Beatzen wrote: Virgo wrote:
Beatzen wrote:My understanding will change, and I may come to trust in the reality of rebirth for myself. I don't see how admitting that I don't understand it yet makes me a heretic.
Forgive me if I have missed a post or two that might contain the answer, but, do you believe that nothing happens at death? It's just "black"? or do you believe in some form of permanent afterlife (perm heaven or hells)?
Either way, there is no point in spiritual (Buddhist) practice if you believe either of those.
I haven't made up my mind. I was hoping that I would gain a meditative insight. I won't share my thoughts on the subject, first of all because I take my thoughts with a grain of salt, and secondly because I don't want to get flamed for expressing "un-buddhist" views.
Listen -- you will have to forgive us. These endless discussions about rebirth are tiresome. We don't care. Either you accept it or you don't. If you don't fine. But there is no doubt that rebirth was the Buddha's teaching. People who cannot accept that, cannot accept must of the other teachings of the Buddha.
And please spare us the "buddhas teachings were not written down until..."First of all, this is false. Worst case scenario, Buddha's teachings were written down 150 years after his parinirvana (dates of Asokha pillars), which best scholarship places 407-400 BCE. But it is very likely that the earliest sutras were being written down within 50 years.
Mahayana sutras were almost certainly later compositions.
Tantras later than that.
But the one thing all these teachings share is a common thread of rebirth, karma, and dependent origination which are the cause of samsara, and the breaking of rebirth and karma through understanding dependent origination, which gauranteed freedom from rebirth in this or at most seven rebirths.
All those people who think they will attain awakening withotu understanding Buddha's actual teachings on this subject are deluded.