Kenneth Folk on Nirvava = End?

Sam Gentile, modified 9 Months ago.

Kenneth Folk on Nirvava = End?

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Forgive me for the general question. I'm sure ths has been discussed here, in which case, feel free to point me to them and delete this.

I was gathering a bunch of Buddha at the Gaspump to listen to tonight and the first one is Kennth Folk from 2015. If I understood him right, he said he believes, and says the eafrliest teachings of the Buddha say Nirvana = Blowing Out, and thus that's it. I guess he said you awaken as an Arahant, have these enhanced abilities and then when you die, it's final nirvava and you don't wake up, no rebirth.

1. Did I capture his view and those of other arhants correctly?
2. Do believe this?
3. What about rebirth?
4. I spent 7 years in the Tibetan system, believe in rebirth even though I have no proof, have recieved the Bardo teachings and believe conciousness moves to a new birth after the body dies.
Martin, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Kenneth Folk on Nirvava = End?

Posts: 296 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Yes, that's the deal, in the early Buddhist tradition. Otherwise, you would run the risk of screwing up in your next life and being karmically demoted. You wouldn't escape samsara that way. 
thumbnail
Noah D, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Kenneth Folk on Nirvava = End?

Posts: 1155 Join Date: 9/1/16 Recent Posts
In the Tibetan system arahant are in a state of suspended animation for a eons until they get pulled out of it by a future Buddha to start the bodhisattva path towards ridding themselves of cognitive obscurations.
Jake Frankfurt Middenhall, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Kenneth Folk on Nirvava = End?

Posts: 97 Join Date: 9/12/18 Recent Posts
Yes, altho this was not a Tibetan idea per se. It comes from the main Mahayana sutras such as the Lotus sutra.
thumbnail
Noah D, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Kenneth Folk on Nirvava = End?

Posts: 1155 Join Date: 9/1/16 Recent Posts
Right, not the original source of the idea, but it is an idea "in the Tibetan system" , as I said.
thumbnail
Ni Nurta, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Kenneth Folk on Nirvava = End?

Posts: 774 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
Noah D:
In the Tibetan system arahant are in a state of suspended animation for a eons until they get pulled out of it by a future Buddha to start the bodhisattva path towards ridding themselves of cognitive obscurations.
Yup, arhats indeed do not have their soul blown out or destroyed as much as it is relocated to some kind of place that is "out of bounds".

I wonder though, wouldn't reversing one's enlightenment be like really mean? emoticon
thumbnail
Chris Marti, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Kenneth Folk on Nirvava = End?

Posts: 4073 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Sam, are you looking for something to believe in, or to increase the probability of your awakening? If it's the former, then it's not Buddhism you're practicing. Buddhism, regardless of the tradition, is a set processes and tools, not a set of beliefs.

Curious...
Gary Kirk, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Kenneth Folk on Nirvava = End?

Posts: 3 Join Date: 9/23/20 Recent Posts
Interesring...
Sam Gentile, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Kenneth Folk on Nirvava = End?

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Chris Marti:
Sam, are you looking for something to believe in, or to increase the probability of your awakening? If it's the former, then it's not Buddhism you're practicing. Buddhism, regardless of the tradition, is a set processes and tools, not a set of beliefs.

Curious...

Chris, thanks for asking. I am certainly not looking for something to believe in. I had many years of Catholicism for that. Everything I am doing is trying to increase the probability of my awakening. I was just curious about his statements. I know its a set of processes and tools.
Martin, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Kenneth Folk on Nirvava = End?

Posts: 296 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
If you are interested in early Buddhism, you might want to check out Doug Smith, a scholar who makes easy to digest Youtube talks (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPIyEJzvW7SsbiIrooixjNA)
thumbnail
Chris Marti, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Kenneth Folk on Nirvava = End?

Posts: 4073 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Sam --
I was gathering a bunch of Buddha at the Gaspump to listen to tonight and the first one is Kennth Folk from 2015. If I understood him right, he said he believes, and says the eafrliest teachings of the Buddha say Nirvana = Blowing Out, and thus that's it. I guess he said you awaken as an Arahant, have these enhanced abilities and then when you die, it's final nirvava and you don't wake up, no rebirth.

Knowing him as I do my best bet is Kenneth is saying this - Nirvana is the absence of consciousness as defined by the presence of the subject-object framework through which the mind operates. When that framework is eliminated (as during a cessation, for example, or in death) there is no consciousness at all. That is the extinguishing, the "blowing out" so to speak. I don't believe Kenneth believes in reincarnation, so likely yes, that's it. The end. Fini.

I can ask him and report back if you'd like a definitive answer from the man.


Jake Frankfurt Middenhall, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Kenneth Folk on Nirvava = End?

Posts: 97 Join Date: 9/12/18 Recent Posts
Judging by recent twitter posts from him, it seems he believe in all kind of "supernatural" stuff, including devas, other dimensions etc. 
It does seems that he believes in "rebirth". But i don´t really know him, it would be nice to know what he really thinks.
thumbnail
Griffin, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Kenneth Folk on Nirvava = End?

Posts: 172 Join Date: 4/7/18 Recent Posts
This reminds me of something I thought of lately. I never succeded to find an occasion where Daniel explicitly said whether he believes in rebirth, but he gave some hints in the direction that he does. I don't know about Kenneth. Although we rely on those people as experts in the field of meditation (which they are), maybe they really aren't sure about some methaphysical topics, such as whether rebirth is real...

I can "swallow" the notion of parapsychological abilities ("powers") and even "beings" from other realms. But the idea of rebirth is something that I remain highly suspicious of. Especially if we talk about traditional view that you can be reborn as an insect etc. For me, that just makes no sense whatsoever. Rebirth doesn't fit into my view of reality. That may mean that my view is too limited, but I don't see how rebirth/karma can bee found in any segment of our lives, when everything can already be causally explained by genes and circumstances.

There is one interesting alternative explanation for instances of "seeing past lives": there is a collective conciousness we can tap into and experience memories of people from the past. Culadasa has this view, and he backs it up by saying that he experienced visions of different "past lives" that were happening simultaneously (both "reincarnations" were living at the same moment).

PS Pardon my spelling errors, english is not my native language
Jake Frankfurt Middenhall, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Kenneth Folk on Nirvava = End?

Posts: 97 Join Date: 9/12/18 Recent Posts
I do agree that some ideas about buddhist rebirth don´t make much sense (Just like you, i also have wonder about the insect thing) . I still believe in some kind of rebirth tho. 
The idea of rebirth is not incompatible with much of science, specially if we part from the basis that "mind" has a non-material cause. If you are a scientific materialist it is kinda impossible to convince you that rebirth is real.
Jake Frankfurt Middenhall, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Kenneth Folk on Nirvava = End?

Posts: 97 Join Date: 9/12/18 Recent Posts
Thank you for your insight. 
In my case, believing in rebirth is the main motivation of my practice, if i didn´t believe in "rebirth" i probably wouldn´t practice at all. I do believe that Buddhism propose a problem, and a practice to solve said problem.
Regarding the emotions and possible defense mechanisms, it could be true. Believing in rebirth comes intuitively in my case. 
The "defense mechanism" idea can also be used in the other side of the coin. Does believing there is no "karma", no "rebirth" and no "afterlife" makes you feel more free?, makes you feel that you can do everything you want without supernatural consequences? Does it takes a weight off from your shoulders?
thumbnail
Chris Marti, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Kenneth Folk on Nirvava = End?

Posts: 4073 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
The "defense mechanism" idea can also be used in the other side of the coin. Does believing there is no "karma", no "rebirth" and no "afterlife" makes you feel more free?, makes you feel that you can do everything you want without supernatural consequences? Does it takes a weight off from your shoulders?

I'm curious - is believing in rebirth different than believing in an afterlife? Seems to me the motivation gained would be similar. As for me, I didn't need the rebirth (or afterlife) motivation, as the huge driving reason to practice came from finding a better experience of my life right here, right now.
shargrol, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Kenneth Folk on Nirvava = End?

Posts: 1620 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
Yes, regardless of what's next, there's plenty of reason to practice for the benefits in this very life. It's clear that in this life there is psychological rebirth: our future suffering increases, decreases, or stays the same based on how we handle this moment. 
Sam Gentile, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Kenneth Folk on Nirvava = End?

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
shargrol:
Yes, regardless of what's next, there's plenty of reason to practice for the benefits in this very life. It's clear that in this life there is psychological rebirth: our future suffering increases, decreases, or stays the same based on how we handle this moment. 
That's a fine quote to practice and live by.
thumbnail
Ni Nurta, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Kenneth Folk on Nirvava = End?

Posts: 774 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
Chris Marti:

I'm curious - is believing in rebirth different than believing in an afterlife? Seems to me the motivation gained would be similar. As for me, I didn't need the rebirth (or afterlife) motivation, as the huge driving reason to practice came from finding a better experience of my life right here, right now.

Do you think your afterlife situation changed because of practices you did and attainments you got?
thumbnail
Chris Marti, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Kenneth Folk on Nirvava = End?

Posts: 4073 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Do you think your afterlife situation changed because of practices you did and attainments you got?

Hmm....  I thought I was pretty clear - I didn't get into practice to change anything about the afterlife. It's not clear to me if there is or isn't one. I'm happy to practice for the now, and let the afterlife chips fall where they may. So my answer is.... I don't know.

I'm happy with IDK  emoticon
thumbnail
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Kenneth Folk on Nirvava = End?

Posts: 5922 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Griffin:
This reminds me of something I thought of lately. I never succeded to find an occasion where Daniel explicitly said whether he believes in rebirth, but he gave some hints in the direction that he does. I don't know about Kenneth. Although we rely on those people as experts in the field of meditation (which they are), maybe they really aren't sure about some methaphysical topics, such as whether rebirth is real...

I can "swallow" the notion of parapsychological abilities ("powers") and even "beings" from other realms. But the idea of rebirth is something that I remain highly suspicious of. Especially if we talk about traditional view that you can be reborn as an insect etc. For me, that just makes no sense whatsoever. Rebirth doesn't fit into my view of reality. That may mean that my view is too limited, but I don't see how rebirth/karma can bee found in any segment of our lives, when everything can already be causally explained by genes and circumstances.

There is one interesting alternative explanation for instances of "seeing past lives": there is a collective conciousness we can tap into and experience memories of people from the past. Culadasa has this view, and he backs it up by saying that he experienced visions of different "past lives" that were happening simultaneously (both "reincarnations" were living at the same moment).

PS Pardon my spelling errors, english is not my native language
I'm replying more to the thread as a whole than specifically to this, but my reply addresses views of rebirth. 

I don't know whether or not rebirth after death is real, but I do know that in Buddhism (some traditions anyway) rebirth is not something that happens to a soul. There is noone separate and continuous to experience it. Only patterns are reborn. It's like waves and ripples that go on even thought the water molecules differ. We leave waves and ripples all the time, so rebirth of our patterns is already ongoing. I don't see why there should necessarily be much different with the patterns that are into play at the moment of death. Awareness is something that tends to happen, not a thing, and it seems to manifest as streams, like separate channels on the radio where programs change. Maybe that channel stays somewhat intact (even radio channels have some overlap and the frequency may differ geographically, so it's no entirely distinct anyway). I don't see why some patterns couldn't follow to a different program just like they may effect programs in other mindstreams/channels (as it's all dialogical/interdependent). Regardless of whether or not the same mindstream continues (which should not be confused with a soul), everything we do has ripple effects on the world. I care about those. I don't want others to suffer because of my issues. 
Sam Gentile, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Kenneth Folk on Nirvava = End?

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Chris Marti:
Sam --
I was gathering a bunch of Buddha at the Gaspump to listen to tonight and the first one is Kennth Folk from 2015. If I understood him right, he said he believes, and says the eafrliest teachings of the Buddha say Nirvana = Blowing Out, and thus that's it. I guess he said you awaken as an Arahant, have these enhanced abilities and then when you die, it's final nirvava and you don't wake up, no rebirth.

Knowing him as I do my best bet is Kenneth is saying this - Nirvana is the absence of consciousness as defined by the presence of the subject-object framework through which the mind operates. When that framework is eliminated (as during a cessation, for example, or in death) there is no consciousness at all. That is the extinguishing, the "blowing out" so to speak. I don't believe Kenneth believes in reincarnation, so likely yes, that's it. The end. Fini.

I can ask him and report back if you'd like a definitive answer from the man.


That's exactly what I needed - I've marked you as the answer. Thanks.
Hector, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Kenneth Folk on Nirvava = End?

Posts: 97 Join Date: 5/9/20 Recent Posts
The talks about it some and also mentioneds Dho in this podcast
thumbnail
Griffin, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Kenneth Folk on Nirvava = End?

Posts: 172 Join Date: 4/7/18 Recent Posts
I remeber Kenneth stating the same thing in a podcast with Michael Taft, where he displayed a life perspective that blends some old school Theravada doctrine with a kind of existentialistic/cynical Camu-like elements. To summarize: life sucks, but the full acceptance of this makes you suffer much less. It's better when you don't exist, but it would be a pity to kill yourself because you have the opportunity to make the most of this life and help others who suffer. You are going to die anyway, so why hurry, life is short. That's how I see Kenneth's philosophical stance, in a nutshell.

Of course, this is just one possible point of view. I could try to phrase the same perspective in some more positive terms:

Deep insights (cessation etc.) help us appreciate the beauty and profound nature of "non-existence". There is of course no experience in non-existence, but the perspective we have towards it during our existence can change. Instead of being frightened by it and craving for existence, we can now see death as an numinous freedom. No craving, no suffering, no experience, no self that is frightened by death - parinirvana. Also, by seeing the empty, fabricated nature of self and time, the whole notion of death and non-existence becomes completely relativized.

Metaphorically speaking, that means that everybody is going to heaven after they die (unless rebirth is real, depending on how we define it).

Breadcrumb