Bertrand Russell and rebirth

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kmath
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Bertrand Russell and rebirth

Postby kmath » Sun May 19, 2013 5:57 pm

Of the Buddhist I know who believe in rebirth, many justify it saying something like: although I have not personally recalled my past lives, I know much of the Dhamma to be true from my experience, so I trust the Buddha when he says he recalled his past lives. Or I trust someone else I know who has recalled his or hers.

I have been thinking about that justification, and came across this quote by Betrand Russell:

"From a scientific point of view, we can make no distinction between the man who eats little and sees heaven and the man who drinks much and sees snakes. Each is in an abnormal physical condition, and there­fore has abnormal perceptions. Normal perceptions, since they have to be useful in the struggle for life, must have some correspondence with fact; but in abnormal perceptions there is no reason to expect such correspondence, and their testimony, therefore, cannot outweigh that of normal perception."

I have two questions:

1. What do you think of Russell's quote?

2. If you believe in rebirth for a reason not listed above, what is the reason?

Thanks,

kmath

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Sam Vara
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Re: Bertrand Russell and rebirth

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kmath
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Re: Bertrand Russell and rebirth

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Re: Bertrand Russell and rebirth

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Re: Bertrand Russell and rebirth

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Sam Vara
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Re: Bertrand Russell and rebirth

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kmath
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Re: Bertrand Russell and rebirth

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Re: Bertrand Russell and rebirth

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Sam Vara
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Re: Bertrand Russell and rebirth

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Sam Vara
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Re: Bertrand Russell and rebirth

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kmath
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Re: Bertrand Russell and rebirth

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kmath
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Re: Bertrand Russell and rebirth

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reflection
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Re: Bertrand Russell and rebirth

Postby reflection » Sun May 19, 2013 7:40 pm

As said, "normal" perceptions aren't necessarily the truth. In meditation many of our perceptions change. Things we once thought were like this, turn out to be like that. Mostly, the sense of identity. Things we thought were "us" turn out to be not so, not self. And with a still and sharpened mind we can see these things we normally don't see. Of course, it can also happen people think they see something in meditation that actually was not that.

Seems to me the same with recollection of previous lives. It can happen as a clear understanding, as a delusion or somewhere in between. It's impossible to say they can all be trusted, or they can all not be trusted. That's treating it too general. But there is no need to bother too much as long as you haven't had such memories yourself anyway, because other's are probably not going to convince you either way. When you do really recollect past lives yourself, it will be one of -if not the- most clearest memory of your life and there won't be much reason to doubt it.

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Re: Bertrand Russell and rebirth

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Re: Bertrand Russell and rebirth

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Re: Bertrand Russell and rebirth

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Re: Bertrand Russell and rebirth

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Re: Bertrand Russell and rebirth

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"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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Re: Bertrand Russell and rebirth

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