Which view on DO resonates with you the most?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Which view on DO resonates with you the most?

One life model
0
No votes
One life model and moment to moment
6
15%
Two lives model
0
No votes
Three lives model
3
8%
Three lives model and moment to moment
8
20%
Multiple lives model
3
8%
Multiple lives model & moment-to-moment
7
18%
Moment to moment only
2
5%
Timeless/Atemporal/Structural
7
18%
Simultaneous, non-linear
4
10%
 
Total votes: 40

boundless
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Re: Which view on DO resonates with you the most?

Post by boundless » Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:36 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:49 am
Dinsdale wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:20 am

I suggested ignorance and suffering as an example of the first mode, ie while ignorance is present, then suffering is present.

I suggested feeling and craving as an example of the second mode, ie when feeling arises, then craving arises. Though craving and clinging might be an example of the first mode.

I think the distinction between the two modes of conditionality is essentially that dependent states, and changes of state. Like while the temperature is below zero degree C. then ice is present. When the temperature rises above zero degrees, then the ice changes to water.
Yes, I agree. For practical purposes, though, I tend to see them as interchangeable and potentially as applying to all links. "Eliminate X if you can, because it is either currently supporting Y, or a Y will be along in a moment...". Idappaccayata seems to be a poetic summary of the fact that if something is bothering you, then there is something that you can do about it. I see the "nuts and bolts" as the elements of actual practice which one comes to see as instantiating the general principle.

I do not mean to be excessively pedantic but as I said elsewhere, I am not so sure that it is true that "while ignorance is present, then suffering is present" (i.e. that in this case the "structural" model of DO is really valid). At best, we can say that this is true for a certain type of suffering, but not all suffering.

Of course, both "craving" and "ignorance" are the main causes of samsara. And their removal eventually lead to the total cessation of suffering. I can agree that suffering due to frustration is eradicated at the moment of the elimination of craving. But suffering due unpleasant feelings can still occur and also some suttas (e.g. SN 36:11) seem to suggest that there is a subtle kind of suffering in all conditioned experience due to its impermanent nature. Therefore if I am understanding correctly, even Arahants seem to be subject to this inevitable kind of suffering.

The complete cessation of ignorance, therefore, leads to the complete cessation of suffering in a sequential and not structural way.

:anjali:

P.S.

Regarding my previous post, of course this sentence is incorrect:
boundless wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:11 am

I think that it is quite obvious that the "sequential" model is valid in certain cases: "ageing" has "birth" as a condition.
Please replace with:

I think that it is quite obvious that the "sequential" model is not valid in certain cases: "ageing" has "birth" as a condition.

Sorry for the mistake!

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aflatun
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Re: Which view on DO resonates with you the most?

Post by aflatun » Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:02 pm

boundless wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:42 pm

Hi aflatun, dindale, DNS,

What is the difference between "multiple lives model" and "three/two lives model"? :anjali:

I'm actually not sure! I embraced it because whether we're talking about 1 or 1 million lives the same principle applies, i.e. all my prior births and deaths are "my" prior births and deaths, until they're not.
boundless wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:42 pm
BTW, I think that DO applies at various level. And in fact I am even open to the possibility that we can have a "multiple life", a "moment to moment" and a "structural" version of DO (well, maybe I am crazy :? ).
I don't think its crazy at all. Ven. Thanissaro for example advocates something like this, and you can find a similar approach in various Abidhammas.

As an example, with respect to Nagarjuna: After all the "outrageous" things he tells us in the MMK about PS and its deepest meaning, we find chapter 26 which consists in a rather straight forward articulation of the 3 life model. So we have an uncontroversial three life reading living side by side with a reading that effectively says when ignorance ceases, no arising or ceasing is perceived here and now, and it is this that is Nirvana:
When true knowledge sees the appearance conditioned by ignorance, no arising or ceasing is perceived

This is nirvāṇa and the seeing of reality in this very life, what is to be done has been done
Yuktiṣaṣṭikākārikā 10-11ab

All that said, the "structural" reading that Ven. Nanavira articulates, which I have been insistent in this thread should not be rendered as, or lumped in with "moment to moment" readings, is somewhat unique.
But clearly, IMO, a "structural-only" interpretation of DO is rejected by SN 12.2 (because "birth" and "ageing and death" are, after all, (at least "also") meant physical/literal).*
In my understanding Ven. Nanavira's reading doesn't deny that birth, etc are what they are. What he denies is that PS is an explanation of re-birth, asserting that it is rather, a description of the structure of appropriated birth:
The puthujjana takes what appears to be his 'self' at its face value; and so long as this goes on he continues to be a 'self', at least in his own eyes (and in those of others like him). This is bhava or 'being'. The puthujjana knows that people are born and die; and since he thinks 'my self exists' so he also thinks 'my self was born' and 'my self will die'. The puthujjana sees a 'self' to whom the words birth and death apply.[d] In contrast to the puthujjana, the arahat has altogether got rid of asmimāna (not to speak of attavāda—see MAMA), and does not even think 'I am'. This is bhavanirodha, cessation of being. And since he does not think 'I am' he also does not think 'I was born' or 'I shall die'. In other words, he sees no 'self' or even 'I' for the words birth and death to apply to. This is jātinirodha and jarāmarananirodha.
A NOTE ON PAṬICCASAMUPPĀDA para 10

Notice that Ven. Nanavira does not deny that tanha is the condition whereby there is re-birth,
'Re-birth' is punabbhavābhinibbatti, as in Majjhima v,3 <M.i,294> where it is said that future 'birth into renewed existence' comes of avijjā and tanhā; and it is clear that, here, two successive existences are involved. It is, no doubt, possible for a Buddha to see the re-birth that is at each moment awaiting a living individual who still has tanhā—the re-birth, that is to say, that is now awaiting the individual who now has tanhā. If this is so, then for a Buddha the dependence of re-birth upon tanhā is a matter of direct seeing, not involving time.
A NOTE ON PAṬICCASAMUPPĀDA para 9

but again, does not see this as specifically relevant to PS:
But this is by no means always possible (if, indeed, at all) for an ariyasāvaka, who, though he sees paticcasamuppāda for himself, and with certainty (it is aparapaccayā ñānam), may still need to accept re-birth on the Buddha's authority.[c] In other words, an ariyasāvaka sees birth with direct vision (since jāti is part of the paticcasamuppāda formulation), but does not necessarily see re-birth with direct vision.
A NOTE ON PAṬICCASAMUPPĀDA para 9
boundless wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:42 pm
* Not only this, I think that, in fact, DO can apply also to material objects (e.g. to the arising and cessation of flames, bubbles, mountains, planets, stars etc). But here we are restricting ourselves to the 12 links, if I am not wrong.
As you know madhyamaka is comfortable with this. Ven. Nanavira as far as I can tell would reject this in principle, however.

Sorry for any mistakes, I fired this off too fast for my own health :heart:
Last edited by aflatun on Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

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Sam Vara
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Re: Which view on DO resonates with you the most?

Post by Sam Vara » Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:03 pm

boundless wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:36 pm
Sam Vara wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:49 am


Yes, I agree. For practical purposes, though, I tend to see them as interchangeable and potentially as applying to all links. "Eliminate X if you can, because it is either currently supporting Y, or a Y will be along in a moment...". Idappaccayata seems to be a poetic summary of the fact that if something is bothering you, then there is something that you can do about it. I see the "nuts and bolts" as the elements of actual practice which one comes to see as instantiating the general principle.

I do not mean to be excessively pedantic but as I said elsewhere, I am not so sure that it is true that "while ignorance is present, then suffering is present" (i.e. that in this case the "structural" model of DO is really valid). At best, we can say that this is true for a certain type of suffering, but not all suffering.
No problems - that's why I said that both modes are potentially aplicable to all links, and more importantly, that something is "either currently supporting Y, or a Y will be along in a moment..." I'm quite happy with not knowing whether a particular mode applies to a particular link; it saves me the bother of making a positive claim for any particular link... :jumping:

In terms of practice, it makes no difference as far as I can see.

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aflatun
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Re: Which view on DO resonates with you the most?

Post by aflatun » Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:04 pm

binocular wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:20 pm
aflatun wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:49 pm
If you include

Timeless/Atemporal/Structural & Multiple Lives

I know a lunatic that would vote for it (me)
Count me in, and we'll take over the asylum!
:rolleye:

- - -

But seriously. We should not be making fun of ourselves this way.
:twothumbsup:
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

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aflatun
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Re: Which view on DO resonates with you the most?

Post by aflatun » Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:06 pm

retrofuturist wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:34 pm
Greetings,
aflatun wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:49 pm
If you include

Timeless/Atemporal/Structural & Multiple Lives

I know a lunatic that would vote for it (me)
I don't understand why the poll needs multiple options per line. Isn't it about which "resonates with you the most"?

Even if you accept more than one, I'm sure one still "resonates with you the most"?

Metta,
Paul. :)
Excellent point my friend. In my excitement I lost sight of DNS' very clear thread title :thumbsup:
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

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SDC
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Re: Which view on DO resonates with you the most?

Post by SDC » Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:14 pm

Circle5 wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:42 am
And you've again avoided to answer the question. As both me and B.Bodhi have shown, Nanavira considers that the proximate cause for biological birth is the puthujjana notions "I was born; I will age and die," or "My self was born; my self ages and dies." This is simply false and not supported by the suttas. Again, to quote B.Bodhi:
...
How did I "avoid to answer"? For the last few of your posts you couldn't decide whether you were talking about 'birth' or 'rebirth' and now your defaulting to Ven. Bodhi to do the talking.

And if you read carefully, Ven. Nv never says that appropriation is the cause for biological birth. He says that appropriating it as "mine" is a cause of suffering. Big difference.

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SDC
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Re: Which view on DO resonates with you the most?

Post by SDC » Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:34 pm

boundless wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:24 pm
Also by the first question I meant that "arising" and "ceasing" are by themselves temporal phenomena and I cannot understand how a structural/timeless interpretation of DO can explain the existence of temporal phenomena themselves. I am aware that this question might be a trivial one...
Not trivial at all. It's an important question.

How do see 'arising' or 'ceasing'? From what position? Does 'arising' and 'ceasing' happen in front of you? Behind you? In your field of vision? In your mind? Somewhere else? Is that view of 'arising' and 'ceasing' also part of that arising and ceasing?

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Re: Which view on DO resonates with you the most?

Post by cappuccino » Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:42 pm

arising and ceasing is the nature of existence

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SDC
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Re: Which view on DO resonates with you the most?

Post by SDC » Thu Apr 19, 2018 4:49 pm

cappuccino wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:42 pm
arising and ceasing is the nature of existence
Well, according to SN 22.38 that nature is not just arising and ceasing. There are 3 'manifestations'. Go take a look.

boundless
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Re: Which view on DO resonates with you the most?

Post by boundless » Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:35 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:03 pm

No problems - that's why I said that both modes are potentially aplicable to all links, and more importantly, that something is "either currently supporting Y, or a Y will be along in a moment..." I'm quite happy with not knowing whether a particular mode applies to a particular link; it saves me the bother of making a positive claim for any particular link... :jumping:

In terms of practice, it makes no difference as far as I can see.
Agreed :thumbsup:

I have the same "feeling": they are both valid model in their appropriate context.

I am inclined to agree also about what you say about practice!
SDC wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:34 pm
boundless wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:24 pm
Also by the first question I meant that "arising" and "ceasing" are by themselves temporal phenomena and I cannot understand how a structural/timeless interpretation of DO can explain the existence of temporal phenomena themselves. I am aware that this question might be a trivial one...
Not trivial at all. It's an important question.
:woohoo:
aflatun wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:02 pm
I don't think its crazy at all. Ven. Thanissaro for example advocates something like this, and you can find a similar approach in various Abidhammas.

As an example, with respect to Nagarjuna: After all the "outrageous" things he tells us in the MMK about PS and its deepest meaning, we find chapter 26 which consists in a rather straight forward articulation of the 3 life model. So we have an uncontroversial three life reading living side by side with a reading that effectively says when ignorance ceases, no arising or ceasing is perceived here and now, and it is this that is Nirvana:
:woohoo:
SDC wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:34 pm
How do see 'arising' or 'ceasing'? From what position? Does 'arising' and 'ceasing' happen in front of you? Behind you? In your field of vision? In your mind? Somewhere else? Is that view of 'arising' and 'ceasing' also part of that arising and ceasing?
aflatun wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:02 pm
...
Thank you both for the answer! Interesting points, indeed!

I need some time to write a decent response.

However,
aflatun wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:02 pm
In my understanding Ven. Nanavira's reading doesn't deny that birth, etc are what they are. What he denies is that PS is an explanation of re-birth, asserting that it is rather, a description of the structure of appropriated birth:
I think that it would be quite odd that a central (if not the central) part of the Teaching of the Buddha uses always a different meaning of "birth" (and "death") than what is outlined at SN 12.2.

Anyway, I will read the links and I will let you know my thoughts about this as soon as possible!
SDC wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 4:49 pm
cappuccino wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:42 pm
arising and ceasing is the nature of existence
Well, according to SN 22.38 that nature is not just arising and ceasing. There are 3 'manifestations'. Go take a look.
True [for the "conditioned" (existence)... see also AN 3.47 (Ven. Bodhi transl) ] !

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Re: Which view on DO resonates with you the most?

Post by Circle5 » Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:31 pm

SDC wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:14 pm
Circle5 wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:42 am
And you've again avoided to answer the question. As both me and B.Bodhi have shown, Nanavira considers that the proximate cause for biological birth is the puthujjana notions "I was born; I will age and die," or "My self was born; my self ages and dies." This is simply false and not supported by the suttas. Again, to quote B.Bodhi:
...
How did I "avoid to answer"? For the last few of your posts you couldn't decide whether you were talking about 'birth' or 'rebirth' and now your defaulting to Ven. Bodhi to do the talking.

And if you read carefully, Ven. Nv never says that appropriation is the cause for biological birth. He says that appropriating it as "mine" is a cause of suffering. Big difference.
What is the cause for biological birth in Nanavira view ?

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SDC
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Re: Which view on DO resonates with you the most?

Post by SDC » Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:42 pm

Circle5 wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:31 pm
What is the cause for biological birth in Nanavira view ?
The birds and the bees.

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Re: Which view on DO resonates with you the most?

Post by Circle5 » Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:47 pm

SDC wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:42 pm
Circle5 wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:31 pm
What is the cause for biological birth in Nanavira view ?
The birds and the bees.
Why are you avoiding the question and playing silly games like this ? What's the point ? But ok, then I shall reformulate the question:

What is the cause for consciousness to descend into the womb in Nanavira view ?

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SDC
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Re: Which view on DO resonates with you the most?

Post by SDC » Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:16 am

Circle5 wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:47 pm
Why are you avoiding the question and playing silly games like this ? What's the point ? But ok, then I shall reformulate the question:

What is the cause for consciousness to descend into the womb in Nanavira view ?
Same answer. You're still asking the wrong question. You're trying to apply linear causality to a model of structural dependency, and if you can't see that, it isn't my job to talk through it. But because I like you I'll tell you how to phrase the question: on what does birth depend in the arising of this mass of suffering? Is that what you want to know?

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Re: Which view on DO resonates with you the most?

Post by Circle5 » Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:21 am

SDC wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:16 am
Circle5 wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:47 pm
Why are you avoiding the question and playing silly games like this ? What's the point ? But ok, then I shall reformulate the question:

What is the cause for consciousness to descend into the womb in Nanavira view ?
Same answer. You're still asking the wrong question. You're trying to apply linear causality to a model of structural dependency, and if you can't see that, it isn't my job to talk through it. But because I like you I'll tell you how to phrase the question: on what does birth depend in the arising of this mass of suffering? Is that what you want to know?
You said Nanavira does not reject rebirth like secular buddhist do, despite the 1 life interpretation of DO that he likes. I am asking you how does rebirth happen in his view ?

And please no BS

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SDC
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Re: Which view on DO resonates with you the most?

Post by SDC » Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:55 am

Circle5 wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:21 am

You said Nanavira does not reject rebirth like secular buddhist do, despite the 1 life interpretation of DO that he likes. I am asking you how does rebirth happen in his view ?

And please no BS
Does this sound like someone who rejects rebirth?
Ven. Nv wrote:To be a follower of the Buddha it is certainly necessary to accept on trust that for one who is not rid of avijjā at his death there is re-birth, but it is by no means sufficient. What is sufficient is to see paticcasamuppāda—Yo paticcasamuppādam passati so dhammam passati ('He who sees dependent arising sees the Teaching') (Majjhima iii,8 <M.i,191>). For those who cannot now see the re-birth that is at every moment awaiting beings with avijjā, the dependence of re-birth on avijjā must be accepted on trust. They cannot get beyond temporal succession in this matter and must take it on trust that it is a question of dependence (and not of cause-and-effect)—i.e. that it is not a hypothesis at all, but (for the Buddha) a matter of certainty. But accepting this on trust is not the same as seeing paticcasamuppāda. (Past and future only make their appearance with anvaye ñānam [see NA CA SO [a]), not with dhamme ñānam. 'As it is, so it was, so it will be.' Paticcasamuppāda is just 'As it is'—i.e. the present structure of dependence.) - Shorter Note on Paticcasamuppāda, footnote a

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Re: Which view on DO resonates with you the most?

Post by Dinsdale » Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:17 am

SDC wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 4:49 pm
cappuccino wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:42 pm
arising and ceasing is the nature of existence
Well, according to SN 22.38 that nature is not just arising and ceasing. There are 3 'manifestations'. Go take a look.
So there is arising, alteration and ceasing of the aggregates, and these can be viewed as aspects of our personal experience. I think the point though is that this all happens dependent upon conditions, so our experience is both transient and conditional. So for example vedana arises in dependence upon phassa.

In any case arising, alteration and ceasing are clearly describing a sequence in time, and I don't see how "timeless" applies here. DO isn't exempt from anicca, and clearly anicca implies change over time. Also transience and conditionality are two sides of the same coin.

From SN 22:38:
‘Friends, with form that has passed, ceased, changed, an arising was discerned, a vanishing was discerned, an alteration of that which stands was discerned. With feeling … perception … volitional formations … consciousness that has passed, ceased, changed, an arising was discerned, a vanishing was discerned, an alteration of that which stands was discerned. It is of these things, friends, that an arising was discerned, that a vanishing was discerned, that an alteration of that which stands was discerned."
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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Re: Which view on DO resonates with you the most?

Post by Circle5 » Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:05 am

SDC wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:55 am
Circle5 wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:21 am

You said Nanavira does not reject rebirth like secular buddhist do, despite the 1 life interpretation of DO that he likes. I am asking you how does rebirth happen in his view ?

And please no BS
Does this sound like someone who rejects rebirth?
Ven. Nv wrote:To be a follower of the Buddha it is certainly necessary to accept on trust that for one who is not rid of avijjā at his death there is re-birth, but it is by no means sufficient. What is sufficient is to see paticcasamuppāda—Yo paticcasamuppādam passati so dhammam passati ('He who sees dependent arising sees the Teaching') (Majjhima iii,8 <M.i,191>). For those who cannot now see the re-birth that is at every moment awaiting beings with avijjā, the dependence of re-birth on avijjā must be accepted on trust. They cannot get beyond temporal succession in this matter and must take it on trust that it is a question of dependence (and not of cause-and-effect)—i.e. that it is not a hypothesis at all, but (for the Buddha) a matter of certainty. But accepting this on trust is not the same as seeing paticcasamuppāda. (Past and future only make their appearance with anvaye ñānam [see NA CA SO [a]), not with dhamme ñānam. 'As it is, so it was, so it will be.' Paticcasamuppāda is just 'As it is'—i.e. the present structure of dependence.) - Shorter Note on Paticcasamuppāda, footnote a
Why are you refusing to answer this question ? Ok, ok, he believes in rebirth, but why does it happen in his view ? What explanation does he give for consciousness to descend into the womb ? If someone asks him "what makes you believe that after death, there will be rebirth instead of eternal heaven(as christians say) or nothing (as atheist say) etc ?

My point is that Nanavira does not have an explanation for rebirth. He just says "yes, I believe in it" and that's it. This possition is different than that of the historical Buddha who did have a technical explanation for why rebirth happens.

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Re: Which view on DO resonates with you the most?

Post by Dinsdale » Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:21 am

Can anyone explain simply and clearly what "timeless" means when applied to DO, and give a practical example?

In your own words, please.

I'm afraid this "timeless" idea makes no sense to me at all, given the centrality of anicca in the teachings, and given that DO is all about arising and ceasing in dependence on conditions - both of these involve change over time, states changing, events occuring.
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Re: Which view on DO resonates with you the most?

Post by Dinsdale » Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:37 am

boundless wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:11 am
In fact I think that "impermanence" (anicca) IMO is a consequence of Dependent Arising, i.e. whatever dependently arises have to cease once conditions change.
An important point, though I think the relationship between transience and conditionality is chicken-and-egg - or two sides of the same coin?

"Sabbe sankhara anicca" = all conditions are transient.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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