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If you believe in reincarnation(71 Posts)
Would you mind sharing how you see it? I'm especially interested in whether you see it is an impersonal transition or whether you believe that we retain our individual self? I used to believe the former but lately have been having a rethink. Would love to hear what others believe.
If it is an "impersonal transition", how is it still me who is reincarnated? I'm not arguing, just curious about what that phrase really means.
That is one of the things i'm wondering about. If the personality/experiences are not retained but the soul/atman is reincarnated with associated karmic debt, then the person housing that soul the next time round is paying for actions that they were not responsible for/has no knowledge of.
This seems to be what most of the eastern traditions say - i'm hoping someone who believes this can explain how they think it works.
Just me wrestling with this one then? Was hoping there would be some Buddhists, Hindus or other spiritual types out there who had thought about this.
Fwiw, I'm not wrestling with it at all. Reincarnation assumes:
(1) We come back after death in new bodies
(2) We don't remember anything of our previous lives
... which to me means that the whole concept of reincarnation is meaningless, for I am not me without my memories and you are not you without yours. That is, our character is defined and forged by what we have lived and how we have lived them. If we don't remember our experiences and we are not in the same body, how can we say that we are the same people as before?
Hi RedMolly, When you say the 'person' housing that soul the next time round, what do you mean by that?
IMO we choose our bodies, we come back to experience mostly what we have already agreed on a soul level with others in our soul group.
Have you ever been for a past life regression before? This might help you answer your own questions
"what we have already agreed on a soul level with others in our soul group"
Cote - i agree. Buddha taught that all that is physical, including the personality ceases to be on death, so what is left? The soul would be no more than the mileage recorder on my car, recording my karmic balance. The new person may be housing the recorder but have no knowledge as to why they were having a crap time as any memories of their actions from a previous life would have ceased on death. Doesn't seem very fair. I feel a bit of an idiot that this has only dawned on me fairly recently! I hope one or two Buddhists here on mn might shed some light.
Indigo Barbie - i think you are coming from the second position in my op. When we die we retain our personalities and memories and have input into what our next life experiences will be. Have i got you right?
Soul groups i don't know much about - could you expand?
I'd like to know if possible where this view on reincarnation originated as you don't come across it in the traditional faiths that have reincarnation at their core. I've come across it mostly from a neopagan viewpoint, but have never got to the bottom of its origins.
Cote - That statement has been one of the hardest even for me to accept, however- I have experienced a few past life regressions, and life between lifes regression and I learned some of the reasons I chose to have particular experiences with certain people in my life. This was extremely eye-opening, and very humbling too.
Red - I speak only from my own experiences, I don't have any religious attachments. Yes, you have got me right - this is what I meant. My view originated from me having dreams of choosing my parents and other such flying dreams. I was drawn to find out about what this could mean, I then discovered a book by a psychiatrist Dr Michael Newton who realised that when he took people back to the 'root' of their problems, he was taking them further back than birth in this life....Also, he spoke about soul groups. When I experienced my regression and I went up into the heaven space I was presented with 10 people who are in my life as me right now. But, I had just been through my last life's death and some of those people had been in my past life too. Therefore, I firstly saw them as who they are in my life now - but could also see them as who I had seen them as in my life that I'd just come from, if this makes sense.
It can be a difficult thing to explain, but it was an interesting experience, and it has expanded my love and view on humanity.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but "past life regression" is basically suggestive questions under hypnosis. Worse, it is based on the wrong assumption that memory is an exact recording of past events, whereas we now know that memories are reconstructed at every remembrance (which is why eyewitness accounts are unreliable, memories fade & become more tolerable, and trauma therapy involves debriefing in a safe environment).
I find it interesting that you claim the same people around you now were also around you in your "past lives". So how does that work on a practical scale, for billions of people? How does everyone's friends and family get placed around them at every reincarnation?
I was wondering that too, given that we all have different lifespans. I also wondered - do you believe that your soul group always reincarnate in the same sort of roles or is it fluid? I find the concept that my son could be my father or husband in another life profoundly disturbing, but i don't know enough about it to understand what you're saying.
I've read Brian Weiss, but i haven't read Michael Newton's book. I may give that a go. Have to say, i have had a past life regression. At the time it was quite a profound experience, but i was not convinced i was experiencing anything other than my brain working through some issues in this life, and i do feel that i was being led by the hypnotherapist. I have to agree that memory even in this life is very unreliable (can't even agree with my mother on stuff that happened in the last year!) I had nothing in my regression to suggest life between lives and what that may be like.
To what extent would you say that the person you are now is the person (or at least soul) you are inbetween lives? Since your personality can change, as a result of brain injury for example, does that amended personality become part of your 'true' self, or do you revert back to type? I'm confused as to how the 'brain' you is retained as the 'soul' you, iyswim, when the brain parts cease on death. If you ask 'who am i?' and try to get behind the brain, the ego, environment, etc - how much of the you that is left is you that is recognised as an individual?
Sorry for all the questions and my inarticulate way of putting them.
Cote - The only suggestive question I was given whilst under hypnosis was - And then what happened? Or, can you describe what you are experiencing now? There were never any leading questions or anything else that would suggest that what I was experiencing was as a result of what the practitioner said to me. I have full recordings of my experiences, and I was fully aware when I was under hypnosis. I'd recommend a practitioner for you, if you were interested for yourself? Each person I am sure would experience something different, but if it's meaningful to the person then I view that as positive. I have no idea of the mechanisms relating to the re/incarnation process, only that this is what I feel to be true. I'm not sure what you mean about the practical level for billions of people? Why wouldn't it be practical? Again, I have no idea. I don't have all the answers for everyone, only what I experienced.
Red- I don't think we all reincarnate in the same types of roles, but then again I don't really know. In one of the past lives I went back to - my son in that life was my father, and I learned that there were profound reasons for us to choose these roles - as in, specific learnings/experiences for that particular lifetime. This allowed me to realise that as others are my teachers (facilitating specific outcomes via emotional response, their own thoughts and freewill etc), I too must be a teacher for someone else? I saw these souls as energies, or souls - so a level above who they convey themselves to be in my current life.
I chose to undergo the life between lives session, this is slightly different and longer from the past life regressions - only because the intention is set to focus on this current lifetime. Although I gleaned a lot of information about "this time round", I saw myself having a choice of body, whether I would choose a male or female body, and the reasons why I decided upon what I chose.
In relation to the who am I, I don't know either. The way I think about it is that each of us are playing out a role, and somehow personality must reckon in there. Therefore - those who we find arrogant etc, these are human traits, and not necessarily ones which as a 'soul' we would even bother with. I believe that at a soul level there is a complete 'love' essence, and that human emotion doesn't factor into it. Or, is emotion a physically defined attribute - something we 'feel' with our bodies, and is affectable by others? I think that when we choose to come back into human bodies, we accept that there are some character traits that we convey as humans. Perhaps by conveying certain attitudes and emotions we use these as the mechanisms to create the experience levels for our learning, and the knock on effect of our attitudes creates experiences for others? However, I'd still like to think that the 'me' part of me, is still 'me' if that makes sense, without my brain?
Here's how i did see it, using a borrowed analogy. We are all waves on the ocean. While we are a wave we can see other waves and see ourselves in the same way. Most of a wave is the bit you can't see, the bit under the water. We are therefore all part of the same ocean. So, our soul is part of a greater universal soul, that experiences itself through life and then returns to the source, before becoming another wave. In this way, personality as we understand it would be a physical construct. Our true selves could be understood through stillness and meditation as a way of overcoming the individual ego.
That was fine until i became a mum. It has really challenged my belief in reincarnation in this form. You could argue that comes from my fear of my individual connection to my child being only a construct of this life (and would be right), but i just feel, deeply, that there is more to it than that. I 'knew' him as soon as he was born, as did my dp (who is the most un-woo person you could imagine). This is why i am interested in what you say IB, but the problem for me is that regression as a source of information isn't one i have much confidence in.
Red, that is beautiful what you have said. I know exactly where you are coming from with the knowing your son I knew mine too, I feel.
Anyway, I think the whole thing about the reincarnation thing is this: It might be one of the secrets of the universe - but, does it really matter? We are here in our lives right now, we should make the most of what we have, when we have it - no matter what else may lie ahead or what has gone before.
I wholly believe that the most purest form/source of information that any of us could ever tap into is ourselves. Go with what your heart says - at every turn. It always knows what is best for you, and leads you to happiness when you listen. More often than not, we are taught not to heed our bodies sensations - but these are the very radar that we should be using
"I'm not sure what you mean about the practical level for billions of people? Why wouldn't it be practical? Again, I have no idea."
Really? It's simple enough: Given that everyone has different life spans and loads of people move to different cities/countries/continents how do groups of people get rejuvenated together and in the same place over and over?
I was born in Country A. DH was born in Country B. We met in Country C, which is where we live now. Where is his "soul group" and where is mine? My brother was born in Country A (with me). His DW was born in Country D, now they live together in Country E. Where are their "soul groups"?
Even for people who live all their lives where they were born (staying with their "soul groups"), doesn't that mean some 10 people or whatever need to be born at the same time at the same place over and over? How does that work for everybody, given that your friends all have their friends & family, and therefore other people in their "soul group"?
"the problem for me is that regression as a source of information isn't one i have much confidence in"
It can't be. People under hypnosis are very suggestible. Even saying "Go back to your birth, now go back further" is a suggestion. People under hypnosis are known to confabulate. Hypnosis is like a dream state and our brains make up stories in this state, as we all know.
Not everybody who goes through past life regression comes out of it with a story of a past life. Many people don't "remember" any past life. In fact, it was demonstrated that the single most important determinant of the "success" of PLR is the subject's belief in reincarnation - i.e. if you don't already believe in reincarnation, it is highly unlikely that you will not "remember" anything about a past life.
What do you think this means?
Oh right, sorry. Well, I know that not all of my soul group are here right now, with me. One of them includes my Dad who is no longer on earth. One of them includes my son, who is here - but he's only 2.5 years. Maybe he was having another life while I was younger, or maybe he stayed as a soul waiting for the right time to come in.
I really, don't know :S Again, this is going with what I feel.
I do know though (I think) - that there are close knit soul groups of say 10/12 souls? and other expanded groups. So, therefore - you and I may be in an expanded group where you decided to come online and chat about this very subject?
Yes, I see what you are saying, If each of us have 12 souls in our 'group' I also believe that of those 12 souls, they have their own 11 other souls to make up 'their' soul group. I wish I could draw it........Multi-directional.
Which is true to what I have foudn out about a friend of mine. He is in my primary soul group, as am I in his, but his family in this life are not in mine.
I don't think soul groups all come into the same country or time - I believe that during the course of our lives we come into contact with the primary close knit soul group.
Cote, you raise good points.
I do know that I seem to have had very detailed past life recollection/memories (whatever it actually is), and yet a friend who is not a believer had a good regression too. However, I do know that it can be hard to accept what you are seeing.
The most striking thing about my experiences was the emotion that I felt, this made it real for me. Very real. My whole body was shaking with fear during one life-scene, and that I couldn't fake, even by being suggested to. This was very real and very very vivid (if that's a word I can use to describe the sensation :S)
Where do you think that you house these "memories", considering that they predate your brain?
red, to me, I am not sure about the reincarnation bit but do believe that karma is now, in this life. It all happens in this one life. Eastern philosophy also argues this some what. No hard and fast rule in belief in this.
In Hinduism, I believe the reincarnation thing was all made up. It all looks/reads out of sync with the rest of the Gita which is a lot about here and now.
I believe these memories are held in my soul. Which, in itself sounds a bit mad, but I still believe that.
If memories are held in souls, how come people have partial amnesia when a certain part of their brain is damaged?
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I'm a Christian, so I don't really believe in it, I guess...and yet I do.
I remember a past life. I become less and less sure of it the older I get, but...
I think that we life this life in pursuit of positive Karma to ensure that however we come back in the next life we come back as well as we possibly can if that makes sense.
So in this life we live well to ensure we don't reincarnante as a lesser being. It's immaterial after death what you did in this life, you can't take it with you. You can begin again on a slightly more even playing field if you live this life well though.
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