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Spiritual? Material? Reincarnation?

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Windancer asked in another thread:


so, does this mean you believe in reincarnation


Hmmm. Ya know, I'm not sure.


Sometimes I think I do. I think it makes a lot of sense IF you believe we are spiritual beings having a physical experience. Someone, somewhere coined the phrase "earth school" which I liked for a very long time.


"I chose to come to earth school to learn this and that and this and that..."


But that begs the question WHY?


Why would spiritual beings need to have a physical experience?


Why would "spiritual" beings need to become "material" at all?


What can we learn in corporeal form that we couldn't learn in spiritual form?


Are we spiritual beings having a physical experience or are we physical beings having a physical experience?


Is there really a difference between "spirit" and "matter"? What if they are actually the same thing?


Matter is energy. Speed it up fast enough and we'd basically be gaseous beings. (No pun intended!) :rolleyes:


Atoms, which make up everything, are 99.9999% empty space. What we think of as solid is not actually solid at all.


Any thoughts? What do YOU (anyone) believe and why? Have you REALLY thought about why you believe that?

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Aletheia, I've often thought about this and I'd have to say that any after this life experience, well I am pretty agnostic (meaning that I don't think one is able to know). I am pretty sure we will not have the cartoonish Holocaust represented by the Rapturites, but aside from that...


There was a Christian, I think founder of the Waldorf school (his name escapes me but I don't think it was Waldorf Salad :-)) believed there were Biblical references to it (which wouldn't surprise me given that there might be Biblical elements for just about everything

including the three bears :-)). One I remember is the man that was born blind, and they asked Jesus if this man sinned or is his parents that he was born blind. Well the argument he made is that the comment "did this man sin" makes no sense without reincarnation, since he was born like that. Of course the point of the story is entirely something else, and the Pharisees really liked to trip Jesus up, so they could say something hoping against hope that Jesus would say something "bad". Anyway that's just one example. I threw the book away as it was annoying.


A few sorts of things I would kind of dismiss as pretty to terribly unlikely would be transspecies reincarnation (I was a very bad rat and had to come back as a person. :-));

ability to keep any kind of memories from one carnation to another; and the kind of reincarnation believed in by Tibetan Buddhists, though I just loved "Little Buddha" and have been fascinated by the various stories. Makes you wonder, as Goethe said: "If you treat a person as he is, he stays as he is, but if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be, he will become what he ought to be and could be". Paraphrase and put spiritual leader in there somewhere....




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Aletheia - I inquired because it sounded like you chose the name "Aletheia" because it referred to a belief in reincarnation. So I was just curious if that was true--that you did believe in reincarnation--or if I was making an incorrect assumption.


What happens after we die is speculation, but it can be fun to speculate sometimes. Could go in different directions with that.


But maybe a better question is what difference would it make to us NOW? What if we found out we would be reincarnated? Then what. Where do your thoughts go. Better clean up that karma!


As far as afterlife beliefs, Marcus Borg, as a panENtheist, believes we die into God and whatever that means he's content not to know. Works for me.


Here's an Borg article where he mentions that reincarnation has Jewish and Christian roots. It's not just a eastern religion tradition. The article is actually about a this-worldly utopian vision and how that can be a positive thing. Kinda like the "I have a dream" thing. It's an interesting article.



Religion and Utopia: Heaven (On Earth?)

By Marcus Borg

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I wish I still had the Parabola magazine article from Thomas Moore that used the word Aletheia that inspired me so much. I've looked on the Parabola websight, but cannot find that particular article.


I did however find the quote that is now part of my signature. In it Thomas Moore uses "Lethe" in the way he did in the article I cannot find.


They don't realize that a good painting is a window onto the land beyond Lethe.


Myth, art, music, poetry: all can connect us back, mystically, to our Source.


Lethe, strictly speaking, is a Greek myth. It the name for a river, for a spring and for a Goddess, all of which represent forgetting or concealment.


A-lethe-ia has many meanings. It was defined as "truth" (unfortunately) by Plato, but as used by Moore and others, means the opposite of Lethe: unforgetting or unconcealment.


We can "remember" God. God can become "unconcealed" to us through myth, art, nature, meditation, prayer. As Thomas Merton said: God is all around us, but many do not SEE. To them God is concealed.

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