Dalai Lama Grants Foreword to Book with radically new concepts of reincarnation, enlightenment, and the mystery of the self

Will a new concept of reincarnation based on anthropology one day replace the older ideas from Buddhism and Hinduism?
By: Shakti Technologies
SAN FRANCISCO - Jan. 13, 2016 - PRLog -- "Sacred Pathways: The Brain's Role in Religious and Mystic Experiences" by Prof. Todd Murphy is the first book in the meeting of Darwinian science and religion to receive a foreword by the Dalai Lama, who called it “illuminating”.

The book suggests that humans reincarnate, bringing information from past lives to future ones, but it offers a radical departure from traditional Buddhist teachings about why reincarnation happens. It suggests that reincarnation is the result of natural selection. The Dalai Lama's forward to this book appears to be a radical departure from Buddhist tradition.

The theory of evolution is so well established that most scientists consider it to be a fact. Any serious integration of eastern and western thinking about human consciousness would thus need to include evolutionary theory.

"If reincarnation is true; if it’s really a human behavior, however difficult to observe, and Darwin was right, then rebirth is an evolutionary adaptation that contributed to the survival of our species."

Prof. Todd Murphy proposes that the information passed forward through reincarnation helps us achieve the highest possible social rank. He points out that those in the higher social ranks have better mating opportunities, and get more help with feeding and raising their young.

Having a higher social rank means that more of an individual’s DNA is passed on to future generations.  Murphy suggests that reincarnation confers an intuitive sense of right and wrong (adaptive and mal-adaptive) behavior, similar to the Buddhist and Hindu idea of karma. By avoiding the behaviors that reduce our social status (tagged as ‘maladaptive’ during the process of death and rebirth), humans are better able to compete for the higher ranks in their societies. In this way, Murphy suggests, reincarnation may be part of our evolutionary strategy. Because our societies change over time, “reborn” social information can change from one generation to the next, which sets it apart from the less flexible animal instincts.

Murphy’s hypothesis was first published in the Journal for Near-Death Studies in 2001, a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

In Buddhist tradition, rebirth brings us closer to enlightenment. In this Darwinian concept, rebirth tends to take us away from threats to our survival.

The Dalai Lama has a long-standing interest in the meeting of science and Buddhism. In putting his name on a foreword to this book, the Dalai Lama has taken the meeting of Buddhism and science into a new realm – that of biological Evolution. With this book, the meeting ground is extended in a new direction – Anthropology – as the way to understand “the cycle of lives”.

Todd Murphy also explains how reincarnation happens (using the earth's magnetic field), and the evolutionary pressure (an increase in the complexity of human culture) that spurred its development.

In addition to its new slant on rebirth, Sacred Pathways also offers a new hypothesis about the self which agrees with classical Buddhist teachings: that the “self” actually doesn’t exist. It says that the “self” is a hallucination that presents itself to the “sense of self”. The self feels real because it includes perceptions that come from other senses, including the elusive ones that perceive our thoughts and feelings.

Finally, “Sacred Pathways: The Brain’s Role in Religious and Mystic Experiences” offers a clear idea about what happens in the brain when someone attains enlightenment. It says that “liberation” happens when an avalanche of neural activity strips away neural connections that inhibit positive emotions.

The second edition of this book was released late in 2015.

For more information, visit http://sacred-pathways.org/.

Reference: Murphy, Todd "The Structure and Function of Near-Death Experiences: An Algorithmic Reincarnation Hypothesis" Journal of Near-Death Studies December 2001, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 101-118

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Tags:Dalai Lama, Science, Religion, Reincarnation, Buddhism, Brain, Evolution, Darwin
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Page Updated Last on: Jan 19, 2016

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