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Interesting (to me anyway) take on mindstream, the "soul", and rebirth

JainarayanJainarayan Veteran
edited October 2013 in Buddhism Basics
As a former Christian and then adopting Hinduism, the idea of a discrete soul is prominent. I know that this is not the view in Buddhism. I think I can make an analogy of the Buddhist view to the results of a supernova.
In fact, persons ... are said to be characterized by an ever-evolving consciousness... , stream of consciousness... ; ... or mind-continuity ...which, upon the death or dissolution of the aggregates (skandhas), becomes one of the contributing causes for the arising of a new group of skandhas. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anatta#Overview
This is how I compare this to the supernova... the materials that made up the star are essentially recycled to contribute to new elements, new stars and planets, and new life. In this same way, our non-discrete consciousness, when leaving the body, becomes part of new sentient beings. In all honesty, I prefer this view over the Judeo-Christian and Hindu models. I have come to believe our consciousnesses are part of the fabric of the universe. When we quit the body, we go back "out there", then return recycled.

Over-thought, huh?


  • ... the idea of a discrete soul... I know that this is not the view in Buddhism.


    So much dharma theory rests on what is meant by "discrete" here.

    Does it mean separate from "the all"? In which case that idea is not necessarily true in Christianity or Hinduism, at least doctrinally.

    Does it mean an indivisible thing? In which case, it would seem at first sight the Buddha said that doesn't exist. But perhaps this is a mistaken interpretation, in that, what is reborn is simply indivisible. Only contingent things are empty?

    Does it mean a nonemergent thing? It might do. I don't know.

    Supernovas. Clouds. Shadows.

    Sparks of divinity.

  • I thought of discrete vis–à–vis Christianity in the sense of God creating new souls, a soul being joined to a body, and being reunited with the body at the resurrection. Discrete in Hinduism if one is of the duality, dvaita, schools; true, non-duality, advaita, does not hold with individual souls. You are right though, it might be interpreted differently. I thought of non-discrete vis–à–vis Buddhism as part of the consciousness that makes up me joining with the part of the conscious that makes up you to be reborn as another sentient being.
  • There are so many spiritual fantasies one can create, but all we have is this moment.
  • Sabre said:

    There are so many spiritual fantasies one can create, but all we have is this moment.

    Amongst them, perhaps are divine truths?
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited October 2013
    Clear light of the mind. Actually the light we see from a lamp or the sun is a metaphor for the clear light of awareness, but we think it's the opposite. The clear light of awareness is more fundamental than the light of the sun.
  • I like that -'recycling' thing. Move over Oxygen cycle, carbon cycle. Here comes consciousness cycle.
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