impermanence

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Re: impermanence

Postby Parasamgate » Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:41 pm

5heaps wrote:
punya wrote:my guess is that the cup ceases to exist for you (ie non-inherently - if there is such a word!) at the moment it breaks.

thanks for answering the question
my question is about this final moment when it breaks.......is the cup there when it breaks? if its there, doesnt that means its not broken?


This is very tricky ;)

Reminds me a lot of zeno's paradox. But I will play...

I say that in the moment of breakage the cup is not there.
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Re: impermanence

Postby Parasamgate » Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:59 pm

Parasamgate wrote:Reminds me a lot of zeno's paradox. But I will play...

I say that in the moment of breakage the cup is not there.


This is what I was referring to:

"In the arrow paradox (also known as the fletcher's paradox), Zeno states that for motion to occur, an object must change the position which it occupies. He gives an example of an arrow in flight. He states that in any one (durationless) instant of time, the arrow is neither moving to where it is, nor to where it is not.[12] It cannot move to where it is not, because no time elapses for it to move there; it cannot move to where it is, because it is already there. In other words, at every instant of time there is no motion occurring. If everything is motionless at every instant, and time is entirely composed of instants, then motion is impossible."


Zeno's Arrow

From what I understand the question you are asking has little to do with matter, but rather it is a paradox that arises from our concept of time as a series of discreet moments. There have been several attempts at answering Zeno's paradox throughout he years and all the answers play with our common sense of definition of time. Is this the same flavor of question as your question about whether the cup exists at the moment it breaks or am I way off?
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Re: impermanence

Postby Parasamgate » Sun Mar 10, 2013 5:04 pm

Andrew108 wrote:Madhyamaka doesn't establish discrete moments. It doesn't establish impermanence as a fact or otherwise. The cup appears to break but there is never a moment of 'break'. Students who study Madhyamaka should always start with what Madhyamaka says about time. Then it's easier not to make claims or be a scholar who wants to establish something.


Where can I find what "Madhyamaka says about time." I would be very interested to compare and contrast with various western and scientific attempts at explaining Zeno's paradox.

Cheers!
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Re: impermanence

Postby Andrew108 » Sun Mar 10, 2013 6:00 pm

Hi there Parasamgate,
You can look at the root verses from 'The Fundamental Wisdom of The Middle Way'. I have this with commentary in a book called 'The Sun of Wisdom' by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche. Of course you can find these references in many places. Also the best thing is to look at your own experience.

Chapter 2 An Examination of Coming and Going
'On the path that has been travelled, there is no moving
On the path that has not been travelled, there is no moving either,
And in some other place besides the path that has been travelled
and the path that has not,
Motions are not perceptible in any way at all.'

Also

Chapter 19 An Examination of Time
'If the present and future depended on the past
the present and the future would exist in the past.'

Also in Chandrakirti's 'Entering the Middle Way'

'The present does not abide; the past and future do not exist.'

In Mahamudra and Dzogchen attachment to the three times as being real is considered a wrong view.We don't get to realize equality and we can get proud by thinking we have been studying and practicing buddhism for a longtime. If you do prostrations with these verses in mind then it's really good.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
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Re: impermanence

Postby 5heaps » Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:05 am

Tom wrote:
5heaps wrote:without becoming quickly confused yet again, the question is, how does that basis come to and end. so far we have answers like, energy is transmitted through veins until it breaks, or that the cup (the thing to which the word cup refers to) still exists because it can be reassembled even though it is broken.

You misunderstood my explanation of Dharmakiriti's position.

not at all, i wasnt talking about your position. you are the only person that i dont disagree with, the above are explanations given my other people

with respect to "why calling a car a book is valid but calling shards a cup is not", that would require a long explanation. it has to do with the fact that here im using the simpler, more generally accepted nongelug usage of valid, where the validity of the conceptual appearance is judged at the level of whether the appearing object is correct relative to its basis, rather than the gelug version which judges the conceived object relative to its object of operation. thus, for most gelugs appearing objects themselves as simple appearances are never mistaken, funninly enough not even for [the appearing objects of] nonconceptual hallucinations. in short, in gelug, i think we would say that calling shards a cup is valid but it does not refer to a cup. for a nongelug, the simple fact of not referring to a cup as defined by the category "cup", by definition makes it an invalid cognition.
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Re: impermanence

Postby 5heaps » Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:29 am

Andrew108 wrote:Madhyamaka doesn't establish discrete moments.

yes it does. discrete moments a validly cognizable. what they dont establish are partless moments, partless particles, etc.

Pema Rigdzin wrote:Even according to mundane science we all know there's no such thing as an unbreakable particle. We all know what happens when you DO split atoms, for instance.

actually they are well on their way to finding elemental particles. in fact they have recently found some. they are so subtle that they are invisible, since they cannot interact with light.

And as for "unbreakable particles," Madhyamaka refutes those thoroughly.

not true. again, as for andrew108, there is a difference between being physically unbreakable, physically partless, and conceptually indivisible.
there is nothing wrong with being physical unbreakable..this is in fact almost the very definition of matter. if the aggregate of matter were itself physically breakable this would annihilate the aggregate of matter. luckily it is physically unbreakable, yet absent of true existence, since it depends on its parts, since it is not partless nor conceptually indivisible.

that's just an absurd statement that flies in the face of common knowledge and experience.

well, if a cup is a cup at the time of its breaking, then its not broken, since its a cup.
unbreakable particles and cups have the same properities ie. physically obstruct, function, are momentary, etc. gold and silver do not need to be precisely equivalent in order to both be types of form, just as unbreakable particles and cups do not need to be precisely equivalent to both be form. also, particles do not "become" cups. particles aggregate at which point the cup is produced. lastly, Nagarjuna, Chandrakirti, etc all accept impermanence.
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Re: impermanence

Postby Andrew108 » Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:51 am

Stick with the intention and you'll be fine. The good thing with Madhyamaka is that it doesn't take itself so seriously. You know high view depends on low view and vice versa, and so there is no highest Madyamaka view that can be established. Good eh?
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
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Re: impermanence

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:15 pm

5heaps wrote: calling shards a cup is valid but it does not refer to a cup.
I think you have answered your original question.
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Re: impermanence

Postby Parasamgate » Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:05 pm

5heaps wrote:
Andrew108 wrote:Madhyamaka doesn't establish discrete moments.

yes it does. discrete moments a validly cognizable. what they dont establish are partless moments, partless particles, etc.


I understand what you are saying regarding particles being unbreakable and yet having parts, but I am not sure I understand the same when it comes to time. Are you saying that Madyamaka does not accept "durationless" discrete moments? What does it mean to theorize a discrete moment of some duration that can not be divided further? Is this the plank time you are talking about?

I would also like to know what you think of my answer that at the moment of breaking it is not a cup. Finally, what do you think of the analogy to Zeno's paradox? Is this the same flavor?
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Re: impermanence

Postby 5heaps » Mon Mar 11, 2013 6:36 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
5heaps wrote: calling shards a cup is valid but it does not refer to a cup.
I think you have answered your original question.

no, this is from a very specific context (gelug). the words dont mean what they usually mean. it also still doesnt prove your point, since the discussion is about the impermanence of the cup not the impermanence of the valid but incorrect appearance of 'cup'. in nongelug 'cup' onto shards is automatically incorrect and invalid since shards cannot fit into the category 'cup'. will reply to your previous post a bit later when i have some time

Parasamgate wrote:What does it mean to theorize a discrete moment of some duration that can not be divided further?

it can be divided further since it has parts, and it can also be conceptually dividable. however it is "unbreakable" in the sense that it is, to paraphrase the definition, 'the minimum duration it takes for an action to be performed'

Is this the same flavor?

havent studied those indepth but it seems that those paradoxes make too many assumptions ie. that just because something if infinitely divisible both according to its parts and also conceptually, that this necessarily implies that is not be "unbreakable"/fundamental

I say that in the moment of breakage the cup is not there.

but then you know what my reply will be... if theres no cup present at the time of breakage then quite literally theres no cup there that can end
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Re: impermanence

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon Mar 11, 2013 8:34 pm

5heaps wrote: the discussion is about the impermanence of the cup not the impermanence of the valid but incorrect appearance of 'cup'.


I assume that by "valid but incorrect"
you mean that the appearance of a cup occurs, that's an undeniable event.
but that this appearance itself is somewhat illusory, thus incorrect.

Correct me if my understanding of your statement is wrong.

By "appearance", do you mean
.... all of its physical characteristics,
meaning that "cup" is not a collection of shards put a single, concave object?
If not, then what does 'appearance" mean?

I ask this because, if by 'appearance' you are not referring to its physical characteristics,
then what else is there, beyond its physical characteristics
are you referring to as the cup?
Because you assert that
the appearance of the physical characteristic of it (being a single object)
is valid, but incorrect.

Please tell me, when you have the time,
what do you regard as the difference between
cup and appearance of cup.
Please answer, when you have the time,
What I asked you before: What makes it a cup?

And if you have time, based on that answer,
and in terms of your own understanding of emptiness,
please answer this:
Is it the case that there is a final moment of a cup, in which it breaks,
or is it the case that the cup no longer exists during the moment that it breaks?
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Last edited by PadmaVonSamba on Mon Mar 11, 2013 9:09 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: impermanence

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon Mar 11, 2013 8:54 pm

5heaps wrote: the discussion is about the impermanence of the cup not the impermanence of the valid but incorrect appearance of 'cup'.
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AGAIN, I ASK...
based on your own understanding of emptiness,
please answer this:
Is it the case that there is a final moment of a cup, in which it breaks,
or is it the case that the cup no longer exists during the moment that it breaks?
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.
.
.
.
.
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Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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Re: impermanence

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Mon Mar 11, 2013 10:02 pm

Hairy cup is hairy ...

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Re: impermanence

Postby Parasamgate » Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:37 pm

5heaps wrote:
I say that in the moment of breakage the cup is not there.

but then you know what my reply will be... if theres no cup present at the time of breakage then quite literally theres no cup there that can end


Agreed.

So the conclusion would be that if this were true, then there is quite literally no discreet duration of time where the cup 'breaks'? There are two discreet moments of time lasting some duration: one where this a cup, and the next where there is no cup. The conclusion is there can be no moment of any duration between these two?

And yet my mind is grasping at that infinitesimal to try to understand where the 'breaking' happens.
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Re: impermanence

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:21 pm

Parasamgate wrote: There are two discreet moments of time lasting some duration: one where this a cup, and the next where there is no cup.
On what basis is this established?


Parasamgate wrote: And yet my mind is grasping at that infinitesimal to try to understand where the 'breaking' happens.
Has it occurred to you that the breaking of a cup seems to occur quickly, only because of your perception?

There were two snails who went out to a garden to watch flowers open.
"oooooooh" said the one, "did you see that?"
"Darn! said the other, "I blinked!"

A cat, a snail, and a hummingbird are in a garden,
Each perceives their own speed of movement as "normal speed".
The snail sees the cat's movement as a blur,
just as the cat sees the hummingbird.

The Humming bird sees the cat's movement as really, really slow,
just as the cat sees the snail.

The hummingbird can see the snail, but is unable to detect any movement in the snail at all,
just as we cannot easily detect the movement of the hour hand on a clock.
The snail cannot perceive the existence of the hummingbird at all.

The smashing of a cup may take place over an incredibly long time period
but due to our perception, it seems as though it happens in a split second.

So, how can you establish "discreet moments of time lasting some duration"?
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Re: impermanence

Postby 5heaps » Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:45 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:therein lies the error of your argument.
if it is impermanent/changing, it is not a thing.

every tenet system in buddhism accepts things. for example produced things which are compounded, momentary, and luckily for me, validly knowable.

my usage of 'appearance' here refers to the appearing object that a person forms in order to know a cup conceptually. its the mental image/category 'cup' that is imputed in dependence on having for example seen external form. the actual cup is that external form which acts as the basis for the mental image. what makes that external form a cup is that it is validly knowable as a cup. its validly known as a cup because it is validly labeled 'cup'. most things cannot be validly labeled 'cup' because they (external form for example) lack necessary characteristics. an elephant for example is not a cup, since it cannot be validly known as a cup. it cant be validly known as a cup because it cannot be validly labeled 'cup'. a blind person might label some part of the elephant 'cup', but this is an invalid perception. gelugpas have unique and technical differences

Is it the case that there is a final moment of a cup, in which it breaks,
or is it the case that the cup no longer exists during the moment that it breaks?

i would say there is a cup in the final moment. the trick is knowing the nature of endings so that you can get out of the absurdity this answer creates: if theres a cup in the final moment this means it has not yet begun ending

Parasamgate wrote:The conclusion is there can be no moment of any duration between these two?

there has to be a duration of the moments themselves. i dont have any idea how it is possible to assert something without parts, in the case of duration, a beginning middle and end. i think if we say that a moment has no beginning middle and end, then we surely have annihilated the moment altogether. and if we are talking about 2 moments each with their own parts, the moments have to be different. if upon deeper investigation we find that the 2 actually share an essential basis, i think its a mistake to think that this invalidates a valid cognition of 2 moments.
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Re: impermanence

Postby Parasamgate » Thu Mar 14, 2013 5:21 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:Has it occurred to you that the breaking of a cup seems to occur quickly, only because of your perception?


I think you might be misunderstanding the basis for this exercise. This is my perception... 5heaps has certain definitions and if we adopt these definitions, then we run into a seeming paradox when thinking about the breaking of the cup. Here is how I would state the definitions so as to make the paradox clear.

A 'cup' is that which we would normally think of as a cup - my mind thinks of my teacher's cup that I fill before class with water to show respect and place on the table beside his seat at the beginning of class at my local dharma center - but the important part of the definition is that a broken cup IS NOT a cup. By definition. Perhaps you disagree with this definition. No matter. This is what 5heaps wishes us to adopt as our definition for the purposes of this discussion and if you do adopt this definition, then the paradox should become clear.

Now, with this definition firmly in mind go back to the original question in the first post in this thread:

is it the case that there is a final moment of a cup, in which it breaks,
or is it the case that the cup no longer exists during the moment that it breaks?


Possibility #1 can not be true according to our definition because in this 'final moment' we can not assert there is a cup which breaks. Because, recall, our definition of a cup says that a broken cup IS NOT a cup. So at the precise time/moment the broken cup arises, quite literally according to our definition, a cup does not exist.

Possibility #2 seems to be the only answer that our definition will allow. This is why I gave #2 as my answer, but it seems weird to my common sense mind that a cup no longer exists during the moment it breaks. Although I have to admit my mind is growing more and more comfortable with it.

Anyway, I think what you are doing is arguing with the definition. Which is fine. But with my answer I was trying to adopt 5heaps definition in order to understand the problem he is trying to resolve with this definition.
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Re: impermanence

Postby Parasamgate » Thu Mar 14, 2013 5:34 pm

5heaps wrote:
Is it the case that there is a final moment of a cup, in which it breaks,
or is it the case that the cup no longer exists during the moment that it breaks?

i would say there is a cup in the final moment. the trick is knowing the nature of endings so that you can get out of the absurdity this answer creates: if theres a cup in the final moment this means it has not yet begun ending


Can you expand upon this trick? Because you seem to contradict yourself here. If there is a cup in the final moment in which it breaks, then in this moment a broken cup is a cup. Which contradicts your definition to my perception.

5heaps wrote:
Parasamgate wrote:The conclusion is there can be no moment of any duration between these two?

there has to be a duration of the moments themselves.


I don't disagree. The key word above is "between". I continue to say that in the final moment in which it breaks there is no cup. I am saying that if we look at the timeline where a cup breaks we have precisely two moments and no moment can arise between these moments. Each of our two moments has a duration and thus each of our two moments has parts. But these two moments can not be combined and divided into three moments. Which from what I understand fits your definition of moments of some duration and thus parts, but which nevertheless cannot be divided.

Here are the moments graphically illustrated:

<--begin--middle--end-->*<--begin--middle--end-->

The crucial point is that there is no moment between them. In the first moment a cup exists. In the second moment a broken cup exists. And there is no moment in between these two. Thus the answer to your question is the second possibility and this is how it happens. The definitions you put forward for cup sets it up so that these are the properties of time. Moments of some duration that has parts - begin, middle, end - but that can not be divided or combined.

What do you think?

PS The asterisk above is what I was talking about when I said this:

And yet my mind is grasping at that infinitesimal to try to understand where the 'breaking' happens.
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Re: impermanence

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:53 pm

5heaps wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:therein lies the error of your argument.
if it is impermanent/changing, it is not a thing.

every tenet system in buddhism accepts things. for example produced things which are compounded, momentary, and luckily for me, validly knowable.


But that's the whole problem.
You are referring to the cup as though it had inherent reality (intrinsic cupness)
and asking what happens to that intrinsic reality when the cup breaks,
because you assert that at the moment the cup breaks
that intrinsic reality is no longer there,
and you can't figure out where it went
or precisely at what moment.
But it doesn't have intrinsic reality,
and no tenet system in Buddhism accepts that it does.
Whatever aspect of the cup is impermanent/changing has no intrinsic reality.


5heaps wrote:my usage of 'appearance' here refers to the appearing object that a person forms in order to know a cup conceptually.
Which is why it only "ends" as a cup, conceptually.
Thus, it ends whenever you think it does,
in your own mind.

Again, you pose a question,
then refute answers which are in agreement with Buddhist teachings,
so I throw your own question back at you, again, and again,
Is it the case that there is a final moment of a cup, in which it breaks,
or is it the case that the cup no longer exists during the moment that it breaks?
.
.
.
Last edited by PadmaVonSamba on Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:19 pm, edited 8 times in total.
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Re: impermanence

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:00 pm

Parasamgate wrote:
A 'cup' is that which we would normally think of as a cup - my mind thinks of my teacher's cup that I fill before class with water to show respect and place on the table beside his seat at the beginning of class at my local dharma center - but the important part of the definition is that a broken cup IS NOT a cup. By definition. Perhaps you disagree with this definition. No matter. This is what 5heaps wishes us to adopt as our definition for the purposes of this discussion and if you do adopt this definition, then the paradox should become clear.


Well, "paradox" is an interesting term for it.
"faulty premise" is a better term for it.
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The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
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