Moment to moment rebirth

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Moment to moment rebirth

Postby Annapurna » Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:22 pm

Sorry....no offense intended, but that sounds like a shicky micky cool Zennie new age drivel to me, because we only continue to live from moment to moment, until this complex bioorganism gives up the spirit for good and falls apart.

It doesn't go full cycle from moment to moment.

There is no complex "death-life-death-life-death-life-every-second-syndrome", that is, imo, just an attempt to hush up a disability to grasp the Buddhas teachings.

Why not just say:

I don't get it? It escapes me? It's ok!

I could respect that a lot more than "moment to moment rebirth"....

8-)

Again, no offense intended, but think about it...

Metta
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Re: Moment to moment rebirth

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:29 pm

Greetings Anna,

It's hard to comment on your post because it seems to conflate and misrepresent a few rather complex issues, in my opinion.

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Re: Moment to moment rebirth

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:03 pm

Hi Anna,

As Retro says, it is a complex issue. Certainly I would agree that those who seize on moment-to-moment ideas at the exclusion of other understandings are misunderstanding. However, in many of the Buddha's teachings, it is useful to examine the issue from various viewpoints.

I've recently enjoyed reading Rupert Gethin's book "The Foundations of Buddhism" because he presents different ways of viewing the teachings without seizing on one particular way. From his "No Self" chapter, which necessarily also discusses dependent origination, P154:
Gethin wrote:That dependent arising is indeed presented by the Buddhist tradition as something profound and, in a sense, difficult and complicated is aptly summed up by a saying attributed to the Buddha himself:
"Profound is this dependent arising and profound too is its appearance. It is through not knowing its nature, not penetrating its nature that beings become like a tangled skein, like a knotted ball of thread, like a weave of grass and rushes and fail to pass beyond samsara with its descents, unhappy destinies, and perdition."
[DN 15]

While the method of taking the twelve fold formula as describing a process over three lives is common to the ancient schools, it is also clear that it should be taken on a number of different scales --- as describing, for example, the process whereby in response to some circumstance we determine upon and carry out one particular course of action. The Abhidharma tradition of both Theravadins and Sarvastivadins points out that the formula should also be applied to each moment of consciousness --- that is, every thought that occurs arises in accordance with this twelve fold formula. Dependent arising describes the structures of reality however, wherever, and whenever we dissect it. The application of the forumula to a though moment has some interesting implications. The formula describes a process, and we usually conceive of processes as by definition taking place over a period of time, and yet for the Abhidharma such a process occurs quite literally in one moment: the twelve links arise simultaneously. This is something that touches upon complex tensions and issues in the history or Buddhist thought. The point that is being made is that reality is at heart something dynamic, something fluid; however one looks at it, reality is a process; analyse reality down to its smallest possible components or constituents, and what one finds are, not static building blocks, but dynamic processes. This is vividly summed up in the notion of 'death' as something we live through in each moment:
From the standpoint of ultimate truth the moment of a beings life is extremely short --- just the occurrence of a single thought. Indeed, just as the rolling wheel of a cart rolls on just one point of its rim, and resting rests on just one point, exactly so the life of a being lasts but the moment of one thought and as soon as that thought has ceased the being has ceased...
[Visuddhimagga VIII.39]

Yet again we move from the macrocosm of beings dying and being reborn to the microcosm of our changing thoughts. But the fact that reality is at heart a process relates also once more to the notion of the middle way. Tue process, true change cannot be explained in terms of eternalism (a thing exists unchanging) or annnihilationism (a thing exists for a time then ceases to exist). The process of change described by dependent arising is thus a middle between these two extremes, encapsulating the paradox of identity and difference involved in the very notion of change.

Mike

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Re: Moment to moment rebirth

Postby Jason » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:59 pm

Annapurna wrote:Sorry....no offense intended, but that sounds like a shicky micky cool Zennie new age drivel to me, because we only continue to live from moment to moment, until this complex bioorganism gives up the spirit for good and falls apart.

It doesn't go full cycle from moment to moment.

There is no complex "death-life-death-life-death-life-every-second-syndrome", that is, imo, just an attempt to hush up a disability to grasp the Buddhas teachings.

Why not just say:

I don't get it? It escapes me? It's ok!

I could respect that a lot more than "moment to moment rebirth"....

8-)

Again, no offense intended, but think about it...

Metta


The way I use the phrase, 'moment to moment rebirth' refers to the arising and ceasing of our sense of self, the ephemeral 'I,' which is ultimately the product of what the Buddha called a process of 'I-making' and 'my-making.' Without extrasensory perception, this is the only kind of rebirth that's readily observable in the here and now, hence my agnosticism in regard to postmortem rebirth. And, in case this thread happens to inspired by my comment here, in my defense I'd like to say that I think I 'get' the concept well enough, so it's not from ignorance than I say this, only honesty.
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Re: Moment to moment rebirth

Postby 5heaps » Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:39 pm

a thing doesnt have the power to endure for a second moment because it's dependent upon causes and conditions, and those causes and conditions are constantly changing.

on the other hand its not as though you are bob in one moment and then jim in the next.. there is still some sort of continuation possible whilst adhering to the above law of dependent arising. therefore its not entirely correct to say you die each moment, because then it would mean bob somehow became jim, when really its still just bob there. in fact theres some kind of truth about bob that youre trying to find and you ruin it by just saying that bob becomes jim. bob becomes jim is not profound.
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Re: Moment to moment rebirth

Postby lojong1 » Sat Jul 31, 2010 12:48 am

Moment to moment Jaati?
* birth from an egg--like a bird, fish, or reptile;
* birth from a womb—like most mammals and some worldly devas;
* birth from moisture—probably referring to the appearance of animals whose eggs are microscopic, like maggots appearing in rotting flesh;
* birth by transformation—miraculous materialization, as with most devas.

Doesn't seem to fit.

Moment to moment something else?

Bloody 'rebirth'! Bloody vague English language! Pops my buttons, it does.

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Re: Moment to moment rebirth

Postby Goedert » Sat Jul 31, 2010 1:35 am

Jason wrote:
Annapurna wrote:Sorry....no offense intended, but that sounds like a shicky micky cool Zennie new age drivel to me, because we only continue to live from moment to moment, until this complex bioorganism gives up the spirit for good and falls apart.

It doesn't go full cycle from moment to moment.

There is no complex "death-life-death-life-death-life-every-second-syndrome", that is, imo, just an attempt to hush up a disability to grasp the Buddhas teachings.

Why not just say:

I don't get it? It escapes me? It's ok!

I could respect that a lot more than "moment to moment rebirth"....

8-)

Again, no offense intended, but think about it...

Metta


The way I use the phrase, 'moment to moment rebirth' refers to the arising and ceasing of our sense of self, the ephemeral 'I,' which is ultimately the product of what the Buddha called a process of 'I-making' and 'my-making.' Without extrasensory perception, this is the only kind of rebirth that's readily observable in the here and now, hence my agnosticism in regard to postmortem rebirth. And, in case this thread happens to inspired by my comment here, in my defense I'd like to say that I think I 'get' the concept well enough, so it's not from ignorance than I say this, only honesty.


This seem to be very logic. In "my" opinion the paticcasamuppada work in both way, with the I-making and I-ceasing process. This is a good point to use the analogy of rebirth.

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Re: Moment to moment rebirth

Postby Annapurna » Sat Jul 31, 2010 7:59 am

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Anna,

As Retro says, it is a complex issue. Certainly I would agree that those who seize on moment-to-moment ideas at the exclusion of other understandings are misunderstanding. However, in many of the Buddha's teachings, it is useful to examine the issue from various viewpoints.

I've recently enjoyed reading Rupert Gethin's book "The Foundations of Buddhism" because he presents different ways of viewing the teachings without seizing on one particular way. From his "No Self" chapter, which necessarily also discusses dependent origination, P154:
Gethin wrote:That dependent arising is indeed presented by the Buddhist tradition as something profound and, in a sense, difficult and complicated is aptly summed up by a saying attributed to the Buddha himself:
"Profound is this dependent arising and profound too is its appearance. It is through not knowing its nature, not penetrating its nature that beings become like a tangled skein, like a knotted ball of thread, like a weave of grass and rushes and fail to pass beyond samsara with its descents, unhappy destinies, and perdition."
[DN 15]

While the method of taking the twelve fold formula as describing a process over three lives is common to the ancient schools, it is also clear that it should be taken on a number of different scales --- as describing, for example, the process whereby in response to some circumstance we determine upon and carry out one particular course of action. The Abhidharma tradition of both Theravadins and Sarvastivadins points out that the formula should also be applied to each moment of consciousness --- that is, every thought that occurs arises in accordance with this twelve fold formula. Dependent arising describes the structures of reality however, wherever, and whenever we dissect it. The application of the forumula to a though moment has some interesting implications. The formula describes a process, and we usually conceive of processes as by definition taking place over a period of time, and yet for the Abhidharma such a process occurs quite literally in one moment: the twelve links arise simultaneously. This is something that touches upon complex tensions and issues in the history or Buddhist thought. The point that is being made is that reality is at heart something dynamic, something fluid; however one looks at it, reality is a process; analyse reality down to its smallest possible components or constituents, and what one finds are, not static building blocks, but dynamic processes. This is vividly summed up in the notion of 'death' as something we live through in each moment:
From the standpoint of ultimate truth the moment of a beings life is extremely short --- just the occurrence of a single thought. Indeed, just as the rolling wheel of a cart rolls on just one point of its rim, and resting rests on just one point, exactly so the life of a being lasts but the moment of one thought and as soon as that thought has ceased the being has ceased...
[Visuddhimagga VIII.39]

Yet again we move from the macrocosm of beings dying and being reborn to the microcosm of our changing thoughts. But the fact that reality is at heart a process relates also once more to the notion of the middle way. Tue process, true change cannot be explained in terms of eternalism (a thing exists unchanging) or annnihilationism (a thing exists for a time then ceases to exist). The process of change described by dependent arising is thus a middle between these two extremes, encapsulating the paradox of identity and difference involved in the very notion of change.

Mike



Hi, Mike and thank you for the quote and effort you made .

I happen to think that many human beings tend to overanalyse and to overthink simple matters, until they have created complex mindconstructs and the original simplicity is lost. Lots of words tend to obfuscate matters as well, just like a needle gets lost in a haystack much easier than in an empty box. The needle being a synonym or metaphor for the truth.

I also happen to believe that this is the reason why a lot of things are not understood ad hoc.

It is a delusion of our mind to believe that the truth can only be found after extremely hard and long thinking.

The opposite is true.

Truth is usually very simple.

And with all due respect to Buddhaghosa, but this is something I disagree with, hope that's ok. At least I would say it doesn't work for me. I understand how it's meant, but I would not say it this way.

the life of a being lasts but the moment of one thought and as soon as that thought has ceased the being has ceased...


Obviously, I haven't ceased to exist after my first thought, nor do I cease to exist after typing this sentence -

I'm still here... ;) Only a thought is gone, but not my body and mind. I don't identify with 'my' thoughts as "mine".

Being down to earth and a realist, for me, the life of a butterfly begins with crawling out of an egg, then it goes through it's metamorphosis, and it ends when it takes its last breath, -and it doesn't have to get anymore convoluted and metaphysical for me.

I like things simple.

And they are, Mike. We only make them too complicated. Too much thought, imo.

Do you understand my point?

Metta,

Anna
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Re: Moment to moment rebirth

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Jul 31, 2010 8:12 am

Hi Anna,

So you don't agree with the Buddha?
"Profound is this dependent arising and profound too is its appearance. It is through not knowing its nature, not penetrating its nature that beings become like a tangled skein, like a knotted ball of thread, like a weave of grass and rushes and fail to pass beyond samsara with its descents, unhappy destinies, and perdition."
[DN 15]


You say:
I'm still here... ;) Only a thought is gone, but not my body and mind. I don't identify with 'my' thoughts as "mine".

"I'm still here"?
So you are identifying with your body or your mind?

Mike

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Re: Moment to moment rebirth

Postby Annapurna » Sat Jul 31, 2010 8:22 am

Jason wrote:
Annapurna wrote:Sorry....no offense intended, but that sounds like a shicky micky cool Zennie new age drivel to me, because we only continue to live from moment to moment, until this complex bioorganism gives up the spirit for good and falls apart.

It doesn't go full cycle from moment to moment.

There is no complex "death-life-death-life-death-life-every-second-syndrome", that is, imo, just an attempt to hush up a disability to grasp the Buddhas teachings.

Why not just say:

I don't get it? It escapes me? It's ok!

I could respect that a lot more than "moment to moment rebirth"....

8-)

Again, no offense intended, but think about it...

Metta


the ephemeral 'I,' which is ultimately the product of what the Buddha called a process of 'I-making' and 'my-making.' Without extrasensory perception, this is the only kind of rebirth that's readily observable in the here and now, hence my agnosticism in regard to postmortem rebirth. And, in case this thread happens to inspired by my comment here, in my defense I'd like to say that I think I 'get' the concept well enough, so it's not from ignorance than I say this, only honesty.



Jason, as an agnostic it is only a logical consequense that you arrive at this conclusion. The here and now is perceptible, with the physical senses. It is tangible.

However, it is just one piece of the puzzle.

No doubt you can remember that you once were a little boy. You are not anylonger, and yet your past meets your presense in one point, just like all spokes meet in a hub.

The way I use the phrase, 'moment to moment rebirth' refers to the arising and ceasing of our sense of self,/quote]

But Jason, then you are not naming the kid by it's real name.

Why should I call Micky mouse Donald Duck?

Buddha spoke of post-mortem rebirth:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nymo.html

4. "I do not understand the detailed meaning of Master Gotama's utterance spoken in brief without expounding the detailed meaning. It would be good if Master Gotama taught me the Dhamma so that I might understand the detailed meaning of Master Gotama's utterance spoken in brief without expounding the detailed meaning."

"Then listen, student, and heed well what I shall say."

"Even so, Master Gotama," Subha the student replied. The Blessed One said this:

5. "Here, student, some woman or man is a killer of living beings, murderous, bloody-handed, given to blows and violence, merciless to living beings. Due to having performed and completed such kammas, on the dissolution of the body, after death, he reappears in a state of deprivation, in an unhappy destination, in perdition, in hell. If, on the dissolution of the body, after death, instead of his reappearing in a state of deprivation, in an unhappy destination, in perdition, in hell, he comes to the human state, he is short-lived wherever he is reborn. This is the way that leads to short life, that is to say, to be a killer of living beings, murderous, bloody-handed, given to blows and violence, merciless to living beings.


After death, after the dissolution of the body, he reappears.

Any more clear, simple and direct it can't be said.

IF there is a difficulty to understand or accept is, faith could come into the picture.

The Buddha said himself, that some people will understand the Dhamma at once, if it is explained to them, some will grasp a lot but not all, and some will not get it, butwill have faith and live according to the teachings.

This, Master Gotama explained, would bring them into a good next rebirth where they will grasp it.

Metta,

Anna
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Re: Moment to moment rebirth

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat Jul 31, 2010 8:22 am

Annapurna wrote:It doesn't go full cycle from moment to moment.


It doesn't feel like that to me. More like a messy dependently arisen continuum of desires and habits.

P
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Re: Moment to moment rebirth

Postby Annapurna » Sat Jul 31, 2010 8:34 am

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Anna,

So you don't agree with the Buddha?

"Profound is this dependent arising and profound too is its appearance. It is through not knowing its nature, not penetrating its nature that beings become like a tangled skein, like a knotted ball of thread, like a weave of grass and rushes and fail to pass beyond samsara with its descents, unhappy destinies, and perdition."
[DN 15]


You say:
I'm still here... ;) Only a thought is gone, but not my body and mind. I don't identify with 'my' thoughts as "mine".

"I'm still here"?
So you are identifying with your body or your mind?

Mike


I think you are trying to bring me on a slippery slope.

:tongue: :heart:

Didn't the Buddha say:
Noble ones delight in what's well said, they don't study to find fault? ;)


But I'll be happy to reply:


"Profound is this dependent arising and profound too is its appearance


Yes.

So you are identifying with your body or your mind?


Only to that extent, that I feel my body, but not yours.

I know my thoughts, but don't know yours. :smile:

No pun intended.
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Re: Moment to moment rebirth

Postby Annapurna » Sat Jul 31, 2010 8:40 am

5heaps wrote:its not as though you are bob in one moment and then jim in the next.. there is still some sort of continuation possible whilst adhering to the above law of dependent arising. therefore its not entirely correct to say you die each moment, because then it would mean bob somehow became jim, when really its still just bob there. in fact theres some kind of truth about bob that youre trying to find and you ruin it by just saying that bob becomes jim. bob becomes jim is not profound.


quite so.
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Re: Moment to moment rebirth

Postby PeterB » Sat Jul 31, 2010 9:00 am

Anna I think you are perilously close to saying that those who do not accept literal post mortem rebirth are taking that position because they dont understand the teachings of the Buddha.
If you look through the "sister" thread to this you will find some very experienced Buddhists who are expressing agnosticism about literal punarbhava after death. They include people who quite clearly have a depth understanding of the Buddhas teaching.
One pf the greatest teachers of modern times Ajahn Buddhadasa considered the belief in literal post mortem punarbhava to be itself a misunderstanding of the Buddhas teaching..he taught that only moment to moment rebirth without speculation was consistent with Dhamma. You dont have to agree with him,although as it happens I do, to see that there is a strong case held by many practitioners of Buddhadhamma for agnosticism about the issue, and that it too simple to assume that they have not understood. Many have understood very clearly and reached a different conclusion to yours.
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Re: Moment to moment rebirth

Postby ground » Sat Jul 31, 2010 9:19 am

"Moment to moment rebirth" does not appear to be a consistent expression.

Is moment meant to negate "continuum" (or "life")?
If yes, neither is there a "continuum" (i.e. "life") that can be perceived nor is there a "moment" that can be perceived. But both, a "continuum" (i.e. "life") and a "moment" can be conceptually constructed and thus are within the range of conventional language. So why prefer "moment" to "life" if both are equally invalid (or conventionally valid)?

"re-birth" implies being "born again" but when did the preceding birth take place if "moment" is intended to negate "continuum" (i.e. "life")?

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Re: Moment to moment rebirth

Postby PeterB » Sat Jul 31, 2010 9:31 am

You are quite right..its shorthand. As you say in the parent thread to this the whole issue stems from a misunderstanding or incomplete or conventional view of time.

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Re: Moment to moment rebirth

Postby Annapurna » Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:49 am

PeterB wrote:Anna I think you are perilously close to saying that those who do not accept literal post mortem rebirth are taking that position because they dont understand the teachings of the Buddha.
If you look through the "sister" thread to this you will find some very experienced Buddhists who are expressing agnosticism about literal punarbhava after death. They include people who quite clearly have a depth understanding of the Buddhas teaching.
One of the greatest teachers of modern times Ajahn Buddhadasa considered the belief in literal post mortem punarbhava to be itself a misunderstanding of the Buddhas teaching..he taught that only moment to moment rebirth without speculation was consistent with Dhamma. You dont have to agree with him,although as it happens I do, to see that there is a strong case held by many practitioners of Buddhadhamma for agnosticism about the issue, and that it too simple to assume that they have not understood. Many have understood very clearly and reached a different conclusion to yours.


Anna I think you are perilously close to saying that those who do not accept literal post mortem rebirth are taking that position because they dont understand the teachings of the Buddha.


Peter, I admit I was perfectly aware of a little -smiling- provocation. ;) (i leave shoes around...)

If you look through the "sister" thread to this you will find some very experienced Buddhists who are expressing agnosticism about literal punarbhava after death. They include people who quite clearly have a depth understanding of the Buddhas teaching.


Without knowing who you mean, and just generally speaking, I must arrive at my own understanding and insights...and I do not necessarily trust those of others, seniors or not....unless they make sense.
One of the greatest teachers of modern times Ajahn Buddhadasa considered the belief in literal post mortem punarbhava to be itself a misunderstanding of the Buddhas teaching..he taught that only moment to moment rebirth without speculation was consistent with Dhamma. You dont have to agree with him,although as it happens I do, to see that there is a strong case held by many practitioners of Buddhadhamma for agnosticism about the issue, and that it too simple to assume that they have not understood. Many have understood very clearly and reached a different conclusion to yours.


What if rebirth is as MN 135 says........?

Of course now we can argue that MN 135 is a misunderstanding.

But perhaps we assume of all those things that we don't grasp ad hoc that they are misunderstandings?

Don't know?
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Re: Moment to moment rebirth

Postby PeterB » Sat Jul 31, 2010 12:01 pm

After a number of decades of pondering the Suttas and attending quite a few retreats and having had glimpses of the truth of Dukkha Anicca and Anatta I have no idea whether punarbhava applies to post mortem states. But I have no doubt that it applies to pre-mortem states.
I am not suggesting that you accept the word of those who are agnostic re punarbhava. or that you accept the word of those who accept the idea of post mortem punarbhava literally. Its entirely a matter for you. I am just saying that among " serious" Buddhists including those who have spent much time in meditation and who have a thorough grasp of the Pali, like Kare, both views exist. I have seen very few Buddhists in any situation who deny the possibility of post mortem punarbhava, but I know many respectable, learned, devout, practising Buddhists who are agnostic on the issue.

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Re: Moment to moment rebirth

Postby Annapurna » Sat Jul 31, 2010 1:49 pm

PeterB wrote:After a number of decades of pondering the Suttas and attending quite a few retreats and having had glimpses of the truth of Dukkha Anicca and Anatta I have no idea whether punarbhava applies to post mortem states. But I have no doubt that it applies to pre-mortem states.
I am not suggesting that you accept the word of those who are agnostic re punarbhava. or that you accept the word of those who accept the idea of post mortem punarbhava literally. Its entirely a matter for you. I am just saying that among " serious" Buddhists including those who have spent much time in meditation and who have a thorough grasp of the Pali, like Kare, both views exist. I have seen very few Buddhists in any situation who deny the possibility of post mortem punarbhava, but I know many respectable, learned, devout, practising Buddhists who are agnostic on the issue.


:anjali:

I also think that we have, while alive, moments in which we feel that we "die", and then rise again like a phoenix from the ashes...and then rebirth just instantly clicked with me anlong time ago.

But I can accpet for others it may not be so.

I also have a thing in Buddhism I am chewing on....can't come to a decision.
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Re: Moment to moment rebirth

Postby PeterB » Sat Jul 31, 2010 2:07 pm

The situation for me Anna was that for a long time the Rebirth issue was a barrier to accepting the truth of Buddhadhamma. Then it stopped being a barrier..then more time went past and it seemed as a literal issue to be less and less important. The truths of dependent origination, of the three signs etc etc were not it seems to me dependant on the literal truth of post mortem punarbhava.
So if a literal belief is important to some, then I have no argument with them on the issue.

On the other hand I have enough in this life to be getting on with..... :anjali:


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