Post Mortem Survival in the Corpse as a Corpse

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Pondera
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Post Mortem Survival in the Corpse as a Corpse

Post by Pondera » Thu Jul 16, 2015 1:46 am

I have long had a nagging suspicion that when we die and are buried (as opposed to cremated), we might find our selves semiconscious or with some type of luminous consciousness, in the corpse, as the corpse. In other words, after we are dead and buried we will be aware of the experience of death and decay. Somebody prove me wrong, please.

Several things contribute to this view. The 10 meditations on the corpse are included in the Buddhist doctrine to lead towards dispassion. Dispassion is encouraged to lead towards salvation - salvation from death and decay.

The Christian doctrine of raising the dead implies that the soul lies dormant, but not necessarily unconscious, in the corpse. Thus, the wisdom of the ages has long held to a belief that there is some remnant of our being left in the corpse after death.

And the annihilationist views noted in Digha Nikaya 1. Namely - that the self does not die when the body dies - suggest that post mortem survival is the norm.
4. Annihilationism (Ucchedavāda): Views 51–57

86. "To him another says: 'There is, good sir, such a self as you assert. That I do not deny. But it is not at that point that the self is completely annihilated. For there is, good sir, another self — divine, having material form, pertaining to the sense sphere, feeding on edible nutriment. That you neither know nor see, but I know it and see it. Since this self, good sir, is annihilated and destroyed with the breakup of the body and does not exist after death, at this point the self is completely annihilated.' In this way others proclaim the annihilation, destruction, and extermination of an existent being.
This self, among others, as it is described is a WRONG view. It claims that this self, among others, does NOT exist after death. And yet it is a wrong view. It implies the destruction and extermination of an existent being, but is, according to the passage, not a CORRECT view. So, the correct view here is that this self DOES exist after death and will continue to inhabit the body until such time as it is released.

Personally, I have a nagging suspicion post mortem survival might be this way, but short of constantly rolling over in my grave when I die, if somebody could please help me put this idea to rest, i would greatly appreciate it.

SarathW
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Re: Post Mortem Survival in the Corpse as a Corpse

Post by SarathW » Thu Jul 16, 2015 2:31 am

Do not worry over this too much.
There is no much difference in life and the rolling in your grave.
May be it is less troublesome than alive.
At least you have Samvega, so practice Dhamma diligently.
:console:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Post Mortem Survival in the Corpse as a Corpse

Post by DNS » Thu Jul 16, 2015 2:34 am

Pondera wrote: So, the correct view here is that this self DOES exist after death and will continue to inhabit the body until such time as it is released.
This is incorrect too. The classical orthodox view is that there was no being to be annihilated; so there is no self after death and there is no self before death. The usual question after that is what gets reborn then if there is no self. It is the kammic tendencies; I want to say kammic energies, but that might imply something permanent too. Chogyam Trungpa nicely put it when he said "it is the neuroses which get reborn."

I heard somewhere, not sure if it was a Theravada source that the energy leaves the body when the body becomes cold and is usually instantly reborn to a new body for its fuel.

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Re: Post Mortem Survival in the Corpse as a Corpse

Post by SarathW » Thu Jul 16, 2015 2:53 am

In the case of a monk who has died & passed away, his bodily fabrication has ceased & subsided, verbal fabrication has ceased & subsided, mental fabrication has ceased & subsided, his life force is totally ended, his heat is dissipated, and his faculties are shut down. But in the case of a monk who has attained the cessation of perception & feeling, his bodily fabrication has ceased & subsided, verbal fabrication has ceased & subsided, mental fabrication has ceased & subsided, his life force is not ended, his heat is not dissipated, and his faculties are bright & clear. This is the difference between a monk who has died & passed away and a monk who has attained the cessation of perception & feeling."[2]


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Pondera
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Re: Post Mortem Survival in the Corpse as a Corpse

Post by Pondera » Thu Jul 16, 2015 2:58 am

David N. Snyder wrote:
Pondera wrote: So, the correct view here is that this self DOES exist after death and will continue to inhabit the body until such time as it is released.
This is incorrect too. The classical orthodox view is that there was no being to be annihilated; so there is no self after death and there is no self before death. The usual question after that is what gets reborn then if there is no self. It is the kammic tendencies; I want to say kammic energies, but that might imply something permanent too. Chogyam Trungpa nicely put it when he said "it is the neuroses which get reborn."

I heard somewhere, not sure if it was a Theravada source that the energy leaves the body when the body becomes cold and is usually instantly reborn to a new body for its fuel.
Reassuring David. Thank you.

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samseva
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Re: Post Mortem Survival in the Corpse as a Corpse

Post by samseva » Thu Jul 16, 2015 5:33 am

Get cremated. Problem solved. :smile:

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Re: Post Mortem Survival in the Corpse as a Corpse

Post by SarathW » Thu Jul 16, 2015 6:20 am

I do not think that the problem solved as yet.
You may be reborn as a worm in another decaying corpus.
:tongue:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Bundokji
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Re: Post Mortem Survival in the Corpse as a Corpse

Post by Bundokji » Thu Jul 16, 2015 6:25 am

Sorry if my question sound intrusive, but are you discussing this out of intellectual curiosity, or does it worry you?
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

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Aloka
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Re: Post Mortem Survival in the Corpse as a Corpse

Post by Aloka » Thu Jul 16, 2015 7:37 am

SarathW wrote: You may be reborn as a worm in another decaying corpus.
That reminds me of an excellent talk from Ajahn Amaro that I went to at Amaravati Monastery:

"Will I be reborn as a worm ?"

http://www.amaravati.org/audio/will-i-b ... -as-a-worm


:anjali:

SarathW
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Re: Post Mortem Survival in the Corpse as a Corpse

Post by SarathW » Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:45 am

Thanks Aloka
It is a great Dhamma talk.
I am going to play it again in my next meditation program.
By the way, becoming a earth worm is not that bad after all!
:)
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Post Mortem Survival in the Corpse as a Corpse

Post by srivijaya » Thu Jul 16, 2015 11:04 am

Since this subject is in Open Dhamma, I may mention that the Tibetans have extensive teachings on this process. I have no materials to hand but I seem to recall that the consciousness resides for a short time in the corpse, which should not be disturbed until all winds dissolve into the very subtle life-bearing wind in the indestructible drop at the heart. Signs are then seen which indicate that the consciousness has departed.

I guess you can take from that what you will. In any case, even within these teachings the deceased does not remain indefinitely in the corpse. No zombie apocalypse here.

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Aloka
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Re: Post Mortem Survival in the Corpse as a Corpse

Post by Aloka » Thu Jul 16, 2015 11:34 am

srivijaya wrote:Since this subject is in Open Dhamma, I may mention that the Tibetans have extensive teachings on this process......
Tibetan Buddhists believe that a body should be left undisturbed for 3 days after clinical death, then cremated.

A number of years ago I spent a month in a Tibetan Buddhist retreat where I was taught all about the Bardo teachings and practices.(composed by Guru Rinpoche around 8th century and not by the earlier historical Buddha) They are about dying, death, and each of the 49 days believed to be a part of the Tibetan after death state... but I don't feel its appropriate to discuss what I actually practised or was taught at that time.

In any case, this is a Theravada website and some useful information about the Theravada approach to dying and the dead body can be found here:

http://www.insightmeditationcenter.org/ ... ndDead.pdf


:anjali:
Last edited by Aloka on Thu Jul 16, 2015 12:22 pm, edited 4 times in total.

chownah
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Re: Post Mortem Survival in the Corpse as a Corpse

Post by chownah » Thu Jul 16, 2015 12:06 pm


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Re: Post Mortem Survival in the Corpse as a Corpse

Post by acinteyyo » Thu Jul 16, 2015 2:14 pm

Pondera wrote:Personally, I have a nagging suspicion post mortem survival might be this way, but short of constantly rolling over in my grave when I die, if somebody could please help me put this idea to rest, i would greatly appreciate it.
SN22.7 - Grasping and Worry wrote:Here, monks, the uninstructed worldling, with no regard for Noble Ones, unskilled and untrained in the Dhamma of the Noble Ones,... of those who are worthy, regards the body as the self, the self as having body, body as being in the self, or the self as being in the body...
"Here, monks, the well-instructed Ariyan disciple, who has regard for the Noble Ones, is skilled and trained in the Dhamma of the Noble Ones,... of those who are worthy, does not regard body as the self, the self as having body, body as being in the self, or the self as being in the body
Now let me ask you this question:
Is it fit to regard the body as the self, the self as having body, body as being in the self, or the self as being in the body?
The thought "I am" arises by grasping to what is not-self. When the living body is not to be regarded as the self, the self as having body, body as being in the self, or the self as being in the body how much less should on regard the dead body as the self, the self having dead body, the dead body as being in the self or the self as being in the dead body?

best wishes, acinteyyo
Last edited by acinteyyo on Thu Jul 16, 2015 3:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

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Bundokji
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Re: Post Mortem Survival in the Corpse as a Corpse

Post by Bundokji » Thu Jul 16, 2015 3:01 pm

srivijaya wrote:Since this subject is in Open Dhamma, I may mention that the Tibetans have extensive teachings on this process. I have no materials to hand but I seem to recall that the consciousness resides for a short time in the corpse, which should not be disturbed until all winds dissolve into the very subtle life-bearing wind in the indestructible drop at the heart. Signs are then seen which indicate that the consciousness has departed..
Aloka wrote:Tibetan Buddhists believe that a body should be left undisturbed for 3 days after clinical death, then cremated.
Maybe you guys are referring to this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEX5mBqa554" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

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