Plant Life

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: Plant Life

Postby Hanzze » Sat Jan 15, 2011 11:17 am

Gilana Sutta: Sick
(Citta the Householder's Last Hours)
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
© 1998–2011
Alternate translation: Walshe

On that occasion Citta the householder was diseased, in pain, severely ill. Then a large number of garden devas, forest devas, tree devas, and devas inhabiting herbs, grasses, & forest giants assembled and said to him: "Make a wish, householder: 'In the future, may I become a king, a wheel-turning monarch!'"

When this was said, Citta the householder said to the garden devas, forest devas, tree devas, and devas inhabiting herbs, grasses, & forest giants: "Even that is inconstant; even that is impermanent; one must abandon even that when one passes on."

When this was said, Citta the householder's friends & companions, relatives and kinsmen, said to him: "Steady your mindfulness, master. Don't ramble."

"What did I say that you say to me: 'Steady your mindfulness, master. Don't ramble'?"

"You said: 'Even that is inconstant; even that is impermanent; one must abandon even that when one passes on.'"

"That was because garden devas, forest devas, tree devas, and devas inhabiting herbs, grasses, & forest giants have assembled and said to me: 'Make a wish, householder: "In the future, may I become a king, a wheel-turning monarch!"' And I said to them: 'Even that is inconstant; even that is impermanent; one must abandon even that when one passes on.'"

"But what compelling reason do those garden devas, forest devas, tree devas, and devas inhabiting herbs, grasses, & forest giants see, master, that they say to you, 'Make a wish, householder: "In the future, may I become a king, a wheel-turning monarch!"'?"

"It occurs to them: 'This Citta the householder is virtuous, of admirable character. If he should wish: "In the future, may I become a king, a wheel-turning monarch!" — then, as he is virtuous, this wish of his would succeed because of the purity of his virtue. A righteous one, he will wield righteous power.'[1] Seeing this compelling reason, they assembled and said: 'Make a wish, householder: "In the future, may I become a king, a wheel-turning monarch!"' And I said to them: 'Even that is inconstant; even that is impermanent; one must abandon even that when one passes on.'"

"Then, master, instruct us, too."

"Then you should train yourselves: 'We will be endowed with verified confidence in the Buddha: "Indeed, the Blessed One [the Buddha] is worthy & rightly self-awakened, consummate in knowledge & conduct, well-gone, an expert with regard to the cosmos, unexcelled as a trainer for those people fit to be tamed, the Teacher of divine & human beings, awakened, blessed." "'We will be endowed with verified confidence in the Dhamma: "The Dhamma is well-expounded by the Blessed One, to be seen here & now, timeless, inviting verification, pertinent, to be realized by the wise for themselves."

"'We will be possessed of verified confidence in the Sangha: "The Sangha of the Blessed One's disciples who have practiced well... who have practiced straight-forwardly... who have practiced methodically... who have practiced masterfully — in other words, the four types [of noble disciples] when taken as pairs, the eight when taken as individual types — they are the Sangha of the Blessed One's disciples: worthy of gifts, worthy of hospitality, worthy of offerings, worthy of respect, the incomparable field of merit for the world."

"'Whatever there may be in our family that can be given away, all that will be shared unstintingly with virtuous ones who are of admirable character.' That's how you should train yourselves."

Then, having enjoined his friends & colleagues, his relatives & kinsmen, to place confidence in the Buddha, Dhamma, & Sangha; having exhorted them to undertake generosity, Citta the householder passed away.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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: Plant Life

Postby Individual » Mon Jan 17, 2011 8:07 pm

I say this is an imponderable... but here's an odd thought... :stirthepot:

In the Aggañña sutta, devas adopted grosser forms. After adopting a gross form, they couldn't just go back to being luminous devas. It involves work -- mindfulness and morality.

And it's been said that devas can inhabit plant-life.

Well, if a gandhabba descends into the womb to take the form of a human, why is that called "rebirth" but when other devas adopt the form of a plant, it is called "inhabiting"? Do these plant-inhabiting devas come and go as they please (in plants already born), or do they enter in a similar manner that gandhabbas do (entering at conception)? If I trim a deva-inhabited plant, does the deva still inhabit the stems and leaves I remove, or only the main part? For plants which can reproduce asexually, if you divide one plant into two, four, eight, sixteen, etc., an infinite number, does the deva inhabit them all? When and how could they leave?

Is there something separate inside the plant (certainly not a self!) which makes it worthy of being called inhabiting rather than rebirth? Yet if it is intentional action with result, couldn't it still be called rebirth? Do devas that inhabit plants retain any special abilities? If not, why shouldn't it be called rebirth and if so, can't plant-inhabiting devas fend for themselves and leave the plants upon sensing imminent danger?

And if devas inhabit these plants, what would be the difference between a plant that is inhabited as opposed to a plant that is not inhabited? Could deva-inhabited plants walk and talk, like the Ents of Tolkien novels? Would deva-inhabited plants feel pain but other plants wouldn't? Without having different material faculties, on what basis is there a difference in feeling?

A very smart person could definitely probe this thing and I do think it's interesting... It's not necessarily enough to just dogmatically assert, "This is what the Buddha taught," without providing any basis. You don't admit you don't know. You don't answer the question. Because the details aren't in the suttas -- what's there is just to help you end suffering, not to know everything about everything. You quote the Buddha, but because of the Simsapa Sutta, you don't know if there are actually complexities about rebirth in which one might see plants in a different way... It's just that such discussion and investigation is not conducive to liberation, to the end of suffering. Because if you consider plants living beings, you can't eat. And if you can't eat, you can't practice dhamma. I wouldn't see it as being more complicated than that. And I see no reason to pick and choose between honoring the original teachings of the Buddha and honoring the reasonable investigation of people today. I'd honor both and denigrate neither. :)
The best things in life aren't things.

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Re: Plant Life

Postby Hanzze » Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:33 am

Dear Individual,

thanks for your post, it could be reason why there is no clear statement that to do not harm beings, better look is it has sentiments or not. So what if we eat fruits (without destroying the seed) drinking milk and eat a lot of cheese?
I guess it is better to be just not involved and except alms or the normal way of live.

Regarding the devas: As people take everything from the nature, one day it might be so normal and it grows to a taking without respect. So maybe the devas are just protector and maybe only in a literary way. So today I guess it is good to point at live and its close connection to all other live in a scientist way.

It is just a side story, but we had/have always a lot of with people making business in cutting wood. There are really made illnesses. I also never had seen somebody "obsessed" before. Well there are many thinks which looks strange and miraculous but in fact they are not. Sometimes they grow into superstition, sometimes they are lost in rational thinking. Its always a search for the middle and I guess it is also good to do not disagree with thinks we can not see because our kind of living does not train to look for fine substantial phenomenas. It is more the: "What nonsense, that do not exist." from childhood, that destroys such kind of sense, like seeing aura what plants also have. As I was told.
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: Plant Life

Postby Hanzze » Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:04 am

Just an inspiration from "The book of protection" by Piyadassi Thera maybe a little oftopic:
"Mind not only makes sick, it also cures. An optimistic patient has more chance of getting well than a patient who is worried and unhappy The recorded instances of faith healing includes cases in which even organic diseas were cured almost instantaneously (2)"

(2) For the physical basis of resistance, see The nature of Disese by J.E.R. McDonagh, F.R.C.S

"Dr. Bernd Gard of McGill University in Montreal painstakingly proved if a psychic healer held water in a sealed flask and this water was later poured on barley seeds, the plants significantly outgrew untreated seeds. But- and this is the intriguing part - if depressed psychiatric patients held the flasks of water, the growth of seeds was retarded.
Dr. Grad suggests, that there appeared to be some "x-factor" or energy that flows from the human body to affect growth of plats and animal. A person's mood affected this energy. This previously unacknowledged "energy" has the widest implications for medical science, from healing to lab tests, grad says"(1)

(1) Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain, Sheila Ostrander & Lynn Schroeder; Bantam Books, USA, p 224; also read chapter on "Healing with Thought", p. 293

...If that be so, not much thinking is necessary to draw the logical inference that mind can influence mind...


(The book of protection gives the "standard" protection in reciting suttas like the "metta sutta")

What ever a plants mind can be, does a mind make a living being? A will? Or just flowing energy?
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: Plant Life

Postby budo » Wed Jan 19, 2011 3:50 am

To answer Individual's question about inhibition vs birth,

Perhaps because plants are not born? Do plants have sex? Are there female and male plants? Perhaps this is why in Noah's arc, as Ron brought up earlier, God did not mention plants. Perhaps because they are not born, they are not considered sentient. If plants are born, at what point are they no longer a seed but a plant? As for humans, at one point in the womb does the spermed egg become sentient? When the brain forms? Where is the brain of the plant? When does it form? If a human birth fails before the brain is developed, is it still death because the human was yet to be born? If sentient means consciousness does that mean humans die if they become brain-dead or a vegetable state, but their bodies are still alive? At one point is one considered born and at one point is one considered dead? If in the future one is able to replace their whole bodies but keep the brain, are they a different person or the same person?

Ron can you answer any of those questions?
“An effect can become a cause, reinforcing the original cause and producing the same effect in an intensified form, and so on indefinitely.” - George Orwell
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Re: Plant Life

Postby Hanzze » Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:26 am

Budo,

is that serious. In german language one says, when explaining sex to children or with people who are shy to talk about "Lets start with flower's and bee's"

So lets start with it :-)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plant_sexuality

What makes you believe that mind is located in the part that is called brain? There is body and mind.
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: Plant Life

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:29 am

Greetings Hanzze,

It's obvious you wish to expand the scope of discussion well beyond "General Theravada" boundaries... would you like us to move this to the Dhammic Free For All, so you can speculate on the sentience of plantlife beyond what the Buddha and subsequent Theravada masters have said?

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Plant Life

Postby Hanzze » Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:39 am

Dear retrofuturist,

did we use to less sutta? Plants are a very important issue and that was also pointed out by Buddha. I do not understand your motivation, but it will have its cause. Suttas, from a traditional view are protected by monks. If you make them in that form available it is very important to make them understandable also from a scientist view. There is still a view that plants are a lower form of beings, what is causing our biggest problems on earth.
Theravada is about peace and not about an other victim. I would wish it will stay a very important General Theravada discussion. If it is a attachment to my person or my kind of argument, just tell it, I make my step back.

_/\_
with loving kindness
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: Plant Life

Postby Individual » Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:42 am

budo wrote: Do plants have sex? Are there female and male plants?

For some species of plants, yes.

budo wrote:As for humans, at one point in the womb does the spermed egg become sentient? When the brain forms? Where is the brain of the plant? When does it form? If a human birth fails before the brain is developed, is it still death because the human was yet to be born? If sentient means consciousness does that mean humans die if they become brain-dead or a vegetable state, but their bodies are still alive? At one point is one considered born and at one point is one considered dead? If in the future one is able to replace their whole bodies but keep the brain, are they a different person or the same person?

That's a separate but equally interesting question. :)
The best things in life aren't things.

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Re: Plant Life

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:43 am

Greetings Hanzze,

What I'm saying is that if you and other people keep bringing in sources which are not of Theravada origin, or even blatantly contradict suttas, this topic ought to be moved to another sub-forum if you want those things to be legitimately included within the bounds of discussion.

For example, I'm referring to the resources brought forward earlier to dispute the one-facultied nature of plant-life, Wikipedia entries on plant sexuality, and so on.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Plant Life

Postby Individual » Wed Jan 19, 2011 5:00 am

Moving it to DFFA seems like a good idea to me
The best things in life aren't things.

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Re: Plant Life

Postby Hanzze » Wed Jan 19, 2011 5:55 am

Dear retrofuturist,

from my view of point modern man is not able to understand thinks like they have been told, as modern man don't know nature at all. So the only way to explain things is the way of scientist and there is no different in what the Buddha taught and "knowledge". Modern man has never lived with nature and knows plants from the flower-shop. He do not know that his laptop was nature before and he do not know where his food is coming from. Therefore I guess the only way to explain things is scientist, everything else is so far away and we know that Theravada is a big industrial engine in Building and "developing". It is real sad, but there is a lot of war in the name of the Dhamma. Even it is not seen as this. It is important to see the victims as it is important to point on collective illusion of a possible material way to solve our problem.
I know that it is a very new issue in the US and maybe also on other parts on the earth as this engine keeps a lot of stuff alive.

As to see it from a Vinaya view, it is not a good way to select and recite suttas for the explanation of Dhamma. Scientific views makes it better possible to explain while keeping it on a layman level. The general information/knowledge as the silas and the eightfold path are quite enough to walk on a better way. Modern man can not easy see the victims and to understand the precept of abstain from killing and harming of living things is easily overseen.

Man has a talent to find a back door and the concentration on the precepts is one of the first steps to come to the understanding that real practice is the only way out of suffering. If we keep it in that way that science is science an Theravada is Theravada then we uproot a very important resource to explain the meaning of not harming in a modern man thinking way. As for the teachers it is also very important to use this tool and not Devas as they have been respected in older times by anyone. Simply nobody today would take care of them, and also not as protector of plants.

The public use of Suttas also needs the public discussion with the tool of science and there is nothing to fear as there the technique of the Buddha and the technique of modern scientist is not different and reaching the same point. We can not make it undone to publish the suttas, it was decided more than 50 year ago and it is a big chance to bring it in the right position for our all well fair. The heart of the Dhamma is the Eightfold Path which is walkable for everyone as soon as he realize that suffering and its causes exist. Jumping between two ways will not bring us further, and that for a protection that is already gone.

Understanding kamma and cause and effect even on a low level will lead to the path. If there is something to believe between, or something that does not fix to our scientific education it keeps us on the wheel as we are searching always the "easy" way.

The time when man is able to see death and harming will soon be gone, there are less people who even had seen there near relatives dying and suffering. The dirt is managed, the wast water never seen. Understanding suffering just from TV?

There is a kind of fear that is kusala and a kind of fear that is unkusala. If we work on the unkusala fear also the other fear will disappear as it will be simply wisdom without any feelings.

A Bhikkhu keeping the vinaya in its whole is not easy able to explain and teach in a way that it is acceptable and understandable. Many may also not have the scientist background so it is more that a kusala deed to make some thinks clear from layman to make the real teaching hear and understandable.

I know my lack of communication, therefore I wish that the meaning will be seen from those who can explain. The sutta battle is not really mine.
Let me end this monkey post with a optimistic :-) as my laptop will collapse soon again :jumping:

_/\_
with loving kindness
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: Plant Life

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Wed Jan 19, 2011 1:02 pm

budo wrote:To answer Individual's question about inhibition vs birth,

Perhaps because plants are not born? Do plants have sex? Are there female and male plants? Perhaps this is why in Noah's arc, as Ron brought up earlier, God did not mention plants. Perhaps because they are not born, they are not considered sentient. If plants are born, at what point are they no longer a seed but a plant? As for humans, at one point in the womb does the spermed egg become sentient? When the brain forms? Where is the brain of the plant? When does it form? If a human birth fails before the brain is developed, is it still death because the human was yet to be born? If sentient means consciousness does that mean humans die if they become brain-dead or a vegetable state, but their bodies are still alive? At one point is one considered born and at one point is one considered dead? If in the future one is able to replace their whole bodies but keep the brain, are they a different person or the same person?

Ron can you answer any of those questions?



Hi, Budo.

The answer to your final question is " Yes ". I can answer all your questions. I will also point out that all of your questions have already been answered. But, you have to read the previous posts, and the links provided where you will find the answers to all your questions.

_/\_Ron
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Re: Plant Life

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Wed Jan 19, 2011 1:11 pm

Retro,

Are you saying that The Theravada is a dead practice? That no modern understanding, in light of modern scientific discovery of what Buddha taught is to be allowed into any conversations/posts? Are you saying that there will never be any new information presented in commentaries written in respected Buddist literature such as Access to Insight by learned Buddhist scholars? If so, what is the point of The Commentaries by Buddhist scholars?

With deepest respect for a very old and honored friend in The Dhamma.

_/\_Ron
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Re: Plant Life

Postby chownah » Wed Jan 19, 2011 2:18 pm

Ron-The-Elder wrote:Chowna, et al.

My assumption is, that you already agreed that plants were alive in your first response that you will agree in the second response.

So, let's define "sentience":

sen·tience   
[sen-shuhns] Show IPA
–noun
sentient condition or character; capacity for sensation or feeling.
Also, sen·tien·cy.

Origin:
1830–40; senti(ent) + -ence


Plants can "feel" the presence of the sun. Therefore they have sight consciousness.
Some plants can "feel" the presence of pressure, and move their limbs out of the way to avoid damage to their limbs and leaves.
Many plants "feel" when their leaves are being eaten, and respond by producing poisonous toxins to kill the feeding herbovores.
Some plants "feel" the presence of insects and rodents and when detected move their appendages closed quickly to entrap these creatures, then dissolve and absorb their nutrients in order to live.
Some plants "feel" the pain and suffering of other plants and communicate with others of their same species in some cases other species of plants to warn of danger.
Plants smell and taste, and therefore possess these consciousnesses. They can sense hundreds of chemicals in the soil with their roots. They respond to the presence of insects by emitting sweet chemical odors, or a stench to attract them, and after insects have done their job, they can change their odor to repel the insects as does the tobacco plant with a well known chemical compound, nicotine.

In the previous article provided I supplied examples of each one of these.

Second question to you: Can plants feel? Can they sense and respond to danger by protecting themselves by moving out of the way, by secreting poisons to kill the animals eating them? Can plants sense (feel) the presence of living animals, trap, kill and eat them?

If you answer is yes, and it must be, because these are all facts, then you will agree that plants are alive and sentient as are animals.

Sorry for the delay in answering.
I do agree that plants are living.
I don't like your definition of sentience......all the definitions I have seen include a reference to "consciousness" or similar.
I disagree with your assertion that plants can feel the radiation from the sun. There is (as far as I know) no activity associated with the response to sunlight except for the bare mechanical like change in shape of the stem and flower parts required to make the change....plants will change shape to catch artificial light as well as sunlight...it is quite mechanical....the explanation for this phenomena is well described...it does not require any thought or awareness or consciousness....I believe that the same can be said for all of the other abilities that plants exhibit.
There is as far as I know no tissue or organ or discernable regular pattern of impulses associated with plants activities except for the bare mechanical ones required to produce the activities.....there is nothing a plant does which is not explained by chemo-hydraulic-mechanical process as far as I know....there is nothing that indicates there is any thought or consideration or decisions made...a venus fly trap does not "know" that there is an insect in its jaws....you an tickle it the right way and it will snap shut as well....the sensitive plant does not consider when to collapse its leaf structure...it does not know if there is an herbivore present....you can just touch the plant or devise a mechanical device which touches it occasionally and it will collapse just the same....the mechanism is automatic...no thought required........by the way....we have a relative of the sensitive plant which grows all over the place as a wild plant here in northern Thailand and I'm still amazed when it colllapses when touched even though I've seen it so many many times.....and did you know that the cows eat it anyway....the plant had better think of another way to protect itself I guess.
Of course all of this is just my views since we all know that sentience is (like all dhammas) empty....nothing is sentient....it all just happens....
chownah
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Re: Plant Life

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Wed Jan 19, 2011 2:24 pm

Of course all of this is just my views since we all know that sentience is (like all dhammas) empty....nothing is sentient....it all just happens....
chownah


Exactly! We are in agreement.

Plants do have a brain, and they do communicate. Plants form complex interneural networks beneath the ground and communicate threats from one plant to another. My suggestion to you is the same as to all the others. Read what is written in each link. The problem is too complex to repeat over and over and over and over. ( My fingers get tired.)

There was an excellent video lecture which explained plant neural networks. I believe that the lecturer was an Italian plant biologist.
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But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Re: Plant Life

Postby chownah » Wed Jan 19, 2011 2:30 pm

Ron-The-Elder wrote:
Of course all of this is just my views since we all know that sentience is (like all dhammas) empty....nothing is sentient....it all just happens....
chownah


Exactly! We are in agreement.

Plants do have a brain, and they do communicate. Plants form complex interneural networks beneath the ground and communicate threats from one plant to another. My suggestion to you is the same as to all the others. Read what is written in each link. The problem is too complex to repeat over and over and over and over. ( My fingers get tired.)

There was an excellent video lecture which explained plant neural networks. I believe that the lecturer was an Italian plant biologist.

OK, I don't have time to read all that stuff although I have read "The secret lives of plants"....quite awhile ago though.....so let's stick with one thing....let's take your assertion that plants have a brain....can you give me a reference for this and I'll check it out.....I would rather take one thing at a time as I use most of my time to tend my small organic farm.

chownah
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Re: Plant Life

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Wed Jan 19, 2011 3:02 pm

chownah wrote:OK, I don't have time to read all that stuff although I have read "The secret lives of plants"....quite awhile ago though.....so let's stick with one thing....let's take your assertion that plants have a brain....can you give me a reference for this and I'll check it out.....I would rather take one thing at a time as I use most of my time to tend my small organic farm.

chownah


Watch this first: http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/stefa ... gence.html

Then read this:

http://www.enotes.com/topic/Plant_Neurobiology


And this:

http://www.springerlink.com/content/d000j73757880886/

Also this may be helpful as to background for Prof. Stefano:

http://www.mindpowernews.com/PlantsThink.htm

And finally this:

http://150.217.147.94/linv/pdf/publications/27.pdf
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Re: Plant Life

Postby Individual » Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:14 pm

Ron-The-Elder wrote:Some plants "feel" the pain and suffering of other plants and communicate with others of their same species in some cases other species of plants to warn of danger.

Is this the same type of sensation as what sentient beings sense, however?

The problem I see here is that the definition of "sentient being" is wrapped up with ethical considerations and differing interpretations arise dependent on particular preconceptions. If you're not familiar with it, it's worth looking at the Is-Ought\Fact-Value distinction.

Now in the absence of particular ethics and particular interpretations, you'd be a crazy person ("Everything is empty! Everything is a non-distinct, blurry unity in which the divisions are arbitrary!" :rolleye: Deindividuation, depersonalization, in a way that's not pleasant or stable, unless you're an Arahant or Buddha). But that doesn't mean we should take for granted our current ethics and interpretations.

I do not think we would have much difficulty agreeing on the facts of what a plant, animal, and human are, provided we have a well-established source, like scientists doing research. However, the notions of "similarity" and "differentiation" are self-reflexive judgments we add to the otherwise neutral observation, as an unnecessary layer of thought. You might ask, "Similar and different -- with regard to what?" This or that. This or that what? The mind could attend equally to the differentiation or non-differentiation of things, and on that basis, establish a self-conceptualized view, a view that's an aspect of personality, in which from one's own point-of-view plants are regarded or not regarded as sentient beings (as other "selves" who, because they are selves, have to be provided for in certain ways). In either case, a view is created, but what does it actually change? You can choose to be nicer to plants or not; you could choose to starve yourself or not. This could be a neat motivation for scientific research, but it also could cause suffering and insanity. Hence pondering the specifics of kamma is an imponderable.
The best things in life aren't things.

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Re: Plant Life

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:31 pm

Individual wrote: You can choose to be nicer to plants or not; you could choose to starve yourself or not. This could be a neat motivation for scientific research, but it also could cause suffering and insanity. Hence pondering the specifics of kamma is an imponderable.


Yes. In the vegetarian vs. carnivore thread this dhamma comes to light. We have a choice to make. As our ignorance is lifted, we must then decide to act in light of our newly gained knowledge, otherwise, what would be the point of enlightenment.

My single point is that due to our ignorance in the past we made choices out of ignorance. Now we are somewhat less ignorant. Do we use the excuse that The Theravada suttas were written during a period of our ignorance and therefore we must ignore what we now have learned?

My response is no!
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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