the great rebirth debate

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby daverupa » Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:51 pm

kirk5a wrote:what?


"So have you known the following for yourself, such that you are in a position to say that Ven. Thanissaro's interpretation is entirely right?"

kirk5a wrote:But can you explain it?


Explain what?
    "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: the great rebirth debate

Postby nowheat » Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:54 pm

Buckwheat wrote:
Ajahn Thanissaro wrote:In line with his discussion of rebirth, the Buddha never offered a metaphysical explanation of what this consciousness is or how it might be. After all, it would be a mistake to justify the reality of the unconditioned with reference to the conditioned, as it's not dependent on any thing or any "how" in any way.


The above is an example of a confusion of views. This the reason for the confusion: Dependent Arising (paticca samuppada) describes a particular set of conditions in which a particular set of things happen which result in dukkha. When the Buddha makes reference to that which is conditioned, it is that particular set, described by DA, that he is talking about.

That there is a particular set of conditions and outcomes detailed by the Buddha and talked about extensively does not mean that nothing else in the universe is conditioned. (If your interpretation of DA is that it describes the objective world as well as the subjective world, my argument here is of no use to you -- but if you understand DA as being about how we experience and interpret the world and what we do with that experience that results in dukkha, then this argument holds.) Just because we get rid of conditioned consciousness -- speaking strictly within what the Buddha is talking about in his dhamma -- does not mean consciousness (that is not conditioned by the circumstances in DA) disappears, and in real world terms, it does not mean that whatever remains when the dukkha-producing mechanisms vanish is (in our modern terms) unconditioned. I can say that, "The consciousness that remains after conditioned consciousness is gone is also conditioned" but only if I recognize that the middle phrase "conditioned consciousness" is defined as "what the Buddha was describing in DA" and the one that frames both ends of the sentence as "in real terms, outside of the Buddha's definitions".

Conditions still support the body, support mental processes, data still comes in and what we do with that with our mind is still the result of conditions -- it is just not the result of the conditions of DA.

In trying to understand what the Buddha is saying it is just really important to recognize that he seems to make huge, sweeping, cosmic statements, but in every one of them he is actually referring to a sharply delineated set of definitions with reference to Dependent Origination. (DO, DA, do, da, doo-dah, doo-dah). When he talks about the Unborn, Unconditioned, Unaging, Deathless... he is making a specific reference to the mechanism he's describing with paticca samuppada -- it's what's born there, its aging, conditionality, and death(s) that is the issue. When he talks about the opposites, he is just saying that "that which arises" dependently is no longer there to be born, age, and die due to conditions.

:namaste:

Edit added a bit later: This post was actually intended to answer the point below:

Buckwheat wrote:Also in "Truth of Rebirth" is a chapter showing that the Buddha never limited experience to the six sense spheres. What was limited to those spheres is objective descriptions. There is a passage that clearly states there is consciousness without surface (does not rely on the six sense spheres) and I have still yet to see anybody offer an alternative explaination for that passage. Most arguments against rebirth do indeed amount to materialism or annihilationism - a form of wrong view that I subscribe to as well.
Last edited by nowheat on Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby kirk5a » Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:01 pm

daverupa wrote:"So have you known the following for yourself, such that you are in a position to say that Ven. Thanissaro's interpretation is entirely right?"

No. So I don't suppose I am in a position to say he is definitely correct. But I'm not the one saying Ven. Thanissaro is "refuted" - that would be you. So I'm asking you a direct question as to whether you have any basis for that "refutation" other than the understanding derived from reading and thinking.
Explain what?

Where water, earth, fire, & wind have no footing:
There the stars do not shine,
the sun is not visible,
the moon does not appear,
darkness is not found.
And when a sage,
a brahman through sagacity,
has known [this] for himself,
then from form & formless,
from bliss & pain,
he is freed.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby kirk5a » Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:11 pm

nowheat wrote: When he talks about the Unborn, Unconditioned, Unaging, Deathless... he is making a specific reference to the mechanism he's describing with paticca samuppada -- it's what's born there, its aging, conditionality, and death(s) that is the issue. When he talks about the opposites, he is just saying that "that which arises" dependently is no longer there to be born, age, and die due to conditions.

Are you another guy who literally does not know what he is talking about?

Whatever I'd say on the matter would have to be taken with a grain of salt, but then, I'm not taking a stance on my current level of understanding, which I am entirely open to further development, or even being entirely overturned.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby nowheat » Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:16 pm

Buckwheat wrote:
Ajahn Thanissaro wrote:So it is with all of our actions. Given that we have to wager one way or another all the time on how to find happiness, the Buddha stated that it's a safer wager to assume that actions bear results that can affect not only this lifetime but also lifetimes after this than it is to assume the opposite.


Which is exactly what I do, though I am neither a believer in rebirth, nor a disbeliever. I am honest enough to admit that I don't know if there is or isn't rebirth, and that until there is convincing evidence to make one or the other obvious (and not just to me or a few) it is not worth debating and arguing about. (What the Buddha actually taught about rebirth, on the other hand, is worth debate time -- but that's not the same as debating whether there is or is not rebirth.)

I will go beyond "I don't know and it's not worth debating" and say that it makes *no difference* if there is or is not rebirth; my actions would be the same either way, because I have come to realize what the process is that causes my suffering, have come to see that it is the same process that affects others, and I feel compassion for every one of us who keeps on doing our best without enough information to understand why things go wrong. This results in me caring about everyone in the world, now, and in the future. I assume that my actions bear results that can affect not only this lifetime but also lifetimes after this. I care on a far larger scale than the scale Thanissaro Bhikkhu endorses caring about: not my life in the future, but everyone's.

Saying "I don't know" is not the opposite of assuming "that actions bear results in future lifetimes".

I cannot understand how anyone who has gotten far in this practice can not recognize how trivial it is to care about my future rebirths more than my effect on everyone else now and in the future. It just boggles my mind.

:namaste:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby nowheat » Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:23 pm

kirk5a wrote:Are you another guy who literally does not know what he is talking about?

Whatever I'd say on the matter would have to be taken with a grain of salt, but then, I'm not taking a stance on my current level of understanding, which I am entirely open to further development, or even being entirely overturned.


To answer your question, no. I'm someone who literally understands the dhamma differently than many folks do, after a lot of study and practice. Why do you ask?

And as to your statement about yourself, that's a great place to be; I hope you stay that open-minded. The folks on this forum are some of the most open-minded, well-educated, thoughtful people I've encountered through Buddhism, and I am pretty sure they understand that every poster on here should be taken with a grain of salt, myself included.

But perhaps you were protesting the confidence I have in what I'm saying?

:namaste:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:28 pm

Greetings Nowheat,

For what it's worth, I found what you said to be totally in accord with the Dhamma of the Buddha.

:buddha1:

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby kirk5a » Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:10 pm

nowheat wrote:To answer your question, no. I'm someone who literally understands the dhamma differently than many folks do, after a lot of study and practice. Why do you ask?

I am curious to know whether a poster who proclaims views about "the Deathless" actually knows and sees the Deathless for him/herself or whether it's rooted in mere reading, thinking, and reasoning.
And as to your statement about yourself, that's a great place to be; I hope you stay that open-minded. The folks on this forum are some of the most open-minded, well-educated, thoughtful people I've encountered through Buddhism, and I am pretty sure they understand that every poster on here should be taken with a grain of salt, myself included.

But perhaps you were protesting the confidence I have in what I'm saying?

I am questioning where your confidence comes from. If it comes from actual experience, then perhaps you are able to explain the following. If you can't, why can't you?

Where water, earth, fire, & wind have no footing:
There the stars do not shine,
the sun is not visible,
the moon does not appear,
darkness is not found.
And when a sage,
a brahman through sagacity,
has known [this] for himself,
then from form & formless,
from bliss & pain,
he is freed.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby daverupa » Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:33 pm

kirk5a wrote:I am curious to know whether a poster who proclaims views about "the Deathless" actually knows and sees the Deathless for him/herself or whether it's rooted in mere reading, thinking, and reasoning.


My understandings are (as with us all?) a constellation resulting from study and practice.

:shrug:
    "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: the great rebirth debate

Postby nowheat » Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:06 am

kirk5a wrote:I am curious to know whether a poster who proclaims views about "the Deathless" actually knows and sees the Deathless for him/herself or whether it's rooted in mere reading, thinking, and reasoning.

Knows and sees, and that this is what is experienced is backed up by "mere reading thinking, and reasoning."

But do keep in mind that my understanding of what it is (and what dependent arising is) is somewhat different than the conventional, so I am not talking about having achieved some great mystical state or Release From Death.

I am questioning where your confidence comes from. If it comes from actual experience, then perhaps you are able to explain the following. If you can't, why can't you?

Where water, earth, fire, & wind have no footing:
There the stars do not shine,
the sun is not visible,
the moon does not appear,
darkness is not found.
And when a sage,
a brahman through sagacity,
has known [this] for himself,
then from form & formless,
from bliss & pain,
he is freed.


Poetry is not my great strength, and I do not have an answer to every passage or reference in the Pali cannon -- it is big, and so much of it refers to things outside the canon, that it takes a lot to find the outside references that unlock the remaining mysteries in it. But that said...

Yes, I get that. The "elements" are categories of rupa (form) and those categories gain a footing in namarupa and consciousness. Things don't do what we think they normally do (sun doesn't shine etc) because we have let go of definitions (which is the nama in rupa); further, this part is an oblique nod toward some phrasing found in the Upanishads, a play on what they say, here tweaking believers by using their language to say something different.

The last part is easy because form and formless are beliefs about the self after death, and one who has seen and understood dependent origination will no longer be holding onto views about form and formless states after death -- or about any states after death if we've not experienced them (at which point they are not, of course, "views" they are knowledge) -- and when one is no longer holding to those speculative views, one will no longer experience the "bliss" they are supposed to bring, nor will one experience the dukkha that the Buddha says, in dependent arising, we experience instead of bliss.

Does that make sense? The thing is that my understanding of the *wording* of the Pali canon comes in large part through study of the other schools of thought and what they said, and how they expressed things. It has made why the Buddha says things the way he says things much clearer to me, and every insight this process gives, I look for in practice. I am very impressed with the way the whole thing now hangs together -- by which I mean that the more I study, the more awed I am by the Buddha, his ability to see clearly, and to offer a teaching that reaches so many people with so many different beliefs and abilities, and remain that consistent. Though it seems at first glance to be quite contradictory in places, most of the points of confusion I've had have fit perfectly into the internal consistency of the whole, once I understood the references. I still have plenty of mysteries to work on -- I'll never be bored till the day I die -- but will gladly admit them to you when they come up. Then you'll hear me sounding less confident.

:namaste:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby rowboat » Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:16 am

From Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi's notes that follow the Brahma-nimantanika Sutta: The Brahma Invitation; MN 49
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Consciousness without surface (viññanam anidassanam): This term appears to be related to the following image from SN 12.64:
"Just as if there were a roofed house or a roofed hall having windows on the north, the south, or the east. When the sun rises, and a ray has entered by way of the window, where does it land?"

"On the western wall, lord."

"And if there is no western wall, where does it land?"

"On the ground, lord."

"And if there is no ground, where does it land?"

"On the water, lord."

"And if there is no water, where does it land?"

"It does not land, lord."

"In the same way, where there is no passion for the nutriment of physical food ... contact ... intellectual intention ... consciousness, where there is no delight, no craving, then consciousness does not land there or grow. Where consciousness does not land or grow, name-&-form does not alight. Where name-&-form does not alight, there is no growth of fabrications. Where there is no growth of fabrications, there is no production of renewed becoming in the future. Where there is no production of renewed becoming in the future, there is no future birth, aging, & death. That, I tell you, has no sorrow, affliction, or despair."

In other words, normal sensory consciousness is experienced because it has a "surface" against which it lands: the sense organs and their objects, which constitute the "all." For instance, we experience visual consciousness because of the eye and forms of which we are conscious. Consciousness without surface, however, is directly known, without intermediary, free from any dependence on conditions at all.

This consciousness thus differs from the consciousness factor in dependent co-arising, which is defined in terms of the six sense media. Lying outside of time and space, it would also not come under the consciousness-aggregate, which covers all consciousness near and far; past, present, and future. And, as SN 35.23 notes, the word "all" in the Buddha's teaching covers only the six sense media, which is another reason for not including this consciousness under the aggregates. However, the fact that it is outside of time and space — in a dimension where there is no here, there, or in between (Ud I.10), no coming, no going, or staying (Ud VIII.1) — means that it cannot be described as permanent or omnipresent, terms that have meaning only within space and time.

Some have objected to the equation of this consciousness with nibbana, on the grounds that nibbana is no where else in the Canon described as a form of consciousness. Thus they have proposed that consciousness without surface be regarded as an arahant's consciousness of nibbana in meditative experience, and not nibbana itself. This argument, however, contains two flaws: (1) The term viññanam anidassanam also occurs in DN 11, where it is described as where name & form are brought to an end: surely a synonym for nibbana. (2) If nibbana is an object of mental consciousness (as a dhamma), it would come under the all, as an object of the intellect. There are passages in the Canon (such as AN 9.36) that describe meditators experiencing nibbana as a dhamma, but these passages seem to indicate that this description applies up through the level of non-returning. Other passages, however, describe nibbana as the ending of all dhammas. For instance, Sn V.6 quotes the Buddha as calling the attainment of the goal the transcending of all dhammas. Sn IV.6 and Sn IV.10 state that the arahant has transcended dispassion, said to be the highest dhamma. Thus, for the arahant, nibbana is not an object of consciousness. Instead it is directly known without mediation. Because consciousness without feature is directly known without mediation, there seems good reason to equate the two.
Rain soddens what is covered up,
It does not sodden what is open.
Therefore uncover what is covered
That the rain will not sodden it.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby kirk5a » Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:28 am

nowheat wrote: I am not talking about having achieved some ... Release From Death.

Well then you can't say you know what the Buddha meant by "Released" then, can you.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:50 am

nowheat wrote:
kirk5a wrote:I am curious to know whether a poster who proclaims views about "the Deathless" actually knows and sees the Deathless for him/herself or whether it's rooted in mere reading, thinking, and reasoning.


Knows and sees, and that this is what is experienced is backed up by "mere reading thinking, and reasoning."


Could you say a little about your experience of seeing the Deathless?
Thanks.

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:53 am

nowheat wrote:I am saying The Deathless isn't a great mystical state or Release From (literal) Death. I am saying it is a state of being liberated from the specific circumstances of DA, and that it is release from the Death he defined there, which is, really, just dukkha.


But in DO "death" is defined in straightforward physical terms - so I'm not sure I follow your reasoning here.

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:01 am

nowheat wrote:When he talks about the Unborn, Unconditioned, Unaging, Deathless... he is making a specific reference to the mechanism he's describing with paticca samuppada -- it's what's born there, its aging, conditionality, and death(s) that is the issue. When he talks about the opposites, he is just saying that "that which arises" dependently is no longer there to be born, age, and die due to conditions.


Again, I'm not sure I follow your reasoning. Based on how the nidanas are actually described in the suttas, DO describes how physical birth, aging and death arise in dependence on becoming ( bhava ) in the 3 realms - so is it not logical to assume that "unborn" and "deathless" are simply referring to the cessation of becoming, and therefore to the cessation of physical birth, aging and death?

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby nowheat » Fri Mar 16, 2012 6:51 pm

Spiny O'Norman wrote:
nowheat wrote:
kirk5a wrote:I am curious to know whether a poster who proclaims views about "the Deathless" actually knows and sees the Deathless for him/herself or whether it's rooted in mere reading, thinking, and reasoning.


Knows and sees, and that this is what is experienced is backed up by "mere reading thinking, and reasoning."


Could you say a little about your experience of seeing the Deathless?


Spiny O'Norman wrote:
nowheat wrote:I am saying The Deathless isn't a great mystical state or Release From (literal) Death. I am saying it is a state of being liberated from the specific circumstances of DA, and that it is release from the Death he defined there, which is, really, just dukkha.


But in DO "death" is defined in straightforward physical terms - so I'm not sure I follow your reasoning here.


Are you talking about, for example:

"And what is ... death? ... 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."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.009.than.html


Sure does sound pretty straightforward, I admit, but that's because it is layered with meaning, and we need to locate all of them to get to the overall meaning. That quote is actually part of "aging and death" as Sariputta gives it as the final link in dependent origination, and these are the ways we can look at it, along with the "birth" that precedes it:

(1) If there were no birth, no aging, no death at all in the world, anywhere, of any being, there could be no dukkha. We have to exist (be born) and encounter events that trouble us (like the aging and death of those we love, and of ourselves) for there to be any discomfort. The literal understanding of these is the "ground" or the "field" that is required for dukkha to grow. Other things grow in the same field (not just dukkha), but no field, no growth. This is why the description of death sounds so literal: in each and every step Sariputta is describing not what is happening in that step, but the ground for it to happen. I think of this as him telling us where to look to see the thing he is describing growing.

(2) The experiences we have in relation to birth, aging, sickness, death are nutriment for dukkha. They aren't dukkha itself, but they are the seeds in the field. If we were simply born, but there was no aging or death, of ourselves or our loved-ones -- if things weren't impermanent -- we wouldn't experience the dukkha that comes from loss. Dukkha isn't the loss itself, but it's what we do with that loss, out of our constructed sense of self. We have to water the seeds in the field for dukkha to grow.

(3) In the overall scheme of dependent arising, the Buddha is simultaneously describing what people think is going on (the way atta arises, and eventually goes to bliss) and what is actually going on (the way anatta arises, and eventually goes in the opposite of the direction folks think all their efforts should take them in: to dukkha instead of bliss). Bhava is the transition point in the normal Vedic way of seeing things, where one goes through the funeral pyre and becomes whatever they will be in one of the three realms they have been aiming all their lives towards. Their expectation would be something like "bhava to bliss" but the Buddha is saying, "Bhava, sure, but not to bliss, just to the experience of life that we all have: birth, sickness, aging, and death: dukkha." This is because the Buddha is not describing something which will survive the transition of bhava and go on to either bliss or a new life, but he is describing anatta which isn't going anywhere.

In the Upanisa Sutta you can see that the Buddha is defining "aging-and-death" as "dukkha":

...feeling is the supporting condition for craving, craving is the supporting condition for clinging, clinging is the supporting condition for existence (bhava), existence is the supporting condition for birth, birth is the supporting condition for suffering (dukkha), suffering is the supporting condition for faith...
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .bodh.html


This paragraph starts with ignorance, works all the way through DA and takes us into a liberative DA, but what's notable is that "aging-and-death" has been replaced with dukkha. That is the fourth layering of "death" -- it is not just part of the field, it is not just a seed, it is not just the end-result instead of bliss, it is (along with aging) specifically dukkha. Again I will point out, though, that aging and death are not dukkha itself, but they are the food that nourishes the dukkha we ourselves grow, so it's not even that "aging and death are dukkha" it's actually "what we do in response to aging and death results in dukkha".

Actually, the whole of dependent origination simply describes the arising of dukkha. If you look at MN 9 you'll see that Sariputta puts each and every step in the "what it is, where it comes from, how does it cease, what is the way to get it to cease" formulation. Pretty much anything described in that four-part formula (in whatever suttas we encounter it) is the equivalent of dukkha in some sense, so every step of dependent arising is dukkha. This is because what it answers is question #2: what is the origin of dukkha?

Dependent arising simultaneously describes how dukkha arises, and how anatta arises (it is the source of dukkha) ((and, as an aside, that all of this is impermanent, making it a discourse on the three marks of existence, too)) and everything that happens in DA is conditioned by that drive to create and nurture that sense-of-self that becomes anatta. Any time we are engaged in activities that have reference to that sense-of-self, we are in the DA process, engaged in fueling it, adding to our concepts of self, so we are part of what is "born, ages, suffers, dies" (in that we are feeding off of those experiences).

So when any one of us sits quietly in meditation, with the mind settled, and sensory information coming in, being observed and then allowed to pass, without reference to self, we are not engaged in feeding off of those experiences, so for those moments, we are experiencing the world without reference to being born, aging, suffering, dying -- we are experiencing "the deathless".

I think that answers all the questions you posed?

:namaste:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby kirk5a » Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:09 pm

nowheat wrote:So when any one of us sits quietly in meditation, with the mind settled, and sensory information coming in, being observed and then allowed to pass, without reference to self, we are not engaged in feeding off of those experiences, so for those moments, we are experiencing the world without reference to being born, aging, suffering, dying -- we are experiencing "the deathless".

Have you presented this, what you say is "experiencing the deathless" to a teacher for review?
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby nowheat » Fri Mar 16, 2012 10:56 pm

kirk5a wrote:
nowheat wrote:So when any one of us sits quietly in meditation, with the mind settled, and sensory information coming in, being observed and then allowed to pass, without reference to self, we are not engaged in feeding off of those experiences, so for those moments, we are experiencing the world without reference to being born, aging, suffering, dying -- we are experiencing "the deathless".

Have you presented this, what you say is "experiencing the deathless" to a teacher for review?

"A teacher"? What sort of teacher do you have in mind? And for what purpose? "Presented" in what way?

:namaste:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby vinasp » Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:00 pm

Hi Spiny, everyone,

Quote:
"But in DO "death" is defined in straightforward physical terms - so I'm not sure I follow your reasoning here."

How can you say that "death" is described in straightforward physical terms?

1. It is clearly said to be the "death" of "a being" (satta).

2. A being is defined in terms of craving.

3. An Arahant has no craving - he is therefore, not a being.

4. So, for an Arahant, the link "death" has already ceased, since there
is no longer "a being" to die.

5. The body will, of course, at some point, stop functioning and will
disintegrate.

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby kirk5a » Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:01 am

nowheat wrote:"A teacher"? What sort of teacher do you have in mind? And for what purpose? "Presented" in what way?

A Buddhist meditation teacher of impeccable conduct with long experience in practice and teaching. For the purpose of seeing whether your understanding and experience is actually what you take it to be. Do you allow for any possibility of latching onto a conditioned frame of mind and supposing that is "deathless" when it is not?
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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