Tibetan Buddhism - Dr Alexander Berzin

Some partial backups of posts from the past (Feb, 2004)

Postby Kevin Solway » Sun Apr 22, 2007 5:14 pm

clyde wrote:
Kevin Solway wrote:Towards the bottom of the article he [the Dalai Lama] says that he simply doesn't know what kind of reincarnation he is.

Oh my! Does this not meet your expectations?


I don't know what you're talking about.

What he says there is exactly what I would have expected. That is, he simply doesn't know. But he tries to obscure that fact with everything else he says.
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Postby clyde » Sun Apr 22, 2007 5:18 pm

David;
David Quinn wrote:In other words, literalist reincarnation is a very unskilful teaching

While I don’t believe in reincarnation, I have communicated with sincere people who do hold views of reincarnation. I don’t consider the issue significant; after all, what does the belief or lack thereof actually effect? And I think one’s view of reincarnation is non-determinate to whether that person is awakened.

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Postby Kevin Solway » Sun Apr 22, 2007 5:29 pm

Jason wrote:Here are the passages I found that give me the impression he believes he is a reincarnation of a previous Dalai Lama:

If the present situation regarding Tibet remains the same, I will be born outside Tibet away from the control of the Chinese authorities.


I think he is here speaking of the "institution" of the Dalai Lama. That is, it is unlikely that those who decide who the next Dalai Lama will be will choose someone who is under the control of the Chinese government and may be a proxy for the Chinese government.

I said that my teeth were in a box in a certain house in the Norbulinka. When they opened the box, they found a set of dentures which had belonged to the Thirteenth Dalai Lama. I pointed to the box, and said that my teeth were in there, but right now I don’t recall this at all.


Note that he doesn't remember any of these things having actually happened. He is just going on what he has been told.

Unfortunately, followers of Tibetan Buddhism tend to be extremely impressionable and unable to discriminate between fact and wild fancy. For example, many Tibetans believe that the Tibetan sages of several hundred years ago lived to a ripe old age of 400-600 years.

What it boils down to, is that the only reason he believes he is the reincarnation of the previous Dalai Lamas - if in fact he does - is that he has been told that he is. In other words, he has absolutely no reason to believe it (if he wasn't so gullible).
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Postby clyde » Sun Apr 22, 2007 5:43 pm

David Quinn wrote:That might be good enough for ordinary human beings, but not for spiritual teachers of truth.

Spiritual teachers are ordinary human beings.
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Postby Elizabeth Isabelle » Sun Apr 22, 2007 5:49 pm

clyde wrote:Spiritual teachers are ordinary human beings.


Some are, in the context that we can learn from anyone or anything, but I would hope that the lead teachers would be extraordinary to be in a position to give better teachings over a broader scope.
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Postby Kevin Solway » Sun Apr 22, 2007 5:53 pm

clyde wrote:I have communicated with sincere people who do hold views of reincarnation. I don’t consider the issue significant; after all, what does the belief or lack thereof actually effect? And I think one’s view of reincarnation is non-determinate to whether that person is awakened.


The conventional belief in reincarnation involves the belief in the independent existence of a subtle mind-stream, or persistent self-awareness. This is a very gross delusion, incompatible with wisdom.
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Postby clyde » Sun Apr 22, 2007 6:31 pm

Kevin Solway wrote:
clyde wrote:I have communicated with sincere people who do hold views of reincarnation. I don’t consider the issue significant; after all, what does the belief or lack thereof actually effect? And I think one’s view of reincarnation is non-determinate to whether that person is awakened.


The conventional belief in reincarnation involves the belief in the independent existence of a subtle mind-stream, or persistent self-awareness. This is a very gross delusion, incompatible with wisdom.

I agree with you. Nevertheless, what I wrote is my view.

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Postby Elizabeth Isabelle » Sun Apr 22, 2007 10:04 pm

On 4/21, this thread, Kevin Solway wrote:I do in fact hold that it is entirely possible that our consciousness survives largely intact beyond death, although I've never seen any evidence that it does.


Kevin Solway wrote:The conventional belief in reincarnation involves the belief in the independent existence of a subtle mind-stream, or persistent self-awareness. This is a very gross delusion, incompatible with wisdom.


Please show me how these statements are not inconsistent.
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Postby Kevin Solway » Mon Apr 23, 2007 12:48 am

Elizabeth Isabelle wrote:Please show me how these statements are not inconsistent..


It's possible to believe in the flow of cause and effect - eg, a temporary stream of consciousness - without believing in an inherently existent mind-stream or persistent self-awareness.

For example, when a fountain is turned off, it may reappear elsewhere as a similar fountain - through ordinary cause and effect - or it may not. There's no inherent "fountain" quality about it that must continue.

It's the same with ourselves.
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Postby keenobserver » Thu May 17, 2007 6:54 pm

Kevin Solway wrote:
clyde wrote:This seems rather important to you.


It is important to me because the teachings of the Buddha are valuable, and the Dalai Lama is obscuring and corrupting them.

Are you expecting the Dalai Lama to contact you?


He would do, if he had a conscience.

If not, the Dalai Lama has written many books, perhaps you should read a few


There is nothing in his books about what I am talking about.

DL's a nice enough guy and does appear to care about people,
but I think he can tell that his flock is dumber than he is and unlikely to reach even his spiritual level, let alone attain what he probably doubts he himself has or will attain. So he figures the best thing to do for humanity is make the best of it by considering feelings before Truth and answering questions with an eye to keeping the peace.
He's not very enlightened at all but it doesnt appear to trouble him very much. I dont think theres much chance you could get him for interview, he's not about to let anyone rock the boat quite yet, perhaps later he might toward the end or whence replaced.
I dont think there is much to be gained if he "came out", either. People would just say he's gone insane and soon someone else perhaps far worse would be doing the job. He knows how they pick 'em and probably figures they got lucky with him, and he was lucky as well for the position tends to force him to remain good and relatively purer than he would have otherwise been as a layman. Then of course theres the issue of ego and the praise of millions, hard to pass up especially when you've already passed on a wife and kids.
Lastly, if by some miracle he really "saw the light," well then sure, that WOULD indeed bring him out and possible impact the world in a big big way.
Now wouldnt that be something!
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Postby keenobserver » Thu May 17, 2007 7:40 pm

David Quinn wrote:Clyde,

There is a world of difference between giving skillful teachings to different people who are on different stages on the path, and that of giving contradictory answers to a basic issue like reincarnation.

The "paradoxes" contained within wise teachings are generated by the profound and subtle nature of the subject matter, such as the nature of Reality. The Dalia Lama's contradictory remarks about reincarnation, on the other hand, simply show a desire not to upset people.

The very first step towards awakening wisdom in people is unsettling their egos and getting them to think about cause and effect. You don't do that by feeding them a fantastical belief in reincarnation which promises ego security and endless lifetimes. That only serves to close people's minds from the outset and helps put them to sleep. There isn't any good reason to feed that kind of delusion at all, other than not wanting to upset your Tibetan constituency.

In other words, literalist reincarnation is a very unskilful teaching given purely for political reasons and shoring up one's own power.

-

While bashing him on this point be aware that if he had it his way he wouldnt have so much to say about this particular topic, its just that it is of great interest to so many consequently the poor sap has to field questions over and over again. If you scratch all the solicited passages what is left? Im guessing less of a mess and confusion.
Hasnt he suggested he does not profess to have a godlike understanding of the matter? I can see how that would fit.
"Cant they take a hint, enough already, read my book why dont you, no one really knows for sure so lets discuss more important things, Where is my rice!"
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Postby keenobserver » Thu May 17, 2007 8:06 pm

Jason wrote:
David Quinn wrote:No, we never went along with it. The whole room would stand up except for us two, which would invariably attract questioning looks and sometimes anger. Similarly, when I was alone there, without Kevin or whoever.

Another rule was that you weren't allowed to sit down inside the temple and point your legs towards the alter. You had to keep them pointed away, such as sitting cross-legged or in the lotus position. So we would deliberately sit with our legs pointed forwards, or sometimes lie down with our legs pointed forwards. They weren't happy with it, but since they were trying to practice patience and tolerance, they usually managed to restrain themselves from berating us.

-


Oh god, I love it! Hahaha. Reminds me of the time I learnt that the rug with the picture of Mecca on it, which was hanging on my muslim friend's wall in his house, was supposedly not to have feet go higher than it. High-kicks (and maybe handstands, it was years ago I can't remember for sure) ensued.

Plenty here too.
Years ago, once, at some mens group, one leader dude had some rule about the direction of travel round some central flame and silly statues, very nearly plugged me once to make his point, I noticed some time later that i had forgotten about it and been doing it any which way! Igored me thereafter.
A real nut.

Nevertheless, what point were you making there David and Kevin by not standing up? If you had you could see better!

Is that how you behave in court when the judge enters and leaves? In the USA everyone must stand per order of the balif cop.
Oh, reminds me, once I didnt remove my hat, I noticed out of the corner of my eye behind me approaching was some high strung bald little man who assists in the courtroom, I waited until he hurried up nearly to me boiling with anger and then slipped my hand up pulling down my cap.
The dink thought he had me! ha
But I didnt do it to disrespect the court. That would be immature.
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Re: The Reasoning Show - Dr Alexander Berzin

Postby Ataraxia » Thu May 24, 2007 9:13 am

On the question of wether the Dalai lama is the literal reincarnation of previous Dalai Lama; it has been a long time source of frustration to me that so few are willing to call Tibetan Buddism out on this obvious fabrication.

the logic is inherent:

The monks choose the Dalai Lama,rather than the indivdual choosing himself.Therefore he isn't a literal reincarnation of previous Lama.

They(monks) couldn't possibly know.That the main criteria to the selection is 'Familiarity with the possessions of the previous Dalai Lama is considered the main sign of the reincarnation' just adds to the farce.

Additionally, the chances of the 13th Dalai Lama be reincarnated as a human,furthermore in Tibet, are so infintesimal mathematically as to be beyond belief.That it has happened 14 times in a row only further beggars belief.

Buddhism never rejected samsara, the process of rebirth, but suggests that it occurs across six realms of beings. It is actually said to be very rare for a person to be reborn in the immediate next life as a human.
-The 5 precepts tell us this.


Dalai lama;
Another thing I didn’t mention in my autobiography is that after my birth, a pair of crows came to roost on the roof of our house. They would arrive each morning, stay for while and then leave. This is of particular interest as similar incidents occurred at the birth of the First, Seventh, Eighth and Twelfth Dalai Lamas. After their births, a pair of crows came and remained. In my own case, in the beginning, nobody paid attention to this. Recently, however, perhaps three years ago, I was talking with my mother, and she recalled it. She had noticed them come in the morning; depart after a time, and then the next morning, come again. Now, the evening the after the birth of the First Dalai Lama, bandits broke into the family’s house. The parents ran away and left the child. The next day when they returned and wondered what had happened to their son, they found the baby in a corner of the house. A crow stood before him, protecting him. Later on, when the First Dalai Lama grew up and developed in his spiritual practice, he made direct contact during meditation with the protective deity, Mahakala. At this time, Mahakala said to him, “Somebody like you who is upholding the Buddhist teaching needs a protector like me. Right on the day of your birth, I helped you. So we can see, there is definitely a connection between Mahakala, the crows, and the Dalai Lamas.
If anyone other than the Dalai Lama proffered this as some sort of supporting 'evidence', you would certainly consider them at least disengenious and unwise,more likely mad.

NB.This is no comment on Buddism,only Tibetan.
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Re: The Reasoning Show - Dr Alexander Berzin

Postby Kevin Solway » Thu May 24, 2007 1:24 pm

Ataraxia wrote:If anyone other than the Dalai Lama proffered this as some sort of supporting 'evidence', you would certainly consider them at least disengenious and unwise,more likely mad.


You're right. His words are idiotic.

One thing I note is that that he never takes personal responsibility for any of his stories. He always says things like, "other people have told me that I'm the reincarnation of the previous Dalai Lama", and "my mother told me that she saw two crows on the roof", and "I was told that I was born with my eyes open".

He can't remember anything of any previous lives himself. And he can't remember having ever remembered anything, even when he was a child.

It's an obvious fraud.
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Re: The Reasoning Show - Dr Alexander Berzin

Postby Shardrol » Thu May 24, 2007 2:59 pm

Hello. As the forum's token Tibetan Buddhist I thought I would comment on this.
Ataraxia wrote:On the question of wether the Dalai lama is the literal reincarnation of previous Dalai Lama; it has been a long time source of frustration to me that so few are willing to call Tibetan Buddism out on this obvious fabrication.

the logic is inherent:

The monks choose the Dalai Lama,rather than the indivdual choosing himself.Therefore he isn't a literal reincarnation of previous Lama.

They(monks) couldn't possibly know.

How can you know this?

That the main criteria to the selection is 'Familiarity with the possessions of the previous Dalai Lama is considered the main sign of the reincarnation' just adds to the farce.

Actually the farce, in addition to picking the possessions of the previous Dalai Lama out of a group of objects, also includes the result of divination processes done by various Lamas (this is how they got the idea that the present Dalai Lama would be living in a house with a blue roof, for example) & sometimes even bits of information from the current Dalai Lama himself, before his death.

Additionally, the chances of the 13th Dalai Lama be reincarnated as a human,furthermore in Tibet, are so infintesimal mathematically as to be beyond belief.That it has happened 14 times in a row only further beggars belief.

How do you think it works? What are a person's odds of being reborn as a human in the country in which they're now living? Do you believe in this kind of reincarnation? If not, these 'odds' don't make much sense. You could just as well say that the odds of the present Dalai Lama growing a second head are infinitesimal.

Buddhism never rejected samsara, the process of rebirth, but suggests that it occurs across six realms of beings. It is actually said to be very rare for a person to be reborn in the immediate next life as a human.

The 5 precepts tell us this.

You accept the idea of literal reincarnation, but think it's rare to be reborn as human? Why do you believe in any kind of reincarnation at all?

I may call myself a practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism but I don't believe these things. I don't disbelieve them either: I don't know. But I don't see the point of arguing against some irrationally-held beliefs by resorting to the authority of other irrationally-held beliefs.
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Re: The Reasoning Show - Dr Alexander Berzin

Postby Ataraxia » Fri May 25, 2007 11:13 am

Hi Shardrol.

You asked me 'how do i know this?'-I 'Know this' because i believe I can prove it logically.Let me try-if there is an obvious flaw in my logic then you or anyone else on the forum can point out the flaw. I'll be highly appreciative and can think further on this matter.

Let me set up the process by first quoting what you said later in your post.

Shardrol;
Actually the farce, in addition to picking the possessions of the previous Dalai Lama out of a group of objects, also includes the result of divination processes done by various Lamas (this is how they got the idea that the present Dalai Lama would be living in a house with a blue roof, for example) & sometimes even bits of information from the current Dalai Lama himself, before his death.
This statement,particularly the bolded part, tells me the monks intrusted with this important task of selecting the successor believe there is a 'something' they can identify in the 13th Dalai Lama that transfers to the 14th.Otherwise why the charade of keeping the 13th's possesions to then parade before potential future Dalai Lamas? They are looking for a link,evidence of a 'transference' that they can then recognise in the 14th.

If there is no 'transference' then you or I are just as likely to be the 14th Dalai Lama as the one ordained.

Now,whether we call this 'something' as Dr Brazin did a"metal continuum"-"individual subjective experience of things" or believe Kevin Solway that this 'something' is something other,it is immaterial to my logical proofing.

I believe we are then left only two possible scenarios in regards to whether the associated monks can accurately choose the right person to be the successor.

Either;

1.The monks CAN identify/recognise /observe this 'something' in the 13th Dalai Lama.If they can indentify it,then it is something tangable,a 'science'.If it is this thing then it cannot 'transfer'-it is like kevin's 'fountain'.

OR

2.If this 'something' is not indentifiable(by the monks)in the 13th Dalai Lama-it is a non-tangable/non-science
Thus, they wont be able to recognise it in the 14th, potential new Dalai Lama.

Neither scenario can lead to the correct identification of the the future Dalai Lama

Personally I lean toward the 2nd scenario being the more likely.If the Dalai Lama HIMSELF is unwilling to commit categorically and say "yes,i am am the reincarnation of previous dalai lamas,I have memory of that 'something' from my former life",then how on earth can these less enlightened monks who are also 'others' to the Dalai Lama say it is true?

As far as your other questions go.No i don't believe in reincarnation(at least not the reincarnation posited by Tibetan Buddism and Dr Berzin) however, I'm still open to QSR idea of it- but as yet haven't proved/disproved it to myself.This is one of my goals.

Either way it is immaterial to me forming a belief to whether the 14th Dalai Lama is in fact the reincarnation of previous Dalai Lamas in my view.
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Well hello, Dalai

Postby DHodges » Fri May 25, 2007 10:12 pm

Ataraxia wrote:On the question of wether the Dalai lama is the literal reincarnation of previous Dalai Lama; it has been a long time source of frustration to me that so few are willing to call Tibetan Buddism out on this obvious fabrication.

Why would you care about this enough to be frustrated by it? Is it any more of a fabrication than what you find in other religions - transubstantiation, papal infallibility, etc.?
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Re: The Reasoning Show - Dr Alexander Berzin

Postby Carl G » Sat May 26, 2007 1:30 am

Kevin,

How do you know in what way it is accurate to compare a human with a fountain?

How do you know the human life stream does not continue 'fountaining' after death. What makes you sure that it is turned off when the body ceases? How do you know when it is turned off? Wouldn't any logic applied be mere supposition?
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Re: The Reasoning Show - Dr Alexander Berzin

Postby David Quinn » Sat May 26, 2007 10:21 am

Ataraxia,

I believe we are then left only two possible scenarios in regards to whether the associated monks can accurately choose the right person to be the successor.

Either;

1.The monks CAN identify/recognise /observe this 'something' in the 13th Dalai Lama.If they can indentify it,then it is something tangable,a 'science'.If it is this thing then it cannot 'transfer'-it is like kevin's 'fountain'.

OR

2.If this 'something' is not indentifiable(by the monks)in the 13th Dalai Lama-it is a non-tangable/non-science
Thus, they wont be able to recognise it in the 14th, potential new Dalai Lama.

If I understand you aright, you are saying that the thing they "recognize" is either materialistic and therefore subject to the ordinary processes of cause and effect, or else it is non-materialistic, in which case it doesn't exist. Would that be right?


Neither scenario can lead to the correct identification of the the future Dalai Lama

One of the main problems is that if the monks were wise enough to recognize the wisdom in the prospective Dalai Lama, then they would necessarily be close, or equal, to this level of wisdom themselves. In which case, the idea of arbitrarily choosing one particular fellow and then spending the next umpteen years bending down in worship towards him is absurd.

It would never occur to a wise person who is aware of the Infinite to bend down and worship anybody, let alone someone of their own ilk and standing.

So in short, the process of selection is either randomly blind (performed by ignorant monks) or an exercise in absurdity.

Just the fact that they have to use all sorts of superstitious tricks to make a selection is indication enough that the whole thing is steeped in ignorance and tom-foolery.

-
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Re: The Reasoning Show - Dr Alexander Berzin

Postby Ataraxia » Sat May 26, 2007 2:24 pm

David Quinn wrote:Ataraxia,

If I understand you aright, you are saying that the thing they "recognize" is either materialistic and therefore subject to the ordinary processes of cause and effect, or else it is non-materialistic, in which case it doesn't exist. Would that be right?

In hindsight it was silly of me to add the word 'science' or 'non-science' to that of tangible.It implies only the materialistic, which was not my intention.I don't believe,for the purpose of my thought process,that whether its materialistic or otherwise is of relevance.

The key to it for me, is the tangibility.The question of "can it be recognized?".If it is something recognizable, then it has to be considered within the realms of cause and effect.

One of the main problems is that if the monks were wise enough to recognize the wisdom in the prospective Dalai Lama, then they would necessarily be close, or equal, to this level of wisdom themselves. In which case, the idea of arbitrarily choosing one particular fellow and then spending the next umpteen years bending down in worship towards him is absurd.

It would never occur to a wise person who is aware of the Infinite to bend down and worship anybody, let alone someone of their own ilk and standing.

So in short, the process of selection is either randomly blind (performed by ignorant monks) or an exercise in absurdity.

Just the fact that they have to use all sorts of superstitious tricks to make a selection is indication enough that the whole thing is steeped in ignorance and tom-foolery.
I wholeheartedly agree.

The monks use the word 'divination' as being part of the process used to ascertain the whereabouts of the future Dalai Lama.The word divine is of no use to us.It is an appeal to the idea of 'gods' or the mystical.

I see this as little different to an authority figure within Christianity telling me."We know Jesus was literally the son of God,afterall he changed water into wine"
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Re: Well hello, Dalai

Postby Ataraxia » Sat May 26, 2007 2:46 pm

DHodges wrote:Why would you care about this enough to be frustrated by it? Is it any more of a fabrication than what you find in other religions - transubstantiation, papal infallibility, etc.?
You are right of course.This frustration is a failing on my part.

No ,it isn't any more a fabrication than seen in other religions.A fabrication is a fabrication
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Re: The Reasoning Show - Dr Alexander Berzin

Postby Shardrol » Tue May 29, 2007 8:02 am

Hi Ataraxia

I'll attempt to address your various points.

the monks intrusted with this important task of selecting the successor believe there is a 'something' they can identify in the 13th Dalai Lama that transfers to the 14th.Otherwise why the charade of keeping the 13th's possesions to then parade before potential future Dalai Lamas? They are looking for a link,evidence of a 'transference' that they can then recognise in the 14th.
I don't think your analysis covers all possibilities. There could be a link in that the succeeding Dalai Lama has some kind of paranormal connection with the previous Dalai Lama that enables him to recognize people & objects from the other's life. Whether or not this is the case, it's a possibility other than the transmigration of 'something'.

If you want to ask me how this works, I don't know, but I don't know that it's impossible either.

If there is no 'transference' then you or I are just as likely to be the 14th Dalai Lama as the one ordained.
What does the concept 'be the 14th Dalai Lama' mean if you don't believe in reincarnation? You or I are not just as likely to be chosen by those who do the choosing or searching or whatever it is. Part of what's confusing about what you write is that you sound as if you simultaneously believe & disbelieve in the idea of reincarnation.

Either;

1.The monks CAN identify/recognise /observe this 'something' in the 13th Dalai Lama.If they can indentify it,then it is something tangable,a 'science'.If it is this thing then it cannot 'transfer'-it is like kevin's 'fountain'.

OR

2.If this 'something' is not indentifiable(by the monks)in the 13th Dalai Lama-it is a non-tangable/non-science
Thus, they wont be able to recognise it in the 14th, potential new Dalai Lama.

Neither scenario can lead to the correct identification of the the future Dalai Lama
It looks as though you are using 'tangible' to mean 'real'. What about the possibility of a connection which is not tangible (material) but nevertheless existent? Do you think that's possible?

Personally I lean toward the 2nd scenario being the more likely.If the Dalai Lama HIMSELF is unwilling to commit categorically and say "yes,i am am the reincarnation of previous dalai lamas,I have memory of that 'something' from my former life",then how on earth can these less enlightened monks who are also 'others' to the Dalai Lama say it is true?
Well I would point out the logical possibility that the Dalai Lama is not telling everything he knows to whoever asks. It is also not the case that he is considered (even by Tibetan Buddhists) to be 'more enlightened' than everybody else. He is the political leader & cultural symbol of the Tibetan Government in Exile &, as religion & culture were greatly intertwined in Tibet, for most Tibetans he is considered to be a great spiritual leader. The hierarchies of Tibetan Buddhism have to do with lineage rather than realization. (I'm not suggesting that this is a good thing, by the way.)

As far as your other questions go.No i don't believe in reincarnation(at least not the reincarnation posited by Tibetan Buddism and Dr Berzin) however, I'm still open to QSR idea of it- but as yet haven't proved/disproved it to myself.This is one of my goals.

Either way it is immaterial to me forming a belief to whether the 14th Dalai Lama is in fact the reincarnation of previous Dalai Lamas in my view.
If you don't believe reincarnation is possible, then whether some particular person is the reincarnation of some other particular person is not a question with a complicated answer. It's just no.

In hindsight it was silly of me to add the word 'science' or 'non-science' to that of tangible.It implies only the materialistic, which was not my intention.I don't believe,for the purpose of my thought process,that whether its materialistic or otherwise is of relevance.
What in your view is the difference between tangible & material?

The question of "can it be recognized?".If it is something recognizable, then it has to be considered within the realms of cause and effect.
Yes of course. But how does alleged recognition of a child as being in some way connected with the dead Dalai Lama violate cause & effect?

The monks use the word 'divination' as being part of the process used to ascertain the whereabouts of the future Dalai Lama.The word divine is of no use to us.It is an appeal to the idea of 'gods' or the mystical.
I think that in spite of what you said about distinguishing tangibility from materialism, you are actually talking about materialism. 'Divination' involves non-material (wrongly called 'supernatural') knowledge as opposed to scientific materialist knowledge. This reminds me of the quote by science fiction author Robert Heinlein to the effect that anything outside of the conventional paradigm of knowledge will apear to be magic. Perhaps what we now label as supernatural will one day just be another aspect of physics.
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Re: The Reasoning Show - Dr Alexander Berzin

Postby Ataraxia » Tue May 29, 2007 12:27 pm

Shardrol wrote:
I don't think your analysis covers all possibilities. There could be a link in that the succeeding Dalai Lama has some kind of paranormal connection with the previous Dalai Lama that enables him to recognize people & objects from the other's life. Whether or not this is the case, it's a possibility other than the transmigration of 'something'.

Ok,lets say I agree this paranormal phenomina should be considered within my 'something' for the arguments sake.This still doesn't speak to the question of the 3rd party(the monks selecting).The 14th dalai Lama doesn't say,"yes I recognise those objects" but rather the monks say "yes you do recognise those objects".Can you not see the logical problem here.The 3rd party is recognising phenomina not even the man himself can recognise.It's a clear implication that the monks are 'superior' to the chosen one.As David posited above,why on earth would they then worship such an inferior person?

If you want to ask me how this works, I don't know, but I don't know that it's impossible either.
you not knowing if it's impossible is not proof that it IS possible though.

This 'proofing' you've used to refute that this alleged paranormal phenomina is outside my 'something' can be used to 'prove 'anything.Including the the Christian God.It's Bertrand Russels teapot all over again,its the Flying Spaghetti monster.


What does the concept 'be the 14th Dalai Lama' mean if you don't believe in reincarnation? You or I are not just as likely to be chosen by those who do the choosing or searching or whatever it is. Part of what's confusing about what you write is that you sound as if you simultaneously believe & disbelieve in the idea of reincarnation.
Whether I believe in re-incarnation or not is not required for this thought experiment.I'm using their understand of re-incarnation to ascertain whether the're logically chosing the correct one.


It looks as though you are using 'tangible' to mean 'real'. What about the possibility of a connection which is not tangible (material) but nevertheless existent? Do you think that's possible?
They(monks) are claiming tangability not I.Material or otherwise need not come into it.

What about the possibility of a connection which is not tangible (material) but nevertheless existent? Do you think that's possible?
well this is the crux of my whole point.If it is not tangible but exists,then how do they recognize it?They can't.[/b]Tangibility=recognizability.Using your question,it doesn't really matter wether it exists to them,they can't recognise it anyway!


The question of "can it be recognized?".If it is something recognizable, then it has to be considered within the realms of cause and effect.
Yes of course.
So you agree with me.

But how does alleged recognition of a child as being in some way connected with the dead Dalai Lama violate cause & effect?
.The answer to that question would be long and tedious. so for expediency and some laziness on my part I'll instead quote David Quinn(yeah an appeal to authority,guilty as charged.)

It is important to broaden one’s conception of causation until it includes all phenomena in the Universe.

if you don't accept this a valid answer thats fair enough.



I think that in spite of what you said about distinguishing tangibility from materialism, you are actually talking about materialism. 'Divination' involves non-material (wrongly called 'supernatural') knowledge as opposed to scientific materialist knowledge. This reminds me of the quote by science fiction author Robert Heinlein to the effect that anything outside of the conventional paradigm of knowledge will apear to be magic. Perhaps what we now label as supernatural will one day just be another aspect of physics.
Ok fine.Whatever you want to call it,('paranormal' if you like), is not currently within my bounds of reason.We might just have to agree to disagree on that.

Your acceptance of the veracity of 'divination' could lead you then to the conclusion that any organised religion posits are true.Muhhammed really did translate the word of Allah,Jesus literally is the son of God,Joseph Smith's story of the Golden Plates is true etc.
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Re: The Reasoning Show - Dr Alexander Berzin

Postby Jamesh » Tue May 29, 2007 2:49 pm

As David posited above,why on earth would they then worship such an inferior person?


I don't see this as a legit argument, although I don't disagree with your overall viewpoint. They choose these Lama dudes when the prospect is very young. Thus they can recreate the Dali Lama in their own image, just like all Christian preachers do, and for that matter parents and the enlightened. The QRS preach so that their own image will live on, as we all do. I recall reading somewhere that this is essentially one part of how the QRS view reincarnation - as a form of reincarnation of memes (which in the end is a reincarnation of ego, and to take that even further, all expressed truths are just ego).
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Re: The Reasoning Show - Dr Alexander Berzin

Postby Ataraxia » Tue May 29, 2007 3:00 pm

I don't see this as a legit argument, although I don't disagree with your overall viewpoint. They choose these Lama dudes when the prospect is very young. Thus they can recreate the Dali Lama in their own image, just like all Christian preachers do, and for that matter parents and the enlightened.

But this is different to actual paranormal style literal reincarnation.The monks are 'creating' the new incarnation via indoctrination.The monks are the conduit for the memes.
Jamesh wrote:
as a form of reincarnation of memes (which in the end is a reincarnation of ego, and to take that even further, all expressed truths are just ego).
The reincarnation of memes is a concept I'm sypathetic to.I've only just discovered this concept from the Susan Blackmore talk.As it is new to me i haven't totally embraced it as a 'truth' but it certainly has potential to be one as far as I'm concerned.
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