Reincarnation

Q&A and discussion on the world view encapsulating humanity's current stage of evolution

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Postby Uni_Verse » Thu Nov 08, 2007 6:04 am

Nature reuses everything, so why not the soul?

Little sister earth is just trying to be like big sis :)
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Postby Jim Eshelman » Thu Nov 08, 2007 7:08 am

jw wrote:The "practical" application wouldn't be terribly different either way, except perhaps in one's attitude toward attachment to one's identity.

Agreed. Something I think I haven't said in any of the above, but which I say anytime I teach on the matter, conduct a regression, etc., is that one shouldn't necessarily regard what one gets as "real," but, rather, as "relevant."
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Postby Froclown » Thu Nov 08, 2007 9:02 am

Because there ain't no soul to reuse.
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Postby Gideon Jagged » Thu Nov 08, 2007 9:13 am

Froclown wrote:Because there ain't no soul to reuse.


Thanks for the pointless contribution, Fro.

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Postby Uni_Verse » Thu Nov 08, 2007 11:45 am

froclown wrote:Because there ain't no soul to reuse.


I could just scream out "BECAUSE IS DEAD" like some Zealot, but you are correct.

There is no soul to reuse.

Just as there is no gravity...
But, SOME-THING keeps our feet on the ground!
(I use glue)
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Postby Steven Cranmer » Thu Nov 08, 2007 12:44 pm

tarot wrote:
Froclown wrote:Because there ain't no soul to reuse.

Thanks for the pointless contribution, Fro.

Good debaters can flip a coin and then argue either side of an issue well. Should Thelemites be any different? :)

I assert that it's just as important to stand firmly in Assiah - and see the Wonder of the Universe from the point of view of "soul as epiphenomenon of the brain" - as it is to stand in the other worlds and view spirit/soul as the primary "stuff."

Isn't it a key goal of initiation to develop this kind of flexibility?

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Postby Draco Magnus » Thu Nov 08, 2007 1:20 pm

93

Stephen wrote:
Good debaters can flip a coin and then argue either side of an issue well. Should Thelemites be any different? Smile


That is sophistry. It is good for lawyers. But there is no room for debate after discovering basic principles of existence. A thing either is, or it isn't. There is either a Sun, or there isn't. You may by argument convince others to your point of view, may potentially fool them, but in the end this doesn't change the fact that the Sun is pelting you with its radiation, lead notwithstanding. Yes? No? Of course yes.

and then he wrote:
I assert that it's just as important to stand firmly in Assiah - and see the Wonder of the Universe from the point of view of "soul as epiphenomenon of the brain" - as it is to stand in the other worlds and view spirit/soul as the primary "stuff."


Right, but you see this isn't an intellectual debate between two people who are not certain on an issue. One knows and another doesn't. The one who doesn't couldn't possibly believe that the former actually does. This doesn't change the facts of the former's knowing.

and further:
Isn't it a key goal of initiation to develop this kind of flexibility?


I can see where you're going with this but I think the answer is no. Initiation is supposed to awaken you to the reality of things, not simply their intellectual possibilities.

And so I would ask you: Is it possible for one who doesn't know to know what one who knows knows simply by the former convincing them of it? Yes? No? Of course no.


93, 93/93

P.S. I make no comment on the original topic. :twisted:
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Postby zeph » Thu Nov 08, 2007 2:13 pm

Draco Magnus wrote:93

Stephen wrote:
Good debaters can flip a coin and then argue either side of an issue well. Should Thelemites be any different? Smile

That is sophistry. It is good for lawyers. But there is no room for debate after discovering basic principles of existence. A thing either is, or it isn't.

It was only a short time ago that our ancestors were certain -- CERTAIN -- that the earth was flat. This was, at the time, without doubt, a basic principle of existence. The earth was flat, period. If you said the earth wasn't flat, you were probably killed. Fortunately, people kept saying it, disregarding the basic principle of existence of a flat earth – back then, there was apparently room for debate.

I'll be glad to discuss with you the lack of existence of a soul when I see you. :-P
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Postby gmugmble » Thu Nov 08, 2007 3:33 pm

zeph wrote:It was only a short time ago that our ancestors were certain -- CERTAIN -- that the earth was flat.

Yes, and they were wrong. (Or else they were right, and we are wrong.) I think we're confusing serveral issues here. On questions of fact (e.g., is the earth flat?) there is a right answer and anything that contradicts that is wrong. But the existence of a right answer does not mean that we know the right answer, and for that reason we do indeed need to be flexible. It's a virtue to be able to see all sides of an argument where the facts are unclear.
A question like "is there a God?" on the other hand is of a different character. "God" is not a thing like my tea mug or the sun; it's a symbol or an "archetype of the collective unconscious". It's a sort of vehicle for conveying information that cannot be grasped by the logical mind. It is an important part of our training to learn to experience both "there is a God" and "there is no God" as "true" in order to develop a state of consciousness that transcends the logical mind.
As for the question "is there a soul?" -- I don't know if it belongs to the first category or the second! Is the soul a thing or a symbol? I guess I'll have to be flexible and try to see it from both points of view.

(PS. A better kabbalist than I would have sprinkled this post with terms like "ruach" and "briah" and the like. Sorry.)
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Postby Edward Mason » Thu Nov 08, 2007 5:38 pm

93,

At certain points, consciousness becomes stretched beyond anything we have experienced previously. At such points, we realise that we need a term beyond 'mind', which covers only a certain range of pehenomena and perspectives on those phenomena. I am not trying to define a precise line between 'soul' and 'mind' because I don't know how. But there are certain things that shake us from, and at, levels we did not suspect we could experience until that opening happens.

So declaring dogmatically that there is no soul becomes absurb at that point, at least for those who have had such experiences. Even if we insist on a reductive attitude that "all is mind, and mind is an epiphenomenon of the central nervous system" we still need a new label for the 'part' or 'level' of mind that has such experiences.

The word 'soul' is as good as any, and lets us differentiate between the regular spectrum of human mentation and those things we (perhaps stumblingly) call 'spiritual'.

Whereas pushing it all back into one little conceptual box doesn't help us at all, unless we are afraid of the awe that comes with the soul experiences, and want to block it out.


93 93/93,

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Postby Steven Cranmer » Thu Nov 08, 2007 7:07 pm

Draco Magnus wrote:But there is no room for debate after discovering basic principles of existence. A thing either is, or it isn't.

Below the Abyss, sure. Maybe the ultimate reality of things like divinity and soul have their home-base in the supernals?

And my lawyerly, debate-society analogy did come with a smiley... :)

gmugmble wrote:As for the question "is there a soul?" -- I don't know if it belongs to the first category or the second! Is the soul a thing or a symbol? I guess I'll have to be flexible and try to see it from both points of view.

I can't add much more to this. At this stage of my evolution, I'm comfortable putting it in the second (God-like) category.

Edward Mason wrote:The word 'soul' is as good as any, and lets us differentiate between the regular spectrum of human mentation and those things we (perhaps stumblingly) call 'spiritual'.

Whereas pushing it all back into one little conceptual box doesn't help us at all, unless we are afraid of the awe that comes with the soul experiences, and want to block it out.

I'm right with you about the usefulness of the concept of soul. One of the great things about the Western esoteric tradition (and Hermetic Qabalah in particular), in my view, is that it gives us an expanded language for these concepts that allows the full depths of mystical experience to be plumbed and explored.

It's the literal belief in these things (whether based in personal experience or just "learned") with which I feel uncomfortable. I'm reminded of Crowley's comment about thinking the letters C.A.T. actually give rise to a cat. I think it's possible to be stuck in an opposite kind of "box," wherein one can't imagine that an "underlying" materialist viewpoint could be compatible with awe, wonder, or gnosis.

Anyway, that's the vibe I get when the more "paranormal" aspects are simply assumed to be literally true - i.e., a straw-man is set up: "Those nasty materialist skeptics just don't get it." I like to think Thelema is a slightly bigger tent than that...

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Postby Jim Eshelman » Thu Nov 08, 2007 7:22 pm

Steven Cranmer wrote:Anyway, that's the vibe I get when the more "paranormal" aspects are simply assumed to be literally true - i.e., a straw-man is set up: "Those nasty materialist skeptics just don't get it." I like to think Thelema is a slightly bigger tent than that...

I guess I don't see any difference between that and anything else for which we use verbal language.
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Postby Steven Cranmer » Thu Nov 08, 2007 8:02 pm

Jim Eshelman wrote:I guess I don't see any difference between that and anything else for which we us verbal language.

Hmm.. Part of me wants to rebel against that and say: "No, my petty distinctions are important! They reflect really different ways of..." But there it is. Step away from one trap of "real," and there's another one behind me!

I guess if the goal is reaching the mountain-top, it doesn't matter if you get there via the northern route or the southern route...

Am I a 5=6 now? :twisted:

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Postby Malaclypse » Fri Nov 09, 2007 2:22 am

Jim Eshelman wrote:Very young souls superficially resemble very mature souls. The superficial similarity is that they seem naturally connected to spiritual worlds. But for the very young souls this is because they have barely left them, have hardly emerged out of them. They have a tendency to be enormously curious and keenly alert, to have almost an idiot's capacity for natural happiness (and corresponding capacity to be deeply hurt). Even as adults, unless very badly treated as children, they carry a child-like sense of wonder, ability to smile, and ability to trigger a smile. Even when hurt, they tend to spring back with a child's resiliency pretty much regardless of their age. Etc.

Yikes! I can identify with almost everything in that description, but I don't want to be a youngling! :-/
Could I please get an elaboration on the subject, Jim? Is having a few talents a bit "above" ordinary humans, such as learning to read early, calculate math early, ask a tad deeper questions than most etc. a good sign that those treats are only superficial and not of that I was an elemental or the like in my former incarnation?
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Postby Jim Eshelman » Fri Nov 09, 2007 4:11 am

Malaclypse wrote:Yikes! I can identify with almost everything in that description, but I don't want to be a youngling! :-/

LOL. I'm sure my description is insufficient for making such a judgment. I was just trying to give an idea of the type.

Could I please get an elaboration on the subject, Jim? Is having a few talents a bit "above" ordinary humans, such as learning to read early, calculate math early, ask a tad deeper questions than most etc. a good sign that those treats are only superficial and not of that I was an elemental or the like in my former incarnation?

In the same way that my description is insufficient for making a judgment, so are these traits - I really couldn't offer an opinion without personal contact. However, having said, that, I'll add that yes, some of those traits do sound, to me, like unlikely first incarnation traits.

But don't include a tendency to "ask a tad deeper questions than most." Few are likely to ask genuinely deeper-seeming questions than the youngest incarnates because (remember) they "just moved here from the Deva world" and it's natural for them to think and inquire of it as the newly blind might speak of sight and ask the most cogent questions about what a thing looks like. OTOH, while such might have a natural aptitude for math (depending on what type of being they have been), there isn't likely to be a picking up of distinctly human and Ruach things from very young as if one were taking a brief refresher of things previously mastered.

Does that make sense? It's a subject not discussed much.
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Postby zeph » Thu Nov 15, 2007 10:01 am

gmugmble wrote:
zeph wrote:It was only a short time ago that our ancestors were certain -- CERTAIN -- that the earth was flat.

Yes, and they were wrong. (Or else they were right, and we are wrong.) I think we're confusing serveral issues here. On questions of fact (e.g., is the earth flat?) there is a right answer and anything that contradicts that is wrong. But the existence of a right answer does not mean that we know the right answer, and for that reason we do indeed need to be flexible. It's a virtue to be able to see all sides of an argument where the facts are unclear.

That was my point, apparently poorly made. We feel pretty certain Earth is a sphere, but (as an hypothetical example) perhaps we're making the same mistake as the flat-earthers and not looking at our planet in enough dimensions. Perhaps 100 or 1000 years from now our ancestors will mock us for our belief that the Earth is a sphere.

It is definitely a virtue to see all sides of an argument where the facts are unclear; it is also a virtue to understand that seemingly clear facts may not be.

Edward wrote:The word 'soul' is as good as any, and lets us differentiate between the regular spectrum of human mentation and those things we (perhaps stumblingly) call 'spiritual'.

Actually, I think the word soul sucks. Bad. It's one of those words that means a different thing to different people, which is the feature that will allow me to argue, for fun if nothing else, for its lack of existence :P. Even if you limit yourself to speaking to Qabalists, the English word soul is worthless; witness the variety of words that mean soul, in different ways, in Hebrew.

I think we're in the reincarnation thread, so let me ask which soul, in Qabalistic terms, is reincarnated?
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Postby Edward Mason » Thu Nov 15, 2007 10:16 am

93,

Zeph wrote:
I think we're in the reincarnation thread, so let me ask which soul, in Qabalistic terms, is reincarnated?


Well, I'd assume the Nephesh dies with the body. The Neshamah would presumably be beyond the need for physical incarnation, even if it would be the animating principle 'behind the scenes'. That leaves the Ruach.

But I wonder, would that have to be a very rarefied aspect or level of the Ruach? Or are such divisions artificial? I want to say something like "The interface between the Ruach and the Neshamah is what reconstitutes a human body and outer consciousness", but I don't think that's allowed :(

I agree with you about the word 'soul' being imprecise, but at that point the debate was about whether or not any such thing existed, and the Qabalistic subdivisions seemed like an encumbrance, not a clarifying notion.

93 93/93,

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Postby Jim Eshelman » Thu Nov 15, 2007 10:53 am

zeph wrote:Actually, I think the word soul sucks. Bad. It's one of those words that means a different thing to different people, which is the feature that will allow me to argue, for fun if nothing else, for its lack of existence :P. Even if you limit yourself to speaking to Qabalists, the English word soul is worthless; witness the variety of words that mean soul, in different ways, in Hebrew.

Yes. There are several times in this thread that I've thought of stopping to mention that "soul" probably should be defined each time it's used. We often use it casually, and it's more or less understood in context of ordinary conversation. However, when that conversation moves from casual to technical, the terms need to be defined.

Just as "spiritual" broadly means "all of the nonphysical aspect of a person," "soul" is often used in the same way - as a "body & soul" polarity. That's common parlance. But (as I suspect many, maybe most, people on this thread already know), there are word histories that carry various nuances. Qabalistically, "soul" is probably best used to represent Nephesh only. In the Greek philosophical model, we have to understand that the word meaning "soul" is psyche, so we need to understand those two words in their mutual relationship. And so on.

The American Heritage Dictionary gives 10 different definitions for "soul" - and these don't include the occult technical meanings. Of these, Nephesh is clearly meant by, "The animating and vital principle in humans, credited with the faculties of thought, action, and emotion and often conceived as an immaterial entity... The disembodied spirit of a dead human... A person's emotional or moral nature." But something deeper might be implied by, "The spiritual nature of humans, regarded as immortal, separable from the body at death, and susceptible to happiness or misery in a future state" (might because a lot of those experience are actually Nephesh-astral in nature, though, taken literally, this refers to what the Egyptians called khu, and Qabalists might call the illuminated or upper Ruach). A more general, actually derivative meaning is, "The central or integral part; the vital core," analogizing from that which is interior to a person. There are then other derivative meanings which have to do with the interior, the essence, and especially with feeling (drawn from within, clearly Nephesh), e.g., "A person considered as the perfect embodiment of an intangible quality; a personification," "soul music," "strong, deeply felt emotion conveyed," etc.

The Online Etymology Dictionary defines the word as "spiritual and emotional part of a person, animate existence" - pure Nephesh definition! - but gives no certain origin beyond a German word of the same meaning one step back. This is interesting, because it means the word has tended to be intuitively understood (rather than defined) through most of the history of emerging language. It's a non-Ruach word.

So in common use, the meaning also appears to be Nephesh (or Nephesh-rooted) most of the time, and occasionally something deeper, primarily as interior contrasted with physical. In technical discussions we should be more precise, I think.

I think we're in the reincarnation thread, so let me ask which soul, in Qabalistic terms, is reincarnated?

As best I can tell, all layers Briatic and denser. Another way to say it is that the Briatic extension of a Yechidah, being time-independent, has "simultaneous" extensions as a multitude of space-time points.

To open a new can of worms: When I say "all layers Briatic and denser," I don't mean that the do that together. The biological Assiah aspect reincarnates through sexual reproduction. The Yetziratic aspect reincarnates through the propagation of psychological content through various media including direct "field of idea" contact by people, and some of which "sticks" with the Briatic aspect. The Briatic aspect reincarnates by existing "concurrently" in multiple time-space points and having independent Yetziratic and Assiatic "bodies" in each. The parts don't usually stick together, but "inheritance" occurs in each of them.
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Postby gmugmble » Thu Nov 15, 2007 2:36 pm

The Online Etymology Dictionary ... gives no certain origin beyond a German word of the same meaning one step back. This is interesting, because it means the word has tended to be intuitively understood (rather than defined) through most of the history of emerging language. It's a non-Ruach word.

What it really means is that "soul" is a Germanic word, and unfortunately there is a large portion of Germanic vocabulary whose anterior etymology is not known. That doesn't mean that these words are "non-Ruach" words in ways that historically attested words are not; it probably just means that they were borrowed into an ancestor of the Germanic languages from a non-Indo-European language that left no written records. "Beer" and "bean", "hen" and "horse", "shield" and "spear" are other such words, and I don't think they have been "intuitively understood".
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Postby zeph » Thu Nov 15, 2007 2:44 pm

Jim Eshelman wrote:
Zeph wrote:I think we're in the reincarnation thread, so let me ask which soul, in Qabalistic terms, is reincarnated?

As best I can tell, all layers Briatic and denser. Another way to say it is that the Briatic extension of a Yechidah, being time-independent, has "simultaneous" extensions as a multitude of space-time points.

To open a new can of worms: When I say "all layers Briatic and denser," I don't mean that the do that together. The biological Assiah aspect reincarnates through sexual reproduction. The Yetziratic aspect reincarnates through the propagation of psychological content through various media including direct "field of idea" contact by people, and some of which "sticks" with the Briatic aspect. The Briatic aspect reincarnates by existing "concurrently" in multiple time-space points and having independent Yetziratic and Assiatic "bodies" in each. The parts don't usually stick together, but "inheritance" occurs in each of them.

What an excellent can. Ignoring for the moment, and not for lack of interest, the novel (for me) concept of reincarnation on the lower couple worlds --

The concurrent multiple timespace existence of Briah is how I understand things, with the consecutively simultaneous manifestation as an individuated center being a sort of "reincarnation"; but not at all the reincarnation of the sort that people wistfully hope for, in my projections, when they say that "<name of some temporary persona> was <name of some other temporary persona>." To them I would say, "Yes! You were! And so was I! And so shall we ever be!"
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Postby Jim Eshelman » Thu Nov 15, 2007 3:13 pm

zeph wrote:The concurrent multiple timespace existence of Briah is how I understand things, with the consecutively simultaneous manifestation as an individuated center being a sort of "reincarnation"; but not at all the reincarnation of the sort that people wistfully hope for, in my projections, when they say that "<name of some temporary persona> was <name of some other temporary persona>." To them I would say, "Yes! You were! And so was I! And so shall we ever be!"

Did I ever say it was that simple? :twisted:

In a sense, it is that simple - at least, as far as a time-bound mindframe can grasp it. I usually find it of no use to discuss the topic in any way that isn't comprehensible to the average unilluminated Ruach - standard Yetziratic intellectual and imagery stuff.

But there it is - a simpler-yet-more-complex model. The chasm to leap is why our minds contribute the specific sequentiality that they do. I'm sure this is because of how our relationship to the time-stream works, and (for all I know) how the flow of time works. OTOH sequentiality is a tricky subject. I don't really think that time flows linearly through the course of a day. I've long preferred the metaphor that each instant of our experience is a snapshot, and all the snapshots of existence are thrown up in the air to land randomly around us, and we somehow manage to run a needle and thread through them to determine a sequence.

When you place yourself in a linear time framework, the above comes out to be the same experience as if one just said, "And you had an earlier life as X, and after this one you'll get born again..."

Where you and I differ is that I think it is more distinctive - that those inheritances are unique to a particular Yechidah and its Briatic extension. I could be wrong, of course. From an individual's p.o.v. it wouldn't particularly matter.
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parallel incarnations

Postby BNNHKDSH » Sat Nov 17, 2007 3:57 pm

I had a mystical experience where I was holding hands with parallel incarnations of myself, yet these personalities existed in different time planes, one being a heretic sufi of the mevlevi order in Turkey, 1890 c.e. This "hand holding" went in every direction, connecting me to everyone. My consciousness shifted between all the identities like a person shuffling through (tarot) cards. This consciousness wasn't limited to just "humans" but extended downwards to animals and trees, rocks and "matter" and also on upwards to archetypes, Gods and the Void where I felt the card shuffling emanates.
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Re: parallel incarnations

Postby Jim Eshelman » Sat Nov 17, 2007 4:12 pm

BNNHKDSH wrote:I had a mystical experience where I was holding hands with parallel incarnations of myself, yet these personalities existed in different time planes, one being a heretic sufi of the mevlevi order in Turkey, 1890 c.e. This "hand holding" went in every direction, connecting me to everyone. My consciousness shifted between all the identities like a person shuffling through (tarot) cards. This consciousness wasn't limited to just "humans" but extended downwards to animals and trees, rocks and "matter" and also on upwards to archetypes, Gods and the Void where I felt the card shuffling emanates.

Very cool. Thanks for sharing this. 8)
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Reincarnation

Postby DavidH » Fri Dec 14, 2007 2:52 pm

Jim,

93!

I have seen you write several times that you have had experience that tells you with certainty, beyond any reasonable doubt, that reincarnation is a fact. If it is not too personal a question, can you share the nature of this information? If memories, do they contain information that you would not know from any other source? Just trying to get a grasp on what kind of data could make it so certain to you. I mean, I believe it myself, but not with a certainty that I could back up.

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Liber L - II, 9
93 93/93
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Re: Reincarnation

Postby Jim Eshelman » Fri Dec 14, 2007 3:27 pm

DavidH wrote:I have seen you write several times that you have had experience that tells you with certainty, beyond any reasonable doubt, that reincarnation is a fact. If it is not too personal a question, can you share the nature of this information? If memories, do they contain information that you would not know from any other source? Just trying to get a grasp on what kind of data could make it so certain to you. I mean, I believe it myself, but not with a certainty that I could back up.

There are a few facts that have been separately confirmed that I don't think I could have known from physical plane historical or informational means.

But the main part of it is the intimacy of the memories. Crowley actually covers this pretty well in his MT&P discussion on the subject. The moments that mean the most to a person are not necessarily those that anyone else knows about.

There are other situations where different people have had independent and coordinated memories of the same place and time - being different people who were there concurrently. It's pretty jarring to have a detailed memory of the scenery of a particular place and time, and of events there, and then read someone else's description (written years before) of the same details of scenery and circumstance.

I could mention isolated factoids, but they aren't the most important things. For example, when I finally remembered my last motto in my last lifetime (later confirmable by records), I was startled to see that my first serious motto in the present life was the next logical step from it. My best friend's nickname for me in that life (confirmed by surviving writings) was completely equivalent to the first magical name I picked in this one. That's probably the sort of thing that would impress 'objective' observers most, but it's fairly minor compared to the experience - the memory - which is at least as real as the memories of anything in the present life.

There are other stupid details. The occupation of the last life was a subject I picked up and had an interest in until about age 7 or 8, then felt "done with." The life work of Life 3 before the present incarnation was in an area where I have inexplicable talent at a very high level despite no training or effort whatsoever in the present life.

But, then, these pale before the basic issue that when one remembers the intimate moments of one's own life, there is something compelling and truthful about them that no artificial memories have.

Not sure if that helps.
Love is the law, love under will.
Yours in L.V.X.,
Jim Eshelman
www.jeshelman.com
"Success is thy proof: argue not; convert not; talk not overmuch!" - CCXX 3:42
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Jim Eshelman
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