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veto and the world changes at that level. (Note, however, that stable fields with negative gradients may occur as part of a composite reflexive consciousness.) But the structure of the world is hierarchical, and the gradient of feeling of a field at any level is not more than the increase or decrease of pleasantness in the succession of fields of next lower order. ‘Pleasant feeling, friend Visåkha, is pleasant in its persisting, unpleasant in its changing.’ (Majjhimanikåya, v,4) And the feeling of each of these lower-order fields itself has a gradient; for feeling only pleases or displeases in virtue of its gradient. ‘There being feeling, craving exists; with feeling as condition, craving.’ (D⁄ghanikåya, ii,2) And so on, downwards. It will be clear that a change in sign of the gradient of feeling at any level implies a succession of sign-changes of the gradient of feeling at a lower level, and each of these in turn a succession at a level still lower. But the change in sign of the gradient of feeling is always arbitrary (we shall see in appendix vii that this change occurs when one of the available or alternative fields becomes more pleasant; and this can be discovered only in the event); and it is this adventitious or gratuitous character of the change that constitutes the reality or objectivity of the world (even the reflexive measures we take to control changes of feeling—voluntary actions—are strictly empirical). We now see that since these arbitrary changes work their way upwards from the particular to the general (the higher levels do not change until the lower ones have lost stability) the details of any object must necessarily appear as more real, more independent, than its general existence when compared with its details. Nobody will deny the reality of that patch of sunlight on the grass, but are we so sure about the real existence of such an object as a fine July? The same considerations apply, however, to each detail; and we are remorselessly driven towards the ideal limit of an object that would be instantaneous, or absolutely real—a contradiction. (The quantum physicists would appear to be suggestive that an ultimate particle, when considered not apart from experience, must be defined as just such a contradictory object—determinate only for an instant of no time. If such an object is to exist it will be indeterminate; that is to say, though it must exist hierarchically and with some orientation, it might exist with any orientation. A particle, presumably, is either determinate and non-existent or indeterminate and existent, but not both. The account of a field and its surroundings attempted in appendix vii also seems to recall certain descriptions we have read of a particle as a system of probability-waves. It is certainly to be expected that all descriptions of experience should ultimately reveal similar structures.)

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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...

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...

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