Plant Sentient

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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Indrajala » Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:06 am

Kunga Lhadzom wrote:
Huseng wrote:you need to create negative karma just to survive.
But wouldn't the karma of those beings that died... so you could live, be positive ? You create something positive out the negative....we are dependent on other life forms to survive....and we can't survive without each other...so it is very compassionate to give your life essence. Plants probably have no sense of compassionate activity...it is spontaneous....selfless....


Karma is defined as volitional action, directed by either wholesome or unwholesome intentions.

The beings that have died in most cases will have no intention of sacrificing their lives for the well-being of others. In most cases in the industrialized world they are forced into horrific conditions whereupon they are slaughtered against their will.

Just watch some PETA videos and you'll see what I mean.

There is nothing positive about killing beings in order to live. In most cases we kill things or at least participate in the economy of killing with enjoyment. If you drink a milkshake and enjoy it, you'll probably not think of the horrific suffering of the cows in the modern dairy in industry for example. You could probably be satisfied with a bowl of oats and an apple, but how many people will go to a seafood restaurant and have a lobster boiled alive so they can relish the flesh of the creature?

If we introduce the idea that plants are likewise sentient and qualify as sattva in some form or another, then even that bowl of oats cannot be enjoyed guilt-free.

The Jains, however, have the idea that fruit and vegetables that are taken from a plant that does not result in its death (like an orange) is alright to be consumed, whereas killing a whole plant (like a carrot) is sinful.

That might not prove realistic for most of us. One thing we can do is understand the horrific suffering that goes behind a bowl of rice and recognize both our desire for food and our unfortunate dependance on it as a result of our past negative karma (being a human in the kama-loka is better than many other places in samsara, but it is still a result of unwholesome deeds and craving).

Incidentally, this is why devas get off the hook in many ways. They don't need to consume coarse material food and are free from the violent processes of having to obtain it.
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Kunga Lhadzom » Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:21 am

Huseng wrote:The Jains
You mean the Jain monks ? I live with Jains (not monks), an they eat everything except meat....but they will eat eggs....the Jain monks only eat what falls from the tree...
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby daelm » Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:37 am

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.


you're in quite mainstream company here, for an unabashed heretic :)

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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Blue Garuda » Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:46 am

Kunga Lhadzom wrote:
Huseng wrote:The Jains
You mean the Jain monks ? I live with Jains (not monks), an they eat everything except meat....but they will eat eggs....the Jain monks only eat what falls from the tree...


I have eaten with many Jains. Some are just more elastic with their religion's dietary advice than others, as with any religion.

Most I ate with were pretty strict and even eat nothing which deliberately kills a plant, applying 'ahimsa' to the extent that they can reasonably do so.

There are always paradoxes, such as one I know who jumped on a plane to the UK, killling many insects on the journey, and also insisted on having his Jain food flown across as well. He didn't do so in order to deliberately kill them, but must have known death would be involved.

My favourite incident was a visit to a Jain home where I ate with the husband while the wife sat apart across the room. I asked why she was not joining us. 'I'm fasting' he replied. 'Actually, my wife is fasting on my behalf.' Um.......
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:03 pm

daelm wrote:...the buddha taught the middle way BECAUSE the desire realm is ourobouros, not despite it. basically, the middle way prescription says: BECAUSE you can't avoid taking life, DON'T drive yourself to insanity, BE PRAGMATIC and try to minimize the harm where possible.
People throw around this term "Middle Way" as if it means bouncing between extremes when in fact the middle way, at the most basic level, is to adhere to the Eightfold Noble Path so as to avoid practicing austerities.
the only thing that should change, for a practicing buddhist, if plants are extended sentience to, is that he or she should be more mindful of the plant sacrifice that keeps them alive, more attentive to plants they meet, and more open to to other beings.

how exactly is that a bad thing?
It's not a bad tyhing at all, the question is: if Mahavira was capable of seeing sentience in plants and putting together rules and regulations regarding behaviour towards plants, then why did the Buddha not also see this sentience? Why did the Buddha not also include the sentience of plants in his teachings?

Now, of course, this is only an important question if you happen to be a Buddhist (which I happen to be). Of course I am willing to listen to scientific, Hindu, Jain, ecological, etc... theories and even take them into account, but NOBODY has been able to answer this one very basic (Buddhist) question AND, like I said before, twice already, one does not have to project sentience onto plants in order for one to respect and be more attentive to them, especially when you consider that considering humans and animals sentient has not really caused people to be more sensitive and attentive.
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Clarence » Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:08 pm

Blue Garuda wrote:My favourite incident was a visit to a Jain home where I ate with the husband while the wife sat apart across the room. I asked why she was not joining us. 'I'm fasting' he replied. 'Actually, my wife is fasting on my behalf.' Um.......


:smile: That is hilarious. My wife doesn't believe she can do my prostrations for me but maybe this story will change her mind.
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Mariusz » Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:45 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:if Mahavira was capable of seeing sentience in plants and putting together rules and regulations regarding behaviour towards plants, then why did the Buddha not also see this sentience? Why did the Buddha not also include the sentience of plants in his teachings?
Perhaps plants do not suffer, so not the truths needed
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:06 pm

Perhaps, but that would make them the only sentient being (apart from some of the Gods) that do not undergo suffering during the course of their lifespan.
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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 Lhug-Pa » Tue Jun 12, 2012 3:48 pm

*
Last edited by Lhug-Pa on Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:37 pm, edited 8 times in total.
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Tara » Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:08 pm

Topic locked temporarily.

Topic unlocked.

Several off topic posts and posts containing comments about other members and related responses have been removed. Please stay on topic "Plant Sentient". Any further off topic posts will be removed without notice. Members who persist in making comments about other members will be suspended.

:focus:

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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Kunga Lhadzom » Wed Jun 13, 2012 2:45 am

"Since the true nature of all phenomena is equalness, there is not a single thing that does not abide within the expanse of .that equalness. The scope of awakened mind is a single state of evenness in which everything is equal. " (Longchenpa) So...according to Longchenpa, and other Enlightened Ones....Plants are the same as as Humans and everything else that appears in the Basic Space of Phenomena .....Empty of Inherent existence. The Absolute Truth. :buddha1:
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Son » Wed Jun 13, 2012 4:02 am

Kunga Lhadzom wrote:"Since the true nature of all phenomena is equalness, there is not a single thing that does not abide within the expanse of .that equalness. The scope of awakened mind is a single state of evenness in which everything is equal. " (Longchenpa) So...according to Longchenpa, and other Enlightened Ones....Plants are the same as as Humans and everything else that appears in the Basic Space of Phenomena .....Empty of Inherent existence. The Absolute Truth. :buddha1:


Which renders the term "sentient being" null, and therefore plants can't be called sentient. I mean it defeats the purpose of conventional words. Does Longchenpa say that plants can "achieve nirvana?" Does he say you can be reborn as a plant? This is the point of the term "sentient being," in Buddhism--of any kind.
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Kunga Lhadzom » Wed Jun 13, 2012 4:31 am

Son wrote:Which renders the term "sentient being" null,
Yes
Son wrote:conventional words.
Yes.
Son wrote:Does Longchenpa say that plants can "achieve nirvana?" Does he say you can be reborn as a plant? This is the point of the term "sentient being," in Buddhism--of any kind.
Nirvana is just a word. He actually said (according to The Precious Treasury....that Nirvana does not exist. Even "'sentient being" does not exist according to the diamond sutra....a Mahayana Sutra .
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Nighthawk » Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:04 am

Is it when the 3rd stage Bodhisattva level is reached that one may gain power in controlling future incarnations?
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Ogyen » Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:52 pm

Huseng wrote:The Buddha did forbid the consumption of certain kinds of flesh. As it is relayed in the Mahāsāṃghika Vinaya the Buddha forbid the consumption of the following meats:

1. Human flesh.
2. Serpent flesh.
3. Elephant flesh.
4. Horse flesh.
5. Dog flesh.
6. Crow flesh.
7. Vulture flesh.
8. Swine flesh.
9. Monkey flesh.
10. Lion flesh.

He also forbid the consumption of garlic.

In China during the Tang Dynasty Daoxuan argued the spirit of the initial prohibitions on consuming certain meats was to foster an eventual shift to vegetarianism, which devotees at the time were unprepared to do. Now, granted, he believed the Mahāyāna scriptures recorded a later final decision by the Buddha to ban all meat consumption, but putting that aside it is clear that Śākyamuni Buddha did forbid the consumption of various kinds of meat.

As to why it is not so clear. For example, in the Mahāsāṃghika Vinaya it relates that a bhikṣu consumed some vulture meat, whereupon some vultures followed the bhikṣus into the forest, squawking at them. They went to speak to the Buddha about this who then forbid the consumption of vulture meat. Was it just that harassment of the birds that brought about this rule, or was it something else?

Incidentally, he also forbid monks from destroying trees and plants. This being inappropriate and the Buddha felt strongly about it. This again perhaps reflects the possibility that plants are sentient.


I wonder why this list specifically and not other animals...? And was this purely for the Vinaya (part of their many vows?) or for lay persons as well?

Perhaps irrelevant, but I'm also noticing that with the exception of Lion and Vulture, the rest are 'companion' animals (like pets) to humans in different cultures...

I find it interesting about forbidding the destruction of trees and plants. There's something profound in that one.

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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby LastLegend » Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:20 pm

Certain food is not good for the body. Some food can boost sex drive.

Muslims don't eat animals such as dogs and pigs. Dogs have the tendency to go crazy and stray...in the summer, many dogs become ill mannered and go stray. I know that from living in Vietnam when I was younger. Pigs live in the mud, eat anything, and lay around all the day. Animals such as cows and goats are preferred instead.
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Mr. G » Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:43 am

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    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby username » Fri Jun 15, 2012 1:02 am

People living in the city are often called cruel but in fact the opposite is true. I have heard of cases where animals are set to kill other animals by those claiming to be tree huggers.

Tara wrote:A recent New Scientist article which may be of interest "Plants may be able to 'hear' others"

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg2 ... thers.html

Though the research is at an early stage, the results are worth pursuing, says Richard Karban of the University of California-Davis. They do suggest that plants have an as-yet-unidentified means of communication, he says, though it is not clear what that might be.


Regards,


Interesting. Cheers.
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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Nemo » Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:31 am

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Re: Plant Sentient

Postby Kunga Lhadzom » Fri Jun 15, 2012 3:21 pm

LOL
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