Sorry...What's the difference? (Reincarnation Vs Rebirth)

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Re: Sorry...What's the difference? (Reincarnation Vs Rebirth)

Postby genkaku » Tue Jan 13, 2009 12:30 pm

When it comes to reincarnation, I can't help but remember a contest that once ran in the magazine, "Psychology Today." Readers were invited to come up with the best scam they could think of (pretty inventive idea, I thought). The winner was someone who imagined a company in -- where else? -- California: Patrons were invited to hand over all their worldly possessions. In return for this, they received a slip of paper with a number on it. After they died and were reincarnated, all they had to do was to present the number in order to get all their worldly possessions back.

This sort of reincarnation strikes me as idiotic. Fun, yes; capable of creating an interesting story, yes; but sensible, no. I love a good story as well as the next person, but stories are stories, so I don't put them on the front burner in my life.

Rebirth is another matter. I am completely untutored when it comes to texts and citations so I hope people will forgive me if I make some mistake. Rebirth to me just means what happens in every moment. Every moment is gone before you can say "death" and reappears before you can say "rebirth." The process is utterly smooth. It requires no wise observations. It is just what happens and fussing around about it is largely a waste of time ... noticing, OK; fussing, a waste of time. Perhaps it is like watching the small waves in a lake or in the ocean bay ... each wave flows seamlessly wherever it is headed. Sometimes it meshes with the wave next door. Sometimes it just seems to go its own way. Either way, it is in motion and changing before anyone can intone the word "change." And when the waves stop -- when what was obvious becomes no longer obvious -- well, who in his right mind would say the waves are somehow missing, that change was somehow missing?

What changes cannot be grasped. Past, present and future cannot be grasped. We're along for the ride, assuming there is some "we" in the situation. We have characteristics just like waves and there is no need to pretend we don't. But pretending we could grasp and hold this wave, define and dissect it ... well it doesn't work very well and it sure uses up a lot of unnecessary energy. What 'was' becomes 'is' without any help from 'me.' Might as well enjoy what we tentatively call the 'rebirth' ride. And if "rebirth" is somehow confusing or annoying, well, forget about it. Rebirth won't mind. :)
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Re: Sorry...What's the difference? (Reincarnation Vs Rebirth)

Postby Fede » Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:08 pm

Thank you genkaku....

My problem lies not in "what" it is, but "Why" it is....Reincarnation, that is.... vis-a-vis Tibetan Buddhism.

I am seeking to clarify the Tibetan Buddhist stance on this.

of course, it could be argued that I am in COMPLETELY the wrong forum -! :rofl:

:namaste:
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Re: Sorry...What's the difference? (Reincarnation Vs Rebirth)

Postby genkaku » Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:16 pm

Sorry, Fede. My mistake.

If you want to be an aardvark next go-round, you go right ahead. :rofl:

Just teasing a little.
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Re: Sorry...What's the difference? (Reincarnation Vs Rebirth)

Postby Fede » Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:27 pm

aardvark too much like 'ard work!

I plan to take it easy!!

I didn't mean to slap you down or anything Gen, and my ticket's number 459.....
I have actually posted this in another Buddhist forum, that has a high attendance of Tibetan Buddhists, so I would be interested to hear from them......

:namaste:
"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: Sorry...What's the difference? (Reincarnation Vs Rebirth)

Postby Individual » Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:36 pm

Element wrote:Thus reincarnation looks as follows:

Image

Where as rebirth looks as follows, born into various realms of experience due to our actions:

Image

Considering that those 5 divisions represent actual places, and that's the god of death biting the bhavacakra, there isn't too big of a difference between the two images. It's only the interpretation that distinguishes them. Also, note that the realms of experience are drawn from an outside perspective (groups of people), not through the eyes of a single person, in a single life.

stuka wrote:
Individual wrote:Reincarnation: At death, self-consciousness continues, in the form of a soul.
Buddhist rebirth: There is no such thing as "self-consciousness". Consciousness ceases at death also, but it [stuka's note; CONSCIOUSNESS!!!! :jawdrop: ] still reunites, reappears, in the form of\as the result of a new body, conditioned by the kamma of the previous life.



Then the Blessed One said: "Sati, is it true, that such an pernicious view has arisen to you. ‘As I know the Teaching of the Blessed One, this consciousness :jawdrop: transmigrates through existences, not anything else’?"

"Yes, venerable sir, as I know the Teaching of the Blessed One, this consciousness :jawdrop: transmigrates through existences, not anything else."

"Sati, what is that consciousness :jawdrop: ?"

"Venerable sir, it is that which feels and experiences, that which reaps the results of good and evil actions done here and there."

"Foolish man, to whom do you know me having taught the Dhamma like this. Haven’t I taught, in various ways that consciousness is dependently arisen. Without a cause, there is no arising of consciousness. Yet you, foolish man, on account of your wrong view, you misrepresent me, as well as destroy yourself and accumulate much demerit, for which you will suffer for a long time."

I haven't said it "transmigrates." It is definitely swept away, but then, its cessation is as impermanent as its instantiation. Not the same thing as eternalism.
The best things in life aren't things.

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Re: Sorry...What's the difference? (Reincarnation Vs Rebirth)

Postby stuka » Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:09 pm

jcsuperstar wrote:soto accepts the same mahayana ideas of rebirth as the rest of japanese buddhism and the chinese buddhism it sprang from, same as korean buddhism and vietnamese as well.

there are a few soto teachers who teach no literal rebirth but it isnt a soto teaching as much as it's a teacher and his few students teaching...

tibetan buddhism is the only time i have ever heard anything where the same dude comes back 14 times or whatever


Thank you for the clarification on Soto.

When folks start talking about "my past lives", or "what will I be in a future life", or "I was this in this life, that in another...", it doesn't matter how they hedge it, or how they spin the process, they are still talking about "the same dude coming back 14 times or whatever".
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Re: Sorry...What's the difference? (Reincarnation Vs Rebirth)

Postby stuka » Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:11 pm

jcsuperstar wrote:... it always just seemed like it was being made up as the person went long ...


Indeed.
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Re: Sorry...What's the difference? (Reincarnation Vs Rebirth)

Postby stuka » Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:13 pm

Fede wrote:Thank you genkaku....

My problem lies not in "what" it is, but "Why" it is....Reincarnation, that is.... vis-a-vis Tibetan Buddhism.

I am seeking to clarify the Tibetan Buddhist stance on this.

of course, it could be argued that I am in COMPLETELY the wrong forum -! :rofl:

:namaste:




That might be a question better asked at a forum for the tibetan religions.
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Re: Sorry...What's the difference? (Reincarnation Vs Rebirth)

Postby stuka » Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:16 pm

Individual wrote:I haven't said it "transmigrates." It is definitely swept away, but then, its cessation is as impermanent as its instantiation. Not the same thing as eternalism.


You are making up as you go along.
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Re: Sorry...What's the difference? (Reincarnation Vs Rebirth)

Postby Will » Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:38 pm

Just for an overview of the Tulku notion: http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Tulku

Within the Indo/Tibetan tantric tradition there are practices that allow one to keep some of the skandhas together so that leaving the present body, at its death or before its death, and entering a new body is possible.

However, the Tulku (nirmanakaya in Sanskrit) tradition is rife with corruption. When first started by the Karmapa lineage, the inheritance of the valuables & property of the previous incarnation was a benefit. Thus, there are many false "tulkus". But a few are real.
This noble eightfold path is the ancient path traveled by all the Buddhas of eons past. Nagara Sutta
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Re: Sorry...What's the difference? (Reincarnation Vs Rebirth)

Postby Individual » Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:05 pm

stuka wrote:
Individual wrote:I haven't said it "transmigrates." It is definitely swept away, but then, its cessation is as impermanent as its instantiation. Not the same thing as eternalism.


You are making up as you go along.

Doubtful, because I'm pretty consistent in my view of rebirth, though I'm a bit undecided as to what the post-mortem state "feels like," if there even is anything like such a feeling (whether there are bardo realms in some sense, or it's complete unconsciousness until the apparently instantaneous next rebirth).

The consistency: Life is impermanent, death is impermanent. Consciousness is impermanent, unconsciousness is impermanent. Perception of self-consciousness is impermanent, nonperception of self-consciousness is impermanent... And all of this is suffering.

Now, it's difficult to say what post-mortem existence is really like, but the general idea is clear enough, cessation and the re-manifestation in accordance with kamma. No need to be attached to metaphysical explanations or averse to them.

It's peculiar how you would understand... if I took away your body and only had your brain in a jar, you could certainly conceive of scientists creating the technology to give you a new body, in accordance with kamma. And yet you associate self with brain, so you think if brain is gone, everything is annihilated. But just as mind is supported by brain, brain is supported by mind (originating co-dependently). You are an annihilationist, Stuka. In your heart, you refute rebirth.
The best things in life aren't things.

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Re: Sorry...What's the difference? (Reincarnation Vs Rebirth)

Postby stuka » Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:31 pm

Individual wrote:
stuka wrote:
Individual wrote:I haven't said it "transmigrates." It is definitely swept away, but then, its cessation is as impermanent as its instantiation. Not the same thing as eternalism.


You are making up as you go along.

Doubtful, because I'm pretty consistent in my view of rebirth, though I'm a bit undecided as to what the post-mortem state "feels like," if there even is anything like such a feeling (whether there are bardo realms in some sense, or it's complete unconsciousness until the apparently instantaneous next rebirth).


I am sure you will make something up for that as well, by and by.

The consistency: Life is impermanent, death is impermanent. Consciousness is impermanent, unconsciousness is impermanent. Perception of self-consciousness is impermanent, nonperception of self-consciousness is impermanent... And all of this is suffering.


Again, the Buddha didn't teach like this, and you are making it up as you go along.

Now, it's difficult to say what post-mortem existence is really like, but the general idea is clear enough, cessation and the re-manifestation in accordance with kamma. No need to be attached to metaphysical explanations or averse to them.


"Cessation and re-manifestation" of a Self, an Atta. You can't dance around that.

It's peculiar how you would understand... if I took away your body and only had your brain in a jar, you could certainly conceive of scientists creating the technology to give you a new body, in accordance with kamma.


Not really, no.


And yet you associate self with brain,


No, I do not. It is YOU who are associating "self" with brain.

so you think if brain is gone, everything is annihilated.


I do not. A body in which damaged brain (brain death) has ceased to function can be kept alive on machines. So, all else is not necessarily annihilated. However, mental functions have irrevocably ceased. You are making up as you go along.

But just as mind is supported by brain, brain is supported by mind (originating co-dependently).


Again, you have reified "mind" as a "thing", an Atta, and you are arguing Atta-Rupa rather than Nama-Rupa. You are making an Atta out of mental functions to serve your own agenda, namely, portraying me to be the annihilationist I am not.

You are an annihilationist, Stuka. In your heart, you refute rebirth.


You wish very badly to think of me as an annihilationist. Badly enough to spend a great deal of time erecting giant straw men in my honour.
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Re: Sorry...What's the difference? (Reincarnation Vs Rebirth)

Postby clw_uk » Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:37 pm

You are an annihilationist, Stuka. In your heart, you refute rebirth.[/quote]

There is no true rebirth as there is no "I" that will be reborn as all is anatta, there is birth everymoment but there is no "I" that is reborn.

:namaste:
“Happy is the man who has broken the chains which hurt the mind, and has given up worrying once and for all.” Ovid
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Re: Sorry...What's the difference? (Reincarnation Vs Rebirth)

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:07 pm

Greetings,

It looks like we've exhausted this topic from a Theravadin perspective so this thread will now be closed.

Thanks for your participation.

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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