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Reincarnation

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05/12/2012 at 08:59
Fitness Freak! wrote (see)

OK all my good running friends here. I know this is a taboo subject with a lot of people but do you believe in reincarnation - the ability of the spirit to leave a dead physical body & move into a new live one?

I genuinely believe my 18 year old son, here in England,  was my son is Middle Ages Szczecin.

 

There's two mainstream religious points of view, there's the Buddhist rebirth (not reincarnation), and there's the Hindu reincarnation.

The difference between the two are that rebirth is that it's merely our consciousness that gets reborn, but with reincarnation it's our egoic personality (minus the memories) that gets reborn.

I've studied the Buddhist rebirth, and they have a clever philosophy which goes like this:

1.  The doctrine of Dependant Arising says that a result must be similar to a cause.  If, for example, you plant an apple seed, you will get an apple tree, not an orange tree.  The result (the apple tree), is similar to the cause (the apple seed).

2.  The qualities of consciousness are 'clear and knowing' (if you meditate and things eventually settle down in your head, you will experience clarity and awareness, without the noise of that voice in our heads).  So, they posit, consciousness cannot be produced purely by the brain which is material form. Material form cannot produce consciousness because the cause (the brain - i.e. material form), is not like the result, 'clear and knowing' (consciousness).

3.  The producer of consciousness is a prior moment of consciousness, therefore consciousness must go back in time forever (they do not have a 'first cause' in Buddhism; some things they realise, we will never understand, and to try to do so will produce further confusion and suffering).  In other religions a God is the first cause, but Buddhism asks, "Well, who created God then?".

But consciousness is not our egoic personality.  Our personalities are just a bunch of different thoughts that change all the time, there is no 'core essence' (or a soul) of us to be reincarnated; so I'm more inclined to go along with Buddhist thought than Hindu thought.

However, I believe that once I die, I will just be dead.

I've also had a look to see what neuroscience says about consciousness and the diversity of thought amongst those people is just about as diverse as what the religious people say.

It's an interesting subject though.

05/12/2012 at 09:00

I've tried to condense a book's worth of a subject into a few paragraphs; apologies if I've not explained it very well.

05/12/2012 at 09:08

As I understand the Hindu and Buddhist things, you don't necessarily get reincarnated as the same species. You could even previously have been the spirit of an inanimate object, in some versions. So the exponentially growing number of humans could be the reincarnations of pebbles on beaches. And you could be a germ next time.

05/12/2012 at 10:20
MikeFrog wrote (see)

As I understand the Hindu and Buddhist things, you don't necessarily get reincarnated as the same species. You could even previously have been the spirit of an inanimate object, in some versions. So the exponentially growing number of humans could be the reincarnations of pebbles on beaches. And you could be a germ next time.

I'm not sure about pebbles or germs with regards Buddhism; they use the term 'sentient creatures', and I think most Buddhists would not class pebbles or germs as sentient creatures.

But yes, traditional rebirth teachings will say you can get born as another animal; the consciousness at death somehow transmigrates to another body; and that could be a cat or summat.

As I say, my default is that once we die, we die; finito; but if you look to see what neuroscience says about the production of consciousness, there's a lot of stange stuff that even modern - non religious - scientists say about the matter.

I'm pretty sure - no, I kinda know from my own investigations - that once I die, this egoic personality called 'Easy Does It' will cease to exist; my personality is really just made up of a bunch of ever changing stuff - there is no 'core essence' to it.  Just a bunch of feelings, perceptions, thoughts, memories; all of which keep changing - none of which is actually 'me'.  Even memories can't be trusted (look to what science says about those).

So, when I die, my personality dies - but I don't know about consciousness.  Maybe that dies too?  Maybe it doesn't?

06/12/2012 at 22:14

I come from Szczecin. Beautiful place.

07/12/2012 at 12:47

believe this: if reincarnation was a reality, the government would've found a way to fucking tax it.


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