I'd rather be reborn

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I'd rather be reborn

Postby kmath » Wed Nov 20, 2013 2:25 am

I'm starting to think I'd rather be born again. I mean, what's the point of not existing? The absence of dukkha? I'd rather live and suffer than not have ANY experience.

People say, Nibbana is not non-existence. I don't know how they can say that. If you are not born, you don't exist -- period. How could it be any more complicated than that?

People say there is no "you" existing now. And fine I accept there is no permanent "me-ness." But I'm here. I mean, I exist in a conventional sense.

People say: you have had so many lives -- you don't just want to carry on forever. But look, I can't remember any of those lives, so to me, this is the first one.

Anyway I know this topic has been debated ad infinitum. But I think it's important, so if you have any comments, please post below.

Thanks,

kmath :jedi:
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Re: I'd rather be reborn

Postby Weakfocus » Wed Nov 20, 2013 3:09 am

kmath wrote:I'm starting to think I'd rather be born again. I mean, what's the point of not existing? The absence of dukkha? I'd rather live and suffer than not have ANY experience.

People say, Nibbana is not non-existence. I don't know how they can say that. If you are not born, you don't exist -- period. How could it be any more complicated than that?


While I am not strong on the theoretical aspects of Dhamma and Buddha's teaching -and obviously my practice is not strong enough to speak from personal experience- as I understand Nibbana is the realization of the four noble truths. The realization of there not being any self comes well before Nibbana with Bhanga-ñana, a state in which you experience total dissolution of solidity in the body and experience your entire being as a flux (impermanent vibrations) with nothing left to be called as "me" or "mine". And after you experience Bhanga-ñana, you will again get this same feeling you have right now (Bhaya-ñana), only much stronger. But the only way out is to go forward, not close one's eyes to the truth.

You are also not contemplating the dukkha that one will experience when eventually born in lower realms. While the stay is not permanent in any realm (PDF: The 31 Planes of Existence), one can potentially spend millions or billions of successive lives being born in one of the four lower realms with absolutely no control where one is born next. And the condition in those realms make unwholesome deeds likely (accumulating even more bad karma), thus further prolonging one's existence in the lower realms and inviting even more future misery. What is to like about this? Better to walk the path of dhamma and be established in permanent peace and harmony.
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Re: I'd rather be reborn

Postby SDC » Wed Nov 20, 2013 3:59 am

Living is a game. Most people hate to lose and they love to win. Some people like to cheat and others like to play fair. Some people enjoy playing while others hate every waking moment. Some people play hard while others may not. There are great successes and great failures in this game.

And then there are some that just don't want to play. Maybe they just keep losing and don't want to try anymore. Perhaps some want to play but have debilitating condition that won't allow it. Perhaps they aren't any good at playing by the rules the others play by. Maybe they just don't see the point. Perhaps they see a fundamental problem with the outcome and that dissatisfaction propels them to figure out another way.

If you want out follow the Buddha's teaching. If you want to keep playing, follow the Buddha's teaching. If you WANT to WANT out yet you find yourself still wanting to play I recommend further developing a practical association with the Buddha and the dhamma. Make a connection between your situation and the one the suttas are telling you to pursue. Find the similarities and devote yourself to those similarities. And as time goes on and there is a deeper valuing and devotion (saddha) to the Buddha and the path more and more aspects will fall in line.

kmath wrote:People say there is no "you" existing now. And fine I accept there is no permanent "me-ness." But I'm here. I mean, I exist in a conventional sense.


Without a doubt there is an experience happening. And it is from that experience that a self and world are discerned, that a self and a world exist. The Buddha teaches the way to break down that construct. But you have to want to break it down.

Hope this helps. :smile:
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Re: I'd rather be reborn

Postby kmath » Wed Nov 20, 2013 4:30 am

SDC wrote:Living is a game. Most people hate to lose and they love to win. Some people like to cheat and others like to play fair. Some people enjoy playing while others hate every waking moment. Some people play hard while others may not. There are great successes and great failures in this game.

And then there are some that just don't want to play. Maybe they just keep losing and don't want to try anymore. Perhaps some want to play but have debilitating condition that won't allow it. Perhaps they aren't any good at playing by the rules the others play by. Maybe they just don't see the point. Perhaps they see a fundamental problem with the outcome and that dissatisfaction propels them to figure out another way.


I know much of life can feel like a game. But I think to say in general: "living is a game" is to belittle the richness and the depth of this human life. There is suffering to be sure, but there is friendship and compassion and the overcoming of difficulty. There's the stars and the moon and vastness of the universe. And there are people living good lives and there are people who are really struggling, just to get through the day. There's still injustice and slavery in this world.

To call all of that a game -- wake up.
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Re: I'd rather be reborn

Postby Ben » Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:41 am

kmath wrote:I'm starting to think I'd rather be born again.


As what?
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

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Re: I'd rather be reborn

Postby kmath » Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:48 am

Ben wrote:
kmath wrote:I'm starting to think I'd rather be born again.


As what?


:jumping:

Good question...

Need to think about that.
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Re: I'd rather be reborn

Postby pegembara » Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:37 am

"This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember, all I'm offering is the truth – nothing more."

Morpheus in the movie Matrix


'Open are the doors to the
Deathless
to those with ears.
Let them show their conviction.
Perceiving trouble, O Brahma,
I did not tell people
the refined,
sublime Dhamma.'

Ariyapariyesana Sutta MN26
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.
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Re: I'd rather be reborn

Postby Dan74 » Wed Nov 20, 2013 11:06 am

This is a tough one, but I'd venture to say that we were never born to start with. It's ignorance and delusion that was born and this is what will cease.
_/|\_
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Re: I'd rather be reborn

Postby seeker242 » Wed Nov 20, 2013 11:51 am

kmath wrote:I'm starting to think I'd rather be born again. I mean, what's the point of not existing?


The Buddha taught that to think "I won't exist" to be a "wrong view" so there is the first mistake. To form conclusions based on a mistake is also a mistake! IMO. It's better to go back and reevaluate this idea of "not existing". Who said this? It wasn't the Buddha. It's not just people saying Nibbana is not non-existence. It's the Buddha himself. But you don't understand why he said that because Nibbana is "hard to fathom" which is true! The Buddha does not lie! Since the Buddha does not lie, the idea of not existing can immediately be ruled out as not true. It's really better to not speculate as to what Nibbana really is. Since our minds are clouded by ignorance, any speculation that they do is very likely to be wrong.

But, one could argue that you are getting way ahead of yourself. Being concerned about not-existing is like trying to cross a bridge that is still 1,000 miles away. What need is there to be concerned about crossing a bridge that is 1,000 miles away when you have 50 other bridges to cross before that one? You don't have to choose between suffering or not existing. All you have to choose is what you will do or not do, today, right now. You could say that if you are concerned about not existing, then you are essentially practicing Buddhism backwards. You are going to the end point and coming back from there, when you don't even know where the end point is to begin with. This is impossible to do!

It's almost like saying I don't want to travel to the Antarctic, when you have never been there before and know nothing about it, because it's really hot there and I like the cold weather. :rofl:

:namaste:
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Re: I'd rather be reborn

Postby SDC » Wed Nov 20, 2013 12:26 pm

kmath wrote:I know much of life can feel like a game. But I think to say in general: "living is a game" is to belittle the richness and the depth of this human life. There is suffering to be sure, but there is friendship and compassion and the overcoming of difficulty. There's the stars and the moon and vastness of the universe. And there are people living good lives and there are people who are really struggling, just to get through the day. There's still injustice and slavery in this world.

To call all of that a game -- wake up.


Hence the reason you feel the way you do. You like life. You want to be in it and see no reason to want to stop. I didn't tell you that was wrong, but there are some people don't want to be in it. The Buddha didn't want to be in it so he found a way out and he taught that way out. That's the practice. If you see no reason to pursue it then don't, but this is a Buddhist forum so I gave you advice based on that.

Be well.
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Re: I'd rather be reborn

Postby Spiny Norman » Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:13 pm

kmath wrote:I'm starting to think I'd rather be born again. I mean, what's the point of not existing? The absence of dukkha? I'd rather live and suffer than not have ANY experience.


Yes, the thought of annihilation is very scary and there so there is clinging to existence. And yet one of the causes for dukkha mentioned in the second Noble Truth is the craving for continued existence, so it's a bit paradoxical.
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Re: I'd rather be reborn

Postby santa100 » Wed Nov 20, 2013 3:09 pm

kmath wrote: I'm starting to think I'd rather be born again. I mean, what's the point of not existing? The absence of dukkha? I'd rather live and suffer than not have ANY experience.


Well, if one doesn't practice the Dhamma, one WILL be reborn regardless of whether they want it or not. Just keep in mind that there're 6 realms of existence out there. It's all fine and dandy if you're reborn into the "upper strata". But things could get quite ugly if you're reborn into the hell, hungry ghost, or animal realms. And if one keeps wandering in this endless samsara, there's a 100% certainty that one WILL be reborn into those realms at some point. Not sure how one would enjoy the "richness and depth" of their existence down there though... :tongue: From SN 22.101:
Even though this wish may not occur to a monk who dwells devoting himself to development — 'O that my mind might be released from effluents through lack of clinging!' — still his mind is released from the effluents through lack of clinging. Why is that? From developing, it should be said. Developing what? The four frames of reference, the four right exertions, the four bases of power, the five faculties, the five strengths, the seven factors for Awakening, the noble eightfold path. ~~ http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html ~~
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Re: I'd rather be reborn

Postby chownah » Wed Nov 20, 2013 3:17 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
kmath wrote:I'm starting to think I'd rather be born again. I mean, what's the point of not existing? The absence of dukkha? I'd rather live and suffer than not have ANY experience.


Yes, the thought of annihilation is very scary and there so there is clinging to existence. And yet one of the causes for dukkha mentioned in the second Noble Truth is the craving for continued existence, so it's a bit paradoxical.

The Buddha denied the concept of annihilation........you can't annihilate a self because it does not exist in the first place.....not wanting to go through the argument on self existing or not here......
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Re: I'd rather be reborn

Postby chownah » Wed Nov 20, 2013 3:23 pm

santa100 wrote:
kmath wrote: I'm starting to think I'd rather be born again. I mean, what's the point of not existing? The absence of dukkha? I'd rather live and suffer than not have ANY experience.


Well, if one doesn't practice the Dhamma, one WILL be reborn regardless of whether they want it or not. Just keep in mind that there're 6 realms of existence out there. It's all fine and dandy if you're reborn into the "upper strata". But things could get quite ugly if you're reborn into the hell, hungry ghost, or animal realms. And if one keeps wandering in this endless samsara, there's a 100% certainty that one WILL be reborn into those realms at some point. Not sure how one would enjoy the "richness and depth" of their existence down there though... :tongue: From SN 22.101:
Even though this wish may not occur to a monk who dwells devoting himself to development — 'O that my mind might be released from effluents through lack of clinging!' — still his mind is released from the effluents through lack of clinging. Why is that? From developing, it should be said. Developing what? The four frames of reference, the four right exertions, the four bases of power, the five faculties, the five strengths, the seven factors for Awakening, the noble eightfold path. ~~ http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html ~~

I guess you would agree that we have all been in all those places before......probably many times......and yet here we are. Seems like if you don't slack off too much you should probably not do too badly with your new rebirth and if not then I guess "been there, done that" already. I hardly thinking that not worrying about your rebirth is a reason to send you to hell.....I don't think that the Buddha was a fear monger but maybe I'm wrong.......I don't know.......do you think the Buddha wanted us to continually fret about our rebirth possibilities? It doesn't seem as if a lot of people in the suttas were going around fretting about it.
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Re: I'd rather be reborn

Postby santa100 » Wed Nov 20, 2013 3:55 pm

chownah wrote: I guess you would agree that we have all been in all those places before......probably many times......and yet here we are. Seems like if you don't slack off too much you should probably not do too badly with your new rebirth and if not then I guess "been there, done that" already. I hardly thinking that not worrying about your rebirth is a reason to send you to hell.....I don't think that the Buddha was a fear monger but maybe I'm wrong.......I don't know.......do you think the Buddha wanted us to continually fret about our rebirth possibilities? It doesn't seem as if a lot of people in the suttas were going around fretting about it.


Well, the highlighted part is important. Can one guarantee one doesn't slack off too much? Which is pretty much the message SN 22.101 trying to convey. Wishful thinking about this or that won't get you anywhere. It's the practice that counts. The Buddha certainly wasn't a fear monger and it wasn't the case of fretting about rebirth. He simply was bloody honest about the reality of conditioned existence..
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Re: I'd rather be reborn

Postby marek » Wed Nov 20, 2013 4:00 pm

You enjoy life. Most people do. As I understand Buddha, if you follow the precepts and practice merit, you can expect rebirth in a good destination.

To strive for nibbana, I think the person has to be fed up with life at least to some extent.
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Re: I'd rather be reborn

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:59 pm

Why not be a Mahayanist? You can take a bodhisattva vow and continually come back to help others. In the meantime you can enjoy life as you say you do. And then when you get enlightened, you can return here . . . when you have had enough of "been there, done that" :tongue:
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Re: I'd rather be reborn

Postby Shaswata_Panja » Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:37 pm

You go into Nibbana every night and you donot get afraid then--in fact you enjoy it the most--then why will you be afraid when the real deal comes?


Deep dream less sleep is like Nibbana..there is neither existence, neither non-existence, no beginning, no end, no universe, no sunyata(zeroness or emptiness),
no time, no eternity, no arising, no ceasing, no perception, no non-perception, no self, no non-self------The experience of deep dreamless sleep is the experience of Nibbana



after countless rebirth and death of various mindstates everyday(like various lives) we naturally go into seclusion, become a recluse and go to deep dreamless sleep(Nibbana)......In fact after a hard day (more than fair share of mindstate rebirths) it is the most awaited thing...It is unconditioned Supreme Bliss


Our 24 hour day cycle have always provided a clue for the cycle of existence....and Just as You Yourself cannot point out when you started doing these 24 hour cycles of existence inspite remembering past several thousand days of your life (you always need your mum and dad to tell you how it started) exactly same way
Buddha could not pinpoint the beginning inspite rememebering innumerable past lives---Can you really remember the first day when you woke up and did your thing and went to sleep? No? exactly thats how Buddha could not somehow see the first life where it all started...See you are already a mini-buddha


This is why Buddhists call samsara has no head or tail

while Hindus call it "I have seen the beginning, and it can't be seen"

hope this gives you a bit of handle on things
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Re: I'd rather be reborn

Postby manas » Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:20 pm

Hi kmath.

If I believed that nibbana was annihilation or nothingness, I would quit Buddhism right now. But luckily, that's not what it's about, if the suttas are to be believed. Or more precisely, it ought not to be conceived of in that way.

I too still have the desire to enjoy, to become and for ' being-ness', but I must also admit, I'm curious as to what the total cessation of craving must be like, to experience. The Buddha claims that it's pretty darn good.

Metta :anjali:
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Re: I'd rather be reborn

Postby SarathW » Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:49 pm

Hi Shaswata
Deep dreamless sleep is not Nibbana according to Buddha’s teaching.
According to Abhidhamma it is called Bhawanga Citta.

Buddha is not against happiness.
Nirvana is the highest happiness and you can reach their in stages. Each stage is more subtle and happier.


Please listen to the following video: four kind of happiness

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zAQU8MEHnM
:)
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