Neurosurgeon's visit to heaven - proof of afterlife?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
Mawkish1983
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Re: Neurosurgeon's visit to heaven - proof of afterlife?

Post by Mawkish1983 » Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:14 pm

LonesomeYogurt wrote:You're free to argue against the Buddhist methodology
I haven't. Nevertheless, it isn't science and shouldn't be treated as such.
LonesomeYogurt wrote:I see materialism as the opposite side of the solipsistic coin
I quite agree.
LonesomeYogurt wrote:The middle path between solipsism and materialism, is the true "scientific" path
No, it isn't. That is not to say it won't help you reach a thorough understanding of whatever is 'true', but that doesn't make it science. See here (wikipedia page). There's plenty more on that page but a common theme is reproducibility. Without that, it isn't science.

Again, it seems I must emphasise, I am not saying 'it isn't science and, therefore, is wrong', or 'it isn't science and, therefore, is a waste of time' or anything else derogatory. I'm simply stating the fact. The experiences aren't reproducible, so it isn't science.

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Kusala
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Re: Neurosurgeon's visit to heaven - proof of afterlife?

Post by Kusala » Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:00 am

Food for thought...

“Science can give no assurance herein. But Buddhism can meet the Atomic Challenge, because the supramundane knowledge of Buddhism begins where science leaves off. And this is clear enough to anyone who has made a study of Buddhism. For, through Buddhist Meditation, the atomic constituents making up matter have been seen and felt, and the sorrow, or unsatisfactoriness (or Dukkha), of their 'arising and passing away' (dependent on causes) has made itself with what we call a 'soul' or 'atma' - the illusion of Sakkayaditthi, as it is called in the Buddha's teaching.”

Egerton C. Baptist, "Supreme Science of the Buddha"
Image

"He, the Blessed One, is indeed the Noble Lord, the Perfectly Enlightened One;
He is impeccable in conduct and understanding, the Serene One, the Knower of the Worlds;
He trains perfectly those who wish to be trained; he is Teacher of gods and men; he is Awake and Holy. "

--------------------------------------------
"The Dhamma is well-expounded by the Blessed One,
Apparent here and now, timeless, encouraging investigation,
Leading to liberation, to be experienced individually by the wise. "

Arjan Dirkse
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Re: Neurosurgeon's visit to heaven - proof of afterlife?

Post by Arjan Dirkse » Thu Nov 01, 2012 3:02 pm

Well I did quickly notice this quote in the original article: "Although I considered myself a faithful Christian"...

So yeah, I remain skeptical. ;)

That said, he seems very happy to find an affirmation for his beliefs. So good for him.

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gavesako
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Re: Neurosurgeon's visit to heaven - proof of afterlife?

Post by gavesako » Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:49 am

A relevant article on this topic from Tricycle:


A Gray Matter: Another Look at the Convergence of Buddhism and Science

If you haven’t heard that Buddhist mindfulness meditation can change your brain for the better, you haven’t opened a magazine or newspaper lately. On the other hand, if you haven’t heard that research supporting such a claim is at best inconclusive, you can’t be blamed—it’s not a view you’re likely to come across as readily.

The ongoing story of the convergence of Buddhist practice and science—lately and most notably, neuroscience—has garnered a lot of press, and the popular narrative has been overwhelmingly weighted in favor of those who argue that Buddhism’s rationalist bent makes it, of all religions, uniquely compatible with scientific truths. But as is evident in this issue of Tricycle, a strong counternarrative has begun to emerge. In “A Gray Matter,” Columbia professor of Japanese religion Bernard Faure writes that a “careful and critical reading of the literature on Buddhism and neuroscience will lead, I think, to a far more sober assessment of their convergence than one generally hears from its advocates.”

Aside from questioning the science itself, Faure challenges the highly selective reading of Buddhism upon which the supposed convergence is based: The convergence of Buddhism and science is, Faure argues, largely a consequence of modern Buddhists—in both Asia and the West—having radically redefined the tradition for that specific purpose.

This notion of convergence has been around since the 19th century. In this issue’s “The Scientific Buddha,” adapted from his new book of the same name, University of Michigan professor Donald S. Lopez, Jr., a Tricycle contributing editor, focuses on the history of the dialogue between Buddhism and science and how it came to assume its present form. Lopez observes:

For the Buddha to be identified as an ancient sage fully attuned to the findings of modern science, it was necessary that he first be transformed into a figure who differed in many ways from the Buddha who has been revered by Buddhists across Asia over the course of many centuries. . . . [19th-century] European scholars, many of whom never met a Buddhist or set foot in Asia, created a new Buddha, a Buddha made from manuscripts. This was the age of the quest for the historical Jesus. European philologists set out on their own quest for the historical Buddha, and they felt they found him. It was this Buddha, unknown in Asia until the 19th century, who would become the Buddha we know today, and who would become the Scientific Buddha.

While both Faure and Lopez take a critical view of the exchange between Buddhism and science, their criticism is predicated on the belief that this dialogue is nonetheless necessary and—if some of the deep misconceptions that have shaped it are cleared up— potentially fruitful. But as these two scholars demonstrate, our erroneous views run deep. Perhaps the most significant difficulty is not so much a specific idea as it is the model that guides us. The Buddhism and science dialogue has been shaped by a model of comparison that sees the finding of agreement—convergence—as the most beneficial and desirable avenue to pursue. But as Faure writes, a comparative model based on mutual challenge might well shed more light on both Buddhism and science:

“Convergence may never be reached, and that is likely for the best, because it is difference, and the challenges it presents, that is the richer source of understanding.”

http://www.tricycle.com/blog/gray-matte ... nd-science" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

Access to Insight - Theravada texts
Ancient Buddhist Texts - Translations and history of Pali texts
Dhammatalks.org - Sutta translations

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Kusala
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Re: Neurosurgeon's visit to heaven - proof of afterlife?

Post by Kusala » Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:47 am

gavesako wrote:A relevant article on this topic from Tricycle:


A Gray Matter: Another Look at the Convergence of Buddhism and Science

If you haven’t heard that Buddhist mindfulness meditation can change your brain for the better, you haven’t opened a magazine or newspaper lately. On the other hand, if you haven’t heard that research supporting such a claim is at best inconclusive, you can’t be blamed—it’s not a view you’re likely to come across as readily.

The ongoing story of the convergence of Buddhist practice and science—lately and most notably, neuroscience—has garnered a lot of press, and the popular narrative has been overwhelmingly weighted in favor of those who argue that Buddhism’s rationalist bent makes it, of all religions, uniquely compatible with scientific truths. But as is evident in this issue of Tricycle, a strong counternarrative has begun to emerge. In “A Gray Matter,” Columbia professor of Japanese religion Bernard Faure writes that a “careful and critical reading of the literature on Buddhism and neuroscience will lead, I think, to a far more sober assessment of their convergence than one generally hears from its advocates.”

Aside from questioning the science itself, Faure challenges the highly selective reading of Buddhism upon which the supposed convergence is based: The convergence of Buddhism and science is, Faure argues, largely a consequence of modern Buddhists—in both Asia and the West—having radically redefined the tradition for that specific purpose.

This notion of convergence has been around since the 19th century. In this issue’s “The Scientific Buddha,” adapted from his new book of the same name, University of Michigan professor Donald S. Lopez, Jr., a Tricycle contributing editor, focuses on the history of the dialogue between Buddhism and science and how it came to assume its present form. Lopez observes:

For the Buddha to be identified as an ancient sage fully attuned to the findings of modern science, it was necessary that he first be transformed into a figure who differed in many ways from the Buddha who has been revered by Buddhists across Asia over the course of many centuries. . . . [19th-century] European scholars, many of whom never met a Buddhist or set foot in Asia, created a new Buddha, a Buddha made from manuscripts. This was the age of the quest for the historical Jesus. European philologists set out on their own quest for the historical Buddha, and they felt they found him. It was this Buddha, unknown in Asia until the 19th century, who would become the Buddha we know today, and who would become the Scientific Buddha.

While both Faure and Lopez take a critical view of the exchange between Buddhism and science, their criticism is predicated on the belief that this dialogue is nonetheless necessary and—if some of the deep misconceptions that have shaped it are cleared up— potentially fruitful. But as these two scholars demonstrate, our erroneous views run deep. Perhaps the most significant difficulty is not so much a specific idea as it is the model that guides us. The Buddhism and science dialogue has been shaped by a model of comparison that sees the finding of agreement—convergence—as the most beneficial and desirable avenue to pursue. But as Faure writes, a comparative model based on mutual challenge might well shed more light on both Buddhism and science:

“Convergence may never be reached, and that is likely for the best, because it is difference, and the challenges it presents, that is the richer source of understanding.”

http://www.tricycle.com/blog/gray-matte ... nd-science" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Thanks bhikkhu.
Image

"He, the Blessed One, is indeed the Noble Lord, the Perfectly Enlightened One;
He is impeccable in conduct and understanding, the Serene One, the Knower of the Worlds;
He trains perfectly those who wish to be trained; he is Teacher of gods and men; he is Awake and Holy. "

--------------------------------------------
"The Dhamma is well-expounded by the Blessed One,
Apparent here and now, timeless, encouraging investigation,
Leading to liberation, to be experienced individually by the wise. "

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Kim OHara
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Location: North Queensland, Australia

Re: Neurosurgeon's visit to heaven - proof of afterlife?

Post by Kim OHara » Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:52 pm

Idle click-through curiousity (okay, I was (still am) putting off starting work :tongue: ) just led me to Amazon's list of 100 best-selling books.
Guess what I found? Right up there at number four, this very book.
Looking at the rest of the top twenty - http://www.amazon.com/best-sellers-book ... _dp_ts_b_1 - doesn't do much to increase my faith in the neurosurgeon or, for that matter, the intelligence and discernment of Amazon's customers ... :rolleye:

:namaste:
Kim

pegembara
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Re: Neurosurgeon's visit to heaven - proof of afterlife?

Post by pegembara » Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:41 am

We are looking in the wrong places for answers the same way Rohitassa was doing in trying to find an eternal heaven.
On one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi, in Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. Then Rohitassa, the son of a deva, in the far extreme of the night, his extreme radiance lighting up the entirety of Jeta's Grove, went to the Blessed One. On arrival, having bowed down to the Blessed One, he stood to one side. As he was standing there he said to the Blessed One: "Is it possible, lord, by traveling, to know or see or reach a far end of the cosmos where one does not take birth, age, die, pass away or reappear?"

"I tell you, friend, that it is not possible by traveling to know or see or reach a far end of the cosmos where one does not take birth, age, die, pass away, or reappear."

"It is amazing, lord, and awesome, how well that has been said by the Blessed One: 'I tell you, friend, that it is not possible by traveling to know or see or reach a far end of the cosmos where one does not take birth, age, die, pass away, or reappear.' Once I was a seer named Rohitassa, a student of Bhoja, a powerful sky-walker. My speed was as fast as that of a strong archer — well-trained, a practiced hand, a practiced sharp-shooter — shooting a light arrow across the shadow of a palm tree. My stride stretched as far as the east sea is from the west. To me, endowed with such speed, such a stride, there came the desire: 'I will go traveling to the end of the cosmos.' I — with a one-hundred year life, a one-hundred year span — spent one hundred years traveling — apart from the time spent on eating, drinking, chewing & tasting, urinating & defecating, and sleeping to fight off weariness — but without reaching the end of the cosmos I died along the way. So it is amazing, lord, and awesome, how well that has been said by the Blessed One: 'I tell you, friend, that it is not possible by traveling to know or see or reach a far end of the cosmos where one does not take birth, age, die, pass away, or reappear.'"

[When this was said, the Blessed One responded:] "I tell you, friend, that it is not possible by traveling to know or see or reach a far end of the cosmos where one does not take birth, age, die, pass away, or reappear. But at the same time, I tell you that there is no making an end of suffering & stress without reaching the end of the cosmos. Yet it is just within this fathom-long body, with its perception & intellect, that I declare that there is the cosmos, the origination of the cosmos, the cessation of the cosmos, and the path of practice leading to the cessation of the cosmos."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

Moggalana
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Re: Neurosurgeon's visit to heaven - proof of afterlife?

Post by Moggalana » Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:52 am

Sam Harris wrote a second blog about NDEs:
http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/scie ... k-of-death" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Let it come. Let it be. Let it go.

pegembara
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Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 8:39 am

Re: Neurosurgeon's visit to heaven - proof of afterlife?

Post by pegembara » Sat Nov 17, 2012 2:07 pm

First, the teachings: The lama in my dream began by asking who I was. I responded by telling him my name. Apparently, this wasn’t the answer he was looking for.
Who are you?” he said again. He was now staring fixedly into my eyes and pointing at my face with an outstretched finger. I did not know what to say.
“Who are you?” he said again, continuing to point.
“Who are you?” he said a final time, but here he suddenly shifted his gaze and pointing finger, as though he were now addressing someone just to my left. The effect was quite startling, because I knew (insofar as one can be said to know anything in a dream) that we were alone. The lama was obviously pointing to someone who wasn’t there, and I suddenly noticed what I would later come to consider an important truth about the nature of the mind: Subjectively speaking, there is only consciousness and its contents; there is no inner self who is conscious. The feeling of being the experiencer of your experience, rather than identical to the totality of experience, is an illusion. The lama in my dream seemed to dissect this very feeling of being a self and, for a brief moment, removed it from my mind. I awoke convinced that I had glimpsed something quite profound.

http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/scie ... k-of-death" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

:buddha2:
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

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