Soul fragmentation and defragmentation as Buddism teaching?

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Adamantine
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Re: Soul fragmentation and defragmentation as Buddism teaching?

Post by Adamantine » Wed Oct 04, 2017 2:57 am

So then this must be something that's crept into Chinese Buddhism
from Taoism?
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Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha

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Re: Soul fragmentation and defragmentation as Buddism teaching?

Post by jkarlins » Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:25 am

Interesting idea, one I'd never heard of.

Jake

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Re: Soul fragmentation and defragmentation as Buddism teaching?

Post by dzogchungpa » Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:41 am

Adamantine wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 2:57 am
So then this must be something that's crept into Chinese Buddhism
from Taoism?

Well, "crept into" sounds kind of melodramatic.
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

krodha
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Re: Soul fragmentation and defragmentation as Buddism teaching?

Post by krodha » Wed Oct 04, 2017 5:21 am

dzogchungpa wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:41 am
Adamantine wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 2:57 am
So then this must be something that's crept into Chinese Buddhism
from Taoism?

Well, "crept into" sounds kind of melodramatic.
Perhaps "grew into it like a weed" is better.

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Re: Soul fragmentation and defragmentation as Buddism teaching?

Post by Fortyeightvows » Wed Oct 04, 2017 5:55 am

krodha wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 5:21 am
Perhaps "grew into it like a weed" is better.
Sounds a bit disparaging.

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Re: Soul fragmentation and defragmentation as Buddism teaching?

Post by krodha » Wed Oct 04, 2017 6:10 am

Fortyeightvows wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 5:55 am
krodha wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 5:21 am
Perhaps "grew into it like a weed" is better.
Sounds a bit disparaging.
Death to false dharma.

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Re: Soul fragmentation and defragmentation as Buddism teaching?

Post by Fortyeightvows » Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:01 am

krodha wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 6:10 am
Death to false dharma.
Looks like disparaging is what your going for.
阿彌陀佛

ydnan321
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Re: Soul fragmentation and defragmentation as Buddism teaching?

Post by ydnan321 » Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:49 am

So, Master Hsuan Hua 'borrowed' this teaching from Taoism? No wonder it sounds so strange. I actually thought he personally experienced this with his Five Eyes spiritual penetration...

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Re: Soul fragmentation and defragmentation as Buddism teaching?

Post by Fortyeightvows » Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:19 am

ydnan321 wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:49 am
So, Master Hsuan Hua 'borrowed' this teaching from Taoism? No wonder it sounds so strange. I actually thought he personally experienced this with his Five Eyes spiritual penetration...
He probably did. That is how these things come to be known to ordinary beings.

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Re: Soul fragmentation and defragmentation as Buddism teaching?

Post by Adamantine » Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:20 am

dzogchungpa wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:41 am
Adamantine wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 2:57 am
So then this must be something that's crept into Chinese Buddhism
from Taoism?

Well, "crept into" sounds kind of melodramatic.
Hahahaha... not really though. Refer to definition 2C here: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/creep
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha

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Re: Soul fragmentation and defragmentation as Buddism teaching?

Post by tingdzin » Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:20 am

A big problem is the word "soul", which should really not have any place in understanding Buddhist doctrine, even as a substitute for namshe/ vijnana. Words such as "hun" and "po" should be taken on their own Chinese terms and not used in a Buddhist context, nor translated as "soul".

There is a fairly recent and excellent book by Jungnok Park, "How Buddhism Developed a Soul on the Way to China" which discusses in depth the difficulties the Chinese had in making Buddhist concepts understandable in a Chinese context. If you have a scholarly bent at all, I recommend it.

In the Tibetan context, there were similar difficulties with the word "bla", which has also been (very poorly) translated as soul.

:stirthepot: To play devil's advocate though, there are instances in Tibetan Buddhism of an accomplished master's tuk (thugs) being transferred to a disciple before his corporeal death. This is also not in strict accordance with classical Buddhist teachings.

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Re: Soul fragmentation and defragmentation as Buddism teaching?

Post by Fortyeightvows » Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:16 am

tingdzin wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:20 am
A big problem is the word "soul", which should really not have any place in understanding Buddhist doctrine, even as a substitute for namshe/ vijnana. Words such as "hun" and "po" should be taken on their own Chinese terms and not used in a Buddhist context, nor translated as "soul".

In the Tibetan context, there were similar difficulties with the word "bla", which has also been (very poorly) translated as soul.
1)I'm telling you bro, in alot of places, to alot of people, it is a buddhist thing in a buddhist context.
As two people pointed out even Master Hsuan Hua has taught about it.
It surprises me a bit that so many people here have never heard of it or disparage it (not that you have).

2)I have never heard of the eight consciousness translated as soul.. as for the others, how should they be put into English? Offer a suggestion and who knows? It might just stick!
Why is soul such a bad word here on dharmawheel anyways?
Am I right that it is mostly native english speakers who object to it?

3)Also what it the Tibetan 'bla'? Never heard of that one.

4) not directed at anyone in particular, as ordinary being we do not know much. What we do know is what the enlightened beings have taught us. Shakyamuni under the tree saw beings dying and being reborn, he saw the causes of this. He say dependent origination in action. Have any of us seen these things? Or do we only know through the revelations of the realized ? Have we seen heaven and hell? Have we seen karma play out? Only the enlighted ones can actually see these things. One of my teachers would often say 'you'll know when you get there'.

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Re: Soul fragmentation and defragmentation as Buddism teaching?

Post by jmlee369 » Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:43 pm

For what it's worth, hun and po are mentioned in the Shurangama Sutra (又以此心內外精研。其時魂魄意志精神,除執受身,餘皆涉入,互為賓主。忽於空中聞說法聲。或聞十方同敷密義。此名精魄遞相離合,成就善種。暫得如是,非為聖證。不作聖心,名善境界。若作聖解,即受群邪), which is where dzongchungpa's link comes in. Master Hua is simply explaining the sutra text with the standard Chinese concepts.

Regarding soul fragmentation as a whole, I did hear his taped teachings on the matter in another context during lunch at CTTB. In that recording, Master Hua acknowledged that such a thing was indeed not mentioned in any canonical scriptures, which leads me to believe that he was speaking it as a skilful means for that particular audience. For the most part, Master Hua's accounts of past and future lives accords with standard Buddhist teachings

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Re: Soul fragmentation and defragmentation as Buddism teaching?

Post by DGA » Wed Oct 04, 2017 1:35 pm

jmlee369 wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:43 pm
For what it's worth, hun and po are mentioned in the Shurangama Sutra (又以此心內外精研。其時魂魄意志精神,除執受身,餘皆涉入,互為賓主。忽於空中聞說法聲。或聞十方同敷密義。此名精魄遞相離合,成就善種。暫得如是,非為聖證。不作聖心,名善境界。若作聖解,即受群邪), which is where dzongchungpa's link comes in. Master Hua is simply explaining the sutra text with the standard Chinese concepts.

Regarding soul fragmentation as a whole, I did hear his taped teachings on the matter in another context during lunch at CTTB. In that recording, Master Hua acknowledged that such a thing was indeed not mentioned in any canonical scriptures, which leads me to believe that he was speaking it as a skilful means for that particular audience. For the most part, Master Hua's accounts of past and future lives accords with standard Buddhist teachings
Yes. I'm not convinced (at least not yet) that the Chinese concept of the ten (7 + 3) souls accounts for the idea of "fragmentation" of one's karmic stream to be reborn as plant life or whatever as presented in the OP.
Fortyeightvows wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 2:09 am
dzogchungpa wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 2:05 am
Yes, if you have a look through Ven. Hsuan Hua's commentary on the Shurangama Sutra you will find him discussing three spiritual and seven physical souls that reside in the body which, if I am not mistaken, are none other than the hun and po.
See e.g. http://www.cttbusa.org/shurangama8/shurangama8_3.asp
Correct.
DGA wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:58 am
Does anyone know this teacher's teachings well enough to say conclusively that this idea of soul fragmentation is a consistent feature of his teachings, or if it may be understood as a mistranslation or miscommunication of some kind?
It's not uncommon in chinese buddhism. It is part of why tablets/headstones are used when someone passes. Traditionally there are ten souls divided into 3 actual 'souls' and 7 yin (陰) 'souls' which are sort of like 'animating spirits'. Generally speaking, the first three go to the tablet, to heaven, etc and the last seven go to the grave, to the earth, etc

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Re: Soul fragmentation and defragmentation as Buddism teaching?

Post by DGA » Wed Oct 04, 2017 1:37 pm

tingdzin wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:20 am
A big problem is the word "soul", which should really not have any place in understanding Buddhist doctrine, even as a substitute for namshe/ vijnana. Words such as "hun" and "po" should be taken on their own Chinese terms and not used in a Buddhist context, nor translated as "soul".

There is a fairly recent and excellent book by Jungnok Park, "How Buddhism Developed a Soul on the Way to China" which discusses in depth the difficulties the Chinese had in making Buddhist concepts understandable in a Chinese context. If you have a scholarly bent at all, I recommend it.

In the Tibetan context, there were similar difficulties with the word "bla", which has also been (very poorly) translated as soul.

:stirthepot: To play devil's advocate though, there are instances in Tibetan Buddhism of an accomplished master's tuk (thugs) being transferred to a disciple before his corporeal death. This is also not in strict accordance with classical Buddhist teachings.
It's also interesting/instructive to compare how Buddhist concepts were translated into Tibetan, which did not have a rich philosophical or literary tradition in writing prior to the transmission of Buddhism into that culture, and Chinese, which obviously did. I think some differences between Tibetan and Chinese Buddhist traditions can be traced back to the challenges of translation, especially into literary and classical Chinese. One example:

http://www.fas.nus.edu.sg/philo/iw/reso ... n%20Li.pdf

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Malcolm
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Re: Soul fragmentation and defragmentation as Buddism teaching?

Post by Malcolm » Wed Oct 04, 2017 2:12 pm

Fortyeightvows wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:16 am


1)I'm telling you bro, in alot of places, to alot of people, it is a buddhist thing in a buddhist context.
As two people pointed out even Master Hsuan Hua has taught about it.
It surprises me a bit that so many people here have never heard of it or disparage it (not that you have).
It is a completely wrong view.

The Buddhist teaching about such things is that every sentient being, mosquitos included, has a unique mind stream with its own set of causes and conditions, it's own accumulation of karma and ripening of karma.

With respect to the term bla, today it means more or less vitality. In ancient pre-buddhist traditions in Tibet, it is a rather complicated subject; commonly however today in the Buddhist context, bla is understood to be synonym for consciousness (Tibetan Medicine) or an alternate term for lifeforce. So called "soul retrieval" (bla 'gugs) rites are in reality little more than rites for summoning the vitality of the five elements to reinforce one's own five elements.

There is also a medical condition called bla 'khyams, "wandering bla," which is diagnosed in people who exhibit dissociative disorders, especially from trauma. There is also the idea that provocations, spirits, can steal one's bla, which results in a kind of wasting disease.

With respect to the idea of an awakened master transferring their "mind" (thugs) to a disciple, this is a form of blessing. It does not mean that now the student has all the teachers thoughts and knowledge, memories, experiences, and so on.
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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Re: Soul fragmentation and defragmentation as Buddism teaching?

Post by dzogchungpa » Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:27 pm

Adamantine wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:20 am
dzogchungpa wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:41 am
Adamantine wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 2:57 am
So then this must be something that's crept into Chinese Buddhism
from Taoism?

Well, "crept into" sounds kind of melodramatic.
Hahahaha... not really though. Refer to definition 2C here: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/creep

Well, I'm not sure. Next time perhaps you could try "was assimilated into" or something along those lines.
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

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Re: Soul fragmentation and defragmentation as Buddism teaching?

Post by Adamantine » Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:55 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:27 pm
Adamantine wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:20 am
dzogchungpa wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:41 am



Well, "crept into" sounds kind of melodramatic.
Hahahaha... not really though. Refer to definition 2C here: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/creep

Well, I'm not sure. Next time perhaps you could try "was assimilated into" or something along those lines.
You're asking me to censor my perfectly astute English vocabulary to accommodate your over sensitive and misinformed
biases?

:geek: :consoling: ok, I will try... only for you Dzogchungpa. But it will be a challenge to pretend I don't know the meaning of words! :tongue:
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha

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Malcolm
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Re: Soul fragmentation and defragmentation as Buddism teaching?

Post by Malcolm » Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:57 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:27 pm

Well, I'm not sure. Next time perhaps you could try "was assimilated into" or something along those lines.
Maybe you could stop trying to modify other people's speech.
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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dzogchungpa
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Re: Soul fragmentation and defragmentation as Buddism teaching?

Post by dzogchungpa » Wed Oct 04, 2017 4:53 pm

Adamantine wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:55 pm
You're asking me to censor my perfectly astute English vocabulary to accommodate your over sensitive and misinformed
biases?

:geek: :consoling: ok, I will try... only for you Dzogchungpa. But it will be a challenge to pretend I don't know the meaning of words! :tongue:
Malcolm wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:57 pm
Maybe you could stop trying to modify other people's speech.


Now, now, guys, I'm just fooling around. Please, let us return to the all-important task of defending the Dharma. :anjali:
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

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