what gets reborn

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
SarathW
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Re: what gets reborn

Post by SarathW » Tue Jan 15, 2013 11:54 pm

I think it is wrong to say it is like faxing a document or like a billiard ball hitting another. The best I can think is lighting a candle with another candle.
Nothing transfered but the condition of the first candle, lighted the second candle.
The best way to find out this yourself is to see how a new thought moment is born. It is the vibration of Bhava consiousness due to external factors (ie. Eye consiousness)
I am not sure on any of these yet. So read, chapter 29:

http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/buddh ... gsurw6.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

pegembara
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Re: what gets reborn

Post by pegembara » Wed Jan 16, 2013 4:05 am

Billymac29 wrote:so if i die... say something goes to a ghost realm or animal realm.. its not "me" going anywhere but my desires and cravings? or is it my conscious?
Consider this. Is it that which was was born so many years ago really you?

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And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

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ground
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Re: what gets reborn

Post by ground » Wed Jan 16, 2013 4:24 am

Patience! Everyone will experience death. No need to speculate beforehand. :sage:

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Jason
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Re: what gets reborn

Post by Jason » Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:24 am

Billymac29 wrote:If there is no self, no I , no soul.... I'm still a little wrapped up with what actually is reborn at death??????? Can anyone answer this? What might be reborn in another realm if anything?
Here's my answer from a similar thread a while back if you're interested:
  • The question often arises, If Buddhism doesn't posit a self or soul, what gets reborn? From the Theravadin point of view (or at least from the point of view of those in Theravada who accept the idea of postmortem rebirth), rebirth is viewed as the continuation of a process—nothing 'remains,' nothing 'transmigrates,' there are merely fleeting phenomena that condition other fleeting phenomena in the interdependent process we call life.

    One way to look at it is that a casual process can be self-sustaining, with causes creating effects, and effect acting as causes, creating feedback loops. And if you admit the possibility of immaterial causes and not just material ones (assuming that a clear distinction between the two can even be made), then the continuation of said process isn't limited by or to a single material body. And if you believe Bertrand Russell, the more we understand about matter (i.e., energy), the more the word itself becomes "no more than a conventional shorthand for stating causal laws concerning events" (An Outline of Philosophy).

    Here, consciousness isn't seen as a static things going from life to life, but simply as one link or event in a complex causal chain, i.e., moments of consciousness arising and ceasing in rapid succession, with the last moment of consciousness of a being at the time of death immediately conditioning the arising of a new moment of consciousness due to the presence of craving (kind of like 'spooky action at a distance' where two entangled particles communicate with each other instantaneously, even over great distances). It's almost better to think of it as a transmission of information rather than the transmigration of some thing.

    Thus, in Buddhism, there can theoretically be continuity between lives without having to posit some type of permanent, unchanging consciousness or soul that travels from life to life. That's why the Pali term vinnanasota or 'stream of consciousness' is often used to describe the flow of conscious events, even when presented within the context of rebirth. (Similarly with terms like bhavangasota (stream of becoming), found in Snp 3.12, and samvattanikamvinnanam (evolving consciousness), found in MN 106.)

    Unfortunately, there are no suttas that give a detailed explanation of this process, and the detailed workings of this process are to be found in the Abhidhamma and Pali commentaries. While many people reject the Abhidhamma and commentaries as reliable sources of information regarding what the Buddha taught, I don't think the views of the Buddha and the ancient commentators such as Buddhaghosa are necessarily mutually exclusive.

    As for the teachings on not-self (anatta), the basic idea is that whatever is inconstant (anicca) is stressful (dukkha), and whatever is stressful is not-self, since whatever is inconstant, subject to change, and not fully under our control isn't fit to be called 'me' or 'mine' (SN 22.59). Practically speaking, to hold onto anything that's inconstant, subject to change, break-up and dissolution as self is a cause for mental stress and suffering; therefore, the teachings on not-self are designed to help one let go of what isn't self (i.e., the five aggregates) in order to free the mind from the suffering engendered by clinging to ephemeral phenomena.
Last edited by Jason on Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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convivium
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Re: what gets reborn

Post by convivium » Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:29 am

where does consciousness come from, by the view of the suttas? you could explain it by way of dependent origination, but doesn't ignorance presuppose consciousness? is it something that comes from the biology? could there be consciousness without a biological foundation?
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php

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cooran
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Re: what gets reborn

Post by cooran » Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:54 am

convivium wrote:where does consciousness come from, by the view of the suttas? you could explain it by way of dependent origination, but doesn't ignorance presuppose consciousness? is it something that comes from the biology? could there be consciousness without a biological foundation?
Hello convivium,

Some Suttas and Dhamma teaching on consciousness:

Consciousness
56. Saying, "Good, friend," the bhikkhus delighted and rejoiced in the Venerable Sariputta's words. Then they asked him a further question:
"But, friend, might there be another way in which a noble disciple is one of right view... and has arrived at this true Dhamma?" — "There might be, friends.
57. "When, friends, a noble disciple understands consciousness, the origin of consciousness, the cessation of consciousness, and the way leading to the cessation of consciousness, in that way he is one of right view... and has arrived at this true Dhamma.
58. "And what is consciousness, what is the origin of consciousness, what is the cessation of consciousness, what is the way leading to the cessation of consciousness? There are these six classes of consciousness: eye-consciousness, ear-consciousness, nose-consciousness, tongue-consciousness, body-consciousness, mind-consciousness. With the arising of formations there is the arising of consciousness. With the cessation of formations there is the cessation of consciousness. The way leading to the cessation of consciousness is just this Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view... right concentration.
59. "When a noble disciple has thus understood consciousness, the origin of consciousness, the cessation of consciousness, and the way leading to the cessation of consciousness... he here and now makes an end of suffering. In that way too a noble disciple is one of right view... and has arrived at this true Dhamma."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... ml#vinnana" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
SN 12.67
Nalakalapiyo Sutta: Sheaves of Reeds
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Consciousnesses by Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo
translated from the Thai by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... esses.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

with metta
Chris
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---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
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pegembara
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Re: what gets reborn

Post by pegembara » Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:32 am

convivium wrote:where does consciousness come from, by the view of the suttas? you could explain it by way of dependent origination, but doesn't ignorance presuppose consciousness? is it something that comes from the biology? could there be consciousness without a biological foundation?
Consciousness is just a label for the result of contact between a sense organ and its object. It is not a thing at all, hence the classes or groups of consciousness. There is no one superconsciousness that oversees the rest.

"And what is consciousness, what is the origin of consciousness, what is the cessation of consciousness, what is the way leading to the cessation of consciousness? There are these six classes of consciousness: eye-consciousness, ear-consciousness, nose-consciousness, tongue-consciousness, body-consciousness, mind-consciousness. With the arising of formations there is the arising of consciousness. With the cessation of formations there is the cessation of consciousness."
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

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kirk5a
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Re: what gets reborn

Post by kirk5a » Wed Jan 16, 2013 4:00 pm

pegembara wrote:Consciousness is just a label for the result of contact between a sense organ and its object. It is not a thing at all, hence the classes or groups of consciousness. There is no one superconsciousness that oversees the rest.
Ven. Sariputta explains in MN43 that the mind is what experiences the different types of sensory input.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

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convivium
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Re: what gets reborn

Post by convivium » Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:46 pm

Ven. Sariputta explains in MN43 that the mind is what experiences the different types of sensory input.
So the mind which observes the 6 sense media is conditioned by what?
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php

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kirk5a
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Re: what gets reborn

Post by kirk5a » Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:59 pm

convivium wrote: So the mind which observes the 6 sense media is conditioned by what?
Well my understanding is the mind is a faculty of beings in the various planes of existence, and the process of taking existence in the various planes is conditioned by ignorance. Some beings have no physical body, while other beings are unconscious altogether.
The 31 planes of existence:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dham ... /loka.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

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convivium
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Re: what gets reborn

Post by convivium » Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:40 pm

So all sentient beings in the thirty-one planes of existence possess this same sort of mind, with varying particularities in terms of what can be discerned, directed towards, etc. This means that there need be no biological foundation (a nervous system, neuronal configurations, etc) for the mind to exist. Also, if the arising of ignorance presupposes the existence of this mind, then it seems to be outside or independent from dependent origination. Is this right?
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php

SarathW
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Re: what gets reborn

Post by SarathW » Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:28 pm

Hi Convivium
Ignorance is not the first cause. Please do not think that Dependent Origination is working like a link or circle.
All the elements of Dependent origination are interdependent to each other.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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convivium
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Re: what gets reborn

Post by convivium » Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:40 pm

Only by eliminating ignorance can the dependent origination sequence cease and by extension samsara. Correct?
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php

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retrofuturist
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Re: what gets reborn

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:42 pm

Greetings,
SarathW wrote:Ignorance is not the first cause.
... of samsaric existence, it is.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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convivium
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Re: what gets reborn

Post by convivium » Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:52 pm

... of samsaric existence, it is.
if so, it seems that consciousness must exist independent of samsara; without consciousness, how could ignorance arise as samsara's first cause?

edit:
i think the first cause of the universe (samsara) is one of the buddha's deliberately unanswered questions. in any case, if consciousness (intentionality, kamma, etc*) has an effect in future rebirth or lack thereof, and it doesn't have a biological foundation, then what is it, where does it come from, and how does it work?

*the sort of consciousness mentioned in sariputta's sutta above is equated with discernment. i am assuming that without consciousness, intentionality and kamma couldn't happen. hence, this consciousness seems to be the major cause or condition for rebirth or lack thereof.
Last edited by convivium on Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php

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