the great rebirth debate

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation
chownah
Posts: 3662
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby chownah » Wed Jul 16, 2014 4:54 am

Spiny Norman wrote:
TheNoBSBuddhist wrote:I mean, exactly HOW do you let go of everything you truly believe in?


I think a good starting point is seeing clearly that opinions are just opinions, views are just views and beliefs are just beliefs. We don't have to take them quite so seriously, and they can be lightly held.

Of course some views might lead to heaven and some might lead to hell.....but I guess this is no reason to take them quite so seriously.
chownah

User avatar
clw_uk
Posts: 4263
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am
Location: Wales, United Kingdom

Re: Does rebirth make life less meaningful?

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jul 21, 2014 2:23 am

Spiny Norman wrote:
Alex123 wrote:It is attachment is the problem. Eventually one should let go of clinging to all and any views, no matter how "right" they are.


Yes, even materialist views. :tongue:



And supernatural views :)

He who binds to himself a joy
Does the wingèd life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity's sunrise.

William Blake

User avatar
clw_uk
Posts: 4263
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am
Location: Wales, United Kingdom

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jul 21, 2014 2:32 am

TheNoBSBuddhist wrote:
I mean, exactly HOW do you let go of everything you truly believe in?



By seeing how views arise, which is through reactions of like or dislike in relation to ideas that come to be via contact. An idea touches the mind base and a feeling of like or dislike arises, which the ignorant mind follows and proliferates. Then you have views and opinions, metaphysics and philosophy etc.


When your practice the nefp you can see how this process arises, and so you can see how ideas are generated, subject to change and not-self and so you can let go of views, be they political or supernatural, because views and opinions aren't yours :)


However this is a process that comes naturally through following the path. Just as a river slowly inclines to the ocean, so a human following the path slowly inclines towards non-view/non-clinging.


The path is gradual, views cannot be forced away any more than craving in general can be. They are slowly relinquished the more and more a man sees how the mind works. Any forced relinquishment of views is just more craving (aversion).
Last edited by clw_uk on Mon Jul 21, 2014 2:49 am, edited 3 times in total.

He who binds to himself a joy
Does the wingèd life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity's sunrise.

William Blake

User avatar
clw_uk
Posts: 4263
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am
Location: Wales, United Kingdom

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jul 21, 2014 2:39 am

How views arise

'If, with regard to the cause whereby the perceptions & categories of objectification assail a person, there is nothing there to relish, welcome, or remain fastened to, then that is the endof the obsessions of passion, the obsessions of resistance, the obsessions of views, the obsessions of uncertainty, the obsessions of conceit, the obsessions of passion for becoming, & the obsessions of ignorance. That is the end of taking up rods & bladed weapons, of arguments, quarrels, disputes, accusations, divisive tale-bearing, & false speech. That is where these evil, unskillful things cease without remainder'

...

"Dependent on intellect & ideas, intellect-consciousness arises. The meeting of the three is contact. With contact as a requisite condition, there is feeling. What one feels, one perceives (labels in the mind). What one perceives, one thinks about. What one thinks about, one objectifies. Based on what a person objectifies, the perceptions & categories of objectification assail him/her with regard to past, present, & future ideas cognizable via the intellect.


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



And the end result

[This is the teaching of the Buddha:

Paramatthaka Sutta: On Views

"A person who associates himself with certain views, considering them as best and making them supreme in the world, he says, because of that, that all other views are inferior; therefore he is not free from contention (with others). In what is seen, heard, cognized and in ritual observances performed, he sees a profit for himself. Just by laying hold of that view he regards every other view as worthless. Those skilled (in judgment)[1] say that (a view becomes) a bond if, relying on it, one regards everything else as inferior. Therefore a bhikkhu should not depend on what is seen, heard or cognized, nor upon ritual observances. He should not present himself as equal to, nor imagine himself to be inferior, nor better than, another. Abandoning (the views) he had (previously) held and not taking up (another), he does not seek a support even in knowledge. Among those who dispute he is certainly not one to take sides. He does not [have] recourse to a view at all. In whom there is no inclination to either extreme, for becoming or non-becoming, here or in another existence, for him there does not exist a fixed viewpoint on investigating the doctrines assumed (by others). Concerning the seen, the heard and the cognized he does not form the least notion. That brahmana[2] who does not grasp at a view, with what could he be identified in the world?

"They do not speculate nor pursue (any notion); doctrines are not accepted by them. A (true) brahmana is beyond, does not fall back on views."

Sn 4.5[/quote]

He who binds to himself a joy
Does the wingèd life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity's sunrise.

William Blake

User avatar
Spiny Norman
Posts: 3720
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am
Location: Spam, wonderful spam

Re: Does rebirth make life less meaningful?

Postby Spiny Norman » Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:38 am

clw_uk wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:
Alex123 wrote:It is attachment is the problem. Eventually one should let go of clinging to all and any views, no matter how "right" they are.


Yes, even materialist views. :tongue:


And supernatural views :)


Materialist views are harder to let go of. :tongue:
"I ride tandem with the random, Things don't run the way I planned them, In the humdrum."
Peter Gabriel lyric

User avatar
clw_uk
Posts: 4263
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am
Location: Wales, United Kingdom

Re: Does rebirth make life less meaningful?

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jul 21, 2014 2:24 pm


Materialist views are harder to let go of. :tongue:



Are they? Surely that depends on the individual's preferences?

How do you know this is true for everyone?

He who binds to himself a joy
Does the wingèd life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity's sunrise.

William Blake

User avatar
Ron-The-Elder
Posts: 1490
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:42 pm
Location: Concord, New Hampshire, U.S.A.

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Mon Jul 21, 2014 2:56 pm

Since this discussion has evolved into a discussion of attachment to views, I thought that I would introduce an engineering concept known as parallax.

par·al·lax
ˈparəˌlaks/Submit
noun the effect whereby the position or direction of an object appears to differ when viewed from different positions,
e.g., through the viewfinder and the lens of a camera.


A person's observation is dependent upon that person's position in the universe. Position need not be just of locus or angle of perspective, but it can be a function of rearing, culture, economic or educational status. It is therefore and thereby a social as well as a mathematical and geometric consideration.

The key is attachment to such perspectives. If we realize that our view is affected by these geometrical, and social loci, and we value accuracy and truth, then we in fact become more willing to change our positions so as to get a better, more accurate perspective.

That's all I got. :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.

User avatar
clw_uk
Posts: 4263
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am
Location: Wales, United Kingdom

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jul 21, 2014 4:56 pm

Ron-The-Elder wrote:Since this discussion has evolved into a discussion of attachment to views, I thought that I would introduce an engineering concept known as parallax.

par·al·lax
ˈparəˌlaks/Submit
noun the effect whereby the position or direction of an object appears to differ when viewed from different positions,
e.g., through the viewfinder and the lens of a camera.


A person's observation is dependent upon that person's position in the universe. Position need not be just of locus or angle of perspective, but it can be a function of rearing, culture, economic or educational status. It is therefore and thereby a social as well as a mathematical and geometric consideration.

The key is attachment to such perspectives. If we realize that our view is affected by these geometrical, and social loci, and we value accuracy and truth, then we in fact become more willing to change our positions so as to get a better, more accurate perspective.

That's all I got. :tongue:




Good post, that sounds a bit like the Jain position of Anekāntavāda


However I wouldn't say we should necessarily change one set of views for another, or should aim to find some kind of metaphysical "truth" or "ultimate reality".

He who binds to himself a joy
Does the wingèd life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity's sunrise.

William Blake

User avatar
Alex123
Posts: 3341
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:21 pm

Hello clw_uk,

Some interesting comments you have.

Isn't "don't have any views" a view itself?

Also

Isn't "Dependent on intellect & ideas, intellect-consciousness arises...etc.", a view as well?

Thanks,

Alex
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

User avatar
TheNoBSBuddhist
Posts: 1614
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2014 4:06 pm
Location: Loch Lomond, via the High AND Low road....

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:53 pm

How can we talk about something if we can't talk about it?
: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....

User avatar
clw_uk
Posts: 4263
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am
Location: Wales, United Kingdom

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:23 pm

Alex123 wrote:Hello clw_uk,

Some interesting comments you have.

Isn't "don't have any views" a view itself?

Also

Isn't "Dependent on intellect & ideas, intellect-consciousness arises...etc.", a view as well?

Thanks,

Alex




Yup since it's just an idea of liberation from views, not an actual liberation. I haven't reached the end yet ;)

But as we are taught, there is an aspiration that leads to detachment


"Is there a path, is there a practice, for the abandoning of that desire?"

"Yes, there is a path, there is a practice, for the abandoning of that desire."

"What is the path, the practice, for the abandoning of that desire?"

"Brahman, there is the case where a monk develops the base of power endowed with concentration founded on desire & the fabrications of exertion. He develops the base of power endowed with concentration founded on persistence... concentration founded on intent... concentration founded on discrimination & the fabrications of exertion. This, Brahman, is the path, this is the practice for the abandoning of that desire."

"If that's so, Master Ananda, then it's an endless path, and not one with an end, for it's impossible that one could abandon desire by means of desire."



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


So the letting go of all views comes to be gradually and naturally, just like letting go of all desires does :)
Last edited by clw_uk on Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

He who binds to himself a joy
Does the wingèd life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity's sunrise.

William Blake

User avatar
clw_uk
Posts: 4263
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am
Location: Wales, United Kingdom

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:27 pm

Alex the same question you ask was addressed here I believe


"Whatever has been brought into being, is fabricated, willed, dependently originated, that is inconstant. Whatever is inconstant is stress. Whatever is stress is not me, is not what I am, is not my self. This is the sort of view I have."

"So, householder, whatever has been brought into being, is fabricated, willed, dependently originated, that is inconstant. Whatever is inconstant is stress. You thus adhere to that very stress, submit yourself to that very stress."

"Venerable sirs, whatever has been brought into being, is fabricated, willed, dependently originated, that is inconstant. Whatever is inconstant is stress. Whatever is stress is not me, is not what I am, is not my self. Having seen this well with right discernment as it actually is present, I also discern the higher escape from it as it actually is present."


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

He who binds to himself a joy
Does the wingèd life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity's sunrise.

William Blake

User avatar
clw_uk
Posts: 4263
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am
Location: Wales, United Kingdom

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:41 pm

Isn't "Dependent on intellect & ideas, intellect-consciousness arises...etc.", a view as well?



That's an interesting one! I would say it's a statement of fact rather than an opinion. A knowledge that is achieved through impersonal detached observation, rather than a view point established by following likes or dislikes.



Perhaps a view is the best possible guess, rather than what is fact?
Last edited by clw_uk on Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

He who binds to himself a joy
Does the wingèd life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity's sunrise.

William Blake

User avatar
Alex123
Posts: 3341
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:01 pm

clw_uk wrote:
Isn't "Dependent on intellect & ideas, intellect-consciousness arises...etc.", a view as well?


I would say it's a statement of fact rather than an opinion.


Problem is that science also has "facts" .
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

User avatar
clw_uk
Posts: 4263
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am
Location: Wales, United Kingdom

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:10 pm

Alex123 wrote:
clw_uk wrote:
Isn't "Dependent on intellect & ideas, intellect-consciousness arises...etc.", a view as well?


I would say it's a statement of fact rather than an opinion.


Problem is that science also has "facts" .




Why Is that a problem?

He who binds to himself a joy
Does the wingèd life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity's sunrise.

William Blake

User avatar
Alex123
Posts: 3341
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:12 pm

clw_uk wrote:Why Is that a problem?


It is a problem when it seems to contradicts certain teachings found in the suttas.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

User avatar
clw_uk
Posts: 4263
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am
Location: Wales, United Kingdom

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:16 pm

Alex123 wrote:
clw_uk wrote:Why Is that a problem?


It is a problem when it seems to contradicts certain teachings found in the suttas.



Depends how you use and view the suttas ;)


However you have sparked my curiosity, could you give an example?



P.S. Modern science also discredits certain aspects of Epicureanism, which I assume you admire in some way since you have quoted one of its doctrines in your signature.

"Non fui, fui, non sum, non curo"

"I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care"

He who binds to himself a joy
Does the wingèd life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity's sunrise.

William Blake

User avatar
Alex123
Posts: 3341
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:44 pm

clw_uk wrote:Depends how you use and view the suttas ;) However you have sparked my curiosity, could you give an example?


There are number of inconsistencies between what is said in the suttas and modern scientific facts.

Quick example: Sense perception happens in the brain. Not in sense organ. Generally the talk about senses is very obsolete and omits many things that people didn't know at those times.

Color and sound, for example, doesn't exist out there. It is interpretation done by the brain through the data from sense organs. Also some senses are not mentioned, like sense of balance (equilibrium) and sense of proprioception.







clw_uk wrote:P.S. Modern science also discredits certain aspects of Epicureanism, which I assume you admire in some way since you have quoted one of its doctrines in your signature.


Which ones? Obviously physical ideas were also obsolete in his teachings. But, I like the quote.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

User avatar
clw_uk
Posts: 4263
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am
Location: Wales, United Kingdom

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:57 pm

There are number of inconsistencies between what is said in the suttas and modern scientific facts.

Quick example: Sense perception happens in the brain. Not in sense organ. Generally the talk about senses is very obsolete and omits many things that people didn't know at those times.

Color and sound, for example, doesn't exist out there. It is interpretation done by the brain through the data from sense organs. Also some senses are not mentioned, like sense of balance (equilibrium) and sense of proprioception.



And?

Once again this depends on how you approach the suttas and the Buddha. I can see how it can be a problem if you view the Buddha as an all knowing being, who teaches an over arching theory (like Epicurus).


However I don't see the Buddha in that way, merely as a man who found a way to live without dukkha and taught a system of mental and moral training towards that end. With this view he would have got some things wrong, since he wasn't attempting to build a scientific theory but merely to provide a framework that helps alleviate mental anguish :)



As for Epicureanism, it gets it wrong when it says the world is made solely of atoms and the void. That sour is the result of shard atoms etc although I may have got some of this wrong myself, it's been a while since I've read "De rerum natura"

It's also a speculative metaphysics, denying life after death. It was an attempt to provide an overarching theory of everything, much like Stoicism and Christianity are.


Overarching theories something that the Buddha avoided btw :)
Last edited by clw_uk on Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.

He who binds to himself a joy
Does the wingèd life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity's sunrise.

William Blake

User avatar
Alex123
Posts: 3341
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:59 pm

clw_uk wrote:merely as a man who found a way to live without dukkha and taught a system of mental and moral training towards that end.


I agree with cessation of suffering being the goal.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."


Return to “Open Dhamma”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bhikkhu Pesala, Coyote, Sam Vara and 10 guests

Google Saffron, Theravada Search Engine