Re: [dsg] Vism.XIV 63, space and suttas
- Hi Larry,
op 09-03-2004 03:03 schreef LBIDD@... op LBIDD@...:
> I was wondering in what sense space is impermanent, unsatisfactory, notN: Though it is not concrete matter and an asabhava rupa, it is bound up
> self. Is it so because space is actually 'edge', a characteristic of
with concrete matter since it delimits them. It delimits the groups
originated by kamma, citta, nutrition and temperature and therefore reckoned
as originated by these four factors. It arises and falls away with them. It
is also called an element, dhatu, space-element in the Expositor (II, 425).
And the Co to the Abh. Sangaha states:<an element in the sense that it is
lifeless>, meaning, it is not a living being. The Vis. gives the
characteristic, function, manifestation and proximate cause, as it does in
the case of all 28 rupas. It is rupa, thus, it has the three
characteristics. And see below, the suttas.
L: There is a slight discrepancy between the PTS (?) translation from MN
140 Nina gave and B. ~Nanamoli's:
PTS: "And what, monk, is the internal element of space? Whatever is
space, spacious, is internal, referable to an individual and derived
therefrom, such as the auditory and nasal orifices, the door of the
~N: "What is the internal space element? Whatever internally, belonging
to oneself, is space, spatial, and clung-to, that is, the holes of the
ears, the nostrils, the door of the mouth..."
L: The first one has "derived therefrom" and the second one has
N: It is said: <Derived from an individual>, or, clung to (upadi.n.na):
namely, produced by kamma, but in a wider sense referring to all rupas of
the body. These two, derived from an individual, or, clung to, amount to the
same. They are called internal and individual.
N: B.B. has: <What is internally, belonging to oneself, is space, spatial,
and clung to, that is, the holes of the ears, the nostrils...> At the end of
this definition we read: <And that should be seen as it actually is with
proper wisdom thus: "This is not mine, this I am not, this is not myself.'>
Would this be said of a concept? It is rupa, an element, not a concept.
Going to the Pali of Mahaaraahulovaadasutta: ajjhattika: internal,
paccatta.m, belonging to oneself, but used figuratively of course. See the
end: they should be realized as non-self. Thus, as rupa, having the three
"And what, Rahula, is the space element? The space element may be
internal or external. And what, Rahula, is the internal space
element? That, internally, and individually, is space, void, and
clung to, namely: the cavity of the ear, the orifice of the nose, the
opening of the mouth, and whereby (one) swallows what is tasted,
chewed, drunk and eaten, and where (food) being tasted, chewed, drunk
and eaten remains, and whereby (food) being tasted, chewed, drunk and
eaten passes out of the body lower down, or whatever else internally,
and individually is space, void, sky, empty, an opening, hollow,
untouched by flesh and blood, and clung to. This, Rahula, is
called the internal space element. But that very internal space
element and that external space element are simply space element.
Thus "this is not mine, this I am not, this is not myself" is to be
seen with right wisdom just as it is. Having seen this with right
wisdom just as it is, the mind becomes dispassionate towards (and)
detaches (itself) from the space element."
- Hi Howard and Michael (at end, something meaty),
op 09-03-2004 04:15 schreef upasaka@... op upasaka@...:>
> In a message dated 3/8/04 9:21:41 PM Eastern Standard Time,N: Howard, I think that I understand what Icaro says. He means: it is not
> icarofranca@... writes:
>> Space - akasa - is classified as a "non-real" Paramattha Dhamma
> And what, pray tell, is that? (Besides being a contradiction in terms!
concrete matter. But nevertheless Paramattha Dhamma.
See my mails to Larry where I quoted suttas.
You may still find it difficult to see space as paramattha dhamma, I
We spoke about this in Bgk. It can be known by insight, but not everyone
will know all rupas.
When we consider the seven rupas that appear all the time in daily life
through the senses, we can have some beginning understanding of what rupa
is: that which is a reality that does not experience anything. Apart from
thinking of object and subject, can hardness be experienced without having
to call it anything? That is a beginning. When we can develop direct
understanding of rupa, it will also be clearer what subtle rupas are. I do
not know whether this is of any help.
There is also space as a meditation subject of samatha, a nimitta. This is
another type of object.
Now the meaty part.
There are different types of objects: objects that are 1. paritta, trifling
or insignificant, objects that are not those of jhana or of lokuttara citta.
2. objects of jhana (mahaggata).3. object that is appanaa, attainment,
nibbana for lokuttara citta.
Then there is one class that is not among these three: called: <not so
classifiable> or <undefinible> (navattabbarammana). Among these is the
nimitta experienced by the citta developing samatha.
And also when a citta with panna but not lokuttara citta experiences
nibbana, this object is also a not so classifiable object in that case. This
happens shortly before lokuttara cittas arise. Or afterwards, in reviewing
nibbana. Then nibbana is not an attainment object.
We discussed in Bgk subtle points and this taught me to be very careful with
the word concept. There is much more to it. We also discussed past objects,
which are not concepts but dhammas. The dhamma of the past can also be a not
so classifiable object.
Rebirth-consciousness can have past, present or not so classifiable object.
We also have to remember that concept can be a term denoting a paramattha
dhamma. Thus, when saying: there are just paramattha dhammas or concepts we
have to be careful. We have to differentiate more.
We went over texts of Dhammasangani, Vis. and Expositor. The English transl
Dhsgn. omits these parts. It omits too many things. Rhys Davids may not have
understood certain texts.
Michael, please, do not go, we shall miss you.
- Hi Larry,
We also discussed this before. See:
>...........to quote from CMA p241.Guide to #4 (B.Bodhi):
they do not arise directly from the four main causes of matter but
existas modalities or attributes of concretely produced matter.
B.Bodhi continues to add that they are not paramattha dhammas, but I
checked and cant find this in the commentary (to Abhidhammattha Sangaha).
I think it would be more accurate to say they are not paramattha dhammas
*with sabhaava*, but they are listed among the asabhaava rupas, hence
paramattha. Much as been written before about space, bodily and vocal
intimation and the continuity, decay and impermanence of rupas as examples
Space is therefore a reality indirectly originating from kamma and other
causes with the kalapas of rupas it separates. It also has characteristics
(lakkhana), even though it's asabhaava.
Of course, cavity or space is also used as a concept (eg cavity in the ear
etc) in the texts, but it is pointing to a reality.
Whenever space comes up, I have more questions than answers. Im glad
therefore to read your other qus and Ninas responses. I think many
inaccurate comments are written on this very subtle rupa.
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- Hi Sarah,
I think the comments in the Guide in CMA are U Rewata Dhamma's. I seem
to recall a correspondence from B. Bodhi re. a question we had about CMA
and I believe he said he was just the editor.
- Hi Howard,
I find it worth while to consider more the points you bring up here. A
reminder not to be parrot-like when I state something. That is why I would
like to add a few thoughts.
op 09-03-2004 14:51 schreef upasaka@... op upasaka@...:
> Howard:N: It is true, so long as we merely think of impermanence or even the three
> Certainly "things" like impermanence, production, and decay are
> pa~n~natti! They are conceptually imputed on sequences of directly apprehended
> phenomena, and some, like decay, require identification of distinct phenomena
> over time.
characteristics, they are objects which are concepts. It is different when
there is the direct realization of nama and rupa through insight.
H: To be impermanent, for example, is merely to not remain. A phenomenon
> appears, and later that phenomenon is not present - and we *say* that theN: Merely not to remain: I would say: there is more to it. Past works on the
> phenomenon had the feature of impermanence. But the actuality is merely that
> it was,
> but currently it is not.
present and when we understand better what conditions are the meaning of
past or gone will be clearer. The fact that a dhamma has fallen away means
that it is past. But what is past was present before, it arose because of
different conditions. When those conditions fell away also the conditioned
dhamma had to go.
I went to Ven. Nyanaponika's Abh studies, which you also like. He (in Ch
III) analyses very well the first type of wholesome consciousness in the
Dhammasangani. It is amazing how many cetasikas have to come together for
that one moment of citta. And then they all fall away together. But we do
not realize this, we believe that they stay for a moment, that we have time
to manipulate them!. In the Ch about the present, Ven. N. analyses: having
been, and points out that the term uppanna (having arisen) <intends to
express the share of past mental states in present ones, particularly that
of the active, that is, kammic mental states.>
I could add: a moment of dosa passes, but it is accumulated and added on to
the latent tendency of aversion. This can condition new dosa at any time,
and thus more dosa is evermore accumulated. Only lokuttara citta can
eradicate latent tendencies. Also kusala is accumulated and conditions more
kusala. How could we otherwise develop it? Also the experiences of sense
objects that are marked by sa~n~naa, remembrance or perception, are
accumulated so that there can be definitions of the meaning of such objects
Seeing more the intricacy of conditions helps us o understand the meaning of
impermanence. Now impermanence is difficult to realize, it seems a concept.
But there is a way to realize directly its meaning: the development of
insight. First the difference between nama and rupa has to be realized, and
then: their conditioned nature. This is very important.
In the suttas we read time and again that there are three general
characteristics that can be realized at the moment of enlightenment. These
are not concepts. At the moment of enlightenment one is past that stage.
We read in the first sutta op the K.S. IV: <The eye is impermanent. What is
impermanent, that is dukkha. What is dukkha, that is void of the self.> All
three characteristics are often taken together. The development of insight
in stages leads to their direct realization.
We need not fall over the term characteristics, because when nama and rupa
are directly experienced we do not need such words. Then we shall understand
what a characteristic is. Now we just repeat the word.
When reflecting I came across some helpful posts of Jon I quote now:
<I think it's important to appreciate that 'not-self', like
impermanence and unsatisfactoriness, is a *characteristic* of
paramattha dhammas. The significance of saying that something is a
characteristic of paramattha dhammas is that as paramattha dhammas
gradually become better known to understanding, their characteristics
also gradually become more apparent. The more understanding there is
of paramattha dhammas, the more one understands about the
characteristics of anicca/dukkha/anatta.
The Buddha gave at least 2 elaborations of the meaning of 'not-self'.
One is to the effect of 'not subject to mastery', the other,
'lacking in an abiding soul or essence'. These are presumably
different ways of saying the same thing. (Interestingly, it seems
that for most listeners to the Buddha's sermons no such elaboration
was necessary; the meaning of 'not-self' was readily apparent from
the fact that the dhammas were already seen to be impermanent and
unsatisfactory. I think those listeners must have had a highly
developed understanding of paramattha dhammas already).> end quote.
(Next time more about conditions, I will be busy.)