SN 22.53 "Involvement"


True. Idapaccayata determines that they follow each other in predetermined patterns. When it’s speeded up it looks like someone is craving.


Nama-rupa is classified as something apart from consciousness.

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.

And what is consciousness? There are these six classes of consciousness. Eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind consciousness. This is called consciousness.

All of these categories and definitions are tools to be used for the sake of practice. We don’t need a full understanding of every tool before we begin to use them. This is impossible anyway because understanding comes with putting into use. And we don’t even need to use every tool. We just need to use the tools that are helpful for our practice. Those tools may change and we have to play with them to find out.


Interesting comment about consciousness being a clinging, involved awareness - it’s not something I’d really considered. So does consciousness clings to the other aggregates? Or to nama-rupa?
Is this spelt out in the suttas? In the First Truth all the aggregates are described as clinging, so maybe it’s based on that?


I have thought all the aggregates are clingable due to ignorance -for not seeing their tilakkhana behaviour.


I defer to MN44 to answer:

“But ma’am, is that grasping the exact same thing as the five grasping aggregates? Or is grasping one thing and the five grasping aggregates another?”

“That grasping is not the exact same thing as the five grasping aggregates. Nor is grasping one thing and the five grasping aggregates another. The desire and greed for the five grasping aggregates is the grasping there.”


Thanks Karl.
This is exactly what I was struggle to convey with my posts above.


I read that MN44 passage several times, and I still don’t get what it actually means.


@Mkoll: I like you reply.

As along as conscious involves with other aggregates; continued of existent becomes. "Just as, mendicants, even a tiny bit of fecal matter still stinks, so too I don’t approve of even a tiny bit of continued existence, not even as long as a finger snap.” AN1.328 SuttaCentral


“Feeling, perception, & consciousness, friend: Are these qualities conjoined or disjoined? Is it possible, having separated them one from another, to delineate the difference among them?”

“Feeling, perception, & consciousness are conjoined, friend, not disjoined. It is not possible, having separated them one from another, to delineate the difference among them. For what one feels, that one perceives. What one perceives, that one cognizes. Therefore these qualities are conjoined, not disjoined, and it is not possible, having separated them one from another, to delineate the difference among them.”


Sure, but in SN22.53 vinnana is somehow separate from the other aggregates (it can be involved, or not involved) , rather than being conjoined with vedana and sanna.

There is the idea of vinnana being freed from the other aggregates in the OP sutta, but that makes vinnana sound like an independent entity, rather than arising dependently on sense base/object.

As you observed earlier in the thread, consciousness isn’t something that stands alone, but the OP sutta gives the impression that it does, since it has the ability to get involved (or not) with the other aggregates.


Vinnana arises from mental and material stimuli or experiences. Some of these mental stimuli can be past memories of intentions, feelings etc.

Vinnana arises in sequence from mental and material stimulation, and gives rise to phassa or contact. Contact is the cause for feeling tone, identification and intention or thoughts. This is how it is seen experientially in vipassana.

But for those who find the above gibberish, the Buddha also simply spoke of the five aggregates in no particular order, or I would have thought in an order that made sense to followers of Brahmanism/theistic religion. Consciousness is seeen as something amazing and sometimes even deification happen.


Sure, but that’s why I’m puzzled by the OP sutta, which seems to give vinnana a special status, somehow separate to the other aggregates.

Possibly its more like the mutual dependence of vinnana and nama-rupa in some DO suttas. More nama-rupa activity means more vinnana?


It’s the conventional way to speak of consciousness; not the ‘ultimate’ or the ‘under the hood’ way of speaking about it. The five aggregates are talked about as if they aren’t elementary cogs in a cause-and-effect chain.

Yes, but even that is an explanation from ‘things-as-they-really-are’. This is is more like ‘I’m aware of memories…’. The five aggregates have all happened and and it’s what has remained as a sort of a blur.


Only way you can test your theroy is by attaining Jhana.
Jhana formula is based on how you gradually eiliminate each of the properties of the five aggregate.
The last of the Jhana is Cessation of perception (Sanna) and feeling (vedana). Then it said to be no consiousness.
Another way to test your theory is to look at the 31 planes of existence. Only existence without Rupa (Pathavi, Apo,Tejo,vayo) is the Arupavacar realam. Een in Arupavacara realams the perception and feeling is there.
Consciousnes can’t arise without a bas . The same way the fire cant sustained without a support.


I read the MN44 passage as an instruction to simply let go of desire and greed by relinquishing the grasping aggregates without probing further. Visākha was basically caught up in the details of the grasping aggregates (i.e., “how are they all put together?”) and Ayya Dhammadinnā was simply telling him to stop chasing his wagging tail.


I thinks these sutta can answer your question
Eye consciousness arises dependent on the eye and sights. The meeting of the three is contact. Contact is a condition for feeling. What you feel, you perceive. What you perceive, you think about. What you think about, you proliferate. What you proliferate about is the source from which a person is beset by concepts of identity that emerge from the proliferation of perceptions. This occurs with respect to sights known by the eye in the past, future, and present.

Cakkhuñcāvuso, paṭicca rūpe ca uppajjaticakkhuviññāṇaṃ, tiṇṇaṃ saṅgati phasso,phassapaccayā vedanā, yaṃ vedeti taṃsañjānāti, yaṃ sañjānāti taṃ vitakketi, yaṃvitakketi taṃ papañceti, yaṃ papañcetitatonidānaṃ purisaṃ papañcasaññāsaṅkhāsamudācaranti atītānāgatapaccuppannesucakkhuviññeyyesu rūpesu. MN18

Other sutta.
And why do you call it consciousness?Kiñca, bhikkhave, viññāṇaṃ vadetha?

It cognizes; that’s why it’s called ‘consciousness’.
Vijānātīti kho, bhikkhave, tasmā‘viññāṇan’ti vuccati.
And what does it cognize?
Kiñca vijānāti?

It cognizes sour, bitter, pungent, sweet, hot, mild, salty, and bland.
Ambilampi vijānāti, tittakampi vijānāti,kaṭukampi vijānāti, madhurampi vijānāti,khārikampi vijānāti, akhārikampi vijānāti,loṇikampi vijānāti, aloṇikampi vijānāti.
It cognizes; that’s why it’s called ‘consciousness’.
Vijānātīti kho, bhikkhave, tasmā‘viññāṇan’ti vuccati.



Thanks, but these suttas describe vinnana as dependent arising (“passive”), and as occurring at the beginning of the mental process. The OP sutta appears to describe vinnana as a more active function, something which interacts with the other aggregates, and grows as a result.

Part of the problem here is understanding the different ways that vinnana is used in the suttas. Sometimes it seems to have a broader and more active function, more like citta (heart/mind).


It’s my take that the above sutta talks about the order in which vinnana appears, and what it’s causes and effects, are. However vinnana doesn’t appear at each sense base equally. Where we are attached to an object, it will try to experience it more, at a specific sense base (eg: looking repeatedly at a pleasant image). So the OP is an explanation of this phenomenon, the way I see it.


Sure, though this seems to be an increase in consciousness as a result of an increase in attention and interest.
Like I said, I suspect vinnana is being used in a rather different way in this sutta.


So intention gives rise to vinnana as per DO!