OEITH #205 Reincarnation: Locating Past Lives
If reincarnation is real, then how does it impact on our lives here and now? We consider: the question of how reincarnation manifests in everyday experience; comparison of contact with the dead versus reincarnation; reasons for the relevance of reincarnation; spiritual attainment and insight into past lives; the AUTOTAR working; audio scrying with tinfoil; my supposed incarnation as Otto Berg; why the results failed to convince; the rejection of reincarnation in contemporary western Buddhism; Stephen Batchelor's agnostic viewpoint; Leigh Brasington on rebirth as “an immortality project” and on the Buddha's possible lack of belief in rebirth; the secular materialist style of Buddhism; reincarnation as a disposable doctrine, versus reincarnation as a springboard for productive contemplation; that what is reborn is karma rather than the self; karma as a tennis ball; the thrower and the catcher; contact with the dead as confrontation with the other, versus reincarnation as a continuation of the same; ways in which the dead physically return: incorruptibles; stigmatics; and organ transplant anomalies; incorruptibles as persisting physically not through rebirth but by being regarded as the living as not fully dead; Christ, the persistent returner; the stigmatic as carrying Christ's karma but having no identification with it; organ transplant anomalies as more like a haunting than an instance of rebirth; the experience of reincarnation as identification with something in another as a continuation of ourselves; why experience of a past life is not necessarily a memory; karma as not an experience but an impact upon experience; the EHNB working and its interesting results; tendencies, traits, and predispositions as possible manifestations of karma; my vision of a past life; its mixture of memory and imagination; its relevance to my current life; its recurrence in other workings and in therapy; reincarnation as a continuation of karmic issues; how that which reincarnates never manifests; Rudolf Steiner on the individual as a species; reincarnations and species; reincarnation and the living of similar lives; cases of reincarnation in rural China; individualism as an obscuration of how people are mostly alike; Steiner's previous incarnation as St Thomas Aquinas; the similar missions of Steiner and Aquinas; differences between Steiner's view of reincarnation and that of the Buddha; awakening as the end of rebirth and karma, versus rebirth as humanity’s fulfilment of a much larger project; karma as our manner of falling away from truth; the importance of self-compassion when working with karma.
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Stephen Batchelor (2021). Rebirth: a case for Buddhist agnosticism. https://tinyurl.com/mrxjp993(stephenbatchelor.org). Accessed December 2021.
Steve James (2021). Guru Viking podcast ep122: mysteries of dependent origination – Leigh Brasington. https://tinyurl.com/2p96s8f2(youtube.com). Accessed December 2021.
Steve James (2021). Guru Viking podcast ep120: meditation virtuoso – Delson Armstrong. https://tinyurl.com/2p8ed2wt (youtube.com). Accessed December 2021.
Changzhen Li (2018). 100 Reincarnation Cases in Pingyang: Extraordinary True Stories of Kam People Who Recall Past Lives. Self-published.
T.H. Meyer (2010). Rudolf Steiner’s Core Mission: The Birth and Development of Spiritual-Scientific Karma Research. Forest Row: Temple Lodge.
Rudolf Steiner (1971). Theosophy: An Introduction to the Supersensible Knowledge of the World and the Destination of Man. Forest Row: Anthroposophic Press.