Thus, what papañca would imply is nothing less than this very intentionality of our experience and its tendency to grow and expand. However this can happen only when that ‘with’ is present i.e. when the mind is not free from the bonds of ignorance and when it keeps following things in their appearance— “…his consciousness flows after the sign of form [sound, smell, tastes, touches, thoughts], is tied and shackled by gratification in the sign of form, if fettered by the fetter of gratification…”. And surely enough it is said that the arahant is nippapañca—without diversifications, free from any attachments (upadhi), free from burden accumulated in the past.
Thus, one’s world (everything which appears—nāma-rūpa), expands. One’s views, desires etc. expand too, yet this should not be understood in a momentary sense, which would suggest that they will somehow ‘shrink’ afterwards by themselves. Their intensity or the intensity of their presence, once ‘accumulated’ i.e. came to being, is being ‘assumed’ or ‘held’ (upādāna) at that (new) face value. When this happens—and it happens through the repetition of [ignorant] actions as said above—consciousness “becomes established” upon that degree of presence, which then becomes the actual experience of that thing. Thus, the intensity of experience, that which appears as nāma-rūpa grows (for more details see Mahānidāna Sutta, DN 15 [ii,63]). This kind of pattern stretches from the most fundamental levels of our existence (as seen in Mūlapariyāya Sutta), up to the coarsest ones which we might say are, “resorting to rods and weapons, of quarrels, brawls, disputes, recrimination, malicious words and false speech…”, that is the directly painful actions resulting from one’s ignorance. Thus, based on the above, papañca represents the ‘diffusion’ of this fundamental underlying principle with ignorance being necessarily present, and consequently papañca-saññā-sankhā are all ‘calculations’ or ‘notions’, perceived and originated as a result of taking this principle of diffusion for granted i.e. not understanding it.
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