Involuntary memories

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Coyote
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Involuntary memories

Post by Coyote » Sat Feb 07, 2015 4:14 pm

How would involuntary memory be classified according to Abhidhamma? My thinking is that it would be a wholesome or unwholesome vipāka, is that correct?

An example would be: a thought arises about the past, accompanied by painful mental feeling/aversion towards the content of that thought. Is the painful mental feeling vipāka or new unwholesome kamma/aversion?

:thanks:
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
Iti 26

paul
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Re: Involuntary memories

Post by paul » Sat Feb 07, 2015 6:45 pm

Coyote wrote:
An example would be: a thought arises about the past, accompanied by painful mental feeling/aversion towards the content of that thought. Is the painful mental feeling vipāka or new unwholesome kamma/aversion?
When memories arise, there is an opportunity for the intervention of mindfulness to ensure proliferation does not occur, thereby preventing new kamma:
-Extract from "Abhidhamma in Practice", NGK Mendis:
"To be aware of the momentariness of this vipaaka citta is of great practical importance. If one does not recognize the disappearance of this citta — and this can be done only by the practice of mindfulness — then subsequent cognitive processes having the same object as the vipaaka citta (which has already passed) can occur in the mind-door, bringing defilements into play. If the vipaaka citta had an unpleasant object, aversion can arise; and if the vipaaka citta had a pleasant object, attachment can arise. To make spiritual progress one should try to avoid the arising of those causative cittas associated with either aversion or attachment, which are both unwholesome mental factors building up further unwholesome kamma. Mindfulness of the instant perishing of the vipaaka citta after it has arisen is of immense practical value. Only one citta can exist at a time. Thus the citta with mindfulness, occurring through the mind-door, taking the perished vipaaka citta as its object, will prevent the arising of causative unwholesome cittas that lead to future suffering.

When the mind is not experiencing objects through the five sense doors — the eye, ear, nose, tongue, and body — it can still be active through the "mind door," taking as its object either something previously experienced through the five sense doors, recently or long ago, or some idea or image peculiar to itself. Past experiences are registered in the life-continuum (bhava"nga) in a subliminal form, where from time to time they can surface through the mind-door to serve as objects for the citta. Kammically active cittas can follow this mental activity, and here again the practice of mindfulness — that is, being aware that there is thinking — will prevent the arising of unwholesome causative cittas. On the other hand, if mindfulness is absent there can be unwholesome mental activity, such as longing for things of the past, worry, remorse, regret, grudge, and doubt."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el322.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

dhamma follower
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Re: Involuntary memories

Post by dhamma follower » Sun Feb 08, 2015 7:57 am

Coyote wrote:How would involuntary memory be classified according to Abhidhamma? My thinking is that it would be a wholesome or unwholesome vipāka, is that correct?

An example would be: a thought arises about the past, accompanied by painful mental feeling/aversion towards the content of that thought. Is the painful mental feeling vipāka or new unwholesome kamma/aversion?

:thanks:
Greeting Coyote,

The instant of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching are moments of vipaka. They are extremely short, though: only one moment of citta. After that moment of citta has fallen away, it is followed by two other moments of vipaka cittas (extremely short too) and a moment of kiriya citta, then seven moments of javana-cittas arise. Javana cittas are cittas of wholesome or unwholesome nature, or kyriya nature (in case of the arahant). All these cittas arise in what is called sense-door process, because it is through one of the five sense doors that a sense object is experienced during its lifespan. After the cittas of the sense -door process have fallen away, they are followed by the cittas of the mind-door process, with bhavanga cittas in between. The cittas in the mind-door process are wholesome or unwholesome cittas (or kyriya in the case of the arahant).

What we call thinking arises in the mind door, they can be either wholesome or unwholesome for non arahants. In your example, the painful feeling that arises with the thought arise with cittas that are unwholesome, not vipaka, it belongs to the round of kamma. The only instance where feeling is vipaka is when it arises with bodily consciousness, called bodily painful feeling. But that moment is so fleeting that it is usually conflated with the mental unpleasant feeling that follows. The aversion that arise together with unpleasant mental feeling is also usually conflated with the unpleasant feeling it-self, though they are two separate mental factors. That shows that it is extremely difficult to distinguish mental factors from each other, and that without careful study, they are usually mistaken and misunderstood.

Appreciating your inquiry,

Best regards,

D.F

Coyote
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Re: Involuntary memories

Post by Coyote » Sun Feb 08, 2015 4:05 pm

Thanks Paul and Dhamma follower,

Interesting - so the whole process belongs to the "round of kamma" even the moments of the bare thought itself - and in the case of a painful memory it would be unwholesome?

Regards,
Coyote
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
Iti 26

randall
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Re: Involuntary memories

Post by randall » Sun Feb 08, 2015 9:11 pm

Coyote wrote: Interesting - so the whole process belongs to the "round of kamma" even the moments of the bare thought itself - and in the case of a painful memory it would be unwholesome?
Almost every dhamma belongs to the round of kamma, if you mean bare thought as in vipassana, yes those objects taken are mundane and are objects subject to clinging. The Buddha said that "whatever kind of consciousness past, future, present, internal, external, far, near, gross, subtle, inferior, superior, are connected with the taints and subject to clinging" (S.22:48). The Matika of the Dhammasangani has organized these cittas into three questions:
(i) Dhamma which are kamma-born as well as objects of clinging?
(ii) Dhamma which are not kamma-born but are objects of clinging?
(iii) Dhamma which are neither kamma-born nor are objects of clinging?

The only dhammas that are free from the round of kamma are the eight supramundane cittas because they are said to take Nibbana as object which is not an aggregate and has none of the eleven traits mentioned in the sutta above.


If you are talking about bare thought in terms of part of a process, the mind-door process skips the five door adverting, eye consciousness, receiving,etc. and starts with the citta 'mind-door adverting'. This citta is only functional, it's only there to do its job of adverting the dhamma to the mind. Next comes the seven javanas (the 7 cittas are kinda the same but are different with each one picking up momentum of the other). This is where an individual experiences an object fully, during the javanas an individual can take the object as permanent, and as self and bond to them with attachment, or other kinds of reactions of hatred, discomfort etc. and create new akusala kamma. Or if the individual has mindfulness or wise reflection that these dhammas are impermanent, not self and create only suffering then it is said to perform kusala kamma with knowledge.

http://suttacentral.net/en/mn148" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://abhidhamma-studies.weebly.com/up ... kkhita.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;



so where did the thoughts come from, if their coming straight to the mind?

The CMA (Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma) says they come from what was directly perceived earlier (CMA IV, guide 12). Venerable Silananda explains this here on page 30-32.


:anjali:

Coyote
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Re: Involuntary memories

Post by Coyote » Tue Feb 10, 2015 3:21 pm

randall wrote: If you are talking about bare thought in terms of part of a process, the mind-door process skips the five door adverting, eye consciousness, receiving,etc. and starts with the citta 'mind-door adverting'. This citta is only functional, it's only there to do its job of adverting the dhamma to the mind. Next comes the seven javanas (the 7 cittas are kinda the same but are different with each one picking up momentum of the other). This is where an individual experiences an object fully, during the javanas an individual can take the object as permanent, and as self and bond to them with attachment, or other kinds of reactions of hatred, discomfort etc. and create new akusala kamma. Or if the individual has mindfulness or wise reflection that these dhammas are impermanent, not self and create only suffering then it is said to perform kusala kamma with knowledge.
Dear Randall,
the thought alone (without the other 5 senses) was what I was referring to. Thanks for answering my question.

:anjali: :namaste:
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
Iti 26

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