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How important is belief in Rebirth?

KeromeKerome Love, love is mysteryThe Continent Veteran
edited June 19 in Buddhism Today

I came across an article in a Dutch-language Buddhist internet magazine (here) and it made me think about how I cope with my attitudes towards rebirth. The article itself is somewhat sceptical, throwing up various factors which cast some doubt on how the Pāli Cannon presents rebirth.

What you often hear about the stance of Buddhists towards rebirth is that it’s taken as given, and that the ultimate goal of Buddhism is freedom from the cycle of rebirths. But my personal stance is more one of ehipassiko, seeing for myself what is true, and so for some topics within Buddhism I tend to put a little note for myself, this is what Buddhism teaches but I cannot verify it.

So I was wondering what are people’s opinions on how important a belief in rebirth is? Do you believe? How do you think it affects your practice?

Bunksrocala
«13

Comments

  • 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 June 19

    @Kerome said: ... But my personal stance is more one of ehipassiko, seeing for myself what is true, and so for some topics within Buddhism I tend to put a little note for myself, this is what Buddhism teaches but I cannot verify it.

    I'm n the same page as you are, and the above pretty much sums it up.

    Additionally though, I'm also inclined to think of it as a day-to-day phenomenon.
    Yesterday is 'dead' but here I am, alive.
    new day, new me...

    adamcrossleyrocala
  • Lee82Lee82 Veteran Veteran

    My initial view was no rebirth.

    Then it was, I can’t prove it either way so just let it be and don’t have an opinion on it.

    Now I believe there is something of the true me that will continue when I’m gone but not in a reincarnation kind of way. Everything that I am physically will be gone, memories will be gone, but some kind of non-physical underlying true essence or conscience will continue.

    Kerome
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    @federica said:
    new day, new me...

    That'll do me ...
    Anything has the import we ascribe. Either absolute belief or evidence based scepticism and the range in between ... can be attached to or not ... I prefer to deal with what I know. So past lives or future lives I don't have knowledge or experience of. The evidence is underwhelming.

    The middle/present I know. So ... that will do me ...

  • BunksBunks Veteran Australia Veteran

    @Lee82 said:
    My initial view was no rebirth.

    Then it was, I can’t prove it either way so just let it be and don’t have an opinion on it.

    Now I believe there is something of the true me that will continue when I’m gone but not in a reincarnation kind of way. Everything that I am physically will be gone, memories will be gone, but some kind of non-physical underlying true essence or conscience will continue.

    Ditto for me too. I think there is something that goes on after death. I can’t see why the laws of the non physical world can’t behave in the same way as the physical world I.e a continual flux of cause and effect since beginningless time.

    Kerome
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @Federica said:
    new day, new me...

    Yes, every moment we become new, but also...

    @Lee82 said:
    Everything that I am physically will be gone, memories will be gone, but some kind of non-physical underlying true essence or conscience will continue.

    I think that is right. I suspect that with the physical mind a great many things will drop away, not just memories but a lot of the conditioning that comes from our memories. Much of what we have learnt during our stay here on Planet Earth will likely vanish like snow before the sun.

    But I do think that something will continue. I am sometimes more sensitive than the average, and during my stepmothers death, even though she was in another room, I had an interesting experience. It was like I could feel a cloud of silence emanating from her room, with the sense of a beautiful perfume, and a sensation of a passage to a place where she was expected. At the same time also the sense of many smaller things scattering away like particles.

    Bunks
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @Bunks said:
    I can’t see why the laws of the non physical world can’t behave in the same way as the physical world I.e a continual flux of cause and effect since beginningless time.

    Yes, that, and a recycling of components. Everything in the physical world is recycled, re-used, it breaks down and is re-absorbed in the way that corpses break back down into their constituent molecules and atoms. Why not in the non-physical world, too?

    Bunks
  • 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

    I can't remember where I read it; it may even have been here, or in a link supplied here. But it struck a chord...

    "Make your faith fit the facts, not the facts fit your faith."

  • BunksBunks Veteran Australia Veteran

    @federica said:
    I can't remember where I read it; it may even have been here, or in a link supplied here. But it struck a chord...

    "Make your faith fit the facts, not the facts fit your faith."

    Yes, it was a quote from Ajahn Brahm I recently posted in “Buddhist Quotes”

  • 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

    @Bunks said:

    @federica said:
    I can't remember where I read it; it may even have been here, or in a link supplied here. But it struck a chord...

    "Make your faith fit the facts, not the facts fit your faith."

    Yes, it was a quote from Ajahn Brahm I recently posted in “Buddhist Quotes”

    Thanks. I had more than a sound suspicion it had seen the light here before... :)

    Bunks
  • ZenshinZenshin Veteran East Midlands UK Veteran

    Taking a position for or against rebirth when you don't know is really just taking a stance in the dualistic mind so I try to keep an open mind.

    lobsterpersonFoibleFull
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran Veteran
    edited June 20

    It depends on your practice. It would make a bigger difference at the time of death I suppose. If there is no rebirth it would make more logical sense to enjoy this life rather than work very hard on practice for future lives. So where it might make a difference is in motivation to gain insight into reality versus just enjoying your remaining time before everything goes "poof" at your death and doesn't matter whatsoever anymore. Those who believe in rebirth believe it doesn't go "poof" so there is reason to prepare for subsequent lives by creating good karma to put them in a world where they can hear the dharma again.

    FoibleFull
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    Me. It is all about me. Surviving in some magickal Buddhist way. Thinking without causation. Fantasy dharma for all the Buddha Family ... mmm ... No I don't want the Truth. I want comforting ...

    Oops 🤪 think I will be punished by future existence. Maybe I was a bad baby? :3

    BunksFoibleFullFosdick
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran Veteran
    edited June 20

    Well if there is no rebirth we won't need comforting eventually or truth. It could be so. If not then we'll have to deal with future. Who knows? Not us.

    If we do not be, then we do not know or feel. Is it a good deal? Or just a moot point?

  • BunksBunks Veteran Australia Veteran

    I guess it comes down to whether or not we are open to including "faith" as part of our practice.

    FoibleFull
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @Bunks said:
    I guess it comes down to whether or not we are open to including "faith" as part of our practice.

    Yes, I think thats right. Faith in the scriptures is the key question, which in part comes down to how strong your belief is that they are the unedited word of the Buddha. I’ve come across people who feel the scriptures are a complete definition of what it means to be Buddhist.

    Personally, I feel that practice is more important. One can be an ever-so proficient reader and memoriser of the scriptures, but if one doesn’t practice right speech or compassion, then you still have a long way to go as a Buddhist.

    But rebirth is an interesting issue, because it affects such a range of teachings. If you choose not to believe or be agnostic, then there are many sutra’s where you have to take that stance.

    lobsterBunks
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @seeker242 said:

    @Kerome said:
    So I was wondering what are people’s opinions on how important a belief in rebirth is?

    Karma does not make much sense without rebirth. And Buddhism as a whole does not make much sense without karma.

    I’m less sure about that, I think it is possible to make a credible form of Buddhism out of the attempt to follow the four noble truths and the noble eightfold path to enlightenment in one lifetime.

    I’ve read that the Buddha called the view that we arise out of the body and cease when it ceases (materialism) an extreme view and incorrect. Similarly he also called the view that there is a self that passes on from life to life an extreme view and incorrect. So the truth is somewhere in the middle.

    lobsterBunks
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited June 20

    @Kerome said:
    I came across an article in a Dutch-language Buddhist internet magazine (here) and it made me think about how I cope with my attitudes towards rebirth. The article itself is somewhat sceptical, throwing up various factors which cast some doubt on how the Pāli Cannon presents rebirth.

    What you often hear about the stance of Buddhists towards rebirth is that it’s taken as given, and that the ultimate goal of Buddhism is freedom from the cycle of rebirths. But my personal stance is more one of ehipassiko, seeing for myself what is true, and so for some topics within Buddhism I tend to put a little note for myself, this is what Buddhism teaches but I cannot verify it.

    My view isn't usually very popular but I'm not so sure rebirth would work the way it seems to be proposed. I'm just not sure how say you could have a lineage of lives lived that differs from my own in light of non separation. We would be living all lives together and I can learn many lessons from a life somebody else is living right now. I have had pretty intense and real feeling dreams where I was living a different life but that isn't really enough evidence.

    I've heard the ultimate goal is the ending of the round of birth/death but when his teachings began he said he was to end suffering. His round of rebirth was over and yet he decided to help us see so I question whether something isn't a bit askew or lost in translation there.

    So I was wondering what are people’s opinions on how important a belief in rebirth is?

    I don't think it is any more important than any other belief.

    Do you believe?

    I do not disbelieve but that is bot to say I believe. To form a belief one way or another would be conjecture. I am open to the idea and it makes sense depending on how I view the logistics.

    How do you think it affects your practice?

    I realise some use it as a kind of reward/punishment or moral system so whatever works in that arena. Personally, I think non separation covers it enough and makes the Golden Rule a matter of common sense. Imagining rebirth helps my practice the same as a koan.

  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator

    @Kerome said:
    I came across an article in a Dutch-language Buddhist internet magazine (here) and it made me think about how I cope with my attitudes towards rebirth. The article itself is somewhat sceptical, throwing up various factors which cast some doubt on how the Pāli Cannon presents rebirth.

    What you often hear about the stance of Buddhists towards rebirth is that it’s taken as given, and that the ultimate goal of Buddhism is freedom from the cycle of rebirths. But my personal stance is more one of ehipassiko, seeing for myself what is true, and so for some topics within Buddhism I tend to put a little note for myself, this is what Buddhism teaches but I cannot verify it.

    So I was wondering what are people’s opinions on how important a belief in rebirth is? Do you believe? How do you think it affects your practice?

    Super important. Without it, your official Buddhist membership card gets revoked. Regulations and all that.

    Kundoseeker242KeromeLinc
  • 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

    thus sprach Jaso-thustra...

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited June 20

    How important is belief in Rebirth?

    I prefer "How important is it to have an understanding of Rebirth"

    Anyhow when I think of rebirth I think of the recycling of energies... (Recycling is what life does, it constantly recycles, building new from old.... nothing goes to waste )

    I see karma as the energy which propel this psycho-physical phenomenon AKA the aggregated self along the Samsaric cycle of rising and departing...

    Sometimes when I go to sleep I'm dead to the world (pun intended) no dreams just a blank slate... and then all of a sudden I'm awake...Hmm ...Where did "I" go during this period of unconsciousness......

    Anyhow, in the morning I come back into the world ( conscious again-karmic energy kicks it) and with memories ( sometimes vague) of my past life (yesterday, the day before and so on...and somewhere down the line then these memories may start to fade) I guess one could call this a form of rebirth...

    This theory suits 'me' for the time being... :)

    Bunksperson
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    @Kerome said:

    @seeker242 said:

    @Kerome said:
    So I was wondering what are people’s opinions on how important a belief in rebirth is?

    Karma does not make much sense without rebirth. And Buddhism as a whole does not make much sense without karma.

    I’m less sure about that,

    My thoughts are this. Use a 911 suicide terrorists as an example. If there is no rebirth, then technically they are getting away scot-free with all the harm they caused. But according to karma, that's impossible. Or, say a nazi that never got caught and then dies of old age living comfortably off what they stole. Karma necessitates that there will be consequences for that action. But, if the potential for consequences ends at death, then there will be no consequences, which is contrary to the whole notion of karma.

    I think it is possible to make a credible form of Buddhism out of the attempt to follow the four noble truths and the noble eightfold path to enlightenment in one lifetime.

    I would say that true for the most part, except for the right view part of the 8FP, that essentially defines right view as acceptance of rebirth.

    Bunks
  • BunksBunks Veteran Australia Veteran

    Every cause has an affect (eventually)...

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran
    edited June 21

    @Jason said:

    @Kerome said:
    I came across an article in a Dutch-language Buddhist internet magazine (here) and it made me think about how I cope with my attitudes towards rebirth. The article itself is somewhat sceptical, throwing up various factors which cast some doubt on how the Pāli Cannon presents rebirth.

    What you often hear about the stance of Buddhists towards rebirth is that it’s taken as given, and that the ultimate goal of Buddhism is freedom from the cycle of rebirths. But my personal stance is more one of ehipassiko, seeing for myself what is true, and so for some topics within Buddhism I tend to put a little note for myself, this is what Buddhism teaches but I cannot verify it.

    So I was wondering what are people’s opinions on how important a belief in rebirth is? Do you believe? How do you think it affects your practice?

    Super important. Without it, your official Buddhist membership card gets revoked. Regulations and all that.

    Well, it occurred to me that perhaps the Buddha introduced rebirth and karma as skilful means because of the brahmanical superstitions of the day, and that it’s maybe not at all a core teaching. But a lot seems to have grown up around it.

    It seems to me that the core of the teaching has to do with enlightenment and freedom from suffering, that it’s a practical path above all.

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the void Veteran

    I'd just say that it is more important in some lineages than in others. That the belief in it, or at least the belief in the possibility of it, can act as a strong incentive to practice and behave ethically. And that the logic of it along with karma is internally consistent.

    ShoshinBunks
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited June 21

    @Kerome said:

    @Jason said:

    @Kerome said:
    I came across an article in a Dutch-language Buddhist internet magazine (here) and it made me think about how I cope with my attitudes towards rebirth. The article itself is somewhat sceptical, throwing up various factors which cast some doubt on how the Pāli Cannon presents rebirth.

    What you often hear about the stance of Buddhists towards rebirth is that it’s taken as given, and that the ultimate goal of Buddhism is freedom from the cycle of rebirths. But my personal stance is more one of ehipassiko, seeing for myself what is true, and so for some topics within Buddhism I tend to put a little note for myself, this is what Buddhism teaches but I cannot verify it.

    So I was wondering what are people’s opinions on how important a belief in rebirth is? Do you believe? How do you think it affects your practice?

    Super important. Without it, your official Buddhist membership card gets revoked. Regulations and all that.

    Well, it occurred to me that perhaps the Buddha introduced rebirth and karma as skilful means because of the brahmanical superstitions of the day, and that it’s maybe not at all a core teaching. But a lot seems to have grown up around it.

    It seems to me that the core of the teaching has to do with enlightenment and freedom from suffering, that it’s a practical path above all.

    Could be. As will all the teachings, I think its up to us to figure out what to do with them. For example, my approach and advice.

    lobsterKeromeShoshinBunks
  • cazcaz Veteran Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    I came across an article in a Dutch-language Buddhist internet magazine (here) and it made me think about how I cope with my attitudes towards rebirth. The article itself is somewhat sceptical, throwing up various factors which cast some doubt on how the Pāli Cannon presents rebirth.

    What you often hear about the stance of Buddhists towards rebirth is that it’s taken as given, and that the ultimate goal of Buddhism is freedom from the cycle of rebirths. But my personal stance is more one of ehipassiko, seeing for myself what is true, and so for some topics within Buddhism I tend to put a little note for myself, this is what Buddhism teaches but I cannot verify it.

    So I was wondering what are people’s opinions on how important a belief in rebirth is? Do you believe? How do you think it affects your practice?

    Unless you've developed clairvoyance to see it directly it can be a struggle for some to believe in granted, however Buddha's teachings are completely non-deceptive and eventually we will be able to verify this our self. Also we need to consider that belief in rebirth is a right view and disbelief in this is an obstacle to our Dharma practice, I came across a group of "Theravadens" who espoused this wrong view of it being some sort of psychological metaphore for impermanence, they'd successfully managed to redact Dharma to little more than a psychology of sorts by removing this 'element' which consequently makes the pursuit of enlightenment pointless to the point where if you wish to be free from suffering it makes suicide look like a healthy logical option because this wrong view of Nihilism they'd adopted denies Buddhas realizations.

    Kind regards

  • QuidditchQuidditch Explorer Earth Explorer
    edited June 22

    @FoibleFull said:

    And in the end if doesn't matter. Belief is not knowledge, and belief is a form of grasping for security (which is not bad in itself, but we need to remain aware of this). Or (as Pema Chodron puts it), seeking "ground" under our feet.

    If a belief in rebirth makes us want to be a better person, then it is a beneficial belief.

    This is kinda my stance on the issue. I don't think about it much... When I do, I don't put much stock in the outcome of either. I'm trying to get rid of other attachments. I honestly don't care what happens after death, it happens to us all eventually anyway. I'm focused on life now.

    personlobsterBunks
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    This topic came up in discussion with my father, who is currently an avid reader of all sorts of material about the Bardo and the process of life after death. When I confronted him with the fact that there is no way to really know, he was just quiet and didn’t answer.

    But it made me realise that researching and building up a belief through reading is a way of insulating yourself against fears and uncertainty. It means you don’t have to confront head on the fact that we don’t know what the experience of death is like, but instead you can have a pleasant dream in your thoughts, which you probably won’t take with you anyway.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Its interesting... there is a whole chain of thought around what exactly it is that is reborn, to the statement that it’s like a candle lighting another candle, to not-self, to the fact that enlightenment is something that needs to come to all beings. In fact rebirth can be seen in that context as a way towards freeing all things.

  • ZenshinZenshin Veteran East Midlands UK Veteran

    If there is no self what is born and what dies? Nothing, there is just the illusion of birth and death. I think it's time I went off and found myself a proper teacher.

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    This topic came up in discussion with my father, who is currently an avid reader of all sorts of material about the Bardo and the process of life after death. When I confronted him with the fact that there is no way to really know, he was just quiet and didn’t answer.

    But it made me realise that researching and building up a belief through reading is a way of insulating yourself against fears and uncertainty. It means you don’t have to confront head on the fact that we don’t know what the experience of death is like, but instead you can have a pleasant dream in your thoughts, which you probably won’t take with you anyway.

    Not only that but it occurs to me that building up a belief will close our mind to other possibilities and could even limit our options.

    I do find it odd that I can see rebirth as a viable and logical possibility while at the same time find the notion that we all have separate past lives incompatible with the dharma of non separation.

    Wouldn't the life I'm living right now be one of your lives?

    I can see Maitreya Buddha teaching lessons about our lives as if we are all living a Jataka Tale.

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited June 23

    @Zenshin said:
    If there is no self what is born and what dies? Nothing, there is just the illusion of birth and death. I think it's time I went off and found myself a proper teacher.

    It seems to me that this line of logic can only lead to one of two conclusions. Either we are not actually here (and in that case, how could there be the illusion of anything?) or else we have always been even as we have always been changing form.

  • BunksBunks Veteran Australia Veteran

    Who knows, death could be the greatest thing that ever happens to us!

    Shoshin
  • 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

    If I'm re-born I pity the poor mum who has me. Heaven knows I'm more than a handful now!

    ZenshinBunks
  • ZenshinZenshin Veteran East Midlands UK Veteran

    @David, who said you needed logic to understand it, logic is a function of the dualistic mind.

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited June 24

    @Zenshin said:
    @David, who said you needed logic to understand it, logic is a function of the dualistic mind.

    But so is understanding.

    By line of logic I mean line of reasoning. You said there is only the illusion of life and death and that nothing is born or dies. This is reasoning or logic at work. To add to that I posited 2 possible scenarios based on your line of logic or reasoning.

  • BunksBunks Veteran Australia Veteran

    @federica said:
    If I'm re-born I pity the poor mum who has me. Heaven knows I'm more than a handful now!

    I think my daughter may have uttered that in her past life =)

    federicaKundo
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran Veteran

    A lot less than many think.

    "Monks, an uninstructed run-of-the-mill person might grow disenchanted with this body composed of the four great elements, might grow dispassionate toward it, might gain release from it. Why is that? Because the growth & decline, the taking up & putting down of this body composed of the four great elements are apparent. Thus the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person might grow disenchanted, might grow dispassionate, might gain release there.

    "But as for what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness,' the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is unable to grow disenchanted with it, unable to grow dispassionate toward it, unable to gain release from it. Why is that? For a long time this has been relished, appropriated, and grasped by the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person as, 'This is me, this is my self, this is what I am.' Thus the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is unable to grow disenchanted with it, unable to grow dispassionate toward it, unable to gain release from it.

    "It would be better for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person to hold to the body composed of the four great elements, rather than the mind, as the self. Why is that? Because this body composed of the four great elements is seen standing for a year, two years, three, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, a hundred years or more. But what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another. Just as a monkey, swinging through a forest wilderness, grabs a branch. Letting go of it, it grabs another branch. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. In the same way, what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another.

    https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.061.than.html

    adamcrossleyperson
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @David said:

    @Kerome said:
    This topic came up in discussion with my father, who is currently an avid reader of all sorts of material about the Bardo and the process of life after death. When I confronted him with the fact that there is no way to really know, he was just quiet and didn’t answer.

    But it made me realise that researching and building up a belief through reading is a way of insulating yourself against fears and uncertainty. It means you don’t have to confront head on the fact that we don’t know what the experience of death is like, but instead you can have a pleasant dream in your thoughts, which you probably won’t take with you anyway.

    Not only that but it occurs to me that building up a belief will close our mind to other possibilities and could even limit our options.

    I do find it odd that I can see rebirth as a viable and logical possibility while at the same time find the notion that we all have separate past lives incompatible with the dharma of non separation.

    Wouldn't the life I'm living right now be one of your lives?

    I can see Maitreya Buddha teaching lessons about our lives as if we are all living a Jataka Tale.

    Could you explain what you mean by the "Dharma of non-separation"?

    David
  • ZenshinZenshin Veteran East Midlands UK Veteran
    edited June 24

    Insight is direct intuitive understanding, when does that require the dualistic logical mind. Anyway I'm bowing out can't see the point of arguing the toss. Oh and welcome back @DairyLama, I've missed you spiny.

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited June 24

    @Zenshin said:
    Insight is direct intuitive understanding, when does that require the dualistic logical mind. Anyway I'm bowing out can't see the point of arguing the toss.

    Well ok but I'm not sure why you figured it was an argument. It was your logic I was adding to after all.

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran Veteran
    edited June 24

    Can you practice the ten virtuous actions without a view of rebirth?

    to renounce killing, and instead protect life
    to renounce taking what is not given, and instead practise generosity
    to renounce sexual misconduct, and instead follow the rules of discipline
    to renounce lying, and instead tell the truth
    to give up sowing discord, and instead reconcile disputes
    to abandon harsh speech, and instead speak pleasantly
    to renounce worthless chatter, and instead recite prayers
    to renounce covetousness, and instead learn to be generous
    to give up wishing harm on others, and instead cultivate the desire to help them
    to put an end to wrong views, and instead establish in yourself the true and authentic view

    I suppose so but the view of rebirth might help practicing those. Maybe. Why practice those virtuous actions?

    Sufferings are not independent and without cause. Knowing their causes and effects will release ignorance.....Everything is interdependent. A particular circumstance doesn't arise without cause, from a wrong cause, or from an incomplete cause. So therefore for something to manifest it has to have complete causes and conditions.

    So can you not believe rebirth but have respect for causes and conditions? That is respect for karma? Yes I think maybe.

    But can you practice Buddhism without believe in karma, causes, and conditions? I don't think so at least not as the path proceeds onwards.

    adamcrossley
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran Veteran
    edited June 25

    Belief in rebirth/reincarnation comes under mundane right view and doesn't transcend the cycle of birth and death. In fact, it isn't even unique to Buddhism.

    "And what is right view? Right view, I tell you, is of two sorts: There is right view with effluents, siding with merit, resulting in acquisitions [of becoming]; there is right view that is noble, without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path.

    "And what is the right view with effluents, siding with merit, resulting in acquisitions? 'There is what is given, what is offered, what is sacrificed. There are fruits & results of good & bad actions. There is this world & the next world. There is mother & father. There are spontaneously reborn beings; there are contemplatives & brahmans who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is the right view with effluents, siding with merit, resulting in acquisitions.

    "And what is the right view that is noble, without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path? The discernment, the faculty of discernment, the strength of discernment, analysis of qualities as a factor for awakening, the path factor of right view[1] in one developing the noble path whose mind is noble, whose mind is without effluents, who is fully possessed of the noble path. This is the right view that is noble, without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path.

    https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.117.than.html

    BunksJeffreyperson
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    I know it is right view, that is what causes me some trouble because saying it is right view without being able to verify it independently is dogma, against ehipassiko. It seems just a thing of the mind, without substantial reality.

    lobsterpersonShoshinFosdick
  • BunksBunks Veteran Australia Veteran

    We do tend to have a need to "know" things don't we. I find a belief in rebirth very beneficial to my practice although I obviously have no way of verifying it! (yet.........)

    I do find stuff like this quite fascinating though. If taken on face value of course.

    The reincarnation story of a young boy in the USA.

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    I know it is right view, that is what causes me some trouble because saying it is right view without being able to verify it independently is dogma, against ehipassiko. It seems just a thing of the mind, without substantial reality.

    I agree.

    I think right view would have to be somewhat compatible with an ehipassiko mindset. A middle ground between acceptance and denial. Acknowledging the possibilities without clinging to any.

    personlobster
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @David said:
    I think right view would have to be somewhat compatible with an ehipassiko mindset. A middle ground between acceptance and denial. Acknowledging the possibilities without clinging to any.

    That’s kind of what I think as well. The opposing arguments seem to mostly cluster around saddha, which I am not a great fan of since the Buddha goes to such lengths to be logical and founded in practice.

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited June 25

    @Kerome said:
    we don’t know what the experience of death is like, but instead you can have a pleasant dream in your thoughts, which you probably won’t take with you anyway.

    If there is no way to know, then how can you say "probably" with regards to anything? "Probably" basically means "as far as one knows". But, if one doesn't know anything, notions of "probably" are contrary to that. =)

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