Ian Stevenson, Rebirth, and the Suttas

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
alan
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Re: Ian Stevenson, Rebirth, and the Suttas

Post by alan »

The Buddha himself was not specific about his rebirths.
He came to an understanding of the relation of rebirth and kamma only upon his awakening.
Therefore:
Don't waste time thinking about it. And don't believe any average person who says they know. They don't!

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tiltbillings
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Re: Ian Stevenson, Rebirth, and the Suttas

Post by tiltbillings »

alan wrote: And don't believe any average person who says they know. They don't!
How do you know that?

Your emphatic "They don't" does not address the OP. It is merely your opinion, which is not related to the OP.
>> 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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Zom
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Re: Ian Stevenson, Rebirth, and the Suttas

Post by Zom »

The Buddha himself was not specific about his rebirths.
He came to an understanding of the relation of rebirth and kamma only upon his awakening.
I think he was.
If he thought that sansara ends with his life (no-rebirth view), then he would stay at home to be a rich and happy househoulder ,)
:popcorn: :toilet: :soap: :coffee: :toast:

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Mr Man
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Re: Ian Stevenson, Rebirth, and the Suttas

Post by Mr Man »

What I don't get is why there is a wish to correlate the studies of Ian Stevenson with the teachings of Buddhism. For me Buddhist practice stands up well with out the need for "scientific" validation. The kind of validation that can come from such non-mainstream views as that of Ian Stevenson can in my opinion only have the reverse of it's intended effect.

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cooran
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Re: Ian Stevenson, Rebirth, and the Suttas

Post by cooran »

Hello Mr. Man,
The kind of validation that can come from such non-mainstream views as that of Ian Stevenson can in my opinion only have the reverse of it's intended effect.
Dr. Ian Stevenson was doing scientific research over 40 years on this subject. What do you mean by ''intended effect''?

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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tiltbillings
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Re: Ian Stevenson, Rebirth, and the Suttas

Post by tiltbillings »

Mr Man wrote: For me Buddhist practice stands up well with out the need for "scientific" validation.
I agree.

The kind of validation that can come from such non-mainstream views as that of Ian Stevenson can in my opinion only have the reverse of it's intended effect.
Stevenson's research has pointed to interesting phenomena that warrants a serious look, whatever the explaination. It neither proves nor disproves the Buddha's teachings, but it does not hurt to ask the question of the OP, as long as we do not get to caught in it and read more into it than is there.
>> 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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Mr Man
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Re: Ian Stevenson, Rebirth, and the Suttas

Post by Mr Man »

Hi cooran & all
What I meant is when Ian Stevenson's research is used to try and validate Buddhist doctrine it often has the reverse of it's 'intended effect. I don't think it adds anything and my opinion is that it may actually take something away because from what I have observed it tends to move the debate towards a thicket of views. And although his work is interesting i personally don't think it is strongly credible, at this time.

PeterB
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Re: Ian Stevenson, Rebirth, and the Suttas

Post by PeterB »

I agree entirely Mr Man, with each of your points. My only caveat would be that I think that you are over generous in your assessment of Stevenson's credibility.
His science stinks. It would not take a Richard Dawkins to drive a coach and several pairs of horses through it.
The only reason it has stayed relative unmauled is that no one takes it seriously enough to unload any big guns in its direction.

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tiltbillings
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Re: Ian Stevenson, Rebirth, and the Suttas

Post by tiltbillings »

PeterB wrote:I agree entirely Mr Man, with each of your points. My only caveat would be that I think that you are over generous in your assessment of Stevenson's credibility.
His science stinks. It would not take a Richard Dawkins to drive a coach and several pairs of horses through it.
The only reason it has stayed relative unmauled is that no one takes it seriously enough to unload any big guns in its direction.
Thank you for sharing your opinion.
>> 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

PeterB
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Re: Ian Stevenson, Rebirth, and the Suttas

Post by PeterB »

Anytime... :smile:

PeterB
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Re: Ian Stevenson, Rebirth, and the Suttas

Post by PeterB »

One inconvenient issue that is usually omitted in any Buddhist discussion of Stevenson is the fact that the data that he claims to produce supports the idea of Hindu type Reincarnation....including a " carrying forward " of various physical characteristics.... that are at odds with the Buddhist concept of Punabhava.
He is actually positing the reincarnation of an atman.

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tiltbillings
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Re: Ian Stevenson, Rebirth, and the Suttas

Post by tiltbillings »

PeterB wrote:One inconvenient issue that is usually omitted in any Buddhist discussion of Stevenson is the fact that the data that he claims to produce supports the idea of Hindu type Reincarnation....including a " carrying forward " of various physical characteristics.... that are at odds with the Buddhist concept of Punabhava.
He is actually positing the reincarnation of an atman.
But that does not negate what is actual interest, the accounts themselves.
>> 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

chownah
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Re: Ian Stevenson, Rebirth, and the Suttas

Post by chownah »

For many it is interesting to find stories of reincarnation, to study stories of reincarnation, to delight in stories of reincarnation........but is this going to help us to reach the goal?....is this skillful?......it can be if one observes this finding, studying, and delighting as it arises and as a result comes to grip with this doctrine of self.....I guess.....
chownah

fijiNut
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Re: Ian Stevenson, Rebirth, and the Suttas

Post by fijiNut »

From my limited understanding, the Buddha talked about wrong view and how it is a hindrance on the path:
"And how is right view the forerunner? One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view. And what is wrong view? 'There is nothing given, nothing offered, nothing sacrificed. There is no fruit or result of good or bad actions. There is no this world, no next world, no mother, no father, no spontaneously reborn beings; no priests or contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is wrong view...
"One tries to abandon wrong view & to enter into right view: This is one's right effort. One is mindful to abandon wrong view & to enter & remain in right view: This is one's right mindfulness. Thus these three qualities — right view, right effort, & right mindfulness — run & circle around right view."
Hope this helps. I have one of Ian Stevenson's book and I found it to be quite compelling, I hope those who are on the forum who are doubtful can read it.
http://books.google.com/books/about/Twe ... DES6VWl1MC" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Zom
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Re: Ian Stevenson, Rebirth, and the Suttas

Post by Zom »

:goodpost:

Yes, indeed - doubting in rebirth means that your Right View factor is not yet complete.

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