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Thread: a new thread about all this life/death/afterlife shit

  1. #31
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    @Cat Mom , also, and I know you know this, but there is a lot more in Genesis than...
    Yeah. You probably know more about it than I do, and I know a LOT.

    So, how about Noah's Ark vs. Gilgamesh and the other, what, EIGHT flood myths?

    I ABSOLUTELY don't think the bible is infallible. I think it's mostly, like you said, fables. It's morality tales and largely symbolic, aside from the historical stuff.

    And Jesus, even if he WaS God, is STILL symbolic imho. His death was the ultimate altruistic symbol.

    Ok. @theimage13 , I need to shut up before I turn THIS thread into the religion thread

    Edit: fuuuuuuck. There is SO much more I wanna say, about, for instance, Gnosticism and the demiurge. I could talk about this shit all day. (I often do, in fact and it drives my wife crazy.) But, it's not about the afterlife
    Last edited by elevenism; 12-10-2018 at 07:20 PM.

  2. #32
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    @eskimo , I also like to read a lot of Buddha’a beliefs about death; I especially love that he believed that without death, life is rather meaningless. Buddha said that death is “the greatest of all teachers.”

    Deep forms of meditation are believed to be a “preparation” for a peaceful death. Buddhist Monks meditate their way into death.

    When I was around 13, a friend gave me a book called “Seth Speaks: The Eternal Validity of the Soul, by Jane Roberts. I was fascinated by this book. It contains a combo of metaphysics, Buddhism, plus maybe some Kabbalah stuff, and maybe some Plato forms, sci-fi, I dunno, whatever you want. Seth says that not only is our “reality” whatever we create but that we live several realities SIMULTANEOUSLY on different dimensions, and that until our “soul” is really fully developed we will keep recycling here on this plane.
    Last edited by Cat Mom; 12-11-2018 at 10:25 AM.

  3. #33
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    @eskimo , have you read any Vedic ideas about rebirth? I particularly like the Krisna (as in Hare) explanation.

    Also, I recently realized that early Jews believed in reincarnation, which blew my.mind.
    Last edited by elevenism; 12-10-2018 at 09:50 PM.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat Mom View Post
    @eskimo , I also like to read a lot of Buddha’a beliefs about death; I especially love that he believed that without death, life is rather meaningless. Buddha said that death is “the greatest of all teachers.”

    Deep forms of meditation are believed to be a “preparation” for a peaceful death. Buddhist Monks meditate their way into death.

    When I was around 13, a friend gave me a book called “Seth Speaks: The Eternal Validity of the Soul, by Jane Roberts. I was fascinated by this book. It contains a combo of metaphysics, Buddhism, plus maybe some Kabbalah stuff, and maybe some Plato forms, sci-fi, I dunno, whatever you want. That not only is our “reality” whatever we create but that we live several realities SIMULTANEOUSLY on different dimensions, and that until our “soul” is really fully developed we will keep recycling here on this plane.
    I haven't read that particular one but, as I'm sure it is well known, early Seth conversations came from a Ouija board. I haven't been able to find a Ouija partner in years. Maybe I should bring a board to the line (early morning rail line) next NIN tour and see if I get any takers. Lol.

    Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk

  5. #35
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    Back in my teens, we didn’t use a pre-printed board; we made one, using a glass table, cut-out numbers and letters, and an upside-down wine glass.

    We stopped doing Ouija for the same reason nearly everyone does: Something happened that scared the shit out of us.

    It didn’t help that this happened in around 1975, and “The Exorcist” was still fresh in everyone’s minds with Captain Howdy and all that shit.

    Lately, I’ve been addicted to “Mama Medium” on TLC. Jennie Marie is an “empathic psychic medium.” This means she is able to communicate with both the dead and also living people who are unable to physically communicate. And she’s hilarious, “Hey, sorry to bother you, but there’s a dead guy standing next to you and he wants to talk to you. Do you want to hear from him?”

    She often MEDITATES to improve her ability to communicate with “spirit.” I find that fascinating.

    Last edited by Cat Mom; 12-10-2018 at 11:45 PM.

  6. #36
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    At the first party it was the preprinted Hasbro board. Then I got my own shortly after. But, eventually, the few friends that I did the board with and I had such a strong connection we didn't need any sort of formal board. In fact, we'd just set a lighter (this was back in the late 80s when we all smoked of course) down on the counter and point to a spot and designate it yes and point to another spot and designate it no, and ask away. Of course yes/no sessions were never deep and informative like those with the board but as teenage girls in the late 80s we had lots of lame questions that needed immediate responses. Eventually we didn't even use the lighter, and just sort of touched fingertips and our hands moved around.

    My board time ended not due to any scary event at all, but because the board (I typically spoke to what I believed to be a particular spirit) told me I had to be done now, and go live my life (I guess spending hours a day on a board isn't a great way to get life experience). I did try it again not long after that and had zero movement, so I just accepted it and moved on. About 10 years ago I did find someone on a meet up board nearby that wanted to do the board, so I tried it again. It worked but I was not convinced it was real (felt different, I didn't know the person and didn't have reason to trust them, "my" spirit wasn't there, etc.).

    More than anyone wanted to know I'm sure!

  7. #37
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    No, that’s interesting; it’s not about the board or the method or any of that.

    But there IS the risk of becoming too attached (I don’t like using the term “addicted” in this context) to things like this, or even Tarot. I had friends who wouldn’t make any decisions without consulting the Cards. Which is dumb because Tarot is just a reflection of your own intuition; it’s not a portal to a spiritual other world.

    Many are afraid of attracting bad spirits via Ouija, so they deliberately close portals and sage and all that. But, there IS the possibility that our own intuition and energy is controlling the board (i. e. we are not really communicating with spirits who have crossed over or entities in another realm).
    Last edited by Cat Mom; 12-11-2018 at 10:16 AM.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by elevenism View Post
    @eskimo , have you read any Vedic ideas about rebirth? I particularly like the Krisna (as in Hare) explanation.

    Also, I recently realized that early Jews believed in reincarnation, which blew my.mind.
    I have not, but I will look into it now! Thank you for the suggestion!

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat Mom View Post
    @eskimo, I also like to read a lot of Buddha’a beliefs about death; I especially love that he believed that without death, life is rather meaningless. Buddha said that death is “the greatest of all teachers.”

    Deep forms of meditation are believed to be a “preparation” for a peaceful death. Buddhist Monks meditate their way into death.

    When I was around 13, a friend gave me a book called “Seth Speaks: The Eternal Validity of the Soul, by Jane Roberts. I was fascinated by this book. It contains a combo of metaphysics, Buddhism, plus maybe some Kabbalah stuff, and maybe some Plato forms, sci-fi, I dunno, whatever you want. Seth says that not only is our “reality” whatever we create but that we live several realities SIMULTANEOUSLY on different dimensions, and that until our “soul” is really fully developed we will keep recycling here on this plane.
    Death is a really inspiring thing. One of the points that I'm learning about now is how much suffering we create by clinging to things that are impermanent. The life we're living now is one of those impermanent things.

    Once we let go of needing ourselves to be permanent, we can start to see things in a way that feels more connected to the rest of the world. It feels more genuine. And that's how change works. One thing dies, and makes room so that something else can grow. How boring would everything be if it never changed?

    Death is the end of the self as we see it from our perspective, but it's not really an end, it's just another way that the universe has changed. I don't really exist, in a permanent way. I'm merely the effect of many different causes that has allowed me to come to be for now. Eventually, a set of causes will come around that will stop me from being. There will still be lots of other causes and effects, and everything will be fine when I'm gone.

    It's fine now too. It's fine when things feel good to me, and it'll be fine on days where everything feels awful for me. Everything is still exactly as it should be, and it will always be exactly as it should be. Whether I'm here or not doesn't impact how fine the world is. Whether I'm feeling good or not doesn't impact how fine the world is. The world will always be fine.

    That feels kind of freeing to me, in a weird way.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat Mom View Post
    So, if God was fully aware that either Adam or Eve would eventually eat from that “forbidden Tree of Knowledge” (even though it was probably just a friggin’ apple tree), and He also knew that Lucifer was gonna try to con his way into Eden (because he was jealous of Adam and Eve), and He gave all of them innate free will, then what’s with all the punishment doled out by God after it happened? Sounds like a trap
    Yeah, exactly, I feel like this really is the crux of the issue on the whole free will thing.

    Our entire society is fucking obsessed with the act of passing judgement, but it's difficult to justify that if no one actually chooses anything in their life. So we NEED to believe in the concept of free will in order to morally justify the act of judgement. This isn't only in the realm of religion but in our justice system, our schools, our drug treatment centers, our art, our everyday conversations, etc. You hear it all the time. People always fixate on the importance of choice whenever some crime gets brought up. "Oh don't give me that crap about how he had a bad upbringing. We all have choices!" Variations on that exact sentiment must be expressed ten million times a day. Someone hears about some crime and they get all angry and they want to see that person punished, and they want to feel fully justified in that reaction. So there's always the foregrounding of CHOICE.

    That's why I think most people in Western society will never be able to accept the idea of determinism because they don't want to let go of judgement. And so the belief in free will has become deeply embedded into our culture. I don't why we're all so addicted to judging. It's like it's hard coded into every part of our society.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mantra View Post
    Yeah, exactly, I feel like this really is the crux of the issue on the whole free will thing.

    Our entire society is fucking obsessed with the act of passing judgement, but it's difficult to justify that if no one actually chooses anything in their life. So we NEED to believe in the concept of free will in order to morally justify the act of judgement. This isn't only in the realm of religion but in our justice system, our schools, our drug treatment centers, our art, our everyday conversations, etc. You hear it all the time. People always fixate on the importance of choice whenever some crime gets brought up. "Oh don't give me that crap about how he had a bad upbringing. We all have choices!" Variations on that exact sentiment must be expressed ten million times a day. Someone hears about some crime and they get all angry and they want to see that person punished, and they want to feel fully justified in that reaction. So there's always the foregrounding of CHOICE.

    That's why I think most people in Western society will never be able to accept the idea of determinism because they don't want to let go of judgement. And so the belief in free will has become deeply embedded into our culture. I don't why we're all so addicted to judging. It's like it's hard coded into every part of our society.
    I think that's because "determinism" comes with it this idea of "fate" or "predestined."

    Like, Calvinism and predestination, which is some pretty fucked-up stuff, that we're born already pre-determined to go into Heaven or Hell and we can be really really good or really really bad, it doesn't matter, our fate was pre-destined by God in advance and we don't know which one was chosen. That's so fucked-up, though, because wouldn't that mean we should just go out and rob houses and banks? Like, fuck it?

    (This Theological concept of "free will" is related to total depravity.) <----- hahahahahahahahahahaaaa

    When talking about choice beyond the theological doctrine of total depravity but more on the karma "action" concept: Murdering someone is a choice. Being mean is a choice.

    Then you get to the question of, say, those starving kids in Yemen. They certainly didn't CHOOSE their fate, their own free will isn't at play. The free will that chose their fate was those of the SAUDIS, who are choosing to deny humanitarian efforts. Like @eskimo says, karma isn't just related to the afterlife; it happens over and over again right here, right now.

    Karma and the idea of karma (here and in the afterlife) DOES have a lot to do with choices we make, and how our choices affect others; karma meaning action, and how are actions affects others.

    This is Karma in Hinduism, right from Wikipedia:

    "Karma is a concept of Hinduism which explains causality through a system where beneficial effects are derived from past beneficial actions and harmful effects from past harmful actions, creating a system of actions and reactions throughout a soul's reincarnated lives forming a cycle of rebirth. The causality is said to be applicable not only to the material world but also to our thoughts, words, actions and actions that others do under our instructions."

    So, now you come down to the word "action" instead of "choice."

    And you break it down to "negative action" vs. "positive action." And it isn't judged, necessarily; it's just the laws of physics.

    Einstein: Everything is energy.

    Newton's third law: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. (In Karma, this means that when you exert energy toward an intended target, the energy also returns back to you.)


    Okay, and then speaking of physics ...

    Have you guys read this book, The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory?

    It's like Plato's forms and The Matrix and the Kaballah, but with string theory.

    HERE IT IS ON NOVA.
    Last edited by Cat Mom; 12-12-2018 at 12:05 PM.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat Mom View Post
    I think that's because "determinism" comes with it this idea of "fate" or "predestined."

    Like, Calvinism and predestination, which is some pretty fucked-up stuff
    Yeah, that's very, very true. In general, I feel that the Calvinist tradition has been one of the damaging branches of Protestantism and is responsible for initiating some of the most neurotic tendencies in American thinking. And actually I think what you're pointing out in some ways goes against what I was arguing about notions of free will being fundamental to American culture. Because really, Americans have often believed in certain forms of fate and predestination, going all the way back to the way Puritan New England was seen as analogous to ancient Israel, and then continually reemerging in manifest destiny, and really in all of our fantasies about American exceptionalism, all that City Upon a Hill bullshit. Even today you see people who think this way, imagining that the hand of God is leading us. Which I suppose doesn't necessarily negate the idea that free will is also integral to American thinking, because really, culture and ideology are always incredibly complex and self-contradicting.

    But nevertheless, I don't believe in fate or predestination. I believe in determinism, which is totally and completely different. Life isn't a pre-written story. It's a never ending chain reaction. Where predestination says that this moment is beholden to the future and to divine providence, determinism says that this moment is beholden to the past and to the laws of causality.

    Ugh, fuck, I have so much more I want to say, specifically about the karma stuff, but I need to get to bed, lol

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by eskimo View Post
    I prefer the buddhist approach to the concepts of heaven and hell (or at least my particular interpretation of it, there are many who disagree with this interpretation).

    In Buddhism, they speak of 6 different realms, two of which would appear very similar to the common visions of heaven and hell. The idea behind these realms (for me) is that they're states of mind, or ways of being that can create various conditions in which we can enter virtual hells, or virtual heavens right here on earth.

    When we think of a heavenly realm, a realm of pure pleasure, with no need to work to have everything we can ever want. There are people who live like this right here on earth right now. When we think of a hellish realm, or one of intense suffering, there are most certainly people who live their lives in intense suffering right now as well.

    And at different times in our own lives, we may experience moments of feeling like we're in both of those states.

    Rebirth is such an interesting topic for me too, as many buddhist traditions talk about reincarnation, and how which realm you're reborn into is determined by your karma, but karma is often misinterpreted too in modern society. Karma is simply the law of cause and effect. Dependent origination is often talked about, which seems to be very similar to determinism, but I haven't read much about determinism to be sure.

    I prefer the interpretation of karma that claims that every moment of every day, one moment dies and another is reborn. Where we are reborn moment to moment is a result of our karma, which is simply the law of cause and effect acting upon ourselves.

    The main idea I like about Buddhism compared to Christianity, is that Buddhism says you can have peace and happiness right here on earth right now in this life, if you're willing to look inwards and do the work for it. Christianity says you'll go to heaven afterwards if you believe in Christ.

    I remember a story I heard, about someone questioning the Buddha if he knew what happened after you died, and in the story, his response was that it was irrelevant. He said that what happened after you died didn't matter. He said that he was going to teach the cause of suffering and the cure for it, and that what happened after you died wasn't relevant to that.

    So what happens after you die? Science can explain how our bodies decay. Who needs more than that? Why is that relevant? Why does that matter? I don't think it does, because the "me" that exists is simply a result of the causes and conditions coming together in their current form, and like all causes and conditions, this too shall pass.

    I get to experience something unique with each and every moment. Sometimes I experience things that are pleasurable, and sometimes I experience things that are not. That's amazing, and wonderful, and fantastic, and it will pass. At some point, my experience will end, and karma will generate new causes and effects and my experience will be gone. I'm the only one who gets to experience this moment from my perspective.

    Like all things though, I will pass. There is nothing to be sad or scared about in that, we've already died and been reborn countless times. I will pass, and something new will come, which is how the world works. It's helpful to me, to be at peace with how the world works, rather than wishing it was something that it's not.
    @eskimo , FWIW, this is one of the most profound, succinct, coolest things I’ve ever read on an online forum on this topic. I hope you don’t mind, but I’ve read your (above) post ALOUD to my husband, and friends, and relatives, as fodder for discussion on this topic.

    Bravo. And thank you.
    Last edited by Cat Mom; 12-23-2018 at 11:15 PM.

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat Mom View Post
    @eskimo, FWIW, this is one of the most profound, succinct, coolest things I’ve ever read on an online forum on this topic. I hope you don’t mind, but I’ve read your (above) post ALOUD to my husband, and friends, and relatives, as fodder for discussion on this topic.

    Bravo. And thank you.
    That is extremely flattering. Thank you so much for your kind words. Thank you.

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    This is an extremely, extremely worthwhile watch, based on actual research dating back to the 80’s. @elevenism - I think you would particularly enjoy it:


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    Quote Originally Posted by Erneuert View Post
    This is an extremely, extremely worthwhile watch, based on actual research dating back to the 80’s. @elevenism - I think you would particularly enjoy it:

    oh, badass. Thanks. I will watch it today.

  17. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by elevenism View Post
    oh, badass. Thanks. I will watch it today.
    I want to buy his book.

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