Thursday, September 11, 2008

Not the same, nor different. (Part1 of 2)



http://www.flickr.com/photos/rianklong/1798080106/

Question: (unedited) The Buddha proclaimed the self to be empty. Also, though He neverly expressly denied it, the evidence is that he denied the existence of a soul. But the Buddha accepted reincarnation and in the Suttas recalled a number of his past lives. Since there is no soul, what is being reincarnated?



My comment.


The Buddha's axiom is in this statement: "Not the same, and yet not different". It is just like the electric current; there is a continuous flow of current, but the current before and the current now, are not the same, and yet not different. Another example is like a lighted candle. Although the light appears to be the same, it is actually not so because the candle is continuously burning.




The Buddha pointed out that there was no PERMANENT AND UNCHANGING entity. The entity is there, but is in a continuous state of flux. Therefore there cannot be an unchanging and eternal soul. The Buddha also denied that there was absolutely nothing, because there IS definitely some thing. There is this process of becoming, sustaining, and dissolving.




This process of becoming, sustaining, and dissolving is the characteristic of the mind. It is the consciousness that ticks away, just like the movie film that contains the individual frames. It is this consciousness that takes on different life forms depending on the nature of the accumulated kamma. Rebirth is this process of becoming. "Reincarnation" implies an unchanging entity. "Rebirth" points to a continuous process of the stream of consciousness.

10 comments:

A true Malaysian said...

Justin,

We are so used to this 'material' world. Anything that cannot be seen, hear or touch are hard to explain.

I for one still confused about the process of rebirth.

All I know is that there is and there will be such process called 'rebirth' and 'reincarnation'.

By believing in rebirth and reincarnation, in a way, makes the question of 'how' becomes unimportant to me.

Justin Choo said...

A True Malaysian,

Rebirth and reincarnation are two different concepts. The Buddha spoke about rebirth, the continuation of the stream of consciousness.

Reincarnation assumes an unchanging permanent soul.

A true Malaysian said...

Justin,

I read your part 2 answer.

If rebirth and reincarnation are two different concepts, then is there any truth in reincarnation?

Tibetan Buddhism talks a lot about 'reincarnation' of Lama, Rinpoche,

Justin Choo said...

A true Msian,

The answer is in my last 2 sentences.

A true Malaysian said...

Justin,

Your earlier comment "Reincarnation assumes an unchanging permanent soul".

The word "assumes" is an uncertain term. So, any truth in 'reincarnation - unchanging permanent soul'?

Justin Choo said...

A True msian,

I leave it to you to think, analyze to find the answer that you will accept.

This is Buddhism; freedom to think and decide, after having read what the Buddha taught.

A true Malaysian said...

Cheers brother, you are just great.

This is why Buddha's teachings are just wonderful.

A true Malaysian said...

Justin,

Maybe you wish to response to this link that I found in the google adsence of your other blog.

http://www.everystudent.com/my/wires/reincarnation.html?gclid=CKqIzLWo7pUCFQxNegodeTs7ew

Justin Choo said...

A True Malaysian,

Thanks for info; but I can't access the link you gave me.

On another note, Dr's blog has new "group" chatting.

A true Malaysian said...

Justin,

I tried the link again, and I can access to it.

You try copy and paste again to your browser and see how.

New 'group' chatting? Good.

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