Can form be directly perceived?

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Sacha G
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Can form be directly perceived?

Postby Sacha G » Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:47 am

Hello
It is often said that the 5 aggregates should be directly perceived. Now, I was wondering how the aggregate of form could be perceived, since form is just a hypothesis, and no one, as far as I know, has been able to perceive it.
But maybe my understanding is wrong here.
:hello:
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Individual
Posts: 1970
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:19 am

Re: Can form be directly perceived?

Postby Individual » Thu Jan 20, 2011 12:54 pm

Perceived by what?

If you're asking, "Does the eye see sights, does the nose smell scents," then yes.

In the absence of an assumed self, beyond that there is nothing to speculate about.
The best things in life aren't things.


meindzai
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Re: Can form be directly perceived?

Postby meindzai » Thu Jan 20, 2011 1:15 pm


pt1
Posts: 416
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Re: Can form be directly perceived?

Postby pt1 » Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:33 am

In addition to what meindzai said (btw, good to see you around once again meindzai, how's Florida?)

Perhaps it's the English term "form" that's confusing because it can designate such things as shape of an object (e.g. square, round, etc), or a complex object (a car, a house, etc), which are basically conceptual (perhaps that's what you mean by "a hypothesis"). But in abhidhamma framework "form" would be basically a translation for the pali term rupa, which would usually stand in for all dhammas that belong to the rupa class of dhammas. And there are all together 4 classes of dhammas - rupa (form or material phenomena), citta (consciousness), cetasika (mental factors) and nibbana (the only one which is unconditioned).

It's further said that there are all together 31 (if I remember right) different dhammas that belong to the rupa class. Some of these can be directly experienced by becoming an object of a sense-consciousness (touch, smell, taste, hearing, seeing), while some can only be an object of mind-consciousness. So for example, as meindzai mentioned, the 3 elements of earth, fire and wind can be experienced through touch (tactile-consciousness) as hardness, heat and motion, while the element of water can be experienced thought mind-consciousness as cohesion.

Anyway, chapter VI (page 234) is specifically on rupa in - the link takes you to a free online version of the book on google books. In fact, you might find reading the whole book helpful as it addresses many of the issues you've been interested in lately.

There's also a book by Nina Van Gorkom just about rupa - also free online reading .

Best wishes

Sacha G
Posts: 151
Joined: Sat Dec 25, 2010 7:16 pm
Location: France

Re: Can form be directly perceived?

Postby Sacha G » Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:52 am

OK thank you all
OK let's take the case of a tactile object:
The body meets the tactile object, and there's a tactile consciousness. Now this is tactile contact. A tactile perception arises "hardness".
Now hardness is directly pereceived, but it's something mental. The external base, i.e, the tactile object, is not perceived.
PS: I got the CMA at home
:reading:
Pali and Theravada texts:
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pt1
Posts: 416
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Re: Can form be directly perceived?

Postby pt1 » Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:44 am



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