One path or two

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
[N.B. This is the forum that was called ‘Exploring Buddhism’. The new name simply describes it better.]
Post Reply
User avatar
tomschwarz
Posts: 739
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 12:31 am

One path or two

Post by tomschwarz » Sun Aug 26, 2018 10:31 pm

Hello friends and family,

Question: are evolution (plants to fish to dinos to monkeys to people) and the buddist path of liberation ( life/death/reincarnation + ethics/meditation/wisdom) two unrelated paths over time? Or is evolution an example of 3 billion years of the buddhist path and how it works on a macro level?

Or are they two separate unrelated paths?
i dedicate this post to your happiness, the causes of your happiness, the absence of your suffering the causes of the absence of your suffering that we may not have too much attachment nor aversion. SAMAYAMANUPALAYA

User avatar
Wayfarer
Global Moderator
Posts: 4014
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 8:31 am
Location: Sydney AU

Re: One path or two

Post by Wayfarer » Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:14 pm

There are various ‘new age’ type philosophies that talk about ‘evolutionary enlightenment’ - the idea that evolution itself is a kind of spiritual process, or the expression of a spiritual process. Similar ideas are also found in various non-orthodox Western philosophers like Pierre Tielhard du Chardin and Henri Bergson, whose book Creative Evolution was very influential before the First World War but is nowadays hardly mentioned. The phrase ‘evolutionary enlightenment’ is associated with sometime American self-declared guru, Andrew Cohen.

However as far as most biological scientists are concerned, all such ideas are at best just romanticism. Part of the whole project of the hard sciences is de-mystification, so they are generally opposed to anything that sounds mystical. Bergson and Tielhard du Chardin are not taken seriously and hardly mentioned outside liberal arts circles. Darwin himself was pretty hard-nosed and strongly influenced by the so-called Scottish Enlightenment, who were mainly common-sense realists and positivists who wouldn’t want a bar of anything that sounded vaguely ‘spiritual’.

As for myself - I am generally not at all inclined towards ID type theorisation or anything based on Biblical literalism. I used to think that evolution could be understood in a spiritual or teleological way, but I’m so sure. I think evolutionary science stands on its own merits, but that it almost entirely ignores the whole question of why life evolved or whether human life has significance beyond the biological. But I think overall, the way I understand it is that humans are the universe becoming self-aware. The enlightened beings realise their identity with the transcendent principles that precede and underlie evolution, and in so doing transcend biology. So I’m probably not too far from Chardin and Bergson in that regard. But they’re all very big questions.
Only practice with no gaining idea ~ Suzuki Roshi

User avatar
The Cicada
Posts: 872
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2016 5:15 am
Location: Trumpaloka

Re: One path or two

Post by The Cicada » Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:35 pm

tomschwarz wrote:
Sun Aug 26, 2018 10:31 pm
Hello friends and family,

Question: are evolution (plants to fish to dinos to monkeys to people) and the buddist path of liberation ( life/death/reincarnation + ethics/meditation/wisdom) two unrelated paths over time? Or is evolution an example of 3 billion years of the buddhist path and how it works on a macro level?

Or are they two separate unrelated paths?
I wouldn't think so, but it seems to me that each modifies our understanding of the other. Evolutionary theory would mean that we would have to take the Agganna sutta—the only canonical Buddhist creation story I know of—as a broad allegory. Frankly, I think that works fairly well. But it also means that we have to take another look at evolutionary theory.

Human beings exhibit many patterns of behavior that aren't present in the animal kingdom, even among related species. For example, "smiling" among primates is either a show of fangs, a dominance response, or a submission response. In humans it's part of how we bond. Laughter, which is associated with smiling, is unique to us, and triggers a response that "lights up" the brain. Music seems to be another bonding mechanism—a strange refinement of the human physio-psychological makeup—and it makes one wonder about the power of music during the 60's or why some cultures ban music that isn't devotional.

There are many aspects of human experience that seem to point to a path of evolutionary development that transcends the "might is right" or purely pragmatic views of evolutionary success. To a large degree, human intelligence itself seems to be a kind of "peacocking" that has become essential to our survival when an insect-like robustness would actually be "fitter." Likewise, it appears to me that the characteristics cultivated by Buddhist practice represent a development of that intelligence and of the virtues and other attributes that make human existence what it is into a more refined, enduring, and fully cultivated expression. Wisdom, compassion, transcendence of the pitfalls our own instinctual habits and cognitive biases. These enable us to gradually transcend, even further, the painful dynamics that lie at the base of the human condition that we inherit from the animal world.

I suppose that what I'm trying to say is that, from what I understand of Darwinian evolution, there's something superfluous about human development, and yet, when we look closely, we can see that many aspects of our existence hint at a gradual transcendence of the dynamics of the animal kingdom from which we arose into an entirely different set of developmental rules—a realm of development that I think Buddhist teaching is an integral part of.

*Picks up cardboard sign and starts babbling*

User avatar
Wayfarer
Global Moderator
Posts: 4014
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 8:31 am
Location: Sydney AU

Re: One path or two

Post by Wayfarer » Mon Aug 27, 2018 2:31 am

The Universe Is Waking Up dhivan thomas jones, Western Buddhist Review - a relevant review of Thomas Nagel's book Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False
Nagel’s starting point is not simply that he finds materialism partial or unconvincing, but that he himself has a metaphysical view or vision of reality that just cannot be accommodated within materialism. This vision is that the appearance of conscious beings in the universe is somehow what it is all for; that ‘Each of our lives is a part of the lengthy process of the universe gradually waking up and becoming aware of itself’. Nagel’s surrounding argument is something of a sketch, but is entirely compatible with a Buddhist vision of reality as naturalism, including the possibility of insight into reality (under the topic of reason or cognition) and the possibility of apprehension of objective good (under the topic of value). His naturalism does this while fully conceding the explanatory power of physics, Darwinian evolution and neuroscience. Most Buddhists are what one might describe as intuitive non-materialists, but they have no way to integrate their intuition into the predominantly materialistic scientific world view. I see the value of Nagel’s philosophy in Mind and Cosmos as sketching an imaginative vision of reality that integrates the scientific world view into a larger one that includes reason, value and purpose, and simultaneously casts philosophical doubt on the completeness of the predominant materialism of the age.
Only practice with no gaining idea ~ Suzuki Roshi

User avatar
Supramundane
Posts: 188
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2016 11:38 am
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia

Re: One path or two

Post by Supramundane » Mon Aug 27, 2018 3:20 am

A very valid question, Tom!

Probably the Buddha would answer: "who knows?" :)

The reality is that we are most certainly one huge organism with billions of faces. Division into species and individuals is simply an expediency to improve chances of survival.

The mindstream which is not overlapping but co-existent with our peers is evidence of this state of affairs. All our thoughts are plagiarised/influenced/interconnected with those of our peers. The constant mindstream keeps us in contact with our peers and gives the illusion of Self. If we disrupt this mindstream via meditation we can glimpse our true nature.

If you wish to think of the Buddha as the next stage of evolution after homo sapien, you would not be too far off the mark, i think.

But 'Buddho sapien" would not be biological evolution. However, some regard tech innovations as evolution and in that sense, Buddho sapien could be real.

Kanji
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2018 7:42 pm

Re: One path or two

Post by Kanji » Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:04 am

Teilhard de Chardin's theory of Cosmogenesis is beautiful but not very convincing. When you look at all the variables that have come together to form our existence or even make it possible, climate, oxygen content of atmosphere etc, it's just astonishing that we are here at all! I for one am glad we are :juggling:

Bundokji
Posts: 46
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:51 pm

Re: One path or two

Post by Bundokji » Mon Aug 27, 2018 10:07 am

Not sure if there is a direct connection between the Dhamma and evolution, but i do notice that people who believe in evolution (as opposite to creationism) tend to be more compassionate towards other beings as they view the difference between beings to be of degree rather than kind.

User avatar
Supramundane
Posts: 188
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2016 11:38 am
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia

Re: One path or two

Post by Supramundane » Tue Aug 28, 2018 2:05 am

actually, now that i think of it, i may wish to change my response. it is very possible ---in fact almost certain--- that we misunderstand evolution. it is not a linear movement. although we like to see everything like Maslow's pyramid, i think that may be an human-centric view. take bacteria for example. why haven't they adopted intelligence? probably because as far as they are concerned, they are doing just fine. the same goes for insects. they have a particular strategy and it is working just fine. most of the mass of the soil is actually insect life.

evolution is not about striving upward toward intelligence and we are the winners of a multi-species race; in fact, that to see the world in that paradigm is much like the church-based one that refuted Copernicus so many years ago. Instead, evolution is about adopting new strategies in the face of change, be it change of environment, predators, conditions or in the event of natural disasters, etc. It is not about moving upward toward enlightenment or toward human intelligence.

However, if you wish to conceive of Buddhahood as the evolution of humankind, i would not oppose you, as i think it may have some value.

though of course such a thing could never be proven.
best as always Tom, always look forward to reading your posts!

User avatar
Wayfarer
Global Moderator
Posts: 4014
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 8:31 am
Location: Sydney AU

Re: One path or two

Post by Wayfarer » Tue Aug 28, 2018 2:27 am

The main problem with evolutionary theory is that, at centre, there's only one criterion for what amounts to success, which is, the ability to survive and pro-create. Of course, this makes perfect sense from the perspective of biology. But what kind of philosophy does it suggest? A couple of very thought-provoking OP's on this question:

Anything But Human, Richard Polt:
I have no beef with entomology or evolution, but I refuse to admit that they teach me much about ethics. Consider the fact that human action ranges to the extremes. People can perform extraordinary acts of altruism, including kindness toward other species — or they can utterly fail to be altruistic, even toward their own children. So whatever tendencies we may have inherited leave ample room for variation; our choices will determine which end of the spectrum we approach. This is where ethical discourse comes in — not in explaining how we’re “built,” but in deliberating on our own future acts. Should I cheat on this test? Should I give this stranger a ride? Knowing how my selfish and altruistic feelings evolved doesn’t help me decide at all. Most, though not all, moral codes advise me to cultivate altruism. But since the human race has evolved to be capable of a wide range of both selfish and altruistic behavior, there is no reason to say that altruism is superior to selfishness in any biological sense.
It Ain't Necessarily So, Antony Gottlieb
So strong is the temptation to explain our minds by evolutionary “Just So Stories,” Stephen Jay Gould argued in 1978, that a lack of hard evidence for them is frequently overlooked (his may well have been the first pejorative use of Kipling’s term). Gould, a Harvard paleontologist and a popular-science writer, who died in 2002, was taking aim mainly at the rising ambitions of sociobiology. He had no argument with its work on bees, wasps, and ants, he said. But linking the behavior of humans to their evolutionary past was fraught with perils, not least because of the difficulty of disentangling culture and biology. Gould saw no prospect that sociobiology would achieve its grandest aim: a “reduction” of the human sciences to Darwinian theory.
Only practice with no gaining idea ~ Suzuki Roshi

User avatar
Supramundane
Posts: 188
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2016 11:38 am
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia

Re: One path or two

Post by Supramundane » Tue Aug 28, 2018 3:29 am


User avatar
tomschwarz
Posts: 739
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 12:31 am

Re: One path or two

Post by tomschwarz » Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:53 pm

Amazing... thank you.

...lets assume that humanity is conditioned: it came into existance 6 mil years ago and it will go out of existence soon. Question: what if anything does that have to do with buddhism?

Well first off, the human realm is one of the realms of samsara, loose that and you are looking at a load of dharma edit work, if it is at all salvageable. Second, the whole idea of Buddhism was created by a human for human consumption. Now what?

In that context, back to the subtleties of the ideas here, the human mind evolved. Whether that is as a single, many-faced mind, or as appearantly separate people, posting here on dharmawheel.... ...sure culture is a big factor in the quality of life, health, happiness and family. But that is in harmony with the idea of evolution and the brain's ability to learn/teach/remember/etc... in short, support culture.

I think there is "one path", in that, Buddism speaks to and accounts for 100% of reality. Lets not fool ourselves, the Buddhist path to enlightenment is not one-way. And evolution reflects that. True that a goal of Buddism is to not be reborn ))), so while Buddhist path is consistent within evolution and evolution is consistent within Buddhism, the winner of one will be the looser of the other.

Disagree?
i dedicate this post to your happiness, the causes of your happiness, the absence of your suffering the causes of the absence of your suffering that we may not have too much attachment nor aversion. SAMAYAMANUPALAYA

DGA
Former staff member
Posts: 9329
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm
Contact:

Re: One path or two

Post by DGA » Sat Sep 01, 2018 2:08 am

tomschwarz wrote:
Sun Aug 26, 2018 10:31 pm
Hello friends and family,

Question: are evolution (plants to fish to dinos to monkeys to people) and the buddist path of liberation ( life/death/reincarnation + ethics/meditation/wisdom) two unrelated paths over time? Or is evolution an example of 3 billion years of the buddhist path and how it works on a macro level?

Or are they two separate unrelated paths?
I don't think evolution is a path. It's a process: change over time, going nowhere in particular.

Buddha Dharma is the truth about our situation. It's not a process; it's knowledge.

User avatar
Wayfarer
Global Moderator
Posts: 4014
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 8:31 am
Location: Sydney AU

Re: One path or two

Post by Wayfarer » Tue Sep 04, 2018 12:49 am

tomschwarz wrote:
Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:53 pm
Amazing... thank you.

...let's assume that humanity is conditioned: it came into existence 6 mil years ago and it will go out of existence soon. Question: what if anything does that have to do with buddhism?
I think that according to current evolutionary theory, h.sapiens evolved much less than 6 million years ago (like, a few hundred thousand years). But, that aside, the perspective of evolutionary biology is one of the objective or natural sciences.

If you're aware of the 'two truths' of Mahayana, then you will know that natural science belongs to the domain of conventional truth (saṁvṛti satya), which, loosely speaking, is the domain of 'conditioned existence' or 'the phenomenal realm'. So there's no necessary conflict between whatever is discovered through that perspective, and the Buddha's perception of ultimate truth (paramārtha satya) as the Buddha's understanding pertains to a different realm.

There's a lot of cultural dynamics involved in this issue, though. A lot of problems come from the fact that modern secular culture has made a kind of substitute for religion out of evolutionary biology. That is the subject of this essay Is Evolution a Secular Religion?, Michael Ruse:
There is professional evolutionary biology: mathematical, experimental, not laden with value statements. But, you are not going to find the answer to the world's mysteries or to societal problems if you open the pages of Evolution or Animal Behaviour. Then, sometimes from the same person, you have evolution as secular religion, generally working from an explicitly materialist background and solving all of the world's major problems, from racism to education to conservation.
The upshot is, many people believe that 'life began by chance', and that the only overall rationale for existence is 'survival of the fittest'. That attitude also tends to deprecate or rationalise art, religion and spirituality as 'adaptions' and has no conception whatever of higher truth or higher consciousness. It's a very one-dimensional view of existence. (Actually I think it is the parable behind the Planet of the Apes movies.)

Buddhism strictly speaking doesn't have a dog in the fight, as it doesn't condone any form of creationism. But Buddhism also doesn't accept that life is a consequence of chance, which is what appears to be the case in Western culture when God is taken out of the picture. Our existence is neither designed nor simply a result of chance, but is determined by karma and the facts of dependent origination. But nothing in the scientific picture of the world really counts either for that or against it, in my view.

But one thing to consider is this: that the world is in dire need of a way-of-living, that doesn't rely on endless consumption for its existence. We're literally out-growing the planet we're on and there's simply not enough resources for tomorrow's children to consume at the rate that Western civilization has been madly doing for the last couple of hundred years. So surely a renunciate philosophy has something unique to offer in this circumstance.
Only practice with no gaining idea ~ Suzuki Roshi

User avatar
tomschwarz
Posts: 739
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 12:31 am

Re: One path or two

Post by tomschwarz » Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:42 pm

DGA wrote:
Sat Sep 01, 2018 2:08 am

I don't think evolution is a path. It's a process: change over time, going nowhere in particular.

Buddha Dharma is the truth about our situation. It's not a process; it's knowledge.
Wayfarer wrote: The upshot is, many people believe that 'life began by chance', and that the only overall rationale for existence is 'survival of the fittest'. That attitude also tends to deprecate or rationalise art, religion and spirituality as 'adaptions' and has no conception whatever of higher truth or higher consciousness. It's a very one-dimensional view of existence.
...lets keep science in the mix, it is not only conceptual (re. that one of the two truths). Science is a great platform to explore and validate the ultimate truth as well.

So lets agree with DGA evolution is a process and buddhism is knowledge. Allow me to question our knowledge about the process "survival of the fittest"... context:
"Survival of the fittest" is a phrase that originated from Darwinian evolutionary theory as a way of describing the mechanism of natural selection. The biological concept of fitness is defined as reproductive success.
Question for our dharma knowledge: did the 4th historical buddha survive? And was he the fittest? How yes how no?

I say yes, his genes did survive because he was fit to reproduce, and did, but that preceded his buddhism practice. Then, look his devout follower, his holiness the dalai lama, his genes will not survive and he is unfit to reproduce. He is an evolution loser. And a Buddhist winner. No? He and other Buddhists like myself dont even like thus #%%& hole ))))))) we dont like life. Its really bad actually. We dont like sex/reproduction its really dirty. Not only do we not seek to evolve, we do not want to be reborn! But we do love you. And you and me we are in the process of evolution (samsara) which has been going on on planet earth for 3 billion years. So please take a look at evolution and give me your opinion. Are things not changing significantly for the buddhist-better or buddhist-worst? Or do you think something is improving? Degenerating? I mean here in samsara....
i dedicate this post to your happiness, the causes of your happiness, the absence of your suffering the causes of the absence of your suffering that we may not have too much attachment nor aversion. SAMAYAMANUPALAYA

User avatar
Emmet
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:51 pm
Location: Clay County, NC

Re: One path or two

Post by Emmet » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:34 pm

One unified whole.

"‘Dharma’ means this very world of Reality in which we actually are living, as well as the Buddha’s teachings about this real world. Early in our conversation, I pointed out that Buddhism is a religion which reveres an affirmation of the real world. ‘Dharma’ is this real world.

This world of reality, when looked at from an idealistic standpoint, is a world filled to the brim with events and situations which disappoint, which fail to satisfy or meet our expectations. And if we respond just by simplistically contrasting our ideals with the state of the real world, talking nonsense about how the world should be ‘this way,’ or how things would be right if only they were ‘that way’ …… Well, Gautama Buddha taught that human beings shall not find happiness by that road.

On the other hand, we also have to keep in mind that Gautama Buddha did not mean that the ‘real’ world is thus, in contrast, to be viewed but as a world of pure physical matter lacking all meaning and value ….. something cold and dead and meaningless.

Perhaps this world of reality seems to us to be but a world of suffering filled with contradiction and irrationality and the like ….. filled with many terrible things. However, there is another way to view this world, a ‘Middle Way’ between those perspectives: Even a world of suffering filled with contradiction and irrationality and the like, if we will but look upon it from a composed and still perspective ….. observing calmly, watching serenely ….. even such a place will manifest before us as a world of structured order, showing its aspect as an harmonious world in which contradictions and irrationality are swallowed up whole.

At bottom, this world of Reality is the only world, the alpha and omega of a world, that we human beings possess. Thereby, if we but look well at this, our one and only - alpha and omega world which we human beings possess ….. awakening to the harmony contained within it ….. employing that order as the standard by which to judge and regulate our conduct ….. in the process, I dare say, making good contribution to the cultivation of an harmonious and peaceful society ….. ….. Such are, in Gautama Buddha’s teachings, the duties which have been imposed upon us as human beings, as well as the way of happiness itself.

Thereupon, from such a perspective, Buddhism considers this world of Reality ….. this ‘Dharma’ ….. as among the highest values about which we human beings should feel deep devotion."
Gudo Nishijima Roshi
May all beings plagued with sufferings of the body or mind be quickly freed of their illnesses.
May the frightened cease to be afraid, and may the bound go free.
May the powerless find power,
And may people think of befriending each other.

DGA
Former staff member
Posts: 9329
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm
Contact:

Re: One path or two

Post by DGA » Thu Sep 06, 2018 8:30 pm

tomschwarz wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:42 pm
DGA wrote:
Sat Sep 01, 2018 2:08 am

I don't think evolution is a path. It's a process: change over time, going nowhere in particular.

Buddha Dharma is the truth about our situation. It's not a process; it's knowledge.
Wayfarer wrote: The upshot is, many people believe that 'life began by chance', and that the only overall rationale for existence is 'survival of the fittest'. That attitude also tends to deprecate or rationalise art, religion and spirituality as 'adaptions' and has no conception whatever of higher truth or higher consciousness. It's a very one-dimensional view of existence.
...lets keep science in the mix, it is not only conceptual (re. that one of the two truths). Science is a great platform to explore and validate the ultimate truth as well.

So lets agree with DGA evolution is a process and buddhism is knowledge. Allow me to question our knowledge about the process "survival of the fittest"... context:
"Survival of the fittest" is a phrase that originated from Darwinian evolutionary theory as a way of describing the mechanism of natural selection. The biological concept of fitness is defined as reproductive success.
Question for our dharma knowledge: did the 4th historical buddha survive? And was he the fittest? How yes how no?

I say yes, his genes did survive because he was fit to reproduce, and did, but that preceded his buddhism practice. Then, look his devout follower, his holiness the dalai lama, his genes will not survive and he is unfit to reproduce. He is an evolution loser. And a Buddhist winner. No? He and other Buddhists like myself dont even like thus #%%& hole ))))))) we dont like life. Its really bad actually. We dont like sex/reproduction its really dirty. Not only do we not seek to evolve, we do not want to be reborn! But we do love you. And you and me we are in the process of evolution (samsara) which has been going on on planet earth for 3 billion years. So please take a look at evolution and give me your opinion. Are things not changing significantly for the buddhist-better or buddhist-worst? Or do you think something is improving? Degenerating? I mean here in samsara....
Survival of the fittest concerns populations, not individuals.

Samsara doesn't improve or degenerate. It's samsara, the same thing over and over again.

Opportunities to practice Dharma do change in historical time, and the trend isn't Providential...

User avatar
tomschwarz
Posts: 739
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 12:31 am

Re: One path or two

Post by tomschwarz » Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:44 pm

DGA wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 8:30 pm

Survival of the fittest concerns populations, not individuals.

Samsara doesn't improve or degenerate. It's samsara, the same thing over and over again.

Opportunities to practice Dharma do change in historical time, and the trend isn't Providential...
This is incorrect in several ways. The top priority disagreement that i have here is that samsara is the same thing/not changing. Not only does science show that on earth life originated, it also show that life evolved. And from his holiness the dalai lama that there was a point in evolution where karma started!°!!!!! Woohoo! Did you know that? ....really interesting to think about.... he said it started (drum roll please) ......... ........when one being could influence thd happiness of another!!!! Arghhhh that Dalai lama amazing, amazing individual. And not sure if someone told him that precious morsel of intuition or he came up with it himself.... but he put it in writing in 1996.....

Emmet, so i am reading your post, loving the mental style, perspective and slightly bible-ish language, then at thf end i see its a quote! Doah! Funny. But about the interesting content... reality is king, check. Wisdom of discernment, check. Life has a structure, check. So tell me what is Buddhisms viww on evolution as exwmplified by lifd on earth for thw last 3 billion years? Just all ok as is? Not better or worse with humans? Isnt human realm ideally suited to progress on the path of buddhism (4th noblw truth)? Or is it likd dga's comment implies, all the same with just algae and a few bacteria in the oceans?

My heart opinion, based on your quote/wisdom of discernment (a.k.a. accepting and respecting/appreciating reality as is), is that evolution gave birth to buddhism as a term and to the dahrma as oral and written teachings (those from humans, not dinos). And that as i mentioned evolution and buddhism are the same path, just diffetent perspectives on the same sentient beings and tgeir dynamics, ups and downs, and ao on....
i dedicate this post to your happiness, the causes of your happiness, the absence of your suffering the causes of the absence of your suffering that we may not have too much attachment nor aversion. SAMAYAMANUPALAYA

User avatar
Emmet
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:51 pm
Location: Clay County, NC

Re: One path or two

Post by Emmet » Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:40 pm

Emmet...what is Buddhisms viww on evolution as exwmplified by lifd on earth for thw last 3 billion years?
I certainly can't speak on behalf of some global, monolithic Buddhism. However, if you're referring to the sutras, the Agganna Sutta said that “there was just one mass of water, and all was darkness, blinding darkness. Neither moon nor sun appeared, no constellations or stars appeared, night and day were not distinguished, nor months and fortnights, no years or seasons, and no male and female, beings being reckoned just as beings. And sooner or later, after a very long period of time, savoury earth spread itself over the waters where those beings were. It looked just like the skin that forms itself over hot milk as it cools. It was endowed with colour, smell and taste. It was the colour of fine ghee or butter, and it was very sweet, like pure wild honey.” The androgynous beings ate the “savoury earth”, developed male and female genitalia, and began fornicating all over the place. The earth evolved into concentric rings of mountainous continents and oceans, with Mount Sumeru at the center, populated with humans (some of which are 48' tall and live 1,00 years), and a vast menagerie of devas, garudas, nagas, yakshas, and Brahmins flitting about in flying chariots. Today we know considerably more about the natural world and the origins of life than we did 2,500 years ago. If you're interested in evolution, I'd recommend reading Darwin, Leakey, and studying abiogenesis theory. If you're interested in humanity's apparently timeless capacity for self-delusion and how to break free of it's shackles, I'd recommend reading the sutras and studying the Dharma. They are in no way mutually exclusive. Any belief system which cannot seamlessly integrate new advances in human knowledge isn't really a religion as much as mere superstition.

“If scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false, then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims.”
Dalai Lama

It is kinda a bummer that there aren't any yakshinis, though.
May all beings plagued with sufferings of the body or mind be quickly freed of their illnesses.
May the frightened cease to be afraid, and may the bound go free.
May the powerless find power,
And may people think of befriending each other.

User avatar
tomschwarz
Posts: 739
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 12:31 am

Re: One path or two

Post by tomschwarz » Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:45 pm

Emmet wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:40 pm

“If scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false, then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims.”
Dalai Lama
DGA wrote:
Sat Sep 01, 2018 2:08 am
I don't think evolution is a path. It's a process: change over time, going nowhere in particular.
"Generally speaking, the Buddhist understanding is that birth as a human being is one of the most ideal forms of existence because it is conducive to practicing the Dharma", his holiness the dalai lama, "the four noble truths", (chpt 2, the truth of suffering)

whoohoo humans exist!!!!! but that is another thread.... ...more on that soon... humans are something special for buddhist path. humans only came about because of the evolution path. convinced that the two are related? no? more....

Ever think what is the difference between Karma and Cause and Effect? same book, 2nd noble truth..."Karma then is an instance of the general law of causality. What makes karma unique is that it involves intentional action, and therefore an agent. The natural causal process operating in the world can not be termed karmic where there is no agent involved. In order for a causal process to be a karmic one, it must involve an individual whose intention would lead to a particular action. It is this specific type of causal mechanism which is known as karma".

And do you think that Karma evolved into being with the algae shifting to bacteria to complex single celled creatures, bam karma kicks in? I think yes. His holiness the dalai lama thinks yes also, "...then where does Karma fit in? At what point does karma play a causal role in producing sentient beings and the natural environment in which they live? Perhaps we can say that there is a natural process in the world, and at a certain point when its evolution has reached a stage where it can affect the experiences of beings - giving rise to either painful experiences of suffering or joyful experiences of happiness - that is the point where karma enters the picture". (...of course, its not because there is a "karma god" its because if very practical things like guilt, communication, fear, a being paints its world, etc..)

So if we can agree with his holiness the dalai lama, then jump in there! what else? do dinos really make bad buddhists? do they have buddha nature just like us, or is it more dino-ish? my feeling is that the world is bigger then you figure. unending. and all that talk of dakinis and yoginis and so on just helps us to remember that there are other planets out there, actually its infinite. there is no universe. and its all buddhism. and its all evolving. disagree?
i dedicate this post to your happiness, the causes of your happiness, the absence of your suffering the causes of the absence of your suffering that we may not have too much attachment nor aversion. SAMAYAMANUPALAYA

User avatar
Supramundane
Posts: 188
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2016 11:38 am
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia

Re: One path or two

Post by Supramundane » Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:31 am

let's face it: there are myriad schools of Buddhism and myriad paths. some seem to be alternate routes; others could be dead ends.

we live in a world where ultimately we question and doubt everything and there is no ultimate authority to tell us what the right way is.

However, we do know that early Buddhism focused on the jhanas. sometimes we have to strip away all the extraneous stuff and strive to become the buddha before the buddha and that would be to follow the jhanas. The jhanas are also interpreted variously and practiced variously. everyone seems to agree that they are a singleness of mind, a one-pointed mind or a 'unification mind'.

this practice neither algae nor ferrets can do (as far as we know). that's why Buddhism doesn't deal much with evolution or the mental lives of most woodland creatures lol.

although this discussion is interesting and it is always interesting to speculate on such things, ultimately, i don't think there are many Algae-Buddhas or Algaesattvas hanging around hehe:).

This long-dead enlightened guy ---i can't think of his name off the top of my head--- once mused that there is nothing gained from becoming enlightened.
When asked questions he would not always answer; sometimes he would be silent; sometimes he would answer a question with a question; sometimes he would prescribe a particular course of action; sometimes he would say, do as you see fit.

this may be one of the questions where he would be silent. but interesting for us to wade through the thicket of opinion.
have a great day, Tom.

Post Reply

Return to “Dharma in Everyday Life”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 57 guests