Scientific Evidence of Higher Realms?

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joy&peace
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Re: Scientific Evidence of Higher Realms?

Post by joy&peace »

Here is a thought I had: the four brahma viharas, which are kindness, sympathetic joy, tranquility, and compassion have been studied for years, scientifically they have certainly been proven for benefit, for instance:

Seratonin and a corresponding increase to the immune system are found whenever a kindness is acted, observed or received -- even observing a kind or loving gesture benefits us.

Meditation is similarly understood to be very beneficial.

Besides science's views, I would simply say mental clarity and focus, and total health are all greatly benefitted by meditation.

And science would definitely agree with that, I would say.

The point of departure would be the view; Buddhist or scientific, but we many have said, they are both looking for the same thing, "truth."

If the brahma viharas are understood to be higher realms, - they are sometimes translated as the 'divine abodes', or 'the abodes of brahma,'

In either case, if you consider these to be higher realms, they would qualify.

This also fits with the point that Buddha-nature is our nature, it's within, we are it.

And connected with this the fact that meditation is practiced directed inwards, and the teaching that all of this is pure land;..

I.e., there is a direct closeness and similarness between enlightenment, and 'higher' realms.

The existence of the pure land exists upon the consciousness of the perceiver. Buddha perceived the pure land existing all around, everywhere, and exhorts us to try and see the same.

As kindness and tranquility are observable qualities, and related (and indeed called higher realms, or at least not a straight translation but not far off.)

Certainly a way to study them and measure them (and they have been all good, found to be),

Even if the highest experience, annutara-samyak-sambodhi, is beyond.

Kenneth K. Innada (Buddhist Ontology) is good.

So to sum, almost a yes. Rather, partially.

Peace
Om Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate bodhi svaha
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Scientific Evidence of Higher Realms?

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

tkp67 wrote: Sun Sep 01, 2019 2:31 am One of the challenges is overcoming the latent desire to actualize reality through direct physical presence of material form.

Take fear for example. It has no physical tangibility yet it is part of our being. Yet even without a direct physical form it works through our senses and evokes reaction. We don't deny fear as a fabric of our reality.
What mind ("we") experience as fear, as the physiological experience of fear,
sweating, goose bumps & hair standing on end, increased heart beat, etc.
this is the result of the brain telling the endocrine system to shoot molecules into the blood stream,
and what's really interesting about this is that the molecular structure of fear, if you want to call it that,
is only slightly different from the molecular structure of what we experience as anger.

It's as though the brain has a hypodermic needle.
If we consider that the various conflicting and negative emotions we regard abstractly as concepts
likewise have their "reality" at the molecular level
then, depending on how we understand the realms, It can certainly be suggested that in some ways
science does provide physical evidence of the various realms.
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tkp67
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Re: Scientific Evidence of Higher Realms?

Post by tkp67 »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Sun Sep 01, 2019 5:16 pm
tkp67 wrote: Sun Sep 01, 2019 2:31 am One of the challenges is overcoming the latent desire to actualize reality through direct physical presence of material form.

Take fear for example. It has no physical tangibility yet it is part of our being. Yet even without a direct physical form it works through our senses and evokes reaction. We don't deny fear as a fabric of our reality.
What mind ("we") experience as fear, as the physiological experience of fear,
sweating, goose bumps & hair standing on end, increased heart beat, etc.
this is the result of the brain telling the endocrine system to shoot molecules into the blood stream,
and what's really interesting about this is that the molecular structure of fear, if you want to call it that,
is only slightly different from the molecular structure of what we experience as anger.

It's as though the brain has a hypodermic needle.
If we consider that the various conflicting and negative emotions we regard abstractly as concepts
likewise have their "reality" at the molecular level
then, depending on how we understand the realms, It can certainly be suggested that in some ways
science does provide physical evidence of the various realms.

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Agreed although I think it is more valuable as a means of confirmation once the realms are realized as the scientific proofs are correlative. It is hard to present science that proves a dynamic akin to the one being presented. It is a hurdle for some.

From what I understand from my own experience, contemplation/meditation of the higher realms will help manifest the Buddha wisdom to see them, as much of the evidence needed is already there it just needs to be realized.

Doubt stemming from self is the biggest obstacle.

While I understand that all traditions don't identify the higher realms the same at the top resides sentient beings that have achieved liberation. It is above all the other realms. The profound realization to be had in this (for me) is that all other realizations are in deference to this one. The realms are manifested in all sentient beings according to their individual realizations. Sentience undeniably has the potential to realize all realms in this regard regardless of doubt.

This means if one has conviction in a liberated being named buddha or even the concept thereof the realms are ready to be realized because you have already formed a relationship to the highest one.
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Scientific Evidence of Higher Realms?

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

tkp67 wrote: Sun Sep 01, 2019 7:14 pm

While I understand that all traditions don't identify the higher realms the same at the top resides sentient beings that have achieved liberation. It is above all the other realms. The profound realization to be had in this (for me) is that all other realizations are in deference to this one. The realms are manifested in all sentient beings according to their individual realizations. Sentience undeniably has the potential to realize all realms in this regard regardless of doubt.

This means if one has conviction in a liberated being named buddha or even the concept thereof the realms are ready to be realized because you have already formed a relationship to the highest one.
I'm not sure if I understand you correctly.
The six realms of samsara are just that: realms of samsara.
The highest of the six realm, the Deva (god) realm is still a temporary state of being.
as soon as the causes (karma) delivering one into that state are exhausted, one is no longer in that state of existence.

The fully liberated state (Buddha) is beyond (thus liberated) from the six realms, rather than being one of the six realms.

Your last sentence, as I understand it, doesn't make sense.
By "realized" do you mean taking rebirth within?

Even if one practices the types of activity which would create the causes to take rebirth in a particular realm,
it won't necessarily be the next rebirth.
You can think of it like making soup:
If you have already added a lot of onion to the soup,
but have just finished adding peppers,
the soup will still taste like onions for a while before the flavor of peppers appears,
because the "karma" of the onions (flavor) is still being generated.
Likewise, if you have a lot of karma from previous actions (or previous lifetimes) which would cause rebirth as a hungry ghost,
even if you spent this entire lifetime in activities that would cause one to take rebirth in the highest realm,
if there is more "force" (weight, karma,etc.) from that previous activity, you would be reborn as a hungry ghost first.

Generally speaking, it is best to avoid actions of body, speech, and mind that create the conditions (karma) for rebirth in any of the six realms.
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EMPTIFUL.
An inward outlook develops outward insight.
tkp67
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Re: Scientific Evidence of Higher Realms?

Post by tkp67 »

Let me preface I was purposely avoiding specifics of the realms because it differs according to tradition because I don't want to evoke tangential conversation. Scientific evidence of realms is asking for direct measurable observation. That isn't available.

The lower realms such as the realm of hunger is easy to comprehend because hunger is not unknown to most or the effects of unquenchable desire. The realms such as god realm are harder to evidence since many haven't necessarily experienced them at the point they learn/encounter the teaching.

One aspect of the realms in all traditions that is understandable without discrimination (as I understand it) is the highest realization in regards to the realms is enlightenment which is in the mind of an enlightened being.

If one can accept enlightenment occurs in human form they are accepting those realms by proxy because they are understood in the mind of the enlightened being regardless (relativity notwithstanding) of how that being/realms are defined according to the particular tradition being utilized.

While I can't offer direct scientific evidence I can relate that the evidence will be realized as part of the process and that belief that the process exists and that one has the capacity is in essence all the evidence required.
steveb1
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Re: Scientific Evidence of Higher Realms?

Post by steveb1 »

Bodhisattva509 wrote: Fri Aug 30, 2019 10:39 pm Is there scientific evidence of higher realms, above our plane of physical existence? For example, while there doesn't seem to be half-humanoid, half-reptilian creatures on this planet, is it scientifically possible that there's a naga realm?
Science only deals with material objects and processes.

Traditionally, "higher realms" are conceived to be non-material and/or "spiritual".

Therefore, science has no tools by which to accrue "spiritual" evidence. The most it can do is to conclude about a certain object or process that "at this time, science has no explanation for 'X' ". It cannot demonstrate a non-material category per se.

This is why the demand, "Show me your God!" or "Show us your Buddha Nature!" is inept from the get-go, because it demands public, external, objective, scientific quantification of a wholly non-material and subjective set of personal experiences.

The central problem of scientific acquisition of non-material evidence lies in a methodological impossibility that attempts to certify qualitative categories by quantitative means.
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