Rebirth: Where are all of the people coming from?

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Rebirth: Where are all of the people coming from?

Postby Jhana4 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:20 pm

The population of the world was 1.6 billion in 1900. By the end of this year, 2011, it will reach 7 billion.

How do those facts square with the concept of rebirth?

Where are those 5 + billion new people coming from?


In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Re: Rebirth: Where are all of the people coming from?

Postby plwk » Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:27 pm

China? :lol:
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it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.
What is it? It is recollecting the Enlightened One.
If this single thing is recollected and made much,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.

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Re: Rebirth: Where are all of the people coming from?

Postby Phra Chuntawongso » Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:30 pm

Possibly other realms.
With metta
And crawling on the planets face,some insects called the human race.
Lost in time
Lost in space
And meaning
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Re: Rebirth: Where are all of the people coming from?

Postby Wizard in the Forest » Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:38 pm

Hell, preta, deva, animals. No one necessarily said they had to come only from tiny planet earth either. Also there is no atman that transmigrates, so conditions have to be met for rebirth to happen.
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Re: Rebirth: Where are all of the people coming from?

Postby beeblebrox » Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:41 pm

Jhana4 wrote:The population of the world was 1.6 billion in 1900. By the end of this year, 2011, it will reach 7 billion.

How do those facts square with the concept of rebirth?

Where are those 5 + billion new people coming from?


I think it's exactly like a fire. If there's a firestorm, and we ask where does all the fire come from... what do you think the answer would be?

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Re: Rebirth: Where are all of the people coming from?

Postby Wizard in the Forest » Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:44 pm

:goodpost:

Actually that is a brilliant simile.
"One is not born a woman, but becomes one."- Simone de Beauvoir
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Re: Rebirth: Where are all of the people coming from?

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:44 pm

That is a common mistake some make who are new to the idea of rebirth; that they must come from other humans. In fact the Buddha said that human birth is very rare. There are gazillions of other realms, there are the 31 planes of existence and within them there are other realms. Even the hell realms have beings that get reborn.
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Re: Rebirth: Where are all of the people coming from?

Postby Jhana4 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:01 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:That is a common mistake some make who are new to the idea of rebirth; that they must come from other humans. In fact the Buddha said that human birth is very rare. There are gazillions of other realms, there are the 31 planes of existence and within them there are other realms. Even the hell realms have beings that get reborn.


David, this is the best answer in terms of the Pali Canon. Unfortunately, I think it is a step back for a secular acceptances of the concept. When rebirth or reincarnation come up in a conversation people inevitably point to the work of Dr. Ian Stevenson which is alleged to be a huge compilation of well documented cases where reincarntion or rebirth are the least fantastic explanations.

Asking secular people to allow for the possibility of other realms ups the level of "fantastic" in the "least fantasic explanation".

Before introducing that concept you had a situation where a toddler with no prior contact knows all sorts of intimate details about other people. Even if that is not accepted as evidence, it has some weight as it requires an explanation. I'm not a physicist, but there is a lot less to show, if anything that requires the the existence of other universes.

No disrespect.
Last edited by Jhana4 on Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Re: Rebirth: Where are all of the people coming from?

Postby Annapurna » Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:02 pm

Jhana4 wrote:The population of the world was 1.6 billion in 1900. By the end of this year, 2011, it will reach 7 billion.

How do those facts square with the concept of rebirth?

Where are those 5 + billion new people coming from?




Think of the animal kingdom, for instance insects. :smile:
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Re: Rebirth: Where are all of the people coming from?

Postby Annapurna » Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:09 pm

Jhana4 wrote:
David N. Snyder wrote:That is a common mistake some make who are new to the idea of rebirth; that they must come from other humans. In fact the Buddha said that human birth is very rare. There are gazillions of other realms, there are the 31 planes of existence and within them there are other realms. Even the hell realms have beings that get reborn.


David, this is the best answer in terms of the Pali Canon. Unfortunately, I think it is a step back for a secular acceptances of the concept. When rebirth or reincarnation come up in a conversation people inevitably point to the work of Dr. Ian Stevenson which is alleged to be a huge compilation of well documented cases where reincarntion or rebirth are the least fantastic explanations.

Asking secular people to allow for the possibility of other realms ups the level of "fantastic" in the "least fantasic explanation".

Before introducing that concept you had a situation where a toddler with no prior contact knows all sorts of intimate details about other people. Even if that is not accepted as evidence, it has some weight as it requires an explanation. I'm not a physicist, but there is a lot less to show, if anything that requires the the existence of other universes.

No disrespect.


Answers can and should be adapted to the audience.

Here, the audience is ready for the Pali canon. :anjali:
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Re: Rebirth: Where are all of the people coming from?

Postby Jhana4 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:17 pm

Annapurna wrote:Answers can and should be adapted to the audience.

Here, the audience is ready for the Pali canon. :anjali:


My opinion is that feeling less uncomfortable with a fantastic story by virtue of having been exposed to it more does not make it less fantastic, just more familiar. It is still about evidence.

No disrespect.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Re: Rebirth: Where are all of the people coming from?

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:27 pm

Actually I am skeptical of Ian Stevenson's accounts, not just on their own basis but also that the Canon shows that human birth is rare and this makes complete sense in terms of the number of other animals in the world, not proof, but just that the statistics confirm that if there is rebirth then human birth must be rare.
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Re: Rebirth: Where are all of the people coming from?

Postby Annapurna » Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:32 pm

Jhana4 wrote:
Annapurna wrote:Answers can and should be adapted to the audience.

Here, the audience is ready for the Pali canon. :anjali:


My opinion is that feeling less uncomfortable with a fantastic story by virtue of having been exposed to it more does not make it less fantastic, just more familiar. It is still about evidence.

No disrespect.


Sorry, I don't understand that. Could you reword that? Simple?
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Re: Rebirth: Where are all of the people coming from?

Postby Annapurna » Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:38 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:Actually I am skeptical of Ian Stevenson's accounts, not just on their own basis but also that the Canon shows that human birth is rare and this makes complete sense in terms of the number of other animals in the world, not proof, but just that the statistics confirm that if there is rebirth then human birth must be rare.


Actually, I think once beings made it into the human realm it is easier to be reborn there again, as for animals or ghosts to make it there...what do you think, or can't we know?
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Re: Rebirth: Where are all of the people coming from?

Postby Jhana4 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:39 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:Actually I am skeptical of Ian Stevenson's accounts, not just on their own basis but also that the Canon shows that human birth is rare and this makes complete sense in terms of the number of other animals in the world, not proof, but just that the statistics confirm that if there is rebirth then human birth must be rare.


That is an unexpected and interesting opinion David. At least to me. I have never reviewed Dr. Stevenson's work, I've only read a journalists account of it, but it seems a lot more down to Earth to me as a possible explanation than alternate universes.

I think the opinion that the new people are coming from the animal population is less fantastic. The animals are here and now.

I think that explanation might have the same problem as my original question, in other words, where are all the new animals coming from?

If we round up the human population of the year 1900 to 2 billion and round up 2011 to 7 billion that means 5 billion people would have to been born into being human by being an animal first. I do know that in the U.S. about 6 billion land animals are eaten per year. That seems to make up the gap until you consider that 6 billion new animals are bred every year for the next years meals.

If someone believes in a fixed number beings, with no new beings created, it puts them back in the same problem.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Re: Rebirth: Where are all of the people coming from?

Postby Jhana4 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:42 pm

Annapurna wrote:
David N. Snyder wrote:Actually I am skeptical of Ian Stevenson's accounts, not just on their own basis but also that the Canon shows that human birth is rare and this makes complete sense in terms of the number of other animals in the world, not proof, but just that the statistics confirm that if there is rebirth then human birth must be rare.


Actually, I think once beings made it into the human realm it is easier to be reborn there again, as for animals or ghosts to make it there...what do you think, or can't we know?


I think you are right. Last night while I was waiting for the meditation session to begin our monk was chatting with us. The topic of ghosts came up which prompted him to tell us the Buddhist view on non-human beings. According to our monk one of the reasons why human birth is special is because people can change their kamma by choosing to do good things. Once a person is deceased and is a ghost of sorts, they are stuck with the kamma they have.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Re: Rebirth: Where are all of the people coming from?

Postby Jhana4 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:45 pm

Annapurna wrote:
Jhana4 wrote:
Annapurna wrote:Answers can and should be adapted to the audience.

Here, the audience is ready for the Pali canon. :anjali:


My opinion is that feeling less uncomfortable with a fantastic story by virtue of having been exposed to it more does not make it less fantastic, just more familiar. It is still about evidence.

No disrespect.


Sorry, I don't understand that. Could you reword that? Simple?


Sorry :shrug:

I interpreted your point as being that Buddhists are more open to the possibility of alternate universes. I think your point is true. I don't think that being open to possible explanation makes it more true. I think Buddhists are more open to the existence of alternate universes because it is a common idea to them, not because they have more evidence than other people do.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Re: Rebirth: Where are all of the people coming from?

Postby Alex123 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:55 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:Actually I am skeptical of Ian Stevenson's accounts, not just on their own basis but also that the Canon shows that human birth is rare and this makes complete sense in terms of the number of other animals in the world, not proof, but just that the statistics confirm that if there is rebirth then human birth must be rare.


Well, maybe the rarity of human->human rebirth is one of the factors why there are so few accounts of remembering past life.

It maybe harder to remember, prove (and differentiate valid recollection vs fantasy) past life when one lived as an insect or some worm.


If one lived as a human before, it can be possible to materially check the account. If one was a deva, an animal, a hell being, or some other non-earth lifeform- then it would be impossible for us to check the description of that place/time. Hence such cases are not considered to be valid scientific enquiry.
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Re: Rebirth: Where are all of the people coming from?

Postby Jhana4 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 6:11 pm

I'm not saying I believe it, but I think that is a clever supposition.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Re: Rebirth: Where are all of the people coming from?

Postby Kenshou » Thu Mar 03, 2011 6:41 pm

I don't think we need to read too much into the word "realms" etc.

There's a huge universe out there, probably with life in many other forms. I think that, for all practical purposes, life as a blue slug on Europa and as a Klingon (or what have you) are effectively different "realms". No need to puff up the concept to "alternate universes" or anything like that.
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