How can Buddhists be so sure of themselves?

Whether you're exploring Buddhism for the first time or you're already on the path, feel free to ask questions of any kind here.

Re: How can Buddhists be so sure of themselves?

Postby Andrew108 » Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:18 pm

No one can convince you to be Buddhist. You hardly need to convince yourself either. Just do some meditation.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
Andrew108
 
Posts: 1502
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:41 pm

Re: How can Buddhists be so sure of themselves?

Postby undefineable » Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:30 pm

cesar wrote:more motivated by wishing to be a source of happiness, and not more suffering. so by this motivation, we strive on with more mindfulness and awareness.
if there is too much worry, there is an unnecessary fascination with the continuum and of what happens afterwards. after what?
we forget to rest in presence.


:bow: - If Buddhist doctrine is to be believed, our mind-streams have all toughed it out in the deepest hells anyway. Moreover, with all-new memories (normally) and 'relative self' after death, what sense can it make to say 'I might go to hell' or to feel accordingly? Only a limited amount at most, surely 8-)

Anxiety strikes me as symptomatic of a lifestyle removed from its physical supports (such as the provision of warmth and shelter), so more teachings would have been directed at this form of aversion if there had been as much of it during Buddhism's formative centuries. It's no different, though, to any other symptom of 'samsara' in that it's all about maintaining a fixed 'I'. Some (my younger self included) even deliberately (on a subconscious level) act out 'worst-case scenarios' just to prove to themselves that they can survive them.

I actually came to Buddhism with the feeling that the teachings relieved me of a lot of dire consequences - particularly those of the atman / essential-self view. On the other hand, the view that we're all the same after death -whatever state we may then be in- has always struck me as too neat and comfortable to convince an inquiring mind.
"Removing the barrier between this and that is the only solution" {Chogyam Trungpa - "The Lion's Roar"}
undefineable
 
Posts: 496
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:34 am

Re: How can Buddhists be so sure of themselves?

Postby undefineable » Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:44 pm

My Socks Smell wrote:If I were to take undefineable's post above seriously, I would be one of those he suggests might be better off believing in materialism because it does not disturb people with such a worry.


Whatever works for you - I note you still have some abrahamic religion in your system :hug: . To my own subconscious ego, the thought that everything it bases itself on ends (at death) leaves a world artificially drained of colour in which there's little point to much, but I can see why, in many cases, others might feel and therefore believe the reverse, however tempting a colourless world might seem at the end of a long day!

In my last post previous to the this one, though, I tried to explain how Buddhism doesn't say we have anything to worry about after death.
"Removing the barrier between this and that is the only solution" {Chogyam Trungpa - "The Lion's Roar"}
undefineable
 
Posts: 496
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:34 am

Re: How can Buddhists be so sure of themselves?

Postby cesar » Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:57 pm

undefineable wrote:I actually came to Buddhism with the feeling that the teachings relieved me of a lot of dire consequences - particularly those of the atman / essential-self view. On the other hand, the view that we're all the same after death -whatever state we may then be in- has always struck me as too neat and comfortable to convince an inquiring mind.


if there is belief in that, "we are all same after death", this, in fact, relates more with the idea of "self", "atman". unchanging. fixed. permanent.
and definitely not the Buddha's message.

cheers,
césar
User avatar
cesar
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: How can Buddhists be so sure of themselves?

Postby undefineable » Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:36 pm

cesar wrote:if there is belief in that, "we are all same after death", this, in fact, relates more with the idea of "self", "atman". unchanging. fixed. permanent.


Well you can't get much more unchanging/fixed/permanent than a self permanently ceasing to exist :P
"Removing the barrier between this and that is the only solution" {Chogyam Trungpa - "The Lion's Roar"}
undefineable
 
Posts: 496
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:34 am

Re: How can Buddhists be so sure of themselves?

Postby cesar » Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:44 pm

undefineable wrote:
cesar wrote:if there is belief in that, "we are all same after death", this, in fact, relates more with the idea of "self", "atman". unchanging. fixed. permanent.


Well you can't get much more unchanging/fixed/permanent than a self permanently ceasing to exist :P


:D
well, some would believe there is a self permanently ceasing to exist. and some would not.
either way, perhaps insight to where the trouble begins(?)

cheers,
césar
User avatar
cesar
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: How can Buddhists be so sure of themselves?

Postby viniketa » Thu Aug 16, 2012 1:11 am

My Socks Smell wrote:
viniketa wrote:Good. Any ability to exercise control over one's karma in the present is more important than any benefit to some future birth. More importantly, our ability to exercise control over our karma in the present is of benefit to all beings, now and in the future... :group: :namaste:
If Buddhism is to make sense to me personally, what you describe is how I feel it should be viewed. What concerns me is that, occasionally, worry about the state of the mind-stream/continuum after death is invoked as a relevant factor in determining whether one might choose to either believe in materialism or practice Buddhism. I suppose I am sensitive to the mention of anything sounding like karmic retribution, as the selfish escapism of my former Christianity was turning me into more of a mercenary than a Bodhisattva. If I were to take undefineable's post above seriously, I would be one of those he suggests might be better off believing in materialism because it does not disturb people with such a worry.


'Views' are many... Do you believe in materialism? If so, life is irrelevant, given death. :toilet:

There is no 'retribution' in karma. Karma is not an entity. Karma simply is.
If they can sever like and dislike, along with greed, anger, and delusion, regardless of their difference in nature, they will all accomplish the Buddha Path.. ~ Sutra of Complete Enlightenment
User avatar
viniketa
 
Posts: 819
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:39 am
Location: USA

Re: How can Buddhists be so sure of themselves?

Postby My Socks Smell » Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:28 pm

cesar wrote:
undefineable wrote:
cesar wrote:if there is belief in that, "we are all same after death", this, in fact, relates more with the idea of "self", "atman". unchanging. fixed. permanent.


Well you can't get much more unchanging/fixed/permanent than a self permanently ceasing to exist :P


:D
well, some would believe there is a self permanently ceasing to exist. and some would not.
either way, perhaps insight to where the trouble begins(?)

cheers,
césar
This is exactly the conversation I wanted to see between Buddhists. It seems to confirm my suspicion that perhaps Buddhism has ever completely settled the age-old question of exactly what is the mind-stream/continuum that's said to survive a ruptured bodily envelope with just about everything that would constitute an atman including the power of self-recognition, all except for some pesky past memories that would give it a clue as to why it had to be put back into another fresh envelope. Can anyone tell me if there are any respected Buddhist teachers who base their view of rebirth on a moment-to-moment, one-lifetime model, or is everyone out there who rejects a multi-lifetime model considered to be way outside the mainstream like Stephen Batchelor?
User avatar
My Socks Smell
 
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:09 pm

Re: How can Buddhists be so sure of themselves?

Postby My Socks Smell » Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:38 pm

undefineable wrote: In my last post previous to the this one, though, I tried to explain how Buddhism doesn't say we have anything to worry about after death.
Sorry if I focused on one sentence to the exclusion of your intended point.
User avatar
My Socks Smell
 
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:09 pm

Re: How can Buddhists be so sure of themselves?

Postby Andrew108 » Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:42 pm

It's beyond making a definitive statement about. There are many yogic songs that point to the idea that 'no dying is done'. Then at the same time there are songs of realization that talk about the sadness of rebirth.
The point is that no one can come to a definitive statement about it. And they don't need to because they are interested in practice, and not debates. You can't establish truth in Buddhism through logic alone. It's a foundation built on sand. You need to meditate and use that experience to fuel your intellectual inquiries.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
Andrew108
 
Posts: 1502
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:41 pm

Re: How can Buddhists be so sure of themselves?

Postby cesar » Thu Aug 16, 2012 4:14 pm

My Socks Smell wrote:Can anyone tell me if there are any respected Buddhist teachers who base their view of rebirth on a moment-to-moment, one-lifetime model, or is everyone out there who rejects a multi-lifetime model considered to be way outside the mainstream like Stephen Batchelor?


good morning Socks,

this is a topic that has been discussed a lot the last few years. there is a wonderful talk by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche from Brighton where he shares his thoughts and insights on this wave of thought that has been coming through, mainly from Western point of view, although he says it was also a topic in India connected to the caste system.

here's a link to a collection of Podcasts from Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche:
check out talk #15 Buddhism & Morality (Brighton 2010)

http://www.khyentserecordings.org/namo/Podcasts.html

here's a video of the talk:

http://youtu.be/Y3qKcXHsnDs

cheers,
césar
User avatar
cesar
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: How can Buddhists be so sure of themselves?

Postby My Socks Smell » Thu Aug 16, 2012 4:29 pm

cesar wrote:here's a link to a collection of Podcasts from Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche:
check out talk #15 Buddhism & Morality (Brighton 2010)

http://www.khyentserecordings.org/namo/Podcasts.html

here's a video of the talk:

http://youtu.be/Y3qKcXHsnDs

cheers,
césar
Watching video. Thanks.
User avatar
My Socks Smell
 
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:09 pm

Re: How can Buddhists be so sure of themselves?

Postby undefineable » Thu Aug 16, 2012 5:46 pm

My Socks Smell wrote:the mind-stream/continuum that's said to survive a ruptured bodily envelope with just about everything that would constitute an atman including the power of self-recognition


The mind-stream/continuum is said to survive with nothing other than the raw power of awareness that comprises it, along with whatever potential and likely conditions karma has left it (and this is difficult). 'Atman' means something more like an eternal personality or soul.

Self-recognition, to my mind, is a human ability rather than one universal to sentient beings. Full self-recognition (of awareness) is said to be a quality that distinguishes full enlightenment.

My Socks Smell wrote:a moment-to-moment, one-lifetime model?


Such a model is a hybrid, as it restricts relevant moments to an arbitrary timespan. However, it's been written elsewhere on this forum that Japanese Buddhism pretty much ditched rebirth as that country westernised in the 19'th century.
"Removing the barrier between this and that is the only solution" {Chogyam Trungpa - "The Lion's Roar"}
undefineable
 
Posts: 496
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:34 am

Re: How can Buddhists be so sure of themselves?

Postby futerko » Thu Aug 16, 2012 6:00 pm

Andrew108 wrote:It's beyond making a definitive statement about. There are many yogic songs that point to the idea that 'no dying is done'. Then at the same time there are songs of realization that talk about the sadness of rebirth.
The point is that no one can come to a definitive statement about it. And they don't need to because they are interested in practice, and not debates. You can't establish truth in Buddhism through logic alone. It's a foundation built on sand. You need to meditate and use that experience to fuel your intellectual inquiries.


I'm not sure I agree with you here. The logic seems quite straightforward - time is on the side of causality, therefore the absolute is time-less. It seems far easier said than done.
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
User avatar
futerko
 
Posts: 993
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:58 am

Re: How can Buddhists be so sure of themselves?

Postby Andrew108 » Thu Aug 16, 2012 6:21 pm

Actually Nagajuna refutes birth and death as being truly established as well as time and continuity for that matter. Take a gender at The Fundamental Wisdom of The Middle Way.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
Andrew108
 
Posts: 1502
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:41 pm

Re: How can Buddhists be so sure of themselves?

Postby My Socks Smell » Thu Aug 16, 2012 6:41 pm

undefineable wrote:The mind-stream/continuum is said to survive with nothing other than the raw power of awareness that comprises it, along with whatever potential and likely conditions karma has left it (and this is difficult). 'Atman' means something more like an eternal personality or soul.

Self-recognition, to my mind, is a human ability rather than one universal to sentient beings. Full self-recognition (of awareness) is said to be a quality that distinguishes full enlightenment.
I was under the impression that Buddhism holds a reflexivist account of awareness, as in the example of a lamp which implies its own presence by the very act of illuminating objects. That's what I call the power of recognition. Without reflexivity, what generates the ability to "recognize" continuity of experience? Without the ability to "recognize continuity of experience, I don't know why there would be anything at all which could be called a stream of reborn awareness which is said to possess a power that comprises it. On the other hand, if awareness is simply a space in which a perspectival reference point (like "I") emerges upon the experiencing of compounded phenomena and which takes on a new first-person perspective each time there is a process called "mind" combined with other sense organs, then I don't see why rebirth needs to be treated like it is an individual matter at all. Is the continuum like an ocean that is reborn as waves/drops or like drops/waves being reborn as if they comprise an ocean? I tend toward the latter because it looks to me more like dependent origination with only a conventional continuum. That takes rebirth out of the context of an individual matter and shifts it to non-personal causes conditions where it belongs. I think. :shrug:

undefineable wrote:Such a model is a hybrid, as it restricts relevant moments to an arbitrary timespan. However, it's been written elsewhere on this forum that Japanese Buddhism pretty much ditched rebirth as that country westernised in the 19'th century.
Thanks for pointing me in that direction of further inquiry.
User avatar
My Socks Smell
 
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:09 pm

Re: How can Buddhists be so sure of themselves?

Postby My Socks Smell » Thu Aug 16, 2012 6:59 pm

Andrew108 wrote:Actually Nagajuna refutes birth and death as being truly established as well as time and continuity for that matter. Take a gender at The Fundamental Wisdom of The Middle Way.
Edit: I found a link to the main points here: http://www.bergen.edu/phr/121/NagarjunaGC.pdf
Last edited by My Socks Smell on Thu Aug 16, 2012 7:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
My Socks Smell
 
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:09 pm

Re: How can Buddhists be so sure of themselves?

Postby My Socks Smell » Thu Aug 16, 2012 7:10 pm

My Socks Smell wrote:
cesar wrote:here's a link to a collection of Podcasts from Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche:
check out talk #15 Buddhism & Morality (Brighton 2010)

http://www.khyentserecordings.org/namo/Podcasts.html

here's a video of the talk:

http://youtu.be/Y3qKcXHsnDs

cheers,
césar
Watching video. Thanks.
I appreciated his talk on the importance of non-duality and vipassana going beyond just observing. They mentioned at the beginning how some Westerners are trying to have Buddhism without non-duality or rebirth, but I never did hear him specifically address the issue of rebirth. It was still a good video for other reasons though.
User avatar
My Socks Smell
 
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:09 pm

Re: How can Buddhists be so sure of themselves?

Postby Andrew108 » Thu Aug 16, 2012 7:17 pm

That link is to a summary of the main points. Not sure it's that helpful.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
Andrew108
 
Posts: 1502
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:41 pm

Re: How can Buddhists be so sure of themselves?

Postby undefineable » Thu Aug 16, 2012 7:26 pm

My Socks Smell wrote:I was under the impression that Buddhism holds a reflexivist account of awareness, as in the example of a lamp which implies its own presence by the very act of illuminating objects. That's what I call the power of recognition. Without reflexivity, what generates the ability to "recognize" continuity of experience? Without the ability to recognize continuity of experience, I don't know why there would be anything at all which could be called a stream of reborn awareness which is said to possess a power that comprises it.


Please excuse my clunky language - I should have used the term 'reflexivity', but ought to look it up 1'st so I know exactly what it means ;)

My Socks Smell wrote:On the other hand, if awareness is simply a space in which a perspectival reference point (like "I") emerges upon the experiencing of compounded phenomena and which takes on a new first-person perspective each time there is a process called "mind" combined with other sense organs, then I don't see why rebirth needs to be treated like it is an individual matter at all.


A process called 'mind' begins when we wake up and ends when we fall asleep, but somehow it seems to stay individualised. I don't know why or how that is; others might, but could be hard-pushed to explain. I like the point though.

My Socks Smell wrote:Is the continuum like an ocean that is reborn as waves/drops or like drops/waves being reborn as if they comprise an ocean? I tend toward the latter because it looks to me more like dependent origination with only a conventional continuum. That takes rebirth out of the context of an individual matter and shifts it to non-personal causes conditions where it belongs. I think. :shrug:


Typically, a non-personal ocean of causes and conditions (as well as of 'original mind' or somesuch) might be said to give rise to rebirth in the manner of 'drops/waves'. I can't see how your version is necessarily anything but another way of seeing that.
"Removing the barrier between this and that is the only solution" {Chogyam Trungpa - "The Lion's Roar"}
undefineable
 
Posts: 496
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:34 am

PreviousNext

Return to Exploring Buddhism

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: asunthatneversets, Lhasa, Norwegian, Sherab Dorje, ugetsu, zenman and 25 guests

>