Core teachings

A forum for members who wish to develop a deeper understanding of the Pali Canon and associated Commentaries, which for discussion purposes are both treated as authoritative.

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Eightfolder
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Re: Core teachings

Post by Eightfolder » Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:32 pm

Well it may be about a "high level overview" but I think my concerns and questions are relevant. But I think I see what you mean. Kamma seems to come later and I have more difficulty with that than Antta.
Anyway, thanks for the link. I'll check out that thread. Also, I'm new here and just learning how to operate on this kind of forum.
Thanks

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Mkoll
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Re: Core teachings

Post by Mkoll » Fri Jan 24, 2014 4:50 am

Eightfolder wrote:Speaking of the core teachings, how do we reconcile certain teachings that we find impossible to assimilate in the current age with our increase in scientific knowledge? I speak about two of what are suppose to be foundational understands (and I presume acceptance of) in order to attain higher levels of self-knowledge and eventual enlightenment. Anatta, or non-self, is difficult to manage in a highly individualized society but I can see how it might be possible to interpret it from two levels: a practical level and a philosophical level. But I must say the teaching about Kamma and re-birth seems completely unlikely to me. Nyanatiloka Mahathera in a paper described how one dying souls' kamma-energy rises and falls into the uterus of woman who is currently making love and about to conceive. If there is no soul entity (antta doctrine) and no transmigration as in the Hindu religion, how or what are we to make of this wave of rising and falling kamma-energy that goes into the embryo of a new human coming into existence? And does this not completely contradict the very idea of kamma since its suppose to be our own past lives and deeds we are considering? In the case described by Mahathera, some new baby in Omaha will get the kamma of an old dying Indonesian man. Would that baby grow up loving spicy Thai food? Mahathera almost completely negates the personalities, circumstances, and environment of parents in the development of a new child?
If I were you, I would take all elaborations on the concept of rebirth with a big grain of salt. Especially given that you have issues with the root premise, namely the concept of rebirth, any of your views on elaborations of that concept are bound to be full of more and more skepticism in proportion to increases in elaboration, IMHO.
Do Western Buddhists or followers of Dhamma believe this stuff?
I don't "believe" in rebirth in the sense of thinking everything else is worthless. The Buddha called this "safeguarding the truth". I think that it's just the most likely explanation and I can give you my reasons for this argument if you'd like.
"But to what extent, Master Gotama, is there the safeguarding of the truth? To what extent does one safeguard the truth? We ask Master Gotama about the safeguarding of the truth."

"If a person has conviction, his statement, 'This is my conviction,' safeguards the truth. But he doesn't yet come to the definite conclusion that 'Only this is true; anything else is worthless.' To this extent, Bharadvaja, there is the safeguarding of the truth. To this extent one safeguards the truth. I describe this as the safeguarding of the truth. But it is not yet an awakening to the truth.
MN 95

:anjali:

EDIT

I forgot to add...

What do you think happens when you die?

:anjali:
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

Eightfolder
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Dec 23, 2013 8:49 pm

Re: Core teachings

Post by Eightfolder » Tue Feb 11, 2014 7:34 pm

James,

Sorry I'm a little late getting back to your response. I just figured out how to locate my old posts. I never know where I leave things in a forum of this kind. I don't think anything happens when we die. We just die. No spirit, no energy, no consciousness, no substance or non-substance rises up and places itself anywhere else. I just fail to see any kind of evidence for this. Of course, since I haven't died yet I can't really say with 100% certainly, right?

Frankly, I have enough trouble trying to figure out how to reduce the amount of "ME" in everything (anatta) considering I have just used the "I" about ten times. How in such a highly individualized culture with values at the core of "ME" do we reduce our "I-ness"? I even know the answer to that question. Sit. Sit. Sit some more.

8F

Babadhari
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Re: Core teachings

Post by Babadhari » Tue Feb 11, 2014 7:46 pm

dont lose it when you stand up
Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion.
Aflame, with birth, aging & death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs ......

Seeing thus, the disciple of the Noble One grows disenchanted. SN 35.28

Eightfolder
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Joined: Mon Dec 23, 2013 8:49 pm

Re: Core teachings

Post by Eightfolder » Tue Feb 11, 2014 8:16 pm

hey another Goenka person.....Isn't that 10 day the best thing since sliced whole wheat bread?


8F

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Mkoll
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Re: Core teachings

Post by Mkoll » Wed Feb 12, 2014 7:07 am

Eightfolder wrote:I don't think anything happens when we die. We just die. No spirit, no energy, no consciousness, no substance or non-substance rises up and places itself anywhere else. I just fail to see any kind of evidence for this. Of course, since I haven't died yet I can't really say with 100% certainly, right?
Right. And if your idea is correct, you'll never be able to say with 100% certainty because you'll be dead. :tongue:

And that's the hallmark of unenlightened existence, isn't it? Death and its aftermath remain a mystery.
Frankly, I have enough trouble trying to figure out how to reduce the amount of "ME" in everything (anatta) considering I have just used the "I" about ten times. How in such a highly individualized culture with values at the core of "ME" do we reduce our "I-ness"? I even know the answer to that question. Sit. Sit. Sit some more.
:twothumbsup:
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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