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Implementation of New Born Placement - Rebirth [More substance than Kamma require] TY

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  • Implementation of New Born Placement - Rebirth [More substance than Kamma require] TY

    _____________________
    _

    Other than just saying Kamma:

    If no creator or divine intervention - How or what is it, that determines the events to have a newborn placed into an easier or a harder life.

    Would not the transmission of the soul need to be somehow guided into a set of variables to facilitate the right mix for it's next level of intended existence?

    It's one thing to say Kamma and leave it at that, however science has provided us with much reasoning that shows us how Nature actually works. We understand the cause and effect in the cosmos so much now that the Big Bang Theory is in some respect quite irrelevant to the bigger picture that is now slowly coming to focus.

    Saying that the lady who saved the life of the lost boy, was reward with a place to stay and food to eat ... does not really help me to understand what HOW it is that souls are placed into the right spots for the just cause of kamma. It might explain the morality side of things, but I would like a better picture of how the cosmos of rebirth works ... How the ecological balance works as if I was studying nature.

    Does it just become another case of "because a great man that everyone revers believed it; it must be true" I have to admit ... I really struggle with that one.
    Is it just yet another case of Faith for the hard questions?

    I understand how it is that people do not want to believe it because many do not want to go through life as it is. Suicide is quite attractive and all that. Although been there, I am not out to cry over why oh why. I'm actually accepting of the Kamma principle. (what I know of it thus far)

    I'd just like to hear something a little more tangible than the offerings I received from the Christian Faith with respect to "Just Is" - ... and sure some can even say ... "when you die, you'll know" or "You'll of lived a better life and the world would be all the more better for it"
    __________________________________________________ __________

    Kamma - cycles to learn - It seems to explain much ... No reward schemes (even better!) ... Has so much going for it. So much so, it's all well adopted and used in the health sector and so on.

    As much as it might seem a bane for some, I can see rebirth as a good thing and from my limited perspective - I can see how the kamma works on through ... however

    Questions still come to mind - the ones that go beyond the titles of "universal law" All those terms are already so old, yet so many cling to them.

    I just wish we could crack the physics of the mind - the evolutionary process in much the same way we have discovered so much beyond the observable universe. Some of those may be theories (some not) - but the explanations that drive those seem to give more substance than I am able to grasp at this point and time with rebirth.

    I'm not trying to disprove here like some atheist in debate with a God fearing, loving devout Christain -

    I just felt the need to start the topic like so.

    No designer - No creator - Surely there must be some kind of Natural/Cosmic Trigger that resets the process, likewise ends it - If we can now grasp different dimensions and Multiverses with different laws ... (which raises more questions to any kind of full proof system) -

    I can't help but ponder the process that establishes the process for each individual soul to be lead into it's proposed path based on the life it lived before ...

    I think understanding the process a little more would go a long way to really making strong spiritual connections that deepen the resolve to want to be more (unselfishly so I mean)
    __________________________________________________ ________

    With metta,
    David.
    Last edited by David Kynaston; 30th-January-2015, 12:05 PM.

  • #2
    Another way my mind wrestles - If I was a rapist and child abuser in my past life, then what checks and balances are in place to see that I then become raped and beaten as a child in my next life? (if I don't come back as a worm or some other lower form) -

    It's not so much the philosophy that I question, but the mechanism that cultivates a system that supports this cycle of transference of good and bad kamma from one life to the next. Especially if there is no God, Creator and so on.

    I've been watching all the "evidence" online and some of it seems rather convincing despite the many flaws many of the skeptic seem to simply dismiss with all kinds of explanations that sound solid imo.

    I'll leave it at that for now - I have a lot of text to read that I think I downloaded from this site. I mean not to discredit, but simply aim to build a foundation from which I can confidently move forward from. My views will no doubt change as I evolve ... my questions are no doubt a learning experience in themselves.

    With love and kindness.
    David

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi David,
      I'm not up on the rebirth and kamma,
      the only thing that came to mind, and it maybe totally random is.

      When mind sees clearly through say a hindrance, a problem, the energy, chemicals, etc that gave it life, no longer need to be produced for that entity, therefore there is a cleaning out, some call it transformation.
      Therefore moving on, this entity no longer caries the burden of that chemical reaction, and is clear to move forward without it.

      Not sure if this makes any sense. I'd be interested in this subject too, from the more learned amongst us.

      How's the trecking
      it snowed overnight here,
      the roads an ice sheet, as it doesn't get gritted,
      and I live on a hill,
      so keeping snug inside today,
      Much Metta

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi David,

        Good to have you on the forum. Loved you recent blog entry. Very direct and useful.

        Originally posted by David Kynaston View Post
        If no creator or divine intervention - How or what is it, that determines the events to have a newborn placed into an easier or a harder life.

        Would not the transmission of the soul need to be somehow guided into a set of variables to facilitate the right mix for it's next level of intended existence?
        We don't normally use the term 'soul', as this tends to conjure up a image of some sort of permanent entity, that maybe migrates from one life to the next. But from a Buddhist point of view "all things are impermanent".

        So we often just talk in terms of a stream of consciousness that is constantly changing. The idea being that there is no permanent structure, but there is continuity. So the image is more like the continuity that we see in biology, where say, a mango seed is planted, then a seedling springs from the seed, it grows bigger and stronger, turns into a sapling, then a tree, the tree starts to get flowers, grows a mango, which grows another seed inside it. The final seed is not the same as the first seed, there is nothing left of the first seed - but we can see a continuity from the first seed to the final one.

        So what guides this growth? If you want to use the term 'soul' here, we would say that the soul guides itself, by changing itself.

        It's usually easier to start by seeing kamma and it's effects within the life that you have, rather than looking at the mechanism from one life to the next. Often it's easy to see it working in the form of shame or guilt. You do something intentionally that you know is wrong and you suffer either because you know that what you did was intrinsically wrong (guilt), or you perhaps think that other people (who you respect) will think badly of you for doing it (shame).

        It is important to note here that the mechanism of kamma is not the only mechanism to determine where a ‘soul’ resides at any given moment. For example, kamma might mean that Mark (Hyland) was born as a human, but the reason he is stuck indoors today is because is it snowing outside, and that’s just the weather which has nothing to do with kamma (law of intentional act and result), that’s a different law called Utu (the physical law of the inorganic). Kamma (our intentional acts) are so important, because it's the only thing that we can do anything about.

        Originally posted by David Kynaston View Post
        Does it just become another case of "because a great man that everyone revers believed it; it must be true" I have to admit ... I really struggle with that one.
        Is it just yet another case of Faith for the hard questions?
        No not at all. That’s not how Buddhism works. It actually works much more like science. But there is a big difference.

        In the world of science, the way that we progress is that we have a group of people called scientists who study the external world which each of us has at least some access to. So what happens is that one scientist comes up with a theory and a corresponding set of experiments to test the theory. Then a second scientist carries out the same test with a view of disproving the first scientist. If the second scientist fails to disprove the first scientist (i.e. they get the same results), then the two scientists have reached a scientific consensus. Then the rest of us accept what the scientists say. This is fairly easy to do because they normally come up with a bit of technology based on the theory. So, for example, some scientists agree on the theory of quantum science, and then technologists build computers on the back of that theory, and we can all see that computers work, so the theory must be at least right enough to make computers work, and we accept it.

        The big difference with Buddhism, is that the experiments and the results of the experiments relates to the internal mind rather than the external world. Even if we have two people agreeing that a particular Buddhist experiment works, there is no way that they can produce technology based on it, because everything takes place internally. So the only way for you to know for sure, is to carry out the experiment for yourself. So each one of us is like the second scientist trying to disprove an experiment that was first carried out by the Buddha. The more experiments that you carry out and the more you see that you get the same results as the Buddha describes, the more confidence you gain to carry out further experiments that are expounded by the Buddha. I guess this might be called 'faith', but I prefer ‘confidence based on experience’.

        Now there is a goal in Buddhism, which is freedom from suffering (Nibbana) and there are a whole bunch of experiments that help to achieve that goal. As it happens, a full understanding of the mechanism of kamma and rebirth is not (according to the Buddha) crucial to the grand experiment of Nibbana. However, it is useful to have at least some insight into it. The Buddha's own path included a thorough understanding of ‘the comings and goings of beings according to their kamma’ (i.e. rebirth). Before that insight though, he attained the ‘recollection of previous lives’. Again, the ‘recollection of previous lives' is also not necessary for Nibbana, but it can be very helpful.

        So if you wish to start a thorough examination of the mechanisms of kamma, then the place to start is in the recollection of your previous lives. The techniques that you need to master for this, are the same that you need for many (maybe all) of the other experiments on the Buddha's path. In a way, they are the Buddha's path, just like 'the scientific method' is the scientists path, so it is useful to develop them anyway. Specifically you need deep meditative experiences called Jhana - stillness of the mind. So developing the techniques that lead to Jhana is never wasted. Ajahn Brahm and other monastics teach the experiment for recollection of past lives on some retreats, but obviously you have to put in the work and learn how to do the experiment.

        It’s a bit old now, and it's been some time since I read it, but I like Chapter 34 of this book for a theoretical explanation of kamma according to The Buddha: http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/thittila.pdf

        Stu
        xxx

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi David,

          Check it out www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jH3VflZRvE

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks for the replies. They are very much appreciated. I’ll feedback just quickly with yourself Mark, however just wanted to let you know Stuart; that I’ll need more time to take in what you have said as well as respond adequately. Thank you both for your awesome replies.
            Also Thanks Ed! Unfortunately I believe the link has been blocked?

            The following comes up:
            “This video contains content from Warner Chappell, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds.”

            Thanks for the thought though. It kind of makes me wonder all the more … but I generally don’t go for copyrighted information. I find the best things in life, actually do come for free. (chuckles) - with a little effort of course.

            Mark

            When mind sees clearly through say a hindrance, a problem, the energy, chemicals, etc that gave it life, no longer need to be produced for that entity, therefore there is a cleaning out, some call it transformation.
            Therefore moving on, this entity no longer caries the burden of that chemical reaction, and is clear to move forward without it.

            Not sure if this makes any sense. I'd be interested in this subject too, from the more learned amongst us.
            I certainly would like to try and understand:

            Hmmm - When you say "... the energy, chemicals, etc that gave it life..." are meaning the energy, chemicals etc that gave the problem life? I'm kind of a bit slow and have to re-read/re-listen.

            * Problem solved - feeling better -> transformed in as much as going from one state of mind to another?
            *In relation to entity -> are you meaning the physical form ... like a Caterpillar into a butterfly?
            * The Butterfly now somewhat more free?

            Perhaps the shedding of skin - new growth? Like a snake.

            I guess I am confused with you meaning - but trying to understand.

            Hows about settling for the moving on part without the baggage, now somewhat lighter. I'm all into the chemical understanding of emotions and how that works -> especially through experiences and how that alters our perception and ongoing evolutionary state of consciousness. Free ourselves of those negative emotions that so clearly hold us back and being wary of those good ones as well.

            For me the meditations help somewhat with aiding me to a better vantage point to better assimilate my reality as I perceive from one day to the next -

            Forgive Mark as I lose my grip about here ... I just spent a long time taking in the following link:
            'Consciousness and Dying'
            http://youtu.be/-6kDMl6N3C4

            In it - somewhere the talker "I think claims that there is No Ego" - but he never elaborated on that ... I'm sort of confused with that remark as I think it's meant to be tied into how many of us are also said to be disillusioned with the fact that some of us even bother to think in terms of "illusions"

            I only glean what I think relevant from such presentations as for the most part there is much missing of what I would much rather focus on. I'm just sifting through the different approaches/studies and so on, now being discussed on consciousness and death.

            One thing that did pop into my mind when reading what you said was "how we can move on without the need for dying?" and that perhaps that is more important than worrying about what comes next at any rate.
            ______________________________

            I just waffle a little more - but thanks for your patients.

            From the above talk - I really feel the cultural aspects of the west loosing touch with Death is quite an important point to our lack of understanding with regard to conciseness or simply our understanding of Life and Death. I know Mark has clarified the term soul for me and or given my the correct context as understood in Buddhism. TY for that and I hope to get to that later.

            It might seem weird that I come to join the community here, but looking into aspects or facets of those terms, either that are considered irrelevant or simply untouched in as much as unneeded weight that gets in the way ... however for me, just because I let go of a few heavy suit cases and have looked passed the two bad brick, does not mean to say that more luggage is not in need of handling and or other bricks are yet to be laid. It's all still on ongoing process for me.

            I think I give attention to what Stuart has said - Lots of good perspective from the skim I gave that - much I am in need of. During all the skimming of the science presentations, whilst I find much of it hopeful with new approaches of seeing ... I still find much of the Buddhist teachings - as I am coming to know them through the YouTube Talks and other various Dharma talks - go a long way to helping me find peace ... and to want to live as well as look forward to my death - whatever it may or may not bring.

            In the mean time - I'm just looking to understand more of the perspective that Stuart seems to be bring. I give feed back later Stuart.

            Thanks guys and anyone else that may have anything to add. Once I can deal with the letting go of the fear of the unknown - the more I can accept and salvage what's left. Perhaps in time, that outlook can glow some more and I can then share with others, the same compassion and wisdom many show in here.

            Back later Stuart.

            With metta,
            Dave.

            Comment


            • #7
              Oh Yea - The Camp Out went well Mark - thanks for asking:



              Be careful on those roads. I hope your night is as snug.
              I love the cold weather - would be good if we could swap. Very Hot here and humid - Living on a hill is preferable under such conditions.

              Re the hike out - I took too much stuff and also lifted more than was bearable. That's the last time I need a lesson in that.

              Comment


              • #8
                Mark – I’ve been reading some more and think I understand your reply better now. I feel a little a silly now but thems the brakes. Between this online book and re-reading Stuart I think I am staring to see evolution of consciousness from a Buddhist perspective. My struggle with rebirth seems less of an issue as I start to read more about it from the following book:
                Good Kamma! Bad Kamma! What Exactly is Kamma?
                http://www.bhantedhammika.net/what-exactly-is-kamma
                I am sorry I did not read it sooner.

                Hi Stuart,

                Thanks for the welcome. Also thanks for much of the clarification on much of my misconceptions. I must seem really misguided.
                Thanks for the simile of the mango tree. I understand now about the continuity from beginning to end –

                When you say the final seed is not the same of the first seed:

                Is the person the same person – the being the same being … but their perception is what it different … they have evolved but the same being? Hmmmm I guess that is clinging hey? In fact – Is it an EGO – self thing that desires understanding set in stone.

                I think my Christian upbringing [intense programing] and that too of Society that pumps me full of ideals is going to take quite some unlearning.
                ________________

                Shame and Guilt – I’m afraid that’s not so easy to work out. The preacher that took advantage of me and my mother who rejected me and then used religion to make me feel bad … I figure that’s bad reasoning for someone like me. I was born into a shit hole. Looking at Kamma from such a position is not easy at all.

                I can see how my criminal acts that followed led to my incarceration and self-victimisation and self - harming then pursued. Lapping up societal stigma, feeding off the projected hatred from those chasing and reacting to imprinted ideals … roll on self-destruction. Yes from this paragraph, I can accept my responsibilities as a being on this planet. I don’t have to be a Buddhist to work that much out – nor do I need any venerable text. In that regard, I just believe I’ve answered the riddle to how we change ourselves. Hmmm interesting.
                _____________

                I do apologise – Shame and Guilt has tempered who I am. Reading up on Kamma from a Buddhist view goes on to explain that these things “are not purely resultant just because of whatever I did in a past life” There are Three misconceptions to Kamma – those being one I already just said the others, “everything is the will of a Supreme God, - > and then -> the belief that everything that happens is without a cause.”
                I can’t account at this stage, why when … I was so young, I was subject to so much shame and guilt. I can see it from a psychologist point of view on systemic cycles. That actually helps more, than telling myself that I was to blame for all the [Bad Kamma – I bleive the book I am reading uses the word – Pernicious when relating to such negative views] . Blaming myself for the those who were untrusted to care for me and other children – blaming myself and those other children for the abuse bestowed on myself and them … Narrrrrr … there is something seriously wrong with that approach and I will never accept that. I may come to accept the abusers in time … but I will never adopt some belief that I was responsible at such a young age to be riddle with such guilt and shame. That my well-meaning friend is as good as jumping off the rails, right into the next life where it could possibly just happen all over again.
                ________________________________________

                I’ll say on that note – I’ve heard the comeback with “I’m no therapist – perhaps ring ………” There’s no need for that with me. Trust me when I say that professionals in such fields are in much need of help themselves. There is a cesspool out there and whilst mindfulness is slowly making progress within various ranks/classes – welfare cases are pretty much referred straight to medication and or various other means of unpleasant interventions. Roll on Shame & Guilt.
                ___________________

                I’m reading you on the recollection of past lives now – and your recommendation of practicing the skills to look into them. I’ll regress to my Blog to speak about just how meditative I have been when sleeping and sitting on park benches with people spitting and jeering as they passed me in the city parks and streets. I've read up much on the methods and know some of those terms you mention there – Fact is, I have had plenty of practice on meditation in the gutter and various cells. I smile when I contemplate that not everything is learned or mastered from this or that school or from this or that text.

                Thanks all the same – I’ll read some more … but before I tend to regress into said past lives … I need to better build up the directed energy – unlearn all that crap that’s been imprinted and all that garbage I have been feeding. I need to better understand the process a little more, like a baby that clambers about before it walks.
                There’s much you have said that’s been really great advice for me – Sadly … My point of view sees the prioritization a little differently. I’m going to stick around … but think I’ll just stick to the Blog section for now.

                I’ve had some weird experiences/dreams/hallucinations in different eras as different entities and different beings. My brother also had a good chat with mosses and Jesus shortly before he died. He was a smart cookie with uni degrees and I only just found out about being related to a well-regarded physicist that has acquaintance with Einstein & Tessler … There is actually some law in physics name after him … but what does it all mean … for me intellectualizing will eventually give way to just being – like I was on those park benches. Saul Dushamn was that guys name … Of course not my past life, but who knows … I am looking back in time and finding much in that. I can’t help but think as a whole, “It won’t be long before there is no species left or a rock to rebirth on” I guess we can just conjure another universe to deal with that.

                That’s me done – You’re welcome to stop my progressive blogs as I continue to make sense of it all in there. I will indeed attempt to read up on those finer points of finding space in order to see.

                Forgive all I have missed and my side tracking as I have stumbled along.

                Your response has given me much to think about. (I'll take a wide berth and regress to my Blog )

                With metta
                David (Dave)
                Last edited by David Kynaston; 31st-January-2015, 06:20 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by David Kynaston View Post



                  I certainly would like to try and understand:

                  Hmmm - When you say "... the energy, chemicals, etc that gave it life..."are meaning the energy, chemicals etc that gave the problem life? I'm kind of a bit slow and have to re-read/re-listen.
                  Yes David, sorry I didn't put it very well.
                  I think what I was trying to relate was, the physical reaction in the body one gets when a hindrance is formed, say fear for example, this may be seen in a chemical reaction, or an energy movement within the body.
                  Therefore if through understanding of this problem it no longer needs to arise, or if it does it will be momentary, as it is not grasped by the mind and made ours. The chemicals change in the body, and homoeostasis is resumed.
                  And then the kammic result is lessoned in this action, if you like.


                  * Problem solved - feeling better -> transformed in as much as going from one state of mind to another? yes exactly all these states are transitory, moving through, it just sometimes when we are in a particularly heavy one, it seems never ending, yet it does pass
                  *In relation to entity -> are you meaning the physical form ... like a Caterpillar into a butterfly? yes not sure why I put that word entity, lets just say a person

                  Stuart and Ed are very well versed in these areas far more than my pitiful understanding, Stuarts link had an excellent description of kamma, and it's a shame you couldn't see Ed's link, it was from Ajahn Chah's teaching, very profound.

                  [/QUOTE]

                  The camp looks great David !!
                  All the best

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Yep yep - Thanks Mark.

                    I got so wrapped up, confronted and challenged over taking on the meaning of kamma, that I simply did not get as far as Stuarts Link.

                    It would appear that taking on the text and digesting it for its deeper meaning, is not as simple as reading it.

                    I'm at that link now. [I totally agree - looks like an awesome link!]

                    Thanks Stuart.

                    Thanks Ed.

                    Dave.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi David,

                      Is the person the same person – the being the same being

                      Are you the same person that you were 30 years ago? Are you the same being?

                      I guess we could maybe say that it is a different person (i.e. we define a person as running from birth to death), and at the same time we might suggest that it is the same being (here we would define a being as running over multiple births and deaths). Actually the changes go at different speeds. So for example the physical body changes really slowly - some bits take years to break down, whereas the mind is breaking down and being reborn at breakneck speed when you watch it.

                      With regard to shame and guilt. I notice that you sneaked in blame when talking about shame and guilt. Actually from a Buddhist perspective shame and guilt are wholesome, positive, natural, beautiful, human, responses. The Buddha calls them 'guardians of the world', because out of shame and guilt people refrain from killing, lying, stealing & cheating. But that's way different to 'blame'. Using the natural emotions of shame and guilt to blame yourself or others is pointless and damaging. You can end up like ascetics in various religions that need to literally beat themselves up. That's just a silly thing to do, and the Buddha advises instead to learn from it and let it go - it's in the past and there's nothing that you can do about the past. You can only do stuff in the present, and what you do in the present conditions your future. Unconditionally forgiving yourself and others for all past transgressions, will free up your mental processes, so that you can act skillfully in the present, thereby making a better future for both you and those around you.

                      Stu
                      xxx

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks yet again for more clarification. I appreciate your time Stuart.

                        The part about how we change is starting to sink in. My question there, (as with my reaction to guilt and shame) stems from my attachment to myself. I guess it's all the more reason to become more the observer and less the participant. In saying that though, I am slowly starting to see that one should not become indifferent when doing so, that detaching is more about opening up to who we truly are and not about giving up because it's taking us so long to see, that we instead become numb.

                        I'm a little sad to say, that my family ... especially my kids ... think me more to be anti-social and someone who's simply out to do nothing with no ambition at all. I think my wife when frustrated in her own states, tends to go that way as well. The way I process Shame and Guilt, is actually with much compassion inside myself. The sadness can start off as loneliness - but there is something I will just term spiritual for now, that take place. I kind of smile inside myself when they view me this way, but not a cocky smile or even self righteous one (I try to be careful of that given my past with religion and so) - They just don't understand what's really taking place inside myself and I am actually trying to adopt that same [reasoning process I wish to make a genuine compassion] outlook towards those I do not understand. I am simply trying to put a smile on my face as I go about getting those things I need in order to live. The way in which I put that smile on my face, can easily make or break me, as to others I project it at. I've surprised myself in the last day or two, with more people looking back with a generosity that's seemingly broken their own disillusionment. That made me feel like I was doing it right.

                        We are all different - I tend to be rather sensitive to those bright smiles and energetic mannerisms others bestow. It's like being blinded by light when crossing paths with such people. Sometimes they just seem hollow. I don't mean to judge, but more so explain how my own sensitivities pick on on the intent of others regardless of wrong or right. I am rather careful not to do the same to others in as much as living up to this guardian concept of which you now speak. None of us deep down want to step on others ... I am actually sensitive in this respect. I just Google Shame and Guilt and the Guardians of the World. I like it very much. Thanks again!

                        ____________

                        With respect to my reaction of Shame and Guilt. I did say I have the capacity to forgive those who treated me like so. In fact I already have. I have indeed learned much and been an island refuge in that respect. A story I will not tell. I have so much to learn, yet not from my past. I do hear you when you say that though - "learn from our past" however the context there is something else of a lesson that's come my way more than once. In the Youtbue talks I have heard it said that in fact we don't learn from out past (more so addressing the cliche) and I've also been struggling with another friend of mine whom refuses to believe that we can learn anything at all from suffering. No doubt its all about how each of us views - where we stand and so on ... As much as it would be nice to think ... we are not all equal with respect to our positions on the path. I mean not about right or wrong as much as higher or lower ... just the simple fact of of where we each stand and our current view. No more or less.

                        I've read that we can draw wisdom from our past - but how I learn - seems a lesson I'm yet to grasp. I have little to offer those who have not walked the same trail as me, yet for those who have, sometimes the offering does little to help as I can not walk another's path. None the less we have much in common; no doubt we should be looking for that.
                        ______________

                        On that note, I have reach my limit for the morning.

                        I thank you for that which we do have in common ... thanks for your support.

                        I'll keep reading [Thanks again for the links] - I'll do my best to ensure that further text is as close to the source as possible.

                        With Gratitude and Kindness as I best know it.
                        Peace:
                        Dave.
                        Last edited by David Kynaston; 3rd-February-2015, 04:32 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          This small sutta may be helpful in putting some of the points in this discussion into perspective:


                          AN 4.77
                          PTS: A ii 80
                          Acintita Sutta: Unconjecturable
                          translated from the Pali by
                          Thanissaro Bhikkhu
                          © 1997


                          "There are these four unconjecturables that are not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about them. Which four?

                          "The Buddha-range of the Buddhas[1] is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it.

                          "The jhana-range of a person in jhana...[2]

                          "The [precise working out of the] results of kamma...

                          "Conjecture about [the origin, etc., of] the world is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it.

                          "These are the four unconjecturables that are not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about them."
                          Notes

                          1. I.e., the range of powers a Buddha develops as a result of becoming a Buddha.
                          2. I.e., the range of powers that one may obtain while absorbed in jhana.
                          http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipit....077.than.html
                          From
                          http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipit....077.than.html

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                          • #14
                            Here is another small sutta about karma that is good for perspective:


                            SN 36.21
                            PTS: S iv 230
                            CDB ii 1278
                            Sivaka Sutta: To Sivaka
                            translated from the Pali by
                            Nyanaponika Thera
                            © 1995
                            Alternate translation: Thanissaro


                            Once the Blessed One dwelled at Rajagaha in the Bamboo-Grove Monastery, at the Squirrel's Feeding Place. There a wandering ascetic, Moliya Sivaka by name, called on the Blessed One, and after an exchange of courteous and friendly words, sat down at one side. Thus seated, he said:

                            "There are, revered Gotama, some ascetics and brahmans who have this doctrine and view: 'Whatever a person experiences, be it pleasure, pain or neither-pain-nor-pleasure, all that is caused by previous action.' Now, what does the revered Gotama say about this?"

                            "Produced by (disorders of the) bile, there arise, Sivaka, certain kinds of feelings. That this happens, can be known by oneself; also in the world it is accepted as true. Produced by (disorders of the) phlegm... of wind... of (the three) combined... by change of climate... by adverse behavior... by injuries... by the results of Kamma — (through all that), Sivaka, there arise certain kinds of feelings. That this happens can be known by oneself; also in the world it is accepted as true.

                            "Now when these ascetics and brahmans have such a doctrine and view that 'whatever a person experiences, be it pleasure, pain or neither-pain-nor-pleasure, all that is caused by previous action,' then they go beyond what they know by themselves and what is accepted as true by the world. Therefore, I say that this is wrong on the part of these ascetics and brahmans."

                            When this was spoken, Moliya Sivaka, the wandering ascetic, said: "It is excellent, revered Gotama, it is excellent indeed!...May the revered Gotama regard me as a lay follower who, from today, has taken refuge in him as long as life lasts."

                            From
                            http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipit....021.nypo.html

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                            • #15
                              Dear David,

                              I admit that I have skimmed most of this thread but not really digested every response. I did read your original post, as rebirth is a favorite topic of mine. I can understand not wanting to wade through the virtual mountains of debates and discussion here on this forum and elsewhere on the web, so I'll give it to you briefly, as I have come to see it all.

                              Nothing permanent and substantial transmits from lifetime to lifetime. There is then, no soul. There is no YOU that remains YOU once YOU die. Only small bits and pieces, maybe a few molecules here, a few atoms there. The body and mind follow the same laws of physics as anything else in the universe. Matter and energy never truly dissolve or are used up, only transformed or dissipated. This is one reason why it is urgent to practice diligently in this lifetime. The other being that given you possess compassion for other living beings, you would not want the beings that your remains give rise to to have to go through the suffering, pain, sadness, longing, that you have gone through in your lifetime. Yes?

                              Kamma/karma. How you act, what is characteristic and habitual will help determine how beings arise from your disintegration. Single acts in a lifetime certainly affect this, but not as strong as habitual patterns of behavior. I'll give some examples.

                              Say a person likes to spend time alone fishing in the ocean on a small boat. He does this often, maybe for a living. Chances are pretty good that sooner or later, at least once, this person will fall overboard. If he should drown out at sean, alone, where would his aggregate parts be most likely to reconstitute? Out at sea, in sea animals of course. Just like we know from physics that electricity likes to follow established patterns, why would the electricity that runs our bodies and brains be any different? Energy of all kinds tends to like to behave in predictable ways. It continues to do until some for e acts upon it to change it. Hence a comprehensive set of instructions on how to change habitual, mindless formations of actions (kamma) thus changing predictable outcomes such as continues rebirth. It might help if we changed the word rebirth to recycle here, because that's what happens. YOU are recycled and your constituent parts are a source of materials that will give rise to new organisms, sooner or later.

                              Enough for now? The main thing in my view is that it is all much more simple than we tend to like to make it out to be. Part of the reason we're in this fix, needing the dhamma, etc, is that we tend to complicate things so much, and take the complications for real, for truth and actuality. Reality, in actuality, is usually quite simple, I find. The simple truth here is that YOU will never be born again. Best to give a good honest try for nibbana in THIS lifetime.

                              Be well.

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