IMG_2361
Blog powered by Typepad

« A glutton and a winebibber | Main | The evolution of the afterlife »

Comments

Suffice it to say, I recognized it.

Recognized what, Art?

As I have grown old I have gradually become more and more isolated now that I have lost most members of my family and many acquaintances. I didn't really lose them you know, they just left their worn out bodies and moved on to some place else.

I can go for a whole week without talking to anybody. Sometimes I feel disoriented during those times as if I am observing my body from the outside and it hits me that I really am! That I exist in life!

I'm not so sure I knew that before.

Sometimes I think my body is strange, that things attached to it like the nose, or ears or genitals are really weird. They don't seem to be a part of me. They don't seem necessary any more. Maybe I am just breaking the bonds to life and letting go gradually just like the un-named, but known protagonist in your short story. (You are way too young to feel that way, Michael.) - AOD

I really enjoyed your story, Michael. Beautifully written. Thank you for sharing it.

\\"Recognized what, Art?" - Michael Prescott//
---------------

Some of the sentences in your story were things that we've talked about in your blog and the comment section of your blog. I'd have to re-read it and go back and forth, and then copy and paste, to find specific things but it seemed familiar? And that seems too much like work! LOL!

Art, you're not suggesting I plagiarized people's comments, are you? 'Cause that's the kind of thing that would sorely vex me.

Obviously, no story is written in a vacuum, and this one deals with the issues we've all discussed on this blog. But when you say "some of the sentences in your story were things that we've talked about in your blog and the comment section of your blog," and that you could "copy and paste, to find specific things," it almost sounds as if you think I took other people's words and used them as my own.

Can't say I care for that, and no LOL about it.

\\"Art, you're not suggesting I plagiarized people's comments, are you? 'Cause that's the kind of thing that would sorely vex me." - Michael Prescott//
-----------------

Ideas... not sentences. A lot of what I believe other people have thought about before me. Like you said ideas don't appear out of vacuum which has a whole lot to do with my ideas about "why we are here."

Dr. Ken Ring has a whole chapter in his book "Life At Death" about the connection between NDEs and the holographic universe. Dr. Ring taught a course at the University of Connecticut about NDEs and he required his students to read Michael Talbot's book "The Holographic Universe" as part of his course.

Michael Talbot also talked about the connection between NDEs and the holographic universe in his book The Holographic Universe, and Dr. Melvin Morse devotes several pages to the holographic universe in his book "Where God Lives."

So... I'm sorry you thought I meant "plagiarized" because that's not what I meant. Just that I recognized things we had talked about in your story. That's all... nothing more.

By the way my spiritual and religious beliefs are a matrix or mandela of things I've "borrowed" from a whole bunch of different religions, near death experiences, deathbed visions, some mystical and transcendental experiences, spiritualism, quantum physics, and the holographic universe theory.

I take what "resonates" with me and make it my own and discard the stuff that I'm either not interested in or just plain don't like. You know my old mantra of "it doesn't have to be either all true or all lies." Some of it can be both. There is probably a little bit of truth in all religions, even the ones we decide we don't like. (Like reincarnation which I find abhorrent and terrifying. {grin})

Thanks for the clarification, Art. Yes, I definitely do learn from and "borrow" ideas from commenters, as well as from books and any other worthwhile sources.

This blog itself has become something of a community project, though it didn't start out that way. The comments and the give-and-take are what make it work.

Incidentally, my hosting site, which keeps statistics on this sort of thing, stays there have been more than 49,000 comments over the life of this blog!

'Undertow' was a very enjoyable and thought provoking read, Michael.

I think often about what extent the various people experienced in the afterlife -- by NDEers, people under hypnosis, etc. -- are truly other individual consciousnesses or simply personifications of some aspect of self.

\\"I think often about what extent the various people experienced in the afterlife -- by NDEers, people under hypnosis, etc. -- are truly other individual consciousnesses or simply personifications of some aspect of self." - Ro//
----------------------------------------------

Here you go Ro, here's your answer. Put 2 + 2 together. Like a puzzle with lots of pieces, they all fit together to give us an answer.

"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 as if all things are all different parts of the same body, so to speak." - excerpt from Michelle M's NDE description, https://www.nderf.org/Experiences/1michelle_m_nde.html

and from an article in Scientific American,

Does Consciousness Pervade the Universe?

"What if consciousness is not something special that the brain does but is instead a quality inherent to all matter? It is a theory known as “panpsychism,” and Goff guides readers through the history of the idea, answers common objections (such as “That’s just crazy!”) and explains why he believes panpsychism represents the best path forward."

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/does-consciousness-pervade-the-universe/

and,
"I was unique yet I was the tiniest part of the whole." from Mark Horton's NDE description, https://angelicview.wordpress.com/2013/11/27/a-journey-out-of-our-universe-spheres-within-spheres/

So it's probably true....
"In science and history, consilience (also convergence of evidence or concordance of evidence) is the principle that evidence from independent, unrelated sources can "converge" on strong conclusions. That is, when multiple sources of evidence are in agreement, the conclusion can be very strong even when none of the individual sources of evidence is significantly so on its own. Most established scientific knowledge is supported by a convergence of evidence." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consilience

I'll stifle myself for now but I could post many more examples or "pieces to the puzzle" that also support this idea of connected and oneness of our Universe. Suffice it to say the answer to your question is "both", our separation is an illusion and since we are all way more connected than we can grasp the people we encounter on the other side are both separate unique individuals but also a part of us also.

Art,
You used some pretty strong descriptives when making a reference to reincarnation. I would be interested in what about reincarnation you find “abhorrent” and “terrifying.” I don’t suppose that reincarnating is something one takes lightly but if one has an opportunity to consent to the embodiment then perhaps one would understand the need or reason for such incarnation and not see it with trepidation especially since each incarnation is, in the larger scheme of things---short.

I think my greatest concern about reincarnation is who my new parents would be. Parents have the greatest influence on the direction of one’s life and what one finally becomes so I hope I will choose wisely the next time around. It may be however that there will be some over-riding reason for incarnating so that consideration of the small variables would be of no consequence to the overall purpose of the reincarnation. If I were to be incarnated as a help for someone else, one of my soul group perhaps, who would not survive without me or if I were to make a major contribution to humanity then maybe it really wouldn’t matter if the life I chose turns out to be a difficult one.

I am not so sure that all of the awfulness of life is really very important in the larger experience of the soul. And those things in life which are seen as abhorrent and terrifying, mean and cruel maybe are just experiences from which one learns or maybe one has the incarnation just to enjoy the rapture of it all whether or not the experiences are seen as abhorrent or terrifying. - AOD

Ro,
If I understand you correctly, you are wondering if the spirits/people seen during an NDE are separate entities or are they just a “personification” of the NDE experiencer’s own self, that is, their subconscious mind perhaps masquerading as other people. Well, that has been the question from the start of reports of NDEs. It is difficult to say for sure. I suppose that in some cases, like in visual hallucinations for example, it is the subconscious mind that is personified much in the way perhaps that the subconscious mind becomes various characters in dreams.

But in other cases, entities met in NDEs, OBEs, channeling and mediumship provide information that is impossible to track back to the subconscious mind of the experiencer. They seem to have another source of information not accessible to the experiencer and a will of their own. I think of multiple personality cases, i.e. Dissociative Disorders, where some personalities obviously arise from the subconscious mind of the person but that others, usually just one alternate personality, seems to be entirely separate Several cases come to mind including the Sally Beauchamp case, the Lurancy Vennum case and the case of Pearl Curran and Patience Worth. Those cases are difficult to explain as just personifications of the subconscious mind. - AOD

\\"Art, You used some pretty strong descriptives when making a reference to reincarnation. I would be interested in what about reincarnation you find “abhorrent” and “terrifying.” - AOD//
-------------------------------------

Like repeating grades 1 - 12 over and over again? Pointless and unneeded. I believe this Earth life is a school and we simply experience and learn here the things that can't be learned in heaven. There is enough suffering and pain and separation in one life to last for eternity. No need to come back and do it all again.

It's not that I don't believe the evidence we have for reincarnation is real... it's that I think the story we've created around that evidence is not what is really happening. Reincarnation implies separation, like each individual soul is somehow separate and needs to come back and live other lives which I think is unnecessary.

In a holographic universe, because of the "oneness and connectedness" of the holographic film, we don't live for just ourselves. On the other side all information is shared. The things that I have experienced and learned here will be stored in the great collective consciousness, sometimes also called "the Akashic records" and all the memories that I bring with me to the other side will be there to share.

Our body limits us here but on the other side there are no limits because we don't have a physical body. That is why NDEers say they could see 360 degrees all at once, and saw "more colors than normal" (the entire light spectrum instead of just a small part of it), and communicated telepathically, and why the speech of angels one word had the meaning of a thousand words here (from Emanuel Swedenborg's writings). Everything is shared on the other side. The things that separate us in this life simply don't exist in the next.

The evidence we have for reincarnation in this life is simply the brains of young children tuning into the great collective unconscious, like an old radio that was tuned between stations. But once they develop a strong sense of self they start to forget those other memories that they borrowed. They don't need them anymore. They weren't really that other person, they were just using those memories to help them cope with this life until they became their own person. Just like on the other side when people say that they felt an overwhelming sense of oneness and connectedness. Reincarnation is just a byproduct of that oneness. We created a story and religions around reincarnation but I believe that something else entirely is going on instead of people actually living those lives.

That was an interesting read, Michael. Really liked how the protagonist's perspective on reality was fading while his perspective on the spiritual world grew stronger. With the image, did you intend to imply all the boats sailing, and then heading upwards to higher realms? That's the impression I got when seeing the cover.

And, on a humorous note, while reading, I randomly imagined what might happen if Samuel L. Jackson was the protagonist:

George said, “One of these things is not like the others.”

He was getting tired of this mustached man. “What exactly are you saying?” he asked.“Do you mean me? Am I some kind of trespasser?”

“Forgive those who trespass,” George said.

“Am I crashing the party? I didn’t mean to. I didn’t ask to be here at all.”

“They also serve,” George said, “who only stand and wait.”

“What does that mean? Why can’t you talk like a normal person? You’re not making any sense.”

“When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”

He grabbed George by the throat. "English, motherf***er, DO YOU SPEAK IT?!"

Art,
You say, “I believe this Earth life is a school and we simply experience and learn here the things that can't be learned in heaven. “

But why Art, would God in his wisdom only give one lifetime to learn all of the things that can’t be learned in heaven? The Earth Life is too varied and precarious to take it all in in just one lifetime. And experiencing multiple lifetimes each under different circumstances is not at all like repeating grades 1-12 over and over again. And, one lifetime is just not fair to some people if they are physically or mentally compromised and incapable of experiencing life in its fullness or if they die early before they have a chance to learn anything.Then why have a physical experience at all if everything can be learned or drawn from the holographic film? Surely, after 1,000s of years of human existence there is enough experience in the holographic universe so that no one would need to be incarnated any more.

You may think reincarnation is unnecessary but there are more things in heaven and earth, Art, than are dreamt of in your philosophy. - AOD

There is one other thing to be considered Art. The universe stretches out far and wide on either side and earth is not the only planet in the universe that may support conscious life. Who can say that a conscious experience on other planets does not provide a learning experience equal to or greater than a conscious experience on earth. Considering the multitude of possible environments to inhabit in the universe, why not allow each consciousness the opportunity to explore them? - AOD

That explanation does not work Art.

Many of those children have birthmarks consistent with the cause of the death of the previous individual. Why would the universal unconsciousness of whatever you believe in cause that? On the other hand we know minds can affect bodies.

Some of those children do not forget their past lives memories.

These cases are far more than just children simply parroting information they somehow picked up from the collective unconscious or whatever you postulate. They take on the identity of the previous person and identify as the previous person. Consider the following patterns and behavior discussed by Ian Stevenson:


Inappropriate behavior by the child, such as kissing his grandmother like he was still her husband 


Adult attitude among children causing family tensions

Using inappropriate addresses for adult family members


Children engaging in precocious sexuality such as trying to sleep with partners from a previous life.

Sometimes a child expresses jealousy toward their previous spouses new relation.

Case where a child claims someone murdered him in a previous life and then confronts him causing problems were they lived.

Refusing to conform to gender roles in cases where a person reincarnated as the opposite gender. This takes such extremes such as dropping out school to avoid wearing feminine clothes as a girl.  

Similar cases have similar phobias and reactions. For example children remembering being Japanese soldiers killed by planes tended to hide from planes.

Children remembering being Japanese soldiers acted like they were Japanese.

Announcement dreams, why would whatever you postulate do that? On the other hand this makes sense from the perspective that a mind is returning to a physical state.

Disincarnate states, why would whatever you postulate do that? On the other hand this makes sense from the perspective that a mind is returning to a physical state.

Many cases have the child wishing to avenge himself on his killers, you know like an individual who felt he had been wronged.

Craving intoxicants used by the past life, you know like an individual.

Children playacting their professions from previous lives.

Adult attitude among children, like they were still adults.

Children absolutely refusing to use their names, insisting they are called by the deceased persons name. As if they were that individual.


Children resisting their parents religions because it conflicted with their past lives views. Like individuals do.

Children commonly use the present tense to discuss past lives.

Children demanding to be taken to their previous homes.

Children showing a sense of ownership of businesses or buildings from previous life.

Your argument does not remotely explain the data as well as the view that a mind is retaining it's memories of the past while connecting to a new body.

Art,
You may have seen the PSI Encyclopedia about birthmarks or other physical signs considered to be evidence of reincarnation. If not, here is the link. - AOD

https://psi-encyclopedia.spr.ac.uk/articles/physical-signs-reincarnation-cases

> I think my greatest concern about reincarnation is who my new parents would be.

Mine is to reincarnate and forget who I was, because this is as if I had not reincarnated ...

> Like repeating grades 1 - 12 over and over again? Pointless and unneeded.

Indeed, but the circumstances of the people can be very varied. I do not know what will happen to the consciousness of an unborn who dies before birth (he / she even has not yet developed a sense of self), but if someone deserves another chance, it is they.

And look at this asymmetry: if there is no reincarnation, then no one reincarnates. But it is enough for one to reincarnate for that there is reincarnation.

And then there's Kris's whole comment, with which I agree ...

\\"about birthmarks or other physical signs considered to be evidence of reincarnation." - AOD//
--------------

I've read all about that stuff... don't need to read it again. If I listen to a song on the radio that doesn't mean I lived that song before. It was someone else's life written into a song that I listened to and sang but "I" didn't live it, someone else did.

Birthmarks.... In quantum physics thoughts are things and consciousness creates reality. Matter is an epiphenomena of consciousness. Consciousness is primary and matter is secondary. Those birthmarks are just manifestations of those borrowed memories.

Read The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot. He talks about all kinds of manifestations on people's bodies that they conjured up. For instance when people have stigmata and the marks of the crucifixion on their body, even bleeding they didn't experience the crucifixion but they empathized so much with Jesus that they actually started bleeding from wounds which their mind conjured up.


@Art

That argument of comparing Stigmatist to children recalling past lives does not work because those individuals do not claim to be Jesus, take on his personality etc. Also it neatly works with the reincarnation argument as it shows how a mind can directly affect a body;you know like the birthmarks on children in reincarnation cases.

You need to address why these kids so much assume the persona of the previous life in the ways Stevenson's discussed if you want us to take your counter explanation seriously.

It's not your ability to read an article that matters it's your ability to make a superior argument that matters. Now make the superior argument for your position on reincarnation.

As far as I am concerned the “Holographic Model of Reality” is just a poorly defined term used to try to explain things that science cannot yet explain. As if somehow attaching the adjective “holographic” to any concept explains it.

Michael Talbot references reincarnation in his book, devoting several pages to discussing the research of Joel Whitton, Ian Stevenson, Brian Weiss and Edgar Cayce. Talbot seems to be very open to the idea of reincarnation suggesting that the data they have collected cannot be ignored. - AOD

Juan,
If one accepts reincarnation as a reality, then if an infant dies at birth, the spirit is whatever it was prior to incarnating in the body of the infant. That is, the spirit hasn’t really lost anything it had accumulated over prior lives. It just needs to find another body in which to incarnate. - AOD

"Those birthmarks are just manifestations of those borrowed memories."

@Art

In many of these cases the children have memories of being in a discarnate state and following people who eventually became their parents.

Now according to you these children are simply picking up the memories of people who died,but how then do you explain this claim with your views? There would be no memory of a discarnate state and following people who eventually became parents for these kids to tap into because in your view this never happened and therefore could not have created a memory.

Also if these kids are tapping into memories why don't they remember more than one life; how come they don't blend different life accounts together?

For the life of me I don't understand why people are so enamored and wedded to the idea of reincarnation? I hate it. Coming back over and over again suffering through the same pain and separation? Ugh! I know some older Christian women who love talking about reincarnation. They seem to love the idea?

If you are so wedded to the idea of reincarnation maybe you'll be able to come back and repeat grades 1 - 12 over and over again, having to relearn the same stuff over and over again? If that is something that appeals to you then "good luck" is all I can say. It doesn't sound all that enticing to me.

I'm really hoping that something else is going on, like tuning into a radio station or being tuned between two stations at once? Sort of like multiple personality disorder? Once kids got their own sense of self they don't need those other memories so they start forgetting them?

I have read literally thousands of near death experiences and the vast majority of them didn't want to come back and some of them were actually forced to come back and finish what they started. The only people who willing came back were mostly mothers with small children who didn't want someone else raising their kid. Personally it sounds like punishment to me.

“For the life of me I don't understand why people are so enamored and wedded to the idea of reincarnation? I hate it.”

It’s not that people necessarily like the idea. It’s that a preponderance of evidence seems to support it. I don’t like the idea of the Ebola virus, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to say it doesn’t exist.

Ian Stevenson’s investigations of children who recall past lives (along with similar, more recent studies) are the best evidence for reincarnation, IMO. It’s possible to rationalize away those findings, but it has an air of desperation, as if you’re saying, ‘It upsets me to think this could be true, so I won’t let it be true,’

Truth has a way of being true even when we don’t like it.

@Art

It's not about what we want to believe, it is about what the evidence indicates. The evidence indicates we reincarnate. Your alternate explanation does not explain the data.

If one accepts reincarnation as a reality, then if an infant dies at birth, the spirit is whatever it was prior to incarnating in the body of the infant.

But if reincarnation does not happen, then what happens to the unborn? They remain in the astral / spiritual plane, but there they develop? And if they develop there, then why there is a material plane where we develop? Why death if we are immortal (in spirit)?

It’s that a preponderance of evidence seems to support it.

Exactly, it is about leaving our emotions or preferences aside and coldly examining the available evidence ... But the problem can be insoluble, since Art can always deny the link between data, memories, scars, etc., and the personal identity, but for me this is not reasonable, because the most reasonable is to infer the personal identity as a result of all these data, memories, scars ...

OK Art, I understand that you don't want to come back again and have to repeat grades 1- 12 but it may not be like that. Suppose you came back as a female in Communist China having to live under a restrictive regime in the late 21st century, perhaps without your parents and you were suffering from leukemia. Would that be repeating the same "grades" that you have lived as a Caucasian male growing up in late 20th century America in whatever circumstances you found yourself then? How could those two experiences be anything alike? I am sure that you can think of unlimited examples of conscious experiences in physical life either in the past or in the future that are or would be very different each from the other. Each experience presents an opportunity to learn new things and experience life in a different way with spiritual benefit.

I might agree with you that I would be very reluctant to return to a physical conscious life if the spiritual life I found myself in was as great as the NDE-ers say that it is. Probably I would not want to return but it could be that for my further advancement in spiritual realities I would need to return and reluctantly agree in order to gain some spiritual fulfillment or some other purpose that I would come to understand was beneficial either to myself or others, including the human earth cultures as a whole.

By no means would I want to coerce you to change your belief system. We all need one that works for us and the Holographic Model (whatever that is) apparently works for you. Each person must come to their own understanding of reality. I commend you for that! - AOD

\\"Michael Talbot references reincarnation in his book," - AOD//
------------------

So, I don't worship or see Michael Talbot as being some infallible guru? Like all books some of its true and some of it's not.

Reincarnation is just some religious explanation for something that is way more complicated than most people can understand. It's people trying to explain and understand the interconnectedness and oneness of our universe.

Our physical bodies are just a vessel that we use to learn about the physics of this universe. Stuff that can't be learned in the place we call heaven because the physics there precludes it.

But if you want to believe in reincarnation be my guest. I'm just telling you that I see it differently. I don't care if you come back a million times and relive your life over and over again like some kind of Groundhog Day. Go for it! I don't care... come back over and over again if you think it's so much fun!

\\"It’s not that people necessarily like the idea. It’s that a preponderance of evidence seems to support it." - Michael Prescott//
-----------------------------------

My TV set used to be Elvis Presley. I know it's true because I've seen him on it. And the radio in my car used to be Michael Jackson. Sometimes he sings on my radio so I'm pretty sure that my radio used to be Michael Jackson.

"All information" is stored in the great collective consciousness and sometimes children, who haven't developed a strong sense of self "borrow" those memories and can't differentiate what those memories are.

And those so called birthmarks are just examples of "thoughts are things" and consciousness creating reality.

Once those kids develop a strong sense of being separate unique individuals those memories fade, that is unless some adults in their life keep reminding them over and over again about when they used to talk about them.

"I don't care if you come back a million times and relive your life over and over again like some kind of Groundhog Day. Go for it! I don't care... come back over and over again if you think it's so much fun!"

But, reincarnation is not reliving one's life over and over again. Reincarnation is consciousness reincarnating in a different body living a completely different life in a completely different time and place.

You seem to be missing that point, Art. - AOD

Well Juan,
You have set up a conundrum for yourself. If consciousness does not reincarnate and it has only one chance as a new soul to experience the sphere called the physical or earth life, and that fails then---who knows what happens? There is evidence to suggest that reincarnation does occur at least for some consciousnesses so your hypothetical is answered only within the realm of conjecture until more is revealed about the afterlife. - AOD

Seeing Art is so fond of NDEs why doesn't he go ahead and discuss these NDE cases which support reincarnation. https://www.near-death.com/science/research/reincarnation.html#a08

"Row row row your boat" was the official ditty of the psychedelic Neo-American Church, Art Kleps prop. His Boo Hoo Bible is available (used) on Amazon for $912, at https://www.amazon.com/Bible-Neo-American-Church-Catechism-Handbook/dp/0960038817/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Boo+Hoo+bible&qid=1582602182&s=books&sr=1-1, where it has six five-star reviews. (Or you can get it by inter-library loan, I assume.)

"His Boo Hoo Bible is available (used) on Amazon for $912."

I think I'll pass. :-)

"Go for it! I don't care... come back over and over again if you think it's so much fun!"

Art, it's not a question of whether we think it's fun or not. Through most of history, reincarnation has been understood as something to try to escape from. The wheel of rebirth in Buddhism is not seen as something desirable. The whole point of the Tibetan Book of the Dead is to learn how to avoid being seduced into another round of incarnation.

Some Westerners who picked up on the idea of reincarnation see it as glamorous and romantic, but this has not been the ordinary view of the subject in most of the world. Most people, especially in ancient times, lived lives of considerable hardship and were not eager to repeat the experience.

But fun or not, desirable or not, it seems to be true. I would agree, though, that the reality is probably a lot more complicated than our simplistic linear model would suggest. If there is no such thing as time (or if time is experienced differently) in higher dimensional planes, then perhaps all of the incarnations take place "simultaneously," or perhaps they involve different aspects of the same oversoul, rather than one's particular ego being endlessly recycled.

What one knows we will all know... We don't live for just ourselves. On the other side everything that I have learned you will have access to and everything you have learned I will have access to. The separation we experience in this life simply doesn't exist on the other side.

"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 as if all things are all different parts of the same body, so to speak." excerpt from Michelle M's NDE description, https://www.nderf.org/Experiences/1michelle_m_nde.html

and, "From this vantage point, I had to merely think of a place and time and I was there, experiencing everything about the place and time and people present." https://angelicview.wordpress.com/2013/11/27/a-journey-out-of-our-universe-spheres-within-spheres/

Michael, your story reminds me of the STE from which I emerged saying this: “It is all a dream. Just on different levels of dreaming. A dream within a dream within a dream within a dream. . . .”

"It's dedicated to Arthur J. Ellison, a paranormal researcher whose views have been very influential with me."

Michael, I don't remember you mentioning Ellison before. Can you give us some idea of what you've learned from him?

Finally, I thought *I* was the only who consistently drops small objects onto the floor only to have them disappear forever. Does this mean I’m rapidly headed for the exit? :)

Maybe spirits from the otherside at least some of them are obsessed with this earthly life. So they take over these physical bodies of people who are born instead of reincarnation.

This possibility apparently is mentioned in a book called "Reincarnation Refuted" by Stephen Blake. The book is dedicated to the late Magician James Webster.

https://www.amazon.ca/Reincarnation-Refuted-Evidence-Logic-Common-ebook/dp/B00JD09MZW

Wow, this thread sure got off topic, didn't it?

To chime in on the whole reincarnation discussion, I'm mixed: I believe that reincarnation exists in some form, but it's impossible to know exactly what, though I lean towards, 'We're all parts of a spirit that has divided itself into multiple personalities to gain experience of the physical realm. Once each personality's life ends, they return to the spirit world and never come back.' Like Art, I abhor the thought of coming back here; the pleasures, joys, and satisfactions are far outweighed by the misery, suffering, and unhappiness that everyone goes through.

This discussion also reminded me of one of the most intriguing descriptions of reincarnation I've come across, on the personal website of Ben H. Swett. You can read the full thing for yourself (Google 'Ben H. Swett Reincarnation'), but here's the most intriguing part:

'Reincarnation is available, but it is no longer necessary, and it never was desirable. Those who return have laid up their treasure on earth. After they die, they are tormented by earthly desires they cannot fulfill and will not lay aside, so they are not happy in heaven.

The loving Father allows His children to return, but that is not what He prefers for them. It is a result of their own addiction to earth. Every time they are born again, they must die again, and if they do not learn, the cycle repeats. Therefore, reincarnation should be seen in contrast to eternal life.

Jesus taught men to lay up their treasure in heaven, and to let go of earth-binding desires. He demonstrated life after death with his own body, so they could know that men go to their treasures. Thus he accomplished, for himself and those who follow him, what Buddha recommended: he broke the wheel, and set men free.'

“Finally, I thought *I* was the only who consistently drops small objects onto the floor only to have them disappear forever. Does this mean I’m rapidly headed for the exit?”

If you are, I’m headed there with you!

“Wow, this thread sure got off topic, didn't it?“

The funny thing is that my story has absolutely nothing to do with reincarnation. 🤨

Art: The scattered response you posted as an answer to my conundrum did not actually address my question, and I don't share your conviction in a holographic universe. To be honest, you seem so married to your ideas, so lacking in objective analysis and conclusions based on the existing data, and resistant to embracing things that are off-putting or terrifying to you yet which are backed by credible evidence...that I'm not sure I could ever take your posts all that seriously. Sorry.

Amos Oliver Doyle: Your post suggests that the answer to my question is...BOTH. That there are some ideas, concepts, intangibles, and aspects of self that are personified by the subjective mind...while other "persons" encountered by the experiencer would seem to be actual consciousnesses that have an objective reality, independent of the perceptions of the one interacting with them. So the question becomes one of discernment. Which ones are "real?" Which are "illusions?" That's the rub, even after we die this discernment will come into play, i.e. "Have I slipped into a purely subjective state of imagination, or am I dealing with an entity that has independent existence?"
I'm reminded of Robert Monroe and some of his far out encounters...

I'm also going to say this: I believe the suffering in this world is of the utmost importance to us as souls. It's not just "dross." It's not a throwaway aspect of the physical plane that we merely have to endure, while we revel in the fun stuff. The suffering -- i.e. the challenges, trials, tribulations, pain, etc. is what initiates massive growth, maturation and wisdom, and I believe it's the very reason that we're here in the first place: to leave the safe confines of a realm where all our wishes can be materialized in an instant, and take a dip into a world of unpredictability, pain, challenge, resistance, catastrophe, and volatility.

The young soul starts off the video game of life filled with exhilaration, hope and excitement, but quickly fails and is devastated when it's 'Game Over.' He is eager to try again. With time, with each return into the physical world, we learn to avoid many of the pitfalls, and succeed in this video game called life with increased wisdom and experience behind our belt. We become seasoned, maybe even become masters at it, by getting knocked over and thwarted in various aspects of life, again and again over the course of many lifetimes. By slow degrees, we become wise to the game, desensitized to its horrors, and learn to take the whole thing in stride and with increased sympathy and compassion for ourselves and others.

That maturation cannot happen when everything goes our way all the time; it comes through episode after episode of heartbreak and suffering. Like a wild bronco, we are eventually tamed and "broken" by life, becoming desensitized and resigned to that which once panicked and traumatized us. This is growth.

I'm mostly in agreement with Vettelini, the spirit who spoke through Reine in 'The Survival of the Soul and It's Evolution After Death' by Cornelier. Suffering and challenges are the backbone of our evolution.

Just my two cents.

A very interesting and enjoyable story. And there does seem to be evidence that as people approach death, they detach in this way.

For some reason, it also reminded me a bit of C.S. Lewis' Narnia books. There's one book in particular in which the characters are sailing east across a sea. It also reminded me a bit of the death of Gatsby in The Great Gatsby, with "the old warm world" slipping away.

Another impression I received from it is just how really intolerable it would be living in a material-based world forever. And I don't think any amount of money could make it tolerable. No, we all need a break eventually from this world...

Ro,
I can't disagree with anything you said. - AOD

Ro,
I remember 30 or 40 years ago there was a little boy, his name was Bennie, I think or something like that. He had some kind of a terminal illness or severe disability and wrote poetry or uplifting stories or something of a like genre. He became some sort of a lovable television personality on a few morning shows. Somebody once asked him a question about his terminal condition, I think, and whether he regretted having it and I remember he said “Well, somebody had to be Bennie!” That doesn’t sound like much of an answer but I think there is some deep meaning or understanding that that little boy had in that answer. That is, we all have a role to play. A good story requires villains and heroes, heartache and ecstasy and we all can’t be the hero or happy all the time. And sometimes playing the villain can be fun! It can be satisfying and rewarding and even villains can learn something through their villainous behaviors as can their victims though terrible and cruel it may be.

I sometimes fantasize that I might have been a character similar to “Attila the Hun” in a distant past life plundering and raping my way on horseback across the countryside. And I think that even that experience might have had some value for my spirit. That it simply was a role I played like Judas had to play his role in the fulfillment of the life of Christ.

Maybe it is as Patience Worth once said about evil. “There is no such thing. It is all dreams gone awry.” - AOD

AOD: I was a kid 30-40 yrs ago and I don't remember Benny, but I have always thought that kids like the ones on the Shriners commercials, who face disabilities and have had dozens of surgeries, who still manage to be upbeat and positive are really remarkable. I think perhaps they have come into this life to be examples in some way of finding joy despite setbacks.

On a personal note, I have had a lot of sadness in my life and I find my current circumstances pretty challenging (long-term caregiver to my father with Alzheimer's), but finding humor and lightness in things helps a lot...and I'm happiest when I'm spending time alone in nature, surrounded by greenery and a stream, just sitting and meditating. Life is so strange. So much struggle and hardship, yet so much astonishing beauty as well. It's not for the faint of heart, that's for sure.

On another note, I really like this blog and the way the afterlife and the purpose of life is discussed in a more evidentiary way...not just focused on wishful thinking or fanciful notions. It's really refreshing.

Ro,
I and my sister cared for my mother for the last 10 years of her long life. She died a month shy of 102 and it was very trying during the last few years. Actually I looked out for my mother and father for all of my life. I think that many of us, like you, care for our parents not only at the end of their life but throughout their life. This too shall pass Ro and you will have no regrets and perhaps you will have fulfilled your karma with your father in this lifetime.

I too find joy and great beauty in nature, living in a forest near the Sangamon River in Illinois. Recently that recognition of the exquisiteness of all things has become more evident for me. But I realize that it is the other people in my life that are the most important. Without them we tend to dissolve into nothingness. I think that in some way each of us derives our substance in part from the other people around us. Try not to isolate yourself from others. Reach out and you will get back much more than you give even though you may not know it. - AOD

At 60, I so understand the world weariness. If you find a way to get the luster back, please share. Beautifully written in the effortlessness with which you go back and forth from the dream world to the “real world.” Thank you.

AOD: Thank you for your thoughtful words. I'm so sorry your mom died. But you and your sister's care enabled her to have a very long, full life, I'm sure.

And yes, you're correct, I have pretty much taken care of my dad all my life and now caring for him with Alzheimer's feels like a continuation of the precedent that was set long ago when our roles somehow became reversed, and I was the eight year old "parent" and he the middle aged "enfant terrible." lol. Sometimes I feel like I was put on this earth specifically to take care of my dad.

But I do love him very much and even though I will feel heartbroken when he's gone, I really look forward to having my freedom back: freedom to have fun times with friends again, freedom to take long hikes in my favorite valleys again, freedom to travel, freedom to make a midnight run to the grocery store, etc.

But I know that this care-giving journey is very important for me to grow and evolve, learning to put another person before myself, and to gain more patience and empathy. And I think it might be working. So yay for that. ;-)

Jean: I can relate to how you feel. Hang in there.


Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)