Are Karma and Rebirth Real?

No holds barred discussion on the Buddhadharma. Argue about rebirth, karma, commentarial interpretations etc. Be nice to each other.

Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Virgo » Wed Nov 09, 2011 2:32 am

deepbluehum wrote:Forget Theravada. Where in the Suttas? I defy you to identify a single example.

Well, I'll be honest with you, I own a couple of the Nikayas, but not the whole Suttanta, so I can't properly search for good examples. I don't know where to begin anyway. All I know is that I have seen it in there many times in the past.

However, most of the time that the substance dualism becomes apparent in the Suttas is When the Buddha is explaining points that pertain to the development of wisdom, especially when talking about the sense bases and how they operate.

But, in Theravada terms, Suttas are mostly spoken using a conventional teaching style and conventional language, for example talking about places, beings, realms, and so on. The Abhidhamma is written from the point of view of ultimates, ie. Theravada sees the substance dualism as very important for the development of wisdom, and pretty much the whole of the Abhidhamma, save for the Katthavatthu, is geared toward explaining the components of this dualism, mind and matter, their functions, and by what laws and conditions they operate and so on.

Of course, what is more profound are the teachings of Mahayana and Vajrayana. So those are the views we should seek to understand. Studying Pali Suttas does not help us a great deal with that. It's sort of like a deviation of types.

But these explanations, while profound, are less profound than Mahayana explanations, which are less profound than Vajrayana explanations.

Kevin
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby deepbluehum » Wed Nov 09, 2011 2:45 am

There's no dualism in the suttas. Theravada spawned some faulty isms.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby KevinSolway » Wed Nov 09, 2011 2:49 am

Virgo wrote:Suttas are mostly spoken using a conventional teaching style and conventional language, for example talking about places, beings, realms, and so on.


If you interpret those as being "conventional" then that's your look-out. Everything in the sutras is written from the perspective of Ultimate Truth. The sutras don't tend to spell things out in detail, like you would to a young child, because they assume you already know that stuff.

And if you are going to claim that something is in the sutras then you should be able to provide the evidence. I don't believe you can. When I read the sutras I get the exact opposite message to what you claim they are saying.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Virgo » Wed Nov 09, 2011 2:54 am

deepbluehum wrote:There's no dualism in the suttas. Theravada spawned some faulty isms.

Well our opinions definitely differ then. But to me it's not a big deal.

Kevin
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby padma norbu » Wed Nov 09, 2011 2:59 am

These are Kevin's videos where he discusses reincarnation in Buddhism...





What do you think?

Kevin, do you actually practice any form of Buddhist practice? Your main practice seems to be reading and intellectualizing, positing arguments, etc. The brain.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby deepbluehum » Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:04 am

Virgo wrote:
deepbluehum wrote:There's no dualism in the suttas. Theravada spawned some faulty isms.

Well our opinions definitely differ then. But to me it's not a big deal.

Kevin


I'm saying you can't produce any evidence of dualism in the Pali. The Buddhist path is pure nondualism from beginning to end. Bollux what commentator X had to say.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Virgo » Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:05 am

KevinSolway wrote:
Virgo wrote:Suttas are mostly spoken using a conventional teaching style and conventional language, for example talking about places, beings, realms, and so on.


If you interpret those as being "conventional" then that's your look-out. Everything in the sutras is written from the perspective of Ultimate Truth. The sutras don't tend to spell things out in detail, like you would to a young child, because they assume you already know that stuff.

And if you are going to claim that something is in the sutras then you should be able to provide the evidence. I don't believe you can. When I read the sutras I get the exact opposite message to what you claim they are saying.

We do get different things out of them. For example, when the Buddha talks about rebirth literally in the Suttas, I personally tend to get out of it that living beings are literally reborn.

Kevin
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Virgo » Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:40 am

deepbluehum wrote:
Virgo wrote:
deepbluehum wrote:There's no dualism in the suttas. Theravada spawned some faulty isms.

Well our opinions definitely differ then. But to me it's not a big deal.

Kevin


I'm saying you can't produce any evidence of dualism in the Pali. The Buddhist path is pure nondualism from beginning to end. Bollux what commentator X had to say.

Well there is a lot of evidence. For example, all phenomena are either nama or rupa. Nama is of two kinds, citta and cetasika. There are 121 kinds of citta or 89 kinds, depending on how they are classified. There are 52 types of cetasikas. There are 28 kind of rupas, which are the 4 primary rupa, the primary dhatus or elements, and the 24 derived rupas. There is also nibbana, another paramattha dhamma, which is a form of nama (it is not beyong the dualism of nama and rupa). According to the Abhidhamma, there is nothing else which exists at all, on an "ultimate" level. However, these things are impacted by the 24 Paccaya, conditions, and so forth. That is how I understand it to be.

The Abhidhamma, it is traditionally said, was taught by the Buddha originally (and after that by Sariputra). Whether this is true or not is hard to determine. However, I personally believe that at the least, it was taught by Aryans. So there is no need to try to descredit it.

Many Suttas talk about the substance dualism. For example, the Susima Sutta states:

"Do you see that from consciousness as a requisite condition there is mentality and materiality?" "Yes, lord."

This is just one example of DO being taught in the Suttas. The substance dualism is clear, no?

In the Malunkyaputta Sutta it is said:

"Then, Malunkyaputta, with regard to phenomena to be seen, heard, sensed, or cognized: In reference to the seen, there will be only the seen. In reference to the heard, only the heard. In reference to the sensed, only the sensed. In reference to the cognized, only the cognized. That is how you should train yourself. When for you there will be only the seen in reference to the seen, only the heard in reference to the heard, only the sensed in reference to the sensed, only the cognized in reference to the cognized, then, Malunkyaputta, there is no you in connection with that. When there is no you in connection with that, there is no you there. When there is no you there, you are neither here nor yonder nor between the two. This, just this, is the end of stress."

This is an example of an instruction on vipassana. It deals with physical phenomena sensed by mental phenomena. The Buddha explains to the monk that when he understands that what is seen is only the seen, heard only the heard, senses, only the sensed, etc., and that when this is understood, it will be understood that there is no "you" there.

Why is that? Because it will be understood by the consciousness that arises in the being conventionally called "Malunkyaputta" that the phsyical objects seen, and the consciousness that sees them, as that moment happens, is all that there is. There is no person, and nothing beyond this substance dualism which has a relationship.

Kevin
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby deepbluehum » Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:51 am

Virgo wrote:Well there is a lot of evidence. For example, all phenomena are either nama or rupa.


No. They are namarupa. There is no nama without rupa and vice versa. This is fundamental to DO.

Nama is of two kinds, citta and cetasika. There are 121 kinds of citta or 89 kinds, depending on how you classify it, according to the Abhidhamma. There are 52 types of cetasikas.

There are 28 kind of rupas, which are the 4 primary rupa, the primary dhatus or elements, and the 24 derived rupas.

There is also nibbana, another paramattha dhamma, which is a form of nama (it is not beyong the dualism of nama and rupa).

According to the Abhidhamma, there is nothing else which exists at all, ultimately. However, these things are governed by the 24 Paccaya, conditional relations, and so forth.

That is how I understand it to be.

The Abhidhamma, it is traditionally said, was taught by the Buddha originally (and after that by Sariputra). Whether this is true or not is hard to determine. However, I personally believe that at the least, it was taught by Aryans. So there is no need to try to descredit it.


It's namarupa. These examples do not teach dualism.

Many Suttas talk about the substance dualism.

For example, the Susima Sutta states:

"Do you see that from consciousness as a requisite condition there is mentality and materiality?"

"Yes, lord."


Again. Namarupa. DO is a nondualist teaching.

In the Malunkyaputta Sutta it is said:

"Then, Malunkyaputta, with regard to phenomena to be seen, heard, sensed, or cognized: In reference to the seen, there will be only the seen. In reference to the heard, only the heard. In reference to the sensed, only the sensed. In reference to the cognized, only the cognized. That is how you should train yourself. When for you there will be only the seen in reference to the seen, only the heard in reference to the heard, only the sensed in reference to the sensed, only the cognized in reference to the cognized, then, Malunkyaputta, there is no you in connection with that. When there is no you in connection with that, there is no you there. When there is no you there, you are neither here nor yonder nor between the two. This, just this, is the end of stress."


This, again, is nondualism.

This is an example of an instruction on vipassana. It deals with physical phenomena sensed by mental phenomena. The Buddha explains to the monk that when he understands that what is seen is only the seen, heard only the heard, senses, only the sensed, etc., and that when this is understood, it will be understood that there is no "you" there.

Why is that? Because it will be understood by the consciousness that arises in the being conventionally called "Malunkyaputta" that the phsyical objects seen, and the consciousness that sees them, as that moment happens, is all that there is. There is no person, and nothing beyond this substance dualism that has a relationship.

Kevin


No it is saying the senses are all there is. Knowing that the senses are just skandhas, originating dependently, one sees directly the nonself of oneself and everything else.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Virgo » Wed Nov 09, 2011 4:03 am

deepbluehum wrote:Again. Namarupa. DO is a nondualist teaching.

If things are non-dual, they have to be one thing, singular. Buddhism does not teach that there is any "thing", so how can things be non-dual?

If things were non-dual, then your interpretation and mine would be one. What then is there to argue about between us?

Nevertheless, we reify things and they seem real. Within that deluded cognition, there is a duality between nama and rupa. Rocks do not cognize things, and your thoughts are not hard or soft, flowing or cohesive in nature, hot or with an absence of heat, and so on. Someone elses thought does not impinge upon your sense of taste. Your ability to feel pressure on the body does not manifest as attention or perception to another.

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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby KevinSolway » Wed Nov 09, 2011 4:11 am

padma norbu wrote:Kevin, do you actually practice any form of Buddhist practice?


My main practice, for the last thirty years, has been the practice of seeing the Ultimate Truth in all things.

. . . The brain.


The monk to whom I was responding was attempting to use scientific arguments to support his so-called Buddhist faith. And so I responded with some scientific facts, revealing that he couldn't even get his science right, let alone his Buddhism.

Your main practice seems to be reading and intellectualizing, positing arguments


My teaching regarding the life and death of the candleflame cannot be classified as reading, intellectualizing, or positing arguments, but people only see what they want to see.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Virgo » Wed Nov 09, 2011 4:14 am

deepbluehum wrote: one sees directly the nonself of oneself

One cannot see the non-self of oneself. There is no self. One sees the non-self aspect of nama and rupa which one mistakingly takes for self. There are no selves which exist on the ultimate level, only on the conventional level.

This conversation is boring to me. No offense to you deepbluehum, and it is not boring because of you. I just find this stuff boring and not useful to my practice.

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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Kunga Lhadzom » Wed Nov 09, 2011 4:26 am

KevinSolway wrote:he couldn't even get his science right, let alone his Buddhism.


In Buddhism, it's not so much about getting science & Buddhism right , but getting your heart (kindness, compassion, equanimity) right.

http://dharma.ncf.ca/introduction/sutra ... sutra.html
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby mint » Wed Nov 09, 2011 4:32 am

padma norbu wrote:
Kevin, do you actually practice any form of Buddhist practice? Your main practice seems to be reading and intellectualizing, positing arguments, etc. The brain.


"One of the problems connected with intellect and intellectual understanding is that if we look for and come up with answers, conclusions, logical deductions, we tend to end up with a high opinion of our understanding. If we develop that, then we may no longer be able to experience things properly or learn anything more from the teachings at all. We become hardened scholars and bookworms."
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby padma norbu » Wed Nov 09, 2011 5:01 am

mint wrote:
padma norbu wrote:
Kevin, do you actually practice any form of Buddhist practice? Your main practice seems to be reading and intellectualizing, positing arguments, etc. The brain.


"One of the problems connected with intellect and intellectual understanding is that if we look for and come up with answers, conclusions, logical deductions, we tend to end up with a high opinion of our understanding. If we develop that, then we may no longer be able to experience things properly or learn anything more from the teachings at all. We become hardened scholars and bookworms."
Chogyam Trungpa



Yes, exactly. It is different once you actually do some kind of Buddhist practice. For a while.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby deepbluehum » Wed Nov 09, 2011 5:06 am

Virgo wrote:If things are non-dual, they have to be one thing, singular.


Not singular or multiple, DO'd. This is the Buddhist meaning of nondual.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby deepbluehum » Wed Nov 09, 2011 5:08 am

Virgo wrote:One sees the non-self aspect of nama and rupa which one mistakingly takes for self.


This is seeing nonself of oneself. You shouldn't think this topic is not helpful, b/c it's central.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby alwayson » Wed Nov 09, 2011 6:23 am

KevinSolway wrote:My main practice, for the last thirty years, has been the practice of seeing the Ultimate Truth in all things.



Which is what in two sentences?

It seems like you never describe your philosophy succintly.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby KevinSolway » Wed Nov 09, 2011 6:40 am

alwayson wrote:Which is what in two sentences?


I'll answer your question in a new topic, since that question is straying a bit too much from the current topic.

See the topic "Ultimate Truth"
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby LastLegend » Wed Nov 09, 2011 6:49 am

Namdrol wrote:
deepbluehum wrote:
That's 7th Century stuff; a lot of water under the bridge there. I'm saying Pali Suttas are sutra stuff, and I can't find dualism in Buddha's sermons. The opposite.


The very fact that formless realms beings are immaterial proves substance dualism in sutrayāna.


Yes, conventionally speaking, there is substance dualism as in mind and matter.
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