Could modern biology help explain rebirth?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
User avatar
clw_uk
Posts: 4718
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am

Re: Could modern biology help explain rebirth?

Post by clw_uk » Wed Aug 05, 2009 6:58 pm

Pannapetar wrote:
clw_uk wrote:There is another that states that there are only these six types of consciousness in the Buddhas teachings, and as you see they all arises in dependence on something and cant exist without said support so a consciousness floating around in out of body exp. or NDE's or through lives is a no no in Buddhadhamma
Are you saying that conscious experience requires (physical) form? That's putting the cart before the horse.

Take another look at the codependent origination. "Form" (nama-rupa) comes only into the picture after consciousness: "with Vijñāna as condition, Nāmarūpa arises".

Cheers, Thomas

It seem your thinking of it as there being consciousness on its own and then there is nama-rupa, this isnt dependent co-arising this is just A causes B



Consciousness and nama-rupa are intertwined and you cant have one without the other
'Name-&-form doesn't exist when consciousness doesn't exist. From the cessation of consciousness comes the cessation of name-&-form.' Then the thought occurred to me, 'Consciousness doesn't exist when what doesn't exist? From the cessation of what comes the cessation of consciousness?' From my appropriate attention there came the breakthrough of discernment: 'Consciousness doesn't exist when name-&-form doesn't exist. From the cessation of name-&-form comes the cessation of consciousness.'
You dont have one and then the other comes to be since you cannot have one without the other
Then the thought occurred to me, 'This consciousness turns back at name-&-form, and goes no farther. It is to this extent that there is birth, aging, death, falling away, & re-arising, i.e., from name-&-form as a requisite condition comes consciousness, from consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form. From name-&-form as a requisite condition come the six sense media... Thus is the origination of this entire mass of stress. Origination, origination.' Vision arose, clear knowing arose, discernment arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before.

Interms of D.O. and its quenching, its showed again
"The thought occurred to me, 'I have attained this path to Awakening, i.e., from the cessation of name-&-form comes the cessation of consciousness, from the cessation of consciousness comes the cessation of name-&-form.

So consciousness doent float aroud somewhere since it cant be without name and form (and the other aspects i already said)

metta
Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 16498
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

Re: Could modern biology help explain rebirth?

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Aug 05, 2009 10:41 pm

clw_uk wrote: So consciousness doent float aroud somewhere since it cant be without name and form (and the other aspects i already said)
You still didn't address the formless realms...

Mike

User avatar
clw_uk
Posts: 4718
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am

Re: Could modern biology help explain rebirth?

Post by clw_uk » Wed Aug 05, 2009 10:59 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
clw_uk wrote: So consciousness doent float aroud somewhere since it cant be without name and form (and the other aspects i already said)
You still didn't address the formless realms...

Mike
I havent forgotten it :smile:
Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 16498
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

Re: Could modern biology help explain rebirth?

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Aug 05, 2009 11:47 pm

clw_uk wrote:
mikenz66 wrote: You still didn't address the formless realms...
I havent forgotten it :smile:
Good. Here's a Sutta reference if you don't like the Abhidhamma and Commentary on the Planes of Existence: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dham ... /loka.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

MN 43: Mahavedalla Sutta — The Greater Set of Questions-and-Answers
Ven. Sariputta answers questions dealing with discernment, right view, and the higher meditative attainments.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
[Becoming]

"Friend, how many kinds of becoming are there?"

"Friend, there are these three kinds of becoming: sensual becoming, form becoming, formless becoming."

"And how is further becoming in the future brought about?"

"The delight, now here, now there, of beings hindered by ignorance & fettered by craving: That's how further becoming in the future is brought about."

"And how is further becoming in the future not brought about?"

"Through the fading of ignorance, the arising of clear knowing, & the cessation of craving: That's how further becoming in the future is not brought about."
Metta
Mike

Individual
Posts: 1970
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:19 am

Re: Could modern biology help explain rebirth?

Post by Individual » Thu Aug 06, 2009 1:20 am

Pannapetar wrote:
clw_uk wrote:There is another that states that there are only these six types of consciousness in the Buddhas teachings, and as you see they all arises in dependence on something and cant exist without said support so a consciousness floating around in out of body exp. or NDE's or through lives is a no no in Buddhadhamma
Are you saying that conscious experience requires (physical) form? That's putting the cart before the horse.

Take another look at the codependent origination. "Form" (nama-rupa) comes only into the picture after consciousness: "with Vijñāna as condition, Nāmarūpa arises".

Cheers, Thomas
It is a cycle. I'm lacking reference at the moment, but the Buddha categorically rejects idealism and materialism.

i.e., although what you said is true, it is only with birth that consciousness can arise and ignorance is not a "first cause," but merely a link in the chain, conditioned by what we choose to do..
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra

Individual
Posts: 1970
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:19 am

Re: Could modern biology help explain rebirth?

Post by Individual » Thu Aug 06, 2009 1:26 am

mikenz66 wrote:
clw_uk wrote: There is another that states that there are only these six types of consciousness in the Buddhas teachings, and as you see they all arises in dependence on something and cant exist without said support so a consciousness floating around in out of body exp. or NDE's or through lives is a no no in Buddhadhamma
How about the immaterial planes? Only nama, no rupa...?

Mike
How Buddhist cosmology relates to mundane experience is an open question. I started a thread on it in the Classical Theravada forum and didn't get a single response. It is problematic to cite Buddhist cosmology as applying to mundane reality literally in one case, without being willing to admit (without being able to give scientific support) that the cosmology represents literal events as a whole.

But anyway, on the point at hand: In the immaterial planes, beings are lacking what's called a gross body (a physical body made of matter), but they do not lack a mind-made body. And this is not the same thing as a spirit floating around independent of causalty, because they are described as having a locality (i.e. a "deva went from here to there," "a deva was in such and such place", etc.). So, again, even a deva's consciousness arises in dependence on birth.
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra

User avatar
Pannapetar
Posts: 327
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 6:05 am
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Contact:

Re: Could modern biology help explain rebirth?

Post by Pannapetar » Thu Aug 06, 2009 1:56 am

clw_uk wrote:So consciousness doent float aroud somewhere since it cant be without name and form (and the other aspects i already said)
I meant physical form in the sense of having a body plus the luxury of a brain and a nervous system. I essence, I was denying the idea of emergentism which holds that consciousness and the mind "emerges" from a complex physical body with a nervous system, i.e. the view held by most scientists. "Nama-rupa" is generally interpreted as meaning "psycho-physical" describing our incarnate nature. It is important that vijnana comes before nama-rupa. This does not necessarily mean that vijnana can exist on its own, but it means that it is a necessary condition for nama-rupa to arise. If you think this out, you will see that emergentism is incompatible with the Buddhist teaching. Since you don't have a physical body after death or before birth, there must be something else taking the place of nama-rupa, which is not the physical body, i.e. something else that is conditioned by vijnana and its antecedent causes. At least that is my interpretation.

Cheers, Thomas

User avatar
Ben
Posts: 18442
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: kanamaluka

Re: Could modern biology help explain rebirth?

Post by Ben » Thu Aug 06, 2009 2:11 am

Hi Individual
Individual wrote: How Buddhist cosmology relates to mundane experience is an open question.
Have a look at my response to Blackbird's thread on 'frying your brain' or some such on the hierarchical structure of Cosmology. I've quoted a fragment of Bhikkhu Bodhi who explains the cosmology as, not only representing the planes and realms of existence, but also corresponding to the gradations of consciousness.
I started a thread on it in the Classical Theravada forum and didn't get a single response.
I'm sorry to hear that. I'm not sure which thread it was but if it happens again, contact someone in the mod team and perhaps a rewording of the question may draw more interest.
Kind regards

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

User avatar
clw_uk
Posts: 4718
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am

Re: Could modern biology help explain rebirth?

Post by clw_uk » Wed Aug 12, 2009 3:52 pm

Hey mike


In answer to the immaterial, Individual touched on some points already. As for myself I see them being different levels of the world that can be entered into via meditation, so i dont see them as an explanation of consciousness with or without matter


metta
Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 20169
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: Could modern biology help explain rebirth?

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Aug 20, 2009 1:17 am

Greetings Craig,
clw_uk wrote:Consciousness and nama-rupa are intertwined and you cant have one without the other
'Name-&-form doesn't exist when consciousness doesn't exist. From the cessation of consciousness comes the cessation of name-&-form.' Then the thought occurred to me, 'Consciousness doesn't exist when what doesn't exist? From the cessation of what comes the cessation of consciousness?' From my appropriate attention there came the breakthrough of discernment: 'Consciousness doesn't exist when name-&-form doesn't exist. From the cessation of name-&-form comes the cessation of consciousness.'
You dont have one and then the other comes to be since you cannot have one without the other
What you say is true, but it depends on what you're interpreting nama-rupa to be. If you're interpreting nama-rupa simplistically to be an anatta-aware equivalent of a "person" where mentality and materiality exist then such an interpretation will miss the point of this sutta extract altogether. See the present topic on Nama-rupa for a closer look at what nama-rupa is, just to make sure you're not falling into this trap.

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)

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: auto and 67 guests