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 [Dhamma Talk]


 

What is Two?

There are these two things, which, when seen to their root and understood to their broadest limits with penetrating knowledge such that their nature as Pain is seen as it really is and when realized in their entirety, bring the Freedom of Uttermost Detachment.

What are those two?

Nama and Rupa.

— AN 10.27, 28 and SN 4.41.8

 

§

 

I Here Tell, once upon a time the two unknown friends, OBO, residing in California, and GS, residing in New Jersey, held approximately the following conversation using electronic mail messaging — some editing has been done in piecing together the originals in terms of content and sequence:

[GS:] Hello Obo! Can you give me some information about the terms nama/rupa and their relationship to consciousness?

[OBO:] Well asked GS! This is an excellent question in a case of vital importance!

Definitions:

Nama. In your thinking use 'name'. That is the term with the best resonance in your mind. It is very much like our understanding of perception. It is the having been identified state of a form.

Rupa. In your thinking use 'form'. It is the having come into a recognizable (nameable) form of light. The literal meaning of 'rupa' is light. That is the furthest-reduced state of matter. So the term also means matter. And that includes things like ideas and sounds, etc. So there will be confusion when you read about the a-rupa (non-rupa) states. But that ideas are included in forms is clear when ideas can be seen as series of identified forms. Emotions as series of ideas.

Vinnana. In your thinking use 'individualized consciousness' 'identified-with consciousness'. The consciousness experienced by an individual. Self-consciousness. The consciousness of a being, conscious of being conscious. The literal meaning is VI = RE; and a mess of 'nas' all of which mean knowing. Re-knowing-knowing-knowledge. It is the knowing of knowing. The word reflects the experience. When you get very calm you will see that what we call consciousness is a stream of 'images' repeated over and over too many times to count building up a picture/idea/story/episode. Can be very annoying. This perception is the real meaning of Vitaka and Vicara. You need to rise above this.

 

§

 

In any state that has become, the three cannot be separated. They are interdependent.

In the translations, and perhaps in the original talks of Gotama (for the good reason that it is almost better left un-discussed — discovered by practice rather than learned about — there is little overt distinction made between the consciousness of the ordinary individual and the consciousness of the Arahant. However, once the notion that there is a distinction is accepted, it appears all over the place. In some places it is given the name: anidassana vinnana. Invisible consciousness. A = not; NI = down, put down; dassa = seeing; na =knowing. Knowing that cannot be pinned down.

You can find this addressed in many places, but most recently in a translation by Bhk. Thanissaro on ati: MN 38 where his footnotes show an excellent example of dhamma-research.

This sutta deals with 'Sati's problem'. His thinking being that consciousness — meaning individualized consciousness — is continuous and is what gets reborn. That is denied and it is explained that THAT consciousness is constructed, depends on nama/rupa and is therefore not the self nor does it transmigrate as it arises in dependence on that which ends and perishes when that on which it depends perishes.

This is also spoken of in the sutta that declares: "This mind is pure, but is corrupted from without;" and in the series of suttas which begin with Ananda asking Sariputta if there was really a world beyond in which one was unaware of such and yet one was aware to which the answer was 'yes'.

 

§

 

Now is it, then, bhante,
that a beggar acquires
such a form of focus —
that he is not, even in the midst of earth,
percepient of earth,
nor is he, in the midst of water,
percepient of water,
nor in the midst of firelight,
percepient of firelight,
nor in the midst of wind,
percepient of wind,
nor in the midst of The Realm Space,
percepient of The Realm Space,
nor in the midst of The Realm Consciousness,
percepient of The Realm Consciousness,
nor in the midst of The Realm No-Things-There,
percepient of The Realm No-Things-There,
nor in the midst of The Realm of Neither Perception nor Non-Perception,
percepient of The Realm of Neither Perception nor Non-Perception,
nor in the midst of This world,
percepient of This world,
nor in the midst of The World Beyond,
percepient of The World Beyond,
nor in the midst of The Seen, Heard, Sensed, Known,
percepient of The Seen, Heard, Sensed, Known,
nor in the midst of the attained,
the saught-after,
the explored in mind,
percepient of the attained,
the saught-after,
the explored in mind
— that of such he has no perception
and yet he is perceiving?

It is, Ānanda,
that a beggar acquires such a form of focus —
that he is not, even in the midst of earth,
percepient of earth,
nor is he, in the midst of water,
percepient of water,
nor in the midst of firelight,
percepient of firelight,
nor in the midst of wind,
percepient of wind,
nor in the midst of The Realm Space,
percepient of The Realm Space,
nor in the midst of The Realm Consciousness,
percepient of The Realm Consciousness,
nor in the midst of The Realm No-Things-There,
percepient of The Realm No-Things-There,
nor in the midst of The Realm of Neither Perception nor Non-Perception,
percepient of The Realm of Neither Perception nor Non-Perception,
nor in the midst of This world,
percepient of This world,
nor in the midst of The World Beyond,
percepient of The World Beyond,
nor in the midst of The Seen, Heard, Sensed, Known,
percepient of The Seen, Heard, Sensed, Known,
nor in the midst of the attained,
the saught-after,
the explored in mind,
percepient of the attained,
the saught-after,
the explored in mind
— that of such he has no perception
and yet he is perceiving.

But just how, bhante, is it
that a beggar acquires such a form of focus —
that he is not, even in the midst of earth,
percepient of earth,
nor is he, in the midst of water,
percepient of water,
nor in the midst of firelight,
percepient of firelight,
nor in the midst of wind,
percepient of wind,
nor in the midst of The Realm Space,
percepient of The Realm Space,
nor in the midst of The Realm Consciousness,
percepient of The Realm Consciousness,
nor in the midst of The Realm No-Things-There,
percepient of The Realm No-Things-There,
nor in the midst of The Realm of Neither Perception nor Non-Perception,
percepient of The Realm of Neither Perception nor Non-Perception,
nor in the midst of This world,
percepient of This world,
nor in the midst of The World Beyond,
percepient of The World Beyond,
nor in the midst of The Seen, Heard, Sensed, Known,
percepient of The Seen, Heard, Sensed, Known,
nor in the midst of the attained,
the saught-after,
the explored in mind,
percepient of the attained,
the saught-after,
the explored in mind
— that of such he has no perception
and yet he is perceiving?

Here Ānanda, a beggar has this perception:

'This is it!
This is the culmination!
That is, the calming of all own-making,
the resolution of all involvements,
the withering away of thirst,
dispassion,
extinction,
Nibbāna.'

An 11 7: A Study in Perception (and others there), Olds, trans.

N.B. The final way explained as the way a monk's winning of concentration should be. This should not be taken figuratively.

That is the perception itself!

That is: "This is the real, etc." should be the perception you have there and your attitude towards it of the detached state.

[GS:]

"Monk, the four great existents (earth, water, fire, and wind) are the cause, the four great existents the condition, for the delineation of the aggregate of form.

Contact is the cause, contact the condition, for the delineation of the aggregate of feeling.

Contact is the cause, contact the condition, for the delineation of the aggregate of perception.

Contact is the cause, contact the condition, for the delineation of the aggregate of fabrications.

Name-and-form is the cause, name-and-form the condition, for the delineation of the aggregate of consciousness."

MN 109 Bhk. Thanissaro translation

That which gives the illusion of existence is the five aggregates of clinging.

— Bhk. Thanissaro

[OBO:] I have trouble here first off with the term: 'existents'. All our problems come up from the notion of 'existence'. Buddhism does not argue existence or non-existence.

These four are usually termed 'dhatu' our 'data' but used more like our terms for 'characteristics' 'attributes' 'properties'. They are not to be seen, as in the Abhidhamma, as having 'ultimate existence.'

Otherwise not much of a problem here: These four do delineate form. But remember form is an attribute of any 'thing' that has come to be.

Contact is not a thing, but is the factor on which sensation (vedana) depends. Vedana is the experience of pleasure or pain or neither as a consequence of a sense organ coming into contact with a sense object.

In the same way contact is the factor on which perception, sankaram (Bhk. Thanissaro's translation: fabrications) own-making, and consciousness appear.

You can see then rupa gave rise to sense-experience, perception and consciousness; sense experience, perception and consciousness (just ways of speaking about consciousness and at one place noted that it is not possible to have one without the others or to distinguish one from the others, the three are aspects of a process like flame, heat and light) are the reasons the being takes the action called sankhara and that which enable him to take such action (own-making) and so these are the factors on which rupa depends.

[GS:] Can we take this in parts, as I keep reading it and seeing, but I clearly don't truly understand this point. Nama-rupa and vinanna co-arise?

[OBO:] Well this is just about the most difficult thing in the world to see, so we can give you some slack.

They arise 'co-dependently'. This happens with regard to 'being' and 'rebirth' in a very swift way that requires great calm and detachment to see, but a sort of example can be made using ordinary experience.

You note a sense of hunger and form the idea that you will go out to the local McDonald's to get something to eat. This is the first half of your 'sankaraming'. You have invested identification with intent to create experience and have set going momentum with your intent. Then, going out to the McDonald's, you receive your food or not depending on your kamma, and you experience the second half of the sankharaming: identification with the created experience.

So sensations of hunger (nama/rupa) created consciousness of being hungry, and conscious intention to get food created the nama/rupa of the experience of eating at the McDonald's.

You can try this (but it is very difficult) (something like the Zen sitting practice): Sit and without even paying attention to the breathing try to escape even the very beginning of any thought, interest, examination anything whatsoever.

Within seconds you will find yourself involved in some thought ... or asleep.

Doing this will be a very vigorous and active process and should not be taken as anything other than an exercise in the attempt to understand the difficulty of perceiving this consciousness/nama/rupa connection, but will give you some idea: one must be one step ahead of or above the point where the world of conscious experience is being formed.

Note here the difference between this and the Zen 'Empty the mind' where here the instruction is to not allow disturbance to the mind to enter from outside. The first can never be done no matter what the Zen people say as it is a doing which is an activity occupying the mind in and of itself.

Again, imagine you are sitting there watching the world, like a movie unfolding in front of you. A story is evolving. It involves a young guy and the most beautiful lass in the land. She is not too tall, not too short ... . You get interested. Drawn in. You begin identifying with the young guy and start to feel what they call kinesthesia — the physical reaction of a person in the audience to the muscular efforts of a dancer or other sort of performer. Before you realize it you are in the story. Bit by bit you are dragged into the worrisome problem of how 'you' (now as the young guy) were born. And there you are.

Your job as the Buddhist Seeker is to arrive back at the state where you are (without identifying as 'you') just observing.

So at the first perception of the sort of consciousness that is connected to an object, or to the sort of object that is connected to the sort of consciousness that is connected to objects, you back off. [For a detailed discussion of he nature of the consciousness of the Arahant and of the method to be used for the realization of that, see the discussion 'Is Nibbana Conditioned?,' and the follow-up discussion of 'Vinnana Anidassana' on that page.

 

§

 

[GS:] And the function of a pure mind is? This is not the mind of any baby, I presume, but some mind that has not been corrupted by eons of societal conditioning? I note the impulse within for the arising of the kinds of questions the Buddha would never answer. Why, where, how, etc.

[OBO:] When you say: 'And the function of a pure mind is?' you are again falling into the view of one who identifies with 'states' and continuity of existence. Functions can only be had with continuity. To speak of 'a' Pure Mind, is to speak of it as existing which is what I am warning you to avoid.

The function of the Buddhist seeker is to cleans the mind of impurities that come from without. That is attained at the point where there is the perception:

This is the real,
this is the best, namely,
the calming of all activities,
the rejection of every substrate,
the ending of craving,
the fading of interest,
stopping and nibbana.

Note that this does not describe the 'creation' of anything, state or whatever. 'Nibbana' has become commonly identified with a state, but that is a misunderstanding. The term means not-bound up which is not a state but a non-state.

If that does not sound like a reasonable goal to you at this point, your better tactic would be to go back a few steps and hike up your practice of generosity, cultivation of ethical thinking, and setting up your perception of the world using the four satipatthanas. That is not me being superior or denegrating you, that is simply what needs to be done in this case.

When it is said that:

'There are four things that are so and not not-so, and neither are they otherwise. What four?
This is dukkha.
The origin of dukkha is hunger.
The ending of dukkha is the ending of huger.
The Magga is the way to end the hunger.'

— [misquoted to insert the implication of the original sutta at] SN 56.20

These are real things to be seen. This is not some philosophical proposition, but something that one who sees things without fantasy will see just as described.

For most people, maybe for all, considering rebirth, the process begins with blindness. Everything is wonderful. One takes up the study of the Dhamma because that is where the girls are. The fame and fortune, the power. Then some of it sinks in and one begins to bring the practice into one's every-day life through loving-kindness, generosity, ethical culture, mental development through sitting. Then one sees the problem that there is not anything in anything anywhere for you, is exactly as described and only then does the notion of letting go and becoming downbound to nothing at all in the world make sense.

 

§

 

[GS:] You have said that the whole of the Dhamma can be worked out from a very small bit. So how important is it to understand rebirth consciousness when one needs just a bit of the dhamma to awaken?

[OBO:] When I say that one only needs a bit of the Dhamma to awaken I am speaking about what it takes to work out the details in full, not that the end product is a tiny bit of a thing ... although the end product is a tiny bit of a thing. You could encompass it all under the term: upekkha: detachment.

Sariputta worked out the whole system understanding only that 'things that have come to be have causes'.

Asked if the teaching could be given in one word Gotama once answered 'yes': whatsoever is connected to tanha, thirst, understand that that is not of this Dhamma.

The Dhamma in detail is to my mind a way of keeping one's eye on the ball. It's various ways of approaching the problem, the mental gymnastics, learning magic powers, the psychology etc. are all ways of keeping focused on the issue. The issue itself is the most difficult problem anyone will ever have dealt with and the distractions are innumerable, powerful, and subtle.

 

§

 

The point of the emphasis on consciousness here is that what we are speaking of as the goal is a state which must in no case ever be described in any way that implies an existing thing (such as a 'state' or 'state of mind' or 'original consciousness', as, if you look at the Maha-Nidana sutta, you will see that this is the process for creating an existing thing:

Named form depends on consciousness and consciousness depends on named form.

 

§

 

[GS:]

"Thus, Ananda, from name-and-form as a requisite condition comes consciousness.

From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-and-form.

From name-and-form as a requisite condition comes contact.

From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling.

From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving.

From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging.

From clinging as a requisite condition comes becoming.

From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth.

From birth as a requisite condition, aging, death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, and despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of stress.

 

§

 

Contact

"'From name-and-form as a requisite condition comes contact. Thus it has been said. And this is the way to understand how, from name-and-form as a requisite condition comes contact.

If the qualities, traits, themes, and indicators by which there is a description of name-group (mental activity) were all absent, would designation-contact with regard to the form-group (the physical properties) be discerned?"

"No, lord."

"If the permutations, signs, themes, and indicators by which there is a description of form-group were all absent, would resistance-contact with regard to the name-group be discerned?"

"No, lord."

"If the permutations, signs, themes, and indicators by which there is a description of name-group and form-group were all absent, would designation-contact or resistance-contact be discerned?"

"No, lord."

"Thus this is a cause, this is a reason, this is an origination, this is a requisite condition for contact, i.e., name-and-form.

Name-and-form

"'From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-and-form.' Thus it has been said. And this is the way to understand how from consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-and-form.

If consciousness were not to descend into the mother's womb, would name-and-form take form in the womb?"

"No, lord."

"If, after descending into the womb, consciousness were to depart, would name-and-form be produced for this world?"

"No, lord."

"If the consciousness of the young boy or girl were to be cut off, would name-and-form ripen, grow, and reach maturity?"

"No, lord."

"Thus this is a cause, this is a reason, this is an origination, this is a requisite condition for name-and-form, i.e., consciousness."

Consciousness

"'From name-and-form as a requisite condition comes consciousness.' Thus it has been said. And this is the way to understand how from name-and-form as a requisite condition comes consciousness.

If consciousness were not to gain a foothold in name-and-form, would a coming-into-play of the origination of birth, aging, death, and stress in the future be discerned?

"No, lord."

"Thus this is a cause, this is a reason, this is an origination, this is a requisite condition for consciousness, i.e., name-and-form.

"This is the extent to which there is birth, aging, death, passing away, and re-arising.

This is the extent to which there are means of designation, expression, and delineation.

This is the extent to which the sphere of discernment extends, the extent to which the cycle revolves for the manifesting (discernibility) of this world — i.e., name-and-form together with consciousness.

— DN.15 Bhk. Thanissaro translation

 

§

 

[OBO:] This is the meaning: "It is ONLY in so far as there is a conjunction of nama/rupa and vinanna, that there is that which can be called an existing thing; a living being."

 

§

 

Take the state of anidassana vinnana and identify it as 'Bodhi Mind' and it has become an existing thing and therefore subject to ending and therefore not the self, or the state of Nibbana or Arahantship or Bodhi.

So again, the goal is the state that is not a state just above the state where there is a conjunction of nama/rupa and vinnana which is the beginning point of existence and the start of the downward path.

The goal is an un-identified with, un-become consciousness.

The way, it should be clear, is absolute detachment from identification with anything which has become.

So after all one's years of dhamma research, the important thing is to sit there and put all that aside and become so calm that the process of anidassana vinnana becoming an existing thing
by identification with consciousness conjoined to nama/rupa, is seen
and then that objective detached unidentified-with mind,
having achieved separation from that which has become,
made permanent through repeated experience.

This is the other way this consciousness is sometimes named: Mind-made mind. This is the way.

 

§

 

[GS:] "I learned from Ahjan Sobin (Thai teacher in Mahasi style) that what ever the object known is rupa. It does seem confounded, but I've heard it before so it makes sense to me now. If that is what you mean?"

"If so how does sound ... thought ... have form?"

Just as two sheaves of reeds might stand leaning against each other, so too, with name-and-form as condition, consciousness [comes to be]; with consciousness as condition, name-and-form [comes to be]. With name-and-form as condition, the six sense bases; with the six sense bases as condition, contact; with contact, feeling; with feeling, craving; with craving, clinging; with clinging, becoming; with becoming, birth; with birth, aging and death. . . such is this whole mass of suffering.

If, friend, one were to remove one of those sheaves of reeds, the other would fall, and if one were to remove the other sheaf, the first would fall. So, too, with the cessation of name-and-form comes cessation of consciousness; with the cessation of consciousness comes cessation of name-and-form. With the cessation of name-and-form comes cessation of the six sense bases, cessation of contact, cessation of feeling, of craving, of clinging, of becoming, of birth, of aging and death. . . Such is the cessation of this whole mass of suffering. S 12:67 Thanissaro

— SN 12.67, Bhk. Thanissaro, trans.

 

§

 

[OBO:] That is what I mean. Whatever is known is an object and all objects are rupa, so yes, that is the meaning.

Rupa encompasses it all, including Nama;
Nama encompasses it all, including Rupa.

Try thinking of it that way.

Try thinking of it in Greek: phe = face; nomenon = name. Anything, any phenomena, is a thing that has 'become' is rupa and has been identified with a name.

Any thing that has become is 'confounded'. Sankharam. But the clear translation is 'Own-Made' San(g) is con, with, one-with, once, and own. Khara is made, founded, manufactured. But what we are dealing with is the fact of personal identification, so using own-made keeps the real issue in mind.

Sankhara is like kamma except it is personal. It has two sides. It is the identification with the intent to create experience through acts of body, speech and mind, and it is the identified-with object that is created. Sankharing and the sankharamed.

Sounds and thoughts have form whether or not the form can be perceived with the eye. Sound waves. Thought waves. It is the nature of absolutely anything that has come to be that it is own-made and that which is own-made begins with the contact of name-form and consciousness. So sounds and thoughts being things that have become have the attribute of being rupa.

Where a lot of the confusion enters, is in the idea of the non-rupa jhanas (arupa). This is just a bad use of terminology. What it signifies is not forms of existence that have no rupa, but which have no identification with the form aspect of the thing or state. Pure thought. But as above, thought is rupa. And even this is wrong in terms of the actuality in many of the states called arupa. The Brahma realms are inhabited by beings with light as form; so also the abhassara and subhakinna realms.

 

§

 

[GS:]

"Thus the Buddha advocated viewing a "being" simply as a process of attachment to desire, passion, delight, and craving. And it is precisely this attachment to craving that allows for rebirth after death:"

-Bhk. Thanissaro

This makes sense to me. That the being is simply the process. But the process is unstable and dukkha. Because of that it isn't a self.

I've never really understood what it is that is reborn though, and how that impacts any of the practical aspects of the path. Didn't the Buddha say somewhere "act as if there's a god, and if there is or isn't you'll be ok?" I've approached rebirth consciousness in this way. Heck I'm just trying to wrap my head around D.O. (which of course is the process by which birth happens). Sigh. OK so the rebirth consciousness is constructed. So it arises and passes. Presumably either based on the conditions arising from death or the moments before death based on the conditions that lead up to death? It then falls away, or lays dormant, with birth until the appropriate conditions manifest for its arising or the kamma is extinguished?

 

§

 

[OBO:] Gotama speaks of using a two-sided approach with regard to some ideas when one is in doubt. Covering one's bets. The ideas are usually the same: belief in kamma and the good and bad outcome that results from good and bad deeds, belief in the existence of God, gods, and evil ones, belief in the existence of mothers and fathers, and the existence of beings who have known and seen these things for themselves through actual experience. The logic is that acting in accordance with the idea that these things are true one is respected by wise men here, and if they are true one receives the benefit of having acted in accordance, if one acts in accordance with the idea that these things are true and they are not true, one still has the respect of wise men here and there is no loss. If one acts as though these things were not true wise men here think one foolish and if they are true one has lost the benefit and depending on how one acted in a world where one believed there was no punishment from bad deeds or rebirth in bad states, could end up in deep shit.

 

§

 

When you say: "...what it is that is reborn..." you are describing the view that there is a continuation of self, Sati's position, and what is being denied by Gotama.

I will try to convey the idea with familiar similes:

It is like one match lighting another. The match does not travel from one match to the other, neither does the flame nor the heat, nor the light.

It is like offset printing. The image does not travel from the positive original to the negative negative to the positive plate to the negative offset to the positive printed page and neither does the original paper nor thoughts, etc.

It is like sitting in a movie theater watching a movie and becoming absorbed in the story. When the reality is examined what is seen is a series of individual frames, still shots, being imagined to run together to form a continuity.

One person might say it was like the difference between a movie created by a film camera versus a movie created by a digital camera. The images in the film version clearly show the discrete elements, the movie in the digital version runs together without breaking up the story into frames. But then a person with deeper vision would point to the pixels in the digital image. And so forth.

Nama/rupa and consciousness arise in infinitely small discrete bits, form larger more consciously identified sense impressions which are joined together in the mind to make pictures which appear to have the continuity of a story.

There is no 'process' there although what is happening is a process, no thing that can leap from one part of it to another.

 

§

 

[GS:] This is all great stuff, thank you. But a bit more on nama/rupa itself.

It is said that: "Nama is feeling, perception, volition, contact, attention" — MN 9

Ok so what is attention? I'm not sure I've seen this in another context.

You say above that nama is much like our understanding of perception, and MN 109 brings in the khandas. So how do the khandas relate to nama/rupa?

It is further said that: "Nama-rupa is the cause and condition for the manifestation of the consciousness aggregate."

Yet this consciousness aggregate isn't the consciousness found in the Paticca Samuppada? One is prcoess and one is an "object(?)" taken as a thing?"

Same question for rupa. Rupa in the Paticca Samuppada is the process by which form comes about, but in the aggragagetes it's the four material elements.

How are we to understand this?

How does one use nama/rupa in practice? What practices exist for harnessing it as a tool for awakening?

[OBO:] As to your first question here, 'what is attention'? the word being translated is 'manasikaro', 'mind-cultivation', 'study', not 'attention'. = 'yonisomanasikaro': 'studious etiological examination'. 'Examination'.

What is going on in this sutta is that Sariputta is demonstrating the holographic nature of the Dhamma. Each of the sequences represents an ENTIRE path to Nibbana. This is a form of mental gymnastics found throughout the Dhamma as Teaching. It serves the learner who is forced to see how each of these segments is really just another way of stating the others.

You ask: '...how do the khandhas relate to nama/rupa?'

Nama/Rupa is a way of describing absolutely everything 'in the world'.

So is the group called the khandhas.

This is another example of the way the Dhamma is so constructed that each basic teaching category is really a complete path to Nibbana.

One function of this phenomenon is that a teacher can approach instructing a student from a virtually infinite number of angles and with a great flexibility as to appropriateness of detail and the length of the instruction and always be sure that the student has been left with a complete path.

Nama/rupa is the condition upon which the arising of consciousness depends. That is 'paticca samuppada' 'rebounding conjuration'.

Some expositions of paticca samuppada do not explicitly state the double re-appearance of vinnana:

Blindness rebounds bound up in own-making. Own-making rebounds bound up in consciousness (vinnana). Consciousness rebounds bound up in nama/rupa nama/rupa rebounds bound up in consciousness (of the six sense realms).

In both cases the consciousness spoken of is own-consciousness, identified-with consciousness, consciousness that has become a thing, not the consciousness of the Arahant.

The point of Bhk. Thanissaro saying that the Buddha is speaking about process is not to make a distinction between process and the so-called reality. The Buddha, in fact, does not speak about process. Bhk. Thanissaro is trying to point out how the illusion of self is mistaking what is a process for a continuity, he is not trying to say that there is a process there that is separate from the phenomena. That is, that has an identity of it's own.

To state that the four great elements, dhatu, (actually better to translate dhatu as aspects, attributes or characteristics) are rupa is not to limit the scope of rupa.

Re-examine MN 1, The Mulapariyaya. The idea of identifying the four elements is to get at and get rid of the tendancy to identify with them, not to define them as existing things. Think of them as attributes of a conscious being, and it is also helpful to understand that the terms should be taken figuratively as well as literally: solidity, liquidity, having heat and light, and motion.

I think the above paragraph also answers your last question as to how to use the concepts to cultivate your mind. Identify these attributes and the examine yourself as to the notion of self per the method of the mulapariyaya: 'I am not earth' 'Earth is not mine.' 'I am not "of Earth"' 'Earth is not [an aspect] "of me".

 

§

 

[GS:]

"A monk who is a Worthy One, devoid of mental fermentations... directly knows earth as earth. Directly knowing earth as earth, he does not conceive things about earth, does not conceive things in earth, does not conceive things coming out of earth, does not conceive earth as 'mine,' does not delight in earth. Why is that? Because, with the ending of passion, he is devoid of passion, I tell you.

— MN 1 Bhk. Thanissaro, translation

[OBO:] This selection deals with the issues from the perspective of the Buddha or Arahant. For our purposes it is more helpful to use the instructions for the beginner and the one with some but not complete accomplishment:

In the case of the first case, Beggars, we have the case of the untamed, untrained, uneducated common man;
untamed to the ways of the Sorcerers,
untrained in the craft of the Sorcerers,
uneducated in the lore of the Sorcerers;
untamed to the discipline of the aristocrats,
untrained in the manners of the aristocrats,
uneducated to the teachings of the aristocrats;
he takes earth for earth.
Taking earth for earth,
he conceptualizes earth.
He thinks about earth.
He thinks of earth
in whatever ways he thinks of earth.
He thinks in terms of "My" with regard to earth.
He takes delight in earth.

How come?

Because this matter is not fully understood by him, so I say.

and

In the case of the second case, Beggars,
we have the Beggar who is a seeker,
a little developed in mind,
short of his intended goal,
one who lives preparing to throw off
the yoke the throwing off of which there is nothing better,
he recognizes earth as earth.
Recognizing earth as earth,
he knows about earth.
Let him think not about earth.
Let him think not of earth
in whatever ways he thinks of earth.
Let him not think in terms of "My" with regard to earth.
Let him take no delight in earth.

How come?

Because this way this matter may be fully understood by him, so I say.

 

§

 

The Paticca Samuppada describes the process by which ignorance leads back to rebirth. The five aggregates describe that which we imagine to be a self? And while name and form is the condition for the consciousness aggregate isn't each aggregate also rupa?

[OBO:] Round and round. Just eliminate the doubt here and you have it at least basically.

The Paticca Samuppada describes the process by which blindness leads back to rebirth. You can think of it as a detailed description of how kamma works. Or a detailed description of how sankhara works. Or a detailed description of how the Four Aristocrats of Truths work.

The five aggregates (khandhas = shitpiles) describe that which we imagine to be a self. Further it is said that there is no 'being' outside of the khandhas. A similar statement is made with regard to The All (the eye and sights, the ear and sounds, the nose and scents, the tongue and tastes, the body and touches, the mind and ideas). A similar thing is said by Mara, Baka Brahma and Pajapati Brahma and acknowledged by the Buddha: "Mine is Earth, Water, Firelight, and Wind!" meaning that these four also encompass it all when understood in their broadest and deepest interpretations, and so are owned by Mara, and if one is identified with such, one belongs to Mara (or Pajapati, the Creator of the Created).

And while name and form is the condition for the consciousness khandha, each khandha is also rupa. Any 'thing' which has come to be has come to be with these three properties: consciousness+form+name.

 

§

 

[GS:] Bishop George Berkely wrote: "What is mind? No matter. What is matter? Never mind." His theory, summed up in his dictum, "Esse est percipi" ("To be is to be perceived"), states that individuals can only directly know sensations and ideas of objects, not abstractions such as "matter."

Most Western philosophers tend to fall in love with their ideas and take them too far, but it strikes me that there's a kernel of what we're discussing in here.

"all the things surrounding us are nothing but our ideas." "Sensed things have no other existence distinct from their being perceived by us."

[OBO:] This introduces the notion that I associate with Hume and Heisenberg that I have termed 'Pajapati's Problem'. That is, that a being identified with his senses has no way of perceiving the world directly. — Your Bishop above arrogantly reverses the position, assuming an 'himself' that is the real world. — His perception of the world is always as interpreted by his individualized consciousness's understanding of his sense impressions. Since the sense impression marks the entry into his world of 'things' there is a wired-in perception that 'he' is (one is, one's self) the creator. The two happen simultaneously. It looks like one thinks things into being.

This phenomena arises as a consequence of the gradual arising of consciousness of a thing. A thing does not appear made from one single instance of a consciousness connected nama/rupa so one can have some foreknowledge. If one is blind to the foreknowledge one can think that one has 'thought it up' thinking the early vague buildup is his 'thinking it up'.

Recollect the instruction found in the Satipattana and in numerous places elsewhere: 'Thus he lives in the body, sense experience, mental states, or ideas watching over the origins of things'. [see also in full detail below]

 

§

 

Thus he revisits body, watching over body with regard to the self
or he revisits body, watching over body with regard to externals
or he revisits body, watching over body with regard to himself and externals.

Or he revisits body, watching over the origins of things,
or he revisits body, watching over the aging of things,
or he revisits body, watching over the origins and aging of things.

Or thinking: 'This is body' he sets up minding just enough to get a measure of knowledge, a measure of recollectedness.

Thus he revisits but does not grasp after things of the world.

Even so, beggars, a beggar revisits body, watching over body.

— DN 22, Olds, translation.

 

§

 

I consider this to be the real problem solved by the Buddha. It is because of the implications of the idea we have that we are the creator that we continue to accept rebirth.

Without the notion that there is no thing there that is the self, assuming we exist, at death we simultaneously face the issue of existence where we are the only real person there or the responsibility of having created all the suffering in the world simply for our own entertainment and solice in our lonliness.

Get rid of the idea that there is in fact something there that IS the self and the problems of being God disappear.

There is a whole series of suttas that deal with the proposition: It is because of the variety of things, that there is a variety of perceptions, and not the reverse. If this problem were not the problem being dealt with there would be no need for pointing this out because that is what people think they think. But it is not the way they act and it is the way they act that is the real way they perceive and think.

 

§

 

Not If This

— SN 2.14.3

I HEAR TELL:

Once upon a time, The Lucky Man, Savatthi Town revisiting, Anathapindika Park, Jeta Grove.

2. The diversity of data, beggars, results in the reproduction of the diversity of perceptions,
the diversity of perceptions results in the reproduction of the diversity of principles,
the diversity of principles results in the reproduction of the diversity of wishes,
the diversity of wishes results in the reproduction of the diversity of passions,
the diversity of passions results in the reproduction of the diversity of quests
it is not that the diversity of quests results in the reproduction of the diversity of passions,
it is not that the diversity of passions results in the reproduction of the diversity of wishes,
it is not that the diversity of wishes results in the reproduction of the diversity of principles,
it is not that the diversity of principles results in the reproduction of the diversity of perceptions
it is not that the diversity of perceptions results in the reproduction of the diversity of data.

3. And what, beggars, are the diverse data?

Form data,
sound data,
scent data,
taste data,
impact data,
things data.

These beggars, are what are called the diverse data.

4. And what, beggars, are the diverse data that result in the reproduction of the diverse perceptions,
the diverse perceptions that result in the reproduction of the diverse principles,
the diverse principles that result in the reproduction of the divirse wishes,
the diverse wishes that result in the reproduction of the diverse passions,
the diverse passions that result in the reproduction of the diverse quests;
what are the diverse quests that do not result in the reproduction of the diverse passions,
what are the diverse passions that do not result in the reproduction of the diverse wishes,
what are the diverse wishes that do not result in the reproduction of the diverse principles,
what are the diverse principles that do not result in the reproduction of the diverse perceptions,
what are the diverse perceptions that do not result in the reproduction of the diverse data?

6. Form data, beggars, results in the reproduction of form perception,
form perception results in the reproduction of form principles,
form principles result in the reproduction of form wishes,
form wishes result in the reproduction of form passions,
form passions result in the reproduction of form quests,
it is not that form quests result in the reproduction of form passions,
it is not that form passions result in the reproduction of form wishes,
it is not that form wishes result in the reproduction of form principles,
it is not that form principles result in the reproduction of form perceptions,
it is not that form perceptions result in the reproduction of form data.

5. Sound data, beggars, results in the reproduction of sound perception,
sound perception results in the reproduction of sound principles,
sound principles result in the reproduction of sound wishes,
sound wishes result in the reproduction of sound passions,
sound passions result in the reproduction of sound quests,
it is not that sound quests result in the reproduction of sound passions,
it is not that sound passions result in the reproduction of sound wishes,
it is not that sound wishes result in the reproduction of sound principles,
it is not that sound principles result in the reproduction of sound perceptions,
it is not that sound perceptions result in the reproduction of sound data.

5. Scent data, beggars, results in the reproduction of scent perception,
scent perception results in the reproduction of scent principles,
scent principles result in the reproduction of scent wishes,
scent wishes result in the reproduction of scent passions,
scent passions result in the reproduction of scent quests,
it is not that scent quests result in the reproduction of scent passions,
it is not that scent passions result in the reproduction of scent wishes,
it is not that scent wishes result in the reproduction of scent principles,
it is not that scent principles result in the reproduction of scent perceptions,
it is not that scent perceptions result in the reproduction of scent data.

5. Taste data, beggars, results in the reproduction of taste perception,
taste perception results in the reproduction of taste principles,
taste principles result in the reproduction of taste wishes,
taste wishes result in the reproduction of taste passions,
taste passions result in the reproduction of taste quests,
it is not that taste quests result in the reproduction of taste passions,
it is not that taste passions result in the reproduction of taste wishes,
it is not that taste wishes result in the reproduction of taste principles,
it is not that taste principles result in the reproduction of taste perceptions,
it is not that taste perceptions result in the reproduction of taste data.

5. Impact data, beggars, results in the reproduction of impact perception,
impact perception results in the reproduction of impact principles,
impact principles result in the reproduction of impact wishes,
impact wishes result in the reproduction of impact passions,
impact passions result in the reproduction of impact quests,
it is not that impact quests result in the reproduction of impact passions,
it is not that impact passions result in the reproduction of impact wishes,
it is not that impact wishes result in the reproduction of impact principles,
it is not that impact principles result in the reproduction of impact perceptions,
it is not that impact perceptions result in the reproduction of impact data.

5. Things data, beggars, results in the reproduction of things perception,
things perception results in the reproduction of things principles,
things principles result in the reproduction of things wishes,
things wishes result in the reproduction of things passions,
things passions result in the reproduction of things quests,
it is not that things quests result in the reproduction of things passions,
it is not that things passions result in the reproduction of things wishes,
it is not that things wishes result in the reproduction of things principles,
it is not that things principles result in the reproduction of things perceptions,
it is not that things perceptions result in the reproduction of things data.

9. Such then, beggars, are the diverse data that result in the reproduction of the diverse perceptions,
the diverse perceptions that result in the reproduction of the diverse principles,
the diverse principles that result in the reproduction of the divirse wishes,
the diverse wishes that result in the reproduction of the diverse passions,
the diverse passions that result in the reproduction of the diverse quests;
such are the diverse quests that do not result in the reproduction of the diverse passions,
such are the diverse passions that do not result in the reproduction of the diverse wishes,
such are the diverse wishes that do not result in the reproduction of the diverse principles,
such are the diverse principles that do not result in the reproduction of the diverse perceptions,
such are the diverse perceptions that do not result in the reproduction of the diverse data.

 


 

References:

Digha Nikaya 15
Digha Nikaya 22
Samyutta Nikaya 2.12.67
Samyutta Nikaya 5.56.20
Samyutta Nikaya 4.41.8
Majjhima Nikaya 1
Majjhima Nikaya 38
Majjhima Nikaya 9
Majjhima Nikaya 109
Anguttara Nikaya 10.27, 28
Anguttara Nikaya 11 7: Conscious work of mind (and others there).

 

§

 

Thursday, April 26, 2012 5:38 AM

Here in absolutely unequivacal terms is the definititve statement concerning the scope of 'rupa'. From DN 22, The Second and Third Truths in detail:

And what, beggars, is the Aristocrat of Truths as to the origin of pain?

It is in whatsoever there is of hunger/thirst leading to living, accompanied by delight and lust, the being overjoyed at this and that,
that is to say: thirst for pleasure, thirst for living, thirst for escape.

So where is it, beggars, that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears,
where entering does it settle in?

Wherever in the world there is loved form enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

 

What in the world is loved form, enjoyed form?

The realm of the eye is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of the ear is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of the nose is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of the tongue is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of the body is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of the mind is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

 

The realm of visible objects is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of sounds is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of scents is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of tastes is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of touches is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of Dhammas is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

 

The realm of eye-consciousness objects is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of ear-consciousness is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of nose-consciousness is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of taste-consciousness is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of touch-consciousness is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of mind-consciousness is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

 

The realm of eye-contact objects is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of ear-contact is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of nose-contact is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of taste-contact is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of touch-contact is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of mind-contact is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

 

The realm of sensation born of eye-contact objects is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of sensation born of ear-contact is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of sensation born of nose-contact is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of sensation born of taste-contact is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of sensation born of touch-contact is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of sensation born of mind-contact is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

 

The realm of perception of forms is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of perception of sounds is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of perception of scents is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of perception of tastes is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of perception of touches is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of perception of Dhammas is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

 

The realm of form-intent is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of sound-intent is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of scent-intent is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of taste-intent is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of touche-intent is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of Dhamma-intent is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

 

The realm of form-object-hunger/thirst is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of sound-hunger/thirst is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of scent-hunger/thirst is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of taste-hunger/thirst is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of touche-hunger/thirst is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of Dhamma-hunger/thirst is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

 

The realm of thinking about forms is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of thinking about sounds is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of thinking about scents is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of thinking about tastes is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of thinking about touches is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of thinking about Dhammas is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

 

The realm of meandering thoughts about shaps is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of meandering thoughts about sounds is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of meandering thoughts about scents is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of meandering thoughts about tastes is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of meandering thoughts about touches is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

The realm of meandering thoughts about Dhammas is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst appearing, appears
it is there that entering, it settles in.

This beggars is said to be the Aristocrat of Truths as to the origin of pain.

 

§§

 

And what, beggars, is the Aristocrat of Truths as to settling the end of pain?

It is in the complete dispassion towards, ending of, giving up of, freedom from, dislodging of this very hunger/thirst.

So where is it, beggars, that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
where extinguished does it go out?

Wherever in the world there is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

 

What in the world is loved form, enjoyed form?

The realm of the eye is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of the ear is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of the nose is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of the tongue is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of the body is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of the mind is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

 

The realm of visible objects is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of sounds is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of scents is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of tastes is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of touches is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of Dhammas is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

 

The realm of eye-consciousness objects is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of ear-consciousness is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of nose-consciousness is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of taste-consciousness is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of touch-consciousness is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of mind-consciousness is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

 

The realm of eye-contact objects is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of ear-contact is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of nose-contact is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of taste-contact is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of touch-contact is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of mind-contact is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

 

The realm of sensation born of eye-contact objects is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of sensation born of ear-contact is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of sensation born of nose-contact is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of sensation born of taste-contact is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of sensation born of touch-contact is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of sensation born of mind-contact is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

 

The realm of perception of forms is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of perception of sounds is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of perception of scents is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of perception of tastes is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of perception of touches is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of perception of Dhammas is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

 

The realm of material-object-intent is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of sound-intent is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of scent-intent is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of taste-intent is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of touche-intent is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of Dhamma-intent is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

 

The realm of material-object-hunger/thirst is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of sound-hunger/thirst is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of scent-hunger/thirst is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of taste-hunger/thirst is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of touche-hunger/thirst is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of Dhamma-hunger/thirst is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

 

The realm of thinking about forms is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of thinking about sounds is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of thinking about scents is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of thinking about tastes is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of thinking about touches is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of thinking about Dhammas is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

 

The realm of meandering thoughts about forms is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of meandering thoughts about sounds is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of meandering thoughts about scents is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of meandering thoughts about tastes is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of meandering thoughts about touches is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

The realm of meandering thoughts about Dhammas is loved form, enjoyed form,
it is there that this hunger/thirst abandoned, is abandoned,
it is there that extinguished it goes out.

This beggars is said to be the Aristocrat of Truths as to settling the end of pain.

 

§

 

Consciousness

And how is the food that is consciousness to be considered?

Imagine a criminal who is brought before the king.

The guards say:

"Your Highness, this is a robber,
a thief,
an evil-doer,
a no-good,
good for nuth'n,
murder'n sum-gum
fo shu.

Let your Highness inflict upon him
such punishment as he deserves."

So the king says:

"Take this man
and bind him hand and foot
and place him in a cart
and parade him around town
and then take him out the south gate
and there cut him a hundred times.

And the guards do just that.

Then at noon the King asks:

"How is that man?"

And the guards respond:

"At this time he is still living, sir."

Then the king says:

"Well then, cut this man another hundred times."

And the guards do that,
and again at dusk the King asks:

"How is that man?"

and the guards respond:

"At this time he is still living, sir."

And again the king commands
that the guards cut him
with another hundred cuts.

What do you think about that?

Would that man,
thus cut 300 times
experience death
or excruciating deadly pains
as a consequence?

This is how the food that is consciousness is to be considered.

When consciousness is considered in this way,
named form is understood
and when named form is understood
there is nothing more that needs to be done.

SN 2.12.63

 


 

And this is how it works:

Where there is lust, beggars, for [any of the four foods — the sutta, linked below, treats each food separately],
where there is delight,
where there is hunger and thirst,
this results in a stand for the growth of consciousness.

Where there is a stand for the growth of consciousness,
then there is the appearance of name and form.

Where there is the appearance of name and form,
then there is the sowing of own-making.

Where there is the sowing of own-making,
then there is scope for the again-becoming of further-return.

Where there is scope for the again-becoming of further-return,
then there is scope for birth, aging and death.

Where there is scope for birth, aging and death, it is with grief beggars, with fear, it is not without trouble, say I.

And the reverse:

Where there is no lust, beggars, for [any of the four foods],
where there is no delight,
where there is no hunger and thirst,
no stand for the growth of consciousness results.

Where there is no stand for the growth of consciousness,
then there is no appearance of name and form.

Where there is no appearance of name and form, then there is no sowing of own-making.

Where there is no sowing of own-making, then there is no scope for the again-becoming of further-return.

Where there is no scope for the again-becoming of further-return,
then there is no scope for birth, aging and death.

Where there is no scope for birth, aging and death, that is without grief beggars, without fear, it is without trouble, say I.

— SN 2.12.64

Note the parallels to the Paticca Samuppada.

 


 

Also see: — SN 2.12.64

"But what can we do to escape envelopment in experience
through the six senses?"

"Then this thought occurred to me:

'What is there right here in front of our eyes
that leads to envelopment in experience
through the six senses?

"Tracking the etiology of this, Beggars,
I could see:

'Where we have the interoperation of names and forms,
there also we have envelopment in experience
through the six senses.'

The interoperation of names and forms
exists here in front of our eyes
and we can see for ourselves
that the interoperation of names and forms is necessary
for the existence of envelopment in experience
through the six senses.

Without the interoperation of names and forms
we would have no envelopment in experience
through the six senses."

"But what can we do to escape
the interoperation of names and forms?"

"Then this thought occurred to me:

'What is there right here in front of our eyes
that leads to the interoperation of names and forms?

"Tracking the etiology of this, Beggars,
I could see:

'Where we have individualized consciousness,
there also we have the interoperation of names and forms.'

individualized consciousness exists here in front of our eyes
and we can see for ourselves
that individualized consciousness is necessary
for the existence of the interoperation of names and forms.

Without individualized consciousness,
we would have no interoperation of names and forms."

"But what can we do to escape individualized consciousness?"

"Then this thought occurred to me:

'What is there right here in front of our eyes
that leads to individualized consciousness?

"Tracking the etiology of this, Beggars,
I could see:

'Where we have interoperation of names and forms,
there also we have individualized consciousness.'

Interoperation of names and forms exists here in front of our eyes
and we can see for ourselves
that interoperation of names and forms is necessary
for the existence of individualized consciousness.

Without interoperation of names and forms
we would have no individualized consciousness."

This individualized consciousness,
is delimited by the interoperation of names and forms.

To have consciousness as an individual
it is necessary to have the interoperation of names and forms
and it is not necessary to have anything more
than the interoperation of names and forms
to have consciousness as an individual.

It is only to this point
that there is that which is understood to be "a being,"
"a being born"
aging, sickness and death,
grief and lamentation,
pain and misery,
and despair.

What I saw, Beggars,
was that to have consciousness as an individual
it is necessary to have the interoperation of names and forms;

To have interoperation of names and forms
it is necesssary to have consciousness as an individual;

To have envelopment in experience through the six senses
it is necessary to have interoperation of names and forms;

To have contact between consciousness,
sense organ and sense object
it is necessary to have envelopment in experience through the six senses;

To have sensations of pleasure and pain and of neither pleasure nor pain it is necessary to have contact between consciousness, sense organ and sense object;


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