the great rebirth debate

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Aloka » Fri Jan 31, 2014 5:28 pm

nowheat wrote:
Aloka wrote:I think you missed my point, Linda. I don't think its about trying to save all sentient beings, that's a Mahayana concept.


Seems we get to play "point ping pong", Aloka, because if I missed your point being about "saving all sentient beings" it might be because that wasn't *my* point, and I thought you were addressing what I was saying, not something else.



I was originally responding to your comment:

Nowheat wrote:The Buddha's methods don't seem to me to be aimed at liberating individuals so much as at reducing suffering in the world for all beings, liberated or not.


and so I posted a couple of verses from 'Khaggavisana Sutta: A Rhinoceros' because (in my opinion) I don't think the Buddha's aim was to "save all beings" to use the Mahayana phrase.

nowheat wrote:And yet, the Buddha points out that if one was constantly engaged in metta practice, one could not do things that would bring dukkha.


I've not read anything that says one can become an arahant just through metta practice.

However, I don't think there's much point in us playing extended "point ping pong" (as you put it) because this is a rebirth thread which continually keeps getting way off topic, so that's all from me for now.

:anjali:
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Rebirth/Reincarnation/Past life/After life

Postby visitin » Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:13 am

Rebirth and Reincarnation are the central tenets of Buddhism and Hinduism.

No matter how advanced you might become in meditation/jhana/dhyana/yoga/sadhna, you simply CANNOT remember anything that goes beyond the memory of your childhood. The reason for it is simple in that the body precedes mind (from conception to birth).

Believing in Rebirth/Reincarnation, is just a matter of blind faith.
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Re: Rebirth/Reincarnation/Past life/After life

Postby culaavuso » Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:40 am

visitin wrote:No matter how advanced you might become in meditation/jhana/dhyana/yoga/sadhna, you simply CANNOT remember anything that goes beyond the memory of your childhood. The reason for it is simple in that the body precedes mind (from conception to birth).

Believing in Rebirth/Reincarnation, is just a matter of blind faith.


MN 95
MN 95: Canki Sutta wrote:"If a person has conviction, his statement, 'This is my conviction,' safeguards the truth. But he doesn't yet come to the definite conclusion that 'Only this is true; anything else is worthless.' To this extent, Bharadvaja, there is the safeguarding of the truth. To this extent one safeguards the truth. I describe this as the safeguarding of the truth. But it is not yet an awakening to the truth.

"If a person likes something... holds an unbroken tradition... has something reasoned through analogy... has something he agrees to, having pondered views, his statement, 'This is what I agree to, having pondered views,' safeguards the truth. But he doesn't yet come to the definite conclusion that 'Only this is true; anything else is worthless.' To this extent, Bharadvaja, there is the safeguarding of the truth. To this extent one safeguards the truth. I describe this as the safeguarding of the truth. But it is not yet an awakening to the truth.


This seems to apply equally to the beliefs that rebirth can be remembered, or the belief that it's impossible, or the belief that body precedes the mind, or the belief that body does not precede the mind. Unless you have direct, personal experience to verify it then it is unwise to say "only this is true, anything else is worthless."
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Re: Rebirth/Reincarnation/Past life/After life

Postby EndlessStream » Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:43 am

The scriptures of Buddhism say in many places about Buddha:

When the mind was thus concentrated, purified, bright, unblemished, rid of defilement, pliant, malleable, steady, & attained to imperturbability, I directed it to the knowledge of recollecting my past lives. I recollected my manifold past lives, i.e., one birth, two... five, ten... fifty, a hundred, a thousand, a hundred thousand, many eons of cosmic contraction, many eons of cosmic expansion, many eons of cosmic contraction & expansion: 'There I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance. Such was my food, such my experience of pleasure & pain, such the end of my life. Passing away from that state, I re-arose there. There too I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance. Such was my food, such my experience of pleasure & pain, such the end of my life. Passing away from that state, I re-arose here.' Thus I remembered my manifold past lives in their modes & details.

Bhaya-bherava Sutta: Fear & Terror
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Re: Rebirth/Reincarnation/Past life/After life

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:53 am

Since this thread -- Rebirth/Reincarnation/Past life/After life -- is covering no new ground, it has been merged with the "Great Rebirth Debate."
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby visitin » Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:14 am

culaavuso wrote:Unless youhave direct, personal experience to verify it then it is unwise to say "only this is true, anything else is worthless."


It doesn't matter if I have direct personal experience to verify it, because that experience would be limited to me, there is no way I can share that experience. But I do know the limit of a mind. A person's mind is incapable of knowing/remembering anything apart from the events of life(from birth to death) he lives.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Mkoll » Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:30 am

But I do know the limit of a mind. A person's mind is incapable of knowing/remembering anything apart from the events of life(from birth to death) he lives.

You're talking about your mind. Just because something applies to your own mind doesn't mean it applies to everyone else's. Your argument is prey to the "fallacy of hasty generalization" which means taking an isolated or exceptional case (your experience) and using it as the basis for a general conclusion (applied to everyone's experience) that is unwarranted. Here's what I mean.

Examples of the fallacy of hasty generalization

t) I had a bad time with my former husband. From that experience I've learned that all men are no good.
u) My mind can't remember past lives. From that experience I've learned that all minds can't remember past lives.
Peace,
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby visitin » Sat Feb 08, 2014 3:30 pm

Mkoll wrote:You're talking about your mind. Just because something applies to your own mind doesn't mean it applies to everyone else's.


What im talking about, applies to all minds.

There are two methods to recall something.

1- Thinking:- by this method you can recall anything, that you have seen through your eyes, heard through your ears and imagined through your mind, in the past.

2- Observing:- In this method, you don't actually recall anything, but still, there is memory of the past events due to interaction of the 5 senses(excluding mind) with the surrounding, and AGAIN, this is exactly the memory of what you have seen through your eyes, heard through your ears and imagined through your mind, in the past.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby daverupa » Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:11 pm

visitin wrote:
culaavuso wrote:Unless youhave direct, personal experience to verify it then it is unwise to say "only this is true, anything else is worthless."


It doesn't matter if I have direct personal experience to verify it, because that experience would be limited to me, there is no way I can share that experience. But I do know the limit of a mind.


So is the underlined portion thereby not based on direct personal experiences?

Because it seems as though it is based on your experiences, and that you are indeed able to share this inference-based-on-experience with us.
    "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 chownah » Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:14 pm

I don't think the mind recalls anything.....I think it reconstructs a somewhat similar scenario from bits and pieces of information and then assumes it to be recalling something and there really is no way to compare what we experience when we remember to what we experienced when it was directly experienced...no way at all...impossible.....show me I am wrong by outlining a method to make the comparison.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby daverupa » Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:20 pm

chownah wrote:there really is no way to compare what we experience when we remember to what we experienced when it was directly experienced...no way at all...impossible.....show me I am wrong by outlining a method to make the comparison.
chownah


One method is to consider the point of view. Most of the time, memories are aggregated, as you say, which renders a point of view somewhat removed from the main scenes being recalled. For example, think about the last social gathering you attended, and likely you will begin with some manner of birds-eye view or other summary wide-view shot, one which was never actually seen by the eye at the time, one which was only constructed later, at the time of recollection.

This is known as the observer perspective, in contrast to the field perspective, which is the point of view that generally has a nose in it and some dangly arms at the bottom and maybe a lumpy torso bottom-center, maybe rims of glasses, and so on.

More on this topic here.
    "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 Babadhari » Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:25 pm

Mkoll wrote:
But I do know the limit of a mind. A person's mind is incapable of knowing/remembering anything apart from the events of life(from birth to death) he lives.

You're talking about your mind. Just because something applies to your own mind doesn't mean it applies to everyone else's. Your argument is prey to the "fallacy of hasty generalization" which means taking an isolated or exceptional case (your experience) and using it as the basis for a general conclusion (applied to everyone's experience) that is unwarranted. Here's what I mean.

Examples of the fallacy of hasty generalization

t) I had a bad time with my former husband. From that experience I've learned that all men are no good.
u) My mind can't remember past lives. From that experience I've learned that all minds can't remember past lives.


:goodpost:
Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion.
Aflame, with birth, aging & death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs ......

Seeing thus, the disciple of the Noble One grows disenchanted. SN 35.28
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby visitin » Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:01 pm

daverupa wrote:
visitin wrote:
culaavuso wrote:Unless youhave direct, personal experience to verify it then it is unwise to say "only this is true, anything else is worthless."


It doesn't matter if I have direct personal experience to verify it, because that experience would be limited to me, there is no way I can share that experience. But I do know the limit of a mind.


So is the underlined portion thereby not based on direct personal experiences?

Because it seems as though it is based on your experiences, and that you are indeed able to share this inference-based-on-experience with us.


If I could share my "direct personal experience" with you, then you would become me, having access to all the understandings that I can have at any instant.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Babadhari » Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:09 pm

vistin,

unless you have 'direct personal experience' with the mind of every person alive you cannot 'know the capabilities or limits of said minds.
Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion.
Aflame, with birth, aging & death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs ......

Seeing thus, the disciple of the Noble One grows disenchanted. SN 35.28
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby daverupa » Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:23 pm

Even though you can't give your specific phenomenological experience of chartreuse to me, nevertheless we can come to terms when seeing such a color, and in this way we can discuss our direct, personal experiences with each other in a way that facilitates mutual accord & understanding.

As with visual inputs, we can come to terms with mental inputs: you claim to know the limit of a mind, which is to say, any & all possible minds. This claim is one that has been constructed on the basis of various direct, personal experiences (because anything else is impossible), either qua direct perceptual input or else via inference from same.

In sum, there are a set of inputs you experience and infer from which all lead you to a certain conclusion about minds. Now try exploring the difference between the direct personal experience of feeling that this view is right and all others wrong v the direct personal experience of feeling that this view is provisional, based on limited data sets, and open to further inputs.

Could be interesting.
    "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 Mkoll » Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:14 pm

visitin wrote:
Mkoll wrote:You're talking about your mind. Just because something applies to your own mind doesn't mean it applies to everyone else's.


What im talking about, applies to all minds.

If you'd like, please read my previous post about the fallacy of hasty generalization and explain to me how your logic isn't falling prey to it. If you'd like, I can email you a PDF that details a number of informal fallacies, including this one. It will give you a better explanation than I ever could.

:anjali:
Peace,
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby visitin » Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:31 pm

daverupa wrote:Even though you can't give your specific phenomenological experience of chartreuse to me, nevertheless we can come to terms when seeing such a color, and in this way we can discuss our direct, personal experiences with each other in a way that facilitates mutual accord & understanding.

As with visual inputs, we can come to terms with mental inputs: you claim to know the limit of a mind, which is to say, any & all possible minds. This claim is one that has been constructed on the basis of various direct, personal experiences (because anything else is impossible), either qua direct perceptual input or else via inference from same.


Possibility of rebirth can only be asserted on the basis of memory of past life.
Memory of any kind, depends on three senses viz. eyes, ears and mind. There can be the memory of only, what is seen through eyes, heard through ears and imagined through mind.
I have earlier explained the two methods of recalling memory. Any meditation technique utilizes one of these methods or both. In any case, memory could be a mental image, an idea, or an imagination(combination of both) associated with eyes, ears and mind respectively.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Babadhari » Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:39 pm

what about taste and smell?
Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion.
Aflame, with birth, aging & death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs ......

Seeing thus, the disciple of the Noble One grows disenchanted. SN 35.28
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby visitin » Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:51 pm

kitztack wrote:what about taste and smell?


try recalling the taste of chocolate and smell of a rose, without actually tasting the chocolate and smelling the rose.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Babadhari » Sat Feb 08, 2014 9:04 pm

i have done so . not now. not at will. but on occasion in the past with different subjects of reference this has indeed happened in most vivid experiential detail.

EDIT: smell of sandalwood and smell of rotting corpe are so powerful for me i can recall them as clear as on old friends voice or face

i can recall the taste of old chillum smoke in my mouth at will also..
Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion.
Aflame, with birth, aging & death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs ......

Seeing thus, the disciple of the Noble One grows disenchanted. SN 35.28
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