Post from August 20, 2015 (↻ June 7, 2021), filed under Philosophy.
I have no doubt for there’s an entirely different belief system, an entirely different thought framework, that supports this model. (I’ve already been vague before, and apart from Jane Roberts’ books there’s no single work, or other series of works, to point to.)
Here, though, I hope once more that isolating a single idea works without requiring to discuss and challenge too many commonly held ideas and beliefs. (Belief systems are rather complex.) That isolated single idea is the one of multiple lives, as opposed to one life. The way I thought this could be interesting to portray was by means of a quick comparison.
|One Life||Multiple Lives|
|Mindset||Very serious; life is literally a matter of “life or death”||Rather playful|
|Role Understanding||Victim, powerless||Actor, powerful|
|Adverse Conditions||Must be fought at all cost||Can be considered desired (without an excessive urge to judge and understand destructive individual choices)|
|View of Time||Limited, works against oneself||Unlimited (possibly illusion), there’s “all of it in the world”|
|Goals in Life||Get the most out of it||Experience, learn, and choose|
|Meaning of Life||None||Experience, learn, and choose|
|Responsibility||None, product of the environment||Large, for likely choosing life circumstances and lessons in advance|
This is no proof for anything here in the scientific sense of the word—but we already know that the scientific method may be inherently limited and that we’ve at no point in history understood everything (possibly not even much). So inviting science for a comment here is like asking a football enthusiast watching a game how it was like to score the 1–0, when he has and can never have an idea for he’s confined to his very particular role as an observer (er—but I’ll just keep that metaphor).
The most interesting thing about the comparison is probably the increase in meaning and freedom. The multiple lives model gives us a look at life that is much friendlier than common “wisdom.” It actually makes sense, too, for it unites a great many fundamental experiences (like dreaming and out-of-body experiences) as well as elementary spiritual ideas (like reincarnation).
Running through these matters as some of you will be accustomed to seeing from me by now, I’d only want to add that I believe we all instinctively know that this one life here is not “it.” That consciousness (which may be in everything) is not just a “coincidence,” and that even with our physical container (one part of our existence in this reality) falling away that consciousness would not just cease to be. We are no coincidence. We have a purpose. We matter.
It’s understandable that we so very much long for proof here. Especially since even if we had evidence, this reality would still feel so overwhelmingly, exclusively real (there’s actually the idea that this reality is the perfect illusion so that we can really learn), so that we’d still doubt any ideas about more lives to live. But nowhere stands a sign saying, “everything can be proven,” nor “everything must be proven.” We appear to make some very strict, and rather very limiting, assumptions about life. We’ve talked about how the scientific method has boundaries, and how it constrains us more than anything in matters non-physical.
I’m Jens Oliver Meiert, and I’m an engineering manager and author. I’ve worked as a technical lead for Google, I’m close to the W3C and the WHATWG, and I write and review books for O’Reilly. Other than that, I love trying things, sometimes including philosophy, art, and adventure. Here on meiert.com I share some of my views and experiences.
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Perhaps my most interesting book: 100 Things I Learned as an Everyday Adventurer (2013). During my time in the States I started trying everything. Everything. Then I noticed that wasn’t only fun, it was also useful. Available at Amazon, Apple Books, Kobo, Google Play Books, and Leanpub.