Human life span only 10 years?

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Human life span only 10 years?

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:16 pm

In the Digha Nikaya 26, Cakkavatti Sutta, it is reported that the human life span at a future degenerate, Dhamma-ending age will only be 10 years old. Mythological elements borrowed from Brahmanism? Perhaps, but then there is this:

9 year old girl gives birth

There are insects who only live about 24 hours, just long enough to mate and then die. At some future date perhaps this is what might happen with humans, giving birth around 9 years old (since it appears to already be biologically possible).
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Re: Human life span only 10 years?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:30 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:In the Digha Nikaya 26, Cakkavatti Sutta, it is reported that the human life span at a future degenerate, Dhamma-ending age will only be 10 years old. Mythological elements borrowed from Brahmanism? Perhaps, but then there is this:

9 year old girl gives birth

There are insects who only live about 24 hours, just long enough to mate and then die. At some future date perhaps this is what might happen with humans, giving birth around 9 years old (since it appears to already be biologically possible).
A 9 year old girl, likely over exposed to pesticides. And what the about the life span in the tens of thousands of years that preceded the 10 year life span?

I am inclined to agree with Gombrich that this a fable about the need for kings to be moral, just and generous in their ruling of their countries, but it has been taken literally, giving us the "prophecy" of Metteyya.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Human life span only 10 years?

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:59 pm

I think the supposedly already-past lifespan of ten thousand years is more problematic than the prophesied one. No reason to assume this isn't just a metaphorical story, as Tilt said, encouraging a king to be wise.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
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Re: Human life span only 10 years?

Postby polarbuddha101 » Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:37 pm

Doesn't that same sutta talk about people living to be 80,000 years old? That is half of human history.

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"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."
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Re: Human life span only 10 years?

Postby Kim OHara » Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:01 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:9 year old girl gives birth

There are insects who only live about 24 hours, just long enough to mate and then die. At some future date perhaps this is what might happen with humans, giving birth around 9 years old (since it appears to already be biologically possible).

The age of puberty has been dropping as nutrition has improved. There is also some evidence (as someone has already suggested) that chemicals in the environment are now playing a part - maybe pesticides, perhaps the growth hormones that are given to livestock and then pass into our water supply or remain in the meat we eat. This overview http://envirocancer.cornell.edu/factsheet/diet/fs37.hormones.cfm basically says "the effect is unlikely and hasn't been proven" and this one http://scienceblogs.com/aetiology/2012/06/19/growth-hormones-in-milk-mythfact/ gives more reasons why it shouldn't be happening. This one - http://www.livescience.com/1824-truth-early-puberty.html - simply says "blame obesity".
:thinking:

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Re: Human life span only 10 years?

Postby Digity » Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:34 am

Why would the human life span diminish to 10 years? What would even cause that? It makes no sense to me. At that lifespan, the current way of the world would collapse...how are a bunch of children suppose to run the world?
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Re: Human life span only 10 years?

Postby polarbuddha101 » Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:41 am

Digity wrote:how are a bunch of children suppose to run the world?


Lord of the Flies :sage:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."
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Re: Human life span only 10 years?

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:54 am

Digity wrote:how are a bunch of children suppose to run the world?


There probably wouldn't be a Wall Street stock exchange and some other things, but animals seem to survive without these things, so I think children could survive too. I just thought it was interesting that there is the somewhat biological ability to give birth at such a young age, albeit in rare instances. Much more far-fetched is the likelihood of humans living to 80,000 years unless we see it as allegory for some moral points as mentioned above or for some other realm / world system.
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Re: Human life span only 10 years?

Postby inge » Sat Feb 09, 2013 3:52 pm

For instance in the bible there are recorded many people living to around 800 years of age. Based on Buddhas explanation of the cyclical growth and decline of life span of humans one can calculate that it is aproximately 10000 years since the life span was 800 years, so maybe those biblical figures lived around that time?
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Re: Human life span only 10 years?

Postby inge » Sat Feb 09, 2013 3:56 pm

Digity wrote:Why would the human life span diminish to 10 years? What would even cause that? It makes no sense to me. At that lifespan, the current way of the world would collapse...how are a bunch of children suppose to run the world?

They would not be children. They would become adults very quick, and die of old age at the age of 10. It is said that they would have sexual desire from the time of birth.
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Re: Human life span only 10 years?

Postby equilibrium » Sat Feb 09, 2013 6:05 pm

Digity wrote:Why would the human life span diminish to 10 years? What would even cause that? It makes no sense to me. At that lifespan, the current way of the world would collapse...how are a bunch of children suppose to run the world?

The Evolution Debate under Open Dhamma recently would be of interest:
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=12103&p=228109#p228109
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Re: Human life span only 10 years?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Feb 09, 2013 6:22 pm

And why would anyone take any of this literally?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Human life span only 10 years?

Postby Sam Vara » Sat Feb 09, 2013 6:28 pm

tiltbillings wrote:And why would anyone take any of this literally?


Some people don't even take the age of the girl literally....

http://www.news.com.au/world/nine-year-old-mexican-girl-sterilised-after-birth-seems-to-be-15/story-fndir2ev-1226572306136
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Re: Human life span only 10 years?

Postby polarbuddha101 » Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:22 pm

tiltbillings wrote:And why would anyone take any of this literally?


I doubt that anyone does. To do so would be insane, or at the very least the result of being rather ill-informed about biology and the way the natural world works.

:anjali:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."
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Re: Human life span only 10 years?

Postby inge » Sat Feb 09, 2013 8:12 pm

polarbuddha101 wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:And why would anyone take any of this literally?


I doubt that anyone does. To do so would be insane, or at the very least the result of being rather ill-informed about biology and the way the natural world works.

:anjali:

What exactly about biology and the way the natural world works is it that makes a cyclical decline and rise in lifespan impossible?
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Re: Human life span only 10 years?

Postby polarbuddha101 » Sat Feb 09, 2013 10:46 pm

inge wrote:
polarbuddha101 wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:And why would anyone take any of this literally?


I doubt that anyone does. To do so would be insane, or at the very least the result of being rather ill-informed about biology and the way the natural world works.

:anjali:

What exactly about biology and the way the natural world works is it that makes a cyclical decline and rise in lifespan impossible?


Your question is built out of a euphemism. The rise and decline in lifespan presented by this sutta is mythological in scope. It's rather obvious that this sutta should not be taken literally.
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."
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Re: Human life span only 10 years?

Postby Jerrod Lopes » Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:55 am

In 1993 geneticists at UCSF in California learned how to turn genes on and off for aging in round worms. It stands to reason that the same could be done for humans by now, 20 years later. The worm lived, healthily and youthfully twice past its life expectancy. It only began to age and die when they "turned on" the genes that would begin it's decent into aging and death. There are limits though. Eventually things will age and die with or without outside manipulation according to the study. Another scientist whose name I forget says that this can be sustained for much longer periods, but it has to do with freezing cells down to -240 degrees Farenheit... and none of this really matters here.

It's not all that surprising to hear of a 9 year old giving birth. I have a 7 year old great-niece who is already showing signs of puberty. Regardless of what is said about hormones in meat, etc, it's pretty obvious that that is what is going on. Experimentation with reproductive function is nothing new in North America. It's been a big center of interest for geneticists since the late 1950's when they really started to get a good grasp of how everything works. Inducing animals into early puberty isn't all that darned difficult. The better question might be concerning the morality and repercussions if governments and individuals are allowed to keep experimenting with things like these. Given the current overpopulation of humans on the planet, can you imagine how it will be if we started living to 150, 160 or more?

PS People living to be 800 or 10,000 years old? C'mon. That's just silly. Personally I would never believe it if it said that in the Pali Canon itself. As for the Bible...well I wouldn't be a Buddhist now if I had believed in the Bible very much. But will any of this get us any closer to liberation? Probably not.
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Re: Human life span only 10 years?

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Feb 10, 2013 1:54 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:In the Digha Nikaya 26, Cakkavatti Sutta, it is reported that the human life span at a future degenerate, Dhamma-ending age will only be 10 years old. Mythological elements borrowed from Brahmanism? Perhaps, but then there is this:

9 year old girl gives birth

There are insects who only live about 24 hours, just long enough to mate and then die. At some future date perhaps this is what might happen with humans, giving birth around 9 years old (since it appears to already be biologically possible).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_y ... th_mothers
The Youngest recorded is 5years 7 months according to this wiki.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Human life span only 10 years?

Postby santa100 » Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:49 pm

According to the wiki page, human lifespan has already doubled as compared to the Upper Paleolithic age:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_expec ... _over_time

So, assuming that the human species will continue to survive for a very very long time, and science/technology continues to advance leaps and bounds (complete maturity in nano-technology, stem-cell cloning and organ replacement, successful human colony on Mars and other planets, etc..), the continued trend of lifespan doubling over time is not too far-fetched. However, we need to keep in mind that if humans continue their terrible environmental abuse on planet earth, the odds of survival for our species and many others will be significantly reduced. So like the character Griffin in Men in Black III (a 5th-dimensional humanoid alien who has the ability to see all possible futures), there're 2 possible futures for us: a very long and healthy life on a healthy planet OR a short sickly life on a polluted barren planet. It's all up to us to decide..
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Re: Human life span only 10 years?

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:04 pm

santa100 wrote:According to the wiki page, human lifespan has already doubled as compared to the Upper Paleolithic age:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_expec ... _over_time

So, assuming that the human species will continue to survive for a very very long time, and science/technology continues to advance leaps and bounds (complete maturity in nano-technology, stem-cell cloning and organ replacement, successful human colony on Mars and other planets, etc..), the continued trend of lifespan doubling over time is not too far-fetched. However, we need to keep in mind that if humans continue their terrible environmental abuse on planet earth, the odds of survival for our species and many others will be significantly reduced. So like the character Griffin in Men in Black III (a 5th-dimensional humanoid alien who has the ability to see all possible futures), there're 2 possible futures for us: a very long and healthy life on a healthy planet OR a short sickly life on a polluted barren planet. It's all up to us to decide..

well it shows that a 5yr generation gap is possible for humans although not going to happen any time soon unless we evolve with whatever it is that causes premature puberty now as a standard.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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