The Danger of Rebirth

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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby DarkDream » Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:54 pm

Dhammanando wrote:Hi DarkDream,

DarkDream wrote:Thanissaro Bhikku has written a lot on dependent orgination and in this audio teaching:
http://www.audiodharma.org/mp3files/2007-05-05_ThanissaroBhikkhu_DependentCo-arising-01of10-GuidedMeditation.m3u where he is critical of the three lives model because if you eliminate ignorance (first link in the chain) you will have to wait a couple of lives later to see the result of it.


I haven't time to listen to the talk, but if you are stating T's view accurately then it is utter nonsense. None of the schools which taught the 3-life interpretation held that the result of eliminating ignorance is only experienced after another couple of lives.


Venerable Dhammanado,

I appreciate your response. I apologize for I did provide the wrong audio link. The one I intended is this one: http://www.audiodharma.org/mp3files/2007-05-05_ThanissaroBhikkhu_DependentCo-arising-02of10-Intro-QandA.m3u

Around 7:13 in the audio Thanissaro Bhikkhu says the following (forgive me if I have transcribed it wrong):

If it happend [dependent origination] only over many life times, you wouldn't know if the path worked. Suppose you put an end to ignorance. Would it really work? You would have to wait three lifetimes to find out.


I hope I have given his position fairly. One may need to hear the audio more to gain the context of this quote correctly.

Bhikkhu Buddhadasa writes in this article http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books6/Bhikkhu_Buddhadasa_Paticcasamuppada.htm something along the same lines:

The eleven states are mutually dependent in a complete process of dependent arising. As stated in the Pali suttas, there is no gap between any of the states. Therefore, it is not necessary to classify the first two states as belonging to the past, the next ten states to the present, the remaining state to the future, and thereby explain a process of dependent arising as encompassing three lifetimes. If it is explained as encompassing three lifetimes, how can one take advantage of dependent arising and cultivate to end suffering, when the “cause” is in the present life and the “fruit” is in another?


I am curious what is you response to these quotes. Would you consider them "utter nonsense"?

-DarkDream
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby kc2dpt » Sun Feb 22, 2009 11:21 pm

Yes, those are both utter nonsense. They show a startling lack of understanding of the three-life model.
Why this is so has already been explained in some depth in this thread.
- Peter

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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby clw_uk » Mon Feb 23, 2009 1:03 am

There are varied responses and opinions darkdream

I for one take Buddhadasa argument as making complete sense and i do reject the three lives model, i see the three lives model as a slight (unintended) corruption of the buddhas original intent and meaning of Dependent Origination


However there are some who take it the opposite way, it all comes down to what works best for each individual, some will accept it only as moments, others only as three lives and some who take it as both


:anjali:
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Feb 23, 2009 1:19 am

Hi DarkDream,

You left out the bit before and after the bit that you quote where Ajahn Thanissaro says that an instantaneous model is untenable:
"If it were only instantaneous then we couldn't talk about factors operating over time".
(I'm not going to transcribe the whole thing...)

Basically he's saying that you need both the short-term and long-term causality for the model to be useful. I think he's deliberately exaggerating the long-term into three lifetimes for effect (eliminate ignorance in this lifetime, so no craving, etc, in the next, so no third life), but of course he's actually arguing that with enough diligence ignorance, craving, etc, can be stopped in one life so there won't be a next life.

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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Dhammanando » Mon Feb 23, 2009 1:44 am

Hi Dark Dream,

Thanissaro: If it happend [dependent origination] only over many life times, you wouldn't know if the path worked. Suppose you put an end to ignorance. Would it really work? You would have to wait three lifetimes to find out.


This is risible.

With emergence from the ariyan fruition and the arising of knowledge of reflection (paccavekkhaṇa-ñāṇa), one knows in an instant that it "really works", i.e., that one has arrived by means of such and such path, such and such fetters have been abandoned, such and such fetters remain to be abandoned (or, in the case of the arahatta fruition, that no fetters remain to be abandoned).

Buddhadasa: The eleven states are mutually dependent in a complete process of dependent arising. As stated in the Pali suttas, there is no gap between any of the states.


The suttas state neither that there is a gap nor that there isn't one. The Paṭiccasamuppāda-vibhaṅga Sutta states:

    "With birth as condition there is aging-&-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair."

    [...]

    "And what is birth? Whatever birth, taking birth, descent, coming-to-be, coming-forth, appearance of aggregates, & acquisition of [sense] media of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called birth."


This happened to me in 1965.

    "Now what is aging and death? Whatever aging, decrepitude, brokenness, greying, wrinkling, decline of life-force, weakening of the faculties of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called aging."


With me the wrinkling began on my forehead in 1984 and the first grey hairs appeared in 1996.

    "Whatever deceasing, passing away, breaking up, disappearance, dying, death, completion of time, break up of the aggregates, casting off of the body, interruption in the life faculty of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called death."

This I expect to happen to me some time in the future.

So, I hardly need a sutta to tell me that there is a temporal gap between birth and aging-&-death.

I am curious what is you response to these quotes. Would you consider them "utter nonsense"?


It would seem so. Buddhadāsa's critique of the three-life interpretation seems to have been formulated in disregard of (or ignorance of) discourses like the Paṭiccasamuppāda-vibhaṅga Sutta, the Paccaya Sutta, the Ñāṇavatthu Sutta, etc., in which the Buddha clearly defines the factors of dependent arising. And so disregarding the Buddha's definitions he then substitutes his own.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby clw_uk » Mon Feb 23, 2009 1:48 am

Bhante Dhammanando

I dont think Buddhadasa ignores them just gives them different meaning in his understandings of wordly language and Dhamma language



:anjali:
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Dhammanando » Mon Feb 23, 2009 2:52 am

Hi Craig,

clw_uk wrote:I dont think Buddhadasa ignores them just gives them different meaning in his understandings of wordly language and Dhamma language


So where does he discuss greying and wrinkling?

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Feb 23, 2009 2:56 am

Craig:
I dont think Buddhadasa ignores them just gives them different meaning in his understandings of wordly language and Dhamma language


It seems that Buddhadasa's "Dhamma Language" serves as self-serving way of redefining things to fit how he thinks should be. You really have not addressed Ven Dhammanando's point.
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.

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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby robertk » Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:19 am

Maybe the discussions about the accuracy or otherwise of Buddadasa's views could be carried out on this thread
viewtopic.php?f=19&t=311
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:30 am

robertk wrote:Maybe the discussions about the accuracy or otherwise of Buddasdasa's views could be carried out on this thread
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=311



I think so,
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.

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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby chophel » Wed Sep 09, 2009 5:49 am

clw_uk said (regarding rebirth) "The problem is most buddhists take it as absolute"

How do you know that? Do you know "most buddhists" ?

with metta, Chophel
"Over there are the roots of trees; over there, empty dwellings. Practice jhana, Ananda. Don't be heedless. Don't later fall into regret. This is our message to you all." - the Indriya-bhavana Sutta
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby clw_uk » Wed Sep 09, 2009 7:55 pm

chophel wrote:clw_uk said (regarding rebirth) "The problem is most buddhists take it as absolute"

How do you know that? Do you know "most buddhists" ?

with metta, Chophel




Can you quote what i said, i cant find the post and i cant remember in what context i said it


metta
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby chophel » Thu Sep 10, 2009 4:43 am

It was on page 6 of this topic, although you said at least a few times before that,the one I found was at Thu Feb 12, 2009 7:45 pm

with metta Chophel
"Over there are the roots of trees; over there, empty dwellings. Practice jhana, Ananda. Don't be heedless. Don't later fall into regret. This is our message to you all." - the Indriya-bhavana Sutta
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Freawaru » Sun Feb 14, 2010 8:09 pm

Hi tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:
[b]"'From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-and-form.' Thus it has been said. And this is the way to understand how from consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-and-form. If consciousness were not to descend into the mother's womb, would name-and-form take shape in the womb?"
DN II 62-3.



I do not understand this - even when I take it literally. What does "descend into a mother's womb" mean in this context? I mean, what does "descend" mean? Is "consciousness" an avatar (descending one)? And descending from where? Descending means a downward movement. Or is this just a mistranslation that confuses me?
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun Feb 14, 2010 8:40 pm

Freawaru wrote:I do not understand this - even when I take it literally. What does "descend into a mother's womb" mean in this context? I mean, what does "descend" mean? Is "consciousness" an avatar (descending one)? And descending from where? Descending means a downward movement. Or is this just a mistranslation that confuses me?

it is a mistranslation, in my opinion.
This is what the PTS dictionary says for okkamissatha:
At D ii 63 occurs the question ʻ if consciousness were not to develop in the womb? ʼ (viññāṇaŋ na okkamissatha)

It is an important point I think. We can distinguish two types of truth, conventional and ultimate. In common parlance one talks about “going up to heaven,” or “falling into hell,” but what is there that rises or falls? Consciousness ceases here, and rebirth consciousness arises elsewhere dependent on the decease consciousness.

The language of ultimate truth talks of conditional arising: decease consciousness is the cause for the arising of rebirth consciousness. No consciousness travels anywhere — that is the wrong view held by Bhikkhu Sati, that the same consciousness or soul abides forever, and transmigrates from one body to another. Theravāda Buddhism teaches the doctrine of rebirth (not reincarnation), that is a process of cause and effect, which is a continuous process, not a continuous self or soul.
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Aloka » Sun Feb 14, 2010 8:52 pm

Freawaru wrote:
I do not understand this - even when I take it literally. What does "descend into a mother's womb" mean in this context? I mean, what does "descend" mean? Is "consciousness" an avatar (descending one)? And descending from where? Descending means a downward movement. Or is this just a mistranslation that confuses me?




Could it mean a fertilised egg in the way that it might have been thought to enter the womb in that period of history ?


.
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Freawaru » Mon Feb 15, 2010 7:54 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:it is a mistranslation, in my opinion.
This is what the PTS dictionary says for okkamissatha:
At D ii 63 occurs the question ʻ if consciousness were not to develop in the womb? ʼ (viññāṇaŋ na okkamissatha)



Thank you, Bhante, for the clarification. :D

It is an important point I think. We can distinguish two types of truth, conventional and ultimate. In common parlance one talks about “going up to heaven,” or “falling into hell,” but what is there that rises or falls?


A process that is able to cling to a being, I think. A process with the ability to experience a being as "this is me, I am this". A being being defined as a process that can be clung to. Do you think that with vipassana one can feel a painfull feeling but feels it as if detached, remote & alien?

Consciousness ceases here, and rebirth consciousness arises elsewhere dependent on the decease consciousness.


Yes. But there needs to be a process that links the two. What is this process called?

The language of ultimate truth talks of conditional arising: decease consciousness is the cause for the arising of rebirth consciousness. No consciousness travels anywhere — that is the wrong view held by Bhikkhu Sati, that the same consciousness or soul abides forever, and transmigrates from one body to another.


As one can become many and then one again I suppose Bhikkhu Sati's idea couldn't work even without vipassana entering the equation. I mean, soul-splitting?

Theravāda Buddhism teaches the doctrine of rebirth (not reincarnation), that is a process of cause and effect, which is a continuous process, not a continuous self or soul.


You know, I am not able to see the theoretical difference. After all, what we call an electron can be described as a continuous particle or a continuous process, both. Continuous as long as we think of space-time as a continuum of course....

In Mahayana there is a concept called "emanations" - does this or something similar exist in Theravada, too?
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Freawaru » Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:12 am

Aloka wrote:
Freawaru wrote:
I do not understand this - even when I take it literally. What does "descend into a mother's womb" mean in this context? I mean, what does "descend" mean? Is "consciousness" an avatar (descending one)? And descending from where? Descending means a downward movement. Or is this just a mistranslation that confuses me?




Could it mean a fertilised egg in the way that it might have been thought to enter the womb in that period of history ?


.


I don't know what people of that time thought. But I doubt it was very scientific. How could they have scientific knowledge regarding the human body - it was religiously forbidden to dissect a human corpse (well, the Egyptians did but they also thought that the brain was only there to cool the body and not really important).

I wonder, does this "descend into a mother's womb" only refer to humans? Hungry ghosts might have a different birth-process considering that they have no physical body or DNA.

In the suttas there are other options regarding "mother" and "womb".

METAPHORICAL-1:
Having killed the mother=craving, the father=conceit, and
the two kings=Eternity-belief and Annihilation-belief,
and having destroyed the kingdom=sense sources & objects,
together with its following associate=clinging & attachment,
the Best One=Arahat is released from all Pain=Dukkha.
Dhammapada Illustration 294 Background Story 294+295

METAPHORICAL-2
Having killed mother, father, the two brahmin kings and having
destroyed the hindrances of which the fifth is doubt is like
a dangerous journey, the Best One is freed from all Pain.
http://what-buddha-said.net/Canon/Sutta ... htm#hapter XXIII The Elephant - Nagga


The "mother's womb" could also refer to craving (tanha), the moment one does not stay remote and detached when feeling (vedana) appear, but allows craving, allows the birth process to proceed, it is (almost) too late. Craving leads to clinging, becoming, birth. I think in this context to call "craving" a "mother's womb" isn't too far fetched.
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:45 am

Freawaru wrote:Do you think that with vipassana one can feel a painfull feeling but feels it as if detached, remote & alien?

At the stage of nāmarūpapariccheda-ñāṇa, mind and matter are distinguished. The painful feeling can be known as simply hardness, burning, or vibrating. There is less identification with the pain as "mine" and the knowing mind becomes somewhat detached from the known object.
Consciousness ceases here, and rebirth consciousness arises elsewhere dependent on the decease consciousness.

Freawaru wrote:Yes. But there needs to be a process that links the two. What is this process called?

It is called dependent origination. Cause and effect.
For example, due to a process called combustion when oxygen combines with paraffin vapour in a candle, we see a flame. This heat can be a condition for the arising of a new flame in a piece of paper or wood held above the flame. The candle flame does not transmigrate to the paper, but a new flame arises dependent on the heat of the old flame.
You know, I am not able to see the theoretical difference.

Reincarnation implies the transfer of a soul into a new body. Rebirth is therefore a better term to use. The reality is as it is, whether one talks of rebirth or reincarnation, one still inherits the results of one's own actions, not those of someone else. Even the Noble Ones who are free from self-view, still inherit the results of their former kamma.
Freawaru wrote:In Mahayana there is a concept called "emanations" - does this or something similar exist in Theravada, too?

Not quite. The Buddha was able to create mind-made bodies, or replicas of himself for teaching purposes. In the Purabheda Sutta, seeing no one in the audience capable of asking the right questions, he created a nimitta Buddha to ask the questions, and he answered the questions himself.
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Freawaru » Mon Feb 15, 2010 10:46 am

Hello Bhante,

thank you for your answers. :D

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
Freawaru wrote:Do you think that with vipassana one can feel a painfull feeling but feels it as if detached, remote & alien?

At the stage of nāmarūpapariccheda-ñāṇa, mind and matter are distinguished. The painful feeling can be known as simply hardness, burning, or vibrating. There is less identification with the pain as "mine" and the knowing mind becomes somewhat detached from the known object.


But does this not already happen when sampajanna is present? Phenomena appear as detached and as processes but not yet as remote and alien? I am trying to understand the difference between sampajanna and vipassana.

Consciousness ceases here, and rebirth consciousness arises elsewhere dependent on the decease consciousness.

Freawaru wrote:Yes. But there needs to be a process that links the two. What is this process called?

It is called dependent origination. Cause and effect.


Yes, but is this process a specific link of DO, such as Ignorance and/or mental concocting (sankhara) or is it the full DO including birth (sati)? Using your analoy of fire spreading to a new location, does it require a burnable medium or is the transfered heat itself enough?


For example, due to a process called combustion when oxygen combines with paraffin vapour in a candle, we see a flame. This heat can be a condition for the arising of a new flame in a piece of paper or wood held above the flame. The candle flame does not transmigrate to the paper, but a new flame arises dependent on the heat of the old flame.


I understand what you say. Fire is a process. But everything is like that. The atoms in our body have been in a sun once, some even in a supernova. And the atoms themselves consist of quantum particles, and they are no eternal things moving through space-time but complicated processes described as waves or fields. What we see as a flame is no thing, either, but a process, too. The whole universal structure and laws don't allow for eternal things but only for processes. I do not understand the concept of an eternal, unchanging soul.

You know, I am not able to see the theoretical difference.

Reincarnation implies the transfer of a soul into a new body.


I fear I am simply not Hindu enough to get the point even when I try hard :coffee:

Rebirth is therefore a better term to use. The reality is as it is, whether one talks of rebirth or reincarnation, one still inherits the results of one's own actions, not those of someone else. Even the Noble Ones who are free from self-view, still inherit the results of their former kamma.


Yes, but apparently in this remote and alien way.
http://what-buddha-said.net/drops/II/Bo ... eeling.htm

Freawaru wrote:In Mahayana there is a concept called "emanations" - does this or something similar exist in Theravada, too?

Not quite. The Buddha was able to create mind-made bodies, or replicas of himself for teaching purposes. In the Purabheda Sutta, seeing no one in the audience capable of asking the right questions, he created a nimitta Buddha to ask the questions, and he answered the questions himself.



Oh, I like that! :rofl:
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