The Buddha says that the overwhelmingly vast majority of humans will be reborn as animals, hungry ghosts, or hell beings."The great earth is far greater, lord. The little bit of dust the Blessed One has picked up with the tip of his fingernail is next to nothing. It doesn't even count. It's no comparison. It's not even a fraction, this little bit of dust the Blessed One has picked up with the tip of his fingernail, when compared with the great earth.
"In the same way, monks, few are the beings who, on passing away from the human realm, are reborn among human beings. Far more are the beings who, on passing away from the human realm, are reborn in hell.
I'm having difficulty getting my head around this teaching because our next life is determined in large part by how we die, and if we die in a state of fear, it will hurt us karmically. Are we supposed to believe that we will be one of the lucky ones? Isn't it uncompassionate to believe that we'll be spared while a significant fraction of mankind will be reborn to experience billions of years of torture in hell?
I also learned in "The Truth of Rebirth" that karma is complicated that karma from previous lives can go on to affect our next rebirth so a good person in this life may be reborn in hell and a bad person in heaven. If karma works that noisily and erratically, then should we do our best to develop equanimity about the prospect of being reborn in hell?