Discussions about Afterlife Research, Survival Science, Near Death Experiences, Out of Body Experiences, Spirit Communication, Mediumship, Ghosts, Spirits, etc.
I have a question about reincarnation. Do we choose our lives on Earth? If so, wouldn't everyone choose to be born rich, attractive, healthy and with an easy life? Who would choose to be born as a starving child in Africa who dies after a few years? What would that accomplish? A sick child causes a lot of grief to their parents. Who would choose to do that?
Also, what if everyone chose the same life, how can there be enough "great lives" to go around? Wouldn't most be forced to be born in poverty since most of the world is in poverty?
I read a book about astral planes, and it said that after we die, the plane that we are attuned to will be where we end up, the good go to higher planes, and the bad go to lower planes, etc. But most people are not all good or bad. They are a mixture of good and bad qualities. A lustful person might be a kind loving generous guy who has a good heart with basic morals. So where would he end up, if he has a mixture of wholesome and unwholesome traits? Would they be tallied to see which side was higher?
If departed spirits can hang around Earth for a while to be contacted by mediums, then how does that reconcile with the idea that beyond the physical plane, time as we know it does not exist and is not governed by clocks? If there is no time in other planes, then why would they only be around for a finite time? Wouldn't they have an eternity to hang around if they wanted to? I can't comprehend this. New Age books I've read mention both of these concepts but do not reconcile them.
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
Also, why don't mediums like George Anderson, who have a very impressive record, try to solve mysteries by contacting deceased spirits like Jimmy Hoffa to find their body. Or Lee Harvey Oswald to uncover the truth about the JFK assassination, etc.? Or contact Barbara Olsen to find out what happened to her on Flight 77 on 9/11, which is missing and probably didn't crash into the Pentagon since there were no significant pieces of debris, and not even the engines made of titanium steel, which can withstand anything, survived. There are too many discrepancies about Flight 77 and unknowns. Why don't mediums try to get to the bottom of such mysteries?
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
Uhhhhhh, because there is no such thing as a person who can talk to dead people?
I must have missed this thread back in June. Some Wiccan teachings touch on some of these questions in relation to the Wiccan "Summerland".
Basically, you die and have the option to hang out in Summerland or return via reincarnation. You can pick the time but not the circumstances. It all boils down to the lessons you have yet to learn in life. None of your previous teaching stays with you as memory but the lessons learned stay with you as part of your basic personality. You keep going through similar sets of circumstances until you 'get it right' then you graduate to the next lesson.
I am copying this post from the introduction forum, as this is a better forum to discuss it in:
Some of these are questions which puzzle me as well, and I realise I will never get the full answer to them until I pass over. In absence of that I have to rely on the testimony of others, especially NDE'ers. Yes, most people are selfish, greedy and materialistic because they are on the lower planes. One thing that all NDE'ers and Astral projectors report that as soon as you enter the astral everything becomes more alive, more vivid and we feel a lot less heavier. On the other hand, if you are caught up in the infra levels of the astral, it becomes even more horrific. This is where the nightmares take place and many people who go on bad trips on drugs go. When we pass over, it is said that we go to that plane which we are most attuned to.
Regarding space and time in the higher planes. This is a difficult question and the answer is relative. It seems that in the astral there is no space and time, as you can fly around at will, go forwards and backwards in time, use your will go anwhere you want. At the same time there appears to be space and time, because you still have an awareness of body, space and temporality. Moreover, there are even higher planes above the astral such as the mental, causal and spiritual. A story is told in the Hindu Puranas which maybe quite illuminating. It mentions how a king visits the highest plane Brahmaloka and waits there watching a musical performance by celestial dancers, the king then asks the god Brahma that he wants his counsel on a suitable husband for his daughter, at which Brahma laughs, telling him in the short time he spent in Brahmaloka, eons had passed on Earth. This would suggest that time flows at different rates in each plane.
Now, the question to be asked is do the astral planes actually come into existence on creation or are they eternally existent. An answer answer to this is given in the Purusha Sukta in the Rig Veda. The Purusha Sukta says that all of reality consists of 4 parts, of which only 1 part is constantly being projected and created and destroyed, whereas 3/4th always remain abstract, hidden and eternal. In other words the astral plane and its many levels is eternally existent. There is this very interesting notion in Vedic thought that the physical plane is the most important plane for self-development, designating it as the plane of action, and is the plane where one can deal with karma. It for for this reason even the gods desire to incarnate here.
Your other question was why would anybody in their right mind incarnate in some third world country, as a mentally or physically challenged person, or within a dysfunctional family, or during a time of great strife. Surely, everybody would want to incarnate as royalty. However, we are only saying this from our current perspective where things like having a beautiful body, a great mind, a royal family and living in a comfortable age seem desirable, we are not looking at this in terms of soul entities, to whom what is pleasurable is not necessarily good. The soul works in terms of dealing with karmas and it chooses bodies which can help it deal with karmas. When the soul passes over it reviews its entire life for the progress it has made, and based on that review, together with support from its guides, angels and well wishers, it chooses a new body. In this phase the soul also enjoys or suffers the results of its actions in the various planes for its recent actions, as preparation for the next. As the soul passses through these various stages in preparation many years are passing on Earth, and then the soul chooses the right vehicle through which it can best work out its karma. Sometimes, the soul may choose parents or siblings to whom it has karmic issues to resolve with.
That's certainly one possibility Indigo!!! Of course, the other one is that when we die, we rot away without leaving anything but some bones.
I can only consider a possibility if you can first show it is possible. I answered your
argument in another thread, but I will present a very brief and shorter form. The
"you" part is not your body. The "you" part is your mind which is not reducible to your
body. Your body is extended, divisible, local, mechnical, your mind is nothing like it,
it is not-extended, it is indivisible, it is non-local, it is intentional(i.e., it works in
terms of desires) and it is experiential(emotions, feelings). You are only in association
with a body, you are not actually your body. Hence why "you" are conscious of the body
as something which belongs to you, which you control. This body of mine is not going to
go anywhere unless I tell it to.
The part that you call body is based on a report we get from 5 senses of the outer dimension
of reality. The part we call "mind" is the report we get from a 6th sense of the inner dimension
of reality. Now science backs this up as well, everything we see outwardly has an inner dimension
which is not physical. This is why we cannot find the location of the mind in the physical, we
have looked at every nook and cranny of the brain, and we have not found anything called mind. On
the contrary the neurbiologist Karl Pribram has found the mind to be a non-local thing.
Obviously the inner dimension is more fundamental than the outer dimension. Atoms precede molecules,
energy precedes atoms. Likewise, mind precedes the physical. So you are not going to lose your mind by
losing your body, as much as you are not going to lose your body by losing your clothes. In actual fact, you
have already lost the body innumerable times, what happend to your body 20 years ago? It's gone. It has
been replaced with a new body long since over and over again. In fact the cells of your body are constantly
being replaced. Still "you" remain. So why should it be any different when you lose your body for the last time?
Your mind does not need a body to exist. Your mind can disassociate from your body anytime it wants. For
instance you can be hearing something, your ears are receiving the sound waves and your brain is receiving
the electric signals, but still you do not listen to it, because your mind is somewhere else. In NDE and OBE
experiences, where the mind completely disassociates from the body, you can see your body lying down, whilst
"you" are standing outside of it.
When your mind completely leaves the body your body will fall apart, because the intelligent controller within has
left which was holding it all in place. Isn't it interesting than just how rapidly the body decomposes as soon as
consciousnessness leaves the body.
To use your own words Indigo: "I can only consider a possibility if you can first show it is possible. "
You have written much but said little. Everything you are saying about the body and mind being separate is your belief and that is fine with me. But there is really no evidence to support what you are saying other than what you believe and what others believe. I happen to believe that there is no soul or anything similar. The possibility that a part of you continues after death is illogical to me and has no evidence to the idea. I have not seen anything in my readings or experience that an afterlife is even possible. Using NDEs or astral projections that have been explained does not do the trick. As such, using your own words, reworded a bit: I can only consider the possibility of an afterlife or reincarnation if you can first show it is possible. I have considered the possibility, and you have provided information that in your mind makes it possible, but in my mind, it is not even probably. Sorry, but your argument is not convincing to me. In my world, people die. We bury them, remember them, learn from their lives, and that's pretty much it. The living move on. I know that some people have a hard time with the concept that there is no afterlife. That this is all there is. Well, guess what? It is. This is all there is. I'm going to make the most out of the time I have here. I enjoy life and everything it has to offer. I can't waste my time being afraid to fart because someone's God will banish me to Hell. I can assure you that I have never been happier with my life than I have been since I logically concluded there is no God. No Deity. No Nothing.
It as no more a belief than me saying an apple is different from an orange. It is a logical fact that body and mind are different substances, have different properties, obey different rules are completely irreducible to one another. Can the sun forget to shine or water forget to flow? No, but a human being can forget many things, even how to breath. Does the rain discriminate on who it is going to fall? No, but a human can discriminate on who it wants to keep company with.
I am telling you facts here that living things and non-living things are completely different phenomena. Can you objectively examine how much you love somebody? No, does this mean it does not exist? You have to accept that some things are completely outside of the physical dimension. Why do you want to reduce it all to the 5 senses physical reality? Do you honestly deny that you have thoughts, feelings, desires, aspirations?
Yes, exactly. It is a belief. You want to believe there is no soul, you want to believe everything is physical, you want to believe there is nothing non physical. The belief is so intense you will overlook any evidence to the contrary. You overlooked the very sound reasoning I gave you for why you are not the body, and have not been able to refute this reasoning. You overlook the evidence we have from OBE and NDE reports, and once again have not been able to refute them. You are not ameniable to reason on this matter, because you have chosen to believe.
Of course the existence of the soul is not a belief. It is the most intimate of knowledges that we have. How can you deny that you exist? You cannot deny that you exist. Secondly, how can you deny that you cannot be what you know? You know your clothes, you are not your clothes; you know your body, you cannot be your body; you know your thoughts, you cannot be your thoughts. You are the self that is observing the whole world.
You have mistaken yourself to be the things that you know and because of this you have forgotten who you really are. We become misidentified with things all the time, you can forget your individual self and become identified with a group. So whatever happens to the group happens to "you" You can be watching a movie or a play and become identified with it. So whatever happens in the movie or play happens to "you". Do you deny this happens?
The problem is clear you are not willing to reason. How then are you different to any religious believer?
You bury their bodies Wag. You do not bury "them" Here is a challenge to you, go and and find the brain of somebody stored in a jar, and look for their thoughts, feeling, desires and aspirations. Split it open, look in every nook and cranny and particle and report back to me
First, I didn’t think you used the word “irreducible” correctly so I looked it up. It says that word means “Impossible to transform into a simpler condition.” It doesn’t make sense to me in your sentence. Is that the word you wanted to use?
Next, you say it’s a “logical fact that body and mind are different substances, have different properties…” No, it is not a “logical fact.” It is all one entity Indigo. Your brain does the thinking, your heart pumps blood, your bones hold muscle together, your stomach processes food, etc. Every part of the body has its own function. You are trying to tell us that living things and non-living things are different phenomena. This, I don’t disagree with. But what does forgetting things have to do with reincarnation or the soul? Of course we all have thoughts, feelings, etc. What the hell does that have to do with anything? What are you saying exactly? That when you die, you’ll keep thinking about how much you loved something? That’s exactly how I’m interpreting what you’re saying. And that, Captain, isn’t logical.
As for your OBE/NDE thing, I must’ve overlooked your examples, but I have discussed NDEs quite thoroughly in this forum several months ago and provided quite solid evidence those case studiese. I’ll do it again if you give me just one example you want to look at. You are saying that I am not “ameniable” (sic) to look at it, but you are wrong. I have looked at it. You are the one that is not amenable to realizing that there probably is a simple, logical explanation to OBEs and NDEs.
Perhaps you look at the definition of “soul” different than I. You are saying I have a soul because I exist. I say I exist, but I don’t say anything about a soul. To me, my “soul” is my personality, my beliefs, my thoughts, and everything that I have been taught and experienced throughout my lifetime that has made me what I am today. “I think, therefore I am.” When I die, I no longer think.
Of course your challenge is ridiculous so I’ll offer a counter-ridiculous challenge. Next time you witness brain surgery on a living person, look for their thoughts, feelings, and aspirations. Look at it very closely and then report back to me on your findings…
Finally, I need to make a general note here. If people post an 18 paragraph long comment and somewhere in there, they make a coment expecting someone to "refute" or debunk it, it's probably not going to happen. If you have some evidence, then post it, but keep it short people. Some people out here have jobs, family, and another life outside of the Scepcop forum.
To say something is irreducible to something it means it cannot be reduced to it. I used the word correctly. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/irreducible
A quality is not reducible to a quantity. "Redness" is not reducible to electromagnetic frequencies or "love" is not reducible to chemical changes. You cannot put a quantity and quantity together and then get a quality, you will just a greater quantity. For example 2+2 does not equal happiness.
There are two kinds of things we know quantities and qualities. Quantites are physical objects like forces, charges, mass, weight, dimensions, luminosity. Qualities are mental objects like seeing, hearing, tasting, feeling, thinking, desiring, beauty, morality, ethics, faith.
What is the odd term in this sentence? The odd term is "brain does the thinking" All other terms you have used are quantitative(heart pumps blood, bones hold muscles together, stomach processes food) The brain does not think as much as the eyes do not see, the ears do not hear etc. The brain is a biochemical processor that computes electric signals received from the various senses in the body, much like your computer receives signals from the various inputs or the camera receives light signals. Are you now going to tell me your computer is thinking and your camera is seeing? If you are, you clearly do not know difference between quantity and quality.
Your brain is constantly processing signals received from the senses, such as the eyes. However, you only see when you direct your mind to it. Otherwise you do not see. You could be looking for your keys for instance and they are right in front of you, and even tough you are receiving the signal of the keys through your eyes and your brain is computing it, you still do not see.
You do not seem to know the difference between logic and ontology. You ask for a logical explanation for OBES and NDES, but what you are really asking for a naturalistic explanation. A logical explanation deals with possible worlds, not any particular ontological view of the world. So please stop confusing the two.
You have admitted yourself that living things and non living things are completely different phenomena. You have also admitted you do have a self, thoughts, feeling, desires. Finally, you have also admitted how ridiculous my challenge was of finding thoughts, feelings and desire in the brain.
However, this is inconsistent with your naturalistic view which wants to reduces everything, including yourself to the physical(in your case the brain) If everything is physical then we should be able to find "you" in your brain. Why can't we? Do you have an answer for this? You admit that this non-physical thing called "you" which you know through the 6th sense of your mind cannot be found with the 5 senses of the physical, and yet you still want to reduce your mind to the 5 senses of the physical?
Here is a very simple question if your soul is your personality, beliefs, thoughts, then who is the one that is aware of your personality, beliefs, thoughts, and has power to change the personality, beliefs and thoughts? You seem to be missing something very simple here and that is you cannot be what you can know as objective to you. Do you believe you are the chair you are sitting on, or the monitor you are looking at? Likewise, how can you be the brain? If you were the brain how could you know you were the brain?
Now what does this all have to do with soul, reincarnation etc? The relationship is simple you are the one whose in association with the body, brain and the world, but you are not actually those things themselves. You control your body and brain, they do not contorl you. You are accessing the world, you are not actually inside it.
This is not rocket science it simply requires critical thinking, so you don't confuse qualities for quantities, mind for body, and observer for observed.
The following video explains some of the points I have raised more directly:
In summary: In absence of the explanation of how any kind of physical process can lead to the mind,
your insistance that the mind and the brain are the same thing is pure belief.
I won't argue about whether or not the brain thinks. Here's a reference: http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/on-line/brain/69.asp
Actually, I believe you are confusing epistomology and ontology rather than logic and ontology, but that's okay. I understand.
The rest of what you said was gibberish and does not begin to explain reincarnation, afterlife, or how an animal can continue to exist after the body becomes devoid of oxygen.
Appeal to authority fallacy. I don't care what the science museum web site says.
I am asking you to answer a simple question. How does any number of physical processes lead to non physical and subjective states. Do you believe your computer and thermostat is thinking? Your camera is seeing? Your radio is hearing?
No, it is between logic and ontology. Epistemology is the study of knowledge, science is an epistemology. Ontology is the study of what is the being or substance of the world. And logic is the study of valid arguments.
Materialism/naturalism is an ontology. You are saying to me, "you want a logical explanation" However logic has nothing to do with any ontological philosophy. What you really are saying is you want a materialistic explanation, not a logical explanation.
Materialism is no more self-evident than any other ism. It rests on assumptions which themselves are not proven. It is a belief system at the end of the day and it seems to be your belief system. If it was not a belief you would be able to succesfully reduce mind to the brain and be done with it. However, even you recognise that it ridiculous finding thoughts, feeling and desires by opening up the brain, and admitted that it is indeed a completly different phenomena.
You have not demonstrated your point, "It is gibberish" You need to show how and why it gibberish. You failed to answer many questions I raised.
Why can't we find "you" inside the brain? Why can't I just look into your brain and find your thoughts, personality, feelings, desires, memories?
If we are the brain, how can we be know we are the brain?
If you are thoughts, personalities, beliefs etc, then who is it that is aware of your thoughts, personalities and beliefs and can change them?
You are stumped admit it. I am challenging the very core of your materialistic religion.
While you answering the questions in the previous post, you can also answer
the unanswered questions I left for you in the Human Flying thread regarding
conclusive experiments on astral projection:
Other experimenters including Robert Morris at the Psychical Foundation of North Carolina spent two years investigating OBEs. A volunteer subject Keith 'Blue' Harary, who claimed to have been having out of body experiences since childhood, was able to lie down in a sealed laboratory room and project himself to another house twenty yards away. While there he was able to read letters and report accurately on which experimenters were sitting there and where they were sitting.
In the United States, Karlis Osis and Boneita Perskari spent several years doing scientific research with an excellent OBE subject, Alex Tanous, and were able to achieve significant results. One particular test involved Tanous traveling astrally to a different place miles away to visit a particular office to see what was on the table then report back. Tanous did not know that at this office a psychic, Christine Whiting, was waiting to see if she could see anyone coming to visit. With her clairvoyant sight she was able to see Tanous come into the office and as well she described in detail his position and the shirt with rolled-up sleeves and the corduroy pants he was wearing (Williams 1989: 35-36).
French researchers including Professor Richet spent many years having the exteriorized body move material objects, produce raps at a distance and affect photographic plates and calcium screens. They photographed exteriorization.
The late Karlis Osis, of the American Society for Psychical Research, sought to determine whether a physical instrument could detect a psychic's "astral body" at the time he was attempting to view a hidden target through his astral vision. Osis installed a strain gauge (which detects extremely subtle physical movements) in front of an optical device in which a graphic "target" was concealed. The setup was such that the image could only be perceived face-on - from the place where the strain-gauge was located; otherwise, from a different angle, a viewer would only see overlapping lines. The psychic Alex Tannous, who was not told about the strain gauge, was asked to attempt to project in front of the optical apparatus, and describe what he saw. Osis found that the strain gauge registered significantly more movement in those trials in which Tannous gave correct descriptions of the target. The implication may be that some facet of Tannous' mind was indeed "projecting" in front of the optical apparatus.
In the mid-1970s, Dr. Robert Morris and his colleagues conducted an interesting experiment with psi researcher Keith Harary as subject. Like Miss Z, Harary - at the time a psychology student - seemed able to voluntarily induce an OBE. His kitten, enclosed in a cage and constantly filmed, was to act as a biological detector of Harary, who would attempt to 'project' his consciousness into the cage from a distant room. Indeed, it was found that the kitten's agitation - its movements in the cage - was significantly reduced specifically at the moments at which Harary had been instructed to project his consciousness into the cage. Over time, however, the kitten's "baseline agitation" decreased, and its reactions to Keith Harary seem to have declined - perhaps as it became habituated to the experimental conditions (i.e., being locked in a cage!)
In all these studies I have mentioned there are sufficient controls and all involve the subject having to project to another location to see a target/s, they also involve some kind of detector at the location to detect the astral body. These are therefore conclusive studies for the reality of astral projection.
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