What's the point of reincarnation?

Discussion in 'Eastern Philosophy' started by Magical Realist, Feb 24, 2014.

  1. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    If you can't remember your previous lives anyway? So it's like we live all these lives learning all these great lessons, but have the slate wiped cleaned each time we reincarnate? What's the point?
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  3. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Precisely how, where and when the idea of reincarnation originated is one of the great unsolved problems in the history of ideas. It's such an obvious idea that it probably appeared independently many times in many places. Its first appearance might have been very early, in the stone age.

    My impression is that the Indian version of the idea, still prevalent in Hinduism, Buddhism and among the Jains, is basically an ethical belief. I'm less familiar with Greek variants on the idea, such as those once popular among the Orphics and Pythagoreans.

    The ethical idea that underlies reincarnation is that everyone eventually gets what they deserve. (The idea of divine judgement plays a similar functional role in the Semitic religions.)

    In real life, flourishing sinners and suffering saints create problems for the idea that the universe is a fair place, and for the idea that there's some pragmatic value for individuals in being good and doing the right thing.

    So the idea arises that undeserved suffering in this life is the result of transgressions committed before birth. And good behavior that receives no recognition or reward in this life will have its beneficial effects after death, in the next life, in the form of a higher and more auspicious rebirth.

    (The idea of post-mortem divine judgement addresses the second issue, but not the first. It has no answer for things like birth-defects.)

    Of course, the same considerations would seem to apply in the next life. Good and bad post-mortem behavior still needs to have some link to rewards and punishments. So in the Indian scheme, it's not only possible to go to heaven, it's also possible to subsequently fall out of heaven, into earthly life or even into a hell. Conversely, it's possible for saintly hell-beings to rise up out of hell.

    (The idea that people can't fall out of heaven once they are there implies that they can be as shitty as they want to be forever more, with no consequences.)

    So you get this idea of an endless succession of lives, with countless beings constantly moving up and down through a whole hierarchy of states, from the lowest hells to the highest heavens, according to the moral quality of their behavior.

    And that leads to the idea that ultimate salvation isn't about being reborn in a heaven at all. It's about achieving some final blessed state where the endless transmigration from life to life ceases and where whatever the goal is, is finally won. The Buddhists imagine it as nirvana, the Jains as omniscience, the Hindus as a final relationship or even union with the divine.
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  5. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Thanks for that explanation. I still have a problem though with holding people morally accountable for things they did in another life in different circumstances as a different person. Say I was an ax murderer in a previous life. So in this life I get my legs cut off in a car crash. Seems like too little too late to me. I may be a total saint in this life, but then the punishment for being an ax murderer happens nonetheless. The person I am now is an entirely new and free moral agent. But I'M accountable too for the actions of this other person I was previously? The imbalance of getting off scot free as an ax murderer is only "resolved" by the imbalance of getting my legs amputated in this life. Thus an endless chain of imbalances is perpetrated thruout the karmic cycles.
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  7. kx000 Valued Senior Member

    To be alive.
  8. kmguru Staff Member

    For eternity and do the work as needed....

    The best place to read it is Gita of Mahabharat (The Indian Epic) where Lord Krishna talks a lot....In 12,000 years ago, he coming from another Galaxy talked about the whole process...

    The point is that Spirit Universe is the Real Item and we are just a Physical Workshop for people to do various projects. You can connect to them as needed when you are about 12 years...then you may keep it or loose it.

    To get more...read up on Terry Goodkind Books...it talks about the system a lot...

    Just an idea...

    Note: Spirit Universe is the real World...We are just a Virtual World for Spirits to do their stuff...you can come back as humans, animals including Dogs and snake (punishment)...it is a whole different area of understanding...
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2014
  9. kmguru Staff Member

    More on Reincarnation

    Sorry for my ramblings...of the previous post...

    In order to understand reincarnation...one has to address the human existence...

    Our Universe is made of Energy, Matter and Dimensions...

    The real Life forms are in the Energy Universe for which the Matter part is just a necessary part.. Even in the matter part, we are made of Physical Bodies and Spirit Attachment. Even in Body, unless it is supported by artificial structures, the spirit can be taken out or move itself from the body thus creating a body with no life signs...under Spirit Universe Laws.

    The Spirit is for this life, based on the plan in the Spirit Universe. The details can be had when you move back to the Spirit Universe. The Spirit is Eternal unless you commit suicide. (Think about the Jihadis)

    To access the Spirit world, every human can do that at about age 12. If you stop the communication, you loose the physical link but your spirit connects to the Spirit Universe all the time for that is where the Home is.

    In Matter, our 3D is superimposed by Time and the other dimension has the Spirit Universe (perhaps EMF spectrum). I have no idea about the Dark Matter.

    Now, whatever plan you have in the spirit world, you fulfill it, you have to be a life form and do your thing. They are theory and we are practical. Normally the Spirit are mostly pure but the chaos has some spirits do bad things...that detail need to be understood when you get there.

    Reincarnation is the place where you collect many areas of Matter experience so as to improve larger pictures based on your goal over say 500,000 years or more. That is where incarnation happens. Most Earth spirits are about 400,000 years old or Less like 50,000 years while in other galaxies, there are spirits that are 5 to 8 Billion Reincarnation plus time spent in Spirit Universe.

    The Spirit Universe covers the entire Physical Universe. During Mahabharata, Lord Krishna and the Team came from another Galaxy. He was very old..like Billions of reincarnation (plus time in Spirit Universe) and hence had the ability to manage energy at a human level, hence Lord. He liked the Indian philosophy then (12,000 years ago).

    As more and more people connect to the spirit Universe, they will get more information and in the next 100 years, things will change. That is we connect to our Galaxy in space ships...like Star Trek....(that also includes Prime Directive of Star Trek)

    Because the Spirit Universe (same as Physical Universe) is about 14 Billion Years old...the Laws and rules and structure are very complex and difficult to explain all the details. But we are a part in it - since we are all spirits living in a physical temporary body. It is very difficult for a human to get 100 life times of experience in the little head of ours as Data and hence are not included except certain knowledge for senior groups.

    Spirit world has Laws and rules by which we do our thing and watched every day 24X7 by spirits of your ancestors...if you make a mess, you will come back as snakes...guaranteed...check it out if you do not believe me...

    They can not tell you anything due to the future items that they know...they set up the future and manage it...you can get it when you go there...but can not bring it in...

    The basics of Spirit Universe is listed as fiction in Terry Goodkind's Books....not exactly but most of the items...

    Thank you...

    Note: Just to tell you one issue...while most good Spirits are OK, during Hitlers regime, the amount of death in mass for Jews causes serious spirit issues even now. So those spirits are in PTSD even now and can not be sent back for perhaps another 200 or 300 years. There is a process that can be done but need human intervention at a physical level...that is all about reincarnation and life...
  10. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    How about first learning about the actual different doctrines of karma and reincarnation/rebirth?
  11. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    Assuming there should be any special point to it, rather than re-embodiment just being another circumstance that happened to fall out of ontological evolution or development. In which case, neither moral issues nor concern over personal benefits (for better or worse) even apply. Cosmic indifference.

    Some corners of philosophical naturalism toy around with the idea of a generic subjectivity, or of there being a kind of inter-subjectivity to experience. But this wouldn't be so much "reincarnation" as just the surviving organisms serving as the "virtual particles" composing / maintaining an Earth-pervasive field of experience. In which case, the local memory / cognitive functions of a specific brain / body had made it seem as if "you" were the only instance of consciousness [THIS person alone and no more], an island unto itself. Our "hardware" is solipsistic in terms of the finite subject which it produces (even if the acquired beliefs of the software running on it is not a solipsist); that is, it cuts us off from any total "field" of experience.

    Once "you" die, phenomenal consciousness still continues with other still living organisms, as if a spectator walked out of a football stadium yet the crowd remained as the distributed and enduring entity which the departed fan was part of. But due to no memory structure and what mattered to "you" being transferred, there would be no "ah ha" realization that "you" were always these other beings, too. Or having knowledge of suddenly acquiring another, different life-long fixation of appearing to solely be a specific individual with unique memories and perceptions.

    The gist being that some traditional ideas of "reincarnation" and their sported features (like a soul literally migrating from a corpse to a newborn body) will probably never be fully commensurable with even liberal naturalism.
  12. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Huh, I guess learning about the actual different doctrines of karma and reincarnation/rebirth takes all the drama out of the topic, so there's nothing to get upset about - and no thread to post ...
  13. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Yazata, I must congratulate you on your clear and thoughtful exposition. This certainly rings true to me.

    I am sure you are right that a lot of religious ideas are to do with attempts to rationalise the misfortunes that we suffer and to underpin altruistic behaviour, which we all seem to respect.

    It has always seemed to me that the Christian religion, for example, is in essence a guide to living one's life: in particular providing help to deal with success and misfortune and to guide our relationships with others. From the little I understand of Islam and Judaism, the same seems to apply to them. From your exposition, this would seem also to be true for the Indo-Asian religions as well.

    Very insightful contribution.
  14. Arne Saknussemm trying to figure it all out Valued Senior Member

    Well, I don't know any thing for certain, of course, but perhaps remembering your past lives would be the existential equivalent of an open-book test. For instance, if you were the rich man who left Lazarus outside the front gate for the dog's to like his sores, as you feasted in your mansion, and you knew why it was you now found yourself in much the same situation in your new incarnation, it would be too much of a giveaway. Perhaps the universe, dharma, karma, the Holy Trinity, whatever, feels that you just 'have to know' in your heart without being told. Do you follow? I am not saying I condone such a system, but perhaps it is the system we've got.
  15. kmguru Staff Member

    I was told that the situation was fairly bad due to Church issues and hence I was house jailed...but I picked up the science part as the Researcher...in another time, I even got a Nobel Prize...so it works for this life too...much easier...
  16. river

    I think it takes time for beings to get to the point where past lives are remembered

    Reincarnation is an evolution of the brain and therefore mind

    We , Humanity , are in our infancy , we are just begining to find evidence of our ability to return to this Earth

    In 500 , 1000yrs and so on , we'll find more and more of reincarnation evidence
  17. wellwisher Banned Banned

    Reincarnation was one of the original intuitions of evolution and the genetic theory. Reincarnation implies there is a persistence within life that occurs through time which allows it to progress. Reincarnation even includes the randomization feature found in genetic theory; things can change into new species. It was also connected to an original intuition of the law of action and reaction. What one does has an impact on the future, causing a reaction in proportion to the action. These were important concepts of reality, that would last and persist, because they were presented in ways that could be remembered and easily transferred generation to generation, until the time science can make use of them; new applications of the old.

    In Christianity, reincarnation comes to its end, since there is a final transfiguration that ends the earth cycle, leading to life in eternity. This final stage also occur in reincarnation leading to enlightenment. This transition was an intuition of a separation from the natural into the divine human, where the human is able to depart from the limitations of the genetics randomness of cause and effect evolution. Today we can control the genetics and create designer babies which are no longer a direct result of evolution but human choice. Reincarnation is evolution leading to a break off point, where consciousness transcends genetics and heads in a new direction of its own design. This is connected to free choice; second Adam. The celibacy thing, found in some religions, breaks the connection to evolution, even if one has natural selection. The genetic buck stops there with the hope of transcending.
  18. kmguru Staff Member

    Exactly where the Soul (or spirit) goes? And into Life eternal...again how that process takes place that also includes Knowledge as needed? Have we discussed that both Christian and non-Christian stand point? Thank you?

    I am looking for a theory of Everything from Philosophy that someday becomes Science....in Life, Freedom of thought, Chaos, Order, Space, Time, Dimensions etc....the whole thing that is REAL...someday...

    Does this and others mean Science is still behind reincarnation? What is the deal now? Thanks....

    Last edited: Mar 7, 2014
  19. kmguru Staff Member

    5000 years of reincarnation (past and future) with three group of Families, let us see how Earth moves up in galactic development...just a thought...
  20. river

    The point of reincarnation is to pass on past knowledge
  21. kmguru Staff Member

    That is correct to certain extent...that is Wisdom is passed...otherwise a person with 10,000 reincarnation would have a library in their head...bad news...hence it is inhibited from carrying on too much useless information...
  22. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    But if you haven't been a good person, you'll be reincarnated as a dung beetle. An insect brain can't possibly hold all the knowledge your human brain contained.
  23. Motor Daddy ☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼ Valued Senior Member


    I hope when I'm reincarnated that I become a tunneler, as I don't want to roll the dung into little balls and use it as a food source, as the rollers do. Still worse would be the "dwellers" that live in the manure. So yeah, I want to be a tunneler.

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