Is Anatta incompatible with rebirth?

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Queequeg
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Re: Is Anatta incompatible with rebirth?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:16 pm

Wayfarer wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:47 am
Queequeg wrote:Maybe I'm missing something, but there is nothing about the nature of my mind that I've observed that would necessitate rebirth is part of the equation. This observation actually seems to find confirmation in the assertion as to the non-arising of phenomena - whatever I think is me I've observed is not any basis of my self. Long story short... the only thing I have not been able to reduce is not a thing at all, but simply, awareness. Something is happening, but it defies all definition. As best I can tell, awareness has no memory, no cognition, no linearly constructed anything..
There is a strong cultural taboo against ‘reincarnation’ (however conceived) in Western culture. The idea was tabooed by the Christian church in ancient times, and also goes undercuts scientific materialism. So it's always regarded as fringe in mainstream Western culture. A lot of people will just completely refuse to consider it.
I've never considered reincarnation a taboo. I was raised in a family and sangha environment in which rebirth was an accepted fact. I have lived my whole life in the West and I will readily admit I've been immersed in science. That said, my disposition has always been spiritual first. That's to say, I never had a skeptical disposition, and in fact very much want to be confirmed in this matter I take on faith.
Personally I think there’s a good argument for the idea that children are born with imprints from previous lifetimes. By that I mean talents, attributes, pre-dispositions and archetypes. I don't think there's any convincing Darwinian explanation for such things but of course nowadays everything is supposed to be explicable in those terms (mind you Alfred Russel Wallace didn't agree - see Darwinism applied to man.)
I think there is a lot more that we inherit from our parents, down to the way our bodies experience themselves and the environment, that determines even traits that we think are personally unique. Its hard to discern these traits because - how can we know how we experience is any different than the next person? I think it can be gleaned from things like - how a person reacts to stimuli. Is a person excitable? Is a person disposed to be happy or sad? I suspect even how we think is an inherited trait and process information is an inherited trait.

Maybe its easier to see these things in non-humans. Consider for instance, dog breeds have different shapes, dispositions, personalities. We could say a golden retriever is energetic and friendly because those are traits projected from a past life, or, we could attribute it to DNA - since pure bred golden retrievers tend to birth golden retrievers.

DNA seems to be a pretty good explanation of why we are who we are.
And I still find Ian Stevenson's data persuasive, although that wasn't about traits, archetypes or talents, but often about physical marks:
A Turkish boy whose face was congenitally underdeveloped on the right side said he remembered the life of a man who died from a shotgun blast at point-blank range. A Burmese girl born without her lower right leg had talked about the life of a girl run over by a train. On the back of the head of a little boy in Thailand was a small, round puckered birthmark, and at the front was a larger, irregular birthmark, resembling the entry and exit wounds of a bullet; Stevenson had already confirmed the details of the boy’s statements about the life of a man who’d been shot in the head from behind with a rifle, so that seemed to fit. And a child in India who said he remembered the life of boy who’d lost the fingers of his right hand in a fodder-chopping machine mishap was born with boneless stubs for fingers on his right hand only. This type of “unilateral brachydactyly” is so rare, Stevenson pointed out, that he couldn’t find a single medical publication of another case.
So many variables. To me, those are Rorschachs. I've heard many remarkable stories from children. Before my son could speak, we were at a gallery. When showed a mandala, he pointed to the Buddha image in the center and then pointed at himself. Maybe he is. Who knows. My mother was very happy to hear that story.
As for the 'who is reborn' - that misunderstands the entire point of the Buddhist analysis. It is not a 'substance and attribute' system where there is a subject who has attribute X. But we have an almost irresistible tendency to think in those terms. There is no persisting being or subject who continues from life to life or even one day to the next; you can never step in the same river twice.
Which is why most notions of rebirth are fanciful, at best.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Is Anatta incompatible with rebirth?

Post by Grigoris » Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:17 pm

tatpurusa wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:02 pm
Grigoris wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:38 pm
tatpurusa wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 2:14 pm
Yes I do. The thing is, "relative truth" exists within the framework of illusion.

tp
I don't know about you, but I exist within the framework of illusion about 98% of the time. That makes relative truth rather important for me.
It is not only important, it is overwhelming. This is why we are looking for a way out of it ...
And Buddhism is all about it (rather than about making the best possible use of relative truths in order to get a better life. For this do exist other practices).
Do you see any other hope?

tp
Accumulating merit is a way out.

Practicing the Paramita is a way out.

Tonglen and Lojong are a way out.

Etc...

They all rely on the validity of relative truth.

You are confounding relative truth with worldly dharma.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Is Anatta incompatible with rebirth?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:22 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:38 pm
I don't know about you, but I exist within the framework of illusion about 98% of the time. That makes relative truth rather important for me.
LOL Ditto.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Is Anatta incompatible with rebirth?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:45 pm

DNS wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:13 pm
Rebirth is very logical and rational -- if you start with a premise that the world, the cosmos is at least in the final analysis -- just and balanced. I realize that is a tall order, beginning with that premise as many people believe it's all just chaos and random chance; but if you believe otherwise, then rebirth makes complete sense. Otherwise how could the life and death of an infant who dies of SIDS or some other illness, be his whole existence for all eternity?
That's the rub - you have to start with the premise that the world is just and balanced. I observe equilibrium in the world, but not justice. I see no empathy in the glassy stare of snake.

Justice seems like something we seek to satisfy our instinct for fairness - but that's a psychological and by extension social thing.

What was the Buddha's response to the distraught mother who's child died? "I'll bring your child back to life if you can bring me mustard seeds from a household untouched by death."
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Is Anatta incompatible with rebirth?

Post by Aryjna » Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:51 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:45 pm
DNS wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:13 pm
Rebirth is very logical and rational -- if you start with a premise that the world, the cosmos is at least in the final analysis -- just and balanced. I realize that is a tall order, beginning with that premise as many people believe it's all just chaos and random chance; but if you believe otherwise, then rebirth makes complete sense. Otherwise how could the life and death of an infant who dies of SIDS or some other illness, be his whole existence for all eternity?
That's the rub - you have to start with the premise that the world is just and balanced. I observe equilibrium in the world, but not justice. I see no empathy in the glassy stare of snake.

Justice seems like something we seek to satisfy our instinct for fairness - but that's a psychological and by extension social thing.

What was the Buddha's response to the distraught mother who's child died? "I'll bring your child back to life if you can bring me mustard seeds from a household untouched by death."
I don't think that thinking the world is just has much to do with it. All that is needed is thinking that consciousness does not suddenly appear from matter when a few neurons come together and then disappears when the brain dies. As long as this is not the case, and given that we are now in a human existence, it is almost impossible that there is no rebirth.

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Re: Is Anatta incompatible with rebirth?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:02 pm

Aryjna wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:51 pm
I don't think that thinking the world is just has much to do with it. All that is needed is thinking that consciousness does not suddenly appear from matter when a few neurons come together and then disappears when the brain dies. As long as this is not the case, and given that we are now in a human existence, it is almost impossible that there is no rebirth.
Then we're talking about something much more subtle than ordinary notions of consciousness. I find the yogacara 8 consciousnesses compelling in respects because it offers a way to distinguish gross, dependent levels of consciousness from something that is illusively subtle, which as best I can tell doesn't really meet the definition of consciousness - that's what I refer to above as awareness. Even that is a coarse way to describe it.

Whether that phenomena I am calling awareness necessitates rebirth - I don't know. Rebirth loses meaning in relation to awareness as far as I can understand.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Is Anatta incompatible with rebirth?

Post by Aryjna » Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:08 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:02 pm
Aryjna wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:51 pm
I don't think that thinking the world is just has much to do with it. All that is needed is thinking that consciousness does not suddenly appear from matter when a few neurons come together and then disappears when the brain dies. As long as this is not the case, and given that we are now in a human existence, it is almost impossible that there is no rebirth.
Then we're talking about something much more subtle than ordinary notions of consciousness. I find the yogacara 8 consciousnesses compelling in respects because it offers a way to distinguish gross, dependent levels of consciousness from something that is illusively subtle, which as best I can tell doesn't really meet the definition of consciousness - that's what I refer to above as awareness. Even that is a coarse way to describe it.

Whether that phenomena I am calling awareness necessitates rebirth - I don't know. Rebirth loses meaning in relation to awareness as far as I can understand.
There does not need to be a time when what one thinks of as ordinary consciousness or mind is separated from awareness, or whatever names one wants to give these things. As long as it is not entirely produced by a physical brain. The term rebirth is also technically wrong as it implies there is something that is born again, while here it is a continuum or mind.

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Re: Is Anatta incompatible with rebirth?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:17 pm

Aryjna wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:08 pm
There does not need to be a time when what one thinks of as ordinary consciousness or mind is separated from awareness, or whatever names one wants to give these things. As long as it is not entirely produced by a physical brain.
So says you.

Not to step into your living room uninvited, but what do you know of consciousness not entirely produced by a physical brain?
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Is Anatta incompatible with rebirth?

Post by Aryjna » Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:19 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:17 pm
Aryjna wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:08 pm
There does not need to be a time when what one thinks of as ordinary consciousness or mind is separated from awareness, or whatever names one wants to give these things. As long as it is not entirely produced by a physical brain.
So says you.

Not to step into your living room uninvited, but what do you know of consciousness not entirely produced by a physical brain?
I said that as I see it this is the only condition necessary so that rebirth is what makes sense to me, not that I can prove that conscioussness is ot produced by the brain. But it seems absurd to be that consciousness magically springs up from matter.

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Re: Is Anatta incompatible with rebirth?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:26 pm

Aryjna wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:19 pm
I said that as I see it this is the only condition necessary so that rebirth is what makes sense to me, not that I can prove that conscioussness is ot produced by the brain. But it seems absurd to be that consciousness magically springs up from matter.
Why is that absurd?

Its only absurd because you accept a particular premise.

To note, I'm not trying to prove anything except to assert that rebirth, or continuum or whatever, is an article of faith beyond the veil of birth and death.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Is Anatta incompatible with rebirth?

Post by Malcolm » Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:55 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:17 pm
Aryjna wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:08 pm
There does not need to be a time when what one thinks of as ordinary consciousness or mind is separated from awareness, or whatever names one wants to give these things. As long as it is not entirely produced by a physical brain.
So says you.

Not to step into your living room uninvited, but what do you know of consciousness not entirely produced by a physical brain?
It has never been demonstrated that consciousness is at all produced by the brain, entirely or otherwise.
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: Is Anatta incompatible with rebirth?

Post by Malcolm » Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:58 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:02 pm
Rebirth loses meaning in relation to awareness as far as I can understand.
It seems to me that you do not know what you mean by the term "awareness," which in any case is a property of consciousness.
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: Is Anatta incompatible with rebirth?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:05 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:55 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:17 pm
Aryjna wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:08 pm
There does not need to be a time when what one thinks of as ordinary consciousness or mind is separated from awareness, or whatever names one wants to give these things. As long as it is not entirely produced by a physical brain.
So says you.

Not to step into your living room uninvited, but what do you know of consciousness not entirely produced by a physical brain?
It has never been demonstrated that consciousness is at all produced by the brain, entirely or otherwise.
And it has never been demonstrated otherwise either. Veil of life and death and all that.
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:58 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:02 pm
Rebirth loses meaning in relation to awareness as far as I can understand.
It seems to me that you do not know what you mean by the term "awareness," which in any case is a property of consciousness.
See above what I mean by "awareness." May not correspond to the meaning you attribute to the word, but I'm confident that I know what I mean when I use that word.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Is Anatta incompatible with rebirth?

Post by DGA » Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:21 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:05 pm
See above what I mean by "awareness." May not correspond to the meaning you attribute to the word, but I'm confident that I know what I mean when I use that word.
I went hunting for it, and while I found some discussion on the irreducibility of awareness, I couldn't find where you defined what you mean by that word "awareness." Would you please help me understand your position on this?

Maybe I'm missing something, but there is nothing about the nature of my mind that I've observed that would necessitate rebirth is part of the equation. This observation actually seems to find confirmation in the assertion as to the non-arising of phenomena - whatever I think is me I've observed is not any basis of my self. Long story short... the only thing I have not been able to reduce is not a thing at all, but simply, awareness. Something is happening, but it defies all definition. As best I can tell, awareness has no memory, no cognition, no linearly constructed anything

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Re: Is Anatta incompatible with rebirth?

Post by Malcolm » Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:21 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:05 pm

It has never been demonstrated that consciousness is at all produced by the brain, entirely or otherwise.
Sure it has. But your criteria for understanding this necessarily involves you understanding what yogis say, not what physicalists cannot understand due to the limitations of their methodology.


See above what I mean by "awareness." May not correspond to the meaning you attribute to the word, but I'm confident that I know what I mean when I use that word.
When discussing Buddhist things, it is good to stick with the Buddha's language. The Buddha defined the composition of the universe with six dhātus: earth, water, fire, air, space, and consciousness (vijñāna). He nowhere described some phenomena termed "awareness" as one of the fundamental constituents of the universe. Since awareness is a cognitive term, it must be included within consciousness, and since there is no such a thing as an objectless awareness by definition, it would be best described as a mental factor that accompanies consciousness, for example, as saṃprajāna, a mental factor that accompanies all mindful states: as in mindful and aware.
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: Is Anatta incompatible with rebirth?

Post by Malcolm » Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:24 pm

DGA wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:21 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:05 pm
See above what I mean by "awareness." May not correspond to the meaning you attribute to the word, but I'm confident that I know what I mean when I use that word.
I went hunting for it, and while I found some discussion on the irreducibility of awareness, I couldn't find where you defined what you mean by that word "awareness." Would you please help me understand your position on this?

Maybe I'm missing something, but there is nothing about the nature of my mind that I've observed that would necessitate rebirth is part of the equation. This observation actually seems to find confirmation in the assertion as to the non-arising of phenomena - whatever I think is me I've observed is not any basis of my self. Long story short... the only thing I have not been able to reduce is not a thing at all, but simply, awareness. Something is happening, but it defies all definition. As best I can tell, awareness has no memory, no cognition, no linearly constructed anything

He did not define it, but here merely stated that in his opinion, awareness was irreducible, defies all definition, which is why I told him it appears he does not know what he means by awareness because he cannot communicate it clearly. An awareness devoid of cognition and memory, incidentally, would be unaware, literally a contradiction in terms.
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: Is Anatta incompatible with rebirth?

Post by DGA » Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:24 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:55 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:17 pm
Aryjna wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:08 pm
There does not need to be a time when what one thinks of as ordinary consciousness or mind is separated from awareness, or whatever names one wants to give these things. As long as it is not entirely produced by a physical brain.
So says you.

Not to step into your living room uninvited, but what do you know of consciousness not entirely produced by a physical brain?
It has never been demonstrated that consciousness is at all produced by the brain, entirely or otherwise.
fMRI scans suggest a few interesting points.

*there's a lot more about the brain that scientists do not understand than what they do understand. Often new findings indicate areas of new ignorance (things we now know that we didn't know we didn't know), rather than new knowledge per se.


*Mind (as we know it in the human realm) and brain coincide. Impact the brain and the mind is impacted too (ask Phineas Gage). Impact the mind and the brain is impacted too (learning new things changes the brain). Can't say one is reducible to the other.

*Most claims on the mind-brain speculation in pop culture and pop discourse are reductive, speculative, and overblown.

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Re: Is Anatta incompatible with rebirth?

Post by DGA » Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:29 pm

nichiren-123 wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:46 pm
So I've come across the work of J.G. Jennings and his book 'the vendantic Buddhism of the Buddha' who argues that the idea of rebirth is incompatible with Anatta (non-self) and that rebirth is an idea which was accomodated by Buddhists under pressure from Hinduism.
He argues that the earliest and probably the most faithful sutra's never support or mention rebirth and also notes that there is no mention of rebirth in the edicts of king Asoka.

Now I've always found the idea of rebirth difficult to wrap my head around and rationalise. If it does happen then in my opinion it must happen in a very subtle way.
Regardless, any explanation of rebirth I've heard has been rather convoluted - especially when Anatta is accounted for.

Thoughts?

back to the OP for a moment.

If you accept the doctrine of dependent origination, then also accepting the emptiness of self is a necessary consequence.

Dependent origination doesn't really hang together if it is delimited to the current lifetime of one sentient being. If you accept dependent origination, then you accept rebirth; if not, then not.

"anatta" and "rebirth" are compatible because both are aspects of dependent origination.

Jennings doesn't seem to understand Buddha Dharma very well.

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Re: Is Anatta incompatible with rebirth?

Post by Malcolm » Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:39 pm

DGA wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:24 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:55 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:17 pm


So says you.

Not to step into your living room uninvited, but what do you know of consciousness not entirely produced by a physical brain?
It has never been demonstrated that consciousness is at all produced by the brain, entirely or otherwise.
fMRI scans suggest a few interesting points.

*there's a lot more about the brain that scientists do not understand than what they do understand. Often new findings indicate areas of new ignorance (things we now know that we didn't know we didn't know), rather than new knowledge per se.


*Mind (as we know it in the human realm) and brain coincide. Impact the brain and the mind is impacted too (ask Phineas Gage). Impact the mind and the brain is impacted too (learning new things changes the brain). Can't say one is reducible to the other.

*Most claims on the mind-brain speculation in pop culture and pop discourse are reductive, speculative, and overblown.
fMRI merely measures blood flow in the brain, nothing else, from which neurological activity is inferred. All it can tell us is what the brain is doing with sense organs. It tells us nothing about consciousness per se.
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

DGA
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Re: Is Anatta incompatible with rebirth?

Post by DGA » Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:52 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:39 pm
DGA wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:24 pm

fMRI scans suggest a few interesting points.

*there's a lot more about the brain that scientists do not understand than what they do understand. Often new findings indicate areas of new ignorance (things we now know that we didn't know we didn't know), rather than new knowledge per se.


*Mind (as we know it in the human realm) and brain coincide. Impact the brain and the mind is impacted too (ask Phineas Gage). Impact the mind and the brain is impacted too (learning new things changes the brain). Can't say one is reducible to the other.

*Most claims on the mind-brain speculation in pop culture and pop discourse are reductive, speculative, and overblown.
fMRI merely measures blood flow in the brain, nothing else, from which neurological activity is inferred. All it can tell us is what the brain is doing with sense organs. It tells us nothing about consciousness per se.
one of the reasons why most (maybe all) claims on mind-brain relationship in pop culture and pop discourse are reductive, speculative, and overblown.

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