shel wrote:He grasps dependent origination better than many in a small group of varied individual who visit a Buddhist online forum. Hmm... impressive!
So much venom. Why? Whats the point
shel wrote:A lot of words to merely say what anyone would agree with, that we can predict future events. If it matters to you, the subject was knowing the future, not predicting the future. This is relation to omniscience. Omniscience is about knowing and not guessing. I hope you world agree that there is a difference between knowing and predicting.
Actually its impossible to know the whole future (which is presumably infinite) with absolute certainty because if the future was absolutely certain, then there is no free will, no real karma, and we can't change anything so there is no reason to practice Dharma or do anything at all. Omniscience and prescience are different things, just because a Buddha is omniscient doesn't mean that the Buddha will see the causal universe as an immutable unfolding of pre-determined events. In fact there is no basis in any scripture that I can think of to support that idea, however what is said about karma, change, rebirth and so forth as well as the extent and duration of samsara indicates that events are not pre-determined, and that things can go one way or another. If you understood what Buddhism teaches about the empty but appearing nature of reality, it would be clear to you that there is no actual omniscience *outside of* realizing ones own Buddha nature. Once one is fully enlightened, thats it, you know everything, you're done. Hence "The Path of No More Learning". Literally there is nothing else to learn at that point, so such a being is called "Omniscient" because they know everything there is to know.
From the absolute standpoint, anyone who realizes the true nature of reality in themselves becomes a Buddha and obtains omniscience. Why? Because if you know the true face of reality and abide in that, then you also understand the true nature of every phenomenal appearance whatsoever and have totally transcended the three times. In that sense you are all knowing because there is nothing which can appear to cause you delusion, confusion, ignorance or distraction. In essence, there is nothing in the universe you do not comprehend from the ultimate level and view, and so are omniscient in regards to all phenomenal appearances and the true nature of all beings. Since all relative knowledge is only a dream like appearance anyways, from the ultimate point of view there are no facts to learn, remember, or calculate with. So wondering whether or not a Buddha knows rocket science is totally moot, a Buddha knows all there is to *actually* know and in that sense is omniscient. Factual knowledge is the food of a deluded mind. Since there is nothing of substance to know outside of a Buddhas realization, there is no basis for forming an argument for or against a Buddha knowing worldly facts, since those facts never existed in the first place, and this is regardless of whether or not a Buddha would know such facts. Even if they did, they would place little to no importance on them and only use them as skillful means to guide others to liberation, and would only seek such facts if it were to be of use to a sentient being achieving realization.
So you don't know if a Buddha knows factual knowledge. I don't know either.
Im saying that it not only doesn't matter, but its not even possible for omniscience to have that meaning because to apply the concept of omniscience to relative/factual knowledge is to totally discard the fact that such knowledge is not real in the first place.
There is also a major problem with omniscience meaning relative/factual knowledge because the process of becoming omniscient would go on forever. Since the universe is presumably infinite, with infinite worlds, sentient beings, and so forth, and every moment everything changes and so new kinds and arrangements of knowledge are born constantly, a Buddhas mind would instantly become preoccupied with an endless "download" of information that would actually have no end. Buddahood would be a form of imprisonment, and the mind would be constantly assailed with a barrage of almost entirely useless facts. There is no basis anywhere to support the idea that this is what happens when we reach enlightenment, and since this is the only logical conclusion to omniscience meaning knowing every detail of samsara, it shows that omniscience is not that. It could not happen in an instant not only because every moment brings new unfoldings of new details of samsara, but also to "know" something you must first have it in memory, you have to be able to "recall" it otherwise its not known, but since there would be new knowledge every moment, it would be forever impossible to ever know every detail of samsara since new details would arise every (ultimately an indivisible and itself infinite) moment.
So my whole point is this. Prescience is a skill of mental calculation, and there are things that can be known with 100% accuracy. Omniscience implies having understood the nature of all phenomena, it implies perfect Buddhahood. An Omniscient Buddha has much, much more far reaching prescience than a non Buddha. Furthermore the limits of that prescience might be unlimited, meaning they could see as far as they wanted whenever they wanted. However, the primary motivating factor for the powers and activity of a Buddha is the spontaneous compassion that arises as a result of the needs of sentient beings and their suffering.