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

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

88 THE TIBETAN BOOK OF LIVING AND DYINGI then like to ask people to ask themselves: Why do youimagine 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 creativegeniuses of Asia, lived this belief as an essential part of theirlives? Were they all simply deluded?Let us get back to this point about concrete evidence. Justbecause we have never heard of Tibet, or just because wehave never been there, does not mean that Tibet does notexist. Before the huge continent of America was "discovered,"who in Europe had any idea that it was there? Even after ithad been discovered, people disputed the fact that it had. It is,I believe, our drastically limited vision of life that prevents usfrom accepting or even beginning seriously to think about thepossibility of rebirth.Fortunately this is not the end of the story. Those of uswho undertake a spiritual discipline—of meditation, for example—cometo discover many things about our own mind thatwe did not know before. As our mind opens more and moreto the extraordinary, vast, and hitherto unsuspected existenceof the nature of mind, we begin to glimpse a completely differentdimension, one in which all of our assumptions aboutour identity and the reality we thought we knew so well startto dissolve, and in which the possibility of lives other thanthis one becomes at least likely. We begin to understand thateverything we are being told by the masters about life anddeath, and life after death, is real.SOME SUGGESTIVE "PROOFS" OF REBIRTHThere is by now a vast modern literature dealing with thetestimonies of those who claim to be able to remember pastlives. I suggest that if you really want to come to some seriousunderstanding of rebirth, you investigate this open-mindedly,but with as much discrimination as possible.Of the hundreds of stories about reincarnation that couldbe told here, there is one that particularly fascinates me. It isthe story of an elderly man from Norfolk in England calledArthur Flowerdew, who from the age of twelve experiencedinexplicable but vivid mental pictures of what seemed likesome great city surrounded by desert. One of the images thatcame most frequently to his mind was of a temple apparentlycarved out of a cliff. These strange images kept coming backto him, especially when he played with the pink and orange

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