the great rebirth debate

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Aloka
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Aloka » Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:34 pm

nowheat wrote:Even more critical is that I am arguing that the Buddha's point was to end not just his suffering, but the suffering of *all of us*, not just the individual's, but the world's.


Does this have any connection to the "saving all sentient beings" of Mahayana/Vajrayana ?

From AN 10.95:

"And, Master Gotama, when having directly known it, you teach the Dhamma to your disciples for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow & lamentation, for the disappearance of pain & distress, for the attainment of the right method, & for the realization of Unbinding, will all the cosmos be led [to release], or a half of it, or a third?"

When this was said, the Blessed One was silent.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an10/an10.095.than.html


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Last edited by Aloka on Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:45 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:36 pm

It is for this reason that I judge arguments that use labels such as "speculative", "not visible in the here and now", and so on to dismiss some aspect of the Dhamma to be rather unconvincing.



You obviously didn't read what I said

I said I don't know if Nibbana is real or not, but more and more confidence is gained in its reality the less I cling. However when it comes to rebirth, I'm at the same place I was when I started 7 years ago with no more or less confidence.

The reason why I say rebirth is not important to me is because I would still practice for Nibbana regardless, that is to say I would practice to let go more and more.

The reason why rebirth is a pointless speculation for me, is I could guess and second guess all day long and still be in the same position of "I dont know at the end"

Likewise I could guess about what Nibbana is like, and if it's achievable however I can see its likliehood more and more, the more I let go.
“The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences. When love and hate are both absent, everything becomes clear and undisguised." Verses on the Faith Mind, Sengcan

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:36 pm

nowheat wrote:what I am offering is an understanding of the suttas that has its own internal consistency that is measured against what is visible here and now, rather than on speculative views.
So you repeatedly say. Now it is time actually make a clear, concise carefully cited point by point demonstration of your claim.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"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 9:38 pm

clw_uk wrote:
It is for this reason that I judge arguments that use labels such as "speculative", "not visible in the here and now", and so on to dismiss some aspect of the Dhamma to be rather unconvincing.



You obviously didn't read what I said

I said I don't know if Nibbana is real or not, but more and more confidence is gained in its reality the less I cling. However when it comes to rebirth, I'm at the same place I was when I started 7 years ago with no more or less confidence.
If you actually experienced the moment to moment "rebirth," then the "literal" rebirth would become clearer.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:42 pm

Which make Ajahn Chah smarter than those who want to turn rebirth into a metaphorical thingie.


Which isn't what I'm doing. I state d.o. In the same way that ajahn chah, ajahn sumedho and ajahn Amaro state it. I even say that rebirth is stated in the suttas.

However I don't know if it happens after death or not, and it doesn't matter to me either way.


I approach Rebirt in the same way ajahn sumedho does here

With awareness practice, however, one is not being asked to believe in anything or to operate from any theory - or even to regard ones own preferences for the afterlife - but to recognize the way it actually is at this moment.


..."So this helps me to recognize that I don't have to know what happens after physical death, because I cant know, and it doesn't really matter. I am not asking for some kind of affirmation to make me feel better"


And I'm happy with leaving it at that. I don't see what's so controversial.
“The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences. When love and hate are both absent, everything becomes clear and undisguised." Verses on the Faith Mind, Sengcan

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:43 pm

clw_uk wrote:
It is for this reason that I judge arguments that use labels such as "speculative", "not visible in the here and now", and so on to dismiss some aspect of the Dhamma to be rather unconvincing.



You obviously didn't read what I said

No, I understand the argument, but your faith in nibbana is still speculative.
clw_uk wrote:I said I don't know if Nibbana is real or not, but more and more confidence is gained in its reality the less I cling.

Of course. That's how most of us feel as we progress. However, just because we feel that we cling less now doesn't prove that nibbana is possible.

I'm not trying to argue against having faith that nibbana is possible (as in the sutta I quoted above) However arguments based on the "speculative" pejorative are, to me, extremely weak, given the need for faith in nibbana.

:anjali:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:48 pm

Of course. That's how most of us feel as we progress. However, just because we feel that we cling less now doesn't prove that nibbana is possible.


I know it doesn't :)

What I said was I get more and more confidence the more I let go, however with rebirth I'm still at "don't know either way"

When I started it was "don't know either way" for Nibbana, but it has slowly tipped to more and more confidence over the years.


Maybe this will happen in terms of rebirth, maybe. However at the moment all I can say is I don't know and it doesn't matter to me, because I already get a lot out of Dhamma regardless. :)
“The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences. When love and hate are both absent, everything becomes clear and undisguised." Verses on the Faith Mind, Sengcan

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:49 pm

Greetings,

tiltbillings wrote:The problem with this argument is that belief in literal rebirth does not make one any more likely to be "erroneously perceiving a self and extending this false perception of self backwards and forwards in time" than one who does not believe in rebirth, and not believing in literal rebirth does make one any less likely to be not "erroneously perceiving a self and extending this false perception of self backwards and forwards in time" than one who does believe in literal rebirth. Quite frankly, the problematic doctrine that would be far more likely to give rise to "erroneously perceiving a self and extending this false perception of self backwards and forwards in time" would be kamma. It would be interesting to see what the Dhamma would look like having kamma relegated to naught more than a metaphorical status.

It doesn't "in and of itself" make it less likely, but if there is commitment to avoid "erroneously perceiving a self and extending this false perception of self backwards and forwards in time", then the matter of "literal post-mortem rebirth" isn't very exciting, and doesn't come to mind unless one observes there is a new post in The Great Rebirth Debate.

8-)

As for kamma, it is (to be) known.

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 clw_uk » Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:57 pm

[ (A.iii) “About this a wise man considers thus: ‘If there is no other world, then on the dissolution of the body this good person will have made himself safe enough.[6] But if there is another world, then on the dissolution of the body, after death, he will reappear in a state of deprivation, in an unhappy destination, in perdition, even in hell. Now whether or not the word of those good recluses and brahmins is true, let me assume that there is no other world: still this good person is here and now censured by the wise as an immoral person, one of wrong view who holds the doctrine of nihilism.[7] But on the other hand, if there is another world, then this good person has made an unlucky throw on both counts: since he is censured by the wise here and now, and since on the dissolution of the body, after death, he will reappear in a state of deprivation, in an unhappy destination, in perdition, even in hell. He has wrongly accepted and undertaken this incontrovertible teaching in such a way that it extends only to one side and excludes the wholesome alternative.’[8]


...

Since there actually is another world, one who holds the view ‘there is another world’ has right view. Since there actually is another world, one who intends ‘there is another world’ has right intention. Since there actually is another world, one who makes the statement ‘there is another world’ has right speech. Since there actually is another world, one who says ‘there is another world’ is not opposed to those arahants who know the other world. Since there actually is another world, one who convinces another ‘there is another world’ [404] convinces him to accept true Dhamma; and because he convinces another to accept true Dhamma, he does not praise himself and disparage others[/quote]


http://amitabhabuddha.wordpress.com/201 ... -teaching/
“The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences. When love and hate are both absent, everything becomes clear and undisguised." Verses on the Faith Mind, Sengcan

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:00 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

tiltbillings wrote:The problem with this argument is that belief in literal rebirth does not make one any more likely to be "erroneously perceiving a self and extending this false perception of self backwards and forwards in time" than one who does not believe in rebirth, and not believing in literal rebirth does make one any less likely to be not "erroneously perceiving a self and extending this false perception of self backwards and forwards in time" than one who does believe in literal rebirth. Quite frankly, the problematic doctrine that would be far more likely to give rise to "erroneously perceiving a self and extending this false perception of self backwards and forwards in time" would be kamma. It would be interesting to see what the Dhamma would look like having kamma relegated to naught more than a metaphorical status.

It doesn't "in and of itself" make it less likely, but if there is commitment to avoid "erroneously perceiving a self and extending this false perception of self backwards and forwards in time", then the matter of "literal post-mortem rebirth" isn't very exciting, and doesn't come to mind unless one observes there is a new post in The Great Rebirth Debate.
Not vey exciting? Huh?

As for kamma, it is (to be) known.
And literal rebirth is open to be known, but kamma does, even more so than literal rebirth fall prey to "erroneously perceiving a self and extending this false perception of self backwards and forwards in time."
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby ancientbuddhism » Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:58 pm

mikenz66 wrote:The problem with these arguments that label anything not visible right now as "speculative" is that the argument applies just as much to the belief that nibbana is possible, which is something that none (or only a few) of us have any experience with in the here and now. It is, at best, something that we anticipate will happen sometime in the future.


Nibbāna is ascertainable through the present-life cognitive range, and is confirmed through the foretaste of it in the experience of nirodha in daily practice. Buddhadasa Bhikkhu called this Nibbana for Everyone.
Anuvicca papañca nāmarūpaṃ
ajjhattaṃ bahiddhā ca rogamūlaṃ,
sabbarogamūlabandhanā pamutto
anuvidito tādi pavuccate tathattā
.

“Having known the naming of objects,
With its proliferation, its root in illness – within and without;
One is released from bondage to the root of all illness.
And thus is called the Knowing One – the Such.

– Sn. 3.6 (Sabhiyasuttaṃ)

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:19 pm

Greetings,

tiltbillings wrote:Not vey exciting? Huh?

Correct, certainly nothing that warrants paṭigha (i.e. resistance, striking against, the "fifth fetter")

tiltbillings wrote:And literal rebirth is open to be known, but kamma does, even more so than literal rebirth fall prey to "erroneously perceiving a self and extending this false perception of self backwards and forwards in time."

Not the way I know it, but that's probably for another topic.

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Aug 31, 2013 12:19 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

tiltbillings wrote:Not vey exciting? Huh?

Correct, certainly nothing that warrants paṭigha (i.e. resistance, striking against, the "fifth fetter")
Yes, that is true. It is interesting watching the resistance here to rebirth as taught by Buddha in the suttas. It was also quite good to see in the sermon Ven Nanananda talk in some detail about literal rebirth and how it functions.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby chownah » Sat Aug 31, 2013 8:04 am

I guess that the concept of rebirth long predates the Buddha. Also, I guess that all of the concepts from before the Buddha were wrong as judged from a Buddhist standpoint. So, I'm wondering why was rebirth (evidentially) such a popular idea long before the Buddha......and why did so many different views (wrong views from a buddhist standpoint) come about and how was it that they were even before the Buddha so hotly debated?

In other words, leaving Buddhism and the Buddha aside, what is it about rebirth that made it such a common and diverse group of beliefs? I have some ideas on this of an obvious sort but I''m wondering what things others can come up with......if there is any interest.
chownah

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Aug 31, 2013 8:09 am

chownah wrote:I guess that the concept of rebirth long predates the Buddha. So, I'm wondering why was rebirth (evidentially) such a popular idea long before the Buddha......
Metempsychosis was one among a number of after death options, and not necessarily the dominant one before the Buddha.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat Aug 31, 2013 9:47 am

tiltbillings wrote:What I am arguing against are those who want to expunge literal rebirth from the suttas, leaving us with some sort of metaphorical rebirth. That, in my opinion, does such an injustice to the suttas, and is unnecessary.


I understand that for some people the teachings on rebirth and kamma aren't relevant to their daily practice - I get that, and I get the focus on here-and-now practice. So for those people it would make sense to just put these teachings to one side and not think about them. OK.
What I don't get is the need that some people have to "remove" or marginalise the teachings on rebirth on kamma. I get the impression this is sometimes based more on aversion to these teachings, rather than on an objective appraisal of the suttas.
"I ride tandem with the random, Things don't run the way I planned them, In the humdrum."
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Aug 31, 2013 9:50 am

Spiny Norman wrote: I get the impression this is sometimes based more on aversion to these teachings, rather than on an objective appraisal of the suttas.
I don't know, and I'd hate to think so, but it kind of comes across that way.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat Aug 31, 2013 9:51 am

tiltbillings wrote:....but, if we take his teachings seriously, he was freed from birth, which means no more aging, sickness and death.


Yes, the inclusion of birth in descriptions of dukkha and dependent origination is significant.
"I ride tandem with the random, Things don't run the way I planned them, In the humdrum."
Peter Gabriel lyric

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat Aug 31, 2013 10:27 am

mikenz66 wrote:It is for this reason that I judge arguments that use labels such as "speculative", "not visible in the here and now", and so on to dismiss some aspect of the Dhamma to be rather unconvincing.


I agree, it's really a strawman.
"I ride tandem with the random, Things don't run the way I planned them, In the humdrum."
Peter Gabriel lyric

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat Aug 31, 2013 10:30 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote: I get the impression this is sometimes based more on aversion to these teachings, rather than on an objective appraisal of the suttas.
I don't know, and I'd hate to think so, but it kind of comes across that way.


I mean if one doesn't have a problem with the idea of ( literal ) rebirth, then presumably there would be no need to reject or marginalise it.
"I ride tandem with the random, Things don't run the way I planned them, In the humdrum."
Peter Gabriel lyric


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