Reincarnation & Rebirth- A belief system?

[Note: I italicize phrases I borrow from the chapter, and link to phrases I borrow from other chapters to help tie chapters together. Some say that this makes reading it tedious at times... oh well :) ]

Because the way is vast and resembles nothing, Taoism will be around a million years from now, when the other more explicit religions have faded into a distant memory. In fact, when I 'breath in' the [chref=1]manifold secrets [/chref] hinted at throughout the Tao Te Ching, I feel very temporally connected to the old folks back then who were likewise 'breathing in' the mystery, as well as to those who will do so in the distant future. That's enough immortality for me!

Not daring to take the lead, compassion, and frugality are really the same thing to me. In other words, only when I'm not taking the lead do I experience compassion, and only when I feel compassion can I not take the lead. Moreover, without frugality neither is possible. Frugality is much deeper than its material meaning. It is like holding the reins of life and so as to [chref=15]desire not to be full[/chref] and [chref=64]desire not to desire[/chref].

Now, I must confess that my views here are born out of personal experiences. Countless times have I forsaken frugality for expansion, and so on. Fortunately, so far anyway, not ending in death. Actually, it is not the physical death which is the loss I lament, but the death of a sense of universal connection that compassion brings. This is why these are treasures I hold and cherish. The more I cherish them, the more likely I am to not dare to take the lead.

Why has it taken me a life time to gradually come to (more or less) truly cherish them? Being frugal and not taking the lead are not among life's most instinctive goals - just the opposite, if anything. Alas, we must truly and viscerally feel a goal is worth it before we are willing to invest true effort.


  • edited December 1969
    Isn't recarnation and rebirth a belief? We cannot really prove that we are reborn or reincarnated, and this belief is the underpinnings of Zen Buddhism. There are analogies and things in nature that seems to indicate that rebirth is possible, watching the weather, plants, how things appear to cycle, but this is not proof. The bottom line is that it appears to be a belief system. If we want to simplify the reason for people's suffering individually or collectively, we say it because of there past lives. Is this belief system any better than what Christians, Jews, Moslem have etc.? All I know is that I do not know. What do you think or feel about it? :lol:
  • edited December 1969
    yeah, it appears to be a belief system. so does taoism. the only proof i have is that i can feel it, 'tune in' to that source. how do i prove that to another person?
    some people remember their past lives, some are affected by them, and some people just make them up (many people claim to have been cleopatra, for instance).
    if i may, i would recommend a book: many lives, many masters.
  • edited December 1969
    Ah, such a good question. "Is reincarnation and rebirth a belief?" To me, words themselves, regardless of there arrangement into ideas, are beliefs. You have to believe in the meaning of your language's words at an emotional (i.e. primordial non rational) level before you can conjure up notions about anything. The elegance of Taoism is the disclaimer, right off the bat, about the illusionary nature of anything that can be [chref=1]named[/chref]. And then further on it pokes at anyone who [chref=56]speaks[/chref] about anything. Note: The correlation process can help anyone wishing to get to the bottom of their belief in words,

    You ask, "Is this belief system any better than what Christians, Jews, Moslem have etc.?" It's all the same to me. Don't we hold on to our beliefs, whatever they may be, for emotional security. Without belief, the [chref=5]void[/chref] is a very mysterious place. Even stronger may be the boost beliefs have for boosting tribal identity. Tribal instinct pulls us to conform in all aspects of life: clothes, politics, education, haircuts, myths. Belief plays a role in all these.

    Lastly, I can see the idea of reincarnation as stemming from pre-science people noticing the genetic transfer of information. Not knowing the microscopic world of biology in general and DNA in particular, the idea of reincarnation offers an explanation of what people see happening. This type of interim understanding helps people make sense of the things.
  • edited December 1969
    There is one difference possibly between other 'old world' faiths and Taoism. Taoism may have more in common with ancient Native American world views, if my limited knowledge on that serves me. In the end, all old world faiths give humanity a superior ranking vis-?-vis other life on earth. It is kind of a pyramid with us two legged big brain primates at the pinnacle. Now, that holds great emotional appeal driven, of course, by you know what? our tribal instinct, e.g., I'm better and we're better than 'them'.

    However, here this innate sense of group elitism is species wide ? not just the usual parochial versions as found in politics, sports, and of course, the myriad religious sects who claim they alone know the 'truth'. Certainly, Native American cultures had plenty of ways to express tribal elitism, which may be why at least the less 'civilized' among them didn't need to incorporate it into their cosmology. Their world view seems to have been a more holistic one, with humans viewed more as part of nature, not above it. Now, I must confess, my thoughts here may stem from a romantic 'media' induced sense of the ancestral Native American mindset. Still, myth usually reflects at least a bit of truth.

    Following this romantic thread brings to mind the fact that Native American people came from far east Asia. Maybe they brought the precursors, the pre-written forms, of Taoism with them? I wish the Native Americans of today success in returning to these roots. All the post Colombian circumstances sure didn't do them any good.
  • edited December 1969
    I have latched on to your reference of the American Native and the tribe and myths. In fact, you have mentioned tribual attachments several times. I think I understand where you are coming from. My personality dynamic is such that I naturally want to connect everything and I am only 30 minutes from the moumtains, and I live by the water. I love nature, she is my teacher. In fact, if I do not see the unity or connection of ideas, things, nature etc. it does not seem natural to me. Joseph Campell with Bill Moyers had a series on The Power of the Myth. I became interested in the series "Masks of Eternity". Even as a science type person I also think there is a lot to myths. In fact, sometimes I think what we need is a myth that allows absolute love to grow, respect for all living and non-living things, treat the earth as a living being which it is, collaborate with nature instead of trying to conquer nature. I may be wrong, but today we have no myths for the tribe to unite around as a whole. Sorry, I had to vent a little.
    Cheers :lol:
  • edited December 1969
    hi duirtree,
    there is always an answer to all the rebirth is a belief or not
    depends on each of our capability to belief in it. there are many people
    that belief in many things and to proof it is something that hard to come out but for those that are confidence in their belief i am sure this person must have something that he can feel,see,sense or even hear it personally
    although other people might not know it and this is where we want to share
    our knowledge on the question of rebirth is a belief is not important
    but the experience of this person is what we want to know.i also belief that
    around this world there must be those have experience it or feel it or see it but didnt have chance to share with us.perhaps you can tell me more about why you are so confident that your belief is true in nature?its very interesting to me to see your reply and because of my search for truth
    i join this discussion and hope you can tell me how you can feel it?
  • edited December 1969
    I do not think we can ever experience Truth. No matter how hard we try it is like the eye trying to see itself. We can only have an approximate truth. As far as re-birth is concerned if we are not willing to let go of our attachments and desires, positive and negative, I do not think we will experience re-birth in the "now". Everything is connected, so what we do, or think etc. "now" is effecting everything else. So when we pass away we have already been putting things in motion. We are already out their, but not in the same form. Is it a feeling, emotion. I do not know. I am more of a Zen Mystic. It is something that just is their and you experience it. Cheers.
  • edited December 1969
    there is always an answer to all querry.

    I don't know about that. It feels egotistical to say we can answer any question. We humans think we are so smart, but there are some questions with answers too too big for us to wrap our little brains around. On second thought, there are some questions we can't even imagine. This is the mystery. Let it be.
  • edited December 1969
    hi Allandnone,
    we can actually experience truth but only that we never realise it.let say
    whatever you do right now is actually towards the true path but you didnt seem to notice it but only you feel its the right thing for you to do the
    self realisation is important as many of us are not realise what we are doing
    but when other comment then only we order to see the truth we need the third eye to see things more clearly and realise more better.this third eye have different meaning and its not that you have another
    eye but its something like you can see more things clearer compare to others.
  • edited December 1969
    Hi Lynn,
    you are right that our brains are too small too wrap up everything but
    there is still another brain that help us to store discuss this brain
    is something you need to practice and for your info i dont think this is
    the right forum to discuss it as it involve meditation and etc..if you cant imagine the question then i cant help you to answer let it be and dont crack your head for question which do not benefit us in our life.the reason
    our life is a suffering one because its full of mystery as you said and to get
    the answer we need to unlock this mystery so that we can achieve less
    suffering state.please dont get me wrong as i am not going to prescribe
    medicine when you are ill but i will tell you why you get once you know why you are ill its easier for you to counter it now you see i dont
    cure you but you cure yourself if i tell you the cause of your its same as when i preach , this wisdom will help you to realise what happen to you but to cure it is purely up to you and not me.
  • edited December 1969
    Hi Wisdom Preacher,
    What is your definition of "truth"? :yy:
  • edited December 1969
    Hi Wisdom Preacher,
    Your comments appear to be the "Four Noble truths" that you are alluding too, but not saying so. Am I correct?
  • edited December 1969
    hi Allandnone,
    In my practice, the truth is the path to enlightenment and to know the truth
    you need to gain wisdom and to gain wisdom you need to practice and also
    when the time is ripe then wisdom will come in by itself.So whatever I preached here will be something that sometimes will have the same meaning or same concept as other religion and also sometimes have the
    same practice as well.Due to this , dont get the impression that I copy
    other religion practice and believe as I have my own practice and guidance.
    Hope that answer your querry but if its still not clear then you can ask again.
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