Thread: Omnia Tempus Habent

  1. #1
    Forums Member anthonyarnov's Avatar
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    Oct 2012
    South Africa

    Omnia Tempus Habent


    I was just wondering and would like to know- I have come across the following Latin phrase a number of times, and I like the appeal towards balance, impermanence and emptiness it indicates:

    Omnia tempus habent et suis spatiis transeunt universa sub cælo.

    Translated it means (All have (their) time and, in their season, they all transit under heaven.) or (All things have their season, and in their times all things pass under heaven.)

    The line is taken from the Christian book of Ecclesiastes. As I non-Christian I find solace in the piece.

    I want to know: It what sense is this line in-line with, or contradicting, the message of Buddhism?

  2. #2
    Forums Member Element's Avatar
    thanks Anthony

    for me, the verse resonates with Buddhism and is particularly Taoist sounding, particularly the phrase 'under heaven', which is predominant in Taoist writings

    as for Ecclesiastes, it is a Hebrew (Jewish) book rather than Christian

    it is attributed to King Solomon, who searched the world for wisdom & who lived before Buddha

    many of its themes in Ecclesiastes are close to Buddhism

    however, scholars date Ecclesiastes after Buddha, based on its language (see Wikipedia)

    thus, it is highly probable Ecclesiastes was influenced by Buddhism & Taoism

    kind regards

    Under heaven all can see beauty as
    beauty only because there is ugliness.
    All can know good as good only
    because there is evil.
    Therefore having and not having arise
    Difficult and easy complement each
    Long and short contrast each other:
    High and low rest upon each other;
    Voice and sound harmonize each
    Front and back follow one another

    Therefore the sage goes about doing
    nothing, teaching no-talking.
    The ten thousand things rise and fall
    without cease,
    Creating, yet not possessing.
    Working, yet not taking credit.
    Work is done, then forgotten.
    Therefore it lasts forever.

    Tao Te Ching
    these conditions among human beings
    are inconstant,
    subject to change.

    Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
    ponders these changing conditions.
    Desirable things don't charm the mind,
    undesirable ones bring no resistance.

    His welcoming
    & rebelling are scattered,
    gone to their end,
    do not exist.
    Knowing the dustless, sorrowless state,
    he discerns rightly,
    has gone, beyond becoming,
    to the Further Shore.

    To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

    2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

    3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

    4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

    5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

    6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

    7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

    8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

    Ecclesiastes 3
    Joy and anger, sorrow and happiness, hope and fear, indecision and strength, humility and willfulness, enthusiasm and insolence, like music sounding from an empty reed or mushrooms rising from the warm dark earth, continually appear before us day and night. No one knows whence they come. Don't worry about it! Let them be! How can we understand it all in one day?

    Chuang Tsu: Inner Chapters

  3. #3
    Forums Member anthonyarnov's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    South Africa

    Thanks Element!

    I recon it would be an interesting study to try and discover what influenced the writing of Ecclesiastes. But now I have a bigger appreciation and 'fondness' for the text.

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