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Psychic mediums, divination, telepathy etc - Page 2 - Dhamma Wheel

Psychic mediums, divination, telepathy etc

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
dspiewak
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Re: Psychic mediums, divination, telepathy etc

Postby dspiewak » Wed Dec 30, 2009 8:11 pm

According to my Dhamma teachers, a person can make tons of progress in the jhanas, and acquire some of the reported extraordinary abilities, without necessarily attaining as much in the way of wisdom or morals. I have been cautioned about this by my teachers on more than one occasion, and my understanding of it is that it has to do with mindfulness and responsibility.

Some years ago I had the great privilege of reading a really disturbing little novella called "Childhood's End" by Arthur C. Clarke. In the story, the world is suddenly visited by an alien race whose intelligence and strength far surpasses our own. They assume a benevolent (but secretive) control over the affairs of humanity, and each decree they issue produces peaceful and wise results. But one of their decrees is met with bewilderment, and that is that the space programs of all nations are to be immediately ended. The only explanation they give is this: "the stars are not for Man." It turns out that humanity, in its current state, would have done little except play out our defilements upon a galactic scale, and the results would have been catastrophic.

I think this is how I view these abilities. As in our current world, we have some truly amazing resources - the Internet, uranium enrichment, genetics, renewable energy - which are truly amazing in their potential, and yet can be cataclysmic in the hands of people (no matter how scholarly they may be) whose lives are controlled by lust, anger, and delusion.

So, now comes the question of whether or not I actually think such things are real or not. The truth is, I just don't know. I come from an empirical background too, so I admit I am biased against such claims. I have not yet seen anyone predict the future in some falsifiable way. I have never heard anyone even claim to speak with the departed dead, but I'm not sure that ability would be of much use anyway. I have, however, had people who were experienced meditators give me guidance that was so stunningly specific, so insightful, that I couldn't help but wonder if they had some special insight into my mind.

But I guess that's it, isn't it? Maybe these "gifts" are a lot less miraculous than we give them credit for, and really they amount to the subtle workings of a very calm and disciplined mind. Not so much "supernatural" but more "uncommon." I'm not even sure that "supernatural" is a meaningful word anyway.

seanpdx
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Re: Psychic mediums, divination, telepathy etc

Postby seanpdx » Wed Dec 30, 2009 8:51 pm


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Laurens
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Re: Psychic mediums, divination, telepathy etc

Postby Laurens » Wed Dec 30, 2009 8:56 pm

:focus:
"For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."

Carl Sagan

5heaps
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Re: Psychic mediums, divination, telepathy etc

Postby 5heaps » Sat Jan 02, 2010 6:07 pm

A Japanese man has been arrested on suspicion of writing a computer virus that destroys and replaces files on a victim PC with manga images of squid, octopuses and sea urchins. Masato Nakatsuji, 27, of Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture, was quoted as telling police: "I wanted to see how much my computer programming skills had improved since the last time I was arrested."

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Prasadachitta
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Re: Psychic mediums, divination, telepathy etc

Postby Prasadachitta » Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:22 pm

"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332

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Annapurna
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Re: Psychic mediums, divination, telepathy etc

Postby Annapurna » Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:39 pm

http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/

Sanghamitta
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Re: Psychic mediums, divination, telepathy etc

Postby Sanghamitta » Tue Jan 05, 2010 8:46 am

Going back to the op, I think that all such practises , whether or not they are genuine, and I remain unconvinced that they are genuine but that is not the main point, are simply reactions to fear and/or a need for certainty, and as such are adhammic. The Buddha warned against such practises, not to " frighten the children" but because he knew that in terms of an approach to Dhamma they are problematic. Goodness knows we have enough to do in this life if we want to follow the 8FP without dabbling in this stuff.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

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Annapurna
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Re: Psychic mediums, divination, telepathy etc

Postby Annapurna » Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:58 pm

Sanghamitta, C.G Jung (Carl Jung) explored the I Ching and Tarot cards with scientific interest, and Isaac Newton explored astrology.

Ridiculed and mocked by his peers, he scolded them:

"I, Sirs, have studied the object, you haven't."

Very true. It illuminates how we can arrive at different judgements simply through being onlookers, or insiders.

Of course it would be foolish to try anything and study things which are obviously dangerous, such as sticking your head into a water with piranhas.

Wouldn't help much whatever conclusion you derive from that experience.

I feel divination doesn't fall into this very dangerous category, but into a potentially dangerous category.

I feel it should only be used by a very few masters on this issues, sort of like:

Not everybody can be the shaman, priest, or sage of the village.

Very few can fill those spots.

I think altogether there is a lot of fraud and quackery going on and laypeople have no means of distinction.

If told this and that will happen it could lead them into false hopes, confusion and fear.

But I also don't think this is what true divination is about.


Here is somebody I would try:

A Buddhist:

http://www.lamadawa.com/divination-form.html
http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/

Sanghamitta
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Re: Psychic mediums, divination, telepathy etc

Postby Sanghamitta » Tue Jan 05, 2010 3:57 pm

Annabel I dont see any reason at all to give credence to anything Jung thought about anything, still less to emulate him. Jung also thought that no westerners should attempt to be Buddhists. Nor quite honestly do I find anything attractive about the more folkloric elements of Tibetan Buddhism, nor as we are on the subject do I as a Theravadin Buddhist see the Dalai Lama as a a source of authority. What I do see as the authority on the subject is the Pali Canon, and The Buddha makes plain his view on the issue.

:anjali:
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

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Annapurna
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Re: Psychic mediums, divination, telepathy etc

Postby Annapurna » Tue Jan 05, 2010 6:22 pm

http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/

Sanghamitta
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Re: Psychic mediums, divination, telepathy etc

Postby Sanghamitta » Tue Jan 05, 2010 6:36 pm

Annabel if I accepted the authority of the Dalai Lama I would follow the Vajrayana, because by implication I would also accept that he is an emanation of Chenrezig etc etc.. thats not sect bashing, its just a simple acknowledgement that the Theravada and the Vajrayana have a different view of the Dalai Lama. And I specified the folkloric element of Tibetan Buddhism..which would include divination and the like. As a matter of fact many followers of the Vajrayana also see the folkloric element as problematic according to my husband who is a former Vajrayana practitioner.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.


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