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January 21, 2011 at 11:21 pm #140115Anonymous
I have seen that some people here may believe in reincarnation, and although I follow the Buddha’s example I do not except reincarnation, I believe in a spiritual or energy existence after we pass away, and any other life that some people think they have had comes from their ancestors or other people that they have a connection with, what do you all believe, in regards to what I have mentioned.January 22, 2011 at 12:16 am #157555JaxKeymaster
Everyone reincarnates, and has reincarnated many times (I have never seen an overly young soul on the Jedi path.) However, the typical understanding of reincarnation is not correct. We are not reincarnating up a ladder to greater and greater enlightenment. It’s not based on doing good deeds or following any particular religion. It’s not linear. These ideas are all human ideas and come from the limited understanding of human consciousness. Reincarnation, however, is a soul process. Souls are not limited to being human, nor are they limited to human understanding. They make decisions about each physical incarnation based upon what they choose to experience in their lifetime. Some souls choose a very rigid path with very little room for error. Others choose a path that’s basically wide open. Most choose something in the middle with a few key events they choose to experience with room to wander in between.
I don’t know what my big life goals were the last time around. From what I was told I was a career military officer in WW1 which had some bleedover affects in this life that drew me to the military from my earliest memories, even though I didn’t know anyone in the military or knew anything about it. In my last life the military was my life. I never married but instead lived a life of service to my country (not exactly clear which it was) and in training my men to have the best chance of staying alive. In this life I also ended up in the military, but with a very different result. In this life the military played the role of teaching me about betrayal as well as learning to recognize when a path no longer served me. It gave me immense strength and tested my courage. And finally it has been my biggest lesson in forgiveness and healing of old wounds. In both lifetimes I was a teacher as well, but again with a different focus. In my last lifetime I taught people to stay alive physically. In this life I teach people to stay alive spiritually. I don’t know a lot of details, and I don’t stress on them. My last life (and whatever of the previous ones) are complete. Any residual energy or lessons from them are already built into this one and do not require me knowing anything of them for me to address the issues. It was just an interesting bit of bonus information from someone that provided me a few a-ha moments.
My wife is a different situation. She has flashbacks of her past life. She too was military the last time around, a Marine sniper. We know a lot more about her life because it’s something that she has to work through now. Her guides have told me a lot so I can help her work through it. I know she was in either Vietnam or Korea (or both.) She has never liked war movies, especially realistic ones which was always odd considering she loves horror movies. They don’t scare her in the least. But war movies really bother her. It turns out there are issues she is still resolving from then, and they are the memories that give her nightmares now. Shooting a superior officer who was sacrificing lives for no reason (no permanent damage but he got sent home, saving countless lives.) Coming up on villages where civilians were murdered. Facing child soldiers who didn’t look old enough to kill. This is why we’re going through our own version of past life immersion therapy through the use of Band of Brothers and The Pacific. I don’t expect this to be a problem forever, hopefully it will be resolved primarily this year as there have been some scary moments because of it. I believe it may come full circle when we visit Arlington someday where her old body is buried. We don’t know who she was, it’s against the rules apparently since there are living relatives remaining. It’s also why we can’t know the real names of her guides as they too have living relatives.
So where did I get all of this information? My primary sources include the writings of Neale Donald Walsch, as well as many other spiritual authors. I haven’t read religious perspectives on this because they don’t ring true to me. Too much humanity in the beliefs. For our specific details, my past life was relayed to me by a gifted prophet (her choice of word) during a reading. The minimal details were confirmed by Carrie’s guides. Carrie’s details have come from the past 5 or 6 years of experiences between her memories, dreams, sleepwalking experiences, and conversations with her guides over the years. One of her guides was someone she served with in her past life. Her current main guide has access to that information and is helping her work through it, as she is a combat veteran herself (from the most recent wars.)
Other experiences can and do vary. However, I feel quite confident in my sources and understanding, perhaps because it’s pretty straight forward. I know there are more details to the process of choosing each life, as there are many details to work out, people to coordinate with, etc. But those details aren’t that important at this point. If they were I would have been exposed to them more. I hope to learn more in the future, but I don’t think it’ll change much for me in this physical incarnation, so it isn’t critical to learn. Besides, my soul already knows all that stuff, having gone through it multiple times before. In the end, I have one main believe – souls have true, unadulterated, freedom of choice. This is why I don’t believe in the buddhist teachings of reincarnation. And the idea that we don’t reincarnate is even less logical. It would be a tremendous waste of energy to have just one lifetime. That belief is a simple result of the requirement that we forget all of this information when we incarnate. If we already know everything, what fun is there in experiencing another lifetime? Forgetting is just one of the rules that makes life more interesting.January 22, 2011 at 12:17 am #157556StryseParticipant
Weird, I just blogged about that. (And I believe you meant that you do not accept reincarnation… for some reason i’ve been being picky about people’s grammer today… don’t mind me.)
Here’s a story that illustrates my evolving views on reincarnation excerpted from today’s training post:
One of the aspects of reincarnation I’ve more recently come across is the notion that there are basically two types of people.
If we envision all human souls as a body of water… with each new life, a drop of this water is placed into a body. When that body dies, the drop returns to the ocean, and becomes an indistinct part of the whole. This is the fate of most people.
Then we have the special people… normally the magi, who have something else happen.
The initiatory experience spoken of in many of the occult mystery traditions does something to the person. Now the initiation is not the one that the high priestess of a coven is conducting for students who have completed their year and a day of studies. This initiation is outside the hands of any person. In Wicca and other traditions of witchcraft its considered an initiation done by the Gods themselves (the big two… Goddess and her Consort… themselves two aspects of a higher God… imho, manifesting only because we humans needed to compare and contrast, so the Force revealed itself in these guises to give us something to contrast and compare). Think of it as… when the Force initiates you.
When this happens the drop that is that person’s soul crystallizes. It can’t be returned to the water for its very nature is changed. It responds differently to the Force than the water does. That soul has undergone a profound transformation. Consequently there is less water available for the next generation of people. These people, whose souls have crystalized, reincarnate in a manner more closely aligned with how people in the west traditionally think of reincarnation. “I was that person, now I’m this person.” They carry forward and get to build upon what came before. The others return to the water to begin again.
I think on Qui-gon in the prequels. He discovered something Jedi before him apparently didn’t know. They would die and ‘become one with the Force.’ Qui-gon learned how to maintain his individuality and persist beyond death… something he taught to Yoda, who taught it to Obi-wan. (Not sure how Anakin figured it out.) Not that that ever translated well onto the big screen.
Maybe that’s why so many people think they were Cleopatra. Maybe she wasn’t an initiate, so her drop returned to the water becoming one with it again, and spreading that existence into the water… thus all that came after her had that in them.January 22, 2011 at 12:32 am #157558JaxKeymaster
That’s another rather human centric perspective, one that strokes the ego just as much as the buddhist idea of being rewarded for enlightenment. It’s a belief that allows people to feel special and excuse poor treatment of those less ‘spiritually advanced’ than they are. However, like most traditions, there are elements of truth in there.
Of course, my disclaimer is that I could be wrong, but I haven’t been told I’m wrong by a source that would know, so I tend to think I’m kinda right. At least they resonate as truth with me. If you disagree with me, that’s perfectly fine. I really mean that. As long as your beliefs aren’t being used to keep another person down or excuse poor behavior, I have no concerns. *end disclaimer*
My understanding is that the reincarnation process repeats until we decide we are done. It’s not linear, though we are maturing as a soul. Even if a person chose to incarnate as a spiritual master in one lifetime they could choose to be a spiritual initiate in the next. It’s entirely up to the individual soul. A soul can choose to incarnate for a while, then take a break from the physical world and spend time just in the spirit realms, or choose to be a spirit guide for a time. However, at some point they decide they are truly complete. And that is when they are truly dissolved and reabsorbed into the Force. Up until then, I believe (but can’t guarantee in the least) the soul remains a distinct entity – at once a part of the Force yet with a separate identity. It is the core that is us (and other beings.) It isn’t just the select few that do this, it is truly everyone. Is it possible that a lot of people have Cleopatra in them? I guess. But I have a hard time believing it. I suspect instead this is the result of people fraudulently providing a past life reading. It can also be a misinterpretation of a past life which is easy enough to have happen.
The key to understanding all of this is to recognize the ways humans project their desires onto spirituality. If the belief creates a hierarchy, I’d hazard a bet that it’s an incorrect understanding. If that belief is used to gain power over another, I guarantee it’s untrue.January 22, 2011 at 1:07 am #157561One-Winged AngelParticipantQuote:I have seen that some people here may believe in reincarnation, and although I follow the Buddha’s example I do not except reincarnation, I believe in a spiritual or energy existence after we pass away, and any other life that some people think they have had comes from their ancestors or other people that they have a connection with, what do you all believe, in regards to what I have mentioned.
My belief keeps to the idea of reincarnation. Of course, “belief” is really just another word for “theory”, which I have a lot of. The conditions of reincarnation are something I am not directly aware of, so I don’t claim to know what it consists of. Hell, I don’t even claim to know, as a matter of fact, that there is any form of an afterlife.
I do, however, like to think that the birth-death-rebirth cycle of reincarnation is necessary for us, as spiritual beings, to learn all that we can – to grow to our fullest potential, and to allow our Higher Selves to fully develop. The cycle tempers us for our final incarnation, in which we achieve & experience perfect Enlightenment; and upon death, after achieving this state, we reunite with the Cosmos – the Force, if you will.
I say “perfect Enlightenment”, because after reading Brandel’s way of seeing things here, my reckoning on reincarnation shifted, a little. Basic Buddhist doctrine teaches that there are two “types” of Nirvana – or Enlightenment. I ought to note at this point that “Enlightenment” or Nirvana, by my reckoning (thanks to Brandel), is essentially synonymous with “connecting with or feeling the Force”, in any respect.
Anyway, the two basic “types” of Nirvana, a la Buddhist thought, are:
1.) That which has a residual basis – wherein a living being continues to pursue an earthly life, and
2.) That which has no residual basis – wherein there is complete extinction (Parinirvana): nothing tangible remaining behind.
In either case, Nirvana is thought of as a permanent change in perception or state of being; once you achieve Enlightenment, you remain Enlightened. I like to consider a third alternative, of sorts, which essentially defines a sort of “lesser Nirvana“, which is no different in nature than the other two – it is only different in duration: It is transient, and temporary. Not an “Awakening”, which is more-or-less a sign that one is on the correct path to Enlightenment, one experiences this “lesser” Enlightenment fleetingly and impermanently, which we – as practitioners of Jedi Realism – conceive as “feeling the Force”.
This is the theory I favor the most, and is thus the one I pursue the most in practice. I also consider the idea of Heaven & Hell, a la Christianity and its relatives, as well as the complete absence of any form of afterlife. Since I don’t know, I don’t like to narrow my views down that much.
However, I do believe that many of the “past life memories” some of us experience are, as you said, the memories of our ancestors. One’s lineage can say a lot about what type of a person one may turn out to be, and I consequently subscribe to a loose form of ancestor worship, as well.
Essentially, to answer your original question – “what do you all believe” – it’s probably easiest to say that I spent the majority of my teenage years, and all of my adult years thus far, studying, researching, and practicing various beliefs and disciplines of most of the world’s major religions (and some minor ones, as well). In keeping with the Buddha’s direction, I’ve taken bits and pieces of each, which I know works for me, and tossed them all in together – the useless superstitions, and other pieces which don’t benefit me in any way, or which otherwise have not worked for me in practice, I discard.
For practicality, I generally refer to myself as a “Mahayana Buddhist,” because the majority of what I believe stems from that system of spirituality.January 22, 2011 at 1:07 am #157562StryseParticipant
Unless its true for all lifeforms, in which case it may not be all that humanly-centric anymore. While I suppose I might have lived as something other than human… i have sincere doubts about it. Ours is not the first race to walk this Earth, and evolve beyond the need for it. I think reincarnation is reflective of a bigger process at play. Humanity as a whole is going somewhere, just as the individuals comprising it are.
I do, however, draw a distinction between one’s spirit and one’s soul. Not the same things, and both persist when the body does not.
On the contrary though, I view this ‘crystalization’ as a rather serious matter… one of great responsibility for those who bare it…. if its at all true to begin with. Rather than something to put people down, it should be about raising people up. I suppose you could say my beliefs on this serve the opposite. Its no excuse to behave poorly… indeed I see it as a reason to expect better from you than I would expect from the broader population. You’re not special… you’ve just acheived something in your own development and that sets you up for even greater challenges.
No one will get very far, for very long, by steping on the backs of others. They can only raise you so high before they break and you come toppling down upon them. Find a better platform to stand upon than your brothers and sisters. Those who have passed whatever hurdle it represents, I feel, are called upon to serve their fellows. Although I used the word initiation… I meant it in a far less worldly sense than I think it came across. Hard to articulate… but I see it as a milestone in that maturing of our souls…. and kind of a metaphysical extension of natural selection.
I guess maybe a good analogy is an adult and a child. Is an adult really special compared to a child? No. They’re of the same stuff… one is just a little further along… developmentally (for lack of a better word). I dunno.. kind of a poor analogy in hindsight.
In anycase, something initiatory does happen to us sooner or later. Those trials I keep mentioning… I was sincere in that in a lot of ways, they’re just the trials of getting by in daily living… nothing particularly new and unique to the Jedi…. however to those whom the universe has initiated (which sooner or later will be everyone) those trials become more pronounced and usually have a certain strangeness to them that most people don’t have.
I’d stand with you, Jax, in opposition to anyone who wanted to use such a gift to knock anyone else back, or stand in the way of someone else’s progress. What happens to one stone reflects upon them all. Every back we break to advance ourself diminishes the whole of our race, and thus diminishes ourself as well.
The beauty, of course, is that a belief is not a fact. And I have no facts in regards to death and beyond.
We can kind of view our own Jedi path as a microcosm of it all. We seek to better ourselves… which means we acknowledge we’re flawed and less than we can be… and we work hard to improve upon those flaws and make ourselves more than we were.January 22, 2011 at 1:11 am #157563StryseParticipantQuote:In anycase, something initiatory does happen to us sooner or later. Those trials I keep mentioning… I was sincere in that in a lot of ways, they’re just the trials of getting by in daily living… nothing particularly new and unique to the Jedi…. however to those whom the universe has initiated (which sooner or later will be everyone) those trials become more pronounced and usually have a certain strangeness to them that most people don’t have.
Announce to the universe that you are Jedi… and it will test your claim.January 22, 2011 at 1:14 am #157564One-Winged AngelParticipant
Jax and I have differences of opinion when it comes to the nature of reincarnation. However:Quote:No one will get very far, for very long, by steping on the backs of others.Quote:I’d stand with you, Jax, in opposition to anyone who wanted to use such a gift to knock anyone else back, or stand in the way of someone else’s progress. What happens to one stone reflects upon them all. Every back we break to advance ourself diminishes the whole of our race, and thus diminishes ourself as well.
^This!January 22, 2011 at 1:20 am #157565StryseParticipantQuote:Jax and I have differences of opinion when it comes to the nature of reincarnation.
Apparently Jax and I have difference of opinion too… but that’s what makes this such a remarkable little community. We’re happy to disagree, and often it makes our relationships with each other stronger.Quote:However:Quote:No one will get very far, for very long, by steping on the backs of others.Quote:I’d stand with you, Jax, in opposition to anyone who wanted to use such a gift to knock anyone else back, or stand in the way of someone else’s progress. What happens to one stone reflects upon them all. Every back we break to advance ourself diminishes the whole of our race, and thus diminishes ourself as well.
Rather Minbari, no?January 22, 2011 at 1:22 am #157566StryseParticipantQuote:That’s another rather human centric perspective, one that strokes the ego just as much as the buddhist idea of being rewarded for enlightenment. It’s a belief that allows people to feel special and excuse poor treatment of those less ‘spiritually advanced’ than they are. However, like most traditions, there are elements of truth in there.
Incidentally, I’d also wager its far more a curse than a reward. The Trial of the Mark… and the mark comes from somewhere…
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