Noble Executor of the Protoss Homeworld, Leader of the Sargas Tribe of Aiur, General Tassadar,
I do not know what the Christian Scientist believe, though I'll try to read up on it tomorrow. In the Hindu tradition, which has been around since
late prehistoric times, the world which we call the 'real one' is refered to as Samsara... an illusion created by consciousness itself. Within the
Hindu tradition, a person can be reincarnated, indefinately, as other creatures throughout history. Correct behaviour will get you 'promoted' to the
ranks of the gods or other beings, though 'unclean' behaviour will get you demoted to a worm. most of us bounce back and forth between various
mammal forms, however
Your cleanliness, or moral, rating is your 'karma'.
Buddhism grew out of these Hindu concepts. However, in Buddhism, the 'goal' is to escape from the cycle of rebirth entirely, by recognizing that
EVERY aspect of the world, and consciousness itself, is an illusion. Someone whose mind is no longer dependent on material-world thinking is an
'enlightened' person who can escape the world into a state called 'nirvana' upon death. "Nirvana' cannot be described to anyone who is still
'in the world', and so no one knows what it is like. According to legend, Siddartha, the Buddha, achieved enlightenment but chose to stay on as a
human so as to teach others the way towards enlightenment.
..that's what i remember from college, at least. There's a lot more that can be said, butm, suffice it to say, Hinduism comes in various falvors
and traditions, though, depsite popular belief in the West, the traditions that talk about 'Chakras' and stuff like that are only minority beliefs
[Edited on 2-7-2003 by onlyinmydreams]