salaatti wrote:What is difficult for me to understand, is that why Buddhist teachers have different views on rebirth. They do the same practice, which is supposed to lead to understanding of the mind and reality. But still buddhists teachers (even from the same sect) have very different opinions on this. Why do you think this is?
It's because some teachers understand the way in which the Buddha taught, which is largely through metaphors; and some tend to take the Buddha's words quite literally. The teachers who take metaphors about, for example, "birth, old age, and death" literally do so out of a sense of respect for the Buddha and for the traditions of honoring the words that have been passed down for generations. The teachers who understand "birth, old age, and death" as metaphors also respect the Buddha's words, but they have seen that the literal interpretations reveal an internal inconsistency in the teachings, and so they have looked further, trying to understand the words through the context of the Buddha's times, and they find a meaning there that contradicts what the traditions teach, but makes the Buddha's teachings hang together with strong internal consistency, and verifiable through practice.
Since I fall in the "birth, old age, and death" is a metaphor category, I cannot speak for the practice of those who believe the Buddha taught rebirth. Maybe they will tell us what evidence they find, on the cushion, that supports a belief in rebirth. In my own practice, I find no evidence, only speculative views about rebirth. I find compassion is naturally generated by an understanding of suffering and its origins, and how this is something we all have in common; and through an understanding of the transient nature of all life. I find that the concept of kamma as applying to rebirth only causes a perverse clinging to the view of self that is not only unnecessary to living a moral life, but is counter-productive.