Rebirth PART ONE (Agnosticism)

by David Turell @, Thursday, December 22, 2022, 19:26 (96 days ago) @ dhw

Xeno: I intend on giving a more in-depth response here--family coming into town though and I was busy getting the bedroom prepared.

Parinibbana/parinirvana isn't death. The Buddha deliberately left undeclared what Nibbana was other than a fully unconditioned state. My Monk got stuck between Phoenix and Tucson with a flat tire and has promised to get back to me--I just linked him to the discussion here.
One of the books he's had us work through had this to say:

"He or she has completed the development of the noble path, has fully understood the true nature of existence, and has eradicated all the mind's bonds and fetters For the duration of life the arahant abides in unruffled peace, in the experiential realization of Nibbana, with a mind stainless and secure. Then, with the breakup of the body at the end of the life span, he or she reaches the end of the entire process of re-becoming. For the arant death is not the passageway to a new rebirth, as it is for all others, but the doorway to the unconditioned state itself, the Nibbana-element without residue of conditioned existence. This is the true cessation of sufferings to which the Buddha's Teaching points, the final termination of the beginningless round of birth and death."

So it's not an escape to a final death, but something incomprehensible.

Well there ya go, at least in my book this DOES make Buddhism more of a religion than a philosophy, though I suppose it's up to the individual precisely where to take it.

dhw: Thanks for this. The flat tire seems to me like a symbol for all of the above, except that once you’ve fully understood the true nature of existence, whatever that may be (a process which seems to entail becoming oblivious to all the ”cravings” that make life such a pain and such a pleasure), you will live happily ever after until your body dies its final death. And then your non-soul – totally independent of the “conditioned existence” (i.e. life on Earth) – will be at “unruffled peace”. I can’t see where the “store consciousness” fits in, since that is full of all the miserable memories of your past lives and presumably all the nasty things you did before your sufferings ceased, and yet that seems to be the only thing that doesn’t die when the body dies. In fact, to be honest, I can’t see what state could be more unruffledly peaceful or more “fully unconditioned” than permanent death. You say the Buddha didn’t specify. I’m not surprised.

Nor am I.

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