Are Karma and Rebirth Real?

No holds barred discussion on the Buddhadharma. Argue about rebirth, karma, commentarial interpretations etc. Be nice to each other.

Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Fri Oct 28, 2011 2:26 pm

ronnewmexico wrote:Read about this you will find it true. Two scientists just received great prizes for this discovery though it occured several years ago.

The universe is rapidly expanding and accelerating.We are on a collision course with another galaxy.
It is reasonably assumed concurrent with this now known acceleration that eventually over time the forces which allow atoms to be atoms and remain as such by certain forces will be overcome by the forces of disassociation(some call dark matter) and themselves accelerate apart.

Dark matter concurrent with this known fact of acceleration compirses the majority of energy in the universe by proportion..yet we cannot perceive it only know of it by the movements of known objects(such as in the acceleration)
Nothing will sustain and remain that is certain.

All the buddhas words are proven true by science...it only remains to be discovered.
Earth..forget the earth it will not sustain. Not a bit of it.
Study it read it yourself.


I need Hermione's time turner to be able to read all the stuff I want to read.

http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Time-Turner
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby deepbluehum » Fri Oct 28, 2011 3:32 pm

Ok, here's something interesting to puzzle over. From the descriptions of the Abhidharma, a being dies and due to the force of karma, etc., goes into intermediate state where it sees its future father and mother copulating, because it is attracted to the sex organ of one of them, it becomes the opposite of that sex. Then Vasubhandu states that a cow for example will be reborn a cow not a buffalo, because it's habits, etc., cause that continuation.

Sounds perfectly reasonable, however, what about artificial insemination? There are no sex organs involved, and the species can be hybrid. The Abhidharmists, to their credit, did anticipate atoms, though they did not get it exactly right, they did get that they consist of parts and those parts consist of parts until there is nothing left. But they did not anticipate genes.

The Dalai Lama has said the Abhidharma must be revised due to new science, but he wants that new science to develop further so that it's more than just mere theory. The whole of atomic chemistry, quantum mechanics and all of it fits quite nicely with the theory of dependent origination. But genetics sort of obliterates the teachings of reincarnation. But it's not so easy to be rid of bardo, ghosts and dakinis.

If you spend any time with the Tibetans and Indians you will come to see that supernatural stuff is pretty normal. There are real masters that remember their past lives, and masters that can suspend the death process. The teachings related to phowa and bardo do work. So what is this about the bardo?

Conjectures aside, the arising of a mind from DNA manipulation is clearly possible. There's no copulation and no prior species in the continuation. Then there are situations like the polar bears mating with the grizzlies. That hasn't been done before either. Clearly, Abhidharma needs a revise in this area.

I suggest the following: We take our direction from instructions on Buddhahood.

It boils down to potentiality. When a sentient being takes up the buddhist path, then the potential for buddhaood is awakened, and the qualities are matured over time. It is the same for sentient beings, the qualities for the existence of a sentient being mature over time. For example, when the new universe takes shape, the winds stir and the elements form, and sentient beings start their progression. The potential for a sentient being is in the molecules, clearly, and when the conditions are set, the sentient being can arise.

Then, as to the bardo, it is inconclusive. The bardo is an intermediate state, plain and simple. The whole scheme of being attracted to the opposite sex organs, and all that does actually happen, but it would not be conclusive. This would not be a direct cause the birth; perhaps a contributory cause. It would simply be a very deep desire for birth. Then, the way that rebirth actually happens would have to go the route of "the maturation of karma is inconceivable," as sutra says.

Despite the problems with the tulku system, how do we explain the cases where the tulkus are found where they say they will be found in their letter from the previous life, and then they grow up to be great world leaders of Buddhism like the HHDL? In some inconceivable way, when a bodhisattva master engages the methods on bardo, he or she is able to do something karmic that can result in the birth of a great man. HHDL is not just some great master; his depth and breadth of knowledge rivals any of the great masters in history. How could a group of Tibetans have just randomly accidentally selected such a child and had that happen? Isn't that inconceivable? But that's what happened.

Masters are able to be conscious in the bardo and prevent the body from decomposing. A master can dissolve his body into nothing, leaving only hair and nails. They are arresting and redirecting the death process. The number of instances are so numerous that one has to conclude the teachings on karma and rebirth do work. Accumulating vast stores of merit by realizing emptiness does give one the power to direct rebirth. But exactly how that happens is simply inconceivable.

This just crossed my mind: The beings that are reborn in the petri dishes? Maybe they are the scientists that love and find wonder in that.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby edearl » Fri Oct 28, 2011 3:56 pm

Is a person always reborn as a person?
HHDL: "My confidence in venturing into science lies in my basic belief that as in science so in Buddhism, understanding the nature of reality is pursued by means of critical investigation: if scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false, then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims."
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Fri Oct 28, 2011 4:08 pm

deepbluehum wrote:Ok, here's something interesting to puzzle over. ...


:rolling:

Hahaha. Awesome. This is such a cool post.

Maybe "mother" and "father" in the bardo who "make love" do not need to be the actual biological parents?

What about children who are adopted? They will inherit the karma of their adopted, not biologial, mother and father.

Makes me wonder what the white and red drops are, really.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Josef » Fri Oct 28, 2011 4:35 pm

edearl wrote:Is a person always reborn as a person?

Nope.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby edearl » Fri Oct 28, 2011 4:38 pm

Nangwa wrote:
edearl wrote:Is a person always reborn as a person?

Nope.

Can a person be reborn as any animal, insect, or microbe?
HHDL: "My confidence in venturing into science lies in my basic belief that as in science so in Buddhism, understanding the nature of reality is pursued by means of critical investigation: if scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false, then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims."
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Oct 28, 2011 4:41 pm

deepbluehum wrote:Sounds perfectly reasonable, however, what about artificial insemination? There are no sex organs involved, and the species can be hybrid. The Abhidharmists, to their credit, did anticipate atoms, though they did not get it exactly right, they did get that they consist of parts and those parts consist of parts until there is nothing left. But they did not anticipate genes.
Of course they got it completely right with the atoms, just that science has not been able to go that deep into the atom yet.

As for genes. What are genes? Amino acid chains. What are they composed of? Molecules. What are they composed of? I leave it up to you to do the maths.

Truth is that there is as much difference between the genetic codes of two human beings as there is between that of a human being and any other being. So?...

edearl wrote:Can a person be reborn as any animal, insect, or microbe?
Apparently if you take refuge you will never be born into any of the three lower realms again. I don't buy that. I am more of the conviction of: if one maintains refuge... So a human can be born as any other type of sentient being as a consequence of their actions and the habits they form during their lifetime.
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby edearl » Fri Oct 28, 2011 5:03 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
edearl wrote:Can a person be reborn as any animal, insect, or microbe?


Apparently if you take refuge you will never be born into any of the three lower realms again. I don't buy that. I am more of the conviction of: if one maintains refuge... So a human can be born as any other type of sentient being as a consequence of their actions and the habits they form during their lifetime.

I think you said it is possible if one is really stupid during their life. If so, and if one is born a microbe that has no brain to think and guide one's actions, how can one ever be born into a higher realm again?
HHDL: "My confidence in venturing into science lies in my basic belief that as in science so in Buddhism, understanding the nature of reality is pursued by means of critical investigation: if scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false, then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims."
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby deepbluehum » Fri Oct 28, 2011 5:20 pm

edearl wrote:
Nangwa wrote:
edearl wrote:Is a person always reborn as a person?

Nope.

Can a person be reborn as any animal, insect, or microbe?


Yes they can.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby deepbluehum » Fri Oct 28, 2011 5:26 pm

edearl wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:
edearl wrote:Can a person be reborn as any animal, insect, or microbe?


Apparently if you take refuge you will never be born into any of the three lower realms again. I don't buy that. I am more of the conviction of: if one maintains refuge... So a human can be born as any other type of sentient being as a consequence of their actions and the habits they form during their lifetime.

I think you said it is possible if one is really stupid during their life. If so, and if one is born a microbe that has no brain to think and guide one's actions, how can one ever be born into a higher realm again?


The Abhidharma talks about worms, that they are attracted to smell and taste of soil and based on that are reborn as worms. This applies to microbes. It just takes them a very long time to generate enough desire to be born as a higher animal, and then from animal to human. What drives it is the complexity of the attractitions. Then, for humans to be reborn among the devas and formless gods is about the refinement of attractions, where there are those who are attracted only by loving kindness or radiance or to one of the jhanas.

So a human to be reborn an animal would need causes for that. It would be about a person who is very stupid or into devouring and forms habits that resemble and animal. Then, in the next life perhaps would be human again but more animal like. There was this woman in Indonesia a while back who was covered in hair and walked around growling. We can say it is like a deformity, but she was similar to a bear. Then, slowly she will become stupider and be reborn an animal.

This is how I see it. I don't see it like oh you were stupid so you will be punished in the animal realm. Things happen slowly over very long periods of time. Actually the only fast transformation of karma possible is the path.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby deepbluehum » Fri Oct 28, 2011 5:30 pm

Karma Dondrup Tashi wrote:
deepbluehum wrote:Ok, here's something interesting to puzzle over. ...


:rolling:

Hahaha. Awesome. This is such a cool post.

Maybe "mother" and "father" in the bardo who "make love" do not need to be the actual biological parents?

What about children who are adopted? They will inherit the karma of their adopted, not biologial, mother and father.

Makes me wonder what the white and red drops are, really.


Well an adopted child gets genetic karma from bios and enviro karma from adopteds no?

Actually the red and white represent blood and lymph. These are in the body. The tantric methods do cause someone to be able to arrest the autonomic systems. These practice do in fact generate intense bliss sensation in the body. In other words, they do what they are designed to do. Why and how is not so amazing as that it does work, and that the masters figured these out. Amazing.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby edearl » Fri Oct 28, 2011 5:32 pm

:thanks: deepblue
HHDL: "My confidence in venturing into science lies in my basic belief that as in science so in Buddhism, understanding the nature of reality is pursued by means of critical investigation: if scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false, then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims."
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby deepbluehum » Fri Oct 28, 2011 5:33 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:Of course they got it completely right with the atoms, just that science has not been able to go that deep into the atom yet.


Yeah right. An atom has a north, south, east and west, but is impenetrable? Honestly they got atoms wrong, but they did get that the are not partless. That's good enough.

But as to DNA the fact it's a molecule does not account for how consciousness is reborn from it. And the example of bardo seems to spin off into a totally not atomic direction.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby deepbluehum » Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:02 pm

Let's say you have X traits in your basket of behaviors. If someone born after you has X-1, or X+1, what is there to distinguish that person other than time and space? If our qualia of experience is shaped by X traits, then how is that future person any different than your experience? Due to the threaded and woven nature of memory and experience, why couldn't X-1 remember X's life if the proper conditions are met?
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Oct 28, 2011 7:56 pm

edearl wrote:I think you said it is possible if one is really stupid during their life. If so, and if one is born a microbe that has no brain to think and guide one's actions, how can one ever be born into a higher realm again?
As a consequence of previous positive karmic outcomes which "surface" again once the stronger negative karmic outcomes have run their course and pettered out. A microbe cannot generate the causes for a human rebirth, or at least it is incredibly, unbelievably difficult for them to do so.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Oct 28, 2011 8:04 pm

deepbluehum wrote:But as to DNA the fact it's a molecule does not account for how consciousness is reborn from it.
Probably coz consciousness is not born from DNA?
Let's say you have X traits in your basket of behaviors. If someone born after you has X-1, or X+1, what is there to distinguish that person other than time and space? If our qualia of experience is shaped by X traits, then how is that future person any different than your experience? Due to the threaded and woven nature of memory and experience, why couldn't X-1 remember X's life if the proper conditions are met?
Sometimes I don't remember what I had for breakfast and you want me to be able to remember my past life?

Anyway, let's say that in your immediately previous life you were a microbe. Can you even begin to imagine what a microbial memory would be like? I mean they don't have the same senses as us and we currently define our experience and memory via our senses (I felt this, I saw that, I heard this, I tasted that...) So if, suddenly, a microbial memory flashed up in your consciousness could you even possibly begin to be able to define it as an experience (as you now "know" experience) or a memory?
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby zangskar » Fri Oct 28, 2011 8:52 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:Anyway, let's say that in your immediately previous life you were a microbe. Can you even begin to imagine what a microbial memory would be like? I mean they don't have the same senses as us and we currently define our experience and memory via our senses (I felt this, I saw that, I heard this, I tasted that...) So if, suddenly, a microbial memory flashed up in your consciousness could you even possibly begin to be able to define it as an experience (as you now "know" experience) or a memory?

Indeed. And more generally, the idea that it is "I" and "you" who are reborn is sort of interesting ... in a Buddhist context, even if a reminder is made that there is no belief in atman, and that things are only "apparently" so, etc.

Maybe it's just because I don't understand the doctrine well enough, but this is one of the reasons why I prefer to just accept some ultra simple one-sentence version of the Buddhist teachings on rebirth and ignore the many empirical claims and details about it. The more details people come up with, the harder I find it to have faith.

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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby deepbluehum » Fri Oct 28, 2011 9:00 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:Anyway, let's say that in your immediately previous life you were a microbe.


According to dharma theory, this is not possible. You have to have the habits of such a creature to be reborn that way, living in moisture, eating minute particles, etc. Further, I don't believe microbes are sentient, as plants are not. There must be the capacity of mental events and memory, six sense media, etc.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Oct 28, 2011 9:03 pm

You completely missed the point AND you are getting stuck on physical forms and habits and not mental continuims (which is the "level" at which rebirth really acts).
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Last edited by Sherab Dorje on Fri Oct 28, 2011 9:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby deepbluehum » Fri Oct 28, 2011 9:08 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:You completely missed the point.


No I get your point: one cannot articulate what a prior "I" might have been like. But that is not the case, because our previous lives as sentient beings will not have been inconceivable. We would have had bodies, six-senses, language, memories, etc. One can imagine the life of a butterfly flitting about between flowers drinking sweetness communicating with smell. This is why it is important to define terms so we understand the teachings. A microbe would not be a sentient being, because there are not enough faculties to comprise sentience.
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