Is Reincarnation Real?

Discussion in 'SCIENTIFIC and ANECDOTAL research' started by fiziwig, Feb 23, 2003.

  1. Nightrain

    Nightrain Senior Registered

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    Not everyone is aware of the personal repercussions of suicide, let alone the hurt that it causes others; and your words are certainly helpful and profound. I do believe that many people throughout history have feared the possibility of reincarnation, due to their belief that others may take the "easy" way out.


    I don't know how much of a deterrent was presented by the church, when they considered suicide a "mortal" sin worthy of eternal damnation; but I suspect that it may have served its purpose well during certain periods. However, we have witnessed a tremendous increase in suicide during the past fifty or so years. I believe that this may be attributed to the impact of knowledge brought about by new media and technologies, which have eroded the degree of trust people once held in church doctrine. Kids are especially prone to believing that they've been lied to, and their reactions tend to include dangerous behavior even more than suicide.


    I think that the concept of reincarnation may serve as more of a new deterrent for such behavior than is commonly believed; because one is encouraged to be responsible for their actions. Karma, just as you indicated, dictates that dangerous behavior as well as suicide will only lead to a necessary repeat of whatever we are here for.


    For me, the period between religious doubt and reincarnation's promise was the most dangerous period of my life, and a time in which I was most at risk. With a greater understanding of reincarnation, I became more able to face the difficult choices of life, and I was better able to cope with the dangers that came with those choices. Your words, "The knowledge of the afterlife is a comfort -- not a burden!" rang more true than any church dogma ever did.


    I would feel that it behooves us to encourage awareness of reincarnation, because it actually makes this life more tolerable, especially for those who have lost their faith in other things. I don't believe that reincarnation would enable suicide or dangerous behavior, as long as it is presented with an understanding of how Karma works. That way, it will perceived as a comfort, rather than a burden.


    -Nightrian
     
  2. Deborah

    Deborah Executive Director Staff Member

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    I liked what Lagrima said....- and to get back on topic even if this is an old thread. It's a good one.

     
  3. Wehrmacht

    Wehrmacht New Member

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    Cool thread. I never thought of it this way before.

     
  4. KenJ

    KenJ Moderator Emeritus

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    Another great thread!
     
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  5. fireflydancing

    fireflydancing just a fly in the sky Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Thanks for bumping, KenJ.

    This thread holds too much information to read in one session. I've been reading for some hours now (need a break). It's a pleasant experience to read, to agree, to disagree and to reflect by myself.
    I did notice it was a highly male energy discussion (I am halfway by now): The meaning of proof and logic, the meaning of Life... and so on.
    The good thing: all the participants talk from own life experiences and do not rely on outer authorities to back their personal belief system.
    ;):)
     
  6. Native Son

    Native Son Senior Member

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    Yes, great thread, but what has been mended with It? Still no foundation to stand on, as reality, true reality, is what is needed to form any real conclusion to build on.........what is life? Anyone's guess can be as real as another's guess. The best one discussed here, as far as my guess goes, is about life being a game. For surely, if the soul is immortal, then it knows all things and therefore we cannot be here to learn anything, logically listening to my own unicorn. The Facts? Who really knows Them? Not I nor anyone else here, is my guess. Who knows if everything we think we know, or think we don't, have not been programmed into our minds? There is only one Master of reality. And my guess is that that Master is the only one who knows; I call him God, but we are free to call him anything we want, as he takes no offense, even if one calls him non-existent, or swears by or at him.

    But then who cares what others believe, and as someone mentioned on this thread, live and let live. As there is only one that lives and lets die; the same one that, alone, knows reality.
     
  7. KenJ

    KenJ Moderator Emeritus

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    Welcome to the forum Native Son.

    I did not understand the thread's intent to be "mending", just members expressing their understandings - differing perspectives.

    I see no innate correlation between "immortal" and "knows all things", how would that happen without experience? As you said "What is life?"

    I, for one, found the different perspectives interesting and a bit mind-expanding giving me some mental exercise I suppose.

    The topic was "Is Reincarnation Real?" which is perhaps beyond current scientific determination at this time. And, since my personal experiences do not include such memories, that question remains somewhat unanswered for me.

    After reading your thoughts I was left with the question of why you thought that we were here to experience "Life" in the first place? What purpose, in your opinion, does it serve - and why would it take it more that one lifetime?

    It appears that you have gone beyond the question posd here, how did you do that?
     
  8. fireflydancing

    fireflydancing just a fly in the sky Staff Member Super Moderator

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    The Yin and the Yang

    All those 'logical' questions are part of the (active) Yang approach.
    It is my honest opinion that this approach is not enough to understand the origin and the meaning of life. If there are origin and meaning at all. The solution is not even found in the receptive Yin, but to be found in the melting pot of paradoxes.
    It is also my opinion that people who really understand the most, talk the less about it. Just because they know there is nothing to be said.
    If for example, I discovered the meaning of life: it's my story, my level of understanding which might not correspond with yours. My words, my dictionary, my visions cannot be transferred to someone else. And often there doesn't exist words to describe the deepest insights one can have. Words are cripple and blind and the experience of the Almighty is beyond words.
    I don't pretend I am enlightened or a sage or so, not at all, but I do have experiences now and then in which I have access to greater concepts, other dimensions, sometimes explanations that really make 'sense' to me. In those states I 'know', I 'understand', and later on (back on earth) it all slips through my fingers as grains of sand. I desperately try to seek words as a translation of the experience, so my mind will be able to record it. The mind is not capable of grasping the whole 'picture'. it takes your soul to merge with the concepts for a real understanding.

    To give an example:
    Some time ago I had the experience/vision of a Sun and a Moon that were both at the same time. In this experience, I was the Sun, I was the Moon, I felt the merging, I understood what it meant to be individual and multiple at the same time. It was just more than a beautiful vision/hallucination of a Sun and a Moon.... it was me, it was my energy and it was at the same time me and somebody else...
    I knew this was like 'going back to Source' on a smaller scale.... merging, to become 'One' but not dying or losing 'self'... at (free) will there could be separation again ... in this timeless and endless cycle of 'existence' .
    How can I describe the experience of me being Sun and Moon at the same time, and not being Sun and Moon at the same time, because I moved from outside inwards inside this energy. Only once I was inside, I knew it was all me, and at the same time other(s), and at the same time I knew and understood a lot of information/concepts about eternity and the never ceasing cycles beyond time.

    Logic is no tool for this. Words are not adequate enough. I can only tell that I felt deeply what it meant to be individual and multiple at the same time. I cannot transfer this to another person's mind.

    Another example
    I read several times in this thread that people are concerned about being bored in the afterlife. Sounds familiar because I had the same feeling/opinion when I was younger. I thought duality was fun, necessary and in some sort of way the meaning of life.
    When I was in my twenties I once went to a free class of Zen meditation (walking meditation). I was not used to meditating so I thought that could be some thing worth to try. So me and my boyfriend went there one night. We followed the rituals and instructions and afterward we would get a talk about our experience.
    Well, I hated it. I really hate Zen (still do, hahaha). But I didn't complain and completed the long (!) session. But... somewhere during my practice of walking meditation, suddenly it was as if there was a huge Buddha present in a lotus position, a living Buddha. It was like a projection in that room, the living Buddha was huge and went through wall and ceiling. He looked at me and smiled.
    That smile! It gave me all the answers I didn't even know I was looking for. He gave me the definition of peace, the balance. Being at peace was not dull, it was vibrant, full of life and energy. It gave me so much information, really life changing in some sort of way (a spiritual way), mindblowing. Peace was not boring, the afterlife was not dull... I understood it all.... (even now when I think back).
    The funny part was this talk at the end of our free class of Zen meditation. They asked us about the experience and wanted to know if we would join that community center. The moment I started talking about my vision, this girl almost fell over me saying this kind of experiences were wrong and not the goal of meditation. Yeah... I KNOW... but it happened... and I wanted to talk about it, feedback, but NO... no way... they bluntly refused to talk about it.
    Anyway, I've always cherished this experience as one of my spiritual gems that I've been collecting over the years. So much information felt by the soul in only a few seconds and a lifelong impact.
    Impossible to explain in words.
     
  9. Native Son

    Native Son Senior Member

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    Ken, we are all traveling on eternity road, and perhaps we are trying to find our own peace of mind, as I recall from a song. The "mending" was a pun on the word thread, since there were many opinions put forth, but no one main idea accepted, except the subject of reincarnation. And we all know just how unstable is to prove reincarnation. Regarding learning and experiences, these are temporal events and quite separate from the eternal realm of existence. To be immortal is to be eternal, and to be eternal is to be outside of time. Time is of the physical world, where the immortals come to "play" and pretend. And if we have a soul we are these immortals. If you want to understand better my first post, then you must try to understand eternity. What and where is eternity? If you can grasp the concept that time is a created thing, and that the soul is prior to time, then you are on the road to understanding, or rather, recollection, as you already know all things and understand it all, but have forgotten, so as to play the game of life. Someone used the analogy of the movie theater most appropriately, to express this concept of life being a game of pretend, such as is a movie, and that perhaps many do not want to wake up to reality, because we are here exactly for that purpose, pretending we are mortals. And when sages and idiots alike enlighten us, they are only, perhaps, spoiling the fun of our game, and want no part of it. These skeptics, as we call them, scientific or not, will never accept enlightenment because they just want to have fun here. And maybe we, those who see life in reality, as someone stated here, should just let those skeptics alone and let them live their game of life as long as possible. These are the same ones that will return back to eternity last, and by the longer and winding road, and will enter by the wide gate. Those that recall earlier who we are, and the rules of this game of life, are those that will, by adhering to these rules and the prizes awarded, return to eternity by a straighter road, and will enter by the narrow gate. It's a put on, this life in a physical body. For what has an immortal soul to do in eternity, when we already know all and done everything zillion and zillion of times in Infinity? My very wise aunt used to tell me that we don't know what we have until we lose it. Therefore, we drink the waters from the river of forgetfulness, which no vessel can hold, then come to the physical world, our eternal and ever changing amusement park, and pass time away, forgetting what we really have and are, only to rediscover our treasures and absolute fortune when we return back home to the kingdom of God, or whatever we want to call our eternal realm of being, which is never changing, and never ending, as it never began, and has always been an eternal IS. Let us continue and exchange thought provocative ideas here, but remember that we are all just a bunch of plagiarists. Past life Regressions, in my opinion, spoils the fun. And where was PLR in the past? We know reincarnation was known to us a few millennium ago, but where was regression back then? The popularity with PLR is just like clothing styles, it just came in vogue, and now everyone is pretending to remember what we are already pretending, life and previous lives.....? Just part of the same game, and just another layer of pretending.
     
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  10. tanguerra

    tanguerra Moderator Emeritus

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    Please explain more detail Native Son.

    What is this 'pretending'? Do you have a story to share perhaps? Or have I missed something?
     
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  11. Native Son

    Native Son Senior Member

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    Since you seem to be a Joni Mitchell fan, I figure I should respond to your request. Quickly I'll share my opinion that Joni is a Platonist, or better still, a Neo-Platonist, since I sense the mysticism in the artistic expression of her music. Take, in this case, as point in question for this thread, her song; Both Sides Now, and her album, Clouds. Carefully taking into perspective much of the posts on this thread, and then considering the lyrics of Both Sides Now, a keen mind should be able to see the connection and how they cover the discussion here. And we need to keep in mind the term "Clouds," both for the lyrics of the song, and also for the title of the Album, and place it along side with an ancient Greek comedy; Aristophanes' Clouds. Although Joni gave the public a different take for her inspiration on the song, if one were to press her, I think that she would reveal her inspiration came from Socrates' take on reincarnation, the spiritual world, and both sides merely allude to the physical and the spiritual world of Plato's Cave Allegory. And her conclusion was that she really does not know, either life, or love, or reality, in general, although she thought she did when merely looking at it from only one side, the physical.

    Rows and flows of angel hair
    And ice cream castles in the air
    And feather canyons everywhere
    I've looked at clouds that way

    But now they only block the sun
    They rain and snow on everyone
    So many things I would have done
    But clouds got in my way
    I've looked at clouds from both sides now

    From up and down, and still somehow
    It's cloud illusions I recall
    I really don't know clouds at all
    Moons and Junes and Ferris wheels
    The dizzy dancing way you feel
    As every fairy tale comes real
    I've looked at love that way

    But now it's just another show
    You leave 'em laughing when you go
    And if you care, don't let them know
    Don't give yourself away
    I've looked at love from both sides now
    From give and take, and still somehow
    It's love's illusions I recall
    I really don't know love at all

    Tears and fears and feeling proud
    To say "I love you" right out loud
    Dreams and schemes and circus crowds
    I've looked at life that way
    But now old friends are acting strange
    They shake their heads, they say I've changed
    Well something's lost, but something's gained
    In living every day

    I've looked at life from both sides now
    From win and lose and still somehow
    It's life's illusions I recall
    I really don't know life at all
    I've looked at life from both sides now
    From up and down and still somehow
    It's life's illusions I recall
    I really don't know life at all.



    Without seeming rude or completely disregarding any plausibility to what some are claiming here, especially by Dking 777, everyone expressing their paranormal "experiences" are mainly taken as truth on the basis of the claimant, without any reflection and constructive criticism. What I note is that everyone seems to have an unspoken code; you accept my experiences and I will accept yours, no questions asked. Well nearly no questions, as one or two here have raised some very polite-put expressions of doubt. Now, considering that there are few on this forum bragging about logic and how it is applied by them, I fail to see this logic being applied to the head-question; what is reality? Reality cannot be subjective, as related by perceived personal experiences, at least for those that are not a result of self-delusion, or just "daydreaming" accounts, or possibly even hoaxes. Reality is objective, and the standard, if one can can be applied, has to be objective, and one consistent with repeatability/reproduceability.
     
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  12. KenJ

    KenJ Moderator Emeritus

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    I know, and understand what you are saying in your response to my prior post, the part that you left out was your motivation in demeaning other peoples "game" by the nature of your posts. Do you have a point beyond your admiration of ancient dialogues?

    There are "Truths" being told in other civilizations other then the Mediterranean, why have you limited your interest?
     
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  13. tanguerra

    tanguerra Moderator Emeritus

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    Neither do I. But exploration is fun. Isn't it?

     
  14. tanguerra

    tanguerra Moderator Emeritus

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    Correct. We assume that people willing to share their experiences are not trying to trick anyone, but simply to find a safe and, indeed, welcoming place to talk about sometimes very heartfelt, personal, sometimes upsetting experiences. These experiences usually don't feature unicorns. Hardly ever even any mermaids. ~

    That's life.

    T.
     
  15. baro-san

    baro-san Senior Member

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    (1) "constructive criticism" seems an oxymoron, one of the brainless children of political correctness (in my opinion)
    (2) "reality" is perceived only through our senses, so inherently can be only subjective; my reality differs from your reality
     
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  16. Native Son

    Native Son Senior Member

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    Ken.....Apparently I must have said something that has been misinterpreted, as I was not able to post for a couple of days. By peoples' "games" I was referring to our current physical existence, which meant to encompass all, and not referring to the experiences of those posting here on the forum, regarding their subjective feelings of recalling flashes or more in- depth memories of perceived previous past lives. Although I also expressed my opinion as to why, in the last 30 years or so, there has been a very significant increase of claims for past-life remembrance. Additionally, I started to use musical items, as I had noted that some were expressing some of their sentiments by referencing certain songs, which, obviously, to them, these artists were expressing some obvious, or not so obvious, belief about the afterlife. But it should be clear that just because I expressed my opinion as to be incredulous of certain claims, as I also noted others here to have expressed, I was not intending to demean anyone or any thing. I believe that Mrs. Bowman is wanting to show that her work has scientific roots and a base for objective evidence, even if it is, mostly, dealing with personal subjective experiences. I have also expressed my own strong belief in the immortality of the soul, and its reincarnation process, although my faith in this universal truth comes from a different source than most of the posters here, I think! And my point is not merely my admiration of "ancient dialogues", but the point is that these ancient dialogues are as current as anything we have today, or rather, more current, as the truth they contain cannot be but always current, as truth never falls out of fashion. And without seeming rude, as I had previously expressed, a better understanding of Plato/Socrates would not have had you pose to me that question of why I have limited my interest in the civilizations of the Mediterranean Sea basin. Plato's work brought Eastern and Western thought together, and made each better. Additionally, again, without seeming rude, You have no familiarity with that which I have or not have limited myself, and therefore you cannot assume this, just because I have, exclusively, presented my opinions by referencing some excerpts from Plato's dialogues.

    And of "Truths" there is only one set, and God only knows them, whether Eastern, Western, Northern, Southern, or any other cardinal coordinate in-between. Absolute Truth belongs only to the First cause of all, our Creator, the Absolute Good.

    Best regards
     
  17. Native Son

    Native Son Senior Member

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    Tangurerra....I had posted a two part post to provide an answer to your questions, however, I do not know what happened to the second part, as it does not show. I can assume that perhaps some of the content was deemed not worthy of being posted. I cannot understand why, if that was the reason, as I do not believe to have written anything to prevent posting, but I will leave it that, as you may have a better clue, since you are an administrator on this forum. If anything, I apologize for that which may have been deemed as such. But I also noted that the first part was slightly edited, but only by having added a link to Joni's song, of which I had only posted the lyrics, if I'm recalling correctly.
     
  18. Native Son

    Native Son Senior Member

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    How do you weigh and consider someones' else reality, which differs from yours? Taking Bacon's words partially, and at face value, puts you at enmity with your own personal reality. It definitely puts you at enmity with my reality, and by definition and understanding, with everyone else who do not see the same things you do.

    Age appears to be best in four things; old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read.
    “Man prefers to believe what he prefers to be true.”
    Francis Bacon
     
  19. crobar

    crobar New Member

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    I'm a long-time Spiritualist who does not need to be persuaded that we may reincarnate if we choose and perhaps many or all of us do exactly that. I've noticed, though, that the ideas that underpin my modest understanding of life, death and what follows seem to have less appeal than they once used to have. Perhaps coincidentally there appears a developing interest in NDEs and past lives, the latter naturally linked to the subject of reincarnation.

    I'm wondering if the increasing interest in such issues is becoming a way that new generations look for their own understanding of life, death and what comes next? Perhaps everyone here already knows what I'm asking and if so I apologise for asking the questions.
     
  20. KenJ

    KenJ Moderator Emeritus

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    Native Son, I feel that I probably owe you an apology. I “heard”, in your post, the voice of a classmate who boisterously proclaimed his version of reality as superior to others. Your more recent messages seem to be above that. Indeed, the words of Socrates are as relevant today as they were in 400 BC. The expression, and debate, of philosophical ideas is certainly acceptable. My concern was that the Forum’s purpose and Guidelines were not being recognized.

    The second thing to apologize for is my lack of welcoming you to the Forum, so – Welcome to the forum Native Son, I look forward to hearing about your experiences and understandings related to reincarnation, parapsychology, and other areas of interest related to the various areas of the Forum.

    As for Plato’s writings, I read some in the 1950’s and again in the 1970’s when I was trying to get my life back together. The thoughts are good things for the “head”, but lack much for the “heart” in my opinion. It could be that the discussion was beyond my “pay-grade” in some respects. My reference to your inclusions of Mediterranean thinking was directed toward the head/heart differences as follows.

    “The truth is not always beautiful, nor beautiful words the truth.”
    ― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

    “So the unwanting soul sees what's hidden,
    and the ever-wanting soul sees only what it wants.”
    ― Lao Tzu

    and

    Humankind has not woven the web of life.
    We are but one thread within it.
    Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.
    All things are bound together. All things connect.
    - Chief Seattle

    There is no death, only a change of worlds.
    - Chief Seattle
     
  21. fireflydancing

    fireflydancing just a fly in the sky Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Hi Crobar,
    I think the main reason for the increasing general interest in reincarnation is because of modern technology and most of all: the internet. I knew about reincarnation in the era before the internet, but it limited itself to reading some books and visiting some meetings. Nowadays it is so easy (and cheap) to collect information. It is so easy to talk with people about this subject online. It's easier to get some sort of confirmation very quickly. Increasing interest is just a natural thing to happen. During my life I I heard several stories first hand from all kinds of people but they fell back in memory over time. Now I can compare and share those stories thanks to Mr. Google and websites and forums.
     
  22. crobar

    crobar New Member

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    I'm sure you're right about the ease of finding information on the web and easy communication with others sharing an interest. Beyond that, though, where do our net-enabled friends find information that extends their knowledge beyond the simplicity of incarnation indeed being an authentic, perhaps demonstrable, notion?

    Acknowledging and accepting that we have had at least one previous incarnate life may be a profound revelation but to understand WHY we do, why we did, why we will again in the future is another issue, wouldn't you agree? I'm trying to figure what others do learn about such an issue compared with what I did.

    Or is an interest in finding out about their previous lives largely all they wish to know about, I wonder.
     
  23. tanguerra

    tanguerra Moderator Emeritus

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    Hi Native Son

    There was some discussions among the moderators as to whether the thread had gone 'off topic' and was becoming a bit heated. Sometimes the best thing is a time out for review.

    We love lively discussions, as long as they are respectful, on-topic and done in a spirit of discussion rather than dissertation. It is easy to get a bit carried away sometimes. We all do it.

    Enjoy the forum (not toooo much).

    T.
     
  24. Native Son

    Native Son Senior Member

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    Thanks for the explanation. I'm one to follow rules, especially when explained to me. I would appreciate being told when I am not aware of being in violation, as I don't mean to, intentionally.
    Also I realize that I am overly zealous when it comes to Plato/Socrates, in relation to the immortality of the soul, and the reincarnation process. And yes, I did get carried away....my apologis to all concerned.

    And I am sure to enjoy this forum, otherwise I would not be still loitering about.

    Best regards,
     
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  25. Graham76man

    Graham76man Senior Member

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    I look it this way you know you are going to die. Tell me one person who isn't! So reincarnation is real. It's not a choice you can make, it just happens, like death.
     
  26. Speedwell

    Speedwell Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Yes, but do we know we are going to be born?
     
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  27. SeekerOfKnowledge

    SeekerOfKnowledge Learner

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    If reincarnation is not real, why are we here, on this forum then?

    It is possible, of course, that we are all wrong. There is no external proof, not really. Some children's cases I would consider to be strong evidence, though.

    To me, it feels very real. And maybe, a strong feel from within our hearts is all we have.
     
  28. Speedwell

    Speedwell Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Personally, even on the days when I have doubts, it is only on the details, the overall concept long ago ceased to be a matter of question for me.
     
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  29. SeekerOfKnowledge

    SeekerOfKnowledge Learner

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Germany
    Hasn't been a matter of question to me either for the last 20 years or so.
     
    Speedwell likes this.
  30. Jim78

    Jim78 Probationary

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2017
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    I have doubts at times too, but I can't deny what I know. I'm glad I didn't discover reincarnation through a religious route. It feels like a more personally unique and impactful journey than just a belief. Its now my reality. Maybe it is best to leave others to their reality. Knowledge can be overwhelming after all.
     

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