There are many views, perspectives and ideas about the origination of man. Some believe we are the product of God the Creator, whereas others believe in the big bang theory and so forth.
As Buddhists, we do not have a definite answer for where man actually originated, however we do believe in Karma and karmic lives.
Buddhist believe that we have been reborn through many many lives and will continue to do so. This in Buddhist thinking, brings us to the conclusion that our karmic lives do not necessarily mean we have always been born human. The karma that we gather in our lives, will determine which kind of body we will be born into in our next rebirth. Therefore Buddhists believe that we go back probably as far as dust particles and the particles within those particles etc. This may all sound quite absurd, but Buddhists believe that every single thing in life is interdependent upon something else to exist. We know this to be absolute fact when we look around and cannot find anything that does not depend on another source to exist.
For example, let’s take a basic wooden table, what we see is a top, four legs, and maybe some screws or something to hold it together, but which part is the table? If you were to put all those pieces separately which would describe the table? This is a clear evidenced example, that the basic table does not exist without other components. These components, also include
wood for the table which of course needs its source ‘a tree’ which needs a seed, nice rich soil, favourable weather, someone to plant it and of course that person needs parents and so forth.
So from a Buddhist perspective, the table cannot exist in it’s independent form and it’s the same for humans.
Everything is interconnected and from a Buddhist point of view will bring us right back to the same source.
So here’s a little test……. Let’s apply the same theory to our bodies.
Do you agree that your body is a mishmash of different cells, organs, bones and other weird and wonderful stuff that when squashed together in something called skin, creates a vessel that you call ‘my body?’ If you agree, then you will also acknowledge that each cell, organ, bone, and so on is made up of it’s own components and those components are also made up of their own components etc. For this reason, it becomes virtually impossible to identify the independent source as being valid whatever that source, and if we tried to retrace its origin, it will always bring us back to particles and the microparticles that make them up.
Buddhism is quite an unusual way of life, we most certainly do not believe our way to be right and everyone else’s wrong. We only accept however what we see as evidence, so in many ways Buddhism is very scientific and renowned for its logic.
For example, if we were to accept the existence of God which of course many people do, then the curious enquiring Buddhist mind would have to do enquire about where God originated? Was he a human? Or simply an energy that drives people to go through their everyday life?
If God was human, then as all humans he would need a mother and a father which would rule out God as creator of the universe.
If however God is a powerful energy that drives people through their everyday lives, then where did that energy originate, where is the source that gave power to the energy of God?
These are some of the issues that the curious Buddhist mind ponders on a daily basis, I’m sure there is an answer somewhere but I haven’t found it yet!