the great rebirth debate

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Aloka » Sat Dec 29, 2012 11:51 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Aloka wrote:
Reincarnation is a Tibetan belief.
No it is not.


Hi Tilt,

"Reincarnate tulkus" are Tibetan. Is there something similar in Theravada ?
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:22 am

As far as I can tell, in English rebirth and reincarnation are synonyms. Neither of them really capture the Buddhist POV, so splitting hairs over a couple of English words seems a bit pointless.

However, I would agree that are Tibetan Buddhist ideas (to do with Tulkas, etc) that don't appear in Theravada.

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby nibbuti » Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:41 am

mikenz66 wrote:As far as I can tell, in English rebirth and reincarnation are synonyms. Neither of them really capture the Buddhist POV, so splitting hairs over a couple of English words seems a bit pointless.

There are even more synonyms in Pali/Sanskrit than in English, as far as the language is concerned. But as far as the Dhamma is concerned, the Buddha 'split hairs' when someone misconstrued his POV, e.g. in M 38.

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:46 am

Well, that's my point. It is more useful to split hairs over what the suttas actually mean, not over whether some modern English words like rebirth and reincarnation are synonyms or not.

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:11 am

Aloka wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Aloka wrote:
Reincarnation is a Tibetan belief.
No it is not.


Hi Tilt,

"Reincarnate tulkus" are Tibetan. Is there something similar in Theravada ?
It is "reincarnation" only if one assumes that a popular level of speech is the accurate way of talking about things, but Tibetan Buddhism has a great deal more sophistication than that.
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Aloka » Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:10 am

Tiltbillings wrote:Tibetan Buddhism has a great deal more sophistication than that.


I guess it depends on what one calls "sophistication". I was involved with TB for many years (including doing all the 'Bardo" teachings and related practices).. and to be honest, leaving it behind has been like a much needed breath of fresh air.

"Different strokes for different folks" as the saying goes.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:25 pm

Aloka wrote:
Tiltbillings wrote:Tibetan Buddhism has a great deal more sophistication than that.


I guess it depends on what one calls "sophistication". I was involved with TB for many years (including doing all the 'Bardo" teachings and related practices)...
You obviously did not hang around with Gelugpas.
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Rahula » Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:16 pm

Aloka wrote:
"Those who want to believe in survival of a personality after death will likely ignore the weaknesses in Stevenson's methods and praise him for his meticulousness, his devotion to detail, his zeal to get every claim verified or disproved. For my part, I have to agree with Stevenson's own assessment of his work: he's provided evidence, but no compelling evidence for reincarnation.

http://www.skepdic.com/stevenson.html




Don't forget that Dr. Stevenson him self believed in rebirth/reincarnation as a result of his research.

He had found matching autopsy records in some cases. What do you say about that?

Image
Hypopigmented macule on chest of an Indian youth who, as a child, said he remembered the life of a man, Maha Ram, who was killed with a shotgun fired at close range.

Image
The circles show the principal shotgun wounds on Maha Ram, for comparison. This drawing is from the autopsy report of the deceased.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Raitanator » Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:34 pm

tiltbillings wrote:You obviously did not hang around with Gelugpas.


Please define "hanging around" before we can move further in this topic.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Aloka » Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:44 pm

Rahula wrote:Don't forget that Dr. Stevenson him self believed in rebirth/reincarnation as a result of his research.

He had found matching autopsy records in some cases. What do you say about that?



What I say, is that to me personally it proves nothing at all. I'm sorry but you'll have to come up with something better than Ian stevenson to convince me that there's verfiable evidence of rebirth and I'm very open to any new suggestions.
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Why I didn't believe in rebirth

Postby Rahula » Mon Dec 31, 2012 8:37 am

I didn't believe in rebirth as it was not obvious to me. It was not something my common sense captured. I like science. I learned science and physics was my favorite subject. I like to see the world in a more practical way. I want to examine and understand everything in a scientific way.

I thought people wanted to believe in rebirth as they were worried about death. Without rebirth, death is the end of us. Most people don't want that. They want someway to live again. They don't want to believe that death is the end of it. That's why a concept like rebirth might have come in to existence, I thought. I had read stories about children who spoke of their past life. People who reported these stories had found the family of that past life and claimed to be verified the story. But I was not very convinced as I had not seen such a event in real life, those were just stories to me. I didn't have any intention to find-out more. Even if I wanted to, it was not practical, I had other important work.

I am found of Astronomy. I spend most of my spare time reading about the Universe. Books by Stephen Hawking and others. Closely following Mars Curiosity these days etc.
But something like Karma & Rebirth was not logically understandable to me. And I was very open about it as well. I didn't believe it, but I hadn't rejected it as well. I don't reject anything because I don't understand it, I just keep an open mind, until one day I understand it fully.

Rebirth, this understanding came to me in a way I could not reject it no more.
Karma, now when I think about it as I believe rebirth, I can mostly understand it. When I look at the world in that view point, I see karma in action in everyone's life. Now I understand why poor people I know get tremendous amounts of trouble, one after another, while some rich people I know always get lucky at most things they do. I would have looked at same things in a logical way and explain them differently if I didn't believe in karma. But not anymore.

I always thought giving to poor, who needed it most should be always much better than giving it to Sangha, who already have more than they needed. But Buddha said otherwise, I didn't agree with him, until I believed in Karma. Now I see why giving to Sangha (more disciplined at-least) is better (for me) than giving to poor who are suffering their own akusala karma.

I know the way you are thinking, been there, done that.
That's why I mentioned earlier in another post "When will this debate end? Only when you, yourself witness it."

Why don't I just leave it there, thinking that you will understand it eventually?
Because I care. I want you to go find the truth, without waiting for it to come to you, as I did. You never know, it may never come.

The Truth is Out There...

.
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Re: Why I didn't believe in rebirth

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Dec 31, 2012 8:50 am

Rahula wrote:The Truth is Out There...
Actually, the Truth/Dhamma is found in the interdependent conditioned rise of just six things:


    "Monks, I will teach you the all. And what is the all? The eye and forms, the ear and sounds the nose and odors, the tongue and tastes, the body and touch, the mind and mental phenomena. This is called the all. If anyone, monks, should speak thus: ' Having rejected this all, I shall make known another all' - that would be a mere empty boast." SN IV 15.

Also:

    It is in this very fathom-long physical frame with its perceptions and mind, that, I declare, lies the world, and the arising of the world, and the cessation of the world, and the path leading to the cessation of the world."[26]

26.The import of this significant declaration can be understood in the context of those suttas in which the Buddha defines the concept of the world. The 'world,' for the Buddha, arises in the six sense-spheres (See above Note 21). Hence its cessation too, is to be experienced there, in the cessation of the six sense-spheres (salaayatananirodha). "I will teach you, monks, how the world comes to be and passes away... What monks, is the arising of the world? Dependent on eye and forms, arises visual consciousness. The concurrence of the three is contact. Conditioned by contact is feeling. Conditioned by feeling, craving. Conditioned by craving, grasping. Conditioned by grasping, becoming. Conditioned by becoming, birth. And conditioned by birth, arise decay, death, grief lamentation, suffering, despair. This is the arising of the world.
And what, monks, is the passing away of the world? Dependent on the eye and forms arise visual consciousness. The concurrence of the three is contact. Conditioned by contact is feeling. Conditioned by feeling is craving. By the utter fading away and cessation of that craving, grasping ceases, by the ceasing of grasping, becoming ceases, by the ceasing of becoming birth ceases, by the ceasing of birth, decay-and-death, grief, lamentation, suffering, despair, cease. Such is the ceasing of this entire man of Ill.

— SN 2.26; S i 61; CDB i 157
In other words, the Truth is not out there at all.
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Aloka » Mon Dec 31, 2012 9:46 am

Rahula wrote:
Now I understand why poor people I know get tremendous amounts of trouble, one after another, while some rich people I know always get lucky at most things they do. I would have looked at same things in a logical way and explain them differently if I didn't believe in karma. But not anymore.



Kamma isn't some kind of cosmic punishment system. The Buddha said that the precise working out of the results of kamma was unconjecturable:


AN 4.77 Acintita Sutta: Unconjecturable

"There are these four unconjecturables that are not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about them. Which four?

"The Buddha-range of the Buddhas is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it.

"The jhana-range of a person in jhana...

"The [precise working out of the] results of kamma...

"Conjecture about [the origin, etc., of] the world is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it.

"These are the four unconjecturables that are not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about them."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an04/an04.077.than.html

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Rahula » Mon Dec 31, 2012 10:41 am

Why people only take a small part of an idea and try to start point less debate?
The Truth is Out There

Was the last line of my post, above it was the whole idea.
Ok, The Truth is NOT Out There, Truth is WITHIN! Or where ever you say so...

Aloka wrote:Kamma isn't some kind of cosmic punishment system. The Buddha said that the precise working out of the results of kamma was unconjecturable:

Yes, of-cause. Did I mention otherwise.
As 'precise working out of the results of karma is unconjecturable', do we have to not relate anything to karma? It's unconjecturable if you try to understand, precise working out of the results of karma. That means, if you try to find karma vipaka of one particular action, it is not possible. Did it seems to you that I was doing that? I was just openly saying, not relating vipaka to any particular karma.

However that was not my point in that whole post, was it?

If anybody had constructively criticized the whole idea behind my post I would be happy. But...?

I think the time I wasted here was worthless. I thought perhaps I could share my experience with others and it may help convince someone. It looks like I'm just too dumb. I'm signing off, you people keep it going...until...

.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Raitanator » Mon Dec 31, 2012 12:14 pm

Aloka wrote:Kamma isn't some kind of cosmic punishment system.


Punishment, now that's an emotional way to describe it. Wouldn't it be more "punishable" to people if karma is completely random? For example to babies who are born with AIDS.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Aloka » Mon Dec 31, 2012 2:31 pm

Raitanator wrote:
Aloka wrote:Kamma isn't some kind of cosmic punishment system.


Punishment, now that's an emotional way to describe it......


"Emotional"? Please don't project your imaginings onto me and get personal, thanks.

.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby nibbuti » Mon Dec 31, 2012 2:54 pm

Raitanator wrote:Wouldn't it be more "punishable" to people if karma is completely random? For example to babies who are born with AIDS.

Hi Raitanator. I think those who feel the need to speculate about kamma and babies who are born sick, rather than see it with wisdom as it is: as a sign of anicca & dukkha of all that is conditioned, are already punished enough.

:popcorn:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Raitanator » Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:26 am

Well, my point was more like that "punish" is a wrong choice of word. "You reap what you sow" is more neutral perspective for that. Like I tried to say earlier, it would be more unfair if sickness and all that, if it's only randomly generated.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby nibbuti » Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:54 am

Raitanator wrote:Well, my point was more like that "punish" is a wrong choice of word. "You reap what you sow" is more neutral perspective for that. Like I tried to say earlier, it would be more unfair if sickness and all that, if it's only randomly generated.

Yes, Raitanator, it would be unfair if sickness and all that were "randomly generated".

That is also the reason why some people, who their whole life were very faithful in the fairness of God, when some loved one dies unexpectedly, loose their faith in God. Fairness or equality (of Kamma, God, government, 'good rebirth' or any outer entanglement) cannot be guaranteed.

The only sure thing in life is impermanence, as the saying goes.

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Aloka » Tue Jan 01, 2013 12:00 pm

Raitanator wrote:Well, my point was more like that "punish" is a wrong choice of word. "You reap what you sow" is more neutral perspective for that. Like I tried to say earlier, it would be more unfair if sickness and all that, if it's only randomly generated.


...and my point was simply that kamma isn't the deterministic punishment and rewards system that some people imagine it to be. Plus the natural laws of nature which are non-personal, also play a part in our lives.

_/\_
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