the great rebirth debate

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby polarbuddha101 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:32 am

The Right View of Reincarnation

Continuation is happening now, because every day you continue to produce thoughts, words, and actions that carry your signature. We don’t have to wait until this body decomposes to continue.

Most people think of reincarnation in terms of a permanent soul. This is popular Buddhism. But we have to rise to the level of right view. Continuation is a necessity, it is a truth. But this continuation must be seen in the light of non-self, of impermanence.

If, for example, you want to recognize my continuation, do not look in this direction. [Thay points to himself.] There is a part of my continuation in this direction, but when you look all around you, you will see other forms of the continuation. So don’t wait for the body to decompose. We’ve already begun our continuation. You know that you have the power to change. You can ensure a beautiful continuation. Let’s suppose that yesterday you produced a thought that was not worthy of you, and today you’re sorry. You think, “I don’t want to be continued in that way.” You can correct it, you can transform that continuation.

If you have touched right view, you will be able to produce a different thought, a thought that is worthy of you today, a thought that carries within it understanding, compassion, and non-discrimination. The moment you produce this wonderful thought, it will go out and catch the other thought that you produced yesterday. And in the space of half a second it will be able to transform that thought.

So you have the chance to correct the past; this is wonderful. We say that the past is already gone, but the past is always returning with its new manifestations, and with those manifestations we can correct it.

If you have said something that’s not worthy of you, say something else today, and that will transform everything. Do something different today based on right view and transform the whole situation. That is possible.

If you have a Sangha that supports you, if you are supported by the collective right view, then it’s very easy to produce such thoughts, such words, such actions, to transform everything right now, today, to ensure a good future, a good continuation.

The teaching of the Buddha is very deep, and at the same time very practical. This teaching has the capacity to heal us, to transform our pain, our fear. It’s good to have enough time to learn more about these teachings and put them into practice in our daily life.

Thich Nhat Hanh

http://www.mindfulnessbell.org/articles/karma4.php

I found this interesting, what do you guys think
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby nowheat » Mon May 21, 2012 9:47 pm

Spiny O'Norman wrote:
nowheat wrote:
Spiny O'Norman wrote:I can see that clinging to self is an important aspect of the clinging described in DO. But I don't see how your interpretation is consistent with the section of DO which describes biological birth arising in dependence on becoming in the 3 realms.
I've done (aging-and-) Death at great length, now you want me to do Birth and then Becoming? Will you be asking me to work backward through the entire chain? I ask because my thesis is quite lengthy.

Yes, I'd be interested to hear your interpretation of the birth and becoming nidanas.

The paper that describes the structure I see and why I see it is finally out and available (for the price of a subscription) here:

http://www.ocbs.org/journal

Abstracts for the volume it is in can be found here:

http://www.ocbs.org/journal/list-of-abstracts-for-the-current-volume

In his editorial (quoted in the most recent edition of the newsletter, to be found here: http://www.ocbs.org/news-ocbsmain-88/233-ocbs-news-may-2012) Professor Gombrich says of the theory:

an exciting new interpretation of the Buddha’s teaching of dependent origination... so ambitious a theory is bound to be controversial, and ... only time will tell what the world will make of it; but I am confident that at the very least it deserves to be taken seriously.



:namaste:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby DAWN » Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:46 am

It's interaction who rebirth, but not one dhamma
It's not one atta who rebirth, but just some kamma

If we take 'E=mc²', and discribe that interaction like 'Energy is a mass multiply on squared light speed' is be a rebirth of one interaction, rebirth of one kammа. For example if I have one interaction similar with an ant interaction, my kamma will rebirth like an ant.

No interaction, no kamma, no rebirth of kamma

A lotus flower dont interact with water who slides down.
Sabbe dhamma anatta
We are not concurents...
I'am sorry for my english
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby rowyourboat » Fri Aug 24, 2012 9:50 pm

jcsuperstar wrote:i guess someone needs to get this ball rolling :twisted:

personally i believe in literal rebirth. it's just i don't care that much about it. and i don't think it's a necessity. i feel the non literal moment to moment view of rebirth is far more important to focus on in terms of one's daily practice.

what's your take?


Hi all,

Just joining this thread after much water has flowed under the bridge - my belief in literal rebirth waxed and waned, and is currently back in full force. :D. Moment to moment births and deaths is great but 'literal' rebirth, ie my death and being reborn god knows where, does motivate my practice to a certain degree. My suspicions are that there will be more non-believers among beginners than those who are advanced on this path.

With metta
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:43 pm

rowyourboat wrote:
Just joining this thread after much water has flowed under the bridge - my belief in literal rebirth waxed and waned, and is currently back in full force. :D. Moment to moment births and deaths is great but 'literal' rebirth, ie my death and being reborn god knows where, does motivate my practice to a certain degree. My suspicions are that there will be more non-believers among beginners than those who are advanced on this path.

With metta


I don't see "belief" as important to understanding this process as is "experience". Problem is that I just don't remember previous lives and deaths like Buddha did, whereas,mind-moment to mind-moment rebirth is memorable and from that experience I can easily see where Buddha's teachings in that regard hold great merit. In all of this I continue to dwell in this house of emptiness, finding no permanent self, ego, or soul, which is key to making progress along "the path".
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby mile83 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:10 pm

Hello all, I like this thread, I've found many answers to my question, please don't stone me but I'm very indifferent to the question if there is rebirth or not, but I tend more towards non-believing it.

With great interest I've read the postings of stuka and clw_uk, do they still post here??

I have a question regarding the difference between right view with taints and right view without taints

Is right view with taints basically believe in 4NT and rebirth/reincarnation (so it's tainted with speculative views??)

and right view without taints is transcendent only the 4NTs, so beyond questions of rebirth etc.

I'm referring to the posts by stuka and clw_uk, and maybe others, I didn't have the chance yet to read the whole thread!

Hope you can help thank you =)
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:21 pm

mile83 wrote:Hello all, I like this thread, I've found many answers to my question, please don't stone me but I'm very indifferent to the question if there is rebirth or not, but I tend more towards non-believing it.


The worst part is believing in one life only and fully seeing dukkha... Rebirth is very important issue to me. Without it, Dhamma doesn't make much sense.
Either one would indulge in as much pleasures as possible, or end all dukkha very easily.
”Even the water melting from the snow-capped peaks finds its way to the ocean."
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Aloka » Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:17 pm

mile83 wrote:Hello all, I like this thread, I've found many answers to my question, please don't stone me but I'm very indifferent to the question if there is rebirth or not, but I tend more towards non-believing it.



That's fine, its not necessary to get caught up in the superstitions of others, nor to speculate about rebirth, in order to practice the Dhamma.

This life is the important one.

.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Sat Oct 13, 2012 7:38 pm

Aloka wrote:
mile83 wrote:Hello all, I like this thread, I've found many answers to my question, please don't stone me but I'm very indifferent to the question if there is rebirth or not, but I tend more towards non-believing it.



That's fine, its not necessary to get caught up in the superstitions of others, nor to speculate about rebirth, in order to practice the Dhamma.

This life is the important one.

.


Why is this life any more or less important than any other one. Isn't the fact that we were reborn at all a consequence of our failure to attain nibbana? The focus as I understand it should be upon "not being reborn" and if we are understanding what we must understand and practice in order to avoid further rebirths. Yes? No? :shrug: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?:
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby daverupa » Sat Oct 13, 2012 7:53 pm

Ron-The-Elder wrote:The focus as I understand it should be upon "not being reborn" and... we must understand and practice...


...in this life - whence its importance.
    "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 Alex123 » Sat Oct 13, 2012 8:16 pm

Hello all,

First Noble Truth says:

    "Birth is stressful, aging is stressful, death is stressful; sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair are stressful; not getting what is wanted
    is stressful.[2] In short, the five clinging-aggregates are stressful."

We, and the Buddha cannot get rid of at least: aging, death, and pain if not all the rest included in Dukkha.

Some can ask about craving as part of 2,3rd, and 4th NT that leads to cessation of Dukkha. But lets see the important part as to how it happens:
    ""And what, friends, is the noble truth of the origination of stress? The craving that makes for further becoming"MN141


Please note further becoming. When there is no craving, one will not be reborn to experience: Birth, aging, death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, despair, not getting what is wanted, the five clinging-aggregates. It doesn't necessarily means cessation of dukkha right at the moment of Arhatship and up till death. Buddha didn't want to teach because it would tire him. Buddha still experienced physical pain. Buddha still found it easier to be alone rather than in a group. Ultimately in DN16 the Buddha gave up "fabrications to live" rather than letting nature take its course and definitely instead of prolonging his life.


If there is one life, then all that is left is to die...
”Even the water melting from the snow-capped peaks finds its way to the ocean."
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Aloka » Sat Oct 13, 2012 9:20 pm

Alex123 wrote:
If there is one life, then all that is left is to die...


Alex that doesn't make any sense. All that is left for all sentient beings when they get old is to die, whether there is rebirth or not . Plus "you" aren't going to know about it after you die anyway !

However, freedom from dukkha is still possible in this lifetime here and now - that's if we don't waste too much time arguing about it on the internet of course, lol !


:alien:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Sat Oct 13, 2012 9:27 pm

Aloka wrote:Alex that doesn't make any sense.


If there is one life only and Dukkha is the Noble Truth... Even the Buddha experienced physical pain...
Why isn't suicide a shortcut to parinibbana? Why suffer needlessly?
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Aloka » Sat Oct 13, 2012 9:42 pm

Alex123 wrote:
Aloka wrote:Alex that doesn't make any sense.


If there is one life only and Dukkha is the Noble Truth... Even the Buddha experienced physical pain...
Why isn't suicide a shortcut to parinibbana? Why suffer needlessly?


Alex my attempts to have a discussion with you always seem to end with you bringing up suicide, which is a total cop-out.

Its also getting near to my bedtime now, so I'll say thank you and goodnight .

with metta,

Aloka :zzz:
Last edited by Aloka on Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Sat Oct 13, 2012 10:20 pm

Aloka,
If there are multiple lives, then suicide would not stop life. If there is one life, then suicide = parinibbāna.

What if Awakening is not some fantasy state without any dukkha? Is it possible that we over-estimate sukha at Arhatship? What if dukkha is inherent into existence itself and cannot be separated? What if the idea of being emotionally "perfect" is not what Arhatship is?

For example, there is at least one occasion when the Buddha was visibly angry at Devadatta. So maybe it is idealistic idea that somehow Awakened one never gets angry or irritated.

    "Not even to Sāriputta or Moggallāna would I hand over the Order, and would I then to thee, vile one, to be vomited like spittle?" (Vin.ii.188. This incident is referred to in the Abhayarājakumāra Sutta, M.i.393) link

If the above isn't irritation, then I don't know what would count as irritation.

Also

    Then, when the Blessed One was alone in seclusion, this train of thought appeared to his awareness: "Before, I lived hemmed in by monks, nuns, male & female lay followers, kings, royal ministers, sectarians, & their disciples. Hemmed in, I lived unpleasantly and not in ease. But now I live not hemmed in by monks, nuns, male & female lay followers, kings, royal ministers, sectarians, & their disciples. Not hemmed in, I live pleasantly and in ease." Ud4.5

So the Buddha could experience some dukkha when he was around people!

No wonder that when He reached Awakening He didn't want to teach and had to be begged by none other than Brahma himself

    And if I were to teach the Dhamma and others would not understand me, that would be tiresome for me, troublesome for me.'
    MN26

Ven, Angulimala became an Arahant. But as result of his past misdeeds he was brutally beaten. The Buddha told Angulimala, the Arhat:

    "Bear with it, brahman! Bear with it! - MN86

If Arhat was invulnerable to pain, he wouldn't need such kind of encouragement. Speaking of pain, there was at least one occasion when rather than giving a lecture, the Buddha asked his disciple to give it while the Buddha rested his back.

Channa has committed suicide, and if taken literary - it appears that he was an Arahant. MN144. In DN16 the Buddha has Relinquishes His Will to Live - in other words, prolonged suicide. He could have let himself die naturally, or prolong his life. He choose neither, he relinquished his will to live and died in 3 months.

Ajahn Maha Boowa was a great meditator, and may have even been an Arahat. He still could cry.
Last edited by Alex123 on Sat Oct 13, 2012 11:24 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby equilibrium » Sat Oct 13, 2012 11:00 pm

If there are multiple lives, then suicide would not stop life.

This is correct.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby darvki » Sun Oct 14, 2012 4:14 am

Alex123 wrote:Why isn't suicide a shortcut to parinibbana? Why suffer needlessly?

I've heard this argument presented a lot, and it's time to be clear on why it has no merit:

If one is looking at a one-life-only viewpoint, the multiple-lives-dependent definition of parinibbana is rendered meaningless. Mixing worldviews like this is a logical black hole. To use a possibly clumsy example: it's like believing that there is no God, but that you'll go to Abrahamic-religious heaven (or hell) when you die.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Sun Oct 14, 2012 1:34 pm

darvki wrote:
Alex123 wrote:Why isn't suicide a shortcut to parinibbana? Why suffer needlessly?

I've heard this argument presented a lot, and it's time to be clear on why it has no merit:

If one is looking at a one-life-only viewpoint, the multiple-lives-dependent definition of parinibbana is rendered meaningless. Mixing worldviews like this is a logical black hole. To use a possibly clumsy example: it's like believing that there is no God, but that you'll go to Abrahamic-religious heaven (or hell) when you die.


Unlike some other religions, Buddhism teaches that there is dukkha. One doesn't even have to be Buddhist, just examine what life is about.

If there are multiple lifetimes then suicide will not deal with problems inherent in existence. If there is one life, then suicide is a shortcut.

Of course if one becomes an Arahant, then there will be less, less dukkha. But still, even the Buddha experienced some forms of dukkha that is inherent in existence. What are our chances of becoming Buddha, or even Arhant? What is the point in struggling if one could use the rope and quickly parinibbanize?
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Mal » Sun Oct 14, 2012 1:56 pm

darvki wrote:If one is looking at a one-life-only viewpoint, the multiple-lives-dependent definition of parinibbana is rendered meaningless. Mixing worldviews like this is a logical black hole. To use a possibly clumsy example: it's like believing that there is no God, but that you'll go to Abrahamic-religious heaven (or hell) when you die.


Isn't holding all possibilities open as good as forcing yourself to believe in multiple-lives or one-life or heaven?

If you have one-life it's really irrelevant what you do - suicide or natural death there only a few years to go so why bother your head about the matter.

But if there is an after life then suicide is a no-no according to the major religions, because how you act in this life determines your afterlife. To become "the best you can be" requires all the time you've got! Kill yourself and you'll not be as good as you might be, and you might go to hell or be reborn as a turkey...
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby darvki » Mon Oct 15, 2012 1:44 am

Mal wrote:Isn't holding all possibilities open as good as forcing yourself to believe in multiple-lives or one-life or heaven?

Depends on who you ask. There have been discussions of Right View around rebirth on this thread and others. I'm not trying to address what I believe or what anybody else believes is true about the functioning of life and death. I'm attempting to address what I'm sure is very poor reasoning.

Alex123 wrote:Unlike some other religions, Buddhism teaches that there is dukkha. One doesn't even have to be Buddhist, just examine what life is about.

My point is not about the nature of various religions. It's about applying a concept from one worldview and transplanting it into another where it has no basis and renders any coherence impossible. Parinibbana is final freedom from rebirth. If a worldview doesn't contain rebirth to begin with, parinibbana can't be referenced. This is an ad hoc (to this) fallacy in that parinibbana only a solution that can apply to rebirth.

Alex123 wrote:If there are multiple lifetimes then suicide will not deal with problems inherent in existence. If there is one life, then suicide is a shortcut.

This, of course, assumes that one finds the "problems inherent to existence" solvable only by its termination. Many surely think otherwise.
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