Friday, September 09, 2005

ขันธ์ 5

the 5 aggregates

My attempt to understand:
The 5 aggregates(Skandhas, ขันธ์) แปลว่า กอง, มวลรวม

1. Rupa, รูป: Matter or Form - "object"
2. Vijnana, วิญญาณ: the five physical sense organs + consciousness

1. จกฺขุวิญฺญาณ = eyes
2. โสตวิญฺญาณ = ears
3. ฆานวิญฺญาณ = nose
4. ชิวหวิญฺญาณ = tongue
5. กายวิญฺญาณ = skin
6. มโนวิญฺญาณ = consciousness

Matter + 5 physical senses = mere contact (ยังไม่รับรู้) but when
contact + conscious = experience the contact, register for its object ideas or properties = mere awareness, or mere sensitivity to an object (cognition?, เกิดอาการรับรู้)


for example the eyes and a visible object, come into contact, and when consciousness too becomes associated with the physical factors of experience, visual consciousness arises. This is mere awareness of a visible object, not anything like what we could call personal experience.


THEN the next three aggregates function (เจตสิก = ตัวแสดงผลของจิต) to turn this mere awareness of the object (1+2 = Rupa รูป + Vijnana วิญญาณ = รับรู้) into personal experience.

3. Vedana, เวทนา: Feeling (emotional tones) of 3.1 pleasant; 3.2 unpleasant; or 3.3 indifferent.


4. Samjna, สัญญา: Perception = recognition,identification, จำได้หมายรู้
with feeling where we have a emotional element in terms of pleasure, displeasure or indifference; with perception, we have a conceptual element in the sense of introducing a definite, determinate idea about the object of experience.


5. Samskara, สังขาร: Mental formation and volition = a conditioned response to the object of experience (e.g. habit, enhanced thought, ความคิดปรุงแต่ง)

mental formation (จิต) represents the half that comes from the past, and volition (เจตน์)represents the half that functions here and now.


So Samskara, สังขาร(mental formation + volition) functions to determine our responses to the objects of experience and these responses have moral consequences in the sense of wholesome, unwholesome or neutral.

EXAMPLE:
you walk in the garden, your eyes come into contact with a visible object. As your attention focuses on that visible object, your consciousness becomes aware of visible object as yet indeterminate. Your aggregate of perception will identify that visible object as, let us say, a snake. Once that happens, you will respond to that visible object with the aggregate of feeling - the feeling of displeasure, or more specifically that of fear. Finally, you will react to that visible object with the aggregate of mental formation or volition, with the intentional action of perhaps running away or perhaps picking up a stone.


The use of this analysis of personal experience in terms of the five aggregates
= the use of this reduction of the apparent unity of personal experience into the various elements of form, feeling, perception, mental formation or volition, and consciousness
= To create the wisdom of not-self.
= To see personal experience in terms of processes, in terms of impersonal functions rather than in terms of a self and what affects a self because this will create an attitude of equanimity, an attitude which will help us overcome the emotional disturbances of hope and fear
= Once we understand them in terms of impersonal processes, and once through this understanding we get rid of the idea of the self, we can overcome hope and fear. We can regard happiness and pain, praise and blame and all the rest with equanimity, with even-mindedness, and we will then no longer be subject to the imbalance of alternating between hope and fear.

CONCLUSION:

BE MINDFUL OF HOW YOUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCE OCCURS

BE VERY AWARE OF THE LAST 3 aggregates, AND TRY TO MANAGE the 5th

respond with compassion and do not enhance your thoughts from what/how things actually are.

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