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Past life or not...?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
I don't know if this is the right place so please move it if it's not...!

What are people's views/opinions on having experienced a "past life"?

Do you believe you have lived previously? If so, do you think your experiences from that have helped shape your behaviours/characteristics/personalities/traits that you now display?

Discuss...!
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Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't believe in past lives. But I read a wonderful short story.



    You were on your way home when you died.

    It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless. You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered you were better off, trust me.

    And that’s when you met me.

    “What… what happened?” You asked. “Where am I?”

    “You died,” I said, matter-of-factly. No point in mincing words.

    “There was a… a truck and it was skidding…”

    “Yup,” I said.

    “I… I died?”

    “Yup. But don’t feel bad about it. Everyone dies,” I said.

    You looked around. There was nothingness. Just you and me. “What is this place?” You asked. “Is this the afterlife?”

    “More or less,” I said.

    “Are you god?” You asked.

    “Yup,” I replied. “I’m God.”

    “My kids… my wife,” you said.

    “What about them?”

    “Will they be all right?”

    “That’s what I like to see,” I said. “You just died and your main concern is for your family. That’s good stuff right there.”

    You looked at me with fascination. To you, I didn’t look like God. I just looked like some man. Or possibly a woman. Some vague authority figure, maybe. More of a grammar school teacher than the almighty.

    “Don’t worry,” I said. “They’ll be fine. Your kids will remember you as perfect in every way. They didn’t have time to grow contempt for you. You wife will cry on the outside, but will be secretly relieved. To be fair, your marriage was falling apart. If it’s any consolation, she’ll feel very guilty for feeling relieved.”

    “Oh,” you said. “So what happens now? Do I go to heaven or hell or something?”

    “Neither,” I said. “You’ll be reincarnated.”

    “Ah,” you said. “So the Hindus were right,”

    “All religions are right in their own way,” I said. “Walk with me.”

    You followed along as we strode through the void. “Where are we going?”

    “Nowhere in particular,” I said. “It’s just nice to walk while we talk.”

    “So what’s the point, then?” You asked. “When I get reborn, I’ll just be a blank slate, right? A baby. So all my experiences and everything I did in this life won’t matter.”

    “Not so!” I said. “You have within you all the knowledge and experiences of all your past lives. You just don’t remember them right now.”

    I stopped walking and took you by the shoulders. “Your soul is more magnificent, beautiful, and gigantic than you can possibly imagine. A human mind can only contain a tiny fraction of what you are. It’s like sticking your finger in a glass of water to see if it’s hot or cold. You put a tiny part of yourself into the vessel, and when you bring it back out, you’ve gained all the experiences it had.

    “You’ve been in a human for the last 48 years, so you haven’t stretched out yet and felt the rest of your immense consciousness. If we hung out here for long enough, you’d start remembering everything. But there’s no point to doing that between each life.”

    “How many times have I been reincarnated, then?”

    “Oh lots. Lots and lots. An in to lots of different lives.” I said. “This time around, you’ll be a Chinese peasant girl in 540 AD.”

    “Wait, what?” You stammered. “You’re sending me back in time?”

    “Well, I guess technically. Time, as you know it, only exists in your universe. Things are different where I come from.”

    “Where you come from?” You said.

    “Oh sure,” I explained “I come from somewhere. Somewhere else. And there are others like me. I know you’ll want to know what it’s like there, but honestly you wouldn’t understand.”

    “Oh,” you said, a little let down. “But wait. If I get reincarnated to other places in time, I could have interacted with myself at some point.”

    “Sure. Happens all the time. And with both lives only aware of their own lifespan you don’t even know it’s happening.”

    “So what’s the point of it all?”

    “Seriously?” I asked. “Seriously? You’re asking me for the meaning of life? Isn’t that a little stereotypical?”

    “Well it’s a reasonable question,” you persisted.

    I looked you in the eye. “The meaning of life, the reason I made this whole universe, is for you to mature.”

    “You mean mankind? You want us to mature?”

    “No, just you. I made this whole universe for you. With each new life you grow and mature and become a larger and greater intellect.”

    “Just me? What about everyone else?”

    “There is no one else,” I said. “In this universe, there’s just you and me.”

    You stared blankly at me. “But all the people on earth…”

    “All you. Different incarnations of you.”

    “Wait. I’m everyone!?”

    “Now you’re getting it,” I said, with a congratulatory slap on the back.

    “I’m every human being who ever lived?”

    “Or who will ever live, yes.”

    “I’m Abraham Lincoln?”

    “And you’re John Wilkes Booth, too,” I added.

    “I’m Hitler?” You said, appalled.

    “And you’re the millions he killed.”

    “I’m Jesus?”

    “And you’re everyone who followed him.”

    You fell silent.

    “Every time you victimized someone,” I said, “you were victimizing yourself. Every act of kindness you’ve done, you’ve done to yourself. Every happy and sad moment ever experienced by any human was, or will be, experienced by you.”

    You thought for a long time.

    “Why?” You asked me. “Why do all this?”

    “Because someday, you will become like me. Because that’s what you are. You’re one of my kind. You’re my child.”

    “Whoa,” you said, incredulous. “You mean I’m a god?”

    “No. Not yet. You’re a fetus. You’re still growing. Once you’ve lived every human life throughout all time, you will have grown enough to be born.”

    “So the whole universe,” you said, “it’s just…”

    “An egg.” I answered. “Now it’s time for you to move on to your next life.”

    And I sent you on your way.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Not a shred of evidence for it. Another symptom of our fear of the finality of death.
  • Indrid ColdIndrid Cold Warming up? Posts: 16,688
    I don't believe it, but I view it the same way as pretty much everything else: There might be "not a shred of evidence" for it but I'd be foolish to dismiss it outright.

    Fiend, I really liked that story.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't deny that people have had such experiences, I just deny their explanation for it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Cute story but no I dont believe in it
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Not a shred of evidence for it. Another symptom of our fear of the finality of death.


    Agreed, in a way. The human mind cannot comprehend nothingness, in the same way it cannot comprehend infinity.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Awesome story, the idea of reincarnation is lovely but ultimately no, I don't believe in it and never will
  • Indrid ColdIndrid Cold Warming up? Posts: 16,688
    smaug wrote: »
    never will
    Even if someday, somehow there is evidence or proof for it?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I like the story, seems somewhat egotistical though.

    As an unorthodox buddhist, i suppose i should be inclined to believe in reincarnation, but i think i don't.

    It would be something of a matter of faith, which unfortuntely i don't have.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Even if someday, somehow there is evidence or proof for it?

    Well sure it may be one day that I'm akin those who were adamant the world was flat. But as it stands I can see no logic or science behind it, just as the coathanger puts it, the fear of the finality of death. Its far too intangible a notion.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Entirely possibly but I like to live with an open mind.
  • Indrid ColdIndrid Cold Warming up? Posts: 16,688
    smaug wrote: »
    Well sure it may be one day that I'm akin those who were adamant the world was flat. But as it stands I can see no logic or science behind it, just as the coathanger puts it, the fear of the finality of death. Its far too intangible a notion.
    My point was, don't say "never" about something you're not sure about. And without proof that it's not true, you can't be sure it's not true. You can only believe it's not.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm pretty damn sure
  • Indrid ColdIndrid Cold Warming up? Posts: 16,688
    smaug wrote: »
    I'm pretty damn sure
    "Pretty damn sure" is different than "absolutely sure".
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Not really. I am so steadfast in my view that the only thing that could change it is clear and irrefutable evidence, something that will not be seen in my lifetime (or ever, probably). Therefore: I am steadfast in my view.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I absolutely love the short story you posted :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I absolutely love the short story you posted :)


    I hoped you might. I really enjoyed it when I saw it for the first time
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Not a shred of evidence for it. Another symptom of our fear of the finality of death.

    Agreed. A load of bollocks.
  • Indrid ColdIndrid Cold Warming up? Posts: 16,688
    I stand by my first comment in this thread. Without proof, all one can do is believe. Anyone who claims to be (absolutely) sure about something that hasn't been proven is a fool (and that's a belief).
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I stand by my first comment in this thread. Without proof, all one can do is believe. Anyone who claims to be (absolutely) sure about something that hasn't been proven is a fool (and that's a belief).

    Well, no. There is absolutely no evidence that people have past lives, so I'm entirely sure that it's not true. The same way that I'm sure that Wolverine isn't a real live person. Or the Hulk. But your stance seems to be that I should be open to the idea of them actually existing until someone provides conclusive proof that they don't exist.

    How can someone provide evidence of something that doesn't exist? The burden of proof is on those who say it does exist. If I say that Odin pulls clouds across the sky in an invisible chariot, it's up to me to prove that's true, not the people who say I'm wrong.
  • Indrid ColdIndrid Cold Warming up? Posts: 16,688
    Well, no. There is absolutely no evidence that people have past lives, so I'm entirely sure that it's not true. The same way that I'm sure that Wolverine isn't a real live person. Or the Hulk. But your stance seems to be that I should be open to the idea of them actually existing until someone provides conclusive proof that they don't exist.

    How can someone provide evidence of something that doesn't exist? The burden of proof is on those who say it does exist. If I say that Odin pulls clouds across the sky in an invisible chariot, it's up to me to prove that's true, not the people who say I'm wrong.
    That's exactly what I'm saying. And all of those things probably can't be proven. Why does that matter? I'm not saying you should expect Wolverine to come by your house some day, in fact you're very right to say that he won't. All I say is that it's wrong to call this "being sure". If you can't prove that there isn't some place where Wolverine really exists, you have to accept there is even a 0.00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001% possibility that he does somewhere (add as many zeroes as you want). Will it really make any difference at all in your life to say that you believe Wolverine doesn't exist, instead of saying you know he doesn't?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Will it really make any difference at all in your life to say that you believe Wolverine doesn't exist, instead of saying you know he doesn't?

    Yes. It makes me sound less like a child/lunatic to say that I know Wolverine isn't real. This is becoming a first year philosophy student argument. To be sure of something is to be without doubt. I am without doubt that there is no such thing as past lives, so yes, I am sure that they don't exist. Just as I am without doubt that the world is not held on Atlas' shoulders or that Santa is real. I am without doubt Wolverine is not real.

    Belief and fact are very different things. I believe and I know are not interchangeable statements. In the hypothetical world you are suggesting, there is no such thing as fact. I.e, there is a chance that it was a robot duplicate of Abraham Lincoln that was assassinated in the Ford's Theatre to cover up that the real honest Abe had left for Cybertron to broker peace between the Autobots and Decepticons, so we can only believe that Lincoln is dead. In this world, text books would all have to read that we believe that the Allies fought the Nazis in WW2 because there is a chance that the war was actually between Bob Holness and a small animatronic penguin.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Personally I think it's splitting hairs- not something I loose sleep over
  • Indrid ColdIndrid Cold Warming up? Posts: 16,688
    there is no such thing as fact
    Pretty much, I've thought that before. It depends on which sources you trust though. If you trust the textbooks, then what they say is a fact. If you don't, it's not.

    The big thing about being sure is this: Forget Wolverine and and robot aliens. Suppose that you have a very close friend named Bob, who you trust like no one else. Then one day the police come to your house and tell you that Bob is wanted for murder. You could easily say "No way! I know that Bob would never do such a thing!". Just like many other people have said in the past in similar circumstances.
    The thing is, in many cases these people were wrong. If they didn't feel so sure Bob was innocent based on nothing else than what's really a belief (that Bob would never kill somebody -which is only a belief as Bob is physically able to kill), when they heard the police say that they might have actually considered the possibility and saw Bob under a very different light: Something he once said, or something he did, could be interpreted differently and so they'd understand that perhaps Bob really would kill somebody. Or, that there really has never been any indication that he would and so there's no reason to mistrust him any more than there was before.
    Instead, by mislabelling a belief as fact, they dismiss the possibility and make it more difficult for themselves to accept the truth, supposing that Bob did kill somebody, which can only lead to shock and trauma they could have been spared or have lessened.

    All I did was dig out the underlining mindset if "you" (in the hypothetical story above) that caused this "problem" (the quotes are there because it's not a very big problem, although that's no reason not to try and "fix" it) and apply it to everything.

    This example, shortened: You don't have evidence or proof Bob didn't kill anyone, you just trust him because you don't have any indication he would. You believe he wouldn't do it. In truth, evidence (or proof) could come about that he did it.
    The above argument, generalised: You don't have any evidence or proof about something, you just reach a conclusion based on the lack of evidence/proof for the opposite. You believe that's the right conclusion. In truth, evidence (or proof) could come about that overturns it.
    The generalised argument applied to reincarnation: You don't have proof that reincarnation doesn't happen, you just feel "sure" it doesn't because you have no indication that it does. You believe it doesn't happen. In truth, evidence (or proof) could come about that it does.

    Likelihood plays no part here.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Oh good god this truly has descended into a first year philosophy student debate, completely with insane straw man examples.

    Being sure about something does not mean that a person can never be wrong. Your mind blowingly insane argument logically leads to everyone having to prove that aren't murderers. I can only be sure that someone isn't an axe murderer when they show me that they have no bodies dissolving in a bath tub.

    I am 100% convinced that there is no such thing as reincarnation. Same way that I'm 100% convinced that there are no such things as ghosts, psychics are liars, and there isn't a monster under the bed trying to eat me. Therefore, I am SURE that there is no such thing as reincarnation.

    The potential existence of proof is not the same as actual existence of proof.

    This has become ludicrous semantic jousting.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Time to quote Boston Legal here, Whose God is it Anyway? Season 3, episode 5.
    Judge Willard Reese’s Courtroom
    Jerry Espenson: I liked him personally, but his ramblings were becoming more and more aberrant.
    Alan Shore: Could you give us an example, please?
    Jerry Espenson: Well, he impugned me for taking medication. Then there was the business about the aliens. He’d
    request time off to get his body audited by these electropsychometer machines. They believe man evolved from a
    clam.
    Alan Shore: A clam?
    Jerry Espenson: The problem is he’d talk about it openly. He was losing credibility as a lawyer, causing my firm to
    lose credibility. The law business is tough. He was making a mockery of mine.
    Sally Heep: He ever commit any legal malpractice?
    Jerry Espenson: No, he’s an excellent attorney, but when he talked about religion—
    Sally Heep: It reflected poorly on the firm.
    Jerry Espenson: I believe in religious freedom.
    Sally Heep: What if one of your associates was Hindu, and worshipped a cow? Would that be all right?
    Jerry Espenson: Uh, I think so.
    Sally Heep: What about Christianity? What if one of your associates believed that Jesus actually walked on water,
    or that Moses parted the Red Sea, or that Noah’s ark actually held 60 million animals?
    Jerry Espenson: I don’t take everything in the Bible literally.
    Sally Heep: What if one of your lawyers did?
    Jerry Espenson squeaks.
    Alan Shore: Your Honor, she’s making fun of Christianity. It’s unpatriotic. I’m concerned it’ll hurt the troops.
    Judge Willard Reese: Mr. Shore, sit down.
    Sally Heep: What if one of your employees believed, instead of the soul of an alien entering our bodies, it was the
    devil? Would you fire somebody from your firm because they spoke openly about that?
    Alan Shore: I am sorry, your Honor. This woman is clearly a Jew.
    Judge Willard Reese: You object to her being Jewish?
    Alan Shore: chuckling I’m sure somebody here must.
  • AuroraAurora Part of the furniture Posts: 11,713 Part of the furniture
    I think it's all based on religion really, but I don't believe in past life. Were as I have a friend who does, she has the most amazing stories. All about the spirits.

    I remember once reading this book in Year 8 about this girl who dies, after being accused of so and so, and basically they all look for clues and what not, and basically, she was reborn as someone else, another little girl, who helps them clear her name, etc...because she was that person O.o

    Can't actually remember what book it was now, but was a immensely amazing book :)

    Just sharing my random personal view~
  • SkiveSkive No discipline. No morality. No respect. New ForestPosts: 15,026 I eat threads for breakfast
    Love how everybody in a past life was important or famous - as though only celebs get reincarnated.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Skive wrote: »
    Love how everybody in a past life was important or famous - as though only celebs get reincarnated.

    :yes: On that TV show (can't remember what it's called) where they get celebs to "look back at their past lives" they were never just a cleaner or something!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    **Angel** wrote: »
    I remember once reading this book in Year 8 about this girl who dies, after being accused of so and so, and basically they all look for clues and what not, and basically, she was reborn as someone else, another little girl, who helps them clear her name, etc...because she was that person O.o

    Can't actually remember what book it was now, but was a immensely amazing book :)

    Just sharing my random personal view~

    That's a shame...sounds like a really interesting book!
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