Do you believe in ghosts?

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Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby dharmagoat » Sun Jul 08, 2012 10:31 pm

Blue Garuda wrote:
dharmagoat wrote:I actually don't think proof is the issue here, but the denial of a simpler explanation.

The OP was about whether people believe, not whether they should.

I am responding to those that actively reject a more scientific understanding of these experiences.

Blue Garuda wrote:I don't know why anyone would consider a scientific explanation of hallucinatory behaviour to be simpler than 'it was a spirit'.

As an item of faith it is very simple. From a rational point of view it is extremely problematic.
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Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby AdmiralJim » Sun Jul 08, 2012 10:32 pm

I don't think people are as agnostic in the West as they make out. When I was 8 years old I was visited by being of pure light - my parents being non-religious - had huge problems with me. From that day forward I had visions quite regularly up until the age of 15 and I still do occasionally. When I was young it got to the stage my non-religious parents took me to the spiritualist church and doctors. I have MRI's, CT scans and even brain wave recordings done, all are normal.
What is interesting is because I am not from a particularly religious background I had no frame of reference for these things even in the traditional western faiths, yet everyone who I tell about these experiences colour it with their own viewpoint. My atheist friends think they are sleep induced hallucinations, my Christian friends think they are angels.
Yet I have no idea what these things are and people are quite surprised that I have no idea and remain neutral in my opinion towards them. At the end of the day it makes no difference what ghosts are, whether they are real or not. It is better to remain steadfast in your practice and cultivate insight into your very real suffering and do your best worrying about those things you can change and be certain of. At the end of the day that is whether your practice makes you a more compassionate and calm individual. Leave these things along, whatever they may be they are really not that interested in you. Ghost stories are common, enlightened beings are not.
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Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby Josef » Sun Jul 08, 2012 10:34 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Josef wrote:
Simon E. wrote:As to Tenzing Gyatso the simplest explanation is political.
As to ChNNN he pays in the coin he is given. And deals accordingly.




I doubt that either of these two do this.
Us on the other hand certainly do.
Including rigid devotion to the relatively young sciences that we use to express our ethnocentric worldview.

Our relatively young sciences gave us the very means by which we are communicating and by which some are questioning the value of those young sciences. :smile:

Of course we could all try communicating instead by telepathy or Vulcan mind melding and by-passing the internet completely..
But once more...as you are confident in your beliefs why are you exercised by those who do not share them ?


I have neither questioned the value of our sciences nor have I expressed my personal beliefs on the subject.
You are simply making assumptions throughout this thread.

Our sciences are quite valuable but I for one do not give them absolute authority over other sciences.
That is ethnocentric and a very limited point of view.
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Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby Blue Garuda » Sun Jul 08, 2012 10:35 pm

Josef wrote:
dharmagoat wrote: I have already acknowledged that those able to accept the reality of deities have a distinct advantage when practicing Vajrayana.


But they arent "real".
Varjayana practitioners who understand what they are doing are not worshiping some kind of external deities at all.


Check what ChNNR says about deities - they exist and are omiscient. He also states that because spirits, dharmapalas etc. cannot be seen does not mean that they do not exist.

Why would he say that 5 element purification saved him from Gyalpo problems, and say the same about Dragphur practice etc., and that Mandarava practice kept him alive ?

Vajrayana is bound up with the acceptance that such beings are as real, or as unreal, as the reality of the being we call 'self' in our deluded duality.

Of course it has the intention of changing the mind, but not through 'let's pretend', through changing perceptions of reality and duality.
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Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby Simon E. » Sun Jul 08, 2012 10:37 pm

Blue Garuda wrote:
Simon E. wrote:As to Tenzing Gyatso the simplest explanation is political.
As to ChNNN he pays in the coin he is given. And deals accordingly.

But why should you care what I think or anyone ?
You have your firm belief. Mine need not detain you.

:namaste:


I don't. I was hoping you would see the totally unfounded and unscientific nature of your premise by reductio ad absurdum, but you actually went further and made absurd statements about two highly respected Lamas because of 'scientifically' insisting on a premise you could never prove to be correct.

In supporting your notion you still obfuscate and can't quite bring yourself to give the simple answer that ChNNR and HHDL, like the rest of us, must be liars or hallucinating as the logical conclusion of your unproven premise. You can't advocate science on the one hand and posit that a process of analysis or deductive reasoning must agree with a (pretty insulting) conclusion you have already drawn. ;)

I havent said it because I dont think it. I think Gyatso is a political pawn...not a villain.
I think ChNNN speaks according to the understanding of his listeners.
Incidentally you dont need the "R" when alluding to ChNNN.
If being insulted and offended helps you to affirm your religious identity...and if that affirmation is important to you then feel free.
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Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby Josef » Sun Jul 08, 2012 10:38 pm

Blue Garuda wrote:
Josef wrote:
dharmagoat wrote: I have already acknowledged that those able to accept the reality of deities have a distinct advantage when practicing Vajrayana.


But they arent "real".
Varjayana practitioners who understand what they are doing are not worshiping some kind of external deities at all.


Check what ChNNR says about deities - they exist and are omiscient. He also states that because spirits, dharmapalas etc. cannot be seen does not mean that they do not exist.

Why would he say that 5 element purification saved him from Gyalpo problems, and say the same about Dragphur practice etc., and that Mandarava practice kept him alive ?

Vajrayana is bound up with the acceptance that such beings are as real, or as unreal, as the reality of the being we call 'self' in our deluded duality.

Of course it has the intention of changing the mind, but not through 'let's pretend', through changing perceptions of reality and duality.

I think we are actually talking about two different things.
Buddhas that manifest the appearances of the three kayas are in a way "real" as are the manifestations of other beings that are often represented in art etc. as appearing like deities.

I was talking about the methods of visualization before. Which is a different kind of manifestation.
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Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby pueraeternus » Sun Jul 08, 2012 10:38 pm

dharmagoat wrote:I do not believe ghosts do not exist, but I have no belief that they do. I do not ask for proof, acknowledging that proof is not possible, either way.

Fair enough.

dharmagoat wrote:I challenge the notion that "seeing is believing" because perception is known to be influenced by one's expectations. Studies in psychology illustrate this time and time again, and if we maintain an open mind, we find that our experiences corroborate this.


This I content against. Perhaps your experiences corroborate this in your personal experience/encounters, but it doesn't mean this is case for others. If one truly maintains an open mind, then one has to admit that the experience of others may be valid and true. If not, one is just paying lip service to the idea of "an open mind".

dharmagoat wrote: I do not suggest that people who experience spirits are "nuts". I have already acknowledged that those able to accept the reality of deities have a distinct advantage when practicing Vajrayana.


Well, I based that remark on your previous comment on hallucinations. As Blue Garuda pointed out, there are a lot of assumptions and assertions that people are just lying, mistaken or delusional when they report their supernatural encounters - this is disingenuous and unfairly dismissive.
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Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby Josef » Sun Jul 08, 2012 10:39 pm

Simon E. wrote:I havent said it because I dont think it. I think Gyatso is a political pawn...not a villain.
I think ChNNN speaks according to the understanding of his listeners..

Have you met either of them?
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Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby dharmagoat » Sun Jul 08, 2012 10:39 pm

Simon E. wrote:But once more...as you are confident in your beliefs why are you exercised by those who do not share them ?

This is what puzzles me. And why I question it.
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Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby pueraeternus » Sun Jul 08, 2012 10:47 pm

dharmagoat wrote:
Simon E. wrote:But once more...as you are confident in your beliefs why are you exercised by those who do not share them ?

This is what puzzles me. And why I question it.


That is not an appropriate question here, since this is discussion forum and it is natural to discuss. The same can be asked of your positions - if you are confident of your beliefs, then why are you posting your viewpoints and objections? The best is not to insinuate anything about the intentions of others (since it goes both ways), and just discuss the subject at hand.
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 10:49 pm

pueraeternus wrote:Well, I based that remark on your previous comment on hallucinations. As Blue Garuda pointed out, there are a lot of assumptions and assertions that people are just lying, mistaken or delusional when they report their supernatural encounters - this is disingenuous and unfairly dismissive.

I understand that it was Simon E. that was saying this. I was maintaining a safe distance.
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Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby Josef » Sun Jul 08, 2012 10:50 pm

pueraeternus wrote:
dharmagoat wrote:
Simon E. wrote:But once more...as you are confident in your beliefs why are you exercised by those who do not share them ?

This is what puzzles me. And why I question it.


That is not an appropriate question here, since this is discussion forum and it is natural to discuss. The same can be asked of your positions - if you are confident of your beliefs, then why are you posting your viewpoints and objections? The best is not to insinuate anything about the intentions of others (since it goes both ways), and just discuss the subject at hand.

Exactly.
We should always try to understand to the best of our capacity the point of view of others.
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Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby pueraeternus » Sun Jul 08, 2012 10:57 pm

dharmagoat wrote:
pueraeternus wrote:Well, I based that remark on your previous comment on hallucinations. As Blue Garuda pointed out, there are a lot of assumptions and assertions that people are just lying, mistaken or delusional when they report their supernatural encounters - this is disingenuous and unfairly dismissive.

I understand that it was Simon E. that was saying this. I was maintaining a safe distance.


Are you a man or a mouse? ;)

Just kidding - I understand what you mean.
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 10:58 pm

Josef wrote:I was talking about the methods of visualization before. Which is a different kind of manifestation.

Good point. I did overlook this distinction in a previous post.

Still, a belief in supernatural beings very conducive to certain Buddhist practices. The options for those that do not share this belief appear to be limited. (Once again, a lack of belief in something is not equivalent to a belief in something else.)
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Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby Josef » Sun Jul 08, 2012 11:05 pm

dharmagoat wrote:
Josef wrote:I was talking about the methods of visualization before. Which is a different kind of manifestation.

Good point. I did overlook this distinction in a previous post.

Still, a belief in supernatural beings very conducive to certain Buddhist practices. The options for those that do not share this belief appear to be limited. (Once again, a lack of belief in something is not equivalent to a belief in something else.)


I think an openness to experience is more conducive for Buddhists than any kind of belief.
To me belief implies some kind of rigidness and tension. As dharma practitioners we want to open ourselves to experience and nature in a way that is calm, insightful, and free.
Also, many of the beings we are talking about from the Buddhist perspective are not "super" natural. Rather they are manifestations of that which is natural.
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Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby Blue Garuda » Sun Jul 08, 2012 11:06 pm

Josef wrote:
Simon E. wrote:I havent said it because I dont think it. I think Gyatso is a political pawn...not a villain.
I think ChNNN speaks according to the understanding of his listeners..

Have you met either of them?

So we are the only liars and hallucinators and ChNNR tells tells his students what they want to hear and lies about Gyalpos. Keep digging that hole.
Last edited by Blue Garuda on Sun Jul 08, 2012 11:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby dharmagoat » Sun Jul 08, 2012 11:06 pm

pueraeternus wrote:
dharmagoat wrote:I understand that it was Simon E. that was saying this. I was maintaining a safe distance.


Are you a man or a mouse? ;)

Just kidding - I understand what you mean.

:twothumbsup: I congratulate Simon E. for coming out from behind the parapet. It made space for me.
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Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby Simon E. » Sun Jul 08, 2012 11:15 pm

Josef wrote:
Simon E. wrote:I havent said it because I dont think it. I think Gyatso is a political pawn...not a villain.
I think ChNNN speaks according to the understanding of his listeners..

Have you met either of them?

Both...The latter a number of times.
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Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby Josef » Sun Jul 08, 2012 11:16 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Josef wrote:
Simon E. wrote:I havent said it because I dont think it. I think Gyatso is a political pawn...not a villain.
I think ChNNN speaks according to the understanding of his listeners..

Have you met either of them?

Both...The latter a number of times.


That makes your assumptions about them even more odd.
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Re: Do you believe in ghosts?

Postby Simon E. » Sun Jul 08, 2012 11:26 pm

Blue Garuda wrote:
Josef wrote:
Simon E. wrote:I havent said it because I dont think it. I think Gyatso is a political pawn...not a villain.
I think ChNNN speaks according to the understanding of his listeners..

Have you met either of them?

So we are the only liars and hallucinators and ChNNR tells tells his students what they want to hear and lies about Gyalpos. Keep digging that hole.

ChNNN ( and the world ) is far more nuanced than that. You are reducing my posts to banality to feed your own indignation. Clearly that indignation is important to you. It fulfils some function, and that is OK.

Twice at least I have attempted to leave this thread, and twice I have fallen into self- sabotage and reentered it. Whether due to ego or curiosity or a mixture of the two. Each time I have regretted it.
This time I will not be drawn back in.
The bottom line is I have no interest in belief systems and no interest in analysing belief systems.
They are functional. They arise. They pass.

:namaste:
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