Rebirth PART ONE: evidence in young children (Agnosticism)

by David Turell @, Saturday, May 11, 2024, 18:29 (74 days ago) @ xeno6696

Matt: It is perhaps fortuitous that this gets posted when it does.

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!

I think it's also interesting that reincarnation existed as a belief in early Christianity, prior to the 2nd century AD. (Speaking of things we'll never truly know!)

But yes, 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.

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


Thanks for your comment. Does Buddhism recognize that consciousness is separate from the brain?


So, there's alot of variation--Tibetan Buddhism by itself is almost its own syncretic thing, and that happened as well with chan which later influenced all the current Zen schools. [Chan is essentially a syncretism with Dao.]

So you have some teachings that suggest "the mind is all, all things lead with mind" which is in line with your Zen schools.

In the Theravadan traditions which is in my orbit, they would say something different. Mind as we experience it is fully conditioned, in other words, there's not a concrete, permanent entity, mind is unique to that lifetime.

There is a stream of consciousness but it isn't 'you.' You can't think when you're in this realm. And yes, according to the teaching when you reach these meditative states, you're "there."

So if you're meditating in the 2nd Jhana when this body expires, you'll be reborn in that state.

Consciousness is that which is aware of the present moment--which we don't do all the time without training. So the definition is different. SO it would be best perhaps to summarize, that mind can only exist with the condition of the body, but consciousness knows no such bounds. IN the west we conflate mind with consciousness, and at least according to my school, that's a distortion. Our memories are part of an inert "store consciousness" that reignites as it were into a new body. Our minds reconstruct these memories into experiences, but how that works when reborn into higher realms, seems like alot of speculation to me. But there's answers, at least.

Now, there's a continuity of this experience, and the entire Tibetan Book of the Dead is a treatise on the experience of the mind dying and dissolving into consciousness. Out of Body experiences are considered commonplace though I've never had it happen. Monks throughout southeast asia and in Tibet regularly claim the ability to leave their bodies and there's a whole plethora of anecdotes for this including veridical experiences. (This is where your awesome kung fu stories have their root...)

While the body lives, there's enough cause and effect to maintain a mind, thus a sense of self and follow your consciousness out for a jaunt.

Never done that myself, but hey, if it happens I'll report back.

Thank you for reappearing and exposing us to your teachings.


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