Let’s suppose the cosmic powers that be offer you two options:
The first option is that, at the end of your present life, however long that life is to last, you will be reborn into a human life that will be just a little bit better than your present life (let’s say 10% better).
The second option is that, at the end of your present life, however long that life is to last, you will not be reborn at all. This is your last life.
Which option would you choose?
Be truthful! Try to imagine this is the actual choice facing you.
I do not understand what this means.
This can’t be Nibbana as no body can offer me Nibbana.
On the other hand if I choose this it appears that I am craving for Nibbana.
If I born as a human again that is not a bad idea. If I improve 10% every life I will attain Nibbana (complete happiness) within seven life. (ie. 10% is compounding so it will be 100% in approximately seven lives)
This is inline with my present strategy.
So I chose the first option.
both these scenarios go against the teachings of Buddha. it by one’s own kamma that one experiences certain results. no other and no ‘cosmic force’ can influence your kamma and its results and make your life better or put an end to rebirth. you develop the conditions for those results yourself. if some cosmic power offered you this deal, you should recognize them as mara.
Neither can they guarantee a 10% better life. Who know what past kamma will ripen. Existence is conditioned, not fatalistic.
I took the offer of ‘you will not be born again’ as a Nibanna pill at death. Not nearly as handy as Nibanna pill now though.
These were our two options. Both are not inline with the Dhamma
Basic polling wisdom and standard practice suggests that the poll include at least a third choice “decline to state/no opinion”.
I understand the reasoning behind “forced choice” question design. But the weakness of forced choice is that we don’t get to hear from the wise and noble persons who would decline to answer the question as stated. We also don’t get to hear from those who read the poll and say, in effect, “I’m going to pass”.
I chose to take another life. Although what I’d really prefer is for nanobots to give me an indefinite lifespan and spend the next 100 trillion years traveling around, learning things, enjoying myself, until the energy of the last viable red dwarf has been used up. At which point hopefully I’ll have figured out how to travel to or send my consciousness to some other universe and continue merrily on.
Alas, the nanobots and hypothalmus regulating compounds if we do create them within my normal life-span (and I don’t die in an accident or by sudden illness) will likely only expand my life by 50 years or so and won’t significantly reduce my aging so that I can stay effectively in my 20s forever/indefinitely. So probably best to meditate on impermanence and focus on letting go since the quest for immortality or ridiculously long youthful life is likely hopeless.
I still may shoot for a very good health insurance policy in old age though.