Rebirth: Where are all of the people coming from?

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

Postby lojong1 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:04 pm

Sperm and stuff.
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Re: Rebirth: Where are all of the people coming from?

Postby daverupa » Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:14 pm

Before there were humans, where did the first evolving Homo erectus come from? Maybe Australopithecus stock, but that strategy runs out of primates. Therefore, humans must ultimately have come from (other) animals, or other realms... or, worrying about such metaphysics is completely beside the point of the Dhamma.

I'm not saying rebirth isn't in the Pali. I'm saying the Dhamma can be practiced and taught without referring to it at all, including the ethical components. It isn't in the Noble Eightfold Path, and with kamma = intention all we need know is that we have a sufficient level of autonomy for determining whether we practice the Dhamma or not. All this "spirit math" is simply beyond the pale, and all of it runs into idle speculation.

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

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:16 pm

Jhana4 wrote: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.

I don't see why Buddhists are necessarily less skeptical about random stuff that various people have dreamed up than other people. Just because the Pali Canon talks of rebirth, devas, and other realms doesn't mean that random ghost stories or whatever have anything to do with Buddha Dhamma.

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

Postby Jhana4 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:19 pm

daverupa wrote:Before there were humans, where did the first evolving Homo erectus come from? Maybe Australopithecus stock, but that strategy runs out of primates. Therefore, humans must ultimately have come from (other) animals, or other realms... or, worrying about such metaphysics is completely beside the point of the Dhamma.


That is just pushing the question back to where did all of the animals and other-realm people come from. Rebirth is central to the talking about the dhamma as the Pali Canon has stopping rebirth as a core goal of almost everything it advises people to 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 Jhana4 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:25 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
Jhana4 wrote: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.

I don't see why Buddhists are necessarily less skeptical about random stuff that various people have dreamed up than other people. Just because the Pali Canon talks of rebirth, devas, and other realms doesn't mean that random ghost stories or whatever have anything to do with Buddha Dhamma.


The random ghost stories are in the Pali Canon and that makes them relevant to discussions of the Dhamma.

The auspicious explanation for following a religion is that the religious texts know something you don't. Yet, if you don't know, who do you know which parts of a religious text are true and which are filler to be ignored? My personal opinion is that people don't. They decide what is true based on what is comfortable to them given their upbringing rather than deferring to the religious text. For converts, I think over time familiarity and a desire to feel more part of things motivates them to accept additional ideas apart from evidence.
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 daverupa » Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:35 pm

Jhana4 wrote: the Pali Canon has stopping rebirth as a core goal of almost everything it advises people to do.


Actually the goal is the cessation of suffering, not the cessation of rebirth, and this it has as it's sole goal, rather than being only almost everything to do with the Dhamma. "As before so too now, I teach only suffering and the cessation of suffering" paraphrases this idea. It bears emphasizing.
    "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]
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Re: Rebirth: Where are all of the people coming from?

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:44 pm

Jhana4 wrote:The random ghost stories are in the Pali Canon and that makes them relevant to discussions of the Dhamma.

Sorry, I should have been clearer. I wasn't talking about Suttas, I was taking about stories about Aunty Ethel coming for a visit.

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

Postby Jhana4 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:59 pm

LOL.
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 Viscid » Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:17 pm

daverupa wrote: "As before so too now, I teach only suffering and the cessation of suffering" paraphrases this idea.


I've been looking for the source to that-- I've seen it quoted everywhere. Know where it's from?
"What holds attention determines action." - William James
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Re: Rebirth: Where are all of the people coming from?

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:35 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
Jhana4 wrote:The random ghost stories are in the Pali Canon and that makes them relevant to discussions of the Dhamma.

Sorry, I should have been clearer. I wasn't talking about Suttas, I was taking about stories about Aunty Ethel coming for a visit.

Jhana4 wrote:LOL.

And, so, to continue, how should one make use of the accounts in the Suttas in order to reduce one's greed, hatred, and delusion? What purpose are they serving? That's the key question, not whether they have anything to do with Aunty Ethel.

That's why on another thread I recommended reading Bhikkhu Bodhi's collection "In the Buddha's Words".
From the PDF here http://www.wisdompubs.org/Pages/display ... n=&image=1 P24, BB comments:
Moreover, the process is not only beginningless but is also potentially
endless. As long as ignorance and craving remain intact, the
process will continue indefinitely into the future with no end in sight.
For the Buddha and Early Buddhism, this is above all the defining crisis
at the heart of the human condition: we are bound to a chain of
rebirths, and bound to it by nothing other than our own ignorance and
craving. The pointless wandering on in sa˙s›ra occurs against a cosmic
background of inconceivably vast dimensions.

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

Postby Kenshou » Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:40 pm

Viscid wrote:
daverupa wrote: "As before so too now, I teach only suffering and the cessation of suffering" paraphrases this idea.


I've been looking for the source to that-- I've seen it quoted everywhere. Know where it's from?

Maybe this?

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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Re: Rebirth: Where are all of the people coming from?

Postby Viscid » Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:47 pm

Also, are we asking where all the souls are coming from?

Are there separate souls or are we all of the same essence?
"What holds attention determines action." - William James
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Re: Rebirth: Where are all of the people coming from?

Postby Viscid » Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:48 pm



Maybe. That translation doesn't have the same poignancy to it, though.
"What holds attention determines action." - William James
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Re: Rebirth: Where are all of the people coming from?

Postby bodom » Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:49 pm

Viscid wrote:
daverupa wrote: "As before so too now, I teach only suffering and the cessation of suffering" paraphrases this idea.


I've been looking for the source to that-- I've seen it quoted everywhere. Know where it's from?


Its from the Alagaddupama Sutta...

"Both formerly and now, monks, I declare only stress and the cessation of stress.


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

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Rebirth: Where are all of the people coming from?

Postby Viscid » Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:13 pm

bodom wrote:
Its from the Alagaddupama Sutta...

:anjali:


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

Postby Alex123 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:31 pm

Jhana4 wrote:That is just pushing the question back to where did all of the animals and other-realm people come from.


From other realms. Gain in one realm may imply loss in another realm(s). We are aware only of two realms, human and animal realm. More humans may mean less beings in another realm.


Rebirth is central to the talking about the dhamma as the Pali Canon has stopping rebirth as a core goal of almost everything it advises people to do.


Right.
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
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Re: Rebirth: Where are all of the people coming from?

Postby nobody12345 » Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:28 am

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.

Well said.
Metta.
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Re: Rebirth: Where are all of the people coming from?

Postby fabianfred » Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:10 am

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.


Evidence....BS! Another one who is in love with the scientific Western view that karma/rebirth/realms etc. is unproven and there is no evidence for it.
Do the practice and you will get the evidence!
Wait for others to get the evidence which they cannot share with you and you will wait forever.
With a name like jahna4 you are on the wrong path anyway....try Vipassana.
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Re: Rebirth: Where are all of the people coming from?

Postby fabianfred » Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:14 am

At one time the Exalted One was staying at Vesali…Then the Exalted One, taking
up a little dust on the tip of his fingernail, addressed the bhikkhus, saying: ‘bhikkhus,
what do you think about this? Which is the greater, this little dust which I have taken up
on the tip of my fingernail, or this mighty earth?’
‘Why, Lord, this is the greater, this mighty earth: extremely small is this dust –it
cannot be reckoned, it cannot be compared with it. It does not come to the merest fraction
of a part of it when set beside the mighty earth.’
‘Just so, bhikkhus, few are those beings who are reborn among men: more
numerous are those beings who are reborn other than men; in the nether realms, in hells,
as creatures and animals and other woeful states.’
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Re: Rebirth: Where are all of the people coming from?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:22 am

Greetings,

Personally I find questions of this ilk rather futile.

If you knew the answer, what then? Would it actually make any difference to anything?

There's a difference between knowing for knowing's sake, or knowing Dhamma, which can be applied to alleviate suffering.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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