Monday, April 09, 2012

on death...

Yet another young man died this week...although I've only seen him once or twice, I feel sad for him...I hope it is true that we somehow end up somewhere nicer than on earth...I hope then that he is now somewhere where he can truly be happy.

In What the Buddha Taught, Walpola Rahula stated that "when the physical body is no more capable of functioning, energies do not die with it, but continue to take some other shape or form, which we call another life." We need to, however, worry about Karma. According to Buddhist teachings, some people are "stuck" and re-create the same old patterns with their present thoughts and attitudes. To change our Karma, we must change our minds and attitudes--what you do and what happens to you is the same thing. This means wholesome actions lead to wholesome states while negative actions lead to negative states.

In metempsychosis, the soul is immortal and passes through cycles of incarnation in birth and release from the body at death. Similar to Buddhist theory, the behavior of the individual during a particular life can determine the form the soul take in the next life. In Phaedrus, Plato argued that after the death of the body, the soul passes through the realm of the ideas, which is why it is possible for us to possess particular kinds of knowledge, such as the consciousness of virtue and perfection, through the process of anamnesis or "recollection."

Whether or not there is life after death, it is important that we as humans pay attention to what we do and how our actions affect the people around us. Things we do that we may not feel is a big deal, can scar a person for a long time.

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