Monday, February 3, 2014

Rebirth, Karma and Anatta

Piotr Ludwiński "Some people, when they follow a master, blindly believe everything he or she says, without verifying it through the methods of practice. But then there are others, who think it is necessary to debate and discuss everything. But the truth is that one will never actually resolve anything through either reasoning about everything or through accepting passively everything the master says as if he or she was a general. All we need to do is to try to "taste" that which the master is communicating, so that we can truly discover the state of knowledge in ourselves. When the master explains something, he is not doing so just to put forward an idea of his own, but to provide the disciples with the means to understand their own nature." - Chogyal Namkhai Norbu

Unlike • • January 3 at 5:22am
•    You, Kyle Dixon, Tan Jui Horng, Viorica Doina Neacsu and 22 others like this.
Jackson Peterson Is this supposed to be profound?
January 3 at 7:02am • Like • 2
Robert Dominik Don't know what do you mean by profound Jax, but IMO this quote from Norbu is simple, straightforward and pragmatic ^^
January 3 at 7:31am • Like • 4
Viorica Doina Neacsu Not profound but "perfect Self Perfection, whether recognized or not."
January 3 at 7:59am • Edited • Like • 2
Din Robinson the truth is just an idea, just like the master and the student, it's best to just let it all be what it is without the need to figure any of it out
January 3 at 8:33am • Like • 1
Robert Dominik "it's best to just let it all be what it is without the need to figure any of it out" <- That's your idea xD
January 3 at 8:38am • Like • 3
Amir Mourad "it's best to just let it all be what it is without the need to figure any of it out"

If you try to figure it out, you will miss the whole point. Yet, if you do not make an effort to penetrate deeper than what appears on the surface - whether it is through the words of a master or a simple blade of grass in front of you, then too - you will miss the whole point.
January 3 at 8:26pm • Edited • Like • 6
Din Robinson Agreed Amir, dropping the need to figure it out should come from clarity rather than some idea about it being the right thing to do
January 4 at 12:53am • Like • 3
Ram Jayaram "you will miss the whole point" - and the point is?
It's about time this whole nonsense with masters and special insights is put to rest once and for all. At least there's a certain honesty about the religious types who worship their favourite deity.. the nirvana seekers who condemn the religious are themselves trapped in their own beliefs and attempts to reach somewhere special. The con game goes on...
January 5 at 8:45am • Like • 1
Amir Mourad Ram,

"It's about time this whole nonsense with masters and special insights is put to rest once and for all."

It is has nothing to do with "masters". It is in the human potential to be capable of striking insights into the nature of their own being and reality - and most people barely even scratch the surface of that potential. You may think that, observing your own limitations and other people's limitations, that the only possibility for a human being is ignorance and suffering - but one's consciousness is also capable of enormous wisdom. Rather than feeling happy that heights of wisdom are possible in a human being, you become threatened and condemn them. This is a reflection of your own fears, insecurities, and the egotism which is supporting them.
January 19 at 9:32pm • Like • 1
Amir Mourad Ram,

"and attempts to reach somewhere special"

Like a tree which continues growing to greater heights, when one's inner growth has reached a certain level of maturity - it is only natural for a human being to become interested in self-realization - all of one's energies will naturally start gravitating in that direction. The tendency towards enlightenment is a natural part of the evolution of every mind - and even if such a tendency has not yet awakened, with or without knowing - it is part of the creative energy of life to continue expanding itself itself until the Buddha realizes his Buddhahood. You can be a fanatic and say, "trying to reach somewhere is evil, bad, only for fools" - but try as you may, you cannot suppress this creative energy from expanding beyond it's present limitations.
January 19 at 9:36pm • Like • 5
Goose Saver As Milarepa asserted: “Having meditated on love and compassion, I forgot the difference between myself and others.” I believe he came to that conclusion not in “relative” existence but saw it as fundamental to relative existence.
January 20 at 8:14am • Like • 4
Ram Jayaram It's one's ego that seeks enlightenment and the like
January 20 at 10:50pm • Like
Amir Mourad "It's one's ego that seeks enlightenment and the like"

Don't be foolish, naive, and unrealistic. Forget about enlightenment, the spiritual process is for those who can be called true seekers. If you are a seeker - one thing which is totally essential is to become absolutely aware of your own ignorance. That is why true seeking can never be in search of something - otherwise you have already generated far too many prejudices, beliefs, and assumptions about things which you do not know.

If any type of deeper inquiry is to happen - it can only begin from the very space in which one is living. If you have been living a life driven by egotism - then obviously the process must begin from there. I know it has become popular to demonize the ego as though it were some terrible, evil thing to be condemned. But even the ego has a role to play as part of the process of inquiry.
January 20 at 11:24pm • Edited • Like • 1
Ram Jayaram Amir, you are living proof of what I stated
January 20 at 10:54pm • Like
Amir Mourad Ram,

January 20 at 10:55pm • Like • 3
Ram Jayaram learn to get off the pedestal once in a while and go into learning mode..
January 20 at 10:56pm • Like
Ram Jayaram in case you are looking for a true guru, i am here to help you
January 20 at 10:57pm • Like
Viorica Doina Neacsu

January 21 at 1:15am • Like • 6
Robert Healion I also thought his comment was too effect. Having had a read of the sexual malpractices of a few hundred monks from various orders and countries I think it is extremely important to be slow to except. Some big names as well.

As for Buddha’s enlightenment, how does it enlighten me. His personal attendant his nephew never attained enlightenment. His service was real and the body of merit obtained was real but the fruit was not yet ripe. Reading and associating with great people are valuable to your practice. Hindu perspective.

The point being, no teaching or practice can enlighten you until you are ready, then it will happen regardless. I disagree with lots, that is said. That does not make me right. Just my understanding is so.

All dharma’s are incorrect, that is empty. But if no one speaks how will we find our way in the dark.
January 21 at 7:49am • Edited • Like • 2
Amir Mourad "until you are ready, then it will happen regardless"

It depends on what one means by being prepared for enlightenment. For some, in a moment of receptivity the breakthrough happens, but the mind and the body are not prepared to handle such intense energy. In a way, they were prepared enough to be receptive for enlightenment, but not prepared enough to handle it. And when the vessels of the mind and mind are not prepared through certain means to handle such energy, the system becomes overloaded with information - not different than a machine which can only tolerate 50 volts being pumped with 1000 volts. Like this "enlightenment" can also bring with it all sorts of physiological and psychological disorders if a certain foundation of preparation is not well settled. Believe it or not, there are "enlightenment" related sicknesses that are possible.
January 22 at 3:32am • Like
Robert Healion This is a point coming from the Vedanta. One has to be ready, the fruit forms then it ripens, When ripe if will fall. Working towards Enlightenment Master Nan Huai-Chin, refers extensively to this as a body of merit. You must have a body of merit, not only for enlightenment but to be allowed access to a reasonable dharma practice without obstruction. However he is fixated on Immortality.
January 22 at 8:30am • Like
Goose Saver And who decides who has merit? What is merit? We can say merit or purification but again by whose standards? Yes, we have some guidelines put forth by the Buddha, but who is really to judge what is in another's heart. The Japanese Zen Master Oda Sessa warned: "There is little difference between a man lying in a ditch heavily drunk from rice liquor and a man heavily drunk on his own enlightenment." All we can do is be wary of the words. A true master is not going to tell us to empty our tea cup for the purpose of filling it up with his brew!
January 22 at 12:45pm • Edited • Like • 1
Robert Dominik By whose standards an apple falls to the ground when you drop it? By noone's. That doesn't stop it.
January 22 at 10:38pm • Like
Robert Dominik The matter of merit is simple - if most of your life is spent gratifying your ego, being ruled by emotions like lust, anger, pride or evny, harming other beings, then your energies reflect that, your attitude towards practice and the causes of realisation (like your right view, righ concentration, right mindfulness) is distorted by your grasping and your inflated ego. But if you act out of compassion and loving kindness, are disciplined in your practice, act moral, then your energies reflect that and the fog of your dualistic attachment is somewhat not so thick - that gives you better chances of realisation. Living many incarnations like that allows you to have better rebirth that leaves you with better conditions for practice and continuing the Path. That's how I understand it
January 22 at 10:43pm • Like • 1
Amir Mourad Hi Goose,

"A true master is not going to tell us to empty our tea cup for the purpose of filling it up with his brew!"

You're right. A master will ask you to empty your cup so that you are capable of receiving a brew which belongs to nobody.

"There is little difference between a man lying in a ditch heavily drunk from rice liquor and a man heavily drunk on his own enlightenment." "

You have likely misunderstood his meaning.

"And who decides who has merit? What is merit?"

It is not a matter of "right" or "wrong". Through common sense, for centuries certain gurus have observed that there are certain psychological qualities which tend to be supportive for the spiritual process, and certain qualities which tend to be a hindrance. Of course, what is a hindrance and a stepping stone is going to be different in different contexts. Perhaps more than anybody else, the ancient zen masters were completely aware of this. But it is important to provide to disciples a general framework which can be practical along the path - and the concern of a guru is always down to earth and practical. There are qualities which have a tendency to reinforce one's egotism, and qualities which tend to be like a sword - cutting through one's egotism.
January 23 at 1:48am • Edited • Like • 3
Chris Kepinski In other words: there is practice (to see truth) , philosophy (to discuss about) and religion (to believe in). Which one you choose?
January 23 at 8:43pm • Edited • Like
Goose Saver There is no such thing as a universal objective morality for one's behavior in Buddhism. Moral codes become subjective and as such don't exist. So who is making and/or gaining merit?
January 23 at 11:49pm • Like • 1
Goose Saver Hi Amir. I agree. The issue is egoism in our brew, in our enlightenment, and even in our morality.
January 24 at 12:01am • Like
Amir Mourad One's ideas of what is right or wrong, good or bad, are relative projections of the mind. Depending on what your identifications are, what you value and do not value, one's likes and dislikes, one is going to have different ideas as to what those words mean.

Yet, if you simply have this "anything goes" type of approach - in most cases it is only going to breed more suffering. The fact is that once you begin to become involved in any kind of discipline - it is important to create an atmosphere which is supportive for entering deeper into the practice. That is all that these so called precepts are - internal and external aids intended to help create a certain atmosphere.
January 24 at 12:01am • Like • 3
Goose Saver Personally, it is the practice itself that gives rise to wisdom and compassion that lead the way.This appears as a more reasonable ground to grow than that imposed by either ethnical nilism or ethical absolutism, which are both intrisically centered in subjectivism.
January 24 at 12:45am • Edited • Like • 1
Goose Saver Not only wisdom, compassion but morality, and method (power) all go hand in hand like a car with four wheels propelled by meditation.
January 24 at 12:46am • Like • 1
Robert Healion Dear Goose. By who’s merit;
As I understand Buddha never stated an objective fact but avoided extremes. As such not a teaching of Buddha.
The analogy of merit and who decides is a thorny issue for Buddhism. As it incorporates a higher presence which though not excluded in Buddhism is not encouraged.

I follow Vedanta and so am happy and believe in the concept of a higher presence, yet Buddhism as preached often uses an indirect linkage to these concepts. Even the concept of reincarnation involves a holding state so something can reincarnate.
January 24 at 8:01am • Like • 2
Robert Healion Having said the above explain the third teachings. That there is something permanent separate and expressive with the emptiness. This illusive original nature borrowed from the Vedanta to which dear Buddha was trained.

Modern Buddhism would I suspect be unrecognised to Buddha. A thought shared with Steven B.
January 24 at 8:04am • Like
Goose Saver You are quite correct Robert, the concept of merit (puñña) is a conundrum in Buddhism for some probably because it is predicated on knowing-oneself as opposed to the idea of the non-inherent self. The latter is most likely to fail without the former. As Buddha asks: "And what is action that is neither dark nor white with neither dark nor white result, leading to the ending of action? Right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration." The Noble Path is the means for which we examine or reflect on our actions and that is our first way of knowing our self. A very wise teacher will usually mirror our behaviors that require radical change. But if we fail to see the mirror and to look into the mirror, we are left with our habitual tendencies that just continue to repeat themselves. So we do indeed have guidelines or a framework as Amir noted above, but as we use the boat to cross the sea, it is abandoned at our arrival.
January 24 at 1:01pm • Like • 1
Kyle Dixon According to Buddhism, what reincarnates is merely afflictive conditions. I actually just posted this on dharmawheel not even a half hour ago, but will post it here too, by way of Soh:

it isn't a self that is reborn, but afflictive conditions.

xabir (Soh) wrote:
Ven Dhammanando answered it well:

QUOTE(Darkknight @ Jan 8 2007, 06:17 AM)
Q. So there is no self (Atman). so what exactly is it that is reborn, and how does what is reborn pass from one body to another?
Thanks in advance for any answers received. bow.gif


Ven Dhammanando wrote:
The question is wrongly put and the Buddha's reponse when asked such a question was to reject it as an improper question. Having rejected the question he would then inform the questioner of what he ought to have asked: "With what as condition is there birth?"

The reason that it is an improper question is that rebirth is taught as the continuation of a process, and not as the passing on of any sort of entity. For a more complete exposition of the subject see Mahasi Sayadaw's Discourse on Paticcasamuppada.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu

Another reply by Dhammanando:


QUOTE(Avalokiteshvara @ Jan 8 2007, 09:11 AM)
Wrongly put or not the answer is still the same.


Ven Dhammanando wrote:
The "what?" in the question takes for granted the very thing that the Buddha rejects — that there is some real entity in this life that is transferred to the being in the next life. Since this assumption is wrong, the question as phrased has no answer and must be rejected.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu

(See: ... gguna.html)

In the //Milindapanha// the King asks Nagasena:

"What is it, Venerable Sir, that will be reborn?"

"A psycho-physical combination [nama-rupa], O King."

"But how, Venerable Sir? Is it the same psycho-physical
combination as this present one?"

"No, O King. But the present psycho-physical combination produces kammically wholesome and unwholesome volitional activities, and through such kamma a new psycho-physical combination will be born."


xabir wrote:
Malcolm's reply to this same question (lengthier):


QUOTE(Avalokiteshvara @ Jan 7 2007, 11:02 PM) I understand what you are saying but the "what" doesnt necessarily have to mean one thing like some real entity it could also mean many things. I dont think any assumptions were being made it is just a question anyway nothing right or wrong about it. * *


Malcolm wrote:
The point is that the question is phrased wrong requiring at best an ambigious answer that will confuse more than edify.

Buddha in fact discussed this with Sharputra saying that if he answers the question "yes there is something that undergoes birth" people will become confused and assume there is a permanent self that undergoes retribution of action and so on. Likewise, if he answers the question "no, there is nothing which undergoes rebirth" likewise there are those who will assume there are no consequences of action and so on and will therefore feel no compelling need observe the principles of karma and so on.

Therefore when asked the question "what takes rebirth" he points out that question itself is flawed.

The question should be "Why is there birth?" The answer to that question is easy. There is birth, i.e. suffering, because of affliction and action.

As long as the aggregates are afflicted, afflicted aggregates will continue to be appropriated.

In Madhyamaka it is explained there is birth because of the innate self-grasping "I am" appearing to the afflicted mind. It is asserted that what appropriates birth in a new series of aggregates is the mental habit "I am." That "I am" is baseless, has no correspondence in the aggregates or seperate from them or in any one of them, just as a car is not found in its parts, seperate from them, or in any one of the parts. Nevertheless, the imputation "car" allows us to use cars effectively. Likewise, the mental habit "I am" is proper as both the agent of action and the object upon which it ripens even though it is basically unreal and has no basis in the aggregates, outside the aggregates, or in any one of them, but allows us to treat the aggreates as a nominally designated "person".
January 24 at 1:39pm • Like • 3
Kyle Dixon Here is Sakyamuni discussing merit in the Diamond Sutra:

"Furthermore, Subhuti, in the practice of compassion and charity a disciple should be detached. That is to say, he should practice compassion and charity without regard to appearances, without regard to form, without regard to sound, smell, taste, touch, or any quality of any kind. Subhuti, this is how the disciple should practice compassion and charity. Why? Because practicing compassion and charity without attachment is the way to reaching the Highest Perfect Wisdom, it is the way to becoming a living Buddha."

"Subhuti, do you think that you can measure all of the space in the Eastern Heavens?"

"No, Most Honored One. One cannot possibly measure all of the space in the Eastern Heavens."

"Subhuti, can space in all the Western, Southern, and Northern Heavens, both above and below, be measured?"

"No, Most Honored One. One cannot possibly measure all the space in the Western, Southern, and Northern Heavens."

"Well, Subhuti, the same is true of the merit of the disciple who practices compassion and charity without any attachment to appearances, without cherishing any idea of form. It is impossible to measure the merit they will accrue. Subhuti, my disciples should let their minds absorb and dwell in the teachings I have just given."


Subhuti respectfully asked the lord Buddha, "Most Honored One! In the future, if a person hears this teaching, even if it is a only a phrase or sentence, is it possible for that person to have a true faith and knowledge of Enlightenment awaken in their mind?"

"Without a doubt, Subhuti. Even 500 years after the Enlightenment of this Buddha there will be some who are virtuous and wise, and while practicing compassion and charity, will believe in the words and phrases of this Sutra and will awaken their minds purely. After they come to hear these teachings, they will be inspired with belief. This is because when some people hear these words, they will have understood intuitively that these words are the truth."

"But you must also remember, Subhuti, that such persons have long ago planted the seeds of goodness and merit that lead to this realization. They have planted the seeds of good deeds and charity not simply before one Buddhist temple, or two temples, or five, but before hundreds of thousands of Buddhas and temples. So when a person who hears the words and phrases of this Sutra is ready for it to happen, a pure faith and clarity can awaken within their minds."

"Subhuti, any person who awakens faith upon hearing the words or phrases of this Sutra will accumulate countless blessings and merit."

"How do I know this? Because this person must have discarded all arbitrary notions of the existence of a personal self, of other people, or of a universal self. Otherwise their minds would still grasp after such relative conceptions. Furthermore, these people must have already discarded all arbitrary notions of the non-existence of a personal self, other people, or a universal self. Otherwise, their minds would still be grasping at such notions. Therefore anyone who seeks total Enlightenment should discard not only all conceptions of their own selfhood, of other selves, or of a universal self, but they should also discard all notions of the non-existence of such concepts."

"When the Buddha explains these things using such concepts and ideas, people should remember the unreality of all such concepts and ideas. They should recall that in teaching spiritual truths the Buddha always uses these concepts and ideas in the way that a raft is used to cross a river. Once the river has been crossed over, the raft is of no more use, and should be discarded. These arbitrary concepts and ideas about spiritual things need to be explained to us as we seek to attain Enlightenment. However, ultimately these arbitrary conceptions can be discarded. Think Subhuti, isn't it even more obvious that we should also give up our conceptions of non-existent things?"


"Let me ask you Subhuti? If a person filled over ten thousand galaxies with the seven treasures for the purpose of compassion, charity, and giving alms, would this person not gain great merit and spread much happiness?"

"Yes, Most Honored One. This person would gain great merit and spread much happiness, even though, in truth, this person does not have a separate existence to which merit could accrue. Why? Because this person's merit is characterized with the quality of not being merit."

The Buddha continued, "Then suppose another person understood only four lines of this Sutra, but nevertheless took it upon themselves to explain these lines to someone else. This person's merit would be even greater than the other person's. Why? Because all Buddhas and all the teachings and values of the highest, most fulfilled, most awakened minds arise from the teachings in this Sutra. And yet, even as I speak, Subhuti, I must take back my words as soon as they are uttered, for there are no Buddhas and there are no teachings."


"Subhuti, if on the one hand, a son or daughter of a good family gives up his or her life in the morning as many times as there are grains of sand in the Ganges river as an act of generosity, and gives as many again in the afternoon and as many again in the evening, and continues doing so for countless ages; and if, on the other hand, another person listens to this Sutra with complete confidence and without contention, that person's happiness will be far greater. But the happiness of one who writes this Sutra down, receives, recites, and explains it to others cannot even be compared it is so great."

"Subhuti, we can summarize by saying that the merit and virtue of this Sutra is inconceivable, incalculable and boundless. The Buddha has declared this teaching for the benefit of initiates on the path to Enlightenment; he has declared it for the benefit of initiates on the path to Nirvana. If there is someone capable of receiving, practicing, reciting, and sharing this Sutra with others, the Buddha will see and know that person, and he or she will receive immeasurable, incalculable, and boundless merit and virtue. Such a person is known to be carrying the Supreme Enlightenment attained by the Buddha. Why? Subhuti, if a person is satisfied with lesser teachings than those I present here, if he or she is still caught up in the idea of a self, a person, a living being, or a universal self, then that person would not be able to listen to, receive, recite, or explain this Sutra to others."

"Subhuti, wherever this Sutra shall be observed, studied and explained, that place will become sacred ground to which countless spiritually advanced beings will bring offerings. Such places, however humble they may be, will be revered as though they were famous temples, and countless pilgrims will come there to worship. Such a place is a shrine and should be venerated with formal ceremonies, and offerings of flowers and incense. That is the power of this Sutra."
January 24 at 1:44pm • Like • 4
Goose Saver WOW, thanks Kyle! "According to Buddhism, what reincarnates is merely afflictive conditions." Mmmmm. In the last section of the Kalama Sutta, it deals with the Four Solaces. Here the Buddha asserts: “The disciple of the Noble Ones, Kalamas, who has such a mind that is hate-free, malice-free, undefiled and purified, is one by whom four solaces are found here and now:

1) “Suppose there is an afterlife and there is the result of deeds, good or evil; then it is possible that after I die, I shall be born in heaven, endowed with bliss.” This is the first solace found in him.
2) “Suppose there is no afterlife and there is no result of deeds, good or evil; yet in this world, here and now, free of hate, free of malice, safe and happy am I.” This is the second solace found in him.
3) “Suppose evil begets evil; then, how can evil come to me who has done no evil deed?” This is the third solace found in him.
4) “Suppose evil-doer does not beget evil; then I see myself purified both ways (i.e. whether unintentionally or intentionally).” This is the fourth solace found in him.

The solaces show that the reason for a virtuous life does not necessarily depend on a belief in rebirth (reincarnation) or retribution, but on the mental welfare acquired through the overcoming of greed, hate, and delusion. Therefore, a happy and moral life is possible without the manifestation of "afflictive conditions" or for that matter non-affictive conditions manifesting in karma and reincarnation.
January 24 at 2:46pm • Like • 2
Goose Saver The work of purification must be undertaken in the same place where the defilements arise, in the mind itself. If we look outside of our self to fix the “problem,” we misunderstand this teaching. If we only see our "self" to fix the problem, we misunderstand this teaching.
January 24 at 3:13pm • Like • 1
Jackson Peterson Meritorious actions are as empty as harmful actions. Purification is seeing the emptiness of all phenomena: both subjective and objective. Nothing has "re-incarnated" because nothing has incarnated. Both concepts are equally empty.
January 24 at 3:52pm • Like • 2
Soh Nice text on the Q&A with Nagasena the Arahat, excerpt:

Is the Same Person Reborn?

“He who is reborn, Nāgasena, is he the same per¬son or another?”
“Neither the same nor another.”

“Give me an illustration.”
“In the case of a pot of milk that turns first to curds, then to butter, then to ghee; it would not be right to say that the ghee, butter and curds were the same as the milk, but they have come from that so neither would it be right to say that they are some¬thing else.”

What is Reborn?

“What is it, Nāgasena, that is reborn?”
“Mind and matter.”

“Is it this very mind and matter that is reborn?”
“No, it is not, but by this mind and matter deeds are done and because of those deeds another mind and matter is reborn; but that mind and matter is not thereby released from the results of its previous deeds.”

“Give me an illustration.”
“It is like a fire that a man might kindle and, having warmed himself, he might leave it burning and go away. Then if that fire were to set light to another man’s field and the owner were to seize him and accuse him before the king, and he were to say, ‘Your maj¬esty, I did not set this man’s field on fire. The fire that I left burning was different to that which burnt his field. I am not guilty.’ Would he deserve punishment?”

“Indeed, yes, because whatever he might say the latter fire resulted from the former one.”

“Just so, O king, by this mind and matter deeds are done and because of those deeds another mind and matter is reborn; but that mind and matter is not thereby released from the results of its previous deeds.”

The One Who Knows

“Is there, Nāgasena, such a thing as ‘The one who knows’ (vedagū)?”
“What is this thing?”

“The living principle within that sees, hears, tastes, smells, feels and discerns things; just as we, sitting here, can look out of any window we wish to.”

“If, O king, the living principle within can see, hear, taste, smell and feel things like you say, can it not also see forms through the ear and so on?”
“No, venerable sir.”

“Then, O king, the living principle within cannot make use of which¬ever sense it pleases as you sug¬gested. It is, O king, by reason of the eye and forms that sight and those other conditions arise, namely; contact, feeling, perception, inten¬tion, one-pointedness, vitality and attention. Each arises simultane¬ously with its cause and herein ‘The one who knows’ cannot be found.”

Transmigration or Rebirth?

“Is there any being who transmigrates from this body to another?”
“No there is not.”

“If that is so, would there not be an escape from the result of evil deeds?”
“Yes there would be an escape if they were not to be reborn, but there would not be if they were to be reborn. This mind and body process commits deeds either pure or impure, and because of that kamma another mind and body process is reborn. Therefore this mind and body is not free from its evil deeds.”

“Give me an illustration.”
“If a thief were to steal another man’s mangoes, would he deserve punishment?”
“Indeed he would.”

“But the mangoes he stole were not those that the owner had planted; why should he deserve punish¬ment?”
“Because those that he stole resulted from the others.”

“Just so, O king, this mind and body process commits deeds either pure or impure, and because of that kamma another mind and body process is reborn. Therefore this mind and body is not free from its evil deeds.”

Where is Kamma Stored Up?

“When deeds are committed by one mind and body process, where do they remain?”

“The deeds follow them, O king, like a shadow that never leaves. But one cannot point them out saying, ‘Those deeds are here or there’, just as the fruits of a tree cannot be pointed out before they are produced.”

An Explanation of Rebirth
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January 24 at 4:03pm • Like • 2 • Remove Preview
Soh "The solaces show that the reason for a virtuous life does not necessarily depend on a belief in rebirth (reincarnation) or retribution, but on the mental welfare acquired through the overcoming of greed, hate, and delusion."

Yes this is true, however, the audience for this discourse is a group of skeptical people being bombarded with differing and contradicting doctrines by various yogis of different sects/schools - some are eternalists, some are annihilationist, and so forth. Naturally they are all very confused what to believe.

Buddha thus taught them a way to judge things for themselves without reliance on blind faith. He taught the path to a virtuous life regardless of one's stance or belief on matters such as rebirth.

On the other hand, to the Buddhists, the Buddha had another different level of message. His message was that holding onto the belief that there is 'no this world, no next world,' .. etc, is called "wrong view" (and as we know right view in all its aspects, up to right concentration and right mindfulness are all vital aspects of the noble eightfold path to awakening):

" [1] "Of those, right view is the forerunner. And how is right view the forerunner? One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view. And what is wrong view? 'There is nothing given, nothing offered, nothing sacrificed. There is no fruit or result of good or bad actions. There is no this world, no next world, no mother, no father, no spontaneously reborn beings; no contemplatives or brahmans who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is wrong view."
January 24 at 4:15pm • Edited • Like • 2
Viorica Doina Neacsu Thank you Kyle and Soh for your time to write so great comments. I always been a little bit confused about this rebirth and as i see i didn't use the right questions in my contemplation. Thank you again
January 24 at 6:38pm • Like • 2
Robert Healion "What is it, Venerable Sir, that will be reborn?"
"A psycho-physical combination [nama-rupa], O King."

That which is born of the physical is the physical. So the question of enlightenment, there is more than the physical, otherwise there is no original mind, there is no suchness.

Buddha was right in avoiding a direct approach. The atman is avoided as it gives rise to a soul, the other extreme is nihilism. Yet there is a something as there is a product stemming from enlightenment.

My belief is the Buddha was dealing with a very biased audience. ‘We want a heaven we want our dozen virgins’. Perhaps not that extreme but wanting a continuum of their sense of self. To steer away from speculation on the unknowable and concentrate on that which is at hand. The current condition and choices stemming from past actions. Buddha had to break the mould. Loose an atman and a God and look further afield.
January 24 at 11:10pm • Like
Robert Healion So how do you break the mould.
January 24 at 11:11pm • Like
Din Robinson by recognizing there is no mould to break, it's all mentation
January 25 at 12:53am • Like
Jackson Peterson Any conceptual "view" is a "wrong view". Seeing the emptiness of all views is "right view". Seeing this clearly "breaks the mould".
January 25 at 3:42am • Like
Goose Saver Soh, I disagree with your interpretation. The Kalama Sutta is a discourse of the Buddha contained in the Anguttara Nikaya of the Tipitaka. The instruction of the Kalamas (the Kalama Sutta) is legendary for its encouragement of free inquiry. Often this Sutta is quoted in part, but its full understanding is seen in its entirety. That is, because the Buddha is outlining a framework in which we can wholeheartedly trust: Right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. The Noble Path is the means for which we examine or reflect on our actions. That simply is the "right view." Right view is not having the belief or non-belief in karma or reincarnation. Wrong view is simply not following the Noble Path.
January 25 at 3:43am • Like • 1
Soh Right view is not defined as "following the Noble Path". Right view is quite specifically defined by the Buddha:

[1] "Of those, right view is the forerunner. And how is right view the forerunner? One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view. And what is wrong view? 'There is nothing given, nothing offered, nothing sacrificed. There is no fruit or result of good or bad actions. There is no this world, no next world, no mother, no father, no spontaneously reborn beings; no contemplatives or brahmans who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is wrong view.

"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 acquisitions [of becoming]; there is right view that is noble, without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path.

"And what is the right view with effluents, siding with merit, resulting 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 next world. There is mother & father. There are spontaneously reborn beings; there are contemplatives & brahmans who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is the right view with effluents, siding with merit, resulting in acquisitions.

"And what is the right view that is noble, 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[1] (1.
These various factors are all equivalent to knowledge in terms of the four noble truths. The relationship between these four truths and the issue of skillful and unskillful action is shown in SN 46.51, which notes that analysis of qualities as a factor for awakening is fed by paying appropriate attention to qualities as to whether they are skillful or unskillful.) in one developing the noble path whose mind is noble, whose mind is without effluents, who is fully possessed of the noble path. This is the right view that is noble, without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path.

"One makes an effort for the abandoning of wrong view & for entering into right view: This is one's right effort. One is mindful to abandon wrong view & to enter & remain in right view: This is one's right mindfulness.[2] Thus these three qualities — right view, right effort, & right mindfulness — run & circle around right view.

"[2] Of those, right view is the forerunner. And how is right view the forerunner? One discerns wrong resolve as wrong resolve, and right resolve as right resolve. This is one's right view. And what is wrong resolve? Being resolved on sensuality, on ill will, on harmfulness. This is wrong resolve.

etc. continued in

Maha-cattarisaka Sutta: The Great Forty
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying at Savatthi, in Je...See More
January 25 at 3:47am • Edited • Like • Remove Preview
Jackson Peterson Soh, I would say these quotes are for those who are not of the highest capacity; as conceptual duality is expressed therein. These dualistic notions are poison for an adept, but an effective antidote for a beginner of lower capacity.
January 25 at 3:52am • Like
Goose Saver Reread what you printed, Soh. Wrong view is not following the Noble Path of Right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. Poetry is poetry.
January 25 at 6:17am • Edited • Like • 1
Soh Goose, Right View is defined as understanding Rebirth, Karma and Four Noble Truths. And as part of discerning four noble truths is also the discernment of the noble eightfold path because that is the 4th noble truth.

Right view is not about "following noble eightfold path", it is about viewing reality as it is, however it is the pre-requisite for following the noble eightfold path because if you do not discern suffering, the cause of suffering, the end of suffering and the path to end suffering, you will naturally not be able to walk the path
January 25 at 4:04am • Edited • Like
Soh Jackson, as Thusness wrote before:

John TanSaturday, September 28, 2013 at 10:39pm UTC+08

Full exertion of that tendency to see things inherently...
John TanSaturday, September 28, 2013 at 10:41pm UTC+08

But u must know not conceptually...u must realized so that u see "that action, that tendencies" in real this "I M", the taste of it directly


If you understand this then you understand directly (through non-conceptual realization) the twelve links of dependent origination, and you understand karma not as a concept but as living reality.

As I was telling John Ahn some days back: "another insight that can arise is the strength of the "imputation" and the non-duality of imputation/symbol and experience... that is the article on karmic propensities that i wrote about. that is not only should u see through the illusion of imputation and the release/weightlessness, u should realize the "weight", the "bondage" in direct experience"

And I wrote this article previously:

Total Exertion of Karmic Tendencies
Posted by: Soh
Karmic propensity is the whole of one's experiential reality. If one feels like a changeless witness, that experience of feeling like a changeless witness IS that propensity in action, in experience... if one is seeing fully that there's only transience (the radiant flow of sights/sounds/smells/taste/touch/thoughts), that is the actualization of wisdom (of anatta).

If one sees manifestation but appears solid, that's also the view of latent tendency, that view of inherent existence in action. That very feeling of concreteness IS karmic tendency. If one sees this very presence (of any experience - sight, sound, smell, etc) is empty of any it-ness, concreteness, solidity, apparent yet empty, that very vision itself is the actualization of wisdom, it is the total exertion of wisdom, it IS wisdom. Or as Dzogchen puts it - those very five elements (space, wind, fire, water, earth) are wisdoms by nature, so experienced in its actual state, is that actualization of wisdom.

In a way, the view is the experience... every samsaric experience is the total exertion of ignorance along with the 12 links in a single moment. Occasionally ignorant view is forgotten in a peak experience, such a cessation is however non-analytical and merely a passing state, as the conditions for the re-emergence of ignorance and afflictions have not been cut off from its roots. Only the analytical cessation resulting from penetrative prajna wisdom of twofold emptiness can lead to a permanent and quantum shift of perception away from ignorance, what Lankavatara Sutra calls the "turning-about" in the deepest seat of consciousness (but again this deepest seat is not somewhere else but fully manifesting!).

So the karmic tendency, and wisdom, you've been searching for has never been elsewhere but is staring right in your face as your experiential reality all along! Funny how one doesn't see that. That very activity that is mentally fabricated but appearing real as one's only experiential reality at that given moment, just that is the spell of karmic tendency. That activity that is (experienced/seen as) luminous and empty as one's only experiential reality at that given moment is the wisdom.

I remember when Ciaran (of Ruthless Truth) saw the real fiction of self (a process of creative imagination brought into real life, a real creation based on an imaginary character) he wrote that it was a "zen on drugs" moment. Yeah, I can see why he said that!

Thusness commented, "Very good, so the dreams in dreams ( Otherwise you are seeing clarity as empty and tendencies as inherent... hiding somewhere."

Awakening to Reality: Total Exertion of Karmic Tendencies
What really surprises me is how "karma" is able to "veil" reality. Why, it seems to be a "devil" stronger than "reality" itself
January 25 at 4:12am • Edited • Like • Remove Preview
Goose Saver No, that is your interpretation. Rebirth and karma are empty concepts for a struggling self. "Right view, as explained in the commentary to the Sammaditthi Sutta, has a variety of aspects, but it might best be considered as twofold: conceptual right view, which is the intellectual grasp of the principles enunciated in the Buddha's teaching, and experiential right view, which is the wisdom that arises by direct penetration of the teaching. Conceptual right view, also called the right view in conformity with the truths (saccanulomika-sammaditthi), is a correct conceptual understanding of the Dhamma arrived at by study of the Buddha's teachings and deep examination of their meaning. Such understanding, though conceptual rather than experiential, is not dry and sterile. When rooted in faith in the Triple Gem and driven by a keen aspiration to realize the truth embedded in the formulated principles of the Dhamma, it serves as a critical phase in the development of wisdom (pañña), for it provides the germ out of which experiential right view gradually evolves" The Discourse on Right View:
The Sammaditthi Sutta and its Commentary translated from the Pali by
Bhikkhu Ñanamoli edited and Revised by Bhikkhu Bodhi (1994). Ultimately, the experiential right view is the penetration to the right view in one's own immediate experience.
January 25 at 4:13am • Like • 1
Soh Rebirth and karma are not "empty concepts for a struggling self", they are Buddha's directly attained knowledge in meditation. They are two of the three knowledges Buddha attained on the day of his awakening.

As I wrote in another forum today:

3) Rebirth and karma

- Buddha recalled in his meditation aeons of his past lives and discovered that we all underwent countless past lives fuelled by our own delusions and karma:

"I recollected my manifold past lives, that is, one birth, two births, three births, four births, five births, ten births, twenty births, thirty births, forty births, fifty births, a hundred births, a thousand births, a hundred thousand births, many aeons of world-contraction, many aeons of world-expansion, many aeons of world-contraction and expansion: ‘There I was so named, of such a clan, with such an appearance, such was my nutriment, such my experience of pleasure and pain, such my life-term; and passing away from there, I reappeared elsewhere; and there too I was so named, of such a clan, with such an appearance, such was my nutriment, such my experience of pleasure and pain, such my life-term; and passing away from there, I reappeared here.’ Thus with their aspects and particulars I recollected my manifold past lives."

- the Buddha realized in his meditation the mechanisms for the rebirth of sentient beings, and how sentient beings are born into fortunate and unfortunate births and experiencing pleasant or unpleasant feelings due to the ripening of wholesome and unwholesome karmas:

"With the divine eye, which is purified and surpasses the human, I saw beings passing away and reappearing, inferior and superior, fair and ugly, fortunate and unfortunate. I understood how beings pass on according to their actions thus: ‘These worthy beings who were ill conducted in body, speech, and mind, revilers of noble ones, wrong in their views, giving effect to wrong view in their actions, on the dissolution of the body, after death, have reappeared in a state of deprivation, in a bad destination, in perdition, even in hell; but these worthy beings who were well conducted in body, [23] speech, and mind, not revilers of noble ones, right in their views, giving effect to right view in their actions, on the dissolution of the body, after death, have reappeared in a good destination, even in the heavenly world.’"

- there is a way to end this beginningless cycle of suffering and rebirth in samsara, and that is by practicing the noble eightfold path and attaining Nirvana

Source: Bhayabherava Sutta
January 25 at 4:17am • Edited • Like • 3
Goose Saver Yes, the Bhayabherava Sutta: Fear and Terror---"Now, brahman, if the thought should occur to you, 'Perhaps Gotama the contemplative is even today not free of passion, not free of aversion, not free of delusion, which is why he resorts to isolated forest & wilderness dwellings,' it should not be seen in that way. It's through seeing two compelling reasons that I resort to isolated forest & wilderness dwellings: seeing a pleasant abiding for myself in the present, and feeling sympathy for future generations." Poetry is poety. Meditate on the sutta.
January 25 at 4:22am • Like • 2
Soh Goose, whatever the Buddha said are far from poetry. They are the living realization put in words. Those who do not realize and experience it may think it is poetry
January 25 at 4:26am • Like • 3
Goose Saver Soh, what is the beauty of Prajñā (Sanskrit: प्रज्ञा)? Is it your belief in this and that or my belief in this or that?
January 25 at 4:28am • Like
Goose Saver Everything the Buddha said is poetry.
January 25 at 4:29am • Like • 1
Soh Prajñā is non-conceptual realization of emptiness. However, right view requires having right understanding, which includes conceptual understanding at the beginning.
January 25 at 4:30am • Like • 3
Soh It depends on what you mean by poetry. If you say Buddha's words are mere poetry, it has the connotation that his words merely sound nice but is without actual substance/knowledge derived from direct realization. And on this the Buddha clearly stated that his teachings are far from the ordinary works of poets.

SN 20.7
PTS: S ii 266
CDB i 708
Ani Sutta: The Peg
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
© 1999

Staying at Savatthi. "Monks, there once was a time when the Dasarahas had a large drum called 'Summoner.' Whenever Summoner was split, the Dasarahas inserted another peg in it, until the time came when Summoner's original wooden body had disappeared and only a conglomeration of pegs remained. [1]

"In the same way, in the course of the future there will be monks who won't listen when discourses that are words of the Tathagata — deep, deep in their meaning, transcendent, connected with emptiness — are being recited. They won't lend ear, won't set their hearts on knowing them, won't regard these teachings as worth grasping or mastering. But they will listen when discourses that are literary works — the works of poets, elegant in sound, elegant in rhetoric, the work of outsiders, words of disciples — are recited. They will lend ear and set their hearts on knowing them. They will regard these teachings as worth grasping & mastering.

"In this way the disappearance of the discourses that are words of the Tathagata — deep, deep in their meaning, transcendent, connected with emptiness — will come about.

"Thus you should train yourselves: 'We will listen when discourses that are words of the Tathagata — deep, deep in their meaning, transcendent, connected with emptiness — are being recited. We will lend ear, will set our hearts on knowing them, will regard these teachings as worth grasping & mastering.' That's how you should train yourselves."

Ani Sutta: The Peg
"Monks, there once was a time when the Dasarahas had a large drum called 'Summoner.'
January 25 at 4:32am • Edited • Like • Remove Preview
Goose Saver In that order? LOL
January 25 at 4:32am • Like
Goose Saver Training and understanding--two very different tasks. Thank you, beautiful is the statement: "In this way the disappearance of the discourses that are words of the Tathagata — deep, deep in their meaning, transcendent, connected with emptiness — will come about."
January 25 at 4:37am • Like • 2
Goose Saver The good thing about emptiness is that it has no fixed position!
January 25 at 4:44am • Like • 2
Jackson Peterson It seems in this discussion that some kind of "self" needs to understand, follow a path and realize the correct view, the enlightened non-conceptual view. But in fact there is only a flow of conditioning appearing as current thoughts and imaginary identities. When the mind slows down enough, the whirlpool ceases and the dream-like self-identity ceases. In this moment of dissolution a flash of prajna reveals that there never was a someone to be liberated; rather there was just an empty stream of thoughts proposing a self-identity that needed to be liberated. There is a more direct way to point this out without trying to or needing to decipher and understand the Buddha's early teachings meant for the less aware masses of his time...
January 25 at 6:48am • Like • 1
Kyle Dixon The self-identity is the conditioning.

The lack of an inherent self is a given. Buddhism isn't dealing with a self, it's dealing with delusion and conditioning.
January 25 at 7:07am • Like • 3
Jackson Peterson That's a given, but yet a self is being reified as an imaginary self that is obstacled or released by wisdom. There is only a self-releasing and impermanent flow of thoughts that occur to "no one". But no one realizes this, because there is "no one" to recognize this. The whirlpool of karmic thoughts just ceases when the mind becomes still and clear naturally. This is like waves revealing themselves to be water all along. No one benefits from this cessation, nor does anyone suffer from the lack of cessation...
January 25 at 7:25am • Like • 1
Kyle Dixon But I agree prajñā is the means to loosen those bonds. Though prajñā is only one of the two accumulations considered to be the definitive means. The other is upāya, which includes right view acquired from the qualified guru and learning the teachings and associated philosophical systems.

Dudjom Lingpa actually explores this point in his gnas lugs rang byung. Specifically the claim that studying or learning the correct view is a hindrance. He attests that it is not, and uses the analogy of an ear which has water trapped in it (a nuisance we can all relate to), citing that one of the most effective ways of removing that trapped water is actually pouring more water into the ear, which will successfully wash out the water which is initially trapped leaving the ear free of water. He says that in the same way, the use of concepts and learning (within the context of the dharma), serves the same purpose.

In Bönpo Dzogchen, the studying of the teachings and the wisdom gained from doing so is held to be one of the many modalities of rig pa [skt. vidyā], called bsam rig. The more refined ones bsam rig is, the clearer ones view becomes.

My Drikung Kagyu lama also states that a refined intellectual knowledge of the teachings is very important (though practice is more important). He stated that ones intellectual knowledge of the teachings is directly related to prajñā. The former being a direct expression of the latter, and so while intellectual knowledge should not be treated as a substitute for non-conceptual wisdom, it also should not be rejected either. It is a helpful and effective practice when applied skillfully, and the clearer your knowledge is conceptually, the easier it will be to recognize non-conceptual wisdom. He said this goes for any type of learning, not just dharma.
January 25 at 7:36am • Unlike • 6
Jackson Peterson This "sharpening" of insight is a function of the mind seeing all subjective and objective phenomena to be empty. This is the only wisdom that matters... and it arises from within the mind itself.
However this can be pointed out... like a computer being infected by a virus suddenly that closes down all the software programs at once...
January 25 at 10:19am • Like • 1
Stephanie Marie Buddha also said that an evil man could find the truth, and thus beat the king of death, an evil man and a householder, but that it would be much more difficult than living in seclusion
I'm pretty sure that's from the dammapada
January 25 at 11:02am • Like
Stephanie Marie And by that defeating Mara, so it can't be dependent upon merit
January 25 at 11:04am • Like
Stephanie Marie So I'm pretty sure karma teaching is an excellent tool, and not an absolute. Like the bardo teaching. Because I currently hold to a deep belief that after death the emotional state, if adhered to as I, gets transferred in appearances after death. I need to investigate this belief a bit,
Because who is transferring?
No one is.
January 25 at 11:43am • Like • 1
Jackson Peterson There is no person transferring, but rather the mind makes an appearance again in a new situation.
January 25 at 3:15pm • Unlike • 3
Stephanie Marie So, no one would see the bardo unless they received the teaching? He he he
January 25 at 3:34pm • Like
Soh Stephanie: What continues are just tendencies, not the transference of a person. For example a person addicted to smoking will continue smoking day after day until he/she stops that addiction. What continues here is not a 'soul' or a 'person', but the habitual tendencies, afflictive conditioning.

But how is it that tendencies continue? Our actions reinforce our tendencies like laying down on a patch of grass causes imprints. Its a vicious cycle.

Having said that, there is a danger of making "tendencies" into another atman-view, which is why it is important to realize this:

Awakening to Reality: Total Exertion of Karmic Tendencies
What really surprises me is how "karma" is able to "veil" reality. Why, it seems to be a "devil" stronger than "reality" itself
January 25 at 4:42pm • Edited • Like • 2 • Remove Preview
Soh Many people even in this group has recalled plenty of their past lives in meditation. Also,
Ven. S Dhammika:

You have talked a lot about rebirth but is there any proof that we will be reborn when we die?

Not only is there scientific evidence to support Buddhist belief in rebirth, it is the only after-life theory that has any evidence to support it. There is not a scrap of evidence to prove the existence of heaven and of course evidence of annihilation at death must be lacking. But during the last 30 years parapsychologists have been studying reports that some people have vivid memories of their former lives. For example, in England, a 5 year old girl said she could remember her other mother and father and she talked vividly about what sounded like the events in the life of another person. Parapsychologists were called in and asked her hundreds of questions to which she gave answers. She spoke of living in a particular village, in what appeared to be Spain. She gave the name of the village, the name of the street she lived in, her neighbours’ names and details about her everyday life there. she also tearfully spoke of how she had been struck by a car and died of her injuries two days later. When these details were checked, they were found to be accurate. There was a village in Spain with the name the child had given. There was a house of the type she had described in the street she had named. What is more, it was found that a 23 year old woman living in the house had been killed in a car accident five years before.

Now how is it possible for a five year old living in England who had never been to Spain to know all these details? And of course, this is not the only case of this type. Professor Ian Stevenson of the University of Virginia’s Department of Psychology has described dozens of cases of this type in his books. He is an accredited scientist whose 25 year study of people who remember former lives is very strong evidence for the Buddhist teaching of rebirth.

Well, have there ever been any scientists who believe in rebirth?

Yes. Thomas Huxley, who was responsible for having science introduced into the 19th century British school system and who was the first scientist to defend Darwin’s theories, believed that reincarnation was a very plausible idea. In his famous book "Evolution and Ethics and other Essays", he says:

"In the doctrine of transmigration, whatever its origin, Brahmanical and Buddhist speculation found, ready to hand, the means of constructing a plausible vindication of the ways of the Cosmos to man....yet this plea of justification is not less plausible than others; and none but very hasty thinkers will reject it on the ground of inherent absurdity. Like the doctrine of evolution itself, that of transmigration has its roots in the world of reality; and it may claim such support as the great argument from analogy is capable of supplying".

Then, Professor Gust Stromberg, the famous Swedish astronomer, physicist and friend of Einstein also found the idea of rebirth appealing:

"Opinions differ whether human souls can be reincarnated on the earth or not. In 1936 a very interesting case was thoroughly investigated and reported by the government authorities in India. A girl (Shanti Devi from Deli) could accurately describe her previous life (at Muttra, five hundred miles from Deli) which ended about a year before her 'second birth'. She gave the name of her husband and child and described her home and life history. The investigating commission brought her to her former relatives, who verified all her statements. Among the people of India reincarnations are regarded as commonplace; the astonishing thing for them in this case was the great number of facts the girl remembered. This and similar cases can be regarded as additional evidence for the theory of the indestructibility of memory".

Professor Julian Huxley, the distinguished British scientist who was Director General of UNESCO believed that rebirth was quite in harmony with scientific thinking:

"There is nothing against a permanently surviving spirit-individuality being in some way given off at death, as a definite wireless message is given off by a sending apparatus working in a particular ways. But it must be remembered that the wireless message only becomes a message again when it comes in contact with a new, material structure - the receiver. So with our possible spirit-emanation. It would never think or feel unless again "embodied" in some way. our personalities are so based on body that it is really impossible to think of survival which would be in any true sense personal without a body of sorts. I can think of something being given off which could bear the same relation to men and women as a wireless message to the transmitting apparatus for mind".

Even very practical and down-to-earth people like the American industrialist Henry Ford found the idea of rebirth acceptable. Ford was attracted to the idea of rebirth because, unlike the theistic idea or the materialistic idea, rebirth gives you a second chance to develop yourself. Henry Ford says:

"I adopted the theory of Reincarnation when I was twenty six. Religion offered nothing to the point. Even work could not give me complete satisfaction. Work is futile if we cannot utilise the experience we collect in one life in the next. When I discovered Reincarnation it was as if I had found a universal plan I realised that there was a chance to work out my ideas. Time was no longer limited. I was no longer a slave to the hands of the clock. Genius is experience. Some seem to think that it is a gift or talent, but it is the fruit of long experience in many lives. Some are older souls than others, and so they know more. The discovery of Reincarnation put my mind at ease. If you preserve a record of this conversation, write it so that it puts men’s minds at ease. I would like to communicate to others the calmness that the long view of life gives to us".

So the Buddhist teachings of rebirth does have some scientific evidence to support it. It is logically consistent and it goes a long way in answering questions what the theistic and the materialistic theories fail to . It is also very comforting. What can be worse than a theory of life that gives you no second chance, no opportunity to amend the mistakes you have made in this life and no time to further develop the skills and abilities you have nurtured in this life. But according to the Buddha, if you fail to attain Nirvana in this life, you will have the opportunity to try again next time. If you have made mistakes in this life, you will be able to correct yourself in the next life. You will truly be able to learn from your mistakes. Things you were unable to do or achieve in this life may well become possible in the next life. What a wonderful teaching!
January 25 at 4:24pm • Like • 5
Goose Saver One does not need to be a member of this group to recall a past life or many past lives. I agree that Probably the best data on reincaration is from Dr. Ian Stevenson. However, there is no scientific paradigm (so far) that supports the claim. Science lacks an "experiential model" and the scientific community, especially, on topics of PSI and ESP lack statistical significance and reliability, the latter more so than the former. However, proponents of the ESP phenomena point to numerous studies that cite evidence of the phenomenon's existence: the work of physicists Russell Targ and Harold E. Puthoff as well as the wonderful work of J. B. Rhine while at Duke University and many, many others especially in the field of Parapsychology as you pointed out. Some of these abilities seem to be highly associated with advanced meditation, however, that is not the case. There are many different exercises, for example, the Robert Monroe technique for outer body experiences, that can be done in just an afternoon sitting. Certainly, meditation does indeed help. However, most children are not taught how to use these abilities and so don't do so. What becomes problematic is our attachment to all of this phenomena. I remember well in my early years of intense monastic training all the wonderful experiences and the good advise from my Zen Master: "Don't hold all those illusions in your mind." He would also say: "The only karma you hold is the one in your head." Sorry I forget to mention thank you for all your references and other posts. My whole point was non-attachment. Remember: A thief entering an empty house does not gain anything, and the house does not lose anything. Have a wonderful day! Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah....
January 26 at 5:24am • Unlike • 2
Soh I looked into Russel Targ's video before, good stuff
January 26 at 5:24am • Like • 1
Soh ". Some of these abilities seem to be highly associated with advanced meditation, however, that is not the case."

I'd say there are many ways, one of the way is attaining deep samadhis (I know of friends here in this group who recalled past lives and accessed siddhis through deep samadhi), there are of course other ways like past life regression, hypnotherapy and so on.. and techniques specifically focused on inducing OBEs etc (for me OBEs occur spontaneously in sleep paralysis too, I suppose it isn't too difficult)
January 26 at 5:26am • Edited • Like • 2
Goose Saver The problem with these psychic abilities is that if we cling to them, we hold our self back and miss out on what follows...
January 26 at 5:31am • Unlike • 2
Justin Struble
Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research
From its inception, PEAR's scholarly agenda has been motivated by three overarch...See More
January 26 at 5:32am • Unlike • 1 • Remove Preview
Justin Struble

Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research
The most substantial portion of the PEAR experimental program examined anomalies arising in human/machine interactions.
January 26 at 5:39am • Like • Remove Preview
Justin Struble
January 26 at 5:39am • Like
Goose Saver Justin, the goal towards an enlightened society?
January 26 at 7:34am • Edited • Like
Stephanie Marie I just saw this again, missed your post Soh thank you!
Yesterday at 1:00am • Like
Stephanie Marie Wow. I'm convinced. Wow.
Yesterday at 1:05am • Like
Stephanie Marie So when Nikola Tesla talked about receivers, this is what he meant, wow and Huxley. Omg. I should reevaluate my conditions. Lol. Geez.
I can see why being arrogant and drunk on emptiness is absolutely foolish.
I really love that Zen story with the stick, fits my understanding quite well, though I am very bad at sitting quietly. My bad karma is a mind that doesn't stop analyzing, which might be okay, but not so good for worry, though I guess it is happening as it is, and how it's supposed to.
Yesterday at 1:10am • Like
Jackson Peterson Goose Saver said "The problem with these psychic abilities is that if we cling to them, we hold our self back and miss out on what follows...". What "self" is held back that misses out? In Buddhism there is no such self, that's the whole insight and point of anatta.
4 hours ago • Like • 1
Ram Jayaram Hmm.. does this mean the true buddhist won't be able to click a 'selfie' at all? Ha ha
4 hours ago • Like • 1
Goose Saver Yes, Jackson, could have stated that much better. Thank you for bringing my attention to it. The main cause of our suffering is our basic clinging to reference points, e.g., psychic phenomena, it is this cause that we have to dissolve in order to obtain freedom from the result, that is suffering. It is purely the mind's unravelling of the cocoon, not the dwelling in it.
10 minutes ago • Like • 1

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