Thursday, May 12, 2011

Where is the proof?

Question (Unedited):

If this statement is true,

no one can concretely prove what happens to our consciousness after death.  Why it is Buddhists believe everything in the religion is logical?  I can agree with Buddhism until there is talk about the next life, there is no proof.  Both the eastern and western religions look to what will happen after death.  No human knows, and no animal has told us.  I question why is reincarnation, with rippling effects from previous lives, more logical than heaven/hell after death.  Scientists have not proven that evolution of complex animals is a fact.  Many things written by Buddhists, I have read, uses evolution as the proof of reincarnation.  Scientists have proven adaptation is a fact, to date I have not read about and multi-cellular creatures changing species; if proof exists please guide me there also.

My comment:

First, we must remember that the Buddha's message was about overcoming the unpleasantness of existence.  His message was that if we care to reduce our greed and hatred, we will find that life will be more pleasant.  Whether you agree or not with rebirth, reincarnation, or life after death is up to you.  Buddhists never waste time in trying to prove things.  They explain the Buddhist concepts and it is up to the listener to analyze and form his conclusion.  

The Buddha warned that there were many concepts that ordinary mortals like us would never fully understand. We are hopelessly limited by our 5 senses. These 5 sense faculties have their limitations. Our ears can only hear sounds within certain decibels. Our eyes can only see things within certain range. So are our sense of smell, our sense of taste, and our reflex system. Our ability to perceive the world is actually hopelessly very limited. Even our thinking is very flawed. We have been indoctrinated to think in a certain manner. We can't think outside the box because we restrict ourselves with our assumptions that such and such a thing must be like this or like that. There is this flaw in humans believing that one can reason with everything through logic.  One has to understand that the physical faculties have serious limitations. That's why it takes geniuses like Einstein and other brilliant scientists to discover and interpret concepts in a very different perspective. It took the Buddha eons to fully cultivate his mind to SEE through the nature of this world and this life. The Buddha had acquired an extraordinary power not available through the five physical senses.  It is the power of the mind, which an average Westerner is so grossly ignorant of.  This supreme power of the mind is what set the Buddha aloft from the others.  The power of the mind is the epitome of human achievement. We should be grateful merely to know about the truths that the Buddha expounded, although we don't possess the wisdom and mind power to fully comprehend the nature of the universe and life.

The Buddha advised us to concentrate on conducting our lives wisely so that we would not suffer unnecessarily.

I would like to share with you this story.  Once there was this student sitting for his Philosophy exam.  There was only one question to answer in this 3-hr exam.  The question topic was "Why?".  This student just stared at the paper, while the rest of the students were frantically putting their thoughts in writing. As usual, the invigilator announced the final 1 minute left before time out.  This student was still deep in thought with a blank sheet in front of him!  Then he calmly took up his pen and wrote:  "Why not?"!

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