More On No Self
A discussion on Facebook has brought me once more to thoughts on the self as it pertains to a separate soul. The thought might come up in some of you, that if there is no soul what about rebirth and the story of the Buddha, who once became enlightened, saw detailed knowledge of His past lives. He was able to recollect the conditions in which He had been born in His past lives. He was able to remember what His names had been, what His occupations had been and so on. If there is no self or soul how can one be reborn?
If you remember in There is no Spoon, I brought up that the teaching may be interpreted as there is to self that is separate from the universe, and what we understand as ourselves, is not separate from our bodies that our identity that we know as you or I are dependant on this human form.
But if our concept of a soul (the concept for those of us who may have been brought up Christian) does not exist in the way we imagine or have been taught then how is it we are tied to the cycle of rebirth?
Picture in your mind a spiral galaxy when viewed from a distance, a galaxy is made up of billions of stars. When viewed from a distance it also appears as if the light from each star is connected together as one source, especially at the core where the stars are all gathered together. When viewed close up the stars appear as separate, but we also know they are a part of a larger whole galaxy. What is reborn, what was reborn in the Buddha is a cluster of energy that we think of as the soul, when it enters a body a new self is made a new identity that is no longer just the body or just a soul but a combined self. This self, however is also not separate from the universe, the energy or soul that goes from life to life is also tethered to the universe itself, it is an extension of the universe. Like a spiral galaxy we are all united in a spinning cosmic wheel of consciousness, when viewed close up, there is the illusion of separateness, when viewed from a distance as a whole we recognize we are all one.
This of course is simply my theory and my truth, it may not be your truth and I understand and honour that. I do not ask yourself to accept my truth as your own, I am merely expressing my understanding with you.
When things seem bleak and dark remember, the universe is filled with light… we just don’t often see it! -JF