Thrasymachus wrote:I think it is tragic how many of the disgruntled Westerners here reject the supernatural in their native mythology only to naively adopt almost all Buddhist claims of beyond human power possessed by past practitioners. If those past practitioners were so great and awakened why was the social order of Buddhist societies still as unfair and stratified as anything else?
Paul wrote:I would say that precognition, telepathy and maybe telekinesis are possible. I am pretty certaint that most people have had at least some experience of the first two. Not sure about the whole walking through walls or flying business.
Luke wrote:Ancient Buddhist masters were said to be able to perform amazing feats. For example, Marpa was said to be able to walk through walls and Milarepa was said to be able to fly.
Do you think that they actually did such things? (Meaning that they did them in such a way that any person who was there at that time could see them performing these miracles.)
Or do you feel that these are just fables which were later added to their biographies by adoring disciples?
Or do you feel that these things only seemed to happen in the minds of the masters who performed the miracles and in the minds of their disciples who observed them? (but these things weren't visible to ordinary people.)
And the classic question: If you believe in these very visually dramatic siddhis (walking through walls, flying, levitating, making objects float, appearing to others in the form of a Buddhist deity, etc.), then why don't we see Buddhist masters who can do these things today?
And before the usual grumpy "What does any of this matter? Focus on the cause of suffering and its removal" answers roll in, let me say that a public, scientifically verifiable demonstration of siddhis would revolutionize average people's ideas about the potential of the mind and about reality itself. A lot of people have no interest in listening to very ordinary Buddhist teachers, but many more would pay attention if Buddhist teachers could make objects float or demonstrate some other miracles. Lots of people desire miracles, that's for sure!
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