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View Diary: I sucked at Buddhism last night (257 comments)

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  •  No, I missed that (1+ / 0-)
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    la motocycliste

    However this notion of paying for past "sins" seems very much to be a judeo Christian import.  Mostly, rebirth seems wrapped up in ideas of dependent origination.  In an oversimplified summary, our actions and thoughts now give rise to our future self "reborn" in that the habits and attitudes we have shape who we are tomorrow. This is a constant process of rebirth dependent in part on our past actions.  Note, this is entirely different from the notion that some supernatural or divine force is punishing people for bad acts centuries ago.  That formulation is out of place in that Buddhism doesn't posit a judging god. Instead it is a lot more a phenenological description of how our consciousness evolves and shapes itself in a dialectical manner.

    Touch all that arises with a spirit of compassion

    by Mindful Nature on Fri May 03, 2013 at 01:00:23 PM PDT

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    •  I don't think I used punishment in the original (0+ / 0-)

      comment. In any case, leave out the idea of punishment. It is difficult for me to accept a world view that says that the sexual abuse of a child in this life is a consequence of her own actions in a previous one.

      Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

      by Wee Mama on Fri May 03, 2013 at 07:52:27 PM PDT

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      •  It seemed implied (1+ / 0-)
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        Wee Mama

        In the formulation you described.  That seems punitive to me.  In my limited study I have not encountered any doctrine that would predict or explain that actions now would cause sexual abuse in the future.  

        The key distinction is between suffering and pain. That is, by mental practice we can change our mental habits and reduce how much we suffer as the result of painful events (ie "external" events like disease or age or having bad things happen. Future suffering can be reduced by our actions since each moment we experience is shaped by our past attitudes.  However, I have never once encountered a single doctrine that would suggest that our past actions have any influence over the occurrence of pain.  Now, I don't subscribe to this notion of multiple lives and rebirth in that literal sense, and have been described by Bachelor and Rampula and others, this notion of  a soul being reborn is ultimately contradictory to the core Buddhist doctrine of no self ("anatman" in Pali, which could also be closer to a doctrine of "no soul".  The root "Atma" is the same as in "Mahatma" or great soul). Buddha seems to have been reasonably clear that the self is an illusion that emerges from perception.  Thus, if there is no soul, there is nothing to be reorn from one body to another.  Note though that many Buddhists, such as in Tibet, do believe in such reincarnation, but there is a question of whether this is a Buddhist idea or an older cultural idea held by some Buddhists.  Perhaps the closest analogue is the question of whether believing the sun revolves around the earth is a Christian belief of simply a common beleief that was held by Christians for a time historically.

        So no, I think the statement that her past actions causes present painful external events makes no sense to me based on my limited understanding.  Present suffering, perhaps, but present pain?  Not so much.  

        I could well be wrong though

        Touch all that arises with a spirit of compassion

        by Mindful Nature on Sat May 04, 2013 at 09:38:01 AM PDT

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