Points of Controversy

6.6. Of Space

Controverted Point: That space is unconditioned.

Theravādin: II space is unconditioned, as you affirm, you must class it with Nibbāna, or you must affirm two sorts of unconditioned—and so two Nibbānas—all of which you deny… .

Can anyone make space where there has been no space? Then one can make that which is conditioned unconditioned—which you deny… . So, too, for the reverse process… .

Again, if you admit that birds go through space, moon, sun, and stars go through space, supernormal movement is worked in space, the arm or hand is waved in space, clods, clubs, a supernormally moved person, arrows are projected through space, you must state as much about movement through or in the unconditioned—which you cannot… .

Again, if people enclose space when they make houses or barns, do they enclose the unconditioned? Or when a well is dug, does non-space become space? Yes? Then does the unconditioned become conditioned? Or, when an empty well, or an empty barn, or an empty jar, is filled, does “space” disappear? If so, does the unconditioned disappear?

Uttarapāthakas and Mahīsāsakas: If then it is wrong to say space is unconditioned, is it conditioned? You deny. Then it must be unconditioned.