Points of Controversy

22.8. Of Momentary Duration

Controverted Point: That all things are momentary conscious units.

Theravādin: Do you imply that a mountain, the ocean, Sineru chief of mountains, the cohesive, fiery, and mobile elements, grass, twigs, trees, all last only so long in consciousness? You deny… .

Or do you imply that the organ of sight coincides for the same moment of time with the visual cognition? If you assent, I would remind you of what the venerable Sāriputta said:

“If, brother, the eye within is intact, but the object without does not come into focus, and there is no coordinated application of mind resulting therefrom, then a corresponding state of cognition is not manifested. And if the organ of sight within is intact, and the object without come into focus? but no co-ordinated application of mind result therefrom, a corresponding state of cognition is not manifested. But if all these conditions be satisfied, then a corresponding state of cognition is manifested.”

Where now is your assertion about coincidence in time?

The same Suttanta reference may be cited to refute you with respect to time-coincidence in the other four senses.

Pubbaseliyas and the Aparaseliyas: But are all things permanent, enduring, perduring, immutable?

Theravādin: No that cannot truly be said… .