PadmaVonSamba wrote: ↑
Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:01 pm
Aemilius wrote: ↑
Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:28 am
I also think there are many unexplained things in the behaviour of bacteria, as an example. How can we know they do not somehow perceive their surroundings? Bacteria have bacterial conjugation
. Bacteria move from one place to another place, why would they do that? Do they have an awareness of an object, of other bacteria, of enemies and friends, of places, of themselves?
I don't know that this is ever discussed in the Sutras, so I will have to refer to this as outside of the Buddhadharma, properly speaking:
The term I give to the observable phenomena of a basic organism's intentional interaction with its environment
It isn't awareness
in the strictest sense, because there is no cognition involved, no physical sense organs, no brain. Its not conceptual as far as we can determine. There is no consciousness
. But, there is subject and object. A sperm is attracted by the chemicals given off the egg, and so on.
You cannot be so sure that "there is no consciousness". Some related things exist in the Dharma, namely that there is consciousness that doesn't depend on the material body and which has perception. Like the being or consciousness of the intermediate state, which perceives its former life, its former relatives, and also its future life, its future parents, etc...
Then there are Out of the Body Experiences, Near Death Experiences, and experiences in a state of meditation where you can perceive beings and worlds independent of the physical senses. Some people have experiences where they are just a drop or bindu of consciousness, which is very small in size, and it can still perceive physical objects, which can seem huge in comparison with its own size. These things mainly belong to the oral Dharma, they are not put in the Sutras in great detail, but they certainly exist.
There is a teaching, which says that there are thousands or millions of microscopic creatures living in the body. This is even found somewhere in the Sravakayana sutras/suttas, -unfortunately I don't remember where-, but it is mentioned in the topic of Contemplation of Death
in the Path of Purification
, where one of the aspects of death is that "body is the abode of many", which Buddhaghosha glosses as "eighty kinds of tiny worms that live in different parts of the body".
The tiny animals living inside the body
and the cells of the body
are also mentioned in the Mahayana in Avalokiteshvara Fasting Practice, where it is said that the tiny creatures living inside one's body become hungry when one is doing a prolonged fast.
Modern medicine says that there live billions of bacteria in one's body. May be they are bacteria that are meant here.