As far as nāmarūpa is concerned, we find the same meaning in the BṛĀr.Up, than in early Buddhism - Although in EB, there is a clear-cut difference between a purely sensorial and non-sensorial manifest.
This immortal (imperishable) is covered by the real (manifest):
|tad etad amṛtaṃ satyena channam |
Prāṇa is the immortal,
| prāṇo vā amṛtam |
and name and form are the real (manifest-satya),
| nāmarūpe satyam |
and by them Prāṇa is covered.
| tābhyām ayaṃ prāṇaś channaḥ |
Name & form are the manifest.
This name & form feeds our Satta with its khandhas; and we appropriate them or not.
To believe that these khandhas could be ours (SN 22.33, SN 22.59,) is to believe in the brahmanic idea of a continuous and pervasive Self/self (SN 22.47).
Nāmarūpa is matter, energy and ignorance (“knowledge”).
Magic (the first, most sophisticated, yet less evolved religion, as Hegel once put it,) is about playing with these energies and elements of matter.
There is, however, something higher to be found.
Nāmarūpa must do something to arrive at true knowledge. And that is to grant a somewhat freedom to Satta. Otherwise, Ignorance would always have itself as Knowledge.
How could ignorance know if something is good or not, if it does not grant that privilege to some other? - the body is made to be felt (SN 12.37), but mano is the ultimate decider of the appreciative outcome, and also the (somewhat free) and only means of an escape (SN 22.82).
The Asmi born of nāmarūpa, and present in Satta (like the “Being” of Aristotle’s Categories,) must be granted the freedom of his own Citta (along with its debased “wordly” mano) (SN 47.8).
Mano has the right to choose between the magic of playing with matter and energy; OR stilling the stressful synergetic energies involved in the accumulation of matter (elements).
The tapas (which means “heating up”) must be cooled down and not used, either as magic; or as harsh ascetism - as it was done (and done again) in Indian philosophy. The saṅkhāras must be stilled; not excited. There is also no control to be taken on things and creatures; but instead, control to ward off from things and creatures.
By getting rid of the idea of a Self and the “I” and the “am” (asmi) and the “mine”, and the “self” - and by definitely stilling the saṅkhāras, etc. - one liberates the “imperishable” through true knowledge.
What does that “imperishable” becomes after death, no one knows; for it can’t be definable in words.
So what does nāma has to do in that picture?
Again, it involves:
- First the nāma of nāmarūpa nidanā purely concerned with the non-sensorials (although “feeling”, perceiving and conscious) khandhas, that, with the establishing of consciousness, descends in saḷāyatana:
When (non-sensory) consciousness is established and has come to growth, there is a descent of name-and-form.
Tasmiṃ patiṭṭhite viññāṇe virūḷhe nāmarūpassa avakkanti hoti.
With name-and-form as condition, the six sense bases come to be.
Which in turn triggers the sense-consciousness, etc… in Satta.
- So, secondly, is a quite different nāma in nature, in saḷāyatana, defined as contact + feeling (vedanā nidāna) + perception + manasikāra.
I have this very bad habit, trying to find an early non-sectarian Buddhism in the suttas.
The “neither, nor” so dear to me, (as an ultimate transcendental means - also here, ) seems to be found across all the early sects (Pudgalavāda, Sarvāstivāda, Vibhajjavāda [(Theravada]). But particularly in the very early Pudgalavāda sect.
What the pudgalavadins are saying is that, beyond the mere “world,” as defined by Buddha, the pudgala is neither the aggregates, nor is it different from them. Pudgala kind of transcends that.
On one hand, if I am identical to the aggregates, then “I” should be annihilated; because the khandhas are intrinsically impermanent (anicca), says the pudgalavadin.
On the other hand, if I am different from the aggregates, then “I” should be eternal; (which Buddha rightly denies).
For the pudgalavadins, the pudgala transcends this, as the middle way.
Here are the texts of the Pudgalavadins:
here and here (something else even more interesting [in french though]).
And here are the (pretty sapless) criticisms from the Theravadins: https://suttacentral.net/en/kv1.1
For the Pudgalavadins, pudgala is a paññatti; namely a concept - not an absolute reality. It is a notion (the manifestation of the truth in things).
- Paññatti，（f．） [fr．paññāpeti，cp．paññatta1] making known，manifestation，description，designation，name，idea，notion，concept．
- Paññāpeti，[Caus．of pajānāti] 1．to make known，declare，point out，appoint，assign，recognise，define.
- Pajānāti，[pa+jānāti] to know，find out，come to know，understand，distinguish.
This is where Paññatta [abstr．fr．paññā] = wisdom takes its real meaning. Viz. a discerning knowledge.
As far as neither, nor is concerned, I would not say “neither paranoid nor deluded”, but instead “neither paranoid nor not paranoid”.
And I would definitely try to know what’s behind that. And once known, not to use this magic; but obviate it, as utterly loathsome & uninteresting; and therefore, do my best to transcend it.
For the illusion we experience, is not as bad as the false truth behind it - a false truth that has possessed more than an ignorant.
Truth in Buddhism is not the hidden reality behind the illusion - but the emetically nature of its expression and deviant use.