Universe - Chaotic or Ordered in Buddhism

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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No_Mind
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Universe - Chaotic or Ordered in Buddhism

Post by No_Mind »

Universe or samsara - is it chaotic or ordered in Buddhism?

Hinduism and Christianity says it is ordered .. [not to imply that an ordered universe is run by (a) God .. though that would sort of make sense]

This is not a God vs no-God question. But rather if what happens is random or nonrandom (there can be no grey area between random and nonrandom. I either aim a bullet at you or don't .. I can't sort of aim at you).

A $3000 valve blows, a $100 million plane loses hydraulics and 125 on board die.

Was it part of a plan (for lack of a better word) according to Buddhism?

Please do not make this question a platform to espouse atheism (agnosticism is fine)

:namaste:
"The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”― Albert Camus
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Nicolas
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Re: Universe - Chaotic or Ordered in Buddhism

Post by Nicolas »

Ordered (kamma, conditionality, science).

Potentially relevant: “Whether or not there is the arising of Tathāgatas, this property stands—this steadfastness of the Dhamma, this orderliness of the Dhamma: [...]” (link)
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Sam Vara
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Re: Universe - Chaotic or Ordered in Buddhism

Post by Sam Vara »

No_Mind wrote: Sun Oct 04, 2020 3:37 pm Universe or samsara - is it chaotic or ordered in Buddhism?

Hinduism and Christianity says it is ordered .. [not to imply that an ordered universe is run by (a) God .. though that would sort of make sense]

This is not a God vs no-God question. But rather if what happens is random or nonrandom (there can be no grey area between random and nonrandom. I either aim a bullet at you or don't .. I can't sort of aim at you).
You can sort of aim, and then I get hit by the ricochet...

Here's a nice question:
Monks, whether or not there is the arising of Tathagatas, this property stands — this steadfastness of the Dhamma, this orderliness of the Dhamma: All processes are inconstant.
(AN 3.134)

Does the orderliness of the Dhamma mean that the universe is ordered? If it were, then presumably some really clever deva or somesuch could eventually work out how to stay happily in samsara for ever. Or does the orderliness merely consist of the fact that there is no such order in the universe, no bastion against inconstancy?
SarathW
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Re: Universe - Chaotic or Ordered in Buddhism

Post by SarathW »

I think it is ordered.
It appears to be operated on some Niyama Dhamma or Paccaya Dhamma.
Kamma is only one of them.
=====================
Causality
The Abhidhamma teaches us that:

there are natural laws which govern the universe (niyaama dhammaa);
our mental and physical states arise dependent on causes — dependent origination (pa.ticca samuppaada); and
conditioning and influencing relationships exist between these effects and their causes (paccaya).

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... #causality
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
santa100
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Re: Universe - Chaotic or Ordered in Buddhism

Post by santa100 »

No_Mind wrote:Universe or samsara - is it chaotic or ordered in Buddhism?
In Buddhism, the chaotic nature of universe/samsara(ie. the perpetual flux/changes) is... surprisingly ordered(ie. subjected to the law of kamma and condition origination). So it's both, or neither, depending on how one wants to slice and dice it.
SteRo
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Re: Universe - Chaotic or Ordered in Buddhism

Post by SteRo »

No_Mind wrote: Sun Oct 04, 2020 3:37 pm Universe or samsara - is it chaotic or ordered in Buddhism?
The Blessed One said, "What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. [1] Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range."
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Exhaling अ and inhaling धीः amounts to བྷྲཱུཾ་བི་ཤྭ་བི་ཤུད་དྷེ
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cappuccino
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Re: Universe - Chaotic or Ordered in Buddhism

Post by cappuccino »

No_Mind wrote: Was it part of a plan … according to Buddhism?
Buddhism doesn't concern itself this far


Rather you're meant to work on your liberation from Samsara


Never mind about this question or others like it


:shrug:
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Mahabrahma
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Re: Universe - Chaotic or Ordered in Buddhism

Post by Mahabrahma »

Buddhism is a Science into the nature of all things that pertain to coming to Enlightenment, therefore understanding the Universe is important, since the entire Universe must eventually become Enlightened. If you see chaos in things, it may be because of a lack of order there, but there is still a semblance of consciousness that can come to order. Chaos can exist, even beautiful and Loving chaos, spontaneous chaos, but order is there as well, amalgamating chaos into eventual order. There can be even chaos in Buddhahood, but it is not without Metta, therefore there is Loving meaning in it. So in this Universe there is both chaos and order, but everything can be understood by the infinite mind.
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Coëmgenu
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Re: Universe - Chaotic or Ordered in Buddhism

Post by Coëmgenu »

No_Mind wrote: Sun Oct 04, 2020 3:37 pm Universe or samsara - is it chaotic or ordered in Buddhism?
How could it not be ordered? We can imagine a hack paraphrasing Buddhism like "The created there is, but not the creator." We're using "created" here very loosely, as "sankata." The created/conditioned has features that are regular as much as it has features that are impermanent, sources of suffering, and selfless.

If we look into the older less scientific worldview of Buddhism and temporarily shun attempts to marry it with modern cosmology, there is always a Sumeru. There are always 32 planes of existence. There is always Indra, Brahma, etc. There is always four continents around the cosmic mountains. Indeed, there is always a city of Sravasti for the Buddhas to perform the twin miracle before. The above of course is not actually true, because there are periods of near-nothingness between the destruction and reconstitution of the world-systems. A better point is that there are always at least 7 dhyanas, the heaven of the first being destroyed with the world-system it corresponds to and therefore not always being around. There is always a nibbana according to how the Theravadins frame "nibbana." There is always the hells, aside from during the destruction of the lokadhatu.

How could one think that Buddhism suggests a chaotic world? Buddhism suggests the world is chaotic only in the sense that it suggests that the world does not operate according to any one "divine will" that determines either a) what will happen, or b) morally ought to happen.
The thus come thus gone,
who has neither came nor went,
enthroned on men’s breath,

like the still turtle,
withdraws six appendages
and is clothed in light --

illuminating
the unilluminated
with three shining cures.
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Bundokji
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Re: Universe - Chaotic or Ordered in Buddhism

Post by Bundokji »

I would say it can be transformed into order. It has no inherent nature.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.
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