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elements / dhathu

there are six elements
earth, water, fire, air, consciousness and space

the first four elements move within the space always, and when there is consciousness movements can be known

other than that there is nothing but labels, symbols given for 'such' movements

whenever one catches a movement one gives a label to that movement and the play begins (samsara)

what do you say?

DhammaDragonTraveller

Comments

  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem switzerland Veteran

    The element of consciousness is the "fiat lux" by which both the samsaric wheel and the cycle of dependent origination are set in motion.

    It is the element that sets human beings -possibly all sentient beings- apart from the inanimate first five elements.

    It is through consciousness that we grasp the world of nama-rupa, but also indulge in dualistic thinking, because in order to make sense of reality, we sort things out in terms of how they relate to us by thinking in terms of "us vs them."
    Consciousness can reinforce the boundaries of the ego.

    Traveller
  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem switzerland Veteran

    Though technically dependent origination does not begin with Consciousness, it is through Consciousness that we enter into contact with reality, which kickstarts defilements through the feelings that this contact triggers and prolong the cycle of grasping and craving.

    "For, my friend, in this very body, six feet in length, with its sense-impressions and its thoughts and ideas, I do declare to you are the world, and the origin of the world, and the ceasing of the world, and likewise the Way that leadeth to the ceasing thereof."

    A.N.ii.46

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited December 2016

    @upekka said:

    there are six elements
    earth, water, fire, air, consciousness and space

    What do you think this 6-element classification is for? What is it's purpose? It looks like a "form-heavy" alternative to the five aggregates.

    Perhaps there are some clues in this extract from MN140:

    "This is called the internal earth property. Now both the internal earth property & the external earth property are simply earth property. And that should be seen as it actually is present with right discernment: 'This is not mine, this is not me, this is not my self.' When one sees it thus as it actually is present with right discernment, one becomes disenchanted with the earth property and makes the earth property fade from the mind." http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.140.than.html

    the first four elements move within the space always, and when there is consciousness movements can be known

    Does space here refer to the absence of form, or that which contains form?

    other than that there is nothing but labels, symbols given for 'such' movements

    So other than the elements there is nothing but labels? But aren't the elements also labels, another way of classifying experience?

    whenever one catches a movement one gives a label to that movement and the play begins (samsara)

    Is it only movement? What about the static images in a painting or photograph? Or is it consciousness which is moving in this scenario?

  • upekkaupekka Veteran
    edited December 2016

    @SpinyNorman said:

    What do you think this 6-element classification is for?

    this is another way to see Truth

    What is it's purpose?

    helping in another way to see the Truth

    Perhaps there are some clues in this extract from MN140:

    different suttas were meant for different people, Buddha knew who he was addressing to

    since Buddha is not here to see our mentality and give discourses accordingly, we have to read and try several suttas to understand dhamma

    Does space here refer to the absence of form, or that which contains form?

    form move within the space

    But aren't the elements also labels, another way of classifying experience?

    yes, and we must understand it too

    Is it only movement?

    yes, actually it is a speedy movement

    What about the static images in a painting or photograph?

    this too speedily move

    is it consciousness which is moving in this scenario?

    both consciousness and form (four elements/painting/photograph) are moving speedily

    thinking doesn't help in this instances, but Insight meditation helps

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @upekka said: >What about the static images in a painting or photograph?
    this too speedily move

    is it consciousness which is moving in this scenario?

    both consciousness and form (four elements/painting/photograph) are moving speedily

    Consciousness is certainly moving, but what exactly do you mean by the painting or photograph moving? We're entering some deep waters here but I'm interested in your perspective.

  • @SpinyNorman said:

    but what exactly do you mean by the painting or photograph moving? We're entering some deep waters here but I'm interested in your perspective.

    it is easier to understand through Abhidhamma
    life span of form is 17 thought moments
    consciousness move 17 time faster than move of form

    in day today language how long a painting or photograph can stay without making a change to it?
    take a photograph taken 10 years ago, 20 years ago, 30 years ago 40 years ago
    do you think you can get the same look of such a photo or painting?
    change to form happening very slowly and our eye can not grasp that change
    during such a long period how many thought moments must have passed?

    without Buddha and his wisdom no one never could know this sort of subtle things/subtle dhamma
    when you see this subtle thing with your own wisdom, your Faith on Buddha, his Teaching, those who followed his Teaching and gain the Wisdom is confirmed

    for sure if we try we will be able to see the Truth in Buddha's Teaching
    we (human life) are born to gain this wisdom, but unfortunately either we do not want to get this wisdom or we are not wise enough to see the value of this Teaching

    either way we waste our valuable human life

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited December 2016

    @upekka said:

    @SpinyNorman said:

    but what exactly do you mean by the painting or photograph moving? We're entering some deep waters here but I'm interested in your perspective.

    it is easier to understand through Abhidhamma
    life span of form is 17 thought moments
    consciousness move 17 time faster than move of form

    in day today language how long a painting or photograph can stay without making a change to it?
    take a photograph taken 10 years ago, 20 years ago, 30 years ago 40 years ago
    do you think you can get the same look of such a photo or painting?
    change to form happening very slowly and our eye can not grasp that change
    during such a long period how many thought moments must have passed?

    Sure, the painting is impermanent, but those changes aren't discernible in the short term.

    I do agree that mind/consciousness is continually changing, so there is the movement of mind/consciousness and the movement of the other aggregates.

    I find the Abhidhamma view of mind moments useful in a general way, though the stuff about 17 times this and that seems less useful. For me the important thing is just noticing change, and also noticing stillness.

  • @SpinyNorman said:

    I find the Abhidhamma view of mind moments useful in a general way, though the stuff about 17 times this and that seems less useful. For me the important thing is just noticing change, and also noticing stillness.

    for me too it is the same
    i take Abhidhamma as a tool to explain some subtle dhamma

    ' just noticing change, and also noticing stillness' can be done not only when we do sitting meditation and walking meditation, but with every movement we make during the day
    during the morning walking meditation today i noticed, for each movement of the body a word comes from within and letters for such a word also come separately
    it is a new experience
    first letter come and gone before the next letter comes
    but we connect the two letters together and make a word and give it a meaning
    is it possible? what we do is making impossible things possible
    we are magicians, aren't we?

  • "Monks, an uninstructed run-of-the-mill person might grow disenchanted with this body composed of the four great elements, might grow dispassionate toward it, might gain release from it. Why is that? Because the growth & decline, the taking up & putting down of this body composed of the four great elements are apparent. Thus the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person might grow disenchanted, might grow dispassionate, might gain release there.

    "But as for what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness,' the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is unable to grow disenchanted with it, unable to grow dispassionate toward it, unable to gain release from it. Why is that? For a long time this has been relished, appropriated, and grasped by the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person as, 'This is me, this is my self, this is what I am.' Thus the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is unable to grow disenchanted with it, unable to grow dispassionate toward it, unable to gain release from it.

    Assutava Sutta

    upekka
  • It would be better for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person to hold to the body composed of the four great elements, rather than the mind, as the self. Why is that? Because this body composed of the four great elements is seen standing for a year, two years, three, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, a hundred years or more. But what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another. Just as a monkey, swinging through a forest wilderness, grabs a branch. Letting go of it, it grabs another branch. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. In the same way, what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another.

    upekkalobster
  • @pegembara said:
    In the same way, what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another.

    this is the subtle dhamma that hard to understand

    could you please provide the sutta reference

  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited December 2016

    Assutava Sutta as well. The Buddha is saying there's no consciousness that persists. The persistent knower is an illusion. There has only ever been the 6 types of consciousness or sense experience arising and passing moment to moment. The one who sees this directly is a stream winner.

    The ordinary person will not see this and thinks he is the knower who experiences sights, sounds, smells, tastes, touch and mind objects.

    The body is more permanent than the 'mind ' in this sense.

    upekka
  • One of the first practices I did was based on understanding the elements of our being:
    http://yinyana.tumblr.com/search/elements

    At the time I did it very much as a disciplined concentration. Trying to keep the mind focussed on the principle areas of attention.

    In this practice we worked with five elements (five and six combined)

  • upekkaupekka Veteran
    edited December 2016

    i remember you provided this link before as a response to one of my questions

    but something or other turned away my way of thinking 'about elements'

    that is very nice of you, bringing it back

    i can re-start 'investigating elements' again: colour, shapes, meanings etc.
    it was a very interesting study, hobby that i used to invove, and forgot

    thanks @lobster bringing it back again
    thank you

  • thank you

    Glad it is of interest. :)

    Developing right concentration moves us into an increased capacity of right contemplation/meditation/awareness/attention.
    @pegembara in his posts, has provided some important insight on the relative permanency of the physical form, compared to arising mind forms.

    What is the nature/element of the 'persistent knower'?
    Is it permanent? Hint: No!

    @pegembara said:
    Assutava Sutta as well. The Buddha is saying there's no consciousness that persists. The persistent knower is an illusion. There has only ever been the 6 types of consciousness or sense experience arising and passing moment to moment. The one who sees this directly is a stream winner.

    The ordinary person will not see this and thinks he is the knower who experiences sights, sounds, smells, tastes, touch and mind objects.

    The body is more permanent than the 'mind ' in this sense.

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