What is the past, present and the future?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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SarathW
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What is the past, present and the future?

Post by SarathW » Sat May 05, 2018 11:00 pm

I just wonder what is the meaning of yesterday today and tomorrow.
We use these terms based on the movements of the sun and the earth.
But they are just mind made.
The question is what is the real past, present, and the future.
Assume that you are in a place there is no sunset or sunrise.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

Layt
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Re: What is the past, present and the future?

Post by Layt » Sun May 06, 2018 3:16 pm

The past is what makes the present possible, and the present is what makes the future possible.

Time is basically an indicator of causality, there would be no time without energy/forces (like electromagnetism, gravity, heat, nuclear energy etc).

Since there are several kinds of forces, cause and effect don't happen at once, and so there is a past, a present and a future.

The reason why a ball doesn't instantly hit the ground when you throw it is because, well, you threw it, so you created a force that made the ball go up in the air... thus time is made by antagonistic forces that constantly try to override one another.

(or at least I think that's what time is)

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Pondera
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Re: What is the past, present and the future?

Post by Pondera » Mon May 07, 2018 3:51 am

Consider the Buddha’s three super knowledges. One contains the path to the past in the form of memory - like 40,000 eaons of memory IIRC.

Then, with the divine eye the Buddha sees how beings arise in future states according to their kamma. “Potentiality”. Somewhat deterministic - but also dependent on right effort, etc.

Finally, “in the here and now” the Buddha sees how to put an end to the fermentation’s.

So there you have a kind of metaphysical outline of what the three time periods might have meant for the Buddha.

SarathW
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Re: What is the past, present and the future?

Post by SarathW » Mon May 07, 2018 4:10 am

Dimond will last for many millions of years but a water bubble may last only for few seconds.
There is nothing intrinsic called a water bubble or a diamond.
Hence there is no intrinsic thing called time.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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rightviewftw
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Re: What is the past, present and the future?

Post by rightviewftw » Mon May 07, 2018 5:00 am

SarathW wrote:
Mon May 07, 2018 4:10 am
Dimond will last for many millions of years but a water bubble may last only for few seconds.
There is nothing intrinsic called a water bubble or a diamond.
Hence there is no intrinsic thing called time.
we are always here and now in a sense
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Pondera
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Re: What is the past, present and the future?

Post by Pondera » Mon May 07, 2018 5:14 am

SarathW wrote:
Mon May 07, 2018 4:10 am
Dimond will last for many millions of years but a water bubble may last only for few seconds.
There is nothing intrinsic called a water bubble or a diamond.
Hence there is no intrinsic thing called time.
Phena Sutta
On one occasion the Blessed One was staying among the Ayojjhans on the banks of the Ganges River. There he addressed the monks: "Monks, suppose that a large glob of foam were floating down this Ganges River, and a man with good eyesight were to see it, observe it, & appropriately examine it. To him — seeing it, observing it, & appropriately examining it — it would appear empty, void, without substance: for what substance would there be in a glob of foam? In the same way, a monk sees, observes, & appropriately examines any form that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near. To him — seeing it, observing it, & appropriately examining it — it would appear empty, void, without substance: for what substance would there be in form?

Now suppose that in the autumn — when it's raining in fat, heavy drops — a water bubble were to appear & disappear on the water, and a man with good eyesight were to see it, observe it, & appropriately examine it. To him — seeing it, observing it, & appropriately examining it — it would appear empty, void, without substance: for what substance would there be in a water bubble? In the same way, a monk sees, observes, & appropriately examines any feeling that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near. To him — seeing it, observing it, & appropriately examining it — it would appear empty, void, without substance: for what substance would there be in feeling?
Good point Sarath. All is dukkha. All is impermanent. All is not self. But! But! If you want to get philosophical about it - somehow (according to Buddhism) we can access memories from ages gone by. And there must be an ontological substrate for the past to be accessible in this way. For example, we have the Akashic Records theory.

There really is a past, a future, and a present - but yes; it’s. all suffering, impermanent, and not self. We cannot, ultimately, escape into any of these time periods. However, the Buddha’s example is to “end the fermentations” in the “here and now”. So, we find relief in the present moment - not our past moments or our far off future “to-be” moments.

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Polar Bear
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Re: What is the past, present and the future?

Post by Polar Bear » Mon May 07, 2018 5:16 am

"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

SarathW
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Re: What is the past, present and the future?

Post by SarathW » Mon May 07, 2018 7:29 am

somehow (according to Buddhism) we can access memories from ages gone by.
Perhaps the time is a mental construct.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: What is the past, present and the future?

Post by Dhammarakkhito » Mon May 07, 2018 6:01 pm

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