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Reincarnation And Evolution


Mudhoney
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Right now I'm exploring reincarnation. I'm okay with the concept, but there is a basic problem I keep sticking on. At what point during the evolutionary process were souls introduced? With the emergence of homo sapiens? Before?

 

For those of you who believe in reincarnation, what are your thoughts? Or even for those of you who do not believe, have you heard of this being explained anywhere?

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I don't have a problem because I see life as an endless process with no beginning. Not limited to this world, or perhaps even this universe. I am not a materialist though, so I can see how this could be a problem for them.

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Isn't "infinite regress" a problem tho?

 

I'll be honest, I don't even think I understand that term completely.

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Isn't "infinite regress" a problem tho?

 

I'll be honest, I don't even think I understand that term completely.

 

I don't know if I understand what "infinite regress" is either.

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Isn't "infinite regress" a problem tho?

 

I'll be honest, I don't even think I understand that term completely.

 

I don't know if I understand what "infinite regress" is either.

 

I think it has to do something with the idea that infinite time can't really exist or something.

 

Going to wikipedia.......now

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After reading Old Souls by Tom Shroder, about reporter who followed Dr. Ian Stevenson around India interviewing children who claimed to remember past lives, I started thinking about this. Dr. Stevenson's theory views reincarnation as distinct, personal souls living life after life, with the exception of not remembering the previous lifetime. He believes the children he interviews have remembered for some unknown reason, maybe by some mistake? Working with this assumption, following Dr. Stevenson's view on reincarnation, I have a hard time working evolution into the mix.

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I don't know. Everything on that is all conjecture.

It's turtles all the way down.

 

I just have a lot of trouble imaging "infinity".

 

 

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Isn't "infinite regress" a problem tho?

 

I'll be honest, I don't even think I understand that term completely.

 

I don't know if I understand what "infinite regress" is either.

 

I think it has to do something with the idea that infinite time can't really exist or something.

 

Going to wikipedia.......now

 

It's a challenging paradox to consider that before/at the space/time of the big bang time did not exist. From a cosmic perspective we live in flatland.

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Time may have existed, just not for OUR universe.

 

If we are correct about the singularity, what we perceive in our space/time fabric could not possibly have existed according to everything that we have been able to calculate. In another universe or another dimension, our concept of time may be completely irrelevant. I am amazed that we have been able to learn what we have about light and relativity, but physics continue to reveal more mysteries that nobody is likely to explain in our lifetimes.

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Maybe the big bang was just a giant queef out of Latifa's considerable pubis. Nothing would surprise me anymore.

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I don't have a problem because I see life as an endless process with no beginning. Not limited to this world, or perhaps even this universe. I am not a materialist though, so I can see how this could be a problem for them.

 

I'm beginning to see the universe as an endless process myself. Or more like a cycle of beginnings and endings. Mostly I'm thinking about how reincarnation was mentioned in this book; that the souls of people have a distinct identity. Some people see the Earth as a school to enlighten the soul. If this were true, when did the "souls" decide to inhabit bodies here? I have asked this question other places as well, but I always get good ideas at Ex-c.

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The interesting thing about infinity, is that with the beginning of the universe, at the singularity, we shouldnt exist right now because it should take it an infinite amount of time to reach to point its at now, if its infeintesimal in size.

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Some people say at the moment of the big bang, the 'mind' of the universe was born and we are part of that conciousness. We would have been born in that instant. If that were true, we may have been here forever as part of this 'mind'. Which means that we may have gone all through the stages of evolution. We may have been the ones who started to figure out that we could make tools or discover fire?? Maybe??

 

We then die, take a rest, come back again to make the brain bigger and better each time? Maybe?

 

I would love to believe this.

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I don't have a problem because I see life as an endless process with no beginning. Not limited to this world, or perhaps even this universe. I am not a materialist though, so I can see how this could be a problem for them.

 

I'm beginning to see the universe as an endless process myself. Or more like a cycle of beginnings and endings. Mostly I'm thinking about how reincarnation was mentioned in this book; that the souls of people have a distinct identity. Some people see the Earth as a school to enlighten the soul. If this were true, when did the "souls" decide to inhabit bodies here? I have asked this question other places as well, but I always get good ideas at Ex-c.

 

I am familiar with the writings of Ian Stevenson and very impressed by some of the accounts of children remembering past lives. But I see absolutely no reason to think that consciousness would be limited to certain forms - reincarnation for humans only. I say all manner of forms may be taken with no restrictions. I reject the idea of permanent discrete "souls" that go from one form to another. I prefer to refer to it as a "mind stream". I think that the stream could go to several different bodies. This is in accord with what the Dalai Lama has said. He said that he was not, strictly speaking a reincarnation of the prior Dalai Lama, but others as well.

 

I don't see the earth as a school to "enlighten" the soul. Learning lessons and all of that. I think that came out of Theosophy. Much as I admire some of the theosophical teachings, I can't see that one as true. I don't see evidence of some progression. Otherwise, by now, I would think the human race would be much more enlightened as a whole than it is now. It makes more sense to me that so-called lower life forms are incarnating as humans and it going the other way as well according to imprint their actions have made on their mind stream.

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The interesting thing about infinity, is that with the beginning of the universe, at the singularity, we shouldnt exist right now because it should take it an infinite amount of time to reach to point its at now, if its infeintesimal in size.

 

That's what I was trying to say. Somethin like that.

 

When infinity is claimed, either in size or history past, it means you should, in theory, be infinitely large or infinitely in the future all the time.

Or something.

 

Man, that stuff is crazy.

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I try to stay out of this area, but the spirit led me to comment. biggrin.png

 

Though not every detail is known yet, there is solid evidence for evolution. Everything else regarding details about the existence of a soul and how it might behave is all guessing. That's why there are so many theories out there that nobody can agree upon - they all are, by necessity, just made up.

 

While the idea of reincarnation is fascinating, its proponents seem to have endless and contradictory theories of how it actually works. I studied the concept several years ago and found that, like Christianity, there were too many contradictions and unanswered questions. I may ask a question such as, "We now have 7 billion humans who are ostensibly in need of souls. Back when we had a million, or a billion, where were all these souls and what were they doing while waiting for more people to be born?" The apologist may provide any answer they wish, as there is no evidence for or against any such position. Perhaps the souls inhabited beings on other planets; maybe a soul isn't "born" until a human body is born. Maybe there is a finite number of souls, maybe not. Maybe animals and early Man have/had souls, maybe not. Each proposed answer poses a new set of problems. Another very basic question for me is, if you don't remember past lives, what value is it to "know" that your birthmark is there because of a sword wound when "you" were a Viking? One guess is as good or bad as another.

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After reading Old Souls by Tom Shroder, about reporter who followed Dr. Ian Stevenson around India interviewing children who claimed to remember past lives, I started thinking about this. Dr. Stevenson's theory views reincarnation as distinct, personal souls living life after life, with the exception of not remembering the previous lifetime. He believes the children he interviews have remembered for some unknown reason, maybe by some mistake? Working with this assumption, following Dr. Stevenson's view on reincarnation, I have a hard time working evolution into the mix.

The interesting thing about infinity, is that with the beginning of the universe, at the singularity, we shouldnt exist right now because it should take it an infinite amount of time to reach to point its at now, if its infeintesimal in size.

 

That's what I was trying to say. Somethin like that.

 

When infinity is claimed, either in size or history past, it means you should, in theory, be infinitely large or infinitely in the future all the time.

Or something.

 

Man, that stuff is crazy.

I try to stay out of this area, but the spirit led me to comment. biggrin.png

 

Though not every detail is known yet, there is solid evidence for evolution. Everything else regarding details about the existence of a soul and how it might behave is all guessing. That's why there are so many theories out there that nobody can agree upon - they all are, by necessity, just made up.

 

While the idea of reincarnation is fascinating, its proponents seem to have endless and contradictory theories of how it actually works. I studied the concept several years ago and found that, like Christianity, there were too many contradictions and unanswered questions. I may ask a question such as, "We now have 7 billion humans who are ostensibly in need of souls. Back when we had a million, or a billion, where were all these souls and what were they doing while waiting for more people to be born?" The apologist may provide any answer they wish, as there is no evidence for or against any such position. Perhaps the souls inhabited beings on other planets; maybe a soul isn't "born" until a human body is born. Maybe there is a finite number of souls, maybe not. Maybe animals and early Man have/had souls, maybe not. Each proposed answer poses a new set of problems. Another very basic question for me is, if you don't remember past lives, what value is it to "know" that your birthmark is there because of a sword wound when "you" were a Viking? One guess is as good or bad as another.

Referring to such speculative hypotheses as theories makes be cringe. If there is to be any hope of educating the general public about science, we must stop throwing that word around.

 

[TF steps down from soapbox]

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Some people say at the moment of the big bang, the 'mind' of the universe was born and we are part of that conciousness. We would have been born in that instant. If that were true, we may have been here forever as part of this 'mind'. Which means that we may have gone all through the stages of evolution. We may have been the ones who started to figure out that we could make tools or discover fire?? Maybe??

 

We then die, take a rest, come back again to make the brain bigger and better each time? Maybe?

 

I would love to believe this.

If I accept reincarnation at all it would have to follow something like what you wrote above. All of the stages of evolution would have to be present, be involved in some way. I would love to believe in the possibility of reincarnation. At the moment I have zero beliefs, but am very much open to exploring the possibilities.

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I've sometimes wondered whether or not plants and stars have a form of consciousness, especially considering intermediate life-forms like sea-squirts and snails that photosynthesize. I would like learn more about Gaia theory and the history of the Gaia hypothesis.

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I try to stay out of this area, but the spirit led me to comment. biggrin.png

 

Though not every detail is known yet, there is solid evidence for evolution. Everything else regarding details about the existence of a soul and how it might behave is all guessing. That's why there are so many theories out there that nobody can agree upon - they all are, by necessity, just made up.

 

While the idea of reincarnation is fascinating, its proponents seem to have endless and contradictory theories of how it actually works. I studied the concept several years ago and found that, like Christianity, there were too many contradictions and unanswered questions. I may ask a question such as, "We now have 7 billion humans who are ostensibly in need of souls. Back when we had a million, or a billion, where were all these souls and what were they doing while waiting for more people to be born?" The apologist may provide any answer they wish, as there is no evidence for or against any such position. Perhaps the souls inhabited beings on other planets; maybe a soul isn't "born" until a human body is born. Maybe there is a finite number of souls, maybe not. Maybe animals and early Man have/had souls, maybe not. Each proposed answer poses a new set of problems. Another very basic question for me is, if you don't remember past lives, what value is it to "know" that your birthmark is there because of a sword wound when "you" were a Viking? One guess is as good or bad as another.

 

Get ready for a thorough wrist slapping by Antler.

 

Lol ;)

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I try to stay out of this area, but the spirit led me to comment. biggrin.png

 

Though not every detail is known yet, there is solid evidence for evolution. Everything else regarding details about the existence of a soul and how it might behave is all guessing. That's why there are so many theories out there that nobody can agree upon - they all are, by necessity, just made up.

 

While the idea of reincarnation is fascinating, its proponents seem to have endless and contradictory theories of how it actually works. I studied the concept several years ago and found that, like Christianity, there were too many contradictions and unanswered questions. I may ask a question such as, "We now have 7 billion humans who are ostensibly in need of souls. Back when we had a million, or a billion, where were all these souls and what were they doing while waiting for more people to be born?" The apologist may provide any answer they wish, as there is no evidence for or against any such position. Perhaps the souls inhabited beings on other planets; maybe a soul isn't "born" until a human body is born. Maybe there is a finite number of souls, maybe not. Maybe animals and early Man have/had souls, maybe not. Each proposed answer poses a new set of problems. Another very basic question for me is, if you don't remember past lives, what value is it to "know" that your birthmark is there because of a sword wound when "you" were a Viking? One guess is as good or bad as another.

 

The part about the birthmarks doesn't make sense to me, either. (Sorry I quoted the whole post, I can't multiquote for some reason). I can handle the concept of a soul, I just don't understand how it would affect the physical body. This is a stretch even for me and I'm open to these things.

 

I understand everything you wrote. For whatever reason, I can't make a final declaration that there is definitely nothing beyond what we currently have evidence for. I might be on the road to Atheism, maybe not. I have rejected the big three religions. Right now I guess I'm in the process of reviewing other concepts. You're comments above were appreciated.

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I may ask a question such as, "We now have 7 billion humans who are ostensibly in need of souls. Back when we had a million, or a billion, where were all these souls and what were they doing while waiting for more people to be born?" The apologist may provide any answer they wish, as there is no evidence for or against any such position. Perhaps the souls inhabited beings on other planets; maybe a soul isn't "born" until a human body is born. Maybe there is a finite number of souls, maybe not. Maybe animals and early Man have/had souls, maybe not. Each proposed answer poses a new set of problems.

Let's consider the hypothesis that reincarnation functions like bubbles on the surface of a stream. Each bubble you see is unique from the other currently existing bubbles and all those that came before and that will come after, but the components that give rise to the bubbles (water molecules, air molecules, and the conditions for bubble formation) are shared among all bubbles. This means that any given bubble some where along the stream will contain molecules from any number of previous bubbles. The individual is unique but still connected through this process.

 

Now, since morality is key to many reincarnation beliefs, how does morality come into play in this model? Each generation as a whole influences and creates the conditions for the birth of future generations. We just make a simple, egoistic mistake of thinking that future birth is our own.

 

At least that is how it would seem to operate to me.

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I've sometimes wondered whether or not plants and stars have a form of consciousness, especially considering intermediate life-forms like sea-squirts and snails that photosynthesize. I would like learn more about Gaia theory and the history of the Gaia hypothesis.

I've wondered the same thing. This isn't exactly what you were talking about, but we just had a tree taken out of our yard and I've been crying about it for two days. Now I want to clarify that I don't think the tree was sentient, but there is a presence missing from the yard now. I feel a loss. Maybe I'm just too sensitive?

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