It's a sign / Magical thinking is stupid

Anything goes (almost).

It's a sign / Magical thinking is stupid

It's a sign! - just when I needed it most, I got a sign inexplicably from the universe or something!
11
37%
Magical thinking is stupid! - be logical & you won't find yourself in such desperate situations, clinging to such desperate nonsense.
19
63%
 
Total votes : 30

Re: It's a sign / Magical thinking is stupid

Postby Martin007 » Wed Dec 11, 2013 10:38 am

padma norbu wrote:But, there is a distinction between magic and magical thinking of the mentally ill variety, and that's the distinction I was trying to make in the original poll question.


But what exactly is the distinction?
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Re: It's a sign / Magical thinking is stupid

Postby Anders » Wed Dec 11, 2013 10:48 am

porpoise wrote:
Anders wrote:I indulge magical thinking now and then. Since I allowed myself this, I find I've become much more flexible in my thinking, open-minded and creative. Life is often richer with a bit of magic.


Yes, I've found this to be the case too. I've also found that things are more interesting when one allows for possibilities - purely rational thinking can feel quite restrictive, and rather boring!
I received a Tara empowerment a long time ago and sometimes still chant the Tara mantra - it has an affect, and there is a feeling of connection. I sometimes wonder whether the connection is with something "internal" or something "external". When I'm in a skeptical mood I tend to dismiss the idea of an external connection, but at other times I reflect that it really doesn't matter.


When it comes to this I think it may be a mistake to think of the connection as external. I see it more as something internal, so deep it goes beyond the personal.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra
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Re: It's a sign / Magical thinking is stupid

Postby Martin007 » Wed Dec 11, 2013 4:17 pm

Anders wrote:
porpoise wrote:
Anders wrote:I indulge magical thinking now and then. Since I allowed myself this, I find I've become much more flexible in my thinking, open-minded and creative. Life is often richer with a bit of magic.


Yes, I've found this to be the case too. I've also found that things are more interesting when one allows for possibilities - purely rational thinking can feel quite restrictive, and rather boring!
I received a Tara empowerment a long time ago and sometimes still chant the Tara mantra - it has an affect, and there is a feeling of connection. I sometimes wonder whether the connection is with something "internal" or something "external". When I'm in a skeptical mood I tend to dismiss the idea of an external connection, but at other times I reflect that it really doesn't matter.


When it comes to this I think it may be a mistake to think of the connection as external. I see it more as something internal, so deep it goes beyond the personal.


Yes, you could be right.
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Re: It's a sign / Magical thinking is stupid

Postby smcj » Wed Dec 11, 2013 6:57 pm

If I may, I'd like to expand on this idea with wild speculation that is more poetic than Dharmic:

Anders wrote:When it comes to this I think it may be a mistake to think of the connection as external.

I'd like to both agree and disagree. I believe that it is correct to think of the connection as external, but then experience the result as intimate. My teacher wrote about it being like a light switch on the wall, only when you flip the switch it turns out that you are the light bulb. My take is that the external deity is analogous to the light switch, and effect on yourself as being the light. You aren't going to find the light switch inside your head, so it is appropriate to see the deity as external. But the light that comes on is never anywhere but in your heart, mind and experience.

I saw a YouTube video where Sogyal R. said that he was never aware of the deity directly, but he was aware of the effect of the deity upon his mind. I think he was saying something like what I just posted.
Anders wrote:I see it more as something internal, so deep it goes beyond the personal.

My take on the teachings of no-self is to prepare the practitioner with the understanding that our personality is not the basis for our being. Our emotions, habits, ingrained opinions and such are our superficial and inauthentic, experience of life. The Dharma works from the authentic depths of our being and bubbles up to the level where our superficial awareness finally experiences the change, kind of like a burp. "…so deep it goes beyond the personal." This might include episodes of what we call magical thinking in this thread, but I don't know that for sure.
*****
I don't' stand by any of this. Sometimes I post on what the Dharma actually says, and then there are times like this where I'm just allowing my imagination to run free. This post is all imagination, (except the part where I reference my old teacher's writings).
Last edited by smcj on Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: It's a sign / Magical thinking is stupid

Postby padma norbu » Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:32 pm

porpoise wrote:
padma norbu wrote:But, there is a distinction between magic and magical thinking of the mentally ill variety, and that's the distinction I was trying to make in the original poll question.


But what exactly is the distinction?


Good question and one I was hinting at earlier when I asked "Some things are signs, some things are not?" (see below)

padma norbu wrote:
porpoise wrote:
AnShen wrote:I think the poll presents us with a false dichotomy.


Rationality often does.


Some things are signs, some things are not?


I think the answer for most of us is that if people seem disturbed or irrational, we believe they are nuts. Transport someone like this to a mountain in Tibet and the locals might still think the guy is nuts, but they might naturally assume he's a great yogi, too. As has been said before many times on these forums, the Tibetan people are much more credulous and superstitious than we in the western world seem to be by default. Does that help them or hinder them? If faith and belief are very important aspects of Vajrayana, it seems most beneficial. Still, when my friend says "it must be a sign" over and over, after constantly making bad decisions that result in barely squeaking by with LOTS of hard work, I think to myself: NO, IT'S NOT A SIGN! YOU NEED TO CHANGE YOUR WAY OF THINKING! BE LESS DESPERATE AND MORE LOGICAL!

I don't know the answer. That's why I posted the poll.
"Use what seems like poison as medicine. We can use our personal suffering as the path to compassion for all beings." Pema Chodron
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Re: It's a sign / Magical thinking is stupid

Postby smcj » Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:37 pm

Still, when my friend says "it must be a sign" over and over, after constantly making bad decisions that result in barely squeaking by with LOTS of hard work, I think to myself: NO, IT'S NOT A SIGN! YOU NEED TO CHANGE YOUR WAY OF THINKING! BE LESS DESPERATE AND MORE LOGICAL!

I don't know the answer. That's why I posted the poll.

The only answer I can see is to not be attached to the magical thinking. The mentally ill seize upon it. When it happens to me I just try to look at it as entertainment. That way if I am actually just being mentally ill, which is a very real possibility, I don't perpetuate my illness.
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
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Re: It's a sign / Magical thinking is stupid

Postby padma norbu » Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:50 pm

smcj wrote:The only answer I can see is to not be attached to the magical thinking. The mentally ill seize upon it. When it happens to me I just try to look at it as entertainment. That way if I am actually just being mentally ill, which is a very real possibility, I don't perpetuate my illness.


Yes, that's a good thought. When I was into Qabalah and Aleister Crowley, I was seeing 666 everywhere. Like, it was getting insane, to be honest. I was at a Kinko's printing out a resume because I couldn't afford a printer and I put my credit card in the machine and got done as quickly as I could. Out pops a receipt for $6.66. And that was like the 3rd or 4th 666 of the morning and I'd only been up for a couple hours. I ignored it and acted like it wasn't happening for the longest time, then I started mentioning it to my wife, who thought it was odd, too. I thought of it in true Discordian fashion of "nothing is true, everything is permitted" and "life is too important to take seriously!" So, I accepted the possibility that (1) perhaps it was really a "sign" from "the numinous" pointing out something, a fear I had to get over from my Christian upbringing, as well as the message to research this number that gave me a prickly feeling on the back of my neck, and (2) like RA Wilson's "Number 23 Enigma" and his quarters-finding exercise (if you look for quarters on the sidewalk, you are bound to find money!), perhaps I was simply noticing the number because I was looking for it, perhaps unintentionally. I refused to get worked up over it and after about a year, I didn't see too many 666es anymore.
"Use what seems like poison as medicine. We can use our personal suffering as the path to compassion for all beings." Pema Chodron
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Re: It's a sign / Magical thinking is stupid

Postby Martin007 » Thu Dec 12, 2013 11:58 am

smcj wrote:The only answer I can see is to not be attached to the magical thinking. The mentally ill seize upon it.


So in your view are people who pray to a personal God mentally ill? And how about people who believe in angels? Or yidams?
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Re: It's a sign / Magical thinking is stupid

Postby Martin007 » Thu Dec 12, 2013 12:04 pm

smcj wrote: But the light that comes on is never anywhere but in your heart, mind and experience.


Yes, I was thinking about it in terms of an internal transformation ( connection? ) which in turn transforms perception of the "external". Sort of... ;)
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Re: It's a sign / Magical thinking is stupid

Postby smcj » Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:23 pm

porpoise wrote:
smcj wrote:The only answer I can see is to not be attached to the magical thinking. The mentally ill seize upon it.

So in your view are people who pray to a personal God mentally ill? And how about people who believe in angels? Or yidams?

The discussion in this thread so far has been about synchronicity type experiences and deciding how much stock to put into them. The issues of faith, whether for a christian God or buddhist yidams, is a completely different conversation.
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
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Re: It's a sign / Magical thinking is stupid

Postby smcj » Fri Jan 03, 2014 11:16 pm

Got this off of a YouTube video comments section:


I was there! Those of us on the lawn got to witness the unbelievably amazing event that I will never forget. After the second set, Phil comes out and says to be patient, that they're gonna do something a little special tonight, one night only, and a few minutes they roll out and start a gorgeous Dark Star. Suddenly the sky overhead is split with a chunky shooting star going straight down behind the campanile and the golden gate bridge, the crowd up top goes nuts, and then, as if choreographed, Jerry steps up and sings "dark star crashes....." An event that boggles my mind to this day. You can hear the crowd on the lawn roar on audience tapes. frak!!!!! There are forces out there that we could never imagine in our wildest dreams, and they tipped their hand that night. Thank You!!!!!


Magical thinking may be stupid, but sometimes it's fun!

The comment was found here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-nfWfNpn9w
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