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To Jhananda: discussion about OOBEs, remembering past lives, etc.

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Hey Jhananda, I wanted to talk a bit about your experiences that I don't see many contemplatives talking about - namely, remembering past lives, and out-of-body traveling - as they're quite interesting.

What's the point?
First I want to ask - what is the point of having these experiences? I only ask as you say that to be Enlightened, one need only attain the 4th jhana at least 3 times and for at least 3 hours a day. Given that, why would one go about travelling out-of-body or recalling past lives?

Are your experiences projections or real?
The next question is - do you believe your experiences are real, or just projections of your psyche? When you say you travel to different planets and places on Earth - is some part of you actually travelling there and getting sensory input from those locations? What sensory input? I assume light, but I'm not sure if you would experience touch... you'll have to fill me in.

If you believe they are just projections - again, what is the point of engaging in these practices?

If you believe they are real - have you ever done reality-testing to see if you could get information through out-of-body traveling that you couldn't get otherwise, and then followed through and saw if that information was real? I'll go through a few particulars, and I'd be interested in participating in this experiment if you are.

Remembering Past Lives
Do you remember the life right before this one? In what amount of detail? Have you looked to see if such a person existed? What about the previous few lives?

You said in your Recollection of Past Lives article that the last life you remember was that of a Neanderthal:
Jhananda:
Then after what seemed like a long time the crowed began to slow and thin, then it became one at a time with greater and greater intervals, until there was a long period of silence, and stillness, and I sat before a luminous screen of scintillating emptiness, then after another long pause there came one last face, a Neanderthal, then as that face dissolved into my face the remnant of outer world awareness disolved into a scintillating shower of luminosity and sound, as I entered into the arupa jhana of infinite space and time, in which my awareness domain seemed to extend to the edges of the physical universe both dimensionally and temporally.

Why do you think the last life you remember was a Neanderthal? Did you not live in any bodies previous to that, or did you just stop there and go on into the 5th jhana? What is common among all those lives that makes you believe that it was 'you' in all those previous lives? (Like why do you remember those particular lives and not others?) If the first life was that of a Neanderthal, then where were 'you' before then?

Travelling in Time
You say in your Lucid Dreams and Out-of-Body Travel article that you can travel backwards and forwards in time:
Jhananda:
It was not long before I realized I could just as easily visit planets and stars, as well as to move backwards and forwards in time.


Have you tried to predict the future by travelling forwards in time? Has it worked out? Would you be interested in trying an experiment? I can vow to, at a specific time, write a number on a piece of paper. You tell a third party what you think the number will be. I'll write the number at that time and give it to the third party, and they can see whether it matches. If traveling forwards in time doesn't work that way, then let me know why.

Have you tried traveling backwards in time to a place where you didn't know what happened, then you observed the situation there, came back, and looked it up to see if your travel was accurate? We could try another experiment.. I can give you a time and a place without telling you what event happened there, you can go there and describe what you see, then we can see whether that was correct. I trust you to not just look it up on google =). Maybe we can design this experiment a bit better somehow.

Further, what is your understanding of time, given that you can travel backwards + forwards through it? Is everything pre-determined? Is everything recorded somewhere? (hence your ability to travel backwards through time). What is time, really?

Travelling in Space
Have you ever tried travelling through space, to a place you didn't hear about, then seeing if what you saw was accurate by looking it up? If not, would you like to try an experiment? I can tell you the state, city, street intersection, building, and apartment number I live in, then you can travel there and describe the inside of my apartment, and I can post pictures after that so we can see whether that's accurate. I could also write down a number on a piece of paper in my room, and you can tell me what that number is.

This stuff is pretty interesting, so I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts about it.

And final question, to re-iterate: If you believe you are actually remembering past lives, and traveling through space and time - again, what is the point of engaging in these practices?

RE: To Jhananda: discussion about OOBEs, remembering past lives, etc.
Answer
3/2/11 8:09 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
BUMP!

Funny, I never got anyone who claimed such powers to test them. I once asked Chuck Kasmire for some sort of "reality testing" similar to the one you do here Claudiu, and he never replied. I would be very interested if someone were to carry out such a thorough test.