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What Evidence Is Present To Prove Re-Birth Exists?

245

Comments

  • fivebellsfivebells Veteran Veteran
    edited November 2009
    Nini wrote: »
    I think your reply is a cop-out. If the “no-self”, “reality is empty” are not ontological assertions, are you willing to accept that Buddhism is no different from Advaita Vedanta afterall both schools of thought are based on the position that the self is an illusion.

    Don't know anything about Advaita etc. Why should I care if it's the same as that?
    Nini wrote: »
    I”m sure you won’t because ontological claims are stuff that helps make things make sense to us.

    That sense has nothing to do with what happens in Buddhist practice.
    Nini wrote: »
    You seem to think that only objects which have physical basis exist.

    Look, you're the one who brought up this issue of existence of ideas. When you tell me exactly what you mean by that, we can talk.
    Nini wrote: »
    What Im saying about proof from authority is that it is being naive to suppose that Buddhism as we know it today evolved from “historical/traditional vacuum”.

    Really? That's not what you seem to have been saying in the previous paragraphs. How do they relate?
    Nini wrote: »
    I say, on the contrary, there is a recent newsitem about a patient in a vegetative state, which neuroscientists also called a locked-in state, who was fully aware the whole of 20 years eg. can hear, can see, can recognize family members but had no way of communicating to the external world. In my opinion, consciousness is fundamental.

    How does this relate to the text you quoted from me?
    Nini wrote: »
    Aaki and Fivebells, I can’t exactly make heads and tails of the differences in your positions, i wonder if you can restate your respective positions. Or better yet please comment on the comments I made regarding consciousness so I’ll have a better idea whose opinions somewhat match mine or if I’m alone among you here in this regard.

    I haven't taken a position on the question of consciousness. Aaki has claimed that his school can prove logically that rebirth happens, and that his belief in rebirth is not based in authoritarian faith. Part of his school's argument depends on the claim that consciousness has no physical basis. (Correct me if I'm wrong Aaki; it seems that I still don't understand it properly, so I my gloss is likely incorrect.) I am trying to understand that argument by studying how it rebuts the modern position that consciousness arises from neurochemical interactions.
  • edited November 2009
    aaki wrote: »
    I never said it was caused by the clay. I specifically said it was not produced (caused) by the clay. I said the clay is the material cause for the clay cup. The entire reasoning is based on material causes.


    My position here is based on the Vedas: that clay and water are the efficient causes and the "I made the cup because I want to drink tea from it" as the final cause.

    Or maybe I'm making the discussions here even more entangled.:confused:
  • edited November 2009
    Nini wrote: »
    My position here is based on the Vedas: that clay and water are the efficient causes and the "I made the cup because I want to drink tea from it" as the final cause.

    Or maybe I'm making the discussions here even more entangled.:confused:
    I would be interested in debating the production of a cup from my buddhist view and your vedas view. Start another thread though if you want to cos you're right this one is a little crowded.
    fivebells wrote:
    Part of his school's argument depends on the claim that consciousness has no physical basis. (Correct me if I'm wrong Aaki;
    My school... how bout all schools. This reply of yours was posted just after I gave my reply, so scroll up in case you missed my response addressing matter as a physical basis.
  • fivebellsfivebells Veteran Veteran
    edited November 2009
    aaki wrote: »
    Theories of mind being emergent properties are more sophisticted than the idea that physical particles themselves produce other particles which are the experience.

    Moving on to the next section, then:
    This reasoning, where we use the process of eliminating all other possibilities, brings us to the conclusion that the material cause for mind is mind itself. (p. 50)
    But it seems that we haven't eliminated all possibilities. Where has the argument addressed the possibility that the mind is an emergent property of physical interactions?
  • fivebellsfivebells Veteran Veteran
    edited November 2009
    aaki wrote: »
    \My school... how bout all schools. This reply of yours was posted just after I gave my reply, so scroll up in case you missed my response addressing matter as a physical basis.

    Thanks, I've read it, now.
  • edited November 2009
    fivebells wrote: »
    Moving on to the next section, then: But it seems that we haven't eliminated all possibilities. Where has the argument addressed the possibility that the mind is an emergent property of physical interactions?
    Pfft cheap cop-out. I'm still studying emergent properties, so I can't say with certainty yet. However it looks like they are things that cannot perform a function, and as such is an assertion that the mind is not variable. However there are supposedly theories of mind as a functioning emergent property, so I am waiting to learn about that.

    All this is separate to matter not being the material cause of mind, and so all the variations of that have in fact been covered, because emergent properties are by definition not matter.

    Also, in general, buddhist logic has reasonings which disprove properties of objects arising with the objects and not being dependent on causes and conditions. A classic example is the sharpness of a thorn. But that is really quite subtle.
  • fivebellsfivebells Veteran Veteran
    edited November 2009
    aaki wrote: »
    All this is separate to matter not being the material cause of mind, and so all the variations of that have in fact been covered, because emergent properties are by definition not matter.

    Well, the only reason matter as the material cause of mind came up is because that was the only branch I could see addressing the modern physical view of consciousness. It appears that there is no branch addressing that possibility, so the argument that only mind could be the cause of mind is broken.
    aaki wrote: »
    I'm still studying emergent properties, so I can't say with certainty yet.
    aaki wrote: »
    I'm a gelug tibetan buddhist so I don't really know of any people who delegate rebirth to something which must be taken as faith and not heavily scrutinzed. This is because tibetan buddhism (sakya and gelug especially) is all about reasoning, debating, definitions and logic.

    So you have been promised a proof down the road, but you aren't able to apprehend it, yet? This is a much weaker position than you originally took. You said that that document contained a proof of literal rebirth. That appears not to be the case.
    aaki wrote: »
    However it looks like they are things that cannot perform a function, and as such is an assertion that the mind is not variable.

    I don't understand this assertion. Extremely elaborate and sophisticated functions arise from emergent properties all the time. Computer software comes to mind.
    aaki wrote: »
    Also, in general, buddhist logic has reasonings which disprove properties of objects arising with the objects and not being dependent on causes and conditions. A classic example is the sharpness of a thorn. But that is really quite subtle.

    I don't see how this relates.
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran Veteran
    edited November 2009
    From the book The Problems of Life

    Q & A between Dr U Myint Swe and Ven Mahasi Sayadaw

    A being on the verge of death is grasping the visions of previous wholesome/unwholesome deeds, signs of future destiny or mental objects that appear in the mental stream. These visions cannot be erased. While clinging to any of such visions, one dies after dissolution of the last death consciousness.
    Such visions arise only in worldlings not freed from mental defilements. No visions arise in Arahants. Regardless of the cause of arising of visionns, if one die with attachment to that vision, rebirth linking consciousness will surely arise in the new existence.

    Rebirth is mainly concerned with mental phenomenon. It should be accepted that after life perceived by psychic powers cannot be verified by scientific investigations. If one rejects after life on practical grounds, one could be wrong like a person who deny presence of sound because it cannot be seen by the eye. In the same way as seeing micro-organisms invisible to the naked eye by using microscopes, to gain intuitive knowledge about after life one should try to attain psychic powers and insight wisdom. If not by inferring the corelation of cause and effect as taught in Buddha's Discourses. Moreover one should be convinced by enquiry and considering the case of reincarnated persons who can relate their past experiences.

    He then relates 3 cases in Burma.
  • edited November 2009
    The discussions in this thread are quite 'hectic' for beginners. As a beginner, I only know the text book stuff concerning the topic:

    Topic: What Evidence Is Present To Prove Re-Birth Exists?

    The core of the Buddha's teaching (the Dhamma) is a detailed strategy for escaping samsara which is the wretched treadmill of rebirth. To proceed in the Buddhist practice beyond the first noble truth of the cause of suffering (dukkha), one has to accept that rebirth exists in samsara. Most of us have not developed the 'clear seeing' or 'direct realization' in these matters through insight meditation; but we must nonetheless accept the existence of rebirth so that we could proceed on the Buddhist path. Those enlightened ones who know these things through direct realization cannot give us "proof" because they will then be giving us only concepts. No matter how you manipulate concepts, you cannot get it to reveal ultimate truths. Concepts just lead to other concepts... and concepts are not ultimate truths. As a lay practitioner (and a beginner at that), I will just go by this for now...

    Metta and kind regards to all.
  • DhammaDhatuDhammaDhatu Veteran Veteran
    edited November 2009
    aaki wrote: »
    Perhaps clay cups don't exist?
    Aaaki

    In the retail trade, such cups are called "earthenware".

    Clay is like mud.

    :buck:
  • DhammaDhatuDhammaDhatu Veteran Veteran
    edited November 2009
    aaki wrote: »
    That's a serious distortion of buddhadharma.
    Aaaaki

    Your post is a serious distortion of what I said. It did not say what I said is buddhadharma. I advised you the Buddha was concerned with suffering and its cessation, rather than the cause (hetu) of consciousness.
    aaki wrote: »
    The buddha spoke many times of cognition as nonphysical and explained why, and how it works.
    You were asked to provide some quotes from the Buddha to support your case. You have not.

    Buddha advised where a sense organ meets a sense object and consciousness arises, those three events are sense contact.

    That is all the Buddha said. He did not say how the mental faculty of consciousness is created or caused.
    "Dependent on eye & forms, eye-consciousness arises. The meeting of the three is contact.

    "Dependent on ear & sounds, ear-consciousness arises...

    "Dependent on nose & aromas, nose-consciousness arises...

    "Dependent on tongue & flavors, tongue-consciousness arises...

    "Dependent on body & tactile sensations, body-consciousness arises...

    "Dependent on intellect & ideas, intellect-consciousness arises. The meeting of the three is contact.

    MN 18

    :)
  • fivebellsfivebells Veteran Veteran
    edited November 2009
    sukhita wrote: »
    As a beginner, I only know the text book stuff concerning the topic:

    That depends on the textbook you ask. :)
  • DhammaDhatuDhammaDhatu Veteran Veteran
    edited November 2009
    aaki wrote: »
    The buddha debated against nihilists (the Chravakas) who said that experience is caused by the sense powers, and so persons are totally annihilated at death. You cannot find anything more explicit than that.
    Aaaaki

    You are required to supported your claims with a reference or quote.
    aaki wrote: »
    If you don't want to listen to the totally stupid, superstitious "hindu-buddhists", just read scholarly works. This is a non-negotiable point and any deviation asserted as being the words of the buddha are a serious corruption of buddhadharma.
    The Buddha taught two levels teaching, one level for ordinary people and one level for aspirants. The level for ordinary people, he called faith following.

    In brief, your assertions about "non-negotiable", "deviation" and "corruption" are baseless.
    aaki wrote: »
    The buddha's instructions are not speculative, they are asserted as being verifiable and knowable.
    Again, you assertion is incorrect. The Buddha only advised his supramundane teachings as being verifiable and knowable.

    Regarding his mundane teachings for faithfollowers, these are a matter of faith. The Buddha himself called them "a safe bet" or "a lucky throw of the dice".
    aaki wrote: »
    Furthermore just because you do not have any good evidence does not mean you adopt an unestablished position or a position shown to be unsustainable.
    You have not shown anything to be unsustainable.
    aaki wrote: »
    I choose to quote Berzin, but I can just as easily quote 100 other buddhist practitioner scholars. And they are quoting Dharmakirti, and Dignaga, and Shantideva, and Vasubhandu, etc, who themselves are quoting the sutras. Who can you quote?
    I have quoted the Buddha. You have not quoted anything of any substance.

    You have been asked to supported your baseless views time & time again.

    I am still waiting.

    :)
  • DhammaDhatuDhammaDhatu Veteran Veteran
    edited November 2009
    aaki wrote: »
    I choose to quote Berzin, but I can just as easily quote 100 other buddhist practitioner scholars. And they are quoting Dharmakirti, and Dignaga, and Shantideva, and Vasubhandu, etc, who themselves are quoting the sutras. Who can you quote?
    Aaaki,

    What about the Heart Sutra? Why don't you quote that? :lol:

    About your rebirth views, the Buddha said:
    As for those brahmans & contemplatives who hold this doctrine, hold this view — "There is no total cessation of becoming": This view of theirs borders on passion, borders on fettering, borders on relishing, borders on grasping, borders on clinging.

    As for those brahmans & contemplatives who hold this doctrine, hold this view — "There is total cessation of becoming": This view of theirs borders on non-passion, borders on non-fettering, borders on non-relishing, borders on non-grasping, borders on non-clinging.'

    Reflecting thus, he practices for disenchantment toward becomings, for dispassion toward becomings, and for the cessation of becomings.

    Apannaka Sutta: A Safe Bet

    The Buddha also said:
    "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 the acquisitions [of becoming]; and there is noble right view, without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path.

    "And what is the right view that has effluents I]asava[/I, sides with merit, & results 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 other world. There is mother & father. There are spontaneously born beings; there are priests & contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the other after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is the right view that has effluents, sides with merit, & results in acquisitions.

    "And what is the right view that is 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 of one developing the noble path whose mind is noble, whose mind is free from effluents, who is fully possessed of the noble path. This is the right view that is without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path.

    MN 117
    So quoting the Buddha himself, rather than your assortment of scholars, the Buddha has advised rebirth view sides with merit but is defiled with asava. Asava is mental pollution. Whilst rebirth view sides with merit & encourages goodness, the Buddha advised it is not a factor of the path.

    Kind regards

    :)
  • DhammaDhatuDhammaDhatu Veteran Veteran
    edited November 2009
    sukhita wrote: »
    The discussions in this thread are quite 'hectic' for beginners.
    Hi Sukhita

    My opinion is we must take care with the term 'beginners'.

    Some beginners come to Buddhism looking to remedy suffering & find inner peace whilst other beginners come to Buddhism looking for views about rebirth.

    Thus to teach literal (post mortem) rebirth to some beginners is wrong because they will walk away from Buddhism and the core teachings they are seeking.

    As the opening post on this thread seems a bit skeptical, in this case, we can offer views not supporting literal rebirth.

    Whilst the Buddha himself held a democratic view about rebirth, he did not discourage people from believing in it. He said it is a "safe bet" for human beings to believe in rebirth.

    Kind regards

    :)
  • edited November 2009
    You were asked to provide some quotes from the Buddha to support your case. You have not.

    Buddha advised where a sense organ meets a sense object and consciousness arises, those three events are sense contact.
    Yes, in this instance it seems he is talking about the mental factor of contact. It's good that you accept at least this. Even though I remember sutras where buddha is talking against nihilism (ie. mind produced from matter, annihilation at death), and where buddha talks about the function of the mind in many various way, I don't have time to look it all up. Also I don't think it would be particularly helpful to you because you seem to distort the meanings of words on which everyone else agree. Also I don't have time for all this. So I will simply quote Bhikkhu Bodhi:
    Newcomers to Buddhism are usually impressed by the clarity, directness, and earthy practicality of the Dhamma as embodied in such basic teachings as the Four Noble Truths, the Noble Eightfold Path, and the threefold training. These teachings, as clear as day-light, are accessible to any serious seeker looking for a way beyond suffering. When, however, these seekers encounter the doctrine of rebirth, they often balk, convinced it just doesn't make sense. At this point, they suspect that the teaching has swerved off course, tumbling from the grand highway of reason into wistfulness and speculation. Even modernist interpreters of Buddhism seem to have trouble taking the rebirth teaching seriously. Some dismiss it as just a piece of cultural baggage, "ancient Indian metaphysics," that the Buddha retained in deference to the world view of his age. Others interpret it as a metaphor for the change of mental states, with the realms of rebirth seen as symbols for psychological archetypes. A few critics even question the authenticity of the texts on rebirth, arguing that they must be interpolations.

    A quick glance at the Pali suttas would show that none of these claims has much substance. The teaching of rebirth crops up almost everywhere in the Canon, and is so closely bound to a host of other doctrines that to remove it would virtually reduce the Dhamma to tatters. Moreover, when the suttas speak about rebirth into the five realms — the hells, the animal world, the spirit realm, the human world, and the heavens — they never hint that these terms are meant symbolically. To the contrary, they even say that rebirth occurs "with the breakup of the body, after death," which clearly implies they intend the idea of rebirth to be taken quite literally.

    Does Rebirth Make Sense? by Bhikkhu Bodhi

    Regarding abhidharma, which you desperately need to study:
    The Abhidhamma in Practice by N.K.G. Mendis
    In the retail trade, such cups are called "earthenware".
    The material cause for clay cups is clay. I don't know 'earthenware' but a name doesn't change material causes.
    fivebells wrote:
    That depends on the textbook you ask.
    No, every buddhist textbook says the same thing. Furthermore only a tiny percentage of commentaries have been translated, and all of these silly ideas would have been addressed directly. It's only modern nihilists and ancient nihilists which have the problem, but at least ancient nihilists never tried to pass themselves off as buddhists. I'm not a pali/sanskrit scholar, nor am I knowledgeable in sutra but I suspect that your ideas would be utterly smashed by someone who was. It has probably already happened even on other internet forums. Try spreading your ideas at a buddhist scholar conference.
    So quoting the Buddha himself, rather than your assortment of scholars, the Buddha has advised rebirth view sides with merit but is defiled with asava. Asava is mental pollution. Whilst rebirth view sides with merit & encourages goodness, the Buddha advised it is not a factor of the path.
    You have no idea how ridiculous it is to draw that conclusion from the Heart Sutra (and also the other). This is like the centrepiece example of your study of buddhadharma. You've mangled the two truths and the context of becoming, and therefore the meaning of becoming.
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran Veteran
    edited November 2009
    Lakkhanasamyutta - Connected Discourses with Lakkhana from translation of Samyutta by Bhikkhu Bodhi.

    1. The first subchapter

    The skeleton

    "Then the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus thus: Bhikkus, there are disciples who dwell having become vision, having become knowledge, in that disciple can know, see and witness such a sight. In the past bhikkhus, I too saw that being, but I did not speak about it. For if I had spoken about it, others would not have believed me, and if they had not believed me that would have led to their harm and suffering for a long time."
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran Veteran
    edited November 2009
    pegembara wrote: »
    Lakkhanasamyutta - Connected Discourses with Lakkhana from translation of Samyutta by Bhikkhu Bodhi.

    1. The first subchapter

    The skeleton

    "Then the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus thus: Bhikkus, there are disciples who dwell having become vision, having become knowledge, in that disciple can know, see and witness such a sight. In the past bhikkhus, I too saw that being, but I did not speak about it. For if I had spoken about it, others would not have believed me, and if they had not believed me that would have led to their harm and suffering for a long time."

    In other words, rebirth as a mental phenomenon is true but one doesn't even need to believe or disbelieve as it would not lead to the end of suffering.
  • edited November 2009
    fivebells wrote: »
    It appears that there is no branch addressing that possibility, so the argument that only mind could be the cause of mind is broken.
    Why don't you pay better attention. Didn't I just say that it would fall under the topic of being variable? Furthermore, it is still the case that only matter and mind could be the 2 material causes, because an emergent property is not a material cause.
    So you have been promised a proof down the road, but you aren't able to apprehend it, yet? This is a much weaker position than you originally took.
    What makes you think I haven't apprehended it yet. The reasonings dismantle every variation of matter as a material cause.
    I don't understand this assertion. Extremely elaborate and sophisticated functions arise from emergent properties all the time. Computer software comes to mind.
    Yeh, it's a little more complicated than that in philosophy of mind and in general. Voltage can be rendered through a computer and produce the movement of a mouse on the screen, but the 'software' cannot be located in the voltage or the computer. Even the letters on the screen signifying the software is not the software (it's colors on a screen arising from production). This is the type of stuff that buddhist logic and pramana goes into as well.
  • ValtielValtiel Veteran Veteran
    edited November 2009
    aaki,
    Even though I remember sutras where buddha is talking against nihilism (ie. mind produced from matter, annihilation at death), and where buddha talks about the function of the mind in many various way, I don't have time to look it all up.

    Well perhaps you'd do well to study the suttas and have direct references at your disposal rather than "hundreds of Buddhist scholars' quotes...
    Also I don't think it would be particularly helpful to you because you seem to distort the meanings of words on which everyone else agree.

    Examples would be good.

    Bhikkhu Bodhi time... (incidentally, your quotes from Bodhi don't address any of the issues Dhamma asked you to provide direct quotes from the suttas for...)
    impressed by the clarity, directness, and earthy practicality of the Dhamma as embodied in such basic teachings as the Four Noble Truths, the Noble Eightfold Path, and the threefold training. These teachings, as clear as day-light, are accessible to any serious seeker looking for a way beyond suffering.

    Does Bodhi mean to say that the belief in rebirth isn't required to the Path to the cessation of dukkha, the only thing that the Buddha taught? :eek: Good to know. :buck:
    The teaching of rebirth crops up almost everywhere in the Canon, and is so closely bound to a host of other doctrines that to remove it would virtually reduce the Dhamma to tatters.

    Watch, I can do it too: the emphasis placed on literal rebirth has virtually reduced the Dhamma to tatters.
    It is only too obvious that such moral equilibrium cannot be found within the limits of a single life.

    This is his first argument to prove rebirth makes sense? The argument is based on the supposition that scoreboard kamma exists which traditionally relies on the supposition that literal rebirth exists as well... i.e. "kamma exists therefore rebirth exists, because kamma cannot exist unless rebirth exists, and rebirth cannot exist unless kamma exists..." LOL. :buck:
    First, the teaching of rebirth makes sense in relation to ethics.

    No argument. :buck:

    If Bodhi had read the closing statement for his own argument, he would have just edited the entire section out:
    The Buddha himself does not try to found ethics on the ideas of kamma and rebirth, but uses a purely naturalistic type of moral reasoning that does not presuppose personal survival or the working of kamma. The gist of his reasoning is simply that we should not mistreat others — by injuring them, stealing their belongings, exploiting them sexually, or deceiving them — because we ourselves are averse to being treated in such ways.

    crazylol.gif
    The Buddha includes belief in rebirth and kamma in his definition of right view, and their explicit denial in wrong view.

    Bodhi takes a lot of liberties, doesn't he? MN 117, the Buddha states that belief in rebirth/kamma are Right View with effluents (asava) that lead to further becoming. Noble Right View, which leads to Nibbana, is free of any views. Wrong view includes denial of rebirth/kamma when that results in the belief that one's actions does not have consequences (that is key here; the entire sentence needs to be read in whole).
    You have no idea how ridiculous it is to draw that conclusion from the Heart Sutra (and also the other).

    Who the heck said anything about drawing that conclusion from the heart sutra? It's found in the Tipitaka, as I just showed above. Edit - in fact, Dhamma Dhatu showed you this. You should really read more carefully, as the quote he provided is blatantly attributed to discourses within the Tipitaka. Did you even read the quotes?

    This article is ridiculous especially since he's using his own translations as reference. Again, it would be best to provide direct quotes to the suttas. :)
    No, every buddhist textbook says the same thing.

    You've read every Buddhist textbook? :rolleyes: There are plenty of well-respected teachers who disagree with you, aaki. I've quoted one already, which disproves your statement...
    Furthermore only a tiny percentage of commentaries have been translated, and all of these silly ideas would have been addressed directly.

    Agnosticism is a "silly idea"? Focusing on the core teachings is "silly"?
  • edited November 2009
    Watch, I can do it too: the emphasis placed on literal rebirth has virtually reduced the Dhamma to tatters.

    The only way you can say that is with a totally irrational selective and personal reading of sutras that is completely devoid of knowledge and understanding, and which ignores the lineages that are not only responsible for preserving the sutras, but also for protecting their meanings and realizations. An example of just such a realization is nirvana, part of which is described (by everyone) as the cessation of ever again having to spin the cycle of rebirth in the 6 realms of samsara.

    You can ignore this unanimous instruction common to every existing lineage on the planet, and replace it with some thing you've come up with, but it is irrational to call it buddhadharma.

    The sutras are packed with literal rebirth and assertions of the continuation of cause and effect and mind after death but you look away from this. Even when the last moment at the time of death is being discussed, and it is stated that it acts as a cause for another life, you ignore this and/or hide behind pali terms to make yourself immune from it.

    However since I only have access to a small pool of english translations of the past 1800 years of sanskrit and tibetan commentaries covering each of the ancient tenet systems and since I cannot at this time quote to you particular parts of sutra or explain pali terms, there's not much more I can say. Hopefully someone will write a good explanation of the terms for you (or find them if such things already exist) and hopefully more english translations of commentaries that contain sutra correlations are made.

    The Five Aggregates
    "'From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form.' Thus it has been said. And this is the way to understand how from consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form. If consciousness were not to descend into the mother's womb, would name-&-form take shape in the womb?"

    "No, lord."

    "If, after descending into the womb, consciousness were to depart, would name-&-form be produced for this world?"

    "No, lord."

    "If the consciousness of the young boy or girl were to be cut off, would name-&-form ripen, grow, and reach maturity?"

    "No, lord."

    "Thus this is a cause, this is a reason, this is an origination, this is a requisite condition for name-&-form, i.e., consciousness.

    "From name-&-form as a requisite condition comes consciousness.' Thus it has been said. And this is the way to understand how from name-&-form as a requisite condition comes consciousness. If consciousness were not to gain a foothold in name-&-form, would a coming-into-play of the origination of birth, aging, death, and stress in the future be discerned?"

    "No, lord."

    "Thus this is a cause, this is a reason, this is an origination, this is a requisite condition for consciousness, i.e., name-&-form.

    "This is the extent to which there is birth, aging, death, passing away, and re-arising. This is the extent to which there are means of designation, expression, and delineation. This is the extent to which the dimension of discernment extends, the extent to which the cycle revolves for the manifesting (discernibility) of this world — i.e., name-&-form together with consciousness."
    The argument is based on the supposition that scoreboard kamma exists which traditionally relies on the supposition that literal rebirth exists as well... i.e. "kamma exists therefore rebirth exists, because kamma cannot exist unless rebirth exists, and rebirth cannot exist unless kamma exists..."
    The implication is not necessarily that rebirth must therefore exist, but rather that karma as explained in the sutras cannot function that way if it were the case that mind and cause and effect are annihilated at death.

    He goes to say that the explanation of karma doesn't make sense within the context of just a single life, for the good reason he gives, namely that people performing destructive actions can experience happiness, as well as the reverse.

    Agnosticism is a "silly idea"? Focusing on the core teachings is "silly"?
    Being agnostic is fine, but asserting one's own personal [lack of] understanding which changes person to person to be 'the true revelation of buddhadharma' and 'this is the true meaning of nirvana' etc is a corruption of buddhadharma. As long as that is not implied, then they are wholesome and helpful understandings of impermanence.
    You've read every Buddhist textbook?
    I've studied and analyzed all the buddhist tenet systems. Although I have not read every book and cannot address every particular point out of the countless subtle points on pramana and logic, I can say that I know every book because I know at least their general meanings in a sophisticated way.

    There are plenty of well-respected teachers who disagree with you

    No there aren't. Mainly there are nonbuddhists who studied buddhism at one time. Furthermore, some of these people make nice distinctions and appeals to logic based on what was said and do not change the meanings of things just so they can fit it into their own personal idea. Since that would be dishonesty.

    With that, I'm basically done with this thread. I'll likely only respond to the subject matter being discussed before we were diverted off topic by dhamma dhatu and his "pali" and ideas about consciousness.
    Well perhaps you'd do well to study the suttas and have direct references at your disposal rather than "hundreds of Buddhist scholars' quotes...
    This is crazy. If you cannot understand or do not know the commentaries inside-out it is impossible and irrational to assert that you can know the meaning of the sutras. If you do try to read it you'll end up like dhamma datu who has changed the meaning of mind, karma, rebirth, even the very meaning of dependent arising, etcetc, yet somehow still thinks he cognizes the meaning of the 4 noble truths. In actual fact all he is is a nihilist armed with some minor knowledge of impermanence and who does not even have a higher knowledge yet.
  • fivebellsfivebells Veteran Veteran
    edited November 2009
    aaki wrote: »
    Why don't you pay better attention. Didn't I just say that it would fall under the topic of being variable?
    aaki wrote: »
    I'm still studying emergent properties, so I can't say with certainty yet. However it looks like they are things that cannot perform a function, and as such is an assertion that the mind is not variable.

    Sorry, what'd I miss?
    aaki wrote: »
    Furthermore, it is still the case that only matter and mind could be the 2 material causes, because an emergent property is not a material cause.

    OK, but could you address my question of how this purported proof of rebirth contradicts the contemporary notion that consciousness arises from physical interactions?
    aaki wrote: »
    What makes you think I haven't apprehended it yet. The reasonings dismantle every variation of matter as a material cause.

    Well, you presented this argument as a proof of rebirth, but it seems to have this brain-sized hole in it. You said you come from a tradition which leans on its own beliefs and expects proof and questioning, so I imagined you would have considered this issue, and presented a proof which addresses it.
    aaki wrote: »
    Yeh, it's a little more complicated than that in philosophy of mind and in general. Voltage can be rendered through a computer and produce the movement of a mouse on the screen, but the 'software' cannot be located in the voltage or the computer. Even the letters on the screen signifying the software is not the software (it's colors on a screen arising from production). This is the type of stuff that buddhist logic and pramana goes into as well.

    I don't see how this relates. I was simply responding to your claim that emergent properties have no function.
  • fivebellsfivebells Veteran Veteran
    edited November 2009
    aaki wrote: »
    No, every buddhist textbook says the same thing.

    Not the textbook I used. But now we're descending into authoritarianism again. (Although, relying on an argument you haven't carefully tested the reasoning of yourself is another form of authoritarianism.)
    aaki wrote: »
    Furthermore only a tiny percentage of commentaries have been translated, and all of these silly ideas would have been addressed directly.

    Yes, very convincing. :om:
    aaki wrote: »
    It's only modern nihilists and ancient nihilists which have the problem, but at least ancient nihilists never tried to pass themselves off as buddhists.

    There has been no nihilism in the discussion of your argument. You advanced the position that rebirth can be proven logically, provided that document as evidence, and have been shown that its proof is incomplete. I took no other position in this discussion, nihilistic or otherwise. If you're going to resort to name calling, you could at least pick an accurate one. (I'll cop to "asshole" if you like. :))
    aaki wrote: »
    I'm not a pali/sanskrit scholar, nor am I knowledgeable in sutra but I suspect that your ideas would be utterly smashed by someone who was. It has probably already happened even on other internet forums. Try spreading your ideas at a buddhist scholar conference.

    OK, so your claim about the Gelug tradition is baseless. You can't defend its ideas, but you believe there are other more advanced people who can. We're back to authoritarianism. I'm disappointed, but I suppose I shouldn't be terribly surprised.
  • edited November 2009
    fivebells wrote: »
    OK, but could you address my question of how this purported proof of rebirth contradicts the contemporary notion that consciousness arises from physical interactions?
    It smashes the idea that mind is an epiphenomenon.
    Sorry, what'd I miss?
    Apparently nothing since you're running your mouth off.

    To say the mind is an emergent property is in most cases to say the mind does not function and is therefore not variable. This is dismissed by the first 2 lines in the text, and the changing and unchanging section after it, and even some of neuroscience now says that mental experience functions to change the brain. Not sure how, but it does. Furthermore the idea of emergent properties being the mind may be thrown down by the reasoning which starts "If it's that the atoms must act all together in a group.." but I'm not sure yet.
    You said you come from a tradition which leans on its own beliefs and expects proof and questioning, so I imagined you would have considered this issue, and presented a proof which addresses it.
    Yes, I said I am still studying it. Furthermore, this piece of reasoning we are discussing is not the only piece of reasoning. Proving past and future rebirth relies on many proofs smashing down many different ideas which various people hold.
    You advanced the position that rebirth can be proven logically, provided that document as evidence, and have been shown that its proof is incomplete.
    An idiotic statement because I never said that disproving that physical matter is the material cause of mind by itself necessarily proved rebirth. There are dozens of other lines of reasoning on varying topics, not just material cause. Material cause is just one of them. The impossibility of things which resemble the modern idea of uncaused emergent properties is shown by yet another reasoning, but I can't say if they are the same thing yet. Unlike you, I shall keep investigating, because my mind is not a rigid mess. (oops, sorry)
    OK, so your claim about the Gelug tradition is baseless.
    That it relies on reasoning for its assertions? Never.
    There has been no nihilism in the discussion of your argument.
    The textbooks are nihilist. You weren't mentioned at all, pay better attention. I was referring to nihilists in general who in general mke nihilistic assertions. ps. of course your ideas would be smashed by a proper scholar. Give me a break. Even better, a yogi scholar would pat you on the head and tell you not to worry about rebirth, just be kind to people. Even now you're relying on emergent properties which is very different than saying physical matter produces other physical matter which is the mind.
  • fivebellsfivebells Veteran Veteran
    edited November 2009
    aaki wrote: »
    That [the Gelug tradition relies on reasoning for its assertions [is baseless]? Never.

    No, this claim:
    aaki wrote: »
    I'm a gelug tibetan buddhist so I don't really know of any people who delegate rebirth to something which must be taken as faith and not heavily scrutinzed. This is because tibetan buddhism (sakya and gelug especially) is all about reasoning, debating, definitions and logic. SImply accepting something cos buddha said so wouldn't last very long because 1) you would quickly be asked to prove or defend your position 2) becoming educated in the system requires training critical thinking, logic etc 3) the material is really sophisticated and difficult and so it also addresses one's own assumptions and confusion about various things.

    It presents reasoning, but the reasoning is bad. Apparently asking reasonable questions about the reaasoning just makes Gelug adherents angry, so there's not much of a debate. (You can't see things very clearly when you're angry.) But maybe that's just you. Perhaps a better trained adherent would be able to stay present in the debate, and avoid resorting to hostile, unconvincing dismissals by appeals to authority and name calling.
    aaki wrote: »
    I am still studying it. Furthermore, this piece of reasoning we are discussing is not the only piece of reasoning. Proving past and future rebirth relies on many proofs smashing down many different ideas which various people hold.

    If your investigations ever lead you to a specific line of reasoning which actually pertains to what we've been discussing, please let me know. That would be a very interesting conversation. In the meantime, it was at best delusional for you to claim that your school has a proof of rebirth when you don't know what that proof is or where to find it.
  • edited November 2009
    fivebells wrote: »
    It presents reasoning, but the reasoning is bad.
    A reasoning disproving matter as the material cause for mind is bad because of something that has nothing to do with matter as the material cause of mind? ok bub...

    I JUST said (and this is the 4th or 5th time) that the mind asserted as not being variable is dismissed early on, which addresses most conceptions of how mind as an emergent property works.

    You are becoming overly ludicrous.
    it was at best delusional for you to claim that your school has a proof of rebirth when you don't know what that proof is or where to find it.
    For most people including you before you copped-out to emergent properties, who assert that mind is an epiphenomenon of the brain, this line of reasoning is an IMMENSE help towards establishing rebirth.

    As I said in the previous post, which you also ignored (did you actually read the post?), this does not necessarily prove rebirth by itself. It does so only for people who assert only that mind is an epiphenomenon. For people for whom the idea of epiphenomenon is dismissed, they may move to a different variation of reductionism.
    If your investigations ever lead you to a specific line of reasoning which actually pertains to what we've been discussing, please let me know.
    Sigh.

    So far the only thing not directly tackled is the emergent property of the type which is so-called said to function. And this does not even relate to matter as a material cause. Furthermore, I said there are reasonings against the possibility of the existence of such a thing. It is not a new idea it is 2 thousand years old at least.
  • fivebellsfivebells Veteran Veteran
    edited November 2009
    aaki wrote: »
    A reasoning disproving matter as the material cause for mind is bad because of something that has nothing to do with matter as the material cause of mind? ok bub...

    No, we're discussion the claim that rebirth has been proved because mind is the only possible material cause for mind. The argument claims to proceed by elimination of all possible material causes for mind, but it is broken because it does not include a branch which covers the possibility that mind arises from physical interactions. That is the bad reasoning.
    aaki wrote: »
    I JUST said (and this is the 4th or 5th time) that the mind asserted as not being variable is dismissed early on, which addresses most conceptions of how mind as an emergent property works.

    These details are merely an obsession of yours. (Or possibly a rhetorical red herring.) This conversation started when you claimed that this argument proves rebirth. Let's discuss how this argument works as a proof of rebirth.
    aaki wrote: »
    You are becoming overly ludicrous.

    Thanks for the feedback. I welcome your harshest criticism. More specifics would help.
    aaki wrote: »
    For most people including you before you copped-out to emergent properties, who assert that mind is an epiphenomenon of the brain, this line of reasoning is an IMMENSE help towards establishing rebirth.

    Who cares what "most people" conclude? That's just another form of authoritarianism. Let's discuss whether the argument makes sense as a proof for rebirth with regard to our own reason and experiences. Rebirth would follow because it's claimed that mind is the only possible material cause for mind, but for that argument to work, it has to rule out every other possible material cause. I wanted talk about how it rules out the conventional modern understanding, but it seems you're saying that it doesn't rule that out:
    aaki wrote: »
    As I said in the previous post, which you also ignored (did you actually read the post?), this does not necessarily prove rebirth by itself. It does so only for people who assert only that mind is an epiphenomenon. For people for whom the idea of epiphenomenon is dismissed, they may move to a different variation of reductionism.

    As I pointed out, this is a retreat from the position you started from, which is that the argument is a proof for rebirth. If you could point to the "variation of reductionism" which covers the conventional modern belief, and the branch of your argument which covers it, that would be very interesting, but you seem to be admitting that you can't. (Yes, I read your post. If there's any copping out, it's on your end. This discussion is about rebirth (check the thread title,) not the specifics of the branch of the argument pertaining to matter as material cause for mind.)
    aaki wrote: »
    So far the only thing not directly tackled is the emergent property of the type which is so-called said to function. And this does not even relate to matter as a material cause. Furthermore, I said there are reasonings against the possibility of the existence of such a thing. It is not a new idea it is 2 thousand years old at least.

    The only thing not directly tackled which actually matters to the discussion is how this argument addresses the modern understanding of the basis of mind. If it does not address that, it is not an effective proof by elimination, and your claim that you follow a tradition grounded in reason and critical thinking is bogus. (Maybe the Gelug tradition as a whole follows that, but you're not, in this discussion.)
  • ValtielValtiel Veteran Veteran
    edited November 2009
    aaki wrote:
    This [suggesting I read the suttas instead of relying solely on info from a friend of a friend of someone ELSE who read the suttas themselves] is crazy.

    Ok, see you then. :lol:
  • edited November 2009
    fivebells wrote: »
    Rebirth would follow because it's claimed that mind is the only possible material cause for mind, but for that argument to work, it has to rule out every other possible material cause.
    Good, you've finally said something relevant to what I've said. This is exactly the case. This is exactly what it does.

    Emergent properties do not pertain to the topic of material causes. Other topics that depend on reasonings outside of material cause... guess what... are replied to with something other than a line of reasoning that is based on material causes. Consider that point carefully and then regard your 5 or so previous posts.

    Furthermore, for the 5th or so time, the 'modern theory' this line of reasoning explicitly addresses is mind as epiphenomenon of the brain (and part of emergent property), because all the possibilities of material cause for mind are dismissed (and for emergent property - the fact that the mind is variable). This is what "actually matters to the discussion".
    As I pointed out, this is a retreat from the position you started from, which is that the argument is a proof for rebirth.
    What a pity, first you stated something correct and then you go back to saying this. Since your new topic after moving away from material causes has nothing to do with material causes, a line of reasoning based on material causes is not applicable. A line of reasoning on material causes is applicable to assertions about material causes. Great...
    Thanks for the feedback. I welcome your harshest criticism. More specifics would help.
    I await to see what you'll once again try to say about the proof by way of elimination of other possibilities [of material cause].
    As I pointed out, this is a retreat from the position you started from, which is that the argument is a proof for rebirth.
    It is, for people who hold that matter can be a material cause for mind. That is the purpose of the proof. The purpose of a line of reasoning by definition cannot extend past the range of its scope. Do I need to explain even this?That would be lunacy. Bye, see you tomorrow.
    Ok, see you then.
    Even if it were like that, it would still be better that the friend were an arhat or someone like an arhat, with higher knowledges, than someone who sits around thinking they can read sutras directly. Hang in there mundus.
  • fivebellsfivebells Veteran Veteran
    edited November 2009
    aaki wrote: »
    What a pity, first you stated something correct and then you go back to saying this. Since your new topic after moving away from material causes has nothing to do with material causes, a line of reasoning based on material causes is not applicable. A line of reasoning on material causes is applicable to assertions about material causes. Great...

    Aaki, you're the one who presented this argument as a proof of rebirth. The past few posts have just been providing you with the opportunity to fill this brain-sized hole in the argument. Um, sorry I took you at your word.
    aaki wrote: »
    I await to see what you'll once again try to say about the proof by way of elimination of other possibilities [of material cause].

    All I have to say about it is, it's not a convincing proof, though it was presented as such. It's disappointing.
    aaki wrote: »
    It is, for people who hold that matter can be a material cause for mind. That is the purpose of the proof. The purpose of a line of reasoning by definition cannot extend past the range of its scope. Do I need to explain even this? That would be lunacy.

    You did need to explain it, because it's inconsistent with your prior claims.
    aaki wrote: »
    Bye, see you tomorrow.

    Bye. I hope you calm down enough to make a sensible response tomorrow.
  • ValtielValtiel Veteran Veteran
    edited November 2009
    Even if it were like that...

    It is like that:
    Even though I remember sutras where buddha is talking against nihilism (ie. mind produced from matter, annihilation at death), and where buddha talks about the function of the mind in many various way, I don't have time to look it all up.
    I'm not a pali/sanskrit scholar, nor am I knowledgeable in sutra
    I choose to quote Berzin, but I can just as easily quote 100 other buddhist practitioner scholars. And they are quoting Dharmakirti, and Dignaga, and Shantideva, and Vasubhandu, etc, who themselves are quoting the sutras. Who can you quote?

    I.e. you admit you can't quote the suttas yourself, but you CAN quote people who are quoting people who are quoting translations of the suttas. :lol: Everyone else in this Thread can do both.

    P.S. I have read plenty of commentaries, including ones that object to your views. I have also already read many of the commentaries you linked to. But I also read the suttas myself, and like to go back to the Pali where possible.

    Your method:

    robin0243.jpg

    does not work for me. :lol:

    I also like to consider how the various interpretations affect my actual practice. People continue to assert that the belief in rebirth is neccessary to the Path, despite the Buddha saying otherwise in MN 117 (or what you refer to as "the Heart Sutra"). :lol: Just tell us why it's so important, what it adds to the teachings, how the belief and spending time trying to hallucinate past lives will do anyone any good. Thank you. :)

    Bye, see you tomorrow.


    :wavey:
  • edited November 2009
    fivebells wrote: »
    You did need to explain it, because it's inconsistent with your prior claims.
    Ok, I'll accept the rebuke because I can't afford this kind of time to continue, and because I asserted that it wasn't clear to me whether a particular type of emergent property was covered by the reasoning or not.

    My speculation is that technically even though it's named an emergent property which asserts it (the mind) to be functioning, it in fact is not, because the meeting of two or more nonvariables through the interaction of their bases cannot themselves produce an effect. This also is the internal criticism between the 2 main camps which assert different types of emergent properties as mind. Therefore for us it would fail under the reasoning that mind is variable and caused, just as the camp that asserts mind as nonvariable does too.

    As I understand them better and as enquiry continues to refine their definitions, much can change. Perhaps the same is true for you.

    Regarding emergent properties among other things:
    Mara:
    "By whom was this being created?
    Where is the living being's maker?
    Where has the living being originated?
    Where does the living being
    cease?"

    Sister Vajira:
    "What? Do you assume a 'being,' Mara?
    Do you take a position?
    This is purely a pile of fabrications.
    Here no living being
    can be pinned down.
    Just as when, with an assemblage of parts,
    there's the word,
    chariot,
    even so when aggregates are present,
    there's the convention of
    a being.
    For only stress is what comes to be;
    stress, what remains & falls away.
    Nothing but stress comes to be.
    Nothing ceases but stress."

    Then Mara the Evil One — sad & dejected at realizing, "Vajira the nun knows me" — vanished right there.

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn05/sn05.010.than.html
    Everyone else in this Thread can do both.
    I am certain that the lineages correlate the commentaries to sutra just fine (they are after all, 'their' sutras). Secondly, yes, everyone can do both, but the level of assertion and realization differ. In other words what the lineages of arhats and aryas have to offer is greater than what your personal readings and those of unrealized people can offer. And/Or, people who think realization is understanding impermanence on a minor scale (I say minor scale because as the lineages assert (for example abhidharma literature), a thorough observance of the impermanence of the mind illuminates clearly the various minute workings of the mind, which makes it impossible to assert that mind is matter). This is an assertion of the verifiability of direct cognition, with which they have built their various reasonings over time.

    Now at a certain point you don't need to go and read sutras. Apart from the fact that ordinary people cannot make real sense of them, there is no need to, precisely because the commentaries are not taken on faith but rather tested and verified over a long period of time. Just because I personally cannot supply you the specific part of a sutra out of a mountain pile of sutras, does not mean that scriptural scholars cannot or that the commentaries must be taken as faith.

    The main reason this "does not work for you" is because you are completely unaware of the giant fields of study in buddhism. So not only are you taking it on faith that these fields exist, but also that they are extremely sophisticated and detailed, and take a while to study.

    what you refer to as "the Heart Sutra"
    I didn't bring up the Heart Sutra first, and I didn't call that the Heart Sutra. Dhatu asked why I don't quote the Heart Sutra.

    Just tell us why it's so important
    Some time later I'm going for real this time. Also I'm not sure that it's a good sign if you are equating meditation with hallucination in any way, but hopefully that's not really what you meant.
  • fivebellsfivebells Veteran Veteran
    edited November 2009
    I also like to consider how the various interpretations affect my actual practice. People continue to assert that the belief in rebirth is neccessary to the Path, despite the Buddha saying otherwise in MN 117 (or what you refer to as "the Heart Sutra"). :lol: Just tell us why it's so important, what it adds to the teachings, how the belief and spending time trying to hallucinate past lives will do anyone any good.

    Actually, this conversation has been a good practical demonstration of why it's called "right view with effluents." Literal rebirth is conceptual view which promises some kind of postmortem survival, is unverifiable for all practical purposes and is associated with membership in religious communities. All four of these characteristics make it a perfect seed for the crystallization of a cherished self-concept. When the view is challenged, the self-concept is challenged, and that forms the basis for hostility, as we've seen here, and sometimes unethical behavior. (Presenting that huge corpus of teaching as containing an effective proof of rebirth when you're unable to point that proof out is certainly irresponsible, and a form of intellectual intimidation. Given the time I spent digging through those teachings to come up with nothing, I am inclined to also call it unethical. But obviously, I'm biased.)
  • ValtielValtiel Veteran Veteran
    edited November 2009
    fivebells wrote: »
    Actually...

    party-smiley-048.gif

    Aaki,
    Now at a certain point you don't need to go and read sutras. Apart from the fact that ordinary people cannot make real sense of them, there is no need to, precisely because the commentaries are not taken on faith but rather tested and verified over a long period of time.

    So it takes an arahant to interpret a self-enlightened being's (i.e. the Buddha's) own teachings for you? Otherwise, to you it's like reading "Jabberwocky" by Lewis Carroll? :lol: The Buddha's teachings (i.e. the suttas) weren't directed at those already enlightened. Until we're Awakened, it's interpretation, whether it's reading the suttas ourselves, or hearing the words directly from the Buddha himself. But the Buddha certainly didn't teach with the intention that an arahant have to "translate" his teachings for you. :lol:
    Just because I personally cannot supply you the specific part of a sutra out of a mountain pile of sutras, does not mean that scriptural scholars cannot or that the commentaries must be taken as faith.

    If you have a quote from a scholar that directly quotes the suttas, then you have access to a sutta quote that supposedly counters what Dhamma said. :wtf: Go on, then...
    So not only are you taking it on faith that these fields exist, but also that they are extremely sophisticated and detailed, and take a while to study.

    Until you yourself have actually finished studying those 1000000000 pages of "proof," you probably shouldn't defend them so adamantly. Fact is, you don't know that there's an argument that invalidates Fivebell's position, and you should simply admit that rather than clinging to the hope and belief that there is.

    what you refer to as "the Heart Sutra"
    I didn't bring up the Heart Sutra first, and I didn't call that the Heart Sutra. Dhatu asked why I don't quote the Heart Sutra.

    You suggested Dhamma drew a conclusion (that belief in rebirth/kamma leads to further becoming and is considered asava, and not a factor of the Path) from the Heart Sutra, when Dhamma clearly quoted from the Tipitaka. You thought this common discourse was from the Heart Sutra. :lol: Do you deny the sutta says this? How was what Dhamma said supposedly a ridiculous conclusion to draw from what he quoted?

    Just tell us why it's so important
    Also I'm not sure that it's a good sign if you are equating meditation with hallucination in any way, but hopefully that's not really what you meant.

    So once again you've failed to answer my question of "why is it so important to the Path?"...

    The Buddha explained that past-life recollection is nothing more than recalling past self-identification through clinging to the aggregates. So firstly, it's quite possibly it's nothing more than a hallucation, and secondly, even if it weren't, it's still irrelevent to practice, because we can observe this within this life, within this very moment. Therefore, it would add nothing to one's practice.
    Some time later I'm going for real this time.

    :wavey:
  • fivebellsfivebells Veteran Veteran
    edited November 2009
    party-smiley-048.gif
    Please, that's not what that post was about at all. Forming some kind of self-concept around denying literal rebirth can lead to exactly the same set of negative outcomes. (The biggest assholes I've seen on Buddhist chat forums were actually on "our side.")

    I love these smileys, though. Can you show me how to find them?
  • ValtielValtiel Veteran Veteran
    edited November 2009
    I was just expecting so much more after all those claims and being called all kinds of stupid in various Threads by her. xD Just read my dance as "I agree wholeheartedly." xD I have a habit of breaking out in dance when something nagging's supposedly put to rest. :(
    I love these smileys, though.

    A-ha! I knew you loved my moves. They're just from deviantART and Photobucket etc.
  • fivebellsfivebells Veteran Veteran
    edited November 2009
    Thanks, I'll have to take a look around those sites
  • edited November 2009
    Some beginners come to Buddhism looking to remedy suffering & find inner peace whilst other beginners come to Buddhism looking for views about rebirth.

    Thus to teach literal (post mortem) rebirth to some beginners is wrong because they will walk away from Buddhism and the core teachings they are seeking.

    Point taken. Thanks.

    With kind regards.
  • ValtielValtiel Veteran Veteran
    edited November 2009
    Aaki,
    "If consciousness were not to descend into the mother's womb, would name-and-form take shape in the womb?"

    You explained earlier that you "cannot at this time ... explain pali terms" - that is ok, because luckily I have access to the Pali versions of these translations. I waited to address this until I could access this particular sutta.

    Viññāṇañca hi, ānanda, mātukucchismiṃ na okkamissatha, api nu kho nāmarūpaṃ mātukucchismiṃ samuccissathā’’ti?
    Okkamati [o + kamati fr. kram] lit. to enter, go down into, fall into. fig. to come on, to develop, to appear in (of a subjective state). It is strange that this important word has been so much misunderstood, for the English idiom is the same. We say ʻ he went to sleep ʼ, without meaning that he went anywhere. ... At D <SMALLCAPS>ii</SMALLCAPS> 63 occurs the question ʻ if consciousness were not to develop in the womb? ʼ (viññāṇaŋ na okkamissatha)

    It's best not to rely on a single translation and always reference the Pali to understand the subtle nuances of the terms being translated. :)

    The Buddha explains that vinnana is dependent on namarupa, as well, throughout the suttas. Vinnana is clearly and consistently defined throughout the suttas:
    "Were someone to say, 'I will describe a coming, a going, a passing away, an arising, a growth, an increase, or a proliferation of consciousness apart from form, from feeling, from perception, from fabrications,' that would be impossible." — SN 22.54
    “Exactly so, venerable sir. As I understand the Dhamma taught by the Blessed One, it is the same consciousness that runs and wanders through the round of rebirths, not another.”

    “What is that consciousness, Sāti?”

    “Venerable sir, it is that which speaks and feels and experiences here and there the result of good and bad actions.”

    Misguided man, to whom have you ever known me to teach the Dhamma in that way? Misguided man, have I not stated in many ways consciousness to be dependently arisen, since without a condition there is no origination of consciousness? But you, misguided man, have misrepresented us by your wrong grasp and injured yourself and stored up much demerit; for this will lead to your harm and suffering for a long time.”

    6] Then the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus thus: “Bhikkhus, what do you think? Has this bhikkhu Sāti, son of a fisherman, kindled even a spark of wisdom* in this Dhamma and Discipline?”

    “How could he, venerable sir? No, venerable sir.”

    ...

    Bhikkhus, consciousness is reckoned by the particular condition dependent upon which it arises. When consciousness arises dependent on the eye and forms, it is reckoned as eye-consciousness; ...ear-consciousness; ...nose-consciousness;...tongue-consciousness; ...body consciousness; ...mind-consciousness.

    *...produced any spark (of understanding) in this teaching and discipline (usmiikato pi imasmi.m dhammavinaye). This is a stock phrase in similar contexts — e.g., in MN 38, where Saati's misconceptions are rejected. Our rendering follows Comy: "This refers to one who has (not) produced the 'warmth of understanding' (ñaan'usmaa) that can bring the 'seed of wisdom' (paññaa-biijaa; Sub-Comy) to the maturity required for attaining to the paths and fruitions of sanctity."

    — MN 38

    So what is the confusion here? :om:
  • NamelessRiverNamelessRiver Veteran Veteran
    edited November 2009
    I also like to consider how the various interpretations affect my actual practice. People continue to assert that the belief in rebirth is neccessary to the Path, despite the Buddha saying otherwise in MN 117 (or what you refer to as "the Heart Sutra"). :lol: Just tell us why it's so important, what it adds to the teachings, how the belief and spending time trying to hallucinate past lives will do anyone any good.
    I believe in literal rebirth, but you are right: hallucinating about previous lives won't do any good. The point of rebirth is conveying the idea that, first, we are not permanent, second, we were given an unique opportunity in this life and we should not waste it, third the opportunity itself will not last forever, fourth if we continue letting our uncontrolled selves push us into the fire our life is going to waste or we will suffer a lot, fifth there are many degrees of suffering and of excitement that might be more extreme than we are used to, and if we get to that point we might loose sight of what is important, sixth, we are a family :)

    The Buddha wouldn't give a s*** about rebirth if it didn't help us in the path, the same way he didn't give a s*** about answering other questions. The point is, rebirth serves as ground for compassion (sixth), and effort (all the rest), so it does have a place in the path, think of it just as a part of the raft. I am sure you guys "from the other team" (of metaphorical rebirth) :p can devise effort and compassion in many other ways.
  • ValtielValtiel Veteran Veteran
    edited November 2009
    Hey Nameless, :)
    The point of rebirth is conveying the idea that, first, we are not permanent, second, we were given an unique opportunity in this life and we should not waste it, third the opportunity itself will not last forever, fourth if we continue letting our uncontrolled selves push us into the fire our life is going to waste or we will suffer a lot, fifth there are many degrees of suffering and of excitement that might be more extreme than we are used to, and if we get to that point we might loose sight of what is important, sixth, we are a family

    The thing is, I can see all of that clearly without the belief in rebirth. If it takes that teaching to convey those things to someone else, then ok. But I don't think this makes it a necessary belief in order to advance on the Path, and comments like this: "ps. of course your ideas would be smashed by a proper scholar. Give me a break. Even better, a yogi scholar would pat you on the head and tell you not to worry about rebirth, just be kind to people." are truly sad and only prove my point. :-/
    The point is, rebirth serves as ground for compassion (sixth), and effort (all the rest), so it does have a place in the path, think of it just as a part of the raft.

    I agree. :) Of course it has its place. I guess I meant to say: how is it Teh One And Only Way, as certain people keep trying to claim.
    I am sure you guys "from the other team" (of metaphorical rebirth) :p can devise effort and compassion in many other ways.

    :)
  • edited November 2009
    fivebells wrote: »
    Actually, this conversation has been a good practical demonstration of why it's called "right view with effluents." Literal rebirth is conceptual view which promises some kind of postmortem survival, is unverifiable for all practical purposes and is associated with membership in religious communities.
    Please. You have understanding of neither side of the discussion. I was the one who brought up emergent properties because it i stated it unclear to me. Furthermore I said I was actively studying it. Also, I gave a speculation by which the proof works, but as I said it is speculation. If you believe this is a sign of lack of practicality, or if you want to hide behind some notion of yourself as having the higher ground, do so, but it is dishonest.
    Presenting that huge corpus of teaching as containing an effective proof of rebirth when you're unable to point that proof out is certainly irresponsible, and a form of intellectual intimidation.
    That would be the summary of a troll.

    In logic, if "It would be incorrect to say that this mind could arise from any working thing other than matter or mind, and so it must come from one or the other of these two." is broken then the scope of the argument is broken. And the particular point which is challenged, PRIOR to beginning discussion on the section which talks about material causes is challenged and worked on by another line of reasoning. This is only natural of logical discourse and logical reasonings. All of buddhism is based on logical arguments pertaining to every mistaken assertion. If the newly introduced logical argument(s) succeeds, then the line of reasoning on material causes resumes and the scope can continue. The truth is you have irrational disdain for me, what I have discussed here, as well as thought and inquiry in general.

    In short, if logic is something you are interested yet, the proof has not yet succeeded or been beaten. But you have your head in the sand and are frothing at the mouth with your bias and ideas about "membership in religious communities" so that you probably won't understand this.
  • edited November 2009
    It's best not to rely on a single translation and always reference the Pali to understand the subtle nuances of the terms being translated. :)
    I'll read the rest of your stuff later, but I just want to say that this is not correct usage of an online dictionary or dictionary in general. Why? Because you cannot just cherry-pick a particular usage just so it fits your conception/preconception.

    Doing so is just silliness. You do not extract the meaning of the sutras, because your are totally unaware of the context of the sutra, and therefore have no basis for selecting the usage you want. You end up with usage of develop that makes no sense to say "in the womb".
    The Buddha explains that vinnana is dependent on namarupa, as well, throughout the suttas. Vinnana is clearly and consistently defined throughout the suttas:
    Oh boy.
  • ValtielValtiel Veteran Veteran
    edited November 2009
    Oh boy.

    Touche! What a clever way of sweeping the quotes (proof) under the rug. Oh, you got me, aaki! D:

    *ahem* what exactly was your "oh boy" about, m'dear?
    Why? Because you cannot just cherry-pick a particular usage just so it fits your conception/preconception.

    How did I cherry-pick anything? o_o I provided the entire defintion. XD The very sutta you quoted was ironically part of that definition. Does the dictionary lie too now, aaki? XD
    You end up with usage of develop that makes no sense to say "in the womb".

    Think about it a wee bit harder, because it certainly makes sense. Even if you stuck the word "monkey" in place of "develop" it would make more sense than suggesting consciousness is a little fairy the magically pops into a vagina.
    That would be the summary of a troll.

    Not even close.

    In any event, let me know when you have time to answer this question... because somehow, the last time you tried, it turned into ramblings about something unrelated:
    Just tell us why it's [the belief in rebirth] so important [to the Path]
    Also I'm not sure that it's a good sign if you are equating meditation with hallucination in any way, but hopefully that's not really what you meant.

    thankyousign.gif
  • DhammaDhatuDhammaDhatu Veteran Veteran
    edited November 2009
    aaki wrote: »
    So I will simply quote Bhikkhu Bodhi:
    Aaaaki

    I asked you to quote the Buddha rather than Bhikkhu Bodhi. Bhikkhi Bodhi is an American scholar, who translates scriptures and often provides commentaries that contradict what he translates. Personally, I regard Bhikkhu Bodhi as unenlightened. Bhikkhu Bodhi misunderstands many things.

    Kind regards

    DD :smilec:
  • edited November 2009
    How did I cherry-pick anything? o_o I provided the entire defintion. XD The very sutta you quoted was ironically part of that definition. Does the dictionary lie too now, aaki? XD
    You unfortunately are completely out of your depth here. You choose to side with the figurative meaning of the words (see the "fig." yet ?), without knowing the context of what is spoken. You could have just as easily selected the literal meaning of the word, but neither are due to your knowing of what is being spoken about in the sutra, and so you could never select a correct usage. But keep expounding the authentic words of the buddha to me.
    Not even close.
    Unless you bother to make you posts worthwhile to respond to I will not reply to you any longer. Pay attention when fivebells says your responses are off the mark.

    A serious reply about a post speaking on logical discourse demands you say something worthwhile about logic. Either that or try to keep these kind of nonsensical outbursts to yourself.
  • edited November 2009
    Personally, I regard Bhikkhu Bodhi as unenlightened. Bhikkhu Bodhi misunderstands many things.
    Would you say he authentically represents the preserved lineage he is from?
  • ValtielValtiel Veteran Veteran
    edited November 2009
    You unfortunately are completely out of your depth here.

    :bowdown: - is that what you're looking for?
    You choose to side with the figurative meaning of the words (see the "fig." yet ?), without knowing the context of what is spoken.

    You mean the dictionary chooses to side with it. Read the dictionary entry. That entire section in the quote block is the FULL defintion of the word, and the DICTIONARY authors chose the appropriate translation for the sutta you quoted. I haven't cherry-picked anything, aaki. But now, not only do you suggest the suttas lie, but the dictionaries too. :lol:

    As I said: "Think about it a wee bit harder, because it certainly makes sense. Even if you stuck the word "monkey" in place of "develop" it would make more sense than suggesting consciousness is a little fairy the magically pops into a vagina. "
    Unless you bother to make you posts worthwhile to respond to I will not reply to you any longer.

    Ok. :)
    Pay attention when fivebells says your responses are off the mark.

    What are you talking about? Fivebells didn't think it was appropriate for me to dance in the ashes of your arguments, and I agreed, and I am sorry. The "off the mark" comments have all been at you. :lol:
    Either that or try to keep these kind of nonsensical outbursts to yourself.

    "Not even close" is a nonsensical outburst? :lol:
  • fivebellsfivebells Veteran Veteran
    edited November 2009
    aaki wrote: »
    Please. You have understanding of neither side of the discussion. I was the one who brought up emergent properties because it i stated it unclear to me. Furthermore I said I was actively studying it. Also, I gave a speculation by which the proof works, but as I said it is speculation. If you believe this is a sign of lack of practicality, or if you want to hide behind some notion of yourself as having the higher ground, do so, but it is dishonest.


    That would be the summary of a troll.

    In logic, if "It would be incorrect to say that this mind could arise from any working thing other than matter or mind, and so it must come from one or the other of these two." is broken then the scope of the argument is broken. And the particular point which is challenged, PRIOR to beginning discussion on the section which talks about material causes is challenged and worked on by another line of reasoning. This is only natural of logical discourse and logical reasonings. All of buddhism is based on logical arguments pertaining to every mistaken assertion. If the newly introduced logical argument(s) succeeds, then the line of reasoning on material causes resumes and the scope can continue. The truth is you have irrational disdain for me, what I have discussed here, as well as thought and inquiry in general.

    In short, if logic is something you are interested yet, the proof has not yet succeeded or been beaten. But you have your head in the sand and are frothing at the mouth with your bias and ideas about "membership in religious communities" so that you probably won't understand this.

    Actually, this post is hard to understand no matter what the emotional state of the reader is, because it is agrammatical, vague and emotive. Could you take another crack after you calm down, please?
  • DhammaDhatuDhammaDhatu Veteran Veteran
    edited November 2009
    aaki wrote: »
    Would you say he authentically represents the preserved lineage he is from?
    Bodhi has translated the suttas reasonably well but his lineage is Singalese Mahavihara Buddhism. Bodhi believes Dependent Origination occurs over three lifetimes. He translates many things wrong. You can read many of my posts correctly his mistranslations.

    Not all Theravadins agree with Bhikkhu Bodhi, especially the Forest Tradition.

    Bodhi is of the Buddhagosa school. Buddhagosa admitted he did not understand Dependent Origination and admitted he did his Dhamma work for rebirth in heaven.

    :lol:
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