Continuity / Discontinuity; Eternalism / Annihilationism

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Continuity / Discontinuity; Eternalism / Annihilationism

Postby klqv » Thu Oct 27, 2011 5:30 pm

Hi,

I assume that this has come up before but I thought I'd start a new thread.

Why isn't samanantara-pratyaya a type of continuity?
Why isn't rebirth a form of eternalism?

In the second question I am also asking what rebirth is - because I gather that samanatara-pratyaya is never said to extend between rebirths and that strikes me as annihilationism.


Thansk :) :)
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Re: Continuity / Discontinuity; Eternalism / Annihilationism

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Thu Oct 27, 2011 5:56 pm

Same reason that jackalopes and turtle hairs aren't forms of continuity or forms of eternalism?
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Re: Continuity / Discontinuity; Eternalism / Annihilationism

Postby klqv » Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:13 pm

i don't understand?

i'm not saying that the buddha misrepresented himself, just that i am not sure i understand what rebirth involves and how come the neither continuity nor discontinuity can be cashed out so easily into something [samanatara-pratyaya] that could meet the literal definition of "continuity"
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Re: Continuity / Discontinuity; Eternalism / Annihilationism

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:18 pm

Samanantara-pratyaya isn't a type of continuity because immediately preceding causes don't exist either to affirm or deny. Rebirth isn't a form of eternalism because it doesn't exist either to affirm or deny.
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Re: Continuity / Discontinuity; Eternalism / Annihilationism

Postby klqv » Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:36 pm

i thought it was common parlance that dharmas exist and are absolutely not like the horns of a rabbit?
wrt your second point - are you using exist in a particular restrictive sense, warning against reifying rebirth or that sort of thing?


thanks for giving me some dejavu btw :D confusing :D :D
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Re: Continuity / Discontinuity; Eternalism / Annihilationism

Postby ronnewmexico » Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:45 pm

To my opinion, (opinions vary signficantly on this)....we present as we are by circumstantial production.

But always when we present in form as sentient being we have retentive aspect which presents as habititual inclination.
This is part of our cognitive function, we retain so we may understand things, we must retain.
In composite with self concept retention this becomes habitual inclination. But retention is always a part of us, us being not a being but a thing that understands, when it occurs. We have a habit of self.

We always present as being with self concept and hence with habitual inclination when we rebirth.
Our perceived continuity is the continuity of form or presentation of our awarenesses not a actual continuity of real thing.

In other words when we present as being.... we always present with a retentive aspect which speaks of past lives and such things.
But actually we "we"....don't rebirth. Circumstances produces which call for our production as sentient being. What causes these circumstances to produce what causes our occurance as sentient being are complex and intricate, and also vast vast is their size, beyond our comprehension.
The cognitive medium does it always exist in form?.....I would say no,not necessarily.
It seemingly exists always but self concept it is that seems this thing.

In a conventional sense it is eternal but it is eternal only that we perceive it always as eternal.
Our perception is our perception....do we perceive always some say yes I say not.
It matters not...... when we present as being, we always have retetentiion and hence a past and present and future.

But it seems to me we perceive in this fashion not that things are in that way.
It is complicated and bears much study.
Essentially we are circumstance and when presenting we always present with memory which we think of as independently caused and suffered but they are not.....finally considered even this awareness is caused to produce by circumstance.

Is our base, our ground, all things,...... awareness understandings congnitions...I would suppose so.
We are eternal perhaps in that. As being.... no we are not eternal.
So we rebirth perceive ourselves as rebirthing but really do no such thing, we are never independent to do such things.

We are never aware without a thing of which to be aware.....so we are not hindus thinking we are part of a global spirit.
But when aware we have these characteristics. Our complexity and the complexity of our circumstance we are presenting into recalls, and since self is involved it recalls a past life. It is not a past life of the thing now aware, but as retention is present with self it assumes a continuity of a actual self.
Self concept assumes a continuity but actually the reality may not be that it is a continuity.

Till a circumstance presents which elicits our particular response as sentinet being there could be a gap...years days seconds but a gap.
Things are so large and multiple in presentation there is functionally no gap but there may be one.
So we do not actually rebirth but think we do.
What rebirthes is us caused.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Continuity / Discontinuity; Eternalism / Annihilationism

Postby ronnewmexico » Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:12 pm

The continutiy is of the mechanism.

The mechanism of awareness which is sentient being not the being itself.

As water when circumstances presents that make it present(hydrogen oxygen and all a particular temperature and all the rest)....is always wet.
We can say water is eternal in that aspect...it is always when it presents wet.
Water is not present always nor everywhere nor necessarily is water by any reasoning eterenal.

Sentient being presents always with a perception of a continuity. As one preceeding thought leads to another in the present and another in the future.

Does that mean sentient being is eternal always present...no not at all. Water similiarily is not always present or eternal it is just always wet when it presents. With the expansion of the universe now known to be occuring water may not exist 3 billion years from now. The atomic structure of its composite may devolve and expand beyond its ability to retain any form. So no water may exist anywhere in the universe three billiion years from now.

Does that mean sentient being is always aware just waiting for a object to be aware of, always on just waiting...no
Circumstances must present which elicit a thing of awareness called sentient being.
That being essentially object to be aware of.

Always objects exist, some self created...... but that something is currently always present somewhere as water is always present somewhere in our universe now does not imply that object or thing is eternal.
Always objects exist now for us to be aware of.
So we are functionally or conventionally eternal but finally considered are not.

So we are not hindus. Their ground is eternal. Ours...may not be.

some buddhists hold a view equal to that of some hindus, perhaps this is a large large majority of buddhists I don't know being no expert in religion.
I am expressing the view of those buddhists that hold to a view of nothing eternal or inherantly existant to include awareness composite itself.
All fits into this theory or way of looking, so there is not a eternal thing but a rebirth. It all is explained or accounted for to all extents and considerations.
Think what you will it is not my concern...but this allows for all.
Eternal spirit in all does not allow for all eventualities.
No eternalism will stick to this, not a bit.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Continuity / Discontinuity; Eternalism / Annihilationism

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:28 pm

klqv wrote:i thought it was common parlance that dharmas exist and are absolutely not like the horns of a rabbit?
wrt your second point - are you using exist in a particular restrictive sense, warning against reifying rebirth or that sort of thing?


?!

As the World Honored One has said, "All dharmas have no self".
Shastra on the Door to Understanding the Hundred Dharmas

So all forms of continuity or apparent forms of eternalism are just like magician's illusions.

WRT rebirth, well, yes, reification, like all conventional truths whatsoever are just reifications, either affirmations or denials. But in fact it has no actual truth at all, like anything else, including like emptiness itself. There's no there there either to affirm or deny.

Subhuti, if a Bodhisattva has a mark of self, a mark of others, a mark of living beings, or a mark of a life, then he is not a Bodhisattva. For what reason? Subhuti, actually there is no dharma of resolving the heart on Anuttarasamyaksambodhi.
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Re: Continuity / Discontinuity; Eternalism / Annihilationism

Postby deepbluehum » Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:42 pm

klqv wrote:Why isn't samanantara-pratyaya a type of continuity?


Because of DO, transformation and impermanence. In other words, according to Madhyamaka, nothing has truly arisen, so there is nothing that continues, etc.

Why isn't rebirth a form of eternalism?

In the second question I am also asking what rebirth is - because I gather that samanatara-pratyaya is never said to extend between rebirths and that strikes me as annihilationism.


For the same reason as above, the "person" is a heap of skandhas, not a thing, like a pile of sand is not something than can possibly continue, wind can blow it down a ways into another pile somewhere else.

It is not annihilationism because where there is no true arising, there is no destruction. Appearances are illusory, not nonexistent.
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Re: Continuity / Discontinuity; Eternalism / Annihilationism

Postby klqv » Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:15 am

i'm not sure i "get it" or not... things still arise just not truly? in which case, can't we speak of the annihilation of something that exists but does not truly exist? in which case, are illusory dharmas annihilated at death?


make sense??
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Re: Continuity / Discontinuity; Eternalism / Annihilationism

Postby Quiet Heart » Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:05 am

klqv wrote:i'm not sure i "get it" or not... things still arise just not truly? in which case, can't we speak of the annihilation of something that exists but does not truly exist? in which case, are illusory dharmas annihilated at death?

make sense??

-------------------------------
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klqv:

You as a sentient being may percieve things as arising or disappearing.
That is only an illusion of your perception.
Your perception tries to classify and label them as being in one time and place. That is an illusion of your perception and it's need to seperate out these blocks of time/place/objects as seperate identitys. In fact they are not seperate blocks of time/space/ojects...they are merely illusionary fragmentary perceptions of your mind in a contiuous stream of perceptions.
But your Ego Mind...that mind that calls some things "Me" and other things as "Not Me" is profoundly unhappy with that reality.
Your Ego mind wants to control you by controlling your perceptions, and assigning some to "Me" and "Good" and others to "Not Me" and "Bad".
That's why your questions about continuity and discontinunity, arising and disapearing, are meaningless.
All such terms are only illusions created by our Ego Mind....to control us by assigning the labels of "Me". "Mine", "Good"; or "Not Me", "Not Mine", "Not Good" as the Ego Mind desires, to retain control of us by controlling our perceptions.

Rebirth...birth, death, and rebirth are also such illusionary perceptions,
Not because they don't exist...they do...but are merely because they are illusion sof seperate blocks in an actual unending flow.
These seperate blocks we percieve are merely illusions.

Once you regonise this, verify it with your own whole-body-mind experience you can truely be free of the fear of the round of birth and death (and suffering to if I may add that)...because you can then percieve them as only illusions having no hold over the essiential nature of You.

But that's another subject.
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Re: Continuity / Discontinuity; Eternalism / Annihilationism

Postby deepbluehum » Fri Oct 28, 2011 2:11 pm

klqv wrote:i'm not sure i "get it" or not... things still arise just not truly? in which case, can't we speak of the annihilation of something that exists but does not truly exist? in which case, are illusory dharmas annihilated at death?


make sense??


My suggestion is that you study the Mulamadhyamakakarikas by Nagarjuna. It can be a difficult text, but it is a very simple once you work out the kinks to parsing his reasoning. In short, everything that "arises" is just a collection of connected stuff. Therefore nothing ever really "arises," and because it doesn't "arise" it isn't "destroyed." Like a mirage of water: water never arises, once you know it's just a mirage, the water doesn't disappear either. The appearance of water just seemed that way due to heat and light, etc. Everything is like that is the point. In dependence on our view and attachment, we have set up this "reality" to suit our likings, but nothing has any essence. Once the attachments are given up, we can easily go without food or water, pass through walls, walk on water, fly in the air, etc. In other words, something like solidity, liquidity, heat, air and space depend on our conceptual attachment. One of the 12 links of dependent origination is nama-rupa. So when we no longer grasp nama-rupa, because all 12 links are required for any moment of a loka to appear, the whole matrix of appearances collapses.
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Re: Continuity / Discontinuity; Eternalism / Annihilationism

Postby klqv » Wed Nov 16, 2011 2:31 am

i am familiar with everything you said but for me madhyamika is not nihilism only if things still conventionally arise and exist.


i am very confused now though! i have had a long discussion with someone about this and they pointed me to this sutta http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html . they seem unable to say precisely how i have misunderstood it but it seems clear to me that the buddha here is denying that consciousness is the same from one [dependently originated] moment to the next. that's not denying the existence of consciousness, though i gather that the mahayana teaches that there are no existents "ultimately"?
i would assume that he's just playing games and is saying i'm incorrect because i don't have the requisite spiritual insight [rather than intellectual i mean]. but it would surely be out of character! note that he means that there is no continuity in the storehouse teaching...


here's a random quote from the buddha
For it is in relation to collected parts
That we may designate the so called chariot
And likewise on the basis of a continuity of aggregates
We relatively designate a living being

from a tibetan commentator on that verse
... it is when the instants that makes up the cntinuity of the aggregates are regarded as one entity that one speaks of a continuum and by designating as a single item all the phenomena pretaining to this continuum... it is possible to say that a certan persn passes away

not really pertinent quotes but it's late...
madhyamika is a philosophy of the middle way between tow impossible extremes, reified existence and that of total non existence... [the first precludes] dependence, in general it implies objective existence independent of the observers participation... they nevertheless exist, their mode of existence is a dependent one...
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Re: Continuity / Discontinuity; Eternalism / Annihilationism

Postby Thug4lyfe » Fri Nov 18, 2011 1:13 am

Eternalism would mean dat some part of "you" doesn't change. But since it's only da Karma dat u generated dat controls every part of you from whether you is a handsome playa or a bushpig to which FPS clan u join, it's definetatly nothing eternal wid your make up.

Last life you could be joe the pig to bacon, but maybe you managed you managed to hear the name of the Medicine Buddha of Crystal Radiance and some other good Karmic fruit from ya past have finally rippened. You might be Hayley Westerner in this life. Now where is the continuity and eternalism in dat?

Sweet Hayley definetly ain't no piggy!!!

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Re: Continuity / Discontinuity; Eternalism / Annihilationism

Postby Kyosan » Fri Nov 18, 2011 7:27 am

Why isn't samanantara-pratyaya a type of continuity?

You can think of it that way if you wish, as each moment in combination with the laws of nature produces the next moment. However, that doesn't mean that objects have a selves that persist. Where do these selves in objects come from? Think about it. When we look at a basketball, we see a self, but does it contain a self? No it doesn't; we imagine that it has a self.

If a basketball has no self, what is it in a basketball that exists from moment to moment? Nothing. So, what we have is transformations consisting of infinitely short moments of time. These transformations are driven by and obey the laws of nature.
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Re: Continuity / Discontinuity; Eternalism / Annihilationism

Postby Astus » Fri Nov 18, 2011 1:14 pm

We can say that there is continuity in a middle way interpretation. It only requires understanding that:
1. there are no separate instances that follow each other (e.g., moments of time)
2. the term "continuity" is not a thing in itself but an expression
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

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True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Continuity / Discontinuity; Eternalism / Annihilationism

Postby Indrajala » Sun Nov 20, 2011 7:17 am

klqv wrote:Why isn't samanantara-pratyaya a type of continuity?


Isn't it?

One condition provides the support and serial continuity for the following one.


Why isn't rebirth a form of eternalism?


Rebirth is a result of causes and conditions which can and in the case of arhats do eventually cease. If rebirth were uncaused and/or forever then it would be a case of eternalism. However, in Buddhism there is no eternal soul or inherent identity that is reborn. There is a continuity of causes and conditions, primarily driven by desire in the case of the desire realm (kama-loka), that give rise to continual involuntary existences. Again, this process can end. Hence, it is not eternalism.

In the second question I am also asking what rebirth is - because I gather that samanatara-pratyaya is never said to extend between rebirths and that strikes me as annihilationism.


I am uncertain what you mean here. What is your source for this idea?
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Re: Continuity / Discontinuity; Eternalism / Annihilationism

Postby RichardLinde » Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:53 pm

klqv wrote:Why isn't samanantara-pratyaya a type of continuity?


Things are nominally different. A preceding cause is nominally something in particular, which is distinct from other things and not continuous with them, in the same way that the number "1" is not continuous with the number "2".

Why isn't rebirth a form of eternalism?


It depends what you mean by "rebirth". In samsara people are attached to illusions, and because of this fact people can be attached to an illusion they call "rebirth", which would be a form of eternalism. However, there are some people who have a clear understanding of what is "reborn", and for them it is not eternalism.

In the second question I am also asking what rebirth is.


Rebirth is the propagation of delusion through cause and effect. It happens so long as there is delusion.
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Re: Continuity / Discontinuity; Eternalism / Annihilationism

Postby alwayson » Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:18 pm

Since bundles of causes and conditions are designated by mere conceptual labels, the rebirth of Adam into Susie is just a change in label on the same series of causes and conditions.

If you have an infinite cause such as the aspiration to help infinite sentient beings, you get the infinite result: Sambhogakāya (which is still conditioned/empty/dependently originated).
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Re: Continuity / Discontinuity; Eternalism / Annihilationism

Postby Indrajala » Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:54 am

RichardLinde wrote:It depends what you mean by "rebirth". In samsara people are attached to illusions, and because of this fact people can be attached to an illusion they call "rebirth", which would be a form of eternalism. However, there are some people who have a clear understanding of what is "reborn", and for them it is not eternalism.


Rebirth is conventionally quite real and not an illusion. The term the English correlates with is usually punarbhava.

What is reborn is basically the ṣaḍāyatana, i.e., the "six spheres" or loci of perception and sensation. This is nominally called a "person" or "sentient being", though this is just an appellation for a perceived continuity of existence rather than being a fixed identity.

It really is not that difficult. To suggest rebirth is an illusion as you do will only mislead and confuse people.
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