What has humanity actually achieved?

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SarathW
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Re: What has humanity actually achieved?

Post by SarathW »

I do not think that human achieve anything.
They just discover which is already there.
Even Buddha discover what is already proclaimed by previous Buddhas.
:shrug:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
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Vanda
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Re: What has humanity actually achieved?

Post by Vanda »

David N. Snyder,

If you are purposely blind to the continuous destructive behavior of homo sapiens as a species, if you are selective in what you wish to see, then you just won't see the full picture. Yes, individuals, as i mentioned in an earlier post, can be impressive, be compassionate for example, but altruism is also known among other animal species, so it is important to see things in a balanced manner without prejudice.
“Don’t go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, ‘This contemplative is our teacher.’ When you know for yourselves that, ‘These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted and carried out, lead to welfare and to happiness’ — then you should enter and remain in them.”
- Kalama Sutta, Anguttara Nikaya
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Vanda
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Re: What has humanity actually achieved?

Post by Vanda »

SarathW
:goodpost:
“Don’t go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, ‘This contemplative is our teacher.’ When you know for yourselves that, ‘These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted and carried out, lead to welfare and to happiness’ — then you should enter and remain in them.”
- Kalama Sutta, Anguttara Nikaya
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samseva
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Re: What has humanity actually achieved?

Post by samseva »

So far, here are a few honourable mentions:
Dhamma
Language
Education
Internet
Philanthropy
Psychology
Medicine
Printing press
Technology
I would add to that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations.
SarathW
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Re: What has humanity actually achieved?

Post by SarathW »

"I would add to that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations""

- Universal declaration of human right is not worth the paper written on it.
- United nation is a toothless tiger. It is good only to punish the monkeys.
:shrug:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
Thisperson
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Re: What has humanity actually achieved?

Post by Thisperson »

Humans made toilets that shoot water at your arse.... That's pretty neat.
:toilet:
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Vanda
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Re: What has humanity actually achieved?

Post by Vanda »

Art..... creative expression of art. So much can be captured and expressed through art. That would probably be the best I could come up with. I think that stands apart as something unique, with a beauty and depth that allows for something much greater than ourselves to manifest.
“Don’t go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, ‘This contemplative is our teacher.’ When you know for yourselves that, ‘These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted and carried out, lead to welfare and to happiness’ — then you should enter and remain in them.”
- Kalama Sutta, Anguttara Nikaya
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samseva
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Re: What has humanity actually achieved?

Post by samseva »

SarathW wrote:"I would add to that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations""

- Universal declaration of human right is not worth the paper written on it.
- United nation is a toothless tiger. It is good only to punish the monkeys.
:shrug:
Both are not perfect, but they have generated many benefits for human kind. The world would be different without these.

Don't be so quick to judge. Improving world peace and the protection of our most basic rights is not as simple as one would think. Considering the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as not being worth the paper that it is written on is a very crude remark.
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Sam Vara
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Re: What has humanity actually achieved?

Post by Sam Vara »

SarathW wrote:I do not think that human achieve anything.
They just discover which is already there.
Yes, those colours in Rembrandt's paintings were all there in nature. All the lazy bungler had to do was to harvest them and slap them on the canvas.
mal4mac
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Re: What has humanity actually achieved?

Post by mal4mac »

Music? Painting? Did the Buddha ever recommend these? Aren't Buddhist monks supposed to keep away from these entertainments and ornamentations so as to fully calm down the senses and fully train the mind to not be enslaved by sensual pleasures? Doesn't music and art increase the passions of the mind and arouse emotions which hinder a person's spiritual development?

OK, lay people aren't asked to be as strict as monks, but shouldn't these things be avoided as much as possible? I can see, as a lay person, that putting on Beethoven for half an hour to relax from dhamma studies & meditation attempts might be beneficial as a kind of rest stop on the path. But isn't there a great danger of attachment - you might linger at the rest stop and make no spiritual progress.

Also, are these artists great examples of how to live? Beethoven had a tortured, romantic personality, often reflected in his music. This may be "interesting", and even generate some worldly pleasure, but is it something to dwell upon?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludwig_va ... fficulties" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Look at Rembrandt's self portraits in the last third of his life. You see a scruffy tramp looking more like 70 than 40.He looks old, clapped out, unhappy, with a bulbous beer drinker’s nose and shapeless down-and-out hair. His beloved wife died. His son died. His popularity waned. He seduced his young maid, turning her into a despised whore in the eyes of her community, and committed other sexual offences. His fortune decreased through him living far beyond his means. He was a fraud, bidding up his own works at auction. OK, perhaps there is a Buddhist message here - at least a negative one - this is how you are likely to end up if you live an unethical, ridiculous, worldly life, even if you are good at slapping paint on canvas..

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rembrandt#Life" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
- Mal
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Aloka
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Re: What has humanity actually achieved?

Post by Aloka »

mal4mac wrote:OK, perhaps there is a Buddhist message here - at least a negative one - this is how you are likely to end up if you live an unethical, ridiculous, worldly life, even if you are good at slapping paint on canvas..

Yes indeed, why don't we have public painting & book burning sessions and make some new laws ? That'll show those "ridiculous" worldly people a thing or two!

:)
Last edited by Aloka on Fri Aug 28, 2015 10:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
SarathW
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Re: What has humanity actually achieved?

Post by SarathW »

Admiration of music and art is due to conditioned mind.
If you are westerner you may not like eastern music and arts and visa versa.
Michael Jackson said every note is a musical note.
So it is a matter of conditioning someone's mind to it.
It is like conditioning your mind to a Kasina object.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
mal4mac
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Re: What has humanity actually achieved?

Post by mal4mac »

Aloka wrote: Yes indeed, why don't we have public painting & book burning sessions and make some new laws ? That'll show those "ridiculous" worldly people a thing or two!
No, the ridiculous worldly people would probably burn us. Not good for peace of mind :)
- Mal
perkele
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Re: What has humanity actually achieved?

Post by perkele »

What remarkable, positive and purposeful things has humanity achieved?
I once painted a picture of a beautiful turkish girl from my physics course with pastell chalks under the influence of magic mushrooms.
I was just going to post it here but found that I must have decided to delete it from facebook some time ago, and now have no digitized copy anymore.
I think it was a good picture, so I would say that's positive. I found it somehow remarkable. It had a very dreamlike surreal quality to it. It was also purposeful in some way: to have a good pastime, and to express beauty, with a touch of mystery, while also reflecting the trippy mushroomy mindstate of the artist at that time. The Schrödinger equation was in it as well. And a rose, as a symbol for her name "Gül".
I could not gather up the courage to give it to her, although that had been my idea.
I gave it to one of two Spanish girls who were fighting over it in the end. I had some regrets afterwards coming back continually for some time, that I should have given it to the one who humbly gave in in the end, instead of to the one who insisted that she should have it. It was a tough decision, though. There were convincing reasons on both sides.
In the end, though, I made peace with the decision. I think it has a purpose where it is now. Considering myself to be part of humanity I would count this as an (albeit small) purposeful thing humanity has achieved.
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Sam Vara
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Re: What has humanity actually achieved?

Post by Sam Vara »

mal4mac wrote:Music? Painting? Did the Buddha ever recommend these? Aren't Buddhist monks supposed to keep away from these entertainments and ornamentations so as to fully calm down the senses and fully train the mind to not be enslaved by sensual pleasures? Doesn't music and art increase the passions of the mind and arouse emotions which hinder a person's spiritual development?
As far as I know, the Buddha referred to them but did not recommend them. Buddhist monks are indeed advised to avoid entertainments. I don't know whether music and art increase the passions of the mind; some say they do, and some (Schopenhauer, for example) say otherwise.

This isn't what the thread is about, though.

One may indeed use the personal happiness experienced by Beethoven and Rembrandt as a kind of morality tale, but to do so is to miss the point of the references in an endearingly comical manner.
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