Points of Controversy

8.6. Of the Arūpa-Element

Controverted Point: That the ultimate “datum, or element” of Arūpa is things cognized as immaterial.

Theravādin: Is then feeling a sphere of life, a destiny, a realm of beings, renewed life, a matrix, a station for rebirthconsciousness, an acquiring of individuality? Is there karma leading to it? Are beings to be reborn in it? Do they get old, die, decease from, get reborn in it? Are the five aggregates “in” feeling? Is it a five-mode existence?

Now all these you can predicate of the Arūpa-datum or element, but not of feeling only.

Again, if the Arūpa-element mean only immaterial things—and you will admit there is feeling and other mental aggregates in the kāma-element—are these two elements or data identical? Either you must deny (which were unorthodox) or assent. In the latter case we get a person in two spheres of life at the same time. The same argument holds good for Arūpa and Rūpa data. And if all three be mutually identical, we get a person in three spheres of life at the same time… .