Plant Sentient

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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:33 am

Son wrote:
I have supplied this answer a few times.

From the Dzogchen perspective, everything, including consciousness, is a merely a display of the basis' energetic radiance.


I don't find that statement "easier." I'm not even sure what "easier" means. But really it's not that critical. In that frame of speaking, sentience doesn't even come into question, and saying any being is sentient or not sentient is unfounded.


The point is that all life is a function of rtsal. Since everything is a display of rtsal, the notion of sentient vs. non-sentient is not just an ultimate mistake, but a conventional one as well.

You should examine Plants as People by Hall. Much of this conversation is colored by a trenchant post-Aristotelain zoocentrism.

Plants are sentient, we might just have to revise our understanding of what sentience is.

In this respect Buddhist dogmatics is of no use and should be discarded the same way we have discarded Meru Cosmology.
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Lhug-Pa » Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:37 am

Isn't Meru Cosmology symbolic, rather than simply wrong, old superstition, etc.?

Are you only talking about the discarding of taking its exoteric meaning literally?
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:44 am

Lhug-Pa wrote:Isn't Meru Cosmology symbolic, rather than simply wrong, old superstition, etc.?


It was taken literally until1959 by most Tibetans.
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Indrajala » Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:54 am

It was taken literally until1959 by most Tibetans.


I recall HHDL suggest that plant sentience is a possibility and must be researched thoroughly. So, it might very well come to be that plants are accepted as sentient eventually.

In Japan trees are said to sometimes house kami, which is exactly the same idea expressed in the Indian Jatakas. In China this might have been the case as well in large part with their ideas of local spirits.
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:02 am

treehuggingoctopus wrote:The devil is in the details, you know. So how central the Three Marks and the Four Seals have to be for a doctrine to be Buddhist? Which interpretations are allowed? How the avoidance of the four extremes ought to be construed? And so it goes.
So feel free to mire yourself down in details. I, personally, have no qualms identifying with the label Buddist, that's why I am here discussing issues from a Buddhist perspective on a Buddhist forum. If people want to discuss things from a Hindu/Christian/Muslim/Animist/Zoraoastrian/etc... persepctive that is completely up to them, I will discuss it from my angle and we'll see where it goes. BUT for me to consider it Buddhadharma, it has to satisfy the abovementioned requirements. If it doesn't, well... Anyway, I am not going to feel guilty about requesting a Buddhist explanation regarding subjects, irregardless of the new fad currently sweeping this forum of people of denying the validity of and/or even debasing arguments coming from a Buddhist perspective.

Insects do have brains and many of them have highly developed nervous systems.
In all my years of the study of the science of biology we were taught that insects have (at best) ganglia ie concentrations of basic nervous cells, a primitive fore runner of brain but lacking the structural and chemical complexity of the brain. If you know of insects with brains please furnish some examples. They also tend to have very simple nervous structures. Now the truth is that, given their size, they have no need of complex nervous systems, but there are examples of animals of the same size with incredibly complex nervous systems and brain structure.
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:36 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
treehuggingoctopus wrote:The devil is in the details, you know. So how central the Three Marks and the Four Seals have to be for a doctrine to be Buddhist? Which interpretations are allowed? How the avoidance of the four extremes ought to be construed? And so it goes.
So feel free to mire yourself down in details. I, personally, have no qualms identifying with the label Buddist, that's why I am here discussing issues from a Buddhist perspective on a Buddhist forum. If people want to discuss things from a Hindu/Christian/Muslim/Animist/Zoraoastrian/etc... persepctive that is completely up to them, I will discuss it from my angle and we'll see where it goes. BUT for me to consider it Buddhadharma, it has to satisfy the abovementioned requirements. If it doesn't, well... Anyway, I am not going to feel guilty about requesting a Buddhist explanation regarding subjects, irregardless of the new fad currently sweeping this forum of people of denying the validity of and/or even debasing arguments coming from a Buddhist perspective


I don't fell like miring myself, or anybody else, down in details. That's simply what all ideological disputes, in Buddhism or elsewhere, sooner or later cannot fail to involve - as the history has proved time and again. And if someone likes to embroil oneself in such disputes, no problem - only it would be better for everybody concerned if such people took all those doctrinal viewpoints (and differences) with a pinch of healthy salt. That pinch of salt is what has been recently missing in some of the otherwise quite palatable DW dishes.
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby seeker242 » Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:51 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Insects do have brains and many of them have highly developed nervous systems.
In all my years of the study of the science of biology we were taught that insects have (at best) ganglia ie concentrations of basic nervous cells, a primitive fore runner of brain but lacking the structural and chemical complexity of the brain. If you know of insects with brains please furnish some examples. They also tend to have very simple nervous structures. Now the truth is that, given their size, they have no need of complex nervous systems, but there are examples of animals of the same size with incredibly complex nervous systems and brain structure.
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Fruit fly brains have been studied in depth. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/46343394/ns ... 89CBsX0_hY

"As surprising at it may seem, wasps, bees, and even ants have relatively large and complex brains." http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2 ... in-in.html

"Insects may have tiny brains, but they can perform some seriously impressive feats of mental gymnastics. According to a growing number of studies, some insects can count, categorize objects, even recognize human faces -- all with brains the size of pinheads...On a smaller scale, scientists are finally moving past the idea that locusts, ants, bees and other insects are simple machines that respond to events in predictable ways, said Sarah Farris, an evolutionary neurobiologist at West Virginia University in Morgantown. Study after study now shows that insects can, in fact, change their behavior depending on the circumstances...."It's wonderful to see that insects are finally being compared equally with vertebrate animals," she added. "They have smaller brains, but they still have complex enough brains to do these things." http://news.discovery.com/animals/tiny- ... gence.html

ALL insects have brains. If they didn't they would not be able to process sense impressions from their eyes and other senses, etc. A bee would not know where the flower is or that there is even a flower there to begin with.

You could call their nervous system "simple" if you are only comparing them to humans, however comparing them to plants, they are quite complex, because plants don't even have one! :smile:
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:14 pm

treehuggingoctopus wrote:That pinch of salt is what has been recently missing in some of the otherwise quite palatable DW dishes.
Well, doubt or uncertainty, about the teachings (vicikicchā) is considered one of the fetters of becoming. If by salt you mean lessening one's trust in the teachings, well you are welcome to it. But the challenges to Buddhism that have arisen lately, it seems to me, are not to analyse and deepen ones understanding of Dharma, but to promote a specific view. Anybody not supporting the specific view is labelled a Buddhist (as if the word has now taken on a negative conotation) as if that is enough to disprove their view. Well, not being a fashion victim and not yet being convinced of the superiority of the view (and especially not being convinced by the attitudes being displayed by the fashion victims themselves, purported subscribers of the view) then excuse me while I continue to continue with my activities as "heresy watcher" (read Buddhist).
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:30 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:Well, doubt or uncertainty, about the teachings (vicikicchā) is considered one of the fetters of becoming. If by salt you mean lessening one's trust in the teachings, well you are welcome to it.


It must be a really tragic case of talking-past-one-another (though I can't quite comprehend how come you don't understand me here). Or are you trying to say that having 'trust in the teachings' means holding fast to their merely 'intellectual' content? Can't believe that.

gregkavarnos wrote:Well, not being a fashion victim and not yet being convinced of the superiority of the view (and especially not being convinced by the attitudes being displayed by the fashion victims themselves, purported subscribers of the view) then excuse me while I continue to continue with my activities as "heresy watcher" (read Buddhist).
:namaste:


I'm not sure I understand why you keep writing about 'fashion victims' in our little exchange. Do you see me as one?
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:29 pm

If you look back over the past 7 pages you will find that I have been involved in a discussion on the sentience of plants and not an ideological war on the righteousness of Buddhism and the Buddhist view. This only occured after you threw out the "heresy watch" accusation. So can we put it to rest now and get on with the point at hand please? ie "Are plants sentient?"
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:22 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:If you look back over the past 7 pages you will find that I have been involved in a discussion on the sentience of plants and not an ideological war on the righteousness of Buddhism and the Buddhist view. This only occured after you threw out the "heresy watch" accusation. So can we put it to rest now and get on with the point at hand please? ie "Are plants sentient?"
:namaste:


There is nothing intrinsically non-Buddhist about the idea of plant sentience. However the scholastic tradition made it clear that it was uncomfortable with the idea precisely for the same reason you are: what about the karma of eating and killing plants? Thus, the resulting judgment that plants are insentient is truly just a utilitarian claim meant to ease the consciousness of Buddhist scholastics. Because it is certain that common people in India continued to regard plants as sentient, and do so up to the present.

Since you have a background in biology, Matthew Hall suggests that the problem in adressing plant sentience is a function of entrenched zoocentrism in cognitive modeling which begins with Aristotle. When the question gets brought up, the immediate response is "where is the nervous system, where is the brain, etc." It does not occur to people to ask "If plants are sentient, how might plant neurobiology differ from zoomorphic neurobiology?" In particular, in Hall's book on page 147 he discusses the issues of plant brains.

The conceptual problem, as I see it, is that in Buddhism we have substituted "consciousness" for a soul, or a living being (jiva). But Buddhism no more moves away from a decentralized notion of sentience that does Aristotle. Truthfully, there really is not much difference between the idea of a transmigrating consciousness as the irreducible fact of a sentient being and a soul (despite the chorus of protests this will raise). A transmigrating consciousness transmigrates precisely because of the delusion of selfhood. We take rebirth because we are deluded about I-ness. The only difference between the early Buddhist anatman and the Hindu atman is what is taken as identity. The Hindus understand all persons and phenomena as lacking identity, but suppose that underneath all these illusory appearances, there is a permanent sat-cit-ananda, whose definition is very much like the Mahāyāna definition of tathagatagarbha i.e. permanent, self, blissful, and pure.

The issue, as I see it, is that the substance dualism implicit in the way scholastic Buddhists treat namarūpa make a systems theory of consciousness impossible. This is not an issue in Dzogchen (and to a lesser extent, in Vajrayāna), because consciousness itself is a product of systems interactions i.e. the interactions of the five elements in the body and so on.

What I propose is that the language of plant devas in Buddhist literature is used as a device to ameliorate karmic responsibility for using plants as food. Certainly, in animist traditions where plant spirits are considered, it is not like that. We consult with the spirit of the plant before using it, just as we consult with the spirits of animals we hunt. When we kill a plant, we do not necessarily kill its spirit, just as when we hunt we do not necessarily kill the spirit of the animal we are hunting. This model is still grounded in a naive substance dualism, but it has the benefit of making us recognize that all our actions of eating involve taking life and the life of one living being is not held to be more important than that of another.

Of course in the East Asian Traditions of Buddhism, plant sentience is also accepted in some quarters. The Shingon views of Kukai are very close to my understanding predicated on Dzogchen teachings:

    If plants and trees are devoid of Buddhahood,
    Waves would then be without humidity.

As people may or may not know, I am comitted to the principles of deep ecology/biocentrism, and the denial of plant sentience not in keeping with those principles. If we deny plant sentience, as we do merely on the basis of zoomorphic orthodoxy, we deny the intrinsic value of the great preponderance of biomass on our world and reduce it, in bibical terms, as something merely for our use, biological automata, without sense, without feeling, without intelligence. For many centuries, we regarded animals as mere automata too. Now we understand better. In time, I am certain, we will understand this kind of thinking is a mistake when we consider anything that lives.


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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Son » Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:32 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Son wrote:
I have supplied this answer a few times.

From the Dzogchen perspective, everything, including consciousness, is a merely a display of the basis' energetic radiance.


I don't find that statement "easier." I'm not even sure what "easier" means. But really it's not that critical. In that frame of speaking, sentience doesn't even come into question, and saying any being is sentient or not sentient is unfounded.


The point is that all life is a function of rtsal. Since everything is a display of rtsal, the notion of sentient vs. non-sentient is not just an ultimate mistake, but a conventional one as well.

You should examine Plants as People by Hall. Much of this conversation is colored by a trenchant post-Aristotelain zoocentrism.

Plants are sentient, we might just have to revise our understanding of what sentience is.

In this respect Buddhist dogmatics is of no use and should be discarded the same way we have discarded Meru Cosmology.



Oh! So your argument is not that plants are sentient, but that sentience itself is a universal quality, and mentally humans or plants need not be regarded as "sentient," but rather just the fact that they exist is enough. Basically, are you saying that the "sentient" in "sentient being" is unnecessary because sentience is all-pervasive throughout be-ing...? You say that sentient-non-sentient designation is a conventional mistake.
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Son » Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:24 pm

Malcolm wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:If you look back over the past 7 pages you will find that I have been involved in a discussion on the sentience of plants and not an ideological war on the righteousness of Buddhism and the Buddhist view. This only occured after you threw out the "heresy watch" accusation. So can we put it to rest now and get on with the point at hand please? ie "Are plants sentient?"
:namaste:


There is nothing intrinsically non-Buddhist about the idea of plant sentience. However the scholastic tradition made it clear that it was uncomfortable with the idea precisely for the same reason you are: what about the karma of eating and killing plants? Thus, the resulting judgment that plants are insentient is truly just a utilitarian claim meant to ease the consciousness of Buddhist scholastics. Because it is certain that common people in India continued to regard plants as sentient, and do so up to the present.


Well that is not like anything that I said. Regarding a plant as sentient is equivalent to regarding them as "living beings." There's no way of splitting that hair. I don't care about the karma of eating and killing plants. Seriously, do you read the posts of people your discussing with, or are you really just presuming that I think that way? When I, ME, the expression of THIS MEMORY says in a conventionally way that plants aren't "really" sentient, it has nothing to do with any of those opinions or the view. But, that's obvious, as I already expressed my view.

The use of me saying that plants aren't "fully" sentient is because I think it is very wrong, and very bad for people to walk around looking at plant life and--beyond understanding that it is LIVING--think and act as though that plantlife feels, perceives, cognizes, or forms volition in any way, and that it wasn't reborn from sentient beings, and that if you kill it it's not going to "be aware" it's dying, or pass into another life. Because there's no storehouses consciousness or any consciousness, it's just a projection of that, derived from primordial consciousness. It's like saying, if I kill this statue of Buddha, he will be aware of it and be sad and then be reborn somewhere else. That's false view.

Since you have a background in biology, Matthew Hall suggests that the problem in adressing plant sentience is a function of entrenched zoocentrism in cognitive modeling which begins with Aristotle. When the question gets brought up, the immediate response is "where is the nervous system, where is the brain, etc." It does not occur to people to ask "If plants are sentient, how might plant neurobiology differ from zoomorphic neurobiology?" In particular, in Hall's book on page 147 he discusses the issues of plant brains.


Again, I didn't express these silly Aristotlish ideas. Who did? I don't think anyone has said specifically that, "plants are not sentient because they lack brains." They have only been asserting that insects are sentient in the way that humans are, by their obvious cognition.


The conceptual problem, as I see it, is that in Buddhism we have substituted "consciousness" for a soul, or a living being (jiva). But Buddhism no more moves away from a decentralized notion of sentience that does Aristotle. Truthfully, there really is not much difference between the idea of a transmigrating consciousness as the irreducible fact of a sentient being and a soul (despite the chorus of protests this will raise). A transmigrating consciousness transmigrates precisely because of the delusion of selfhood. We take rebirth because we are deluded about I-ness. The only difference between the early Buddhist anatman and the Hindu atman is what is taken as identity. The Hindus understand all persons and phenomena as lacking identity, but suppose that underneath all these illusory appearances, there is a permanent sat-cit-ananda, whose definition is very much like the Mahāyāna definition of tathagatagarbha i.e. permanent, self, blissful, and pure.

Yes, that's very true. And plants are definitely included in this theory, rightfully so. However, plants don't have awareness, cognition, or karmic activity based on delusion of self-hood. Their "self-hood" is derived from primordial substratum consciousness--or as you would put it, it is a function of rtsal. You would also admit that everything is a display of rtsal. Calling them a display (i.e. in my terms a "projection") of rtsal is the same thing as saying, "yes, they are derived from primordial consciousness," and, "yes, they are being displayed by rtsal." What gives them the appearance of sentience as we have it, is projective storehouse consciousness. Herein, as everywhere else in this thread, I'm relating storehouse consciousness to sentience.

The issue, as I see it, is that the substance dualism implicit in the way scholastic Buddhists treat namarūpa make a systems theory of consciousness impossible. This is not an issue in Dzogchen (and to a lesser extent, in Vajrayāna), because consciousness itself is a product of systems interactions i.e. the interactions of the five elements in the body and so on.


Hey, that's not in issue in Buddhism at all, not just Dzogchen. The Buddhists didn't describe namarupa being dualist, they described it as being completely, utterly, centrally interdependent and that one is both, fundamentally. Does Dzogchen say there is neither nama nor rupa in living beings? Or does it say that namarupa does not apply to living beings? This is a very BIG distinction. Also I haven't argued against these Dzogchen concepts you've proposed.

What I propose is that the language of plant devas in Buddhist literature is used as a device to ameliorate karmic responsibility for using plants as food.

What you're actually saying is not that "it is used" in that way, but that you are choosing to use it in that way. You make it sound like "it's generally used that way," or, "it's supposed to be used that way." But that's not coming from anything evident.

Certainly, in animist traditions where plant spirits are considered, it is not like that. We consult with the spirit of the plant before using it, just as we consult with the spirits of animals we hunt. When we kill a plant, we do not necessarily kill its spirit, just as when we hunt we do not necessarily kill the spirit of the animal we are hunting. This model is still grounded in a naive substance dualism, but it has the benefit of making us recognize that all our actions of eating involve taking life and the life of one living being is not held to be more important than that of another.

And so, therefore... ... ...?

Of course in the East Asian Traditions of Buddhism, plant sentience is also accepted in some quarters. The Shingon views of Kukai are very close to my understanding predicated on Dzogchen teachings:

    If plants and trees are devoid of Buddhahood,
    Waves would then be without humidity.


This clearly elucidates the view that I posted earlier. Both plants and animals are derived from primordial substratum consciousness, but the former lacks storehouse consciousness of its own, hence karma of its own, awareness of its own, volition of its own, and so forth. The point using "sentience" in terms of this or that living being, FOR ME and most people, is that this living being cognizes and carries karma and storehouse consciousness (the thing that moves through rebirth), and this other living being does not have these qualities, by nature cannot have these qualities.

As people may or may not know, I am comitted to the principles of deep ecology/biocentrism

So am I, but "sentient being" is a convention and all that matters is what you're referring to when you use it.

and the denial of plant sentience not in keeping with those principles.

My denial of it was explained, and it IS in keeping with those principles. Keep in mind that, "my belief is easier," is not an argument or an explanation.

If we deny plant sentience, as we do merely on the basis of zoomorphic orthodoxy,

which I didn't... as I clearly denied it on the basis of: "lacks storehouse consciousness of its own, hence karma of its own, awareness of its own, volition of its own

we deny the intrinsic value of the great preponderance of biomass on our world and reduce it, in bibical terms, as something merely for our use, biological automata, without sense, without feeling, without intelligence. For many centuries, we regarded animals as mere automata too. Now we understand better. In time, I am certain, we will understand this kind of thinking is a mistake when we consider anything that lives.


That kind of thinking is a mistake when considering anything that lives. They're living beings, so that way of thinking is false. More importantly, it's wrongful thinking. If that's what you're arguing against, you won't find any "denial of the preponderance of biomass on our world and reduction into Biblical terms." I never even insinuated that. This has become less of an argument of "is a plant sentient," to "what do we mean when we say this or that is sentient, and why?"
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Nemo » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:42 pm

Long long ago wasn't plant life considered one of the five elements. The element of wood or greenery.

It's not canonical but some very psychic older Lamas have lamented to me that younger Lamas cannot sense the life in trees or plants. That they thought them insentient and this made them very sad. I got the impression that they remembered a time when such thinking was less common.

I would guess that to a great meditator the sentience of plants is self evident. As is the sentience of places like mountains and rivers. Some of whom are sentient enough to have taken Samaya and become protectors of the Dharma.
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Lhug-Pa » Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:11 am

Nemo wrote:Long long ago wasn't plant life considered one of the five elements. The element of wood or greenery.


Ah, that's right! The Mewa aspect of Tibetan Astrology deals with this system of Five Elements, where Wood replaces Wind/Vayu, and incidentally the traditional color of both the Elements Wood and Vayu is Green; the same color that Malcolm cited Garab Dorje as saying the color of rTsal is.


Malcolm wrote:...-- Garab Dorje says "The color of rtsal is green". Without rtsal there is no growth, no flourishing of anything. Rtsal is the root of consciousness. Tree thoughts are not like human thoughts. For most of us, we are closed off. We cannot perceive how a tree thinks, or a mountain, a planet, a solar system, galaxy or universe.

All universes are supposed to be included inside of the body of the mahāsambhogakāya Vairocana Himasagara. Our world system is supposed to be in a billion world system that is part of another system which is in the palm of his hand. Are we truly sentient in that respect? Or are we just neurons, synapses in a massive cosmos spanning Buddha?
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Malcolm » Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:54 am

Typo alert:

But Buddhism no more moves away from a decentralized notion of sentience that does Aristotle.



Should be "But Buddhism no more moves away from a centralized notion of sentience that does Aristotle.
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Malcolm » Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:06 am

Son wrote:
The use of me saying that plants aren't "fully" sentient is because I think it is very wrong, and very bad for people to walk around looking at plant life and--beyond understanding that it is LIVING--think and act as though that plantlife feels, perceives, cognizes, or forms volition in any way



Right, we don't agree on this point. This is a classic Aristotelian view of plantlife, embedded into our cultural thinking about plants.

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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Son » Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:01 am

Nemo wrote:Long long ago wasn't plant life considered one of the five elements. The element of wood or greenery.

It's not canonical but some very psychic older Lamas have lamented to me that younger Lamas cannot sense the life in trees or plants. That they thought them insentient and this made them very sad. I got the impression that they remembered a time when such thinking was less common.

I would guess that to a great meditator the sentience of plants is self evident. As is the sentience of places like mountains and rivers. Some of whom are sentient enough to have taken Samaya and become protectors of the Dharma.



That's not something that can be discussed lightly, or explained in so many words. In short, you just have to experience that for yourself. It's not really useful to the subject at hand.
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Son » Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:08 am

Lhug-Pa wrote:
Nemo wrote:Long long ago wasn't plant life considered one of the five elements. The element of wood or greenery.


Ah, that's right! The Mewa aspect of Tibetan Astrology deals with this system of Five Elements, where Wood replaces Wind/Vayu, and incidentally the traditional color of both the Elements Wood and Vayu is Green; the same color that Malcolm cited Garab Dorje as saying the color of rTsal is.


Malcolm wrote:...-- Garab Dorje says "The color of rtsal is green". Without rtsal there is no growth, no flourishing of anything. Rtsal is the root of consciousness. Tree thoughts are not like human thoughts. For most of us, we are closed off. We cannot perceive how a tree thinks, or a mountain, a planet, a solar system, galaxy or universe.

All universes are supposed to be included inside of the body of the mahāsambhogakāya Vairocana Himasagara. Our world system is supposed to be in a billion world system that is part of another system which is in the palm of his hand. Are we truly sentient in that respect? Or are we just neurons, synapses in a massive cosmos spanning Buddha?


Here you're using the word sentient in many different ways, and not denoting them particularly. That's fine, but it's kind of circumventing around everything I say.

Wood or tree is one of the five elements of Chinese philosophy, not just used "long long ago" but presently by Chinese philosophy. Wood begets fire, fire begets earth (ash), begetting metal, allow water to condense, nourishing again wood (or tree). It doesn't really refer to Buddhist teachings and existed before the Buddha taught the Dharma. However substituting "wood" for wind would only make sense in the context of "Subtle elements." I'm sure we all know what the subtle elements are. It's a nice substitution, but what's it have to do with this topic? Earth, water, and wind aren't sentient beings.
Last edited by Son on Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Son » Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:10 am

Malcolm wrote:
Son wrote:
The use of me saying that plants aren't "fully" sentient is because I think it is very wrong, and very bad for people to walk around looking at plant life and--beyond understanding that it is LIVING--think and act as though that plantlife feels, perceives, cognizes, or forms volition in any way



Right, we don't agree on this point. This is a classic Aristotelian view of plantlife, embedded into our cultural thinking about plants.

M


Well I'm happy for you.
Unfortunately, since you always insist on simply saying, "we disagree" or pointing to someone else's opinion, instead of actually presenting an argument, you are leading this nowhere. I do not have an Aristotelian view here. I don't, it doesn't matter how many times you repeat it. I disagree with that view and disagree that what I'm saying indicates Aristotelian view. Maybe if you explained HOW I have Aristotelian view, we could actually decide which is which. But I doubt you will.

I'll come back to this discussion when something is actually being discussed.
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