Realities in the absolute sense
For the development of understanding of the phenomena of our life in
ourselves and around ourselves, it is essential to know the difference
what is real in coventional sense and what is real in the absolute or ultimate
sense. Before we learnt about the Buddhist teachings we only know
conventional realities such as person, world, animal or tree. The Buddha
taught about absolute or ultimate realities, in Pali paramattha dhammas.
Ultimate realities or as they are often refered to, dhammas, have each their
own characteristic, their own function, and they are true for everybody. We
are used to thinking of mind and body, but what we take for mind are in
reality different moments of consciousness, cittas, which change all the time.
Citta is a mental phenomenon or nama, it experiences an object. What we
take for body are different physical phenomena, rupas, which arise and fall
away. Rupa does not experience anything. Nama and rupa are absolute
realities, each with their own alterable characteristic. Seeing, for examle, is
nama, it experiences visible object. It has it own characteristic which cannot
be changed: seeing is always seeing, for everybody, no matter how we name
it. The names of realities can be changed but their characteristics are
unalterable. After having seen visible object we think of shape and form of a
person or a thing, but that is not seeing, it is thinking of a concept which is
real in conventional sense, not in absolute sense. In our life there are cittas
which are seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting or experience tangible object and
there are also cittas which on account of such experiences think of concepts.
This is our daily life and through the Buddha's teachings we will be less
deluded about our life. We will learn what is real in the absolute sense and
what is only a conventional reality or concept.
26 Sep 2012