My Top Threads= Reincarnation

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by Bruce Michael, Dec 7, 2009.

  1. nativeastral

    nativeastral fluffy future

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    reincarnation is my preferred notion of the cycles of humanity, though l am agnostic, ie l don't know so can't say its a belief [yet]. l would have to experience personally some past live information to support it verbally.

    is this like an Eternal return ?


    'Walter Kaufmann suggests that Nietzsche may have encountered this idea in the works of Heinrich Heine, who once wrote:
    [T]ime is infinite, but the things in time, the concrete bodies, are finite. They may indeed disperse into the smallest particles; but these particles, the atoms, have their determinate numbers, and the numbers of the configurations which, all of themselves, are formed out of them is also determinate. Now, however long a time may pass, according to the eternal laws governing the combinations of this eternal play of repetition, all configurations which have previously existed on this earth must yet meet, attract, repulse, kiss, and corrupt each other again...[6]'
    l havent read the first thread yet but enjoyed the Mani one, who l heard had the first portable 'bible' which helped in its popularity at the time.

    Bruce,
    on your post #15 on that thread you write, 'That is why there has to be a separation in humanity -the sheep from the goats - in order that the good portion of humanity can be sufficiently prepared to take on the tasks ahead.' Is this the sort of thing that is getting up Avi's goat?







     
  2. citizenzen

    citizenzen Custom User Title

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    Seems like a whole lotta nothing going on.

    This is why so many Zen stories end with a person getting smacked. Every time someone entertains the notion that nothing exists, there's no better rebuttal than a good slap in the face.

    Of course, as poo said, she's not Buddhist. ;)


    Fire-Poker Zen

    Hakuin used to tell his pupils about an old woman who had a teashop, praising her understanding of Zen. The pupils refused to believe what he told them and would go to the teashop to find out for themselves.

    Whenever the woman saw them coming she could tell at once whether they had come for tea or to look into her grasp of Zen. In the former case, she would server them graciously. In the latter, she would beckon to the pupils to come behind her screen. The instant they obeyed, she would strike them with a fire-poker.

    Nine out of ten of them could not escape her beating.
     
  3. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Path_of_one, you said,

    "I don't think there is one right and perfect way... they all have flaws."

    --> There is one more factor. There are different kinds of people, so we need different kinds of religion. For example, some people are of the devotional type -– it sounds like you are one of these kinds of people. I am not a devotional kind of person, I am more rational and logical. I think the mistake that Christians make is they think one kind of religion works for all, and it does not.

    "All religions are very much human, and so very much subject to erroneous judgements, interpretations, histories, and practices."

    --> I think that both Buddha and Jesus taught the same thing, and both of their teachings have been greatly changed as the centuries have gone by.

    "If the self is extinguished, what is left? --> Nothing."

    --> I am afraid I cannot accept such an idea. But if it fits into your belief system, then go for it.

    "… a difference between popular belief and "correct" interpretation of the original teachings. Christianity has quite a few of those as well…."

    --> I think that all great religions were created by one great teacher, but then bureaucrats slowly take over as the centuries go by, and change the original teachings. I think it is human nature for this to happen, and that it happens in all religions, and that it is unfortunate.

    "…God is pretty all-encompassing…"

    --> I would say that our Buddha-nature is all-encompassing. Perhaps we are talking about the same thing, just using different words.

    "… knowing at least some of my past and dealing with it was necessary to overcome certain fears and limitations in my current life…."

    --> I agree. For example, I think that people who commit suicide bring that negativity back with them in their ensuing reincarnation, and then they have to deal with that increased and unnecessary negativity in their reincarnation. I think that reincarnation better explains cause and effect of unhappiness in people’s lives than any other theory.

    " The barriers I had put up before, related to past hurts and failures and fears, were limiting what I could accomplish in this life…"

    --> I think that we have "bad karma" in life for more than one reason. Yes, we have to burn off the bad karma that we have created. But I believe we also set up learning situations for ourselves in each reincarnation. It sounds like you and I are saying the same thing.

    "While I still struggle with a lot of it…."

    --> Can you give some examples of things you have been strugging with?

    "It sounds like you have made a lot of progress along the path, nirvanic or otherwise. --> LOL- oh, I'm sure I have plenty of path left to walk."

    --> Much progress has been made, yet much more still to be made.

    "… I am not traveling toward some unknown shore as much as I am traveling back to my point of origin."

    --> I agree. I think a lot of people have a sense that they are trying to get back home.

    "And this journey may never end…."

    --> Rather than say an eternity, I like the phrase, "a length of time without any conceivable beginning nor imaginable end". Our finite minds cannot comprehend the infinite.

    "I don't think I get to reach a destination, and I'm OK with that."

    --> Our job is not to conceptualize the entire path (another example of our finite minds trying to comprehend the infinite), our job is to only make progress up to the next level along the path.

    "My greatest desire is to do the work I am created to do because it is the only gift I can give to God."

    --> What work is it that you were created to do?
     
  4. path_of_one

    path_of_one Embracing the Mystery

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    Well, yeah, there's the whole 'thing' and 'no-thing' problem. I guess it's sort of a nothing does not exist and things do not exist? :) The Tao that can be named is not the true Tao? :)

    And yeah, not Buddhist. Though I've found many nuts and bolts from Buddhism that have helped me a lot.
     
  5. citizenzen

    citizenzen Custom User Title

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    Everything that exists... exists.

    Buddhists don't deny the existence of material things.

    When we talk about illusion, it isn't regarding the world, it's regarding how we think about the world... how we imagine it to be something and mean something more than it is.
     
  6. Bruce Michael

    Bruce Michael New Member

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    That idea of the Eternal Cycles is an Indian one. So yes, even the planet reincarnates - we have Pralaya and a Manvantara- Cosmic Sleep and Wake Up time. There is one giant clock by the bedside.
    It's a wonderful doctrine, reincarnation I mean. I take it for granted. I often think ahead to my next incarnation and what I hope to achieve- do the things left undone. And of course there is the past to consider, but you don't want to get caught up in that.
    I have some more posts to add to that. Very interesting- the whole thing is very interesting. It was a major religion. And where are all the followers today? Reincarnated of course!

    So you want my sheepish reply? Good point- I was going to bring up those doctrines of Christianity- add to that the Mark of the Beast.

    I used to have a goat. They are a lot of fun but he destroyed my garden - killed a tree by eating off the bark. A sheep is better if you want to keep your grass down.
    And so,
    So you see the Master Race foretold, is one of kindness, gentleness, unselfishness and brotherly love. Hitler's efforts really were in contradiction to the true idea of a Master Race.
    The Nazis did the opposite.
    The truth is, if those people who want to blow themselves up and kill and maim innocent people, took on board the teachings of reincarnation and karma, the world would be a better place. Actions have consequences.

    The idea of discrimination is inherent in Christianity. It is called the Judgement:
    Last Judgment - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    It's great the way Wikipedia has all these articles on specific theological concepts.
    The German philosopher,Arthur Schopenhauer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    was influenced by Buddhist ideas, as was Richard Wagner Wagner, Buddhism and Parsifal

    Here's a question for you:
    Ming Dynasty- who were the Ming?
     
  7. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone have the poem that goes like,

    I was hungry and you prayed for me. I was thirsty and you held special religious servies for me.

    or something like that. It is great sarcasm about seeing social problems and doing nothing except praying for the unfortunate people. I saw this poem many years ago and I can't seem to find it.
     
  8. citizenzen

    citizenzen Custom User Title

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    The best thing we can do is treat everyone we encounter in our daily lives with compassion and kindness.

    Except in forums. Here we can eviscerate at will.

    But you do get bonus points for kindness.
     
  9. earl

    earl ?

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    Well CZ, from the traditional Buddhist view they posit 31 planes of existence.:p Don't hear them discuss "meaning" much, though they're real hung up on that impermanence thing.:)
    Netscape Search earl
     
  10. citizenzen

    citizenzen Custom User Title

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    I'm not sure what your point is, earl.

    But, I would like to point out that impermanent is far different from illusory.
     
  11. ChestyPuller

    ChestyPuller Interfaith Forums

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    The best thing we can do is treat everyone we encounter in our daily lives the way we would prefer to be treated by others. You best be lovin that brand of kindness and compassion that you have dished. :D
     
  12. path_of_one

    path_of_one Embracing the Mystery

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    The problem is that when you consider how the human brain works, it's nearly impossible to distinguish what we think about the world from the world we live in. Reality as-it-is is more or less behind one of those frosted glass shower doors for us. We see shapes and colors, but no detail. We have to imagine the rest.

    We live in a world of illusion because it is a world that we must perceive through all sorts of cognitive and cultural barriers, which inhibits our capacity to see anything clearly. Buddhism has techniques that are supposed to assist in moving past our barriers/illusions... but in a way it posits more barriers and illusions. It is also bound to culture, to history, to language, and certainly to the limitations of the human brain.

    What is really interesting to me, in the vein of this thread, is not material things but the notion of self. What reincarnates? What goes to heaven? What is nirvana in reference to the self, if there is no-self? Is the self material, illusory, both, neither? Impermanence means little in terms of real-ness. What is real and what is not? How can we know, when everything is filtered through our limitations?

    These are the sorts of rabbit holes I start going down.
     
  13. path_of_one

    path_of_one Embracing the Mystery

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    I entirely agree. I'm quite interested in where religion meets spirituality- which is an intersection that is similar to where culture meets personality.



    I don't think they taught the same thing, at least based on the records we have of their teachings. But I think the underlying ethics were the same, and I think they both offer a path toward spiritual development that is useful.



    That is not my belief, it is just what I have been taught concerning Buddhism, and so where my ideas about nirvana, enlightenment, and other Buddhist concepts differ from yours.



    Well, religions are useful in many ways- spiritual development is only one of them. They usually get mixed up with politics.



    Probably. God, or what I call the Divine One, is what unifies all beings. Separation from the Divine and one another is an impermanent and illusory condition. Individuality and all that occurs as a result is sort of like an ongoing art exhibit. It manifests from the creative impulse of the Divine. At least, that's what I have come up with so far that fits with my own experience. I'm probably not "right" but such is the nature of a limited being.



    Well, it is preferable to a rational person to believe that things happen due to certain causes than entirely at random. I don't think everything happens in a cause-effect fashion, but I do think that there is a broader tapestry we're woven (weaving ourselves?) into, and so there is meaning in what happens.



    Probably not the same thing, but quite similar. I don't think there is good or bad karma- just karma. People do stuff, there are consequences. Good and bad are largely in the eye of the beholder. It doesn't mean there aren't ethics or a proper course of action, but rather than it isn't good and bad as much as it's a question of optimal and suboptimal action (in my own opinion). Even we choose optimal actions (and attitudes, thoughts, feelings) consistently, we're bouncing up against oodles of other beings and their choices. So sometimes life sucks no matter what you do. LOL

    In my own case, it wasn't so much that I burned off bad karma as that I dealt with past trauma. Some of that trauma was due to my own faulty perceptions, some of it was stuff that happened to me, etc.

    I do think that one can learn from one's life, and there is meaning behind the circumstances of it, but I think we largely create that meaning. I don't think, for example, that all those kids in Darfur are burning off bad karma from the past. The world sucks in a lot of ways and is injust because people in the here-and-now make it so. I think there is room for randomness in the universe... but random doesn't equal meaningless.



    While I have always been mystically oriented, I am also quite rational and logical. This is why I am attracted to science. That part of my brain is highly skeptical. I have a hard time accepting my own past-life memories, real as I experience them, as "really" real. So that has been a big hurdle.

    Other struggles have mostly to do with feeling out of place, homesick, lonely, and generally discouraged about the body and world I am in. Then there is dealing with a lot of trauma in these memories and the emotional baggage from this. And it is a challenge to figure out how to integrate what I have been, what I am experiencing as the essence or origin of myself, and what I am now. They don't mesh up that easily- it's a bit like a puzzle to put together.



    I like that. :)



    I think our job can be more than that, but our spiritual development is certainly a big part of our work. But who knows? Maybe some people's job is just to enjoy the ride and do nothing else! :D But in seriousness, yes, I think it's helped me to see the journey itself as the "point" and not the end of the journey.

    There are some general things I do, and then there are things I feel are specific to what I experience as my essence... that probably are not specific to everyone, but perhaps an unspecified number of beings. But this is a complicated question to answer in a way that would make any sense, and has to do with how I conceive of and experience the self, the soul, the Divine, and how these are entwined.

    There is the work I was created to do that I have in common with any manifestation/creation of the Divine. There is the work I was created to do as a particular kind of manifest entity, from the point of my origin. There is the work that unifies my lifetimes and weaves through my journey, both as a particular kind of entity and as a particular individual being. There is the work I did in past lifetimes that informs my life now. There is the work that I am meant to do in this particular life, as an individual being and as a particular kind of entity, both put into a particular body and brain, culture and society, and world.

    I feel I am only partly informed about all this. But I have a fair bit of information about myself in each of these categories.

    My desire is to dedicate myself to God, so that the work I have to do is clear to me and I have the perseverence, wisdom, strength, courage, and so on to do it.

    In general, I would say my work (and perhaps all beings') is to love, to create, to liberate. Ultimately, our work is to spiral outward from the Divine and return to Her. There are specifics to each of us, because we are all individual manifestations/creations. Some of us are more alike than others, and so our work may be similar.
     
  14. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    "I think that both Buddha and Jesus taught the same thing.... --> I don't think they taught the same thing...."

    --> My belief system says they did. I guess we can just agree to disagree on this one.

    "Separation from the Divine and one another is an impermanent and illusory condition."

    --> I would add that such a separation is good, because it teaches us independence. (Genesis teaches that such separation is "bad," and I disagree.) But the day will come when such separation is no longer necessary, and it will disappear at that time.

    "I don't think there is good or bad karma- just karma. People do stuff, there are consequences. Good and bad are largely in the eye of the beholder."

    --> But I beleve there are also cosmic laws of right and wrong. For example, a great psychic once told me that suicide is against the laws of nature (that it is strictly forbidden), and that people who do it will suffer more for what they have done.

    "I have a hard time accepting my own past-life memories, real as I experience them, as "really" real. So that has been a big hurdle."

    --> I am sorry to hear that. I have no trouble accepting the inklings I have of previous lives.

    "Other struggles have mostly to do with feeling out of place, homesick, lonely, and generally discouraged about the body and world I am in."

    --> I think that, for a lot of people, heaven is more real than this physical world. After they die, spend time in heaven, then reincarnate back into this physical world, they want to go back home, and heaven is that home. I think that this is what you are experiencing.

    "Then there is dealing with a lot of trauma in these memories and the emotional baggage from this."

    --> I think emotional baggage is a big challenge for a lot of people. But I just want to encourage you to hang in there, you can do it, and once your bad karma has been burned off, things will go a lot better for you.


    "And it is a challenge to figure out how to integrate what I have been, what I am experiencing as the essence or origin of myself, and what I am now. They don't mesh up that easily- it's a bit like a puzzle to put together."

    --> Feel free to ask for our observations that may help you to do that.
     
  15. earl

    earl ?

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    Indeed Kim! Some Buddhists consider the question "who/what" is enlightened, etc.?" the ultimate koan. But that is also a bit of a dodge just to blithely state it is a koan and move on. Most mysterious question it is though. Buddhists have much to say about the "self," much of it quite profound and wise. But Buddhism does not seem to answer that great mystery either. They have much to say about after all illusory notions of the impermanent self have dissolved, one is purportedly enlightened and are probably quite correct in stating that, once one is at that point of consciousness, the accompanying awareness is of ineffability. But as to who/what is enlightened? All one will get from them is "noble silence.":) earl
     
  16. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    You ain't the only one...

    But for me it is that same concept as who is that person you are standing in front of at your 30th high school reunion. Neither of you contains any material that is the same, not one cell, not one atom (unless it happens to have been recycled back to you) that was there 30 years ago.

    So who is it that each of you knew? It is a memory an acummulation of combined experience.

    To me that is what reincarnates, a portion of that accumulation of experience goes to another classroom to learn and grow. Now what is that accumulation of experience connected to and how....I believe we are all one...and we are awaiting working in unison.
     
  17. shawn

    shawn New Member

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    It is obvious that at death, the only part of the person that goes is the "light in their eyes", like a depleted flashlight.
    So it is energy we are talking about.
    Our entire psychology can be displayed on the new diagnostic equipment which measures the changes in field and charge in our physical vehicle.
    This is not only in the brain, but seems to envelope the entire body as well.
    So we can be considered electrical beings, or energetic beings.

    God is said to be formless, but includes every form.
    So we can presume a vast intelligent field of energy which guides the realm of form and gives rise to all the matter, which the physicists tell us is not solid , really, but is just whirling vortices of energy which holds a specific pattern giving us the impression of solid matter of various kinds.

    Our earth is an inhabitable space. but it is also a capacitor:
    Earth: A Self-repairing Capacitor
    A capacitor is an energy storage device (coincidentally).
     
  18. earl

    earl ?

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    Shawn, "God," "Ground of Consciousness," etc. as an organizing "energy field" is the metaphor that makes the most sense to me at the moment. earl
     
  19. citizenzen

    citizenzen Custom User Title

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    Here's something beyond silence...

    Enlightenment is enlightened.

    I hope that helps.
     
  20. path_of_one

    path_of_one Embracing the Mystery

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    I think separation is neither good nor bad, but it is illusory. A lot of problems come from the wholesale acceptance of this illusion. If we are aware of being in God's presence, the separation is like a canvas. It is a space for creating art, for exercising God's creativity as it shines through our self. But if we get lost in the separation and forget about the unity, all sorts of problems arise.

    I think there are very few cosmic laws, and those that exist would be so difficult to delineate from all the exceptions that it is a bit pointless to try. For example, with suicide- what about people who end their life more quickly because they are in physical pain? What about Jain individuals who are burning off karma through starvation? What about suicide in a military honor sense, as we saw with Japanese samuri? What about the theoretical situation in "7 Pounds"?

    Ultimately, how do we determine what the "law of nature" is with regard to suicide? All sorts of these ethical issues tends to degenerate into cultural conditioning and personal opinion. I'm not advocating moral relativism, but I also don't deny the difficulty of coming up with any sort of universal moral code.

    Furthermore, I believe there are very few absolutes. What flows in harmony with the universe may shift and change.

    I would imagine differences in acceptance may have to do with differences in our personalities as well as (perhaps) differences in the types of memories we have.

    Not exactly. I don't really want to get into the details as it gets a bit nutty. But suffice it to say that what I miss is my former culture, place, and people. This wasn't heaven, unless heaven has a particular language, culture, and so on. :eek:

    I view heaven as any moment I am aware of experiencing the presence of God. I've had many moments of heaven in this life and a really spectacular experience of what I think is heaven (unity with God) when I was out of body. Fantastic, and I often wish I could return... but the homesickness is missing what I felt was my literal home.

    Things began to be better as soon as I faced these as memories. At that point, I was able to know myself and begin to reconnect with my past, which brought a lot of peace. :)

    I have found IO quite useful. The conversations I've had with everyone have helped a lot. I've also found having personal spiritual teachers/counselors useful in this work.
     

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