Flyboy

Impermanence

25 posts in this topic

I have a question.

It bothers me how Buddhists go around preaching the 3 characteristics as if they are axioms or self-evident: Impermanence, Unsatisfactoriness, and No Self.

But let's just talk about impermanence.  Debunk this argument:  How do you know impermanence is not impermanent?

Just like the Achilles heel of radical skepticism, this self-referential knot leaves open the possibility of permanence, or eternalism, doesn't it?  Time probably isn't real anyway so I guess this all only makes sense inside of our dualities.  But still, an interesting thought.

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Because even if some eternal, unchanging state came about, it still wouldn’t have been around for all time precisely because it’s not around right now. Therefore, it’s still not permanent since it hasn’t been around for all time. 
 

This is why Buddhists say the only permanent thing is impermanence itself (a.k.a. the ever-changing present moment). 

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Because impermanence is just a term to describe the eternal ever changing nature of reality. For impermanence to be impermanent things would have to become somewhat permanent which is impossible. 

its just a term. Don’t get lost in words. Impermanence is impermanence in itself. There’s nothing to debunk because that doesn’t really make any sense in of itself if you analyze it. 

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16 minutes ago, Flyboy said:

I have a question.

It bothers me how Buddhists go around preaching the 3 characteristics as if they are axioms or self-evident: Impermanence, Unsatisfactoriness, and No Self.

But let's just talk about impermanence.  Debunk this argument:  How do you know impermanence is not impermanent?

Just like the Achilles heel of radical skepticism, this self-referential knot leaves open the possibility of permanence, or eternalism, doesn't it?  Time probably isn't real anyway so I guess this all only makes sense inside of our dualities.  But still, an interesting thought.

How do you know anything is anything?

It requires enlightenment or the collapse of all duality.   I once said the duality of everything and nothing is the final duality to collapse...but it may be the duality of concept and actuality.

Being and knowing are one.


 

Wisdom.  Truth.  Love.

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Posted (edited)

My argument is not that there "could be" something permanent one day, but that there could be something permanent NOW.  This permanence might be the void, or Nothing, or whatever.  But people like Daniel Ingram will sort of argue that there can exist no "God" that is fully aware of itself in the ultimate sense, but rather only the infinite dance.  This doesn't quite sit well with me.

Of course the concepts are just scaffolding, but the scaffolding helps to bump steer in the right direction towards realization.

Edited by Flyboy

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Posted (edited)

8 minutes ago, Flyboy said:

My argument is not that there "could be" something permanent one day, but that there could be something permanent NOW.  

As cliche as this answer sounds, the only permanent thing is the now itself (or the changing itself). The content within that now is always changing. I understand why that doesn’t sit well but certain realizations can be uncomfortable to egoic-based preferences and the mind. 

Edited by Synchronicity

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Posted (edited)

If impermanence is,or can be known or percieved,what knows or percieves it? Only what is permanent/unchanging,can know or percieve what is impermanent/changing. Impermanence,change,movement can be percieved, as it is moving within what is still/unchanging/unmoving.
Motion in stillness,stillness in motion are non-differentiated.

Edited by Guru Fat Bastard

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Posted (edited)

 

1 hour ago, Flyboy said:

My argument is not that there "could be" something permanent one day, but that there could be something permanent NOW.  This permanence might be the void, or Nothing, or whatever.  But people like Daniel Ingram will sort of argue that there can exist no "God" that is fully aware of itself in the ultimate sense, but rather only the infinite dance.  This doesn't quite sit well with me.

This is your problem. Understanding the 3 characteristics cannot be accomplished through the intellect, only through hardcore practice. When your concentration becomes so stabilized onto the present moment that you start seeing underneath the fabrication of perception, you'll understand impermanence. Perhaps "nothing" is permanent like you say, but honestly, who knows? What is nothingness? What is the present moment? Why would some very reputable dharma teachers claim that even the present moment is empty?

I don't have any answers. No one will through a forum. The only way to find out is through the radical responsibility of a rigorous meditation practice. 

Edited by Consilience

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Buddhism is concerned with liberation.  It’s not something you play with conceptually.  It is something to be verified (or not) by direct observation.  Observe the moment by moment changes in your images, thoughts, and feelings.  Notice that everything you sense arises and then falls away.  Deepen your awareness.  Follow the impermanence all the way to liberation.  


Vincit omnia Veritas.

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Posted (edited)

10 hours ago, Flyboy said:

I have a question.

It bothers me how Buddhists go around preaching the 3 characteristics as if they are axioms or self-evident: Impermanence, Unsatisfactoriness, and No Self.

But let's just talk about impermanence.  Debunk this argument:  How do you know impermanence is not impermanent?

Just like the Achilles heel of radical skepticism, this self-referential knot leaves open the possibility of permanence, or eternalism, doesn't it?  Time probably isn't real anyway so I guess this all only makes sense inside of our dualities.  But still, an interesting thought.

That is missing the point.  Everything changes...everything that is born also ends (i.e. dies).  The impermanence of all things...and impermanence is not a thing.  The impermanence of all things can be verified quite easily by just looking around...do you see anything that will never end.  Even the sun will burn out one day.  Nothing lasts forever (a common saying). 

Buddhism does not throw out "axioms" to be blindly believed (or at least the Buddha did not).  The implication being it can be verified directly in your own experience.

Quote

This permanence might be the void, or Nothing, or whatever. 

Void is not a thing.  Nothing is not a thing.  Both would be the absence of things.

Besides, you are confusing a what-is-not with what-is.  Nothing is only a concept.  Look around...is there anywhere where there is nothing at all?  You imagine a nothing...and call that fiction something that is permanent.

Edited by eputkonen

Eric Putkonen - stopped blogging and now do videos on YouTube - http://bit.ly/AdvaitaChannel

                            - hosting satsangs in the St. Petersburg, FL area.

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11 hours ago, Flyboy said:

My argument is not that there "could be" something permanent one day, but that there could be something permanent NOW.  

There is only what is true for you right NOW.    There is nothing behind the scenes.    That's all being imagined by you.  


 

Wisdom.  Truth.  Love.

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Posted (edited)

15 hours ago, Synchronicity said:

As cliche as this answer sounds, the only permanent thing is the now itself (or the changing itself). The content within that now is always changing. I understand why that doesn’t sit well but certain realizations can be uncomfortable to egoic-based preferences and the mind. 

That's begging the question, brah.

So, I dunno, I get the classic array of answers being offered here.  But c'mon, we're all here using language to communicate.  I'm well aware of its conceptual dualistic nature and the ultimate ineffability of the absolute vs the relative descriptive power of symbols.  

But if we just throw that out there every time someone asks a difficult question, why do we even have a forum?  I'd like a little more nuanced discussion on this.  For example, what are the limits of logic relative to describing our experience?  (The argument I made is a logical one, I'm aware).  What is the epistemological nature of stating something as an absolute?

I don't care at all if someone claims to be a Buddhist master.  I do care if they can be self-questioning and willing to probe the deepest angles of their claims about reality.  I'm simply pointing out that "impermanence" as a categorical absolute seems overstated to me, as even the word "impermanence" is itself a concept and idea that MUST by definition be less than IT.

Edited by Flyboy

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Posted (edited)

16 hours ago, Flyboy said:

Debunk this argument:  How do you know impermanence is not impermanent?

Impermanence is a concept that refers to the impermanence of objects. Impermanence itself is not an object.

Same with radical skepticism. It's not the object of its own criticism in the same way as what it's critiquing.

Edited by Carl-Richard

To balance beauty and complexity so perfectly is a divine mystery.

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31 minutes ago, Flyboy said:

  What is the epistemological nature of stating something as an absolute?

You are the Absolute and you can become conscious of various facets of the Absolute in a non-dual state of consciousness.  This is a state of pure Being.  You can realize yourself all at once or you can realize facets in different awakenings.  Check out Leo's facets of awakenings episode its very on par.


 

Wisdom.  Truth.  Love.

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Existence is. 
 

There is Absolute Permanence about as simply as it can be put. Impermanence is also true in that the appearance, content, etc. of that existence is in constant flux from any viewpoint of the relative world you can have. 


You mistake my Raja Yoga. 

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1 minute ago, BipolarGrowth said:

Existence is. 
 

There is Absolute Permanence about as simply as it can be put. Impermanence is also true in that the appearance, content, etc. of that existence is in constant flux from any viewpoint of the relative world you can have. 

Not quite - What is permanent is the realization of impermanence.


 

Wisdom.  Truth.  Love.

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1 minute ago, BipolarGrowth said:

@Inliytened1 and how do you know that existence is not in some cases? 

Existence is an Absolute.  


 

Wisdom.  Truth.  Love.

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@BipolarGrowth

21 minutes ago, BipolarGrowth said:

@Inliytened1 and how do you know that existence is not in some cases? 

sorry i misread what you said.  You are correct.


 

Wisdom.  Truth.  Love.

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@Flyboy the bottom line is you are not going to get to Truth through books.  What we are communicating to you is transrational.    If you wish to study transrational Ken Wilbur will be where to start but ultimately you will need to transcend rationality into mysticism.


 

Wisdom.  Truth.  Love.

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