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Roman Republic: Res publica Romana • View topic - Spirits and an Afterlife

Spirits and an Afterlife

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Spirits and an Afterlife

Postby Marcus Minucius Audens » Mon Jul 18, 2016 9:39 pm

Lady Longina;

In answer to your question, yes, I am well, We celebrated Father's Day a bit late last week and visited an archery store where my wife was kind enough to buy me a beautiful new bow and five specially made arrows. My interest was peaked on archery again at the just passed "Roman Days" Event that we had arranged not long ago. Now I will have to set up an archery target in my house, as I had before the flood in the basement demolished it.

In your short talk with me about spirits, I have only had one run-in with such and that still has a lot of questions about it. However, there are so many strange happenings related by people of honor and standing that until I have a more definite involvement with such, I will leave that question on the shelf, (Grin!!).

In regard to an afterlife, we can never know until after death, so I suppose that any individual can dream up from his / her own imagination or from literature the afterlife that they would like to see and hope for. In the case of the Islamic Terrorists, they are totally convinced that the more infindels that they kill, the more women they will have in an afterlife. This leads them to a very unlikable attitude toward virtually everybody. If I read my data correctly Muslims killed in that effort do not count towards the victim list!

So back to my personal philosophy. Triarius has declared me a "Druid" for my love of the forest I am not sure what my love of the broad ocean-sea beyond the sight of land makes me, and my military interests and pursuit of weapons and weapons data, I would say puts me in the realm of the God Mars, if I believed in Gods. I don't think that I am a Christian since I do not believe all the miracles which occurred supposedly sixty + years before they were written about and described. The books of the bible that were discarded by a monarch whose realm produced no other aspect of rule and the later books of the bible that have come to light that are being hidden and the discoverers being quieted because of the fear that the Christian people will have an uprising. I have experienced Bhuddism, Catholocism, Christian Science, and I have seen enough of Islam to run away from that! So I am a bit adrift in this philosophy business. I am not really concerned, but I do have questions.

I hope your research is going well. I had aspired to a doctorate and completed all the requirements save for my thesis. Then I moved from California to Connecticut and suddenly the financial burden of completing the doctorate requirements were more than I could afford. Later I was told that with my current education and my double retirement, there was no reason for a doctorate. My wife was correct about that as she usually is, but I still think about it from time to time. I would have written the thesis about some aspect of the American Civil War. I have created a reenactment group and the group has now some 1400+ maps and plans in its archives drawn by the members, about half of those are mine. So I guess, my needs are satisfied (Grin!!) Besides the money we saved we spent on two long cruises to foreign lands and we did have a lot of fun!

Respectfully;

Marcus Audens
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Re: Spirits and an Afterlife

Postby Gaia Cassia Longina » Tue Jul 19, 2016 6:07 am

Salve Audens!

Thank you, my research is going well.
For the conversation of spirits, I have had a few encounters which has led me to ancestor worship regarding my Roman ancestors. I will look at the rest of your comments tonight. I am off to Marathon!

Best wishes,
C Cassia Longina
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Re: Spirits and an Afterlife

Postby Gaius Florius Lupus » Tue Jul 19, 2016 10:23 am

Salvete!

I think that it is safe to assume that life after death is not much different from life before birth. And we all remember how this was...
We do not?
Well, probably it is not so important then.

Valete!
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Re: Spirits and an Afterlife

Postby Gaia Cassia Longina » Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:33 pm

Well, I follow the traditions of the East when it comes to death and I also like the Platonic ideas. I do not believe that death necessarily brings a total end - just a moving on to something else.
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Re: Spirits and an Afterlife

Postby Tiberius Publicius Gracchus » Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:55 pm

The issue of what happens after death and whether a human being can become a god is debatable. As far as we know, no one who has died has ever come back to life. (Those who have had “near death experiences were never, in my opinion dead. If they were, doctors would not have been able to revive them.) The Romans certainly believed it was possible for some people to become gods. I have read that the Lares and Manes may be the souls of deceased loved ones who are watching over their living descendants. Some Romans also believed in the Greek afterlife, that souls were taken across the river Styx by Charon to the Underworld.

I believe that what happens in this plane of existence is a reflection of what is happening on other planes of existence. So the fate of a soul after death highly depends how the person is remembered. Most of us, unless we have lived extraordinary lives, will eventually be forgotten. The people who have known us will die, and unless we have made a splash in history, there will not be much record of our existence. I have done some genealogical research on my family. For those who lived a few generations back, the relatives who knew them are dead, and all I have to work with are census records, military records, birth, death, and marriage certificates, and so forth. The further back in time I go, the harder they are to trace. When the last trace of an ancestor's existence is lost, when the census records themselves are no longer maintained, they will die a second death. So when the Ancient Romans write about the shades drinking from the River of Lethe, that is what is happening on this plane of existance. They will dwell forever in the plains of Asphodel until and unless they are allowed to return to the upper world and be reincarnated. But as long as your deceased relatives are remembered, I believe part of their souls are here to watch over the living. So if you love your dead relatives, remember them!

However, some people are able to make a mark in history, and so details of their lives are recorded by historians. They have achieved a form of immortality. The degree to which they are remembered varies. Some of them are only remembered and written about by historians. Others, however, have become household names. Plato, for example, is very well known, and most people have at least read some of his works in school. This is after thousands of years! For the most part, I believe these souls are in Elysium. In this age of modern political correctness, some of our deceased heroes are no longer being remembered as such. Andrew Jackson is being derided for the fact that he kept slaves and for his treatment of Native Americans. They are even taking him off of the 20-dollar bill and replacing him with Harriot Tubman! I still think he was a hero. Maybe not by our politically correct standards, but he was a product of his time and when he died he was remembered as a hero. I don’t think we should be too hard on our dead heroes, after all, we are here, enjoying the fruits of the countries they built. We owe them a debt of gratitude.

I do not believe in eternal damnation. There are, however, individuals who after death are almost universally despised. The person who immediately comes to mind is Adolf Hitler. In addition, serial killers, rapists, and other criminals, who have become household names, are in my opinion those who are being punished in Tartarus. I also have to believe that other criminals, who are not as well known or have not been caught will also spend some time there. I do not believe they will be punished for etenity, but will certainly stay there for a very long time, until the crimes they committed have been accounted for. I believe the amount of time is determined by how long it takes for human beings to remember their names without strong feelings, at least until those whose lives they have affected are themselves deceased. It will take longer for someone like Adolf Hitler. I think it is worth noting that very few people are universally admired or despised. I think that in order to qualify for Tartarus, they have to be hated by nearly everyone who remembers their name.

I believe that some souls are reincarnated, especially if their former lives have been cut short. Dr. Ion Stevenson's reincarnation research provides some anecdotal evidence, though not proof, in support of this.

I have argued that what happens to a soul after death largely depends on how that person is remembered after death. Some people, such as Roman emperors have achieved such renown in their lives that they are remembered as gods, and worshiped as such. I have to agree that anyone who is worshiped as a god, living or dead, is in fact a god. I am not required to worship those gods, but who am I to argue with their divinity? So yes, the deified emperors are gods, and that goes whether or not the Senate was under political pressure to make them so. As far as I know, however, only the Abrahamic religions argue that it is necessary to accept their god in order to have a pleasant afterlife. In my opinion, what happens after death does not matter which god or gods you choose to worship, or not to worship, that makes the difference. What matters is how you lived. The more impact you have on history, the more likely it is that you will be remembered. Very few of us will make it to Elysium, and even fewer will become gods, but we all can make a positive impact on those we interact with.
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Re: Spirits and an Afterlife

Postby Marcus Livius Horatius » Tue Aug 09, 2016 3:35 pm

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Re: Spirits and an Afterlife

Postby Appius Claudius Tuscus » Wed Aug 10, 2016 12:36 am

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Re: Spirits and an Afterlife

Postby Tiberius Publicius Gracchus » Wed Aug 10, 2016 2:27 am

Yes, I do believe that it is this life that matters, because it is what is here and now. In the future, we will certainly find out what the afterlife entails, or as the case may be, we will not find out. On the other hand, I find the subject fascinating, so for me it is worth speculating on. I have read some Plato, and some Aristotle, but not much other philosophy. I started out reading Roman history, and have since moved on to mythology. Philosophy is next, but it will take me longer to read because I am not sure if it is the way the text is translated, but Plato and Aristotle really make my head spin.

I have done quite a bit of other research on the afterlife. Someday we will all be dead, so this is a subject that should interest everybody. I have not found any proof of an afterlife, though I have found quite a bit of anecdotal evidence from ghosts to near death experiences, to reincarnation research. The Romans believed their dead ancestors continued to watch over them after they died, and I chose to believe that is true. On the subject of reincarnation, Tibetan Buddhists believe that the Dalai Lama is the same reincarnated soul, and when one incarnation dies, they go out in search for the next one. I am not sure how they make the determination as to which child is the next Dalai Lama, but that was the basis of their monarchy. I believe that the current Dalai Lama has said that unless the political situation in Tibet changes, he will not be coming back.

In the United States, two Presidents have been more or less deified. There is even a statue depicting George Washington as Jupiter Optimus Maximus.
Image
http://eyelevel.si.edu/2010/07/george-w ... -toga.html
If there is anyone in American history that were gods, it would be George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. However, we don't quite worship them as such.

I don't know if Roman heroes are being reincarnated today. There are fewer classicists now than there used to be but at the same time it is once again acceptable to be a Roman pagan. At least you won't be put on trial for heresy. :lol: We have our sports heroes who perform great feats of strength, they are certainly worthy of celebration. But apart from them, the mainstream media rarely focuses on modern-day heroes. They are too busy Keeping Up with the Kardashians and reporting on the latest criminal activity to spend much time reporting on modern-day heroes. At least that is my perception. In the past our Founding Fathers along with the Davy Crocketts and Daniel Boones were celebrated as heroes, today, how many people could even say who those people are? What will inspire the next generation of heroes? I believe a true hero is someone who can alter the course of history. They are a bit more than human, in my opinion, but not quite gods. But we can all strive to be a bit more than human, what is the harm in trying? When they are needed, I believe modern day heroes will be born into this world.

Virgil, in his depiction of the Underworld, had all of the Roman heroes from Romulus to Augustus waiting to be born into this world. With all of the problems facing the world today, I would hope that there are some heroes waiting in that line for our civilization.
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Re: Spirits and an Afterlife

Postby Gaius Florius Lupus » Thu Aug 11, 2016 11:11 am

Salvete!

It takes the sting out of death, when you remember that you have already been dead, before you have been alive.

Non fui.
Sum.
Non ero.
Non curo.

Valete!
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Re: Spirits and an Afterlife

Postby Tiberius Publicius Gracchus » Sun Aug 14, 2016 9:21 pm

No matter what your views on the afterlife are, one thing is for certain: as long as there are still people living on this planet life will go on. And I believe it is our duty to them to leave them a world that can support human life, and a civilization where there are opportunities, where human rights and intellectual freedom are respected. We know that civilizations can collapse, and indeed, entire species can go extinct. I am very concerned about our impact on the planet and how humans are causing the Earth's sixth mass extinction. So we or our descendants could wake up one day and find the planet is no longer friendly to human life.

I see civilizations and individual nation states as living entities that can outlive individual humans. And even when civilizations collapse, their contributions to human development can outlive individual civilizations. They can leave a legacy. And in the case of the Roman Republic, they can even come back from the dead ;). But if all human life is extinct, that really would be the end of everything. Reducing one's carbon footprint is not an easy thing to do, but it is certainly possible.
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