer higher than it. Just like slow has to be compared to fast, and fast to slow, in order for these words to have any meaning.

A motion is measured in comparison with some other point of reference. If all things move in one direction at the same speed, then there isn't really motion when comparing those things against each other. But if those things are compared to a stationary background, then we can talk about motion.
Last edited by Alex123 on Thu Oct 28, 2010 11:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by Individual »

The confusion arises because of language.

"A is A" is an assumption that's made intrinsically when using language.

Language involves making distinctions in order to communicate to others:

1. Language involves making distinctions. If you are not making distinctions when using language, why are you speaking? Even if you say, "I agree," that, too, is a distinction. Because you are saying, "I am a person who agrees with you (which is distinguished from those who may disagree with you)". If the listener already understands what you know, what is the function of language?

2. Language involves the assumption of self & other. If you do not make this assumption, what is the function of language? If there is no such self\other distinction, when speaking this means either you are talking to yourself, somebody else is talking to themselves, or you are talking to nobody, or there is no communication going on at all because there are no selves and others to communicate.

3. Language involves the assumption that things endure for a given interval. Specifically, the use of terms involves the assumption that these terms reflect things which endure. Otherwise, if everything is "total flux," as one person put it, what is the function of terms? Why are terms even being used if they don't reflect independently enduring realities?

This is the nature of language; it is not necessarily the nature of reality. It may be true in reality that the highest knowledge that can be attained through language is false, or at least not as true as the highest knowledge that can be attained by other means. And this is not something that can be understood only through using language, because language is only capable of clarifying the logical relationships between pre-existing definitions. It does nothing to establish the validity of given terms and phrases, or the validity of their stated relationships.

Therefore, it may be true that in reality the most logical distinctions are actually false ones, and therefore: no self\other, universal impermanence, "total flux", etc.. These things can be extraordinarily intuitive, useful, and powerful objects of truth in the mind. But when it's put into words, it sounds like bad philosophy. But it's something we discover from right concentration and right mindfulness.

This is how the apparently exclusive frameworks of paramatha dhammas and "total flux" fit together. The paramatha dhammas are the clearest way of expressing ultimate knowledge (rationally) conventionally, while flux is an irrational term because it contradicts the law of identity and the paramatha-dhammas too, but being irrational doesn't make it wrong, as it is actually more reflective of ultimate reality than the so-called paramatha-dhammas. But to call flux "paramatha," would render the entire expression inconsistent and would therefore not be conducive to others' liberation. It would not be conducive to others' liberation, because they would simply say, "That's bad philosophy," unless they have Mahayana-like minds, in which case it seems it could be useful. :)
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by Nyana »

beeblebrox wrote:Anicca ≠ mold.
Anicca = impermanence.

Mold = a sign of impermanence (of something).

Bread = impermanent. Why? Because it gets moldy. This mold is a sign of impermanence, but not the concept of anicca itself.

So then it follows:

Anicca ≠ moments nor flux.
Anicca = impermanence.

Moments or flux = signs of impermanence.
Impermanence has no soteriological utility except as this concept relates to impermanent phenomena (as phenomena are experienced). Apperception/recognition of impermanence (aniccasaññā) involves attending to an appearance of impermanence (aniccākāra). This appearance of impermanence is recognized via a sign/representation (nimitta).

All the best,

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

Post by Nyana »

Alex123 wrote:
5heaps wrote:do you not accept dependent arising? do you not accept characteristic natures? do you not accept that they perform functions?

if you do, you have to accept that they exist in some substantial manner. if you dont accept that they do, what then does 'they' refer to? what is it that functions if a thing is already gone simultaneous with its production?

"there are no things, only processes" makes no sense, since processes are by definition made up of parts (things).
5 Heaps, it sounds like you are right.
Phenomena arise according to specifically assignable conditionality (idappaccayatā):
  • When this is, that is.
    From the arising of this comes the arising of that.
Therefore, phenomena aren't utterly non-existent.

Phenomena cease according to specifically assignable conditionality (idappaccayatā):
  • When this isn't, that isn't.
    From the cessation of this comes the cessation of that.
Therefore, phenomena aren't ultimately existent.

Moreover, the individuation of phenomena requires apperceptive memory recognition (saññā) and conceptual designation (paññatti) for differentiation. All such individuation is fabricated, relational, and conventional, and therefore phenomena cannot be established as ultimately existent. Ven. Ñāṇananda, The Magic of the Mind (p. 63):
  • It would indeed appear strange to us that in Buddhist psychology even contact and feeling – with which we are so intimate – are treated as ‘designations’ (paññatti). We might feel that this is an intrusion of the ‘designation’ into the jealously guarded recesses of the psyche. Yet this is not the case, for, in the very act of apperception contacts and feelings are reckoned, evaluated, defined, and designated on the basis of one’s latencies (i.e. the aggregates). Thus there is hardly any justification for regarding them as ‘the given’, though we are accustomed to take them for granted. In other words, what we are wont to treat as ‘the given,’ turns out to be ‘synthetic’ and ‘composite’ (saṅkhata).
Noa Ronkin, Early Buddhist Metaphysics: The Making of a Philosophical Tradition (p. 247):
  • “Neither conceptualizing, nor conceptualizing wrongly, nor lacking conceptualization, nor conceptualizing nothing – in one who has achieved this state sensory recognizable experience (rupa) ceases, for what is called ‘verbal proliferation’ (papañca) has its origin in conceptualization.”

    What comes to a halt according to this description is but namarupa: nama referring to all that is conceived of, thus providing an abstract, conceptual identity for the person, rupa designating the physically (though not necessarily visibly) recognizable data, that is, all that lends itself to apperception and that is given shape by means of sensory impression. Covering the range of whatever is either conceived or apperceived, namarupa therefore signifies the entirety of what is cognizable.
All the best,

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

Post by retrofuturist »

:goodpost:
"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)
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by Individual »

I liked Geoff's post too. :)
The best things in life aren't things.

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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by tiltbillings »

Alex123 wrote:
tiltbillings wrote: And body quote does not support a notion of an unchanging something, as has been clearly and repeatedly pointed out, so what is Nanavaria talking about?
Are you saying that one moment you have the body, and it is gone the next? Does John become Jane the next moment and Mark then 3rd moment? Of course some things persist for a while.
And why would I say something as stupid as that? I have not even remotely implied it. Anicca does require something as stupid as that.

A little child has a body, then as an adult has a body, and as an old 99 year old man - he still has a body and had it for all those years. So in human realm, the body, as a body, remains.
The body seemingly remains, but every bit of has changed over the course of the years, and it is constantly in motion at any particular moment, but that hardly implies something as silly as this caricature: that one moment you have the body, and it is gone the next? Does John become Jane the next moment and Mark then 3rd moment .
Because it remains
What does that mean? Remains how?
A super discreet model that denies the whole and only affirms particles of 0 duration
I am not advocating any such thing.
Change requires time, and if something doesn't last long enough to change, how can it change?
Don't ask me; ask someone who holds such a view.
Change also requires somethings to last longer then others.
Nanavira is talking about something that does not change for a period. What is that something?.

Ven Nanivara says it well:

Now the Pali texts say that the Buddha taught anicca/dukkha/anattā, and the average Theravādin, monk or layman, seems to take for granted that aniccatā, or impermanence, means that things are perpetually changing, that they do not remain the same for two consecutive moments.
Damdifino who these "average Theravadins are, but that is a caricature of the Buddha's teachings.
If things don't remain the same for two consequent moments, then meaning of letters would not remain the same for two consequent moments and the meaning of sentences would never exist/last.
Huh?
>> 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 Prasadachitta »

Individual wrote:I liked Geoff's post too. :)
:thumbsup:
"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 Individual »

tiltbillings wrote:
If things don't remain the same for two consequent moments, then meaning of letters would not remain the same for two consequent moments and the meaning of sentences would never exist/last.
Huh?
When you say, "Huh?" do you mean the same confusion shared by all people when they make that utterance, or is your "Huh?" an entirely new form of confusion?
Last edited by Individual on Fri Oct 29, 2010 3:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by tiltbillings »

Individual wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
If things don't remain the same for two consequent moments, then meaning of letters would not remain the same for two consequent moments and the meaning of sentences would never exist/last.
Huh?
When you say, "Huh?" do you mean the same act of confusion shared by all people when they make that utterance, or is your "Huh?" an entirely new form of confusion?
Damdifino. I am too confused by the "letters" statement to figure out what you just said. This thread has been an ongoing exercise confusing statements.
>> 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 Prasadachitta »

Individual wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
If things don't remain the same for two consequent moments, then meaning of letters would not remain the same for two consequent moments and the meaning of sentences would never exist/last.
Huh?
When you say, "Huh?" do you mean the same act of confusion shared by all people when they make that utterance, or is your "Huh?" an entirely new form of confusion?
?Que?
"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 mikenz66 »

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

Post by Individual »

tiltbillings wrote:Damdifino. I am too confused by the "letters" statement to figure out what you just said. This thread has been an ongoing exercise confusing statements.
What I said is directly related to it. :)

When you say, "Huh?" you are an expressing a mental state of confusion. It's not necessarily your fault. If somebody comes up to you and screams gibberish, grabs your collar, and drools on you, in that situation too you could feel a bit confused.

You might say, "Huh?" in that situation too.

If you say, "Huh?" that's a mental state.

The question is: When you say, "Huh?" is it the same mental state each time or is it an entirely new mental state?
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by Individual »

mikenz66 wrote:Image
Image
The best things in life aren't things.

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