Rare human incarnation

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
greggorious
Posts: 261
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:40 pm

Rare human incarnation

Post by greggorious »

If it's so rare and precious to be born a human being, how does the vastly increasing human population on the planet explain this?
"The original heart/mind shines like pure, clear water with the sweetest taste. But if the heart is pure, is our practice over? No, we must not cling even to this purity. We must go beyond all duality, all concepts, all bad, all good, all pure, all impure. We must go beyond self and nonself, beyond birth and death. When we see with the eye of wisdom, we know that the true Buddha is timeless, unborn, unrelated to any body, any history, any image. Buddha is the ground of all being, the realization of the truth of the unmoving mind.” Ajahn Chah

Nyana
Posts: 2233
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

Re: Rare human incarnation

Post by Nyana »

greggorious wrote:If it's so rare and precious to be born a human being, how does the vastly increasing human population on the planet explain this?
The result of meritorious kamma. Seven billion is still a very small number if you consider all of the animals and insects living on this planet at any given time (not to mention the rest of the universe).

greggorious
Posts: 261
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:40 pm

Re: Rare human incarnation

Post by greggorious »

So as humans are evolving on a physical level are we also evolving on a spiritual level?
"The original heart/mind shines like pure, clear water with the sweetest taste. But if the heart is pure, is our practice over? No, we must not cling even to this purity. We must go beyond all duality, all concepts, all bad, all good, all pure, all impure. We must go beyond self and nonself, beyond birth and death. When we see with the eye of wisdom, we know that the true Buddha is timeless, unborn, unrelated to any body, any history, any image. Buddha is the ground of all being, the realization of the truth of the unmoving mind.” Ajahn Chah

daverupa
Posts: 5980
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: Rare human incarnation

Post by daverupa »

greggorious wrote:So as humans are evolving on a physical level are we also evolving on a spiritual level?
No.

This speculative velocity has nothing to do with the Path.
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

santa100
Posts: 4197
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:55 pm

Re: Rare human incarnation

Post by santa100 »

There's no contradiction with what the Buddha said if we put our view of human race in a cosmic perspective: we're certainly not the only "humans" in this vast universe and there's nothing that stops humans from other "earths" from taking rebirth on "our" earth. So it's quite possible that a catastrophic event happens to some planet earth out there in a different solar system or a different galaxy, that wipes out the population there. Since they still have kamma, they'll find ways to "re-distribute" themselves onto our earths or any other earths with compatible kammic conditions..

greggorious
Posts: 261
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:40 pm

Re: Rare human incarnation

Post by greggorious »

So we're only evolving physically then? Not mentally or spiritually? Is this cos there's scientific evidence for the former? If so then I want to see the scientific evidence of the six realms of existence and of re-birth in general.
"The original heart/mind shines like pure, clear water with the sweetest taste. But if the heart is pure, is our practice over? No, we must not cling even to this purity. We must go beyond all duality, all concepts, all bad, all good, all pure, all impure. We must go beyond self and nonself, beyond birth and death. When we see with the eye of wisdom, we know that the true Buddha is timeless, unborn, unrelated to any body, any history, any image. Buddha is the ground of all being, the realization of the truth of the unmoving mind.” Ajahn Chah

User avatar
icyteru
Posts: 98
Joined: Sun May 22, 2011 1:11 am
Contact:

Re: Rare human incarnation

Post by icyteru »

greggorious wrote:So we're only evolving physically then? Not mentally or spiritually? Is this cos there's scientific evidence for the former? If so then I want to see the scientific evidence of the six realms of existence and of re-birth in general.
there's fewer Ariyas nowadays. scientific evidence of another realms and rebirth? search it on youtube. but there must be something that science can't prove.
The most complete english tipitaka on the internet world. http://realtruthlife.blogspot.com .

User avatar
Polar Bear
Posts: 1309
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:39 am
Location: Bear Republic

Re: Rare human incarnation

Post by Polar Bear »

It's due entirely to phenomenon explained by the statistical theory of randomness, it's just that we don't have all the numbers we need to prove it

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randomness" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

User avatar
Aloka
Posts: 6740
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:51 pm

Re: Rare human incarnation

Post by Aloka »

greggorious wrote:So we're only evolving physically then? Not mentally or spiritually? Is this cos there's scientific evidence for the former? If so then I want to see the scientific evidence of the six realms of existence and of re-birth in general.
Hi Greg,

My own opinion is that its pointless to speculate about these things and much better to try to focus on what's happening today in the here and now. Otherwise I might miss my bus, or worse still, walk under a car while I'm not paying attention and my mind is buzzing around other realms and past and future existences.

Kind regards

Aloka :)

dharmapasschakra
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun May 06, 2012 3:56 pm

Re: Rare human incarnation

Post by dharmapasschakra »

why does the incarnation of your body matter? it's nothing to do with you.

your body is not you.

if you happen to be contained in the body of a cow in the next life the shape and form of you will be still exactly the same.

you rides a Ford for 1 min, get out and get in a Benz for 1 min.

you rides a Benz for 1 min, get out and get in a Lexus for 1 min.

your cars look different and work different.

however, there is only one driver it's you.

you will be very likely riding a bicycle in the next life.

but don't worry, still you can go groceries as much as your Benz, Ford or Lexus did.

cow life, ant life, dog life, cat life and whale life.

every bit of those sentient beings do the exactly enough functions as a human body/an alien physical body will.

daverupa
Posts: 5980
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: Rare human incarnation

Post by daverupa »

dharmapasschakra wrote:you rides a Ford for 1 min, get out and get in a Benz for 1 min.

you rides a Benz for 1 min, get out and get in a Lexus for 1 min.

...however, there is only one driver it's you.
Say it isn't so!
MN 38 wrote:"Exactly so, friends. I understand the Dhamma taught by the Blessed One such that it is just this consciousness that runs and wanders on, not another."

Then those monks, desiring to pry the monk Sāti the Fisherman's Son away from that pernicious viewpoint, quizzed him back & forth and rebuked him, saying, "Don't say that, friend Sāti. Don't slander the Blessed One, for it is not good to slander the Blessed One. The Blessed One would not say anything like that. In many ways, friend, the Blessed One has said of dependently co-arisen consciousness, 'Apart from a requisite condition, there is no coming-into-play of consciousness.'"
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

User avatar
Polar Bear
Posts: 1309
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:39 am
Location: Bear Republic

Re: Rare human incarnation

Post by Polar Bear »

daverupa wrote:
dharmapasschakra wrote:you rides a Ford for 1 min, get out and get in a Benz for 1 min.

you rides a Benz for 1 min, get out and get in a Lexus for 1 min.

...however, there is only one driver it's you.
Say it isn't so!
MN 38 wrote:"Exactly so, friends. I understand the Dhamma taught by the Blessed One such that it is just this consciousness that runs and wanders on, not another."

Then those monks, desiring to pry the monk Sāti the Fisherman's Son away from that pernicious viewpoint, quizzed him back & forth and rebuked him, saying, "Don't say that, friend Sāti. Don't slander the Blessed One, for it is not good to slander the Blessed One. The Blessed One would not say anything like that. In many ways, friend, the Blessed One has said of dependently co-arisen consciousness, 'Apart from a requisite condition, there is no coming-into-play of consciousness.'"
Ahh yes, thank you so much Dave for posting this, I've been looking for this sutta/webpage for a couple weeks and I couldn't remember what it was called. This sutta is super important because I, like Sati sorta, have a hard time understanding what the Buddha means in this most crucial step of dependent origination. I feel like if I can understand what the Tathagata means at this link into further becoming and being leading to more birth then I can understand the whole of dependent origination cause everything else seems deducible, it's this link between craving/clinging, consciousness and becoming that's confusing. Hopefully, I'll understand it someday, thanks again!
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

dharmapasschakra
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun May 06, 2012 3:56 pm

Re: Rare human incarnation

Post by dharmapasschakra »

MN 38 wrote:"Exactly so, friends. I understand the Dhamma taught by the Blessed One such that it is just this consciousness that runs and wanders on, not another."

there is no coming-into-play of consciousness.'[/b]"
[/quote]


ok. i kinda got it.

so Sati said consciousness moves from this house to that house.

and the others said, don't say it like that Sati, there is nothing like a CONSCIOUSNESS NOMAD.




ok, there is no prob.

just flip it upside down. it's exactly the same.

You are a car and 've never moved by yourself.

GRANDMA sits inside for 1 min, gets out and GRANDPA gets in.

GRANDPA sits inside for 1 min, gets out and UNCLE gets in.

UNCLE sits inside for 1 min, gets out and MY FRIEND, PAUL gets in.

PAUL sits inside for 1 min.

all drivers look different and have different quality of skills.

but you're a car. whoever sits inside you can shield them from winds and rainfalls.

yeah, right. consciousness doesn't move by itself here and there.

but still the same.

doesn't matter which other part runs and wanders on. running and wandering on are the important part.

a frog hops to the east, hops to the west and hops to the south.

but your eyes have never moved a bit while a frog hops wherever in your sight.



and here is the funny part,

in the frog's exact sight, you move to the west, move to the east and move to the north respectively.


Once Zhuangzi dreamt he was a butterfly, a butterfly flitting and fluttering around, happy with himself and doing as he pleased. He didn't know he was Zhuangzi. Suddenly he woke up and there he was, solid and unmistakable Zhuangzi. But he didn't know if he was Zhuangzi who had dreamt he was a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming he was Zhuangzi. Between Zhuangzi and a butterfly there must be some distinction! This is called the Transformation of Things. (2, tr. Burton Watson 1968:49)

actually, another interpretation of those ancient chinese literature goes like this.

in a dream you meet a butterfly.

you dreams of a butterfly or a butterfly dreams of you. which is it?

two parties dream and meet, that's the important part.

User avatar
manas
Posts: 2667
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:04 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Rare human incarnation

Post by manas »

hi greg,

as I understand it, beings can pass away from one place in the universe, and reappear in another many light years away or whatever - the sum total of all beings is not just on this planet Earth; the Universe (or Universes) are UNLIMITED. I mean, could there possibly be a limit somewhere? If so, what would be beyond the boundary? So as far as I know, there are unlimited numbers of worlds, and thus unlimited numbers of beings spread throughout those worlds. Therefore - the total number of beings on this particular planet can go up, or down, or even disappear - that's all fine, any beings seeking birth would just reappear elsewhere. (I'm assuming that human beings also exist elsewhere - and considering that infinity is quite a large number, I don't think that's a bad assumption to make).

:anjali:
To the Buddha-refuge i go; to the Dhamma-refuge i go; to the Sangha-refuge i go.

User avatar
Mr Man
Posts: 3560
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:42 am

Re: Rare human incarnation

Post by Mr Man »

santa100 wrote:There's no contradiction with what the Buddha said if we put our view of human race in a cosmic perspective: we're certainly not the only "humans" in this vast universe and there's nothing that stops humans from other "earths" from taking rebirth on "our" earth. So it's quite possible that a catastrophic event happens to some planet earth out there in a different solar system or a different galaxy, that wipes out the population there. Since they still have kamma, they'll find ways to "re-distribute" themselves onto our earths or any other earths with compatible kammic conditions..
Nice bit of pure speculation :)

Post Reply