I Believe in Literal Rebirth - Poll

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

I Believe in Literal Rebirth

Yes
45
58%
No
7
9%
Indifferent
8
10%
Undecided
11
14%
Meaning of Topic Unclear
7
9%
 
Total votes: 78

lojong1
Posts: 580
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2009 2:59 am

Re: I Believe in Literal Rebirth - Poll

Post by lojong1 » Sat Aug 14, 2010 5:30 am

Rebirth [in buddhism] = [always] a birth process happens again [not necessarily one thing born twice]. I have no problem with the word, only its current usage, which is why I keep screaming "keep the Pali!"
Am I being redundant or missing a point somewhere?

Sunrise
Posts: 199
Joined: Fri Jul 30, 2010 2:26 pm

Re: I Believe in Literal Rebirth - Poll

Post by Sunrise » Sat Aug 14, 2010 7:42 am

lojong1 wrote:Rebirth [in buddhism] = [always] a birth process happens again [not necessarily one thing born twice]. I have no problem with the word, only its current usage, which is why I keep screaming "keep the Pali!"
Am I being redundant or missing a point somewhere?
I agree with you here. Re-arise implies that there is this constant thing which dies and then the same thing is born again. Re-arise. It gets misunderstood. :soap:

Understanding it this way is very important:
Rebirth [in buddhism] = [always] a birth process happens again [not necessarily one thing born twice]

Which is why I prefer to look at it as birth-death and I see it as a mental process.

PeterB
Posts: 3909
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: I Believe in Literal Rebirth - Poll

Post by PeterB » Sat Aug 14, 2010 8:51 am

Vepacitta wrote:It's a negative way of teaching. Any time you speak in the affirmative or positive mode about some-thing (in this case re-birth') it's easy to get on the track of something getting reborn. And that's antithetical to the concept of anatta don't you think?

So if you're an eternalist - you're confirmed in your idea that there's something or someone to be reborn or to re-incarnate.

Now, if you're a complete nihilist - saying - it's all over - that's it - nothing gets reborn - well, you're still buying into the idea of a something or some one getting reborn.

So either way - whether eternalist or nihilist (two opposite ends of the pole) you're mired in self - uppadana - still grasping at an essence - still thinking wrongly (in Buddhist teaching anyway) and still creating the conditions for samsara.

Perhaps to discuss 'literal' rebirths is sort of besides the point that the Buddha was aiming at - it just leads down to 'self' - I, me and mine making.

What is 'it' that's left when all is quenched? Only the arahants know - and they aren't talking.

V.
:goodpost: Thats the one. As far as I am concerned it rounds off the entire thread...thank you Vepacitta.

lojong1
Posts: 580
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2009 2:59 am

Re: I Believe in Literal Rebirth - Poll

Post by lojong1 » Sat Aug 14, 2010 8:58 am

PeterB wrote:
Vepacitta wrote:It's a negative way of teaching. Any time you speak in the affirmative or positive mode about some-thing (in this case re-birth') it's easy to get on the track of something getting reborn. And that's antithetical to the concept of anatta don't you think?

So if you're an eternalist - you're confirmed in your idea that there's something or someone to be reborn or to re-incarnate.

Now, if you're a complete nihilist - saying - it's all over - that's it - nothing gets reborn - well, you're still buying into the idea of a something or some one getting reborn.

So either way - whether eternalist or nihilist (two opposite ends of the pole) you're mired in self - uppadana - still grasping at an essence - still thinking wrongly (in Buddhist teaching anyway) and still creating the conditions for samsara.

Perhaps to discuss 'literal' rebirths is sort of besides the point that the Buddha was aiming at - it just leads down to 'self' - I, me and mine making.

What is 'it' that's left when all is quenched? Only the arahants know - and they aren't talking.

V.
:goodpost: Thats the one. As far as I am concerned it rounds off the entire thread...thank you Vepacitta.
Saadhu.

PeterB
Posts: 3909
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: I Believe in Literal Rebirth - Poll

Post by PeterB » Sat Aug 14, 2010 8:59 am

Sadhu indeed.

5heaps
Posts: 334
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 12:19 am

Re: I Believe in Literal Rebirth - Poll

Post by 5heaps » Sat Aug 14, 2010 9:36 am

Vepacitta wrote:Perhaps to discuss 'literal' rebirths is sort of besides the point that the Buddha was aiming at - it just leads down to 'self' - I, me and mine making.
talking about rebirth is as important as talking about anatta. one is the cause and effect of persons, the other is the ultimate truth of persons - theyre inseparable. that people cant even use words without affirming atta to some degree is... your problem.
A Japanese man has been arrested on suspicion of writing a computer virus that destroys and replaces files on a victim PC with manga images of squid, octopuses and sea urchins. Masato Nakatsuji, 27, of Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture, was quoted as telling police: "I wanted to see how much my computer programming skills had improved since the last time I was arrested."

User avatar
beeblebrox
Posts: 939
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:41 pm

Re: I Believe in Literal Rebirth - Poll

Post by beeblebrox » Sat Aug 14, 2010 2:55 pm

5heaps wrote:talking about rebirth is as important as talking about anatta. one is the cause and effect of persons, the other is the ultimate truth of persons - theyre inseparable. that people cant even use words without affirming atta to some degree is... your problem.
Your problem? :tongue:

User avatar
octathlon
Posts: 599
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 5:06 am
Location: USA

Re: I Believe in Literal Rebirth - Poll

Post by octathlon » Sat Aug 14, 2010 4:14 pm

This article doesn't say anything new, but kind of summarizes the concepts being discussed:
http://www.independentaustralian.com/a- ... -doctrine/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
A couple of excerpts:
Furthermore, the Buddhist notion of rebirth, as opposed to the notion of reincarnation, is inherently based in the Buddhist doctrine of impermanence. Therefore rebirth is a process in which there is no eternal essence or ‘soul’ that is passed on, rather, what is passed on is the system of character dispositions, the karmic deposit of former lives, animated and propelled onwards by the power of craving.
Hick (1976, p. 343) explains that ‘at death the nama-rupa (embodied existence) disintegrates. Its elements come apart and the psycho-physical individual ceases to exist. He does not survive death, and he is not reborn to live again. That particular conjunction of elements which had held together for, say, seventy years is no more. But nevertheless an aspect of him does continue – not indeed eternally, but until it has finally expended itself, or become blown out (nibbanna) at the end of many lives. That which thus continues through aeons of time, playing a central role in the formation of individual after individual, consists of a system of character dispositions, the karmic deposit of former lives, animated and propelled onwards by the power of craving.’

User avatar
Lazy_eye
Posts: 996
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 3:23 pm
Location: Laurel, MD
Contact:

Re: I Believe in Literal Rebirth - Poll

Post by Lazy_eye » Sat Aug 14, 2010 4:25 pm

I've puzzled over rebirth as much as the next fella/gal, and agree that we probably can't logick our way to an answer. But it seems to me that there are two related issues which bear some consideration.

One is the nature of consciousness. Is it ultimately "physical"? Are non-physicalist explanations plausible in this day and age? If consciousness can survive the death of the brain, then rebirth is, well, a no-brainer.

But if physicalism is correct, rebirth becomes problematic because we have to explain how a material process affecting one life, body and brain could cause the arising of a subsequent material process in another life, body and brain. And the obvious answer would be that biological reproduction is the link between processes, leaving no need for any supplementary process involving consciousness. In that case, the "aspect of us that continues" is genetic.

The other issue is the truth-value of Buddhist cosmology. If the cosmology is not literally true, then what are we reborn into? I think it could be argued that rebirth is not tenable without the existence of multiple planes.

I'll go out on a limb and say I'm convinced these are the root issues. If they were resolvable one way or the other, debates over rebirth would become superfluous.

LE

User avatar
Annapurna
Posts: 2639
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 8:04 pm
Location: Germany
Contact:

Re: I Believe in Literal Rebirth - Poll

Post by Annapurna » Sat Aug 14, 2010 4:35 pm

waht is a no brainer?
I think it could be argued that rebirth is not tenable without the existence of multiple planes.
We can prove 2.

Animals and humans.

Unless people want to argue we are animals.

But then you can also say animals are human.

PeterB
Posts: 3909
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: I Believe in Literal Rebirth - Poll

Post by PeterB » Sat Aug 14, 2010 4:36 pm

octathlon wrote:This article doesn't say anything new, but kind of summarizes the concepts being discussed:
http://www.independentaustralian.com/a- ... -doctrine/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
A couple of excerpts:
Furthermore, the Buddhist notion of rebirth, as opposed to the notion of reincarnation, is inherently based in the Buddhist doctrine of impermanence. Therefore rebirth is a process in which there is no eternal essence or ‘soul’ that is passed on, rather, what is passed on is the system of character dispositions, the karmic deposit of former lives, animated and propelled onwards by the power of craving.
Hick (1976, p. 343) explains that ‘at death the nama-rupa (embodied existence) disintegrates. Its elements come apart and the psycho-physical individual ceases to exist. He does not survive death, and he is not reborn to live again. That particular conjunction of elements which had held together for, say, seventy years is no more. But nevertheless an aspect of him does continue – not indeed eternally, but until it has finally expended itself, or become blown out (nibbanna) at the end of many lives. That which thus continues through aeons of time, playing a central role in the formation of individual after individual, consists of a system of character dispositions, the karmic deposit of former lives, animated and propelled onwards by the power of craving.’
I would refer you to the body of work of Ajahn Buddhadasa octathlon...whose own reading of the issue peels back the speculative layers of centuries and imo points to a n interpretation of the Suttas radically different from both those you have posted, and in so doing bring us far closer to what the Buddha was actually saying.
Of course you may already be acquainted with his thought. If not I would urge you to google him ( ignore wiki of course )
Many of us find that turning to the Suttas after becoming acquainted with Buddhadasa is like seeing an old oil painting restored to its former glory after centuries of grime and smoke and obscuration have been removed by a master restorer.
:anjali:

User avatar
octathlon
Posts: 599
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 5:06 am
Location: USA

Re: I Believe in Literal Rebirth - Poll

Post by octathlon » Sat Aug 14, 2010 5:03 pm

Hi PeterB,
PeterB wrote:would refer you to the body of work of Ajahn Buddhadasa octathlon...whose own reading of the issue peels back the speculative layers of centuries and imo points to a n interpretation of the Suttas radically different from both those you have posted, and in so doing bring us far closer to what the Buddha was actually saying.
Of course You may aleady be aquainted with his thought.
Thank you for the recommendation! I'm not already acquainted with his thought. Do you have any specific work of his you would suggest I start with? Also just out of curiosity, where would I look to find the radically different interpretation you mention?
:anjali:

PeterB
Posts: 3909
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: I Believe in Literal Rebirth - Poll

Post by PeterB » Sat Aug 14, 2010 5:13 pm

If you google " Buddhadasa " octathalon you find lots of his material online. If you read any of his transcriped talks on Dependant Origination etc you will soon find yourself knee deep in the radical. ... :smile: And in the true sense of the word from "radix"... roots.
He has gone back past the accretions of Vedic thought that crept back into Buddhadhamma and laid bare what the Buddha actually taught imo. He has had a profound impact on modern Theravadin thought.

Sunrise
Posts: 199
Joined: Fri Jul 30, 2010 2:26 pm

Re: I Believe in Literal Rebirth - Poll

Post by Sunrise » Sat Aug 14, 2010 5:21 pm

I second what Peter says. I will also certainly recommend Ajhan Buddhadasa. You can find his essays here:
http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

He has explained the core essence of Buddhism in these essays. Specifically in the practical dependent Origination. With this knowledge it will be so much easier to really understand what the suttas are actually saying.

User avatar
Lazy_eye
Posts: 996
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 3:23 pm
Location: Laurel, MD
Contact:

Re: I Believe in Literal Rebirth - Poll

Post by Lazy_eye » Sat Aug 14, 2010 5:26 pm

Annapurna wrote:waht is a no brainer?
I think it could be argued that rebirth is not tenable without the existence of multiple planes.
We can prove 2.

Animals and humans.

Unless people want to argue we are animals.

But then you can also say animals are human.
You're right Anna, but that only partly solves the problem. How do we explain the proliferation of species? And what about the triple realm of desire, form, formlessness?

One world is enough for all of us
One world is enough for all of us
One world is enough for all of us


(sorry, couldn't resist...)

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider], easydoesit, Google [Bot] and 98 guests