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

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

EVOLUTION, KARMA, AND REBIRTH 87began at the end of the nineteenth century, a remarkable numberof Westerners have come to accept the Hindu and Buddhistknowledge of rebirth. One of them, the great American industrialistand philanthropist Henry Ford, wrote:I adopted the theory of reincarnation when I was twenty-six. Religionoffered nothing to the point. Even work could not give mecomplete satisfaction. Work is futile if we cannot utilize the experiencewe collect in one life in the next When I discovered reincarnation... time was no longer limited. I was no longer a slave tothe hands of the clock.... I would like to communicate to othersthe calmness that the long view of life gives to us. 2A Gallup poll taken in 1982 showed that nearly one in fourAmericans believe in reincarnation. 3 This is an astonishingstatistic considering how dominant the materialist and scientificphilosophy is in almost every aspect of life.However, most people still have only the most shadowyidea about life after death, and no idea of what it might belike. Again and again, people tell me they cannot bring themselvesto believe in something for which there is no evidence.But that is hardly proof, is it, that it does not exist? AsVoltaire said: "After all, it is no more surprising to be borntwice than it is to be born once.""If we have lived before," I'm often asked, "why don't weremember it?" But why should the fact that we cannotremember our past lives mean that we have never livedbefore? After all, experiences of our childhood, or of yesterday,or even of what we were thinking an hour ago were vivid asthey occurred, but the memory of them has almost totallyeroded, as though they had never taken place. If we cannotremember what we were doing or thinking last Monday, howon earth do we imagine it would be easy, or normal, toremember what we were doing in a previous lifetime?Sometimes I tease people and ask: "What makes you soadamant that there's no life after death? What proof do youhave? What if you found there was a life after this one, havingdied denying its existence? What would you do then?Aren't you limiting yourself with your conviction that itdoesn't exist? Doesn't it make more sense to give the possibilityof a life after death the benefit of the doubt, or at least beopen to it, even if there is not what you would call 'concreteevidence'? What would constitute concrete evidence for lifeafter death?"

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