Science-Earthquake

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Re: Science-Earthquake

Postby Shonin » Sat Oct 02, 2010 10:01 am

I couldn't have put it better myself. :anjali:

Incidentally, while looking into this last night I discovered that there are two versions of this sutta and that this passage is absent from one of them, hinting to the possibility that it may be a later addition. Perhaps this would be more palettable for our friends.
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Re: Science-Earthquake

Postby lojong1 » Sat Oct 02, 2010 10:25 am

This argumento is-establishita Pale, so there may be a hole or two.
Shonin wrote:
lojong1 wrote:
Shonin wrote:The key facts stated by the Buddha here are as follows: 1. The earth is above liquid 2. ...above... 3. ...above...

You mention this elsewhere as a layering one atop another. Patitthita sutta: "Monks, when one quality is established in a monk, the five faculties are developed & developed well. Which one quality? Heedfulness."
Would you say that the monk literally stands above heedfulness?

No. 'Established in' means 'founded or standing within'. 'Established on' means 'founded or standing upon'. The key word describing their relative positions is not 'established' it is the word 'on' (or in your example 'in'). I presume you know what 'on' means? In case there was somehow a doubt about what this means, the other translation I posted makes it doubly clear: "this great earth is supported by water, the water by air, the air by space"

'Patitthita' is the 'established' we're looking at in both the earthquake passage and the Patitthita Sutta. In/within/on/upon/[supported]by -- in Pali, these words can be covered in some circumstances by the locative case attached to the end of a noun or adjective. There is no separate in/within/on/upon/over/under/by in the parts of the quake or Patitthitasutta passages we're looking at. Their meaning--'on/in'--is found in the locative case of the Y on which the nominative X is established and in the verb itself (which here seems to require the locative for completion). The exception is vāto (atmosphere/wind) ākāsaṭṭho (adj: [in?] space) which are both nominative.
Yes, I know what 'on' means.
You favored a second--"explicitly and doubly clear"--translation of the quake's cause...I think Beeble touched on the reasons why.
If you have the passage in Pali please post it.

Without looking back, I'm pretty sure I already posted it in full at least twice, with a tad extra on some of the terms in it.
Some people, when shown a rock, would insist it was an asura.

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Re: Science-Earthquake

Postby Shonin » Sat Oct 02, 2010 10:53 am

I'll add one more thing:

It is only when Buddhists base their views, their faith, on myths and unjustified beliefs that they are vulnerable to the kind of attack and ridicule from the likes of Robert Spence Hardy.

If you establish your home on solid ground (reality) then there is no danger. But your home is insecure if you establish it on...er... magma.
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Re: Science-Earthquake

Postby lojong1 » Sat Oct 02, 2010 10:55 am

Shonin wrote:Incidentally, while looking into this last night I discovered that there are two versions of this sutta and that this passage is absent from one of them, hinting to the possibility that it may be a later addition. Perhaps this would be more palettable for our friends.
Then there were two Buddhas at the same time, which they both claim is impossible...different dimensions...time-traveling Buddha saw all the confusion and went back to fix it...I'll make this work somehow! [what must they think of me?]
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Re: Science-Earthquake

Postby beeblebrox » Sat Oct 02, 2010 3:21 pm

Sanghamitta wrote:Quite so Shonin.
Personally I find it both puzzling and sad that there are those who can only see the enormous riches contained in the Suttas if they take a literalist view of the metaphorical and mythological view of the world view of 2500 years ago which was the psycho social context of the Buddhas teaching and not only was not of the essence of those teachings but was in fact peripheral to them. What is true and timeless about the Suttas is the light they shed on Dukkha and the path to end it. Not magical stories of giant fish or cosmology long ago shown not to have correspondence with physical actuality.
That is to mistake a diamond of huge worth with the box it comes in.
The essence of The Buddhas teaching is in the 8fp , the three signs, D.O. not speculation concerning what amount to creation myths.
We have a lot to actualise with needing to engage in this kind of banter. We are here. Dukkha is real. There is a way out.
Giant fish and the supernatural origin of earthquakes are self indulgence.


Mostly good post, Sanghamitta. This is actually what I've been trying to say. Applying science to the Dhamma is taking a literalist viewpoint of the Dhamma. Shonin seems to think that this kind of view is necessarily anti-science... I've repeatedly said that it's not. I'm glad that Shonin understood your post, at least.

I honestly couldn't figure out why it seems like Shonin couldn't get what I was saying. :tongue: Maybe the posts were set up in a way that just happened to cause my points to lie within his blind spot. If this was set up by me (and not him)... then I really apologize.

I've already said this before (I think), I can tell the difference between the Dhamma and science. I appreciate both of them, within their own terms. I don't mix them if this causes confusion. How is that delusional?

I'd like to go back to the points I tried to make about the so-called "Right View." (Because it's really relevant.)

In Pāli, this is Sammā Diṭṭhi (of course). Several possible translations for this is: the usual "Right View"; "Proper Understanding"; "Compatible Position"; "Harmonious Belief"; "Coincidental Attitude"; "Perfectly Oriented"; Etc.

If you try to look at a dew drop (from many angles), you'll only see the drop; the world reflected within it; the leaf behind it; the sky; a reflection of your face; etc. Only in a certain position (at the angle of 42°, in fact) will you see the rainbow. This is Sammā Diṭṭhi, the point where it becomes harmonious.

If you try this on something else (viewing at the angle of 42°), like a glass of water you will not get the rainbow. You have to view the glass in a different way.

It's the same with the Dhamma and science. Each of them has their own specific angle, where the proper understanding happens. Without this proper alignment, you will not benefit much. That's all I've been trying to say.
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Re: Science-Earthquake

Postby rahula80 » Sat Oct 02, 2010 3:31 pm

Hi,

I just would like to let you all know that I appreciate the discussion that is going on. Thank you.
I wish to gather viewpoints from various Buddhists, I would like to know what you think.
I certainly do not wish to see any of you quarrel because of me or my queries.

Coming back to the topic, it seems more logical, without the help of science (not necessary correct) to think that the space is "supported" by air/wind/atmosphere, and turn supported by water and earth. A heavier things, logically, would support lighter stuff. No?

Best wishes,
Rahula
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Re: Science-Earthquake

Postby rahula80 » Sat Oct 02, 2010 3:48 pm

Hi,

Shonin, can you provide the reference to the other version of the sutta?

Thanks,
Rahula
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Re: Science-Earthquake

Postby Shonin » Sat Oct 02, 2010 4:34 pm

rahula80 wrote:Shonin, can you provide the reference to the other version of the sutta?


OK. These interesting references to it are what I can find quickly:

The multiplicity of the subjects discussed
in the Sutta is a clear indication to its later compilation
which invariably challenges its authenticity. Supernatural
phenomena intermingled with the flow of gentle as
well as realistic occurrences found in the Sutta cannot be
taken as historical truth. It is more plausible to regard
place names such as Gotamatittha and Gotamadvàra found
in the Sutta as names introduced after the demise of the
Buddha.13 Undoubtedly, the list of the causes of earthquakes
can be easily set aside as late material interpolated
in elucidation of the super-human qualities of the Buddha.

The eight causes of earthquakes naturally depict
how the redactors of the Sutta turned apologetic in regard
to giving up of the term of life in order to attain Parinibbana
by the Buddha...

...These eight causes of earthquakes are totally absent in the
Tibetan version of our text.
Rhys Davids, too, observed
that these passages dealing with earthquakes are ‘quite out
of place.’
http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/mission-accomplished.pdf

This must be is a reference to the Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra.
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Re: Science-Earthquake

Postby Sanghamitta » Sat Oct 02, 2010 4:43 pm

Professor I.B Horner also had a keen nose for interpolations, her instincts have been proved correct by subsequent research a number of times. She spent her long and distinguished career virtually macerated in the Pali Canon and has described how she became aware of certain passages that leapt out to her as being of a later and lesser vintage.
Incidentally the late Dr Horner was a cousin of the new abbot of Chithurst Ajahn Amaro...
In some ways Pali scholarship is on a similar position to Biblical scholarship in Victorian times. What was traditionally seen as a coherent whole is turning out to be a number of different strata, from different pens and over a considerable time period.

What we must do is detect the essence.
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Re: Science-Earthquake

Postby lojong1 » Sat Oct 02, 2010 11:28 pm

I just noticed something I forgot to post in explaining [mostly to myself] 'established in/on/over' etc.. In fact, what I missed was the very reason I quoted the Patitthita Sutta in the first place.
Patitthita Sutta, which I quoted for it's relevant vocabulary, grammar, translation, says: "when one quality [heedfulness, how apt] is established in a monk...". No wonder it was so easy to dismiss my next question, since I forgot to mention that in Pali this more literally says "When a monk is established in one quality...". That is why I asked if it is reasonable to say the monk must be physically standing on [<--your "key word"] heedfulness, which lays beneath him in a flat layer. If this is unreasonable and you weren't reading the Pali, then on what basis could you possibly have chosen to favor the "explicit and doubly clear" translation of the quake passage?
Last edited by lojong1 on Mon Oct 04, 2010 8:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Science-Earthquake

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Sat Oct 02, 2010 11:44 pm

:popcorn:
Author of Redneck Buddhism: or Will You Reincarnate as Your Own Cousin?
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Re: Science-Earthquake

Postby Shonin » Sun Oct 03, 2010 6:09 am

lojong1 wrote:I just noticed something I forgot to post in explaining [mostly to myself] 'established in/on/over' etc.. In fact, what I missed was the very reason I quoted the Patitthita Sutta in the first place.
Patitthita Sutta, which I quoted for it's relevant vocabulary, grammar, translation, says: "when one quality [heedfulness, how apt] is established in a monk...". No wonder it was so easy to dismiss my next question, since I forgot to mention that in Pali this more literally says "When a monk is established in/on (or 'supported by') one quality...". That is why I asked if it is reasonable to say the monk must be physically standing on [<--your "key word"] heedfulness, which lays beneath him in a flat layer. If this is unreasonable and you weren't reading the Pali, then on what basis could you possibly have chosen to favor the "explicit and doubly clear" translation of the quake passage?


Well yes 'established on', just like 'supported by' although literally means 'physically standing on' could be a metaphor. So, we could add that to the list of assumptions we need to make for the 'gravitational fields' to (sorta, kinda) work. But, as I've pointed out, there is a much much simpler interpretation, which requires far fewer assumptions and no significant re-interpretations. I'm inclinded to go with that.

But a few myths here and there in the suttas is not the important content. Cosmological stories don't lead to the end of suffering. But if you like stories, ever heard Buddha's Arrow Parable?
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Re: Science-Earthquake

Postby lojong1 » Sun Oct 03, 2010 6:42 am

Shonin wrote:But, as I've pointed out, there is a much much simpler interpretation, which requires far fewer assumptions and no significant re-interpretations. I'm inclinded to go with that.

That's scientifickle. Thanks for helping me learn the lingo.
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Re: Science-Earthquake

Postby lojong1 » Sun Oct 03, 2010 2:21 pm

"Hindus believe that the Creator used akasha, the most "subtle" element, to create the other four traditional elements; each element created is in turn used to create [establish/patitthati] the next, each less subtle than the last. Hindus believe that all of creation, including the human body, is made up of these five essential elements..." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_ ... t_elements

The subtler the element, the more powerful.
To be "supported by/established on/patitthati", even in this context of common ancient Indian cosmological beliefs, does not mean standing physically in layers.
Each element can be found within a given body, which means 'space' or 'wind' can be at the core of the earth.

Centuries of strictly oral tradition, coupled with specialist terminology and definitions neither heard by the masses nor understood by the monks--much like today's sciences--may have left us with the wrong Pali verb altogether. Patitthati, as used in this thread, could originally have been Upatitthati, losing its 'U' after the final 'e'.
Rhys Davids Dict: "Upaṭṭhita [pp. of upaṭṭhahati or upatiṭṭhāti -- 1. furnished provided, served, got ready, honoured with. 2. come, come about, appeared, arrived; present, existing (bhattakāle upaṭṭhite- when mealtime has come)...
...Oh crap, what have I done! Patitthati is now ANOTHER word for rebirth!
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Re: Science-Earthquake

Postby lojong1 » Sun Oct 03, 2010 2:58 pm

The New Akashic recordsp.139 chips away at the flat layer assumption, and the assumption that Buddha was repeating the "commonly held knowledge of the time."

Another possibility for the grammatical change at vāto ākāsaṭṭho is that patitthati establishes a more direct relationship between the elements than a simple locative. i.e. there are one or more supports between vāto and ākāsaṭṭho that play no significant part in causing an earthquake. Fire is the first to pop into my head.
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Re: Science-Earthquake

Postby Hanzze » Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:57 pm

_/\_
Last edited by Hanzze on Sun Oct 31, 2010 7:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Science-Earthquake

Postby Shonin » Mon Oct 04, 2010 1:31 pm

Yes. Apart from the words, the concepts, the relationships between them, the level of detail and the closeness to reality, the passage attributed to the Buddha and our present understanding of the geo-physics of earthquakes are exactly the same. :jumping: The mind has a remarkable ability to reinterpret things so that they conform with what we want to see.
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Re: Science-Earthquake

Postby Hanzze » Mon Oct 04, 2010 3:20 pm

_/\_
Last edited by Hanzze on Sun Oct 31, 2010 7:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Science-Earthquake

Postby Sanghamitta » Mon Oct 11, 2010 12:22 pm

lojong1 wrote:The New Akashic recordsp.139 chips away at the flat layer assumption, and the assumption that Buddha was repeating the "commonly held knowledge of the time."

Another possibility for the grammatical change at vāto ākāsaṭṭho is that patitthati establishes a more direct relationship between the elements than a simple locative. i.e. there are one or more supports between vāto and ākāsaṭṭho that play no significant part in causing an earthquake. Fire is the first to pop into my head.


You are seriously throwing in to the discussion the Thoughts (sic) of Blavatsky, Olcott, and their Theosophical nutjob cronies ?.. :jawdrop: And expecting them to be taken seriously ? The same Blavatsky and Olcott who claimed to be channeling disembodied Masters and Jesus from Himalayan Caves via teleportation..? The same Blavatsky and Olcott who gleaned from the "Akashic record " the fact that black people are less karmically evolved than caucasians, but that Tibetans are more evolved ?
I will join Bubbabuddhist in grabbing a bag of popcorn and watching the fun.. :popcorn:
Oh the problems that ensue when we take the metaphors of another time and place and attempt to crowbar them to our scientific world view...
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Re: Science-Earthquake

Postby lojong1 » Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:53 pm

Sanghamitta wrote:Seriously...?

Tight, thanks for adding something better. You were in the wrong chapter, although the mere mention of Blavatsky does kinda discredit all the info in the book. The part I had thought might at least compare in utility to the wiki articles quoted so far contains entries on "Hindu Concept of Akasha" and "Theravada and Akasha," which look reasonable and are relevant to the thread (which makes no attempt to study dhamma essence, so why are you and Shonin still here?).
Rahula80 wrote:Heavier things, logically, would support lighter stuff. No?

Yes, with the English word "support", that's a logical possibility. "The monk is supported (patitthati) by heedfulness"-- which is heavier? This is an example of patitthati that unquestionably supports the position that layering of heavier under lighter might not be intended in the sutta. No one has posted an example of patitthati used unquestionably in the gross physical sense of "standing above," yet I'm repeatedly accused of crowbarring with wacky assumptions? Herein, the person with a crowbar who does not understand it as it actually is thus: "I have a crowbar," is called the inferior of these two persons with a crowbar.
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