the great rebirth debate

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:19 am

retrofuturist wrote:Note that all seven are pleasant, wholesome things, so if a particular practice is inflicting dukkha, then perhaps the efficacy and suitability of that practice should be re-assessed?
Metta,
Retro. :)



    "And who is the individual who goes against the flow? There is the case where an individual doesn't indulge in sensual passions and doesn't do evil deeds. Even though it may be with pain, even though it may be with sorrow, even though he may be crying, his face in tears, he lives the holy life that is perfect & pure. This is called the individual who goes against the flow. AN4.5


This holy life with pain, sorrow and crying would make sense if there was rebirth and one would remove much more suffering. But if this is the only life, why follow path that can be with pain, sorrow and tears for the results that are guaranteed anyways?
”Even the water melting from the snow-capped peaks finds its way to the ocean."
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby daverupa » Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:37 am

Alex123 wrote:Sometimes strictly keeping the precepts invites more hardship and complications.


Lack of killing... surely not more hardships and complications? Lack of stealing, lack of harmful sexual escapades, sobriety... these all seem obviously better, no? So my guess is that harsh speech, idle speech, divisive speech, & (white) lies are the troublesome parts, perhaps causing extra social friction?

I find these in particular to be much easier in kalyanamitta company; they are indeed the whole of the holy life, and in many cases livelihood is a negative influence on these precepts. This might be a good thread starter.

:hug:

Alex123 wrote:Also trying to meditate and be like on thinks one should ideally be often brings MORE mental stress than not doing it.


Sure, but this sort of criticism isn't taught anywhere, and should simply be set aside. This is probably a problem fixed by addressing ones modality.

Alex123 wrote:Monks live, or are supposed to live in poverty. Why get rid of one's wealth and comforts for austere life?


After a time, it becomes apparent to some that there's really nothing else worth spending time on than the Dhamma. The monastic lifestyle is ideally designed to facilitate this.

Alex123 wrote:If one becomes a doormat, then other people can step on one.


...so, which aspect of Dhamma practice is it which you feel leads to this result?
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "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.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby daverupa » Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:46 am

Alex123 wrote: But if this is the only life, ...


It's pure speculation, and obviously leads to vexation. It's a state of perplexity which won't be bothersome as one comes to understand the root of the bothersome. There's a way out which gives indications here and now that it works, and the answers to these speculations become wholly irrelevant. The arrow simile comes to mind.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "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.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:56 am

daverupa wrote:Lack of killing... surely not more hardships and complications?


All the trouble to avoid swiping a mosquito (which could carry infection). Or for some people in some places, fishing/hunting for food...

It gets even worse when Bhikkhu has to follow ancient Vinaya in modern times, and use food/medicine that is offered rather than what one is accustomed too and can require for optimum functioning.

Did you read "Broken Buddha"?


daverupa wrote: Lack of stealing, lack of harmful sexual escapades, sobriety... these all seem obviously better, no?


You are taking it too far.

daverupa wrote:So my guess is that harsh speech, idle speech, divisive speech, & (white) lies are the troublesome parts, perhaps causing extra social friction?


At social engagements you may have to engage in idle speech and sometimes "honest" answer to a boss can create un-needed problems.

daverupa wrote:It's pure speculation, .


It is risk/reward analysis.

daverupa wrote:After a time, it becomes apparent to some that there's really nothing else worth spending time on than the Dhamma. The monastic lifestyle is ideally designed to facilitate this.


Sure, in the context of rebirth and kamma. A "bit" (relatively speaking) of pain to avoid much more pain of endless rebirths.


daverupa wrote:...so, which aspect of Dhamma practice is it which you feel leads to this result?


Very strict following of the precepts, teachings about "do no harm", etc. If somebody is going to attack you it may make sense, at least in some situations, to defend oneself.
”Even the water melting from the snow-capped peaks finds its way to the ocean."
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:37 am

Greetings Alex,

See it as you wish ~ you continue to grab the water-snake by the tail and experience commensurate results...

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby vinasp » Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:17 pm

Hi everyone,

As one grows up one comes to acquire a multitude of beliefs.

The sum total of these beliefs is one's 'world'.

One experiences this 'world' as reality - as how things really are.

So one has constructed one's own reality but then one experiences it as something
independent of oneself.

This reality can be very stable and persist for many years.

It seems that most people become trapped in this reality which they have constructed.

They seem unable to escape or find a way out.

The Buddha shows the way out, by deconstructing that which has been constructed.

Early Buddhism is about deconstructing reality.

The later Theravada teachings offer two choices, if you desire enlightenment in this
life then deconstruct reality, if not, then believe what the teachings say.

Reality is constructed using concepts and the rules of logic and grammar.

Nothing constructed in this way is anything more than a provisional truth.

Beyond this provisional truth is something that can be experienced but cannot be
expressed in words.

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby daverupa » Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:25 pm

The risk/reward analysis seems deficient to me; ultimately, the form it's taking is argumentum ad ignorantum - "since I can't see the benefit without this metaphysical bowling ball, there's no way it makes sense without that bowling ball." The risk/reward analysis given in the Suttas follows a different course.

There are a number of confusing things: the use of -"honest"- in quotes for the workplace scenario is interesting, because there are many creative ways to uphold the precepts, a task which is so much easier when they are rooted in the brahmaviharas, rather than seen as commandments. Don't underestimate silent equanimity - but perhaps this is to be a doormat, in your eyes? That's something worth talking about in detail, I expect. In any event, there's room here to refine the approach.

Unfortunately, even the working poor in the Western world tend to have better quality of life than kings and princes back in the Buddha's day, so I wonder if there's a paradigm shift which might contextualize things more skillfully. "What one is accustomed to" is no argument at all, and "optimum functioning" needs unpacking because what's optimal is defined in reference to widely varying subjective goals, and some of those won't be in line with the Dhamma.

The self-defense line is also confusing, as there's ample room for self-defense within the boundaries of the precepts. Flicking mosquitoes can fall here as well, as a form of preventative medicine - remember, the intent matters (and swatting them can get their guts under your skin, which is no good).

And with respect to hunting for some people in some places... somehow we've left your point of view behind, and ended up theorycrafting rather than addressing actual difficulties you experience. This is confusing as well. Are you a subsistence hunter?

These objections are all over the map...
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "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.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby alan... » Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:30 pm

Alex123 wrote:Very strict following of the precepts, teachings about "do no harm", etc. If somebody is going to attack you it may make sense, at least in some situations, to defend oneself.



"According to the Vibhaṅga, there is no offense for a bhikkhu who, trapped in a difficult situation, gives a blow "desiring freedom."

-http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?title=Self-defense
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Jerrod Lopes » Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:39 pm

alan... wrote:
Alex123 wrote:Very strict following of the precepts, teachings about "do no harm", etc. If somebody is going to attack you it may make sense, at least in some situations, to defend oneself.



"According to the Vibhaṅga, there is no offense for a bhikkhu who, trapped in a difficult situation, gives a blow "desiring freedom."

-http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?title=Self-defense



If the aim of ones' practice is pure and true, the insight that gives rise to wisdom will keep you from those situations to begin with. Of course things do happen sometimes outside of your own kamma vippaka, but that's just the chance of existence and nothing you really do or don't do can save you there. Take it form me, a guy who used to get into fights quite often and hasn't been in a single fight since taking my own actions seriously.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby perkele » Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:44 pm

Jerrod Lopes wrote:If the aim of ones' practice is pure and true, the insight that gives rise to wisdom will keep you from those situations to begin with.

I think the truth is actually, it will begin to keep you out of those situations, rather than keep you from those situations to begin with.
Jerrod Lopes wrote:Of course things do happen sometimes outside of your own kamma vippaka, but that's just the chance of existence and nothing you really do or don't do can save you there.

But sometimes, and maybe more often than not, it's exactly those things that happen as kamma vipaka from earlier that one has to deal with. And they don't just go away by themselves, just because you've changed your attitude and try to follow the good way.
Take Maha-Moggalana for example. No way to accuse him of the aim of his practice not being pure and true. His practice was finished. He was an arahat. But in the end he was violently murdered and could not prevent that, as a result of his previous kamma.
Take it form me, a guy who used to get into fights quite often and hasn't been in a single fight since taking my own actions seriously.

That is good for you. (I'm not being sarcastic here or anything. Don't get me wrong.) May the force be with you.
I just wanted to point out that what you wrote was not so logically consistent in my eyes.
But now I'm going back to my own inconsistencies. :P
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Jerrod Lopes » Sat Jan 12, 2013 7:46 pm

It will most certainly keep you form those types of situations to begin with as you will be making diffrent kinds of kamma as your practice progresses. You will no longer be in places you would have been in, thus preventing such occurrences to begin with. For instance: I don't go to bars anymore and end up in fights with people in bars. If I don't go to bars, the likelihood of me being involved in a barfight drops to nearly zero, yes? Simple. Kamma. This is the sort of thing that determines what kind of rebirth, if any, occurs. It's all about kamma.

Or am I misunderstanding and your first sentence should be taken as a lesson in proper use of written english? :thinking:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby perkele » Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:07 am

I merely meant to point out that just stopping "bad behaviour" may not automatically stop bad results from happening which were caused by bad actions earlier. So it might well happen that you get into a bad situation although you don't have any bad intention.

Since you were practically saying that the monk's rule allowing bhikkhus to punch someone to get out of a threatening situation is superfluous, because according to your view such a situation could only arise when the monks intentions are not "pure", I thought this would be worth pointing out.

My point was only to defend the Bhikkhu's rule as being quite sound and reasonable in my eyes.

The fact that you don't go into bars anymore, and based on that don't get into barfights anymore, is no good reason to declare that bhikkhu rule as invalid or poorly thought out or whatever. Your particular situation can't be generalized to everything.

That's what I meant to say. Hope it's more clear now. Sorry if it wasn't before.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Jerrod Lopes » Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:44 am

perkele wrote:I merely meant to point out that just stopping "bad behaviour" may not automatically stop bad results from happening which were caused by bad actions earlier. So it might well happen that you get into a bad situation although you don't have any bad intention.

Since you were practically saying that the monk's rule allowing bhikkhus to punch someone to get out of a threatening situation is superfluous, because according to your view such a situation could only arise when the monks intentions are not "pure", I thought this would be worth pointing out.

My point was only to defend the Bhikkhu's rule as being quite sound and reasonable in my eyes.

The fact that you don't go into bars anymore, and based on that don't get into barfights anymore, is no good reason to declare that bhikkhu rule as invalid or poorly thought out or whatever. Your particular situation can't be generalized to everything.

That's what I meant to say. Hope it's more clear now. Sorry if it wasn't before.


It is clear sir that the entire exchange was a misunderstanding. I wasn't debating the monks' vinaya rule. I barely noticed it at all other than in mild curiosity. I also agree that just stopping a behavior doesn't exhaust whatever vippaka may result. However, without saying so because I assume that we are all able to get a few things ourselves without it having to be implicitly said, there is a certain amount of negation that does happen as time goes on and wholesome habits replace unwholseome, beneficial kamma replaces not beneficial patterns of thought and behavior. I'm not concerned with the vinaya much, but I guess their rule seems reasonable. Monastics, just like the laity, must also be willing to accept whatever results their actions beget.

You take my words all too seriously. Feel free to infer the gist in them and not take everything so rigidly and literally. That's a phenomena I am finding more and more as time goes on in sectarian life, and alarmingly so on 'Buddhist' web sites such as this. As I said regarding pure intent...sure a practice with pure intent now is unlikely to produce kamma that will get a result we'd rather not have, but present intent alone doesn't negate past transgressions. So we agree then. It's clear that I expect people to make inferences and you are much more rigid and structured in your thoughts. Surely not a great combination for understanding one another. Knowing this now I hope we'll do better in the future.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby perkele » Sun Jan 13, 2013 1:17 am

Good, good. So we agree. :)
No worries. I was not intent upon starting a bar fight, just trying to correct what looked wrong to me. :ugeek:
Now I'll go back to my planet.
:alien:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby steve19800 » Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:39 am

Hi guys,

Sorry to cut this in the middle, just a quick question. I got this link from the first page:

It is undoubtedly true that the mental condition of the parents at the moment of conception has a considerable influence upon the character of the embryonic being, and that the nature of the mother may make a deep impression on the character of the child she bears in her womb. The indivisible unity of the psychic individuality of the child, however, can in no way be produced by the parents. One must here never confound the actual cause — the preceding state out of which the later state arises — with the influences and conditions from without. If it were really the case that the new individual, as an inseparable whole, was begotten by its parents, twins could never exhibit totally opposite tendencies. In such a case, children, especially twins, would, with positively no exception, always be found to possess the same character as the parents.
(http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... 4.html#ch2)

Underlining the bold sentence, the mental condition of parents has a considerable influence upon the character of the children but not psychic (mental) individuality of the child. From the sentence above, does the character of the child implying for example the tendency of a child to have a sadness character or angry character?

If the character of the child is 'shaped' at the moment of conception does this mean the character of a child related to the mindfulness of the parents at the moment of conception and an 'accident' for instance as the result? While psychic/mental individuality of the child can in no way be produced by the parents, this means the child has his own mental individuality, although I am not quite sure how to differentiate distinctively between the character and mental of the child. Some people may have mental anxiety or depression but depression itself can also relate to the sadness personality/character.

Can we say the mental of the child is related to his own past lives and kamma while his character is not kamma related but inherited from his parents?

Thanks _/\_
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby daverupa » Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:01 pm

None of that is found in the Nikayas, so I'd not bother with such psychic maths. It's a form of "how am I", and thus inappropriate to attend to, per MN 2.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "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.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby gavesako » Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:42 am

Rebirth and Not-Rebirth in Buddhism - Ashin Ottama

Published on Jan 21, 2013
Last 25 minutes of this video present new understanding of 'afterlife'. Jump directly to position 01:01:55.
CONTENTS of the video:
00:30 The epicenter of original Buddha's Message
07:10 God-Creator versus the Buddha
10:40 Karma, Rebirth, Samsara, Bhumi
24:00 Buddhism without beliefs
27:25 Here-and-Now against the 'Dharma-cake'
30:55 Additions and later created teachings
36:05 Spiritual 'landscape' with many peaks
39:26 Ajahn Buddhadasa
53:40 Rebirth and Samsara in the Scriptures
1:01:55 Indications for rebirth
1:03:00 Children's memories, tapping collective memory
1:07:05 Unreliable hypnoses and regressions
1:12:00 Mind undocked from brain
1:16:20 Near Death Experiences
1:18:15 Sweat-through pajamas
1:20:50 New understanding of 'afterlife'

This video is a Buddhist Dharma-talk, but the last half-hour is highly recommendable to all thoughtful people: it points to the unexpected nature and reality of 'afterlife'.

http://youtu.be/RGeTBmRqpfY
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby greggorious » Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:17 pm

For those of you who do believe in Re-birth, do you believe there's a process after death, kind of like the Tibetan book of the dead, or that you're pretty much re-born straight away? I've read a few books on near death experiences and from what I gather, there's definitely some kind of process involved.
"The original heart/mind shines like pure, clear water with the sweetest taste. But if the heart is pure, is our practice over? No, we must not cling even to this purity. We must go beyond all duality, all concepts, all bad, all good, all pure, all impure. We must go beyond self and nonself, beyond birth and death. When we see with the eye of wisdom, we know that the true Buddha is timeless, unborn, unrelated to any body, any history, any image. Buddha is the ground of all being, the realization of the truth of the unmoving mind.” Ajahn Chah
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Jerrod Lopes » Sat Feb 02, 2013 6:53 am

I "believe" in rebirth, but nothing at all like in the Tibetan Book of the Dead. The Buddha didn't teach anything like that. How quickly or slowly a rebirth takes place is all about the kammas made before the death took place. Each one is unique to the being that died. There's no easy, cut and dried answer for that question unless you can see kamma and determine the likely results very well. Not impossible though.

My view on the process of dying is that at or very near the final stages it is very much like jhana in terms of perceptions. This would be the case in a relatively peaceful, natural and not sudden death. As for sudden deaths, I think it can be instantaneous with no perceivable events by the one dying ( i.e. one minute there, the next gone).

Be well. :)
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Ben » Sat Feb 02, 2013 7:24 am

Jerrod Lopes wrote:I "believe" in rebirth, but nothing at all like in the Tibetan Book of the Dead. The Buddha didn't teach anything like that. How quickly or slowly a rebirth takes place is all about the kammas made before the death took place. Each one is unique to the being that died. There's no easy, cut and dried answer for that question unless you can see kamma and determine the likely results very well. Not impossible though.

My view on the process of dying is that at or very near the final stages it is very much like jhana in terms of perceptions. This would be the case in a relatively peaceful, natural and not sudden death. As for sudden deaths, I think it can be instantaneous with no perceivable events by the one dying ( i.e. one minute there, the next gone).

Be well. :)


And what is this based on?
Is it just your own personal opinion or is there something more substantial supporting your conjectures?
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Heraclitus


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