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What is reincarnation?

 
 
Reply Thu 13 Apr, 2017 10:56 am
What is reincarnation?

The Buddhists talk about reincarnation, but they deny the transmigration of a soul because they say there is no center of being. They have been looking for it for 2500 years and have not found it.

There is a roach living in my compost pile and its name is jimmy. When jimmy dies can he expect to be reincarnated as jimmy the roach again or jimmy the snail or Jimmy the beetle?

Or does reincarnation apply to roaches at all?
Are we special because our enhanced intellect and memory allows us to project a future, construct a center of being or ego, if you will, and surmise a continuation of this being or individual personality ?

Or is reincarnation about the survival of a personality at all? Could it possibly be about an extension of our identity to include all life ? Life is born, life dies, life appears again, not individual personalities, but plants die, animals die, life dies and life is reborn. Or is there more to it than that?

What do you say?
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
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Reply Thu 13 Apr, 2017 12:35 pm
@coluber2001,
Life not selfs "reincarnate"...its also known as evolution in biology.
maxdancona
 
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Reply Thu 13 Apr, 2017 01:00 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
No it is not known as evolution in biology. Evolution passes from parent to offspring.

My children are not reincarnated from me. For one thing, they exist even though I am not dead yet.
Sturgis
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Apr, 2017 02:20 pm
@coluber2001,
All creatures and plants are part of reincarnation. Anything which has a soul or feeling can be reincarnated, sometimes as the same thing it was, sometimes in a new previously not experienced vessel.

For example, a dog can come back as a dog or a cat or giraffe or bird or even a cedar tree. It's all about gaining different experiences sometimes in the same type of vessel, sometimes in a different one.

Your roach may come back as a fish or bird or your new friend or even another run as a roach...or maybe as an Osage tree.

All have souls, therefore possibility.

Eventuality a soul reaches its pinnacle, and at that moment either splits into several new souls, or is released into the ether And becomes gloriously free.
coluber2001
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Apr, 2017 05:15 pm
@Sturgis,
Your "everything has a soul" is contrary to the Buddhist idea of no soul, no Center. "Everything has a soul" sounds more like animism. I'm trying to understand the Buddhist concept of "reincarnation" but "no transmigration of a soul".
0 Replies
 
Krumple
 
  0  
Reply Thu 13 Apr, 2017 08:14 pm
@coluber2001,
coluber2001 wrote:

What is reincarnation?

The Buddhists talk about reincarnation, but they deny the transmigration of a soul because they say there is no center of being. They have been looking for it for 2500 years and have not found it.

There is a roach living in my compost pile and its name is jimmy. When jimmy dies can he expect to be reincarnated as jimmy the roach again or jimmy the snail or Jimmy the beetle?

Or does reincarnation apply to roaches at all?
Are we special because our enhanced intellect and memory allows us to project a future, construct a center of being or ego, if you will, and surmise a continuation of this being or individual personality ?

Or is reincarnation about the survival of a personality at all? Could it possibly be about an extension of our identity to include all life ? Life is born, life dies, life appears again, not individual personalities, but plants die, animals die, life dies and life is reborn. Or is there more to it than that?

What do you say?


I have studied Buddhism for over 20 years.

You are right about there being no soul. There isn't even a self so why would there be a soul?

See the initial problem is we are under the impression that we have a self that persists. However the underline reality is the persistence of mind and it's karma.

At every moment you are led and restricted by your karma. When the body perishes the mind will enter the bardo realm and based on the karma at the time of death will determine which realm you are reborn in.

Cockroaches can eventually be reborn as humans but it's not that clean. Typically they are reborn as another cockroach and move up or down the status based on karmic debt.

There are even esoteric mantras called the rebirth mantra when recited before eating meat or killing insects will cause the being to be reborn as a human based on the merit of your affinity with the Buddhas. This mantra only works if you have the proper empowerment.

Its ignorance of absolute reality that causes you and beings to be continuously reborn over and over. Its already happened to you but you don't remember it but you can unlock those memories.

If your mind is purified you can see and experience past life memories while in samadhi.

A lot of people think of it in terms of punishment or rewards but it's neither. Samsara itself is nothing but punishment.

The point of Buddhism is to awaken to ultimate reality and help others want to awaken. No need to.push or advertise it. Eventually when a being is tired of samsara they will seek a solution which is the Buddha Dharma.
0 Replies
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Apr, 2017 03:06 am
@maxdancona,
Oh really? Never would have that figured out...geee thanks!
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hightor
 
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Reply Fri 14 Apr, 2017 04:45 am
When I was born there were roughly 2 billion souls occupying human bodies. Now there are maybe 7½ billion souls squatting in meat bags. So where'd they get all the additional souls? Do they mine the souls of extinct animals to fill new bodies? Or does some termite colony get conveniently wiped out to release more souls for implantation?

I'll defend Buddhism as one of the best systems of mental hygiene ever developed. I've studied it and practiced it — admittedly in a bastardized form but one which has served me well my entire adult life. However, reincarnation and the 'soul'? — not so great. I prefer to cast this aspect of Buddhism aside. It provides nothing other than fuel for meaningless speculation, like some of the dumber aspects of Christianity — angels, for instance. There's plenty of extractible wisdom available in both religions without getting bogged down in anthropomorphism and meaningless metaphysics.
tsarstepan
 
  2  
Reply Fri 14 Apr, 2017 07:25 am
@coluber2001,
Reincarnation is the universe giving a particular individual a 1up bonus.
https://chikiotaku.mx/wp-content/uploads/sites/11/2012/08/scott-pilgrim-extra-life.gif
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Apr, 2017 08:11 am
@hightor,
Buddhism is a religion. Reincarnation is a religious principle.

Arguing about the mathematics or the science of reincarnation is foolish. Of course, many religions do this. Buddhists talking about the science of reincarnation is the same as Christians talking about weather conditions that might have created a path fo Moses through the Red Sea or searching for Noah's Ark.

I prefer keeping religion and science separate.

coluber2001
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Apr, 2017 10:30 am
@maxdancona,
I think Joseph Campbell was right when he said that religion has to keep current with science, that it has to evolve or else it becomes an anachronism. You can't have a viable religion that is in conflict with science. It dies, not with the believer but with the children of the believer. That's the point in history where we are now. In Europe and America, the people have dropped religion and the new myth has yet to form. People are on their own to find their own myth, their own religion so to speak.
0 Replies
 
coluber2001
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Apr, 2017 12:04 pm
All religions seem to have a mystical sect, those people that see their religion as metaphorical of their personal experience, and see that religion is a direct expression of the psyche. But I think that the mystics have more in common with the mystics of other religions than they do with the fundamentalists of their own religion.






0 Replies
 
Krumple
 
  0  
Reply Fri 14 Apr, 2017 12:17 pm
@hightor,
hightor wrote:

When I was born there were roughly 2 billion souls occupying human bodies. Now there are maybe 7½ billion souls squatting in meat bags. So where'd they get all the additional souls?


I get this question a lot, most attempt to use it as some kind of gotcha but there is easy ways to explain it.

First, the universe and other dimensions are filled with beings. Asuras and gods can be reborn as humans. As well hungry ghosts and he'll beings can reborn as humans. There are also other worlds, the Buddha mentions them on many occasions having numerous beings. They all can be reborn as humand.

hightor wrote:

I'll defend Buddhism as one of the best systems of mental hygiene ever developed. I've studied it and practiced it — admittedly in a bastardized form but one which has served me well my entire adult life. However, reincarnation and the 'soul'? — not so great. I prefer to cast this aspect of Buddhism aside. It provides nothing other than fuel for meaningless speculation, like some of the dumber aspects of Christianity — angels, for instance. There's plenty of extractible wisdom available in both religions without getting bogged down in anthropomorphism and meaningless metaphysics.


There is no soul or self
0 Replies
 
Krumple
 
  0  
Reply Fri 14 Apr, 2017 12:53 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

Buddhism is a religion. Reincarnation is a religious principle.

Arguing about the mathematics or the science of reincarnation is foolish. Of course, many religions do this. Buddhists talking about the science of reincarnation is the same as Christians talking about weather conditions that might have created a path fo Moses through the Red Sea or searching for Noah's Ark.

I prefer keeping religion and science separate.




The Buddha used language that physicists are using for terminology to describe matter and reality.

Solidity is an illusion of electromagnetism repulsive force. Nothing is actually "solid"

The Buddha mentions emptiness of fundamental existence in everything.

The Buddha mention interconnectedness of all things no matter their distance from each other.

The Buddha mentions on multiple occasions world systems harboring beings. Galaxies full of stars so numerous they are difficult to count or know their exact total.

He had the psychology of the human mind down exactly how it is.

With how much he got right about how we know the world to be, all those other aspects that seem strange or unscientific such as rebirth seem more pleasurable than not.

The absence of self and a soul gives the Buddha even more credit. Once you understand the workings of the five aggregates it all makes reasonable sense scientifically.

maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Apr, 2017 03:35 pm
@Krumple,
Quote:
he Buddha used language that physicists are using for terminology to describe matter and reality.


This is religious nonsense. Buddhist apologists are not different than apologists of every religion. They all pull this trick. The way that modern Physics was developed is not a secret. Each step was fully fully documented, the thinkers involved not only wrote down their ideas, in many cases they wrote down how they developed them. Science advanced through experiment and mathematical reasoning, not through spiritual speculation.

All of the religions, Buddhism included, try to twist science to support their own world views. This is one of my pet peeves... because I think this perverts both religion and science.

Here is a Muslim article entitled "The Quran and Modern Science"

https://www.whyislam.org/on-faith/the-quran-and-modern-science-3/

Here is a Jewish version of the same argument (the Torah and modern science)

http://www.aish.com/ci/sam/64069232.html

Here is a similar fundamentalist Christian argument.

http://www.aish.com/ci/sam/64069232.html

Krumple
 
  0  
Reply Fri 14 Apr, 2017 07:18 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

Quote:
he Buddha used language that physicists are using for terminology to describe matter and reality.


This is religious nonsense. Buddhist apologists are not different than apologists of every religion. They all pull this trick. The way that modern Physics was developed is not a secret. Each step was fully fully documented, the thinkers involved not only wrote down their ideas, in many cases they wrote down how they developed them. Science advanced through experiment and mathematical reasoning, not through spiritual speculation.

All of the religions, Buddhism included, try to twist science to support their own world views. This is one of my pet peeves... because I think this perverts both religion and science.

Here is a Muslim article entitled "The Quran and Modern Science"

https://www.whyislam.org/on-faith/the-quran-and-modern-science-3/

Here is a Jewish version of the same argument (the Torah and modern science)

http://www.aish.com/ci/sam/64069232.html

Here is a similar fundamentalist Christian argument.

http://www.aish.com/ci/sam/64069232.html




Its funny because you don't know even what I am referring to yet say no it can't be. I guess you are not scientific either.

maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Apr, 2017 07:38 pm
@Krumple,
Quote:
Its funny because you don't know even what I am referring to yet say no it can't be. I guess you are not scientific either.


You are correct, I am making an assumption that what you will tell me is the same as I have heard before from Buddhists (as well as Muslims and Christians). But you are right that I should give you a chance to prove me wrong... and I will. Being "scientific" doesn't mean being without bias. It does mean setting aside bias when presented with new information (something that you haven't done yet).

The attempts of religions to say that science supports their beliefs is a pet peeve of mine. There are plenty of important questions that science can't answer-- which is why we have religions. But science answers scientific questions, which is something that no religion can do very well. I believe that science and religion should be kept very separate for the good of both science and religion.

But go ahead. I will put on my scientific hat and honestly consider if you have something new for me to think about. However, scientific curiosity comes with scientific skepticism... and my skepticism of religious claims about science is well founded.

But please proceed if you have something new for me to consider.
Krumple
 
  0  
Reply Fri 14 Apr, 2017 08:07 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

Quote:
Its funny because you don't know even what I am referring to yet say no it can't be. I guess you are not scientific either.


You are correct, I am making an assumption that what you will tell me is the same as I have heard before from Buddhists (as well as Muslims and Christians). But you are right that I should give you a chance to prove me wrong... and I will. Being "scientific" doesn't mean being without bias. It does mean setting aside bias when presented with new information (something that you haven't done yet).

The attempts of religions to say that science supports their beliefs is a pet peeve of mine. There are plenty of important questions that science can't answer-- which is why we have religions. But science answers scientific questions, which is something that no religion can do very well. I believe that science and religion should be kept very separate for the good of both science and religion.

But go ahead. I will put on my scientific hat and honestly consider if you have something new for me to think about. However, scientific curiosity comes with scientific skepticism... and my skepticism of religious claims about science is well founded.

But please proceed if you have something new for me to consider.



I can explain many, but one I have already stated.

The nonexistence of self.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Apr, 2017 08:20 pm
@Krumple,
I don't see how "non-existence of self" is a scientific concept. This is fine as a religious concept (which doesn't mean it doesn't convey truth). In Physics, we don't talk about the "non-existence of self".

Let me stop you before you go google up a bunch of quotes about Quantum Mechanics. Quantum mechanics is highly mathematical, and it is testable by experiment. There is nothing religion about Quantum mechanics (even though many religions try to pick out random terms without understanding the mathematics).

When I studied Quantum Mechanics I didn't deal with the self.... I mainly solved a bunch of differential equations to predict how subatomic particles interacted. The most interest work involved bouncing x-rays off of crystals. The science is a little weird in the sense of being counter-intuitive. It wasn't philosophical and had absolutely nothing to do with human experience.

Again this is a pet peeve. People take the words of Quantum Mechanics (or any other Physics) to bend them into their religion. Buddhism, and Judiaism and Christianity have all been around for thousands of years. None of them could have predicted how electrons would interact with a crystalline lattice.

But I digress.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Apr, 2017 08:25 pm
@maxdancona,
Science deals with things that are measurable and testable. Any scientific term is well defined, almost always this means mathematically defined, in a way that can be objectively measured.

The findings of science are then tested by experiment. To run an experiment you do the mathematical calculations that are predicted by a hypothesis, and then you see if the results match the prediction. If they do, then you have a good theory. If they don't, you go back to develop a better hypothesis that can match your observations or experimental data.

I am curious what experiment you would propose for the "non-existence of self". I don't know how you would measure this (although I do have some pretty strong data that I, myself, exist).

Can you define what you mean enough that we can propose an experiment to test it? If not... than this topic is not addressable by science.
0 Replies
 
 

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