Do you really think rebirth is realistic?

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Re: Do you really think rebirth is realistic?

Postby Indrajala » Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:26 am

shel wrote:
Huseng wrote:When the conditions for being in the state expire, they "fall" into a lower realm.

Exactly my point. These conditions include what is considered matter.


I fail to see what you're pointing at.

They re-enter a realm of matter, but while in the arupa-loka, there is no matter.
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Re: Do you really think rebirth is realistic?

Postby shel » Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:04 am

Huseng wrote:
shel wrote:
Huseng wrote:When the conditions for being in the state expire, they "fall" into a lower realm.

Exactly my point. These conditions include what is considered matter.


I fail to see what you're pointing at.

They re-enter a realm of matter, but while in the arupa-loka, there is no matter.

You are suggesting that arupa-loka and it's conditions do not relate to what is considered matter in any way?
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Re: Do you really think rebirth is realistic?

Postby Indrajala » Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:08 am

shel wrote:You are suggesting that arupa-loka and it's conditions do not relate to what is considered matter in any way?


I am saying there is no rupa in the arupa-loka.

You are saying something else.
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Re: Do you really think rebirth is realistic?

Postby shel » Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:48 am

Huseng wrote:
shel wrote:You are suggesting that arupa-loka and it's conditions do not relate to what is considered matter in any way?


I am saying there is no rupa in the arupa-loka.

You are saying something else.

It's a question, not a statement. If you don't care to address it that's fine. Thanks for the chat. :namaste:
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Re: Do you really think rebirth is realistic?

Postby Jikan » Wed Jul 14, 2010 6:42 pm

Huseng wrote:Do you really think rebirth is realistic?


Yes, I do. I find rebirth as plausible explanation as any because I have reason to think karma is a reasonable way to understand the world as it is, and rebirth is a necessary part of that. Absent rebirth, the law of karma falls apart and then you're in the extreme view of nihilism ("cut off your Johnson" joke here).
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Re: Do you really think rebirth is realistic?

Postby ronnewmexico » Sat Jul 24, 2010 4:20 pm

Well thank you all for the excellent replies on this thread, I will now pose a perhaps non-Buddhist view(I don't know if it is or not)....there is no rebirth.

What happens is this. We have certain characteristics to our awareness which is not a simple awareness so described, but a awareness which is of the kind that cognicizes things/objects. As such, it posesses all the qualities that we display when we cognicize a object.
Say a orange ball enters a room. To fully comprehend this new object I must sense the object, I must discriminate the object from other objects, I must see similiarities and differences of the object to other objects in the room, I must perform certain other functions, perhaps to analyze the object. Perhaps most importantly to correctly analyze this object, I must be able to compare this object to not only what is present in the room at the present moment but to what I know about objects in my memory, past objects.

The last point is most critical as this is the root of habitual consciousness, that claw which attached to sense of self, and imposes the unreal upon the real.

Now the habitual consciousness is the source of what is called rebirth coupled with other factors. Sense of self consequential karmra and all the rest. As such this awareness factor, memory past comparison, that which enables us to correctly cognicize objects as I mention in a very simplistic example of a orange ball is misconstrued by the incorrect assumption of like dislike self other and sense of self.

But it cannot be denied this is a active part of awareness, this retention tendency, and thusly habitual formation in the presence of a self concept.

So what rebirths.....nothing.

We have a retentative aspect to our awareness, which deluded, is a misconstruction becoming habit and tendency of apprehension, but neverthless this functional thing is undeniably real as aspect. When we encounter any reality or object we see things in its light.

As such this aspect is what fully enables the perception of rebirth.
There is no such rebirth. When particular circumstances present, a particular consciousness presents as effect, or interium result.The plane of experience is so vast at any instant there are zillions upon zillions of potentialities being expounded. IN essence, each atom in a molecule may be considered to be harboring a universe. This is how vast it is. As result of that reality(which sense of self will absolutely not allow)....all possible eventualities are realized, each and every one. There is a very very similiar consciousness to mine presenting somewhere at this instant but a minutes time(as we measure these things) behind mine,and before mine, and very likely a thousand virtually identical to mine, consciousnesses present elsewhere at this very moment. That is how large it all is; beyond human comprehension. It I assume is in spiral form similiar to DNA strands are depicted one edge layering over another not straight in fashion but planes of existance overlapping in the spiral allowing shared realms and such, but that is another matter. WE but are micro view of the larger in every aspect.

Anyway it is so vast the conditions of circumstance that precipitates my particular consciousness in all its aspects to be produced with all its addons and modification to include the dying experience and its modification to habitual inclination, cause that particular to present(what I may call my consciousness but is not as it is solely causually produced)

Consciousness, our awareness, being a quality, not a object, it presents in its specific, when the circumstances are right for it becoming. When the circumstance exactly equals its existance, it exists or precipitates, the same as if I produce a chair. When significantly enough composits are constructed a chair arises.
The chair does not rebirth from other chairs. Habit and tendency are part of any consciousness that is precipitated as a sentient being(with self concept abeit a misconstruction).....the consciousness precipitates by particular circumstance. I create the circumstance of a virtually identical chair existing at any moment by assembleing various parts. Reality, what all is assembled is such by random action, and due to scale of action, all possibilities are realized somewhere, in each instant. The possibility of our consciousness presents by random combination of circumstance so large is the scale. Every possibility is expounded for everything to become anything, includeing replication of our consciouness. It is not how singularly unique is the prsence of such a thing(self sentient being) but how inescapeable it is that the inverse is true....all possibilities and all probabilities no matter how remote are in display at any instant somewhere.

So large are the causes, we are virtually assured a consciousness will present which we currently identify as our consciousness. But it is not, it being simply a construct of how awareness works(quality of awareness) and circumstance.

So we misconstrue, thinking we rebirth, we do not. Circumstances are so vast our possibility of consciousness, what we are working with at this moment, is again produced abeit in a fashion inclusive of the death process and its habitual inclination so developed in response to sense of self(falsely misconstrued) and all the rest.

So that is perhaps my non Buddhist view to add to the discussion of this thing that to my view is mistakeingly called rebirth.

We do not rebirth.....

To my personal perhaps nonBuddhist view(I don't know)
To add in a practical fashion....self being involved with the creation of a artifically present thing, self. It's greatest threat to existance of self is not wolves or hunger or some such things but the notion or idea it does not exist. As such any observation that conflicts with self(to include selective memory of this composite thing we have as tool of habitual consciousness) is absolutely refused to be allowed. We can in no fashion remember the experience of past lives, though retention does allow this when conditions are present to elicit our particular consciousnesses, as other lives direct knowledge, deminish the significance singularily and importance of this one. We only very reluctantly accept even scientific proof of any fact which conflicts with our sense of paramountness and singularity. So we create creator gods and all sorts of nonsense to substantiate this self. And we always seek to reduce by observation not expand as all reduction serves to effect the viewer as larger and thusly more singular. So we fight very violently against notions such as we are not the center of the universe or that other universes exist or that habitable planets even exist. Only very reluctantly do we accept such a notion that things may very well be as I describe, able in fact destined, by their largeness to accomodate any and every possibility.
Our consciousness our realm, that we present in, as a result of circumstance and habitual inclination in how we apprehend things, is in fact a self created or self fullfilling extension of self. WE establish the boundaries that we find of space time object subject effect and noneffect with one underlying theme or intent which pulls us away from what is real, the real situation.....self. Our reality largly supports this notion of self... which in large part is why we cooperate with it. This is why there are obvious glitches in our "real" world and our perceptions of such which conflict with observable perceptable scientific proof of our world.....self the notion and thusly the reality we perceive in this self involved creation, or human realm(any realm for that matter) is faulted.


All selfs deludely think...it is they that rebirth. When it is but the circumstances that replicate to myriad display or effect. Circumstance and quailty or ability to be aware when circumstance presents that rebirths.....not a shard of it inherant to any degree what so ever. If no circumstance did exist to precipitate such a thing as a birth none would ever occur.

Certainly you mostly each and every one disagree. I pose this view of this thing, curious view though it may be.
Enjoy it for its consideration.
Last edited by ronnewmexico on Sat Jul 24, 2010 6:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Do you really think rebirth is realistic?

Postby Jikan » Sat Jul 24, 2010 6:26 pm

Hi Ron,

I'm going to try to summarize your post in Buddhist terms as an experiment to see how Buddhist or not-Buddhist your take on rebirth is.

There is a continuity of habits, but this continuity is absent anything essential about it. Conventionally it seems like something's going on but it resolves on analysis into emptiness.

Ultimately one can say that anything that is reborn, then, does not exist. And hence, rebirth doesn't either.

Sounds like an argument that is well within the Mahayana tent at least. Form is emptiness. Here's another aspect, though:

When I get a toothache, I know it's also empty. It's not really one thing but a complex of interacting processes that come and go in waves. Ultimately, there is no "toothache" per say. But hoo goodness is it convincing when it's here. The provisional has its own "truth" too. Emptiness is form. Maybe there's something like this to rebirth as well?
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Re: Do you really think rebirth is realistic?

Postby ronnewmexico » Sat Jul 24, 2010 7:21 pm

I did edit it now prior to your last post, so hopefully it is slightly more readable and thusly my point is more clear. :smile:

But as to the real world, pain, and all the rest...how better to my view for self, if such reality is in a sense cooporatedly created, or self fullfilling, to reinforce existance of self by createing such possibilities of circumstance which absolutely affirm the singlular nature of ours by perception. Pain would be the most obvious example of a unreal thing, that affirms quite abruptly our singular identity.

Since this all is a cooperation of sorts to participate in and not really real(this realm and perceptions we find in or of it)....yes pain is not pain at all. In a conventional sense we are of course partipating in this reality our mere presence indicates such. But the extent or degree of our buying into this reality determines to a large extent our pain and suffering encountered or self created, in this reality.

How bad or good what we encounter speaks to this view of the existance of self. The more concrete our view of its existance seemingly the more painful or suffering is our existance. It is not that pain opposes self but that it emphatically reinforces existance of self.

Under study of course or final consideration pain is but another sensation. It becomes pain with self only. Not to deny conventional reality but to state it is all nonsense. That we participate does not seem to infer its ultimate reality but to infer we participate only. How much nonsense we put up with is basically the degree with which we are willing to affirm self. That the whole thing is nonsense is quite clear.

To my personal opinion. I don't contend that is a Buddhist view,perhaps perhaps not, I don't know.

Also I am not contending that self is acting as a inner agent, inside policeperson or real object of some sort, directing these things, The habitual tendency and retentative aspect of misconstrued awareness fit into or are created into being by circumstance. The tendency to misapprehend is present. The circumstance as such, fits exactly the consciousness which precipitates the reality it presents in. We essentially find what we believe in core belief, and work to make concrete this fundamental belief by the various realms and experiences in the realms.... the self. When this self is percipitated by circumstance to exist. It exists in the fashion of reaffirming its existance.

Pain is but one there are myriad. I am not deny conventional reality. It exists as assuredly as self exists....but to no extent furthur than that.

We cannot allow that stateement to be made as it directly opposes what we find here in our perceptive ordinary conventionally perceived reality. But the reality is tied to self and largly how we view it is all self.

In a nutshell we would not rebirth. The circumstance of our rebirth would rebirth. Habitual tendency retentive aspect of consciousness misconstrued due to our false notion of self like dislike aversion attraction and all the rest lead us to think.....we rebirth. Such a notion reaffirms self, which is what this is all about by my take...reaffirming self.

So that is my claim and what I really truly believe or claim I find to be true.....
I don't know if it is Buddhist as I am uneducated as to what comprises core Buddhist thought. There seems to be some variance. Perhaps it fits within the variance, but seems to conflict with about all the posts on this thread to a degree.

I think what I propose here is absolutely positively realistic and is in fact how this happens....to answer the initial poster. But it seems not to agree with the notion of rebirth as described here. But I am no great evaluator of the written word so maybe they will or could state it is the same. I suspect not but can't state unequivocally. YOu ask most Buddhists they will state rebirth is realistic. They do not state..only the circumstance of rebirth rebirths.
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Re: Do you really think rebirth is realistic?

Postby Aemilius » Tue Aug 10, 2010 1:20 pm

It will become realistic if you meditate on the 12 links of dependent origination for long enough. You will gradually develop the wisdom of seeing how everything in this life comes about through actions done in previous lives spanning a vast scale of time. Only few people will meditate long enough to be able to see for themselves the working of causality spanning hundreds and thousands of lives. For the masses there are various sayings about karma and rebirth, Jatakas or birth stories etc... This is similar to popularizing astronomy and physics for the common people, it is far removed from the real seeing of karmic causality, but it is helpful.




Huseng wrote:Do you really think rebirth is realistic?

Even as a Buddhist you might nominally say, "I believe in rebirth" but how realistic do you think such a view is?

The reason I bring this up is because I would argue that if you're raised in a industrialized society, you will probably be prone to thinking of materialist philosophy as default and most realistic because it is what is condoned by our leaders and society as the most realistic and efficacious ideology. It receives state sanction. You'll be naturally inclined to consider matter as a real and dismiss mental events as merely secondary results of chemical activity in the brain. Materialist Neurology, which generally posits that the mind is produced by the brain, is considered realistic and reasonable. Yogic sciences are just things you believe in and thus it does not receive official sanction or funding from the powers that be.

In such an environment where the views of materialist science are hailed as supreme -- and coincidentally the leading proponents of this school of thought are positioned as authorities on what is real and true -- rebirth, and a lot of the Buddhist model really, for most people will just be belief rather than being a realistic view grounded in reasoned observation and consideration.

Furthermore, I would argue that you can discern to what extent a person feels rebirth is realistic by their behaviour in life. One might state having a belief in rebirth, but they still plan around a single lifetime. In cultures where rebirth of some sort is the dominant view held by people, you see a lot of activities devoted to generation of merit for future lives and people plan for and invest in their future incarnation. The idea that at death you become nothing and all consequences you might have suffered also become nullified cannot enter into such a vision of reality. You then have a vested interest and stake that is very real, so planning accordingly, which is often done with religious practise and activities, becomes natural just like you would plan for your retirement in this life because of the consequences of not doing so are potentially frightening.

But going back to the original question, in light of all this, do you really think rebirth is real or is it a somewhat fuzzy and uncertain concept that seems less like a realistic view and more like a religious fantasy?

I think this is a really important thing to consider because it heavily influences how you plan your life and what you would feel is important. Basically most of us are probably materialist or nihilist by default even if we purportedly have religious views contrary to it. There is a kind of dualism there: one one hand you have religious views about reality, and on the other you have the views of materialist science which you'll be prone to think of as more realistic than the former.

If you have time, I think Robert Thurman really nails down this point well in part one of the following set of lectures and recommend listening to at least the first part:

http://www.shiftinaction.com/discover/a ... e_workshop
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Re: Do you really think rebirth is realistic?

Postby Indrajala » Mon Aug 16, 2010 3:42 am

Aemilius wrote:It will become realistic if you meditate on the 12 links of dependent origination for long enough. You will gradually develop the wisdom of seeing how everything in this life comes about through actions done in previous lives spanning a vast scale of time. Only few people will meditate long enough to be able to see for themselves the working of causality spanning hundreds and thousands of lives. For the masses there are various sayings about karma and rebirth, Jatakas or birth stories etc... This is similar to popularizing astronomy and physics for the common people, it is far removed from the real seeing of karmic causality, but it is helpful.



Well said.
However, for most people their education in materialist philosophy had it that they see such meditation as nice but not as realistic and immutable as the insights gained from machines. The mental medium is usually seen as too subjective to be of much use when asking what is real and true.

But such is our modern day.
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Re: Do you really think rebirth is realistic?

Postby cdpatton » Sun Oct 10, 2010 2:34 pm

Huseng wrote:
Aemilius wrote:It will become realistic if you meditate on the 12 links of dependent origination for long enough. You will gradually develop the wisdom of seeing how everything in this life comes about through actions done in previous lives spanning a vast scale of time. Only few people will meditate long enough to be able to see for themselves the working of causality spanning hundreds and thousands of lives. For the masses there are various sayings about karma and rebirth, Jatakas or birth stories etc... This is similar to popularizing astronomy and physics for the common people, it is far removed from the real seeing of karmic causality, but it is helpful.



Well said.
However, for most people their education in materialist philosophy had it that they see such meditation as nice but not as realistic and immutable as the insights gained from machines. The mental medium is usually seen as too subjective to be of much use when asking what is real and true.

But such is our modern day.


It would be interesting to ask this question in the context of, say, Christian beliefs in the modern West. I think plenty of Christians take their own afterlife views as real. Many may not, really, for the same reasons. But they are Westerners who usually do not begin with a materialist view of things. It is just that we stereotype Western Buddhists as beginning as materialist atheists.

I have a feeling what you start out taking as real is due to a couple things. One, I think, is what was considered real by your various role models when you were growing up. The things that they doubt, you end up doubting as well. The things that they assume are true and understand the world by, you tend to accept as a child and grow with those assumptions as well. The second thing is whether a person is naturally skeptical. Some people just naturally tend to doubt what they are told.

Now, the real question to me is not whether I take rebirth as real (or the lack thereof), but whether I understand what real actually is. And I do not think I am there yet. Not to the point I can say something about rebirth. I can frame my thinking in that way. I can stop a cat from killing an animal to save it from the karma it would be creating that has gotten it where it is now -- a creature suffering an intense craving to kill other living beings. And I certainly do not accept the common view that there is no spirit of any sort (or whatever you call the element that is besides the objective world). There is far too much in my experience that is left unexplained if I accept that.

All of that said, I personally think that if you do not have direct knowledge of something, it is more honest to accept that it is not actual knowledge and you enter into the realm of belief or disbelief until that situation is resolved. It doesn't matter whether you were raised in the West or what your paradigm happens to be. Or whether you accept it as real. Everyone accepts something to be real. But the real issue is what the assumptions about reality are, its constituents, and what does and doesn't serve as a basis for knowledge. You have to come to a certainty on this before you can begin to make any more claims about what is real or not. I believe that is why most Abhidharma texts begin with the Dhatus and go from there. If you start in the middle, the way most people do, you're immediately lost in the thicket of views. And this is why I am a Buddhist. It has the correct approach. And I am still in the process of pursuing it.
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Re: Do you really think rebirth is realistic?

Postby ronnewmexico » Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:25 am

Well, there is a name for that rational...... If the first is accepted(and this is not allowed to be disputed)....it automatically leads to the second being the only logical choice.

"All of that said, I personally think that if you do not have direct knowledge of something, it is more honest to accept that it is not actual knowledge and you enter into the realm of belief or disbelief until that situation is resolved."
You perhaps do not have this actual knowledge. I don't believe in rebirth as most here probably consider it, but, I won't say, because others find not this thing in actuality that I or others don't find it is a actuality and directly perceivable phenomena.

So I reject that assertation. Meditational means are means to develope direct experiental result. Buddhism simply does not always compare to other faiths beliefs. It may for some buddhists be that, but is not necessarily the fact for all.

If you do not intend that interpretation from your statement please clarify.

I will not accept a lesser view as being sole view. Belief of rebirth to my opinion is a lesser view than the actual observation of rebirth as real by logical meditational or experiental means. Belief is but one option in this thing. I don't deny that as option but do deny it is the only option in this thing.
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Re: Do you really think rebirth is realistic?

Postby Ogyen » Mon Oct 11, 2010 6:24 am

Rebirth is about as realistic as birth! What are the odds of the latter meeting the right conditions in the first place for it to manifest and succeed? And yet, we take it for granted everyday, and then wonder about rebirth... curious that.

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Re: Do you really think rebirth is realistic?

Postby ground » Mon Oct 11, 2010 7:22 am

Do you really think rebirth is realistic?


I think it is not "really" realistic ;)

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Re: Do you really think rebirth is realistic?

Postby fragrant herbs » Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:23 pm

If I had never reached higher states of consciousness and if I had not experienced telepathy, then maybe it would be hard for me to believe in rebirth. but all of this made it easy.

Knowing these things it is easy to believe this that was said in an above post:

It will become realistic if you meditate on the 12 links of dependent origination for long enough. You will gradually develop the wisdom of seeing how everything in this life comes about through actions done in previous lives spanning a vast scale of time. Only few people will meditate long enough to be able to see for themselves the working of causality spanning hundreds and thousands of lives.

Because once you experience certain things you tend to not believe that the universe is all material.

I also like this explanation:

Near Death Experiences/Out of Body Experiences/Ghosts: The existence of these phenomenon is further proof for this argument. If consciousness if fundamental to the universe, then it cannot be destroyed or cease to exist; it only changes form. Therefore, while the human body is something fragile, the consciousness of that body is not and the consciousness of that body can continue to exist even after the body perishes.

http://weilerpsiblog.wordpress.com/2010 ... evolution/
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Re: Do you really think rebirth is realistic?

Postby ronnewmexico » Mon Oct 11, 2010 6:39 pm

Well no offense..but some hold that view and some do not, and not to state any view is necessarily superior to another.

I find no ..." the consciousness of that body is not and the consciousness of that body can continue to exist even after the body perishes." thing such as that.

To my opinion consciousness precipitates when circumstances precipitate its occurance or existance.
I can produce writings from buddhist study which hold this view, though others hold what is stated to be true.

The thinking geneally is that we cannot become aware of that which does not exist. A object must be present for awareness to be elicited. So awareness is a quality which presents upon circumstance not a inherantly existant thing. Consciousness(the state) is a awareness with particular aspect present but functions on the basis of awareness. So thusly if no object no awareness no consciousness.

Always presents consciousness, as always is seemingly present a object of internal or external origin to elicit awareness. But if no object could present no consciousness would present. So thusly it is found noninheantly existant. Its continum is a perceptive continum not a actual continum. Very simply.

Again not to state which is better but some hold opposeing view than what appears to be being stated.
Of course my interpretation of what is being stated could be in error. If so please clarify. If not be advised some hold differing view.
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Re: Do you really think rebirth is realistic?

Postby termite » Mon Oct 11, 2010 9:44 pm

ronnewmexico wrote:To my opinion consciousness precipitates when circumstances precipitate its occurance or existance.


Yep. Consciousness always has an object. No object, no consciousness.

Oddly enough, rebirth would be impossible if consciousness were continuous. :smile:
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Re: Do you really think rebirth is realistic?

Postby fragrant herbs » Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:00 am

Termite. why do you say that?
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Re: Do you really think rebirth is realistic?

Postby catmoon » Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:22 pm

Same question, termite. I can think of some weak lines of argument but nothing solid.
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Re: Do you really think rebirth is realistic?

Postby ronnewmexico » Tue Oct 12, 2010 6:12 pm

I agree with qualifications with termites statement.

The apprehension of a object requires that object have empty quality. Empty quality being lack of inherantly existant Aspect. If I want to apprehend a orange ball entering my room I must in some fashion exchange(something) with that orange ball. NO exchange no apprehension....its a simple as that.

So In a sense in that context and extension.... no rebirth could occur if consciousness was a independantly inherantly existant quality thing. NO exchange with such a object being nonchanging in aspect could occur. So that object could never rebirth containing such aspect. For a object to present in any fashion it must contain empty aspect. No empty aspect no obejct perceived.

Theism eternal soul and all the rest may help others to compassion and thusly they serve great purpose and may hold equal value to any other thinking but they are completely illogical and not defensible.
So they are pretty beliefs that make people feel good and do good and have great value in that...

but know here and now they are complete falsehoods extended from nonsubstantial points. If you believe in such things you must believe in such things such as rebirth.... not find them true, and will likely say that others who find such things as rebirth fact, are simply calling belief fact. With this thinking on this thing....rebirth is fact not theory, as thusly is every extension into buddhist thought. Those that believe such things will commonly say it is not buddhism. I don't know who is wrong or right on that, but my study reflects this view. No belief not a whit.

So I don't know if that is what termite means but that is what I mean when I say I agree with termites statement. I may be wrong on what he considers....I don't know.
"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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