Pat & Alix
--You said you believe in evil because you've felt it, and I realized that I have, too -- I think maybe we just define it differently. But I did feel a sudden, overwhelming sense of dread and grief and horror when I stepped (unknowingly) into the spot where many people believe the real shooter stood and took aim at John F. Kennedy... and when I walked through the prison at Alcatraz, I felt a more nebulous sense of rage and misery all around. So whether evil is an entity
or not, it does leave its mark -- on that we agree!Strange Wings
wrote, "I don't need promises of punishment or reward to make me be a decent moral person." Yes! Exactly! Skippymjp
wrote, "I don't know," and that may be the bravest thing any of us has said on the subject!
Several people brought up deja vu as evidence for reincarnation, which it could be. When I have a deja vu, though, it's very specifically of this
life -- a series of tiny, insignificant events that lasts only a few seconds and feels just like I've hit rewind on a VCR. There's a theory that this kind of deja vu is simply a misfire in the brain: the current moment being processed electrochemically as if it were a memory, creating that sense of deja vu.
I think that's different from memories of past lives, which can be very convincing and may indeed suggest that reincarnation is real. Either that, or maybe we somehow tap into a sort of communal memory at times and perceive it as our own past experience. Either way... wow!GingersMom
wrote, "if I were to die tomorrow, I think I've lived a good life and happily could let go into nothingness, if that's all there is." That's wonderful! I hope we can all achieve that sense of wholeness before we pass.Mirinae
-- I don't think our departed loved ones have to hang around all the time. I think time may even become meaningless once you pass, and what may seem like a constant presence to us may be the blink of an eye to them. Or maybe they appear in our lives only when we especially need them, as Fwan's lost sister seems to have done. I truly admire your strength in rejecting the idea of an afterlife -- but I've had experiences that give me great hope for one, and I do cling to that, I admit.Strange Wings
also mentioned that some ghosts may not actually be active spirits, but simply "recorded" energy that replays over and over. That makes perfect sense, and there's a lot of evidence for it.Yosemite
-- According to an investigative report I saw some years ago, the secret core beliefs of Scientology (revealed only to long-term, high-ranking members of the "church") have to do with long-ago aliens stuffing the souls of their criminals into volcanos on our planet, and the evil of those alien souls being spewed out when the volcanos erupt, thus filling our world with turmoil. It's almost impossible to believe that anyone would buy into such an idea, but maybe after years of indoctrination, it seems more reasonable to them...Oregon
wrote, "A co-worker of mine had his young teen son commit suicide. I still don't see why he should be sharing the same hell as a murderous shooter or eventually GWBush." Well, I admit that GWBush certainly makes me wish I did
believe in Hell!
But I don't, and even if I did, I would never buy into the idea that a person who has suffered such torment in life as to be driven to suicide should continue to suffer after death. Surely they of all people should be greeted with loving compassion in the afterlife.
And of course there is no doubt in my mind that animals have souls, and that the loved ones we will, I dearly hope, be reunited with in the afterlife will include our beloved pets.Tari
wrote, "What a great discussion! It’s such a credit to the group of people in this community that we can have an open-minded discussion about something as personal as spirituality without it descending into something negative. I find myself, once again, immensely grateful for such a wonderful online community of wonderful people!"
I couldn't agree more. You folks are just the best.