I wonder if.....

mac

Administrator
The piece below was lifted from Roberta's blog, July 23 2022.

"Are you able to speak up and tell us now what happened to you during your NDE? Then you never, even for a single moment, ever actually died. To “flat-line” on a monitor does not equate with being “dead,” since the same machine that has just gone flat on one of its monitors is also maintaining your material body’s functions, and therefore that machine is keeping your material body fully alive. If there were no such machine, however, at this moment you would be reading these words in spirit over a living loved one’s shoulder. Insofar as I have been able to determine, our frame-verse this week is the first written mention of the silver cord which connects your energy body with your material body and keeps it alive, and that ancient Biblical verse is testament to the fact that the silver cord has always been visible in dim light when people were out of their material bodies. So even back three thousand years ago, they were able to precisely define what physical death is, and when it occurs! The human silver cord is amazingly stretchy. During life, as the great Robert Monroe demonstrated, you can probably travel to the edges of the universe without having it break. In a more extensive near-death experience, NDE experiencers will often come to the edge of the afterlife foyer area, and they will be warned to turn back because if that NDE-er does not turn back, his silver cord will break, and his material body will die.

The silver cord cannot be reattached. Physical death is always a one-way trip."

I've posted it here to reference Bob Monroe's words. He says: ".... you can probably travel to the edges of the universe without having it break. In a more extensive near-death experience, NDE experiencers will often come to the edge of the afterlife foyer area, and they will be warned to turn back because if that NDE-er does not turn back, his silver cord will break, and his material body will die."

If that's so, if at a crucial point we're warned not to go further because there would be no going back, might it be that some individuals do decide they do not want to go back, even though their physical injury is not necessarily life-threatening? Might it also explain how some individuals pass away unexpectedly and peacefully in their sleep? Not as a consequence of a near-death experience but a decision consciously made during sleep when visiting the astral; a decision not to continue with incarnate life but to journey beyond the point Bob Monroe mentions.

The individual would of course be counseled but no-one could change their decision. Do you think that might actually happen?
 
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bluebird

Major Contributor
Yes, I do think that could happen. Assuming we have free will, which I believe we do, then we could choose not to go back just as well as we could choose to go back. I think it does make some sense in terms of some people dying unexpectedly and peacefully in their sleep, as you mentioned.
 

mac

Administrator
:) I would expect freewill to apply in all situations although I would also expect an individual to be counseled against making a decision likely to be regretted later after their passing

For me it would make sense if an old person without much of an active life, who maybe had raised a family, perhaps lost their beloved companion and achieved most of what (s)he had planned before life here eventually decided it was time to leave incarnate life. But it would not make sense for someone significantly younger to consider it.
 

bluebird

Major Contributor
I see your point, but I can tell you that if I were in that situation, I would definitely consider it. Of course, my husband has died, which is the main reason why I would consider it, but I'm not that old -- but age isn't the only factor to be considered.

I wouldn't be surprised if anyone considering it would be counseled regarding the decision (assuming there is an afterlife, etc.), but I don't necessarily agree that everyone would always be counseled against letting go of earthly life -- I'm sure many would, but for some people it is likely the better choice, and I would hope that any counseling provided would just sort of lay out the options and all reasoning without bias, leaving the individual to decide for her/himself with a clear mind.
 

mac

Administrator
It's purely guesswork but my expectation would be that anyone in the situation we're discussing would be helped by individuals closely associated with the individual and sufficiently knowledgeable about her/him to know what that person chose for her/his life-plan.

In doing that I would expect a measure of 'pressure' to do what's needed to try to achieve that person's hopes/intentions. Please forgive my using your own situation but perhaps what I've suggested may already have happened with yourself?

It's frustrating we don't recall what happens when (or if) we're with our helpers when asleep - as is often said to be the case.
 

mac

Administrator
Another aspect regarding Bob Monroe's idea is that only near-death injury might result in a person's spirit traveling close to the point of no-return. The rest of us may never get anywhere near during ordinary sleep - no matter how far our spirit may wander.

If that is the case my earlier suggestion is unlikely to apply.
 

bluebird

Major Contributor
Hm. I hadn't considered the idea of the "counselors" being people the individual in question actually knew -- I had assumed they would be "angels" (for lack of a better word), or spiritually advanced people who had died at some point before, but whom the individual didn't know. I actually prefer your idea, because it seems to me that would mean that it would be those who love and care for the individual who would be counseling her/him. In my case, hopefully, that would be my husband. You and I don't necessarily agree on the whole "life plan" idea, but I don't think that aspect is essential to this anyway -- whether or not life plans exist, most people have some idea of what they want to do with their lives, and a counselor would presumably be aware (or be made aware) of those things.

Maybe there would be some pressure on the person from those counseling her/him, in an attempt to help or make her/him continue towards those goals. On the other hand, sometimes one's goals change, for various reasons. I don't mind you referring to my situation; I've done the same, and hope you don't mind if I do so again. Speaking for myself, I can say that virtually all of the hopes/intentions I had for my life disappeared the moment my husband died -- so anyone counseling me to return to earthly life in order to pursue those hopes/intentions would be following a dead-end path. Not to mention that my life has only gotten worse in multiple other ways since then as well, and I do not want it.

I don't know if I believe that there are helpers (whether our dead loved ones or some other sort of spiritual help) who visit us while we sleep -- I don't disbelieve it, I'm just agnostic about the idea (not surprisingly for me, lol). I suppose my main sticking point there is that I believe if my husband were visiting me in my dreams/sleep, I would remember, which is why I doubt it has happened to/for me. Maybe I wouldn't remember if anyone else were visiting/counseling me, but him? I would. Not only because it's what I want, but also because I know it would actually help me, it would be better for me to remember than not to remember -- that would be literally the only thing in my entire existence which would bring me any peace or happiness, to know that my beloved still exists, that he is happy and well and loves me, that we will be together again, etc. And I'm sure that my husband knows / would know that, as well -- as would god, if such a being exists. I mean, I literally hate everything about my life as it is, so knowing that my husband exists, etc., could only make things better for me.
 

mac

Administrator
Hm. I hadn't considered the idea of the "counselors" being people the individual in question actually knew -- I had assumed they would be "angels" (for lack of a better word), or spiritually advanced people who had died at some point before, but whom the individual didn't know. I actually prefer your idea, because it seems to me that would mean that it would be those who love and care for the individual who would be counseling her/him.
The way I see things it's the most logical way that an individual would be helped/counseled by those closest to her/him with the caveat that there might also need to be others who could also help in perhaps different ways.

The trouble when considering this situation is that we see it as incarnates whose understanding is severely constrained. Let me be even more specific now - I don't even know if I am persuaded by this 'life-plan' stuff in the first place! ;) lol I've 'said' before that I'm unsure where/when/how I came into contact with the notion but I'm pretty damned sure I didn't encounter it in the stuff I learned from Modern Spiritualism. The teachings there are far simpler and fundamental but the notion of a life plan is one that's complex - if the damned thing even happens the way it's told. Even if it is it's almost totally without any detailed understanding of how it works.

Given those caveats I wonder if we're wasting our effort trying to make sense of it?
 

mac

Administrator
Maybe there would be some pressure on the person from those counseling her/him, in an attempt to help or make her/him continue towards those goals. On the other hand, sometimes one's goals change, for various reasons. I don't mind you referring to my situation; I've done the same, and hope you don't mind if I do so again. Speaking for myself, I can say that virtually all of the hopes/intentions I had for my life disappeared the moment my husband died -- so anyone counseling me to return to earthly life in order to pursue those hopes/intentions would be following a dead-end path. Not to mention that my life has only gotten worse in multiple other ways since then as well, and I do not want it.
Using your example but dealing with the general principle......

ALWAYS ASSUMING there is such a thing as a life plan, and always assuming we actually understand something of how it works, there's no knowing if even a gross change to our circumstances would result in our spirit wanting to abandon the rest of its journey this time. Or in your case, whether the spirit of your husband would counsel you (has already counseled you?) to keep going because HE KNOWS you'll be together again soon and wants you to get from your present unhappy incarnation as much as you can EVEN THOUGH YOU HATE WHERE YOU ARE IN IT. How devastating it might be were you to fail to get some experience or other you have no notion about wanting and then feeling you will need to return again at some point - just for that aspect. :(

I do know exactly how you feel about this and you know that I'll accept your approach BUT even then there is no way you could consciously know (no way anyone could know about themselves facing something equally devastating) what you MIGHT miss out on by leaving this world sooner than at the natural time.
 

mac

Administrator
I don't know if I believe that there are helpers (whether our dead loved ones or some other sort of spiritual help) who visit us while we sleep -- I don't disbelieve it, I'm just agnostic about the idea (not surprisingly for me, lol).
Ooer..... There's something not quite accurate here.... The idea is that during sleep (certain parts of sleep - that's my modifier) our spirit is temporarily free to 'go visiting' in the Astral level, a time (it's said) that we can be with other spirits and where we may receive help/counseling EVEN THOUGH WE WON'T REMEMBER IT. (my capitals) Visits to be with us by loved ones when we're asleep may be different and may be what's often termed 'visitations'. Some lucky buggers remember those events and maybe the rest of us also have these visitations but we can't remember/recall 'em. It's a bummer!


I suppose my main sticking point there is that I believe if my husband were visiting me in my dreams/sleep, I would remember, which is why I doubt it has happened to/for me. Maybe I wouldn't remember if anyone else were visiting/counseling me, but him? I would.
You might be mistaken, bb. For comparison I do not remember our son coming to me during sleep but I have no doubt he does. I feel sure others do too but I don't remember although I sometimes sense it's they who lead me to write/say what I do - sometimes.

Not only because it's what I want, but also because I know it would actually help me, it would be better for me to remember than not to remember....
Your husband is unlikely to be able to make you remember, bb. I don't doubt for one moment what you say about how you would feel but as far as I understand (not very far I concede!) whatever mechanism we have for such recall is not something a discarnate visitor can modify or enhance.



-- that would be literally the only thing in my entire existence which would bring me any peace or happiness, to know that my beloved still exists, that he is happy and well and loves me, that we will be together again, etc. And I'm sure that my husband knows / would know that, as well -- as would god, if such a being exists. I mean, I literally hate everything about my life as it is, so knowing that my husband exists, etc., could only make things better for me.
Oh God how I feel for you bb.... :(

I get all that and I wish I knew a way it could be changed - I know you know that's how I feel. :(
 

mac

Administrator
I got to reflecting over early breakfast this morning and before I wrote all the stuff above.

All our recent conversation is predicated on Bob Monroe's idea being kosher, predicated on our spirit being able to journey to the far reaches of (quote) "...the edges of the universe.... " But the Astral Level - where we are said to meet up with our loved ones during sleep - ain't in this universe. Wherever our spirit wanders trailing the silver umbilical-like cord that tethers us to our physical body as incarnates, we're not wandering in THIS universe. I expect Bob Monroe draws similar attention to that in his book. And wherever we get to wandering, however 'distant' that appears to be, we may still not be anywhere even close to the dimension we will live in after we die.

I've never seen this mentioned but any travel during sleep - when we're said to meet up with loved ones long gone - may not take us to the exact same dimension they live in. They may also have 'traveled' from their own dimension to the one where they'll find us - us as our spirit selves. Perhaps this meeting is somewhat similar to what's reported by those who've experienced NDE. A meeting of spirits who are ALL in a dimension slightly different from their 'natural' one.

I mention this only as an afterthought. ;)
 

bluebird

Major Contributor
I do think it makes sense, your idea that the best way to help an individual would be for her/him to be counseled by those closest to her/him (and possibly others who could help in different ways, that seems logical to me as well).

From what you've said in this thread as well as in past discussions we've had, I think that perhaps you and I view the soul/spirit a bit differently. Assuming that the soul and the afterlife do exist, I view it as I am my soul -- the soul is the most essential part of a person, the body is just a temporary housing. So essentially whatever "I" want is what my "spirit" wants, since we are one and the same. I get that you are kind of referring to the idea of one's "higher self", but for the most part I don't subscribe to that theory. And even if you're right and some part of me thinks there's some point or purpose to continuing my life, the "me" that is talking to you right now is the part that has to actively live this life, and it is not a life I want, no matter what I might miss out on if I leave it. And as much as I absolutely love my husband, his view on the matter doesn't change my mind about it. I would very much prefer to just be done with this life and be together with him ASAP, and I very much doubt I would ever choose to return here again (of course I know that I can't be sure of that last part, but as of now that is my view).

You're right that there is a difference between us going visiting with other souls (of dead loved ones) and them coming to us in visitation dreams, but either way I believe I would remember any such interactions with my husband. Maybe my husband couldn't make me be able to remember, but I just believe that I would remember. And if I'm wrong and if there's any sort of god, then that god ought to facilitate such remembering -- maybe not in all cases, depending on the individual, but definitely in my case. You said you don't remember your son coming to you during your sleep, but that you have no doubt he does so -- may I ask why you feel that way? I'm not saying you're not correct, I just want to know how/why you feel as you do, I suppose in the hope that it might help me.

I know you understand where I'm coming from, even when we don't agree, and I really do appreciate it.
 

mac

Administrator
How I feel about the situation is - as you will have anticipated - very different from how you see things, bb. I don't expect that will change for us this side of the divide.... I can't explain how I feel concerning our son visiting with me. It's just something deep inside, intuitive I suppose. And again unlike with yourself the human me is very definitely the spirit me. Not because of any higher-self argument - because I don't subscribe to that either - but because of how I consider that one's spirit, everyone's individual spirit, animates the lumps of meat we live in.

I am very definitely not my soul or spirit and my spirit very definitely isn't 'me' in this world. Spirit animates me, probably motivates and partially shapes me but isn't me. I guess it's all down to personal perception and appreciation.

As for God I'm different yet again; I see God and source as not the same - I see God as overseeing the whole universe shebang, the location in which everything and everyone (we know about) exists. Source is the energy that animates the whole shebang.
 

bluebird

Major Contributor
I don't think I knew that you see "God" and "source" as two different things. So would you say that to you, "source" is similar to the Catholic/Christian idea of the Holy Spirit? Or just as a purely physical life force?

Also -- if you are ok with sharing this, how do you see/characterize god?
 

mac

Administrator
oh, bb! ;)

Simple questions but so tricky to answer.

First things first. Is the source for me similar to the Catholic/Christian idea? I don't actually know what their idea of the Holy Spirit is so I can't answer your question but if it is then it's purely by coincidence! I've been blessed not to have been exposed to mainstream religions other than perhaps in elementary school but I can't remember. If it's in there somewhere it's in pretty deep!

My approach to God has developed over a number of years and under various influences, one being Spiritualism's general teachings, another the words of teachers and guides, a third the channeled ideas in a book I chanced upon. They're the easy explanations of how I reached the point I'm at. Now on to the hard one! How do I see or characterise God?

I've tried to firm up my emotions and ideas surrounding what I see as God. It was all-but impossible. Trying to define one aspect immediately required I link it to another and then another. An analogy would be like trying to firmly hold a large water-filled balloon before measuring its various dimensions. Success for a fleeting moment before the shape changes under your hand's pressure, constantly changing its shape as you try to get a better grip. Getting a grip on characterising God might be simpler by saying what it's not for me.

God has no form or simple/single identity. It's not an individual, not a man, not a woman, not anything we can picture.
It imposes no constraints on us but neither does it allow us to do anything. What we can't do or what we can comes about in accordance with the system parameters. To use your example, what I see is that God doesn't allow us to remember the experiences we've been discussing but doesn't actually prevent us. Recall occurs or fails to occur in line with the system in place. Who devised that system - good question! I don't know- period but as I see things, God oversees all systems, oversees every event but doesn't interfere with any of them. It likely devised them all; I have no idea how but I can comfortably live with my ignorance!

That's briefly how I characterise it - God that is. There's no capitalised pronoun 'Him' for me, not even him or her - for me. In the specific case above, God doesn't prevent us remembering any visits or visitations and isn't responsible for our not recalling any of our own. As a final thought, we don't know what we don't remember and we can't know what we might not be able to recall.
 

bluebird

Major Contributor
Christians, at least those who adhere to the full dogma, believe that "God" is a trinity -- the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Three parts of a triune god. I don't subscribe to that myself, but I was raised more-or-less Catholic, so I was taught this stuff (although thankfully the church I attended as a child was a loving and inclusive one).

I know C of E is as much of a cultural thing as a religious one, and actually isn't overly religious, but how did you avoid being taught at least some of whatever they teach there?

Personally, insofar as I considered it at all, I kind of viewed the Holy Spirit (if indeed it existed) as the expression of god's energy at work in the world. So I suppose I'm really thinking that your view of "Source" aligns more with my view of the "Holy Spirit" than it does with standard Christianity's view of it.

I like your imagery/example of the water-filled balloon and how trying to characterize or define god is like trying to measure that balloon -- makes sense to me. It sounds to me as though you feel god likely created/started everything, set the (scientific?) parameters and set it all in motion, and then just stepped back and from that point on just observes but does not take action. Have I got that right? I know that's a recognized view; I'm pretty sure there's at least one philosopher who holds that view, but a quick google search didn't help me figure out who it might be.

That viewpoint (assuming I have understood you correctly) is definitely one possibility. I'm in a strange position, as I'm sort of torn on my view of god. You know I'm agnostic, so I don't know if there is a god. However, assuming for the sake of argument that there is some sort of god -- on the one hand I would hope/prefer that it is a loving, sentient being who cares for us in a deeply meaningful way (which is what I used to believe before I became agnostic, and what I hoped was true once I did), while on the other hand since my husband's death I find it impossible to believe that that is the case. If there is a god, I agree that it is neither male nor female -- I don't believe any sort of god-being would be constrained by such limits.

If you are correct in that god neither allows nor disallows us to remember the experiences we've been discussing, and that recall occurs or fails to occur in line with the system in place (and I acknowledge that this is one possibility), then in your opinion what factors determine who is able to remember, why/when a person is or is not able to remember, etc.? Assuming the meetings/experiences do occur at least for some people, it's definitely not based on the amount of love or closeness between two people, or I would have memories of such meetings with my husband. It's not based on "psychic" abilities either, because I would remember based on that as well. So what do you think it's based on? (Incidentally -- I realize my last couple of questions may sound a bit snarky, and I swear I don't mean them that way, I just can't seem to phrase them any better....)
 

mac

Administrator
Christians, at least those who adhere to the full dogma, believe that "God" is a trinity -- the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Three parts of a triune god. I don't subscribe to that myself, but I was raised more-or-less Catholic, so I was taught this stuff (although thankfully the church I attended as a child was a loving and inclusive one).
I've heard all that guff many times. It means nothing to me....

I know C of E is as much of a cultural thing as a religious one, and actually isn't overly religious, but how did you avoid being taught at least some of whatever they teach there?
Oh I expect I was taught it but even in those early years I'm sure I thought it all a crock - just as I do now. ;)

Personally, insofar as I considered it at all, I kind of viewed the Holy Spirit (if indeed it existed) as the expression of god's energy at work in the world. So I suppose I'm really thinking that your view of "Source" aligns more with my view of the "Holy Spirit" than it does with standard Christianity's view of it.
I reject the word holy in any connection - it has no meaning for me. The spirit might be a similar thing but I switch off when 'holy' gets mentioned.

I like your imagery/example of the water-filled balloon and how trying to characterize or define god is like trying to measure that balloon -- makes sense to me.
I worked hard to find something appropriate for the level of difficulty.

It sounds to me as though you feel god likely created/started everything, set the (scientific?) parameters and set it all in motion, and then just stepped back and from that point on just observes but does not take action. Have I got that right?
just about

I know that's a recognized view; I'm pretty sure there's at least one philosopher who holds that view, but a quick google search didn't help me figure out who it might be.
I don't have a clue - I don't do philosophy. I'm a simple soul....

That viewpoint (assuming I have understood you correctly) is definitely one possibility. I'm in a strange position, as I'm sort of torn on my view of god. You know I'm agnostic, so I don't know if there is a god. However, assuming for the sake of argument that there is some sort of god -- on the one hand I would hope/prefer that it is a loving, sentient being who cares for us in a deeply meaningful way (which is what I used to believe before I became agnostic, and what I hoped was true once I did),
I don't use those words but it's essentially how I see God - deeply caring but not there to change outcomes. Cause-and-effect determines outcomes.


.....while on the other hand since my husband's death I find it impossible to believe that that is the case.
I do understand.

If there is a god, I agree that it is neither male nor female -- I don't believe any sort of god-being would be constrained by such limits.
Gender is solely for procreation - it has no relevance for God.

If you are correct in that god neither allows nor disallows us to remember the experiences we've been discussing, and that recall occurs or fails to occur in line with the system in place (and I acknowledge that this is one possibility), then in your opinion what factors determine who is able to remember, why/when a person is or is not able to remember, etc.?
It might be down to one's personal level of spiritual evolvement. There might be a similar explanation for psychic awareness or being a medium or healer. We simply don't know what makes a person one or more of those things. I used to ponder such matters. Now I just accept 'em as just a few of the myriad things I don't understand. :)


Assuming the meetings/experiences do occur at least for some people, it's definitely not based on the amount of love or closeness between two people, or I would have memories of such meetings with my husband. It's not based on "psychic" abilities either, because I would remember based on that as well. So what do you think it's based on? (Incidentally -- I realize my last couple of questions may sound a bit snarky, and I swear I don't mean them that way, I just can't seem to phrase them any better....)
I don't hear 'em as snarky. I often find it hard to find acceptable words and phrases. I agree it's not down to how much one cares about someone but psychic sensitivity/awareness - perhaps an outcome of spiritual progession as I have suggested elsewhere - might well be a significant factor.

Our scientists know only a little about memory. It may be that one's animating spirit visit to the so-called world of the spirit - a dimension different from the one in which we're living - is not recorded in regular memory cells, the ones in use in the human body. But might it be that such experiences are recorded in a different form of memory, one associated with our spirit form, a non-material one from which regular recall can't happen? This would link to my earlier suggestion of how more spiritually evolved individuals may remember - and be able to retrieve - details we can't?

Apologies if I've missed anything important or not been clear. I've also been watching Germany and France in the semi-final of the Euro 2022 soccer championships while I've been writing!
 

bluebird

Major Contributor
I've always wondered about the word "holy" and what, if anything, it might actually mean in relation to a god or gods. It holds no special place for me, either, since I cannot determine what it would mean in relation to god, nor if it has any meaning at all beyond religiosity.

Ok, so you view god as deeply caring for us, but not stepping in or taking action. In that case, my question to you would be -- why not? I'm not saying god, if there is one, should step in to stop every parking ticket or spilled glass of orange juice, but when it comes to child abuse, rape, brain cancer, starvation, and the multitude of other horrors this life contains, why the hell doesn't/wouldn't god step in and take action?!? And if it doesn't, what is the point of its existence? I realize this butts up against the issue of free will, and I am not sure how to reconcile the two ideas, but surely if there is any sort of god it can get off its divine ass and help us, established parameters be damned.

Speaking for myself, if god wouldn't prevent my husband's untimely death, at the very least it could make it so that I would know for sure that there's an afterlife, that my husband is happy and well there, and that we will be together again. I will never be convinced that that, at least, is too much to ask.

Thank you for answering my question as to what you believe is the determining factor(s) as to who remembers encounters with dead loved ones, etc. I can't say I agree with you on this point, though. I may not be the most spiritually advanced soul in existence, but if that is the determining factor and if that is a parameter that god has set, then god is a bastard. Knowing my husband exists and is well and that we will be together again would help me to progress spiritually. Without that I am literally stagnant, in every possible way. Also, what about people who most would consider to be "spiritually advanced", but who also have not had experiences with their dead loved ones?

Your idea about the memories of spiritual visits being recorded/held somewhere other than in one's human mind is an interesting one, and may have some validity. But to my way of thinking, if it's not stored in the mind then it's stored in the soul, and since I am my soul then I should still be able to remember, if I had/have such experiences.

Who are you rooting for in the football/soccer match?
 

mac

Administrator
I've always wondered about the word "holy" and what, if anything, it might actually mean in relation to a god or gods. It holds no special place for me, either, since I cannot determine what it would mean in relation to god, nor if it has any meaning at all beyond religiosity.
We agree on that, then! :) lol

Ok, so you view god as deeply caring for us, but not stepping in or taking action. In that case, my question to you would be -- why not?
Because that would change the dynamics and this God entity would be reviewing and stepping in for all manner of 'stuff'. Where would the dividing line be between trivial and important? Who could decide other than God?

I'm not saying god, if there is one, should step in to stop every parking ticket or spilled glass of orange juice, but when it comes to child abuse, rape, brain cancer, starvation, and the multitude of other horrors this life contains, why the hell doesn't/wouldn't god step in and take action?!? And if it doesn't, what is the point of its existence? I realize this butts up against the issue of free will, and I am not sure how to reconcile the two ideas, but surely if there is any sort of god it can get off its divine ass and help us, established parameters be damned.
God has no ass up from which to get..... It's not an individual as we understand that word. It's bigger than anything we can conceive of. What's the point of existence? Same answer - bigger than anything we can conceive of - just as with the God entity.

Speaking for myself, if god wouldn't prevent my husband's untimely death, at the very least it could make it so that I would know for sure that there's an afterlife, that my husband is happy and well there, and that we will be together again. I will never be convinced that that, at least, is too much to ask.
Same point as that following the last paragraph....

Thank you for answering my question as to what you believe is the determining factor(s) as to who remembers encounters with dead loved ones, etc. I can't say I agree with you on this point, though.
Always my pleasure to try to help but always my sadness that it doesn't. :( In life few people agree with what I say or write. I've grown used to it over three quarters (fourths for other readers lol) of a century. ;)

I may not be the most spiritually advanced soul in existence,
That's almost certain...

......but if that is the determining factor and if that is a parameter that god has set, then god is a bastard. Knowing my husband exists and is well and that we will be together again would help me to progress spiritually. Without that I am literally stagnant, in every possible way. Also, what about people who most would consider to be "spiritually advanced", but who also have not had experiences with their dead loved ones?
God has and had no hand in what happened to your husband or the way it's hit you. As for those most might see as spiritually progressed, we know nothing about their (perhaps many) incarnations, the trials they may have faced, the ways they may have coped with those trials....... We can not assess who has progressed to what spiritual level from what experiences they have had or endured. We know NOTHING about any of them.

Your idea about the memories of spiritual visits being recorded/held somewhere other than in one's human mind is an interesting one, and may have some validity. But to my way of thinking, if it's not stored in the mind then it's stored in the soul, and since I am my soul then I should still be able to remember, if I had/have such experiences.
We'll just have to agree that how you and I view spirit and soul is very different. I am quite certain that I - aka mac here on ALF - am NOT my soul or my spirit. I am equally certain that I don't have access to however much, or however little, my animating spirit knows or remembers.

Who are you rooting for in the football/soccer match?
Finishing on this altogether lighter note, the 2022 Euro Championships are WOMEN'S football. (soccer or soccer-football as my trans-Atlantic friends would have it! lol) The England team is in the final on Sunday coming. The England team beat favorites Sweden 4-0! They face the winner of yesterday evening's semi-final which was Germany (2-1 against France) The French might have been marginally lesser opponents for the Sunday final but actual opponents Germany will be a considerable test of the England team I expect. So I wasn't rooting for either Germany or France yesterday evening but I was viewing the match with interest and anticipation.

Women's football quite justifiably is on a major roll in the UK, decades after it ought to have been. Our daughter couldn't play soccer when she was in senior school because the boys got all the opportunities, no matter what their abilities were. Things are now changing and that change is desperately long overdue. It's high time females got the same opportunities to play soccer properly competitively and publicly.

It's not so very long ago the male-dominated English Football League PREVENTED women playing! How sick and male-chauvinistic is that!!!!???
 

bluebird

Major Contributor
It seems that you and I view god, if there is one, rather differently. Assuming that there is a god, I truly don't think there's any way for any of us (any human, I mean) to really understand the nature of god, but in my opinion god should take a more active role in our existence than you seem to believe it should. Agreed that god "has no ass up from which to get", lol (and I appreciate your grammatically correct phrasing!); that was meant more figuratively.

As for the dividing line between trivial and important, I'm not sure -- I suppose I would say that anything that would deeply affect an individual would be important (and if god is omniscient -- which is another discussion, lol -- then it would know which things those would be). Now, what god actually does or doesn't do I don't know, I'm just saying that in my opinion it should have some level of involvement in our existence, at least when it comes to preventing tragedies. Of course it's likely that god doesn't give a damn about any of our opinions of it, but I'm discussing this with you, not with god, lol.

I don't think that god killed my husband, but if god has the power to prevent his death but did not do so, then it allowed him to die. You view such passivity on god's part as blameless and/or part of the nature of god/existence; I do not. I don't fully blame god for my husband's death -- my husband should have taken better care of his health, and god did not make those types of decisions for him -- but I do, clearly, carry a fair amount of anger towards god for not preventing his actual death. If god is omniscient and omnipotent, then it could have allowed my husband's unhealthy choices (eating poorly, smoking) to lead to a small heart attack that could have served as a wake-up call to my husband, but instead he had the aptly named "widow-maker" heart attack. I do agree that god had/has no part in how my husband's death affects me -- my feelings are my own. But again, if god is omniscient, then it knew how my husband's death would affect me, knew that his death would destroy both of our lives as well as impacting others, yet allowed it to happen. And I know thousands of people die every day and that death is a part of life, but come on -- letting the love of my life, the only man I have ever loved, the only man I ever even dated, drop dead of a massive heart attack one week to the day after our wedding?!? That's just cruel.

You're right that we don't know the trials that each "spiritually progressed" person has dealt with, how each of them coped with those trials, etc. In my view, not all spiritually progressed people have faced horrific circumstances, though I'm sure many have. Regardless, since it seems (admittedly this is my perception, and I could be wrong about this) that most people are not so lucky/blessed as to receive visits from (or travel to, however you want to view it) their dead loved ones, statistically at least some of those who have not had such visits must be spiritually advanced -- and still, nothing.

For the sake of argument, though -- in my opinion, it is those who, like me, do not have faith who need such visits most. That we mostly don't get them points to either the lack of a god or at least the lack of a loving god, as far as I'm concerned. And if god is more or less as you view it, then I have no use for such an uncaring being.

I really don't get how you view the human soul in the way that you do, so I guess you're right that we'll just have to agree to disagree there.

I didn't realize the football matches you were referring to were/are between women's teams -- that's great! It sounds like the English team did very well against Sweden, while Germany and France were more closely matched. Hopefully the upcoming England/Germany match will be a good one!
 

mac

Administrator
Responses to your points in reverse order..... Yes it's women's football and it is now acknowledged for its game skills but played with less of the cynically foul play too often seen in the men's game.

We're looking forward to the final on Sunday. There's a huge pressure on the English team because Germany's women are extremely good players. Added to that there are years of rivalry between the German nation and my own.

It's not just about the soul/spirit where we see things very differently, bb - I don't expect, however, my perspective will be any more accurate than your own. And that's just fine for both of us because we can maintain our personal positions without either getting upset. You know I would never try to influence you. (or for that matter anyone else) I do wish I could show you, though, a direction that might one day help you find some relief from the deep sadness in your life.

We could continue to discuss and debate 'til the cows come home what we expect God to be, or to do or to avoid doing. You have strong feelings about how God should behave - I don't. That topic would make an interesting thread on ALF were there enough members prepared to contribute! But those times have passed, the various social media having seduced those who might once have been attracted to, and then active on, ALF.

Sometimes I reflect on those years when things were very different here. Sometimes I look back and wonder where those once-active members are now. I do wonder if they've become any more knowledgeable over the years or whether their interest faded away. I guess forums were as attractive then as Facebook and other media are now. But they too will one day lose their current appeal, folk perhaps tiring of pecking at tiny letters and symbols on a tiny screen. Tired of adverts and the crap they receive in feeds....

I wonder what the future will bring to engage and entertain the online masses? ;)
 
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bluebird

Major Contributor
You're right in that you and I view quite a few of these matters rather differently -- and you're also right about us each being able to have our different views without getting upset with one another. I do know that you do not try to influence me; you have been nothing but kind and helpful to me. You know I very much value and appreciate our friendship, and our ability to discuss (and maybe lightly argue? lol) without anger or vitriol.

It would be nice if ALF were more active, if we had a more vibrant participating community here again. I'm not as sure as you are of the causes of the downturn in participation, but it is a shame regardless. Still, although it's just been you and I having the discussion in this thread, at least so far, I think it was still worth doing.

Good luck to England in the match! ;)
 

mac

Administrator
thanks for the good luck wishes for our England women's squad :)

It's likely to be a tough game and supporters will be cock-a-hoop if England wins - as would the Germans if their team's victorious. I'm hoping it will be a good, close match whatever the eventual outcome and the worst outcome - other than a defeat for our guys - would be a close game ending in a draw after extra time and needing a penalty shoot-out to decide the outcome. I hate those but there has to be a way to decide the winner. So to spiritual matters....

I enjoy our conversations. I don't know if we've ever really argued but we've definitely disagreed strongly over certain points. I've accepted forum-based websites as being out of favor and out of fashion. A few still operate but they attract some very odd characters who I wouldn't care for on ALF.

I checked out my ideas by joining several Facebook special interest pages for comparison. I found a wide range of spiritual interest groups and for several months I followed numerous subjects on the pages. Some topics resulted in hundreds of postings although the "Never mind the quality, feel the width." principle often applied. I rarely found I could get involved in a serious conversation and comments frequently were self-centred and/or shallow or brief and trite. I found the whole period very dispiriting - no pun intended! But I've since withdrawn from most Facebook stuff other than sometimes reading material by one or two serious teaching mediums.

In fairness to Facebook, mediums can reach out very effectively and advertise their demonstrations and lectures etc so I happily acknowledge it's not all bad.
 

mac

Administrator
You're right in that you and I view quite a few of these matters rather differently -- and you're also right about us each being able to have our different views without getting upset with one another. I do know that you do not try to influence me; you have been nothing but kind and helpful to me. You know I very much value and appreciate our friendship, and our ability to discuss (and maybe lightly argue? lol) without anger or vitriol.

It would be nice if ALF were more active, if we had a more vibrant participating community here again. I'm not as sure as you are of the causes of the downturn in participation, but it is a shame regardless. Still, although it's just been you and I having the discussion in this thread, at least so far, I think it was still worth doing.
thank you for your kind words, bb

I do wish there were new seekers we could try to help because I feel sure there are no fewer individuals looking for understanding than in the past. I can only hope they found what they were looking for.

It's good for me when you don't accept what I write because it prompts me to check I'm not just trotting out the same old guff without thought. I have often remarked I might seem like an old LP with the player's needle stuck in a groove (that will baffle any younger member! lol) and I do need to check I'm actually thinking-before-writing. It reminds me also that I need to pay attention to good, logical, methodical presentation - it would be easy to jump from one point to another without linking them. Add to all that my needing to consider why I 'say' what I say.

As I mentioned recently, I'm unsure exactly where I picked up this notion of so-called life plans but I reckon it was here on ALF. I'm certain that's the situation with so-called exit points. Writing about them without sufficient care might make it appear there's a blueprint for each individual that's followed without deviation. When trying to explain more simply how we set for ourselves targets or hopes for our intended new incarnation I am forever adding the caveat that not every event in life was planned beforehand. To use an American crudity, shit happens.

Things that weren't intended come about because there are factors outside of any pre-planning we carried out. The outcomes of others' life plans, perhaps, or plain misadventure or 'bad-luck'. But life-planning was never in the teachings of the guide whose words and ideas shape my own. So I really do need to think-before-I-write to make sure I'm properly evaluating modern ideas and/or beliefs and not just parroting the ideas/beliefs of mortals.

Having my thoughts and ideas rejected makes me consider whether I've presented 'stuff' the way I wanted. Naturally nobody has to accept a single scrat but it's important to me that I do my best to offer my thoughts and ideas clearly and simply.
 
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mac

Administrator
thanks :) oh boy! What a game and what a result for the England Women's Football Team - European Champions!

Germany had won the last 8 championships and were a formidable team, the absolute clear favorites to win again. It was 1-1 at the end of fulltime and it was still that score at the end of the first period of extra time. The second period of extra time saw both teams neck-and-neck and the play was furious and desperate. The dreaded penalty shoot out to decide the winner was looking ever more likely as the last minutes ticked by.

But then England scored after 10 minutes and held on to the ball and their match-winning lead - they won 2-1. Wembley Stadium erupted! We haven't seen such a game with England as winners against Germany since the 1966 men's championship - it was a BIG deal!

I watched it all and loved it and I'm not a football fan! Something positive for the Brits at a time when our tiny country is heading down the toilet pan for so many reasons. :(
 
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