binocular wrote: ↑Sat Sep 26, 2020 7:12 am
From what I've heard, the central tenet among magicians and conmen is that magic works because people want to be deceived and enjoy the deception.
I take it that an arahant has no desire to be deceived, so magic becomes moot for him.
I think you raise a good point there. In Buddhism, desire is often described as a defilement. Some analogies are given to liken purifying the mind with purifying water. When water is pure, it becomes transparent and one can see through it.
It is a central tenet to focus on the lack of substance or essence in conditioned phenomena, but the teachings remain largely silent on how a mind free from the main delusion functions in terms of ability, speed and the kinds of knowledge and abilities that become accessible to it.
Secondly, when exactly would an arahant find themselves in a situation where they would be exposed to a magician/conman? Like when a lay person would merely pretend to put food into the arhant's bowl?
This is possibly the silly part of my question because the aims of the two are very different. The magician aims to excite the senses and seek attention and approval, while the Arahant is peaceful and dispassionate who would persuade people to stay away from such endeavors.
And yet, in religions, one of the main characters in storyology is obsessed with deceiving, whether Mara in Indian religions or Satan in Abrahamic religions. We are also told that saints have magic or psychic powers but they use it for different purposes than evil ones. In Mahayana Buddhism, Malirepa sought Arahantship after mastering magic. The miracles performed by prophets are similar to magic. Both challenge the ordinary mind to reproduce the same phenomena.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
This was the last word of the Tathagata.