Transubstantiated? Biological facts and biosocial dimensions

Body Society. 2014; 20:111-132.  Consuming the Lama: Transformations of Tibetan Buddhist Bodies by Tanya Maria Zivkovic


Tibetan understandings about the bodies of spiritual teachers or lamas challenge the idea of a singular and bounded form. Tibetan Buddhists believe that the presence of the lama does not depend on their skin-encapsulated temporal body, or a singular lifespan. After death, it is not uncommon for a lama to materialize in other appearances or to become incorporated into the bodies of others through devotees’ consumption of their bodily remains. In this article, I discuss how the European ingestion of the holy bodies of Tibetan lamas creates new possibilities for embodied intersubjectivity, and also how this practice repositions bodily substance in cannibal discourse.

Comment posted by Jay R. Feierman to ISHE’s human ethology yahoo group:

Excerpt: “Is this practice analogous or even homologous (from a biological perspective) to Roman Catholics consuming the transubstantiated body and blood of Jesus in the Mass?”

My comment: If it is either analogous or homologous (from a biological perspective), can it be used to support the views on religion and pedophilia that he has detailed in his books?  Pedophilia: Biosocial Dimensions; The Biology of Religious Behavior: The Evolutionary Origins of Faith and Religion.

Now that James Cantor appears to be attempting to convince others that pedophilia may be a form of sexual orientation, it’s biosocial dimensions could be examined in the context of religion and in the context of biological facts that indicate why sexual attraction to reproductively immature conspecifics is not found in other organisms. The fact that pedophilia is not found in other organisms may be why pedophiles have had such difficulty gaining social acceptance of their sexual preferences.

That fact suggests the origins of faith and religion are consistent with what is known about the biophysical constraints on nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled ecological adaptations. It makes sense that religious faith would be associated with the lack of social acceptance of pedophilia. It also makes sense that slight differences and major differences in rituals would add to the biosocial dimensions of acceptance or lack of acceptance of specific behaviors that threatened the social structure of any group that collectively showed no tolerance for behaviors associated with pedophilia. Therefore, biophysical constraints on ecological adaptations appear to be consistently manifested in the context of how biosocial dimensions influence religious behavior. The consistency of biophysical constraints on ecological adaptations and biosocial dimensions that are manifested in human behavior suggest that human behavior did not arise during what some people believe exemplifies mutation-driven evolution in which “constraint-breaking” mutations result in the claim that “We are all mutants“.  See for example: “In other words, genomic conservation and constraint-breaking mutation is the ultimate source of all biological innovations and the enormous amount of biodiversity in this world. In this view of evolution there is no need of considering teleological elements.” (p. 199)

Author: James Kohl

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