This is my first post after lurking on the forum for some time.
I am a retired electrical engineering professor who has been interested in Therevada since some time in the 1960's. I had plans to go to Burma then to study, but the military takeover there happened at an inauspicious time for me. I have been trying to meditate off and on for many years without really measurablle success. It seems that a new world opens right away, then recedes into the ungraspable infinite distance.
I wonder if I might pose a couple of questions, one serious and one perhaps more seni-serious?
First question: It seems to me that the core of Therevada does not really involve gods and the supernatural; yet almost everthing I have consulted devolves sooner or later to the mystical. For instance the dissolution of the khandas and recombination into a new individual seems to have a strong parallel with modern genetics. However, the idea of rebirth in a lower or higher life form depending upon present karmic actions seems a bit far-fetched. And the Buddha himself would not state whether he was a god or not (the "noble silence"). If ego is a no-no, why do I sense a strong ego in many of the suttas?
Second question: Why are so many Buddhist monks obese?
All the best, with metta.
Do the best you can with what you have to work with.