September 17, 2005

Past Lives

Does anyone out there believe in past lives?

I realize that this blog has been getting a wee bit on the spiritual side lately, but seriously, sometimes, I wonder if people get more than one go 'round on the spinning wheel of life. Sometimes I think that spending 90 years here and an eternity in Heaven is a big damn waste. Seems to me there's lots I could do if I had several sets of 90 years.

I wrote a poem once where the narrator believes she was once a blue heron. Sometimes I think that, too. I sometimes feel that I could fly once. I used to dream that I was flying through stars. Then I'd start falling once I realized that I was dreaming. That was the only re-occurring dream I've ever had. I also sometimes fantasize that the reason I am terrified of a certain thing that I will not mention here so that it can't come back to haunt me is that I was affected by that thing in a past life. (Those of you who know me know exactly what I'm talking about.)

I think I believe in past lives in the way that I believe in fairies. They aren't in the Bible, but damn, sometimes I really hope they're real.

Posted by LoWriter at September 17, 2005 10:18 PM

well, if you read Jonathan Strange and Dr. Norrell, you'll have a different take on fairies for sure!

Rhett, if you read this, tell lo your beautiful ideas about other lives lived! (it's good!)

i dont really know, and i dont honestly care if i've been something else, or if i will be something else. i have been told that i'm an "old soul" but that's about it.

Posted by: dr gonzo at September 19, 2005 10:35 AM

I've always been curious to know whether I'm an old or a young soul. Probably young, but I'd like to be old. :)

Yes, Rhett (if you read this) please tell your theories on other lives!

As far as fairies go, do you mean that I will like them more, believe in them more, like them less or believe in them less?

Posted by: Lo at September 19, 2005 12:45 PM

It always strikes me that everybody has been somebody important in a past life. That is what I find hilarious. When I was younger I used to think I had been a lion in a past life, not that I understood the concept of past lives. :-)

I have never been told I am an 'old soul' and I don't know that I am, of course my mother will say that '10lees was never a child'. But perhaps that has more to do with my childhood than past lives.

Posted by: 10lees at September 19, 2005 01:22 PM

Read the book, Lo!!! it's right up your alley anyway. fantasy and magic in a place & time that's definitely NOT here.

Posted by: dr gonzo at September 19, 2005 03:34 PM

I like to think that there are no past lives. The thought of doing this lifetime thing over and over again is just tiring. I'd rather assume this is it, and now i need to make the best of it.
And i agree with 10lees...everyone who believes in past lives seems to think they were someone important. You never hear anyone say "I was a child-support-avoiding drunk unemployed resident of Waterloo in my past life."
Besides, i do believe in a future life....just not one on earth.

Posted by: Mel at September 20, 2005 08:06 AM

Good points, Mel. I laughed out loud at the drunk child support avoiding, etc. :)

I guess I believe in a future life not on earth as well. I just wish both were real sometimes.

It's like this email forward I got the other day. "'You just want to have your cake and eat it, too.' Damn right, what good is cake if you can't eat it!" :)

Posted by: Lo at September 20, 2005 09:13 AM

see now, if i came back, i'd love to be a tree. i'm tired of this whole "human" thing, like Mel said.

if i had to guess, i'd say that, if i had one, in my last life, i got to be an old lady.

i think i would have been female in most of my lives.

sometimes i think i was once a child that had a tragic accident & died too young.

but then again, i have a LARGE imagination... :o)

Posted by: dr gonzo at September 20, 2005 10:50 AM

Dr G - or perhaps female or gay??? Have you considered that :-) Maybe you were King James, that would be a great title to have... haha...

I agree with Mel that it gets tiring to think about living over and over again. There is one person who supposedly 'went to heaven' and saw that we all choose our lives and went down on earth to live them. IE nobody is a victim because we all choose our fate. I am not sure how much of that I believe though - if you knew you were going to cause harm to someone else would you really choose it? (child molestor) and it explains the problem of evil away too easily, it's not that easy I don't think...

Posted by: 10lees at September 20, 2005 11:05 AM

gay? hmm. didnt consider that option...

and i dotn think you'd get to necessarily choose who you get to be. you get the choice of returning to earth, but that's it. the situation you end up in, and the choices you make on earth are not pre-determined. i'm a promoter of free-will, but i do love the idea of destiny. i'm so contradictorary. i like talking about all this cuz it feeds the imagination!

Posted by: dr gonzo at September 20, 2005 11:09 AM

I'm on the karma payment plan.

Posted by: lord palmerston at September 20, 2005 02:13 PM

3 good deeds a month? what if you only do 2? does Vishnu come out and nag you?

Posted by: dr gonzo at September 20, 2005 04:52 PM

I came as ice
I came as a whore
I came as advice
I came too short
I came as gold
I came as crap
I came clean
and I came as a rat

Posted by: lord palmerston at September 20, 2005 07:17 PM

With Vishnu's arms I think her nagging would be a scary sight indeed... megs did you ever read The Death of Vishnu? I would think with your interest in eastern religions that you would find it interesting, I sure did.

Posted by: 10lees at September 21, 2005 10:37 AM

I think I tried to read that book and gave up. Or is that one I actually did end up finishing? Wait, that's the one with that guy who's dying in the stairwell, right? This is why I keep a list now of all the books I finish.

I agree with you, Dr. G. This is good for the imagination. Believe, disbelieve--just dream.

I can imagine that Vishnu's nagging would be very frightening indeed.

Posted by: Lo at September 21, 2005 11:12 AM

heh heh... i did read a bunch of stuff about Hindu diety in college, but i've forgotten most of it. i should pull out those books again.

Posted by: dr gonzo at September 21, 2005 12:44 PM

I'm pretty sure those books are at my house. Unless I gave them back?

Posted by: Lo at September 21, 2005 02:24 PM

I have my copy of the Death of Vishnu if that is what you are talking about. And yes that is the one with the guy dying in the stairwell in the apartment building.

Posted by: 10lees at September 21, 2005 04:37 PM

sorry to catch up to this conversation so late. I've been wrestling with chemistry and biology (with just a pinch of calc for flavor). In any case, I think Dr. G and I were discussing heaven at some point and I was thinking that eternal ecstatic bliss didn't seem very plausible to me without some sort of context (I know, I know, context is a limitation of this human perception, just stick with me). It seems that as a concious perceptive entity, I would desire a large degree of personal experience to gain wisdom and insight about myself and the other entities I could come in contact with. For all of it's ecstatic sensation an existance is incoherant bliss could not provide that.

I believed I used the metaphor of a cocktail party. In the afterlife, you're at a cocktail party and everyone is talking about everything they've experienced in the mortal coil. Entity A was a rich and powerful wall street broker while Entity B was a single mother raising five children. While we on the mortal coil might attach more value to one entity or another, at this hypothtical cocktail party each entity would have unique experiences and stories that the other could not understand with the same degree of visceral experience. Thus, I would think Entity A might be very interested to learn about the sacrifice necessary to lead the life of entity B wheras entity B might be very interested to learn about the ruthless competition in the life of Entity A, both are perfectly valid expriences which can easily be said to help them each gain wisdom.

An ancillary idea of this theory is that meek lives would be less productive than adventerous ones. I should note that I take pride in my adventersome lifestyle, so there's little wonder that I built this particular mode of thought. In any case, a bold, lifestyle where someone seeks out and attempts new experiences would probably have more stories to tell at the cocktail party than the entity who didn't (though the entity who didn't might have gained great insight into personal exploration and understanding which might not make such a great party story but which would still be valuable...whose to say).

Another interesting aspect of this theory is that it doesn't require sentience in the mortal creature to be valuable. Could you imagine the sensation of existence in a bee ive with literally thousands of your brothers all working alongside you? Or perhaps the experience of sunrise as a dandelionor emerging from a crysalis as a butterfly. Well, you get the idea. quality and quantity of experience of life on our planet is incredibly large and I find the possibility of this experience being shared by the same entities very comforting.

Oh, and I'm with Dr. G in terms of Strange and Norrell. A very fun read. I finished it the other day and I'm rather sorry it's over.

Posted by: rhett at September 21, 2005 05:16 PM

Interesting. If it is a cocktail party, I'm going to have to find the literary crowd. :)

Posted by: Lo at September 23, 2005 11:15 AM

ahhh, but that's the best part - you can join up with any group. i'm sure that literary crowd could get boring after a while. :o)

Posted by: dr gonzo at September 24, 2005 11:11 AM