I was moved by the writings of Nyaniponika Thera in Abhidhamma Studies when a lightbulb seemed to go off in my head. for that matter it could have been a stroke and I am just as deluded as I was before. I apologise as this post is going to go all over the place...
In his essay 'Time and Consciousness', Venerable begins with a quote from the Atthasalini:
What I want to ask about is Venerable's following remarks:By the time the Sage described the mind
And by the mind described the time
In order to show, by such definition,
The phenomena there arranged in classes
Elsewhere Venerable suggests the citta is like the intersection of beams of coloured light where the shade of the light at the beams intersection changes with the growth and decay of intensity of the coloured beams and their replacement of other colours.The state of consciousness classified in the first part of the schematic sentence of the Dhammasangani is, in its existence, limited as well as described by time. The duration of that mind-defining time period is circumscribed by the simultaneity of the mental factors ennumerated in the second part of the sentence ("...at the time there are sense-contact...). In other words, a state of consciousness lasts as long as the combination of its single factors....
...The simultaneity of mental factors referred to above is not a static juxtaposotion of self-contained units as in a mosaic. The simultaneity results rather from different processes of psychic movements meeting temporarily in the constellation of the present moment, partly overlapping each other but without achieving complete congruity, just as in nature there are also no truly congruent triangles.
So my questions are:
- Do the internal relations between cetasikas in the present moment define the nature of the present citta?
- Do the external relations between the past citta define the arising of the subsequent cetasikas in the next moment?
- Is the citta is just the coming together of different cetasikas, if so, then why is it mentioned as a paramattha dhamma?
My understanding at present is that the lifecycle of a cetasika extends beyond the 'mind moment' that is the duration of any one citta. As cetasikas rise, intensify, decay, and pass away, in different combinations, this is what defines the type of citta to rise and fall from one mind-moment to the next.
Thanks for your assistance and patience.