Rebirth/Reincarnation

Discussion in 'Eastern Religions and Philosophies' started by Nick the Pilot, Dec 6, 2008.

  1. TheKhan

    TheKhan All Natural

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    Hi Nick_A,

    OK, let me explain what I think I know about buddhism, to answer your questions, but again I`m not the expert, but I think these are the basics that I can talk about.

    What we meant by "getting it" in buddhism, is slang for attaining ultimate buddhist enlightenment, it is a technical lingo. Which I assume is probably similar to attaining ultimate understanding of the Truth in Christianity. That may resemble becoming an existence that is one with God.., Jesus.., ready to enter the New Kingdom.., whatever Christ told us was the ultimate goal for us.

    In Buddhism, we consider this ultimate level of consciousness, or IMO no different from maturity of the "seed of the soul" as you say it, as graduation from this earthly existence. And we go to another place, in Buddhism I think we go to a certain kind of Heaven, in Christianity I guess where ever Christ went after the resurrection.

    So the way Buddhism sees it, we go to school(this existence) until we are like the Buddha who is the Jesus equivalent in Buddhism, and don`t automatically graduate or flunk out even if we die, and keep being sent back to school until we become super human beings like Jesus or the Buddha. I guess Christianity might be putting a time limit on this, maybe its just a wording or teaching style issue.

    I think what would be different is, in Buddhism once we attain enlightenment we have an option to be in super heaven, I`m not sure what is said in Christianity when the good seed matures in full.

    OK, I`m beginning to understand what you mean by soul. The buddha told buddhists that there is a buddha consciousness, in everything. God told his people that he created man in his own image and if that is the logic behind Christendom asserting that man has a fully developed soul. Well in Buddhism so does man have a fully developed buddha truth(consciousness), that we have a choice to train to harness.

    I really think we are kind of getting lost in word definitions and translations with these issues, I should really check into churches to really find out the definitions but I`ve never really bothered. I am not about to admit that Buddhism teaches that we do not have a soul either.

    What makes this more complicated is, I think there are schools in Buddhism that believe that we are all one consciousness, life is just an illusion and what we experience is like balloons floating around. I`ve met people who believe in this, that is their reality, and in groups I think its a particular sect. If I understand it correctly, I think the Dali Larma explained that if in this context Buddhism is explained, "soul" doesn`t exist in Buddhism.

    Well there`s a logic behind this to make an excuse, that I think a Christian can understand, the one consiousness, selflessness is really a certain kind of attempt to be one with God. For example, if one really understood what its like to be "One with God" there is no "you and me" or "my soul", there is only "God".

    But to say that Buddhism doesn`t have a concept of a soul, sounds so evil, that I feel very strongly that such verbal communication practices should be abandoned when buddhism is taught in English.

    TK
     
  2. Nick_A

    Nick_A Interfaith Forums

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    Hi there St. Nick. As you know, us Nicks have a special Claus in our contract around Christmas so enjoy.


    Yes, the classic distinction between the secular and transcendent paths. The secular stresses the importance of evolving and developing our personalities as our primary goal, our reactions, while the Transcendent refers to the conscious evolution of the soul or the potential of human"being" itself so that the personality can become its tool,.

    IMO it is little understood which is why James' remark in James 2; "faith without works is dead" is so confusing. Faith, not in the secular sense or as an expression of our personality, is an attribute of the soul and evolves as the soul can.

    That is an important question. What is your answer?

    If I explained my beliefs in depth on this, men in white coats would search me out and haul me away. The genesis of organic life on the earth evolving to the degree it has and man's ivolution into it is related to the unique genesis of our moon. As you can see explaining this is not easy.


    I agree. In fact I've read that the difference in "being" between Conscious man and fallen man on earth is greater than the difference in "being" between a mineral and a plant.

    It is safe to say then for me that though Jesus could know me, his being was beyond my comprehension. Thoreau seems to have understood this. He wrote:
    Nick, though we can get an intellectual and emotional glimpses of this we simply cannot experientially comprehend this depth as we are and no debates will further the cause. It's a matter of us becoming open to "awakening" whatever that is without any feel good secular spiritual mayonnaise that kills the inner taste of the human condition in exchange for feel good imagination..
     
  3. Nick_A

    Nick_A Interfaith Forums

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    Hi TK

    I believe that the essence of Christianity is an accelerated path to human consciousness or Buddha nature. For this to make any sense to you I have to confuse things still further and add "eternal recurrence" to re-birth and reincarnation. It isn't an easy topic and helped to drive Nietzsche out of his mind.

    To put it simply, objective time is defined as the repetition of a moment. An eternity is a series of repeating moments so a person's life is in eternity.

    Not to get into a long winded explanation here but if you saw the movie "Groundhog Day" it was based on this idea. I know of some people involved with making it and know it was no accident.

    But the idea is that this day kept repeating for our hero until he acquired the conscious perspective not to be attached to it and it no longer nullified his ability to retain a conscious perspective. He saw himself. Instead of being a slave to his personality, he became able to manifest whatever personality served his purpose at the time. In eternal recurrence our lives are like this. Without the beginning of conscious awareness that a sacred path can initiate, everything repeats as eternities. To make matters worse, the sixth dimension includes all possible eternities that repeat. This is our connection to past lives.

    The idea of Christianity is to provide the means of awakening by impartially experiencing life in the raw or carrying ones cross. What happens is not important. Importance is the conscious presence during the happening. "Know Thyself." Christianity through the help of the Spirit lessens the repetitions for a budding soul to develop its potential - something, as we are, we cannot know.

    Though I haven't asked, my gut feeling is that someone from the East as in Tibetan Buddhism, would probably understand eternal recurrence as producing the soul of Buddha
     
  4. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Hi, Nick, this is Nick, and on Christmas day, St. Nick's big day!

    You said,

    "Yes, the classic distinction between the secular and transcendent paths. The secular stresses the importance of evolving and developing our personalities as our primary goal, our reactions, while the Transcendent refers to the conscious evolution of the soul or the potential of human"being" itself so that the personality can become its tool."

    --> That is a fascinating idea. I would add the idea that the day will come when we raise our levels of conscioiusness so high that having a personality will become impossible. (This is what I think is the true meaning of the Buddhist idea of no-self.)

    "IMO it is little understood which is why James' remark in James 2; "faith without works is dead" is so confusing."

    --> I have an unusual way of looking a this. According to my belief system, a person cannot achieve enlightenment unless they have a proven track record of giving service to humanity (doing various forms of volunteer work, etc.) I think that faith alone doesn't get a person to enlightenment (although it moves a person closer). I sounds like the person who wrote that quote and I have the same idea.

    "Faith, not in the secular sense or as an expression of our personality, is an attribute of the soul and evolves as the soul can."

    --> Faith is a fascinating concept. I like the idea that entering into Nirvana will remove any sense of separateness between you and I. At that point, I believe everything we need to know will become available to us via 'telepathy.' At that point, faith will no longer be required.

    "That is an important question. What is your answer? --> If I explained my beliefs in depth on this, men in white coats would search me out and haul me away."

    --> I doubt it. Feel free to let us know what you believe as much as you like.

    "The genesis of organic life on the earth evolving to the degree it has and man's ivolution into it...."

    --> My belief system has a similar idea. I believe humanity is evolving physically, intellectually, and spiritually. It sounds like you and I have something in common in our belief systems. (As I have stated elsewhere, I believe the story of Adam and Eve is the story of the first connecting of human souls to human physical bodies.)

    "...I've read that the difference in "being" between Conscious man and fallen man on earth is greater than the difference in "being" between a mineral and a plant."

    --> You must forgive me, but I am not Christian, so I do not believe in the idea that humanity has fallen because of some Original Sin. I believe humanity's purpose for being on earth is a positive one, not a negative one that the word 'fallen' seems to imply.

    Also, I think it is very appropriate to compare the levels of various humans to the differences in levels of conscioiusness between minerals and plants. (Yes, I believe minerals have consciousness, but at a much, much lower level than plants.) I would say the difference in consciousness between minerals and plants is much larger than the differences in levels of consciousness between any two human beings.

    "...though Jesus could know me, his being was beyond my comprehension."

    --> I see Jesus as a Bodhisattva, not a diety, so I agree.

    "...though we can get an intellectual and emotional glimpses of this we simply cannot experientially comprehend this depth..."

    --> I agree. We cannot comprehend the infinite. All we can try to do is comprehend what the next level (after the human level) will be like.
     
  5. TheKhan

    TheKhan All Natural

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    Sounds like we are in a particular Greek hell, where that guy is pushing a stone up that hill.

    I`m not sure on whether to disagree or agree with you. But my gutt feeling is that you`d probably wanna explain what you just explained to someone else. When I was a kid while I was walking, my world lit up like the sun came out literally, when I was starting to get exposed to Christianity and thinking about it. Needless to say, I was pretty interested in Christ after that.

    FYI, I frankly believe that this world is heaven and hell, depending on what we make of it.

    I am also starting to get the feeling that Christianity is an attempt to accelerate as you say.
     
  6. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

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    Praise the Lord.

    s.
     
  7. Nick_A

    Nick_A Interfaith Forums

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    Hi Nick, and a yo ho ho for you.

    I would suggest that if having a personality were impossible a Buddha or Christ would not be capable of descending to our cosmological level of reality to serve any useful purpose. Our personality is our connection with the external world and people interact through their personalities. The problem is only IMO that for us the tail wags the dog. Our conditioned personalities live our life rather then the personality becoming a tool for conscious life.

    How then did the Buddha achieve enlightenment? Was it a reward for service to mankind or the result from forty days under the Bodhi tree? I don't see enlightenment as a reward but as a result of becoming open to receive the real world at the expense of our preconditioning.

    As I see it there is both the faith IN Christ and the faith OF Christ. Christendom only refers to the faith IN Christ. The faith OF Christ is something we evolve towards.



    What do you have against separateness? Are all Buddhas the same? Do you believe a being in nirvana has a purpose or is this being just continually being served by the universe?


    I see it a bit differently. Man's fall is neither positive or negative but rather just a result. We normally believe that the universe serves our purpose. I believe more that Man's true purpose is in serving universal purpose and our evolution is secondary to it.

    Genesis refers to a particular time in the earth's history where it became essential that man serve the earth rather then his evolution so for a time forgot this purpose and became attached to the earth.

    Instead of the normal psych of the conscious being becoming dominant over the mechanical, our mechanical or animal nature snuffed our consciousness. Once the reason for being denied access to the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was no longer necessary, our species had adopted so many bad psychological habits that it became warped and persists like this now. This is why we are in Plato's cave or the Burning House in Buddhism. Our acquired natures deny us the normal attractions to awakening and conscious evolution and are content with imagination.. People as a whole or as Plato calls it the "Beast" are now content to argue different forms of psychological sleep rather then collectively cope with the human condition. It would require a quality of humility that he Beast is incapable of..

    This is neither good or bad but rather just an unfortunate result of a cosmic condition that needed man's temporary complete dedication to the earth which conscious influences from above are forever helping us to cope with but our resistance is strong.

    Then of course what does it take to move beyond just comprehension and being open to experiencing it? How to "Know thyself?"
     
  8. Nick_A

    Nick_A Interfaith Forums

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    Isn't that Greek Hell just the normal relationship between yin and yang? Yin is at the bottom and yang begins to mechanically arise from it in the forms we define as evolution. Then it reaches its height as a plant does for example, dies, and devolves back into the earth. The cycle keeps repeating.

    What is the "we" that creates either heaven or hell
     
  9. TheKhan

    TheKhan All Natural

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    Never thought of that Greek hell as ying/yang, but I guess you could put it that way, if you set aside that a poor guy is pushing the stone, which sure seems boring.

    Is this a deep question? because all I meant was "human". And the statement to think that this world is heaven and hell is not rooted on any religious experience I`ve had, btw. I have no interest in heaven and hell, unless its a viking heaven. But I think it is possible to make choices in life that would make people think they are in hell, or heaven.
     
  10. Joedjr

    Joedjr A Sometimes Member

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    Hi,
    In rebirth/ reincarnation thought what is the beginning and end, or is there a beginning and end?
    Joe
     
  11. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Nick A,

    You said,


    "Our personality is our connection with the external world and people interact through their personalities."

    --> I agree. I also agree with the idea that personalities are only temporary. I believe the day will come when we no longer need personalities.


    "How then did the Buddha achieve enlightenment? Was it a reward for service to mankind or the result from forty days under the Bodhi tree?"

    --> I don't see enlightenment as a reward, but as a promotion. When we finished fourth grade, we were promoted to fifth grade. When we are finished with being humans, we will be promoted to the next level.

    "What do you have against separateness?"

    --> Separateness is only a temporary necessity. It is like putting training wheels on a child's bicycle. Once the child no longer needs the training wheels, they are removed. Once separateness is no longer needed, it is removed. Can you imagine what it would be like if everyone here on earth was psychic, and everyone could read everyone else's thoughts? People would not have the separateness they need to develop a personality. Once a personality is no longer needed, the temporary, artifical separateness is removed.

    "Are all Buddhas the same?

    --> No, fortunately.

    "Do you believe a being in nirvana has a purpose or is this being just continually being served by the universe?"

    --> A being in Nirvana continually serves, and is continually being served. I see Nirvana as an opportunity to do nothing but go around and do nice things for everyone 24/7.

    "Man's fall is neither positive or negative but rather just a result."

    --> I always see progress as being positive.

    "...Man's true purpose is in serving universal purpose and our evolution is secondary to it."

    --> I see serving the universe and evolving as the same thing.

    "Instead of the normal psych of the conscious being becoming dominant over the mechanical, our mechanical or animal nature snuffed our consciousness."

    --> I would say we are confined within mechanical and animal natures in order to have experiences that we could only have by doing so.

    "Once the reason for being denied access to the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was no longer necessary...."

    --> It seems we still need to be denied such access.

    "It would require a quality of humility that the Beast is incapable of.."

    --> The day will come when we no longer need to be a Beast. That is why we are evolving.

    "How to "Know thyself?"

    --> Try to contemplate what the next level after the human level will be like.
     
  12. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Joe,

    You asked,

    "In rebirth/ reincarnation thought what is the beginning and end, or is there a beginning and end?"

    --> It has been said that there is "no imaginable beginning nor conceivable end." We cannot understand such things, because our finite minds cannot understand the infinite. All we can do is try to understand our present situation, and our immediate goal, which is to evolve up to the next higher level.
     
  13. Joedjr

    Joedjr A Sometimes Member

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    Hi Nick the Pilot,
    Would there be no end to the levels?
    thanks,
    Joe
     
  14. Nick_A

    Nick_A Interfaith Forums

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    Hi Nick



    I still believe that as long as man remains on earth, a personality that serves the essence of man will be necessary. The problem is how it can become a tool rather than a master. Socrates explains the proper relationship between the outer (personality) and the inner man. It is a potential. Taking away the physical defeats our reason to exist.






    Yes but this promotion requires far more then societal service.




    Alas! No more joy in pinching the female behind but just reading thoughts.

    I believe that if people became capable of understanding each other, the quality of their personalities would increase and better serve the evolution of their essential selves.

    Plato used this marvelous word metaxu and Simone Weil expanded on it. It refers to the relative quality of separation. As a whole we've simply lost the meaning of this relativity.



    How is a nice thing defined? Jesus did so and got crucified.



    A man falling from the third floor of a tall building is making progress towards the ground. Whether this is seen as beneficial or not is open to debate.



    I see it differently. The universe is served by participation in either involution or evolution. There is no choice in it. We are serving one or the other. Man's mechanical life is serving the necessary purpose of involution which is the same purpose served by all organic life on earth. Man, though has the potential to serve a greater conscious purpose of which he is normally oblivious of and the great traditions try and awaken us to. Our real choice is choice of purpose. Simone Weil describes this in one of the most profound passages I've ever read:

    There can be no noticeable evolution for Man in Plato's cave. Evolution for the cave is connected to the very slow evolution of the Earth itself. Cyclical cave life serves the purpose of the earth along with all the other collective cyclical results of organic life on earth. Service to the process of involution is necessity. Man's evolution is service of another sort and not just blind mechanical obedience. It is the result of "awakening" alluded to by all the great traditions initiating with a conscious source.



    If it were, awakening would be impossible. Original sin is the passing on of imbalance but it is habitual and not necessary. But conditioning is very strong and awakening is very difficult.



    I believe this is just imagination. To Know Thyself requires the objective experience of our chaotic inner world from a conscious perspective. What good is imagining the next level from an imaginary foundation? It seems to make more sense to create a realistic foundation rather than imagining a mansion.
     
  15. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Nick A,

    We discussed,

    "I believe the day will come when we no longer need personalities. --> I still believe that as long as man remains on earth, a personality that serves the essence of man will be necessary."

    --> I agree that a pesonality is necessary while we are earth. But I think that there are much higher levels of consciousness, where having a personality is impossible. Our long-term goal is to raise ourselves up to a level of consciousness where personalities cannot exist.

    "Taking away the physical defeats our reason to exist."

    --> It is only a mtter of time before our existence in physical bodies disappears forever. When that happens, I think we will still have a reason to exist.

    "I don't see enlightenment as a reward, but as a promotion. --> Yes but this promotion requires far more then societal service."

    --> I agree. I think it also requires a minimum amount of spirituality, and the burning off of all bad karma. What else do you see it requiring?

    "No more joy in pinching the female behind but just reading thoughts."

    --> You have given a beautiful example of why we are presently forced into physical bodies that do not allow us to communicate telepathically. Your statement is a perfect example of why we need our temporary sense of separateness.

    "I believe that if people became capable of understanding each other, the quality of their personalities would increase and better serve the evolution of their essential selves."

    --> I agree.

    "I see Nirvana as an opportunity to do nothing but go around and do nice things for everyone 24/7. --> How is a nice thing defined? Jesus did so and got crucified."

    --> No one will be crucified in Nirvana because no one will have a physical body in Nirvana. (And Nirvana is not Heaven -- the two are not even similar.) Earning Nirvana will take a great deal of sacrifice. It has been said that qualifying for Nirvana is the hardest thing we will ever do, and I completely agree.

    "A man falling from the third floor of a tall building is making progress towards the ground. Whether this is seen as beneficial or not is open to debate."

    --> This is why I disagree with the Biblical idea of humanity's Fall. I see the initial connecting of human souls with human bodies as a positive thing. I do not see it as a Fall. I guess it is all a matter of how one looks at it.

    "The universe is served by participation in either involution or evolution. There is no choice in it. We are serving one or the other."

    --> Our time to involve has passed. We must now evolve. The way I see it, we have no choice but to evolve.

    "Man's mechanical life is serving the necessary purpose of involution which is the same purpose served by all organic life on earth."

    --> All of earth's humans, plants, animals, and minerals are evolving. Their involution ended a long time ago.

    "Man can never escape obedience to God."

    --> We do not enter Nirvana out of obedience, we enter it because we are so busy doing compassionate things for everyone else in the universe that we completely forget about ourselves. Such complete unselfishness is required to get into Nirvana, not obedience.

    "Original sin is the passing on of imbalance but it is habitual and not necessary."

    --> I see no sin. I definitely see an imbalance. I guess it is all a matter of how one looks at it.

    "Try to contemplate what the next level after the human level will be like. --> What good is imagining the next level from an imaginary foundation?"

    --> Because it gives us a goal, the only goal that matters.

    "It seems to make more sense to create a realistic foundation rather than imagining a mansion."

    --> Everything on Earth is merely a foundation for our eventual entering into Nirvana. Without such a goal, all activity on Earth becomes meaningless.
     
  16. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Joe,

    You asked,

    "Would there be no end to the levels?"

    --> It is hard for our finite minds to imagine such an end. Or is it harder to imagine that there will be no such end?

    How many universes have there been? How many more universes will there be? (Even the Bible itself only discusses our present universe, and refuses to discuss past and future universes. The writers of the Bible intentionally did this in order to discourage such finite/infinite questions.)

    Our finite minds cannot answer such questions. (But it is fun to try.)
     
  17. TheKhan

    TheKhan All Natural

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    LOL !!! :D


    maybe, whatever you want for whatever reason.
     
  18. Nick_A

    Nick_A Interfaith Forums

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    Hi Nick



    What do you believe this reason would be?



    Freedom from the affects of imagination that denies conscious attention and "presence."



    Leave it to the female behind to create obstacles to conscious evolution. But again, would conscious evolution be possible without obstacles to create self awareness?




    We will have to agree to disagree on this. I believe in alchemy and the idea that matter exists within matter at different densities and vibratory frequencies. From this perspective, everything in the universe is material. The soul has substance



    The complimentary universal flows of involution continue. Everything in the universe is in motion either participating in involution or evolution. Involution never stops nor does evolution.

    Man, I believe, is dual natured in that like organic life on earth, the physical body emerges from the earth. However, Man's seed of the soul is the result of involution from above. Man's evolution consists of mechanical evolution reaching its apex and conscious evolution beginning. It rarely happens and normally the physical body dies and the seed of the should breaks up and further involves into creation.



    I see it differently. "To be or not to be, that is the question." To be doesn't come from forgetting oneself but rather allowing yourself to exist. What passes for ourselves is just a conditioned personality. What difference does it matter if it is doing compassionate things? The direction leading to Nirvana is a conscious direction which requires the help of your sleeping self. We've already forgotten it. The question is how to remember it to become what we are.



    But what in you has this goal? Is it the goal of you personality or from a deeper living part of your being. I know a lot of New Age people that want to fly around Saturn in their dreams and become one with God. It is a goal but is it realistic?



    A goal is one thing and knowing how to attain it is another. A person may have the goal of becoming a millionaire but he must know how to do it.

    We live in imagination and until a person becomes able to admit this IMO they are destined to turning in circles as does the rest of organic life on earth serving the earth through transforming substances spanning the time from dust to dust.
     
  19. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Nick A,

    You said,

    "...everything in the universe is material. The soul has substance."

    --> So you see astral matter as material substance?

    "The complimentary universal flows of involution continue. Everything in the universe is in motion either participating in involution or evolution. Involution never stops nor does evolution."

    --> I agree. I see one flow of involution, and another flow of evolution, in one continuous cycle. But I see humanity as only being on the evolutionary side of the cycle.

    "Man, I believe, is dual natured in that like organic life on earth, the physical body emerges from the earth. However, Man's seed of the soul is the result of involution from above."

    --> Well, that is one way to look at it. The way I see it, both our spiritual bodies and physical bodies are evolving.

    "What passes for ourselves is just a conditioned personality. What difference does it matter if it is doing compassionate things?"

    --> In my humble opinion, after we move to the level above the human level, being compasionate is the only thing that matters.

    "Because it gives us a goal, the only goal that matters. --> But what in you has this goal? Is it the goal of you personality or from a deeper living part of your being."

    --> It comes from the goal of wanting to reunite with the universe that we have been separated from.
     
  20. Nick_A

    Nick_A Interfaith Forums

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    Hi Nick

    Yes, I believe that everything is a combination of spirit and matter. Do you believe in aether?

    We will agree to disagree on this since for me both processes are simultaneously eternally occurring.

    As for me, I believe that animal life including the physical for is already evolved to perform its function. Its evolution is complete for the purpose it serves. Conscious evolution begins where mechanical evolution ends with man. Man's body will adapt in accordance with the potential of our given being as does other forms of life but not evolve meaning a change in "being"

    Perhaps we also may know what compassion is. A typical definition is:

    From this definition, is it a compassionate act to provide alcohol for an alcoholic?

    How many could perceive justice as compassion which is the theme of this book:

    Amazon.com: Simone Weil: The Way of Justice as Compassion (Twentieth-Century Political Thinkers): Richard H. Bell: Books

    Editorial Reviews

    Perhaps compassion is relative and can have meaning beyond which we normally consider compassionate.

    People join cults from this motive which initiates with escapism. Yet though they appear superficially similar, escapism, an attribute of our personality, and the essence desire for transcendence are completely different.
     

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