Religion’s Lost Dimension
 
By  OVE VON SPAETH

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copyright © 2007  www.moses-egypt.netm




A perception or an experience is not more or less true because a large
number of persons believe in it, and around the world there are different
views on the subject reincarnation.
- In search of an overview among the many interpretations of the idea
of reincarnation, the sources should be critical evaluated; many sources
advocate reincarnation as being a fact, and in many other sources a demythologization seems to be desired.

 

Neutral narratives regarding the reality of reincarnation are rare. In view of this, a considerable repression can be found in the history of this important element of the past; but for more than one fourth of the of the 2,000-year history of western religions, this element, reincarnation, also belonged to branches of the Christian Church.

          Most of this world's religions and religious denominations are based on a conviction of a continuation after death. It has been said that without that perception we would have no pyramids, no works by Dante or Homer, no Hamlet, etc. The general idea behind the doctrine of reincarnation (re 'again', in 'in', and karne 'flesh') is that after death the soul will again let itself be borne in a physical ("mortal") body.

          In India the Hindu religion and related religious denominations understand death as a transition period. Tibetan monks offer a special aid to dying people by bringing the person better through this phase.

          Many times the spiritual philosopher Rudolf Steiner maintained that between each life the soul - the eternal soul never dying away - stayed between or on the stars in the universe. - This theme was also worshipped in ancient Egypt and has left special traces, for instance within the cultic architecture.

 

 
The Lotus flower – emerging from the mud at the dark bottom of the water
and then making a beautiful blooming up in the light of the sun
- in Egypt and India the lotus is a symbol of rebirth.



           To many people the subject of reincarnation can appear strange so that it is not ascribed sufficient historical significance. But in order to confront the history of religion in a realistic way it has to be understood that it concerns quite another - and at times very widespread - picture of the world. - Circumstances and considerations of reincarnation, existing also inside the Christian religion, became in later times by loss of history knowledge given meaningless interpretations. 

          Exclusive cultic knowledge from an early mystery cultic superstructure of Moses' religion can still be traced in the Bible - coherent to a degree not previously possible to prove. This included a knowledge comprising the learning of 'afterlife' and new life - the reincarnation. Ideas of reincarnation can be traced in all historic civilizations at all times.

          The oldest Christian Church or congregation was founded on the basis of ancient Christian groups in the first century AD. From the beginning special branches were very influenced by initiation cults and other Middle East religious ideas, many especially from Egypt.

          A comprehensive group was called the Gnostics - the name stems from Greek gnosis, i.e. 'recognition'. A large part of these united with many other Christian groups were also believers in reincarnation, and after the 3rd and 4th century they were persecuted by the Church. 
 


 

          The basic idea in reincarnation is that mortal death is not the same as total death - the human potential loses a 'shelter', but has the possibility to find another one. To get a new body is among Indian Yogis compared with simply "changing coat". A universal track without ending and with station after station - "life is existence is eternal".

          The perceptions of reincarnation are very different. Through times many who accepted the idea, have understood a variety of ideas subjectively - e.g. the way of reincarnation, time distances between re-birth etc. - as a firm pattern without the feature that individual differences were valid for everybody! A broad overview will reveal that this does not seem to happen according to firm rules, but rather according to certain, superior principles.

          Throughout history reincarnation has been subject to a number of different traditions and descriptions. The differences stem from popular imaginations about reincarnation and also from particular interpretations, e.g. with cultic initiated.  
 

 

          Hindus and Jains learn that the row of incarnations can get an ending, and that a complete sequence of such a long cycle of lives, deaths, and re-births may last for 8.4 million years. The cycle can be interrupted if the person in question can reach the same state of recognition and purity "as the 24 great gurus".

          By these religions as well as in traditional Buddhist cosmology, the lives of the individual can be in any of a large number of states of being, including those of humans, any kind of animal, and several types of supernatural being. The type of rebirth that arises at the end of one life is conditioned by the karmas (actions of body, speech and mind) of the previous life; good karmas can yield a happier rebirth, bad karmas may produce one which is more unhappy.

          Differences exist mutually between traditional oriental ideas about reincarnation and also the perceptions introduced by the present western world - now interpreted in the light of western evolutionary optimism, e.g. the row of lives as a school by which the person becomes more and more capable, life after life.

 

 

          The entire eternal universe is cyclical, and so are the lives; the same tings can happen again and again, however, they can also eventually "mutate" into new forms and levels - cyclically coiling.

          In the much respected work of wisdom from Egyptian antiquity, "Corpus Hermeticum", its Treaty 11:2 seems to approach certain conditions of the Einstein relativity theory and thoughts, which for instance are expressing that basically the universe has no time.

          However, our memory of time is contributing to the creation of a "mathematical" idolizing of an idea or an imagination of time.

          We perceive the factor of time by the sequences of the phenomena - however, concerning "life after life" normally the remembrance of earlier links in a chain seems oblivious.

 


The Egyptian god Osiris was often shown with his face black - symbolizing the rebirth.

             To the ancient Egyptians the creation and the following cycles of life and death (the afterlife) were always in the focus. In accordance with this, it was the religious aim to attend to the major and minor natural cycles of which the world consists in an interaction between concealed, potential, and visible, manifested being.

          Therefore, the perception of the interplay between these mechanisms and structures - in the world, in life, in cosmos - very early was considered being of greatest importance.

          In the living universe the spiritual dimensions which in ancient Egypt were perceived as crossing through the universe - may be hard to understand on the present basis of another perception of the world, because western culture in certain ways has evolved to become history's first prevailing "non-religious" civilization.

 

          The Japanese reformative Buddhist monk, Nichiren Daishonin, 1222–1282, by whom a particular form of this philosophy was developed, wrote: "… Life is indeed an elusive reality that transcends both the words and concepts of existence and non-existence. It is neither existence nor non-existence, yet exhibits the qualities of both. …"

          One of his most leading followers today, Daisaku Ikeda, president of Soka Gakkai International, has stated - in his guest lecture in 1993, at Harvard University, Cambridge – that:
          "… Modern civilization has attempted to ignore death. - For many people living today, death is the mere absence of life; it is blankness; it is void. - But now we finally seem to beginning to understand ... that death, together with life, is necessary for the formation of a larger, more essential whole. This greater whole reflects the deeper continuity of life and death … A central challenge for the coming century will be to establish a culture based on an understanding of the relationship of life and death and of life’s essential eternity …"
(Daisaku Ikeda: "A New Humanism", New York and Tokyo 1996, pp. 152-153).
 


          Originally the prince Siddhartha Gautama, 563-483 BC, becoming the historical Buddha, was educated by traditional high-level spiritual Hindu knowledge of the Veda- and Vedanta-scriptures, and by one of his gurus, Mahavira, the founder of Jainism learning about karma and reincarnation. Buddha himself, after great recognitions, surpassed the many levels. When proclaiming the Lotus Sutra he was stating that the purpose of existence, the eternal cycles of life and death, is "to be happy and ease". 

          Few hundred years after, many of the Gnostics and later Christian Gnostics when supporting the idea of reincarnation seem to have missed just that. In spite of having marvellous clear thoughts about many aspects of life, death, world, and cosmos many of the Gnostics maintained often a limiting and pessimistic view on these essential factors.

          Quite early Buddhist missionary monks also operated in Syria (and 'Lebanon') and made a long lasting impression, even maintained here by the Druses 1,200 years later - however, from the beginning the Buddhists had influenced the Gnostic groups and then the Christians.

          Today, many Buddhist practitioners of certain developed branches with their philosophical learning are interested in modern theories of quantum physics, especially concerning the interplay and interaction between a person (the observer) and the (focused) universe itself. When improving the person's spiritual and ethical level and relating to the universe, it aims at an improving effect on the universe - as cause and effect work both ways. The person will be in command more and more positively also concerning his individual karma and reincarnation.


          Conditions of the western world's contemporary so-called mass culture may impede an evolution of the free personality and non-conformist ideas. To a wide extent, the inner knowledge of religions builds also on language and writing as basic tools in a civilization and is simultaneously among the most important components in the human awareness in expression - a starting-point for the free individual.

          At the beginning of our new millennium, the modern man with a spiritual provincialism ("only this life, only this place/plan exists") of the western world has in many respects never been closer to having better conditions and possibilities - by maturing contact with the universe and re-establishment of the importance of spiritual dimensions - for transforming to be able to obtain insight in life, death, existence, etc, and in this way understand humanity and universe as a great whole of mutual influence. 
 


Ove von Spaeth, writer, researcher  -  www.moses-egypt.net
Text from Ove von Spaeth’s  "The Religion's Lost Dimension", featuring articles in "Aspiranten", (Norway): Nov.2003 (no.2, pp.6-11) and Feb.2008 (no.19)  - & -  from his book, "The Secret Religion", copyright © 2004 & © 2000.


“… To die: to sleep; no more; … The undiscover’d country from whose burn
no traveller returns, puzzles the will …” (Shakespeare: Hamlet, Act III, sc.1)
 

 

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Copyright © 2007 & 2000   by:  Ove von Spaeth  -  www.moses-egypt.net  -  All rights reserved.

 

 

 


Bibliography, orientating

 

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Sheldrake, Rupert:  A New Science of Life: The Hypothesis of Formative Causation, Los Angeles (Tarcher), 1981. 

Singh, Jaideva, Spanda-Karikas:  The Divine Creative Pulsation, Motilal Benarsidass, Delhi 1980. 

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