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The Boy Who Lived Before - Documentary about a childs memories of another life


USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
... If someone hasn't had any experience like that, I can understand why he or she is not willing to entertain the thought, especially if he or she has been brought up in "western materialist society".
It's not merely the absence of firsthand experience that gives people reasons to question the nature of such beliefs, it's the nature of the beliefs themselves. In other words, experiencing things firsthand isn't always necessary in order to determine whether or not it's reasonable to believe that something is actually the way it has been interpreted by the experiencer.

In the case of reincarnation, the experience you describe isn't actually relevant to the issue of reincarnation as it is generally imagined to be, which is that some mystical aspect that defines us as people can be transferred directly from one person upon death to another in a way that is presumed ( wrongly ) to constitute equivalency of personhood. This is why we constantly hear these tales in that context, e.g. he is "The Boy Who Lived Before", as if he who is living in the now is the same person who lived in the past.

However assuming your experience is true, what really seems to have happened is that you associated isolated aspects of your experience with a cultural belief ( reincarnation ) in a way that seemed to match, then assumed from that circumstance, that reincarnation is true. But is it not also true that a few "strange remarks" hardly qualifies as equivalency of personhood? is it not also true that the two children you heard making these remarks also have their own experiences, memories, bodies, likes, dislikes, and personalities that are unique only to them?

The fact remains that even if the notion of souls and spirits, or whatever else it is that is supposedly reincarnated is true, it's woefully inadequate to jump to the conclusion that bolting whatever that is onto an existing person, somehow makes that existing person back into the same person as someone who died. Yet in essence, that's what is constantly implied, despite the huge amount of differences there may be between the two people, and in every case I've ever read about, those differences are deemphasized while a few loosely related similarities are over emphasized and woven in such a way as to prop up this nonsensical belief.

On your other case, I don't know what made you think some dear person you once knew actually "came back". What evidence do you have of that, and what makes you think that "there seems to have been a decision by the deceased after death ... "? I would think you should need something objective and definitive to base such a belief on. By this I don't mean that you need some sort of material evidence, but is there anything about your experience that you can say would be definitive if it were presumed to be a true event, but considered from an objective point of view?
 
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smcder

Guest
I think I have reason to believe in it. I have heard two kids making strange remarks when they were between 3 and 6 years old and one had a strange woundlike birthmark. If you haven't read it already, here's a more detailed description.

The second case involved a very dear person who seems to have "come back" on purpose near me. I'm not saying this lightly and I know how it sounds, but I actually find it hard to explain it otherwise. And I've always looked for alternatives and watched out not to make the child believe I expected it to behave in a certain way.

It's of course nothing but speculation, but there seems to have been a decision by the deceased after death and that's what's been turning my worldview upside down and causing many sleepless nights these last years.

So yeah, I guess I do believe in reincarnation. But I don't expect anyone to believe me. If someone hasn't had any experience like that, I can understand why he or she is not willing to entertain the thought, especially if he or she has been brought up in "western materialist society".
Thank you for sharing this personal story, not always easy . . . I am going to follow the link above to the details.

And I've always looked for alternatives and watched out not to make the child believe I expected it to behave in a certain way.

That shows real consideration for the child as well.

It's of course nothing but speculation, but there seems to have been a decision by the deceased after death and that's what's been turning my worldview upside down and causing many sleepless nights these last years.

Speculation is something in itself, if it's enough to cause you to question your worldview and to lose sleep over - then you've obviously spent considerable time thinking about it.
 
S

smcder

Guest
It's not merely the absence of firsthand experience that gives people reasons to question the nature of such beliefs, it's the nature of the beliefs themselves. In other words, experiencing things firsthand isn't always necessary in order to determine whether or not it's reasonable to believe that something is actually the way it has been interpreted by the experiencer.

In the case of reincarnation, the experience you describe isn't actually relevant to the issue of reincarnation as it is generally imagined to be, which is that some mystical aspect that defines us as people can be transferred directly from one person upon death to another in a way that is presumed ( wrongly ) to constitute equivalency of personhood. This is why we constantly hear these tales in that context, e.g. he is "The Boy Who Lived Before", as if he who is living in the now is the same person who lived in the past.

However assuming your experience is true, what really seems to have happened is that you associated isolated aspects of your experience with a cultural belief ( reincarnation ) in a way that seemed to match, then assumed from that circumstance, that reincarnation is true. But is it not also true that a few "strange remarks" hardly qualifies as equivalency of personhood? is it not also true that the two children you heard making these remarks also have their own unique experiences, memories, bodies, likes, dislikes, and personalities that are unique only to them?

The fact remains that even if the notion of souls and spirits, or whatever else it is that is supposedly reincarnated is true, it's woefully inadequate to jump to the conclusion that bolting whatever that is onto an existing person, somehow makes that existing person back into the same person as someone who died. Yet in essence, that's what is constantly implied, despite the huge amount of differences there may be between the two people, and in every case I've ever read about, those differences are deemphasized while a few loosely related similarities are over emphasized and woven in such a way as to prop up this nonsensical belief.

On your other case, I don't know what made you think some dear person you once knew actually "came back". What evidence do you have of that, and what makes you think that "there seems to have been a decision by the deceased after death ... "? I would think you should need something objective and definitive to base such a belief on. By this I don't mean that you need some sort of material evidence, but is there anything about your experience that you can say would be definitive if it were presumed to be a true event, but considered from an objective point of view?
However assuming your experience is true,

What is it that makes you think that @Polterwurst 's experience might not be true?
 
S

smcder

Guest
Please clarify.
You wrote:

However assuming your experience is true, what really seems to have happened is that you associated isolated aspects of your experience with a cultural belief ( reincarnation ) in a way that seemed to match, then assumed from that circumstance, that reincarnation is true. But is it not also true that a few "strange remarks" hardly qualifies as equivalency of personhood? is it not also true that the two children you heard making these remarks also have their own unique experiences, memories, bodies, likes, dislikes, and personalities that are unique only to them?

Is there something that makes you think the experience is not "true" in some sense, or is it just an artifact of the wording in your post?
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
You wrote:

However assuming your experience is true, what really seems to have happened is that you associated isolated aspects of your experience with a cultural belief ( reincarnation ) in a way that seemed to match, then assumed from that circumstance, that reincarnation is true. But is it not also true that a few "strange remarks" hardly qualifies as equivalency of personhood? is it not also true that the two children you heard making these remarks also have their own unique experiences, memories, bodies, likes, dislikes, and personalities that are unique only to them?

Is there something that makes you think the experience is not "true" in some sense, or is it just an artifact of the wording in your post?
When I do that, it's purely in the context of analysis and carries no more connotation than for example saying, "Given line 'A' at a right angle to line 'B' we can conclude line 'C' equals ... " Plus I think Polterwurst knows me well enough from the forum not to think I'm making a personal assessment of integrity there. Nevertheless, for the benefit of others, perhaps I should work on a way to remove the possibility that someone might infer distrust on my part. Maybe say something like, "Given your experience the way you describe it ...". Do you think that would be a better way to go? It seems that someone could also infer from that, that I don't think their experience was really the way they described it :confused:.

For now it seems reasonable to become concerned about such details when an issue is actually made of them rather to have to walk on eggshells all the time, but if you have an easy fix, by all means please share :).
 
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smcder

Guest
When I do that, it's purely in the context of analysis and carries no more connotation than for example saying, "Given line 'A' at a right angle to line 'B' we can conclude line 'C' equals ... " Plus I think Polterwurst knows me well enough from the forum not to think I'm making a personal assessment of integrity there. Nevertheless, for the benefit of others, perhaps I should work on a way to remove the possibility that someone might infer distrust on my part. Maybe say something like, "Given your experience the way you describe it ...". Do you think that would be a better way to go? It seems that someone could also infer that their experience wasn't really the way they described it too.

It seems reasonable to become concerned about such details when an issue is actually made of them rather to have to walk on eggshells all the time, but if you have an easy fix, by all means please share :).
In this case you could just drop the "assuming your experience is true" part and I don't think it would have changed the meaning.


However, what really seems to have happened (in your experience) is that you associated isolated aspects of your experience with a cultural belief ( reincarnation ) in a way that seemed to match, then assumed from that circumstance, that reincarnation is true.


I pay attention to details in your posts because your meticulousness makes the context of your posts - in other words it's your very style or signature. In this case, when you didn't follow up to say why you thought the experience might not be true, I realized it was probably an artifact.
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
In this case you could just drop the "assuming your experience is true" part and I don't think it would have changed the meaning.


However, what really seems to have happened (in your experience) is that you associated isolated aspects of your experience with a cultural belief ( reincarnation ) in a way that seemed to match, then assumed from that circumstance, that reincarnation is true.


I pay attention to details in your posts because your meticulousness makes the context of your posts - in other words it's your very style or signature. In this case, when you didn't follow up to say why you thought the experience might not be true, I realized it was probably an artifact.
That's not bad, but then again someone could also infer that because you used the words "seems to have happened" that there is a connotation that their experience may not have happened, and that you think they might be just making it all up. Plus, to bracket the words "in your experience" infers a reference to the way their experience was to them, but that's not what I was getting at. Just the opposite actually.

Perhaps the solution is to depersonalize it altogether unless otherwise specified.
 
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smcder

Guest
That's not bad, but then again someone could also infer that because you used the words "seems to have happened" that there is a connotation that their experience may not have happened, and that you think they might be just making it all up. Plus, to bracket the words "in your experience" infers a reference to the way their experience was to them, but that's not what I was getting at. Just the opposite actually.

Perhaps the solution is to depersonalize it altogether unless otherwise specified.


That's not bad, but then again someone could also infer that because you used the words "seems to have happened" that there is a connotation that their experience may not have happened, and that you think they might be just making it all up.


the words "seems to have happened" were in your original post:


However assuming your experience is true, what really seems to have happened is that you associated isolated aspects of your experience with a cultural belief ( reincarnation ) in a way that seemed to match, then assumed from that circumstance, that reincarnation is true.
 
S

smcder

Guest
That's not bad, but then again someone could also infer that because you used the words "seems to have happened" that there is a connotation that their experience may not have happened, and that you think they might be just making it all up. Plus, to bracket the words "in your experience" infers a reference to the way their experience was to them, but that's not what I was getting at. Just the opposite actually.

Perhaps the solution is to depersonalize it altogether unless otherwise specified.
Probably over-thinking it at this point, its a matter of learning your style.
 

manxman

Paranormal Adept
smcder, randal throws in the disclaimers like 'assuming' and 'seems' to cover his azz, he got a babtism by fire over in randi's gutter forum, he simply covers his azz without even realising, because over there he would have it 'quoted' back to him over and over, and his words mis-represented over and over.
 
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smcder

Guest
smcder, randal throws in the disclaimers like 'assuming' and 'seems' to cover his azz, he got a babtism by fire over in randi's gutter forum, he simply covers his azz without even realising, because over there he would have it 'quoted' back to him over and over, and his words mis-represented over and over.
That sounds very unpleasant!

I had a look around over there and didn't care for the overall tone.
 

manxman

Paranormal Adept
aye he turned up green as grass, left quite a good debater, with alot of lessons learned about bear-pit debating.

so you see, its not all true what they say about canadians.
 
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smcder

Guest
aye he turned up green as grass, left quite a good debater, with alot of lessons learned about bear-pit debating.

so you see, its not all true what they say about canadians.
y'all come on down to Arkansas and bring a bunch of them JREF fellows . . . we'll sort 'em out quick! You don't go messin' with our Randall!
 


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