Are plants sentient?

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Are plants sentient?

Postby JeffC » Mon Jan 03, 2011 7:51 pm

Is there is simple answer to this?

Jellyfish do not have 'brains' but are sentient beings. They have basic reactions for survival, but that is true of plants as well.

Thank you,
Jeff
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Re: Are plants sentient?

Postby Astus » Mon Jan 03, 2011 8:32 pm

Plants are non-sentient from a Buddhist point of view as they have no mind-stream, unlike animals, humans, spirits, etc.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Are plants sentient?

Postby JeffC » Mon Jan 03, 2011 8:50 pm

Astus wrote:Plants are non-sentient from a Buddhist point of view as they have no mind-stream, unlike animals, humans, spirits, etc.


How do you know?

What is the difference between a Jellyfish and a Venus Fly Trap? Neither have brains. Both have survival instinct.
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Re: Are plants sentient?

Postby Individual » Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:07 pm

JeffC wrote:Is there is simple answer to this?

Jellyfish do not have 'brains' but are sentient beings. They have basic reactions for survival, but that is true of plants as well.

Thank you,
Jeff

No, but spirits may enter them. A nature spirit is a sentient being in some sense, so harming them uselessly is bad karma.
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Re: Are plants sentient?

Postby Astus » Mon Jan 03, 2011 11:48 pm

JeffC wrote:How do you know?

What is the difference between a Jellyfish and a Venus Fly Trap? Neither have brains. Both have survival instinct.


I've referred simply to the Buddhist point of view. Others may have different concepts.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Are plants sentient?

Postby daniel p » Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:47 am

And also to what extent are shellfish sentient? Is there any scripture to explain these areas of definition. Particularly this relates to diet, compassion, and abstention from killing. Is there a heirachy of sentience? I don't eat meat but my gardening sometimes results in the death of insects, mostly because of my unskillful methods.
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Re: Are plants sentient?

Postby Hanzze » Sun Feb 13, 2011 10:03 am

Astus wrote:Plants are non-sentient from a Buddhist point of view as they have no mind-stream, unlike animals, humans, spirits, etc.

Who told that? Many?

Dear JeffC, there is indeed a lot of accept and reject you might look also on the brother site Plant life on Dhammawheel. A safe way is always to look by one self.
Just that! :-)
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Re: Are plants sentient?

Postby LastLegend » Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:39 am

Sentient beings and non-sentient beings are conditioned beings.
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)

Linjii
―Listen! Those of you who devote yourselves to the Dharma
must not be afraid of losing your bodies and your lives―
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Re: Are plants sentient?

Postby Astus » Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:16 am

Hanzze wrote:Who told that? Many?


Is it possible to be born as a plant? Not in Buddhism. Is it killing to uproot plants? Not in Buddhism.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Are plants sentient?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:18 am

JeffC wrote:Is there is simple answer to this?

Jellyfish do not have 'brains' but are sentient beings. They have basic reactions for survival, but that is true of plants as well.

Thank you,
Jeff
Sentience is not linked to brain but to mind, non-physical beings have mind (Gods for example) but do not have physical brains. Sentience is not just basic survival reactions, it is a "little" more than that.
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Are plants sentient?

Postby Seishin » Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:35 am

Hmm, this is an interesting subject. Plants have been found to have a very basic nervous system. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plant_neurobiology

Is sentience linked to consciousness?? If so, do scientists consider conciousness to be a product of the brain? If so, do they consider animals without brains (like jellyfish) to have no conciousness??

Personally, I do not worry about such things. If it is found that plants are sentient, are we all going to go hungry?

Gassho,
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Re: Are plants sentient?

Postby Madeliaette » Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:54 pm

I wonder how far into nature you can step before the borderline of sentience is crossed myself - how far down the chain before its just 'alive' but not sentient. A few months ago I found myself wondering about this, as my father wanted me to rip out some living plants in his yard and I wondered about the consequences - I tried to open out into it and see but instead I was weak and shut myself off. :oops:
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Re: Are plants sentient?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Apr 08, 2011 6:22 pm

Madeliaette wrote:I wonder how far into nature you can step before the borderline of sentience is crossed myself - how far down the chain before its just 'alive' but not sentient. A few months ago I found myself wondering about this, as my father wanted me to rip out some living plants in his yard and I wondered about the consequences - I tried to open out into it and see but instead I was weak and shut myself off. :oops:
I reckon you were just lookin' for a good excuse to not weed the garden! :tongue:
There are teachings though which "forbid" monks from needlessly destroying vegetation or digging around in the dirt.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Are plants sentient?

Postby Malcolm » Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:20 pm

JeffC wrote:Is there is simple answer to this?

Jellyfish do not have 'brains' but are sentient beings. They have basic reactions for survival, but that is true of plants as well.

Thank you,
Jeff



For the sake of Vegans, I hope not.
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http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
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there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

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Re: Are plants sentient?

Postby Malcolm » Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:22 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:There are teachings though which "forbid" monks from needlessly destroying vegetation or digging around in the dirt.



This is because they might harm creatures who live in the soil or are who have made homes in foliage, etc. In other words, plants, from an Indo-Tibetan Buddhist point of view, while alive, are not sentient. They are part of the container. But the container must be respected, as well as the contents.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Are plants sentient?

Postby Kyosan » Sat Apr 09, 2011 12:51 am

JeffC wrote:Is there is simple answer to this?

Jellyfish do not have 'brains' but are sentient beings. They have basic reactions for survival, but that is true of plants as well.

Thank you,
Jeff

Simple reactions for survival do not imply sentience. One could construct a house with shutters that automatically close to protect the windows when there are is a strong wind. Such a house would automatically protect it's windows from hurricanes. That doesn't mean that the house is sentient.

Sentience in plants may not even be possible to prove or disprove. But I think that from a scientific point of view, the fact that plants don't have nervous systems or brains would make consciousness and sentience much less likely.
:namaste:
Last edited by Kyosan on Sat Apr 09, 2011 12:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Are plants sentient?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Apr 09, 2011 8:27 am

Namdrol wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:There are teachings though which "forbid" monks from needlessly destroying vegetation or digging around in the dirt.



This is because they might harm creatures who live in the soil or are who have made homes in foliage, etc. In other words, plants, from an Indo-Tibetan Buddhist point of view, while alive, are not sentient. They are part of the container. But the container must be respected, as well as the contents.
I am aware of this interpretation but I believe that it might also have something to do with stopping monks from engaging in needless destruction in general.
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Are plants sentient?

Postby Heruka » Sat Apr 09, 2011 9:07 pm

JeffC wrote:Is there is simple answer to this?

Jeff


in one shape or another they have "tricks" for survival. a flower is by its nature, a lure and deception, a thorn is for protection, it can give a bad taste to insects, deer etc, it can also have a scent to attract animals, and also a foul odor to repel. i beleive the oldest flower in the world is the magnolia, around before the dinosuars.
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Re: Are plants sentient?

Postby Heruka » Sat Apr 09, 2011 9:12 pm

Heruka wrote: i beleive the oldest flower in the world is the magnolia, around before the dinosuars.



from wiki.

Magnolia is an ancient genus. Having evolved before bees appeared, the flowers developed to encourage pollination by beetles. As a result, the carpels of Magnolia flowers are tough, to avoid damage by eating and crawling beetles. Fossilised specimens of M. acuminata have been found dating to 20 million years ago, and of plants identifiably belonging to the Magnoliaceae dating to 95 million years ago[citation needed]. Another primitive aspect of Magnolias is their lack of distinct sepals or petals.


its funny that i remember stuff like this and not peoples birthdays and phone numbers and teachings...lol

jellyfish indeed.
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Re: Are plants sentient?

Postby arisaema81 » Sat Apr 16, 2011 11:13 pm

FYI dudes,

While magnoilas are indeed very old, the earliest angiospems (flowering plants) are believed to have been the ancestors to a plant known as Amborella trichopoda which occurs in New Caledonia. It is generally thought that the first flowering plants would have looked someting like this species. The wonders of DNA , eh?

:reading:
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