The Enlightened Gene:


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The Enlightened Gene:

Apr 5, 2020, 3:42pm

I have an interest (who on this site doesn't share this interest) in rebirth, ESP. the science behind the subject.
If there's anybody can give me some insight(s) into this I'd really appreciated it.
Thank you

Apr 5, 2020, 7:49pm

Well, to point you in the right direction you might want to check out:

Why Buddhism is True - This book was written by a professor who teaches a Coursera course on the topic as well.

What the Buddha Taught

I tend to think of Buddhism as an umbrella term which covers a wide range of beliefs and traditions. So there may be differing notions on the idea of rebirth.

Apr 5, 2020, 10:43pm

Here's Dalai Lama's succinct quote from The World of Tibetan Buddhism on the issue

"Death is the state in which all the gross levels of mind and energy eventually dissolve into their subtlest levels. At this point, the person experiences the clear light of death. From that state of clear light, one then assumes a subtle body known as the intermediate state, and when that intermediate state being assumes a body of a grosser level and becomes visible to others, that transition marks rebirth into a new life."

Not sure about scientific takes, if there are any

Edited: Apr 6, 2020, 1:11am

I think Tibetan Buddhism differs from other forms (e.g. Zen?) in its belief in rebirth, but I am not entirely sure.

Apr 6, 2020, 7:35pm

>4 krazy4katz: Probably in some ways, but the book is, despite it's title, 3/4 about notions inherent to all Buddhist schools, highlighting some essential differences among them, while only the last part is about specifically Tibetan notions and practices. Either way, I thought it is an extremely articulate and succinct quote when I read it, which is why I had it handy to copy/paste here

Apr 6, 2020, 9:06pm

>5 SandraArdnas: Thank you! I will add this book to my list. Lately I have been reading more Bahai and Buddhist philosophy. I know they are not related, but both seem to be more gentle and kinder than the "major" religions.

Of course,,,Myanmar. I know the Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Han have spoken about the problems there.

Apr 6, 2020, 10:42pm

3> I would agree that the notion of rebirth is inherent in all Buddhist traditions. When I look at the quote, the question that arises is what exactly is the intermediate state? There's a lot of spilled ink on the subject, but it's interesting to dig at. Another Buddhist notion is that nothing is permanent - there is no permanent soul,so what is being reborn exactly? I was reading a book by a Theravada monk who said that we are constantly being reborn. Each present moment is a rebirth in a sense as we take in new information and experience the effects of different causes. In effect, the person I am now is not the person I was a moment ago, I've been re-born into something new. That said I've heard other monks unequivocally say something similar to the Dalai Lamai. I will look for that book the quote is in. Tibetan Buddhism seems fascinating and strange to me (and I'm a Buddhist).

1> I'd look at the topic of dependent-origination ("paticcasamuppada" - there are other spellings). It gives a foundation on the metaphysics of some Buddhist philosophy.

May 5, 2020, 6:53pm

>4 krazy4katz: for sure. my understanding is that the tibetan conception of rebirth is very linked to magical practices relating to death and dreams, as articulated in the Tibetan Book of the Dead, while ik that at least in chan traditions rebirth was far more ambiguous and figurative, as seen in the language of both No-Gate Gateway and The platform sutra of Hui-neng

>6 krazy4katz:
In my view the "kinder" religions r the ones that manage to stay away from interaction w the state; bahai is so new it has had little direct interaction w state powers, partially bc it is still so small. i think buddhism is seen as "kinder" mb bc it does have a strong tradition of monasteries operating without or against the state government.

>7 brianjungwi:
have u read much abhidhamma ? i recently got the comprehensive manual of abhidhamma, and while kinda thick it has some v clear and elucidating passages abt momentary conscious xp and its relation to "the life stream" (bhavanga), entering and exiting the stream, and karma's movement thru existence. the level of detail and interconnection is truly dazzling, just like those attempted visualizations of indra's net!!

May 6, 2020, 6:30pm

8> A few years ago I made an attempt at reading several parts and commentaries of the Abdhidhamma. It was rough! But really interesting. I should give it a revisit for sure.

May 6, 2020, 8:23pm

>9 brianjungwi: ive got some xp w theoretical computer science and mathematical linguistics, and honestly i think that helps a LOT; but ya ive found it much easier to work thru the abhidhammatha sangaha w copious use of the index and TOC to find an issue that ur interested in, then keep jumping all around the pages until u start to develop an understanding of some of the terminology; and it does clarify ALL the finer points of thervada doctrine, lol