Concepts II - One characteristic at a time as it appears

Lobha-mula-citta (consciousness with attachment) arises time and again through eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body-sense and mind-door. Even when lobha-mula-citta is without wrong view (dittigata vippayutta), it is not merely attached to paramattha dhammas (realities) which appear through the six doors, but it is also attached to concepts. It is attached to the general appearance of things and to the details; it is attached to names and to subjects of thought.
We should ask ourselves, at this moment, what kinds of objects we usually experience in our daily lives? The objects are mostly concepts and thus the characteristics of  paramattha dhammas are hidden, they are not known as they are.
Question: When we touch grapes or a picture of grapes, softness and hardness are paramattha dhammas, the flavour of grapes is a paramattha dhamma. Many realities that are joined together constitute a real grape and this we call a concept. Thus, I am inclined to think that a concept is real.
Sujin: The rupa of flavour arises and then falls away; it can only last as long as seventeen moments of citta. The rupa that is the colour of grapes arises and then falls away very rapidly since it only lasts as long as seventeen moments of citta. Can we then say that grapes exist?
Question: They exist in our memory.
Sujin: There is a concept, a notion that there are grapes, but in reality there is only flavour which arises and then falls away, or hardness which arises and then falls away.
Question: A concept is formed because many paramattha dhammas are joined together into a mass or a whole.
Sujin: When one does not realise the arising and falling away of one reality at a time, one takes what appears to be a whole, for a thing which exists.
Question: Is a concept not real? A concept is constituted of many kinds of paramattha dhammas (realities): softness, hardness, heat, colour, odour or flavour. They are joined together; they are a whole, a thing that has such and such colour, this or that shape. There is a concept of this or that person with such and such outward appearance. Thus a concept is made up of paramattha dhammas.
Sujin: One will know that concepts are not paramattha dhammas if one learns to discern the characteristics of the different paramattha dhammas that arise together. One should be aware of one characteristic at a time as it appears through one doorway at a time. In order to know the truth we should realise the arising and falling away of rupa, which appears through one doorway at a time.
Each rupa lasts only as long as seventeen moments of citta and then it falls away. Therefore, rupa that arises has no time to stand, walk, or do anything. During the time one lifts one’s hand, already more than seventeen moments of citta have passed. One sees people walking or lifting their hands, but in reality the rupas that arise fall away immediately and are succeeded by other rupas. The rupa which is visible object appears to cittas of the eye-door process and then, after there have been bhavanga-cittas in between, there are many mind-door processes of cittas. That is why one can see people walking or lifting their hands. Seventeen moments of citta pass away extremely rapidly. Thus, we should consider what happens in reality.
It should be known that the rupa appearing at this moment through the eyes only lasts seventeen moments of citta and that it must fall away before sound can be experienced through ears. It seems that there can be hearing and seeing at the same time, but in between the moment of hearing and the moment of seeing there is an interval of more than seventeen moments of citta. The visible object, which appears through the eyes, and lasts seventeen moments of citta, must have fallen away before the citta that hears arises.
It seems that there can be hearing and seeing at the same time, but these are different moments of citta experiencing different objects. Rupas arise and fall away and succeed one another. Visible object appears through the eye-door and after there have been bhavanga-cittas in between, it appears through the mind-door. Then, there are many mind-door processes of cittas that think of concepts. That is why people who walk, lift their hands or move, can appear. When we see people lifting their hands or walking there are countless nama dhammas and rupa dhammas arising and falling away all the time. So long as we don’t realise the arising and falling away of nama and rupa, we cling to the idea that what appears are people, women, men, or this or that thing. We cling to the concept of somebody or something.

Topic 289