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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:32 am 
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himalayanspirit wrote:
I would like to know what lies ahead for humanity.

What lies ahead for you? Change!
What lies ahead for me? Change!
What lies ahead for everyone we know? Change!
What lies ahead for all of humanity? Change!
Is there anything else that you, I, everyone we know, and all of humanity might need in terms of a future?
Change!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:16 pm 
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The study of future is an existing field of knowledge and of science. There are many persons, companies and institutions involved in it, it is not a laughing stock.
http://www.trendsresearch.com/index.php
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Futures_studies

This means we know lot more about future than you normally realize.

I think Jeremy Rifkin is an authority in this field. I have often read his thoughts, I find them uplifting, even when they deal with the depressing issues of our era.
http://www.foet.org/ The Foundation on Economic Trends

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:39 am 
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Why so quiet ?
If we add together the Precambrian era with Cambrian and other eras we get roughly 4500 million years. If you believe in reincarnation, and especially if you believe that you have lived here on planet Earth, it follows logically that 99,9% of your lives have been in nonhuman form. If you believe in reincarnation you should have some intuitions or experiences about it.
(This means your lives during this present eon or kalpa, which is here understood as including Precambrian, Cambrian and other eras.)
What are your views, visions or experiences concerning your lives and reincarnations here on planet Earth? -Or elsewhere?

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 3:34 pm 
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You tend to forget that we do not just take birth on this planet, as a desire realm being, or even in this world system. It is true though that 99.999% of our previous lives have been non-human since this human existence, as the teachers like to remind us, is exceedingly rare!
:namaste:

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 7:56 pm 
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We could consider another option: other worlds (planets) where there are humans.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 8:39 pm 
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Nosta wrote:
We could consider another option: other worlds (planets) where there are humans.


Don't have to be humans. Just human level sentience.

Kirt

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:35 pm 
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kirtu wrote:
Nosta wrote:
We could consider another option: other worlds (planets) where there are humans.


Don't have to be humans. Just human level sentience.

Kirt


Huh? I thought were talking about intelligent life here.

Srsly I thought I'd kite a Catmoon theory here. If human rebirth was really unlikely, as in the tortoise in the sea story, then only a tiny fraction of us will still be here and human in our next incarnation. It is also exceedingly unlikely that beings from other realms will manage to replace the population here. They can't come from elsewhere, since elsewhere will have the same problem. So it seems humans should simply cease to exist within a very few generations.

The only way I can make sense of this is to assume the rarity only applies to making the lower realm -> human transition, and once here, the most probable rebirth is to remain human.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:00 pm 
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catmoon wrote:
... So it seems humans should simply cease to exist within a very few generations.
That is what the Buddhist theory in regards to Yugas says anyway. Existence is slowly destroyed starting from the lowest levels and reaching up to a certain level of the God realms and when the destructive force (fire, water...) subsides beings are reborn from the god realms back into the lower realms thus repopulating the world system.
:namaste:

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 9:03 pm 
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Furthermore, there are in the vicinity of our galaxy a thousand worlds, meaning living planets. There are also a thousand galaxies each filled with a thousand worlds in our vicinity, and still a thousand of those, so that ultimately we are clustered with about a billion worlds. At the eighth destruction or "fading" of a sense world "by fire," there occurs the destruction of an entire galactic system, "by water". At the sixty-fourth destruction term of a world, comes the destruction of a thousand galaxies of worlds, "by wind". The spheres above those spheres are never destroyed, because they are so vast and the beings dwelling in them are so numerous and live so long.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:19 am 
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gregkavarnos wrote:
You tend to forget that we do not just take birth on this planet, as a desire realm being, or even in this world system. It is true though that 99.999% of our previous lives have been non-human since this human existence, as the teachers like to remind us, is exceedingly rare!
:namaste:


Is that your personal feeling when you contemplate through all the geological eras on this planet? I.e. that you have been in some other world, or other world system, meanwhile? What are your genuine feelings when you look through or think about the geological eras on Planet Earth?

It is good that you can so easily give up the attachment to human form, and you can consider it a fact that you have taken birth in other forms of life, even in the forms that have been the prevailing life forms on this planet for thousand million or more years before the appearance of humans.

In my experience most european people who accept reincarnation are exceedingly reluctant to give up their identification with the human form, and thus they interpret reincarnation to mean only births in different human forms. Or then they don't think about it at all, because this question has not really been explained in the existing buddhist literature. Not to my knowledge anyway, there must be thousands or ten thousands books on buddhism now that I haven't read, which means I don't claim have definite knowledge about its status in buddhist literature.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:11 pm 
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Aemilius wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:
You tend to forget that we do not just take birth on this planet, as a desire realm being, or even in this world system. It is true though that 99.999% of our previous lives have been non-human since this human existence, as the teachers like to remind us, is exceedingly rare!
:namaste:


Is that your personal feeling when you contemplate through all the geological eras on this planet?

It's not personal. It's a logical conclusion based on Buddhist teachings.

Quote:
In my experience most european people who accept reincarnation are exceedingly reluctant to give up their identification with the human form, and thus they interpret reincarnation to mean only births in different human forms.


The lower devas are the same way, and I would speculate that so are the denizens of the animal world as well. Its mostly owed to the attachment of humans to their human life, that they are born into the human world. Do you expect their attachment to mysteriously disappear, in spite of their birth and in spite of the culture they were brought up in as Westerners???
Odd.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:10 am 
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Aemilius wrote:
Is that your personal feeling when you contemplate through all the geological eras on this planet? I.e. that you have been in some other world, or other world system, meanwhile? What are your genuine feelings when you look through or think about the geological eras on Planet Earth?
I can't say I give it much thought really.
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It is good that you can so easily give up the attachment to human form, and you can consider it a fact that you have taken birth in other forms of life, even in the forms that have been the prevailing life forms on this planet for thousand million or more years before the appearance of humans.

In my experience most european people who accept reincarnation are exceedingly reluctant to give up their identification with the human form, and thus they interpret reincarnation to mean only births in different human forms. Or then they don't think about it at all, because this question has not really been explained in the existing buddhist literature. Not to my knowledge anyway, there must be thousands or ten thousands books on buddhism now that I haven't read, which means I don't claim have definite knowledge about its status in buddhist literature.
It's actually one of my pet hates about most non-Buddhist/Hindu past life theorists/practitioners. They are always reincarnations of some member of royalty or such. They are rarely the scum sucking peasant that served the royalty. The pet poodle of the prince. The gastric bacterium in the princesses lower intestine. The cockraoch that was crushed by the kings cook down in the filthy kitchen. etc... Or even something completely unrelated to what we directly observe: a hungry ghost, a hell being. And all those options just within our world system!

Actually when we are taught the "four thoughts that turn the mind towards the Dharma" one of the contemplations we do about the rarity and preciousness of human rebirth is to take a square kilometre of earth (like the square kilometre around where we are sitting) and consider how many humans dwell there, how many animals, insects, bacteria, etc... How may purely mental beings (take for example when you do a refuge tree visualisation, how many mental beings exist in the space when you do that?) exist there, etc... Then we can clearly see how precious and rare this human existence really is.

Based on this logic it clearly stands to reason then that we have passed through many-many-many more non-human existences than human ones.
:namaste:

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:05 pm 
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Son wrote:
[The lower devas are the same way, and I would speculate that so are the denizens of the animal world as well. Its mostly owed to the attachment of humans to their human life, that they are born into the human world. Do you expect their attachment to mysteriously disappear, in spite of their birth and in spite of the culture they were brought up in as Westerners???
Odd.


This attachment is included in the Skandha Mara, and it is very strong, an almost invincible form of ignorance. The Buddha's point is that we have all seen that there are dead people, and thus we should be aware that our form is impermanent, or at least we could be aware of it. Then we could conclude that we are not this body. And so on...
All this regardless of the culture we are born in. Buddha says that Dharma is before our eyes all the time, regardless of the place and time we are born in.
There have always been persons who didn't believe what they were told by parents and authorities. Persons who concluded that what they have been taught is contrary to reason.
The attachment to form can disappear because of the experience of impermanence and suffering of life, and because of right thinking.That is universal on all continents, during all times and ages.

According to buddhism attachment to human form doesn't guarantee a human rebirth, -if that is what you wanted to say?

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:38 pm 
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gregkavarnos wrote:
Aemilius wrote:
Is that your personal feeling when you contemplate through all the geological eras on this planet? I.e. that you have been in some other world, or other world system, meanwhile? What are your genuine feelings when you look through or think about the geological eras on Planet Earth?
I can't say I give it much thought really.
:namaste:


This question is essential for modern buddhism, and buddhist teachers should have some form of explanation about it.
I try to reformulate it again, if it is boring repetition it is still necessary. That is to say:
1.On Planet Earth there have been forms of life and living creatures for a thousand million years before the advent of human beings. According to modern science.
2. How do we interpret the reincarnation scheme of the six lokas during this first thousand million years? Or the first three thousand million years? Especially concerning the beings that are born as the present humanity.
3. Is there a basis for this view in the Abhidharma and Sutra pitakas? They nevertheless say that reincarnation is beginningless, and therefore we have existed during the mentioned geological eras.
4. If you want to counteract the teaching of Batchelor et al you must have a coherent teaching of reincarnation, a teaching that explains the geological eras in a logical and believable way.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:37 pm 
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You are aware, of course, that there is more than one world system out there?
And I imagine that you read Kirtu's statement:
Quote:
Don't have to be humans. Just human level sentience.
So maybe you can start getting over this "geological" obsession of yours?
Quote:
If you want to counteract the teaching of Batchelor et al you must have a coherent teaching of reincarnation, a teaching that explains the geological eras in a logical and believable way.
We do have a coherent teaching on reincarnation, it's called the Buddha Dharma.
:namaste:

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 11:33 am 
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To be a real theory it must be applicable to practical reality, to existing facts. This means that reincarnation is a useless theory/teaching, if it can't be applied to existence on planet Earth in a real way!!

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:03 pm 
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What are you talking about? Has everything that has been said up until now just flashed straight past you or something?

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 3:01 pm 
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According the (e)book of Michael Cremo and Richar Thompson, there are ignored evidences of human ancrestrals. They argue that human race is much far older than the 2 000 000 - 4 000 000 years usually taught. It seems that humans can be much more older than that...really much more.

I also believe that every time that occurs the end of an universe and the start of a new bigbang, humans will reapear again at some moment. Just my opinion of course.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 8:27 pm 
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Aemilius wrote:



1.On Planet Earth there have been forms of life and living creatures for a thousand million years before the advent of human beings. According to modern science.
2. How do we interpret the reincarnation scheme of the six lokas during this first thousand million years? Or the first three thousand million years? Especially concerning the beings that are born as the present humanity.
3. Is there a basis for this view in the Abhidharma and Sutra pitakas? They nevertheless say that reincarnation is beginningless, and therefore we have existed during the mentioned geological eras.
4. If you want to counteract the teaching of Batchelor et al you must have a coherent teaching of reincarnation, a teaching that explains the geological eras in a logical and believable way.


Are you asking how there could be a human realm before there were humans?

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 4:33 pm 
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Aemilius wrote:



1.On Planet Earth there have been forms of life and living creatures for a thousand million years before the advent of human beings. According to modern science.
2. How do we interpret the reincarnation scheme of the six lokas during this first thousand million years? Or the first three thousand million years? Especially concerning the beings that are born as the present humanity.
3. Is there a basis for this view in the Abhidharma and Sutra pitakas? They nevertheless say that reincarnation is beginningless, and therefore we have existed during the mentioned geological eras.
4. If you want to counteract the teaching of Batchelor et al you must have a coherent teaching of reincarnation, a teaching that explains the geological eras in a logical and believable way.


If we only define "human realm" as meaning mammal/primate/homo sapiens, then yes, of course. You are right. There can be no human realm on Earth before a certain time, before certain conditions arise (it's always about conditions arising). But "human" is only a term that we homo sapiens have invented. When we talk about the "human" realm in Buddhist terms, we are referring to a state of mind which is experiences temporary happiness and sadness, is never fully content, which changes a lot, and so on. It also is a state of mind which can also grasp the teachings of the Dharma.

So, Buddhism is not talking specifically about hairy bipeds. In fact, no two humans are exactly the same. From that aspect, you could even argue that there is really no such thing as a human realm, or of humanity, or the human race. It depends on how you categorize things. We are also a member of the ape family. So, we are also a little bit animal. We can also experience the various traits of the other realms. But usually we do not see hungry ghosts or devas (although we meet people who exhibit some of those qualities), because the conditions are not there for that to happen. We experience humans and animals, because the conditions are there...carbon, water, a suitable planetary environment for now.

This does not mean that the six realms only describe psychological states in literal terms, as is sometimes suggested. When someone asks if the other realms are 'real' or are we just talking about mental states, feeling greedy or horny or proud or jealous whatever, 'real' becomes a problematic term. The other 5 realms are no more 'real' than this one. So, depending on how 'real' your experience if this realm is, you can guess how 'real' a mind experiencing another realm is.

When the dharma texts refer to 'beings wandering in the realms of samsara since beginningless time' or whatever, that is because the mind, or more accurately, the causes of cognition, of awareness, do not depend on one set of physical properties or another, or any duration of time. But when the conditions are right, mind manifests as apparently tangible reality, just as the one we are experiencing right now.
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Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.


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