Questions for rebirth believers

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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tiltbillings
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Re: Questions for rebirth believers

Post by tiltbillings » Sat Mar 13, 2010 5:42 am

Paññāsikhara wrote:
"sane people"!?!?! Huh! Speak for yourself! :tongue:
Me (on the right):
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>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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ground
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Re: Questions for rebirth believers

Post by ground » Sat Mar 13, 2010 6:00 am

Laurens wrote: The fact that there is something ...
The fact that not all people can see ...
You are advocating "facts" but you are not stating the grounds of something being a "fact".
Laurens wrote: I recently realised that I was believing in something utterly unproven, there was no rational arguement that I could come up with to explain rebirth.
Someone who does not rely on reason may subjectively transform belief into knowledge. Someone who does not rely on reason but does not manage to transform belief into knowledge may be plagued by subjective doubt.
Someone who relies on reason exclusively neither has doubt nor belief but just "knows" in some contexts and just "does not know" in other contexts because he knows what renders something a "fact".
Considering our every-day behaviour there is much we rely on although we never questioned or proved it simply because this reliance entails perceptible successful action with reference to our every-day goals.

Kind regards

sattva
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Re: Questions for rebirth believers

Post by sattva » Tue Mar 30, 2010 11:01 pm

i recently listened to a talk by Joseph Goldstein on the subject of Right View from the Satipatthana Sutta and in it he talks about rebirth. I found it a good talk on the subject. I believe it was part 39 (if not, then part 40). You might find it interesting. Check it out:

http://dharmaseed.org/teacher/96/talk/6162/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

For a different perspective on the subject, go back several hundreds of years before tv, videos, films, books, etc, and ask a person who was born and grew up on a tropical island that never has snow to believe in snow and they wouldn't believed in it if you told them about it. Not only that, but even if you could show them a photo and tell them about it, it would not be totally comprehensible. How could you explain the way snow feels, how quiet it makes the world around you, how it crunches under your feet? One winter in New England and they would understand snow. One experience of reliving, not remembering per se which is intellectual, but reliving a death and you feel differently about the notion of rebirth.

If we don't believe in rebirth than our options die with this life and it would be very hard indeed to follow the Buddha's path. Most of us who practice may not believe we will go all the way in this life. We practice both for this life and beyond. It would be difficult to continue through the difficult times when practice seems dry if we didn't see the big picture.

Besides, I think there is some evidence for rebirth. On that talk by Goldstein, he plays a tape of a small child who recited suttas in an ancient dialect. Personally, I heard of the topic of rebirth and read books on the subject when i was a teen and these were not from Buddhist sources. Today i am 56, so it isn't a new idea even in western culture. If it were somehow proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that rebirth was true, there would always be people who wouldn't believe it, just as there are people today who believe the Earth is much younger than scientists say. Maybe, i would feel pride that i was right if rebirth were proven. That would probably follow with despair when people ignored that proof. I guess the reality is that we can gather the information for ourselves, be open to possibilities, ask ourselves who and what we trust, and sometimes, decide it is alright not to believe or disbelieve when we really just don't know.

Anyway, i wish you well and hope that you continue to practice even for the here and now. :namaste:

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Guy
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Re: Questions for rebirth believers

Post by Guy » Tue Mar 30, 2010 11:08 pm

:goodpost:
Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

- Ajahn Brahm

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Fede
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Re: Questions for rebirth believers

Post by Fede » Tue Mar 30, 2010 11:09 pm

Oh Lordy-loo...Please don't let MatSalted get a hold of this thread...!

(Those of you familiar with the other website I frequent (and Moderate!) will know what I'm talkin' 'bout!!)
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


http://www.armchairadvice.co.uk/relationships/forum/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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BlackBird
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Re: Questions for rebirth believers

Post by BlackBird » Wed Mar 31, 2010 12:03 am

MatSalted is right up there with the best of Khanti-teachers, that's for sure.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta

Path Press - Ñāṇavīra Thera Dhamma Page - Ajahn Nyanamoli's Dhamma talks

nathan
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Re: Questions for rebirth believers

Post by nathan » Wed Mar 31, 2010 7:46 am

It will probably be clear from the following responses that I don't have any of your issues with this stuff and hopefully almost as clear that I am neither a very 'religious' person nor a very passionate person. You can call me a buddhist or call me not a buddhist, I don't care. I'll keep on meditating whether there are buddhists or not.

Mysteries don't appeal to me. Beliefs don't appeal to me and I don't take anything on faith. I consider pride loathsome if it arises in my own mind and often repulsive when I observe it in others. It doesn't seem as if any of the other respondents have had the same issues with the subject as you have. For what it's worth, I think the changes in your attitude reflect a measure of improvement, for you. I suggest you continue on with your own processes of sorting this out, probably your views will continue to change. Views do that.

There was a time when I didn't know what kamma was and there was a time when I didn't have any experience of my own which would incline me to accept the idea of rebirth. Then there was further experience and exercise of the faculties and now I can observe kamma and I can reflect upon various insights and experiences which lend support to the idea of rebirth. I still don't feel any pride in regards to these developments and I would consider it a problem if I did. I still don't 'believe' in either kamma or rebirth but I have sufficient experience now to consider both of these the most viable working hypothesis I have found in terms of the whole body of firsthand evidence directly available to me at this point.

My interest has been motivated by my interest in understanding what it is that I am and what it is that is going on in our so called 'reality'. I'm not interested in arguing with people about this or anything else. I think attempting to convince myself of anything is counterproductive and I think that is also true of trying to convince anyone else of anything.

When I first encountered the idea of rebirth I had no reason to think that rebirth had any basis in reality I also had no reason to think that it didn't. At that point I could see that it wasn't an idea that was very central to my concerns. Now that I have had some insights into this and some personal experiences with the subject I would say the same kinds of things, it is not very central to my concerns, I don't give it much thought and I'm not particularly interested in the subject.

What is obvious to me, in innumerable ways, is that what we don't deal with now, we will have to deal with later and I don't personally need any further evidence to understand how incalculably much later the indefinitely later can become. Either we get seriously into dealing with things that are central to the dilemma of the human condition or we don't. Rebirth may put the more significant concerns into a much larger frame but it doesn't contribute much of anything to focusing on what needs to be done in the present. Dealing with things in the present is the only kind of Dhamma practice that means a darn thing to me because it is the only kind of practice that fosters effective progress on the path to ever greater realization, freedom and understanding and it does this consistently, day after day after day.

--------
Oh, and Tilt, now that I've seen it, I feel I must apologize again for calling you a pointy headed academic back when we first ran into each other on the grey board many aeons ago. My bad, obviously it was the tinfoil headgear that I was sensing and not your actual brain casing.
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}

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Ben
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Re: Questions for rebirth believers

Post by Ben » Wed Mar 31, 2010 7:56 am

As always, an excellent post Nathan.
metta

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

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BlackBird
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Re: Questions for rebirth believers

Post by BlackBird » Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:11 am

Ben wrote:As always, an excellent post Nathan.
:goodpost:
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta

Path Press - Ñāṇavīra Thera Dhamma Page - Ajahn Nyanamoli's Dhamma talks

MatSalted
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Re: Questions for rebirth believers

Post by MatSalted » Sat Apr 03, 2010 7:34 am

Hi Folks

Has anyone looked at the idea that rebirth is a delusion and the buddha saw and taught this but it got overwhelmed by mystical/hindu afterlife notions?

This is what I believe:)

Thanks

Mat

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tiltbillings
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Re: Questions for rebirth believers

Post by tiltbillings » Sat Apr 03, 2010 7:44 am

MatSalted wrote:Hi Folks

Has anyone looked at the idea that rebirth is a delusion and the buddha saw and taught this but it got overwhelmed by mystical/hindu afterlife notions?

This is what I believe

Thanks

Mat
And your basis for this belief?
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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BlackBird
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Re: Questions for rebirth believers

Post by BlackBird » Sat Apr 03, 2010 7:52 am

several pages of heated dead-horse-slapping ensues... ;)

metta
Jack
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta

Path Press - Ñāṇavīra Thera Dhamma Page - Ajahn Nyanamoli's Dhamma talks

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Sobeh
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Re: Questions for rebirth believers

Post by Sobeh » Sat Apr 03, 2010 7:55 am

You have to love horse-flesh idea-pr0n...
:jedi: en garde!

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tiltbillings
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Re: Questions for rebirth believers

Post by tiltbillings » Sat Apr 03, 2010 10:21 am

BlackBird wrote:several pages of heated dead-horse-slapping ensues... ;)

metta
Jack
Not necessarily.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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