Archive for the ‘Religion buddhism’ tag
As is seen from the previous post, I look at some of Scientology’s most basic claims. That particular sect does a good job of hiding it, but it also believes in reincarnation — that is, of one person, one soul, living multiple lives. In a few thoughts, let me debunk this notion, thus tearing down this aspect of Hinduism, Buddhism and others:
If we have lived many lifetimes (or will in the future), why can’t we remember any of them? If we are immortal, spiritual beings as Scientology and other religions claim, why do we have no consciousness before this present life? Do we get a new brain and memory set each go around? Does the system reboot at each birth? We are immortal with numerous lives, but is each mutually exclusive of the other? What would be the point of that? Either we are immortal and have an accumulated memory of our own vast existence (Where would this start? Are we just immortal starting from birth? This can’t be, since we have lived many lifetimes already.) or we are mortal and have just the memory of this life and no other. I recollect no other history of myself other than when I began remembering things at about 3 of 4 years old. If we are immortal having lived multiple lives already, but they have no memory or recollection of the other, that would be a second-rate, pointless, absurd state of existence and not one worth believing in. Here I am in the year 2009, having lived an X number of lives before now with X number of memories that go along with those lives. Neither the number of lives nor the essence of the memories remain. So, if it is true I have lived 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 lives before now, those past experiences are lost and irrelevant to me now, for I can’t remember them or draw experience or learning from them, nor do I think they will follow me to the grave or somehow help me in the afterlife. Not very useful. Further, to say this series of lives will begin after this present life here and now in 2009 is a copout.
Again, Buddhism teaches that with the correct procedure, one can eventually gain the ability to remember pieces from past lives. But, as I mentioned here, if something is so worthy of believing in, why is it like pulling teeth to be able to realize the essence of that belief.
If we believe Buddha’s teachings on rebirth and act in accordance with the law of karma, gradually our mental capacity will increase until eventually we shall directly perceive our past and future lives, but if we stubbornly deny the existence of reincarnation and karma we shall not make the effort to train our mind and so we shall never know rebirth through our own experience. — http://www.aboutreincarnation.org/
By using words like “gradually” and “eventually,” teachings like this can defer the inevitable, that is, the realization that this is nonsense, to some later date, allowing the person to either not try hard enough or lose interest. Of the former, the teacher would simply say the person didn’t try hard enough or didn’t meditate long enough or in the right way or whatever. Also, why would we need to train our minds for something so extraordinary? Jews and Christians say they pray to God Almighty, the creator of all heaven and earth. They don’t have to train their minds to pray to him. Some claim no training or seminary learning at all when they say they have actually heard from him. The notion of reincarnation, thus, can’t be so profound that it supersedes God. Further, it’s a concept that is inherently personal. Why would we have to work so hard to “get at” our very own lives?
Last and the kicker: If a person denies or doubts its exists, that person simply can never understand and never be able to know “rebirth through our own experience.” But if reincarnation were inherently crucial for the human experience, why shouldn’t it be self-evident? (And if it’s not crucial for the human experience, why teach it?) Why would we need to believe in it in the first place if it’s not crucial? It should be self-realized, not hiding in the shadows waiting for some seeker to poke around with a candle in just the right way, following just the right path to find it.