Evolution of humans and Mahayana Buddhism

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Re: Evolution of humans and Mahayana Buddhism

Postby Lazy_eye » Fri Sep 09, 2011 11:16 am

Aemilius wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
Aemilius wrote:Michael Cremo...


...is an avowed Vedic creationist and nothing he says about archaeology and human origins can be taken seriously.


You are being overly simplistic, creationism is still a false view, but Cremo knows something that is true and is also infinitely valuable for buddhists. Mass-consciousness is very powerful, diffcult to break through,...


Actually, I would say its pseudo-scientists like Cremo who pander to mass consciousness -- i.e. telling people what they would like to hear.
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Re: Evolution of humans and Mahayana Buddhism

Postby Aemilius » Fri Sep 09, 2011 12:25 pm

If you think there is transcendental vision, the five eyes, six abhijna etc..., then you rely on the knowledge gained through them. Which is found in the Abhidharma, in the great Mahayana sutras, etc... You can also rely on ordinary, mundane consciousness, it is up to you. Life is a unique opportunity, a rare chance, which is difficult to obtain, and is easily lost to mundane goals...

best wishes!
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Re: Evolution of humans and Mahayana Buddhism

Postby Malcolm » Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:01 pm

Aemilius wrote:creationism is still a false view


That is sufficient.

He knows nothing of value to any Buddhist. His books are all speculative nonsense.
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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: Evolution of humans and Mahayana Buddhism

Postby Aemilius » Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:13 am

Namdrol wrote:
Aemilius wrote:creationism is still a false view


That is sufficient.

He knows nothing of value to any Buddhist. His books are all speculative nonsense.


Scientific truths are impermanent, subject to change. Michael Cremo is not the only one who thinks that the Yugas and Kalpas are literal & historical truth. And it greatly influences one's understanding and valuing of the Mahayana sutras, and also of the Sravakayana sutras which also speak of previous kalpas, and have for example 24 previous Buddhas.
Founders of Theosophy, Madam Blavatsky and her teachers, speak of humans of the previous Yugas and Kalpas as a literal truth. It gives depth to buddhism, and is therefore essential to it.
If you don't accept it you will as an implication hold that transcedental vision is nonsense, that great teachers like Karmapa, Tsongkhapa, Nagarjuna and others are liars or worse, when they perceive the events of previous Yugas and previous Kalpas. I don't think you wish this either, do you ?
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Re: Evolution of humans and Mahayana Buddhism

Postby el_chupacabra » Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:20 pm

I heard that Chandrakirti once milked the painting of a cow.

I'm tempted to ask whether that cow was a product of evolutionary causality or the karmic result of the artist's work, or both, or neither?
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Re: Evolution of humans and Mahayana Buddhism

Postby Malcolm » Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:53 pm

Aemilius wrote:It gives depth to buddhism, and is therefore essential to it.


It is not essential to Buddhism, any more than Meru Cosmology is.


If you don't accept it you will as an implication hold that transcedental vision is nonsense, that great teachers like Karmapa, Tsongkhapa, Nagarjuna and others are liars or worse, when they perceive the events of previous Yugas and previous Kalpas. I don't think you wish this either, do you ?


I think they uncritacally accepted the worldview handed down to them. I also think they had no tools to evaluate cosmological statements related to time and so on.

Sorry, when it comes to measuring the physical universe, we have a better understanding of it than ancient peoples.

In terms of eons, modern humans have only been out of Africa for 70,000 years or so.

The rest of it is religious speculation.

This of course does not mean that sentient life is confined to this planet, or that huge time frames mentioned in sutras are not relevant -- but there are issues with applying the fantastic numbers mentioned in sutras and so on to this planet and this crop of human beings.

On the other hand, it is fruitless to provide substitute speculations.

So we have to deal with two facts. Modern humans have only been present on the Indian subcontinent for at most 70,000 years. This fact stands in contradiction to traditional narratives about the history of Jambudvipa.

We should default to modern understanding, since it corresponds with the perception of ordinary people and is all that can be confirmed with any empirical certainty.

The beliefs of ancient Buddhist masters about the history of the world are pretty irrelevant.

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http://www.bhaisajya.guru
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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: Evolution of humans and Mahayana Buddhism

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon Sep 12, 2011 1:59 pm

The BuddhaDharma has one purpose, the cessation of suffering.
The constant reference to unfathomably long and impossible lengths of time, kalpas and so on,
serves to lift the practitioner from the grasp of time itself.
The events in this lifetime do not consume us because this lifetime is regarded as a mere speck in time.

A year is the length of time it takes for the Earth to orbit the Sun.
This planet is estimated to be about 4.5 billion years old, so before that, there were no years!

Thinking is terms of "beginningless time" I think,
brilliantly allows one to rest in the present moment.
A continuously unfolding, transforming "right now" is all that has ever existed.
That's how I see it.
.
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Re: Evolution of humans and Mahayana Buddhism

Postby Kai » Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:23 pm

Aemilius wrote:Scientific truths are impermanent, subject to change. Michael Cremo is not the only one who thinks that the Yugas and Kalpas are literal & historical truth.


You are beginning to sound like a Christian creationist who often like to claim that science or official history is imperfect, non lasting and flawed......blalalala.... If science or archeology was not to be believed in, then people will start to question why the world is not 5000 years old as what millions of Christians believe in but rather 500 billion as presented in the Vedas since the former are more numerous than all the Buddhists and Hindus combined.

To prevent such needless confusion, it is therefore long decided by the scientific community and academical world that the empirical evidences presented is what that determine what is true or false history. The reason why Michael is receiving so little attention among the serious scholars in west is that he gave no such relevant evidences to support his views. He merely repeat a claim long rejected by the academical world and he is not first guy to be treated so, numerous biblical scholars and crackpots were given the door since decades ago but the rise of internet, crackpots theories are found everywhere. So much that its hard to differentiate right from wrong and true from false.

At any rate, if you want Buddhism to be treated seriously by people of the modern era, then admitting to imperfect views presented in some Buddhist teachings as a result of Veda borrowing and conforming to the current scientific views is the first step to do so. If not, its very, very hard to see traditional Buddhism surviving past this century. We will get a new age type instead.

If you don't accept it you will as an implication hold that transcedental vision is nonsense, that great teachers like Karmapa, Tsongkhapa, Nagarjuna and others are liars or worse, when they perceive the events of previous Yugas and previous Kalpas. I don't think you wish this either, do you ?


We follow the Buddha and Buddha never claimed that in order to follow Him, you must believe in the Buddhist cosmology or whatsoever. He only state refuge vows as a requirement and He also stated how fruitless it is to speculate in any cosmological or world theories as they are one of the fourteen unknowns or unanswerables (Stated in the Suttas) that will give rise to madness if over emphasized on it. So, leave the job to the scientist. I hate to see Buddhists getting shamed or disgraced in the public conferences if they continue to stick to their old world models and refuse changes.

As for the stories and events told by Buddhas, I believe the messages hidden with in the stories are much more important than the actual timeframe. Those, who are overly attracted to places and eras that those events were taken place, are truly missing the point.
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Re: Evolution of humans and Mahayana Buddhism

Postby el_chupacabra » Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:44 pm

Kai wrote:...He also stated how fruitless it is to speculate in any cosmological or world theories as they are one of the fourteen unknowns or unanswerables (Stated in the Suttas) that will give rise to madness if over emphasized on it.


Yes.

Kai wrote:At any rate, if you want Buddhism to be treated seriously by people of the modern era, then ...conforming to the current scientific views is the first step to do so.


I'm not so sure. Wouldn't it be preferable to stick to the idea that all views are relative and contingent?
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Re: Evolution of humans and Mahayana Buddhism

Postby Kai » Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:56 pm

el_chupacabra wrote:
Kai wrote:At any rate, if you want Buddhism to be treated seriously by people of the modern era, then ...conforming to the current scientific views is the first step to do so.


I'm not so sure. Wouldn't it be preferable to stick to the idea that all views are relative and contingent?


Scientific community will accept any changes if sufficient evidences are presented in front of them, so their views are considered relative enough. This is an ongoing war in the academical world in respect to Evolutionist/archeologists (Wise men or sages) VS creationists (Fools). Unfortunately, the latter are much more numerous than the former and with the disinterest of science among the youths, the latter would only get stronger. Nevertheless, Its clear that if Buddhism desire strong rational allies, it must stand alongside with the former in this debate even if we don't agree on every single thing........
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Re: Evolution of humans and Mahayana Buddhism

Postby el_chupacabra » Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:42 pm

My perception of the situation in Europe is of a growth in materialism, both in the younger generations and in academia.
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Re: Evolution of humans and Mahayana Buddhism

Postby Kai » Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:55 pm

el_chupacabra wrote:My perception of the situation in Europe is of a growth in materialism, both in the younger generations and in academia.


While in Americas, the sign of increasing fanaticism and religious fundamentalism is becoming a serious issue.....
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Re: Evolution of humans and Mahayana Buddhism

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:26 am

Kai wrote:
el_chupacabra wrote:My perception of the situation in Europe is of a growth in materialism, both in the younger generations and in academia.


While in Americas, the sign of increasing fanaticism and religious fundamentalism is becoming a serious issue.....


Thus, evolution can go in reverse.
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The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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Re: Evolution of humans and Mahayana Buddhism

Postby Lazy_eye » Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:33 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Kai wrote:
While in Americas, the sign of increasing fanaticism and religious fundamentalism is becoming a serious issue.....


Thus, evolution can go in reverse.


LOL. Indeed!
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Re: Evolution of humans and Mahayana Buddhism

Postby Aemilius » Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:12 pm

Namdrol wrote:
Aemilius wrote:It gives depth to buddhism, and is therefore essential to it.


It is not essential to Buddhism, any more than Meru Cosmology is.



Truth is essential to BuddhaDharma, Mount Meru cosmology tells us about the existence of the God realms or Deva realms, and is therefore helpful to our development as human beings. Scientific cosmology supports nihilism.

We must admit that you have great faith in the popular science. You yourself were not in India 100 000 or 1 000 000 years ago, you rely on faith in your
view ( about the nonexistence of previous aeons on Earth).

There are in the field of Philosophy of Science some persons who have described how a scientific truth is created, how a popular scientific truth is created. People are easily manipulated, in the scientific community and in the society at large. In buddhist terms these truths are created with the help of eight loka dharmas or the eight worldly concerns. People are really vulnerable to them, to ridicule, to scorn, poverty, etc. and to their opposites, prestige, fame, money, etc. What do you think, is this view and topic still in the Wikipedia article about Philosophy of Science or not ? Quite right, it has been removed! The whole article of Philosophy of Science is a seriously truncated version of the older one. This is how scientific truths are made !
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Re: Evolution of humans and Mahayana Buddhism

Postby el_chupacabra » Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:31 pm

Aemilius wrote:
Truth is essential to BuddhaDharma, Mount Meru cosmology tells us about the existence of the God realms or Deva realms, and is therefore helpful to our development as human beings. Scientific cosmology supports nihilism.

We must admit that you have great faith in the popular science. You yourself were not in India 100 000 or 1 000 000 years ago, you rely on faith in your
view ( about the nonexistence of previous aeons on Earth).

There are in the field of Philosophy of Science some persons who have described how a scientific truth is created, how a popular scientific truth is created. People are easily manipulated, in the scientific community and in the society at large. In buddhist terms these truths are created with the help of eight loka dharmas or the eight worldly concerns. People are really vulnerable to them, to ridicule, to scorn, poverty, etc. and to their opposites, prestige, fame, money, etc. What do you think, is this view and topic still in the Wikipedia article about Philosophy of Science or not ? Quite right, it has been removed! The whole article of Philosophy of Science is a seriously truncated version of the older one. This is how scientific truths are made !


If your criticism of scientific knowledge is based upon an idealist position, it seems contradictory to then advocate Buddhist cosmology from a realist standpoint.
Is it merely "helpful" or is it "essential Truth"? - it seems unclear in what you wrote here.
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Re: Evolution of humans and Mahayana Buddhism

Postby Malcolm » Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:25 pm

Aemilius wrote:

Truth is essential to BuddhaDharma...


But not cosmologies.
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: Evolution of humans and Mahayana Buddhism

Postby Malcolm » Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:28 pm

Kai wrote:
el_chupacabra wrote:My perception of the situation in Europe is of a growth in materialism, both in the younger generations and in academia.


While in Americas, the sign of increasing fanaticism and religious fundamentalism is becoming a serious issue.....


No, there has always been a large percentage of religious wingnuts in the US and a religious zeal associated with "Democracy".
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: Evolution of humans and Mahayana Buddhism

Postby Acchantika » Tue Sep 13, 2011 2:46 pm

Aemilius wrote:Scientific cosmology supports nihilism.


Hi, just thought I'd clarify, without affirming or denying what you have said:

Science is a method, not a worldview. It is a method of gathering data, but it never interprets the data. Support/not support cannot apply to a method.

Scientific realism is the premise that empiricism can approximate reality. Physicalism is the premise that reality is entirely reducible to its physical components. These are metaphysical positions and what people seem to mistakenly consider the de facto views of science. Empiricism (science) is an epistemological position.

I feel it is important to point this out, because when people keep saying in this thread "science thinks that..." and "science argues that...", it doesn't really make any sense.
...
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Re: Evolution of humans and Mahayana Buddhism

Postby Malcolm » Tue Sep 13, 2011 2:49 pm

Aemilius wrote:Scientific cosmology supports nihilism.


There is no scientific cosmology in the sense that there is an Abidharma cosmology, or a Ptolmeic cosmology.

But if you wish to continue to believe that our sky is blue since the southern face of Mt Meru is made of sapphire, no one is going to stop you.

N
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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