Past lives

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Past lives

Post by GrahamR » Tue Feb 03, 2009 6:18 pm

Placid-pool wrote:There was a fad back in the 80s or 90s ... (there you go, memory of this life gone already) where people got hypnotised to remember their past lives .... I thought then and I still think it .. rubbish.
There was an intersting programme on UK TV over the Christmas period when this was demonstrated by Tony Robinson. (Baldric from Blackadder) It seemed very convincing, especially to him, but the soldier he appeared to be could not be found in any army record!
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With metta :bow:

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Re: Past lives

Post by clw_uk » Tue Feb 03, 2009 7:20 pm

There have been some interesting cases however, the work done by Professor Ian Stevenson, not saying its concrete evidence, far from it but was interesting work that he done on the subject.
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Re: Past lives

Post by Justin » Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:03 am

Dhammanando wrote:Hi Justin,
Justin wrote:I'm hoping someone can help me out, given that I still have much to learn. Does anyone know where in the Tipitaka the Buddha addresses the question of why humans can't remember their past lives,
He doesn't, but the Pali commentators blame it on the prolonged dullness of mind during gestation. Beings of immediate arising (opapatika) such as devas and pretas all have a native ability to recall their former life, whereas most humans and animals do not.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
Thank you, Venerable Sir! This certainly helps. :namaste:

Like several others on this thread, I'm ambivalent about the usefulness of speculating on one's past lives, and I recall a few sutta references to the effect that stream-enterers no longer ponder "Was I in the past? Was I not in the past? How was I?", et cetera. (Definitely a lesson I could profit from). I was curious about the mechanics of forgetting, though, since it's something I've wondered about from time to time, and I'm grateful for everyone's input!

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and a mind of boundless love.

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Re: Past lives

Post by jcsuperstar » Wed Feb 04, 2009 3:43 am

i was thinking about this today, and the wave of american buddhists my age and around my age. whose births coinsides with a wave of deaths of asian buddhists all killed by americans, and the idea that one's last thoughts or frame of mind condition the next birth. and though theres no way of knowing this, it's somewhat interesting to ponder...
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