The collective unconscious

Discussion in 'Reincarnation Questions' started by Green26, Dec 15, 2006.

  1. Green26

    Green26 Senior Registered

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    I have been following a discussion on a different forum which discusses the collective unconscious and the holographic universe and how they may be alternative explanations to reincarnation. The people on this other forum are believers in the afterlife and are not atheist skeptics. However, they reject reincarnation.

    The argument that they put forward is that the phenomenon of children remembering past lives is caused by children accessing other people's memories through a collective unconscious like the one suggested by Carl Jung. They also put forward that if the universe truly is holographic then no one set of memories would be unique to one person because each individual contains all data contained in the hologram.

    They also mentioned the work of Ian Stevenson and said that his work would have been proof of reincarnation had it not been for a few of his cases which seem to be more suggestive of the collective unconscious. These cases of Ian Stevenson were cases in which one boy remembered being a man who was still alive and another case in which two different boys claimed to have been the same person.

    Does anybody know anything about these cases or could anyone enlighten me as to how this idea of a collective unconscious in place of reincarnation is flawed as a premise?
     
  2. michaldembinski

    michaldembinski Senior Registered

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    I'm entirely open to other theories than reincarnation - although a spiritual-based belief system offers a degree of comfort and purpose that's needed in life...

    I know what I - and, from two and half years on this forum, many other members have articulated cogently - experience on a daily basis. This is memory flashbacks or resurgences, which, while identical in flavour to memories from the present life, are associated with a past time and a different place.

    I'd love to know why this is; are our brains like radio transmitters, sending off into space signals that other consciousnesses on the same 'wavelength' can receive? Or are these anomalous memories our own selves, though in past incarnations?

    This surely must be the most important question facing humanity!

    Michal
     
  3. Phoenix

    Phoenix Forgot to play nice

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    Not if you are an atheist with total recall, it doesn't. ;)

    We have to find our own comforts and decide our own purposes.

    Although my fondness for archetypes often makes me sound Jungian; I don't buy his collective unconsciousness theory, any more than I buy some of Freud's charmingly antiquated theories on human sexuality that have been discredited for decades (when people started doing actual research on the subject, and not just publishing theories backed by speculation), yet they are still "common knowledge" and therefore considered fact by anyone who hasn't cracked a Masters and Johnson textbook.

    If the wavelength theory is correct, then what determines whether or not the consciousnesses receving the signals are the same wavelength as the sender?

    Because if that is true, and not reincarnation, then how is it that I am on the same wavelength with someone I'd rather not have been tuned in to?

    Badly crossed wires? Divine sense of humor? I drew the short straw?

    Phoenix
     
  4. Green26

    Green26 Senior Registered

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    I suppose if this theory about the collective unconscious were correct, wouldn't people get many different unrelated flashbacks from many different unrelated lives? I don't see why certain memories of particular individuals would resonate with only one person when in the style of the collective unconsciousness or holographic universe these flashbacks should be available to everyone not just one individual.

    I suppose that another thing that would go against this is life between lives hypnotherapy. Three individual regressionists that have regressed people between lives have described it with a certain amount of consistency (Michael Newton, Joel Whitten & Helen Wambach). They describe the process of receiving a new body and rebirth so if the people being regressed are just accessing other people's memories then they are clearly accessing other people's memories of reincarnation which disproves the theory of there just being a collective fishbowl of memories which leaks out into people's minds.
     
  5. michaldembinski

    michaldembinski Senior Registered

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    There is, I believe, a collective unconscious ("God") towards which we all tend. Eventually, I hope, after many, many more lifetimes, I will have total consciousness, joining as part of God in the Continuous Whole. Until then, so my personal theology goes, successive lives offer spiritual growth, development, greater understanding, ever higher levels of consciousness. I hope.

    Indeed. Assuming the other case, the radio receiver, there's the scenario that our brains are wired to receive a certain and almost unique wavelength that tunes us in to a handful of individual consciousnesses - not a vast babble of billions of memories. That would be unbearable!

    I've spent my life looking for the sources of those anomalous familiarities, those memories from beyond my lifetime's experience, from outside the time and space my current body's occupied. And, at 49, I still have no final answer - although I discount the notion of death being the final curtain as much as I dismiss standard Christian nostrums of 'heaven'.

    Somewhere between the rationalist scientific and the religious lies the answer.

    Michal
     
  6. michaldembinski

    michaldembinski Senior Registered

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    A good question, one that neatly asks about the role of coincidence in the Universe, about determinism, free will and karma...

    Reincarnation? Wavelengths? Neither - or both?

    Michal
     
  7. Green26

    Green26 Senior Registered

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    I did not say that I reject the idea of collective unconscious put forward by Jung, I am just saying that I reject the idea of how the people on this other forum think it works and that it can be a substitute for reincarnation.

    Jung's collective unconscious works in the form of mythology and symbolism which allows people to have dreams about ancient rituals and customs without having any conscious knowledge of them. There are countless examples of these sorts of dreams in Jung's book "Man and his Symbols".

    Most of these dreams are about rituals which were part of the culture of ancient civilizations that were performed on a regular basis and were often verified by historians. These sorts of dreams were not one off random events like many past life memories are which makes me think that the collective unconscious is something very different from past life recall.

    However I do not believe that when we die we simply become part of the collective unconscious where everybody's past memories make there way back to the living. Michael Talbot suggests in the Holographic Universe that everything in the universe may be connected and have access to all the holographic data stored in the universe but at the same time everything maintains its individuality and likens this to many ballerinas performing on stage. While each ballerina is an individual they are all part of the greater whole, being the dance that they are performing.

    Another analogy would be an orchestra with individual musicians being part of the orchestra performing as one to create music.

    I have read many NDE accounts and quite a few have statements which are quite similar to the above analogies such as things like "I realized that I was part of the greater whole, that I was at one with the universe yet still aware of my own individual consciousness"
     
  8. michaldembinski

    michaldembinski Senior Registered

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    You may wish to look at this thread...


    How is it different? My PL dreams and flashbacks are both "one off" events, although I'm still trying to get to the bottom of what triggers them. Can you differentiate experiences from the collective unconscious from past life memories or dreams? Or do you think dreams and waking memories ("flashbacks") have different causes?

    Michal
     
  9. Green26

    Green26 Senior Registered

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    I am suggesting that if the memories are one off events then they are more likely to be past life related. However if the dreams are of particular well known rituals, events or mythical creatures then they are probably from the collective unconscious and does not necessarily indicate a past life recall. This thread above is a good example of something that could come from the collective unconscious and although it could be a memory of a past life, it may not the case.

    If you read "Man and his Symbols" Jung discusses several dreams that are similar in nature to the one you mention above.

    For example a young girl gave her father a picture book for Christmas she had made of several dreams she had had. All of the dreams contained events and or creatures that were clearly from the bible and were clearly associated with death, although the family were atheists. The girl could not have had any conscious knowledge of the biblical relevance of her dream imagery. She died six weeks after giving her father the book.

    There is another dream which seems to be from the collective unconscious that I read about. It wasn't from "Man and his Symbols" but another dream book I have.

    A woman who had recently lost her father dreamt six weeks after he had died that she was up on a mountain top with her father's dead body performing some sort of ritual on it. She removed all the flesh from her father's body but left the head and at time she was thinking that she was helping her father and that he was no longer her father of today but her father of the future.

    About a year after having the dream she stumbled across a magazine article about an ancient Tibetan ritual in which the flesh of a dead body was removed except for the head in order to ensure that the deceased were able to reincarnate.

    However this does not necessarily mean that this woman was a Tibetan Buddhist in a past life. In these two dreams it is very clear how they both relate to the person's current life, coming as a warning about a premature death and in order to help with and overcome the grieving process of losing a family member.

    Can you see how Jung's collective unconscious differs from past life recall?
    Getting back to my original concern in this thread, I do not believe that Jung’s collective unconscious can be used to disprove reincarnation as I do not think it works in the same way as past life recall.
     
  10. tanguerra

    tanguerra Senior Registered

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    I very much enjoy Jung's thinking and have read many of his books, including Man and his Symbols.

    I suspect however that many of his patients' experiences and dreams, which he subscribed to 'collective unconscious' were actually more likely to be past life memories. He often says that the person was not educated enough to know about such-and-such an ancient historical belief or arcane symbol. Well, you don't have to be educated if you were there do you?

    However, I don't think this makes Jung wrong. It does not always have to be a matter of either/or. Perhaps the little girl with The Bible pictures below was a nun or other religious person in a previous life (or lived in Biblical times even), perhaps the other one was indeed a Tibetan and the dream was allegorical, emotional and related to the present life. Perhaps the father in the dream was both her present and past life father. Why not allow for both interpretations?

    I think there may also be a collective unconscious which we tap into in dream states and so on. I also believe there is 'something' linking time and 'causing' coincidences and synchronicity to occur and so forth. I don't see why past life memories, dreams, fantasies and interpretations of ink-blots might not all be methods by which the 'spirit' world tries to communicate with us through the mind - urging us onwards, warning us of danger, striving towards its mysterious purposes.

    I think Jung was a great pioneer in examining these areas thoughtfully, creatively and imaginiatively. He had an open and enquiring mind and I have always loved his gentle, childlike wonder at the great mysteries of the psyche.
     
  11. Deborah

    Deborah Executive Director Staff Member

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    Since this thread was in December; Anyone wish to add to the conversation? It's an interesting perspective.
     
  12. Green26

    Green26 Senior Registered

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    Getting back to my original concern, has anybody heard of these two Stevenson cases in which one boy remembered being a man who was still alive and another case in which two different boys claimed to have been the same person?

    I tried looking for them on the net when I first posted this thread but couldn't seem to find them. I would have thought that such cases would have considerably damaged Stevenson's credibility as a serious researcher.
     
  13. Charles Stuart

    Charles Stuart Probationary

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    Hi Green26,

    How and why then, under their argumentation, could past life related traumas and phobias be explained if they occur on an individual basis?

    I'll go along with the "collective consciousness" in as much as we are ALL interconnected, but I am still convinced that we ALL maintain our individuality, and that each case, each Soul, is unique and with its own individual history and experience.
     
  14. Charles Stuart

    Charles Stuart Probationary

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    Hi Green26,

    Let me add something else:

    I am familiar with Dr Stevenson's work, but not in detail, so I can't really comment on the two cases you have mentioned. However, I believe there is often some confusion regarding what truly are "memories" and what could probably be another phenomenon. In my lifetime, I've had the opportunity to meet two women who were capable of "reading another person's aura", and able to access registers know as the "Akashic Registries", which would be a registry of all thoughts and events and can be well explained by the "Hollographic Theory". My thoughts are that perhaps the two children you mentioned were not accessing their own past life memories, but the memories of another person, which does not mean they were one and the same Soul in two different people simultaneously.
     
  15. Green26

    Green26 Senior Registered

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    I believe that someone from the other forum has posted an online review for Jim Tucker's book Life before Life. They only gave it two stars. Here is what they wrote:


    I personally don't think it is a very strong arguement. The cause of PL memories being a lack of concept of self is a weak one at best. Also, correct me if I am wrong but hypnotised adults do not temporarily forget their current life and they remain in control the whole time provided they are with a trained regressionist.

    There are alot more things in this guy's arguement that I would like to debunk and wouldn't have much trouble doing but I might do that at a later date, or maybe someone else could jump in before me with some counter arguements.
     
  16. Eevee

    Eevee Administrator/Archivist Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Some interesting ideas are discussed here. Does anyone like to add their thoughts?


    Eevee
     
  17. journey215

    journey215 New Member

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    genetic ancestral memories?


    I've wondered if the things I remember are actually memories of my ancestors, things that are passed down genetically like instinct is passed down in animals. The lives I seem to remember COULD have been from my ancestors. There's no reason that my family tree couldn't have begun in a tribe in northern Europe, moved to England in the middle ages and came to America in the 1600s.


    Journey
     
  18. Karoliina

    Karoliina Moderator Emerita

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    Hello Journey,


    I don't know enough about human biology, genetics etc. to know what's possible or impossible, but at least I remember many lifetimes on different continents being of totally different ethnicity. And for example my memories of being part of African-American community in the 1970's couldn't be explained by remembering my ancestors' lives.


    Karoliina
     
  19. traveler

    traveler Senior Registered

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    Journey, I have heard of the idea of ancestral or racial memories, but unfortunately I don't know much about it. It is tied into the Jungian concept of a collective unconscious.


    Karoliina, I don't believe genetics or biology could really explain these concepts anyway. They are too metaphysical for modern science as it stands.


    I don't believe any aspect of universal consciousness can explain reincarnation, but that doesn't mean it can't play a role in our lives and who we are. I just read this thread from another discussion on" seeing faces.


    Several people reported that in a certain state, they "see" people but the images never repeat. I wondered if this is more related to the "collective unconscious" phenomena.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2017
  20. Charles Stuart

    Charles Stuart Probationary

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    Hi Journey,


    I still hadn't welcomed you to the forum, so I am doing so now... :thumbsup:


    As far as I know, my last lifetime was as a Luftwaffa pilot in WWII, and there is absolutely NO genetic connection to my present life to justify the "memories" I had of that time...
     

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