Re: [evol-psych] Re: Dr. Eben Alexander: 'The Science of Heaven'
Richard, I didn't connect earlier that I was partially responding to the review by you. :))
My comments below - interspersed.
At 09:00 AM 11/22/2012, Richard Ruquist wrote:
Just read a book by Kurt Leland of Boston called "The Unanswered Question" about the Afterlife.
He compares the experience of the Afterlife in death mythology, primarily the Egyptian Book of the Dead and the Tibetan Book of the Dead, to OBE experiences of Afterlife, such as Swedenborg's "Heaven and Hell" experiences and his own OBEs, which he accesses from lucid dream states.
The principles he derives from all this is:
1. keep a strong self-identity before and especially after death.
2. no negative-feeling at the time of death.
3.focus on the first light even though its brightness is painful [go thru the pain]
I do not recall much about what he said we should do to satisfy 1, 2 & 3.
Yes...and how does one eliminate all negativity or fear and other emotions
to do with leaving loved ones behind - one worries about them...
He talks of Swedenborg's divine law that states that you should 'love the people around you "more" than you love yourself' and that it is a requirement for coming into contact with the divine. My wife does that and I have often been critical of her behavior in that regard. But it now appears that she is a more advanced soul than I.
Well, if you recognize it, that's a step. :))
Leland claims that in the Afterlife, if you forget who you were when alive, you will be reborn without any choices on your part. He relates speaking with an advanced helper who has not reincarnated for a long time. The time between reincarnations is roughly proportional to how advanced you are. Anyway, the discussion related all the different choices the helper has as to where and from which parents he could be born.
I have read a lot of this material, as well as more modern books along the way. I am not sure I believe
the popular, :we are all here to learn" as though life is a very big school. Nor am I comfortable with'
the popular theory that we "choose" our own parents, etc. What you describe above sounds more authoritarian
and rigid than what I have experienced. Who is in control of what you remember, what you forget? Surely
there would be help and training with all that.
My experiences are also of "helpers" though I haven't called them that. I have seen them as loving
entities which are there to help with transition and healing. My experience is not that we die and
bounce up full of energy and go off to be fitted with our wings, There is a period of transition
where one is almost in a form of monitored healing suspension as one gradually adapts.
I'm also cautious about the popular "more advanced souls" theories. These are borrowed from India,
and from rewritten Indian and other cosmologies. I'm not saying I reject that idea entirely, because
certainly different people seem at different levels of development - but is that just intelligence?
I don't know - butthere's a lot to contemplate.
A large portion of the book was devoted to how the dead can get rid of residual negative feelings. Strong ones require alive human possession for release, one of the more far out claims in the book, but not totally unreasonable, at least in my experience.
In Leland's experience the Afterlife is divided into many different areas where (as you Cliff imply) like beings exist. Right after death you will exist in temporary holding areas until your emotional responses to all negative stimuli are released. Apparently the Godhead cannot tolerate any negativity in close proximity, again as you (Cliff) imply.
Sounds a bit like Catholic theology, and medieval writings.
Perhaps concurrently, you will do a "life review" with the aid of a helper, to further purge out negative emotions. All this is all beyond the "tunnel" experience.
This is also traditional theory - part of the "life as learning" authoritarian understanding.
After that you are ready to enter what Leland calls the "nonphysical realm". You will be assigned to live with like-minded beings for further education and eventual incarnation back into the physical (or in a few cases admission to the divine realm from which you can return to be a helper in the not so divine realms mentioned above).
Being a Civil War reenactor, I was especially interested in similar reenactments in the Afterlife used for emotional release and soul advancement. Leland claims that any emotional release obtained when alive say from watching plays or movies or even listening to music is a great help in this regard. He further claims that dead beings benefit from such emotional release of live beings as well and congregate at such physical events and/or where ever emotions are being released. Another claim is that the soul goes from old age to youth before being reborn, which seems to conflict with his claim that the dead being can represent oneself as being of any age to other like beings. In fact, much of the structure in the "nonphysical" world is created by each soul and seen/reinforced by other souls.
I am not sure that emotions just need "release". They need to be understood, with empathy,
and processed, grown within a person, alive or dead, in my experience. In a sense it's like psychotherapy, - understanding
experiences differently, understanding =, with growing empathy/understanding/experience - one's parents, for example. Seeing experiences which profoundly impacted one's life from a wider, deeper, more loving perspective.
Lastly, he recommends paying close attention to the symbolism in the structure of dreams when alive and even recording them as a prep for a "good" death. The night after reading that, I had a dream where at its end my wife and I were climbing a mountain and she was attached to the front of my body. We were climbing up along a steep ridge until near the top where I could see the plateau, I was unable to find hand or toe holds to advance, so I pushed my wife over on to the plateau and woke up. The symbolism is pretty obvious and it reinforces my previous comment about her being a more advanced soul than I.
And, yet, do you realise that you facilitated her in this dream? :))
I have kept dream diaries for just about my whole life.
One of the things one book reviewer mentioned was that he would like to see medical evidence brought
from other realms/consciousnesses. I did write, a few weeks ago, on here, a bit about a dream I had when I was
15, where I dreamed the details of surgery I had decades later. No one else knew about that dream, and I had
no way to manipulate the surgery, or the doctor's nurse. That wasn't any astrological prediction, either - at
15 I hadn't studied astrology. What precipated my dream was reading Freud's, "Interpretation of Dreams" - though
I don't remember Freud mentioning predictive dreams. My dream came the day after I read the book.
I might also mention that there can be very different qualities of dreams. Oneof the reviewers
complained that he didn't understand how Alexander could remember so much, including long discussions.
However, my experience of these predictive dreams, and some others, is that they are of a different quality - and extremely
vivid. Ny memory of dreams is very vivid - as though these dreams make a special impact. Same with connections with those who have died - they are very unforgettable. I would like to see brain testing - to see if different areas of the brain are
activated with these special dreams. Maybe all dreams are special.
Here is his online summary of the book:
The Unanswered Question: Death, Near-Death, and the Afterlife was published in 2002 by Hampton Roads Publishing Company.
The book takes as its premise that the information about the Afterlife brought back by near-death experiencers may not provide an accurate picture of what we should expect after making our own transition to the other side. Using accounts from The Egyptian Book of the Dead, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, Gnostic, Christian and other ancient wisdom traditions--as well as the writings of the seventeenth-century Swedish mystic Emmanuel Swedenborg, contemporary near-death experiences, and my own out-of-body experiences--I outline what we might expect to encounter during our passage from the physical reality in which our lives unfold to the nonphysical reality of the Afterlife.
Because everything well experience in nonphysical reality exists outside of space and time as we understand them, the Afterlife is organized in ways that our usual waking consciousness or rational minds may find difficult to understand. Near-death and out-of-body experiencers have to represent this reality to themselves in quasi-physical terms in order to make sense of it. The translation of nonphysical reality into physical images necessarily--and often unconsciously--distorts the information such individuals bring back with them about the Afterlife. Yet behind these images lies a consistency of function that provides a better means of understanding them than how they appear. In investigating the accounts of the Afterlife in the various sources outlined above, I expose such underlying similarities of function.
To blame the poor for subsisting on welfare has no justice unless we are also willing to judge every rich member of society by how productive he or she is. Taken individual by individual, it is likely that there's more idleness and abuse of government favors among the economically privileged than among the ranks of the disadvantaged. -Norman Mailer, author (1923-2007)
- At 06:22 PM 11/25/2012, Wade wrote:
>JulienneDoes it occur to you, Wade, that you believe that astrologers are
>You are missing Anna's point completely.
>When a scientist makes a prediction about a physical event such s a
>weather pattern or
>geological event or indeed a cosmological event then at least
>ignoring possible quantum type interactions
>which would seem relevant only at atomic level, then the prediction
>is exogenous to the system.
>However when we make predictions regarding human behaviour as for
>example with psychologists, economists, doctors
>etc there is always the possibility of an interaction between
>prediction and the event as the prediction is endogenous to the
>system and may itself influence the outcome itself.
>Fraudsters/delusionals such as astrologers should be particularly
>cognisant of the possibility of their predictions negatively
>impacting their victims because their victims are almost by
>definition amongst the most suggestible of the population.
>Of course the impact need not necessarily be negative. When I used
>to mess around with such things as a teenager, I was sure to try and
>put a positive and generally upbeat spin on my "predictions" and I
>think this is something that most horoscope writers tend to
>do. However, one can never know whether some "prediction" might not
>have some unforeseen perhaps even fatal consequences.
>I suspect those astrologers who are fraudsters are actually more
>cognisant of this issue than the delusionals who genuinely believe
>in their own supposed powers.
frauds because you were?
To blame the poor for subsisting on welfare has no justice unless we
are also willing to judge every rich member of society by how
productive he or she is. Taken individual by individual, it is likely
that there's more idleness and abuse of government favors among the
economically privileged than among the ranks of the disadvantaged.
-Norman Mailer, author (1923-2007)