Evolution of humans and Mahayana Buddhism

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Re: Evolution of humans and Mahayana Buddhism

Postby Kai » Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:25 pm

Aemilius wrote:
Kai wrote:
Aemilius wrote:I should have been more specific, what I mean is that the Mount Meru map includes the deva realms, it thus supports the view that beings incarnate through the five or six realms.
Modern cosmology does not include or describe the deva realms etc and so it supports the nihilistic view.


No deva realms = nihilism? Sorry but this is a rather poor definition of nihilism which is a POV that supports pure materialism.


There is a teaching found somewherein the pali suttas, but also in an abhidharma work Mind in Buddhist Psychology
that is a translation of Herbert Guenther, according to it before the appearance of a Buddha humanity or human culture has to be on a level of development that accepts four basic truths, viz: 1.The existence of karma and rebirth, 2.The existence of higher and lower worlds and realms, 3.The existence of a path to deliverance, and 4.The existence of realized or liberated persons.


And science reject four noble truths? Please quote any scientific theories that claimed so If not, you are just creating a strawman to justify your poor arguments. Furthermore, Materialism is a philosophical system while science is a system based on skepticism and evidence. You are comparing and cross referencing two different systems that are completely unrelated to each other. Lastly, many scientists are known to be religious people, so how are them Nihilists?

Like I said before, your argument and logic is shown time and again to be both strange and deeply flawed. Just like your support of creationist that will drag Buddhism back to the stone age.

For me it is alright if you come up with some alternative cosmology that contains the higher and lower realms.


Easy, go and read up on Islam and Christian version of alternative religious cosmology that contains both hell (lower realm) and Heaven (higher realm). I won't spoonfeed you, do your own work. Buddhists are not the only ones who fantasize about non humans........

There are New Age teachers who have produced something in that direction. To be accepted by buddhists this kind of new cosmology would need a real spiritual authority for its basis.


Nonsense, Muslims and Christians are not New Age teachers. Buddhism doesn't require cosmology to prove rebirth, a point that many try to tell you in this thread.

If you don't provide us with an alternative cosmology, in the afore mentioned lines, I can still call your view nihilistic.


I never deny rebirth. So I'm not nihilist and I would care less about what you think of me. I will never agree to your Mount Mera cosmology which are proved time and again to be an outdated model that you never be able to show otherwise.
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Re: Evolution of humans and Mahayana Buddhism

Postby Aemilius » Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:37 am

What I am basically saying is that buddhist cosmology is true, and it doesn't need to be abondened. This still holds true.
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Re: Evolution of humans and Mahayana Buddhism

Postby Aemilius » Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:08 pm

Another interesting point is the plurality of worlds that we find in Theravada and Mahayana buddhism. The idea was known in ancient Greek world, it was known in the islamic world, one sentence in Quran speaks of worlds, it is also present in the Thousand and One Nights collection of stories. In Europe it re-emerges during the Era of Enlightenment. Thus for example Voltaire, in his novel Zadig, says that besides Earth there are millions of inhabited planets like Earth in the Universe, each unique and different.
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Re: Evolution of humans and Mahayana Buddhism

Postby Malcolm » Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:25 pm

Aemilius wrote:Another interesting point is the plurality of worlds that we find in Theravada and Mahayana buddhism. The idea was known in ancient Greek world, it was known in the islamic world, one sentence in Quran speaks of worlds, it is also present in the Thousand and One Nights collection of stories. In Europe it re-emerges during the Era of Enlightenment. Thus for example Voltaire, in his novel Zadig, says that besides Earth there are millions of inhabited planets like Earth in the Universe, each unique and different.



No one said that Buddhist intuitions about multiple worlds was wrong. Just that rather late Sumeru Cosmology presented Buddhist texts dating from the common era is obsolete and has been superceded.

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Re: Evolution of humans and Mahayana Buddhism

Postby Malcolm » Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:33 pm

Aemilius wrote:Another interesting point is the plurality of worlds that we find in Theravada and Mahayana buddhism. The idea was known in ancient Greek world, it was known in the islamic world, one sentence in Quran speaks of worlds, it is also present in the Thousand and One Nights collection of stories. In Europe it re-emerges during the Era of Enlightenment. Thus for example Voltaire, in his novel Zadig, says that besides Earth there are millions of inhabited planets like Earth in the Universe, each unique and different.



Sarvastivada Buddhist cosmology holds that there are a billion Jambudvipas, each one basically identicle.

Mahāyāna cosmology is a little more diverse, including the idea that the entire universe is contained in the body of the mahāsambhogakāya, Vairocana Himasara, with our world system being located with another world system called kusumatalagarbha alamkara which in turn is in the palm of his hand.

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Re: Evolution of humans and Mahayana Buddhism

Postby Kai » Mon Sep 26, 2011 3:36 pm

What I am basically saying is that buddhist cosmology is true, and it doesn't need to be abondened. This still holds true.


No, it doesn't. Repeating something over and over again doesn't make you right......

Aemilius wrote:Another interesting point is the plurality of worlds that we find in Theravada and Mahayana buddhism. The idea was known in ancient Greek world, it was known in the islamic world, one sentence in Quran speaks of worlds, it is also present in the Thousand and One Nights collection of stories. In Europe it re-emerges during the Era of Enlightenment. Thus for example Voltaire, in his novel Zadig, says that besides Earth there are millions of inhabited planets like Earth in the Universe, each unique and different.


Now you talk about Quran.............. :juggling:

Science has much, much more facts showing the plurality of worlds than most religious cosmology for a start. It has information about solar systems (Equivalent to the so called world system in Buddhism), planets and stars plus their different shapes and sizes, age of the universe, etc, that will put any ancient scholars to shame. For example, Buddhism spoke of outdated and ridiculous stuffs such as the Sun and moon being the same size and a mountain 84000 larger and higher than Mount Everest which is around half the distance between moon and Earth. Please try to get a scientific journal or documentary and start watching and then you will understand. Furthermore, Islamic and Christian creationists are repeatedly disgraced in the public due to their endless support of their outdated cosmological models. If you don't want Buddhism to suffer the same fate as them, do stop saying that our model is correct because it really doesn't.
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Re: Evolution of humans and Mahayana Buddhism

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:26 pm

When people take these things literally and think it is the "truth" in the ordinary and mundane sense,
they totally miss the profound truths which these images express.

Ironically, the people who usually disregard scientific evidence
are often the first to point to scientific research (such as brain studies on people who meditate)
when the results support some Dharma teaching,
and in a sharp contrast to their usual disdain for it,
suddenly declare science to be the great vindicator.
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Re: Evolution of humans and Mahayana Buddhism

Postby el_chupacabra » Tue Sep 27, 2011 1:26 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:When people take these things literally and think it is the "truth" in the ordinary and mundane sense,
they totally miss the profound truths which these images express.


Very good point. :twothumbsup:
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Re: Evolution of humans and Mahayana Buddhism

Postby Aemilius » Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:36 am

Kai wrote:And science reject four noble truths? Please quote any scientific theories that claimed so If not, you are just creating a strawman to justify your poor arguments. Furthermore, Materialism is a philosophical system while science is a system based on skepticism and evidence. You are comparing and cross referencing two different systems that are completely unrelated to each other. Lastly, many scientists are known to be religious people, so how are them Nihilists?

Like I said before, your argument and logic is shown time and again to be both strange and deeply flawed. Just like your support of creationist that will drag Buddhism back to the stone age.


They are not totally unrelated, if you say in a buddhist discussion that only the material universe discernible by science, which doesn't admit the existence of higher worlds like devarealms, is true, then it is justified to call that view nihilistic. I think this is fairly logical.

Buddhism is a system that acknowledges other sources for a valid truth than does science.
If you take this as your starting point then you can imagine and perceive a world where the deva realms are true, the mount Meru made of jewel is true, etc.. everything in it fits in place, it makes sense in a coherent way, as I have described. Truth remains the same during the three times (including the infinite past).

As you accept reincarnation, where are your higher and lower worlds situated?
Do you accept that there are the eight kinds of noble persons ? How about the others ? -Bodhisattvas, siddhas, and buddhas?
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Re: Evolution of humans and Mahayana Buddhism

Postby Kai » Tue Sep 27, 2011 1:40 pm

Aemilius wrote:They are not totally unrelated, if you say in a buddhist discussion that only the material universe discernible by science, which doesn't admit the existence of higher worlds like devarealms, is true, then it is justified to call that view nihilistic. I think this is fairly logical.


Nah, its not logical as science never say there are no higher realms which could be higher dimensional space in science. The only thing that you have proven is your lack of understanding regarding science theories and how science works.


.....If you take this as your starting point then you can imagine and perceive a world where the deva realms are true, the mount Meru made of jewel is true, etc.. everything in it fits in place, it makes sense in a coherent way, as I have described.


Bla bla bla.......Mount Meru made of jewels = sense in a coherent way? ROFL The only thing you have proven above is that you are a creationist who believe in pure fantasy. Hmmm, that really made sense.......

As you accept reincarnation, where are your higher and lower worlds situated?


Put it this way, I don't accept your idea of higher and lowers worlds which is pretty ridiculous and you have not shown otherwise.

Do you accept that there are the eight kinds of noble persons ? How about the others ? -Bodhisattvas, siddhas, and buddhas?


Typical creationist reply, once you failed to provide evidences to your claims of a pseudo historical world model , you resort to personal attacks. Quite sad........ I really fear for the future of Buddhism if Buddhists think like you. Hope that day won't come to pass.......
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Re: Evolution of humans and Mahayana Buddhism

Postby Aemilius » Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:30 am

I don't think you are a buddhist if you believe in the real existence of the material world, if you deny karma and rebirth, -which implies the existence of lower and higher worlds, lower and higher on the axis of consciousness-, and if you deny the existence of those who have made the effort of spirtual practice and who have realized the fruit of the noble path.
If science would devote enough time & effort, enough money & talent, into the study of siddhas & siddhis, as an example, they could be proven to be true & existent. The question is about where humanity directs their common resources, their common will & interest.
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Re: Evolution of humans and Mahayana Buddhism

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:11 pm

Aemilius wrote:I don't think you are a buddhist if you believe in the real existence of the material world,... If science would devote enough time & effort, enough money & talent, into the study of siddhas & siddhis, as an example, they could be proven to be true & existent.


If you deny the "real existence" of the material world,
then how can you say that something would be true if scientists find proof?
Science is based on the "real existence" of the material world!!!
If scientists find a Buddha realm, then it must have a material existence.
If a Buddha realm has material existence,
then how can you call yourself a Buddhist if you don't believe in material existence?

This is an example of what i mentioned in my previous post.
People deny the validity of scientists
until the scientists acknowledge what we believe to be true
suddenly, what they say is valid!


That is just too funny. Or maybe it is a miracle!!!

A material reality exists. Buddha never said it doesn't.
It is our projections (what we imagine to be true) about the nature of this material existence,
when based on deluded mind,
that have no reality to them.
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Re: Evolution of humans and Mahayana Buddhism

Postby Aemilius » Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:31 pm

Namdrol wrote:Sarvastivada Buddhist cosmology holds that there are a billion Jambudvipas, each one basically identicle.

Mahāyāna cosmology is a little more diverse, including the idea that the entire universe is contained in the body of the mahāsambhogakāya, Vairocana Himasara, with our world system being located with another world system called kusumatalagarbha alamkara which in turn is in the palm of his hand.
N


I have heard this Vairocana story several times, in slightly different versions, he is called Muni Himavatsara or Vairocana Ocean of Snow, and he holds in his hand a begging bowl that has a flower in it, in the flower there is a speck of pollen that contains the three realms of our world (kamadhatu, rupadhatu and arupadhatu).
In mahayana sutras there are several metafors illustrating the vastness of the universe(s). K.N. Jayatilleke writes in some of his little booklets that in Pali texts there is a description of the universe as having a form of a cartwheel. He thinks that Trisahasra-mahasahasra-lokadhatu means a galaxy. In some ancient texts there is also a description of some worlds being upside down, and some sideways. This description has then been repeated in the tibetan literature, for ex in the Flight of the Garuda, I think it describes how galaxies are in different angles in relation to each other. At least in the Mahayana there are many or innumerable Trichiliocosms, I think Jayatilleke holds that it is true also according to the Pali texts. K.N. Jaytilleke was educated in Cambridge, he was a student of Ludwig Wittgenstein, among other things.
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Re: Evolution of humans and Mahayana Buddhism

Postby Aemilius » Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:59 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Aemilius wrote:I don't think you are a buddhist if you believe in the real existence of the material world,... If science would devote enough time & effort, enough money & talent, into the study of siddhas & siddhis, as an example, they could be proven to be true & existent.


If you deny the "real existence" of the material world,
then how can you say that something would be true if scientists find proof?



What I mean is that scientific truth is habitual tendencies only, it is a result of the eight worldly Dharmas, i.e. respect, power, money and fame. The existence of matter is irrelevant to it.
It can be treated separately, it is to say that beings born in a same realm see approximately the same universe. Devas, dragons, hungry ghosts, etc each see it differently. There is no matter independent of the perceiver. Even in the human world individuals see matter differently. It is very difficult to prove the nonexistence of matter, it is like when you are in a dream the dream changes constantly, but still you don't see anything strange in it. It is constantly taking new shapes, new appearances, you are just so used to thinking that the outer world exists that this tendency affects your dream state too.
You have to some how jump out side of the collective consciousness, only then will you be able to see how the world changes constantly, and how it is not really solid and true.
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Re: Evolution of humans and Mahayana Buddhism

Postby Acchantika » Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:12 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:A material reality exists. Buddha never said it doesn't.

Are you sure?

    "But when one sees the origination of the world as it actually is with right discernment, 'non-existence' with reference to the world does not occur to one. When one sees the cessation of the world as it actually is with right discernment, 'existence' with reference to the world does not occur to one...Everything exists': That is one extreme. 'Everything doesn't exist': That is a second extreme. Avoiding these two extremes, the Tathagata teaches the Dhamma via the middle."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

I think Buddha explicitly denied a mind-independent reality composed of materials (or immaterials).
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Re: Evolution of humans and Mahayana Buddhism

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Sep 29, 2011 5:41 pm

Acchantika wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:A material reality exists. Buddha never said it doesn't.

Are you sure?

    "But when one sees the origination of the world as it actually is with right discernment, 'non-existence' with reference to the world does not occur to one. When one sees the cessation of the world as it actually is with right discernment, 'existence' with reference to the world does not occur to one...Everything exists': That is one extreme. 'Everything doesn't exist': That is a second extreme. Avoiding these two extremes, the Tathagata teaches the Dhamma via the middle."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

I think Buddha explicitly denied a mind-independent reality composed of materials (or immaterials).


Buddha never said that there is no such thing as physical matter.

What that quote refers to is sunyata. Nothing can be shown to have an inherently existing reality.
All conditioned phenomena arise and eventually cease because of conditions.
Asserting that an object of perception either has inherent existence or that it has no existence at all,
either extreme is incorrect.

Asserting that a material reality exists is not the same as asserting that everything exists materially.
Thoughts exist, although they are without substance or duration.

The body is made up of physical elements, mostly carbon.
Yes, I am quite sure.

What do you mean by, "mind-independent reality" ?
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Re: Evolution of humans and Mahayana Buddhism

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Sep 29, 2011 5:57 pm

Aemilius wrote:What I mean is that scientific truth is habitual tendencies only, it is a result of the eight worldly Dharmas, i.e. respect, power, money and fame. The existence of matter is irrelevant to it.
It can be treated separately, it is to say that beings born in a same realm see approximately the same universe. Devas, dragons, hungry ghosts, etc each see it differently. There is no matter independent of the perceiver. Even in the human world individuals see matter differently. It is very difficult to prove the nonexistence of matter, it is like when you are in a dream the dream changes constantly, but still you don't see anything strange in it. It is constantly taking new shapes, new appearances, you are just so used to thinking that the outer world exists that this tendency affects your dream state too.
You have to some how jump out side of the collective consciousness, only then will you be able to see how the world changes constantly, and how it is not really solid and true.


Scientific truth is constantly changing. Religious doctrine is what never changes.
The fact that some scientists are in it for money or fame has nothing to do with anything. Some are, some are not.


You don't really understand what science is.
There may be nagas and devas and unicorns and whatever else, but if they are not measurable,
science cannot support their existence.

As you say, Even in the human world individuals see matter differently.
That is precisely why science is based on recordable and verifiable data,
because there is an objective reality to some things.
You and I may have a different understanding of the word 'reality'
but that word has seven letters in it, on your computer screen, the same as mine.

Aside from all that stuff about me needing to jump out of some collective consciousness,
you sure assume a lot.
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Re: Evolution of humans and Mahayana Buddhism

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Sep 29, 2011 5:57 pm

Aemilius wrote:What I mean is that scientific truth is habitual tendencies only, it is a result of the eight worldly Dharmas, i.e. respect, power, money and fame. The existence of matter is irrelevant to it.
It can be treated separately, it is to say that beings born in a same realm see approximately the same universe. Devas, dragons, hungry ghosts, etc each see it differently. There is no matter independent of the perceiver. Even in the human world individuals see matter differently. It is very difficult to prove the nonexistence of matter, it is like when you are in a dream the dream changes constantly, but still you don't see anything strange in it. It is constantly taking new shapes, new appearances, you are just so used to thinking that the outer world exists that this tendency affects your dream state too.
You have to some how jump out side of the collective consciousness, only then will you be able to see how the world changes constantly, and how it is not really solid and true.


Scientific truth is constantly changing. Religious doctrine is what never changes.
The fact that some scientists are in it for money or fame has nothing to do with anything. Some are, some are not.

You don't really understand what science is.
There may be nagas and devas and unicorns and whatever else,
but if they are not measurable, science cannot support their existence.
That's not what science does.

As you say, Even in the human world individuals see matter differently.
That is precisely why science is based on recordable and verifiable data,
because there is an objective reality to some things.
You and I may have a different understanding of the word 'reality'
but that word has seven letters in it, on your computer screen, the same as mine.
That is an objective fact, even if it is within a subjective or illusory reality.

So, if scientific truth is such crap (habitual tendencies, eight worldly Dharmas, power, money,fame.) then what I don't understand is why do you care if it acknowledges dharma teachings?

Things like Mt. Meru are not scientifically valid.
Do you have a problem with that?
That's what i don't understand.
It's like the person who says the problem with bananas is that they aren't flower pots. it makes no sense.

Regarding all that stuff about me needing to jump out of some collective consciousness,
you sure assume a lot.
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Re: Evolution of humans and Mahayana Buddhism

Postby Acchantika » Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:43 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:Buddha never said that there is no such thing as physical matter.


In the quote I posted he states that asserting something exists is a wrong view. Hence, saying "material/physical reality exists" must be a wrong view.

You reference this later:

All conditioned phenomena arise and eventually cease because of conditions.


Nor can there be found a phenomena apart from those conditions. Phenomena are infinitely reducible. No-one has ever found one.

As Nagarjuna said, "Whatever arises dependently is indeterminable."

So there is no locatable phenomena of which you can say, "this exists materially/physically".

Asserting that a material reality exists is not the same as asserting that everything exists materially.


That a material reality exists is a form of realism, in which case:

Either material/physical reality is the only reality, which is a priori meaningless.

Or material reality exists as well as some other reality, which is a priori untenable.

What do you mean by, "mind-independent reality" ?


Why, a reality that exists independently of mind, of course :smile:. Material existence is necessarily realism.

Basically, I agree with you that Buddhism is compatible with empiricism, but not that it is with realism or its corollaries (physicalism/materalism/dualism).
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Re: Evolution of humans and Mahayana Buddhism

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:07 pm

The problem here is that we are not sharing the same use of the word "exist".

However, I disagree that nothing exists (or occurs) outside the mind,
specifically that nothing material exists outside of the mind.
That would imply that nothing material exists (because the mind is not material)
it would also imply that nothing can be discovered, but can only be invented, and this is not true.
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