Puppets of the past?

Discussion in 'Members Lounge' started by stardis, Mar 16, 2010.

  1. stardis

    stardis Senior Registered

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    I've been re reading Alan Watts today and found his discourse on Time interesting, specifically his thoughts about the past driving the future. If I may quote Alan Watts referring to the tail wagging the dog:

    Anyone think about this? Do you define yourself by past life experience or by what you are doing now? Do you feel like a puppet or a free spirit?
     
  2. Nightrain

    Nightrain Senior Registered

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    Thanks for the interesting question, Stardis!


    I remember encountering this theory once before in this Forum, and have been mulling it over for a few months since. I have to admit that I'm not as open-minded as I thought; because there seems to be no purpose to the idea of the present driving the past. I would be willing to accept the possibility that time and space don't exist on the next plane as we understand it on this plane. But, I do feel that, as long as we're in this dimension, the past does drive the present; but only insofar as we allow it. In other words, the past influences our choices to a degree. However, nothing in our present can change the past.


    In addition, anecdotal evidence seems to indicate that we live our many lives in consecutive order from past to present as well. So, even if time and space doesn't exist between lives, I believe that our choices in the afterlife are also driven by past experiences. The whole concept of learning precludes that such order exists. Otherwise, we would be able to unlearn; and what would be the purpose of that?


    Yet, I would offer an obvious contradiction for this discussion, because I do believe it is possible to sense the future and that it may be possible to predict some things. Of course, I can't perform such a feat, myself; but, everything I've read and seen on the subject seems to indicate, that there may be some way for people to know the future. Yet, that future knowledge might have nothing to do with the concept of the future driving the past.


    It has been suggested that applying the theory of a holographic multi-universe could explain how linear time, free-will, and precognition can all work together without contradicting the logical sequence of time. I can't begin to suggest how this is possible, because doing so would require someone more qualified than myself to write several volumes on the subject. However, the explanations I've seen would seem to offer circumstantial evidence, that such things are possible. Knowledge of the future can influence a person's decisions regarding the future. But, it cannot go back and change the past.


    -Nightrain
     
  3. stardis

    stardis Senior Registered

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    Just some personal thoughts here:


    Just speaking strictly of the past driving the future, it seems that almost everyone who has a past life memory is going to great lengths to ascribe present day problems to past life trauma. Don't you think that at some point each individual becomes responsible for their present day actions regardless of how screwed up their past life personality or life situation was? We are not the personality we once were, we just have some memories of being that personality. Memories do not make us who we are now. We make ourselves in the now, each second by second. Maybe that is why we have linear time, so that we can always live in the now.


    I am not saying that memories of past lives don't affect us in the present because I know that they do. But in the next life are we going to say that we are screwed up because we remember a past life when we were a person who was screwed up because we had a past life memory of being screwed up? When does that slavery to our past end and we become the master and live in the present - in the now? I think that is what Watts is saying, are we a puppet of the past or the master of the now.


    I don't believe that we have all these trauma filled lives so that we can learn our lessons. Really, that is too easy of a cop-out, there must be more to life than "learning lessons". Perhaps a more sensible explanation for our problems and unhappiness is that we don't practice living in the now. (I know things aren't perfectly black and white.)


    Why do you think the Original Consciousness (or whatever you want to call her) would need to learn lessons? Do you think of the Creator as being contained within the universe or do you think of the Creator as containing the universe within itself?


    How many times have you read about someone's wonderful past life memory of living in the now?
     
  4. Nightrain

    Nightrain Senior Registered

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    Hi Stardis,


    You made a very important point regarding our ability to overcome the oftimes burdensome memories of our past. I would more than agree, that we too often find ourselves making excuses for our present behavior by saying that we are victims of some past injustice. God knows, many of us still ascribe some of our poor choices on events that have happened within the same lifetime. What would prevent us from doing the same regarding our possible past lives?


    I've been a member of several organizations, which were intended to give comfort, commiseration, and guidance to people with certain specific experiences. Invariably, along the way, I have observed how some members have used their experiences as a kind of crutch -- an excuse, if you will, for their own poor choices. In fact, I've often done the same. It seems to be a very fine line that exists between recognizing our weaknesses or finding excuses.


    It would be very easy for me to say that I can't help being angry at the world, because I've been a victim of it. Such would be a clear case of allowing myself to become a puppet of the past. Yes, it is true that I could rise above such excuses, and live my present life as if nothing bad ever happened in the past. And, I would be a much better friend to the world by doing so. It is apparent how many of us can feel at ease around individuals who are constantly smiling like a Buddhist monk, as if one hadn't a care in the world, nor any reason to judge.


    Admittedly, being around such people can be a tremendous joy, and I often wonder why I can't do the same. I admit, however, that I often chose, instead, to carry the burdens of the past along with me throughout this life; and such is not a place that anyone cares to dwell; thus I often find myself quite alone in my misery, and quite removed from the joys that life has to offer.


    In this respect, I finally understand what you are saying. Having not read Alan Watts, I probably missed the point; and mistakenly thought that he was referring to a cosmic theory of time in which we could physically move backwards as well as forward through lifetimes. Clearly, there is a very real advantage to living in the present and not allowing our memories to hold us back.


    -Nightrain
     
  5. stardis

    stardis Senior Registered

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    Once again, you speak for us both.


    I wonder how many others find themselves "removed from the joys that life has to offer"?
     
  6. Truthseeker

    Truthseeker Former Moderator

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    I like to go out and play golf once in a while. I used to keep score, but all it did was frustrate me. I was never doing as well as I thought I should, and it would spoil the whole experience for me. I would go home irritated and unsatisfied. I'm sure this is not an uncommon senerio on the golf course.
    Now, I almost never keep score. I made up my mind that being out there playing is not about the score. No one else cares about my score but me anyway. It is about being out there in the first place. It's about spending a recreational day outside with my friends. It's about being present in the moment.


    Maybe worrying about the pressures of learning lessons, and comparing one life to another is spending too much time worrying about keeping score. To keep score is a good way of measuring progress, but to dwell on it takes away from the present moment, and will only leave you frustrated.


    One of the quotes I have on Facebook I quoted myself: "Focus on your goals, but don't forget to enjoy the journey."
     
  7. Florence

    Florence Senior Registered

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    If a person has come back from a difficult past life and remembers it...well good...that is an advantage. You can sit down and easily see where you made you mistakes and possibly why. It IS possible to change yourself if you are aware and make the effort. Pity poor me will drive everyone away. Who wants to talk to someone who is constantly negative....not me....


    I like being happy and I like to laugh....I don't know much about my past lives and I don't really much care. I believe my journey in this life has been to become completely independent. I am. It was difficult at times but with some humor and trusting I was not given more than I could handle...I made it. I do admit to looking up a few times and saying "Dear Lord, what the heck I ever agreed to.....I think I changed my mind." grin ....made myself laugh.


    The real secret to a happy life is to forget about yourself and help the other guy....you will be surprised at how much more content your life will be


    Forget yesterday.....just be your best self TODAY.


    It's not very complicated.....
     

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