Conventional Reality is not Impermanent!

I have started a discussion on Conventional Reality some days ago in another forum that I think worth reading to clarify what the Convention is.

Post by Eko Care » Tue Sep 27

Tl21G3lVl wrote: Mon Jun 27

NotMe wrote: Mon Jun 27

Tl21G3lVl wrote: Mon Jun 27
Conventional reality is dukkha. With the N8FP we can reach the non conventional.

Conventional reality is all 3 marks, tho. No?

Perhaps both, but we shouldn’t lose focus once a shore is sighted right?

Conventional reality (sammuti sacca/ pannatti) is just a concept and not real.
Non-real dhammas don’t exist and therefore cannot be anicca or dukkha.

According to Abhdhamma:

dhamma = paramata + pannatti
paramata = sankhata + asankhata
sankhata = citta + cetasika + rupa
asnkhata = nibbana
dhamma = citta + cetasika + rupa + nibbana + pannatti

All the dhammas are anatta.
Anatta means devoid of essence/self/ownership/hegemony.

Only the sankhata (compounded) is anicca-dukkha.
Nibbana and Pannatti are anatta only.

Nibbana is real but not compounded. Therefore not anicca-dukkha.
Pannatti is non-real. Therefore not anicca-dukkha.

Post by Ceisiwr » Tue Sep 27

In a sense this is right. Unicorns for example do not get born and do not die, because they do not exist. They are purely conceptual. That is one angle to look at it. From another angle, we do form concepts and so concept formation of a unicorn does arise and cease. The body does arise and cease. There is a concept of a body, and there is the reality of the body to which it relates.

asahi wrote: Wed Sep 28
Oh no ! Concept is an abstract idea . An idea is a mental impression . Therefore , an idea does exist as an sankhara which belongs to part of the five aggregates .

This is why I said it depends how you look at it. From one angle, arising and ceasing do not apply to pure concepts. Vampires for example do not arise and cease.

Post by analysis » Wed Sep 28

Ceisiwr wrote: Tue Sep 27, 2022
In a sense this is right…

Dear Ceisiwr,
In Theravada, Concept is an object (unreal object). It is not the Concept-formation of our mind.
Mind and mental factors that form a concept do arise and cease, but not the Concept.

Alrac wrote: Wed Sep 28
I read a sutta with the number SN 22.81. It says:

Here, bhikkhus, the uninstructed worldling, who is not a seer of the noble ones and is unskilled and undisciplined in their Dhamma, who is not a seer of superior persons and is unskilled and undisciplined in their Dhamma, regards form as self. That regarding, bhikkhus, is a formation. That formation—what is its source, what is its origin, from what is it born and produced? When the uninstructed worldling is contacted by a feeling born of ignorance-contact, craving arises: thence that formation is born. Thus, bhikkhus, that formation is impermanent, conditioned, dependently arisen

This sutta sounds like it has a view about unreal concepts this is the opposite to your theory. This sutta says the concept of ‘self’ is impermanent. What is your opinion about this? Is your theory right & is the sutta wrong? Or is the sutta right & is your theory wrong? Who is right? You or the Buddha?

Dear Alrac,
What Eko Care has said is correct according to the Classical texts.
The conceptualizing in mind is the impermanent one, but not the Conceptual-object of Conceptualizing-mind.
Pannatti is an object. This fake object is perceived by the impermanent mind.

pegembara wrote: Wed Sep 28
Concepts are things that only exist in our minds, in our thoughts.

Dear pegembara,
Please see the above answers.

Tl21G3lVl wrote: Wed Sep 28
Concepts exist for as long as they can be conceptualized. Like a movie that’s projected on the screen is not real, but the screen and projector are both subject to change, and therefore makes the movie subject to anicca, and dukkha.

Dear Tl21G3lVl,
The colors that the eye sees are real, but not the concept of “movie”.
What is fake is the Object pointed by the Idea of “movie”.

Post by analysis » Wed Sep 28

AlexBrains92 wrote: Wed Sep 28
What about the concept of “red”?

Concepts are 6-fold.

  • Vijjamana Pannatti : Concepts about Real (eg: red, mind)
  • Avijjamana Pannatti : Concepts about Non-real (eg: unicorn)
  • Vijjamanena Vijjamana Pannatti : 'Concepts about Real" by 'Concepts about Real" (eg: eye-consciousness)
  • Vijjamanena Avijjamana Pannatti : 'Concepts about Non-real" by 'Concepts about Real" (eg: blue-shirt)
  • Avijjamanena Vijjamana Pannatti : 'Concepts about Real" by 'Concepts about Non-real" (eg: mango-smell)
  • Avijjamanena Avijjamana Pannatti : 'Concepts about Non-real" by 'Concepts about Non-real" (eg: sissy-boy)

Goofaholix wrote: Wed Sep 28
What’s causes a concept… thought.
What causes thought… mind.
Mind experiences anicca, dukkha, anatta.
Your statement only makes sense if concepts can arise in a vacuum, I’m pretty sure they don’t.
Conceptualizing is real. Conceptualizing is anicca, dukkha, anatta.

What “Conceptualizing” points to, is the Concept. It is a fake object that “Conceptualizing” points to.

The pointer exists, but “what is pointed” doesn’t exist.

So Concepts are not considered as anicca or dukkha.

Post by Tl21G3lVl » Wed Sep 28

Post by Ceisiwr » Wed Sep 28

Goofaholix wrote: Wed Sep 28
The mind creates the concept; “unicorn”.

Indeed, and that concept creation is real. The concept though is not, and so does not arise nor cease.

Isn’t concept a phenomena of the mind?

Post by Tl21G3lVl » Thu Sep 29
For the record, I agree that what is unreal is not subject to anicca and dukkha. I was mistakenly trying to defend the statement I made when actually to defend it was to agree. Originally I should have said to get caught up in conventions and trying to make it into a reality is dukkha. I hope that sounds more agreeable.

Another related topic: Why Theravada always talks bad about Pannattis?


We can also think it this way: conventional reality is a name, the thing referred to by that name, in its true nature, is impermanent. Not knowing the reality referred by that name is avijja. Knowing the thing referred by that name and its true nature is vijja.


dhamma = paramata + pannatti

I would be interested to know where is this mentioned in the abhidhamma, since what I know is that dhamma = sankhata dhamma + asankhata dhamma only.

Conventional reality is two-fold.

  • Nama Pannatti: Name of the Pannatti
  • Attha Pannatthi:The meaning (idea) of the Pannatti

Nama Pannatti again is six-fold. (mentioned in OP)

The names like “Person” doesn’t refer to any reality.
Only the Vijjamana-pannatti (Concepts of real) have an real object.


Many people are confused about how can the mental-concepts be fake.

Actually the Conceptualization or Mental-conceptualizing is not fake. It is real and they are Sankhara.

But the Imagined objects that are pointed by these conceptualizing are the “Concepts mentioned Theravada.”

The Concepts (Pannattis) are not part of mind. They are always considered Objects in Theravada.

Theravada doesn’t say Everything is Real. (Objective)
Theravada doesn’t say Everything is Mind-made. (Subjective)

What Theravada says is:
There are Real things (Paramattha) as well as there are Non-real mind-made things (Pannatti).

It’s an analytical answer.


Yes, this is also why Theravada Buddha Sasana known as Vibhajjavada (the Doctrine of Analysis).