Rebirth

Discussion in 'Buddhism' started by Manji2012, Apr 24, 2008.

  1. Manji2012

    Manji2012 New Member

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    Are we reborn as animals? If so, what would be the point, how can a deer or a butterfly get enlightened?

    Are we reborn as human? If so, it seems it can not work because there are more people now then before.

    Rebirth is not reincarnation: If so, what is the point of a spiritual life? Nobody exists before or after the present.
     
  2. Bishadi

    Bishadi Interfaith Forums

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    Thank you for the gift of representing your honesty and compassion to share truths.

    Rebirth could be when we share our seed with another to make a new shade; a child.

    So in a literal sense, we (our energy) does continue at the new birth.

    Such the same as when we eat or when we return to the soil, a portion of the food's energy lives within us as we nourish the critters of the soil.

    The soul of our existence could be what we choose to do; our contribution of our energy to impose a creation; life.

    A story (words).

    A child.

    A newly planted tree.

    We can choose to support life and continue by that contribution.

    When the body dies; the choice is gone!
     
  3. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

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    I consider humans to be part of the animal kingdom. ;)

    I don't know what happens after we die, no living person does know.

    The Buddha lived in a culture where belief in cyclic existence was the norm; his claim to find no soul was what made him a heretic - hence the rebirth formulation rather than reincarnation of a soul. He said liberation did not require an institution, or ritual, or blind belief. Liberation is available through one's own life.

    s.
     
  4. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namatse Manji,

    thank you for the post.

    humans are animals... however, yes, human beings can take rebirth as an animal being. we can also take rebirth in the hell realms and in the realms of deities and in the realm of hungry ghosts. Buddhist cosmology indicates 33 seperate realms in which a sentient being can take rebirth.

    recall that rebirth is part of the teaching which indicates that even were a being reborn as an animal, they can still hear the Dharma. they cannot practice it but just hearing it will ensure a positive rebirth in a subsequent arising. they will take rebith as a human being once more and, if they have positive karma, will encounter the Dharma and continue along the path.

    yes.

    how is that a problem? beings get reborn in 33 different realms though, in practice, most rebirth happen between 6 primary realms, including the human as the absolute *best* rebirth that a being can possibly attain.

    further, Buddhism teaches that there is sentient life in other places in our universe so the whole process is not limited to this single world system. Buddhist cosmology indicates that there are 100 world systems in our universe with sentient life and whether or not this is a round number or an accurate figure the salient point is that rebirth is not confined to this planet.

    correct, it is not. in the Buddhist scheme the point of the spiritual life is to Awaken and attain Liberation and then to help other sentient beings do the same.

    precisely... though... nobody exists now, either. at least in any permanent, eternal sense... though, clearly, we have a continuity of consciousness and mental impressions so we say that sentient beings exist but they do not exist independently of their causes and conditions, they are not permanently existing, self sufficient entities.

    metta,

    ~v
     
  5. toujour_333

    toujour_333 a simple buddhist

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    hey vaj,

    i was wondering if you could explain more, or at least send me a link where i could read more about the 100 world systems within our universe. this is the first time i have heard of that, so im pretty interested in learning more. hope everything is well.

    be well in peace
    toujour
     
  6. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste toujour,

    thank you for the post.

    sure thing. there are several different places that you read about this, directly from the Abhidharma or summations by various teachers. here are a few interesting links:

    Buddhist Cosmology

    A Basic Buddhism Guide: Differences From Other Religions.

    basic teaching of Buddhism 10

    most of the information regarding this subject is from the Abhidharma section of the canon and can be somewhat difficult to find on the 'net... at least for me at any rate.

    within the canon the Buddha speaks of two different orders of world systems.. the 100 fold world system of which our solar system is a part (in modern parlance i have extrapolated this to mean the Local Cluster) and the Billion World system which exists throughout the universe as a whole.

    metta,

    ~v
     
  7. Bishadi

    Bishadi Interfaith Forums

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    Buddha Net… ideas to contemplate during research of others opinions.

    http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/snapshot01.htm


    Maybe realms of thought rather than locations.

    so even as isolated entities as they are often described are actually, neither separate or as an individual ‘soul’ uniquely continuing after the body.



    Each are capable of equally being honest with no delusions, afflictions or predeterminations.

    and in each case knowledge can be the liberator from even contemplating a heaven or hell.




    the ‘I’ of individuals is learned selfishness, where the sentience (consciousness) shares the entanglement of all existence; ONE.


    Maybe....?!?
     
  8. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

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    I have found what I consider to be a very clear statement which I thought I would share for anyone interested in finding about the Buddha's thinking on rebirth (bold is mine):

    "The Vedas had been written down by this time but now new forms of writing also began to appear—the Upanishads. In these writings people began to ask what their former worldly concerns amounted to if, even after prosperity, children, and long life, all would be taken from them by death. Questions of death and the possibility of an afterlife became of increasing concern, discussion, and speculation for these people. After death, it was wondered, even if one ascended to heaven, as many believed, how could one be sure of not dying yet again? Wasn’t life difficult enough? The prospect of dying over and over and over again seemed to them as truly dreadful, devoutly to be avoided.
    They began to speak of “redeath,” and the more that idea was tossed about the more the people engaged in debates to find some solution to this new and dreaded prospect. Those who held sway in these debates competed for students and lay followers—thus many teachers emerged at this time, all touting their way of defeating the dreaded prospect. Heated rivalries became common. Indeed, the idea of redeath had become a widespread and urgent problem for the populace at large. Evolving into various ideas of reincarnation over the next few centuries, these notions spread relatively quickly, firmly taking hold even among the common people of the Gangetic plain. Thus, by the time of the Buddha—belief in reincarnation had become deeply rooted and widely accepted.
    It must be understood that, unlike many people living in our culture today who see the prospect of reincarnation as hopeful—as a continuation of “me,” the self—redeath was always looked upon as something to be dreaded, a problem to be overcome. But unlike those who entered into debates about what happens to the transmigrating soul—the atman—after death, the Buddha, as he said of his own teachings, “went against the stream.” His teachings not only went against the beliefs of those who still looked to various deities for help and against the masses who kept themselves bound to the dictates of the caste system; his teachings went against the many who believed in the dismal prospect of a transmigrating self and against those who diligently sought release from that prospect.
    Central to the Buddha’s teaching is the profound and subtle insight that permanence is never to be grasped. In other words, if we settle the mind and look carefully, we do not find a self within human experience. Furthermore, he recognized this insight as the very release from the dreadful prospect of the transmigrating soul that people had been seeking. But it wasn’t release because it provided a way to deal with the dreadful prospect. It was release because it was to see thoroughly that the prospect itself was utter delusion. That is to say, simply seeing through the illusion of self is the release. In short, there is no such prospect as redeath to be dreaded.
    Still, though we don’t know precisely what the Buddha’s actual words were, it seems the Buddha may very well have spoken of rebirth, or more specifically, of rebirth consciousness. If this is the case, it is quite likely that, because the notion of reincarnation was so prevalent, and because his insight that we don’t find a self within human experience was so subtle and profound and difficult to understand, many people down through the ages since have construed his possible mention of rebirth consciousness as a reference to reincarnation—the very delusion for which his teaching, when properly understood, provides the antidote.
    Consequently, over the centuries since, a great deal has been built upon this misinterpretation. As a result, this confused and incoherent understanding of the Buddha’s message has been widely propagated and handed down as if it were what the Buddha actually taught. Or, as the late Jiddu Krishnamurti aptly observed, “They didn’t listen to Buddha, that’s why we have Buddhism.”
    The upshot of all this is that it seems quite unlikely that the Buddha endorsed the notion of reincarnation, since it goes so strongly against his most powerful, subtle, and profound insight—namely, anatman, the unlocatability of a self.
    So, if the Buddha was not speaking of reincarnation, what could he have meant by the term rebirth consciousness (if, in fact, he did use that term)? Simply that the immediate experience of this moment does not appear as this moment but, rather, as continuous change. In other words, this moment appears as very like, but different from, what appears to have immediately preceded it. The world appears as reborn, over and over, moment after moment.
    Reincarnation requires a speculative belief in a substantiated self that persists from moment to moment—precisely what the Buddha’s teaching of anatman rejects. In contrast, rebirth consciousness refers to nothing more than the awareness that this moment appears now, with its own unique before and after, without ever entailing any presumed entity that persists through time.
    In other words, while reincarnation requires a self that persists through time—something that is not directly experienced, and that was thus rejected by the Buddha—rebirth consciousness makes no reference to anything that is not directly experienced or observed. In short, it relies not on abstraction, speculation, or belief, but on immediate, direct experience."


    Steve Hagen Interview Sweeping Zen – The Zen Buddhism Biographical Database


    s.
     
  9. Dharmaatmaa

    Dharmaatmaa New Member

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    An interesting extract did you propose, Snoopy. I read it avec plaisir.
    I've never heard of the "redeath". But I heard of the "second death". This concept says that after the body done, the psychical body is to die, then only Atma remains finally. But could you explain en detail what is meant:

    "Reincarnation requires a speculative belief in a substantiated self that persists from moment to moment—precisely what the Buddha’s teaching of anatman rejects. In contrast, rebirth consciousness refers to nothing more than the awareness that this moment appears now, with its own unique before and after, without ever entailing any presumed entity that persists through time."

    1) Why the reincarnation is more "speculative" belief than the re-birth one?
    2) Why for the rebirth there's no need in any "presumed entity that persists through time"?
    I don't understand.
     
  10. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Call me confused... I thought the Bhuddist nature was not to spend time with that which no one could be certain of, that life after death, heaven, hell issues were undefinable and not worthy of consideration or concern when there was so much of life that was...????
     
  11. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Snoopy,

    Is the article saying that a "rebirth consciousness" contains a record of a person's karma, and brings that record into this rebirth? If not, then what does?
     
  12. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Wil,

    I think part of the problem is that there are many kinds of Buddhism, and the different Buddhist traditions teach quite different things. When I look at Zen, Pureland, Theravada, Nichiren, Tibetan, etc., teachings, I sometimes feel that they are not all part of the same Buddhism! (There are important differences just within the four major types of Tibetan Buddhism.) I think a Zen master, a Pureland minister, and a Tibetan master would give you quite different answers to your questions. (Your ideas strike me as being very zen-like.)
     
  13. Dharmaatmaa

    Dharmaatmaa New Member

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    >Your ideas strike me as being very zen-like.

    Hmm.. I'd say "theravada-like" :)
     
  14. bhaktajan

    bhaktajan Active Member

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    Reborn as animals? Can a deer or a butterfly get enlightened?
    Why? They seek enjoyment, albeit like a mentally disadvantaged Human.
    They are passing the time as per where they were 'mentally' at the time of death in their last life. Luckily, animal lives are short lived, except for the exceptions.

    Are we reborn as human?
    The "NON-MATERIAL ENERGY COMPONENT OF CONSCIOUS" is an ego-less part and parcel of the totality of creation ---what is are Job-Title??
    Is their an eternal Job-Title that the "NON-MATERIAL ENERGY COMPONENT OF CONSCIOUS" possess; or can aspire for; or return to??

    Yes yes.
    The "NON-MATERIAL ENERGY COMPONENT OF CONSCIOUS" is the Spirit-Soul in the Material world ---that is what WE ARE doing here.

    The "NON-MATERIAL ENERGY COMPONENT OF CONSCIOUS" must cultivate proper ettiquete for future good karma, by attending to "obligated duties" [dharma].

    there are more people now then before
    There are quadillions of insects and fish and ameobas and roaches and crickets and penguins ---there is room for everyone ---that is why their is not Hell ---it just funky births that are the bitch.

    Show me an falsely emprisonioned convict and I'll show you a man that was once, in a past life, a Judge.

    Each next birth is predicted on past karma accrued ---and this allows for reformation, reconcilliation, to suffer in the same way, and thus graduate to higher level of consciousness ---in contrast with low-life base bestial subsistence living.

    The funny thing about Aliens invading and destroyer our world is that ---we are just seeking beautiful women and a suitable substitute ---why would "higher life forms" seek anything different then sensual pleasure?


    Nobody exists before or after the present.
    But everything else does!
    It even exist before the seed is planted.
    The present is the ONLY TIME that exists ---past and future time do not exist ---except in the real present time.
    That is why the Soul-Self [albeit like a mentally disadvantaged beast] reincarnates afresh/anew/as a babe ---to past the Time in an ILLUSION of the PART ENJOYING THE WHOLE ---until the rent runs out.


    Who is Steve Hagen?
    I though his name was Gautama.
    These word cited are the words of an author (?) with a quota of words for his publisher. And the Bold text is your own Commentary? Or do you mean that you bold-fonted the paragraph by Steve ---either way, it's a third-person reading of "Buddha's thinking" ---we are inwant of bonefide text citations directly from Buddha or his direct disciples.


    Where's the Buddha words?????????????????????????????
    OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No one has a Buddhist sutras on their shelf to reference a citation????????????????
    Even I got buddhist sutras on my shelf!
    I got the Tao te ching too.
    The entire bhagavata purana too amongst other volumes
    I got a red-letter bible and two other bi-linguals bibles
    I got a Roman-Catholic Delux bible.
    I got the Bhagavad gita in 14 languages!!!
    Every lawyer has their own stash of case studies
    every architect has their own stash of specialty vendors & craftsmen

    FOR CHRIST'S SAKE, quote me Buddha's words!!!! I need some nectar!!!

    Or else . . . the Dessolution of the Self is being advocated.
    That would leave the passion-filled adventurer with must less competition as he roams around claiming "king of mountainship" as far as he can survey, while its lasts, and when the younger turks come up and declare their prowess --in such a 'dog-eat-dog-world'.
    The "self" is real versus "Maya" is matter and energy morphing into forms with creatures crawling about expressiong their prowess.

    Does some one presume that "Samsara" (cycle of birth and death) is not part Buddha words?
    Does some one presume that "ahimsa" (non-violence) is not part Buddha words?
    Does some one presume that "ahankara" (false-ego) is not part Buddha words?
    Does some one presume that "maya" (illusion; that which is not) is not part Buddha words?

    The self is best advised to give up "Samsara" by stopping "himsa" and thus release the ahankara ---and the 'true-self returns to it's primordial state of Nirvana'.

    The 'ten-thousand things' rise and fall for the embodied self to preceive with material sense organ ---thus the self identifies it's ego with The 'ten-thousand things' that surround itself. This is temporal and repeats itself allowing for freewill expression in any form available to the imagination ---all this is "maya".
     
  15. Zenda71

    Zenda71 New Member

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    Questions on Distinguishing Characteristics

    The king asked: "Venerable Nagasena, is it so that one does not transmigrate[1] and one is reborn?"[2]

    "Yes, your majesty, one does not transmigrate and one is reborn."

    "How, venerable Nagasena, is it that one does not transmigrate and one is reborn? Give me an analogy."

    "Just as, your majesty, if someone kindled one lamp from another, is it indeed so, your majesty, that the lamp would transmigrate from the other lamp?"

    "Certainly not, venerable sir."

    "Indeed just so, your majesty, one does not transmigrate and one is reborn."

    "Give me another analogy."

    "Do you remember, your majesty, when you were a boy learning some verse from a teacher?"

    "Yes, venerable sir."

    "Your majesty, did this verse transmigrate from the teacher?"

    "Certainly not, venerable sir."

    "Indeed just so, your majesty, one does not transmigrate and one is reborn."

    "You are clever, venerable Nagasena."
     
  16. citizenzen

    citizenzen Custom User Title

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    I'd agree with that.

    Buddhism is really about the moment. This moment, then this moment, then...

    Whether I'm alive or dead, in Heaven, Hell or anywhere in between, I'll still just have this moment, then this moment, then...
     
  17. Dharmaatmaa

    Dharmaatmaa New Member

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    About this Snoopy's text there's an unusual theme by Thomas. Unfortunately, I cannot post there, and the reason for that I know not... So, I'm gonna answer and respond in here.
    ==============================
    >>Central to the Buddha’s teaching is the profound and subtle insight that permanence is never to be grasped. In other words, if we settle the mind and look carefully, we do not find a self within human experience.
    Thomas>Then what, I must ask, is it that experiences?
    >If there is no self, no core, to what and about what does experience aggregate?


    The first question of yours is closely connected with the second. And the first one I can answer, for those "experiences" are nothing else but so-called "inclinations of mind". En effet, the major thing to make us a personality is our mind. Without mind we're nothing, just a corps. Mind's got its inclinations and passions which we can't easily get rid of. Nick the Pilot has en bref described that process already.
    But the other question I can't answer, because as I understand, here the terminology was incorrectly used. I think Snoopy could've explained that for us.

    >Catholicism locates the self as something that rises in and is sustained by the Logos ... so the Logos is the ultimate reality of the being and nature of 'self' but the self is not coequal nor co- or consubstantial with the Logos, the self is caused to be, whereas the eternal Logos is ...

    Is that really Catholicism?! I know very little of the branch of Christianity. In Russia, there dominates the Orthodox Church, and this Church does not go so far in its speculations. Could you explain this more detailed what you said, s'il vous plait...

    >... we know that this moment, which appears now, appears as it does because of what went before, and will have its after ... so this moment is, surely, bound in time and space?
    >one cannot disassociate one moment from the rest of the cosmos, any more than one can suggest that something exists, absolutely unrelated in any way, to everything else that exists.


    D'accord, completely agreed. :) I think in the Snoopy's quotation the time was wrongly interpreted in relation to the "entity that persists through time"...

    >But directly experienced or observed by what ... that's the point.

    Good remark, Thomas! D'accord. Misunderstanding of terms (in the text en question) is the only reason for such "faux pas" :) I think he should answer this serious demands of yours at the theme of yours, at This and That. (I don't know why cannot I post there...)
     
  18. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    OK CZ, you are correct I am still confused. If a poem is retold...there is nothing of the original teller. The poem could be read by anyone....this one sort of solves the number of people continuing to increase but not exactly what is reborn....

    and the lamp is worse..... that fire has nothing to do with the fire from the last lamp....
     
  19. citizenzen

    citizenzen Custom User Title

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    Exactly. Nothing of the original teller, yet something passes on... karma.

    What is karma? Certainly not some kind of cosmic record of retribution... just direction, momentum, velocity,... in a purely non-physical sense.
     
  20. Dharmaatmaa

    Dharmaatmaa New Member

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    >Nothing of the original teller, yet something passes on... karma.

    It's not a contradiction. I've already told that misunderstanding of terms is taking place in this issue.
    Anyway, if we imagine that there's no a being to have karma, we can't deny the fact that all the world karma exists inside the Emptiness, the only Subject.
     

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