July 28, 2007 at 11:12 PM · I talked to many people about this issue, but still want to see other perceptions, especially from people interested in music and art, being sure that they have thought about it many, what is your believe?.I know it's a very relative subject, still ...which is the connection between music and the universe, ( it's spiritual eternity)in your view, and do you believe in reincarnation or what if not? And if yes, why? Do you find a purpose to it?

Replies (100)

July 29, 2007 at 12:11 AM · I think reincarnation makes the least sense of all the religious hypotheses I'm aware of. As for music's place in the universe; in physical terms, the universe is fascinating but stark and without conscience or goodwill. Probably everything we do as humans is for the purpose of making it a more meaningful place than that, either in illusion or in reality.

July 29, 2007 at 12:00 AM · What he said

July 29, 2007 at 12:38 AM · there is no tangible evidence to support the hypothesis, only personal claims, which are untestable and unverifiable.

a nice idea though.

July 29, 2007 at 05:25 AM · The Holy Bible says: it is appointed to every person once to be born and once to die and then the judgment. I like to try to maximize this life.

July 29, 2007 at 06:04 AM · It’s a notion that is intellectually unsophisticated, but an idea that is emotionally powerful many peoples all over the world. Sometime it could be the only thing that helps those who are going through extraordinary pain due to a loss of the loved one to death.

July 29, 2007 at 06:10 AM · I was Paganini's butler in a previous life.

July 29, 2007 at 06:32 AM · Thanks for all the answers :-)I just read alot of books about this subject and the univers , in general, and just heard alot of arguments for reincarnation...even proofs, if they can be called like that...after all, there arent proofs for any of our believes, all could be called speculations, ...unless we call proofs what we feel and thing it is right, for us....but then, that could be just educated conciousness...and art is also,like others, a way to the subconciousness, even if we could feel the truth...I I noticed until would be impossible to explain it, unfortunately.

July 29, 2007 at 06:50 AM · There cannot be proof of that, heaven, whatever anyone refers to as their god... hence the function of faith.

I think I am the only one in my city that doesn't really believe in it. In all seriousness I want to know why no one was some peon or drudge, a slave or a prisoner in a past life: they were all someone rich, powerful and famous, or as I like to think of it: Boulder New-Age reverse-Calvinism.

I don't practice any religion, but I do fly fish fanatically. When I am alone on an alpine lake at 11,000 feet in the Colorado Rockies... that's as close to God, or whatever is out there, that I can get.

July 29, 2007 at 07:05 AM · If you sincerely believe something it is true.

July 29, 2007 at 07:12 AM · "I want to know why no one was some peon or drudge, a slave or a prisoner in a past life: they were all someone rich, powerful and famous..."

Penelope, my husband said almost exactly what you wrote, just yesterday.

What makes it Calvinism, though?

When I was five, I believed in reincarnation. I was absolutely amazed at the fact that I was born as an Emily and not a fawn or a frog. I felt pretty lucky. This idea I'm pretty sure arose from my inability to grasp the idea that life existed before I did. George Washington, for example, did things before I even was. This, to me, was unfathomable. I felt for sure that I'd always been here, and time started up the same day I did.

The reason I stopped believing in reincarnation shortly after I started was that heaven sounded like a better idea. What five year old wouldn't want to go to a big party on a cloud with all the cool guys in robes? All the cookies and Koolaid you can eat! I kept my eyes peeled, inspecting every respectable-sized cumulonimbus to see if I could catch a glimpse of the party. Sure enough, I did; every once in a while, their disco ball would shoot out a ray or two.

What do I believe now?

"I believe in God, the Father almighty,

creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.

He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit

and born of the Virgin Mary.

He suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, died, and was buried.

He descended into hell.

On the third day he rose again.

He ascended into heaven

and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

the holy Church,

the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body,

and the life everlasting."

July 29, 2007 at 07:13 AM · Edward Ferris, I believe you are a frog.

July 29, 2007 at 07:13 AM · Something strange has happened on this website. The clocks have changed to UTC/GMT?

Spooky. Or is just my machine?

July 29, 2007 at 08:47 AM · What an interesting topic. Ok--whew--I just got off work...

Anyway, I do not believe in reincarnation as it is suggested by various philosophies. Yet, I do believe in the survival of memories, and knowledge and information and to some extent emotions, all of which are at humanity's disposal. And this survival in a hypogyny recapitulates phylogeny

sense, makes it efficient for memories, emotions, and knowledge to aggregate.

Those primitive observations that a looked like b, and/or grandparent c or d, or even great grandparent e or f probably added a lot to views of the afterlife. But something inside us even beyond our own mortality in every major viewpoint seems to be pointing at something eternal...

I find it more important that life is conservative in every way, as are all laws of physics that we are aware of. Basically, I see no need of reincarnation of persons; or/and, with the exception of how I began, for eternity period in the sense of heavens and hells.

Yet, how could fish really know to swim in a school, or elephants have sophisticated mourning rituals. And how does a mother know when a child far away is troubled, or how can twins raised completely apart be so very similar down to carrots or peas? These questions create something unseen that nonetheless does seem to exist.

And using the 2nd law of thermodynamics as a metaphor, those memories I mentioned and intelligence, in my mind as any system would become less organized over time. But for a season, perhaps those memories and so forth are part of the lamarckian 'something', that underwrites life.

But when one looks at the stars at night, something does feel eternal, doesn't it... And when we fathom the mystery of life on earth, something does seem invisibly magical as well, especially now that we can see how awesomely beautiful our planet is.

And to discount our philosophies so sterile like, just because we can see their shortcomings, doesn't really answer what was right about them does it... We can not only see our imperfections in our philosophies: war, greed...; but, we are also given solutions to these understandings: be kind to one another, and I change the second part from love God with all your heart to: be alive and amazed at this remarkable remarkable thing called life and live with this recognition daily with the holiest and alive attitudes--it's a one way ticket.

Now that eternal something we sense and image, though part of the laws of life itself, nonetheless in my mind do have an eternal nature even if they do become obscured eventually. Like the ripples made by tossing a pebble in a pond, our experiences likewise play themselves out perhaps eternally.

It is beyond atomic thinking that, kicking a rock over a hill, that leveled a weed, that a bug was resting on, that was propelled in the air, eaten by a bird, that had been exposed to DDT, that ...

These are the kind of things we look at when we look at the abstract and try to understand.

But our primitive ancestors knew, that protecting a baby, while the tribe hunted whales, after dancing 'roud a fire, chanting rhythmically until dawn were reflections of the abstract questions posed by life and death more poignantly.

So,,,,, those 'real' not romantic or poetic virtues and values that help life continue in my mind are heaven. And those things that destroy life are hell(Consider the story of the Samurai and the sword). And every thing that is alive is tapping in to this knowledge and instinct.

Basically for better images, read Carl Jung's "Modern Man in Search of A Soul", along with Eliade's "The Sacred and Profane", as well as my favorite essay by John Opie: "A Sense of Place".

So reincarnation actually does exist, but not in a deified form.

How does music fit in? When I hear certain music, I'm affected on those levels already suggested. Indeed Hahn had me completely embarrassed recently... But it doesn't have to be a Hahn. Anyone who can play Pathetique perfectly is my hero whether they ever know it or not.

Life and memories and emotions are about experience. Just as we eat, we emote. And yes I believe those emotions both good and bad survive us. It is not the plethora of tragedy that struck Job, but that he loved yet. Or, the show must go on. And in terms of prayer, be careful what you ask for--thus the wisdom in Christ's teaching on this. (The Lord's Prayer)

This show is not a Vaudeville Camp, but life itself and music is the Carl Sagan like cosmos pulsing of life. Again just as in thermodynamics, there is only really heat even if it is of a negative absolute nature. Life calls to itself, and music is part of that not Calvinistic, but eternal calling. This wisdom does seem to reappear perpetually doesn't it. Perhaps reincarnate itself?

But that is too much a dispersed image. Music reflects both nature and our emotions on that cosmic journey on a beautiful blue green planet with thousands of other species. The musician perpetuates that nearly mystic invisible creation that communicate emotion. We really are co-creators with God. Music is a mother giving birth, lovers realizing passion, warriors on the march, seasons ebbing and flowing, pebbles on a beach, thunder in the sky, earth quaking, wind blowing, birds singing, rams fighting, and yes people dancing.

We may be visual creatures seeing with our eyes; and, we often are amazed by what we see, but we are equally hearing creatures and we sing not only what we see, but how it makes us feel experientially and emotionally.

Equally importantly however, there is a type of instinct that we do not have to think about that brings us to sing. Creating an image, perhaps far in the outer reaches of the universe, a darkness so dark as to have only the sounds of gravity bending, reverberate in a reverse sense to strings on my violin.

And the pebble's ripple, rippled--was it a thud, or a tink.. Reincarnation. Music.

July 29, 2007 at 08:33 AM · No, I'm British.

July 29, 2007 at 08:40 AM · Well. I thought Russian. -or-

Jesus was a Baptist.

July 29, 2007 at 08:44 AM · I believe you are mistaken, Mr. Ferris. You are a frog, and I believe I am a princess.

July 29, 2007 at 08:48 AM · You are Emily!

July 29, 2007 at 09:02 AM · Belief is holding something to be true in the absence of conclusive proof, while true faith is holding something to be true in the face of conclusive disproof.

I always ask myself, "how does this belief help me? How does it enhance my life or that of those around me?" If I can't come up with anything, then I don't believe. Thus, I don't believe in reincarnation.

Still, I might be wrong.


July 29, 2007 at 09:05 AM · Graham, per my post, your instinct is reincarnation.

July 29, 2007 at 09:07 AM · Graham, faith comes in handy in instances where proof falls short.

July 29, 2007 at 09:33 AM · Emily, 'Faith is Fodder'--I eat daily. It isn't even an unseen thing, it is a practical think. Bettr'n six symphonies 'membered.


Unseen is not unknown--all know.--God delivers--he's really really cool and down to earth; and, if he practices really really hard may be as good as me, I started to say I, one day.. uh, Maybe. I sold him cigars in New York a few months ago. He kicked my arse for GPs. Deities!

July 29, 2007 at 12:01 PM · I believe in jesus. he is the beginning and the end.

to play music in the spirit, when the holy spirit touches you is the most wonderfull feeling there is. (i understand why everyone thought the deciples where drunk on the day of the pentecost)

worshiping God through music has a special purpose, it really opens up for God to do his work in peoples lives. God gave me the gift to play the violin, he is my only teacher but sometimes when i find myself praising him in the spirit, i realize that suddenly my playing improved, it's like when you can feel Gods precence your gift comes alive when you truly play to him.

many of you probably don't understand what i'm trying to describe, but some of you might.

are there any violinists here who believe in jesus and plays worship in church? have you noticed what a "spiritual" instrument the violin is? how it touches people and lifts them up in praise?

July 29, 2007 at 02:50 PM · Some of my friends are convinced I'm the reincarnation of Béla Bartók...

July 29, 2007 at 03:25 PM · It's typical for one religious belief to say another one other doesn't make sense, while ignoring the fact that theirs makes no more sense :) And psychology explains and predicts them both.

Also, if you had been adopted as a baby and raised on the other side of the world, what alternate set of religious details might you profess just as strongly instead? I wish I had a better answer for ya...I really do. I wouldn't want to destroy anyone's religion, but it's important even just to your own happiness to be rational, in addition to whatever you believe.

July 29, 2007 at 03:26 PM · Penelope, your argument against reincarnation is one I've often heard. But it's a straw man. The fact is that the vast majority of reincarnation stories - children's spontaneous and subsequently verified recollections of past lives, as well as hypnosis-induced regressions - go back to lives that were the human norm: unremarkable and often unpleasant. Nobody whose experiences have been examined in print has, to my knowledge, claimed to have been rich or powerful or famous. For one thing, such recollections wouldn't be verifiable since the particulars of the lives of such past incarnations are well known.

The reasoning, in short, says that if a child "recalls" a past life where he was, say, Napoleon and then starts to identify objects or places (e.g. "that's where I sat during Borodino!" or "that used to be my crown!"), it's hardly proof of anything other than that the child can read. But when a child IDs a house or a village, or inconsequential object that used to belong to someone whose life wasn't written up, about whom the child could not have known a thing, the matter bears thinking about.

As for the "you only get one go-around", the best argument against that is that I'm hard pressed to see how a loving, forgiving God will condemn you to an eternity of suffering OR bliss based on a one-shot deal at figuring out the eternal mysteries of the universe. Think about that: an ETERNAL payback for TRANSIENT transgressions of accomplishments. I mean, even our limited, human, flawed justice system doesn't deal that way with criminals. "Stole a candy bar? Life-and-beyond in prison. Helped an old lady across the street? Peer of the Realm in Britain, title to pass on to descendants, unlimited bank account. Enjoy."

Contrast this with the Judeo-Christian-Muslim notion of God: "Here you go, you're mortal. Now, there's the infinite universe and all that's in it. Oh, and understanding My ineffable nature and worhipping Me correctly. Figure it all out. To do this, you have a ludicrously short amount of time, less than trees get, less than giant tortoises. Make sure all your answers are correct, because if you get it wrong, call Me by the wrong name, believe in Me incorrectly, you'll burn in hell forever. Get it right and there might be some virgins in it for ya. As guideposts, I'm throwing in a bunch of theologically inclined, mutually contradictory loudmouths to tell you what I want. Listen only to the right ones. Ignore the wrong ones. Or else."

Nope. I'll pass on that form of deity. I've met less sadistic seventh graders.

July 29, 2007 at 03:36 PM · I think it's outside human capacity to truly believe in a religion. Therefore the ones who profess the loudest are secretly the biggest liars. Pretty ironic.

P.S. Emil, it's pretty impossible to make one sound better (more logical) than another in the end; in the sense that none will be seen to be logical enough to stand up.

July 29, 2007 at 04:13 PM · The most interesting thing in religion in the last 500 years has been the tug of war with science. The Pope recently said creationism vs. evolution is pointless in the face of the evidence. He wouldn't have said that in former times!

The most amazing thing in the Universe for us has to be just that this hunk of meat can get up and walk around, much less play a violin. I believe how that happens is knowable in scientific terms. I'm not sure about the level of detail it can be understood at - the question being can we make a microscope powerful enough to see the ultimate final details, and is it in fact a finite thing. I also believe in the future an afterlife may be possible to produce technologically, via simulation. Even today that's not completely far-fetched, in terms of what we can do. And given that there is a finite but large number of brain configurations, it should be possible to "resurrect" everyone who ever lived, and a few who never did :) Today it would seem to require massive amounts of energy, interstellar type stuff. But you may wake up in 100,000 or a million years in a computer emulation. In fact I almost might bet on it.

July 29, 2007 at 04:12 PM · I don't know what it is, but I am as certain as I can be that there is something similar to reincarnation or cell memory or divine intervention out there, that triggers intense and immediate feelings of connection to people, places, and events. I can't explain certain experiences I have had otherwise. But I am not going to say I know what that force is, because I don't.

I also must object to the fact that most people think they were famous in a previous life. To the best of my knowledge, there are many more scientific accounts of people who "remember" normal, everyday lives than there are people who remember being wealthy and socially important. I don't know if I believe in reincarnation, but if that is your one objection against it, it is not one that holds up very well to scrutiny.

July 29, 2007 at 04:41 PM · I belive in re-incarnation because

a frien of mine had his big toe incarnated, after it healed and after it got incarnated again, therefore


July 29, 2007 at 05:04 PM · One time somebody put a carnation on me and it fell off and they had to put another one on.

July 29, 2007 at 05:14 PM · Emily:

If you think classic Calvinism, as it was practiced around 1880-1940s, there was a corruption that twisted it into the belief that if you were rich and powerful it was a sign of God's special favor. I'm speaking specifically to the Mellons, Carnegies, Scaifes, Fricks of Western Pennsylvania. I'm sure the mainstream of that faith don't feel that way, but it always coupled that religion to wealth/fame for me as a kid.

Jim: You're right. Look at the life of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a Jesuit and Paleontologist that Rome silenced for 50 years, and kept him in exile from France. He was forbidden to publish or teach because he, as a scientist, believed in evolution.

Sometimes I get close to believing in reincarnation because, of all things, science. Everything in the world gets recycled. Every drop of water has a molecule from the time of the parting of the Red Sea, everything gets reused, reconstituted, so it sort of makes sense for the spirit to also be recycled.

This might be too personal, but I just don't buy religion anymore, anyone's religion. I spent months in Somalia, was there for UNOSOM I and UNOSOM II and Operation Gothic Serpent, in 1993, as a UN Peacekeeper. The things that happened there, the things I saw first hand, pretty much deleted any belief I ever had in the sanctity of human life and the innate goodness of human beings.

I greatly respect people of faith, and I respect their religions as long as it doesn't infringe on me, but Mogadishu closed the door to any human based belief system for me. So I fly fish instead.

July 29, 2007 at 05:16 PM · I don't know about re-incarnation, but I do believe in some kind of collective memory. The film Winged Migration really made me think about it. The birds have an incredibly complex and complete knowledge of the world's nature and geography and of their own very particular cycle within it, even though their lifespans are sometimes impossibly short to have learned it all.

July 29, 2007 at 10:57 PM ·

July 29, 2007 at 05:14 PM · One could focus on only the negatives of religion but that would not be conclusive. If you compare all the major world religions there is a strong connection a similar underlying theme which is respect and acknowledgement of creation, they did not understand the how's and why's and therefore credited their own ideas to a God. As religion grew so did man's manipulation of it, all the instinctive truths were distorted and used for subjugation and self honor. The equal parts of good and exempliary behavior are all but ignored, this negative viewing of religion is to further the scientific approach but why? Why is it always either or? plus science in all it's majesty comes up short in those all important questions where is that missing link? where is that spark of life? Which theory should we accept for the existence of the Earth. Cancer treatment clinics uses religion ALONG with medical science to help cure patients, a powerful combination. Religion is as instructional as it is ignorance, it's as helpful as it is harmful and as peaceful as it is warlike it all depends on who's using it. According to a Harvard article on perfect pitch they claim people are "wired for sound" maybe we are wired for religion as well.

July 29, 2007 at 07:10 PM · Another approach to incarnation:

"Lady into Fox"

July 29, 2007 at 07:31 PM · Probably is not the best forum for the subject but since this thread has developed into a discussion of religion may I suggest the writings of Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Steven Pinker and Sam Harris.

July 29, 2007 at 07:35 PM · "maybe we are wired for religion as well. "

That's the premise of some recent books. The basic idea being that human evolution into self-aware beings would have been inhibited by the absence of a possibility that self-awareness continues on after death.

July 29, 2007 at 08:21 PM · May I make the remark that Dawkins, Harris, Pinker et al are frequently just as dogmatic, fundamentalist and shrill as the religions they have dedicated their lives to condemning?

July 29, 2007 at 08:46 PM · Dogma of its own know neither religion or science. Approach either with a spirit of Eleanor Roosevelt's blind faith, and one becomes a referee more than anything. They aren't mutually exclusive.

July 29, 2007 at 11:15 PM · If you are a princess Emily Grossman I am a frog. Kiss me!

July 30, 2007 at 12:46 AM · RUN EMILY IT'S A TRAP!

July 30, 2007 at 12:21 AM · What we know for sure is that life is finite. We have a spirit and energy that is free, intelligent,and creative. We have a sense of self, a consciousness, and a conscience. We are born into existence seemingly from nowhere and after we die we are no more alive than before we were born. I don't know if there is a difference between the time before we were born and after we die. Since we came into existence once there really is no reason to believe that we can't exist again as a living being with a sense of self. To be born once seems to be miraculous and mysterious and it would be no more mysterious if it would happen again. I doubt that we could remember past lives if we had them, because our brain which store our memories dies. Living things seem to have a free will and a spirit that is distinguished from the inanimate in a way that seems to move destiny. Perhaps anything that has an intelligent directional energy or exhibits free will is part of a spirit that is God; a spirit that is forever evolving, hopefully for some greater purpose and good. In other words perhaps we create and recreate ourselves for some divine reason that will one day become apparent. Music might be a clue to how things evolve for the good. Humans have manipulated sound through eons in ways that are more interesting, sophisticated, and sublime after every generation.

July 30, 2007 at 02:02 AM · Wayne, I was going to mention Daniel Dennett and I’m glad you did. One may not agree with his stance, but anyone is seriously interested in the mind stuff and consciousness is missing a lot without reading him. His research is top-notch, his arguments are brilliant, and his writing is superb. The only thing I don’t like about him is that he got his basic position as early as when he was doing his PhD dissertation. But then if you get it right, why abandon it?

July 30, 2007 at 02:20 AM · Michael:

Very well stated !

You have provided a shred of hope !

Most of the other comments were somewhat pessimistic.

I'm surprised really, that the majority of comments seemed derisive towards religion in this thread.

I do not know really how to write this,but to me the ability to play violin seems to be a sacred gift.Most violin players I know are quite humble and appreciative of their 'gift' of being able to play music.

As far as reincarnation goes I'm pessimistic also,BUT if I did believe I would have been a commercial fisherman in my past life,off the shores of my beloved Newfoundland......

July 30, 2007 at 04:14 AM · Reincarnation? Funny you should ask.

Allow me to tell you about the religion I founded.

(Donations are not required, but if you want to send me lots of cash in order to ease some deap-seated guilt, I won't turn it down.)


The Church of the Amoebians:

God is a Large, gelatinous being, floating in space. Kind of amoeba-like, but very complex. This being contains the essence (the "soul" if you will) of all the people who have ever lived on Earth. (maybe some Apes, too. As with any religion, one has to decide at what point in evolution "mankind" became worthy of God's attention, but I digress...)

When you die, your essence floats up into space and gets absorbed by this giant gelatinous being. You become a part of it. All that you learned while mortal flows into it, and you also absorb some of the essence of all the other beings contained therein.

You might become part of its eyes, you might become part of its fingers. This is dictated to some extent by what you did in your lifetime. Of course, if you were a really bad person (child molester, politician, reality TV-show producer...) then you might end up as part of the lower intestine or colon.

-but I digress....

After many, many, many years, after you have helped the gelatin-god oversee Earth, and have absorb much knowledge from all the other essences within, a baby is born on Earth, and a little bit of your (now more complex and wise) essence goes floating down into the little tyke's brain. -and thus the cycle begins anew.

This child grows, learns, and eventually dies, getting absorbed back into the gelatin-god. And so the endless cycle continues throughout the millennia, with the collective wisdom and experience of us all growing more complex and wise.

In this way, truly, God is in all of us, and we are all part of God. We are all learning and evolving and growing stronger, together.


That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. (g)

(makes as much sense as any other religion, and you don' have to eat those stupid wafers.)

July 30, 2007 at 04:14 AM · It's not as funny as the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. "Touched by His Noodly Appendage....." ...hoo boy.

Seriously though, who ever said religion was supposed to "make sense" in a scientific/rational sense? Religion is outside the boundaries of science.

July 30, 2007 at 04:33 AM · Wow...what could be better. I'm not butting in with my thoughts on religion, etc but was actually asked to do it.

I don't believe in reincarnation. I believe music is a gift of expression from God the Creator.

I think Emily stated my beliefs best when she wrote out what is known as the Apostle's Creed.

Being a Reformed Presbyterian, I have to say I believe in Calvinism...the original Calvinism as outlined in Calvins' Institutes. The main gist of this has been summed up in the classic anogram of TULIP: Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistable Grace, and Perseverance of the Saints. Reincarnation doesn't fit into that and though it would be nice to get a cosmic "do over", I don't believe that is how it works. I don't believe there are any do overs offered to us once we die, there is only the offer of forgivness now in the life we live through the atoneing sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

July 30, 2007 at 05:20 AM · One thing I believe is that it's impossible that one's honest beliefs are expressed in some other person's words, i.e. Apostle's Creed.

July 30, 2007 at 06:35 AM · Come on Jim, surely you know a lot of beliefs are motivated by things other than evidence or truth. How else can you explain wishful thinking or self-deception? Many of us want or fear of something will go as far as to manufacture evidence to convince ourselves what we want to believe is the case.

The belief system is so not designed for truth-finding.

July 30, 2007 at 06:31 AM · In the end, everyone sticks to that religion or conviction that suits him/her best, and as long as it doesnt hurt anyone, none cant be wrong. But there are facts that dont fit in any of those convictions, like paralel dimenssions,and they do exist, ( for me, at least), I know people going into them, for few moments, now you could call those crazy, but what is normal, in the end? Just the majority thinking, possible to explain at our perception? That is possible to be just an ilussion, and then, why not go, into that state of mind? After all, that's the magic of it, in all terms of speculations, to be able to creat new ones. The game of imagination...another paralel dimenssion,I think we are all lost inside of it, just in different places...some of us, so far from on another...but we are all there, in the most wonderful infinit, and I wonder if it is possible, ever , two people to meet each other there..

July 30, 2007 at 07:20 AM · Yixi, I don't think you're responding to what I wrote. Or as they used to say, I know you heard what you think I said, but what I said isn't what I think you heard,,,or something like that.

July 30, 2007 at 07:03 AM · You got the idea just right you smarty!

Seriously, the issue I see is the nature of our believing rather than dichotomy of science vs religion. If you see it this way, what more can you say to someone who is asserting empirically unverifiable and logically incomprehensible claims?

July 30, 2007 at 07:23 AM · Ok, now I'm not following you. But at least I know it :P

July 30, 2007 at 08:16 AM · Jim you seem to be promoting an idea that you can only believe what you have written yourself. This is plain silly. How many times have you yourself read something and agreed wholeheartedly with it? Do you need to pen it yourself to believe it?

July 30, 2007 at 08:35 AM · Nobody has expressed my thoughts except me. I might agree with what somebody says, and I might not. That's a whole different thing.

July 30, 2007 at 08:35 AM · Well duh. And you have no idea what I'm thinking right now, either. Do you?

Come on, take a guess. :)

July 30, 2007 at 08:41 AM · You're thinking about how you can wrap me around a tree.

July 30, 2007 at 08:41 AM · No.

I was actually thinking about how unoriginal my thoughts are.

July 30, 2007 at 08:47 AM · (I'll pretend like I believe that.) So then get some original thoughts. Get free. Start by getting naked and running downtown. Send me the video :)

July 30, 2007 at 08:46 AM · Oh, like streaking is real original. I think Adam and Eve started that one.

July 30, 2007 at 08:48 AM · The Bible is finally on my side! Go for it!

July 30, 2007 at 08:52 AM · Oh the bears would love that right about now.

July 30, 2007 at 09:00 AM · Ok, run downtown naked carrying a gun. Hurry up.

July 30, 2007 at 08:57 AM · I bet I could beat you to that lamp post.

July 30, 2007 at 09:04 AM · I'd like that.

July 30, 2007 at 09:05 AM · Fun Fact: There are no nude beaches in Alaska.

I bet it made a lot more sense to go buck naked in Eden. I'm picturing a warm jungle of sorts, with no mosquitos, and no thorny devil's club, and no bear teeth. Must've been nice.

July 30, 2007 at 09:20 AM · You're trying to change the subject. Don't make me grab you by the shoulder and gaze into your eyes.

July 30, 2007 at 09:23 AM · If we are to stay on topic, then something must be said about reincarnation. Yes or no?

July 30, 2007 at 09:32 AM · You don't believe in it and I don't believe in it. Nothing else matters.

July 30, 2007 at 09:25 AM · Yixi - thanks for the endorsement of Daniel Dennett.

Maura - here is a link to an excellent non-dogmatic statement from Dr. Dennett on the ocassion of a serious illness in November, 2006. Although I do not accept the idea that the 4 writers I mentioned are in any way dogmatic - all are practitioners of the scientific method.

Thank Goodness

July 30, 2007 at 09:36 AM · Chick blocker.

July 30, 2007 at 11:09 AM · Allan, I like your Amoebian Theory...But, I think you have to elaborate on the story of everyones creation. About how a gelatin like mass spewed forth from an appendage on our father's groin into our mother's womb and in her jelly grew a being which was endowed with half the traits of the father and half the traits of the mother. And as in the case of Beethoven, the combination of his parental traits multiplied exponentially and he became a wunderkind who gave us Ode to Joy. And when Beethoven died tiny pieces of the Amoebian Gelatin cocktail that was Beethoven fertilized a seed and a beautiful Sunflower grew as a reminder to all that good things come from gelatin. I don't know if I have it all right but as an original prophet from The Church of the Amoebian perhaps you could further elaborate and set us straight. It all makes sense to me.

July 30, 2007 at 12:31 PM · "chick blocker?" LOLZ that's the first time I heard that put in suck a polite way.

July 30, 2007 at 12:46 PM · I didn't believe in reincarnation in my past life, and I don't believe in it in this one either.

Actually, every time you pick up the violin and play, it is the reincarnation of the vision and creativity of the composer.


July 30, 2007 at 01:01 PM · Yes, guys you are right,

but also incarnated nail has its importance!!

July 30, 2007 at 03:43 PM · Sandy,

I agree with you about playing the violin, at least, I hope it's the reincarnation of what the composer felt and wanted,and not something else.:-)

You didnt believe in reincarnation in your former life, which you, of course, remember,and recongnise exists:-)) ...funny paradox.

July 30, 2007 at 05:11 PM · I wouldn't have the courage to come back as myself--I don't think the world could stand it, but I've decided to come back as Emily instead. ;).

Ooo--or maybe Buri!.

July 30, 2007 at 05:34 PM · I only recently read Harris' "The End of Faith" and am looking forward to reading a few other books in that area. I found his arguments resonating in my "soul" and throwing further light on many things I have believed all my life but not organized in a rational manner. What is so dogmatic about his approach except for his quest to pursue rational answers in a world content with irrational ones?

July 30, 2007 at 05:33 PM · I don't believe in reincarnation, but in my next life I hope to come back as somebody who does.

July 30, 2007 at 05:50 PM · I like the idea of reincarnation, especially if I could choose who or what I came back as. I don't discount the possibility that there is such a thing, (although I am a bit sceptical).

If death is really the end, why is it always highlighted that Prokofiev died within an hour of Stalin? It's as if Stalin had the last word beyond his death.

July 30, 2007 at 11:36 PM · I was once best-man at my friend's wedding. On the way to the church, I realized that I had left my boutonnière at the hotel.

No worries! We stopped at a florist shop along the way, and I was reincarnated.


All hail the great gelatin-god!

July 31, 2007 at 12:02 AM · If one can't remember his previous life does reincarnation matter?

July 31, 2007 at 12:35 AM · And of all the extinct species? Talk about a malevolent God...

July 31, 2007 at 12:48 AM · Of COURSE it MATTERS: @ Ferris

We,as violinists are OBLIGATED to PASS ON TO OTHERS EVERYTHING we KNOW pertaining to OUR violin and ALL of our knowledge thereof...

That's how it works. Well,that's how it is supposed to work...

Some,needlessly hide their secrets BUT after a consultation w/others their particular violin voice should appear as normality..

If anyone asks you how to play---then you MUST--at least show them some move you know--but they don't....

Tons of techniques are and must be passed down and taught to serious others involved......

July 31, 2007 at 01:03 AM · What of extinct species? And why is God malevolent all of a sudden? And what does teaching the violin have to do with reincarnating, anyway? Any of this? What? This thread makes no sense to me.

Anyway, no one gets to come back as me. I'm the only one, I'm pretty sure. Thank goodness; you all should be glad about this.

July 31, 2007 at 01:14 AM · Dang--there goes my best change to be proficient.

July 31, 2007 at 01:40 AM · @ Emily:

Teaching violin [as you do] is what it's ALL about...

There is no reincarnation,but what you do as a teacher carries on forever,from 1 generation 2 the next generation etc.

Don't you agree----somewhat ???

You must,you know how it works---you lived the process and now it is you,in a large part of your being------n'est pas ?????????

July 31, 2007 at 01:56 AM · My utmost goal as a teacher is to help students to think for themselves, to study and understand how and why things work, so that they can solve their own problems through efficient practice. Then, all they need is to find what it is they want to say with their music, and then figure out how to say it.

The best way I can apply the topic of this discussion to my violin doctrine is that it is my goal as a teacher to share the good things I know so that my students can be equipped to become the best musician they can become. But this is not reincarnation. This is not reproduction, either. It's a bit more like passing down tradition, knowledge, and heritage. People who learn from me will do certain things the same way I did, but they collect from other sources and also bring a part of themselves into the equation.

July 31, 2007 at 02:14 AM · Allan Speers, good one! By the way, has anyone told you you have an amazing resemblance to Albert Einstein?

July 31, 2007 at 05:52 AM · Been over at Maestronet, have we?

There does seem to be a similarity of features, relatively speaking. (g)

July 31, 2007 at 11:30 AM · No, just clicked on the name.

July 31, 2007 at 11:58 PM · For no reason at all, some of this discussion reminds me of a cartoon of two fish talking in a fishbowl in the living room. One fish says, "If there's no God, then who changes the water?"

August 1, 2007 at 12:35 AM · We are reincarnations of our ancestors. Their genes and all their acts, their efforts, sacrifices, successes, failures, talents and emotions affect us. When I go back where mine have been I can feel the links.

August 1, 2007 at 02:29 AM · Edward I actually think it is, 'something' exactly like that.

August 1, 2007 at 07:08 AM · We (people and our environment) are all connected and everything affects everything else in some way -- can reincarnation be so redefined?


August 1, 2007 at 09:26 AM · It makes good economic sense to recycle old souls in new bodies, with Jim and Tammy gone. And no doubt it's all done in China.

August 1, 2007 at 08:23 AM · Jim, leave China alone!

Regarding our earlier discussion on believing something, my point is chiefly this:

1)Beliefs are theory-laden.

That’s why like-minded people tend to get along a lot better in exchanging ideas than people with entirely different belief systems. The latter don’t just disagree for the fun if it but they disagree because they can’t understand how on earth the other can seriously believe something so incomprehensible to them.

How can you explain Chinese medicine in terms of western language and concepts? How can you understand music fully by using the language of physics? How can you satisfactorily explain mind stuff (including love, beauty, likes and dislikes of individual taste) by discussing physical process? Some have made heroic efforts (such as Daniel Dennett and Patricia Churchland) and have provided some most impressive results, but in the end, one is left with the dissatisfaction: the intangible things aren’t been explained but rather, been explained away by something else!

When you are dealing with different spheres/realms or worlds, better not to try cross-talking. When you are play the violin, do the music thing. It’s not mere physical thing, nor sex, even though some of us like to link them often.

2)Beliefs are motivated by emotions and interests a believer has.

The theory-laden argument doesn’t answer the question why sometimes people who share almost identical sets of beliefs will firmly believe incredibly different things in face of clear evidence to the contrary. Self-deception is a good example. An otherwise rational and intelligent person might deceive himself into believing something he normally wouldn’t. This person may share all the basic values and theories about the world as you do, but he all of sudden is convinced without any good evidence, for instance, that Madona is going to marry him. This doesn't necessarily mean he is crazy but certainly he is self-deceived into believing this.

The answer lies how we start to believe something. A lot of time, we believe because we want or fear something to be the case. People in love are blind. People have addiction problems (such as in substance abuse cases) often manipulate events or their route of actions to convince themselves that they should do some can hurt them.

So, what does this to do with reincarnation? Everything: It’s about why some of us believe it and some don’t. It’s about why I think it’s futile to try to argue for or against the believers if you are not one and vise versa. No cross-talking and let each be.

August 1, 2007 at 08:04 AM · It would be weird if Madonna would actually marry you. Would you think you were going crazy?

August 1, 2007 at 08:26 AM · Marrying me? uh... are we speed-reading?

August 1, 2007 at 08:25 AM · Well, there's always the next life.

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