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Re: [dsg] HTOO: Space element

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  • nina van gorkom
    Dear Htoo, Thank you for your post. I am glad you mention anipphanna and nipphana. I do understand that this is a difficult subject. I would like to add a few
    Message 1 of 57 , Jan 11, 2004
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      Dear Htoo,
      Thank you for your post. I am glad you mention anipphanna and nipphana. I do
      understand that this is a difficult subject. I would like to add a few
      things. See below.
      op 10-01-2004 19:29 schreef htootintnaing op htootintnaing@...:

      > Space is a Paramattha Rupa.
      N: Sometimes we have to go back to the beginning so that we, in the middle
      of studying details, do not lose the big picture!
      Rupa is among the three conditioned paramattha dhammas. This means: it
      arises from the appropriate conditions and then it falls away. There are
      several conditioning factors that come together so that a particular dhamma
      arises. But since these conditions do not last and fall apart, also the
      conditioned dhamma has to fall away again. Rupas are listed as 28 kinds.
      That means, they are not concepts or productions of the mind.They are
      included in rupakkhandha. Except the four rupas which are characteristics
      inherent in rupa, they arise and fall away. Also space arises and falls away
      together with the groups of rupa it surrounds.

      H: But it is not Nipphanna Rupa. It is
      > Anipphanna Rupa.
      N: Yes.
      H:That means space is not conditioned by Kamma, Citta,
      > Utu, and Ahara.
      N: Let me repeat what I wrote before:
      < Space is considered to originate from the four factors. Still, it is
      called unproduced and asabhava: it merely functions as delimiting the groups
      of rupa. Though not concrete matter (thus unproduced, anipphanna, only in
      this sense), it has a characteristic and it is real. >
      Space is rupa paramattha, it is not nibbana paramattha, the unconditioned
      element.
      Now we have the word nipphanna, translated as produced. This creates
      confusion. The dictionary (PED) says: from nippajjati or nipphajjati:
      nipphanna: produced, accomplished, determined, conditioned. We should not
      confuse this term with: originated from: samu.t.thaana: origination. Thus
      now we have: space, is anipphanna rupa, not 'determined', meaning, not
      concrete matter.
      And it is conditioned, it originates from one of the four factors. It arises
      and falls away together with the groups (kalapas) originating from these
      factors.
      This is all from the Visuddhimagga (XVIII, 13) and later on when we come to
      it, I like to study quietly the Tiika which also explains about the term
      nipphanna.
      H: If there is no Mahabhuta Rupa then there is no space.
      > But when there are Mahabhuta Rupa, there exists space.
      N: Yes. Space is a derived rupa, and thus it is dependent on the four Great
      Elements, these are its foundation.
      H:Time and space
      > are not real existence.
      N: The rupa space is real, it is rupa paramattha dhamma or rupa kkhandha as
      you also agree.
      Usually people think only of outer space, and then there is the danger that
      they go way out.
      Time is a concept, it is not rupa paramattha dhamma. But, it still indicates
      relations as to the duration of rupa and the duration of nama. Ven.
      Nyanaponika describes very carefully the many aspects of time in his Abh
      Studies. I find this a good book, very thorough.
      *Originating from* is very intricate. Let me add a little from the Expositor
      (Atthasalini, II, 342):
      < In the Table of Contects we have matter (1) born of kamma, (2) caused by
      kamma, (3) originating in the caloric order [N: the element of heat], caused
      by kamma, (4) originating in nutriment, (5) caused by nutriment, etc, etc.
      This is just to show how many factors are involved, different conditions
      operating at the same time. Where is a self or person who takes these all in
      his hands? That is the lesson we can learn.
      Thank you Htoo, I like talking to you,
      with appreciation,
      Nina.
    • Jonothan Abbott
      Howard I agree with you where you say: If you and I touch the same table, the hardness you experience is not the hardness I experience. That is of course
      Message 57 of 57 , Jan 25, 2004
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        Howard

        I agree with you where you say:
        'If you and I "touch the same table," the hardness you experience is
        not the hardness I experience.'

        That is of course because the idea of ‘you and I touching the same
        table’ is a statement of conventional reality, not ultimate reality.
        The ultimate reality is in each case the experience of hardness.

        But you go on to say:
        'Though they correspond, one is content of your experience and one is
        content of mine. Each of us experiences an experiential content when
        we feel hardness, not an external, independent entity.' … 'What we
        observe is *the content of an experience*, whether it be hardness or
        space or anything else. Only experiential content is observable, not
        any alleged "external things".'

        The idea of 'content of an experience' versus 'alleged external
        thing' is not something found in the texts, as far as I'm aware, and
        I'm not sure what is the point you’re trying to make here. The
        moment of experience of hardness is just that, different kinds of
        nama and a rupa, and if awareness/insight arises its object will be
        one of those namas or the rupa. Is there any purpose in
        characterizing the moment in terms other than those?

        Likewise the classification of dhammas into ‘observable’ and
        ‘unobservable’. All dhammas are potentially experiencable by panna
        of the appropriate level, otherwise they would not be counted among
        the dhammas. There is no purpose as far as I can see in classifying
        dhammas into ‘observable by me’ and ‘not observable by me’.

        Jon

        --- upasaka@... wrote: > Hi, Jon -
        >
        > Besides, none of the dhammas mentioned in the texts were
        unobservable
        > to the Buddha. To rule out the possibility of their existence
        simply
        > because they are unobservable *to us* would be something of a
        conceit
        > as I see it.
        >
        ------------------------------------------------
        Howard:
        You are missing what I mean. What we observe is *the content of an
        experience*, whether it be hardness or space or anything else. Only
        experiential content is observable, not any alleged "external
        things".
        ------------------------------------------------
        ...
        > J: I don't think anyone is suggesting we should *believe in*
        > unobservables. However, we should not forget that the presently
        > observable/not observable is largely a function of our present
        level
        > of developed understanding (or, to put it another way, our
        ignorance
        > and wrong view).
        ----------------------------------------------------
        Howard:
        But I am not talking about "presently observable." (At the
        conventional level, the interior of no star of Alpha Centauri is
        presently observable, but it likely exists and, under proper
        conditions, could be observed. But at no time is any "thing"
        independent of awareness an object of awareness, because the only
        object of awareness is an experiential content. If you and I "touch
        the same table," the hardness you experience is not the hardness I
        experience. Though they correspond, one is content of your experience
        and one is content of mine. Each of us experiences an experiential
        content when we feel hardness, not an external, independent entity.
        ...
        ------------------------------------------------
        Howard:
        It is notobservable "period." When looked for, wherever it might be,
        it is unseen, and thus there is no basis for countenancing its
        existence.
        ---------------------------------------------------
        Rather, they are saying that as and when dhammas come to be>
        > known by developed awareness and panna/insight those dhammas are
        seen
        > as exhibiting characteristics that are incompatible with their
        being
        > a 'self'.
        ---------------------------------------------------
        Howard:
        And is it "presumed" that these dhammas are all that exist? Yes,
        because they are all that is ever seen. One cannot ultimately *prove*
        nonexistence of an alleged something. It is existence that requires
        evidence.
        --------------------------------------------------
        ...
        >
        > So the characteristic of 'not-self' is not to be seen by looking
        for
        > a self and not finding one (anyone could 'do' that), but rather by
        > the development of understanding of the true nature of dhammas.
        >
        -----------------------------------------------------
        Howard:
        Only because it is only the dhammas that are ever actually observed.
        -----------------------------------------------------




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