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How important is belief in Rebirth?

2

Comments

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran
    edited June 25

    @seeker242 said:

    @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. =)

    Well, there are three reasons I say “probably” as far as not taking your thoughts and memories with you when you die. The first is that we don’t have any of them when we are born, so from our previous life none of it has survived death. The second is that brain damage such as from electro-convulsive treatments can alter both processes and memories. The third is that all that we become during this life seems to vanish in death, just as a tree when it breaks and falls in a forest ceases to exhibit the patterns of being a tree.

    So although we can’t say for certain what will happen, we can infer a little about what is likely to happen. Death and the loss of the brain is likely to be a significant transformation of consciousness, where memories and thoughts may disappear even though existence exhibits some continuity.

    adamcrossley
  • 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

    ...And I thought I was pedantic.... :lol:

    Keromelobster
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Sometimes pedantry is the only answer B)

    adamcrossley
  • 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

    Only if you're asking, "how do you spell 'pedantry'...?

    Kerome
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Thanatology is scientific knowledge
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thanatology

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited June 25

    @Kerome said:
    Well, there are three reasons I say “probably” as far as not taking your thoughts and memories with you when you die. The first is that we don’t have any of them when we are born, so from our previous life none of it has survived death.

    Incoming pedantry! =) None of it has survived BIRTH. But just because it has not survived birth, does not say anything about it surviving death or not. It could easily be that those are forgotten when the new birth takes place, not when the old birth ends.

    The second is that brain damage such as from electro-convulsive treatments can alter both processes and memories.

    I don't have a clever retort for that one, ha!

    The third is that all that we become during this life seems to vanish in death, just as a tree when it breaks and falls in a forest ceases to exhibit the patterns of being a tree.

    If our assumption of "all that we become" is a correct one. If we are mistaken with regards to all that we become, then what seems to be the case, would also be mistaken. How do we know are not mistaken in determining "all that we become"? Although, I don't think a tree is a good example because trees aren't conscious to begin with. =)

  • 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

    Actually, it is proven that threes have a level of basic consciousness in that they definitely communicate with one another, and can calculate according to their surroundings and fellow species of tree, whether their seeds should be predominantly male or female... so... yeah. pedantry rules, ok? :awesome:

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @Kerome said:

    Well, there are three reasons I say “probably” as far as not taking your thoughts and memories with you when you die. The first is that we don’t have any of them when we are born, so from our previous life none of it has survived death.

    Not necessarily. There are many documented cases of young children clearly describing things that have happened to them in previous lives that have been verified.

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

    @federica said:
    Actually, it is proven that threes have a level of basic consciousness in that they definitely communicate with one another, and can calculate according to their surroundings and fellow species of tree, whether their seeds should be predominantly male or female... so... yeah. pedantry rules, ok? :awesome:

    Just to ramp up the pedantry. I'd make an important distinction between complex behavior or intelligence and consciousness. I think the proper understanding of consciousness is having an internal, or phenomenological, experience of those behaviors. For example a computer could be invented with Artificial Intelligence but without Artificial Consciousness.

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @Bunks said:
    Not necessarily. There are many documented cases of young children clearly describing things that have happened to them in previous lives that have been verified.

    Those 'well documented' cases are mentioned here
    http://skepdic.com/reincarn.html

    Bunks
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited June 27

    Even some arahants don't know.

    Ven. Susima heard that "A large number of monks, it seems, have declared final gnosis in the Blessed One's presence: 'We discern that "Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for the sake of this world."'" Then Ven. Susima went to those monks and, on arrival, exchanged courteous greetings with them. After an exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, he sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to them, "Is it true, as they say, that you have declared final gnosis in the Blessed One's presence: 'We discern that "Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for the sake of this world"'?"

    "Yes, friend."

    "Then, having known thus, having seen thus, do you recollect your manifold past lives (lit: previous homes), i.e., one birth, two births, three births, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, one hundred, one thousand, one hundred thousand births, many aeons of cosmic contraction, many aeons of cosmic expansion, many aeons of cosmic contraction & expansion, [recollecting], 'There I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance. Such was my food, such my experience of pleasure & pain, such the end of my life. Passing away from that state, I re-arose there. There too I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance. Such was my food, such my experience of pleasure & pain, such the end of my life. Passing away from that state, I re-arose here'?"

    "No, friend."

    "So just now, friends, didn't you make that declaration without having attained any of these Dhammas?"

    "We're released through discernment, friend Susima."

    https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.070.than.html

    lobsteradamcrossley
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @pegembara said:
    Even arahants don't know.

    It would seem so... not everybody who gains release gets that experience of having had many births. It also doesn’t appear to gel with the number of people on the earth. As we go forward in time more people gain release, and if all of those go back so far, then what happens when the human race was but a few individuals? The earliest human remains go back only 300,000 years or so.

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    Yes, us unenlightened folk are probably best to put this one aside for the time being

    lobsteradamcrossley
  • 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:
    Yes, us unenlightened folk are probably best to put this one aside for the time being

    My great-great-great grandmother was a duck. She'd be able to let you know....

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

    @Kerome said:

    @pegembara said:
    Even arahants don't know.

    It would seem so... not everybody who gains release gets that experience of having had many births. It also doesn’t appear to gel with the number of people on the earth. As we go forward in time more people gain release, and if all of those go back so far, then what happens when the human race was but a few individuals? The earliest human remains go back only 300,000 years or so.

    Buddhist cosmology includes many more planets and dimensions than just Earth. Also, human birth from an insect is possible.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    But a section from @pegembara’s quote does seem to indicate a hundred thousand or more human births...

    one birth, two births, three births, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, one hundred, one thousand, one hundred thousand births, many aeons of cosmic contraction, many aeons of cosmic expansion, many aeons of cosmic contraction & expansion, [recollecting], 'There I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance. Such was my food, such my experience of pleasure & pain, such the end of my life. Passing away from that state, I re-arose there. There too I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance. Such was my food, such my experience of pleasure & pain, such the end of my life.

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    Do you think it’s possible that humans existed in a prior universe I.e. prior to this latest expansion from the Big Bang?

    Or that there exists parallel universes with humans present?

  • 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:
    Do you think it’s possible that humans existed in a prior universe I.e. prior to this latest expansion from the Big Bang?

    Or that there exists parallel universes with humans present?

    I think that may fall in the category of one of the 4 Unconjecturables...

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

    @Kerome said:
    But a section from @pegembara’s quote does seem to indicate a hundred thousand or more human births...

    one birth, two births, three births, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, one hundred, one thousand, one hundred thousand births, many aeons of cosmic contraction, many aeons of cosmic expansion, many aeons of cosmic contraction & expansion, [recollecting], 'There I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance. Such was my food, such my experience of pleasure & pain, such the end of my life. Passing away from that state, I re-arose there. There too I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance. Such was my food, such my experience of pleasure & pain, such the end of my life.

    Humans on other planets maybe? There isn't anything in there about homo sapiens so perhaps other possible alien societies also have social structures comparable to those on this planet.

    From a realistic, pragmatic perspective it all falls into unconjecturables. I'm just saying from a purely logical point of view I don't see anything inconsistent within the internal cosmology.

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @person said:

    @Kerome said:
    But a section from @pegembara’s quote does seem to indicate a hundred thousand or more human births...

    one birth, two births, three births, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, one hundred, one thousand, one hundred thousand births, many aeons of cosmic contraction, many aeons of cosmic expansion, many aeons of cosmic contraction & expansion, [recollecting], 'There I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance. Such was my food, such my experience of pleasure & pain, such the end of my life. Passing away from that state, I re-arose there. There too I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance. Such was my food, such my experience of pleasure & pain, such the end of my life.

    Humans on other planets maybe? There isn't anything in there about homo sapiens so perhaps other possible alien societies also have social structures comparable to those on this planet.

    From a realistic, pragmatic perspective it all falls into unconjecturables. I'm just saying from a purely logical point of view I don't see anything inconsistent within the internal cosmology.

    Yes I agree.

    To me when the Buddha spoke of many cosmic expansions and contractions he was possibly referring to the Big Bang and Big Crunch (one theory of the expansion and contraction of the universe).

    But we'll never know I guess.

    adamcrossley
  • LionduckLionduck Veteran

    The key is not if you believe in rebirth. the key is, are you happy, do you enjoy life now? As Buddhists, we do have the concept, belief if you will, of rebirth. But it is always what you are doing, thinking, feeling in the moment. as sentient beings, all we have is the moment. The past is gone and the future does not appear until it become the moment.
    Rebirth is an acknowledgment of the cycle of life. But first be sure you are living in the life you have.

    Peace to all

    Bunkspersonlobsteradamcrossley
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited June 28

    @federica said:

    @Bunks said:
    Yes, us unenlightened folk are probably best to put this one aside for the time being

    My great-great-great grandmother was a duck. She'd be able to let you know....

    At that point in time 'she' wasn't yet your good old great3 grandma. =)
    Neither was the first person who walked out of Africa long time ago.

    You can sort of know about your actual great grandmother but she simply cannot know anything about you.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    I find the whole cosmology difficult to credit. From what we now know of the awesomeness of the physical universe, the richness of the history of the earth revealed through the layers of rock, it sounds like the spiritual realm should have a similar grandeur. Not limited to a few lists, six of this type of realm, thirty-one of that.

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

    @Kerome said:
    I find the whole cosmology difficult to credit. From what we now know of the awesomeness of the physical universe, the richness of the history of the earth revealed through the layers of rock, it sounds like the spiritual realm should have a similar grandeur. Not limited to a few lists, six of this type of realm, thirty-one of that.

    I'm not arguing for the truth of Buddhist cosmology, there isn't any compelling evidence that it is true. I believe it is said that the deepest layer of hell lies at a distance below Bodhgaya that it would place it somewhere out in space. That may be a later Abhidharma addition.

    I'm just saying if you're looking for inconsistencies in the internal logic, I don't think it is there, at least not about the point you were making.

    Kerome
  • QuigonbondQuigonbond Malaysia New

    I read somewhere that there are 9 levels of consciousness, the first 7 being associated with, and therefore also perishes with our physical bodies.

    The 8th is a "karmic" sort of consciousness that transcends birth and death, and is analogous to a block chain - a ledger of all the good and bad karma one has over rebirths. Unless one transcends the cycle of rebirth, this karmic ledger/consciousness will continue to run. If one behaves well, then one could be reborn as a more blessed human, and if one behaves much better, one may be reborn not as human, but as Deva/Brahma. But even they do not escape the cycle of rebirth.

    To be free of rebirth, and to attain enlightenment/Nibbana, is to achieve the 9th level of consciousness. Nibbana is not becoming nothing, rather it is a state of bliss and omnipotence free from further wandering. So for example, after Gotama Buddha attained enlightenment at 35, and through 80, he had what we would call superpowers today. Levitation, vision beyond sight, mind reading etc. On the way to attain enlightenment, he could also see all his previous lives. That's accessing the 9th consciousness.

    Anyway, that's my current understanding based on Theravada Buddhism books I've been reading. I've just reconnected with Buddhism after a while, and there're ginormous deal more to learn. In a lighter vein, the closest analogy I can think of being omnipotent is like John de Lancie's Q character in Star Trek the Next Generation, only one that's much kinder and perhaps very awe inspiring.

    Bunks
  • QuigonbondQuigonbond Malaysia New

    To literally answer the question, I guess rebirth is very much part and parcel of Buddhist philosophy and understanding of how things are. Perhaps the more interesting question is do we want to continue rebirth, or do we want to break free of the chain of rebirth. It may not be so easy just by having right thoughts, actions etc. Even Buddha took many rebirths to be at a time where he was said to be destined (not sure how) to be the next Buddha.

    A good source of material is lectures by Bikkhu Bodhi, which can be found on youtube.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran
    edited June 28

    So yes, rebirth does tend to be seen as an important tenet of Buddhism. I’ve even seen people write that what Stephen Batchelor believes is no longer buddhism, because of his stance on this subject.

    But I still find I have questions around rebirth. For example, if our memory and our personal inclinations don’t survive death, then how much of “us” is left? Can you really call you still you after losing that, or is what wanders the bardo no longer really yourself?

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    So yes, rebirth does tend to be seen as an important tenet of Buddhism. I’ve even seen people write that what Stephen Batchelor believes is no longer buddhism, because of his stance on this subject.

    But I still find I have questions around rebirth. For example, if our memory and our personal inclinations don’t survive death, then how much of “us” is left? Can you really call you still you after losing that, or is what wanders the bardo no longer really yourself?

    I think our personal inclinations do survive death. It is this mental, verbal and physical kamma that carries on into the next life.....

    Jeffreyperson
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran

    I am of the nature to grow old; there is no way to escape growing old.

    I am of the nature to have ill health; there is no way to escape having ill health.

    I am of the nature to die; there is no way to escape death.

    All that is dear to me and everyone I love are of the nature to change. There is no way to escape being separated from them.

    My deeds are my closest companions. I am the beneficiary of my deeds. My deeds are the ground on which I stand.

    lobsteradamcrossley
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @Kerome said:

    But I still find I have questions around rebirth. For example, if our memory and our personal inclinations don’t survive death, then how much of “us” is left? Can you really call you still you after losing that, or is what wanders the bardo no longer really yourself?

    The Buddha correctly pointed out the "self" you refer to above doesn't actually exist in the first place. It is merely an illusion we create based on the five clinging aggregates (form, feeling, perception, mental formations and consciousness).

    So if there is no self then your questions don't need to be asked.

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

    @Kerome said:

    But I still find I have questions around rebirth. For example, if our memory and our personal inclinations don’t survive death, then how much of “us” is left? Can you really call you still you after losing that, or is what wanders the bardo no longer really yourself?

    I'm not so sure they say our personal inclinations don't survive death. I think our karma is also considered as being mental habits, when we habitually think in certain patterns that creates mental karma. I may be wrong about that so feel free to share if you know of teachings that say otherwise.

    Bunks
  • QuigonbondQuigonbond Malaysia New

    @Kerome said:

    But I still find I have questions around rebirth. For example, if our memory and our personal inclinations don’t survive death, then how much of “us” is left? Can you really call you still you after losing that, or is what wanders the bardo no longer really yourself?

    Personally I'm also not comfortable thinking that who I am now will perish and what's left isn't really "me" anymore. Still searching for an answer, or perhaps more precisely an answer that is happy-stance.

    My current speculation using Star Wars analogy: think of yourself as C3P0. You get memory wiped after the Clone Wars. Hardcoded programming is still intact, you are still very much functionable, but you are not aware of your past anymore (=from 8th level consciousness to rebirth). Compare with R2D2 which memory was never wiped, and knows the full story of the saga (=9th level consciousness). Means your accumulated karma drives you to behave in a certain way by default until you change it for better or worse. It could very well mean you retain some of your habits, talents etc. just that you cannot access your past history until you are near enlightenment.

    Maybe the idea of karmic driven rebirth is made to be not too appealing so that we should instead focus on attaining Nibbana. It's like a choice between having an amnesia vs becoming all knowing.

    Perhaps, in a way, amnesia isn't too bad. Over a few rebirths, there would be plenty of regrets. Each rebirth is a clean slate to start life all over again. Not so different from people searching for themselves and starting afresh, sometimes moving to another place, after a traumatic incident in their lives.

  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited June 29

    @Bunks said:

    @Kerome said:
    So yes, rebirth does tend to be seen as an important tenet of Buddhism. I’ve even seen people write that what Stephen Batchelor believes is no longer buddhism, because of his stance on this subject.

    But I still find I have questions around rebirth. For example, if our memory and our personal inclinations don’t survive death, then how much of “us” is left? Can you really call you still you after losing that, or is what wanders the bardo no longer really yourself?

    I think our personal inclinations do survive death. It is this mental, verbal and physical kamma that carries on into the next life.....

    All that you are experiencing now is considered 'old' kamma which can also be the result of your deeds in this very life. A done deal. What is important is how to mitigate.

    "Now what, monks, is old kamma? The eye is to be seen as old kamma, fabricated & willed, capable of being felt. The ear... The nose... The tongue... The body... The intellect is to be seen as old kamma, fabricated & willed, capable of being felt. This is called old kamma.

    "And what is new kamma? Whatever kamma one does now with the body, with speech, or with the intellect: This is called new kamma.

    https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn35/sn35.145.than.html

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Well, how much does our memory form our personal inclinations? As a baby there isn’t much there beside sleeping and holding on, even smiling we learn. Almost everything we learn from social contact. I’d say all that and more is born from the body, and will be lost when we lose the body again.

  • 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

    @pegembara said:

    @federica said:

    @Bunks said:
    Yes, us unenlightened folk are probably best to put this one aside for the time being

    My great-great-great grandmother was a duck. She'd be able to let you know....

    At that point in time 'she' wasn't yet your good old great3 grandma. =)
    Neither was the first person who walked out of Africa long time ago.

    You can sort of know about your actual great grandmother but she simply cannot know anything about you.

    Thank you, yes.

    It was a joke.
    Loosen up...

    image

    pegembara
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran

    @Bunks said:

    @Kerome said:

    But I still find I have questions around rebirth. For example, if our memory and our personal inclinations don’t survive death, then how much of “us” is left? Can you really call you still you after losing that, or is what wanders the bardo no longer really yourself?

    The Buddha correctly pointed out the "self" you refer to above doesn't actually exist in the first place. It is merely an illusion we create based on the five clinging aggregates (form, feeling, perception, mental formations and consciousness).

    So if there is no self then your questions don't need to be asked.

    These are the ponderings that make it seem to me as if your past lives are my past lives. If there is no individual then said individual wouldn't have it's own set of lives exclusive of the rest.

    But even that is just conjecture.

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @David said:

    @Bunks said:

    @Kerome said:

    But I still find I have questions around rebirth. For example, if our memory and our personal inclinations don’t survive death, then how much of “us” is left? Can you really call you still you after losing that, or is what wanders the bardo no longer really yourself?

    The Buddha correctly pointed out the "self" you refer to above doesn't actually exist in the first place. It is merely an illusion we create based on the five clinging aggregates (form, feeling, perception, mental formations and consciousness).

    So if there is no self then your questions don't need to be asked.

    These are the ponderings that make it seem to me as if your past lives are my past lives. If there is no individual then said individual wouldn't have it's own set of lives exclusive of the rest.

    Maybe your right but that’s not what the Buddha taught.

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited June 29

    @Bunks said:

    @David said:

    @Bunks said:

    @Kerome said:

    But I still find I have questions around rebirth. For example, if our memory and our personal inclinations don’t survive death, then how much of “us” is left? Can you really call you still you after losing that, or is what wanders the bardo no longer really yourself?

    The Buddha correctly pointed out the "self" you refer to above doesn't actually exist in the first place. It is merely an illusion we create based on the five clinging aggregates (form, feeling, perception, mental formations and consciousness).

    So if there is no self then your questions don't need to be asked.

    These are the ponderings that make it seem to me as if your past lives are my past lives. If there is no individual then said individual wouldn't have it's own set of lives exclusive of the rest.

    Maybe your right but that’s not what the Buddha taught.

    How did what the Buddha taught contradict what I suggest?

    Logically, if the individual is an illusion then so are individual past lives.

    Noting that illusion is misrepresentation of reality and not a lack of reality, I don't see any other scenarios as being as viable.

  • 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

    @David said:

    @Bunks said:

    @David said:

    @Bunks said:

    @Kerome said:

    But I still find I have questions around rebirth. For example, if our memory and our personal inclinations don’t survive death, then how much of “us” is left? Can you really call you still you after losing that, or is what wanders the bardo no longer really yourself?

    The Buddha correctly pointed out the "self" you refer to above doesn't actually exist in the first place. It is merely an illusion we create based on the five clinging aggregates (form, feeling, perception, mental formations and consciousness).

    So if there is no self then your questions don't need to be asked.

    These are the ponderings that make it seem to me as if your past lives are my past lives. If there is no individual then said individual wouldn't have it's own set of lives exclusive of the rest.

    Maybe your right but that’s not what the Buddha taught.

    How did what the Buddha taught contradict what I suggest?

    Logically, if the individual is an illusion then so are individual past lives.

    The individual is an illusion. Consciousness isn't... It's the "energetic" process which continues...

    UNless I am so far to the right of the bat, I might as well be playing 'air baseball'... :glasses:

    David
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited June 29

    @federica said:

    @David said:

    @Bunks said:

    @David said:

    @Bunks said:

    @Kerome said:

    But I still find I have questions around rebirth. For example, if our memory and our personal inclinations don’t survive death, then how much of “us” is left? Can you really call you still you after losing that, or is what wanders the bardo no longer really yourself?

    The Buddha correctly pointed out the "self" you refer to above doesn't actually exist in the first place. It is merely an illusion we create based on the five clinging aggregates (form, feeling, perception, mental formations and consciousness).

    So if there is no self then your questions don't need to be asked.

    These are the ponderings that make it seem to me as if your past lives are my past lives. If there is no individual then said individual wouldn't have it's own set of lives exclusive of the rest.

    Maybe your right but that’s not what the Buddha taught.

    How did what the Buddha taught contradict what I suggest?

    Logically, if the individual is an illusion then so are individual past lives.

    The individual is an illusion. Consciousness isn't... It's the "energetic" process which continues...

    UNless I am so far to the right of the bat, I might as well be playing 'air baseball'... :glasses:

    I agree. That doesn't actually address the problem however. Continues from where?

    My true face is what? Can there even be a true face? A fixed point?

    Some of us may be closer to some past lives than others but logically, if the individual is a misrepresentation of reality then...

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    I’m out.....

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited June 29

    It's more important to some than it is to others I guess.

    I don't need it as a guide to ethical behavior because I see myself in everybody and I would rather ease suffering than cause it.

    Perhaps that is why I can be so nonchalant about the possibilities of rebirth and its logistics.

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    I find the whole cosmology difficult to credit. From what we now know of the awesomeness of the physical universe, the richness of the history of the earth revealed through the layers of rock, it sounds like the spiritual realm should have a similar grandeur. Not limited to a few lists, six of this type of realm, thirty-one of that.

    The Lotus Sutra contains much grandeur. =)

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

    @Kerome said:
    Well, how much does our memory form our personal inclinations? As a baby there isn’t much there beside sleeping and holding on, even smiling we learn. Almost everything we learn from social contact. I’d say all that and more is born from the body, and will be lost when we lose the body again.

    I think most people with kids will tell you that they come out pretty pre programmed with certain temperaments and dispositions. I think the science on twins separated at birth and adopted children from different parents raised at the same time in the same household shows that personality is more inborn than learned.

    Not saying that it is past life karma rather than genetic, just that I'm pretty sure the statement "almost everything we learn from social contact", is wrong.

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

    @David said:

    @Bunks said:

    @Kerome said:

    But I still find I have questions around rebirth. For example, if our memory and our personal inclinations don’t survive death, then how much of “us” is left? Can you really call you still you after losing that, or is what wanders the bardo no longer really yourself?

    The Buddha correctly pointed out the "self" you refer to above doesn't actually exist in the first place. It is merely an illusion we create based on the five clinging aggregates (form, feeling, perception, mental formations and consciousness).

    So if there is no self then your questions don't need to be asked.

    These are the ponderings that make it seem to me as if your past lives are my past lives. If there is no individual then said individual wouldn't have it's own set of lives exclusive of the rest.

    But even that is just conjecture.

    I think you're probably taking the concept of anatta too far. IMO you need to bring back in some Two Truths and take the conventional more seriously.

    adamcrossley
  • 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 29

    @person said:

    @Kerome said:
    Well, how much does our memory form our personal inclinations? As a baby there isn’t much there beside sleeping and holding on, even smiling we learn. Almost everything we learn from social contact. I’d say all that and more is born from the body, and will be lost when we lose the body again.

    I think most people with kids will tell you that they come out pretty pre programmed with certain temperaments and dispositions.

    Not so.
    The only thing children are pre-programmed to react to, are loud noises and a fear of falling.

    Everything else is learnt or developed as they grow, and you don't usually get any temperamental indications until a child is between 4 to 5 months of age, then, by the time they are 6 months old, they will fit into one of three psychological categories: 'Easy-going', 'Difficult', 'slow to warm'.

    My eldest daughter was without a shadow of a doubt, in category one.
    My second daughter, category 2, unmistakably.

    In fact, if I had had #2 daughter first, in all probability it would have put me off having a 2nd child!

    Not saying that it is past life karma rather than genetic, just that I'm pretty sure the statement "almost everything we learn from social contact", is wrong.

    No, it's pretty accurate.

    KeromeKundo
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited June 29

    @person said:

    @David said:

    @Bunks said:

    @Kerome said:

    But I still find I have questions around rebirth. For example, if our memory and our personal inclinations don’t survive death, then how much of “us” is left? Can you really call you still you after losing that, or is what wanders the bardo no longer really yourself?

    The Buddha correctly pointed out the "self" you refer to above doesn't actually exist in the first place. It is merely an illusion we create based on the five clinging aggregates (form, feeling, perception, mental formations and consciousness).

    So if there is no self then your questions don't need to be asked.

    These are the ponderings that make it seem to me as if your past lives are my past lives. If there is no individual then said individual wouldn't have it's own set of lives exclusive of the rest.

    But even that is just conjecture.

    I think you're probably taking the concept of anatta too far. IMO you need to bring back in some Two Truths and take the conventional more seriously.

    While I would say that looking at both truths seriously is to see how they are the same truth. Our only true self seems to me to be no self in particular.

    Take the past lives as far back as they can go and where are we?

    Usually I'm accused of going the other route, lol.

    I probably shouldn't have used the phrase "if there is no individual..." I should have said if individuality is illusion then individuals having their own set of lives exclusive from the rest is also illusion.

    I don't see individuality as something to shed, rather as a wonderful albeit illusory tool of exploration.

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

    @federica said:

    @person said:

    @Kerome said:
    Well, how much does our memory form our personal inclinations? As a baby there isn’t much there beside sleeping and holding on, even smiling we learn. Almost everything we learn from social contact. I’d say all that and more is born from the body, and will be lost when we lose the body again.

    I think most people with kids will tell you that they come out pretty pre programmed with certain temperaments and dispositions.

    Not so.
    The only thing children are pre-programmed to react to, are loud noises and a fear of falling.

    Everything else is learnt or developed as they grow, and you don't usually get any temperamental indications until a child is between 4 to 5 months of age, then, by the time they are 6 months old, they will fit into one of three psychological categories: 'Easy-going', 'Difficult', 'slow to warm'.

    My eldest daughter was without a shadow of a doubt, in category one.
    My second daughter, category 2, unmistakably.

    In fact, if I had had #2 daughter first, in all probability it would have put me off having a 2nd child!

    Not saying that it is past life karma rather than genetic, just that I'm pretty sure the statement "almost everything we learn from social contact", is wrong.

    No, it's pretty accurate.

    Children's brains aren't fully developed when they come out, it takes time to make all the connections. I've shared this video before but if you haven't watched it I suggest you do, it shows studies into just a few of the behaviors inherent to human nature.

    The nature vs nurture debate has been going on for a while without a clear answer. But to say that almost everything is environment or only a couple things are pre-programmed is really not the case.

    https://www.scienceofpeople.com/much-personality-genetic/

    https://www.bustle.com/articles/199262-how-much-of-your-personality-is-genetic-a-lot-new-science-says

    ... Genetic research has shown that this is not the case. We would essentially be the same person if we had been adopted at birth and raised in a different family. Environmental influences are important, accounting for about half of the differences between us, but they are largely unsystematic, unstable and idiosyncratic—in a word, random.

    The DNA differences inherited from our parents at the moment of conception are the consistent, lifelong source of psychological individuality, the blueprint that makes us who we are...

    https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/in-the-nature-nurture-war-nature-wins/

  • 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

    @Person, not sure if you have kids or not....?

    In my opinion, and I'm speaking as a woman who was the primary carer, I'm of the mind that all these studies are all very well, but there's nothing quite like a hands-on experience to shatter any study and kick it into touch.... :lol:

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

    @federica said:
    @Person, not sure if you have kids or not....?

    In my opinion, and I'm speaking as a woman who was the primary carer, I'm of the mind that all these studies are all very well, but there's nothing quite like a hands-on experience to shatter any study and kick it into touch.... :lol:

    I don't, but I'm close with my sister's family and have been there to watch her kids grow all along the way. Maybe you're just having fun about the latter bit, but if you're really stacking anecdotal evidence against scientific studies I would respectfully ask with a similar sort of concern that you probably have towards plastics to rethink your approach towards scientific literacy.

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