the great rebirth debate

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clw_uk
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Sun Aug 03, 2014 7:19 pm

In response to another thread

spinny-Norman




I still don't see much support in the suttas for the idea of moment-to-moment rebirth. For example the way the nidanas are defined in SN12.2 certainly doesn't support the idea. Also I don't see how the Abhidharmic concept of mind moments is particularly relevant.





"And what is kamma that is dark with dark result? There is the case where a certain person fabricates an injurious bodily fabrication, fabricates an injurious verbal fabrication, fabricates an injurious mental fabrication. Having fabricated an injurious bodily fabrication, having fabricated an injurious verbal fabrication, having fabricated an injurious mental fabrication, he rearises in an injurious world. On rearising in an injurious world, he is there touched by injurious contacts. Touched by injurious contacts, he experiences feelings that are exclusively painful, like those of the beings in hell. This is called kamma that is dark with dark result."


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

In this instance The Buddha is obviously referring to a moment-to-moment view of kamma and d.o since he refers to a being, I.e. another sense of "Me", arising and experiencing the world in a negative way, as if like (but not actually being) a person in hell post mortem
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Sun Aug 03, 2014 7:27 pm

clw_uk wrote: he rearises in an injurious world. On rearising in an injurious world, he is there touched by injurious contacts. Touched by injurious contacts, he experiences feelings that are exclusively painful, like those of the beings in hell. This is called kamma that is dark with dark result."


What about "on rearising" part? It appears that this suggests death and rebirth in hell where one experiences feelings like those of the beings in hell.

Also, "like those of the beings in hell" doesn't say that beings in hell don't exist.


There are simply too many suttas that say "after break up of the body, after death..." . Unless these are somehow added suttas, I don't see how 1 or 2 vague sutta statements can compete.

BTW, I don't reject the idea of moment-by-moment rebirth . Why can't two notions be true (moment by moment and life to life) ?
Last edited by Alex123 on Sun Aug 03, 2014 7:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Sun Aug 03, 2014 7:28 pm

clw_uk wrote:However it is more beneficial to have a view of having free will :)


Who has will?
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Sun Aug 03, 2014 7:32 pm

Alex123 wrote:
clw_uk wrote:However it is more beneficial to have a view of having free will :)


Who has will?




I guess ultimately no one has, as such


When not fully in the present moment, we think "we" have it
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Sun Aug 03, 2014 7:35 pm

clw_uk wrote:I guess ultimately no one has, as such

When not fully in the present moment, we think "we" have it



SO there really isn't free will because there is no agent who can choose this or that. And even if there was an Agent, still the external and internal conditioning would not make his will , "free".
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Sun Aug 03, 2014 7:41 pm

Alex123 wrote:
clw_uk wrote:I guess ultimately no one has, as such

When not fully in the present moment, we think "we" have it



SO there really isn't free will because there is no agent who can choose this or that. And even if there was an Agent, still the external and internal conditioning would not make his will , "free".



Its a difficult issue, on the one hand you could argue for no free will based on reason and whats apparent. However then you are left with moral nihilism and non-effort, so on a practical level its more beneficial to have a view of free will. This I think was The Buddhas point, which is summed up quite well by Christopher Hitchens "Of course we have free will, we have no choice but to have it".


Once awakened I should think the metaphysical mind maze will lose all meaning, a long with sense of self etc

However in the spirit of trying to stay on topic, perhaps we should discuss this elsewhere?
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Sun Aug 03, 2014 7:44 pm

What about "on rearising" part? It appears that this suggests death and rebirth in hell where one experiences feelings like those of the beings in hell.


Yes it does :smile:


Also, "like those of the beings in hell" doesn't say that beings in hell don't exist.


I agree ;)

There are simply too many suttas that say "after break up of the body, after death..." . Unless these are somehow added suttas, I don't see how 1 or 2 vague sutta statements can compete.


I don't disagree :) :reading: :spy:

BTW, I don't reject the idea of moment-by-moment rebirth . Why can't two notions be true (moment by moment and life to life) ?


They can be :group:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Sun Aug 03, 2014 8:09 pm

clw_uk wrote:Its a difficult issue, on the one hand you could argue for no free will based on reason and whats apparent. However then you are left with moral nihilism and non-effort,


There is effort, but it is not due to will being free. There is cause and effect where bad actions lead to bad results, and good actions lead to good results.


clw_uk wrote: so on a practical level its more beneficial to have a view of free will.


Could be, if it motivates one to practice hard, purify the mind, etc.

But on the other hand, belief in free will might feed belief in a self, and that is an obstruction to the dhamma.

clw_uk wrote:However in the spirit of trying to stay on topic, perhaps we should discuss this elsewhere?


Where can we discuss this, then?
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Mkoll » Sun Aug 03, 2014 8:14 pm

Alex123 wrote:Where can we discuss this, then?

Free will and Buddhism.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Sun Aug 03, 2014 8:18 pm

I also forgot this sutta


"... The uninstructed worldling ... regards form as self. That regarding Bhikkhus, is a formation. That formation - what is its source, what is its origin, from what is it born and produced? When the uninstructed worldling is contacted by a feeling born of ignorance-contact, craving arises: thence that formation is born.

This, Bhikkhus, that formation is anicca, conditioned, dependently arisen;

that craving is anicca, conditioned, dependently arisen;

that feeling ..., that contact ..., that ignorance is anicca, conditioned, dependently arisen." SN, page 922 Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation.


So what do we have here

A sense of "I am" arises whenever there is a coming together of contact, ignorance and feeling. This then gives rise to craving, which leads to a sense of "me". As the Buddha said this sense of "me" is "born and produced through craving", which is something we do every moment. This one form of birth in D.O. which the suttas discuss.

When we arent awake, then we are deluded into following our likes and dislikes and grasping things as "mine", and so there is continuous birth of self which identifies with that which is subject to decay, which causes dukkha


D.O. operating in the present moment :smile:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Sun Aug 03, 2014 8:21 pm

There is effort, but it is not due to will being free. There is cause and effect where bad actions lead to bad results, and good actions lead to good results.



Effort implies a will ;)


Could be, if it motivates one to practice hard, purify the mind, etc.

But on the other hand, belief in free will might feed belief in a self, and that is an obstruction to the dhamma.



A lot of teaching in Buddhism starts off with thinking about the "self"

For example, do good and you will be reborn in heaven etc. That doesnt mean they don't have initial use value.


Where can we discuss this, then?


Well if you really want to discuss it, perhaps start another thread?
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Mon Aug 04, 2014 3:54 pm

Craig, I've copied this exchange over from another thread so as to keep this discussion in one place, and not clutter up the other thread.


clw_uk wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:Sorry but I don't see how the Loka Sutta supports the idea of moment-to-moment rebirth.


Because our "world" of "me" is created when there is ignorant based contact, because it generates a sense of self and other :smile:

"I will teach you the origination of the world & the ending of the world. Listen & pay close attention. I will speak."

"As you say, lord," the monks responded to the Blessed One.

The Blessed One said: "And what is the origination of the world? Dependent on the eye & forms there arises eye-consciousness. The meeting of the three is 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. This is the origination of the world.



I'm struggling here with your concept of "ignorant based contact". According to the suttas, including this one, contact is just the functional meeting of sense organ, sense object and sense-consciousness - so I don't see how you get ignorance into this equation.

Following your logic then all the nidanas would be ignorant-based, but it's difficult to see how this could apply to all of them. Ignorant feeling? Ignorant birth? Ignorant death? And so on.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Mon Aug 04, 2014 4:00 pm

But according to DO feeling arises in dependence on contact, and craving arises in dependence on feeling - I'm struggling to understand how you've got from this standard formulation to saying that contact, ignorance and feeling "come together".


because when we are ignorant, we chase after pleasant feeling or advert from painful feelings (this is the function of ignorance, greed and hatred) which leads us to crave things and then cling to them (because we dont see their three marks).

There are suttas that state that when there is ignorance based contact, the following links come to be.

Also, what's the sutta reference for the Buddha saying that "this sense of me is born and produced through craving"? It doesn't sound familiar.



SN, page 922 Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation.


Its a concept that is repeated a lot in the SN
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Mon Aug 04, 2014 4:07 pm

clw_uk wrote:There are suttas that state that when there is ignorance based contact, the following links come to be.
SN, page 922 Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation.
Its a concept that is repeated a lot in the SN


Could you provide some links to the relevant sutta(s)?
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Mon Aug 04, 2014 4:10 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
clw_uk wrote:There are suttas that state that when there is ignorance based contact, the following links come to be.
SN, page 922 Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation.
Its a concept that is repeated a lot in the SN


Could you provide some links to the relevant sutta(s)?



The sutta isn't on access to insight so the only reference i can give is the page number in the physical copy that aj. Bodhi translated, I assumed you would have this? If not I will try and track it down online.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Mon Aug 04, 2014 4:14 pm

clw_uk wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:
clw_uk wrote:There are suttas that state that when there is ignorance based contact, the following links come to be.
SN, page 922 Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation.
Its a concept that is repeated a lot in the SN


Could you provide some links to the relevant sutta(s)?



The sutta isn't on access to insight so the only reference i can give is the page number in the physical copy that aj. Bodhi translated, I assumed you would have this? If not I will try and track it down online.


Yes, I've got Bikkhu Bodhi's translation of SN, but I think it's an older version. I'm currently using the internet in my local library so I haven't got it to hand.
I should be on the internet at home in a couple of weeks, which will make things much easier. :smile:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Mon Aug 04, 2014 4:23 pm

Yes, I've got Bikkhu Bodhi's translation of SN, but I think it's an older version. I'm currently using the internet in my local library so I haven't got it to hand.
I should be on the internet at home in a couple of weeks, which will make things much easier. :smile:



I'll try to find a copy online if I can in the mean time :smile:


The point I was trying to make though is that D.O. is multifaceted in the Suttas, being taught operating over mind moments and also over lifetimes depending on which sutta we look at.

The moment-to-moment view can be reconciled with the lifetime view, since we could technically look at craving wanting to seek something to be born into, be it wanting to become a model or wanting to live again (Ajahn Sumedho makes use of the analogy of wanting to be born into the pleasure of eating food).
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Mon Aug 04, 2014 4:26 pm

Some say that Devas, and beings from other realms, as well as other realms are mental states.

Right?


Well, in the suttas the Buddha, even being the Buddha, often talked to the devas and often rebuked Mara's requests...

Does this mean that Buddha was talking to his own thoughts? Isn't that a diagnosis?
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Mon Aug 04, 2014 4:31 pm

Alex123 wrote:Some say that Devas, and beings from other realms, as well as other realms are mental states.

Right?


Well, in the suttas the Buddha, even being the Buddha, often talked to the devas and often rebuked Mara's requests...

Does this mean that Buddha was talking to his own thoughts? Isn't that a diagnosis?



Mara was definiately just a personfication of unwholesome states and temptation etc

Devas you could look at either way, for me its more practical to view them as mental states.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Mon Aug 04, 2014 4:39 pm

clw_uk wrote:Mara was definiately just a personfication of unwholesome states and temptation etc


Does this mean that the Buddha could have had unwholesome mental states that could tempt him (but he didn't follow them)? I don't deny this possibility, but it doesn't seem to fit the "orthodoxy" .
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