Previous life

Is there a god? What is the meaning of life?
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fluffy
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Re: Previous life

Post by fluffy »

There is a resistance among many to anything with spiritual or supernatural connotations, a tendency to take an "If science can't prove it then it doesn't exist" sort of stance. I try to keep it in mind that there are many things that science has yet to explain that are evident in our day to day lives, how could I possibly assume to have the answers on things that are less than evident? Like cliffy1 says, an open mind is an important tool, it often keeps us from over looking less than obvious explantions.
I just want some credible articles to back up my conspiracy theory but I can't find any. Must be censorship.
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fluffy
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Re: Previous life

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barberhouse wrote:Looks like my thread is at an end.


That's *Jo* , a significant force in this universe. There are numerous theories but nothing conclusive yet, other than the knowledge that making the mistake of denying its existence can lead to having ones board privileges dimensionally displaced. Best to accept that there are still things beyond our understanding. :127:
I just want some credible articles to back up my conspiracy theory but I can't find any. Must be censorship.
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Re: Previous life

Post by Jo »

The thread has not come to an end, I think it is a very interesting one, which is why I insist it stay on topic without unnecessary personal attacks.
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steven lloyd
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Re: Previous life

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Jo wrote:The thread has not come to an end, I think it is a very interesting one, which is why I insist it stay on topic without unnecessary personal attacks.

I find people's experience and thoughts on this subject to be interesting. I have to hope that my attempts at humour yesterday were not seen as attacks. I would apologize to anyone who thought I was trying to offend them or their point of view on this subject.
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steven lloyd
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Re: Previous life

Post by steven lloyd »

barberhouse wrote: Being a very logical person I have to come to the conclusion that "soul" exists. That has been a very welcome conclusion. Takes stress away from life.

I am curious why you equate the acceptance of the existence of a soul with the removal of stress from your life. Can you elaborate ?

I remember having a discussion with a professor at SFU regarding an experiment done at MIT testing the hypothesis of consciousness existing outside of the body. Those who have been around here for awhile might remember me posting about this before but it is relevant to this subject. A supercomputer had been programmed to randomly generate millions of binary numbers at a very high speed. As expected, when left to run on its own over repeated experiments the machine would generate binary numbers in a 50/50 distribution.

As the next part of this experiment, subjects were placed sitting in an adjoining room. They were told there was a supercomputer in the room next to them and what it was doing and then were left in the room while the computer was set to run its program again. Very interestingly, with the subject’s in the room next door this computer that was programmed to generate binary numbers in a random fashion instead generated binary numbers in a non-random fashion.

What does this prove? Well, I don’t know if it proves anything but for some reason a computer that was programmed and tested to generate binary numbers in a random fashion did not do that when subjects were placed in the room next to it and informed what was going on. Did the consciousness of the subjects affect the outcome of the experiments? If so, does that mean consciousness exists outside the body? Perhaps from that the even more profound questions arises of asking if consciousness can exist without the body (ie. after death)? I make no claims but found the findings of this experiment to be quite remarkable.

I remember a discussion with a different professor later on (from a philosophy course I was taking at that time). I asked if we start by agreeing that consciousness was a form of energy which we did. Agreeing on this the question then became if know that energy cannot be destroyed, only changed, then can we say the same thing about consciousness? Of course, the answer to that question is yes – however, while not being able to be destroyed it can be changed, ie. consciousness to non-consciousness. In other words, there is no reason to presume that any form of self-awareness will continue to exist beyond death (while at the same time there is no reason to presume that some form of self-awareness will not continue to exist beyond death).

I seem to remember that the Krishna believe we are reincarnated upward through ascending spiritual planes, and through each plane we lose more of our self-identity and once again become more one with the Godhead (God). Presumably we once again lose all sense of self. I know that if I have lived a past life I have absolutely no conscious memory of that. I have to presume or at least consider then that if reincarnated again I will likely have no memory of this one. Is it a bad thing passing over to another “life” without consciously taking with you the lessons and knowledge gained from the previous one?


And – if I ever do become a Starship Captain,
will I know how badly I have always wanted to be one?

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Hmmm
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Re: Previous life

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steven lloyd wrote:
Is it a bad thing passing over to another “life” without consciously taking with you the lessons and knowledge gained from the previous one?


And – if I ever do become a Starship Captain,
will I know how badly I have always wanted to be one?

Image

That's a good point. If there was such a thing as reincarnation, then there would need to be a judge to determine if you reached your potential and could move higher or not. If you have no knowledge of your previous life then how can you learn from it?
I thought you said your dog doesn't bite....That's not my dog.
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Re: Previous life

Post by JOF585 »

Hmmm wrote:That's a good point. If there was such a thing as reincarnation, then there would need to be a judge to determine if you reached your potential and could move higher or not. If you have no knowledge of your previous life then how can you learn from it?

Maybe you are your own judge. You decide the next life that you want to reach your potential.
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Re: Previous life

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JOF585 wrote:Maybe you are your own judge. You decide the next life that you want to reach your potential.

That's very doubtful, remember the teaching of reincarnation includes coming back as animals and bugs, if we judged ourselves we would all be pretty and rich. Read a bit of humour in the last statement.
I thought you said your dog doesn't bite....That's not my dog.
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steven lloyd
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Re: Previous life

Post by steven lloyd »

Posters around here are quick to make fun of other people’s ideas (I'm not innocent although I try to be more respectful on ideas around spirituality) and the Mods got a tough job. It’s not too hard to see how someone might have thought we were making light of the subject. Although I used the “Not to be a party pooper ...” disclaimer, I was trying to make a substantive point. I also acknowledge that our reaction/response to pheromones is a function of smelling. However, our olfactory sensitivity is greater than you’re giving it credit and our brain responds to pheromones far before we are consciously aware of having smelled anything – and we may never be. Anyways, this subject is only tenuously attached to the topic at hand so we best drop it.
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steven lloyd
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Re: Previous life

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Hmmm wrote: That's very doubtful, remember the teaching of reincarnation includes coming back as animals and bugs, ...

Actually, the teachings, interpretation and understanding of reincarnation are as diverse as all spiritual interpretation and understanding. Not all who believe in reincarnation believe we have been or come back as animals or bugs, or even have been or come back as humans on this planet or even this plane of existence.
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Re: Previous life

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Hmmm wrote:That's very doubtful, remember the teaching of reincarnation includes coming back as animals and bugs, if we judged ourselves we would all be pretty and rich. Read a bit of humour in the last statement.

Pretty and rich would not be my " highest potential ".
I believe that when you die you decide what to do next and come back to become a better human being until you reach your potential or what you perceive as your potential. Terry Fox would be a great example of that.
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Re: Previous life

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When I was very young (between 3 to 5) I had this recurring nightmare: I was burning to death in a house fire. It seemed at the time that I had this same nightmare every night for years. The details of the dream were always the same and just as I was about to die, I would wake up screaming. Even today, I can close my eyes and recall some of those detail with such clarity. I came to the conclusion that I must have died like that in a past life. And most of my life I have had an almost ghoulish fascination with fire.
Trying to get spiritual nourishment from a two thousand year old book is like trying to suck milk from the breast of a woman who has been dead that long.
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Re: Previous life

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-fluffy- wrote:Skeptical, yes, but not dismissive. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.



We're not dealing with a subject that lives in a vacuum and barring positive evidence for such extraordinary claims they should be subject to all the positive evidence we that speaks directly against such claims and cautions us about the fallibility of our perceptions.

As an example of the type of thinking I'm advocating:

From "The Varieties of Scientific Experience":
"Questioner: As a scientist, would you deny the possibility of water having been changed into wine in the Bible?

Carl Sagan: Deny the possibility? Certainly not. I would not deny any such possibility. But I would, of course, not spend a moment on it unless there was some evidence for it."


Really, at the absolute most we should be applying Hume's "A total suspense of judgement is here our only reasonable recourse", and he was speaking about matters that were purely hypothetical and without evidence either way. Yet we are not in such a position. We do have knowledge about our subject, experiments have been done whose results show fallibility, not some extraordinary metaphysical force, at work in those who believe they've lived a past life.

But really "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence." is just a rightly held criticism of inductive reasoning, so hoist the claims of past lives upon the procedure of falsifiability.
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fluffy
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Re: Previous life

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hellomynameis wrote:But really "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence." is just a rightly held criticism of inductive reasoning, so hoist the claims of past lives upon the procedure of falsifiability.


I think you might be misinterpreting my views on the subject. I'm not saying past lives and the like is a reality, or even a likelihood, just that there is plenty of mystery around us and that dismissing any possibility on the lack of scientific proof is more than a little premature in my view.

I found myself thinking about the experiments on plants some time back where scientists were able to measure physiological responses in plants due to changes in their surroundings that all "reason" says they should have been immune to, responses that were basically emotional in nature. Scientifically measured but not explained. Weird? You bet. Plants that can feel and remember? What a crock eh? Well show me the proof.

Since this thread started there have been repeated examples to children making reference to past lives. Has there been any sound evidence on which to dismiss these claims or just possible alternative theories resulting from skepticism? Your personal dislike of some possibilities is not grounds enough for anything conclusion other than "The best possible explanation so far is..."

What I'm saying is that strictly speaking any attempt to dismiss any possible explanation in the absence of an explanation proven to be fact is premature.

Let's forget that there were times in our not so distant past where things we accept as fact now were considered preposterous.
I just want some credible articles to back up my conspiracy theory but I can't find any. Must be censorship.
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cliffy1
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Re: Previous life

Post by cliffy1 »

-fluffy- wrote:I found myself thinking about the experiments on plants some time back where scientists were able to measure physiological responses in plants due to changes in their surroundings that all "reason" says they should have been immune to, responses that were basically emotional in nature. Scientifically measured but not explained. Weird? You bet. Plants that can feel and remember? What a crock eh? Well show me the proof.


You are talking about "The Secret Life of Plants." - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wt3smrXkVpE

Since this thread started there have been repeated examples to children making reference to past lives. Has there been any sound evidence on which to dismiss these claims or just possible alternative theories resulting from skepticism? Your personal dislike of some possibilities is not grounds enough for anything conclusion other than "The best possible explanation so far is..."

What many fail to understand is that life is subjective, not objective. To me, this is a failure of science. The truth is only relevant to the beholder. My truth is based on my personal experiences in life. Everybody has different experiences with influence what they perceive as the truth. Those who cannot wrap their mind around the idea of reincarnation (or any other belief) will never accept any "proof" that does not fit into their cosmology. Either a person has had an experience that makes reincarnation possible or they don't. The choice at this point is do we reject the notion out of hand or do we keep an open mind.

There are many different beliefs surrounding the subject. Mine is quite different than many I have discussed it with. I don't believe reincarnation is a linear phenomenon. It is cyclical. In my cosmology, there really is no time. Everything that has happened, will happen and is happening is all simultaneous. People don't have souls, souls have people. It is the soul that decides which lessons are to be learned by any incarnation (our Higher Selves or I) . Our physical selves, our egos
is a little "i". It is the one having a physical experience and it is the way the soul experiences sensory input (data) from the physical plane. I do not believe a soul can go backwards, become anything other than a human being. There is no judgement of our lives after death, just an assessment of the data collected and lessons learned.
Trying to get spiritual nourishment from a two thousand year old book is like trying to suck milk from the breast of a woman who has been dead that long.

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