BASIS FOR KARMA / REBIRTH

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Re: BASIS FOR KARMA / REBIRTH

Postby dude » Sat Nov 30, 2013 7:48 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
dude wrote:I agree with you. That's the whole point. That's the sole intent behind all the Buddha's teachings.

“The buddhas, the world-honored ones, wish to open the door of buddha wisdom to all living beings, to allow them to attain purity. That is why they appear in the world. They wish to show the buddha wisdom to living beings, and therefore they appear in the world. They wish to cause living beings to awaken to the buddha wisdom, and therefore they appear in the world. They wish to induce living beings to enter the path of buddha wisdom, and therefore they appear in the world."
- Lotus Sutra

Well, somebody better straighten Subhuti out.

:smile:


Are you saying the two sutra passages contradict each other?
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Re: BASIS FOR KARMA / REBIRTH

Postby dzogchungpa » Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:21 pm

dude wrote:Are you saying the two sutra passages contradict each other?

I'm not sure. What do you think?
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Re: BASIS FOR KARMA / REBIRTH

Postby dude » Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:30 pm

I think no.
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Re: BASIS FOR KARMA / REBIRTH

Postby dzogchungpa » Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:38 pm

dude wrote:I think no.

OK.
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Re: BASIS FOR KARMA / REBIRTH

Postby Sherab » Sun Dec 01, 2013 1:59 am

mindyourmind wrote:From a theistic point of view, God created everything, is the uncreated creator and all questions can be ascribed to him. Why are flowers, rainbows, puppy dogs - God is the ultimate answer.

Along come the Buddhists, "believing" in karma and rebirth, but not in a creator god. To put it in its simplest form, where does karma / rebirth "come from"? Who created such an exquisitely complex system, if there is no god?

My starting premise is that all the phenomena that we experienced falls into two categories: those that are mental in nature and those that are physical in nature.

To simplify the debate, I prefer to look at phenomena that are physical in nature. This is where science has made huge progress in understanding the nature of physical reality. So far, scientists in general, have no need to conjure up a creator God to explain how physical phenomena come about. To me, that is quite telling. It makes it much more likely that there is no creator God.

To understand and appreciate the explanation of how physical phenomena can come about without the need of a creator God, you need to be up to speed in quantum physics. Debating about how physical phenomena can come into existence using classical physics simply gets you nowhere. As I see it, something similar is happening in this debate. Some have alluded to this by pointing out the so-called unanswerable questions. To me unanswerable questions are unanswerable only because of limitation in knowledge.

The Buddha taught that our karma created our world. Unless our mental clarity is the same as that of the Buddha, we will be hard press to see how our karma actually created the world. We can only rely on hints that what the Buddha said was true. In fact, the thesis that our karma created our world is much harder to prove as the world that it created is not only the physical world but the mental world as well. Even then karma itself arises from a "field of reality" according to certain Buddhist teachings and that is supposedly while being the basis of all phenomena, is not in itself a phenomenon. Try getting your head around that. :smile:

It gets worse: that "field of reality" is individual as well.
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Re: BASIS FOR KARMA / REBIRTH

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sun Dec 01, 2013 2:12 am

dzogchungpa wrote: Well, somebody better straighten Subhuti out. :smile:

I couldn't find the earlier reference, if there was one.
What did Subhuti say about it?
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Re: BASIS FOR KARMA / REBIRTH

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sun Dec 01, 2013 2:36 am

Sherab wrote:Even then karma itself arises from a "field of reality" according to certain Buddhist teachings and that is supposedly while being the basis of all phenomena, is not in itself a phenomenon. Try getting your head around that. :smile:

That "field of reality" is, i think, what I had referred to as often called "ground of awareness" or 'alaya".

I was having this discussion with a friend who suggested that what we are taliking about
might be called 'the element of response'
(the term 'element' as in 'element of surprise', meaning a factor, rather than as something on the periodic table).
We were trying to find a common denominator,
and thought about the example of a venus fly trap, a plant that traps insects
when one lands on one of its hair-like sensors.
There is nothing that we can call cognition, as we know it,
but there is a response by a living organism to external stimuli.
This basic ground of awareness, which comes before everything else,
only manifests as cognition or as response of some type, when,
and in accordance with, the type of thing it encounters.

As an analogy, consider a food allergy, or a predisposition to alcoholism, or a mirror.
a food allergy is a preexisting condition, a basis, a context so to speak,
it only manifests as a rash or swelling when it arises along with certain foods.
Likewise, the addiction to alcohol only manifests as drunkenness when arising with alcohol.
The mirror is predisposed to reflect, but the reflection itself only occurs when an object is placed in front of it.
Likewise, this alaya, or ground of awareness,
only manifest as cognition. or thought, or sense of 'me' when arising with the conditions under which that can occur.

When it arises under the condition which produce the experience of being, say, an animal, a dog for example,/meaning that the conditions for a dog's body, sense organs and brain have come together,
then the experience of being a dog arises, or we would say,
"one is reborn as a dog"

When it arises under the conditions which produce the experience of, say, being a hungry ghost,
then the experience of being a hungry ghost asises, or we would say,
"one is reborn as a hungry ghost"

...even though, of course, there is no 'self' that is reborn.
The propensity for ground of awareness to arise with particular conditions
is basically, karma.
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Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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Re: BASIS FOR KARMA / REBIRTH

Postby futerko » Sun Dec 01, 2013 2:43 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Sherab wrote:Even then karma itself arises from a "field of reality" according to certain Buddhist teachings and that is supposedly while being the basis of all phenomena, is not in itself a phenomenon. Try getting your head around that. :smile:


...even though, of course, there is no 'self' that is reborn.
The propensity for ground of awareness to arise with particular conditions
is basically, karma.
.
.
.


...and therefore Sherab's sentence, "The Buddha taught that our karma created our world." should in fact read, "The Buddha taught that karma creates our world."
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: BASIS FOR KARMA / REBIRTH

Postby dude » Sun Dec 01, 2013 2:55 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote: Well, somebody better straighten Subhuti out. :smile:

I couldn't find the earlier reference, if there was one.
What did Subhuti say about it?
.
.
.


Gods: A fully enlightened Buddha also, you say, is like a magical illusion, is like a dream? Buddhahood also, you say, is like a magical illusion, is like a dream?
Subhuti: Even Nirvana, I say, is like a magical illusion, is like a dream. How much more so anything else!
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Re: BASIS FOR KARMA / REBIRTH

Postby Sherab » Sun Dec 01, 2013 4:11 am

futerko wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Sherab wrote:Even then karma itself arises from a "field of reality" according to certain Buddhist teachings and that is supposedly while being the basis of all phenomena, is not in itself a phenomenon. Try getting your head around that. :smile:


...even though, of course, there is no 'self' that is reborn.
The propensity for ground of awareness to arise with particular conditions
is basically, karma.
.
.
.


...and therefore Sherab's sentence, "The Buddha taught that our karma created our world." should in fact read, "The Buddha taught that karma creates our world."

Sure, there are aspects of each of our individual worlds that is constantly being created and ceased but the universe that we inhabit together was created at the time of the big bang and evolved into our present common world. So I simply chose to use the past tense to avoid cumbersome expression.
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Re: BASIS FOR KARMA / REBIRTH

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sun Dec 01, 2013 4:21 am

Gods: A fully enlightened Buddha also, you say, is like a magical illusion, is like a dream? Buddhahood also, you say, is like a magical illusion, is like a dream?
Subhuti: Even Nirvana, I say, is like a magical illusion, is like a dream. How much more so anything else!


Oh, yes. It doesn't mean that full realization is unattainable.
This passage is describing full realization as beyond the ordinary mind of grasping and clinging.
In other words, Buddhahood is not a "thing", a product of discursive thinking.

It's not that much different than the saying, "if you see Buddha on the road, kill him",
meaning that any solidification of concept here is a mistake.
.
.
.
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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: BASIS FOR KARMA / REBIRTH

Postby futerko » Sun Dec 01, 2013 4:22 am

Sherab wrote:
futerko wrote:...and therefore Sherab's sentence, "The Buddha taught that our karma created our world." should in fact read, "The Buddha taught that karma creates our world."

Sure, there are aspects of each of our individual worlds that is constantly being created and ceased but the universe that we inhabit together was created at the time of the big bang and evolved into our present common world. So I simply chose to use the past tense to avoid cumbersome expression.


Yes, I see that, but then that would seem to miss the real crux about rebirth which you have expressed excellently in the phrase, "constantly being created and ceased."

I think that without this aspect, the idea of rebirth is in danger of becoming a theory of reincarnated selves, locating truth somewhere other than in the here and now, and for me that makes it just as unintelligible as any theistic theory. Liberation will always be a lifetime away if cessation cannot be seen to be possible in the present moment.
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: BASIS FOR KARMA / REBIRTH

Postby Sherab » Sun Dec 01, 2013 4:35 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:The propensity for ground of awareness to arise with particular conditions
is basically, karma.

I think it is more subtle than that. There is a spontaneous nature in the ground itself. But spontaneity can mean randomness, besides responsiveness to stimuli. There are suggestions in quantum physics, that when to get down to the planck scale, you find that there are random creation and cessation of space itself. It is possible that the same could apply to the so-called "ground or field of reality". If you allow for randomness in the ground, that opens up interesting possibilities.
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Re: BASIS FOR KARMA / REBIRTH

Postby Sherab » Sun Dec 01, 2013 4:40 am

futerko wrote:Yes, I see that, but then that would seem to miss the real crux about rebirth which you have expressed excellently in the phrase, "constantly being created and ceased."

I think that without this aspect, the idea of rebirth is in danger of becoming a theory of reincarnated selves, locating truth somewhere other than in the here and now, and for me that makes it just as unintelligible as any theistic theory. Liberation will always be a lifetime away if cessation cannot be seen to be possible in the present moment.

I think rebirth can be seen in terms of short cycles of arising and ceasing (moment by moment) and long cycles of arising and ceasing (birth and death). To focus exclusively on one or the other would seem to be a mistake to me.
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Re: BASIS FOR KARMA / REBIRTH

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sun Dec 01, 2013 5:15 am

Nirvana is reachable. :jumping:
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Re: BASIS FOR KARMA / REBIRTH

Postby futerko » Sun Dec 01, 2013 5:17 am

Sherab wrote:
futerko wrote:Yes, I see that, but then that would seem to miss the real crux about rebirth which you have expressed excellently in the phrase, "constantly being created and ceased."

I think that without this aspect, the idea of rebirth is in danger of becoming a theory of reincarnated selves, locating truth somewhere other than in the here and now, and for me that makes it just as unintelligible as any theistic theory. Liberation will always be a lifetime away if cessation cannot be seen to be possible in the present moment.

I think rebirth can be seen in terms of short cycles of arising and ceasing (moment by moment) and long cycles of arising and ceasing (birth and death). To focus exclusively on one or the other would seem to be a mistake to me.


Say you took an even longer cycle, for example, the big bang itself when viewed as an on-going event... or as an equivalent, say that a firework goes off and is perceived by an awareness with a lifespan shorter than the duration of the explosion, could it actually be said that there was any arising and ceasing at all, or would it simply be a conversion of matter into energy?
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: BASIS FOR KARMA / REBIRTH

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sun Dec 01, 2013 5:30 am

futerko wrote: Say you took an even longer cycle, for example, the big bang itself when viewed as an on-going event... or as an equivalent, say that a firework goes off and is perceived by an awareness with a lifespan shorter than the duration of the explosion, could it actually be said that there was any arising and ceasing at all, or would it simply be a conversion of matter into energy?


Two very slow moving garden snails go out one day to watch flower blossoms open up.
"Wow!" says one snail, "that rose opening up was fantastic !"
"Darn, I blinked!" replies the other.



.
.
.
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: BASIS FOR KARMA / REBIRTH

Postby futerko » Sun Dec 01, 2013 5:33 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
futerko wrote: Say you took an even longer cycle, for example, the big bang itself when viewed as an on-going event... or as an equivalent, say that a firework goes off and is perceived by an awareness with a lifespan shorter than the duration of the explosion, could it actually be said that there was any arising and ceasing at all, or would it simply be a conversion of matter into energy?


Two very slow moving garden snails go out one day to watch flower blossoms open up.
"Wow!" says one snail, "that rose opening up was fantastic !"
"Darn, I blinked!" replies the other.

.


:jumping:
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