smcj wrote: Wow. Well thanks for that. I love it when I come to a conclusion on my own that is later verified by an actual authority. It makes me think I'm barking up the right tree at least.
Well, that book really talks a lot about the concepts of emptiness, no-self, and interdependent arising and is an excellent explanation of the Heart Sutra. The subject of rebirth is brought up in that context. When I used the word "suggests" I am not referring to a specific quote. So, I want to clarify that. It is implied by the teaching as a whole. If there was an intrinsic self to one's being, one could not undergo any type of change, let alone rebirth as a result of cause and effect (karma).
The very notion of rebirth is unrealistic an problematic, and it should be, to someone who is still holding on to some concept of a self, because how can a self stop being in one place, and then suddenly start beinga self again someplace else? That doesn't make any sense. Rebirth, seen that way, is completely illogical.
But when the fact that no intrinsically existing self can actually be shown to exist, even though the experience of a self arises, then one gets a different and more accurate understanding of what rebirth actually is, and how cause and effect (karma) contribute to the recurrence of a sequential cognitive experience.
That self that people doubt can take rebirth, in fact, has never actually been real to begin with.
The fact that there is no self does not prevent the experience of a self from arising at this moment, and for the very reasons that it does arise now, it can arise again, even after this body it arises with is gone.
It is the illusory experience of a self, not an actual self
that we experience in this lifetime, and that is reborn.
That's the whole point of Buddha's teaching!
--to cut through and liberate beings from the continuous rebirth of the illusory experience of a self.