Parallel lives?

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Speculum
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Parallel lives?

Postby Speculum » November 2nd, 2008, 9:10 pm

A few days ago, ihavesayso wrote me an email message which seems to me to be generating an interesting discussion. Unfortunately, I have lost the original message, and possibly another one, but here are a couple of others which followed them.

He wrote, Physical sleep is an escape from the ‘awake time’ illusion. It may not actually disappear, as our night time dreams do upon our awakening, but as we are not aware of it while asleep, it might as well be so. When a bodily function, such as hunger, or a need to urinate wakes us from the sleep state, we find ourselves right back in the awake time illusion, at the point where we left it. This is the factor that keeps most from not realizing we are now experiencing ourselves as ‘entities’ is God's dream.

To which I wrote, Here's the question which I wonder about from time to time:

Is it possible (well, of course, in an infinite universe, anything is possible, even likely, especially if I am able to think of it) that Stefan's awakening from sleep this morning is actually the very first event he has ever experienced, and that his "memory" of last night, of yesterday, and of decades of life, friends and family, schools and jobs, and so on, even of his e-friend, Arlo, was manufactured upon his "awakening" this morning.

I understand that, under hypnosis, subjects can be successfully told not to remember events that occur while they are hypnotized, and probably vice-versa, to "remember" things that have not occurred. If that is so, surely it would be an easy task for an omnipotent God (Creative Consciousness) to create "Stefan-with-a-memory".

Which question leads to this question: Is there any way of answering that question?

Now, there's a riddle for a rainy day.


To which ihavesayso replied, The word "illusion," is inadequate to describe the actuality we (should) enjoy when awake. For me, "illusion" translates to "wispy." "flimsy," "without substance," and finally, "impermanent," which is the meaning I wish to convey when I use the word. As Art would be quick to say, it is far from being wispy, or flimsy, as one who has ever bruised himself by bumping into an item of furniture in a dark room knows. Nothing that we are aware of in the waking state, is permanent. All is temporary, although temporary can be light years long for some things, because actuality itself is in a constant state of flux.

As to your question, you answered it before you asked it with your "Is it possible (well, of course, in an infinite universe, anything is possible, even likely, especially if I am able to think of it)" statement. For me, the clue is in your use of the word "likely." I think you need to ask, "Is it likely?" of your inner self, rather than, "Is it possible?" When I did this, my gut level reply was "No, it is not likely, because it would not serve a foreseeable purpose." Perhaps, in a parallel universe? Hmmm.


To which I now reply, “foreseeable purpose.” As you say, hmmm. Purpose as defined by whom? For that matter, foreseeable as seen by whom?
Goodness knows, tomes have been written about the “purpose” of life, I have even written a few words about it myself, and I expect so have you. But it is increasingly apparent to me that as long as I perceive myself as “I am Stefan, and you are not”, I wonder if I am able to have any clear idea what the purpose of life might be. Isn’t it unavoidable that any “purpose” I might devise is going to be in the context described by “Stefan is a person, and you are another person”.

What’s more, are we even sure that life has a purpose? Of course, “Stefan” sees his life as having a purpose, and from “Stefan’s” point of view, it probably must have a purpose (although increasingly I hear myself wondering about that). But if “Stefan” does see a purpose to my life, then surely it is one that I devise, even if I couch it in metaphysical symbolism and wordage. In a word, here we really are asking the fox to define the purpose of the hen house, and we know what that’s going to sound like: Kentucky Fried Chicken!

Now, to my observation that “well, of course, in an infinite universe, anything is possible, even likely, especially if I am able to think of it” you responded “Perhaps, in a parallel universe”. Yes, perhaps. I have read of a physicist who posits the possibility (if I understand him correctly) that our thoughts routinely generate a parallel universe in which the implications of those thoughts manifest and are played out. This concept has always made a lot of sense to me. That is, let’s say Stefan entertains a thought to go sky diving, but then changes his mind, and stays home. I suspect, and perhaps this physicist is suggesting, that the thought “I think I’ll go sky diving today” generates an alternate reality in which Stefan goes sky diving. If there is anything to that nonsense, the ultimate effect of it is that by the time we are, let’s say, elderly, we are actually living a multitude, perhaps even an infinitude, of simultaneously unfolding lives.

The question which arises there might be, In that case, why aren’t we aware of these parallel lives, why don’t we have memory of them? To that, I suppose the answer is, Who’s asking? The Teachers tells us that when we are fully Self-Realized, we are able to see the Universe in its entirety, all the aspects, layers, implications, etc. etc. etc., from the beginning. Maybe then we would see all the lives, including all the parallel lives, we have ever lived.

For now, I suppose it is enough of an achievement to live a full life, and remain sane.

Rad
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Re: Parallel lives?

Postby Rad » November 5th, 2008, 10:06 pm

The question which arises there might be, In that case, why aren’t we aware of these parallel lives, why don’t we have memory of them? To that, I suppose the answer is, Who’s asking? The Teachers tells us that when we are fully Self-Realized, we are able to see the Universe in its entirety, all the aspects, layers, implications, etc. etc. etc., from the beginning. Maybe then we would see all the lives, including all the parallel lives, we have ever lived.

This text started a thought: If Stephan wants to go skydiving and changes his mind, could his parellel life be lived out as someone else (maybe John) thinking the same thing at the same time. And so we have many bodies living out the thoughts coming from ourselves. If we are all extensions of god, then as you say we are all interconnected. So, I can see my thoughts reveling itself out in the many different bodies here on earth. The ego is the difference but the soul is the same. Just a thought

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W4TVQ
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Re: Parallel lives?

Postby W4TVQ » November 6th, 2008, 4:03 pm

why aren’t we aware of these parallel lives, why don’t we have memory of them? To that, I suppose the answer is, Who’s asking?


As ACIM says, "there is another way of looking at this." We tend to operate on assumptions, and one of those is that, if indeed there are parallel universes in which we lead parallel lives, it would be theoretically possible for us to become aware of them. But would it? Only if the same laws apply in the parallel universe that apply in ours.

Our universe operates according to certian laws, among them the immutable laws of thermodynamics; our universe originated, so far as we know, in a big bang and in expanding even as we speak; our universe conforms to E=MC2 and presents us with certain constants such as the speed of light and Planck's constant.

But who is to say that in a parallel universe any of these laws would apply? Perhaps it would operate on a totally different set of laws. Perhaps there is no entropy at all in such a universe. Perhaps in that universe E does not equal MC2. Perhaps that universe is in a contracting phase rather than expanding. Were any of those conditions present, it would render impossible any communcation between the two universes. For example, life as we know it can only exist in an expanding universe. We could be related only by triangulation: i.e., they relate vertically to God, and so do we, and in Him is the only relationship we have with them until universes no longer exist. The possibility of relating horizontally, with each other, would not be a live option. Even if "them" is "us." Prior to that condition, the existence of any parallel universes or parallel "us'ns" is of no more significance than is the price of chicken fat in a Chinese village. If it has no effect either real or potential on my day-to-day living, I see no need to make it part of my consciousness. So I just give it a passing thought and move on.

Pax Domini
Art
"I can at best report only from my own wilderness. The important thing is that each man possess such a wilderness and that he consider what marvels are to be observed there." -- Loren Eiseley

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phyllis
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Re: Parallel lives?

Postby phyllis » November 7th, 2008, 2:33 pm

Rad's post created for me an image of one Soul with infinite faces, which are us. Which means to me that I do not have a soul, instead The Soul has me, meaning me and everyone else. I like that image a lot.

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Re: Parallel lives?

Postby W4TVQ » November 17th, 2008, 3:12 pm

FYI: Tomorrow (Nov.18) at 9 p.m., the history channel has a 1-hour episode of The Universe dealing with Parallel Universes.

The history Channel is a wonderful source of information presented without a particular "liberal" or "conservative" agenda. The series called The Universe has been dynamite, as was The Blue Planet. And their specials on the subject of the bible, of Christian history, and even subjects like Hell and Heaven, have been really deep and informative.
"I can at best report only from my own wilderness. The important thing is that each man possess such a wilderness and that he consider what marvels are to be observed there." -- Loren Eiseley

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Speculum
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Re: Parallel lives?

Postby Speculum » November 19th, 2008, 7:43 pm

Ouch! I wish I had seen your post yesterday!

I agree with you about the History channel. I like Nova too. How was the show?

The other day, I ordered from Amazon.com a book called "The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man". It seems to be about the possibility that the historical Jesus did not actually exist, either at all or at least as we "know" him.

I look forward to reading the book, because I like mysteries about spiritual or metaphysical subjects.

On the other hand, I am not sure that it makes any difference to me -- as a seeker -- whether or not the Teacher exists as a person. That is, what matters is that the Teaching exists. Here, I am reminded of Mark Twain's response to the controversy about who actually wrote the plays attributed to William Shakespeare. Their author, he said, was "either William Shakespeare or someone else by the same name"!
"The only real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes." Marcel Proust

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W4TVQ
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Re: Parallel lives?

Postby W4TVQ » November 20th, 2008, 1:19 pm

Not to worry: the History Channel repeats shows frequently. This was an episode of the series "The Universe" and will be shown everal times before they put it away. It was an excellent show, covring the possibility of several scenarios, including an infinite number of parallel universes outside of our own; an infinite number of them in the same space as ours, separated by dimensions only. They also explored the posibility that there are an infininte number of "copies" of you and me, and that every possible way our lives could have gone is actually going that way somewhere -- a universe in wich you die early, one in which you live to be 1000 years old, one in which you marry, one in which you don't, and so on.

I also watched the PBS NOVA special about the bible, typical PBS destructionism. They claim that "there is no evidence whatever for the Exodus," and yet the History Channel produced a 2-hour documentary ("The Exodus Decoded")showing how much solid archaeological evidence there is for that event. I like the History Channel's stuff: they try to be honest, whereas PBS simply tries to be liberal.

As for the "Jesus did not exist" thing, I ain't going there.

Shalom
Art
"I can at best report only from my own wilderness. The important thing is that each man possess such a wilderness and that he consider what marvels are to be observed there." -- Loren Eiseley

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phyllis
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Re: Parallel lives?

Postby phyllis » November 21st, 2008, 3:58 pm

What if NOVA or the History Channel produced proof that ACIM was not inspired by Jesus but instead by someone named Abdullah or maybe Kumar or Running Bear? I wonder if my very positive experience with ACIM depends on my assuming the association with Jesus is real. I wish I could answer that question, but honestly right now I cannot. Like Art I am comfortable with the association with Jesus, but maybe that is just my inner child that wants a parent it can recognize.

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Re: Parallel lives?

Postby Neo » January 6th, 2009, 4:34 pm

What if NOVA or the History Channel produced proof that ACIM was not inspired by Jesus but instead by someone named Abdullah or maybe Kumar or Running Bear? Too cool, phyllis.


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