There has been some discussion about words concerning emotion. I thought it could be useful to bring together in one thread, discussion of words which are used to specifically refer to affective, rather than cognitive, processes.
I will try to keep updating the list as this thread continues. Here are the terms being discussed so far:
- manasi karoti
I thought it would be useful to draw conversations on this topic into one thread. So far we have below cittasaṅkhāra, and paṭisaṃvedeti. Perhaps we can accumulate a more extensive list, or challenge these two also if they are not purely affective.
I think this will be useful because sometimes we can choose an English word which seems near the Pāli meaning, but sometimes that can result in us changing an affective word into an English equivelent which might not be specific about this being affective. For example someone suggested translating cittasaṅkhāra is as ‘mental process’. Whether or not that might be appropriate, it’s an example of a choice between a purely affective translation (emotion), vs.a translation which can include cognitive processes also (mental process).
@Jayarava has written:
In discussion of cittasaṅkhāra as ‘emotions’ in Ānāpānassati Sutta MN 118 , @sujato noted:
Another word I mentioned in a couple of posts but there was no follow up, so please forgive me for posting it here, in the hope of stimulating more discussion - paṭisaṃvedeti - is it always used with affects, such as emotions; or ever anything specifically cognitive?
In AN 3.54 we have:
“A greedy person, overcome by greed, intends to hurt themselves, hurt others, and hurt both. They experience mental pain and sadness.
“Ratto kho, brāhmaṇa, rāgena abhibhūto pariyādinnacitto attabyābādhāyapi ceteti, parabyābādhāyapi ceteti, ubhayabyābādhāyapi ceteti, cetasikampi dukkhaṃ domanassaṃ paṭisaṃvedeti .
That seems obviously affective.
All sentient beings, all living creatures, all beings, all souls lack control, power, and energy. Molded by destiny, circumstance, and nature, they experience pleasure and pain in the six classes of rebirth.
Sabbe sattā sabbe pāṇā sabbe bhūtā sabbe jīvā avasā abalā avīriyā niyatisaṅgatibhāvapariṇatā chasvevābhijātīsu sukhadukkhaṃ paṭisaṃvedenti .
Again pleasure and pain are affective. And more affect from the same sutta:
When they have this entire spectrum of noble ethics, they experience a blameless happiness inside themselves.
So iminā ariyena sīlakkhandhena samannāgato ajjhattaṃ anavajjasukhaṃ paṭisaṃvedeti .
When they have this noble sense restraint, they experience an unsullied bliss inside themselves.
So iminā ariyena indriyasaṃvarena samannāgato ajjhattaṃ abyāsekasukhaṃ paṭisaṃvedeti.
And again on affect from the same sutta, the typical 3rd jhāna formula:
Furthermore, with the fading away of rapture, a mendicant enters and remains in the third absorption, where they meditate with equanimity, mindful and aware, personally experiencing the bliss of which the noble ones declare, ‘Equanimous and mindful, one meditates in bliss.’
Puna caparaṃ, mahārāja, bhikkhu pītiyā ca virāgā upekkhako ca viharati sato sampajāno, sukhañca kāyena paṭisaṃvedeti , yaṃ taṃ ariyā ācikkhanti: ‘upekkhako satimā sukhavihārī’ti, tatiyaṃ jhānaṃ upasampajja viharati.
In DN 1 we have the following:
Tatra, bhikkhave, ye te samaṇabrāhmaṇā pubbantakappikā ca aparantakappikā ca pubbantāparantakappikā ca pubbantāparantānudiṭṭhino pubbantāparantaṃ ārabbha anekavihitāni adhimuttipadāni abhivadanti dvāsaṭṭhiyā vatthūhi, te vata aññatra phassā paṭisaṃvedissantīti netaṃ ṭhānaṃ vijjati.
Now, when those ascetics and brahmins theorize about the past and the future on these sixty-two grounds, it is not possible that they should experience these things without contact .
This one I’m less sure of but would be interested if it is pointing out that you can speculate all you want with your thinking, but maybe he’s saying it’s the more direct experience that counts, perhaps that’s why he is referring to affect which is in some sense more ‘real’ than abstract thought - and he emphasises it with ‘ touch ’, phassa .
If this term is specifically affective, we could choose an English translation other than ‘experience’ to express that, since ‘experience’ is not affect-specific. Perhaps something like ‘feel’?