Being immortal - is it faith?

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Being immortal - is it faith?

Postby mydhana » Mon Sep 26, 2011 1:59 pm

Ok, I am a new member and I have joined to get feedback on this question I am stuck on. I am sure there will be more quetsions to follow as I explore Buddhism further.
Radiant inner peace is dependent on the realisation that my inner being is immortal. How is this a certainty? Isn't this a belief based on faith? How do I know this concept of 'rebirth' is true? I thought that Buddhism is not a religion and does not require any faith?
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Re: Being immortal - is it faith?

Postby AlexanderS » Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:48 pm

This might stimulate your thoughts on rebirth and life after death

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOeLJCdHojU

About Immortality. I'm not qualified to speak on this, but considering that mind is not born it cannot die. There are more knowledgable people here who can shed light on that though. If you search the boards you can some quite insightfull discussions about rebirth and death.
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Re: Being immortal - is it faith?

Postby minimayhen88 » Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:14 pm

Hey,

I am very new to this as well and approach Buddhism from a rigorous scientific perspective – or which is appropriate as in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition monks are encouraged to debate aspects of the Dharma. Buddhism does of course incorporate faith, but also scientific rationality. Modern Quantum physics increasingly confirms core components of Buddhism such as the notion of ‘oneness’.... okay let me give you some useful links

In so far as the concept of oneness / interconnectivity...a core doctrine of which the Buddhist sense of morality and ethics is based upon ... here are some legitimate, links....

1. This is a great stepping stone ... http://watchdocumentary.com/watch/what- ... 44c92.html

2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrcWntw9 ... re=related

3. http://www.amitgoswami.org/?s=oneness

Consciousness (Buddhism an-atman) ... the ‘immortal basis’ .... May actually be quantum entangled ....or interconnected in a ‘immortal continuum’

This may be a little far out but hey ....

1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLKT5UsKoqM

Hope I have helped I’m fascinated by philosophy :reading: , quantum physics :geek: and of course Buddhism :buddha1: .

:namaste:
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Re: Being immortal - is it faith?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon Sep 26, 2011 8:17 pm

mydhana wrote:Radiant inner peace is dependent on the realisation that my inner being is immortal.


Just curious...how does that realisation bring inner peace (radiant or otherwise)?
From a buddhist perspective, that could mean that you are in for a lot of suffering.
And it should be noted that Buddhism doesn't support the idea of an unchanging, eternal soul
--not that this is what you are implying, but I just wanted to clarify that.

But your question is "how do I know this (eternal existence thing) to be true, and isn't that just a matter of faith"
And the answer I think is that you need to look at what you can determine to be true and what you can't.
So you have to decide what this 'inner being' is, and where it is now and where it was a minute ago and so forth,
and then from that you need to find out who exactly is asking the question,
and then I think you can determine how much of it is based on blind faith.
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Re: Being immortal - is it faith?

Postby Lazy_eye » Tue Sep 27, 2011 1:00 am

mydhana wrote:Ok, I am a new member and I have joined to get feedback on this question I am stuck on. I am sure there will be more quetsions to follow as I explore Buddhism further.
Radiant inner peace is dependent on the realisation that my inner being is immortal. How is this a certainty? Isn't this a belief based on faith? How do I know this concept of 'rebirth' is true? I thought that Buddhism is not a religion and does not require any faith?


It sounds like you are referring to Buddha Nature -- but the way you phrased it is a little problematic, I think. It's not "your" inner being -- isn't a matter of "your" or "mine" at all. And it's not necessarily "inner", as opposed to outer. Actually, I'm not even sure it's really correct to see it in terms of "being". All these terms are dualistic.

You might want to have a look at this text (I'd skip the intro stuff and go straight to Chapter One). I'm sure others here will have suggestions as well.

All best wishes for your journey!
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Re: Being immortal - is it faith?

Postby mydhana » Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:19 am

Thank you so much for all the leads and I am looking forward to reading them all.
I apologise for my miss-worded post. I think most of you got the gist of what I was trying to say.

I just spent some time trying to reword my original question but feel like I am probably digging myself a deeper hole. It seems as though these are just words and I am going to be misinterpreted for the meaning of them. I will read all of your wonderful suggestions and get back to this.
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Re: Being immortal - is it faith?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Wed Sep 28, 2011 9:00 pm

mydhana wrote:I just spent some time trying to reword my original question but feel like I am probably digging myself a deeper hole.


A lot of the concepts in Buddhism are not easily translated into English words. We use terms such as 'religion', 'spirit', 'awareness' and so forth because these are terms we are familiar with. Your original question was a good one and, I think, it is easy to understand what you were asking. In a lot of discussions here, people make an extra attempt to clarify the meaning of what is posted, or to correct terms so that there is not a misunderstanding of Buddhist concepts.
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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.
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Re: Being immortal - is it faith?

Postby Kyosan » Wed Sep 28, 2011 9:44 pm

mydhana wrote:Ok, I am a new member and I have joined to get feedback on this question I am stuck on.

Welcome to the board.

mydhana wrote:Radiant inner peace is dependent on the realisation that my inner being is immortal. How is this a certainty? Isn't this a belief based on faith?

There is some faith involved in Buddhism. Mahayana Buddhism says that when we eliminate all our illusions we are able to see our true self. Our true self is said to be eternal and unchanging. Only a Buddha can clearly see this and we deluded sentient beings don't understand ultimately what this means. Because I don't know what it means, I leave it's meaning an open question in my mind. I have some idea what it means but am definitely not certain. But I do accept it, whatever it means, as a matter of faith. Why do I have faith? Because I have developed trust in Buddhism.

mydhana wrote:I thought that Buddhism is not a religion and does not require any faith?

I think that Buddhism is both a religion and a philosophy. There is an important distinction between blind faith and faith that comes from trust. With blind faith one is blindly believing anything but faith that comes from trust is different. For example, if a boy has parents who don't care about him and lie to him all the time trust in his parents would be misplaced. But suppose a boy has parents who deeply cares about
him and is honest with him, it is reasonable for him to trust them.

mydhana wrote:How do I know this concept of 'rebirth' is true?

I'm not sure about what rebirth in Buddhism means, but for sure in Buddhism the self is not what ordinary people consider it to be. Ordinary people consider the self to be the physical body and/or something that they call the soul which they say inhabits the physical body. In Buddhism the self is much different.
:namaste:
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Re: Being immortal - is it faith?

Postby Nosta » Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:59 pm

Just want to clarify that buddhism is a religion and not just a "way of life" or philosophy. Dont be afraid to call it religion :)
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