Nāmarūpa - Named Form?

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Saengnapha
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Re: Nāmarūpa - Named Form?

Post by Saengnapha » Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:29 pm

Dinsdale wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:22 am

Contact ( phassa ) is the meeting of sense-base, sense-object and sense-consciousness, with sense-consciousness arising in dependence on sense-base and object ( that makes sense practically speaking because you need the ability to see and something to be seen in order to have visual consciousness ).

Sanna really is recognition in the suttas. Here's another description of sanna ( perception ) from MN43:

"'Perception, perception': Thus is it said. To what extent, friend, is it said to be 'perception'?"
"'It perceives, it perceives': Thus, friend, it is said to be 'perception.' And what does it perceive? It perceives blue. It perceives yellow. It perceives red. It perceives white. 'It perceives, it perceives': Thus it is said to be 'perception.'"

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

You could also describe sanna as naming, and in the suttas it is colours which are named or recognised ( categorised? ). So I don't agree with the OP premis that "named form" is an accurate description of nama-rupa. The nama aspect includes a range of mental functions and activities, and naming ( sanna ) is only one of them.

Note that sanna is a function of all six sense bases, so it's not just about how sense-data is processed by the five "physical" senses - see here in SN25 for example:

"At Savatthi. "Monks, perception of forms is inconstant, changeable, alterable. Perception of sounds... Perception of smells... Perception of tastes... Perception of tactile sensations... Perception of ideas is inconstant, changeable, alterable."
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

What the suttas describe doesn't map directly onto a modern understanding of perception and neuroscience, so it's probably best not to muddle them up, or try to force one framework into the other ( square pegs and round holes! ).
When we discuss these things, the translations of words can vary quite a bit. I see that we think of the same processes but use a different word for it. Let's not make it a sticking point. Perhaps we should stick to English to describe the process of perception and name and form. If we start by using the eye as a sample sense base, light enters and color registers. There is no naming of the color yet. A construction of an image must take place first in order for there to be 'recognition'. To me, this is cognition, the result of the eye, the light that hits it, the feeling of the color, and the rest of the sense bases joining to construct an object. At first it is just a mental picture, but the brain constructs the whole scene including subject/object, and time and space. I don't think it is necessary to analyze every aspect of this process and then translate it into Pali, Sanskrit, or whatever we've read in a book. The fact that perception is created mentally along with the mental creation of time and space and someone who is experiencing all of this is the important point, not the fact that we can create a linear map that we can study. It becomes an insight, vipassana. It seems when equanimity is stable, one can begin to see the process of perception and how it creates the world, its objects, and the self. Any further thoughts?

chownah
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Re: Nāmarūpa - Named Form?

Post by chownah » Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:19 pm

I am not following the discussion carefully since I already have a view of these things which I find adequate for my practice but I follow casually because I am always ready to learn more.

The topic of the difficulty to making sense of the terms and assembling them into a model interests me and I have thought about it alot. One thing that I have not seen mentioned is that while us modern folk mostly have a model where the brain does all the data processing and since us modern fold also mostly associate the brain with the mind those old time people in the buddha's time did not necessarily have that delineation. For instance they might very well have thought that alot of the data processing for the eye (for example) actually went on in the eye and not the brain....this could explain why there is eye consciousness. Us modern folk mostly think that consciousness happens in the brain mostly or completely and most modern folk don't think that there is consciousness happening in the eye......so some people talk about the external eye and the internal eye with the internal eye being a mental representation of the actual physical eye. I have not problems with any of this but the point I want to make is that understanding what is going on is quite different I think if one is of the view that there is actually a kind of consciousness with assosciated perception, feeling etc. all on its own without recourse to the mind.
Maybe everyone already has considered this.....I havent' been following closely so if I'm just wasting time here I appologize.
chownah

Saengnapha
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Re: Nāmarūpa - Named Form?

Post by Saengnapha » Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:31 pm

chownah wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:19 pm
I am not following the discussion carefully since I already have a view of these things which I find adequate for my practice but I follow casually because I am always ready to learn more.

The topic of the difficulty to making sense of the terms and assembling them into a model interests me and I have thought about it alot. One thing that I have not seen mentioned is that while us modern folk mostly have a model where the brain does all the data processing and since us modern fold also mostly associate the brain with the mind those old time people in the buddha's time did not necessarily have that delineation. For instance they might very well have thought that alot of the data processing for the eye (for example) actually went on in the eye and not the brain....this could explain why there is eye consciousness. Us modern folk mostly think that consciousness happens in the brain mostly or completely and most modern folk don't think that there is consciousness happening in the eye......so some people talk about the external eye and the internal eye with the internal eye being a mental representation of the actual physical eye. I have not problems with any of this but the point I want to make is that understanding what is going on is quite different I think if one is of the view that there is actually a kind of consciousness with assosciated perception, feeling etc. all on its own without recourse to the mind.
Maybe everyone already has considered this.....I havent' been following closely so if I'm just wasting time here I appologize.
chownah
This is where introspective attention applies. You discover for yourself how the body functions apart from the interpretations that we get from external sources. This is what matters most, don't you think?

chownah
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Re: Nāmarūpa - Named Form?

Post by chownah » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:56 am

Saengnapha wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:31 pm
This is where introspective attention applies. You discover for yourself how the body functions apart from the interpretations that we get from external sources. This is what matters most, don't you think?
Yes. and to extend what you say....my view is that through introspective attention one can see that what we see as how the body functions is fabricated and not self.
chownah

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Re: Nāmarūpa - Named Form?

Post by Saengnapha » Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:36 am

chownah wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:56 am
Saengnapha wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:31 pm
This is where introspective attention applies. You discover for yourself how the body functions apart from the interpretations that we get from external sources. This is what matters most, don't you think?
Yes. and to extend what you say....my view is that through introspective attention one can see that what we see as how the body functions is fabricated and not self.
chownah
Yes, but that is not the end of it. That is only a form of vipassana, insight, the mind informing the mind, so to speak. There seems to be some formless samadhis that take this to a different level with a stopping of all experience and a kind of regeneration that allows the activity of perception to be known and never personalized again. I believe that this is the real awakening, when the activities of the senses do not result in 'I' making.

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mikenz66
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Re: Nāmarūpa - Named Form?

Post by mikenz66 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:19 am

Hi Saengnapha,
Saengnapha wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:29 pm
When we discuss these things, the translations of words can vary quite a bit. I see that we think of the same processes but use a different word for it. Let's not make it a sticking point. Perhaps we should stick to English to describe the process of perception and name and form. ...
I'm a little confused about what you are trying to get at here. Namarupa is a tricky concept, and I thought it would be helpful to discuss it, particularly from the point of view of Ven Nanananda's Sermons, Ven Analayo's lectures on them, and some of the other sources that I have pointed out. There are, as Dinsdale points out, some detailed descriptions in various suttas of what the terms mean, and how they relate to each other. Of course, it's possible to have other interpretations of the cognitive processes, but what I was interested in doing here was to explore how they are actually described in the suttas.

:heart:
Mike

Saengnapha
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Re: Nāmarūpa - Named Form?

Post by Saengnapha » Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:41 am

mikenz66 wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:19 am
Hi Saengnapha,
Saengnapha wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:29 pm
When we discuss these things, the translations of words can vary quite a bit. I see that we think of the same processes but use a different word for it. Let's not make it a sticking point. Perhaps we should stick to English to describe the process of perception and name and form. ...
I'm a little confused about what you are trying to get at here. Namarupa is a tricky concept, and I thought it would be helpful to discuss it, particularly from the point of view of Ven Nanananda's Sermons, Ven Analayo's lectures on them, and some of the other sources that I have pointed out. There are, as Dinsdale points out, some detailed descriptions in various suttas of what the terms mean, and how they relate to each other. Of course, it's possible to have other interpretations of the cognitive processes, but what I was interested in doing here was to explore how they are actually described in the suttas.

:heart:
Mike
Fair enough, Mike. I won't stand in your way. :)

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Re: Nāmarūpa - Named Form?

Post by Dinsdale » Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:20 am

Having done a bit more research, I'm pretty sure that the nama aspect of nama-rupa is equivalent to the three aggregates of sanna, vedana and sankharas. So nama-rupa is equivalent to the aggregates minus consciousness, ie sanna, vedana, sankharas and rupa.

Possibly you could describe nama-rupa as responding to form? Though the absence of consciousness in nama-rupa makes such descriptions somewhat inadequate IMO.

What I find intriguing is how the early section of DO separates out consciousness from the other factors - it seems significant. In some versions of DO nama-rupa and vinnana are mutually dependent, while in others nama-rupa arises in dependence on vinnana. :thinking:
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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Re: Nāmarūpa - Named Form?

Post by Dinsdale » Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:25 pm

chownah wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:19 pm
The topic of the difficulty to making sense of the terms and assembling them into a model interests me and I have thought about it alot. One thing that I have not seen mentioned is that while us modern folk mostly have a model where the brain does all the data processing and since us modern fold also mostly associate the brain with the mind those old time people in the buddha's time did not necessarily have that delineation. For instance they might very well have thought that alot of the data processing for the eye (for example) actually went on in the eye and not the brain....this could explain why there is eye consciousness. Us modern folk mostly think that consciousness happens in the brain mostly or completely and most modern folk don't think that there is consciousness happening in the eye......so some people talk about the external eye and the internal eye with the internal eye being a mental representation of the actual physical eye. I have not problems with any of this but the point I want to make is that understanding what is going on is quite different I think if one is of the view that there is actually a kind of consciousness with assosciated perception, feeling etc. all on its own without recourse to the mind.
Looking at the passage below from the Loka Sutta, would it make any substantive difference to the meaning we substituted "eye" with "ability to see" or "functioning eyesight" or whatever? I don't think it would. I think it is just saying that for to see something, we need to have both the ability to see and something to look at. We now know that there is a large area of the brain devoted to visual processing, but I don't think that changes the basic principle.

"The Blessed One said: "And what is the origination of the world? Dependent on the eye & forms there arises eye-consciousness. The meeting of the three is contact. From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling..."
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Buddha save me from new-agers!

chownah
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Re: Nāmarūpa - Named Form?

Post by chownah » Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:52 pm

Dinsdale wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:25 pm
Looking at the passage below from the Loka Sutta, would it make any substantive difference to the meaning we substituted "eye" with "ability to see" or "functioning eyesight" or whatever? I don't think it would. I think it is just saying that for to see something, we need to have both the ability to see and something to look at. We now know that there is a large area of the brain devoted to visual processing, but I don't think that changes the basic principle.

"The Blessed One said: "And what is the origination of the world? Dependent on the eye & forms there arises eye-consciousness. The meeting of the three is contact. From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling..."
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Good. The way you interpret and understand things it makes no difference.....or whatever. I'm glad that you have an interpretation which you find satisfactory.....hooray!
chownah

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Re: Nāmarūpa - Named Form?

Post by Dinsdale » Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:56 pm

chownah wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:52 pm
Dinsdale wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:25 pm
Looking at the passage below from the Loka Sutta, would it make any substantive difference to the meaning we substituted "eye" with "ability to see" or "functioning eyesight" or whatever? I don't think it would. I think it is just saying that for to see something, we need to have both the ability to see and something to look at. We now know that there is a large area of the brain devoted to visual processing, but I don't think that changes the basic principle.

"The Blessed One said: "And what is the origination of the world? Dependent on the eye & forms there arises eye-consciousness. The meeting of the three is contact. From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling..."
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Good. The way you interpret and understand things it makes no difference.....or whatever. I'm glad that you have an interpretation which you find satisfactory.....hooray!
chownah
:shrug: Have you any constructive comment to make on what I have said? I am getting very tired of your sarcasm and patronising tone.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

chownah
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Re: Nāmarūpa - Named Form?

Post by chownah » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:13 pm

Dinsdale wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:56 pm
chownah wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:52 pm
Dinsdale wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:25 pm
Looking at the passage below from the Loka Sutta, would it make any substantive difference to the meaning we substituted "eye" with "ability to see" or "functioning eyesight" or whatever? I don't think it would. I think it is just saying that for to see something, we need to have both the ability to see and something to look at. We now know that there is a large area of the brain devoted to visual processing, but I don't think that changes the basic principle.

"The Blessed One said: "And what is the origination of the world? Dependent on the eye & forms there arises eye-consciousness. The meeting of the three is contact. From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling..."
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Good. The way you interpret and understand things it makes no difference.....or whatever. I'm glad that you have an interpretation which you find satisfactory.....hooray!
chownah
:shrug: Have you any constructive comment to make on what I have said? I am getting very tired of your sarcasm and patronising tone.
No......except I would like you to know that I am definitely not being sarcastic or patronising. I think it is good that you interpret and understand things in a way that you find satisfactory. I am not trying or wanting to convince you of anything.....maybe your interpretation of this is sarcasm and patronising....I don't know.....I'm not going to worry about it.
If you are tired of my posting then just tune it out.
edit: I don't recall me ever posting anything that changed anything in your views anyway (so tuning it out should be no great loss for you)....it seems like it just leads to back and forth with no progress. That's fine. I'm not trying to convince you of anything anyway......I have been taking steps to reduce the back and forth with no progress in my posting....too much work and not enough reward.
chownah

Saengnapha
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Re: Nāmarūpa - Named Form?

Post by Saengnapha » Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:29 pm

Dinsdale wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:20 am
Having done a bit more research, I'm pretty sure that the nama aspect of nama-rupa is equivalent to the three aggregates of sanna, vedana and sankharas. So nama-rupa is equivalent to the aggregates minus consciousness, ie sanna, vedana, sankharas and rupa.

Possibly you could describe nama-rupa as responding to form? Though the absence of consciousness in nama-rupa makes such descriptions somewhat inadequate IMO.

What I find intriguing is how the early section of DO separates out consciousness from the other factors - it seems significant. In some versions of DO nama-rupa and vinnana are mutually dependent, while in others nama-rupa arises in dependence on vinnana. :thinking:
Doesn't the latter interpretation, nama-rupa arising in dependence on vinnana, make sense to you?
I'm not sure what you mean by separating out consciousness from other factors.

chownah
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Re: Nāmarūpa - Named Form?

Post by chownah » Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:05 am

chownah wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:52 pm
Dinsdale wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:25 pm
Looking at the passage below from the Loka Sutta, would it make any substantive difference to the meaning we substituted "eye" with "ability to see" or "functioning eyesight" or whatever? I don't think it would. I think it is just saying that for to see something, we need to have both the ability to see and something to look at. We now know that there is a large area of the brain devoted to visual processing, but I don't think that changes the basic principle.

"The Blessed One said: "And what is the origination of the world? Dependent on the eye & forms there arises eye-consciousness. The meeting of the three is contact. From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling..."
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Good. The way you interpret and understand things it makes no difference.....or whatever. I'm glad that you have an interpretation which you find satisfactory.....hooray!
chownah
Since this reply of mine seems to have made a strong reaction which was unintended, I'll explain further:
My view is that there is no single interpretation of namarupa and all that associated stuff which is the correct one. If the buddha intended there to be one correct interpretation then I am sure that the buddha would have done a better job of delineating it. Also, the buddha teaches that all views are to be abandoned which for me adds to the feeling that there is no single correct interpretation but I will not try to explain why it adds to the feeling.
When you said that you were willing to accept that it could be viewed this way or that way or some other way I interpreted this to mean that to a certain (perhaps small) degree that you held a somewhat (slightly) similar view.....that progress can be made through different interpretations and that different interpretations do not mean that any one interpretation is better than any other at helping us to progress on our paths.
Perhaps I was wrong. Perhaps you find that the detail you were discussing is unsatisfactory because that detail doesn't matter. Perhaps you were saying that because you can not see a difference then that detail is immaterial. I don't know....I think that what I said was not accurate because your response was very atypical.

chownah

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Re: Nāmarūpa - Named Form?

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:11 am

Greetings,

There's some interesting analysis on pages 19 & 20 of Ven. Nanananda's Paticcasamuppada Sermon 1.

Unfortunately I can't copy and paste the relevant text because the PDF file is locked down.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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