Rebirth might be real

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
Rebirthisreal
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Rebirth might be real

Post by Rebirthisreal »

Hi there everyone,

I’m Koen Van Loon, a 27 year old guy from Belgium and a couple of years ago I discovered something incredible, namely: there is a significant chance that death is an illusion and that we will be ‘reborn’ forever in different humans, animals, etc.

I google the theory and apparently I’m not the only one who drew this conclusion, multiple people all over the world, including credible physicists also discovered this.

Robert Lanza, a stem cell scientist wrote a book called Biocentrism in which he also makes the claim that we will be reborn. I’m in 100% agreement with Lanza’s book, and it is quite positively critiqued by multiple scientists:

“Like “A Brief History of Time” it [Biocentrism] is indeed stimulating and brings biology into the whole. Any short statement does not do justice to such a scholarly work.”- Donnall Thomas, 1990 Nobel Prize winner in Physiology and Medicine

“It’s a masterpiece — truly a magnificent essay. Bob Lanza is to be congratulated for a fresh and highly erudite look at the question of how perception and consciousness shape reality and common experience.” - Michael Lysaght, Professor of Medical Science and Engineering, Brown University and Director of Brown’s Center for Biomedical Engineering

“So what Lanza says in this book is not new. Then why does Robert have to say it at all? It is because we, the physicists, do not say it—or if we do say it, we only whisper it, and in private—furiously blushing as we mouth the words. True, yes; politically correct, hell no!’” —Richard Conn Henry, Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Johns Hopkins University

“I downloaded a digital copy of [biocentrism] in the privacy of my home, where no one could observe my buying or reading such a “New Agey” sort of cosmology book. Now, mind you, my motivation was not all that pure. It was my intention to read the book so I could more effectively refute it like a dedicated physicist was expected to. I consider myself to be firmly and exclusively entrenched in the cosmology camp embodied by the likes of Stephen Hawking, Lisa Randall, Brain Greene, and Edward Witten. After all, you know what Julius Caesar said: Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” I needed to know what the other camps were thinking so I could better defend my position. It became necessary to penetrate the biocentrism camp.

The book had the completely opposite effect on me. The views that Dr. Lanza presented in this book changed my thinking in ways from which there could never be retreat. Before I had actually finished reading the book, it was abundantly obvious to me that Dr. Lanza’s writings provided me with the pieces of perspective that I had been desperately seeking. Everything I had learned and everything I thought I knew just exploded in my mind and, as possibilities first erupted and then settled down, a completely new understanding emerged. The information I had accumulated in my mind hadn’t changed, but the way I viewed it did –in a really big way.”- Physicist Scott Tyson


Biocentrism makes multiple claims, about the laws of physics as well as death. In these posts I want to focus only on death, and I would like to convey my opinion of the self and rebirth in an interactive way.
I will post it part by part, with certain (multiple choice) questions in it. I’m really interested to see your answers to them.

Part 1:


I invite you to think about the following questions for a minute:

1. Teleportation

If we teleport a human, will the same ‘person’ experience the conscious experiences created by the brain before and after teleportation?

Let’s say we have Bob. Bob is frightened to use the teleport but is forced to. He will travel from Earth to Mars. When Bob steps out of the teleport on Mars, the first thing he thinks is “Thank God it worked!”, however a minute or so later he realizes that it might not have worked, and that in fact he might just got ‘born’ a minute ago. He seems to remember his childhood memories, and remembers stepping in the teleport, and the next thing he knew he was right there on Mars. But did ‘he’ actually experience ‘his’ childhood? Was it ‘he’ who stepped into the teleport? Or was that 'somebody' else?

Physicist Michio Kaku addressed this topic on the YouTube channel “Big Think”:
“So it raises a question: Are we nothing but information? Is the soul, the essence of who we are, nothing but information? Well I’m a physicist. We don’t know the answer to that”

Question 1: Is Bob before and after teleportation the same person? (A)= yes, (B)= no, (C)= not sure

2. Caterpillar-butterfly

In case you didn’t know: “In the cocoon, a caterpillar doesn’t “grow wings onto its body”, but rather dissolves its whole body into a mush of cells which then reform into a butterfly.” –Tim Urban
Are the butterfly and the caterpillar the same person?

Question 2: Are the caterpillar and the butterfly the same person? (A)= yes, (B)= no, (C)= not sure



3. Conscious robots

It’s the far future and humans are capable to create conscious robots. We have a robot which is conscious just like you and me. It has a bunch of sensors as input signals and multiple mechanic arms and tripod like legs as output possibility’s. Its central ‘brain’ processes the input signals and creates a proper output to guide it through the world, in much the same way our brains logically processes their incoming signals (from our senses) to generates a proper output (to our muscles) to guide its biological robot though the world.

Off course the scientists want to make sure that throughout time, all the conscious experiences are experienced by the same ‘person’ or ‘experiencer’, but at which point do they kill one? Can they turn of the robot overnight, and turn it back on the next day*? Are they allowed to alter the robot, and in which way**?

*Question 3: When the scientists turn of the robot and turn it back on, are we still talking about the same person? (A)= yes, (B)= no, (C)= not sure
**Question 4: This isn’t a multiple choice question, but it is open to answer: at what point do the scientists a robot or ‘person ‘
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cappuccino
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Re: Rebirth might be real

Post by cappuccino »

rebirth implies the difficulty of life is never ending


rebirth isn't good news


the good news is rebirth can end
"All men's souls are immortal, but the souls of the righteous are immortal and divine." -Socrates
Good for Your Soul
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bridif1
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Re: Rebirth might be real

Post by bridif1 »

Thanks for this post.
I will always appreciate a good piece of thought-provoking writings.

Your ideas seems to be in agreement with Anattā, the idea of the non-existence of a permanent, fixed thing to be called "I", "me", "mine" or "self".
Everything seems to be information, which does not requiere to have the same specific medium to carry an specific set of data. For instance, two molecules of DNA can carry the same information, without being the "same" molecule.

The problem most rebirth-skeptics have is with the idea of consciousness and memory existing without a material medium, without a brain.
If the brain and its elements are destroyed, the how can its information and functions be transferred to a whole new being?
Or putting it in modern terms:
How can a file be transferred between one drive and another without a medium which serves as a bridge between them (a PC, a laptop, a wire, a cable, a card, a wi-fi signal, etc.)?

Kind regards!
Last edited by bridif1 on Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
Srilankaputra
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Re: Rebirth might be real

Post by Srilankaputra »

bridif1 wrote: Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:06 am How can a file be transferred between one drive and another without a medium which serves as a bridge between them (a PC, a laptop, a wire, a cable, a card, a wi-fi signal, etc.)?
It's more like this;

Image

Sankharas construct both the hardware and the software. (The above is only an simile, nothing permanent is transfered of course)

Imo

Lokāmisaṃ pajahe santipekkho ti
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bridif1
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Re: Rebirth might be real

Post by bridif1 »

Srilankaputra wrote: Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:54 am It's more like this;

Sankharas construct both the hardware and the software. (The above is only an simile, nothing permanent is transfered of course)

Imo
Hi Srilankaputra!

The analogy seems pretty good, but it does not seem to explain how does the consciousness and tendencies from one "being" (the one dying) are transferred to a new "being" (the one being born).
How is that process possible?

Kind regards!
Srilankaputra
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Re: Rebirth might be real

Post by Srilankaputra »

bridif1 wrote: Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:48 am
Srilankaputra wrote: Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:54 am It's more like this;

Sankharas construct both the hardware and the software. (The above is only an simile, nothing permanent is transfered of course)

Imo
Hi Srilankaputra!

The analogy seems pretty good, but it does not seem to explain how does the consciousness and tendencies from one "being" (the one dying) are transferred to a new "being" (the one being born).
How is that process possible?

Kind regards!
Yes this question would be a problem if you believe all the information is contained in the body as a material arrangement. But the body and mind are the observable manifestation of a much deeper process. It fashioned this human body and mind for you to experience the human condition, depending on the kamma you accumulated in the past. It will fashion a new mind and body in the future unless we eradicate avijja. With the eradication of avijja the eradication of sankhara. It like dog in the gif stops laying new tracks. But the train will continue for a while on the tracks already laid and will come to a stop.

Imo

Lokāmisaṃ pajahe santipekkho ti
santa100
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Re: Rebirth might be real

Post by santa100 »

bridif1 wrote:How can a file be transferred between one drive and another without a medium which serves as a bridge between them (a PC, a laptop, a wire, a cable, a card, a wi-fi signal, etc.)?
There're the concepts of bhavanga and patisandhiCitta(rebirth-linking consciousness) which the Vism Chpt.XIV-14 Modes of Occurrence of Consciousness described in great length.
alfa
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Re: Rebirth might be real

Post by alfa »

santa100 wrote: Sun Mar 17, 2019 3:22 pm
bridif1 wrote:How can a file be transferred between one drive and another without a medium which serves as a bridge between them (a PC, a laptop, a wire, a cable, a card, a wi-fi signal, etc.)?
There're the concepts of bhavanga and patisandhiCitta(rebirth-linking consciousness) which the Vism Chpt.XIV-14 Modes of Occurrence of Consciousness described in great length.
Could you please give me a gist of this?
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bridif1
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Re: Rebirth might be real

Post by bridif1 »

Srilankaputra wrote: Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:11 pm
bridif1 wrote: Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:48 am
Srilankaputra wrote: Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:54 am It's more like this;

Sankharas construct both the hardware and the software. (The above is only an simile, nothing permanent is transfered of course)

Imo
Hi Srilankaputra!

The analogy seems pretty good, but it does not seem to explain how does the consciousness and tendencies from one "being" (the one dying) are transferred to a new "being" (the one being born).
How is that process possible?

Kind regards!
Yes this question would be a problem if you believe all the information is contained in the body as a material arrangement. But the body and mind are the observable manifestation of a much deeper process. It fashioned this human body and mind for you to experience the human condition, depending on the kamma you accumulated in the past. It will fashion a new mind and body in the future unless we eradicate avijja. With the eradication of avijja the eradication of sankhara. It like dog in the gif stops laying new tracks. But the train will continue for a while on the tracks already laid and will come to a stop.

Imo
Hi again!

Is that something you know by yourself, seen by yourself, confirmed by yourself?
Or is it something read somewhere else, heard from somewhere else, or inferred by mere logic?

Kind regards!
Srilankaputra
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Re: Rebirth might be real

Post by Srilankaputra »

bridif1 wrote: Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:16 pm
Srilankaputra wrote: Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:11 pm
bridif1 wrote: Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:48 am

Hi Srilankaputra!

The analogy seems pretty good, but it does not seem to explain how does the consciousness and tendencies from one "being" (the one dying) are transferred to a new "being" (the one being born).
How is that process possible?

Kind regards!
Yes this question would be a problem if you believe all the information is contained in the body as a material arrangement. But the body and mind are the observable manifestation of a much deeper process. It fashioned this human body and mind for you to experience the human condition, depending on the kamma you accumulated in the past. It will fashion a new mind and body in the future unless we eradicate avijja. With the eradication of avijja the eradication of sankhara. It like dog in the gif stops laying new tracks. But the train will continue for a while on the tracks already laid and will come to a stop.

Imo
Hi again!

Is that something you know by yourself, seen by yourself, confirmed by yourself?
Or is it something read somewhere else, heard from somewhere else, or inferred by mere logic?

Kind regards!
This is how I currently understand dhamma I have studied. Definitely, I don't have direct vision of such matters. But I have faith in the dhamma and may be in the future I might win through to direct vision.

Lokāmisaṃ pajahe santipekkho ti
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bridif1
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Re: Rebirth might be real

Post by bridif1 »

Srilankaputra wrote: Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:27 pm
bridif1 wrote: Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:16 pm
Srilankaputra wrote: Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:11 pm

Yes this question would be a problem if you believe all the information is contained in the body as a material arrangement. But the body and mind are the observable manifestation of a much deeper process. It fashioned this human body and mind for you to experience the human condition, depending on the kamma you accumulated in the past. It will fashion a new mind and body in the future unless we eradicate avijja. With the eradication of avijja the eradication of sankhara. It like dog in the gif stops laying new tracks. But the train will continue for a while on the tracks already laid and will come to a stop.

Imo
Hi again!

Is that something you know by yourself, seen by yourself, confirmed by yourself?
Or is it something read somewhere else, heard from somewhere else, or inferred by mere logic?

Kind regards!
This is how I currently understand dhamma I have studied. Definitely, I don't have direct vision of such matters. But I have faith in the dhamma and may be in the future I might win through to direct vision.
I understand.
I have faith in the Dhamma as well, but is not faith in the sense of blind confidence.

Sometimes, I see Christians, Theologians, Theosophist, Tarotist and Spiritist speaking and debating about angels, hierarchies of angels, types of ghosts, the origin of the devil, the legions of demons, and so on.
I ask to myself...
Where do all this information comes from?

These debates about rebirth seem the same to me.

I don't know if there are angels, ghosts, demons, devas, asuras, petas, relinking consciousness, rebirth...
That's why I remain agnostic.
I just don't know and I can't say nothing about such matters, because I have no personal experience nor direct knowledge about it.
I can't say that it is all false either.
That's why I remain agnostic.

Kind regards!
Srilankaputra
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Re: Rebirth might be real

Post by Srilankaputra »

bridif1 wrote: Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:39 pm
Srilankaputra wrote: Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:27 pm
bridif1 wrote: Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:16 pm

Hi again!

Is that something you know by yourself, seen by yourself, confirmed by yourself?
Or is it something read somewhere else, heard from somewhere else, or inferred by mere logic?

Kind regards!
This is how I currently understand dhamma I have studied. Definitely, I don't have direct vision of such matters. But I have faith in the dhamma and may be in the future I might win through to direct vision.
I understand.
I have faith in the Dhamma as well, but is not faith in the sense of blind confidence.

Sometimes, I see Christians, Theologians, Theosophist, Tarotist and Spiritist speaking and debating about angels, hierarchies of angels, types of ghosts, the origin of the devil, the legions of demons, and so on.
I ask to myself...
Where do all this information comes from?

These debates about rebirth seem the same to me.

I don't know if there are angels, ghosts, demons, devas, asuras, petas, relinking consciousness, rebirth...
That's why I remain agnostic.
I just don't know and I can't say nothing about such matters, because I have no personal experience nor direct knowledge about it.
I can't say that it is all false either.
That's why I remain agnostic.

Kind regards!
Ahh I see. I am definetly not brave enough to be agnostic. But I was not talking about blind faith. I investigated these thing with such witts and wisdom as I have myself. It seems pretty reasonable to me.

Lokāmisaṃ pajahe santipekkho ti
dharmacorps
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Re: Rebirth might be real

Post by dharmacorps »

cappuccino wrote: Sun Mar 17, 2019 1:34 am
rebirth isn't good news


the good news is rebirth can end
My thoughts exactly. :anjali:
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Manopubbangama
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Re: Rebirth might be real

Post by Manopubbangama »

Srilankaputra wrote: Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:54 am
bridif1 wrote: Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:06 am How can a file be transferred between one drive and another without a medium which serves as a bridge between them (a PC, a laptop, a wire, a cable, a card, a wi-fi signal, etc.)?
It's more like this;

Image

Sankharas construct both the hardware and the software. (The above is only an simile, nothing permanent is transfered of course)

Imo
Exactly.

If the aeternal software program leached onto different hardware and ran its 1's and 0's onto perpetually changing boxes than what we would believe in is not the theory of rebirth but of reincarnation, a view that was thoroughly reputed by the Buddha in MN 38.

This Platonic idea is at the heart of Brahminical classes everywhere and helps keep people dependent on them for ablutions, rituals, blessings, etc, as the aeternal software program, unchanging and longing for union with the Great Programmer is an aeternal Thing, and not dependently originated, i.e. 'not-a-thing.'
chownah
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Re: Rebirth might be real

Post by chownah »

dharmacorps wrote: Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:18 pm
cappuccino wrote: Sun Mar 17, 2019 1:34 am
rebirth isn't good news


the good news is rebirth can end
My thoughts exactly. :anjali:
Maybe The Burden sutta is applicable here; maybe not:
"Monks, I will explain to you the burden,[1] the laying hold of the burden, the holding on to the burden,[2] the laying down of the burden. Listen.

"What, monks, is the burden?

"'The five groups of clinging'[3] is the answer. Which five? They are: the group of clinging to corporeality,... to feelings,... to perceptions,... to mental formations,... to consciousness. This, monks, is called 'the burden.'

"What is the laying hold of the burden? The answer is that it is the person,[4] the Venerable So-and-so, of such-and-such a family. This, monks, is called 'the laying hold of the burden.'

"What is the holding on to the burden? The answer is that it is that craving which gives rise to fresh rebirth and, bound up with lust and greed, now here now there finds ever fresh delight. It is sensual craving,[5] craving for existence,[6] craving for non-existence.[7] This, monks, is called 'the holding on to the burden.'[8]
chownah
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