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Thread: Ask a Buddhist

  1. #11
    Sr. Member Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    Re: Ask a Buddhist

    Quote Originally Posted by Herbert View Post
    In any case, I generally take a more literal form of the word rebirth than some; namely, being born again (literally, not metaphorically). Using rebirth to refer to something other than being conceived, and then exiting the womb, for the second plus time, is somewhat devaluing the idea of entering the world of the living.
    Birth and death are described in a literal way in the Buddhist suttas. Here for example in SN12.2:

    “And what, bhikkhus, is aging-and-death? The aging of the various beings in the various orders of beings, their growing old, brokenness of teeth, greyness of hair, wrinkling of skin, decline of vitality, degeneration of the faculties: this is called aging. The passing away of the various beings from the various orders of beings, their perishing, breakup, disappearance, mortality, death, completion of time, the breakup of the aggregates, the laying down of the carcass: this is called death. Thus this aging and this death are together called aging-and-death.
    “And what, bhikkhus, is birth? The birth of the various beings into the various orders of beings, their being born, descent into the womb, production, the manifestation of the aggregates, the obtaining of the sense bases. This is called birth."


    https://suttacentral.net/en/sn12.2


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    Just while I think to ask, do pagans tend to believe in reincarnation of some sort?
    Once a man, like the sea I raged;
    Once a woman, like the earth I gave;
    And there is in fact more earth than sea.
    Genesis lyric

  2. #12
    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: Ask a Buddhist

    Quote Originally Posted by Herbert View Post
    While I was using somewhat imprecise language, under those definitions, reincarnation would be a form of rebirth. In any case, I generally take a more literal form of the word rebirth than some; namely, being born again (literally, not metaphorically). Using rebirth to refer to something other than being conceived, and then exiting the womb, for the second plus time, is somewhat devaluing the idea of entering the world of the living.
    Well, one person's devaluation is another person's metaphor.

    Those who believe in reincarnation take them to be the same thing, those who don't take them as separate things. Even Buddhist scholars have disputes about this...

    Buddhism is older than Christianity, and has traveled the world in all directions, dieing out in some places only to be recreated long after, it has been reformulated over and over again, leaving a great many varieties smeared across this itsy-bitsy planet - it is more diverse even than is Christianity...

    One thing that is generally true (though, Alas!, not always) is that different Buddhist groups respect other Buddhist groups, even when they disagree.
    Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.

    I can't do everything, but I can do something.

  3. #13
    Sr. Member Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    Re: Ask a Buddhist

    Quote Originally Posted by B. de Corbin View Post
    One thing that is generally true (though, Alas!, not always) is that different Buddhist groups respect other Buddhist groups, even when they disagree.
    Yes, generally, though you do some lively debates on Buddhist forums.
    Once a man, like the sea I raged;
    Once a woman, like the earth I gave;
    And there is in fact more earth than sea.
    Genesis lyric

  4. #14
    Head Above Water habbalah's Avatar
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    Re: Ask a Buddhist

    Do you consider Buddhism to be a theist or atheistic path?
    “You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.” -- Bruce Lee

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  5. #15
    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: Ask a Buddhist

    Quote Originally Posted by habbalah View Post
    Do you consider Buddhism to be a theist or atheistic path?
    Porpoise hasn't responded yet, so I will give you my perspective...

    For me, non-theistic. For others, theistic.

    In the writings, when Buddha was questioned about certain things, such as "the gods," he responded by saying that those questions are irrelevant to what he was teaching. For me, Buddha (assuming he existed as something other than a composite character) was a regular human who had something to teach that is accessible to other humans.

    To me, it seems that if Buddha was something other than a regular human, or if he had some kind of divine backing, than what he had to teach is not accessible to everybody, only to the special ones.

    It would defeat the whole concept of Buddhism (as I see it...).
    Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.

    I can't do everything, but I can do something.

  6. #16
    God in the baking Sean R. R.'s Avatar
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    Re: Ask a Buddhist

    How can you argument the fact that desires are cravings and not an expression of our free will? (assuming there is free will in Buddhism)

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  7. #17
    Sr. Member Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    Re: Ask a Buddhist

    Quote Originally Posted by habbalah View Post
    Do you consider Buddhism to be a theist or atheistic path?
    Some schools are polytheistic, but broadly Buddhism is non-theistic in the sense that there is no creator God. From my own experience I would say that quite a lot of western Buddhists are atheist, having abandoned a previous Christian upbringing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanRave View Post
    How can you argument the fact that desires are cravings and not an expression of our free will? (assuming there is free will in Buddhism)
    I would say that there is always a choice but it is often limited by our conditioning, personality, circumstances and culture. Desires in themselves are not a problem, it's craving or attachment to desire which is seen as the root of suffering. Craving is more like addictive behaviour, strong attachment, clinging and grasping. Impermanence means that the object of our attachments and cravings will inevitably change and disappear. So as the suttas say, "what is impermanent is unsatisfactory".
    Once a man, like the sea I raged;
    Once a woman, like the earth I gave;
    And there is in fact more earth than sea.
    Genesis lyric

  8. #18
    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: Ask a Buddhist

    Quote Originally Posted by SeanRave View Post
    How can you argument the fact that desires are cravings and not an expression of our free will? (assuming there is free will in Buddhism)
    Myself? I don't. Yes, you have free will. You can desire and crave things all you want. You can desire and crave things that are bad for you, or that are good for you, or that you may get, or that are impossible to get.

    You can also use your free will to release yourself from harmful cravings and desires, to reduce the impact of desiring things you can't get, and the hurt of wanting or loosing the things you crave.

    As Porpoise wrote, craving/desire isn't the problem. The problem is attachment to such an extent that you become miserable via desire/craving, which leads you to be unhappy when you don't get it, or when you lose it, or when you fear you may lose it or not get it.

    Desire or crave happiness, though, and learning to dis-attach is the way...
    Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.

    I can't do everything, but I can do something.

  9. #19
    God in the baking Sean R. R.'s Avatar
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    Re: Ask a Buddhist

    Thank you both for your answers.

    Check out my blog! The Daily Satanist

  10. #20
    Sr. Member Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    Re: Ask a Buddhist

    Quote Originally Posted by B. de Corbin View Post
    You can also use your free will to release yourself from harmful cravings and desires, to reduce the impact of desiring things you can't get, and the hurt of wanting or loosing the things you crave.
    With some insight into the impermanent and insubstantial nature of things there is a natural lessening of the tendency to grasp and crave. People often talk about this as "letting go", though it's not an act of will, more a result of insight, seeing how things really are.
    Once a man, like the sea I raged;
    Once a woman, like the earth I gave;
    And there is in fact more earth than sea.
    Genesis lyric

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