the great rebirth debate

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:56 pm

chownah wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:Maybe his enlightenment was a hallucination too. ;)


I think it is reasonable if you want to consider this too, but it is not so directly on topic as considering his rebirth memories.
chownah


I think it's fine to question these things, and the authenticity of the suttas, etc, what bemuses me is how selective people can be about which bits they question.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby visitin » Fri Feb 21, 2014 1:52 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
chownah wrote:It seems that the Buddha only slept a couple of hours a night so I think it is reasonable to at least consider the possibility that his rebirth memories might be hallucinations.
trollnah


Maybe his enlightenment was a hallucination too. ;)


Agreed! Instructions provided in "Aparihani Sutta", if followed earnestly, will induce such hallucinations.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby chownah » Fri Feb 21, 2014 3:07 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
chownah wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:Maybe his enlightenment was a hallucination too. ;)


I think it is reasonable if you want to consider this too, but it is not so directly on topic as considering his rebirth memories.
chownah


I think it's fine to question these things, and the authenticity of the suttas, etc, what bemuses me is how selective people can be about which bits they question.

Yeah, I know what you are saying......personally, I question all of it from time to time.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Mkoll » Fri Feb 21, 2014 5:27 pm

visitin wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:
chownah wrote:It seems that the Buddha only slept a couple of hours a night so I think it is reasonable to at least consider the possibility that his rebirth memories might be hallucinations.
trollnah


Maybe his enlightenment was a hallucination too. ;)


Agreed! Instructions provided in "Aparihani Sutta", if followed earnestly, will induce such hallucinations.

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

Now, I know I'm unclear in what you're trying to say. :tongue:

Can you expand on that claim please?
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Nikaya35 » Mon Apr 21, 2014 3:29 am

There is 2 points that can be discussed in the rebirth topic. 1) are karma and rebirth part of the Buddha teachings according to the sutras? 2) do you believe in rebirth ? Or its rebirth true or not ? The answer of the first question is a very easy one. Both doctrines of karma and rebirth are part of the Buddha teachings according to the nikayas and the goal of classical buddhism is to stop the circle of literal rebirths ( samsara ). Do you believe in rebirth ? I would say yes. There isn't any empirical evidence of karma and rebirth being true. So why I believe in this? Because I have faith in the Buddha. One can't be a buddhist without any faith or confidence in the Buddha message. I don't know by direct experience the truth of karma and rebirth. The practice of buddhism like any religion is a gamble. We can't know for sure if death is the end . Atleast most of us can't. It's really ridiculous to argue using the nikayas that the Buddha doesn't teach karma and rebirth in a literal sense. The same rebirth debate is in another buddhist site . It's fine to be skeptical of karma and rebirth . It's bullshit to argue to death that both doctrines aren't part of the Buddha teachings.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby chownah » Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:48 am

"Then, householder, you should train yourself in this way: 'I won't cling to this world; my consciousness will not be dependent on this world... I won't cling to the world beyond; my consciousness will not be dependent on the world beyond.' That's how you should train yourself."
From MN143


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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Sat Apr 26, 2014 4:56 pm

= SpinyNorman "I think it's fine to question these things, and the authenticity of the suttas, etc, what bemuses me is how selective people can be about which bits they question."


=Chownah "Yeah, I know what you are saying......personally, I question all of it from time to time.


The questioning arises from inexperience, failure to experiment and to practice what has been studied and learned, or at least a lack of any direct memory of rebirth. Additionally, we have a tendency to forget things when exposed to severe trauma. Death and birth are both in fact traumatic no matter what the mechanisms. For that reason I avoid discussions regarding post-mortem rebirth, which based on my experience ( or lack there-of) cannot be proven, at least not by me, and stick to more local and recent experiences such as rebirth of mind contents as thoughts, words, attitudes, convictions and intentions for example; death and rebirth of somatic cells in our bodies, which can be directly observed under the microscope. Rebirth of convictions from experience as life's facts are revealed (changing our minds!) is perhaps the easiest for me to see during ongoing mindful observations :tongue:

As for faith, Buddha has been so correct on so many fronts that I have personally developed a deep faith in his teachings. From my own practice of validation and verification, following Buddha's advice in his "Charter of Free Inquiry", I have found his avisories always to be spot-on! Therefore, what I cannot validate and verify now in this life, I give "credit", based upon Buddha's past successes. :bow:
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Sat Apr 26, 2014 7:25 pm

Ron-The-Elder wrote:The questioning arises from inexperience, failure to experiment and to practice what has been studied and learned, or at least a lack of any direct memory of rebirth. Additionally, we have a tendency to forget things when exposed to severe trauma. Death and birth are both in fact traumatic no matter what the mechanisms. For that reason I avoid discussions regarding post-mortem rebirth, which based on my experience ( or lack there-of) cannot be proven, at least not by me, and stick to more local and recent experiences such as rebirth of mind contents as thoughts, words, attitudes, convictions and intentions for example; death and rebirth of somatic cells in our bodies, which can be directly observed under the microscope. Rebirth of convictions from experience as life's facts are revealed (changing our minds!) is perhaps the easiest for me to see during ongoing mindful observations :tongue:

As for faith, Buddha has been so correct on so many fronts that I have personally developed a deep faith in his teachings. From my own practice of validation and verification, following Buddha's advice in his "Charter of Free Inquiry", I have found his avisories always to be spot-on! Therefore, what I cannot validate and verify now in this life, I give "credit", based upon Buddha's past successes. :bow:



:goodpost: :clap:


:namaste:
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



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‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, this may be why....
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby david.sojourn » Tue May 06, 2014 7:53 pm

If you are debating, you are not practicing anything but running the mind and the mouth.

Nobody who debates rebirth will ever get closer to understanding it.

It must be understood through Stream Entry.

The modern world wants to Analyze everything. Intellectually "Figure it out".

It will never work.

You will debate and debate, and just when you're close, plop, someone will have a new argument. Some people will leave the debate stuck to their own notions (Conventions, attachment to ego), and others will only get more and more confused.

My advice is to practice. You won't find anything in this thread except more manure to clutter your mind.

Rebirth cannot be analytically grasped. You must work toward enlightenment before that kind of information is revealed to you. When you get it, you will get it. And when you don't get it, you will just argue, paradoxically, forever and ever, and ever--Yet not be a single mindful step any closer to your goal.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Mkoll » Tue May 06, 2014 8:03 pm

david.sojourn wrote:If you are debating, you are not practicing anything but running the mind and the mouth.

Nobody who debates rebirth will ever get closer to understanding it.

It must be understood through Stream Entry.

The modern world wants to Analyze everything. Intellectually "Figure it out".

It will never work.

You will debate and debate, and just when you're close, plop, someone will have a new argument. Some people will leave the debate stuck to their own notions (Conventions, attachment to ego), and others will only get more and more confused.

My advice is to practice. You won't find anything in this thread except more manure to clutter your mind.

Rebirth cannot be analytically grasped. You must work toward enlightenment before that kind of information is revealed to you. When you get it, you will get it. And when you don't get it, you will just argue, paradoxically, forever and ever, and ever--Yet not be a single mindful step any closer to your goal.


Not everyone is as mature in mind as you believe you are. This kind of talk may help people clear up some of their questions they have surrounding rebirth. You might have answered those questions for yourself in the past. But for others, this is all new. Calling it all manure is pretty one-sided, dontcha think?
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Aloka » Thu May 15, 2014 5:35 pm

david.sojourn wrote: You won't find anything in this thread except more manure to clutter your mind.



You've read all 252 pages, then ?

:)
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Sun May 18, 2014 3:45 am

david sojourn wrote: " You won't find anything in this thread except more manure to clutter your mind."


Reminds me of the words we used to sing to the tune of "The Colonel Bogey March":

Bull Sh*t, it makes the grass grow green!"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfAvoELaktc
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Sun May 18, 2014 8:11 am

Thank you for that. I always knew I had my uses....

:jumping:

:namaste:
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



Image

Pay attention, simplify, and (Meditation instruction in a nutshell) "Mind - the Gap."
‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, this may be why....
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Sun May 18, 2014 10:43 pm

TheNoBSBuddhist wrote: "Thank you for that. I always knew I had my uses...."


Every being walking The Earth will eventually be consumed by the corrupters and then our brothers and sisters, the plants.

B.S. is nothing more than high quality fertilizer. Plants love it! :tongue:
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Does rebirth make life less meaningful?

Postby Dr. Dukkha » Sat Jul 12, 2014 3:41 am

If I believed that this was my only life, I'd be a monk Right Now, and I'm 20. It would be my only goal to reach Nibbana and live a peaceful, fruitful life with no suffering. Or I would truly live life on the edge and enjoy. I would be making some serious money right now and dating tons of girls if I didn't believe in rebirth. But because I know that my consciousness will be reborn forever, I'm slacking off with my desire to learn Buddhism because I know I can postpone Nibbana for another time. Do you think that rebirth gives less value to life if I'm just going to get more and more chances?

On that note, if anyone can reach Nibbana, why wouldn't I just be a criminal and then later be a monk and reach Nibbana like that serial killer who the Buddha helped reach Nibbana. :rolleye:

I'm not questioning to offend, I'm questioning to learn, just to clarify. :heart:

:namaste:
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Re: Does rebirth make life less meaningful?

Postby culaavuso » Sat Jul 12, 2014 4:01 am

Dr. Dukkha wrote:If I believed that this was my only life, I'd be a monk Right Now, and I'm 20. It would be my only goal to reach Nibbana and live a peaceful, fruitful life with no suffering. Or I would truly live life on the edge and enjoy. I would be making some serious money right now and dating tons of girls if I didn't believe in rebirth.


MN 60: Apaṇṇaka Sutta wrote:Now, householders, of those contemplatives & brahmans who hold this doctrine, hold this view — 'There is nothing given, nothing offered, nothing sacrificed. There is no fruit or result of good or bad actions. There is no this world, no next world, no mother, no father, no spontaneously reborn beings; no brahmans or contemplatives who, faring rightly and practicing rightly, proclaim this world and the next after having directly known and realized it for themselves' — it can be expected that, shunning these three skillful activities — good bodily conduct, good verbal conduct, good mental conduct — they will adopt & practice these three unskillful activities: bad bodily conduct, bad verbal conduct, bad mental conduct. Why is that? Because those venerable contemplatives & brahmans do not see, in unskillful activities, the drawbacks, the degradation, and the defilement; nor in skillful activities the rewards of renunciation, resembling cleansing.
...
With regard to this, an observant person considers thus: 'If there is no next world, then — with the breakup of the body, after death — this venerable person has made himself safe. But if there is the next world, then this venerable person — on the breakup of the body, after death — will reappear in a plane of deprivation, a bad destination, a lower realm, hell. Even if we didn't speak of the next world, and there weren't the true statement of those venerable contemplatives & brahmans, this venerable person is still criticized in the here-&-now by the observant as a person of bad habits & wrong view: one who holds to a doctrine of non-existence.' If there really is a next world, then this venerable person has made a bad throw twice: in that he is criticized by the observant here-&-now, and in that — with the breakup of the body, after death — he will reappear in a plane of deprivation, a bad destination, a lower realm, hell. Thus this safe-bet teaching, when poorly grasped & poorly adopted by him, covers (only) one side, and leaves behind the possibility of the skillful.
...
Now, householders, of those contemplatives & brahmans who hold this doctrine, hold this view — 'There is what is given, what is offered, what is sacrificed. There are fruits & results of good & bad actions. There is this world & the next world. There is mother & father. There are spontaneously reborn beings; there are brahmans & contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves' — it can be expected that, shunning these three unskillful activities — bad bodily conduct, bad verbal conduct, bad mental conduct — they will adopt & practice these three skillful activities: good bodily conduct, good verbal conduct, good mental conduct. Why is that? Because those venerable contemplatives & brahmans see in unskillful activities the drawbacks, the degradation, and the defilement; and in skillful activities the rewards of renunciation, resembling cleansing.
...
With regard to this, an observant person considers thus: 'If there is the next world, then this venerable person — on the breakup of the body, after death — will reappear in a good destination, a heavenly world. Even if we didn't speak of the next world, and there weren't the true statement of those venerable contemplatives & brahmans, this venerable person is still praised in the here-&-now by the observant as a person of good habits & right view: one who holds to a doctrine of existence.' If there really is a next world, then this venerable person has made a good throw twice, in that he is praised by the observant here-&-now; and in that — with the breakup of the body, after death — he will reappear in a good destination, a heavenly world. Thus this safe-bet teaching, when well grasped & adopted by him, covers both sides, and leaves behind the possibility of the unskillful.


Dr. Dukkha wrote:But because I know that my consciousness will be reborn forever, I'm slacking off with my desire to learn Buddhism because I know I can postpone Nibbana for another time.


MN 38: Mahātaṇhā­saṅkhaya Sutta wrote:"The Teacher calls you, friend Sāti."

"As you say, friend," the monk Sāti the Fisherman's Son replied. Then he went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, the Blessed One said to him, "Is it true, Sāti, that this pernicious view has arisen in you — 'As I understand the Dhamma taught by the Blessed One, it is just this consciousness that runs and wanders on, not another'?"

"Exactly so, lord. As I understand the Dhamma taught by the Blessed One, it is just this consciousness that runs and wanders on, not another."

"Which consciousness, Sāti, is that?"

"This speaker, this knower, lord, that is sensitive here & there to the ripening of good & evil actions."

"And to whom, worthless man, do you understand me to have taught the Dhamma like that? Haven't I, in many ways, said of dependently co-arisen consciousness, 'Apart from a requisite condition, there is no coming-into-play of consciousness'? But you, through your own poor grasp, not only slander us but also dig yourself up [by the root] and produce much demerit for yourself. That will lead to your long-term harm & suffering."


AN 6.20: Maraṇasati Sutta wrote:There is the case where a monk, as day departs and night returns, reflects: 'Many are the [possible] causes of my death. A snake might bite me, a scorpion might sting me, a centipede might bite me. That would be how my death would come about. That would be an obstruction for me. Stumbling, I might fall; my food, digested, might trouble me; my bile might be provoked, my phlegm... piercing wind forces [in the body] might be provoked. That would be how my death would come about. That would be an obstruction for me.' Then the monk should investigate: 'Are there any evil, unskillful mental qualities unabandoned by me that would be an obstruction for me were I to die in the night?' If, on reflecting, he realizes that there are evil, unskillful mental qualities unabandoned by him that would be an obstruction for him were he to die in the night, then he should put forth extra desire, effort, diligence, endeavor, undivided mindfulness, & alertness for the abandoning of those very same evil, unskillful qualities. Just as when a person whose turban or head was on fire would put forth extra desire, effort, diligence, endeavor, undivided mindfulness, & alertness to put out the fire on his turban or head, in the same way the monk should put forth extra desire, effort, diligence, endeavor, undivided mindfulness, & alertness for the abandoning of those very same evil, unskillful qualities. But if, on reflecting, he realizes that there are no evil, unskillful mental qualities unabandoned by him that would be an obstruction for him were he to die in the night, then for that very reason he should dwell in joy & rapture, training himself day & night in skillful qualities.


Dr. Dukkha wrote:Do you think that rebirth gives less value to life if I'm just going to get more and more chances?


SN 15.3: Assu Sutta wrote:"This is the greater: the tears you have shed while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time — crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing — not the water in the four great oceans.

"Long have you (repeatedly) experienced the death of a mother. The tears you have shed over the death of a mother while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time — crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing — are greater than the water in the four great oceans.

"Long have you (repeatedly) experienced the death of a father... the death of a brother... the death of a sister... the death of a son... the death of a daughter... loss with regard to relatives... loss with regard to wealth... loss with regard to disease. The tears you have shed over loss with regard to disease while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time — crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing — are greater than the water in the four great oceans.

"Why is that? From an inconstruable beginning comes transmigration. A beginning point is not evident, though beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving are transmigrating & wandering on. Long have you thus experienced stress, experienced pain, experienced loss, swelling the cemeteries — enough to become disenchanted with all fabricated things, enough to become dispassionate, enough to be released."


AN 6.63: Nibbedhika Sutta wrote:There are some cases in which a person overcome with pain, his mind exhausted, grieves, mourns, laments, beats his breast, & becomes bewildered. Or one overcome with pain, his mind exhausted, comes to search outside, 'Who knows a way or two to stop this pain?' I tell you, monks, that stress results either in bewilderment or in search. This is called the result of stress.


SN 56.48: Chiggala Sutta wrote:"Monks, suppose that this great earth were totally covered with water, and a man were to toss a yoke with a single hole there. A wind from the east would push it west, a wind from the west would push it east. A wind from the north would push it south, a wind from the south would push it north. And suppose a blind sea-turtle were there. It would come to the surface once every one hundred years. Now what do you think: would that blind sea-turtle, coming to the surface once every one hundred years, stick his neck into the yoke with a single hole?"

"It would be a sheer coincidence, lord, that the blind sea-turtle, coming to the surface once every one hundred years, would stick his neck into the yoke with a single hole."

"It's likewise a sheer coincidence that one obtains the human state. It's likewise a sheer coincidence that a Tathagata, worthy & rightly self-awakened, arises in the world. It's likewise a sheer coincidence that a doctrine & discipline expounded by a Tathagata appears in the world. Now, this human state has been obtained. A Tathagata, worthy & rightly self-awakened, has arisen in the world. A doctrine & discipline expounded by a Tathagata appears in the world.

"Therefore your duty is the contemplation, 'This is stress... This is the origination of stress... This is the cessation of stress.' Your duty is the contemplation, 'This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress.'"


Dr. Dukkha wrote:On that note, if anyone can reach Nibbana, why wouldn't I just be a criminal and then later be a monk and reach Nibbana like that serial killer who the Buddha helped reach Nibbana.


MN 75: Māgandiya Sutta wrote:Now suppose that there was a leper covered with sores & infections, devoured by worms, picking the scabs off the openings of his wounds with his nails, cauterizing his body over a pit of glowing embers. The more he cauterized his body over the pit of glowing embers, the more disgusting, foul-smelling, & putrid the openings of his wounds would become, and yet he would feel a modicum of enjoyment & satisfaction because of the itchiness of his wounds. In the same way, beings not free from passion for sensual pleasures — devoured by sensual craving, burning with sensual fever — indulge in sensual pleasures. The more they indulge in sensual pleasures, the more their sensual craving increases and the more they burn with sensual fever, and yet they feel a modicum of enjoyment & satisfaction dependent on the five strings of sensuality.
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Re: Does rebirth make life less meaningful?

Postby Zadok » Sat Jul 12, 2014 8:17 pm

Dr. Dukkha wrote:If I believed that this was my only life, I'd be a monk Right Now, and I'm 20. It would be my only goal to reach Nibbana and live a peaceful, fruitful life with no suffering. Or I would truly live life on the edge and enjoy. I would be making some serious money right now and dating tons of girls if I didn't believe in rebirth. But because I know that my consciousness will be reborn forever, I'm slacking off with my desire to learn Buddhism because I know I can postpone Nibbana for another time. Do you think that rebirth gives less value to life if I'm just going to get more and more chances?

On that note, if anyone can reach Nibbana, why wouldn't I just be a criminal and then later be a monk and reach Nibbana like that serial killer who the Buddha helped reach Nibbana. :rolleye:

I'm not questioning to offend, I'm questioning to learn, just to clarify. :heart:

:namaste:


Truly it is up to your own discretion whether you wish to follow the path in this life or another. The Buddhas teachings are for those who seek to end suffering, if you personally are ok with continued suffering then you are completely free to make that decision. Inevitably you will reach enlightenment and become a Buddha, even if it's 1 trillion lifetimes from now. Buddha was merely offering an escape for those who do not wish to experience heaven, hell, and the realm of desire any further.

The great mistake I perceive in others is that they come to understand that there truly is no self and all of these experiences are merely illusions but they still grasp suffering itself as real, which is false. If all of manifestation is an illusion, a vast emptiness, then unmistakably all perceptions, including suffering, are illusions as well.

My understanding has come to this conclusion:

All beings are manifestations of mental constructs, mere ideas taking form. All external perceptions are mere projections from the mind that manifested the ideas. All of creation is mere idea experiencing idea, mind experiencing mind. Therefore you do not exist but are merely a construct of ideas that the mind is mistakenly yet not mistakenly grasping as it's "self". Thus the Way/the Path is the process of de-programming or deleting the construct of ideas that continually reincarnate within samsara and therefore freeing the ultimate awareness behind that very mind that created the idea, which is Nibbana, or also known as the True Nature, God, the Source, Emptiness.

None of us exist, we would like to believe we do but we don't. There is no "I" other than the creator which manifested creation.

Blessings to you dear friend and may happiness guide you forward.
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Re: Does rebirth make life less meaningful?

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Sat Jul 12, 2014 8:22 pm

Zadok wrote:None of us exist, we would like to believe we do but we don't. There is no "I" other than the creator which manifested creation.


Adhering to Self is incorrect.
But adhereing to Not-Self is also incorrect.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... rategy.pdf
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



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Re: Does rebirth make life less meaningful?

Postby Zadok » Sat Jul 12, 2014 8:25 pm

TheNoBSBuddhist wrote:
Zadok wrote:None of us exist, we would like to believe we do but we don't. There is no "I" other than the creator which manifested creation.


Adhering to Self is incorrect.
But adhereing to Not-Self is also incorrect.


Because neither truly have an existence beyond the mind that constructed them. If the mind is not there to perceive a self, then does that self exist?

TheNoBSBuddhist, your understanding is worthy of praise. Namaste dear brother.
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Re: Does rebirth make life less meaningful?

Postby Alex123 » Sat Jul 12, 2014 8:42 pm

TheNoBSBuddhist wrote:Adhering to Self is incorrect.
But adhereing to Not-Self is also incorrect.


It is attachment is the problem. Eventually one should let go of clinging to all and any views, no matter how "right" they are.
”Even the water melting from the snow-capped peaks finds its way to the ocean."
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