lobster wrote:tell me lobster what limits us human beings from taking rebirth as an insect ?
There are,” says a poet as ingenious as profound, “more things in heaven and earth, than are
dreamt of in our philosophy.”
Recently String Theory was a big deal. Originally it said that there were 21 physical dimensions, but the scientists were not comfortable with that idea, so they whittled it down to 11. But people accepted the idea that there were 11 physical dimensions quite readily, even though such a thing was unimaginable--unless you were really really stoned. A buddy of mine keeps up on that type of stuff, and it turns out that String Theory isn't working out. Evidently is is based on something called 'super-symetry', and the particle accelerator at Cern is coming up with data disproving super-symetry. Oh well, I guess the whole 11 dimension thing was just a fad. But a lot of people bought into it for a while. Oh well, easy come, easy go.
There is no data either proving or disproving karma and reincarnation, and it has been around for a few thousand years. It is an internally consistent paradigm that is in accord with what we see in the world. We see people die not having received the poetic justice they deserve, either good or bad. We see children born to wildly different scenarios with no apparent justification. The explanation of karma and reincarnation is plausible, and so one can, if they so choose, take it as a working hypothesis. Doing so does a couple of things immediately; it puts the grand scheme of things beyond what we can see. That is necessary if we are to come to the conclusion that we are, on some level, ignorant as the Buddha says. If we believe that what we see and understand is all there is, we cannot have an open mind as to what is beyond our limited horizons. In his teachings, Sakyamuni said that he had awakened from the sleeplike ignorance, and that we could take refuge from our own limited understanding of life in his unlimited understanding. His claim to have solved the problem of dukha, which includes the dukha of small infants that suffer and die, as well the dukha of animals.
So it is necessary to concede the point that the way we see things is faulty and limited in order to accept the Refuge Sakyamuni offers us. The first and foremost fault is in how we see and experience ourselves on the most intimate levels. We are not only ignorant about the cycle of life and death, but about what is real about our own lives. That concession is said to be the basis for all other Dharma practice, and accepting Sakyamuni's perspective=Taking Refuge=the definition of what it is to be a Buddhist. If you insist on taking refuge in how you already see things, you are, according to Dharma, taking refuge in your own unawareness. That is a Catch-22 that keeps you cycling in samsara. Ultimately, by knocking on the door of Dharma, it is possible to sow the karmic seeds to have an open mind, but that usually is a very slow process. A closed mind in a Dharma context is very hard for the benefits of Dharma practice to overcome.
So good luck with it.