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Also, the idea of leaving her body in vaporous form corresponds to Moody's shared death experiences, where it seems to be quite a common feature. This adds some reinforcement to your point that her experience was not near-death but just plain death.

"Of course, if we take the story at face value, then technically it is not a near-death experience; it is a death experience. And in that case, we might be justified in thinking that NDEs do accurately capture at least the early stages of the true dying process."

In Moody's book about reincarnation, he talks about his own past-life regression under hypnosis. In one of his remembered past lives, he describes a death by drowning and says, "At that point, a bright light engulfed me and I was overcome with total bliss."

When I read the book, I remember thinking that I was surprised he didn't say anything about being pleased to have a first-person confirmation (of a sort) of his NDE research.

Hi Michael, as you mention reincarnation in this post I would like to ask you and, og course, other readers of your blog, a question concerning the issue: To me, reincarnation research is the area of parapsychology I am best informed. When I am talking about reincarnation research I have in mind the work of the doctors Stevenson and Tucker and possibly spontanous memories of grown ups (I have read the book by the Fenwicks as well). In Dr. Stevenson`s research the interval between death and rebirth differ considerably. When one accepts that his best cases are researches equally well and do not differ considerably in their quality as "strong" cases some of the "strong" cases among the Druses of Lebanon involve an interval that is much shorter than 9 months. Take the cases of Suzanna Ghanem that Tom Shroder describes in some details - it is a very convincing case and the interval is only some days. I just cannot understand the process involved: Are there some babys in the womb that are not tied to a soul and where the souls of newly deceased are "welcome to enter"? Do they "kick" another soul out that was tied to the fetus originally? Is the process of "reincarnation different than we might think? I would love to hear other peoples`opinion!

Hi, I'm new here, but thought I would share my two euros worth.

Remember that there is a possibility that what we call reincarnation may not be linear. That is, outside of our material universe there is no time, or rather 'time' is simultaneous - just as Einstein said when he said that past, present and future actually all exist at the same time - there is only now.

This is an idea promoted by Seth, Elias and others and makes sense according to various NDEs where people report that during their experiences, time doesnt really apply as we understand it.

According to the simultaneous time theory, we do have many human lives, but they all occur simultaneously. however due to the fact that part of us remains outside of time, we can still access these other lives in their entirety, even although they are happening now - weird I know.

Lives may be scattered across a vast time period. As we are so used to thinking in a linear time frame while here on earth, we automatically gravitate on 'past lives', which is why we hear so many reports about them. However, we should also be able to access 'future' lives, but as we are so used to thinking in a linear manner, it may be the case that there is a psychological barrier to doing so, explaining why we almost never hear about them.

It's odd to think that somebody's 'past life' regression may actually be describing another a life taking place *at the same time*.

I think most standard accounts of reincarnation just assume a linear structure and never even think to question it. But when you accept that time pertains only to the physical world, then it soon becomes apparant that so called 'past lives' can't really be occuring in the past at all. From a greater perspective - all our lives, like everything else, is occuring *now*.

Douglas

Douglas, your thoughts are very insightful! I have already considered the idea of "time not being linear" in this context, but the reincarnation stories of small children seem, at least to me, usually structured in time as they, like in Shanti Devi`s case, often remember the period between one life and the next or entering the womb or the like. Also, though the period is often much less than 9 months (and, in very few cases, a child remembers the life of someone who died some days after his or her next incarnation, it never seems to happen that children "remember" a parallel life. At least from what I learned from Dr. Stevenson`s cases. Of course, there still remains the option that some unconscious part of the personality of a person who is going to die in some months has already made a connection to an embryo who had just been conceived and unites with other parts of the concious fraction after the death of the "old personality", maybe that is the case...

This might have some bearing on the discussion.

excerpt from Mellen Benedict's NDE:
"As the light revealed itself to me, I became aware that what I was really seeing was our Higher Self matrix. The only thing I can tell you is that it turned into a matrix, a mandala of human souls, and what I saw was that what we call our Higher Self in each of us is a matrix... {snip}... And it became very clear to me that all the Higher Selves are connected as one being, all humans are connected as one being, we are actually the same being, different aspects of the same being."
http://near-death.com/experiences/reincarnation04.html

Excerpt from Michelle M's NDE:
"I remember understanding the others here.. as if the others here were a part of me too. As if all of it was just a vast expression of me. But it wasn't just me, it was .. gosh this is so hard to explain.. it was as if we were all the same. As if consciousness were like a huge being. The easiest way to explain it would be like all things are all different parts of the same body." http://www.nderf.org/michelle_m's_nde.htm

Nice find MP!

I think this account lends evidence in favor of my perspective that NDEs do not prove a holographic universe (sorry Art) or that total enlightment or eternal life in heaven or any of that sort of thing necessarily occurs upon death just because some NDE experiencers report these senations/perceptions.

I am quite certain that the soul is immortal. However, the NDEr merely experiences expanded consciousness due to freedom from the physical being. If not familiar with that state of mind the NDEr assigns grandiose meaning to it (e.g. "I knew everything!/I was one with everything!").

These states of mind, whether while embodied or disembodied, while awesome - and mostly not totally delusional - are transitory. Everything that goes up must come down.

A shorter me....enlightenment is fleeting; embodied or disembodied.

Fascinating.

NoOne:

I'm not quite sure how you come to that conclusion - can you explain please?

I think I know where no-one is coming from.

The reason is because if you think hypothetically about an afterlife, you still have a lot of work left to do when you cross over.

If you immediately just become one with everything / know everything, there's nothing left to do.

Meanwhile, life on earth is supposed to be the beginning of a long journey.

But who knows?

Reincarnation research seems to be in conflict with Art's hypothesis.

{grin!} Art's not a fan of reincarnation. Think something else is going on. I think reincarnation is a misinterpretation of the evidence.

I think the evidence is "real" enough but that the story that we have made up to go along with the evidence probably misses the mark by quite a bit. Who wants to come back here once they have been to Heaven?

Children who haven't developed a strong sense of self "tuning" into someone else's memories. When they turn 7 or so years old their own sense of self develops and they quit tuning into those other memories. Adults that are hypnotized have their sense of self turned off and are able to tune into the memories of others.

As far as those supposed physical manifestations of reincarnation? If they exist they are just examples of thoughts being things or consciousness creating reality. Those memories conjured up the manifestations. There are similar examples in Michael Talbot's book The Holographic Universe.

What we percieve to be reincarnation is an illusion created by the nature of the way the Universe is made. Our brains are designed to be recievers and transmitters of information. A young brain is still tuned into the information universe and hasn't yet formed a firm picture of what "self" is. The tiny little mind is picking up information from someone's life that has lived in the past.

According to Dr. Fred Alan Wolf matter is a epiphenomena of consciousness. Consciousness is primary and matter is secondary. What does this have to do with reincarnation? It explains how or why some children manifest physical characteristics of people they supposedly "were" in a past life. When their minds are forming they are picking up this information and their bodies manifest those physical characteristics.

In past life hypnotic regression what happens is a persons natural filter is turned off and they are able to access the Explicate Spiritual Universe where all information is stored. Their minds tune into someone elses life that lived in the past. Everything we have done in our lives is stored on the cosmic hologram. If your interested in what that is go to about.com and do a search on string theory and the holographic paradigm.

We are here to learn "self", what it means to be an individual. The whole physical universe is set up to teach us seperateness, because the other side, the implicate spiritual universe is so connected or "one" that duality is the only thing we can't learn on the other side.

Everything manifested in this physical universe, height, weight, color, sex, etc., exists to teach us that we are seperate individuals, with our own identity. We exist in the physical to become an individual. The holographic universe explains everything that ever was or ever will be. Reincarnation conflicts with this theory and makes no sense at all. Reincarnation would make some very schizophrenic souls.

People that have had a near death experience come back and oftentimes comment on how they felt this tremendous sense of oneness and connectedness to everything in the entire universe. The reason for that is because in a hologram all the information is stored throughout the entire hologram.

Our minds work like radios and sometimes children, who haven't developed a strong sense of self tune into someone else's station. I think it's as simple as that. Our brains are recievers and transmitters of information. The same goes for hypnotized adults. Their own sense of "self" is turned off and so they start tuning into someone elses information. It's all got to do with a misunderstanding of that sense of oneness and connectedness on the other side.

Marineboy said it best:
"I suspect that reincarnation is a time-based misreading of "interconnection". Also, when people say they felt that "I" had all these past lives, I think the I is not the I they think it is, but the I of interconnection, the I of universal presence incarnating in myraid forms everywhere. Because there are no absolute boundaries to this "I" it seems in an nde as if it is THEY personally."

from Randy Geling's NDE:
"That was really cool! I kind of felt as though my body exploded - in a nice way - and became a million different atoms - and each single atom could think its own thoughts and have its own feelings. All at once I seemed to feel like I was a boy, a girl, a dog, a cat, a fish. Then I felt like I was an old man, an old woman - and then a little tiny baby."
http://near-death.com/experiences/animals04.html

from an interview with Dr. Pimm Van Lommel
"Van Lommel contends that the brain does not produce consciousness or store memories. He points out that American computer science expert Simon Berkovich and Dutch brain researcher Herms Romijn, working independently of one another, came to the same conclusion: that it is impossible for the brain to store everything you think and experience in your life. This would require a processing speed of 1024 bits per second. Simply watching an hour of television would already be too much for our brains. “If you want to store that amount of information—along with the associative thoughts produced—your brain would be pretty much full,” Van Lommel says. “Anatomically and functionally, it is simply impossible for the brain to have this level of speed.” So this would mean that the brain is actually a receiver and transmitter of information. “You could compare the brain to a television set that tunes into specific electromagnetic waves and converts them into image and sound."
http://www.odemagazine.com/article.php?aID=4207

The education of the soul is too important to leave it up to chance.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-social-thinker/201010/have-scientists-finally-discovered-evidence-psychic-phenomena

"Who wants to come back here once they have been to Heaven?"

Who wants to go back to school after summer vacation?

We do go, though. Because the powers that be (our parents) know that we have more to learn.

Art: What we percieve to be reincarnation is an illusion created by the nature of the way the Universe is made. Our brains are designed to be recievers and transmitters of information. A young brain is still tuned into the information universe and hasn't yet formed a firm picture of what "self" is. The tiny little mind is picking up information from someone's life that has lived in the past

This hypothesis seems somewhat strained. There are the many cases where personality characteristics, talents, abilities, and even languages are transferred from the previous life into adulthood, not just transient memories showing up between ages 3-7. This doesn't look like merely picking up data from the ethers. The birthmark evidence includes cases where ritual marks and deformities applied to the body of the dead person are transferred to the fetus. In these cases it is more as if the person's "subtle body" has also been altered and carries the alteration into the next incarnation.

"If it walks like a duck and looks like a duck and quacks like a duck it probably is a duck". All the evidence together looks much more like true reincarnation.

I still think it's a made up story. I'll believe my story and you believe yours and we'll find out who was closer to being right after we both cross over into the Spiritual Universe.

Who knows how many times we have already been incarnated? Makes you wonder, I think we choose to come back or not. It's not forced on us to come back we get to choose.

"I'll believe my story and you believe yours and we'll find out who was closer to being right after we both cross over into the Spiritual Universe."

And if either one of you can find a way to post the truth on Michael Prescott's blog, the rest of us would appreciate it.

Who's the most legit medium currently in existence? Because that person should be picked as the go-to for getting info back to MP's blog after any of us dies.

Cyrus, I'd venture George Anderson has got to be one of the top legit mediums. That man is uncanny.

As for reincarnation, I believe the Buddhists state you can get off the reincarnation "wheel" by embracing enlightenment, which itself seems to be the understanding that we are all connected and one. As part of that, what we become here as we grow up evolves into a false self, the ego, which we must recognize and reject.

If the "I" that is "me" disappears then in what sense can that be construed as "life after death?" I see very little between that philosophy and the materialist philosophy of total annihilation.

If the separate, unique, individual that I have become through living my life disappears then for all practical purposes "I" no longer exist which to my way of thinking is not much different than what atheist skeptics claim happens.

"The holographic universe explains everything that ever was or ever will be. Reincarnation conflicts with this theory and makes no sense at all."

Art, what do you make of the fact that in the Holographic Universe, Michael Talbot talks highly of the work of past-life researchers, and presents reincarnation as being compatible with the holographic perspective? In fact, he uses past-life research to support his basic thesis.


""If it walks like a duck and looks like a duck and quacks like a duck it probably is a duck". All the evidence together looks much more like true reincarnation."

I think some people simply hate the notion of reincarnation, and are reluctant to give the evidence its due. Call me crazy, but I think Art fits that category, as did MP himself, perhaps, up to a few years ago. (Is that fair to say, Michael?)

Now I admit that, on the face of it, I myself wouldn't be eager to come back here. But I also know how subject to change I am.

Think of it this way. We all know how profoundly an NDE can change someone. Sometimes a spouse, for example, can hardly believe that they're married to the same person.

Now—imagine how much you will be changed by actually DYING—by leaving your current body for good.

Who's to say that such an extended "vacation" won't change you so radically that, ultimately, you may even find something appealing about the notion of coming back?

I've had the flu for the past week, and for much of that time, my life—looking forwards and backwards—seemed completely and unutterably bleak.

But there were also moments when I felt my usual optimism and cheer returning, and the sun shone once again.

So do I have a hard time imagining that, at some point in my future—far removed from this present life—reincarnation may actually seem like an intriguing possibility?

Hardly.

The more I think about what I just wrote, the more sense it makes to me. :o)

It's true, of course, that NDE'rs often speak of their reluctance to come back into the body. But, nearly unanimously, I think, they also say that, in the long run, being on the Other Side has given them a greater appreciation for the "Earth adventure".

So, if a mere five minutes in Heaven can do that, is it so hard to imagine that a much more extended leave of absence from the body could re-kindle one's interest in the challenges and rewards of being human?

I think that we're all too eager to extrapolate how we'll feel tomorrow, based on how we feel today. If my own mystical experiences have taught me anything, it's that the universe is a system designed to surprise us at every turn.


"I think some people simply hate the notion of reincarnation, and are reluctant to give the evidence its due. Call me crazy, but I think Art fits that category, as did MP himself, perhaps, up to a few years ago. (Is that fair to say, Michael?)"

Yes, it's true in my case. I used to hate the idea of reincarnation. I don't anymore. Not sure why I've changed.

"If the 'I' that is 'me' disappears then in what sense can that be construed as 'life after death?' I see very little between that philosophy and the materialist philosophy of total annihilation."

I don't think the "I" disappears; I think it expands. We still retain our memories and sense of self, but we have a wider (and wiser) perspective.

Of course we do have to submerge our memories before reincarnating, but this is only a temporary amnesia. It might be compared to an actor getting so caught up in the role he's playing, he literally "forgets himself." But only for a while.

That's my best guess, anyway. I could be all wrong ... and I probably am wrong about much of it.

MP, "It might be compared to an actor getting so caught up in the role he's playing, he literally "forgets himself." "

Your best guess is very close to being the same as my best guess.

Just one problem with the notion that once one has been to heaven one would not want to return is that it assumes that, upon death, everyone goes to heaven and stays there for eternity. While many NDEs describe a blissed out state we have to consider 1. is it actually heaven? 2. regardless of the answer to question #1 is the state of being perpetual? I see no reason to assume from NDE evidence that the answer to either question is "yes".

Furthermore, many NDEs do not describe a heavenly blissed out state. There is a whole spectrum of non-bliss experiences ranging from hellish to fairly mundane OBE states.

I recall one Ian Stevenson report where the individual claiming reincarnation remembered the time in between lives as being disincarnate and drifting along in the earthly sphere watching family members go about their lives and hanging out in a tree. This person could accurately describe details of daily life of the family members during the allegedly disincarnate period (e.g. I saw so and so running and twisting an ankle in the yard after tripping over the pet dog).

I agree that birthmark evidence is very interesting and somewhat compelling when combined with other correlations.

I think Douglas is onto something.
Quantum mechanics points to simultaneity--entanglement, superposition, etc. (Especially in light of time-entanglement research). The holographic principle also indicates reality is deeply interconnected.
But I won't discount the reincarnation experience and the evidence of those experiences. It's a perfect way for consciousness to organize information into intelligence.
It's interesting. Could there be "preincarnation?"

"I don't think the "I" disappears; I think it expands. We still retain our memories and sense of self, but we have a wider (and wiser) perspective."

I think what Michael wrote is exactly right. I don't think we lose our identity, but become more of who we really are, not less. The undesirable parts of our personality are shaken off, and we are more ourselves.

I didn't believe in reincarnation, until my grand-daughter started to tell me at the age of two that she used to be a boy, had boy toys & did boy things. When she told me that I told her she was a girl now & that the boy had to go. It was an interesting experience for a non-believer.

I started getting a bad cold yesterday and now snot is drooling out of my nose. I've got a sore throat and feel like crap.

Yeah, I can't wait to experience that over again! The first Noble truth of Buddhism is that all life is suffering and that I can agree with.

"Art, what do you make of the fact that in the Holographic Universe, Michael Talbot talks highly of the work of past-life researchers, and presents reincarnation as being compatible with the holographic perspective?" - Bruce
-------------------------------------------

I don't worship any human. Any time I read any book I sift through it and take what I can use and discard the rest. I am convinced that what we call reincarnation is something else. Misinterpretation.

No pain, no gain, Art.

"I didn't believe in reincarnation, until my grand-daughter started to tell me at the age of two that she used to be a boy, had boy toys & did boy things."

That's one of the more compelling aspects of these cases of apparent reincarnation with kids. As Carol Bowman points out, initially, parents often have powerful reasons NOT to believe what their children are telling them because it conflicts with their religion or other belief structure.

Yet ultimately, parents have little choice but to agree that something remarkable is happening. And at that point, it's hard for the skeptic to simply brush it all aside as wishful thinking.

"I am convinced that what we call reincarnation is something else."

I actually agree with that, Art. I think that ALL of our metaphysical speculations are bound to be way off the mark because we're always trying to explain non-physical events using the limited words and structures our human minds can grasp.

But I think it IS safe to say this: Over the course of a timeless eternity, God chooses to experience Itself as each person, thing, tree, leaf, planet. What's more, God raises the ante and makes the Game even more compelling by shifting Its focus from one entity or level to the next, so that It can have the remarkable experience of seeming to be, for a while, JUST that person, or tree, or thing.

And that's a form of reincarnation is it not? Shifting our focus from one physical container to the next, with blessed "moments" interspersed when we return to our Largest Self.

On the other hand, maybe all that's just eight days of flu talking.

One major problem with the notion of reincarnation and the spiritual/consciousness/holograhic universe is the fact that we get more and more people or in spiritual words. the number of souls are increasing. I think this conflicts greatly with the idea that consciousness is a predesessor for the physical life/universe.

It seems therefore natural to assume that the "new soul/consciousness" is created with the infant body in the womb. And from this the natural conclusion is that the soul dies with the body. Unless a god exists who kindly trancends the souls of the deceased to the spiritual world. But then we are back with religion and faith.

"the number of souls are increasing."

Maybe so. Or maybe there are physical lifeforms on many other planets, so that an increase in Earth's population is balanced by reductions elsewhere. Or maybe time as we know it doesn't apply to spiritual realms, and all lives are being lived simultaneously ...

"It seems therefore natural to assume that the 'new soul/consciousness' is created with the infant body in the womb. And from this the natural conclusion is that the soul dies with the body."

Why? Couldn't the soul be created to begin its existence in a physical body and then continue in extra-physical dimensions?

"Unless a god exists who kindly trancends the souls of the deceased to the spiritual world. But then we are back with religion and faith."

Or ... unless there's 150 years of empirical evidence to suggest portmortem survival. Then we don't need religion and faith -- though I don't think there's anything wrong with faith, properly understood.

The Greek word for faith is "pistis." According to one source*: "PISTIS was the spirit (daimona) of trust, honesty and good faith. She was one of the good spirits who escaped Pandora's box and fled back to heaven abandoning mankind. Her Roman name was Fides, and her opposite number Apate (Deception) and the Pseudologoi (Lies)."

* http://www.theoi.com/Daimon/Pistis.html

Bruce Siegel, I like your last post. Something in it just feels right to me. What just seems difficult to incorporate into your theory is when a child also has memories from the "intermission period" and remembers how is soul entered the womb and the like...Maybe you wish to elaborate on this if your time allows?

"What just seems difficult to incorporate into your theory is when a child also has memories from the "intermission period" and remembers how is soul entered the womb and the like."

Well, since EVERYTHING that happens to you or me is something that's happening to God, why shouldn't God/we have access to those memories? It's true that, in general, God/we choose to forget such things so we can better focus on physical life in the here and now.

But exceptions to that general amnesia are important. We often refer to them as psychic phenomena or ESP. They're clues that God drops into the scheme of things to help us remember our true identity. They help us to have courage and faith. (There's that word, sbu, and as MP said, it doesn't have to be a bad thing.)

"And I liked Fred alan Wolf's approach - like there is only One soul and we all are just part of it.Similar to what Bruce expressed here." - Alexander
--------------------------------------------

Exact same point I've made numerous times when I've posted quotes and links to Michelle M's and Mellen Benedict's NDE. And I can agree with that.

It's sort of like the holodeck on the Starship Enterprise being controlled by the ship's computer. All the characters are projections of the computer. They exist inside the computer. The computer is sort of analogous to the holographic film and the holodeck projection is analogous to our "physical" universe.

It's a metaphor and I'm sure like all metaphors at some point they break down.

In my view these questions have already been answered sufficiently throughout the ages by mystics and mediums. My limited personal experience compells me to agree. Our thoughts - where we focus our awareness - dictates the experience both while embodied and while a disembodied soul. If we 'think' like an individual human consciousness then we are are an individual human consciousness and we are likely to reincarnate as such; possibly with memories of the previous body and life we existed in as an individual human consciousness.

AS MP suggests, souls, we are told, can move from other realms to inhabit bodies here and they can move from here to other realms. Again, it's all a matter of the level of "vibration" - or focus of awareness - of the entity.

I am suspicious of the idea that one level above us is this "God" and heaven in which is the oneness of all things. I think it more likely that there are levels of organization upon levels of organization. The "god" of one level may be a small fry in the bigger scheme of things. However, that god - the one we speak of - may also be the highest level of perceptual attainment that the human consciouness can attain. There is probably much that is simply unknowable. Possibly, attaining our god level - no mean task - is merely a step on an endless journey.

In other words, the ship's computer is just that. Other ships have other computers with different information. Maybe the ships' computers can share information and thus add to each others' databases. No doubt there are yet more ships whose computer software is not compatible with the Enterprise's systems.

sbu
"One major problem with the notion of reincarnation and the spiritual/consciousness/holograhic universe is the fact that we get more and more people or in spiritual words. the number of souls are increasing".

Why should the number of souls be increasing? I think that a rough estimate of the total number of people who have ever lived is just over 100 billion. So each and every one of the currently living 7 billion people could have had several lives.

Not that reincarnation need occur to everyone.

So you propose there always was +7 billion souls - let's put the number at 10 billion souls.

If we assume that for the first 100000 years of the existence of the modern human there was maybe 100 million people living the rest of the approx 10 billion souls would just have to wait in the spiritiual world to get a chance to get born into the physical world? And if so, would we run out of souls in the long run if the population of the Earth grows to + 100 billion people? Or is the number of souls infinite? hmm....

I think the process of reincarnation might happen differently from what we think. From the cases Dr. Stevenson examined it might be legitimate to conclude that it does not happen to everyone, only to those who die early and/or violently. Maybe those are drawn back by very strong emotional ties or in order to "correct" the elimination of a soul from earth that should still be there (sounds akward, I am realzing, English is not my mother tongue). I think considering humans living roday I do not think mankind has evolved to the better over the centuries, so if the reason why people reincarnate is to evolve for the better it has failed. Nor do I believe in the romantic idea of learning the way we do in school. I can imagine that we are not designed to have more than one life on earth and if people come back it is an individual corrective of extraordinary circumstances. I think the idea of chosoing the circumstances of one`s life is somehow arrogant. Ask starving people in Africa or those who lost their whole family in a war or suffer from terrible deseases. I think they are not too conderned about the "wonderful learning experience" and I`d think it is their very right!

sbu: One major problem with the notion of reincarnation and the spiritual/consciousness/holograhic universe is the fact that we get more and more people or in spiritual words. the number of souls are increasing. I think this conflicts greatly with the idea that consciousness is a predesessor for the physical life/universe.

The skeptic argument is usually that a growing population of human bodies would somehow "run out" of souls with which to be reincarnated. This isn't a valid refutation of reincarnation. It is making some specific metaphysical assumptions with no particular justification. The skeptic is claiming to somehow have the supernatural knowledge that the number of souls is fixed, that every soul wants to be reincarnated, and that the period between incarnations is fixed. Other metaphysical assumptions are that the number of souls per body is always 1 (that is, no soulless humans are born, and that no multi-soul humans are born). It is easy to show that even given all the other assumptions, if the period in the afterlife varies, circular migration can easily fit various proposed total numbers of souls.

A paper in the Journal of the Society for Scientific Exploration covers this in detail (at http://www.scientificexploration.org/journal/jse_14_3_bishai.pdf ). The title: "Can Population Growth Rule Out Reincarnation? A Model of Circular Migration" by David Bishai. Some sample calculations from the paper:

Population growth rate over time is estimated as approximately exponential, with 5 million total population in 50,000 BC and 6 billion in 2000 AD. With a total number of souls = 10 billion, the average time between incarnations varies between 57,000 years in 50,000 BC down to 30 years in 2000 AD. With a total number of souls = 20 billion, the average afterlife "dwell time" varies from 114,000 years down to 106 years presently.

Why would anyone want to come back? I have read a plethora of near death experiences and the only people who willing choose to come back are usually either mothers with small children or small children who are afraid their parents will be too sad if they leave.

The whole idea is illogical. The idea of "tuning into" memories stored in the Akashic records makes a whole lot more sense to me. As soon as their own sense of "self" is solidified they soon "forget" or quit tuning into those other memories unless they are like Shanti Devi who was encouraged and egged on by the culture in which she was raised. Most kids who say they have past life memories start to forget them by the time they are 7 years old.

"I think the idea of choosing the circumstances of one`s life is somehow arrogant. Ask starving people in Africa or those who lost their whole family in a war or suffer from terrible diseases."

Suppose we learn by facing our fears. If our greatest fear is to live in abject poverty, perhaps the only way to overcome that fear is to live that kind of life. Or if our greatest fear is losing all our loved ones, perhaps we need to suffer that loss in order to get past it.

I wouldn't rule out the possibility that the higher self is smart enough to make these choices even though the ego (understandably enough) will resist tooth and nail!

I wouldn't rule out the possibility that the higher self is smart enough to make these choices even though the ego (understandably enough) will resist tooth and nail!

I think this belief system may be in the direction of the truth. Unfortunately it just can't accommodate the extremely widespread injustice of innocent suffering in the context of a system that is good from the human standpoint. The problem is, we live our lives as human beings, not as our souls (except for a very few exceptional ones.

I believe because the physics of the other side is so very different from this side that there are certain things that can only be learned in this life that are impossible to learn in the next. All three things are closely related to each other.

Those overwhelming feelings of oneness and connectedness in Heaven preclude being able to know what it means and how it feels to be separate, and time and space not existing means it's impossible to learn about time and space in Heaven, and because you will literally feel like you are everywhere in the universe at one time it is impossible to "know" what it feels like to be inside a physical body or to control a physical body. All the stuff that we take so much for granted in this life can only be learned while being inside a body.

If you want to be a separate unique individual you have so spend some time on Earth inside a physical body. I think we simply come here to become unassimilated.

I think everyone`s greatest fear is losing a loved one or starving to death and yet many people escape facing those terrible events. Do you really think that those people suffering terribly just had a little bit "too much" fear in them that they now need to face it? And that they are "rewarded" in the next life with better circumstances in which they are born if they are brave enough not to kill themselves? COME ON! You might wish to tell a mother whose child just died from a tetanus infection just because she could not afford medication/prevention that at least her higher self had allowed her to face her innate fears. Easy to make such assumptions sitting comfortably at one`s desk....

Population growth rate over time is estimated as approximately exponential, with 5 million total population in 50,000 BC and 6 billion in 2000 AD. With a total number of souls = 10 billion, the average time between incarnations varies between 57,000 years in 50,000 BC down to 30 years in 2000 AD. With a total number of souls = 20 billion, the average afterlife "dwell time" varies from 114,000 years down to 106 years presently.

So the maximum number of people to inhibit the Earth at one time is 20 billion? Right.. This paper is completely meaningless. Why not just put the number of souls to a trilion or infinite maybe?

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