Where is the philosophy of 'materialism' found in Buddha teachings?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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seeker242
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Re: Where is the philosophy of 'materialism' found in Buddha teachings?

Post by seeker242 » Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:54 am

Roz wrote:
seeker242 wrote:Idea of interpreters of the Pali language, like Thanissaro Bhikkhu, are likely the only thing that you are going to find because the Buddha didn't speak English. I'm no pali scholar but I would bet there is no direct translation for the English word "materialism" in Pali.
Thank you for your straightforward confirmation.
No problem! However, I would not jump to the conclusion that the Buddha didn't denounce such philosophy, simply because that particular word didn't exist in the language. If "materialism" is defined as "the theory that physical matter is all there is", it's quite clear the Buddha denounced this.

Garrib
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Re: Where is the philosophy of 'materialism' found in Buddha teachings?

Post by Garrib » Tue Jul 25, 2017 2:32 am

Caodemarte wrote:
Garrib wrote:...I have heard of unconscious devas- in that case I suppose consciousness would cease temporarily with death?... the Buddha taught rebirtb, and the ending od rebirth. Correct not rebirth of a self, but nonetheless a continuity. You can see these worldviews are contradictory.....Or do you believe that the Buddha did not teach about rebirth?


The problem here is that Buddhism does not posit a self. Therefore the question if " self" has or does not have anything, exists, does not exist, continues after death or does not continue is often compared with asking about a rabbit's horns. So if somebody asks you how long are a rabbit's horns, do they fall off after death or continue forever, is there a continuity of horns that is reborn, are the horns in a state of permanent or temporary existence or non-existence, are they illusory or real, etc. you will understand something of the Buddha's silence.

Hence my question in response to the questions "can there be a consciousness without a self or a self without a consciousness" was "can there be a self?" If you posit a definite self (or any permanent substance) it is possible to discuss its existence or absence and the qualities it has or does not have.

So "rebirth" can be used in the sense we understand a candle lighting another candle and that candle being used to light another and so on. Does the flame die, survive, go out and relight,or is there some invisible continuity of the flame? None of these questions really make sense. Perhaps it is possible to say that similar causes produce similar effects, but anything else would seem to depend on false assumptions or an inability to observe fire. :candle:
That is how I understand it anyway and perhaps you can get a more sophisticated answer than these ancient homey parables.
Yes, there is no permanent entity or substance but there IS rebirth - "Bhava paccaya jati" - For the purposes of this argument it doesn't matter whether it is a self that continues or merely causes and conditions, because the materialists believe that everything ceases just because of physical death. THAT is inconsistent with the Buddha's teachings. What is more, the human being that is conventiionally called "me" and the human being that is conventionally called "you" - each of us fare on according to our own kamma. That means, as far as I'm concerned, that unless we become fully enlightened in this life, we can expect to continue experiencing things after death.

So, again Yes, the question of whether a "self" continues beyond death is the wrong question - modern materialists say that consciousness arises out of purely physical processes in the brain, and that when these processes cease, there is no being in the body, and no being arising anywhere else...I personally believe that this does not accord with the Buddha's teachings.

justindesilva
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Re: Where is the philosophy of 'materialism' found in Buddha teachings?

Post by justindesilva » Tue Jul 25, 2017 6:31 am

seeker242 wrote:
Roz wrote:If Buddha really used the word "materialism" I would like to see a real quote rather than the ideas of other people.
Idea of interpreters of the Pali language, like Thanissaro Bhikkhu, are likely the only thing that you are going to find because the Buddha didn't speak English. I'm no pali scholar but I would bet there is no direct translation for the English word "materialism" in Pali.
It is true that Lord budda did not use a single term for matter. Yet in his first discourse Lord budda included the term " anicca". In fact anicca includes the arising and changing of matter which is the philosophy of matter or in other words birth living and death. This is also arising of rupa and its change or becoming as also explained in paticca samuppada.
In an article by ven sayagi Thrai as " The essentials of Buddhism in meditation practise" , it is explained that anicca is change of matter. Where as matter is broken down to kalapas which changes momentarily thus explaining the anicca of matter or rupa.
Then visuddimagga explains that matter is broken down to the four Maha Bhuta which are apo tejo vayo patavi that is explained as qualities as water air heat and earth that is further explained down.
All these put together which keeps on changing as matter (Rupa) explains the philosophy of materialism in the budda darma. Please note that these changes can be explained as momentary changes of Salayatana too.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Where is the philosophy of 'materialism' found in Buddha teachings?

Post by Sam Vara » Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:13 am

Roz wrote:
Sam Vara wrote:Can there be a self without consciousness?
Can there be a consciousness without a self?
Yes, there can.
Thanking everyone for the answers here. I think this topic has now been concluded! :thanks:
My pleasure, but the continuing posts prove that you are wrong on the topic being concluded.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Where is the philosophy of 'materialism' found in Buddha teachings?

Post by Sam Vara » Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:14 am

Caodemarte wrote:
Sam Vara wrote:
Can there be a self without consciousness?
Can there be a self?
Sure, but not a permanent unchanging one.

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zerotime
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Re: Where is the philosophy of 'materialism' found in Buddha teachings?

Post by zerotime » Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:03 am

Roz wrote:I have read the term 'materialism' used on this forum many times, in a derogatory way. Where is the the philosophy of 'materialism' found in Buddha scripture teachings to show Buddha disapproved if it? Thanks
In the Cula-Saccaka Sutta MN 35 :

"A simile occurs to me, Master Gotama."

"Let it occur to you, Aggivessana."

"Just as any seeds that exhibit growth, increase, & proliferation, all do so in dependence on the earth; or just as any activities requiring strength that are done, all are done in dependence on the earth; in the same way, Master Gotama, an individual with form as self, taking a stance on form, produces merit or demerit. An individual with feeling as self... with perception as self... with fabrications as self... with consciousness as self, taking a stance on consciousness, produces merit or demerit."

"Then, Aggivessana, are you saying, 'Form is my self, feeling is my self, perception is my self, fabrications are my self, consciousness is my self'?"

"Yes, Master Gotama, I'm saying that 'Form is my self, feeling is my self, perception is my self, fabrications are my self, consciousness is my self.' As does this great multitude." [4]

"What does this great multitude have to do with you? Please focus just on your own assertion."

"Yes, Master Gotama, I'm saying that 'Form is my self, feeling is my self, perception is my self, fabrications are my self, consciousness is my self.'"

"Very well then, Aggivessana, I will cross-question you on this matter. Answer as you see fit. What do you think? Would a consecrated, noble-warrior king — such as King Pasenadi of Kosala or King Ajātasattu Vedehiputta of Magadha — wield the power in his own domain to execute those who deserve execution, to fine those who deserve to be fined, and to banish those who deserve to be banished?"

"Yes, Master Gotama, he would wield the power in his own domain to execute those who deserve execution, to fine those who deserve to be fined, and to banish those who deserve to be banished. Even these oligarchic groups, such as the Vajjians & Mallans, wield the power in their own domains to execute those who deserve execution, to fine those who deserve to be fined, and to banish those who deserve to be banished, [5] to say nothing of a consecrated, noble-warrior king such as King Pasenadi of Kosala, or King Ajātasattu Vedehiputta of Magadha. He would wield it, and he would deserve to wield it."

"What do you think, Aggivessana? When you say, 'Form is my self,' do you wield power over that form: 'May my form be thus, may my form not be thus'?"

When this was said, Saccaka the Nigaṇṭha-son was silent.

A second time, the Blessed One said to Saccaka the Nigaṇṭha-son: "What do you think, Aggivessana? When you say, 'Form is my self,' do you wield power over that form: 'May my form be thus, may my form not be thus'?"

When this was said, Saccaka the Nigaṇṭha-son was silent a second time.

Then the Blessed One said to him, "Answer now, Aggivessana. This is not the time to be silent. When anyone doesn't answer when asked a legitimate question by the Tathāgata up to three times, his head splits into seven pieces right here."

Now on that occasion the spirit (yakkha) Vajirapāṇin [Thunderbolt-in-Hand], carrying an iron thunderbolt, was poised in the air above Saccaka the Nigaṇṭha-son, (thinking,) "If Saccaka the Nigaṇṭha-son doesn't answer when asked a legitimate question by the Blessed One up to three times, I will split his head into seven pieces right here."

The Blessed One saw the spirit Vajirapāṇin, as did Saccaka the Nigaṇṭha-son. So Saccaka — afraid, terrified, his hair standing on end — seeking shelter in the Blessed One, seeking a cave/asylum in the Blessed One, seeking refuge in the Blessed One — said to the Blessed One, "Let Master Gotama ask me. I will answer."

"What do you think, Aggivessana? When you say, 'Form is my self,' do you wield power over that form: 'May my form be thus, may my form not be thus'?"

"No, Master Gotama."


...

Full: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Others Suttas against materialism: DN 2, AN 3:138, MN 60.
Roz wrote: If Buddha really used the word "materialism" I would like to see a real quote rather than the ideas of other people. I searched and could not find an answer. Thanks
the Buddha taught the word rupa, which in this sutta is translated like "form". Rupa is not exactly "matter" as we think in our modern terms. Rupa is referred to the knowledge provided by the senses, which is not exactly what we know after the sense experience. We know this is rupa but we ignore the exact nature of the object. In example: when your eye contact with an object there is a knowledge for that sense organ. However, what your self can know it's a further thing named nama, which is the idea or concept, the mental image built over that.
Last edited by zerotime on Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:49 am, edited 4 times in total.

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zerotime
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Re: Where is the philosophy of 'materialism' found in Buddha teachings?

Post by zerotime » Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:51 am

Sam Vara wrote: Can there be a self without consciousness?
no, because the self is a delusion. And a delusion needs of a consciousness.

The Buddha taught to observe "this is not me, this is not mine, this is not my self"

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Sam Vara
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Re: Where is the philosophy of 'materialism' found in Buddha teachings?

Post by Sam Vara » Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:05 am

zerotime wrote:
Sam Vara wrote: Can there be a self without consciousness?
no, because the self is a delusion. And a delusion needs of a consciousness.

The Buddha taught to observe "this is not me, this is not mine, this is not my self"
Yes, I agree.

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Re: Where is the philosophy of 'materialism' found in Buddha teachings?

Post by stentoriusmaxim » Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:50 pm

Nicolas wrote:The Buddha uses the term "annihilationism" to encompass materialism:
Brahmajāla Sutta (DN 1) wrote: Herein, bhikkhus, a certain recluse or a brahmin asserts the following doctrine and view: ‘The self, good sir, has material form; it is composed of the four primary elements and originates from father and mother. Since this self, good sir, is annihilated and destroyed with the breakup of the body and does not exist after death, at this point the self is completely annihilated.’ In this way some proclaim the annihilation, destruction, and extermination of an existent being.

Oh I totally forgot the six world views. I remember in one sutra (I don't remember which) Buddha told a Bhramin or Ananda not to use miricles to convince people of the truth of the Dharma. His story was that Mahavira once used miricles on a anihlationist by predicting the future by saying some plant on the side of the road would flurish far into the future. The nhilist was like "hehe ill show mahavira is full of it" and ripped the plant out of the ground. Later a storm righted the plant and replanted it. Shocked to his core the nhilist didn't convert to jainism instead he just changed into a fatalist (one of the six views) that everythng is destined and you cannot stop it. So don't use special shiddhi powers on people from the 4th jhana!

Good story.

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Re: Where is the philosophy of 'materialism' found in Buddha teachings?

Post by form » Tue Sep 26, 2017 1:54 pm

Garrib wrote:Okay..I apologize if my comment seemed overly confident. I have heard of unconscious devas- in that case I suppose consciousness would cease temporarily with death?

I may have been too imprecise with my words - materialists believe that there is no subjective experience after death. the Buddha taught rebirtb, and the ending od rebirth. Correct not rebirth of a self, but nonetheless a continuity. You can see these worldviews are contradictory. Again my phrasing leaves much to be desired, and I'm sorry for that, but the basic point seems like it should be uncontroversial.

Or do you believe that the Buddha did not teach about rebirth?
Other beings has their own "body" that is probably not the bio system we know about. Without "body" there is no sense "organs" there is no contact.

form
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Re: Where is the philosophy of 'materialism' found in Buddha teachings?

Post by form » Tue Sep 26, 2017 1:57 pm

What the Buddha taught is balance between existence and no existence.

When one reach very high stage, they recalled past life, yet there is no permanent Atman. That dun mean there is no past lives.

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