We’ll Live and We’ll Die and We’re Born Again: Analyzing Issues of Religion, Soul, Reincarnation and The Search for True Spirituality (Part 3 of 3)

Intro:

In part 1, we looked at the reincarnation research of Dr. Ian Stevenson. In part 2, I advocated for the view of panpsychism—that consciousness is both fundamental and universal, behind all matter.

In this final part, we radically shift our epistemology—our way of knowing—from quantum mechanics to the “deep reaching inward” of regressive hypnosis, which I believe is equally valid. We review the findings of pioneers in this field, while later obtaining feedback from those I’ve talked to personally who have been regressed to another life. We spend less time talking about a universal consciousness and more on a subjective consciousness—the soul.

I regard the soul as fundamental consciousness that is fragmented from the Source into a self-aware subject, independent of matter, and has an option to incarnate physically. The soul is the transcendent observer behind every pair of eyes, and is at some level, at one with the whole of the universe.

Although the panpsychist view still holds—there is a form of consciousness behind every atom—the soul is greater than the sum of bodily constituents. When the body dies, the organized atomic consciousness still remains, but there is a greater part of us that leaves our eyes.

Now excuse me while I take off these damn glasses, because here comes the fun (and final) part!

To Bring Without

“So it seems as though this part of us that is living a life on Earth is only a small piece or splinter of a much larger us. That we are many rather than one, or rather pieces of a more complex whole. We are only able to focus on the splinter we perceive as our totality. That is a good thing, because if we were aware of the complexity of it we would not be able to function in this world or reality.

“We are only able to see the facade that masks a much larger picture. Only now are we being allowed to peek behind the veil.”

-Dolores Cannon, pioneer in past life regression, The Convoluted Universe (2001)

A common criticism of reincarnation is that, at least anecdotally, there are many people who claim to have been rich and famous in their past lives—even royalty! Whether or not said jokingly, these boastful claims damage the validity of the field, and can make the whole idea of past lives seem silly and absurd. This is exactly what PhD psychologist and hypnotherapist Helen Wambach believed, who beginning in the mid-1960s set out on a decade-long journey to finally debunk the foolish notion of reincarnation altogether.

The study did not go according to plan, however, as she was soon forced to challenge her preconceived beliefs. While under deep trance, all 1088 Californian subjects successfully regressed to former lives, experiencing them as if they were in an immersive movie, often with extreme emotion. They heard ancient languages, wore foreign clothing, and ate exotic food, confidently responding to the specific questions of Wambach when asked. In all but 11 cases (1%), the hypnotherapist found the detailed descriptions of historical settings to be entirely accurate, verified by obscure experts.

A converted skeptic, Dr. Wambach published Reliving Past Lives: The Evidence Under Hypnosis in 1978, containing comprehensive reports of the groundbreaking research. Taken as a whole, her results were stunning:

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Angels

When you were born
Tiny and premature
I was smiling from above
Lending you my warmth and light

Waiting patiently
For your little heart to grow.

When you were younger
And almost drowned in the sea
I was blowing out a gentle wind
Washing you to shore

Giving you air
As it filled through your lungs.

When you grew older
And had too much to drink
I was whispering to friends
Who wouldn’t let you choke

Making sure your breath was firm
Your heart remained steady.

And as a young man
When you felt so lost
I was fueling a higher wind
That would spark your soul

Sending signs from above
That everything was going to be alright.

For in your darkest moments
When you feel that
This world is not for you
I’ve brought you light
I’ve found you love

Because I too love you
Though you do not yet know it.
And I do know you
Better than you know yourself.

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We’ll Live and We’ll Die and We’re Born Again: Analyzing Issues of Religion, Soul, Reincarnation and The Search for True Spirituality (Part 2 of 3)

This is part 2 on this piece on spirituality. In part 1, I primarily analyzed the research into childhood past life memory, as pioneered by Dr. Ian Stevenson and carried on by those such as Dr. Jim Tucker.

This section marks a discourse largely into quantum physics, proposing the need for a major paradigm shift merging science and spirituality, hence establishing a rational basis for phenomena such as reincarnation. Arguing that spirituality essentially is scientific, I denounce the obstructing remains of materialism and religious skepticism, while filling to the brim quotes from some of the greatest thinkers of our time.

My ultimate thesis posits a universal consciousness, which one may call “God,” that possesses creative primacy over the realm of matter. From this perspective, our individualized minds are fundamentally entwined with the very essence of the universe, and as a logical consequence, almost certainly survive death.

I only offer a perspective; I am not branding this as “truth.” You are on your own journey, and can decide for yourself what that is. Critical minds are encouraged.

A Discourse on Skepticism, Consciousness, Quantum Mechanics & The Scientific God

“Quantum physics indicates that our physical world may grow out of our consciousness. That’s a view held not just by me, but by a number of physicists as well . . . what I tried to do is show how people arrive at conclusions, as Max Planck, the founder of quantum theory, did when he said that he recorded consciousness as fundamental and that physical matter was derived from it.

“. . . And eventually it appears that on the quantum level, the smallest and most basic level of the universe, that events only occur once their results are observed. So before observation, there are only potentials. . . . this leads to an idea that, again, the consciousness is what is fundamental in reality and that the physical universe simply grows out of that.

“Well, if that is the case then we would not expect an individual consciousness to end when a physical brain dies. And our cases, of course, provide evidence that in fact consciousness does not end and that it continues on.”

-Dr. Jim Tucker, Skeptico, “Dr. Jim Tucker Compiles Largest Database of Past-Life Memories”

As University of Virginia psychiatrist and past life researcher Jim Tucker tells Skeptico, there are several quantum physicists—including some of its most preeminent pioneers—who have regarded reality as being a co-creative generation of an underlying mind. And if this were the case, then the idea that consciousness transcends death of the physical body would not only be compatible with scientific theory, it would be expected of it.

In support of Tucker’s claims, a “delayed choice thought experiment”—first proposed by idealist physicist John Wheeler—has recently been performed at the Australian National University, confirming that “at the quantum level, reality does not ‘exist’ if you are not looking at it,” in the words of ANU Professor Andrew Truscott. Certainly, this suggests an independent importance of the mind of a subjective observer.

In fact, only once atoms are observed at the end of their journey do they make a “choice” between quantum states, dictating which path they take in the past! Until then, reality is merely an abstraction—a suspended state of uncertainty. But there is no logic in simply leaving this craziness alone in the “quantum world” without questioning the implications for consciousness on a greater scale.

That is: Who is the observer behind these eyes? Is there a transcendent mind? An unseen soul? And can this energetic awareness of self indeed survive death of the body, and flow into other forms?

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The Cycle

I don’t get people.

How they hang around, wasting their lives,
Shunning themselves, chasing after precious lies,
Yet they are content
Not bothering to ask why,
Just killing time till their certain demise.

Do people actually think this way?
Can they not notice? It boggles my mind.
Or are they simply faking it?
To fake live?
And fake smile?

Yet maybe this is truth
And it’s just me, a screw loose.
Perhaps I am weird, foolish, depressed,
Caught up in myself, a squandered gem,
A cause lost in lines and tales divine, drowned
Within waves of sacred illusion
And never to be found.

I still don’t get how people are not depressed.

As I don’t know why they cannot embrace
Or kiss or stare, or breathe freely
With nature’s air, through each other’s lungs,
If only for love,
Or to not feel so lonely, in a lonesome world
Of subjugation and strange
Separation.
For contact is beautiful, and we are utterly repulsed
By beauty unfiltered—all virgins to it,
All ugly without it.

And I don’t get the people so cruel
To those others, when they gaze into their eyes.
Can they not see? Are they not spellbound?
The light that shines within, and the music that plays without,
Our being lies infinitely deeper, and the light never goes out,
For the melody too lives on in harmonious vibration, finely tuned
To the miracles of life, hidden in plain view.
We play every string—an unending croon,
A symphony forgotten.

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We’ll Live and We’ll Die and We’re Born Again: Analyzing Issues of Religion, Soul, Reincarnation and The Search for True Spirituality (Part 1 of 3)

“Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality.”

-Carl Sagan, acclaimed astrophysicist & father of modern skepticism, The Demon Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark (1995)

A Question I’ve Long Pondered:

Why am I born who I am?

Come on, it’s not like I don’t know how babies are made, but I’m asking this from a deeper level—why am I born as a male human being, in this country, to these parents? Why not in Zimbabwe, or Syria, or even North Korea? Why not an elephant for that matter, a soaring blue jay, or an advanced alien race, at the other end of the Milky Way?

Who is the “I” in this case I treasure so deeply? Because to me, this identity has to be something more than simply the symbols that my parents assigned since arriving to this world.

In other words: why am I me and why are you you? 

And why are we both alive right now, as intelligent beings on a beautiful planet among billions of others in this galaxy?

earth
Who decides?

Unfortunately, we as a humanity are at the mercy of a paradoxical existence: As much as we come to know our bodies, identifying with it as we are told, we can never shift outside of ourselves, and look directly into our soul. As such, it wasn’t long before I was made to forget this question that others would consider so strange, knowing simply:

“My name is Mark. This is me! I come from a Roman Catholic family. And I am only seven years old.”

Oh but I hated Sunday school! And that’s putting it lightly. My twin and I would devise all sorts of ways to escape this religious instruction, and it is no wonder I was not prepared in the least for my first communion . . .

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Sex.

Somewhere in the world, there is a young girl
Poring over magazines, and hollow celebrities,
With a father, standing over shoulder,
Fearing (knowing) how men will meet her gaze
While growing older, into an object of culture
Captivated by perky breasts
And rock-hard phalluses,
Fueled by masculinity.

There is a young man, corrupted by pornography,
Ten thousand years of evolution—
Internet, radio, bringing the world together—
Only to bask in barbaric root:
The fleshly skin, the soaking genitals,
The moaning and screaming and heavy breathing (but no kissing),
The fake tits, and the oh so big, throbbing dicks;
He sleeps well, fooling his body
Into firm serenity.

And there are those who claim that money runs this world—
Greed, Fear, Power, Technology—
But no, it is only
Sex.

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For Life is But a Dream: Exploring Ideas of Lucid Dreaming, Astral Projection, Synchronicity, and the Essential Validity of Non-Physical Reality

“I went to Africa. You can go to Africa. You may have trouble arranging the time or the money, but everybody has trouble arranging something. I believe you can travel anywhere if you want to badly enough.

“And I believe the same is true of inner travel. You don’t have to take my word about chakras or healing energy or auras. You can find about them for yourself if you want to. Don’t take my word for it. Be as skeptical as you like.

“Find out for yourself.”

-Michael Crichton, Travels (1988)

It was the Summer of Inception-Mania:

Ke$ha was in the charts. Oil was in the ocean. Cleveland just lost half its economy. And the characters of Lost finally found themselves. But it was Christopher Nolan’s mind-bending film that captivated the nation, and if only for a short while, granted us a break from reality, thrown through a realm where the laws of physics don’t apply.

With a smart premise and a sexy cast, the movie was a hit, and the main question on everybody’s mind was if that little totem thing was still spinning at the end: Was it all a dream within a dream within a dream?!

Or, going further . . .

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