Within the received chain of dependent origination (paticca-samuppāda), the Buddha uses the term ‘namo-rupa’ or ‘mind-body’ – to explain that these two otherwise distinctive entities are inherently ‘linked’ or ‘entwined’ at source, and within his schematic of interpreting reality, cannot be considered ‘separate’ in any manner.
Given that the Buddha’s theory of mind is purely materialistic (with conscious awareness being a special arrangement of matter due to the evolutionary process as described by the Buddha in the Agganna Sutta), why is Buddhism still often misrepresented as a ‘religion’?
Therefore the teachings on karma and rebirth are applicable to the pre-enlightenment state and are not ultimately ‘real’ as they disappear with the realisation of profound emptiness. It is debatable that the Pali Suttas are ‘Hinayanic’, as all Mahayana thought clearly exists within their construct.
Original Article: Golden Lotus Rain (金色莲华雨露) Blog (Translated by Adrian Chan-Wyles PhD) Translator’s Note: Buddhism has had to integrate into an essentially Confucian culture in
For the Buddha, delusion generates itself in cycles of endless repetition. Causes lead to consequences, and this systems appears to transmit itself from one birth to the next. However, this should not be interpreted in a theistic or mystical fashion. Whatever the Buddha is referring to, it can not be obvious reincarnation favoured by certain religious theories, as the Buddha fundamentally rejects such notions in his teachings. Rebirth and karma, as used by the Buddha, appear to be a method of interpretation that avoids the trap of gross materialism, whilst using the rational mind.
‘From this perspective it is unable to ascertain whether re-birth, as a concept, is real or not. Therefore, the untrained mind is not able to comprehend reality as perceived by the mind of the (enlightened arahant). The revising of Buddhist philosophy away from its central premise signifies a descent into the realm of base intellection. Essentially, this would indicate a corruption of Buddhist thought similar to suggesting that those who unsuccessfully challenged the Buddha in the Sutras, (using contrary ideas or counter-arguments), would have been judged to have defeated the Buddha in open argument.’