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Thread: Rebirth

  1. #1
    Registered User Heath's Avatar
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    Rebirth

    I'm wondering if any of you here believe in being reborn? Either body and soul, or just soul?

    As for me I do. Or at least, I think it more likely then heaven or hell. Think about it: scientists tell us that the universe is expanding all the time. And with it expanding the universe will eventually end because of it. But that's not the point I'm trying to make. What I'm saying is that there is this theory that the universe will act similiar to an elestic band. It'll keep on getting bigger till it eventually just comes rushing back, and suddenly a whole new universe will be reborn. And if the universe can be reborn, then why can't our souls be too?

    But it's more then that. Maybe it's just me and my craziness, but sometimes I feel that this isn't the first I did this. And when I try to strain my memory I feel there should be something more then what I remember from when I was four, five years old. Do any of you ever get feelings like this? And when you see old photographs the setting doesn't seem as alien as maybe it should be. Do any of you think I'm crazy for feeling like this?

    Yes, I know that it's bad to think something could be true on a loose theory and a feeling, but rebirth does have something to it. How could have Hinduism, which is the oldest religion in the world and believes in rebirth, have survived so long if there wasn't anything to it?

    Do any of you here feel like this too? Or do you think it could be true, but you're not convinced? Or do you think rebirth couldn't happen at all?

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    quite like george NikolaiI's Avatar
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    I do believe in reincarnation, I don't necessarily share your views about the way the universe begins again, though I think it does go in cycles as well.

    About rebirth, the strongest evidence I have for it is that I have had deja vu literally thousands of times in my life. It's been quite strong feelings. Now, I've heard people say that, perhaps, the scientific stance on it is that it's the mind playing tricks on itself. For me, I doubt this is the case. My best analogy for this is that when I step outside, and feel a cold wind, do I doubt it's cold? I do not. And when I have deja-vu, it's all of my senses working together to tell me that there's something more.

    There's other reasons I believe there's something more and something spiritual, as well, but deja-vu is a pretty big one. I don't know, I guess everyone perceives the world in a unique way so my feeling is not the same as others, which possibly explains why some think it means something and some think it does not. It's almost like the universe telling you that there is a deeper meaning, a deeper truth.

    As for heaven, I believe that exists, too. To sum up shortly... I think Truth is God, and God and heaven are quite similar - not the Christian God, actually I'm a Hindu myself - and.. truth doesn't have any contradictions in itself. We ask if its real, we don't know, but one day we will, we will all be enlightened; truth is infinite; it is one and infinite, and its the source of the whole universe. So yes, it has substance, as it's the very source of reality. I hope that didn't go too far off topic. I know rebirth is the issue here.

    There isn't an empircal proof of heaven, of God. Only a subjective experience through mysticism and revelation. Those against it demonize all believers as deluded. But there's no reason to get emotional aobut it; once we get emotional then we don't think any more. In my opinion, all true saints - Milarepa, Buddha, Christ, Krishna - so forth, actually spoke of a single truth, even if from slightly different angles. All true prophets spoke of seeing the light, and seeing that it was everywhere; and seeing that peace beyond peace was our heritage. It says in the Quran, "No matter which way you look, you look upon the face of Allah." Mystics and so on saw that God was real, and angels and heaven became real to them.

    "[Socrates] Moreover, I said, you must not wonder that those who attain to this beatific vision are unwilling to descend to human affairs; for their souls are ever hastening into the upper world where they desire to dwell; which desire of theirs is very natural, if our allegory may be trusted.
    [Glaucon] Yes, very natural.
    [Socrates] And is there anything surprising in one who passes from divine contemplations to the evil state of man, misbehaving himself in a ridiculous manner; if, while his eyes are blinking and before he has become accustomed to the surrounding darkness, he is compelled to fight in courts of law, or in other places, about the images or the shadows of images of justice, and is endeavoring to meet the conceptions of those who have never yet seen absolute justice?"...

    (From Plato's Allegory of the Cave)
    Last edited by NikolaiI; 06-29-2009 at 12:36 PM.

  3. #3
    Coming from the sea lupe's Avatar
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    There is indeed no reason to get emotional about it, as NikolaiI says; and nobody "demonizes" anybody, certainly not the ones who do not believe in demons.

    However, simply, the fact that one person (or millions for that matter) "believes" in heaven, reincarnation, prophets and all the rest - as they have all the right to do - do not automatically make these things exist. This is something that deists find very difficult to accept.

    The phenomenon of "déjà vu" has been so widely examined and explained in scientific terms, that is quite funny to use it to "prove" any metaphysical belief. Actually, all of the serious deist philosophers have abandoned its use as an argument.

    And, by the way, we have been always told by the religious believers that there is nothing to "prove", no "rational" argument, nothing that humans actually "understand" concerning the existence of metaphysical convictions. There are only experienced by those who believe in them. So why try to "prove" them empirically ?
    ...As a moth mistakes a bulb
    for the moon, and goes to hell...


    -Tom Waits-

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    quite like george NikolaiI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lupe View Post
    There is indeed no reason to get emotional about it, as NikolaiI says; and nobody "demonizes" anybody, certainly not the ones who do not believe in demons.

    However, simply, the fact that one person (or millions for that matter) "believes" in heaven, reincarnation, prophets and all the rest - as they have all the right to do - do not automatically make these things exist. This is something that deists find very difficult to accept.

    The phenomenon of "déjà vu" has been so widely examined and explained in scientific terms, that is quite funny to use it to "prove" any metaphysical belief. Actually, all of the serious deist philosophers have abandoned its use as an argument.

    And, by the way, we have been always told by the religious believers that there is nothing to "prove", no "rational" argument, nothing that humans actually "understand" concerning the existence of metaphysical convictions. There are only experienced by those who believe in them. So why try to "prove" them empirically ?
    I was not posting my post in any way or reason to prove my understanding. I wasn't using it as proof for me. For me, I am sure, that the feeling is real, that there is something more. As I said, it feels like it is true, not like it's not. It feels like a cold day, so I do not doubt my senses that it's a cold day. It's real for me and it's fun for discussion but not argument.

    No, because others believe something is absolutely no reason to believe it exists. I don't believe anything I haven't experienced myself. You know, just because some people, who happen perhaps to be scientists, decide that deja vu doesn't mean what it does to me, doesn't mean that I should accept them. Nor am I saying all you should accept mine (understanding). Nor am I saying those who perceive differently are wrong. Again, it's not about proof, just discussion (at least for me).

    As for what you say religious believers have said, that may the case of some. Not anyone I value or respect. The ones I value, just for instance, Swami Vivekananda, did not say anything like that and said quite the opposite. The whole point is knowing. Swami Vivekananda said, if God exists, then all people should be able to feel this, just as if it's warm out, all people can feel it's warm. If there is intelligence and love behind the universe, then it should be perceptible to all.

  5. #5
    Coming from the sea lupe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NikolaiI View Post
    I was not posting my post in any way or reason to prove my understanding. I wasn't using it as proof for me. For me, I am sure, that the feeling is real, that there is something more. As I said, it feels like it is true, not like it's not. It feels like a cold day, so I do not doubt my senses that it's a cold day. It's real for me and it's fun for discussion but not argument.

    No, because others believe something is absolutely no reason to believe it exists. I don't believe anything I haven't experienced myself. You know, just because some people, who happen perhaps to be scientists, decide that deja vu doesn't mean what it does to me, doesn't mean that I should accept them. Nor am I saying all you should accept mine (understanding). Nor am I saying those who perceive differently are wrong. Again, it's not about proof, just discussion (at least for me).

    As for what you say religious believers have said, that may the case of some. Not anyone I value or respect. The ones I value, just for instance, Swami Vivekananda, did not say anything like that and said quite the opposite. The whole point is knowing. Swami Vivekananda said, if God exists, then all people should be able to feel this, just as if it's warm out, all people can feel it's warm. If there is intelligence and love behind the universe, then it should be perceptible to all.
    You have every right not to "accept", nor "value", nor even "respect" all those who have spend a great deal of time examining those issues and have come to conclusions that do not unfortunately confirm you own beliefs. Obviously, these risk being most of them who "happen to be scientists". But then you are not advancing the "discussion" that you say you aim in the first place, at least not in a serious and constructive manner.

    Your trick about the weather is catchy but does not resist any serious examination. You see, many people have of course different tastes about the weather, but warm and cold temperature can be very easily proven empirically. Again, you are trying to merge physics and metaphysics – something that does not really serve your purposes.

    Nevertheless, if Swami Vivekananda is right, then "God" does not exist, since obviously not "all people are able to feel this", nor "it's perceptible to all"…
    ...As a moth mistakes a bulb
    for the moon, and goes to hell...


    -Tom Waits-

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    quite like george NikolaiI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lupe View Post
    You have every right not to "accept", nor "value", nor even "respect" all those who have spend a great deal of time examining those issues and have come to conclusions that do not unfortunately confirm you own beliefs. Obviously, these risk being most of them who "happen to be scientists". But then you are not advancing the "discussion" that you say you aim in the first place, at least not in a serious and constructive manner.

    Your trick about the weather is catchy but does not resist any serious examination. You see, many people have of course different tastes about the weather, but warm and cold temperature can be very easily proven empirically. Again, you are trying to merge physics and metaphysics – something that does not really serve your purposes.

    Nevertheless, if Swami Vivekananda is right, then "God" does not exist, since obviously not "all people are able to feel this", nor "it's perceptible to all"…
    It was not a trick.

  7. #7
    DON'T PANIC! Tsuyoiko's Avatar
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    I don't believe in any form of life after death, except in the sense that the atoms of which our bodies consist continue to exist after death.
    "Books don't offer real escape but they can stop a mind scratching itself raw." David Mitchell

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tsuyoiko View Post
    I don't believe in any form of life after death, except in the sense that the atoms of which our bodies consist continue to exist after death.
    What about the idea that life and death are like two sides of a coin, and reflect each other and depend on each other? Or, being and non-being. This is an Eastern philosophical idea. Being and non-being are part of each other like yang and yin.

  9. #9
    Buddha said reincarnation is the same person moving on but its like,

    A 70year old man isn't what he was like at 20 years old but, ! it's still him physically and mentally, Thats what reincarnation is like, Same person moving on but also it isn't, !?

    Its interesting,,, especially that different religions always harp on a different thing !.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sc9108 View Post
    Buddha said reincarnation is the same person moving on but its like,

    A 70year old man isn't what he was like at 20 years old but, ! it's still him physically and mentally, Thats what reincarnation is like, Same person moving on but also it isn't, !?

    Its interesting,,, especially that different religions always harp on a different thing !.
    Yeah, that's one thing in Buddhism... for instance, you both are and are not the same person as you were when you were a baby. The body is always changing, but the soul remains the same. (Well in Buddhism it's a little different, but..)

    A verse from Bhagavad-Gita (2.13) explains it this way:

    dehino ’smin yatha dehe
    kaumaram yauvanam jara
    tatha dehantara-praptir
    dhiras tatra na muhyati

    "As the embodied soul continuously passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. A sober person is not bewildered by such a change."

  11. #11
    Registered User Heath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tsuyoiko View Post
    I don't believe in any form of life after death, except in the sense that the atoms of which our bodies consist continue to exist after death.
    I always find it interesting when people say this. It's not that I'm disrespecting what you believe in, far from it actually. We are all entitled to believe in whatever we want. It's just that to me I find it hard to believe that nothing comes after death, so I find it interesting when people think there is nothing after you die.

    When someone you knew very well has died how can you really believe that they are just gone? And they'll be gone forever? Or even for yourself. I can't imagine myself just melting into nothing when I die. I like to believe that my 'soul' or whatever you want to call it, will be born again. And therefore I'll continue to be in some shape or form.

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    quite like george NikolaiI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heath View Post
    I always find it interesting when people say this. It's not that I'm disrespecting what you believe in, far from it actually. We are all entitled to believe in whatever we want. It's just that to me I find it hard to believe that nothing comes after death, so I find it interesting when people think there is nothing after you die.

    When someone you knew very well has died how can you really believe that they are just gone? And they'll be gone forever? Or even for yourself. I can't imagine myself just melting into nothing when I die. I like to believe that my 'soul' or whatever you want to call it, will be born again. And therefore I'll continue to be in some shape or form.
    One idea or reason I had for believing in rebirth for a while was Nietzsche's idea of eternal recurrence. I guess it could be mathematical, in an infinite universe, everything will recurr eternally.
    Last edited by NikolaiI; 06-30-2009 at 12:57 PM.

  13. #13
    Registered User Heath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NikolaiI View Post
    One idea or reason I had for believing in rebirth for a while was Nietzsche's idea of eternal recurrence. I guess it could be mathematical, in an infinite universe, everything will recurr eternally.
    I agree. Life always does seem to come back in some shape or form. There's no real 'end' or 'beginning', it's just going on forever. So in a thousand years or so, some form of me and everyone else will be there, just not recogniseable as how we are now.

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    Coming from the sea lupe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NikolaiI View Post
    It was not a trick.
    Should-I suppose that this is as far as you can answer my post?

    Quote Originally Posted by Heath View Post
    I always find it interesting when people say this. It's not that I'm disrespecting what you believe in, far from it actually. We are all entitled to believe in whatever we want. It's just that to me I find it hard to believe that nothing comes after death, so I find it interesting when people think there is nothing after you die.

    When someone you knew very well has died how can you really believe that they are just gone? And they'll be gone forever? Or even for yourself. I can't imagine myself just melting into nothing when I die. I like to believe that my 'soul' or whatever you want to call it, will be born again. And therefore I'll continue to be in some shape or form.
    You described in simple words the foundation of belief in rebirth, and basically of all religious faith: "how can you really believe they are just gone?", "I can't imagine myself just melting into nothing when I die". Don't forget what psychiatry teaches us: what is strongly anticipated by the mind is often supplied by it. You could not put it better: "I like to believe that my soul or whatever you want to call it, will be born again..."

    This is exactly the point: this kind of belief has brought enormous comfort and relief to millions of people that feel so powerless in front of the fundamental questions of life and the most frighten one: the mystery and fear of death. They "like to believe" that death is not the end.

    This is all fine and good (the need exists so we have to find something), but the fact that you (and millions other) like to believe does not mean that what you like to believe exists somewhere else that in your head. On the contrary, we have no indications that it exists elsewhere than in your head...
    ...As a moth mistakes a bulb
    for the moon, and goes to hell...


    -Tom Waits-

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    Quote Originally Posted by lupe
    Should-I suppose that this is as far as you can answer my post?
    lupe, sir or miss, the last thing you said to me before this recent exchange was a very mean thing to say. I am not interested, thanks. Goodbye.

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