the great rebirth debate

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: No rebirth

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Nov 05, 2011 2:32 am

daverupa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:So, what about the Buddha's claims of knowing the truth of rebirth?


There's a whole thread about this elsewhere, within which I've posted. You can look there for my particular response.
I was asking you here in this context. As to the other thread, don't which one it is, so looking in it would be rather difficult.
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: No rebirth

Postby BlueLotus » Sun Nov 06, 2011 6:03 am

tiltbillings wrote:Now, since that is established, how about addressing the question: So, what about the Buddha's claims of knowing the truth of rebirth?


Is it possible that the Buddha did not know about rebirth at all? If the Buddha knew rebirth, why did he not teach it more directly with more clarity like how it happens etc. so that people like us don't have to sit and debate like this? :thinking:
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Re: No rebirth

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Nov 06, 2011 6:08 am

BlueLotus wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Now, since that is established, how about addressing the question: So, what about the Buddha's claims of knowing the truth of rebirth?


Is it possible that the Buddha did not know about rebirth at all? If the Buddha knew rebirth, why did he not teach it more directly with more clarity like how it happens etc. so that people like us don't have to sit and debate like this? :thinking:
It looks clear to me. What I see a lot in this thread are those who cannot accept the Buddha taught rebirth because it flies in the face of what they can accept as being true and so they go through a lot of mental gymnastics to make their point (unconvincingly).
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Zom » Sun Nov 06, 2011 6:11 am

Wow. 128 pages :reading: :spy: :rofl:




Here are my 5 cents:

There is a rebirth.


:D
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Nov 06, 2011 8:04 am

Greetings,

Zom wrote:There is a rebirth.

... then there is no rebirth, then there is.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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OMG! I'm not so special!

Postby Fede » Sun Nov 06, 2011 8:46 am

BlueLotus wrote:......
But what if there is no rebirth? What if life ends after death? I am still really confused about this


I hate to go all "Dr. Phil" on you, but one of his fine lessons is to turn to the person paralysed by the "What if..." question, and say -
"People always ask the "What if" question - but they never answer it, or accept the obvious! So take your 'what if' question, and answer it!"

So, ok BlueLotus, Answer the question for yourself:

What IF there IS no rebirth? What IF life ends after Death?

So what?
What can you do about it?
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


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Re: OMG! I'm not so special!

Postby manas » Sun Nov 06, 2011 8:49 am

BlueLotus wrote:
cooran wrote:Hello all,

Constant rebirth is scary .... this wandering-on in Samsara.


But what if there is no rebirth? What if life ends after death? I am still really confused about this
I'm going out on a limb here, and guessing that the majority of people here (and in the Buddhist world in general) have not directly seen for themselves how beings pass away and reappear according to their kamma, but rather (like myself) have faith in the Buddha's description of that, with that faith based on the fact that he seems to be right about everything else (ie, how the mind functions, how to become truly happier and at peace, etc...)

manas.

cooran, I just saw your request. sorry but I had already written this (off topic) answer...
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby chownah » Sun Nov 06, 2011 1:58 pm

retrofuturist wrote:]
... then there is no rebirth, then there is.

Metta,
Retro. :)

retrofuturist,
is this a paraphrase of a Donavan lyric?
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Re: OMG! I'm not so special!

Postby chownah » Sun Nov 06, 2011 2:03 pm

BlueLotus wrote:But what if there is no rebirth? What if life ends after death? I am still really confused about this

I think that ending rebirth is the goal....isn't it?....for an arahant there is no rebirth...isn't that right? Does this frighten you?....just wondering....
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Re: OMG! I'm not so special!

Postby daverupa » Sun Nov 06, 2011 3:35 pm

chownah wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:But what if there is no rebirth? What if life ends after death? I am still really confused about this

I think that ending rebirth is the goal....isn't it?....for an arahant there is no rebirth...isn't that right? Does this frighten you?....just wondering....
chownah


Ending suffering is the goal. Saying that the goal is ending rebirth is to take one particular explication of suffering (samsara) as total when the first noble truth says a bit more on the matter.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: OMG! I'm not so special!

Postby Zom » Sun Nov 06, 2011 5:39 pm

Then there is no holy life, no path leading to the cessation of suffering, no Arahants who have put an end to rebirth, and no end to craving, aversion, and delusion. If life ends at death, then suffering ends at death, and there is no difference between an Arahant and an ordinary confused human being — both will attain the end of suffering at death.


:toast:
:toast:
:toast:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Nov 06, 2011 6:43 pm

chownah wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:]
... then there is no rebirth, then there is.

Metta,
Retro. :)

retrofuturist,
is this a paraphrase of a Donavan lyric?
chownah
Yes, and this is a paraphrase of a Zen saying.
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: No rebirth

Postby Mr Man » Sun Nov 06, 2011 7:23 pm

tiltbillings wrote:It looks clear to me. What I see a lot in this thread are those who cannot accept the Buddha taught rebirth because it flies in the face of what they can accept as being true and so they go through a lot of mental gymnastics to make their point (unconvincingly).


I guess it's kind of similar to the possibility that Buddhist monasticism is intrinsically sexist.

Where we are standing today do we need to have a good look to see if literal rebirth is still a relevant teaching in the same way that we look at continued gender discrimination as being unacceptable? Are these two things something that belong in a different age? Or are they fundamental?

:?:
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Re: OMG! I'm not so special!

Postby BlueLotus » Mon Nov 07, 2011 3:06 pm

chownah wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:But what if there is no rebirth? What if life ends after death? I am still really confused about this

I think that ending rebirth is the goal....isn't it?....for an arahant there is no rebirth...isn't that right? Does this frighten you?....just wondering....
chownah


Does what frighten me? :shrug:
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Re: OMG! I'm not so special!

Postby BlueLotus » Mon Nov 07, 2011 3:08 pm

Fede wrote:What IF there IS no rebirth? What IF life ends after Death?

So what?
What can you do about it?


No idea. If I knew that I wouldn't open the thread in the first place :D
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Bodhi, Brahm, Thanisarro & Rebirth

Postby Jhana4 » Mon Nov 07, 2011 3:19 pm

Bhikkhu Bodhi and Thanisarro Bhikku are both Americans. Ajahn Brahm is from the U.K.. All three men are exceptionally intelligent and are very, very, very well educated. Interestingly, despite the western upbringing, the intelligence and the education all 3 have a strong belief in rebirth.

I am legitimately curious as to why that is the case.

I've had the experience in my life of becoming more friendly to a belief I don't share when surrounded by people who have that belief. All of these men are monks who are surrounded by people heavily invested in a belief in rebirth. To list another reason, a crude one, people tend to "talk from their pay check". The nuclear power plant worker tends to know what the good arguments are for nuclear power. I *think* all 3 men for significant periods of their "careers" were supported by an Asian community. A community that would not be friendly to a monk being out in the open about a disbelief in rebirth. I imagine there are such monks, but they are quiet about their beliefs.

All 3 men also seem to be in their mid 50s - mid 60s, a time in a person's life when they can see the time left in their life passing quickly and the idea of dying being more than an abstraction of "someday" the way it is for the young.

The last possibility is that all 3 men have had religious experiences, for lack of a better term, that they have not told people about. It has been my experience that connected with any large community of people who meditate in an Eastern style, there is always a person who at least claims to know someone, who knows someone who had a deep personal experience they will not share in detail, but who will emphatically reassure their friend not to worry about death. Maybe this is the case with these 3 men ( and what I would like to believe ).

I'm posting this in the "great rebirth debate" thread, but I am changing the title. If it ends up in its own thread please feel free to move it.
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: Bodhi, Brahm, Thanisarro & Rebirth

Postby kirk5a » Mon Nov 07, 2011 3:57 pm

Jhana4 wrote:Bhikkhu Bodhi and Thanisarro Bhikku are both Americans. Ajahn Brahm is from the U.K.. All three men are exceptionally intelligent and are very, very, very well educated. Interestingly, despite the western upbringing, the intelligence and the education all 3 have a strong belief in rebirth.

I am legitimately curious as to why that is the case.


It seems both the polite and scientifically rigorous thing to do, would be to ask them directly, rather than engaging in dubious speculation about the genesis of their beliefs.
"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 Zom » Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:18 pm

I am legitimately curious as to why that is the case.


Because the Blessed One is Supreme, the Dhamma is Supreme and Sangha is Supreme ,)
That is why.
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Re: Bodhi, Brahm, Thanisarro & Rebirth

Postby Jhana4 » Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:20 pm

kirk5a wrote:
Jhana4 wrote:Bhikkhu Bodhi and Thanisarro Bhikku are both Americans. Ajahn Brahm is from the U.K.. All three men are exceptionally intelligent and are very, very, very well educated. Interestingly, despite the western upbringing, the intelligence and the education all 3 have a strong belief in rebirth.

I am legitimately curious as to why that is the case.


It seems both the polite and scientifically rigorous thing to do, would be to ask them directly, rather than engaging in dubious speculation about the genesis of their beliefs.


I don't know if they would give completely honest answers ( they don't owe me anything ) or answer me at all, but I think that is an excellent idea.
Thank You. I'm sure I can find some sort of contact link.
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: No rebirth

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Nov 07, 2011 6:09 pm

Mr Man wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:It looks clear to me. What I see a lot in this thread are those who cannot accept the Buddha taught rebirth because it flies in the face of what they can accept as being true and so they go through a lot of mental gymnastics to make their point (unconvincingly).


I guess it's kind of similar to the possibility that Buddhist monasticism is intrinsically sexist.

Where we are standing today do we need to have a good look to see if literal rebirth is still a relevant teaching in the same way that we look at continued gender discrimination as being unacceptable? Are these two things something that belong in a different age? Or are they fundamental?

:?:
There are two questions here. Did the Buddha teach rebirth? The texts are quite clear: yes.

The second question relates to your comment: What to do with it?
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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