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This statement is so profound it needs further scrutiny.

Buddha's teachings were geared towards freeing minds from illusion and allowing people to see the world as it really is. I don't think this could include the obviously fabricated and impractical system of Karma and rebirth, which when subjected to the slightest degree of scrutiny is shown to make no sense at all.

BunksChaz

Comments

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited May 2014

    I can see how one could be agnostic, but I don't see how scrutiny disproves rebirth.

    My teacher says that rebirth is like saying the sun rises in the east. If we scrutinize that we can say "well, what lifts it?" But the real situation of course involves the earth orbiting the sun rather than a sun rising and falling.

    edit: should be the earth is rotating on its axis

    Citta
  • ToraldrisToraldris   -`-,-{@     Zen Nud... Buddhist     @}-,-`-   East Coast, USA Veteran
    edited May 2014

    @jll Well if you assume the Buddha was perfect and all-knowing (more so than even anyone enlightened that came after him), that his teachings were perfectly recorded, and that his teachings haven't been altered over time... that's already three too many assumptions. Maybe karma and rebirth are correct, and maybe they're less-so, but you're right that all teachings should be scrutinized. However the best way to do that, IMHO, is through your own practice and meditation; we can't get to the truth of karma and rebirth by talking about it, and it's not something that readily avails itself to being investigated scientifically.

    People get really strident about their interpretations, and that doesn't make for helpful discussions in my experience. You can take things metaphorically or literally, or not at all, but the question is does it help your practice? Does it help you disassociate from "self" and see things as they really are? Do you even have to take a literal approach? I don't think you do, but not everyone is the same or has the same needs.

    Bunksperson
  • Are there people who still believe these stuff in this day and age?

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran
    edited May 2014

    Ok, so for scrutiny number one I think the statement needs some sort of argument or proof to back it up rather than the suggested power of the word 'obviously' and other obviously loaded language.

    Zenshin
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @hermitwin said:
    Are there people who still believe these stuff in this day and age?

    There certainly is!

    And there are also lots of people (myself included) who are sick of trying to fathom it on an intellectual level so have put it aside. It shouldn't stand in the way of your daily practice.

    BuddhadragonZenshin
  • robotrobot Veteran
    edited May 2014

    @jll said:
    Buddha's teachings were geared towards freeing minds from illusion and allowing people to see the world as it really is. I don't think this could include the obviously fabricated and impractical system of Karma and rebirth, which when subjected to the slightest degree of scrutiny is shown to make no sense at all.

    I think you can scrutinize the sh*t out of that statement and not come to any worthwhile conclusion at all.

    Karma and rebirth are important to some people but not to all people. And there are a variety of ways to view each.

    Knock yourself out.

    personKundoZenshin
  • GraymanGrayman Veteran

    In a way rebirth does occur physically as your atoms are shuffled around and are reused in.... the next person born.

    I was thinking about having my ashes sent to Hollywood to be snuck in their burgers. Every celebrity could have a little of grayman inside of them.

    BunkskarastiZenshin
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @Grayman said:
    In a way rebirth does occur physically as your atoms are shuffled around and are reused in.... the next person born.

    I was thinking about having my ashes sent to Hollywood to be snuck in their burgers. Every celebrity could have a little of grayman inside of them.

    Legend has it that Keith Richards snorted his father's ashes!

    karastiJeffreyZenshin
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    ^ EW!

    I believe in Karma and in Rebirth. My views on both change often. My view of rebirth does not really match up that well with the standard Buddhist view, but I'm ok with that.

    Right now, my immediate practice goal is to work on making whoever I am interacting with at that moment, the most important person in my life. Not talking to my mom on the phone while I am chatting with my friend Sarah online. Not thinking about grocery shopping when my son is talking (for the 15,000th time) about this awesome Pokemon card. So, that is of far more importance to me than what is true about karma and rebirth. As @Bunks said, I've pretty much set it aside and don't concern myself much with the details of it. I'll deal with death and the consequences of this life when it's time to do so.

  • If someone doesn't believe in rebirth, then I hope they are in tip top shape to try to do everything all within this life.

  • robotrobot Veteran

    @wangchuey said:
    If someone doesn't believe in rebirth, then I hope they are in tip top shape to try to do everything all within this life.

    How could a simple belief or lack of belief change the outcome of ones life? Do rebirth believers get to take it easy?

  • @robot said:
    How could a simple belief or lack of belief change the outcome of ones life? Do rebirth believers get to take it easy?

    No, but they could be more at peace and not regret as much.

  • robotrobot Veteran

    @wangchuey said:

    I suppose they could. Believing in Valhalla, or a paradise of virgins might help too.

    lobster
  • @robot said:
    I suppose they could. Believing in Valhalla, or a paradise of virgins might help too.

    Whatever makes it more peaceful.

  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran
    edited May 2014

    Buddhism as a system is very pragmatic, from the point of view that it has to be applied to one's life and lived, not simply shelfed in for an intellectual debate. The Buddha's teachings place a lot of emphasis in the here and now, and the Buddha used to avoid falling into this kind of metaphysical speculation.
    We could discuss all day about Karma/Rebirth (like @Jeffrey more or less said, for the umpteenth time) without arriving at any satisfactory conclusion.
    Religions and philosophical systems help us shed more light on our personal path and enhance the quality of our life. Certain truths which are difficult for our intellect to grasp should be put aside for the moment and not hinder our progress.
    We can see the laws of Karma in action on our daily life. Actions lead to certain results. Skillful actions lead to skillful results, unskillful actions lead to unskillful results.
    As to rebirth, it's a matter of personal choice. The debate is open, but I'd rather stick to the teachings that help me better deal with the cessation of suffering and a better enjoyment of life right here, right now.

  • @hermitwin said:
    Are there people who still believe these stuff in this day and age?

    They are not necessarily beliefs but actual memories (volitional formations) that can seem like they happened just yesterday. In that sense, they are no different from ordinary memories.

    Just Google past life regression.

    http://www.thestar.com.my/story.aspx/?file=/2008/9/7/lifefocus/1901408

  • robotrobot Veteran

    @wangchuey said:
    Whatever makes it more peaceful.

    Not so sure. Peaceful is nice. I don't think that to do everything within this life or many lives requires only peace. Action can be stressful. Peace comes later.

    In my work, fishing, the peaceful times would be boring if not for the hair raising times. Nothing more peaceful than throwing out the anchor in a quiet bay after five hours of crapping my pants to get in. What fun would it be if it was always flat calm? And what would I learn?

    At the end, my regrets will be for this life. For people and places and times. I hope I don't have to fall back on shallow beliefs to ease my passing.

  • @robot said:

    Ok well I guess the road or path divides here.

    Take care

  • jlljll Veteran

    funny you should quote an article from malaysia.
    i feel a strong connection to that country.
    a past life connection perhaps.....

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @jll said:
    funny you should quote an article from malaysia.
    i feel a strong connection to that country.
    a past life connection perhaps.....

    When I visited Scotland (where some of my ancestors are from) I felt a very strong connection as well! Is it something in my genes / DNA that created this feeling?

    Is having children a form of "rebirth"?

  • ToraldrisToraldris   -`-,-{@     Zen Nud... Buddhist     @}-,-`-   East Coast, USA Veteran
    edited May 2014

    @Bunks said:
    Is having children a form of "rebirth"?

    I would say yes. It's one candle flame lighting another, creating a "causal continuity" of life. That's literal rebirth in action! Something you can see for yourself and "know", which is better than some faith-based belief. :) Another form of rebirth is growing old, constantly changing while remaining somehow the same "person". Everything changes, and everything has causes.

    Bunks
  • ToraldrisToraldris   -`-,-{@     Zen Nud... Buddhist     @}-,-`-   East Coast, USA Veteran
    edited May 2014

    @Bunks I just realized something's missing. With our knowledge of biology today, how sperm fertilize eggs and cells divide etc. (life's reproduction mechanisms), I don't see any need for another life form to die with craving in its mind to make conception happen (unless we're counting the single sperm that "makes it", though no one is). The way some people put rebirth, our child would require some other sentient being dying while craving continued life and joining/becoming (?) the egg+sperm or its awareness... that's actually kinda creepy, and it doesn't make any causal sense. I can understand people wanting to believe that for various reasons, incidentally the same types of reasons that people believe in other religions, but not its actual necessity in reality.

    Maybe it's the one giant blind spot that 2500 years of time would make? Of not knowing genetics and biology and how they really work? I've heard only two arguments for believing in that type of literal rebirth, one being faith-based ("Buddha says") and the other morality-based, but they don't seem any stronger than the equivalent Christian arguments (and I've never believed those). I'm just astounded it took me this long to really think about this. My years of practice haven't led toward that kind of belief, either. If anything they've led away, toward letting go.

  • 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
    edited May 2014

    @jll said:
    Buddha's teachings were geared towards freeing minds from illusion and allowing people to see the world as it really is. I don't think this could include the obviously fabricated and impractical system of Karma and rebirth, which when subjected to the slightest degree of scrutiny is shown to make

    no sense at all.
    >
    >

    @jll, is this your statement or a quote from someone somewhere?
    If so, link reference and source, please. Thanks.

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    ...we can't get to the truth of karma and rebirth by talking about it, and it's not something that readily avails itself to being investigated scientifically.

    True. Agnosticism seems to me the sensible position. Also not conflating what the suttas say ( or seem to say ) and personal belief / disbelief.

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @how said:

    I thought the Buddha advised those seeking answers about Karma and rebirth that not only could it's full depths not be plumbed but that obsessing over such things had little to do with the path towards sufferings cessation.

    Yes, good point. Though of course obsessing over these teachings can take several forms, including trying to "prove" that the Buddha didn't teach it or that he made it up to reach a wider audience or it was added in later, endless speculations based on aversion, etc, etc.

  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran

    @jill, I can see you are being provocative 2/10 F, try harder next time, you might provoke yourself into a proper reaction.

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited May 2014

    @jll said:
    Buddha's teachings were geared towards freeing minds from illusion and allowing people to see the world as it really is. I don't think this could include the obviously fabricated and impractical system of Karma and rebirth, which when subjected to the slightest degree of scrutiny is shown to make no sense at all.

    It's hard to scrutinize a statement when there are no reasons given for saying it. Why is it obviously fabricated? Why is it impractical? How is it subjected to scrutiny and what kind of scrutiny? Why does it make no sense?

    CittaBuddhadragon
  • CittaCitta Veteran
    edited May 2014

    It might be useful to bear in mind that jll has a habit of posting stuff to which s/he never returns...

  • @hermitwin said:
    Are there people who still believe these stuff in this day and age?

    Yes

  • CittaCitta Veteran

    Probably the vast majority of Buddhists.

  • 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

    @Citta said:
    It might be useful to bear in mind that jll has a habit of posting stuff to which s/he never returns...

    >
    >

    Yeah. Can't be doing with it. Until I get a reply to my post, above, this one is done.

    anataman
This discussion has been closed.