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I would prefer oblivion than to go through the experiences of his victims.

Nicely said, Michael. And yes, I agree that:

"Every soul . . . originates in innocence and will ultimately return to that state, after its errors and transgressions have been stripped away."

Bin Laden's death got me thinking again about the power of the life review, and I just responded to a comment about it on the Skeptiko forum. But I guess everyone on the planet is talking about this event in one way or another.

I have to say that I find the spiritual viewpoint, as you've expressed it here, a lot more to my liking than those shouts of "USA! USA!" I saw on TV the other night.

I think most of us, Michael Duggan, would prefer oblivion between that and experiencing a place that is similar to hell.

I had no problem with the shouts of "USA!" If I'd been in DC, I might've joined the crowd.

I have to laugh (excuse me), but yesterday I was thinking this subject would be a really interesting topic for your blog, and here it is. I'd also add three other possibilities. According to those who say "we get what we believe we'll get" (such as Jane Roberts with her Seth), he should be cavorting with his virgins in paradise. But it won't be real, and others will have to show him that. According to Anthony Borgia, he'd be in an environment that reflected the conditions of his own heart--a cold, ugly place filled with other cold ugly souls full of pride and violence. According to Pope John Paul, he would not be in a conventional Hell, but would be separated from God, and that would be hell enough. Or perhaps he'll be just an angry bewildered spirit endlessly roaming the Pakistani Mountains, full of spite, but powerless as the world passes him by.

I neglected the Buddhist viewpoint,reincarnation. I could see him reincarnated as a particularly loathsome kind of insect. He would have to undergo many difficult reincarnations to address and account for the great negative karma he generated in his last life.

Hi Michael, I know you will find this interesting:

So many Al Qaeda colleagues were having dreams about planes crashing into buildings prior to 9/11, Osama Bin Laden feared his secret plans might be compromised/CREDIT:

There are so many philosophical questions that the Life Review raises...

First, I do believe in the Life Review. It's a very consistent and coherent element of NDEs. It makes sense. My grandmother had an NDE when she had a heart attack (reported to me second-hand by my aunt). This was back in 1977, when she was probably uninformed with respect to NDEs. She said, "I saw every good thing I'd done, and every bad thing I'd done."

Having read accounts, as we all have, my takeaway is that the Life Review is *not* the result of some sentient judge saying, "Take a look at this in particular," but instead is an *objective* record of one's actions. People regularly say that they see *everything,* implying that the content of the review is not cherry-picked or slanted.

Yet that all raises some of those aforementioned "interesting questions." Don't worry, I'm going to bring this back to our friend bin Laden....

1. It seems a generally recognized truism of the Afterlife (based on NDEs, etc.) that soldiers in a war don't go to a Bad Place simply because they had to kill others. Obviously, perhaps extremely sadistic soldiers have to face up to their deeds in the Life Review.

However, what about individuals who participated in an act that did great damage, such as the crew of the Enola Gay? I think what they did was wrong, they may even have relished it in a way, but I don't think they were evil like bin Laden. If they have to experience the pain of their victims in a Life Review, they are going to be having a tough time of it. After all, they killed a lot more people than bin Laden did, and they killed a lot more people more painfully, too, owing to radiation sickness, etc.

Yet, the only way I can see them "getting out of" such a review is if there is indeed some type of judge who can intervene and say, "Well, you were just following orders. We're going to let you skip this part of the review, or get an abridged version."

So, question #1 is: How would the life review of an Enola Gay crew member differ from the life review of bin Laden?

2. Probably the worst pain I've ever given or received has involved romantic relationships. I've both given and had given what may be termed the "ultimate heart investment" and broken it off and had it broken off on me.

One failed relationship was truly one of the worst things I've ever been through, and it *did* involve broken promises, lies, and some other bad stuff on her part. Yet, I do recognize her right to leave the relationship at any time.

Further, there have been relationships that I left in which my actions, while not intended to hurt the other person, were nevertheless imperfect. For example, I may have let the relationship go on longer than it should have for slightly selfish reasons, or I had trouble just having the conversation. This added to the person's hurt.

So, the question is whether I will have to "review" all the consequences of these relationships and feel all the pain of the people whom I disappointed, even though a lot of this disappointment is relative to the person's feeling about the relationship. I.e., I've broken up with people who were happy to be done with me, too, and doing so caused no pain at all.

Here again, it's hard to see how this can all be sorted out without a judge saying, "We'll give you pass on this since she was wayyy into you and it's not like you made false promises. Well, maybe a few little ones."

So, question #2 is: How are romantic relationships figured into the Life Review?

3. How does justification relate to the Life Review? I think this is a biggie, and it's very hard for me to resolve.

For example, you can cause someone a lot of pain by firing him or her. Especially in a bad economy like this one. You could draw someone away from a decent job and then fire him, driving the family into bankruptcy. But what if the person is truly incompetent? In the Life Review, would you have to experience all that person's pain even if you had good reasons for the firing? What if it was an iffy case?

The thing is, we all justify our actions to ourselves and others, even if sometimes we admit we are wrong. Yet, the Life Review seems less a *punishment* for our actions than a way to understand the implications of our actions--no matter what they are.

So, question #3 is: How does being justified in one's actions to various degrees alter the content of the Life Review?

4. What about intent? This is different than justification. To build on the examples above, you could have two different approaches to romantic relationships. One person might cast a wide net, dating a bunch of people and getting rather deep into the relationships--but taking perverse enjoyment in ending them, too. This seems to be what people with Borderline Personality Syndrome do. Another person might be extremely delicate about getting into romantic relationships, knowing the hurt they can cause. In either case, the person might have very just reasons for leaving the relationship. After all, not being into something is usually considered reason enough.

Let's look at the example of employers again. Some people hire and fire really easily, not caring about the damage that this can do. Or perhaps even relishing the power to fire and the negative effect it will have on people (I would say this is not rare at all!). On the other hand, some people are slow to hire and slow to fire. Others are slow to hire but quick to fire--but try to limit the damage when they have to fire. In either case, the assessment of competence, or justification for the firings, could be equally good, yet the intent could be wildly different.

I think we can pretty much agree that evil intent is pretty much what defines the evil person. Often they will have flimsy justification for what they did in their own perverse worldview, but I doubt that is going to make a difference in the Life Review.

Yet, there is also the type of person who has pretty good intent but nevertheless does a lot of damage in life. They may just be incompetent with relationships or business, dragging others into their well-intentioned chaos. Or they may do actual evil in a cause they truly believe is right. For example, more than one Catholic saint was involved in the Inquisition.

So, question #4 is: What will people experience in the Life Review who were well-intentioned but who nevertheless did bad things?

5. Is one required to feel a certain way about one's actions in the Life Review? For example, when bin Laden reviews 9/11 from the point of view of his victims, will he automatically feel remorse, pity, etc.? If not, why not? Is there inertia to one's character that *automatically* determines one's reaction to the Life Review, or can the Life Review itself alter that character?

Now I will try to answer these questions as they relate to bin Laden.

1. I don't think soldiers in war totally get a free pass but instead will have to feel the consequences of their actions--to some degree, and I don't know what that degree is.

The idea of the Christian judgment is much more forgiving (so to speak) in this regard. You go up to Heaven and God is not going to make you go through the pain of others if He thinks you were "right" in what you did. Thus, Enola Gay crew members have, in fact, been proud of and felt justified in what they did. You can make that argument either way, but I think they absolutely have had/will have some painful reviewing to do.

I think this applies also to all the higher-ups in war, too. I think Truman is going to have some reviewing to do, too. And the people who built the bomb. And the people who did anything related to blowing others away, in any war. But just how far this goes, I don't know.

I definitely think bin Laden will have a very harsh review experience, since he actively desired all the deaths he caused.

2. Not really related to bin Laden, but I do think that we will review the implications of our relationship choices in the Life Review. Again, just how far this goes, I'm not sure.

3. I'm inclined to believe that justification has very little to do with the content of the Life Review. That is, if you fly a plane and drop a bomb on someone for good reasons or bad reasons, you are still going to review that. I think the difference will come in how you feel about your own actions.

A pretty consistent detail is that the Life Review is all-encompassing. I.e., one pretty much perceives the waveform of one's entire set of actions across the Universe. Thus, I am disinclined to believe that there is a judge who says, "You don't have to look at this bad part, since it really wasn't your fault."

So I think bin Laden and everyone else will see it all when the time comes.

4. I also don't think intent will influence the Life Review. I think the whole point is to communicate, "Regardless of what you wanted to happen, here is what really happened." The Life Review seems to be all about gaining wisdom about how one has affected others.

5. I think most people have the ostensible desire to be good in life, and thus the Life Review will come as a painful but valuable educational experience. For this reason, the Life Review will be in harmony with the character and intentions of the vast majority of humans.

I'm not sure, however, when the overall message of the Life Review to a person is, "You're doing it wrong."

Probably the vast majority of people we would consider evil are not doing their deeds for a greater cause of any type. I think that, for a lot of such people--petty criminals, etc.--the Life Review will be a shock to the system and they will indeed feel remorse and pity. They may never have believed in Spirit or thought that this kind of thing "mattered" and will probably be shocked that it does.

There may a very small minority of people who experience their Life Review and say, "What's the problem? I intended people to feel horrible, and I'm glad I succeeded." This is where character inertia might come into play. Or it may be the case that such people have a totally different Afterlife experience and never have a Life Review and instead just sink immediately to where their vibrational level takes them. We've heard about "hellish NDEs" of this type.

I am not sure into which category bin Laden falls. I always got a weird vibe from seeing bin Laden on his tapes and whatnot. My impression of him is that he is almost a kind of "evil saint." That is someone who is truly sincere and dedicated to his cause and who lives an ascetic and disciplined life in order to fulfill it.

We recently talked about Sai Baba. Sai Baba and bin Laden seem like polar opposites in how they relate to their causes, while both being evil. Sai Baba strikes me as a totally narcissistic, depraved, and lying scumbag who did everything for himself. Maybe that's totally it--maybe he did great charitable works and genuinely helped a lot of people. But that's the vibe I get from him, and his record bears that out to some degree.

Bin Laden, on the other hand, does not seem narcissistic. I've never heard anything about him being depraved, and he does not even seem like a liar. Yet the vibe from him is even scarier than that of Sai Baba, and I think that it comes down to the fact that he really loved death and destruction, whereas Sai Baba was just a selfish bastard.

As Jesus said, "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."

I don't think the strait gate is the Afterlife. We can all get to a pretty good place with basic good character and intentions. But I think the Life Review is there to show us just how tough it is to live a perfect life and what we need to do to improve.

Imagine a wonderful summer's day house party in a beautiful setting with everyone happy with each other and having a great time. At the gate at the bottom of the driveway, a number of nasty spiteful hate filled murderous thugs turn up and demand to be let in.
The gates remain shut of course, the ownwer of the house and party host instantly recognises the nature of the 'men' and tells them to go away.
The nasty spiteful thugs return to the nasty spite-filled area where they came from.

I suspect it will be the same in the next world.

First, excellent post by Matt Rouge.

Along those lines:

There may indeed be a review of the life we have lived in order to learn from the choices we made and the resulting impacts of those choices to others, and ultimately to ourselves. The choices we make are usually from a particular perspective and are often aligned to what we have come to believe. These choices are directly related to the kind of person we decide to be from any perspective in which we find ourselves. I still marvel at what some people can be persuaded to do (or persuade themselves to do) based on their personal beliefs and from their perspective on, and in the name of, God.

As we find ourselves in different or “higher” perspectives, then we may come to learn that some of what we believed when existing in a “lower” perspective was completely wrong-headed.

My personal feeling is that with regard to spiritual progression, our goal is to learn how to create our inner-core, true-self into a being that innately chooses to live by the most simple rule of existence there is; namely to treat others the way we ourselves would want to be treated, and conversely, not to do anything to someone else that we wouldn’t want done to ourselves. I believe this is the kind of person we must become and always be, regardless of the perspective we may find ourselves in; and this should be so ingrained in us that it is how we will always choose to be, even if we enter a period of forgetting our past experiences, because it is actually who we are as a being.

I think the purpose of any past-life review we have would be toward helping us understand how well we have progressed as an “individual” toward this goal, and to help us better choose to undergo the experiences we need to further attain it.

When I think of the term heaven, I think of a place and existence where every “individual” is this kind of person. Of course, attainment of heaven might also be by degrees, and entry to these realms is contingent on the kind of person we have become and whether we are worthy of any particular degree of heaven.

Accordingly, I think Osama Bin Laden may well be undergoing a life review that helps him understand how well (or how poorly) he has progressed in spiritual maturity.

I also have personal beliefs on the forgiveness of Karmic Debt and how this can play into our progression and attainment of our goal of becoming a better spiritual being, but that is a separate consideration not currently under discussion.

One of the things that used to strike me about Osama is how serene he appeared to be, at least in the media. There are times when he looked like a frickin' mystic. Dreamy eyes, soft voice et. al. No screaming revolutionary here. I don't think many people would doubt that he believed that he was selflessly serving his image of God.

Yet there are many New Age, and even mainstream religious, spiritual and political leaders that take on a similar persona. They aren't anything close to an Osama Bin Laden, but the dynamic to lead the blind faithful over the cliff is there. That's why one of my favorite axioms is "Only the truly faithful dare to question their faith". Reasonable skepticism is healthy and good.
Hopefully, most of us can easily distinguish between a Sai Babba and a Ghandi, or a Pat Robertson and a Mother Teresa. My fear is that with too many people, the evil underneath the seduction is not all that obvious, nor do the faithful particularly care, especially with politicians (which is what Bin Laden ultimately was).

As far as ol' Bin's future in Eternity, all we can do with people like him is dispatch them back to God/Some Other Realm, and let the process deal with them.
But in the back of my mind, I still can't shake the voice of my Mamma saying "He's kickin' up coals in Hell!" :-)

Matt, the fate of the Enola Gay crew is an interesting question. As I understand it, the rationale behind the two atomic bombs was to prevent further bloodshed as WWII was winding down. It's clear that the Japanese were, to say the least, resisting the inevitable, and were willing to allow huge numbers of people on both side to die before surrendering.

So, if you were to say that the Enola Gay pilots had to feel, in their life review, the pain of all their immediate victims, wouldn't you also have to follow the ripple effects in the other direction and take into consideration the thousands of American--and Japanese--soldiers, who DIDN'T die because the war came to a halt?

That's a lot of women and children who got to see their husbands and fathers again, and whose joy was attributable to the pilots' actions.

(I know that this is a controversial matter. Some historians say that a million or more lives may have been saved on both sides by dropping the bombs, and some strongly disagree. But I don't think that many will dispute that the bombs did in fact prevent many deaths.)

Anyway, though it's interesting--and even useful, I think--to contemplate our future life review, I don't expect that we on Earth can see or know enough to fully grasp what it is we'll celebrate and what we'll regret.

I'm reminded of an NDEer who, in talking about his life review, said something like: In heaven, the deeds I thought I'd be rewarded for didn't carry much weight at all, and the actions I didn't think were important in the least, turned out to be my greatest joy.

As an aside, and for what it's worth:) I remember reading in the Silver Birch books (Maurice Barbanell), SB mentions that the acid test is one of motive.

From this I infer that our motive is an important factor in assessing our actions in life and has a consequent effect on us post-mortem.

My own take on SB's words is that the consequences we suffer (or enjoy) are a cause-effect kind of response. He seems to imply we cannot escape the effects of the decisions we make, irrespective of the forgiveness of any person we have offended against, although perhaps such forgiveness heals the one 'sinned against' and make the consequences for the sinner easier to come to terms with and learn from.

See, here is what I am thinking. I don't care about Usama's soul. However, Usuama believed he was justified in killing all those people for the good of his own beliefs. President Obama also made a decision to take a soul when he ordered the killing of Usama in accordance to what the president also thought was right according to his beliefs. Does Obama get obsolved because, in our way of thinking, Usama was a bad person? I think the whole thing is sad. Lives have been lost, people's lives have been shattered, collateral damage has been massive as the world plays these games.

I am an extreme right winger, but I see tragedy in all of this, just like I see tragedy in 3 of Kadafi's grandchildren being killed while we are trying to kill of that guy. Who is accountable for that? When we get him in the end, is the blood off those who ordered those raids hands?

I don't know. If I were a military man, I might be a bit fearful of my life review, regarldless of whose side I am on.

Again, I'm glad the guy got what he deserved. I'm just not so sure heaven is taking sides.

Michael, pardon my nitpicking but you wrote that the life review takes place in a timeless realm. Well, that depends on what we mean by "time". If time is (or involves) changes/ events, then no review would be possible in a timeless state. I would say that time is (or can be) different in the afterlife realm(s), but I wouldn't say "timeless".

Bruce, thanks for your reply.

I specifically picked the crew of the Enola Gay *because* there is a controversy about whether their actions were justified.

To me, the Life Review has always sounded "organic": it happens due to the nature of the Afterlife and not because a particular judge is *making* you see things you don't want to see.

So I don't know what the crew members did/will experience. My guess is that the bombing is going to be in there somehow. The reason being that, if it's indeed organic, there won't be a judge to say, "You really don't want to see this--and you don't have to, since your actions were just!"

Or I could be totally wrong.

"To me, the Life Review has always sounded "organic": it happens due to the nature of the Afterlife and not because a particular judge is *making* you see things you don't want to see."

Matt, I agree that organic is a good word, and that there's no judge sitting on a bench. Instead, what I do see are repeated references to an entity that at least APPEARS to be outside of ourselves, and who does what the very finest coaches do--inspires us, by example, to look deeply and fearlessly into our own hearts.

Hey--can't help it, I just finished watching The King's Speech. :o)

I stuttered badly growing up, by the way, and would love to have had someone helping ME to express my anger. There was lots of it.

"Eventually, even a soul as corrupt and malignant as bin Laden would be purified and exalted. It might take many lifetimes, an immense amount of spiritual work, and the guidance of infinitely patient spirit counselors. But from everything I've read on the subject, it appears that no soul is permanently left behind."

I agree with this completely.

"Instead, bin Laden would be faced with what near-death experiencers call a life review. All of his significant actions and decisions on earth would be replayed before him."

Reading about NDE's might make you think this happens to every person after death,but this is wrong,you see.

People that die permanently,especially the ones that will go to a dark sphere of existence such as Osama Bin laden will most probably not have the luxury of a spirit counselor/guardian to "show him the life review".

Life reviews don't happen by themselves even if it seems that way there is a spirit working behind the veil showing people those perspectives and with good reason.People will go back to earth with the ability to influence a many people with love.

This doesn't happen to everyone,especially not to those who usually don't get spirit counselors immediately such as spirits that have murdered/influenced murder many people such as Osama Bin laden.

Also when it comes to the afterlife.
You cannot go higher then your spirit allows you to.

In other words,if the aura of Osama bin laden is tainted in dark colors,you can bet no matter how he wiggles there will be no sphere of light for him.

Morality,justice is not dependent on personal preference and individual subjective perspectives,in the afterlife it's as objective and black and white as the tree that fell on newton's head.

woops apple lol.

Makes a lot of sense, Bryan.

Hmmm. Now that I think about it, Bryan A. is probably right. Someone as debased as bin Laden probably would not be ready to face the life review. He would be relegated to a very low spiritual plane until such time as he began to grasp his own errors. Spirit guides might attempt to reach out to him, but until he was ready to ask for their help, they would not be able to get through. Only after he began to realize how badly he had gone off track would he be ready to receive spiritual guidance, which would include the life review and subsequent (gradual) atonement.

This dovetails more closely with what I've read in channeled material. What threw me off was thinking about NDEs, which of course are generally reported by regular folks, not heinous mass murderers.

I appreciate the correction. Maybe I'll rewrite the post when I have the time.

"Someone as debased as bin Laden probably would not be ready to face the life review."

Well, Bryan, Matt, and Michael, there's seems to be a consensus growing here. I'll have to think about this. My impression has always been that the life review is standard procedure. And I suppose that's because my reading has been heavily weighted towards NDE accounts of "regular" folks.

For what it's worth, I do seem to remember at least one NDE account of a prisoner who had done some pretty evil stuff to a lot of people. Can't remember the specifics, but he said his experience completely turned his life around.

And PMH Atwater says that: "Hardened criminals [who have an NDE ] opt for a life of helping others."

But there are so many possible variables as to just how bad these people really had been, how much groundwork (if any) they might have laid prior to their NDE (and presumed life review.)

Then too, these people, unlike bin Laden, were still alive.

Anyway, though it goes against what I've been thinking, you may all be right about this. Anyone care to suggest a credible book to give me a more balanced viewpoint on this subject?

I think Monroe, Bruce Moen and Seth offer a good indication of what happens, this is also supported by my own (limited) experience of OBE states via astral projection.

My understanding is that the afterlife operates according to the laws of 'thought = reality' and 'like attracts like'.

Nobody is more commited to the militant Muslim vision of heaven than Osama - he is expecting to go to this kind of heaven and so his mind will create exactly the kind of heaven he is expecting. That's where he is now.

People may be uncomfortable with this idea but NDE acconuts as well as the experiences of those who engage in astral projection/OBE, suggest that this is the nature of the astral world.

As like attracts like, he will move into an area populated by others of a similar mindset who co-create the heaven scenario with him as a result of expressing the same energy signature.

This all sounds great so far, but think about it:
He lives in a paradise populated only by others as fundamentalist as himself - anyone transgrssing even for a moment will be punished - assassinations and torture will become the norm for enforcing the 'true way'.

Eventially, Osama will tire of being on the receiving end of fundamentalist violence and it is at this point that he will truly begin to free himself from the particular mindest of his previous life and accept that there are other ways to see the world. It is only from this point of understanding that he will truly repent and accept his past actions.

As soon as he no longer resonates with his previous mindest, his energy will become incompatible with that of the others residing in the same area, he will leave that area and move to more free thinking areas of energy exchange.

He will leave his old life and its mistakes behind. There will be no judgement from others at this point as those he now comes into contact with have also worked through their own problems and mistakes and the very concept of punishment/reward will be irrelevant, as uncomfortable as this sounds to us - punishment/reward is a very human concept.

My own limited experiences of the astral world is that it is indeed of a highly plastic nature and what you expect you will find. This extends to religious beliefs. This is why during NDEs, there is a cultural difference in the appearance of the being of light. The being is real, but how we choose to perceive it is taloured by what we expect to see.

As for the life review. I don't know if everyone experiences it. People often do in NDEs but it may not happen all the time. It may be that people choose to do so for whatever reason. We shouldnt assume it's automatic.

"I think Monroe, Bruce Moen and Seth offer a good indication of what happen."

Douglas, thanks for the recommendations. I've actually read all three, but it's been a while! What you say makes sense, and reminds me of how much I've learned from those sources (and how much I've forgotten.)

What seems to me so crucial in the life review is experiencing the pain we inflict on others as if it is our own. (Which, in the largest scheme of things, it is.) NDErs talk of this repeatedy, and I suspect that anyone who's aware of bin Laden, and also knows about NDEs, has fantasized more than once about him going through that form of experiential learning.

But I guess what we're agreeing on here is that as satisfying as it might be to imagine bin Laden dying and then immediately having the most painful life review since Hitler or Saddam, the fantasy may say more about our desire for revenge, than about how things actually work.

"punishment/reward is a very human concept."

I'll just add that one thing I've always been struck by in reading the metaphysical material I've come to trust, is that the universe is a kinder place than I've expected it to be. And if that means kinder to ME, it also means kinder to others, even people like bin Laden.

Great posts, guys.

Personally, I don't get any jollies from thinking bin Laden might be having a nasty Life Review.

My motto in such matters has tended to be, "There, but for the grace of God, go I." I have no idea what I would see in my own Life Review at this point (obviously, I've done nothing like bin Laden, but I think the pettiness and selfishness I've exhibited in life would be massively painful to see up close).

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Since Osama Bin Ladin didn't believe this, I suspect God will have some VERY serious questions for him. And, as he was a VERY evil and vile person who had absolutely no compassion for others, I suspect even a loving and forgiving God might not give him a pass. I can't judge his soul. As a human, I can only judge his actions, but I think I have him pretty well pegged.

tomorrow morning 5AM EST (saturday) Peter Fenwick will be presentinmg his Afterdeath research at the Stockholm consciousnes conference

I've never talked to a ghost who was committed to dogma to the point of killing others. I've talked to atheists who can't figure out that they are dead because they just didn't count on an afterlife to mess up their entire worldview. I've talked to guilty Catholics who were afraid of going to hell if they "moved on", so they kind of got stuck in a hell of their own making instead. But I kind of think Bin Laden won't get stuck in transition because he believed he was doing a good thing. I'm hoping the life review will straighten him out a bit on that point.

"Since Osama Bin Ladin didn't believe this, I suspect God will have some VERY serious questions for him."

Since the majority of people on the Earth, past and present, don't (or didn't) believe this, it looks like Hell is going to be very crowded!


"I think I have him pretty well pegged."

Big Dave, it seems to me that you and bin Laden have at least two things in common:

1. Your utter reliance on a single book of your choosing.
2. The absolute certainty that you know the One True Way, and your eagerness to condemn those who see things differently.

It's a recipe for a world in distress.

In the book recently recommended by you, Bruce, which I am enjoying, (Stanislav Grof's "The Cosmic Game"), the idea is presented that our roles in life are much like actors in a film or stage play. Just as when watching a film or playing a role, we suspend disbelief, in a physical incarnation we deliberately forget our true selves.

The book points out that we need villains - we would rarely bother to go and see a film without a few villains to spice up the plot (there are even villains in "Bambi" and "The Sound of Music".)

It's also said (in “The Cosmic Game”) that all Life's characters are essentially aspects of One Being, ie God, and even though a powerful force for evil is postulated (like the Demiurge), it too ultimately derives from the Absolute Consciousness.

So from the higher perspective, a long, purgatorial Life Review might seem rather harsh: after all, someone has to play the villain.

Down here, we don’t pillory Sir Anthony Hopkins for playing Hannibal Lecter - we give him an Oscar.

"In the book recently recommended by you, Bruce, which I am enjoying, (Stanislav Grof's "The Cosmic Game")"

Alright--someone took me up on that! (Besides Michael, who's keeping his further thoughts on the book, if any, to himself.) :o)

"Down here, we don’t pillory Sir Anthony Hopkins for playing Hannibal Lecter - we give him an Oscar. "

Good line, Ben.

"Besides Michael, who's keeping his further thoughts on the book, if any, to himself."

It's in the queue, but I haven't gotten to it yet.

It all depends on how stupid and inept one believes the Creator of the Universe to be. If one believes that billions of people come here and fail then yes, the above scenarios are true; but if this Creator was smart it would be able to create a Universe where we learn what we are supposed to learn regardless of who we are, or where we live, or what we believe. The soul's lessons would be embedded in our everyday lives and it would be holistically imprinted with what it needs to learn regardless of what happens while we are here.

And how about the +100000 iraq body count on the back of the american invasion in 2003? There are many with blood on their hands both directly an indirectly.

' No one comes to the Father except through me'

It could be meant to be taken literally, I suppose. That one gets to personally meet the almighty unless 'I' (Christ).....fix it (sort of thing)

Remember, Pam Reynolds reported that the light (seen by most NDErs ) was not actually God but was what happened when God breathed. So the point is... maybe you have to be Christ-like to actually meet The top man face to face.
Then again, what do I know ?

I just updated the main post to incorporate some of the points raised in the comments, notably Bryan.A's observations.

Someone in here needs to think a bit a about this:

John 8:7 "So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said to them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her."

Matthew 7:1 "Do not judge, or you too will be judged."

We always assume there is free will but it is entirely possible that it is only an illusion and the things that happen here, even the bad stuff, happen for a reason. Perhaps the physics of the other side is so different in kind from where we are now because it is essential for us to experience enough emotion to overcome those feelings of oneness and connectedness, lack of space and time, and feeling like we are everywhere in the universe at once. There is a connection between emotion and memory; the more emotional the experience the more powerful and long lasting the memory it creates. Another words, god awful and horrendous things happen in this life because it is essential to imprint on the soul what it's like to feel separate, what time and space look and feel like, and what it's like to live in a 3 dimensional + 1 time universe.

"Do not judge, or you too will be judged."

In the life review, you judge yourself.


A lot of what you say makes sense, but the one particular argument here does not to me:

"Another words, god awful and horrendous things happen in this life because it is essential to imprint on the soul what it's like to feel separate, what time and space look and feel like, and what it's like to live in a 3 dimensional + 1 time universe."

That is the same as saying the world is arbitrarily constructed to produce a particular effect on the soul. If that's the case, then why not just produce that effect on the soul directly? Why doesn't God just implant in the soul precisely the desired content? No fuss, no muss. In fact, while he's at it, why not just turn the soul into whatever he wants it to be--create the final product, so to speak?

In my way of thinking, this is an extremely messy universe to go out of one's way to create and manage, regardless of the end goal. That's why I don't believe in a top-down creator or God.



That may be what's happening. Everything happening all at once. This is how Michelle M describes it in her NDE description.

"I felt an understanding about life, what it was, is. As if it was a dream in itself. It's so very hard to explain this part. I'll try, but my words limit the fullness of it. I don't have the words here, but I understood that it really didn't matter what happened in the life experience, I knew/understood that it was intense, brief, but when we were in it, it seemed like forever. I understood that whatever happened in life, I was really ok, and so were the others here."'s_nde.htm

Michael Talbot calls our universe "Maya, an illusion" and Niels Bohr says that everything we call real is made up of stuff that can't be described as real.

"Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real." - Niels Bohr

"For if the concreteness of the world is but a secondary reality and what is "there" is actually a holographic blur of frequencies, and if the brain is also a hologram and only selects some of the frequencies out of this blur and mathematically transforms them into sensory perceptions, what becomes of objective reality? Put quite simply, it ceases to exist. As the religions of the East have long upheld, the material world is Maya, an illusion, and although we may think we are physical beings moving through a physical world, this too is an illusion." - excerpt from The Universe as a hologram


I get the all-at-once and illusion part. I think that's a part of the story--maybe a big part.

What I'm not sold on is a God or other power or intelligence willing all this--as if it were a good way to go about things.

Yet, as I said before, I don't disagree with you on the whole so very much.



Maybe there isn't or wasn't a choice? Perhaps the consciousness we call "God" is not omnipotent? In fact if NDE's are to be believed we are all connected and our separation is an illusion - and there is only one consciousness. Another words "God" is not separate from us anymore than the beings on the holodeck of the Starship Enterprise were separate from the ship's computer?

excerpt from Mellen Benedict's NDE:
"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."

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."'s_nde.htm

and "yes" it's a holographic universe thing.

I'm basically in agreement, Art, with that.



Matt Rouge wrote: "Sai Baba and bin Laden seem like polar opposites in how they relate to their causes, while both being evil. Sai Baba strikes me as a totally narcissistic, depraved, and lying scumbag who did everything for himself."

Interesting synchronicity - easily the two most controversial figures from Hinduism and Islam to emerge for centuries - passing away within a few days of each other. Perhaps they've met up and started comparing notes...:-) who really knows...

off topic, but this is an interesting video. Art will appreciate the hologram reference.

Thanks Sandy, I'm listening to the lecture right now. One time I printed off a copy of an online essay about the holographic universe and tried to get my older brother, who is 8 years older than me, to read it. He glanced at the first page of the essay for about 2 seconds and handed it back to me and said "I'm not going to read this."

To me the idea is life changing and amazing but to my brother it was boring and a waste of time. The idea of us all being different is what leads me to believe that belief is irrelevant. I'm betting that the Creator of the Universe was so smart that it was able to create a Universe where the soul learns what it's supposed to learn regardless of who we are, or where we live, or what we believe. Universality.

Hi ya'll, I just found this middle east map game that is a lot of fun. You drag the name of the country to the map. This has nothing to do with this post other than it's about the middle east. It's pretty cool! Have fun!

Middle East Map Game

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