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Moonsmith

The end or is it?

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Moonsmith

A thought arising from the death and rebirth thread.

Some of us have faith in some form of awareness after what we commonly know as death.

It is probably as difficult to describe as is spirituality or magic but I have always wondered.

If your afterlife is some sort of next step: a heaven, summerlands, Valhalla, Helgafjel etc etc how do you envisage your "life" there?  Shall you be aware of you?  What form might that awareness take?  I struggled with this one while a practicing Christian.

If your belief is in reincarnation, what awareness is transferred between incarnations.  The Druidic concept of the transmigration of souls seemed to indicate that reincarnated individuals might be sufficiently recognisable that debts could be repaid.  On the other hand I have absolutely no recollection of a previous awareness.  If I have had a previous awareness hasn't that been annihilated?

As for Nirvana, if I am part of the illusion then me and my individual awareness are annihilated in merging with the single eternal.  Aren't they?

Note that throughout I have used the term "awareness" rather than "spirit", "soul" or "consciousness".  I am interested in what I might come to understand regardless of what form I may take?

The closer I get to the cessation of my current awareness the less important all this seems  but then I have no expectation of any awareness when my atoms are redistributed.

Please;  I do not wish to challenge anyone's faith.  Ultimately whatever happens at the end of life: happens.  Maybe I shall have to revise my view in light of some new awareness.

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DavidMcCann

Belief in an afterlife seems universal, save in individuals who have practiced or been exposed to bad metaphysics: there's never been a society where lack of such a belief is normal. This belief is naturally based on evidence:

Carl B. Becker. Paranormal experience and survival of death. SUNY, 1993.

There is evidence for both reincarnation and a non-material survival. That seems natural: why should we assume that everyone gets the same afterlife?

An interesting case is the anthropologist Wendi Wilkerson She was introduced to ancestors her family had never heard of by the spirit of a great-aunt, and their existence was later confirmed by her mother, who joined ancestry.com to trace them.

W. D. Wilkerson. Walking with the gods: modern people talk about deities, faith, and recreating ancient traditions. Connaissance Sankofa, 2014.

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Moonsmith
1 hour ago, DavidMcCann said:

There is evidence for both reincarnation and a non-material survival.

We have different definitions of "evidence."

1 hour ago, DavidMcCann said:

Why should we assume that everyone gets the same afterlife? 

..... because as far as we know, everyone gets the same sort of "life".

save in individuals who have practiced or been exposed to bad meta

physics

Hardly.  I'm not atheist but are atheists denied good metaphysics?

Edited by Moonsmith
to add
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Earthdragon
8 hours ago, Moonsmith said:

The Druidic concept of the transmigration of souls seemed to indicate that reincarnated individuals might be sufficiently recognisable that debts could be repaid

In the traditional view that I take, debts may be repaid in the Otherworld where the soul is recognisable by those who have crossed to that shore. Once reborn in this realm one is not automatically recognisable.

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Moonsmith
7 hours ago, Earthdragon said:

In the traditional view that I take, debts may be repaid in the Otherworld where the soul is recognisable by those who have crossed to that shore. Once reborn in this realm one is not automatically recognisable.

Indeed ED, I am familiar with this view and am in no way contradicting you.  My comment arises from:

Quote

Valerius Maximus c35 CE  2.6.10 Trans P Freeman

Having completed my discussion of the town [Massalia] an old custom of the Gauls should be mentioned:  they lend money repayable in the next world, so firm is their belief in the immortality of the spirit.  I would say that they are fools except what these trouser-wearers believe is the same as the doctrine of the toga wearing Pythagoras.

I can take at least two impressions from Valerius.  Either it is indicating something concrete in the "Otherworld" in that cash exists and presumably is useful there or chasing the thought of Pythagoras, the debt was repayable in a sequential incarnation.

Of course the writer is a historian commenting on what he has been told.  He could well have got it wrong.

In any case ED we are not disagreeing.  This quotation may well not speak to your beliefs around reincarnation.

Edited by Moonsmith
to bugger about with quote commands and to fail.
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Earthdragon

Hi Moonsmith,

I am confused  by your comments as the quote you give matches my understanding of the tradition I follow and also my description of it above.

Please note the I am not saying that I "believe it" , these types of "beliefs" have limited mileage in my own personal view. It's rather, for me, a concept that is open to interpretation...

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Moonsmith

Afterlife is irrelevant to me but I am interested in how those who believe in it or who anticipate it, think that they might experience it - of what might they be aware?

Are you saying that it is conceivable that cash transactions be possible in an Otherworld, that financial obligation persists?

or

That in a subsequent incarnation a debtor might seek out and recognise their creditor?

or

Is the whole thing more nebulous/mysterious than that?  In which case what do you think that the reincarnated individual experiences; of what might they be aware?

I can read the mechanics of what Valerius is saying but it carries many implications that I do not understand - yet.

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Moonsmith

I ran out of editing time.  My edit included -  "Thank you ED for responding as you have" and I struck through:

28 minutes ago, Moonsmith said:

believe in it or who anticipate it,

for your benefit.

If others wish to speak to belief then go ahead.

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Earthdragon
5 hours ago, Moonsmith said:

Are you saying that it is conceivable that cash transactions be possible in an Otherworld, that financial obligation persists?

If that facet of the relationship between two individuals who go to the Otherworld is important to them both then conceivably yes, though who knows how that debt might be fulfilled in actuality - etheric energy in lieu of hard cash perchance? 😉

6 hours ago, Moonsmith said:

That in a subsequent incarnation a debtor might seek out and recognise their creditor?

No as I mentioned before one isn't ordinarily recognisable in one's subsequent incarnations.

 

6 hours ago, Moonsmith said:

 

Is the whole thing more nebulous/mysterious than that?  In which case what do you think that the reincarnated individual experiences; of what might they be aware?

I honestly don't think anyone really knows what happens. It most certainly is mysterious. FWIW I think it could be that as in magic, consciousness and intention creates it's own outcomes which are dependant on the relarionships (internal and external) and methods, and therefore levels of being, one has cultivated.

Not quite sure what you asking regarding what the reincarnated individual might be aware of . If in the Otherworld then  I honestly don't know, once back (by choice) to this realm then aware of all the things you and I are aware of but again , as above, that depends on one's consciousness, intention and the qualities of one's attention.

I say that I don't go into the belief of these as being true. Belief in that way seems in the similar the Mormonic desire to have hope through faith. I work with contemplation , meditation, visualisation of how the realities of the Otherworld and imperishable soul can play out and go with the experiences that emerge from that. One could very well say that I therefore obviously believe in the Otherworld and reincarnation. It doesn't feel like that to me though 😀

I get most meaningful experience resulting from said meditations etc whilst my rational self acknowledges the mystery.

 

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Earthdragon
On 2/28/2019 at 5:09 PM, DavidMcCann said:

There is evidence for both reincarnation and a non-material survival.

The evidence that at least something unseen goes on , as you point out, is there and is huge.

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Ellinas

Do I believe that there is an afterlife?

No.  I just believe that life does not cease.  It's the same life, and is not "after" at all.

Do I have any basis for that belief?  I think so, though others might disagree.  It stems from the same basis that leads me to conclude that consciousness cannot be explained satisfactorily by reference to purely mechanistic processes.  I do not believe that consciousness is created by the brain, merely that the brain is an interface.  Hence, I have no reason to consider that life is bounded by brain death.

Do I have any idea what the continuation of life will be like?  No.  Nor am I sure that we have anything like a complete idea of what it is like in the here and now.

Do I think there is evidence for that continuation?  The definition of evidence is, itself, a movable feast.  I consider that there would be sufficient indications to warrant study - save that I cannot readily conceive of a workable methodology to measure the (at least currently) immeasurable.

Do I regard reincarnation as a reality?  I tend to think of it as an option rather than inevitable.  Then again, Jonathan Livingston seems to have thought that he would fly between physical worlds - even at will, eventually.  Not my approach, but who says the seagull doesn't know better...?

Is any of this a matter of faith?  These days, I tend to find there are nuggets of sense in the ravings of Aleister Crowley.   To quote again from the Book of Lies: "I slept with Faith, and found a corpse in my arms on awaking.  I danced and drank all night with Doubt, and found her a virgin in the morning".

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Veggie dancer

I don't think my awareness will continue in any recognisable way but everything that is me will become something new. 

But whether or not we continue after death it is something that we can't actually know until we actually experience it so I don't waste time thinking about it one way or the other, being as I KNOW I'm alive now. Here I am in this wonderful world now. I just want to make the most of the life I KNOW I have. This one. 

 

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DavidMcCann
On 28 February 2019 at 6:05 PM, Moonsmith said:

We have different definitions of "evidence."

..... because as far as we know, everyone gets the same sort of "life".

Hardly.  I'm not atheist but are atheists denied good metaphysics?

If you have some special definition of evidence, perhaps you'd care to share?

We all get the same "afterlife" because we all get the same "life"? That's a complete non sequitur: you might as well say that we're all conceived in the same way, so we'll all die in the same way.

Are atheists denied good metaphysics? Not necessarily, but anyone illogical enough to accept the arguments for atheism is hardly likely to show much judgement.

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Ellinas

Logic is a tool.  It is pressed into service according to the worldview of the person using it, by and large.

Logic tells me that there is more than the purely physical.  It tells others the precise opposite.

It also tells me that there are likely more ways of seeing the cosmos than either the theist or atheist has conceived.  Who knows, maybe one of those ways might actually be correct - if only someone could think of it and persuade others to accept it.

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Moonsmith

Hello David,

Once again please be reassured that in describing my explanation for the workings of my universe I am in no way belittling your own explanation of yours.  Discussion shall be difficult because we each speak from different paradigm.

Evidence:  The scientific world has a trite trot out which is however useful:

"Evidence is not the plural of anecdote."

This is true [in my view] regardless of the number of anecdotes.  The entire Christian congregation in all its forms, all asserting their experience of the Christian message combined with my own considerable experience from within that congregation does not persuade me of its usefulness nor its veracity.  It is simply one hell of a lot of anecdotes. 

I have read only three books on reincarnation but can only find multiple anecdotes.

I have never read credible report of, nor met, a returnee from an afterlife.  Were I to receive such an accredited  report from credible witnesses then I would most certainly give it my attention.  [I am currently very interested in reality]. Until then I am only able to see afterlife as a construct of imagination.

I have never experienced general relativity but I have received explanation from sources that I deem credible.  I do not know that general relativity is an accurate description of a universal function.  It is my belief that it is so.  Those who explain it to me are able to show that it provides a satisfactory explanation of a range of space-time phenomena.  Further, those who explain it to me have made predictions based upon it which have since been discovered.  General relativity is for me a belief but it is based on what I deem to be evidence.  Paradoxically, the scientific community does not claim general relativity to be the truth; it is simply the least wrong explanation based upon the evidence currently available.

Ellinas has dealt with atheists and logic as have  Satre, Marx, Mill, Nietzsche and many many others.

 

18 hours ago, DavidMcCann said:

you might as well say that we're all conceived in the same way, so we'll all die in the same way.

Aren't we?  Don't we?  I am not aware of any variation in this sequence.

All the above is a personal description of my own experience, no one else's.

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Dualitys Manager

My mind is as a messed up computer drive today......ye there are still parts that tend to more easily be Reached out for, Grabbed, Pulled in...Life after Death, Moonsmith? "Data does not match with realities. Danger, Will Robinson. Danger."  I of course rephrased the first sentence.........TV's and and big screen's "Lost In Space"..1960s 70s? Yet, appropriate today too, huh. LOL...how much this messed up human's brain thing wishes to argue all sides of that one question, non stop, typing and typing.....and yet, would it compute with.............science, even one single zero or one switch? 

.

Does it need argument, though, would actually be a more fair question to answer for me.......and far less typing than the encyclopedic manuscript for a 24 hour long move feature?

.

Are ALL not Just simple universal trash dust and particals, made of only bumping and bouncing microscopic atoms and all that scientifically termed trash that causes PURE ENERGY..........does not even science state Energy Cannot Be MURDERED OFF..........well, maybe They use words like........poof and it is no more?.

And IF it cannot be destroyed, just maybe.................rerouted, or Modified into Other Forms...........and since Energy Formatted US, somehow, and not Just one or two, but since our one world began to grow us, or we were transferred here......................should Not Energy then Hold A Memory of what IT IS.....what, who, why, past, present, future of US AND (most, not all.....far more than half are simple....................troglibytes and pond scum that bothers us in next realms too LOL) WE Are To BECOME? ...so some few of us REACH for more than...........................simplistic Knowledge found by Leaders.........which is not always so simplistic, though is too often limited in my world

.

Humans like me is weird.............glad thee are many of us to make something so complicatedly uncomplicated that we may ALL be correct at the same exact moment?

.

Me? Where am I going when this body wanders away from this ........ .................. electrical SPIRIT???

. Myself and another Form are Holding a foot race for one specific cause......and in the meantime I will also be moide.................phrases..............making certain that certain TRASH is and was removed from, and to................let me say, VOIDS....................I'll Personally Greet SHE, my Ancestors whom also STOOD.....my Son........my Family.....my Friends............my Guides.............and possible Einstein? 

.

I'll Traverse Dimensionals, Tramps along Paths unto The Abyss to again say hello to................etc..................what I do not believe any shall EVER do....is to Know The Source LOL

.

easy huh 😉 Love your quest Moonsmith.........and the replies above as well

.

AHO

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Moonsmith
On 3/20/2019 at 2:28 AM, Dualitys Manager said:

Does it need argument, though..........

Nope.  Whatever happens when you die just happens.  Debate won't alter it nor shall it convince a believer who thinks differently from another believer.

I could be wrong and if I am you shall be able to laugh at me.

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Freydis
On 3/21/2019 at 2:45 AM, Moonsmith said:

Nope.  Whatever happens when you die just happens.  Debate won't alter it nor shall it convince a believer who thinks differently from another believer.

I could be wrong and if I am you shall be able to laugh at me.

This.  I don't know is my honest answer.  I've yet to come across anything that I would consider firm evidence for either survival after death or reincarnation.  Until I do I suspend belief.

Like Veggie Dancer, I don't spend much time thinking about it.  Life is now.  I want to spend time experiencing it to the full, not wondering/worrying about what happens next. 

One thing's for sure, we'll all find out eventually.  

 

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Pearlbrook

Forgive me if I revive this, and also if my approach is not strictly able to answer the original question.

Obviously this is all my own opinion, and to be honest I am completely torn.

The really hard-nosed logical part of me says that when we die, that's it. While absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence, I have yet to meet somebody with experience of departed that I would consider credible. The only people with any claim that I've actually met were the Spiritualist church I visited once, and I know that they truly believed what they were saying, but... of course, they chose me, the newbie, to receive a message which was complete and utter nonsense. It rather made me disbelieve everything else that happened there.

I have come across no evidence that suggests we are more than our bodies. It is true that we don't have a true understanding of the mechanism of life yet, and our current understanding of the brain does not do enough to suggest a source of consciousness. But I have also done extensive reading on neurobiology, and what happens to consciousness and personality when brain damage occurs. That's enough for me to believe that some recognisable eternal self is hocum.

The other part of me subscribes to what I consider the early Roman view of death and the afterlife, mixed with my own explanation. Some Romans (because belief varied a lot by time span and section of society) appear to have believed that we go into the ground with our bodies and we stay there. We probably fade and disperse into the local environment to a degree, but it is possible for our consciousnesses to be called up briefly at our burial site, and offered sustenance in the form of human food and drink. It appears from what I've read that the Romans possibly thought that the longer you had been dead, the more you became a faceless, background ancestor. I think to be honest I hold on to this idea because it comforts me that I might not permanently lose the ones I love, but instead have a place where I can go and be with them still. 

Ultimately, although I think about death every so often - mostly in regard to the people I love rather than my own death - I agree that it's sensible to concentrate on life and enjoy yourself. As far as I'm concerned, we only get one go so we should make the most of it.

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Stonehugger

People and relationships from my past live on in my memory. My parents and grandparents talked about people and relationships from their pasts and I occasionally remember them too. My children and grandchildren may recall snippets of things I mention now well into the future. If my grandchildren remember the name of my grandmother's best friend, does that mean their love has lasted for five generations? I like to think so. This depends of course, on people talking to each other.

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Moonsmith
21 hours ago, Stonehugger said:

does that mean their love has lasted for five generations?

When you think of the attitudes and ethics taught by each generation of parents and the effect of that teaching on those who go on to teach their own; you can fairly safely say that in some cases it extends, in effect if not in memory, way beyond a living link.

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Ellinas

No-one lives in my memory.  My memories exist, but only because I live.

I have no memories of my great grandparents.  The reason they are dead is not because I do not recall them.  Nor would they live if I did.

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Moonsmith
1 hour ago, Ellinas said:

No-one lives in my memory.  My memories exist, but only because I live.

What then is the difference between the memory of someone who is dead and someone who is alive but has stepped out of your sensory environment two minutes ago.  Both exist as memories.  As far as your awareness is concerned the nature of the specific memories is identical.  You also remember a tag that reminds you that the former is dead but that is all. 

One moment ago is relegated to memory [if you're lucky!]

One moment into the future is just imagination.

All you have is now and images.

How long is "Now"?  Read it for yourself 🙂

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Stonehugger
3 minutes ago, Moonsmith said:

One moment ago is relegated to memory [if you're lucky!]

Yes, it's down to luck for me!

Edited by Stonehugger

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Ellinas
On 5/6/2019 at 11:28 PM, Moonsmith said:

What then is the difference between the memory of someone who is dead and someone who is alive but has stepped out of your sensory environment two minutes ago.

None at all.  Both are my memories.  Neither person lives because of, or in, that memory.

On 5/6/2019 at 11:28 PM, Moonsmith said:

Both exist as memories. 

No.  Both memories exist, but the persons are not my memories.  I can imagine a purple and gold spotted unicorn - but whilst the visualisation exists, the unicorn does not.  I remember my parents.  They are both dead.  They do not live in my head.  If they have any continued existence, it is nothing to do with my thought processes.

Of course, it is perfectly possible to argue that only that which is perceived exists.  In an extreme form, that approach dictates that the only people and things that exist are those within my mind.  It's diverting to play with such ideas, and proving the contrary would seem impossible.  But, for the sake of negotiating everyday reality, I tend to assume that there is a reality apart from my mind, and that things exist apart from me.

On 5/6/2019 at 11:28 PM, Moonsmith said:

All you have is now and images.

It is also perfectly possible to argue that past and future are meaningless.  All time is, in some way, "now", so no-one has ceased to exist, or will come into existence.  Again, I tend to prefer an approach that more directly reflects everyday appearances, as that is rather more helpful for my day-to-day existence.  But, accepting that the present is all I have and the images in my brain my only way of negotiating that present, that still does not mean that people live because of my perceptions (or memories).  That argument ultimately takes us down the diversion I mentioned above.  It also creates a situation equally consistent with the claim that there is no reality, that everything is an illusion and - as illusions are, by definition, illusory - no-one lives in my mind.

 

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Stonehugger
On 5/8/2019 at 10:31 PM, Ellinas said:

the persons are not my memories

To me, a remembered person is pretty much as real as an absent person. The main difference for me, in just those terms, is that I can still build new memories with someone who is still alive and occasionally present, whereas I can't build significant new memories out of thin air with people who have passed away. On the other hand, I can still build a better understanding of who they are to me now. That, for me, is one reason life is so valuable. It's always new.

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Moonsmith
On 5/8/2019 at 10:31 PM, Ellinas said:

Of course, it is perfectly possible to argue that only that which is perceived exists.  In an extreme form, that approach dictates that the only people and things that exist are those within my mind

 By George he's GOT it!

This was propounded by Wigner in the 60's.  It impressed me then and it does so now.  Oh I know that the classicists and the Swamis have conjectured this for millennia but for me it's the maths that counts.  When Einstein said that he didn't believe that the moon wasn't there when he wasn't looking at it Bohr replied, "Shut up and calculate!"

There is no difference between every day mundane reality and the reality currently under investigation by a significant chunk of science.  It's just that right now the only answer that we have is; "Reality is whatever you think it is."  As I believe that our wonderful minds create the universe in which each of us live, I'm not about to disagree 🙂

This means that within my universe, my awareness shall eventually cease as shall my universe.  I cannot say of what others shall be aware in their Summerlands or their new incarnations.

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Ellinas
On 5/10/2019 at 9:46 PM, Moonsmith said:

... within my universe, my awareness shall eventually cease as shall my universe.

Unless and until such time as your mind proves itself to be unexpectedly durable and your awareness changes the nature of your universe...  That would be a sort of cosmic brain-fart, I suppose.

:tongue:

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Ellinas
On 5/9/2019 at 11:12 PM, Stonehugger said:

a remembered person is pretty much as real as an absent person

I can see that the memories are equally real.  I can see that a dead person was as real as an absent person may be (granting that the state of health of the absent cannot be known certainly).  Are we venturing into the realms of Schroedinger's non-feline acquaintance?

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Moonsmith

I have always said that if I'm wrong I'll see you all at the party and you can all have a good laugh at my expense.  The ambrosia shall be on me!

PS Erwin's poor little cat has run into problems.  If you shut up his thought experiment as he proposed but you then put the box and Erwin Shroedinger into a bigger box and tell him to open the smaller one then the frame is collapsed for Shroedinger but not for us outside.  The cat is both in a certain and an uncertain state at the same time.  Of course if I and Shroedinger have created our own universes then there isn't a problem.  But then there is another three box version which confounds even me!  Hard to believe isn't it?

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