Karmic accrual and Momentariness

A forum for those wishing to discuss Buddhist history and teachings in the Western academic manner, referencing appropriate sources.
User avatar
Stefos
Posts: 104
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:51 am

Karmic accrual and Momentariness

Post by Stefos » Sun Nov 26, 2017 3:32 am

Good day everyone!

I have a question about Karmic accrual and momentariness as the title states.

So according to the Dharma, we accrue Karma and this becomes the seed for future actions of body, speech and mind.

The issue I have is: If everything is momentary, How can Karma accrue? or "Stick" as it were?

Thanks,
Stefos

User avatar
PuerAzaelis
Posts: 955
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 1:37 pm

Re: Karmic accrual and Momentariness

Post by PuerAzaelis » Sun Nov 26, 2017 4:20 am

Our scientific mindset expects there has to be some kind of single law governing causation. As a result, I am a product of the world.

An understanding of karma under this world view is impossible.

The proper understanding of karma is the reverse. The world is secondary, the subjective view is primary.

In this view, all becoming (bhava) follows from grasping (upadana).

In NYC, the match scrapes against the sandpaper. These conditions trigger a specific kind of reality that has been craving to come into being. That reality grasps those conditions, and fire becomes.

A trillion miles away, a trillion years from now, a match scrapes against sandpaper. Those same conditions trigger the same kind of reality that is still craving to come into being. That reality again grasps those same conditions, and fire becomes.

The only universal scientific law which says that things accrue, or stick, or have continuity from moment to moment, is the one that applies to matter.

But karma says that if the conditions arise which permit a certain kind of craving to grasp them - then a becoming will follow that grasping.
Generally, enjoyment of speech is the gateway to poor [results]. So it becomes the foundation for generating all negative emotional states. Jampel Pawo, The Certainty of the Diamond Mind

User avatar
cyril
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2016 5:47 am

Re: Karmic accrual and Momentariness

Post by cyril » Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:20 am

Stefos wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 3:32 am
Good day everyone!

I have a question about Karmic accrual and momentariness as the title states.

So according to the Dharma, we accrue Karma and this becomes the seed for future actions of body, speech and mind.

The issue I have is: If everything is momentary, How can Karma accrue? or "Stick" as it were?

Thanks,
Stefos
A sort of feedback loop maybe?
"You have to make the good out of the bad because that is all you have got to make it out of."
- Robert Penn Warren -

Fortyeightvows
Posts: 1668
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2014 2:37 am

Re: Karmic accrual and Momentariness

Post by Fortyeightvows » Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:51 am

Stefos wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 3:32 am
Good day everyone!

I have a question about Karmic accrual and momentariness as the title states.

So according to the Dharma, we accrue Karma and this becomes the seed for future actions of body, speech and mind.

The issue I have is: If everything is momentary, How can Karma accrue? or "Stick" as it were?

Thanks,
Stefos
Moment of mind, followed by moment of mind, with each moment being conditioned by the previous moment and in turn conditioning the next moment...?

You've read up on your yogacara about the alaya consciousness?

User avatar
Stefos
Posts: 104
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:51 am

Re: Karmic accrual and Momentariness

Post by Stefos » Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:32 am

Hi Gentlemen,

You have only touched on the surface.

What is the answer?

Pali text Buddhism, per se, shows Lord Buddha stating momentariness but he never gave a definition for this.

Later Buddhist schools did.......Ex. Yogacara and it's Alaya-vijnana.

I have a very valid question and I think it deserves a thorough examination.

Stefos

Fortyeightvows
Posts: 1668
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2014 2:37 am

Re: Karmic accrual and Momentariness

Post by Fortyeightvows » Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:48 am

Stefos wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:32 am
I have a very valid question and I think it deserves a thorough examination.
Clarify the question

User avatar
Stefos
Posts: 104
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:51 am

Re: Karmic accrual and Momentariness

Post by Stefos » Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:58 am

Fortyeightvows wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:48 am
Stefos wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:32 am
I have a very valid question and I think it deserves a thorough examination.
Clarify the question
I have:

How does Karma accrue or "Stick" to a momentary mindstream?

That's the view of many Tibetan Buddhist schools........not necessarily that of any other school.

Stefos

User avatar
KeithA
Posts: 123
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 11:02 pm

Re: Karmic accrual and Momentariness

Post by KeithA » Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:24 am

Stefos wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:58 am
Fortyeightvows wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:48 am
Stefos wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:32 am
I have a very valid question and I think it deserves a thorough examination.
Clarify the question
I have:

How does Karma accrue or "Stick" to a momentary mindstream?

That's the view of many Tibetan Buddhist schools........not necessarily that of any other school.

Stefos
It's pretty simple, imho:

If I say "Stefos is a jerk", there will be a train of events that can readily identified as undesirable, or "bad" karma.

If I pick up the glass of water sitting next me, there will be a train of events that will be very short. Neutral karma, if you will.

You started this thread. There will be a better understanding of karma, as a result, which we can call "good" karma.

Karma just means "action" or "activity". When something is done, there are consequences. Some go on for kalpas, some are gone in an instant. What "sticks" is the results of an action.

That's my view, anyway. I look forward to other viewpoints. I don't know about the whole "school" deal. What I expressed is what I understand to be Buddhadharma 101. I am happy to be proved wrong.

regards,
Keith

User avatar
PuerAzaelis
Posts: 955
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 1:37 pm

Re: Karmic accrual and Momentariness

Post by PuerAzaelis » Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:07 am

Stefos wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:58 am
Fortyeightvows wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:48 am
Stefos wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:32 am
I have a very valid question and I think it deserves a thorough examination.
Clarify the question
I have:

How does Karma accrue or "Stick" to a momentary mindstream?
It doesn’t.

The thing that is sticky is not anything in the world. Thinking something in the world is sticky is like believing in a universal law “out there” that applies to all the individual “in-heres”.

That is science. The view of karma is the opposite.

The thing that is sticky is me.

Because of my endless thirst, when conditions are right, I grasp, and something becomes.

Then, again, later, because of my endless thirst, when conditions are right, I grasp, and something becomes.

Then, for variety, later, once again, because of my endless thirst, when conditions are right, I grasp, and something becomes.

The match rubs on the sandpaper, and the fire which thirsts to exist grasps at those conditions, then becomes.

Then, again, later, once again, the match rubs on the sandpaper, and the fire which thirsts to exist grasps at those conditions, then becomes.

Then, for variety, later, once again, the match rubs on the sandpaper, and the fire which thirsts to exist grasps at those conditions, then becomes.

It’s not a question of accruing or accumulating anything. This stuff just happens again, and again, and again, forever. Seeds, sprouts, fruits, compost, seeds, sprouts, fruits, compost, seeds, sprouts, fruits, compost.

The point is not to accrue it or accumulate it or stop it or cultivate it or jump up and down on it or do whatever you like with it, but to watch it.
Stefos wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:58 am
Alaya Vijnana ... Yogacara ... many Tibetan Buddhist schools ...
Academic forums, citations, endless debates ...

Barf, who cares.

PS:

How do we accumulate karmic seeds? Every physical and verbal action is preceded by mental activity. Goodwill motivates a kind gesture; ill will motivates nasty words. Ill will is the intention to cause mental, emotional or physical harm. Thus, before and during a bad action, ill will is present in our mind. The presence of ill will before and during this act has an impact and influence on the mind due to which a certain potential is left behind. This potential is a karmic seed, a seed planted in our mind by physical, verbal or mental action. The strength or depth of this seed is determined by a number of factors, including how strong our intention is, whether we clearly understand what we are doing, whether we act on our intention and whether the physical and verbal action is completed.

Seeds will remain in the mind until they ripen or are destroyed. Seeds left by negative mental events and actions can be destroyed by the four opponent or antidotal powers. The most important of these four powers are regret for the negative act and a firm resolve not to act that way again in the future. Seeds left by positive mental events and actions can be destroyed by anger.


Geshe Tashi Tsering, The Buddha's Medicine for the Mind: Cultivating Wisdom and Compassion
Last edited by PuerAzaelis on Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
Generally, enjoyment of speech is the gateway to poor [results]. So it becomes the foundation for generating all negative emotional states. Jampel Pawo, The Certainty of the Diamond Mind

User avatar
PuerAzaelis
Posts: 955
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 1:37 pm

Re: Karmic accrual and Momentariness

Post by PuerAzaelis » Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:29 am

Stefos wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:32 am
Pali text Buddhism, per se, shows Lord Buddha stating momentariness but he never gave a definition for this.
He did, by the way.

Not only the clinging aggregates but the causes and conditions for them, are transitory.

He compares material form to a lump of foam, feeling to a bubble, perception to a mirage, mental formations to a plantain trunk, and consciousness to an illusion.
Generally, enjoyment of speech is the gateway to poor [results]. So it becomes the foundation for generating all negative emotional states. Jampel Pawo, The Certainty of the Diamond Mind

User avatar
Wayfarer
Posts: 3597
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 8:31 am
Location: Sydney AU

Re: Karmic accrual and Momentariness

Post by Wayfarer » Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:41 am

As this is in Academic Discussion forum, it is appropriate to mention a book which discusses this issue in a lot of detail:

The Buddhist Unconscious: The Alaya-vijñana in the context of Indian Buddhist Thought, William S. Waldron http://a.co/gtWYYDJ

Waldron has a few PDF’s available on his website which explore similar territory. Basically it’s an in-depth study of the Alaya-Vijñāna, the ‘storehouse consciousness’, which according to Yogācāra is the means whereby the seeds of future actions are transmitted.
Only practice with no gaining idea ~ Suzuki-roshi

User avatar
Stefos
Posts: 104
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:51 am

Re: Karmic accrual and Momentariness

Post by Stefos » Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:53 am

PuerAzaelis wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:29 am
Stefos wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:32 am
Pali text Buddhism, per se, shows Lord Buddha stating momentariness but he never gave a definition for this.
He did, by the way.

Not only the clinging aggregates but the causes and conditions for them, are transitory.

He compares material form to a lump of foam, feeling to a bubble, perception to a mirage, mental formations to a plantain trunk, and consciousness to an illusion.
Hi PuerAzelis,

What I meant was: Lord Buddha did not define the length of time that a "moment" was.

No definition prior to the Theravada interpolation exists.
Does it?

My concern is "How momentary is momentary?" and "What did Shakyamuni Buddha teach regarding the time span of this momentariness?"

Stefos

User avatar
Stefos
Posts: 104
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:51 am

Re: Karmic accrual and Momentariness

Post by Stefos » Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:56 am

PuerAzaelis wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:07 am
Stefos wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:58 am
Fortyeightvows wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:48 am


Clarify the question
I have:
How does Karma accrue or "Stick" to a momentary mindstream?
Stefos wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:58 am
Alaya Vijnana ... Yogacara ... many Tibetan Buddhist schools ...
Academic forums, citations, endless debates ...

Barf, who cares.
Well my friend........In Advaita Vedanta, this very notion of the Alayavijnana and momentariness is debated!!

I wanted to know the answer............Yes, the "ego" says this.

Stefos

Sarva Mangalam

User avatar
Aryjna
Posts: 304
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:45 pm

Re: Karmic accrual and Momentariness

Post by Aryjna » Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:08 pm

Stefos wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:53 am
PuerAzaelis wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:29 am
Stefos wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:32 am
Pali text Buddhism, per se, shows Lord Buddha stating momentariness but he never gave a definition for this.
He did, by the way.

Not only the clinging aggregates but the causes and conditions for them, are transitory.

He compares material form to a lump of foam, feeling to a bubble, perception to a mirage, mental formations to a plantain trunk, and consciousness to an illusion.
Hi PuerAzelis,

What I meant was: Lord Buddha did not define the length of time that a "moment" was.

No definition prior to the Theravada interpolation exists.
Does it?

My concern is "How momentary is momentary?" and "What did Shakyamuni Buddha teach regarding the time span of this momentariness?"

Stefos
Momentariness is relative anyway. It cannot be established.

Fortyeightvows
Posts: 1668
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2014 2:37 am

Re: Karmic accrual and Momentariness

Post by Fortyeightvows » Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:04 am

Stefos wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:53 am
What I meant was: Lord Buddha did not define the length of time that a "moment" was.

No definition prior to the Theravada interpolation exists.
Does it?

My concern is "How momentary is momentary?" and "What did Shakyamuni Buddha teach regarding the time span of this momentariness?"
I can't tell you if a definition of a 'moment' is given in the pali,but in mahayana it is usually given as 1/65th of a finger snap.

My posts in thread have some citations:
viewtopic.php?f=77&t=20792&hilit=traditional

User avatar
Stefos
Posts: 104
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:51 am

Re: Karmic accrual and Momentariness

Post by Stefos » Sun Dec 03, 2017 2:13 am

Aryjna wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:08 pm
Stefos wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:53 am
PuerAzaelis wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:29 am

He did, by the way.

Not only the clinging aggregates but the causes and conditions for them, are transitory.

He compares material form to a lump of foam, feeling to a bubble, perception to a mirage, mental formations to a plantain trunk, and consciousness to an illusion.
Hi PuerAzelis,

What I meant was: Lord Buddha did not define the length of time that a "moment" was.

No definition prior to the Theravada interpolation exists.
Does it?

My concern is "How momentary is momentary?" and "What did Shakyamuni Buddha teach regarding the time span of this momentariness?"

Stefos
Momentariness is relative anyway. It cannot be established.
The Lord Buddha in the Pali Nikayas and elsewhere DID in fact establish it!
In science, the Law of Entropy points to it explicitly.......things break down and they break down in time.

Moreover if momentariness is not true, then it goes without saying that the Buddha didn't know the Dharma.

My research of the matter shows that the stating of momentariness and Karmic accrual, giving rise to rebirth, is of the utmost importance.

The Pali Nikayas state that the Lord Buddha mentioned "momentariness" but he never qualified this.
Later phases of Buddhists expanded upon that and gave explicit meaning to this momentariness as being "X amount of time."
I'm not sure what authority they had to do so.

According to Dzogchen and Mahamudra, our Buddha nature or Primordial state requires no "working at it" to be because it IS.

Rebirth occurs based on Karma and Karma happens in Time............Time is what then? Moments or Non-Moments??

So now, Dzogchen & Mahamudra AND Advaita Vedanta and Kashmiri Shaivism say:
No, no time is needed..........You already are enlightened, just remain in your real state.

Stefos

Sarva Mangalam

User avatar
Aryjna
Posts: 304
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:45 pm

Re: Karmic accrual and Momentariness

Post by Aryjna » Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:11 am

Stefos wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2017 2:13 am
Aryjna wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:08 pm
Stefos wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:53 am


Hi PuerAzelis,

What I meant was: Lord Buddha did not define the length of time that a "moment" was.

No definition prior to the Theravada interpolation exists.
Does it?

My concern is "How momentary is momentary?" and "What did Shakyamuni Buddha teach regarding the time span of this momentariness?"

Stefos
Momentariness is relative anyway. It cannot be established.
The Lord Buddha in the Pali Nikayas and elsewhere DID in fact establish it!
In science, the Law of Entropy points to it explicitly.......things break down and they break down in time.

Moreover if momentariness is not true, then it goes without saying that the Buddha didn't know the Dharma.

My research of the matter shows that the stating of momentariness and Karmic accrual, giving rise to rebirth, is of the utmost importance.

The Pali Nikayas state that the Lord Buddha mentioned "momentariness" but he never qualified this.
Later phases of Buddhists expanded upon that and gave explicit meaning to this momentariness as being "X amount of time."
I'm not sure what authority they had to do so.

According to Dzogchen and Mahamudra, our Buddha nature or Primordial state requires no "working at it" to be because it IS.

Rebirth occurs based on Karma and Karma happens in Time............Time is what then? Moments or Non-Moments??

So now, Dzogchen & Mahamudra AND Advaita Vedanta and Kashmiri Shaivism say:
No, no time is needed..........You already are enlightened, just remain in your real state.

Stefos

Sarva Mangalam
There are different views depending on the vehicle in question. In Hinayana maybe both the existence of infinitesimal particles and of infinitesimal moments is accepted, that does not mean that they actually exist other than as a convention, or that they make any sense when confronted with logical arguments.

User avatar
Virgo
Global Moderator
Posts: 2647
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 3:47 am
Location: Globe

Re: Karmic accrual and Momentariness

Post by Virgo » Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:03 pm

Aryjna wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:11 am
There are different views depending on the vehicle in question. In Hinayana maybe both the existence of infinitesimal particles and of infinitesimal moments is accepted, that does not mean that they actually exist other than as a convention, or that they make any sense when confronted with logical arguments.
In Theravada these are accepted to exist and exist as ultimately real, not as conventions, but in Mahayana we know that not to be the case.

Kevin

User avatar
Stefos
Posts: 104
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:51 am

Re: Karmic accrual and Momentariness

Post by Stefos » Mon Dec 04, 2017 4:30 am

Virgo wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:03 pm
Aryjna wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:11 am
There are different views depending on the vehicle in question. In Hinayana maybe both the existence of infinitesimal particles and of infinitesimal moments is accepted, that does not mean that they actually exist other than as a convention, or that they make any sense when confronted with logical arguments.
In Theravada these are accepted to exist and exist as ultimately real, not as conventions, but in Mahayana we know that not to be the case.

Kevin
Whoaahh........The thread just got deeper.

Kevin, I notice you have a Dzogchen symbol as your Avatar picture.........Are you a Dzogchenpa?

Stefos

P.S. Is there any book in publication which acknowledges what I bring up here comparatively? :anjali:

User avatar
Dhammanando
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 8:08 pm
Location: Chiang Mai

Re: Karmic accrual and Momentariness

Post by Dhammanando » Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:35 am

Stefos wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 4:30 am
Is there any book in publication which acknowledges what I bring up here comparatively? :anjali:
Of those approaching the topic from an academic perspective I believe the most recent is:

Alexander von Rospatt, The Buddhist Doctrine of Momentariness - A Survey of the Origins and Early Phase of this Doctrine up to Vasubandhu (Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart, 1995)

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests