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Stuck souls? - Dhamma Wheel

Stuck souls?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
bardoq
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 9:12 pm

Stuck souls?

Postby bardoq » Sat Mar 10, 2012 1:22 am

I tried to send these 2 questions to a monk some time ago, but have gotten
no answer. Anyone may respond.

Long intro but short questions at bottom.


Background
==========

I asked a buddhist some time ago a question. I got an answer, but it wasn't
totally clear, at least a friend of mine got a different interpretation of
the answer than I did.

So in order to make as sure as possible that my questions are as clear as
possible, enabling the answers to become equally clear, I have written
a piece of text below.

First I present some definitions, then I state some considerations,
and finally ask my questions below.


Definitions
===========

In order to make my questions more clear, I first state some definitions.
Without definitions, the response may lose some meaning to me, so I hope
my definitions are as clear as possible, in all their fuzziness.


Fixed Point = The concept a "fixed point" is a loose concept. A "fixed point"
is meant to refer to the concept that something can be defined.
Something is defined from a certain viewpoint. My questions need
some "fixed points" in order to make any sense.

Physical = That something is "physical" is a Fixed Point. Anything which
repeatedly can be detected by science in terms of particle or
quantum physics is regarded to be "physical", be it atoms
(neutrons, electrons, protons), light or electromagnetism
(photons), radiation (various particles including neutrinos),
higher order particles (higgs, other bosons, leptons, hadrons),
anti-matter (positrons, etc), dark matter and dark energy
(well, unknown so far, but measurable). Particles have
wave nature, too.

Non-Physical = Something _not_ "physical". The Non-Physical can be regarded
as a Fixed Point, but it is less well defined compared to
the Physical. The Non-Physical is for example souls/spirits
or astral worlds.

In-Between State = The bardo state between incarnations. This state is
regarded to be Non-Physical.

Consciousness = A mind/spirit/soul which is Non-Physical and over time
moves between incarnations and In-Between States. When I
use the words "person" or "human" for someone in the
In-Between State, I usually refer to the Non-Physical
Consciousness.

Physical/Non-Physical Interaction = There is some interaction between
the Physical and the Non-Physical.
I don't know how the interactions works,
I just assume the interaction exists,
otherwise incarnations and spirit
possessions would not be possible.


Considerations
==============

(A.) If my Definitions above are invalid or can be improved in any way, you
are free to make any changes in order to enhance your answers.

(B.) If there is a clear risk of misconcepts, the Fixed Point concept may
have to be changed. For example, if there are no Fixed Points regardless
of viewpoint, it may be unclear to me what answer I have got.


Questions
=========

QUESTION 1:
Can a human, after death, get stuck in the In-Between State for several years?


QUESTION 2:
Can a human in the Physical (in incarnation), help a stuck person (who is
in the In-Between State) become un-stuck? Un-Stuck = meaning that the
(previously) stuck person can now move on (possible to another incarnation)?

-

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Ben
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Location: kanamaluka

Re: Stuck souls?

Postby Ben » Sat Mar 10, 2012 1:37 am

Greetings bardoq,

There is no concept of "bardo" in the Theravada as there is in Tibetan Buddhism. Depending on which source, the mindstream transmigrates either immediately following the last mind-moment at death (Abhidhamma), or following a very brief intermediary period where the mindstream, described as a gandharba, seeks purchase within a womb at the point of conception (Nikayas). I've read of no instance where a mindstream gets stuck.
Perhaps what you are referring to is the peta (hungry ghost) realm? Anyone falling to one of the four woeful states is indeed in a state of being 'stuck'.
kind regards,

Ben
“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]..

santa100
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Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:55 pm

Re: Stuck souls?

Postby santa100 » Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:20 am

I think both Tibetan and Mahayana traditions practice that 49-day observance for the deceased. This could be the length of that "transition" period. After that, the mindstream will take on its new form of existence within the 6 realms. The 3 lower realms of hell, hungry ghost, and animal could be seen as "stuck" states in the sense that there're tremendous amount of suffering and that its' exceedingly difficult to learn, practice, and make progress on the Path. This leads to your second question about whether the living could help the dead become un-stuck. Imho, it'd be very difficult, although not impossible. The future state of one's existence is pretty much depended on one's own kamma of this current life. However, I find the customs of the PureLand practitioners to recite the Amitabha Buddha's name in hope for the deliverance of their dead parents a beautiful and worthwhile practice. To the living, they have the opportunity for both Dhamma training and fulfilling their filial duty to their parents and ancestors. To the dead, the chanting sound and the good will of those who chant generate a great atmosphere. Although it's yet to know for sure if it'd help their future destinations, at the very least, the pure and peaceful atmosphere definitely help them go away with peace..

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Goofaholix
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Location: New Zealand

Re: Stuck souls?

Postby Goofaholix » Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:10 am


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Aloka
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Re: Stuck souls?

Postby Aloka » Sat Mar 10, 2012 11:46 am

Hi bardoq,

Before reading the Buddha's teachings in the Pali Canon and changing to Theravada study and practice, I used to be an offline Tibetan Buddhist practitioner. I don't recall hearing anything about getting stuck in the "Bardo". (those teachings originated with a tantric Indian yogi called Padmasambhava and not with the Buddha)

This link might be helpful:



(Contents on page 2)

with kind wishes

Aloka

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acinteyyo
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Location: Bavaria / Germany

Re: Stuck souls?

Postby acinteyyo » Sat Mar 10, 2012 4:55 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.

bardoq
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 9:12 pm

Re: Stuck souls?

Postby bardoq » Sat Mar 10, 2012 5:05 pm


bardoq
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 9:12 pm

Re: Stuck souls?

Postby bardoq » Sat Mar 10, 2012 5:47 pm


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daverupa
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Re: Stuck souls?

Postby daverupa » Sat Mar 10, 2012 6:15 pm


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acinteyyo
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Location: Bavaria / Germany

Re: Stuck souls?

Postby acinteyyo » Sat Mar 10, 2012 6:22 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.

bardoq
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 9:12 pm

Re: Stuck souls?

Postby bardoq » Sat Mar 10, 2012 7:05 pm


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Goofaholix
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Re: Stuck souls?

Postby Goofaholix » Sat Mar 10, 2012 7:21 pm


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mikenz66
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Location: New Zealand

Re: Stuck souls?

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Mar 10, 2012 7:23 pm


bardoq
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Re: Stuck souls?

Postby bardoq » Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:48 pm


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Aloka
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Re: Stuck souls?

Postby Aloka » Sat Mar 10, 2012 11:44 pm


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mikenz66
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Location: New Zealand

Re: Stuck souls?

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Mar 11, 2012 3:03 am

The question has been asked over at DharmaWheel and some might be interested in reading the discussion there: http://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f= ... 13&start=0

:anjali:
Mike

Yana
Posts: 397
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:45 am

Re: Stuck souls?

Postby Yana » Sun Mar 11, 2012 3:19 am

Last edited by Yana on Sun Mar 11, 2012 1:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Life is preparing for Death

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acinteyyo
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Location: Bavaria / Germany

Re: Stuck souls?

Postby acinteyyo » Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:55 pm

Hi bardoq,

from your posts I see that you come from a different path, with different views. It seems that you are not familiar with the basic ideas of Theravada or what is explained in the suttas. I'm not in the mood to bring my understanding of the world-view of the suttas and your world-view in line. This in not meant to be rude, but your questions are total nonsense to me. I'm aware of the fact that this is because of our different backgrounds from where we approach this issue. I hope you'll benefit from this discussion, but I won't contribute no longer.

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

bardoq
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 9:12 pm

Re: Stuck souls?

Postby bardoq » Sun Mar 11, 2012 7:40 pm



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