by Dansk 53 Replies latest jw friends

  • Dansk

    Rebirth, as opposed to reincarnation, is a fascinating topic and the following two stories have been taken from The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche (available from Amazon books). The second story, that of a child, came to the attention of the Dalai Lama and he sent a special representative to interview her and verify the story.

    There have been many other rebirth stories published and the subject holds a special fascination for me. I believe in rebirth!

    Recently, on BBC Television, the playwright Jonathan Millar, had a three-part documentary series run about atheism. I only saw part three and found it very interesting. My ears especially pricked up right at the end of the programme after Millar, himself a confirmed atheist, said the one thing he couldn’t understand was where consciousness goes!

    Sogyal Rinpoche asks a similar question in his book (page 89): “Where does consciousness come from? It cannot arise out of nowhere. A moment of consciousness cannot be produced without the moment of consciousness that immediately preceded it.”

    The Dalai Lama said: “The basis on which Buddhists accept the concept of rebirth is principally the continuity of consciousness……” ibid.

    Here are the two stories I mentioned earlier:

    1) There have been documented cases of 'Reincarnation' or rebirth, some of which are very hard to dismiss. One that springs straight to mind is Arthur Flowerdew, an elderly man from

    2) Kamaljit Kour was the young daughter of a schoolteacher in a Sikh family in the Punjab in . One day, on a visit to a fair in a local village with her father, she suddenly asked him to take her to another village some distance away. “I have nothing here,” she told him. “This is not my home. Please take me to that village. One of my school-friends and I were riding our bicycles when we were hit by a bus. My friend was killed instantly and I was injured in the head, ear and nose. I was beyond cure so my relatives asked to take me home.” Her father was shocked, but when she insisted, he finally agreed to take her to the village.

    Kamaljit Kour recognised the village as they approached it, pointing to where she had been hit by the bus. The little girl and her bewildered father then made their way to the house she said belonged to her former family. Neighbours confirmed to her father that the girl’s story was true. The dead girl of the village was called Rishma and had been 16 years of age when she was killed. Kamaljit went straight up to Rishma’s house, recognised Rishma’s grandfather and her uncles and named them without mistake. She pointed out “her” own room, asked for her school books, ribbons and her new maroon suit – which were all confirmed! She was then led away to her uncle’s house, where she identified more items. The next day she met all of her former relatives and when it was time to catch the bus home she refused to go, announcing to her father that she was going to stay. Eventually, however, he persuaded her to leave with him.

    Kamaljit Kour was born ten months after Rishma died. Before she even started school she could remember the names of all her school friends in Rishma’s school photograph. Kamaljit Kour had also always asked for maroon-coloured clothes. Her parents discovered that Rishma had been given a new maroon suit of which she was very proud, but she had never had time to wear it. The last thing Kamaljit Kour remembers of her former life was the lights of the car going out on the way home from the hospital; that must have been when she died.

    Rishma’s own family did not know whether or not Sikhs accepted reincarnation but they were convinced beyond any doubts that Kamaljit Kour was in fact their Rishma.

    There is a subtle difference between rebirth and reincarnation, but I have left the words exactly as they were written in Sogyal Rinpoche’s book as for ease there is some interplay allowed. In reincarnation it would appear something is exactly reborn - say, for example, a soul - as it was in a previous life but in another form, whereas in rebirth what is passed over is consciousness, which is not exactly the same nor entirely different from its previous form. E.g. take the flame of a candle. It is not the same flame that started down the wick but it is not entirely different, either. Bits have been burnt off on the flame’s descent down the wick.

    I’d appreciate your thoughts.


  • funkyderek
    Sogyal Rinpoche asks a similar question in his book (page 89): “Where does consciousness come from? It cannot arise out of nowhere. A moment of consciousness cannot be produced without the moment of consciousness that immediately preceded it.”

    On what is this based? What about when somebody is unconscious and then regains consciousness. What happened to the consciousness while the person was unconscious?

  • Dansk
    On what is this based? What about when somebody is unconscious and then regains consciousness. What happened to the consciousness while the person was unconscious?

    Seems like a good question! I'm not an expert and don't profess to have the answers. However, the fact that one, usually, wakes up from unconsciousness means one's consciousness is reactivated. Couldn't this be just the consciousness flowing again after its temporary blip? In meditation the mind can be stilled for a good length of time, but consciousness eventually comes into play again and meditation is affected or ended, depending on the skill of the meditator.

    I'm still particularly fascinated by the two stories cited, the little girl's, especially, is not unique. How could she possibly name all those relatives correctly?


  • ICBehindtheCurtain

    Ian , I hope you are doing well, thank you for sharing that. I too believe in rebirth, I had not specified that before, calling it reincarnation, but in fact it is rebirth I believe in. I have been reading stories like this, and have come to the conclusion that there is something to this, it would be impossible for these children to have all these memories any other way. There is so much that we can now find out about, now that religion no longer blinds us.

    Take care Ian,


  • metatron

    I am leaning towards believing in reincarnation or rebirth for various reasons. Such as:

    Instinctive knowledge in animals - It makes no sense to me to think that specific complex behaviors are actually programmed into the

    genome. Rupert Sheldrake discusses this in his books, such as A New Science of Life. Many animals gain these abilities apart from their

    parents training , as shown when they are raised separately. About a hundred years ago, Vivekananda wrote a book called Vedanta -

    Voice of Freedom, in which he criticized the scientific ideas about heredity, wanting to know where these behaviors as well as the

    forms of complex animals were actually kept. His questions seem all the more relevant today, now that Celera has declared that

    the human genome "is not a blueprint" - words that resonated in my ears. Maybe Plato was right all along and we're just watching

    the "shadows in the cave".....

    If you ask some mothers, much of the personality of children seems already set at infancy - stubborness, shyness, curiosity and so on.

    I also think that reincarnation would explain homosexuality, if a soul/spirit/thetan can return as the other gender.

    I will be interested to see if future stem cell treatments could restore the memories and abilities of Alzheimers patients. If memory

    seems to be "holographic", across the brain, then the functions and memories could still be there, just lost at the moment.

    The "whole" would be retained.

    I also strongly recommend all the books written by ex-CIA psychic spies beginning with The Infinite Mind by Russell Targ.

    The phenomena demonstrated by remote viewers suggests that, consistent with some physicists theories, consciousness

    might be unitary, that is, there is only one universal consciousness accessed by all minds! Scientists who lean towards

    Buddhism seem comfortable with this view - and it would explain a lot of paradoxes.

    I also recommend the Seth Speaks books written by (channeler) Jane Roberts. Whether you agree with everything "Seth"

    said or not, they nevertheless present a unique and self consistent way of looking at the world and the consciousness within it.

    Good Luck,


  • ICBehindtheCurtain

    Very interesting Metatron, thank you for the info.


  • Siddhashunyata

    Joseph Wood Krutch "The Measure of Man" paper back edition 1962 Charter Books...Chapter 6 "The Stubborn Fact of Consciousness". He takes on the Behaviorists and the Materialists and provides satsfying reasoning that Consciousness cannot be an "epiphenomenon" ( the result of organized matter). This is not a large book (250 pages) but it is potent for directing thought ( pointing) in the right direction.

    Best to You

  • BrendaCloutier

    I've done some reading on rebirth/reincarnation, but not very much.

    I KNOW I have lived at least 3 other lives:

    The first encounter with a past life was meeting a person I had never met before - a freind of a friend. When we met, we reached out and instead of shaking hands, we grasped each others right forearm and clasped each others left shoulder. The moment I touched him, we were on a rocky beach somewhere in the Adriadic or nearby seas, and we had been Greek soldiers and good friends. Steve - this new friend - and I broke from our embrase and stared at eachother like "WTF!" I asked if he saw what I did. He confirmed it.

    Another life had to be drawn out because it was tied with this life and my 3rd husband. I had sought energy and massage healing and during I was drawn to Shilshole Bay in Seattle (I lived in Seattle for 10 years). After my massage I went to the bay, waded in still fully dressed in jeans and started pouring water over my head - bathing. I turned and walked out of the water, and lo and behold, the bay was as it was 400 years ago! No rail tracks, no roads, no quay. I was looking on the beach and I found it! My lost stone knife. It was my favorite because it was just right to slit the fish from vent to throat and around the gullet and gut. I had been sitting on the beach with my village that made the trek to the bay from our inland home every summer. I was gutting and preping salmon that was being smoked, when another boat full came ashore. I jumped up to run and help unload, knocked the cedar-board table, and lost my knife! There is far more to this memory than I'm telling here, including seeing some of the streets in the region as original indian trails. I did some research and found that to be true.

    I have some claustrophobia... distant memories of being in a cave when it collapsed.

    There are other fleeting glimpses I've had, but not enough to tie to a life or event.

    BECAUSE of my experiences, I'm a firm believer in rebirth. Reincarnation? I dunno about moving through the animal kingdom. I do know I've moved through the human kingdom.

  • BrendaCloutier

    Proof? I can't prove a thing. I also cannot prove nor disprove that the bible is directly god's word just because it says so. For me I dont' need proof. I know. And I'm willing to change what I know when I experience it.

  • Frannie Banannie
    Frannie Banannie

    Dansk, I had an experience as a small child that proves to me that there is such a thing as rebirth.

    When I was approx. 4 or 5 yrs old, my Mother moved us from Houston to Dallas. I was asleep when we arrived at night to live in a small apartment in a rooming house. When I awakened the next morning, I told my mother about a dream I had during the night about a young woman that was me. As a young woman (I even described the clothing I was wearing in the dream and it was from an earlier decade) I had lived right where we were staying and I dreamed that I was going into an office building in downtown Dallas. My mother dismissed it as just a dream, though I also pointed out where every room in the apartment and every accommodation in the apartment was even though I'd been asleep since we'd arrived there and I'd never seen it before. I've always known that there is another chance at life, though I've pushed the idea away at times.

    If a person prefers to examine this phenomenon from a spiritual standpoint it appears that even bible writers were aware also of this continuance, because Jesus and the apostles are reputed to have mentioned "many mansions" or "houses" (abodes/dwelling places)which seems to indicate bodies in the context in which it's written. Jesus is also reputed to have spoken of a "re-generation." And in the OT it mentions that when one dies "the spirit returns to the true god who sent it".....or something like that, which leads me to think that if a god sent a spirit to life in a body (dwelling place/abode) originally of clay, then that same god can also opt to return that spirit to yet another body on earth.


Share this