What is it that is reborn?

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Your “not-a-soul” that isn’t “yours” gets reborn.

That’s the best I can do lol.

DO is constant in the suttas. I can’t remember the exact phrasing, but it’s something like “that principal still stands, fixed conditionality (referring to DO)” from the Paccayasutta.

I’ll edit this later with the correct quote.


This is the best explanation I’ve ever read. :slight_smile:


Why must some thing or some sort of subject/object have to be reborn? What are the causes and conditions that give rise to the asking of this question and the seeking of an answer? Can an answer that doesn’t lead to additional questions even be envisioned?

Rhetorical questions btw.



@rudite, are you saying that I am stupid for asking the question?


@Erik_ODonnell That makes me think of ontological relativity and competing conceptual schemes. If all human knowledge is just a construct, then that would apply to Buddhist doctrine as well. It would mean that all conceptual frameworks, all forms of knowledge, including Buddhism, are ultimately just inventions. Fabrications created by humans.


i think she’s saying that stupidity is what gets reborn, basically echoing suci1’s suggestion


I would never say that.
Sorry for misunderstanding, that was Ajahn’s answer to the question you asked.
With metta,


i don’t think it does necessarily apply to the Dhamma as long as it is believed to be expression of the ultimate truth proclaimed by not mere mortal but by an awakened being

a view of the Dhamma just as another cultural phenomenon on the other hand certainly warrants such a conclusion


For me, it’s about practicality. Something is useful if it helps you achieve a goal.

Like how a bridge is a constructed thing, but it’s incredibly useful if you can use it to cross a river.

It’s the same with Buddhism; can it be used to make an end of suffering? For me personally, that’s what really matters at the end of the day.


@Erik_ODonnell As the Buddha said, the dhamma is a raft. No point in clinging to it after you are awakened.


Maybe so in your world, friend! But this question totally dominates my world, my understanding of the rebirth. Hence I have asked the question: How can something of non-physical, abstract nature, live in organic, physical body, interconnect with its sense organs, have intelligence to process and evaluate (wholesome or unwholesome) the input, store the result, keep the count of evaluation score, and detect dying moments of the body and flee with the data. Then fly into some other body, convert it’s data into physical output, unload it, and so on… All this was taken true for 5BC Indian wanders, it was bread and butter of their metaphysical world, so no need to doubt, when obviously it is so. But for us, in the 21 century AD it isn’t so clear cut. I read various explanations (the authorities!) and all of them require the reader to have a large element of belief - and it’s delivered on the bases of “it is so”, but no one remotely explains the question that I have asked.

Now, you have signalled in your first reply that you have the answer, although it’s in a form of quantum physics and advanced maths. Nevertheless I would be delighted to study it and expand my knowledge.


You would then need to show how and why the dhamma is different to any other theory. You can’t simply state that it is.


I agree with you on that point. So these discussions are great to explore and learn.

With all respect, you are making the assumption that what exists can be divided into ‘the physical’ and ‘the non-physical’. That is what Erik( @Erik_ODonnell ) is trying to get at…I think :grin:

The idea is that we could have a conceptual model that frames all phenomena in a totally different way, without making any reference to the concept of ‘physical’ and ‘non-physical’. It is a radical but valid idea. Put it another way, it’s like we have invented two different and incompatible constructs (mind and matter), and then we ask how can they possibly interact! Clearly our conceptual model needs to revised or completely thrown out! :slight_smile: Or put another way, we need a new conceptual scheme that does not inherently create the mind-matter interaction problem; that scheme would not contain the concepts ‘physical’, ‘non-physical’, ‘mind’ and ‘matter’. Does that make sense?

Peace and Respect :anjal:


the difference is that the Dhamma is not a theory in a sense of a set of concocted concepts, it’s an expression of direct knowledge and vision, practising which one is able, as at least shown by the sutta narratives, to replicate the Buddha’s realization, one either believes (has faith/confidence/conviction in) this or one doesn’t, and faith (saddha) is a highly praised faculty

And what, bhikkhus, is the wealth of faith? Here, a noble disciple is endowed with faith. He places faith in the enlightenment of the Tathāgata thus: ‘The Blessed One is an arahant, perfectly enlightened, accomplished in true knowledge and conduct, fortunate, knower of the world, unsurpassed trainer of persons to be tamed, teacher of devas and humans, the Enlightened One, the Blessed One.’ This is called the wealth of faith.

AN 5.47

Bhikkhus, there are these four streams of merit, streams of the wholesome, nutriments of happiness—heavenly, ripening in happiness, conducive to heaven—that lead to what is wished for, desired, and agreeable, to one’s welfare and happiness. What four?

(1) “Here, a noble disciple possesses unwavering confidence in the Buddha thus: ‘The Blessed One is an arahant, perfectly enlightened, accomplished in true knowledge and conduct, fortunate, knower of the world, unsurpassed trainer of persons to be tamed, teacher of devas and humans, the Enlightened One, the Blessed One.’ This is the first stream of merit….

(2) “Again, a noble disciple possesses unwavering confidence in the Dhamma thus: ‘The Dhamma is well expounded by the Blessed One, directly visible, immediate, inviting one to come and see, applicable, to be personally experienced by the wise.’ This is the second stream of merit….

(3) “Again, a noble disciple possesses unwavering confidence in the Saṅgha thus: ‘The Saṅgha of the Blessed One’s disciples is practicing the good way, practicing the straight way, practicing the true way, practicing the proper way; that is, the four pairs of persons, the eight types of individuals—this Saṅgha of the Blessed One’s disciples is worthy of gifts, worthy of hospitality, worthy of offerings, worthy of reverential salutation, the unsurpassed field of merit for the world.’ This is the third stream of merit….


AN 4.72

how one gains faith depends on a person, some need miracles and feats of psychic powers, some need the teaching to resonate with and give answers to their life circumstances, some have kammic predisposition for it, some need personal interaction with an awakened person and so forth

and faith is required because the realization of the Buddhist ideal is a very personal affair, one cannot verify it against some objective preexisting criteria, after all one cannot verify kamma and rebirth
if my own experience is something to go by, then without resort to faith wordlings are only able to acknowledge the first Noble Truth, for some it becomes a sufficient reason for gaining faith in veracity of the rest of the Truths


@DaoYaoTao summed up my view nicely.

However, I don’t think my point is very radical. I mean, it’s just not useful to get hung up in, for example, ‘how does a magnetic field (immaterial) cause a piece of metal (material) to move in the compass?’

There is no answer to how that happens. What we do know is how that interaction can be described with some math. When we can use that general piece of mathematics to predict how magnetism works in many different situations, we say that we understand it.

We use words like ‘force’ but we are really just describing correlations between phenomena with math.

When it comes to the fundamentals of reality, the best thing you can do is to find some math that describes current phenomena, and predicts future phenomena, and does this consistently wherever and whenever you are able to check it.

Tl;dr: ‘how does the immaterial interact with the material’ is a question that doesn’t have an answer, IMO :slight_smile:

Edit: You have to go way back when people tried to explain why rocks fall with the idea that the rocks wanted to go downwards. After Newton described the motion of the planets – without answering how or why they move – people sort of gave up and settled for that; a piece of math that describes correlating phenomena.

The closest thing I can find in the EBTs to this is when wanderes ask the Buddha if “the soul is one thing and the body another” or if “the body and soul are the same”, e.g. SN 44.7.

The Buddha leaves those answers undeclared. IMO, because they’re coming from a mental model of reality that cannot give the right answers.

That’s just my own thoughts and musings on the subject anyway :sweat_smile:


Sure, because an enlightened individual has seen the non-verbal, direct Dhamma, so he doesn’t need the Teachings in the Suttas anymore. You don’t need an albumof photographs of the Eiffel Tower if you can see it in your window. Besides, letting go of the Dhamma doesn’t mean it is false, it means you don’t cling to it.


First let me state quite clearly that I do not question Gotama’s enterprise. A path of spirituality and meditation that leads to Bodhi is something that I do believe in and try to live by.

What you mean to say is that the dhamma is a set of concocted words used to express direct knowledge and vision. The direct knowledge and vision may not be concocted, but the words used to express it are. That is not a trivial distinction I make. The Buddha was well known for taking existing words/concepts and changing them to suit his needs. The fact that he changed them to suit his needs basically demonstrates that the words and concepts are concocted.

Isn’t there a famous sutta that says we should question everything and another sutta that tells us to never accept anything on blind faith? (If anyone has links to those suttas then could you please provide them, Thanks ) Also, what would be the point of this website if we couldn’t question anything?

The only thing you are saying is here is that one must have faith in the truth of one’s religion whatever that religion may happen to be. So to paraphrase you:
“How one gains faith in any religion depends on the person, some need miracles and feats of psychic powers, some need the teaching of a particular religion to resonate with and give answers to their life circumstances, some have a spiritual predisposition for a particular religion, some need personal interaction with a charismatic leader of a religion and so forth.”

I don’t mean to be argumentative, but it helps to clear up these ideas. There are some EB suttas that describe in detail a path of meditation training that lead to Samadhi and Bodhi. I wil lsearch for the links.

Peace and Respect


Nope, the Dhamma itself isn’t Buddhavacana is. The Dhamma itself is how the world really is, what we read in the Suttas are verbal depictions of it, very much like an photo of the EIffel Tower is not the Eiffel Tower.

I presume you mean AN 3.65. However, if you read this Sutta carefully, you will be kind of disappointed because its basic message is not ‘skepticize everything’ but rather ‘don’t do things that you know for yourselves are bad’ and, to a lesser extant, ‘follow the people you consider wise and noble’. By the way, both pieces of advice helped me enormously in my personal life.


Did I say it was false ?


that’s what the suttas are saying, not so much myself, and with regard to the Dhamma rather than any religion

there’re also suttas which discourage disputes and debates, whos advice i’m happy to follow