the great rebirth debate

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:42 am

chownah wrote:So far I have read that literal rebirth view can be good for motivating one to follow the buddha's teachings...for some people. I would like to read about some ways that literal rebirth view enters into someones practice in some way other than as a motivating principle.....do people try to be mindful of it for some reason other than motivation?.....do they contemplate it for some reason other than motivation?....how do people use literal rebirth view to enhance the other teachings....or to mesh in with the other teachings?
chownah
What do you think might be answers to your questions?
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 Aloka » Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:06 am

.

Something that I'd find interesting to read in this thread, would be any personal experiences of rebirth that people have had.
I don't mean things that have been read, or heard from other people, or seen in videos. Nor do I mean the results of "past life regression" sessions with a psychic or a hypnotherapist. I mean experiences of rebirth which have happened without the intervention or assistance of anyone else and without having taken (or had administered medically) any drugs or alcohol.


:anjali:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:32 am

Greetings,

Well, I was told by a colleague today, that he, I and another colleague (who happens also to be a Dhamma Wheel member) used to debate as monks in a previous life in Tibet.

Does that count?

:D

(p.s. now I don't really take what he said altogether seriously in this instance, but I do know that this person does have certain talents which could legitimately be described as paranormal)

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


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


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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:39 am

Aloka wrote:In general, I don't honestly see that there's any point in having this thread called "The Great Rebirth Debate," if only one viewpoint is considered to be acceptable.


But that works both ways.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:45 am

Aloka wrote: I mean experiences of rebirth which have happened without the intervention or assistance of anyone else and without having taken (or had administered medically) any drugs or alcohol.


I've had an long-standing interest in the psychology of dreams, and from time to time I have unusual dreams which feel very much like memories. Once I had an extended series of dreams about life and death as a German soldier on the Russian front in World War Two.

Of course this is all completely entirely subjective and inconclusive, and it isn't a basis for believing in rebirth - but I do find it intriguing.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:50 am

clw_uk wrote:He does however dismiss any speculation of future lives as a waste of time and argues for D.O. occurring in the present moment, so clinging causing birth of "I am" that can spill over into another life


Yes, I get that. But I don't think we're speculating about future lives here ( it's a strawman ), what we're actually speculating about is the Buddha's teaching, and how it should be interpreted and applied.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Aloka » Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:51 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

Well, I was told by a colleague today, that he, I and another colleague (who happens also to be a Dhamma Wheel member) used to debate as monks in a previous life in Tibet.

Does that count?

:D

(p.s. now I don't really take what he said altogether seriously in this instance, but I do know that this person does have certain talents which could legitimately be described as paranormal)

Metta,
Retro. :)


Well I was once told by a Tibetan tulku that I was a dakini and that I knew him and a couple of other tulkus in previous lives in Tibet....so perhaps you and I knew each other in Tibet too - and now we've been reborn here in a repetitive rebirth thread hell realm, Retro !

:lol:
Last edited by Aloka on Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:52 am

daverupa wrote:Also,

Spiny Norman wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:The last two chapters of the Sn are often cited as being very early suttas.


Mike, by first 2 chapters, do you mean the first 2 books? That would be the Book with verses, SN1 - SN11, and the Book of causation, SN12 - SN21? SN12 is Nidanavagga, the one relating to DO.


:shrug:


So I misunderstood. OK.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:52 am

Greetings Aloka,

:rofl:

:twothumbsup:

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


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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Tue Aug 27, 2013 9:50 am

Spiny Norman wrote:
clw_uk wrote:He does however dismiss any speculation of future lives as a waste of time and argues for D.O. occurring in the present moment, so clinging causing birth of "I am" that can spill over into another life


Yes, I get that. But I don't think we're speculating about future lives here ( it's a strawman ), what we're actually speculating about is the Buddha's teaching, and how it should be interpreted and applied.




I know :) I was just stating what Buddhadasa position was as a side note, nothing to do with this discussion
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby chownah » Tue Aug 27, 2013 10:58 am

tiltbillings wrote:
chownah wrote:So far I have read that literal rebirth view can be good for motivating one to follow the buddha's teachings...for some people. I would like to read about some ways that literal rebirth view enters into someones practice in some way other than as a motivating principle.....do people try to be mindful of it for some reason other than motivation?.....do they contemplate it for some reason other than motivation?....how do people use literal rebirth view to enhance the other teachings....or to mesh in with the other teachings?
chownah
What do you think might be answers to your questions?

Answers to my questions might be when someone who believes in literal rebirth posts how it is part of their practice as I have described or in some similar way....very simple really.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Aug 27, 2013 11:23 am

chownah wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
chownah wrote:So far I have read that literal rebirth view can be good for motivating one to follow the buddha's teachings...for some people. I would like to read about some ways that literal rebirth view enters into someones practice in some way other than as a motivating principle.....do people try to be mindful of it for some reason other than motivation?.....do they contemplate it for some reason other than motivation?....how do people use literal rebirth view to enhance the other teachings....or to mesh in with the other teachings?
chownah
What do you think might be answers to your questions?

Answers to my questions might be when someone who believes in literal rebirth posts how it is part of their practice as I have described or in some similar way....very simple really.
chownah
In other words, you are not going to try to empathetically put yourself in their shoes to try understand what it might mean to hold such a view.
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 daverupa » Tue Aug 27, 2013 11:35 am

chownah wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
chownah wrote:So far I have read that literal rebirth view can be good for motivating one to follow the buddha's teachings...for some people. I would like to read about some ways that literal rebirth view enters into someones practice in some way other than as a motivating principle.....do people try to be mindful of it for some reason other than motivation?.....do they contemplate it for some reason other than motivation?....how do people use literal rebirth view to enhance the other teachings....or to mesh in with the other teachings?
chownah
What do you think might be answers to your questions?

Answers to my questions might be when someone who believes in literal rebirth posts how it is part of their practice as I have described or in some similar way....very simple really.
chownah


I am :popcorn: as well, chownah. The view already means something significant to many, and I would like to see a testimonial. But perhaps it will make reference to abhinna, and thus leave the person open to ridicule? Even so, this wouldn't really be answering the question of how it affects practice; perhaps knowing the fact of it is motivating somehow, and thus psychic and not worth mentioning online, but otherwise not present for the practical day-to-day? But that would be agreeing with those who say it isn't essential... so, I guess there are some psychic experiences folks are reticent to talk about.

There may be an opening here for a thread on motivational strategies being used. Perhaps rebirth will come up in that case?

tiltbillings wrote: you are not going to try to empathetically put yourself in their shoes to try understand what it might mean to hold such a view.


It would be make-believe, in my case; empathy is one thing, understanding another's mind something else again. chownah has simply asked for their own words.
    "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 lyndon taylor » Tue Aug 27, 2013 1:13 pm

Well The no rebirthers want to see testimonials, I would like some testimonials from the no rebirthers on the topic; "how I know my views are superior to the Buddha's and overide what the Buddha said, and how I can claim to have no ego at the same time I put my ideas above the buddha's"
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby kirk5a » Tue Aug 27, 2013 1:45 pm

I had a dream about rebirth as a fruit fly if I didn't quit drinking. (Fruit flies consume alcohol from rotting fruit.) Pretty terrifying. I quit drinking.
"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 tiltbillings » Tue Aug 27, 2013 1:50 pm

kirk5a wrote:I had a dream about rebirth as a fruit fly if I didn't quit drinking. (Fruit flies consume alcohol from rotting fruit.) Pretty terrifying. I quit drinking.

Image
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 tiltbillings » Tue Aug 27, 2013 2:14 pm

daverupa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote: you are not going to try to empathetically put yourself in their shoes to try understand what it might mean to hold such a view.


It would be make-believe, in my case; empathy is one thing, understanding another's mind something else again. chownah has simply asked for their own words.
Make believe? Oh, dear. Can't have that. Banish imagination from one's practice and in one's attempt at understand others.

So far I have read that literal rebirth view can be good for motivating one to follow the buddha's teachings...for some people. I would like to read about some ways that literal rebirth view enters into someones practice in some way other than as a motivating principle.....do people try to be mindful of it for some reason other than motivation?.....do they contemplate it for some reason other than motivation?....how do people use literal rebirth view to enhance the other teachings....or to mesh in with the other teachings?
It is a matter of context. What motivates one to practice? And interestingly enough there is not a single answer to that other than dukkha, but how that is expressed and understood, is something that changes over time, from one moment to the next, from one decade to next, as one gains insight into the rise and fall of mind/body process that we are -- the world/the all --, as one bumps into the whole catastrophe of our lives as it unfolds. Rebirth may stand in the foreground or it may stand in the background as a motivating factor, as an expression of change and of paticcasamuppada. The reality of it may be a basis for insight, as in the Buddha's awakening, as one may see the conditioned/conditioning nature of the world/the all via meditative (jhana) practice.

What do you want someone to say here? You want testimonials? Testimonials of what? And why? I shrug my shoulders.
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 chownah » Tue Aug 27, 2013 2:39 pm

lyndon taylor wrote:Well The no rebirthers want to see testimonials, I would like some testimonials from the no rebirthers on the topic; "how I know my views are superior to the Buddha's and overide what the Buddha said, and how I can claim to have no ego at the same time I put my ideas above the buddha's"

I think that testimonial is a bad word to use at least for me. I just want to know how literal rebirth fits in with following the dhamma other than as a motivating factor since I already know about that aspect of it. I accept that it is a motivator for some people and am wondering if it plays a wider role.....if not then that is ok too.

In my practice literal rebirth does not play any role that I can think of. In my practice the concept of having no doctrine of self is probably the most important thing. A way that this helps me is when for example I get angry because someone did or said something. When I realize that I am angry I note how it is through self identification that anger has arisen and that this is twofold; first it is from me acting from a standpoint of self and second from me projecting that the other person has an active self agent and identity. After noting this I affirm that it is the aggregates which are the source of the arising of the anger in me and it is the aggregates which are the source of action in the other person. Then I usually realize that it was an indulgence in a doctrine of self that gave rise to anger and that is why it is better to have no doctrine of self whatever....then I often just let it go. This works really well for me and I'm hoping that as time goes on my mind will become more calm and I will be able to understand more clearly the dynamics of experience.

My practice is more than just this but as you can see there is an immediate benefit for me in this practice in that it reduces anger and provides ease so this is a motivating factor which comes directly from the practice. So, if you asked me how having no doctrine of self is part of my practice this is part of it. Now, I am asking those who have an active belief in literal rebirth if and how do they use it in their practice. I hope that my explanation of a part of my practice helps in seeing the general kind of thing that I'm looking for or anything else that I haven't even thought of would be good too.

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby daverupa » Tue Aug 27, 2013 3:15 pm

tiltbillings wrote:Make believe? Oh, dear. Can't have that. Banish imagination from one's practice and in one's attempt at understand others.


It's a fine line between imagination for the sake of walking a mile in another's shoes, and objectifying them. Better, in either case, is the testimony of that particular phenomenological point of view, i.e. the person with the belief in question who can self-report what that means for their practice.

kirk5a showed us an example of how simple this can be - in that example it wasn't the relevant precept that applied, but the dream plus rebirth-view.

In any event, you have committed a hasty generalization fallacy re: "banish imagination...".
    "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 tiltbillings » Tue Aug 27, 2013 7:59 pm

daverupa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Make believe? Oh, dear. Can't have that. Banish imagination from one's practice and in one's attempt at understand others.


It's a fine line between imagination for the sake of walking a mile in another's shoes, and objectifying them. Better, in either case, is the testimony of that particular phenomenological point of view, i.e. the person with the belief in question who can self-report what that means for their practice.

kirk5a showed us an example of how simple this can be - in that example it wasn't the relevant precept that applied, but the dream plus rebirth-view.

In any event, you have committed a hasty generalization fallacy re: "banish imagination...".
Shame on me. My mistake. '"banish imagination..."' I thought that was just humorous drama, not an argument.

If a person asks a question such as chownah did, they should also be able offer an answer, if asked, what they think an answer to that question might be. That becomes a basis for dialogue, for mutual exploration, in that it helps clarify for the questioner and those reading the question what is being actually being asked, and it spreads out any heavy lifting in both directions rather than expecting one side to provide the answers to a weighty question. It simply makes for a more interesting and useful dialogue. Lyndon's counter question to chownah also helped.

Rebirth, like any conceptual notion taught by the Buddha, can play a role in one's motivation based upon what one understands, and it can further one's understanding. Experientially, the concept of rebirth is a way of relating to samsara, as are such concepts as nibbana or anatta, which, according to the Buddha's teachings, are open to experiential verification. And what rebirth and nibbana or anatta means to the individual -- how one finds oneself in samsara -- will change, should change, with practice and insight.

These things can be talked about, which was the point of my counter question to chownah.
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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