Someone asked, “If the world is illusory and there is no ‘you,’ shouldn’t it be ‘I am NOT that’ instead of ‘I am that’?”

There is Reality or “I” or THAT and from it emerges phenomenal things that are less than THAT and yet things which, in various degrees are in proximity to THAT. This means illusion is relative. So there is no “you” in the absolute sense and but there is “you” in the phenomenal and relatively illusory sense. “I am THAT” is a verbal formula affirming one’s identity with the Reality behind everything, i.e. it is YOU in the absolute or true sense.

“I am NOT that” where “that” referred to a phenomenal form would be a way of saying the same thing as “I am THAT.”

“I am NOT that” where “that” referred to the Reality behind all would be simply materialism and illusion.

I think it is better to say this word is, relatively, illusory. To say otherwise is to equate all things, i.e. beauty and ugliness are equally illusory and hate and love are equally illusory, and a good answer and a bad answer to your question are equally illustory and such is not the case.
(Illusion is relative. The ancients were too binary in their thinking and verbalizations.)

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Who believes in afterlife?

Eighty percent of the people in the US believe in it, and despite the fact that many of those are not sure about God. Fewer Americans Believe in God — Yet They Still Believe in Afterlife.

Also, 26 percent of people in the US believe in reincarnation. United States – belief in reincarnation 2016 | Statistic

I would tell you that I believe in it, but that is not accurate, rather, I would say with Walt Whitman, that I know it to be a reality:

“Has any one supposed it lucky to be born?
I hasten to inform him or her it is just as lucky to die, and I know it.
I pass death with the dying and birth with the new-wash’d babe, and am not contain’d between my hat and boots,

And peruse manifold objects, no two alike and every one good,
The earth good and the stars good, and their adjuncts all good.
I am not an earth nor an adjunct of an earth,
I am the mate and companion of people, all just as immortal and fathomless as myself,
(They do not know how immortal, but I know.) ”

Walt Walt Whitman

Someone asked, “What drives or inspires some people to live so selflessly?”

“Selfishness is the only real atheism; aspiration, unselfishness, the only real religion.” Israel Zangwill

“I am… I am not a little exclusive I, but the great inclusive, allied I. It is the play of stellar electricity in my soul. It is the central heat of the planet warming my being… I look into myself, and if I find in me any goodness, any nobleness, any love, any upleaping ambition to create, I laugh, for these things are fragments of supernatural radium, of everlasting outpouring power. I have taken this power…as my own. I have stripped all the rags and trappings of heathenism from it. I have discovered its shattering stellar beauty. I have found out it is what men call God.” The Creed of Power, Frank Crane

People live according to what they are, and they think feel and act according to their sense of identity. People live according to their sense of who and what they know themselves to be and who and what they know others to be. The average person sees themselves as separate from others and separate from the surrounding universe. Consequently, they live for that separate identity. Spiritual growth is the evolution from and isolated and separate sense of self to a larger sense of self. The closer we are to enlightenment, the more deeply do we realize that we are part of everyone and everything. We are still aware of ourselves as a separate individual egos, but at the same time we know ourselves to be one with all beings. This unification is the central spiritual realization of life, and it is ever-expanding and multi-dimensional. Selfishness is simply a limitation of self-knowledge. By contrast, selflessness is an expanded knowledge and expanded sense of who and what one is. We live for the larger life because we know ourselves to be that life. We live for the larger love because we know ourselves to be that love.

“…but I was a vastness somehow, that in no way contradicted or conflicted with my limited individuality… I was both my individual self and in some greater way, ‘I’ was also everything.” The Sound of Light, Irina Starr

 

“Our treatment of people obviously depends on what we think they are. The more we think of our fellowmen as deterministic physical systems- robots, machines, brains- the more heartlessly and selfishly we can allow ourselves to deal with them… On the other hand, the more we appreciate their mental life as unique… more original and creative than mere space-time mass relations of matter, the more we are interested in them as individuals and the more we tend to respect them and consider their viewpoints and feelings.” Dr. J.B. Rhine

 

“This radio station you call your body

Bearing along its quivering wires

The keen stress

Of strange fires;

Curious cover you say is you-

I, to humor you, say it too;

Calling by name as you’d have me do

Your frail mechanical outer dress-

Do you know as you sit and talk with me

This isn’t the self I see?

Do you know above and about your frame

I see a something spread and shine-

A presence wonderful, divine?

This radio station you term a “man”

And give him a name and known address;

Form familiar whose face you scan,

Whose friendly hand you press;

Do you know, as his body stands in view

The man himself is apart from you…”

Angel Morgan

Someone asked, “What do you do to practice self-compassion?”

I don’t think in terms of a practice of that. In a deeper sense, compassion or love is a unitary entity and when we really love it radiates out to all naturally and without ego effort includes a right sense of self, or self-esteem—this latter is not the same as “self love.” See my blog post for further development of this: The Paradox of Self Love.

Love is undermined by self-hate, but self-love is not the same as self-esteem and it is a mistake, I think, to emotionalize about loving oneself or to focus on that. See the exposition of the issue here: What the Self-Esteem Movement Got Disastrously Wrong | Dan Sanchez

There is actually some research on this theme: Does Self-Love Lead to Love for Others?, and it concludes with:

“Does loving oneself lead to loving others? The answer is not the simple “ yes ” often noted in popular discourse. In fact, the opposite is often the case. Self-love as operationalized as narcissism is linked to game playing and selfishness in romantic relationships.Narcissists look to relationships as a source of power or control — not as an arena for experiencing and expressing commitment.Narcissism does not lead to loving others in any interpersonally positive sense of the contrast, the implications of self-esteem for loving others are generally positive but are still mixed. High self-esteem individuals may be resistant to negative experiences of love sickness. How-ever, they may also miss the highs associated with manic love.These individuals also report greater passionate sum, the ego can be as much of a hindrance to romantic relationships as it can be a help. Individuals looking to experience love may be best served by turning out toward the other rather than turning in toward the self.”

 

 

Veridical Near Death Reports: NDEs where there is Objective Evidence for the Reality of the Experience

This is a YouTube playlist consisting of a large number of videos of Near Death Experiences that are veridical, that is they have features that coincide with real and often  dramatic  subsequent physical events that demonstrate that the experiences were not merely subjective.  This type of report provides evidence not only for the reality of Near Death Experiences, but for the reality of paranormal phenomena.

 

Morphing with Light