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I've read Brian Weiss book about reincarnation and watched videos about the kid who claimed to have the memories of a deceased WWII pilot, etc. etc. etc. In fact I've also read several other books about reincarnation not to mention you can't hardly read any book about life after death without the author waxing poetic about reincarnation and adding in a few reincarnation anectdotes. I also know about Ian Stevenson and his research and have read a couple of books about it so it's not like I'm ignorant about what's out there. I just believe that the story that we (homo sapiens) have made up is not quite correct. Something else entirely is going on.

It doesn't have to be all or nothing. It's not a matter of "it's either all true or it's all lies." Some of it can be true and some of it can be made up filler. People trying to fill in the missing pieces.

A couple of points to consider:

Heaven and Hell are states of consciousness not places.

Time and space exist in Mind not the other way round.

I don't believe in reincarnation but I used to in a former life!

William-
I would consider consciousness to be ability rather than a process.
You have some power over how conscious you are going to be- and what you are going to be conscious of.
In other words- consciousness is just one of a list of abilities.
I don’t know what the complete list would be or even if it is a long or short list.
I like to play games. In order to do that I have to be unaware of a number of things including the final outcome, what the other guy is doing, what the other guy has (in a card game, for example)…
I mention that because in order to have a game and be able to play and accomplish things (joy) we can’t be fully conscious or fully unconscious. Sometimes I think this fact gets overlooked.

“I mention that because in order to have a game and be able to play and accomplish things (joy) we can’t be fully conscious or fully unconscious. Sometimes I think this fact gets overlooked.”

I agree this fact gets over looked; not only overlooked but also not even considered as one of the mysteries of life. From my point of view this is a very important idea you are thinking about with your comments. Very important.

The relative phenomenal world exists because of the variation between fully conscious and fully unconsciousness.

“I would consider consciousness to be ability rather than a process.”

This is an interesting comment. My view is that consciousness does indeed give us the ability to perceive others as unique identities and different than us. It also gives us a whole host of abilities. Now the higher level of consciousness that we attain the more awareness of reality we have and the greater creative abilities we have.

Stated another way the closer we get to the infinite source the more power we have.

Now the progression or evolution of consciousness is the process. Many of what appears to be advanced spirits call this process the law of progress.

“In other words- consciousness is just one of a list of abilities.”

I would be interested in what that list of abilities would be. From my point of view awareness is primary and consciousness is secondary or if you will consciousness is manifested from the infinite Source which is/has perfect awareness. Now our abilities depend on our level or degree of consciousness.

Awareness is stillness or like a barren desert. (Eckhart) Consciousness is a flow of thoughts that has variable levels of awareness. The Buddhists often speak of emptiness or nothingness when the mind has awakened but this is very misleading.

This may be an invalid analogy but awareness is like static electricity it is stillness but has inherent infinite potential. We must not confuse stillness with powerlessness. That infinite potential is the creation of consciousness. All may be consciousness even matter. This created consciousness (universe) has the ability to progress, as we are an example of that progression. I.e. from the big bang to gods in the making.

I have no idea if this analogy made any sense if anyone would like to comment it would be appreciated.

Spiritual development, according to spirit teachings, is an infinite process which has neither beginning nor end.

Perfection, by its very nature, cannot be attained because it is an infinite process.

"One wonders what kind of humor you would have if I discover some day that my discovery into the origin of ignorance is invalid? :-) " -William

William, is it your view that our determination to see ourselves as separate, self-serving individuals is what keeps us here on earth?

It has been observed that the desire of the human being to enter into ecstatic contact with the Divine is in direct conflict with the fear of being obliged to renounce the simple human condition. This is essentially the conflict between Service to Others and Service to Self. The work to gather the knowledge and become humble and face the deep inner truth about the self is the price, and not everyone is able to pay it. And this is the human dilemma. There is nothing more cozy than to be a human being. We can live forever behind veils of illusion, suffering our blindness, dying in our ignorance and continually reincarnating; and, until some aspect of that human has had its fill of suffering and death, there will be no desire to venture into the unknown to seek the cure for the human disease. Only the soul that is ready for this definitive journey is willing to risk the soul chilling fear of traveling into the enchanted forest of the Cosmos, in order to experience the unspeakable joy of finding the Grail - the choice for Free Will Service to Others that serves ALL.

Is this how you see it William – that to renounce ignorance is to renounce the separate, self-serving, individual, human condition? If so, I think you may be right.

“Spiritual development, according to spirit teachings, is an infinite process which has neither beginning nor end.”

I see this infinite process of consciousness development as an expression of Infinite Awareness. Spirit is infinite where a soul or souls are eternal. Souls evolve; Spirit being infinite has no beginning or ending. It just is Isness. Souls are the dynamic aspect of the universe whereas Spirit “provides” the vitality or source of all that is. It is the necessity of Spirit (source of all that is) to create. From stillness (i.e. static?) to the dynamic expression of its potential. Stillness does not equate to powerless.

Souls (self-identity) have a born date although this can be misleading as when or on what date did an evolving consciousness move from universal consciousness to having a self-consciousness.

“Perfection, by its very nature, cannot be attained because it is an infinite process.”

This is an age-old debate. Can self-consciousness ever evolve to the Infinite Source? Two schools of thought on that one. I don’t think we know because “spirits” that have risen to the level of having the ability to know the answer to that question are not coming through mediums at his or her level of development. I.e. vibration level. The higher souls evolve the less they “interact” with this human level or even astral levels of development.

I lean in the direction that we do someday attain such a perfect state of consciousness that we have perfect awareness and the powers of perfect awareness; therefore we become That That Is. It is important to state here we never lose our identity our identity becomes That That Is. Now before we even get close to that level of understanding and power we may merge with like souls. I.e. like attracts like into group souls to enhance their creative abilities.

We are talking about infinite here and evolving consciousness. I see at this time the involution and evolution process as a circular process. From perfect awareness to unawareness back to perfect awareness. These are my thoughts or beliefs at this time and are not intended to be written or taken as facts.

“William, is it your view that our determination to see ourselves as separate, self-serving individuals is what keeps us here on earth?”

Yes that could be one way of stating why we may reincarnate. (Most of the time) From my point of view earth is place where souls are “created” through the process of nature evolving into higher and higher levels of consciousness. Nature may be an incubator for consciousness development. Humans tend to look at nature as something there for them but it may be a living organism with all levels of consciousness in a constant state of evolving. Even to a level of self-consciousness. I.e. humans.

“Is this how you see it William – that to renounce ignorance is to renounce the separate, self-serving, individual, human condition? If so, I think you may be right.”

Renounce ignorance may be one way of putting it. I will think about that statement some more. This “renounce ignorance” may be more of an awaking process or a process of realizations than a decision we make. Of course decisions, realizations, discoveries, insights, visions, and effort are all related to a degree that we have little understanding of at this time.

We tend to hang onto our ignorance with a fervor of dedication to our ignorance, very often in spite of the evidence. Religious beliefs/creeds and political/economic ideologies are examples of this phenomenon. I see at this time evolving consciousnesses with some “spiritual laws or principles”* like karma and the law of progress that moves consciousness to ever increasing levels of love and divine intelligence. Maybe from the consciousness of a blade of grass to god like status? It appears we are gods in the making. Some of us are just slower roasted than others. I.e. my idea of humor.

Many will accuse me of just Hindu thinking but actually it was the years of my thinking deeply about the relationship of suffering and ignorance and the origin of that ignorance that has led to many of these beliefs. It was my one realization in life on the causal correlation of variation and the relative phenomenal world that helped me to discover the relationship of Infinite Awareness to evolving eternal consciousnesses. I.e. the necessity of ignorance (unawareness) to move from the stillness of Infinite Awareness to dynamic evolving eternal consciousnesses.

I like to quote often from the book The Open Door. I consider at this time this Spirit’s teaching in this book some of the most advanced teachings I have found to date.

“As the mind broadens and the Soul expands, a clearer vision characterizes the attitude of the Initiate. The Truth he is seeking lies ever just beyond his reach, but every experience, each activity and each ideal is at the time the closest and most real interpretation of the Truth he can grasp. One by one the veils are pushed aside and ever as he goes onward the light grows brighter and the fleeing shadows fade. At the last this Light of Truth will render all things clear and apparent and contradictions will vanish in the perfect knowledge and understanding of Reality.”

* I suspect very misleading language but I know of no other words or concepts to use at this time.

William-
Doesn't the fact that we have some power of choice over consciousness make power of choice a more basic ability than consciousness?
Perhaps the real power (you refer to the source as God, I think) is more basic than what we can know or experience in this state.

(As an aside-- I mean that total consciousness would also be the end of all games- that is problematic...)

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