unspoken wrote:Thanks for your reply. I appreciate it very much. . . . I understand it fully. To acquire the wisdom in this life depended on the previous one to help us "trigger" the wisdom from us.
Just to clarify a bit further, when I mentioned about the "influences from the previous lifetime's experiences" I was speaking about the underlying tendencies that remain embedded, so to speak, within the mind and the five aggregates that make up the mind — especially within the aggregates of vedana
(volition), and vinnana
(consciousness) as these four have a great influence on how one acts and reacts to phenomena.
For instance, to take a very simple example (although more complex examples can also be conceived), when one experiences the taste of an orange for the first time, vedana
is affected, and we either like, dislike or are neutral with regard to the taste of an orange. In the future, when we encounter an orange again, sanna
(perception) and our memory brings back the recollection of that first encounter. If we reacted in a positive way, then we probably have a "feeling" of liking for the orange, and perhaps even might be inclined (sankhara
or mental volition) to partake (or eat) of it. So, these underlying mental tendencies can be carried on from lifetime to lifetime. It is because the mind has become "conditioned" by these tendencies.
Also, the sum total of these tendencies make up what we conventionally call our "personality." One's personality is constructed, so to speak, from the reactions that one has to various phenomena based upon vedana
(liking, disliking or neutrality) toward the phenomenon. So, vedana
has a very important role to play in the construction of a person's personality. That personality (and the tendencies that go with it) is what is carried on and can pass between lifetimes.
The same can be said about whatever amount of wisdom (or truth) we pick up during that lifetime and as we transition from one lifetime to the next. It all gets passed on through this same mental conditioning process.
"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV