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The Buddhist Concept Of Life.......

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Posted by Glenn on November 22, 2000 09:41:42 UTC

Christianity and Islam which both religions descended from Judaism show a number of similarities about the belief of the immortality of the "soul". Their view on the eternity of life or belief life after death, it hold only one ressurrection, after which the soul continues to exist eternally into some mythical heaven or a world which classify it on Occidental or Western concept. In Eastern view, represented by Buddhism is that to die means to arrive at the end of the page of the book and turn to a new one; in western concept, to live is to read through the book one time and come to an end. Christianity and other major religions of the Occident teach that manner in which one lives out a limited life span- the manner in whic one reads one's book- dtermines one's destiny once and for all. The Oriental religions, on the othe hand, regard a human lifetime as being only one act in a never-ending drama. The transmigration which Buddhism hold, the idea that LIFE, being ETERNAL, passes through an endless chain of deaths and rebirths. Physical death is not a final ending, but merely a transformation of the factors and functions that collectively make and susttain and individual life. LIFE is unbroken and extends from the infinite past to the infinite future. Though a given life like a page in a book, the book itself is without beginning or end. NO matter how many pages are turned, the story continues on indefinitely.
The transmigration is closely associated with the Oriental belief of KARMA, the sum total of the causes accumulated in particular life, which determine the future of that life. The western religions in general consider a man's destiny is determined by the God's will, and the fate of a man's soul in afterlife to be subject to God's judgement. The Oriental faiths, on the other hand, believe that man's destiny is determined by his KARMA, and thus it is the natural result of the laws of cause and effect.
Buddhism is particular sees the joys and sorrows of the present life as being determined by causes accumulated in previous lives. Furthermore, it sees the causes being accumulated in present life as determining factors in our future lives throughout eternity.
It seems to me that in Christian or islam or other religions belief, if one leads a life of agony from the day one is born to the day one dies, all one can do is to reproach GOD for his lack of mercy. Logically speaking, it must be GOD who creates evil as well as good. If we accept Buddhism, however, we become aware that the essential causes of our troubles lies within our lives. It is thus possible by accepting responsibility for our own sufferings, to allay them and arrive at an indestructible state of peace and happiness. When people discover themselves are the masters of their destiny, they also find a bright star of hope enabling them to see through veil of illusion. In my opinion, the Buddhist concept of Life far more sense to modern man than the idea that everything is up to GOD.

The immortality of the soul is linked with the concept of creation by an almighty deity. But i don't think that "life" itself is to be created 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.
Our world is composed of matter.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 manifestations of LIFE, for the LIFE-FORCE( or energy as science calls it) 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 and this is workings of the Mystic LAw.

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