Continuity

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Rick
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Continuity

Post by Rick »

Is continuity mind-made, a connecting of the dots by the brain and imagination?

Are time-dependents like processes, evolution, becoming merely appearances?

Is flow an illusion?
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Continuity

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Rick wrote: Sat Oct 24, 2020 7:56 pm Is continuity mind-made, a connecting of the dots by the brain and imagination?

Are time-dependents like processes, evolution, becoming merely appearances?

Is flow an illusion?
Yes.
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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Continuity

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Rick wrote: Sat Oct 24, 2020 7:56 pm Is continuity mind-made, a connecting of the dots by the brain and imagination?

Are time-dependents like processes, evolution, becoming merely appearances?

Is flow an illusion?
Arising and cessation are an illusion, so ideas like continuity and non-continuity fall under those I think.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

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Rick
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Re: Continuity

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Conventionally true, ultimately false?

If so, true conventional truth or false conventional truth?
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Jingtoo2
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Re: Continuity

Post by Jingtoo2 »

When we stand on the shore the ocean waves appear to travel into the beach. In fact they simply rise and fall in the same place, and their energy fuels the next wave which then rises and falls. Nothing actually travels.
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Re: Continuity

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It's clear how 'baking a cake' is a process* with a beginning (intention to bake), middle (following recipe), and end (cake done, ready to eat).

In what way is baking a cake *not* a process?

* a set of actions taken to achieve an end
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Re: Continuity

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Rick wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 8:52 pm It's clear how 'baking a cake' is a process* with a beginning (intention to bake), middle (following recipe), and end (cake done, ready to eat).

In what way is baking a cake *not* a process?

* a set of actions taken to achieve an end
Relatively it is a process, but the beginning and end is set arbitrarily by your goals, the convept of ‘cake’ etc.


The ingredients of the cake, your actions and constituent parts of the cake ingredients...all of it has no beginning, end or center, because arising and cessation are an illusion.

Beginning and ending are arbitrary markers that can only be based on other relative things.

Similarly, the notion of time involved in the process of making a cake is arbitrary. All the parts of the process existed prior to your ‘baking a cake’ designation of them. The notion of a discrete process in time is as much an illusion as the cake.

If I might make a reading suggestion, check out Stars of Wisdom by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso.

Part of what helps here is understanding the imaginary nature vs. the dependent in Yogacara.

This is just from the Yogacara wiki, I can't vouch for the details but it is generally correct by my understanding:
Parikalpita-svabhāva (the "fully conceptualized" nature). This is the "imaginary" or "constructed" nature, wherein things are incorrectly comprehended based on conceptual construction, through the activity of language and through attachment and erroneous discrimination which attributes intrinsic existence to things. According to the Mahāyānasaṃgraha, it also refers to the appearance of things in terms of subject-object dualism (literally "grasper" and "grasped"). The conceptualized nature is the world of everyday unenlightened people, i.e. samsara, and it is false and empty, it does not really exist (see Triṃśikā v. 20). According to Xuanzang's Cheng Weishi Lun, "there is the absence of an existential nature by its very defining characteristic" (lakṣana-niḥsvabhāvatā). Because these conceptualized natures and distinct characteristics (lakṣana) are wrongly imputed not truly real, "they are like mirages and blossoms in the sky."

Paratantra-svabhāva (literally, "other dependent"), which is the dependently originated nature of dharmas, or the causal flow of phenomena which is erroneously confused into the conceptualized nature. According to Williams, it is "the basis for the erroneous partition into supposedly intrinsically existing subjects and objects which marks the conceptualized nature." Jonathan Gold writes that it is "the causal process of the thing’s fabrication, the causal story that brings about the thing’s apparent nature." This basis is considered to be an ultimately existing (paramārtha) basis in classical Yogācāra (see Mahāyānasaṃgraha, 2:25).[62] However, as Xuanzang notes, this nature is also empty in that there is an "absence of an existential nature in conditions that arise and perish" (utpatti-niḥsvabhāvatā). That is, the events in this causal flow, while "seeming to have real existence of their own" are actually like magical illusions since "they are said to only be hypothetical and not really exist on their own." As Siderits writes "to the extent that we are thinking of it at all - even if only as the non-dual flow of impressions-only - we are still conceptualizing it."
And here is from the Rigpa Wiki, which IMO is usually more reliable than Wikipedia:

https://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Three_natures
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Continuity

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Rick wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 8:52 pm It's clear how 'baking a cake' is a process* with a beginning (intention to bake), middle (following recipe), and end (cake done, ready to eat).

In what way is baking a cake *not* a process?

* a set of actions taken to achieve an end

What kind of cake?

If you are referring to cognition, continuity and process are two different things.
The illusion of continuity has to do with seeing events happen as an unbroken stream rather than as a series of discreet instances or moments.

The easiest analogy is motion picture film, which is a series of still images projected in rapid succession so as to create the illusion of continuous movement. Sound motion picture runs at 24 frames per second. A “frame” of human thought, in Buddhism, is known as a ksana and is traditionally described as about 64-70 per second.

Of course, it’s all digital now. I’m showing my age. What kind of cake are you making?
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Rick
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Re: Continuity

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Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte ... of frickin' course!!!
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Rick
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Re: Continuity

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Johnny Dangerous wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 9:10 pmThe notion of a discrete process in time is as much an illusion as the cake.
I wish all illusions tasted that good ...

Thanks for the info, I'll check it out.
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Rick
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Re: Continuity

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PadmaVonSamba wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 10:23 pmIf you are referring to cognition, continuity and process are two different things.
What led me to post this is the experience I have from time to time (in everyday life, off the cushion) of moving from moment to moment to moment, each moment fresh and new, a toggling of semi-autonomous moments rather than a succession of connected moments.
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Re: Continuity

Post by SilenceMonkey »

Rick wrote: Tue Oct 27, 2020 3:34 pm
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 10:23 pmIf you are referring to cognition, continuity and process are two different things.
What led me to post this is the experience I have from time to time (in everyday life, off the cushion) of moving from moment to moment to moment, each moment fresh and new, a toggling of semi-autonomous moments rather than a succession of connected moments.
Sounds like zen to me. A ch'an master at Dharma Drum Mountain named Ven. Guoxing is fond of teaching exactly what you're describing. You may find some good insight from the Surangama Sutra. :anjali:

Nagarjuna also talks about the illusion of time, albeit in a more philosophical way. But I like Zen's way... No past! No future!
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Re: Continuity

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Thanks SilenceMonkey. I'll look into the info you shared. Zen was my first Eastern love, perhaps it's time for a re-dive?
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Re: Continuity

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For something to be continuous, its essence/identity would have to remain the same while its form changed.

For the life cycle of a rose to be continuous, it would have to retain its essence/identity as a rose while its seed germinated, sprouted, grew, withered, died. Ditto for human, frog, mountain, melody, feeling, thought, etc.

In other words, the things would have to have a self.

Buddhism teaches there is no self, therefore, by extension, there is no continuity.

Sound about right?
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Re: Continuity

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Rick wrote: Fri Oct 30, 2020 2:59 am For something to be continuous, its essence/identity would have to remain the same while its form changed.

For the life cycle of a rose to be continuous, it would have to retain its essence/identity as a rose while its seed germinated, sprouted, grew, withered, died. Ditto for human, frog, mountain, melody, feeling, thought, etc.

In other words, the things would have to have a self.

Buddhism teaches there is no self, therefore, by extension, there is no continuity.

Sound about right?
Well, there is continuity in the sense of cause-and-effect.
But there is no continuous (as in permanent) essence in phenomena.

Your wording is a little bit problematic, because if you say,
“...for something to retain its essence...”
You run into the situation of “its” meaning possessive of.
In other words, “it” can’t have an essence,
because then that essence is one-step away from “it”.
“it” becomes the subject, and “its essence” becomes the object. The “essence” or essential self can’t be owned by something else, because then it isn’t the primary thing, it’s a secondary thing.

So, “it” has to be the essence.

And the problem which then arises is, any example of phenomena that you consider, such as a rose, that example is always going to be some compound of aggregates, of conditional parts. Whatever phenomena is used as an example will always be the secondary thing, and the secondary thing can’t own the primary thing.


It’s not so much that Buddhism teaches that
“a thing has no self”
But rather, that “the self isn’t a thing”.
There’s no denying that the experience of a self occurs. It occurs in dreams. It occurs when we feel pain. It occurs as continuity, even though this is an illusion. It occurs but it isn’t “real” in the sense that it doesn’t truly exist.

(“Exist” means to be self-arising, intrinsically happening, and not divisible into any components.)

There is no substance to it, hence, no purpose in attachment to it, because it is only an experience resulting from attachment to begin with!

So, not only can the secondary thing (phenomena) not own the primary thing (essence),
but the primary thing (essence) can’t be shown to exist anywhere in the secondary thing (phenomena) either.
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Rick
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Re: Continuity

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PadmaVonSamba wrote: Fri Oct 30, 2020 4:24 am Well, there is continuity in the sense of cause-and-effect.
Conventionally, but not ultimately, since there is ultimately no cause/effect (opening of MMK) ... right?
... any example of phenomena that you consider, such as a rose, that example is always going to be some compound of aggregates, of conditional parts. Whatever phenomena is used as an example will always be the secondary thing, and the secondary thing can’t own the primary thing.
I (tried to) use the rose as an example of why there is no real continuity, because in order for the rose life cycle to be continuous, the rose would have to have(be) an essence or identity (self).
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Re: Continuity

Post by Sam.E »

Rick wrote: Sat Oct 24, 2020 7:56 pm Is continuity mind-made, a connecting of the dots by the brain and imagination?

Are time-dependents like processes, evolution, becoming merely appearances?

Is flow an illusion?
What do you hope to gain from the answer?
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Re: Continuity

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Rick wrote: Fri Oct 30, 2020 2:05 pm
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Fri Oct 30, 2020 4:24 am Well, there is continuity in the sense of cause-and-effect.
Conventionally, but not ultimately, since there is ultimately no cause/effect (opening of MMK) ... right?
... any example of phenomena that you consider, such as a rose, that example is always going to be some compound of aggregates, of conditional parts. Whatever phenomena is used as an example will always be the secondary thing, and the secondary thing can’t own the primary thing.
I (tried to) use the rose as an example of why there is no real continuity, because in order for the rose life cycle to be continuous, the rose would have to have(be) an essence or identity (self).
One needs to determine/explain whether the term, “continuity” is referring to:
—an unbroken continuum of a single entity, like string wrapped around a spool
-or-
—an ongoing “chain reaction” of separate cause-and-effect events, such as a line of toppling dominoes.

I think that generally, and with regard to most topics, Buddhist theory rejects the first definition accepts (up to a point) the second.
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Re: Continuity

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Sam.E wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 6:59 am What do you hope to gain from the answer?
A deeper understanding of the nature of how things exist in time.
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Rick
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Re: Continuity

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PadmaVonSamba wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 2:23 pm One needs to determine/explain whether the term, “continuity” is referring to:
—an unbroken continuum of a single entity, like string wrapped around a spool
-or-
—an ongoing “chain reaction” of separate cause-and-effect events, such as a line of toppling dominoes.

I think that generally, and with regard to most topics, Buddhist theory rejects the first definition accepts (up to a point) the second.
The first definition is pretty much inherent existence, right? A big no-no in Buddhism!

The second is pretty much dependent arising, a big Buddhist yes-yes. Conventionally. Ultimately empty of meaning, as is every conceptual construct.

Nagarjuna would say: Reality is neither continuous, nor not continuous, nor both, nor neither. But Nagarjuna would say that about everything! ;-)
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