Is death just a change in lifestyles?

February 14, 2016

I saw this photo:

on this Twitter page, and it made me think that I have heard several Buddhists say things like this, but I have never seen any proof of it. For instance, on page 2 of the Buddhist book, Life in Relation to Death, there is this sentence:

“In enlightenment, death has no relevance to one’s state of being.”

If that’s true, all I can say is, “Prove it.”

I guess what I’m thinking at the moment is that the image and the statement from that book are pretty bold, but how often has any living person actually had a conversation with someone who has passed away? How many times has life after death been proven?

What I’m getting at is that I think I/we need to be really careful with statements like this. They sound grand and glorious and give us some assurances of life after death, but they are unproven. I think that maybe what these people are saying is that while they are alive they have been able to experience their souls separate from their bodies — and I have had that experience as well — but that’s different than saying that they have proof that they have talked to someone who has previously passed away and is now in a disembodied state.

Again, I’m not saying that this isn’t possible, I’m just saying that there’s no proof of it. I know that Tibetans believe in reincarnation, and lamas and the Dalai Lama in particular are said to be reborn, but it’s not like a young child says, “I’m a lama and I can prove it.” 

Hmph, well, sorry that I’m feeling so skeptical tonight, but I think these are big statements to make without proof. I have been in deep states of meditation where I have felt like “I am the universe,” for lack of better terms, and I have also had OBEs that I’ve been able to prove to myself were real, at least to a high degree of certainty, but I cannot state that my soul (or energy body) won’t die when my physical body dies. Yes, the two have existed apart from each other, I can confirm that, but does the Energy Body live on without the Physical Body? As I have said, I don’t know of anyone who has ever proved this.

If you’ve read my blog posts before you know that I’m not always this skeptical, but for some reason these statements rub me the wrong way. I think it’s that we’re supposed to accept them without proof, and because I am more of a scientist or engineer as opposed to a devoted religious person, I can’t/won’t accept statements like this without proof.

Finally, I want to say that I don’t mean any disrespect to Stephen Levine or the Tibetan Buddhist people. I just need some proof, please.

Followup a day later: I do know that in deep levels of meditation the feeling is that you are the sky or the universe, but again, that can be construed as just a feeling. Unless someone that makes claims like these can communicate with someone they’ve never met and say something like, “If you go to my house and ask my wife to look in the bottom dresser drawer, you’ll find my diary where I wrote ‘XYZ’ on so and so date,” there is no proof of these statements; we’re just talking about faith.

back to the Tequila/Monk front page