martian wrote:According to Bikkhu Bodhi :
"It is obvious that moral justice cannot be found within the limits of a single life. Immoral people might enjoy happiness and success, while people who lead lives of high integrity are bowed down beneath pain and misery. For the principle of moral equilibrium to work, some type of survival beyond the present life is required. Two different forms of survival are possible: an eternal afterlife in heaven/hell or a sequence of rebirths. Of these two, the hypothesis of rebirth seems far more compatible with moral justice than an eternal afterlife; for any finite good action, it seems, must eventually exhaust its potency, and no finite bad action, no matter how bad, should warrant eternal damnation." from Does Rebirth Make Sense?
Thanissaro Bhikkhu wrote:In his effort to master kamma in such a way as to bring kamma to an end, the Buddha discovered that he had to abandon the contexts of personal narrative and cosmology in which the issue of kamma first presented itself. Both these forms of understanding deal in categories of being and non-being, self and others, but the Buddha found that it was impossible to bring kamma to an end if one thought in such terms. For example, narrative and cosmological modes of thinking would lead one to ask whether the agent who performed an act of kamma was the same as the person experiencing the result, someone else, both, or neither. If one answered that it was the same person, then the person experiencing the result would have to identify not only with the actor, but also with the mode of action, and thus would not be able to gain release from it. If one answered that it was another person, both oneself and another, or neither, then the person experiencing the result would see no need to heighten the skill or understanding of his/her own kamma in the present, for the experience of pleasure and pain was not his or her own full responsibility. In either case, the development of the fourth type of kamma would be aborted [§§228-229].
To avoid the drawbacks of the narrative and cosmological mind-sets, the Buddha pursued an entirely different tack — what he called "entry into emptiness," and what modern philosophy calls radical phenomenology: a focus on the events of present consciousness, in and of themselves, without reference to questions of whether there are any entities underlying those events. In the Buddha's case, he focused simply on the process of kammic cause and result as it played itself out in the immediate present, in the process of developing the skillfulness of the mind, without reference to who or what lay behind those processes. On the most basic level of this mode of awareness, there was no sense even of "existence" or "non-existence" [§186], but simply the events of stress, its origination, its cessation, and the path to its cessation, arising and passing away. It was in this mode that he was able to pursue the fourth type of kamma to its end, at the same time gaining heightened insight into the nature of action itself and its many implications, including questions of rebirth, the relationship of mental to physical events, and the way kamma constructs all experience of the cosmos.
From: Wings to Awakening by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
martian wrote: If this is the case, then is there any need to be concerned about kamma beyond the present life and furthermore, rebirth? Hoping for some clarity.
"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?
6. “What is it, Nāgasena, that is reborn?”
“Mind and matter.”
“Is it this very mind and matter that is reborn?”
“No, it is not, but by this mind and matter deeds are done and because of those deeds another mind and matter is reborn; but that mind and matter is not thereby released from the results of its previous deeds.”
“Give me an illustration.”
“It is like a fire that a man might kindle and, having warmed himself, he might leave it burning and go away. Then if that fire were to set light to another man’s field and the owner were to seize him and accuse him before the king, and he were to say, ‘Your majesty, I did not set this man’s field on fire. The fire that I left burning was different to that which burnt his field. I am not guilty.’ Would he deserve punishment?”
“Indeed, yes, because whatever he might say the latter fire resulted from the former one.”
“Just so, O king, by this mind and matter deeds are done and because of those deeds another mind and matter is reborn; but that mind and matter is not thereby released from the results of its previous deeds.”
retrofuturist wrote:I wish Bhikkhu Bodhi wouldn't go off on flowery tangents like this... kamma/rebirth has nothing to do with "moral justice" and appealing to the view of moral justice as legitimisation for the necessity of kamma/rebirth is so logically flawed I don't even know where to begin.
binocular wrote:But I'd really like you to explain why you think kamma and rebirth have nothing to do with moral justice.
martian wrote: So, out of compassion for the next "I", we try to accumulate good kamma in this present "I"?
Then the Blessed One, having encompassed the awareness of the entire assembly with his awareness, asked himself, "Now who here is capable of understanding the Dhamma?" He saw Suppabuddha the leper sitting in the assembly, and on seeing him the thought occurred to him, "This person here is capable of understanding the Dhamma." So, aiming at Suppabuddha the leper, he gave a step-by-step talk, i.e., he proclaimed a talk on generosity, on virtue, on heaven; he declared the drawbacks, degradation, & corruption of sensuality, and the rewards of renunciation. Then when the Blessed One knew that Suppabuddha the leper's mind was ready, malleable, free from hindrances, elevated, & clear, he then gave the Dhamma-talk peculiar to Awakened Ones, i.e., stress, origination, cessation, & path. And just as a clean cloth, free of stains, would properly absorb a dye, in the same way, as Suppabuddha the leper was sitting in that very seat, the dustless, stainless Dhamma eye arose within him, "Whatever is subject to origination is all subject to cessation."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
martian wrote:Since there is no "I", is it right to tell people that Dhamma can be practiced with the lesser aim of a more fortunate rebirth? Isn't that misleading since the "I" that will be reborn will be a totally different "I" only related to the previous "I" through the Aggregates?
martian wrote:Or really more on a lie since there is no 'I" to begin with. This make the idea of a Bodhisattva problematic also but that is for another topic and another forum
14. Then, in the mind of a certain bhikkhu this thought arose: “So, it seems, material form is not self, feeling is not self, perception is not self, formations are not self, consciousness is not self. What self, then, will actions done by the not-self affect?”
[Footnote: It seems that this bhikkhu had difficulty in understanding how kamma can produce results without a self to receive them.]Then the Blessed One, knowing in his mind the thought in the mind of that bhikkhu, addressed the bhikkhus thus: “It is possible, bhikkhus, that some misguided man here, obtuse and ignorant, with his mind dominated by craving, might think that he can outstrip the Teacher’s Dispensation thus: ‘So, it seems, material form is not self…consciousness is not self. What self, then, will actions done by the not-self affect?’ Now, bhikkhus, you have been trained by me through interrogation on various occasions in regard to various things.
15. “Bhikkhus, what do you think? Is material form permanent or impermanent?”—“Impermanent, venerable sir.”—“Is what is impermanent suffering or happiness?”—“Suffering, venerable sir.”—“Is what is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change fit to be regarded thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is my self’?”—“No, venerable sir.”
martian wrote:Since there is no "I", is it right to tell people that Dhamma can be practiced with the lesser aim of a more fortunate rebirth? Isn't that misleading since the "I" that will be reborn will be a totally different "I" only related to the previous "I" through the Aggregates? Or really more on a lie since there is no 'I" to begin with. This make the idea of a Bodhisattva problematic also but that is for another topic and another forum
polarbuddha101 wrote:When people think about about a being that just died and where it was reborn in a third person perspective they often run into this confusion about how the two beings are related. But if you imagine what rebirth would be like from a first person perspective then there isn't any issue. One experience simply follows another and this continues until one realizes nibbana and passes away out of their final existence. If you go to sleep and wake up, it is the same stream of experience, if you die and are reborn, it is the same stream of experience.