Dhammanando wrote:It is held to be an indispensible doctrine.
Kammic efficacy and rebirth are part of mundane right view. To reject or doubt rebirth is to suppose that there are some causes that don't yield effects – specifically, that there can be ignorance and craving that will not issue in further becoming. Those of such a view have not understood the conditionality of dhammas even at the intellectual/pariyatti level. To not understand this is to not understand the four noble truths, the three characteristics, or anything else that is of decisive importance in the development of paññā.
I appreciate Ven. Dhammanando's post and find myself in agreement with every word of it. In that context, I wonder ...
Peter wrote:... it is important to adopt the view that it actually happens.
... What is the classical Theravada position with regard to how one goes about adopting
a view that might conflict with views one has had for a long time, perhaps even for many lifetimes? What is the method
for adopting this right view?
To clarify this question, I can imagine a situation in which a person has stubborn kamma associated with the view that upon physical death, existence ceases. Or perhaps a person has a stubborn kamma habit associated with the view that upon physical death, an eternal soul continues. Neither of these is mundane right view, yet I can imagine how a person might hear the Dhamma, accept the 4nt and 8fold path to the best of her ability, aspire to practice ardently, yet still observe thoughts of doubt or skepticism popping into the mind with regard to the notion of post-mortem rebirth, due to this stubborn kamma habit.
I had thought that the correct method to address this type of phenomenon would be:
1) To recognize any such thoughts as not right view.
2) To continue with the practices of right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right awareness, right concentration, right intention, and right view to the best of one's ability, recognizing that right view has not been perfected, and that in fact none of these practices has been perfected.
3) And as a result of applying all of these practices, right view will develop according to kamma.
In this respect, I tend to agree with the approach Ben suggests, namely, to set aside for the moment those views that one cannot bring oneself to accept, and to continue on with the rest of practice.
But I wonder if this approach is in line with classical Theravada thought, because an argument seems to be made that the correct method
for adopting right view regarding rebirth is to simply accept
it, regardless of whether one believes
it. To me that seems like putting the cart before the horse, although I stand to be corrected.
What is the classical Theravada position with regard to the correct method for changing one's mundane wrong views regarding rebirth? Or for that matter regarding any other subject?