the great rebirth debate

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby lyndon taylor » Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:11 am

Thank you MK, I'm getting hell for my belief in the Tao on another thread!!!!
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:29 am

lyndon taylor wrote:Thank you MK, I'm getting hell for my belief in the Tao on another thread!!!!
No you are not. "The Tao" was not on my radar -- or anyone's radar -- until you brought it up, and it not relevant to the the discussion in that thread, unless you want make it so. Also, it is off-topic here so, back to the samsara of this thread.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
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People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:43 pm

tiltbillings wrote:... back to the samsara of this thread.


I've been trying to achieve "liberation" from the samsara of this thread for some time, but it's strangely alluring... :jumping:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby nowheat » Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:21 pm

Mkoll wrote:
lyndon taylor wrote:The Buddha taught a graded path, and that quite likely the path to Nirvana could cover several future lifetimes, to say that practicing for a higher rebirth is folly makes no sense at all, its incredibly more likely that you will have a future rebirth than that you will reach nirvana in this lifetime.

This is a good point. Having the perspective that rebirth is real or even the perspective that rebirth is a real possibility gives one a good impetus to do meritorious things in this life. Given the ignorance inherent in our human condition, I think those who refuse even the possibility of rebirth should perhaps rethink their position.

lyndon made some very good points in the post you quote here, and I agree that practicing for a higher rebirth is a good idea. I'm not sure who said it was folly. But then, what a person says can be represented in many different ways. One might take what I said about adopting a belief in rebirth and practicing for its ends to be me saying that "practicing for a higher rebirth is folly" but it's not the practicing as if there might be rebirth that is the issue, it's the belief that there is rebirth and that one's own rebirth is what really matters that I take issue with. It's the certainty that "this, only, is true, and everything else is wrong" and the way it blocks the view of any other possibility that I can see is problematic.

But, Mkoll, while I agree that the perspective that rebirth is a real possibility provides good impetus -- and I'm confident that the Buddha meant us to think of that -- there is a big difference between having the perspective that rebirth is real, and having the perspective that it's a real possibility. I agree with you that those who refuse to even think of the possibility that rebirth is real should rethink their position. I'd go on to say that they should read the suttas more closely, because they'd certainly find the Buddha pointing out that such dogmatic views only lead to divisiveness, which leads to dukkha.

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:08 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:... back to the samsara of this thread.


I've been trying to achieve "liberation" from the samsara of this thread for some time, but it's strangely alluring... :jumping:
A bit over 5,000 posts, with various sides of the question variously repackaging what has already been said early on, but nothing really new or really different or really game-changing being uttered. I suppose there is always the hope. Meanwhile, while we hope, wishing for a breakthrough, a stunning insight, or even an inkling, this thread roles on and the turtle surfaces again and again, maybe this time its head will pass through the yoke.
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 Mkoll » Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:56 pm

nowheat wrote:But, Mkoll, while I agree that the perspective that rebirth is a real possibility provides good impetus -- and I'm confident that the Buddha meant us to think of that -- there is a big difference between having the perspective that rebirth is real, and having the perspective that it's a real possibility.

That is a good point and I do agree. The ignorance inherent in our human condition again rears its ever-present head: no one knows exactly what will happen to them when they die. Except, of course, those free from ignorance. And my perspective is that the Buddha achieved this freedom and taught the way towards it to those who will listen.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Nikaya35 » Wed Feb 19, 2014 5:01 pm

lyndon taylor wrote:Preaching that Nirvana is the only possible goal for a practicing Buddhist, is kind of like preaching that winning the Indy 500 or Formula 1 race is the only acceptable goal for a car driver. The Buddha taught a graded path, and that quite likely the path to Nirvana could cover several future lifetimes, to say that practicing for a higher rebirth is folly makes no sense at all, its incredibly more likely that you will have a future rebirth than that you will reach nirvana in this lifetime. Correspondingly it is very possible that you could have a lower rebirth and be reborn in one of the hell realms. The buddha taught to avoid what leads to the lower realms and cultivate what leads to the higher realms, including the complete liberation of attaining Nirvana. If you personally have a problem believing in rebirth, and higher and lower realms, don't try to say you got that idea from the Buddha, because you didn't!!

I agree with you 100000000%! Literal karma and rebirth are part of the buddha teachings. People that deny this fact should read the sutras or reread the sutras. The buddha claim to have 3 knowledges after his enlightment in the bodhi tree. He saw his manyfold pasts abodes or past lifes. The buddha saw how beings are reborn according to their karma. The third knowledge is about the destruction of taints. Attaining nirvana is possible but very unlikely to the most of us. Most of us will get reborn again according to the teachings of the buddha.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:25 am

nowheat wrote: I'd go on to say that they should read the suttas more closely, because they'd certainly find the Buddha pointing out that such dogmatic views only lead to divisiveness, which leads to dukkha.


Sure, though I'd observe that disbelief on some questions can be just as dogmatic as belief. I've spent quite a lot of time reading the suttas and, unless the suttas have been terribly corrupted, it looks very much to me like the Buddha taught literal rebirth. So for me the discussion is really about why he taught it and how it relates to our practice.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Mkoll » Thu Feb 20, 2014 6:07 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
nowheat wrote: I'd go on to say that they should read the suttas more closely, because they'd certainly find the Buddha pointing out that such dogmatic views only lead to divisiveness, which leads to dukkha.


Sure, though I'd observe that disbelief on some questions can be just as dogmatic as belief. I've spent quite a lot of time reading the suttas and, unless the suttas have been terribly corrupted, it looks very much to me like the Buddha taught literal rebirth. So for me the discussion is really about why he taught it and how it relates to our practice.

Good point there. I'd say that why he taught it is because it is conducive to practice and it provides a necessary background to his Teachings. It's conducive to practice because it provides an impetus for cultivating virtue and self-mastery, thus making life a better place for oneself and for others. It provides a necessary background because it gives a reason for practice beyond what is mundane. And it gives a reason to be compassionate to other beings like other human beings or animals who were our mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters and may be again in the future.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby visitin » Thu Feb 20, 2014 6:34 pm

Mkoll wrote:]And it gives a reason to be compassionate to other beings like other human beings or animals who were our mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters and may be again in the future.


Question is, would you risk marrying someone who might be your blood relative in your past life?
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Mkoll » Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:34 pm

Well there's no way to say for sure what your relationship was with someone in a past life. And I think the point of the Buddha saying those things was not to encourage thinking about them like that. I think the point was to train oneself to see others with the kindness one would see a relative with.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby visitin » Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:17 am

Mkoll wrote:Well there's no way to say for sure what your relationship was with someone in a past life.


Mata Sutta

AtSavatthi. There the Blessed One said:"From an inconstruable beginning comes transmigration. A beginning point is not evident, though beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving are transmigrating & wandering on. A being who has not been your mother at one time in the past is not easy to find... A being who has not been your father... your brother... your sister... your son... your daughter at onetime in the past is not easy to find.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby chownah » Fri Feb 21, 2014 3:19 am

It seems that the Buddha only slept a couple of hours a night so I think it is reasonable to at least consider the possibility that his rebirth memories might be hallucinations.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby waterchan » Fri Feb 21, 2014 3:27 am

Sleep deprivation can cause hallucinations but you're not sleep-deprived if there's no fatigue.
quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur
(Anything in Latin sounds profound.)
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Mkoll » Fri Feb 21, 2014 6:53 am

visitin wrote:
Mkoll wrote:Well there's no way to say for sure what your relationship was with someone in a past life.


Mata Sutta

AtSavatthi. There the Blessed One said:"From an inconstruable beginning comes transmigration. A beginning point is not evident, though beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving are transmigrating & wandering on. A being who has not been your mother at one time in the past is not easy to find... A being who has not been your father... your brother... your sister... your son... your daughter at onetime in the past is not easy to find.


OK. Maybe I misunderstood your question below. What are you trying to say?

[quote=vistin]Question is, would you risk marrying someone who might be your blood relative in your past life?[/quote]
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby visitin » Fri Feb 21, 2014 7:55 am

Mkoll,
You didn't misunderstood my question.

You said that "there's no way to say for sure what your relationship was with someone in a past life." But according to the Buddha, its hard to find someone who has not been your blood relative at one time in the past.
Last edited by visitin on Fri Feb 21, 2014 8:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Mkoll » Fri Feb 21, 2014 7:57 am

OK. Good to know!

:smile:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Fri Feb 21, 2014 9:16 am

chownah wrote:It seems that the Buddha only slept a couple of hours a night so I think it is reasonable to at least consider the possibility that his rebirth memories might be hallucinations.
trollnah


Maybe his enlightenment was a hallucination too. ;)
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby chownah » Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:16 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
chownah wrote:It seems that the Buddha only slept a couple of hours a night so I think it is reasonable to at least consider the possibility that his rebirth memories might be hallucinations.
trollnah


Maybe his enlightenment was a hallucination too. ;)

I think it is reasonable if you want to consider this too, but it is not so directly on topic as considering his rebirth memories.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby chownah » Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:19 pm

waterchan wrote:Sleep deprivation can cause hallucinations but you're not sleep-deprived if there's no fatigue.

I think that fatigue is one possible symptom of sleep deprivation but I think it is possible to be sleep deprived and not feel fatigue......fatigue is just a feeling after all.
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