View Poll Results: Do you believe in Reincarnation?

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  • Yes I do

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Thread: What Are Your Opinions on the Possibility of Reincarnation and "Past Lives"?

  1. #41
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    A real memory and a false memory are only two different things if viewed objectively.
    Objective reality is quite often very dull, and should be avoided if at all possible.
    Close observation may result in feelings of horror, wonder and awe at world you find yourself inhabiting.

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    Grin Calm down...

    Calm down, Arcturus, I'm only joking with you. I can no longer remember who actually nipped that "sasquatch post discussion" in the bud any longer. So if I wrongly thought it was you, I apologize.

    Thanks, Horned God, for giving me the go ahead. I'll post about that later this evening after I have dinner ready. My hungry viking is due back here any minute and I don't want him agitated because his grub is not awaiting him.

    the good wife

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    Okey dokey then.

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    Post Re: Do you believe in Reincarnation?

    Soul...., soul is inmortal, after all it is made of energy, not like our body that is made of matter...
    The soul is a very complex enegy and it is in the 4th dimention, so it can`t be percived with any of the 5 senses, but we can percive it because it is part of us, i think it is our 6th sense and from it come our intuition...some people can also percive others´souls (more strong is your relation with the other poerson more easy is, but some with developed 6th sense can percive other`s soul only by a look)...and oters with this sense very developed can percive those souls without body..

    When pysical body die the soul have many posibilities, most common is to reincarnate lossing all your concientious memory, and the quality of what will you be, and what will be your fate dependes on what you do in your past life...remember that the first law of the universe is that all comes back, and universe is allways just..not like humans...

    I would like to change it, i don`t want to lose my memory, and there is more, ia don`t want to die,....but for now the phisical inmortality is just a dream...

    Magic can do everything, i know that very well...but there is a border, and it is the power of the person that uses it...
    AFTER ALL...THIS IS THE WORLD WHERE ONLY THE BEST SURVIVE..IF YOU ARE STRONG YOU WILL LIVE...BUT IF YOU ARE WEAK THEN YOU WILL DIE.

  5. #45
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    Post Re: Do you believe in Reincarnation?

    according to my esoteric studies a number of factors go into reincarnation

    first of all I believe the holy decrees of the infidinte(druidic) have some merit...transmigration of souls from the animal kingdom into our species is forbidden and vice versa(animal can't come back as people,people can't come back as animals)

    also some other study on reincarnation I have found online points to truth in the theory of metagenetics...that usually you are born again into the same bloodline and one is always reincarnated into the same race as they were in their previous life(the biology connection with the soul and the otherworld) except in cases where the person in the previous life valued another culture more than his own and adopted the mannerisms and way of life of that people

  6. #46
    Senior Member Drömmarnas Stig's Avatar
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    Post Re: Do you believe in Reincarnation?

    In my youth I loved philosophy and also read a lot of stuff about reincarnation.
    About how it's supposed to be a punishment and the only way to escape this vicious circle would be to gain a certain state of consciousness, this nirvana thing.

    Was an interesting alternative to the christian do-or-die system, this either be blessed and live in paradise or be screwed and rot in hell.
    Second chances are always nice.

    However, the question being "believe in: yes/no" it has to be a no.
    There is no reason in explaning why "not", yet it is absolutely necessary to explain why "yes".
    That said, I have nothing to add.
    "We were never more free than under the German occupation!"

    - Jean-Paul Sartre

  7. #47
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    Death/Our Personal Continuity

    I think it's not really clear from the onset if our biological death is the end of our conscious existence or not. But we could just decide that by "death" and "mortality" we mean the end of our conscious existence (whether there is such a thing or not). And then we could discuss our attitude towards it. That's what I'm going to do first.

    Some have argued (especially Epicurus) that death (always understood in the above defined way) can't be bad because it's the end of all perception. And since (as they think) everything good and bad consists in some perception, it can't be something bad. I'll admit that a corpse doesn't perceive his state of being dead as something negative, but I would also reply that merely being able of perceptions and experiences is already something good (at least as it can enable to experience other, more intrinsic goods) and therefore the loss of it must be bad. Now, some will say that there is no "loss", because in the moment of death the person entirely ceases to exist, i.e. there is no one who "loses" something, and definitely no one who isn't able of perceptions anymore. But I think that being able to perceive, to think, and to experience is better than not existing at all, therefore death must be negative.

    Often people think that death is even worse because it prevents you from fulfilling your wishes and aspirations etc. Some have argued (especially Lucretius) that this isn't true, because a dead body doesn't have any wishes and aspirations, therefore it can't be called negative that it is unable to fulfill them... But I think here we have to distinguish between "death" as the state of being dead, for which this reasoning might be really true, and the "moment of death" as the dividing line between the states of being alive and of being dead, for which it is much more dubious. On the one hand it's true: If you die all of a sudden, you won't notice that you can't fulfill your wishes anymore. You won't experience that you've failed, and it won't seem negative to you at all. But on the other hand, now that you are alive, you'll definitely try to avoid dying, if you want to achieve something, and you'd be sad if you knew that you had only very little time left (which might be the case if you suddenly got heavily sick).

    One thing seems certain: If you had to live forever, it would be necessary for you to evolve and to change, or otherwise your life would sooner or later become awfully boring and meaningless. Some have argued that you might get psychical problems from such extreme changes (considering that we are talking about eternity). But I'd reply that I have already changed a lot since my birth and it didn't make me that sick. Others have argued that your goals and wishes in the far future would have to be totally different from your current ones, and that you therefore cannot reasonably be wishing that you are going to live in the far future. However, I don't find this to be a very convincing argument. I personally don't care what my wishes would be then, I'd be happy if I could have any at all...

    Jeff Malpas, a contemporary philosopher, has argued that you can only really lead a life if you think that it will have an end. He sort of compares such a correctly led life with a piece of art, something that can be moulded into a sculpture, or a novel, and this can only be something finite. If you live forever, you could at best only lead a series of an infinite number of very loosely connected lives. Well, I think he's right about that, but would this be worse than extinction? He says that then everything would be possible and nothing would be important. And that you'd be everything and nobody at once. But if you are really leading one of this series of lives - this wouldn't be true, would it?

    So, to sum it up, I would regard my personal death as something negative. From a purely egoistical, or even egocentrical point of view of course.

    Now we could discuss the pros and cons of an afterlife. On the one hand there is no conclusive, compelling evidence for life after death.
    NDEs (near death experiences) come to my mind. Unfortunately it's problematic to prove that such patients had their NDE during their cardiac arrest, and not shortly before and after it. As you can imagine, it's very hard to verify the exact time when such a subjective experience took place. And in fact, there are people who reported having had an NDE although they had never come close to death. Sometimes the mere belief that one is close to death seems to suffice to cause an NDE. A possible explanation for NDEs during cardiac arrest I've come across: The cardiac massage produces of course some blood flow to the brain. In some cases it is strong enough to enable conscious experience to take place, albeit the heart is not beating. Only a small fraction of the resuscitated remember having experienced something. According to Parnia and van Lommel it's 11-18%.

    Another at first sight promising phenomenon are alleged memories of previous lives. Some children have them spontaneously, some few get them spontaneously later in their life (e.g. during an NDE), and most of the adults get them in trance- or hypnotic regressions. It might be debatable how good or bad this body of evidence is; at least I myself have heard of very impressive cases. But IMO even the best possible case that might be conceivable in theory could be explained alternatively by ESP (extrasensory perception). (And you don't have to assume immortal souls in order to make a working model of ESP.)

    On the other hand, the findings of neuro science strongly indicate that every capacity of the human mind gets lost, if the corresponding brain structures are destroyed. Some might reply that the brain is only a control device for the mind in order to manifest itself in the material world. Often they compare the situation with a driver who makes use of a car. If the car is out of order, the driver can't drive, although he hasn't lost his abilities. Well, this might be a plausible analogy in the case of someone who has lost his ability to move properly due to a brain defect, or of someone who has lost one of his senses. It's getting already rather dubious in the case of personality changes and changes of the emotions, since we all accept that alcohol and other material drugs do have an influence on this - why should a brain defect be unable to produce similar effects? But it's getting completely counter intuitive in the case of someone who doesn't understand language anymore. According to the car analogy, the mind is still able to understand, but it can't prove it anymore. But if someone obviously is neither blind nor deaf, it's getting hard to see why he should be able to understand while being unable to prove it, especially if he is still able to move his tongue and make use of his vocal chords. Or otherwise he will usually still be able to move his hand and grasp a pencil. So, to me it's clear that the car analogy doesn't work.
    We also have to imagine once, that, if the brain just limited the mind's abilities that it can manifest in the material world, i.e. if someone's mind might be much more intelligent than he is able to show, then it might also be the case that animals' souls are much more intelligent than human souls, and that it's only their brains that prevent them from proving it...

    Furthermore, it's not only that the capacities of the mind can get lost, but also consciousness (awareness) itself. It's obvious that people somtimes get unconscious, during sleep, or when they faint, or under anaesthesia. I know - it's also possible that no one ever gets unconscious and that all that gets lost is the memories of what happened during an episode of apparent unconsciousness. On the other hand there's zero evidence for this, whereas unconscious people clearly appear to be very unconscious. Hence, the idea seems a little far-fetched. And what everybody has to admit is that the degree of awareness can vary a lot - from extremely awake and concentrated (perhaps in a dangerous sword duel) to the haziest daze (when you're staring at the wall and don't notice its colour). So why not even to unconsciousness?
    Now, the point is that this degree of awareness is also depending on the brain's activity, or more precisely on the activity of the brain stem or reticular system at the upper end of the spinal cord. If this activity is inhibited, unconsciousness is, without exception, the effect.

    These neurobiological findings are obviously very important if we're asking ourselves whether death means extinction. However, it isn't a compelling proof, since what's decisive isn't the question if our consciousness can survive death. Even though we're sometimes unconscious during life, we can usually regain our consciousness afterwards - if we're still existing then. Thus the decisive question is the one after our personal identity. If that what we are can survive death, we might be able to regain our consciousness, some time. For this we would have to assume the existence of something that is neither material nor consciousness, which would have to be our identity. We could call that thing "soul". It's clear that defining our identity could hardly be its sole purpose, since otherwise it would be a highly suspicious assumption; and then even conscious beings could be mortal, if they had the bad luck of not having (or being) a soul. Thus, IMO it should at least have the secondary function of converting the neuronal representations that are in the brain into subjective experience.

    Unfortunately, this concept of souls has a serious problem: It can hardly be denied that higher animals do have conscious experiences as well - not only humans. It might seem debatable if insects and other inferior creatures have conscious experiences, but if you're doubting that dogs and cattle have them, you could as well doubt that other human beings are conscious. After all, even human brains are not identical to each other. But even though I'm willing to admit that higher animals do have conscious experiences, I simply cannot believe that every single one of them is an eternal, immortal being. Just looking at their lives - basically they seem often too absurd. Some philosophers have said that the human life is absurd. (This doesn't mean that you should kill yourself, or that life isn't worth living; it rather means that our situation is an absurd one.) However, that's a controversial observation, and it's in any case a subjective, emotion-laden impression, since many people feel that their life is full of meaning, of fate and providence, and whatever. This impression might be wrong, though. But looking at animal lives I can't help thinking that their lives are absurd.
    So in short, I don't want to deny that some animals are as conscious as we are, i.e. the assumption of souls cannot be allowed to make a difference between us; and at the same time I don't believe that they are eternal. Hence, I can't really believe that we are eternal.

    The belief that we are very mortal, temporally limited beings can in fact be very beautiful. I don't mean comforting, of course.
    IMO the beauty of this concept can best be seen in the early work of Albert Camus, especially in the short essay collection "Noces" (Nuptials).
    Especially the first two ("Noces à Tipasa" and "Le vent à Djémila") are marvellous, and the rest hardly any less.

  8. #48
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    How are we to explain our personal continuity? If we suppose that we are identical to our brains, then we're existing as long as the brain does exist. Superficially this seems to be a very clear case... But if we are very particular, then it isn't clear at all why my brain right now should be the very same object as my brain at any time in the future or past. First of all because there is no such thing as a material continuity, in the strict sense. An atom consists of the nucleus and some electrons. Electrons are not existing as the small, point-shaped, firm objects they are usually depicted as. They are more like a cloud of probabilities. And the nucleus consists of protons and neutrons, which in turn consist of quarks and gluons, and they get destroyed and reformed each 10^-23 seconds. So each 10^-23 seconds our substance has in fact changed.
    Now we could disregard the substance and turn our attention to the shape, the structure, the pattern and the properties of the brain. But obviously this is changing as well during one's lifetime. Not as fast as the substance, and once one has reached a certain age, the further changes remain only minor, but still there are small changes, and of course there were much bigger ones at the earlier ages.
    So how else could we explain the personal continuity?

    IMO we are subjects who have certain experiences. The experiences are constantly changing, obviously. But we believe that as long as we live, the subject of our experiences doesn't change. If it changed, our experiences wouldn't be our experiences anymore, but they would belong to someone else, to the other subject who would then own them. Theoretically it's possible that some of the things we remember having experienced, were really experienced by someone else, by another subject, and that only the memory of these things has been transmitted to the subject we are. If we are not our body, this would mean, that someone else might have had our body, perhaps until some years ago, and that what we remember as a large deal of our life was lived by someone else in this same body. Or, if we are our body, we could speculate that it isn't exactly the same body anymore (which is even true), and thus we could say that we are not identical with the person that this body was some years ago. But as I said, we don't believe such things, and furthermore it's also obvious that we're existing at least for a longer time than just a fraction of a second. Therefore we have to explain why and how the subject remains constantly the same, at least for a certain time, and possibly (as we believe) for the whole life as well. So we have to ask ourselves: What are the conditions under which two temporally seperated things are identical to each other (which would mean that they are the same thing)? Like the old Greeks we could (purely in theory) distinguish between substance and form. And we could say that if one or both of these components remains the same, the object remains the same object. Perhaps both of these components are important, perhaps only one of them, or perhaps one (either substance or form), is even irrelevant. In any case, if both components change, we cannot be dealing with the same object anymore. However, some might suggest, that a constant, continuous change of an object (in both components) might preserve the identity of that object. But imo that's nonsense and only seems somewhat plausible because we normally believe to see substantial continuity everywhere in the objects around us, therefore we subconsciously presuppose it every time we're imagining a continuing object.

    Neither our form nor our physical substance remains constant, hence there must be something else that's remaining the same.

    This all looks like a proof of my concept of souls that I have proposed in the thread about death. So every firm materialist should be very concerned about this and eager to refute it.
    What do you think?

    I would say the easiest attackable part of that reasoning is perhaps where it's about electrons. Qauntum mechanics works, but its interpretation is still controversial. According to David Bohm's model for instance, electrons indeed are small point-shaped objects. And they're existing for quite a long time.

    http://www.findarticles.com/p/articl...24/ai_62102221

    It might sound hilarious, but perhaps our identity is an assembly of electrons?

  9. #49
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    Re: Do you believe in Reincarnation?

    Reincarnation or the possibility of reincarnation is a phenomenon that is difficult to look at objectively for most people. The entire idea is a minefield of metaphysics, religious doctrine and a lot of pseudoscience. On the other hand you have the pseudo-skeptics the reductionist storm troopers of Guepenfuhrer Her Doktor Kurtz and his army of materialists. This group is always ready to apply Occam's razor to the throats of deluded paranormalists, but never lifts it to shave the beard of its own pretensions.
    I have looked at the objective evidence for over 40 years and I am skeptical by nature which is not the same as being a skeptic which nowadays is a pathology. Dr Ian Stephenson has compiled a great many cases of the reincarnation type which show that statistically given the controls he uses, there is a likelihood of reincarnation. The most fascinating are those involving Xenoglossy and those involving birthmarks on children who claimed remember past lives that correspond closely to post mortem wounds of those they claim to be a reincarnation of. Unfortunately the cases presented for xenoglossy are not that firm but the other cases are well established,at for anyone with an objective mind to consider.
    One of the biggest problems we have today and looking anything scientifically is this extreme prejudice toward existing models which are essentially Newtonian in their mechanics. The entire skeptical movement is part of the academic police. Since I am fairly certain this post will generate a response from some materialists I'm also going to include a website that discusses and rebuts much of the skeptic's arguments. Personally I don't argue with them anymore than I would argue with a born-again Christian about their beliefs.
    http://www.victorzammit.com/skeptics/winston.html

    Now from what I see this seems to be pretty good evidence that some people are reincarnated does not necessarily prove all people are reincarnated, but if only one person is there goes reductionism. The assumption always is in every age group that from the standpoint of physics and cosmology we really understand the universe and all the details remain. This paradigm remains alive until someone shatters it with a new theory to more adequately expresses phenomena we observe. Since countless careers are tied up with theories involving the current paradigm trying to look beyond it is going to produce vicious retribution upon the innovators. The current scientific paradigm based around the Big Bang which is being presented as a theory proven beyond a doubt,(whihc it is not) does not have the ability to deal with issues like reincarnation. The Big Bang is hardly a solid as it is presented. Please see the following link
    http://www.rense.com/general53/bbng.htm
    probably the most pretentious of the pretentious are neuroscientists who make outrageous claims of knowledge of the brain and mind that they simply cannot back up. They do this for the simple reason that it gets them more funding. They will point to an area of the brain and say ,see we have found what causes this emotion, a simple mechanical reductionist argument, here is the button for fear.
    However, if an alien were to find a television set and start playing with the components you can argue that he'd figured out what causes someone to appear went causes them to disappear and all the various other phenomena,and could therefore argue that the images and sounds on the screen are merely an interaction of its parts and no one is broadcasting.
    I might add that "the evidence" that is suggestive of reincarnation does not support many of the karmic reincarnation theorys of religious groups such as many Buddhists, Theosophists, Hindus, and so on. Although Reincarantion can be explained in regard to the Buddhist doctrine of interdependent origination and the philosophy of the Avatamsaka Sutra, which describes consciousness in terms of a jeweled net, with every part reflecting every other part. Just as if you disect a part of a hologram you'll get a perfect small representation of that hologram, the individual parts of the Buddhacitta or Buddha Mind remains eternal it is only epistemological factors that make it seem to appear and disappear, thus the old Zen saying unborn and undying.

    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/dail.../s_189477.html

    http://icteesside.icnetwork.co.uk/01...name_page.html

    http://www.childpastlives.org/librar.../birthmark.htm
    Last edited by Reiver; Wednesday, March 14th, 2007 at 08:07 PM. Reason: typos

  10. #50
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    Re: Do you believe in Reincarnation?

    I don't believe in reincarnation, though I do believe in resurrection. But I see that as more like getting our bodies back after we die instead of body-hopping, as it were.

    People who report having experience previous lives are experiencing something else, I think. I believe our souls are eternal and that we frequently observed and maybe interacted with our ancestors before birth (as well as other people whom we might have had some interest in). I think people who remember past lives are probably remembering the lives of ancestors with whom they were closely involved.

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