Planes of humans and animals

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
OWEG
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Planes of humans and animals

Post by OWEG » Sun Dec 01, 2019 10:04 am

Dear friends,

I am listening to an audio book about the human evolution. As in our science today we see the human evolved from the animal state being an higher developed animal, the following question arose in my mind:

Why did the Buddha categorize the human plane of existence as separated from the animal plane?

I ask because it seems, that from modern science point of view the difference between humans and animals are only gradually (like human animals). Not like the difference in matter between human and devas for example. Also in the Jatakata tales we have often very human-like thinking and talking animals.

Any further ideas on this?

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robertk
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Re: Planes of humans and animals

Post by robertk » Sun Dec 01, 2019 10:45 am

Animal birth is the result of akusala kamma. Human the result of kusala.

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Alīno
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Re: Planes of humans and animals

Post by Alīno » Sun Dec 01, 2019 11:29 am

OWEG wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 10:04 am
I ask because it seems, that from modern science point of view the difference between humans and animals are only gradually (like human animals). Not like the difference in matter between human and devas for example. Also in the Jatakata tales we have often very human-like thinking and talking animals.

Any further ideas on this?
Very intresting...
What if the smouth and "gradual" difference, with almost no discernable barrier between animals and humains is of the same nature as smouth, gradual, non clearly discernable difference between humains and devas?

Can we say that :
Hell beings are very close by their nature to Hungry ghosts beings
Hungry ghosts to Asuras beings
Asura beings to Animal beings
Animal beings to Humain beings
Humain beings to Deva beings ...and 'vice versa' ..?

:juggling: :thinking:
Ajahn Nanadassano (before ordaining) : Venerable Ajahn, what is the bigest error that buddhist do in their practice?
Ajahn Jayasaro : They stop practicing ...

form
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Re: Planes of humans and animals

Post by form » Sun Dec 01, 2019 11:57 am

Talking animals? Parrots?

OWEG
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Re: Planes of humans and animals

Post by OWEG » Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:02 pm

robertk wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 10:45 am
Animal birth is the result of akusala kamma. Human the result of kusala.
That might be a valid perspective: categories according to kusala and akusala cause of birth.

form
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Re: Planes of humans and animals

Post by form » Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:11 pm

robertk wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 10:45 am
Animal birth is the result of akusala kamma. Human the result of kusala.
What is the meaning of these two fancy words? It could be as simple as conditioning with the habits and characteristics of a specific realm beings and becoming them in the next life.

OWEG
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Re: Planes of humans and animals

Post by OWEG » Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:36 pm

[/quote]

Very intresting...
What if the smouth and "gradual" difference, with almost no discernable barrier between animals and humains is of the same nature as smouth, gradual, non clearly discernable difference between humains and devas?

Can we say that :
Hell beings are very close by their nature to Hungry ghosts beings
Hungry ghosts to Asuras beings
Asura beings to Animal beings
Animal beings to Humain beings
Humain beings to Deva beings ...and 'vice versa' ..?

:juggling: :thinking:
[/quote]

As far as I understand all these categories have a much wider spectrum than we might tend to think. E.g. humans might differ in different times and places very much in bodysize and outer appearance or mental devevelopment or potential of age. Maybe humans from another world system are quite different from us at this stage. Or think about the enormous diversity in animal kingdom. Also I have heard that there are cold and hot hells.
And as I understood human realm has the highest spectrum of possible experiences. So you have humans living like animals and you have humans having reached arahantship.
But even considering all that diversity within one plane of existence there should be a reason for the 31 categories.
What do you think?

OWEG
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Re: Planes of humans and animals

Post by OWEG » Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:53 pm

form wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 11:57 am
Talking animals? Parrots?
If you don’t like the word talking, just change it into communicating :mrgreen:

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Alīno
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Re: Planes of humans and animals

Post by Alīno » Sun Dec 01, 2019 1:05 pm

OWEG wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:36 pm

As far as I understand all these categories have a much wider spectrum than we might tend to think. E.g. humans might differ in different times and places very much in bodysize and outer appearance or mental devevelopment or potential of age. Maybe humans from another world system are quite different from us at this stage. Or think about the enormous diversity in animal kingdom. Also I have heard that there are cold and hot hells.
And as I understood human realm has the highest spectrum of possible experiences. So you have humans living like animals and you have humans having reached arahantship.
But even considering all that diversity within one plane of existence there should be a reason for the 31 categories.
What do you think?
There is a sutta or some commentary who say if beings of this or that reality are same or different in : form, feeling, perception formations or consciousness (If I don't mistake, or just body and mind differences or similities)... maybe someone could give the exact quote.

But yes it seems that there is some major charactiristicsa who make beings reborn in different (?) planes of existance.
Maybe the level of pleasure and pain? Of for exemple some major tendencies of mind like:
- pleasure of body and mind= Devas
- pleasure and suffering of body and mind = humains
- strong bhava tanha = animals (survive no matter the price)
- strong kamma tanha = ghosts and Asuras ( different kinds of greed, jealousy for sensual pleasures of others etc)
- strong vibhava tanha = hells (strong destructive kamma : killing, stealing, cheating, lying, drugs)

:shrug:
Ajahn Nanadassano (before ordaining) : Venerable Ajahn, what is the bigest error that buddhist do in their practice?
Ajahn Jayasaro : They stop practicing ...

SteRo
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Re: Planes of humans and animals

Post by SteRo » Sun Dec 01, 2019 1:10 pm

OWEG wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 10:04 am
...
Why did the Buddha categorize the human plane of existence as separated from the animal plane?

I ask because it seems, that from modern science point of view the difference between humans and animals are only gradually (like human animals)...
Modern science belongs to worldly experience in human realm like delusion and ignorance belong to worldly experience in human realm. Modern science does not lead to abandonment of delusion and ignorance.
While the Buddha's teachings matches worldly experience in human realm it leads to abandonment of delusion and ignorance. That is why it is a categorical error to compare modern science and the Buddha's teachings.

OWEG
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Re: Planes of humans and animals

Post by OWEG » Sun Dec 01, 2019 2:29 pm

SteRo wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 1:10 pm
OWEG wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 10:04 am
...
Why did the Buddha categorize the human plane of existence as separated from the animal plane?

I ask because it seems, that from modern science point of view the difference between humans and animals are only gradually (like human animals)...
Modern science belongs to worldly experience in human realm like delusion and ignorance belong to worldly experience in human realm. Modern science does not lead to abandonment of delusion and ignorance.
While the Buddha's teachings matches worldly experience in human realm it leads to abandonment of delusion and ignorance. That is why it is a categorical error to compare modern science and the Buddha's teachings.
It is not really about my question, but I think your answer is interesting. Do you suggest that modern science and Buddhas teachings or explanations about the world has no common ground at all?

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cappuccino
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Re: Planes of humans and animals

Post by cappuccino » Sun Dec 01, 2019 4:45 pm

OWEG wrote: Why did the Buddha categorize the human plane of existence as separate from the animal plane?
there are no animals making art, poetry

there are no animals who truly understand this teaching

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DNS
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Re: Planes of humans and animals

Post by DNS » Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:48 pm

OWEG wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 10:04 am
Why did the Buddha categorize the human plane of existence as separated from the animal plane?
Humans are animals. Humans are members of the Animal Kingdom, Class of Mammals, Order of Primates . . . .

However, we have far superior intellect and self-awareness. Animals have this too, but in much lower degree. From a buddhist perspective, humans have the capacity to learn and practice Dhamma and that is the major separation, but it is huge, so Buddha placed us on a different plane of existence due to that, imo.

Buddhism is fully compatible with biological evolution, imo. Animals don't practice Dhamma but they are still "spiritual" beings in the sense that they go through samsara, whereas other religions deny a soul or spiritual essence in animals, which is not compatible with evolution. In Buddhism, we are all (all animals) in samsara, so no conflict (again, in my opinion).

OWEG
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Re: Planes of humans and animals

Post by OWEG » Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:05 pm

DNS wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:48 pm

Humans are animals. Humans are members of the Animal Kingdom, Class of Mammals, Order of Primates . . . .

However, we have far superior intellect and self-awareness. Animals have this too, but in much lower degree. From a buddhist perspective, humans have the capacity to learn and practice Dhamma and that is the major separation, but it is huge, so Buddha placed us on a different plane of existence due to that, imo.

Buddhism is fully compatible with biological evolution, imo. Animals don't practice Dhamma but they are still "spiritual" beings in the sense that they go through samsara, whereas other religions deny a soul or spiritual essence in animals, which is not compatible with evolution. In Buddhism, we are all (all animals) in samsara, so no conflict (again, in my opinion).
Sounds quite reasonable to me :thumbsup:

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cappuccino
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Re: Planes of humans and animals

Post by cappuccino » Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:13 pm

evolution seemed like a good idea at the time


since we've discovered it's very inadequate


it doesn't begin to explain the complexity we've discovered about ourselves

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