The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying

realjannaweiss

The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying

88 THE TIBETAN BOOK OF LIVING AND DYING

I then like to ask people to ask themselves: Why do you

imagine all the major religions believe in a life after this one,

and why have hundreds of millions of people throughout history,

including the greatest philosophers, sages, and creative

geniuses of Asia, lived this belief as an essential part of their

lives? Were they all simply deluded?

Let us get back to this point about concrete evidence. Just

because we have never heard of Tibet, or just because we

have never been there, does not mean that Tibet does not

exist. Before the huge continent of America was "discovered,"

who in Europe had any idea that it was there? Even after it

had been discovered, people disputed the fact that it had. It is,

I believe, our drastically limited vision of life that prevents us

from accepting or even beginning seriously to think about the

possibility of rebirth.

Fortunately this is not the end of the story. Those of us

who undertake a spiritual discipline—of meditation, for example—come

to discover many things about our own mind that

we did not know before. As our mind opens more and more

to the extraordinary, vast, and hitherto unsuspected existence

of the nature of mind, we begin to glimpse a completely different

dimension, one in which all of our assumptions about

our identity and the reality we thought we knew so well start

to dissolve, and in which the possibility of lives other than

this one becomes at least likely. We begin to understand that

everything we are being told by the masters about life and

death, and life after death, is real.

SOME SUGGESTIVE "PROOFS" OF REBIRTH

There is by now a vast modern literature dealing with the

testimonies of those who claim to be able to remember past

lives. I suggest that if you really want to come to some serious

understanding of rebirth, you investigate this open-mindedly,

but with as much discrimination as possible.

Of the hundreds of stories about reincarnation that could

be told here, there is one that particularly fascinates me. It is

the story of an elderly man from Norfolk in England called

Arthur Flowerdew, who from the age of twelve experienced

inexplicable but vivid mental pictures of what seemed like

some great city surrounded by desert. One of the images that

came most frequently to his mind was of a temple apparently

carved out of a cliff. These strange images kept coming back

to him, especially when he played with the pink and orange

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