How much of this is just wishful thinking and self consolation?

Discussion in 'Reincarnation Questions' started by JustinTime, Jan 9, 2018.

  1. JustinTime

    JustinTime New Member

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    I might ruffle a few feathers here, but I wanted to put out a thought I had regarding the detailed discussions about soul evolution, reincarnation, planning lives, karma, etc....

    How much of this is just us (especially people in difficult circumstances) finding consolation for themselves and just wishful thinking?

    There are a lot of meaningful discussions here: the debate of spirituality v. materialism, rich v. poor, abuse v. power, male v. female, etc.... People here are obviously deep thinkers and many are facing life issues beyond their own control. They (myself included) are looking for consolation, comfort, a sense of belonging, and importantly, a deep sense of "justice" (ie if I am poor in this life I deserve to be rich in the next life).

    Hence, topics such as reincarnation, soul planning, soul evolution, karma, etc... popped up to more or less, explain these injustices in the world such as poverty, abuse, disability, etc...

    But I wonder... do we have any evidence that our soul or our consciousness actually survives death and lives on? Do we have any proof that life should be fair, even on a spiritual level? What if the universe is cruel, and that what happen is just what is, and if you've unfortunately drawn bad circumstances in this life, too bad so sad boohoo cry me a river the universe doesn't care.

    It's just that the theories of soul evolution and pre-life planning etc... is beginning to sound like, to me, an desperate attempt to "fill in the injustices" before our eyes. We want a sense of fairness, a sense of equality, a feeling that every person deserves happiness. But what if there just isn't enough happiness to go around? And what if there is no next life to make up for this?

    Honestly, people in bad circumstances, start comforting themselves with believing that their reward is in another life, or an afterlife, or it was their karma. But to me, it just doesn't make any sense. Honestly, what soul would pick a hard life full of poverty and disability? I bet if each and every one of you had a chance to reincarnate into whatever body you wanted to in the next life, not a single person would pick a body that was born into poverty or disability (and admit it, you know deep down inside that I'm right). Not a single one. At the end of the day, everyone can say that it is the hardships that mold us, give life meaning, etc... bla bla bla, but if you really had a choice between a wealthy spoiled brat with all of his needs met, versus a disabled or poor body in a 3rd world country, who would, in his/her right mind, pick the latter over the former?
     
  2. SeaAndSky

    SeaAndSky Senior Registered

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    Hi Justintime,

    The people here come from many backgrounds and have been molded by many influences. However, there are very few that have not dealt with the atheist/materialist paradigm as part of their lives and intellectual/spiritual development. How could we avoid doing this? We are raised in the same environment and subject to the same influences as you, and (judging from diction, depth of thought, and general intelligence displayed in postings) the vast majority of long-term posters appear to be not only intelligent but well-educated. The last characteristic means that they were immersed in materialist dogma and viewpoint from early childhood through college and often graduate level degrees. Some are, in addition, trained in the sciences and/or have other advanced degrees. E.g., my undergraduate degree was in Physics, and I believe that Eowyn is involved in the biological sciences (though my memory is a bit fuzzy on that). One way or another, we have been confronted with the atheist/materialist paradigm, often have accepted it at one time, and ultimately found it lacking--at least on the materialist side. (Beliefs related to the existence and nature of a deity are more varied). So, at the least, we cannot be characterized as simple-minded.

    Also, though often derided by the more close-minded materialists, there has been a quiet revolution going on for some time in terms of research/exploration into what were once "forbidden" areas. One might start with Moody, and his research into Near Death Experiences (NDEs), where people brought back accounts of things that were occurring while they were clinically dead, not only from the vicinity of their bodies, but often at locations where they could not have been physically present or had any knowledge of what was going on. This is one trail most of the people here are aware of. You definitely should also be aware of the research done by Ian Stevenson into knowledge of past lives in young children as proof of reincarnation. The list could go on, and all that is being found has, of course, its detractors on the materialist side. So, there is plenty for you to look into in order to make up your own mind. However, no one here is on a mission to convince you. If you ask, we can provide you with avenues and suggestions for good books or resources, but that's about it. If you are interested you will do your own research.

    BTW, your fairly constant repetition of your desire for "justice" for yourself, and apparently for everyone else, betrays your youth. There is a famous quote, which I hope someone will look up for me, that goes something like "only a person of less than two score years hopes for justice rather than mercy". As your own mistakes and wrongs in life add up, you will find that you would definitely prefer mercy for yourself. The hitch is, you can't have it both ways. Mercy for you means mercy for the "other". Consequently, when you do come to the time when the idea of "justice" for yourself is not nearly as attractive as it used to be, you will also have to deal with the fact that if you want to be let off the hook yourself, the "other" is entitled to the same.

    Cordially,
    S&S

    PS--On the last thought, most seem to "split the baby" and decide that they and those that do not much exceed them in terms of flaws and foibles are entitled to mercy. However, they also remain happy to see the REALLY bad people (i.e., those who exceed them in evil by a safe margin) punished. As you can appreciate, this creates a bit of a floating/subjective standard.
     
  3. baro-san

    baro-san Active Member

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    I hesitate to reply, because my previous replies didn't make a dent in your views about the subject.

    Anyway ... I don't believe that hardships are a necessity, or they are a more efficient way of progress for the soul. Also, what we think here, in the physical, isn't the same we're thinking there, in the non-physical, so, after-death, we'll be kindly amused of our thinking, and tantrums as humans.

    And, I don't believe there is a meaningful "debate of spirituality vs, materialism", as they aren't opposite or disjunct.

    There is also the point of us creating our reality through our beliefs, thoughts, fears, ... If that's what we believe, then that's what we experience. It isn't a punishment, but a universal law in action.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
  4. baro-san

    baro-san Active Member

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    This is a small collection of Seth-Roberts quotes I recently read and thought about:


    "Your spirit joined itself with flesh, and in flesh, to experience a world of incredible richness, to help create a
    dimension of reality of colors and of form. Your spirit was born in flesh to enrich a marvelous area of sense
    awareness, to feel energy made into corporeal form. You are here to use, enjoy, and express yourself through the
    body. You are here to aid in the great expansion of consciousness, You are not here to cry about the miseries of
    the human condition, but to change them when you find them not to your liking through the joy, strength and
    vitality that is within you; to create the spirit as faithfully and beautifully as you can in flesh. "
    Session 615, Page 26-27


    "In a manner of speaking, the conscious mind is a window through which you look outward -- and looking
    outward, perceive the fruits of your inner mind. "
    Session 615, Page 27


    "Your own conscious beliefs are the most important suggestions that you receive. All other ideas are rejected or
    accepted according to whether or not you believe they are true, in line with the steady conscious chattering that
    goes on within your mind most of the day -- the suggestions given to you by yourself. "
    Session 615, Page 27


    "Since it is the function of the conscious mind to assess physical experience, it [the inner self] hasn’t been able to
    do its job properly. If the inner portions of the self were supposed to have that responsibility, then you would not
    need a conscious mind."
    Session 615, Page 27


    "There are no accidents in cosmic terms, or in terms of the world as you know it. Your beliefs grow as surely in
    time and space as flowers do."
    Session 615, Page 28


    "Remember, even false beliefs will seem to be justified in terms of physical data, since your experience in the
    outside world is the materialization of those beliefs. So you must work with the raw material of your ideas, even
    while your sense data may tell you that a given belief is obviously a truth. To change your experience or any
    portion of it, then, you must change your ideas. Since you have been forming your own reality all along, the
    results will follow naturally."
    Session 615, Page 29


    "You are not your ideas, nor even your thoughts. You are the self who experiences them "
    Session 615, Page 29
     
  5. SeaAndSky

    SeaAndSky Senior Registered

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    Hi Baro-san,

    The only conflicts between Materialism and Spirituality that arise are due to the denial by the materialist of the existence of the spiritual and non-material (as that term is usually understood). The person who believes in both the (a) material AND (b) spiritual/non-material, is not forced by that belief to disbelieve in the material aspects of the universe. The converse is not true for the hard core materialist.

    Cordially,
    S&S

    PS--I really like the first quote given above.
     
  6. Guillaume_D

    Guillaume_D Member

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    If you see memories of your past lives (by regression or other ways), there is no doubts anymore. For me reincarnation is not a belief, it is reality. Try to experiment yourself and you will understand.
    I don't know yet for sure what is between lives. I'm just beginning to explore this field. But I guess the souls don't completely choose their future lives. That's why mostly they're not as happy as they could be.
     
  7. JustinTime

    JustinTime New Member

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    I just cannot wait to see people "who have it all in this world" like Trump, Putin, Wall-Street bankers, models, etc... get to experience the polar opposite of their status and wealth in their next lives - i.e. unpopularity, bullying, and poverty.

    That would be fair!
     
  8. Native Son

    Native Son Member

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    Just intime,

    You cannot be in time, but out of time to truly understand life. Truth is conditional and solitary. If you could really see the predicament of those you named as fortunate, you would not consider them fortunate. Because these are in dire straits. These souls, and their kind, are being tested the hardest. Their fortunes of fame, money, and power are stumbling blocks to them, but they are too blind to see it, because they have no true philosophy in them.
     
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  9. baro-san

    baro-san Active Member

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    You guys should get acquainted with how we create / attract what we think of, including what we fear, what we hate. That might give you a hint why you suffer. Maybe that's your current life's lesson to learn.
     
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  10. SeaAndSky

    SeaAndSky Senior Registered

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    Hi JustinTime,

    Unfortunately, no assurances we can give you about the fact that the universe has rules and governing principles that are going to make it all come out right in the end seem able to assuage your own rage and resentment towards those you see as having it better than yourself and/or basking in their good looks, wealth and/or power. Nothing we can say will make you the least bit happier until you conquer this rage and resentment.

    After peeling away various complaints against the universe and other rationales you put up, a lot of this seems to come down to the fact that other people have what you want and don't have. If I am being unjust in characterizing the situation this way I apologize and hope to have you set me straight. However, a lot of the reason for people getting themselves tied in knots over such things is that they fail to look at its root: a false sense of entitlement.

    If I'm at a 4-way stop and someone goes when it was my turn to do so, I might be unhappy or even angry because I KNOW I was ENTITLED to go first by law. If they were entitled to go first under the law, I'm not bothered because I KNOW I wasn't ENTITLED, they were. So, what makes you think you were ENTITLED to have what these other people have? How do you KNOW this? Was it in a contract you signed somewhere? Is there a law written down somewhere that I can look up that makes you ENTITLED and them not ENTITLED? Where does this presumption of knowledge come from? If you have grown up in a privileged environment in a first world country you are already exceedingly blessed when compared to someone growing up in a hovel in a third world shanty town. Were you ENTITLED to be where you are as compared to them? How do you KNOW this? If you can tell me why you were ENTITLED to grow up in relative wealth and comfort instead of some starving child elsewhere, then perhaps you can say how you KNOW you are ENTITLED to what the people you are angry with have rather than them.

    Get over this. We do not KNOW who is ENTITLED to what in this life in any kind of absolute sense. Yes, if we know they broke the law to get where they are, that is something to be unhappy about, just like the person who went out of turn at a 4-way stop. But you seem to be angry just because people are better off in some way, not because they committed some wrong to get there. If everyone follows your model we will all hate and resent everyone who has more than we have in one area or another. The whole world will be a seething pool of hatred and we will be lucky to get through the day before the nukes start flying. We cannot KNOW who is ENTITLED to what in most cases. Perhaps the "have it alls" are abusing what they have received and will get a turn in a third world country or worse to teach them a lesson. And perhaps you, due to your lack of gratitude for what you have, will also need a lifetime as a starving oppressed peon in North Korea to make you more appreciative of the enormous privileges and wealth you have just by virtue of living in freedom in the first world.

    Cordially,
    S&S
     
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  11. JustinTime

    JustinTime New Member

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    S&S, thanks for your long answer. I don't have a problem with people getting more than others, even if it is from birth conditions. What I do have a problem is when people who have it better than others start abusing their privilege to make life even more miserable for less fortunate people EVEN when they clearly don't need to do this, but just to boost their ego. Examples of this include:

    1. Rich people who treat poor, hardworking people like crap and fail to see the luck element in their success, and failing to give back and help others reach success (Wall Street executives, CEOs)
    2. Beautiful / attractive people taking advantage of others and getting away with it just because of their looks
    3. People in positions of power making life miserable for others just because they can do it (ie Hitler, Kim Jung Un, etc...)
    4. People engaging in racial discrimination (ie white supremacists, Trump, Hitler) to boost their own standing while making others absolutely miserable, even when they didn't have to do this in the first place.
    5. Parents who abuse their kids because kids are too young to fight back.
    6. People making fun and abusing the disabled
    7. Corrupt officials stealing money from programs like Red Cross, etc...

    I have a problem when people tend to misuse their positions of power or privilege, without being grateful for it, to go out of their way to make others' lives miserable, when they could have used that same influence to help others. That's what I have a problem with. I see too much of it in daily life, and the people in power / money get away with it. In fact, their lives become even BETTER, and luck continues to follow them throughout their entire life.

    Yes I do have a problem with that.
     
  12. Native Son

    Native Son Member

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    If you have a problem with that, what are you doing about it?

    Worthy of honor is he who does no injustice, and of more than twofold honor, if he not only does no injustice himself, but hinders others from doing any; the first may count as one man, the second is worth many men, because he informs the rulers of the injustice of others. And yet more highly to be esteemed is he who co- operates with the rulers in correcting the citizens as far as he can–he shall be proclaimed the great and perfect citizen, and bear away the palm of virtue.

    Pleasure is an object of desire, pain of avoidance; and the absence of pain is to be preferred to pain, but not to pleasure. There are infinite kinds and degrees of both of them, and we choose the life which has more pleasure and avoid that which has less; but we do not choose that life in which the elements of pleasure are either feeble or equally balanced with pain. All the lives which we desire are pleasant; the choice of any others is due to inexperience. Now there are four lives–the temperate, the rational, the courageous, the healthful; and to these let us oppose four others–the intemperate, the foolish, the cowardly, the diseased. The temperate life has gentle pains and pleasures and placid desires, the intemperate life has violent delights, and still more violent desires. And the pleasures of the temperate exceed the pains, while the pains of the intemperate exceed the pleasures. But if this is true, none are voluntarily intemperate, but all who lack temperance are either ignorant or wanting in self-control: for men always choose the life which (as they think) exceeds in pleasure. The wise, the healthful, the courageous life have a similar advantage–they also exceed their opposites in pleasure. And, generally speaking, the life of virtue is far more pleasurable and honorable, fairer and happier far, than the life of vice.

    Honor is not to be given to the fair body, or to the strong or the swift or the tall, or to the healthy body (although many may think otherwise), any more than to their opposites; but the mean states of all these habits are by far the safest and most moderate; for the one extreme makes the soul braggart and insolent, and the other, illiberal and base; and money, and property, and distinction all go to the same tune. The excess of any of these things is apt to be a source of hatreds and divisions among states and individuals; and the defect of them is commonly a cause of slavery. And, therefore, I would not have any one fond of heaping up riches for the sake of his children, in order that he may leave them as rich as possible. For the possession of great wealth is of no use, either to them or to the state.
     
  13. SeaAndSky

    SeaAndSky Senior Registered

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    Neither do I overall. Misusing advantages and wealth is objectionable, and is quite different from objecting to the mere fact that some have more than others in terms of what are considered to be the "good" things of life. This leaves out questions of whether and how much to even out things via governmental action--i.e., using taxes and government programs, etc. to smooth out the differences between the haves and have nots. But that gets into much different topics, and once again takes us very quickly into political discourse with all the problems that entails in terms of Board rules and cohesion.

    Cordially,
    S&S

    PS--Agreement and vehemence are two different things. I can definitely sympathize with your feelings on these things, but I'm not sure that I can summon your level of vehemence. Perhaps that is because I think that the world has probably always had these problems, and that they are (if anything) less now than they used to be. Perhaps it is just because age cools the passions somewhat. Either way, as Baro-san and Native Son and others have pointed out on this thread, given the fact that there are problems in the world and seemingly always have been, the real question becomes what we can do about this--personally and corporately. How do we make ourselves better and what can we do in our sphere of action to make things better overall? Outrage may fuel change, but without wisdom and compassion to guide it, it is likely to harm more than it helps.
     

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