What's a gelatin, liquid crystal, or plasma?

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Re: What's a gelatin, liquid crystal, or plasma?

Post by Jechbi » Wed Jun 17, 2009 3:12 am

Slothrop wrote:In answering Individual's question, I perceive there was a communication breakdown. ... Perhaps there was a retreat into jargon that needs to be bridged further ...
If that's the case, then the question should be revisited. Can you be more specific with regard to what you perceive was left unanswered?
:thanks:
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Re: What's a gelatin, liquid crystal, or plasma?

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Jun 17, 2009 3:43 am

Greetings,

As I understand it, the elements refer to sensations that can be experienced within the nama-rupa complex.

They are experiential classifications, and provide benefit in the sense that they offer a classification system for what is felt, so that they can be rightfully known as anicca, anatta and dukkha.

They are not elementary classifications of the type found in a periodic table.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: What's a gelatin, liquid crystal, or plasma?

Post by serg_o » Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:58 am

Hello,

in Abhidhammattha sangaha it's stated that eight rupas are inseparable, AFAIUI that is they occur together:
Colour, odour, taste, sap (50) and the four Essentials
are the eight kinds (51) of material phenomena that are
inseparable; the rest are separable
Comment:
As a rule these eight råpas are bound together.
The four Essentials are inseparable and so are the other
four Derivatives. Hence they are also termed ‘suddhaññhaka’
(‘pure octad’) and ‘ojaññhaka’ (‘with ojà as the
eighth’) The growth of inanimate matter is also due to the
presence of this universal Ojà
Pali text, can't copy correctly from pdf I think due to font, so - Velthius:
Va.n.no, gandho, raso, ojaa, bhuutacatukka~nc’ aati
a.t.thavidham pi avinibbhogaruupa.m; itara.m vinibbhogaruupa.m.
I understand this so: if we see (encounter) something material, say an apple, a piece of coal, body of another person, etc.,
then it has at once some rigidity (earth element), an amount of heat in it (fire element), ..., form and color, smell, taste etc. These properties manifest themselves together.
Not like a Cheshire cat's smile that we encounter a pure "earth element" without form, color, heat in it etc.

So I think gelatin would have some proportion of all four mahabhutas in it.

Best wishes,
Sergey.

P.S. Oh, bhante Dhammanando has already written about octads here:
it will consist of material octads etc. in which all the elements are present.

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Re: What's a gelatin, liquid crystal, or plasma?

Post by Slothrop » Wed Jun 17, 2009 7:56 pm

So since they are experiential and not essential, then the question is not, "What is a gelatin?" but rather, "How is a gelatin experienced?" Is that right?

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Re: What's a gelatin, liquid crystal, or plasma?

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Jun 17, 2009 10:44 pm

Greetings,
Slothrop wrote:So since they are experiential and not essential, then the question is not, "What is a gelatin?" but rather, "How is a gelatin experienced?" Is that right?
The answer to which would be what venerable Dhammanando stated above... "When gelatin is part of the connective tissue in a living creature's body it will consist of material octads etc. in which all the elements are present."

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: What's a gelatin, liquid crystal, or plasma?

Post by Slothrop » Thu Jun 18, 2009 2:16 am

You're putting gelatin back into its original form. That's like saying the ice in my glass is characterized by the way it flows in the Amazon River.

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Re: What's a gelatin, liquid crystal, or plasma?

Post by Dhammanando » Thu Jun 18, 2009 3:49 am

Slothrop wrote:So since they are experiential and not essential, then the question is not, "What is a gelatin?" but rather, "How is a gelatin experienced?" Is that right?
I think it should be: "What are the characteristics of the rūpa dhammas which constitute the conceptual reality known as "gelatin" and which are known by the faculty of understanding (paññindriya) when it has been developed to the level of insight knowledge (vipassanā-ñāṇa)?"

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Re: What's a gelatin, liquid crystal, or plasma?

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Jun 18, 2009 4:20 am

Greetings bhante,

Though if someone could ask the question so eloquently, one would assume they already knew the answer... ;)

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: What's a gelatin, liquid crystal, or plasma?

Post by Jechbi » Thu Jun 18, 2009 6:27 am

Hi Slothrop,

I think I'm following you, but I'm not sure. You're trying to have this discussion in everyday language, right? So from this:
Slothrop wrote:You're putting gelatin back into its original form. That's like saying the ice in my glass is characterized by the way it flows in the Amazon River.
Can you say what you mean by "its original form"?

I have the impression you're trying to have a discussion about what some object is in reality, all by itself, in isolation. If I understand you correctly, then I'm not sure the question is on topic here, unless you think Ven. Dhammanando was mistaken when he said:
Ven. Dhammanando wrote:The Abhidhamma's elemental analysis is concerned with animated rupa, not with external non-animated rupa. ... [Gelatin's] elemental composition will not be an abhidhammic concern.
In everyday language, I think Ven. Dhammanando is saying that in the context of Abhidhamma (which is what this forum concerns itself with), questions about what an object is in reality (all by itself, isolated) don't apply. Questions like that miss the point. In everyday language, I think he's saying that in the context of Abhidhamma, the only way to understand gelatin (or any object) is through the lens of one's senses coupled with correct understanding of that experience. I stand to be corrected if I've misunderstood what was meant.
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.

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Re: What's a gelatin, liquid crystal, or plasma?

Post by Individual » Thu Jun 18, 2009 6:39 am

What is a "material octad"?
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra

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Re: What's a gelatin, liquid crystal, or plasma?

Post by Jechbi » Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:07 am

From here:
... any form whatsoever that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: every form is to be seen as it actually is with right discernment as: 'This is not mine. This is not my self. This is not what I am.'
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.

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Re: What's a gelatin, liquid crystal, or plasma?

Post by Dhammanando » Fri Jun 19, 2009 4:07 am

Individual wrote:What is a "material octad"?
The eight rupa dhammas that are inseparable and which constitute one material cluster. See chapter VI of the Abhidhammatthasangaha: http://www.buddhanet.net/budsas/ebud/ab ... bhis06.htm
  • These four elements coexist and are inseparable, but one may preponderate over another as, for instance, pathavi in earth, apo in water, tejo in fire, and vayo in air.

    They are also called Mahabhutas, or Great Essentials because they are invariably found in all material substances ranging from the infinitesimally small cell to the most massive object.

    Dependent on them are the four subsidiary material qualities of colour (vanna), smell (gandha), taste (rasa), and nutritive essence (oja). These eight coexisting forces and qualities constitute one material group called 'suddhatthaka rupa kalapa - pure-octad material group'.

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Re: What's a gelatin, liquid crystal, or plasma?

Post by Slothrop » Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:19 pm

Not to beat a dead horse (no offense to the jello lovers out there), but it seems to me perhaps the gelatin as an object does not have to be in one "elemental" category or another. That is more the Greek model. Rather, in the Buddhist model gelatin has qualities present in multiple descriptive categories, each of which is a rupa. Gelatin exerts force upon neighboring objects, this is the pathavi aspect. Gelatin sticks together in a dessert mold form, this is the apo aspect. Gelatin has a temperature, this is tejo aspect. Gelatin has atoms that vibrate and generate heat, this is the vayo aspect. Am I interpreting this correctly, bhante?

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Re: What's a gelatin, liquid crystal, or plasma?

Post by Individual » Sat Jun 20, 2009 8:19 am

Dhammanando wrote:
Individual wrote:What is a "material octad"?
The eight rupa dhammas that are inseparable and which constitute one material cluster. See chapter VI of the Abhidhammatthasangaha: http://www.buddhanet.net/budsas/ebud/ab ... bhis06.htm
  • These four elements coexist and are inseparable, but one may preponderate over another as, for instance, pathavi in earth, apo in water, tejo in fire, and vayo in air.

    They are also called Mahabhutas, or Great Essentials because they are invariably found in all material substances ranging from the infinitesimally small cell to the most massive object.

    Dependent on them are the four subsidiary material qualities of colour (vanna), smell (gandha), taste (rasa), and nutritive essence (oja). These eight coexisting forces and qualities constitute one material group called 'suddhatthaka rupa kalapa - pure-octad material group'.
What capacity for explaining experiences do the rupas have, if each object is always a "material octad" and you can't think of the objects in their theoretical purity or in precise terms?

An example of what I mean... This is red:
Image

This is blue:
Image

What is red is not blue, what is not blue is not red, etc.. It's a useful classification because I can describe these properties, show them to you, separate them, and then when I say, "An object is blue," or "Red", or neither, you can know what I mean, or I can describe purple as a combination of the two, being able to come up with a very specific combination of specific tones or color frequencies that tells you exactly what it looks like.

But let's say instead that I were to say... That there is red, blue, green, yellow, etc., but that these colors are in fact inseparable! And in every object, there's a bit of each color! How confusing that would be!

I can't say, "That object is red," but instead, "That's an octad (or hexad, pentad, whatever, doesn't matter how many colors I use) and no specific color can be identified." Well, then you'd have no idea about what I was talking about... Because I can't distinguish it. Things would be even more confusing if I said that these colors I were referred to weren't in any way necessarily real, but were simply a way of classifying something, in some system of artificial descriptions.
The best things in life aren't things.

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Re: What's a gelatin, liquid crystal, or plasma?

Post by Jechbi » Sun Jun 21, 2009 5:35 pm

Hi Individual,

I hope Ven. Dhammanando or someone else who knows this stuff will give you a good answer, but meanwhile, your post raises some additional questions, chiefly, what expectations to we bring to Dhamma practice and to Abhidhamma study? Is the point to arrive at some physics-like description of phenomena that satisfies our curiosity about the nature of life's building blocks? Or to end dukkha? And how does the former pursuit inform the latter?
Individual wrote:... you can't think of the objects in their theoretical purity or in precise terms?
There may be an assumption built into this question.
Individual wrote:What is red is not blue, what is not blue is not red, etc.. It's a useful classification because I can describe these properties ...
Pretend that I'm blind and describe "blue" for me.
Individual wrote:But let's say instead that I were to say... That there is red, blue, green, yellow, etc., but that these colors are in fact inseparable! And in every object, there's a bit of each color! How confusing that would be!
But these colors are just gradations of one of many attributes of an object, and the other attributes will still be inseparable from the object itself. You may be comparing apples with oranges.
Individual wrote:I can't say, "That object is red," but instead, "That's an octad (or hexad, pentad, whatever, doesn't matter how many colors I use) and no specific color can be identified."
Are you saying that it would make more sense if you could point to an object and describe it completely with the words, "That object is red"? What sort of object would have only a single property labeled "red"?
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.

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