the great rebirth debate

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Dinsdale
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Dinsdale » Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:56 am

DooDoot wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:49 am
Dinsdale wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:33 am
The quote is directly taken from SN 12.2, to demonstrate the physicality of these descriptions.
Sorry but the proper quote is as follows:
Now what is aging and death? Whatever aging, decrepitude, brokenness, graying, wrinkling, decline of life-force, weakening of the faculties of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called aging. Whatever deceasing, passing away, breaking up, disappearance, dying, death, completion of time, break up of the aggregates, casting off of the body, interruption in the life faculty of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called death.
The quote is not as you edited & posted:
Now what is aging and death? Whatever aging, decrepitude, brokenness, graying, wrinkling, decline of life-force, weakening of the faculties, that is called aging. Whatever deceasing, passing away, breaking up, disappearance, dying, death, completion of time, break up of the aggregates, casting off of the body, interruption in the life faculty, that is called death.
Therefore aging & death appears not aging & death of mere aggregates. It is aging & death of "beings" that cause sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief & despair, such as "beings" produced by ignorance called "me", "my wife", "my mother", "my father", "my son", "my daughter", "my favourite pop star", etc.

"A being" according to sutta is something "mental" rather than "physical". "A being" appears to be a "self-view". To quote:
Why now do you assume 'a being'?
Mara, have you grasped a view?
This is a heap of sheer constructions:
Here no being is found.

SN 5.10
'A being,' lord. 'A being,' it's said. To what extent is one said to be 'a being'?"

"Any desire, passion, delight, or craving for form, Radha: when one is caught up there, tied up there, one is said to be 'a being.'

SN 23.2
Therefore, in MN 87, the man was not suffering over aggregates or over a corpse. The man was suffering over his "son".
the Blessed One said to him, "Householder, your faculties are not those of one who is steady in his own mind. There is an aberration in your faculties."

"Lord, how could there not be an aberration in my faculties? My dear & beloved little son, my only child, has died. Because of his death, I have no desire to work or to eat. I keep going to the cemetery and crying out, 'Where have you gone, my only little child? Where have you gone, my only little child?'"

MN 87
Note: the above does not refute "reincarnation". The above only makes dependent origination questionable as an explanation of reincarnation. The Buddha taught many teachings about "upapajjati" in "hell" :P for those who don't attain Nibbana. Refer to MN 130, which describes what happens to those not free from "birth" & "death" via non-clinging.

:smile:
Seeing danger in clinging,
in the coming-into-play
of birth & death,
they are released from lack of clinging,
in the ending
of birth & death.
They, happy, arriving at safety,
fully unbound in the here-&-now :thumbsup:

MN 130
Yes, possibly, though your analysis assumes that being (satta) has the same meaning in both SN12.2 and SN5.10, and I don't think that's necessarily the case.

In SN5.10 "being" refer to a convention or attachment, whereas in SN12.2 "beings" refers to living organisms (animals) which experience birth, ageing and death.

See the second and third definitions of satta here:
https://suttacentral.net/define/satta
Last edited by Dinsdale on Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Dinsdale
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Dinsdale » Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:11 pm

retrofuturist wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:38 am
Aloka wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:11 am
pitakele wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:24 am


It could be that those who are excessively attached to the idea of 'no rebirth' have held a similar view in past lives 😁
It could also be that people like yourself tend to indulge in excessively wild speculations about past and future lives!

:console:
It could also be that some people take particular Pali terms to mean "birth" or "rebirth", and then over-reach by thinking that anyone challenging their dubious interpretation of those Pali terms is actively denying rebirth.

:ugeek:
The reference to "dubious interpretation" is rather patronising, Paul. Its an entirely valid interpretation based on the descriptions in SN12.2 and elsewhere. And I'm not arguing that jati means "rebirth" , so that's a :strawman:

Clearly there ARE people who actively deny rebirth, and others who seem intent on "proving" that sutta references to rebirth were not intended literally.
In any case, as mentioned above, I'm not arguing in favour of rebirth and I'm personally agnostic about it. As always I am just trying to understand what the suttas mean.

If you don't agree that the SN12.2 descriptions of birth, ageing and death are physical/biological, then maybe you should present a coherent argument to support your view.
Last edited by Dinsdale on Fri Jun 14, 2019 1:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Dinsdale » Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:21 pm

Aloka wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:11 am
pitakele wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:24 am
Dinsdale wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:15 am

I'm not arguing in favour of rebirth, and personally I'm agnostic about it. What puzzles me is the degree of aversion that some people have to the idea, and the lengths they go to in their attempts to "prove" that the Buddha didn't teach it, or didn't really believe it, or whatever.
It could be that those who are excessively attached to the idea of 'no rebirth' have held a similar view in past lives 😁
It could also be that people like yourself tend to indulge in excessively wild speculations about past and future lives!

:console:
It's all speculation. We cannot be sure what the Buddha really taught, or really experienced. All we can do is examine the suttas, and try to keep an open mind.
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retrofuturist
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by retrofuturist » Fri Jun 14, 2019 3:42 pm

Greetings,
Dinsdale wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:11 pm
retrofuturist wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:38 am
Aloka wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:11 am


It could also be that people like yourself tend to indulge in excessively wild speculations about past and future lives!

:console:
It could also be that some people take particular Pali terms to mean "birth" or "rebirth", and then over-reach by thinking that anyone challenging their dubious interpretation of those Pali terms is actively denying rebirth.

:ugeek:
The reference to "dubious interpretation" is rather patronising, Paul. Its an entirely valid interpretation based on the descriptions in SN12.2 and elsewhere. And I'm not arguing that jati means "rebirth" , so that's a :strawman:
It could also be that someone is thinking I'm talking about them, when I'm not.

I was actually thinking here, specifically, of an Internet user called Namdrol who once insisted that paticcasamuppada was a model of transmigration of a being, and if anyone said it wasn't actually about transmigration, it was about the arising of dukkha - that was, in his eyes, an adhammic refution of "literal post-mortem rebirth".

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

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Ceisiwr
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Ceisiwr » Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:17 pm

In all this I’m still not seeing any contradiction between dependent origination being mind moments and referring to a process that continues post physical death of the body and mind. To me it seems reasonable to take both meanings from the teaching.

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cappuccino
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by cappuccino » Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:15 pm

sans rebirth, you could make the best of things

death would fix everything, sans rebirth

(sans means without, or in the absence of)

this teaching is only necessary for one reason

because death is not the end
Last edited by cappuccino on Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by cappuccino » Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:21 pm

rebirth is part of right view

the other part being karma

as in karma after death

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by mikenz66 » Sat Jun 15, 2019 12:17 am

Ceisiwr wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:17 pm
In all this I’m still not seeing any contradiction between dependent origination being mind moments and referring to a process that continues post physical death of the body and mind. To me it seems reasonable to take both meanings from the teaching.
In fact, as Ven Analayo points out in his discussion of Ven Nananda's Nibbana Sermons:
viewtopic.php?t=30940
the canons of several schools mention both. The Pali Abhidhamma includes a "momentary" interpretation, for example, and if you listen to the talk, there is some material from other schools...

And the observation that the first part of DO seems to be modelled on a Brahmin creation myth is also an interesting aspect. As Ven Analayo says, this would have a particular impact on the audience that is hard for us to appreciate, when from what seems like a positive, creative, process "aging-and-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair come to be."

See also: viewtopic.php?t=7464

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by retrofuturist » Sat Jun 15, 2019 1:25 am

Greetings Mike,
mikenz66 wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 12:17 am
...that is hard for us to appreciate, when from what seems like a positive, creative, process "aging-and-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair come to be."
Well it certainly can be a "positive, creative, process" as per "the Gods Who Love to Create" of MN 41... but they too are not beyond "aging-and-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair"

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

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DooDoot
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by DooDoot » Sat Jun 15, 2019 2:11 am

Dinsdale wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:56 am
In SN5.10 "being" refer to a convention or attachment, whereas in SN12.2 "beings" refers to living organisms (animals) which experience birth, ageing and death.
Sorry but SN 5.10 and SN 23.2 provide explicit definitions where as your personal interpretation of SN 12.2 is merely that; just your imagination.

You seem to be missing the following points:

1. D.O. is about the culmination of sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief & despair.

2. For sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief & despair to occur; aging & death must occur. People grieve over loss, change, aging & death. They do not grieve when there is no sense of personal loss.

3. For aging & death to generate sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief & despair, there must be "acquisition" connected with the aging & death (MN 26; SN 12.66). The loss must be "personal".
As he explores he understands thus: ‘The many diverse kinds of suffering that arise in the world headed by aging-and-death: this suffering has acquisition as its source, acquisition as its origin; it is born and produced from acquisition. When there is acquisition, aging-and-death comes to be; when there is no acquisition, aging-and-death does not come to be.’ SN 12.66 https://suttacentral.net/sn12.66/en/bodhi
4. As I said, when change & destruction occur to non-personal things (such as a tree in a forest falling down or a cloud evaporating), there is no sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief & despair.

5. For sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief & despair to occur, there must be something "personal" or "acquired" that ages & death. While the aggregates certainly change, alter, decay & are destroyed, the idea of "death" applies to the idea of a "person" that "dies". For example, SN 22.85 does not say Arahants "die". SN 22.85 says the aggregates of an Arahant are destroyed. SN 22.85 says to believe an Arahant "dies" is wrong view.
"Then, friend Yamaka, how would you answer if you are thus asked: A monk, a worthy one, with no more mental effluents: what is he on the break-up of the body, after death?"

"Thus asked, I would answer, 'Form is inconstant... Feeling... Perception... Fabrications... Consciousness is inconstant. That which is inconstant is unsatisfactory. That which is unsatisfactory has ceased and gone to its end."

"Very good, my friend Yamaka. Very good.

SN 22.85 https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
6. Thus, when your wife's hair starts to grey & her skin starts to wrinkle, you suffer. You suffer because your lust for your wife changes & is under threat. While the skin certainly wrinkles & the hair certainly greys, what is "aging" is the acquisition you call "my wife". The idea of "my wife" was a "becoming". When you were 5 years old, you did not have "a wife". You were not yet "born" as "a husband". But when you "became" a "husband" via marriage and were "born" with the identity of "a husband", because of this becoming & birth, an "aging" happens to your "wife" when her skins wrinkles & her hair becomes grey that causes you to suffer. MN 26 says:
And what may be said to be subject to birth? Spouses & children are subject to birth. Men & women slaves... goats & sheep... fowl & pigs... elephants, cattle, horses, & mares... gold & silver are subject to birth. Subject to birth are these acquisitions, and one who is tied to them, infatuated with them, who has totally fallen for them, being subject to birth, seeks what is likewise subject to birth.

"And what may be said to be subject to aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement? Spouses & children... men & women slaves... goats & sheep... fowl & pigs... elephants, cattle, horses, & mares... gold & silver are subject to aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement. Subject to aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement are these acquisitions, and one who is tied to them, infatuated with them, who has totally fallen for them, being subject to birth, seeks what is likewise subject to aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement. This is ignoble search.

MN 26
Note: The above does not refute reincarnation. Reincarnation in hell may still occur due to bad kamma but it may not occur due to dependent origination
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by mikenz66 » Sat Jun 15, 2019 2:14 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 1:25 am
mikenz66 wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 12:17 am
...that is hard for us to appreciate, when from what seems like a positive, creative, process "aging-and-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair come to be."
Well it certainly can be a "positive, creative, process" as per "the Gods Who Love to Create" of MN 41... but they too are not beyond "aging-and-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair"
Yes, but I was referring specifically to the Vedic creation myth - which the first part of DO appears to reference. As with other terms, such as kamma, the Buddha appears to have appropriated existing terminology, and given it his own meaning. This is clearly a powerful way of gaining the attention of the audiences, and knowing what the audiences would have read into the discourses gives an extra dimension to them.

From my summary here: viewtopic.php?t=7464
In the Rig Veda :
1. First there is nothing, not even existence or non-existence. This corresponds to ignorance.
2. A volitional impulse (kama - desire) initiates the process of creation.
3. Desire, 'the first seed of the mind', creates consciousness.
4. Gombrich: "Pure consciousness is thus at best reflexive, cognizing itself. From this reflexivity, in which there is only one entity, develops an awareness of subject and object; this in turn leads to further individuation, until we reach the multiplicity of our experience: individuation both by name (nama), using a linguistic category, and by appearance (rupa), perceptible to the senses."
...
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by retrofuturist » Sat Jun 15, 2019 2:23 am

Greetings Mike,

Yeah, I'm not really a big fan of Gombrich's theory personally, because it's a pretty loose correlation (to say the least), and any description of anything invariably talks about how it comes to be. You could just as easily map it onto a Christian creation story.

The fact these "creation stories" have a certain similarity to them (from nothing there was a singularity, but that singularity was further proliferated, became corrupted and people lost their way), simply reflects that relationship... even the one in the suttas about the origins of the world shares such a flavour.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by DooDoot » Sat Jun 15, 2019 2:31 am

Dinsdale wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:11 pm
Clearly there ARE people who actively deny rebirth
Not at all. The above is definite a wrong & false view and an unwarranted allegation. People are simply interpreting "jati" differently. For example, in MN 86, the Buddha says Angulimala becoming a monk was "noble birth".
“In that case, Aṅgulimāla, go to that woman and say this:

“Tena hi tvaṃ, aṅgulimāla, yena sā itthī tenupasaṅkama; upasaṅkamitvā taṃ itthiṃ evaṃ vadehi:

‘Ever since I was born in the noble birth, sister, I don’t recall having deliberately taken the life of a living creature. By this truth, may both you and your infant be safe.’”

‘yatohaṃ, bhagini, ariyāya jātiyā jāto, nābhijānāmi sañcicca pāṇaṃ jīvitā voropetā, tena saccena sotthi te hotu, sotthi gabbhassā’”ti.

https://suttacentral.net/mn86/en/sujato
However, what you are definitely doing Dinsdale is definitely being a heretic because "jati" does not mean "rebirth". Even Bhikkhu Bodhi does not translate "jati" as "rebirth".

In fact, according to the monk Yuttadhammo, there appears to be no word in the Pali that literally means "rebirth".

:smile:
Last edited by DooDoot on Sat Jun 15, 2019 2:40 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by cappuccino » Sat Jun 15, 2019 2:33 am

DooDoot wrote: In fact, there appears to be no word in the Pali that literally means "rebirth".
Saṃsāra is a Sanskrit word that means "wandering" … In short, it is the cycle of death and rebirth. Saṃsāra is sometimes referred to with terms or phrases such as transmigration, karmic cycle, reincarnation, and "cycle of aimless drifting, wandering or mundane existence"
From Wikipedia

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DooDoot
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by DooDoot » Sat Jun 15, 2019 2:37 am

cappuccino wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 2:33 am
connotation .... From Wikipedia
Yes... "connotation" or "speculation". But suttas such as SN 22.99 appears to literally say "samsara" is "circling" or "cycling" around the same set of aggregates.

"Just as a dog, tied by a leash to a post or stake, keeps running around and circling around that very post or stake; in the same way, an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person — who has no regard for noble ones, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma; who has no regard for people of integrity, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma — assumes form to be the self, or the self as possessing form, or form as in the self, or the self as in form.

"He assumes feeling to be the self...

"He assumes perception to be the self...

"He assumes (mental) fabrications to be the self...

"He assumes consciousness to be the self, or the self as possessing consciousness, or consciousness as in the self, or the self as in consciousness.

"He keeps running around and circling around that very form... that very feeling... that very perception... those very fabrications... that very consciousness. He is not set loose from form, not set loose from feeling... from perception... from fabrications... not set loose from consciousness. He is not set loose from birth, aging, & death; from sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs. He is not set loose, I tell you, from suffering & stress.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
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