How to explain being that splitting into two beings?

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How to explain being that splitting into two beings?

Postby faraway » Tue Feb 04, 2014 4:39 pm

Some animals like Planarian Flatworm and hydra when cut into two or several pieces, the pieces can regrow into separeted beings.

From wikipedia of Planarian Flatworm:
Planaria can be cut into pieces, and each piece can regenerate into a complete organism. Cells at the location of the wound site proliferate to form a blastema that will differentiate into new tissues and regenerate the missing parts of the piece of the cut planaria. It's this feature that gave them the famous designation of being "immortal under the edge of a knife." Very small pieces of the planarian, estimated to be as little as 1/279th of the organism it is cut from, can regenerate back into a complete organism over the course of a few weeks. New tissues can grow due to pluripotent stem cells that have the ability to create all the various cell types. These adult stem cells are called neoblasts, which comprise around 20% of cells in the adult animal. They are the only proliferating cells in the worm, and they differentiate into progeny that replace older cells. In addition, existing tissue is remodeled to restore symmetry and proportion of the new planaria that forms from a piece of a cut up organism.

The organism itself does not have to be completely cut into separate pieces for the regeneration phenomenon to be witnessed. In fact, if the head of a planaria is cut in half down its centre, and each side retained on the organism, it is possible for the planaria to regenerate two heads and continue to live.

What do you think when Planarian worm is bisected into half, then the anterior part would regenerate a new tail and posterior part would regenerates a new head, in that case, does a new consciousness is being reborn into the posterior part?

The Buddha talked about Four Kinds of Generation in Maha-sihanada Sutta.

Four Kinds of Generation

32. "Sariputta, there are these four kinds of generation. What are the four? Egg-born generation, womb-born generation, moisture-born generation and spontaneous generation.

33. "What is egg-born generation? There are these beings born by breaking out of the shell of an egg; this is called egg-born generation. What is womb-born generation? There are these beings born by breaking out from the caul; this is called womb-born generation. What is moisture-born generation? There are these beings born in a rotten fish, in a rotten corpse, in rotten dough, in a cesspit, or in a sewer; this is called moisture-born generation. What is spontaneous generation? There are gods and denizens of hell and certain human beings and some beings in the lower worlds; this is called spontaneous generation. These are the four kinds of generation.

Do you think the posterior part regeneration of the planarian flatworm is considered to be moisture-born generation or spontaneous generation?

And I wonder if its head is cut half vertically thus will result into two heads in one body, could it be the worm would die when cut and then two consciousness is being reborn into one body?
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Re: How to explain being that splitting into two beings?

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Feb 04, 2014 5:46 pm

From a Buddhist pov, I would say it is a continuation, transference of sorts of the kamma of the source being. It would not be at odds with Anatta although it would be probably at odds with soul theories. How could the soul divide into 2 or more separate beings? But with Buddhism there is no soul, only a transfer of sorts, continuation of kamma.
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Re: How to explain being that splitting into two beings?

Postby Mkoll » Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:16 pm

I'd guess spontaneous generation in the first case.

And I'd guess the scenario you mentioned is correct in the second.

It's interesting you brought this up. It makes me think about siamese (conjoined) twins...

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Re: How to explain being that splitting into two beings?

Postby SarathW » Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:34 pm

This is a very interesting question!
I have raised similar questions in the past which may help you.
Anyone still quite not sure of Anatta should look into this question to really understand what Buddha thought.
There is only the five aggregate, no beings as such.
The five aggregate can manifest in many possible combination and permutations.
So we are talking about millions of possible life forms.
Eg. There could be only Rupa but no consciousness or vice versa.

Please also see:
Rebirth consciousness
What is embryo thinking?
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