Reincarnation: A gift or a curse?

Whether you're exploring Buddhism for the first time or you're already on the path, feel free to ask questions of any kind here.

Re: Reincarnation: A gift or a curse?

Postby Indrajala » Sun Jul 17, 2011 4:54 am

Serenity509 wrote:As a Westerner, I have trouble believing in any concept of the afterlife without sufficient evidence. The most I can say is that good is somehow rewarded and evil is somehow punished.


There has been research into thousands of cases where children claimed to remember things from before their conception. More often than not it corresponds to actual events, people, places and so on from before they were born.

Check out the University of Virginia's Division of Perceptual Studies:

http://www.medicine.virginia.edu/clinic ... -page#CORT
Flower Ornament Depository (Blog)
Indrajāla's Contemplations (Blog)
Exploring Classical Chinese (Blog)
Dharma Depository (Site)

"Hui gives me no assistance. There is nothing that I say in which he does not delight." -Confucius
User avatar
Indrajala
 
Posts: 5914
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: Nepal

Re: Reincarnation: A gift or a curse?

Postby Serenity509 » Sun Jul 17, 2011 4:59 am

Huseng wrote:
Serenity509 wrote:As a Westerner, I have trouble believing in any concept of the afterlife without sufficient evidence. The most I can say is that good is somehow rewarded and evil is somehow punished.


There has been research into thousands of cases where children claimed to remember things from before their conception. More often than not it corresponds to actual events, people, places and so on from before they were born.

Check out the University of Virginia's Division of Perceptual Studies:

http://www.medicine.virginia.edu/clinic ... -page#CORT


Is it more likely that they are recalling past lives or that they tapped into someone else's memories from the collective consciousness?

How can one recall the memories of past lives if there is no enduring self?
Last edited by Serenity509 on Sun Jul 17, 2011 5:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
Serenity509
 
Posts: 128
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 1:21 am
Location: United States

Re: Reincarnation: A gift or a curse?

Postby Serenity509 » Sun Jul 17, 2011 5:02 am

Namdrol wrote:
Serenity509 wrote:I think this is relevant to almost any discussion we have:



Buddhism is not a "invent it was we go along" type of religion.

Also, insisting on the vital role rebirth plays in Buddha's teaching is not the same thing as speculatively insisting that one's own views are correct where everyone else's are wrong.

N


Did Buddha say think and discover for yourself or accept his teaching based on hearsay?
Serenity509
 
Posts: 128
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 1:21 am
Location: United States

Re: Reincarnation: A gift or a curse?

Postby Enochian » Sun Jul 17, 2011 5:04 am

Namdrol wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:
One does not have to believe in rebirth in order to follow the teachings of the dharma.



There is no point in following Buddhadharma if you do not accept rebirth.

N



Yes but according to every level of buddhism, you need to have something called the divya caksus to have PERSONAL EXPERIENCE with rebirth.
There is an ever-present freedom from grasping the mind.

Mind being defined as the thing always on the Three Times.
Enochian
 
Posts: 364
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:19 pm

Re: Reincarnation: A gift or a curse?

Postby Indrajala » Sun Jul 17, 2011 5:06 am

Serenity509 wrote:Is it more likely that they are recalling past lives or that they tapped into someone else's memories from the collective consciousness?



If that were so, why just recollect one individual's memories and not many?

It is easier to simply conclude that the children remember things from a past life. That's what the scholars like Stevenson and Tucker have concluded after researching this phenomena. No need to defer to ideas of a "collective consciousness" which sounds like some New Age junk anyway.
Flower Ornament Depository (Blog)
Indrajāla's Contemplations (Blog)
Exploring Classical Chinese (Blog)
Dharma Depository (Site)

"Hui gives me no assistance. There is nothing that I say in which he does not delight." -Confucius
User avatar
Indrajala
 
Posts: 5914
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: Nepal

Re: Reincarnation: A gift or a curse?

Postby Indrajala » Sun Jul 17, 2011 5:07 am

Enochian wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:
One does not have to believe in rebirth in order to follow the teachings of the dharma.



There is no point in following Buddhadharma if you do not accept rebirth.

N



Yes but according to every level of buddhism, you need to have something called the divya caksus to have PERSONAL EXPERIENCE with rebirth.


Not necessarily. With sufficient mastery of dhyāna one will recollect past lives.
Flower Ornament Depository (Blog)
Indrajāla's Contemplations (Blog)
Exploring Classical Chinese (Blog)
Dharma Depository (Site)

"Hui gives me no assistance. There is nothing that I say in which he does not delight." -Confucius
User avatar
Indrajala
 
Posts: 5914
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: Nepal

Re: Reincarnation: A gift or a curse?

Postby Malcolm » Sun Jul 17, 2011 5:12 am

Serenity509 wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
Serenity509 wrote:I think this is relevant to almost any discussion we have:



Buddhism is not a "invent it was we go along" type of religion.

Also, insisting on the vital role rebirth plays in Buddha's teaching is not the same thing as speculatively insisting that one's own views are correct where everyone else's are wrong.

N


Did Buddha say think and discover for yourself or accept his teaching based on hearsay?


Buddha said that one must hear the teachings, reflect on their meaning, and meditate upon them.

But that does not mean that Buddha did not set out the path and the nature of consciousness, and so on in a very precise and detailed way. He drew the map, it is up to those who wish to follow it.

N
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
User avatar
Malcolm
 
Posts: 12028
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Reincarnation: A gift or a curse?

Postby Serenity509 » Sun Jul 17, 2011 5:13 am

Huseng wrote:It is easier to simply conclude that the children remember things from a past life. That's what the scholars like Stevenson and Tucker have concluded after researching this phenomena. No need to defer to ideas of a "collective consciousness" which sounds like some New Age junk anyway.


I think collective consciousness is actually a Hindu idea. The point is that it might be just as likely. How can one recall the memories of past lives if there is no enduring self?
Serenity509
 
Posts: 128
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 1:21 am
Location: United States

Re: Reincarnation: A gift or a curse?

Postby Enochian » Sun Jul 17, 2011 5:29 am

Huseng wrote:
Enochian wrote:
Yes but according to every level of buddhism, you need to have something called the divya caksus to have PERSONAL EXPERIENCE with rebirth.


Not necessarily. With sufficient mastery of dhyāna one will recollect past lives.



The divya caksus IS used from within dhyāna, the fourth dhyāna to be exact.

My whole point is though is that one cannot have PERSONAL EXPERIENCE with rebirth unless one has these abilities.
There is an ever-present freedom from grasping the mind.

Mind being defined as the thing always on the Three Times.
Enochian
 
Posts: 364
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:19 pm

Re: Reincarnation: A gift or a curse?

Postby Malcolm » Sun Jul 17, 2011 5:33 am

Serenity509 wrote:How can one recall the memories of past lives if there is no enduring self?



A given stream of consciousness composed of a unique series of moments which are neither the same as nor different from one another. Therefore, memories, thoughts, and so on can be communicated down this unique mind stream without this mind stream bearing a real intrinsic identity.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
User avatar
Malcolm
 
Posts: 12028
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Reincarnation: A gift or a curse?

Postby Indrajala » Sun Jul 17, 2011 5:33 am

Serenity509 wrote:
Huseng wrote:It is easier to simply conclude that the children remember things from a past life. That's what the scholars like Stevenson and Tucker have concluded after researching this phenomena. No need to defer to ideas of a "collective consciousness" which sounds like some New Age junk anyway.


I think collective consciousness is actually a Hindu idea. The point is that it might be just as likely. How can one recall the memories of past lives if there is no enduring self?


There is no inherently existent substantial self, but there is a conventionally existent person that is reborn. Continuity without inherent identity.
Flower Ornament Depository (Blog)
Indrajāla's Contemplations (Blog)
Exploring Classical Chinese (Blog)
Dharma Depository (Site)

"Hui gives me no assistance. There is nothing that I say in which he does not delight." -Confucius
User avatar
Indrajala
 
Posts: 5914
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: Nepal

Re: Reincarnation: A gift or a curse?

Postby Malcolm » Sun Jul 17, 2011 5:34 am

Enochian wrote:
Huseng wrote:
Enochian wrote:
Yes but according to every level of buddhism, you need to have something called the divya caksus to have PERSONAL EXPERIENCE with rebirth.


Not necessarily. With sufficient mastery of dhyāna one will recollect past lives.



The divya caksus IS used from within dhyāna, the fourth dhyāna to be exact.

My whole point is though is that one cannot have PERSONAL EXPERIENCE with rebirth unless one has these abilities.


The divine has to do with seeing gods, not recalling past lives.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
User avatar
Malcolm
 
Posts: 12028
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Reincarnation: A gift or a curse?

Postby Serenity509 » Sun Jul 17, 2011 5:41 am

Huseng wrote:
Serenity509 wrote:
Huseng wrote:It is easier to simply conclude that the children remember things from a past life. That's what the scholars like Stevenson and Tucker have concluded after researching this phenomena. No need to defer to ideas of a "collective consciousness" which sounds like some New Age junk anyway.


I think collective consciousness is actually a Hindu idea. The point is that it might be just as likely. How can one recall the memories of past lives if there is no enduring self?


There is no inherently existent substantial self, but there is a conventionally existent person that is reborn. Continuity without inherent identity.


How is the person then able to recall a past life?
Serenity509
 
Posts: 128
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 1:21 am
Location: United States

Re: Reincarnation: A gift or a curse?

Postby Malcolm » Sun Jul 17, 2011 5:49 am

Serenity509 wrote:
How is the person then able to recall a past life?


Your question implies you believe there must be something real or ultimate to convey memories from instant a to instant b.

I answered your question above.

The serial moments of a mind stream carries past impressions. Under the power of samadhi these impressions will unlock one's pastlife experiences.

If one develops sufficient powers of samadhi, one can also examine other people's minds and see into their past lives as well.

N
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
User avatar
Malcolm
 
Posts: 12028
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Reincarnation: A gift or a curse?

Postby Serenity509 » Sun Jul 17, 2011 6:05 am

Namdrol wrote:If one develops sufficient powers of samadhi, one can also examine other people's minds and see into their past lives as well.

N


Like I asked before, how do you know then if you are examining your own past life instead of someone else's?
Serenity509
 
Posts: 128
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 1:21 am
Location: United States

Re: Reincarnation: A gift or a curse?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Jul 17, 2011 8:17 am

Only an enlightened being can see the past lives of others, since we are not enlightened...

Serenity509 wrote:While I do not believe in reincarnation...

And I don't belive in defecation.
:namaste:
PS There is no collective unconscious in Buddhism, the alaya vijnana comes close but once again it is limited to the individual mind stream.
PPS There is no guarantee that all beings will reach enlightenment, if a being does not generate the karmic force necessary to achieve enlightenment then they can easily circle through samsara forever. Every sentient being has the capacity (tathagatagarbha) to realise Buddhahood but without putting into effect the correct causes and conditions this capacity will remain merely a capacity.
"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
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 9603
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Reincarnation: A gift or a curse?

Postby Serenity509 » Sun Jul 17, 2011 8:18 am

gregkavarnos wrote:PS There is no collective unconscious in Buddhism, the alaya vijnana comes close but once again it is limited to the individual mind stream.


That doesn't matter. What matters is that it's just as likely as retrieving past life memories.
Serenity509
 
Posts: 128
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 1:21 am
Location: United States

Re: Reincarnation: A gift or a curse?

Postby Serenity509 » Sun Jul 17, 2011 8:19 am

gregkavarnos wrote:PPS There is no guarantee that all beings will reach enlightenment, if a being does not generate the karmic force necessary to achieve enlightenment then they can easily circle through samsara forever. Every sentient being has the capacity (tathagatagarbha) to realise Buddhahood but without putting into effect the correct causes and conditions this capacity will remain merely a capacity.


With an infinite amount of time, won't nirvana happen eventually?
Last edited by Serenity509 on Sun Jul 17, 2011 2:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Serenity509
 
Posts: 128
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 1:21 am
Location: United States

Re: Reincarnation: A gift or a curse?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Jul 17, 2011 8:35 am

Serenity509 wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:PPS There is no guarantee that all beings will reach enlightenment, if a being does not generate the karmic force necessary to achieve enlightenment then they can easily circle through samsara forever. Every sentient being has the capacity (tathagatagarbha) to realise Buddhahood but without putting into effect the correct causes and conditions this capacity will remain merely a capacity.


With an infinite amount of time, won't nirvana happy eventually?
Only if beings engage in actions that will lead them to a realisation of enlightenment, if they do not, then NO!

Your view of reincarnation and enlightenment reminds me of some Hindu views of an existence that is guided by a capital "G" God, and that all beings have to do is follow Gods grand plan that eventually leads all beings to Nirvana. Doesn't work like that. YOU are responsible for your enlightenment, if you don't work towards it, it ain't gonna happen by chance.
:namaste:
"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
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 9603
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Reincarnation: A gift or a curse?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sun Jul 17, 2011 1:58 pm

Serenity509 wrote:
How can one recall the memories of past lives if there is no enduring self?


That is like asking, "how can leaves float in a stream when the water won't stay still, but keeps moving?"
The leaves are moving, and changing. The stream is moving and changing.
Every "thing" is moving and changing. In fact, you cannot even stop it for a moment and call anything an "thing".
There is only the continuously transforming present moment.

How can one recall memories?
What do you recall?
Did you see a car yesterday?
If you take it apart, none of its parts contain any "carness".
The car was a projection of your own thoughts.
In other words, you remember the concept of 'car" but not a bunch of mechanical parts.
Did that car thought remain fixed?, or did it come and go...Did it keep moving?
(the thought...not the car!)

If a permanent "soul" or 'self" exists,
then what constitutes, or defines the meaning of "permanent"?
It is not a permanent body. Right?
Then, is it a permanent thought?

Permanent means possessing some attribute or quality which does not change over a given period of time.
Everything which is conditioned changes.
Anything which responds to changing conditions thus also changes, thus it is not permanent.
The reflection in a mirror changes. it is not permanent
but we might say that the mirror is permanent, and so you might ask why can't a soul be like that mirror.
But the mirror is not the reflection. We just lump the two together.
The mirror is glass and silver paint.
Likewise, any things we might say are the "silver paint and glass" of the soul would have to be found.
But I don't think anybody has ever found anything that a soul is made of.
It's not physical,and it's not mental.
So, what is it?
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
 
Posts: 2845
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

PreviousNext

Return to Exploring Buddhism

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: duckfiasco and 8 guests

>