the great rebirth debate

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby chownah » Fri Aug 30, 2013 3:20 am

tiltbillings wrote:
clw_uk wrote:
I'll stick with what the suttas are saying in a straightforward manner rather than having to get involved with rather convoluted arguments at reinterpreting them as saying they are saying something other than what they are saying.



Or revealing the deeper meaning ...
And who determines the "deeper meaning' and upon what basis? I think the Buddha was a better teacher than what some of the "deeper meaning" advocates advocate.

Didn't the Buddha say that the dhamma was deep and to be understood by the wise? If so then I guess it is the wise who determine the deeper meaning.

If the shoe fits, wear it.......or else, like me, just prance barefoot through life singing lalalalalallalaa........
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby kirk5a » Fri Aug 30, 2013 3:24 am

clw_uk wrote:
I'll stick with what the suttas are saying in a straightforward manner rather than having to get involved with rather convoluted arguments at reinterpreting them as saying they are saying something other than what they are saying.



Or revealing the deeper meaning ...

What is the deeper meaning of "with the breakup of the body, after death..." ?
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Aug 30, 2013 3:38 am

chownah wrote:Didn't the Buddha say that the dhamma was deep and to be understood by the wise? If so then I guess it is the wise who determine the deeper meaning.

If the shoe fits, wear it.......or else, like me, just prance barefoot through life singing lalalalalallalaa........
chownah
Huh? Damdifino what you are trying to say here with this last sentence. The Buddha also said he was not a closed fist teacher, which is what the twilight reading of the Dhamma would suggest he was. I'll take a straightforward Dhamma over one that requires convoluted explanations to understand.
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 tiltbillings » Fri Aug 30, 2013 3:38 am

kirk5a wrote:
clw_uk wrote:
I'll stick with what the suttas are saying in a straightforward manner rather than having to get involved with rather convoluted arguments at reinterpreting them as saying they are saying something other than what they are saying.



Or revealing the deeper meaning ...

What is the deeper meaning of "with the breakup of the body, after death..." ?
Or sickness, aging and death?
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 retrofuturist » Fri Aug 30, 2013 3:47 am

Greetings,

tiltbillings wrote:[What is the deeper meaning of...] sickness, aging and death?

Sn 1092, Kappamāṇavapucchā, Nanananda translation wrote:"Unto them that stand midstream,
When the frightful floods flow forth,
To them in decay-and-death forlorn,
An island, Kappa, I shall proclaim.
Owning naught, grasping naught,
The isle is this, none else besides.
Nibbāna, that is how I call that isle,
Wherein is decay decayed and death is dead."

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: the great rebirth debate

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Aug 30, 2013 3:55 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

tiltbillings wrote:[What is the deeper meaning of...] sickness, aging and death?

Sn 1092, Kappamāṇavapucchā, Nanananda translation wrote:"Unto them that stand midstream,
When the frightful floods flow forth,
To them in decay-and-death forlorn,
An island, Kappa, I shall proclaim.
Owning naught, grasping naught,
The isle is this, none else besides.
Nibbāna, that is how I call that isle,
Wherein is decay decayed and death is dead."

Metta,
Retro. :)
And I am sure you can explain the deeper meaning of this passage, or give of us Ven Nananada's commentary on it.
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 retrofuturist » Fri Aug 30, 2013 3:59 am

Greetings,

Nanananda - Nibbana Sermon 2 wrote:name-andform together with consciousness is the rallying point for all
concepts of birth, decay, death and rebirth. All pathways for
verbal expression, terminology and designation converge on
name-and-form together with consciousness. The range of wisdom
extends only up to the relationship between these two. And
it is between these two that there is a whirling round so that
one may point out a this-ness. In short, the secret of the entire
saṃsāric existence is to be found in this whirlpool.

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: the great rebirth debate

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Aug 30, 2013 4:06 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

Nanananda - Nibbana Sermon 2 wrote:name-andform together with consciousness is the rallying point for all
concepts of birth, decay, death and rebirth. All pathways for
verbal expression, terminology and designation converge on
name-and-form together with consciousness. The range of wisdom
extends only up to the relationship between these two. And
it is between these two that there is a whirling round so that
one may point out a this-ness. In short, the secret of the entire
saṃsāric existence is to be found in this whirlpool.

Metta,
Retro. :)
Okay, but that does not deny birth, sickness, old-age and death actually happens.
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 Sylvester » Fri Aug 30, 2013 5:01 am

I wonder if anyone has actually done a survey of the 4 Nikayas to see how paraloka (other world) is used, especially when contrasted with idhaloka (this world). I can't see how these suttas could possibly be interpreted in a metaphorical or allegorical way. These suttas do not seem to be those that use loka as being a metaphor for the interior world of the Aggregates. A good example would be AN 8.49, where the other world is an agreeable deva world (devaloka manāpa). I don't believe devaloka is used in the suttas to refer to our interior world, does it?
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Aug 30, 2013 5:40 am

Greetings,

I was going to quote something from Nibbana Sermons 14, but it was getting far too long, so if you're really interested in the deeper meaning of those terms, then check out Nibbana Sermon 14.

But, in summary...

Nanananda, Sermon 14 wrote:All this goes to show, that Nibbāna is a state beyond decay
and death. We can clearly understand from this discourse why
Nibbāna is known as a decayless, deathless state, realizable in
this very world. That sage has conquered decay and death here
and now, because he has realized the cessation of existence,
here and now.

This is something extremely wonderful about the arahant.
He realizes the cessation of existence in his attainment to the
fruit of arahant-hood.
How does he come to realize the cessation
of existence? Craving is extinct in him, hence there is no
grasping. Where there is no grasping, there is no existence. Because
there is no existence, birth, decay and death, along with
sorrow and lamentation, cease altogether.

( A link for anyone without a copy: http://lirs.ru/do/sutra/Nibbana_Sermons,Nanananda.pdf )

tiltbillings wrote:Okay, but that does not deny birth, sickness, old-age and death actually happens.

It clarifies the nature of what they actually are, and that they require the erroneous (i.e. avijja) concept of a "self" (which is a thought, i.e. sankhara) existing over time in order to mean anything at all. In the absence of avijja, any reference point to which such terms might have any meaning is transcended.

Mettagūmāṇavapucchā in the Pārāyanavagga of the Sutta Nipāta wrote:"Whatever you may know to be
Above, below and across in the middle,
Dispel the delight and the tendency to dwell in them,
Then your consciousness will not remain in existence.
A monk, endowed with understanding,
Thus dwelling mindful and heedful,
As he fares along giving up all possessions,
Would abandon even here and now
Birth, decay, sorrow, lamentation and suffering."

tiltbillings wrote:I'll take a straightforward Dhamma over one that requires convoluted explanations to understand.

As is your prerogative.

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: the great rebirth debate

Postby chownah » Fri Aug 30, 2013 5:44 am

tiltbillings wrote:
chownah wrote:Didn't the Buddha say that the dhamma was deep and to be understood by the wise? If so then I guess it is the wise who determine the deeper meaning.

If the shoe fits, wear it.......or else, like me, just prance barefoot through life singing lalalalalallalaa........
chownah
Huh? Damdifino what you are trying to say here with this last sentence. The Buddha also said he was not a closed fist teacher, which is what the twilight reading of the Dhamma would suggest he was. I'll take a straightforward Dhamma over one that requires convoluted explanations to understand.

The wise do not usually provide convoluted explanations as the wise understand that each of us must provide our own convoluted explanations......and I think that each and every one of us does a really excellent job of this.

The Buddha also taught that all views are to be dropped so not only if the shoe fits, wear it but make sure it is a safety shoe with reinforced toes as dropping our heavy views onto an unprotected foot could be painful.......lllallalallalalallalaaaaaa....
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Aug 30, 2013 6:05 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Nanananda, Sermon 14 wrote: . . . Where there is no grasping, there is no existence. Because
there is no existence, birth, decay and death, along with
sorrow and lamentation, cease altogether.

Link for anyone who can't find it online: http://lirs.ru/do/sutra/Nibbana_Sermons,Nanananda.pdf
This pushes right into Madhyamaka, and that it is not that I disagree with it, but what this actually means is something that requires a degree of unpacking. However, in doing a quick search of the term "rebirth" in this text, I do not see any evidence that Ven Nanananda is making any sort of argument that rebirth is some sort of metaphorical notion only.
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 tiltbillings » Fri Aug 30, 2013 6:07 am

chownah wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
chownah wrote:Didn't the Buddha say that the dhamma was deep and to be understood by the wise? If so then I guess it is the wise who determine the deeper meaning.

If the shoe fits, wear it.......or else, like me, just prance barefoot through life singing lalalalalallalaa........
chownah
Huh? Damdifino what you are trying to say here with this last sentence. The Buddha also said he was not a closed fist teacher, which is what the twilight reading of the Dhamma would suggest he was. I'll take a straightforward Dhamma over one that requires convoluted explanations to understand.

The wise do not usually provide convoluted explanations as the wise understand that each of us must provide our own convoluted explanations......and I think that each and every one of us does a really excellent job of this.

The Buddha also taught that all views are to be dropped so not only if the shoe fits, wear it but make sure it is a safety shoe with reinforced toes as dropping our heavy views onto an unprotected foot could be painful.......lllallalallalalallalaaaaaa....
chownah

Image
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 mikenz66 » Fri Aug 30, 2013 8:38 am

tiltbillings wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:
Nanananda, Sermon 14 wrote: . . . Where there is no grasping, there is no existence. Because
there is no existence, birth, decay and death, along with
sorrow and lamentation, cease altogether.

Link for anyone who can't find it online: http://lirs.ru/do/sutra/Nibbana_Sermons,Nanananda.pdf
This pushes right into Madhyamaka, and that it is not that I disagree with it, but what this actually means is something that requires a degree of unpacking. However, in doing a quick search of the term "rebirth" in this text, I do not see any evidence that Ven Nanananda is making any sort of argument that rebirth is some sort of metaphorical notion only.

Indeed. See, for example:
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 40#p146297
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=6382&start=60#p101215
Nanananda wrote:This cooling off happens just before death, without igniting an­other spark of life. When Màra comes to grab and seize, the ara­hant lets go. The pain of death with which Màra teases his hapless victim and lures him into another existence, becomes ineffective in the case of the arahant. As he has already gone through the supra­mundane experience of deathlessness, in the arahat­taphala­samà­dhi, death loses its sting when at last it comes. The influx-free deliver­ance of the mind and the influx-free deliverance through wisdom en­able him to cool down all feelings in a way that baffles Màra.

So the arahant lets go of his body, experiencing ambrosial death­lessness. As in the case of Venerable Dabba Mallaputta, he would sometimes cremate his own body without leaving any ashes.[37] Out­wardly it might appear as an act of self-immolation, which in­deed is painful. But this is not so. Using his jhànic powers, he simply em­ploys the internal fire element to cremate the body he has already discarded.

This, then, is the Buddha's extraordinary solution to the problem of overcoming death, a solution that completely outwits Màra.

This certainly sounds like a literal reading of the meaning of death.

:anjali:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby lyndon taylor » Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:17 am

For my self, and almost everyone else, there is no assurance of realizing nibbana, so that being the case, your chances of realizing nibbana sometime in the future go up infinetly if you have rebirth, without rebirth we have a kind of pie in the sky, small chance of realizing nibbana, and little else, so yes I think rebirth is very important to realizing the dhamma.......As you have a thousand fold increase in your chance of realizing the dhamma over 1000 lifetimes as you do over one.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:31 am

Greetings,

That's one way of looking at it. Another is that if your thoughts are off into the future, your mind is not particularly aware of itself in the present.

That said, I'm not here to say rebirth is or isn't true. As I see it, it makes little difference what I think, because what I think/believe/speculate wouldn't change the reality of what will be in relation to "literal post mortem rebirth" anyway.

What I do know is that erroneously perceiving a self and extending this false perception of self backwards and forwards in time is not consistent with "seeing things as they really are", so I endeavour not to do it.

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: the great rebirth debate

Postby chownah » Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:13 am

Thanks to lyndon taylor"s last post I now know of two ways that literal rebirth can be related to practice. The first way is that some people are uncertain of whether they may have bad rebirths so this motivates them to practice more seriously. The second is that some people view future rebirths as simply more chances at attaining nibanna. I can"t help but think that for some people the idea that future rebirths gives more chances to attain nibanna might have the effect of reducing motivation since you will get another chance anyway.....I want to make it very very very very clear that I am NOT saying that everyone with this view would have reduced motivation but I see this as a likely outcome for some people.

So, in summary, so far I know that literal rebirth view can act as a motivator for some people and as a de-motivator for others. I'm hoping to hear from people about other ways that literal rebirth view is incorporated into or effects their practice.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby kirk5a » Fri Aug 30, 2013 12:05 pm

retrofuturist wrote:It clarifies the nature of what they actually are, and that they require the erroneous (i.e. avijja) concept of a "self" (which is a thought, i.e. sankhara) existing over time in order to mean anything at all. In the absence of avijja, any reference point to which such terms might have any meaning is transcended.

Cancer does not require the concept of a "self" to mean something.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby lyndon taylor » Fri Aug 30, 2013 12:12 pm

Chownah, As I don't see you saying anything favourable for rebirth, I hardly think your opinion on what rebirth offers practitioners is of any consequence or relevence.

Retro, As to being in the moment, this is primarily a meditative technique, it would be impossible to get out of bed or simply cross the street if you did not "plan for the future", The buddha speaks extensively about practises and actions that require planning for the future, and extensilvely about past actions and former lives, that require contemplating the past. There is no way possible to live entirely in the present unless you are meditating. And obviously a person who had no plans for the future would be not only stupid, but very unable to function normally, likewise someone who did not learn from and contemplate their past.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Fri Aug 30, 2013 12:38 pm

tiltbillings wrote:But the Buddha-to-be shows serious concern about being subject to birth, something that could only happen after death. And there's no reason to not take the text exactly as it is written.


For me the inclusion of birth in dependent origination argues strongly against a one lifetime interpretation.
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