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August 31, 2014


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Have you ever read about Susan Blackmore. She's a scientist who is also serious as a Chan practicioner. She started her research into ESP and other phenomena as a believer. After many years of careful research she gave up and was no longer a believer.

It is easy to posit a spiritual realm but once you do that you then have to choose that it takes one form over another. You're choosing to take one from a strand of Buddhist mythology. I grew up on Christian mythology and its idea of spiritual realms which is clearly incompatible with the ones that get your vote.

Now as it happens I think the three-bodies mythology (Physical, Spiritual, Pain) - not trikaya - is a reasonable experiental summary of how we know know the body maps itself. The physical body carries within it two mutable maps that describe the physical bounds of the body and from where pain arises. The physical body bounds map is easy enough to change and lots of sports and martial arts and other things rely on this mutability for ultimate performance.

Whichever spiritual view is correct will have little or no impact on daily life.

It seems to me that reincarnation was a nice little idea to reinforce the caste system in India and to allow full-time monks to explain through externalisation that their lack of any progress was not in fact anything to do with them.

So, I'm not saying that what you say is wrong, I am saying it's a belief that's unprovable.

I have read some of the 'past lives' testaments of others and whilst sometimes intriguing they do not support a reincarnation hypothesis since they do not exclude other spiritual explanations such as possession by ghosts which could explain the same phenomena.

And even with reincarnation mythology wasn't there a point where it stopped?

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