Rebirth in the past

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MarWes
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Rebirth in the past

Post by MarWes »

Admittedly, this concept comes from a work of literary fiction, i. e.,one of Eliot Pattison's Inspector Shan's mystery novels which, however, seem to be fairly reliable in depicting Tibetan Buddhist reality. Pattison writes about a Tibetan monk from a defunct order who taught that the rebirth could occur at any point in time. Is this based on any actual Tibetan beliefs? I find the idea fascinating, especially in the context of Nietzsche's concept of the eternal return which implies the same conclusion (if we live the same life over and over again, Caesar must be reborn in the 1st century BC, Kant in the 19th century AD, I in the 20th/21st century AD, and so on.) Thank you for your thoughtful replies.
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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Rebirth in the past

Post by Kim O'Hara »

I like the novels but I find this particular idea quite illogical.
I have never come across it in Buddhist sources.

:namaste:
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Rebirth in the past

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Kim O'Hara wrote: Mon Feb 05, 2024 7:13 am I like the novels but I find this particular idea quite illogical.
I have never come across it in Buddhist sources.

:namaste:
Kim
And even logically, if it were possible for one to do so, then that’s already what would have occurred anyway (to bring everything up to where it is at the present moment) so it would make no difference.
EMPTIFUL.
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Rick
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Re: Rebirth in the past

Post by Rick »

I am also interested in this question, see thread:

https://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.p ... th#p383671

The gist is that all things in samsara are subject to the laws of samsara: pratityasamutpada, linear time, entropy, usw. Once you're enlightened, all temporal bets are off, but there's no 'you' to enjoy(?) it. ;-)
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...
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????
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Re: Rebirth in the past

Post by ???? »

Defining time is much more difficult than 'rebirth'
"Does it hurt being dead"??All beings are too dead to die
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Grigoris
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Re: Rebirth in the past

Post by Grigoris »

Rebirth* happens in a "forward" direction, and there is no return. This particular set of the five skandha (and the causes and conditions that gave rise to them) are gone after death (hell, are they gone from moment to moment). The chances it arises again in the same combination are so infinitesimally small, as to be impossible.

*What you are describing, sounds suspiciously like reincarnation.
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MarWes
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Re: Rebirth in the past

Post by MarWes »

Thank you, everybody (especially Kim and Rick), for your thoughtful replies. Please note that the key part of my posting is "Is this based on any actual Tibetan beliefs? "

Best regards,

MarWes
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Aemilius
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Re: Rebirth in the past

Post by Aemilius »

MarWes wrote: Mon Feb 05, 2024 7:43 pm Thank you, everybody (especially Kim and Rick), for your thoughtful replies. Please note that the key part of my posting is "Is this based on any actual Tibetan beliefs? "

Best regards,

MarWes
"Tibetan beliefs" include the works of Nagarjuna. There is a whole chapter in his Mula Madhyamaka Karika devoted to refuting truly existing time, which quite short and worth reading. The great tibetan scholar TsongKhapa has written a commentary on the Mula Madhyamaka Karika, which is called Ocean of Reasoning.

Most people experience time as a real outer phenomenon, and they interpret Nagarjuna's logic so that it doesn't really change anything in practice.

I believe that time is malleable, and that ordinary experience of time can be transcended. And that this is allowed in the views of Nagarjuna (and also in the views of Buddha Shakyamuni in his teaching of 18 or 20 emptinesses). Some modern scholars have written about Time in Nagarjuna's thinking, but I haven't read them, I have read the Ocean of Reasoning though.
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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Grigoris
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Re: Rebirth in the past

Post by Grigoris »

Aemilius wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 10:43 am Most people experience time as a real outer phenomenon, and they interpret Nagarjuna's logic so that it doesn't really change anything in practice.
Time is a relatively real phenomenon.

Our existence is a relatively real phenomenon.

Thus, our existence is bound by relative time and space.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde
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????
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Re: Rebirth in the past

Post by ???? »

Perception of time changes with age - the older we are, the faster time passes
If we sit an old man and a child on the same bench at the same time for an hour,
old man will sit faster :rolling:
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Sādhaka
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Re: Rebirth in the past

Post by Sādhaka »

???? wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 12:15 pm Perception of time changes with age - the older we are, the faster time passes
If we sit an old man and a child on the same bench at the same time for an hour,
old man will sit faster :rolling:

Some people think that there’s recently been some kind of change in, I guess you’d say ‘the space-time continuum’, that seems to be effecting everyone to some extent, in that ‘time’ seems to be moving ‘faster’, and of course would effect older people a bit more; that is in relation to the common perception of the current ‘container universe’ (?)
Last edited by Sādhaka on Thu Feb 08, 2024 12:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Rebirth in the past

Post by Kim O'Hara »

???? wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 12:15 pm Perception of time changes with age - the older we are, the faster time passes
If we sit an old man and a child on the same bench at the same time for an hour,
old man will sit faster :rolling:
Uh-uh. That hour will be much longer to the child than to the old man.
Trust me. I remember what it was like to have to sit still.

:thinking:
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????
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Re: Rebirth in the past

Post by ???? »

I know :) time takes longer for child because time passes slower for child


According to scientists from Duke University (USA), with age, physical changes occur in the human body, which cause the electrical signals in the brain, responsible for receiving and processing visual information, to be transmitted between neurons slower and slower.

As a consequence, the passage of time is perceived as subjectively getting faster and faster.

This is due to the increase in the size and complexity of neural networks - electrical signals have an increasingly longer distance to travel - and the gradual degradation of neuronal pathways - electrical signals encounter more and more resistance.

Ultimately, the speed of processing mental images decreases, and older people, who feel that they receive less visual stimuli than before, believe that their lives are passing faster and faster.

This phenomenon can be observed by comparing the frequency of eye movements in children and adults. Children who have the ability to process information faster have their eyes move faster, which allows them to capture more data.

“People are often surprised that they remember so much from their childhood, when the days seemed to last forever. It wasn't because their experiences were deeper or more meaningful then. They were simply processed at a faster pace,"
comments Prof. Adrian Bejan, one of the authors of the project.
"Does it hurt being dead"??All beings are too dead to die
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Tao
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Re: Rebirth in the past

Post by Tao »

If you can rebirth in the past, there're can be two same mindstream for you in the world at that time. That will be very strange.

You will be xreating karma from two lifes at the same time, does it make sense?

It doesnt fit well.

>Is this based on any actual Tibetan beliefs?

Not as far as I know, because it has great logic problems as seen.
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seeker242
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Re: Rebirth in the past

Post by seeker242 »

Aemilius wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 10:43 am
MarWes wrote: Mon Feb 05, 2024 7:43 pm Thank you, everybody (especially Kim and Rick), for your thoughtful replies. Please note that the key part of my posting is "Is this based on any actual Tibetan beliefs? "

Best regards,

MarWes
"Tibetan beliefs" include the works of Nagarjuna. There is a whole chapter in his Mula Madhyamaka Karika devoted to refuting truly existing time, which quite short and worth reading. The great tibetan scholar TsongKhapa has written a commentary on the Mula Madhyamaka Karika, which is called Ocean of Reasoning.
Yet he also refutes truly existing birth or rebirth too does he not? When speaking of 2 different things, which are existing conventionally, it makes sense to keep both in the context of conventions, seems to me anyway. :smile: If you don't, then the whole question no longer makes any sense to begin with. What use is there in asking about rebirth when there actually is no such thing to begin with? LOL :smile:
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Re: Rebirth in the past

Post by Aemilius »

seeker242 wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 5:05 pm
Aemilius wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 10:43 am
MarWes wrote: Mon Feb 05, 2024 7:43 pm Thank you, everybody (especially Kim and Rick), for your thoughtful replies. Please note that the key part of my posting is "Is this based on any actual Tibetan beliefs? "

Best regards,

MarWes
"Tibetan beliefs" include the works of Nagarjuna. There is a whole chapter in his Mula Madhyamaka Karika devoted to refuting truly existing time, which quite short and worth reading. The great tibetan scholar TsongKhapa has written a commentary on the Mula Madhyamaka Karika, which is called Ocean of Reasoning.
Yet he also refutes truly existing birth or rebirth too does he not? When speaking of 2 different things, which are existing conventionally, it makes sense to keep both in the context of conventions, seems to me anyway. :smile: If you don't, then the whole question no longer makes any sense to begin with. What use is there in asking about rebirth when there actually is no such thing to begin with? LOL :smile:
What is the use of eating food or paying your rent and paying your your debts, because they exist only conventionally? There is no such thing as "money" to begin with.
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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Aemilius
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Re: Rebirth in the past

Post by Aemilius »

According to the Buddha time and space are empty.

In the Lotus Sutra Buddha Shakyamuni fills our entire world system with more bodhisattvas than atoms in space and causes multiple kalpas to elapse in the period of an afternoon.

In the Avatamsaka sutra immense kalpas and one moment of time interpenetrate and are contained in one moment.

In the Vimalakirti Nirdesa sutra Vimalakirti transforms his house to contain the bodhisattvas from other world systems, who have immense bodies, without his house becoming crowded:

"Manjusri replied, "Noble sir, if one crosses the buddha-fields to the east, which are more numerous than all the grains of sand of thirty-two Ganges rivers, one will discover a universe called Merudhvaja. There dwells a Tathagata called Merupradiparaja. His body measures eighty-four hundred thousand leagues in height, and the height of his throne is sixty-eight hundred thousand leagues. The bodhisattvas there are forty-two hundred thousand leagues tall and their own thrones are thirty-four hundred thousand leagues high. Noble sir, the finest and most superb thrones exist in that universe Merudhvaja, which is the buddha-field of the Tathagata Merupradiparaja."

At that moment, the Licchavi Vimalakirti, having focused himself in concentration, performed a miraculous feat such that the Lord Tathagata Merupradiparaja, in the universe Merudhvaja, sent to this universe thirty-two hundred thousand thrones. These thrones were so tall, spacious, and beautiful that the bodhisattvas, great disciples, Sakras, Brahmas, Lokapalas, and other gods had never before seen the like. The thrones descended from the sky and came to rest in the house of the Licchavi Vimalakirti. The thirty-two hundred thousand thrones arranged themselves without crowding and the house seemed to enlarge itself accordingly. The great city of Vaisali did not become obscured; neither did the land of Jambudvipa, nor the world of four continents. Everything else appeared just as it was before.

Then, the Licchavi Vimalakirti said to the young prince Manjusri, "Manjusri, let the bodhisattvas be seated on these thrones, having transformed their bodies to a suitable size!"

Then, those bodhisattvas who had attained the superknowledges transformed their bodies to a height of forty-two hundred thousand leagues and sat upon the thrones. But the beginner bodhisattvas were not able to transform themselves to sit upon the thrones. Then, the Licchavi Vimalakirti taught these beginner bodhisattvas a teaching that enabled them to attain the five superknowledges, and, having attained them, they transformed their bodies to a height of forty-two hundred thousand leagues and sat upon the thrones. But still the great disciples were not able to seat themselves upon the thrones.

Then, the venerable Sariputra said to the Licchavi Vimalakirti, "Noble sir, it is astonishing that these thousands of thrones, so big and so high, should fit into such a small house and that the great city of Vaisali, the villages, cities, kingdoms, capitals of Jambudvipa, the other three continents, the abodes of the gods, the nagas, the yaksas, the gandharvas, the asuras, the garudas, the kimnaras, and the mahoragas - that all of these should appear without any obstacle, just as they were before!"

The Licchavi Vimalakirti replied, "Reverend Sariputra, for the Tathagatas and the bodhisattvas, there is a liberation called 'Inconceivable.' The bodhisattva who lives in the inconceivable liberation can put the king of mountains, Sumeru, which is so high, so great, so noble, and so vast, into a mustard seed.
He can perform this feat without enlarging the mustard seed and without shrinking Mount Sumeru. And the deities of the assembly of the four Maharajas and of the Trayastrimsa heavens do not even know where they are."
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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