Buddhism expalains life with the principle of Eternity. Nicheren Daishonin clarifies this concept in his wrtings, stating, " Eternity means being neither created nor adorned but remaining in the original existence "
" Being neither created nor adorned" means that life is not something created at a certain fixed time, but that it exist originally- ever since the infinite past it has been it has been inherent within the universe. It also means that life itself is not something that can be grasped through our five senses. Life is not the same thing as physical living entity but as latent in nature. Although we can see life's countless physical aspects and spiritual aspects, it is difficult indeed to truly understand life itself as that which ultimately brings about the ceaseless changes perciptible in our lives.
" Remaining in the original existence " means that life keeps existing eternally. Therefore, in the Buddhist view of life, it keeps existing from the inifinite past to the infinite future, taking the two alternative forms or reality that we call life and death.
It is of course much easier to gain understanding about living beings. We are able to percieve a person's appearance and, based on our perceptions of his voice, facial expressions and actions, we can also learn quite a bit about the spiritual functions that go on with physical body. However, when it comes to the state of death, we are much more hard pressed for an explanation because in that state an entity manifest none of its physical or spiritual functions. People cannot grasp life in that state with their Human senses, and for this reason most of them strongly feel that life totally ceases to exist once it dies. But in actuality life itself still continues to exist; only the state of its existence has changed.
SGI President Ikeda give us the folloing explanation of Eternity in terms of life and time, in his book "Dialoge on Life":
" The self of cosmic life, as it causes the phenomenal changes of growth, maturity, decline and latency(Ku) , expands inot infinite space-time. It expands because Eternity, which contained in the depths of the universe at the present moment, the pouring forth of the intrinsinc cosmic power called Mystic LAw. THe actual world exist in the single present moment- neither in the aps nor the future. "
Life at each moment encompasses both body and spirit and both self and environment of all sentient beings in every condition of life, as well as insentient beings--plants, sky and earth, on down to the most minute particles of dust. Life at each moment permeates the universe and is revealed in all phenomena.
Mystic- signifies man is a mysterious being.
LAW- signifies man representing the LAw of
various activities and phenomena.
Man himself represents Mystic Law. The actual entity of Mystic LAw. Mystic means how mysterious is our Life-the harmony of Flesh and bones, the cell division, nerve activities etc. LAw we can produce in our body vitamins, sugar, and hormones as if it were medicine factory. In this sense, MYSTIC LAW represents the mainspring of our life activities. Mystic LAw the fundamental law of all phenomena in the universe and the entity of occurences.It is the various kind of phenomena changing every moment in the universe. It maybe termed according to modern usage, universal life.
The immortality of the soul is linked with the concept of creation by an almighty deity. But i don't think that "life" is to be created or destroyed like the "energy" nor it can be created or destroyed. If we look into the body, there is a greek term called "pneuma": something whose presence within the body give life, and whose absence means death. So, it's just like postulating that the soul ,which created by a deity, outside of man's own existence.If man were made to live by some outside force or power, his body would indeed be no more than a machine,and he himself a mere puppet.
I beleive that the principle or LAW that unites the cells and organs into living beings exist "within" life and "within" the body, and there's no need to set up a deity or pneuma outside of man's own exitence. We must look into the body as the manifestation of LIFE, for the LIFE-FORCE is inherent in the body. It is this force whic among other things, harmonizes the body's parts and enables man to absorb from without that which necessary to maintain LIFE. This active positive LIFE-FORCE within the body is the fundamental essence of LIFE, and it is one with the life-force of the universe.Eternity