shel wrote:Of course. I will assume that you believe Fromm and D. T. Suzuki converge sensibly without the notion of many lives (and beliefs of similar nature) also, without an explanation as to how they converge. Again Fromm was apparently a scientist and not more concerned with meaning/mysticism/religion in his work, so wherever they converged it would seemingly not have been through mysticism or faith based notions. You probably don't regard "many lives" as a faith based notion and if that's the case I'd be happy to hear you make sense of the idea in a way that converges with Fromm's work.
I don't think of Fromm as a scientist. He never published any scientific papers, although I suppose in his day, psychoanalysis was regarded as, or was trying to be regarded as, a scientific discipline. But as to his background:
Wikipedia wrote:Central to Fromm's world view was his interpretation of the Talmud, which he began studying as a young man under Rabbi J. Horowitz and later studied under Rabbi Salman Baruch Rabinkow while working towards his doctorate in sociology at the University of Heidelberg and under Nehemia Nobel and Ludwig Krause while studying in Frankfurt. Fromm's grandfather and two great grandfathers on his father's side were rabbis, and a great uncle on his mother's side was a noted Talmudic scholar. However, Fromm turned away from orthodox Judaism in 1926, towards secular interpretations of scriptural ideals.
The cornerstone of Fromm's humanistic philosophy is his interpretation of the biblical story of Adam and Eve's exile from the Garden of Eden. Drawing on his knowledge of the Talmud, Fromm pointed out that being able to distinguish between good and evil is generally considered to be a virtue, and that biblical scholars generally consider Adam and Eve to have sinned by disobeying God and eating from the Tree of Knowledge. However, departing from traditional religious orthodoxy, Fromm extolled the virtues of humans taking independent action and using reason to establish moral values rather than adhering to authoritarian moral values.
So, very much in the tradition of secular humanism, but based more in hermeneutics - the re-interpretation of traditional texts - than science per se
. His whole notion of 'freedom' was founded on a re-interpretation of the meaning of 'the fall' in relation to the human condition.
I would have to do some digging to find any references in Fromm to what he understood the notion of re-birth to mean. It would probably be there, somewhere, but unfortunately I don't have time to research it right at the moment.
//edit// Ain't google marvellous? Herewith an article on Erich Fromm's Views on Buddhist Philosophy
Huseng wrote:Nevertheless, such evidence does undermine the theories of countless thinkers who believe the brain produces consciousness and hence with the demise of the brain so too is the persona erased from existence forever. Naturally, that would not bode well for many careers and cherished beliefs, which is perhaps why this kind of research seldom gets the attention it should. A few on the fringes acknowledge it, but orthodox scientists, I reckon, are generally hesitant to even acknowledge the phenomena even if it does not mean accepting it.
I quite agree. I think Ian Stephenson was another man who was basically ignored, if not vilified, because of what he chose to research. He was a very sober, careful, methodical individual, but the whole subject is so taboo in Western science that he was ostracised by the scientific community.
By the way, there is another interesting connection between Stephenson and Buddhism. Stephenson's private chair at the University of Virginia was funded by Chester Carlson, who has made a fortune from devising the process of xerography. His wife, in particular, was very interested in Eastern philosophy, and so apart from funding Stevenson's chair, they also provided the initial funding which allowed Roshi Philip Kapleau to set up the Rochester Zen Centre, which remains an influential teaching centre to this day.
He that knows it, knows it not.