terryshine wrote: Mkoll wrote:
lostitude wrote:Yet he does say in a somewhat authoritative formulation something along the lines of 'many monks have got an incorrect understanding of rebirth and assume it spreads over several lives'. Can this really just be his personal opinion? He certainly doesn't make it sound like that.
He says that he could be wrong and these views are based on his own understanding in another part of his writing:
They use this idea of rebirth to explain child prodigies and children who can recall past lives. I could be wrong, of course, but I feel the Buddha meant something quite different.
From my own experience, insight and understanding, I feel that when the Buddha spoke of rebirth he was actually referring to a psychological phenomenon as opposed to a physical one, viz. mental rebirth—i.e., the repeated arising of the self/ego-center out of ignorance and delusion, craving and clinging, hatred and ill-will.
May I offer a quote from a friend of mine -
"Karma is the habit patterns formed over the desires of our lifetime, and is one of the conditions that co-arises, with others that depend on it. These dependents start with consciousness (expressly not rebirth consciousness). Consciousness, in the image of the habit patterns, dependently co-arises with the so called “past” causes, which are actually present co-arising habitual conditions. Naturally old habits die hard, so our new choices co-arise based on them. Because these newly co-arisen choices are based in the habits of old, “birth” takes place as the same old type of person (and being born, he must inevitably die). The new choices feed back into karma as conditions, so this whole sorry co-arisen mess is the real meaning of birth and death, or rebirth as it now seems to be called. Everyone is trapped in this Dependent Co-Arising, unless they apply the much maligned mindfulness to the process so as to break it apart, by changing, and then abandoning the old habits.
As Buddhism was absorbed into Indian religion, culminating eventually in Hinduism, somewhere along the line reincarnation and re-birth crept in, and the real Dependent Co-Arising was lost. Tricky guy to follow, that Buddha.........
(with thanks to Dogen and Buddhadasa for this explanation)"