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When one reaches Nirvana, what happens to that impersonal consciousness that will NOT arise again because it has been pulled free of samsara??
So if one reaches Nirvana in this lifetime, and then dies...what happens to their consciousness? does it arise elsewhere through rebirth?
Would you say that the football throwing analogy of karmic effects is wide of the mark?
This assumes that consciousness is something that exists in a packet or a base unit - which then leads to the questions, where did it come from and where will it go?
Thoughts come and go as passing waves - one rises and falls with them - observe this trend and maintain concentration - first stop swimming and allow yourself to relax into the rise and fall - then the analogy is to distance yourself from the results of the process as if diving below the waves - don't be fooled though, one may no longer perceive the undulations but the body of water is still the medium and still moving - this change in perception is achieved through practice and concentration as obviously there is no physical water to swim through / under - it takes time... keep at it.
I've decided I'm done with beliefs. I need hard evidence or unquestionable logic in order to determine whether anything in Buddhism is true or not.
Karma and reincarnation... Can't confirm their existence. Also, you could argue that these two beliefs were adapted from earlier religions in India.
Therefore, the argument for the existence of karma and reincarnation, in my opinion, has an equal amount of weight as the belief in God and heaven. Or the flying spaghetti monster.
Then, on the other hand, there are parts of Buddhism that can be reasonably verified.
Impermanence and emptiness can be verified as true.
And both can lay the logical basis for compassion.
How can impermanence be verified?
You seen old man walking down the street and you know that will be you one day. All things are impermanent, even you.
How can emptiness be verified?
I prefer the term interbeing to emptiness.
You look at a tree and see it is made up of sunshine, water from the clouds, soil from the earth. Take any one of these away and you don't have a tree. A tree is made of non tree elements.
You are made up of non person elements too.
Thus we can reasonably come to the logical conclusion that emptiness is true.
Belief in evidence, logic, truth - all beliefs.
The subjective fitting into an objective framework is an expedient fiction.
Impermanence is not that all things are impermanent - the irony by that is that the condition of impermanence would then be permanent - it is instead that all observed things are found to be impermanent.
Emptiness / inter-being also is flawed in that if all things are interconnected then all things are one and that one is not connected to anything - again all observed phenomenon are found to be empty of the thing that on the face of it seems to make it full - but in that sense, empty and full are verified only relative to each other.
How about a nice game of chess?
Are you an old soul?
I find the concept unhelpful - it raises just more challenges - souls in packets, some created earlier
I've noticed myself getting depressed, thinking I, myself, am meaningless in this great chasm of space-time, or that all of humanity is meaningless. It also makes me anxious and worried about the wellbeing of future people.
For an equation to be just so, all elements must be present - no matter how large or complex the equation, the smallest part is still significant in achieving the just so.
'Meaning' does not necessarily equate to wellbeing.