During my practice and my life in Buddha's teachings, I've felt much happiness and insight to the world I live. Yet during this time, various questions have troubled me and I seek some clarification on this forum if possible.
1. Many who are on the Bodhisattva path may take any number of lives to fully reach enlightenment. But the dharma states that those who accumulate good karma in this life by practicing the Five Precepts and the Ten Meritous Deeds will be reborn in a human or heavenly realm. I understand the human realm, but isn't the heavenly realm a place of bliss, and as such, a deva would not care to practice the dharma, and as such would be reborn into a lower realm (an impediment to enlightenment)? In other words, if one does follow the dharma, Five Precepts, Ten Meritous Deeds, and Noble Eightfold Path, taking refuge in the Three Gems, and living with faith, compassion, and wisdom, how does one ensure rebirth into the human realm so if one does not attain enlightenment in this life, he/she will have the foundation to pursue the Bodhisattva path in the next life?
There are in fact certain heavens where all one does is have sex... lots of it. The Dharma path is slow using ordinary methods so for those using ordinary methods it will take many eons of practice.
2. In these modern times, threats to humanity's existence seem prevalent (nuclear war, economic collapse, peak oil, etc.), so if, theoretically, humanity is wiped out, how will one continue to practice the dharma?
Yes. This isnt the only world system out there.
3. Lastly, I do have this fear that seems hard to detach from. I have a fear that at this time, our technological advancement is unhealthy and fuelled by anger, ignorance, greed, and by consumer's attachment to superficial satisfaction. Very soon, as technology advances, human genetic engineering, possibly cloning, and advanced AI, may be a reality and as such, humans may transcend into a greater existence. This I fear because we may forget and disregard our own true nature, as animals, as a part of nature, and thus condemn the very thing that brought us to existence. And then it will all come spiraling down due to a number of factors. Don't get me wrong, I don't despise technology. Because of it, life is a lot more positive and happier to live, medical advances have reduced suffering, and internet has made Buddhadharma available to many who wish to follow. Can this be prevented?
Thanks all, and feel free to give your honest opinion!
The answer is probably: no.