Question on the Death of the Individual

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Craig
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Question on the Death of the Individual

Post by Craig » Thu Jul 24, 2008 5:18 am

I'm a bit confused by something Ramana says in The Spiritual Teaching of Ramana Maharshi.

Disciple: Does not death dissolve the individuality of a person, so that there can be no rebirth, just as the rivers discharged into the ocean lose their individualties?

Maharshi: But when the waters evaporate and return as rain on the hills, they once more flow in the form of rivers and fall into the ocean; so also the individualities during sleep lose their seperateness and yet return as individuals according to their samskaras or past tendencies. Even so it is in death; and the individuality of the person with samskaras is not lost.

Disciple: How can that be?

Maharshi: See how a tree whose branches have been cut grows again. So long as the roots of the tree remain unimpaired, the tree will continue to grow. Similarly, the samskaras, which have merely sunk into the Heart on death, but have not perished for that reason, occaision rebirth at the right time; and that is how jivas are reborn.

I can understand if what Ramana was talking about was simply that the true Self is immortal, and since we are only the Self, what we truly are is "reborn" infinitely whenever there is a manifestation of form. But the text seems to say more than this as well. It seems to imply that there is an individual soul that can re-arise in another form, and that there are individual elements of us (and our various forms) that survive death and remanifest again.
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Crystalrays
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Re: Question on the Death of the Individual

Post by Crystalrays » Thu Jul 24, 2008 9:29 am

There seem to be various elements existent as realities which are not all easily identified or proveable and some which will always elude us, such as whether ones own consciousness is preserved and passed onward as its unique self to realms other than those in this life.

Inherited consciousness however is more easily identifiable in present reality. Whatever deep meaning you may have gathered from others survives in you and is passed down generations chaotically just as it came to them.

And collectively even nations have a culture based consciousness born out of powers which established it in previous generations. In this manner we see how whole networks of consciousnesses evolve through time and are coming together in the melting pot of mankind as human population increases, though the resultant vector of humanity is by no means certain, and some place thought behind a notion that a collective consciousness is somehow steering all consciousness to whatever lies ahead. And this will be determined by all the individuals who have ever lived and contributed to whatever recycles as reality.

Is that what you had ideas of?

Vpopov81
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Re: Question on the Death of the Individual

Post by Vpopov81 » Thu Jul 24, 2008 12:36 pm

If you don't know for yourself out of your own self knowledge what good does it do you who says what. Its not your experience either way. Just look around you and trust that an intelligence higher than you has everything under control and stop trying to plan for death when you dont even know what tommorow brings.

Craig
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Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 5:49 am

Re: Question on the Death of the Individual

Post by Craig » Thu Jul 24, 2008 11:38 pm

Vpopov81 wrote:If you don't know for yourself out of your own self knowledge what good does it do you who says what. Its not your experience either way. Just look around you and trust that an intelligence higher than you has everything under control and stop trying to plan for death when you dont even know what tommorow brings.
That may be, but I'm still curious about the quote, especially because something that Ramana says later on in the text seems to discount what he stated here, unless I've misunderstood him.
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