Posted by David S. (18.104.22.168) on October 08, 2000 at 07:37:02:
In Reply to: rebirth posted by Jon on October 08, 2000 at 01:27:42:
Your understanding of "nothing is passed on in this rebirth" may be one place where you are sticking a bit.
As you said, this type of phrasing usually comes under the teaching of no-self. Point being, there is no permanent, isolated, unchanging, independent self that carries through the process of rebirth. However, the impermanent, interconnected, always changing, conditioned self-nature does carry on with this process. If it was a completely unconnected set of events, how would the mind remember the past, and how would a train of thoughts exist? Also if we did not have individual karma to some degree, then the Buddha would not have asked in the Sutras, "if one bhikku (monk) eats, are the other bhikku's satisfied as well?" The answer of course being no - they must eat for themselves.
As for planning for the future, it's very simple. Ask your present self if it minds suffering. The fact that you are seeking something shows that it does. And without planning, you will not be able to change your view so that you will not suffer. What we should not mind, is the difficulty encountered in our own practice and in our endeavours to help others suffer less.
Your mind is very sharp and clever. Beware of that, it will trick you often. Keep the practice simple and down to earth, that is where you will find the benefits.
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