the great rebirth debate

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Mr Man » Mon Nov 07, 2011 6:55 pm

tiltbillings I'm not sure if I understand you correctly but when you said "The second question relates to your comment: What to do with it?". Do you mean what to do with the teaching of rebirth?

If so I would say pick it up if you want. Put it down if you want. reflect wisely. investigate. use intelligence. See how it correlates. If you believe in rebirth or if you don't believe in rebirth don't let it be a burden. That is my advice.
User avatar
Mr Man
 
Posts: 1194
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:42 am

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Nov 07, 2011 7:01 pm

Mr Man wrote:tiltbillings I'm not sure if I understand you correctly but when you said "The second question relates to your comment: What to do with it?". Do you mean what to do with the teaching of rebirth?

If so I would say pick it up if you want. Put it down if you want. reflect wisely. investigate. use intelligence. See how it correlates. If you believe in rebirth or if you don't believe in rebirth don't let it be a burden. That is my advice.
You got my point exactly, and I completely agree with you on this.
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
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19215
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Non-Rebirth Buddhism (NRB)

Postby Buckwheat » Thu Dec 01, 2011 9:19 pm

I have always had a hard time with belief in rebirth, but it seems if you take the rebirth out of Buddhism, then I just have to die and I will stop suffering, no matter how I lived and died. I want to know how other Non-Rebirth Buddhists (NRBs - can I coin that?) resolve this issue.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.
Buckwheat
 
Posts: 927
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:39 am
Location: California USA

Re: Non-Rebirth Buddhism (NRB)

Postby Alex123 » Thu Dec 01, 2011 9:28 pm

Buckwheat wrote:I want to know how other Non-Rebirth Buddhists (NRBs - can I coin that?) resolve this issue.


Be afraid of death, still cling to life, don't want to hurt loved ones. Without Rebirth, suicide would be in that case the quick shortcut to parinibbāna.
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
User avatar
Alex123
 
Posts: 2813
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: Non-Rebirth Buddhism (NRB)

Postby daverupa » Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:52 pm

Alex123 wrote:
Buckwheat wrote:I want to know how other Non-Rebirth Buddhists (NRBs - can I coin that?) resolve this issue.


Be afraid of death, still cling to life, don't want to hurt loved ones. Without Rebirth, suicide would be in that case the quick shortcut to parinibbāna.


@Alex123: We've disagreed on that point before, but without rehashing it all I simply want to mention that this was addressed earlier in the thread, for those interested in another take.

@Buckwheat: In fact, it's worth taking some time and actually reading through the whole of this great rebirth thread, as the general points (including those which pertain to this NRB business) are there for the culling.

However, in the final analysis...

Sabbasava Sutta wrote:"And what are the ideas fit for attention that he does not attend to? Whatever ideas such that, when he attends to them, the unarisen fermentation of sensuality does not arise in him, and the arisen fermentation of sensuality is abandoned; the unarisen fermentation of becoming does not arise in him, and arisen fermentation of becoming is abandoned; the unarisen fermentation of ignorance does not arise in him, and the arisen fermentation of ignorance is abandoned. These are the ideas fit for attention that he does not attend to. Through his attending to ideas unfit for attention and through his not attending to ideas fit for attention, both unarisen fermentations arise in him, and arisen fermentations increase.

"This is how he attends inappropriately: 'Was I in the past? Was I not in the past? What was I in the past? How was I in the past? Having been what, what was I in the past? Shall I be in the future? Shall I not be in the future? What shall I be in the future? How shall I be in the future? Having been what, what shall I be in the future?' Or else he is inwardly perplexed about the immediate present: 'Am I? Am I not? What am I? How am I? Where has this being come from? Where is it bound?'

...

"He attends appropriately, This is stress... This is the origination of stress... This is the cessation of stress... This is the way leading to the cessation of stress. As he attends appropriately in this way, three fetters are abandoned in him: identity-view, doubt, and grasping at precepts & practices. These are called the fermentations to be abandoned by seeing.


:candle:
    "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]
User avatar
daverupa
 
Posts: 4074
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: Non-Rebirth Buddhism (NRB)

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:00 pm

Greetings,

Alex123 wrote:suicide would be in that case the quick shortcut to parinibbāna.

There is no nibbana in suicide, rebirth or not.

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14629
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Non-Rebirth Buddhism (NRB)

Postby Alex123 » Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:06 pm

Greetings Retro,

retrofuturist wrote:There is no nibbana in suicide, rebirth or not.


If there is one life, then when one dies, there will not be any post-mortem rebirth. All hindrances, all 5 aggregates, all fetters will cease.

Suicide would make death come quicker.

Hello Daverupa,

If there is one life only, practice to stop post-mortem rebirth is like making water wet. It is already wet. At death the existence and fetters of that person would simply cease whether one died as an Arahant or ordinary worldling, young or old, healthy or sick, wise or ignorant.

I hope there is one life only, and death=parinibbāna.
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
User avatar
Alex123
 
Posts: 2813
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: Non-Rebirth Buddhism (NRB)

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:20 pm

Greetings Alex,

alex123 wrote:If there is one life, then when one dies, there will not be any post-mortem rebirth. All hindrances, all 5 aggregates, all fetters will cease.

Suicide would make death come quicker.

True, but that's not parinibbana.

alex123 wrote:I hope there is one life only, and death=parinibbāna.

I hope that you're able to find a way to be happy in this life, using the Dhamma, without framing it in such an unproductive way.

Nibbana = parinibbana = amata (deathlessness).

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14629
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Non-Rebirth Buddhism (NRB)

Postby Alex123 » Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:25 pm

Greetings Retro,

retrofuturist wrote:True, but that's not parinibbana.


What is the experiential difference between one-life-only-death and physical death of an Arhat? In either case there is no rebirth of 5 aggregates, kilesas, and dukkha.

retrofuturist wrote:Nibbana = parinibbana = amata (deathlessness).


There is nibbāna with remainder (Saupādisesā nibbāna) and nibbāna without remainder (anupādisesā nibbāna).

Without birth, there will not be aging and death. So one-life-only-death would = amata.
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
User avatar
Alex123
 
Posts: 2813
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: No rebirth

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Sat Dec 03, 2011 11:23 am

tiltbillings wrote: 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).


That's how I see it. For example trying to rewrite sutta descriptions of the nidanas so that they conform to a phsychological model of DO - which IMO is both unconvincing and unecessary. And studiously ignoring all the sutta references that contradict their position.

Spiny
User avatar
Spiny O'Norman
 
Posts: 851
Joined: Sat May 23, 2009 8:46 am
Location: Suffolk, England

Re: No rebirth

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Sat Dec 03, 2011 3:10 pm

reflection wrote:Buddhism isn't about belief, at least not for me.


Same here, and I don't think that a belief in rebirth is necessary for Buddhist practice. But I do think the Buddha taught rebirth, and I'm puzzled by the amount of energy some people put into trying to disprove it.

Spiny
User avatar
Spiny O'Norman
 
Posts: 851
Joined: Sat May 23, 2009 8:46 am
Location: Suffolk, England

Re: No rebirth

Postby reflection » Sat Dec 03, 2011 3:31 pm

Spiny O'Norman wrote:
reflection wrote:Buddhism isn't about belief, at least not for me.


Same here, and I don't think that a belief in rebirth is necessary for Buddhist practice. But I do think the Buddha taught rebirth, and I'm puzzled by the amount of energy some people put into trying to disprove it.

Spiny

Agreed. Even Stephen Batchelor had to admit in his book the Buddha himself believed in rebirth. That says something about how clear it is from the suttas. ;)
User avatar
reflection
 
Posts: 1115
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:27 pm

Re: No rebirth

Postby Buckwheat » Sun Dec 04, 2011 1:20 am

Spiny O'Norman wrote: ...I do think the Buddha taught rebirth, and I'm puzzled by the amount of energy some people put into trying to disprove it.

As far as the Buddhadhamma is concerned, there is no doubt that rebirth is a central teaching. There is only doubt in one's ability to accept that teaching. The standard response for addressing doubt is to study the issue at hand. Would anybody care to share some best practices for resolving the doubts that arise from clinging to the wrong view of materialism/annihilation? Due to the massive size of this topic, if anybody has time to PM some good posts for jumping in points, that would be warmly appreciated.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.
Buckwheat
 
Posts: 927
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:39 am
Location: California USA

Re: No rebirth

Postby chownah » Sun Dec 04, 2011 3:48 am

Buckwheat wrote: Would anybody care to share some best practices for resolving the doubts that arise from clinging to the wrong view of materialism/annihilation?

I think that all problems related to clining to views of any sort (not just the "wrong view of materialism/annihilation") is to work towards the understanding that all views are manifestations of a doctrine of self and the Buddha advised that we should do our best to have no doctrine of self whatever.....also the Buddha teaches that eventually along the path to enliglhtenment all views will be rejected and I guess this leaves an experience which is void of views.
So, it is my view that while working on eliminating wrong views and establishing right views is important, it is equally important to work on the elimination of all doctrines of self and a good part of this work is the elimination of all views. Further, it is my view that the first step in eliminating views is to grasp them properly and not to cling to them.....I guess.....if one grasps one's views lightly it will be easier for one to let go of a wrong view so that right view can arise....and eventually it will be easier to let go of the right view in the process of eliminating the doctrine of self.....I guess.....but don't know for sure.....
chownah
chownah
 
Posts: 2579
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Woman: Psychologist Implanted Horrific Memories

Postby Jhana4 » Sun Dec 04, 2011 1:36 pm

From
Woman: Psychologist Implanted Horrific Memories

The memories that came flooding back were so horrific that Lisa Nasseff says she tried to kill herself: She had been raped several times, had multiple personalities and took part in satanic rituals involving unthinkable acts. She says she only got better when she realized they weren't real.

Nasseff, 31, is suing a suburban St. Louis treatment center where she spent 15 months being treated for anorexia, claiming one of its psychologists implanted the false memories during hypnosis sessions in order to keep her there long-term and run up a bill


This sort of thing is one reason why I don't believe accounts of rebirth/reincarnation obtained through hypnosis. Another reason is that when I was in highschool the school let out early for snow. Since I was in an honors biology class, the department head, who moonlighted as a hypnotist, invited the students to stay provided they had a way home. He gave us a lecture on what hypnosis was and was not. What could be believed from hypnosis and would couldn't be. Even back then memories obtained from hypnosis were controversial issue. To demonstrate he told one of the student volunteers he put under hypnosis that he was from Venus. He asked Dennis ( the student) to tell us about his life there. An amazingly rich story followed. I had know Dennis since junior high -- he wasn't that creative. Then our teacher asked Dennis to speak to us in the "Venutian language", what followed was a highly articulated string of sounds that sounded very much like a language. As our department head told us, when someone is in DEEP hypnosis, the mind has no power of discrimination, no defenses, no sense of reality. It does what it is told. If it is told it is from Venus, it invents memories from there.

If it is told to go back to a life before this one, it will invent memories.
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.
Jhana4
 
Posts: 1309
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:20 pm
Location: U.S.A., Northeast

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:10 am

And when 'awakened' from the hypnotic state, the person returns to their normal frame of reference and no longer thinks they are from Venus. This is the difference between hypnotically-induced past-life memories and those recalled by Arhants.

M4
Author of Redneck Buddhism: or Will You Reincarnate as Your Own Cousin?
User avatar
BubbaBuddhist
 
Posts: 640
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:55 am
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee

Re: Woman: Psychologist Implanted Horrific Memories

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:34 am

Jhana4 wrote:If it is told to go back to a life before this one, it will invent memories.


Or recall episodes from dreams. ;)

Spiny
User avatar
Spiny O'Norman
 
Posts: 851
Joined: Sat May 23, 2009 8:46 am
Location: Suffolk, England

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Buckwheat » Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:38 pm

Anybody here ever had a memory that was flat out wrong? And that's just within this one lifetime. (If you think the answer is no, then you should look a little closer.)
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.
Buckwheat
 
Posts: 927
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:39 am
Location: California USA

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Jhana4 » Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:40 pm

Metta-4 wrote:And when 'awakened' from the hypnotic state, the person returns to their normal frame of reference and no longer thinks they are from Venus. This is the difference between hypnotically-induced past-life memories and those recalled by Arhants.

M4


According to the article I posted about 3 posts up, a young woman seeing a shrink for anorexia had false memories hypnotically programmed into hers, which she thought were her after coming out of 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.
Jhana4
 
Posts: 1309
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:20 pm
Location: U.S.A., Northeast

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Jhana4 » Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:53 pm

Almost every single year, at least one article comes out about crowds seeing a Ganesh statue in India drinking milk or Catholics seeing Mary ( or Jesus ) statues bleed, cry........or seeing their images in toast? Why don't Catholics see Ganesh images in their toast or why don't Hindus see Jesus statues bleeding.

That is how they were inculcated by growing up in the culture where they were born.

This is probably a factor with Buddhist monks and nuns from foreign lands as well. They probably spent years meditating before getting past life memories. That is years of reading Buddhist beliefs, being around Buddhists and thinking Buddhism.

When I was in highschool I was very much into yoga and read a lot of things by yogis. This was a few decades ago, so I can't recall names, but I remember reading about some great Hindu teacher from the past being on record as warning people about religious visions and instructing people to ignore them, as he realized the mind sees what it or other people train it to see.

Dr. Stevenson tried to turn that argument onto its head to explain why so many of his case studies came from Asian children and so few from the West.

I don't buy that. I grew up in the west. I can't recall anyone every discouraging a young child about rebirth/reincarnation.......or even mentioning it. There isn't a reason for western toddlers not to be recalling past lives as much as Asian toddlers.

Even if you put all of that aside and look at westerners who spontaneously have memories of other lives and were never exposed to the concepts of reincarnation in any way shape or form, you still have a problem.

All you have is the "fact" that a person has memories from another person who died in the past ( lets assume this is all verified by records ). That doesn't mean there is rebirth, let alone rebirth as the Asian religions describe it, let alone all of the other tenents of Asian religions. All you have are memories which may have come from another source, like a Jungian racial memory. That theory and probably others are less wild than Hindu reincarnation of Buddhist rebirth.
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.
Jhana4
 
Posts: 1309
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:20 pm
Location: U.S.A., Northeast

PreviousNext

Return to Open Dhamma

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bhikkhu Pesala and 12 guests