Page 158

seeking the path

p. 555/4-6

p. 577/24-28 p. 577/29-32

p. 579/26-27 p. 581/11-12 p. 583/18-21 p. 584/18-19

476

fusion. For we forget that both cause and effect are events, and we tend to think of them as substances maintaining an identity in spite of events. But, though the effect succeeds, it succeeds immediately. Causation is really the ideal reconstruction of a continuous process of change in time. Between the coming together of the separate conditions and the beginning of the process, is no halt or interval. Cause and effect are not divided by time in the sense of duration or lapse or interspace. They are separated in time by an ideal line which we drew across the indivisible process. For if the cause remained for the fraction of a second, it might remain through an indefinite future. Permanent cause, unless you take cause in another meaning and treat it as substance, is simply nonsensical. I should be glad to discuss some of the difficulties which arise in connection with causation, but the questions raised would hardly be logical.]: This will not do at all. We have here once again Bradley’s mistaken notions of time. ‘Continuous change’ is a self-contradiction. [Whether rightly or wrongly, all logic assumes that a mere attention, a simple retaining and holding together before the mind’s eye, is not an alteration.]: Attention alters weight or emphasis, but this does not alter relations. [… an ‘otherwise’ that alters is an admissible idea.]: This is quite right. [But obviously, where our A is taken as ultimate Reality, the suggestion of an ‘otherwise’ becomes quite untenable. An ‘otherwise than A,’ whether as a contrary or as an alteration, is here, alike in either case, no idea at all, but is wholly senseless.]: And this is quite wrong—there is no ‘ultimate Reality’ behind appearances. [Is the intellectual experiment the parallel of a movement in the real universe?]: It is a movement in the real (universe). [How frivolous an idea, but how inevitable; and yet once more how wholly indefensible.]: And how elegantly put! [Unless you revolutionize your belief about reality … you cannot maintain the strict correspondence of thoughts and of things.]: But thoughts are things. [But ideas do not exist, and they can not exist, if existence means presence in the series of phenomena.] ‘the series of

Early Writings (Seeking the Path - Ñāṇavīra Thera)  

Part B includes two early essays (Nibbana and Anatta and Sketch for a Proof of Rebirth) as well as notes from a Commonplace Book and Margina...