Reincarnation cases not following the Buddhist model

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Matt J
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Re: Reincarnation cases not following the Buddhist model

Post by Matt J »

Interesting to note that Carl Sagan was sufficiently impressed with past life research to include it as one of three paranormal claims that warrant further study.
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Sat Jul 30, 2022 10:06 pm As Carl Sagan said, “extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence”.
Comparing Buddhist models to Western academic models (yes, there is more to past life memory than Ian Stevenson--- albeit much of the Stevenson hate on my opinion may be unwarranted if one delves more deeply than a Shermer article or a wikipedia page) is difficult because there is no definitive "Buddhist" model. For example, I've had Theravada teachers teach than rebirth is immediate, while Tibetan teachers discuss between life bardos.

However, there is some congruence as noted by Lion's Roar here: https://www.lionsroar.com/reincarnation ... -buddhism/

Personally, I don't take Buddhist models as literally as others. For instance, not al teachers take the teachings on post-life heavens and hells literally. For other examples, one teacher taught that atoms in the Western sense were incorrect, as they actually contain elements (water, wind, fire, earth) and light. Other Buddhist monks have claimed the world is flat, etc. Of course, all of this is relative knowledge and a bit beside the point of Buddhist practice anyway.
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Aemilius
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Re: Reincarnation cases not following the Buddhist model

Post by Aemilius »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Sun Aug 14, 2022 4:23 pm
Tao wrote: Sun Aug 14, 2022 4:05 pm
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Sun Aug 14, 2022 4:01 pm

Do you suppose all the realms rotate our Sun every 365 days? How long is a month to a hungry ghost?
I dont suppose anything at all, I only tell you what buddhism says. I do not even believe in rebirth. :alien:
I will wager that what you don’t believe in is rebirth of some kind of “self”.
Buddhism doesn’t teach the rebirth of a “self”.
Shakyamuni doesn't abstain from the use of the word "I" when refering to the continuity of his personal existence. There are hundreds of cases like this in Jatakas, that prove this point. For example, in the Apannaka Jataka: Crossing the Wilderness:

"The Buddha concluded his lesson by identifying the Birth as follows: 'The foolish young merchant was Devadatta, and his men were Devadatta's followers. The wise merchant's men were the followers of the Buddha, and I myself was that wise merchant.'"
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."
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Re: Reincarnation cases not following the Buddhist model

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Aemilius wrote: Mon Aug 15, 2022 8:22 am
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Sun Aug 14, 2022 4:23 pm
Tao wrote: Sun Aug 14, 2022 4:05 pm

I dont suppose anything at all, I only tell you what buddhism says. I do not even believe in rebirth. :alien:
I will wager that what you don’t believe in is rebirth of some kind of “self”.
Buddhism doesn’t teach the rebirth of a “self”.
Shakyamuni doesn't abstain from the use of the word "I" when refering to the continuity of his personal existence. There are hundreds of cases like this in Jatakas, that prove this point. For example, in the Apannaka Jataka: Crossing the Wilderness:

"The Buddha concluded his lesson by identifying the Birth as follows: 'The foolish young merchant was Devadatta, and his men were Devadatta's followers. The wise merchant's men were the followers of the Buddha, and I myself was that wise merchant.'"
That’s completely irrelevant. Of course he refers to “I” in the examples of relative experience, just as “I” can say that “I” am replying to the comment by “you”.
But he doesn’t teach that this “I” is what is reborn. And rebirth is the issue here.

Tao doesn’t believe in rebirth. My point is that what Tao probably doesn’t believe in is rebirth of some kind of self, or “I”. And I said this because usually when someone says they don’t believe in rebirth, it’s because they are still sticking with some idea of a “self” (soul, atma, some continuous being) which they assert cannot possibly jump from one body to another.

But since Buddha never says that there is such a continuous being, then that disbelief in rebirth has nothing to do with what buddhism actually means by rebirth.

What this thread topic seems to be asking is how long in terms of time (as we know it) the bardo is between two lifetimes. 49 days? 2 seconds?

But if we assume that the universe is full of sentient beings, or that sentient beings exist in realms which have no relationship to Earth-time, then we can’t just use our physical planet’s
‘1 day=24 hours’ as a standard unit of measure, thus the question of bardo time becomes either relative or meaningless. Do you convert dog-years into people-years? Do you say that 1 god-realm-year equals 1000 human years? So since the bardo can be a time span bridging two completely different realms, which frequency is one supposed to use?
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Re: Reincarnation cases not following the Buddhist model

Post by Aemilius »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Mon Aug 15, 2022 1:14 pm
Aemilius wrote: Mon Aug 15, 2022 8:22 am
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Sun Aug 14, 2022 4:23 pm

I will wager that what you don’t believe in is rebirth of some kind of “self”.
Buddhism doesn’t teach the rebirth of a “self”.
Shakyamuni doesn't abstain from the use of the word "I" when refering to the continuity of his personal existence. There are hundreds of cases like this in Jatakas, that prove this point. For example, in the Apannaka Jataka: Crossing the Wilderness:

"The Buddha concluded his lesson by identifying the Birth as follows: 'The foolish young merchant was Devadatta, and his men were Devadatta's followers. The wise merchant's men were the followers of the Buddha, and I myself was that wise merchant.'"
That’s completely irrelevant. Of course he refers to “I” in the examples of relative experience, just as “I” can say that “I” am replying to the comment by “you”.
But he doesn’t teach that this “I” is what is reborn. And rebirth is the issue here.

Tao doesn’t believe in rebirth. My point is that what Tao probably doesn’t believe in is rebirth of some kind of self, or “I”. And I said this because usually when someone says they don’t believe in rebirth, it’s because they are still sticking with some idea of a “self” (soul, atma, some continuous being) which they assert cannot possibly jump from one body to another.

But since Buddha never says that there is such a continuous being, then that disbelief in rebirth has nothing to do with what buddhism actually means by rebirth.

What this thread topic seems to be asking is how long in terms of time (as we know it) the bardo is between two lifetimes. 49 days? 2 seconds?

But if we assume that the universe is full of sentient beings, or that sentient beings exist in realms which have no relationship to Earth-time, then we can’t just use our physical planet’s
‘1 day=24 hours’ as a standard unit of measure, thus the question of bardo time becomes either relative or meaningless. Do you convert dog-years into people-years? Do you say that 1 god-realm-year equals 1000 human years? So since the bardo can be a time span bridging two completely different realms, which frequency is one supposed to use?
On the contrary, Shakyamuni very clearly says in the Jatakas that there is a continuity of being. Also, how could there otherwise be karma and its result?

The length of time in antarabhava depends on the person, this theme is brought up in the teachings. It can be only few seconds, if you have a weighty karma of a particular type. And although it is said that it cannot be longer than 7x7=49 days, this isn't cast in iron. It can be stretched to years (in human time), but it should be rare.
How long can you stay in the interworld airport of antarabhava without boarding a plane or vehicle to a definite destination? And in whose time is it? Mostly likely they use standard earthly time in the grey zone between lives and realms.

"Self" or "not-self" is only a word, you should not grasp at it. If you keep on incessantly repeating a phrase like "pink rhinoceros do not exist", most likely such creature will appear somewhere in Africa or elsewhere.
Words are empty, like images in a mirror. If you manage to get into a conceptless state, you will realize its/their futility.

For Matt J: "Antarabhava" appears in Sravakayana sutras/suttas and in Abhidharma works like AKB. According to Sravasti Dhammika it is mentioned even in the Pali texts.
Bhante Dhammika writes: "While Theravàda Buddhism denies the reality of the in-between state, the Pàli texts imply that there is an interval between death and rebirth. The Buddha spoke of the situation `when one has laid down the body (i.e. died) but has not yet been reborn' (S.IV,400). On several other occasions he said that for one who has attained nirvana there is `no here, no there, no in-between'(S.IV,73), referring to this life, the next life and presumably, the in-between state. He even said that in certain circumstances someone might attain nirvana while in this in-between state. He called the individual who achieved this `a Nirvanaized in-between type'(antaràparinibbàyã, S.V,69)."
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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Re: Reincarnation cases not following the Buddhist model

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Aemilius wrote: Mon Aug 15, 2022 3:17 pm
On the contrary, Shakyamuni very clearly says in the Jatakas that there is a continuity of being. Also, how could there otherwise be karma and its result?
If there were a continuous being, it would not change and would not be subject to change (otherwise it would not be continuous. It would be something new). As HHDL suggests in Essence of the Heart Sutra, it is precisely because there is no permanent entity of “self” that rebirth can occur.

As far as the Jataka Tales and anywhere that the Buddha refers to rebirth of a being, this has to be understood within tbe context of all of his teachings. The Buddha talks about ‘becoming’. Everything that arises does so from previous momentary conditions. If you have brown hair at this moment it is because the momentary causes conditions which give rise to brown hair were identical to the momentary causes and conditions conditions which caused brown hair 15 seconds ago. But these causes and conditions are in a constant flow of arising and falling away. As such, they are subject to change. Over time, brown hair becomes grey and white hair.
Likewise, if there were a permanent self, karma would have no effect on it. This is the point which distinguishes Buddhist theory from Hindu theory. Hindu theory asserts that a permanent soul travels from one body to another just as the same person wears different clothes each day. Buddhist theory argues that when looked for, no such permanent or unchanging entity can be found.
What becomes in this lifetime is a direct product or result of the causes from a previous lifetime. In this sense, it can be called the same “me” (as in the Jataka Tales). But it is not actually a continuous self. It is “me” only in the sense that it is produced by a specific set of causes and not by “someone else’s” set of causes.
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Re: Reincarnation cases not following the Buddhist model

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Normal language and also sutras like the Arya Salistamba sutra describe the continuous becoming of dependent arising thus: "from a seed a sprout arises, from a sprout the first tiny leaf arises, from the first tiny leaf a shoot arises, from a shoot a tree arises."

A river is a continuous phenomenon. All continuous phenomena change.
Mountain is a continuous phenomenon. It changes constantly, albeit so slowly that humans do not normally perceive it.
The word "continuous" implies that the object predicated by it changes, otherwise it would not be there.
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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Re: Reincarnation cases not following the Buddhist model

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Aemilius wrote: Tue Aug 16, 2022 9:04 am Normal language and also sutras like the Arya Salistamba sutra describe the continuous becoming of dependent arising thus: "from a seed a sprout arises, from a sprout the first tiny leaf arises, from the first tiny leaf a shoot arises, from a shoot a tree arises."

A river is a continuous phenomenon. All continuous phenomena change.
Mountain is a continuous phenomenon. It changes constantly, albeit so slowly that humans do not normally perceive it.
The word "continuous" implies that the object predicated by it changes, otherwise it would not be there.
Again, “normal language”, convenient terminology refers to the illusory perception of things. What is continuous is the perception of “mountain”. But you can search and dig all over a mountain and you will not find any essential mountain-ness anywhere. No essential, unchanging essence or essential quality. Same with a river, or any conditionally arising phenomena. It’s like the famous example of a chariot. Yeah, it rolls on and on for miles but it’s all just parts of a concept, the concept of “chariot”.

Likewise with living beings. You cannot find some essential ‘self’ that exists or leaves one body and takes up another, or goes to a heaven or hell. At least not according to the Buddha. For Hindus and others, yes.

This doesn’t mean, however, that specific actions in this life don’t cause the specific becoming of a being in another life, which you could say closely echo the actions being in this life. A river flowing from point A to point B contain the same water and fish because the causes are the same. The catfish doesn’t be one an octopus and the water doesn’t turn from clean water to polluted water.
If somewhere, midstream, waste is dumped into the river, that becomes a cause for the clean water leaving point A to appear as polluted water at point B. But even with all this going on, there is nothing in the water that can be identified as a “continuous river”. It is our projections of mind that create such a designation.

Buddhist theory argues that if there were some unchanging ‘atma’ that is reincarnated, karma would have no effect on it, because any effect would mean it wasn’t exactly as it was before, and if it wasn’t exactly the same, you couldn’t call it unchanging.

What Buddhist theory does assert is continuous change occurring from conditions constantly arising and falling away and becoming the cause for new conditions arising and falling away, like a row of toppling dominoes. And this arising and falling transcends what we call life and death, or lifetime to lifetime.
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Re: Reincarnation cases not following the Buddhist model

Post by Giovanni »

A well presented outline of actual Buddhist teaching on the subject PadmavonSamba👏
Free from Hindu/Theosophical distortion.
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Re: Reincarnation cases not following the Buddhist model

Post by Aemilius »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Tue Aug 16, 2022 12:52 pm
Aemilius wrote: Tue Aug 16, 2022 9:04 am Normal language and also sutras like the Arya Salistamba sutra describe the continuous becoming of dependent arising thus: "from a seed a sprout arises, from a sprout the first tiny leaf arises, from the first tiny leaf a shoot arises, from a shoot a tree arises."

A river is a continuous phenomenon. All continuous phenomena change.
Mountain is a continuous phenomenon. It changes constantly, albeit so slowly that humans do not normally perceive it.
The word "continuous" implies that the object predicated by it changes, otherwise it would not be there.
Again, “normal language”, convenient terminology refers to the illusory perception of things. What is continuous is the perception of “mountain”. But you can search and dig all over a mountain and you will not find any essential mountain-ness anywhere. No essential, unchanging essence or essential quality. Same with a river, or any conditionally arising phenomena. It’s like the famous example of a chariot. Yeah, it rolls on and on for miles but it’s all just parts of a concept, the concept of “chariot”.

Likewise with living beings. You cannot find some essential ‘self’ that exists or leaves one body and takes up another, or goes to a heaven or hell. At least not according to the Buddha. For Hindus and others, yes.

This doesn’t mean, however, that specific actions in this life don’t cause the specific becoming of a being in another life, which you could say closely echo the actions being in this life. A river flowing from point A to point B contain the same water and fish because the causes are the same. The catfish doesn’t be one an octopus and the water doesn’t turn from clean water to polluted water.
If somewhere, midstream, waste is dumped into the river, that becomes a cause for the clean water leaving point A to appear as polluted water at point B. But even with all this going on, there is nothing in the water that can be identified as a “continuous river”. It is our projections of mind that create such a designation.

Buddhist theory argues that if there were some unchanging ‘atma’ that is reincarnated, karma would have no effect on it, because any effect would mean it wasn’t exactly as it was before, and if it wasn’t exactly the same, you couldn’t call it unchanging.

What Buddhist theory does assert is continuous change occurring from conditions constantly arising and falling away and becoming the cause for new conditions arising and falling away, like a row of toppling dominoes. And this arising and falling transcends what we call life and death, or lifetime to lifetime.
Where is there a disagreement?

In Yogacara and Apohavada, as far as I understand, the class words or universals exist in our mind/storehouse consciousness. When we see an object we compare it with the images/universals in our storehouse consciousness. Then it happens that the image and universal "river" in our mind matches with the watery object in front of us. Thus we think and say "a river".

Each particular watery object is different, but the universal or class word "river" is less changing. Some philosophers think that universals are unchanging, but they are not unchanging, because they depend on the person who is pronouncing them, handwriting them, typing them or thinking about them. They also depend on the printing press, typography, paper, ink, the place and the kind of light in which the word is read. Universals depend on the memory and mental state of the individuals and societies that are reading, thinking and pronouncing them.
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."
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Re: Reincarnation cases not following the Buddhist model

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Aemilius wrote: Tue Aug 16, 2022 2:16 pm Each particular watery object is different, but the universal or class word "river" is less changing. Some philosophers think that universals are unchanging, but they are not unchanging, because they depend on the person who is pronouncing them, handwriting them, typing them or thinking about them. They also depend on the printing press, typography, paper, ink, the place and the kind of light in which the word is read. Universals depend on the memory and mental state of the individuals and societies that are reading, thinking and pronouncing them.
What does any of that have to do with rebirth?
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Re: Reincarnation cases not following the Buddhist model

Post by Tao »

>My point is that what Tao probably doesn’t believe in is rebirth of some kind of self, or “I”.

That's is really annoying... You really cannot just talk about your own opinions and stop saying what other think or believe? That's not a good fora etiquette, boy. You dont even give an argument about that, just telepathy??? Please stop that kind of silly posts about me and use your own arguments.
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Re: Reincarnation cases not following the Buddhist model

Post by Aemilius »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Wed Aug 17, 2022 3:47 am
Aemilius wrote: Tue Aug 16, 2022 2:16 pm Each particular watery object is different, but the universal or class word "river" is less changing. Some philosophers think that universals are unchanging, but they are not unchanging, because they depend on the person who is pronouncing them, handwriting them, typing them or thinking about them. They also depend on the printing press, typography, paper, ink, the place and the kind of light in which the word is read. Universals depend on the memory and mental state of the individuals and societies that are reading, thinking and pronouncing them.
What does any of that have to do with rebirth?
Reincarnation, self, not-self, continuity, end, endless, etc.. are each and everyone of them conceptual constructions (parikalpita), see?
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."
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Re: Reincarnation cases not following the Buddhist model

Post by Cause_and_Effect »

cyril wrote: Sat Jul 30, 2022 9:26 pm Those familiar with the works of Dr. Ian Stevenson will probably recall several cases where the presumed previous incarnation died less than 9 months prior to the birth of the subject in question. From The European Cases of the Reincarnation Type:
- Marja Liisa Kaartinen - her previous reincarnation died 6 months prior to her birth
- Wolfgang Neurath - previous reincarnation died 2 months prior to his birth
- Einar Johnson - presumed previous reincarnation died 2 weeks prior to his birth
There was also a similar case in Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation but I don't have that book with me now so I cannot point which one.
How are we to square such cases with the Buddhist model where the bardo being sees its future parents engaged in intercourse and feels attraction/ aversion which propells it into its next reincarnation?

Also, in the 20 Cases book, there is the curious case of Jasbir, where the reincarnation occurs three and a half years after the subject's birth.
https://cdn5-ss7.sharpschool.com/UserFi ... Jasbir.pdf
Thoughts?
Stevenson work is brilliant and should not be dismissed. Anyone who has actually read it should see the clear methodology and in particular the cases of birthmarks corresponding to trauma suffered in the previous life.

The actual data and observations should be seen as the criteria by which spiritual teachings on rebirth are contextualised and understood, not the reverse in my view.

There can be rebirth instantaneously or with an interval period as the being is in the gandabha state. It's a complex process well beyond our comprehension so these cases are all perfectly feasible from the Buddhist perspective.
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Re: Reincarnation cases not following the Buddhist model

Post by Kim O'Hara »

Welcome to DW, Cause_and_Effect. :hi:
You might like to wander over to teh Inriductions area and tell us about yourself. Meanwhile ...
Cause_and_Effect wrote: Sat Nov 11, 2023 10:39 am
cyril wrote: Sat Jul 30, 2022 9:26 pm Those familiar with the works of Dr. Ian Stevenson will probably recall several cases where the presumed previous incarnation died less than 9 months prior to the birth of the subject in question. From The European Cases of the Reincarnation Type:
- Marja Liisa Kaartinen - her previous reincarnation died 6 months prior to her birth
- Wolfgang Neurath - previous reincarnation died 2 months prior to his birth
- Einar Johnson - presumed previous reincarnation died 2 weeks prior to his birth
There was also a similar case in Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation but I don't have that book with me now so I cannot point which one.
How are we to square such cases with the Buddhist model where the bardo being sees its future parents engaged in intercourse and feels attraction/ aversion which propells it into its next reincarnation?

Also, in the 20 Cases book, there is the curious case of Jasbir, where the reincarnation occurs three and a half years after the subject's birth.
https://cdn5-ss7.sharpschool.com/UserFi ... Jasbir.pdf
Thoughts?
Stevenson work is brilliant and should not be dismissed. Anyone who has actually read it should see the clear methodology and in particular the cases of birthmarks corresponding to trauma suffered in the previous life.
That's your opinion. Fair enough, but have you read others' opinions earlier in this thread.
The actual data and observations should be seen as the criteria by which spiritual teachings on rebirth are contextualised and understood, not the reverse in my view.
Are you saying that Stevenson is the gold standard and the Buddha's teachings altered to fit in with him? That's a really big claim to make on a Buddhist forum!
:thinking:
Especially in your first post here.
There can be rebirth instantaneously or with an interval period as the being is in the gandabha state. It's a complex process well beyond our comprehension so these cases are all perfectly feasible from the Buddhist perspective.
You sound authoritative there but you haven't given us any reasons to accept your word. Quoting authoritative sources would be one way - probably the only way, in fact.

:coffee:
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Re: Reincarnation cases not following the Buddhist model

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Aemilius wrote: Mon Aug 15, 2022 3:17 pm Bhante Dhammika writes: "While Theravàda Buddhism denies the reality of the in-between state, the Pàli texts imply that there is an interval between death and rebirth. The Buddha spoke of the situation `when one has laid down the body (i.e. died) but has not yet been reborn' (S.IV,400). On several other occasions he said that for one who has attained nirvana there is `no here, no there, no in-between'(S.IV,73), referring to this life, the next life and presumably, the in-between state. He even said that in certain circumstances someone might attain nirvana while in this in-between state. He called the individual who achieved this `a Nirvanaized in-between type'(antaràparinibbàyã, S.V,69)."
How to read those citations?
What book does the S refer to?
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Re: Reincarnation cases not following the Buddhist model

Post by mikenz66 »

HauntedHotel wrote: Sun Nov 12, 2023 8:44 am
Aemilius wrote: Mon Aug 15, 2022 3:17 pm Bhante Dhammika writes: "While Theravàda Buddhism denies the reality of the in-between state, the Pàli texts imply that there is an interval between death and rebirth. The Buddha spoke of the situation `when one has laid down the body (i.e. died) but has not yet been reborn' (S.IV,400). On several other occasions he said that for one who has attained nirvana there is `no here, no there, no in-between'(S.IV,73), referring to this life, the next life and presumably, the in-between state. He even said that in certain circumstances someone might attain nirvana while in this in-between state. He called the individual who achieved this `a Nirvanaized in-between type'(antaràparinibbàyã, S.V,69)."
How to read those citations?
What book does the S refer to?
These are PTS page numbers for the Pali source.
On Sutta Central they are
SN44.9 https://suttacentral.net/sn44.9/
SN 35.95 https://suttacentral.net/sn35.95/
SN46.3 https://suttacentral.net/sn46.3

You can search on Sutta Central as, for example: volpage:S V 69
but it's still a little tricky to find the right one...

Mike
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Aemilius
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Re: Reincarnation cases not following the Buddhist model

Post by Aemilius »

HauntedHotel wrote: Sun Nov 12, 2023 8:44 am
Aemilius wrote: Mon Aug 15, 2022 3:17 pm Bhante Dhammika writes: "While Theravàda Buddhism denies the reality of the in-between state, the Pàli texts imply that there is an interval between death and rebirth. The Buddha spoke of the situation `when one has laid down the body (i.e. died) but has not yet been reborn' (S.IV,400). On several other occasions he said that for one who has attained nirvana there is `no here, no there, no in-between'(S.IV,73), referring to this life, the next life and presumably, the in-between state. He even said that in certain circumstances someone might attain nirvana while in this in-between state. He called the individual who achieved this `a Nirvanaized in-between type'(antaràparinibbàyã, S.V,69)."
How to read those citations?
What book does the S refer to?
S stands for Samyutta Nikaya (or Samyukta Agama). The in-between state or antarabhava (sanskr) appears in many places of the Abhidharmakosa-bhasyam of Vasubandhu, and therefore it existed also in the Sarvastivada and other early buddhist schools in India.

How to read them?? Do you mean that they imply the existence of a jiva or atman or a subtle body in the antarabhava? What difficulty is there?
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)
Cause_and_Effect
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Re: Reincarnation cases not following the Buddhist model

Post by Cause_and_Effect »

Kim O'Hara wrote: Sun Nov 12, 2023 5:45 am Welcome to DW, Cause_and_Effect. :hi:
You might like to wander over to teh Inriductions area and tell us about yourself. Meanwhile ...
I am primarily a Theravadin, however I also value some teachings and practices associated with Mahayana such as Dream Yoga. I also think there are implications of ideas like the Dharmakaya in the Pali Canon and think that this is a good place to discuss some of these issues. I have posted a fair bit on DhammaWheel over the past two years and still do. My interest in Mahayana and Vajrayana is primarily to clarify unorthodox interpretations of the Pali Canon that I think may be correct but have been marginalised in Theravada orthodoxy. I will make threads on these various topics in due course.

Kim O'Hara wrote: Sun Nov 12, 2023 5:45 am
Cause_and_Effect wrote: Sat Nov 11, 2023 10:39 am

Stevenson work is brilliant and should not be dismissed. Anyone who has actually read it should see the clear methodology and in particular the cases of birthmarks corresponding to trauma suffered in the previous life.
That's your opinion. Fair enough, but have you read others' opinions earlier in this thread.
Yes, and mostly I see people have dismissed his work without thoroughly analysing and reading it. It's quite persuasive if one takes the time to study it properly.
Kim O'Hara wrote: Sun Nov 12, 2023 5:45 am
Cause_and_Effect wrote: Sat Nov 11, 2023 10:39 am
The actual data and observations should be seen as the criteria by which spiritual teachings on rebirth are contextualised and understood, not the reverse in my view.
Are you saying that Stevenson is the gold standard and the Buddha's teachings altered to fit in with him? That's a really big claim to make on a Buddhist forum!
:thinking:
Especially in your first post here.
No, I am saying that field observations and data if it can be verified to a high degree is authoritative as it represents observations of what is occurring in reality. Since there is disagreement between various schools of thought on how the Buddha taught rebirth, observational data can reconcile this.
For example, as has just been discussed above a common traditional Theravada view of rebirth is that it is 'instantaneous'. However this is contradicted by the Pali Canon itself which talks about an interval period and the existence of the gandabha between lives. It also is contradicted by Tibetan teachings. Stevensons work helps to solidify the latter descriptions of rebirth, and seemingly contradicts the orthodox Theravada view.
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cyril
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Re: Reincarnation cases not following the Buddhist model

Post by cyril »

Cause_and_Effect wrote: Sat Nov 11, 2023 10:39 am
The actual data and observations should be seen as the criteria by which spiritual teachings on rebirth are contextualised and understood, not the reverse in my view.

There can be rebirth instantaneously or with an interval period as the being is in the gandabha state. It's a complex process well beyond our comprehension so these cases are all perfectly feasible from the Buddhist perspective.


Hi, Cause_and_Effect welcome to the forum!
Glad you are familiar with the works of the late Dr. Stevenson. As you might have noticed already, the departure from the traditional Buddhist model involves far more aspects than the mere interval of time from one existence to the next one. To give a few examples:

- The issue of the last thoughts before dying.
It is accepted by almost all Buddhist traditions that the last thoughts before dying can steer you towards a favorable or unfavorable rebirth based on whether your thoughts are virtuous or unvirtuous. Yet, among the cases examined in Dr. Stevenson’s books there is a great deal of instances where the previous personality suffered a very painful death (such as being burned alive), or was murdered or died by suicide or murder/ suicide or other types of situations where I would imagine it would be impossible for you to think Bambi thoughts and yet, the current personality got a human existence and generally lived his/her current life without much drama and trauma. In the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions in particular, suicide is viewed as your guaranteed ticket to the lower realms of otherwise a very miserable existence; yet none of the cases involving suicide seem to reflect this view.

- The absence of any statistically significant correlation between the current personality’s social and economic status and the saintliness - as they call it- of the previous personality.
Buddha taught that there is kamma that ripens here and now, kamma that ripens in the next life and kamma that ripens in the next future lives; yet there is no evidence pointing at the first two.

- The nature of the intermediate state.
At least in the Tibetan tradition the bardo state is understood to be a very unstable state of existence (one of the things which makes it a rather frightening experience), yet the picture that the subjects that recall the period between death and rebirth describe is far different.

- The degree of choice one has when reincarnating.
Traditionally it is understood that the gandabha or bardo being is helplessly carried by the karmic winds into its next existence but again, the subjects recalling the intermediate state, tell a different story. It looks like they got a bit of choice in selecting the circumstances of their next birth, some were given the option to choose between several pairs of potential parents and so on.

There are also other aspects diverging from the traditional Buddhist model but I am stopping here as I don’t want to make this post too long. I opened this thread hoping that there are other Dharma practitioners who took their time to study the works of Dr. Stevenson, Dr. Satwant Pasricha, Dr. Tucker and so on and wanted to discuss their findings in the context of traditional teachings. If there are such people here, I am sure they will bring up those aspects, too.
"You have to make the good out of the bad because that is all you have got to make it out of."
- Robert Penn Warren -
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Aemilius
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Re: Reincarnation cases not following the Buddhist model

Post by Aemilius »

cyril wrote: Sun Nov 12, 2023 10:33 pm
Cause_and_Effect wrote: Sat Nov 11, 2023 10:39 am
The actual data and observations should be seen as the criteria by which spiritual teachings on rebirth are contextualised and understood, not the reverse in my view.

There can be rebirth instantaneously or with an interval period as the being is in the gandabha state. It's a complex process well beyond our comprehension so these cases are all perfectly feasible from the Buddhist perspective.


Hi, Cause_and_Effect welcome to the forum!
Glad you are familiar with the works of the late Dr. Stevenson. As you might have noticed already, the departure from the traditional Buddhist model involves far more aspects than the mere interval of time from one existence to the next one. To give a few examples:

- The issue of the last thoughts before dying.
It is accepted by almost all Buddhist traditions that the last thoughts before dying can steer you towards a favorable or unfavorable rebirth based on whether your thoughts are virtuous or unvirtuous. Yet, among the cases examined in Dr. Stevenson’s books there is a great deal of instances where the previous personality suffered a very painful death (such as being burned alive), or was murdered or died by suicide or murder/ suicide or other types of situations where I would imagine it would be impossible for you to think Bambi thoughts and yet, the current personality got a human existence and generally lived his/her current life without much drama and trauma. In the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions in particular, suicide is viewed as your guaranteed ticket to the lower realms of otherwise a very miserable existence; yet none of the cases involving suicide seem to reflect this view.

- The absence of any statistically significant correlation between the current personality’s social and economic status and the saintliness - as they call it- of the previous personality.
Buddha taught that there is kamma that ripens here and now, kamma that ripens in the next life and kamma that ripens in the next future lives; yet there is no evidence pointing at the first two.

- The nature of the intermediate state.
At least in the Tibetan tradition the bardo state is understood to be a very unstable state of existence (one of the things which makes it a rather frightening experience), yet the picture that the subjects that recall the period between death and rebirth describe is far different.

- The degree of choice one has when reincarnating.
Traditionally it is understood that the gandabha or bardo being is helplessly carried by the karmic winds into its next existence but again, the subjects recalling the intermediate state, tell a different story. It looks like they got a bit of choice in selecting the circumstances of their next birth, some were given the option to choose between several pairs of potential parents and so on.
It is not necessarily the case that the being who is taking rebirth, i.e. the "gandharva", is coming directly from the intermediate state (of or after dying as a human). It/he/she may have spent some time, or a considerable length of time, in some other realm among the six realms in the wheel of becoming. Before entering the intermediate state of becoming, it/he/she may have died in the deva realm, animal realm, asura realm, preta realm or ghost realm, etc...

There is no certainty about the length of the intermediate state of seeking rebirth. Atleast some stories in the Jatakas make it seem rather quick.
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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