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Go Back   Spiritual Forums > Spirituality & Beliefs > Past Lives & Reincarnation

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  #11  
Old 08-01-2017, 05:12 AM
AriesIntrovert AriesIntrovert is offline
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Originally Posted by kennedy123
AriesIntrovert, doesn't practicing extreme generosity for the sake of having a good next life defeat the entire purpose of the generosity, which should be done without any expectation of reward later on?

I think this is a noble goal, we should all live as Jesus did, with 100% complete love guiding every action towards every person we interact with for no purpose other than being love is its own reward. However, until we reach enlightenment in our lifetimes this is... a daunting goal if not an impossible one.

I don't know if we have to be selfless in giving in order to reap any rewards later, my logically brain tells me we don't based on the fact that the only true way to really have that occur is to not know about karma and past lives (so you would never think about that there could be a reward for them), but reincarnation is not a new concept, definitely not in some ancient or current cultures...

Then again, could it be the Law of Attraction principles there, that the soul expects a reward and expects it so completely, without any waivering of belief, that it occurs?

There are a lot of possibilities here. I am not sure how it all works, but I do know my own past life story and the hardship and grief I inflicted on others have been inflicted on me and the handouts I gave to others have been given to me... whether that past life knew about reincarnation and planned those occurrences, I don't know, but it wasn't sainthood that caused past life me to give handouts to others that is for sure. ;) ;)
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  #12  
Old 08-01-2017, 04:28 PM
kennedy123 kennedy123 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AriesIntrovert
I think this is a noble goal, we should all live as Jesus did, with 100% complete love guiding every action towards every person we interact with for no purpose other than being love is its own reward. However, until we reach enlightenment in our lifetimes this is... a daunting goal if not an impossible one.

I don't know if we have to be selfless in giving in order to reap any rewards later, my logically brain tells me we don't based on the fact that the only true way to really have that occur is to not know about karma and past lives (so you would never think about that there could be a reward for them), but reincarnation is not a new concept, definitely not in some ancient or current cultures...

Then again, could it be the Law of Attraction principles there, that the soul expects a reward and expects it so completely, without any waivering of belief, that it occurs?

There are a lot of possibilities here. I am not sure how it all works, but I do know my own past life story and the hardship and grief I inflicted on others have been inflicted on me and the handouts I gave to others have been given to me... whether that past life knew about reincarnation and planned those occurrences, I don't know, but it wasn't sainthood that caused past life me to give handouts to others that is for sure. ;) ;)

AriesIntrovert,

I actually agree with what you say here. See my prior post on "What constitutes good karma" (which I've pasted below). My point, is that it is once you know about karma or believe in it, it becomes impossible to do anything good with 100% expectation of zero reward. even subconsciously, you do something kind but deep down inside you always the inkling of "perhaps that will come back to me in some way in the future..."

If you ask me, I don't even think internal states should matter much when we do good things. I think the necessary test should be whether or not our actions benefit someone else or not. Say if someone gave you $10000. Do you honestly care if he gave u the money b/c he was 100% altruistic or whether he wanted to accrue some good karma for himself? Either way, you get the $10000, are better off for it, and a benefit has accrued to you. Hence, the giver should accrue the positive benefit. I think positive karma should be viewed from the POV of the recipient - if that person got a benefit, then you should too.

If I give a beggar $10 and he can buy a warm sandwich, why should it matter whether I did it out of pure altruism or a bit for my own positive karma? The poor man got a warm meal and that made his day better. So I expect sometime in the future a positive event comes to make my day better. I don't care if that positive event comes from someone else who has more selfish motives for karma, etc.... All I expect is that his actions make my life better in the same way I made the beggar's life better.

If you truly look around you, I think you might find that people's actions in general are more selfish than you thought. Most people talk a nice talk but will push comes to shove they rarely do anything out of their way to benefit someone else.

Otherwise, one could argue the reverse and say if you hurt someone but deep down inside has good intentions - is that good or bad karma? If Hitler kills 6 million Jews but deep down inside all he wants is to protect the German race, does that somehow make Hitler accrue good karma? Never mind the 6 million Jews who lost their lives. I don't think it works like that. I think good or bad karma has to be viewed from the POV of the benefactor or victim, rather than sole intentions of the giver.

My post earlier:


Assuming there is karma/reincarnation, is there really such a thing as "selfless" act of kindness? Look around you. Everyone is going about their busy lives. Does anyone really do anything of meaningful kindness to others, w/o any type of expectation of reward in some way? I don't see many people around me doing good things for others, or going out of their way to do good things for others. In fact, I see people around me trying to screw others over, in career, in workplace, in dating scene, in gossiping, in life in general. Even parents become selfish and forget their children. Most of my friends are friends on the outside but secretly hope for others to be worse off than themselves. I find it rare to find anyone who does anything to truly help others w/o expectation of reward.

Occasionally, there are some few that do some nice things for others, but mostly in expectation of "you scratch my back, I scratch yours". In fact, human beings are not programmed to be selfless - if God wanted us to be kind and selfless, why didn't he just program us this way? This is a bit baffling to me. Even if you give beggar 5 bucks on the street, I bet 99% of people are in some way subconsciously getting some benefit from this, either they feel that they are "bargaining with the universe" for good luck later on themselves. So you're saying these small acts are not really altruistic and don't accrue good karma?

But then, what really is a selfless act? Does a mother caring for her children constitute selfless or selfish? One could argue that even such an act is a selfish, b/c the mother gets pleasure from seeing her children alive, and the mother subconsciously expects her children to take care of her when she gets old and they grow up. Even monks who study Buddhism or meditate all day are NOT accruing any good karma b/c they are doing so with the selfish goal of trying to be liberated from karma cycle after they die. Perhaps that's the most selfish goal of all...

My final point, is that if you look around you, and the world in general, since the advent of humans, in general, there have been far more people who do bad things to others than those who do good things. That is probably even more so today. However, I feel that the number of people who have "good, meaningful" lives is far in excess of the number of people who do good things to others to build good karma. So what explains the fact that in the future, there will probably still be a stable proportion of the population who have "good lives" then? It doesn't make mathematical sense from a karma/reincarnation POV.

So what actually constitutes an act of kindness done w/o expectation, that is necessary to generate good karma?
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  #13  
Old 08-01-2017, 05:31 PM
AriesIntrovert AriesIntrovert is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennedy123
AriesIntrovert

If you ask me, I don't even think internal states should matter much when we do good things. I think the necessary test should be whether or not our actions benefit someone else or not. Say if someone gave you $10000. Do you honestly care if he gave u the money b/c he was 100% altruistic or whether he wanted to accrue some good karma for himself? Either way, you get the $10000, are better off for it, and a benefit has accrued to you. Hence, the giver should accrue the positive benefit. I think positive karma should be viewed from the POV of the recipient - if that person got a benefit, then you should too.

You have some great deep thoughts about this, I love it. :)

I agree with most everything you wrote based on several principles. The first is that philanthropy without any reward to the giver is difficult because if the ego is not fed by feelings of "what a good person I am for doing this!" then the heart is fed with feelings of love given and received. The latter reminds me how energetic healing work (like Reiki) works in that healing comes to both the healer and the one being healed.

Another principle is based on the one constant in all spiritual theory that "we are all one" and this isn't a philosophical theory, this is a truth and shows how karma works. What I do to you, I do to myself.

Picture yourself standing on a theater stage. You "give a gift to another" by handing a gift to an unseen someone behind the left curtain and at the same exact time (is if by cartoon magic) a gift appears from hands behind the right curtain stretching out to you. Through the illusion of time these appear to come as separate events but in reality there is no time and there is only one of us appearing as separate so the theater model holds as true.

Shakespeare pointed to this with, "All the world is but a stage and the people only actors." (I doubt I quoted that correctly, but that's the gist.)

What I still don't know about is the soul intention. I am going to drop the Hitler example because that is too difficult to work with... Instead I consider the difference between killing numbers of people for pleasure, sport, or profit versus killing numbers of people in situations of defense against an immediate threat in unprovoked aggression. In my head this seems like a math equation where the first would be weighted more heavily with negative karma and the second would be lighter... but without having case studies to analyze it is impossible to know for sure.

I doubt we will ever meet someone who openly publicly admits to having a past life regression that points to their being Hitler, and every person we could point to as a possibility as being Hitler reincarnated is typically based on repeats of horrible behavior (which I don't think would be correct, I think it would be someone suffering instead), but that would be the true litmus test for how karma works if we could!
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  #14  
Old 08-01-2017, 06:20 PM
kennedy123 kennedy123 is offline
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AriesIntrovert,

That is exactly right. I like your stage analogy.

I think there's a lot of subtleties when it comes to intentions behind our actions. Like you said, everyone has ego. What I disagree most with many spiritualists is that if God wanted us to do good in this world, why did he imbue us with a selfish ego? Why are we programmed to be selfish? Why not just design humans so we feel the pain of others like we feel our own pain? Why only allow us to feel our pain and then expect us to "figure out" that we need to do good? It seems like a very longwinded and inefficient way of getting something done.

I've asked members on this forum to demonstrate that they believe in "selfless actions" by giving all users say $10 on this forum. This is not much, but it is a selfless act - the giver gets absolutely nothing and everyone else benefits $10. No one does it. No one even wants to. So I think many people talk about how they want to do good but when push comes to shove they aren't actually willing to do it. Hence, everyone is inherently selfish. Very few people can do what they preach, and I think it's unfortunate b/c I just don't know who to listen to anymore when it comes to this topic. Even people who sell books on soul evolution/karma etc... charge money for their books, speeches, etc.... No one is selfless.

Moreover, I don't see how it is wrong to try to figure out the rules of karma and try to use these rules to your benefit. Just like gravity - once we figure it out we can design planes that fly despite gravity. Why can't we try to game the karma system by purposely doing good things this life to try to get a great treatment in future lives? Is there anything wrong with this? As long as you are making people happy in this life, I would argue you have 100% right to expect people to make you happy in a subsequent life. How is this any different from monks who try to do no wrong in this life for eternal liberation? Sounds like the same. Like you said, as long as you are stretching your hands and giving someone else help, why are you not allowed to expect something in return?

Again, I don't think intentions should matter much at all in karma. In even the worst actions, everyone will claim to have good intentions. A serial killer has "good intentions" b/c he honestly believes he is carrying out the will of god by killing people. Everyone, from their own POV, has good intentions. If intentions mattered, then there would be very little "negative" karma at all. Even 90% of murderers have their own legitimate reasons for why they carried something out. If someone kills you wife/husband, it can be argued that you could be justified in killing the murderer to "even the score". From your POV this is not an ill-intentioned act.

It's mind boggling to think about these things all the time but I think we are missing some critical element in the karma/reincarnation theory, b/c if we understand karma completely we should be able to explain Hitler and the "tough cases". We currently have the Newtonian version of karma but it fails at the extremes. We need the General relativity version of karma.
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  #15  
Old 08-01-2017, 10:24 PM
shivatar shivatar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AriesIntrovert
However, until we reach enlightenment in our lifetimes this is... a daunting goal if not an impossible one.



That brings up a good question. Is it selfless love that brings enlighenment, or do we reach enlightenment and love selflessly?
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  #16  
Old 08-01-2017, 11:53 PM
AriesIntrovert AriesIntrovert is offline
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Originally Posted by shivatar
That brings up a good question. Is it selfless love that brings enlighenment, or do we reach enlightenment and love selflessly?

Beautifully stated!!! Can it be both? I want to vote for the third option of both. :) <3
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  #17  
Old 10-01-2017, 02:02 AM
mdeking78 mdeking78 is offline
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Originally Posted by Kaere
I agree with this. To my understanding, all our lives are happening at the same time. Imagine a cd sliced through very thinly, creating a spiral. Each 'sheet' is a life and many sheets touch, sometimes they overlap (deja vu anyone?). You can plan any life at anytime, go straight from this life to one 1000 years ago. You can even go and experience someone else's life through their eyes. I think this is what happens when someone close to us dies, why we seems to remember the strangest things and memories... it's because that person close to us is reviewing our interactions together from our perspective.

Just my opinion, no one in these meat suits of ours really knows the exact truth. We'll know when we get there and slap our foreheads and smile ruefully lol

I've done pretty extensive resesrch on reincarnation and life beteween lives. The vast majority of us can only consciously be aware of one lifetime. Everything in existence exists at once. There is only the now. We can only access a small slice. Again, very difficult for physical beings to comprehend. We have to rationalize on a linear timeline to wrap our heads around it. This is the basis of past life regrssion, but you can also regress to the 'future'

The best explanation I've ever come across regarding this topic was from Neale Donald Walsch's "Home With God". Past life regressions and NDE's flirt with the idea but Neale's 'God' nails it....worth the read.
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  #18  
Old 11-01-2017, 10:17 PM
7luminaries 7luminaries is offline
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Originally Posted by mdeking78
I've done pretty extensive resesrch on reincarnation and life beteween lives. The vast majority of us can only consciously be aware of one lifetime. Everything in existence exists at once. There is only the now. We can only access a small slice. Again, very difficult for physical beings to comprehend. We have to rationalize on a linear timeline to wrap our heads around it. This is the basis of past life regrssion, but you can also regress to the 'future'

The best explanation I've ever come across regarding this topic was from Neale Donald Walsch's "Home With God". Past life regressions and NDE's flirt with the idea but Neale's 'God' nails it....worth the read.

I agree with this...it rings with intuitive truth. What we perceive as past, present, and future are all intimately connected and happening at once.

But I still say it's not about the "planning". It's about the being and the doing, the love and the forgiveness. Because the OP wanted to know about karma, and presumably about making good karma everywhere, in all incarnations.

There is no other way but authentic love and forgiveness, all round.
It will radiate out from your current expression to all others. Likewise, when you hate or harm others in other lifetimes, that too radiates outward to your current expression. Everything connects and radiates out in all directions. But the quantum and spiritual reality of interbeing is that first and foremost you are you everywhere...and what you do here immediately has impact on all other "you's" elsewhere, and vice versa. As well as on those you touch here or elsewhere, of course.

Now -- if you are able -- then yes, consciously go into those other identities you embodied (or embody elsewhere), consciously engage with those you loved (or for some of us, with those you hated) and make good where you failed others, in the spirit realm. Speak to them directly of your love, your forgiveness, your contrition...and let the truth illuminate your visage . Let your presence speak your truth.

That way is more direct...but simply being and doing love and forgiveness works just fine, too.

Peace & blessings
7L
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  #19  
Old 11-01-2017, 10:27 PM
shivatar shivatar is offline
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Originally Posted by AriesIntrovert
Beautifully stated!!! Can it be both? I want to vote for the third option of both. :) <3


It's not a question to be answered, it's to be pondered.
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Old 12-01-2017, 11:35 AM
mdeking78 mdeking78 is offline
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Originally Posted by 7luminaries
I agree with this...it rings with intuitive truth. What we perceive as past, present, and future are all intimately connected and happening at once.

But I still say it's not about the "planning". It's about the being and the doing, the love and the forgiveness. Because the OP wanted to know about karma, and presumably about making good karma everywhere, in all incarnations.

There is no other way but authentic love and forgiveness, all round.
It will radiate out from your current expression to all others. Likewise, when you hate or harm others in other lifetimes, that too radiates outward to your current expression. Everything connects and radiates out in all directions. But the quantum and spiritual reality of interbeing is that first and foremost you are you everywhere...and what you do here immediately has impact on all other "you's" elsewhere, and vice versa. As well as on those you touch here or elsewhere, of course.

Now -- if you are able -- then yes, consciously go into those other identities you embodied (or embody elsewhere), consciously engage with those you loved (or for some of us, with those you hated) and make good where you failed others, in the spirit realm. Speak to them directly of your love, your forgiveness, your contrition...and let the truth illuminate your visage . Let your presence speak your truth.

That way is more direct...but simply being and doing love and forgiveness works just fine, too.

Peace & blessings
7L

Nicely said and I agree...we choose to come here to evolve and become better. Its the experiences that get us there.
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