December 29, 2022


Buddhism and Science | Ajahn Brahm

Buddhism and Science | Ajahn Brahm
Ajahn Brahm Podcast
Buddhism and Science | Ajahn Brahm

Dec 29 2022 | 00:54:51


Show Notes

Buddhism and science can be balanced and used for good in our lives. Dogmatism leads to suffering, especially when it prevents you from seeing reality. Buddhism and science are complementary and interdependent, and are growing in popularity due to their combined successes in solving problems. Buddhism teaches that one must check experience against theories in order to determine whether something is true or not. It also teaches that there is no “self” or soul, and that the mind is responsible for our happiness and suffering.

This dhamma talk was originally recorded on cassette tape on 19th October 2001. It has now been remastered and published by the Everyday Dhamma Network, and will be of interest to his many fans.

These talks by Ajahn Brahm have been recorded and made available for free distribution by the Buddhist Society of Western Australia. You can support the Buddhist Society of Western Australia by pledging your support via their Patreon page.

View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

AB20011019_BuddhismAndScience Summary Buddhism and science can be balanced and used for good in our lives. Dogmatism leads to suffering, especially when it prevents you from seeing reality. Buddhism and science are complementary and interdependent, and are growing in popularity due to their combined successes in solving problems. Buddhism teaches that one must check experience against theories in order to determine whether something is true or not. It also teaches that there is no "self" or soul, and that the mind is responsible for our happiness and suffering. Transcription U1 0:02 If there is Buddhism, science. They actually gave a title for the talk. And as soon as I got that title, I thought, that's a good one for this evening, because about a month ago, I think I was invited to the Westport Observatory as part of the centenary of Federation Celebrations in WA. The youth groups were organizing all the events and one of the things they wanted to organize was an event called Our Place in Space. But even though that was the title of the event, the meaning of the event was to try and find out whether the future would be a future which followed science or would follow, really, to see how those two socalled, contradictory approaches to life would pan out into the future. And so there was a couple of religious representatives. I was representing the Buddhist. There was a teacher from St. Hilda's School representing the Christians. It was Jamie Biggs, the state astronomer. And there was another PhD candidate from UWA about to get a PhD in physics who was representing the physicists. What they didn't know, of course, was before I was a monk, I was a theoretical physicist, so I knew what they knew, and I knew what Buddhists knew as well. So it's been unfair, but I had really good fun there. And it's good fun actually talking in front of the audience about Buddhism or religion and science and how they come together, the dangers in religion and science and how that they can be used to help people live their lives, find a way through their lives in a wise, compassionate, effective way. So this evening I talk about Buddhism and science. And I started off because there's a few kids there telling them some things which many people just do not know because Buddhism is such a wide subject, and there's still many things in the west which people don't know about. That great religion, especially from the old suitors, the old scriptures. Do you know who the first person in space was? Who was the first man in space? No. Certainly wasn't Yuri Gagarin. At least it was available. Because I think you all know that if you really get your meditation to together, you can levitate. Now, a long time ago, this is in sufas, this is in one of the stories. There's no reason to disbelieve it, because there was a hermit who living alone in the jungles, in the forest, developed his meditation and learned how to rise into the air and fly. Now, this particular hermit, he wasn't just an ordinary levitator. He was a very skillful, one of the best levitators that have ever been. Because he decided that he'd could go so fast, they said, faster than arrow. He decided to try and find out where the universe ends. So one day decided, off he went. He went for many, many, many years, could never find beyond solar systems into deep space, using the power of the mind to be able to do this. And some people say that's just I believe that's just not real facts. That one. I'll mention a few facts which show that could and probably was real impossible. The thing was, he went, they say, for many, many tens of years and died on the way, never finding an end to the universe and being reborn in one of the heavenly realms. He went up to the Buddha and as he told his story in a previous life as a hermit, he'd been levitating and went forever and ever and ever and died on the journey. First Monkeywood, cosmetic, astronaut, whatever you call it. Died on the journey. And that's where the Buddha actually said to him, you stupid hermit, that's not where you find the end of the universe. The end of the universe could be found within you, same as the beginning of the universe. He was the astronaut. What it actually was shown owing was an answer to one of the questions which so often people ask a Buddhist, well, who do Buddhists believe created this universe? They're asking a scientific question the origin of this universe. And because of the fact that Buddhism is founded on meditation, and that meditation can reveal many, many things, especially deep memories of the past, the monks, nuns, ordinary meditators, they can get to such great memories. And not only levitate, but they can remember previous lives. And many people can actually do that. As I've mentioned here, if ever you have a very deep meditation, you're very, very peaceful, very deep inside, very still. And when you come out afterwards, if it is a deep meditation, incredible energy afterwards, you won't be able to go to sleep, you won't be able to just go and watch the TV, because the mind will just be full of its own joy and happiness, very still. It's also, when it's so empowered, you can make suggestions to it, suggestions which it would not normally be able to follow, but be empowered by deep meditation, it does follow it. And you ask yourself for your earliest memory, what's my earliest memory? I've taught this to people, especially meditation retreats, because our meditation retreats, a lot of people every now and again get some deep results. What's your earliest memory? And they get memories of times when there were first of all babies. Then they may get memories in their womb. And if they are lucky, they get memories when they are a very old person. Memories of the past. One of the important things with those past life memories is that they are very real to you. It's as if you're back there experiencing it. And anyone who's had a memory like that, there's no doubt in their mind it's not a baby anymore. That was them. The same way you remember where you were this morning, where you had breakfast? You got no doubts that was you this morning having that breakfast. I didn't imagine it with the same clarity or even greater clarity. You remember that was you. Only it wasn't just a few hours ago. It was many decades ago. A different time, a different body, a different life. Now, if you can imagine that people can do that on nine day meditation retreats. Imagine what you do if you're like a monk or a nun who meditates, not just for a weekend or for nine days, nine years, 29, 39, 59 years. Imagine just how much power you can build up in that meditation. Imagine if you're a Buddha, the power of that type of mind. That's why the Buddha said he did remember past lives, many past lives, many eons of past lives. So specifically, he remembered 91 eons. That's 90 big banks time before and time afterwards, huge spaces of time. And that's why that when he said about not not just one universe, but many universes. We're not talking about power universes like some scientists say. We're talking about sequential universes. Always beginning with what they call sanghati weti. This is part of the unfolding of the universe and the infolding of it beginnings and ends. They even give a measure of the time for a universe. Because I was a theoretical physicist, because my areas of expertise were the very small and the very large. I liked the fundamental particle physics and also astrophysics. Those are two parts which I like the most the big and the small. And so I knew actually what they meant by the age of the universe and what a big bang was all about. The age of the universe is somewhere around the last time I looked in the journal was somewhere around 17,000 million years. Sometimes they change it to about ten or 13 or 18, but somewhere in that order. In the Buddhist suitors, they say about 370 million years is a complete age. So 17 or 13 or 20, when I told that to Jamie big is a straight state astronomy, said, yeah, that's in the ballpark. That is James biggest state, astronomy. He said, that's acceptable. What certainly isn't acceptable is the person who was actually convening that was Beverly James, and she made a joke about that in 100 years ago. Christianity said it was only about 7000 years old, which is completely out of the picture. But what we're actually saying, though, is that there is a cosmology in Buddhism 25 centuries ago, which you don't have any problem at all with modern physics, even to the point of what they say use as world systems galaxies. You know the word they use for galaxies? As wheels. Wheel systems, they call them. This is partly and if any of you have ever seen a galaxy, there's actually two types of galaxies. A spiral galaxy, which is Milky Way, is one of those. You see a little spiral, like a wheel. And the other one is that the globular clusters, which is more like a wheel with a big hub in the middle. But wheels is a very good way of describing galaxies. And this was by someone 25 centuries ago who did not have telescopes. They didn't need them. They can go there themselves. So there's a lot of interesting stuff in your suit, even for those of you who like weird stuff. Sometimes people ask they actually asked this question, that meeting. Do Buddhists believe in extraterrestrial beings? In aliens? Would. Would that really suppose there was like, an alien landed over here? Would that really upset the very foundation of Buddhism? And actually, when I was reading through these old suitors, 25 centuries, actually, you found one in there very very small. Not an alien, but a suitor. It said there are other world systems with other beings on them, with other suns, other planets and other beings on them. That's directly in the angatu. Nikaya. I'll find it for you if you're ever interested in that. On that occasion, at the West Observatory, one of the people at Question Time, they put their hand up and they said, why is it they said that when I look through a telescope, I feel that my religion is challenged? It was a Catholic Christian. There was a very honest lady who was saying that she felt scared when she looked through a telescope, because what she was seeing out there as fact sometimes did not. Meet with what she was told in her books. So Buddhist, you don't need to be afraid. But I take that question and I turned it back onto the scientist. And so what if you get on the opposite end of the telescope and have a look at who's looking? You scientists. I think you be scared afraid if you turn the telescope inwards and looked into yourself and say, who was looking at all of this. Because part of the problem with science is it is all out there. It's always a metaphor of a person looking through the telescope, looking into the apparatus, but never reflecting back, to see who's actually looking at all of this, who's doing this life. Because it was getting a bit dull. I really stirred up Amy Biggs when I started to talk about life. Because as many, if any of you, any scientists here, you all know that for something like quantum mechanics, quantum theory they have these wave functions. But somehow, when observation, when life, when experience gets involved, it collapses the wave function. It gives it reality, an experience, a real thing. And there has to be an observation and life in there to make it happen. In the same way, I remember reading in one of the journals, I don't know how long ago there's one of the fundamental laws of physics called the second law of thermodynamics. The entropy always increases. In other words, we get more chaotic. But there was one fellow, I don't know his name. I forgot his name. The one Nobel Prize for showing that the exception is when it's a closed system and is life. And that turns around the second law of it thermodynamics and we get organization rather than disorganization because of life. And Ice was having this lovely argument which really stirred people up because it was getting a bit boring. And there are like arguments sometimes gets people going with JV biggs that the universe is a closed system and it's got life in it. That's where there's organization. So life observation is what they called in physics when I was at university. The ghost in the machine. The ghost in the machine which actually messes up all the theories. This is why I was saying that what we take as science in the universities, in the labs, in the hospitals often suffers the same, which I would criticize religion for dogmatism. You know what dogmatism is like in religion, when we have a belief and whether it fits with experience or not, whether it's useful or not, whether it's conducive to people's, happiness, harmony, peace in the world or not, we follow it just because. Well, that's my belief. Just following beliefs blindly. Dogmatically is just a recipe for violence or suffering for everything. One of the beautiful things about Buddhism which encouraged me to be a Buddhist when I was young and which keeps me as a Buddhist, was that questioning was always encouraged. And you did not need to believe, even to the point that in one of the tales from the time of the Buddha, the Buddha was giving a teaching to his chief monk, venerable Sari Puta. And this was one of those stories which is central to the very ideals behind Buddhism. And after giving this teaching, he turned around to his chief monk, This famous, wise second in charge, basically and says so, Pitta, do you believe what I said? And so put, without any hesitation, said no, I don't believe it because I haven't experienced it yet. And the Buddhist said, well done, well done. That is it the attitude which I want to encourage in all my disciples. Not just to believe it, but to keep the open mind until you've experienced it. And that goes against that dogmatism, that fundamentalism, which you don't just see in religions but you see that in science as well. The eminence of a great scientist. As the old saying goes, the eminence is measured by the length of time they obstruct progress in their field. The more famous, the more prominent they are the more their views and ideas are taken to be gospel truths the more they stop other people challenging them and putting forth a better truth. Way of Buddhism is if you find a better choice, use it. There is this whole story in the time of the Buddha about these two people who went looking for some sort of goods or treasure in a town which had been abandoned. And they found this is an old story straight from the books. They found some old hemp, and so they decided to make a bundle of the hemp and carry away because they could sell it when they got back to the make a big bundle of hemp. And then they came across some hemp and cloth. One of the guys said, what do I need to hemp for? Hemp and cloth is better. The other guy said, no, this is already well bound up. I've played this for so long already. I'll keep my old knife of hemp. And then they found some flax, and then they found some cotton. Then they found some cotton cross all the time they're a guy who was coding to him said, no, it's already okay for me. Then they found some silver, and then they found some gold. At each time, one of the guys would always change what he had on his head for something better. But the other guy kept his old bundle of hemp. When they got home, they said the guy who carried the gold, he said, was very popular with his family. And the guy who carried the hemp did not please either himself, his family or anybody. It was a simile which Sabuddha gave of why don't we change our views, our ideas, when we see something better? You know why we don't do that? Because it's called attachment. It's called self. This is my view we don't really want to change. We feel comfortable with the old views, even though we know they are wrong. Sometimes our image is bound up with those views like a scientist is bound up with their achievements, what they've seen so far. And this is a problem called dogmatism. Sometimes when I say about Levitation, some people say well, that doesn't exist. Just theory. Where do you see someone, even if you saw someone ever take even if the three months here, we just raised up about two or 3ft, wouldn't that be good? So we can't do that in public, against our rules. Even if we did even if we did, it would be terrible if we did this. One of the reasons why we can't do this psychic powers in front of people. If we did, we got this movie over here. Someone will probably set it to channel seven. And then you get everybody, even from overseas, coming to Perth, not to listen to the Dharma, not to listen to Buddhism, but just to see the monks do their tricks. And then you get into all sorts of problems with having to demonstrate it every time. The point being here is that's not what monks are there for, to demonstrate tricks. But suppose you did do it. A lot of people say this is just a trick. Just like special effects. They're not really levitating. If you don't want to believe it, you won't. This is the problem again with dogmatism. What you don't want to see, you just cannot see. You don't want to believe. It in denial. This is why that I was really charging a lot of scientists are in denial about the truth of the mind. And you've all heard me say before here that and I've mentioned this in this seminar over here, because this is one of the easiest, well known, or should be well known cases which really challenge modern science. It's the old case of Professor John Lord, sheffield University and the Boy With No Brain. And if any of you want to check that out, click onto internet Professor John Lorber, see if you can actually find it there, because this is real. Professor John Lorber was a scientist in Sheffield University whose area of expertise, his area of study, his speciality was to shape the anatomy of the human skull. And he would do a lot of research on people whose skull shape was slightly out of the ordinary. And whenever he was walking the corridors of the campus, if ever he saw any student whose head was slightly deformed, he would actually offer them a few pounds of beer money to be able to join in the experiments. And one day, he came across a young student whose skull shape was slightly deformed. No other person would ever notice this, but he was the expert. And when he invited this student onto the research program, the first thing he did to the student was to give him a Cat scan, a CT scan of his head, and there he found this boy had had no brain, but he was an honors student in mathematics. At Sheffield University, and it became the famous boy with no brain. And this is not just a fabrication. That Cat scan has been done again. They found other people with no brains, especially at this time. They were saying during the First World War, when there was such carnage in the trenches of Europe, when people had their skulls literally blown apart by bullets and shrapnel, the doctors there found that many of those corpses with their heads shattered were empty. There was no brain there. The evidence of those doctors was put aside as being too difficult to understand. But this professor, Lord, he went forward with his findings and published them to the great disturbance of the scientific community. You know how many billions of dollars are going into the research? On the brain and how that the chemical imbalances in the brain and the synapses are causing your depression or your lack of intelligence or your emotional this or your emotional that. And here is one clear piece of evidence to show you don't need a brain to have a mind. For those of you who are more technically minded, a doctor friend in Sydney explained it more accurately to me once. He said he'd seen that CT scan is well known in the medical community. He said he did his training in Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney. He told me that what that boy had is called a reptilian brain stem. And he explained that usually any baby born with just a reptilian brain stem without the cortex and the other stuff. Will usually die straight away or just a few days, weeks after birth. It's only just enough most times. Not enough to keep the basic bodily functions of breathing hearts live and stuff going, he said. It's certainly not enough to keep the higher brain functions going. It's certainly not enough for speech, not enough for intelligence. Certainly not enough for being an honest student in mathematics. This doctor told me, he said I don't graham you wouldn't believe the problem that is causing in that part of science because it's shattering so much research because it is challenging so many drugs which make their makers uses billions of dollars in profits because people can't really understand how it is a person without a brain can be intelligent. It says that they're just putting it in the back of the fighting cabinet as an anomaly, but it won't go away. The dogmatism of science says as soon as you start to put in this mind, this ghost in the machine, the scientists get fundamentally and dogmatic and say, no, it doesn't exist. This is why I really took Mr Biggs to chart, to task about the dogmatism of science. As far as Buddhism is concerned, there are six senses. Not just the five senses. Sight, sound, smell, taste, touch. From the very beginning, mind has been the 6th sense 25 centuries ago. Six senses were always there. And that 6th sense 25 centuries ago. This is not just changing things to keep up with science. It was there from the very beginning. Six sense of mind is independent of the other five senses. In particular. That mind is independent of the brain. That's why if you volunteer for brain transplant with me, you take my brain, I take your brain. I will still be a gentrum and you will still be you. You want to try it? If it was possible, it would happen. You would still be you. The reason why is the mind and the brain two different things? The mind can use the brain. It doesn't have to today. I was giving a funeral service this afternoon. You all heard of outofthebodody experiences. These out of body experiences have been put on a solid scientific foundation. That's why I said this is a scientific fact. Experiences. I like to stir people up by saying that that's a scientific fact. How the body experiences exists. Recently I saw a researcher from Southampton university medical school presented a paper in the US. Stating that consciousness survives death. He said, don't know why it happens, how it happens, happens. He says it does. And his evidence were people who had out of the body experiences in his hospital when they died. On the operating table. One of the things which they found out, one of the scientific facts, is to have those out of body experiences, you have to be dead. Only those people who have medically died floated out of their body. And this fellow in Southampton university, I forget his name he investigated, interviewed many, many patients. And the information which they gave him as a co headed scientist said, yeah, those people were conscious during the time they were dead. Especially. What was very convincing was that they could actually describe through the doctor the medical procedures which were done at the time they were dead. They could describe it as if they were looking at their body from a position above the table. He said how that happens. You just can't explain why it happens. Can't explain. But the evidence proved to this hard nose doctor, it does happen. He was repeating some work done by Dr Raymond Rudy in United States earlier. How could that happen? How it happens if we agree that the mind has nothing really much to do with the body, brain doesn't need to be there to have a mind. The scientific facts are there, the evidence is there. But a lot of scientists don't like to admit those facts. They don't like to draw the obvious conclusions because of dogmatism. If you had one person, one person who was meditating, be dead, who could describe what was being said, who could describe what was happening to them, to the doctors, as soon as they came out of anesthetic, wouldn't that be pretty convincing? When I was doing elementary particle physics, there was one theory which required for its proof the existence of what was called a W particle and the cyclotron a synchronous something. In Geneva, they did a huge research project, bashing atoms together, one of these big atom smashes, to try and find one of these W particles. They spent literally hundreds of thousands of hundreds of millions of pounds on this project. And they found one. Just one. I don't think they found one since. And once they found one W particle, the people involved in that project all got Nobel Prizes for physics. They proved this theory by just finding the one W particle. And that's good science. Just one is enough to prove. But when it comes to things we don't like to believe, just one experience, one clear, factual, undeniable experience they call anomaly. Anomaly is a word in science. For some of you can put in the back of a fighting cabinet and not look it again because it's changing our world view, changing what we want to believe, threatening our dogma. The point that evidence is there. And if one evince that evidence, if one has a scientific method. The scientific method is that the theories have to be abandoned in favor of the evidence, the facts. And that theories, what we call sacred cows in the west, have to be. And if you see something which challenges every theory in science, you have to not just ignore the facts. You have to change the theories. That's also in Buddhism, all the dumb of the Buddha, everything he taught. If it does not fit experience, you should not take on the Buddha's words in contradiction of experience. That's Kalamasuta, where the Buddha said, do not believe just because it's said in the book. So even if I say it, don't just believe because it's tradition or because it sounds good or because it's comforting to you. Make sure it fits your experience. The existence of life of mind, if you look carefully, fits experience, the facts are there. However, sometimes in this age, we cannot trust the experts. You cannot trust a jamborn. You cannot trust the scientific journals because people are biased. Sometimes Buddhism gives you that scientific method for yourself. It says you can do the experiment and find out if what the Buddha said was true or not. Check out your experience, for example, the experiments, the method to test out the truth of past lives, rebirth, reincarnation. He said don't believe it. Find out for yourself. And he gave a scientific experiment months. What you should do what you should do to find out if you're. How to pass life. Meditate. I don't mean just meditating, just to make yourself calm and get rid of stress. I mean really meditate, deeply meditate. Get your mind into what we call the janus. Deep states of absorption, where the body is has disappeared. You don't feel, you can't see, you can't hear, absolutely inside the mind. No thoughts, but perfectly aware. Blissed out if you get into one of those janus. And the method, the instructions for the experiment are very clearly laid down, even in my little book, the Basic method of Meditation. All the steps are there if you follow them, and if you invest the resources necessary for doing that experiment, it doesn't not only just one week retreat, many weekend retreats, many years sometimes of meditating, if you want to follow that scientific method. After you got into a January and you emerge afterwards. If then you ask yourself my earliest memory, you can go back and you will remember and you will see for yourself the experience of past lives. Then you will know. Yet it's true because you have seen an experience for yourself. If you want to understand the law of karma which is part of Buddhism karma is that just a theory or should you believe it's? A god up there to decide whether you're happy or whether you're unhappy? Was it just chance? Everything which happens to you, your bare happiness or suffering in life your joy, your pain, disappointments is that deserved? Have you done that? Or is it someone else's fault? Is it just chance? You know, whether we're rich or whether we're poor, whether we sick. Where we live to an old age or a young age or whatever. Why? You can find that out for yourself. Experience the law of karma again through that deep meditation when the Buddhist sat under the Bodhi tree at Bodgia. Those are the two knowledge they say he got before full enlightenment. Experience of the truth, of rebirth, the experience of what karma is all about. Not theory, not thinking, not something you discuss around a coffee table, but deep experience and also the experience of the nature of mind. All the religions in the world start talking about a soul except Buddhism, the self and essence of all being a person and me. And this is one of the deepest of questions to answer. Ghost in the machine. What is that? Ghost. Is it a soul? Is it a being? What is it? When the Buddhist said there's no one in there, he never meant that to be believed. He meant that to be experienced. He said, this is a scientific fact. There's no one inside of you. But like any scientific fact, it has to be re experienced. Each one for themselves. Pacha tangoed to bow in yuhi. Many of you charted that in the Pooja just before I came in. Basic fundamental scientific Buddhism. To be experienced, each person for themselves. You keep an open mind. You don't believe there's no self. You don't believe there is a self. Both a dogmatism. What you understand, you take that open mind, you do the experiment. The experiment of Sela Samadi panya. Virtue, meditation, insight. Basic Buddhism. Do the fundamental experiment with the Buddha did under the Bodhi tree. Repeat it and see if we get the same results. Result is called enlightenment. Many men and women have repeated that experiment experiments over the centuries. That's where we get the enlightened alahites from. There are ones who have done the experiment and found the results. That's why the Buddhism always has been a scientific way of finding out for yourself the truth of these things on the way to enlightenment, which might feel a long way for you. There's also the scientific way of finding out what most people are interested in. Happiness. What is happiness? Little party trick for you? There's a trick which is very wonderful to demonstrate to people. The existence of the mind. Even we had some students from the Islamic school came to a monastery on Thursday. I was trying to teach them some Buddhism. I asked them are you happy? Put your hands up if you're happy now. Are you all miserable? One person, that's all. Come on. Are you happy? OK. All those people who put their hands up saying they're happy with your index finger, can you now please point to that happiness? Can you point to the happiness? Can you give it coordinates in space? A science heart, isn't it? To locate happiness even when you're depressed. Have you ever been depressed? Next time you're depressed with the index finger, point to it. Where is it? You know why you cannot locate depression or happiness? You cannot give it coordinates. Because these things reside in the mind. Not in the body, not in space, in mind. And the mind is not located in space. That's why after a person dies, they become a ghost. Ghost can appear all over the world immediately. Sometimes people ask, how can that happen? How can a person who dies, say, in New York, appear in Perth immediately? Because the mind is not located in space. That's why. In the same way you cannot point to happiness, you cannot point to depression. But it's real. Were you imagining that? Happiness? Do you imagine depression? It's real. You all know that. Because it's part of the mind. The mind is it's not in the brain? People have no brains. It's not in the heart. You can take out your heart and have a force heart or have somebody else's heart transplant the whole body. That's why Buddhists have no objection at all to cloning. You want to clone me? You can go for it. But don't think that if you clone Ajun Brahm then you'll be able to have an adjunct. Brahm who goes to Singapore this evening. And another one who stays here for next Friday night's talk. And one who can stay in the monastery. And one who can go this evening. One to Melbourne. If you clone me, the person who looked like me would be completely different. Personality, knowledge, inclination, everything else. In the same way that people clone a Toyota car. It looks exactly the same. Very depends on the driver inside the car. This is all cloning. Is it's just body? You're just making another body up. Sure it looks the same, but is that all that a person is, is their body? Haven't you seen identical twins? Are identical twins the same personality? Have they got the same intelligence? They got the same inclinations? Don't even like the same food usually. No, that's a clone. So sometimes I get sort of really tear my hair out if I wasn't a monk. Why are people making all this problem about cloning? If they want to go for it, go for it. This is body. All this stem cell research, it's going to help people go for it. It's going to help people. What's the dogmatic unsolved scientific and religious objections to these things? Absolutely stupid as far as I'm concerned. Clone as much as you want. You're just creating more bodies, streams of consciousness to come into where those streams of consciousness comes from their past lives, who knows? You never get the person you expect. Einstein's brain. Apparently there's a movie about that or something. If you get part of his DNA and you cloning your Einstein, he will look the same. You won't be half as clever, I guarantee. Stem cell research. That's not a being. There a thing hasn't come in yet. In Buddhism, they say a being descends into the mother's womb at any time from conception until birth. Sometimes it doesn't go in there at all. One of the cases of rebirth, those of you want to look scientific evidence of rebirth. Professor Ian Stevenson. He's spent his whole life putting rebirth onto a scientific basis. It wasn't for the fact that people just do not want to believe in rebirth. He be a famous scientist now. His? University of Virginia. He spent a couple of years as a visiting fellow of Maudling College in Oxford. This is not just some weird professor. He's got all of the credentials. His research was funded by the wife of the founder of Xerox. Gave him all the funding for this. I don't know if Xerox to do with reproduction or reincarnation. It's really weird, but these things do happen. But anyway, he found one case, very clear case, of a person who remembered their past lives with no way of getting any of that information from any other source except that that person was him in a previous life. Only that that person died. His previous life died only a few weeks before he was born. They wondered all those other months that fetus was in the womb, who was it? As Buddhism is concerned, the mother can keep that fetus going, her sort of stream of consciousness. But when another stream of consciousness enters, then it becomes the new person. And that was one case. It's where that stream of consciousness enter the mother's word. When the treatments were pretty well developed, that can happen. That's part of Buddhism 25 centuries ago, stream of consciousness doesn't enter the mother's stillborn child. Heaps of evidence about that. That's why that when a Buddhist looks through a telescope, they're not scared. They're not scared of science. Science is an essential part of Buddhism. If science can disprove rebirth, then Buddhists should give up the idea of rebirth. If science disprove proves nonself and shows it is a self, then all Buddhists should abandon nonself. If science proves there's no such thing as karma but there's a big god up in the sky, then all Buddhists should believe that if it's provable buddhism has no sacred cows. However, I encourage you to do those experiments. I bet you you will find out there is no one in there. You will find out karma. You will find out. You've been here before, not your first life. And if you don't behave yourselves, you have another life to come yet. If you think you're finished with school and with nappies do you really want to go through that again? So be careful. So science and Buddhism I think that Buddhism is pure science which doesn't stop without there, but which also includes the mind, the being, the ghost in the machine and doesn't make any anomalies picks. Everything inside looks at it scientifically, especially with experience. And it's incredibly successful. One of the reasons why people celebrate science is because of all of its achievements in technology one of the reasons why Buddhism is growing these days, because of all of its achievements in the technology of the mind. It how it solves problems, how it explains mental difficulties, and how it succeeds in solving those inner problems. In the same way we celebrate science, because it has all these great gizmos which actually work. You try some of these Buddhist schismos, they work. They solve your inner suffering and pain. That's why Buddhism is growing. I think that Buddhism will supplant. Science. Buddhism and science. Thank you very much. Okay. Any questions, comments, or complaints? Any scientists here? Yeah, go on. 14s How can the tranquilizers work on a person? I recently read an article in one of the magazines that the most of tranquilizers a Cozac. Somebody compared prozac to placebos and found the placebos work just as well. One of the reasons why such things work is because of belief, confidence. If you're sold this amazing project, this snake oil, that it works, why was snake oil so popular? Why do people swear by snake oil? Because it worked. Because people believed. One of the medical experiments, which was done not so long ago, some doctors in the US. Treated people, people with bad knees. They had arthritis or very serious problems. They could see it on the X rays. One of these doctors, I don't know how he got away with this, but this was reported. He put them on a general anesthetic, made incision on the knee. They merely sewed up again and put them back in their beds, never telling them that all they did was make a scar. Sewed up afterwards. They did nothing else. They got everyone to tell the patient that the operation was successful, they should recover. And the patient did recover. Not once, but many times. The placebo effect they saw the scar they've been through the anesthetic, they would never believe that the doctor would just do the cut and then nothing else. They got better. This was actually reported not once, but many times. How did that work? Mind and belief. Where does belief live? In the mind? Faith. Why is it that whether it's a Buddhist or a Christian, if they believe so much, they actually do get cured? Don't have to be a Christian. A Buddhist happens as well. How? The mind is huge. That's what happens. A lot of those things are belief. 9s Okay, I think that's enough this evening. So I know there's a few scientists and psychiatrists and psychologists in here. You can come and have a go at me afterwards. But thank you. Thank you for listening again, what I said. Don't believe it. Just please experiment. Investigate this for yourself. So if you don't take those antidepressants and you get even worse, please do not sue the Buddhist society.

Other Episodes