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AdamH
10-11-2009, 05:18 AM
Hey all,

I'm curious about if anyone could point me in the right direction concerning this:

What are the views of reincarnation in all comparative religions (if there are any views)? So Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist...ect...
I have a basic handle on some of them but others I don't. And I can't guarantee what I have a "basic handle" on is 100% accurate...so lets start from the beginning.

Second: Is there any proof that reincarnation exists outside those who experience past life regression?

I guess those are good enough starting points. Yes...I realize the first question could be HUGE but just a snapshot description to start me off would be fine.

Or better yet...are any of you out there religion experts I can pose questions to?

Thanks a bunch!

CACTUSWENDY
10-11-2009, 06:07 AM
I'm sure someone can point you to the thread....there was just this done in detail already with in the last couple of weeks.

Mods....could you help him find it?

Rowan
10-11-2009, 06:16 AM
I'm sure someone can point you to the thread....there was just this done in detail already with in the last couple of weeks.

Mods....could you help him find it?

I remember seeing that too! :)
was this it:
http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=140827&highlight=reincarnation

or:

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=151420&highlight=reincarnation

ideagirl
10-12-2009, 03:05 AM
Second: Is there any proof that reincarnation exists outside those who experience past life regression?


I'm not going to say "proof"--it's a ridiculous word to use when discussing metaphysics--but EVIDENCE, yes. Dr. Ian Stevenson researched it for decades (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_Stevenson) and if you want one single book to read that gives you a thorough picture of his work AND is a really good read, check out Old Souls: Compelling Evidence from Children Who Remember Past Lives, by Thomas Shroder.

Also check out the work of Dr. Jim Tucker at the U of Virginia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Tucker).

DrZoidberg
10-12-2009, 02:52 PM
Hey all,

I'm curious about if anyone could point me in the right direction concerning this:

What are the views of reincarnation in all comparative religions (if there are any views)? So Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist...ect...
I have a basic handle on some of them but others I don't. And I can't guarantee what I have a "basic handle" on is 100% accurate...so lets start from the beginning.

Second: Is there any proof that reincarnation exists outside those who experience past life regression?

I guess those are good enough starting points. Yes...I realize the first question could be HUGE but just a snapshot description to start me off would be fine.

Or better yet...are any of you out there religion experts I can pose questions to?

Thanks a bunch!

You might get better answers if you tell us in what way you'll be using the information. In your story, who is talking about reincarnation, why and when? It's a massive field, highly subjective and very context sensitive.

AdamH
10-12-2009, 04:09 PM
Thank you for your help!

Especially with those links...they are enormous help!

Dr. Zoidberg (awesome name by the way!): Generally speaking, the MC is discovering about reincarnation first hand as he passes from life to life as he tried to figure out the purpose of it. The story is much deeper than that (a bit of action, a lot of mystery, and a smattering of love) but for the purposes of this question, those plot points aren't as important to know about. So I would like to have as many arguments as I can put in there without it seeming "infodump-y". Mostly the scientific and religious POVs. But the links are perfect!

Thanks again!

DrZoidberg
10-12-2009, 04:37 PM
Thank you for your help!

Especially with those links...they are enormous help!

Dr. Zoidberg (awesome name by the way!): Generally speaking, the MC is discovering about reincarnation first hand as he passes from life to life as he tried to figure out the purpose of it. The story is much deeper than that (a bit of action, a lot of mystery, and a smattering of love) but for the purposes of this question, those plot points aren't as important to know about. So I would like to have as many arguments as I can put in there without it seeming "infodump-y". Mostly the scientific and religious POVs. But the links are perfect!

Thanks again!

Has it got a modern setting? If so you could use any cooky theory. Is it a comedy, is it serious? For comic effect you could go with the whackier of the theories. There's tonnes of them. Just google and just go for whatever makes you giggle the most. The ones who try to defend it using scientific terminology, are in my opinion always the craziest/funniest (ie pseudo-science).

For the serious ones, I'd go for Buddhism or Hinduism. Buddhism.com... it's very easy to find good material on it. You could find a Buddhist monk and ask them. Go to your local Hare Krishna centre. Tape the interview, use it in the story by having your character do the interview! I'm not aware of any western tradition of belief in reincarnation. I think they're all derivative of eastern theories. But just because I haven't heard of them, doesn't mean they don't exist!

There is no modern scientific theory on reincarnation. Anybody who says there is probably isn't that well versed in science.

For historical settings you can find "scientific" theories on reincarnation. I've come across several. The rules of what was considered good science has historically been quite permissive. More so the further back you go. Most theologians of note in history have said things about reincarnation, arguing for it or dismissing it, using clever logic.

Rufus Coppertop
10-12-2009, 05:02 PM
It's a gigantic field. There are differences between the Hindu and the Buddhist take on the subject. As far as I know, Hindus believe that once you've started incarnating as a human, you can't reincarnate as an animal. Buddhists believe that if you augment your ignorance in any way you will indeed transmigrate to the animal realm because the main psychic poison that defines the animal realm is ignorance.

Too much hate will condition your mind-stream to the hell realms. In effect, a mind full of hate is a kind of hell realm unto itself anyway, even though the mind might currently reside in a human body. Once the causes and conditions of your human rebirth are spent, you will transmigrate to a hell realm and remain there until all of your "hell realm karma" is spent.

In Buddhist belief, you can even transmigrate to the god realm - if your karma is good enough, but it's a dangerous thing to do because generally speaking, the gods consume merit but don't create any. Their lives are so fabulously god-like that they don't experience suffering, therefore they do not learn empathy in that life and so they don't engage in compassionate activity that would generate even more merit. When the positive karma that enabled them to incarnate as gods is all spent, then, any negative karma carried over from other lives in an even more distant past that they haven't purified, will cause them to fall to a hell realm and then, they have to work their way up again, through the hungry ghost and animal realms until they become human again.

Karma, in Buddhist thought can be defined as "volitional momentum". It is not administered by any external agency. There is no God who judges you and sends you here or there. There are no case managers who call you in for a meeting and discuss your good and bad points and offer you a nice, therapeutic incarnation which will not involve too much suffering but will enable you to purify the karma you need to purify. Your karma is a kind of momentum built up by the accumulation of activities of body, speech and mind.

Think of a starship travelling through space. To the left is a black hole. To the right is a wormhole that will take you to the Alpha Quadrant.

Negative karma creates a leftward tending trajectory. Positive karma creates a rightward tending trajectory. Using this metaphor, you will see that a God, or cosmic judge is not needed to swat the ship into the black hole. Whether the ship falls in or not, depends on the course it was already travelling in, combined with whatever capacity it has to manouevre at the time.

Another element of Buddhist belief regarding transmigration, at least in the Vajrayana schools is that when you are in the state between death and rebirth, various Buddhas and Boddhisattvas will in fact manifest to you in the between state and invite you to liberation. The problem is, if you don't have the karma to recognize them, you will be unable to take up the offer.

Lights will appear at various stages. Each time, there will be a light which is hard and bright and intimidating because you feel that you can't hide anything about yourself. It exposes too much. Another light will appear which is soft and smoky and much more comfortable. Do not go into the light which is soft and smoky and much more comfortable. Go into the light which is hard, bright and intimidating. The soft, smoky lights are a kind of trap, not set by any evil agency trying to recruit souls for its cute little hell project, they arise in response to your karma.

Basically, the cosmos doesn't care where you go. It merely automatically provides the opportunities that accord with your karma. Opportunities for bliss, for learning or for torment and it all happens automatically according to natural law.

This is not the last word on Buddhist belief regarding transmigration and karma, this is merely my own limited understanding. I am the worst Buddhist I know, so take what I write with at least a heaped tablespoon of good quality salt.