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OMG it's a rebirth thread

Posted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:03 pm
by Ngawang Drolma.
Hi friends,

I stumbled across this idea in my own head this morning. Please tell me what you think, and feel free to provide any relevant suttas.

I think I finally understand people's objection to rebirth, or even post-mortem continuation.

Anything that we would consider me, mine, not-mine, etc. etc. is going to decay, rot, and disappear. In fact it's happening right at this moment, as I write this. There is nothing that is mine, and even post-mortem continuation implies that something is continuing. So it is easy to see how people would mistake rebirth or continuation as a form of eternalism.

But if you spend time concentrating deeply on impermenance, it becomes obvious that when we use the word emptiness we're also making reference to the immeasurably important truth of impermenance.

Therefore, when we talk about rebirth in any form, we're talking about becoming. And craving. Though any shred of "I" is subject to change, decay, conditioning, and disapating. What provokes the continuation of samsara and birth is the craving to become. Therefore, that the Buddha taught literal rebrith is fine, if one considers that there's nothing to re-anything.

I will not have future lives, and I do not have past lives. And I don't have this life. But out of ignorance there is an ongoing process of becoming that is rooted in dependent origination.

All input is appreciated :namaste:

Re: OMG it's a rebirth thread

Posted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:08 pm
by clw_uk
Very well put :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

The problem that comes with rebirth is first of all the name itself, re-birth envisions that "something" births again when if there is birth again it would be new. People tend to envision themselves in the doctrine of rebirth, you will notice they say "I will be reborn" etc. They mistakenly take some part of it as self if they are aware of it or not. Its funny when you say there is no rebirth to a buddhist who adamantly believes in it they will say you slander the dhamma or that you are telling lies, they get upset or irritated by your words, its because they need it, but why need something that is not-self? Because on some level they cling to it as self. If you really grasp not-self you can comfortably say "There is no rebirth".

This is very good to bear in mind, nothing is ours,

not ours now, wont be ours then :smile:


:namaste:

Re: OMG it's a rebirth thread

Posted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:10 pm
by retrofuturist
Greetings Drolma,

:thumbsup:

(Just be careful who you say that around... who knows how they'll misinterpret it :spy: )

Metta,
Retro. :)

Re: OMG it's a rebirth thread

Posted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:18 pm
by retrofuturist
Greetings Drolma,
Drolma wrote:even post-mortem continuation implies that something is continuing.
There is continuation, but it's nothing different to the "ongoing process of becoming that is rooted in dependent origination" which you mention in your post. This becoming occurs now and isn't stopped by conventional death. Hence the term (which I started using, even though it's not an actual Theravadin expression per se) 'post-mortem continuation'.

Metta,
Retro. :)

Re: OMG it's a rebirth thread

Posted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:19 pm
by Individual
Drolma wrote:Hi friends,

I stumbled across this idea in my own head this morning. Please tell me what you think, and feel free to provide any relevant suttas.

I think I finally understand people's objection to rebirth, or even post-mortem continuation.

Anything that we would consider me, mine, not-mine, etc. etc. is going to decay, rot, and disappear. In fact it's happening right at this moment, as I write this. There is nothing that is mine, and even post-mortem continuation implies that something is continuing. So it is easy to see how people would mistake rebirth or continuation as a form of eternalism.

But if you spend time concentrating deeply on impermenance, it becomes obvious that when we use the word emptiness we're also making reference to the immeasurably important truth of impermenance. I saw element write that once and I delighted in it.

Therefore, when we talk about rebirth in any form, we're talking about becoming. And craving. Though any shred of "I" is subject to change, decay, conditioning, and disapating. What provokes the continuation of samsara and birth is the craving to become. Therefore, that the Buddha taught literal rebrith is fine, if one considers that there's nothing to re-anything.

I will not have future lives, and I do not have past lives. And I don't have this life. But out of ignorance there is an ongoing process of becoming that is rooted in dependent origination.

All input is appreciated :namaste:
Congratulations. You've just figured out why the contentious, drawn-out debates over rebirth are pointless. It's always just a debate between subtle annihilationism ("Metaphorical rebirth", "Modern rebirth") and subtle eternalism ("Literal rebirth", "Traditional rebirth"). If you recognize notself and impermanence clearly, the question, "Where do I go at death?" becomes meaningless. :)
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Drolma,
Drolma wrote:even post-mortem continuation implies that something is continuing.
There is continuation, but it's nothing different to the "ongoing process of becoming that is rooted in dependent origination". This becoming occurs now and isn't stopped by conventional death. Hence the term (which I started using, even though it's not a Theravadin expression per se) 'post-mortem continuation'.

Metta,
Retro. :)
Continuation of causality, however. Not atta or vinnana. Ayu (vitality) and vinnana (consciousness) cease at death, without remainder.

With metta :heart:,
Individual

Re: OMG it's a rebirth thread

Posted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:20 pm
by retrofuturist
Best Rebirth Thread Ever.

Image

Metta,
Retro. :)

Re: OMG it's a rebirth thread

Posted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:33 pm
by Ngawang Drolma.
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Drolma,
Drolma wrote:even post-mortem continuation implies that something is continuing.
There is continuation, but it's nothing different to the "ongoing process of becoming that is rooted in dependent origination" which you mention in your post. This becoming occurs now and isn't stopped by conventional death. Hence the term (which I started using, even though it's not an actual Theravadin expression per se) 'post-mortem continuation'.

Metta,
Retro. :)
Yes Retro, thanks. There is no thing that rebirths or continues or becomes. There is no essense to be found. Rather, there is a dynamic process of becoming that continues through birth, old age, sickness, death, birth, old age, sickness, death, birth, old age, sickness, and death ad nauseum.

:namaste:

Re: OMG it's a rebirth thread

Posted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:35 pm
by Ngawang Drolma.
Continuation of causality, however. Not atta or vinnana. Ayu (vitality) and vinnana (consciousness) cease at death, without remainder.
:goodpost:

Re: OMG it's a rebirth thread

Posted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:44 pm
by retrofuturist
Greetings Individual,
Individual wrote:Continuation of causality, however. Not atta or vinnana. Ayu (vitality) and vinnana (consciousness) cease at death, without remainder.
The final moment of consciousness in this life conditions the first moment of consciousness for another conventional being... like that old analogy about lighting a candle with the light of another candle.

Metta,
Retro. :)

Re: OMG it's a rebirth thread

Posted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:52 pm
by kc2dpt
Drolma wrote:Therefore, that the Buddha taught literal rebrith is fine, if one considers that there's nothing to re-anything.
I heard somewhere he did not teach "rebirth" but rather "again birth" as in "For those who have not made an end to craving, after death there will again be birth."
retrofuturist wrote:Hence the term (which I started using, even though it's not an actual Theravadin expression per se) 'post-mortem continuation'.
Also good.
Individual wrote:vinnana (consciousness) cease at death, without remainder.
It also ceases every moment of life, without remainder.

Re: OMG it's a rebirth thread

Posted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:57 pm
by clw_uk
Peter wrote:
Drolma wrote:Therefore, that the Buddha taught literal rebrith is fine, if one considers that there's nothing to re-anything.
I heard somewhere he did not teach "rebirth" but rather "again birth" as in "For those who have not made an end to craving, after death there will again be birth."
retrofuturist wrote:Hence the term (which I started using, even though it's not an actual Theravadin expression per se) 'post-mortem continuation'.
Also good.

I believe that this lies more in line with the buddhadhamma than "rebirth" as i stated earlier the word itself implies that something that has gone comes again into being, RE-birth.

One problem i find though with explanations of continuation is the "rebirth" linking consciousness. Isnt consciounsness dependent on Name and Form so i find it hard to see how a rebirth linking consciouness could exsist because it would need name and form which would mean that name and form get taken into another existence after physical death?

Anyone who could clear this up for me i would be very grateful :namaste:

Re: OMG it's a rebirth thread

Posted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:58 pm
by Ngawang Drolma.
All of a sudden it makes sense why they say "Meditate like your hair was on fire." This very moment has already decayed.

Re: OMG it's a rebirth thread

Posted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:02 pm
by Ngawang Drolma.
clw_uk wrote:
Peter wrote:
Drolma wrote:Therefore, that the Buddha taught literal rebrith is fine, if one considers that there's nothing to re-anything.
I heard somewhere he did not teach "rebirth" but rather "again birth" as in "For those who have not made an end to craving, after death there will again be birth."
retrofuturist wrote:Hence the term (which I started using, even though it's not an actual Theravadin expression per se) 'post-mortem continuation'.
Also good.

I believe that this lies more in line with the buddhadhamma than "rebirth" as i stated earlier the word itself implies that something that has gone comes again into being, RE-birth.

One problem i find though with explanations of continuation is the "rebirth" linking consciousness. Isnt consciounsness dependent on Name and Form so i find it hard to see how a rebirth linking consciouness could exsist because it would need name and form which would mean that name and form get taken into another existence after physical death?

Anyone who could clear this up for me i would be very grateful :namaste:
Our skandhas decay and become, including formation. But there was nothing to arise or fall to begin with; the skandhas are purely conditioned out of craving. There is no beginning or end, birth or death. There is only a deluded process and formation is part of it. I think that's why the Buddha didn't teach what we are, but what we're not.

This is what I think, please feel free to correct me, everyone.

:namaste:

Re: OMG it's a rebirth thread

Posted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:02 pm
by clw_uk
Drolma wrote:All of a sudden it makes sense why they say "Meditate like your hair was on fire." This very moment has already decayed.

Indeed :smile: I like to think of existence like a card pyramid, existence of anything in any form is built on numerous conditions that when arranged together form something but that formation is so unstable that at any moment it will all come tumbling down and break apart.

Just one of my own similies there lol

Metta
Craig

Re: OMG it's a rebirth thread

Posted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:17 pm
by Ngawang Drolma.
Peter wrote:
Drolma wrote:Therefore, that the Buddha taught literal rebrith is fine, if one considers that there's nothing to re-anything.
I heard somewhere he did not teach "rebirth" but rather "again birth" as in "For those who have not made an end to craving, after death there will again be birth."
Cool, thanks Peter :namaste: I like it.

Re: OMG it's a rebirth thread

Posted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:21 pm
by retrofuturist
Greetings Craig,
clw_uk wrote:One problem i find though with explanations of continuation is the "rebirth" linking consciousness. Isnt consciounsness dependent on Name and Form so i find it hard to see how a rebirth linking consciouness could exsist because it would need name and form which would mean that name and form get taken into another existence after physical death?

Anyone who could clear this up for me i would be very grateful :namaste:
There is a physical base for consciousness, but the physical base of consciousness is subject to impermanence (aniccata) too. If we accept that consciousness is not itself physical, yet that it is dependent on the physical, we can also accept that consciousness needn't be constrained by the laws of the physical universe. Thus one moment of consciousness in this bundle of aggregates, can condition a moment of consciousness in a newly conceived bundle of aggregates, so long as there is a physical base for consciousness to arise.

Hence perhaps the discussion we had on "gandhabba" here (http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 55&start=0" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;)

Metta,
Retro. :)

Re: OMG it's a rebirth thread

Posted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:23 pm
by clw_uk
Thanks retrofuturist,

I had feeling this had been touched upon before but thought id ask just in case :namaste:

Re: OMG it's a rebirth thread

Posted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:09 am
by kc2dpt
clw_uk wrote:Isnt consciounsness dependent on Name and Form[?]
Yes.
so i find it hard to see how a rebirth linking consciouness could exsist because it would need name and form which would mean that name and form get taken into another existence after physical death?

Anyone who could clear this up for me i would be very grateful :namaste:
The name and form for the death-consciousness is the dying body.
The name and form for the linking-consciousness is the newly conceived body (aka union of egg and sperm).

Re: OMG it's a rebirth thread

Posted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:38 am
by mikenz66
clw_uk wrote: One problem i find though with explanations of continuation is the "rebirth" linking consciousness. Isnt consciounsness dependent on Name and Form so i find it hard to see how a rebirth linking consciouness could exsist because it would need name and form which would mean that name and form get taken into another existence after physical death?
There's no form in the formless realms...

Metta
Mike

Re: OMG it's a rebirth thread

Posted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:49 am
by dumb bonbu
Continuation of causality, however. Not atta or vinnana. Ayu (vitality) and vinnana (consciousness) cease at death, without remainder.
beginner's question - i'm slowly making my way through Abhidhamma in Daily Life, where i'm starting to learn about cittas and that no two cittas arise together, rather a citta rises, fades and then another immediately follows. judging by what you've said though Individual, i think my understanding must be wrong somewhere. i believed this process described helps explain rebirth as the ongoing process of cittas arising and fading after rupa has ceased. but if vinnana ceases at death without remainder then this would seem to contradict my understanding of the process being ongoing. can anyone point towards where i'm going wrong? thankyou :thanks: