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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mikenz66
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain inter

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Oct 15, 2014 5:10 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Alex,
Alex123 wrote:
SamKR wrote:Isn't the point of anicca "arising and ceasing" of things? Does the duration or timespan (geological or khanika) of things actually matter?
What kind of perception works to develop dispassion the most appropriate for you?
Even the example you gave from the Buddha merely used the so-called objective external world as a means of comparison and analogy, before tying that back to inner perception and reflection.

"...then what in this short-lasting body, sustained by clinging, is 'I' or 'mine' or 'what I am'?"

I'd challenge you to find any sutta where "external" impermanence is discussed, in and of itself. I doubt you'll find it, because that kind of stuff gets left on the floor of the Simsapa Forest. Therefore the actual point, wasn't to talk about the impermanence of long-standing geological formations, but about the impermanence of experienced phenomena.

Metta,
Retro. :)
There is plenty of mention of external elements and so forth in the Suttas. What it means is, of course, a matter of interpretation:
"In this way he remains focused internally on the body in & of itself, or externally on the body in & of itself, or both internally & externally on the body in & of itself. Or he remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to the body, on the phenomenon of passing away with regard to the body, or on the phenomenon of origination & passing away with regard to the body. Or his mindfulness that 'There is a body' is maintained to the extent of knowledge & remembrance. And he remains independent, unsustained by (not clinging to) anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself.
[and so on for with feelings, mind, and dhammas...]
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
What, bhikkhu, is the earth element? The earth element may be either internal or external. What is the internal earth element? Whatever internally, belonging to oneself, is solid, solidified, and clung-to, that is, head-hairs, body-hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, bone-marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, diaphragm, spleen, lungs, intestines, mesentery, contents of the stomach, feces, or whatever else internally, belonging to oneself, is solid, solidified, and clung-to: this is called the internal earth element. Now both the internal earth element and the external earth element are simply earth element. And that should be seen as it actually is with proper wisdom thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’ When one sees it thus as it actually is with proper wisdom, one becomes disenchanted with the earth element and makes the mind dispassionate towards the earth element.
http://suttacentral.net/en/mn140
:anjali:
Mike

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Mkoll
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain inter

Post by Mkoll » Wed Oct 15, 2014 5:11 am

mikenz66 wrote:
acinteyyo wrote: Of course, one can't spend time on every possible interpretation.
What he's trying to get at in his own words:...
Well, yes, I've tried to engage with that material a few times, but whenever I start reading I'm faced with statements that to me don't make much sense, such as those that spawned in the current thread, and the statement that Ven Dhammanando discusses in this other thread: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 60#p314136

Clearly, Ven Nanavira's interpretations resonate with some, but not with others...

:anjali:
Mike
Yes, I'm in a similar boat. But then again, that's my usual reaction to philosophy these days, though that wasn't so in the past ...
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain inter

Post by Dinsdale » Wed Oct 15, 2014 9:13 am

Alex123 wrote:
Now there comes a time, friends, when the external liquid property is provoked and washes away village, town, city, district, & country. There comes a time when the water in the great ocean drops down one hundred leagues, two hundred... three hundred... four hundred... five hundred... six hundred... seven hundred leagues. There comes a time when the water in the great ocean stands seven palm-trees deep, six... five... four... three... two palm-trees deep, one palm-tree deep. There comes a time when the water in the great ocean stands seven fathoms deep, six... five... four... three... two fathoms deep, one fathom deep. There comes a time when the water in the great ocean stands half a fathom deep, hip-deep, knee-deep, ankle deep. There comes a time when the water in the great ocean is not even the depth of the first joint of a finger.

"So when even in the external liquid property — so vast — inconstancy will be discerned, destructibility will be discerned, a tendency to decay will be discerned, changeability will be discerned, then what in this short-lasting body, sustained by clinging, is 'I' or 'mine' or 'what I am'? It has here only a 'no.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Anicca here refers to geological timespans (how long will it take for ocean to dry up?).
But look at the message here: even an ocean - something which appears to endure - is inconstant and changeable.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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Alex123
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain inter

Post by Alex123 » Wed Oct 15, 2014 11:26 am

Spiny Norman wrote:But look at the message here: even an ocean - something which appears to endure - is inconstant and changeable.
Right. The ocean is anicca.
"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 inter

Post by Dinsdale » Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:18 pm

Alex123 wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:But look at the message here: even an ocean - something which appears to endure - is inconstant and changeable.
Right. The ocean is anicca.
Yes, and as the sutta says: "....inconstancy will be discerned, destructibility will be discerned, a tendency to decay will be discerned, changeability will be discerned...". So there is the sense of continual change and instability.

And of course our perceiving and conceiving around "ocean" is also continually changing. I walk by the sea every day, but the way I experience it at any one time much depends on my state of mind.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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acinteyyo
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain inter

Post by acinteyyo » Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:30 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
acinteyyo wrote: Of course, one can't spend time on every possible interpretation.
What he's trying to get at in his own words:...
Well, yes, I've tried to engage with that material a few times, but whenever I start reading I'm faced with statements that to me don't make much sense, such as those that spawned in the current thread, and the statement that Ven Dhammanando discusses in this other thread: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 60#p314136
I've read the other thread and I don't quite agree with Ven. Dhammanandos argument but this doesn't belong here.
mikenz66 wrote:Clearly, Ven Nanavira's interpretations resonate with some, but not with others...
Yepp... I sometimes get the impression that the reason for that may be found in a lack of common basic principles, which Nanavira uses to express his points. If the reader and the author don't share a certain minimum of basic principles then there won't be mutual understanding.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

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Alex123
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain inter

Post by Alex123 » Wed Oct 15, 2014 3:30 pm

Spiny Norman wrote: So there is the sense of continual change and instability.

I believe that there is discontinual change and instability.
"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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tiltbillings
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain inter

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Oct 15, 2014 4:13 pm

Alex123 wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote: So there is the sense of continual change and instability.

I believe that there is discontinual change and instability.
What does that mean?
>> 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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Alex123
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain inter

Post by Alex123 » Wed Oct 15, 2014 5:44 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Alex123 wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote: So there is the sense of continual change and instability.

I believe that there is discontinual change and instability.
What does that mean?

That something can remain relatively unchanged, then rapidly change.

Example: a cup. It can remain physically unchanged (or very little changed) for years, but a wrong move can make it fall and break instantly.

If one had attachment to it, then one will suffer. If one had no attachment, no suffering.
"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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mikenz66
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain inter

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Oct 15, 2014 6:19 pm

acinteyyo wrote: Yepp... I sometimes get the impression that the reason for that may be found in a lack of common basic principles, which Nanavira uses to express his points. If the reader and the author don't share a certain minimum of basic principles then there won't be mutual understanding.
Yes, and those basic principles are the philosophical starting point. That's especially true in this case, where the argument is purely from his philosophy. As you note in a previous post:
...perhaps best regarded as a philosophical commentary on the essential teachings of the Pali Suttas...
That sums up his writings better than I ever could.

:anjali:
Mike

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