past lives/reincarnation

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past lives/reincarnation

Postby someone12 » Sat Apr 11, 2015 8:20 pm

Hello to you.
I was having a discussion with a friend about why christians believe we have only one life, while buddhist and hindu traditions make it clear that most of us need to have many lives until we reach moksha/liberation.
She stated that buddha and krishna were misintrepreted and that they never said clearly that we have many lives or reincarnation, and what they said was all a metaphor, because we only have one life.

I am really confused, I do not see Krishna's words as a metaphor that was misinterpreted, when he talks about it in the Bhagavad Gita, it looks very clear and direct to me, not a metaphor pointing to something else. Also Buddha remembered all his past lives, as a monkey or as human... where is the metaphor? What they actually mean then?
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Re: past lives/reincarnation

Postby Enlightened2B » Sat Apr 11, 2015 9:59 pm

I've found some of the Vedantic teachings to be helpful at times and more in line with (what I deem to be) likely more accurate than any other religions or philosophies, but, yet still limited as, what you are referencing (through no fault of your own) has been interpreted and re-interpreted for thousands of years by millions of different people into a somewhat dogmatic sounding interpretation which is very black/white, when in reality, it is not. This is often how religion works, pertaining to reading religious texts. No one rarely knows the initial meaning behind a text and when it reaches you, it's already been mis-interpreted by countless others. While I do believe that many of the ancient sages including the Buddha had some profound experiences (and very likely non physical ones), I wouldn't rely on what they have to say about re-incarnation, unless they, themselves can provide the details to us, right now, as opposed to attempting to interpret an ancient quote.

Instead, if you really want to explore the area of past life regressions and re-incarnation in depth, there's a plethora of information available in the works of Brian Weiss, Robert Schwartz and Michael Newton. Do a search for Nanci Danison as well. These are people who have direct experience either first hand from gaining greater clarity in a wider Awareness (non physical,higher realm), or through hypnosis of people in life between life regression therapy sessions where people are able to recall directly their past lives and their life planning sessions. There's an incredible amount of information to be gained about re-incarnation in this area.

My view based on the work of the people mentioned above and countless other non physical reports, is that re-incarnation has nothing to do with liberation per say, but liberation is merely the product of connecting with who we truly are, so it's more of a natural expected effect of understanding our nature. Nor is there any 'forced aspect' to the incarnation of any soul. Incarnation is a choice, that soul groups plan together prior to physical incarnation to experience a certain aspect of physical life (a lesson), in the expansion and evolution of Love, which is our nature. All incarnations are done for the purpose of expressing Love. In order to do that, we need to perceive ourselves, first as something that appears other than love, which is where the physical training ground of relationships comes in to play. Once we gain a greater understanding of our nature, through challenges that we endure on the physical level by relating to something that appears 'other than us', we are able to gain a greater appreciation for the Conscious Being that we are at our core. Therefore physical life has nothing to do with a goal such as liberation, but merely the journey and experiences along the way and how we perceive ourselves through a more or less limited perspective in any given experience.

Re-incarnation therefore, is the process of achieving balance within a soul group. We incarnate to experience a full range of lessons. In one life, we might be father. In the next life, those two souls switch roles and we might become the son and in the next life, we switch again and become the 'enemy' and next life, possibly the wife. Until we have explore all avenues for that particular soul group and achieved all lessons necessary for that particular soul group and we evolve further in this process as our true nature as Consciousness evolves by experientially learning and knowing itself further as Love, through each soul. Therefore, we ARE Consciousness, itself knowing itself experientially through each soul.

Just my opinion, but look into the work I mentioned above if you'd like to learn more about re-incarnation and feel free to post here with any questions.
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Re: past lives/reincarnation

Postby epiphany55 » Sat Apr 11, 2015 11:20 pm

The question I have on this is how any human can know that we have an afterlife. It requires a complete lack of humility, or some kind of perverse god complex to claim such knowledge without a shred of evidence beyond the manifestations of imagination.

Claims of such magnitude require extraordinary evidence. A lot of these ancient teachers were not held to account, their mere words and writings taken as gospel. I would hope that people today at least question the source of their claims.
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Re: past lives/reincarnation

Postby Enlightened2B » Sun Apr 12, 2015 12:20 am

epiphany55 wrote:The question I have on this is how any human can know that we have an afterlife.


Epiphany, I think you should check this link out. This is the link that Webwanderer posted a few weeks ago pertaining to out of body experiences. I've gained quite a lot of clarity from this guy William Buhlman, just from this video and plan on buying his book now. You might too if you allow yourself to objectively explore the material. This subject matter is not meant to be a substitute for awakening, but is complementary I find in gaining a greater understanding of who and what we are. There is no afterlife as I see it. Instead, physical reality is merely a blink of the eye in the context of infinite Being and merely one stop, one dimension, of an infinite number of realms of Being each associated with a higher vibration of energy the higher up you go.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omKS82YDjIY

It requires a complete lack of humility, or some kind of perverse god complex to claim such knowledge without a shred of evidence beyond the manifestations of imagination


Understand that perception is the key to experience. Meaning, if you view these experiences as merely 'imagination' of the experiencer, then that will be your own perspective and as a result, your own experience going forward. It's neither right nor wrong. It merely just is. Yet, only you can know personally if you are allowing yourself to explore this material with an objective focus or if you are limiting yourself by a previous bias (coloring of your perspective) based in materialism, when you do explore this material.

You once again ask for evidence? Simple. Try it yourself and see where it goes. Learn some out of body techniques and you can then convince yourself further. Try exploring out of body into the astral realms and beyond and see what insight you can gain, just like other explorers like Robert Monroe, William Buhlman, Tom Campbell and countless others are doing every day and gaining incredible insight into the nature of reality in the process.
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Re: past lives/reincarnation

Postby epiphany55 » Sun Apr 12, 2015 1:15 am

Enlightened2B wrote:Epiphany, I think you should check this link out. This is the link that Webwanderer posted a few weeks ago pertaining to out of body experiences. I've gained quite a lot of clarity from this guy William Buhlman, just from this video and plan on buying his book now. You might too if you allow yourself to objectively explore the material. This subject matter is not meant to be a substitute for awakening, but is complementary I find in gaining a greater understanding of who and what we are. There is no afterlife as I see it. Instead, physical reality is merely a blink of the eye in the context of infinite Being and merely one stop, one dimension, of an infinite number of realms of Being each associated with a higher vibration of energy the higher up you go.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omKS82YDjIY


Thank you. I have seen this video before (perhaps from WW's link) although I admit I struggled to maintain 100% concentration for the duration. I raised some questions about OBE's and NDE's in another thread in the "beyond the physical" section that I do not feel have as of yet been answered. In a nutshell, how can we prove that NDE's occur when the brain is completely dead? Human memory is unreliable enough, but knowing the specific time a memory was created is even more problematic.

Understand that perception is the key to experience. Meaning, if you view these experiences as merely 'imagination' of the experiencer, then that will be your own perspective and as a result, your own experience going forward. It's neither right nor wrong. It merely just is. Yet, only you can know personally if you are allowing yourself to explore this material with an objective focus or if you are limiting yourself by a previous bias (coloring of your perspective) based in materialism, when you do explore this material.


I don't trust the mind's colouring of experience, especially when those experiences appear to transcend our existing perception of reality. That's the best way I can explain it. Now you may say that through practice one can have a purer experience without the distortion of mind, and therefore this experience could be a more reliable representation of reality. But it is not the experience I question. It is how we then inevitably use the mind to explain and validate these experiences that I just cannot trust. As soon as we start to reflect upon and recall our experiences, we are subject to all manner of mind-made distortions influenced by cultural conditioning and comforting fancification.

You once again ask for evidence? Simple. Try it yourself and see where it goes. Learn some out of body techniques and you can then convince yourself further. Try exploring out of body into the astral realms and beyond and see what insight you can gain, just like other explorers like Robert Monroe, William Buhlman, Tom Campbell and countless others are doing every day and gaining incredible insight into the nature of reality in the process.


I could drop acid to short cut my way to an OBE (going by the many reports). How is that any different in terms of the infinite potential of human experience? Aren't we playing with chemical reactions no matter how we "get there"? I believe reality is far greater than human experience, that experience is only a window to a certain picture of reality. That picture will always be framed within the limitations of human consciousness. No matter how pure the experience, as soon as we attempt to give it meaning, we are engaging the reactionary mind and are immediately subjecting it to conditioning factors.

The "nature of reality" as explained through human experience can only ever be the nature of HUMAN reality. As much as we would like to be god, human beings will never have a window wide enough to see the big picture of reality, which is surely independent of and greater than the experience of a particular biological species with a particular sized brain. For a human being to claim a certain experience of being out of body is proof of some kind of afterlife is loaded with so much presumption I can't begin to take it seriously.
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Re: past lives/reincarnation

Postby TemporalDissonance » Sun Apr 12, 2015 4:56 am

epiphany55 wrote:
Understand that perception is the key to experience. Meaning, if you view these experiences as merely 'imagination' of the experiencer, then that will be your own perspective and as a result, your own experience going forward. It's neither right nor wrong. It merely just is. Yet, only you can know personally if you are allowing yourself to explore this material with an objective focus or if you are limiting yourself by a previous bias (coloring of your perspective) based in materialism, when you do explore this material.


I don't trust the mind's colouring of experience, especially when those experiences appear to transcend our existing perception of reality. That's the best way I can explain it. Now you may say that through practice one can have a purer experience without the distortion of mind, and therefore this experience could be a more reliable representation of reality. But it is not the experience I question. It is how we then inevitably use the mind to explain and validate these experiences that I just cannot trust. As soon as we start to reflect upon and recall our experiences, we are subject to all manner of mind-made distortions influenced by cultural conditioning and comforting fancification.


epiphany55, I find what you said above very intriguing. There are a few assumptions I am curious about myself:

A) That aside from the "mind", there isn't any form/mechanism of understanding that is beyond our "minds", which exists even when we experience transcending experiences outside of our "minds". I am curious if anyone else have insight into this.

B) That your perception about the mind's colouring of experience isn't itself a condition of mind-made distortions already?
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Re: past lives/reincarnation

Postby Webwanderer » Sun Apr 12, 2015 5:09 am

To say there is no evidence of life in a greater reality is simply in error. There is a mountain of evidence. So much one could hardly explore it all in a lifetime. That some do not recognize it as evidence and discount it doesn't change the reality of its existence. It only demonstrates evidence of a defined way of perceiving it in the perceiver. Evidence is there for any open minded person to explore if they so choose.

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Re: past lives/reincarnation

Postby Enlightened2B » Sun Apr 12, 2015 7:11 am

epiphany55 wrote:Thank you. I have seen this video before (perhaps from WW's link) although I admit I struggled to maintain 100% concentration for the duration. I raised some questions about OBE's and NDE's in another thread in the "beyond the physical" section that I do not feel have as of yet been answered. In a nutshell, how can we prove that NDE's occur when the brain is completely dead? Human memory is unreliable enough, but knowing the specific time a memory was created is even more problematic.


I can't answer that because I really don't know the answer, nor do I know if you will find one in that regard. Neuroscientific analysis of this stuff is way above my pay grade and not something that interests me in the least to be honest.

It is how we then inevitably use the mind to explain and validate these experiences that I just cannot trust. As soon as we start to reflect upon and recall our experiences, we are subject to all manner of mind-made distortions influenced by cultural conditioning and comforting fancification.


Fair enough. I don't fully disagree with that. There is a tendency to create an anthropomorphic mind made view of spirituality. However, I would disagree when it comes to the study of the non-physical. If anything, many of these experiencers have well documented that it is impossible to comprehend in human terms what they experienced, because there is no language in the higher realms of consciousness, and therefore, they often break it down once back in body, the best they can to convey the message in human language for communication purposes here on Earth.

I could drop acid to short cut my way to an OBE (going by the many reports). How is that any different in terms of the infinite potential of human experience? Aren't we playing with chemical reactions no matter how we "get there"?


I'll leave that to you to research if you'd like to.

The "nature of reality" as explained through human experience can only ever be the nature of HUMAN reality. As much as we would like to be god, human beings will never have a window wide enough to see the big picture of reality, which is surely independent of and greater than the experience of a particular biological species with a particular sized brain.


Tell that to the solipsism crowd who confuse non-duality with solipsism. We've had one or two of those on this board lately. 8)

For a human being to claim a certain experience of being out of body is proof of some kind of afterlife is loaded with so much presumption I can't begin to take it seriously.


Is it loaded with presumption? Or perhaps, does it appear that way because of your own perception of the material, which you choose not to see as evidence? And of course that's your own choice and you have every right to perceive it as such. Yet, again, to claim that it is loaded with presumption is just YOUR own interpretation and does not reflect an objective truth. I agree very much with WW above.

When mainstream doctors like Peter Fenwick, Raymond Moody, Brian Weiss, Michael Newton, Melvin Morse, Elisabeth Kubler Ross among countless others have turned their previous materialist bias aside, and courageously changed career paths, by opening themselves up to objectively explore this area of research, it means they finally accepted that there's FAR FAR too much evidence here to simply dismiss it like they previously might have done from their own bias. Some doctors have had the courage to do it, while others have not. This is what moves me the most and where I see incredible inspiration. When I see doctors or mainstream scientists who are willing to go beyond the bias of their own perspectives and open themselves up to a greater,expansive understanding of who we are, by simply exploring that, which used to seem, impossible.
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Re: past lives/reincarnation

Postby Mystic » Mon Apr 13, 2015 7:29 am

I recall a dream I had, it felt like a memory of a past life. In the dream, I was a barefoot monk standing in front of a golden Buddha statue. At a later time in the dream, I was an old man, sitting on the steps of a monastery, wondering how to transcend the cycle of birth and death. Now I am an average Joe, with the knowledge that living like a hermit does not always lead to enlightenment.

Every night when the body sleeps, there is a second body with ethereal properties and stretchy like rubber. The soul body that makes journeys into alternate dream worlds. Most people do not remember these journeys but sometimes by accident or by practice, one can leave their sleeping body while fully conscious and remember what happened.

Maybe we can learn from these journeys while we sleep, even if it is only in on a subconscious level.
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Re: past lives/reincarnation

Postby epiphany55 » Tue Apr 14, 2015 2:10 pm

Enlightened2B wrote:Is it loaded with presumption? Or perhaps, does it appear that way because of your own perception of the material, which you choose not to see as evidence? And of course that's your own choice and you have every right to perceive it as such. Yet, again, to claim that it is loaded with presumption is just YOUR own interpretation and does not reflect an objective truth. I agree very much with WW above.


Enlightened, this is not a materialist position. It's a logical position in regards to recognising and evaluating leaps of faith and how they close the door on sources other than human experience. When you present a leap from experience to explanation without any non-human sourced verification, there is an inherent bias, whether personal or collective. The difference is, I'm demanding more than experience as the basis for evidence of an after life. The more sophisticated the claim, the more sophisticated the evidence required.

When Newton asked, in response to seeing the apple fall: "what if the moon also falls?" - he could have left it at that. To his eyes, the moon may have been "falling" like the apple. That was his experience. But he knew that, to make such a bold leap from the apple to the moon, he needed some kind of verification that was not merely based on experience. The numbers he calculated could not lie. Mathematics can not be biased since it presents itself from outside a mind.

When Darwin experienced the epiphany of life evolving from simplicity to complexity through natural selection, he could have left it at that. But he went out into the field to gather evidence to validate his experience from sources that do not entertain the notion of bias. All that evidence was given to him from nature - what is. He was merely the messenger.

NDE's and OBE's should be taken seriously and studied with the same rigour as any other phenomenon. But if someone experiences these events as an epiphany of some kind of after life, they too should be humble enough to accept that the experience alone does not validate their epiphany. The experience only validates itself and comes before the epiphany.

Logic and reason are not meddling doctrines, they are simply the humble acceptance that we humans, with our brain capacity and relatively narrow window of experience of this realm, are not reliable sources of explanation alone. For NDE's to have any link to the existence of an after life, we need evidence that the brain is indeed dead at the time the memory of the experience was created. That would at least create one point of non-human sourced verification between the experience and the proposed explanation.

So while you may believe I am the one trying to shut down the debate over NDE's being linked to an after life over some kind of materialist bias, on the contrary I am trying to keep it open much wider than those who will not even invite into the debate any source of evidence outside of human experience.

And while you may believe I cheapen and understate the role of experience in determining one's perception of reality, on the contrary I believe human experience is the precursor to asking meaningful questions about reality. But those questions cannot be fully answered through the same source that created them.

When mainstream doctors like Peter Fenwick, Raymond Moody, Brian Weiss, Michael Newton, Melvin Morse, Elisabeth Kubler Ross among countless others have turned their previous materialist bias aside, and courageously changed career paths, by opening themselves up to objectively explore this area of research, it means they finally accepted that there's FAR FAR too much evidence here to simply dismiss it like they previously might have done from their own bias. Some doctors have had the courage to do it, while others have not. This is what moves me the most and where I see incredible inspiration. When I see doctors or mainstream scientists who are willing to go beyond the bias of their own perspectives and open themselves up to a greater,expansive understanding of who we are, by simply exploring that, which used to seem, impossible.


I too relish any signs that science is becoming more open and courageous. But that openness is more about asking questions that weren't asked before. It's not about being open to explanations that bypass the sophisticated means of verification that made it our most reliable means of establishing a view we can call reality. So while it's right that we should be asking deep questions such as "how did the universe begin" and "is there an after life", we can't give any question special treatment in terms of how we gather evidence just because the question has transcendent implications.

Most of the evidence of NDE's so far has been from interviewing people and asking them about their personal experiences. Yes, there has been verification from doctors, although the problem always exists of verifying mere statements, but there is one crucial piece of evidence missing that would take answering the whole question to the next level...

The evidence that these people had the experience when their brain was dead. Not as or just before they went into cardiac arrest or unconsciousness. Not just before they regained consciousness and wakefulness. Not even when the ECG displays a flatline (http://www.medicaldaily.com/flatlining-does-not-mean-brain-death-brain-activity-found-deepest-coma-257550). Any claim that consciousness can exist outside the brain at the very least must provide evidence that completely rules out brain activity during a period that is claimed to give rise to an NDE or OBE. Otherwise, I don't think it's unfair to call such claims presumptuous.

I have confidence that science will get to the bottom of this, even if inadvertently, as we discover more about the brain's activity during periods of presumed death states. If we can show that the brain is indeed active during these moments, then we can delve deeper into what this kind of brain activity is likely to produce, based on the chemicals dumped into the brain at that time and how it all links up to the visual and auditory perception of the subject.
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Re: past lives/reincarnation

Postby Enlightened2B » Wed Apr 15, 2015 5:03 am

The way I see it, is that the term aferlife is a bit of a misnomer as I mentioned previously as I feel that there is no 'afterlife'. What we call 'afterlife' is merely just one of many dimensions upon dimensions of being.

Whether these people were physically dead or not, is no longer an issue to me. I don't even consider the term NDE to be an accurate assessment, because people spend so much time trying to prove whether the patient or victim (or whatever you want to call them) was actually dead or not, that the entire message and experience itself is missed. I can understand the pertinence for some people in wanting to prove this, and maybe it can or can't be proved one day. But, if you're going to rely on whether the brain was dead or not as to whether or no you accept the message, then I should mention that most people who have OBE's are everday Joe's. OBE's can be experienced at any time. All of the people who have NDE's have OBE's. The difference is that they are likely going to a much higher realm than a simple OBE. The same information that is brought back from NDE, is the same information that is brought from regular OBE's, channeling and life between life regressions. Point being that NDE's are merely one avenue of non-physical exploration. Consider that your true self (Conscious Being) leaves the physical body every night during sleep anyway. Meaning, you have an OBE every night, you just don't remember it. I don't agree that proving the brain to be alive or dead is the deciding factor, unless of course you make it a deciding factor. Perhaps, in the mainstream physical/scientific community, it might mean something because they believe that they are merely solely physical beings. But, again, exploring the human brain's connection to the non-physical in my opinion, is not even the tip of the iceberg with non-physical exploration. It's just a distraction that leads to no where in my opinion.

Like William Buhlman said in the video above, the only way to truly convince yourself of where consciousness comes from is to explore the non-physical yourself by going out of body or channeling or something along those lines.

I appreciate your input and your willingness to converse openly here.
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Re: past lives/reincarnation

Postby Webwanderer » Wed Apr 15, 2015 3:25 pm

Well stated E2B. While some wait to be told what's true by 'authorities' such as scientists, others explore for themselves.

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Re: past lives/reincarnation

Postby epiphany55 » Wed Apr 15, 2015 5:26 pm

Webwanderer wrote:While some wait to be told what's true by 'authorities' such as scientists, others explore for themselves.


I don't know why you see scientists as authorities, in the same way Eckhart Tolle shouldn't be seen as one. I think many people are intellectually and/or spiritually on a higher level. For example, I could never "do" physics - I don't work well with numbers - so I rely on discoveries in that field being relayed to me in layman's terms from people who are experts in that field. I also don't have the means to access the sophisticated equipment they use. There's nothing wrong with reading about other's discoveries for a broader picture. That is surely part of exploring for oneself - we are, in a way, given experience in the same way we are given information from the outside world.

There are questions in life that simply can't be answered through experience alone. The broader the sources of verification one is open to, and the less we rely on mere assumption, the more inclusive and reliable one's picture of reality is likely to be.

In short, both experience and reason are required for human knowledge.
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Re: past lives/reincarnation

Postby Webwanderer » Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:02 pm

epiphany55 wrote:I don't know why you see scientists as authorities

That I accented 'authorities' suggests I don't necessarily consider them as such.

By the way, what's the difference between an expert and an authority? If you take the word of someone you consider an expert, are you not seeing them as authoritative?

I rely on discoveries in that field being relayed to me in layman's terms from people who are experts in that field.


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Re: past lives/reincarnation

Postby epiphany55 » Thu Apr 16, 2015 1:17 am

Webwanderer wrote:By the way, what's the difference between an expert and an authority? If you take the word of someone you consider an expert, are you not seeing them as authoritative?


I guess it's semantics. The word authority has different connotations to expert. Authority to me implies power and control. Expertise refers to a skill or knowledge in a particular field. It bugs me when the media use the term "leading authority" as it endows the expert with a kind of unquestionable status. That's not what science is about. Nothing is unquestionable and there is no scientific authority. There is only a record of evidence.

You are right to accent 'authorities', but it seems as if you're suggesting that I see them as authorities, which I do not. I see them as experts in their respective fields in the same way I see an architect as an expert in theirs.
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