okay abit of an explanation is needed for this one. some one in one of the many buddhist forums that i perview has asked this questiona and as is usual i just ran by it twice but the second time my brain started to think of what to say. you all know what happens then — i begin to rant and sermonize. however, this time i believe that i gave a good accounting of myself. well here it is, my sermon on samsara [the cycle of life and death and life again] :
i think that i tried to answer this in another forum/group but i will try to do it here also. the question of cycles is one that every buddhist/hindu has to answer for him/herself. the question has been asked since before the start of civilization around ten thousand years ago when the ice age ended. the question was old when our ancestors painted on walls in europe and africa. this question is the same as asking “what happens after death” no answer fits all.
however, after reading about advaita vedanta and the more esoteric side of theraveda i have begun to like bruce lee alot. he said that we need to be like water: water fills a cup and become the cup, but that same water can go into a jar and become the jar. that is waht we are — water. we fill these bodies and think that we are these bodies. we fill the next body and think that we are the next body. in fact we are all bodies and no-bodies.
think about the ocean — any ocean will do. think about a wave on that ocean. the wave is cresing then falling back into the ocean. the wave is us and the ocean is — well guess what that is for yourself. the wave doesn’t know that it is part of the ocean it only sees the water and illusion forces it too think it is not the ocean. where as the ocean sees the wave[s] and lets the wave move over it. meditation and learning force us[the wave] to see that it is actually the ocean and not a wave. enlightenment lets us see that we are not separate from the ocean. nirvana is the calm after the storm of being a wave.
i hope that this gives you something to think about as you meditate on yourself and on others — that is what metta/vipassana meditation is suppose to be about (seeing that we are all together and separate at the same time and that we can all be love and hate at the same time.) i hope that i didn’t rant way off topic.