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Art said:

"I have to wake up in the next life remembering and realizing who I am just like I do here"

Amos and Bruce replied to Art with some great remarks that I heartily endorse.

Perhaps some readers of this blog remember bits of their existence prior to birth, but I don't recall any of it, not a thing. And, I confess to suffering greatly as I struggled through Michael Newton's 'Journey of Souls'. It's not exactly that I'm skeptical of the validity of hypnotic regression to preexistence, it's that I am deeply resistant to any attempt to pin down in any sort of pseudo-authoritative way what that state is like. That so many NDE and mediumistic accounts describe the spiritual realm as ultimately and utterly ineffable, suggests that our human minds cannot really comprehend what it is like. Words fail.

Referring back to the Diamond metaphor of soul, I'd like to use for a moment a different kind of diamond. I used to imagine that the soul was like a baseball team, and that incarnation was being on the diamond at bat. Death, after living a life that was a base hit, home run, or an out; was a return to the dugout where I would relive with my teammates the glory or ignominy of my time at bat. Art brings up a valid problem for this sort of scenario, and the problem is my apparent amnesia of what occurred back in the dugout prior to my stepping up to the plate.

Now, what I'm about to say may be utterly obvious to many of you, but it's a bit of a revelation to me. I'll use a lowercase "i" to refer to the present incarnation of myself, as opposed to the greater Self that the diamond metaphor refers to. Prior to the conception and birth of this little guy i didn't exist. Before Abraham was, i wasn't. i was not back in the heavenly dugout with my mates, nor was i a facet of a diamond soul. Though my infant self had a definite and expressive personality (i was a real bawler), that baby i was very much an early work in progress. Now, this is child development 101 stuff, but you can see why some folks get seriously cheesed off when the topic of the eternal soul is raised. I mean, for crying out loud, we were all once bawling babies that pooped our pants. What kind of a divine being pulls that sort of crap?

I was very disappointed initially, on reading mediumistic accounts from dead people, and at how utterly clueless the dead can be. What, no Ascension into Buddha Mind, no instant apprehension of Christ Consciousness? What a letdown. Many deceased communicators complain of how difficult it is to descend to our level and, that by doing so, they lose much of the more elevated sense of consciousness that they normally enjoy. I imagine it might be like being in bed with the flu, groggy and barely able to put together a coherent thought. Yet, many dead people seem to express quite coherent thoughts which are, nonetheless, dull as dishwater, and very much like the trivial kind of chatter that we earthlings often indulge in.

The metaphor of the transition from caterpillar to butterfly is often used with respect to death. In between these two states of being is the chrysalis, where the caterpillar turns to goo on the path to becoming a butterfly. Perhaps we enter the tomb of the chrysalis on death, living on for awhile as our old familiar small "s" selves, as we are gradually transformed from earth worm back to the Self that sent part of itself into the world. And upon returning, our facet of experience adds its luster back into the greater Self from which we sprang. I truly hope that something like that is the case.

Kathleen writes: "The novel is ridiculous for various reasons, but it does a good job of showing how, even if you couldn't remember past lives, your personality would still be intact and you would still be "you." "

Do you suppose that would mean once a sociopath always a sociopath? It's a very distinctive, if ugly, character trait.

Kathleen, perhaps reincarnation is an 'option' and not a requirement. I can think of many people who might want to try it over again; perhaps infants or children who died before experiencing life, those born with infirmities, e.g. blind, deaf, mentally compromised or those who died tragically before they had lived a full life. There probably are many other situations in which a soul would want to try again. Even I would like another opportunity to do it again without the physical and mental weaknesses I have had to contend with in this life. - AOD

Kathleen, I think where I differ with the novelist that you cited is that I don't believe it is the 'personality' that continues into another lifetime. Not that personalities become extinct as discussed in other comments above, but I think that it is the oversoul, that sense of 'I am'. that continues from lifetime to lifetime.

How could it be otherwise?

Perhaps it is just a matter of semantics but I do think that there is a distinction between my personality(ies) and me as an oversoul, which is the essence of who I am eternally. As an 'oversoul' I have many personalities but my sense of self or oversoul does not change with each personality although it may gain in wisdom from the lifetime experiences of each personality.

The thing that does overtly change is the oversoul's physicality that is, the form that it finds itself in from lifetime to lifetime. That physicality evolves over a lifetime, long or short, as certain accommodations are made for its genetics and physiology and as it adjusts to certain environmental and social circumstances within which it finds itself. Accommodations made to a physical form and its mentality over a lifetime result in a 'personality'. As a result, knowledge and wisdom are gained by the oversoul from each personality as the oversoul continues its quest to return to God. - AOD

Julie, if you go by Buddhism, even a sociopath can evolve into something better throughout their many lives, as long as they try, and particularly if they become enlightened, either through themselves or with the aid of a teacher. In general, most people progress towards enlightenment through their lives, and become better, less ego-centered people. I'm no master of Buddhism by any means, but the various books I've read, even several years later on, have made a deep impression on me. The reincarnation part I don't like (though I agree with AOD that some may voluntarily chose this for the reasons he laid out), but I do really think Buddhists get it right for many reasons.

Julie said, "Do you suppose that would mean once a sociopath always a sociopath? It's a very distinctive, if ugly, character trait."

See, I think that the sociopath is a 'personality' of an oversoul and as such is not condemned, necessarily, to repeat its sociopathic behaviors over and over again. I believe that a sociopathic 'personality' is determined by its response to its genetics, physiology and environmental and social milieu. In another lifetime of the oversoul those conditions will not be the same.

The aberrant personality becomes part of the brilliance of the oversoul which reincarnates in another form in another set of circumstances which may or may not produce another aberrant personality. The sociopath personality provided wisdom for the oversoul; such wisdom that may be balanced---or not--- by new wisdom provided by another 'personality' of the oversoul. - AOD

"See, I think that the sociopath is a 'personality' of an oversoul and as such is not condemned" - AOD

What if the entire oversoul is sociopathic; a source of evil?

Ugly thought, but I think there is something to it.

No One writes:

"What if the entire oversoul is sociopathic; a source of evil?

Ugly thought, but I think there is something to it."

A similar thought occurred to me too. Rather like an elemental - a creature without a soul?

As I recall there's a Gnostic idea that the pneuma (the true self) and the psyche (lower level mind/soul) are essentially distinct such that who you may really be is separated from the prison shell of your lower-level mind/soul.

Shedding the usual dreariness of the Gnostics one can see the idea that you would Total Recall yourself into different perspectives doesn't seem like such an impossible idea.

Or, on the flip side, entering into bodily incarnation - while necessary for some greater purpose - may involve getting tangled in physical/spiritual flotsam which is where the risk of sociopathy and other such issues arise.

Anyone know what success certain spiritual rituals have had in treating psychiatric disorders? I think the sample is perhaps tainted by excess prescriptions of exorcisms but in the modern era I'd be curious if any work on this has been done.

In my experience as a psychiatric nurse "Saj" admitting spiritual experiences e.g. voices, will get you locked up even today. Certainly in NZ there is no use of spiritual therapy that I know of.

As an aside, in my experience psychosis is often fuelled by religious ideology,as is similarly paranoia.

Here's a typical experience, and may help answer questions on the soul verses larger conscious of which we can connect.


"Anyone know what success certain spiritual rituals have had in treating psychiatric disorders?"

Not sure if this book from 1924 qualifies as an example from "the modern era," but it does include many claims of the successful treatment of psychosis via mediumship. Wickland was the director of psychiatric hospital whose wife was an amateur medium.

I notice that the article I posted by Paul Levy says psychiatrists have sent people to him which is good to see. I'm sure some psychiatrists are sympathetic, although trained to think differently.

Recently I watched a program in NZ on four people with psychiatric diagnoses. Of the four, I would classify only one.

One woman with "schizophrenia" had heard voices as a child. On driving by the psyche hospital she looked troubled and said, "Now I hear a hundred voices of those who were incarcerated there". Many people find it unacceptable that there is a spiritual basis to voices, and may have been the case.

Neuroses can look like psychosis as well. A situational crisis or breakdown as people refer to, can make people feel like they are losing their mind and hold on reality.

Just my thoughts. Lyn x.

Saj Patel asked:

“Anyone know what success certain spiritual rituals have had in treating psychiatric disorders?”

It’s virtually impossible to discuss spirituality and healing without shamanism entering into the conversation. It's existed around the globe, in a variety of forms, for millennia, and often involves the use of psychedelic substances.

In the West, psychedelics have been given a bad name because they’ve been unfairly linked to addictive drugs like heroin. But attitudes are changing. Some of the most compelling research these days on treating emotional disorders involves the use of psilocybin, ayahuasca, mdma, and similar medicines.

Here’s one example:

From that article:

||A single high dose of the hallucinogen psilocybin, the active ingredient in so-called “magic mushrooms,” was enough to bring about a measurable personality change lasting at least a year in nearly 60 percent of the 51 participants in a new study, according to the Johns Hopkins researchers who conducted it.||

||Griffiths says lasting personality change is rarely looked at as a function of a single discrete experience in the laboratory. In the study, the change occurred specifically in those volunteers who had undergone a “mystical experience,” as validated on a questionnaire developed by early hallucinogen researchers and refined by Griffiths for use at Hopkins. He defines “mystical experience” as among other things, “a sense of interconnectedness with all people and things accompanied by a sense of sacredness and reverence.”||

Lynn writes: "I'm sure some psychiatrists are sympathetic, although trained to think differently."

That phrase bothers me. The idea the people can be trained to think other than according to their nature: their intuition.

While I can see the value of tools such as cognitive behavioural therapy, it bothers me to know that intelligent individuals can be 'trained' to think along predetermined lines.

I found an interesting article on concerning automatic writing by Jakob Lorber about whom I had never heard before. What I found interesting is that Lorber is reported to have said something very similar to what Pearl Curran said about her experience when she is writing for Patience Worth.

Lorber is reported to have said many times that on top of hearing the Voice he also has visions of what the Voice is talking about. His experience is very similar to Pearl Curran's description of what she experienced. As did Pearl Curran, Lorber is said to have written at an average speed without ever pausing to think or correct something. He ". . . never ever paused in his dictating or went back to correct a sentence, not even a single expression."

Apparently Lorber wrote enough to take up over 10,000 pages but that before his took up automatic writing he had hardly written a single line and like Curran he was a music teacher and performer--violin and piano. Like Curran he wasn't much of a reader his favorite book being the Bible which was actually the only book to be found in his home. Dr. Parasetti says that, "Even more interestingly, the manuscripts do not show any change, edit or correction, as it is typical of automatic writing. Lorber is also reported to have said "I can only say that I hear the holy word of the Lord pronounced in the area of the heart, like the clearest, most luminous and shining thought. Nobody, even if very close to me, can hear this mysterious Voice, which for me resonates clearer than any other physical sound, no matter how strong. (Very similar to Curran's description.)

I think that both Curran and Lorber did not experience 'automatic writing' as is currently understood as some entity taking over one's arm and hand as perhaps Leonora Piper is a good example. Both Curran and Lorber said that they hear the voice in their head. They then transcribe what they hear. Both also claimed to see visions related to what they were writing.

According to Dr. Parasetti, Lorber's writings have globally been called ". . . New Revelation: they talk about creating, they illustrate God's project for man's salvation. they broaden the Gospels without replacing them and, critically, they contain countless statements about the future. Parasetti states that, "He also wrote about astronomy, physics, the atom, elementary particles and a number of technological advances which were utterly incomprehensible to himself and his contempories, but which are perfectly understandable by us in the present day." Lorber apparently did most of his writings "from 1840 onwards" before discovery of the scientific kowledge we understand today.

I cannot get the link to work properly but if you search you should be able to find the article "The Forgotten Prophet - II" and a related Part I. - AOD

That being said about Jakob Lorber I did a little bit more looking on the internet and found this about Lorber's take on the moon.


I don't have time this morning to read Lorbers work but his writing about the moon initially turned me off. I guess I have to have more time to read and consider what he wrote more carefully. - AOD :^P

Sorry, As many of you know links don't always work right. Got to go. Need to exercise, jump in the shower and go to work now. See ya! - AOD

[I fixed the link - MP]

Thanks Michael. - AOD.

No problem. You just left off the first B in "Bible."

I have had a little bit more time tonight to peruse more of Lorber's writings. I can see that I have bitten off way more than I will be able to chew. The writing seems to me to be a kind of mystical text somewhat but I would have to read and study all of it in order to make any useful and informed comments.

Since I have ADD in reading it is unlikely that I will want to spend the time to seriously read it all and study it carefully. But I have learned something new today that I did not know before. That's the only way to keep old Alzheimer's away.

I hope I didn't lead you all astray. - AOD

Lorber sounds quite interesting, AOD. Another data point (or points) to consider, thanks!

Though he doesn't wish to get further involved in this debate, Bernardo Kastrup sent me a link to a paper he wrote that clarifies his general position on Idealism. I think it will be of interest to readers looking for a fuller understanding of his views.

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