At 03:23 AM 01-06-05, Stephen Hodge wrote:
>that most people are pretty confused when
>they have died and can get even more confused and frightened when their
>bodies have been disposed of by burial or cremation. Autopsies are also
>very bad news. Actually, in that respect it is fortunate that most people
>get reborn quite soon after death, but some remain in the antaraabhava state
>for several weeks so it is best, but difficult these days, to keep a corpse
>"on hold" for a while or at least not harm or destroy it -- the antaraabhava
>being often tries for a while to re-enter the corpse through fear and
It is especially for that reason that I think we all try to understand about what can happen after death. Not understanding that, or (worse!) holding to an understanding that is different from what actually happens can make after-death a rather unnecessarily stressful experience.
Imagine a typical, traditional Theravadin who holds strongly to the orthodox Theravadin view that rebirth *must* be immediate. One fine day, he dies and finds himself looking at his body. It may occur to him, "Yikes, I'm dead! What shall I do? What shall I do? Okay, stay calm. Stay calm... and be mindful. Okay, let me see... I'm not in hell. Oh, good! I'm not an animal as well. Uhuh. I'm certainly can't be a human. So, I'm not a human being. Am I a deva? Can't be. Devas are suppose to be bright, right? Hmm... so I'm not a deva. Gosh! I'm a hungry ghost! Oh, no! I'm a hungry ghost! I'm a hungry ghost! Hey, wait a minute. I'm not hungry. When is a hungry ghost suppose to get hungry? Am I a hungry ghost? Gee, what am I?"
That poor fellow will have to wait to some past relative or friend or some kind "soul"s in that world, or someone here who can communicate with him, to educate him and orientate him into the new environment. If his kamma is too bad and nobody cares about him, then he can be rather confused., besides being disillusioned.
Now, imagine what he thinks of his Theravadin beliefs now. Throw away the whole fruit? I wouldn't be surprised if he does.
All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. --- Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)