the great rebirth debate

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: Accepting Rebirth

Postby pink_trike » Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:55 pm

Pink_trike wrote: I'll trust Buddhadasa Bhikku's word. Perhaps if you read more of Buddhadasa Bhikku's writings you'll learn more about it.


Tilt wrote: - I have read enough to know that it is spin, not a reference to an actual text, which is no surprise.

Ah, ok...thanks for sharing that you know better than "Buddhada-da"...(a clever little name you've come up with that really doesn't seem to be right speech or appropriate respect, but perhaps you know better there too). :roll:
Last edited by pink_trike on Wed Jun 10, 2009 2:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Vision is Mind
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Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

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Re: Accepting Rebirth

Postby pink_trike » Wed Jun 10, 2009 2:42 pm

Ben wrote:Thanks Chris that is a brilliant list.
But as anyone who has a rudimentary familiarity with the nikayas, one knows it is just the tip of the iceberg.
Metta

Ben

A tiny tip of a massive iceberg that was first written somewhere between 400-800 years after Siddhārtha Gautama died - after much political jockeying over centuries, and that was repeatedly revised and added to over following centuries resulting in obvious inconsistencies. Some scholars doubt that much, if any, of the scriptures are actually the words of Siddhārtha Gautama, beyond elements of the Vinaya and Pitaka. This doesn't mean that there isn't some good stuff there, but there isn't consensus that Siddhārtha Gautama spoke it by any means. Religious faith and devotion doesn't erase this uncertainty, no matter how much effort and reverance is applied, and this inconvenient uncertainty is hardly grounds for building a concrete case that Siddhārtha Gautama taught literal rebirth. It seems to me, given this uncertainty, that anything beyond the 4NT and 8FP should be taken with a dose of "i don't know" salt. Common sense trumps religious faith.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Jechbi » Wed Jun 10, 2009 2:48 pm

pink_trike wrote:Yes...eventually we let go of unnecessary ego-feeding baggage like religion and just do the work that the good doctor prescribed.

You're confusing the path with its fruits.
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby pink_trike » Wed Jun 10, 2009 3:00 pm

Jechbi wrote:
pink_trike wrote:Yes...eventually we let go of unnecessary ego-feeding baggage like religion and just do the work that the good doctor prescribed.

You're confusing the path with its fruits.

Path and fruit are one.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Jechbi » Wed Jun 10, 2009 3:03 pm

"Suppose, monks, there is a man journeying on a road and he sees a vast expanse of water of which this shore is perilous and fearful, while the other shore is safe and free from danger. But there is no boat for crossing nor is there a bridge for going over from this side to the other. So the man thinks: 'This is a vast expanse of water; and this shore is perilous and fearful, but the other shore is safe and free from danger. There is, however, no boat here for crossing, nor a bridge for going over from this side to the other. Suppose I gather reeds, sticks, branches and foliage, and bind them into a raft.' Now that man collects reeds, sticks, branches and foliage, and binds them into a raft. Carried by that raft, laboring with hands and feet, he safely crosses over to the other shore. Having crossed and arrived at the other shore, he thinks: 'This raft, indeed, has been very helpful to me. Carried by it, laboring with hands and feet, I got safely across to the other shore. Should I not lift this raft on my head or put it on my shoulders, and go where I like?'

"What do you think about it, O monks? Will this man by acting thus, do what should be done with a raft?" — "No, Lord" — "How then, monks, would he be doing what ought to be done with a raft? Here, monks, having got across and arrived at the other shore, the man thinks: 'This raft, indeed, has been very helpful to me. Carried by it, and laboring with hands and feet, I got safely across to the other shore. Should I not pull it up now to the dry land or let it float in the water, and then go as I please?' By acting thus, monks, would that man do what should be done with a raft.

"In the same way, monks, have I shown to you the Teaching's similitude to a raft: as having the purpose of crossing over, not the purpose of being clung to.



Nyanaponika Thera wrote:He who is so much preoccupied with doctrinal controversy, furnishes, indeed, a fitting illustration of one who carries the raft of the Dhamma on his head or shoulders; and, in his case, this will be not after the crossing but before he has done, or even seriously tried, the fording of the stream. In fact, this famous parable of the raft will in most cases apply to those who, in the words of the Dhammapada (v. 85), "run up and down the river's bank" on this side of the stream, without daring or wishing to cross. We find them using the raft for a variety of purposes: they will adorn it and adore it, discuss it, compare it — indeed anything else than use it.
There are, on the other hand, those who wrongly believe that this parable justifies them in jettisoning the raft before they have used it, and that it invites them to let go the good teachings along with the false ones, even before they have benefited by the former and fully discarded the latter.
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Jechbi » Wed Jun 10, 2009 3:06 pm

pink_trike wrote:Path and fruit are one.

This statement has its proper context. This discussion is not it.

You're saying everyone is instantly enlightened, and there's no need for a gradual training.
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
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Uncover, then, what is concealed,
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby pink_trike » Wed Jun 10, 2009 3:07 pm

Jechbi wrote:
"Suppose, monks, there is a man journeying on a road and he sees a vast expanse of water of which this shore is perilous and fearful, while the other shore is safe and free from danger. But there is no boat for crossing nor is there a bridge for going over from this side to the other. So the man thinks: 'This is a vast expanse of water; and this shore is perilous and fearful, but the other shore is safe and free from danger. There is, however, no boat here for crossing, nor a bridge for going over from this side to the other. Suppose I gather reeds, sticks, branches and foliage, and bind them into a raft.' Now that man collects reeds, sticks, branches and foliage, and binds them into a raft. Carried by that raft, laboring with hands and feet, he safely crosses over to the other shore. Having crossed and arrived at the other shore, he thinks: 'This raft, indeed, has been very helpful to me. Carried by it, laboring with hands and feet, I got safely across to the other shore. Should I not lift this raft on my head or put it on my shoulders, and go where I like?'

"What do you think about it, O monks? Will this man by acting thus, do what should be done with a raft?" — "No, Lord" — "How then, monks, would he be doing what ought to be done with a raft? Here, monks, having got across and arrived at the other shore, the man thinks: 'This raft, indeed, has been very helpful to me. Carried by it, and laboring with hands and feet, I got safely across to the other shore. Should I not pull it up now to the dry land or let it float in the water, and then go as I please?' By acting thus, monks, would that man do what should be done with a raft.

"In the same way, monks, have I shown to you the Teaching's similitude to a raft: as having the purpose of crossing over, not the purpose of being clung to.



Nyanaponika Thera wrote:He who is so much preoccupied with doctrinal controversy, furnishes, indeed, a fitting illustration of one who carries the raft of the Dhamma on his head or shoulders; and, in his case, this will be not after the crossing but before he has done, or even seriously tried, the fording of the stream. In fact, this famous parable of the raft will in most cases apply to those who, in the words of the Dhammapada (v. 85), "run up and down the river's bank" on this side of the stream, without daring or wishing to cross. We find them using the raft for a variety of purposes: they will adorn it and adore it, discuss it, compare it — indeed anything else than use it.
There are, on the other hand, those who wrongly believe that this parable justifies them in jettisoning the raft before they have used it, and that it invites them to let go the good teachings along with the false ones, even before they have benefited by the former and fully discarded the latter.

Ok. Path and fruit are still one.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

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Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Wed Jun 10, 2009 3:12 pm

Howdy Guy

If you could remember your past lives, just as clearly as you can remember what you did yesterday, would you consider your memories to be impractical and illogical?


No i wouldnt but i would also consider the possibility that its my mind playing tricks. Of course if past life memories are real then they might be very vivid to discount that, i cant really answer that fully i would really have to exp. it myself if such a thing does occur

Forgive me if I am getting the wrong impression, but by the way you talk about the subject it seems like you are clinging to a "blind belief" that rebirth is not literal and therefore interpret all Buddhist texts accordingly. Do you reject rebirth out-right, even if convincing evidence (perhaps even first hand memories) is presented to you? Or do you reject it on the basis that such evidence hasn't been seen by you yet and are willing to change your mind?


I dont say never ever, perhaps it is literal and happens after death, i really do know. All i know is that rebirth isnt in the 4nts or NEFP and so not essential and/or not a part of the Buddhas teachings. If you go through some of the earlier posts here you will see my side of the argument (dont want to repeat the thread over and over :smile: ). If you want to know my current assesment of rebirth (which i consider outside the buddhadhamma) then i look at it with agnosticism which is the same as you since (i assume) you have no knowledge either


Do you reject rebirth out-right, even if convincing evidence (perhaps even first hand memories) is presented to you? Or do you reject it on the basis that such evidence hasn't been seen by you yet and are willing to change your mind


If i rejected something that had strong evidence then i would be a fool

Perhaps the healthiest approach is to say "Maybe rebirth is true, maybe it's not. I don't know" until such time as you can remember your own past lives.


The problem with this is that you have already assumed that rebirth is a positive by the fact you think one can remember a past life so your not being in the middle but affirming a belief

But to reject it out-right seems just as foolish as "blind belief" to me.


I dont do that, as i said i have an agnostic attitude. However based on probability my current thinking is leaning more towards a no than a yes (only slightly however)

Metta :smile:
Last edited by clw_uk on Wed Jun 10, 2009 3:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Wed Jun 10, 2009 3:17 pm

Jechbi wrote:Howdy clw,

clw_uk wrote:Hold rebirth view, you hold a speculative view, you dont/cant live the true holy life IMO


I think I understand you, but you've got it backwards. The correct expression of your outlook would be that you can't live the true holy life and still hold onto views.
Problem is, the "true holy life" as you seem to understand it only occurs with full enlightenment, after having done that which had to be done. So until then, we're bound to hold views.
Trying to see this through your eyes ...


The Buddha states that if one holds a speculative view (eternal etc ...) then there cant be a living of the holy life. There cant be life in accord with dhamma. If one is to live the holy life one must let go of all view points ( i take this to be because one needs to actually focus on what is and the task at hand i.e. dukkha and quenching)

He also states that he doent go into discussion on such things (because they are pointless and dukkha)

""Malunkyaputta, did I ever say to you, 'Come, Malunkyaputta, live the holy life under me, and I will declare to you that 'The cosmos is eternal,' or 'The cosmos is not eternal,' or 'The cosmos is finite,' or 'The cosmos is infinite,' or 'The soul & the body are the same,' or 'The soul is one thing and the body another,' or 'After death a Tathagata exists,' or 'After death a Tathagata does not exist,' or 'After death a Tathagata both exists & does not exist,' or 'After death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist'?"




metta :smile:
“ 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 tiltbillings » Wed Jun 10, 2009 3:35 pm

pink_trike wrote:
Jechbi wrote:
pink_trike wrote:Yes...eventually we let go of unnecessary ego-feeding baggage like religion and just do the work that the good doctor prescribed.

You're confusing the path with its fruits.

Path and fruit are one.


According to tho whom?
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: Accepting Rebirth

Postby MMK23 » Wed Jun 10, 2009 3:46 pm

pink_trike wrote:A tiny tip of a massive iceberg that was first written somewhere between 400-800 years after Siddhārtha Gautama died - after much political jockeying over centuries, and that was repeatedly revised and added to over following centuries resulting in obvious inconsistencies. Some scholars doubt that much, if any, of the scriptures are actually the words of Siddhārtha Gautama, beyond elements of the Vinaya and Pitaka. This doesn't mean that there isn't some good stuff there, but there isn't consensus that Siddhārtha Gautama spoke it by any means. Religious faith and devotion doesn't erase this uncertainty, no matter how much effort and reverance is applied, and this inconvenient uncertainty is hardly grounds for building a concrete case that Siddhārtha Gautama taught literal rebirth. It seems to me, given this uncertainty, that anything beyond the 4NT and 8FP should be taken with a dose of "i don't know" salt. Common sense trumps religious faith.


PT, you're having your cake and eating it too! Show me a single scholar who says anything about early Buddhism or the word of the Buddha with any sort of certainty. You will not find one. The only approaches that suggest hypotheses or theories about the Buddha and early Buddhism do so mostly on the basis of philological approaches which they usually admit to be speculative at best - the historical methods that we can use to theorise about early Buddhism are not falsifiable like science, and barring use of a TARDIS or secret tablets buried in the centre of the world, early Buddhism will likely remain debatable forever. Ironically, you cite the 4nt and the 8fp as "core bits". There are emerging scholarly approaches for about the past two decades or so that suggest that these are examples of "added bits" that weren't part of early Buddhism!

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Jechbi » Wed Jun 10, 2009 3:52 pm

pink_trike wrote:Ok. Path and fruit are still one.

Ok. It still remains true that this statement has its proper context, and that this discussion is not it.

And you still seem to be saying everyone is instantly enlightened, and there's no need for a gradual training.

I'm not sure restating our positions without elaborating constitutes any kind of dialogue. ("Yes, it is." "No, it isn't." "Yes, it is." etc.)

:shrug:
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Uncover, then, what is concealed,
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Re: Accepting Rebirth

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Jun 10, 2009 3:57 pm

pink_trike wrote:
Pink_trike wrote: I'll trust Buddhadasa Bhikku's word. Perhaps if you read more of Buddhadasa Bhikku's writings you'll learn more about it.


Tilt wrote: - I have read enough to know that it is spin, not a reference to an actual text, which is no surprise.

Ah, ok...thanks for sharing that you know better than "Buddhada-da"...(a clever little name you've come up with that really doesn't seem to be right speech or appropriate respect, but perhaps you know better there too). :roll:


Two things.You can not back up Buddhadasa's claim with any textual evidence, but then the texts aren't reliable and therefore don't mean anything, so it would seem from your position. "Buddhadada" was a accidental mis-typing that I did not catch.
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: Accepting Rebirth

Postby cooran » Wed Jun 10, 2009 7:30 pm

pink_trike wrote:
Ben wrote:Thanks Chris that is a brilliant list.
But as anyone who has a rudimentary familiarity with the nikayas, one knows it is just the tip of the iceberg.
Metta

Ben

A tiny tip of a massive iceberg that was first written somewhere between 400-800 years after Siddhārtha Gautama died - after much political jockeying over centuries, and that was repeatedly revised and added to over following centuries resulting in obvious inconsistencies. Some scholars doubt that much, if any, of the scriptures are actually the words of Siddhārtha Gautama, beyond elements of the Vinaya and Pitaka. This doesn't mean that there isn't some good stuff there, but there isn't consensus that Siddhārtha Gautama spoke it by any means. Religious faith and devotion doesn't erase this uncertainty, no matter how much effort and reverance is applied, and this inconvenient uncertainty is hardly grounds for building a concrete case that Siddhārtha Gautama taught literal rebirth. It seems to me, given this uncertainty, that anything beyond the 4NT and 8FP should be taken with a dose of "i don't know" salt. Common sense trumps religious faith.


incorrect pink_trike.

The Suttas are not 'sound bites' recorded as the Buddha spoke. They are compacted summaries of what was said, rehearsed and agreed upon by the Arahants at the Great Councils and memorised and chanted together by large groups of monks called Bhanakas (Reciters).

"Writing was unknown then, and so the Buddha’s sayings, as collected by his disciples, were committed to memory by a group of monks and were handed down to their disciples orally. There were probably two such groups, who, in order to distinguish themselves from each other, became known as Digha-Bhanakas and Majjhima-bhanakas. The other two Nikayas were later developments, their object being only to rearrange the topics dealt with in the Digha and the Majjhima".
http://www.quangduc.com/English/history ... ars07.html

The Suttas are teaching vehicles whose meanings are densely packed layer on layer. They are not to be read as an ordinary page of print, but require 'unpacking' by someone learned in the Dhamma. This condensed form was necessary in order that the Teachings would not be lost in the years before they were finally put into writing ~ engraved on leaves in Sri Lanka. It allowed them to be memorised by the large groups of bhikkhus (bhanakas) assigned to each portion of the Tipitaka. They are not verbatim reports of chats and conversations. This memorisation is said to have commenced before the parinibbana of the Buddha. Anything that is repeated is to be seen as something important which was highlighted by the repetition.

The Suttas are rather like the memory prompts - the dot points of the most important information to be transmitted - similar to those a public speaker carries for reference.
"Thus you should train yourselves: 'We will listen when discourses that are words of the Tathagata -- deep, deep in their meaning, transcendent, connected with emptiness -- are being recited. We will lend ear, will set our hearts on knowing them, will regard these teachings as worth grasping & mastering.' That's how you should train yourselves." (Ari sutta).

.... with regard to the accuracy of oral traditions ... Anthropologists agree that oral teachings are generally more accurate and less prone to "improving" than are written teachings

The Pali Suttas are summaries of what the Buddha meant to be passed on - and great care was taken, while he was alive and afterwards, to memorise them in a form that could not be distorted, and by a method that did not allow of deliberate alterations to meaning and content. The recitations were going on for the forty five years of the Buddha's teaching life. The repetitions in the suttas are pointer to the most important parts.

Venerable Mahá Kassapa, the elected head of the First Council. Cúlavagga Xl,1,1 (ii,284) reiterated:
"Come, friends: let us recite the Teaching and the Discipline before what is not the Teaching shines forth and the Teaching is put aside, before what is not the Discipline shines forth and the Discipline is put aside, before those who speak what is not the Teaching become strong and those who speak what is the Teaching become weak, before those who speak what is not the Discipline become strong and those who speak what is the Discipline become weak."

So the system was in place before the Buddha passed away. The Pali suttas are extremely condensed summaries of the Buddha's teachings, packed with meaning, which need to be unpacked by those learned in the Dhamma. They were preserved in that form to aid memorising and chanting by the large groups of Bhikkhus called Bhanakas (Reciters) i.e. Majjhima-bhanakas, Digha-bhanakas etc. Each group was allocated a small portion of the Tipitaka to keep pristine and pass on. This began even while the Buddha was alive.

It was only hundreds of years later in Sri Lanka, in a time of famine and warfare, with many bhikkhus dying, and with Buddhism all but wiped out in India, that the MahaSangha decided the Teachings needed to be written down. They were engraved on Ola Leaves. Many of us have been to Sri Lanka and have had the inestimable good fortune to have seen demonstrations of this being done at the ancient rock temple of Aluvihara Temple (where the Tipitaka was originally written down) in the Matale district 26 km from Kandy.

karuna,
Chris
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby atulo » Wed Jun 10, 2009 7:51 pm

Hello, I could't read all posts, but I can share a quote from Ven. Nanavira:

9. It will be convenient to start at the end of the paticcasamuppāda formulation and to discuss jāti and jarāmarana first. To begin with, jāti is 'birth' and not 're-birth'. 'Re-birth' is punabbhavābhinibbatti, as in Majjhima v,3 <M.i,294> where it is said that future 'birth into renewed existence' comes of avijjā and tanhā; and it is clear that, here, two successive existences are involved. It is, no doubt, possible for a Buddha to see the re-birth that is at each moment awaiting a living individual who still has tanhā—the re-birth, that is to say, that is now awaiting the individual who now has tanhā. If this is so, then for a Buddha the dependence of re-birth upon tanhā is a matter of direct seeing, not involving time. But this is by no means always possible (if, indeed, at all) for an ariyasāvaka, who, though he sees paticcasamuppāda for himself, and with certainty (it is aparapaccayā ñānam), may still need to accept re-birth on the Buddha's authority.[c] In other words, an ariyasāvaka sees birth with direct vision (since jāti is part of the paticcasamuppāda formulation), but does not necessarily see re-birth with direct vision. It is obvious, however, that jāti does not refer straightforwardly to the ariyasāvaka's own physical birth into his present existence; for that at best could only be a memory, and it is probably not remembered at all.
[c] This, naturally, is not to be taken as denying the possibility of evidence for re-birth quite independent of what is said in the Suttas. (A curious view, that the Buddha was an agnostic on the question of re-birth and refused to pronounce on it, seems to be gaining currency. Even a very slight acquaintance with the Suttas will correct this idea. See e.g. Majjhima ii,2 <M.i,73-7>.) [Back to text]
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby pink_trike » Wed Jun 10, 2009 8:38 pm

Jechbi wrote:
pink_trike wrote:Path and fruit are one.

This statement has its proper context. This discussion is not it.

You're saying everyone is instantly enlightened, and there's no need for a gradual training.

No, I'm not saying that. It would be helpful if you'd ask if I'm saying something instead of stating that I am.

The path and the fruit are one...how much fruit we experience will depend on how we engage the path.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Jun 10, 2009 9:29 pm

pink_trike wrote:The path and the fruit are one...how much fruit we experience will depend on how we engage the path.


Are one? Says who other than you?
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 Guy » Wed Jun 10, 2009 9:54 pm

clw_uk wrote:I dont do that, as i said i have an agnostic attitude. However based on probability my current thinking is leaning more towards a no than a yes (only slightly however)


Where are you getting these probabilities from?
Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

- Ajahn Brahm
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Jechbi » Thu Jun 11, 2009 3:08 am

pink_trike wrote:
Jechbi wrote:
pink_trike wrote:Path and fruit are one.

This statement has its proper context. This discussion is not it.

You're saying everyone is instantly enlightened, and there's no need for a gradual training.

No, I'm not saying that. It would be helpful if you'd ask if I'm saying something instead of stating that I am.

The path and the fruit are one...how much fruit we experience will depend on how we engage the path.

Apologies. I had meant to say that it appears you're saying there's no need for a gradual training. In other words, if your statements are true, then it appears to me that you would believe everyone is instantly enlightened. I should have been more clear.

Getting back to the source of this particuar exchange, you seemed to be saying that in order to progress on the path, one must let go of views. In practical terms, though, my understanding of the teaching is that it's the other way around: In order to let go of views, one must progress on the path. We all have views and orientations and deep-rooted kamma, some of which we might not be aware. It's not as easy as just snapping one's fingers and saying, ok, I'm done with it now. I'll let my views go. Instead, one recognizes one's views for what they are as they arise. With practice, one's engagement with views changes.

Pink, I realize the following statement is probably out of place in the Dhammic free-for-all, but I would like to reiterate my underlying respect for you, and my appreciation of your participation here, even if we disagree on this matter.
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Ben » Thu Jun 11, 2009 3:54 am

An interesting position, Craig

clw_uk wrote:If you want to know my current assesment of rebirth (which i consider outside the buddhadhamma) then i look at it with agnosticism which is the same as you since (i assume) you have no knowledge either


Do you reject rebirth out-right, even if convincing evidence (perhaps even first hand memories) is presented to you? Or do you reject it on the basis that such evidence hasn't been seen by you yet and are willing to change your mind


If i rejected something that had strong evidence then i would be a fool

Perhaps the healthiest approach is to say "Maybe rebirth is true, maybe it's not. I don't know" until such time as you can remember your own past lives.


The problem with this is that you have already assumed that rebirth is a positive by the fact you think one can remember a past life so your not being in the middle but affirming a belief

But to reject it out-right seems just as foolish as "blind belief" to me.


I dont do that, as i said i have an agnostic attitude. However based on probability my current thinking is leaning more towards a no than a yes (only slightly however)

Metta :smile:


Considering what you recently wrote on over at reasonproject:

The other side is that there is no rebirth in buddhism, a claim that can be supported by the teachings themselves. Its one that is supported by some highly respected monks as well, for example Ajahn Buddhadasa
-- http://www.reasonproject.org/forum/viewthread/12250/


I can't see how you can be agnostic towards rebirth while stating that it is not a part of buddhism. Can you please clarify?
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Ben
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