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Everything is impermanent?? - Dhamma Wheel

Everything is impermanent??

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seeker242
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Everything is impermanent??

Postby seeker242 » Tue Mar 13, 2012 2:54 am

I hear people say things like "Everything is impermanent!" but is that really true? What do you all think? I hold the view that the truth of the Dhamma is not impermanent because it is not a thing that is "constructed", etc. The fact that the 5 aggregates have the nature of the 3 marks of existence is not impermanent, correct? They have always had these marks and they will always have these marks, yes? These marks are permanent, can't be removed or changed, always there. That is what the below says to me anyway. Curious to what others think. :)

"Bhikkhus, whether Tathāgatas appear or do not appear, there is always
this constantly established element of Dhamma, this fixed law of Dhamma
:
All that is conditioned and constructed is impermanent. To this aTathāgata
fully awakens and fully understands. So awakened and thus understanding,
he announces, points it out, declares, establishes, expounds, and explains it,
classifies and clarifies it: All that is conditioned is actually impermanent...
Bhikkhus, whetherTathāgatas appear or do not appear, there is always this
precedent condition and absolute of Dhamma
, this anchored law of Dhamma:
All that is conditioned and constructed is unsatisfactory, & thus suffering!
To this aTathāgata fully awakens and fully understands. So awakened and
thus understanding, he announces, points out, declares, establishes, explains,
and clarifies it: All that is conditioned and constructed is indeed Suffering!
Bhikkhus, whether Tathāgatas appear or do not appear, there is always this
situation present, a subtle truth of Dhamma
, this safe doctrine of Dhamma:
All states are without a self! To this fact anyTathāgata fully awakens and
fully understands. So awakened and understanding, he announces, points out,
declares, establishes, explains, and clarifies it: All states are without self!"
Anguttara Nikāya I 285

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mikenz66
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Re: Everything is impermanent??

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:08 am

Hi Seeker,

Yes. And, of course, the Classical Theravada (and commonsense, if you ask me :)) view is that it also makes no sense to talk about impermanence of concepts (like 1+1=2, or "self").

:anjali:
Mike

vinasp
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Re: Everything is impermanent??

Postby vinasp » Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:39 am

Hi everyone,

"But, Sona, those ascetics and brahmins who understand [form], its
origin, its cessation, and the way leading to its cessation: these
I consider to be ascetics among ascetics and brahmins among brahmins,
and these venerable ones, by realizing it for themselves with direct
knowledge, in this very life enter and abide in the goal of asceticism
and the goal of brahminhood."

Replace [form] with [feeling], [perception], [volitional formations],
and [consciousness].

[ Bhikkhu Bodhi, Connected Discourses, page 889, SN 22.50 - Sona (2) ]

Regards, Vincent.

vinasp
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Re: Everything is impermanent??

Postby vinasp » Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:36 am

Hi everyone,

"[Form], Ananda, is impermanent, conditioned, dependently arisen, subject
to destruction, to vanishing, to fading away, to cessation. Through its
cessation, cessation is spoken of."

Replace [Form] with [Feeling], [Perception], [Volitional formations],
and [Consciousness].

[ Bhikkhu Bodhi, Connected Discourses, page 871, part of SN 22.21 ]

Regards, Vincent.

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retrofuturist
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Re: Everything is impermanent??

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:58 am

"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)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

vinasp
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Re: Everything is impermanent??

Postby vinasp » Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:33 am

Hi seeker242,

Quote: "I hear people say things like "Everything is impermanent!" but is that really true?"

In my opinion, the Buddha never said that. Those who say this probably
mean that nothing should be clung to.

Quote:"I hold the view that the truth of the Dhamma is not impermanent because it is not a thing that is "constructed", etc."

I agree. The Buddha said: "All constructed things are impermanent."

Quote:"The fact that the 5 aggregates have the nature of the 3 marks of existence is not impermanent, correct?"

As a general truth it is true at all times for all people. But for a given
individual it may, or may not, be true.

Quote:"They have always had these marks and they will always have these marks, yes?"

Again, as a general truth - yes. For an individual it may not be true.

Quote:"These marks are permanent, can't be removed or changed, always there."

No. Those are characteristics of the aggregates, but when the five aggregates have ceased, then they are no longer present, so they cannot have those characteristics.

Regards, Vincent.

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Re: Everything is impermanent??

Postby Goofaholix » Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:47 am


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daverupa
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Re: Everything is impermanent??

Postby daverupa » Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:37 am

"sabbe sankhara anicca", not "everything is impermanent". Perhaps "all concoctions are impermanent" or "...fabrications...". It is the case that the N8P is such (MN 44).

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Re: Everything is impermanent??

Postby Kim OHara » Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:54 am


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Re: Everything is impermanent??

Postby Zom » Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:01 pm


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mikenz66
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Re: Everything is impermanent??

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:57 pm


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seeker242
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Re: Everything is impermanent??

Postby seeker242 » Thu Mar 15, 2012 12:36 pm

Thanks for the comments! Good ones! :)

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kirk5a
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Re: Everything is impermanent??

Postby kirk5a » Thu Mar 15, 2012 12:55 pm

"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

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mikenz66
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Re: Everything is impermanent??

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Mar 15, 2012 7:42 pm


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kirk5a
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Re: Everything is impermanent??

Postby kirk5a » Thu Mar 15, 2012 7:49 pm

"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

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mikenz66
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Re: Everything is impermanent??

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:51 pm

Hi Kirk,

As I said, we will probably never agree. But to me, however you want to label it, there is a very obvious difference between the conditioned physical/mental activities (i.e. khandhas) that anicca applies to (as in my above quote) and concepts such as "1+1=2" or "self". The "thinking about" those concepts rises, persists, and ceases. The concepts are just concepts.

It's very likely the labels that are the sticking point...

What I'm saying, is, of course basically standard Theravada doctrine, but I don't think one needs to drag in the whole baggage of paramattha dhammas and so on to appreciate these distinctions.

Some arguments against this view seem to be arguing that the khandhas are conditioned, so therefore are also "conceptual", so the distinction into "conceptual" and "non-conceptual" is useless. There is, of course, some fuzziness in any classification. However, I think that the argument glosses over some important and useful distinctions.

:anjali:
Mike

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Kim OHara
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Re: Everything is impermanent??

Postby Kim OHara » Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:57 pm


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Re: Everything is impermanent??

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Mar 16, 2012 12:31 am


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Re: Everything is impermanent??

Postby Kenshou » Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:41 am

I wonder if part of the difference in perspective is a difference in what part of a "concept" is the most salient.

If we consider a concept in terms of what it represents in general as a single thing, we could say that anicca doesn't apply because that generalized nature of the concept is in fact, not something that actually exists out there somehow, it's just an abstraction. (intentionally avoiding a Platonic implication, here)

If we consider a concept in terms of the parts that comprise it, it might make sense to say that a concept is subject to anicca because all the actual mental pieces and events which make it up it can be seen to change over time. When I saw a green apple for the first time, my concept of "apple" gained a new association. I don't think it's too dangerous to say that at that point, my concept changed. And just as we learn new things, we forget, too.

I don't think either is really wrong but it depends how you look at it.


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