Seeing Impermanence Objectively

This is about Anicca( aniccata). Can we really see impermanence of anything objectively. I am asking this because , to see impermanace we have to see absence of something first. Can we we see absence objectively. I think we can only see what is existing/ present. Seeing absence is imagination. Is this correct. :pray::pray::pray:

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Well, what would that absence be? Wouldn’t it be permanence? And aren’t thing we see subject to change, unstable, arising and passing away?

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It is like this. Let’s take " Change". I think we can only see two different moments. Then by comparing the two moments we can make a concept of “Change”. Is not this correct ?

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To see that something has changed, one needs to compare it to its previous state. This implies the passage of time. If the current state is in the present moment, the previous state must necessarily be in the past, no matter how short the time interval. The present moment can be directly observed, the past is necessarily a memory hence Anicca can be considered a deduction/ attribution.

The counter point is that one could say that the memory of the past state is also being directly observed in the present moment along with the current state - hence Anicca can be directly observed.

And then there are those who will say that Anicca is a sanna and it is that sanna which is being objectively observed in the present. :joy: :exploding_head:

Sabbe sankhara anicca”. What’s important is to get that. How you get that really doesn’t matter IMO… it simply leads one off the path into the thicket of views.

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Yes. It is a good point.

This is of course true, and how the mind works.
It’s what enables us to notice that a breath is short or long. The terms are comparative.

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No, it’s contrast of opposites (life/death) which is a basic perceptive process in Buddhism.

"“Monk, the property of light is discerned in dependence on darkness.”

—Samyutta Nikaya 14.11

Equally important is the future projection mindlessly imposed on all things by the uninstructed worldling, which engenders a false sense of security. There is an assumption they will continue in their present form which is a delusion. By practising the exercises of recognition of impermanence this is constantly opposed releasing insight of reality. This is described in steps 13-16 in the Anapanasati sutta.

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As I recently discussed in another thread this is the (or at least one) exact line of reasoning that led the Sarvastavadins to believe that the past objectively exists. So you’re well on your way to being an Abhidhamma expert :wink:

The Theravādans tactfully wouldn’t call it “imagination” though. They’d prefer to call it a “property” of dhammas.

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Thank you Bhante for the reply. This is really a abhidhamma problem :blush:.
Theravadins do not like to call impermanance a pannatti. Again they do not call it paramatta either. However according to abhidhammavathara, there is only two - paramattha and pannatti, no third end. ( tatiya na koti vijjati).
How can this problem be solved.

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I believe they (the Theravādins) explain it by saying that particular dhammas stick around for short, partially overlapping periods of time. If the awareness dhamma overlaps with the tail end of a “experience of hardness” dhamma, then the meditator really has seen that dhamma’s disappearance. For Canonical justification, one could argue that SN 12.15 supports such a reading.

So by tuning the phase of your observation, you can catch glipses of dhammas arising. And if you alter the phase again, you can catch dhammas passing away. Then the rest is “valid inference.”

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That is a good point bhante :pray:

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@paul1 , just a remark, can you refer to sutta as in SN14.11 in stead of Samyutta Nikaya 14.11 because it creates a link and easy to read the sutta.

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Your comment has much depth than I thought earlier. This is about comming to anicca sanna. :pray:

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