Questions: Time, Space, Infinity, Sci-Fi, and Tantra

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
[N.B. This is the forum that was called ‘Exploring Buddhism’. The new name simply describes it better.]
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Nilasarasvati
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Questions: Time, Space, Infinity, Sci-Fi, and Tantra

Postby Nilasarasvati » Fri Jun 21, 2013 2:14 am

I wanted to open up a space where people can ask their strangest, most specultative questions and get some answers from the Sutra, Abhidharma, and Tantra experts on here. Or at least some good speculations from fellow Dharmadorks and closet Jedi masters.



One thing I've always been sort of baffled by--how is it that, if time and space are as fabricated/elastic/relative as even Western physicists admit, even very "nondual" aspects of Tantra and Prajnaparamita are very much time-oriented, space-limited, and for lack of a better word sort of anthropocentric?

To put it into some examples:

Why can't Buddhas emanate forms "backwards" through time? I.E. If I'm really taking the result as the path, why can't the future perfect omniscience of my mindstream instantaneously...accomplish all dharmas for me right now? (or is that just what the innermost secret guru really is?)

This question is a big one for me: Is there any mention anywhere that you could have had like 100,000 lifetimes in the equivalent of a single second of "real time." Like could I have been an Indra, a hell being, and fourteen thousand arthropods between dying in 1950 and being reborn in a human body in 1986?


Because once you get into the mathematics of infinity...it doesn't really matter, right? The Sutras say every single point in space you've lived and died innumerable times, so why does it not follow that between any two lifetimes, I could have an infinite amount of rebirths in other lokas and dimensions?

If there are infinite universes and types of beings etc. (or at least, 84,000--not that that number is literal) why are Buddhas always imagined and depicted as like carbon copies of Shakyamuni, robes and usnisa and all? Why don't we hear about like...jabba the hutt Munis and giant cubic psychadelic form-deity Munis? I've heard the dharma was expounded to alien/otherworldly beings in really equally alien ways (like the scent-absorbing dharma beings). It makes me wonder if my refuge tree should include some Buddhas that look like glowing slugs or Chewbaccas.


Image

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Re: Questions: Time, Space, Infinity, Sci-Fi, and Tantra

Postby smcj » Fri Jun 21, 2013 2:57 am

Don't take me too seriously.

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Re: Questions: Time, Space, Infinity, Sci-Fi, and Tantra

Postby Zhen Li » Fri Jun 21, 2013 3:15 am


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Re: Questions: Time, Space, Infinity, Sci-Fi, and Tantra

Postby Nilasarasvati » Fri Jun 21, 2013 4:07 am

Of all the texts I have to approach,
it's the one on the highest branch of the tree.

I still weigh too much to get up there. :thinking: Hopefully this madhyamikavatara diet will help me lose some weight.

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Re: Questions: Time, Space, Infinity, Sci-Fi, and Tantra

Postby smcj » Fri Jun 21, 2013 4:21 am

Don't take me too seriously.

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Re: Questions: Time, Space, Infinity, Sci-Fi, and Tantra

Postby Zhen Li » Fri Jun 21, 2013 5:25 am


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Re: Questions: Time, Space, Infinity, Sci-Fi, and Tantra

Postby DGA » Fri Jun 21, 2013 2:14 pm

And then the Bene Gesserit took over DharmaWheel.

I'd like a spice coffee to go... my stillsuit has a cupholder. You can keep the gom jabbar, thanks

#nothingtocontribute

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Re: Questions: Time, Space, Infinity, Sci-Fi, and Tantra

Postby Nilasarasvati » Fri Jun 21, 2013 3:11 pm


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Re: Questions: Time, Space, Infinity, Sci-Fi, and Tantra

Postby Admin_PC » Fri Jun 21, 2013 10:31 pm


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Re: Questions: Time, Space, Infinity, Sci-Fi, and Tantra

Postby Nilasarasvati » Fri Jun 21, 2013 11:00 pm

No, you attain a level up to the 2nd Bhumi.

Seriously though, why doesn't anybody want to speculate about Portugese-man-o-war gelatinous Munis?

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Re: Questions: Time, Space, Infinity, Sci-Fi, and Tantra

Postby Wayfarer » Sat Jun 22, 2013 2:03 am

The word 'anthropos' is a Greek term for 'human' or 'man' but in the gnostic religions, had rather more significance as the 'primal man' or the true form of man. So it is interesting that you start this thread by wondering why Buddhism is 'anthropocentric'. It seems the modern imagination is really wedded to the notion that if there are other life-forms in the Universe, then they must be like the characters in the bar-scene in Star Wars. I think that is probably more anthropocentric, than the recognition of the human form as the logical expression of the principle of emanation. So this would imply that evolutionary processes are inclined to converge on a form something like the human. Of course we don't have any evidence one way or the other, but Simon Conway Morris' theories on 'evolutionary convergence' are suggestive of such an idea (see .)
In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few ~ Suzuki-roshi

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Re: Questions: Time, Space, Infinity, Sci-Fi, and Tantra

Postby smcj » Sat Jun 22, 2013 2:14 am

Context is everything. The section of the book that the quote comes from is about Buddha Activity. It is explaining how the formless Dharmakaya benefits beings by manifesting the two form kayas of the Sambogakaya and Nirmanakaya. No thought or effort is involved it is stated.

Seems less alarming when it is put that way, doesn't it? But my translation (tr. Holmes from Tibetan) does largely agree with that quote.

It should be noted that this is the most important text on Buddha Nature to come out of India, and that the ideas contained in it are found through what we take for granted as 'Dharma', such as we all have the seed of enlightenment within us, etc.
Don't take me too seriously.

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Re: Questions: Time, Space, Infinity, Sci-Fi, and Tantra

Postby Nilasarasvati » Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:06 am


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Re: Questions: Time, Space, Infinity, Sci-Fi, and Tantra

Postby Admin_PC » Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:53 am


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Re: Questions: Time, Space, Infinity, Sci-Fi, and Tantra

Postby Nilasarasvati » Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:59 am

!!! sounds disappointing. That was always the coolest moment in that whole story.

Image

Anyway.

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Re: Questions: Time, Space, Infinity, Sci-Fi, and Tantra

Postby Admin_PC » Sat Jun 22, 2013 5:46 am

That image is so much more serene than the descriptions i've heard/read of Krishna shoveling combatants into his fanged mouth saying, "now get in there and do your duty (dharma), it's already been decided."

One thing I did learn from the movie that I didn't realize, was how much it was about Arjun(a) getting over his fears.
In the Pali canon, when the Buddha lists the occupations that one should do well if one is employed as such is as an archer in the king's army.
I wonder if this is a direct shout-out to Arjuna and I have to think that the Buddha himself understood the reality of those living in samsara - where a government that does not protect the people is doomed to failure.

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Re: Questions: Time, Space, Infinity, Sci-Fi, and Tantra

Postby lobster » Sat Jun 22, 2013 7:59 am

What a great thread for the multi dimensional dancing dakinis . . .

The myriad forms of the enlightened aliens, the more than 3 dimension beings and so on are hard to comprehend.
In some expressions even the Sith are good guys . . . (far too advanced for most of us . . . especially me) :alien:
http://youtu.be/8Q_GQqUg6Ts

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Re: Questions: Time, Space, Infinity, Sci-Fi, and Tantra

Postby Grigoris » Sat Jun 22, 2013 10:10 am

"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Questions: Time, Space, Infinity, Sci-Fi, and Tantra

Postby wisdom » Sat Jun 22, 2013 11:25 pm



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