the great rebirth debate

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Re: Do all braches of Buddhism believe in reincarnation?

Postby clw_uk » Fri Mar 25, 2011 1:18 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Why do people always get reborn into these arguments again and again? Yes he did teach multiple lifetimes, no he didn't.

When a new Buddhist asks a question, they don't need to be greeted with a long debate about this. It is most unbecoming for Buddhists to behave in this way.



Hello Bhante

I agree that a new person to Dhamma shouldn't be subjected to massive debates about this topic when they ask a question about it, but what is the solution?


If they ask then one person will give a more traditional explanation, then someone like me will give the Buddhadasa teaching on it

Then the other person disagrees and then it always tumbles into another 500 pages of argument
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Re: Who has verified rebirth personally?

Postby Alex123 » Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:54 pm

Jhana4 wrote:When I was in highschool I was so enthusiastic about biology that even though I was a sophomore I was allowed to attend an Anatomy class. The class got a few extra privileges. One day school was dismissed early because of snow. The head of the biology department was a friend of our teacher and a certified hypnotist. He invited the students who had a way home to stay for a hypnosis demonstration. He told us that the human brain is incredibly imaginative, being able to generate complex stories in almost no time. He was able to put one of my classmates into a very deep state of hypnosis. He told the student that he was from the planet Venus, that he was supposed to tell us about his life there and then speak to us in his language (venutian). The student came up with a very detailed account of "his life on venus" and spoke to us in a contrived language that sounded very articulate.

Since then I have been very suspicious of anecdotal accounts of reincarnation or rebirth that were remembered through hypnosis.



Just because a person can hallucinate something (lets say, a cake) it doesn't mean that cake doesn't exist at all. There could be incorrect visions and correct visions.

How do you explain Dr. Ian Stevenson's research? Apparently he documented cases where little children could remember their immedeate past life, which they considered to be theirs, as a certain human, and they could know only what that person in that life could have known...



I do hope that there isn't any rebirth, and thus there would be a quick shortcut to parinibbāna...
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
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Re: Who has verified rebirth personally?

Postby salmon » Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:33 am

A friend's father passed on about 10 years ago. 3 years later, a child was born in the family. When the child was about 2-3 years old and very ill, my friend's mother took care of him. In his delirious state, the child suddenly called out to his grandmother (my friend's mother) by a pet name that only her long deceased husband would use on her. As the child grew, he could remember details pertaining to my friend's father long before my friend's time.

The child now no longer has any recollections.

Coincidence? Rebirth? We don't know...but it was kind of surreal.

To the topic starter...whatever anyone says will not (and should not) make you decide to accept something or not. If you are diligently practising, the truth will verify itself :)
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Re: Who has verified rebirth personally?

Postby alan » Thu Mar 31, 2011 2:41 am

meindzai hits the mark as usual.
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Re: Who has verified rebirth personally?

Postby Ben » Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:22 am

salmon wrote:A friend's...
Coincidence? Rebirth?

With respect, more like a shaggy dog story.
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Re: Who has verified rebirth personally?

Postby salmon » Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:53 am

Ben wrote:
salmon wrote:A friend's...
Coincidence? Rebirth?

With respect, more like a shaggy dog story.


Sure. As would anyone who is hearing this second, third, fourth or fifth hand might say.
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Re: Who has verified rebirth personally?

Postby Ben » Thu Mar 31, 2011 5:06 am

salmon wrote:
Ben wrote:
salmon wrote:A friend's...
Coincidence? Rebirth?

With respect, more like a shaggy dog story.


Sure. As would anyone who is hearing this second, third, fourth or fifth hand might say.

Indeed. Always good to take with a grain of salt.
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Re: Who has verified rebirth personally?

Postby Annapurna » Thu Mar 31, 2011 6:30 am

AndrewRayGorman wrote:I have been curious as to if anyone here has attained the 4th jhana state and been able to verify their past lives? The concept of rebirth is one I have yet to accept, if ever, but otherwise I have accepted most of the rest of the dhamma because I have personally found it to be true.


Would it help you believe it if anybody stated that yes, s-he has reached the 4th Jhana?

If yes, why don't you believe it when the Buddha said it?.

Where is the difference?

After all, we are complete strangers and could be bragging in the web.

edited: fixed quote
Last edited by Annapurna on Thu Mar 31, 2011 6:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Who has verified rebirth personally?

Postby Annapurna » Thu Mar 31, 2011 6:48 am

Jhana4 wrote:When I was in highschool I was so enthusiastic about biology that even though I was a sophomore I was allowed to attend an Anatomy class. The class got a few extra privileges. One day school was dismissed early because of snow. The head of the biology department was a friend of our teacher and a certified hypnotist. He invited the students who had a way home to stay for a hypnosis demonstration. He told us that the human brain is incredibly imaginative, being able to generate complex stories in almost no time. He was able to put one of my classmates into a very deep state of hypnosis. He told the student that he was from the planet Venus, that he was supposed to tell us about his life there and then speak to us in his language (venutian). The student came up with a very detailed account of "his life on venus" and spoke to us in a contrived language that sounded very articulate.

Since then I have been very suspicious of anecdotal accounts of reincarnation or rebirth that were remembered through hypnosis.


I think this hypnoticist had an agenda and you fell for it, as he intended you to.

He led you all into the same suspicion and doubt he holds.

The benefit he is gaining from this is, that your doubts are confirming his doubts.

Anybody who's not sure seeks company of likeminded.

The difference between "suggestive hypnosis" as your hypnoticist used it and neutral reincarnation therapy is, that in the latter form, the hypnotized person is not being told he is from Venus or the Horse Nebula and being told the onion he is munching is an apple.

He is asked to relax and to go back into his childhood.

He is asked to remember his birth and the time in the womb.

A suggestive hypnosis is actively manipulating by suggesting, and a reincarnation therapy is passively noting what the person tells after being asked to go back to a particular year.

It would be interesting to know if your hypnoticist wasn't a convinced Christian with an agenda.

Do you see what happened to you?

Of course you do. :anjali:

You are still getting manipulated, now by me.

Now I am sowing doubt, by letting you wonder if the hypnoticist had an agenda against Buddhism.

Tricky stuff, he?

Btw, I can hypnotize cats. Can put them to sleep and wake them up without saying a word, only by holding them and thinking:

Sleep.

Am I bragging--or telling you the truth?

I'm not telling. :smile:
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Re: Who has verified rebirth personally?

Postby Annapurna » Thu Mar 31, 2011 6:55 am

Lazy_eye wrote:Perhaps a thread on this topic could be opened with a constraint: participants would not be allowed (on the thread) to debate the veracity of any claims being made. It would simply provide a venue for those concerned to tell of their experiences.

I have had no such experiences, but would be interested to hear about those of others. The fact that certain claims can be shown to be fraudulent or the product of hypnotic manipulation doesn't necessarily rule out the possibility of genuine ones.

LE


Hi, Lazy eye,

as far as I know, we already have a rule against meta discussion in the TOS.
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Re: Who has verified rebirth personally?

Postby Annapurna » Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:14 am

Alex123 wrote:
I do hope that there isn't any rebirth, and thus there would be a quick shortcut to parinibbāna...


For anyone?

Also mass murderers?

That's it?

You just die, and get away with it?

Then why do we practice the Noble 8 fold path....?

Why be "good", "harmless", "kind", "compassionate"?

If it has no effect, we might as well steal and rape and kill our competition.
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Re: Who has verified rebirth personally?

Postby Viscid » Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:56 pm

Annapurna wrote:
Alex123 wrote:
I do hope that there isn't any rebirth, and thus there would be a quick shortcut to parinibbāna...


For anyone?

Also mass murderers?

That's it?

You just die, and get away with it?

Then why do we practice the Noble 8 fold path....?

Why be "good", "harmless", "kind", "compassionate"?

If it has no effect, we might as well steal and rape and kill our competition.


I certainly hope you're harmless and compassionate because it's good per se, and not just so you get a fortunate rebirth.
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Re: Who has verified rebirth personally?

Postby Alex123 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 5:45 pm

Annapurna wrote:
Why be "good", "harmless", "kind", "compassionate"?

If it has no effect, we might as well steal and rape and kill our competition.


Because doing really bad things harm the one who does it even within this life.
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Re: Who has verified rebirth personally?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Mar 31, 2011 6:36 pm

No need here to duplicate the great rebirth debate. Do keep in mind the OP and please stay on topic.
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.

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Re: Who has verified rebirth personally?

Postby clw_uk » Thu Mar 31, 2011 10:54 pm

AndrewRayGorman wrote:I have been curious as to if anyone here has attained the 4th jhana state and been able to verify their past lives? The concept of rebirth is one I have yet to accept, if ever, but otherwise I have accepted most of the rest of the dhamma because I have personally found it to be true.



It depends on how the person you are asking understands the concept of "rebirth"

you will get different answers from monks/nuns that understand it via being alive in a previous existence a some being (human, god, animal) or from monks/nuns who understand it as a psychological birth of identity in each mind moment
Last edited by clw_uk on Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Who has verified rebirth personally?

Postby Digity » Fri Apr 01, 2011 5:28 am

AndrewRayGorman wrote:I have been curious as to if anyone here has attained the 4th jhana state and been able to verify their past lives? The concept of rebirth is one I have yet to accept, if ever, but otherwise I have accepted most of the rest of the dhamma because I have personally found it to be true.


I think your approach to all this is all wrong. Even if you found someone on here to say they verified past lives you'd still be skeptical. Personally, I've always been very open to the idea and for me it's made a lot of sense. It certainly explains why I was born with the personality I have. No one is a blank slate when they're born. Also, ever since I've framed my life within karma and rebirth it's transformed how I live. I suddenly take responsibility for my life and the situation I'm in. I also strive to walk a wholesome path moving forward. Anyway, there's plenty to practice within Buddhism without requiring you to believe in past lives.
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Re: Who has verified rebirth personally?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Apr 01, 2011 5:33 am

Greetings,
Digity wrote:Anyway, there's plenty to practice within Buddhism without requiring you to believe in past lives.

Indeed. Even if one had "verified rebirth personally", I'm struggling to see much in the way of advantage. Does it give insight into dukkha, anatta or anicca? If anything, I would have thought it might reinforce the sense of self and "I" to see that "I" existed previously before being "reincarnated" here.

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)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Who has verified rebirth personally?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Apr 01, 2011 6:02 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,
Digity wrote:Anyway, there's plenty to practice within Buddhism without requiring you to believe in past lives.

Indeed. Even if one had "verified rebirth personally", I'm struggling to see much in the way of advantage. Does it give insight into dukkha, anatta or anicca?
It worked for the Buddha.
If anything, I would have thought it might reinforce the sense of self and "I" to see that "I" existed previously before being "reincarnated" here.
There is always that danger, but it is in the seeing the interdependent rise and fall of the aspects of what makes up the stream that would break up any sense of a solid, lasting, self-identical over time "I."
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.

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Re: Who has verified rebirth personally?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Apr 01, 2011 7:28 am

Greetings,

tiltbillings wrote:It worked for the Buddha.

Without looking up the sutta to confirm, I think it gave him insight into kamma more than it did the three characteristics.

The ability to see past lives was not claimed to be a meditative attainment restricted exclusively to the Buddhasasana.

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)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Who has verified rebirth personally?

Postby Sylvester » Fri Apr 01, 2011 9:06 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

tiltbillings wrote:It worked for the Buddha.

Without looking up the sutta to confirm, I think it gave him insight into kamma more than it did the three characteristics.

The ability to see past lives was not claimed to be a meditative attainment restricted exclusively to the Buddhasasana.

Metta,
Retro. :)


Hi retro

That is true, but there seems to be a difference between how the "outsiders" see past lives, in contrast to the Buddhist practitioners.

Based on DN 1, it appears that the access to past lives gained by the outsiders was facilitated by factors which are not matched to the standard Buddhist model found in DN 2.

The Vinaya described Devadatta's iddhis as puthujjanika iddhi, obviously a foil to ariya iddhi. If one looks at the DN 2 model, the iddhis actually occur sequentially AFTER the vipassana refrain. Perhaps this vipassana refrain marks the transition from a puthujjana to an ariyan? I suspect that what distinguishes the standard Buddhist use of past-life recollection is that it is supported by vipassana (as used in DN 2) and therefore qualifies as ariya iddhi.
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