RE: Rebirth - Theravada & Tibetan beliefs
- Dear Friends,
Since the fire is lit and I still have yet to receive an answer, please
consider this argument:
>>Dear BhanteThis is truly the case... if there were not naama or ruupa, it would mean
>>Many thanks for the mail. However, I've ended up more confused. Eg,
>>what is it that got reborn during the intermediate state, and what
>>actually is this intermediate state - some suspended states with or
>>without nama/rupa? If it's 'those ghostly' apparition, then there's
>>rupa; and nama too, I would think.
>In Francis Story's book "Rebirth as Doctrine and Experience" (BPS, Kandy;1988), there is a chapter (XX) called "What Happens Between Incarnations?"
where several documented cases of children who could remember their
intermediate lives are presented. The author assisted Dr Ian Stevenson in
his fieldwork while interviewing those children. Towards the end of the
chapter, Story writes:
>those reported by individuals who claim to have had out-of-the-body
>"We also find a curious similarity between these prenatal experiences and
experiences (OOBE). Such OOBE's are called variously astral projections or
projections of the etheric body. In Buddhism the etheric body is called
*manomayakaya*, the mentally formed body. There is such a body, of a
different substance from the physical body and possibly existing on a
slightly different vibrational level...."
My question is, if the naama and ruupa of this "OOBE" (nice acronym...)
still exist and arise and cease, in what way is the being said to have died?
>FYI, psychic healers identify seven layers of the human body: physical,etheric, astral, emotional, mental, spiritual, and divine/buddhic. One
psychic healer told me that the physical body dies first, but it will take a
longer time for the the other layers to perish. All of these are probably
combinations of nama-rupa. I would think that the other layers comprise the
5 Aggregates of the intermediate being.
Why do we call it an intermediate being? This post seems to contradict
itself, saying first that the "other layers" of this existence have yet to
perish, and then talking about an intermediate being, as though one had
already died. If the being had truly left its last life behind, we would not
be told to be so careful with the "dead" body as we are in Pure Land and
Tibetan Buddhism... I think nothing is proven by Stephen's most surprisingly
lucid (and commendable) attainments - according to the Theravada, I would
say that those beings have not yet died. You see, it's semantics :)
I don't think there is anything contradictory between the Mahayana
antarabhava and the Theravada immediate rebirth... the latter seems only to
be concerned with the last moment before "conception" in the womb. The
Mahayana seems concerned more with the dying process...
I think at any rate, one should be careful to note that the aggregates arise
and cease at every moment, and that is the real death. If they arise with
defilements, that's seven new lives in hell. If they arise with
mindfulness, that's seven new lives in heaven :)
As a wise Disney toy once said:
To infinity... and beyond!