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Birthmarks and Reincarnation - Page 2 - Dhamma Wheel

Birthmarks and Reincarnation

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Aloka
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Re: Birthmarks and Reincarnation

Postby Aloka » Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:21 pm


Yana
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Re: Birthmarks and Reincarnation

Postby Yana » Sun Nov 18, 2012 4:33 pm

Life is preparing for Death

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daverupa
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Re: Birthmarks and Reincarnation

Postby daverupa » Sun Nov 18, 2012 5:49 pm


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gavesako
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Re: Birthmarks and Reincarnation

Postby gavesako » Mon Nov 19, 2012 7:06 pm

For a contemporary inspiration with birthmarks see:

Cloud Atlas - epic film about karmic relationships and reincarnation spanning many lives

See the trailer of this promising new film made by the same directors as The Matrix which already had some Buddhist themes in it:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1371111/

Cloud Atlas

'Souls cross ages like clouds cross skies ...'

An exploration of how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present and future, as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and an act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution.

It's a fantastic book. It tells six stories from six separate time-lines however, each story is mentioned in the story that follows it. Each story ends suddenly and then the author revisits each story to give us each it's closing.

http://cloudatlas.warnerbros.com

http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/filmblog ... -inception

http://www.youtube.com/user/cloudatlasmovie


Mitchell having expressed an interest in Buddhism, and having stated that the protagonists of Cloud Atlas were intended to be the same soul reincarnated,
as signified by 'the motif of the comet-shaped birthmark'.

Mitchell has said of the book: "All of the [leading] characters are reincarnations of the same soul ... identified by a birthmark. ... The "cloud" refers to the ever-changing manifestations of the "atlas", which is the fixed human nature. ... The book's theme is predacity ... individuals prey on individuals, groups on groups, nations on nations."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_Atlas_(novel)


On its simplest level, Cloud Atlas is a set of six sharply
contrasting stories, each one capable of standing alone
as a complete tale, but only revealing its full resonance
when viewed in the context of the total work. ...

Yet the concept of a
“cloud atlas” appears elsewhere—for example, as a
symbolic representation of the transmigration of souls
—or in a rare recording of Frobisher’s composition that
figures as a plot elements in a separate story. The
multivalent meaning of this one element is an example
of the many prefigurings and reverberations that give
depth and suchness to this ambitious novel.

As a result, the linkages between the six narratives are
difficult, perhaps impossible, to summarize. But let me
propose a (Philip K.) Dicksian way of approaching this
interconnectivity. Imagine that the defining stories of
our lives are not rooted in reality, as many critics
assume, but in other stories. ...

On top of this intriguing structure, Mitchell
superimposes echoes of Nietzsche’s theory of eternal
recurrence. You may recall that this odd and seemingly
implausible philosophical concept proposes a universe
that does not advance chronologically, but merely
repeats itself, over and over again. This cyclical concept
of history does not presuppose any theistic doctrines,
but can be made congruent with a belief in
reincarnation. Mitchell clearly draws on this
metaphysical angle, and sets in motion story elements
that imply that the characters in his six tales may be
reincarnations of each other.

Of course, none of this is presented in the blunt, point-
by-point way that I have just outlined it. Mitchell
works his changes subtly, and even at his most
philosophical, he “clouds” his points in a fog of
ambiguity. He is, after all, a storyteller and not a
theoretician, and the narrative is never dislodged by
the higher order meanings. They merely float above
the action.
http://www.conceptualfiction.com/cloud_atlas.html

What you can see when a reader is looking ahead like this is the appetite for a narrative structure: a plan. What the reader gets in Cloud Atlas are intimations of some large scheme of things. From comet-shaped birthmarks that distinguish characters in the different stories, to accidents of recurring names and dates, connections keep being sensed - even more on a second reading. But do the connections belong to the narrative structure? By his own account, Mitchell's method involved immersing himself in the different narratives one at a time, even keeping them in different "folders". He then dovetailed them together at a late stage in the novel's composition. He is not the only novelist to have worked like this. Most famously, Franz Kafka's The Trial is a novel put together, after the novelist's death, from chapters or episodes that were composed discretely and whose sequence is not self-evident.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2005/ap ... idmitchell



Drops in the ocean: Buddhist reflections on David Mitchell’s “Cloud Atlas”
Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell, is a ripping good read with plenty of action and suspense. It’s also a cautionary tale of karma-vipāka (how our actions set up complex results, short- and long-term) and how failing to choose is itself a choice just as much as a conscious decision is. ...
Though Cloud Atlas is not a Buddhist book, I found certain Dharmic themes reflected in the prose. The strongest of these is the Three Characteristics of Conditioned Existence (impermanence, non-substantiality and unsatisfactoriness), which seem woven throughout the narratives. Or maybe, like when I first fell in love with old Volvos, I just see them everywhere. In one brief scene, from a time maybe 200 years from now, a humanoid fabricant being, somni-451, is being shuttled from safe-house to safe-house, avoiding the corporate/government authorities. She is being hunted down as the (reluctant) figure-head in an emerging revolution of the have-nots against their ‘beloved masters’. She is taken to what had been, centuries before, a monastic complex with many temples and shrines somewhere in Korea, perhaps. Visible across the river gorge is a carved, serene, seated, cross-legged figure, the worse for wear and tear, in huge bas-relief. Somni-451 comes out just before dawn, and sees the elderly headwoman who is sitting, contemplating this figure. She is the abbess, who, as a young girl, had trained briefly as a nun and is the only survivor from the time of rehabilitation (or death) of those who practiced the old, now-banned, religions. She tells somni-451 about this Siddhartha and how he taught freedom from suffering. But she can’t really tell her the stories, because they have all been lost. Nonetheless, she abides, and helps those who come to this place seeking freedom.
http://www.wildmind.org/blogs/book-revi ... -the-ocean
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

- Theravada texts
- Translations and history of Pali texts
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Kusala
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Re: Birthmarks and Reincarnation

Postby Kusala » Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:50 am

http://haigobaigo.hubpages.com/hub/rein ... onevidence

* James LeiningerObsessed with airplanes from the age of 2, James fascinated his parents by recalling very specific information about aircraft, from the names of different war planes to the names of specific parts on the vehicles. He had frequent nightmares of crashing his plane into a mountain that would wake him up in panics. The Leiningers became very engaged when their son began to tell them about his life as James M. Huston Jr., a fighter pilot who was supposedly killed in air combat. His parents did some research only to find that Huston really did exist and that his plane was shot down at Iwo Jima during the Second World War. The child was taken to Anne Barron, sister of the killed pilot, who verified the boy’s details about her brother.
---------------------------
*Born in Delhi, India, Gopal, a three year old boy, spoke about living in a city called Mathura which was 160 miles from where he lived. Among other details, he claimed to have owned a medical company and to have been shot by his brother. It was researched and found that the name Gopal had provided as that of his company, Sukh Shancharak, was in fact the very name of the shot man he had been describing.

---------------------------
* In Beirut, a young boy described in detail his past life of being a mechanic killed by being thrown from his car. The specific facts he provided, including his age and family members’ and friends’ names, checked out to be true. He was even able to recall the exact location of the accident which took his life. There was no reason to suspect the two families had ever come into contact with one another.
Image

"He, the Blessed One, is indeed the Noble Lord, the Perfectly Enlightened One;
He is impeccable in conduct and understanding, the Serene One, the Knower of the Worlds;
He trains perfectly those who wish to be trained; he is Teacher of gods and men; he is Awake and Holy. "

--------------------------------------------
"The Dhamma is well-expounded by the Blessed One,
Apparent here and now, timeless, encouraging investigation,
Leading to liberation, to be experienced individually by the wise. "

barcsimalsi
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Re: Birthmarks and Reincarnation

Postby barcsimalsi » Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:48 pm


santa100
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Re: Birthmarks and Reincarnation

Postby santa100 » Wed Nov 21, 2012 5:27 pm

There's no way to verify those cases where folks reported experiences from non-human realms and so they probably got eliminated from the candidate list for investigation. It's kinda tough to verify someone's claim that s/he used to be a deva ruling from above... :tongue:

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Dmytro
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Re: Birthmarks and Reincarnation

Postby Dmytro » Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:35 pm



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Kusala
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Re: Birthmarks and Reincarnation

Postby Kusala » Thu Nov 22, 2012 11:35 am

Image

"He, the Blessed One, is indeed the Noble Lord, the Perfectly Enlightened One;
He is impeccable in conduct and understanding, the Serene One, the Knower of the Worlds;
He trains perfectly those who wish to be trained; he is Teacher of gods and men; he is Awake and Holy. "

--------------------------------------------
"The Dhamma is well-expounded by the Blessed One,
Apparent here and now, timeless, encouraging investigation,
Leading to liberation, to be experienced individually by the wise. "

C J
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Location: Sri Lanka

Re: Birthmarks and Reincarnation

Postby C J » Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:51 am


C J
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Location: Sri Lanka

Re: Birthmarks and Reincarnation

Postby C J » Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:37 am

Hi Yana,

Thank you for sharing your experience with us.

It's really amazing how this reincarnation works isn't it? You still get a pain from a previous life, wow.
Even I was amazed by Dr. Stevenson's research finding that you can get marks or anomalies from previous life's.

One can explain all these using karma. You had to face that tragic incidence as a karma vipaka. But until you suffer your bad karma fully, it follows you (like a wheel on a bullock cart follows the bull) to your next life too.

Even-though I was born as a Buddhist, I had my doubts on reincarnation and karma until I read about Dr. Stevenson's research. At last a medical doctor, a professor, someone practice modern science had found real life evidence, how could anyone deny that? I don't understand.

One day, hundred years or may be thousand years from now science will accept reincarnation as a fact. That day, people will laugh at those who didn't believe reincarnation at our time. Same as we laugh at people who didn't believe that Earth is a globe. They laughed at the idea and asked, if earth is a globe why not people at the bottom fall down :rofl:

Philosophy professor Dr. Robert Almeder of Georgia State University says "It's irrational to disbelieve it [Dr. Stevenson's research and reincarnation]".
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZhMDU9GcVg

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Mr Man
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Re: Birthmarks and Reincarnation

Postby Mr Man » Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:45 pm

Hi CJ
Have you read this interview with Ian Stevenson?


Omni: Your new book discusses some misconceptions about the idea of reincarnation. What is the most common?

Stevenson: The idea that reincarnation must include what Hindus call Karma, especially retributive Karma.

----

Omni: In your new book you speak reprovingly of people easily persuaded by your evidence. Is your position that reincarnation can never really be demonstrated?

Stevenson: I don’t think I rebuke anybody for being convinced by the evidence. All I say is that maybe they shouldn’t believe on the basis of what’s in that particular book, because the detailed case reports are in my other books. Essentially I say that the idea of reincarnation permits but doesn’t compel belief. All the cases I’ve investigated so far have shortcomings. Even taken together, they do not offer anything like proof. But as the body of evidence accumulates, it’s more likely that more and more people will see its relevance.

C J
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Location: Sri Lanka

Re: Birthmarks and Reincarnation

Postby C J » Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:14 pm



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