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the great rebirth debate - Page 116 - Dhamma Wheel

the great rebirth debate

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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daverupa
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Re: the great rebirth debate

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kirk5a
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby kirk5a » Thu Aug 04, 2011 2:59 pm

"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

kaiel
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the great rebirth debate

Postby kaiel » Fri Aug 05, 2011 3:35 am

This may be a long winded post so I apologize. First off I am a Roman Catholic by birth and loosely practice it, that being said I believe no one religion is absolute. For this reason I do my best to study various belief systems. I have spent the last three months reading up on Buddhism in all its forms, and I must say I feel it to be truly an amazing and enlightening religion, one I wish to perhaps be a part of. However this concept of rebirth and anatta confuse me.

I have spent the last month on this topic specifically, the last 3 nights reading posts in this forum on the topic, I would like to get a good explanation on this realizing this is a the a Theravada forum.

Question If there is no soul, what if anything is reborn...since I don't expect to reach enlightenment in my 80 or so years of life, if I do not continue on, why even bother starting the path, after all only one guy has done it in 2600 years
.. now I would like to eliminate some possible responses off the bat, ones I have already seen posted here. Keep in mind I am currently not a Buddhist and therefore am not looking to debate anyone on scripture.

1. I've seen it said rebirth is not literal, that we go through rebirth every moment based on our karma from the last. My take here is the wise Siddhartha would of used simpler language, like you actions yesterday effect who you are and your well being today. Terms like deva and asura and hungry ghosts used for nothing more than describing a mental state seems like metaphorical overkill.


2. I've seen it said not even to bother thinking about it, to do so locks me further in samsara, well to that I reply I fully expect to be in samsara for a while, I'm okay with a slow crawl to enlightenment so yes I want to think about it.

3. I've also seen it said there is no soul, but a subtle self, or luminous mind, or mind stream. Now to me this sounds like a soul,many religions have different takes on what a soul is, but the gist of it is a part of you that continues on after. The Tibetans go on to describe the actual events while Inbetween lives, how is this anatta, yet I would expect these monks who should be well versed in Buddhas teachings

4. Lastly I have sadly seen posts here where one wiser than thou type simply states its too complex for the op to understand , that they , or me, do not grasp Siddharthas teachings, to me this type of response is no different than pushy Christian types exclaiming its in the bible so its true whether you like it or not.

So to reiterate if me...kaiel does not continue after death, and lets face it I am not going to be the next Buddha in 40 more years of life, why follow the path, surely there are other philosophies that one can follow to just make ones life a more productive one, or is there some sort of essence , mind stream, Jedi force, that continues.

I truly thank you all for your time and look forward to some good productive replies.


1. I have seen this answered by simply saying, do not worry about it, or its not worth thinking

plwk
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the great rebirth debate

Postby plwk » Fri Aug 05, 2011 3:48 am

Have you read Ignoring all 'one wiser than thou type simply states its too complex for the op to understand'...

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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the great rebirth debate

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Aug 05, 2011 5:36 am

Life is a process, not a thing — a wave, not a particle.

The so-called self or soul is an illusion, not a person or a being. If we can realise the then doubt will disappear and insight will arise.

If we have a clear intellectual understanding of the nature of illusions, we know how they work and that they are just illusions, but we are still deceived by them. However, the deception is not so completely beguiling. We start to think in a more skilful way since the ego doesn't obstruct our thought process.

An enlightened person has destroyed doubt about the right path and the ego-illusion completely, so they cannot do immoral deeds such as killing, stealing, adultery, or telling lies that are liable to send deluded beings to hell or the animal realms.
• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

PeterB
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby PeterB » Fri Aug 05, 2011 8:26 am


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Spiny O'Norman
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Re: the great rebirth debate

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Mawkish1983
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the great rebirth debate

Postby Mawkish1983 » Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:02 am


chownah
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Postby chownah » Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:03 pm

kaiel,
You posted, "...since I don't expect to reach enlightenment in my 80 or so years of life, if I do not continue on, why even bother starting the path, after all only one guy has done it in 2600 years".
I want to point out that from the Theravada perspective the goal is to end dukkha (suffering) which is the same thing as reaching nibhanna...this is the same ending of suffering as the Buddha reached and the same nibhanna that the Buddha reached. It is not the goal for most people to attain to the same state of the Buddha in general in that the Buddha's special qualities only arises in another Buddha every gazillion years give or take a few bazillion and every Buddha's "job" is to rediscover the path and teach it. Since only one of these is needed every gazillion years give or take a few bazillion it is not necessary for everyone to achieve this so we only need to achieve nibhanna without worrying about developing all those special abilities...unless we want to....but remember that there are alot of people who indicate that they want to achieve the Buddha "status" so the competition is fierce....for my money just plane old nibhanna will do just fine....
Since you are a beginner I"ll warn you to not take any one person's views on anything in Buddhism as being definitive....you need to listen and read and learn what ideas are out there and then try it out for yourself....the proof will be discovered by your own experiences....I guess.
Also, I want to point out that in the scriptures there lot's of people (thousands I think) that are said to have attained nibhanna in the Buddha's life and it is assumed that there are people today who have achieved it too....although mostly people don't talk about their achievements.....although I will say that I have achieved a method for raising rice organically!!!
chownah

Saijun
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the great rebirth debate

Postby Saijun » Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:19 pm


santa100
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the great rebirth debate

Postby santa100 » Fri Aug 05, 2011 2:12 pm


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Dhammakid
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the great rebirth debate

Postby Dhammakid » Fri Aug 05, 2011 2:31 pm

I highly encourage you to check out the many great articles on the concept of anatta and rebirth found on Access to Insight. Once you receive a proper understanding on the two concepts, you will wonder how anyone can consciously believe in this fleeting, ever-changing self. It will be a mind-altering experience.
- Facebook Group

Email: [email protected].

kaiel
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the great rebirth debate

Postby kaiel » Fri Aug 05, 2011 6:02 pm

Fir off thank you all kindly for your time, I truly appreciate it. To what Santa109 said, I understand the car metaphor, I grasp that I am in constant flux, but could not a soul be in constant flux as well, it is not permenent in the sense of a solid unchanging stone, but it simply outlasts the physical. My example would be particle physics, assuming string theory to be correct, an electron is always in flux, changing position, spin etc.. however underneath that electron is just a 1dimensional string vibrating at a specific frequency. My issue here is if I simply live and die, and that's it what is the point of reaching enlightenment, why not spend time writing books or painting to be remembered, worse yet from a lesser persons point of view start wars, kill, rob, etc...

If my karma is simply a bank account for something to inherit, why should I be concerned.

I understand these questions may seem silly or even utterly nonsensical to one who is a true follower but I have them none the less. I will read the link suggested and would also like to find a mahayana forum to posit the same question to if anyone knows such a site.

Last question, in your sects view, is the Buddha still in existence in so,e higher realm, or is he gone,

kaiel
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the great rebirth debate

Postby kaiel » Fri Aug 05, 2011 6:38 pm

Did some reading on the suggested site
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... self2.html
I understand here that Buddha really never gave an answer here, I see why

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el414.html
Wow, we got 31 realms, a sage sad because he knows he will be reborn in the formless realm where he can't reach enlightenment prior to sidhartha becoming Buddha. Point is this article certainly seems to favor some sort of mind stream, soul

I will continue on reading,

P.S. any good references on how to begin meditating, my mind is always so active I've yet to quiet it more than 15 seconds

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Tex
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the great rebirth debate

Postby Tex » Fri Aug 05, 2011 7:02 pm

"To reach beyond fear and danger we must sharpen and widen our vision. We have to pierce through the deceptions that lull us into a comfortable complacency, to take a straight look down into the depths of our existence, without turning away uneasily or running after distractions." -- Bhikkhu Bodhi

"No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man." -- Heraclitus

santa100
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the great rebirth debate

Postby santa100 » Fri Aug 05, 2011 7:37 pm


Nicro
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the great rebirth debate

Postby Nicro » Fri Aug 05, 2011 8:28 pm


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Alex123
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the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:06 pm

"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

kaiel
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the great rebirth debate

Postby kaiel » Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:54 pm

it seems there is as much disagreement between the schools of Buddhism as there is between us Catholics and Christians. Allegorical interpretation versus Literal, different Suttas in different sects. Found this article which uses strong language against Theravada's idea of anatta http://newsgroups.derkeiler.com/Archive ... 00018.html, I do not like how they approach their arguments as they are certainly not using kind language


It seems I should just do what has been suggested here and learn to meditate and find the answer myself, I do believe Buddhism to possibly be closer to the truth than any other religion.

Thanks for the book suggestion Tex, already ordered it

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daverupa
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the great rebirth debate

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