U G Krishnamurti (popularly known as the Other Krishnamurti) once mentioned that it is DNA that is the soul. He thought that it was impossible to destroy DNA. Hindus do not want rebirth and wish to attain Moksha quickly, therefore they cremate their dead and disperse the ashes in the river hoping that such dispersal will scatter the DNA in such a way that it could never recombine. However, even if one molecule of this protein survives, it goes into a fish or some other organism, comes back to humans through a circuitous route and the same person is born again. This is the way he explained reincarnation.
It would be inetersting to see what other traditions or thinkers have found
Looking at the universe and considering that in a "Steady State", the quantity of matter and energy will remain constant, whatever is there in the body will just change form from one to another. Just like Krishna describes to Arjuna in Bhagvad Gita, body being merely an apparel to be worn and discarded. Nothing goes anywhere I would like to think, but merely changes form.
There is another angle to look at "reincarnation." Both Einsteinian relativity and quantum physics tell us that all linear time is an illusion, that everything is happening at once. It's the narrow focus of the linear mind that makes things sequential. Therefore, one may choose to "reincarnate" into the past, as well as the future, on the next incarnation. Throw in the "many worlds" theory("astral planes" in Occult lexicon), which is gaining in acceptance, of which there are an infinite number, which can be explored, and the possibilities are phenomenal.
In fact, not only phenomenal, but staggering to even the most adventurous minded among us.
The whole thing is probably very individual, depending on karma, good and bad, and one's level of consciousness. That's why there are so many views and evidence to prove this or that. Many live their lives over until they get it "right," then move on. You name it, it's probably true and happening.
What about the hardcore atheist materialists? There seems to be little consensus on that, but they will live out their karma, eventually waking up.
Great explanation Michael. Thank You.
Other than the relative, "Linear Time", what other types (forms) of Time can be (has been) thought of?
Thanks Peter. Heartening to note that you are active again.
Hinduism, with its age and vast literature is also a tradition of conflict in the sense that whatever one scripture says, someone is likely to find a counter-argument elsewhere. However, Organ Donation after death is not considered bad by Hindus as the commonly held view is that once a soul departs from body, the parts of the body cannot be identified with that soul. Therefore it will be logical to assume that if a transplant is made from the part of a dead body, Hinduism may not perceive any effects or Karma being transferred to the recipient.
Transplant of living parts may be another matter. Most notable examples that come to mind offhand is xenotranspplant of an Elephant's head on the revered lord of Hindus - Ganesh. I have not come across any suggestions anywhere that Ganesh had to suffer the Karma of the Elephant in any way. Another great example is of sage Dadhichi who donated his bones to Devas to create a weapon for fighting the demons.
I am sure there may be many more examples and a definitive view may not be feasible.
Hi, Peter, and I, also, say it is good to see you back here.
As for your questions, I've run across references to some psychical research being done into the effects of transplants on the recipients behavior. It's a new field in this area, and obviously laughed at by conventional medicine, which is founded on scientific materialism. Evidently, there are a number of cases where a person with a transplanted organ has had strange behavior and thoughts which were totally out of character for them up to then.(It would seem blood transfusions would fall under this also) I'm sorry I can't remember the researchers names, but I'm sure I'll run across them again and will get back to you with names and contact info.
Some will try to explain this via DNA and whatnot. I'm personally with the group that says it is a remnant of the etheric body of the donor that is affecting the etheric body/field of the recipient. I would suggest looking to a psychic healing, by someone verified and the real deal. How and where, I can't say off hand, but with due diligence, they can be found.
Frankly, Joe, with all due respects, I don't think, in general, that the Buddhists have any "interesting ideas" on reincarnation. In point of fact, you just undermined the whole thing by saying there is no "specific entity" that reincarnates, implying there is no reincarnation at all. Most people who have investigated the spiritual philosophies of East and West for any length of time know the Buddhist concept of "no self," therefor "no self" to reincarnate.
As you well know, but others here may not, Buddhism has as many branches and "schools of thought" as does Christianity, maybe more. Some branches of Buddhism in the hyper-rational tradition are barely distinguishable from Atheism. Certainly, though, the Tibetan tradition has quite a "to-do" about reincarnation, and I think some other branches do, too.
It is my understanding that when Buddhists of most schools speak of reincarnation, they point to karma that reincarnates, not any enduring "self."
There's a different angle on this in the West, in some metaphysical circles. Language is inadequate to fully explain and express this, but it is not a separate "entity," as such, that reincarnates(into wherever), but an Individualized Ray of Awareness("Soul" if you like) from Source that reincarnates or transits from world to world and realm to realm. Obviously, it is immortal.
Others in the Western esoteric traditions may use other terms and similes to express this.
Thank You Peter. The question is indeed tough. In spite of varying claims, few in Hinduism have been able to explain the deep principles involved in the popular term KARMA. I certainly do not know much about it.
Yet, there are two things one can consider. There is a story of Valmiki, a deeply revered sage, authour of original Ramayana and one of the crest jewels of Indian Philosophy - The Yoga Vasishtha. Legend has it that before he became a sage, he was a highway robber. Under the influence of some advice, one day he asked his wife and chldren that since all of you enjoy the fruits of my robbery and live a good life, will you share my time in hell too. Their reply was negative. This turned him around and he took to worshipping of Ram and eventually evolved into a sage. The moral of the story being that under no circumstances, can Karma be shared.
The other point emanates from the fact that the Realism of Hinduism describes Dharma as the principle which causes motion and Karma as the motion itself. Both are treated as matter, substance (take your pick as the Sanskrit word Dravya is untranslatable into English) and elements which form the manifested universe together with other elements. Yoga Vasishtha postulates Mind Creates Universe. One aspect of this is that there is a universe for every soul (Sanskrit ATMAA) and that universe manifests by the combination of the elements unique to that soul. Atmaa itself is treated as matter, or substance.
The best person to answer these questions is David Reigle who understands these things. Yet considering the above, I should have no fear in getting the transplant done. I have worked with at least five Liver Cancer patients who got their transplant and I did not notice any chnage in their behaviour or psychology after the transplant. What happens usually is that the affected person, for medical reasons and to maintain good health has to undertake a number of lifestyle chnages post transplant and that results in altered behaviour or psychology. Those looking for hidden hand behind everything claim that it is Karma being transferred. If one really believes in Karma theory, then it should be understood that it is the good Karma of the affected person which is permitting the continuation of life through organ transplant. That cannot be negative.
Hi, Peter. I don't have time for a lengthy reply to comments and questions. As for Buddhism and Atheism, it is no secret, as I pointed out, that there are numerous branches, sub-branches, sects and schools of thought in it, as in Christianity. I've read about some atheists who want some grounding for ethical behavior and for meditation practices to quiet the mind, joining the extreme rationalist sects of Buddhism who promulgate "no soul, no God(outer or inner), question karma and reincarnation, adhere to materialist science, but do no harm to others and respect life." I'm not a Buddhist nor a scholar on these matters, so I wouldn't know the names of these particular branches of Buddhism.
I'm not so sure about the "desire causing suffering" deal. Life itself is "Desire." Of course, it depends on how you define "desire." If it means every short term whim or pleasure seeking, that's one thing, but if you speaking of a "Life purpose" and creative impulses, that's another. It seems to me that psychological fear causes more suffering than desiring. Of course, if one's desires are of a destructive nature, then that will inevitably lead to a boomerang destructive effect back on one's self at some point. It's an involved subject and these are some of my basic views on it.
Don't get me wrong, I think Buddhism has much to offer the Western metaphysical student. Mostly in the area of meditation and deep trance practices, as in Tibetan Buddhism. For some Westerners, the East is their right Life path, but for most, the Western esoteric approaches are where they should be concentrating. Almost everyone I know who was great guns on the East back in the 60's and 70's are now into some branch of Hermeticism.
Your short illness, Peter, must have temporarily effected your short term memory. You sent me a pdf of your"Shadows and Mist" and I wrote back I liked it. It seems to me that your "out-of-body" Astral experience you recount in it should have erased all doubt that your consciousness will survive the death of your body. I wouldn't worry about any "desire" to survive "death," for you will, desire it or not!
I'm sorry, I don't have time to respond on the rest of your comments and quotes. Yes, you're right about the Kabbalah and it's wisdom. You're much more advanced in your studies of that than I am. That and the Hermetica are certainly among the pillars of the Western metaphysical tradition.
Peter O'Lalor said:
May I ask about your statement that... "Some branches of Buddhism in the hyper-rational tradition are barely distinguishable from Atheism?"
I ask this because I'm wondering are we all God - all at once? What about Buddha's warning that Desire creates suffering? Is my desire to survive my death, the same kind of desire. Is that why just maybe death has always been a constant companion. Why I'm drawn not to the dieing but many who would eventually die after a long friendship with whom I shared hope of realizing their faith. Maybe that's my problem!!!!!!
I understood that traditional Buddhism was concerned with "Liberation." I sought it in India. It was offered and I declined. Not a wasted trip though. You can read about it in Shrouded in Mist and I'll be happy to send you a pdf file of it at your request.
When you wrote: "It is my understanding that when Buddhists of most schools speak of reincarnation, they point to karma that reincarnates," I was at a loss but with a little thought: NO I'm still confused.
On the other hand; it was my impression that when I explored Buddhism; it seemed to me and please correct me if I'm mislead, but isn't Buddhism for an individual's sake? Whereas Gautama Buddha was not interested in "Self" but was a Mahayana Buddhist, who worked for the Liberation of humanity, as all Mahayana Buddhists ought to do? Or am I mistaken?
I'm trying to get caught up and I ought to say Good Night or Good Morning and gather my own thoughts. I am beyond fatigue however, and Theosophy, theosophy.net and its members are the inspiration and community I had hoped for decades ago. Thank you for your time.. I usually edit but things are getting blurry.
- I liked very much when you wrote: ... it is not a separate "entity," as such, that reincarnates (into wherever), but an Individualized Ray of Awareness("Soul" if you like) from [a] Source that reincarnates or transits from world to world and realm to realm. Obviously, it is immortal.
- Are we talking collective consciousness? If we are, we can also find it in the Path on the Way of Return, (OSW: The Sword and the Serpent) or the Qabala's Tree of Life and its creation which was the light that came from the Spirit of God[head], Eventually descending into matter the further from God[Head] one gets.
- To many a hierophant in Egypt: Isis (that very Spirit), is every thing, (Hi Joe, :-)), that ever was, is, or shall be." Subsequently matter grew upon spirit and created through ageless Aeons of reincarnation, collective races of beings from Angels who met with the Daughters of Men and found them Fair. (Please excuse the lack of citation. or what of "... the "Coats of Skin inherited from the Earthly Adam and Eve." upon the expulsion ... And he drove out Man; and he set the Cherubim, and the flame of the flashing sword, toward the east of the garden of Eden, to guard the way to the tree of life. Gen: 3:24
- and as one of my poems suggest:
- ...and so the Race of Eve or Isis,
- survives their material conscious crisis,
- and shapes their world to suit their mind,
- without regard for their Heavenly kind ...
Regarding Shiva Peter, once again your question is directed towads a most ignorant person. All I can say that please do not look for Shiva in images.
Noted theosophist IK Taimni had written a brilliant modern day explanation of Shiv Sutra (amongst the primary texts on Shiva from Kashmir branch of Shaivism) explaining the Physics as well as the metaphysics. If I can find an electronic copy, I will send you. It is no more than hundred pages and one can finish it in one sitting.
Thanks Peter. Giving up desire is one thing. It is difficult but not that difficult. Introducing change into lives of millions is another matter.
Change is motion. Motion is Karma.
Gautam Budha and Sri Krishna (Bhagvad Gita) are speaking the same language.
Capt. Anand Kumar:
"I have worked with at least five Liver Cancer patients who got their transplant and I did not notice any chnage in their behaviour or psychology after the transplant."
It might be good to know that there is anecdotal evidence of patients who got an organ transplant whose preferences for food and even for music changed noticeably after the transplant, precisely in accordance with the preferences of the deceased person whose organ was donated. That makes one wonder about memories being stored or attached to organs.
"If one really believes in Karma theory, then it should be understood that it is the good Karma of the affected person which is permitting the continuation of life through organ transplant. That cannot be negative,"
That is quite a statement, or rather, an opinion. Is it really good karma? Who can tell? What is the effect of the affected person on the transplanted organ? There are many ethical questions pertaining to transplants that are simply evaded, ignored, etc. That is to be expected in a thoroughly materialistic society. The spiritual side of things are taboo.