What is my ancestry? who cares.

Exploring modern Theravāda interpretations of the Buddha's teaching.
SarathW
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What is my ancestry? who cares.

Post by SarathW » Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:05 pm

I see some people are so much engrossed with their ancestry. I am not in favour of this because people use this valuable tool to make more division than for the unification. I watched the following video and they all about how men are the major force behind the civilisation. No mention of the women. Didn’t we have a genderless society before human evolution? Why D&A can’t point to that very fact.
Anyhow at least I am happy to see the presenter end the video slamming the race discrimination. I think we can use this valuable tool to end all discrimination.

“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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retrofuturist
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Re: What is my ancestry? who cares.

Post by retrofuturist » Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:16 pm

Greetings Sarath,

I agree. I see little to no relevance to the ancestry of those who came before us, who we've never met.

There's an ad on TV at the moment where some company is offering insights into your ancestors. Some guy is on the ad, who was one of the customers of this service, and he is there enthusing about some precedessor who had something to do with a horse that won a horse race, which would later go on to be known as the Melbourne Cup. He says "I tell someone about this at least once every day". I couldn't help but think he must be a bit of a sad sack.

All such things do is reify identity, whereas the serious end of the Dhamma tries to do the opposite.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Coëmgenu
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Re: What is my ancestry? who cares.

Post by Coëmgenu » Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:19 pm

If you are from Europe in your ancestry, and you use ancestry.com & pay for their service, you will receive, after submitting your DNA, a very detailed map of ancestry based on your genetic code.

If you are East Asian, you will receive a package from the same organization informing you that you are "East Asian". Your world-map will have one big splotch over Asia that is one colour, rather than detailed multicolour splotches in various places, like the person of European ancestry got. Their coverage is less-than-across-the-globe. More work has been done on European & New World genetics than any other group.
並畢竟空。並如來藏。並實相。非三 而三三而不三。非合非散而合而散。非非合非非散。不可一異而一異。
All three truths are ultimately empty, all are tathāgata-seed, all are true aspect. Not three, they are three; three, they are not three. Neither combined nor separated, neither uncombined nor unseparated. Neither same nor different, yet in a sense same, and in a sense different.

夫三諦者。 天然之性徳也。 中諦者。 統一切法。 眞諦者。 泯一切法。 俗諦者。 立一切法。
The three truths. Heaven-sent natural characteristics. The middle truth unifies all dharmāḥ. The ultimate truth demolishes all dharmāḥ. The conventional truth establishes all dharmāḥ.

摩訶止観始終心要Móhēzhǐguān, Shǐzhōngxīnyào.

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Kim OHara
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Re: What is my ancestry? who cares.

Post by Kim OHara » Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:48 pm

I don't disagree with any of the posts so far but will just point out that there's one way in which knowing one's ancestry may be beneficial, i.e. when it shows people who believe themselves to be 100% Caucasian that their ancestry is actually mixed. If they find, e.g., a large Asian or African component, those people are mentally switched from "other" to "us", which has to be a good thing.
:thinking:
It can happen to non-Caucasians as well, of course, but Caucasians seem to be most inclined to deny (or not know) any other ancestry they may have, and to assume that "other" = "inferior". I'm Caucasian myself (English and Scottish ancestry) but people in my extended family have recently been finding out about their Arabic connections three or four generations back - connections which were "politely" ignored or suppressed at the time and thus not known by their grandchildren. I don't think this is unusual.

:namaste:
Kim

SarathW
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Re: What is my ancestry? who cares.

Post by SarathW » Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:55 pm

I don't think this is unusual.
I quite agree.
We are in a society we do not give a hoot about their father and mother, brother and sister let alone their ancestry.
They use all those tools only to strengthen their own self-view.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Kim OHara
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Re: What is my ancestry? who cares.

Post by Kim OHara » Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:08 pm

SarathW wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:55 pm
I don't think this is unusual.
I quite agree.
We are in a society we do not give a hoot about their father and mother, brother and sister let alone their ancestry.
They use all those tools only to strengthen their own self-view.
That may be true but it wasn't the point of my statement, Sarath.
What I was getting at is that knowledge of non-European ancestry in "English" families (in England or the colonies) was actively suppressed or hidden 100 - 150 years ago, most often because it was seen as shameful, and three or four generations later the knowledge has been lost completely.

:namaste:
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SarathW
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Re: What is my ancestry? who cares.

Post by SarathW » Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:33 pm

it was seen as shameful, and three or four generations later the knowledge has been lost completely.
Agree.
What I am saying is sometimes we are shameful of our own parents and brothers and sisters.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

Garrib
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Re: What is my ancestry? who cares.

Post by Garrib » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:37 am

I had my maternal grandpa and dad do a DNA test last year. We found out a few new things about the family on both sides. I don't think this is all that helpful in practice, but I do think this kind of investigation might lead to a greater appreciation for the preciousness of your human birth, albeit in a somewhat mundane way. Think of all the improbable situations in the lives of countless ancestors that had to take place in order for you to receive this human body from your parents. It is kind of mind boggling. My research also convinced me that I have some Sephardic Jewish ancestry, which I thought was interesting. At the end of the day thought, it all kind of feels like entertainment.

Justsit
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Re: What is my ancestry? who cares.

Post by Justsit » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:12 am

Genetics is very useful in the study of diseases that occur in certain populations. Examples include thalassemia in Mediterranean countries; Tay Sachs disease among Ashkenazi Jews, some French Canadian, and some Cajuns; or sickle cell anemia in persons from sub-Saharan Africa, parts of India, the Arabian peninsula, and among people of African origin living in other parts of the world. Also, women who carry a certain gene are more likely to develop breast cancer.

Knowing one's ancestry can be helpful in the diagnosis and treatment of these and similar gene-linked diseases.

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Re: What is my ancestry? who cares.

Post by chownah » Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:32 am

A lot of the things which buddhists think of when they think of rebirth (beauty, ability, temperament, etc.) are explained by many as having a genetic component. If we accept that these things have a genetic component then it is possible/probable that dna plays a role in the transmission of kamma or its fruition. Does this make ancestry a more important issue for buddhists?
chownah

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DNS
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Re: What is my ancestry? who cares.

Post by DNS » Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:37 am

Kim OHara wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:48 pm
I don't disagree with any of the posts so far but will just point out that there's one way in which knowing one's ancestry may be beneficial, i.e. when it shows people who believe themselves to be 100% Caucasian that their ancestry is actually mixed. If they find, e.g., a large Asian or African component, those people are mentally switched from "other" to "us", which has to be a good thing.
Yes, I agree with this. Many Jews believe they are the 'chosen people' and believe their race is mostly pure. A genetic test will show how much that is not true. I took that test and found out I have a large percentage of Ashkenazi background, but also Arab, North African and even some of the dreaded gentile-European blood too :o :tongue:

It just goes to show there is no 'pure' race or ethnicity and if it helps dispel that for people, I think it's good.

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No_Mind
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Re: What is my ancestry? who cares.

Post by No_Mind » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:57 am

DNS wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:37 am
Kim OHara wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:48 pm
I don't disagree with any of the posts so far but will just point out that there's one way in which knowing one's ancestry may be beneficial, i.e. when it shows people who believe themselves to be 100% Caucasian that their ancestry is actually mixed. If they find, e.g., a large Asian or African component, those people are mentally switched from "other" to "us", which has to be a good thing.
Yes, I agree with this. Many Jews believe they are the 'chosen people' and believe their race is mostly pure. A genetic test will show how much that is not true. I took that test and found out I have a large percentage of Ashkenazi background, but also Arab, North African and even some of the dreaded gentile-European blood too :o :tongue:

It just goes to show there is no 'pure' race or ethnicity and if it helps dispel that for people, I think it's good.
We do not need diversity among mods David. You are the entire United Nations almost :lol:

:namaste:
I know one thing: that I know nothing

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Dhammarakkhito
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Re: What is my ancestry? who cares.

Post by Dhammarakkhito » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:34 am

read Assalāyana discourse https://suttacentral.net/en/mn93 (buddha on caste)
"Just as the ocean has a single taste — that of salt — in the same way, this Dhamma-Vinaya has a single taste: that of release."
— Ud 5.5

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Bundokji
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Re: What is my ancestry? who cares.

Post by Bundokji » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:43 am

It is interesting how many religions (including Buddhism) focused on the ancestry and at the same time dismissed it as irrelevant and unimportant. If i am not mistaken, the Shakyas were perceived as a noble tribe. In the Muslim tradition, the Hashemites were also known to be a noble tribe. All of Jewish prophets shared the same ancestors/line which is also implied to be pure or superior. While Jesus is the son of God himself!

In a way, religions seem to put emphasis on ancestors/genetics, and on the other hand, they are telling us that what makes a real difference is virtue and wisdom, not ancestors.
ولَرُبَّ نَازِلَةٍ يَضِيقُ بهَا الفَضَـــــا *** ذَرْعًا؛ وعِندَ الله مِنهَا المَخْرَجُ
عَظُمَت فَلَما استُحكِمت حَلقاتها *** فُرِجت وكَانَ يَظُنُّهَا لا تُفْرَجُ
لا تَيْأَسَنَ فَكُلُ عُسْــــــرٍ بَعْــدَهُ *** يُسر يُسرّ ُبِهِ الفُؤَادُ المُحَرَّجُ
واصبر فَإِنَّ الصَــــــبر في الدُّنْيَا *** نَيْلُ المُنَى والقَصْدُ نِعْمَ المْنهجُ

SarathW
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Re: What is my ancestry? who cares.

Post by SarathW » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:58 am

No_Mind wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:57 am
DNS wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:37 am
Kim OHara wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:48 pm
I don't disagree with any of the posts so far but will just point out that there's one way in which knowing one's ancestry may be beneficial, i.e. when it shows people who believe themselves to be 100% Caucasian that their ancestry is actually mixed. If they find, e.g., a large Asian or African component, those people are mentally switched from "other" to "us", which has to be a good thing.
Yes, I agree with this. Many Jews believe they are the 'chosen people' and believe their race is mostly pure. A genetic test will show how much that is not true. I took that test and found out I have a large percentage of Ashkenazi background, but also Arab, North African and even some of the dreaded gentile-European blood too :o :tongue:

It just goes to show there is no 'pure' race or ethnicity and if it helps dispel that for people, I think it's good.
We do not need diversity among mods David. You are the entire United Nations almost :lol:

:namaste:
I like to thank David's ancestors for influencing him to start DW.
:anjali:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

SarathW
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Re: What is my ancestry? who cares.

Post by SarathW » Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:03 am

I haven't done my D&A test as yet.
But one thing sure for me is that I am not a true Sri Lankan.
Sometimes I wonder what all those Dutch, Portuguese and English were doing with my ancestors.
My grand father's name is (say) George and my mother's name is (say)Sophia.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

Dinsdale
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Re: What is my ancestry? who cares.

Post by Dinsdale » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:11 am

SarathW wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:03 am
Sometimes I wonder what all those Dutch, Portuguese and English were doing with my ancestors.
I blame the EU. :tongue:

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No_Mind
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Re: What is my ancestry? who cares.

Post by No_Mind » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:52 am

Sarath, I do not know if you know but predominant part of Sinhalese genes is Bengali.

We maybe cousins after all as I always wished :hug: Maybe 2,000 years ago my forefather was brother of your forefather :toast:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_s ... ali_origin

https://scroll.in/article/814562/are-th ... -merchants

http://indianexpress.com/article/resear ... al-odisha/

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I know one thing: that I know nothing

Dinsdale
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Re: What is my ancestry? who cares.

Post by Dinsdale » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:45 pm

My ancestry is mostly Irish, with a bit of Spanish and a hint of cockney. Gawd blimey, hasta la vista, atall, atall. :toilet:

dharmacorps
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Re: What is my ancestry? who cares.

Post by dharmacorps » Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:32 pm

My wife and I did the testing a few years ago. Hers was far more interesting than mine-- she's Puerto Rican, who are a great example of a melting pot. She is West African, Chinese, Spanish, and Native American, almost in equal parts. That is valuable for people like her who really don't know what they are for sure because their history isn't well documented and everybody from there is mixed and is some shade of brown. I on the other hand got no surprises really-- 97% Northern European (England) and 3% Native American. The average "white person" in the US is 7-10% non-white so I am "below average" here. And painfully white! :) But overall, no, it doesn't really matter and the preoccupation with race and ethnicity is not helpful. Almost nobody is 100 percent anything so the idea of race really falls flat.

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