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About Death (?) - Dhamma Wheel

About Death (?)

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
ringo
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Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 7:13 pm

About Death (?)

Postby ringo » Mon Jul 04, 2011 6:12 pm

Can there arise the phenomena of contact, feeling, perception, volition and consciousness without any organs (without the mind as well)?
According to the science we know such a thing is impossible and it appears convincing to me at the moment that death is absolute annihilation. It would be wonderful if someone could shed more light on what the Buddhist refutation of this would be.

Reductor
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Re: About Death (?)

Postby Reductor » Mon Jul 04, 2011 6:36 pm

Hello and welcome to Dhammawheel.

The buddhist refutation is that lives influnce one another by a means not yet made plain by scientific minded people. Moreover, the buddhist view is that such mechanical explainations are unnecessary, because the moment to moment experience of the conceit 'I am' is evident right now.

That explanation may be difficult to grasp, I know. But how is it that some people recall experiences of lives well verified, while retaining a sense of identification with that deceased person? To a buddhist this identification itself lays near the heart of our concern, not the mechanisms themselves.

Or so it seems to me.

See the work of Ian stevenson if you like, a well known researcher of 'reincarnation cases' the world over. He investigated more than 3000 in his career.

Also, consider the true heart of buddhism: suffering, its cause, its end and the means. The Four Noble truths.

Take care.

ringo
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Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 7:13 pm

Re: About Death (?)

Postby ringo » Mon Jul 04, 2011 7:37 pm

Thank you for your reply. It was certainly a very interesting thing to read about.
In connection with your answer I would like to ask another question. Here is the sermon I refer to, from http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nymo.html

To quote the Blessed One to Ananda:

"Now there is the person who has abstained from killing living beings here... has had right view. And on the dissolution of the body, after death, he reappears in the states of deprivation, in an unhappy destination, in perdition, in hell.[12] But (perhaps) the evil kamma producing his suffering was done by him earlier, or the evil kamma producing his suffering was done by him later, or wrong view was undertaken and completed by him at the time of his death. And that was why, on the dissolution of the body, after death, he reappeared in the states of deprivation, in an unhappy destination, in perdition, in hell. But since he has abstained from killing living beings here... has had right view, he will feel the result of that here and now, or in his next rebirth, or in some subsequent existence,"

And elsewhere in the same sermon

"So, Ananda, there is kamma that is incapable (of good result) and appears incapable (of good result); there is kamma that is incapable (of good result) and appears capable (of good result); there is kamma that is capable (of good result) and appears capable (of good result); there is kamma that is capable (of good result) and appears incapable (of good result)."

My question is this, were a man to say,
"Only one of the two following phenomena can be the truth,
a) rebirth of consciousness can occur in a new body or
b) when the body of one other than an Arahat dies, that consciousness is extinguished"

Would he or would he not be misrepresenting the Blessed One?

ringo
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Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 7:13 pm

Re: About Death (?)

Postby ringo » Mon Jul 04, 2011 7:42 pm

And on a slightly unrelated note, how is one expected to discern an act that appears to be of good kamma is in fact an act of bad kamma?

Reductor
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Re: About Death (?)

Postby Reductor » Mon Jul 04, 2011 7:43 pm

The word 'rebirth' is debatable. Some peolle feel it implies an essance which is not evident. Rather the first option is better as 'consciousness continues dependent on a body' . Little more need be said.

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cooran
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Re: About Death (?)

Postby cooran » Mon Jul 04, 2011 7:49 pm

Hello ringo,

Rather than repeating what may have been explored before, have a look at this thread - 97 pages of discussion and debate:

the Great Rebirth Debate
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=41

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

Reductor
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Location: Alberta, Canada

Re: About Death (?)

Postby Reductor » Mon Jul 04, 2011 9:29 pm


Reductor
Posts: 1381
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Location: Alberta, Canada

Re: About Death (?)

Postby Reductor » Mon Jul 04, 2011 9:43 pm


chownah
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Re: About Death (?)

Postby chownah » Tue Jul 05, 2011 2:23 am


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Kim OHara
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Re: About Death (?)

Postby Kim OHara » Tue Jul 05, 2011 2:48 am

:thumbsup:
Nice analogy, Chownah.

:namaste:
Kim

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daverupa
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Re: About Death (?)

Postby daverupa » Tue Jul 05, 2011 2:49 am

Is it proper to specify that the momentary idea is late abhidhamma at least, and not quite "what the Buddha taught"?

chownah
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Re: About Death (?)

Postby chownah » Tue Jul 05, 2011 3:18 am


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acinteyyo
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Location: Bavaria / Germany

Re: About Death (?)

Postby acinteyyo » Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:34 am

Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

ringo
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Re: About Death (?)

Postby ringo » Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:44 am


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kirk5a
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Re: About Death (?)

Postby kirk5a » Tue Jul 05, 2011 1:56 pm

"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

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altar
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Re: About Death (?)

Postby altar » Tue Jul 05, 2011 3:45 pm

ringo,


3 suttas come to mind.

dependent origination you should look at.

"In the case of a monk who has died & passed away, his bodily fabrication has ceased & subsided, verbal fabrication has ceased & subsided, mental fabrication has ceased & subsided, his life force is totally ended, his heat is dissipated, and his faculties are shut down. But in the case of a monk who has attained the cessation of perception & feeling, his bodily fabrication has ceased & subsided, verbal fabrication has ceased & subsided, mental fabrication has ceased & subsided, his life force is not ended, his heat is not dissipated, and his faculties are bright & clear. This is the difference between a monk who has died & passed away and a monk who has attained the cessation of perception & feeling."[2]
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

and there is a sutta where it is said how can feeling be desireable, substantial, when it arises dependent on the body which also is not permanent?

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acinteyyo
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Re: About Death (?)

Postby acinteyyo » Tue Jul 05, 2011 4:32 pm

Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

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Ben
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Location: kanamaluka

Re: About Death (?)

Postby Ben » Wed Jul 06, 2011 5:59 am

Well said, acinteyyo!
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

ringo
Posts: 28
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Re: About Death (?)

Postby ringo » Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:53 am

Thank you acinteyyo :)

santa100
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Re: About Death (?)

Postby santa100 » Wed Jul 06, 2011 3:08 pm

There are ongoing researches about those reincarnation cases and the child-prodigy phenomenon. Both seems to indicate the existence of a "link" between a previous existence and the next one, which is independent of the conventional material constraints. Modern science is still limited to what is observable and measurable. No wonder why in scientific term, they call it the "observable universe". The universe as we know is just a tiny part of that vast, yet to be discovered superset out there. Scientists are making great new discoveries every day that constantly challenge conventional views built upon previous paradigms. Quantum mechanics, dark matter, antimatter,...just to name a few in modern science's new frontier. One day, we'll be able to see a detailed schematic of consciousness just like a genome map. So, let's keep an open mind and enjoy the ride for we aint seen nothing yet..


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