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dildenusa On July - 2 - 2010

The second question is what is the Buddha nature? All sentient beings possess the Buddha nature. It is an innate element within the mind of every sentient being. It can lead to enlightenment and entry to Nirvana.  It does not exist independently of consciousness in any sentient being and it is not the ability to communicate, it is not the id, the ego, or the superego.  So, does a dog have the Buddha nature? Yes. Humans are unique only in that we are able to communicate through speech. This has lead to a highly evolved human culture in which technological chauvinism has clouded our world view. All sentient beings are capable of communication.

The new atheists like to say that consciousness is just chemical signals that are converted to electrical impulses that bang around inside our brain and when the “secret” of consciousness is unlocked we will be able to “log in” and communicate with bit streams from long ago dead people. I already do communicate with bit streams from long ago dead people. I call that place where I communicate with long ago dead people the library. I don’t need to “log in” to go to the library. I think the new atheists are barking up the wrong tree. They can’t dissect consciousness. They can study it, conduct experiments, but when they try to isolate it, they will find they will fail. They will be able to only say it exists. Cogito ergo sum, I think, therefore, I am. This is true for all sentient beings.

Consciousness did not evolve in humans only. In fact consciousness was present at the get go, some 3 – 4 billion years ago when the first primordial life forms on earth started to self replicate.  It is present in all sentient beings. We have chauvinistically called ourselves “Homo sapiens” or wise man. Today it should be more like “wise ass.” And just like the new atheists who scoff at the Anthropic Principle because they say it puts humans at the center of the universe, Buddhists, Pantheists, and Deists scoff at the new atheists because they are essentially denying existence and consciousness. Anthropic is a misleading term. I think whoever coined it didn’t know what else to call the concept of, “the observed conditions of the universe allowing for the existence of life forms.” Don’t dogs observe and howl at the moon? The problems came about when some Christian fundamentalists used the Anthropic Principle to push “Intelligent Design.”  Then the new atheists said “Aha, you can’t trust those cosmologists and physicists.”

When we take into account long distance migratory birds like the Arctic Tern we are even more mystified. They migrate 25,000 miles a year. They nest in arctic tundra in North America, Europe, and Asia. But who really is mystified by this? I’m not. It’s obvious that there is consciousness in action. Fledglings just don’t take off in September and fly to Antarctica. They are born with the tools to achieve this incredible feat but they must be shown the shortest route by their parents. Why? Because when they return to the arctic to nest, timing is of the essence. If they are late then parents and chicks don’t have enough time to fatten up for the flight back to Antarctica. And they don’t have offspring every year. They may only have offspring every other year or every 3 years but they still migrate every year. They are one of the most protective birds there is.

The point is that the new atheists claim that they don’t have or need any belief system. But don’t they hold that all life is sacred? If they hold that all life is sacred, then they have a belief. If they do not hold that all life is sacred then they are not “Homo sapiens,” they are just “wise guys.”

Categories: News & Politics

40 Responses so far.

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    • whatsthatsound says:

      I agree with you that the “brain is a wondrous organ”, and I agree with the OP that you can’t “dissect consciousness”. The brain, to my mind, can be considered analogous to a radio, a computer, or a television. Exquisitely and intricately arranged to pick up signals and process them, but the signals do not originate in the brain, just as a radio program doesn’t exist in the machine in your car and little people aren’t putting on plays inside the television, as many of us as young children imagined they were.

      It is my belief that continued brain study will essentially come up short in actually locating consciousness in any mechanical process of the brain. Scientists will say that the evidence then indicates either that an unidentifiable gestalt is taking place within the organ, or that consciousness is located outside it. They won’t say they have found it, can regenerate it in a brain that has stopped functioning, or can reproduce it in a laboratory. The exciting thing about the times we live in now is that my belief will either be confirmed or disproved within the next few decades, if not sooner.

        • whatsthatsound says:

          Most likely you go your way, and I’ll go mine on this.
          I wonder, though, if you think that the universe has existed for, let’s say, fifteen billion years. In that time, it has behaved in extraordinary ways. It has followed what we call “laws of physics”, swirled in predictable patterns, spawned the chemicals that yielded life eventually through its movements, behaved more precisely in its “constants” etc. than any fine tuned human instrument, INVENTED reproduction, all the while having not the slightest idea what it was doing, or even that anything was being done! Then, somewhere around 13 and half billion years into its existence, awareness appeared, and then in a cosmic eye blink later that awareness evolved to the point where we, humans could look with awe upon our universe and understand some things about it with our, as you would have it, dubious “consciousness”? That before us, or beings like us, the universe was a mindless THING that nevertheless didn’t behave like other mindless things we can observe, but rather behaved in intricate, predictable and life yielding, and consciousness yielding ways?

          If so, okay, but I disagree. I think the great intuiters of our race, both ancient and modern (and shout out to Questinia, who introduced me to one of them, William Irwin Thompson), have greater insight into the inherent nature of this, to my belief system, intelligent universe than the scientists.

    • dildenusa says:

      “Basically an end of suffering from the human condition of being alive and human

  1. Kalima says:

    What the hell, I have 6 cats in my house, 10 outside, they all love me, you think it’s not cosmic?

  2. whatsthatsound says:

    Animal stories. If you’re squeamish, stop reading at any time. First of all, we recently moved to a new neighborhood in Tokyo. There is a great little cafe where pets are welcome. The owner has a dachsund, Yuzu. We go there when it’s not crowded and take Rosie with us. Rosie and Yuzu are fascinated by each other. Especially Yuzu. He just can’t figure Rosie out! He’s never seen a ferret before, it seems. Anyway, let’s just say he got a liiiiiittle too excited last night, and had a little accident. We humans didn’t even notice it. But Rosie did. In the spirit of trans species harmony, she decided to squeeze out her own little present as a show of camaraderie. So when we three humans finally DID notice it, there were two little (one absolutely tiny) puddles settled side by side on the wooden floor. Animals are so weird.

    But the absolutely WEIRDEST story I’ve ever heard comes from my sister, who, like Patsy, has three dogs. One night they were making all kinds of noise out in the yard, baying and moaning in a kind of ghastly parody of harmony. What on Earth…???, she was thinking and went out to find out what was going on. What she saw was a tableaux out of Goya. A dead bird had fallen in the yard. The dogs had used their noses to nudge their poop to make a kind of circle around the bird. Then they stood outside the circle and did their group moan. She was gobsmacked! What ARE these pagan creatures I share my home with, she wondered?

    That story, to me, at least, points to some kind of unique awareness that dogs have. It seems to involve life, death, rejuvenation, the nature of fertilizer, etc. But that’s just my, human, interpretation. Who knows what the dogs were thinking? But they WERE. Thinking.

    • Kalima says:

      Our Tiger, 7 years old this month, loves my hubby, but still does his do do in our bath tub. For the last two days, hubby fillled the bath with water, our Tichan is using his loo.

      • whatsthatsound says:

        ha ha! I can relate!

        • Kalima says:

          He is awfully upset, maybe you can talk to him about love for our animals and cat shite in our bath. It doesn’t disturb me as much, I don’t know why.

          I could have asked in an email, but where does Rosie poop?

          • whatsthatsound says:

            sometimes, wherever she feels like it! Sometimes, in the little square toilets we’ve got for her on both floors. One of them she started off using as a bed and refused to use for its intended purpose, but we more or less broke her of that!

    • escribacat says:

      I think the peeing business is a matter of “my scent is bigger than yours, bub.”

      • whatsthatsound says:

        Probably! But it seemed so good natured and conspiratory! You humans have your wine, and me and my pal here will do our thing! -that kinda thing!

    • bitohistory says:

      WTS, here is a terrible animal story, and “Mr.” Mugabe couldn’t care less about you being squeamish, nor does he care about life of any sort (except his).

      “Mugabe plans to send “Noah’s Ark” to North Korea
      Two by two, Zimbabwean wildlife are to be air freighted to Pyongyang. But experts protest!”

      ….it was reported that the animals

    • Kalima says:

      We really share a link, we are people when we want to be. we are animals the rest of the time. Like me now, wtf?

  3. whatsthatsound says:

    I really enjoyed reading this, and the comments. Like Questinia, I note that a lot of posts here are exploring the same subject from widely different angles. I agree with you, that those who are so triumphal about science (and if you had posted this at HP, ninety percent of the comments would be “wise ass” in nature, something along the lines of “Just woo woo. Nothing to see here” ) are out of the consciousness loop.
    It’s weird how they rush to call any belief in an intelligent universe “arrogant”. Where did they get that talking point? THEY are the arrogant ones, in that they so blithely dismiss the wisdom teachings of Buddhists, Hindi, Taoists, Native Americans, etc., because their OWN spiritual hero, Aristotle made all those guys unnecessary in their view. Such audacity! They think those men and women who dedicated their lives to knowing, who recorded their thoughts in the Upanishads, the I Ching, etc. were just “deluded fools”, and they call BELIEVERS arrogant????

    By the way, I asked the wisest being I know if dogs have Buddha nature, and Rosie assures me they do.

  4. Questinia says:

    The answer to the question is yes :)

    This site had become more and more about these types of topics these days. I think this subject is part of a zeitgeist.

    I’m not sure what you mean by “new atheists”. Are they different from “old atheists”?

    Your description of chemical reactions being the reductionist’s explanation for consciousness is true, but I think it is waning. Part of the rabid interest in this topic by more and more people is indicative of that, I think. The “paranormal” will probably be “proved” in the end to be normal. The brain as purely a thinking thing within the corporeal body or res cogitans contains too many limitations to explain consciousness. It is too mechanistic, too Newtonian and doesn’t take into consideration what many physicists know about other scientific disciplines, namely the quantum nature of the universe.

    Dogs don’t speak about their own consciousness the way we do. They speak about it by demonstrating it. We can only infer and assume our consciousness is just another form of the consciousnesses of all living things and for that matter, as I believe, non living things.

    The crystalline structures of stone, for example, the chemical bonds that exist therein, containing electrons, protons and neutrons all with energies and relationships extending beyond the thing itself, because these particles, as quantum particles are non localized, they exist in the state of the stone but are connected to things outside of the stone as well. It may be visualized as part of string theory

    Dilden, I have planned to write an article about neuroquantology which addresses your post more directly with regards to consciousness. Perhaps it can be considered a companion piece. The difficulty with this topic is that it is so large and theoretical and NEW that producing a cogent and adequate representation of it by a non-expert is a bit daunting!

    • dildenusa says:

      The new atheists are most represented by Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Victor Stenger and others.

      I fear our technological bias is culturally a devolutionary spiral. When I read and hear things in the news about civil war in Africa and certain minerals mined there to produce cell phones and other electronic devices I just wonder where will the spiral end. For unknown millenia, technology has improved life. Now I fear it has trapped us and Earth in a slippery slope into the abyss of dystopia.

      And the battle between the religious fundamentalists and atheists just makes things worse.

      • Questinia says:

        I choose to see this period as an orgy of the technological excess you describe. A blood letting will occur no doubt although not perhaps for some time.

        It’s too easy to be disheartened, dilden. Devolution is part of evolution, imo.

        We just happen to be on the thin end of the wedge.

  5. PatsyT says:

    I do believe in the divine nature of the dog and
    I have the proof, right here in our home.
    We have three of these supreme beings.
    The Master or Queen is a Gorden Setter and she rules, without question, the rest of us.
    She, who must be obeyed- is how she prefers to be addressed.
    We are merely servants to her every whim.
    Our two male canines must provide ample entertainment in the form of worship when S H E
    decides to enjoy a treat of her choosing.
    One of the males is a English Setter as in your picture and looks identical, could be the same dog.
    They have achieved a higher level of being just by aware of their surroundings at all times.
    They know when the garage opens and what that means.
    They know when there is a attendant in the kitchen
    and how to act in order to attain the desired
    A bag of groceries is either approved or ignored, just by a glance, they know the contents.
    (psssst….I think they can see thru the bag)
    They remember everyone they have ever met and look out if you have not been properly introduced.
    If they prefer your seat on the sofa they can communicate that just with a movement of the tail.
    You cannot resist their power.

    All this without uttering one word
    They are living the Nirvana life and we are allowed only to worship and serve.
    I am so glad it’s not cats…. I would be in chains.

    • whatsthatsound says:

      Hey! Cats are just misunderstood!

      • PatsyT says:

        Sorry it’s a running joke in our (DOG) house that cats just don’t cut it.
        But I love cats and so do my dogs!
        One cat in particular loves to sit up on a
        fence next to our yard
        swishing it’s tail pretending not to notice
        all the noise that the
        barking maniacs below emit.
        Wow, the attitude!
        “I am not amused” that cat seems to say.
        Do ferrets cause this kind of mischief ?

    • Questinia says:

      Me too about cats. But I try not to be biased.

      My av is Questinia, a pure example of a consciousness that is so evolved I stood in awe of it daily until she died late last year. Now I stand in awe of it daily by means of an altered consciousness that she has been responsible for. She has been my role model. Loyalty to her whole self and to those around her was part of an “as one” state. She did it effortlessly. I struggle!

      • PatsyT says:

        She is a beauty …. so sorry.

        They enrich our lives in ways we can not imagine until we have to endure the broken heart of their passing
        So bittersweet.

  6. choicelady says:

    Dearest dildenusa -- this supports my belief that even if you don’t believe in a supreme being, there is more than ‘meets the eye’ or can be dissected by science. Is that not true of love, hope, compassion -- all the things that are not measurable? We can detect the physiological reactions, but good luck to ya actually finding THEM. I have no problem with science at all. The more we know the more fascinating the universe is. I also have no problem with NOT knowing. Anyone who tells you they can “understand” infinity and an endless universe is probably lying to him/her self. They are beyond knowing. That’s part of the “wow” of life. If there is a One, it’s probably NOT an old guy with a beard, a cranky Santa watching our every move. But is there not MORE than just our individual selves -- coming together to do anything is synergistic, and that is the other “wow” of life. Human consciousness transcending the individual and building a better world is enough “God” for me.

    And dogs are definitely part of the mystical unknown beauty. All animals and nature contribute to that.

    Do we need a Devil in this? Nope. We take care of that all by ourselves by misapplying the “wow” of human consciousness in action and putting it to very bad ends.

    Dogs and terns and dolphins and lions, tigers, and bears don’t do that. Ever. The beauty of it all is just proof that we are given great gifts even if there is no “giver”. Just nice to remember there is much to be grateful for even if there is no one to thank. It’s worth the doing anyway. But I thank YOU for this beautiful reflection!

    • Kalima says:

      cl, how I loved your idea. When I was a kid we had 4 German beautiful Alsatians and 7 cats, they loved each other very much, nobody could understand it, it was a happy house.

    • kesmarn says:

      “Do we need a Devil in this?” There’s the question, c’lady.

      I think I may have just found one in human form. A front page story in today’s issue of the Toledo Blade newspaper features a picture of a dog who was — brace yourself — shot in the eye and the chest by a disgruntled neighbor. Not just any neighbor, mind you, but a member of the Republican Central Committee in Lucas County, Ohio. The article shows the “alleged” shooter (caught on video abducting the dog from his owner’s yard) in a photo with --fancy this — Karl Rove, at a fund raiser. Now, clearly, I’m not saying this guy did this because he’s a Republican. But if this psycho hadn’t had easy access to a gun (thanks, t-partiers), would this have happened? Hard to say.

      Miraculously the dog survived (not without permanent impairment) and made its way back home where he collapsed. I post a link to the security video with a strong caution to animal lovers. It’s not easy to watch this trusting animal willingly go off on a leash with the shooter’s female accomplice, and then later stagger back into the frame. But here’s the evidence. I’m heartsick.

      • PatsyT says:

        Well kes,
        I can’t watch the whole thing
        Yes that would be the devil -- that is the definite definition.

        • kesmarn says:

          Exactly, Patsy.

          And I do apologize for posting that link in connection with dildenusa’s really wonderful article. Her thoughts are tremendously life-affirming and optimistic and this event was anything but.

          It makes the dear dog look infinitely superior--morally--to the two humans who could hatch such a loathsome plan.

    • dildenusa says:

      I like to keep things in perspective. I think it’s my artist nature.

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