Thanks for the clarification, Sylvester. Can you put into plainest English what you perceive is being said about namarupa in terms of "resistance contact" and "designation contact"? I may understand what was meant by these differently than you do, and it would help to have some confidence we'd be talking about the same thing.
I'm largely guided by SN 36.6 and those suttas like it that bifurcate contact into 2 types. Walshe's translation definitely does not inform my interpretation of this analysis.
SN 36.6 describes the attendant feelings as kāyika
for the hedonic tone of pleasant, painful or neutral and cetasika
for the emotional sequel that are triggered by the corresponding anusaya
underlying the hedonic tone. IMO, kāyika
feelings arise with resistance contact (paṭighasamphassa
) while the cetasika
feelings follow on from designation contact (adhivacanasamphassa
). Interestingly, the Dharmagupta parallel to DN 15 (DA 13) has 身觸 (bodily contact) and 心觸 (mental contact) where paṭighasamphassa
are discussed respectively.
In DN 15's treatment of these 2 types of contact, we no longer encounter the familiar Upanisadic conception of nāmarūpa
as one's appearance and name (that being disposed of in the foetus and womb discussion earlier). Instead, the compound is broken down such that one needs rūpakāya
in order to discern paṭighasamphassa
in/with reference to the nāmakāya
, and vice versa. Nāma
still retain some connection to its Upanisadic roots, insofar as I think that this bare cognitive and naming sequel analyses still require name for naming to work, and appearance/form to be present in order for the bare cognitive contact to be established. We get a sense of this "naming" function suggested in this passage -
Nāmarūpapaccayā viññāṇa’nti iti kho panetaṃ vuttaṃ, tadānanda, imināpetaṃ pariyāyena veditabbaṃ, yathā nāmarūpapaccayā viññāṇaṃ. Viññāṇañca hi, ānanda, nāmarūpe patiṭṭhaṃ na labhissatha, api nu kho āyatiṃ jātijarāmaraṇaṃ dukkhasamudayasambhavo paññāyethā’’ti? ‘‘No hetaṃ, bhante’’. ‘‘Tasmātihānanda, eseva hetu etaṃ nidānaṃ esa samudayo esa paccayo viññāṇassa yadidaṃ nāmarūpaṃ. Ettāvatā kho, ānanda, jāyetha vā jīyetha vā mīyetha vā cavetha vā upapajjetha vā. Ettāvatā adhivacanapatho, ettāvatā niruttipatho, ettāvatā paññattipatho, ettāvatā paññāvacaraṃ, ettāvatā vaṭṭaṃ vattati itthattaṃ paññāpanāya yadidaṃ nāmarūpaṃ saha viññāṇena aññamaññapaccayatā pavattati.
“It was said: ’With mentality-materiality as condition there is consciousness.’ How that is so, Ananda, should be understood in this way: If consciousness were not to gain a footing in mentality-materiality, would an origination of the mass of suffering—of future birth, aging, and death—be discerned?”
“Certainly not, venerable sir.”
“Therefore, Ananda, this is the cause, source, origin, and condition for consciousness, namely, mentality-materiality.
“It is to this extent, Ananda, that one can be born, age, and die, pass away and re-arise, to this extent that there is a pathway for designation, to this extent that there is a pathway for language, to this extent that there is a pathway for description, to this extent that there is a sphere for wisdom, to this extent that the round turns for describing this state of being, that is, when there is mentality-materiality together with consciousness.
I take the sequence adhivacanapatha, niruttipatha, paññattipatha
, and paññāvacara
as synonyms or near-synonyms communicating the naming phenomenon. This should tie in with the standard sutta definition of nāma
being feeling, perception, intention, contact, & attention, where perception perhaps is responsible for the naming dimension of contact.