mikenz66 wrote: ↑
Wed Jun 19, 2019 7:57 pm
Dinsdale wrote: ↑
Wed Jun 19, 2019 2:28 pm
Sure, you can view them as synonyms, but they seem to be used in different ways in the suttas, and understanding the how and why of those differences might be significant and useful terms of how you practice.
Its not straightforward though. Sometimes different words mean the same thing in different contexts, sometimes they dont. Sometimes the same word in different contexts means different things, sometimes it doesn't. IMO context is the most important consideration in understanding how words are being used, and what they mean.
I think this is important. Thinking of translation as a matter of dictionaries completely misses the point.
It is the nature of every language that the same word can have different meanings in different contexts. This makes it generally impossible have a one-to-one mapping from a particular
Pali word to a word in another language (such as English).
To insist that several different Pali words, that are used in different contexts, have the same meaning is even worse! It seems to me to brush off much of the depth and subtlety of the texts.
Words that are synonyms do not mean the same things, especially in different contexts. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synonym
Here are a few of the words that are listed as synonyms of "mind" in English:
attention consciousness imagination intellect mentality perception thought...
I am primarily replying to the paragraph which I have reddened.
Being overly insistant about anything is not pleasant to behold which is why I have not been insistent in posing my ideas. Using the word "insistent" here seems like a bias is creeping/has crept into the discussion....it is an automatic negative whose use has not been established by anything you have said.
You say "worse" but you have not established that anything is "bad" for the "worse to be used in comparison with...what is it that you have in mind that is bad?
Pointing out that two words might be interchangeable generally should have no effect on the "depth and subtlety of the texts" and even insisting that they are interchangeable could only possibly "brush off much of the depth and subtlety of the texts"if the words are in fact NOT interchangeable....if the words ARE in fact interchangeable then it is by not understanding this that some sort of false depth and subtlety is fabricated which will likely lead one astray from the meaning of the dhamma.....if people see depth and subtlety where it is not meant then what does that mean?
I think the key is to study what is written and try to come to some reasonable conslusion based on something which determines if two words (here they are citta and mano or citta and vinnana) can mean the same thing and be interchanged. Nyanatiloka calls them synonyms but does not discuss to what extent they can be interchanged or what might be the limits of their sameness. He is reputed to have been a very reliable pali scholar although I am not insisting that he is perfect. I do not find anything in his dictionary leading me to think that there is some clear definition for citta and the others to make a case that they should not be interchangeable...nowhere does he insist that they not be interchanged.
I think the way to proceed (if one is concerned enough to proceed) is to start with assuming that they are the same since Nyanatiloka says they are synonyms and does not indicate anything against the idea that they are the same....and then to take the meaning of the teachings in which citta, mano, and/or vinnana are found and try to find a point of view which is compatible with combining the teachings in which they are found. Also, at the same time perhaps, one should look for elements of the teachings containing them for points which show that they are not compatible......and finally (this is the difficult part) try to discern what views one already holds prior to this investigation and to take into account ones bias in wanting perhaps to find similarities or differences in support of ones already estalished views.