@sujato perhaps I will mention here, I’ve been on a bit of a mission studying the occurences of ‘kāyena phusitvā’ and its variations. And I really feel that the specific mention of the body is significant. I’m feeling that the Buddha was specifically pointing to the affective experience, and I feel that that is often given in contrast to the wisdom aspect which I believe may be specifically cognitive (penetrating with wisdom etc.).
I’ve come to see the mind as having two basic sides to it, affective; and cognitive. And I find this framework very useful for understanding neuroscience, psychology, and also now Buddhism, and I feel like I’m seeing the Buddha differentiating these two aspects fairly clearly. It’s very interesting.
I also feel the argument for ‘touched with the body’ as being merely an analogy for ‘direct experience’ to be false. And I believe I can demonstrate that. I feel he was being deliberate with his use of the expression to refer to the bodily experience of the objects he was referring to, which I feel were possibly specifically affective states.
I speak with some hesitation since I’m not sure if they would all fall into the category of ‘affect’ - but neuroscience might not have the words yet for some states which are so un-ordinary. However my sense is that they would fall into the category of emotional affect, if not all of them then perhaps some might have to be classed as a new kind of affect.
I’m curious what you might think of that idea. And of course I’m happy to share my research with you. It’s not properly written up yet.