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reincarnation

over the last 10 years I began to take a solid interest in buddhism as a means of training the mind. I was particularly interested in reincarnation and came to the conclusion that "bad" people were those who were young in terms of reincarnation. My wife recently said that if that was true wouldn't the world gradually be filled up with wiser people?

Comments

  • VictoriousVictorious Grim Veteran
    Samsara is endless. How can a being be young in terms of reincarnation?

    /Victor
    TheEccentric
  • TheEccentricTheEccentric South east, UK Veteran
    Yes victorius is right we all have had an innumerable amount of lives, our mental continuum has no beginning so in the sense of past lives we have no age.

    Also Buddhists don't really believe in reincarnation but rebirth, reincarnation is more Hindu.
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    over the last 10 years I began to take a solid interest in buddhism as a means of training the mind. I was particularly interested in reincarnation and came to the conclusion that "bad" people were those who were young in terms of reincarnation. My wife recently said that if that was true wouldn't the world gradually be filled up with wiser people?

    Re-birth and reincarnation are two completely different concepts, according to Buddhist tenets.

    TheEccentric states it's a Hindu concept - which it is.
    However, some Buddhist schools (specifically Tibetan/Mahayana Buddhism) also subscribe to the concept of Reincarnation.
    However, in that particular scope, Reincarnation is for the Awakened, or highly elevated lamas; whereas re-birth is strictly confined to Hoi Poloi.... :D

    Your perception of the process is, however, inaccurate.



    TheEccentric
  • VictoriousVictorious Grim Veteran
    edited September 2013
    I belive that most major traditions subscribe to reincarnation even Theravada and Vajrayana and not only Mahayana.

    But many Western Buddhists tend to turn away from the notion. Especially Secular Buddhists.

    /Victor

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    As far as I am aware, and as a Bikkhu explained at talk at the Amaravati Temple, when I attended a celebration there, Theravadan tradition does not hold reincarnation as a taught concept.
    Contrary to popular belief, Theravada Buddhists do not believe in reincarnation, as the concept itself is associated with the soul progressing from lifetime to lifetime.
    here.
  • VictoriousVictorious Grim Veteran
    edited September 2013
    @federica.

    That is just a play with words IMO.

    From the link:
    Contrary to popular belief, Theravada Buddhists do not believe in reincarnation, as the concept itself is associated with the soul progessing from lifetime to lifetime. According to Theravada teachings, what moves on to the next life is not a soul, or a memory, but an ever-changing consciousness. This consciousness, while influenced by its previous lives, does not stay the same from incarnation to incarnation. This concept is explained with the imagery of passing a flame from candle to candle.

    It is obvious that what is meant is that something passes on after the "breakup of this physical frame" as it is put in many suttas in the Theravada Pali Canon.

    But it is true that Theravada do not believe in an everlasting eternal soul that reincarnates. Due to Anatta (of course).

    /Victor.
  • over the last 10 years I began to take a solid interest in buddhism as a means of training the mind. I was particularly interested in reincarnation and came to the conclusion that "bad" people were those who were young in terms of reincarnation. My wife recently said that if that was true wouldn't the world gradually be filled up with wiser people?

    Well, going by the popular belief even among Buddhists of reincarnation, yes the world would gradually be filled up with wiser people...if wisdom or at least experience actually transferred across lives. I'm not going to address if Buddhists need to believe in literal reincarnation, only point out that your wife has put her finger on an interesting point. SImple observation shows if people have been reincarnated multiple times, they obviously ain't learned a damn thing from the mistakes of their previous lives. Given that, since the world as we know it would look exactly the same whether or not reincarnation exists, why postulate some strange system of reward and punishment through past life karma at all?
  • over the last 10 years I began to take a solid interest in buddhism as a means of training the mind. I was particularly interested in reincarnation and came to the conclusion that "bad" people were those who were young in terms of reincarnation. My wife recently said that if that was true wouldn't the world gradually be filled up with wiser people?

    If the world is not filled up finally with wiser people, that could means that some people just never learn.
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