Do you believe in ghosts?

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Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby LastLegend » Fri Jun 29, 2012 5:46 am

Simon E. wrote:Well as a mere psychiatrist and cognitive therapist albeit one who has input into an ongoing research programme, who am I to argue ? I have no emotional investment in being right or wrong in an internet debate. I yield.
I do however see the very real benefits to my patients of abandoning psychoanalytic theory and metaphysics and concentrating on the present and experiential with reference to their suffering.

:namaste:


Dude, did you take your meds? You seem to severe suffer from egotism. :rolling:
And you know anyone who walks out of your office will get a diagnose from you.

You know if brain is the cause of the illness, medications can correct that immediately. But apparently that is not the case. People with severe schizophrenia have to take medications at least 3 times a day and probably for the rest of their lives.

Now give me some good argument about your research, psychiatry, or whatever you claim to know about whatever.

Do ghosts exist? Well just because your eye balls cannot see anything, does not mean shit does not exist. Does science not say that there exists about 11 dimensions? The error of science is it puts too much trust on the 5 senses. The ignorance of the mind manifests in trials and errors as we can't never get it right the first time. That tells you that we know little about ourselves or minds. It is problematic to put the complete trust on it. Meditation is the only tool to get there. Science cannot get there I am sure not in a million years if it does not utilize meditation. Science is look outside for the answer. Meditation is to look inside for the answer. The mind is complex as it is, how dare you to claim it comes from the brain? How can material give rise to something that is not material? Chicken give birth to chicken. A cloth is made from threads. Orange seed will grow into an orange tree. Mind comes from brain?

We all want to pick and choose when it comes to Buddhism.
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Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby LastLegend » Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:49 am

And you know part of recovery is to utilize what works...if religious beliefs help then integrate.

:jawdrop:

Buddhism is beyond psychology, psychiatry, and science.
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Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby Simon E. » Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:22 am

tobes wrote:
Simon E. wrote:Well as a mere psychiatrist and cognitive therapist albeit one who has input into an ongoing research programme, who am I to argue ? I have no emotional investment in being right or wrong in an internet debate. I yield.
I do however see the very real benefits to my patients of abandoning psychoanalytic theory and metaphysics and concentrating on the present and experiential with reference to their suffering.


:namaste:


What's odd about your position is that you seem to tacitly assume that adopting a materialist metaphysics is tantamount to abandoning metaphysics.

Such an epistemic view is crude scientism, not good science.

If you are genuinely engaged in research in this area - cognitive science, neuroscience, philosophy of mind - surely you must acknowledge that the issues you speak of are not settled. Perhaps they will be in the future, certainly tremendous progress has been made, but they are clearly not settled presently.

Indeed, there are whole journals devoted to the connection between psychoanalytic theory and neuroscience - I do not intend to defend one or the other or both in combination, but simply to point out that there is far more diversity and contestation in your field than you are prepared to admit.

You disavow any investment in being right or wrong here - but at the same time you assert your authority as a psychiatrist and researcher; that strikes me as an implicit way of claiming epistemic certainty over and above the 'naive religious considerations' of your interlocutors.

:anjali:

:namaste:

The assumption that I have adopted a materialist position is yours. As is the assumption that I have abandoned metaphysics. If you read what I said, it was that neither psychoanalytic theory nor metaphysics yield comparable results to engaging with the experiential actually present when face to face with those actually undergoing mental suffering.
Of course nothing is settled within the sphere..not even nearly.
The interactions between the various cognitive and neurological processes are extraordinarily complex and are largely unmapped.
I have asserted no "authority", there was no "implication." Just an outlining of a position.
No " certainty " no reference to " naive religious convictions".
All that is projection sir/madam.
I was merely attempting to clarify what in Buddhism is paralleled in current therapies and what is not. ( And to point out that current therapies have nothing in common with psychoanalytic theories , such as those of Freud and Jung that are virtually extinct and consigned to history. The only exception being a small group of wealthy devotees who are the clients of an aging group of psychoanalysts.) And what is held in common is found in the experiential consideration of, the awareness of, that which arises in the present moment.
When I said I yield the argument I meant it.
There was no implication of anything other than I had been in part responsible for taking the thread way off topic.
I apologise for that. The topic is as found in the OP.
My participation stops there. It should not have commenced.
I was as we say in the UK " out of order ".
I will in future keep my nose out of topics that are not helped by my engagement.
:namaste:
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Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby underthetree » Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:47 pm

As stated before, I believe that we have interactions with the natural world which are, at this point in time, beyond the explanation of science but, perhaps, will one day come to be explained.

Having said that, if it were ever seriously mooted that one had to believe in the existence of ghosts, spirits, demons, revenants, zombies, dragons and the rest of the world's mythological palate in order to be a Buddhist, I would cease to call myself a Buddhist immediately.
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Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby tobes » Sun Jul 01, 2012 9:36 am

Simon E. wrote:The assumption that I have adopted a materialist position is yours. As is the assumption that I have abandoned metaphysics. If you read what I said, it was that neither psychoanalytic theory nor metaphysics yield comparable results to engaging with the experiential actually present when face to face with those actually undergoing mental suffering.
Of course nothing is settled within the sphere..not even nearly.
The interactions between the various cognitive and neurological processes are extraordinarily complex and are largely unmapped.
I have asserted no "authority", there was no "implication." Just an outlining of a position.
No " certainty " no reference to " naive religious convictions".
All that is projection sir/madam.
I was merely attempting to clarify what in Buddhism is paralleled in current therapies and what is not. ( And to point out that current therapies have nothing in common with psychoanalytic theories , such as those of Freud and Jung that are virtually extinct and consigned to history. The only exception being a small group of wealthy devotees who are the clients of an aging group of psychoanalysts.) And what is held in common is found in the experiential consideration of, the awareness of, that which arises in the present moment.
When I said I yield the argument I meant it.
There was no implication of anything other than I had been in part responsible for taking the thread way off topic.
I apologise for that. The topic is as found in the OP.
My participation stops there. It should not have commenced.
I was as we say in the UK " out of order ".
I will in future keep my nose out of topics that are not helped by my engagement.
:namaste:


Well, yes I am indeed imputing some assumptions upon your view - but this is not without basis. It didn't strike me that you were defending an experiential-dialogical pragmatism, but rather trying to demarcate a firm boundary between what recent science has established about cognition and psychical processes - and what it has refuted as untenable. Perhaps I misread you (and I garner your position from all of your posts), but it seemed to me that you were defending one side of such a demarcation, and in particular, the epistemologies which underpin it.

Maybe it is a touch off topic, but it is certainly not out of order. It is interesting and resonant with a lot of contemporary debates about neo-Buddhism - which is predicated to a very large extent on interactions with various strands of psychology.

My point about metaphysics - and this is affirmed by your response - is that you seem to think that you can operate functionally (or pragmatically, experientially) without it. As if, the notion of an immanent experiential present and face to face engagement is not, ontologically, an expression of a particular metaphysical standpoint. I think that it clearly is, on both sides of the fence (i.e the Buddhist and the contemporary psychological side). So you seem to be arguing that psychoanalysis and "metaphysics" operate as some kind of conceptual imputation upon reality - but you can function in some other way (without concepts? Without normative values? Without language?).....perhaps I should ask you how precisely you conceive of that, lest I be involved with any more unqualified imputation upon your position.

There is much as stake in these kinds of questions - in particular, the tension between an immanent experiential present and the notion of subjective history, dispositions and their relationship to causal events. Psychoanalysis would clearly privilege the latter, CBT the former. The question of where Buddhist theories of subjectivity and cognition might fit into this tension is well worth asking.

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Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby Simon E. » Sun Jul 01, 2012 9:46 am

" I will in future keep my nose out of topics that are not helped by my engagement "

:namaste:

The topic is " Do you believe in ghosts ? "
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Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby Nemo » Sun Jul 01, 2012 1:55 pm

Without differing views a forum is dead. Thank you for holding an opinion that is nothing like mine. Please stay and stir things up. Being thought provoking is not a bad thing, Now I am going to be a bit hard hitting at what I believe in some respects are superstitions about your profession. I have some preconceived notions about psychology from a few decades ago. Maybe I am wrong.

How many people does psychiatry/psychology cure? Maybe 5%? What does psychology do that is better than placebo or chatting about your problems with your mates. Maybe it is good for people who have no friends. The really broken ones generally don't get fixed no matter what anyone does.

It is far too early to call psychiatry or psychology sciences in my unschooled opinion. Too few positive results for all those resources. I would be tempted to say your profession doesn't have a clue and have resorted to drugging the hell out of people to make it look like you are doing something. Superstition or not Buddhism as a treatment modality has more positive outcomes. Probably why so many shrinks are involved with Buddhism.

And now for something completely different.

Some people see strange things.

30 Years Among the Dead.
Written by a an old school turn of the century Theosophist shrink who ran a mental asylum. His wife was presumably very psychic. Draws upon 30 years of psychiatric and psychic experience and is an earnest attempt to look scientifically at the psychic side of mental illness.
http://new-birth.net/booklet/30_years_a ... e_dead.PDF

It was out of print for many decades. I doubt it will ever be printed again. It is a real gem of a book IMO even if I only believe a bit of it. I'm so glad this made me search for it on the internet. It is very appropriate for this thread.
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Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby Indrajala » Sun Jul 01, 2012 2:41 pm

Nemo wrote:How many people does psychiatry/psychology cure? Maybe 5%? What does psychology do that is better than placebo or chatting about your problems with your mates. Maybe it is good for people who have no friends. The really broken ones generally don't get fixed no matter what anyone does.

It is far too early to call psychiatry or psychology sciences in my unschooled opinion. Too few positive results for all those resources. I would be tempted to say your profession doesn't have a clue and have resorted to drugging the hell out of people to make it look like you are doing something. Superstition or not Buddhism as a treatment modality has more positive outcomes. Probably why so many shrinks are involved with Buddhism.


I've come to have similar thoughts. A lot of people feel obliged to put their faith in psychology because it is sanctioned as authoritative by most governments, but in reality it just provides jobs for a lot of educated people who studied a subject about as useful in the commercial economy as Stoic philosophy (actually Stoic philosophy is probably better for mental health than western psychology).

I've never seen western psychology actually work, and I've had my fair share of mentally ill people to deal with. Suicidal people get "treatment" and remain suicidal. Some even kill themselves despite psychologists being paid to fix them and utterly failing. Even people I know suffering substantially less neurosis never get better through seeing therapists. I know one person studying psycho-therapy at the graduate level who is probably more neurotic than her patients (does self-mutilation herself and then claims to be helping people).

In my experience Buddhism works wonders compared to anything western psychology does.
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Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby Simon E. » Sun Jul 01, 2012 3:11 pm

I realise that my profession is fair game on an internet forum.
My own fault for putting my head over the parapet.

Nevertheless..the topic is " Do you believe in ghosts".
Once more I apologise for my part in taking it off-topic.
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Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby Yangtso » Thu Jul 05, 2012 3:10 am

Science is a method of experimentation where there is only one variable and a control.
This leads to an isolated effect where the result is skewed by the conditions set.
It is a materialistic system that adheres to the axiom that the atom has inherent existence
and that a god consciousness particle will be found. Focused on a single point, one trips
rather quickly. Greed is the big trip. Jealousy is the worst though.

The Buddha has 5 eyes and sees layers of interdependence and nets of causes and conditions.

It simplifies to four classes of archetypal beings; gods, yashsha, nagas, rakshas and 6 realms.
It is said that this is the desire realm and the karma for committing non virtuous
deeds out of desire is to suffer in the human realm or to be born in the hungry ghost realm.
There are said to be more hungry ghosts than any other type of being here.
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Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby Yangtso » Thu Jul 05, 2012 3:27 am

My mom, a Christian, used to pray and see masses of demonic beings fill the skies above NM.
The Natives here talk of the two great Nagas in the river, one died when they put the dam in at Chochati.
The droughts, wind storms and fires here are now terrible.

Ive seen pictures of atoms that look about as genuine as supposed pictures I have seen of ghosts.
Ive also have a friend who knew Skinner's daughter in College and he operate-ly conditioned her as a child
by banging trash can lids during storms... to the point that she as an adult would hysterically crawl under a desk during a storm.
He was ill from a deficit of loving kindness and compassion.

I studies and taught science for 25 years... knowledge without compassion... what a mess.
You see technology is applied science and this gained us access to more energy and more resources
the more resources you have the more you can reproduce... science caused the population explosion and the
environmental degradation with advanced technology. Greed was the root for both.

And according to the teachings of the wheel turning Buddhas the majority of these humans will suffer
in preta realms by the cause and conditions of their insatiable desire while in human form...
they have destroyed oceans, forests, savannahs and innumerable insects, humans and animals
in the pursuit of creating a perfect material world. They failed and it is in their face and so now the anger is rising.
And anger leads to more killing and rebirth as a hell being.

"Science is the latest mytho-poetic metaphor for the natural world.' - Dr. Sturm
Buddha did not teach a metaphor he taught beings how to open their eyes and see for themselves...
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Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby dharmagoat » Thu Jul 05, 2012 4:02 am

Simon E. wrote:I realise that my profession is fair game on an internet forum.
My own fault for putting my head over the parapet.

Are you a man or a mouse?

Both buddhism and psychology study the mind, but from different angles, and for different purposes. One will never replace the other, nor can one be considered superior to the other. Let's get past that. The fact is that both buddhism and psychology benefit from cross-fertilisation. I for one am keen to see this happen, and am determined to play whatever limited role I can in bringing this about. I encourage others to do the same.

Buddhists, please understand that science cannot, and will not, destroy your beliefs. Nothing but your own mind has the power to do that. Others may choose not to believe in supernatural beings in the light of scientific understanding, but wouldn't you prefer that everyone was fully informed, so that they may make the decision of what to believe for themselves?
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Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby Simon E. » Sun Jul 08, 2012 4:34 pm

My decision not to participate is predicated on long experience of the futility of trying to introduce a discussion based around facts and logic when encountering religious dogma and willful misunderstanding.
There is in this thread a conflation between psychology, psychoanalysis, and psychiatry. Each of these completely separate disciplines are being confused for each other and then dismissed with no apparent desire to ascertain the facts of the matter.
No matter.
If people choose to give credence to a medieval world view and to take fright at any suggestion that they see as a threat to that view then that is their choice.
Meanwhile the real world will continue, and a sizeable proportion of Buddhists will continue to give indications of an unusual degree of mental distress.
I have nothing to say to this thread, or indeed to this forum.
I will leave it untroubled by my thoughts.
Either as a man or a mouse.

:namaste:
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Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby pueraeternus » Sun Jul 08, 2012 6:18 pm

Simon E. wrote:My decision not to participate is predicated on long experience of the futility of trying to introduce a discussion based around facts and logic when encountering religious dogma and willful misunderstanding.


This is the crux of it - you think you bring "facts and logic" to the table, but others do not think so and have explained why. In the end, you are just as egoistic and superstitious (of your own beliefs) as you say others are.
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Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby Blue Garuda » Sun Jul 08, 2012 6:28 pm

In the UK one must be qualified in order to call oneself a Psychiatrist or Psychologist.

However many shrieks of anguish are made, the fact remains that ANYONE can call themselves a Psychoanalyst, Psychotherapist, Counsellor etc.

The same applies to religious titles - ANYONE can call themselves Reverend etc.

The really funny thing is that having grown up with Psychologists and been involved in running a college state training Counsellors,I can say from a very large sample that many of them are in need of help themselves. To put it less gently, many of them are bonkers.

The even more funny aspect to all of this is that not one of the above mental health professionals has a clue where the 'mind' resides, only what happens with the interface with these professionals, the brain.

So, firmly on topic, they are all no more or less qualified than a anyone else to talk about the mind, nor the existence of other minds within other beings their brains cannot sense.
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Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby dharmagoat » Sun Jul 08, 2012 6:50 pm

Simon E. wrote:If people choose to give credence to a medieval world view and to take fright at any suggestion that they see as a threat to that view then that is their choice.

And Buddhism's loss.

Thanks for your contribution, Simon.
Remember that the Dharma is the essence of what the Buddha taught, not the dogma that Buddhists preach.
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Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby dharmagoat » Sun Jul 08, 2012 6:57 pm

pueraeternus wrote:This is the crux of it - you think you bring "facts and logic" to the table, but others do not think so and have explained why. In the end, you are just as egoistic and superstitious (of your own beliefs) as you say others are.

This is nonsense. Learn the facts and apply some logic.
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Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby pueraeternus » Sun Jul 08, 2012 7:09 pm

dharmagoat wrote:
pueraeternus wrote:This is the crux of it - you think you bring "facts and logic" to the table, but others do not think so and have explained why. In the end, you are just as egoistic and superstitious (of your own beliefs) as you say others are.

This is nonsense. Learn the facts and apply some logic.


You should revisit your notion of "facts".

Some of us have direct experience of spirits, ghosts and whatnot. So in these cases it is not really a question of belief, but rather experience. And it happens to accord with the teachings of the Buddha recorded in the scriptures. Some others may not have had direct experience, but accept that even if certain entities cannot be perceived by one's undeveloped senses, it does not mean these entities don't exist. There is nothing superstitious or medieval about such acceptance.
When I set out to lead humanity along my Golden Path I promised a lesson their bones would remember. I know a profound pattern humans deny with words even while their actions affirm it. They say they seek security and quiet, conditions they call peace. Even as they speak, they create seeds of turmoil and violence.

- Leto II, the God Emperor
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Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby dharmagoat » Sun Jul 08, 2012 7:47 pm

pueraeternus wrote:This is the crux of it - you think you bring "facts and logic" to the table, but others do not think so and have explained why. In the end, you are just as egoistic and superstitious (of your own beliefs) as you say others are.

This evokes the whole "is science a religion" debate. The consensus is that it is not.

pueraeternus wrote:Some of us have direct experience of spirits, ghosts and whatnot. So in these cases it is not really a question of belief, but rather experience. And it happens to accord with the teachings of the Buddha recorded in the scriptures. Some others may not have had direct experience, but accept that even if certain entities cannot be perceived by one's undeveloped senses, it does not mean these entities don't exist. There is nothing superstitious or medieval about such acceptance.

Hallucination is also "direct experience" and gives rise to all sorts of peculiar perceptions. If a Buddhist were to hallucinate the presence of God, does that provide grounds for believing in God?

There seems to be confusion between the "direct experience" that you describe, and the "direct experience" of the nature of mind that validates Buddhist practice.
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Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby Simon E. » Sun Jul 08, 2012 7:55 pm

pueraeternus wrote:
dharmagoat wrote:
pueraeternus wrote:This is the crux of it - you think you bring "facts and logic" to the table, but others do not think so and have explained why. In the end, you are just as egoistic and superstitious (of your own beliefs) as you say others are.

This is nonsense. Learn the facts and apply some logic.


You should revisit your notion of "facts".

Some of us have direct experience of spirits, ghosts and whatnot. So in these cases it is not really a question of belief, but rather experience. And it happens to accord with the teachings of the Buddha recorded in the scriptures. Some others may not have had direct experience, but accept that even if certain entities cannot be perceived by one's undeveloped senses, it does not mean these entities don't exist. There is nothing superstitious or medieval about such acceptance.

I dont believe you.
Neither you or anyone else on this forum have had experiences which do not have a far simpler explanation. Neither has anyone who has told anyone on this forum that they have.
The only question is whether you are lying or mistaken.
I will give you the benefit of the doubt and say that you have experienced an hallucination or an illusion.
Alan Watts says somewhere that neither he nor anyone who he thinks is a reliable witness has ever had a supernatural experience of any kind that he was convinced by. And that furthermore that fact had nothing to do with Dharma. Its the difference between Dharma and folk belief.
Last edited by Simon E. on Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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