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Momentary discrete citta and conditionality - Dhamma Wheel

Momentary discrete citta and conditionality

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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Momentary discrete citta and conditionality

Postby Alex123 » Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:26 pm

Hello all,

Something I was wondering for some time, and from what I understand, this difficult point is quite known.

If only one present moment exists at a time, then it means that past no longer exists.
How causes in the past (which no longer exist) affect the mind now, in the present?
How can something non-existent be a cause for the present effect?
If cause is different from its effect, then there needs to be at least two moments to exist. One moment is cause, another moment is its effect. But does that cause itself causeless or does it itself has a cause? This would require infinite regress. We may say that cause and effect is found in one citta or one moment, but this would be self-causality where the citta is its own cause and effect.

Even if we accept that sum total and mixture of ALL causes and accumulations are passed from one citta to the next one, it still has a problem.

How does one citta that ceases in order for another one to arise pass all the accumulations if it has to cease for the next citta to arise and take them?
For the question it doesn't matter if one citta arises instantly after ceased citta, or if it arises and is the first citta after lets say 500 Aeons.
Even if we posit bhavaṅga-citta, or momentary ālaya-vijñāna, the question is still the same. How can accumulations be passed (from citta to citta, or from bhavaṅga to bhavaṅga) if one moment with all accumulations has to cease for the next moment to arise? If all accumulations cease with that citta or bhavaṅga, from where would the next citta or bhavaṅga take them?


One of the things could be that this is artificial breaking citta into "mind moments" is an abstraction that can create the above paradoxes. Maybe we shouldn't picture process of cittas as one domino falling causing the other to fall with there being only one domino that exists at a time. So how can only one existing domino that causes itself to fall exist?

What solutions do you see other then saying "don't speculate, just practice"?
"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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retrofuturist
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Re: Momentary discrete citta and conditionality

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:51 pm

"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

MattJ
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Re: Momentary discrete citta and conditionality

Postby MattJ » Fri Sep 16, 2011 12:10 am

Alex,

I think you're hitting some important points about what happens when we atomize "moments". Your post sounds a lot like the arguments Nagarjuna makes.

If time is made up of atomic moments, then how can there be room for motion or changed? Motion in the past is moved. Motion in the future has not yet come about. Motion in the present moment alone is not motion at all. So how do things move?

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Alex123
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Re: Momentary discrete citta and conditionality

Postby Alex123 » Fri Sep 16, 2011 1:10 am

Hi Matt,

As I understand the Orthodox perspective is that motion doesn't exist. What happens is that parts appear and instanteneously cease at different locations thus giving only an illusion of motion.

My original question was even more serious. When one *moment with all its accumulations ceases, how does the arisen moment pick up those accumulations that have ceased?

moment can contain: citta, bhavaṅga, kamma, accumulations, etc
"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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ground
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Re: Momentary discrete citta and conditionality

Postby ground » Fri Sep 16, 2011 2:05 am


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robertk
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Re: Momentary discrete citta and conditionality

Postby robertk » Fri Sep 16, 2011 7:05 am

does the seed have the oak tree inside it?

Why would accumulations being passed on by a problem to understand?

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Re: Momentary discrete citta and conditionality

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Sep 16, 2011 7:11 am


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Alex123
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Re: Momentary discrete citta and conditionality

Postby Alex123 » Fri Sep 16, 2011 7:05 pm

"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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octathlon
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Re: Momentary discrete citta and conditionality

Postby octathlon » Fri Sep 16, 2011 10:30 pm

The causes and conditions that caused the previous one to arise, cause the next one to arise though they are just slightly different now.

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Alex123
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Re: Momentary discrete citta and conditionality

Postby Alex123 » Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:06 pm

"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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octathlon
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Re: Momentary discrete citta and conditionality

Postby octathlon » Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:46 pm


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Alex123
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Re: Momentary discrete citta and conditionality

Postby Alex123 » Sat Sep 17, 2011 12:18 am

"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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Re: Momentary discrete citta and conditionality

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Sep 17, 2011 12:27 am


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ground
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Re: Momentary discrete citta and conditionality

Postby ground » Sat Sep 17, 2011 2:09 am

I wonder whether there is a linguistic expression, i.e. term that negates the concept caused by the term "continuity" while at the same time not implying "continuity" by itself. "Moment" or "momentary" do not appear to be appropriate.


Kind regards

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acinteyyo
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Re: Momentary discrete citta and conditionality

Postby acinteyyo » Sat Sep 17, 2011 2:10 am

Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

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Alex123
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Re: Momentary discrete citta and conditionality

Postby Alex123 » Sat Sep 17, 2011 4:43 pm

What I do believe is that analysis into parts, or synthesis into wholes is relative and is an activity of the mind. Perhaps "parts" and "wholes" are concepts that do not have objective reference. Ex: wheel is a part of a car, but it is also a whole when compared to its parts. It depends on a perspective which can be relative for different people and different circumstances. Maybe trying to imagine citta as series of balls like "oooooooo" hitting each other is conceptual and thus does not have to objectively correspond to the phenomena.

But what I did show in this thread is the paradox and questions if one to reify moments as little discreet balls that sometimes occurred to me as I was reading CMA (Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma by Bhikkhu Bodhi).
"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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ground
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Re: Momentary discrete citta and conditionality

Postby ground » Sun Sep 18, 2011 4:28 am


pegembara
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Re: Momentary discrete citta and conditionality

Postby pegembara » Sun Sep 18, 2011 5:33 am

And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

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DarwidHalim
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Re: Momentary discrete citta and conditionality

Postby DarwidHalim » Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:04 am

I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!


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