Buddhist Science, Psychology and Religion


I’ve been asked to speak this evening about “Why Buddhism?” which is, of course, a valid question, especially in the West, where we have our own religions, so why do we need Buddhism? 

I think it’s very important to understand that when we speak about Buddhism, there are many different aspects to it. There are what can be called Buddhist science, Buddhist psychology and Buddhist religion: 

  • When we speak about Buddhist science, this is referring to things like logic, how we know things, and basically the view of reality – how the universe has come about, these types of things – the relation between mind and matter. All of this is dealing with scientific topics, and Buddhism has a lot to offer in these areas.
  • Then, Buddhist psychology deals with various emotional states, especially disturbing emotions that cause us a great deal of unhappiness (anger, jealousy, greed, etc.). Buddhism is very rich in methods for how to deal with the problems that come up from these disturbing emotions.
  • Buddhist religion, on the other hand, deals with various ritual aspects, prayers; it deals with topics like rebirth, and that also is a very rich area.

When we ask, “Why Buddhism? What need do we have for Buddhism in the West in the contemporary world?” I think we need to look specifically at Buddhist science and Buddhist psychology. If people are interested in the more religious aspects of Buddhism, that’s very good, no problem. However, in general, it is not very easy if we are brought up in one religion to change to another religion, and for most people, it causes conflict within themselves, loyalty conflict, and particularly can cause problems at the time of death, we’re very confused about what to actually believe. 

We need to be very careful about being Westerners growing up in Western traditions and turning to the religious aspects of Buddhism, because there are additional problems that can be there, such as superstition coming in and expecting miracle things from Buddhist rituals. It is much better, much more recommended, at least in the beginning, to focus on Buddhist science and Buddhist psychology. These are areas that can be integrated very well into our Western traditions without conflict. Let’s look at some of these aspects of Buddhist science and psychology.

Buddhist Science 


Logic is a very important part of the Buddhist training, and the way that it is studied is in terms of debating. So, what’s the purpose of debate? The purpose of debate is not to win over our opponent, to prove that the opponent is wrong. Rather, the whole point of the debate is that there’s somebody who is the proponent, and they state a certain position or certain understanding of one of the Buddhist teachings, and the other person challenges their understanding and is trying to test the other person to see how consistent they are in their understanding. If we believe this or that, then logically, something else follows from it, and if what follows from it is nonsense, doesn’t make any sense, then there’s something wrong with our understanding. This is very important because if we’re going to try to understand something deeply concerning basic facts of reality, let’s say, such as impermanence, then we want to engage in what’s called meditation – we want to think deeply about it and make it a part of the way that we view the world. 

Everything is changing moment to moment to moment, and that’s something that is important to understand in terms of our general mental peace. For instance, we buy a new computer and eventually it breaks, and we get all upset about it, “Why should it break?” and so on. However, if we think about it logically, the reason that it broke was that it was made in the first place. Because it was made from so many different parts and so many different things that are interconnected, then it’s very unstable; of course, at some point, it’s going to break. 

Even when we meet somebody, and we develop a strong friendship or even a partnership, eventually it ends. Why did it end? Why did we break up? We broke up because we met. Every moment after we met, the circumstances and conditions changed in this person’s life and in our life. The circumstances that supported our initial friendship are no longer there, and the friendship is dependent on all these conditions. So, when it ends, well, of course, it’s going to end because the conditions supporting it have changed. The final event which seems to us to cause the breakup – an argument, let’s say – is only the condition for the friendship to end. If it wasn’t this condition, it would have been something else, but the actual cause for it to end was because it began. 

It’s the same thing in terms of our life (this is the Buddhist attitude toward death): What’s the reason why we died? The reason is we were born. The actual sickness or accident was just the circumstance of death. If we’re born, we die. Simple. That’s reality. These are the aspects of Buddhist science, and this is logical. In a debate, the other person would test our understanding of this and try to find holes in our argument: 

  • “Well, you could say, ‘If I didn’t eat this or didn’t go to this place, I wouldn’t have died.’”
  • Whereas the other person would say, “Yes, but there would be other circumstances. Because you were born, you’ll die.”

Like that, through logic, through debate, one comes to a definite understanding without any indecision (“Is it like this, or is it like that?”). That way, our understanding becomes very firm, very stable, and whether we’re doing meditation after that or whatever, it becomes much more effective. This type of discussion, debate, logic, is very helpful for anybody in any situation. Very often, we think in ways that are very unclear; we don’t think of the consequences of our actions or the consequences of our way of thinking. If we can learn to think logically, then we’ll have far less trouble in our lives. 

This is one aspect of Buddhist science. 


Then, in terms of reality, one point we already discussed is impermanence. Everything is changing moment to moment to moment and coming closer and closer each moment to its end. This is reality. It’s true about our age. We can think, “Every day I’m getting older” and think, “Well, okay,” but how many of us think, “Every day I’m getting closer to my death? That’s just reality.” However, if we are aware of that, that each day we’re getting closer to our death and that death can happen at any time, which is true, then we don’t waste our time. We don’t put things off until tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow, but we use our lives in as meaningful a way as we can. 

What’s most meaningful is to try to be of benefit to others, so this is reality. It’s very helpful to think, “If this was my last day, what would I want to do on this last day? How would I use it in a meaningful way?” Because we never know when our last day will be. We could be hit by a car when we leave this room. This is not meant to make us depressed; it’s meant to make us use our time much more meaningfully. 

Let’s take another example in terms of reality. Imagine being in an elevator with ten other people, and the elevator gets stuck. The electricity goes off, and we’re stuck in this elevator with these ten people for a whole day. How would we deal with each other? If we start to fight, if we start to argue, it’s going to be like a hell in this elevator. The only way that we can survive is if everybody is helpful, friendly and kind to each other, because we’re all stuck in this elevator together; we’re all stuck in the same situation. So, this is logical. This is reasonable, isn’t it? 

Then, we extend this to the whole planet. The whole planet is like a big elevator, and we’re all stuck on this planet together. If we argue and fight with each other, it just becomes absolutely miserable for everybody. The only way that we can survive is by everybody being friendly and kind and helpful to each other, because we’re all here together, and we’re all in the same situation. We breathe the same air; we share the same ocean, water, land. We’re all in the same elevator. So, like this. This is reality together with logic. 

Also, we have many fantasies and projections. We imagine that we and others and the world exist in all sorts of impossible ways. We project that, and it seems as though this is the way things exist, but it doesn’t correspond to reality; it’s just our fantasy, our projection. For example, we might think that we can act in a certain way, and it doesn’t have any consequences. “I can do without a good education, I can be lazy, and somehow this isn’t going to have any effect on my life; I’ll still be successful.” Or that “I can be late, or I can say cruel things to you, and it won’t have consequences.” 

A lot of people regard other people as not really having feelings. They never think that what they say might hurt the other person. So, “I can be late, and it doesn’t matter.” Well, this is not reality. This is a projection of fantasy about cause and effect, but the reality is that everybody has feelings, just as we do, and what we say and how we act with others is going to affect their feelings, just as the way that others treat us and speak to us affects our feelings. So that’s reality, isn’t it? The more that we understand that and keep mindful of that, the more considerate we are of others. We care about how we affect them, and we modify our behavior accordingly. 

Or we could imagine that we exist independently of everybody else. This also is not reality, is it? If we think like that, then we’d think, “I should always get my way. I’m the most important, so I should always be served first before everybody else in the restaurant,” and if we don’t get our way, we get very upset, very angry. The problem, of course, is that everyone else thinks that they’re the most important person, and nobody will agree that we’re the most important. This is our projection. This is our fantasy. This is not reality. Nobody is the center of the universe. Nobody is the most important. We’re all equal in the sense that everybody wants to be liked, nobody wants to be disliked. Everybody in the restaurant waiting to be served wants to have their meal, not just us. Everybody waiting in a doctor’s office wants to have their turn, not just us, so we’re all equal. This is again reality. 

Buddhist Science and Western Science

This is part of Buddhist science to understand reality and to modify our behavior accordingly. There are, of course, other aspects of the teachings about reality. It’s very interesting how Western scientists are starting to find that many of the points made in Buddhist science are different correct ways of looking at things which they had not considered before. 

For instance, we have in Western science, the law of conservation of matter and energy: matter and energy can be neither created nor destroyed, only transformed. If we think in terms of that, what follows logically is that there’s no beginning and no end. When we think in terms of the Big Bang, then we might think the Big Bang came from nothing – it started from nothing – but the Buddhist point of view is that there was something before the Big Bang. 

Buddhism has no problem with the Big Bang as the start of this particular universe, but there have been countless universes before, and there’ll be countless universes after. Western science is slowly starting to think in these terms as well, and also it’s logical from a basic Western scientific point of view. Here again, we come to logic. If we believe that matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed but only transformed, then it is totally inconsistent logically to assert, “But it had a beginning with the Big Bang.” This is a clear example of the application of this Buddhist logic and debate to positions that we have in Western science. 

One of the main assertions in Buddhist science is the relation between mind and matter. Mind and matter are interrelated. We can’t reduce mind to just the brain or some chemical process. You see, the problem is when we use the word mind, we tend to think of it as being some sort of thing, but that’s not the Buddhist concept. The Buddhist concept is speaking about mental activity. We can describe mental activity – which means knowing things – by some chemical or electrical process in the brain, but we can also describe it from an experiential point of view, and it’s this experiential point of view that we’re talking about when Buddhism speaks about mind. 

The medical scientists are discovering that it’s true what Buddhism says, that our state of mind, the quality of our experiencing life, will affect our physical health. If we have peace of mind, inner calm, we will be free of always worrying and complaining and thinking in a very negative, pessimistic way. If we think in these negative ways, it is harmful to our health. Whereas if we are optimistic, kind, thinking of others, friendly, calm, this strengthens the immune system, and it is conducive to better health. Medical science, in various centers around the world, is doing research about this, and they’re finding that what Buddhism says is true, that our state of mind affects the body, so it affects matter. 

There are many programs in the West now using what’s known as “mindfulness” meditation for control of pain to help people to deal with stress, pain, difficult situations. This is basically staying focused on the breath, which keeps us calm. It grounds us to the earth, in a sense, so that we’re not so upset about thinking, “Me, me, me and my pain and my worry” and “I’m so upset.” It calms us down and is very, very helpful for pain management, so we certainly don’t have to follow Buddhist religion in order to benefit from such methods. 

This is Buddhist science. 

Buddhist Psychology 

Now, Buddhist psychology deals with how we know things, so in other words, cognitive science (the difference between psychology and science is not so strict). We have the study of ways of knowing – how do we know things? – and also an analysis of mental factors, such as emotions, and how we deal with emotional problems. These are the two areas of Buddhist psychology. 

Ways of Knowing Things

It’s very important is to be able to recognize the difference between valid ways of understanding and invalid ways of understanding or knowing things. Buddhism has a lot to say about this. A valid way of knowing something is defined as a way of knowing that is both accurate and decisive. “Accurate” means that it is correct, that it corresponds to reality; it can be validated by others. “Decisive” means we are sure; we’re definite. It’s not the state of mind of “Well, maybe it’s like this, or maybe it’s like that, but I don’t really know.” 

What are the valid ways of knowing things? We can have what’s known as bare perception. This is seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and feeling some physical sensation. When we see someone, this needs to be valid. It’s not always valid: “I thought I saw something over there, but I’m not quite sure.” “I thought I saw you in the crowd, but I’m not quite sure. I thought I saw you, but actually, it was somebody else.” “I thought you said this, but maybe I was wrong, and I heard differently.” That’s not valid, is it? That isn’t accurate and decisive. 

There can be a lot of causes for distortion. Like I take off my glasses, and I see just a blur in front of me, but we don’t exist as a blur, do we? There’s something wrong with my eyes, and that’s why it looks distorted. If I asked somebody else, “Do you see a blur over there?” they would say no, so I would know that what I saw was wrong. Thus, we have bare perception, and here we’re talking about accurate, decisive perception. 

Next is inferential understanding. It has to be a valid one, though, not an incorrect one, inference, reasoning. “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire” is the classic example. We see smoke coming from a chimney on the far mountain, so we have a valid perception – we see the smoke – and we can infer the presence of a fire although we don’t actually see the fire. Where there’s smoke, there must be a fire. That’s valid. 

However, there are some things that we can’t even know by logic, like the name of the person who lives in that house, and for that, we need a valid source of information. That’s also a type of inference that this person is a valid source of information and, therefore, what they say is true. The best example of that is, “When is my birthday?” There’s no way that we could know our birthday by ourselves. The only way we can know our birthday is by asking our mother or seeing the records, so a valid source of information. 

There are many forms of inference. There’s inference based on well-known conventions. We hear a sound, how do we know that it’s a word? How do we know what meaning it has? That is quite an amazing process if we think about it. We’re just hearing sounds, basically, but because we have learned certain conventions, we infer when we hear this sound that it is the sound of a word, and we infer that it has a certain meaning. Of course, we have to check because sometimes we think that a person means something by what they say when they actually mean something completely different. 

This is what we’re talking about when we talk about this aspect of Buddhist psychology, cognitive science. We have to check. “I infer from what you said that this is what you mean, but is that correct or not?” Very often, we misunderstand what the other person’s meaning is, don’t we? Somebody says, “I love you,” and we could think that means that they are sexually interested in us, whereas that’s not at all their meaning. A lot of misunderstandings can come because of that incorrect inference. 

So, if it is valid inference, it is accurate and decisive. 

Presumption is invalid. “I presume that you mean this, but I’m not sure.” Presumption is a guess, basically. “I guess this is what you mean.” It could be right, it could be wrong, but it’s indecisive. “I think that this is what you mean.” That’s presumption, but we’re not sure. Then, there’s indecisive wavering, “Do you mean this, or do you mean that?” We go back and forth. Then there’s distorted cognition, where we think something completely incorrect. This isn’t at all what the other person meant. 

This is how cognition works, and Buddhism speaks a great deal about this. It’s very, very helpful for us to understand, from any type of background, “Is my way of knowing this correct or incorrect?” If we’re still not sure, then we need to recognize that and try to correct it, try to find out again what is reality. This is helpful for anybody. We don’t need Buddhist religion and rituals for this. 

Disturbing Emotions

Then, the other main topic in Buddhist psychology has to do with emotions. We have both positive and negative emotions. These negatives ones are disturbing emotions; they disturb our peace of mind. We’re talking about things like anger. The definition is that this is a state of mind which, when it arises, causes us to lose our peace of mind – so we become a little bit upset, a little bit nervous – and it causes us to lose self-control. When we get angry, our energy, we can feel it, it’s disturbed. We say and do things that later we might regret. We just act compulsively. 

We hear a lot in Buddhism about karma, and what karma is talking about is this compulsive aspect of our behavior based on previous habit. When we have great attachment or desire or greed, then again, we’re not calm – we are upset because we want to have something – and again, we have no self-control, like with that chocolate: we just have to eat it. These are disturbing emotions. 

On the other hand, there are positive ones. Buddhism isn’t saying to get rid of all our emotions. There are things like love, which is the wish for others to be happy and to have the causes of happiness regardless of what they do, regardless of how they treat us or our loved ones. There’s compassion, the wish for others to be free from suffering and the causes of suffering. There’s patience. There’s respect. There are many positive emotions as well. We need to learn to be able to differentiate between what is constructive and what is destructive in our emotions and in our way of acting. Buddhism is very rich in teaching not only all these different emotional states so that we can recognize them, but it’s also rich in methods for helping us to get rid of these disturbing states of mind. 

Do you remember we were speaking about misconceptions, about projections of what’s just not real? One of the most prominent projections is about how we exist. As I was saying, in very simple style, we think that we’re the most important one, that we exist solidly, by ourselves, and we should always have our way, and everybody should like us. What’s very interesting is to think in terms of, “Not everybody liked the Buddha, so why should I expect that everybody’s going to like me?” It’s a very helpful statement to remember. 

Anyway, we think in terms of “I am this solid thing sitting inside my head, the author of the voice going on in my head, worrying about 'What should I do? What do people think of me?' ” As if there’s a little me sitting in the head seeing all the information coming in on a screen and loudspeaker from the senses and pushing the buttons that make the body move or the speech work, “Now I’ll do this. Now I’ll say that.” This is a disturbing misconception about ourselves. How do we know it’s disturbing? Because we all feel insecure. Thinking like that, there’s this insecurity and worry about ourselves, “What do people think of ‘me?’” 

What happens is that we have these projections not only about ourselves but then about everything around us. We see various objects, and we exaggerate the good qualities that they have. We project even good qualities that they don’t have. Like when we fall in love with somebody, “They’re the most wonderful person in the world.” We totally ignore any shortcomings they might have. “They’re the most beautiful, desirable person I’ve ever seen.” Then, if we don’t have them, longing desire, “I’ve got to get them as my partner, as my friend.” If we have them as our friend, there come attachment (we don’t want to let go) and greed (we want more and more of their time). This is a disturbing state of mind, isn’t it? 

We need to see reality; everybody has strong points and weak points. We often think, and this is completely unreal, that “I’m the most important one, so I’m the only one in your life. You should give all your time to me,” and we forget completely that they have other people in their lives as well, other things that they’re involved with, not just us. So, we get angry. We feel insecure. If they don’t call us, we exaggerate the negative quality of that, and we don’t want to see any of the good qualities of our relation with this person. We get angry; we want to get this away from us, so we yell at them, “Why didn’t you call me? Why didn’t you come?” That’s based on believing there’s a little me sitting in our heads, that it should always have its way, we should be the most important one and the unreality that we are the only one in this person’s life. 

Buddhism gives a very clear analysis of what is incorrect and what is upsetting in this way of thinking and feeling. Because, you see, our minds make things appear in that false way like that, and the problem is that we believe that it corresponds to reality. So, we have all these methods to, in a sense, pop the balloon of our fantasy. It may feel as though we’re the only one who exists, because when we close our eyes, we don’t see anybody else anymore, and there’s still the voice in our head, but this is silly. That’s not reality. That doesn’t correspond to reality. Others don’t stop existing when we close our eyes. This is basic Buddhist psychology. 

Developing Love and Compassion

In terms of love and compassion, there are many methods for developing these that are taught in Buddhism, and anybody can benefit from them (again without following the religious aspects of Buddhism). Love and compassion are based on everybody being equal: everybody wants to be happy; nobody wants to be unhappy. Everybody likes to be happy. Nobody likes to be unhappy. We’re all the same. 

We’re all interconnected. Our whole life depends on the kindness and work of others. We think of all the people involved in growing the food that we eat, transporting it, bringing it to our stores. Then, there are people who built the roads and the people who built the trucks that carry the food. Where did the metal come from? Somebody had to mine the metal to make the trucks. What about the rubber for the tires? Where did that come from? So many people are involved in that industry as well. What about the petrol and the dinosaurs and so on whose bodies decomposed and made this petrol? If we think like that, then we see that we are totally interconnected and dependent on everybody else, and this becomes even more evident in terms of our global economy. 

On the basis of understanding that equality of everyone and our interdependence with everyone, then we think in terms of “Whatever problems there are, they have to be solved.” Because as one great Indian Buddhist master said, “Problems and suffering do not have an owner; suffering needs to be removed, not because it’s my suffering or your suffering, it has to be removed just because it hurts.” When there’s a problem with the environment, let’s say, it’s not just my problem or your problem; it’s everybody’s problem. There’s no owner to the problem. It has to be solved because it’s a problem, simply because it’s a problem and causes trouble to everyone. 

Like that, we develop love and compassion in a method that has nothing to do with religion but is totally based on logic and reality.

Buddhist Religion 

When we ask, “Why Buddhism?” these are the aspects that make Buddhism relevant for us in the Western world – the scientific aspects and the psychological aspects. Then, for a few of us Westerners, we might find, in addition, the religious aspects of Buddhism beneficial – the rituals, the teachings about rebirth, the prayers, and so on. However, as I said, it’s very important to examine very carefully what is our reason for this attraction. Is it just fascination with the exotic? Are we looking for some sort of miracle? Are we doing it as a rebellion against our parents or our traditions? Are we doing it just because it’s the present trend; it’s so-called “cool” to be involved with Buddhism? 

These are not valid reasons because they don’t last; they’re not stable. If we are attracted, and we find that it is beneficial for us (it helps us to be a kinder, more compassionate person) and it supplements the scientific and psychological aspects – that’s very important, that it needs to supplement the science and psychology and not substitute for it – if the religious aspects have those characteristics for us, then fine. 

Like that, we differentiate Buddhist science, psychology and religion. 

Questions about Mind and Rebirth 

When we speak about rebirth, we use the notion of a mind. How much does it overlap with the idea of a soul? 

When we talk about rebirth, we speak about mind. How much does that overlap with soul? We have to understand what we mean by mind and what we mean by soul

Rebirth is speaking about continuity. Just as matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed but only transformed, similarly, our individual, subjective mental activity can neither be created nor destroyed. It’s illogical for it to start from nothing, and if each moment generates a next moment in its continuity, then it’s illogical for it to just come to an end and turn to nothing. Of course, there’s always some physical support for the mental activity, but it can be very, very subtle energy; it doesn’t have to be a gross body with a brain. This is what goes from lifetime to lifetime to lifetime, even into Buddhahood: the continuity of individual, subjective mental activity, which can be very subtle or very gross, many different levels of it, but it continues moment to moment to moment without a break. 

Now, when we talk about soul, then, of course, it’s a Western word. In different languages – Western languages as well – we have words for mind, we have words for spirit, we have words for soul. They don’t correspond to each other, even in our Western languages, and different religions are going to define soul differently in different languages. Then, in Western religions, there’s the relation between the soul and God. In Indian religions, we have atman, and again with different ideas about atman. It’s hard to just generalize in terms of the word soul

What is much easier to discuss is me, not the concept of me, but what is me? The me or the self is something that we all have, but we project onto it ways in which it exists that does not correspond to reality. Like there’s some sort of solid me, like a piece of luggage on a conveyor belt, that stays always the same as it goes through our whole life and into our next life as well. It’s very interesting, we look at a picture of ourselves as a baby, and we say, “That’s me.” What’s me about that? Every cell in the body has changed. The way of thinking, the way of knowing things, is completely different from when we were a baby, and yet we say, “That’s me.” So, what is me? Me is a word that is designated onto all these changing instances in our life. Me is not identical with any of these pictures, but the word me refers to someone, not to no one, on the basis of all these different moments of our life that have been changing from moment to moment to moment. 

The example that I always use is a movie, let’s say Star Wars. What is Star Wars? We say, “I saw Star Wars,” but can we see the whole movie in one moment? No. Any one moment of the movie, is that Star Wars? Well, yes. It’s a moment of the film Star Wars, so Star Wars is not the same as each moment of the film. Star Wars is not just the title, “Star Wars.” The name “Star Wars” does refer to a movie – there is a movie Star Wars, it exists – but we can’t find it in any piece of the plastic of the film, we can’t find it in any scene, but it exists as something that is changing from moment to moment to moment. 

The me or the self is like that. There’s the word me. It refers to something. For example, I’m sitting here; I’m doing this; I’m talking to you, but it’s not identical to my mind or my body or any moment of it. However, on the basis of the continuity of body and mind, we can label and designate it as me. It’s not you. It’s changing moment to moment, and it’s nothing solid. Do we want to call it soul? What do we want to call it?

What was the term that Buddha Shakyamuni used in Sanskrit or Pali about this same thing? 

The term that Buddha used was anata in Pali or anatman in Sanskrit, which is “not the atman” asserted by the other schools of Indian philosophy. The other schools of Indian philosophy assert the atman as being something that is static (it never changes and is not affected by anything), partless (which means it’s either the size of the universe, and atman is the same as Brahma, the whole universe, or the atman is like some tiny spark of life), and can exist totally separately from a body and mind in a state of liberation. 

Some Indian philosophies assert that that type of atman has consciousness. That’s the Samkhya school. The Nyaya school says that it doesn’t have consciousness. The one that says it has consciousness says that it just inhabits this body and uses the brain, and the one that says it doesn’t have consciousness says that it enters the body and says that consciousness just arises from the physical basis of the body. 

These are the positions that Buddha was refuting when he said, “No atman.” He meant no atman in the way it’s defined and asserted by these other schools, but there is an atman, there is a self, but it exists in a different way – what’s called the “conventional self,” the “conventional atman.”

If somebody believes in rebirth, and they say they will be reborn, how certain can they be that all the characteristics and all the information stored in their consciousness will go on into their next life? 

First of all, Buddhism asserts that rebirth is beginningless – no beginning – which means that we have habits and instincts from endless lifetimes. So, depending on many, many different factors, only some of these instincts and tendencies will manifest in any particular lifetime. It’s certainly not the case that all of one’s instincts and learning from the immediately preceding life are going to manifest again in the next lifetime, even if we are reborn as a human with a precious human rebirth, which is rare. A lot depends on what we were thinking and our state of mind when we died. Then, there are all the circumstances and conditions of our next lifetime, which aren’t limited to just the conditions of our family, but there could be a famine in the country, there could be a war, there could be so many things that are going to affect what becomes manifest. 

It’s very important, then, to try to put the main emphasis in our life into positive thoughts, not negative thoughts or behavior, and to die with calm, peace of mind, and positive thoughts and intentions to be able to continue on the spiritual path. 


Maybe this is a good place to end. We think whatever understanding, whatever positive force has come from this discussion, may it go deeper and deeper. 

That might sound like Buddhist religion, but it’s also quite scientific as well. If we have a nice meeting with somebody, and we are having a meaningful, positive conversation, and it ends with the telephone ringing, then the energy just drops completely, and we completely forget about the positive conversation we had before. However, if we end an interaction with thinking, “May this make a positive influence on me,” then that positive feeling, that understanding, comes with us and can help us in our lives. That’s how we end our discussion, and that’s a very helpful way of ending any positive interaction with anyone.

Original Audio from the Seminar