7 thoughts on “Reincarnation Interpretation

  1. If I understand Advaita Vedanta properly, its basic doctrine is that Atman is Brahman. That is to say, the ultimate essence of individual consciousness is exactly identical to the ultimate essence of cosmic consciousness.

    Thus the ego reincarnates, but the ego is merely an outer garment worn by Atman.

    • “If I understand Advaita Vedanta properly, its basic doctrine is that Atman is Brahman. That is to say, the ultimate essence of individual consciousness is exactly identical to the ultimate essence of cosmic consciousness.
      Thus the ego reincarnates, but the ego is merely an outer garment worn by Atman.”

      Exactly. The doctrine of reincarnation is another way to say just what you’ve said above.

      What makes regression therapy work when it does? You go into a trance, vividly imagining being someone else, perhaps someone radically different from your current self, male instead of female for example. “If I am not this body, who am I?” At this point the therapeutic possibilities are abundant. One’s attentional gaze may turn towards Sat-Chit-Ananda (Being-Consciousness-Bliss), opening the door to liberation. Or one may imagine one’s ego-self anew again, perhaps now as the kind of person who is *not* terrified of spiders.
      PS I put my remarks about our truth and meaning conversation under “Relativism.”

  2. “What I take away from that is that we can try to do science on the external world, or we can try to do logic on the internal world of mind. External science always goes into cycles as Eddington describes; internal logic proceeds from axioms, but at least it can prove theorems.”

    Zhai,
    This reminds me of something Einstein said about certainty. We can have it, but at the cost of referring to the real world. Analytic statements are certain but tautological. Synthetic statements can tell us things about empirical reality, but remain uncertain.

    Of course we have to keep Professor Quine in mind here. He attacked the validity of the analytic/synthetic dichotomy on empirical grounds. There is no empirical criterion of synonymy. I still find the distinction meaningful. But it may not be part of the scientist’s toolkit in the future.

  3. The Skeptic versus the Relativist

    The skeptic makes a claim about what can be known. The relativist makes a claim about what there is. The skeptic would say that there may be universal or unconditional truths, but we cannot know them, an epistemological claim. The relativist says that there are no true statements, an ontological claim. Interestingly, the relativist says that *we can know* that there are no universal or unconditional truths. I wonder how he can know this?

    Zhai,
    “My cat just ate his dinner.” Would a non-naive relativist say that this is true only for me? I don’t think so. So, even for the relativist there are statements that are true for everyone, or for the universal audience. So what? Well. I don’t think that a non-naive relativist would deny that assertions can be true or false for the universal audience. But there are other kinds of utterances, for example performatives. Performatives like “I do.” are neither true nor false. There are some utterances that look like assertions but are perhaps something else “Tomatoes taste good.” Clearly such a remark is only relatively true.

  4. Zhai,

    Values diverge greatly. We are capable of cannibalism, human sacrifice, and of being horrified or sickened by these things. Here the relativist is on firmest ground. But does the historical divergence of values imply that there is no truth of the (axiological) matter? No. The case, arguing from history, is stronger for skepticism – the view that the truth about what system of values is correct is unknowable. I am quite ready to admit that I do not know which system of values is correct. So, in arguing against relativism I am not arguing for a particular system of values. My position on the truth about what matters is closest to skepticism. I don’t believe that I know that truth. Still, I have to live by *some* values. I’m sure enough about what I think is more or less important to live by that understanding. I’m sure enough to *argue for* a certain understanding of what matters. But I am not sure enough, to want to impose, to *force*, my values on others. Now there are exceptions. I am willing to see power used to enforce the view that murder is a crime, for example.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s