Some Pressing Questions that I would like to be answered...

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Some Pressing Questions that I would like to be answered...

Postby DuskMoonPenguin » Sun Sep 04, 2011 7:49 pm

Greetings all,

During my practice and my life in Buddha's teachings, I've felt much happiness and insight to the world I live. Yet during this time, various questions have troubled me and I seek some clarification on this forum if possible.

1. Many who are on the Bodhisattva path may take any number of lives to fully reach enlightenment. But the dharma states that those who accumulate good karma in this life by practicing the Five Precepts and the Ten Meritous Deeds will be reborn in a human or heavenly realm. I understand the human realm, but isn't the heavenly realm a place of bliss, and as such, a deva would not care to practice the dharma, and as such would be reborn into a lower realm (an impediment to enlightenment)? In other words, if one does follow the dharma, Five Precepts, Ten Meritous Deeds, and Noble Eightfold Path, taking refuge in the Three Gems, and living with faith, compassion, and wisdom, how does one ensure rebirth into the human realm so if one does not attain enlightenment in this life, he/she will have the foundation to pursue the Bodhisattva path in the next life?

2. In these modern times, threats to humanity's existence seem prevalent (nuclear war, economic collapse, peak oil, etc.), so if, theoretically, humanity is wiped out, how will one continue to practice the dharma?

3. Lastly, I do have this fear that seems hard to detach from. I have a fear that at this time, our technological advancement is unhealthy and fuelled by anger, ignorance, greed, and by consumer's attachment to superficial satisfaction. Very soon, as technology advances, human genetic engineering, possibly cloning, and advanced AI, may be a reality and as such, humans may transcend into a greater existence. This I fear because we may forget and disregard our own true nature, as animals, as a part of nature, and thus condemn the very thing that brought us to existence. And then it will all come spiraling down due to a number of factors. Don't get me wrong, I don't despise technology. Because of it, life is a lot more positive and happier to live, medical advances have reduced suffering, and internet has made Buddhadharma available to many who wish to follow. Can this be prevented?

Thanks all, and feel free to give your honest opinion!

DuskMoonPenguin
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Re: Some Pressing Questions that I would like to be answered...

Postby Virgo » Sun Sep 04, 2011 8:13 pm

Hello,
DuskMoonPenguin wrote:Greetings all,

During my practice and my life in Buddha's teachings, I've felt much happiness and insight to the world I live. Yet during this time, various questions have troubled me and I seek some clarification on this forum if possible.

1. Many who are on the Bodhisattva path may take any number of lives to fully reach enlightenment. But the dharma states that those who accumulate good karma in this life by practicing the Five Precepts and the Ten Meritous Deeds will be reborn in a human or heavenly realm. I understand the human realm, but isn't the heavenly realm a place of bliss, and as such, a deva would not care to practice the dharma, and as such would be reborn into a lower realm (an impediment to enlightenment)? In other words, if one does follow the dharma, Five Precepts, Ten Meritous Deeds, and Noble Eightfold Path, taking refuge in the Three Gems, and living with faith, compassion, and wisdom, how does one ensure rebirth into the human realm so if one does not attain enlightenment in this life, he/she will have the foundation to pursue the Bodhisattva path in the next life?

There are in fact certain heavens where all one does is have sex... lots of it. The Dharma path is slow using ordinary methods so for those using ordinary methods it will take many eons of practice.
DuskMoonPenguin wrote:2. In these modern times, threats to humanity's existence seem prevalent (nuclear war, economic collapse, peak oil, etc.), so if, theoretically, humanity is wiped out, how will one continue to practice the dharma?

Yes. This isnt the only world system out there.
DuskMoonPenguin wrote:3. Lastly, I do have this fear that seems hard to detach from. I have a fear that at this time, our technological advancement is unhealthy and fuelled by anger, ignorance, greed, and by consumer's attachment to superficial satisfaction. Very soon, as technology advances, human genetic engineering, possibly cloning, and advanced AI, may be a reality and as such, humans may transcend into a greater existence. This I fear because we may forget and disregard our own true nature, as animals, as a part of nature, and thus condemn the very thing that brought us to existence. And then it will all come spiraling down due to a number of factors. Don't get me wrong, I don't despise technology. Because of it, life is a lot more positive and happier to live, medical advances have reduced suffering, and internet has made Buddhadharma available to many who wish to follow. Can this be prevented?

Thanks all, and feel free to give your honest opinion!

DuskMoonPenguin

The answer is probably: no.

Kevin
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Re: Some Pressing Questions that I would like to be answered...

Postby DuskMoonPenguin » Sun Sep 04, 2011 8:21 pm

Virgo,

Thanks for your reply! But do you think you can elaborate more on what you explained? Thanks!
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Re: Some Pressing Questions that I would like to be answered...

Postby Virgo » Sun Sep 04, 2011 8:21 pm

DuskMoonPenguin wrote:Virgo,

Thanks for your reply! But do you think you can elaborate more on what you explained? Thanks!

Np. Sure I can try DuskMoon. Which part?

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Re: Some Pressing Questions that I would like to be answered...

Postby DuskMoonPenguin » Sun Sep 04, 2011 8:28 pm

Please explain more on what you said about the rebirth affecting the practice if reborn in a heavenly realm, does it really have to be eons of practice?

You've answered my second question well.

The third question, I just have one objection. If we all have buddha-nature within us, that should mean within eons of time, everyone will eventually attain buddhahood, right?
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Re: Some Pressing Questions that I would like to be answered...

Postby Virgo » Sun Sep 04, 2011 8:38 pm

DuskMoonPenguin wrote:Please explain more on what you said about the rebirth affecting the practice if reborn in a heavenly realm, does it really have to be eons of practice?

Our defilements are firmly habituated so it takes lots of time to accumulate the causes and conditions for enlightenment, in general. The causes are stores of merit and wisdom no matter which school you follow. There are different approaches to gathering these in different vehicles of Bodhi.

DuskMoonPenguin wrote:The third question, I just have one objection. If we all have buddha-nature within us, that should mean within eons of time, everyone will eventually attain buddhahood, right?

Eventually yes, but only after much pain and suffering. Therefore, we must take action.

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Re: Some Pressing Questions that I would like to be answered...

Postby AlexanderS » Sun Sep 25, 2011 12:54 pm

Regards to question nr. 1

I'm not a very good or experienced practioner, but doing a practice like Phowa should more or less seal the deal that you will be born in a Pure Land where there are extremely good conditions for practicing Dharma. So perhaps if you did phowa you'd feel quite certain that you will have ripe conditions for practicing dharma in the next life.

About question 3.

I'm not at all concerned about AI's, but it's true that the world is in danger. Overpopulation is going to be a major problem, destruction and disregard for nature is a major problem. In techonology and medicine we have great advances, but there is also a huge amount of corruption in pharmacetiauls as a whole. I also feel that the whole virtual reality that is construed through phones, internet and movies and video games does to some level make us less grounded and aware. There's obvivously great things about our instant source of information and connectivity, but it can make us more apathetic to more grounded more fulfilling real life relationships and connections.
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