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  1. #111
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    if you ask me, the similarities between buddhism and christianity basically boil down to "be a good, moral, caring, etc person, have a good heart."
    differences:
    -monotheistic cf "no fundmanetal deity that somehow stood outside of and created existence"
    -"one lifetime cf reincarnation"
    -one lifetime cf karma from previous births
    -fundamental sin that someone long before you did and you have nothing whatsoever to do with other than supposedly being there descendant cf "its all karma, some is more skillful than other, no concept analogous to original sin, but there is "delusion" or "ignorance"
    -1 heaven, 1 hell both forever cf LOTS of heavens and hells but your time there will be limited and then you'll move on
    -inner awareness is largely irrelevant, just "believe the right thing!" cf "believes are largely irrelevant but inner awareness is the path away from unnecessary fundamental suffering
    -discovering the "inner abilities of ones soul" is bad!!! cf discovering the inner abilities of one's soul is good as long as you don't become too attached to or distracted by it
    -only like one person ever had "psychic" abilities and they died a long time ago
    1 cf all people have the potential to awaken "psychic" awarenesses
    -"thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" cf "we can teeach you how to discover those in-potential psychic awarenesses
    -only your declaration of faith matters cf faith is largely irrelevant
    -convert to OUR form of our faith, or we will kill you! cf most peaceful religion absorbed into multiple cultures/countries ever
    -there is only one chosen tribe of people and they lived in historical-Israel! cf all places are equally manifestations of fundamental consciousness
    -"truth" is found via me [aka your church-appointed preacher] and the church organization I serve with our one literally true book cf "truth" is found within no preachers needed and we have WAY more than just one book, and we don't declare them to be infallable either
    -one lifetime only, rest of eternity determined by declaration of faith to the "correct" faith, cf we [tibetans] track are deceased leaders through the "death states" until they reincarnate again, at which point we locate them and make them our new leaders again
    etc
    etc
    etc

    I mean really, the list just goes on and on and on....

  2. #112
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    ^So, if there is no individual soul (either in the Western sense or the Hindu sense as an aspect of an all-encompassing over-soul), what is reincarnated?

  3. #113

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    No he wasnt.

  4. #114
    Riva
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    Quote Originally Posted by xNTP View Post
    I'm still uncomfortable with that language, but I'll stop fussing about it after this post. Even after years of practice, you wouldn't feel nothing. You would still feel things, you wouldn't obsess about them, though. You wouldn't get attached and fixate on them, getting lost in the story. That can be thought of the opposite -- as ULTIMATE feeling, not no feeling, since you need to be present and experience things in order to let them go.

    Even Zen Masters will still feel things. When I was studying in the Kwan Um School of Zen, I once heard a story how when one of the abbots passed away, Zen Master Seung Sahn cried and wailed for an entire night at the top of his lungs. The next day he started feeling better and eventually felt centered again. Rather than saying that the goal is to feel nothing, I think it's more accurate to say that the goal is to feel everything with the intention of not being possessed by your fears and thoughts about those feelings.
    This is actually correct.

    Like I said earlier if practiced correctly and persistently (refer noble 8 fold path) for a long period of time –

    “one sees and is able to let go of what is harmful and unnecessary as soon as it arises.”

    The issue here is distinguishing between feelings, emotions and thoughts. As long as there are nerves in the body (which are active) one would continue to feel things. This applies to Arahats (enlightened persons). Even arahats feel things. Feelings are actually subtle reactions which arise when due to external stimuli’s of the 5 sense bases (eyes, ears, tongue, nose and skin).

    When a person,
    Hears a loud noise – he feels it
    Taste a food – he feels it
    Etc

    These are reactions made by the body. Feelings are reactions of the body. If a body does not feel any sense, it should be either dead or the nerves should be dead.

    Emotions on the other hand are reactions made by the mind due to the feelings created by the body due to external stimuli picked up by the 5 sense bases. And thoughts are what arise due to emotions. And thoughts begat more and more emotions and in return the emotions create more and more thoughts etc (samskara). It goes on and on.

    So as you see –

    An Arahat would feel things. But would simply stop as soon as the he sees the rise of an emotion. He/she would stop it by continuous persistent practice. For an arahat it would be simply simple due to practice.

    Therefore since the arahat stops the emotion no thoughts arise due to it. No worries, no stress, no sadness (emotions).

    It should also be noted that –

    Even thoughts without feelings would begat emotions, more thoughts and even feelings. Dreaming is a good example.

  5. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    ^So, if there is no individual soul (either in the Western sense or the Hindu sense as an aspect of an all-encompassing over-soul), what is reincarnated?
    Good question. I would answer you on the point of Theravada Buddhism..

    When one dies there is rebirth, is what was believed in Hinduism, Buddhism and similar concepts. The concept of reincarnation predates Buddhism.

    Three marks of existence.

    Anicca - Impermanence
    Dukkha - Suffering
    Anatta - No soul


    Are the three marks of existence a person needs to realize to actually start bring suffering to an end. If this is not realized no one would actually be bothered to follow the path to liberation..

    As you can see the 3rd realization is Anatta which means No Soul. Now the question arises as to what would actually be reincarnated if not the soul?

    One might think it is the soul that travels from one life to the other. Depending on the Karma it has accumulated it would go to a better place or worse. This is not the teaching of Buddha.

    Vijnana –

    Is what travels from one life to another. Vijnana is the continuation of thought. Since a normal person craves what one thinks (without actually knowing) there is vijnana. The simplest explanation I could come up with to describe Vijnanais the attraction power one has towards its thoughts ( feelings, emotions, sensations). That is the reason a normal person would get one thought after another. There is craving there is vijnana. And the vijnana binds the person to his thoughts and what comes after the thought. It could be emotions, it could be feelings, it could be sensations. All of which are followed or is being followed by more thoughts.

    An arahat does not have vijnana. There is no craving. There are no thoughts due to the cravings.

    When one dies it is vijnana that is reincarnated. The continuation of thought. That is what Buddhism teaches.The person we call as I is actually the continuation of thoughts.

    Unfortunately this is the simplest description I could give.

  6. #116
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    hmm... I know it's perfectly normal for humans to think about death and what is next?

    Although it's very interesting learning what differing traditions and individuals think on the topic...

    Oddly, I've never cared. I was born, and before that moment I remember nothing. When I die, I'd just assume that be it.

  7. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by sLiPpY View Post
    hmm... I know it's perfectly normal for humans to think about death and what is next?

    Although it's very interesting learning what differing traditions and individuals think on the topic...

    Oddly, I've never cared. I was born, and before that moment I remember nothing. When I die, I'd just assume that be it.
    The reason behind this was also explained by Buddha.

  8. #118
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    ^So, if there is no individual soul (either in the Western sense or the Hindu sense as an aspect of an all-encompassing over-soul), what is reincarnated?
    That's an awesome question that has an answer, but not one that I understand. The book "What the Buddha Taught" addresses that very question. I did a good search and may have found something to answer your question...or at least attempt to.

    However, Buddhists often speak of "rebirth." If there is no soul or permanent self, what is it that is "reborn"?

    What Is the Self?

    The Buddha taught that what we think of as our "self" -- our ego, self-consciousness and personality -- is a creation of the skandhas. Very simply, our bodies, physical and emotional sensations, conceptualizations, ideas and beliefs, and consciousness work together to create the illusion of a permanent, distinctive "me."

    The Buddha said, “Oh, Bhikshu, every moment you are born, decay, and die.” He meant that, every moment, the illusion of "me" renews itself. Not only is nothing carried over from one life to the next; nothing is carried over from one moment to the next.

    This takes us to the Three Marks of Existence, in particular anicca, "impermanence." The Buddha taught that all phenomena, including beings, are in a constant state of flux -- always changing, always becoming, always dying.

    What Is Reborn?

    In his book What the Buddha Taught (1959), Theravada scholar Walpola Rahula asked,

    "If we can understand that in this life we can continue without a permanent, unchanging substance like Self or Soul, why can't we understand that those forces themselves can continue without a Self or Soul behind them after the non-functioning of the body?

    "When this physical body is no more capable of functioning, energies do not die with it, but continue to take some other shape or form, which we call another life. ... Physical and mental energies which constitute the so-called being have within themselves the power to take a new form, and grow gradually and gather force to the full."


    Zen teacher John Daido Loori said,

    "... the Buddha’s experience was that when you go beyond the skandhas, beyond the aggregates, what remains is nothing. The self is an idea, a mental construct. That is not only the Buddha’s experience, but the experience of each realized Buddhist man and woman from 2,500 years ago to the present day. That being the case, what is it that dies? There is no question that when this physical body is no longer capable of functioning, the energies within it, the atoms and molecules it is made up of, don’t die with it. They take on another form, another shape. You can call that another life, but as there is no permanent, unchanging substance, nothing passes from one moment to the next. Quite obviously, nothing permanent or unchanging can pass or transmigrate from one life to the next. Being born and dying continues unbroken but changes every moment."

    Thought Moment to Thought Moment

    The teachers tell us that "me" is a series of thought-moments. Each thought-moment conditions the next thought-moment. In the same way, the last thought-moment of one life conditions the first thought-moment of another life, which is the continuation of a series. "The person who dies here and is reborn elsewhere is neither the same person, nor another," Walpola Rahula wrote.

    This is not easy to understand, and cannot be fully understood with intellect alone. For this reason, many schools of Buddhism emphasize a meditation practice that enables intimate realization of the illusion of self.

    Karma and Rebirth

    The force that propels this continuity is karma. Karma is another Asian concept that Westerners (and, for that matter, a lot of Easterners) often misunderstand. Karma is not fate, but simple action and reaction, cause and effect. For a more complete explanation, please see "Karma for Buddhists 101: Introduction to the Buddhist Understanding of Karma."

    Very simply, Buddhism teaches that karma means "volitional action." Any thought, word or deed conditioned by desire, hate, passion and illusion create karma. When the effects of karma reach across lifetimes, karma brings about rebirth.

    The Persistence of Belief in Reincarnation

    There is no question that many Buddhists, East and West, continue to believe in individual reincarnation. Parables from the sutras and "teaching aids" like the Tibetan Wheel of Life tend to reinforce this belief.

    The Rev. Takashi Tsuji, a Jodo Shinshu priest, wrote about belief in reincarnation:

    "It is said that the Buddha left 84,000 teachings; the symbolic figure represents the diverse backgrounds characteristics, tastes, etc. of the people. The Buddha taught according to the mental and spiritual capacity of each individual. For the simple village folks living during the time of the Buddha, the doctrine of reincarnation was a powerful moral lesson. Fear of birth into the animal world must have frightened many people from acting like animals in this life. If we take this teaching literally today we are confused because we cannot understand it rationally.

    "...A parable, when taken literally, does not make sense to the modern mind. Therefore we must learn to differentiate the parables and myths from actuality."

    What's the Point?

    People often turn to religion for doctrines that provide simple answers to difficult questions. Buddhism doesn't work that way. Merely believing in some doctrine about reincarnation or rebirth has no purpose. Buddhism is a practice that enables experiencing illusion as illusion and reality as reality.

    The Buddha taught that our delusional belief in "me" causes our many dissatisfactions with life (dukkha). When the illusion is experienced as illusion, we are liberated. Source: Reincarnation - Buddhism and Reincarnation or Rebirth
    I can kind of understand it intellectually--energies or tendencies are regrouping and doing the same thing elsewhere, but these energies are not independent of other things--but intuitively, yeah...I have to see it to believe it. But, alas, there is an answer and it is addressed in some form.

  9. #119
    Senior Member matmos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    ^So, if there is no individual soul (either in the Western sense or the Hindu sense as an aspect of an all-encompassing over-soul), what is reincarnated?
    The attribution of a temporal element - time slices - addresses the puzzle.

    According to The 4D View, temporally extended objects have temporal parts, temporal extension is perfectly analogous to spatial extension, and time is one of four dimensions that are on a par, at least with respect to the manner in which objects are spread out in space-time.
    From: Time (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

    Particularly with Edahn's quote:

    The Buddha said, “Oh, Bhikshu, every moment you are born, decay, and die.” He meant that, every moment, the illusion of "me" renews itself. Not only is nothing carried over from one life to the next; nothing is carried over from one moment to the next.
    The problem is an incredibly interesting and difficult one. Like all really interesting puzzles, it has no real solution.

    Further reading from Stanford.

    @ 2:15
    [YOUTUBE="bk24RdfXWcg"]Trigger's Broom[/YOUTUBE]

    Which is a reference to the Ship of Theseus

    Apologies if this seems a bit off-topic.

  10. #120
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    pretty sure he was a big fat jesus killing jew. wait...

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