five components ［五陰・五蘊］ ( pancha-skandha; go-on or go-un): Also, five components of life, five aggregates, or five skandhas. The five components are form, perception, conception, volition, and consciousness. Buddhism holds that these constituent elements unite temporarily to form an individual living being. Together they also constitute one of the three realms of existence, the other two being the realm of beings and the realm of the environment. (1) Form means the physical aspect of life and includes the five sense organs—eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and body—with which one perceives the external world. (2) Perception is the function of receiving external information through the six sense organs (the five sense organs plus the “mind,” which integrates the impressions of the five senses). (3) Conception is the function of creating mental images and concepts out of what has been perceived. (4) Volition is the will that acts on the conception and motivates action. (5) Consciousness is the cognitive function of discernment that integrates the components of perception, conception, and volition. Form represents the physical aspect of life, while perception, conception, volition, and consciousness represent the spiritual aspect. Because the physical and spiritual aspects of life are inseparable, there can be no form without consciousness, and no consciousness without form. All life carries on its activities through the interaction of these five components. Their workings are colored by the karma one formed in previous lifetimes and at the same time create new karma.