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Thread: On Reincarnation

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olderon View Post
    If you truly believe that the universe is not a very hazardous realm,
    It's scary to believe that there is a you, or that there is the true you which is such that it can be destroyed by fire, or water, or poison, or some such, or a you that can forever burn in hell. In that case, truth can really hurt and be harmful.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by binocular View Post
    This is news to me. Could you give some examples of that? How can those suttas arouse passion for reincarnation?
    Whenever reincarnationists are losing a debate on the true meaning of the teachings, they pull out SN 15 as their trump card as support for their views that there is reincarnation.


  3. #33
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    For me, the whole reincarnation mythology is a strategy to deal with the feeling of oneness that comes with insight. If you know without doubt that you are one with the universe from the beginning to the end, how on earth do you communicate this to others when there is no suitable language to use? Much easier to bring it back to the level of ourselves in the here and now by using stories, which are easy to understand, if not the whole story, as it were.

    From this point of view there is nether reincarnation nor not reincarnation, just a way of describing what may happen to you during meditation. Why this particular story? I guess it has been useful in the past to encourage people to carry on meditating and following the path. It may be that it is no longer a story that works for all of us, but, hey, if the idea is useful to you, use it. If not, discard it. I think that's the Buddha's way.

  4. #34
    Forums Member Olderon's Avatar
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    binocular: "....a you that can forever burn in hell. In that case, truth can really hurt and be harmful."
    I am not aware of any Buddhist teaching, which suggest a permanent place of rebirth / reincarnation in the hell realms. Buddhist hells are impermanent , like all of The 31 Planes of Existence.

    But, that is not what I was addressing. I was resplying to the "real" nature of the universe, which you and I currently attend. Nature alone has made this realm extremely hazardoous. Even if you ignore all the cosmological events I mentioned, which could wipe all life from our planet in an instant, there is always the hazard of drunks driving drunk, teenagers and salespersons driving while texting, and drunken teenagers driving while texting, all of whom can wipe out entire families in an instant. Then there are the drunken teenage salespersons....and etc.

    Be afraid! Be very afraid, every time you go on the road!
    Last edited by Olderon; 04 May 17 at 18:10.

  5. #35
    Returning to the topic of reincarnation again, I was looking at the website of the Zen Centre of Georgia USA and found this:


    Rebirth

    Rebirth, often confused with reincarnation, also has a broad set of definitions, depending on what school of Buddhism you are enquiring into.

    First and foremost: Buddhism has no concept of a soul, so the idea of a soul passing from a person that dies to a person being born isn't Buddhist. Rebirth, in the Tibetan and Theravadan sense (and I say this without a lot of knowledge of these schools, so this could be wrong), is the passing of Karma debt, from lifetime to lifetime. Each life passing it's Karma to the next person's life, much as a candle's flame ignites another candle.

    The Chan and Zen views of Rebirth are not the same.These schools make no assumptions or hold beliefs as to what happens after one dies. Because of this, rebirth is seen as being born into each moment, dying and being reborn into the next moment. This isn't something to be taken on faith, but to understood through your own practice.


    http://www.zen-georgia.org/ZenFaq.php#11


  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olderon View Post
    I am not aware of any Buddhist teaching, which suggest a permanent place of rebirth / reincarnation in the hell realms.
    No, but the idea that "truth can be harmful" implies there is such a thing as eternal damnation or some such; or even that the universe, God, or some other powerful entity is "out to get us."
    Buddhist hells are impermanent , like all of The 31 Planes of Existence.
    Of course. And I think that the idea that "truth can be harmful" is one that is consistent with Abrahamic religions, but not with Buddhism.
    But, that is not what I was addressing. I was resplying to the "real" nature of the universe, which you and I currently attend. Nature alone has made this realm extremely hazardoous. Even if you ignore all the cosmological events I mentioned, which could wipe all life from our planet in an instant, there is always the hazard of drunks driving drunk, teenagers and salespersons driving while texting, and drunken teenagers driving while texting, all of whom can wipe out entire families in an instant. Then there are the drunken teenage salespersons....and etc.
    This is veering into annihilationism.
    While in the Pali Canon we can find many images of killing and destruction, by human or natural forces, I yet have to see a reference to people being "wiped out", as in 'annihilated', 'made non-existent.'
    It's an important semantic point that makes the difference between Right View and annihilationism.
    Be afraid! Be very afraid, every time you go on the road!
    Merely being afraid isn't going to make one a more skillful participant in traffic.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aloka View Post
    Returning to the topic of reincarnation again, I was looking at the website of the Zen Centre of Georgia USA and found this:

    The Chan and Zen views of Rebirth are not the same.These schools make no assumptions or hold beliefs as to what happens after one dies. Because of this, rebirth is seen as being born into each moment, dying and being reborn into the next moment. This isn't something to be taken on faith, but to understood through your own practice.


    http://www.zen-georgia.org/ZenFaq.php#11
    How do those schools account for the possibility that one might die before one reaches the goal, ie. nirvana?

    How do those schools provide a justification and motivation for practice despite the possibility that one might die at any moment, without heaving reached the goal in this life?

    A motivationally important argument in favor of transmigration/rebirth/reincarnation from one lifetime to another or one body to another is that if one doesn't make it to the end in this lifetime, one will get another chance eventually.
    But one-lifetime conceptions lack this motivation.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olderon
    there is always the hazard of drunks driving drunk, teenagers and salespersons driving while texting, and drunken teenagers driving while texting, all of whom can wipe out entire families in an instant. Then there are the drunken teenage salespersons....and etc.

    Be afraid! Be very afraid, every time you go on the road!
    It's interesting to think about the hazard of drunks driving, teenagers and salespersons driving while texting and all the combinations of road hazard, including drunk teenage salesmen driving while texting, but humanity will survive all that - and it adds nothing to a discussion on reincarnation.

    philg said:

    Quote Originally Posted by philg View Post
    For me, the whole reincarnation mythology is a strategy to deal with the feeling of oneness that comes with insight. If you know without doubt that you are one with the universe from the beginning to the end, how on earth do you communicate this to others when there is no suitable language to use? Much easier to bring it back to the level of ourselves in the here and now by using stories, which are easy to understand, if not the whole story, as it were.

    From this point of view there is nether reincarnation nor not reincarnation, just a way of describing what may happen to you during meditation. Why this particular story? I guess it has been useful in the past to encourage people to carry on meditating and following the path. It may be that it is no longer a story that works for all of us, but, hey, if the idea is useful to you, use it. If not, discard it. I think that's the Buddha's way.
    ... and I think that's worth considering in a bit more detail. As post #1 suggested, the teaching of reincarnation that we return to live separate lives in different forms is a gross misunderstanding. What lies beyond the parable or myth, then? Is it the concept of one-ness with the universe, no sequence of events, the disappearance of time and a full understanding of anatta?

  9. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by binocular
    A motivationally important argument in favor of transmigration/rebirth/reincarnation from one lifetime to another or one body to another is that if one doesn't make it to the end in this lifetime, one will get another chance eventually.

    But one-lifetime conceptions lack this motivation.
    Since there isn't any actual proof of rebirth, how can it be a motivationally important agument? The idea of "another chance" could also de- motivate people who are lazy about practice from making an effort in this lifetime, thinking "Oh I'll try harder in my next life" or something like that. Whereas if one believes that there is only this lifetime, it can be a more sustained effort.

    .

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by binocular View Post
    A motivationally important argument in favor of transmigration/rebirth/reincarnation from one lifetime to another or one body to another is that if one doesn't make it to the end in this lifetime, one will get another chance eventually.
    But one-lifetime conceptions lack this motivation.
    I am struggling to comprehend was is written here. Exactly what "motivation" is being referred to here? For what purpose or objective? How can postponing enlightenment create "motivation"? How can avoiding the finality of death foster insight into impermanence & not-self and the urgency to "let go" & "relinquish"?

    Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Aloka View Post
    Since there isn't any actual proof of rebirth, how can it be a motivationally important agument? The idea of "another chance" could also de- motivate people who are lazy about practice from making an effort in this lifetime, thinking "Oh I'll try harder in my next life" or something like that. Whereas if one believes that there is only this lifetime, it can be a more sustained effort..
    Possibly "craving" has been mistaken here for "motivation"? In Pali, the word "chandha" (zeal; desire; motivation) can be both unwholesome or a factor of enlightenment. "Motivation" can be "tanha" & motivation can be "Iddhipada".

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