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southerncross
12-18-2011, 04:30 AM
I have never been a real believer in reincarnation. It simply did not seem to fit in to my logic at all....till now.
I don't know how to take this. You see someone and you know them. You've never met them, no association at all, but the knowledge is palpable. This is recent - over the past week.
What makes matters worse is I can't contact this person as they are on the other side of the world and I only saw them through television. Yet i know them as sure as I'm breathing. Now just exactly what are you supposed to do with this? How can I possible confirm this to any degree?

I all my years on this planet, I have never experienced anything this real. Like you see 2 people when you see that individual. The one your eyes see and the one your soul sees. Now for a newbie at this I don't really know what I've got or what to do with it. Any ideas here? And no, they don't remind me of anyone I know?

Garuda
12-18-2011, 01:18 PM
Reincarnation can be tough one to get your mind around. It took me a while before I could, and I needed some 'dramatic' experiences to convince me.

What you're describing could indeed be a case of recognition from a past life.

"Listen to your heart" is the best advice I can give in these circumstances: if it feels right that this is a past life connection, it may indeed be the case. Sometimes, you 'just know', and that seems to be your experience here.

This can be an exciting beginning of a new road of discovery. Embrace it! :)

southerncross
12-18-2011, 05:16 PM
Thank you Garuda, This has been tough to deal with. This great saddness is connected to it, and I know there will never be a crossing of paths.
I had one other experience when young. This person was about 10yrs older and an instructor. We could not help being around each other and thankfully I was an old soul and could process this. We dated till I graduated from college when he suddenly had his head turned by someone else. He married her. I cautioned his father that this would be a disaster and indeed the woman left him after 4 years and it almost broke his spirit.
By then I was married and settled. But in 2004 I learned he was near death from cancer and I dashed to his hospital bed. We had an hour together before the pain was so bad he had to take medication that knocked him out. But it was clear that he regretted his decision. When I attended his funeral which was Catholic, the coffin is placed in the center aisle. Everyone sat up to the front leaving the coffin quite alone. I sat near the coffin alone with him and escorted him out. It was the only thing I could do for him in this life.

For a year there were bangs in the middle of the night in my attic over my head. I tried to figure out what it was that was causing it but there was nothing to drop and bounce as this did. One day it quieted down, but a woman I knew said she had a message for me. "He said, mind over matter dear, mind over matter" and she went on to describe him with a black dog wearing a red collar sitting in a sports car like a Mustang. She did not know, but he loved his old Mustang.
I called his son and he was stunned to learn that. He said the dog was Jacko, their black lab and that he had Jacko's red collar and tags in his desk drawer still. He was a much loved dog they had when his son was a child. I got my confirmation.

Long story short, I have found this other person now, but circumstances will never allow a meeting. Sometimes I wished I had never found him, because it was an extremely close relationship in the past and now I feel like I'm in a cage and can't reach through the bars to grasp what I know was mine. It's been like a punch in the gut.

Thanks for the advice Garuda. I did and do indeed listen to my heart and it is struggling to accept this particular reality with dificulty.

Garuda
12-18-2011, 05:33 PM
That "punch in the gut"-feeling often indicates the person was a significant other in a past life. It could be a partner, a sibling, some other relative, a friend, a mentor, a pupil,... you get the picture.

There are visualisations / exercises to release the 'attachment' to a significant other. One that is commonly used is the 'cord cutting' exercise. I can send you the text, if you're interested.

It helps to restore a sense of equanimity.

theavenger
12-18-2011, 09:25 PM
My father believed in reincarnation but as a young man I wasn't convinced of it. After many years of study and considering the information available, I have just in the past few years concluded that it is most likely real.

southerncross
12-18-2011, 09:57 PM
Garuda, I pm'd you. Somethings are best kept there. But there are times today I have been dizzy, and felt like I was being pulled away from where I am in this place. I do not tend to get emotional easily anymore and am a practical person, but this has been like being hit headon at high speed. It isn't something I can dismiss and just say oh well, not this lifetime.
And I am not prone to flights of fancy. So I am stuck trying to figure this out without any ability to speak to this person. Really really vexing.

Redbone
12-19-2011, 03:06 PM
It is like Deju Vu all over again!........Sorry couldn't resist.:biggrin2:

I read once that all dreams are memories of past lives. It is believed that everything we have experienced in our past lives is stored away in our genes. Much as a bird knows to fly south or a squirrel knows to store food for winter. I have had occasions when I recognized a place that I had never been before. Or something happened that stopped me in my tracks, thinking that I had done that exact same thing once before. I believe we are all, 'Old Souls.'

norenrad
12-19-2011, 04:29 PM
I often wonder if this phenomena is what we experience when we "bump" against one of our alternate realities. Perhaps there are enough of our other selves doing the exact same thing or thinking the exact same thing at the exact same moment and this creates a balance that opens our senses to each other for a brief period of time. Yeah, sometimes I can get kinda' scary.

southerncross
12-19-2011, 10:35 PM
I've stumbled across more information that confirmed something I saw in my dream. Had no idea this information was out there but I seem to be seeing it or anticipating it before I get confirmation. As a newcomer to this phenomenon I find it very exciting as I never believed this possible.
I had been a total skeptic, but I am beginning to think I am wrong and am very curious as to what else I can learn and have corroborated independently after the fact.
It's just fascinating and a little scarey. But it also makes me a bit sad as I miss this person now.

newyorklily
12-19-2011, 11:04 PM
I have what seem to be, memories of two past deaths. In one of them, I am standing in front of a deep trench, beyond which is a weathered, wooden fence. I heard a loud "crack" and then I felt a pressure in my lower back. I then fell into the trench and as I am falling, everything goes dark. I think I was in a concentration camp.

Even before I remembered this, I always loved the music and clothes from the late 1930s and early 1940s. My favorite song is Bei Mir Bist Du Schon. I grew up watching the Andrew Sisters in the Abbott and Costello movies and I always wanted to learn to dance like they did. In 2000, I did and for many years, I went out several times a week to swing dance events and classes. This past Sunday, I went to a "Vintage Subway Swing and Balboa" party. Vintage subway cars were being run along the "F" train line, bands played music from the '20s through the '50s, and people came and danced in their finest vintage and retro outfits. I rode the trains, took pictures, talked with old friends, listened to the music, and watched others dance (my dancing days were over years ago).

I realized on my way home, that this just wasn't "me" any more. I had done what I had always wanted to do, it was now in my past. I have to wonder how long I had wanted to dance like this. Was this a desire from that past life that I needed to work out? Did I need to stop grieving over something I missed way back when? I think that is one of the reasons for reincarnation. I got the opportunity to do something I wanted to do in the past but, for one reason or another, never compleated it. Now I have so now I can move on.

tl2
10-30-2012, 01:08 PM
These 3 books are an in depth view of the realm between lives.

Journey of souls (top link): http://www.google.com/search?q=journy+of+sould+pdf&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&safe=active

Destiny of Souls (4th or 5th link) http://www.google.com/search?q=journy+of+sould+pdf&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&safe=active

http://www.amazon.com/Big-Book-Soul-Spirituality-Twenty-First/dp/0954917634/ref=la_B000APKSI4_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1351072263&sr=1-2

I think you would really appreciate them. They are some of the best I have read with regards to understanding this subject.
Go download! :)

I would also recommend the work of Ian Stevenson who studied THOUSANDS of cases of children who remember past lives without regression and the book by a journalist who started out as a skeptic but became a believer whist documenting Stevenson's travels:
http://www.amazon.com/Old-Souls-Compelling-Evidence-Children/dp/0684851938/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1351598758&sr=8-1&keywords=old+souls

The books above helped me make up my mind that reincarnation is real.

I always try and remember these propositions:

1- the soul survives independent of the physical body
2- souls have many lives, not just one
3- our many lives are not linked by a karmic law of action and reaction
4- we reincarnate to gather experience so we can grow
5- the only judgment after death comes from ourselves
6- we are responsible for all aspects of our lives because we plan and choose them
7- we always have free will to deviate from our life plan
8- we are all One and all God
9- soul consciousness is holographic, and represents the part and the whole all at the same time
10- the aim of the Source is to experience all that is and can be

majicbar
10-30-2012, 02:34 PM
These 3 books are an in depth view of the realm between lives.

Journey of souls (top link): http://www.google.com/search?q=journy+of+sould+pdf&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&safe=active

Destiny of Souls (4th or 5th link) http://www.google.com/search?q=journy+of+sould+pdf&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&safe=active

http://www.amazon.com/Big-Book-Soul-Spirituality-Twenty-First/dp/0954917634/ref=la_B000APKSI4_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1351072263&sr=1-2

I think you would really appreciate them. They are some of the best I have read with regards to understanding this subject.
Go download! :)

I would also recommend the work of Ian Stevenson who studied THOUSANDS of cases of children who remember past lives without regression and the book by a journalist who started out as a skeptic but became a believer whist documenting Stevenson's travels:
http://www.amazon.com/Old-Souls-Compelling-Evidence-Children/dp/0684851938/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1351598758&sr=8-1&keywords=old+souls

The books above helped me make up my mind that reincarnation is real.

I always try and remember these propositions:

1- the soul survives independent of the physical body
2- souls have many lives, not just one
3- our many lives are not linked by a karmic law of action and reaction
4- we reincarnate to gather experience so we can grow
5- the only judgment after death comes from ourselves
6- we are responsible for all aspects of our lives because we plan and choose them
7- we always have free will to deviate from our life plan
8- we are all One and all God
9- soul consciousness is holographic, and represents the part and the whole all at the same time
10- the aim of the Source is to experience all that is and can be

"3- our many lives are not linked by a karmic law of action and reaction"

This appears not to be true, unless you meant "are linked". In several instances Bruce Goldberg has shown that karmic law does infact carry over for a soul and until the "lesson" related to that karma is actually learned, several of ones lives will be devoted to this "lesson".

This seems to be true also of lives that are in the "future" and in a parallel universe and timelline. The works of Bruce Goldberg are very instructive to the structure of life beyond what we experience this time around.

http://www.drbrucegoldberg.com/revealed.htm

http://www.drbrucegoldberg.com/SearchForGrace.htm

lycaeus
10-30-2012, 06:09 PM
So I am stuck trying to figure this out without any ability to speak to this person. Really really vexing.
Every night before you drift to sleep TELL God that you NEED to know about this. Be firm but not too pushy. It seems really important to you, so I would focus on the feeling of you solving this mystery every night, feel what it's like to discover what you want to know, without anticipation. Do it every night and write down absolutely everything from your dreams on a notebook beside your bed. You're bound to get something. The memories are inside you somewhere.

This would be my advice for anyone who is wondering about this
That, and see a hypnotherapist, maybe. I've never done either, nor felt the need to.

I'm next to certain that reincarnation is a reality. I have this funny birthmark where a ring stone would be on my wedding ring finger. The psychic told me that I burned the ring into my hand, lots of flames :eek:. and thats the only birthmark...

I have strange memories that dont seem to be from this life since I was a toddler as well.


These 3 books are an in depth view of the realm between lives.
Haven't read the books, but Mr. Newton's interviews are awesome. I showed my buddy and his mouth dropped.

tl2
10-31-2012, 12:08 PM
"3- our many lives are not linked by a karmic law of action and reaction"

This appears not to be true, unless you meant "are linked". In several instances Bruce Goldberg has shown that karmic law does infact carry over for a soul and until the "lesson" related to that karma is actually learned, several of ones lives will be devoted to this "lesson".


http://www.drbrucegoldberg.com/revealed.htm

http://www.drbrucegoldberg.com/SearchForGrace.htm

I disagree. An example would be that if in one life you run someone over and they spend the rest of their life in a wheelchair, that in the next life you will be the one to spend your life in a wheel chair as karma. Almost as if karma is some kind of punishment. I dont think it works like that. Nobody judges us but ourselves and if we want to stop incarnating and progress, then its up to us to CHOOSE the next life. Its not thrust upon us. WE choose the lesson.

tl2
10-31-2012, 12:12 PM
To clarify...



Even when the modern evidence for individual soul reincarnation is accepted, there are a number of very different spiritual approaches that can be adopted, whose adherents behave in very different ways. So our final objective in this work must be to attempt to answer the two crucial questions of why are we here? and its logical corollary of what should we do? Without answers to these questions we are swimming in a whirlpool – directionless, aimless, reactive, allowing the tides of our succession of lives to take us where they will.

All reincarnatory worldviews share the idea that we have many lives on earth because we are supposed to progress or evolve to the point where we no longer have to incarnate in the physical plane. And while this objective of ‘enlightenment’ or ‘transcendence’ is consistent, as we will see there are a number of different views as to how it can be achieved – not only from a metaphysical perspective, but also in practical, everyday terms.[i] For most people this is where the concept of karma comes to the fore, because it is supposedly the river that runs through our succession of lives and flows out into the light realms of the eternal soul. So for many their view of the workings of karma is intrinsically bound up with their view of how to achieve the progress required to depart the earth plane for good – even if souls who have achieved this enlightened state might choose to come back to assist with various earthly developments.

There are many different approaches to karma in the traditions of the East and West. Even the two major Eastern religions, Hinduism and Buddhism, each have many different strains – although the doctrine of anatta or ‘no self’ can tend to preclude any idea of the continuity of an individual soul that reincarnates from one life to the next in some strains of Buddhist thought. Then there are the variants of Sikhism, Jainism, Taoism, Judaism, Gnosticism and a variety of other esoteric schools both ancient and modern. This is not intended to be a full explanation of the many intricacies of these different approaches to karma, but we can identify certain major strands of thinking.

The most simplistic, traditional approach tells us that we can be punished for so-called ‘bad’ karma. The harshest version of this doctrine sees the unfortunate wrongdoer devolving back down the reincarnatory chain to a lower form of animal life – or even, under some schemas, entering a terrible, hellish realm before incarnating again at the bottom of the animal chain and having to work all the way back up to human form.[ii] But most modern evidence suggests that there are significant differences between the group soul energy of animal species and the fully individualized nature of human soul energy.[iii] So many spiritual seekers in the West now tend to favor a more fluid approach that involves ‘balancing’ supposedly good and bad karma. The principle is broadly one of ‘spiritual accounting’ whereby we tend to accumulate karmic deficits – especially in earlier lives when we are less experienced – but over time our good karmic actions compensate for the bad ones, whether directly or indirectly. So the long-term aim is to achieve a ‘balanced karmic account’. But even this is seen as too formulaic by some, so the bottom line becomes the mere recognition of myriad different forms of karma that can apply in different circumstances.[iv] But does any of this karmic theory really help us to answer our two key questions?

Apparently more sophisticated approaches tend to suggest that we should live a life of non-attachment, perhaps even as a completely disinterested ascetic in solitude. In Hindu thought this frees us from generating any further karma at all, whether good or bad, thereby ending the compulsion to reincarnate. For those of a more Buddhist persuasion, by contrast, the purpose is to see through the illusion of individuality – or maya – and recognize our ‘one-ness’ with the ‘universal consciousness’ that pervades everything. We will return to these issues in the final chapter, but for now we might recognize that to separate oneself from the world for a prolonged period might be regarded as somewhat at odds with the idea of soul experience and growth – which we have already seen is one of the strongest themes to emerge from interlife regression. Having said that the pursuit of non-attachment does not have to be this extreme. It might be that we involve ourselves fully in the experiences of life, and yet still aim to find ourselves becoming less and less attached to particular events and their outcomes.

Rather worse, in the original Sanskrit the word karma means ‘action’, but as we saw in chapter 5 it is now widely associated with a process of action and reaction and of paying off debts – more commonly expressed via colloquialisms such as ‘you reap what you sow’ and ‘what goes around comes around’. So the fundamental problem with most karmic models is the misconception that, if we are undergoing trials and tribulations in the present, they must represent our predestined fate because of wrongdoing in the past – usually thought to have taken place in a previous life. Nowhere is this flaw more blatantly demonstrated than in the idea that people who are severely disabled, either mentally or physically, are being punished – because, as we will shortly see, they may well have deliberately chosen this challenge during the interlife in order to accelerate their emotional growth. On top of this there is a seemingly irreconcilable tension between, on the one hand, this inherent suggestion of a significant element of karmic predestiny and, on the other, the total supremacy of personal responsibility and free will – which themes also emerged strongly from the interlife regression evidence in the previous chapter. Many spiritual commentators have wrestled with this problem. Most, unfortunately, have had minimal success.

With the benefit of modern regression evidence it seems that the most important distinction we can make is between the dynamics operating across successions of lives and those that hold sway within just one life. To begin with the first of these, it is clear that our accumulated experiences from past lives shape our current life plan – influencing not only our circumstances, but also the emotions we bring back to work on, and even the past-life strengths that will help us. At least this is certainly true of more experienced souls, who are closely involved in making deliberate planning choices for themselves, and in these circumstances the idea that any sort of law of action and reaction influences the process seems entirely unhelpful. As to those less experienced and more impetuous souls whose planning may be rather more directed by others, it may be that some sort of underlying law of action and reaction is applied. But if so the dynamics of this process will be so complex as to be way beyond our human understanding – and if we cannot understand something, we cannot use it to learn and grow. So expounding any number of complex theories in this area is not going to assist such a soul in deciding how to approach their life in practical terms. Worse still, who is to say whether each of us is an experienced soul who is more or less in charge of their life planning and choices, or a less experienced and perhaps more impetuous soul wielding rather less control? As we will see, outward appearances can be extremely deceptive.

So what about what happens within our current lives? If we switch the terminology slightly, it is sometimes abundantly obvious to us that the concept of ‘cause and effect’ holds true, especially when the effect follows hard on the heels of the cause. In fact in this context it clearly is appropriate to talk about a ‘law’ that pertains at all times – even if, again, most of the time we remain blissfully unaware of the unconscious causes that have produced the effects we consciously observe in our lives. It is because of this that, as well as having a life plan established during the interlife, we can be said to create our own reality as we go along in incarnate life – and this in turn is exactly where the supremacy of free will comes into play.

We will return to these ideas in the final chapter, but for now the clear implication is that we can break free from the ‘bondage of karma’ at any time. If we want to promote soul growth then each and every one of us can actively decide to start with a fresh sheet of paper and to begin ‘consciously creating’ our own future. This is true not only of more experienced but also of less experienced souls, because there are no obvious restrictions – except that to reinforce this process we need to become not only more spiritually aware while incarnate, but also more fully active in the time between lives, although to a large extent the one may be thought to lead to the other. Admittedly some souls may be rather more receptive to these ideas, and rather more ready to put them into practice, than others. Admittedly also, as we will see in the final chapter, real conscious creation does not just involve ‘positive thinking’ but also a commitment to proper self-analysis so that unconscious blockages are cleared. But, despite these riders, this undeniable fact that we use our free will to create our own destiny renders it absolutely imperative that we should shift our focus away from thinking of our present circumstances as being reactively determined by our past, and concentrate instead on how our present choices are proactively shaping our future.






More:

http://www.ianlawton.com/bbosextr2.htm

CasperParks
10-31-2012, 12:59 PM
Click image to enlarge
838
Cartoon was posted in the past by someone.
Sorry, I don't recall who had posted it.

atmjjc
10-31-2012, 02:26 PM
LOL...that cartoon is funny.

tl2
10-31-2012, 02:58 PM
Saw this today:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2225190/Can-quantum-physics-explain-bizarre-experiences-patients-brought-brink-death.html

Near-death experiences occur when the soul leaves the nervous system and enters the universe, claim two quantum physics experts

A near-death experience happens when quantum substances which form the soul leave the nervous system and enter the universe at large, according to a remarkable theory proposed by two eminent scientists.

According to this idea, consciousness is a program for a quantum computer in the brain which can persist in the universe even after death, explaining the perceptions of those who have near-death experiences.

Dr Stuart Hameroff, Professor Emeritus at the Departments of Anesthesiology and Psychology and the Director of the Centre of Consciousness Studies at the University of Arizona, has advanced the quasi-religious theory.

It is based on a quantum theory of consciousness he and British physicist Sir Roger Penrose have developed which holds that the essence of our soul is contained inside structures called microtubules within brain cells.

They have argued that our experience of consciousness is the result of quantum gravity effects in these microtubules, a theory which they dubbed orchestrated objective reduction (Orch-OR).

Thus it is held that our souls are more than the interaction of neurons in the brain. They are in fact constructed from the very fabric of the universe - and may have existed since the beginning of time.

The concept is similar to the Buddhist and Hindu belief that consciousness is an integral part of the universe - and indeed that it is really all there may be, a position similar to Western philosophical idealism.

With these beliefs, Dr Hameroff holds that in a near-death experience the microtubules lose their quantum state, but the information within them is not destroyed. Instead it merely leaves the body and returns to the cosmos.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2225190/Can-quantum-physics-explain-bizarre-experiences-patients-brought-brink-death.html#ixzz2Asvd6DVg

majicbar
10-31-2012, 04:52 PM
I disagree. An example would be that if in one life you run someone over and they spend the rest of their life in a wheelchair, that in the next life you will be the one to spend your life in a wheel chair as karma. Almost as if karma is some kind of punishment. I dont think it works like that. Nobody judges us but ourselves and if we want to stop incarnating and progress, then its up to us to CHOOSE the next life. Its not thrust upon us. WE choose the lesson.

I agree in general, but you missed the point made by examples form Bruce Goldberg.

In the book on Grace, she had reincarnated with the same male character in several different lifetimes and he had killed her in each of those incarnations, whatever karmic lesson they were working on, they were, or he was, not able to learn control himself in his incarnations. The male was carrying the same karmic debt to each incarnation.

In the book on future lives on of the books examples had caused a nuclear meltdown and killed many in some future event and had carried that karmic load back into our time and this incarnation.

As you say it is the lessons we choose, and we do not always understand here what is going on, it is not a straight forward thing how we come to perfect our souls.

southerncross
11-29-2012, 03:02 AM
As Ihad said some time ago I would update people on where the research is going on regarding the tunnel experience.
It goes very slow however there are 4 physicists working on it, one full time. Two astrophysicists, 1 quantum, 1 plasma.
Im sure gaining a consensus must be challenging, but if anyone can do this they can.

I continue to have unusual dreams, premonitions, and some they believe are parallel lives in other dimensions. All this has to be worked on and developed in to a working hypothesis and tested so I dont expect anything anytime soon. But it is fascinating work.

The tunnel exists,, of that we are sure. Quantifying and testing it is time consuming and I can do nothing but wait.

A99
11-29-2012, 02:11 PM
Thanks for the update on this! It sounds very exciting!
And great that you continue to have those experiences because this has allowed you and those whom you are working with to evaluate them in more depth. If they were only popping in occasionally, then you and they would not have the opportunity to do that.
It's interesting that shows like Fringe has used the 'parallel world' concept as a major theme in their episodes. In fact, that concept seems to be more and more pervasive in more than a few other sci-fi shows and movies; especially over the past several years. In my view, the ubiquitousness of this concept being used in those venue's gives us reason to pause and consider that it's more than just fiction. This in turn gives some validation to our own experiences in this area. I think that many script writers of sci-fi shows are tapped into a primordial bandwidth with meme's inserted into them by unknown sources from which they get their idea's from for their stories.

Longeyes
12-06-2012, 12:46 AM
Hi all

I've a practicing Buddhist for 5-6 years now. And out of all the major religions we've got the most complex understanding of reincarnation. The best description I've heard has come for my Nyingma guru.
Apparently there is no guarantee that you will have a great next life because you were good this life. The winds of karma are far harsher than that. It's really important from the Buddhist viewpoint to remember that all creatures have at some point been are mother and that we will have in past lives done all acts good and bad.
When you die it depends on not just what particular aspect of karma is ripening but also a certain amount of luck. Your mood when you die for instance is important best not to have negative or troubled people around you when you die. Also the weather may be bad and effect your mood. So if you raped someone this life it doesn't follow that you yourself will be raped next life as a consequence, but in some future life it will rear it's head.
It is possible to break through the grips of karma but that means following a long and hard spiritual path. The more I study it the more I am convinced of its veracity. It is pretty much a view completely unlike the present western view of the world.
Contrary to what a lot of scientist think the path develops in a logical path. One analogy is that there is only one mountain but very many routes to the top. Most religions agree that there is a mountain the modern rationalist doesnt. However we all inhabit the same world can you really believe it is as meaningless as they would have you believe.