Why life does not really exist

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Why life does not really exist

Postby cooran » Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:59 am

Hello all,

Interesting article:
Why life does not really exist
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/bra ... lly-exist/

With metta,
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: Why life does not really exist

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Thu Dec 05, 2013 10:19 am

Thanks Chris!
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

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Re: Why life does not really exist

Postby Sokehi » Thu Dec 05, 2013 10:27 am

good find, thanks for sharing!
Get the wanting out of waiting

What does womanhood matter at all, when the mind is concentrated well, when knowledge flows on steadily as one sees correctly into Dhamma. One to whom it might occur, ‘I am a woman’ or ‘I am a man’ or ‘I’m anything at all’ is fit for Mara to address. – SN 5.2

If they take what's yours, tell yourself that you're making it a gift.
Otherwise there will be no end to the animosity. - Ajahn Fuang Jotiko

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Re: Why life does not really exist

Postby chownah » Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:35 pm

In physics it is said that the overall condition of existence is that there is a continual decrease in the orderedness of the stuff the universe is made of..........life seems to be a process which violates that decrease......life seems to be continually taking materials with little orderliness and imposing order.
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Re: Why life does not really exist

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:34 pm

cooran wrote:Why life does not really exist



Is this something else for me to worry about? :shock:

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Re: Why life does not really exist

Postby Kare » Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:16 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
cooran wrote:Why life does not really exist



Is this something else for me to worry about? :shock:

:jumping:


Image

What, Me Worry?
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Re: Why life does not really exist

Postby Mkoll » Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:49 pm

chownah wrote:In physics it is said that the overall condition of existence is that there is a continual decrease in the orderedness of the stuff the universe is made of..........life seems to be a process which violates that decrease......life seems to be continually taking materials with little orderliness and imposing order.
chownah

Correct me if I'm wrong.

When more order is created somewhere, there is more disorder created elsewhere. So life doesn't violate the law of entropy. The energy of the universe is constant but its entropy is increasing.
Peace,
James
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Re: Why life does not really exist

Postby Mkoll » Thu Dec 05, 2013 8:32 pm

Great article, thank you for sharing, cooran. This was my favorite paragraph (my emphasis added):

Why is defining life so frustratingly difficult? Why have scientists and philosophers failed for centuries to find a specific physical property or set of properties that clearly separates the living from the inanimate? Because such a property does not exist. Life is a concept that we invented. On the most fundamental level, all matter that exists is an arrangement of atoms and their constituent particles. These arrangements fall onto an immense spectrum of complexity, from a single hydrogen atom to something as intricate as a brain. In trying to define life, we have drawn a line at an arbitrary level of complexity and declared that everything above that border is alive and everything below it is not. In truth, this division does not exist outside the mind. There is no threshold at which a collection of atoms suddenly becomes alive, no categorical distinction between the living and inanimate, no Frankensteinian spark. We have failed to define life because there was never anything to define in the first place.


I don't think the author meant it this way, but I find that last sentence very "anatta", don't you think? :tongue:

:anjali:
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James
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Re: Why life does not really exist

Postby kirk5a » Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:40 pm

Nevertheless, the author was able to tell the difference between a live cat and a dead one.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: Why life does not really exist

Postby SarathW » Thu Dec 05, 2013 11:30 pm

In this article author says:
“Life is a concept that we invented.”
========================

This is very similar to Abhidhamma teaching that the life is a Cetasika and come under Universal Mental Factors.

" Psychic life (jiivitindriya), the vital force supporting and maintaining the other mental factors".
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el322.html
=====================
Buddhism also teaches that you find Psychi life in plants as well.

=========
How the life is crated on earth is well explained in Visudhimaga.
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Re: Why life does not really exist

Postby robertk » Thu Dec 05, 2013 11:32 pm

SarathW wrote:In this article author says:
“Life is a concept that we invented.”
========================
=====================
Buddhism also teaches that you find Psychi life in plants as well.

=======.

Does it. Do you have the citation for this
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Re: Why life does not really exist

Postby SarathW » Thu Dec 05, 2013 11:45 pm

7. Jãvitindriya—
Jãvita = life; + Indriya = controlling faculty or principle.
It is called Jãvita because it sustains its co-associates.
It is called Indriya because it controls its co-associates.
Although Cetanà determines the activities of all mental
states, it is Jãvitindriya that infuses life into Cetanà and
other concomitants.
Jãvitindriya is twofold—namely, psychic life (Nàma-
Jãvitindriya) and physical life (Råpa-Jãvitindriya). Mental
States are vitalized by psychic life, while material phenomena
are vitalized by physical life.
As lotuses are sustained by water, an infant is sustained
by a nurse, so are mental states and material phenomena
sustained by Jãvitindriya.
One Råpa-Jãvitindriya lasts for seventeen thoughtmoments.
Seventeen Nàma-Jãvitindriyas arise and perish
during the brief life of one Råpa-Jãvitindriya.
There is a certain kind of Råpa-Jãvitindriya in plant
life. But, Råpa-Jãvitindriya in men and animals is differentiated
from that which exists in plants because the former
is conditioned by past Kamma.

P109:
http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/abhidhamma.pdf
Last edited by SarathW on Fri Dec 06, 2013 12:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why life does not really exist

Postby Mkoll » Thu Dec 05, 2013 11:52 pm

SarathW wrote:Theravadan Buddhist Abhidhamma also teaches that you find Psychic life in plants as well.

I amended that. Hope you don't mind.

Or does someone have a canon reference?
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James
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Re: Why life does not really exist

Postby chownah » Fri Dec 06, 2013 4:14 am

Mkoll wrote:
chownah wrote:In physics it is said that the overall condition of existence is that there is a continual decrease in the orderedness of the stuff the universe is made of..........life seems to be a process which violates that decrease......life seems to be continually taking materials with little orderliness and imposing order.
chownah

Correct me if I'm wrong.

When more order is created somewhere, there is more disorder created elsewhere. So life doesn't violate the law of entropy. The energy of the universe is constant but its entropy is increasing.

I don't know if you are wrong......entropy is something I've not studied much........do you know of a good link that talks about life vis a vis entropy?
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Re: Why life does not really exist

Postby robertk » Fri Dec 06, 2013 8:01 am

Thanks sarathw
That quote seems incorrect.
Jivitindriya only arises wirh the groups of rupas produced by kamma .

The matter making up plants are tejo produced and never by kamma: so i think there is no jivitindriya associated with plants
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Re: Why life does not really exist

Postby robertk » Fri Dec 06, 2013 8:10 am

Thanks sarathw
That quote seems incorrect.
Jivitindriya only arises wirh the groups of Rupas [edit, by robert]produced by kamma .

The matter making up plants are tejo produced and never by kamma: there is no jivitindriya at all associated with plants
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Re: Why life does not really exist

Postby SarathW » Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:12 am

It says:
There is a certain kind of Råpa-Jãvitindriya in plant
life.
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Re: Why life does not really exist

Postby robertk » Fri Dec 06, 2013 1:58 pm

SarathW wrote:It says:
There is a certain kind of Råpa-Jãvitindriya in plant
life.

yes, as I said, it is wrong.
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Re: Why life does not really exist

Postby Dhammanando » Fri Dec 06, 2013 2:29 pm

SarathW wrote:It says:
There is a certain kind of Råpa-Jãvitindriya in plant life.


That plants and the earth have kāya-indriya is mentioned in the Vinaya, but as a view of the Nigaṇṭhas and Acelakas, not the Buddha.

    ______________________________________

    Now at that time the monks of Alavi, making repairs, dug the ground and had it dug. People looked down upon, criticised, spread it about, saying: “How can these samanas, sons of the Sakyans, dig the ground and have it dug? These samanas, sons of the Sakyans, are harming life that is one-facultied (ekindriyaṃ jīvaṃ).”

    ______________________________________

    Now at that time the monks of Alavi, making repairs, were cutting down trees and having them cut down [...] People looked down upon, criticised, spread it about, saying: “How can these samanas, sons of the Sakyans, cut down trees and have them cut down? These samanas, sons of the Sakyans, are harming life that is one-facultied (ekindriyaṃ jīvaṃ).”

    ______________________________________

    Commentary:

    “Ekindriyan” ti kāyindriyeneva ekindriyaṃ, nigaṇṭhānaṃ acelakānaṃ mataṃ.

    “One-facultied” means having just the body-faculty as their one faculty, as supposed by Jains and naked ascetics.

    ______________________________________
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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