Anicca and the allowable limits of permanence


An interesting perspective.

Yes, I can see that using a word like grasp on a Buddhist website could be confusing. I used it in the conventional sense – “to clasp or embrace especially with the fingers or arms”

‘Buddha grasped his bowl and set out on his morning alms round’.


Rather than user the term ‘at this point it exists’ might it be clearer to suggest ‘at this point it is reborn into your world’ - thereby noting that it’s not exactly the same object as before, but at the same time there is continuity from the last time you saw it.


In the process of perception by which one becomes aware of a thing there is only learned/conditioned seeing of a thing, the thing seen is not actually there, its a dream. It is this process of perception and its constituents which are referred to as changing / unstable.


That would certainly emphasize the dynamic nature of phenomena better but do people really think that things are unchanging? I think everyone realizes that things are transient. IMO people hold onto things not because they think they are stable but because they don’t know what else to do. If a person is drowning in the ocean you can hardly fault them for grabbing onto a leaky boat. They know it won’t last but - got a better idea?

And so if the Buddha has a better idea – he first has to get people to stop relying on temporary fixes. It’s like a dog pressing against in inward opening door to get outside. You first have to get it to step back from the door so you can open it. Buddha has to get us to first stop chasing after these fleeting unreliable phenomena before we can develop the path. The point is not to get caught up in discussions about whether these things exist or not – but rather to see that chasing after them doesn’t solve the problem of suffering.

Anyway, this is how I see it. You know, impermanence isn’t always a bad thing. If I have the flu or a broken leg I kind of like the idea that these things are temporary. But of course, I don’t sit around thinking ‘Oh, if I only had the flu, everything would be so much better’.

If you are saying that when we see or encounter something we infuse or project onto that phenomena our own thoughts and feelings – and mistaken this hybrid for something ‘out there’ then I agree. But as long as dream bullets put dream holes in dream bodies – pardon me for attending to them as if they exist.


Donald Hoffman had some interesting things to say on this


Fascinating article! Consider this wonderful quote:

According to evolution by natural selection, an organism that sees reality as it is will never be more fit than an organism of equal complexity that sees none of reality but is just tuned to fitness. Never.

Now with that firmly in mind, read this quote:

SN35.95:10.1: “In that case, when it comes to things that are to be seen, heard, thought, and known: in the seen will be merely the seen; in the heard will be merely the heard; in the thought will be merely the thought; in the known will be merely the known.

Taking these two well-vetted quotes together, we might be tempted to understand that Buddhism is a poor, unfit strategy, certainly not tuned for fitness as defined by Hoffman, Singh and Prakash

…unless one re-defines the fitness function to be the end of suffering. And perhaps that clarification is nothing other than the heart of stream-entry.


I give up :smiley: