Karma and Reincarnation

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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Jan 20, 2014 5:13 pm

Virgo wrote:
Sherab Dorje wrote:
Virgo wrote:It's not (nor did I ever say otherwise).
It seems to me that that is what you were saying her...

Neither one is any more real than the other, but their views differ.

Aagin this is very true, but it still provides no evidence regarding the "accusation" of hyper-realism in regards to the model of the functioning of mind. And, anyway, again, all that is happening is that you are displaying a preference for one conceptual framework over another. Unless, of course, you are saying that Theravada is not Buddhadharma, then we are getting into a whole different conversation.

What evidence do I really need? All you have to do is read a treatise like the Visuddhimagga to understand that the view is that of realism (or read other Commentaries).

Conceptualizations can, at best, only be approximations of ultimate reality. Therefore, neither system is truly correct in the realest sense. Therefore, I do not prefer either. Each one of these systems, however, can be a very useful tool in it's own right, under the right circumstances, for the right people, etc.
Therefore, I feel that both are profound and liberating, it's just that the Theravada Abhidhamma posits really arising dharmas, while yogacara is more penetrating in this matter. Both point outside of the loop.

Kevin
Thank you for making the effort to explain your position. :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."
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby smcj » Mon Jan 20, 2014 5:37 pm

You still have the problem of how an inert object, or an object not somehow connected with consciousness, could exist without an essence.

I believe that the type of essence being denied entails something that is permanent and unchanging. So you'd have to name something permanent and unchanging in order to propose that it has an essence in this conversation. The best I've been able to do so far in that regard are black holes. I can't see them going to pieces--ever! I don't know if that idea has ever been put to a khenpo or geshe yet. That could be interesting.

As far as non-permanent objects go, I like the Gelug version of things where they exist in interdependence on one another. That idea is legit Dharma, but then I do my usual oversimplification of the idea to say that everything exists as a paradox. The visual image I use is the Escher sketch of two hands drawing each other. However that's just my comic-book level interpretation of the idea and not to be seriously considered.
Last edited by smcj on Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby Malcolm » Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:01 pm

cloudburst wrote:
You still have the problem of how an inert object, or an object not somehow connected with consciousness, could exist without an essence. If something exists without depending upon mind, it will be inherent. You need to deal with this problem in a way other than just asserting your point.



That is not a problem in the slightest. Anything that arises from causes and conditions has no essence. Being nondependent on mind does not render something inherently existent.

In that case you can give an example of an object that is not and has never appeared to mind. If it is an object, it is an object of mind, or an appearance. What else?


No, because that would be an object that appeared to a mind. This does not however rule out the existence of things that have never appeared to any mind, which nevertheless are product so their own inert and nonsentient causes and conditions, and therefore, not inherently existent and nevertheless, not products of karma.

Malcolm wrote:Mental objects are one class of objects, material objects are another class of objects. You are conflating the two. A mental object (part of the dharmadhātu) is an object for the mano dhātu. A material object is an object for the other five dhātus, form for eye, etc.


sure, all objects, mental and material, are objects of consciousnesses, sense or otherwise. You get nowhere differentiating mental consciousness from sense consciousness as they are all consciousness, or mind. I appreciate your presentation of the 18 elements, please explain how an object exists independently of mind without implying an essence. Before a mind is generated, if an object exists, it must exist independent of mind. Vasubahandu's presentation is finally a realist one. I am assuming you want to do better than that.


Vasubandhu's presentation is the one that Madhyamakas subscribe to conventionally. The point is that even Candrakirti accepts that for an eye consciousness to be generated, the eye consciousness depends on an external form. According to your presentation, forms depend solely on consciousness and could never be asserted to exist externally, and as you stated, would not need eyes to be perceived. This would then render all sense organs nonfunctional and unnecessary. But there are so many negative consequences to this I could not possibly list them all.

Malcolm wrote:It is not the intention of Madhyamaka to undermine this or that conventional presentation of the skandhas, dhātus and āyatanas, but merely to show that they are not paramārtha dharmas.


good.

I am interested to see if you can give an explanation of how a thunderstorm could exist that did not arise from karma, without employing a realist ontology.
[/quote]

You need to explain the karmic cause of such a storm.

Simply put however, thunderstorms arises from atmospheric causes and conditions. There is no necessary precondition for a mind to generate those causes and conditions, and you equally cannot demonstrate how karma causes a thunderstorm.
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:09 pm

The big red spot on Jupiter is a storm.
It is constantly changing and thus
cannot be said to have any permanent essence.

It arises from causes and will some day be gone,
so it is not self-arising (inherent) or permanent.

It would be happening whether anyone knew about it or not,
so its arising does not rely on awareness or consciousness.

As no known consciousness is associated with it,
it is not the product of thinking, or clinging to any notion of self,
so there is no karma associated with it.
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:14 pm

cloudburst wrote:
You still have the problem of how an inert object, or an object not somehow connected with consciousness, could exist without an essence. If something exists without depending upon mind, it will be inherent.


Nonsense. Anything which has not yet been discovered yet will be exists with no connection to consciousness and does not necessarily have an inherent characteristic. Suppose you discovered a buried treasure that no living person knew existed?
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby cloudburst » Fri Jan 31, 2014 8:30 pm

Malcolm wrote:That is not a problem in the slightest. Anything that arises from causes and conditions has no essence. Being nondependent on mind does not render something inherently existent.


Anything that arises also has parts. If you think about this carefully you will discover that this precisely DOES mean that "Being nondependent on mind" renders "something inherently existent."

As it turns out, you are a realist. Who knew?

Vasubandhu's presentation is the one that Madhyamakas subscribe to conventionally. The point is that even Candrakirti accepts that for an eye consciousness to be generated, the eye consciousness depends on an external form.


yes, but you need to acknowledge that Madhyamakas can use this presentation without importing that which is incorrect within the system. Chandrakirti accepts that an external object is necessary, but he certainly doesn't accept that an inherent object is necessary, so again you are stuck trying to present an external that is not inherent, while claiming that external also means non-dependent on mind. You have a problem.

According to your presentation, forms depend solely on consciousness and could never be asserted to exist externally, and as you stated, would not need eyes to be perceived. This would then render all sense organs nonfunctional and unnecessary. But there are so many negative consequences to this I could not possibly list them all.


I did say they could exist externally, one just needs to understand this in a way that does not force one into a position of asserting essences.
I never said forms would not need eyes. When I said " do not need organs, i was thinking of formless beings who would only have a mental power, your awkward use of "organs" to render "power" was misleading. The consequences you draw on the basis of misunderstanding do nothing to affect the discussion

Malcolm wrote:You need to explain the karmic cause of such a storm.


Buddha explained that karmic causes are inconceivable, I have no idea the specifics of how such a storm would be created. They are created by the collective karma of the beings experiencing the storm.

Malcolm wrote:The assertion that appearances and objects are identical is mistaken. If this were the case, there could be no common basis for the imputation of liquids by beings of the six realms.


objects are mere appearances. There is no basis that is not appearance, as you cogently explain here....

Malcolm wrote:The Madhyamaka project is to show that as long as one insists that there is an ultimate basis of imputation beyond mere appearances, for that long one will be locked into conceptuality.


If you say that there is a conventional basis that is beyond mere appearance, you will demonstrate that you do not understand the meaning of convention.
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Fri Jan 31, 2014 11:14 pm

cloudburst wrote: Anything that arises also has parts. If you think about this carefully you will discover that this precisely DOES mean that "Being nondependent on mind" renders "something inherently existent."


No. it doesn't.
"Being nondependent on mind" means that arising of phenomena can occur without anyone's awareness of it.
mind only refers to the interaction of awareness with objects of awareness.
If there is no awareness of it, it arises independent of mind.

For example, cancer spreading through a body, undetected.
This doesn't mean that the cancer is "something inherently existent."
The cancer still arises from conditions, and sis a component of parts.
But it does arise with no dependence on mind.
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sat Feb 01, 2014 3:06 pm

cloudburst wrote: Anything that arises also has parts. If you think about this carefully you will discover that this precisely DOES mean that "Being nondependent on mind" renders "something inherently existent."


Anther example of something which occurs outside of perception (being nondependent on mind)
occurred to me last night while I was asleep:
The movement of the hour hand on the face of a clock. We can look at it even while it is moving
but at the same time, its movement is not perceptible (ordinarily*),
yet movement is entirely conditional.

(*it is actually possible to quiet one's mind down enough so that the slow movement of an hour hand is perceptible)

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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby Sonrisa » Sat Feb 01, 2014 5:44 pm

Berry wrote:
jianblade wrote:Does one need to accept the concepts of reincarnation karma and the wheel of samsara to follow the teaching of the Buddha? I don't feel comfortable believing
In said things...


This present lifetime is all you have right now. Practice the Dharma with sincerity in your daily life and the rest will take care of itself.


I agree! Instead of worrying about a future lifetime, focus on THIS life and practice the Dharma.

If you think about it, karma and rebirth also apply to mental states. You werent the same person who were an hour ago, two days ago, four months ago, 6 years ago. It is said that the karma for greed is poverty. Think about this: If you steal, you keep wanting more and more. You are constantly in a state of mental agitation because you cannot get what you want and arent satisfied. You suffer the poverty of calmness. If others find out about your stealing habits, they will [i]hate[i] you and you will suffer the poverty of loneliness. In such case, poverty doesnt have to mean material or monetary poverty.
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sat Feb 01, 2014 7:51 pm

Sonrisa wrote:
Berry wrote:This present lifetime is all you have right now. Practice the Dharma with sincerity in your daily life and the rest will take care of itself.
I agree! Instead of worrying about a future lifetime, focus on THIS life and practice the Dharma.

Agreed, with onr tweak:
the present moment is all you have now,
and then, not even that!
All the more reason to focus on now.
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby Sonrisa » Mon Feb 03, 2014 2:54 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Sonrisa wrote:
Berry wrote:This present lifetime is all you have right now. Practice the Dharma with sincerity in your daily life and the rest will take care of itself.
I agree! Instead of worrying about a future lifetime, focus on THIS life and practice the Dharma.

Agreed, with onr tweak:
the present moment is all you have now,
and then, not even that!
All the more reason to focus on now.
.
.
.


It didn't occur to me but I also wanted to add that instead of worrying about a future lifetime, focus and work on THIS lifetime, in the same way you work to get through the day.

I like how you put it, the present moment is all you have now. I mean, that is why it's a present (hehe, I couldnt help the pun) :tongue:
Namo Amitabha
Namo Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva
Namo Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva

May I continue to practice loving-kindness and compassion for sentient beings. May my friends and loved ones be free from suffering. May those who have hurt me also be free from suffering.

Hatred is like throwing cow dung at someone else. You get dirty first before throwing it to someone else.
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sat Jun 28, 2014 10:00 pm

Sonrisa wrote:
I like how you put it, the present moment is all you have now. I mean, that is why it's a present (hehe, I couldnt help the pun) :tongue:


"yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present."
---Oogway (from Kung Fu Panda)

At the beginning of every day, before I actually get up, I imagine for a few moments that I am lying on my deathbed, and that I will be dead before the sun goes down that day. When a person is dying peacefully, maybe people will come around, and they ask, "Do you need a drink of water?" "Do you need another pillow?" "Do you want to watch TV?" ...and the dying person doesn't need anything. "No thanks, I'm fine". They don't need anything because all of their business is over, there is no point in planning anything or concocting schemes. There is no place they need to go, nowhere they have to hurry off to. Everything is finished, and for the first time in their life, they can just relax. Perfect freedom, perfect happiness. So, I try to put myself in that frame of mind, not really needing anything. Of course, then I have to get up and do stuff! I can't just lie around in bed all day!

In a way, it's ironic, with the same kind of irony that happens when people decide to sell a house and move out. They paint the walls, put in new fixtures, upgrade everything, so they can sell the house. They don't get to enjoy any of it. They finally make everything perfect, and then they move out! In the same way, we live our whole lives chasing after things, and the only time we stop and just enjoy being alive is when we are about to die. Funny how that works!

I think this has a lot to do with the understanding of karma and rebirth.
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby smcj » Sat Jun 28, 2014 10:46 pm

Sonrisa wrote:I agree! Instead of worrying about a future lifetime, focus on THIS life and practice the Dharma.


In general, if you focus on THIS life you won't practice the Dharma. You'll put your efforts into making your situation and circumstances better. The latent hope will be that you will find a way to make life happy and satisfying in a lasting way. That is exactly why Sakyamuni taught the 1st Noble Truth.

It is not a question about "worrying" about a future lifetime. What the meditation on death does is allow you to shed the crudest forms of attachment to the things in this life that are inconsequential to Dharma practice. All the various issues, dramas, fears, expectations, agendas, conclusions, etc. that we all have won't mean anything two hours after you're dead. However the condition of your mind will continue to be important--at least if you believe in reincarnation.

So yes, in a way you are focusing on what you are doing here and now. Only you are focusing on what is important in the here and now that will continue to be important in the there and then. Everything else can be dismissed while you are doing your practice. Without the belief in reincarnation you will simply bring the practice of meditation down into the toxic environment of the attachments you have for this life, and that brings your right back to what Sakyamuni's 1st Noble Truth says. Dukha means that you cannot find a lasting happiness in life--on your terms. Sakyamuni didn't make an exception about this by saying, "…unless you meditate like I tell you". The later Mahayana perspectives build on that idea, they don't dismiss it. Rejecting reincarnation brings us right back to the inevitable dukha of samsara--even if we are doing our Dharma meditation--because then we are trying to practice Dharma on our terms.

************************************************

A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits.
ChNN
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby dude » Sun Jun 29, 2014 4:49 am

bingo
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby jianblade » Mon Jun 30, 2014 6:02 am

I'm sorry about the dead radio silence, but I've been following this thread carefullly, and you all have gave me wonderful insights (or realization of how stupid I can be haha). I've realized that my rationalization of the dharma and picking and choosing the teachings of the buddha is just my ego trying to grasp to concepts, I had my own preconceptions of the world, and I had been applying them to the dharma. I thought I was having an open mind, but all I was doing was diluting myself in order to prop up an ego.

I'm not apologizing for it, I wanna make that clear, I guess it's natural, human, to pick and choose. Heck, that happens a lot in my own original christian culture, picking certain teachings of Christ and leaving out inconvenient ones .

Thank you my friends for your guidance and may peace be upon you, in this life, or maybe the next :P

:namaste:
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