On Sunday, October 7, 2012 4:37:40 AM UTC-7, Zerkon wrote:Thank you for these interesting thoughts, Zerkon.
> On Sat, 6 Oct 2012 20:45:06 -0700 (PDT), Berkeley Brett wrote:
> > I hope you are all well & in good spirits.
> > Reincarnation supposes serial incarnations, but might we not have
> > parallel incarnations of which we are only dimly aware (or fully
> > unaware)?
> Is the subject here scripture studies or philosophy?
> Reincarnation supposes belief. I think at best it may be a gateway to a
> better insight to a more common human experience but as it is it's mainly
> part of a belief system which is not based upon physical evidence. iow, the
> premise for any discussion must begin with a blind faith.
> I think children are the most apparent and a literal reincarnation of one's
> self or, more exactly, of two selves. The birth event actualizes two
> physical beings as one. All kinds of philosophies can chew on this quite
> extraordinary ordinariness. Belief can start but at least the evidence is
You have reminded me of a passage from Emerson's "Self-Reliance":
=== begin quoted text ===
Is the acorn better than the oak which is its fulness and completion? Is the parent better than the child into whom he has cast his ripened being?
=== end quoted text ===
Indeed, children do seem to be overlapping incarnations in so many ways, and often improved versions (so it seems!) And there is a genuine magic in the fact that they are manifestations of two distinct people.
For me, reincarnation is a working hypothesis. I do not pretend to know it to be true. But at the instinctive level, it seems to me by far to be the least unlikely "post mortem" model. (It seems to me that intellect only carries us so far: beyond a certain level, we are left with instinct or intuition, imperfect and non-rigorous as those capacities may be.) Consulting William James' noteworthy criteria of genuine choice ( http://www.webster.edu/~corbetre/philosophy/misc/james.html ), I do not believe any post-mortem model is "forced," but I do believe (for me) that the reincarnation model is "live" and "momentous".
Though western-style evidence for reincarnation has rarely been pursued, you might find Ian Stevenson's "Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation" (1966) interesting:
And, of course, the whole phenomenon of "near death experiences" is also fascinating:
I hope you are well & in good spirits.
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