In a completely unrelated browse, I ran into the Buddhist concept of Skandhas. This is similar to what I was just reviewing around Yogananda’s discussion of the levels of ego identification – physical, astral, causal and into the soul.
In that article, I mentioned the 7 purushas or bodies model. This describes the physical, vital/emotional, mental, intellect/intuition, gap, witness and consciousness.
The Skandha model is quite similar. It describes 5 “aggregates” or “heaps” that categorize all human experiences, none of which include Self. They see suffering arising from identification or clinging to a Skandha. One overcomes this by relinquishing all attachments and seeing them as empty of existence.
The 5 Skandhas:
1) Rupa: form or matter, the physical
2) Vedana: sensation or feeling, the emotional body
3) Samjna: perception & conception, lower mind and senses
4) Samskara: mental formations, mid-mind (another term just discussed)
5) Vijnana: cognizance, higher mind.
I quite disagree with the idea that sensing an object gives rise to consciousness (another translation of vijnana) but it does give rise to conceptions. It also points to one of the reasons I prefer the Vedic models over Buddhist thought. But that also reflects my history.