2

In Nanavira's Notes of Dhamma on Mano:

Note that just as the eye, as cakkhāyatana or cakkhudhātu, is that yena lokasmim lokasaññī hoti lokamānī ('[that] by which, in the world, one is a perceiver and conceiver of the world') (Salāyatana Samy. xii,3 <S.iv,95>), i.e. that thing in the world dependent upon which there is perceiving and conceiving of the world, namely a spherical lump of flesh set in my face; so the mind, as manāyatana or manodhātu, also is that yena lokasmim lokasaññī hoti lokamānī, i.e. that thing in the world dependent upon which there is perceiving and conceiving of the world, namely various ill-defined parts of my body, but principally a mass of grey matter contained in my head (physiological and neurological descriptions are strictly out of place—see PHASSA).[c] This is in agreement with the fact that all five khandhā arise in connexion with each of the six āyatanāni—see NĀMA & PHASSA [a]. For 'perceiving and conceiving' see MAMA [a].

More loosely, in other contexts, the mind (mano) is simply 'imagination' or 'reflexion', which, strictly, in the context of the foregoing paragraph, is manoviññāna, i.e. the presence of images. See NĀMA [c]. The Vibhanga (of the Abhidhamma Pitaka) introduces chaos by supposing that manodhātu and manoviññānadhatu are successive stages of awareness, differing only in intensity (and perhaps also, somehow, in kind). See CITTA.

Why does he feel that imagination is a looser translation of the word mano than the way it is defined in the previous paragraph?

1
  • does chaos mean something like organic freedom?
    – blue_ego
    Commented May 10, 2023 at 17:06

2 Answers 2

-1

As usual, it is difficult for me to make sense of the discursive thinking of Nanavira.

Manoviññāna is a type of consciousness/reflexion (viññāna) therefore has no relationship whatsoever to the word 'mano' ('perceiver-conceiver'/'intellect').

Compare to the words 'jet fuel'. A fuel is not a jet & a jet is not a fuel.

1
  • And yet, "jet fuel" is a fuel for jets, so to say that "jet" and "jet fuel" have no relationship whatsoever is false.
    – Andriy Volkov
    Commented May 10, 2023 at 2:41
-1

Why does he feel that imagination is a looser translation of the word mano?

He doesn't state nor imply that imagination is a looser translation. Nanavira says that the word mano is used in two contexts, a stricter one and a looser one, with distinct meaning in each of the contexts:

  1. In a strict or technical context, mano is used as the base (ayatana) of perceiving and conceiving in the corresponding realm (dhatu) of "the mental".
  2. In a looser or casual context, mano is used to mean roughly imagination or reflection.

Then Nanavira goes on and makes a statement that the second meaning (imagination/reflection) has a more precise technical term in the first (technical) context and that term is manovijnana, because technically imagination/reflection is nothing more than experience of mental images.

At this time I'm making no comment as to whether what Nanavira says is valid or helpful but it seems clear that's what he is saying.

In any case, it's clear that the qualifier "looser" pertains to the sense in which the word mano is used in the second context, not to its translation as English word "imagination".

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .