More personalities than bodies?

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SleepingTurtle
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More personalities than bodies?

Post by SleepingTurtle »

As Im discovering Buddhism, one problem appeared upon me. New people are being born all the time, and so are Tanhas with them.

Now, all those personalities would need another body after death. However, we have older ones too which had not reached Buddhahood yet.

So whats the deal with this? Population on Earth is exploding and Im sure not everyone has to be born into an animal. Where do all those personalities go? Do they have to wait a long, long time for their turn or something?
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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: More personalities than bodies?

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

SleepingTurtle wrote: Tue Nov 03, 2020 10:56 pm As Im discovering Buddhism, one problem appeared upon me. New people are being born all the time, and so are Tanhas with them.

Now, all those personalities would need another body after death. However, we have older ones too which had not reached Buddhahood yet.

So whats the deal with this? Population on Earth is exploding and Im sure not everyone has to be born into an animal. Where do all those personalities go? Do they have to wait a long, long time for their turn or something?
There are not older or younger sentient beings in Buddhism, mindstreams have been going through the cycle of birth and death since beginningless time, and continue cycle in samsara until Buddhahood. There are myriad other realms to be born into, most of which we don't interact with. Additionally, the number of insects and other animals still massively and unequivocally dwarves the number of human beings.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: More personalities than bodies?

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Keep in mind, there is no ‘self’ that takes rebirth.
In a sense, you could say that tanas, or cravings, you could say, “coalesce” as the samsaric illusion of “sentient beings”.
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SleepingTurtle
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Re: More personalities than bodies?

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PadmaVonSamba wrote: Tue Nov 03, 2020 11:36 pm Keep in mind, there is no ‘self’ that takes rebirth.
In a sense, you could say that tanas, or cravings, you could say, “coalesce” as the samsaric illusion of “sentient beings”.
Yeah, I keep this in mind all the time! That's why I used term "personalities". Im still very confused about this problem tho.
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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: More personalities than bodies?

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SleepingTurtle wrote: Wed Nov 04, 2020 12:09 am
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Tue Nov 03, 2020 11:36 pm Keep in mind, there is no ‘self’ that takes rebirth.
In a sense, you could say that tanas, or cravings, you could say, “coalesce” as the samsaric illusion of “sentient beings”.
Yeah, I keep this in mind all the time! That's why I used term "personalities". Im still very confused about this problem tho.
Can you explain what you think the problem is a little more? It's not really clear to me from your original post.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: More personalities than bodies?

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

SleepingTurtle wrote: Wed Nov 04, 2020 12:09 am
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Tue Nov 03, 2020 11:36 pm Keep in mind, there is no ‘self’ that takes rebirth.
In a sense, you could say that tanas, or cravings, you could say, “coalesce” as the samsaric illusion of “sentient beings”.
Yeah, I keep this in mind all the time! That's why I used term "personalities". Im still very confused about this problem tho.
It’s only a problem if there is a limited number of, let’s call them here, “individual streams of consciousness” which I think is what you are considering. It’s a bit like the job market.

Ideally, there are 10 people and 10 jobs to fill .

But if, at any moment, there are more people than jobs, someone must go without a job, meaning here that a consciousness is waiting around in some sort of limbo/waiting room until an egg is fertilized somewhere in the universe, or whatever happens under a microscope). It probably only waits for a split second, but does that matter? It might.

Likewise, if there are beings copulating but no new “consciousnesses” are available to connect with that embryonic goo, it’s like when there’s people who want to hire, but there’s also a labor shortage. Lots of cell division going on, but nobody’s there.
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YesheD.
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Re: More personalities than bodies?

Post by YesheD. »

It’s worth remembering that the ‘individual stream of consciousness’ may not be associated at the time, either of conception, or at the time of purnabhava, with the human form.
Last edited by YesheD. on Wed Nov 04, 2020 1:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
SleepingTurtle
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Re: More personalities than bodies?

Post by SleepingTurtle »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Wed Nov 04, 2020 2:52 am
SleepingTurtle wrote: Wed Nov 04, 2020 12:09 am
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Tue Nov 03, 2020 11:36 pm Keep in mind, there is no ‘self’ that takes rebirth.
In a sense, you could say that tanas, or cravings, you could say, “coalesce” as the samsaric illusion of “sentient beings”.
Yeah, I keep this in mind all the time! That's why I used term "personalities". Im still very confused about this problem tho.
It’s only a problem if there is a limited number of, let’s call them here, “individual streams of consciousness” which I think is what you are considering. It’s a bit like the job market.

Ideally, there are 10 people and 10 jobs to fill .

But if, at any moment, there are more people than jobs, someone must go without a job, meaning here that a consciousness is waiting around in some sort of limbo/waiting room until an egg is fertilized somewhere in the universe, or whatever happens under a microscope). It probably only waits for a split second, but does that matter? It might.

Likewise, if there are beings copulating but no new “consciousnesses” are available to connect with that embryonic goo, it’s like when there’s people who want to hire, but there’s also a labor shortage. Lots of cell division going on, but nobody’s there.
Yes, this is exactly what I meant on! So, what I am wondering specifically here is, what happens when there is more "individual streams of consciousness" than bodies available? Not every single stream will deserve/karmically need to be born as insect? What are those streams that require human body to advance do when there is body shortage?
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Re: More personalities than bodies?

Post by Ayu »

SleepingTurtle wrote:What are those streams that require human body to advance do when there is body shortage?
I cannot imagine the number of bodies was restricted. Everything (karma, oportunity, time place, person) must act together like one organism. Bodies and streams of consciousness are dependently arising in the Pratītyasamutpāda (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pratītyasamutpāda).
As mother I always had the impression that there was a ,mind' eager to be born - and then pregnancy happened. In my case this was my perception. Once a child left after 12 weeks of pregnancy. Seemed to me they decided to go. And I'm somehow sure (I guess) they incarnated at a better place.
For the benefit and ease of all sentient beings. :heart:
Varis
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Re: More personalities than bodies?

Post by Varis »

SleepingTurtle wrote: Tue Nov 03, 2020 10:56 pm So whats the deal with this? Population on Earth is exploding and Im sure not everyone has to be born into an animal. Where do all those personalities go? Do they have to wait a long, long time for their turn or something?
There's no waiting room where people sit after they die if that's what your asking.

There are innumerable world-systems where sentient beings live. And according to the Buddha our planet is not the only place in our world system that has human life.
What world system we are born into, what planet, what country, what realm (i.e. deva, human, animal, etc.), and so on, is dependent on our karma.

In essence, the situation you're describing isn't possible.
Last edited by Varis on Fri Nov 06, 2020 6:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Aemilius
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Re: More personalities than bodies?

Post by Aemilius »

Varis wrote: Fri Nov 06, 2020 6:54 am
SleepingTurtle wrote: Tue Nov 03, 2020 10:56 pm So whats the deal with this? Population on Earth is exploding and Im sure not everyone has to be born into an animal. Where do all those personalities go? Do they have to wait a long, long time for their turn or something?
There's no waiting room where people sit after they die if that's what your asking.
On the contrary, I have understood that there is some kind of "waiting room" in the beyond, and that you are guided to your next incarnation when a suitable one has been found. Time passes in a vastly different manner in different realms (according to the Sutras), this means that a longish waiting time doesn't constitute an obstacle, because it isn't necessarily long at all.
See the literature that describes the experiences of the people who have remembered something from the period before their next rebirth.
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)
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