Rebirth - So many human beings

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3z42j
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Rebirth - So many human beings

Post by 3z42j » Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:51 pm

Hello
Please can someone advise?
I have been meditating on rebirth, struggling to understand how this massively growing world population could be supplied each and all with an consciousness. I understand to a limited extent the Buddha's cosmology regarding the countless eons of life, death and rebirth but still cannot comprehend how each human being has been supplied with a stream of consciousness. It would seem to be an endless demand and with dwindling animal populations seems to be even more difficult in 'balancing the books' .
Thanking you in anticipation
Metta

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DNS
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Re: Rebirth - So many human beings

Post by DNS » Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:14 pm

Dwindling animal populations? Not on earth there is no dwindling, just some species, but not the total animal population. There are plenty of animals, gazillions actually. I read that there are approximately 250 million insects for every human being. That's a lot of animals, just in insects! Insects are members of the Animal Kingdom, subject to rebirth, according to Buddhism.

dharmacorps
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Re: Rebirth - So many human beings

Post by dharmacorps » Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:38 pm

I think if you are trying to look at this mathematically, it is probably something that will drive you crazy. You can't break out a calculator and figure this out. The Buddha shared this to describe a general process, it is best left there.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Rebirth - So many human beings

Post by Sam Vara » Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:43 pm

There is not an endless demand on earth. At the moment there is increasing human birth. One day the planet will be completely uninhabitable - for all life forms. Maybe there are other worlds that we don't know about, which participate in the process.

Garrib
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Re: Rebirth - So many human beings

Post by Garrib » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:09 pm

I have seen questions/concerns like this before - It becomes a non issue when you take on board the Buddha's perspective of different realms of existence. If you limit your thinking about rebirth to human and animal populations on earth than of course it will never make sense - the number don't add up.

DooDoot
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Re: Rebirth - So many human beings

Post by DooDoot » Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:00 am

DNS wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:14 pm
Dwindling animal populations? Not on earth there is no dwindling, just some species, but not the total animal population. There are plenty of animals, gazillions actually. I read that there are approximately 250 million insects for every human being. That's a lot of animals, just in insects! Insects are members of the Animal Kingdom, subject to rebirth, according to Buddhism.
I saw the following in the suttas:
Bhikkhus, a god, a human or any other good state would not be evident from actions born of greed, hate and delusion. Yet, bhikkhus, from actions born of greed, hate and delusion a hellish being, an animal birth a ghostly birth or some other bad state would be evident.

http://awake.kiev.ua/dhamma/tipitaka/2S ... ggo-e.html
I also recall hearing the Jataka story about when Buddha in a past life gave up his life, like Jesus Christ did, for the consumption of a hungry tigress.

Possibly (speculatively), with the commensurate increase of the human population & the commercially farmed animal population, such as sheep, cows, pigs, chicken & fish, it is possible those animals who selflessly & passively (gently) give up their lives, like Jesus Christ did, for human consumption are the animals reborn as humans while the non-vegetarian humans who consume those sacrificed animals in turn get reborn as animals.

The sutta translations say:
And what is the right view with effluents, siding with merit, resulting in acquisitions? 'There is what is given, what is offered, what is sacrificed. There are fruits & results of good & bad actions. There is this world & the next world. MN 117

perkele
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Re: Rebirth - So many human beings

Post by perkele » Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:53 am

DNS wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:14 pm
Dwindling animal populations? Not on earth there is no dwindling, just some species, but not the total animal population. There are plenty of animals, gazillions actually. I read that there are approximately 250 million insects for every human being. That's a lot of animals, just in insects! Insects are members of the Animal Kingdom, subject to rebirth, according to Buddhism.
In Germany, the number (or rather mass) of insects, has reduced by approx. 75% since 1989 (sorry, no English source ready at hand), according to some curious measurements(*). I assume this is not restricted to Germany.

(*) Some scientific institutes who collected (that is, trapped and killed, probably) insects for various scientific purposes, meticulously weighed whatever they caught. There does not seem to exit much data about this in other countries. It's rather coincidental that the people who did this here over the course of some years were so meticulous to note it all down, if I recall correctly from what I've read somewhere.

So yes, I think one can definitely speak of dwindling, at quite an alarming rate actually. The loss of bees and similar is also very problematic for a lot of plant life.

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Aloka
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Re: Rebirth - So many human beings

Post by Aloka » Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:57 am

dharmacorps wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:38 pm
I think if you are trying to look at this mathematically, it is probably something that will drive you crazy. You can't break out a calculator and figure this out. The Buddha shared this to describe a general process, it is best left there.

I agree, to me speculating about the rebirth of beings on this planet is completely pointless, better to focus on one's practice in the here and now.


:anjali:

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Re: Rebirth - So many human beings

Post by justindesilva » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:06 am

perkele wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:53 am
DNS wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:14 pm
Dwindling animal populations? Not on earth there is no dwindling, just some species, but not the total animal population. There are plenty of animals, gazillions actually. I read that there are approximately 250 million insects for every human being. That's a lot of animals, just in insects! Insects are members of the Animal Kingdom, subject to rebirth, according to Buddhism.
In Germany, the number (or rather mass) of insects, has reduced by approx. 75% since 1989 (sorry, no English source ready at hand), according to some curious measurements(*). I assume this is not restricted to Germany.

(*) Some scientific institutes who collected (that is, trapped and killed, probably) insects for various scientific purposes, meticulously weighed whatever they caught. There does not seem to exit much data about this in other countries. It's rather coincidental that the people who did this here over the course of some years were so meticulous to note it all down, if I recall correctly from what I've read somewhere.

So yes, I think one can definitely speak of dwindling, at quite an alarming rate actually. The loss of bees and similar is also very problematic for a lot of plant life.
This is correct. The so called improvement in agriculture for commercialisation has caused use of chemical fertilisers , which destroys millions of micro bacteria and pests. In Sri Lanka now it is found that kidney diseases have started taking over the lives of humans in agricultural areas. This is the first step of the devastation of human life with commercial agriculture.
I believe that this is true globally too as farming in other global areas have proved detrimental to human health even in New Zealand, Australia and even in USA.
Bhutan has set up an example with friendly and green agriculture but yet leading the general public to stay contented with green effect farming though it is hard life.

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L.N.
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Re: Rebirth - So many human beings

Post by L.N. » Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:39 pm

3z42j wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:51 pm
Please can someone advise?
I have been meditating on rebirth, struggling to understand how this massively growing world population could be supplied each and all with an consciousness. I understand to a limited extent the Buddha's cosmology regarding the countless eons of life, death and rebirth but still cannot comprehend how each human being has been supplied with a stream of consciousness. It would seem to be an endless demand and with dwindling animal populations seems to be even more difficult in 'balancing the books'.
Hello r2d2,

The extra people may come from almost anywhere in the 31 planes of existence. Please see this link. Best wishes.
Sire patitthitā Buddhā
Dhammo ca tava locane
Sangho patitthitō tuiham
uresabba gunākaro


愿众佛坐在我的头顶, 佛法在我的眼中, 僧伽,功德的根源, 端坐在我的肩上。

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DNS
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Re: Rebirth - So many human beings

Post by DNS » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:47 pm

perkele wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:53 am
In Germany, the number (or rather mass) of insects, has reduced by approx. 75% since 1989 (sorry, no English source ready at hand), according to some curious measurements(*). I assume this is not restricted to Germany.
So yes, I think one can definitely speak of dwindling, at quite an alarming rate actually. The loss of bees and similar is also very problematic for a lot of plant life.
Yeah, insects may not have been the best example, considering the use of fertilizers, pesticides. Some populations are certainly decreasing, but other animal populations might be increasing, though don't know for sure. Perhaps the total animal population of all species is rather stable with some going up and others going down. There are gazillions of plankton in the seas, along with other marine animals, not sure if they are increasing or decreasing though. If one threw in the other realms of existence, then one could find enough to make the numbers work out no matter what is happening to species on earth.

form
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Re: Rebirth - So many human beings

Post by form » Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:05 pm

Can one be rebirth as a germ?

Did the Buddha know that germs exist? He never mention about alien as well.

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L.N.
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Re: Rebirth - So many human beings

Post by L.N. » Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:39 am

form wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:05 pm
Can one be rebirth as a germ?
How about as a flock of birds?
Sire patitthitā Buddhā
Dhammo ca tava locane
Sangho patitthitō tuiham
uresabba gunākaro


愿众佛坐在我的头顶, 佛法在我的眼中, 僧伽,功德的根源, 端坐在我的肩上。

form
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Re: Rebirth - So many human beings

Post by form » Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:02 am

L.N. wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:39 am
form wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:05 pm
Can one be rebirth as a germ?
How about as a flock of birds?
Do u mean one become many?

What a member here explain to me that Theravada stance is one to one seems convincing to me.

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Aloka
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Re: Rebirth - So many human beings

Post by Aloka » Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:57 am

form wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:05 pm
Can one be rebirth as a germ?

Can one be reborn as a flying pig in a heaven realm?...or would one get cooked and eaten by devas?

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