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Author Topic: Summerland and Reincarnation  (Read 11548 times)
yewberry
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« Reply #30: September 24, 2007, 12:41:31 pm »

The Universe is so freaking sneaky in how it does things, stuff could come back to you and you not even realize at the time. Just like all the bad karma that you want to catch up with those evil people is catching up with them.

Which is exactly why I don't believe in Karma (either the Eastern or Western versions).  If every bad thing that happens to you is a Karmic repercussion, then every baby with cancer did something "wrong" in a past life and somehow earned its suffering.  I wouldn't want to live in a world where this was true.

Brina
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« Reply #31: September 24, 2007, 01:15:06 pm »

The Universe is so freaking sneaky in how it does things, stuff could come back to you and you not even realize at the time.

See, this is the one thing I have a serious problem with in regards to karma. How is anyone supposed to learn anything if everything is so "sneaky" and subtle? Also, it then begs the question - if something bad happens to you, how do you figure out if it was someone doing something "bad" to you or the result of something you deserved? So, for all I know, the ding in the hood of my car could be the result of karma for thinking ill of others or telling someone that yes, that new haircut is great!
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« Reply #32: September 25, 2007, 04:34:33 pm »

See, this is the one thing I have a serious problem with in regards to karma. How is anyone supposed to learn anything if everything is so "sneaky" and subtle? Also, it then begs the question - if something bad happens to you, how do you figure out if it was someone doing something "bad" to you or the result of something you deserved? So, for all I know, the ding in the hood of my car could be the result of karma for thinking ill of others or telling someone that yes, that new haircut is great!

I only worry about things that are of greater importance.  It would be pure paranoia to worry everytime I looked at someone, had a fleeting bad thought about their appearance, and then worried what karmic event would befall me because of it.  Some things that happen to me that others think are bad, I don't view as such.   
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« Reply #33: September 28, 2007, 08:54:36 pm »

Which is exactly why I don't believe in Karma (either the Eastern or Western versions).  If every bad thing that happens to you is a Karmic repercussion, then every baby with cancer did something "wrong" in a past life and somehow earned its suffering.  I wouldn't want to live in a world where this was true.

Brina

That's a pretty common misconception among EVERYONE who has not studied Buddhism in depth. Babies do not get cancer because they did something bad in a former life, people do not die horribly because of bad karma. I'm sorry but this a pet peeve of mine that I have had a LOT of people bring up to me. If you want to know what Karma is and how it actually works PICK UP A BOOK AND READ about IT!  Or ask a Buddhist. Go to your local Buddhist/Zen Meditation Center and talk to them. Please don't just pass judgement on my beliefs without bothering to first freaking learn about them. Then you and I can have an intelligent discussion about the matter if you would like, but I will not sit here and accept a blanket dismissal of my beliefs when you know nothing about them. And from what you are saying, have made no attempt to learn about them either. 

~ Blue Lotus Child 

P.S. Yeah this post is very confrontational, but you touched on a pet peeve of mine. If you want a list of books to read that explain the concept of karma, or you would like links to webpages for further education I will get those for you. I will give that info to anyone who asks for it.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2007, 08:57:58 pm by Blue Lotus Child » Logged
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« Reply #34: September 29, 2007, 12:07:10 pm »

With Samhain quickly approaching, I've been thinking a great deal about what happens to us after death. This is the time of year when the veil thins, and those with mediumistic talent attempt to contact ancestors and others who have gone on. However, many pagans also subscribe to belief in reincarnation. How does one reconcile these two set of "beliefs"?

Those are some great questions & things I've wondered about myself.  I tend to be one of those who "hears" from those on the other side frequently (human and animal), and have quite a bit of success making contact too, so I believe our souls continue to exist in some form after death.

But yet, I also think some kind of reincarnation theory has merit.  I like what Juni has to say on that subject.
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« Reply #35: September 29, 2007, 01:06:50 pm »

If you want to know what Karma is and how it actually works PICK UP A BOOK AND READ about IT!

I have read.  And I understand the Eastern notion of Karma is different than the cause-and-effect Western version.  I understand that the Western version is overly simplistic.  But the fact remains that Karma is the pattern and culmination of a person's thoughts and actions through multiple lifetimes.  If you have a tumor, or your mother loves you, or your cat dies and it hurts you, this is the subtle action of Karma.  And I simply don't think that's how the world works.  Well, that and I don't believe in reincarnation or a need to attain Nirvana.  I like life.  I don't think it's just getting in the way of enlightenment.  It's an end unto itself.

I'm sorry if I seemed dismissive.  It was a thoughtless moment on my part.  You're welcome to your beliefs.  I just disagree is all.

Brina
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« Reply #36: September 29, 2007, 01:43:30 pm »

But the fact remains that Karma is the pattern and culmination of a person's thoughts and actions through multiple lifetimes.  If you have a tumor, or your mother loves you, or your cat dies and it hurts you, this is the subtle action of Karma. 

I feel that it is a bit more complex than that. It is more similar to the idea that Einstein described in general relativity. He postulated that what we perceive to be gravity is actually a ripple in the fabric of space/time caused by the interactions between one system and another. When we become aware of our active participation in this reality, we are able to direct our will in relationship to others. It does not mean that if we have been "naughty" that bad things will happen to us in this life or the next, not necessarily, but it does mean that our actions do have an affect on us and those around us. No one exists in a vacuum - we are all connected to each other. 

Well, that and I don't believe in reincarnation or a need to attain Nirvana.  I like life.  I don't think it's just getting in the way of enlightenment.  It's an end unto itself.

And this may be what you are called to. However, I would feel sad for the baby with cancer if this "life" was the end. I agree with the idea that attachment can cause suffering, but I also believe that without suffering there is no true understanding of joy.

I'm sorry if I seemed dismissive.  It was a thoughtless moment on my part.  You're welcome to your beliefs.  I just disagree is all.

And the truest joy is that we are all enriched by being able to agree to disagree.

Good posts, people! Cheesy
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« Reply #37: September 29, 2007, 02:58:32 pm »

With Samhain quickly approaching, I've been thinking a great deal about what happens to us after death. This is the time of year when the veil thins, and those with mediumistic talent attempt to contact ancestors and others who have gone on. However, many pagans also subscribe to belief in reincarnation. How does one reconcile these two set of "beliefs"?

Is a part of your soul and your personality archived away in the Summerland, for your descendants to contact and seek guidance/protection of?
Are you fully reincarnated, and when the living try to contact the dead - are they summoning something else? A thoughtform? a spirit of some kind?
Is past life regression work worthwhile?

Just curious what everyone thinks about this.

I love Samhain - I first came to understand Samhain through el Dia de los Muertos as a child in Arizona. Although technically a Roman Catholic holiday, it has a distinctly Aztec flavor. The belief is that the ancestors are all around us, and that by setting up  Ofrendas (altars to the dead relatives giving candy, flowers, toys for deceased children, photographs - a celebration of life, really) that there will be "blessings". As far as what the blessing are really depends on your culture and specific tradition, since so much of it is from indigenous pagan origins.

Working into that, I am a member of the the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and we follow the mythology/belief that many of the indigenous peoples of the Americas actually came from the "old world" long ago, and the Christ came to the "new world" after he was crucified and reascended. Stories of Quetzalcoatl (Aztec and Toltec) seem to imply that this would have been possible. At any rate, the symbols are there for us to learn from.

The tradition that I follow describes a system where both scenarios (ancestor veneration and continual progression) work in harmony. I will explain through a story:

Before we came to this earth, we lived in another world with other souls like ourselves - peer souls, or spirit brothers and sisters - as well as with souls that were above us in rank/stature/maturity or the like; these were our spirit parents, called Father and Mother. The world where we lived was a wonderful place, but we would not be allowed to stay there forever. We had to continue to learn and to grow if we were to ever become like Mother and Father, Gods, as they were. So, we were told that we would need to go to a "school", called Earth, and that we would face many challenges, but that if we worked hard and tried to love each other the best we could, that we would get to come back "home" for a little while before going somewhere else. After we died on this Earth, we would spend some time in either a Spirit Paradise or a Spirit Prison, depending on how we polarized ourselves (growth versus stagnation) until the next phase began in our collective development. The souls in Paradise would be able to help others in Paradise, in Prison, and on Earth, but would be a bit limited by the lack of a physical body. Therefore, in some cases, those of us living on earth might be called to do work that would help the dead.

My sister was killed in an automobile accident 8 years ago this winter Solstice (Dec). I remember feeling her energy following us as we prepared for her funeral. It wasn't until several months later that she went to where ever she was supposed to go. I remember the last night I felt her in that confused state - she entered my dreams and I had to forcefully tell her to move on. Since then I have felt her love from time to time, almost like a blanket when I am cold, but nothing more.

As far as past life regression, I don't feel that there is any harm in trying to remember the pre-mortal existence. I don't remember who posted this a moment ago (and please forgive me as I am still learning how to use this forum) but I agree that some souls can (and may in fact be encouraged to) return repeatedly to help us all along. Maybe Zoroaster, Christ, Buddha, and Mohammed (and countless others) were all the same soul trying to help groups of us along were we needed to be when we got side-tracked. I feel that meditation on who you are and what you are supposed to be (in an eternal sense, past-present-future) is ALWAYS a good thing. I meet people all the time that I KNOW that I knew before this life, whether on the Earth or somewhere else I don't know, but in some ways, I don't know how much difference it would make . . .

Anyhow, I hope this helps.
 Smiley

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« Reply #38: September 30, 2007, 02:10:58 am »

I feel that it is a bit more complex than that. It is more similar to the idea that Einstein described in general relativity. He postulated that what we perceive to be gravity is actually a ripple in the fabric of space/time caused by the interactions between one system and another. When we become aware of our active participation in this reality, we are able to direct our will in relationship to others. It does not mean that if we have been "naughty" that bad things will happen to us in this life or the next, not necessarily, but it does mean that our actions do have an affect on us and those around us. No one exists in a vacuum - we are all connected to each other. 

I'm not sure what Einstein's theory has to do with any of this, sorry.  And I'm fully aware of the concept of cause and effect.  Blue Lotus Child was attempting to suggest that Karma is more complicated than simple cause and effect.  My understanding of Karma leads me to see it as causes and effects.  There's no one-to-one relationship between what you went through in a past life and what you're going through now, but there is a relationship.  A causal one.  Period.

And as for naughtiness, Buddhism does have concepts of right and wrong.  Behaving contrary to these concepts is considered "wrong action" and will keep you on the reincarnation treadmill rather than attaining enlightenment.

Quote
And this may be what you are called to. However, I would feel sad for the baby with cancer if this "life" was the end. I agree with the idea that attachment can cause suffering, but I also believe that without suffering there is no true understanding of joy.

Any sane, non-sadist feels sad for the baby with cancer.  My point is, in my spirituality, there's no reason he has cancer.  In short, shit happens.  He isn't here to teach me anything (though it's possible for me to learn from any experience, good or bad).  He's just here...and then isn't.

Understanding the interplay of life and death is fundamental to my beliefs--and that means understanding how colossally crappy it can be.  Pain and joy are intimately entwined for me.  The only redemption and enlightenment to be found must be found here, while we draw breath.

I don't believe in transcendence (or any need for it).  I don't believe the universe is an illusion.  I don't believe that desire is inherently problematic.  The dispassionate nothingness Buddhists strive for sounds like hell to me.  To most Buddhists, I'm classically unenlightened.  And I'm fine with that.  Wink

Brina
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« Reply #39: September 30, 2007, 12:02:45 pm »

I'm not sure what Einstein's theory has to do with any of this, sorry.  And I'm fully aware of the concept of cause and effect.  Blue Lotus Child was attempting to suggest that Karma is more complicated than simple cause and effect.  My understanding of Karma leads me to see it as causes and effects.  There's no one-to-one relationship between what you went through in a past life and what you're going through now, but there is a relationship.  A causal one.  Period.

Einstein's theory is used here to symbolically describe relationships between spiritual energy concentrations, or souls. I agree with Blue Lotus Child in that my understanding of Karma is more complex than simple cause and effect, if only because there is no possible way that we with our limited sense of perception could ever begin to understand or even conceive of every possible cause or effect. I feel it would be a bit arrogant of me to ever assume otherwise.

And as for naughtiness, Buddhism does have concepts of right and wrong.  Behaving contrary to these concepts is considered "wrong action" and will keep you on the reincarnation treadmill rather than attaining enlightenment.

Using terms like "wrong" and "right" can be very misleading. The universe really has no concept of wrong versus right, and this was what I was trying to express, however unsuccessfully. These value judgments imposed by humans in response to suffering (ie, if something causes suffering in short or long term to the self or others then it would be considered "bad") are just tools to use. I hope that someone more knowledgeable about Buddhism will correct me if I am wrong, but in Christian texts the word "sin" would express a similar concept to this. The word has been misconstrued to mean "bad" but in actuality it is an archery term that refers to missing the mark. If the goal of life is to return to the source and dissolve the self into it, then taking the most direct path would get you there the most quickly. "Sin" - or actions that result in additional suffering - is only going to delay the inevitable goal. Now, this does not take into account that others may have different goals. This is only one perspective which may not work for you, and that is ok. Cheesy

Any sane, non-sadist feels sad for the baby with cancer.  My point is, in my spirituality, there's no reason he has cancer.  In short, shit happens.  He isn't here to teach me anything (though it's possible for me to learn from any experience, good or bad).  He's just here...and then isn't.

What a blessing we all have our own interpretations of spirituality! We can chose to agree to disagree. Cheesy

Understanding the interplay of life and death is fundamental to my beliefs--and that means understanding how colossally crappy it can be.  Pain and joy are intimately entwined for me.  The only redemption and enlightenment to be found must be found here, while we draw breath.

I don't believe in transcendence (or any need for it).  I don't believe the universe is an illusion.  I don't believe that desire is inherently problematic.  The dispassionate nothingness Buddhists strive for sounds like hell to me.  To most Buddhists, I'm classically unenlightened.  And I'm fine with that.  Wink

It sounds like you have a good sense of humor about all of this mess we call life, and that is a good thing! Cheesy We each have to work within what we feel and know to be true. It is possible to understand a point of view and not to agree with it - this is the beauty of the mess!

~dulci
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« Reply #40: September 30, 2007, 01:32:45 pm »

Using terms like "wrong" and "right" can be very misleading.

I don't believe that right and wrong are (or should be) black-and-white for all people regardless of belief.  But Buddhism's ultimate goal is Nirvana, and anything that deviates from that goal can, with reasonable accuracy, be called "wrong" per their parameters.  In my descriptions, I'm only referring to their beliefs, not mine (or anyone else's).

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« Reply #41: March 17, 2011, 02:06:31 pm »

With Samhain quickly approaching, I've been thinking a great deal about what happens to us after death. This is the time of year when the veil thins, and those with mediumistic talent attempt to contact ancestors and others who have gone on. However, many pagans also subscribe to belief in reincarnation. How does one reconcile these two set of "beliefs"?

Is a part of your soul and your personality archived away in the Summerland, for your descendants to contact and seek guidance/protection of?
Are you fully reincarnated, and when the living try to contact the dead - are they summoning something else? A thoughtform? a spirit of some kind?
Is past life regression work worthwhile?

Just curious what everyone thinks about this.

  According to the Buddha, the consciousness is something that reproduces incessantly from each moment to the next, a constantly changing stream.  As such, consciousness must continue to reproduce just as always into a successive existence.  This is how kamma comes into play.  Kamma isn't a magical energy that you accumulate and that later decides to punish you.  It isn't a punishment for a moral crime, but simply the result of your actions--the volitional result, to be clear.  It is the volition of our actions that shape the consciousness and eventually propel one into this or that state in this or those circumstances.
  In regards to Summerland or the "Spirit World" or "--Realm" or what have you, we are talking about completely different phenomena.  Once a being has passed on to a successive existence, two communicative methods are possible; the first is that you communicate with their successive being--which is a highly unlikely possibility--the second is that you work with their "essence" which is actually a method of divination.  Various kinds of invisible beings of other existential planes are fully capable of using residual "essence" to communicate with and manipulate us humans.  And--guess what--we ourselves are capable of using the residual essence to an extent as well.
  Everything gets hairy with all the words like "thought-form" and "spirit", although "essence" can often confuse people as well.
  The important fact is, if you aren't controlling this residual essence, or "spirit", then someone else is.
  Thoughts, Zerynthia?
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« Reply #42: March 17, 2011, 02:15:26 pm »

See, this is the one thing I have a serious problem with in regards to karma. How is anyone supposed to learn anything if everything is so "sneaky" and subtle? Also, it then begs the question - if something bad happens to you, how do you figure out if it was someone doing something "bad" to you or the result of something you deserved? So, for all I know, the ding in the hood of my car could be the result of karma for thinking ill of others or telling someone that yes, that new haircut is great!

  That is a misunderstanding of karma.  Kamma is the action, the doing--it is equal to the effect or consequence, yes, but it isn't the consequence.  Kamma refers to the cause and effect "FORMULA" that we live in, in regards to our volition.  [cause = effect; kamma = kamma]
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« Reply #43: March 18, 2011, 07:07:13 am »

  Thoughts, Zerynthia?

It's probably worth noting here that this is a pretty old thread (from 2007) and the poster you're addressing hasn't logged on since November.  Feel free to revive the discussion, of course--bit don't hold your breath waiting for a response from Zerynthia, or expect anyone to be ble to pick right back up where they left off 3 1/2 years ago.  Wink
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« Reply #44: March 18, 2011, 02:45:29 pm »

It's probably worth noting here that this is a pretty old thread (from 2007) and the poster you're addressing hasn't logged on since November.  Feel free to revive the discussion, of course--bit don't hold your breath waiting for a response from Zerynthia, or expect anyone to be ble to pick right back up where they left off 3 1/2 years ago.  Wink

  Well you know, whatever.  Thanks.
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