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Past Lives Milo 8/17/19 5:50 PM
RE: Past Lives Milo 8/17/19 5:57 PM
RE: Past Lives Sleeping Buddha Syndrome 8/17/19 6:18 PM
RE: Past Lives Milo 8/17/19 6:27 PM
RE: Past Lives Sleeping Buddha Syndrome 8/17/19 6:35 PM
RE: Past Lives Milo 8/17/19 6:55 PM
RE: Past Lives Sleeping Buddha Syndrome 8/19/19 1:26 PM
RE: Past Lives Jim Smith 8/17/19 7:34 PM
RE: Past Lives Jason Massie 8/17/19 8:21 PM
RE: Past Lives Shaun Steelgrave 8/18/19 8:01 AM
RE: Past Lives Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/18/19 8:59 AM
RE: Past Lives Chris Marti 8/18/19 11:23 AM
RE: Past Lives Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/18/19 11:25 AM
RE: Past Lives Shaun Steelgrave 8/18/19 9:03 PM
RE: Past Lives Milo 8/21/19 12:50 AM
RE: Past Lives Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/21/19 3:07 AM
RE: Past Lives svmonk 8/18/19 5:03 PM
RE: Past Lives Milo 8/18/19 7:44 PM
RE: Past Lives svmonk 8/18/19 9:32 PM
RE: Past Lives Jake Frankfurt Middenhall 8/18/19 9:33 PM
RE: Past Lives Jake Frankfurt Middenhall 8/18/19 9:32 PM
RE: Past Lives svmonk 8/18/19 9:39 PM
RE: Past Lives Jake Frankfurt Middenhall 8/18/19 10:20 PM
RE: Past Lives svmonk 8/19/19 10:19 PM
RE: Past Lives Milo 8/19/19 11:47 PM
RE: Past Lives Jake Frankfurt Middenhall 8/20/19 7:04 PM
RE: Past Lives Stirling Campbell 8/21/19 11:00 AM
RE: Past Lives Milo 8/18/19 11:20 PM
RE: Past Lives Milo 8/18/19 11:28 PM
RE: Past Lives Katz Videos 8/18/19 10:16 PM
RE: Past Lives Paul 8/19/19 9:31 AM
RE: Past Lives Chris Marti 8/19/19 9:49 AM
RE: Past Lives S. 8/19/19 10:11 AM
RE: Past Lives Paul 8/19/19 10:10 AM
RE: Past Lives Chris Marti 8/19/19 10:20 AM
RE: Past Lives svmonk 8/19/19 10:23 PM
RE: Past Lives Milo 8/19/19 11:42 PM
RE: Past Lives Chris Marti 8/20/19 10:21 AM
RE: Past Lives Milo 8/21/19 12:29 AM
RE: Past Lives Chris Marti 8/21/19 6:56 AM
RE: Past Lives Milo 8/25/19 12:33 AM
RE: Past Lives Chris Marti 8/25/19 8:40 AM
RE: Past Lives Milo 8/26/19 11:00 AM
RE: Past Lives Milo 8/26/19 11:08 AM
RE: Past Lives Chris Marti 8/26/19 11:08 AM
RE: Past Lives Milo 8/26/19 11:27 AM
RE: Past Lives Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/26/19 11:30 AM
RE: Past Lives Chris Marti 8/26/19 12:03 PM
RE: Past Lives Milo 8/26/19 12:36 PM
RE: Past Lives Shaun Steelgrave 8/26/19 2:34 PM
RE: Past Lives Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/26/19 2:42 PM
RE: Past Lives Siavash Mahmoudpour 8/26/19 3:23 PM
RE: Past Lives Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/26/19 3:32 PM
RE: Past Lives Siavash Mahmoudpour 8/26/19 3:34 PM
RE: Past Lives Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/26/19 3:38 PM
RE: Past Lives Milo 8/26/19 6:56 PM
RE: Past Lives Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/27/19 12:07 AM
RE: Past Lives Milo 8/27/19 12:12 AM
RE: Past Lives Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/27/19 12:26 AM
RE: Past Lives Milo 8/26/19 7:00 PM
RE: Past Lives Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/27/19 2:08 AM
RE: Past Lives Katz Videos 8/20/19 8:27 PM
RE: Past Lives Jake Frankfurt Middenhall 8/20/19 9:07 PM
RE: Past Lives S. 8/19/19 10:20 AM
RE: Past Lives Milo 8/20/19 11:42 PM
RE: Past Lives S. 8/19/19 11:45 AM
RE: Past Lives Jake Frankfurt Middenhall 8/19/19 1:30 PM
RE: Past Lives Sleeping Buddha Syndrome 8/19/19 1:57 PM
RE: Past Lives Shaun Steelgrave 8/19/19 5:58 PM
RE: Past Lives Jake Frankfurt Middenhall 8/19/19 8:11 PM
RE: Past Lives Milo 8/19/19 11:14 PM
RE: Past Lives Stirling Campbell 8/20/19 1:36 PM
RE: Past Lives Jake Frankfurt Middenhall 8/20/19 7:41 PM
RE: Past Lives Sleeping Buddha Syndrome 8/20/19 9:48 PM
RE: Past Lives Stirling Campbell 8/21/19 11:05 AM
RE: Past Lives Milo 8/21/19 12:46 AM
RE: Past Lives Stirling Campbell 8/21/19 6:04 PM
RE: Past Lives Smiling Stone 8/21/19 3:04 PM
Past Lives
Answer
8/17/19 5:50 PM
Since we've had a lot of discussion about powers here recently, I'm curious if anyone would be willing to share any serious attempts they've made to look into past lives. Some additional optional questions to address: if you've made the attempt, did you consider it a probable success, probable failure, suggestive but inconclusive, something in between? What criteria did you use to decide? Do you consider the idea essential or non essential to your practice? How would it change your practice if your views on this topic changed? Thanks.

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/17/19 5:57 PM as a reply to Milo.
My reason for asking, btw, is that I've had discussions in my local sangha where people have gotten really hung up on this being somewhat taken for granted as being 'bought into' when they visit teachers at particular monasteries. I'm interested then in how people have approached this through direct experience, if they have, and what the result was.

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/17/19 6:18 PM as a reply to Milo.
Buddhist dogma seen through with precise practice..too me to be me. 

Edit. With your permission may I be dismissive of this topic. 

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/17/19 6:27 PM as a reply to Sleeping Buddha Syndrome.
Sleeping Buddha Syndrome:
Buddhist dogma seen through with precise practice..too me to be me. 

Edit. With your permission may I be dismissive of this topic. 
Sure. You don't need my permission for that. To muddy the waters a bit further, you suggest that this is 'seen through.' Do you mean seen through in the ultimate sense as a phenomenon or as a falsehood conventionally?

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/17/19 6:35 PM as a reply to Milo.
Seen through in an ultimate sense. I don't know how helpful that will be for you.

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/17/19 6:55 PM as a reply to Sleeping Buddha Syndrome.
Sleeping Buddha Syndrome:
Seen through in an ultimate sense. I don't know how helpful that will be for you.

IMHO many (Most?) monastics appear to take it seriously in the conventional sense and as something to be seen through in the ultimate sense. However modern audiences are typically skeptical, in the conventional sense, so it often becomes a stumbling block when it's presented as a given to motivate practice. Therefore I'm interested in attempts at direct experience, even if the result is ultimately to be regarded as provisional. I'm aware of how this would be dismissed in the ultimate sense by highly realized practitioners, but IMO conventional reality is not invalidated by ultimate truths, but to be seen as complementary to it. Hence the interest.

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/17/19 7:34 PM as a reply to Milo.
I tried self hypnosis. What came to mind was pretty horrible so I stopped after a few seconds. I saw how I died. It would explain a lot about my current life. I have no sense if it was true or not (Or maybe I don't want to admit it was true.) (I have gotten verifiable information using a similar technique to induce clairvoyance) I wasn't expecting what I experienced and I wasn't anyone famous but I directed myself back to a past life and with hypnosis, if there is no real experience the mind will invent one. (WIth psychologists, they may think they are doing childhood regression and will tell the patient to go back to the source of their problem and if that takes someone who never heard of past lives before back to a past life that is somewhat different than what I did. It's how past life regression got started different psychologists discovered it by accident. Before belief in past lives became fashionable there were a lot of people who had never considered them. Reincarnation is not possible according to Christian doctrine.) In my experience there were images that might possibly be verified but I would have to find photographs of a city in a foreign country from 25 years before I was born but I don't know which city. I have a specific date. I've been to the country in question, on business and had no bad feelings about it. I didn't get any info about people I knew in that life so I can't say if I know them in this life or not.


I'm not sure reincarnation is what most people think it is. Based on information from evidential mediums my view is that we reincarnate for the most part a handful of times. No one is forced to incarnate but progress is very slow if you don't and during an infinite existence it is more than likely a spirit will eventually decide to incarnate at some point if they need to. Especially if all their friends move on to higher things and they are left behind again and again. Eventually spirits move beyond the earth school and go on to other things. The number of incarnations also depends on how you count them because identity is not necessarily what we think it is. One example is that incarnations are like facets on a diamond and you can have two people incarnating at the same time that are from the same source. And there are soul groups of related souls. A new soul can incarnate and take on the karma of an older soul. A spirit, can take on the guise of any of their past incarnations, those personalities continue to exist even as the soul has new incarnations, and a spirit does not include all of their "self" in an incarnation. Other spirits can study and learn from an incarnation. Discussing the sequence of incarnations might also be misleading because there are indications that time in the spirit realm is not exactly like what we experinece in the physical realm and incarnations do not have to be in chronological order with respect to earth time. And souls can incarnate on different planets. Our souls and ET's souls are the same. Some people think there is so much suffering on the earth that it is incomprehensible that anyone would incarnate here, but all that tells us is that the attitude to suffering or the value of an incarnation is different from the spirit's perspective than from the incarnated humans's.

I don't get my spiritual beliefs from Buddhism. I take the medition and mindfulness practices and leave the other stuff. My feeling about traditional practices is if they say do x and you will experience y they can be very accurate, but when they try to explain theoretical stuff it is not always correct or not comprehensible without both having the experience and understanding the idioms and technical jargon of their original language. And when the original language is lost there is a big problem.

There is a kind of disconnect in my mind about our spiritual nature as discerend from afterlife phenomenon and our true nature according to eastern traditions. I don't know how to reconcile them. I'm not saying they can't. I am pretty sure that enlightenment is not the end of spiritual devleopment, although it could mean that no further incarnation on earth are needed - but I don't know if that is necessarily so.

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/17/19 8:21 PM as a reply to Milo.
On fire kasina retreat, I played with it. I set the resolution to see past lives. I saw lots of flashes of this and that. It didn't seem personal. I guess I was kinda expecting Morgan Freeman to be narrating. Haha. I, then, set the resolution to be see past deaths and soon after I was being held to the bottom of a river by an alligator or croc. That seemed personal. 
I have had other spontaneous "knowings". I am not sure if I buy into. It could just be imagination. However, it also feels like it comes in empathic pathway. Maybe it is all lives are your past lives in one sense.
I think it can be a good practice if you dont take it too serious. It builds concentration. 

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/18/19 8:01 AM as a reply to Jason Massie.
what are the odds you'd even be human?

what are the odds you'd even be from this galaxy?

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/18/19 8:59 AM as a reply to Milo.
One of my former disability aids works as a hypnotist specialising on past lives regressions. He used to talk about it. I don’t know what to believe. Apparently a lot of people do access memories from past lives, or at least stories. I used to see it as subconscious fantasies that tells something on a symbolic plane, but then an online dharma friend told me about his experiences which seemed very real and even verifiable, and I read reports from others. I guess this is a real thing on some level. Still, there are no selves, so how is it possible? Are they all just accessing memories that are somehow shared by the whole existence? Or does something really pass on from one single person to another? Or is it more like when you pour a glass of water into a bucket and then pour water into a new glass from that bucket? If so, are there many different buckets or just one huge bucket?

I haven’t personally made any attempts during meditation to access former lives. I did try guided meditations/hypnoses on youtube a long time ago, but that didn’t result in anything. I don’t know how one would go about to do this. Sometimes during meditation dreamlike scenes arise that seem to be from someone’s daily life but definitely not this body’s life. I haven’t thought much about it, thought of it as subconscious stuff that may be unpersonal and typically human. Would that be the kind of stuff to look out for or something completely different?

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/18/19 11:23 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
There is a connection between this topic and the topic here on demonstrating the powers. What might that connection be, I wonder?

emoticon

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/18/19 11:25 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Manifesting stuff as solid without doubt, perhaps? You tell me.

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/18/19 5:03 PM as a reply to Milo.
Nagarjuna definitively refuted the existence of past and future lives. Nevertheless, I've had experiences of them without really wanting or trying to. I think these experiences were the result of my mind constructing stories. In one case, the cause of what I was trying to determine was impossible to know, in the other, I was unable to achieve a particular practice goal and my mind needed some reason to explain why. Basically, the conceputal mind works around stories and past and future lives are a way to explain things that otherwise can't be explained. Better to let the whole subject drop as it just results in confusion, excuses, and misdirected practice, like many East Asian practitioners who practice for a better next life rather than focusing on being the best person they can in the present one.

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/18/19 7:44 PM as a reply to svmonk.
svmonk:
Nagarjuna definitively refuted the existence of past and future lives.

Source for this?

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/18/19 9:03 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
There is a connection between this topic and the topic here on demonstrating the powers. What might that connection be, I wonder?

emoticon


People who played too much Dungeons and Dragons?

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/18/19 9:32 PM as a reply to Milo.

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/18/19 9:32 PM as a reply to svmonk.
I´m pretty sure Nagarjuna didn´t refute past lives. People just have an incorrect understanding of the phenomenon. There is no soul (atman), but there is a kind of wisdom continuum, that is what is reborn time after time.

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/18/19 9:33 PM as a reply to svmonk.
Damn, coul just please quote the exact part when he talks about it?

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/18/19 9:39 PM as a reply to Jake Frankfurt Middenhall.
See Verses 9 and 11 in the Mulamadhamikakaryika, pgs. 11 and 13 in Richard Jones'  collected works edition.

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/18/19 10:16 PM as a reply to Milo.
I think it's worth pointing out anytime this topic is brought up just how easy it is to induce false memories in people:  https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-a-false-memory-2795193

So I'd be pretty skeptical even if someone did "remember" a past life. Especially if they were intentionally trying to remember it.

Remembering details that they couldn't have known before can be easily explained by the misinformation effect: https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-the-misinformation-effect-2795353, in other words after learning what the correct information was, they formed a false memory of their past life.

I think a lot of the people who do believe in rebirth, just believe in it because they want to cling to the identity of being "real" buddhists.

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/18/19 10:20 PM as a reply to svmonk.
"He could not been unaware of the statement of the Buddha that conciousness was a possible connecting link betwen two lives."

"Nagarjuna is here recognizing the dependence or rebirth on at least one previous karma"


mulamadhyamakakarika, page 252.

So yes, Nagarjuna didn´t refute rebirth at all, or past lives, or future lives, for that matter.

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/18/19 11:20 PM as a reply to svmonk.
svmonk:
See Verses 9 and 11 in the Mulamadhamikakaryika, pgs. 11 and 13 in Richard Jones'  collected works edition.

Respectfully, after looking into the verses in question and a truckload of commentary that I will not bore the forum with, I think we'll have to agree to disagree on this one. In short, I did find some references to some teachers in some Zen schools (Specifically in Soto-Zen) interpreting Nagarjuna and Dogen to support a view of no rebirth, or at least to downplay it as a distraction from being in the moment, but an explicit doctrine of no rebirth seems much the exception rather than the rule.

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/18/19 11:28 PM as a reply to Milo.
I can definitely understand not making it a focal point of teaching though, for practical purposes. Buddha alluded to that many times. Specifically though, the students in my local sangha are going to monasteries that assume they accept rebirth a-prori. I don't control how the monasteries choose to teach, so my real interest here is in seeking info on how people have approached past lives experientially and whether it is worth doing or just leads to delusion and sidetracking.

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/19/19 9:31 AM as a reply to Katz Videos.
Bravo, Katz Videos! Bravo! 

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/19/19 9:49 AM as a reply to Paul.
Reading the replies here makes me curious - of what practice (practical?) value is this? Seriously interested because it's not something I've ever thought seriously about in my years of practice, and it seems to have had no effect, zero, nada, on how things played out. Based on that. I say it's not important, probably doesn't matter at all, and is something you either believe in or don't with no practice impact.

Thoughts?

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/19/19 10:11 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Thanissaro Bhikkhu has an argument on this (it is most interesting because he suggests the Buddha did not believe in rebirth simply because of time and place/his cultural background when examined in historical context):

The Truth of Rebirth And Why it Matters for Buddhist Practice

A third argument against accepting the knowledge of rebirth as a necessary part of awakening is that many modern people who claim to have experienced the levels of awakening described in the Canon gained no knowledge of rebirth or of the end of rebirth as part of those experiences. The fact that people in the Buddha's time claimed to gain this sort of knowledge in the course of their awakening can thus be written off as a cultural artifact: They were primed to see it because of their cultural background, and so it wasn't really an essential part of the experience.

There are, however, two problems with this argument. The first is that, as we have seen, rebirth was not a universally accepted assumption in the Buddha's time. An important part of any person's experience of awakening — then as now — would be to prove for oneself whether the Buddha was right on the topic.

The second, more telling, problem with this third argument is that it actually defeats itself. If one's experiences of awakening don't agree with the Canon's descriptions of the levels of awakening, why would one want to claim the Canon's labels for those experiences? An essential part of even the first level of awakening described in the Canon — stream entry — confirms the rightness of right view (MN 48), which includes the understanding that there is a deathless, birthless dimension (Mv.I.23.5), and that there is a level of craving that, if not abandoned, will lead to repeated birth. The distinguishing mark of the attainment of arahantship — as opposed to the lower levels of awakening recognized in the Canon — is that it has put an end to that craving, thus putting an end to birth. If the Canon is wrong on these points, then the terms it uses to describe the levels of awakening are bogus as well.

This means that if one's experience of awakening doesn't match the descriptions in the Canon, one would do well to examine one's motivation for wanting to claim a canonical label for that experience. If one's teacher has certified that experience with a canonical name, the teacher's knowledge and motivation should be examined, too. And if one seriously wants to put an end to suffering, one would do well to take to heart the Canon's insistence that if one's awakening has not put an end to becoming and birth, the possibility for continued suffering remains.

The irony in all three of these arguments against the teaching on rebirth is that the people who make them all assume that the Buddha was incapable of questioning the views of his time, and yet the fact is that they themselves are unwilling to accept the Buddha's challenge to step back and question their own. We know how the Buddha responded to materialism in his own time, and there's no reason to assume that he would respond any differently to materialism today.

I imagine a lot of people here would like that Thanissaro Bhikkhu re-affirms the fact that many people do not have these experiences despite claiming awakening--while also biting the bullet and resisting canonical descriptions of awakening in favor of some of the more recent models. I am sympathetic though to his argument that people kidnap the Buddha for all sorts of views (or forms of skepticism) that he would not necessarily agree with.


RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/19/19 10:10 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
It’s a good question, Chris. I can’t speak for others here, but I’ve spent some years training exclusively in Asian settings where people seem, without exception, to take rebirth as a given. It then informs their views on such things as:

- whether to practice at all, because if an individual is convinced they haven’t accrued the necessary paramis, then they won’t get far this lifetime, so instead better to invest one’s efforts into merit-making;
- in what way to practice, because taking the long Samatha then Vipassana path tends to suit folks who think it’ll take a few lifetimes to get there, e.g. I’ve met people who’ve spent many years practicing only Jhanas 1-4 because they believe to go further is impossible in this lifetime, whereas I imagine their outlook (and sense of urgency) would be different if they believed there was only this lifetime;
- imposing attitudes upon other meditators, such as me, suggesting if I spend this life making merit, I might be ready for serious practice next time round (no joke!);
- setting up a framework that makes it impossible for an ‘upstart’ like me to openly and frankly discuss practice, because traditionalists wouldn’t believe a ‘newcomer’ could possibly achieve anything beyond a bit of anapana, and therefore would be boasting in the most ill-informed and arrogant manner.

So perhaps for some of us it’s actually a matter of where and how and among whom to practice. Thankfully there have been teachers such as Sayadaw U Pandita who reminded us of the Buddha’s (reported) words that it is all possible ‘in this very life.’ I’m sure he meant to say right after that, ‘so stop mucking around and get down to it!’ ;-)

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/19/19 10:20 AM as a reply to Milo.
If you are interested in a method, one that you find in Theravada texts (if I remember, the Visuddhimagga) is basically: get your concentration very high then do a backwards life review. Start with now, then a minute ago, then yesterday. Try to go over your life in as much experiential detail of memory as you can, moving to earlier and earlier memories.

Go backwards through your life. Go back to your earliest memories after you were born. Then 'keep going' and see what you experience.

A lot of Western Buddhists really hate these things (haha)!

As a (young) monk friend of mine told me: "All the monks younger than thirty here don't believe in reincarnation. All the monks older than thirty seem to believe..."

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/19/19 10:20 AM as a reply to Paul.
The words "believe" and "belief" show up a lot. This is my very own humble opinion, but belief isn't something I'd bank on when it comes to my practice, and I don't care who or what context applies.

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/19/19 11:45 AM as a reply to Milo.
To answer your original question, and as someone who is a pretty firm believer in the powers (seen them, and knows a lot of people who have done/seen them), you might find it interesting that I am not particularly convinced of the practice utility of past life memories.

I have had some fairly classical "past life experiences." I now and then entertain a small idea based on those experiences, or could speculate that "oh so that is where I got that tendency from," to play with the experience, but it has almost no practice impact for me. If anything there are just some small moral reminders. I think in an everyday Wittgensteinian language sense it is fair to say they were my past lives, but then also 'who the heck am I?' No one. emoticon

Let's say I take there to be some reality to this as a phenomenon. I might speculate that certain lives or minds had an impact on my current experience. It is possible that some kind of mental detritus could transfer from person to person (or to multiple people) at death. I sort of think it is not all really so linear. In the more cosmic sense I am not sure past life or memory is not a potentially universally shared thing?

Don't take this in a particular way, but I had a fun experience a few months ago in a sensory deprivation tank. 

I have only floated in a tank maybe six times, and the decision to do so again was fairly spontaneous (suggested by my partner). In the past I typically wait to see what will happen and then catch myself navigating a waking dream. Once I went on a quest to hug everyone I could think of across the universe. Another time I met an old witch. It's easy to forget where you are until the timer reminds you that you were in a tank.

Last time, I think in April, I set the intention to go through my memories: a life review. I wasn't interested in past lives though, I decided to start from my earliest memory from this life and then move to the present.

The experience was pretty dope. I became a fish in primordial waters of memory, seeing a river I was swimming through around all the bubbles of the memories of my own life. I zipped from association to association, music, atmospheres, whole mini life-worlds of different settings and phases of my life, places dynamic with life and events and particular recurrences, habits.

At some point the river started opening up. It became a huge, white ocean. I was struck by this potent psychedelic punch and the idea that there is something a little absurd about swimming through the memories of the river of my own life. What was so special about my own life, my own zig-zagging river line through the universe? The river was artificially cut off from the rest of this ocean. I felt like the waters included all real and all fictional and all possible life paths, memories. I felt a detachment from my own life story, or any particular life stories. I felt I should not be so narratively focused, and let go of some baggage (I think) that I had from some narrative fixation residue in my own life.

At that point a bright white light exploded (boom) and it was so bright I opened my eyes. I met a white-faced four-headed deva. "I was just trying to get to know you better," it said. Light was everywhere, I felt objects move through and around my body. The deva then lowered me into a tank (as I was) and told me it was giving me some kind of baptism. We talked about computers. Then it all finished. It told me something about hacking reality lol.

I left and felt pretty chill. I am a reasonably credulous person I think despite my belief in magic, so I did not interpret or care about this vision in any particular way, or ascribe it more importance than I might have a dream. I did not assume immediately the deva was a 'real' entity. I quite liked the 'letting go' though that came from seeing the past of other people (even fictional people) as somehow just as equally 'mine' (and also none of it 'mine') as my own.

When I got home a friend of mine started chatting me on gchat. He lives about 100 miles away. He told me that his wife and he had gone to a sensory deprivation tank that same day. I did not tell him about my experience, and he tells me it was his wife's spontaneous idea, and he had not done this in a year. But the weirdest thing happened he said. He met a grey alien (big eyes, grey face, like from a movie). The alien gave him a baptism with a lot of Jesus-y/dove-y/Biblical imagery (this friend is a Christian). They talked about computers. It told him something about hacking reality. 

I relate my own experiences. My friend was stunned. We check and it turns out we were in the tank overlapping for 30 minutes. I had not disclosed my own experiences in detail to anyone by this point, so he did not fabricate similar details for me. We verify that my girlfriend and his wife did not collude to put us in sensory deprivation tanks at the same time.

Funny. Do I take that to be particularly meaningful? I dunno. I at least pay attention to that friendship. I have not yet tried to 'hack' reality with computers haha.

At present I still care more about the fish vision. It was great release. emoticon

Does it help me practice? 

Just a little bit with letting go. 

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/19/19 1:26 PM as a reply to Milo.
Milo:
Sleeping Buddha Syndrome:
Seen through in an ultimate sense. I don't know how helpful that will be for you.

IMHO many (Most?) monastics appear to take it seriously in the conventional sense and as something to be seen through in the ultimate sense. However modern audiences are typically skeptical, in the conventional sense, so it often becomes a stumbling block when it's presented as a given to motivate practice. Therefore I'm interested in attempts at direct experience, even if the result is ultimately to be regarded as provisional. I'm aware of how this would be dismissed in the ultimate sense by highly realized practitioners, but IMO conventional reality is not invalidated by ultimate truths, but to be seen as complementary to it. Hence the interest.

It makes perfect sense if you consider yourself sane.

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/19/19 1:30 PM as a reply to Milo.
It is amazing the fact that there are people here in possesion of a stricly materialistic scientific perspective, i think it is a wrong view. but it really enrich the discussion.

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/19/19 1:57 PM as a reply to Jake Frankfurt Middenhall.
I think it has much to do with the brain wave frequency you were registering when you first were introduced to reincarnation. If beta, it would make sense to be a less important yet harder to penetrate aspect of mind. 

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/19/19 5:58 PM as a reply to Jake Frankfurt Middenhall.
Jake Frankfurt Middenhall:
It is amazing the fact that there are people here in possesion of a stricly materialistic scientific perspective, i think it is a wrong view. but it really enrich the discussion.

it’s called a bullshit meter.

however, if there turns out to be a foolproof way of talking to the kangaroo, dung beetle, sperm whale, honey bee, t-rex that i used to be, i’m down.

jk, im not.

i think there’s also arrogance and delusion in this whole idea. especially being a human in a past life.

i had a dream once where i was a councilor of a child shogun. it felt profound upon awaking. it was really not, i just happened to be playing a lot of samurai video games.

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/19/19 8:11 PM as a reply to Shaun Steelgrave.
Shaun Steelgrave:
Jake Frankfurt Middenhall:
It is amazing the fact that there are people here in possesion of a stricly materialistic scientific perspective, i think it is a wrong view. but it really enrich the discussion.

it’s called a bullshit meter.

however, if there turns out to be a foolproof way of talking to the kangaroo, dung beetle, sperm whale, honey bee, t-rex that i used to be, i’m down.

jk, im not.

i think there’s also arrogance and delusion in this whole idea. especially being a human in a past life.

i had a dream once where i was a councilor of a child shogun. it felt profound upon awaking. it was really not, i just happened to be playing a lot of samurai video games.
Nice.

Altho there have been studies that show there is a strong correlation between a materialist perspective and egocentric traits, so what is more  arrogant and deluded?

Now, i kinda understand your reasons. Meditative experience probaby would change that (mostly shamatha), as it did with a lot of people, included myself.

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/19/19 10:19 PM as a reply to Jake Frankfurt Middenhall.
My edition of the MMKK (first chapter of Richard H. Jones translation of Nagarajuna's collected works which I quote verbatum below) only has 30 pages in the English translation. I think you may be looking at the commentary, or does your translation position the MMKK further back in the volume?

Specifically, in Verse 17, he refutes karma thusly:
(lots of buildup to his main argument)
Objection: Action and afflictions (i.e. karma) are declared to be conditions of bodies (i.e. conditions for rebirth) - if action and afflictions are empty, what talk is this about bodies?
Reply: The sentient being who is shrouded in ingnorance and bound by craving, is the enjoyer of the fruit and is neither different from, nor identical to, the one committing the act. Since this action neither arises from the conditions nor without the conditions, there thus also is no actor.
Objection: If there is no action or actor, how could there be any fruit (i.e. karma) arising from the action? And the fruit not existing, how could there be an enjoyer of the fruit?
Reply: As a teacher creates an illusory phantasm through magical powers, and that apparition in turn creates another apparition, so too is an actor like the apparition and his action like the apparition created by the apparition. Afflictions, actions, bodies, actors, and fruit are like the castle in the sky of the Gandharvas, a mirage, and a dream (i.e. karma and rebirth are shunya, empty).
In Verse 26, he presents a traditional "three lifetimes" interpretation of the Twelve Links of Dependent Origination, then in Verse 27, he goes on to demolish it:
The view "I did not exist in the past" (i.e. did not have a past life) does not occur to one who is not different from the one who was in the past. If this one (i.e. this life) is different from that one (i.e. the past life), it would arise regardless of that one. In that case, one would remain so and be reborn without first dying. If so, there would be the annihilation of actions and the destruction of effects. Another would experience the actions done by oneself, and so forth. Nor, having been nonexistent does something come to be. Here an error arises: either the self was something made, or having arisen it arose uncaused. 
Therefore, the view "I existed in the past" or the view "I did not exist", or both, or neither is inadmissible. The view "I shall exist in the future" or "I shall not exist in the future" is the same as the views associated with the past.
He then goes on to refute the six realms. And there's some good stuff in Verses 9 and 11 (which I cited yesterday) as well. Basically, Nagarjuna never actually advances any argument for any particular view, so you can't pin him down, he uses dialectics to demolish all views. That is he nature of the last statement in the quote immediately above. He was absolutely the Master of Emptiness.

But if you wanna believe in rebirth, go right ahead. We will of course not find out the real truth until we are dead, and then we can't tell anybody. emoticon


          

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/19/19 10:23 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
+1!!!

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/19/19 11:14 PM as a reply to Jake Frankfurt Middenhall.
Jake Frankfurt Middenhall:
Shaun Steelgrave:
Jake Frakfurt Middenhall:
It is amazing the fact that theare eoplhrin possesioof a stricly materialistic scientific perspectie, i tink iis a wron g vew. but it realy enrich the discussion.

it’s called a bullshit meter.

however, if there turns out to be a foolproof way otalking to the kangaroo, dung beetle, sperm whale, honey bee, t-rex that i used to be, i’m down.

jk, im not.

i think there’s also arrogance and delusion in this whole idea. especially being a human in a past life.

i had a dream once where i was a councilor of a chilshogun. it felt profound upon awaking. it was reallnot, i just happened to bplaying a lot of samurai video games.
Nice.

Altho there have been studies that show there is a strong correlation between a materialist perspective and egocentric traits, so what is more  arrogant and deluded?

Now, i kinda understand your reasons. Meditative experience probaby would change that (mostly shamatha), as it did with a lot of people, included myself.

My training is in science and engineering. I have been pretty much a hardcore materialist for most of my adult life. However it was indeed samatha that really shook my beliefs. I didn't make me just accept everything in Buddhism, etc. at face value - what is did was make me meta-skeptical. I've yet to find a good material explanation for why the mind gravitates towards disconnection from physical contact with the world. Why does dissolution feel like such a  release? These things are difficult to make sense of from a purely material standpoint. 

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/19/19 11:42 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Reading the replies here makes me curious - of what practice (practical?) value is this? Seriously interested because it's not something I've ever thought seriously about in my years of practice, and it seems to have had no effect, zero, nada, on how things played out. Based on that. I say it's not important, probably doesn't matter at all, and is something you either believe in or don't with no practice impact.

Thoughts?


For one, Buddhist ethics lean pretty heavily on the idea.

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/19/19 11:47 PM as a reply to svmonk.
svmonk:
My edition of the MMKK (first chapter of Richard H. Jones translation of Nagarajuna's collected works which I quote verbatum below) only has 30 pages in the English translation. I think you may be looking at the commentary, or does your translation position the MMKK further back in the volume?

Specifically, in Verse 17, he refutes karma thusly:
(lots of buildup to his main argument)
Objection: Action and afflictions (i.e. karma) are declareto be onditions of bodies (i.e. conditions for rebirth) - if action and aflictions arempty, what talk is this about bodies?
Reply: The sentient being who is shrouded in ingnorance and bound by craving, is the enjoyer of the frut and is neithedifferent from, nor identical to, the one committing the act. Since tis action neiter arises from the conditions nor without the conditions, there tus also is no actor.
Objection: If there is no action or actor, how could there be any fruit (i.ekarma) arising from the action? And the fruit not existing, how could there be an enjoyer of the fruit?
Reply: As a teacher creates an illusory phantasm trough magical powers, and that apparition in turn creates another apparition, so tois an actor like the apparition and his action like the apparition created by tha pparition. Afflictions, actions, bodies, actors, and fruit are like the castle in the sky of the Gandharvas, a mirage, and a dream (i.e. karma and rebirh are shunya, empty).
In Verse 26, he presents a traditional "three lifetimes" interpretation of the Twelve Links of Dependent Origination, then in Verse 27, he goes on to demolish it:
The view "I did not exist in the past" (i.e. did nohave a past life) does not occur to one who is not different from the one who was in the past. If this one (i.e. this life) is different from that one (i.e. the past life), it woularise regardless of that one. In that case, one would remain so and be reborwithout first dying. If so, there would be the annihilation of actions and the destrucion of effects. Another would experience the actions done by oneself, and sforth. Nor, having been nonexistent does something come to be. Here an error arises: either the self was something made, or having arisen it arose uncaused. 
Therefore, the view "I existed in the past" or the view "I did not exist", or boh, or neither is inadmissible. The view "I shall exist in the future" or "I shall not exisin the future" is the same as the views associated with the past.
He then goes on to refute the six realms. And there's some good stuff in Verses 9 and 11 (which I cited yesterday) as well. Basically, Nagarjuna never actually advances any argument for any particular view, so you can't pin him down, he uses dialectics to demolish all views. That is he nature of the last statement in the quote immediately above. He was absolutely the Master of Emptiness.

But if you wanna believe in rebirth, go right ahead. We will of course not find out the real truth until we are dead, and then we can't tell anybody. emoticon


          


My impression was always that his big philosophical contribution was resolving these seeming conflicts through what would develop into the teo truths doctrine.

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/20/19 10:21 AM as a reply to Milo.
Buddhist ethics lean pretty heavily on the idea.

How so?

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/20/19 1:36 PM as a reply to Milo.
My suggestion would be to look carefully at what "time" is. Do the past and future truly exist? How does this impact when a past life might occur?

This was the statement that cracked it for me:

"Time is what eternity looks like when viewed by the mind". - Rupert Spira

I've got more if you are interested.

It's possible that this might only be something that can be apprehended after stream entry?

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/20/19 7:04 PM as a reply to svmonk.
svmonk:
My edition of the MMKK (first chapter of Richard H. Jones translation of Nagarajuna's collected works which I quote verbatum below) only has 30 pages in the English translation. I think you may be looking at the commentary, or does your translation position the MMKK further back in the volume?

Specifically, in Verse 17, he refutes karma thusly:
(lots of buildup to his main argument)
Objection: Action and afflictions (i.e. karma) are declared to be conditions of bodies (i.e. conditions for rebirth) - if action and afflictions are empty, what talk is this about bodies?
Reply: The sentient being who is shrouded in ingnorance and bound by craving, is the enjoyer of the fruit and is neither different from, nor identical to, the one committing the act. Since this action neither arises from the conditions nor without the conditions, there thus also is no actor.
Objection: If there is no action or actor, how could there be any fruit (i.e. karma) arising from the action? And the fruit not existing, how could there be an enjoyer of the fruit?
Reply: As a teacher creates an illusory phantasm through magical powers, and that apparition in turn creates another apparition, so too is an actor like the apparition and his action like the apparition created by the apparition. Afflictions, actions, bodies, actors, and fruit are like the castle in the sky of the Gandharvas, a mirage, and a dream (i.e. karma and rebirth are shunya, empty).
In Verse 26, he presents a traditional "three lifetimes" interpretation of the Twelve Links of Dependent Origination, then in Verse 27, he goes on to demolish it:
The view "I did not exist in the past" (i.e. did not have a past life) does not occur to one who is not different from the one who was in the past. If this one (i.e. this life) is different from that one (i.e. the past life), it would arise regardless of that one. In that case, one would remain so and be reborn without first dying. If so, there would be the annihilation of actions and the destruction of effects. Another would experience the actions done by oneself, and so forth. Nor, having been nonexistent does something come to be. Here an error arises: either the self was something made, or having arisen it arose uncaused. 
Therefore, the view "I existed in the past" or the view "I did not exist", or both, or neither is inadmissible. The view "I shall exist in the future" or "I shall not exist in the future" is the same as the views associated with the past.
He then goes on to refute the six realms. And there's some good stuff in Verses 9 and 11 (which I cited yesterday) as well. Basically, Nagarjuna never actually advances any argument for any particular view, so you can't pin him down, he uses dialectics to demolish all views. That is he nature of the last statement in the quote immediately above. He was absolutely the Master of Emptiness.

But if you wanna believe in rebirth, go right ahead. We will of course not find out the real truth until we are dead, and then we can't tell anybody. emoticon


          
I think you missunderstood what Nagarjuna said, he is mostly attacking "self view" nothing more... 

Really, this should be out of the discussion, Nagarjuna proposed that Arhants are reborn in a special pure land where they keep practicing as bodhisattvas.

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/20/19 7:41 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
Stirling Campbell, i would suggest that Time neither exist or doesn´t exist

Time is inherently empty but it exist in a conventional sense when perceived by the deluded mind.

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/20/19 8:27 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
I do think it's relevant to how you view practice. If I truly believed in rebirth and the woeful states, I'd probably be a monk right now. Nothing wordly could be more important that trying to escape the cycle of being reborn into the woeful states. Not believing in rebirth makes me take a more balanced view toward practice.

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/20/19 9:07 PM as a reply to Katz Videos.
Katz Videos:
I do think it's relevant to how you view practice. If I truly believed in rebirth and the woeful states, I'd probably be a monk right now. Nothing wordly could be more important that trying to escape the cycle of being reborn into the woeful states. Not believing in rebirth makes me take a more balanced view toward practice.

There is also the Mahayana view: The state of the Arhats is just a temportal samadhi of cession, kinda like the ninth jhana "nirodha samapatti". It is a rest station for people who is tired and afraid in the cycle of transmigration. There is the analogy in the Sutras of a traveler that wants to reach a certain destiny (buddhahood), but he gets very tired and desmotivated on his way, so the buddha conjures a magickal city where he can rest (The nirvana of the arhats).

The problem with Mahayana is that i think it is very exoteric in his approach and the main practice consist on keep practicing and accumulating virtue lifetime after lifetime until you reach Buddhahood.

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/20/19 9:48 PM as a reply to Jake Frankfurt Middenhall.
Jake Frankfurt Middenhall:
Stirling Campbell, i would suggest that Time neither exist or doesn´t exist

Time is inherently empty but it exist in a conventional sense when perceived by the deluded mind.

Fruitions seem timeless. However, there is a bliss wave. Working from a second Jhana setting stabalizes this wave and allows for deeper introspection. I am not even going to talk about corruptions of insight, but second Jhana energy and bliss motivates using the Divine eye to see past lives. Morality creeps in, and renunciation spells out leaving fruitions and their bliss wave behind in favor of the sophisticated yet bitchy 3rd Jhana. When you are in third, the rules change.

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/20/19 11:42 PM as a reply to S..
S.:
If you are interested in a method, one that you find in Theravada texts (if I remember, the Visuddhimagga) is basically: get your concentration very high then do a backwards life review. Start with now, then a minute ago, then yesterday. Try to go over your life in as much experiential detail of memory as you can, moving to earlier and earlier memories.

Go backwards through your life. Go back to your earliest memories after you were born. Then 'keep going' and see what you experience.

A lot of Western Buddhists really hate these things (haha)!

As a (young) monk friend of mine told me: "All the monks younger than thirty here don't believe in reincarnation. All the monks older than thirty seem to believe..."

This is about the best I could come up with as well. Thanks for sharing.

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/21/19 12:29 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Buddhist ethics lean pretty heavily on the idea.

How so?


Specifically, I'm thinking of the fact that the 1st precept against taking life is explicitly extended to all sentient life, or even all living things, unlike in analagous theistic ethical codes. I've always seen this justified with the idea that all beings are seen as fellow travellers in samsara, linked by karma and rebirth.

If you listen to the beginning of dharma talks by monastics, they often open with chants that put a great deal of emphasis on compassion for beings 'seen and unseen' in all realms of existence. The implication is that we should care because all beings are linked by karma and rebirth.

Finally, the rest of the precepts are traditionally connected to 'making merit,' or building the proper conditions for practice in both this and potential future lives.

Of course these ideas clash heavily with a Western mindset, but IMHO we have to do some serious logical contortions to avoid the role of rebirth in Buddhist ethics.

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/21/19 12:46 AM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
Stirling Campbell:
My suggestion would be to look carefully at what "time" is. Do the past and future truly exist? How does this impact when a past life might occur?

This was the statement that cracked it for me:

"Time is what eternity looks like when viewed by the mind". - Rupert Spira

I've got more if you are interested.

It's possible that this might only be something that can be apprehended after stream entry?


Sure I think I see where you are going with this. Let's just call them 'other lives' then? Or maybe not this lives? emoticon

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/21/19 12:50 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
One of my former disability aids works as a hypnotist specialising on past lives regressions. He used to talk about it. I don’t know what to believe. Apparently a lot of people do access memories from past lives, or at least stories. I used to see it as subconscious fantasies that tells something on a symbolic plane, but then an online dharma friend told me about his experiences which seemed very real and even verifiable, and I read reports from others. I guess this is a real thing on some level. Still, there are no selves, so how is it possible? Are they all just accessing memories that are somehow shared by the whole existence? Or does something really pass on from one single person to another? Or is it more like when you pour a glass of water into a bucket and then pour water into a new glass from that bucket? If so, are there many different buckets or just one huge bucket?

I haven’t personally made any attempts during meditation to access former lives. I did try guided meditations/hypnoses on youtube a long time ago, but that didn’t result in anything. I don’t know how one would go about to do this. Sometimes during meditation dreamlike scenes arise that seem to be from someone’s daily life but definitely not this body’s life. I haven’t thought much about it, thought of it as subconscious stuff that may be unpersonal and typically human. Would that be the kind of stuff to look out for or something completely different?

I mean the way I have usually seen this explained is that these other lives are sort of karmic inheritors but not the same individual. Vajrayana Buddhists in particular have this idea of a mind stream which keeps starting up new egos based on whatever attachments and delusions came before.

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/21/19 3:07 AM as a reply to Milo.
OK, thanks.

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/21/19 6:56 AM as a reply to Milo.
Specifically, I'm thinking of the fact that the 1st precept against taking life is explicitly extended to all sentient life, or even all living things, unlike in analagous theistic ethical codes. I've always seen this justified with the idea that all beings are seen as fellow travellers in samsara, linked by karma and rebirth.

If you listen to the beginning of dharma talks by monastics, they often open with chants that put a great deal of emphasis on compassion for beings 'seen and unseen' in all realms of existence. The implication is that we should care because all beings are linked by karma and rebirth.

Finally, the rest of the precepts are traditionally connected to 'making merit,' or building the proper conditions for practice in both this and potential future lives.

Of course these ideas clash heavily with a Western mindset, but IMHO we have to do some serious logical contortions to avoid the role of rebirth in Buddhist ethics.

Which of these rules for morality requires a belief in past lives? Certainly, one CAN believe in past lives and be in sync with these concepts, but one can also NOT believe in past lives and remain in sync with these concepts. Again, it's a belief. Folks are welcome to hold it or not, as they personally see fit.

Just sayin'


RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/21/19 11:00 AM as a reply to Jake Frankfurt Middenhall.
Jake Frankfurt Middenhall:

Really, this should be out of the discussion, Nagarjuna proposed that Arhants are reborn in a special pure land where they keep practicing as bodhisattvas.

....may be that you are soaking in it. emoticon

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/21/19 11:05 AM as a reply to Jake Frankfurt Middenhall.
Jake Frankfurt Middenhall:
Stirling Campbell, i would suggest that Time neither exist or doesn´t exist

Time is inherently empty but it exist in a conventional sense when perceived by the deluded mind.

I would just say that, IMHO, karma and rebirth are "provisional" teachings, and that the concept of "emptiness" applies in more circumstances, more deeply, than 99.9% of practitioners would imagine.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_truths_doctrine

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/21/19 6:04 PM as a reply to Milo.
Milo:

Sure I think I see where you are going with this. Let's just call them 'other lives' then? Or maybe not this lives? emoticon

Yes... or how about calling them "thoughts happening NOW", which could apply equally to what you did this morning, or imagine that you might do later today.?

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/21/19 3:04 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
The most interesting discussion I have seen on this topic:
https://vimeo.com/265861095

I was impressed with the testimony of Bikkhu Analayo, which surprised me.
I would have to watch it again to give you a resume... But basically he met a guy who knew a whole corpus of scriptures (I would say suttas but I am not sure) since he was a young child, and that he was really moved. He is really careful about pondering his arguments, and I would recommend it to anyone interested.

My take on it apart from that would be that we have the ability to have "more real than real" experiences, whether through high concentration or lucid dreaming (or name it...). Why would "memories from past lives" be more true than the rest ? "It's all true", somehow... But I guess it is worth digging in the material talked about in the link...

metta
smiling stone

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/25/19 12:33 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
I don't think it's strictly required. You can probably come up with some kind of alternative philosophical backing, but I'd guess it would take some contortion and you'd be giving up some philosophical parsimony to achieve that. So you have me interested now: how do you rationalize it?

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/25/19 8:40 AM as a reply to Milo.
I don't think it's strictly required. You can probably come up with some kind of alternative philosophical backing, but I'd guess it would take some contortion and you'd be giving up some philosophical parsimony to achieve that. So you have me interested now: how do you rationalize it?

I don't care about it. It doesn't matter. It's certainly not required to explain the situation I've discovered that I'm in - right here, right now. I could attempt to rationalize that situation by using complicated philosophical "stuff" but there's no way I'm going to do that as I've spent years seeing through that kind of thing. The philosophical stuff is the distortion.

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/26/19 11:00 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
[quote=

I don't care about it. It doesn't matter. It's certainly not required to explain the situation I've discovered that I'm in - right here, right now.]

And the situation of others? Honest question: you consider yourself done, or highly advanced, right? Why stay here and deal with everyone struggling along with the baby steps?

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/26/19 11:08 AM as a reply to Milo.
I'll be content with 'I choose to leave it unexamined' or 'doesn't matter' as an answer, btw, but at this point I'm just curious.

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/26/19 11:08 AM as a reply to Milo.
Milo, I didn't say I was selfish. I said past lives/rebirth don't matter.

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/26/19 11:27 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Milo, I didn't say I was selfish. I said past lives/rebirth don't matter.

Not saying you are (See my second post). This take is just very different from what I usually encounter and I'm trying to grok it.

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/26/19 11:30 AM as a reply to Milo.
Maybe he just chooses to be helpful because it’s a good thing to do regardless of possible rewards or sanctions.

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/26/19 12:03 PM as a reply to Milo.
This take is just very different from what I usually encounter and I'm trying to grok it.

What's "good" or "bad" in terms of my behavior or the effects it has on other people seems obvious to me. It's got real-world, right here/right now impact so to think I need some additional motivation from gaining good karma or making merit for a future existence.... well, that just seems superfluous. We're all in this existence together and we're all linked inextricably. Things just work that way.

In regard to staying on the DhO, I've received a huge amount of benefit over the years from being a part of this and other online meditation communities, so when I was asked by Daniel Ingram to help out here, to give back in the same way I was given help, I accepted immediately. But I was an active participant here already, and have been since 2009 and even before that when Dho was on WetPaint.




RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/26/19 12:36 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Fair enough. Thanks for your contribution to the site and being the troll police. The 'here and now' answer is good enough for me for most cases. Anyway as I think about it I suppose the affirmative and negative answer to past lives could be seen as the same thing depending on the perceived observer.

To be fair to those who do subscribe to the idea of past lives, advanced practitioners  aren't focused on gaining merit, rather on compassion for beings stuck in samsara. 

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/26/19 2:34 PM as a reply to Milo.
i feel like chris has a good bullshit sniffer

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/26/19 2:42 PM as a reply to Shaun Steelgrave.
Am I the only one who gets worried and thinks that bullshitting may be a sign of deep existential crisis?

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/26/19 3:23 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Am I the only one who gets worried and thinks that bullshitting may be a sign of deep existential crisis?


No you are not. I would add strong emotional pains to deep existential crisis.

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/26/19 3:32 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Yeah, well, it’s hard to tell online. I could also be projecting my own previous existential anxieties.

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/26/19 3:34 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Sure. I meant in myself too, and in people around me, nothing more.

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/26/19 3:38 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Yeah, exactly. In general.

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/26/19 6:56 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Am I the only one who gets worried and thinks that bullshitting may be a sign of deep existential crisis?
A lot of human nature is.

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/26/19 7:00 PM as a reply to Shaun Steelgrave.
Shaun Steelgrave:
i feel like chris has a good bullshit sniffer

A necessity to keep the forum from degenerating I think.

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/27/19 12:07 AM as a reply to Milo.
Milo:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Am I the only one who gets worried and thinks that bullshitting may be a sign of deep existential crisis?
A lot of human nature is.



Very true. And I did not mean to criticize Chris.

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/27/19 12:12 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Milo:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Am I the only one who gets worried and thinks that bullshitting may be a sign of deep existential crisis?
A lot of human nature is.



Very true. And I did not mean to criticize Chris.


Speaking only for myself here, but I don't see anything you said that could be interpreted as criticism.

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/27/19 12:26 AM as a reply to Milo.
Good.

RE: Past Lives
Answer
8/27/19 2:08 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:

What's "good" or "bad" in terms of my behavior or the effects it has on other people seems obvious to me.


That does sound like one of those super powers, but I take it you didn’t mean it like that. emoticon