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Xangsamhua

"another World"?

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From the Apannaka Sutta (The Incontrovertible Teaching):8 (in Bikkhu Bodhi's translation of the Majjhima Nikaya, 2005 edition)

The Buddha says (to the Brahmins of Sala): Since there actually is another world, one who convinces another 'there is no other world' convinces him to accept an untrue Dhamma; and because he convinces another to accept an untrue Dhamma, he praises himself and disparages others. Thus any pure virtue that he formerly had is abandoned and corrupt conduct is substituted. And this wrong view, wrong intention, wrong speech [etc. etc.] .... these several evil, unwholesome states thus come into being with wrong view as their condition.

Having taken 60+ years to arrive at the point of seeing belief in and hope for "another world" as illusory, and regarding the Buddha's teaching as enlightened (though coloured by his place and time) I'm just not sure what he's referring to. Although he may have used the terminology of gods and demons, heavens and hells in order to communicate with the people around him, did he actually believe in other worlds and, if so, in what way?

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Although he may have used the terminology of gods and demons, heavens and hells in order to communicate with the people around him, did he actually believe in other worlds and, if so, in what way?

Yes, according to A.K. Warder's Indian Buddhism (page 149): "the Buddha appears to admit the gods and God [brahma] to his scheme of the universe." The book is well-worth reading - and owning.

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Although he may have used the terminology of gods and demons, heavens and hells in order to communicate with the people around him, did he actually believe in other worlds and, if so, in what way?

Yes, according to A.K. Warder's Indian Buddhism (page 149): "the Buddha appears to admit the gods and God [brahma] to his scheme of the universe." The book is well-worth reading - and owning.

Thanks, Camerata, I'll add it to my next order from Amazon.

I'm also puzzled by the Buddha's statement later in the same Sutta (section 34) that the wise man holds the view that "there definitely is cessation of being" and that he therefore "practises the way to disenchantment with being, to the fading away and cessation of being".

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From the Apannaka Sutta (The Incontrovertible Teaching):8 (in Bikkhu Bodhi's translation of the Majjhima Nikaya, 2005 edition)

The Buddha says (to the Brahmins of Sala): Since there actually is another world, one who convinces another 'there is no other world' convinces him to accept an untrue Dhamma; and because he convinces another to accept an untrue Dhamma, he praises himself and disparages others. Thus any pure virtue that he formerly had is abandoned and corrupt conduct is substituted. And this wrong view, wrong intention, wrong speech [etc. etc.] .... these several evil, unwholesome states thus come into being with wrong view as their condition.

Having taken 60+ years to arrive at the point of seeing belief in and hope for "another world" as illusory, and regarding the Buddha's teaching as enlightened (though coloured by his place and time) I'm just not sure what he's referring to. Although he may have used the terminology of gods and demons, heavens and hells in order to communicate with the people around him, did he actually believe in other worlds and, if so, in what way?

This article might be helpful http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.060.than.html I've only skim read it but here it is translated as "Next World" not "Another World".

The passage makes more sense when reading it as just talking about rebirth rather than reading it as talking about other planes of existance or parrallel universes.

Edited by Brucenkhamen

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I'm also puzzled by the Buddha's statement later in the same Sutta (section 34) that

the wise man holds the view that "there definitely is cessation of being" and that he therefore "practises the way to disenchantment with being, to the fading away and cessation of being".

This is the standard Theravadin View of things.

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Although he may have used the terminology of gods and demons, heavens and hells in order to communicate with the people around him, did he actually believe in other worlds and, if so, in what way?

Yes, according to A.K. Warder's Indian Buddhism (page 149): "the Buddha appears to admit the gods and God [brahma] to his scheme of the universe." The book is well-worth reading - and owning.

I don't believe in any "Religion", although Buddhism (a Life's Philosphy) is very interesting and challanging.

Churchill once said: "For everything that happens on this earth, there's a logical explanation . . . . . . . . . . . . . and then, there's the truth !"

In that spirit (as in 'frame of mind') I can highly recommend a book written by Prof. Dr. Brian Weiss, which is titled "Many Lives, Many Masters" - It most certainly opened my eyes and I must be one

of the most skeptical persons I have ever had the pleasure of meeting . . . . . . .

Cheers,

JGK/Pattaya

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I don't believe in any "Religion", although Buddhism (a Life's Philosphy) is very interesting and challanging.

Churchill once said: "For everything that happens on this earth, there's a logical explanation . . . . . . . . . . . . . and then, there's the truth !"

In that spirit (as in 'frame of mind') I can highly recommend a book written by Prof. Dr. Brian Weiss, which is titled "Many Lives, Many Masters" - It most certainly opened my eyes and I must be one

of the most skeptical persons I have ever had the pleasure of meeting . . . . . . .

OK, but how do you reconcile non-belief in religion with unproven (though perhaps compelling) revelations about reincarnation, channeling, Master Spirits and God? To me, it seems like one has to accept, reject or be agnostic about all supernatural phenomena, rather than accept some of them but only in certain contexts.

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I'm also puzzled by the Buddha's statement later in the same Sutta (section 34) that the wise man holds the view that "there definitely is cessation of being" and that he therefore "practises the way to disenchantment with being, to the fading away and cessation of being".

Without seeing the whole thing in context and knowing that precise meaning of "being," I assume this refers to nibbana as the way out of existence in samsara. Ajahn Buddhadasa said the whole of the Buddha's teachings could be summarized as: "Nothing in this world is worth clinging to." I think that's why one "practises the way to disenchantment with being." That's my guess, anyway.

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I'm also puzzled by the Buddha's statement later in the same Sutta (section 34) that

the wise man holds the view that "there definitely is cessation of being" and that he therefore "practises the way to disenchantment with being, to the fading away and cessation of being".

This is the standard Theravadin View of things.

Thank you. In fact Bhikkhu Thanissaro in the article you referred to translates "cessation of being" as "cessation of becoming". I think that helps, as I was having trouble connecting cessation of being with "deathlessness" (used by the Buddha together with "nothingness" in Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation - MN 541). Cessation of being, nothingness and deathlessness do not ring out as synonyms to me; however, if we are talking about cessation of becoming, then there is no denial of being, but of change and potential. The absolute in terms of human development has been attained.

A quick search on the net indicates that there was a lot of interest in the relationship or difference between "being and becoming" in the axial age (6th and 5th centuries before Christ) in both the Greek states and among the Daoists in China. And here we appear to have the Buddha referring to it in the same period. I don't see how the Buddha could have interacted with the Greeks and Chinese at that time, 150 years or so before Alexander and 500 years before any links between Buddhism and China. I wonder if the passage in question does actually represent the Buddha's words or was added later. Bhikkhu Thanissaro suggests this as a possibility for the "safe bet" arguments in the sutta.

Edited by Xangsamhua

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Thank you. In fact Bhikkhu Thanissaro in the article you referred to translates "cessation of being" as "cessation of becoming". I think that helps, as I was having trouble connecting cessation of being with "deathlessness" (used by the Buddha together with "nothingness" in Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation - MN 541). Cessation of being, nothingness and deathlessness do not ring out as synonyms to me; however, if we are talking about cessation of becoming, then there is no denial of being, but of change and potential. The absolute in terms of human development has been attained.

A quick search on the net indicates that there was a lot of interest in the relationship or difference between "being and becoming" in the axial age (6th and 5th centuries before Christ) in both the Greek states and among the Daoists in China. And here we appear to have the Buddha referring to it in the same period. I don't see how the Buddha could have interacted with the Greeks and Chinese at that time, 150 years or so before Alexander and 500 years before any links between Buddhism and China. I wonder if the passage in question does actually represent the Buddha's words or was added later. Bhikkhu Thanissaro suggests this as a possibility for the "safe bet" arguments in the sutta.

I understood cessation of being as meaning cessation of self. Cessation of self doesn't mean something dies as strictly speaking there is no self so nothing dies, rather it's the cessation of the process of delusion creating a belief in self. This is what is meant by the term becoming, delusion creates the self because of the desire to exist as a self, so the self image "becomes".

The term deathlessness as I understand it means that because becoming has ceased when the body dies there is no rebirth, because there is no birth there is no death, hence deathlessness. Of course the current body is yet to die so it's really deathlessness+1.

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Thank you. In fact Bhikkhu Thanissaro in the article you referred to translates "cessation of being" as "cessation of becoming". I think that helps, as I was having trouble connecting cessation of being with "deathlessness" (used by the Buddha together with "nothingness" in Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation - MN 541). Cessation of being, nothingness and deathlessness do not ring out as synonyms to me; however, if we are talking about cessation of becoming, then there is no denial of being, but of change and potential. The absolute in terms of human development has been attained.

A quick search on the net indicates that there was a lot of interest in the relationship or difference between "being and becoming" in the axial age (6th and 5th centuries before Christ) in both the Greek states and among the Daoists in China. And here we appear to have the Buddha referring to it in the same period. I don't see how the Buddha could have interacted with the Greeks and Chinese at that time, 150 years or so before Alexander and 500 years before any links between Buddhism and China. I wonder if the passage in question does actually represent the Buddha's words or was added later. Bhikkhu Thanissaro suggests this as a possibility for the "safe bet" arguments in the sutta.

I understood cessation of being as meaning cessation of self. Cessation of self doesn't mean something dies as strictly speaking there is no self so nothing dies, rather it's the cessation of the process of delusion creating a belief in self. This is what is meant by the term becoming, delusion creates the self because of the desire to exist as a self, so the self image "becomes".

The term deathlessness as I understand it means that because becoming has ceased when the body dies there is no rebirth, because there is no birth there is no death, hence deathlessness. Of course the current body is yet to die so it's really deathlessness+1.

Buddhism 101 question, I suppose, but what is it that is deluded? What is it that desires to exist as "self"?

Is that which desires, deludedly, itself some "thing" in a state of "being" or just an abstraction constantly "becoming"?

It seems to be the latter - it neither is nor is not; it is endless flux (as Heraclitus argued and Parmenides denied).

Perhaps these are unanswerable questions, but it looks to me like the Buddha favours the latter alternative (i.e. Heraclitus's).

Heraclitus and Gautama were contemporaries. I wonder if there was any flow of ideas between the Aegean and the Ganges at that time? There may have been some contact in Babylonia.

And if, as was suggested a couple of years ago, the Buddha came from Iran, then a Babylonian point of contact may be even more likely. :)

Edited by Xangsamhua

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Buddhism 101 question, I suppose, but what is it that is deluded? What is it that desires to exist as "self"?

Is that which desires, deludedly, itself some "thing" in a state of "being" or just an abstraction constantly "becoming"?

It seems to be the latter - it neither is nor is not; it is endless flux (as Heraclitus argued and Parmenides denied).

Perhaps these are unanswerable questions, but it looks to me like the Buddha favours the latter alternative (i.e. Heraclitus's).

Heraclitus and Gautama were contemporaries. I wonder if there was any flow of ideas between the Aegean and the Ganges at that time? There may have been some contact in Babylonia.

And if, as was suggested a couple of years ago, the Buddha came from Iran, then a Babylonian point of contact may be even more likely. :)

This is the purpose of practice, to differentiate between delusion and reality. That which desires to become is not so much an abstraction, rather desire creates the conditions for more desire and so on. Desire is not so much an emotion had by a distinct and seperate self rather the continuation of previous conditioning.

It's perfectly possible that Heraclitus came to his conclusions on his own by observing life with an open mind just like anybody can, the truth is self evident for anyone to see if they can see past delusion. One difference though I guess is Gautama offered a solution.

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This is the purpose of practice, to differentiate between delusion and reality. That which desires to become is not so much an abstraction, rather desire creates the conditions for more desire and so on. Desire is not so much an emotion had by a distinct and separate self rather the continuation of previous conditioning.

As we are all still firmly connected to the delusion, which is all that we know, we (the only thing we know) will die because we are impermanent.

And the really big one is "what is reality"?

What is it doing while we are in delusion?

Is reality global (everything) or is it individual & is it inside us or somewhere else?

I think on earlier posts it was said reality is "unconditional & permanent".

Is reality global (everything) or is it individual?

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And the really big one is "what is reality"?

What is it doing while we are in delusion?

Is reality global (everything) or is it individual & is it inside us or somewhere else?

I think on earlier posts it was said reality is "unconditional & permanent".

Is reality global (everything) or is it individual?

Reality is that which isn't corrupted by delusion, it's just doing what it's doing.

The Buddhist teaching is that all conditioned things are impermanent, this is the reality of things.

If reality were individual you'd be alone in this world wouldn't you, this is clearly not the case.

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If reality were individual you'd be alone in this world wouldn't you, this is clearly not the case.

But am I not delusion?

I suppose it's a tall question asking what reality (enlightenment-nirvana) is?

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