thereductor wrote:]...but rather that all predictions of what an object may do once its passed beyond sense are based on understanding of conditionality and not on mistaken assumptions.
I follow you until right here. I've gotten the impression from that old prickly passage that no prediction or assumption about an object is occurring even
at the moment that sense consciousness is active.
Am I just reading too much into it? If the issue were merely about not assuming any substance to our perceptual fabrication of an "object" there would be no problem at all. But it doesn't seem to be restricted to merely in the sense of perception, but in the sense of sense-experience in general. I hope that I am wrong because that would make a lot more sense!
Edit: Though, another way I can think of how to spin this is that the sights that we see etc. are not construed to exist in their own right but that it is recognized the nature of the eye determines what information it is able to receive and therefore in that way there is sight, but it is not assumed that what is seen is at all absolute. The Pali has some wiggle room, I dunno. I can't help be curious about it but after a certain point mulling over it becomes a waste of time.
However, this conceit is not, in itself, ignorance. Ignorance is to not understand that all things change due to conditions.
Maybe not if we're talking very specifically, but the notion of self is very closely connected to that base ignorance, and we do know that in our usual experience and cognition we maintain the perspective of a self, so I figure we can assume it in all of the 12 nidanas. It doesn't seem like you actually disagree on that point so I guess this doesn't matter too much anyways.
But once this conceit is undermined with understanding, then the entire edifice of the DO and all the outcomes from it fall apart. But so long as we do function in line with DO, we can use it as a road map to our experience.
Mhm, that's what I'm thinking.
Anyway, if I still have missed the mark, then I suppose I should bow out.
Oh no, this is good discussion, this is relevant.
But before I do, I would like to clarify my own thoughts on the formualtion volition > consciousness > namarupa.
To me this simpler interpretation presents a few problems, one of which is that calling sankhara volition alone suggests that volition has an unmediated influence on consciousness... Rather the order seems to be consciousness coming to increase and growth based on the other four aggregates, which in turn have food, contact and volition as their chief supports. So the putting of volitions here without a mediator seems to undermine consciousness' usual dependence on the other four aggregates.
Ah, I understand your point, but I did not mean to imply that. Maybe I took this for granted in assuming it was obvious but I definitely don't disagree with what you've said here, I've just been running under the assumption that all that stuff does indeed take place but that it's just not mentioned inbetween sankhara > vinnana explicitly, because it's so obviously implied that it isn't necessary to be stated.
Then, to put namarupa after consciousness would suggest that consciousness is more substantial than the five aggregates traditionally assigned to the term 'namarupa', which is confusing. (and don't forget the additional confusion that ensues by reduplicating in one place the aggregates elsewhere present in the DO chain).
I don't think it implies that it is more substantial necessarily. My idea of the section of consciousness > namarupa is this: First of all, consciousness + namarupa is essentially the same as the 5 aggregates. Which are the totality of experience. But what is significant about dividing it into consciousness and namarupa is showing the interdependency between the two. Of the things that "consciousness is conscious of", they are always something from namarupa. That is that consciousness is always dependent upon namarupa in that way. But namarupa, from the standpoint of experience, would not be known if not for consciousness for that same reason. Without namarupa there could be no consciousness but without consciousness namarupa would never be known to us. The ol' reeds leaning on each other thing.
As for reduplicating things throughout the chain, I kind of think that a number of things could indeed be placed in "between the lines" more than once. But they are not mentioned because that chain we have is for the purpose of mentioning particularly important steps or events in the process, not for completely fleshing out everything. But that is something of an assumption on my part.
And also for the fact that, or rather my suspicion that, every link in the chain can also be thought in terms of the links ahead of it, because an instance of the things which are going to occur, have already occurred once before this. So when we try to fill in all the gaps when looking at once "instance" of the chain there are some things which look like superfluous duplications, but aren't because this cycle is based upon a previous one.
This is not to say that sankhara should be seen as excluding volition, but rather seen as the ambiguous and all encompassing term that it really is, which includes intention, volition and also the act and the resultant effects stemming there from. But because it is all encompassing it drives home the impersonal nature of all those things that it does encompass. Then by defining namarupa as the arising of conceit we drive home the role conceit plays in our deluded cognitive process.
Re-arising, I'd say, yeah.
I actually think we're on similar tracks, it's just that we've drawn the boundaries a little differently. What you are saying belongs under sankhara I'm saying is implied in the following space. Pretty much the same thing though right?
If we define namarupa as 'five aggregates', thus entrenching a slightly different expository construct in the middle of DO, then what does it mean if the arahant is shown to posses all five aggregates? Does that mean that their cognitive process mirrors that of the DO? After all, if this possession of the five aggregates means that they retain 'namarupa' then they might be said to still conceive in terms of objects, feelings and so on -- which doesn't fit that well with the sutta passage that you are having trouble with.
I've been running under the assumption that even though they no longer "conceive in terms of objects, feelings and so on", they are still able to make use of those same conceptual designations. If they weren't they wouldn't be able to do anything at all. But then of course even if they make use of those things they see through them, of course.