Rebirth PART ONE: evidence in young children (Agnosticism)

by dhw, Saturday, May 11, 2024, 08:43 (33 days ago) @ xeno6696

Rebirth: evidence in young children

DAVID: The point to me with thousands of these cases reported that consciousness carrying these memories from one person to the next, indicates it is obviously separate from the brain and enters the new brain for interpretation.

I have several times mentioned that my late wife (who was Nigerian) witnessed an instance of this in her own family, when a child died, and a child that was born later was mystified by changes that had taken place in the village since the first child’s death. No one could explain how the second child could have known what had been there in the past.

But perhaps there is a connection here with genetic memory. People who have had transplants have sometimes also received memories from their donors. It is therefore possible that the second child could have received memories from its parents’ genes. However, the two cases in the article really defy all explanation. Why these particular dead people and these particular children? And if the memories fade, and the children get on with their own lives, what on earth would be the point of the “reincarnation”?

Xeno: So rebirth is obviously an important teaching in Buddhism, though it's also true that it's not a dogmatic religion and like most things I've deferred judgment as the question certainly appears unknowable. Well, at least til I die, and I'm not so eager for that just YET!

It’s a delight to hear from you again and to share the agnostic deferral with you! This does not of course dampen your curiosity or mine, and thank you for your detailed and highly informative response to David’s question.

Xeno: […] in my own school of Thai Forest Buddhism there are masters who claim that full knowledge of all your past lives is indeed knowable, it's one of the fruits you attain on the way to enlightenment.

Oh well, if it’s true, I hope it’ll turn out that I was once Shakespeare, Beethoven and W.G.Grace.

Xeno: As far as religious truths go, it is at least something attainable.

Not sure about that, bearing in mind that I can’t even remember things that happened to the current me a couple of months ago. Why would my death bring it all back to me when I enter somebody else’s body? And if I led a lot of miserable lives, I’m not even sure I’d regard total recall as a benefit of enlightenment.

I remember that in our past discussions on this subject, we talked about the nature of “Nirvana”, which has always bugged me. One website defines this as “the highest state that someone can attain, a state of enlightenment, meaning a person's individual desires and suffering go away. The origin of the word nirvana relates to religious enlightenment; it comes from the Sanskrit meaning "extinction, disappearance" of the individual to the universal.” It means no more rebirth as well as no more self, and hence no more suffering or pleasure. To me, this means nothing more or less than our eternal death. Can you enlighten us?

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