Concepts III - The difference between ariyan and non-ariyans regarding concepts

When we have studied the Dhamma and considered it, we shall see that the cittas of all beings, which arise in daily life, sometimes have a paramattha dhamma and sometimes a concept as object. There are not only cittas of the eye-door process that have colour as object. When the cittas of the eye-door process have fallen away and there have been bhavanga-cittas in between, mind-door process cittas arise experiencing the colour that was just before experienced by the eye-door process cittas. When that series of mind- door process cittas has fallen away and there have been bhavanga-cittas in between, there can be another series of mind-door process cittas that have a concept as object. If we do not know concepts how can we lead our daily lives? If one didn’t know what different things are, such as a table, a chair, food, a bowl, a plate or a spoon, one could not lead one’s daily life. Also, animals must have concepts as objects, otherwise they could not stay alive. They must be able to know what is food and what is not.
Is there a difference in the ways different people experience concepts, namely in the ways the Buddha, the arahat, the anagami, the sakadagami, the sotapanna and the ordinary person experience them? There is a difference between ariyans and non- ariyans as to the way they experience concepts. Ordinary people who do not know anything about paramattha dhammas take concepts for things that are real. The ariyans who have realised the Noble Truths know that all dhammas are anatta. The realities that arise and appear through eyes, ears, nose, tongue, bodysense and mind-door are impermanent, whereas concepts are not realities with the characteristics of impermanence and anatta. Concepts are not realities but they are the means to make things known. Concepts are the object of citta and cetasika when we know the meaning of the things that appear, when we know what different things are.
We should carefully consider phenomena and the conditions for their appearing; we should consider which cause leads to which effect. If there were no citta and cetasika could there be concepts? That would be impossible. If there were only rupas but no namas, no cittas and cetasikas, there could not be concepts. Rupa is the reality that does not know an object, whereas citta and cetasika are the realities that know an object. Therefore, if citta and cetasika did not arise, concepts could not be known. Ariyans as well as non-ariyans have concepts as object, but there is a difference. Non-ariyans take concepts for realities whereas ariyans know when citta has a paramattha dhamma as object and when it has a concept as object.

Topic 290