You say, "kamma can be instant in this life as well so no reason why it cant after physical death." Well for one thing kamma as I understand it is a primarily a psychological process associated with volition. The generation of kamma seems to be contingent upon an actual individual (specified by the Buddha as the five skhandas) without those in place how can it continue? Maybe the result or vipaka of kamma can exist after death, but how can kamma?
It is psychological and volition your correct, the generation of kamma is not dependent on an individual but on ignorance of the thought of self which leads to intentional action, kamma cant exsist after its done because its volition, it just means intention, all that can come after is a result and as the Buddha said, not all kamma ripens in one life
Maybe you could reference where you got this passage from. Unfortunately, I don't have the context from which theses statements were made. Just reading the passage seems to suggest in a later life, but it seems somewhat ambiguous with "here and now." To me that does not exclude some future date in the present life.
i didnt provide a link because i typed it out from my book as i couldnt find the sutta online, there is a simillar one here if you wish to look and comment, it comes from the same book but the sutta i used was number 13 and this one only goes up to 11, whats you take on this sutta though, i think it would be good to see your view on ithttp://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Also your view on this quote, the buddha here is talking about a person who is an Arahant
He understands : With the breakup of the body, following the exhaustion of life, all that is felt, not being delighted in, will become cool right here; mere bodily remains will be left
Good point. You are right, as the Buddha neither mentioned a finite or infinite amount of beings I can't exclude the infinite option. However, I do not think this detracts from my argument which points out that population explosions are totally contingent on beings dying enmasse from another world to allow for this to occur. This seems to to go against the common sense reason of population explosions that has to do with better health care, standard of living and so on.
Of course i dont think i can answer you fully, this is going into speculation as there is no real way for me to know and answer you fully
I agree the Buddha taught a literal notion of rebirth in this present life, but I am not so sure if it goes back to the original Buddha himself that it actually continues after death.
I can see how you accept coniditonality, how do you account for this life in conditionality if your physical birth had no cause behind it at all? Why wouldnt it continue? is there something that can stop it? There is death everymoment but that doesnt stop a new birth of self because there is dependent origination. If death was the end of conditionality, the end of dependent origination, then there would have been nibbana years ago for all beings, since the first time the sense of "I" died in this life and death ends conditionality, there would be no more I-making or craving
What I am trying to say is that the term "punabhava" was most likely to have been a term the Buddha used. I think the proper understanding of the term is "becoming." You can read many of the suttas and substitute "rebirth" with "becoming" with a psychological connotation that works fine in lots of cases. However, I don't believe it makes sense in all suttas. In these, I contend were misunderstood, corrupted or made up.
I agree with you here, which is why when the Buddha states for example "i recalled my manifold past lives" that to me this is him stating how he recalls past moments of clinging to aggregates as self, but of course this doesnt have to stop at physical birth either
I would argue that all heaven and hells are only in the mind. Sure it does not prove the non-existence of theses realms but I am very skeptical of their existence due to any lack of evidence and in all human soceities there has been the notions of heaven and hells which smacks somehow an extension of basic human psychology.
Your right there has always been notions of heaven and hell, i think its important to remember that these are just words arent they, just conventions that come from the unenlightened dualistic thinking of the worldly mind, of course yet again no reason to deny their existence after physical death, they exsist in reality right here now dont they
Now this seems to be the whole key right here. Thanks for pointing out this sutta. It appears that all the five skhandas subside and go out. Therefore, the mental formations (which include consciousness) ceases (supporting one of my original points in the blog entry). Now can you point out to me a sutta which explicitly says that it is kamma and not consciousness or any other thing that "in some way conditions a new being"? This is the entire crux right here.
There are many other suttas where the Buddha talks of death like this, as for a sutta about kamma and death
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nymo.html
The Great Exposition of Kamma
15. (i) "Now, Ananda, there is the person who has killed living beings here... has had wrong view. And on the dissolution of the body, after death, he reappears in the states of deprivation, in an unhappy destination, in perdition, in hell.7 But (perhaps) the evil kamma producing his suffering was done by him earlier, or the evil kamma producing his suffering was done by him later, or wrong view was undertaken and completed by him at the time of his death.8 And that was why, on the dissolution of the body, after death, he reappeared in the states of deprivation, in an unhappy destination, in perdition, in hell. But since he has killed living beings here... has had wrong view, he will feel the result of that here and now, or in his next rebirth, or in some subsequent existence.
16. (ii) "Now there is the person who has killed living beings here... has had wrong view. And on the dissolution of the body, after death, he reappears in a happy destination, in the heavenly world.9 But (perhaps) the good kamma producing his happiness was done by him earlier, or the good kamma producing his happiness was done by him later, or right view was undertaken and completed by him at the time of his death. And that was why, on the dissolution of the body, after death, he reappeared in a happy destination, in the heavenly world. But since he has killed living beings here... has had wrong view, he will feel the result of that here and now, or in his next rebirth, or in some subsequent existence.10
17. (iii) "Now there is the person who has abstained from killing living beings here... has had right view. And on the dissolution of the body, after death, he reappears in a happy destination, in the heavenly world.11 But (perhaps) the good kamma producing his happiness was done by him earlier, or the good kamma producing his happiness was done by him later, or right view was undertaken and completed by him at the time of his death. And that was why, on the dissolution of the body, after death, he reappeared in a happy destination, in the heavenly world. But since he has abstained from killing living beings here... has had right view, he will feel the result of that here and now, or in his next rebirth, or in some subsequent existence.
The whole point of my blog entries was exactly to examine the veracity of the idea of "kamma that in some way conditions a new being." I examined it to show the implausability of kamma somehow conditioning other beings to but the whole notion of literal rebirth after death in doubt.
Look at kamma and birth and death in this life would be my advice, a new being arises all the time in this life and is conditioned by kamma, no need for a physical death for this to happen
But from the sutta you just described for me, I am even more doubtful that there can be any kamma that in some way continues. For me kamma (apart from the cosmological references) was described by the Buddha as a psychological process (volition) that seems to me to be a part of the "mental formations." Kamma to me has always been part of a process. By saying that kamma conditions a new being, how does that occur? Is kamma energy, a electro-magnetic wave, a thought?
My understanding is that Kamma creates conditions that allow for other conditions to arise (this is a very rough outline of my understanding).
It appears that by talking of kamma as being able to condition another human being you are inflating kamma from a process into some entity (sounds like a soul). If what you say is correct, then why does kamma not condition beings that are going to be born when we are alive? Why does this work *only* when we die? Can you answer me this question?
It doesnt only work when we are die, it happens in this moment, the thought of "I" or me is born and dies everymoment there is clinging, the new birth of "I" is a new being that is conditioned by kamma (or result of kamma i should say). No need to wait for a physical death this process of birth death and rebirth in line with the conditioning of kamma is happening every moment. Its not a soul or identiy because of anicca and its conditioned so is anatta.
Why doesnt Kamma condition a new being already after physical death? is this your question?
If it is my answer is because the conditions are not yet right for that being to arise, there hasnt been a death, just as in this life there can only arise one sense of "I" in any moment and not two
The reason kamma works when you are alive is that kamma is part of a mental process. Kamma can only exist contingent on a body that has all the five skhandas working. This I can see and verify. It seems to me fundamentally different the continuation of kamma to a different body than the same one that is working.
The ability to perform kamma is dependent on ignorance yes, but the result is not
If the really important thing "is enlightenment in this moment right here" then why do we need to even talk about rebirth after death. Does it not take a person away from looking here and now? I mean if we take what you say seriously couldn't Buddhism survive without belief in rebirth over many lifetimes?
It of course depends on your tradition etc, for example someone who has taken the bodhisattva vow will include rebirth more into their practice since bodhisattvas are about staying in rebirth to help others, I however have less focus or need for rebirth since im concerned with Arahantship in this moment
Does it take a person away from now? depends on the persons understanding, practice etc. If one has full or healthy understanding of anatta, anicca and dukkha as well as Śūnyatā then they can look at rebirth without losing the present moment.
I mean if we take what you say seriously couldn't Buddhism survive without belief in rebirth over many lifetimes
This is a difficult thing to answer since there have been many debates about it, all i can only give you an answer that comes from my own practice and understanding
For me rebirth is a skillfull means, its not something to be grasped at but something that aides one in reaching nibbana. Reguardless of its reality at physical death the Buddha did teach it so it must serve a purpose. I have no real problem with rebirth (only that if it happens and im not an Arahant im stuck with dukkha again lol).
It is interesting to note though that the first three sermons that he delivered to his five companions that were with him during his years of ascetism dont mention rebirth at all, its about the four noble truths, about self view and Anatta and about the middle way etc and this was enough to liberate them, so in my opinion rebirth view is not required for some individuals to reach Arahantship
However rebirth is a reality in this existence isnt it, you dont have to look far for samsara and rebirth because were stuck right in it in this moment, does it end with death? my gut instinct is no because of conditionality and the fact the Buddha stressed so much that the only way to end dukkha was to end craving not death
However i dont accept it out of blind faith, i keep some skepticism to it but i dont let that skepticism distract me from whats really important which is awakening in this moment
If there is rebirth its just the same old dukkha and craving all over again, if not then death is nibbana isnt it, since it would be the end of all dukkha, craving and I-making
Hope that I have helped answer some of your questions, or have i just raised more lol?