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 Real?

Postby leinas » Wed Dec 04, 2013 2:17 am

smcj wrote:
The Dalai Lama learned Democratic election from Western tradition for there was no democracy, no voting, no equal opportunity, no human rights and no equality before the law in traditional Tibet.

In America slavery was legal up until 150 years ago. Black people were the property of the whites, which could torture or kill them at a whim. The doctrine of 'separate but equal' was still in effect when I was a child. The values you hold pre-PRC Tibet to are extremely modern. Our own society of 100 years ago would fail by today's standards. If you want to hold what was, for all intents and purposes, a 14th century society to modern standards, you might at well mention that Thomas Jefferson and George Washington were both slave owners. And that Jefferson's children by his black sex-slave were owned by his children of his white wife. They were siblings, yet his white children owned his black children. And this by the man that penned "…all men are created equal"!

But in no way do the problems criticisms of America diminish the incredible contributions it has made to the world. And, in the same sense, in no way do the problems and criticisms of Tibet diminish the contribution it has made to the world.

Times change. The Renaissance happened earlier in Italy than England. The modern world happened earlier in America than Asia, fwiw.


What you say is beside the point because you took my statement out of context. I'm not defending America or arguing that Tibetan Buddhism makes no contribution.
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Re: Are Karma and Rebirth Real?

Postby invisiblediamond » Wed Dec 04, 2013 3:01 am

leinas wrote:
invisiblediamond wrote:No Leinas. Buddha said birth, old age, sickness and death is suffering. He didn't say life was suffering.


Life = birth, youth, old age, sickness and death
birth, youth, old age, sickness and death = suffering
Therefore, life = suffering.
qed

In addition to the original texts, there are also the following:

http://www.buddhanet.net/cbp1_f6.htm

http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/5minbud.htm

http://sourcesofinsight.com/buddha-quotes/

http://buddhism.about.com/od/thefournob ... xplain.htm

http://www.nst.org/articles/basics-of-s ... -theorems/

http://www.patheos.com/Library/Buddhism ... -Evil.html

http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?tit ... ed_in_Pali

http://philosophycourse.info/lecsite/le ... -budd.html


He doesn't mean to say there is no possibility for happiness.
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Re: Are Karma and Rebirth Real?

Postby smcj » Wed Dec 04, 2013 3:13 am

He doesn't mean to say there is no possibility for happiness.

He means to say that there is no possibility for lasting happiness in samsara. As ChNN says, this is the path of renunciation. Renouncing what? Why samsara of course--which is made easy if you believe that there is no lasting happiness in it.

Of course liberation from samsara is very definitely offered as an option. And scenarios for doing this while alive are very much part of every tradition.

Arhats do not reincarnate for a reason. They've accomplished the goal.
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Re: Life is holy, not suffering.

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Wed Dec 04, 2013 4:31 am

leinas wrote: Life is holy.


You have some concept of "holy"
...whatever the heck that means.
What does it mean, and why do you say life is holy?
.
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Re: Are Karma and Rebirth Real?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Wed Dec 04, 2013 4:33 am

leinas wrote:
Life = birth, youth, old age, sickness and death
birth, youth, old age, sickness and death = suffering
Therefore, life = suffering.
qed

You started by saying
Life is holy, not suffering.
First, you said life is holy.
later, you said life is suffering.
If life is holy,
and life is suffering,
then, what you are saying is,
suffering is holy.
qed
.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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Re: Are Karma and Rebirth Real?

Postby smcj » Wed Dec 04, 2013 6:04 am

The cause of suffering is idolatry, not desire. Life is holy and the cause of suffering is idolatry.

Well, there are forms of Dharma without idols per se. Maybe you should pay attention to them instead of getting all worked up for no productive reason.
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Re: Are Karma and Rebirth Real?

Postby futerko » Wed Dec 04, 2013 6:16 am

leinas, can I ask - do you have a religion or philosophy yourself, or are you just writing the first thing that comes into your head?
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: Are Karma and Rebirth Real?

Postby invisiblediamond » Wed Dec 04, 2013 6:36 am

If the idol is naked with bloody fangs, she causes bliss.
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Re: Are Karma and Rebirth Real?

Postby leinas » Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:29 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
leinas wrote:
Life = birth, youth, old age, sickness and death
birth, youth, old age, sickness and death = suffering
Therefore, life = suffering.
qed

You started by saying
Life is holy, not suffering.
First, you said life is holy.
later, you said life is suffering.
If life is holy,
and life is suffering,
then, what you are saying is,
suffering is holy.
qed
.
.
.


Have another look at the context of your above quote and you will see that I was responding to someone who denied that life is suffering is what the Buddha taught in his first noble truth. She claimed that he taught instead that birth, youth, old age, sickness and death are suffering. Therefore I responded that since life exhaustively consists of the stages of birth, youth, old age, sickness and since death and birth, youth, old age, sickness and death are suffering, it follows that the Buddha taught that life is suffering. This is just an argument to establish that the Buddha's first noble truth is that life is suffering, which is in fact how all the great rinpoches teach the subject.

This explains the context of :
Life = birth, youth, old age, sickness and death
birth, youth, old age, sickness and death = suffering
Therefore, life = suffering.
qed

To paraphrase my previous statements, the view that life is holy is more fundamental than the view that life is suffering is what I said. My view, is that life is holy is a more fundamental truth than the truth that life is suffering. The truth of suffering does not come first. It comes somewhere after the truth of holiness. I believe this satisfies your argument.

The finite human mind compulsively judges everything in terms of our comfort level.
We judge the universe through our limited human preferences. Clearly such judgment is hopelessly flawed, for
how we finite beings wish things to be is incongruent to how things are on an infinite scale. Therefore judging human suffering to be an unholy violation of the order of Nature, horrid, impious, imperfect or evil is an inadequate idea. Then why should suffering not also be holy from the standpoint of the infinite.

The meaning of 'holy' changes according to the level from which it is applied. You're familiar with the Buddhist theory of two truths? I do not believe there is a contradiction in the view that even suffering is holy from the standpoint of the Infinite.
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Re: Are Karma and Rebirth Real?

Postby dude » Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:44 am

By the two truths, do you mean relative truth and absolute truth?
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Re: Are Karma and Rebirth Real?

Postby futerko » Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:51 am

leinas wrote:why should suffering not also be holy from the standpoint of the infinite.

Very simply put, from the standpoint of the infinite, both the terms "suffering" and "holy" are both relative concepts, however if you are trying to suggest that the "pure view" (of phenomena as manifestations of the deity) in Tibetan Buddhism is somehow more fundamental than the first noble truth, then that would seem self-evident. That is precisely the reason they are called "noble" truths rather than ultimate truths.

edit: ...by the way, claiming to take on the view of the infinite and applying concepts in the way you are suggesting, would seem to also come under the broader heading "idolatry," at least in terms of hubris, if not also in regard to representation.
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: Are Karma and Rebirth Real?

Postby leinas » Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:32 am

invisiblediamond wrote:http://www.dalailama.com/biography/reincarnation

There are many different logical arguments given in the words of the Buddha and subsequent commentaries to prove the existence of past and future lives. In brief, they come down to four points: the logic that things are preceded by things of a similar type, the logic that things are preceded by a substantial cause, the logic that the mind has gained familiarity with things in the past, and the logic of having gained experience of things in the past.






And none of these arguments work.
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Re: Are Karma and Rebirth Real?

Postby Punya » Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:41 am

I guess you're not a buddhist then. :smile:
Unless the inner forces of negative emotions are conquered
Strife with outer enemies will never end.
~Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
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Re: Are Karma and Rebirth Real?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Wed Dec 04, 2013 1:43 pm

leinas wrote:The finite human mind compulsively judges everything in terms of our comfort level.
We judge the universe through our limited human preferences. Clearly such judgment is hopelessly flawed, for
how we finite beings wish things to be is incongruent to how things are on an infinite scale.


I don't mean to push you out of your comfort zone, but
are you including your own understanding as being flawed?

:smile:
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The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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Re: Are Karma and Rebirth Real?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Wed Dec 04, 2013 1:44 pm

Punya wrote:I guess you're not a buddhist then. :smile:

I don't think leinas ever claimed to be.
.
.
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Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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Re: Are Karma and Rebirth Real?

Postby muni » Wed Dec 04, 2013 3:31 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Life is holy, not suffering.
First, you said life is holy.
later, you said life is suffering.
If life is holy,
and life is suffering,
then, what you are saying is,
suffering is holy.
qed
.
.
.


:smile:

Shows as well how all words are empty, we bam words on the screen like everlasting truths but they are completely meaningless without mind.
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Re: Life is fundamentally holy

Postby futerko » Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:12 pm

leinas wrote:That infinite nature cares for man and his welfare is proven by the fact that infinite Nature has provided man with the moral and intellectual means to elevate the quality of his life. To this end, Infinite Nature or G-d, the source of everything, provides man with the capacity and the opportunity to receive holy teachings. He creates these teachings to benefit man and on man bestows them to raise man up from animal suffering and nescience to the level of human being. Therefore it is clear that Infinite Nature loves man.

Furthermore, since G-d, who for your information is not a person in any way, created gravity but if you fall down the stairs do you blame G-d for gravity or do you tie your shoe-laces as instructed by your father. It makes as much sense to blame G-d for suffering because he created the world.

The idea that G-d is not a person, but is in fact infinite nature (even though you continually refer to a "he"), is in fact sound reasoning.

What you have failed to account for here is the idea of how "infinite nature" can in some way be an agent, yet you repeatedly use the expressions; "cares for," "has provided," "creates," etc. as if what you are describing here can in some way pick and choose.

If, as you say quite correctly, god is in fact not a person but is in fact infinite nature, then how would it in any way be possible for him to make these choices, choices which, if he chose otherwise, would in fact by definition mean that he was no longer infinite but only partial?
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: Are Karma and Rebirth Real?

Postby smcj » Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:24 pm

Leinas, sounds to me like you'd be happy reading Meister Eckhart and learning about his ideas about Godhead. Spend some time with him and come back, or at least read the Wiki article about him and about Godhead.

I, for one, will not go on record saying that such is completely outside of Dharma viewpoints, but it certainly isn't popular on the internet!
Last edited by smcj on Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Are Karma and Rebirth Real?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:28 pm

I think the purpose of Leinas' visit
is not to discuss karma and rebirth,
or anything having to do with Buddhism,
or to inquire about comparisons between Buddhism and Godism,
but rather, to offer a religious viewpoint.
I'm open to that, but let's see it for what it is
and if Leinas would get to the point,
that would be very nice too.
.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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Re: Are Karma and Rebirth Real?

Postby smcj » Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:37 pm

...or is - really the letter o, which has fallen backwards,
and we are seeing it from the side, like the edge of a coin?
If so, it isn't hard to prop it back up again.

...like it was drunk or something...

:good:
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