Do you believe in ghosts?

No holds barred discussion on the Buddhadharma. Argue about rebirth, karma, commentarial interpretations etc. Be nice to each other.

Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby dharmagoat » Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:00 pm

Blue Garuda wrote:Does a ghost cease to exist because no human accepts their existence? Do humans cease to exist when beings in other realms do not accept their existence?

Does this duality even exist?
User avatar
dharmagoat
 
Posts: 991
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:39 pm

Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby Blue Garuda » Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:07 pm

dharmagoat wrote:
Blue Garuda wrote:Does a ghost cease to exist because no human accepts their existence? Do humans cease to exist when beings in other realms do not accept their existence?

Does this duality even exist?


It exists in the minds of beings who are not enlightened.

People are destroying the planet because of their lack of understanding at the most basic level.

Though the topic is ghosts, we need to remember that there is no 'other' either within our own realm or others.
Left
Blue Garuda
 
Posts: 2000
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 5:23 pm

Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby seeker242 » Mon Jun 25, 2012 11:00 pm

"Friends, eleven advantages are to be expected as effects from the release
of mind into friendliness by the practice of Goodwill, by cultivating amity,
by making much of it frequently, by making friendliness the vehicle, the tool,
the basis, by insisting on it, by being well established in it as a sublime habit!

What are these eleven advantages ?
One falls asleep well! One wakes up Happy!
One dreams no evil dreams!
One is liked and loved by all human beings!
One is liked and loved by all non-human beings too!
One is guarded and protected by the divine devas!

One cannot be harmed by fire, poison, or weapons!
One easily attains the concentration of absorption!
One's appearance becomes serene, calm, and composed!
One dies without confusion, bewilderment, or panic!
One reappears after death on the Brahma level, if one
has penetrated to no higher level in this very life!

When the mind is released into friendliness by the practice of goodwill,
by manifesting friendliness, by cultivating amity, by frequently making much
of it, by making friendliness the vehicle, the tool, the basis, the medium, the
foundation, by persisting in it, by insisting on it, by properly consolidating it,
by thoroughly undertaking it, by making it a familiar supreme habit, by so
being well established in it, these eleven blessings can be expected!"


I think they are real but don't ask me to prove it. :smile:

But with the above, it really doesn't matter so much. They are still friends, even the "bad" ones.
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!
User avatar
seeker242
 
Posts: 642
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:50 pm
Location: South Florida, USA

Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby steveb1 » Mon Jun 25, 2012 11:14 pm

I "believe in ghosts" in a similar manner to which I believe in UFOs. The anomalous, small percentage of UFOs that remain unexplained are simply "Unknowns". As soon as we ascribe the label "flying saucers" to UFOs, they are no longer unidentified - because now we "know" that they are extraterrestrial spacecraft. Fortean writer John Keel is said to have claimed that the unknown tends to remain ... unknown. That's what I think of UFOs, and it's what I think about ghosts. We don't really know what a ghost is, and as long as that's true, we can't for certain say that a ghost is necessarily the spiritual after-glow of a dead person. I put ghosts and UFOs in the "Unknowns" category, and try to keep up with the data as it comes in and as it is researched. Nor am I embarrassed about making this "take" about Unknowns, for the simple reason that I don't believe that materialism supplies adequate argumentation to disqualify the ghost claims, nor do I believe that UFO events, when responsibly recorded and reported, are in the least "unscientific".

One final word about one particular reductionist cliche about ghosts. We are confidently assured that ghost belief is primarily motivated by humankind's fear of death as annihilation, and that therefore reports of people appearing after their death provide comforting sop for weak minds not Stoic enough to accept death as eternal extinction. My view is the contrary, namely that there is a difference between ghost tales/ghost stories and ghost reports (just as there is a difference between UFO mythology and UFO reports). Ignoring the ghost stories and focusing on ghost reports, one does not find very much evidence to foster and uphold comforting afterlife beliefs. To the contrary - in the unembellished, bare-bones ghost reports - we mostly find shock, fright, fear of the uncanny, and a sense of dread over "that which ought not be". And, subjectively speaking, would we really want to spend our afterlife ascending or descending staircases, haunting lonely lighthouses, possessively guarding our prior furnishings, attempting to possess the living, passing through the same rooms forever, scaring people with telekinesis, gossiping in seances, or babbling semi-coherently as voices recorded on so-called EVP equipment? NONE of these things offers comfort about potential afterlife scenarios. Quite the contrary, and typically, most ghost reports only have a chilling effect, and do not offer lazy comfort for our dread of death.
steveb1
 
Posts: 243
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:37 am

Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby Seishin » Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:28 pm

I believe in these things. We certainly have some devas on this forum :rolling:
:oops: :focus:
User avatar
Seishin
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 1337
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:53 am

Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby Nosta » Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:58 pm

I believe in ghosts and other entities (demons for instance).

Is Buddha a liar? If he speaks about demons should we that as a metaphor, a lie or a real thing?

Is rebirth a lie? If we accept the words of Buddha, that rebirth is real, why do we keep thinking that rebirth only occurs on Earth? Science speaks of weird things like other dimensions, time stoping, going to future, particles in 2 places at same time, etc. Its not hard to connect these ideas and see that ghosts are real, as other entities.

If we dont see rebirth as a ridicule idea, i think we shouldnt see ghosts as ridicule too.
User avatar
Nosta
 
Posts: 671
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 10:28 pm

Re: Do you believe - yes

Postby Will » Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:02 pm

Since the shastras & sutras give many cases of Buddha teaching devas and likewise the texts mention all sorts of invisible realms & denizens thereof, beyond our normal senses, I believe such things exist in their own right, not just as aspects of our mind.

In addition, my guru the bodhisattva Hsuan Hua saw & related to, the invisible beings, so his testimony is just icing on the Dharma cake.
Revealing one essence: this means the inherently pure, complete, luminous essence, which is pure of its own nature. -- Fa-tsang
User avatar
Will
 
Posts: 1728
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:21 am

Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby Simon E. » Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:20 pm

Nosta wrote:I believe in ghosts and other entities (demons for instance).

Is Buddha a liar? If he speaks about demons should we that as a metaphor, a lie or a real thing?

Is rebirth a lie? If we accept the words of Buddha, that rebirth is real, why do we keep thinking that rebirth only occurs on Earth? Science speaks of weird things like other dimensions, time stoping, going to future, particles in 2 places at same time, etc. Its not hard to connect these ideas and see that ghosts are real, as other entities.

If we dont see rebirth as a ridicule idea, i think we shouldnt see ghosts as ridicule too.

The Buddha...or whoever is responsible for the teachings attributed to him, was man of his time.
He apparently believed that there is a mountain at the centre of the cosmos...he wasnt lying when he said that. He apparently thought that the source of earthquakes was disturbances in oceans of water which circle the earth. He wasnt lying when he said that either.
That was what the culture in which he was raised believed. He was being true to that culture.
It also believed in demons and devas and in people born as mosquitos.
None of those things are essential in realising our real nature.
Simon E.
 
Posts: 2116
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 11:09 am

Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby Will » Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:16 pm

Ghosts, angels, & things that go bump in the night are trans-cultural & timeless. Only scientific materialism of the last 250 years or so have tried to do away with such occult facts.
Revealing one essence: this means the inherently pure, complete, luminous essence, which is pure of its own nature. -- Fa-tsang
User avatar
Will
 
Posts: 1728
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:21 am

Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby Simon E. » Tue Jun 26, 2012 10:15 pm

It much the same way that science has " tried to do away " with evil spirits as the cause of schizophrenia and hex's as the cause of cholera.
The same science which has extended the life span of those parts if the world fortunate enough to benefit from it , and has slashed infant mortality.
The same wickedness that has freed women to choose whether to have children or a career.
The same naughtiness that has meant nice warm quarters for monks to recreate the lives of homeless mendicants in.
The same science that produced the very means that we are communicating with.

And every discovery has pushed the gibbering projections of the psyche and the dusty superstitions of Asia and the forests of old Europe into the light of day.
Simon E.
 
Posts: 2116
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 11:09 am

Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby dharmagoat » Tue Jun 26, 2012 10:27 pm

Simon E. wrote:And every discovery has pushed the gibbering projections of the psyche and the dusty superstitions of Asia and the forests of old Europe into the light of day.

Indeed. And only peddlars of gibberish have anything to fear from scientific discovery.
User avatar
dharmagoat
 
Posts: 991
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:39 pm

Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby rai » Tue Jun 26, 2012 10:36 pm

Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche
In our modern society there are many people who don't believe that other powerful beings really exist but it is important to understand the situation. This doesn't mean we should believe blindly. Instead of believing everything when someone says that there is a deity or a spirit, we should think a little. Then we can discover and understand. For example, in the universe there are many dimensions; that is something we can also understand scientifically. We say there are many galaxies and solar systems, and we know that these stars have immense dimensions. So, if there are these dimensions why should there not be beings there too?

Many people don't believe very much in local guardians and spirits etc. Some people say, "I believe only in a kind of energy, but not in different kinds of beings". Some people consider this is a very modern idea but really it is not a modern idea; rather it is a very limited idea."
Disdaining the lower and unable to grasp the higher,
talking of emptiness, such a person will neglect cause and effect,
mouthing on about the view while in a state of self-deception.
It would be better to concentrate on the gradual path.

"Creation and Completion" Jamgon Kongtrul
rai
 
Posts: 118
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2011 3:58 pm

Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby Indrajala » Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:53 am

Simon E. wrote:The Buddha...or whoever is responsible for the teachings attributed to him, was man of his time.
He apparently believed that there is a mountain at the centre of the cosmos...he wasnt lying when he said that. He apparently thought that the source of earthquakes was disturbances in oceans of water which circle the earth. He wasnt lying when he said that either.


Those were the prevailing cosmologies and geological theories of his time. To teach otherwise might not have enabled him to get his messages across. Just like now you don't claim the sun revolves around the earth (geocentricism) and expect people to take you seriously.

The other possibility, which might sound revisionist, is that Meru cosmology is a reflection of how a yogi might perceive space. This is discussed in Vedic Cosmography and Astronomy by Thompson.

http://books.google.com.tw/books?id=9oi ... &q&f=false

The ancient Indians actually had accurate and scientific knowledge of the skies, and were adept in astronomy. However, as Thompson proposes, the manner in which they arranged the cosmos might have reflected their ideas of the transcendental. They believed knowledge of astronomy had been transmitted to humanity via devas. It would logically follow that some amount of the cosmology would not be perceived by ordinary human beings. It was beyond ordinary sense perception.


That was what the culture in which he was raised believed. He was being true to that culture.


Let's assume if you become an adept yogi you perceive something like Meru cosmology. Is it a belief?
Flower Ornament Depository (Blog)
Indrajāla's Contemplations (Blog)
Exploring Classical Chinese (Blog)
Dharma Depository (Site)

"Hui gives me no assistance. There is nothing that I say in which he does not delight." -Confucius
User avatar
Indrajala
Former staff member
 
Posts: 5552
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: India

Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby seeker242 » Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:48 am

Simon E. wrote:
Nosta wrote:I believe in ghosts and other entities (demons for instance).

Is Buddha a liar? If he speaks about demons should we that as a metaphor, a lie or a real thing?

Is rebirth a lie? If we accept the words of Buddha, that rebirth is real, why do we keep thinking that rebirth only occurs on Earth? Science speaks of weird things like other dimensions, time stoping, going to future, particles in 2 places at same time, etc. Its not hard to connect these ideas and see that ghosts are real, as other entities.

If we dont see rebirth as a ridicule idea, i think we shouldnt see ghosts as ridicule too.

The Buddha...or whoever is responsible for the teachings attributed to him, was man of his time.
He apparently believed that there is a mountain at the centre of the cosmos...he wasnt lying when he said that. He apparently thought that the source of earthquakes was disturbances in oceans of water which circle the earth. He wasnt lying when he said that either.


No he was not lying but when you consider what "the element of water" actually is, as he spoke of it in context, one would not conclude that he believed a disturbance of the actual Atlantic/Indian/Pacific, etc ocean water, where all the fish live, would cause earthquakes. "The element of water" is much more expansive than "H2O". As are many of these other things he spoke about. :) For example "the element of fire" is more than what is on the end of a lit match. The earliest Buddhist texts explain that the four primary material elements are the sensory qualities solidity, fluidity, temperature, and mobility; their characterization as earth, water, fire, and air, respectively, is declared an abstraction—instead of concentrating on the fact of material existence, one observes how a physical thing is sensed, felt, perceived. So it would not be correct to say he believed stirring of the H2O in the Indian ocean, where the fish live, is what causes earthquakes.
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!
User avatar
seeker242
 
Posts: 642
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:50 pm
Location: South Florida, USA

Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby Simon E. » Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:04 am

We can rationalise all we want.
The fact is that if Gautama was a historical person he lived in an era where the norms and givens philosophically, cosmologically, and the the social mores, would be utterly alien to us.
Any attempt to unknow what we know and retreat back to an ancient mindset is futile and leads to inner conflictedness. For proof of that we need look no further than the hurt and degrees of anger which greet discussions of this nature.
This is true of Intelligent Design and it is true of Buddhist Cosmology and much of Buddhist psychology.
They are each predicated on world views that are no longer adequate in terms of the known .

It was Tenzing Gyatso that said if Buddhism and science are in conflict then Buddhism must change.

But if someone wants to create a persona for themselves and build it around a world view borrowed from ancient times, and then to defend that world view when real life and actual facts contradict it...then the western world is still free enough for them to do that and be regarded as harmlessly eccentric.
Simon E.
 
Posts: 2116
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 11:09 am

Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby seeker242 » Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:45 pm

Buddhist cosmology, at least in the early scriptures, does not contradict modern day science. To think that the Buddha believed a stirring of the actual ocean is what causes earthquakes, is to misunderstand what he was talking about. That is not what he believed and that is not what he taught. The four elements, earth, water, air, fire, describe the qualities of every aspect of every type of matter in the universe. The only time we "go backwards" is when we misinterpret what he was talking about. "Water" does not mean "H2O". Buddhist "elements" are not element of the periodic table.
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!
User avatar
seeker242
 
Posts: 642
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:50 pm
Location: South Florida, USA

Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby Simon E. » Wed Jun 27, 2012 4:52 pm

You might try floating that interpretation on a Theravada forum.... :o
Unless of course you are saying that the Theravada do not understand the Pali Canon.
A while back I dropped in on a Theravada forum and on a thread on this very subject it became plain that many of its members believed absolutely that the Buddha WAS talking about a literal ocean circling the Earth, and that Mount Meru DOES stand at the centre of a literal cosmos.
Simon E.
 
Posts: 2116
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 11:09 am

Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby Nosta » Wed Jun 27, 2012 6:35 pm

In fact, Bhuddism is not about science. Even so, if Buddha could see everything, why would he consider Mount Meru as the center of the cosmos? The only reason i see is that was the belief of people on those days and Buddha was using their knowledge in his teachings. Honestly i dont know.
User avatar
Nosta
 
Posts: 671
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 10:28 pm

Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby dharmagoat » Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:08 pm

User avatar
dharmagoat
 
Posts: 991
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:39 pm

Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby seeker242 » Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:47 pm

Simon E. wrote:You might try floating that interpretation on a Theravada forum.... :o
Unless of course you are saying that the Theravada do not understand the Pali Canon.
A while back I dropped in on a Theravada forum and on a thread on this very subject it became plain that many of its members believed absolutely that the Buddha WAS talking about a literal ocean circling the Earth, and that Mount Meru DOES stand at the centre of a literal cosmos.


Theravada scholars would agree that this literal interpretation is incorrect. In fact, many of them already have. It's better to go by what the learned and wise people say, rather than random members on an internet forum. Thanissaro Bhikkhu, et al. understands the scriptures better than they do. :smile:
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!
User avatar
seeker242
 
Posts: 642
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:50 pm
Location: South Florida, USA

PreviousNext

Return to Open Dharma

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Anders, Google [Bot], smcj, theanarchist and 16 guests

>