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An Inquiry/Challenge/Q&A on Literal Rebirth, not a Debate! - Dhamma Wheel

An Inquiry/Challenge/Q&A on Literal Rebirth, not a Debate!

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
Truth_Seeker1989
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An Inquiry/Challenge/Q&A on Literal Rebirth, not a Debate!

Postby Truth_Seeker1989 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 7:11 pm

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.
Last edited by Truth_Seeker1989 on Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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).

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Re: An Inquiry/Challenge/Q&A on Literal Rebirth, not a Debate!

Postby manas » Sat Jun 09, 2012 7:31 pm

Hi Bodhisvasti

I need to go and sit shortly, so I can't meet your requirement that every single question be answered, as that would take me hours, but would be happy to point out an important issue that might help you in your understanding of all of them, but you would need to allow that to happen...you said that only people who answer every single question can reply at all, are you sure you want to make things that hard for people? Many have other engagements also, and/or other people to assist also. Answering every single point in turn would take a long time indeed, but if you change the rule to 'feel free to address any one of my questions" you would get much assistance, imo.

manas :anjali:
Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

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Re: An Inquiry/Challenge/Q&A on Literal Rebirth, not a Debate!

Postby Truth_Seeker1989 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 7:38 pm

I don't mean to be rude. But you pretty much just did what I said not to do, and with full knowledge. Please do not post anything at all, unless you can answer the questions. Even if noone answers them, that is fine. But I gave specifics.

Those questions are real to the topic at hand, very viable when it comes to the belief of literal rebirth, and I simply want to know everyones opinion. The challenge is that you have to 'answer all of them', because you are most likely going to be someone who believes in literal rebirth, should someone answer them. Hence, it makes you think about the idea of literal rebirth.
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).

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Re: An Inquiry/Challenge/Q&A on Literal Rebirth, not a Debate!

Postby daverupa » Sat Jun 09, 2012 7:54 pm


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Re: An Inquiry/Challenge/Q&A on Literal Rebirth, not a Debate!

Postby Truth_Seeker1989 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 7:57 pm

Either you can meet the challenge, and reply to every question, or you can't, and simply ignore it. *shrugs*
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).

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Re: An Inquiry/Challenge/Q&A on Literal Rebirth, not a Debate!

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Jun 09, 2012 7:58 pm

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Re: An Inquiry/Challenge/Q&A on Literal Rebirth, not a Debate!

Postby suttametta » Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:10 pm

I subscribe to all of David's answers. I will add only that literal rebirth is required, because rebirth is what provides an immature beginner with the change of heart to accept virtuous conduct as something concretely good and useful to themselves. Then that idea can mature into the notion of benefiting others. Also, that in order for merit and demerit to make any sense, you need literal rebirth. Literal rebirth is required to avoid nihilism. Literal rebirth is inherent in the idea of conditional arising, once that is well understood.

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Re: An Inquiry/Challenge/Q&A on Literal Rebirth, not a Debate!

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:18 pm


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Re: An Inquiry/Challenge/Q&A on Literal Rebirth, not a Debate!

Postby Truth_Seeker1989 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:47 pm

David, Mike, please answer this.

"where does conciousness transference come into play?"
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).

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Re: An Inquiry/Challenge/Q&A on Literal Rebirth, not a Debate!

Postby Truth_Seeker1989 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:06 pm

What aggregate would craving be considered?

I have no idea. I am not very learned in the Dharma as I would like to be, but i'd assume it is one of them.

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)?)

As of right now, I believe that everything we are goes back to the Earth, to the Universe, that we are one, and not seperate.

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'?

I can only answer this by saying we are reborn throughout the entire universe. But this changes the outlook on the belief of literal Rebirth dramatically, as it would be very unlikely to be reborn on Earth once you die, in the first place.

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)

I can only justify this by saying, by being born into an Earthen culture, we are very unlikely to 'comprehend' a very alien world/society/species.

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?

I can't grasp how it would affect the developing mind of a child in the beginning life stages. The brain is the mind, and the mind affects the brain, as the bain affects the mind. But the brain/mind is basically blank during the time of being a fetus. This is the point that I come to everytime where I cannot justify the belief in literal rebirth. Anything from down syndrome to sociopathy can be inborn into us, and has nothing to do with Rebirth, but the environment and genetics. I am very 'confident' in that everything that we are today is the result of what is in my signature. That is the most comprehensive conclusion that I can come up with on why we are the way we are today. So I cannot figure out, or grasp, at all, how literal Rebirth even has an affect on the new host body at all whatsoever.

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)

I can't accept anything less then the mind is generated by the brain, they work hand in hand, together. So they cannot be seperate, once the brain goes, the mind goes.

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?

I can only justify this by saying, by being born into an Earthen culture, we are very unlikely to 'comprehend' a very alien world/society/species.

"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? Literal Rebirth does have it's down sides when it comes to perception, but I am not sure which one is more logical, which to conclude.
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).

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Re: An Inquiry/Challenge/Q&A on Literal Rebirth, not a Debate!

Postby gavesako » Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:17 pm

3-year-old boy in Isan chants in Pali
http://youtu.be/jGHDpgBc9Dk


Pour ceremonial water prayer. She is 2 years old.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5mvQZkCSEA


* Are these cases of rebirth? Did they remember the Pali chants spontaneously or did they pick them up from their parents? The little boy seems to continue to behave like a monk, as he would have done in his previous life: shaving his head and wearing a yellow robe. He can give the traditional blessing in Pali quite fluently, and then chants "Itipiso", "Bahum" and "Mahakaruniko" with a few mistakes and some prompting, just like a normal monk would do. Appears similar to the Sri Lankan boy Dhamma Ruwan who was also able to chant many long Suttas from memory from the age of 2 or 3. How did they come into his brain then?
:thinking:
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Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: An Inquiry/Challenge/Q&A on Literal Rebirth, not a Debate!

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:19 pm


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Re: An Inquiry/Challenge/Q&A on Literal Rebirth, not a Debate!

Postby Truth_Seeker1989 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:23 pm

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).

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Re: An Inquiry/Challenge/Q&A on Literal Rebirth, not a Debate!

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:26 pm


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Re: An Inquiry/Challenge/Q&A on Literal Rebirth, not a Debate!

Postby Truth_Seeker1989 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:29 pm

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).

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Re: An Inquiry/Challenge/Q&A on Literal Rebirth, not a Debate!

Postby Truth_Seeker1989 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:30 pm

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).

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Re: An Inquiry/Challenge/Q&A on Literal Rebirth, not a Debate!

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:36 pm


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Re: An Inquiry/Challenge/Q&A on Literal Rebirth, not a Debate!

Postby gavesako » Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:38 pm

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Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

- Theravada texts
- Translations and history of Pali texts
- Sutta translations

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Re: An Inquiry/Challenge/Q&A on Literal Rebirth, not a Debate!

Postby Truth_Seeker1989 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:43 pm

---Not really. Did hyou read the sutta? Continuousness arises due to causes and conditions. It is not a "self" and it doesn't "transmigrate". But what happens in a particular moment affects subsequent moments. That's how it is described to work during a normal life as well..

Unless you are willing to study the details of Buddha-Dhamma, then it's going to be very difficult to find a satisfactory answer any of these questions, which have been discussed many, many, times on the "Great Rebirth Thread". ---

:anjali:
Mike[/quote]

You basically just said that there is no literal rebirth. You just proposed metaphorical rebirth. That is what I got by what you said, that no-thing is literally reborn. And if 'some-thing is reborn into another host body', as literal rebirth has suggested, how does it affect the new host?

What you said is completely against what the guy before you said. And it does not explain past life memories, which a Buddhist who believes in literal rebirth proposes. If you believe in past lives, then you must believe in the transference of memory, or the memory of yourself being reborn into another.
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).

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Re: An Inquiry/Challenge/Q&A on Literal Rebirth, not a Debate!

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:50 pm

I'm not saying there is no literal rebirth, I'm saying that there is not some little consciousness thningie that transmigrates, just phenomena arising due to causes and conditions.

:anjali:
Mike


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