Who created the heavenly and hell realms?

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Re: Who created the heavenly and hell realms?

Postby lyndon taylor » Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:50 am

Well then if you don't deny that the Buddha taught literal rebirth, multiple realms, devas deities, etc as real, then my comments don't apply to you, do they???
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: Who created the heavenly and hell realms?

Postby Jason » Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:15 am

lyndon taylor wrote:Well then if you don't deny that the Buddha taught literal rebirth, multiple realms, devas deities, etc as real, then my comments don't apply to you, do they???


No, which is why I don't understand why you keep directing them at me.
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Re: Who created the heavenly and hell realms?

Postby lyndon taylor » Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:25 am

I'm actually not directing anything at you specifically, but rather generally aiming at people that wish to rewrite the Buddhas teaching to fit their own view, if the shoe fits wear it. I have no problem accepting that in some instances, hell in the scriptures refers to a psychological state, just not all the time or even most of the time.

It seems to me people in the buddha's time were more superstitious and took, ghost spirits, demi gods, heavens and hells very literally, much more so than today, no matter how much a non superstitious person wants to deny many or all of those things today, he can't go back in history and turn the Buddha into a secular humanist. These things were part of their world, whether real or not, and they needed little faith to believe in this. We learn by accepting that they saw things differently than many do today, not by rewriting history to have a Buddha that agrees with all our pet modern theories or non beliefs.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: Who created the heavenly and hell realms?

Postby Aloka » Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:08 am

Thank you for your calm and reasoned contribution to the discussion, Jason. Its much appreciated.

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Re: Who created the heavenly and hell realms?

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jan 06, 2014 6:42 am

lyndon taylor wrote:Well then if you don't deny that the Buddha taught literal rebirth, multiple realms, devas deities, etc as real, then my comments don't apply to you, do they???



Don't forget about magical snakes and a big mountain in the middle of a flat earth :jumping:



Facts are awkward things
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Re: Who created the heavenly and hell realms?

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jan 06, 2014 6:47 am

I'm actually not directing anything at you specifically, but rather generally aiming at people that wish to rewrite the Buddhas teaching to fit their own view, if the shoe fits wear it.



Ever thought that might be what your doing?


Just a thought :thinking:
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Re: Who created the heavenly and hell realms?

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue Jan 07, 2014 9:39 am

Jason wrote:The passage I posted above is one example where I think the psychological and cosmological aspects of becoming and rebirth are directly compared, illustrating their relationship, i.e., where rearising in an 'injurious world' is analogous to the experience of painful feelings (an aspect of mind) like beings in hell, suggesting to me that hell itself can also refer to an unpleasant mental state as much as it can a literal place one rearises:


Analogous to, certainly, but that's not the same as saying they are the same thing. I still don't see any evidence that the realms were intended as psychological states in the suttas. IMO it's like arguing that Hell is a metaphor, based on what the Bible says - it's possible to argue this case but it seems very tenuous and speculative.
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Re: Who created the heavenly and hell realms?

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:50 pm

Jason wrote:While I wasn't so convinced of this at first, other suttas and the opinions of other translators/commentators have since convinced me that the psychological aspects aren't necessarily as divorced from the cosmological as many assume. One of the things that really got me seeing things this way is the fact that the term loka (world/realm) itself is often used as a metaphor for the five aggregates, the six sense spheres, and/or the internal world of fabricated experience .


It seems to me that in the suttas the cosmological and psychological are 2 sides of the same coin, and IMO attempting to divorce one from the other leads to misunderstanding - in any case I don't see the evidence for a purely psychological interpretation.
The use of "loka" is interesting, though in context it looks to me like a figure of speech meaning "my world" or "our world" - I think it can be viewed as descriptive of the human realm.
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Re: Who created the heavenly and hell realms?

Postby Jason » Tue Jan 07, 2014 4:31 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
Jason wrote:While I wasn't so convinced of this at first, other suttas and the opinions of other translators/commentators have since convinced me that the psychological aspects aren't necessarily as divorced from the cosmological as many assume. One of the things that really got me seeing things this way is the fact that the term loka (world/realm) itself is often used as a metaphor for the five aggregates, the six sense spheres, and/or the internal world of fabricated experience .


It seems to me that in the suttas the cosmological and psychological are 2 sides of the same coin, and IMO attempting to divorce one from the other leads to misunderstanding - in any case I don't see the evidence for a purely psychological interpretation.
The use of "loka" is interesting, though in context it looks to me like a figure of speech meaning "my world" or "our world" - I think it can be viewed as descriptive of the human realm.


I think we agree more than we disagree then. I think if you step back and read what I've said this entire thread, it's eminently clear that I'm not trying to divorce one from the other or proposing a purely psychological interpretation, but that I'm trying to show how they're both relevant, especially in places like AN 4.235.
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Re: Who created the heavenly and hell realms?

Postby manas » Wed Jan 08, 2014 5:55 am

Regarding the various planes, this talk by Bhante Anandajoti is really informative and entertaining. He explains in a very comprehensible way, how the various planes of existence are both psychological, and cosmological, 'realms':



I find this talk can give inspiration to put forth more effort into purifying one's generousity and virtue...especially, to at least keep those five precepts really purely. Human realm and above, fine; but
lower realms - best avoided... :shock:

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Re: Who created the heavenly and hell realms?

Postby clw_uk » Fri Jan 10, 2014 1:13 am

lyndon taylor wrote:Because to believe the Buddha was talking figuratively, not literally when he talked at length, over and over about rebirth, other realms, conversation with devas etc etc, you would really have to be twisting around his words from what they plainly say, The Buddha wasn't a secular Buddhist, quite the opposite, why can't you just man up to you disagree with the Buddha, instead of trying to put your modern ideas in his mouth.......and try and make your ideas fit with his.



To be fair Jason isn't doing that at all, from his posts he is simply saying that "rebirth" is put across as both psychological in nature as well as being real ontologically.

I would say that's a fair assessment of what's in the suttas


Unless I'm misreading of course


Some good points btw Jason :)
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Re: Who created the heavenly and hell realms?

Postby Spiny Norman » Fri Jan 10, 2014 3:18 pm

clw_uk wrote:... "rebirth" is put across as both psychological in nature as well as being real ontologically.


But not as purely psychological. Not in the suttas anyway.
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Re: Who created the heavenly and hell realms?

Postby daverupa » Fri Jan 10, 2014 3:41 pm

Could be that these are two ways of understanding life processes amongst dependent consequences; in any event the point seems to me to be coming to grips with idapaccayata sans ritualism, self-aggrandizement, and so forth. This is an individual effort that isn't assisted by comparing and contrasting metaphysical speculations.
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    "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.
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Re: Who created the heavenly and hell realms?

Postby clw_uk » Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:09 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
clw_uk wrote:... "rebirth" is put across as both psychological in nature as well as being real ontologically.


But not as purely psychological. Not in the suttas anyway.



There is both in the suttas
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Re: Who created the heavenly and hell realms?

Postby Mkoll » Fri Jan 10, 2014 7:25 pm

daverupa wrote:This is an individual effort that isn't assisted by comparing and contrasting metaphysical speculations.

:goodpost: :goodpost: :goodpost: :goodpost: :goodpost: :goodpost: :goodpost:

I hope more people will understand this.

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Re: Who created the heavenly and hell realms?

Postby Aloka » Fri Jan 10, 2014 8:07 pm

daverupa wrote:This is an individual effort that isn't assisted by comparing and contrasting metaphysical speculations.


Absolutely. :thumbsup:
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Re: Who created the heavenly and hell realms?

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat Jan 11, 2014 9:30 am

clw_uk wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:
clw_uk wrote:... "rebirth" is put across as both psychological in nature as well as being real ontologically.


But not as purely psychological. Not in the suttas anyway.



There is both in the suttas


Show me a sutta which describes the realms as purely psychological states.
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Re: Who created the heavenly and hell realms?

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat Jan 11, 2014 9:32 am

daverupa wrote:Could be that these are two ways of understanding life processes amongst dependent consequences; in any event the point seems to me to be coming to grips with idapaccayata sans ritualism, self-aggrandizement, and so forth.


Sure, but also without aversion to what the suttas seem to be describing.
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Re: Who created the heavenly and hell realms?

Postby clw_uk » Sat Jan 11, 2014 9:25 pm

Show me a sutta which describes the realms as purely psychological states.



I said there was both in the suttas :/ isn't that what you and Jason were saying as well?
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Re: Who created the heavenly and hell realms?

Postby clw_uk » Sat Jan 11, 2014 9:29 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
daverupa wrote:Could be that these are two ways of understanding life processes amongst dependent consequences; in any event the point seems to me to be coming to grips with idapaccayata sans ritualism, self-aggrandizement, and so forth.


Sure, but also without aversion to what the suttas seem to be describing.



Why do you imply a different understanding entails aversion?
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