the great rebirth debate

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Nov 06, 2010 1:17 am

Aloka wrote:My own position is neutral - and I don't give a rats patooty in general (whatever a patooty is)
A tookus.

...and luckily there are living Theravada teachers who say that to practice Dhamma it doesn't matter if one believes in rebirth or not.
As I said, that is not the issue I am looking at. What I am responding to is the unfounded and unsupportable claim that the Buddha did not teach rebirth.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Sat Nov 06, 2010 9:24 am

tiltbillings wrote: What I am responding to is the unfounded and unsupportable claim that the Buddha did not teach rebirth.


Based on reading the commonly available sutta translations I think the Buddha taught rebirth. What I am less clear about is why he taught it, and how the teaching is relevant to our daily practice.

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Sat Nov 06, 2010 9:27 am

Tex wrote: Not clinging to views does not mean that you do not have any views.


I think that's an important point. I regard my own views on issues like this as strictly provisional.

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Nov 06, 2010 9:33 am

Spiny O'Norman wrote:
tiltbillings wrote: What I am responding to is the unfounded and unsupportable claim that the Buddha did not teach rebirth.


Based on reading the commonly available sutta translations I think the Buddha taught rebirth. What I am less clear about is why he taught it, and how the teaching is relevant to our daily practice.
I suspect one could argue that it is part of the larger ethical structure of his teachings. It was not THE coin of the realm during his lifetime; rather, coming back again was one of a number of options taught by the shramanas and Brahmins. Whether we like it or not the question of what happens after death is an issue that the Buddha addressed. As for daily practice, probably not something needed to be obsessed over, either for or against, but it may play a role in terms of dealing with the reality of death and in terms of jhana experience where rebirth possibly can be verified.
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 clw_uk » Sat Nov 06, 2010 11:50 am

Based on reading the commonly available sutta translations I think the Buddha taught rebirth. What I am less clear about is why he taught it, and how the teaching is relevant to our daily practice.



Anuruddha, for what purpose does the Thus Gone One tell the disciples, without wasting time, before you die, be born in something higher. Stating one is born there, another there. (* 2) The Teaching’s origin is the Blessed One, its lead is from the Blessed One, and its refuge is the Blessed One. Good that the meaning occurs to the Blessed One.We, bhikkhus, hearing it from the Blessed One, will bear it in mind. Anuruddha, the Thus Gone One tells the disciples, without wasting time before you die, be born in something higher. Telling them one is born there, another there. Not to deceive people, not for prattling, and not for gain honour or fame and not thinking may the people know me thus. Yet, Anuruddha, there are sons of clansmen who are born in faith and are pleased, to hear it. Hearing it they would arouse interest and direct their minds to that and it would be for their good for a long time.


http://www.vipassana.info/068-nalakapana-e1.htm


There are some people who this Tainted Right Views works well with in fostering Sila which leads them to develop a good mental states. This then can allow them to progress a long the Buddhas path, if they so wish
“ 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 Phra Chuntawongso » Sat Nov 06, 2010 12:11 pm

:offtopic: Is this the most replies posted on a thread here and if not what beats it. :popcorn:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Sat Nov 06, 2010 12:30 pm

. Whether we like it or not the question of what happens after death is an issue that the Buddha addressed.


Not so. He started with the problem off dukkha. With his practice he realized that dukkha arises when there is clinging, which leads to birth of "I am" and also leads to all the myriad of views that arise in the world, be it God or rebirth, no rebirth, soul etc


This is why the Buddha taught that views were a flood and should be abandoned, i.e. the arising of them should be seen (grasping) and so should be let go off, which means one lets go of the view, i.e. non-adherence to it

At Savatthi. "Monks, there are these four floods. Which four? The flood of sensuality, the flood of becoming, the flood of views, & the flood of ignorance. These are the four floods.

"Now, this noble eightfold path is to be developed for direct knowledge of, comprehension of, the total ending of, & the abandoning of these four floods. Which noble eightfold path? There is the case where a monk develops right view dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in letting go. He develops right resolve... right speech... right action... right livelihood... right effort... right mindfulness... right concentration dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in letting go. This noble eightfold path is to be developed for direct knowledge of, for comprehension of, for the total ending of, & for the abandoning of these four floods."


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


Which the leads to

Abandoning (the views) he had (previously) held and not taking up (another), he does not seek a support even in knowledge. Among those who dispute he is certainly not one to take sides. He does not [have] recourse to a view at all. In whom there is no inclination to either extreme, for becoming or non-becoming, here or in another existence, for him there does not exist a fixed viewpoint on investigating the doctrines assumed (by others). Concerning the seen, the heard and the cognized he does not form the least notion. That brahmana[2] who does not grasp at a view, with what could he be identified in the world?

"They do not speculate nor pursue (any notion); doctrines are not accepted by them. A (true) brahmana is beyond, does not fall back on views.



http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .irel.html


when one understands views as

"And how is there the yoke of views? There is the case where a certain person does not discern, as it actually is present, the origination, the passing away, the allure, the drawbacks, & the escape from views. When he does not discern, as it actually is present, the origination, the passing away, the allure, the drawbacks, & the escape from views, then — with regard to views — he is obsessed with view-passion, view-delight, view-attraction, view-infatuation, view-thirst, view-fever, view-fascination, view-craving. This is the yoke of sensuality, the yoke of becoming, & the yoke of views.



http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


Because of the process of


Ven. Maha Kaccana said this: "Concerning the brief statement the Blessed One made, after which he went into his dwelling without analyzing the detailed meaning — i.e., 'If, with regard to the cause whereby the perceptions & categories of objectification assail a person, there is nothing there to relish, welcome, or remain fastened to, then that is the end of the obsessions of passion, the obsessions of resistance, the obsessions of views, the obsessions of uncertainty, the obsessions of conceit, the obsessions of passion for becoming, & the obsessions of ignorance. That is the end of taking up rods & bladed weapons, of arguments, quarrels, disputes, accusations, divisive tale-bearing, & false speech. That is where these evil, unskillful things cease without remainder'

"Dependent on eye & forms, eye-consciousness arises. The meeting of the three is contact. With contact as a requisite condition, there is feeling. What one feels, one perceives (labels in the mind). What one perceives, one thinks about. What one thinks about, one objectifies. Based on what a person objectifies, the perceptions & categories of objectification assail him/her with regard to past, present, & future forms cognizable via the eye.


Honey Ball Sutta


One then lets go. When one lets go then


At Savatthi. "Bhikkhus, form is impermanent, ..feeling ..., perception, formations, consciousness is impermanent. What is impermanent is suffering. What is suffering is non-self. What is non-self should be seen as it really is with correct wisdom thus: "This is not mind, this I am not, this is not my self"

"When one sees this thus as it really is with correct wisdom, one holds no more views concerning the past. When one holds no more views concerning the past, one holds no more views concerning the future.

When one holds no more views concerning the future, one has no more obstinate grasping. When one has no more obstinate grasping, the mind becomes dispassionate towars form, feeling, perception, formations and consciousness, and is liberated from the taints by non-clinging.

"By being liberated, it is steady; by being steady, it is content; by being content, one is not agitated. Being unagitated, one personally attains nibbana. One understands: "Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived .... there is no more for this state of being
.



SN page 885 Bodhi translation


Note that when one no longer clings to the aggregates, there are no views about the past or future. If you like it or not Rebirth after death as a deva view falls into this




As for daily practice, probably not something needed to be obsessed over, either for or against, but it may play a role in terms of dealing with the reality of death and in terms of jhana experience where rebirth possibly can be verified.



The way for dealing with death is laid out here



"There the blessed one uttered this inspired utterance: "It might not be, and it might not be for me; it will not be, [and] it will not be for me: resolving thus, a bhikkhu can cut off the lower fetters"

When this was said a certain bhikhhu said to the blessed one: "But how venerable sir, can a bhikkhu resolving this .... cut off the lower fetters?"

Here bhikkhu, the uninstructed worldling .... regards form as self....,... or self as in consciousness. He does not understand as it really is impermanent form as "impermanent form" ... impermanent feeling, ... impermanent perception, .... impermanent volition, ... impermanent consciousness.

He does not understand as it really is painful form as "painful form", ... painful feeling, ... painful perception, .... painful formation, ... painful consciousness.

He does not understand ... selfless form as "selfless form", selfless feeling, selfless perception, selfless formation, selfless consciousness

He does not understand .... conditioned form as "conditioned form", conditioned feeling, conditioned perception, conditioned formation, conditioned consciousness.

"He does not understand as it really is, "Form will be exterminated", ... feeling will be exterminated, .... perception will be exterminated, ...., formation will be exterminated, ... consciousness will be exterminated.


"The instructed noble disciple, bhikkhu,... does not regard form as self, .... or self as in consciousness.

"He understands as it really is, "impermanent form, ... consciousness."

He understands as it really is. " painful form, ... painful consciousness."

He understands as it really is. " selfless form as "selfless form", ... Selfless consciousness"

"He understands as it really is, "conditioned form, ... conditioned consciousness"


He understands as it really is, " form will be exterminated, feeling will be exterminated, perception will be exterminated, formations will be exterminated, consciousness will be exterminated.

"With the extermination of form, feeling, perception, formations and consciousness, that bhikkhu, resolving thus "It might not be, and it might not be for me, it will not be, it will not be for me". can cut off the lower fetters


...but how should one know, how should one see, for immediate destruction of the taints to occur?


Here, bhikkhu, the uninstructed worldling becomes frightened over and unfightening matter. For this is frightening to the uninstructed worldling: "It might not be, and it might not be for me, it will not be, it will not be for me". But the instructed noble disciple does not become frightened ... "It might not be, and it might not be for me, it will not be, it will not be for me"


"Consciousness ... while standing, might stand engaged with form, ... feeling, .... perception, engaged with formations, with a sprinkling of delight, it might come to growth, increase and expansion.

"Bhikkhu, thought someone might say: "Apart from form, feeling, perception, formations, I will make known the coming and going of consciousness, its passing away and birth, its growth, increase, and expansion - that is impossible.

"Bhikkhu, if a bhikkhu has abandoned lust for the form element, with the abandoning of lust the basis is cut off: there is no support for the establishing of consciousness. If he has abandoned lust for feeling element, perception element, formations element, for the consciousness element, with the abandoning of lust the basis is cut off: there is no support for the establishing of consciousness.

"When that consciousness is unestablished, not coming to growth, nongenerative, it is liberated. By being liberated it is steady; by being steady, it is content; by being content, he is not agitated. Being unagitated, he personally attain nibbana. He understands ... no more state of being."




SN page 893/4 Bodhi translation
“ 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 clw_uk » Sat Nov 06, 2010 12:37 pm

Nanadhaja wrote::offtopic: Is this the most replies posted on a thread here and if not what beats it. :popcorn:



I think you may be right Bhante :jumping:




:anjali:
“ 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 clw_uk » Sat Nov 06, 2010 12:45 pm

A) Does Right View arise because of clinging?


Noble Right view arises because of non-clinging. Grasping leads to dukkha, "I" and views and so all is abandoned, even these teachings


"And what should the man do in order to be doing what should be done with the raft? There is the case where the man, having crossed over, would think, 'How useful this raft has been to me! For it was in dependence on this raft that, making an effort with my hands & feet, I have crossed over to safety on the further shore. Why don't I, having dragged it on dry land or sinking it in the water, go wherever I like?' In doing this, he would be doing what should be done with the raft. In the same way, monks, I have taught the Dhamma compared to a raft, for the purpose of crossing over, not for the purpose of holding onto. Understanding the Dhamma as taught compared to a raft, you should let go even of these teachings, to say nothing of other teachings."



The Buddha-way leads one out of all clinging. Out of all I-making, view stances and obsessions. Out of dukkha.


However the Buddha said that some do grasp the Four Noble Truths. If one grasps the Four Noble Truths then one does not understand the Four Noble Truths


B) The "Buddhaway" understands clinging, sure, but it finds release via development of the Noble Eightfold Path, which includes Right View as perhaps its most important component. No one finds release by just abandoning views altogether.


When one sees that views arise via clinging (which the NEFP will show) then one abandons those views


"And how is there the yoke of views? There is the case where a certain person does not discern, as it actually is present, the origination, the passing away, the allure, the drawbacks, & the escape from views. When he does not discern, as it actually is present, the origination, the passing away, the allure, the drawbacks, & the escape from views, then — with regard to views — he is obsessed with view-passion, view-delight, view-attraction, view-infatuation, view-thirst, view-fever, view-fascination, view-craving. This is the yoke of sensuality, the yoke of becoming, & the yoke of views.



http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... html#views


seeing how they arise, which is outline in the honey ball sutta, one lets go and this leads to


The extent to which there are viewpoints, view-stances, the taking up of views, obsessions of views, the cause of views, & the uprooting of views: that's what I know. That's what I see. Knowing that, I say 'I know.' Seeing that, I say 'I see.' Why should I say 'I don't know, I don't see'? I do know. I do see."



http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


Which the leaves one

Abandoning (the views) he had (previously) held and not taking up (another), he does not seek a support even in knowledge. Among those who dispute he is certainly not one to take sides. He does not [have] recourse to a view at all. In whom there is no inclination to either extreme, for becoming or non-becoming, here or in another existence, for him there does not exist a fixed viewpoint on investigating the doctrines assumed (by others). Concerning the seen, the heard and the cognized he does not form the least notion. That brahmana[2] who does not grasp at a view, with what could he be identified in the world?

"They do not speculate nor pursue (any notion); doctrines are not accepted by them. A (true) brahmana is beyond, does not fall back on views.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .irel.html


C) Not clinging to views does not mean that you do not have any views


When there is no clinging, the cause for views goes so the view does not arise. If it doesnt arise then you dont have the view


At Savatthi. "Bhikkhus, form is impermanent, ..feeling ..., perception, formations, consciousness is impermanent. What is impermanent is suffering. What is suffering is non-self. What is non-self should be seen as it really is with correct wisdom thus: "This is not mind, this I am not, this is not my self"

"When one sees this thus as it really is with correct wisdom, one holds no more views concerning the past. When one holds no more views concerning the past, one holds no more views concerning the future.

When one holds no more views concerning the future, one has no more obstinate grasping. When one has no more obstinate grasping, the mind becomes dispassionate towars form, feeling, perception, formations and consciousness, and is liberated from the taints by non-clinging.

"By being liberated, it is steady; by being steady, it is content; by being content, one is not agitated. Being unagitated, one personally attains nibbana. One understands: "Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived .... there is no more for this state of being


SN page 885 Bodhi translation
“ 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 5heaps » Sat Nov 06, 2010 1:17 pm

clw_uk wrote:"He understands as it really is, "impermanent form, ... consciousness."
rebirth is a function of consciousness etc. once consciousness is understood rebirth is understood.

a future instance or previous isntance of consciousness isnt a view, its an understanding of consciousness. a view about a future or previous instance of consciousness would be conceptions which, due to bewilderment, sets off a flood of further proliferation.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Sat Nov 06, 2010 1:23 pm

rebirth is a function of consciousness etc. once consciousness is understood rebirth is understood.



Birth of "I" is the the result of ignorance based contact


Consciousness in the Buddhas teaching just arises and falls when there is contact between the internal six sense base and external forms, sounds, tastes etc


Consciousness kept arising in the Buddha despite him having reached the deathless



a future instance or previous isntance of consciousness isnt a view, its an understanding of consciousness


Seeing the arising and falling of consciousness means one becomes dispassionate. One sees that consciousness arises via the above process and then it is exterminated. It is anicca, dukkha, anatta. This means there is no more clinging and so no more "I" making or view making.

Views about past or future arise via clinging
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Aloka » Sat Nov 06, 2010 1:51 pm

.

Hi Tilt,

As your knowledge of the suttas is more extensive than mine, could you tell me what this means, please?


So too, bhikkhus, those beings are few who, when they pass away from the animal realm, are reborn among human beings. But those beings are more numerous who, when they pass away from the animal realm, are reborn in hell. For what reason? Because bhikkhus, they have not seen the Four Noble Truths. What four?" The noble truth of suffering, the noble truth of the origin of suffering, the noble truth of the cessation of suffering, the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of suffering.

SN 56.121 (Bodhi translation)




Thank you.

Aloka

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Sat Nov 06, 2010 1:53 pm

Spiny O'Norman wrote:
tiltbillings wrote: What I am responding to is the unfounded and unsupportable claim that the Buddha did not teach rebirth.


Based on reading the commonly available sutta translations I think the Buddha taught rebirth. What I am less clear about is why he taught it, and how the teaching is relevant to our daily practice.

Spiny


IMHO, it gives more motivation to get out of Samsara when one believes that problems are not limited to this life. It also gives more motivation to do good and avoid bad.

If there was one life only, there wouldn't be such a need for practice. Parinibbana would be guaranteed for all (and there would be a super quick shortcut to it), so why practice?
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:00 pm

If there was one life only, there wouldn't be such a need for practice. Parinibbana would be guaranteed for all (and there would be a super quick shortcut to it), so why practice?



Which is a speculative view of yours that has arisen because of clinging


"If there is no rebirth then there is nothing so ....." and so on


We have also been over the fact that wanting to get rid of dukkha is dukkha
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Tex » Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:31 pm

Nanadhaja wrote::offtopic: Is this the most replies posted on a thread here and if not what beats it. :popcorn:


There's a word association thread with about twice as many posts as this one! Though if we looked at it in terms of total words, this thread would be the winner by an awful lot, I think.

viewtopic.php?f=12&t=1192&start=2860
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:41 pm

Alex123 wrote:If there was one life only, there wouldn't be such a need for practice.


I feel a greater sense of urgency about practice when I assume there is only 1 life. For me the goal of liberation from suffering is worth striving for whatever the timescale involved.

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Aloka » Sat Nov 06, 2010 3:01 pm

Alex 123 wrote

IMHO, it gives more motivation to get out of Samsara when one believes that problems are not limited to this life. It also gives more motivation to do good and avoid bad.



If you believe you're going to be a different person in another life with no knowledge of this one, it still makes sense to practising diligently in the present moment without pointless speculation about other lifetimes....and indeed from what you have said about your own position, it could be interpreted by some as the lazy option of "Oh well there's always other lives if I don't get it right in this one." It seems im my opinion that practising like there's no tomorrow after this life, is a lot more sensible . :)


.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Phra Chuntawongso » Sat Nov 06, 2010 3:08 pm

Spiny O'Norman wrote:
Alex123 wrote:If there was one life only, there wouldn't be such a need for practice.


I feel a greater sense of urgency about practice when I assume there is only 1 life. For me the goal of liberation from suffering is worth striving for whatever the timescale involved.

Spiny

Hi Spiny.I think the point that Alex123 is trying to make here is that if there is no rebirth(or heaven or hell)the need for practice would not arise for a lot more people than there is now.If we die and that is that then we could all go on living what may be for many a fairly good life.
I used to work 4-5 months a year,outside,in the summertime.After this I would head off to Thailand for a 7-8 months break.
I really enjoyed my time while I was there.Great food,cheap bear etc.
If it wasn't because of what I have learned through the study of suttas and my meditation practice I would still be doing all of those things.I really did not see myself as suffering too much,especially when I observed others who had to work 50 weeks a year just to make ends meet.
The fact that I am already seeing so much truth in what Lord Buddha taught,through things like the Four Noble Truths that I am prepared to put away any doubts that I may have had about rebirth in the beginning of my practice and see how this may actually be logical.I also believe that stuff that comes up in our lives now can be seen as glimpses of other realms.
These glimpses are enough to make my practice more determined.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby 5heaps » Sat Nov 06, 2010 3:11 pm

clw_uk wrote:Birth of "I" is the the result of ignorance based contact
thats offtopic. rebirth doesnt refer to just birth of i, it refers to other specific events (ie. the generation of consciousness due to the final moment of consciousness in this life)
Views about past or future arise via clinging
no, as you quoted, "This noble eightfold path is to be developed for direct knowledge".

not all views are negative, otherwise even right view would be negative
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Sat Nov 06, 2010 3:12 pm

Hi Spiny.I think the point that Alex123 is trying to make here is that if there is no rebirth(or heaven or hell)the need for practice would not arise for a lot more people than there is now.If we die and that is that then we could all go on living what may be for many a fairly good life.



Hello Bhante


Sure it can spur people onto the path. However the Buddhas teachings are about the reality of dukkha. Putting aside rebirth or not there is dukkha here and now, the quenching of which the Buddha offers

Why suffer even a little bit when you can be free from all of it?


metta
“ 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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