How Does Rebirth Function?

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

How Does Rebirth Function?

Postby Jesse » Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:46 am

Hello all,

Please excuse my lack of understanding on things, I'm still fairly new to Buddhism.

I have a question regarding rebirth in Buddhism. I am wondering how rebirth is supposed to operate according to Buddhism.. specifically...

From what I can understand, everything is one. You and I, and all other aspects of reality move together in unison, ever changing. How then are we reborn? Nothing ever dies, or is born in the ultimate sense.

Is rebirth then simply the arising of a new illusion of identity, the arising of a new delusion within the whole? Then it's not really a matter of being reborn, rather simply the whole has developed more ignorance, no?

This is something I've been trying to understand, could someone please explain, or give me some reading material, please?
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Re: Rebirth questions

Postby Huifeng » Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:40 am

ghost01 wrote:Hello all,

Please excuse my lack of understanding on things, I'm still fairly new to Buddhism.

I have a question regarding rebirth in Buddhism. I am wondering how rebirth is supposed to operate according to Buddhism.. specifically...

From what I can understand, everything is one. You and I, and all other aspects of reality move together in unison, ever changing. How then are we reborn? Nothing ever dies, or is born in the ultimate sense.

Is rebirth then simply the arising of a new illusion of identity, the arising of a new delusion within the whole? Then it's not really a matter of being reborn, rather simply the whole has developed more ignorance, no?

This is something I've been trying to understand, could someone please explain, or give me some reading material, please?


I think that the idea "everything is one" is where you may have gone off track.
While this idea has found it's way into pop Boodhism, it doesn't really appear in Buddhist teachings.
So, if you set that aside, are your problems still there? Just wondering ...

~~ Huifeng
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Re: Rebirth questions

Postby mudra » Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:01 pm

ghost01 wrote:Hello all,

From what I can understand, everything is one. You and I, and all other aspects of reality move together in unison, ever changing. How then are we reborn? Nothing ever dies, or is born in the ultimate sense.

Is rebirth then simply the arising of a new illusion of identity, the arising of a new delusion within the whole? Then it's not really a matter of being reborn, rather simply the whole has developed more ignorance, no?


Perhaps switch out that "everything is one" pop jargon for "everything is interrelated, all phenomena are interdependent" as a starting point.

And quantification of the 'extent' of reality is a pretty hopeless enterprise, right down to trying to find a beginning of rebirths. In view of that, what are the odds of us knowing that there has been an addition? It's not really worth pursuing.

What is worth pursuing from a Buddhist perspective is understanding the dynamics of these endless, out of control rebirths full of suffering and it's causes, which then gives one the key to stopping them.
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Re: How Does Rebirth Function?

Postby DarwidHalim » Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:55 pm

The mind of clear light by Dalai Lama is a good source to understand this rebirth process.
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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Re: How Does Rebirth Function?

Postby Mr. G » Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:13 pm

ghost01 wrote:Hello all,

Please excuse my lack of understanding on things, I'm still fairly new to Buddhism.

I have a question regarding rebirth in Buddhism. I am wondering how rebirth is supposed to operate according to Buddhism.. specifically...

From what I can understand, everything is one. You and I, and all other aspects of reality move together in unison, ever changing. How then are we reborn? Nothing ever dies, or is born in the ultimate sense.

Is rebirth then simply the arising of a new illusion of identity, the arising of a new delusion within the whole? Then it's not really a matter of being reborn, rather simply the whole has developed more ignorance, no?

This is something I've been trying to understand,


This was a good post by Namdrol:

    Causes and effects are not the same, nor are they different.

    The mind that takes rebirth is not as same as the previous mind nor is it different.

    This is the reason why it is possible for sentients beings to experience serial rebirth through the appropriation of an infinite series of new physical bodies over time, relatively speaking.

    By saying that there is no actual rebirth, one is committing oneself to a metaphysical position called ucchedavada i.e. annihilationism. Commiting oneself to the position that there is an actual self, person, or entity that is reborn is called śāśvatavāda, eternalism.

    But when one understands that one instant of mind is neither the same nor different than the next instant of mind; since they are not the same, one avoids śāśvatavāda; and since they are not different, one avoids ucchedavada — thus one can understand the truth of rebirth, karma and its result, and dependent origination in the manner in which the Buddha intended and leave off the metaphysical speculations that plague non-Buddhists about such issues. One can then also understand that since the mind has no beginning, it never arose; and since it never arose, it never ceases.

    N
Read More Here...

could someone please explain, or give me some reading material, please?


My personal recommedations starting out are:

Buddhist Thought: A Complete Introduction to the Indian Tradition
Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu
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Re: How Does Rebirth Function?

Postby Nosta » Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:33 pm

Once i read that whe should not see rebirth as a soul going from one body to another, but as an "impression" that gets to other life. Like the fire of a candle that you can use to light another candle. Or like cubic dices: you put a dice on a table that represents a single life. Then you put other dice on top of the first one, and another etc (imagine a tower of dices). Each dice is a single life, but at the same time they depend from each other. We can say too that rebirth is like milk and, for example, yogurt. You use the milk to creat the yogurt. Without the milk you would never had the yogurt, but you cant say either that they are the same. They are different and independent (in a certain way), yet one raises from the other.
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Re: How Does Rebirth Function?

Postby Jesse » Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:38 pm

Thank you all for your responses, I am trying to dispel the notions I am basing my viewpoints on. It's very hard to look objectively once you believe you've arrived at a conclusion. I will continue reading the literature you guys recommended and try to look objectively.

One of the thing's I find confusing are tidbits like this: (An excerpt from the book I'm currently reading The heart of the Buddhas teaching by TNH)

"When someone practices well, the ninth level of concentration shines light on the reality of things and transforms ignorance. The seeds that used to cause you to be caught in self and nonself are transformed, alaya is freed from the grip of manas, and manas no longer has the function of making a self. Manas becomes the Wisdom of Equality that can see the inter-being and inter-penetrating nature of things. It can see that others lives are as previous as our own, because there is no longer discrimination between self and other. When manas loses its grip on store consciousness, store consciousness becomes the Wisdom of the great Mirror that reflects everything in the universe."

Sorry to ask more questions, but could someone offer me some insight into the true meaning of what he is saying?

Again, Thanks everyone!
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Re: How Does Rebirth Function?

Postby Konchog1 » Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:23 am

"The king asked: "Venerable Nagasena, is it so that one does not transmigrate and one is reborn?"

"Yes, your majesty, one does not transmigrate and one is reborn."

"How, venerable Nagasena, is it that one does not transmigrate and one is reborn? Give me an analogy."

"Just as, your majesty, if someone kindled one lamp from another, is it indeed so, your majesty, that the lamp would transmigrate from the other lamp?"

"Certainly not, venerable sir."

"Indeed just so, your majesty, one does not transmigrate and one is reborn."

"Give me another analogy."

"Do you remember, your majesty, when you were a boy learning some verse from a teacher?"

"Yes, venerable sir."

"Your majesty, did this verse transmigrate from the teacher?"

"Certainly not, venerable sir."

"Indeed just so, your majesty, one does not transmigrate and one is reborn."

"You are clever, venerable Nagasena.""

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/miln/miln.3x.kell.html
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-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

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Re: How Does Rebirth Function?

Postby takso » Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:57 am

Image

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~ Ignorance triumphs when wise men do nothing ~
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Re: How Does Rebirth Function?

Postby justsit » Wed Jan 18, 2012 2:29 am

May I ask, what is the source of your information?
:anjali:
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Re: How Does Rebirth Function?

Postby takso » Wed Jan 18, 2012 2:35 am

justsit wrote:May I ask, what is the source of your information?
:anjali:


I am the original source. :smile:
~ Ignorance triumphs when wise men do nothing ~
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Re: How Does Rebirth Function?

Postby Mr. G » Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:38 am

takso wrote:
justsit wrote:May I ask, what is the source of your information?
:anjali:


I am the original source. :smile:


Those posts you made do not describe how rebirth in Buddhism functions.
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu
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Re: How Does Rebirth Function?

Postby Huifeng » Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:24 am

Yeah, the idea of parts of subconscious minds from a number of beings forming into the subconscious of a new being in the new life is just plain incorrect as a representation of the Buddhist teachings.

~~ Huifeng
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Re: How Does Rebirth Function?

Postby takso » Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:38 am

Huifeng wrote:Yeah, the idea of parts of subconscious minds from a number of beings forming into the subconscious of a new being in the new life is just plain incorrect as a representation of the Buddhist teachings.

~~ Huifeng


Care to explain in clear details?
~ Ignorance triumphs when wise men do nothing ~
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Re: How Does Rebirth Function?

Postby Mr. G » Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:30 am

takso wrote:
Huifeng wrote:Yeah, the idea of parts of subconscious minds from a number of beings forming into the subconscious of a new being in the new life is just plain incorrect as a representation of the Buddhist teachings.

~~ Huifeng


Care to explain in clear details?


Do you require erroneous diagrams and irrelevant equations? :toilet:
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu
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Re: How Does Rebirth Function?

Postby takso » Wed Jan 18, 2012 8:43 am

The Coffee in a Cup

Let say Coffee Original is one of the special brewed drinks: -

300ml hot liquid water
70% coffee powder = > 100% Coffee Original in cup Jumbo
30% condensed milk

Supposedly, the cup Jumbo has broken apart by accident and the content has splattered around i.e.
30% onto the table,
40% onto the floor,
5% onto the wall,
10% onto the drain,
5% vaporized into thin air,
10% remained in the broken cup.

A cleaner then takes up a slight-moisture rag and wipes off the remaining liquid coffee in sequential order starting from the table, then the floor and then the wall. In a repeated gesture, the cleaner squeezed off the wet rag and the remaining coffee liquid flowed into three separate cups i.e.

Cup 1 80% already filled with tea liquid mixture.
Cup 2 90% already filled with mocha liquid mixture.
Cup 3 55% already filled with mineral water.

Let say 300ml of properties is a benchmark for a qualified special brewed drink.

The cleaner then filled up the respective cup rooms with liquids derived from the rag that is by and large the remaining of Coffee Original derived from the table, the floor and the wall.

In this case, the respective 300ml of liquids in Cup 1, Cup 2 and Cup 3 is dependent on the Coffee Original before a new special brewed drink is made possible. However, this does not mean that Coffee Original is the only dependent source or ingredient. Respectively, Cup 1, Cup 2 and Cup 3 would need to depend upon many other sustaining factors as well such as the already partially filled liquids and new cups before qualifying as special brewed drinks.

As a conclusion, the new liquid mixture arising in Cup 1, Cup 2 and Cup 3 is neither identical to, nor entirely different from, the old coffee liquid, but forms part of a causal continuum or stream with it. There is a conditioned relationship between one liquid and the next; it is not identical but neither is it completely distinct.

The beauty of nature is that it allows all sorts of processes taking place such as aggregation, segregation, evolution, mutation, assimilation, etc. As a consequence, every existence would not be totally the same or different from each other. We are all so inter-dependent, inter-woven and inter-related with each other - One Nation, One World, One Universe!

Be bound-less, be stereotype-less, be label-less. Mould a right way of thinking and it would open up a new horizon of things. Simply, it is Emptiness Everywhere!
~ Ignorance triumphs when wise men do nothing ~
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Re: How Does Rebirth Function?

Postby tobes » Wed Jan 18, 2012 9:05 am

Mr. G wrote:
takso wrote:
justsit wrote:May I ask, what is the source of your information?
:anjali:


I am the original source. :smile:


Those posts you made do not describe how rebirth in Buddhism functions.


Nonetheless, they are pretty cool.

takso, you're definitely a thinker.

:anjali:
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Re: How Does Rebirth Function?

Postby Clarence » Wed Jan 18, 2012 9:27 am

Huifeng wrote:Yeah, the idea of parts of subconscious minds from a number of beings forming into the subconscious of a new being in the new life is just plain incorrect as a representation of the Buddhist teachings.

~~ Huifeng


Well, Kalavinka once said on E-sangha that he saw a being being reborn as a swarm of insects. Maybe the reverse is also true--i.e. a swarm can become one being again. Someone should invite him here. He was nice.
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Re: How Does Rebirth Function?

Postby Dechen Norbu » Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:18 am

tobes wrote:
Nonetheless, they are pretty cool.

takso, you're definitely a thinker.

:anjali:

Agree. Although the way he put things is not according to the Buddhist perspective, it's cool nevertheless.

takso, perhaps you would like to get some more precise knowledge about how Buddhists see rebirth and karma.
I foresee that if you study the Abhidharmakosa you'll devise some pretty cool schemes! :thumbsup:
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Re: How Does Rebirth Function?

Postby takso » Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:54 am

“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”
~ The Buddha ~

:anjali:
~ Ignorance triumphs when wise men do nothing ~
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