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reincarnation

Last post 09-14-2006, 7:00 AM by Helene. 175 replies.
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  •  08-05-2006, 2:37 AM 3348

    reincarnation

    kessels:
    There has been done some serious research [on reincarnation], in which people were brought into a state of trance or into a state of hypnosis. You can use this to let people relive moments in their youth, for instance, but you can also take them further back to a time before their birth, to previous lives and to moments between lives. There are no discontinuities in that timeline.

    Psychologist Dr. Helen Wambach, for instance, used more than 1.000 persons in her research on past life experiences. When she collected and analyzed all the data, the results made sense statistically, meaning that the experiences could impossibly have been the result of the imagination of the test subjects. And no famous persons showed up :-)

    Some of the main conclusions are that we all lead many lives, the time span between two lives varies, in some lives you're a woman while in others you're a man, and the purpose of it all is the evolution of our souls. In many cases we choose when and where we're born, but not always.

    There's much more to be said about it, of course, and I don't expect to convince you of the reality of reincarnation from what I'm writing here. If you'd like to discuss this further, I think we should open a separate thread.

    And here is that seperate threaed...

    Actually, Peter, I already believe, so no need to convince me.  I used to be a total skeptic about it... well, about everything really.  Then I realised my "skepticism" reflected my current (Orange) biases.  Now it just makes sense to me, although I try to hold that belief lightly -- it's not a faith or anything, just currently my best explanation.

    One thing that interests me is the idea of evolution.  In some traditions, we seem to go strait to spirit.  When we reach enlightenment, that's it, at least for that soul -- you die, release into spirit and dissapear for ever.  For other traditions, like Theosophy, the personal evovolution continues on and on.  You eventually go beyond the need to reincarnate in the normal sense, but continue to evolve on some level, achieving such lofty heights that you are barely even comprehensible to "normal" people.

    I must say that, despite the fact that the overall system seems a bit weird, nevertheless the basic Theosophical idea of reincarnation makes a lot more sense to me.

    What's your take on this?


    Gavin

    Haunted by the familiarity of inner softness behind frozen eyes
  •  08-05-2006, 4:52 AM 3354 in reply to 3348

    Re: reincarnation

    Hi Gavin,

    Thank you for opening this thread.

    Like you, I don't hold reincarnation as a faith, nor as an absolute certainty. I'm aware that most traditions have elements of reincarnation, but I've come to see these views in terms of the Wilber-Combs matrix, recently. This means that I see the view of the traditions as important (as zone #1 methodologies), but ill-equiped to make assertions about some aspects of reincarnation. This is why I think the zone #2 methodologies are hugely important as well. Some of the important zone #2 researchers include Helen Wambach, Ian Stevenson and Michael Newton. These are all UL methodologies of course, and while I would be interested in UR research on reincarnation, I'm not aware of any.

    As to theosophical ideas: they are indeed some of the better ones, as far as zone #1 theories go. It still depends, however, which theosophical ideas you are referring to specifically. According to Helena Blavatsky, for instance, reincarnation was an exception, not a rule. Are you referring to the theosophical ideas about monadic evolution?

    One of the problems I have with the zone #1 ideas, is that the experiences about reincarnation are interpreted from the particular stage that the particular gnostic was at. Leadbeater, for instance, thought that the time between two lives depended on the social status you have on Earth. An upper class person is considered to be spiritualy more advanced than somebody from the working class (with some rare exceptions). His views were apparently colored by the sociocultural situation at the time. This mainly supports KW's theory, but not Leadbeater's...

    Zone #2 methodologies, on the other hand, are relatively young. Helen Wambach started here research in the late sixties. I'm not sure if this type of research can already tell us if individuals can stop having incarnations if they are sufficiently evolved. As far as I understand, incarnations are not a necessity to develop, but it speeds up the process. I'm sure we can all relate to that! I have ordered some books by Michael Newton which probably have something useful to say on this, since he concentrates on periods between lives.

    Peter

    "All nations should be like Amsterdam" -- Ken Wilber
  •  08-05-2006, 5:58 AM 3357 in reply to 3354

    Re: reincarnation

    Reincarnation is an interesting notion, but can be distracting to the Now and basically has little impact from my point of view on therapy (some say, you are this way because in the last lifetime you were this and that, blah, blah, blah)

    I was watching Apollo 13 and was wondering, what happens when you die in space, deep space, where do you go? Is the bardo an Earth bound thing? What if you die 1000 light years from Earth, where do you go? Is space a meaningless concept ? Can you be billions of miles away from Earth, die and then be reborn back on Earth again?

    Dan

  •  08-05-2006, 7:13 AM 3361 in reply to 3357

    Re: reincarnation

    Hey all. Here is the thread on this topic I started on the lst IN forum. The Reincarnation/Evolution Over Lifetimes Thread

    My experiences, which have gone pretty deep have brought me to a rather profound realization that you might not be expecting: it is all about Now.

    That is to say, if there is anything meaningful about the past- and I mean truly meaningful (not, Oh I was Cleopatra's hand maid! Oh I was Cleopatra!)- it remains in the present and will then effect the future. Remember it is about karma and desire. As I placed on that old thread, Do we really think we are going to be 100% willing to forever let go of the people, places and even things (example, your occupation, your life's devotions, you artisitic expression, etc.) that we love? Or, will they and all that be able to let go of us?

    So in other words, why would it not make sense that some of the more significant people in your life-even your parents and family-happen to be people with whom you have already formed a strong bond of attraction and attachment? Maybe even your children . . . maybe even especially your children . . .

    According to the traditions those bonds are Causal and formless, but they will still inhabit any new form, for they are in the end the deepest (almost) essence of that form. 

    And I do believe there is an over-all evolution, 100%. If transmigration is so, why wouldn't there be?

    All for now,

    Tim

     


    "With whom or with what are you in communion at this moment?"
    . . ."I?" he replied, almost mechanically. "Why not with anyone or anything."
    "You must be a marvel . . . if you are able to continue in that state for long."
    -Constantin Stanislavsky
  •  08-05-2006, 7:48 AM 3366 in reply to 3361

    Re: reincarnation

    the term/word 'transmigration', is it same as a 'walk-in?' . i read long ago about ppl. who claimed to have been 'walk-ins' ...asin another's soul-energy merged with theirs and their personalities were permenently changed ...from desperetly dispondedent in some cases, (all suffered for one reason or another) to perfectly calm , totally at peace with the world... all claimed they felt 'detached' . people around them noticed same and more...their 'inner glow'.

    I think - i'm pretty sure  the author's name was Ruth Montgomery.

    i have been preevy to a thing or two, when it comes to 'light bodies', because of my years of reiKI practice...and can with certainty say, we got one!:)

    like the time i was balancing/transmitting  T 's energy , (who was horizontal on the massage table) who after the session said "i sat up and was wondering what would happen if i kept going"...matter of fact-like. why? by then he experienced myriad of 'otherworldly' phenomenon and was way kool...

    tho i must say, one day he said with that far away look on his face, "there is something" and not too long after that he longed to wear a crucifix ....it happens . his christmas gift from his catholic wife.

    - he who didn't 'belive'.

    h

  •  08-05-2006, 8:07 AM 3372 in reply to 3361

    Re: reincarnation

    Hi,

    Thanks Tim for pointing out the IN thread, I didn't know about it. I glanced over it, and found no mention of what I called the zone #2 research on reincarnation, so I think it's worthwile to continue the discussion and to bring that in. It indeed shows that family members or partners are often people you encountered in a previous life, and that they often were related to you in other ways back then. Most people report to have led 'ordinary' lives, and a few occupied higher positions in some lives. Statistically, it all plays out as we expect it to be over different time periods. Also, there is an almost exactly even man/woman distribution in the data.

    I think it is clear from the results of reincarnation therapy (which is different from reincarnation research) that it certainly is helpful in many cases. Not all problems originate in previous lifes, of course. No reason to write it off as nonsense.

    The 'bardo' does not seem to be tied specifically to Earth, so it does not matter where you die. Anyhow, trying to get 1000 lightyears away from Earth would be a good way to find out.

    Peter

    "All nations should be like Amsterdam" -- Ken Wilber
  •  08-05-2006, 8:46 AM 3384 in reply to 3372

    Re: reincarnation

    Peter,

    No, I am not familiar with the zone#2 research -or at least not to a good extent-please share more!

    Also, that last IN thread was left vastly incomplete, so I did not mean at all to suggest that this was an exhausted subject. I think it is profoundly important.

    But I do want to say again I think it is only profoundly important because of the impactions certain things might have with regard to who we are now. This then, if anything, is about authentic Self discovery.

    My experiences (and personal exploration) are probably in way too personal or too involved with other people to post in details, but I have at least once actually specifically returned to a place where some serious evidence suggested I once was -and who I was, which also means, oh Christ, a back-story to who I am now that predates my name, family, body and birth and just makes perfect sense! Why not to explore that!? (In fact, there was even a visit to a cemetery . . .)

    I will share more if anyone is interested, but one of the reasons I more or less abandoned the other thread was that it didn't seem like enough people were very much interested in the same exploration. So I was most happy to see this thread and also that word "evolution."

    Peace, Tim

     


    "With whom or with what are you in communion at this moment?"
    . . ."I?" he replied, almost mechanically. "Why not with anyone or anything."
    "You must be a marvel . . . if you are able to continue in that state for long."
    -Constantin Stanislavsky
  •  08-05-2006, 9:29 AM 3394 in reply to 3384

    Re: reincarnation

    Hi Tim,

    I didn't interpret your first post as saying that the topic had been done to death; I thought you made that implicity clear. I fully agree with the importance of the process of reincarnation on our current life, which is why I spent time on it in the first place. It seems that some souls (or monads, or however you'd like to call it) are more advanced than others, and the more experienced souls reincarnate with a specific plan or purpose for that life. This is what the research indicates, so the importance should be clear.

    Another effect it had on me, is that I no longer had the feeling I had to do and experience everything in this life, so I could relax on some areas and focus more on others. It can also give new or added meaning to life.

    One or two years ago, there was a series on Dutch television about reincarnation. They used regression techniques to lead people to past lives, and to get as much details about the time and place as possible. They then took these people to the places where they had supposedly lived before, and often found remarkable similarities. This was broadcast by a Christian organization(!) which is known to be reliable, and it didn't looked staged (if it was, every one of the remigrants should get an Oscar). Does this sound like what you have done yourself, minus the cameras? I'd love to here your story.

    I will try to make a summary of the methodologies and the conclusions of some of the research I'm aware of.

    Peter
    "All nations should be like Amsterdam" -- Ken Wilber
  •  08-05-2006, 9:31 AM 3395 in reply to 3384

    Re: reincarnation

    I have just re-read the posts so far (only glanced at first) and those zone#2 methodologies are indeed important!

    I also want to add this about Theosophy:

    The meta-physics of Theosophy are often indeed weird. That is actually one of the reasons I still find this a very unrealized subject matter. But more to the point, in all of my experience, Theosophy, it seems, often makesthe mistake of taking a few scattered forms as absolutes. And not only that, but taking and presenting forms and their contents as universal absolutes as well.

    This is a big mistake.

    Just as our individual gross-level minds are responsible for the forms of our dreams as well as most often their content, so too are our individual Subtle-Soul minds responsible for any forms and contents we might be able to see there.

    And so, to sit around and say "I saw Jesus waiting at the Gate of the Seventh Heaven standing in front of the White Lodge, a council of Elders all sitting around the table!" is exactly the same mistake as Jung or so many others have made when trying to pin down some absolute and universal "dictionary" of symbology in dreams. i.e. Dolphins mean X, Water always means Y which is just simply absurd.

    And if it is absurd for gross-level mind, think of how vastly absurd for the first level of Higher Mind. This is actually kind of where the last thread left off. Even, it seems, Padmasambhava (sp?) did not realize this.

    You are going to see what you see-and that includes pretty much absolutely 100% of the time the form, but almost nearly all of the time the content (which means it is partially the content of all of what is really there.). And so yes, if we are going to figure any of it all out for real, we have got to take it beyond the 1st person.

    Lastl, absolutizing any subtle level forms completely obliterates the Reality of the Higher Formless Causal -and Nondual. Another area I have found that Theosophy meta-physics is misguded or fails.

    Smile [:)]


    "With whom or with what are you in communion at this moment?"
    . . ."I?" he replied, almost mechanically. "Why not with anyone or anything."
    "You must be a marvel . . . if you are able to continue in that state for long."
    -Constantin Stanislavsky
  •  08-05-2006, 9:39 AM 3396 in reply to 3394

    Re: reincarnation

    kessels:
    Hi Tim,

    I didn't interpret your first post as saying that the topic had been done to death; I thought you made that implicity clear. I fully agree with the importance of the process of reincarnation on our current life, which is why I spent time on it in the first place. It seems that some souls (or monads, or however you'd like to call it) are more advanced than others, and the more experienced souls reincarnate with a specific plan or purpose for that life. This is what the research indicates, so the importance should be clear.

    Another effect it had on me, is that I no longer had the feeling I had to do and experience everything in this life, so I could relax on some areas and focus more on others. It can also give new or added meaning to life.

    One or two years ago, there was a series on Dutch television about reincarnation. They used regression techniques to lead people to past lives, and to get as much details about the time and place as possible. They then took these people to the places where they had supposedly lived before, and often found remarkable similarities. This was broadcast by a Christian organization(!) which is known to be reliable, and it didn't looked staged (if it was, every one of the remigrants should get an Oscar). Does this sound like what you have done yourself, minus the cameras? I'd love to here your story.

    I will try to make a summary of the methodologies and the conclusions of some of the research I'm aware of.

    Peter

     

    Yeah, I apologize if my language came off a little combative, I didn't mean that -it's just earlyTongue Tied [:S]. I didn't think you were saying it was exhausted . . .

    Anyhow,

    It seems that some souls (or monads, or however you'd like to call it) are more advanced than others, and the more experienced souls reincarnate with a specific plan or purpose for that life. This is what the research indicates, so the importance should be clear.

    I think this is true for everybody, but we all do have varying "time" spans and that for a large part accounts for our present level of evoluton. (And so, it is also not, I believe, back to Beginningless Time as it appeared to the Buddha. this is true in the most Absolute sense, but not true for us individually. And, is that even what the Buddha meant? At the very least it is often interpreted as that.)

    What we are actually also doing now is, not just building up our bindings in Karma that we need to be relased from, but building up momentum and consciousnes for further evolution.

    I will share more later. Not a whole lot of time right now.

    Peace, Tim


    "With whom or with what are you in communion at this moment?"
    . . ."I?" he replied, almost mechanically. "Why not with anyone or anything."
    "You must be a marvel . . . if you are able to continue in that state for long."
    -Constantin Stanislavsky
  •  08-05-2006, 10:41 AM 3409 in reply to 3354

    Re: reincarnation

    Hi Peter,
    kessels:
    As to theosophical ideas: they are indeed some of the better ones, as far as zone #1 theories go. It still depends, however, which theosophical ideas you are referring to specifically. According to Helena Blavatsky, for instance, reincarnation was an exception, not a rule. Are you referring to the theosophical ideas about monadic evolution?

    In The Key to Theosophy, which I am currently reading, she refers to reincarnation as being a universal law that applies to all except ascended masters.  Her explanations get fairly complicated, but generally only the lower part of what she called "manas" reincarnates, which is part of the monad, I think.  She did change her mind at times though, for certain ideas; perhaps this is one of those things?

    kessels:
    I have ordered some books by Michael Newton which probably have something useful to say on this, since he concentrates on periods between lives.

    I've got his Destiny of Souls, it's fantastic -- often so fantastic that I wonder if he's making it all up.

    Gavin

    Haunted by the familiarity of inner softness behind frozen eyes
  •  08-05-2006, 10:50 AM 3410 in reply to 3409

    Re: reincarnation

    Anyone interested in reincarnation, particularly scientific studies of modern cases of recalled past lives, has probably heard of Dr. Ian Stevenson, who currently does research under the aegis of the University of Virginia.  In case you haven't, though, here's a good website related to his work:

    http://www.childpastlives.org/stevenson.htm

    When I was studying at the Ligmincha Institute in Charlottesville, I got an opportunity to go hear him speak at the University of Virginia Medical Center.  The evidence he presented was quite compelling.


    May the boundless knowledge that time presents and space allows illuminate the native perspectives of your original face.

  •  08-05-2006, 12:47 PM 3419 in reply to 3348

    Re: reincarnation

    Hi Every-Body....

    For what it is and what it's worth, here is a little piece I wrote that was published in the UK, written from a "non-dual perspective", regarding reincarnation - a small offering for your Saturday afternoon viewing and entertainment pleasure....

                                           Jnani For a "Day"....

    In Transylvania "I" shoveled horseshit and cleaned the vampires lair....

    In Pennsylvania "I" pumped gas and removed coal, from the bowels of earth's despair

    As a Nubian prince "I" wandered, black skin glistening with the oils of women's scent....

    Then a funeral director "I" became - a keeper of the veil thus rent!

    "I" strolled in King's processions....

     Looked through the peasant's eyes

     Humbly then proudly did "I" walk the shores of endless Mind....

     Like stars hung in the heavens "I" glowed then died divine

     All births "I" thus remembered and knew my own disguise....

     

    Justin


    "Life is like stepping onto a boat that is about to sail out to sea and sink".

    SHUNRYU SUZUKI
  •  08-05-2006, 12:55 PM 3421 in reply to 3410

    Re: reincarnation

    Two thoughts on reincarnation:

    If we're to take the idea reincarnation literally, that is to say that we are indeed reborn from a single person's past life, would that past life necissarily have taken place in this world, or even in this universe?  If one gives any weight to the multiverse theory, wouldn't it be possible for someone to be reborn in a different universe, the same way someone could be reborn in a different location on the world map?  The only reason I bring it up is that I once had a dream that felt very much like a past life, but the world I was living in had completely different rules than the one I'm in today.  Maybe it's just me misinterpreting my dreams, but I really felt like I used to be this person, and this person was running from monsters in the woods as a part of some kind of complex game and driving through giant metropolis on some kind of devinely inspired mission.  Maybe it's just a metaphor, and not literal reincarnation... which brings me to my next thought...

    What if reincarnation itself is just a metaphor for collective consciousness?  I heard that idea in a film called Waking Life recently, and it made a lot of sense.  The movie is basically a series of conversations and in one of those conversations a couple talks about how, if reincarnation were literally true, looking at the growth rate of the human population, most people would be either first or second generation souls (I foget the percentage they said).  So maybe reincarnation is simply a metaphor for collective consciousness.  They talked about a study where subjects were givin new crossword puzzles, and crossword puzzles that had already been solved, and even though the subjects have never seen any of the crossword puzzles before, they solved the old ones faster.  I beleive this idea can be taken from a cognitive to a spiritual level.  Maybe we're just all tapping into the same ethereal pool, and maybe what this reincarnation research is showing is a connection between past and present souls, rather than a literal reincarnation.

  •  08-05-2006, 2:22 PM 3427 in reply to 3421

    Re: reincarnation

    Hi Fangsz,

    Fangsz:
    If one gives any weight to the multiverse theory, wouldn't it be possible for someone to be reborn in a different universe, the same way someone could be reborn in a different location on the world map?

    Yes, according to Michael Newton, in that book I mentioned, the one I like yet seems so "out there", pun not intended.

    Fangsz:
    What if reincarnation itself is just a metaphor for collective consciousness?

    It's possible, I suppose, but if it's just a metaphor then seems like an awfully consistant one.  I mean, why not just have random memories?  Why does all this reincarnation nonsense keep popping up for people under hypnosis?

    I've also read some of Brian Weiss' books.  He started out as your typical left-brained psychiatrist, then he had a patient whos troubles were difficult for him to deal with, so he tried hypnosis and... well, you can guess what happened next.  I found his story pretty convincing.  He also hints at a sort of non-dual goal, when one of the "master" spirits says that you are on the right track when you can look into the eyes of another and see yourself.

    Perhaps both reincarnation and collective consciousness are effects of something deeper and more profound?

    Gavin

    Haunted by the familiarity of inner softness behind frozen eyes
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