robertk wrote: ↑
Mon May 18, 2020 9:08 am
On the possibility of barking up the wrong tree: a perennial problem for all spiritual adventurers, I think. I seem to remember one regular long term poster here who announced he was joining a Christian group one day - after years of arguing passionately for his pet areas in buddhism. Can you or me be sure we won't run off to join the Hari Krishna next year?
Yes, agreed. There is a story that went the rounds of the Forest Sangha a few years ago of a much-valued nun who suddenly disrobed to join some Christian fundamentalists - really crass in their outlook. There was general consternation, and someone asked the Ajahn what he thought of the whole business, especially the group she was joining "Well"' he said, "Perhaps they're right!"
1: it all makes perfect sense to how the world appears to me;
Do you mean that you actually perceive the rapid arising and passing away, or that it provides the most plausible explanation for what the Buddha said? I certainly agree that the origins of our beliefs - why we believe the things we do - are a mystery to us.
According to Abhidhammic theory what we call a block of concrete is actually a mass of trillions of kalapas (a group of matter), each with tiny spaces between them. And each of these kalapas arises and falls away instantly - but is replaced by new kalapas due to temperature (utu-samutthana) primarily in the kalapa that has just fallen away.
All matter outside the body is only composed of eight types of rupa yet the intensities of these eight can vary enormously and so we see a huge type of differing matter - water , snow, wood, plastic, flower, and thank god, coffee etc. So there is a kind of law that as you suggest "one moment of a particular type must give rise to the next, of a very similar type?" But of course this is very dependent and all sorts of events can happen so that deterioration in the conventional sense occurs..
Things like concrete or flower are said to be the shadow of what is really there (only evanescent rupas).
Thanks, that's clear. Presumably, the "law" is something merely conceptual, so is not something in itself which is arising and passing? i.e. do the laws gradually change, as well as the kalapas which they govern?
That feeling of being amenable to our bidding is, I posit, due to the fact that we are largely unaware of the causes and conditions for each moment, and also that we see things as existing over periods of time, rather than momentary and conditioned.
Again, it makes sense, but how then to explain the fact that if all things are subject to causes and conditions, why some of them appear to be more amenable than others? Raising my arm seems under my control, whereas (say) altering the orbit of Jupiter isn't. And - to bring in a point that Mike has alluded to - studying the Dhamma
also seems to be within my sphere of control. I can't understand much (evidently!
) but I do seem to be able to form the intention in an autonomous way. I believe you said that we are lucky enough to find the Dhamma due to our past interest and progress in previous lives. If so, wasn't that activity somehow efficacious in bringing about a favourable result?
As ever, thanks for taking the time on this one.