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Posted on Monday, October 05 - 2009

By Stephen Lampe

No amount of logical arguments can convince some Christians of the fact of reincarnation. Nor would the accounts of the personal experiences of other people persuade such Christians. Even though it is quite obvious that, without reincarnation, one cannot argue convincingly of the perfect Justice of God, many Christians would still want to know what the Scriptures say about reincarnation. They would ask: Does the Bible support it? What did the earliest followers of Christ think of it? We shall show, in this Chapter, that in Biblical times, belief in reincarnation was so widespread, was so much a part of the culture, that it was taken for granted.

Some Truths Are Not in the Scriptures: Before we discuss specific passages in the Bible that indicate acceptance of reincarnation, let us remark that it is wrong to assume that all truths are to be found in the Scriptures. It is simply not so. Truths are revealed to mankind according to men's state of spiritual maturity. Some truths may not have been given to men at some particular point in time because they were not yet ready for such truths. Even the way a particular truth is presented also depends on how mature the audience is perceived to be. We find that this makes sense in our educational system; why should it not make sense in the school of spiritual life?

When a child has finished drinking his bottle of Coke, we may tell him that the bottle is empty. He will agree, and this is true for his age. But we may tell an older child that the bottle is not really empty, that nature does not permit a vacuum. The bottle is full of air. And again, this is true. And yet we can go on to tell a yet more mature person, that the empty bottle contains more than one item; that it contains a mixture of many gases including nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide. It is in a similar manner that spiritual truths have been revealed to mankind over millennia...

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Posted on Saturday, October 13 - 2007


Copyright © New Scientist

Is it distressing to experience consciousness slipping away or something people can accept with equanimity? Are there any surprises in store as our existence draws to a close? These are questions that have plagued philosophers and scientists for centuries, and chances are you've pondered them too occasionally.None of us can know the answers for sure until our own time comes, but the few individuals who have their brush with death interrupted by a last-minute reprieve can offer some intriguing insights. Advances in medical science, too, have led to a better understanding of what goes on as the body gives up the ghost.Death comes in many guises, but one way or another it isusually a lack of oxygen to the brain that delivers the coup de grâce.

Whether as a result of a heart attack, drowning or suffocation, for example, people ultimately die because their neurons are deprived of oxygen, leading to cessation of electrical activity in the brain - the modern definition of biological death.
If the flow of freshly oxygenated blood to the brain is stopped, through whatever mechanism, people tend to have about 10 seconds before losing consciousness. They may take many more minutes to die, though, with the exact mode of death affecting the subtleties of the final experience. If you can take the grisly details, read on for a brief guide to the many and varied ways death can suddenly strike.

Drowning -

The "surfacestruggle" for breath Death by drowning has a certain dark romance to it: countless literary heroines have met their end slipping beneath the waves with billowy layers of petticoats floating around their heads. In reality, suffocating to death in water is neither pretty nor painless, though it can be surprisingly swift. Just how fast people drown depends on several factors, including swimming ability and water temperature. In the UK, where the water is generally cold, 55 per cent of open-water drownings occur within 3 metres of safety. Two-thirds of victims are good swimmers, suggesting that people can get into difficulties within seconds, says Mike Tipton, a physiologist and expert in marine survival at the University of Portsmouth in the UK. Typically, when a victim realises that they cannot keep their head above water they tendto p......

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Posted on Wednesday, June 29 - 2005

Tunnel - Afterlife

A recent Beliefnet survey reveals that there are people of many religious traditions who believe they 'see dead people.'Jamie Foxx talks to his late grandmother. The most poignant (and reportedly the most TIVO'd) moment of this year's Academy Awards ceremony was when the Oscar winner expressed gratitude for his grandmother’s formative teachings and explained that even though she’s passed on, "she still talks to me now—only now she talks to me in my dreams."Before walking off the stage he told the audience of 42.1 million viewers that he couldn't wait to get to sleep that night because "we got a lot to talk about." Many Beliefnet readers also seem to have a lot to say to their deceased loved ones.

In a recent online Beliefnet survey, 10,000 people answered detailed questions about how they communicate, or do not communicate, with the dead. A striking 69% of respondents indicated that they have attempted to talk to the dead, and many believe they've succeeded in making contact. Our survey asked our readers if they had ever consulted a medium or psychic (21% said yes), used a Ouija board (28%), or participated in a séance (14%). But the vast majority said they attempted to communicate with loved ones directly without resorting to outside help—through prayer and meditation (63%) and speaking to them aloud or in their minds (69%). A final question, "Have you ever felt as if a dead person was trying to communicate with you?" elicited more than 3,800 essayresponses. The testimonials detail everything from the spirit of a dead cat appearing in a woman's lap to a deceased son giving his mother one last hug in a dream. Others used the essay space to submit a simple, emphatic "No"—often in all capital letters, with multiple exclamation points. But the skeptics were greatly outnumbered. Clearly, most people in this survey audience indicated that they reach across a divide to dead loved ones as a matter of course. Their stories and experiences, whether you credit them or not, reveal a vast and varied landscape of beliefs that warrants a closer look. What It Feels Like What's it like to contact the dead? Here's how some of our users describe their experiences: "It's like chills going up your spine. It's likesomeone'......

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Posted on Friday, November 09 - 2007


Copyright © MSNBC

My first day of medical school was a series of inspirational talks. The tone, set by the anesthesiologist who led off, was lighthearted. His subject was "Everything you will ever need to know about medicine." This turned out to be just three things, which he had us all recite: Air goes in and out. Blood goes round and round. Oxygen is good. Just keep these in mind, he said, and you'll be okay.By the end of the day, we were as blank as the huge whiteboards at the front of the room. Within the next 24 hours, these would start filling up with diagrams of cell-transport mechanisms, cartoons of developing embryos, maps of the brachial plexus. But on that first day, thelectures were so inconsequential that only one speaker bothered to write anything down.

This was a pathologist who also wanted to reduce medicine to its essentials. He scrawled a single word on the board: DEATH.
Just avoid this one thing, he said, and we'd be okay. The word stayed up there on the whiteboard the rest of the day. I waited for someone to notice and wipe it away, but no one did. It was gone the next morning, replaced by the Krebs cycle, that happy intracellular Rube Goldberg mechanism that keeps us all alive, whether you can diagram it from memory or not, thank God. Whoever scribbled the Krebs cycle in place of that single stark word gave us our real orientation to medicine. Despite death's modest appearance that first day, what we were really learning wasn't "Don't Fear the Reaper" so much as"Don't See the Reaper." We don't like to find that word staring down at us from the wall. If we do, we'll hang it on somebody else, shrouding it behind a screen of medical abbreviations, and then we'll be gone. The word's still there — it follows us, of course, as the moon follows a moving car — but as long as we don't have to keep looking at it, we're okay. The problem is, death keeps looking at us. When I'm forced to think about this, what I see most clearly are the faces of patients at the moment they recognized the incredible fact that they were going to die soon. This is what I can't forget: the look they had as they read the writing on the wall like Belshazzar did at his feast in the Bible story, faced at the height of his power with the message that he was about to die. Just what people see as they read that message is, I......

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