Rebirth and awareness

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Rebirth and awareness

Postby Jesse » Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:53 am

I am curious what Buddhism thinks about rebirth pertaining to awareness, ie. there is no self that is reborn, nor anything for that matter, what I am curious about is once this physical body dies, does the basic awareness at the core of it re-emerge, or does it never actually cease?
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Re: Rebirth and awareness

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:55 am

ghost01 wrote:...the basic awareness at the core of it ...


hmmmm. that is an interesting assumption.
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Re: Rebirth and awareness

Postby Jesse » Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:57 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
ghost01 wrote:...the basic awareness at the core of it ...


hmmmm. that is an interesting assumption.



How is this an assumption?
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Re: Rebirth and awareness

Postby Quiet Heart » Sat Sep 15, 2012 3:02 am

ghost01 wrote:I am curious what Buddhism thinks about rebirth pertaining to awareness, ie. there is no self that is reborn, nor anything for that matter, what I am curious about is once this physical body dies, does the basic awareness at the core of it re-emerge, or does it never actually cease?

--------------------
:smile:
My personal opinion only.
You accept the idea that the physical body is impermanent...subject to death and decay.
But the mis-conception being made here is that there is some "basic awareness at the core"
BOTH the "physical body" and the "basic awarenessat it's core" are illusions generated by perceptions in the "mind" (whatever that thing called Mind actually is).
They are merely illusions generated by an incomplete view of the whole....like distant mountains seen briefly through fast shifting clouds....a dream glimpsed within a dream.
It's easy...the normal response of a sentiant human being...to assume that there is an independant "You place"...an independent "awareness" existing in your physical body.
After all, look down, don't you have your feet placed solidly on the ground?
It takes a lot of work to come to the (deeper?) understanding that both physical body and "You awareness" are illusions...merely perceptions...a dream within a dream.
(Here's where the criticisim will start)
Personally I believe that both the "physical body/world" and the "basic awareness at the core" that you spoke of are actually only half-seen and therefore illusionary perceptions of a whole.
No, I DON'T know the nature of that whole....but I personally believe it's there. Maybe as merely a human I lack the understanding to see it's nature.
Anyhow, I'll take it's existance on faith for now, anyhow.
That's the answer to your question, in my opinion.
Niether your "physical body" or your "awareness at the core" really exist.
They are both illusions generated by your incomplete illusionary percptions of that whole.
Since niether your physical body illusion or your awareness at the core illusion actually exist then...despite appearances...niether of these two illusions actually exist apart from that whole.
Or to put it another way...they a both "empty"....they have no self-existant independent reference point apart from that whole.
Therefore it follows...these two illusions of perception neither die or are reborn.
Please note, I did NOT say our perception of rebirth was NOT real.
What I said was our mis-perception of our existance as a seperate entity, the death of that identity, and the ilusionary perception of the rebirth of that identity are all illusions we generate.
Once again, those are just my personal opinions now....as I understand them.
:shrug:
Shame on you Shakyamuni for setting the precedent of leaving home.
Did you think it was not there--
in your wife's lovely face
in your baby's laughter?
Did you think you had to go elsewhere (simply) to find it?
from - Judyth Collin
The Layman's Lament
From What Book, 1998, p. 52
Edited by Gary Gach
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Re: Rebirth and awareness

Postby Jesse » Sat Sep 15, 2012 3:30 am

Quiet Heart wrote:
ghost01 wrote:I am curious what Buddhism thinks about rebirth pertaining to awareness, ie. there is no self that is reborn, nor anything for that matter, what I am curious about is once this physical body dies, does the basic awareness at the core of it re-emerge, or does it never actually cease?

--------------------
:smile:
My personal opinion only.
You accept the idea that the physical body is impermanent...subject to death and decay.
But the mis-conception being made here is that there is some "basic awareness at the core"
BOTH the "physical body" and the "basic awarenessat it's core" are illusions generated by perceptions in the "mind" (whatever that thing called Mind actually is).
They are merely illusions generated by an incomplete view of the whole....like distant mountains seen briefly through fast shifting clouds....a dream glimpsed within a dream.
It's easy...the normal response of a sentiant human being...to assume that there is an independant "You place"...an independent "awareness" existing in your physical body.
After all, look down, don't you have your feet placed solidly on the ground?
It takes a lot of work to come to the (deeper?) understanding that both physical body and "You awareness" are illusions...merely perceptions...a dream within a dream.
(Here's where the criticisim will start)
Personally I believe that both the "physical body/world" and the "basic awareness at the core" that you spoke of are actually only half-seen and therefore illusionary perceptions of a whole.
No, I DON'T know the nature of that whole....but I personally believe it's there. Maybe as merely a human I lack the understanding to see it's nature.
Anyhow, I'll take it's existance on faith for now, anyhow.
That's the answer to your question, in my opinion.
Niether your "physical body" or your "awareness at the core" really exist.
They are both illusions generated by your incomplete illusionary percptions of that whole.
Since niether your physical body illusion or your awareness at the core illusion actually exist then...despite appearances...niether of these two illusions actually exist apart from that whole.
Or to put it another way...they a both "empty"....they have no self-existant independent reference point apart from that whole.
Therefore it follows...these two illusions of perception neither die or are reborn.
Please note, I did NOT say our perception of rebirth was NOT real.
What I said was our mis-perception of our existance as a seperate entity, the death of that identity, and the ilusionary perception of the rebirth of that identity are all illusions we generate.
Once again, those are just my personal opinions now....as I understand them.
:shrug:


Well, I get that all idea's are illusory, but the sense of being aware, how is this illusory? I can see awareness being a dependently arisen phenomena, You need a brain as far as I know. So I can see rebirth in that sense, awareness never actually is born or dies, continuity of experience does. I do remember reading somewhere that awareness is the only thing that is unconditioned though, am I wrong about that? if not could someone elaborate?
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Re: Rebirth and awareness

Postby tomamundsen » Sat Sep 15, 2012 4:56 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
ghost01 wrote:...the basic awareness at the core of it ...


hmmmm. that is an interesting assumption.

Isn't that what Ösel or clear light mind is?
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Re: Rebirth and awareness

Postby Quiet Heart » Sat Sep 15, 2012 5:46 am

ghost01 wrote:
Quiet Heart wrote:
ghost01 wrote:I am curious what Buddhism thinks about rebirth pertaining to awareness, ie. there is no self that is reborn, nor anything for that matter, what I am curious about is once this physical body dies, does the basic awareness at the core of it re-emerge, or does it never actually cease?

--------------------
:smile:
My personal opinion only.
You accept the idea that the physical body is impermanent...subject to death and decay.
But the mis-conception being made here is that there is some "basic awareness at the core"
BOTH the "physical body" and the "basic awarenessat it's core" are illusions generated by perceptions in the "mind" (whatever that thing called Mind actually is).
They are merely illusions generated by an incomplete view of the whole....like distant mountains seen briefly through fast shifting clouds....a dream glimpsed within a dream.
It's easy...the normal response of a sentiant human being...to assume that there is an independant "You place"...an independent "awareness" existing in your physical body.
After all, look down, don't you have your feet placed solidly on the ground?
It takes a lot of work to come to the (deeper?) understanding that both physical body and "You awareness" are illusions...merely perceptions...a dream within a dream.
(Here's where the criticisim will start)
Personally I believe that both the "physical body/world" and the "basic awareness at the core" that you spoke of are actually only half-seen and therefore illusionary perceptions of a whole.
No, I DON'T know the nature of that whole....but I personally believe it's there. Maybe as merely a human I lack the understanding to see it's nature.
Anyhow, I'll take it's existance on faith for now, anyhow.
That's the answer to your question, in my opinion.
Niether your "physical body" or your "awareness at the core" really exist.
They are both illusions generated by your incomplete illusionary percptions of that whole.
Since niether your physical body illusion or your awareness at the core illusion actually exist then...despite appearances...niether of these two illusions actually exist apart from that whole.
Or to put it another way...they a both "empty"....they have no self-existant independent reference point apart from that whole.
Therefore it follows...these two illusions of perception neither die or are reborn.
Please note, I did NOT say our perception of rebirth was NOT real.
What I said was our mis-perception of our existance as a seperate entity, the death of that identity, and the ilusionary perception of the rebirth of that identity are all illusions we generate.
Once again, those are just my personal opinions now....as I understand them.
:shrug:


Well, I get that all idea's are illusory, but the sense of being aware, how is this illusory? I can see awareness being a dependently arisen phenomena, You need a brain as far as I know. So I can see rebirth in that sense, awareness never actually is born or dies, continuity of experience does. I do remember reading somewhere that awareness is the only thing that is unconditioned though, am I wrong about that? if not could someone elaborate?

--------------
Maybe I should have clarified it that in my view the misunderstanding of seperation from the Whole...of seeing the physical and mental processes as something seperate from that whole....is the first error of understanding that generates all the other illusions/delusions.
Even if as you say awareness is the only thing that is unconditioned....in my view that awareness is filtered though our minds and our percptions and pre-conceptions.
That fact generates our mistaken belief in the seperateness of our Self from the whole.
That is the first and fundamental error, as I said, that generates all the other mistates.
:smile:
Shame on you Shakyamuni for setting the precedent of leaving home.
Did you think it was not there--
in your wife's lovely face
in your baby's laughter?
Did you think you had to go elsewhere (simply) to find it?
from - Judyth Collin
The Layman's Lament
From What Book, 1998, p. 52
Edited by Gary Gach
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Re: Rebirth and awareness

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Sat Sep 15, 2012 2:15 pm

ghost01 wrote:I am curious what Buddhism thinks about rebirth pertaining to awareness, ie. there is no self that is reborn, nor anything for that matter, what I am curious about is once this physical body dies, does the basic awareness at the core of it re-emerge, or does it never actually cease?


You can answer this question now since the self was never born in the first place, the physical body is already neither "alive" nor "dead" right now. That is, there is already no "existence" or "non-existence" right now, no "self" or "no-self" right now. So you can answer this question.
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Re: Rebirth and awareness

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sat Sep 15, 2012 9:34 pm

ghost01 wrote:I am curious what Buddhism thinks about rebirth pertaining to awareness, ie. there is no self that is reborn, nor anything for that matter, what I am curious about is once this physical body dies, does the basic awareness at the core of it re-emerge, or does it never actually cease?


"...once this physical body dies..." is a misunderstanding. the physical body is not a solid thing. It is made up of billions of cells that are constantly dying and being replaced by new cells. The baby you were born as is dead now. It is only the illusory appearance of a singular, separate "body" that we say "dies".

The "basic awareness" doesn't reside inside or outside of these cells. If you try to find the mind in physical the body, it cannot be located. the brain provides plenty of electro-neurological activities that are experienced as...experiences, just as a mirror provides a surface conducive to reflection. If the make up of your brain is that of a dog, then you are more than likely some type of dog and your experience will reflect that. You will "see" reality primarily with your nose and ears, for example.

What we generally think of as one's experience (senses, feelings, emotions, thoughts) are events taking place in time, not in space. And these events are only the result of the interaction of phenomena. It's like clapping hands. The sound only occurs when both hands hit each other (unless you are practicing zen, of course, then only one hand is required).

When the brain no longer provides the conditions for experience, it isn't that awareness stops or doesn't stop. That is what throws people off. The causes of awareness are still there.

Suppose you take a painting and lock it in a light-proof box. The image that the artist has created in the painting no longer exists, because the image can only exist when light is reflecting off of it. The causes of the image are still there. the pigments contain chemicals that only reflect yellows or reds or blues or whatever, when they are reflecting light. As soon as you open the box, and light hits the painting, the image will exist again.

It's like that. sort of.
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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: Rebirth and awareness

Postby Red Faced Buddha » Sat Oct 06, 2012 4:58 am

ghost01 wrote:I am curious what Buddhism thinks about rebirth pertaining to awareness, ie. there is no self that is reborn, nor anything for that matter, what I am curious about is once this physical body dies, does the basic awareness at the core of it re-emerge, or does it never actually cease?


I find the concept of rebirth confusing as well.From what I gather,the mind or consciousness(which is empty to inherent existence)goes to another body when a person dies.However,I could be wrong,the doctrine of Not-Self and Rebirth can be hard to understand.
A person once asked me why I would want to stop rebirth. "It sounds pretty cool. Being able to come back. Who wouldn't want to be reborn."
I replied. "Wanting to be reborn is like wanting to stay in a jail cell, when you have the chance to go free and experience the whole wide world. Does a convict, on being freed from his shabby, constricting, little cell, suddenly say "I really want to go back to jail and be put in a cell. It sounds pretty cool. Being able to come back. Who wouldn't want that?"
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Re: Rebirth and awareness

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sun Oct 07, 2012 9:49 pm

Red Faced Buddha wrote:
I find the concept of rebirth confusing as well.From what I gather,the mind or consciousness(which is empty to inherent existence)goes to another body when a person dies.However,I could be wrong,the doctrine of Not-Self and Rebirth can be hard to understand.


Well, think about what that phrase, "empty of inherent existence" means (I replaced "to" with "of").
If mind has no inherent existence, then it is must arise conditionally, meaning that there is no "mind" thing that comes or goes anywhere...there is just the arising of conditions and the arising of awareness of those conditions.

Suppose you hear somebody suddenly clap their hands. Okay, now mind arises as the awareness of hands clapping.
So, when that clapping stops, what happens to the awareness of that clapping?
"It" also stops.
"It" didn't go somewhere else.
"It" didn't morph into awareness of the hands stopping, and silence remaining.

Of course, there is now awareness of the clapping having stopped. But is it the same awareness?
is it the same awareness of clapping that arose just before?
No, there is a continuous flow of awarenesses that occur with the immediate situation at every moment.
mind arises as awareness of hands clapping,
then after that, mind arises as awareness of hands stopped clapping.
But there is no continuous "awareness" thing.

you can think of this as shining a flashlight on objects in a dark room.
It appears that one moment we are shining the flashlight (torch, if you are British) on one thing and then another.
maybe a door, then a vase, then a chair.
in fact, the flashlight is emitting a stream of light particles.
Some of them shine on one thing, then a moment later, some other ones shine on something else.
The fact that we are holding the flashlight creates he appearance that the same light particles are operating
but in fact, is is a succession of light particles.
the light particles which illuminated the vase are not the ones that illuminated the chair.
but the illumination of each object arose because of both:
1.the object and
2.the succession of light particles (photons) coming from the flashlight.
If there is no vase, no vase will be seen.
if there is a vase but no flashlight, again, no vase will be seen.

So, for mind to go from one body to the nest,
from past to the future,
there has to be a solidified moment in time that you can say "that was the past".
If you ask, "who was I in my last life?" for example,
The answer would have to be, "during what day--what hour--what moment was there ever a "me" in the past, in this life or in a previous life?"
because the past is just a stream of ever-changing events, and "you" are also a stream of ever-changing events.

And so, "past life" and "rebirth" and so on are really terms only used for convenience.
Conscious appears to go from one body to the next precisely because in fact nothing and nobody is going anywhere, all the time.
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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: Rebirth and awareness

Postby deepbluehum » Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:16 pm

ghost01 wrote:I am curious what Buddhism thinks about rebirth pertaining to awareness, ie. there is no self that is reborn, nor anything for that matter, what I am curious about is once this physical body dies, does the basic awareness at the core of it re-emerge, or does it never actually cease?


Never actually ceases.
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