impermanence

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Re: impermanence

Postby 5heaps » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:22 am

Tom wrote:For him momentary destruction is not externally caused and breaking here is really referring to the momentary causal sequence being blocked from continuing. So, I guess you could understand the breaker as effecting its force on this last moment of the cup to block the causal sequence from continuing.

you dont need a breaker effecting the force of the last moment to block it from continuing. this is because the last moment is a functioning thing that is dependent upon on its causes and conditions, and has no capacity to endure of its own accord anyway.

in other words its not as though mr. cup was travelling along on his merry way and then all of a sudden the breaker came and impacted him in what was later destined to be named his final hour. this final moment is itself nothing other than that particular aggregation of causes and conditions which necessarily came undone in that manner due to the manner of its production.

so i think the answer is not that the cup ends but that the cup itself has the nature of ending ie. endings/disintegration has the nature of being imputed (not a substantial nature ie. there is a cup and then there is ending separate to it)
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Re: impermanence

Postby Tom » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:47 am

5heaps wrote:
Tom wrote:For him momentary destruction is not externally caused and breaking here is really referring to the momentary causal sequence being blocked from continuing. So, I guess you could understand the breaker as effecting its force on this last moment of the cup to block the causal sequence from continuing.

you dont need a breaker effecting the force of the last moment to block it from continuing. this is because the last moment is a functioning thing that is dependent upon on its causes and conditions, and has no capacity to endure of its own accord anyway.

in other words its not as though mr. cup was travelling along on his merry way and then all of a sudden the breaker came and impacted him in what was later destined to be named his final hour. this final moment is itself nothing other than that particular aggregation of causes and conditions which necessarily came undone in that manner due to the manner of its production.

so i think the answer is not that the cup ends but that the cup itself has the nature of ending ie. endings/disintegration has the nature of being imputed (not a substantial nature ie. there is a cup and then there is ending separate to it)


So when Dharmakirti talks about breakers what he gives as an example is hammer. Of course as I said Dharmakirti argues against destruction from external causes but we are trying to explain an actual event that happens and so it makes some sense to me (in an orientation that asserts real dharmas and rejects generic cups) to understand that the hammer, the last moment of the cup and also the insufficient aggregation of causes and conditions for the next moment of cup all exist at the same time and are related... but hey that was my go at the question and really I have no idea!

Alos, Dharmakirti would already argue that any end separate from the cup could not exist because it could not have a cause since it is an absence. If you want to play madhymaka I don't see the advantage in the distinction that " not that the cup ends but that the cup itself has the nature of ending" best just stick with worldly convention and understand these things don't hold up under analysis.
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Re: impermanence

Postby zihyer » Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:19 pm

Overthought: the mind's bane that will almost certainly create problems where none existed before. Don't allow your need to overpower obscurities with reason to be an obstacle to that which should be the real goal. In simpler terms, what might you possibly gain from any true explanation of the cup's demise?
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Re: impermanence

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:01 pm

It's still a cup.
But now, it's a broken cup.
In other words, explain what is the fundamental fdifference between the two
then I think you will have your answer.
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Re: impermanence

Postby 5heaps » Fri Mar 08, 2013 8:34 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:It's still a cup.
But now, it's a broken cup.
In other words, explain what is the fundamental fdifference between the two
then I think you will have your answer.

doesnt answer anything, since it doesnt illustrate how the cup broke.

also, "broken cup" is not a type of cup. its just a name.

zihyer wrote:Don't allow your need to overpower obscurities with reason to be an obstacle to that which should be the real goal. In simpler terms, what might you possibly gain from any true explanation of the cup's demise?

rather than being obscure, impermanence is perhaps the most important topic you could consider.
a mind that has not realized [subtle] impermanence is necessarily a mind that does not understand emptiness.
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Re: impermanence

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:28 pm

5heaps wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:It's still a cup.
But now, it's a broken cup.
In other words, explain what is the fundamental difference between the two
then I think you will have your answer.

doesn't answer anything, since it doesnt illustrate how the cup broke.

also, "broken cup" is not a type of cup. its just a name.


You never asked about how the cup broke.
So, you can't argue on that point.

What makes it a cup?

You say "broken cup" is not a type of cup.
But it is a type of cup. It's a broken cup.
if you disagree,
Would you say that a broken egg shell is not an egg shell?

You say "broken cup" is not a type of cup.
But "cup" is not a type of cup either.
It is also just a name.
So, merely calling something a cup does not make it a cup.
We can rule that out.
What makes a cup a cup?

If you break the handle off a cup, is it still a cup?
If it has a chip, is it a chipped cup?
So, "unbroken" is not what establishes it as a cup.
We can rule that out.
"unbroken" only establishes it as an unbroken cup.

So, the cup is still there. Scoop it all up and weigh it. It's all there.
So, its component material isn't what makes it a cup.
We can rule that out.

The only thing that has happened
is the quality "unbroken" is gone,
replaced by the quality "broken".

You could also say,
"I had a cup, and somebody filled it with tea (or cement). Where did it go?"
because you cannot put anything into a full cup.
So, the capacity to hold is not what makes it a cup.
We can rule that out.

You say "broken" is just a name.
I say "unbroken" is just an assumption.
So, assuming one thing or another about a cup isn't what makes it a cup.
We can rule that out.

Likewise, if I said I had a bag full of egg shells,
you would assume they were broken. I wouldn't have to say
"a bag of broken egg shells". it's a given.

So, you ask:
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?


and the answer is,
there is nothing that existed in the unbroken cup that doesn't exist in the broken cup.
That's because the cup has no intrinsic existence, no final thing that can be called "cupness".

The only difference is that, as with a full cup,
it no longer has the capacity to hold anything.
There is no final moment of the cup
only the final moment of capacity to hold (liquids or whatever).
if the capacity to hold liquids is what makes it a cup
then a bathtub would also be a cup.
But i don't think that is the case.
So, we can rule out "capacity to hold" .

What's kind of funny about this is that
whether broken or unbroken,
according to the buddhist view
the cup is "empty".
.
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Re: impermanence

Postby 5heaps » Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:14 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:there is nothing that existed in the unbroken cup that doesn't exist in the broken cup.
That's because the cup has no intrinsic existence, no final thing that can be called "cupness".

that is severely mistaken
a cup is not the word 'cup', a cup is what the word refers to ie. physical form
that physical form no longer exists at the time of the breaking, and so 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
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Re: impermanence

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sat Mar 09, 2013 2:28 am

5heaps wrote:i am trying to work out how things end..does anyone have any idea?
for example consider a cup which falls off a table and breaks.
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?


Well, you asked if anyone has any idea.
Yes. The Buddha had an idea about this.
In the Buddha Dharma there is the concept of Sunyata
which is often translated as 'emptiness'.
This describes the true nature of the cup.

If you assume that a cup is intrinsically a cup,
you will never find an answer to your question
because that assumption is faulty.

Relatively speaking, a cup ceases to be a cup whenever you want it to.
If you use it to grow flowers in, it becomes a flower pot.
If you pee in it, it becomes a chamber pot.
If you throw your left over change in it, it becomes a kind of bank.
If you use it to prop open a door, it becomes a door prop.
If you smash it into bits, it becomes gravel.

But ultimately , You cannot find a final moment
when a cup ceases to be a cup,
because ultimately there is nothing you can find in what you call a cup
that is intrinsically a cup.
This is what I was getting at before.

So, are you asking in relative terms or ultimate terms?

may I ask you,
at what point does the cup begin to be a cup?
What defines it as a cup?

If you could answer this for me,
perhaps I would have a better understanding of what you are asking
because maybe I don't really understand what you are asking.

Reading the Diamond Sutra might give you some understanding of the Buddhist concept
of how, just because we call something this or that does not make it so.
.
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Re: impermanence

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sat Mar 09, 2013 2:34 am

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
Then what would you call a broken cup?

Tell me, what existed in the unbroken cup that does not exist in the broken cup?
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Re: impermanence

Postby 5heaps » Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:20 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
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
Then what would you call a broken cup?

it doesnt matter what you call those shards. you call them a broken cup. whatever word you use to refer to those sprawled out pieces, it will never refer to a cup. simply because the cup no longer exists at the time of the shards.

at what point does the cup begin to be a cup?
What defines it as a cup?

a cup is a produced thing with particular characteristics
its defining characteristics are its shape and the function of that shape
it is what the word 'cup' refers to. what word we name it is meaningless, the precise boundaries we place on those characterisics are meaningless. the point is that the characteristics will break down and therefore so does the cup, and so the question is how do such things break down/end

you say the cup ends because it can be called a chamber pot when you pee in it. or that you can use the object as a doorstop. again, this entirely misses the point of explaining how the physical characteristics which make up the object that we find suitable to call 'pot' end.
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Re: impermanence

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:46 am

5heaps wrote:
a cup is a produced thing with particular characteristics
its defining characteristics are its shape and the function of that shape
it is what the word 'cup' refers to. what word we name it is meaningless, the precise boundaries we place on those characterisics are meaningless. the point is that the characteristics will break down and therefore so does the cup, and so the question is how do such things break down/end


Ohhhh NOW I understand.
Your question is a question of design.
If a cup is shallow enough, it becomes a bowl or a plate.
If it is narrow enough it becomes a vase.

They break down in the way we perceive them.
It's all projection of mind.
A cup is only a cup because we arbitrarily think it is.
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.
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Re: impermanence

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:48 am

5heaps wrote: a cup is a produced thing with particular characteristics
its defining characteristics are its shape and the function of that shape


Please tell me what those characteristics are.
All of the shapes shown here are different.
Which one is the cup?
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Re: impermanence

Postby randomseb » Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:52 am

5heaps wrote:a cup is not the word 'cup', a cup is what the word refers to ie. physical form
..
a cup is a produced thing with particular characteristics


Physical characteristics of this cup is mostly empty space with an incredibly tiny amount of a sprinkle of atomic structures.. That's the cup part, not the part where you place the liquid. It only appears to be a solid object because of our perception!

:o

Here's another example:
You could fit the entire human race in the volume of a sugar cube

This is because matter is incredibly, mind-bogglingly empty.

See link for explanation: http://www.physics.org/featuredetail.asp?id=41

So there is not much of a physically to this cup!

:rolling:
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Re: impermanence

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:59 am

Are cupped hands a cup if they deliver water to the mouth?
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Re: impermanence

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sat Mar 09, 2013 4:26 am

5heaps wrote:i am trying to work out how things end..does anyone have any idea?
for example consider a cup which falls off a table and breaks.
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?


things end when the various component factors of which they are made cease to function.
In the case of the breaking cup, what ceases to function is the component factor of
coming together and staying together of the material from which the cup is made.

Thus, if a paper cup falls off a table, its factor of staying together is not interrupted, and it
does not break. But if a paper cup is put into a fire, not so lucky.
Likewise, if a ceramic cup is dropped, it will break
but if put into a fire it will likely survive.

To argue whether it "exists" or not at the moment its component factors fail (it breaks or burns or whatever)
one assumes that there is some definable moment, some finite second which cannot be divided,
and the question becomes "when is that exact second"?
But in terms of Sunyata (emptiness of phenomena) no such indivisible second can be identified.

Further, as I have alluded to, one assumes that there is an intrinsic "cupness"
which is defined by some kind of absolute characteristics....(what makes something a cup)
But in terms of Sunyata, no such absolute characteristics can be identified.
You can't say a cup is absolutely a certain size or shape or material, chipped or not chipped, full or not full, etc.
and let's not forget the restaurant that serves the "bottomless cup" of coffee.
And there is no "cupness" from which cups are produced.
No kind of "cup goo" that all cups are made of.
as pointed out, atomically there is more space than cup, even in a solid cup.

The only thing that makes a cup a cup is the fact that a person looks at it and thinks,
"that's a cup". But if you came from a culture that did not use cups, perhaps people only drank water with their hands,
even this would not define a cup.

So, although in relative terms, to say, "I don't have that cup any more, because it broke"
is accurate. And because you are speaking in relative terms, it ends whenever you think it does.
I might break a cup and start to throw it into the trash, and somebody will rush up with glue and say,
"wait...that cup isn't gone yet...i can fix it!"
so which of us is right? is the cup gone or not?
it's purely a matter of opinion at this point.

But if you are asking about when the cup ends, philosophically,
then you have to discuss it in ultimate terms,
rather than in some relatively agreed upon but vague idea about what a cup is.
that is what I was doing.
I didn't mean to give you a hard time about it!
So, in the context of a Buddhist forum,
The cup has no intrinsic existence to begin with.
It doesn't begin or end anywhere except in the imagination.
But as we think of its component characteristics as adding up to "cup"
when those component characteristics are absent or start to break up,
so does the cup.
.
.
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Re: impermanence

Postby 5heaps » Sat Mar 09, 2013 8:16 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
5heaps wrote: a cup is a produced thing with particular characteristics
its defining characteristics are its shape and the function of that shape

All of the shapes shown here are different.
Which one is the cup?

theyre all cups. and if you posted a picture of a giraffe, you would know it is not a cup, since it has none of the characteristics of a cup.
yes, the individual objects which fit into the category "cup" having defining characteristics based on their physical design/characteristics. just as ox, horses, cows are all members of the their respective categories due to their physical designs/characteristics.

just because defining characteristics exist, does not imply true existence. true existence means that the defining characteristics are knowable because they are findable on the side of the object, rather than in dependence on imputatin and their parts. emptiness 101, there is nothing mistaken about defining characteristics. in fact you need them to have emptiness.

randomseb wrote:So there is not much of a physically to this cup!

yea thats Vaibhashika and Sautrantika 101. it doesnt negate the existence of coarse physical form. jains already had sophisitcated explanations of atomic composition 100s of years before the greeks. the earliest written record found so far is from 600bc

PadmaVonSamba wrote:A cup is only a cup because we arbitrarily think it is.

youre just restating the position that i already countered. ive countered this faulty point several times already. one last time:
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. thus the end of the cup, with cup here meaning what the name 'cup' refers to

you say "things end when the various component factors of which they are made cease to function", but this is meaningless. it doesnt answer how things cease to function, which is what the question that you quoted is.
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Re: impermanence

Postby randomseb » Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:02 am

101 :soapbox: huh :zzz:

Except that atomic composition is not in fact atomic composition, neither the jains nor the greeks got it right. Quantum physics 101, to use your nose in the air terminology!

Now back to being serious :reading:

The coffee cup is still contained in the shards of broken ceramic after it smashes on the floor. The cup still exists, it just needs to be re-assembled. It is still holds the designation cup as long as it is designated that way, and assuming one is patient enough to fix it, it can still function as a cup, so it has not ended. As long as there is a sentient being that decides that this dharma is to serve the function "cup", this is what it will be, whatever current state it happens to hold.

If no sentient beings are making it serve the function "cup", then it is just a potential for a cup, has it ended? Only for how ever long it takes for it to be designated "cup" function again.

You could take a pile of sand, and decide this is a cup, and by the process of vitrification, turn it into a usable cup, and then accidentally smash it, decide it is no longer a cup, and so not re-assemble it.

Apparently the moral of my story is the "end" of a cup is arbitrarily designated by your mind.

Things get more complicated when you consider physics, which states that due to how the "nowness" of any given moment is slanted based on the speeds you are going perspective to an other position, the past, present and future all exist simultaneously, because they can be, and are, the "now" of something else, in which case whatever you do to your cup,.that cup still exists in a prior "now". That is to say, it's past existence still exists! This has some curious implications when it comes to past sages, such as the Buddha!

:spy:
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Re: impermanence

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:35 am

There can't be a moment of breaking. A cup is either broken or it's not.There's the moment before the cup breaks and the moment after it breaks, but no moment we can point to that constitutes "breaking."
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Re: impermanence

Postby 5heaps » Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:58 am

randomseb wrote:Quantum physics 101, to use your nose in the air terminology!

actually they and others have been saying for a long time that there is a common locus between atoms. then there is the radical mindonly theory where all objects share a common locus with their unique observer

The coffee cup is still contained in the shards of broken ceramic after it smashes on the floor. The cup still exists, it just needs to be re-assembled.

It is still holds the designation cup as long as it is designated that way, and assuming one is patient enough to fix it, it can still function as a cup, so it has not ended.

it hasnt ended because it can be fixed and be remade into a cup? your argument doesnt make any sense. that pieces of ceramic can be assembled and turned into a cup is called production. prior to the production of a cup, there is no cup.

You could take a pile of sand, and decide this is a cup, and by the process of vitrification, turn it into a usable cup, and then accidentally smash it, decide it is no longer a cup, and so not re-assemble it.

you cannot take a pile of sand and do that ie. decide that it is a cup. you can however make sand undergo that process and then produce something from it that can then be validly labeled 'cup'. unfortunately a patch of sand can never be validly labeled 'cup'.

even if you knew the properties of sand very well, and through insight develop a conception of how to turn the sand (noncup) into a cup, the object in your mind that you would be labeling 'cup' is still not the sand. the thing you would be labeling cup is the final product once you had finished working on the sand, due to your initial insight of its properties (which others around you may not at all be able to see in the sand)

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.."
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Re: impermanence

Postby kirtu » Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:52 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
The only difference is that, as with a full cup,
it no longer has the capacity to hold anything.
There is no final moment of the cup
only the final moment of capacity to hold (liquids or whatever).
if the capacity to hold liquids is what makes it a cup
then a bathtub would also be a cup.
But i don't think that is the case.
So, we can rule out "capacity to hold" .


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.).

Why is a slightly cupped plate (as most plate are) not a cup?

Because it can't easily hold a reasonable measure of liquid.

However this is an arbitrary designation. We can still most plates to drink liquids. But that is not their agreed upon purpose.

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.

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