Buddhist Psychology

This site working in conjunction with www.buddhistpsychology.info. It will include answers to questions relating to courses at Amida Trust and will give explanation and comments on aspects of Buddhist psychology.

Saturday, February 03, 2007


I was fascinated by this item on the BBC new site today. Quite amazing how strong the instinct about our genetic origins is. Not only did both father and son sense the mistake that had been made, despite there apparently being no evidence other than their own intuition for the swap having happened. Also, the sister became convinced by the appearance of the young stranger of her lost brother's relationship, to the point where she initiated conversation that led to the uncovering of the mistake. The case, as disturbing as that of the boy brought up as a girl, gives yet more evidence that our sense of who we are is embodied and programmed from before birth, not learned.

A disturbing issue also raised incidentally by this article is the legal barrier the boy faces to renouncing Islam, such religious restriction so opposite to the path of faith.

Chance meeting solves baby mix-up
By Jonathan Kent BBC News, Kuala Lumpur
A Malaysian Chinese couple are considering taking legal action against a hospital for sending them home with the wrong baby nearly 30 years ago.
The couple, who had always suspected a mix-up, were reunited with their biological son after a chance meeting in a shopping centre.
But the family may now face a battle with Malaysia's religious authorities.
As well as taking a Chinese name, the son wants to renounce Islam - something which is very difficult in Malaysia.
Teo Ma Leong had always suspected his fifth child was not his own.
The young boy's dark features led neighbours to whisper that he was the result of an affair.
Meanwhile, Mr Teo's biological son had always suspected he was not really the child of the Malay Muslim couple who took him home from a hospital in Batu Pahat in southern Malaysia in 1978.
So Zulhaidi Omar left home at 13 because he felt he did not belong.
Supermarket spot
Then eight years ago one of his sisters spotted him working in a shopping centre.
Convinced he was the spitting image of their father, she brought the rest of her family along.
After staring at one another for a while they found the courage to speak and the truth emerged.
DNA tests subsequently proved that the two men were father and son.
Now the family has gone public with their story because Zulhaidi wishes to take a Chinese name and renounce Islam.
That is very difficult in Malaysia, where the Islamic authorities regard abandoning the faith as a grievous sin.
However the Malaysian government has started to encourage a more pragmatic approach from its religious departments, so the Teo family may yet be reunited in name as well as deed.