Reincarnation with a soul

A place to compare and contrast Dharmic traditions, debates allowed, but be polite.
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Karma Dondrup Tashi
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Reincarnation with a soul

Post by Karma Dondrup Tashi » Mon Mar 18, 2019 3:22 pm

The Western wisdom states that we have a soul, the Eastern wisdom states that we reincarnate - is it possible to reconcile the two views? Could we have a soul as well as reincarnate?

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DNS
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Re: Reincarnation with a soul

Post by DNS » Mon Mar 18, 2019 5:20 pm

Karma Dondrup Tashi wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 3:22 pm
The Western wisdom states that we have a soul, the Eastern wisdom states that we reincarnate - is it possible to reconcile the two views? Could we have a soul as well as reincarnate?
Most Dharmic traditions say there is a soul and we reincarnate (Hindu, Jain, Sikh, etc). I believe it's only Buddhism which states that it is not-self or no-self and there is still rebirth (similar to reincarnation, but no soul).

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Re: Reincarnation with a soul

Post by DNS » Mon Mar 18, 2019 5:39 pm

The dilemma for Buddhism and for which even many Buddhists struggle; is that if there is no soul -- then how does rebirth take place? There are a number of analogies and descriptions Buddhists give to help people with this issue.

Flame on a candle, etc.

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Karma Dondrup Tashi
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Re: Reincarnation with a soul

Post by Karma Dondrup Tashi » Mon Mar 18, 2019 5:41 pm

Does anyone think it is possible to be a Buddhist if you think its possible that the atman is something that might last a very, very long time, but not infinitely?

I've changed a lot since I was born 50 years ago (not all for the better), but I'd still say I was "me". how long does it take in Buddhism for that "me" to fundamentally change also?

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Re: Reincarnation with a soul

Post by DNS » Mon Mar 18, 2019 5:46 pm

Karma Dondrup Tashi wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 5:41 pm
Does anyone think it is possible to be a Buddhist if you think its possible that the atman is something that might last a very, very long time, but not infinitely?
Interesting idea. In all the anatta / anatman debates I've read over the years, I don't think I've seen that proposed.

It sounds similar to pantheism, where one has atman until one 'merges' with the Divine universal self in Nirvana.

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Re: Reincarnation with a soul

Post by DNS » Mon Mar 18, 2019 5:48 pm

Karma Dondrup Tashi wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 5:41 pm
I've changed a lot since I was born 50 years ago (not all for the better), but I'd still say I was "me". how long does it take in Buddhism for that "me" to fundamentally change also?
Really? Do you have picture of what you looked like 50 years ago? Do you look the same? :tongue:

Were you Buddhist 50 years ago? Or even 20 years ago? We change our thinking all the time, our appearance, even our personalities, in some instances.

But I know what you mean; there still appears to be some major continuity of being the 'same' person.

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Re: Reincarnation with a soul

Post by Nicholas » Sun Mar 24, 2019 4:20 pm

Among the Tathagata-garbha sutras of Buddha there is taught a True Self. It is not a self or person or soul, but it carries & emanates each individual lifetime after lifetime. It is difficult to explain, but here is a little bit from the Srimala Sutra, one of the sutras that contain this Buddhadharma:
“World-Honored One, without one’s Tathāgata store, one cannot come to
tire of suffering and to delight in seeking nirvāṇa. Why not? Because, World-
Honored One, one’s seven dharmas—one’s first six consciousnesses and their
perceptions—neither abide for a single moment nor retain one’s experience of
suffering. Then one cannot come to tire of suffering and to delight in seeking
nirvāṇa. World-Honored One, one’s Tathāgata store has no beginning, neither
arising nor expiring, but retains one’s experience of suffering.* Then one can
come to tire of suffering and to delight in seeking nirvāṇa.
“One’s Tathāgata store is not a self, not a person, not a sentient being, and
not an everlasting soul. It is incomprehensible to those who hold the wrong
view that one has a self, those who hold inverted views, and those who
misunderstand the emptiness of dharmas.
* According to the Consciousness-Only School, ālaya consciousness (ālayavijñāna),
the storehouse consciousness, one’s eighth consciousness, stores all
pure, impure, and neutral seeds of one’s experience without a beginning. Here,
this sentence implicitly equates the Tathāgata store to ālaya consciousness.

Footnote & translation by Rulu.
Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost. -- Buddha

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