the great rebirth debate

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat Jul 06, 2013 9:30 am

reflection wrote:
clw_uk wrote:My point is we all interpret the suttas and have our own spin on them in various ways.

Some with more rigorous spins than others. :D (sorry couldn't help making a little joke) ;)


I don't see a need to have any "spin" atall.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat Jul 06, 2013 9:32 am

chownah wrote:Do you have some information which helped you reach your view that the word descent meant into the mother's womb?


Have a look at DN15. It's clear and specific.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby BlackBird » Sat Jul 06, 2013 9:34 am

Spiny Norman wrote:
Sylvester wrote:It is not apparent from this sutta, but in many other suttas, DO is explained in a very standard formula ie idappaccayatā. The special grammatical formulation for cause and effect in that formula imports no simultaneity. As the grammars explain it, cause and effect according to idappaccayatā can be separated by huge spans of time.


Interesting comment. The way I understand DO is to see the nidanas as conditionally arising processes rather than events, which I think is in line with the sutta descriptions.


And the way I understand it DO is a structural principle that does not involve time whatsoever. It is the dependence of X upon Y, that with the ceasing of X, Y ceases - For a more pithy rendering see my signature.

So for better or worse, there is a veritable jungle of approaches to DO here.
"And so, because this Teaching is so different from what Westerners are accustomed to, they will try to adapt the Teaching to their own framework. What they need to learn to do is not to adapt the Teaching to their own point of view but to adapt their own point of view to the Teaching. This is called saddhá, or faith, and it means giving oneself to the Teaching even if the Teaching is contrary to one’s own preconceived notions of the way things are."- Ven Bodhesako

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby chownah » Sat Jul 06, 2013 10:22 am

Alex123 wrote:
porpoise wrote:I still haven't seen a sutta quote which clearly describes consciousness arising in dependence on form. :shrug:



How about:
Dependent on the eye & forms there arises consciousness at the eye. Dependent on the ear & sounds there arises consciousness at the ear. Dependent on the nose & aromas there arises consciousness at the nose. Dependent on the tongue & flavors there arises consciousness at the tongue. Dependent on the body & tactile sensations there arises consciousness at the body. MN148

Alex113,
I'm excited. I found a reference which states explicitly that consciousness is dependent on name and form...it is in DN15

Name-and-form
"'From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-and-form.' Thus it has been said. And this is the way to understand how from consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-and-form. If consciousness were not to descend into the mother's womb, would name-and-form take shape in the womb?"

"No, lord."

"If, after descending into the womb, consciousness were to depart, would name-and-form be produced for this world?"

"No, lord."

"If the consciousness of the young boy or girl were to be cut off, would name-and-form ripen, grow, and reach maturity?"

"No, lord."

"Thus this is a cause, this is a reason, this is an origination, this is a requisite condition for name-and-form, i.e., consciousness."

Consciousness
"'From name-and-form as a requisite condition comes consciousness.' Thus it has been said. And this is the way to understand how from name-and-form as a requisite condition comes consciousness. If consciousness were not to gain a foothold in name-and-form, would a coming-into-play of the origination of birth, aging, death, and stress in the future be discerned?

"No, lord."

"Thus this is a cause, this is a reason, this is an origination, this is a requisite condition for consciousness, i.e., name-and-form.

"This is the extent to which there is birth, aging, death, passing away, and re-arising. This is the extent to which there are means of designation, expression, and delineation. This is the extent to which the sphere of discernment extends, the extent to which the cycle revolves for the manifesting (discernibility) of this world — i.e., name-and-form together with consciousness.

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Jul 06, 2013 10:29 am

Spiny Norman wrote:
chownah wrote:Do you have some information which helped you reach your view that the word descent meant into the mother's womb?


Have a look at DN15. It's clear and specific.

See this much earlier msg: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=41&start=380#p15980 which quotes this text.
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.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby reflection » Sat Jul 06, 2013 10:51 am

chownah wrote:
reflection wrote:
"And what is birth? Whatever birth, taking birth, descent (into the mother's womb), coming-to-be, coming-forth, appearance of aggregates, & acquisition of [sense] media of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called birth.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html



reflection,
Do you have some information which helped you reach your view that the word descent meant into the mother's womb?

Also, I'm interested in what sense you can make of the list more generally. Do you see it as just being a random list of different views on what birth means?...do you see it as a progression of some sort...etc.....?
chownah

Tiltbillings and Spiny Norman already gave some link to some suttas where 'descent' is explained in further detail. As in for example "Monks, the descent of the embryo occurs with the union of three things." (MN 38) I'm have not checked if the Pali word for 'descent' is the same, but I trust it is. What helped me reach that view, though, was not directly this sutta but Ajahn Brahmavamso's explanation of the term in an essay on dependent origination. I don't think there is some sort of special order in it. It's just giving some explanations of the term 'birth' so there could be no doubt about what was meant by it.

The quote above you gave yourself is also interesting. It should make it even more clear that dependent origination is talking about rebirth and not some momentary process.
'From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-and-form.' Thus it has been said. And this is the way to understand how from consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-and-form. If consciousness were not to descend into the mother's womb, would name-and-form take shape in the womb?"


And also:
If consciousness were not to gain a foothold in name-and-form, would a coming-into-play of the origination of birth, aging, death, and stress in the future be discerned?


It includes another presentation of "birth" by the way:
If there were no birth at all, in any way, of anything anywhere — i.e., of devas in the state of devas, of celestials in the state of celestials, of spirits in the state of spirits, of demons in the state of demons, of human beings in the human state, of quadrupeds in the state of quadrupeds, of birds in the state of birds, of snakes in the state of snakes, or of any being in its own state — in the utter absence of birth, from the cessation of birth, would aging and death be discerned?"
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby BlackBird » Sat Jul 06, 2013 10:58 am

Here's an interesting passage for you Reflection.

It will be convenient to start at the end of the paticcasamuppāda formulation and to discuss jāti and jarāmarana first. To begin with, jāti is 'birth' and not 're-birth'. 'Re-birth' is punabbhavābhinibbatti, as in Majjhima v,3 <M.i,294> where it is said that future 'birth into renewed existence' comes of avijjā and tanhā; and it is clear that, here, two successive existences are involved. It is, no doubt, possible for a Buddha to see the re-birth that is at each moment awaiting a living individual who still has tanhā—the re-birth, that is to say, that is now awaiting the individual who now has tanhā. If this is so, then for a Buddha the dependence of re-birth upon tanhā is a matter of direct seeing, not involving time. But this is by no means always possible (if, indeed, at all) for an ariyasāvaka, who, though he sees paticcasamuppāda for himself, and with certainty (it is aparapaccayā ñānam), may still need to accept re-birth on the Buddha's authority.[c] In other words, an ariyasāvaka sees birth with direct vision (since jāti is part of the paticcasamuppāda formulation), but does not necessarily see re-birth with direct vision. It is obvious, however, that jāti does not refer straightforwardly to the ariyasāvaka's own physical birth into his present existence; for that at best could only be a memory, and it is probably not remembered at all. How, then, is jāti to be understood?

10. Upādānapaccayā bhavo; bhavapaccayā jāti; jātipaccayā jarāmaranam... ('With holding as condition, being; with being as condition, birth; with birth as condition, ageing-&-death...') The fundamental upādāna or 'holding' is attavāda (see Majjhima ii,1 <M.i,67>), which is holding a belief in 'self'. The puthujjana takes what appears to be his 'self' at its face value; and so long as this goes on he continues to be a 'self', at least in his own eyes (and in those of others like him). This is bhava or 'being'. The puthujjana knows that people are born and die; and since he thinks 'my self exists' so he also thinks 'my self was born' and 'my self will die'. The puthujjana sees a 'self' to whom the words birth and death apply.[d] In contrast to the puthujjana, the arahat has altogether got rid of asmimāna (not to speak of attavāda—see MAMA), and does not even think 'I am'. This is bhavanirodha, cessation of being. And since he does not think 'I am' he also does not think 'I was born' or 'I shall die'. In other words, he sees no 'self' or even 'I' for the words birth and death to apply to. This is jātinirodha and jarāmarananirodha. (See, in Kosala Samy. i,3 <S.i,71>, how the words birth and death are avoided when the arahat is spoken of. Atthi nu kho bhante jātassa aññatra jarāmaranā ti. N'atthi kho mahārāja jātassa aññatra jarāmaranā. Ye pi te mahārāja khattiyamahāsālā... brāhmanamahāsālā... gahapatimahāsālā..., tesam pi jātānam n'atthi aññatra jarāmaranā. Ye pi te mahārāja bhikkhu arahanto khīnāsavā..., tesam pāyam kāyo bhedanadhammo nikkhepanadhammo ti. ('—For one who is born, lord, is there anything other than ageing-&-death?—For one who is born, great king, there is nothing other than ageing-&-death. Those, great king, who are wealthy warriors... wealthy divines... wealthy householders...,—for them, too, being born, there is nothing other than ageing-&-death. Those monks, great king, who are worthy ones, destroyers of the cankers...,—for them, too, it is the nature of this body to break up, to be laid down.')) The puthujjana, taking his apparent 'self' at face value, does not see that he is a victim of upādāna; he does not see that 'being a self' depends upon 'holding a belief in self' (upādānapaccayā bhavo); and he does not see that birth and death depend upon his 'being a self' (bhavapaccayā jāti, and so on). The ariyasāvaka, on the other hand, does see these things, and he sees also their cessation (even though he may not yet have fully realized it); and his seeing of these things is direct. Quite clearly, the idea of re-birth is totally irrelevant here.

- http://nanavira.org/index.php/notes-on- ... asamuppada

I wish he was still around to answer your inevitable questions about this, for which I cannot always do justice.
"And so, because this Teaching is so different from what Westerners are accustomed to, they will try to adapt the Teaching to their own framework. What they need to learn to do is not to adapt the Teaching to their own point of view but to adapt their own point of view to the Teaching. This is called saddhá, or faith, and it means giving oneself to the Teaching even if the Teaching is contrary to one’s own preconceived notions of the way things are."- Ven Bodhesako

Nanavira Thera's teachings - An existential approach to the Dhamma | Ven. Bodhesako's essay on anicca
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Sat Jul 06, 2013 11:21 am

I can only give brief replies until this evening, I don't have any sutta references to hand

First of all blackbird, once again, you haven't understood my posts. I'm not denying kamma and "rebirth" I just don't agree with how you understand it.


I still think kamma and rebirth denial is a wholesale butchering of the Buddha's teachings, and can only be undertaken by those who have a conceit to contend that their views and intellect are on par with the Buddha's. They have never submitted to the fact that we as putthujanas are deluded and that avijja is what guides our thinking.


And I still think that people who post like this must either a) not read the other sides posts and just go on assumption or b) don't understand what it is they are arguing against (not just you but some other posters as well)

I'm probably not explaining properly

Who had denied rebirth and kamma blackbird?

Also it does not follow that my position is one of annihilationism


As for the post that brought in the sutta "the descent of an embryo" from what I understand this is not in the Pali text but is a translation that has been made to fit a view.

Isn't the Pali word ghandbara (I probably spelt that wrong) which has noting to do with descending beings into wombs?
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby reflection » Sat Jul 06, 2013 11:42 am

BlackBird wrote:Here's an interesting passage for you Reflection.

It will be convenient to start at the end of the paticcasamuppāda formulation and to discuss jāti and jarāmarana first. To begin with, jāti is 'birth' and not 're-birth'. 'Re-birth' is punabbhavābhinibbatti, as in Majjhima v,3 <M.i,294> where it is said that future 'birth into renewed existence' comes of avijjā and tanhā; and it is clear that, here, two successive existences are involved. It is, no doubt, possible for a Buddha to see the re-birth that is at each moment awaiting a living individual who still has tanhā—the re-birth, that is to say, that is now awaiting the individual who now has tanhā. If this is so, then for a Buddha the dependence of re-birth upon tanhā is a matter of direct seeing, not involving time. But this is by no means always possible (if, indeed, at all) for an ariyasāvaka, who, though he sees paticcasamuppāda for himself, and with certainty (it is aparapaccayā ñānam), may still need to accept re-birth on the Buddha's authority.[c] In other words, an ariyasāvaka sees birth with direct vision (since jāti is part of the paticcasamuppāda formulation), but does not necessarily see re-birth with direct vision. It is obvious, however, that jāti does not refer straightforwardly to the ariyasāvaka's own physical birth into his present existence; for that at best could only be a memory, and it is probably not remembered at all. How, then, is jāti to be understood?

10. Upādānapaccayā bhavo; bhavapaccayā jāti; jātipaccayā jarāmaranam... ('With holding as condition, being; with being as condition, birth; with birth as condition, ageing-&-death...') The fundamental upādāna or 'holding' is attavāda (see Majjhima ii,1 <M.i,67>), which is holding a belief in 'self'. The puthujjana takes what appears to be his 'self' at its face value; and so long as this goes on he continues to be a 'self', at least in his own eyes (and in those of others like him). This is bhava or 'being'. The puthujjana knows that people are born and die; and since he thinks 'my self exists' so he also thinks 'my self was born' and 'my self will die'. The puthujjana sees a 'self' to whom the words birth and death apply.[d] In contrast to the puthujjana, the arahat has altogether got rid of asmimāna (not to speak of attavāda—see MAMA), and does not even think 'I am'. This is bhavanirodha, cessation of being. And since he does not think 'I am' he also does not think 'I was born' or 'I shall die'. In other words, he sees no 'self' or even 'I' for the words birth and death to apply to. This is jātinirodha and jarāmarananirodha. (See, in Kosala Samy. i,3 <S.i,71>, how the words birth and death are avoided when the arahat is spoken of. Atthi nu kho bhante jātassa aññatra jarāmaranā ti. N'atthi kho mahārāja jātassa aññatra jarāmaranā. Ye pi te mahārāja khattiyamahāsālā... brāhmanamahāsālā... gahapatimahāsālā..., tesam pi jātānam n'atthi aññatra jarāmaranā. Ye pi te mahārāja bhikkhu arahanto khīnāsavā..., tesam pāyam kāyo bhedanadhammo nikkhepanadhammo ti. ('—For one who is born, lord, is there anything other than ageing-&-death?—For one who is born, great king, there is nothing other than ageing-&-death. Those, great king, who are wealthy warriors... wealthy divines... wealthy householders...,—for them, too, being born, there is nothing other than ageing-&-death. Those monks, great king, who are worthy ones, destroyers of the cankers...,—for them, too, it is the nature of this body to break up, to be laid down.')) The puthujjana, taking his apparent 'self' at face value, does not see that he is a victim of upādāna; he does not see that 'being a self' depends upon 'holding a belief in self' (upādānapaccayā bhavo); and he does not see that birth and death depend upon his 'being a self' (bhavapaccayā jāti, and so on). The ariyasāvaka, on the other hand, does see these things, and he sees also their cessation (even though he may not yet have fully realized it); and his seeing of these things is direct. Quite clearly, the idea of re-birth is totally irrelevant here.

- http://nanavira.org/index.php/notes-on- ... asamuppada

I wish he was still around to answer your inevitable questions about this, for which I cannot always do justice.

Hi,

Thanks for clarifying this view.

The question "How, then, is jāti to be understood?" is answered in the suttas directly.. We can try to define a new 'jati', but why do it if it is already defined in the suttas? Again, I don't really mind if it creates a skillful way of dealing with things, but it can't really be reasonably put forward as the view of the suttas. At the very least he should make some reasoning why the explanations of 'birth' in various suttas are not trustworthy, inconsistent, how they are metaphors or later additions, for example. But that doesn't happen - at least not in the quoted part.

That apart, it for simplicity skips over the sotapanna and anagami stages. There, there is no "holding a belief in 'self'" but there is still the craving, arising of suffering - whatever way one interprets dependent origination. So dependent origination is still going. But if it were based on "holding a belief in 'self'", it shouldn't. Just seeing anatta would end it. But it doesn't.

His arguing that "It is obvious, however, that jāti does not refer straightforwardly to the ariyasāvaka's own physical birth into his present existence; for that at best could only be a memory" is indeed right, but I think it is based on a flawed assumption of what he tries to refute. It is about birth in a general sense, not just the previous one. The suttas say noble ones see dependent origination in general, as in the process. In my knowledge the suttas in terms of dependent origination, or anybody that sees dependent origination as rebirth, don't say anything about seeing a previous birth.

The importance of dependent origination is not seeing individual factors, but how one leads to the other, cause and effect. That's why they are always formulated as this leads to that, the cessation of this leads to the cessation of that. And why right view is often spoken as "everything that arises passes away". I can know, if I let go of a brick, it will fall down, and always will. I understand the effect of letting go a brick. There is no need to actually see a brick or hold a brick.


Perhaps he has seen these arguments himself and negates them somewhere else, but I find his writing style very difficult to read, so I'm not going through it all.

With metta,
Reflection
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby BlackBird » Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:02 pm

clw_uk wrote:I can only give brief replies until this evening, I don't have any sutta references to hand

First of all blackbird, once again, you haven't understood my posts. I'm not denying kamma and "rebirth" I just don't agree with how you understand it.

Also it does not follow that my position is one of annihilationism


I understood your posts just fine.

You are denying rebirth the way the Buddha categorically taught it, you've just build an elaborate conceptual framework as a means to eel-wriggle around the sutta passages that categorically disagree with your position. It's a very original interpretation of the suttas, but it is not the one the Buddha taught. To your credit building such a conceptual framework could not be accomplished by anyone other than one who has quite the intellectual mind, and that is part of the reason I have a good deal of respect for you.

Perhaps you are right that your position is not mere annihilationism, and it is true that at the very least it is a good deal more complicated than your average rebirth skeptic's annihilationism. Perhaps a better term would be self-denying-khandha-non-transmittance? I don't know. I was wrong to be so categorical about accusing you of that view. You have my apologies. But that falls short of dropping my accusation that your view is by necessity wrong. But do not fret, for you're in good company, until we're sotapannas we are all possessed of wrong view. Unless, of course you think you've already got there?

I had written a lot more here, but chose to remove it, because I don't think there's much point in my continued response to your posts. Any further discussion between us on this topic only risks this dragging on longer and longer, and the less things I have to think about, the better my meditation becomes :)

So I will endeavour to leave it at that, between us.

with metta
Jack
"And so, because this Teaching is so different from what Westerners are accustomed to, they will try to adapt the Teaching to their own framework. What they need to learn to do is not to adapt the Teaching to their own point of view but to adapt their own point of view to the Teaching. This is called saddhá, or faith, and it means giving oneself to the Teaching even if the Teaching is contrary to one’s own preconceived notions of the way things are."- Ven Bodhesako

Nanavira Thera's teachings - An existential approach to the Dhamma | Ven. Bodhesako's essay on anicca
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Sylvester » Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:06 pm

BlackBird wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:
Sylvester wrote:It is not apparent from this sutta, but in many other suttas, DO is explained in a very standard formula ie idappaccayatā. The special grammatical formulation for cause and effect in that formula imports no simultaneity. As the grammars explain it, cause and effect according to idappaccayatā can be separated by huge spans of time.


Interesting comment. The way I understand DO is to see the nidanas as conditionally arising processes rather than events, which I think is in line with the sutta descriptions.


And the way I understand it DO is a structural principle that does not involve time whatsoever. It is the dependence of X upon Y, that with the ceasing of X, Y ceases - For a more pithy rendering see my signature.

So for better or worse, there is a veritable jungle of approaches to DO here.



Hee hee. But the problem is that most people, including very competent Pali scholars such as Ven T, will interpret idappaccayatā's "When there is this this is," as importing simultaneity. The locative absolute construction of Imasmiṃ sati idaṃ hotī has absolutely no temporal significance whatsoever, since it is made up on a L.A. composed of a present participle. The "when" in the formula is a causative when, such as "When I add yeast to the dough, it rises".
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:16 pm

BlackBird wrote:You are denying rebirth the way the Buddha categorically taught it, you've just build an elaborate conceptual framework as a means to eel-wriggle around the sutta passages that categorically disagree with your position.


:goodpost:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby BlackBird » Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:21 pm

Hi Reflection.

I can only suggest that you read the entire passage on 'A Note on Paticcasamupada' in order to understand his point of view. As I previously said I wish he was around to go toe to toe with you on this, which if you bother reading the letters he wrote at any stage you will see he absolutely relished (with no small degree of success in debate). I am not qualified to represent his position in regard to much of your analysis, it is unfortunate because I too would love to have the knowledge to be able to construct an adequate rebuttal.

But on the point of jati being literal in many suttas, yes I think he found this acceptable on the basis that when it was dealing with paticcasamupada it had this meaning, and when it was in a more general context, say talking about someone's birth or whatever, this phenomenological meaning did not apply.

So if you want to check it out:
nanavira.org

Hi Sylvester

I am no expert on pali, far from it, so I do not have the means to respond with a rebuttal, suffice to say I trust his translations, I have read the book many times over and seen non traditional translations explained with a good degree of logic. As for this particular point you make about temporal significance or lack thereof: Ven. Nyanavira felt that paticcasamupada was akalika (which he translated as not involving time, intemporal) I know this doesn't accord with what you have said, at least not in the way you 'meant it'. I simply contend that what he had was experiential evidence, and he worked backwards from there, so if certain translations do not fit right with pali scholars then I would say that makes not one iota of a difference given his positive disdain for scholasticism beyond his short list of 'things we have to thank scholars for'.

metta to you both
Jack
Last edited by BlackBird on Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"And so, because this Teaching is so different from what Westerners are accustomed to, they will try to adapt the Teaching to their own framework. What they need to learn to do is not to adapt the Teaching to their own point of view but to adapt their own point of view to the Teaching. This is called saddhá, or faith, and it means giving oneself to the Teaching even if the Teaching is contrary to one’s own preconceived notions of the way things are."- Ven Bodhesako

Nanavira Thera's teachings - An existential approach to the Dhamma | Ven. Bodhesako's essay on anicca
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:42 pm

Sylvester wrote: The "when" in the formula is a causative when, such as "When I add yeast to the dough, it rises".


So does this reasoning also apply to "when this arises, that arises"?
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby reflection » Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:50 pm

BlackBird wrote:Hi Reflection.

I can only suggest that you read the entire passage on 'A Note on Paticcasamupada' in order to understand his point of view. As I previously said I wish he was around to go toe to toe with you on this, which if you bother reading the letters he wrote at any stage you will see he absolutely relished (with no small degree of success in debate). I am not qualified to represent his position in regard to much of your analysis, it is unfortunate because I too would love to have the knowledge to be able to construct an adequate rebuttal.

But on the point of jati being literal in many suttas, yes I think he found this acceptable on the basis that when it was dealing with paticcasamupada it had this meaning, and when it was in a more general context, say talking about someone's birth or whatever, this phenomenological meaning did not apply.

So if you want to check it out:
nanavira.org

Hi,

True, words in the suttas have varying meanings. But 'birth' it is defined in terms of dependent origination, that's the thing.
"Monks, I will describe & analyze dependent co-arising for you. [...] "And what is birth? " (SN 12.2)

I am sorry, but I don't feel like reading the entire essay because it is so sluggish to get through for me and secondly, this doesn't apply to me: "This Note will take for granted first, that the reader is acquainted with this traditional interpretation, and secondly, that he is dissatisfied with it. ". Let me just say going by our personal feeling is not always wise.

You thinking he would have had an adequate response I think is mostly based on faith in him. Which I can respect, but, obviously won't make me or anybody else rethink things.

:anjali:
Last edited by reflection on Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby BlackBird » Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:52 pm

reflection wrote: obviously won't make me or anybody else rethink things.


No, you are quite right. But I was under the impression that we had given up on convincing others to rethink things some time prior to this ;)

I guess I was just hoping to see more learned criticism, which I do appreciate, despite appearances.

with metta
Jack
"And so, because this Teaching is so different from what Westerners are accustomed to, they will try to adapt the Teaching to their own framework. What they need to learn to do is not to adapt the Teaching to their own point of view but to adapt their own point of view to the Teaching. This is called saddhá, or faith, and it means giving oneself to the Teaching even if the Teaching is contrary to one’s own preconceived notions of the way things are."- Ven Bodhesako

Nanavira Thera's teachings - An existential approach to the Dhamma | Ven. Bodhesako's essay on anicca
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby reflection » Sat Jul 06, 2013 1:12 pm

BlackBird wrote:
reflection wrote: obviously won't make me or anybody else rethink things.


No, you are quite right. But I was under the impression that we had given up on convincing others to rethink things some time prior to this ;)

I guess I was just hoping to see more learned criticism, which I do appreciate, despite appearances.

with metta
Jack

Hi,

I did not go in a discussion with the aim of convincing or being convinced. That would just cause a lot of frustration. :D But rethinking is another thing. I could rethink his arguments and say "ok the reasoning makes sense, but I still don't agree". But based upon your faith that if he were alive, he would have a good response, I obviously can't do this. I still think his reasoning makes no sense, especially in light of the suttas. But that gets us quite off topic, and I did see the smiley face. ;)

So what could get us more back on is this, from a sutta quoted earlier:
[The Buddha:] "Don't say that, Ananda. Don't say that. Deep is this dependent co-arising, and deep its appearance. It's because of not understanding and not penetrating this Dhamma that this generation is like a tangled skein, a knotted ball of string, like matted rushes and reeds, and does not go beyond transmigration, beyond the planes of deprivation, woe, and bad destinations.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

So understanding dependent origination makes one go beyond the bad destinations. Or in other words, one with right view won't be reborn in lower realms, as stated in various suttas. Of course, somebody could say that a momentary dependent origination somehow prevents one from being reborn there, but isn't it far more logical that actually understanding the process of rebirth has something to do with it?

By the way, before anyone jumps in, the "planes of deprivation" are not metaphors, as later in the sutta the part I quoted before:
of devas in the state of devas, of celestials in the state of celestials, of spirits in the state of spirits, of demons in the state of demons, of human beings in the human state, of quadrupeds in the state of quadrupeds, of birds in the state of birds, of snakes in the state of snakes, or of any being in its own state


:anjali:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby reflection » Sat Jul 06, 2013 1:24 pm

Oh, and while we are freely sharing essays of our favorite teachers:

http://community.dhammaloka.org.au/cont ... rigination

;)
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby BlackBird » Sat Jul 06, 2013 1:43 pm

reflection wrote: and I did see the smiley face. ;)


We've come a long way from the other night, I would say :)

I like the stuff you've written about DO and and the (literal) lower realms, this accords with my view, as according to Ven. Nyanavira, seeing dependent origination is the key to achieving stream entry and once it is seen the lower realms are cut off. We might differ on the 'how', but we seem to agree on the 'what'.

metta
Jack
"And so, because this Teaching is so different from what Westerners are accustomed to, they will try to adapt the Teaching to their own framework. What they need to learn to do is not to adapt the Teaching to their own point of view but to adapt their own point of view to the Teaching. This is called saddhá, or faith, and it means giving oneself to the Teaching even if the Teaching is contrary to one’s own preconceived notions of the way things are."- Ven Bodhesako

Nanavira Thera's teachings - An existential approach to the Dhamma | Ven. Bodhesako's essay on anicca
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Sat Jul 06, 2013 3:45 pm

It's a very original interpretation of the suttas


It's not that original. Ajahn buddhadasa and Ajahn sumedho have similar lines of though and from what I have read of Ajahn chah he taught a mix of both interpretations
Open your mind and see, open your mind and rise. Shine the light of wisdom and see, don't wait till the end of time.
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