> I'm curious what your source is for this Buddhist belief. In
> the Tibetan Book of the Dead it is inferred that it takes
> forty nine days for the soul to pass through all the inner
> worlds before it can rest and move on. I'd be very interested
> to hear more of this three days idea.
I wouldn't take any of that 49 day stuff literally. There are no hard and fast rules like that. Some souls go straight to the Source, some get stuck in the earth's ether for months or years, ala Sixth Sense, and everyone else is some shade of gray in between. It all depends on one's state of awareness, their progress ove millions of years...which is different for all.
> You also wrote in another thread that Buddhists believe that
> it is hard to be reincarnated into a human body. I've heard
> this before too. I depends who you talk to or read though.
> Some Buddhists also say that we humans can be reincarnated
> into animals depending on how much merit we have acquired in
> earthly life and also by the quality of our actions. This
> idea jars severely with me. I am under the impression that
> "once a man always a man". Karma, if understood in its
> original sense as meaning "action" in an absolutely neutral
> way (like attracts like, cause and effect), must preclude us
> from reincarnating into the not only the body of an animal
> but also animals' emotional and mental bodies. I'm sure I
> read somewhere in Buddhist scripture that it is "elements" of
> the human constitution that are attracted to the other
> kingdoms - animal, mineral and plant - and help constitute
> bodies there WHILE our spiritual components i.e.
> consciousness journey through the inner worlds or "bardos".
Humans do reincarnate as animals, but for various reasons. Attraction is a big reason--you know...the way some people gaze longingly at wolves, etc. We go where our heart is... Some become animals due to animal-like behavior, and many high souls "step down" and become pets, as a very altruistic act, a sacrifice of consciousness to help someone they love dearly--maybe help them learn to love.
> As an aside, the idea that it is "harder" to reincarnate into
> a human body is interesting when we think about population
> growth. We don't know with any accuracy how much it has
> changed over the millennia but the world's population has
> increased over the past few decades although the actual
> figures are way off beam as far as "official" projections are
The human body is a gift. It's only from this form that we can meditate and raise our awareness, and evolve spiritually to something much greater than human. This is due to the upright spine, which enables the shakti to flow upward to the eye-center. The spine angle is a major clue to evolution. An exception to this is whales and dolphins, but their spines are erect when they sleep--and meditate.