Rebirth and morality.

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Re: Rebirth and morality.

Postby Indrajala » Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:01 pm

muni wrote:Labels provide us from subtle clinging and dislikes and likes as well. Not good for morality.


Cultivating a dislike for samsara is the basis of the path and the foundation of practise.

It sparks a kind of mentality where you avoid any action or thought that propels one further into samsara. At the same time you practise all good things. There are two possibilities: samsara or nirvana. The former is illness, the latter is freedom from the former.

You dislike suffering so you avoid the causes for it. If morality is viewed from this perspective you'll naturally be realistic about what breeds suffering and what cures it and work from there. Morality based on the reality of suffering -- avoiding anything that causes it and cultivating the cure for it -- is irrefutable and optimally realistic. It might qualify as clinging in your mind however.
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Re: Rebirth and morality.

Postby kirtu » Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:02 pm

Huseng wrote:But if all there is is nothingness at death, whether you lead a moral life or immoral life is irrelevant.


No - ethical atheists and agnostics (and some Jews who hold this view) assert that we live on Earth with others and are morally responsible to create a better planet because others will be around. So it's not all just party time.

I'm not proposing all materialists are immoral, but merely that with such a view in mind there really is no actual real vested interest for oneself in morality. Immoral or moral, the result is the same and any potential consequences from either course of action is the same: oblivion.


True (about the oblivion) but some people (although these aren't materialists historically) hold that they will be resurrected and live physically eternally.

Now I have not heard it but some materialists can make the claim strictly on the basis of their materialist belief that they can eventually be physically resurrected again and live a long time (perhaps forever or until the universe ends) with continuing medical advancement. This is in fact the basis of the cryogenic movement from the 60's.

Then cosmologist Kip Thorne (I think it was Thorne) asserted that in the last few Planck seconds before the collapse of the universe and it's recreation we will experience all the information of this universe again and so people will live their lives again (although this is not actually an information theoretic argument for an afterlife it can be the basis of an appeal for a life lived creating happiness and not suffering for oneself and others).

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“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
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Re: Rebirth and morality.

Postby Luke » Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:06 pm

kirtu wrote:As an example, I was quite upset when my first cat died six years ago. At the vet's, after medical procedure to save his life were terminated I prayed and meditated that he would go to the heart of Amitabha and be reborn in the Pure Lands or go to a rebirth where he would meet the Dharma. I massaged the top of his head a little and visualized him going to Amitabha. And I visualized Amitabha radiating light and drawing him to his heart. I did not do phowa where I consciously united my mind with my cat's mind. Nonetheless I was surprised when in a short while clear and red fluid came from my cat's nose - this is actually one of the signs of accomplishment of phowa in humans. Later at home over the next several days there was an extraordinary display of birds coming to our window (a fifth story apartment which is not a natural place for birds to land) - my cat used to vocalize a twittering at birds he saw outside on the next building about 30 ft away - in fact bird and animal displays are common during funerals in my family. Then I had a dream where I saw my cat in a very good and happy place although not clearly a Pure Land and during that time there was an extraordinary full moon display that broke out very clearly over clouds and shone brilliantly.
And there was also a light rain a couple of days after he died which is a sign of blessing.

That's a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing.

A Tibetan lama once told me a story about a lama who forgot how to do Phowa, but who performed it successfully for a recently deceased person simply by having faith in his lama.

OM AMI DEVA HRIH
Last edited by Luke on Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rebirth and morality.

Postby kirtu » Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:07 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:There is no buddhist judgement day and your personality and ego will not survive death.


In Tibetan and Chinese Buddhism (not sure about Japanese and Korean Buddhism) there is indeed a judgment day - people die and their minds go to Yama for judgment. They experience themselves as they were in their last life and they experience Yama as a judger and they see their good and bad deeds resulting in the judgment (so in reality their actions are the judger).

After which they are then reborn in one of the six realms (but if you see Yama then generally this is the entrance to one of the hells anyway).

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
Hevajra Tantra
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Re: Rebirth and morality.

Postby muni » Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:15 pm

Huseng wrote:
muni wrote:Labels provide us from subtle clinging and dislikes and likes as well. Not good for morality.


Cultivating a dislike for samsara is the basis of the path and the foundation of practise.

It sparks a kind of mentality where you avoid any action or thought that propels one further into samsara. At the same time you practise all good things. There are two possibilities: samsara or nirvana. The former is illness, the latter is freedom from the former.

You dislike suffering so you avoid the causes for it. If morality is viewed from this perspective you'll naturally be realistic about what breeds suffering and what cures it and work from there. Morality based on the reality of suffering -- avoiding anything that causes it and cultivating the cure for it -- is irrefutable and optimally realistic. It might qualify as clinging in your mind however.


Your concern is beautiful Huseng. Right action in daily life is indeed to apply while remaining aware. I don't reject the conventional at all.

We all have our "path".

With respect to you, young friend.
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Re: Rebirth and morality.

Postby Luke » Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:16 pm

kirtu wrote:After which they are then reborn in one of the six realms (but if you see Yama then generally this is the entrance to one of the hells anyway).


I attended some teachings about the Tibetan Book of the Dead, but I missed the first few days. During the part I heard, the sign for the hell realms was a sort of smoky, dark-red light (which seems "cozy" and appealing because of one's negative attachments).

The correct light to choose was always the frighteningly bright one.

I'm not sure if Yama appears before or after the appearance of these different colored lights.
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Re: Rebirth and morality.

Postby kirtu » Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:36 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:No, i would call the idea of materially existent hells skillful means.


Hells don't necessarily exist materially. However they are experienced by the perceiver.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
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Re: Rebirth and morality.

Postby kirtu » Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:44 pm

Huseng wrote: Married, meat eating, drinking, fornicating, etc... would you feel happy to support such people?


AH - a thread actually about the precepts in Japan again.

In contrast to that, how about celibate, vegetarian, completely dry and almost penniless monks and nuns who spend their days engaged in the dharma?


Are there such people in Japan?

Unfortunately the trend in Japanese Buddhism is fossilization. It is mostly just going through the motions, doing the appropriate rituals, playing the part of a holy man and getting paid (usually well) for it.


This is why some mostly Japanese Zen Buddhists came from Japan to the US in the first place. This has been the claim by some of these teachers for a long time.

There are still serious practitioners, yes,....


Good may their practice flourish.

However this problem of fossilization, perhaps in an apparently advanced stage in Japan, is also known in other traditional Buddhist countries. Some aspects of the "collision" with modernity foster this (which you mentioned in your first posting).

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
Hevajra Tantra
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Re: Rebirth and morality.

Postby kirtu » Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:51 pm

Huseng wrote:
kirtu wrote:It's a common Zen presentation and has been used across traditions (at least by some Zen and some Tibetan Buddhist teachers). The idea is that self-created and spontaneously arising ego constructs are the dominate mental reality and implies that people do not naturally perceive bare unadorned awareness. Unfortunately this also suggests a primarily psychological interpretation of Buddhism to some people.

Kirt


Self-created and spontaneously arising ego? This is coming from a Buddhist teacher? Where? Who?


Trungpa Rinpoche, Suzuki Roshi, I think Maezumi Roshi. Note that they were trying to teach people where they were so they employed psychological terms (like neurosis - this seems to be a common term from people who began Dharma practice in the 60's and early 70's).

The "self-created and spontaneously arising ego" is supported by Adhidharmic texts. No one really notices the progression of the 12 links and everything happens very fast but the "self-created and spontaneously arising ego" is mostly the same as the compulsively arising tendencies, etc.

This is like in the old days of Chinese Buddhism when they couldn't grasp Indian Buddhist ideas, so they had to utilize Daoist terminology. Now in the west we utilize western psychology when attempting to understand Buddhism.


That's true - that's where it comes from.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
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Re: Rebirth and morality.

Postby muni » Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:53 pm

muni wrote::namaste:

When Buddhism is investigating (important) the words in analytical way only, we easy can get lost in our own imaginations by the limits of intellectual fabrications. We can be exploring recipes for insight whole life long and meanwhile our obscurations can roll in each direction and harm our environement and all beings.

To understand rebirth one gets clarity by going beyond the cloudlike quality of our empty fabrications, to see how we paint a fictitious world by them in the heat of rejections and acceptions as we are the knower.

Desire, dullness, pride, arrogance, envy are synomyms of ignorance, which is grasping to a me, to wrong and bad and so on. What more we need for "rebirth" in subject-object devision?

Grasping to clouds. Purification to see our grasping to own imagination which is in dependence with materialistic clinging as well.

Even the more subtle grasping by hankering after a truth lays in fictitious quality.
When no morality is coming naturally (through teaching...) in our stream of being, what is the difference with us and intellectual criminals?

As long as space remains,
as long as sentient beings endure,
so may "I" too remain
and dispel the miseries of the world.

I need no label of Buddhist. _/\_




The whole chatter i shared is pointing generally to imagination through obscurations by which we cannot apply right attitude and so morality in daily life is harmed by selfish action along misperception. Also to recognize the fictitious samsaric concepts going to speech and action of same quality. Ah!

Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche said to be very careful regarding next life.
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Re: Rebirth and morality.

Postby kirtu » Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:56 pm

Luke wrote:
kirtu wrote:After which they are then reborn in one of the six realms (but if you see Yama then generally this is the entrance to one of the hells anyway).


I attended some teachings about the Tibetan Book of the Dead, but I missed the first few days. During the part I heard, the sign for the hell realms was a sort of smoky, dark-red light (which seems "cozy" and appealing because of one's negative attachments).

The correct light to choose was always the frighteningly bright one.

I'm not sure if Yama appears before or after the appearance of these different colored lights.


The appearance of Yama is popular Buddhism in Chinese and Tibetan Buddhism to begin with although maybe the Tibetan Book of the Dead supports it (I'll have to look it up). But this appearance would be after the visions of the bardo of dead ends.

Interestingly in "Gem of Many Colors", Jamgon Kongtrul relates a dream in which he saw a stream of people going to Yama and the demons judging them. There are at least some murals relating this experience too.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
Hevajra Tantra
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Re: Rebirth and morality.

Postby kirtu » Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:07 pm

Luke wrote:A Tibetan lama once told me a story about a lama who forgot how to do Phowa, but who performed it successfully for a recently deceased person simply by having faith in his lama.

OM AMI DEVA HRIH


A couple of my lamas also later prayed for my cat I think during the time these displays occurred.

Really the blessings and power of our lamas and teachers and the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are beyond the human mind. They also can be quite subtle but the blessings rain down constantly.

Faith in the lama is absolutely key. As the Guru Yoga prayer says: Guru is Buddha, Guru is Sangha, Guru is Dharma. All activities are the Guru. To all the Guru's I prostrate.

Kirt
Last edited by kirtu on Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
Hevajra Tantra
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Re: Rebirth and morality.

Postby m0rl0ck » Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:56 pm

kirtu wrote:
m0rl0ck wrote:
kirtu wrote:It's actually a complex topic. There is nothing that can convince materialists at all except their own personal experiences.




And that is the heart of the whole matter. Do you beleive your experience or indulge in the comfort of faith?


That also is complex.



But it neednt be. it only becomes complex when you suborn your practice in service of views and ego. Its called spiritual materialism.

kirtu wrote:
Practice is the tool we have been given to distinguish the truth. A truth based on experience.


I agree but if we just rely on our experience then it will take us a long long time in most cases to make a determination on rebirth. Just relying on experience is not enough. It is enough however for a kind of mundane enlightenment in which we directly know that harming others isn't right, that anger and desire lead to more suffering for ourselves and others and many other positive qualities.

Kirt


Who says that me making a determination on rebirth is important? You dont have to be a spiritual genius to see that the fanaticism with which some defend literal rebirth and some representations of literal rebirtth itself are myth and ego attachment.The ultimate cornerstone of mahayana right view imo is the heart sutra and you know what it leaves you with? Not even nothing, because it destroys that polarity too and i think mundane enlightenment as we are speaking of it here, is probably the type that doesnt agree with ones personal pre conceptions. :)

And as far as the morality aspect of the debate goes, if you want to set karma up in jehovahs place to judge and punish you, thats your business. My buddhist morality comes from the inside and is based on compassion and the recognition that all sentients are of the same true nature i am.
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Re: Rebirth and morality.

Postby m0rl0ck » Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:01 pm

kirtu wrote:
m0rl0ck wrote:No, i would call the idea of materially existent hells skillful means.


Hells don't necessarily exist materially. However they are experienced by the perceiver.

Kirt


Yeah i agree, what ever objective reality may be anyway :)
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Re: Rebirth and morality.

Postby m0rl0ck » Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:03 pm

kirtu wrote:
m0rl0ck wrote:There is no buddhist judgement day and your personality and ego will not survive death.


In Tibetan and Chinese Buddhism (not sure about Japanese and Korean Buddhism) there is indeed a judgment day - people die and their minds go to Yama for judgment. They experience themselves as they were in their last life and they experience Yama as a judger and they see their good and bad deeds resulting in the judgment (so in reality their actions are the judger).

After which they are then reborn in one of the six realms (but if you see Yama then generally this is the entrance to one of the hells anyway).

Kirt


Yeah sorry i forgot about that. experienced, material, real, etc :)
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Re: Rebirth and morality.

Postby catmoon » Thu Jun 03, 2010 1:58 am

Rebirth offers morality through urgent reason: if you don't get your karma straightened out it will bend around and bite you in the butt in your next life.


Non-rebirth offers morality through urgent reason: If you don't get it right in this very life, it's lights out for good.

I've never met anyone who can prove rebirth is false.

I've never met anyone who can prove rebirth is true.

I've never seen someone whose path was blocked by a belief in rebirth.

I've never seen someone whose path was blocked by disbelief in rebirth.


And I've never met anyone whose beliefs were immutable.
Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.
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Re: Rebirth and morality.

Postby Astus » Thu Jun 03, 2010 8:19 am

catmoon,

It depends on what view one takes. From a materialist view there can be no rebirth. From a Christian view there is no need for rebirth. From a Buddhist view there is rebirth. So the first member of the noble eightfold path is correct view.

Proving something depends on view because that defines what one takes as proof. From a Buddhist view there is rebirth based on the nature of the world which is made of both material (body) and immaterial (mind) and it's all governed by causality. So from a Buddhist view there is dependent origination but no creator god, while many other views take the existence of a creator granted.

Since Buddhism is not that easy to understand it is all right if someone has doubts about different parts of the teaching. It has to be worked on and that way it is possible to comprehend the relevance of what the Buddha said in different sutras. But to neglect study is to stop progressing on the path. To deny the importance of obtaining a correct view is to abandon the path.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
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Does marvelous nature and spirit
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Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

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Re: Rebirth and morality.

Postby m0rl0ck » Thu Jun 03, 2010 8:48 am

Astus wrote:
From a Buddhist view there is rebirth based on the nature of the world which is made of both material (body) and immaterial (mind)


Actually the heart and lankavatara sutras (and others for all i know) dont present one with this kind of duality.
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Re: Rebirth and morality.

Postby kirtu » Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:35 am

m0rl0ck wrote:
Astus wrote:
From a Buddhist view there is rebirth based on the nature of the world which is made of both material (body) and immaterial (mind)


Actually the heart and lankavatara sutras (and others for all i know) dont present one with this kind of duality.


The Lanka does although you might not read it that way. The Heart Sutra addresses itself to the path of insight itself and doesn't address how form and mind relate.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
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Re: Rebirth and morality.

Postby muni » Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:48 am

m0rl0ck wrote:
Huseng wrote:
muni wrote:I need no label of Buddhist. _/\_


You also have the liberty of responding with a rational and meaningful reply rather than fuzzy ambiguous thoughts.


May i interpret, and Muni step in if i go astray.

I beleive M's major points in that post were:

1. Our individual identities are inextricable and inseperable from the larger context of sentient beings as a whole.

2. Talking about rebirth in a debate like this may not be as fruitful as it could be, because most of the action in that sphere takes place behind the blinding cloud of subject - object distinctions.

3. Buddhist morality and ethics arises from the inside, from buddha nature, rather than being imposed from the outside.

The above is my intrepretation of M's post so M if i have done your views an injustice, correct me.

EDIT: Duh :) attributed the whole thing to the wrong poster, my apologies for the mistake, now corrected.


I putted a Dalai Lama quote tread in Gelug, which is explaining much better than I can what exactly was meant. Thank you for all patience.
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