the great rebirth debate

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Jerrod Lopes » Sun Feb 03, 2013 7:37 am

Ben,

Quite frankly I can't think of anything more substantial than my own experience. I think this is why the Buddha said that he was open to being questioned and encouraged people to try the path for themselves. Buddhism is, as you certainly know, an experiential path, not a revealed religion. If you don't take me at my word, so be it. Doesn't matter to me one way or another.

Come to think on it...maybe if the PhD that taught me about dying and the process of dying were to have explained it, you may have been happier/ more satisfied with the post?

What is with you guys on this site? Try meditating. Relax a bit. Not everything is meant to be an argument. Geez.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Sun Feb 03, 2013 3:36 pm

greggorious wrote:For those of you who do believe in Re-birth, do you believe there's a process after death, kind of like the Tibetan book of the dead, or that you're pretty much re-born straight away? I've read a few books on near death experiences and from what I gather, there's definitely some kind of process involved.


I believe that orthodox interpretation goes something like this: The last moment of the mind conditions the first moment of consciousness of a child in the womb. Nothing flies over from one body to another. Even in this life there is no unchanging consciousness or the mind. Rather there is a process where states of mind change.

The NDE might be nothing more than malfunctioning brain hallucinating.
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby greggorious » Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:28 pm

Alex123 wrote:The NDE might be nothing more than malfunctioning brain hallucinating.


What like when dying people can know the details of a different part of the hospital that they've never been to, and can bring back exact details of it? Also when blind people who have never been able to see can suddenly see and bring back details too?
Too many people are quick to dismiss the NDE as activity of a dying brain, rather than the phenomenon that it is. The idea of the NDE is as logical as re-birth in my view.
"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 Mr Man » Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:33 pm

greggorious wrote:Too many people are quick to dismiss the NDE as activity of a dying brain, rather than the phenomenon that it is.

Hi greggorious
What is it?
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby greggorious » Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:45 pm

Read 'lessons from the light' by Kenneth Ring. Can explain things much better than I can.
"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 Alex123 » Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:01 pm

greggorious wrote:can know the details of a different part of the hospital that they've never been to, and can bring back exact details of it?


Maybe there are less paranormal explanations of that such as: they overheard it from someone, the knew it, lucky guess, etc.

greggorious wrote: Also when blind people who have never been able to see can suddenly see and bring back details too?


So one can see without using the eyes? I would like to know how to do that. Doesn't this reject the Buddhist teaching that seeing occurs when there is external object AND THE EYE present along with all the other necessary conditions?
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Mr Man » Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:05 pm

greggorious wrote:Read 'lessons from the light' by Kenneth Ring. Can explain things much better than I can.

Hi greggorious,
You want me to read a book? Does the book say what it is?
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby greggorious » Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:20 pm

Alex, I don't care if it rejects a Buddhist teaching. I don't agree with every single Buddhist teaching there is.
"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 kirk5a » Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:21 pm

Alex123 wrote:So one can see without using the eyes? I would like to know how to do that. Doesn't this reject the Buddhist teaching that seeing occurs when there is external object AND THE EYE present along with all the other necessary conditions?

There are such phenomena in the texts such as the Divine Eye and the Divine Ear, where seeing and hearing of actual events occurs, but not through the physical organs. These abilities are ascribed to those of high meditation attainments, such as Ven. Moggallana, but still... according to the texts, the answer to whether it is possible to see without using the physical eyes appears to be yes.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... 3.html#ch7
"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 Alex123 » Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:06 pm

greggorious wrote:Alex, I don't care if it rejects a Buddhist teaching. I don't agree with every single Buddhist teaching there is.


But super visions in NDE also rejects common sense. Why we have eyes if, apparently, we can see without them? How can I see without using my eyes?
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby greggorious » Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:08 pm

If we're talking common sense then many people will argue that believing in re-birth isn't common sense.
"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 Alex123 » Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:14 pm

greggorious wrote:If we're talking common sense then many people will argue that believing in re-birth isn't common sense.


Right.


kirk5a wrote:There are such phenomena in the texts such as the Divine Eye and the Divine Ear, where seeing and hearing of actual events occurs, but not through the physical organs. These abilities are ascribed to those of high meditation attainments, such as Ven. Moggallana, but still... according to the texts, the answer to whether it is possible to see without using the physical eyes appears to be yes.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... 3.html#ch7



And how do we know that these things have actually occurred?
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:33 am

greggorious wrote:If we're talking common sense then many people will argue that believing in re-birth isn't common sense.


Believing in enlightenment isn't common sense. :tongue:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby beeblebrox » Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:29 pm

Alex123 wrote:So one can see without using the eyes? I would like to know how to do that. Doesn't this reject the Buddhist teaching that seeing occurs when there is external object AND THE EYE present along with all the other necessary conditions?


Hi Alex,

I don't want to argue either for nor against super-normal vision, but according to the dependent origination, trying to establish any of the six sense bases would have to be rooted on the ignorance of the sankharas involved.

If we try to cling to our own ideas of "eye" or its "seeing" as something definitive (i.e., something which is not anicca), then that is ignorance. It leads to a dukkha, since there always will be people who have different perceptions along with their own definitions to struggle against.

I'm not sure if you're aware, but deaf people are actually able to listen without the use of ears. Blind people are also able to see the nature of something, even without the use of their eyes. What does that mean really? Is this due to an error in the perceptions? Does it seem wrong because of our own clinging to the preconceived notions? I don't think that this is merely semantics.

It only shows the anicca nature of our perceptions, along with our own willingness to try to cling to them at any cost, even though that will create misunderstanding, and difficulty. It's one of the five aggregates which are considered unreliable.

Also, I think one of the qualities of an arahant is a so-called "consciousness" which isn't established on anything. To me, that means that the arahant doesn't get stuck to anything... he's unbounded.

Whenever we notice ourselves becoming perplexed... when someone seem to manage to "see" without the use of any preconceived notion of the "eye," for example, then maybe that is something to think about.

When Bahiya was told by the Buddha to try to see only what was seen... what do you think that he meant exactly? Do you think that there was something permanent for Bahiya to see, such as the eye and its object...?

:anjali:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Sat Mar 16, 2013 3:01 pm

Most of the process of seeing has nothing to do with the eye. Otherswise, how do you explain what you "see" in your mind, while your eyes are closed? Add to that all of your filters due to expectations, previous experiences, education, training, fears, desires, preferences, etc., and consider how accurate your vision is versus your imagination. :namaste:

Now, consider a mind free of all filters as described above, what has been called "The Luminous Mind", how much better, more capable would vision be with such a mind?
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But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Sat Mar 16, 2013 3:25 pm

beeblebrox wrote:I'm not sure if you're aware, but deaf people are actually able to listen without the use of ears. Blind people are also able to see the nature of something, even without the use of their eyes. What does that mean really?


It means that there is something wrong here. Maybe they are remembering/imagining sounds or sights. Neither Buddhism, nor common sense supports the idea of seeing without eyes or hearing without ears.


I wish I could see well with my weak eyes, and I wish my grandmother could hear well with her bad ears.

Ron-The-Elder wrote:Most of the process of seeing has nothing to do with the eye. Otherswise, how do you explain what you "see" in your mind, while your eyes are closed?


Imagination or remembering past sights or sounds.

beeblebrox wrote:Also, I think one of the qualities of an arahant is a so-called "consciousness" which isn't established on anything. To me, that means that the arahant doesn't get stuck to anything... he's unbounded.


I believe that this is in context of, "Arahant doesn't cling to anything, thus no rebirth for him".
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Sun Mar 17, 2013 7:07 pm

Modern understanding of how perceptive systems work shows that the brain is "plastic", more so than ever previously thought. This neuroplasticity does in fact allow and facilitate heightened touch to replace hearing to some degree, particularly with regard to rythm, and to some minor degree, sight. Sections of the human brain, which have been identified as related to sight communicate and take over fed by inputs from other neuro-receptors. Micro and now Nano surgery will soon allow those who have lost their sight, and those born without it to receive electronic implants into the brain, which will replace eyes, rods and cones, eventually no doubt with instrumentation, which will exceed human capabilities just as we developed microscopes and telescopes over the last hundred years or so.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuroplasticity

http://gizmodo.com/5910050/the-solar-po ... ores-sight

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/ ... ight-blind

So, what was believed in the past, even 2500 years ago is no longer representative of current knowleged in the realm of neuro-science.
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:39 pm

Alex123 wrote: Neither Buddhism, nor common sense supports the idea of seeing without eyes or hearing without ears.


I wonder what happens in the formless realms?
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Tue Mar 19, 2013 1:29 am

porpoise wrote:
Alex123 wrote: Neither Buddhism, nor common sense supports the idea of seeing without eyes or hearing without ears.


I wonder what happens in the formless realms?



As I understand the orthodox teaching, there are no 5 senses (seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching) there.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby manas » Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:33 am

Ron-The-Elder wrote:Most of the process of seeing has nothing to do with the eye. Otherswise, how do you explain what you "see" in your mind, while your eyes are closed? Add to that all of your filters due to expectations, previous experiences, education, training, fears, desires, preferences, etc., and consider how accurate your vision is versus your imagination. :namaste:

Now, consider a mind free of all filters as described above, what has been called "The Luminous Mind", how much better, more capable would vision be with such a mind?


Yes, there is more to 'seeing' than it seems. All the colours, shapes, and things we see around us, even this computer screen right now - are taking place (according to modern science) in total darkness, in a region at the back of our brain. It looks to be 'out there' but the image we see is actually happening 'in here'. That's according to science!

That squishy ball called an 'eye' is only a part of the sense of 'sight', maybe?
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