Human life span only 10 years?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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David N. Snyder
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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:



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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tiltbillings
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Re: Human life span only 10 years?

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


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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


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polarbear101
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Re: Human life span only 10 years?

Postby polarbear101 » 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.

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


Digity
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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 polarbear101 » Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:41 am

"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

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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


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Re: Human life span only 10 years?

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


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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?

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Re: Human life span only 10 years?

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


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Re: Human life span only 10 years?

Postby polarbear101 » Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:22 pm

"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."

inge
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Re: Human life span only 10 years?

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


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Re: Human life span only 10 years?

Postby polarbear101 » Sat Feb 09, 2013 10:46 pm

"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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Jerrod Lopes
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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



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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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



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.


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