Eternal things don’t change

If something changes, it is not eternal.

If something has component parts, it is not a fundamental essence.

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2 thoughts on “Eternal things don’t change

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    • Hi Jim. That post was paraphrasing both the ancient Indian Buddhist philosopher Nagarjuna and Buddhist atomism / mereological nihilism in general. In his debates with non-Buddhists, Nagarjuna often made the arguments that, for something (e.g., a soul) to be considered permanent/eternal, it must not be impermanent/changing, and that every part of human beings seems to be impermanent — physical form, sensations, perceptions, mental formations, and visual/auditory/etc. consciousnesses (i.e., the five khandhas) all apparently change from moment to moment. As I understand it, he was challenging people who believe in eternal souls or essences to identify them, not necessarily arguing that no such things exist. Buddhists usually agree with the concept of mindstreams, which is a stream of cittas that arise and decay, and condition each other, from moment to moment. One’s mindstream is what is reborn after death, as a kind of unconscious survival mechanism for at least some part of the mind. As I understand it, the other two kinds/aspects of mind in Buddhism, viññāṇa (visual/auditory/etc. consciousnesses) and manas (intellect), are thought to be too dependent on the body/brain to be able to survive death. A mindstream is like an impermanent soul. Any further thoughts you have are welcome!

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