What attracts me, personally, to the concept of rebirth is that it is an attempt to explain why I was born as the person I am as opposed to being born anyone else. I can see no other attempt at explaining the origin of my particular existence. We must assume that the quality which makes our stream of experience separate and unique was conditioned in some way. The traditional assumption is that who we were born as was a result of chance-- but when I look at nature, I do not see purely random events, I see conditions influencing other conditions causally, and it is intuitive to apply such causality to the particularity of my embodiment.m0rl0ck wrote:What i have never understood about this is whose experience? The idea of experience presupposes a perceiver.LonesomeYogurt wrote: The concept that the impersonal stream of experience does not begin at birth or end at death, but continues in a cycle of arising and ceasing across multiple lifetimes as propelled by ignorance.
Additionally, where does the experience end and begin? Does my "impersonal stream of experience" include my mother and father? my culture? my entire universe? And in the last case are "we" all experiencing the same universe or do we each get individual copies? Where are the boundaries between my "impersonal stream of experience" and anyone elses? And how can you know those boundaries if they exist, survive the death of the physical body?
Now I will get crazy:
Accepting rebirth, there are problems-- especially when we accept the fact that there is no self. I interpret the fact that we have no self as indicating that identity relationships do not truly exist. So, if you were in deep jhana, and could recollect a past life, it would be improper to say that this past life was 'yours.' No! Wrong! You are having an experience of a life-- what it is you believe to be the connection between your life presently and the life you are recollecting is an act of reason, of imagination. The phenomenological experience of recollecting a past life, as is the phenomenological experience of recollecting a present life, must be imbued with a self of self-- the feeling that this experience is 'my' experience. This can mislead us into thinking that the recalled past life is ours, and is thus what conditioned the present life, but that is an unfair assumption. I do not believe you can make any claim that any past life was 'yours,' in a way which would imply there are past lives which are 'not yours.'