Soul split into multiple mosquitoes?

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Soul split into multiple mosquitoes?

Postby andyn » Thu Mar 07, 2013 4:44 am

Hello all,

I'm a little perplexed when reading this dharma talk by Master Hsuan Hua, link provided below. According to his words, a person who remarried will be sawed into multiple pieces according to the remarried times? And also, a person could be be splitted into multiple mosquitoes? Could someone shed some light on this?

http://www.dharmasite.net/bdh59/whatghostsare.html

Sexual misconduct: In terms of causes and effects, sexual misconduct is the most serious offense. It’s punishment is the most severe. If a married couple gets divorced and each one remarries, then according to the law of cause and effect, their bodies will be cut in half after they die. This is because when they were alive, they had two relationships. So after they die, their karmic retribution manifests. A huge saw slices people in half from head to toe. Their bodies are sawed into as many pieces as the number of offenses they committed. If they were married a hundred times, they are sawed into a hundred pieces, so each of their former partners can have a tiny share of them. What’s so bad about being divided into pieces? If the soul becomes fragmented like that, it’s very difficult to make it whole again. Probably those people won’t regain a human body again for billions of eons. When their nature is split and their souls are incomplete, they become dull and insentient, like plants. When their inherent nature is scattered, it’s hard to become a sentient being again. Even if they became a sentient being, they might be a mosquito. But one human body can transform into 84,000 mosquitoes, and it’s not easy to get all those mosquitoes back into one being. Most of the time, mosquitoes are reborn as mosquitoes. So they bob up and down in the cycle of birth and death, not understanding how to turn away from the dust and unite with enlightenment, or how to renounce confusion and return to the proper. It’s said, "Once the human body is lost, it cannot be regained in ten thousand eons." If you truly understand this principle, how could you not be afraid?
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Re: Soul split into multiple mosquitoes?

Postby Yudron » Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:06 am

Looking forward to reading that book about how the Dharma acquired a soul on the way to China. The idea that you have a soul and it would be split when you divorce does not sound like a Buddhist idea. Maybe it is a mistranslation or part of Chinese culture.
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Re: Soul split into multiple mosquitoes?

Postby shaunc » Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:20 am

Why would sexual misconduct be a more serious offence than any of the other 5 precepts? I hope this is wrong as I'm on my 2nd marriage & believe that I suffered enough in the 1st without being chopped in half. Surely killing (murder) would be the most serious of the precepts & we work our way down from there (I hope). I do believe that it would be extremely hard for any animal & especially a low intelligence animal like an insect to escape from this cycle of life & death. I don't know about 84,000 pieces, even Liz Taylor didn't get married that many times, although it would be interesting to know exactly what the record is for multiple spouses especially in some of the polyamourous societys.
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Re: Soul split into multiple mosquitoes?

Postby plwk » Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:25 am

Hi andyn,

May I suggest an email to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas to clarify your doubts on the mentioned Dharma talk where as this organisation is perhaps in the best position to provide for you the most accurate response, as holder and promoter of the late Ven Master Xuan Hua's legacy and teaching and the questions you pose are specific in relation to the Dharma talk.

Sometimes, there are some members on this forum who do belong to his group but one never knows when will they show up or if they can best explain it and for the rest of us here, the best you may get are educated guesses? And based on the past trends, some threads (I will not rather link to) on his teaching have turned into flaming wars and ad hominems, so hence my suggestion as above.

Just a thought :smile:
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Re: Soul split into multiple mosquitoes?

Postby Aemilius » Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:16 pm

Yudron wrote:Looking forward to reading that book about how the Dharma acquired a soul on the way to China. The idea that you have a soul and it would be split when you divorce does not sound like a Buddhist idea. Maybe it is a mistranslation or part of Chinese culture.


There is a koan in the Gateless Gate or Gateless Barrier that goes: A woman split her soul, which one is the real one?

There is a nominal self, in Madhyamaka, a self that is imputed on the skandhas, and which exists nominally. It can also be imputed on the succession of rebirths, this view is normal Madhyamaka, (found for example in Aryadeva's 400 stanzas). Nominal self is also called "the mere I".
If you speak of rebirth, or just about normal daíly life, a nominal self is unavoidable, because of the nature of language.
The mere I corresponds to the yogachara parikalpita or the imaginary nature. It really is there conventionally, though absolutely it is not there. Therefore it is called imaginary nature or parikalpita svabhava.
It is not a mistranslation, it belongs to the Dharma to begin with. There is a Chapter on Self in the Dhammapada/Dharmapada. Sanskrit Atman is both Self or Soul.
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Re: Soul split into multiple mosquitoes?

Postby greentara » Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:49 pm

Aemilius, Thanks, this is clearly written.
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Re: Soul split into multiple mosquitoes?

Postby Yudron » Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:32 am

I thought Buddhism was based on the refutation of Atman: Anatman.
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Re: Soul split into multiple mosquitoes?

Postby takso » Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:30 am

Yudron wrote:I thought Buddhism was based on the refutation of Atman: Anatman.

I'm afraid Buddhism only taught on the subject of non-self, not no-self or non-eternal soul not no-soul. You can count the differences. :smile:
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Re: Soul split into multiple mosquitoes?

Postby takso » Fri Mar 08, 2013 2:03 am

In Buddhism, non-self literally means non-ownership of self. What we used to claim such as the ‘I’ or ‘you’ or ‘we’ or nāmarūpa (5 skandhas) is merely an expression for our mind to comprehend on the day-to-day communication with another individual. However, this expression does not grant us with an ownership of our soul or body. And it is easier to explain the non-ownership of our body than our soul because we can see the rising (birth) and the passing (death) of physical bodies every time and anywhere we go.

As for the ‘soul’ thing, Buddhism sees in the absence of eternal existence of it. Soul is just a plain description for something that arised in intelligence but without physical appearance. And the ‘something that arised in intelligence’ is also not permanent and subject to change at all times under the influence of conditional phenomena (voidness in every existence). So again, there is non-ownership of the soul-of-self.

But how do we clarify the reincarnation process in accordance with Buddhism? Actually, Buddhism sees in the rebirth but not in the reincarnation process. This is because there is no permanent grasping of soul or body during the rebirth process. It means even though the mentioned cycle of process is repeated, every cycle is different from one another, just like the saying, ‘It looks like me, sounds like me, but it is not me.’ In other words, there are linkages between the past, the present and the future of an individual but there is no trans-migration process taking place. A clear example would be how the genetic lineage works for generations.

Let us look at the following illustration on how rebirth takes place in accordance with Buddhism: -

The Coffee in a Cup

Let say Coffee Original is one of the special brewed drinks: -

300ml hot liquid water }
70% coffee powder } --> 100% Coffee Original in cup Jumbo
30% condensed milk }

Supposedly, the cup Jumbo has broken apart by accident and the content has splattered around i.e.

30% onto the table,
40% onto the floor,
5% onto the wall,
10% onto the drain,
5% vaporised into thin air,
10% remained in the broken cup.

A cleaner took up a rag and wiped off the remaining liquid coffee in sequential order starting from the table, the floor and then the wall. In a repeated gesture, the cleaner squeezed off the wet rag and the remaining coffee liquid flowed into three separate cups i.e.

Cup 1 80% already filled with tea liquid mixture.
Cup 2 90% already filled with mocha liquid mixture.
Cup 3 55% already filled with mineral water.

Let say 300ml of properties is a benchmark for a qualified special brewed drink. The cleaner then filled up the respective cup rooms with liquids derived from the rag that are by and large the remaining of Coffee Original derived from the table, the floor and the wall.

In this case, the respective 300ml of liquids in Cup 1, Cup 2 and Cup 3 is dependent on the Coffee Original before a new special brewed drink is made possible. However, this does not mean that Coffee Original is the only dependent source or ingredient. Respectively, Cup 1, Cup 2 and Cup 3 would need to depend upon many other sustaining factors as well such as the already partially filled liquids and new cups before qualifying as special brewed drinks.

As a conclusion, the new liquid mixture arising in Cup 1, Cup 2 and Cup 3 is neither identical to, nor entirely different from, the old coffee liquid, but forms part of a causal continuum or stream with it. There is a conditioned relationship between one liquid and the next; it is not identical but neither is it completely distinct.

The beauty of the nature is that it allows all sorts of processes taking place such as aggregation, segregation, evolution, mutation, assimilation, etc. As a consequence, every existence would not be totally the same or different from each other. We are all closely inter-dependent, inter-woven and inter-related with each other since the dawn of time in a very comprehensive and complicated network of existence – just like the Christian believes that all mankind derived from Adam and Eve.

Therefore, one should not confuse ‘non-self’ with ‘no-self’ and ‘non-eternal soul’ with ‘no-soul.’ Buddhism sees in the existence of self or soul but only in a non-ownership or non-permanency manner.

:namaste:
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Re: Soul split into multiple mosquitoes?

Postby takso » Fri Mar 08, 2013 5:06 am

One may ask how could one progress towards enlightenment if it takes more than one life? For example, a stream-enterer is said to be certain to achieve liberation within 7 lifetimes, if his Kammic seeds are scattered at death and arise in others, how could this be so? How does one attain enlightenment across more than one life if the Kamma /merit is dispersed at death?

Stream-enterer (Sotāpanna)

It is also known as the first stage of enlightenment and is said to have ‘opened the eye of the Dhamma’ and would reach arahantship within seven rebirths. Let us look at the following illustration on the seven rebirths of stream-enterer: -

For an ignorant being

During a disintegration process, the conscious aggregate or so-called the ‘chain of conscious’ aggregate would die out and the force of Ignorance would overcome the force of Awakening. Subsequently, the sub-conscious aggregate would liberate into fragments. The amount of liberated fragments is very much dependent on the level of Ignorance or Awakening within the being.

For an ignorant being, the level of Ignorance would surpass the level of Awakening and this would mean the intensity of Ignorance is higher than the intensity of Awakening. A higher intensity of Ignorance would mean a higher intensity of becoming. A higher intensity of becoming would mean a higher amount of liberated fragments.

For an awakened being

During a disintegration process, the conscious aggregate or so-called the ‘chain of conscious’ aggregate would die out and the force of Ignorance would still overcome the force of Awakening. Subsequently, the sub-conscious aggregate would liberate into fragments. However, the amount of liberated fragments is much lesser than an ignorant being because there is lower intensity of Ignorance as compared with the intensity of Awakening. Also, the dispersion of liberated fragments is more confined and restricted to much fewer new individuals.

Supposedly, Individual A, Individual B, Individual C are three different beings that have reached the stage of stream-enterer in the same or different life time.

Let say, 65 points of realised elements is a minimum benchmark for a qualified stream-enterer,
100 points of realised elements is for a qualified Arahant.

Note: -

RN = element of realisation
IG = element of ignorance
SC = sub-conscious aggregate

[ORIGINAL BASE]

Individual A..................Individual B....................Individual C
RN65...IG35................RN65...IG35...................RN65...IG35
SC-A1...rn20 ig5..........SC-B1...rn20 ig5...............SC-C1...rn20 ig5
SC-A2...rn20 ig5..........SC-B2...rn20 ig5...............SC-C2...rn20 ig5
SC-A3...rn10 ig10.........SC-B3...rn10 ig10.............SC-C3...rn10 ig10...........END
SC-A4...rn10 ig5..........SC-B4...rn10 ig5...............SC-C4...rn10 ig5............CHAPTER
SC-A5...rn5 ig10..........SC-B5...rn5 ig10...............SC-C5...rn5 ig10

[1ST REBIRTH]

Individual A-B-C..........Individual B-A-C.................Individual C-A-B
RN65...IG35...............RN65...IG35......................RN65...IG35
SC-A1...rn20 ig5..........SC-C1...rn20 ig5.................SC-B1...rn20 ig5
SC-B2...rn20 ig5..........SC-A2...rn20 ig5................SC-C2...rn20 ig5
SC-A3...rn10 ig10........SC-C3...rn10 ig10...............SC-B3...rn10 ig10...........EARLY
SC-C4...rn10 ig5..........SC-B4...rn10 ig5................SC-A4...rn10 ig5............CHAPTER
SC-C5...rn5 ig10..........SC-B5...rn5 ig10................SC-A5...rn5 ig10

RN70...IG30...............RN70...IG30......................RN70...IG30
SC-A1...rn20 ig5..........SC-C1...rn20 ig5.................SC-B1...rn20 ig5
SC-B2...rn20 ig5..........SC-A2...rn20 ig5................SC-C2...rn20 ig5
SC-A3...rn10 ig10.........SC-C3...rn10 ig10..............SC-B3...rn10 ig10...........END
SC-C4...rn10 ig5..........SC-B4...rn10 ig5................SC-A4...rn10 ig5............CHAPTER
SC-C5...rn10 ig5..........SC-B5...rn10 ig5................SC-A5...rn10 ig5

[2ND REBIRTH]

Individual A-C-B...........Individual B-C-A..................Individual C-B-A
RN70...IG30................RN70...IG30.......................RN70...IG30
SC-C1...rn20 ig5...........SC-A1...rn20 ig5..................SC-B1...rn20 ig5
SC-B2...rn20 ig5...........SC-C2...rn20 ig5..................SC-A2...rn20 ig5
SC-A3...rn10 ig10..........SC-B3...rn10 ig10................SC-C3...rn10 ig10.........EARLY
SC-A4...rn10 ig5...........SC-B4...rn10 ig5..................SC-C4...rn10 ig5..........CHAPTER
SC-A5...rn10 ig5...........SC-B5...rn10 ig5..................SC-C5...rn10 ig5

RN75...IG25................RN75...IG25.......................RN75...IG25
SC-C1...rn20 ig5...........SC-A1...rn20 ig5.................SC-B1...rn20 ig5
SC-B2...rn20 ig5...........SC-C2...rn20 ig5.................SC-A2...rn20 ig5
SC-A3...rn15 ig5...........SC-B3...rn15 ig5.................SC-C3...rn15 ig5............END
SC-A4...rn10 ig5...........SC-B4...rn10 ig5.................SC-C4...rn10 ig5............CHAPTER
SC-A5...rn10 ig5...........SC-B5...rn10 ig5.................SC-C5...rn10 ig5

[3RD REBIRTH]

Individual A-BC.............Individual B-AC...................Individual C-AB
RN75...IG25.................RN75...IG25.......................RN75...IG25
SC-A1...rn20 ig5............SC-C1...rn20 ig5..................SC-B1...rn20 ig5
SC-B2...rn20 ig5............SC-A2...rn20 ig5..................SC-C2...rn20 ig5
SC-C3...rn15 ig5............SC-A3...rn15 ig5..................SC-B3...rn15 ig5............EARLY
SC-A4...rn10 ig5............SC-B4...rn10 ig5..................SC-C4...rn10 ig5............CHAPTER
SC-B5...rn10 ig5............SC-C5...rn10 ig5..................SC-A5...rn10 ig5

RN80...IG20.................RN80...IG20........................RN80...IG20
SC-A1...rn20 ig5............SC-C1...rn20 ig5...................SC-B1...rn20 ig5
SC-B2...rn25................SC-A2...rn25........................SC-C2...rn25
SC-C3...rn15 ig5............SC-A3...rn15 ig5...................SC-B3...rn15 ig5............END
SC-A4...rn10 ig5............SC-B4...rn10 ig5...................SC-C4...rn10 ig5............CHAPTER
SC-B5...rn10 ig5............SC-C5...rn10 ig5...................SC-A5...rn10 ig5

[4TH REBIRTH]

Individual A-CB................Individual B-CA....................Individual C-BA
RN80...IG20....................RN80...IG20........................RN80...IG20
SC-B1...rn20 ig5...............SC-C1...rn20 ig5...................SC-A1...rn20 ig5
SC-B2...rn25...................SC-A2...rn25........................SC-C2...rn25
SC-C3...rn15 ig5...............SC-B3...rn15 ig5...................SC-A3...rn15 ig5............EARLY
SC-A4...rn10 ig5...............SC-C4...rn10 ig5...................SC-B4...rn10 ig5............CHAPTER
SC-C5...rn10 ig5...............SC-B5...rn10 ig5...................SC-A5...rn10 ig5

RN85...IG15....................RN85...IG15........................RN85...IG15
SC-B1...rn20 ig5...............SC-C1...rn20 ig5...................SC-A1...rn20 ig5
SC-B2...rn25....................SC-A2...rn25.......................SC-C2...rn25
SC-C3...rn15 ig5...............SC-B3...rn15 ig5...................SC-A3...rn15 ig5------------END
SC-A4...rn15....................SC-C4...rn15.......................SC-B4...rn15................CHAPTER
SC-C5...rn10 ig5...............SC-B5...rn10 ig5...................SC-A5...rn10 ig5

[5TH REBIRTH]

Individual AB-C................Individual BA-C...................Individual CA-B
RN85...IG15....................RN85...IG15.......................RN85...IG15
SC-A1...rn20 ig5...............SC-C1...rn20 ig5..................SC-B1...rn20 ig5
SC-B2...rn25...................SC-C2...rn25.......................SC-A2...rn25
SC-C3...rn15 ig5...............SC-B3...rn15 ig5..................SC-A3...rn15 ig5.............EARLY
SC-C4...rn15...................SC-A4...rn15.......................SC-B4...rn15.................CHAPTER
SC-B5...rn10 ig5...............SC-C5...rn10 ig5..................SC-A5...rn10 ig5

RN90...IG10....................RN90...IG10........................RN90...IG10
SC-A1...rn20 ig5...............SC-C1...rn20 ig5...................SC-B1...rn20 ig5
SC-B2...rn25...................SC-C2...rn25........................SC-A2...rn25
SC-C3...rn20...................SC-B3...rn20........................SC-A3...rn20...............END
SC-C4...rn15...................SC-A4...rn15........................SC-B4...rn15...............CHAPTER
SC-B5...rn10 ig5...............SC-C5...rn10 ig5...................SC-A5...rn10 ig5

[6TH REBIRTH]

Individual BA-C.................Individual AB-C.....................Individual AC-B
RN90...IG10.....................RN90...IG10.........................RN90...IG10
SC-A1...rn20 ig5................SC-B1...rn20 ig5....................SC-C1...rn20 ig5
SC-B2...rn25....................SC-C2...rn25.........................SC-A2...rn25
SC-A3...rn20....................SC-B3...rn20.........................SC-C3...rn20...............EARLY
SC-C4...rn15....................SC-A4...rn15.........................SC-B4...rn15...............CHAPTER
SC-C5...rn10 ig5................SC-B5...rn10 ig5....................SC-A5...rn10 ig5

RN95...IG5.......................RN95...IG5...........................RN95...IG5
SC-A1...rn25.....................SC-B1...rn25.........................SC-C1...rn25
SC-B2...rn25.....................SC-C2...rn25.........................SC-A2...rn25
SC-A3...rn20.....................SC-B3...rn20.........................SC-C3...rn20..............END
SC-C4...rn15.....................SC-A4...rn15.........................SC-B4...rn15..............CHAPTER
SC-C5...rn10 ig5................SC-B5...rn10 ig5.....................SC-A5...rn10 ig5

[LAST REBIRTH]

Individual A-E....................Individual B-E........................Individual C-E
RN95...IG5........................RN95...IG5...........................RN95...IG5
SC-A1...rn25......................SC-C1...rn25.........................SC-B1...rn25
SC-B2...rn25......................SC-C2...rn25.........................SC-A2...rn25
SC-A3...rn20......................SC-B3...rn20.........................SC-C3...rn20.............EARLY
SC-A4...rn15......................SC-C4...rn15.........................SC-B4...rn15.............CHAPTER
SC-C5...rn10 ig5.................SC-B5...rn10 ig5.....................SC-A5...rn10 ig5

RN100..............................RN100.................................RN100
SC-A1...rn25......................SC-C1...rn25..........................SC-B1...rn25
SC-B2...rn25......................SC-C2...rn25..........................SC-A2...rn25
SC-A3...rn20......................SC-B3...rn20..........................SC-C3...rn20............FINAL
SC-A4...rn15......................SC-C4...rn15..........................SC-B4...rn15............CHAPTER
SC-C5...rn15......................SC-B5...rn15..........................SC-A5...rn15

In Buddhism, rebirth refers to evolving consciousness or stream of consciousness of a person upon death and the consciousness arising in the new person is neither identical to, nor entirely different from, the old consciousness, but forms part of a causal continuum or stream with it. The basic cause for this persistent re-arising of personality is the abiding of consciousness in ignorance; when ignorance is uprooted, rebirth ceases.
~ Ignorance triumphs when wise men do nothing ~
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Re: Soul split into multiple mosquitoes?

Postby Aemilius » Sat Mar 09, 2013 12:17 pm

Yudron wrote:I thought Buddhism was based on the refutation of Atman: Anatman.


To fully understand Anatman you have to apply it to the real life. For example: You have the indentity Yudron, -and what ever else You maybe called in daily life? Your body and mind change during the course of Your life, but Your identity stays, normally. What is the basis of Your identity? How do people recognize You as Yudron?

Famous monks and famous buddhists also want to be identified as the person in their passport. In the real life they too have an identity.
These days your identity exists also in relation to bank-automats and in relation to computers. They have become a new basis of identity.You can be identified on the basis of your finger prints, your irises ( in the eyes), and on the basis of DNA or your chromosomes. Neither are chromosomes impervious to change, there occur thousands of mutations (that are harmless normally) in the chromosomes constantly. Different kinds of mistakes in chromosome reproduction are an important and well studied phenomenon.

In buddhism, and in several other religions too, we have identities that span many lifetimes. What is the basis of identity over many lives? It is usually explained to be your karmic patterns, your habitual tendencies, that continue from life time to life time.
Bodhisattvas are identities, like Mañjushri, Samantabhadra, Avalokiteshvara and so on.. Buddha Gautama was called Gautama, or Shakyamuni, Sugata, etc...
Some people change their identities, they change their looks, they move to new places, to new countries, in order to be new people with a new identity.

Your profession, your skills, and your achivements in life, are an important basis of identity. When you are a demented person in an old people's home, they have all crumbled away. You are still a live, but what is it that lives then? When you get old most things that you identify with in your youth gradually disappear and wear away, and are simply forgotten.
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Re: Soul split into multiple mosquitoes?

Postby Yudron » Sat Mar 09, 2013 1:19 pm

Aemilius wrote:
Yudron wrote:I thought Buddhism was based on the refutation of Atman: Anatman.


To fully understand Anatman you have to apply it to the real life. For example: You have the indentity Yudron, -and what ever else You maybe called in daily life? Your body and mind change during the course of Your life, but Your identity stays, normally. What is the basis of Your identity? How do people recognize You as Yudron?

Famous monks and famous buddhists also want to be identified as the person in their passport. In the real life they too have an identity.
These days your identity exists also in relation to bank-automats and in relation to computers. They have become a new basis of identity.You can be identified on the basis of your finger prints, your irises ( in the eyes), and on the basis of DNA or your chromosomes. Neither are chromosomes impervious to change, there occur thousands of mutations (that are harmless normally) in the chromosomes constantly. Different kinds of mistakes in chromosome reproduction are an important and well studied phenomenon.

In buddhism, and in several other religions too, we have identities that span many lifetimes. What is the basis of identity over many lives? It is usually explained to be your karmic patterns, your habitual tendencies, that continue from life time to life time.
Bodhisattvas are identities, like Mañjushri, Samantabhadra, Avalokiteshvara and so on.. Buddha Gautama was called Gautama, or Shakyamuni, Sugata, etc...
Some people change their identities, they change their looks, they move to new places, to new countries, in order to be new people with a new identity.

Your profession, your skills, and your achivements in life, are an important basis of identity. When you are a demented person in an old people's home, they have all crumbled away. You are still a live, but what is it that lives then? When you get old most things that you identify with in your youth gradually disappear and wear away, and are simply forgotten.


So, you are calling one's karmic trajectory "Atman, [soul]"?

If I were to accept this POV of your tradition, the Chinese Dharma teacher above goes one to say that one's atman can be split into numerous atmans. Do you concur with him on this as well? I have never read this in the sutrayana.
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Re: Soul split into multiple mosquitoes?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Mar 09, 2013 7:14 pm

Aemilius wrote:In buddhism, and in several other religions too, we have identities that span many lifetimes.
Your source for this claim? This sounds more like Hindu ideas of reincarnation than Buddhism. Like if I die tonight tomorrow greg (identity) will wake up looking at life through the eyes of a cockroach?
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Soul split into multiple mosquitoes?

Postby Yudron » Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:30 am

takso wrote:One may ask how could one progress towards enlightenment if it takes more than one life? For example, a stream-enterer is said to be certain to achieve liberation within 7 lifetimes, if his Kammic seeds are scattered at death and arise in others, how could this be so? How does one attain enlightenment across more than one life if the Kamma /merit is dispersed at death?

Stream-enterer (Sotāpanna)

It is also known as the first stage of enlightenment and is said to have ‘opened the eye of the Dhamma’ and would reach arahantship within seven rebirths. Let us look at the following illustration on the seven rebirths of stream-enterer: -

For an ignorant being

During a disintegration process, the conscious aggregate or so-called the ‘chain of conscious’ aggregate would die out and the force of Ignorance would overcome the force of Awakening. Subsequently, the sub-conscious aggregate would liberate into fragments. The amount of liberated fragments is very much dependent on the level of Ignorance or Awakening within the being.

For an ignorant being, the level of Ignorance would surpass the level of Awakening and this would mean the intensity of Ignorance is higher than the intensity of Awakening. A higher intensity of Ignorance would mean a higher intensity of becoming. A higher intensity of becoming would mean a higher amount of liberated fragments.

For an awakened being

During a disintegration process, the conscious aggregate or so-called the ‘chain of conscious’ aggregate would die out and the force of Ignorance would still overcome the force of Awakening. Subsequently, the sub-conscious aggregate would liberate into fragments. However, the amount of liberated fragments is much lesser than an ignorant being because there is lower intensity of Ignorance as compared with the intensity of Awakening. Also, the dispersion of liberated fragments is more confined and restricted to much fewer new individuals.

Supposedly, Individual A, Individual B, Individual C are three different beings that have reached the stage of stream-enterer in the same or different life time.

Let say, 65 points of realised elements is a minimum benchmark for a qualified stream-enterer,
100 points of realised elements is for a qualified Arahant.

Note: -

RN = element of realisation
IG = element of ignorance
SC = sub-conscious aggregate

[ORIGINAL BASE]

Individual A..................Individual B....................Individual C
RN65...IG35................RN65...IG35...................RN65...IG35
SC-A1...rn20 ig5..........SC-B1...rn20 ig5...............SC-C1...rn20 ig5
SC-A2...rn20 ig5..........SC-B2...rn20 ig5...............SC-C2...rn20 ig5
SC-A3...rn10 ig10.........SC-B3...rn10 ig10.............SC-C3...rn10 ig10...........END
SC-A4...rn10 ig5..........SC-B4...rn10 ig5...............SC-C4...rn10 ig5............CHAPTER
SC-A5...rn5 ig10..........SC-B5...rn5 ig10...............SC-C5...rn5 ig10

[1ST REBIRTH]

Individual A-B-C..........Individual B-A-C.................Individual C-A-B
RN65...IG35...............RN65...IG35......................RN65...IG35
SC-A1...rn20 ig5..........SC-C1...rn20 ig5.................SC-B1...rn20 ig5
SC-B2...rn20 ig5..........SC-A2...rn20 ig5................SC-C2...rn20 ig5
SC-A3...rn10 ig10........SC-C3...rn10 ig10...............SC-B3...rn10 ig10...........EARLY
SC-C4...rn10 ig5..........SC-B4...rn10 ig5................SC-A4...rn10 ig5............CHAPTER
SC-C5...rn5 ig10..........SC-B5...rn5 ig10................SC-A5...rn5 ig10

RN70...IG30...............RN70...IG30......................RN70...IG30
SC-A1...rn20 ig5..........SC-C1...rn20 ig5.................SC-B1...rn20 ig5
SC-B2...rn20 ig5..........SC-A2...rn20 ig5................SC-C2...rn20 ig5
SC-A3...rn10 ig10.........SC-C3...rn10 ig10..............SC-B3...rn10 ig10...........END
SC-C4...rn10 ig5..........SC-B4...rn10 ig5................SC-A4...rn10 ig5............CHAPTER
SC-C5...rn10 ig5..........SC-B5...rn10 ig5................SC-A5...rn10 ig5

[2ND REBIRTH]

Individual A-C-B...........Individual B-C-A..................Individual C-B-A
RN70...IG30................RN70...IG30.......................RN70...IG30
SC-C1...rn20 ig5...........SC-A1...rn20 ig5..................SC-B1...rn20 ig5
SC-B2...rn20 ig5...........SC-C2...rn20 ig5..................SC-A2...rn20 ig5
SC-A3...rn10 ig10..........SC-B3...rn10 ig10................SC-C3...rn10 ig10.........EARLY
SC-A4...rn10 ig5...........SC-B4...rn10 ig5..................SC-C4...rn10 ig5..........CHAPTER
SC-A5...rn10 ig5...........SC-B5...rn10 ig5..................SC-C5...rn10 ig5

RN75...IG25................RN75...IG25.......................RN75...IG25
SC-C1...rn20 ig5...........SC-A1...rn20 ig5.................SC-B1...rn20 ig5
SC-B2...rn20 ig5...........SC-C2...rn20 ig5.................SC-A2...rn20 ig5
SC-A3...rn15 ig5...........SC-B3...rn15 ig5.................SC-C3...rn15 ig5............END
SC-A4...rn10 ig5...........SC-B4...rn10 ig5.................SC-C4...rn10 ig5............CHAPTER
SC-A5...rn10 ig5...........SC-B5...rn10 ig5.................SC-C5...rn10 ig5

[3RD REBIRTH]

Individual A-BC.............Individual B-AC...................Individual C-AB
RN75...IG25.................RN75...IG25.......................RN75...IG25
SC-A1...rn20 ig5............SC-C1...rn20 ig5..................SC-B1...rn20 ig5
SC-B2...rn20 ig5............SC-A2...rn20 ig5..................SC-C2...rn20 ig5
SC-C3...rn15 ig5............SC-A3...rn15 ig5..................SC-B3...rn15 ig5............EARLY
SC-A4...rn10 ig5............SC-B4...rn10 ig5..................SC-C4...rn10 ig5............CHAPTER
SC-B5...rn10 ig5............SC-C5...rn10 ig5..................SC-A5...rn10 ig5

RN80...IG20.................RN80...IG20........................RN80...IG20
SC-A1...rn20 ig5............SC-C1...rn20 ig5...................SC-B1...rn20 ig5
SC-B2...rn25................SC-A2...rn25........................SC-C2...rn25
SC-C3...rn15 ig5............SC-A3...rn15 ig5...................SC-B3...rn15 ig5............END
SC-A4...rn10 ig5............SC-B4...rn10 ig5...................SC-C4...rn10 ig5............CHAPTER
SC-B5...rn10 ig5............SC-C5...rn10 ig5...................SC-A5...rn10 ig5

[4TH REBIRTH]

Individual A-CB................Individual B-CA....................Individual C-BA
RN80...IG20....................RN80...IG20........................RN80...IG20
SC-B1...rn20 ig5...............SC-C1...rn20 ig5...................SC-A1...rn20 ig5
SC-B2...rn25...................SC-A2...rn25........................SC-C2...rn25
SC-C3...rn15 ig5...............SC-B3...rn15 ig5...................SC-A3...rn15 ig5............EARLY
SC-A4...rn10 ig5...............SC-C4...rn10 ig5...................SC-B4...rn10 ig5............CHAPTER
SC-C5...rn10 ig5...............SC-B5...rn10 ig5...................SC-A5...rn10 ig5

RN85...IG15....................RN85...IG15........................RN85...IG15
SC-B1...rn20 ig5...............SC-C1...rn20 ig5...................SC-A1...rn20 ig5
SC-B2...rn25....................SC-A2...rn25.......................SC-C2...rn25
SC-C3...rn15 ig5...............SC-B3...rn15 ig5...................SC-A3...rn15 ig5------------END
SC-A4...rn15....................SC-C4...rn15.......................SC-B4...rn15................CHAPTER
SC-C5...rn10 ig5...............SC-B5...rn10 ig5...................SC-A5...rn10 ig5

[5TH REBIRTH]

Individual AB-C................Individual BA-C...................Individual CA-B
RN85...IG15....................RN85...IG15.......................RN85...IG15
SC-A1...rn20 ig5...............SC-C1...rn20 ig5..................SC-B1...rn20 ig5
SC-B2...rn25...................SC-C2...rn25.......................SC-A2...rn25
SC-C3...rn15 ig5...............SC-B3...rn15 ig5..................SC-A3...rn15 ig5.............EARLY
SC-C4...rn15...................SC-A4...rn15.......................SC-B4...rn15.................CHAPTER
SC-B5...rn10 ig5...............SC-C5...rn10 ig5..................SC-A5...rn10 ig5

RN90...IG10....................RN90...IG10........................RN90...IG10
SC-A1...rn20 ig5...............SC-C1...rn20 ig5...................SC-B1...rn20 ig5
SC-B2...rn25...................SC-C2...rn25........................SC-A2...rn25
SC-C3...rn20...................SC-B3...rn20........................SC-A3...rn20...............END
SC-C4...rn15...................SC-A4...rn15........................SC-B4...rn15...............CHAPTER
SC-B5...rn10 ig5...............SC-C5...rn10 ig5...................SC-A5...rn10 ig5

[6TH REBIRTH]

Individual BA-C.................Individual AB-C.....................Individual AC-B
RN90...IG10.....................RN90...IG10.........................RN90...IG10
SC-A1...rn20 ig5................SC-B1...rn20 ig5....................SC-C1...rn20 ig5
SC-B2...rn25....................SC-C2...rn25.........................SC-A2...rn25
SC-A3...rn20....................SC-B3...rn20.........................SC-C3...rn20...............EARLY
SC-C4...rn15....................SC-A4...rn15.........................SC-B4...rn15...............CHAPTER
SC-C5...rn10 ig5................SC-B5...rn10 ig5....................SC-A5...rn10 ig5

RN95...IG5.......................RN95...IG5...........................RN95...IG5
SC-A1...rn25.....................SC-B1...rn25.........................SC-C1...rn25
SC-B2...rn25.....................SC-C2...rn25.........................SC-A2...rn25
SC-A3...rn20.....................SC-B3...rn20.........................SC-C3...rn20..............END
SC-C4...rn15.....................SC-A4...rn15.........................SC-B4...rn15..............CHAPTER
SC-C5...rn10 ig5................SC-B5...rn10 ig5.....................SC-A5...rn10 ig5

[LAST REBIRTH]

Individual A-E....................Individual B-E........................Individual C-E
RN95...IG5........................RN95...IG5...........................RN95...IG5
SC-A1...rn25......................SC-C1...rn25.........................SC-B1...rn25
SC-B2...rn25......................SC-C2...rn25.........................SC-A2...rn25
SC-A3...rn20......................SC-B3...rn20.........................SC-C3...rn20.............EARLY
SC-A4...rn15......................SC-C4...rn15.........................SC-B4...rn15.............CHAPTER
SC-C5...rn10 ig5.................SC-B5...rn10 ig5.....................SC-A5...rn10 ig5

RN100..............................RN100.................................RN100
SC-A1...rn25......................SC-C1...rn25..........................SC-B1...rn25
SC-B2...rn25......................SC-C2...rn25..........................SC-A2...rn25
SC-A3...rn20......................SC-B3...rn20..........................SC-C3...rn20............FINAL
SC-A4...rn15......................SC-C4...rn15..........................SC-B4...rn15............CHAPTER
SC-C5...rn15......................SC-B5...rn15..........................SC-A5...rn15

In Buddhism, rebirth refers to evolving consciousness or stream of consciousness of a person upon death and the consciousness arising in the new person is neither identical to, nor entirely different from, the old consciousness, but forms part of a causal continuum or stream with it. The basic cause for this persistent re-arising of personality is the abiding of consciousness in ignorance; when ignorance is uprooted, rebirth ceases.


What is a realized element? Is realization a material, almost genetic thing to you? Are these translations of Buddhist terms, or your own invention? Where did this chart come from, and what are "chapters." I'm feeling like I walked into a meeting of the Church of Scientology. :shock:
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Re: Soul split into multiple mosquitoes?

Postby anjali » Sun Mar 10, 2013 3:29 am


RN = element of realisation
IG = element of ignorance
SC = sub-conscious aggregate

[ORIGINAL BASE]

Individual A..................Individual B....................Individual C
RN65...IG35................RN65...IG35...................RN65...IG35
SC-A1...rn20 ig5..........SC-B1...rn20 ig5...............SC-C1...rn20 ig5
SC-A2...rn20 ig5..........SC-B2...rn20 ig5...............SC-C2...rn20 ig5
SC-A3...rn10 ig10.........SC-B3...rn10 ig10.............SC-C3...rn10 ig10...........END
SC-A4...rn10 ig5..........SC-B4...rn10 ig5...............SC-C4...rn10 ig5............CHAPTER
SC-A5...rn5 ig10..........SC-B5...rn5 ig10...............SC-C5...rn5 ig10

[1ST REBIRTH]

Individual A-B-C..........Individual B-A-C.................Individual C-A-B
RN65...IG35...............RN65...IG35......................RN65...IG35
SC-A1...rn20 ig5..........SC-C1...rn20 ig5.................SC-B1...rn20 ig5
SC-B2...rn20 ig5..........SC-A2...rn20 ig5................SC-C2...rn20 ig5
SC-A3...rn10 ig10........SC-C3...rn10 ig10...............SC-B3...rn10 ig10...........EARLY
SC-C4...rn10 ig5..........SC-B4...rn10 ig5................SC-A4...rn10 ig5............CHAPTER
SC-C5...rn5 ig10..........SC-B5...rn5 ig10................SC-A5...rn5 ig10

etc...


:rolling: This stuff reminds me of D&D character ability scores! Can I be a buddha-mage? :tongue:
  • The object of the game is to go on playing it. --John Von Neumann
  • All activities are like the games children play. If started, they can never be finished. They are only completed once you let them be, like castles made of sand. --Khenpo Nyoshul Rinpoche
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Re: Soul split into multiple mosquitoes?

Postby takso » Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:43 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
Aemilius wrote:In buddhism, and in several other religions too, we have identities that span many lifetimes.
Your source for this claim? This sounds more like Hindu ideas of reincarnation than Buddhism. Like if I die tonight tomorrow greg (identity) will wake up looking at life through the eyes of a cockroach?


Buddhism sees in a basis of blueprints in individuals that is ever evolving under the influences of conditional phenomena. Whereas, Hinduism sees in a basis of blueprints that is eternal or never changing under any circumstances.
~ Ignorance triumphs when wise men do nothing ~
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Re: Soul split into multiple mosquitoes?

Postby takso » Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:49 am

Yudron wrote:What is a realized element? .. and what are "chapters." :shock:


A realised element here is referring to an aggregate of store consciousness. The “chapters” means the episodes in one’s lifespan. Early chapter means when one is born into a being, end chapter means when one is departing from a being. You can refer to the following link to understand more about the different categories of consciousness in accordance with Buddhism: -

http://archive.thebuddhadharma.com/issues/2006/summer/consciousness.html


Yudron wrote:Is realization a material, almost genetic thing to you?


No, the realised elements mentioned in the above illustration are not referring to a material or a genetic thing. In order for you to have a further understanding on this matter, please allow me to share my insights on Buddhism here.

Firstly, we need to explore the true meaning of Śūnyatā (voidness or emptiness) in accordance with Buddhism. The Buddha has always recommended one to see into all things as they truly are (not as they delusively are). In fact, one could begin to experience the cleansing of ignorant aspects upon seeing fully into the philosophy of emptiness. When we talk about seeing into emptiness, we talk about the progressive realisation of the mind on the reality of things. Therefore, emptiness can be realised into stages as below: -

Stage 1 Elementary Realisation
• All things and phenomena are lack of core essence.
• Nothing is unchanging and permanent.
• Everything is inter-related.

Stage 2 Intermediary Realisation
• Ability to differentiate the way things are perceived to exist and the way things really exist.
• Only seeing without believing.

Stage 3 Advance Realisation
• No dualism of the subject and object, and no appearance of multiplicity.
• All things and phenomena rise and fall within a singular condition.
• Only uniformity exists.

Stage 4 Ultimate Realisation
• All dependent arising are completely blown off or extinguished.
• No string attached, and nothing is left remaining.
• Infinite, unchanging, permanent, and unconditional.
• Exists beyond all conventional phenomena.

The ultimate realisation of emptiness by the mind would mean a phase of perfect intermediation being accomplished by the mind. A perfect intermediation would mean a comprehensive absence of any or all units under consideration. It is also known as a complete neutralisation of conditional phenomena. But an absence of any or all units under consideration is not equivalent to nothingness of any or all units under consideration.

In the Buddhist context, everything that exists is empty because there is no essence to anything and nothing has ever existed in its own quality – nothing is permanent and unchanging. All objects exist conditionally without an eternal essence. They only exist in relation to each other as appearances that in turn vary as per the perceptions of the beholders.

When we mention that every single ‘thing’ that exists is empty, it would mean the involvement of the material thing as well as the non-material thing (mental-related thing). This is the rationale for the reputed saying, ‘Form is Emptiness, Emptiness is Form.’ The principle in effect: seeing into form is seeing into matter, seeing into matter is seeing into energy and seeing into energy is seeing into emptiness.

It is much easier for one to comprehend the emptiness on the material things because one could see the rising (birth) and the passing (death) of these things in physical forms every time and anywhere one goes. Just like the Lego pieces or bricks that can be assembled and connected in many ways, to construct such objects as vehicles, buildings, and even working robots - anything constructed can then be taken apart again, and the pieces used to make other objects.

But for one to see the emptiness on the mental-related things such as souls, consciousness or mind-stream, one would need to a polishing skill of the mental insights. And one could develop these mental insights via deep meditations and direct experiences. Buddhism sees in the absence of eternal existence of these mental- related things just like the different forms of energy that are stagnant-less and ever transforming from one type to another at all times under the influences of conditional phenomena. For example, a flame is transferred from one candle to another, or a fire spreads from one field to another. In the same way that it depends on the original fire, there is a conditioned relationship between one life and the next; they are not identical but neither are they completely distinct.

Subsequently, the understanding on Śūnyatā or emptiness that exists on the material thing as well as the non-material thing would lead one to the understanding on Anattā or non-self (the non-ownership of self in both the physical and the mind senses.) This is the key justification for Buddhism that sees in the rebirth processes instead of the reincarnation processes in Samsāra. Reincarnation would mean trans-migration but an individual soul does not migrate from one physical body into another body in accordance with Buddhism. No, it just won’t fit at all. Every individual or thing that exists would not be the same - it could only be in a similar condition e.g. twins are similar but never the same individuals. Every individual is unique respectively and no individuals would be the same even though they do share some sort of the same genes before time.

In Buddhism, rebirth refers to evolving consciousness or stream of consciousness of a person upon death and the consciousness arising in the new person is neither identical to, nor entirely different from, the old consciousness, but forms part of a causal continuum or stream with it. The basic cause for this persistent re-arising of personality is the abiding of consciousness in ignorance; when ignorance is uprooted, rebirth ceases

And it is possible for rebirth to take place from a single source into different identities at any various point of time, just like how the genetic lineage works for generations. This is how we explain the destiny of being siblings, being life partners, being close friends in one’s lifetime. Somehow or somewhere before time, the so-called relevant individuals are inter-related or derived from the similar source of predecessors. Thus in the present lifetime one has the chance to meet and know with the relevant beings and not the other non-relevant beings (the universal law of attraction taking place.)

Yudron wrote:I'm feeling like I walked into a meeting of the Church of Scientology. :shock:


I am afraid my insights on Buddhism have got nothing to do with the Church of Scientology. Frankly speaking, I have not a single idea on what this so-called new religion is all about, its truth revelations, etc. Perhaps, I would take this opportunity to share with you on the subject of seeing truths.

We have to realise that there are two sides of truth in existence i.e. the conventional truth and the ultimate truth. When addressing a problem, in the first place, we need to ensure whether our point of view is from the conventional perspective or from the ultimate perspective.

For example, from the conventional perspective, we agree that duality or multiplicity does exist. Therefore, Nibbana is a phenomenon because we are speaking as a subject on the other side of the object or matter. In other words, the subject is pondering on the object or matter - phenomenon arises. However, from the ultimate perspective, we would then agree that no duality or multiplicity arises. Therefore, Nibbana is not a phenomenon (also applies on all other things) because there is no subject to ponder on the object or matter. In other words, no phenomenon arises if we speak from the ultimate perspective.

Conventional truth is a subjective and a relative truth. This means the truth orientation is dependent on the observer (i.e. the subject’s mind) to provide with the description, definition, recognition, valuation, etc. on the other side of the object or matter. And the truth conclusion varies among different observers or minds.

Whereas, an ultimate truth is a reality that exists beyond mind and beyond concepts and words in the sense that it is beyond our usual ways of perceiving things. Language and conception only imply that things exist in distinct manners i.e. wise person, dumb person, saint, devil, etc. - in such well-defined and independent categories. Perceiving ultimate reality is seeing that things do not exist in these fantasised, impossible ways, in black and white categories.

In absence of the mind, things would appear as in the deepest facts per se i.e. no label, no boundary, no name, no activity, no shape, no description, etc. This is because there is no existence in relative to each other as appearances. An enlightened mind is able to discern the deepest fact about things in crystal clear and without hesitation after getting rid of the wave of dependent phenomenon.

The principle in effect: -

If one stays on with seeing conventional truth only, one would remain in Samsāra,

If one stays on with seeing both conventional truth and ultimate truth, one has the choice of remaining either in Samsāra or Nibbana,

If one stays on with seeing ultimate truth only, one would remain in Nibbana.


Yudron wrote:Are these translations of Buddhist terms, or your own invention?


What can one see in the rebirth illustrated chart described above? Isn’t it a sheer circumstance of emptiness and connectivity of all existences – nothing arises at their own side independently.

Buddhism is a great philosophy that imparts knowledge on seeing the reality of things and happenings in our daily lives. Historical facts have shown that Prince Siddartha Gautama became the Buddha out of his vast compassion to see the end of the vicious cycle of life. And the Buddha means the ‘Awakened One’ i.e. one who sees through the ultimate reality of things and happenings. Buddhism believes in, literally, nothing. Yes, nothing! Buddhism merely involves in seeing, knowing and letting go of things or happenings. Perhaps, it is the only religion that encourages people to think and realise the truth through direct experiences instead of blind faiths.

Also, Buddhism is not about the scriptures, not about what the Buddha has said and has not said personally. Buddhism is all about the awakening state of the mind. To see the ultimate truth one has to let go the all pre-conditioning mindset. A stereotyped mindset is the key hindrance to enlightenment. On this pretext, the Buddha has recommended with the Middle Way path. Middle means neutral, upright, and centred. It means to investigate and penetrate the core of life and all things with an upright, unbiased attitude. In order to solve a problem, we shall position ourselves on neutral, upright and unbiased ground. We investigate the problem from various angles, analyse the findings, understand the truth thoroughly, and find a reasonable conclusion. In other words, it does not mean having a biased view or superficial understanding only.

In addition, the Buddha has emphasised the importance for one to utilise wisdom in all thoughts and actions. This is what he meant by wholesome thoughts or acts. The wholesome thought or acts would mean the inclusiveness in one’s thoughts or acts i.e. the totality of perspectives. The Buddha has never laid commandments that one should think or do this; never think or do that, etc. If one continues to adopt this sort of mentality, one would simply adopt the principle of ‘blind faith’ which is much on the contrary to Buddhism.

The Buddha has merely left behind guidelines (Dhamma) for one to pursue with and it would be meaningless for one to read and tag along the contents of the written texts, doctrines or sutras on Buddhism blindly without applying wisdom. These available scriptures, doctrines or sutras were merely tools for one’s Dhamma practices. And tools would remain as the tools and it would not turn a person into an enlightened being if the application is without wisdom. Also, the Buddha has recommended the establishment of the Sangha community so that any followers could interact and support each other while pursuing the guidelines of Dhamma. The Buddha has not established the various sects or schools of Buddhism as what we could see nowadays.

Once again, Buddhism is never about beliefs. Instead, it is all about direct experience and recognition. Seeing the Dhamma is seeing the Buddha – it is seeing and knowing the ultimate reality of things and happenings and not to get entangle with it. The ultimate truth does not require any labels for its revelations and therefore, one has to let go and blow away the mindset that is associated with the ‘-ism’ or ‘-ology’, for these are the systems of stereotyping or pre-conditioning. Liberation is the only right potion to the ultimate truth discovery.

“If the Supreme Truth is unknown, the study of Scriptures is fruitless; and when the Supreme Truth is realised the study of Scriptures becomes fruitless.”

From Sri Sankaracharya

:namaste:
~ Ignorance triumphs when wise men do nothing ~
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Re: Soul split into multiple mosquitoes?

Postby Anders » Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:05 pm

Substitute 'soul' for 'consciousness' or 'mindstream' in the OP and there is no necessary contradiction with Buddhist teachings. No need to get so hung up on words like 'soul' or even 'self'. Words, in the words of Humpty Dumpty "mean what we choose them to mean—neither more nor less." If the context shows they are not used in ways that imply eternal or unchanging substance, why get hung up on the wording?

I am not sure what the sutras and shastras might say about these things but at a glance, I don't see a problem with mindstreams splitting. Mahasattvas do it quite intentionally when they emanate many bodies in many realms. Hell, I'd wager some of you are currently doing it without even knowing it. And frankly, the more I look at the discoveries in fields like biology and physics, nature continually proves itself to be mindblowingly diverse in ways we would never have anticipated. I expect the karma of rebirth and the science of consciousness across lifetimes would prove itself no less disparate and variegated. In fact, given the rapidly protean nature of consciousness, I would expect it to be even more mindblowingly diverse than the mutations of physical biology.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra
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Re: Soul split into multiple mosquitoes?

Postby Aemilius » Mon Mar 11, 2013 5:05 pm

Yudron wrote:
So, you are calling one's karmic trajectory "Atman, [soul]"?

If I were to accept this POV of your tradition, the Chinese Dharma teacher above goes one to say that one's atman can be split into numerous atmans. Do you concur with him on this as well? I have never read this in the sutrayana.


Please consider the koan: " A woman split her soul, which one is the real one?" You could apply this same question to Venerable Shuan Hua's story about multiple mosquitoes: Which one of the mosquitoes is the real You?
Do You see the point?

There is a Rddhi or magic power of multiplying one's body (or one's self), it exists in the Mahayana and in the Sravakayana too, it is explained in Buddhaghosha's Path of Purification. There are other Rddhis like transforming oneself into water and fire etc,.. Are we now quilty of the atman view because of these Rddhis in the sutras? Rddhis in the Mahayana are explained in Har Dayal's Boddhisattva Doctrine in Buddhist Sanskrit Literature, it is interesting reading.

It is a negative tendency to latch onto one greatly dreaded word Atman/soul or self. This word acts like trigger for immature behaviour, and I don't call one's karmic trajectory "Atman". We can express the same thing by saying that one identifies with the earlier moments in one's karmic continuum, one feels that "they are my past", or "my present existence is produced by the earlier moments in a consciousness series (citta-santana)", and in a common parlance: "I was this and that in a previous life". Buddha himself uses this last mode of expression. Is He also quilty of the atman view?

The concept of mere I or nominal self doesn't exist in the sutras, but the Buddha speaks in the mode of mere I or nominal self for example when He is telling about His past ascetic practices, his youth, about his self and his life in general. Buddha isn't afraid of this much dreaded word.

There is a sutrayana teaching of creating multiple manifestations of oneself on the bodhisattva bhumis.
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Re: Soul split into multiple mosquitoes?

Postby Aemilius » Mon Mar 11, 2013 5:13 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Aemilius wrote:In buddhism, and in several other religions too, we have identities that span many lifetimes.
Your source for this claim? This sounds more like Hindu ideas of reincarnation than Buddhism. Like if I die tonight tomorrow greg (identity) will wake up looking at life through the eyes of a cockroach?


The common way of speaking about past incarnations in the Dharma, for ex.: "a 7th incarnation of Bodhisattva Maitreya". These seven incarnations are commonly seen as belonging to the same unit, so to speak, or to the same identity (that of Maitreya).
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