Did Arthur C. Clarke say this?

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Did Arthur C. Clarke say this?

Postby SarathW » Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:42 am

I was reading an article which said:
----------------
In fact, Arthur C. Clark a futuristic visionary, in one of his books, mentioned that Buddhism will be the only religion that will survive by the year 2050 and that scientist cannot hammer it down or destroy it. :idea:
Source:
http://www.4ui.com/eart/230eart2.htm
---------------------

I thought that anyone who make such a statement should be a very brave person!

However I decided to put this to the forum after reading a thread from David, in which he listed internet as the 8th wonder of the Buddhist World. :idea:

viewtopic.php?f=27&t=1905

What are your thoughts on these predictions?
Last edited by SarathW on Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Did Arthur C. Clark say this?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:22 am

Greetings,

I've read a lot of Arthur C. Clarke, and I don't remember reading this... but that in itself doesn't make it untrue.

However, given they can't even spell Arthur C. Clarke, I'm a tad dubious about any unreferenced quotations.

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: Did Arthur C. Clarke say this?

Postby SarathW » Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:56 am

Thanks Retro, I fixed my "e" :)
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Re: Did Arthur C. Clark say this?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:00 am

retrofuturist wrote:However, given they can't even spell Arthur C. Clarke, I'm a tad dubious about any unreferenced quotations.

That's hardly a good reason to discredit the author of the article. With a name like "Prof. Chandana Jayaratne" he's probably a Sri Lankan Buddhist, so his English spelling is not necessarily going to be perfect. The author of the site, Jeffrey Po, may be Malaysian.

Other Articles on the site.

Nevertheless, there are plenty who don't check their sources, and who are all too ready to ascribe quotes to famous authors or scientists to support their own faith in the truth of Buddhism.
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Re: Did Arthur C. Clarke say this?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:07 am

SarathW wrote:I was reading an article which said:
----------------
In fact, Arthur C. Clark a futuristic visionary, in one of his books, mentioned that Buddhism will be the only religion that will survive by the year 2050 and that scientist cannot hammer it down or destroy it. :idea:
Source:
http://www.4ui.com/eart/230eart2.htm
---------------------

I thought that anyone who make such a statement should be a very brave person!

However I decided to put this to the forum after reading a thread from David, in which he listed internet as the 8th wonder of the Buddhist World. :idea:

viewtopic.php?f=27&t=1905

What are your thoughts on these predictions?
It would not be surprising that Clarke said that. In the story Childhood's End a superior alien presence comes to earth and is able to show the people of earth events from the past, and the only religion that survives that spot light is Theravada Buddhism.
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: Did Arthur C. Clarke say this?

Postby Ben » Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:50 am

tiltbillings wrote:It would not be surprising that Clarke said that. In the story Childhood's End a superior alien presence comes to earth and is able to show the people of earth events from the past, and the only religion that survives that spot light is Theravada Buddhism.


Yes, I read that book recently and was surprised that he said that. I'm not sure whether he had moved to Sri Lanka when he wrote that book in the 1950s.
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: Did Arthur C. Clarke say this?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:32 am

Ben wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:It would not be surprising that Clarke said that. In the story Childhood's End a superior alien presence comes to earth and is able to show the people of earth events from the past, and the only religion that survives that spot light is Theravada Buddhism.


Yes, I read that book recently and was surprised that he said that. I'm not sure whether he had moved to Sri Lanka when he wrote that book in the 1950s.
He moved to Ceylon in '56 and the story was written in '53. He, no doubt, was quite familiar with Sri Lanka well before he moved there.
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: Did Arthur C. Clarke say this?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:10 am

Greetings,

tiltbillings wrote:He moved to Ceylon in '56 and the story was written in '53. He, no doubt, was quite familiar with Sri Lanka well before he moved there.

Yes, but moreso the local coastal snorkelling opportunities, than the local religion.

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: Did Arthur C. Clarke say this?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:33 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

tiltbillings wrote:He moved to Ceylon in '56 and the story was written in '53. He, no doubt, was quite familiar with Sri Lanka well before he moved there.

Yes, but moreso the local coastal snorkelling opportunities, than the local religion.

Metta,
Retro. :)
There is local religion and there is virtuoso religion, and it is the latter form of Buddhism that is what we in the West are exposed to. Clarke was a keen observer of things, I would guess that would be able to distinguish between the two.
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: Did Arthur C. Clarke say this?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:39 am

Greetings,

tiltbillings wrote:There is local religion and there is virtuoso religion, and it is the latter form of Buddhism that is what we in the West are exposed to. Clarke was a keen observer of things, I would guess that would be able to distinguish between the two.

Sure, but maybe not to the extent of being able to make a significant distinction by 1953.

If he really was as pro-Buddhist as is being made out, I'm sure that after reading his entire corpus of science fiction (which I virtually have), I would have been prompted to check it out at the time. Alas, no...

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: Did Arthur C. Clarke say this?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:49 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

tiltbillings wrote:There is local religion and there is virtuoso religion, and it is the latter form of Buddhism that is what we in the West are exposed to. Clarke was a keen observer of things, I would guess that would be able to distinguish between the two.

Sure, but maybe not to the extent of being able to make a significant distinction by 1953.

If he really was as pro-Buddhist as is being made out, I'm sure that after reading his entire corpus of science fiction (which I virtually have), I would have been prompted to check it out at the time. Alas, no...

Metta,
Retro. :)
I am not making out that Clarke was pro-Buddhist; rather, he had a rather interesting insight into the Buddhist origins, in that they were dependent upon the teachings of a particular man without the need for resurrections, miracles, and ascensions into heaven and such. It is not to say that the supernatural stuff is not to be found in the suttas, but one can strip it away and still be left with something deeply profound. This sort of observation was not at all unknown in 1953 and it is not unique to Clarke. Whether it is totally accurate or not is another question.
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: Did Arthur C. Clarke say this?

Postby pulga » Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:50 pm

From one of Ven. Ñanavira's early letters:

I also met (while bathing in the field) two Englishmen who have been in Ceylon doing underwater photography and writing books about it. (Seeing me, they stopped their car and got out.) One of them is interested in space-travel, but since he is now getting too old for travelling in space (but I thought it made you younger) he has turned to underwater photography (what is the connexion?). Apart from the Ven. C. Thera, he is the first such enthusiast I have met, but is doubtless typical of millions of others in the world today.

I was asked what the Buddha had to say about space-travel, and I managed to remember Rohitassa Devaputta (in A.IV and elsewhere) who space-travelled for a hundred years without coming to the end of the world. The Buddha told him that it is not by going that one comes to the end of the world, as doubtless you will remember. This rather fascinated them; but I fear that the Buddha's "end of the world" remained a mystery. The would-be-space-traveller is also, it seems, a bit of a philosopher—he has even written a book of philosophical essays, now in the press. What is his philosophy? Answer: we only have to wait another hundred thousand years before we shall have met (through space-travel) beings far, far more intelligent than any we know of, who will tell us all the answers. What faith in Science! What hopes for the future! What confidence that by going the end of the world will be reached! After the encounter I felt rather as if I had read all the scientific articles in fifty London Observers.
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Re: Did Arthur C. Clarke say this?

Postby Dhammanando » Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:27 pm

retrofuturist wrote:If he really was as pro-Buddhist as is being made out, I'm sure that after reading his entire corpus of science fiction (which I virtually have), I would have been prompted to check it out at the time. Alas, no...


The passage the op alludes to is from The Deep Range (1957), alhough it's an archaeologist's hammer, not a scientist's. A prominent figure in the story is a Scottish bhikkhu, who seems to be a composite of the Englishman Ñāṇamoli (or perhaps Ñāṇavīra) and the Scotsman Sīlacāra (Jack F. McKechnie).



    “Well, this is something that has been building up for several years. We’ve warned Headquarters, but they’ve never taken us seriously. Now your interview in Earth has brought matters to a head; the Mahanayake Thero of Anuradhapura— he’s the most influential man in the East, and you’re going to hear a lot more about him—read it and promptly asked us to grant him facilities for a tour of the bureau. We can’t refuse, of course, but we know perfectly well what he intends to do. He’ll take a team of cameramen with him and will collect enough material to launch an all-out propaganda campaign against the bureau. Then, when it’s had time to sink in, he’ll demand a referendum. And if that goes against us, we will be in trouble.”

    The pieces of the jigsaw fell into place; the pattern was at last clear. For a moment Franklin felt annoyed that he had been diverted across the world to deal with so absurd a challenge. Then he realized that the men who had sent him here did not consider it absurd; they must know, better than he did, the strength of the forces that were being marshaled. It was never wise to underestimate the power of religion, even a religion as pacific and tolerant as Buddhism.

    The position was one which, even a hundred years ago, would have seemed unthinkable, but the catastrophic political and social changes of the last century had all combined to give it a certain inevitability. With the failure or weakening of its three great rivals, Buddhism was now the only religion that still possessed any real power over the minds of men.

    Christianity, which had never fully recovered from the shattering blow given it by Darwin and Freud, had finally had unexpectedly succumbed before the archaeological discoveries of the late twentieth century. The Hindu religion, with its fantastic pantheon of gods and goddesses, had failed to survive in an age of scientific rationalism. And the Mohammedan faith, weakened by the same forces, had suffered additional loss of prestige when the rising Star of David had outshone the pale crescent of the Prophet.

    These beliefs still survived, and would linger on for generations yet, but all their power was gone. Only the teachings of the Buddha had maintained and even increased their influence, as they filled the vacuum left by the other faiths. Being a philosophy and not a religion, and relying on no revelations vulnerable to the archaeologist’s hammer, Buddhism had been largely unaffected by the shocks that had destroyed the other giants. It had been purged and purified by internal reformations, but its basic structure was unchanged.

    One of the fundamentals of Buddhism, as Franklin knew well enough, was respect for all other living creatures. It was a law that few Buddhists had ever obeyed to the letter, excusing themselves with the sophistry that it was quite in order to eat the flesh of an animal that someone else had killed. In recent years, however, attempts had been made to enforce this rule more rigorously, and there had been endless debates between vegetarians and meat eaters covering the whole spectrum of crankiness. That these arguments could have any practical effect on the work of the World Food Organization was something that Franklin had never seriously considered.

    “Tell me,” he asked, as the fertile hills rolled swiftly past beneath him, “what sort of man is this Thero you’re taking me to see?”

    “Thero is his title; you can translate it by archbishop if you like. His real name is Alexander Boyce, and he was born in Scotland sixty years ago.”

    “Scotland?”

    “Yes—he was the first westerner ever to reach the top of the Buddhist hierarchy, and he had to overcome a lot of opposition to do it. A bhikku—er, monk—friend of mine once complained that the Maha Thero was a typical elder of the kirk, born a few hundred years too late—so he’d reformed Buddhism instead of the church of Scotland.”

    “How did he get to Ceylon in the first place?”

    “Believe it or not, he came out as a junior technician in a film company. He was about twenty then. The story is that he went to film the statue of the Dying Buddha at the cave temple of Dambulla, and became converted. After that it took him twenty years to rise to the top, and he’s been responsible for most of the reforms that have taken place since then. Religions get corrupt after a couple of thousand years and need a spring-cleaning. The Maha Thero did that job for Buddhism in Ceylon by getting rid of the Hindu gods that had crept into the temples.”

    “And now he’s looking around for fresh worlds to conquer?”

    “It rather seems like it. He pretends to have nothing to do with politics, but he’s thrown out a couple of governments just by raising his finger, and he’s got a huge following in the East. His ‘Voice of Buddha’ programs are listened to by several hundred million people, and it’s estimated that at least a billion are sympathetic toward him even if they won’t go all the way with his views. So you’ll understand why we are taking this seriously.”
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: Did Arthur C. Clarke say this?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:51 pm

And in Childhood's End (1953): " . . .only a form of purified Buddhism -- perhaps the most austere of all religions -- still survived. The creeds that had been based upon miracles and revelations had collapsed utterly."
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: Did Arthur C. Clarke say this?

Postby Kim OHara » Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:38 pm

Dhammanando wrote:The passage the op alludes to is from The Deep Range (1957), alhough it's an archaeologist's hammer, not a scientist's. ...

Well done, Dhammanando!!
:bow:
Like Retro, I have read most of Clarke's books and short stories - mostly a long time ago, admittedly - but I had no recollection of this theme in his work.

:namaste:
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Re: Did Arthur C. Clarke say this?

Postby SarathW » Tue Feb 26, 2013 12:54 am

I like to buy the book. Could someone help me.

Is it Childhood's end (Del Rey mpact)

or Childhood's end (1970)

Thanks :)
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Re: Did Arthur C. Clarke say this?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Feb 26, 2013 1:02 am

Greetings,

Well the Del Rey one is definitely it, because that's a sci-fi publisher set up by Mr. Del Rey.

The other one may or may not be it, based on what limited info you've provided there.

Alternatively, just try 2nd hand book shops - that's where most of my ACC collection came from.

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: Did Arthur C. Clarke say this?

Postby SarathW » Tue Feb 26, 2013 1:59 am

Thanks Retro :)
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