What is Solidity »
Drop of Dhamma Delight!


What is the Solidity Quality in any Cluster of Form?

The Blessed Buddha once explained:
What is this cluster of Form (
rūpa-khandha)= [literally 'group that can break up']?

It is just these 4 primary elements, and all the forms derived from them...
What are these 4 Primary Elements (
mahā-bhūta) = [literally 'great processes']?

These 4 Primary Elements (=~ Qualities =~ Qualia) are:
1: The
Qualia of Solidity... (pathavī-dhātu) = [literally 'earth-like' property]
The Qualia of Fluidity... (āpo-dhātu) = [literally 'water-like' property]
The Qualia of Heat... (tejo-dhātu) = [literally 'fire-like' property]
The Qualia of Motion... (vāyo-dhātu) = [literally 'wind-like' property]

What, now, is this Quality of Solidity? The quality of solidity may be defined as one's
'own' or internal, or it may be external, and not a part of one's 'own' individuality..
And what is one's own quality of Solidity? Whatever there is inside one's own body of
kammically caused hardness, firmness, and becoming into a solid state, such as the hairs of
the head, body-hairs, nails, teeth, skin, muscle, sinews, bones, marrow, kidneys, heart, liver,
diaphragm, spleen, lungs, stomach, bowels, mesentery, and excrement: This is called own
quality of Solidity. Now, whether it appears as one's own quality of Solidity, or whether it be
the like an external quality of Solidity (e.g. of mountains of stone, hammers of iron etc.), they are
both merely this
Qualia of Solidity. One should understand, according to this absolute reality:
This is not 'me'. This does not belong to me! This I am not! This is neither a self, nor a substance!

One may add:
This mind-like conceptual experience of solidity is not a 'matter-like compact thing out there...'
This quality is not lasting but transient, this is not a real substance, this is thus not stable or safe...
This ephemeral is
therefore not pleasure, this solidity is not happiness, this quality is also suffering... 
Seeing this analytic break-up of solidity induces releasing disillusion with even very attractive forms
of form... Whether own or other, internal or external, whether alive or dead, whether present or not...

Comment: The crucial and essential 'take-home-message' here is:
The 4 'Primary Elements' in early Buddhism are thus not 'real substances out there', but more
realistically: Experienced qualities or properties appearing as representations inside the mind...   
They are manifestations of form, and not 'substantial entities, or constituents of matter'...
The assertion of their 'material' appearance depends on the subjective level of observation:
Macroscopic solidity is merely a manifested appearance of
extension  on the microscopic level!

On these 4 Primary Elements (mahā-bhūta):
https://What-Buddha-Said.net/drops/IV/What _is_Heat.htm


Source (edited extract:
The Middle Length Sayings of the Buddha. Majjhima Nikāya. MN 28.
Mahā-hatthipadopama Sutta: The Great Elephant Footprint Simile:
Splendid Book:

What is Solidity: Neither Matter nor Substance!

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