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.