Author Topic: Documented Reincarnation and Rebirth  (Read 830 times)

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Documented Reincarnation and Rebirth
« on: April 05, 2017, 12:49:48 pm »
Yeah, I know.  Reincarnation probably has no place in Buddhism and Science, but I just recently saw a documentary regarding "The Soul" of all things and they featured a teenager who had uncanny knowledge of a previous life, whereby he was a downed U.S. Navy Pilot during WW-II in the Pacific war with The Japanese.  The boy had very specific recollections not only about the circumstances of his death, but of his fellow pilots, by name, and also remembered his sister's name and specifics about a painting which their mother had painted of his sister when they were very young.  I can't recall the title right now, but I will look it up again and place it in my next post.

So, anyway.  I thought we might spend some time on this topic here, looking at it from a scientific perspective.  Most of my practice in Buddhism was as a Theravadan, and according to the information provided in The Suttas of The Pali Canon, there is no such thing as re-incarnation, even though Buddha was cited as recalling many life-times, and could perceive the previous life-times of various individuals.  Whether he actually said this as recorded, or this was added to the suttas as popular lore, I guess we can never know, and can only handle this type of thing as a belief.

Anyway, I was wondering if anyone had any personal experience with re-incarnation, or re-birth as spoken by Buddha.

Thanks in advance for  your participation.

 :listen:
« Last Edit: April 05, 2017, 12:52:08 pm by Ron-the-Elder »
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline IdleChater

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Re: Documented Reincarnation and Rebirth
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2017, 02:50:54 pm »
Yeah, I know.  Reincarnation probably has no place in Buddhism and Science,

Why?

Offline francis

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Re: Documented Reincarnation and Rebirth
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2017, 02:54:40 pm »
Yeah, I know.  Reincarnation probably has no place in Buddhism and Science, but I just recently saw a documentary regarding "The Soul" of all things and they featured a teenager who had uncanny knowledge of a previous life, whereby he was a downed U.S. Navy Pilot during WW-II in the Pacific war with The Japanese.  The boy had very specific recollections not only about the circumstances of his death, but of his fellow pilots, by name, and also remembered his sister's name and specifics about a painting which their mother had painted of his sister when they were very young.  I can't recall the title right now, but I will look it up again and place it in my next post.

So, anyway.  I thought we might spend some time on this topic here, looking at it from a scientific perspective.  Most of my practice in Buddhism was as a Theravadan, and according to the information provided in The Suttas of The Pali Canon, there is no such thing as re-incarnation, even though Buddha was cited as recalling many life-times, and could perceive the previous life-times of various individuals.  Whether he actually said this as recorded, or this was added to the suttas as popular lore, I guess we can never know, and can only handle this type of thing as a belief.

Anyway, I was wondering if anyone had any personal experience with re-incarnation, or re-birth as spoken by Buddha.

Thanks in advance for  your participation.

 :listen:


Ron, there is a huge difference between reincarnation and rebirth.

Reincarnation was never taught by the Buddha; it's not a Buddhist teaching.

There are some very good scientific explanations for stories like boy's (pilot), but I will have to look em up when I have more time.

My personal experience wonders at the wisdom of staring such a topic, one that has been hashed out a thousand times on every Buddhist forum on the internet, in all the Buddha lands, for as many kalpas as there are grains of sand in the Ganges. It is already destined for the Danger Zone and as they say, it will only end in tears.

But hey, did you hear? Dr Ian Stevenson hasn't reincarnated ;)

Good luck :pray:
« Last Edit: April 05, 2017, 04:02:49 pm by francis, Reason: clatity »
"Enlightenment, for a wave in the ocean, is the moment the wave realises it is water." - Thich Nhat Hanh

Offline IdleChater

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Re: Documented Reincarnation and Rebirth
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2017, 08:09:15 pm »
Yeah, I know.  Reincarnation probably has no place in Buddhism and Science, but I just recently saw a documentary regarding "The Soul" of all things and they featured a teenager who had uncanny knowledge of a previous life, whereby he was a downed U.S. Navy Pilot during WW-II in the Pacific war with The Japanese.  The boy had very specific recollections not only about the circumstances of his death, but of his fellow pilots, by name, and also remembered his sister's name and specifics about a painting which their mother had painted of his sister when they were very young.  I can't recall the title right now, but I will look it up again and place it in my next post.

So, anyway.  I thought we might spend some time on this topic here, looking at it from a scientific perspective.  Most of my practice in Buddhism was as a Theravadan, and according to the information provided in The Suttas of The Pali Canon, there is no such thing as re-incarnation, even though Buddha was cited as recalling many life-times, and could perceive the previous life-times of various individuals.  Whether he actually said this as recorded, or this was added to the suttas as popular lore, I guess we can never know, and can only handle this type of thing as a belief.

Anyway, I was wondering if anyone had any personal experience with re-incarnation, or re-birth as spoken by Buddha.

Thanks in advance for  your participation.

 :listen:

I'm with Francis - this should go in the Danger Zone.

The truth is that science has nothing to definitive say on the subjects of reincarnation and ebirth.  I don't think there's ever been a study made to determine the veracity of teaching from a scientific point of view.

Can we even say what branch of science would actually perform such a study?


Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Documented Reincarnation and Rebirth
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2017, 09:09:13 pm »
So, neither of you (francis and Idle Chater) have any experience with reincarnation.  And we all know that Buddha did not teach reincarnation, yet Tibetan monks look for the reincarnation of the next DL.  I am not asking for a debate , only knowledge which can be shared.

But, I am going to follow your suggestions to stop before we even begin.  What the hell was I thinking of anyway? :smack:

Thread closed!
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Documented Reincarnation and Rebirth
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2017, 04:44:35 am »
I realize that this thread was closed due to votes to move it to The Danger Zone Forum, but I ran across this article in Quora  a science forum / online magazine and thought it might interest those with a science bias:

https://www.quora.com/How-did-humans-evolve-so-successfully-while-other-animals-lacked-in-the-process-of-evolving/answer/Steven-Witcher-1
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline Pixie

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May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness.
May they all be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.
May they never be deprived of true happiness devoid of any suffering.
May they abide in great impartiality, free from attachment to loved ones and aversion to others.

Offline IdleChater

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Re: Documented Reincarnation and Rebirth
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2017, 01:36:11 pm »
I realize that this thread was closed due to votes to move it to The Danger Zone Forum, but I ran across this article in Quora  a science forum / online magazine and thought it might interest those with a science bias:

https://www.quora.com/How-did-humans-evolve-so-successfully-while-other-animals-lacked-in-the-process-of-evolving/answer/Steven-Witcher-1

Good article.  Tardigrades are way cool.

I'm not sure what all that has to do with the thread.  Explain?

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Documented Reincarnation and Rebirth
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2017, 09:39:00 pm »
Quote
Idle Chater:  "I'm not sure what all that has to do with the thread.  Explain?


The thought struck me that one of the ways that we pass on our intentional and unintentional "effects" to the next generation of life form is by evolution due to environmental, biological, and intellectual means.  In this way, through random transmission of these effects organisms either improve in such a way as to make them more adaptable to various changes in environmental conditions, they remain essentially the same, or they evolve for the worse, which results in their extinction.  Tardigrades are but one example of the potential success of this process, which while we cannot see the process first hand, we can see the results of it in their progeny.  The fact that all organisms, which have ever lived are now extinct illustrates the opposite end of the spectrum of  genetically passing on this effect.

Then it occurred to me that genetic variation, although not necessarily an intentional means of propagating effects into the next generation, can be a very effective mechanism for doing so, as illustrated by the startling example of The Tardigrade. Now, modern science has given us the ability to modify our own genetics, and the genetics of other species as well, genetically modified organisms are but one example of this relatively modern ability, although "cross-breeding has been utilized for centuries to improve farm stock and food crops.  By studying creatures such as the Tardigrade and learning their environmentally adaptive genetic traits, we can now intentionally introduce genes that could eliminate aging, disease, and eventually death itself.  At the least this technological ability will eventually allow us to pass on desirable traits to subsequent generations of humans or other species.  The ethics of the matter is another question and currently a matter of great debate.

I then later viewed a documentary discussing the "meme" as it was described by evolutionary biologists, chemists and  physicists, such that organisms and even cosmological systems of our universe have exhibited, perhaps even intentionally  developed both a biological and an intellectual means to "copy" good, effective, and adaptive concepts to facilitate stability of these environments .    More than likely these adaptations / abilities were developed randomly as with past evolutionary processes, such that what proves to be an environmental advantage persists, and that which proves ineffective is deleted from the universe, at least for now.

Dawkins, long ago, described one type of bio-intellectual meme illustrating this point:

Quote
(para)...as memes are a form of cultural propagation, which is a way for people to transmit social memories and cultural ideas to each other. Not unlike the way that DNA and life will spread from location to location, a meme idea will also travel from mind to mind.

The Internet, by sheer virtue of its instant communication, is how we now spread modern memes to each other's inboxes. A link to a YouTube video of Rick Astley, a file attachment with a Stars Wars Kid movie, an email signature with a Chuck Norris quote... these are a few examples of modern meme symbols and culture spreading through online media.


The Science Channel series "How the Universe Works" and "Through the Wormhole" ironically both on the very same day discussed how it used to be thought by astronomical / cosmological physicists that as stars and  interstellar gasses were torn apart into their constituents at the event horizon of a super-massive black hole that all information and elemental constituents were lost forever, which seemed obvious since they were ostensibly being destroyed as they entered the eternal darkness beyond the hole's event horizon, but , it is now thought (postulated?) that as a result of these stellar masses being spaghettified, gamma ray bursts are sent into the surrounding space-time intergalactic regions for trillions of light years, which process essentially passes on the data collected from these astronomical forms such that they can be reused to form new stars in surrounding stellar nurseries.  In this way black holes are now thought to be not only destroyers of stellar forms, but also creators and reproducers of stellar forms.

Another way in which these forms are copied is in the transmission of their radiation over time, since light resulting from these stellar events takes time to travel from time-distances where and when they occurred to times and distances where we can observe them with our latest technological systems.  As stars age and decompose till their deaths and implode their radiation is transmitted to when we can see the event today.  As black holes are formed, swallow star systems, or obit other black holes, even galaxies, collide, and merge, we can now detect their gravitational waves as well as their radiation generated billions of light years in the past.

You might say that our observation and intentional recording of these celestial events is a very effective mechanism of "rebirth" on a scale previously thought beyond human realization until as now we developed the technology and understanding to do so.

Interesting? :listen:


LISA:  https://lisa.nasa.gov/

LIGO:  https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2016/nsf-s-ligo-has-detected-gravitational-waves

Space Observatories:  http://www.boeing.com/innovation?gclid=CNX0vYWYx9MCFddWDQod0vYCOw#/space/space-powered-by-solar-cells

Black Hole Radiation:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zhw91eQYLs





« Last Edit: April 28, 2017, 10:14:29 am by Ron-the-Elder »
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline IdleChater

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Re: Documented Reincarnation and Rebirth
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2017, 10:54:13 am »
Quote
Idle Chater:  "I'm not sure what all that has to do with the thread.  Explain?

The thought struck me that one of the ways that we pass on our intentional and unintentional "effects" to the next generation of life form is by evolution due to environmental, biological, and intellectual means.
<snip>

Okay, I get it.

But I can't help but wonder why you insist on such a brain-drain on this.  It seems like a total waste of time.  Whatever is going to happen with regards to rebirth will happen in due course, or it won't.  In either case "you" won't be there to recognize it, anyway.

Don't try to figure it out, don't loose sleep, just practice for the sake of beings and all will be well.  The trick isn't being re-born.  The trick is dying.

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Documented Reincarnation and Rebirth
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2017, 12:17:06 pm »
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Idle Chater:  " The trick isn't being re-born.  The trick is dying."

I'm pretty sure that I can handle the last part.   :lmfao:
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline IdleChater

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Re: Documented Reincarnation and Rebirth
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2017, 03:40:09 pm »
Quote
Idle Chater:  " The trick isn't being re-born.  The trick is dying."

I'm pretty sure that I can handle the last part.   :lmfao:

You'd be surprised.  People will often fight death, tooth and nail. grasping for one more breath, one more second of life.  For nothing.  All they have to do, all there is to do, is let go of this life.

Offline Pixie

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Re: Documented Reincarnation and Rebirth
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2017, 05:09:26 pm »

You'd be surprised.  People will often fight death, tooth and nail. grasping for one more breath, one more second of life.  For nothing.  All they have to do, all there is to do, is let go of this life.

Have you seen a lot of people dying ?
May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness.
May they all be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.
May they never be deprived of true happiness devoid of any suffering.
May they abide in great impartiality, free from attachment to loved ones and aversion to others.

Offline IdleChater

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Re: Documented Reincarnation and Rebirth
« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2017, 06:19:53 pm »

You'd be surprised.  People will often fight death, tooth and nail. grasping for one more breath, one more second of life.  For nothing.  All they have to do, all there is to do, is let go of this life.

Have you seen a lot of people dying ?

Enough to know ....
 
I was a hospice volunteer...

I was also present at the death of several Buddhist friends, aiding in the practice that should surround the dying.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2017, 06:43:23 pm by IdleChater »

Offline Pixie

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Re: Documented Reincarnation and Rebirth
« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2017, 10:34:35 pm »
Quote from: IdleChater
.... aiding in the practice that should surround the dying.

As you appear tp be a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner, are you refering to Phowa and the Bardo practices?
« Last Edit: April 28, 2017, 10:36:44 pm by Pixie »
May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness.
May they all be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.
May they never be deprived of true happiness devoid of any suffering.
May they abide in great impartiality, free from attachment to loved ones and aversion to others.

 


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