Laurens wrote:His words are 'craving to evolve' not 'craving sex' or 'craving to reproduce'...
I don't see how there could be a beef!
a definition of the intrasitive verb 'evolve': To undergo gradual change [Latin volvere, to unroll : ex- + volvere, to roll]
Samsara wiki entry: "Samsara means 'to flow on', to perpetually wander, to pass through states of existence.
Saṃsāra, literally meaning "continuous flow", is the cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth."
Ajahn Brahm is translating the Buddhist/Pali word 'Taṇhā' which wiki says: "literally means 'thirst,' and figuratively denotes unwholesome 'desire' or "craving,' and is traditionally juxtaposed with 'peace of mind' (upekkha). The most basic of these meanings (the literal meaning) is "thirst"; however, in Buddhism it has a technical meaning that is much broader. In part due to the variety of possible translations, taṇhā is sometimes used as an untranslated technical term by authors writing about Buddhism.
In the framework of the Four Noble Truths, the second truth identifies taṇhā as the origin of suffering (dukkha). This is elaborated upon more fully in the Twelve Nidanas of Dependent Origination in which taṇhā is the eighth link.
In the Pali Canon, several discourses explicitly refer to three types of craving:
* craving for "sensuality" or "sensual pleasures" (kāma-taṇhā)
* craving for "becoming" or "existence" (bhava-taṇhā)
* craving for "no becoming" or "non-existence" or "extermination" (vibhava-taṇhā)
Buddhist teachings describe the craving for sense objects which provide pleasant feeling, or craving for sensory pleasures. Taṇhā is a term for wishing to have or wishing to obtain. It also encompasses the negative as in wishing not to have. We can crave for pleasant feelings to be present, and for unpleasant feelings not to be present (i.e., to get rid of unpleasant feelings).
The origin of Taṇhā (craving, unwholesome desire, wish, thirst), extends beyond the desire for material objects or sense pleasures. It also includes the desire for life (or death, in the case of someone wishing to commit suicide), the desire for fame (or infamy, its opposite), the desire for sleep, the desire for mental or emotional states (e.g., happiness, joy, rapture, love) if they are not present and one would like them to be. If we experience, say depression or sorrow, we can desire its opposite. The origin of Taṇhā is far-reaching and covers all craving, irrespective of its intensity.
bacteria is incapable of conciousness, or craving and desire.
(Consciousness = Citta?) Now how can I find out the truth of these statements about tanha and evolution/conscious changing of states through my own personal experience? Better examine my own consciousness first...a little samatha, a little vipassana...Brahm was right about my evolution!!! Regarding bacteria, the best I can do at this point is wiki:
"Despite their apparent simplicity, bacteria can form complex associations with other organisms. These symbiotic associations can be divided into parasitism, mutualism and commensalism. Due to their small size, commensal bacteria are ubiquitous and grow on animals and plants exactly as they will grow on any other surface. However, their growth can be increased by warmth and sweat, and large populations of these organisms in humans are the cause of body odor.
Some species of bacteria kill and then consume other microorganisms, these species called predatory bacteria. These include organisms such as Myxococcus xanthus, which forms swarms of cells that kill and digest any bacteria they encounter. Other bacterial predators either attach to their prey in order to digest them and absorb nutrients, such as Vampirococcus, or invade another cell and multiply inside the cytosol, such as Daptobacter. These predatory bacteria are thought to have evolved from saprophages that consumed dead microorganisms, through adaptations that allowed them to entrap and kill other organisms.
Certain bacteria form close spatial associations that are essential for their survival. One such mutualistic association, called interspecies hydrogen transfer, occurs between clusters of anaerobic bacteria that consume organic acids such as butyric acid or propionic acid and produce hydrogen, and methanogenic Archaea that consume hydrogen. The bacteria in this association are unable to consume the organic acids as this reaction produces hydrogen that accumulates in their surroundings. Only the intimate association with the hydrogen-consuming Archaea keeps the hydrogen concentration low enough to allow the bacteria to grow."
Wowee they appear to function just like I do, killing, eating, reproducing, making simple choices with Taṇhā.
Again how can craving and desire have an impact upon genetic mutations?
Cause/effect relationships get easier to see with a little Dhamma study and meditation. The horse, the bacteria, the baby growing into a man, the carrot...none of them exist in isolation and no single one of them alone at one point in time is responsible for the entirety of the next moment--the entire history of everything plays a part in the making of the next moment.
The earliest known ancestors of horses were tiny in comparison to modern day horses, this was not because they decided 'I really want to be taller' - it was because for whatever reason, natural selection favoured the genes for tallness
So, natural selection is a creature with consciousness but bacterium isn't? What exactly does the natural selecting? It's a combination of multitudes of simple decisions, involving Taṇhā. The horse doesn't need to desire a bigger body. A lion might desire to eat the smaller, slower horse, leaving the big one to reproduce, which it also desires to do, after eating a carrot and kicking the last Neanderthal man in the head. AHHH the last neanderthal man is dead now, by natural selection AND Taṇhā. What a tangle!