Human reborn as Human

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
Kenshou
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Re: Human reborn as Human

Post by Kenshou » Thu Dec 30, 2010 10:52 pm

It is unfortunate how some people choose to believe and take it on faith what the scientists say about the world, and don't believe The Buddha.
(ignoring what science has to do with this, and focusing on the use of "faith"-)

So, when you have faith in something it's a valid rationale for believing anything, but when someone else has a different faith, that's Bad. Because it's not yours. Brilliant.

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son of dhamma
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Re: Human reborn as Human

Post by son of dhamma » Thu Dec 30, 2010 11:02 pm

Kenshou wrote:
It is unfortunate how some people choose to believe and take it on faith what the scientists say about the world, and don't believe The Buddha.
(ignoring what science has to do with this, and focusing on the use of "faith"-)

So, when you have faith in something it's a valid rationale for believing anything, but when someone else has a different faith, that's Bad. Because it's not yours. Brilliant.
Actually you ignored what Alex said and stated that he said something else. I think he said that having faith in scientific theory is something unfortunate compared to having faith in the Buddha, which is very fortunate. You seem to have projected very much onto what Alex said. And if you want to be constructive, at any rate, I think it would be better to be inquisitive about his view and not offensive, with sarcasm and by putting words in his mouth. That's my advice.
with metta
Sometimes no Buddhas arise in the world. Sometimes they do. When it happens, it is for the welfare and happiness of men, out of compassion for all creatures. For a long, long time he has been working to become a Buddha. He met other Buddhas along the way. And after his long striving he attains his final life, yet not without showing everyone else how to get there.

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Re: Human reborn as Human

Post by Kenshou » Thu Dec 30, 2010 11:15 pm

Actually you ignored what Alex said and stated that he said something else.
If I'm not mistaken, Alex has more than once said that the basis for his views is faith. So I do not think I'm putting words in anyone's mouth.

I do not want to begin trying to discuss what science has to do with faith because Alex has show in the past that he does not understand what science is about, and trying to talk about it is unproductive.

What I am doing is choosing to bring up another issue that has arisen within the discussion which is on what basis is one faith more valid than another? My point being that I think it's a pretty ineffective measuring tool when weighing ideas against each other, and a bad argument.

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son of dhamma
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Re: Human reborn as Human

Post by son of dhamma » Thu Dec 30, 2010 11:28 pm

I see. Well, I do agree with you, I don't think that it's an argument at all. From my understanding, the Buddha's teachings encourage faith to be put only in one's own practical experience, and that the rest of his teachings should be verified from the perspective of that faithful practical experience. It would be better to say that faith is a product of spiritual practice, not vice versa. Or in this instance, that the basis of faith should be practice.
Does Alex seem to have said, in your experience, that his faith is based on blind belief of the Buddhadhamma? Or alternatively does it seem that his faith may be based on something else?
with metta
Sometimes no Buddhas arise in the world. Sometimes they do. When it happens, it is for the welfare and happiness of men, out of compassion for all creatures. For a long, long time he has been working to become a Buddha. He met other Buddhas along the way. And after his long striving he attains his final life, yet not without showing everyone else how to get there.

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Re: Human reborn as Human

Post by Kenshou » Thu Dec 30, 2010 11:37 pm

son of dhamma wrote:Does Alex seem to have said, in your experience, that his faith is based on blind belief of the Buddhadhamma?
Yes, because of posts like these:

http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 48#p106531" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
clw_uk wrote: So do you then believe the world is flat with a big mountain in the middle?
Please provide a sutta quote (I'd like to check the pali). If the Buddha has said it, I trust Him rather than worldlings (who often have financial reasons for their theories). That settles it.
If there's a sutta that says it, Alex believes it literally, and that's that. That's the impression I have gleaned. If I'm not mistaken, that's blind faith. And having faith isn't necessarily bad, but it's not a valid argument for anything in of itself.
It would be better to say that faith is a product of spiritual practice, not vice versa. Or in this instance, that the basis of faith should be practice.
I agree with you here. However I would seriously take into question how far faith gained from dhamma practice is applicable to things outside of our own practice of the 8fold path, such as geography.

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son of dhamma
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Re: Human reborn as Human

Post by son of dhamma » Fri Dec 31, 2010 2:24 am

I have every basic conviction that understanding the dimensions and levels and planes of the cosmos, and the cycles of this samsara structure, is enfolded within Right Understanding (view). There is a point to these teachings, and it is a point related to the method of self-therapy that the Buddha taught, that he indeed was, that his personality indeed is. Now, as far as geography is concerned, certainly. Outside the Noble Eightfold Path.
I'm not inclined to think that Alex's faith is blind, it's just that it seems as though it might be.
In this statement: "It is unfortunate how some people choose to believe and take it on faith what the scientists say about the world, and don't believe The Buddha." Alex may be standing on a faith that is not blind.
And in this statement: "If the Buddha has said it, I trust Him rather than worldlings (who often have financial reasons for their theories). That settles it." Although these are common mental processes of blind faith, Alex may still be standing on a faith that is not blind.
But what I'd like to say here is that Alex wasn't responding to the topic in this questionable post, not in either of these statements. I do wonder why he didn't respond to the question--which is a decent question I think (as I responded to it). It seems like he wanted to pose a feud or something to that effect.
If he is standing on blind faith, then that's sad, but I've never heard of anyone convincing somebody of blind faith of anything.
If he isn't standing on blind faith, then it will be revealed promptly, for the truth cannot be long hidden, as the sun and the moon cannot.
with metta
Sometimes no Buddhas arise in the world. Sometimes they do. When it happens, it is for the welfare and happiness of men, out of compassion for all creatures. For a long, long time he has been working to become a Buddha. He met other Buddhas along the way. And after his long striving he attains his final life, yet not without showing everyone else how to get there.

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Re: Human reborn as Human

Post by ground » Fri Dec 31, 2010 4:13 am

Kenshou wrote: If there's a sutta that says it, Alex believes it literally, and that's that. That's the impression I have gleaned. If I'm not mistaken, that's blind faith. And having faith isn't necessarily bad, but it's not a valid argument for anything in of itself.
Whether it is a valid argument depends on what convention of valid reasoning you are following.
One convention goes like this:
1. Obvious phenomena can be directly perceived
2. Hidden phenomena cannot be directly perceived but only inferred
3. Extremely hidden phenomena (like rebirth) can neither be directly perceived nor inferred but can only be known throught the testimony of scripture.

That is a consistent approach.

An inconsistent approach however is to take some statements of scripture to be true and to deny the truth of other statements of scripture. If you only rely on direct perception and inferrence why use/apply scripture in the first place? On what grounds do you accept some statements of scripture and reject other statements?
son of dhamma wrote: If he is standing on blind faith, then that's sad, but I've never heard of anyone convincing somebody of blind faith of anything.
Putting the derogative term "blind faith" aside the Buddha would not have taugh somone whom he had recognized to be an unsuitable vessel for his teaching. The situation that we have nowadays is that people who are not suitable vessels have access to written teachings, can deny them publicly and are applauded by other unsuitable vessels.


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Re: Human reborn as Human

Post by son of dhamma » Fri Dec 31, 2010 6:46 am

TMingyur wrote:
son of dhamma wrote: If he is standing on blind faith, then that's sad, but I've never heard of anyone convincing somebody of blind faith of anything.
Putting the derogative term "blind faith" aside the Buddha would not have taugh somone whom he had recognized to be an unsuitable vessel for his teaching. The situation that we have nowadays is that people who are not suitable vessels have access to written teachings, can deny them publicly and are applauded by other unsuitable vessels.
Precisely. The contemporary situation is that the Buddha's teachings are available to unsuitable vessels, and that is where the idea of "religion" comes from. That's what religion is, the organization of unsuitable vessels and dogmatic formations. But how were you responding to my quote? I was stating that I've never heard of a person of blind faith being convinced of anything reformative. My point was people with such mental processes do exist, even in Buddhism, and it's sad but unavoidable.
with metta
Sometimes no Buddhas arise in the world. Sometimes they do. When it happens, it is for the welfare and happiness of men, out of compassion for all creatures. For a long, long time he has been working to become a Buddha. He met other Buddhas along the way. And after his long striving he attains his final life, yet not without showing everyone else how to get there.

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Re: Human reborn as Human

Post by ground » Fri Dec 31, 2010 7:11 am

son of dhamma wrote:But how were you responding to my quote?
I may have misunderstood your wording. I have just read it again but still it appears (at least) very ambiguous to me. Never mind. May be my misunderstanding.


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Re: Human reborn as Human

Post by Darren_86 » Fri Dec 31, 2010 12:30 pm

Dear Andy,

Your term of human being reborn as human is too generalised and should not be compared apple to apple with the sutra, as they are 2 different senario.

Human being reborn as human; can and only happen if their merits are strong enough to be so, but not overly strong for they can be reborn in Deva or even Brahma realm.

Human, when commited evil karmas, will be reborn into the petas, asuras, animals, and hell being realms. However, this does not mean, that they will never be reborn as Human. Rebirth is just like a never ending cycle of changing our external appearance; while Buddhism teaches us not to cling to our external appearance and physical as they changed due to our constant fruit of karma or actions.

Subsequently, according to Buddhism, we have been in this path of rebirth for uncountable times, and would have been reborn as human as we are now for countless of times. The Buddha's sutras are only meant to explain the possibility of being reborn from Human to Human, while incorporating the concept of karma as the main source; so if we interprete it correctly, Buddha mean that for a Human being to be reborn as Human being the equilibrium of karma is very hard to achieve.

We should also understand that, the whole world system neither belongs to the Humans and Devas, but with all uncountable levels of beings, which in the past, had been Humans, but now reborn into other states. Hence, once their merits or demerits have exhausted, they would then be reborn into another physical body or realm. So, there will always be ' Humans being reborn into Humans'

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Alex123
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Re: Human reborn as Human

Post by Alex123 » Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:53 pm

Hello all,

The other realms, Devas, Devis, Brahmas, Hungry Ghosts, Nagas, etc, have been encountered by modern Thai meditation masters in the 20th century.

The Buddha taught the truth that was useful (MN58) no matter if the truth was pleasant or unpleasant for the listener. As I understand it, there is no useful lie.

If that is so, the teaching on other realms, rebirth, Brahmas, Devas and all the hellish and heavenly realms, is true and useful. So from the Sutta perspective, there cannot be any debate on that. And furthermore, these things were witnessed by various ascetic Thai meditation masters in the 20th century.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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Re: Human reborn as Human

Post by Alex123 » Fri Dec 31, 2010 4:01 pm

Hello Andy, all,
andyn wrote:In the Sutra, Buddha said "Those whose in human form die and reborn as human can be compared to the dirt in my finger, while those in human form die and reborn in the realm of hungry ghosts, animals, and hells can be compared to the dirt in of the whole earth". If this is to understand literally, the ratio of dirt in the whole earth is more than billions of billions of dirt in finger, that means if our current earth population of 6.9 billion people die, then nobody will be reborn as human? Thus, doesn't making so much sense, since then our cultivation would be wasted?
If one practices well, and develops wholesome qualities then there is a good possibility of wholesome rebirth (and for some, even end to rebirth). Unfortunately it is a minority of people who develop these things.

Many people don't have access to Dhamma, and some of those that do, are not interested even to try to develop wholesome qualities of mind. So the unwholesome qualities, and negative kamma from the past, eventually drags one to lower rebirths. I believe in the pyramid when it comes to people's qualities.
So that is why numerically speaking rebirth in lower planes is more common. IMHO.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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Re: Human reborn as Human

Post by octathlon » Fri Dec 31, 2010 7:10 pm

Darren_86 wrote: Rebirth is just like a never ending cycle of changing our external appearance; while Buddhism teaches us not to cling to our external appearance and physical as they changed due to our constant fruit of karma or actions.
I believe it is much more than just external appearance that changes with rebirth into different realms.

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Re: Human reborn as Human

Post by clw_uk » Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:33 pm

Alex123 wrote:
clw_uk wrote: So do you then believe the world is flat with a big mountain in the middle?
Please provide a sutta quote (I'd like to check the pali).
If the Buddha has said it, I trust Him rather than worldlings (who often have financial reasons for their theories). That settles it.


It is unfortunate how some people choose to believe and take it on faith what the scientists say about the world, and don't believe The Buddha.

I believe the links have been provided

So then the question remains, do you really believe that the earth is flat with a big mountain in the middle, despite the fact that in no way at all could this be true?


If you really believe that then im afraid it seems your deluded, since it would amount to being faced with a cube and calling it a triangle
Last edited by clw_uk on Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Human reborn as Human

Post by clw_uk » Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:42 pm

An inconsistent approach however is to take some statements of scripture to be true and to deny the truth of other statements of scripture. If you only rely on direct perception and inferrence why use/apply scripture in the first place? On what grounds do you accept some statements of scripture and reject other statements?

So the Earth isnt really a sphere its secretly flat but yet we cannot see this, the maths and all over evidence lie?


Or, if you take the agganna sutta literally, evolution via natural selection didnt happen, despite all the evidence


Why stop there? Lets have talking snakes, fairy folk/spirt things living in trees and rivers


And so on
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Re: Human reborn as Human

Post by Kenshou » Fri Dec 31, 2010 10:00 pm

An inconsistent approach however is to take some statements of scripture to be true and to deny the truth of other statements of scripture.
I do not believe that it's an all-or-nothing game, here.
If you only rely on direct perception and inferrence why use/apply scripture in the first place?
The information contained in the canon can help us point our perception and inference in beneficial directions that we might not have considered. I don't think that many of us would be able to piece together the 8-fold path on our own, but the suttas can help guide us in doing that and show us how to validate it with our own direct perception.
On what grounds do you accept some statements of scripture and reject other statements?
Honest inquiry, trial and error, a little understanding of the nature of ancient texts and context they developed in, and a touch of humble common sense.

I don't believe that not being able to directly know something necessarily invalidates it, nor does it validate it, we just need to keep the mind in check by often asking ourselves, "does that make sense"?

But of course I recognize that there is no real objective standard for "what makes sense" & how far inference is useful.

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Re: Human reborn as Human

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Dec 31, 2010 10:03 pm

Don't forget to be polite.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: Human reborn as Human

Post by clw_uk » Fri Dec 31, 2010 10:07 pm

I would also like to add to the discussion a mindfulness of the Kalama Sutta


"Now, Kalamas, don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, 'This contemplative is our teacher.' When you know for yourselves that, 'These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness' — then you should enter & remain in them.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


Which contains a teaching against blind faith in scripture


I also dont see how accepting that the earth is flat or other such things would help with liberation
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Re: Human reborn as Human

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Dec 31, 2010 10:12 pm

clw_uk wrote: I also dont see how accepting that the earth is flat or other such things would help with liberation
Is there a sutta that states the earth is flat?
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: Human reborn as Human

Post by clw_uk » Fri Dec 31, 2010 10:29 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
clw_uk wrote: I also dont see how accepting that the earth is flat or other such things would help with liberation
Is there a sutta that states the earth is flat?

Hey


7-8. "When the resplendent sun — offspring of Aditi — with its full orb, arises, then the night ceases, and it is called the day. The direction from which the sun rises (is the East). There exists the ocean deep and vast.

9. "This — a spreading sheet of water — they know as the ocean. Where there is East (to the East of Mount Meru) they say that quarter is East.


...


16-18. "The direction from where the petas (corpses), backbiters, murderers, the fierce brigands, and the deceitful are removed, is the direction (to the right of Mount Meru), and is called the quarter of the South. The custodian of this quarter is a great king named Virulha who has a retinue of attendants, and is the sovereign lord of Kumbhandas. Attended by the Kumbhandas he enjoys their song and dance


...


32. "Where lies delightful Uttarakuru (the Northern continent), where towers beautiful Mount Meru, there are born men who are selfless and unattached.

33. "They neither sow the seed nor use[8] the plow. Spontaneously grown corn is there for them to enjoy.
.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .piya.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


Mount Meru being considered the centre of the world, with land and ocean surrounding it, at the time
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