STEPHEN BATCHELOR (b. 1953), Buddhist teacher, author, scholar
Author of Buddhism Without Beliefs
In this video, Stephen Batchelor presents his view of Karma and Rebirth and the reasoning that supports his perspective. In the video he mentions “dukkha,” which is an important concept in Buddhism:
“Dukkha is commonly explained according to three different categories: The obvious physical and mental suffering associated with birth, growing old, illness and dying. The anxiety or stress of trying to hold onto things that are constantly changing. A basic unsatisfactoriness pervading all forms of existence, due to the fact that all forms of life are changing, impermanent and without any inner core or substance.” Wikipedia
“Stephen Batchelor is a contemporary Buddhist teacher and writer, best known for his secular or agnostic approach to Buddhism. Stephen considers Buddhism to be a constantly evolving culture of awakening rather than a religious system based on immutable dogmas and beliefs. In particular, he regards the doctrines of karma and rebirth to be features of ancient Indian civilisation and not intrinsic to what the Buddha taught. Buddhism has survived for the past 2,500 years because of its capacity to reinvent itself in accord with the needs of the different Asian societies with which it has creatively interacted throughout its history. As Buddhism encounters modernity, it enters a vital new phase of its development. Through his writings, translations and teaching, Stephen engages in a critical exploration of Buddhism’s role in the modern world, which has earned him both condemnation as a heretic and praise as a reformer.” MORE [About Stephen Batchelor from his website]
Photo credit ~ Stephen Batchelor at Upaya Zen Center in New Mexico by ottmarliebert via Wikipedia under CCA-SA 2.0 Generic license.
– compiled by Jamie Dedes
3 thoughts on “One Man’s View of Karma and Rebirth”
“Grasping” for the explanatory consolation…I think of Einstein’s “theory of everything”, the one fundamental force in nature, the Higgs-boson particle or “God particle”. We really want to nail it down, don’t we?
Interesting perspective. It’s discomforting to live in mystery, yet that seems to be our reality. On the other hand, it’s kind of exciting, like, “What next?”
I agree that it is an interesting clip. One of the many “quotes” from Buddha which I am always trying to tell and show others is: “Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.” In short, because YOU, YOURSELF know it to be true. When you think about perceived realities (which are all different and always changing), it’s nothing short of common sense. But then again, hasn’t that always been the rub between cold logic and spirituality? Head, meet heart. Whenever the twain shall meet, there are bound to be questions! 🙂