A Buddhist Perspective
Rebirth and reincarnation are generally accepted realities in the East and have been since ancient times. What the next life will be is usually the question rather than whether it will be. In the West, on the other hand, we have our own religious and secular beliefs which usually do not include living another life, or at least not in this world or in this way. A common idea amongst Westerners is that annihilation is an unavoidable fact: 'When you're dead you're dead!' But unless one wakes up to the truth of it - East or West - one is caught in cultural conditioning and personal beliefs.
Buddhism is about becoming aware of what life actually is rather than being blinded by beliefs and conditioning. The Buddha saw life as a changing procession of conditions, events, and circumstances, one thing leading to another without beginning or end, timeless and limitless. And he recognised that the part of ourselves which is aware, which sees and knows, is never born and never dies. He spoke of a direct 'seeing' into the nature of existence beyond words, beyond the intellect. Understanding the cause and effect process - the nature of karma and rebirth - and what lies behind it is the underlying message of this book.
Diana St Ruth points out that Buddhism is a personal journey of discovery which involves seeing through one's own delusions. She leads us by degrees to a place of awareness, clarity of mind, and understanding.