impermanence

Moderator: Tibetan Buddhism moderators

Re: impermanence

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Sat Mar 09, 2013 1:08 pm

5heaps wrote:
Pema Rigdzin wrote:There can't be a moment of breaking. A cup is either broken or it's not.

ok, then the question is, how did it break? if the cup is ended/broken then its not a cup "which is either broken or.."

I don't see how that question follows... Because breaking is something we only talk about on the conventional level, the level of appearances, and on that level we're all well aware of how cups can break. And I don't get your last statement. When not broken, a cup is a cup. When chipped, it's a chipped cup. When smashed to shards, it's a cup that's been smashed to shards. Statements and understandings about phenomena on the conventional aka relative level correspond with how things appear to ordinary people.
Pema Rigdzin
 
Posts: 1030
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 3:19 am
Location: Southern Oregon

Re: impermanence

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Sat Mar 09, 2013 1:24 pm

5heaps wrote: any notion of a cup being a broken cup is a pure fantasy. its just a name. a test for this is that the word 'broken cup' does not refer to any cup, whereas the word 'cup' does refer to a cup

The word cup doesn't refer to just one thing. My girlfriend's wearing some cups right now that I probably wouldn't try to drink my coffee out of. There are also measuring cups, tea cups, coffee cups, Styrofoam cups, ceramic cups, cups that aren't even objects to hold substances but which are measurements of the amount of a substance, etc. I'm sure there are other kinds of cups I'm forgetting. Also, an intact cup is no less a fantasy than a broken cup. Why? An intact cup is just an aggregate of many different composite parts that are themselves made up of smaller aggregates, like molecules, which themselves are made of atoms, which are composed of subatomic parts, on down to space. And on a macro level, all these parts--like the clay and the fire and the glaze, etc--being acquired and then formed into a cup took copious amounts of conditions to conventionally produce this cup that you take more seriously than a broken cup. Seems to me like it takes fewer conditions for the cup to break than for it to be formed in the first place.
Pema Rigdzin
 
Posts: 1030
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 3:19 am
Location: Southern Oregon

Re: impermanence

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sat Mar 09, 2013 2:19 pm

5heaps wrote: just as ox, horses, cows are all members of the their respective categories due to their physical designs/characteristics.

No, we ourselves put ox, horses, cows into categories because of completely arbitrary criteria.
Cows and apples share the category of "things people eat".
An apple and a table might share the category of "things which come from apple trees"
if the table is made from apple tree wood,
and a cows and a tables share the category of "things with 4 legs".

objects are empty of intrinsic characteristics such as these categories.


5heaps wrote: even if you define the cup arbitrarily, the object that the word cup refers to must still at some point break and no longer be adequately definable by that name.


So, your question is actually not "when does the cup end?" but rather:
"at what point does the designation we give an object cease to apply to that object?"
...and you are asking if it is at some point at which the object falls apart,
and how do we determine when that point is.

The answer is that since the designation comes from us, and not from the object,
it ceases whenever we decide it ceases. It is purely a matter of opinion.

Another way to ask this is,
"at what point does an object cease to fit into the category we have created for it?"
because obviously, a cup that breaks no longer fits into the category of, say,
things which can hold tea or coffee
--if that's the criteria that we use for categorizing cups
but might still fit into the category of
things made of porcelain
--if that's the criteria that we use for categorizing cups
which is why you are correct that it ceases to be a cup
and I am also correct, it is still a cup, but it's now a broken cup.
The pivotal factor is not the cup,
which is void of any intrinsic reality,
but of the arbitrary categories where we have placed the object .

The reason the answer was elusive was because it wasn't exactly the right question.
.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
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.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
 
Posts: 2845
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: impermanence

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:03 pm

kirtu wrote: A cup is precisely a cup because a person can hold it in their hands and use it to drink liquids (or scoop rice and put it in a pot). It's function is to hold liquids (or rice, etc.).

So, you are saying that anything that does this is a cup, and that
a bowl, or a soup can can also be regarded as a cup if it is used for the functions you describe.
Thus, "cup" is a matter of function, rather than being due to any physical characteristic of an object.

kirtu wrote:Why is a slightly cupped plate (as most plate are) not a cup? Because it can't easily hold a reasonable measure of liquid.
This also establishes "cup" as a type of function, but does not explain what "easily' and "reasonable measure" are. A plate placed under a flower pot to catch the drainage of excess water does so easily and holds a reasonable measure of liquid.

kirtu wrote: A cup fails to be a cup after it can not longer function as a cup. For some people that means when the cup becomes chipped. For others it means that when the cup is utterly destroyed. There is no final moment f the cup beyond that.
So, it ceases to be a cup when one or another person decides it is not a cup. Thus, what makes it a cup is not dependent on characteristics of the object, but merely on the opinion of the observer.

If a cup is a cup because of some assumed function, then the question arises,
"before it functions as intended, is it a cup?" in other words,
it only becomes a cup the moment that you pour liquid into it,
or hold it in your hands, or drink from it,
and ceases to be a cup when the liquid is gone.
Last edited by PadmaVonSamba on Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
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.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
 
Posts: 2845
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: impermanence

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:21 pm

In 1936, Méret Oppenheim created this cup and saucer in fur for a Surrealist exhibition.
Although it has various interpretations artistically,
it also begs the question of whether or not it is in fact a cup
(disregarding that it is fur glued onto a tea cup, saucer and spoon).

It only really functions as a cup visually.
it would be totally impractical to use functionally.
It points out that
a physical "thing" is only a material representation of an abstract idea
that we have about what something is, or should look like.
That is why the image is a little bit shocking at first,
because it takes what we assume,
and messes that up.

Is it a cup if what it holds, and is designed to hold
is not a liquid, but someone's attention?

in order to answer the question
"when does an object cease to be that object?",
one has to look at what components arise which cause us to define it as that object
but also, where the definition of that object arises from,
which is no where else but the imagination.

In the context of Sunyata, emptiness,
definitions of things are completely imputed.
A thing is only what we think it is or say it is
precisely because we think it is or say it is.
Beyond what we imagine, things have no intrinsic definition,
no inherent reality, ultimately.

Relatively, of course. I have a whole cupboard full of cups,
due in part, no doubt, to an overactive imagination.
But the Queen of England is really only the Queen
because everyone thinks she's the queen.

Thinking that things are "real" in this way,
and attaching our thoughts to that idea of
some intrinsic reality of things,
is precisely what is referred to as wrong view.
.
.
.
Attachments
cups.gif
cups.gif (31.63 KiB) Viewed 321 times
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
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.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
 
Posts: 2845
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: impermanence

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sat Mar 09, 2013 4:12 pm

Consider this picture.
if you ask anybody what this is, they will tell you it is an American flag.
However, if you look closely, you will see it only has 6 red stripes
and an American flag, by definition, has 7 red stripes.
So, the question is,
since it does not exactly fit
the definition of an American flag,
would you say,
no, it is in fact not an American flag,
or yes, it is an American flag that is merely missing one stripe?

Which is it?

Looking below that, we see a red stripe.
if before, we said yes, that the upper portion of the image is in fact an American flag
that is merely missing one stripe,
then by the same reasoning,
we must say that the red stripe shown below it
is also an American flag
but that it is simply missing a whole bunch of red and white stripes,
and a blue rectangle and a bunch of stars,
and that the red stripe is not, as might be assumed,
a Communist Party arm band.

So, which is it?

In this example, we can see that
any material object that we would say is a flag,
or arm band for that matter,
is only a physical representation of a mental concept
and that while it can be argued that flags occur,
truly, they only really exist in the mind
(if even there...another debatable point!)
Flags seen by the eye, whether on paper, in cloth, on a computer screen, etc.
merely represent, accurately or inaccurately,
a mental concept.

it is exactly the same with cups or anything else.
They have no intrinsic reality to them that either begins or ends.
Attachments
aflag.gif
aflag.gif (15.39 KiB) Viewed 316 times
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
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.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
 
Posts: 2845
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: impermanence

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Sun Mar 10, 2013 2:44 am

I think, in general, we categorize as "cups" things that look and act like cups. And we categorize as "broken cups" things that look and act like cups that are broken. I don't think this needs to be too philosophical. Madhyamaka pretty much just accepts things on the conventional level according to how ordinary people perceive them.

Nagarjuna, Chandra, et al, didn't seem to recognize a need to develop a way of looking at things on the conventional level that would only recognizable to philosophers with too much time on their hands. Instead, they just said "on the level of ordinary perception, an apple is an apple because there's some consensus about that. But ultimately, this apple doesn't ever really come into existence because of this and this and this; it doesn't endure because there was never anything to endure, and it doesn't cease for the same reason." They always just focused on refuting the ultimate existence of objects, the processes of production, movement, cessation, and so on. I can't think of anything more you'd need to analyze and contemplate.
Pema Rigdzin
 
Posts: 1030
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 3:19 am
Location: Southern Oregon

Re: impermanence

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sun Mar 10, 2013 3:43 am

Pema Rigdzin wrote:Nagarjuna, Chandra, et al, didn't seem to recognize a need to develop a way of looking at things on the conventional level that would only recognizable to philosophers with too much time on their hands. Instead, they just said "on the level of ordinary perception, an apple is an apple because there's some consensus about that. But ultimately, this apple doesn't ever really come into existence because of this and this and this; it doesn't endure because there was never anything to endure, and it doesn't cease for the same reason." They always just focused on refuting the ultimate existence of objects, the processes of production, movement, cessation, and so on. I can't think of anything more you'd need to analyze and contemplate.

Very nicely said.
Pema Rigdzin wrote: we categorize as "cups" things that look and act like cups.

Funny!
.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
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.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
 
Posts: 2845
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: impermanence

Postby 5heaps » Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:13 am

Pema Rigdzin wrote:
5heaps wrote:
Pema Rigdzin wrote:There can't be a moment of breaking. A cup is either broken or it's not.

ok, then the question is, how did it break? if the cup is ended/broken then its not a cup "which is either broken or.."

I don't see how that question follows... When not broken, a cup is a cup. When chipped, it's a chipped cup. When smashed to shards, it's a cup that's been smashed to shards. Statements and understandings about phenomena on the conventional aka relative level correspond with how things appear to ordinary people.

right, and the point is, how does a cup end. you say a cup CAN be broken. that means that there is a cup which is both a cup and a noncup (a noncup, since it is also broken)

The word cup doesn't refer to just one thing. My girlfriend's wearing some cups right now that I probably wouldn't try to drink my coffee out of. There are also measuring cups, tea cups, coffee cups, Styrofoam cups, ceramic cups, cups that aren't even objects to hold substances but which are measurements of the amount of a substance, etc. I'm sure there are other kinds of cups I'm forgetting.

thats a difference between the sound-generality 'cup' and the meaning-generality 'cup'. although the sound-generality is the same, the meaning-generality differs between drinking cups and a cup that women wear
5heaps
 
Posts: 432
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:09 am

Re: impermanence

Postby 5heaps » Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:20 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
5heaps wrote: just as ox, horses, cows are all members of the their respective categories due to their physical designs/characteristics.

No, we ourselves put ox, horses, cows into categories because of completely arbitrary criteria.

you say that as though i asserted the opposite somewhere, in some unfindable, unquotable place.

although we impute these mental images, nevertheless we do so on a valid basis. this basis is the thing which is impermanent/changing (conceptuality is permanent/unchanging). and so the question is about this basis, not the mental image.


The answer is that since the designation comes from us, and not from the object,
it ceases whenever we decide it ceases. It is purely a matter of opinion.

no, the basis does not end when you decide it does.

this seems incomprehensible to all you bad students of emptiness: although the imputation is arbitrary, nevertheless the basis which is imputed in dependence on still must at some point no longer be fit to be labeled accordingly. thus the end of that thing which the word cup refers to.

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.
5heaps
 
Posts: 432
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:09 am

Re: impermanence

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:29 am

5heaps wrote:right, and the point is, how does a cup end. you say a cup CAN be broken. that means that there is a cup which is both a cup and a noncup (a noncup, since it is also broken)

The Madhyamaka description of conventional reality just accords with ordinary perception. I.e., a cup can be made and a cup can be broken. The cup breaking works like this: the cup is sitting here on the counter one moment and then, oops!, I just turned and knocked it off by accident and it broke into shards. End of story. Though, if you wanna, you could say that the illusory conditions holding this illusory cup together were interrupted by its illusory crash to the illusory floor.

On the ultimate level, since a cup has no "cup nature" at all because it's dependently originated, no cup was ever truly produced, so there's no cup to endure or be broken. So where's the opportunity for this "cup and non-cup" you speak of? Either on the conventional level or the ultimate level?
Pema Rigdzin
 
Posts: 1030
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 3:19 am
Location: Southern Oregon

Re: impermanence

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:40 am

5heaps wrote:although we impute these mental images, nevertheless we do so on a valid basis. this basis is the thing which is impermanent/changing (conceptuality is permanent/unchanging). and so the question is about this basis, not the mental image.

What does this basis you speak of consist of? Do you think this basis can be found upon analysis aimed at the ultimate? If it can, how is it then empty? If it can't, then what makes such a basis valid? And is the basis universally valid, i.e. is our human perception of water as water more valid than its perception by pretas as pus, as gods as nectar, as certain animals as a place to live and get their oxygen from? If our perception is more valid, then on what merits?

5heaps wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:The answer is that since the designation comes from us, and not from the object,
it ceases whenever we decide it ceases. It is purely a matter of opinion.

no, the basis does not end when you decide it does.

Assumming you will have answered my above question about what this basis actually consists of, I ask you this: when does the basis of a cup, for instance, begin and how?
Pema Rigdzin
 
Posts: 1030
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 3:19 am
Location: Southern Oregon

Re: impermanence

Postby 5heaps » Sun Mar 10, 2013 7:05 am

Pema Rigdzin wrote:
5heaps wrote:right, and the point is, how does a cup end. you say a cup CAN be broken. that means that there is a cup which is both a cup and a noncup (a noncup, since it is also broken)

The Madhyamaka description of conventional reality just accords with ordinary perception. I.e., a cup can be made and a cup can be broken.

no, dependent arising does not establish things as they currently appear as being correct. the opposite, it establishes the things we see as appearing incorrectly.

and so;
The cup breaking works like this: the cup is sitting here on the counter one moment and then, oops!, I just turned and knocked it off by accident and it broke into shards. End of story. Though, if you wanna, you could say that the illusory conditions holding this illusory cup together were interrupted by its illusory crash to the illusory floor.

you say IT broke into shards? if its an it, a cup, this obstructs it from also being shards ie. these are 2 different physical objects with different characteristics
on the other hand if there are just shards, this obstructs there being a cup that breaks (...and so, what cup ended ie. how did the cup end)

What does this basis you speak of consist of? Do you think this basis can be found upon analysis aimed at the ultimate? If it can, how is it then empty? If it can't, then what makes such a basis valid?

the basis for a cup are the colours and shapes etc which are made out of unbreakable physical particles. they lack true existence, because they cannot be established unless their parts first appear to a mind. this means that the basis is not ultimately findable, but this is fine, and does not contradict their being made up of physically unbreakable parts (although these parts may be conceptually divisible).

the pus/nectar/etc debate is not appropriate here. in dependence upon parts already proves the lack of true existence of the basis. the particulars of whether 3 beings can see the same basis is completely beyond the scope of imputing 'cup' onto a collection of particles. it seems its already difficult enough to understand that accepting that 'cup' is imputed does not annihilate the disintegration of what the label 'cup' is imputed in dependence on, and what it is that the word 'cup' refers to
5heaps
 
Posts: 432
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:09 am

Re: impermanence

Postby Andrew108 » Sun Mar 10, 2013 11:29 am

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.
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.
Andrew108
 
Posts: 1502
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:41 pm

Re: impermanence

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:26 pm

5heaps, Madhyamaka does not posit a single thing about conventional experience aka relative truth. It simply refutes the ultimate existence of phenomena. It's not the case that if you just find the right way to talk about relative reality that you can say something that has an iota of ultimate truth to it, so neither Nagarjuna nor Chandrakirti nor Shantideva made any positive remarks establishing relative phenomena.
And as for "unbreakable particles," Madhyamaka refutes those thoroughly. See the Mulamadhyamakakarikas for that. 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.

lol and are you really arguing that a cup can't be broken into shards? More than just unwittingly imbuing cups and shards with immutable cup and shard nature, respectively, that's just an absurd statement that flies in the face of common knowledge and experience.

Furthermore, according to your logic, unbreakable particles cannot be the basis for a cup because particles and shards have completely distinct properties and characteristics so the one could never become the other.
Pema Rigdzin
 
Posts: 1030
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 3:19 am
Location: Southern Oregon

Re: impermanence

Postby Tom » Sun Mar 10, 2013 2:32 pm

5heaps wrote:
[b]this seems incomprehensible to all you bad students of emptiness: although the imputation is arbitrary, nevertheless the basis which is imputed in dependence on still must at some point no longer be fit to be labeled accordingly. thus the end of that thing which the word cup refers to.


I'm interested in why, when according to you calling a car a "book" is valid, you have a problem when they call shards a "cup"?
User avatar
Tom
 
Posts: 368
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2011 7:12 pm

Re: impermanence

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sun Mar 10, 2013 2:38 pm

5heaps wrote:how does a cup end. you say a cup CAN be broken. that means that there is a cup which is both a cup and a noncup (a noncup, since it is also broken)
"cup" is just a convenient term, and only applies in the relative sense, not in the ultimate sense. The only thing really ends is the concept of a cup. The problem here is that you are asking about how an object in the relative sense (cup) ends in the ultimate sense.

That doesn't work, because from the ultimate point of view,
the object in question (cup) never arose in the first place,
so there is no point at which it ceases.

From the relative point of view,
the cup stopped being a cup as soon as it divided into more that one part.
.
.
.
Last edited by PadmaVonSamba on Sun Mar 10, 2013 3:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
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.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
 
Posts: 2845
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: impermanence

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sun Mar 10, 2013 2:46 pm

5heaps wrote: this basis is the thing which is impermanent/changing

therein lies the error of your argument.
if it is impermanent/changing, it is not a thing.
only the appearance of a permanent/unchanging thing (such as a cup) arises.
5heaps wrote: this seems incomprehensible to all you bad students of emptiness: although the imputation is arbitrary, nevertheless the basis which is imputed in dependence on still must at some point no longer be fit to be labeled accordingly. thus the end of that thing which the word cup refers to.


I have absolutely no idea what that statement says,
but if we are all such bad students of emptiness,
compared with your own understanding,
then please give an answer to this question:

"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?"

What do you think the answer is?
If your understanding is valid,
you should have no problem answering your own question.
If you cannot answer this question using your understanding of emptiness,
then please consider the possibility
that this would suggest
that your understanding is mistaken.
.
.
.
Last edited by PadmaVonSamba on Sun Mar 10, 2013 3:01 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
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.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
 
Posts: 2845
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: impermanence

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sun Mar 10, 2013 2:55 pm

5heaps wrote: dependent arising does not establish things as they currently appear as being correct. the opposite, it establishes the things we see as appearing incorrectly.

"establish" is not a pertinent term here. This understanding is faulty.
It is precisely because of dependent arising that the appearance,
the reality of a cup in the relative sense, arises.
There is no universal, inherent "cupness" anywhere.

I think that one of the most common mistakes in the understanding of
impermanence, emtiness, dependent arising, and so on,
results from a sort of backwards approach to analyzing phenomena.

What often happens is, an object is established first, as existing,
and then its existence is refuted. So, "I am holding a cup, but it doesn't exist".
But that doesn't make logical sense.
The problem with this approach is that obviously
something is happeneing somehow,
something that we all refer to as a cup,
otherwise there could be no discussion about 'it".

Buddhist analysis does not deny this.
It doesn't say, that unconditionally, "there is no cup", but rather,
nothing exists by which "cup" can be truly established.

There is a difference here.
It is not simply two ways of saying the same thing.
Here is the difference:
If you begin with the premise, "here is a cup"
you are in fact establishing some notion of permanence,
of independent arising, of inherent "cupness", rather than emptiness.
In terms of a cup, for example, that notion of permanence involves
the idsa that it will not dissolve when you pour liquids into it,
and if you put it into the cupboard tonight, it will be there tomorrow,

In the context of this thread, then, one asks,
"if the cup breaks, what happened to it?" meaning,
"what happened to its (sense of) permanence?"
"where did its essential cupness go?"
Because this appearance of essential cupness leaves when the cup breaks.
One of its defining characteristics, the ability to hold liquids, is gone.

Relatively speaking, yes, we can refer to something as a cup.
We can say a cup has a handle, holds liquids and so on.
But beyond the various ways we define a cup to our own satisfaction,
there is no thing that is essentially a cup,
and therefore nothing that essentially breaks,
or can cease being a cup.
.
.
.
Last edited by PadmaVonSamba on Sun Mar 10, 2013 3:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
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.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
 
Posts: 2845
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: impermanence

Postby Tom » Sun Mar 10, 2013 3:52 pm

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.
User avatar
Tom
 
Posts: 368
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2011 7:12 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Tibetan Buddhism

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: heart, Kilaya., Tanaduk and 18 guests

>