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1 question: I just started learning about Buddhism and I read about the 3 marks of existence. When Buddhism speaks about impermanence does impermanence only refer to our experience (the 5 skhandas) or is outisde world phenomena included and considered impermanent. As I understood it impermanence is a key Buddhist principle. How does Buddhism describe time according to this impermanence doctrine and what is impermanence relationship and connection with time. I have seen a few answers here on a similar question/topic but not really this one so I hope I will get a few answers that can help me understand it.

2 question: Is a dependently arising cycle considered happening in a split second or how fast is it considered happening and what is its relationship and connection with time ??

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  1. Impermanence includes everything. For the record, Buddhism only uses the references like inside and outside as compromises with unenlightened way of thinking. In the strict sense, these notions of Inner and Outer arise as result of Dependent Origination. When you go out of subjective frame of reference and speak about Mind Processes at large, everything is unfolding all the time, with some patterns emerging as seeming Inner and Outer.

Technically, this Unfolding IS Being IS Time, as explained by Dogen in his famous lecture on the topic. In other words, it's not that Time is a container for Everything. It is identical with Being or Unfolding, but we sentient beings like to delineate certain aspects, because our minds are reification machines that work in terms of entities and their background. So for us it's only natural to think of time as background or container of events.

  1. Dependent Origination unfolds over time, just like everything else. However, it would be incorrect to talk about concrete time scale, because DO talks about high-level principles in terms of functional relationship. Yes, the seedling comes from the seed and this happens over time, but we don't have to talk about a specific seed, we talk about the principle at large.
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Buddhism says "sabbe sankhara anicca: all conditioned things are impermanent". A "conditioned thing" is anything put together & dependent upon causes & conditions, which includes material things, such as rocks, planets & universes. SN 22.90 says:

Form, friend Channa, is impermanent. Feeling is impermanent. Perception is impermanent. Mental formations (saṃkhārā) are impermanent. Consciousness is impermanent. Form is not-self. Feeling is not-self. Perception is not-self. Mental formations are not-self. Consciousness is not-self. All (sabbe) conditioned things (saṃkhārā) are impermanent (aniccā). All (sabbe) phenomena (dhammā) are not-self (anattā).

"Time" is also something impermanent, whether it is "mental time" (born from expectation or craving) or "physical time" (the days & nights passing). AN 10.48 contains the phrase: "rattindivā vītivattant: days & nights passing".

Each condition of dependently arising is also a conditioned thing, therefore it is subject to "time" ("arising & passing") and impermanence. Of dependent origination, SN 12.20 says:

And what, bhikkhus, are the dependently arisen phenomena? Aging-and-death, bhikkhus, is impermanent, conditioned, dependently arisen, subject to destruction, vanishing, fading away, and cessation.

However, that the mind suffers due to the conditions in dependent origination, this reality is permanent. In other words, whenever there is suffering, it must always arise due to dependent origination. SN 12.20 says:

And what, bhikkhus, is dependent origination?... whether there is an arising of Tathagatas or no arising of Tathagatas, that element still persists, the stableness of the Dhamma, the fixed course of the Dhamma, specific conditionality.

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In regard to your question, three characteristics of existence apply to cling aggregate. Clinging aggregate includes all our experience internal, external, far, near, gross, subtle, etc. In regard to your second question, there are two schools of thought. The popular belief is one life model or the instant Dependent Origination. But when you speak conventionally it applies to three life model of past, present, and future.

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Is a dependently arising cycle considered happening in a split second or how fast is it considered happening and what is its relationship and connection with time ??

Short answer: Dependent arising applies to any and all units of time.

Long answer: The way i understand it, there are probably several answers regarding the temporal aspects of dependent arising, but one view is that it's the agent/motor to an eternal reproduction of phenomena, not to mention suffering (and the cessation of suffering) specifically.

We can describe the results of our actions as karma, and as such these consequences can be instantaneous, delayed over generations, or maintained for an eternity (samsara), and everything inbetween.

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Most of the people thinks the impermanence is the heart of the Buddhism. But the real heart is insatiability. People always try to be happy and running after pleasure but the nature of the world is "everything is insatiable". Just because when we can't get satisfied, we just get upset, angry or even this leads to killing people. And also the important part is when we get satisfied we think it's because of the outside world and we get attached to that out side world. (eg: when you find your partner you get attached to her thinking you are happy now because of her (outside world). And you feel you are satisfied, as almost everything is as expected - But the truth is, no matter what you think, it happened because that's how it supposed to happen (The nature of the world - Hethu Pala). To understand this, is up to you. Keeping this aside if I answer your question as below which is general to both impermanence and insatiability,

  1. Buddhism speaks about impermanence does impermanence only refer to our experience (the 5 skhandas) or is outisde world phenomena included and considered impermanent.

Whether it's impermanence or insatiability, The answer to this is, it's not only for the 5 skandas, it applies for the outside world as well. But there are only 6 places, where we can connect to the outside world through these 5-skandas, which are; eye, year, nose, tongue, body and mind.

2 question: Is a dependently arising cycle considered happening in a split second or how fast is it considered happening and what is its relationship and connection with time ??

In this cycle, the 10th Nidana called Bhava has two types, One is which causes to another birth and the other one which causes to Karma (The reference can be found in Wibhanga-1 -> Paticca-samuppada-vibhangaya).

So the Karma cycle is happening in a fraction of a second. More details has to be taken from Abhidaharma section. It explains about time which takes to create one thought in the mind (Chittakshana, Chitta witi). So in simple Karma-dependently-arising-cycle runs every time we see things, we smell things, we tastes things and so on. The cycle regarding the birth, will happened on the moment of death.

About the time, generally buddha has mentioned to maintain the past, present and future as it's needed to explain things. But mainly the time dimension is something human has built just to explain things. When there are hethu (reasons / causes) it will generate a pala (result) as a result.

  • "not only the 5 skandas, it applies for the outside world as well.", Upasaka, what should be the different of outside world and the clinging aggregats? Maybe something to investigate, best by looking for oneself. Maybe he likes to investigate if the outside has anything lasting. – Samana Johann Jun 21 at 18:35
  • Outside world: is the world which are made from four basics (apo, thejo, wayo, patavi). World in the mind (inside world) has two parts. One is just identifying and the second is attaching to that. That is; From 5-aggregates (panchaskandhaya) we get to know these exist in the world. And when this becomes clinging aggregates (pancha-upadanaskandhaya) we are attached to the world. – Isuru Jun 22 at 2:43
  • My person asked Upasaka to watch out with yoniso manasikkha for himselves. What perceives dathus? What is required to enter stream? Dhatu Sutta. May Upasaka not get after the fourth person. What is All? – Samana Johann Jun 22 at 2:48
  • If not starting with rupa, form, leaving home,the destiny asanja-satta can be expected. So from gross to fine. Domanassa is "just" a part of the whole suffering, the finer one, so fist things first. – Samana Johann Jun 22 at 2:52

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