the great rebirth debate

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation
User avatar
clw_uk
Posts: 3756
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am
Location: Wales, United Kingdom

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:01 pm

Alex123 wrote:
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.



And that's all there is to it really


Based on that Buddha would have got certain facts wrong, but it doesn't matter at all and the goal stays the same :)
"And do you think that unto such as you, A maggot-minded, starved, fanatic crew, God gave a secret and denied it me! Well, well—what matters it? Believe that, too!

Omar Khayyám

User avatar
clw_uk
Posts: 3756
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am
Location: Wales, United Kingdom

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:07 pm

Just as a side note


Which ones? Obviously physical ideas were also obsolete in his teachings. But, I like the quote.



In "De rerum natura" Lucretius also locates the sense in the sense organ itself. I think he makes reference to the eye if I remember correctly.
"And do you think that unto such as you, A maggot-minded, starved, fanatic crew, God gave a secret and denied it me! Well, well—what matters it? Believe that, too!

Omar Khayyám

User avatar
Alex123
Posts: 3025
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:14 pm

clw_uk wrote:Just as a side note


Which ones? Obviously physical ideas were also obsolete in his teachings. But, I like the quote.



In "De rerum natura" Lucretius also locates the sense in the sense organ itself. I think he makes reference to the eye if I remember correctly.



That is the sad thing that in ancient suttas and VsM, the biology is on the level of knowledge of that time. No enlightenment there.
"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
daverupa
Posts: 4766
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby daverupa » Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:17 pm

Considering the ayatanas as biological organic function is a fundamental misunderstanding. The point is the experience of the sense, and to this end the six senses are comprehensive spheres of experience, not biology.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

User avatar
clw_uk
Posts: 3756
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am
Location: Wales, United Kingdom

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:22 pm

Alex123 wrote:
clw_uk wrote:Just as a side note


Which ones? Obviously physical ideas were also obsolete in his teachings. But, I like the quote.



In "De rerum natura" Lucretius also locates the sense in the sense organ itself. I think he makes reference to the eye if I remember correctly.



That is the sad thing that in ancient suttas and VsM, the biology is on the level of knowledge of that time. No enlightenment there.



Why is it sad? I have no doubt it was progressive at the time when compared to 3000 B.C.


And once again I don't see the "enlightenment" of Dhamma as meaning omniscience.
"And do you think that unto such as you, A maggot-minded, starved, fanatic crew, God gave a secret and denied it me! Well, well—what matters it? Believe that, too!

Omar Khayyám

User avatar
Ron-The-Elder
Posts: 1328
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:42 pm
Location: Concord, New Hampshire, U.S.A.

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Tue Jul 22, 2014 5:59 pm

Hi, clw_uk.

Yes. I have given that reality a lot of thought and wondered how we could still today look upon Sakumuni Buddha as enlightened. The reasoning and notion still lingers. Not quite sure what to do with it so far. But it lingers in my mind.

No doubt twenty-five hundred years from now folks will look at our greatest minds and wonder whey we thought they were so great. I guess it may have to do with "progress and not perfection". :shrug:
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.

Dr. Dukkha
Posts: 92
Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2013 3:02 am

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Dr. Dukkha » Mon Jul 28, 2014 2:54 am

I've got something to pick your brain a little bit:
http://youtu.be/_FanhvXO9Pk

Sam Harris, a fellow atheist claims that there is no free will because everything we do or think is affected either by stimuli or through circumstances of birth. What do you think? How can there be kamma if we don't have free will. It makes great sense to me, but if anyone can disprove him, I'd love to hear.
"There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting."

culaavuso
Posts: 1363
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:27 pm

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby culaavuso » Mon Jul 28, 2014 4:54 am

Dr. Dukkha wrote:How can there be kamma if we don't have free will.


AN 6.38 describes an exchange where a brahman tells the Buddha that he holds a view that effectively denies free will.

Ethics in Buddhist Perspective by K. N. Jayatilleke discusses questions of free will in detail.

Ethics in Buddhist Perspective by K. N. Jayatilleke wrote:As such, the Buddhist theory of causation seems to accept an element of indeterminacy in nature, which, in the case of human actions, manifests itself as the free will of the individual, which is conditioned but not totally determined by the factors that affect it.

User avatar
clw_uk
Posts: 3756
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am
Location: Wales, United Kingdom

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jul 28, 2014 6:29 am

Dr. Dukkha wrote:I've got something to pick your brain a little bit:
http://youtu.be/_FanhvXO9Pk

Sam Harris, a fellow atheist claims that there is no free will because everything we do or think is affected either by stimuli or through circumstances of birth. What do you think? How can there be kamma if we don't have free will. It makes great sense to me, but if anyone can disprove him, I'd love to hear.



The free will question is a vast entanglement of views. However it is more beneficial to have a view of having free will :)


"Of course we have free will, we have no choice" Christopher Hitchens ;)
"And do you think that unto such as you, A maggot-minded, starved, fanatic crew, God gave a secret and denied it me! Well, well—what matters it? Believe that, too!

Omar Khayyám

User avatar
acinteyyo
Posts: 1066
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:48 am
Location: Bavaria / Germany

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby acinteyyo » Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:31 am

daverupa wrote:Considering the ayatanas as biological organic function is a fundamental misunderstanding. The point is the experience of the sense, and to this end the six senses are comprehensive spheres of experience, not biology.

:goodpost:
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Api cāhaṃ, āvuso, imasmiṃyeva byāmamatte kaḷevare, sasaññimhi samanake lokañca paññāpemi lokasamudayañca lokanirodhañca lokanirodhagāminiñca paṭipadan. (AN4.45)

:anjali:

Nehemia83
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:56 pm

Rebirth

Postby Nehemia83 » Tue Jul 29, 2014 12:10 am

Hi everyone,

I am pretty new to buddhism so please excuse if the question might be a silly one. I am trying to learn here.

I am currently thinking about rebirth and reincarnation a lot. There is one point I am struggling a little bit with. The goal is to get out of cyclic existence because being caught in it and having to experience birth, ageing, and death endlessly is suffering, right?! But what I am wondering is that I don´t know about my previous lives, so right now I have no idea what happened in my last life or in other previous ones, so I am experiencing this life as it would be my first one. So if I do not have the feeling of being caught in endless rebirths there is no being aware of it. It seems a little bit like being a goldfish. Although he is trapped in a very small glass everytime he turns around everything seems new to him because of his limited memory. If I do not have the feeling of being caught in cyclic existence where is the point of trying to get out of it. Because even if I practice dharma in this life I won´t be aware of it in my next one right?

Thank you very much for your Input!

culaavuso
Posts: 1363
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:27 pm

Re: Rebirth

Postby culaavuso » Tue Jul 29, 2014 12:34 am

Nehemia83 wrote:The goal is to get out of cyclic existence because being caught in it and having to experience birth, ageing, and death endlessly is suffering, right?!


The goal appears to be the cessation of stress here and now. This cessation of stress seems to entail the cessation of birth, aging, and death.

MN 141: Saccavibhaṅga Sutta wrote:Now what, friends, is the noble truth of stress? Birth is stressful, aging is stressful, death is stressful; sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair are stressful; not getting what is wanted is stressful.
...
And what, friends, is the noble truth of the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress? Just this very noble eightfold path: right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.


SN 55.30: Licchavi Sutta wrote:The Dhamma is well-expounded by the Blessed One, to be seen here & now, timeless, inviting verification, pertinent, to be realized by the wise for themselves.


SN 22.86: Anurādha Sutta wrote:Both formerly & now, it is only stress that I describe, and the cessation of stress.


Nehemia83 wrote:If I do not have the feeling of being caught in cyclic existence where is the point of trying to get out of it. Because even if I practice dharma in this life I won´t be aware of it in my next one right?


MN 2: Sabbāsava Sutta wrote:This is how he attends inappropriately: 'Was I in the past? Was I not in the past? What was I in the past? How was I in the past? Having been what, what was I in the past? Shall I be in the future? Shall I not be in the future? What shall I be in the future? How shall I be in the future? Having been what, what shall I be in the future?' Or else he is inwardly perplexed about the immediate present: 'Am I? Am I not? What am I? How am I? Where has this being come from? Where is it bound?'
...
He attends appropriately, This is stress... This is the origination of stress... This is the cessation of stress... This is the way leading to the cessation of stress.

MidGe
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue May 17, 2011 6:15 am

Re: Rebirth

Postby MidGe » Tue Jul 29, 2014 1:14 am

Hello Nehemia83,

To answer your very specific question.

People differ in their abilities. Some, like Mozart was for instance, are really prodigy at composing music. These differences in abilities are attributed to activities in past lives. You probably also have "natural" abilities or ease in certain activities that might be difficult for some others. So, also, there is a lengthy and gradual accumulation of wisdom due to practice and study, that ultimately conditions, or act as circumstances, for the realisation of nibbana and the end of suffering for that stream of consciousness that is perceived as "I".

With metta

User avatar
robertk
Posts: 1371
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Rebirth

Postby robertk » Tue Jul 29, 2014 7:26 am

Your goldfish simile sums it up. Do you think the ignorance of a goldfish is desirable.

User avatar
Mkoll
Posts: 4620
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:55 pm
Location: California, USA

Re: Rebirth

Postby Mkoll » Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:39 am

SN 12.46 wrote:Dwelling at Savatthi... Then a certain brahman went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, exchanged courteous greetings with him. After an exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, he sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One: "What now, Master Gotama: Is the one who acts the same one who experiences [the results of the act]?"

[The Buddha:] "[To say,] 'The one who acts is the same one who experiences,' is one extreme."

[The brahman:] "Then, Master Gotama, is the one who acts someone other than the one who experiences?"

[The Buddha:] "[To say,] 'The one who acts is someone other than the one who experiences,' is the second extreme. Avoiding both of these extremes, the Tathagata teaches the Dhamma by means of the middle: From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications. From fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness. From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form. From name-&-form as a requisite condition come the six sense media. From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contact. From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling. From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving. From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance. From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming. From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth. From birth as a requisite condition, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of stress & suffering.

"Now from the remainderless fading & cessation of that very ignorance comes the cessation of fabrications. From the cessation of fabrications comes the cessation of consciousness. From the cessation of consciousness comes the cessation of name-&-form. From the cessation of name-&-form comes the cessation of the six sense media. From the cessation of the six sense media comes the cessation of contact. From the cessation of contact comes the cessation of feeling. From the cessation of feeling comes the cessation of craving. From the cessation of craving comes the cessation of clinging/sustenance. From the cessation of clinging/sustenance comes the cessation of becoming. From the cessation of becoming comes the cessation of birth. From the cessation of birth, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair all cease. Such is the cessation of this entire mass of stress & suffering."

When this was said, the brahman said to the Blessed One: "Magnificent, Master Gotama! Magnificent! Just as if he were to place upright what was overturned, to reveal what was hidden, to point out the way to one who was lost, or to carry a lamp into the dark so that those with eyes could see forms, in the same way has Master Gotama — through many lines of reasoning — made the Dhamma clear. I go to Master Gotama for refuge, to the Dhamma, & to the community of monks. May Master Gotama remember me as a lay follower who has gone for refuge from this day forward, for life."
Peace,
James

User avatar
Sokehi
Posts: 405
Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2012 4:27 pm
Location: Germany
Contact:

Re: Rebirth

Postby Sokehi » Tue Jul 29, 2014 9:29 am

Nehemia83 wrote:If I do not have the feeling of being caught in cyclic existence where is the point of trying to get out of it.


This is something that I always wondered about as well. It is a very good question. I have decided to believe in rebirth, not that I really have direct knowing or remembering that could be a basis for that belief, but I found out if I believe in the concept of rebirth that makes my life in the here and now much better and much more wholesome for me and others. Appamado amattapadam. Being more careful about my actions of body, speech and mind. This effect in itself is good enough for me.

But yes this is a very good question and something that most likely will stay with me for this entire lifetime :anjali:
Get the wanting out of waiting

What does womanhood matter at all, when the mind is concentrated well, when knowledge flows on steadily as one sees correctly into Dhamma. One to whom it might occur, ‘I am a woman’ or ‘I am a man’ or ‘I’m anything at all’ is fit for Mara to address. – SN 5.2

If they take what's yours, tell yourself that you're making it a gift.
Otherwise there will be no end to the animosity. - Ajahn Fuang Jotiko

https://www.youtube.com/user/Repeataarrr

User avatar
seeker242
Posts: 300
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:01 am

Re: Rebirth

Postby seeker242 » Tue Jul 29, 2014 11:04 am

Because even if I practice dharma in this life I won´t be aware of it in my next one right?


Depends on what you mean by "aware of it". If you mean aware of the actions that you made in a past life, that caused present circumstances, perhaps not. However, you don't need to be aware of what previous action you made in order to experience the fruits of those actions. You will experience the fruit of those actions regardless. So if you practice dharma well right now, it will have beneficial consequences no matter what. It does not matter if you are aware of the link between the action and the consequences or not, you will still experience the consequences either way. Given this, you could say that you will most certainly be "aware of it" in a future life since you will certainly be aware of the fruits of suffering you experience in a future life, when you are in that future life.

Ananda Thera
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2014 10:55 pm

Re: Rebirth

Postby Ananda Thera » Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:45 am

I can totally understand what you are saying. But in order to realize suffering and engender the will to jump out of this suffering, you don't have to know your past lives. Just look at your present sufferings and the reality of birth, death, and rebirth. The Buddha become disgusted with life when he saw the sufferings in this life, not that he saw his endless sufferings he suffered in endless previous lives. Reflection on the three marks of existence may help you. Also, I think that vipassana meditation is a god idea. It is said that the three marks of existence is connected. Only during meditation can you experience it yourself. For example, when you are aware of the tiny changes of your mind and body every moment, like the thoughts and emotions that you think as your self at that moment, rising and ceasing on their own, and the tiny itches on your body that comes and goes... You realize that things are impermanent. Also at the same time, you know that what is impermanent like the thoughts and emotions and the subtle changes in your body that you assert as yourself at that very moment, is not your self. Also, you can know that what is impermanent and not self is also suffering. This may help.

As for rebirths, there is no beginning to the rounds of rebirth. It is not possible to find a beginning point in which your stream of consciousness was activated or created from nothingness. If this was true, it would not make sense because if say all consciousnesses were created at the same time, with no kamma inheritance from a past life and no predispositions left from a past life, we would all start off the same in personality and mental conditions, and logically, we would all do the same actions and so on. We would be in the same realm right now and have the same Kamma, same life, etc.

So since there is no beginning, we can just imagine that we have been in every realm, suffered and enjoyed all the things that we just imagined in this life. Everyone has once killed you before, and everyone has once nurtured you before. It is hard to point out anyone from the street who has not been your mother or friend before. You have been a slave before, a prisoner before, a king before, a deva before, a hell being before, ... Because there is no beginning, there are endless possibilities all of which that you can think of right now has happened to you before in a remote past life. Enough to keep you disenchanted with samsara!!!

Another thing that I want to add is that the sutta on tears explains rebirth that has no beginning, and that the tears you shed from sufferings throughout previous lives gathered together exceeds that of the great oceans.

SarathW
Posts: 3145
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Rebirth

Postby SarathW » Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:06 am

To support Ven Ananda's post please read.

The Deva Messengers

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

User avatar
Lostegasa
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:34 pm

Re: Rebirth

Postby Lostegasa » Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:32 pm

I remember being fed up like for eons since very young.


Return to “Open Dhamma”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Majestic-12 [Bot] and 8 guests

Google Saffron, Theravada Search Engine