Philosophical Notes on Vithi

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The Vithi model shows the mind as a sequence and depicts the order by which mental phenomena occur. Apart from that, it indicates, that certain aspects of cognition/ of processing Information have perhaps more significance than others…As man learns to master the world in which he finds himself, initially he will be so to say possessed by the objects of the senses¹ ..only gradually becoming aware of them and with time investigating and classifying them. Once he gave designations to the objects of the senses he had a means of thinking about them,…evolving them into concepts, which, when taken into his being² were binding him to that particular sphere of existence.

Thus the mind or mentation is shown as a selfless process.

¹ “pancadvarāvadjjana”… “avajjana” I take to relate etymological to “avattana”, which means something like being tempted or possessed

² tadarammana…taking in

Example of a normal mental process

➙ The mind gets tempted by an external object

➙ Consciousness receives the impression

➙ The mind moves back into bhavanga (life-continuum) and then a desire vibrates ‘I want that’

➙ Mind-door adverting and a normal mental process follow …’I will do such and such to get it’ or,..’This is desire, I don’t follow it’


In regard to the 5 sensory world man evolves the faculty (/the power) to investigate and define or classify (votthapana – sometimes transl. as determine) the objects of the world which he has received through his 5 sense-doors….these will form the content of his thoughts (javana)….and when he has pondered upon them long enough,…they will be registered (tadārammana) as ideas, which will form a part of his life-continuum/ mind-stream / character …they will become part of who he is.

Becoming part of who he is, a person starts being bound to a particular sphere of existence…he does not as easily fall anymore just wherever his senses have landed beforehand or wherever his emotional reactions (related to the life-continuum) would have driven him. In regard to the 5 sense-door process, a person establishes himself in the sense-sphere world…and will less easily fall into the lower worlds.

Mind door cognitive process

Parallel to this evolving of concepts in regard to his environment,… in the course of his upbringing a person will usually also acquire concepts inherited through culture and religion, which do not relate to the things of the 5 senses. These the mind too will occasionally attend to and elaborate further through processing. And these are the things which may eventually lead a person to follow a spiritual path.

For an ordinary person as for most animals …impressions enter the sphere of the 5 senses, are received and then just add to the stuff that bind a person to his particular sphere of existence (panca-dvaravadjana ➙ sampatichana ➙ bhavanga …5 door- adverting, reception of the impression ➙ return into life-continuum)…sometimes a person investigates those impressions (santirana), sometimes he also classifies (votthapana)… But it is the particular characteristic of the human species, that man thinks about his experiences (although animals also think, but to a much lesser degree)… with this he transforms his experiences, either for better or for worse…thinking deep and long enough,…the object, (now transformed) will also start transforming the “life-stuff”, …that, wherein his existence is rooted.

Again it is for the more developed person to occasionally advert his mind towards his internals (the objects of his life-continuum?)…which in the course of development might become what we call introspection..

An ordinary person seeks and responds to experiences in the realm of the 5 senses, while a person on the path, moves away from the world of the 5 senses…through frequent adverting of his mind towards its own contents and accumulating or perhaps modifying kamma directed towards the perfecting of the character (or directed towards changing that, wherein his existence is rooted)

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