Absolute realities fall into citta, cetasika, rupa, nibbana out of which the Rupa is elements or materiality. [See: The Abhidhamma in Practice by N.K.G. Mendis] Nibbana is also sometimes considered an element.
Everything which is conditioned is constructed by materiality or elements which are:
- earth or solidity
- fire or heat
- water or cohesion
- air or movement
- other secondary elements
What ever made of elements is unsatisfactory and suffering as it is not in one's control or not permanent (hence you will have to part with pleasant forms causing unsatisfactoriness).
The element or part that causes suffering in this is the mental reaction to your experience. When you do not react to it with craving, aversion of ignorance then there is no suffering. You will be at peace or Nirvana if you do not react with craving. As Nirvana is sometimes also referred as an element (Nibbānadhātu) it could be this which can be considered as an non suffering element.
Citta, cetasika are also conditioned by they come into being as part of the Nama-Rupa process, hence they cannot exist without materiality except for in the immaterial realms.
Nibbānadhātu:—“the state of Nibbāna”. S.V, 8; A.II, 120; IV, 202; J.I, 55; It.38 (dve: see under Nibbāna); Miln.312. Also in the foll. connections: amata° It.62; bhū° the verbal root bhū DA.I, 229; ṭhapitāya dhātuyā “while the bodily element, i.e. vitality lasts” Miln.125; vaṇṇa° form, beauty S.I, 131; Pv.I, 31. In these cases it is so far weakened in meaning, that it simply corresponds to E. abstr. suffix —hood or —ity (cp. °hood=origin. “form”: see ketu), so perhaps in Nibbāna°=Nibbāna-dom. Cp. dhātuka.
Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
nibbānadhātu : (f.) the sphere of nibbāna.
Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary
The Ultimate Realities
The Abhidhamma deals with realities existing in an ultimate sense, called in Pali paramattha dhammaa. There are four such realities:
Citta, mind or consciousness, defined as that which knows or experiences an object. Citta occurs as distinct momentary states of consciousness.
Cetasikas, the mental factors that arise and occur along with the cittas.
Ruupa, physical phenomena, or material form.
Citta, the cetasikas, and ruupa are conditioned realities. They arise because of conditions and disappear when their conditions cease to sustain them. Therefore they are impermanent. Nibbaana is an unconditioned reality. It does not arise and therefore does not fall away. These four realities can be experienced regardless of what name we give them. Any other thing — be it within ourselves or without, past, present, or future, coarse or subtle, low or lofty, far or near — is a concept and not an ultimate reality.
Citta, cetasikas, and nibbaana are also called naama. The two conditioned naamas, citta and cetasikas, together with ruupa make up naama-ruupa, the psycho-physical organism. Each of us, in the ultimate sense, is a naama-ruupa, a compound of mental and material phenomena, and nothing more. Apart from these three realities that go to form the naama-ruupa compound there is no ego, self, or soul. The naama part of the compound is what experiences an object. The ruupa part does not experience anything. When the body is injured it is not the body, which is ruupa, that feels the pain, but naama, the mental side. When we are hungry it is not the stomach that feels the hunger but again the naama. However, naama cannot eat the food to ease the hunger. The naama, the mind and its factors, makes the ruupa, the body, ingest the food. Thus neither the naama nor the ruupa has any efficient power of its own. One is dependent on the other; one supports the other. Both naama and ruupa arise because of conditions and perish immediately, and this is happening every moment of our lives. By studying and experiencing these realities we will get insight into: (1) what we truly are; (2) what we find around us; (3) how and why we react to what is within and around us; and (4) what we should aspire to reach as a spiritual goal.
The third reality or paramattha dhamma is ruupa, matter or material form. In its analysis of matter the Abhidhamma recognizes twenty-eight kinds of material phenomena. Four of these are called primary, twenty-four secondary. The secondary kinds are dependant on the primary.
The four primary elements (cattaari mahaa bhuutaani)
These are metaphorically referred to under their ancient names but signify distinct properties of matter:
The Earth element (pa.thavi dhaatu) = solidity
The Water element (aapo dhaatu) = adhesion
The Fire element (tejo dhaatu) = heat
The Wind element (vaayo dhaatu) = motion
There is no unit of matter that does not contain these four elements in varying proportions. The preponderance of one element over the other three gives the material object its main characteristic.
The Abhidhamma in Practice by N.K.G. Mendis