Posted by: Soh

Prior to today's latest article, One Thought Traveler seemed to be skewing towards a substantialist view of the material universe (in particular: he talked about the material world as having a fundamental substance that is not ceasing and truly existent, implying that it endures eternally with endless transformation - i.e. energy does not cease but simply transforms and changes its shape, such as physical body disintegrating at death from its original form but survives to be ashes). Thusness also said, "This latest article seems clear. The rest always had the tendency to skew towards AF [Actual Freedom, another teaching with similarly substantialist views about the material universe]".

In reference to his previous blog post, I wrote to him something about emptiness and disjointness. He seemed to have penetrated it with deep insight and wrote a new article reflecting his current new understanding.

This is my 9th translation of this author's articles.

http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_5b4d23f60102e918.html

佛教“进化论”

Buddhism "Theory of Evolution"

(2013-09-23 14:25:20)
有人认为,人是猿猴进化来的,蛇是蜥蜴进化来的,鸟类是爬行动物进化来的。佛教怎样看待进化论?

Some people think, humans are evolved from primates, snakes are evolved from lizards, birds are evolved from reptiles. How does Buddhism see the theory of evolution?

佛教没有进化论,只有变化论。 所谓变化,亦非变化,是名变化。要谈论事物的进化须有两个条件:一、事物是有自性的;二、时间是一种实法。只有某种事物是有自性的存在,才能谈论得上进 化;时间必须被认为是一种真实存在,才可能说这种事物沿时间的变化。佛教首先不认为事物是有自性的,其次不认为时间是一种实法,所以佛教不说进化论。随世 人们的认识,它只说变化论。变化论即是缘起法。

Buddhism does not have a theory of evolution, we only have a theory of change. What is known as change, is also not change, it is [merely] named as change. If we want to discuss about the evolution of things, there are two conditions: 1) things must have self-nature, 2) time is a truly existing thing. Only then can we talk about things transforming through the passage of time. First of all, Buddhism does not hold the position of things as having self-nature, furthermore it does not hold the position of time as a kind of really existing dharma. Therefore, Buddhism does not talk about the theory of evolution. It only talks about the theory of change based on men's understanding. The theory of change is the dharma of dependent arising.

人们说,人是由猿猴进化来的。从佛的眼睛看,人没有自性,猿猴也没有自性,不存在从猿猴到人的转变。连谈论的前提都没有。人如世间诸法一样,它不从哪里来,也不到哪里去,它根本无来亦无去。法是不生灭的,法无来去,法法不相到,因而猿猴变不成人,蜥蜴变不成蛇,爬行动物变不成鸟。不但看起来的两个法之间不能相到,就连看起来的同一个法前一刻和后一刻也不能相到。

Some people say that men are evolved from primates. From the eyes of Buddha, men do not have self-nature, primates also do not have self-nature, there does not exist a transformation from primates to man. Even that topic of discussion is absent. Men are just like all dharmas in the world, it does not come from somewhere, it does not go somewhere, it is fundamentally without coming and without going. Dharmas are not arising nor ceasing, dharmas are without coming nor going, dharmas do not meet each other, therefore primates do not transform to become man, lizards do not transform to become snakes, reptiles do not transform to become birds. Not only do the seemingly two different dharmas do not meet, even the seemingly similar dharma's future moment and past moment do not meet.
 
事物是寂静不动的。我们看到的 只是相的改变,相续、相似。相续、相似,分明而言,续的是相,似的也是相。佛菩萨看到事物是不生不灭的,世间科学家或有智者也看到事物是不生不灭的,虽然 似乎他们都看到了“不生不灭”,但却大相径庭。科学家或世间有智者看到的不生不灭,是有自性的不生不灭——如物质不生不灭;而佛菩萨看到的不生不灭是无自 性的不生不灭。科学家或有智者看到的不生不灭,是基于“相似、相续”的直觉所见,而这是错觉的。佛菩萨经如实观察,发现事物是不存在相似相续的——相似相 续是个错觉,相似相续是自性的看法,诸法是寂静不动的,本性涅槃的。

All events and phenomena are quiescent and motionless. What we see are only the appearances' change, continuation, and similarities. Continuation, similarities, to put it clearly, continuation is an appearance, similarity is also an appearance. Buddhas and Bodhisattvas view events and phenomena as not arising and not ceasing. The world's scientists or the ones with worldly wisdom also see events and phenomena as not arising and not ceasing, even though both of them seemingly perceives "not arising and not ceasing", nonetheless they actually hold diametrically opposed views. The "not arising and not ceasing" that the scientists or the ones with worldly wisdom sees, is the "not arising and not ceasing" pertaining to the view of self-nature -- such as matter not having birth or cessation. However, the "not arising and not ceasing" that Buddhas and Bodhisattvas perceive is the "not arising and not ceasing" of the lack of self-nature. The "not arising and not ceasing" that scientists and those with worldly wisdom perceive is conceived based on the intuition of "continuation, similarities", but this is an illusion. Buddhas and Bodhisattvas through observing things as they are, discover that there does not exist "continuation" or "similarities" in events and phenomena -- similarities and continuation are simply false impressions/illusions, similarities and continuation are the perspective of self-nature, [whereas] all dharmas are quiescent and unmoving, its fundamental nature is Nirvana.

在佛菩萨眼里,世界是如此的奇 妙:山岳崩塌而不动,江河流注而未走,尘埃飞扬而寂寂,日月转动而无行;电流通而无流,万法移而不动,事物不会衰,生命不会老,从无有事物灭去;火永远也 烧不到万物,人不可能死,一个物永远也变不成另一个物。何以故?法无来去故,法性寂灭故,法法不相到故!法法宛然有而毕竟空,毕竟空而宛然有,这是怎样的 一个妙法的世界,除非你亲眼目睹,否则,怎能理解世尊微笑着对人们所说的“不可说,不可说”之句呢!

From the eyes of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, the world is so wonderful: mountains crumble without motion, rivers flow without going, dusts rise up but is quiescent, the sun and moon rotate without action; electricity circulates without flowing, the ten thousand dharmas change but without movement, events and phenomena do not wane, life will not get old, there never was the cessation of events and phenomena; fire will never burn the ten thousand phenomena, men will not die, even an eternal thing is unable to transform to another thing. Why is this so? It is because dharmas are without coming nor going, it is because the nature of dharma is quiescent cessation, it is because all dharmas do not meet each other! All dharmas are as though existing yet are actually empty, actually empty but seemingly existing, this is a world of wondrous dharma, unless you witness it with your own eyes, otherwise, how can you understand the words spoken by The World Honoured One (Buddha) with a smile, "it cannot be spoken, cannot be spoken"!

古代的猿和现代的猴非一非异, 古代的猴和现代的人非一非异,乃至古现代的猿猴和古现代的蛇、鸟、狮子、老虎等都非一非异。一切有情无情非一非异,众生国土同一法性故。猿是猿,类人猿是 类人猿,人是人,一切诸法是一切诸法,没有所谓的过渡。猫是猫,鹰是鹰,猫头鹰是猫头鹰,法不流转,法不相到,法性寂灭,万法变而不去,化而不来,一切诸 法当体是空,自性涅槃。时间不是实法,万法没有自性,因而宇宙间无有进化,只有幻化。诸法从相看方生方灭,从体看不生不灭。如是而知!

The ancient primates and modern apes are neither one nor different, the ancient primates and modern men are neither one nor different, even the ancient and modern primates and the ancient and modern snakes, birds, lions, tigers etc are all neither one nor different. All sentient and inanimate are neither one nor different, because the homelands of sentient beings are of a single dharma nature. Primates are primates, hominidaes are hominidaes, man is man, all dharmas are all dharmas, there is no such thing as transition. Cats are cats, eagles are eagles, owls are owls, dharmas do not move, dharmas do not meet, dharma's nature is quiescent cessation, ten thousand dharmas change without going, manifest without coming, the nature of all dharmas is empty, its own nature is Nirvana. Time is not real dharma, the ten thousand dharmas are devoid of self-nature, and because of this the universe does not have evolution, only change. From the appearances of dharmas it seemingly arises and ceases, from its nature one perceives its non arising and non cessation. Know it as such!
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