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The Buddhas Thinking On OBE Please

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Posted by Rowanda on January 26, 2004 19:50:04 UTC

Dear Glenn,

Paul Martin and I, and lastly Yanniru(Richard) have been having a discussion on the possibility that consicousness could survive death.

Rather quickly we came to the conclusion, as first expresed by Macula I believe, that if your consciousness could exist outside of your body, then there was a good possibility that it could survive death. It is not a sufficient condition however. Even if the Out of Body Experiences (OBEs) that we discussed were bona fide, that does not necessarily man that consiousness can survive death. It is perfectly possible that non-local consciousness could still require the enegy of a living body.

After a while, we seemed to decide that for a conciousness to experience OBE or to survive death, a pervasive medium was necessary for the consciousness to exist in. The brain then must contain such a medium.

The discussion stopped there until Yanniru came along and suggested that an appropriate medium might be a Bose-Einstein Condensate (BEC) constituent of Dark Matter, a superfluid that might exist both in and outside of the brain. In fact, he had already published that model. Yanniru in a second post about a neurological integrating mechanism in the brain, suggested, or maybe he just implied, that the superfluid could be the integrating mechanism.

So that brings us to the thinking of Buddha, who said, from your post:

"The Buddha declared in unequivocal terms that consciousness depends on matter, sensation, perception and mental formations and that is cannot exist independently of them. "

Now at first blush, it would seem that he is saying that conciousness must die at death. Likewise, OBE is not possible based on Buddha's statement.

However, consider Yanniru's Dark Matter model, it is also based on matter. Axions are particles of matter. I think perhaps it is an asumption or hypothesis on the part of Yanniru that patterns of information in the axions can contain sensation, perception and mental formations. At least I do not recall him presenting any evidence of that in his posts or in his paper, which I read just last week.

But obviously I (and others who have had OBE) have experienced sensation, perception and mental formations during OBE.

Well, instead of going on and on with an analysis of whether the sensations were in the brain, or out in the hypothetical axion medium, let me cut to the chase:

Did the Buddha in all his oral tradition ever speak of what we call OBE. And if he did not, could you offer your best guess, based on his other teachings, as to what the Buddha would say about it?

I am not well versed on religious scripture. So the fact, that I have never seen a scripture that seems to teach about OBE or non-local consciousness, is not very signaficant. Buddhism is so clear on psychological matters, as far as I can tell, that it seems most likely to find teachings on non-local consciousness in your tradition.

Many thanks,

Rowanda "Wanda" Greenstreet

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