Plant Sentient

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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Malcolm » Wed May 30, 2012 6:46 pm

tomamundsen wrote:
Virgo wrote:
Malcolm wrote:But if you look at my siganture, you will see that it is not that way in Dzogchen.

I understand.

Kevin

Hi Malcolm. Could you please explain your signature? I don't understand it...

Thanks



It means that plants are part of the display of Samanabhadra, just like everything else.
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Virgo » Wed May 30, 2012 6:47 pm

Malcolm wrote:I did not understand the jk.

M

I should have been clearer.

Kevin
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed May 30, 2012 8:46 pm

Malcolm wrote:Well, is the human host body "sentient"? The minute you admit that "spirits" inhabit plants, you are opening the door for plants to be considered sentient. Just as the mind leaves the host body, so to would plant spirits leave the their host plants, and take up a new life in a newly germinated plant, for example. This just means that "plants" would be part of the preta realm.
Let's not confuse form with sentience. Apparently not all sentient beings have form and not all forms are sentient. If you take up the logic you just used then you would have to also agree with the second part of my statement: that houses are sentient, since they are inhabited by sentient beings. It is quite clear that houses are not sentient. It is not so clear if plants, as plants and not as abodes of preta, are or are not sentient.
Nemo wrote:To say some DNA based life is sentient and some is not sounds implausible. It makes me think of the turn of the century "scientists" who unequivocally said animals like dogs cannot feel pain.

I will treat all life like it is alive.
Denying that plants are sentient is not the same as denying that they are living beings. It also does not validate destructive behaviour towards plants.
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Kunga Lhadzom » Wed May 30, 2012 8:51 pm

Without plants...we wouldn't/couldn't be sentient. It's a good example of how everything is empty/interconnected/dependent.http://www.botanical-online.com/theimpo ... plants.htm
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Malcolm » Wed May 30, 2012 9:00 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:Let's not confuse form with sentience. Apparently not all sentient beings have form and not all forms are sentient.


All sentient beings have form.

M
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Blue Garuda » Wed May 30, 2012 9:40 pm

Malcolm wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:Let's not confuse form with sentience. Apparently not all sentient beings have form and not all forms are sentient.


All sentient beings have form.

M


Hmmm: 'Swans are white therefore all white things are swans' kinda logic here?

All things which have form are not necessarily 'beings' or 'sentient' - we just attach those labels.

It also depends on what comprises a 'being' and 'sentience' and 'form'.

I'm personally more Jain in view, so rather than 'kill and eat anything as it is all equal', I prefer 'do least harm' as far as I can understand that aspiration.

Killing and/or uprooting plants also has potential for 'collateral damage' as plants provide habitat and nutrition for many other beings, so sentient beings are affected by their destruction - it depends if we have the intention to kill other beings as we define them.
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Malcolm » Wed May 30, 2012 9:46 pm

Blue Garuda wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:Let's not confuse form with sentience. Apparently not all sentient beings have form and not all forms are sentient.


All sentient beings have form.

M


Hmmm: 'Swans are white therefore all white things are swans' kinda logic here?

All things which have form are not necessarily 'beings' or 'sentient' - we just attach those labels.


The standard Buddhist view is that there are sentient beings who lack form. This is not accepted in Dzogchen teachings.
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby gad rgyangs » Wed May 30, 2012 9:54 pm

Malcolm wrote:
gad rgyangs wrote:when computers communicate with each other over a network, does that mean they are sentient?



The internet is not a self-organizing system, it's a limited extension of our neurology.


if computers are connected to a network, to robots who can build computers, and run software that evaluates its own architecture, modifies designs, and uses the robots to build new computers and robots that further evolve and change, is it sentient?
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Malcolm » Wed May 30, 2012 9:57 pm

gad rgyangs wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
gad rgyangs wrote:when computers communicate with each other over a network, does that mean they are sentient?



The internet is not a self-organizing system, it's a limited extension of our neurology.


if computers are connected to a network, to robots who can build computers, and run software that evaluates its own architecture, modifies designs, and uses the robots to build new computers and robots that further evolve and change, is it sentient?


Perhaps machines can evolve into sentience. But at this point I don't think we can consider consider machines self-organizing at the level of complexity we see with biological life.
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby tomamundsen » Wed May 30, 2012 9:59 pm

gad rgyangs wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
gad rgyangs wrote:when computers communicate with each other over a network, does that mean they are sentient?



The internet is not a self-organizing system, it's a limited extension of our neurology.


if computers are connected to a network, to robots who can build computers, and run software that evaluates its own architecture, modifies designs, and uses the robots to build new computers and robots that further evolve and change, is it sentient?

No, not according to how I understand sentience. Viruses aren't even considered to be a form of life and they do most of that.
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Lhug-Pa » Wed May 30, 2012 10:10 pm

Malcolm wrote:The standard Buddhist view is that there are sentient beings who lack form. This is not accepted in Dzogchen teachings.


Buddhist teachings say that there can be or exist beings without any form at all; and the Dzogchen teachings say that all beings have form (whether the respective form of whoever of the Eight Classes is physical or non-physical)....

What is the why or how as to this apparent discrepancy?
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Blue Garuda » Wed May 30, 2012 10:12 pm

Malcolm wrote:
The standard Buddhist view is that there are sentient beings who lack form. This is not accepted in Dzogchen teachings.


My point was that on the basis of that assertion it is not logical to claim that all things with form are therefore sentient.

Buddhist realms and Dzogchen denial of some of them are not relevant here - the fact that plants have form does not denote sentience. It is a view one may hold, but is not the logical product of the assertion that all beings have form, as all forms are not sentient.
We can define form as something we call a rock - that does not make it sentient.

However, we may have awareness that the particles making up our body are just part of the flux, like that rock, and all is interconnected and unified.
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Malcolm » Wed May 30, 2012 10:19 pm

[quote="Blue Garuda"]

My point was that on the basis of that assertion it is not logical to claim that all things with form are therefore sentient.

[/quite]

I never made that inference.
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby gad rgyangs » Wed May 30, 2012 10:28 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Perhaps machines can evolve into sentience. But at this point I don't think we can consider consider machines self-organizing at the level of complexity we see with biological life.


not yet but its an interesting possibility. it definitely highlights the complexity of the question "what is sentience?"

Steiner had an interesting take on the differences between the mineral, plant, animal and human kingdoms, with an extension to kingdoms of beings who do not manifest in our physical dimension:

http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/19080202p01.html
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby LastLegend » Thu May 31, 2012 12:50 am

Does sentience mean possessing a mind of its own?
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Son » Sat Jun 02, 2012 10:26 pm

Devas don't live inside trees or are born with a tree, like a "tree spirit" would be. Devas are devas, sentient beings.

Trees do have a sort of intelligence, and other plants less so. Of course it depends on how you define "intelligence," but it's really the only word we can use in English. They have an "intuitive and logical probing and response system of informative mechanisms." This is simply what life is and strives to do, trees are incredibly primordial. There is a reason why every ancient culture in every part of the world throughout all ancient periods worshiped or at least revered trees, and attributed magikal properties to them.

Sure, plants are alive and have life-energy like all biological organisms, and under the right conditions they could evolve into sentience and beings would become "plantlike," but really these beings would either be animals or humans, probably animals. To me, it's obvious that flora and fauna are clear opposites, and naturally are meant to be that way. The sunflower outside my house is not sentient, any more than a two day old zygote in a woman's belly is sentient. Under the right conditions it could evolve sentience, but it hasn't and it has no reason to do so. In a sense, living creatures do "come from" plants. This is part of why they can be deified.

If something can represent aspects of divinity, it can be deified. Trees and plantlife certainly fall into that category, just like animal spirit totems and huge rocks. Animals are sentient but spirit totems aren't, and neither are rocks sentient. This is why the Jains and Hindus and so forth purported those ideas. It was a meeting of the Dharma and the primitive spiritualism, via a religion. Why else do you think the Hindus viciously and relentlessly tried to absorb Buddhism and eat the Buddha...?
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:30 pm

Malcolm wrote:The standard Buddhist view is that there are sentient beings who lack form. This is not accepted in Dzogchen teachings.
Is this because consciousness is based on the element of wind/air in Dzogchen theory?
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Malcolm » Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:47 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Malcolm wrote:The standard Buddhist view is that there are sentient beings who lack form. This is not accepted in Dzogchen teachings.
Is this because consciousness is based on the element of wind/air in Dzogchen theory?
:namaste:



As we have seen, for Dzogchen it is because the differentiation between mind and vāyu is merely nominal (different names for the same thing in a body), and thus, all sentient beings must have a physical body, even if it is very subtle, including formless realm beings. Vāyu of course is the name of the air element, and means that. Vāyu, air (Tibetan: rlung) is given the name "prāṇa" (Tibetan: srog) soley because it gives life. Furthere, each of the five elements contains the potentiality of the other four elements within it.

Plants also use prāṇavāyu...
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:03 am

Malcolm wrote:Further, each of the five elements contains the potentiality of the other four elements within it.
According to Theravadra Abhidhamma, when one element is present all the others are also present but it is possible that the "quantities" are so small that they are essentially impossible to detect ie you cannot just have one element present.
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Dave The Seeker » Sun Jun 03, 2012 12:22 pm

I do agree that plants, trees and fungi (student of Paul Stamets) are living beings.

But as the definition of sentience is as follows, from the free on line dictionary:
sen·tience (snshns, -sh-ns)
n.
1. The quality or state of being sentient; consciousness.
2. Feeling as distinguished from perception or thought.


Can it be said that any of the three, trees,plants and fungi, have consciousness, perception or thought?
Do they "know" they are alive? That would be consciousness.
These actions require an actual brain and nervous system to carry out these functions, primarily feeling. Unless we also say "feeling" as an emotion, then it would in no doubt require higher functions of a brain.

Kindest wishes, Dave
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