Re: Memory

Luan D. Pham

Dear Sarah,

From: sarahdhhk@... (Sarah)

Dear KKT,

Firstly, welcome to dsg...I think this is your first post here;-)

KKT: Thanks for the welcome :-)

--- phamdluan@... wrote:
> Dear everyone,
> > I have a question:
> What is exactly memory in Abhidhamma?
> Thank you.

Usually memory is a translation of sa~n~na cetasika (mental factor of
perception/memory). As I was discussing with Frank, the way we use these
terms normally or in psychology or medicine is rather different from how
they are used in the Suttas and Abhidhamma.

In these texts, perception/memory arises at every single moment with the
citta (consciousness), lasts a very brief instant and falls away. Its task
is to mark the object like a 'woodcutter marking logs'. So, actually, even
when it seems that there is no memory or we're 'unconscious' of what we're
doing, there is still at these moments sanna (perception) performing its
marking task.


KKT: The reason of my question is that:

If memory is a cetasika
and lasts a very brief instant
and then falls away then
how does << recollection >>
or << recognition >> work?

Suppose I meet Mr. X,
an image of X is a cetasika
making a mark in my 'mind'
but lasts only a fleeting moment.

The next time I meet Mr. X,
there is a << recollection >>
or a << recognition >> that
I've already known Mr. X,
that means the << old image >>
of X must be somewhere
in order to have a << comparison >>
between the new image and the old one.

Hope that it makes sense :-))

Best regards,


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