cause of birth of new humans

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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acinteyyo
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Re: cause of birth of new humans

Post by acinteyyo » Thu Jun 03, 2010 3:41 pm

PeterB wrote:
acinteyyo wrote:
PeterB wrote:Absolutely clear I think Acinteyyo. You are saying that rather than a soul being the Ghost in The Machine as in for example Christianity, in your view kamma is the Ghost In The Machine.
I see no reason to accept that view. I think it begs more questions than it offers solutions.
Sorry Peter but you misunderstood what I said. Kamma is no ghost in no machine and has nothing to do with it at all. kamma means action and all I'm trying to say is that the actual "I-making" is an action depending on clinging (upadana), more precisely the clinging to the belief in a self (atta-vada). So there is a physical base needed as well as the mental act of "I-making" for the arising of the view "to be in essence somebody", which is also called personality-view (sakkāya-ditthi), and the personality (sakkāya) is pañc'upādānakkhandhā. no ghost, no machine just namarupa.
best wishes, acinteyyo
This replaces the "selfish gene "with upadana. Somehow clinging exists to beget itself. That becomes the whole purpose of human endevour..reduced to an endless chain of clinging. Sorry Acinteyyo as far as i am concerned it wont do. I can observe upadana..I need posit no origin other than its arising in the now.
:anjali:
sorry, but I don't think that I understand your post completely. I'm not talking about any other time but now. What "selfish gene" are you talking about? What do you mean with "clinging exists to beget itself"? In the end it's not the clinging or the craving and so on it's the ignorance of how the world works and the ignorance of that ignorance. I'm not trying to convince you, that would be useless. If you realize it you'll know it for sure. That's the only way.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

PeterB
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Re: cause of birth of new humans

Post by PeterB » Thu Jun 03, 2010 4:13 pm

I think we need no a priori explanation for the existence of humanity. Neither "selfish genes" nor ignorance of how the world is. Such explanations ( as the latter ) have their origin in the life- negative soil of Indian spirituality from which Buddhadhamma sprang. The Buddha used the spiritual lingua franca of his day to flesh out his ideas to those who had but little dust in their eyes...we dont need to use those models exclusively. We have a variety of models with which to approach the unspeakable. We do not have to continue to employ exclusively the fearful idealism of the Upanishadic world to express the core of the Buddhas message.
For example in another thread there is talk of Brahma. We have the choice whether to employ a literalist view of Brahma or to see Brahma as an example of the Buddhas skillful use of symbolic forms to communicate with his contemporaries in terms that they would understand...
Upadana clearly is the case. The 3rd NT shows us our options with reference to upadana. We do not need to posit upadana into a mythos based on a life- negative stance.
The irony is that the Buddha used the existing mythos of his day to undermine papanca. But if we attempt to import that mythos into our culture wholesale and uninterpreted then the inevitable outcome is...papanca.

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acinteyyo
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Re: cause of birth of new humans

Post by acinteyyo » Thu Jun 03, 2010 5:26 pm

your association skills are already quite well developed. you're free to think whatever you like.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

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cooran
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Re: cause of birth of new humans

Post by cooran » Thu Jun 03, 2010 8:25 pm

This might be of interest:

How does Kamma cause Rebirth?
Great pictures, lots of links, and direct quotes
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 460#p69357" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Clearly not just the Buddha using skillful means in a particular society - but a Teaching of exactly what the Enlightened One wishes us to understand.

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Rui Sousa
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Re: cause of birth of new humans

Post by Rui Sousa » Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:35 pm

On the "A Comprehensive manual of Abhidhamma", on the compendium of conditionality, from §15 onwards there information I find very relevant for this matter: http://books.google.pt/books?id=hxopJgv ... &q&f=false

Reading this I made me understand better how mind conditions matter and matter conditions mind, making the bundle of nama-rupa we take as self.
With Metta

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salty-J
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Re: cause of birth of new humans

Post by salty-J » Mon Jun 07, 2010 1:27 am

I'd forgotten about posting this thread until this afternoon. What interesting reading and links, thanks everyone for participating! I was taking a shower when I remembered about it and wondered about if there would be many posts or not, and what it was I'd posted in the first place, then I thought, "I think I'm supposed to be mindful of this experiance of washing my arm." So that's what I did, but aften I finished I gave in and checked up on my thread anyway. :twothumbsup:
"It is what it is." -foreman infamous for throwing wrenches in fits of rage

chownah
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Re: cause of birth of new humans

Post by chownah » Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:45 pm

What with invitro fertilization etc. seems like descending in a womb is not necessary any more....and....that you can freeze an egg and a sperm indefinitely and then unite them resulting in a living being....is there some ghost like entity keeping track of all the frozen eggs and sperms and just waiting for any possible union and then either assigning or not assigning a kammic connection at that exact moment?.....is there a cosmic validation window where all egg/sperm duos go apply for permission etc.??????.....or maybe is the kammic connection just a way to explain to people that sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't?....did people in the Buddha's time even know about sperm and eggs?....I think they knew that the male had to contribute a bit of fluid (as evidenced by similarities with many observable animals like cows, frogs, fish, etc.) but could they have just had the idea that the fluid presented at the right time created the possibility and there was some cosmic decider....the whole idea seems a bit bizarre and not really too important an idea when it comes to progress on the path....
chownah

PeterB
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Re: cause of birth of new humans

Post by PeterB » Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:56 pm

All good points Chownah. And what we see now is just the beginning of a new technology of baby making whether we are comfortable with that or not. Spliced genes from multiple parents to enhance certain qualities and so on. ...and whatever our feelings about those developments they are already making our primitive understanding of a little bundle of kamma waiting for a vehicle look pretty obsolete.

I think we need to get used to the fact that its what happens after birth to that baby and before the eventual death of the person it becomes that needs to be the focus of Buddhadhamma, not metaphysical speculation.

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acinteyyo
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Re: cause of birth of new humans

Post by acinteyyo » Wed Jun 09, 2010 4:11 pm

I don't consider the points made by chownah as good. Actually they don't even make any sense to me with regard to kamma.

It seems to me that in this thread the concoction of matter where the outcome is something which is usually called a human "being" or baby and the craving and clinging which leads to "becoming" or "being" is considered to be equal.
imho both is called "birth" indeed but only the last thing has something to do with kamma. The former is just matter behaving in line with its nature. The latter is unskillful action which leads to birth and the whole mass of suffering, in short the five aggregates of grasping.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

PeterB
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Re: cause of birth of new humans

Post by PeterB » Wed Jun 09, 2010 5:54 pm

So all human endevour, noble and ignoble, mundane and creative, merciful and cruel, indeed the sum total of human existance is reducible to unskillful action ? Goethe, Shakespeare, Michelangelo, Einstein, Picasso, all those who man suicide prevention lines, all those who care for the newborn, who care for the dying, who spend the night in meditation, who feed the needy, who give their lives in the cause of justice, all those who use their intellects to solve the riddles of creation and to find cures for disease and explore the depths of space and of the oceans....all exist because of unskillful action ? Because of grasping ?
This is kamma as Original Sin.

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Re: cause of birth of new humans

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Jun 10, 2010 1:13 am

Greetings,

Action leads to jati, not just unwholesome action.

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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acinteyyo
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Re: cause of birth of new humans

Post by acinteyyo » Thu Jun 10, 2010 2:45 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

Action leads to jati, not just unwholesome action.

Metta,
Retro. :)
oh... of course you're absolutely right.
best wishes, acinteyyo
Last edited by acinteyyo on Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

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acinteyyo
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Re: cause of birth of new humans

Post by acinteyyo » Thu Jun 10, 2010 3:18 pm

PeterB wrote:So all human endevour, noble and ignoble, mundane and creative, merciful and cruel, indeed the sum total of human existance is reducible to unskillful action ? Goethe, Shakespeare, Michelangelo, Einstein, Picasso, all those who man suicide prevention lines, all those who care for the newborn, who care for the dying, who spend the night in meditation, who feed the needy, who give their lives in the cause of justice, all those who use their intellects to solve the riddles of creation and to find cures for disease and explore the depths of space and of the oceans....all exist because of unskillful action ? Because of grasping ?
This is kamma as Original Sin.
Hi Peter,

you are an entertaining guy. I already said that your association skills are already quite well developed but I really can't comprehend your confuse way of thinking. You are jumping to conclusions very fast.

You ask whether all human endevour, ... indeed the sum total of human existence is reducible to unskillful action? .. all exist because of unskillful action? Because of grasping?
Why do you ask such irrelevant questions with regard to the cause of birth?
I didn't say anything about the origination of those things you asked above and, as I said, they're totally unimportant to me.

What I said is that "birth" comes from craving and grasping. And here with "birth" I don't actually mean the concoction of matter. What I mean is the "I-making" and "my-making". If any one of the five aggregates will be regarded as "mine", this leads to the arising of the belief that there must be "someone" (attavada) who possesses what is supposed to belong to the presupposed possessor. Such kind of "action" (kamma) leads to birth of a person (sakkāya) thinking "I am this or that". And a person is the five aggregates of grasping (pañc'upādānakkhandhā).

best wishes, acinteyyo
Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

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Rui Sousa
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Re: cause of birth of new humans

Post by Rui Sousa » Fri Jun 11, 2010 9:20 pm

chownah wrote:What with invitro fertilization etc. seems like descending in a womb is not necessary any more....and....that you can freeze an egg and a sperm indefinitely and then unite them resulting in a living being....is there some ghost like entity keeping track of all the frozen eggs and sperms and just waiting for any possible union and then either assigning or not assigning a kammic connection at that exact moment?.....is there a cosmic validation window where all egg/sperm duos go apply for permission etc.??????.....or maybe is the kammic connection just a way to explain to people that sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't?....did people in the Buddha's time even know about sperm and eggs?....I think they knew that the male had to contribute a bit of fluid (as evidenced by similarities with many observable animals like cows, frogs, fish, etc.) but could they have just had the idea that the fluid presented at the right time created the possibility and there was some cosmic decider....the whole idea seems a bit bizarre and not really too important an idea when it comes to progress on the path....
chownah
As I understand it the Kamma for rupa formation, i.e. egg fertilization, is not the same that leads to the first citta supported on that rupa.

Meaning that maybe the rupa that will support this mind continuum in a next existence may already be formed and frozen. In the future, someone would do something that would make that rupa to be unfrozen and placed in a womb. Then the first citta associated to that rupa would occur. If no citta is associated with that rupa, it will perish soon after unfrozen.

I do believe ancient people, as far back as the neolithic, had a pretty god idea of the role of sperm and eggs, and from where sperm and eggs came from, hence the phallic megaliths with sperm flowing downwards, and the womb like dolmens were humans were buried (probably returning "home").
With Metta

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