Reincarnation

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

Moderator: Moderators - Public

Reincarnation

Postby Jim Eshelman » Tue Jul 31, 2007 9:29 pm

Split from http://heruraha.net/viewtopic.php?t=1071

Wilder wrote:
In this lifetime. But there's always the next lifetime. (Some incarnations exist simply to gain experience and/or to work through such things.)

How prevelant would you say the belief in reincarnation is amongst Thelemites?

Virtually universal. In 30 years or so, I've only known two self-identified Thelemites who took active issue with reincarnation being a fact of nature.

My teacher, Soror Meral, took the position that one can't be a Thelemite without including reincarnation in one's belief system. I don't take that position, but only because I'm less inclined to be definitively dogmatic about what Thelemites believe.

My experience leaves me as clear and certain about reincarnation being a fact as my experience leaves me about anything else that I profess to know.
Last edited by Jim Eshelman on Thu Aug 02, 2007 9:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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
User avatar
Jim Eshelman
Lost His Marbles
 
Posts: 9579
Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2005 1:41 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Postby Steven Cranmer » Wed Aug 01, 2007 1:15 pm

Jim Eshelman wrote:
Wilder wrote:How prevelant would you say the belief in reincarnation is amongst Thelemites?
Virtually universal. In 30 years or so, I've only known two self-identified Thelemites who took active issue with reincarnation being a fact of nature.

Depending on how well we can say to "know" one another in this virtual forum, I think you can increase that number to three. :)

This all depends, of course, on definitions and practices. I don't believe in a literal transmigration of an ego-based soul. By "ego-based," I mean that just about any aspect of what we can consciously call "ourselves" does not survive physical death. I think this is echoed in the Book of the Law, II:44, "There is the dissolution, and eternal ecstasy in the kisses of Nu." I'm not even sure I believe in the literal, objective existence of a soul (using these standard defintiions).

But if we broaden the definition of "soul" in several possible ways, I'll gladly get more wishy-washy on the matter! :) Once you get up to Neshamah (or thereabouts) we're not talking about ego-based "me" any more. Something so "collective" seems by necessity to survive the death of any individual. Neither births nor deaths would add or subtract to it! The language we use to describe these higher levels grows increasingly metaphorical as well.... and thus all elements of "belief" grow fuzzier, too!

And, by metaphorical, I suppose that I'm also talking more about practices like Liber Thisarb, and the experiences that occur therefrom. I have no reason to doubt that these can be of immense value to the aspirant. The issue here is the literal belief in such past lives, which I think should be taken with the skepticism that Crowley talks about in the preface to Liber O.

Steve
User avatar
Steven Cranmer
Stone of Precious Water
Stone of Precious Water
 
Posts: 199
Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 8:36 am
Location: New England

Postby Edward Mason » Wed Aug 01, 2007 5:33 pm

93,

I have no firm belief in reincarnation, in the empirical sense. I simply don't feel I either know or can know whether 'I" have lived before, in that sense.

What does occur to me though, is that any time I have felt an affinity for the past - from visiting another country's monuments, reading a book or simply moving into private stillness - I have not been aware of dates and centuries, names and kings, but of the <i>emotional</i> content of the linkage I feel. Just as in conventional life, we don't recall "July 2, 1982" but "that glorious, sunlit day on the cliffs by the sea."

Old castles or churches in Germany fill me with a mix of helplessness and intensity, as if I died on principle there for something, a heresy or a cause. Is that "me-in-the-past" or simply me sensing all the warfare and anguish that has torn that country apart so many times? I don't know, but since I feel it around medieval buildings, not more recent ones, I tend to lean to a connection with the past.

If I make a decision about a relationship, a job, a place in which to live or a friendship to break off, I make it, not on empirical grounds but in relation to the feeling of the whole situation. In other words, I relate to past lives in the same way I relate to any major decision or action I take in this life. The criteria I use for assessing significant issues now, are the criteria I'm thrown back onto for assessing the significance of 'past lives.'

Behaving and thinking as if I <i>have</i> lived in the past therefore seems useful as a way of exploring ideas and feelings I can't really comprehend otherwise. Or to fumble for another way of putting this, understanding of the "what are we, where are we going" issues only seems to come if I <i>suspend</i> skeptical thinking processes.

This type of discussion usually centers around the idea of whether any previous life is as 'real' as this one. Would a more useful perspective be to see this life, in present time+space, as something seen through the distorted lens of personal need, fear and ignorance, and therefore no more 'real' than any feeling of connection to the past? Any sort of mystical intution dissolves not just the physical dimensions, but also the dimension of time as well.

93 93/93,

Edward
User avatar
Edward Mason
Ultimate Spark of the Intimate Fire
Ultimate Spark of the Intimate Fire
 
Posts: 939
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2005 6:56 am
Location: Amatlan de Quetzalcoatl

Postby zeph » Thu Aug 02, 2007 9:01 am

Reincarnation is a dualistic notion. I'm a monist, so if you say to me, "I was Colin, a chimbley sweep, back in the 19th Century", then I'm going to say, "Big fracking deal, so was I." If there's some Qabalistic or Thelemic theory that runs contrary to this, then I've missed it.
Last edited by zeph on Thu Aug 02, 2007 9:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
zeph
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 232
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2005 8:22 am
Location: splashed throughout spacetime

Postby Jim Eshelman » Thu Aug 02, 2007 9:04 am

zeph wrote:Reincarnation is a dualistic notion. I'm a monist, so if you say to me, "I was Colin, a chimbley sweep, back in the 19th Century", then I'm going to say, "Big fracking deal, so was I." If there's some Qabalistic or Thelemic theory that runs contrary to this, then I've missed it.

Stepping away from experience to address this philosophically: I don't agree with the above per se, but only its applicability. As long as there is human incarnation, there is dualism (actually, pluralism). Once you get outside the framework of incarnation (in fact, once one withdraws only to Atziluth), I agree with you completely. But the nature of Assiah and Yeztirah is divisive (and Briah in a far different sense). So long as one is measuring experience across the phenomenon of time, it is going to be inherently pluralistic/multiplistic.
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
User avatar
Jim Eshelman
Lost His Marbles
 
Posts: 9579
Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2005 1:41 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Postby DELETED » Thu Aug 02, 2007 9:20 am

DELETED
DELETED
 

Postby zeph » Thu Aug 02, 2007 9:53 am

Jim Eshelman wrote:As long as there is human incarnation, there is dualism (actually, pluralism).

I don't dispute the illusion of pluralism. Which aspect of a center of expression's Qabalistic constitution survives physical disincarnation?
User avatar
zeph
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 232
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2005 8:22 am
Location: splashed throughout spacetime

Postby Jim Eshelman » Thu Aug 02, 2007 10:10 am

zeph wrote:
Jim Eshelman wrote:As long as there is human incarnation, there is dualism (actually, pluralism).

I don't dispute the illusion of pluralism. Which aspect of a center of expression's Qabalistic constitution survives physical disincarnation?

That which "passes" from incarnation to incarnation is the Briatic level - that's what has persistence. (Assiah part doesn't survive. Much Yetziratic content survives, but it seems this has to be incorporated into the Briatic part to have persistence, since all the Yetziraitc "matter" is dissolved, in most cases, within days following the physical death.)

So, in other words, it is the Star - the "house of Hadit" - that "survives" in the specific sense of occupying a multitude of discrete Assiah-Yetzirah manifestations across the field of time and space. ("Survive" only makes sense within the framework of time, which is why I hedged the words a bit.)
Last edited by Jim Eshelman on Thu Oct 11, 2007 6:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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
User avatar
Jim Eshelman
Lost His Marbles
 
Posts: 9579
Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2005 1:41 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Postby Jim Eshelman » Thu Aug 02, 2007 11:07 am

To approach this from another angle:

Zeph (for example), I'm not sure we differ at all on the matter of principles. It's only when we then start "doing things" with thoughts and words that we appear to diverge.

To say it differently: There are certain phenomena that I know you and I view petty much the same, and then we adopt different theoretical models to talk about them.

For example, I have no confidence in memory! In 14 years practicing law, I was in a profession that relies on the veracity of memory as a basic element, but I know fully well that memory can be invented, and often is distorted by the normal course of things. At the same time I have this view of memory, on the issue of "personal experience vs. theory" I usually have to come down on the side of personal experience - either widely or narrowly defined - otherwise, we're just looping in some theory maze. Personal experience (and one's recollection of it) usually has to be placed, eventually, in a larger framework, but, up until that point, I'd usually rather rely on someone's report of experience rather than their ratiocination.

We must also remember that all Hierophants lie at all times, especially when they're working hardest to tell the truth. The truth that matters isn't expressible in language. Hierophants could handle this by being silent, but this doesn't usually fulfill the purposes of one whose job is to be "revealer of the mysteries." The best solution (and the one most widely adopted over time and space) is to be sure to pick the best lie, that one most likely to eventuate in the aspirant's discovering the truth despite it.

That being said...

I have direct experiences which confirm, well beyond any reasonable doubt, the certainty of a stream of prior existences. Nor am I unique nor even particularly unusual in this regard. Against this, one can argue that memory is unreliable in one life let alone across dozens, and that, in any case, the memories could originate from something not to be confused with "me." (For example, the memories themselves could survive - and we assert that they do! - whether they were mine or not.)

Two different theories could explain the same phenomena.

In this case, why choose one more than the other?

My answer is two-fold.

First, placing primary reliance on the trace of personal experience is not only the simplest and most direct avenue to information, but a specific approach to things that we want to teach.

Second, of the two primary, seemingly opposing explanations, the one I've picked is the best one for the world. To put it in grossly simple terms: The single biggest problem in the world today is the small number of people who (1) give a (****) about the shape of the world and (2) have an investment in its future. As someone who has taken overall responsibility for the condition of the world, what expression of the truth is most likely to increase the degree to which the greatest number of people are going to give a (****) about the shape of the world and have an investment in its future?

Conventional Christian thought isn't going to do it (despite the minority of Christian activists who have taken the "caretaker" roll seriously). The predominant Christian view today (especially among Evangelicals) is that the Rapture is coming, Christ is returning in our lifetime, and there won't be many more generations (and, if anything, we should accelerate the process to make the ultimate goal and purpose of the religion come true sooner).

A conventional secular view isn't going to attain the goal: People are feel they are going to live only once are more likely, in the aggregate, not to worry about the future either.'

Nor does it meet the goal to propose a view that we are individual expressions of a single life-power. This requires a relatively mature spiritual perspective, not to mention some actual spiritual experience - and the typical person in the world isn't going to go there.

Ah, but the one thing that stands some reasonable chance of transforming mass thought and behavior on the matter is selling the idea of reincarnation. If the view i, "I personally, am going to be here on this planet, and keep being here on this planet over and over again for centuries to come!" prevails, normal self-serving narrowness will repair and carry forward what no amount of high-mindedness will ever accomplish.

Besides, it's the truth. It may not be the only "truth" that explains all observation and understanding available to us, but it is certainly one such view (and a readily accessible one for most people - they may agree or disagree, but at least they can understand it!). Following the basic law of hierophanting, since all these theories and models are lies due to the limitation of language and Yetziratic thought processes, it is up to me to pick the lie the that is most serviceable.
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
User avatar
Jim Eshelman
Lost His Marbles
 
Posts: 9579
Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2005 1:41 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Postby Wilder » Thu Aug 02, 2007 2:50 pm

My teacher, Soror Meral, took the position that one can't be a Thelemite without including reincarnation in one's belief system.


Why?
Wilder
Copper Member
Copper Member
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun May 20, 2007 6:32 pm

Postby Jim Eshelman » Thu Aug 02, 2007 3:02 pm

Wilder wrote:
My teacher, Soror Meral, took the position that one can't be a Thelemite without including reincarnation in one's belief system.


Why?

I don't remember. Wait until she comes back in her next life and ask her :twisted:

Actually, I do remember but it's a loonnnggg answer explained across many articles. I suppose the main part of it is the actuality of the Star persisting across time.

I suspect her most concise summary would have been that Liber L.'s doctrine necessitates it to make sense, and Crowley's commentary and other writings take it as a baseline. (This is all aside from her own detailed memories.)
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
User avatar
Jim Eshelman
Lost His Marbles
 
Posts: 9579
Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2005 1:41 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Postby Wilder » Thu Aug 02, 2007 3:12 pm

I suspect her most concise summary would have been that Liber L.'s doctrine necessitates it to make sense, and Crowley's commentary and other writings take it as a baseline.


If I may, could I pry deeper into this, as I am one that your former mentor would label a Thelemic heretic (this has spawned another topic that has been on my mind for some time)? I personally don't take Crowley's words and beliefs to be universaly sacrosanct to Thelema, so I'm more interested in how reincarnation would be neccessary to support Liber L.
Wilder
Copper Member
Copper Member
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun May 20, 2007 6:32 pm

Postby Jim Eshelman » Thu Aug 02, 2007 3:28 pm

Wilder wrote:If I may, could I pry deeper into this, as I am one that your former mentor would label a Thelemic heretic (this has spawned another topic that has been on my mind for some time)? I personally don't take Crowley's words and beliefs to be universaly sacrosanct to Thelema,

I don't either.

That is, I don't regard him as the sole witness - but I do regard him as the most important witness.

My general thinking is probably best explained by comparing him to the sole witness of a conversation, at which a real-time full transcript was taken, and who spent the rest of his life reviewing and examng the transcript. - It isn't necessarily true that he would always have the most correct view (and, in fact, the Book itself says there are things he won't understand); but he's still way more likely to actually know what the conversation was about than anyone else. He gets to start with a very serious "benefit of the doubt."

PS - I can't offhand recall Phyllis ever using the term "Thelemic heretic." However, she was extremely fond of the term "occult crazy."
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
User avatar
Jim Eshelman
Lost His Marbles
 
Posts: 9579
Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2005 1:41 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Postby Wilder » Thu Aug 02, 2007 7:36 pm

Choice of labels aside, based in Liber L, what was her reasoning for demanding a belief in reincarnation?
Wilder
Copper Member
Copper Member
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun May 20, 2007 6:32 pm

Postby Jim Eshelman » Thu Aug 02, 2007 9:55 pm

Wilder wrote:Choice of labels aside, based in Liber L, what was her reasoning for demanding a belief in reincarnation?

Already answered.
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
User avatar
Jim Eshelman
Lost His Marbles
 
Posts: 9579
Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2005 1:41 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Postby Wilder » Fri Aug 03, 2007 9:06 pm

Jim Eshelman wrote:
Wilder wrote:Choice of labels aside, based in Liber L, what was her reasoning for demanding a belief in reincarnation?

Already answered.


The closest thing to an answer that I can find in your posts:

I suspect her most concise summary would have been that Liber L.'s doctrine necessitates it to make sense


As this doesn't really say much of anything, I asked for a more depthful answer. You responded to my Crowley comment, but not the neccessity of believing in reincarnation for Liber L to make sense.
Wilder
Copper Member
Copper Member
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun May 20, 2007 6:32 pm

Postby Jim Eshelman » Fri Aug 03, 2007 9:52 pm

The answer was:

I don't remember. Wait until she comes back in her next life and ask her :twisted:

I really don't want to argue her position for her.
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
User avatar
Jim Eshelman
Lost His Marbles
 
Posts: 9579
Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2005 1:41 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Postby DavidH » Sat Aug 04, 2007 2:38 pm

Don't woory about it guys...China has it covered! From today's news:

Tibet’s living Buddhas have been banned from reincarnation without permission from China’s atheist leaders. The ban is included in new rules intended to assert Beijing’s authority over Tibet’s restive and deeply Buddhist people.

“The so-called reincarnated living Buddha without government approval is illegal and invalid,”

:roll: :shock:
In LVX,
David

"Remember all ye that existence is pure joy; that all the sorrows are but as shadows; they pass & are done; but there is that which remains."
Liber L - II, 9
93 93/93
User avatar
DavidH
Stone of Precious Water
Stone of Precious Water
 
Posts: 329
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 8:16 am
Location: CA

Postby Rey De Lupos » Sat Aug 04, 2007 6:17 pm

Actually, I do remember but it's a loonnnggg answer explained across many articles. I suppose the main part of it is the actuality of the Star persisting across time.

I remember talking to Phyllis about this matter and her explanation was succinct insofar as she made me aware that our stellar nature is a continguous thread of experience -- the continuity of consciousness. It tied in nicely to my own vision and experiences, so I appreciated her perspective.

That said, I would expect everyone to adhere to their own personal mythos, philosophy and edict regarding their own Star.
93, 93/93

Fraternally in L.V.X.,
Rey
User avatar
Rey De Lupos
Gold Member
Gold Member
 
Posts: 81
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 2:32 pm
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico

Postby DELETED » Sat Sep 22, 2007 6:21 pm

DELETED
DELETED
 

Postby Rey De Lupos » Sun Sep 23, 2007 7:37 am

Therefore by claiming to not ascribe to this you are not acting in the best interest of the Order; and by that very definition you WILL fail when being tested in devotion to Order; and you will be expelled.

Okay. Obviously you are not reading what I wrote...as your comment is, to use the vernacular, coming out of left field.

Needless to say, a blessed and Happy Autumnal Equinox to us All.
93, 93/93

Fraternally in L.V.X.,
Rey
User avatar
Rey De Lupos
Gold Member
Gold Member
 
Posts: 81
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 2:32 pm
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico

Postby DELETED » Sun Sep 23, 2007 7:54 am

DELETED
DELETED
 

Postby Edward Mason » Sun Sep 23, 2007 8:07 am

Nirbiraja, 93,

Rey has already addressed his own issue, but I was also caught by your comments:

Without realizing the eternal continuity of consciousness and its divergent fusion of time and space in all omniscient, omnipresent dimensions, Order doesn't happen; initiates aren't raised, guided and helped in any long-lasting way to sustain a Rosicrucian legacy. Therefore by claiming to not ascribe to this you are not acting in the best interest of the Order; and by that very definition you WILL fail when being tested in devotion to Order; and you will be expelled.

Jim's way too kind. I'd weed the roots, if I were he.

I saw Jim get run over in this thread. Not a god damn one of you knows what you're on about.

The suggestion about weeding roots is fascistic, not Thelemic . One of the things Crowley warns us about is getting over-excited by our own results. While the results we get may be abolutely valid for ourselves, they are not for others. You're presenting a kind of yogic fundamentalism here, and don't seem to recognize that.

Also, despite your scorn for the season, Equinox IS a time when energies good and not-so-good are magnified, and our egoic issues can distort our judgement more than usual. This is why self-initation of the type you are practicing is risky: you don't know what you don't know, because there's no-one there to tap you on the shoulder.


93 93/93
EM
User avatar
Edward Mason
Ultimate Spark of the Intimate Fire
Ultimate Spark of the Intimate Fire
 
Posts: 939
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2005 6:56 am
Location: Amatlan de Quetzalcoatl

Postby jw. » Sun Sep 23, 2007 10:32 am

nirbiraja wrote:Without realizing the eternal continuity of consciousness and its divergent fusion of time and space in all omniscient, omnipresent dimensions, Order doesn't happen; initiates aren't raised, guided and helped in any long-lasting way to sustain a Rosicrucian legacy. Therefore by claiming to not ascribe to this you are not acting in the best interest of the Order

Which is the better interest for the Order: to have its ends proven, or its premises?
jw.
Silver Member
Silver Member
 
Posts: 55
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2007 6:43 pm
Location: Rainy Maine

Postby DELETED » Sun Sep 23, 2007 4:06 pm

DELETED
DELETED
 

Next

Return to Thelema

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests