the great rebirth debate

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Aug 31, 2013 8:24 pm

nowheat wrote:What I see is that the Buddha recognized this. He set out to cure the suffering for the world, not for one individual. How could he be asking us to focus on one individual, when he says we aren't individuals -- we are not separate.
"He says." You have made very specific claims here. Let us see not generalities, but your specific sutta evidence for these claims.
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 » Sat Aug 31, 2013 8:30 pm

nowheat wrote:
Aloka wrote:
nowheat wrote:I agree, it's an imponderable.


Yes. (I added an extra bit to my post while you were writing yours)


and this is what you added, right?

So therefore the following argument would also be unconjecturable :

nowheat wrote:I am arguing that the Buddha's point was to end not just his suffering, but the suffering of *all of us*, not just the individual's, but the world's.

You can probably see, from what I've said a bit earlier, that my answer is that what is imponderable is whether or not one can succeed in liberating X percentage of the world -- it would just be silly to give a number as if one knows what the outcome will be -- so of course it is imponderable.

This is different from saying that the teachings are not directed toward that end. It's not imponderable because it's not a worthwhile goal -- it's a worthwhile goal even if not achievable, because the process of heading toward that goal provides benefits for everyone, whether the ultimate goal is ever achieved or not. Plus, what's going on with each individual is inexorably intertwined with what is going on with everyone else, because it's process, not separate beings. But the focus of practice, in the long run, isn't "my suffering" -- the point is really the effect I have on the rest of the world. What I do is *much* *much* larger than the effect it has on *me*. Focus on rebirth doesn't teach that, focus on rebirth teaches that it's about *this one stream of existence* -- I should be concerned with *my* future, not with yours, not the with the effect I have on you and everyone else like you whose lives touch mine? I need to be thinking about getting merit for *me*. Even if I give away my merit to you, I'm doing it because it gets double merit for *me*. The emphasis is just ever-so-slightly in the wrong place.

What I see is that the Buddha recognized this. He set out to cure the suffering for the world, not for one individual. How could he be asking us to focus on one individual, when he says we aren't individuals -- we are not separate.




Ok fine, and so you think you "see" what the Buddha recognised - and you think he set out to cure the suffering of the whole world etc etc....but where did he actually say that he wanted to cure the world's suffering ?

Please provide some actual references to support your statements, Nowheat.

I don't think I have anything further that I want to say at this point and I need to reply to some e-mails before I go to bed. Thanks very much for the chat, be well and happy.

:anjali:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby nowheat » Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:59 am

tiltbillings wrote:
nowheat wrote:What I see is that the Buddha recognized this. He set out to cure the suffering for the world, not for one individual. How could he be asking us to focus on one individual, when he says we aren't individuals -- we are not separate.
"He says." You have made very specific claims here. Let us see not generalities, but your specific sutta evidence for these claims.

My "very specific claim", tilt, was an opinion. That's indicated by "what I see". I am not, at the moment, working on furthering my thesis, nor adding new ones. If you disagree with my opinion, you're welcome to say so, and I'll be interested to hear what you have to say.

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby chownah » Sun Sep 01, 2013 2:33 am

lyndon taylor wrote:So you're saying there is no decline in buddhism in Thailand, and all those articles to that effect are just made up????

My point is that there does not seem to be a decline in the belief in rebirth.
I don't see any decline in Buddhism here......but then I just see a tiny tiny tiny slice of a sliver of all the people in Thailand so I'm really not in a position to know if there is a decline in Buddhism in Thailand.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Sep 01, 2013 2:39 am

nowheat wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
nowheat wrote:What I see is that the Buddha recognized this. He set out to cure the suffering for the world, not for one individual. How could he be asking us to focus on one individual, when he says we aren't individuals -- we are not separate.
"He says." You have made very specific claims here. Let us see not generalities, but your specific sutta evidence for these claims.

My "very specific claim", tilt, was an opinion. That's indicated by "what I see". I am not, at the moment, working on furthering my thesis, nor adding new ones. If you disagree with my opinion, you're welcome to say so, and I'll be interested to hear what you have to say.

:namaste:
So, it seems to be an opinion that is not based in the Buddha's teachings despite that fact you used "He [the Buddha] says" as support of your opinion. In other words your opinion has no real basis in the Buddha's "He says?"
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 » Sun Sep 01, 2013 2:57 am

kirk5a wrote:
chownah wrote:I guess that the concept of rebirth long predates the Buddha. Also, I guess that all of the concepts from before the Buddha were wrong as judged from a Buddhist standpoint. So, I'm wondering why was rebirth (evidentially) such a popular idea long before the Buddha......and why did so many different views (wrong views from a buddhist standpoint) come about and how was it that they were even before the Buddha so hotly debated?

In other words, leaving Buddhism and the Buddha aside, what is it about rebirth that made it such a common and diverse group of beliefs? I have some ideas on this of an obvious sort but I''m wondering what things others can come up with......if there is any interest.
chownah

The suttas describe experiences of previous lives by non-Buddhist contemplatives. So the Buddha was probably not the first to directly see prior lives through meditation.

See for example
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .bodh.html

kirk5a,
Thanks for the link! I read a lot of the sutta but not every single word. I'm still pondering how literally to take the mention of Brahmins having recollected their past lives. It seems that the Buddha is describing them as being serious and sincere in reporting having recollected past lives........but then they reach false conclusions from their recollections. I'm also pondering whether the Brahmins were just a pedagogic fabrication to give a structure to the teaching. But then realistically it does seem to make sense that there would be serious and sincere Brahmins who would report having recollected past lives......so a question is whether the Buddha's mentioning of them gives their recollection a certification of authenticity or if the Buddha was meaning more on the order of this is just what they reported and he was not making any judgements about authenticity.
This brought up another question. Does anyone know if the Buddha ever reported that he could recollect past lives before he was enlightened?
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby nowheat » Sun Sep 01, 2013 4:56 am

chownah wrote:Wouldn't an animal need to be REBORN as a human to be liberated?.........oooooops........there is that rebirth thing again.

Given that all the beings in the world as taken from the buddha's perspective would be all the beings you experience which in turn would be all the external selves you mentally construct then it seems to liberate all of them they would have to undergo no further births.......for me this means stop fabricating selves for them.........(just one way to look at it)

Or, What better way to do the most toward universal liberation than to liberate one's self? Even though I am not liberated I do firmly believe that my attempts at working toward that goal are what has contributed the most toward development of compassion for all life.
chownah

Certainly each individual's efforts add to the whole, but as long as one's effort is being directed toward *one's own future happiness* as more significant than the effect they have on others, how far will they progress? Do you not see that? If you see it some other way will you explain it to me?

When you say "what better way to do the most towards universal liberation" and describe working for just one's own liberation, are you suggesting that to just go off by oneself and meditate in the woods is the most one can do? If the Buddha had done that, would we have as many people practicing for liberation? I'm really not understanding your point of view on this, and would love clarification.

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby nowheat » Sun Sep 01, 2013 5:37 am

nowheat wrote:So when folks ask "Without rebirth, what is the point?" this is my answer: reducing dukkha for all of us. Does this not seem to you to be a worthwhile motivation?

Am I the only one who recognizes this? I come back to this point over and over and I never hear anyone who believes the Buddha was speaking about literal rebirth and counting it as essential to practice and liberation explain why he would be fostering an attitude that *my* future suffering should be of greater concern than the effect I have on the world-at-large. ((this quote was directed at everyone -- no one has answered it that I have seen.))

Do you disagree that his concern was firstly for the world, and secondarily on individuals... Do you see his teachings as only about how to reduce dukkha for oneself, or don't you find -- as I do -- that the talk of morality has as a pivot point what effect our behavior has on others -- so that we should be concerned not so much with our own suffering but what we cause others? Should our concern with our behavior be significant largely because of merit and our future rebirths? Or are we aiming to understand it -- aside from selfish goals about future rebirth -- through its impact on others? If you find that to be important, can you address my doubts about how helpful rebirth is to a goal of putting the emphasis on the world's suffering, rather than one's own?

Or if I am doing what we humans seem to do so well -- asking questions that are logical within my paradigm but aren't even valid questions within yours -- please show me how the pieces fit in yours. ((this series of quotes was directed specifically to tilt))

Aloka wrote:
nowheat wrote:What I see is that the Buddha recognized this. He set out to cure the suffering for the world, not for one individual. How could he be asking us to focus on one individual, when he says we aren't individuals -- we are not separate.

Ok fine, and so you think you "see" what the Buddha recognised - and you think he set out to cure the suffering of the whole world etc etc....but where did he actually say that he wanted to cure the world's suffering ?

Please provide some actual references to support your statements, Nowheat.


You actually answer my questions when I ask them of you directly, Aloka, so let me give you a brief answer. Though I haven't got a sutta to hand*, if I recall correctly, the Buddha is seen in the suttas to consider just going off by himself now that he has had his awakening -- but he chooses not to. This is what I mean when I say that "he set out to cure the suffering for the world, not for one individual."

Do you disagree with that?

By extension, his concern was not with any one individual, or I guess he'd have gone off and taught that person. As I see (<-- indication that this is my general understanding = opinion) what he was doing, he taught individuals with his aim being to free as many people from dukkha as possible with his teachings. I get this from *his actions* not because he goes around making statements about it. From the way he didn't go off and meditate; from the way he very carefully structured his lessons; and sent monks off to teach; from the way he kept it up for four decades.

That doesn't seem obvious to you? Do you read his actions some other way?

In various ways I have asked folks in general here, and tilt in particular, (see the beginning of this message) how they perceive the practice as regards concern with ones own future rewards vs. concern with how our actions affect others, and not gotten an answer. I am not asking for a battle of the sutta-thumpers, I'm asking for people to share their understanding. My understanding is that the practice is not about fostering a concern with one's own future, but about doing away with all that and recognizing how what we do affects not only us, but those around us; and how the practice leads us to understand that our desire to reduce our suffering is something in common with all people, and that this is the reason we should be kind to others. If you do not perceive reduction of dukkha for all to be what the practice is, ultimately, about, I'd want to hear your understanding of what it is about. If you agree that the practice is, ultimately, not strongly focused on how we create our own suffering (though clearly, that is a part) but, using our own desire to reduce our suffering, directs us towards compassion for others and an understanding of how what we do affects others, then I would like to know how you perceive developing a belief in rebirth works to foster that compassion. I don't actually think that my asking for such a discussion is so far out there that it deserves to be ignored, or buried under extraneous requests for proofs of things I indicated were opinions.

Before anyone asks me to cite suttas in support of this, I will want them to say *they disagree* with me on this point -- that, instead, they think Buddhism puts concern for one's future rebirths over recognition of the ways the things we do in our ignorance harm not just ourselves but others.

:namaste:

* if you need me to provide that sutta, I'll look for it after I've finished the homework Sylvester gave me, which I'll do after I finish the paper I'm working on.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Sep 01, 2013 5:49 am

nowheat wrote: . . .
You have yet too tie your opinions to what the Buddha taught. Until you actually do that, I see no reason whatsoever to agree or disagree with what you are saying. Simply, you are an accurate reporter of what your opinions are, but you have shown little actual engagement with what the Buddha taught.
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 cooran » Sun Sep 01, 2013 5:54 am

Hello nowheat,

Maybe the Sutta you mention is the Ayacana Sutta - The Request
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

With metta,
Chris
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby nowheat » Sun Sep 01, 2013 6:32 am

tiltbillings wrote:
nowheat wrote:My "very specific claim", tilt, was an opinion. That's indicated by "what I see". I am not, at the moment, working on furthering my thesis, nor adding new ones. If you disagree with my opinion, you're welcome to say so, and I'll be interested to hear what you have to say.

So, it seems to be an opinion that is not based in the Buddha's teachings despite that fact you used "He [the Buddha] says" as support of your opinion. In other words your opinion has no real basis in the Buddha's "He says?"


I understand, tilt, that you don't understand the way I speak. I am not sure how it is that the way I speak seems to hit static between the moment I hit the Enter key and the moment it hits your eyeballs, but it does. I am not placing blame, I am just stating what I see, that something in the process between us is making it so that we aren't understanding each other.

Anyway.

For "support of my opinion" see my clarification to Aloka, above.

The whole paragraph is me expressing my understanding, tilt. That I was generalizing was obvious to me; not obvious to you. In the gap between what I say and what you hear, you pour the assumption that I'm talking about something said overtly in the suttas -- and ask for citations, and when I don't provide them, imply a failure on my part. And it is a failure -- I fail to be saying what you think I'm saying, or drawing my conclusions from what you think I should be drawing them from (in this case I was drawing from the action in the suttas, you apparently think I am drawing from overt statements in them) and so I am unable to satisfy you in the way you want to be satisfied -- this is a failure, but it is not the failure you are mistaking it for: it's a failure to communicate. In stating opinions I say, "He says..." and you take it literally. I can understand that you could see it that way, but if you actually accepted that I am working from large patterns, and subtleties, I think you would recognize that I'm not paraphrasing from suttas when I start a paragraph with "What I see is...". But for some reason you keep expecting overt sutta citations when I have said, often enough, that I am talking about things that are not overt.

This particular thread in the conversation started with me sharing what my understanding was and then asking for others to share theirs, so that I can see how the two match up -- maybe folks can show me where my understanding is in error. But I don't get *sharing*. I get no answer at all to my question, or I get things like this -- you asking me to provide evidence of a sort that is not what I'm drawing on. Is it coincidence that all these demands for evidence unsuitable to the argument I am making is the wall you build around you so that you don't have to say what you think when I ask you to share your understanding? I cannot help but suspect that you don't have any good argument against my understanding, and all the cries for evidence provide a nice veil to hide behind.

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby nowheat » Sun Sep 01, 2013 6:37 am

cooran wrote:Maybe the Sutta you mention is the Ayacana Sutta - The Request
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Yes, thank you Chris.

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Sep 01, 2013 6:56 am

nowheat wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
nowheat wrote:My "very specific claim", tilt, was an opinion. That's indicated by "what I see". I am not, at the moment, working on furthering my thesis, nor adding new ones. If you disagree with my opinion, you're welcome to say so, and I'll be interested to hear what you have to say.

So, it seems to be an opinion that is not based in the Buddha's teachings despite that fact you used "He [the Buddha] says" as support of your opinion. In other words your opinion has no real basis in the Buddha's "He says?"


I understand, tilt, that you don't understand the way I speak.
I understand the way you write. The problem is that you are voicing a set of opinions, which is fine, except without backing up your opinions with the Buddha's word, which claimed to be reflecting, your opinions carry little weight, other than being your opinions.

I am not sure how it is that the way I speak seems to hit static between the moment I hit the Enter key and the moment it hits your eyeballs, but it does. I am not placing blame, I am just stating what I see, that something in the process between us is making it so that we aren't understanding each other.


nowheat wrote:What I see is that the Buddha recognized this. He set out to cure the suffering for the world, not for one individual. How could he be asking us to focus on one individual, when he says we aren't individuals -- we are not separate.
"He says." You have made very specific claims here. Let us see not generalities, but your specific sutta evidence for these claims.
I am not making an unreasonable request here. It is based solidly upon what you have said.


The whole paragraph is me expressing my understanding, tilt. That I was generalizing was obvious to me; not obvious to you.
Now you are telling me what I think, what I know.

In the gap between what I say and what you hear, you pour the assumption that I'm talking about something said overtly in the suttas
Look at your own words as I just quoted them above. Basically, you are admitting that you are an unskillful writer.

-- and ask for citations, and when I don't provide them, imply a failure on my part.
When you say very directly -- "He [he Buddha] says" --, asking for an actual quote is not out of line, but what we see here your defensive attempt at making me responsible for your failure in clearly communicating what you are trying to say. It is all drama with you here and little to no actual substance. Put some meat on the bones of your opinions.
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 nowheat » Sun Sep 01, 2013 7:27 am

As far as I can tell, tilt, despite your protests, you're not understanding a word I'm saying, and I find these sorts of endless loops really, really tedious, so I'll talk to any folks who are generous enough to share their understanding, because that is a big part of what I'm here for -- to understand why my understanding would be seen as incorrect by others. For whatever reason, you're not able to share that, so I'm just going to let you drift into my peripheral vision and do what I do.

:namaste:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Sep 01, 2013 7:55 am

nowheat wrote:As far as I can tell, tilt, despite your protests, you're not understanding a word I'm saying, and I find these sorts of endless loops really, really tedious, so I'll talk to any folks who are generous enough to share their understanding, because that is a big part of what I'm here for -- to understand why my understanding would be seen as incorrect by others. For whatever reason, you're not able to share that, so I'm just going to let you drift into my peripheral vision and do what I do.
That is one way to avoid taking responsibility for what and how you write and for not being able actually tie your opinions to what the Buddha said when reasonably asked to do so based upon what you said.

to understand why my understanding would be seen as incorrect by others.
Except you are coming across as quite unwilling to actually do that. I ask a reasonable question based upon what you said, and -- goodness -- I get the above as a response. Show that your opinions are actually grounded in the Buddha's teachings, and we can then talk. Not an unreasonable request.

As a set of opinions, your opinions are correctly your opinions, but do they reflect what the Buddha taught? That would require looking at what the Buddha taught. Also, try to clearly and concisely state what it that you are opining about. That would also help.
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 chownah » Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:20 am

nowheat wrote:
chownah wrote:Wouldn't an animal need to be REBORN as a human to be liberated?.........oooooops........there is that rebirth thing again.

Given that all the beings in the world as taken from the buddha's perspective would be all the beings you experience which in turn would be all the external selves you mentally construct then it seems to liberate all of them they would have to undergo no further births.......for me this means stop fabricating selves for them.........(just one way to look at it)

Or, What better way to do the most toward universal liberation than to liberate one's self? Even though I am not liberated I do firmly believe that my attempts at working toward that goal are what has contributed the most toward development of compassion for all life.
chownah

Certainly each individual's efforts add to the whole, but as long as one's effort is being directed toward *one's own future happiness* as more significant than the effect they have on others, how far will they progress? Do you not see that? If you see it some other way will you explain it to me?

When you say "what better way to do the most towards universal liberation" and describe working for just one's own liberation, are you suggesting that to just go off by oneself and meditate in the woods is the most one can do? If the Buddha had done that, would we have as many people practicing for liberation? I'm really not understanding your point of view on this, and would love clarification.

:namaste:

I have a lot of agreement for what you are saying......but.....to understand my posts you should understand that my belief system is very different from most posters here. For me having no doctrine of self is probably the key concept. In working toward no doctrine of self I start from the opposite side from most. My default belief is that there is no self in me or in the world anywhere....and of course this view is in fact a doctrine of self. But I can not just snap my fingers and change my views so I continue to firmly be of the view that ther is no self anywhere. I believe strongly in The All and The World as the Buddha defined them in the suttas.......but unlike most people I fully believe that understanding experience as being just that is a major key in moving toward the goal....this means that I tend to deny the existence of the "external world" as most people view it.....if I must give an opinion about the external world I would say that it's existence is just conjecture.

Do understand that I do typically walk around feeling like a self and seeing others as being selves but I see this as just my state of delusion and I often touch base on having no doctrine of self....especially when experience turns negative. And I walk around as if there was an external world and I can function quite well in it thank you so I'm not a slack jawed drooler.

All of this about me is to show you how hard it is for me to reply to what you are saying. You talk about whether a self should work towards it's future happiness and my most honest answer to this is that all a self ever does is to work towards it's future happiness and this is a strong indication of why we should have no doctrine of self. You talk about saving the world and I think you mean the external world and my view is that it's existence is just a conjecture and it is better to see the world in more definite terms I.e. as the sum total of our life's experience and nothing more.....on other words it is a product of the self. I think that most people think that my thinking is so whacked out that it is first very difficult to convey exactly what I am talking about and second they usually just reject it anyway which is fineas I have become used to being not understood.

So, I agree with a lot of what you are saying but I have to decode it into my belief structure, formulate an answer, code it back onto your belief structure, and then express it in writing......and on top of this I have only got a touch pad for typing and an automatic spell corrector which mostly just changes sutta into sutra and basically seems to be working against me.

I hope this is not too much of a rant but I thought it might help you to understand my replies.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Aloka » Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:43 am

nowheat wrote:You actually answer my questions when I ask them of you directly, Aloka, so let me give you a brief answer. Though I haven't got a sutta to hand*, if I recall correctly, the Buddha is seen in the suttas to consider just going off by himself now that he has had his awakening -- but he chooses not to. This is what I mean when I say that "he set out to cure the suffering for the world, not for one individual."

Do you disagree with that?


Hello again nowheat,

After his awakening the Buddha decided to teach others because he realised that beings were in different stages of development and that some of them would benefit greatly from his teachings. (SN 6.1)

He then went on to teach the people who were interested in what he had to say, in an area of India.

To me this doesn't indicate that his personal intention was to cure the suffering of everyone on the planet.

No offence meant - but In general, I'm not particularly interested in continually speculating about what the Buddha might, or might not have intended. I guess its probably because I'm a schoolteacher by profession and I like to see supporting evidence from source material - but anyway, that's all from me. Have fun !


:)
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Sep 01, 2013 9:50 am

Aloka wrote:
nowheat wrote:You actually answer my questions when I ask them of you directly, Aloka, so let me give you a brief answer. Though I haven't got a sutta to hand*, if I recall correctly, the Buddha is seen in the suttas to consider just going off by himself now that he has had his awakening -- but he chooses not to. This is what I mean when I say that "he set out to cure the suffering for the world, not for one individual."

Do you disagree with that?


Hello again nowheat,

After his awakening the Buddha decided to teach others because he realised that beings were in different stages of development and that some of them would benefit greatly from his teachings. (SN 6.1)

He then went on to teach the people who were interested in what he had to say, in an area of India.

To me this doesn't indicate that his personal intention was to cure the suffering of everyone on the planet.

.
And the Buddha also emphasized the importance of individual practice and the need for the individual to get her act together before trying help others.
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 Spiny Norman » Sun Sep 01, 2013 11:41 am

clw_uk wrote:However it can also seem like some people need rebirth to be true


Yes, the idea of rebirth could be quite comforting because it represents a continuation of sorts, and could be a way of coping with death anxiety. So there can be both clinging and aversion to the idea of rebirth.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby nowheat » Sun Sep 01, 2013 3:09 pm

In the suttas I have seen how sometimes a simile is useful in conveying information. Here's my attempt at using that method to make clear what I see happening here.

Scientist: There are other planets in solar systems other than our own. I have seen them.
Skeptic: If you have seen them, take me to them and show me.
Scientist: I didn't see them by going to them. I saw them indirectly by drawing conclusions from observations, and from the way math works, from physics.
Skeptic: But you have stated that you have seen them. I will believe you when you support what you have said by showing them to me. So take me to one.
Scientist: You aren't understanding the way I use words, nor are you understanding the way I have come to the conclusions I have. When I said "I have seen them" you took it literally. I was meaning something different. I meant I had good evidence of their existence through other methods rather than by having visited one. Let me try showing you one method. Let's talk about gravity. Gravity is important evidence for what I am saying. Let's start with something you can see for yourself -- or rather feel. Have you experienced gravity?
Skeptic: I see no reason to talk to you about gravity when you are completely unable to support your first statement that you have seen other planets. Until you can support that statement by bringing me to an extra-solar planet so that I, too, can see it with my eyes, I will not confirm or deny anything about gravity.
Scientist: You are not understanding the language I was using.
Skeptic: I understand the language you were using perfectly. I have not asked for anything unreasonable. You said you have seen other planets. I will believe that when you take me to one so that I, too, can see other planets.
Scientist: I never said I had been to another planet. I never said I could take you to one. I have explained what I meant, and set out on an attempt to demonstrate to you some of the methods I do use. You have misunderstood what I am saying, and you refuse to engage in a demonstration of the methods I do use. I am wanting to show you one component -- and if you find that component to fail in some way, you can show me your proofs and I can learn something new, maybe I'll find out there aren't extrasolar planets after all as a result -- but you refuse.
Skeptic: Given what you said -- and it was perfectly clear; just look at the words you used! see here how you stated "I have seen them"? -- asking for you to bring me to a planet where I can see one too is not out of line. These dodges of yours are just you being defensive because you can't back up what you said.
Scientist: You say you understand the way I speak, but it's clear that you don't. I have tried to explain this to you, and while you say you understand, I don't see that you do. I don't think I can get through to you because there's some interference between us hindering understanding.
Skeptic: Good, you admit that you are bad at communicating.
Scientist: Can we talk about gravity?
Skeptic: Not until you can prove to me you saw a planet by taking me there.
Scientist: I give up.
Skeptic: More proof that you're incompetent. When the pressure is on, you dodge responsibility...
Scientist: Whatever.
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