Why life does not really exist

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.
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robertk
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Re: Why life does not really exist

Post by robertk » Mon Dec 09, 2013 4:34 am

SarathW wrote:
robertk wrote:
SarathW wrote:It says:
There is a certain kind of Råpa-Jãvitindriya in plant
life.
yes, as I said, it is wrong.
Hi Robert
I respect your opinion.
I spoke to the monk from my local temple and he share the same understanding as you do.
However we have to keep our mind open in this subject.
Do you think that plant has life (Jiva)?
Do you think that Venerable Narda can make such a grave mistake?
:)
Dear Sarath
I grew up, so to speak, studying Narada's translation, about 30 years since I first read it, and value it highly.
I never noticed that error until you pointed to it. I think what he has done is read into the sutta (that ven. Dhammanando gave), the idea that the Buddha gave plants some special single life faculty.

Fortunately Ven. Dhammanando explained for us. Certainly the Abhidhamma is clear that plants have no life faculty, they are merely rupa conditioned by tejo. What the difference between "dead" plants and "live" plants is not explained in the Abhidhamma I think.

BTW the gravest error in Naradas translation is a section where he attribute free will/choice to votthapanna citta. He doesn't seem to grasp - or ignored- the fact that in a split second literally billions of different votthapanna cittas , none the same, have arisen and passed away>which ones were free? (If you want to discuss that we can move to a different thread).

.
NARADA: Next comes the investigating
faculty (Santãraõa)19 or a momentary examination
of the object so received. After this comes that stage of
representative cognition termed the determining consciousness
(Votthapana). Discrimination is exercised at
this stage. Freewill plays its part here. Immediately after
there arises the psychologically most important stage—
Impulsion or Javana.

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kirk5a
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Re: Why life does not really exist

Post by kirk5a » Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:45 pm

robertk wrote:BTW the gravest error in Naradas translation is a section where he attribute free will/choice to votthapanna citta. He doesn't seem to grasp - or ignored- the fact that in a split second literally billions of different votthapanna cittas , none the same, have arisen and passed away>which ones were free? (If you want to discuss that we can move to a different thread).
Robert, have you ever observed, say, just 10 of those supposed billions of votthapanna cittas which arise in that split second for yourself? "He doesn't seem to grasp" you say. Well, do you actually grasp it? You keep repeating this billions idea, I'm curious whether you personally have actually observed anything which would even point in the general direction of exhibiting the possibility of demonstrating the validity of that notion. I'd like to know, so I can get a little glimpse too of this supposed important truth. I don't see anything remotely like that going on. Maybe someone can clue me in here.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

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robertk
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Re: Why life does not really exist

Post by robertk » Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:16 pm

see this thread about the rate of rise and fall http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=19334

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m0rl0ck
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Re: Why life does not really exist

Post by m0rl0ck » Mon Dec 09, 2013 3:21 pm

So according to the authors conjecture, everything is alive or nothing is?
Choose life :D
“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

Buckwheat
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Re: Why life does not really exist

Post by Buckwheat » Mon Dec 09, 2013 4:43 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
Buckwheat wrote: Life does not violate entropy because we are not closed systems.
Does entropy actually apply to life - I' not sure?
If you are asking about the great mystery of consciousness... I haven't the foggiest idea. If you are asking about our bodies and brains... yes.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

SarathW
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Re: Why life does not really exist

Post by SarathW » Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:40 am

This is my understanding of entropy in relation to cosmos:

The universe is moving from higher order (entropy) to lower order.
Eg: Say you build a house (higher entropy) then the house will be destroy due to time (lower entropy)
The same way universe is moving towards lower entropy so the space and time become zero. Then there will be a big bang and the things start all over again.
Entropy also operate in macro (time and space) and micro ( house) level.
I think above can be applied to life as well.
Why I like entropy is that it confirms Buddha’s teaching impermance. (Anicca)
:shrug: :juggling:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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mikenz66
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Re: Why life does not really exist

Post by mikenz66 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 4:05 am

Just a technical point. The more disordered the state is, the higher the entropy.

:anjali:
Mike

Buckwheat
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Re: Why life does not really exist

Post by Buckwheat » Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:03 am

SarathW wrote:This is my understanding of entropy in relation to cosmos:

The universe is moving from higher order (entropy) to lower order.
Eg: Say you build a house (higher entropy) then the house will be destroy due to time (lower entropy)
The same way universe is moving towards lower entropy so the space and time become zero. Then there will be a big bang and the things start all over again.
Entropy also operate in macro (time and space) and micro ( house) level.
I think above can be applied to life as well.
Why I like entropy is that it confirms Buddha’s teaching impermance. (Anicca)
:shrug: :juggling:
The final equilibrium is not "space and time become zero" (whatever that means). It would mean that the universe would be a flat constant heat density throughout. When we look at the microwave cosmic background radiation, it is 2.7 degrees above absolute zero. I assume the universe is approaching a similar value, but would have to confirm that with somebody more knowledgeable.

I've always hated the word "chaos" to describe entropy because it sounds way more mysterious than it needs to sound. I prefer "equilibrium". If you have an airtight box filled with cool nitrogen and it contains a small balloon of hot nitrogen, that system has low entropy because it is not near equilibrium. The "heat" in the box is focused into a small area, the balloon. If you pop the balloon, the heat will dissipate and the entire box will be one even temperature. That box has high entropy, meaning it is near equilibrium. This is important is because mechanical processes involving heat are based on transferring heat from a hot object to a cool object. If all your objects are luke warm, you can't do any work!! They system "dies" in a way. So in a way, you could say the entire universe is alive, but slowly dying.

Also, from my understanding, all the theories such as the big crunch and a repeat of the big bang are quite speculative (maybe even obsolete). It is now known that the rate of expansion of the universe is actually accelerating. It may expand forever. Who knows?

Entropy neither supports nor denies impermanence. A state of equilibrium could theoretically last forever. If an asteroid is out beyond the reach of the rest of the universe, making it a closed system, that asteroid could fly through the void for eternity.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

Dinsdale
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Re: Why life does not really exist

Post by Dinsdale » Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:13 pm

Buckwheat wrote: I've always hated the word "chaos" to describe entropy because it sounds way more mysterious than it needs to sound. I prefer "equilibrium".
Yes, chaos theory is about how small changes in input to a system can lead to large variations in output.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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Mkoll
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Re: Why life does not really exist

Post by Mkoll » Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:24 am

For those who don't know about equilibrium, here is an explanation from a chemistry perspective.
In a chemical reaction, chemical equilibrium is the state in which both reactants and products are present at concentrations which have no further tendency to change with time.[1] Usually, this state results when the forward reaction proceeds at the same rate as the reverse reaction. The reaction rates of the forward and backward reactions are generally not zero, but equal. Thus, there are no net changes in the concentrations of the reactant(s) and product(s). Such a state is known as dynamic equilibrium.[2][3]
The point I am trying to make is that nothing is static. A state of balance or equilibrium is actually quite dynamic.

This natural dynamism that is always present in all conditioned things may be what is referred to by "impermanence"...
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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daverupa
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Re: Why life does not really exist

Post by daverupa » Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:17 pm

Anicca can be observed, and could be by forest monks BCE; vibrating chemical reactions could not, and for the most part cannot be so seen by modern folk, and so this functions as a model of impermanence virtually divorced from observation and, therefore, soteriological function.

:shrug:

Anicca isn't just some micro/macro-scopic quality of matter... tying chemistry and astrophysics in to the Dhamma is going the opposite direction from satipatthana, imo - the actual basis for observing anicca.
SN 12.61 wrote:Because this body composed of the four great elements is seen standing for a year, two years, three, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, a hundred years or more.
This, despite vibrating chemicals and dynamic equilibrium.

Anicca just isn't properly seen in these ways.
  • "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]

Buckwheat
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Re: Why life does not really exist

Post by Buckwheat » Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:40 pm

Mkoll wrote:For those who don't know about equilibrium, here is an explanation from a chemistry perspective.
In a chemical reaction, chemical equilibrium is the state in which both reactants and products are present at concentrations which have no further tendency to change with time.[1] Usually, this state results when the forward reaction proceeds at the same rate as the reverse reaction. The reaction rates of the forward and backward reactions are generally not zero, but equal. Thus, there are no net changes in the concentrations of the reactant(s) and product(s). Such a state is known as dynamic equilibrium.[2][3]
The point I am trying to make is that nothing is static. A state of balance or equilibrium is actually quite dynamic.

This natural dynamism that is always present in all conditioned things may be what is referred to by "impermanence"...
Your quote defines dynamic equilibrium, but does not deny the possibility of static equilibrium. N2 has a triple bond and is ridiculously stable, so a closed system consisting of N2 and 02 wouldn't react with each other at all. It would be a chemically static equilibrium.

Dave is right: looking for anicca through physics is a waste of time. We don't need to prove anicca. We need to see it with our own eyes. Otherwise the science suffers as we try to mold it into our Buddhist views (and vice versa).
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

Buckwheat
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Re: Why life does not really exist

Post by Buckwheat » Thu Dec 12, 2013 5:09 pm

Irony alert... my first post on Dhamma Wheel was an effort to prove kamma through physics. :toilet:
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

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manas
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Re: Why life does not really exist

Post by manas » Fri Dec 13, 2013 4:17 am

Hi Cooran,

an interesting article, but regarding this
Such dilemmas plague just about every proposed feature of life. Responding to the environment is not a talent limited to living organisms—we have designed countless machines that do just that.
The experience of conscious awareness - something which every one of us reading this post can verify for themselves in this present moment - is not something machines are capable of. There is a difference, and even a little child can see this, unlike some mechanistic philosophers and scientists who wish to reduce all of experience to atoms and molecules. I've heard all of this before, I'm afraid.
“Avida is not a simulation of evolution; it is an instance of it,” Robert Pennock of Michigan State University told Carl Zimmer in Discover. “All the core parts of the Darwinian process are there. These things replicate, they mutate, they are competing with one another. The very process of natural selection is happening there. If that’s central to the definition of life, then these things count.”
But does this program have even one experience of conscious awareness? No. That is not to say that consciousness is self; but rather, that it is immaterial, does not arise from some special combination of matter, and
is at least as real as the atoms and molecules that make up these bodies of ours.
"This is the extent to which there is birth, aging, death, passing away, and re-arising. This is the extent to which there are means of designation, expression, and delineation. This is the extent to which the sphere of discernment extends, the extent to which the cycle revolves for the manifesting (discernibility) of this world — i.e., name-and-form together with consciousness.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
To say that name-and-form and consciousness depend on one another 'for the manifesting (discernibility) of this world', isn't the same as saying that they are, ultimately, one and the same thing.

metta,
manas.
Knowing this body is like a clay jar,
securing this mind like a fort,
attack Mara with the spear of discernment,
then guard what's won without settling there,
without laying claim.

- Dhp 40

chownah
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Re: Why life does not really exist

Post by chownah » Fri Dec 13, 2013 4:59 am

manas wrote: That is not to say that consciousness is self; but rather, that it is immaterial, does not arise from some special combination of matter, and is at least as real as the atoms and molecules that make up these bodies of ours.
There are many things considered to be immaterial which are considered to arise from things considered to be material.......things like magnetic fields, electric fields, gravity etc. So I guess it might not be so unusual for one to think of consciousness as arising from the material. Can you give a reason why you think this does not happen?
chownah

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