When You Receive an Organ Transplant, Chi and Consciousness Come With It

When the force of karma is exhausted for an individual, the alaya consciousness can no longer remain in the body and starts to withdraw. As that happens, the sense faculties or other organs that depend upon it start to cease functioning and heat starts to dissipate from the body because warmth, consciousness and life are co-dependent. As a very short summary of this process-although there is much more that can be found in the Tibetan tradition and in the schools of Abhidharma and Consciousness-Only--we have the following:

the alaya-vijnana pervades the entire body and is constant. When the force of a propelling action (karman) is exhausted and the alaya-vijnana can no longer remain in a region of the body it contracts from that region. When this happens the sense-faculties which depend on that also cease and the heat dissipates. Gradually all the sense-faculties are cast away and the warmth is dissipated from the whole body causing one to pass away. Mental consciousness (Tib. Yid shes), on the other hand, is not something that pervades the entire body and it contracts, region by region, from the body. It is, therefore, not the same.

Science hears this and says "ridiculous" because it doesn't realize that chi and consciousness are interlinked. All that Buddhism is saying is that you can't have a successful organ transplant unless some consciousness factor in the organ is still present, otherwise the organ will become useless. Since chi and consciousness are linked, this means that some residual factor of chi must remain.

Chi is life force, so saying that consciousness must still be present is saying that the organ must not yet be dead-it must still retain chi or living vitality.

Warmth, life and consciousness must still remain in an organ that's suitable for transplant, and the particular consciousness that's necessary is the alaya consciousness, for the alaya consciousness is an appropriating consciousness. Recent cases of organ transplants have even showed that new host recipients take on some of the conscious preferences of the original organ donors. While some scramble to maintain this is due entirely to gene memory, Buddhism explains that it's because residual factors of chi (and thus consciousness) have been transferred over.

This explanation from principles espoused thousands of years ago accounts for the new special likes and dislikes that seem to mysteriously develop in recipients of organ transplants, especially when they are the characteristic behavioral preferences of the original organ donors. For instance, in one noted case the recipient of a heart transplant from a Hispanic donor started to crave spicy food and expressed a desire to learn Spanish after the operation, and had never been told these qualities of their donor. Two other examples of this sort of phenomena can be found in the following transplant case studies from Paul Pearsall's The Heart's Code:

Thirty-five-year-old female heart transplant recipient (donor a twenty-four-year-old prostitute killed in a stabbing).
"I never really was all that interested in sex. I never really thought about it much. Don't get me wrong, my husband and I had a sex life, but it was not a big part of our life. Now, I tire my husband out. I want sex every night and I masturbate two to three times a day sometimes. I used to hate X-rated videos, but now I love them. I feel like a slut sometimes and I even do a strip for my husband when I'm in the mood. I would never have done that before my surgery. When I told my psychiatrist about this, she said it was a reaction to my medications and my healthier body. Then I found out that my donor was a young college girl who worked as a topless dancer and in an out-call service. I think I got her sexual drive, and my husband agrees. He says I'm not the woman he married, but he wants to marry me again."

Husband of recipient: "Not that I'm complaining, mind you, but what I have now is a sex kitten. It's not that we do it more, but she wants to talk about sex more and wants to see sexually explicit tapes which I could never talk her into before. When we do have sex, it is different. Not worse or better, just different. She never talked much during sex, but now she practically narrates the whole thing. She uses words I never heard her use before, but it kind of turns me on, so who's complaining? Our worst argument came a few months after her transplant and well before she knew who her donor was. I was joking and at a passionate moment said she knew must have gotten the heart of a whore. We didn't talk for weeks."

Fifty-two-year-old male heart transplant recipient (donor a seventeen-year-old boy killed by a hit-and-run driver).
"It's two years after my transplant. I still feel sorry for my old heart. It just comes over me sometimes when I least expect it. It served me well and it died so I could live. Sometimes I wish I could have seen it one more time and I wonder what happened to it, but I hate thinking about that too long. That's hard to deal with. I could never understand it. I loved quiet classical music before my new heart. Now, I put on earphones, crank up the stereo, and play loud rock-and-roll music. I love my wife, but I keep fantasizing about teenage girls. My daughter says I have regressed since my new heart and that I act like a sixteen-year-old."

Daughter of recipient: "It is really embarrassing sometimes. When my friends come over they ask if my dad is going through his second childhood. He's addicted to loud music and my mom says the little boy in him is finally coming out.

It is not "cellular memory" that's responsible for this sort of thing. The chi of the original donor, which is connected with habit energies of consciousness, still remains as a residual resident in a transplanted organ for some while. This is why the new recipient of a transplanted organ therefore develops cravings for certain foods or experiences they never had before. Remember that chi and consciousness are linked, and habit energies or preferences are therefore connected to chi flows. When those same chi flows are transplanted into other individuals, there cannot help but be a similar sort of desire coming out until those chi energies through cultivation are transformed.

Buddhism is a prajna school which prefers to concentrate on mind-only explanations rather than material explanations, and that's why it explains these matters in terms of consciousness transference rather than chi, which Buddhism calls the "wind element." Nonetheless its Consciousness-only school explanations clearly state that mind and matter are interlinked, so while it can talk about either chi or consciousness when describing certain physical affairs such as this, it prefers to talk about consciousness rather than chi flows.

There is another important point to these phenomena that most people overlook. It's the fact that they once again emphasize for us that meditation and cultivation are the only ways to truly change your personality and behavior. Acupuncture, self-help retreats and seminars, positive thinking, deep tissue bodywork, drugs and all sorts of other approaches simply won't do it despite what people try to sell you. Neither will artificially imposed codes of conduct and discipline, for they never purify the original chi streams that are attached to habit streams and mental desires. Only cultivation will transform chi energies and consciousness whereas these other methodologies simply bottle things up for a while or distort them or keep them occupied without ever transforming them to their roots.

As an example, in certain Arab countries and even Japan, the societal codes of conduct are often restrictive, and at times overbearing. This actually does nothing at all to change people's inner minds, but simply slaps on the outer veneer of conformity. Inside, the inner desires are still stirring and just waiting for a chance to be released. That's when they rear their head and show their fury. Hence once these individuals travel to an environment free of their original societal restrictions and limitations-even if but for a short while--they often go crazy to experience all the things they've always hankered after but which were denied in their homelands. The bigger problem is that this sort of energy that's denied an expressional outlet will often come out with a double strength desire in a following incarnation! So the real problem is never really solved.

Why is this? The habit energies and desires are always within people unless they learn how to eliminate them through purification rather than suppression. The codes of external conduct and restrictions are absolutely useful and necessary for societies, but extremes don't dull these things one bit and actually end up producing the opposite effect-a desire for what seems trivially natural but is denied. People only purify their chi and minds of inner desires and mental habits through emptiness meditation--by evaporating these desires by watching them and liberating them in emptiness while giving them no heed, rather than by suppressing them through forced codes of conduct.

Only meditation and cultivation will purify the chi and consciousness on the level responsible for these habit streams, and that's something which no seminar series or weekend retreat in self-development can do. To purify the mind and body, you have to purify the sixth consciousness by cultivating emptiness and detaching from the other five consciousnesses. This is the only way to make a lasting change in your personality and behavior.



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