something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Alex123
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by Alex123 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:15 pm

tiltbillings wrote: Sure, but let us do it as a dialogue. What is it that "endures unchanged for at least a certain interval of time?"
A concept of a whole, like a concept of a "forest". Induvidial trees may all eventually be replaced by newer ones, but that "forest" as a concept still remains.


Also any concept "endures" for a certain or even a very long time - this is why we can read what is said here. There is remembrance of what each letter and word (a concept) stands for.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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beeblebrox
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by beeblebrox » Sun Oct 24, 2010 7:23 pm

Alex123 wrote:
tiltbillings wrote: Sure, but let us do it as a dialogue. What is it that "endures unchanged for at least a certain interval of time?"
A concept of a whole, like a concept of a "forest". Induvidial trees may all eventually be replaced by newer ones, but that "forest" as a concept still remains.


Also any concept "endures" for a certain or even a very long time - this is why we can read what is said here. There is remembrance of what each letter and word (a concept) stands for.
A good, simple post. :)

I think the reason why some people have problems with something enduring is because they try to view this so-called "moment" individually (the kind of viewing that goes against the concept laid out in the D.O.), and then end up missing the entire forest.

They try to find the beginning (obviously indiscernible, like the Buddha said), and they also think that if you go up to a larger and a larger forest, it'll lead to something eternal. Obviously untrue, because it goes on and on infinitely... which is not the same as eternity, by the way. While the infinity itself has no end, it still falls away.

So, they assume that these ideas (which they figured out via their mistaken views... avijjā, no less) must mean that it's untrue something can endure... and not only that, they go to the opposite extreme (flux) as their another option. They also mistake this flux as Anicca itself... they're are two separate things, not the same at all.

One is flowing, and the other is impermanence. The flowing itself has the characteristic of impermanence, of course... but the impermanence itself doesn't necessarily have the characteristic of flowing. Something can stand for a while, and then fall away... this is the impermanence of something that's not a flux.

Also, I think that some people, after they see the flux in action (during one of their experiences, say), they try to apply this flux to everything... till everything turns to a mush. This is a bad fallacy.

Moments can be discerned, and also flux can be discerned. Both of them are anicca... and therefore not to be clung to. It's really that simple.

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cooran
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by cooran » Sun Oct 24, 2010 7:36 pm

Hello all,

Worth the read:

REALITIES AND CONCEPTS - The Buddha's explanation of the world by SUJIN BORIHARNWANAKET
http://www.abhidhamma.org/sujin3.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by Paññāsikhara » Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:04 am

Hoo wrote:I guess it's time for me to ask the question....How many of the participants in this discussion actually have degrees in philosophy? Are they Western philosophy, Eastern, comparative religion, theology, etc? Any professional philosophers?

Hoo
Careful, you may be surprised! :tongue:
There are at least a couple of people with PhDs in Buddhist studies and similar on this thread.
My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: Huifeng's Prajnacara Blog.

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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by alan » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:50 am

Thanks cooran for the link and also thanks to Sanghamitta for the editorial comment, with which I completely agree.

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tiltbillings
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain inter

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:51 am

Alex123 wrote:
tiltbillings wrote: Sure, but let us do it as a dialogue. What is it that "endures unchanged for at least a certain interval of time?"
A concept of a whole, like a concept of a "forest". Induvidial trees may all eventually be replaced by newer ones, but that "forest" as a concept still remains.


Also any concept "endures" for a certain or even a very long time - this is why we can read what is said here. There is remembrance of what each letter and word (a concept) stands for.
Yes, well, Nanavira said: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval. So, what is he talking about? It would seem from the context

http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 863#p94863

that he is talking some aspect of the mind/body process that would be unchanged for some interval that would allow from one time to the next for there to be a sense of continuity, so I don’t think your analysis here is quite to the point.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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BlackBird
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by BlackBird » Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:21 am

tiltbillings wrote: that he is talking some aspect of the mind/body process that would be unchanged for some interval that would allow from one time to the next their to be a sense of continuity, so I don’t think your analysis here is quite to the point.
Hello Tilt

Perhaps the following may be able to shed some more light for you:
Ven. Nyanavira wrote: Failing to make the necessary distinctions (see PATICCASAMUPPĀDA [c]), they understand this as implying perpetual flux of everything all the time.
PATICCASAMUPPĀDA [c]:
Ven. Nyanavira wrote: [c] The notion of flux can be expressed thus: A = B, B = C, A C, where A, B, and C, are consecutive (Poincaré's definition of continuity). This contradiction can only be concealed by verbal legerdemain. (The origin of this misleading notion, as of so many others in the traditional interpretation, seems to be the Milindapañha, which, to judge by its simile of the flame, intends its formula na ca so na ca añño to be understood as describing continuous change.) The misunderstanding arises from failure to see that change at any given level of generality must be discontinuous and absolute, and that there must be different levels of generality. When these are taken together, any desired approximation to 'continuous change' can be obtained without contradiction. But change, as marking 'the passage of time', is no more than change of aspect or orientation: change of substance is not necessary, nor is movement. (See ANICCA [a], CITTA [a], & FUNDAMENTAL STRUCTURE.) Kierkegaard (op. cit., p. 277) points out that Heraclitus, who summed up his doctrine of universal flux in the celebrated dictum that one cannot pass through the same river twice, had a disciple who remarked that one cannot pass through the same river even once. If everything is changing, there is no change at all.

The assumption of a single absolute time, conceived as a uniform continuity (or flux) of instants, leads at once to a very common misconception of the Dhamma:

A. Even if I now perceive things as self-identically persisting in time, my present perception is only one out of a flux or continuous succession of perceptions, and there is no guarantee that I continue to perceive the same self-identities for two successive instants. All I am therefore entitled to say is that there appear to be self-identities persisting in time; but whether it is so or not in reality I am quite unable to discover.
B. The Buddha's teachings of impermanence and not-self answer this question in the negative: In reality no things exist, and if they appear to do so that is because of my ignorance of these teachings (which is avijjá).

But we may remark: (i) That A is the result of taking presumptively the rational view of time, and using it to question the validity of direct reflexive experience. But the rational view of time is itself derived, ultimately, from direct reflexive experience -- how can we know about time at all, if not from experience? --, and it is quite illegitimate to use it to dig away its own foundations. The fault is in the act of rationalization, in the attempt to see time from a point outside it; and the result -- a continuous succession of isolated instants each of no duration and without past or future (from a timeless point of view they are all present) -- is a monster. The distinction in A (as everywhere else) between 'appearance' and 'reality' is wholly spurious. (ii) That since our knowledge of time comes only from perception of change, the nature of change must be determined before we can know the structure of time. We have, therefore, no antecedent reason -- if we do not actually encounter the thing itself -- for entertaining the self-contradictory idea (see Poincaré above) of continuous change. (iii) That, whether or not we do actually perceive continuous change, we certainly perceive discontinuous changes (so much is admitted by A), and there is thus a prima-facie case at least in favour of the latter. (iv) That the experiments of the Gestalt psychologists indicate that, in fact, we perceive only discontinuous changes, not continuous change (cf. Sartre, op. cit., p. 190). (v) That if, nevertheless, we say that we do at times and in the normal way have intuitive experience, distinct and unambiguous, of continuous change, and if we also say that continuous change, in accordance with B, is what is meant by the teaching of impermanence, then it will follow that at such times we must enjoy a direct view of 'reality' and be free from avijjá. Why, then, should we need a Buddha to tell us these things? But if we reject the first premiss we shall have no longer any grounds for having to assert a uniformly continuous time, and if we reject the second we shall have no longer any grounds for wishing to assert it. (On the question of self-identity, see ATTÁ.)

Our undeniable experience of movement and similar things (e.g. the fading of lights) will no doubt be adduced as evidence of continuous change -- indeed, it will be said that they are continuous change. That movement is evidence of what it is, is quite certain; but it is not so certain that it is evidence of continuous change. We may understand movement as, at each level of generality, a succession of contiguous fixed finite trajectories (to borrow Sartre's expression), and each such trajectory, at the next lower level, as a relatively faster succession of lesser trajectories, and so on indefinitely. But, as discussed in FUNDAMENTAL STRUCTURE [h], our ability to perceive distinctions is limited, and this hierarchy of trajectories is anomalously apprehended as a series of discrete continuities of displacement -- which is, precisely, what we are accustomed to call movement. In other words, it is only where our power of discrimination leaves off that we start talking about 'continuous change'. (Consideration of the mechanism of the cinematograph -- see the foregoing reference -- is enough to show that continuous change cannot safely be inferred from the experience of movement; but it must not be supposed that the structure of movement can be reduced simply to the structure of the cinematograph film. See also FUNDAMENTAL STRUCTURE [m].)
In fact, if you read the book, I'm sure you'd have a better grasp on what he's talking about, and from that perhaps you could even write about why you think he's such a bad philosopher.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta

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tiltbillings
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:39 am

BlackBird wrote:
tiltbillings wrote: that he is talking some aspect of the mind/body process that would be unchanged for some interval that would allow from one time to the next their to be a sense of continuity, so I don’t think your analysis here is quite to the point.
Hello Tilt

Perhaps the following may be able to shed some more light for you:
Ven. Nyanavira wrote: Failing to make the necessary distinctions (see PATICCASAMUPPĀDA [c]), they understand this as implying perpetual flux of everything all the time.
PATICCASAMUPPĀDA [c]:
Ven. Nyanavira wrote:. . . .
In fact, if you read the book, I'm sure you'd have a better grasp on what he's talking about, and from that perhaps you could even write about why you think he's such a bad philosopher.
I suspect the convoluted, longwindedmess of the above discussion of PATICCASAMUPPĀDA could be reduced to far fewer sentences with a great deal more clarity. If this is how he writes in the book you are advocating, I would say no thank you. Life is far too short and there are better, more experienced teachers of the dhamma out there.

But let me ask you, in clear, concise English, what the heck is he saying?
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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tiltbillings
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:59 am

Jack, Let me just add, I am not trying to be difficult. I simply do not understand what Nanavira is getting at here.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by BlackBird » Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:03 am

tiltbillings wrote:Jack, Let me just add, I am not trying to be difficult. I simply do not understand what Nanavira is getting at here.
Well in that case, let me publicly apologize for the private message you just received, I'm sorry for being presumptuous and quite possibly rude. If someone else doesn't beat me to it, I'll be back on later and I'll do my best to explain what I think is meant by it.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta

Path Press - Ñāṇavīra Thera Dhamma Page - Ajahn Nyanamoli's Dhamma talks

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tiltbillings
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:21 am

BlackBird wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Jack, Let me just add, I am not trying to be difficult. I simply do not understand what Nanavira is getting at here.
Well in that case, let me publicly apologize for the private message you just received, I'm sorry for being presumptuous and quite possibly rude.
Oooops. Hate when that happens. I have not looked at it yet, but whatever it says, don't worry about it.

There is a challenge here for you. You obviously think highly of Nanavira and you find what he writes speaks to you, but his writing style is difficult, the thoughts he is discussing, complex, and you are being asked to restate what he is saying more simply, more concisely. Not always an easy thing to do, but maybe worth trying, just as an exercise for you in understanding what Nanavira is saying about a particular thing.

I wonder if this issue could be dealt with a bit more simply. I kind of think Nanavira might be making it somewhat more complicated than it needs to be, but what the heck do I know.

I'll tell you what, I am going take the dog for waklies so she can poop on the neighbor's yard; in the mean time if you want to delete the PM, feel free.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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BlackBird
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by BlackBird » Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:25 am

Alright I'll do my best, should have something sorted tomorrow.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta

Path Press - Ñāṇavīra Thera Dhamma Page - Ajahn Nyanamoli's Dhamma talks

Hoo
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by Hoo » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:07 pm

Paññāsikhara wrote:Careful, you may be surprised! :tongue:
There are at least a couple of people with PhDs in Buddhist studies and similar on this thread.
I doubt I'd be very surprised :) I've seen a couple of posters with what appears to be good experience with working philosophy. There are a couple I'd suspect of having at least strong minors in philosophy. I've also seen some posts that don't reflect much philosophy training. And there are some that seem to be not in line with the philosophy they are discussing, they are affirmations of belief.

There is nothing wrong with any of that. But theology is not the best tool for discussing the nature of (insert term) outside that theological belief. And IMHO, proof is not an issue.

My interest is mainly to see how much training is in this mix. It's instructive to me on whether to pay much attention to it or whether to spend time on long posts in more productive arenas.

Hoo

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Alex123
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by Alex123 » Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:23 pm

tiltbillings wrote:Sure, but let us do it as a dialogue. What is it that "endures unchanged for at least a certain interval of time?"

An interesting sutta
"It would be better for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person to hold to the body composed of the four great elements, rather than the mind, as the self. Why is that? Because this body composed of the four great elements is seen standing for a year, two years, three, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, a hundred years or more. But what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another. Just as a monkey, swinging through a forest wilderness, grabs a branch. Letting go of it, it grabs another branch. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. In the same way, what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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tiltbillings
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:26 pm

Alex123 wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Sure, but let us do it as a dialogue. What is it that "endures unchanged for at least a certain interval of time?"

An interesting sutta
"It would be better for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person to hold to the body composed of the four great elements, rather than the mind, as the self. Why is that? Because this body composed of the four great elements is seen standing for a year, two years, three, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, a hundred years or more. But what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another. Just as a monkey, swinging through a forest wilderness, grabs a branch. Letting go of it, it grabs another branch. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. In the same way, what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Yes, take a look at msg 10 in this thread: http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=6052#p94883
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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