Buddhism rejects the notion of a purely spiritual soul. Buddhism teaches that in its latent state life is neither spirit or matter, but simply potentiality. This state of potential is the unifying essential nature of all reality; the oneness often referred to in Buddhism. When hydrogen and oxygen are separate would one say water does not exist even though the potential for water eternally exists? The terms existence and non-existence can’t describe the fact that when hydrogen and oxygen join, water is “born”. Born with both physical (clear liquid) and spiritual attributes (cleansing and soothing). In its manifest state life is always an inseparable combination of spirit and matter. Life itself is eternal and infinite. We all have had infinite past lives and will continue to have infinite future lives. I like Buddhism because it supports my belief that the most important point of reincarnation is the ultimate importance of the eternal present moment, not some ideal escapist fantasy about transcending the cycles of birth and death. The direct path to enlightenment lies in overcoming the sufferings of birth and death inherent in the challenges we face in daily life in this mundane world. Just as life is infinite, so is the potential for joy in the face of such obstacles. The beautiful lotus arises from the filthiest of swamps.

SGI Buddhist, Loves Irish and Latin American Literature, History buff, knows a great deal about Medicare

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