Firstly, read the bottom, the conditions of this particular thread, before replying, or don't reply at all, please. Thank you in advance.
Aggregates/Skhandas http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
What makes us human beings is the Five Skhandas, correct? Form, feeling, perception, fabrication, conciousness.
Form is the physical make up of you, your body. Why is it that every time I read about the five aggregates, form is mentioned first? Form would include the brain, of which today scientists and psychologists generally agree, 'generates' or 'allows' the mind, or if you prefer, 'allows the latter four aggregates'.
Take away the body, form, and the latter four aggregates cannot exist. Take away the brain, and the latter four aggregates cannot exist. When the man with a sick mind goes to a Therapist, gets medicine that affects the brain, typically his mind is healed and/or helped. Correct me if i'm wrong.
Annata/Not-Self http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nymo.html
"Is consciousness permanent or impermanent?" — "Impermanent, venerable sir." — "Now is what is impermanent pleasant or painful?" — "Painful, venerable sir." — "Now is what is impermanent, what is painful since subject to change, fit to be regarded thus: 'This is mine, this is I, this is my self'"? — "No, venerable sir."
"Bhikkhus, when a noble follower who has heard (the truth) sees thus, he finds estrangement in form, he finds estrangement in feeling, he finds estrangement in perception, he finds estrangement in determinations, he finds estrangement in consciousness."
"When he finds estrangement, passion fades out. With the fading of passion, he is liberated. When liberated, there is knowledge that he is liberated. He understands: 'Birth is exhausted, the holy life has been lived out, what can be done is done, of this there is no more beyond.'"
Rebirth http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
""This contemplative Gotama — the leader of a community, the leader of a group, the teacher of a group, honored and famous, esteemed as holy by the mass of people — describes a disciple who has died and passed on in terms of places of rebirth: "That one is reborn there; that one is reborn there." But when the disciple is an ultimate person, a foremost person, attained to the foremost attainment, Gotama the contemplative does not describe him, when he has died and passed on, in terms of places of rebirth: "That one is reborn there; that one is reborn there." Instead, he describes him thus: "He has cut through craving, severed the fetter, and by rightly breaking through conceit has made an end of suffering & stress."'
"Vaccha, when a flame is being swept on by the wind and goes a far distance, I designate it as wind-sustained, for the wind is its sustenance at that time."
"Vaccha, when a being sets this body aside and is not yet reborn in another body, I designate it as craving-sustained, for craving is its sustenance at that time."
From the Kalama Sutta - "Of course you are uncertain, Kalamas. Of course you are in doubt. When there are reasons for doubt, uncertainty is born. So in this case, Kalamas, don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, 'This contemplative is our teacher.' When you know for yourselves that, 'These qualities are unskillful; these qualities are blameworthy; these qualities are criticized by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to harm & to suffering' — then you should abandon them.
What aggregate would craving be considered?
If it is considered an aggregate, what of Impermanence? ((EDIT: In the sense that, isn't that aganst Impermanence, the constant continuation of those things, and also what of it's beginnings in the mind after being born (How does it affect it)?)
If many are to be reborn into the Human realm, what of the lack and/or growth of bodies, and the sustained lack/need thereof, say should something cataclysmic happen to earth, such as a global killer, and the factual biology of the process of procreation, and the now many more humans in the 'human realm'?
Why isn't other-worldy species that are bound to exist taken into account for literal Rebirth? It is fact that we are one of the youngest galaxies out there. (EDIT: In the sense of past life memories and accounts)
When literal rebirth has no real effect on a human once they begin to age as a child, and take their shape of mind from their environment and own thoughts, where does conciousness transference come into play? Is it not ignorance that holds us back from Nibanna?
What of medicine that targets the brain, of the human body, specifically, that helps the mind? (EDIT: In the sense of those who believe the brain and mind are seperate)
It is unlikely to assume we are the only sentient beings/species out there, as we are for a fact, one of the youngest galaxies. How would rebirth play into this on a universal aspect?
"When you know for yourselves that..." "...these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to harm & to suffering' — then you should abandon them."
We know that people have commited suicide/harm (Drugs, Dangerous Activities, War (Samurai are a prime example), etc), under the assumption of literal Rebirth, that the future can be neglected by the ignorant, under the belief of literal Rebirth, we know that the followers of the Buddha can be harmed in their practice, by the idea of Literal Rebirth. Metaphorical Rebirth is the same thing, without the transference of conciousness, but cannot be considered harmful or suffering because it makes Rebirth for the practitioner both more a mindfulness of his/her practice/Self, and more mindful of his/her affect on society on a whole. (EDIT: In asian countries, people have been known to commit suicide under the assumption that they are going to be reborn once again. I meant as far as those Buddhists who believe they will be reborn when they die or kill themselves, such as Samurai, etc.)
Does this not make metaphorical Rebirth better for ones practice?
In conclusion, what the entire point of this post has been, an inquiry/challenge to the idea of literal rebirth. The challenge, answering the last questions, those at the end of this, and 'all of them'. Sort of like a Q&A. I am not here to debate, persay, but put forth the evidence that I personally have against it, and to see what those who believe in literal birth have to say to 'all of it', IE, the questions at the end.
Rules of The Inquiry/Challenge (And remember, it is your choice to take it up, noone is forcing you to reply):
All questions at the end must be answered.
No posts such as, "This has nothing to do with the end of your suffering", or the like. The buddha only taught suffering, and the cessation of thus. This is an inquiry/challenge, just accept it, or don't respond. You are not being forced to answer this.
Just one post, of your explanation, to all questions at the end, this is not a debate, persay. Just an inquiry/explanation to the problems of literal Rebirth, answered by you.
Other then that, if you can't answer every question, or be mature in your reply, just have fun as you read the posts and viewpoints of everyone else.
Personally, that is how I have always learned when it comes to philosophy/spirituality. I study various teachings, and absorb them into my understanding/beliefs, or change them when something new is learned, or corrected without a doubt. I think it's called Osmosis or the like.
Everything that makes you, you, is the result of your Environment (Society, Culture, Family, Friends, Etc), Genetics/Biology (Your brain which makes the mind possible, Inborn diseases such as Down Syndrome, or even Psociopathy, etc), Thoughts (Everything you think affects your mind, and the person you are), Speech (Same as thoughts, but words affect your environment as well), Actions (Same as Speech), and the Elements (Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, Space, and Time).