the great rebirth debate

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Mon Sep 02, 2013 6:05 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
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.



I agree :)

That's why it can be very insightful to look into the feelings aroused when we meet with the idea, but I think that's getting onto a separate topic
“ 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 Jhana4 » Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:23 pm

About 5 minutes into this video the woman mentions a "Dr. Tucker" who basically did the same thing the often mentioned Dr. Stephonson of the US did.

FWIW

I'm still agnostic

In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:31 pm

ancientbuddhism wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:The PDF book draft by Bhikkhu Cintita that Bhante Gavesako linked to here has some interesting discussion relevant to this thread ...


This is a religious tract.

Of course, that's stated up front. It's a tract about Buddhism.
ancientbuddhism wrote:Straw-man arguments such as “The view that the Buddha never taught rebirth at all requires great imagination…” does find echo on this thread, but is a position which has yet to accuse anyone here. Does Cintita's book really inform this discussion?

Ven Cintita writes in a rather conversational, and sometimes iconoclastic, style, but I don't see anything particularly strawman about that particular statement, read in its full context.

I found his previous blog entries on "folk" vs "adept" buddhism, which form a part of this work, very helpful in thinking about various approaches to the Dhamma. My summary would be that a "folk" approach, by either easterner or westerners, tends to see full liberation from samasara as either impossible, or something very far off. He gives one example of Western Folk Buddhism as:
A popular understanding in the West is that Buddhism is about freeing one's authentic/innermost/true
self/nature/voice/heart, a self that has been suppressed by social conditioning and other unnatural
factors, but when unleashed is the source of creativity, spirituality, virtue and wisdom.

And one could argue that thinking of Dhamma as simply a toolbox of techniques for healing and psychotherapy is also an Western Folk approach.

That's perhaps a topic for a different thread, but it does touch on a key question of what is or is not essential to realising the Dhamma, which is, in part, what this thread is about.

:anjali:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Mon Sep 02, 2013 10:51 pm

And one could argue that thinking of Dhamma as simply a toolbox of techniques for healing and psychotherapy is also an Western Folk approach.


Why does it demean Dhamma to view it as a "psychotherapy"?

If it heals someone of dukkha then does it matter what it's called?
“ 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 mikenz66 » Tue Sep 03, 2013 5:21 am

clw_uk wrote:
And one could argue that thinking of Dhamma as simply a toolbox of techniques for healing and psychotherapy is also an Western Folk approach.


Why does it demean Dhamma to view it as a "psychotherapy"?

If it heals someone of dukkha then does it matter what it's called?

Well, my context was:
My summary would be that a "folk" approach, by either easterner or westerners, tends to see full liberation from samasara as either impossible, or something very far off.

The "far off" arguably is a characteristic of many eastern folk approaches, whereas the reduction of the Dhamma to something that just makes life more bearable is arguably a characteristic of many western folk approaches.

My lay understanding is that the western psychotherapy does not have the goal of completely eliminating dukkha.

See also: Still Crazy after all these Years: Why Meditation isn’t Psychotherapy, by Patrick Kearney

:anjali:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby cooran » Tue Sep 03, 2013 6:47 am

Thanks for reminding me Of the link to Patrick's article. :smile:

I'm currently attending a 10 week course given by Patrick on the Satipatthana Sutta on Sunday evenings here in Brisbane.

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---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:27 am

chownah wrote:About survival of the fittest. I don't see this as having much to do with the genetic mechanism. It has more to do with what happens to beings after the genetic mechanism does its work.


Survival of the fittest is connected with natural selection, ie the most successfully adapted individuals are more likely to survive and pass on their genes to future generations. But trying to link this with kamma does seem very tenuous.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:30 am

clw_uk wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:
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.



I agree :)

That's why it can be very insightful to look into the feelings aroused when we meet with the idea, but I think that's getting onto a separate topic


I think it's relevant to the discussion, because our emotional response to ideas significantly effects our thinking. I've experienced both clinging and aversion to the idea of rebirth at different times, and it has influenced my thinking quite a lot. It's probably an example of moment-to-moment DO. ;)
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:28 pm

I think it's relevant to the discussion, because our emotional response to ideas significantly effects our thinking. I've experienced both clinging and aversion to the idea of rebirth at different times, and it has influenced my thinking quite a lot. It's probably an example of moment-to-moment DO.



:goodpost:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Nikaya35 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 3:40 pm

I don't think too much about karma and rebirth but I'm very aware that both doctrines are part of the Buddha teachings .
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby chownah » Tue Sep 17, 2013 7:09 am

It occurred to me yesterday that in my entire life I have never given rebirth much consideration. Even when I was living with my birth family and attended christian church, Sunday school, and christian youth groups (my birth family was very active in church activities but christian ideas were not mentioned at home) I never gave much thought to being reborn in heaven or hell......it never was an issue for me...I never really thought about it.

And now that I am studying what the Buddha taught I still don't give much thought to rebirth......it is an issue that I don't usually even think about. I'm wondering if this is wide spread and if it comes from both sides of the debate. For those with an active view of rebirth, did you already have ideas about some kind of rebirth (including the Christian ideas on it) and was it something you thought about before you started your Buddhist studies? For those who set the teachings on rebirth aside or who have a disbelief view on rebirth was rebirth never an issue in your life before you started your Buddhist studies?

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Sanjay PS » Sun Sep 29, 2013 5:28 pm

This is a raging topic , but i think the cultivating of Bhavana through Vipassana , naturally gets one to realize the truth of what we sow we reap .

Hence do we find in the world beings being born in different kind of vistas and predicament that change from time to time . On one hand we find infants born in the most perilous situations , with none to look after them , or parents that are most indifferent troubled by abject penury or other troubles . On the other hand , another infant is born in a family bestowed with all kinds of gaiety and good will. Similarly the elderly , some can be seen wandering homeless , ill and none to take care. Others are comforted in their old age , and have only the old age to worry of .

This and many things more makes us naturally realize , that nothing happens owing to chance . Even the quiver of a leaf has a cause........

If some one does get to see the many countless births that one has lived doing skillful and unskillful actions , resulting in the growth of the seeds and its fruits , still the actual transformation of abandoning all unskillful actions will come only when one is saturated for sufficient time in the feeling of deep wisdom or bhavana. The seeing of births earlier can serve to the extent of being an inspiration. It is the feeling that is all important , and gets about the gradual change in all of us. Thereby helping us help ourselves in taking care of the many unfortunate .

Dhamma is broad and deep as the limitless sky above us .

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Tue Oct 15, 2013 12:03 am

Sanjay PS wrote:
This and many things more makes us naturally realize , that nothing happens owing to chance . Even the quiver of a leaf has a cause........


Hi, Sanjay. I think that you will find with very little effort that Buddha taught that some kamma vipakha was as a result of natural phenomena, such as storms, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, strikes of The Earth by astral bodies (comets and meteors), and etc. Also many are killed in wars and through acts of violence, which had nothing to do with their intentional actions (kamma).

Sanjay PS wrote:If some one does get to see the many countless births that one has lived doing skillful and unskillful actions , resulting in the growth of the seeds and its fruits , still the actual transformation of abandoning all unskillful actions will come only when one is saturated for sufficient time in the feeling of deep wisdom or bhavana. The seeing of births earlier can serve to the extent of being an inspiration. It is the feeling that is all important , and gets about the gradual change in all of us. Thereby helping us help ourselves in taking care of the many unfortunate .


Yes. Awareness of those experiences would be very beneficial, especially in the avoidance of mistakes, which lead to further rebirths.
It is a time tested trite truism that "Failure to learn the lessons of the past doom us to repeat them in the future."

Great post! Thanks :twothumbsup:
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-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby greggorious » Sat Nov 23, 2013 9:41 pm

Is it controversial these days to talk about people who are reborn into disabled bodies as a result of their Karma? I listened to a talk by Ajahn Sumedho who wouldn't be drawn into this debate, claiming that it is speculative and not worth thinking about, but I have read Buddhist texts which claim that if one has bad karma they could be reborn into a disabled body.
For the record I work with disabled people for a living, who would be more than offended if you mentioned this to them. Not only that, but many disabled people I know have purer minds than so called abled people, and many of them are very happy in their lives despite their physical limitations.
"The original heart/mind shines like pure, clear water with the sweetest taste. But if the heart is pure, is our practice over? No, we must not cling even to this purity. We must go beyond all duality, all concepts, all bad, all good, all pure, all impure. We must go beyond self and nonself, beyond birth and death. When we see with the eye of wisdom, we know that the true Buddha is timeless, unborn, unrelated to any body, any history, any image. Buddha is the ground of all being, the realization of the truth of the unmoving mind.” Ajahn Chah
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby cooran » Sat Nov 23, 2013 10:10 pm

Hello all,

This may be of interest:

Misunderstandings of the Law of Kamma
http://www.buddhanet.net/cmdsg/kamma6.htm

With metta,
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby greenjuice » Wed Dec 11, 2013 10:25 pm

greggorious wrote:Is it controversial these days to talk about people who are reborn into disabled bodies as a result of their Karma?

I've seen Bhikkhu Pesala on this forum has given multiple examples from Tipitaka about people being born with difficulties because of past kamma. I'm on my mobile now so even if I could find those posts, I couldn't copy them here. Maybe someone else, maybe bhikkhu himself, would be kind to do so.

Not only that, but many disabled people I know have purer minds than so called abled people, and many of them are very happy in their lives despite their physical limitations.

This can actually be seen as speaking in favour of the notion that people with some bad kamma get reborn disabled, as a kind of purification, and that, according to you, plays out to the benefit of many of them.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby kmath » Wed Dec 11, 2013 10:36 pm

greenjuice wrote:This can actually be seen as speaking in favour of the notion that people with some bad kamma get reborn disabled, as a kind of purification, and that, according to you, plays out to the benefit of many of them.


Greggorious didn't say their disabilities cause their purer minds. He/she just said that many people with disabilities have purer minds, which is not what you'd expect if those people have bad kamma.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby greenjuice » Wed Dec 11, 2013 10:49 pm

Well, if the mentioned notion is true, technically, they would have fruit of bad kamma, not bad kamma. Even Buddha had an injury, although a minute one, as a fruit of past bad kamma.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby AJungianIdeal » Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:15 am

I'm trying real hard to try and make rebirth mesh with neuroscience. Does rebirth depend on a dualistic conception of the mind? If not, what gets "transferred" as it was?
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby kirk5a » Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:36 am

AJungianIdeal wrote:I'm trying real hard to try and make rebirth mesh with neuroscience. Does rebirth depend on a dualistic conception of the mind? If not, what gets "transferred" as it was?

Here is perhaps something relevant from a sutta.
"Have no fear, Mahanama! Have no fear! Your death will not be a bad one, your demise will not be bad. If one's mind has long been nurtured with conviction, nurtured with virtue, nurtured with learning, nurtured with relinquishment, nurtured with discernment, then when the body — endowed with form, composed of the four primary elements, born from mother & father, nourished with rice & porridge, subject to inconstancy, rubbing, pressing, dissolution, & dispersion — is eaten by crows, vultures, hawks, dogs, hyenas, or all sorts of creatures, nevertheless the mind — long nurtured with conviction, nurtured with virtue, learning, relinquishment, & discernment — rises upward and separates out.

(Thanissaro Bhikkhu trans.)
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Bhikkhu Bodhi's footnote to this section:
Tam uddhangami hoti visesagami. The passage shows citta as the principle of personal continuity which survives the death of the body and reaps the fruits of kamma. In the case of a noble disciple it "goes to distinction" by way of a higher rebirth and by evolving onwards to Nibbana.
"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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