Monday, June 4, 2007

Assignment #89

The Paranormal

I’ve got a program here on Monday evenings I call the Near Death, Reincarnation and Other Spooky Stuff Discussion Group. I’ve got a few people interested in it and gives me an excuse to look at these things, and religion itself, objectively and informally.

Anyway, I’ve found lots of good supporting materials on the Web.

Google Videos and YouTube have stuff. Especially good are

which is the first of five parts.

There’s also a torrent with lots of excellent media files here It’s the big one.

Of course, you can always get good stuff from our favorite late night radio show if you have a subscription

and here’s a good program from public radio station WHRO

and I love this site

just because it’s so well organized.

Librarians, email me if you’re interested in this stuff or want to start your own program.



Soraya said...

I have always been interested in reading about the near death experience. Here's a link to a video of a talk given by a Bahai who had a deep experience. At the end of her talk she answers someone's questions about reincarnation. It's from the site you posted: (

Also on I have posted passages from the major world religions on the afterlife:

Here's a passage about reincarnation. When asked about reincarnation, Abdu’l-Bahá, the son of Bahá'u'lláh (Prophet founder of the Baha'i Faith), gave the following response:

... the outward is the expression of the inward; the earth is the mirror of the Kingdom; the material world corresponds to the spiritual world. Now observe that in the sensible world appearances are not repeated, for no being in any respect is identical with, nor the same as, another being. The sign of singleness is visible and apparent in all things. … As the proof of uniqueness exists in all things, and the Oneness and Unity of God is apparent in the reality of all things, the repetition of the same appearance is absolutely impossible. Therefore, reincarnation, which is the repeated appearance of the same spirit with its former essence and condition in this same world of appearance, is impossible and unrealizable. …
If we say that this reincarnation is for acquiring perfections so that matter may become refined and delicate, and that the light of the spirit may be manifest in it with the greatest perfection, this also is mere imagination. For, even supposing we believe in this argument, still change of nature is impossible through renewal and return. The essence of imperfection, by returning, does not become the reality of perfection; complete darkness, by returning, does not become the source of light; the essence of weakness is not transformed into power and might by returning, and an earthly nature does not become a heavenly reality. ...

Moreover, this material world has not such value or such excellence that man, after having escaped from this cage, will desire a second time to fall into this snare. No, through the Eternal Bounty the worth and true ability of man becomes apparent and visible by traversing the degrees of existence, and not by returning. When the shell is once opened, it will be apparent and evident whether it contains a pearl or worthless matter. When once the plant has grown it will bring forth either thorns or flowers; there is no need for it to grow up again. Besides, advancing and moving in the worlds in a direct order according to the natural law is the cause of existence, and a movement contrary to the system and law of nature is the cause of nonexistence. The return of the soul after death is contrary to the natural movement, and opposed to the divine system.

Therefore, by returning, it is absolutely impossible to obtain existence; it is as if man, after being freed from the womb, should return to it a second time. …

... the spirit is an incorporeal being, and does not enter and come forth, but is only connected with the body as the sun is with the mirror. If it were thus, and the spirit by returning to this material world could pass through the degrees and attain to essential perfection, it would be better if God prolonged the life of the spirit in the material world until it had acquired perfections and graces; it then would not be necessary for it to taste of the cup of death, or to acquire a second life. …

For in this universe of God, which appears in the most complete perfection, beauty and grandeur, the luminous stars of the material universe are innumerable! Then we must reflect how limitless and infinite are the spiritual worlds, which are the essential foundation. …

... For what the divine Prophets meant by "return" is not the return of the essence, but that of the qualities; it is not the return of the Manifestation, but that of the perfections. In the Gospel it says that John, the son of Zacharias, is Elias. These words do not mean the return of the rational soul and personality of Elias in the body of John, but rather that the perfections and qualities of Elias were manifested and appeared in John.

Anonymous said...

you have a wonderful site!