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Michael said:

". . . in the God scenario there are only two options: 1) God is willing to inflict horrible misery on humans (and other life forms), or 2) God is not omnipotent (he is limited in some way, and the pain and suffering are a result of his inability to do anything about it)."

Option #3: There's nothing *but* God in this universe, in various states of self-remembrance and forgetfulness. And in order to know the greatest joy, he is willing, at times, to experience the deepest pain.

Michael, I take it you don't believe that there is a God in any NDE account then?

NDErs talk about an encounter with a Being of Light, sometimes visualized as a person and sometimes as ball of energy. Christians have been known to identify this being as Jesus, while people of other faiths make different identifications, and still other people call it God or Love, etc.

My guess is that Kenneth Ring is right in his suggestion that this Being is our higher self. I suspect that, while incarnated, we lose touch with most of our consciousness, which is submerged like the nine tenths of an iceberg that lies underwater. Intense mystical experiences, including NDEs, allow us to access this "hidden" self, which we may objectify as a foreign entity.

MP said: "My guess is that Kenneth Ring is right in his suggestion that this Being is our higher self."

Could this Higher Self of ours be a part of God?

Wanted to touch on the whole fairy thing again as I found this essay on the connectivity between Tolkien & Jung's imagination (and Faerie as the connective place of the Imaginal):

Becca Tarnas' The Red Book and the Red Book: Jung, Tolkien, and the Convergence of Images

http://beccatarnas.com/2014/05/16/the-red-book-and-the-red-book-jung-tolkien-and-the-convergence-of-images-2/

So you believe your higher self is God? Did your higher self create the universe?

Saj:
Thank you so much for that link. It sets me on a whole other journey that,unfortunately for my ADD when it comes to reading, will be difficult for me to follow to the extent I would like. For some reason I am fascinated with Carl Jung. While I have not read extensively about him, I think he may have been experiencing and thinking about some of the things that those who frequent this blog discuss. I particularly like the following and quote a little bit of it.

"Intimations of the imaginal explorer Jung would become were present from his childhood, particularly in his relationship to his dreams, visions, and sense of having two personalities, one of whom he felt was connected to an earlier historical period. Jung referred to these two personalities simply as No. 1 and No. 2. No. 1 was the personality who corresponded with his age and current time in history, a schoolboy who struggled with algebra and was less than self-assured. No 2. Jung felt was an old man, who perhaps lived in the 18th century but also had a mysterious connection to the Middle Ages. Yet No. 2 was also not tied to history or even time, for he lived in “God’s world,” a boundless, eternal realm. Jung described this realm as follows:


Besides [personality No. 1’s] world there existed another realm, like a temple in which anyone who entered was transformed and suddenly overpowered by a vision of the whole cosmos, so that he could only marvel and admire, forgetful of himself. . . . Here nothing separated man from God; indeed, it was as though the human mind looked down upon Creation simultaneously with God.

In another description, Jung writes how he felt when experiencing life as personality No. 2, saying,

It was as though a breath of the great world of stars and endless space had touched me, or as if a spirit had invisibly entered the room—the spirit of one who had long been dead and yet was perpetually present in timelessness until far into the future. Denouements of this sort were wreathed with the halo of the numen."

Paragraph 3 above from Jung sounds to me like what someone stepping into 'heaven' would experience'

Ah, sometimes I feel that we all are trying to reinvent the wheel. There is so much written material out there, written by great men of high intelligence from the past that I think, if it were possible, I should read all of their thoughts before I presume to think that I know enough to have a new thought of my own.

Alfred Russell Wallace is another man of great intellect. I find that he too, could have been a welcomed contributor to discussions on this forum. Read him if you have the time and inclination. - AOD

"So you believe your higher self is God? Did your higher self create the universe?"

No, I think NDErs misinterpret their higher self as God.

Similarly, when some NDErs and other mystics say they've glimpsed infinite knowledge, my guess is that they have glimpsed the non-infinite (but still significantly expanded) knowledge of the higher self.

AOD quotes Jung:

"Besides [personality No. 1’s] world there existed another realm, like a temple in which anyone who entered was transformed and suddenly overpowered by a vision of the whole cosmos, so that he could only marvel and admire, forgetful of himself. . . . Here nothing separated man from God; indeed, it was as though the human mind looked down upon Creation simultaneously with God."

I like this because it counters Michael's hypothesis that our higher self is somehow separate from God.

"a vision of the whole cosmos . . . nothing separated man from God." This is not exaggeration or metaphor. Jung is stating the plain truth, as so many others have done.

Michael said:

"Similarly, when some NDErs and other mystics say they've glimpsed infinite knowledge, my guess is that they have glimpsed the non-infinite (but still significantly expanded) knowledge of the higher self."

And my guess is that those who agree with you, Michael, are hoodwinked by our limited human perspective into assuming that *all* viewpoints must be similarly incomplete.

Remember—during an NDE, an experiencer is no longer human. He exists outside that frame of reference. While still harboring the human, he now recognizes it as but one tiny part of himself.

I remember seeing a BBC TV interview with Jung, from the early 1960's, in which he said he didn't believe God exists he knew (with all certainty) that God exists. I wondered then, and still wonder, what made him so sure. Anyway, it was a very engaging interview.

Just thought I'd mention something here, while we're on the subject of self, that I heard yesterday and which I've been giving some thought to. A friend of mine called round to deliver a Christmas cake that she'd made for me and happened to mention that her aged mother has suddenly plunged from senility into full-blown dementia. She said it's very sad to see her mother endlessly repeating her times tables in a attempt to keep her brain functioning and reduce her overall sense of confusion. I couldn't help wondering what or who was the rational being trying to keep a handle on those failing mental processes.

It's said that we never know when we're insane. But if we do know, so very acutely, when we're suffering from the kind of brain degeneration that characterises dementia then I don't see that there can be much doubt about brain/mind duality.

Just my twopennorth on this mild but blustery early Christmas Eve here in the UK.

Julie said:

"I remember seeing a BBC TV interview with Jung, from the early 1960's, in which he said he didn't believe God exists he knew (with all certainty) that God exists. I wondered then, and still wonder, what made him so sure. Anyway, it was a very engaging interview."

In addition to all his previous mystical experiences, Jung had an NDE not long before he died. It was immensely important to him.

Are you able to offer an account of Jung's description of his NDE, Bruce, or, perhaps an online link to the same?

I've always found his insights fascinating, but hadn't realised that he'd experienced an NDE.

Here's Jung's account of his NDE:

http://www.near-death.com/experiences/notable/carl-jung.html

Here is the short extract from the Face to Face interview with Jung Julie flagged up:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxT1MvRpurE

And here is a more extended extract from that same interview where Jung unpacks a little more on the meaning of death and how he distinguishes belief from knowledge:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWAicIovVzU

Cheers

Simon

Thank you for the link, Michael. I read Jung's autobiographical book, 'Memories, Dreams, Reflections' sometime in the mid 1980s and, as I read the link, I recognised the excerpt. At that time, the concept of the NDE wasn't commonly known or recognised and the abiding memory, for me, had been of his prediction of the doctor's death. At the time of reading, I was regularly experiencing precognitive dreams and interested in the similar experiences of others. Perhaps we see and understand only that which we are ready to see and understand at any given time.

Ps. Merry Christmas! x

And thanks for the links to Jung's BBC interview, Simon. I hadn't thought of looking on YouTube, but I'm pleased to know that I remembered his words correctly. It's very many years since I saw that interview - and then only the once. But it has remained with me as a very important insight into Jung's personal views on life and death (and other such trivia).

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