Reincarnatin or genetics?

Discussion in 'Buddhism' started by intrepidlover, Oct 13, 2010.

  1. intrepidlover

    intrepidlover Melchizedek

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    I used to believe strongly in reincarnation until I realized that all my talents, traits, physical characteristics and so forth could have come directly from my parents or grandparents. As I have access to my father's partial autobiography, covering the first 25 years of his life, I can see that I have inherited most of my talents from him.

    I have had two vocations -- journalism and gardening. I found that this was more or less genetically inevitable. My mother's father was an agricultural journalist, and one of her brothers was a journalist turned farmer. My strong interest in spiritual matters probably came from my maternal grandmother.

    And now I would like to tell you about my first dog, buster. He was a "mongrel" that a friend rescued as a pup. We used to keep chooks (fowls to non-Australians). Often some of them would escape from the very defective wired off area in which they were allowed to browse. Buster would not chase these fowls, but stand at some strategic point whereupon all the fowls headed back into their enclosure.

    When he was six years of age, I was travelling in the car to visit my uncle in Adelaide. At one point the road was blocked by a flock of sheep. Buster stood on the back seat quivering with emotion. Half-way through his life he was confronted with his destiny.

    During that holiday with my uncle, there was a flock of sheep grazing on a hillside. Single-handedly Buster rounded them all up and directed them through a gateway.

    So my dog genetically inherited complete sheep dog skills.

    I can speak for myself and my dog. I am most likely a product of the genes of my parents and grandparents. What need therefore do I have to believe in reincarnation?
     
  2. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

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    None at all but but since reincarnation is not a Buddhist notion (as Nick explained in the "Other Questions" reincarnation thread you started), perhaps you should have placed your OP in another forum, or else have it moved.

    Would you also deny the influence of "nurture"? I think the "nature / nurture" debate is still going strong in the scientific community.

    s.
     
  3. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Intrepid,

    Do you want us to try to convince you that reincarnation 'happens'?
     
  4. intrepidlover

    intrepidlover Melchizedek

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    No you don't have to convince me about anything. I am quite capable of deciding what seems plausible to me and what doesn't.

    I am posting in this forum to learn about Buddhism. When I have received answers to my various questions, I will move onto other forums. But of course it is interesting just to browse and read other people's views and experiences.
     
  5. intrepidlover

    intrepidlover Melchizedek

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    OK, reincarnation, rebirth -- some people say they are completely different, some don't.
    I am very much aware of nurture in my own life. Some of it was positive, some counter-productive. I would not be interested in debating it because at my age I have observed the lives of enough people to be able to determine the difference between nature and nurture.

    Nevertheless, as you have drawn my attention to this topic in Scientific Community, perhaps I will take a peek.

    There is a person, a native of Singapore, who I first encountered in the apologetics forum at a christian website, but who is very schooled in all aspects of Buddhism. He has recommended to me forums which more specifically focus on Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism.
     
  6. Bhaktajan II

    Bhaktajan II Hare Krishna Yogi

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  7. Bhaktajan II

    Bhaktajan II Hare Krishna Yogi

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    Re-carnation = re-birth of a soul.

    The personality does NOT re-carnate, Just the individual being's Soul (conscious Life Force) transmigrates to another vessel to be born into thus giving the new body conscious animation.

    Did you know that the word "anima" means "Soul" in Latin?
    Thus the anima animates.

    Even a Boddhisattva is never referred to as the being that they were prior to their present Boddhisattva vocation of 'Spreading the Dharma'.

    The Soul must "Carry the Dharma" at all times ---so as to never lose it especially if or when un-expected death comes by surprise ---leaving no time to focus one's attention on proper preparation for death's change of circumstances.

    Since "Now" is the only "time" that is absolutely real ---sudden changes can distract the minds "mid-fullness". This takes zen-like practice.

    Reincarnation/Re-birth/Samsara are meant to be avoided ---only a conscious effort could afford to attempt this.
     
  8. citizenzen

    citizenzen Custom User Title

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    You can throw in an extra twist by considering that the karma that carried into this life determined the parents you'd be born to.
     
  9. Bhaktajan II

    Bhaktajan II Hare Krishna Yogi

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    Yes, of course, this is absolutely true.

    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
    I wonder if a soul could take a pass on obtaining a favorable birth, thus allowing another soul to take the fortunate birth.

    This is a reference to:
    A] It is easier for an elephant to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a Rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. --Jesus Christ.

    combined with,

    b] What is the destination of the unsuccessful transcendentalist?:

    Bhagavad-gita 6.37-45 [excepted]:
    The unsuccessful yogī, after many, many years of enjoyment on the planets of the pious living entities, is born into a family of righteous people, or into a family of rich aristocracy.

    Or [if unsuccessful after long practice of yoga] he takes his birth in a family of transcendentalists who are surely great in wisdom. Certainly, such a birth is rare in this world.

    On taking such a birth, he revives the divine consciousness of his previous life, and he again tries to make further progress in order to achieve complete success.

    By virtue of the divine consciousness of his previous life, he automatically becomes attracted to the yogic principles — even without seeking them. Such an inquisitive transcendentalist stands always above the ritualistic principles of the scriptures.

    And when the yogī engages himself with sincere endeavor in making further progress, being washed of all contaminations, then ultimately, achieving perfection after many, many births of practice, he attains the supreme goal.
     
  10. intrepidlover

    intrepidlover Melchizedek

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    That is my belief also. You are born into the appropriate circumstances to benefit from any good karma, and to "bad" circumstances caused by karma from previous incarnations (re-births) so that you can live through these experiences and hopefully realize what you did wrong in the past.

    Incidentally I have experienced the working out of karma created in THIS life, which has come back to bite me on the bum so that I can learn what I did wrong earlier in THIS life. In my particular case this relates primarily to why I bungled my relationships with girls/women early in my life.

    There was one particular relationship in 1983 which was unquestionably karmic. Everyone advised me to keep away from this girl as she would cause me trouble. But I kept being drawn back by an invisible force, like iron to a magnet. So I believe this girl was the agent for paying me back some of my bad karma, but of course at the same time creating fresh bad karma for herself.
     
  11. intrepidlover

    intrepidlover Melchizedek

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    I daresay that is possible. I was told by someone that a soul could choose to have a very difficult life so as to work through karma more quickly. If karma theory is correct, that would apply to my own life I think.

    The latter part of my life especially (the past 30 years or so) have been marred by great stress which has made it impossible to develop and put to good use my inherited talents. These are those talents I have mentioned in my opening post which largely came from my father.

    Late in life he wrote an autobiography covering the first 25 years of his life. Because of the circumstances of his birth he was able to develop those talents fully whereas in my case, this was not possible. So I am a person of many talents but few accomplishments.

    I suppose a lot of us older folk ( I am 69 ) wish we could start our lives over with the wisdom we have learned through our mistakes. But if karma and reincarnation/rebirth are true doctrines, then I should be well equipped next time around and perhaps have a very productive life.
     
  12. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste intrepidlover,

    thank you for the interesting post.

    i'm going to have to make alot of assumptions about what you actually mean by the term "reincarnation" for depending on your understanding and mine we could be speaking of very different things! nevertheless, i'll proceed with the caveat that i may have to change my reply if my assumptions are incorrect! ;)

    you should not hold a belief in reincarnation. from the normative Buddhist view it is pretty straight forward as there is nothing incarnated to begin ipso facto nothing is reincarnated :) the English term for the Buddhist teaching is "rebirth" but this is problematic in and of itself due to the linguistic symbolism of this term yet English lacks a more developed lexicon for Buddhist expression. i've posted a nice link and response in another thread about Buddhist rebirth which you can read at your leisure but i won't duplicate it here.

    in a later post you talk about karma (kamma) and consider the possibilities if is it a correct teaching. there is a great deal of confusion amongst Western beings with regards to the Buddhas explanation of kamma not least of which arises from the fact that the Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism) and Buddha Dharma use the same term to mean different things. the Buddhas explication of Kamma is actually pretty straight forward and it something that each being can verify on their own. here's how the Buddha explains it:


    "'Kamma should be known. The cause by which kamma comes into play should be known. The diversity in kamma should be known. The result of kamma should be known. The cessation of kamma should be known. The path of practice leading to the cessation of kamma should be known.' Thus it has been said. Why was it said?

    "Intention, I tell you, is kamma. Intending, one does kamma by way of body, speech, & intellect. (emphasis mine)


    that's it. intention. but i would suggest you read for yourself what else the Buddha had to say:



    Kamma: A Study Guide


    metta,


    ~v
     

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