History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Reincarnation–hopeless confusion

January 13th, 2007 · 2 Comments

Googling ‘reincarnation’.
Ancient Buddhism spoke of the special attainment of those who could grasp the issue of reincarnation, a very rare attainment.
Thus we see the endless confusion generated by those who receive this message at second hand, and even Tibetan Buddhism has foundered here.

It is almost impossible to discuss reincarnation, as you can find out at once by looking at the junk on the subject caught in Google’s cowcatcher. 99%+ junk.

To make matters worse the Tibetan versions, which should be a source of clarification on this have fallen into confusion, with myths of reincarnating lamas being passed on by people who have forgotten their real meaning.

FINALLY, beware of New Age gurus peddling ‘Book of the Dead’ style spiritual paths (shark sufism), eg EJ Gold’s American Book of the Dead. These people can be deadly. No you don’t want to experience death before you die at the hands of these sharks. NOT!

True, there’s an old sufi saying, die before you die. Be savvy enough to achieve the Do-IT-Yourself version.
All in all the question of getting reincarnation straight seems close to almost completely hopeless.
Taken with great caution, the original Tibetan Book of the Dead gives some indication, by report/rumor (mixed with all sorts of dross) of stages of the ‘bardo’. Don’t make a belief system of this.

See previous post on Schopenhauer who essentially solves, without realizing it, the theoretical possibility (beyond empiricism) of how this situation might be understood. His version, which never even mentions reincarnation (and isn’t about that), might give a hint. It is not a question of a psyche-soul surviving death, but of the source of representations that was never born and never dies in a relationship of space-time and something not in space-time. Unless you have developed an alternate possibility by whatever method, that bardo would induce complete blackout. Remember the ‘experiencer’ you take as you doesn’t survive death.
Note that Schopenhauer didn’t believe in souls, and wasn’t trying to explicate reincarnation. His indirect stumbling backwards into the solution is therefore all the more valuable, ironically.

Tags: New Age · Science & Religion

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Alex // Apr 6, 2007 at 9:55 pm

    “source of representations that was never born and never dies”

    Couldn’t somebody say that this corresponds to some type of impersonal soul concept?

  • 2 damo // Apr 10, 2007 at 1:34 pm

    Thanks for that. I’ll be checking out Schopenhaur so

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