Reincarnation Revisited

Life

In order to even try to understand reincarnation, I think we have to understand what life is. I know I have said it before, (The following is entirely my opinion, belief, and experience!) life is not just some unkown or unknowable energy force existing in our universe. Life is the universe. Life is the cosmos! Unfortunately most living beings take life for granted. They are alive, life is but a journey from birth to death. It is that, to be sure, but it is so much more. It doesn’t just start with a germinated spore, a fertilized seed or egg, it pre-exists the spore or seed or egg. It is the raison d’être of the cosmos.

I realize this is an insufficient statement for most deep thinkers, you want proof of life. But unlike the human idea of a god which can never be seen or otherwise known, we experience being alive every day of our lives. We just don’t think about it per se, we are satisfied to have it, and do it, without having to acknowledge it. Why should we, it has been with us every moment since our births. Big deal, eh? But it is a big deal, and that is why we must learn to acknowledge it. Not worship it, just acknowledge it. And feel it in your body, because you can feel it. You know you are alive.

Yes, I have failed to meet the burden of proof. We cannot measure life, we cannot pull it out of ourselves, we cannot literally point to it. But we can measure its absence when it leaves us. Its corollary is death, and we know when a body loses life. That body no longer functions. So if we know death, we must also know life. What do you think?

Death

If life is a big question mark, even though everyone and everything that has ever lived has experienced life, then what is death? At first glance, death is the taking away of life. In fact, if life appears from nowhere, death should return one to nowhere. That is logical. But life itself is not logical, is it? Can life really appear from nowhere? Who knows? But when you start to think about it, when you start to look at the realities of life, little clues begin to pop up that make us wonder…

Life itself comes in many forms, from viruses and bacteria, to plants, to animals. Each of those come in millions or billions of varieties, just on this Earth alone. And for now I am not going to discuss life as it may or may not exist on other worlds, we have no actual experience of life on other worlds. On earth, all life has the same building blocks, called cells. DNA, RNA, nucleii, cell walls, etc. I am not a biologist, I have limited knowledge of these things, and the molecules and atoms that make them up. But, basically, life as we understand it starts at the cellular level–in that we are all the same. Cells live, cells die. We are made of cells. We live, we die. We have at least that much in common. To say it another way, death ends our physical lives on Earth.

The Middle Ground: Reincarnation

Is physical life all there is? Many people believe life is only physical. Science can only look at the physical, what you can see is what you get. Religious folk, on the other hand, believe life is more non-physical than it is physyical. They, especially Christians and Muslims, believe in eternity, a perpetual life spent in Heaven or Paradise. But to what end? The idea of reincarnation actually predates the idea of heaven, and in its own way eternity lovers owe their beliefs to the concept of reincarnation. To be “born again” is to reincarnate, but through bad translations and lack of imagination, in my opinion, the concept was bastardized, disfigured, reworked until it came to mean one physical life, in which if you were “born again in Christ,” you got to advance to eternity. The rest of us, well, if they were not born again, or if they never heard of Christ, were condemned to an eternity in hell–a place of great suffering and pain. Not very charitable or hospitable of these neighbourly Christians or Muslims, I would have to say.  Nor of their compassionate God! For a forgiving father figure, he turns out to be nothing but a tyrannical dictator.

My own journey away from religion began when I first came to realize that no matter what people thought of themselves or how good they “believed they were being,” maybe one in a million, if that, would end up in heaven. Especially if, the gods knows how, God knows every thought a person has, people keep on sinning whether they have been born again in Christ or not, showing they are not worthy of heaven, ever. Hell would be everyone’s eternal destination. So either there is no heaven or hell, or God the father is one true prick, without a gram of compassion in his entire being…

Most times when there are two extremes of thought, the actual truth lies somewhere in the middle. So what lies partway between science and religion? My answer is reincarnation. (I am not saying this is the only choice, but I believe it to be a good choice. My experience in a few week period of my life, which I have mentioned elsewhere in this blog, led me to this belief. For me it was real, and therefore true, but I am not asking anyone else to believe me. I am only asking you, the reader, to hear what I am saying.) If there is a reason for life, not even a purpose, just a reason, then reincarnation makes a lot of sense. And it explains something I have never heard anyone else ask: Why are so many people so different from each other, while still maintaining  similarities in thought and disposition to many others, but never all others? But we are all macrophysically the same, are we not.

Reincarnation is a series of movements from knowing very little about life to knowing a lot about life. Each time a life becomes incarnate, it has the opportunity to regress, to stay virtually the same, or to progress. We cannot generally tell by looking at a living being if any of these three conditions is present in an individual–we have no idea what they may have been like before. Yet certain people we feel are older than others, having more wisdom than others, or more life experience. Why is that? And though I do not see this next feeling as often as I see the older being feeling, some people seem to be extraodinarily young. They are excited at anything new they see; they tend to believe anything absolutely anyone tells them. Even as adults they are very much like babies. Trusting, undiscerning, easily hurt, but quickly recovering. Young beings. Very young beings. Inbetween the young and the old seeming people, no matter their physical age, are the greatest numbers of people, people who act like many others, think like many others, and believe like many others. These would be those beings who have lived many lives, but have not yet determined if their lives have value. This is arguably similar to each individual as a whole–growing from a baby through teenagehood to adulthood towards seniority. And though these similarities exist, still there are so many different kinds of people who face life in so many different ways that others can see their individual characteristics. Let us call that our personalities.

Even those who believe in reincarnation differ greatly,  Some look at it through religious eyes, while others through other kinds of eyes. I myself see it through experiential eyes–there are those that fight who they are, while others accept who they are. Literally, there are millions or billions of people alive at any time who are similar yet different, while others are just different. Everything seems to depend on experience, but still different people react differently to different situations, and different stimuli.

I am not saying this is evidence of reincarnation, but it could be….

So why don’t we remember past lives, or past learnings? Well, some of us think we do, but so few find it easy to believe, especially here in the west, that the majority reject it out of hand.  In the east, where reincarnation is taught at a mother’s breast, the concept is much more acceptable. But no matter, there is still very little of what the scientific or religious communities would take as evidence, or beliefs, that reincarnation is a hard sell. Many want to believe it, for it takes the onus off living a saintly life this incarnation, but not so many actually do. Like heaven, it is a nice concept, not a sure thing.

So why can’t we remember? Can you imagine how complicated life would be if we could remember everything from past lives? Life would be unliveable. But, in my opinion, that is why we do not remember. Everything is built into us, all we have to do is need it, and it is there, already inside us.

This attempt at writing about reincarnation is woefully inadequate. I do not feel good about even publishing it. But I look at it as a start. Having got something down on paper is better than never having anything on paper. From here readers can ask questions, make comments, ridicule me if they like. But it is a start for communication. I hope you can appreciate my dilemma…

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Going Home

Hi friends,

Just thought I would drop a quick note to say after 15 days of being wildfire evacuees, we are leaving for home soon.

Gail, the cats, and I are safe and sound. No structures in our town burned, so we have a home to go back to. Unfortunately, other communities were not so lucky. However, no human lives were lost. The toll of other living beings is uncountable.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your well-wishes, and kind, caring thoughts.

Not sure when I will next be writing, but I hope it will be soon.

rawgod

TEACHING OTHERS–WHY? part two

I must apologize. I wrote part one of this post quite a while ago, and had part two almost complete in my mind–but life interfered, and I never wrote it down. And then I forgot about it! In my mind it was written and published, and it was only today when I needed it that I discovered it was not there. How much of it I will remember I do not know, but this is only worrisome to me, because I know my failure. To you, the reader, who know nothing of this, you won’t even notice.

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Just to be clear, this post and its predecessor are not aimed at schoolteachers or college or university professors. Those people are paid to teach our youth things they will need to help them get by in life. Mind you, I do not always agree with what they teach or how they teach, but that is a wholly different matter. This post is aimed at people like philosophers, which I consider myself one, preachers, gurus, and anyone who thinks they have something to offer this world that can help the world become a better place. Needless to say, I am writing this to myself, because I am hoping to offer my experience at the uselessness of trying to teach anything to anyone.

First of all, we really do not want anyone to teach us anything. We know it all already. And if we don’t know it all, do we really need to learn something we are getting along fine without. After all, our parents brought us up to live in this world, and, yeah, they made mistakes, but there is no parenting manual that works for every situation. It’s just life, and we make it up as we go along. So get out of my face!

But we wannabe teachers ignore such proclamations. We know something that will make life easier for others, or better for others, and despite what others think or believe, we know we can help them. Right! Right? Wrong…

How arrogant of us! Over 37 BILLION people in this world, and we are the ones who know best what is good for everyone! You know what I’m saying. You’ve felt it. If you haven’t felt it why are you trying to teach anyone anything? You believe in yourself, right? You know what you have to offer. You are going to save the world.

You are not going to save the world. No one is. No one person can. Farbeit for me to disillusion you, disappoint you, and dishearten you, but as much as you would like it to be able to, your idea cannot work for everyone. There are too many cultures, societies, nations, types of government, philosophies, religions, political parties, too much of anything, for my, or your, idea to work for everyone. To emphasize this, there are too many individuals to get everyone to believe any one thing. And if you cannot help everyone, what is the use of trying to teach anyone.

For some it is teaching what someone taught you, and you are but another teacher in a long line of teachers teaching the same thing, generation after generation. You are convinced that what you are teaching is helping others even as what others taught you helped you. Or, you are someone who was not helped by what others taught you, and you discovered all on your own something that helped you, so now you want to teach others what you know helped you, because it can help them too. Forget it!

FOOLS!  WE ARE ARROGANT FOOLS! You know nothing. I know nothing. All we are doing is hoping someone will believe us, about how we see the world, about how we can save the world. Because if someone believes us, then we know we are making a mark in this world. We know we are not crazy egomaniacs with visions of megomolania. I used to be a crazy maniac, with visions of megalomania. But now I know I am just a fool, a person utterly honest with myself, wanting you to be utterly honest with yourself too. I know nothing. You know nothing. And that is the way life is.

I am not trying to say I have nothing to offer, or you have nothing to offer, but offer it, and forget it. As I said in part one of this post, you cannot control what you say once you’ve said it, nor can you control what someone hears in what you said. No language is perfect. Whatever language you speak, whatever language your reader reads, you cannot guarantee the reader is reading what you are saying. I’m sorry, but that is the truth. You may think they are agreeing with you, they might tell you they are agreeing with you, but really they are agreeing with themselves. They are agreeing with WHAT THEY THINK YOU ARE SAYING, and you have no way to control that. Yes, you may have used the best words you can think of, in the best language you know to say them, but  only you know what you are truly trying to say. No one else!

Take a look at some of our most famous human teachers from the past. Moses, Abraham, Buddha, Christ, Mohammed, Paul of Tarsus, Martin Luther, and all the ones we are missing. Notice who this list is missing: Africans, Australians, Pre-Columbus Americans (South and North), all kinds of Asians… What is the one thing everyone on or not on this list have in common–every one of them failed! All! Not just some… If any one of them had not failed this world would be a much better place to be. What is it you have that not one of these teachers had? Not a damn thing.

Now, if you have gotten this far in my little rant, and you think I have insulted you all I can, please let me disabuse you of that idea. Let me ask you a very important question, one I had to answer for myself a number of years ago: What makes you think your words are so important that no one before you has never thought of them before? I know I thought that about what I wanted to teach the world. I believed it to my very bones. Yet when I tried to tell people, no one understood me. Did anyone even try? I don’t know how to answer that! They told me they tried. Some told me they succeeded. But when I heard them repeat it to others, I finally understood my failure. What was so obvious to me was not at all obvious to others. Like a game of Telephone, or Rumour (same game, different name), the meaning changed. And each step it got farther away from me, the more it changed. It did not take long for the meaning to be entirely lost, though the names stayed the same. It was an exercise in futility. And had anyone been there to tell me this, I would not have believed them. I knew I was different, that what I had was special. I still feel that way, all these many years later. But I am enough of a realist to admit that I failed in my intention. I didn’t change the world one whit.

The worst part came for me when I listened to myself speak. Telling others what to do, or how to believe, deprived them of their own humanity, their own belief in themselves. It was easy to think most of them didn’t know how to think, that my thoughts went so much deeper than theirs. But even if that was true, their thoughts were still as important to them as mine are to me.  They wanted to be heard just as much as I wanted to be heard. For themselves they were right, even as I was right for myself. Truth is relative. Belief is relative. Thoughts are relative. Ideas are relative. PEOPLE ARE RELATIVE!

 

People believe what they want to believe, as long as they want to believe it. Encouraging them to believe what they do not want to believe, what they are not ready to believe, does not change them deep inside. ONLY THEY CAN CHANGE THEMSELVES, WHEN THEY WANT TO CHANGE THEMSELVES, WHEN THEY ARE READY TO CHANGE THEMSELVES, and anyone who wants to deprive them of their own journey is a fool, and a bully. How did you get to where you are? Only you can answer that. How did anyone get to where they are at? Only they can answer that. The best we can do is talk to others. The worst we can do is try to teach them. They deserve the right to be who they think they are. If they are right, for them, congratulations to them. If they are wrong, they will change themselves. I believe they have all eternity to find themselves. How long are you willing to allow them?

A REQUEST TO ALL (A)THEISTS. PLEASE…

STOP WRITING WITHOUT RESPECT!

Most atheists know what it is to be theists, we had no choice but to be brought up in religious societies. This was the world around us. As we grew older, and were able to make our own choices, we chose to leave those religions. But that does not mean we forgot what lIfe as a believer was like.

On the other hand, few believers were brought up as non-believers. There are some, of course, but generally that was a family decision, not a societal one. There are very few truely atheist societies in our world. Choosing to leave behind family beliefs and take on societal beliefs is much easier than the other way around. One is joining the larger group, the other is choosing to be a group of one. There is no such thing as a group atheistic belief system. People develop their own beliefs prior to finding others who believe similarly to them. Not the same as them, just similarly. No two atheists believe exactly the same, because no one tells us how to become an atheist. It is a personal journey.

So what I am requesting is for theists to stop writing about who you think atheists are, write about yourselves. Whatever religion you profess, and there are many to choose from, write what you know. That way you seem wise. Write about what you do not know, and you open yourself up to looking like a fool.

As for atheists, please let us keep the peace. If a religious writer is writing about their own religion, please give them the freedom to do so. This is a matter of respect. Give them respect, and maybe they will return it. In time, the maybe will disappear. However, if a religious writer does persist in writing about atheists, and openly showing they do not understand who atheists are, then it is your choice to challenge the fallacies they try to promote. They are saying they do not respect us enough to find out if what they are writing is true, or just a continuation of what they want to believe is true. Correcting their errors, if they persist in spreading them, gives us the right to challenge them.

This is all a matter of respect. Offer them respect, and if they accept it, and return it, please leave them be. If however they choose disrespect, and keep on writing their falsehoods, it is your choice to correct them if you so desire. Please, though, do it with respect. As for theists, please challenge those atheist writers who offer no respect to you.

These are my thoughts, take them for what they are worth to you.

Thank you for reading my request.

 

Death is not Optional –But What If

An Afterlife Was?

Hi friends. I’ve been trying to write this post for some time now, but I just can’t seem to write what I want. It all seems to come out crap. So, after much trial and tribulation, I decided, maybe you folks could write it for me. If you are willing, or even merely motivated to add your own thoughts.

What I would like to know is, if you could choose your own afterlife, would you? Or would you choose immortal death (a death you could never come back from, unlike gods or superheroes)? You have full reign to design any afterlife you would like to go to, or live in. One life to live, possibly forever, or reincarnation if you so desire, a ready-made afterlife such as any world religion might offer, or something that no one but you could ever imagine. Explanations are totally up to you. In fact, anything you want to write is okay with me, as long as it is relatively inoffensive in word if not in deed. So, in other words, if you could be your own god,  what would you design for yourself?

For myself, I would go along with my own philosophy, and incorporate a form of reincarnation. Why, because I do not believe it is possible to learn all about life in one lifetime. Nor do I think one could learn everything one might need to know by living in only one state of reality. I would create for myself a series of incarnations that would build upon each other spiritually, and do it on different levels of life in order to cover all possibilities that could eventuate. It would not be my ego-being that reincarnated, but rather a spirit-being that retains life-learning, and continually adds to it. Being “human” would only be one level of reality, preceded by living as other species of life, and being followed by changing into other forms of life. And even though I am the one creating my own afterlife, I would never write a scenario for a next incarnation until the last incarnation was complete.

This would give me an eternity of living and learning, always filled with new experiences and life-lessons. This is the kind of afterlife I could easily die for. What about you?

What’s Going On–An Open ? from Nan

If anyone was to ask me, how would I describe the position of living beings in our universe, I would have to guess we are slowly learning how to come to terms with ego, and how to open spirit. This is not just a human task, but a life task. Every living being (Is there any other kind?) has spirit, and spirits are the parts of us that progress, or, using other words, are raising their consciousnesses. The thing is, there seem to be three levels of consciousness in my experience: physical, mental, and spiritual. Spirituality informs all levels, but the spirit cannot do much until the physical (ego) is tamed, and the mental (mind) is opened. From the mind all connections can become visible, at which time the spiritual (spirit) is able to awaken, and take over the consciousness it centers. This is about the simplest way I can speak to my own experience, but there is great complexity behind this simplicity.

This relationship, ego to mind to spirit, can be comprehended on the spiritual level of life, but it cannot be easily described in English (the only language I have mastered enough to even try. I would probably need to write a book to try, and I would likely forget to include things that would need to be included to give a full and proper description. (Someday, I may try to construct such a book, but at this point I am still learning. I need more information than I have.) My mind can grasp a lot, but not as much as my spirit feels the need to tell.

As for what is spiritual progress, again I can see more than my spirit can explain. The biggest thing, for me, is understanding why I cannot explain. How does one describe understanding that life has no known goal because knowing the goal would invalidate the journeys we are all on, whether we realize it or not.

Imagine you are Christoffa Colombo. You set off on a journey from Spain convinced you are going to reach India. When you find land, as you expected, you call the inhabitants Indians. Yet even when your error is discovered, you still insist on calling these new people Indians. You want so badly to have reached your goal you are willing to tell one of the biggest lies of all time to hide your mistake. You call the land the Americas after your good buddy, Amerigo Vespucci, but you insist the occupants are Indians. 600 years later this same lie is still being repeated. Indians are from the Americas, not from India. How absurd! Indians are from India, true Americans are from the Americas!

But this is only half the lie. Whatever else you did do, when you discovered America, you failed in your goal. You thought you knew where you were going, but you went somewhere else instead. The Colombo example starts to fall apart now. The Americas interrupted his known goal, India. But what if Colombo did not know where he was going, but he still went anyway, and succeeded in discovering what no European knew was there. How would that have changed the history of the last 600 years? Of course, we can never know, what happened is what happened. The is no changing that!

Therefore I will suppose a new example. Here we all are, on our personal journeys not only to discover our spirituality, but also looking for the goal, or purpose, of life. First of all, how do we know life has purpose? In all the time life has existed on this earth, we have never seen an actual purpose. At best purpose is like time or borders, we can only see them by the influence of human ingenuity. They are thought constructs, without physical reality. Purpose has no physical reality! Or does it? Through first the story of evolution as discovered in the fossils from the distant past, we can read snapshotss of the story of life.

All life started as one-celled beings, or things that became one-celled beings. All life consisted of one-celled beings for millions or possibly billions of years. Then came the first advancement, two one-celled beings joined together and gave forth a new kind of life. Two-celled beings were stronger, more likely to live longer, and procreate better in order to prolong individual lives, and species life. So for a long long time, the most advanced beings on earth were two-celled beings.

Until three-celled beings appeared. Then four-celled beings. At some point life started to become multi-celled beings, with every cell contributing to the life of the whole organism. Do you see what was going on? Life was advancing, all on its own. Given enough time, and enough chance joinings (chaos), life was becoming stronger, and more efficient. Somewhere along the line, life discovered bisexuality. Instead of just splitting into endless copies of of the same original cell-beings, using two genders to reproduce produced many more combinations of possible lifeforms. Progress happened.

DNA was another part of the story of life. I myself do not know much more than the basics about DNA. But I do know we can use human DNA to tell part of our human history. DNA can help us follow the spread of humanity all over the earth. I believe, if we had the know-how, and the equipment, we could probably follow our DNA right back to the DNA of the earliest one-celled beings. Can you imagine the stories that search would tell us? I can! They are amazing! And that story would be the history of life’s progression from the start of life on this planet, right up to the present.

That history is the history of progress. And progress illustrates a drive to purpose. What do I mean by this, a drive to purpose? Purpose might be the raison d’etre, of life–the reason to live. Do we, living beings, have purpose? Most of us think we do, or at least hope we do. We want our lives to mean something. I think that reason, or purpose, is to progress. But progress cannot be purpose, it can only be a way of moving towards purpose. And while we might not know that there is a true purpose of life (although we can have our suspicions), we can fairly reasonably assume life is heading towards something–and we hope that something is purpose. This is what I call the drive to purpose. It is that which fuels us to find purpose.

But here I need to say that which many will disagree with: we on earth, or anywhere in our universe, cannot know the purpose of life! Why not? Because life itself does not know yet what it’s purpose is. All our lives so far are shaped by chaos, by things happening haphazardly. Nowhere in our history has life shown any propensity to progress in a straight line. Don’t you think, if life had a purpose, and knew that purpose, it would move in a straight line towards that purpose. Evolution, or progress, has never moved in a straight line. No, progress is chaotic! As long as chaos exists, and chaos still exists, no one can know true purpose of life–because it does not exist yet. We can reason only as far as the seeming fact life is searching for something by every means possible. And whether we look at physical life, mental life, or spiritual life, there is a drive to find purpose. But until we living beings find it, it cannot exist.

As crazy as this might sound, and I’m sure you will agree with me this does sound crazy, there is no purpose of life. So, in a direct way, you can say I have not really said anything at all in this post. But I have given you what my experience has given me of what is really going on. We, the beings of this cosmos, are looking for the purpose of life, even though we know it does not exist. Yet that purpose, whenever we find it, is the most important thing that life will ever discover. Search on.

WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW

Are SEX SCHOOLS!

I’ve been batting this idea around in my head for awhile now, knowing I want to write about it, but also knowing I had to think of something better than teaching sex in school, although that would not hurt either. Starting teaching children about sex cannot start too young, and done in an honest way, grade by grade, would give the next generation something we do not have now, healthy knowledge about sex.

My motivation for writing about this presently “taboo” subject is in the answer to the question “How many people’s lives are ruined EVERY DAY by an unhealthy introduction to the realities of sex?” When young children are sexually abused, they have no idea it is wrong, and they should tell someone about it. They believe the abuser when he or she tells them not to say anything to anybody or bad things will happen. These children need to know what is happening is wrong, and that they need to tell someone about it, especially if the abuser is a family member. Silence, despite the threats, is by far the worst reaction.

Older children and young teenagers need to know there are right ways to have sex, and a whole number of wrong ways. Boys and girls both need this knowledge. But what they do not need is to be told sex is dirty, or wrong before marriage, or any of the other puritan teachings that pervade our societies today. Sex is a beautiful thing, whether you are married or not. To deny it when your feelings are strongly in favour of it is affecting your whole being, physically, mentally, and spiritually. But knowing about sex is just one part of the equation–these young people also need to know how to have sex so they don’t get hurt, or pregnant! Not knowing how to have sex can hurt a person just as much as denying it.

Older teenagers and even adults can also be affected in myriad ways if they don’t know what they are dealing with, or doing. They need to know how to have sex as much as anyone else. Bad sexual experiences can damage the psyche, and lead to rape, sexual assaults, and even murder. Sex is something everyone wants, and mostly needs. But if you don’t know what you are doing, you are risking your future.

Why should we have sex schools? Sexual crimes are not like other crimes. They are intimately connected to who a person is, and who a person wants to be. And, sexual crimes are so prevalent in our society it is very apparent we as a society are doing something wrong. Like parenting does not come with a manual, neither does sex. Especially when the latter can lead to the former and wreck many people’s lives, we need to protect ourselves against that. Sex schools are but one answer. Until something better comes along, I will advocate for sex schools.

There is a lot more to be said on this subject, but I would like to hear people’s thoughts on this opening of the topic. Yea, nay, or otherwise, all comments are welcome.