How to penetrate nāmarūpa - Name and Material Forms

This topic has always been puzzling for me, and I think to today’s science as well which is far advanced but can’t understand consciousness properly

I have read this book https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/25942786-the-mind-illuminated which provides Culadasa (John Yates)'s mixed view with Dhamma teaching which provides good understanding but when he says there are several minds I am getting lost as Buddha didn’t comprehend it that way, may be those are states of mind

And what are name and form?
Feeling, perception, intention, contact, and attention. This is called name.
The four primary elements, and form derived from the four primary elements.
This is called form. Such is name and such is form.
These are called name and form.

From where I see lets assume, these species see snake for the first time in their life

Encounter subject who sees object object consciousness sense base contact sensation perception other sense attention intention thirst
First Hawk snake eye eye small, crawling, black pleasant nothing found tag this info yes grab all sense attentions
snake ear ear rubbing, hissing unpleasent nothing found tag this info analyze
snake touch body soft, slimy, pleasant nothing found tag this info analyze
snake taste taste delicious, yummy pleasant nothing found tag this info analyze
how to represent all this info mind mind suggest a name pleasant tag all tbe above info with name snake and all psycho+physical information can this be food
can this be food mind mind looks like it pleasant tag snake as food update perception yummy
Second Hawk after few weeks snake eye eye small, crawling, black pleasant snake is food, yummy grab it yes eat yummy
First Mouse snake eye eye big, heavy, crawling, black, scary unpleasent nothing found tag this info grab all sense attentions
snake ear ear rubbing, hissing unpleasent nothing found tag this info analyze
snake touch body soft, slimy, unpleasent nothing found tag this info analyze
snake taste taste none neutral doesn’t look like food analyze
how to represent all this info mind mind suggest a name unpleasent tag all tbe above info with name snake and all psycho+physical information will this eat me
will this eat me mind mind looks like it unpleasent tag snake as scary, run away update perception aversion
Second Mouse after few weeks snake eye eye big, crawling, black unpleasent snake is scary run away yes flight aversion
First Human (from India) snake eye eye big, heavy, crawling, black, scary unpleasent nothing found tag this info grab all sense attentions
snake ear ear rubbing, hissing unpleasent nothing found tag this info analyze
snake touch body soft, slimy, unpleasent nothing found tag this info analyze
snake taste taste none neutral doesn’t look like food analyze
how to represent all this info mind mind suggest a name unpleasent tag all tbe above info with name sarp and all psycho+physical information will this eat me
will this eat me mind mind doesn’t look like it unpleasent lets observe more update perception aversion
snake eye eye watch eating unpleasent its got poison update perception aversion
is this a threat mind mind yes it’s a threat unpleasent snake is scary run away update perception aversion
Second Human (from India) after few weeks snake eye eye big, crawling, black unpleasent snake is scary run away flight aversion
Third time Human (from India) reads the word snake snake eye eye word unpleasent causes uneasiness and anxiety no indulge in something else aversion + desire for something else
First time Human to Human Human (from France) Human (from India) speech mouth sarp pleasant may be this , may be that analyze
Human (from India) immitate body soft, slimy, unpleasent may be this , may be that yes analyze
Human (from India) immitate ear rubbing, hissing unpleasent is it snake analyze
Human (from India) Human (from France) immitate speech sarp = serpent pleasant tag sarp with serpent and French new learning hurray, new learning lets party
![image 515x499](upload://f3WinsbscdrpOUmKsvI8SJvZKlA.png)

So now form this e.g. 4 subjects know about snake

  • their perceptions are different, one things that’s food other thinks they are food, and humans see it scary
  • Once perceptions are set, we don’t see in reality how the things are we see the psycho + physical phenomenon, which also has neuro transmitters associated with this
  • Fight / Flight response is triggered based on this perceptions they are very useful
  • Human from India / France have similar perception but language difference makes a need for them to understand the perceptions properly
  • Endless feedback cycles start if more details are required to identify the object properly and associate with this phenomenon

So opening this topic to discuss and debate this further what is namarupa?
is this right understanding, can someone highlight better what is what and details on here.
Putting this in watercooler category as, discussion category seems boring.

‘Name’ is the arbitrary appellation which is the basis of conventional reality:

" What is it that overwhelmed[18] everything? What is it that nought else excels? What is it that to which one thing Everything else its course doth bend? 'Tis name that has overwhelmed everything Nought else exists that excels name And Name itself is that one thing Beneath whose sway all others came.[19]"

— SN 1.61

It’s necessary to understand what conventional reality is:

"There are, Ānanda, these two elements: the conditioned element and the unconditioned element. When he knows and sees these two elements, a bhikkhu can be called skilled in the elements.”—MN 115

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Great these were the kind of details in conditioning and perception I was looking into if you refer to table above or provide any example of how this conditioning happens and to identify what is or not conditioned and if it is how to redirect attention towards unconditioned

In her classic study about Nama-Rupa in the Indian context Marysa Falk writes about the earliest (i.e. pre-Buddhist) concept of nama-rupa:

While the nama is the inner power of the individual being or thing, the rupa is its sensuous appearance.

In the earliest literature the context is apparently almost always of differentiation of a primordial state of the cosmos.

When the baby is given a name begins the connections to the network of institutions of conventional reality, and the baby therefore constructs reality according to that and ceases to rely directly on its senses. De-conditioning is achieved by developing contact with the pre-verbal mind (see note 19 in my previous post), and by developing jhana (which is pre-verbal).

“knowing with regard to the world
that “All this is unreal,”
sloughs off the near shore & far —
as a snake, its decrepit old skin.”—Sn 1.1

Thanks :+1:, this still seem to be conceptual, just things out together like a heap doesn’t explain process, how can you explain someone beyond concept what is conditioned and how it’s conditioned
Say to different audience
*5 year old kid
*at same time to a psychiatrist
*And along with it understand what beings unified in body and perception or unified in body and not on perception or neither perception and nor perception are

This should have been very easily understood in ancient times by everyone so there isn’t lot of analysis and redifinitions here
Wait a minute, Am I the only one who see this way and these things are crystal clear to others?

Adding more to it

  • Fight vs flight the animal brain ( the chemical factory) and the prefrontal cortex, the distinguishing factor of whether you ride the wave or drown under it, how exactly Namarupa work here THE BRAIN FROM TOP TO BOTTOM

  • The subconscious programs, when we learn for e.g bike or swimming we start with nothing and then get confidence there is a switch flip at some instance after which we “know” that we can bike or swim without falling, what is this? Is it training subconscious mind and when it’s ready it tells is now I “know” and is ready to execute programs, this is also conditioned

Thank you for this link, this is a 240 page book, I found it difficult to understand and follow, will read more as time permits. though this represents the pre-buddhist concept of nama-rupa. While buddha was a contemporary architect reflecting using same words with redefining meanings of existing word, I guess the definition of this nama-rupa in the book would have also been redefined by him.

Exactly, the practitioner cannot expect to step outside the world and experience the unconditioned in the body until they conceptualize and classify samsara as conditioned and separate.

" “Monks, there are these two conditions for the arising of right view. Which two? The voice of another (reading) and appropriate attention. These are the two conditions for the arising of right view.”—AN 2, 125-6

Reading gives conceptual understanding of right view, and perception of samsara as conditioned in actual life, separate from practice results in insight experience. This is because the dhamma is a real cosmic law. At first there is incredulity and fear at making this leap, that’s why the path has got to be gradual.

Thanks for your note and yes in principle I agree with gradual understanding, but things need to be aligned and investigated, they need to fall in a process, which has to be refined, without process there might be no understanding at all and one would avoid such topics.

For e.g. you saw tiger for first time chasing and eating a cow in a forest, and want to tell me what you saw
Now assume I had never seen tiger either, nor anyone in our society has, so how do you expain this to me
There as to be several steps in this process beyond words, multiple Namarupa cycles and fight or flight responsees, with stepping stones of perception, hard to explain. Wonder What would Buddha teach someone If they ask similar question