What is is...

wil

UNeyeR1
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I remember some time ago reading Deepak Chopra discuss who we are...and the fact that our cells in 10 years are all brand new...therefor if you run into someone you haven't seen in 10 years...who are they? and who are you? And did the two of you EVER meet before...as the group of trillion cells standing in front of the other group of trillion cells did not meet before...so if you did...who did??

Now of course the minerals, vitamins, enzymes, building blocks of those cells may very well be some of the same that were around 10 years ago...and some of them that were in you may now be in they and those in they may be in you...so there exists a quite intimate relationship there.

Further contemplation says that you are an accumulation as much of the last few hundred people you've been in rooms with, breathing the same air, exchanging dead skin cells and who knows what all else...

So in another thread one member claimed to have been someplace and done something that was very real to him and very personal and very emotionally attached to that existence despite the fact that he had not yet been born in this incarnation.

The concept posited was that he was being a little disingenuous thinking that those issues from a former life are real and pertinent in this life compared to another's 'actual' experience in this life.

Is it?

What is it that was us 10 years ago...if nothing remains? And if this is the case does that negate what occurred to us 10 years ago? And if not how can we justify not honoring what happened to someone in a former life as happening and pertinent?

If we say that soul is what we are, or that spirit is what is cohesive that holds the energy that we are together for this life...does it not tie to the last?
 
:) Thoughts like that make me happy. I've never felt particularly "at home" in my body or felt that it was "me." I'm just something that currently resides in my body. Kind of like moving into a house and you know it's home, but a temporary, on-loan sort of situation. So it's nice to know that even in this lifetime, the physical "me" is even less permanent than it appears.

Personally, I don't discount others' beliefs in their own past lives. I think it can be problematic if one is unable to fully embrace the lessons and purposes of one's life right now. But since my own dreams and visions are often more vivid and more easily remembered than my "real" life, and because I don't think "reality" as we perceive it is really reality... well, let's just say I don't think it matters whether we are talking about the reality (or non-reality, if you look at it that way) of waking consciousness, dream, trance, meditative states, or memory. It all boils down to some state of imperfect filtering of something out there we can't really comprehend or even fully experience. Some of us interpret ordinary waking consciousness to be most truthful about what is real, and others believe that it is other states of consciousness that are most truthful... but it is quite difficult, in the end, to make a strong argument for any of our experiences, memories, or thoughts to be truly grounded in reality.

Furthermore, it's the processing of those experiences that is of importance, not others' assessment of whether or not they fit with their own reality. Ultimately, time doesn't work in a linear fashion anyway, so it is perhaps not entirely accurate to even think of memories in the way we think of them. Not only do I see little distinction between memories of yesterday and memories of a past life, I also see that it could be that there is little distinction between what I interpret as memory and that which is deja vu or even precognition. For all we know, we operate in a time loop where we just go 'round and 'round, and there is no before and after (except that which we temporarily experience). Or that we exist in multiple worlds in multiple universes at multiple times all at once, and what we feel as deja vu or past life memory is actually our connection to ourself (but elsewhere) at that very moment.

It's all very fun to think about, and there is a ton of great literature (both in physics and fiction) to add to the merriment. But in the end, does it really matter how we perceive time, memory, and reality? Or is it what we do with our experience of whatever "it" is?
 
I think that the fallacy lies in overlaying time-place related concepts on non local concepts. If there are realms where time and place play no role then we shouldn't explain them in terms related to realms where time and place rule. The problem is that we don't have a choice. We have to quantify the unquantifiable; define the indefinite in order to describe it. That's where everything gets mucky. Because whatever we drag down into our little Newtonian sphere of reference immediately becomes saturated and soiled. Then we wind up saying things like "it's like a cat that's half dead and half alive." Or "I was Cleopatra in a former life."

Chris
 
Hi...I'm sorry to bring up the word "dualism", but it seems clear to some of us, as Path so astutely pointed out, our spiritual/emotional makeup is not bound up in time. However, our bodies which house these wonders while "we" are "here" are bound up in time...past, present, and future.

This makes for much confusion and disorientation in the lives of many people. But for me it remains a fact that the presence of love in a person's life is the only factor which has the ability to make us "whole" while we are on the Earth. Emotion/spirit appear to be non-linear in being, but they are immersed in illusions of linearity while embedded within our bodies here. My two cents.

flow....;)
 
I am inclined toward this point of view:
The suggestion is that the function of the brain and nervous system and sense organs is in the main eliminative and not productive. Each person is at each moment capable of remembering all that has ever happened to him and of perceiving everything that is happening everywhere in the universe. The function of the brain and nervous system is to protect us from being overwhelmed and confused by this mass of largely useless and irrelevant knowledge, by shutting out most of what we should otherwise perceive or remember at any moment, and leaving only that very small and special selection which is likely to be practically useful." According to such a theory, each one of us is potentially Mind at Large. But in so far as we are animals, our business is at all costs to survive. To make biological survival possible, Mind at Large has to be funneled through the reducing valve of the brain and nervous system. What comes out at the other end is a measly trickle of the kind of consciousness which will help us to stay alive on the surface of this Particular planet. To formulate and express the contents of this reduced awareness, man has invented and endlessly elaborated those symbol-systems and implicit philosophies which we call languages. Every individual is at once the beneficiary and the victim of the linguistic tradition into which he has been born—the beneficiary inasmuch as language gives access to the accumulated records of other people's experience, the victim in so far as it confirms him in the belief that reduced awareness is the only awareness and as it bedevils his sense of reality, so that he is all too apt to take his concepts for data, his words for actual things. That which, in the language of religion, is called "this world" is the universe of reduced awareness, expressed, and, as it were, petrified by language. The various "other worlds," with which human beings erratically make contact are so many elements in the totality of the awareness belonging to Mind at Large. Most people, most of the time, know only what comes through the reducing valve and is consecrated as genuinely real by the local language. Certain persons, however, seem to be born with a kind of by-pass that circumvents the reducing valve. In others temporary by-passes may be acquired either spontaneously, or as the result of deliberate "spiritual exercises," or through hypnosis, or by means of drugs. Through these permanent or temporary by-passes there flows, not indeed the perception "of everything that is happening everywhere in the universe" (for the by-pass does not abolish the reducing valve, which still excludes the total content of Mind at Large), but something more than, and above all something different from, the carefully selected utilitarian material which our narrowed, individual minds regard as a complete, or at least sufficient, picture of reality.

Aldous Huxley, The Doors of Perception

Since, outside of this sphere, time has a different, non-linear function, and the "past" doesn't really exist, it makes sense that all "lives" are occurring simultaneously.


Chris
 
Since, outside of this sphere, time has a different, non-linear function, and the "past" doesn't really exist, it makes sense that all "lives" are occurring simultaneously.
I like it, back to lets change the past and remember the future...an awesome exercise, but back to the OP

Does that make any of them less real?
 
I think that a person should be clear about what they're referring to Wil. Are past lives less real? I don't know. I wouldn't trust an accountant to repair my truck based on his purported past life as a mechanic. Would you?

Chris
 
Hey guys...it could be worse. Aside from all the lead paint they're sending to our kids, the officials in China are now going to officially outlaw and prohibit reincarnation. Yeah, change the past and remember the future...I like that idea.

flow....:cool:
 
How does soul retain its individuation in a sphere where individuation doesn't exist? How is the past preserved outside of time? If the soul returns to unity following death how is the duality of its individuation preserved so that one can refer to such a "thing" as a past life? These are the questions in my mind.

Chris
 
I suggested that it was disingenuous to allow readers to think that what one is describing is a present life experience when one is in fact describing a past life experience. I think it's an important distinction since past life experiences are completely subjective and unverifiable. I don't question the veracity of the poster's experience, I just meant that it wasn't clear to the reader that he was referring to a past life.

Chris
 
I suggested that it was disingenuous to allow readers to think that what one is describing is a present life experience when one is in fact describing a past life experience. I think it's an important distinction since past life experiences are completely subjective and unverifiable. I don't question the veracity of the poster's experience, I just meant that it wasn't clear to the reader that he was referring to a past life.
Yes, I know, and I am not berating you, you spurred the thought, I am so thankful for that...my brain hurts and I am exploring the incident.

But that is just it. If one feels pain and anguish, if one has vivid memories from a past life is it any less real to require explanation? While I don't consciously have these experiences, I am currently relating to those that have phantom pain from an amputated leg. Yes that is this life, yes we can see the missing leg and empathize with the pain....

But as in your explanation posits it is happening now, all of it, is it any less real than someone's current experience. I'm not thinking so. And I'm even thinking that by having to identify the past life experience as such one would be consciously diminishing that experience in their eyes and the eyes of others.

Again, I say 'yeah right', or pass off as a ludicrous a lot less than I used to. Only because I've been wrong soooo many times. I empathize with those who have real issues in todays world from past lives...just as I empathize with those that have issues in this life. I've walked in neither shoes, I must honor their truth.
 
But that is just it. If one feels pain and anguish, if one has vivid memories from a past life is it any less real to require explanation? While I don't consciously have these experiences, I am currently relating to those that have phantom pain from an amputated leg. Yes that is this life, yes we can see the missing leg and empathize with the pain....

I can say that I don't think such pain and anguish is any qualitatively different to the individual experiencing them. I've had dreams that caused me as much grief and anguish as "real" bad experiences in waking consciousness. Some of the dreams have repeated over the course of my entire lifetime, and I've had to interpret those events in the dream and process them and work through the emotions just as I have had to do with "real" traumas. Whether "real" in that we can verify the source of the pain or "imagined" in that we cannot, pain is pain and grief is grief. The line is really quite blurry anyway, even in the "real" world. One only need to think about the anguish schizophrenics experience to see that mental pain, even if untriggered by obvious "real" world events, can still be quite awful and debilitating.
 
How does soul retain its individuation in a sphere where individuation doesn't exist? How is the past preserved outside of time? If the soul returns to unity following death how is the duality of its individuation preserved so that one can refer to such a "thing" as a past life? These are the questions in my mind.

Chris

It is very difficult to explain what my experience was that formed my beliefs in this matter, but I'll leave it with a general description for now...

Individuation doesn't exist, perhaps, but is not entirely erased either. Think of that state of unity as a Song, as Music. It is One Song, but it is composed of countless sounds. One isn't preserved as much as transformed, but one still experiences, simultaneously, the remnant of selfhood (as one's own vibration or sound) and the unity (as merely a sound in the Song). One is oneself and not oneself.

When one returns to incarnation, one might remember the time of unity and know that who one is now is not "really" who one is, nor can you return to it while stuck in time/place as a body. Additionally, one might remember bits and pieces of experiences that are interpreted as past memories, because in the linear existence of this world, it is the most logical way to interpret them. In fact, it may be that the state of unity and all incarnations are continuously happening, but the you that is in a human brain cannot really comprehend that on an experiential level.

So you have individuation and unity at the same time, really. Or a mutual recognition of each other in either state, so long as (for whatever reason) you weren't born in this one incarnation bereft of such awareness.
 
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