Author Topic: What are the 5 aggregates or skandhas?  (Read 4482 times)

Offline vinasp

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Re: What are the 5 aggregates or skandhas?
« Reply #30 on: April 08, 2010, 07:43:37 pm »
Hi everyone,

 Here is my post #15 re-worked to include four levels and the two worlds.

 Lets take 'form' first. By 'actual form' I mean ones body or external objects as they are
experienced at what I will call level one.
This is direct experience, pre-conceptual and pre-linguistic. When one acquires
language one can then think conceptually about ones experiences. This is level two,
which is conceptualised experience. This has two aspects or modes which I call 'static
conceptualising' and 'dynamic conceptualising'. The dynamic mode tracks the
changing experience of things in real-time. The static mode provides a fixed
background for the changing things. This conceptual understanding is elaborated into
a complex model of 'external' and 'internal' things. These are two fundamental
viewpoints which we can adopt when thinking about things. These are often called the
objective view and the subjective view. All this is required in order that we can
understand our environment and react in appropriate ways.
 
This level two is already mental representation. In fact, even level one is, from the
scientific point of view, mental representation. But these are not what I mean by 'mental
representation'. What I mean is what I call levels three and four.

 Level three is where the mind appropriates certain things. A complex state
which includes conceptual, affective and volitional components. This arises from the
idea 'I am'. When this idea is appropriated it becomes a view. This kind of view is an
appropriation-view. A personal world is constructed around this view by adding
further views of this sort. This is the first of the two personal worlds to be constructed.

 Level four is where the mind becomes obssessed with certain things. A complex state
which includes conceptual, affective and volitional components. This arises from the
idea of self. As the mind becomes obssessed with this idea, craving for it, and clinging
to it arise. So the idea of self becomes a 'self-view' or obssession-view. This leads to
other obssession-views about this self. In this way, a world is constructed around this
self-view. This is the second of the two personal worlds to be constructed.

 The Buddhist analysis of these states often focuses on craving and clinging. Both of
these require an 'object' but what is this object? Is it the object as experienced at level
one, the conceptual object at level two, the appropriation-object at level three, or is it
the obssessional object at level four?

 Best wishes, Vincent.

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: What are the 5 aggregates or skandhas?
« Reply #31 on: April 09, 2010, 01:22:20 am »
1. The 'five aggregates with clinging' are 'a being' which is mentally constructed. Also called an 'acquired self'.

 2. The five aggregates are 'the person' meaning the 'person' constructed around the view and conceit 'I am'.

 Both of these must cease for full enlightenment.

Vincent, I'm not sure I get point 2.  As I see it the aggregates are just aspects of the process of human existence / experience.  As I understand it the sense of "I" develops because of clinging to these aggregates, we over-identify with these temporary aspects and think that's what we are - we become our desires.  I say this because the second Noble Truth identifies the "problem" as a craving for experience, eg for sense desire.

Spiny

 


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