BUDDHISM – THE FIVE AGGREGATES
The Five Aggregates were one of Buddha's discoveries. In Buddha's times the words for such phenomena didn't exist.
At present the Aggregates stretch our understanding beyond common sense... into the realms of philosophy.
Even the word aggregates is not condusive to easy modern day understanding, the modern word would be components, or simply parts.
The original idea is that once the Five Aggregates are set in motion, once the wheels start turning, they keep repeating.
The Five Aggregates as they are recorded in the texts, are manifest form, sensation, perception, concepts (mental formations), and consciousness.
I believe the idea behind the Aggregates is for example: 1. a visual object, 2. the light waves, 3. the contact with the eye, 4. the neurological signal, and 5. the recognition by the mind. And with that recognition, it becomes an object (a manifest form)... and so the wheel turns again and the momentum is self perpetuating.
At present in the traditional version, the sequence gives 2. sensation and 4. concepts, which means that the sequence could start repeating at the 2nd. or 4th. stage, as well as the 5th.