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Do you believe in reincarnation (past life regression)

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posted on Oct, 18 2006 @ 07:43 AM
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Is not the purpose of karma to "instruct" and guide us towards perfection?
Is not the goal to reach a state or place where you no longer re-incarnate?


NO.


Actually, yes it is. ((Because, remember, we are talking referring to Hindu beliefs, not Christian.))


The goal is to repent and to seek out a Godly nature rather than a selfish human nature. God has infinite patience and wills NOT that even one be lost.

(emphasis mine)

A Hindu would not disagree because the end product is the same -- to quit selfish attachments and attain a state where the ups and downs of this life, this realm, do not affect a person.

The name of 'god', the dogma, the religion, makes no difference so long as the end goal (compassion and respect for everyone) is the same.




posted on Oct, 18 2006 @ 09:44 AM
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Originally posted by queenannie38
Which one? I read the thread, but it didn't catch my eye, I'm sorry - but point it out and I'll answer.


Here it is, and thanks for the reply.


queenannie,

Ponder this perplexing perdiciment for me please, and please also reply.

If "karma" is of God then who is the more "Eternal" of the two?

If the purpose of karma is to teach us, a "mechanism of repentance", what then did it do while there were no people, seeing as it is eternal? Did it just sit around?

-OR-

If it's not eternal, created by God to teach us, to be used as a "mechanism of repentance" what then did the very first soul, "Adam", do so that karma was caused to be attached to him? In other words, what did Adam do to get karma started seeing that he had no previous life?

Perhaps God created karma knowing that people would need past lives so they could learn from past mistakes yet then again we have the problem of what got karma started, what got the proverbial ball rolling?

All finite "effects" must have a "cause" greater then itself so if God is the Creator then karma is an "effect" which would make it finite, not eternal.

The only other option is that karma is eternal yet by the very definition you give and other give karma it would be contradictory.

Reading these threads brings to memory (not by karma either as I read this in this, my only life) a phrase I read which stated something like..."When man ceases to believe in God, he will believe in almost anything"



posted on Oct, 18 2006 @ 09:48 AM
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Originally posted by annestacey

Originally posted by UnrealZA
May I ask where you get the notion we have "free will" ??


"free will" is the ability to make our own choices in life. Every day you make decisions on how to respond to things that happen around you. You may make bad choices, and hopefully you learn from them, but you still have the free will to make the wrong decision instead of the right one.


Well thank you for the reply. My question though was more geared to those that claim the Bible states we have "free will". I am asking anyone if that phrase or even idea is any where within Scripture?

I hold that even your description of "free will" is in error for we, according to Scripture, have a very limited range of free will.



posted on Oct, 18 2006 @ 09:53 AM
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Originally posted by Diseria

Originally posted by UnrealZA
Karma/reincarnation is self-defeating.


No, it's Self realizing. (note the 'S'.. the Self that is beyond the ego of this realm)



In order for all people to "add understanding and perspective" to their soul then they would know, grasp and understand what it is to be Chinese, Mexican, Muslim, etc. yet the evidence we have simply contradicts that. Wars rage on, ethnic violence is increasing and the middle East wants Israel totally wiped out.

If karma is to work then I would have a memory of my past life so I can continue to better myself and others, thus reaching perfection and an end to "my cycle".


I would suggest you read the 'Baghavad Gita' before deciding one way or the other.. (At least investigate it so as to make an informed decision..)

"Just as a fire is covered by smoke and a mirror is obscured by dust, just as the embryo rests deep within the womb, knowledge is hidden by selfish desire -- hidden ... by this unquenchable fire for self-satisfaction, the inveterate enemy of the wise." (3:38-39)

You don't just wake up on day with the knowledge... you have to work towards it. "He who shirks action does not attain freedom; no one can gain perfection by abstaining from work" (3:4). The process of enlightenment would be pointless if every twit and twurp got it from birth with absolutely no effort...

Karma, the 'Baghavad Gita', the entire structure requires you to stop thinking only for yourself, and thinking about others -- which, in today's world, is possible (anything's possible), but not plausible outside of individual people's behavior. "Selfish action imprisons the world. Act selflessly, without any thought of personal profit" (3:9).

I've read the 'Baghavad Gita' several times for several different papers.. the 'evidence' is nothing but delusion, and our true Selves are still hidden behind that smokescreen. We can thank the gunas for that.


Thank you for this well written reply. The qoute you replied from was not one geared towards the Hindu perspective of reincarnation but rather directly towards Queenannie's reply.

I shall though attempt a response to yours. You would then argue that the Hindu goal is to rid oneself of "desire" or perhaps "selfish desire", so that one can attain "knowledge" Am I understanding that correctly?



"Just as a fire is covered by smoke and a mirror is obscured by dust, just as the embryo rests deep within the womb, knowledge is hidden by selfish desire -- hidden ... by this unquenchable fire for self-satisfaction, the inveterate enemy of the wise." (3:38-39)



posted on Oct, 18 2006 @ 10:52 AM
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Hi etshrtslr,
I U2U'd you. I'd like to have our conversation here in the thread, but at the same time, I'm afraid we might get locked or booted for having a conversation about the meaning of written material because it is the Bible we are talking about.

(Wow - isn't that just the craziest and saddest thing you ever heard? And here in America even!)

Anyway - I want to tread very carefully here.

You reffered to the fact that of the coming of the prophet Elias before the Messiah. This is true. Elias was here before Jesus. He began telling people what was to come, what was going to happen (reffering to Jesus). Elias is a completely seperate person, he is not Jesus, he is a prophet that told about Jesus.

About the verse that you talked about saying, "But I say to you that Elias has come already, and they did not know him, but did to him whatever they wished. So also shall the Son of Man suffer at their hand."
This is true too. Elias was telling everyone about what was to come, what was going to happen. They didn't believed him, they didn't believe he was a prophit - not till after he was gone that is. And just like with Elias, when Jesus came people didn't believe him, didn't beleive who he was... not until after the fact, after he was crusified.

Your bottom line statement/question was to say that either the bible does in fact state that reincarnation occurs, or the Bible is wrong, and Jesus isn't the prophesised messiah. You asked which one is it.

The bible does not say that reincarnation happened. Moses, Elias, Jesus --- all different people. And Jesus is the prophesised messiah. Elias prophesised about him.

As far as the happenings on the mountain... it says that Jesus took Peter and James and John up with him... and JESUS was transformed before them, that his face did shine... (now that doens't mean that Jesus transformed INTO something or someone else, it means that Jesus transformed (became shineing like the sun) right in front of thier eyes. And AFTER jesus transformed/changed/looked different/began to shine like the sun... THEN, Moses and Elias appeared to them (no one 'transformed into someone else... Moses and Elias appeared to them)... As in he was seen by them like we might see a ghost appearing before us.

In fact, they (the men Jesus had brought with him, Peter and John and James), even wanted to put up tents (tabernacles) for the 2 ghosts Moses and Elias. So we can clearly see that no person turned into another person. No one came back as someone different.

And also, it tells that they (Petere, James and John) were so frightened that they put there face to the ground... and when they got back up - moses and elias were gone. They didn't return as new people, they appeared and then were gone.



posted on Oct, 18 2006 @ 11:05 AM
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Originally posted by UnrealZA
Thank you for this well written reply. The qoute you replied from was not one geared towards the Hindu perspective of reincarnation but rather directly towards Queenannie's reply.


Actually, I shall thank you for allowing me the opportunity to cement some of the ideas in my head. The 'Baghavad Gita' has lots of good information for living virtuously/gaining spiritual awareness... but because it was oral for sooo many years before it was ever written down, the ideas are scattered, and hard to put in order in my head.

So Thank You.


On Karma:
The best analogy that I've heard for explaining the effects of karma is this: imagine existence as a huge pool of water. If you make a splash (an action, be it mental or physical), rings go out in all directions. Eventually, those rings will come back to you -- however, it may take awhile before that happens. If someone else is standing in the pool, they will be affected by those rings, and you, in turn, will be affected by their rings. (The image of a pool of water helps us picture it, but really karma is energy.)

Yes, those rings are meant to teach; however, no outside authority figure made those rings -- I did, you did, everyone in the physical realm did.

The overall idea is to not make any rings, and deal properly with the rings you're dealt...
Keep the pool ring-free!




I shall though attempt a response to yours. You would then argue that the Hindu goal is to rid oneself of "desire" or perhaps "selfish desire", so that one can attain "knowledge" Am I understanding that correctly?


Indeed, you are correct. (And from here, the discussion goes on a tangent.. I shall explain a little further, and truly I could bathe the thread in quotes and 'as-best-as-I-understand-it' explanations about this or that. However, I'll keep it as brief as possible.)

According to the 'Baghavad Gita' the desires that we suffer are of this realm (the physical), and thus do not affect the Self -- the Self learns nothing from this 'life experience', if you will. It remains the same all the time, in every person. "The senses have been conditioned by attraction to the pleasant and aversion to the unpleasant. Do not be ruled by them; they are obstacles in your path" (3:34). ((Prakriti, as defined by the glossary in this particular translation, is defined as 'the basic energy from which the mental and physical worlds take shape; nature'.)) So to depend on the sense-objects in this realm, in any way shape or form, is to depend on something that no true meaning and will, ultimately, be destroyed. (The Hindus believe that the world is of a cyclic nature -- everything material/physical will be destroyed, then 're-born'.)

Because we have bodies, we are deluged by sense-objects. While they are necessary because of the form we inhabit, we cannot ignore them (we gotta take care of our bodies). However, they do not lead to real happiness -- which is no more suffering in the physical realm. (The saying 'Life is pain' can best be applied to this idea. Our mother's suffered pain to bring us into the world, and pain is felt when we leave (by others mourning).)

Thus, the best way to live (according to the 'Baghavad Gita') is to detach ourselves from all sense-objects, and moreso selfish-attachments to actions and their rewards. (



posted on Oct, 18 2006 @ 11:19 AM
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Okay, I'm gonna ask before I get into any spiel..

Are you guys talking specifically and strictly about the Bible Jesus, or the historical Jesus?

I'm currently reading a book by John Dominic Crossan about the historical Jesus, but I don't want to interject any information/my understanding if it's completely misplaced in the discussion actually happening...



I'm afraid we might get locked or booted for having a conversation about the meaning of written material because it is the Bible we are talking about. (Wow - isn't that just the craziest and saddest thing you ever heard? And here in America even!)


Seriously??
What happened to denying ignorance????
...and what if we're quoting a book by someone who's spent his life figuring out what was meant by the material? (I hate the fact that I have to ask that..)

Ya know... *pulls out soap box* America these days has its head up its *cough* with the 'values' it embraces, as well as the 'values' it actually exhibits, which are curiously opposite the ones touted...
I am amazed and distraught that we aren't allowed to say or do this or that anymore without being flagged and gagged.
We the people should be ashamed of ourselves for letting it get this far...
*smashes soap box* So far off topic I almost chuckle.. Back to reincarnation!!

[edit on 18-10-2006 by Diseria]



posted on Oct, 18 2006 @ 12:47 PM
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Hi AngelaLadyS,

Id first like to say todays bible is not going to explicitly mention reincarnation....there are however many passages in the bible that hint at reincarnation and in fact alot of stories and passages make much more sense when viewed from the persepective of reincarnation....karma needs to have reincarnation for it work....not all karma can be worked out in one lifetime for example:

All who take the sword will perish by the sword. (Matt. 26:52)
If any one slays with the sword, with the sword must he be slain. (Rev. 13:10)

We all know there have been killers or criminals throughout history that have gotten away with their crimes......Common sense would tell us the only way for karma to work and for those that have commited crimes in the past against others is for reincarnation to occur.

Now for Elijah,



Elias was telling everyone about what was to come, what was going to happen. They didn't believed him, they didn't believe he was a prophit - not till after he was gone that is. And just like with Elias, when Jesus came people didn't believe him, didn't beleive who he was... not until after the fact, after he was crusified.


10 The disciples asked him, "Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?"
11 Jesus replied, "To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. 12But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands. 13Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist. Matt. 17:10-13

Now thats look at what Jesus said:

(Jesus replied, "To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. 12But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him)

(Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist.)

Its clear Jesus was saying Elijah was John the Baptist.

Jesus also makes reference to karma.

(but have done to him everything they wished.)

"Prompted by her mother, she said, "Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist." The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he ordered that her request be granted and had John beheaded in the prison." (Matt. 14:6-10)

It seems John the Baptist had some karmic issues to deal with where could they have come from?

"Then Elijah commanded them, "Seize the prophets of Baal. Don't let anyone get away!" They seized them, and Elijah had them brought down to the Kishon Valley and slaughtered there." (1 Kings 18:40)
"Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword." (1 Kings 19:1)

So Elijah/John the Baptist show that karma is indeed a divine law as Jesus said:
All who take the sword will perish by the sword. (Matt. 26:52)
If any one slays with the sword, with the sword must he be slain. (Rev. 13:10)



The bible does not say that reincarnation happened. Moses, Elias, Jesus --- all different people. And Jesus is the prophesised messiah. Elias prophesised about him.


Bible prophecy states Elijah was to return before Jesus could come.

Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. (Mal. 4:5)

To fullfill the prophecy Elijiah reincarnated as John the Baptist

This is the one ... there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist ... And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come. He who has ears, let him hear. (Matt. 11:11-15)

Now Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was going on. And he was perplexed, because some were saying that John had been raised from the dead, others that Elijah had appeared, and still others that one of the prophets of long ago had come back to life. (Luke 9:7-8)

And he [John the Baptist] will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah. (Luke 1:17)


Again it does not explicitly say reincarnation but its either that or resurrection.....and other than Jesus resurrection its just not possible for a decomposed corpse to come back to life......even if God made it come back to life it would still need new organs new flesh new bones...that sounds more like reincarnation....common sense and passages in the bible make reincarnation the likely cause.
I think its clear and irrefutable evidence.... bible prophecy was fullfilled with the reincartion of Elijah as John the Baptist so the Messiah could come.



posted on Oct, 18 2006 @ 01:13 PM
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Ok its two more

One of the fundamental tenets of reincarnation is we all forget our previous lives in our current life (I wont go into details as to why this is).....But the following passage in the bible clearly shows from the intent of the questioning of John the Baptist that reincarnation was an understood an excepted belief.

They asked him, "Then who are you? Are you Elijah?"
He said, "I am not."
"Are you the Prophet?"
He answered, "No."

Finally they said, "Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?"

John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, "I am the voice of one calling in the desert, "Make straight the way for the Lord.""

Now some Pharisees who had been sent questioned him, "Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?"

"I baptize with water," John replied, "but among you stands one you do not know. He is the one who comes after me, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie." (John 1:21-27)

And here is another passage where Jesus asked the disciples:

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?"

They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets." (Matt. 16:13-14)

Notice the intent of the question....Jesus asked them who they thought the Son of Man is and the disciples already knowing Jesus was the Son of Man answered him with names of people who were dead and have been known to be dead by all the disciples......So this begs this question why would the disciples anwswer Jesus with the names of dead people if they did not understand and believe in the concept of reincarnation?


edit for content

[edit on 18-10-2006 by etshrtslr]



posted on Oct, 18 2006 @ 09:44 PM
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I've never hear of the 'Baghavad Gita' before. What is that exactly? (I'm not well learned in areas of the old scripts and such. I find them VERY interesting... but it's so hard to find the history of who wrote them, what was going on at the time, why they were written and for what reason that I never even got to the point of reading them!)

I'd like to comment on Karma too :-) The explination you gave of the ripple effect in the water... I don't call that Karma, but it is definatley true that every action, conversation, 'chance' meeting etc has effects on a vast playing field. (I use the ripple effect explination ALOT). Things from centuries ago that no one ever gave notice to have molded and changed our lives in ways we'll never know or understand. (Which is why it's SO IMPORTANT to teach and role model good morals and values). Many people think of Karma as this "If you do this, that will happen" kind of thing. Unfortunaly, that isn't how it works, but it would be nice if it did. If that was the case all we'd have to do is be nice and generous and sit back and take in the 'effects' of Karma. (The energy we put out does have a great deal to do with us though - in the immediate and long term).
But unfortunaly, bad things happen to good people; rotten people get lucky breaks and don't get jailed; life isn't fair andwe suffer the consequenses of other peopls actions. But what counts is this. Are we bitter and hateful? Do we give up and just decide to be rotten and try to take what's comming to us? Or do we 'know' that sometimes things happen for a reason and even if it's not fun, fair or just - we can be certain that if we go through life doing and giving our best - somehow, someway, somewhere - we are making a difference and doing the right thing. (of course, this is the 'jist' of it all... lol (and as soon as I hit send, there will be about 3 pages worth of "I wish I had added" to go along with that!

I also want to take a moment to thank everyone in this thread for being able to have differnt ideas and thoughts and being able to share them with us. I know Isometimes write things in such a way that it sounds like I'm teaching 'facts', when in truth I'm trying to explain fellings, thoughts and ideas. (I don't mean to... it's the style in which I talk). But everyone here has been so good about sharing without anger or crazy battles over who's right or wrong. Thanks alot guys, it's more important than you realize.

I love to hear and be taught and learn about new things - even if the ideas are different than mine, it's important to me to grow and expand my knowlegde.



posted on Oct, 18 2006 @ 10:04 PM
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Diseria,
I have questions... (waving hand in the air :-)
What's the difference between the Bible Jesus and the historical Jesus? I mean, I know they have to be the same person - but I've never heard of Jesus in another context besides the Bible. Have you? And if so, how?

As far as your soapbox... if I was younger... back in the day... you'd have seen an Angela beating the street getting signitures from every home in my county first - then on to the next. But I have to tell you... I just can't do it by myself anymore. Everybody has had enough, but no one wants to get out there and do anything about it. I'm SO close to holding som kind of rally/meeting to get people off their butts... but the problem is this. Will I get bailed out of jail? What will the bond be? And is there anything that I CAN say that won't be considered discrimination or against some 1/2 baked-commy-ACLU-anti-american law? I am nothing but an American. I'm worth nothing but a paycheck to the government or any other country. I no longer have rights... I'm a slave to all the rest of the disrespectful and ungreatful world. (Wow, that might be going a bit far... but while I was on my spiel it sounded pretty good :-)



posted on Oct, 18 2006 @ 11:01 PM
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Hi etshrtslr,

You bring up wonderful points to consider.

Well, a few things here... I do believe that criminals don't get away with anything... even if they don't get their justice here on earth. I explained about my thoughts on karma in the reply above, so I won't take more of your time having to re-read :-)

I guess that my having blind faith; faith that basicaly says "no matter how amazing, unreal or ??? it sounds - I believe it" - my having that kind of faith in the Bible/God must really seem like a crazy thing to those who are more analytical about it. I know this because I am an analytical person - and if I wasn't mindfull in the way that I am... I know what I would be thinking. I'd probely just roll my eyes and give up on even trying to talk to a person like myself. lol

Speaking again about Elijah (sp)
I understand what your saying - and it is difficult to understand. But again, going back to the fact that I just believe, period, even when I don't understand... for this reason I haven't studied and questioned things like many people would have. I just believed and let difficult passages slip by until a later time when things made more sense to me. (For me, the more I understand, the more I get from the Bible - it's almost as if the book rewrites itself to meet my understanding level.)

As far as what you said about Karma; Jesus was talking about the things that the people did to them (the king wanted Johns head on a platter etc) - "they did to him everything they wished"... They weren't stopped. They did these things, horrible things, just as they did to Jesus. No one believed that they were telling the truth. (Not to mention, in those times, some were very against the idea of Jesus and all that was being taught and prophasized). Kings were use to being 'THE one', and now they had some one else that was supose to be more important them them? Not good for the ones spreading the news! But yes, elijah came before Jesus (like 4hundred something BC I think) and no one knew that he was there to tell them these thing (no one recognized him)

John the Baptist was Jesus's cousin. The 2 were in womb at the same time. I think John was only 3 months older than Jesus. The spirit of Elijah being in John the Baptist didn't mean that he was reincarnated, and it didn't even mean that the spirit of Elijah was talking through John, it was the teacher/prophit/etc, the inspired Spirit (not spirit, Spirit) that was within elijah that was also, now, within John.

I'd like to point out that 'the sword' reffers to the word of God, not just a literal sword/weapen. So when we see that someone will die by the sword (which may have been literal in those days for those still living), it also falls right in line with the 'vengence belongs to the Lord'. Meaning that although a guy gets away with something here in this life - come judgement day - he's not getting away with anything.

I wanted to point something out right quick too. I don't know what it has to do with anything we're talking about here really, but I though it was an interesting little something and somehow - between the 2 of us, we might find that it fits in here somehow.... On that mount, Moses and Elijah appeared... in the bible, niether Moses's or Elija's deaths were recorded. In fact, Elijah didn't even die! God took Elijah up to Him in a cheriot of fire. He didn't die here on earth. And Moses went home to the Lord but was never recorded as dieing. I thought this was an interesting thing... these 2 men on the mount, and these 2 men being the same 2 men that didn't physicaly die before being taken...

I'll have to read the entire books and accounts of these particular things and study more on the Matt and Luke verses about John and Elijah. I don't think I remember having heard lessons on this in particular... but I will study and come back to this! (I copy/paisted your post so I could re-read it several times)

What you have said, it does make a good arguement for reincarnation. But it is clear that man is to die but once. (and yes, I just said that Elijah didn't die but went up in a chariot of fire... The bible does not contridict itself - this is a fact. And if it seems like it does contridict itself, it's only because I haven't understood what it was telling me. Let me study a bit. You make very good points and this is a confusing matter. I enjoy going into depth in study thanks to conversations like these :-) Ok - now off to bed, and I will study and get back to you again.

I really appreciate your taking the time to show me how it is people believe the Bible speaks of reincarnation etshrtslr - thanks.



posted on Oct, 19 2006 @ 06:34 AM
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Originally posted by AngelaLadyS
I've never hear of the 'Baghavad Gita' before. What is that exactly? (I'm not well learned in areas of the old scripts and such. I find them VERY interesting... but it's so hard to find the history of who wrote them, what was going on at the time, why they were written and for what reason...)


As always, I'll answer as best I can.


The 'Baghavad Gita' is, what I'd consider, an 'intermission' in the epic story the 'Mahabharata' (which may be based on real events, around 700-1000 BCE, 'close to the dawn of recorded Indian history' (Easwaran, xiii)) -- right when Prince Arjuna is about to fight a huge battle, he looses his nerve and turns to his lifelong friend Krishna and asks for advice. "O Krishna, what satisfaction could we find in killing Dhritarashtra's sons? We would become sinners by slaying these men, even though they are evil. The sons of Dhritarashtra are related to us; therefore we should not kill them. How can we gain happiness by killing members of our own family?" (2:36-37). What follows is, in short, Krishna's advice...

The 'Baghavad Gita' is also considered a Upanishad -- "...not systematic philosophy; they are more like ecstatic slide shows of mystical experience -- vivid, disjointed, stamped with the power of direct, personal encounter with the divine... They simply set down what the rishis [seers] saw, viewing the ultimate reality from different levels of spiritual awareness, like snapshots of the same object from different angles..." (Easwaran, xxi). In other words, seers took the knowledge that people were discovering about the world around them, and applied it in their meditations -- tried to find out the ultimate truth/reality. There are lots of Upanishads written from these experiences had while meditating, however the 'Baghavad Gita' is the most popular/most translated.



Even while ancient India was making break-throughs in the natural sciences and mathematics, the sages of the Upanishads were turning inward to analyze the data that nature presents to the mind... ... These ancient sages were actually exploring the mind. In profound meditation, they found that when consciousness is so acutely focused that it is utterly withdrawn from the body and mind it enters a kind of singularity in which the sense of a separate ego disappears. In this state, the supreme climax of meditation, the seers discovered a core of consciousness beyond time and change. They called it simply Atman, the Self. (Easwaran xxii-iii)


Truly, it's unknown whether one person or many created the 'Baghavad Gita', or any given Upanishad -- it was an oral tradition (thousands?) of years before it was ever written. (If I understand it right, the Indian written tradition began 700-1000 BCE, but the culture was around long before that.) Throughout the book ('Baghavad Gita'), Krishna (the Hindu godhead -- which really represents any given and all god-figures) states the same ideas many different ways -- which points to the 'snap shot' idea, as well as the oral tradition... one person understands the idea this way, another that way.

The two basic principles of Hinduism, as well that the 'Baghavad Gita' is trying to relay, are best stated by S. Radhakrisnan from his book 'The Hindu View of Life': "...respect for man and unbending devotion to the truth..."

For a basic nutshell preview written at the butt-crack of dawn, did that make any sense? *smirks*



posted on Oct, 19 2006 @ 07:14 AM
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Originally posted by AngelaLadyS
Diseria,
I have questions... (waving hand in the air :-)


*giggles*




What's the difference between the Bible Jesus and the historical Jesus? I mean, I know they have to be the same person - but I've never heard of Jesus in another context besides the Bible. Have you? And if so, how?


After reading about the historical Jesus (check out John Dominic Crossan -- that man's spent his entire life trying to figure out what really happened with Jesus by cross-checking the Gospels with historical events and 1st century Jewish/Roman culture), there are ideas that he's presented that I don't recall ever hearing in the Bible...

For example: Radical egalitarianism (everyone is equal), as practiced by open commensality. Jesus was willing to sit down at the same table with anyone and everyone. Seems silly, but the way people ate at the table reflected their social structure (as it follows with today) -- you don't invite a bum to eat at the same table as the King, the taxpayer as the peasant, the whore with the family... He did that. He saw every human as being worthy of respect and on an equal level.

Throughout the Gospels, he's trying to tear the (Mediterranian) family apart along the power axis-es.. The idea that the father is the law-setter, if he did not accept a child into the family then it was a no-body. Jesus disagreed, believing that every person is a human being, and that no one should have any power over anyone else.

He wanted the Kingdom of God, a kingdom of Justice, to be here and now... not the afterlife. He believed that people *can* change society over time if they enact the change within their own houses.

Another example: The line 'The poor are blessed' is actually a mistranslation... 'The destitute are blessed' is more correct. This points to the fact that those who have absolutely nothing are blessed in that they are not passively complicit in the evils of society -- they are not paying taxes in order to keep the system/society going as it is. The same can be said for people today: we pay our taxes, and yet complain about what the government does with our money. But, really, we have no right to complain because we are helping the system continue functioning... If we had absolutely nothing, then we simply would not be able to help the system function, thus we would be blessed.

The Gospels/Bible are really just stories written after Jesus died, and I'm fairly certain that (rationally) we know that. However, there was a man named Jesus -- and everything that I've learned in the last few weeks points to him being a covert rebel rather than a divine person. Maybe it's really a battle of semantics, I don't know. I've never read the Bible, just heard/read some of its stories. But the Jesus portrayed in the stories always seems so supernatural, so beyond being human that I, for awhile, didn't believe that Jesus ever existed...
Reading all this stuff makes me cheer -- I think he had the right idea.



Everybody has had enough, but no one wants to get out there and do anything about it. I'm SO close to holding som kind of rally/meeting to get people off their butts... but the problem is this. Will I get bailed out of jail? What will the bond be? And is there anything that I CAN say that won't be considered discrimination or against some 1/2 baked-commy-ACLU-anti-american law? I am nothing but an American. I'm worth nothing but a paycheck to the government or any other country. I no longer have rights... I'm a slave to all the rest of the disrespectful and ungreatful world. (Wow, that might be going a bit far... but while I was on my spiel it sounded pretty good :-)


It always feels like we've gone too far, and yet... we haven't. When you look at it, we're a country that touts freedoms while restricting its citizens so much -- we, the people, *should* be able to stand up and protest without being called unpatriotic and fearing prison or Guan. bay... But we know darn well that, yes.. we have that option.. but, we know the consequences.

Your comment ties in quite nicely with Jesus, actually.. *grins* His whole 'program' was to sow seeds of change -- so that when change occurred, it had a solid root structure in the home, in the family, within the people themselves. He didn't want an open rebellion, because (historically proven) that always ends up worse for the peasants than what they had to begin with.
However, he believed that society can be changed one person at a time.

If you, or I, or anyone stood up and protested.. you're right - we'd be shot in 2.3 seconds, our character decimated, and the rebellion (along with its underlying point) written off as unpatriotic nonsense. That's why no one's standing up -- we know what'll happen. Violent rebellions/protests are shunned and called disgraceful, and peaceful protests are laughed at *while they're happening*! (I saw it happen when I was in Chicago)
:shk: What are we to do?

I say embrace Jesus, embrace Ghandi -- BE the change that you want to see in the world. Practice what you believe, what you value. Both Jesus and Ghandi pushed brotherhood, respect and love.

And, this is where the 'Baghavad Gita' fits in nicely... It gives counsel/advice for how to work on one's ego-self, how to work past it and get to the point where we see every person as an equal. All one requires, really, is awareness and will... both of which make it easier to correct one's behaviors.
(I'm currently on the baby-steps program.. *laughs* One small step at a time is all I can handle. I was raised in this immediate gratification system.. it's *really* hard to throw the bad habits off. However, the process of doing so is worth far more than the goal methinks.)

Of course, I believe that it's absolutely ludicrous that I must bow to the corporate yoke and sell my life's time, for a paycheck... How many of my college-peers are setting aside their passions for a paycheck? It's sad... not to mention shameful.
However, I haven't quite figured out how to get around the 'need' of money while living in this society yet. But when I do -- I'm letting *everyone* know!!



posted on Oct, 19 2006 @ 07:36 AM
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Originally posted by etshrtslr"Prompted by her mother, she said, "Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist." The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he ordered that her request be granted and had John beheaded in the prison." (Matt. 14:6-10)

It seems John the Baptist had some karmic issues to deal with where could they have come from?


To me, it sounds like the King had karmic issues, and John happened to be the unlucky one who suffered from the King's bad choice -- and the king will have to deal with those karmic consequences when they come around. John didn't do anything to deserve that, and the only way karma could affect him at that point was in how he dealt with it.



Again it does not explicitly say reincarnation but its either that or resurrection.....and other than Jesus resurrection its just not possible for a decomposed corpse to come back to life......even if God made it come back to life it would still need new organs new flesh new bones...that sounds more like reincarnation....common sense and passages in the bible make reincarnation the likely cause.


First off, lemme repeat that I know nothing of/from the Bible except that they're stories written after Jesus died. That's it. I've never read it, I don't follow the belief system, nada.

That being said, I am intrigued.
How many resurrections were noted in the Bible/Gospels? I only know of one...

Honestly, it really comes down to whether the event really happened as stated in the stories of the Bible (which I doubt)... or that that particular event was one where Jesus didn't bury the man right away. The whole reason that wakes were done was to make sure that the dead were really dead. It's quite possible that Jesus just woke him from his coma/slumber...


quoted from 'Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography' by John Dominic Crossan, pgs. 94-95

...symbolism is always latent in the bodily miracle and that bodily miracle always has social signification. ...I understand, therefore, the story of Lazarus as process incarnated in event and
not the reverse.
(John 11:21-27) Martha said to Jesus, 'Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. And even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.' Jesus said to her, 'Your brother will rise again.' Martha said to him, 'I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.' Jesus said to her, 'I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?' She said to him, 'Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, he who is coming into the world.
For John's gospel, the process of general resurrection is incarnated in the even of Lazarus's resuscitation. That is one such movement from process [an event affecting a society/body of people] to event [an actual and historical healing of an afflicted individual at a moment in time].


Knowing what we know about life and death, all that we know about science and medicine, everything that we know about the empiracle nature of our realm... how can we point to any *possible* (I'll admit that it's possible, just not plausible) resurrection(s) as evidence to reincarnation?

Aside from that, reincarnation, as far as I understand, doesn't happen like that. It's not the body re-forming... it's the Self, the spark of Atman, entering into a different body entirely. If the Self didn't leave, then the person wasn't dead.

[edit on 19-10-2006 by Diseria]

[edit on 19-10-2006 by Diseria]



posted on Oct, 19 2006 @ 08:47 AM
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Diseria,
That was a remarkable breakdown of the basic concepts of Karma according to the Ghita. I made a point earler in the thread about the connections between the Jivatman and Paramatman. Jiv being the temporary soul that occupies the physical body during life, and Paramatman being the soul which the Jivatman joins after death. The Paramatman is also eternal, and holds all of the memories of every Jiv that has lived. It is, in essence, God.

I likened it to a cloth covering a lamp, and every individual soul being a hole in that cloth allowing for an individual stream of light to shine through. That stream, though it may seem to be a single light source, is only part of the whole. That is why I don't believe that the common idea of past life regression is accurate. finding the memories of a Jivatman that has already joined with the Paramatman would be like puring a cup of water into the ocean, and pulling out that same cup of water, molicule for molicule.

I believe that hypnotic regression into past lives are often planted in the subconcious by either the hypnotist himself, or some other form of media (books TV etc.)



posted on Oct, 19 2006 @ 12:59 PM
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Originally posted by Rasobasi420
Diseria,
That was a remarkable breakdown of the basic concepts of Karma according to the Ghita. I made a point earler in the thread about the connections between the Jivatman and Paramatman. Jiv being the temporary soul that occupies the physical body during life, and Paramatman being the soul which the Jivatman joins after death. The Paramatman is also eternal, and holds all of the memories of every Jiv that has lived. It is, in essence, God.


Thanks Raso!
I've been turning the concepts over and over for weeks now, trying to understand then for class, then several papers.. This discussion actually served as a remarkable way to sift through and cement some of the basic ideas of the Gita.
(Above all else -- I'm glad it made sense! I've been typing this stuff before the sun's even up!)

However, I'm curious.. I've only read the 'Baghavad Gita', so anything that's outside of that I'm unfamiliar with. Are the Jivatman and Paramatman semantic breakdowns of the idea of the Self? another way of describing the soul vs. brain issue that humans have to struggle with? Where are these ideas mentioned (a/an Upanishad, the scriptures)?


finding the memories of a Jivatman that has already joined with the Paramatman would be like puring a cup of water into the ocean, and pulling out that same cup of water, molicule for molicule.


Truly, a great analogy.
Reminds me of a quote.. lemme dig it up.
*digging*
Ah, okay. From 'The Hindu View of Life', it's South Indian folksong: "Into the bosom of one great sea / Flows streams that come from the hills on every side, / their names are various as their springs, / and thus in every land do men bow down / to one great god, though known by many names."



I believe that hypnotic regression into past lives are often planted in the subconcious by either the hypnotist himself, or some other form of media (books TV etc.)


One never truly knows, and that's the rub of it all. My problem is that I've got an active imagination... great for writing, crap for discerning the truth of dreams and reincarnation. The one time that I tried past-life regression (by cd of course *laughs*) I saw myself as a peasant living on a hill in a wood cabin. Afterwards, I thought about it and realized that it was from a book that I finished reading a few weeks prior.

Most people would like to think that they're someone famous.. if not in this life, then in a past one. (Especially when living in a society that holds celebrities on god-like pedestals..) Truth be told, I don't think our meat-brains are capable of knowing such knowledge, and if we got it -- I don't know that we'd be able to figure it out consciously. I just hope in my many nights of dreamless sleep that I'm somehow talking with my higher self.. figuring out some great dilemna or something!! I'll never know for certain, but it's nice to hope.


The way that I see it, I don't think we're allowed to know our past lives. There's so much to do and think of and figure out in this life... good grief, if I had to figure *all* of it out!? I have enough trouble figuring out what to eat for breakfast, nevermind the truth of however many lives I've lead!!

(edited to ask Rasoban: If I may ask, are you a Hindu? or, have you studied Hinduism? Like I said, all I've read is the Gita; however, the ideas presented are fascinating! Where have you gained your knowledge?)

[edit on 19-10-2006 by Diseria]



posted on Oct, 19 2006 @ 02:48 PM
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The idea of the Jivatman and Paramatman are found in the Upanishads, which is te Vedic text dealing with the soul, and of God. I've read the Upanishads, various hymns of the Rig Veda, and a few texts of the Yajur Veda. I've also read a translation of the Mahabarata, unfortunately the entire text isn't even close to being completely translated, so it sort of left me without a full understanding. BTW, theres a good adaptation by Peter Brook (lord of the flies) that you might want to watch. Be careful though, it's aroun 9 hours long.

I then moved my studies north and west to Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, then Judaism, and Islam. I never went to college, so I didn't have the direct benefit of a class to study these religions, so I relied on my mother who has a few masters degrees, one in Egyptology, one in Religion, and a PhD in Linguistic anthropology focussing on Sanskrit and its progression to modern Urdu.

Basically, I found myself in a spiritual void, and wanted to know what was out there. I found out that what was out there was interesting, but not necessarily right. I've practiced meditation for years (not always by choice), and found that it's better to rely on ones self for guidance than some book somewhere.



posted on Oct, 23 2006 @ 07:00 PM
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Originally posted by Diseria



I shall though attempt a response to yours. You would then argue that the Hindu goal is to rid oneself of "desire" or perhaps "selfish desire", so that one can attain "knowledge" Am I understanding that correctly?


Indeed, you are correct. (And from here, the discussion goes on a tangent.. I shall explain a little further, and truly I could bathe the thread in quotes and 'as-best-as-I-understand-it' explanations about this or that. However, I'll keep it as brief as possible.)

According to the 'Baghavad Gita' the desires that we suffer are of this realm (the physical), and thus do not affect the Self -- the Self learns nothing from this 'life experience', if you will. It remains the same all the time, in every person. "The senses have been conditioned by attraction to the pleasant and aversion to the unpleasant. Do not be ruled by them; they are obstacles in your path" (3:34). ((Prakriti, as defined by the glossary in this particular translation, is defined as 'the basic energy from which the mental and physical worlds take shape; nature'.)) So to depend on the sense-objects in this realm, in any way shape or form, is to depend on something that no true meaning and will, ultimately, be destroyed. (The Hindus believe that the world is of a cyclic nature -- everything material/physical will be destroyed, then 're-born'.)

Because we have bodies, we are deluged by sense-objects. While they are necessary because of the form we inhabit, we cannot ignore them (we gotta take care of our bodies). However, they do not lead to real happiness -- which is no more suffering in the physical realm. (The saying 'Life is pain' can best be applied to this idea. Our mother's suffered pain to bring us into the world, and pain is felt when we leave (by others mourning).)

Thus, the best way to live (according to the 'Baghavad Gita') is to detach ourselves from all sense-objects, and moreso selfish-attachments to actions and their rewards. (



posted on Oct, 24 2006 @ 01:39 PM
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Originally posted by UnrealZA
Thank you again for the reply, Diseria. I apologize for the late reply. I'm not always able to reply quickly because of my work.


That's okay.. I'm busy with school, so it sometimes takes me awhile to reply. No worries!




So, in a nutshell, the Hindu is to rid oneself of selfish desire so to reach their goal. Do they then not "desire" to reach perfection and if so please explain how one can do away with selfish desire while desiring to do so?

One cannot cease to desire if their desire is to be free from desire.....it's contradictory and self-refuting. I cannot reason that out logically, can you?


Your words are true, to a point...

The way that I understand it, the spiritual aspirant understands (reaches the logical conclusion) that to reach Nirvana/Samadhi is the best goal in life. (Akin to Aristotle's idea of Virtue -- it's the best possible goal for a person, and an ongoing struggle to achieve.)

To desire it is, in a way, correct -- but that seems to be the beginner's stage. Desire is a product of the gunas, which are defined (by this book) as: 'quality; specifically, the 3 qualities that make up the phenominal world; sattva law, harmony, purity, goodness; rajas, energy, passion; tamas inertia, ignorance'. In short, the gunas run the physical world -- we always have the gunas in us, as our bodies are a part of this realm. We cannot rid ourselves of them until death.

The idea then becomes to think and live beyond the gunas. Obviously, to have sattva predominate is the best of the 3, and the spiritual aspirant works towards embracing that. However, the ultimate goal is beyond anything of this world -- beyond any semblance of selfish desire.

To put it in other words. Another study that I'm doing this semester (and probably for the rest of my life) is on the idea of Virtue -- being a virtuous person. (Now-a-days, it falls under 'virtue ethics.') There are three methods of thinking about virtue, and I'll use an example to try and explain them as best I can. (2 of which I understand, those being Virtue and utilitarianism; consequentialism is very closely related to the latter, and I do not understand it well enough to make proper distinctions.)

Say that I choose to loan my neighboring farmer my plow. The action itself is good, because I am being generous in sharing, and also trusting that my neighbor will return it, preferably in the same condition it was lent. However, what becomes ultimately important is the mindset: Am I loaning this plow with the expectation of, not only getting my plow back, but also, say, a sack of seeds? In that case, my motives are utilitarian -- I am doing something 'good' because I expect that this good action will result in my personal benefit (an extra sack of seeds). Thus, the action and its motive is practical.
However, if I choose to loan the plow because I know that it is the correct action -- I'm not currently using it, and the neighbor needs it to finish the crops -- then the action is virtuous. I am not expecting a reward for my generosity, and have chosen to loan it because I know that it is the correct action.

...maybe sharing my plow is not the best example, but it's the best my mind can conjure right now.


(*giggles* Here's another example (completely and utterly rhetorical questions, I assure you!): Am I trying to explain this because I want to tout my knowledge and make myself feel like a 'big person' because I know something that you don't? Or, am I explaining what I know (what I think I know) because I deem it important to share knowledge -- not because I'm made somehow better for it or expect some personal benefit, but because it's a function of humanity?
Arguably, the first would be a selfish motive, and the second would be selfless.)

In the end, it (Virtue, Nirvana/Samadhi) is all about mindset: Am I choosing to loan my plow because I desire some personally beneficial end? Or, am I loaning my plow because I know that it's the most correct action?

Am I working towards Nirvana/Samadhi because I desire the bliss of this divine union with the Self? (By this book's definition, Nirvana is 'complete extinction of self-will and separateness; realization of the unity of all life' -- thus, I cannot desire Nirvana because that is still admitting that I have an ego, a self.)
Or, am I working towards Nirvana/Samhadi because I know that it is the best possible end, the most correct action, the best 'good'?



Did that help at all?

[edit on 24-10-2006 by Diseria]



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