the great rebirth debate

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Wed Aug 13, 2014 8:17 am

Mkoll wrote:So do you take all mentions of birth in the suttas to be referring to rebirth of "mental suffering caused by ignorance and craving" rather than physical birth?


There are a few instances where birth is used in the broader sense of origination, but mostly birth is clearly described as a physical event, eg as an aspect of dukkha or as a nidana.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Lazy_eye » Wed Aug 13, 2014 2:05 pm

Mkoll wrote:The primary concern of the Dhamma is suffering and its cessation. Rebirth and its consequences are part of suffering. So putting an end to rebirth is part of the primary concern.


I'm not saying one should reject rebirth. I think we can agree this would constitute annihilationism, a wrong view.

But it is difficult, if not impossible, to cultivate rebirth belief without adhering to notions of self. We see that the first and second knowledges are still framed in terms of an "I" that has past lives and beings who reappear in accordance with "their" kamma. I think this is part of the reason why the first and second knowledges are insufficient for awakening. And these first two knowledges are not distinctive to the Buddha in any case -- other sramanas had similar insights. Rebirth and kamma are present in Jainism, which preceded the Buddha by many centuries.

The third knowledge, however, is not framed in terms of a self that either migrates on (eternalism) or perishes (annihilationism). The language used is very different; even Jāti (birth) doesn't refer to any particular person's birth or rebirth (punarbhava).

When the mind was thus concentrated, purified, bright, unblemished, rid of defilement, pliant, malleable, steady, & attained to imperturbability, I directed it to the knowledge of the ending of the mental fermentations. I discerned, as it had come to be, that '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... These are fermentations... This is the origination of fermentations... This is the cessation of fermentations... This is the way leading to the cessation of fermentations.' My heart, thus knowing, thus seeing, was released from the fermentation of sensuality, released from the fermentation of becoming, released from the fermentation of ignorance. With release, there was the knowledge, 'Released.' I discerned that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.'


We see a similar trajectory in the Brahmajala Sutta, where the Buddha contrasts eternalistic beliefs, which do not lead to nibbana, to the Tathagata's understanding, which does:

"This, bhikkhus, the Tathāgata understands. And he understands: 'These standpoints, thus assumed and thus misapprehended, lead to such a future destination, to such a state in the world beyond.' He understands as well what transcends this, yet even that understanding he does not misapprehend. And because he is free from misapprehension, he has realized within himself the state of perfect peace. Having understood as they really are the origin and the passing away of feelings, their satisfaction, their unsatisfactoriness, and the escape from them, the Tathāgata, bhikkhus, is emancipated through non-clinging.


And note here, again, that the transcendent understanding is not defined in relation to kamma and rebirth, but in relation to non-clinging and "the origin and passing away of feelings."

The distinction between knowledge that doesn't lead to Unbinding, and knowledge that does, is also reinforced in the Sabbasava Sutta, which discusses appropriate and inappropriate attention:

"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?'

"As he attends inappropriately in this way, one of six kinds of view arises in him: The view I have a self arises in him as true & established, or the view I have no self... or the view It is precisely by means of self that I perceive self... or the view It is precisely by means of self that I perceive not-self... or the view It is precisely by means of not-self that I perceive self arises in him as true & established, or else he has a view like this: This very self of mine — the knower that is sensitive here & there to the ripening of good & bad actions — is the self of mine that is constant, everlasting, eternal, not subject to change, and will stay just as it is for eternity. This is called a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a writhing of views, a fetter of views. Bound by a fetter of views, the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is not freed from birth, aging, & death, from sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair. He is not freed, I tell you, from suffering & stress.


The contrast between appropriate and inappropriate attention aligns with the distinction between two kinds of Right View, that which leads to becoming and acquistions, and that which leads to Unbinding. (See opening section of MN 117). "Right view with effluents" is not the appropriate view if one's goal is Unbinding, though it is the appropriate view if one is seeking a favorable rebirth.

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Nikaya35 » Wed Aug 13, 2014 6:46 pm

Agnostics about karma rebirth can practice the dharma. I don't see the problem with that. I'm also agnostic about the karma and rebirth teachings. To claim karma and rebirth aren't part of the Buddha teachings is another thing. The nikayas contradict this notion. I just decided to put the karma and rebirth teachings aside for a moment but being aware both are part of the dharma.

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Mkoll » Wed Aug 13, 2014 8:14 pm

Lazy_eye wrote:
Mkoll wrote:The primary concern of the Dhamma is suffering and its cessation. Rebirth and its consequences are part of suffering. So putting an end to rebirth is part of the primary concern.
I'm not saying one should reject rebirth. I think we can agree this would constitute annihilationism, a wrong view.

Then what are you saying one should do? Given your analysis, what is your solution? If one took your analysis to heart, as I assume you do, what do you do differently?

Lazy_eye wrote:But it is difficult, if not impossible, to cultivate rebirth belief without adhering to notions of self.

Only if one requires a rebirth belief be as detailed and perfectly rational as a mathematical proof. One with faith can do so quite readily because they trust the Buddha's teaching on rebirth and not-self. He is the teacher, not I.

Going back to math, it's like I know basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division whereas the Buddha has full knowledge of all the most advanced maths. I'm not going to argue about something he says just because I don't understand it.

Lazy_eye wrote:We see that the first and second knowledges are still framed in terms of an "I" that has past lives and beings who reappear in accordance with "their" kamma. I think this is part of the reason why the first and second knowledges are insufficient for awakening.

That is conventional speech. An "I" is unavoidable in conventional speech, whether stated directly or implied. The Buddha and arahants uses such speech without getting confused by it. Also, everyone including non-returners have a sense of "I" arising from conceit which is only uprooted at arahantship.

Lazy_eye wrote:And these first two knowledges are not distinctive to the Buddha in any case -- other sramanas had similar insights. Rebirth and kamma are present in Jainism, which preceded the Buddha by many centuries.

Without having the knowledge of the Buddha, how do you know they aren't distinctive?

I think the Buddha's knowledge of rebirth and kamma is distinctive from the knowledge of other ascetics. The Buddha got the full picture because he got the full knowledge by going all the way to the end. Other ascetics got very far but they eventually stop, thinking they've arrived at the end when they have not. They may have had partial insight into past lives, kamma, and rebirth, but not the complete insight that the Buddha has. Their vision is blurred, the Buddha's is clear.

Lazy_eye wrote:The third knowledge, however, is not framed in terms of a self that either migrates on (eternalism) or perishes (annihilationism). The language used is very different; even Jāti (birth) doesn't refer to any particular person's birth or rebirth (punarbhava).

When the mind was thus concentrated, purified, bright, unblemished, rid of defilement, pliant, malleable, steady, & attained to imperturbability, I directed it to the knowledge of the ending of the mental fermentations. I discerned, as it had come to be, that '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... These are fermentations... This is the origination of fermentations... This is the cessation of fermentations... This is the way leading to the cessation of fermentations.' My heart, thus knowing, thus seeing, was released from the fermentation of sensuality, released from the fermentation of becoming, released from the fermentation of ignorance. With release, there was the knowledge, 'Released.' I discerned that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.'

There is still plenty of "I" and "mine" in the language here which is of course unavoidable in conventional speech. And the sutta is talking about the insight knowledge of arahantship. That knowledge is something neither you nor I have. We're having a discussion about rebirth. They're two different things.

Lazy_eye wrote:We see a similar trajectory in the Brahmajala Sutta, where the Buddha contrasts eternalistic beliefs, which do not lead to nibbana, to the Tathagata's understanding, which does:

"This, bhikkhus, the Tathāgata understands. And he understands: 'These standpoints, thus assumed and thus misapprehended, lead to such a future destination, to such a state in the world beyond.' He understands as well what transcends this, yet even that understanding he does not misapprehend. And because he is free from misapprehension, he has realized within himself the state of perfect peace. Having understood as they really are the origin and the passing away of feelings, their satisfaction, their unsatisfactoriness, and the escape from them, the Tathāgata, bhikkhus, is emancipated through non-clinging.


And note here, again, that the transcendent understanding is not defined in relation to kamma and rebirth, but in relation to non-clinging and "the origin and passing away of feelings."

Again, this is the arahant's insight knowledge, not ours. We're talking about rebirth.

Lazy_eye wrote:The distinction between knowledge that doesn't lead to Unbinding, and knowledge that does, is also reinforced in the Sabbasava Sutta, which discusses appropriate and inappropriate attention:

"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?'

"As he attends inappropriately in this way, one of six kinds of view arises in him: The view I have a self arises in him as true & established, or the view I have no self... or the view It is precisely by means of self that I perceive self... or the view It is precisely by means of self that I perceive not-self... or the view It is precisely by means of not-self that I perceive self arises in him as true & established, or else he has a view like this: This very self of mine — the knower that is sensitive here & there to the ripening of good & bad actions — is the self of mine that is constant, everlasting, eternal, not subject to change, and will stay just as it is for eternity. This is called a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a writhing of views, a fetter of views. Bound by a fetter of views, the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is not freed from birth, aging, & death, from sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair. He is not freed, I tell you, from suffering & stress.


The contrast between appropriate and inappropriate attention aligns with the distinction between two kinds of Right View, that which leads to becoming and acquistions, and that which leads to Unbinding. (See opening section of MN 117). "Right view with effluents" is not the appropriate view if one's goal is Unbinding, though it is the appropriate view if one is seeking a favorable rebirth.

Unless one is so confident they will realize arahantship in this very life, or at the very least stream-entry, then seeking a favorable rebirth is a prudent thing to do. That way one has the opportunity to cultivate the wholesome in the next life. Where does the Buddha say that one, especially a householder, shouldn't seek a favorable rebirth? In fact, I recall a sutta where he says to "not be afraid of making merit" or something to that effect.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Lazy_eye » Thu Aug 14, 2014 7:02 pm

Mkoll,

I see the "conventional speech" explanation as applicable to the third watch of the night, but not to the first two. In the case of the first two, it is not simply a matter of linguistic constraints. What is being described necessarily involves a notion of self.

First watch of the night

I directed it to the knowledge of recollecting my past lives. I recollected my manifold past lives, i.e., one birth, two... five, ten... fifty, a hundred, a thousand, a hundred thousand, many eons of cosmic contraction, many eons of cosmic expansion, many eons of cosmic contraction & expansion: 'There I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance. Such was my food, such my experience of pleasure & pain, such the end of my life. Passing away from that state, I re-arose there. There too I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance. Such was my food, such my experience of pleasure & pain, such the end of my life. Passing away from that state, I re-arose here.' Thus I remembered my manifold past lives in their modes & details.

Second watch of the night

I directed it to the knowledge of the passing away & reappearance of beings. I saw — by means of the divine eye, purified & surpassing the human — beings passing away & re-appearing, and I discerned how they are inferior & superior, beautiful & ugly, fortunate & unfortunate in accordance with their kamma: 'These beings — who were endowed with bad conduct of body, speech & mind, who reviled noble ones, held wrong views and undertook actions under the influence of wrong views — with the break-up of the body, after death, have re-appeared in the plane of deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms, in hell. But these beings — who were endowed with good conduct of body, speech, & mind, who did not revile noble ones, who held right views and undertook actions under the influence of right views — with the break-up of the body, after death, have re-appeared in the good destinations, in the heavenly world.' Thus — by means of the divine eye, purified & surpassing the human — I saw beings passing away & re-appearing, and I discerned how they are inferior & superior, beautiful & ugly, fortunate & unfortunate in accordance with their kamma.

In both these cases the object of contemplation (past lives, reappearance in accordance with kamma) is framed in terms of a self or selves: my manifold past lives, their kamma.

The third watch is different. The first person pronoun (I) is used here, because from the standpoint of the Buddha's audience there is still an individual there speaking to them and relating his experiences. But the experiences being related are not based in a notion of self. The Buddha does not say "the cessation of my stress, my fermentation, my becoming," etc. There is a clear change in the syntax: the object of contemplation is no longer attached to a possessive adjective.

Third Watch of the Night

I directed it to the knowledge of the ending of the mental fermentations. I discerned, as it had come to be, that '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... These are fermentations... This is the origination of fermentations... This is the cessation of fermentations... This is the way leading to the cessation of fermentations.' My heart, thus knowing, thus seeing, was released from the fermentation of sensuality, released from the fermentation of becoming, released from the fermentation of ignorance. With release, there was the knowledge, 'Released.' I discerned that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.'

nless one is so confident they will realize arahantship in this very life, or at the very least stream-entry, then seeking a favorable rebirth is a prudent thing to do. That way one has the opportunity to cultivate the wholesome in the next life. Where does the Buddha say that one, especially a householder, shouldn't seek a favorable rebirth? In fact, I recall a sutta where he says to "not be afraid of making merit" or something to that effect.


I don't think I've suggested anywhere that one shouldn't seek a favorable rebirth. Where are you seeing this? I just raised a question about the relevance of rebirth-belief to nibbana.

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu Aug 14, 2014 7:12 pm

Lazy_eye wrote:The third watch is different. The first person pronoun (I) is used here, because from the standpoint of the Buddha's audience there is still an individual there speaking to them and relating his experiences. But the experiences being related are not based in a notion of self. The Buddha does not say "the cessation of my stress, my fermentation, my becoming," etc. There is a clear change in the syntax: the object of contemplation is no longer attached to a possessive adjective.


Perhaps I'm missing your point, but first person is used throughout the 3 watches with the exception of the 4 truths, which is a general statement.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Lazy_eye » Thu Aug 14, 2014 7:27 pm

Spiny,

Yes, that's right. The point I'm trying to make concerns the object of contemplation.

First watch: I saw my past lives
Second watch: I saw beings pass away and reappear in accordance with their kamma
Third watch: I discerned stress...fermentations...the cessation of stress...the cessation of fermentations

If we look carefully at the third watch passage, we see that at no point is the object construed in language that reflects a concept of self.

The "I" remains in the subject, though ("I discerned"). This looks to be for reasons of linguistic convention; from the standpoint of the audience there is still a "someone" speaking to them. We might note, however, that in numerous other suttas the Buddha refers instead to "the Tathagata" rather than using the first person pronoun.

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby culaavuso » Thu Aug 14, 2014 7:46 pm

Lazy_eye wrote:The point I'm trying to make concerns the object of contemplation.

First watch: I saw my past lives
Second watch: I saw beings pass away and reappear in accordance with their kamma
Third watch: I discerned stress...fermentations...the cessation of stress...the cessation of fermentations

If we look carefully at the third watch passage, we see that at no point is the object construed in language that reflects a concept of self.

The "I" remains in the subject, though ("I discerned"). This looks to be for reasons of linguistic convention; from the standpoint of the audience there is still a "someone" speaking to them. We might note, however, that in numerous other suttas the Buddha refers instead to "the Tathagata" rather than using the first person pronoun.


This seems to be an artifact of translation into English. Pāḷi often omits words that would make the English seem awkward if they were omitted. The Pāḷi Iti sākāraṃ sauddesaṃ anekavihitaṃ pubbenivāsaṃ anussarāmi does not contain possessive pronouns. It is common for translators to insert them when translating to English. In this case an awkward word-by-word translation might look something like "Thus with modes, with details, various previous existence I recalled." This parallels the statement from the third watch where a first person verb is used without possessive pronouns. Ven. Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu translates this phrase as "Thus I remembered my manifold past lives in their modes & details." This translation appears to insert a possessive pronoun as a matter of linguistic convention in English, with the apparent side effect of emphasizing a notion of self that is not so emphasized in the original Pāḷi.

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Lazy_eye » Thu Aug 14, 2014 8:00 pm

Thank you Culaavuso -- that is very interesting indeed!

I wonder if these translation choices have the unintended effect of instilling an eternalistic view of kamma and rebirth among readers.

Or, perhaps in Thanissaro's case, not so unintended -- he has been criticised, fairly or unfairly, for alleged eternalist leanings (See here).

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby culaavuso » Thu Aug 14, 2014 8:40 pm

Lazy_eye wrote:I wonder if these translation choices have the unintended effect of instilling an eternalistic view of kamma and rebirth among readers.


This also possibly points to the ways that language itself tends to condition views. It is difficult in English to form sentences without any articles or possessive pronouns, but such a construction seems to be usual in Pāḷi. For comparison, Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi translates the same sentence as "Thus with their aspects and particulars I recollected my manifold past lives," while Ven. Sister Uppalavaṇṇā translated it as "Thus I recollect the manifold previous births".

The influence of these differences between English and Pāḷi with regard to linguistic relativity can be interesting.

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Kusala » Fri Aug 15, 2014 12:03 am

Aloka wrote:
kusala wrote:"My Past Life Regression story"


I'm a qualified hypnotherapist and I would never try "past life regression" with other people because cryptomnesia can manifest, family/group memories, a vivid imagination etc.

My former Tibetan Buddhist teacher (rather than strangers on YouTube videos) told me not to practice past life regression because its completely "unreliable." He also told me that even though he was a Tulku (reincarnated teacher) he couldn't remember any past lives.



.


How do you explain this:

"...in England, a 5 year old girl said she could remember her other mother and father and she talked vividly about what sounded like the events in the life of another person. Parapsychologists were called in and asked her hundreds of questions to which she gave answers. She spoke of living in a particular village, in what appeared to be Spain. She gave the name of the village, the name of the street she lived in, her neighbours' names and details about her everyday life there. she also tearfully spoke of how she had been struck by a car and died of her injuries two days later.

When these details were checked, they were found to be accurate. There was a village in Spain with the name the child had given. There was a house of the type she had described in the street she had named. What is more, it was found that a 23 year old woman living in the house had been killed in a car accident five years before.

Now how is it possible for a five year old living in England who had never been to Spain to know all these details? And of course, this is not the only case of this type."


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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Mkoll » Fri Aug 15, 2014 2:29 am

Lazy_eye wrote:
Mkoll wrote:nless one is so confident they will realize arahantship in this very life, or at the very least stream-entry, then seeking a favorable rebirth is a prudent thing to do. That way one has the opportunity to cultivate the wholesome in the next life. Where does the Buddha say that one, especially a householder, shouldn't seek a favorable rebirth? In fact, I recall a sutta where he says to "not be afraid of making merit" or something to that effect.


I don't think I've suggested anywhere that one shouldn't seek a favorable rebirth. Where are you seeing this? I just raised a question about the relevance of rebirth-belief to nibbana.

You haven't suggested that and I never said you did.

Concerning the relevance of rebirth-belief to Nibbana, would getting any sort of answer change your present approach? As I asked in my previous post:

Mkoll wrote:Then what are you saying one should do? Given your analysis, what is your solution? If one took your analysis to heart, as I assume you do, what do you do differently?
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Sat Aug 16, 2014 1:21 pm

Interesting line of discussion! :coffee:

Since I was a very small child I can recall a longing for the wilderness and for the upper branches of the trees. I can remember as a child when climbing trees, which were plentiful around my home, that I experienced a feeling of being safe, comfortable, at peace, and contented. Of course feelings are not memories, and certainly not confirmation recall of past lives. I often wondered as humans are primates if there was such a thing as a genetic memory, which allowed us at least a rapport with our genetic progenitors.

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I do love bananas, fruit, and nuts. That's probably why I keep coming back to read this thread. :tongue:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Aloka » Sat Aug 16, 2014 2:42 pm

Ron-The-Elder wrote:
Since I was a very small child I can recall a longing for the wilderness and for the upper branches of the trees. I can remember as a child when climbing trees, which were plentiful around my home, that I experienced a feeling of being safe, comfortable, at peace, and contented. Of course feelings are not memories, and certainly not confirmation recall of past lives. I often wondered as humans are primates if there was such a thing as a genetic memory, which allowed us at least a rapport with our genetic progenitors.


That reminds me of an article I read on the BBC news website :

'Memories' pass between generations

Behaviour can be affected by events in previous generations which have been passed on through a form of genetic memory, animal studies suggest.

Experiments showed that a traumatic event could affect the DNA in sperm and alter the brains and behaviour of subsequent generations.

Continued: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25156510


:anjali:

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby chownah » Sun Aug 17, 2014 4:17 am

Aloka,
Thanks for the interesting article. When people ask what gets reborn I sometimes answer that it might be dna and the associated genetic machinery.....this article seems to be indicating that this might be worth considering.
chownah

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Lazy_eye » Sun Aug 17, 2014 2:21 pm

If trauma can be passed on via genetic memory, I wonder if the same might be true for loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, equanimity. Perhaps cultivating these qualities can also influence the brains and behavior of subsequent generations?

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Sun Aug 17, 2014 3:28 pm

chownah wrote:Aloka,
Thanks for the interesting article. When people ask what gets reborn I sometimes answer that it might be dna and the associated genetic machinery.....this article seems to be indicating that this might be worth considering.
chownah


See here for another perspective: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collective_unconscious
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby martinfrank » Sun Aug 17, 2014 8:05 pm

culaavuso wrote:
Lazy_eye wrote:I wonder if these translation choices have the unintended effect of instilling an eternalistic view of kamma and rebirth among readers.


This also possibly points to the ways that language itself tends to condition views. It is difficult in English to form sentences without any articles or possessive pronouns, but such a construction seems to be usual in Pāḷi. For comparison, Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi translates the same sentence as "Thus with their aspects and particulars I recollected my manifold past lives," while Ven. Sister Uppalavaṇṇā translated it as "Thus I recollect the manifold previous births".

The influence of these differences between English and Pāḷi with regard to linguistic relativity can be interesting.


Buddhism was prevalent in South-India from 4 BCE to 8 CE. People spoke Tamil. Since they were Buddhists, they felt slightly guilty when they said "I want", "I desire", "I like", "I have". Instead they said "[there is a] need", "it catches me", "it is with me" exchanging subject and object and putting the blame on the object. Not "I" am attached to an object. The object attaches to me. Even in today's Hindi such constructs from the Dravidian substratum like "caahie" (need) survive. If we translate from Indian languages we have to render impersonal constructions as impersonal constructions because these constructions were intentionally impersonal.

For educated speakers or listeners words evoked the words' ancestors back to the Vedas and other memorized texts. A modern translation of Pali texts which disregards this depth of meaning may give a rough idea of what Lord Buddha taught but not more. I was shocked to see dukkha translated as "stress".

When, bhikkhus, King Yama has questioned, interrogated, and cross-examined him about the third divine messenger, he falls silent. Then the wardens of hell torture him with the fivefold transfixing. They drive a red-hot iron stake through one hand and another red-hot iron stake through the other hand; they drive a red-hot iron stake through one foot and another red-hot iron stake through the other foot; they drive a red-hot iron stake through the middle of his chest. There he feels painful, racking, piercing feelings, yet he does not die so long as that bad kamma is not exhausted.

Stress?

Next the wardens of hell throw him down and pare him with axes. There he feels painful, racking, piercing feelings, yet he does not die so long as that bad kamma is not exhausted. Next the wardens of hell turn him upside down and pare him with adzes…. Next the wardens of hell harness him to a chariot and drive him back and forth across ground that is burning, blazing, and glowing…. Next the wardens of hell make him climb up and down a great mound of coals that are burning, blazing, and glowing…. Next the wardens of hell turn him upside down and plunge him into a red-hot copper cauldron that is burning, blazing, and glowing. He is cooked there in a swirl of foam. And as he is being cooked there in a swirl of foam, he is swept now up, now down, and now across. There he feels painful, racking, piercing feelings, yet he does not die so long as that bad kamma is not exhausted.

More stress?

Next the wardens of hell throw him into the great hell. Now, bhikkhus, as to that great hell:

“It has four corners and four doors
and is divided into separate compartments;
it is surrounded by iron ramparts
and shut in with an iron roof.

“Its floor as well is made of iron
and heated till it glows with fire.
The range is a full hundred yojanas
which it ever covers pervasively."

Would you call this "stress"?
The Noble Eightfold Path: Proposed to all, imposed on none.

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Aloka
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Aloka » Sun Aug 17, 2014 8:41 pm

martinfrank wrote:Stress?



Can you give references for your quotes, please Martin ?


:anjali:

culaavuso
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby culaavuso » Sun Aug 17, 2014 8:44 pm

Aloka wrote:Can you give references for your quotes, please Martin ?


They all appear to be taken from MN 130: Devadūta Sutta.


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