Rebirth, Karma & Emptiness

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Bodhidharma
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Rebirth, Karma & Emptiness

Post by Bodhidharma » Thu Nov 19, 2015 6:50 am

The Buddha said that there is no self in the 5 skandhas which include consciousness. Everything is dependent arising. Since there is no permanence and no independence :
1) what is it that continues on to be reborn ?
2) to what do causes attached themselves in one life so that the effects arises in the next life ?

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Wayfarer
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Re: Rebirth, Karma & Emptiness

Post by Wayfarer » Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:34 am

That is one of the deep questions. I think the answer is, as long as the causes giving rise to existence persist, so too does existence - 'because of this, that arises; when this ceases, so too does that'. But there is no one separate from those causes and conditons, only the belief, 'this is me, this is mine, this is happening to me' which is self-perpetuating and which appears to oneself, as oneself. But seeing through that is the path itself and there is no easy answer to it. Just remember, the 'no-self' teaching doesn't say 'there is no self' - but that 'nothing is self'. It might sound like a fine distinction, but it's an important one.
Only practice with no gaining idea ~ Suzuki Roshi

undefineable
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Re: Rebirth, Karma & Emptiness

Post by undefineable » Thu Nov 19, 2015 4:29 pm

If there are only causes and conditions, and one of those is the subconscious belief in the Self, then how is it possible to 'see through' that

smcj
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Re: Rebirth, Karma & Emptiness

Post by smcj » Thu Nov 19, 2015 5:24 pm

Bodhidharma wrote:The Buddha said that there is no self in the 5 skandhas which include consciousness. Everything is dependent arising. Since there is no permanence and no independence :
1) what is it that continues on to be reborn ?
Your midstream.
2) to what do causes attached themselves in one life so that the effects arises in the next life ?
Karmic consequences.

**********

It isn't complicated, unless you insist your personality in this lifetime is your fixed/essential nature. That's is what Buddha is trying to tell you isn't true.

Instead of thinking of your personality as your essence, try thinking of your personality as a temporary configuration of your mind/energies, like an ice sculpture is a temporary configuration of water. At death it will "melt" and a new ice sculpture will be made at your next birth. The new ice sculpture can be completely different than the old one, but is still a continuation of the same water. Only the nature of you mind is not a "material" like ice or water, therefore it is even infinitely more free to express itself as anything whatsoever. Thus the admonition of telling us to avoid having it express itself as a hell being. Later that same freedom to change is embraced in the Vajrayana instead of being something to be frightened of, but that's a whole other story.

The Hindu version of this says that there is something that does not change between lifetime. That puts a limit on the possible metamorphosis. The Buddha says there is no such limitation. Our essential nature is free to manifest in any way whatsoever--both good and bad. And once you "melt" your personality away during life you are then free to express your essential nature in any way whatsoever in order to benefit others, only now the lack of limitations is while you are alive and controlled, not just at death and uncontrolled.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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Wayfarer
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Re: Rebirth, Karma & Emptiness

Post by Wayfarer » Thu Nov 19, 2015 8:47 pm

And, when you do go very quiet in meditation, who is there? Is ego there saying, wow, now I get it? No. It is precisely the self with its cares and concerns and 'hope of enlightenment' that falls into abeyance. Yet the body still continues to function, everything runs fine. The 'I' is simply thought thinking about itself, it is an activity or a habit.
Only practice with no gaining idea ~ Suzuki Roshi

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dharmagoat
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Re: Rebirth, Karma & Emptiness

Post by dharmagoat » Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:01 pm

Bodhidharma wrote:1) what is it that continues on to be reborn ?
It is the self that is reborn, so as long as there is the illusion of self there is the illusion of rebirth.

Odsal
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Re: Rebirth, Karma & Emptiness

Post by Odsal » Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:57 pm

Bodhidharma wrote:The Buddha said that there is no self in the 5 skandhas which include consciousness. Everything is dependent arising. Since there is no permanence and no independence :
1) what is it that continues on to be reborn ?
2) to what do causes attached themselves in one life so that the effects arises in the next life ?
Since everything is dependent arising then how can there be a independent, permanent entity?

An independent, permanent entity cannot be subject to the continuity of causes and conditions. If an independent, permanent entity were subject to the continuity of causes and conditions it would cease to be a permanent, independent entity.

To posit the existence of an independent, permanent entity that underlies the dependent arising of our moment to moment experience would be a contradiction. The ultimate nature of our experience has to be and actually is in accordance with our ordinary moment to moment experience, in the same way that an apple seed will produce an apple tree and not a banana tree.

Our ordinary, dependently arising, moment to moment experience demonstrates the empty nature of experience.

If the ultimate nature of experience is independent and permanent then that would be reflected or expressed in our ordinary, moment to moment experience. But that is not the case, right?

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Re: Rebirth, Karma & Emptiness

Post by undefineable » Fri Nov 20, 2015 1:42 am

smcj wrote:Instead of thinking of your personality as your essence, try thinking of your personality as a temporary configuration of your mind/energies, like an ice sculpture is a temporary configuration of water. At death it will "melt" and a new ice sculpture will be made at your next birth. The new ice sculpture can be completely different than the old one, but is still a continuation of the same water. Only the nature of you mind is not a "material" like ice or water, therefore it is even infinitely more free to express itself as anything whatsoever.
Cool, but what about the 'habit' aspect of karma? That may allow for a slow drift of personality, but suggests that a very extroverted being, for example, is far far more likely to be reborn as another extroverted being, rather than as an introverted one.

smcj
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Re: Rebirth, Karma & Emptiness

Post by smcj » Fri Nov 20, 2015 5:45 am

undefineable wrote:
smcj wrote:Instead of thinking of your personality as your essence, try thinking of your personality as a temporary configuration of your mind/energies, like an ice sculpture is a temporary configuration of water. At death it will "melt" and a new ice sculpture will be made at your next birth. The new ice sculpture can be completely different than the old one, but is still a continuation of the same water. Only the nature of you mind is not a "material" like ice or water, therefore it is even infinitely more free to express itself as anything whatsoever.
Cool, but what about the 'habit' aspect of karma? That may allow for a slow drift of personality, but suggests that a very extroverted being, for example, is far far more likely to be reborn as another extroverted being, rather than as an introverted one.
The analogy was for no-self and reincarnation. The analogy breaks down when you try to work karma into it. You've got to use another analogy.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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Re: Rebirth, Karma & Emptiness

Post by Bodhidharma » Wed Nov 25, 2015 5:38 am

dharmagoat wrote:
Bodhidharma wrote:1) what is it that continues on to be reborn ?
It is the self that is reborn, so as long as there is the illusion of self there is the illusion of rebirth.
ha ha ha....the Buddha was very clear on this....there is no self

Bodhidharma
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Re: Rebirth, Karma & Emptiness

Post by Bodhidharma » Wed Nov 25, 2015 5:41 am

Wayfarer wrote:That is one of the deep questions. I think the answer is, as long as the causes giving rise to existence persist, so too does existence - 'because of this, that arises; when this ceases, so too does that'. But there is no one separate from those causes and conditons, only the belief, 'this is me, this is mine, this is happening to me' which is self-perpetuating and which appears to oneself, as oneself. But seeing through that is the path itself and there is no easy answer to it. Just remember, the 'no-self' teaching doesn't say 'there is no self' - but that 'nothing is self'. It might sound like a fine distinction, but it's an important one.
Causes give rise to effects....but why must effects necessarily be associated with the one who acted. This is what rebirth suggests. We are reborn with the causes of previous lives where in the new life, we expect the effects to ripen. To connect the effects to us means that there is something that is not dependent arising

Bodhidharma
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Re: Rebirth, Karma & Emptiness

Post by Bodhidharma » Wed Nov 25, 2015 5:45 am

smcj wrote:
Bodhidharma wrote:The Buddha said that there is no self in the 5 skandhas which include consciousness. Everything is dependent arising. Since there is no permanence and no independence :
1) what is it that continues on to be reborn ?
Your mindstream.
2) to what do causes attached themselves in one life so that the effects arises in the next life ?
Karmic consequences.

You contradict yourself.

The Buddha said that he couldn't find anything permanent in the 5 aggregates. If you say that it is the mindstream that is reborn, then you are saying that the mindstream is independent of the 5 aggregates. You are saying that the 5 aggregates can disintegrate but the mindstream continues.

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Malcolm
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Re: Rebirth, Karma & Emptiness

Post by Malcolm » Wed Nov 25, 2015 5:49 am

Bodhidharma wrote: The Buddha said that he couldn't find anything permanent in the 5 aggregates. If you say that it is the mindstream that is reborn, then you are saying that the mindstream is independent of the 5 aggregates. You are saying that the 5 aggregates can disintegrate but the mindstream continues.
The mind stream is made up of impermanent serial moments of consciousness, thus there is no contradiction.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

Bodhidharma
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Re: Rebirth, Karma & Emptiness

Post by Bodhidharma » Wed Nov 25, 2015 5:50 am

Instead of thinking of your personality as your essence, try thinking of your personality as a temporary configuration of your mind/energies, like an ice sculpture is a temporary configuration of water. At death it will "melt" and a new ice sculpture will be made at your next birth. The new ice sculpture can be completely different than the old one, but is still a continuation of the same water. Only the nature of you mind is not a "material" like ice or water, therefore it is even infinitely more free to express itself as anything whatsoever. Thus the admonition of telling us to avoid having it express itself as a hell being. Later that same freedom to change is embraced in the Vajrayana instead of being something to be frightened of, but that's a whole other story.

I am sorry to say that I find the illustration poor. This suggests that the "water" survives the disintegration of the 5 aggregates and is therefore, independent.

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Malcolm
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Re: Rebirth, Karma & Emptiness

Post by Malcolm » Wed Nov 25, 2015 5:52 am

Bodhidharma wrote:
Causes give rise to effects....but why must effects necessarily be associated with the one who acted. This is what rebirth suggests. We are reborn with the causes of previous lives where in the new life, we expect the effects to ripen. To connect the effects to us means that there is something that is not dependent arising
No. The actions of a previous life do not depend on the presence of that past agent to ripen on a present recipient of action. All that is necessary is that there is a serial link between the past agent and the present experiencer of ripening. That is accounted for by the serial, momentary mind stream.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

Bodhidharma
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Re: Rebirth, Karma & Emptiness

Post by Bodhidharma » Wed Nov 25, 2015 5:53 am

Malcolm wrote:
Bodhidharma wrote: The Buddha said that he couldn't find anything permanent in the 5 aggregates. If you say that it is the mindstream that is reborn, then you are saying that the mindstream is independent of the 5 aggregates. You are saying that the 5 aggregates can disintegrate but the mindstream continues.
The mind stream is made up of impermanent serial moments of consciousness, thus there is no contradiction.
The fact that those "impermanent"serial moments of consciousness always associate with each other through lifetimes suggest that there is independence.

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Malcolm
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Re: Rebirth, Karma & Emptiness

Post by Malcolm » Wed Nov 25, 2015 5:54 am

Bodhidharma wrote: I am sorry to say that I find the illustration poor. This suggests that the "water" survives the disintegration of the 5 aggregates and is therefore, independent.
Nothing transfers, but nevertheless, there is serial continuity. This is because in general causes and effects are neither the same nor different.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Malcolm
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Re: Rebirth, Karma & Emptiness

Post by Malcolm » Wed Nov 25, 2015 5:55 am

Bodhidharma wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Bodhidharma wrote: The Buddha said that he couldn't find anything permanent in the 5 aggregates. If you say that it is the mindstream that is reborn, then you are saying that the mindstream is independent of the 5 aggregates. You are saying that the 5 aggregates can disintegrate but the mindstream continues.
The mind stream is made up of impermanent serial moments of consciousness, thus there is no contradiction.
The fact that those "impermanent"serial moments of consciousness always associate with each other through lifetimes suggest that there is independence.
No, these moments perish as soon as they arise, causing the next in the series to arise. Thus, there is no independence, all such moments are dependent.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

smcj
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Re: Rebirth, Karma & Emptiness

Post by smcj » Wed Nov 25, 2015 6:05 am

Bodhidharma wrote:
The Buddha said that he couldn't find anything permanent in the 5 aggregates. If you say that it is the mindstream that is reborn, then you are saying that the mindstream is independent of the 5 aggregates. You are saying that the 5 aggregates can disintegrate but the mindstream continues.
The later schools have 8 consciousnesses. One of them, the alaya vijnana, passes between lifetimes.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eight_Consciousnesses

But as Malcolm has pointed out, it is a seriality of change.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

Bodhidharma
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Re: Rebirth, Karma & Emptiness

Post by Bodhidharma » Thu Nov 26, 2015 8:07 am

Ahh.....I can see a Yogacara- Madhyamaka standoff !!! :smile:

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