Arahants and magic tricks

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
User avatar
Mahabrahma
Posts: 663
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2020 6:02 am

Re: Arahants and magic tricks

Post by Mahabrahma »

Bundokji wrote: Sat Sep 26, 2020 12:14 pm
Mahabrahma wrote: Sat Sep 26, 2020 12:01 pm It's important to perceive the world correctly, and there is a whole invisible world out there. It is good to accept what the Scriptures tell us about certain phenomena, especially the Scriptures of the path we have decided to follow, so that an actual framework based on Loving Teaching is developed within. The ancient sages knew more about the world than we do today, they simply didn't abuse it and rip it apart like modern so called scientists. Real knowledge develops in the heart of Love, and that is the real way facts can be perceived. Therefore the closer one is to being Loving in every aspect of their life, the closer they are to finding the wisdom that embraces all Species, because True Love is the finest of wisdoms and is the Buddha Eye that understands all phenomena as they are.
A part of developing a loving mind/heart is to know how to deal with evil. Magic itself, predictably, is divided into white magic and black magic. Different schools developed different methods on how to deal with this. If evil does not work,similar to magic, people would have given up on it by now. Some paths utilizes more integration of evil or desire such as Tantra which seem to take magic more seriously. Other paths are more straightforward in separating the two such as Theravada.
You're right. The reason for evil is lust only, and later this evil is transformed into wrath, and it is the all-devouring, sinful enemy of this world. People choosing not to have Metta for others and develop Loving and compassionate qualities is what causes people to turn to lust. The best thing to do is to stay with the Dharma and follow the precepts respectively, as well as try to save others in a similar way. This whole Saha world situation is quenchable, and it is the goal of Siddhartha to save this world.
User avatar
Mahabrahma
Posts: 663
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2020 6:02 am

Re: Arahants and magic tricks

Post by Mahabrahma »

Though, I want to clarify, Tantra has many esoteric and restricted practices, but the practices are also good because they are Buddhist or Yogic, not evil. Otherwise it isn't really proper Tantra and is something posing as such, something dangerous that has no place in Spirituality.
form
Posts: 1918
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2016 3:23 am

Re: Arahants and magic tricks

Post by form »

Bundokji wrote: Sat Sep 26, 2020 12:14 pm
Mahabrahma wrote: Sat Sep 26, 2020 12:01 pm It's important to perceive the world correctly, and there is a whole invisible world out there. It is good to accept what the Scriptures tell us about certain phenomena, especially the Scriptures of the path we have decided to follow, so that an actual framework based on Loving Teaching is developed within. The ancient sages knew more about the world than we do today, they simply didn't abuse it and rip it apart like modern so called scientists. Real knowledge develops in the heart of Love, and that is the real way facts can be perceived. Therefore the closer one is to being Loving in every aspect of their life, the closer they are to finding the wisdom that embraces all Species, because True Love is the finest of wisdoms and is the Buddha Eye that understands all phenomena as they are.
A part of developing a loving mind/heart is to know how to deal with evil. Magic itself, predictably, is divided into white magic and black magic. Different schools developed different methods on how to deal with this. If evil does not work,similar to magic, people would have given up on it by now. Some paths utilizes more integration of evil or desire such as Tantra which seem to take magic more seriously. Other paths are more straightforward in separating the two such as Theravada.
Now that u bring this up about witchcraft or black magic, it is quite surprising that I dun remember reading any account about such in the nikayas.
User avatar
Mahabrahma
Posts: 663
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2020 6:02 am

Re: Arahants and magic tricks

Post by Mahabrahma »

Also there is this good Transcendental type of wrath that certain Buddhists can have, such as those that battle demons and protect the innocent.
User avatar
Bundokji
Posts: 3253
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:57 pm

Re: Arahants and magic tricks

Post by Bundokji »

form wrote: Sat Sep 26, 2020 12:40 pm Now that u bring this up about witchcraft or black magic, it is quite surprising that I dun remember reading any account about such in the nikayas.
Its probably a different way of naming things among different cultures. Devaddata's unskillful use of his psychic powers can be seen as a form of black magic. Splitting the body into many is one of the psychic powers of which the real is surprisingly known through having a shadow. Milrepa learned black magic motivated by revenge as the story goes, but i now its not part of the nikayas.

The issue of psychic power itself is acknowledged in the teachings, and denied in the scientific age we live in. For example, we have modern magicians such as James Ramsey and Derren Brown who are dedicated to debunk the idea of the supernatural. This brings us to question what nature is? Deepening our understanding of nature might produce phenomena that is used to be perceived as supernatural. Modern science seem to operate in this domain, and one feels that the whole rhetoric emphasizing one approach or another is to gain power and authority, fighting for people's attention and trust. For example, airplanes show the power of levitation, medicine shows the power healing, and social media shows the power of telepathy.

The original teachings appeared in an environment where conventional reality had more solid base or predictable reference point of measurement. Emphasizing the lack of substance or self serves to shake certainties and unleash the power of the mind. What becomes of the teachings when the world becomes increasingly fluid? In the age we live in, people no longer know what to believe. Virtual reality is increasingly invading the world and the implications of using AI becomes a controversial issue. Possibly, focusing more on the existence of stable reference point can be the way of going against the grain.
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.
User avatar
Mahabrahma
Posts: 663
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2020 6:02 am

Re: Arahants and magic tricks

Post by Mahabrahma »

What you hope to believe in your Love mostly tends to be true, because all of the Love you have experienced in this world and beyond has been real.
chownah
Posts: 9095
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: Arahants and magic tricks

Post by chownah »

Bundokji wrote: Sat Sep 26, 2020 11:10 am
chownah wrote: Sat Sep 26, 2020 3:56 am I think you should clarify what you mean by an arahant being deceived and also what you mean by the trick working on them.


In epistemology, there is always an underlying hypothesis. When a certain phenomena does not operate according to the hypothesis, this leaves us with one of two options: either discarding the hypothesis as false, or knowing why a certain phenomena behaved differently without discarding the hypothesis, but explaining the exception.
I think there is a third option namely "it is magic". The"it is magic" option can yield a state anywhere from mild euphoria to religious fervor depending on the observer's beliefs and degree of involvement. My opinion is that the "it is magic" option gives the euphoric release because it turns off the burden of rationality inherent in the options you have brought and opens the door to wonderment (my opinion only).

Also, you really didn't clarify what I requested.

chownahcadabra
chownah
Posts: 9095
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: Arahants and magic tricks

Post by chownah »

Mahabrahma wrote: Sat Sep 26, 2020 11:12 am Magic is a real thing. And there are references to it in Scripture :tongue: .
What kind of a real thing is it?.....in other words what do you mean by "a real thing"?
chownah
binocular
Posts: 8292
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Arahants and magic tricks

Post by binocular »

Bundokji wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 9:55 pm I know this might be a silly question, but is it possible that Arahants get deceived by a magic trick?

What i mean is: they do not necessarily get impressed by it, but can the trick work on them without knowing how it works?
Do list at least three situations where this would be relevant.

In what situations would an arahant and a magician/conman meet?
Hic Rhodus, hic salta!
binocular
Posts: 8292
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Arahants and magic tricks

Post by binocular »

The OP's question strikes me as similar to "Would an arahant enjoy watching a film?"

Well, he wouldn't go to the cinema to begin with. And if he were kidnapped, tied to a chair in a cinema, his head forcibly tied to face the direction of the screen and his eyelids taped open ... well ...
Hic Rhodus, hic salta!
User avatar
dhammacoustic
Posts: 934
Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2014 4:30 am

Re: Arahants and magic tricks

Post by dhammacoustic »

Bundokji wrote: Sat Sep 26, 2020 11:02 am
dhammacoustic wrote: Sat Sep 26, 2020 3:25 am yes, the trick can work on an arahant. because understanding how the trick is done is a technical / epistemological problem, whereas the arahant's knowledge covers the ontology of “being”.

an arahant wouldn't directly know about the mechanics of a piano. but he would clearly understand the meaning, the why of its existence.
If i understand your answer correctly, the Arahant is closer to a philosopher than a scientist.

While epistemology can be technically separated from ontology, the two seem to be conjoined. The four noble truths includes both the why "the second noble truth" and the how "the fourth noble truth.

One form of deception we are told that Arhahants are free from is dreaming. Not all dreams are equally delusional as some dreams have predictive power about the future. The Buddha knew the exact workings of Kamma.

So, if we present Arahant knowledge as two extreme: He knows that all phenomena are without substance, or that he is literally omniscient. Probably the truth is somewhere between the two.
the arahant by definiton is a realized-philosopher, as he has reached the goal of philosophy, which is perfect wisdom. and not through epistemological means —which would be impossible— but through the discipline of the dhamma.

yes, the arahant is supposed to be omniscient, but as the buddha points out in the parable of the poisoned arrow, there can be no such thing as “epistemological omniscience”, considering that an epistemological unit always has to be accompanied by a lack of knowledge, which is actually the generation of “episteme”, ie, something becoming known and visible in the ocean of the unknown. therefore ; the arahant's omniscience need not have anything to do with any kind of epistemological structure, simply because epistemology is established on [the basis of] language, and the brain receives its information through the [limitations of] the senses..

on the whole, the arahant would directly know whether “being” is immanent (sassatavada/ucchedavada) or transcendent (nibbana), even if he didn't know a thing about the world.
User avatar
Mahabrahma
Posts: 663
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2020 6:02 am

Re: Arahants and magic tricks

Post by Mahabrahma »

chownah wrote: Sat Sep 26, 2020 3:12 pm
Mahabrahma wrote: Sat Sep 26, 2020 11:12 am Magic is a real thing. And there are references to it in Scripture :tongue: .
What kind of a real thing is it?.....in other words what do you mean by "a real thing"?
chownah
Chownah, a temporary thing manifested in this temporary world but there in this world by it's means in whichever way it is practiced by people.
form
Posts: 1918
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2016 3:23 am

Re: Arahants and magic tricks

Post by form »

Bundokji wrote: Sat Sep 26, 2020 1:04 pm
form wrote: Sat Sep 26, 2020 12:40 pm Now that u bring this up about witchcraft or black magic, it is quite surprising that I dun remember reading any account about such in the nikayas.
Its probably a different way of naming things among different cultures. Devaddata's unskillful use of his psychic powers can be seen as a form of black magic. Splitting the body into many is one of the psychic powers of which the real is surprisingly known through having a shadow. Milrepa learned black magic motivated by revenge as the story goes, but i now its not part of the nikayas.

The issue of psychic power itself is acknowledged in the teachings, and denied in the scientific age we live in. For example, we have modern magicians such as James Ramsey and Derren Brown who are dedicated to debunk the idea of the supernatural. This brings us to question what nature is? Deepening our understanding of nature might produce phenomena that is used to be perceived as supernatural. Modern science seem to operate in this domain, and one feels that the whole rhetoric emphasizing one approach or another is to gain power and authority, fighting for people's attention and trust. For example, airplanes show the power of levitation, medicine shows the power healing, and social media shows the power of telepathy.

The original teachings appeared in an environment where conventional reality had more solid base or predictable reference point of measurement. Emphasizing the lack of substance or self serves to shake certainties and unleash the power of the mind. What becomes of the teachings when the world becomes increasingly fluid? In the age we live in, people no longer know what to believe. Virtual reality is increasingly invading the world and the implications of using AI becomes a controversial issue. Possibly, focusing more on the existence of stable reference point can be the way of going against the grain.
Very good and convincing analysis.
chownah
Posts: 9095
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: Arahants and magic tricks

Post by chownah »

Mahabrahma wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 12:27 am
chownah wrote: Sat Sep 26, 2020 3:12 pm
Mahabrahma wrote: Sat Sep 26, 2020 11:12 am Magic is a real thing. And there are references to it in Scripture :tongue: .
What kind of a real thing is it?.....in other words what do you mean by "a real thing"?
chownah
Chownah, a temporary thing manifested in this temporary world but there in this world by it's means in whichever way it is practiced by people.
I don't understand "there in this world by it's means in whichever way it is practiced by people." Does this mean that any thought or idea arising in an individual is a real thing?

If there are "real things" it seems that there must be "unreal things". Can you tell me about some things that are "unreal things"?......I think this would help clarify what you mean by "real thing".

chownah
form
Posts: 1918
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2016 3:23 am

Re: Arahants and magic tricks

Post by form »

Those arahats that are Buddha students are all very different as in their capabilities, knowledge and character, other than they are fully liberated. A lot of their characteristics before enlightened, remained to be unique to them. So in such a way they are not consistent with each other in many regards before final enlightenment.

Same as members here, some may have special knowledge in certain specialised area and some do not understand a certain area although all have the basic understanding of the dhamma.
Post Reply