Evidence for Rebirth

This is amazing, you did so much for him in taking time to address all those points. Sadhu

Views might be right that does not mean, i believe, that one deals with them in a way that is wholesome for oneself and others. I think often not at all, because views are mostly food for our sectarian tendencies and hunger for grip on reality.

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There is, of course, some truth in that. However, to me, as a physicist, the key feature that makes something science, as opposed to other methods of organising and analysing knowledge (such as historical studies) is that science proposes quantitative models that can be tested against experiments and observations.

In the future, it may be possible to have scientific models that have something testable, or even interesting, to say about such things as the Buddhist concepts of consciousness, rebirth and awakening. However, that seem to me to be rather remote from any current efforts.

I quite liked Bhante @Sujato’s comments in various places that people trying to understand the mind (AKA psyschologists) may be going astray by trying to emulate physics. It’s unclear that physics is the right template, given that it (huge) success is mostly based on reductionist approaches.

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another one https://www.themindingcentre.org/dharmafarer/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/54.15-Patipujika-V-dh48-DhA4.4-piya.pdf

I missed this because of too focusing on the time difference between heaven and earth. The lady remembered her past life husband in heaven.

Even Stevenson’s research assistant was highly critical of his research and lay out many reasons why.

(This is fine for copyright. It’s for education purposes and a very small section of the book, (much less than 10%) : The Myth of an Afterlife, The Case Against Life After Death. eds. Michael Martin and Keith Augustine. New York: ROWMAN & LITTLEFIELD, 2015.)

What you’ve been presented with is not science. It isn’t even poor anthropology. If you are entering into this type of quackery, you should know what you are getting into.

It is nothing to me. Artists have long been influence by spiritualism, including Indian spiritualism, so going all the way back to groups like the Nabi was part of my research. As well, Deleuze was heavily influence by the hermetic sciences, sought to advance Bergson over Einstein and is probably single-handedly responsible for the resurgence of interest in him.

Bergson was a member of the Society for Psychic Research. If I recall, he was involved in investigating Theosophy for fraud. And the SPR discovered a lot of fraud.

It is well known among educators (both my parents were, and one was responsible for the entire provincial k-12 system) that youth/young adults develop spiritual questions and tend to get caught up in these kinds of things. This is why universities take care to provide student services in the form of responsible religious institutions on site. They’re very aware of vulnerabilities and how easily they can be exploited by unsavoury people. Most everyone has some type of beliefs or fears of the supernatural, and with some sound protections provided to them, and maturity, they usually grow out of them.

My problem with this all is that someone with an undergrad in Physics is in no position to offer any kind of assessment on this research, little own hold out that he is offering an expert one.


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I see it as the dominant secular/atheist/materialism/physicalism worldview which has a tight grip on academia just prefers to ignore evidences in favour of the orthodoxy of scientism.

As a person with physics degree, I know how they think and philosophize, and I can also see that science is not inherently linked to physicalism, even if a lot of scientists does believe it personally.

I believe that a sincere investigation and reading of the various well documented cases can change people’s mind, provided that they are open minded enough. Unfortunately, people there would say: “be open minded, but not until your brains fall out.” That’s just another way to say don’t be open minded.

Carl Sagan who debunked many pseudoscience also said that the cases of children remembering past lives are worth investigating into. I read a lot of them and I don’t see any contradiction with science, only with materalism which inherently cannot allow for rebirth in its worldview. It’s also good enough to be called truth in a just court of law.

Ps. the critique is well done, but doesn’t debunk rebirth evidences. It just ask for good quality research guidelines. It doesn’t explain away the cases of xenoglossia (knowing languages that they never learnt or exposed to in this life), and birth mark correspondence with dead corpses fatal wounds.

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Much like our post-Copernican view of the solar system and germ theory. Let’s throw those out too. Oh! Germ theory. We did.

This is mixing up science with the philosophy. Throwing out materalism/physicalism does not invalidate scientific findings.

The philosophy cannot be proven by evidences, science is a method to test hypothesis via evidences.

Rebirth or life after death . In monotheism faith and polytheism belief that there are life reappearing either in heavens and hells is itself the same as something called rebirth .

Now that is just about the strangest thing I have ever heard. I tell you what, my sister is an associate professor of medicine. Let me run this statement of yours by her and see what she has to say about it.

Pretty sure that in dealing with bodies and people, she depends upon materialism/physicalism in order to “validate” her diagnoses and prognoses, (I would hope so, good lord), but maybe after all these years of practice, research and teaching there’s something she missed. She does swear by continuity of care because she feels medicine is an art and thus demands intuitive practices - if only in the form of empathy - but I’ll ask her, nevertheless.

Here’s a little something for ya Khaṇasutta SN 35.135

“You’re fortunate, mendicants, so very fortunate, “Lābhā vo, bhikkhave, suladdhaṁ vo, bhikkhave, to have the opportunity to lead the spiritual life. khaṇo vo paṭiladdho brahmacariyavāsāya.

I’ve seen the hell called ‘the six fields of contact’. Diṭṭhā mayā, bhikkhave, chaphassāyatanikā nāma nirayā.

There, whatever sight you see with your eye is unlikable, not likable; undesirable, not desirable; unpleasant, not pleasant. Tattha yaṁ kiñci cakkhunā rūpaṁ passati aniṭṭharūpaṁyeva passati, no iṭṭharūpaṁ; akantarūpaṁyeva passati, no kantarūpaṁ; amanāparūpaṁyeva passati, no manāparūpaṁ.

Whatever sound you hear … Yaṁ kiñci sotena saddaṁ suṇāti …pe…

Whatever odor you smell … yaṁ kiñci ghānena gandhaṁ ghāyati …pe…

Whatever flavor you taste … yaṁ kiñci jivhāya rasaṁ sāyati …pe…

Whatever touch you feel … yaṁ kiñci kāyena phoṭṭhabbaṁ phusati …pe…

Whatever idea you know with your mind is unlikable, not likable; undesirable, not desirable; unpleasant, not pleasant. yaṁ kiñci manasā dhammaṁ vijānāti aniṭṭharūpaṁyeva vijānāti, no iṭṭharūpaṁ; akantarūpaṁyeva vijānāti, no kantarūpaṁ; amanāparūpaṁyeva vijānāti, no manāparūpaṁ.

You’re fortunate, mendicants, so very fortunate, Lābhā vo, bhikkhave, suladdhaṁ vo, bhikkhave, to have the opportunity to lead the spiritual life. khaṇo vo paṭiladdho brahmacariyavāsāya.

I’ve seen the heaven called ‘the six fields of contact’. Diṭṭhā mayā, bhikkhave, chaphassāyatanikā nāma saggā.

There, whatever sight you see with your eye is likable, not unlikable; desirable, not undesirable; pleasant, not unpleasant. Tattha yaṁ kiñci cakkhunā rūpaṁ passati iṭṭharūpaṁyeva passati, no aniṭṭharūpaṁ; kantarūpaṁyeva passati, no akantarūpaṁ; manāparūpaṁyeva passati, no amanāparūpaṁ …pe…

Whatever sound … odor … flavor … touch … yaṁ kiñci jivhāya rasaṁ sāyati …pe…

Whatever idea you know with your mind is likable, not unlikable; desirable, not undesirable; pleasant, not unpleasant. yaṁ kiñci manasā dhammaṁ vijānāti iṭṭharūpaṁyeva vijānāti, no aniṭṭharūpaṁ; kantarūpaṁyeva vijānāti, no akantarūpaṁ; manāparūpaṁyeva vijānāti, no amanāparūpaṁ.

You’re fortunate, mendicants, so very fortunate, Lābhā vo, bhikkhave, suladdhaṁ vo, bhikkhave, to have the opportunity to lead the spiritual life.” khaṇo vo paṭiladdho brahmacariyavāsāyā”ti


Let me elaborate.

Science when investigating the causal relationships of physical phenomena would certainly be totally compatible and fits nicely with physicalism philosophy. And due to many scientific fields limiting their field of study to the causal relationships between physical phenomenon, it’s natural to use the thinking of physicalism to do science.

However, the philosophy of physicalism is that there’s only physical things, mind is a software to the hardware of the brain, and not fundamentally having it’s own laws other than the physical and emergent properties. The complexity of mind matter interaction that produces rebirth in dependent origination 3 lifetimes model is unable to be covered by physicalism philosophy for it implies that the software, the mind can survive somehow the hardware being destroyed (brain dead) without an explicitly physical connection to the next brain/body to have the continuity of software.

Scientism limits the world to physicalism alone and would view things from the lens of physicalism, if anything cannot fit in, it is rejected. Rebirth is rejected apriori from the range of possible things that nature can do because the fundamental philosophical choice of naturalism, that is to assume nature obeys physicalism philosophy.

It’s only natural when investigating the causal relationship between physical phenomenon to find that scientific findings support physicalism, but that’s different from claiming that nature can only behave according to physicalism. Science cannot prove physicalism philosophy to be true, no matter whatever discovery they make within the causal relationships of physical realm. Thus this makes it that physicalism is a philosophical choice, not a fundamental part of science. More like a paradigm. Physicalism can be falsified by just one rebirth evidence. Of course in practise, it takes a lot to overthrow a paradigm.

The mind with Jhāna, supernormal abilities can discern a lot of things including past lives, divine eye can see gods, Brahmas, mind can read minds, etc. Basically unless science adopts these supernormal sensory powers as tools of investigation, it is not able to investigate the range of phenomena that is included in Buddhism, including kamma, rebirth etc.

I also like to use the analogy of the Catholic church towards Galelio. Instead of updating current views based on evidences (the scientific method), they choose to double down on earth centred cosmos, due to theological philosophy. Viewing the world via the lens of philosophy instead of data. Now it’s physicalism suppressing rebirth evidences.

It’s one rebirth model, a little bit similar, we would say that their model is flawed for they don’t see it long enough to discern that heaven and hell too are impermanent and there’s further rebirth down the line until one attains to arahanthood.

How could you possibly falsify physicalism through any rebirth evidence, especially your rebirth evidence: REINCARNATION. A person has a stigma that is allegedly physical evidence for some memory claim, and you actually suggest this kind of thing falsifies physicalism. Wow.

Would you say actual heavens and hells are both outside the six sense fields of contact ? Surely it is not limited to your particular six sense fields or just few people six sense fields ?

Honestly, I detect a lot of antagonism in you past comments. Maybe you could tone it down a notch so that the discussion proceeds smoothly. Thank you.

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Physicalism claims rebirth is impossible, show rebirth happens, physicalism is wrong.

Rebirth and reincarnation looks the same from the external point of view.

It’s philosophy that differentiates them. Reincarnation assumes a soul, rebirth is based on no soil/no self and the complicated dependent origination to describe the whole process.

From the kids who remembered past lives it is clear that they regard their past lives as themselves as well. Consistent with the perspective of unenlightened people.

The six sense field of contact is the all, and it includes heaven and hell. We don’t see a random planet across the universe somewhere out there because we are not in the condition to see it. For those who have divine eye, they can see heaven and hell, for those reborn into it, they can certainly sense those realms as well.

Thats what i am getting at . :v:

Are you asking me to hypothesize that there are actual heavens and hells? Like, is there really a blood pool hell? And is that knowable to some, all or none?

Except you are using stigma, or allegedly having the ability to speak the language of a past person they claim they were, as physical evidence that their claim is true, i.e. they were a specific individual in a past life and carry identifying marks in this one. Without this purported evidence, you have no demonstrable claim of rebirth.