If rebirth is actually true

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
Ryan95227
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If rebirth is actually true

Post by Ryan95227 » Fri Aug 19, 2016 7:32 am

man... what else can i say more about this whole system of existence. It's almost devilish. Why can't we just be in that state of non aware entity before we were born. sigh.

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Coëmgenu
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Re: If rebirth is actually true

Post by Coëmgenu » Fri Aug 19, 2016 8:30 am

Ryan95227 wrote:man... what else can i say more about this whole system of existence. It's almost devilish. Why can't we just be in that state of non aware entity before we were born. sigh.
What do you mean by "in that state of non aware entity before we were born"? I'm just curious.
如無為,如是難見、不動、不屈、不死、無漏、覆蔭、洲渚、濟渡、依止、擁護、不流轉、離熾焰、離燒然、流通、清涼、微妙、安隱、無病、無所有、涅槃。
Like this is the uncreated, like this is that which is difficult to realize, with no moving, no bending, no dying. Utterly lacking secretions and smothered in the dark, it is the island shore. Where there is ferrying, it is the crossing. It is dependency's ceasing, it is the end of circulating transmissions. It is the exhaustion of the flame, it is the ending of the burning. Flowing openly, pure and cool, with secret subtlety, and calm occultation, lacking ailment, lacking owning, nirvāṇa.
Asaṁskṛtadharmasūtra, Sermon on the Uncreated Phenomenon, T99.224b7, Saṁyuktāgama 890

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_anicca_
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Re: If rebirth is actually true

Post by _anicca_ » Fri Aug 19, 2016 9:02 am

Coëmgenu wrote:
Ryan95227 wrote:man... what else can i say more about this whole system of existence. It's almost devilish. Why can't we just be in that state of non aware entity before we were born. sigh.
What do you mean by "in that state of non aware entity before we were born"? I'm just curious.
Perhaps he means the state of non-consciousness when we were in the womb (?)
"A virtuous monk, Kotthita my friend, should attend in an appropriate way to the five clinging-aggregates as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a dissolution, an emptiness, not-self."

:buddha1:

http://vipassanameditation.asia

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Coëmgenu
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Re: If rebirth is actually true

Post by Coëmgenu » Fri Aug 19, 2016 10:52 am

_anicca_ wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:
Ryan95227 wrote:man... what else can i say more about this whole system of existence. It's almost devilish. Why can't we just be in that state of non aware entity before we were born. sigh.
What do you mean by "in that state of non aware entity before we were born"? I'm just curious.
Perhaps he means the state of non-consciousness when we were in the womb (?)
Upon reflection, I think that the OP was referring to the "bluntness" of the revelation that "all is suffering". I actually have a lot of trouble with the first of the Four Noble Truths myself.

The painful and somewhat 'cheated' feeling that we feel, upon agreeing, even merely abstractly, as in my own case, to the First of the Four Noble Truths, is, I think, part-and-parcel to the nature of the truth itself.

Why couldn't we have all been born already Awakened? Why couldn't we all just innately understand reality for what it really is without need for a samyaksaṃbuddha/sammāsambuddho to spill the unpleasant truth?

I think if we contemplate further, the teaching of paṭiccasamuppāda, we will see how the Buddha outlines how we, as suffering sentience beings, through the process of becoming, come to desire and crave suffering ourselves, and thereby "make our own becomings/rebiths in suffering" occur, some light will be shed on the matter.

I am woefully unequipped to illustrate this, but hopefully someone more educated than I can articulate better how the paṭiccasamuppāda-teaching deals with the issue of how "cruel" the world seems when "all the world is dukkha".
如無為,如是難見、不動、不屈、不死、無漏、覆蔭、洲渚、濟渡、依止、擁護、不流轉、離熾焰、離燒然、流通、清涼、微妙、安隱、無病、無所有、涅槃。
Like this is the uncreated, like this is that which is difficult to realize, with no moving, no bending, no dying. Utterly lacking secretions and smothered in the dark, it is the island shore. Where there is ferrying, it is the crossing. It is dependency's ceasing, it is the end of circulating transmissions. It is the exhaustion of the flame, it is the ending of the burning. Flowing openly, pure and cool, with secret subtlety, and calm occultation, lacking ailment, lacking owning, nirvāṇa.
Asaṁskṛtadharmasūtra, Sermon on the Uncreated Phenomenon, T99.224b7, Saṁyuktāgama 890

Digity
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Re: If rebirth is actually true

Post by Digity » Fri Aug 19, 2016 4:03 pm

I think the OP is just referring to the sad reality of life. It doesn't seem fair that we should be subject to all this suffering, etc. We should just not exist at all and that would be the end of it.

I understand that feeling, but that attitude won't get you anywhere and can lead to a depressed outlook on life. You need to accept the conditions of life and work with them to get out of the cycle.

The upside is that there is a way out and it's been revealed by the Buddha. Take solace in that and just work on creating the conditions for liberation.

Ultimately what you're experiencing is samvega. You should use it to motivate yourself to practice.

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Aloka
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Re: If rebirth is actually true

Post by Aloka » Fri Aug 19, 2016 4:43 pm

Ryan95227 wrote:man... what else can i say more about this whole system of existence. It's almost devilish. Why can't we just be in that state of non aware entity before we were born. sigh.
I think its a good idea to relax and see if its possible to enjoy one's life here and now on planet Earth, as well as trying to follow the Buddha's teachings. "Dukkha" can translate as "unsatisfactoriness", as well as just abject "suffering", - and that can be minimised by cheerful acceptance of the ups and downs of human life and doing one's best not to cause distress to other sentient beings.

Its also worthwhile to try to make the effort to find a Buddhist centre where one can visit or stay for short periods of time. It does actually make a difference when one is able to interact away from a screen, with people who might have a friendly, calm and rational approach to their practice....and who actually smile and appreciate each other.

Internet discussions,although often useful, can get way out of that zone sometimes and into the realms of argument, one upmanship, and general fantasy land, which isn't always helpful for progress on the path.

:anjali:
Last edited by Aloka on Fri Aug 19, 2016 4:49 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: If rebirth is actually true

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Aug 19, 2016 4:44 pm

The reality is truly horrible. One only has to watch one of those many wild-life videos on YouTube like the Battle at Kruger to contemplate the dreadful suffering of animal existence. The difficult part, of course, is making that leap of faith to realise that we human beings are just apes with an exaggerated sense of self-importance.

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Ryan95227
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Re: If rebirth is actually true

Post by Ryan95227 » Fri Aug 19, 2016 6:46 pm

Digity wrote:I think the OP is just referring to the sad reality of life. It doesn't seem fair that we should be subject to all this suffering, etc. We should just not exist at all and that would be the end of it.

I understand that feeling, but that attitude won't get you anywhere and can lead to a depressed outlook on life. You need to accept the conditions of life and work with them to get out of the cycle.

The upside is that there is a way out and it's been revealed by the Buddha. Take solace in that and just work on creating the conditions for liberation.

Ultimately what you're experiencing is samvega. You should use it to motivate yourself to practice.
I see what you're saying. However I have this extreme discomfort in the idea that my next rebirth will be some middle class person who doesn't even know about dhamma/buddhism. What are the actual chances of people in the western or even in the eastern world to actually practice buddhism and meditate? The cycle is just gonna go on. And who knows how many lifetimes would it take for me to get out of this terrible existence? I'm terrified of that idea. If i don't reach stream entry it's pretty much over for me. I'm extremely distraught and frustrated with the idea of rebirth..

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Re: If rebirth is actually true

Post by davidbrainerd » Fri Aug 19, 2016 7:04 pm

Ryan95227 wrote:
Digity wrote:I think the OP is just referring to the sad reality of life. It doesn't seem fair that we should be subject to all this suffering, etc. We should just not exist at all and that would be the end of it.

I understand that feeling, but that attitude won't get you anywhere and can lead to a depressed outlook on life. You need to accept the conditions of life and work with them to get out of the cycle.

The upside is that there is a way out and it's been revealed by the Buddha. Take solace in that and just work on creating the conditions for liberation.

Ultimately what you're experiencing is samvega. You should use it to motivate yourself to practice.
I see what you're saying. However I have this extreme discomfort in the idea that my next rebirth will be some middle class person who doesn't even know about dhamma/buddhism. What are the actual chances of people in the western or even in the eastern world to actually practice buddhism and meditate? The cycle is just gonna go on. And who knows how many lifetimes would it take for me to get out of this terrible existence? I'm terrified of that idea. If i don't reach stream entry it's pretty much over for me. I'm extremely distraught and frustrated with the idea of rebirth..
If it weren't bad people would not be seeking liberation. Nor would anyone go so far as to be celibate or become a monk. If Buddhism had always presented the problem as being as lame as secular no-rebirth Western Buddhism, then monasticism would never have existed. Instead people would be meditating merely to get greater mental clarity to improve their sex life with multiple random strangers they are not married to. I sure am glad Buddha did believe in rebirth, because that would be really sappy, not to mention lacking in any moral fiber.

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The Thinker
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Re: If rebirth is actually true

Post by The Thinker » Fri Aug 19, 2016 7:39 pm

mental rebirth is now, if you choose to see it this way, that choice is yours, each to their own, I have no problem at all with those who see fresh birth as the penalty.
"Watch your heart, observe. Be the observer, be the knower, not the condition" Ajahn Sumedho volume5 - The Wheel Of Truth

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Aloka
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Re: If rebirth is actually true

Post by Aloka » Fri Aug 19, 2016 7:44 pm

Ryan wrote: I have this extreme discomfort in the idea that my next rebirth will be some middle class person who doesn't even know about dhamma/buddhism. What are the actual chances of people in the western or even in the eastern world to actually practice buddhism and meditate? The cycle is just gonna go on. And who knows how many lifetimes would it take for me to get out of this terrible existence? I'm terrified of that idea. If i don't reach stream entry it's pretty much over for me. I'm extremely distraught and frustrated with the idea of rebirth..

Rather than speculating about the future, reading this excerpt from an interview with Ajahn Sumedho in his book "Direct Realisation" might be helpful:

Death and Rebirth

JB: "At the risk of repeating things you have often been asked to explain before, could you please explain your attitude towards rebirth and how you see death."

AS: "I am only interested in rebirth as something that you can witness with the mind. You can talk about a previous life or the next life, but then you are just dealing with speculation. The emphasis in the teaching though is always on the here and now rather than speculating about the past or imagining the future.

When you understand what the Buddha was really teaching, then rebirth in those terms is really the process of becoming which is a mental process. You are becoming something all the time.

In heedlessness, when you are not being mindful, but just following habit and its process of becoming something, you mentally slip into role after role. For example becoming a father and a teacher, and something else and then something else, according to what you are attaching to and absorbing into on the sensual plane.

And this also applies to death of course. Seeing the death of the body is something I clearly haven’t experienced yet, so that is what I don’t know. It is the unknown, rather than something I speculate about. In this practice we are being extremely direct and honest. We are not making guesses or theories about things. We are working with the actual experience of existence while we are alive, rather than speculating about something we haven’t experienced yet.

We aren’t trying to figure things out on a metaphysical plane. What we are doing is pointing to the experience of being a human being at this time and at this place. The Buddha’s teachings are pointing to that. They are not metaphysical but existential. They allow you to free yourself from identifying mortality with the dissolution of the body, with the death-bound conditions.

You can have the insight to let go of this by no longer holding on to the perceptions of your mind or emotions, or to your perceptions of the material world. When you penetrate with wisdom you see it is not yours, not-self. That is the release from birth and death. So while you know that the body will die, you recognize that it is just the natural movement of those physical and mental conditions – which are not essentially yours."

http://www.amaravati.org/dhamma-books/a ... alization/
:anjali:

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The Thinker
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Re: If rebirth is actually true

Post by The Thinker » Fri Aug 19, 2016 7:55 pm

Ryan95227 wrote:man... what else can i say more about this whole system of existence. It's almost devilish. Why can't we just be in that state of non aware entity before we were born. sigh.
To quote Ajahn Sumedho " something else to let go of"

I recommend you read Ajahn Sumedho - http://cdn.amaravati.org/wp-content/upl ... -Truth.pdf
"Watch your heart, observe. Be the observer, be the knower, not the condition" Ajahn Sumedho volume5 - The Wheel Of Truth

Digity
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Re: If rebirth is actually true

Post by Digity » Fri Aug 19, 2016 9:01 pm

Ryan95227 wrote:I see what you're saying. However I have this extreme discomfort in the idea that my next rebirth will be some middle class person who doesn't even know about dhamma/buddhism. What are the actual chances of people in the western or even in the eastern world to actually practice buddhism and meditate? The cycle is just gonna go on. And who knows how many lifetimes would it take for me to get out of this terrible existence? I'm terrified of that idea. If i don't reach stream entry it's pretty much over for me. I'm extremely distraught and frustrated with the idea of rebirth..
I understand this feeling and I've had similar thoughts too. However, this attitude isn't useful. You just need to work on the conditions necessary to give rise to awakening. You should focus on cultivating the factors of awakening to the best of your ability in this lifetime. If you spend your whole life committed to this and practice properly then you have a much higher probability of continuing on this path in future lives. Otherwise, if you adopt the attitude of "it's hopeless" then you're robbing yourself of a great opportunity and who knows where you'll end up in your next life.

Remember, thinking is karma. The way you think will dictate how things will play out. So, be wise in that respect and focus your mind on cultivating the path. I've stopped worrying so much about my next life. What I focus on is this life and doing the best I can with the practice. If I take care of that I have faith that things will go their proper course in future lives.

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robertk
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Re: If rebirth is actually true

Post by robertk » Fri Aug 19, 2016 10:48 pm

the fact that you fear rebirth shows there is faith in the Dhamma: most people think there is only one life.It shows there is a level of understanding already.

if you can comprehend the teaching on anatta then there won't be the same tendency to take it personally - there is only empty phenomena - the faith will grow even more and the fear will lessen.

Ryan95227
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Re: If rebirth is actually true

Post by Ryan95227 » Fri Aug 19, 2016 11:04 pm

Digity wrote:
Ryan95227 wrote:I see what you're saying. However I have this extreme discomfort in the idea that my next rebirth will be some middle class person who doesn't even know about dhamma/buddhism. What are the actual chances of people in the western or even in the eastern world to actually practice buddhism and meditate? The cycle is just gonna go on. And who knows how many lifetimes would it take for me to get out of this terrible existence? I'm terrified of that idea. If i don't reach stream entry it's pretty much over for me. I'm extremely distraught and frustrated with the idea of rebirth..
I understand this feeling and I've had similar thoughts too. However, this attitude isn't useful. You just need to work on the conditions necessary to give rise to awakening. You should focus on cultivating the factors of awakening to the best of your ability in this lifetime. If you spend your whole life committed to this and practice properly then you have a much higher probability of continuing on this path in future lives. Otherwise, if you adopt the attitude of "it's hopeless" then you're robbing yourself of a great opportunity and who knows where you'll end up in your next life.

Remember, thinking is karma. The way you think will dictate how things will play out. So, be wise in that respect and focus your mind on cultivating the path. I've stopped worrying so much about my next life. What I focus on is this life and doing the best I can with the practice. If I take care of that I have faith that things will go their proper course in future lives.
yeah i think the best way is to let go of the concept. What else can I really do other than work toward awakening? Hopefully we all continue to practice it and maybe one day ill find out why there is this unneccesary suffering rooted in rebirth

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