Arahants and magic tricks

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Bundokji
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Re: Arahants and magic tricks

Post by Bundokji »

form wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 10:43 am In the Buddha's days, are there people who are affected by witchcraft and looks for the Buddha and his chief disciples for help?
My knowledge is limited in this area, but from what i know, Karaniya Metta sutta was given to monks who were harrassed in the forest by ghosts or evil spirits. The Ratana sutta is recommended during times of pandemics and natural disasters such as the beautiful times we live in :?

It seems that the mind was given more emphasis than our times. The Buddha's emergence in the world begins with a dream by his mother, and a prophecy by a clairvoyant. This seems to be a recurring theme in ancient times of which an oracle is contrasted with the wise.
After his service in the war, Socrates devoted himself to his favorite pastime: the pursuit of truth.

His reputation as a philosopher, literally meaning 'a lover of wisdom', soon spread all over Athens and beyond. When told that the Oracle of Delphi had revealed to one of his friends that Socrates was the wisest man in Athens, he responded not by boasting or celebrating, but by trying to prove the Oracle wrong.

So Socrates decided he would try and find out if anyone knew what was truly worthwhile in life, because anyone who knew that would surely be wiser than him. He set about questioning everyone he could find, but no one could give him a satisfactory answer. Instead they all pretended to know something they clearly did not.

Finally he realized the Oracle might be right after all. He was the wisest man in Athens because he alone was prepared to admit his own ignorance rather than pretend to know something he did not.
https://www.pbs.org/empires/thegreeks/c ... es_p4.html

A similar theme can be found in modern arts, such as the movie "the matrix".
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.
form
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Re: Arahants and magic tricks

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Mahabrahma wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 10:55 am The Buddha and His Disciples themselves had great Transcendental powers, such as levitation, and the Buddha Himself would sometimes travel to other planets to get fruit for His Disciples. I am sure that there was a peaceful process in which the Sangha overcame bad witchcraft, in the forest there are a lot of obstacles. Though there are good witches too. The Buddha did ask for one thing though, however, and that was that those in the Sangha didn't show off their Transcendental powers, but instead taught Spiritual principles, saying that those who used their Magical or Transcendental powers to gain followers would be no companions of His.
Not every one of them have psychic power isn't it? I think at most 50% of them.
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Mahabrahma
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Re: Arahants and magic tricks

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form wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 12:01 pm
Mahabrahma wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 10:55 am The Buddha and His Disciples themselves had great Transcendental powers, such as levitation, and the Buddha Himself would sometimes travel to other planets to get fruit for His Disciples. I am sure that there was a peaceful process in which the Sangha overcame bad witchcraft, in the forest there are a lot of obstacles. Though there are good witches too. The Buddha did ask for one thing though, however, and that was that those in the Sangha didn't show off their Transcendental powers, but instead taught Spiritual principles, saying that those who used their Magical or Transcendental powers to gain followers would be no companions of His.
Not every one of them have psychic power isn't it? I think at most 50% of them.
All life has a type of power that binds itself and that it creates. In Star Wars this is called "The Force". That type of power communicates life to life. Whether it is done through the mind or the Spirit within directly, there is always a way to communicate. In that way advanced Buddhists talk to plants and bugs, to the Spirit within, and to progress in Buddhism one must understand and start respecting all life, even the life within atoms. Eventually as one reaches the Enlightened stage, perfect equanimity is reached.
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Re: Arahants and magic tricks

Post by form »

Mahabrahma wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 12:08 pm
form wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 12:01 pm
Mahabrahma wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 10:55 am The Buddha and His Disciples themselves had great Transcendental powers, such as levitation, and the Buddha Himself would sometimes travel to other planets to get fruit for His Disciples. I am sure that there was a peaceful process in which the Sangha overcame bad witchcraft, in the forest there are a lot of obstacles. Though there are good witches too. The Buddha did ask for one thing though, however, and that was that those in the Sangha didn't show off their Transcendental powers, but instead taught Spiritual principles, saying that those who used their Magical or Transcendental powers to gain followers would be no companions of His.
Not every one of them have psychic power isn't it? I think at most 50% of them.
All life has a type of power that binds itself and that it creates. In Star Wars this is called "The Force". That type of power communicates life to life. Whether it is done through the mind or the Spirit within directly, there is always a way to communicate. In that way advanced Buddhists talk to plants and bugs, to the Spirit within, and to progress in Buddhism one must understand and start respecting all life, even the life within atoms. Eventually as one reaches the Enlightened stage, perfect equanimity is reached.
There is some support from the sutta as to what u are saying about plants. It says high level people do not harm plants. That is why senior monks do not do gardening.
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Bundokji
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Re: Arahants and magic tricks

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The Angulimala Sutta shows an example of the Buddha using his psychic powers in a way seesm relevant to his teachings:
Then the Blessed One willed a feat of psychic power such that Angulimala, though running with all his might, could not catch up with the Blessed One walking at normal pace. Then the thought occurred to Angulimala: "Isn't it amazing! Isn't it astounding! In the past I've chased & seized even a swift-running elephant, a swift-running horse, a swift-running chariot, a swift-running deer. But now, even though I'm running with all my might, I can't catch up with this contemplative walking at normal pace." So he stopped and called out to the Blessed One, "Stop, contemplative! Stop!"

"I have stopped, Angulimala. You stop."

Then the thought occurred to Angulimala, "These Sakyan contemplatives are speakers of the truth, asserters of the truths, and yet this contemplative, even while walking, says, 'I have stopped, Angulimala. You stop.' Why don't I question him?"

So Angulimala the bandit addressed this verse to the Blessed One:

"While walking, contemplative,
you say, 'I have stopped.'
But when I have stopped
you say I haven't.
I ask you the meaning of this:
How have you stopped?
How haven't I?"

[The Buddha:]
"I have stopped, Angulimala,
once & for all,
having cast off violence
toward all living beings.
You, though,
are unrestrained toward beings.
That's how I've stopped
and you haven't."

[Angulimala:]
"At long last a greatly revered great seer
for my sake
has come to the great forest.
Having heard your verse
in line with the Dhamma,
I will go about
having abandoned evil."

So saying, the bandit
hurled his sword & weapons
over a cliff
into a chasm,
a pit.
Then the bandit paid homage
to the feet of the One Well-gone,
and right there requested the Going-forth.

The Awakened One,
the compassionate great seer,
the teacher of the world, along with its devas,
said to him then:
"Come, bhikkhu."
That in itself
was bhikkhuhood for him.
The Buddha also taught:
One who looks upon the world as a bubble and a mirage, him the King of Death sees not.
The nature of a mirage is of deception. The more one chases after it, the further away it gets. The story of Angulimala along with the Dhammapada verse is quite poetic in my opinion. It raises questions about our relationship with the teachings and with the Buddha. Should we chase after him, or should we stop? where the deception lies? in the Buddha or in us?
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.
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Mahabrahma
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Re: Arahants and magic tricks

Post by Mahabrahma »

form wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 12:17 pm There is some support from the sutta as to what u are saying about plants. It says high level people do not harm plants. That is why senior monks do not do gardening.
There is however a way to take care of plants in which the life is fully respected. But doing such things such as mowing lawns and cutting down trees can be considered harmful. I began my Buddhist path in this life at a place called a Tree Sit where we lived in trees to protect them from being cut down, and the communual Metta involved helped me personally grow as a Buddhist. The Spiritual seeds that were planted by the Tree Sitting community in me then grew into deep Buddhist roots, of vegetarianism, Metta for all life, and powerful Spirituality.
chownah
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Re: Arahants and magic tricks

Post by chownah »

Mahabrahma wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 9:59 am
chownah wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 5:12 am
Mahabrahma wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 12:27 am

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
Well, ultimately magic can be both in the realm of the real and unreal. An illusion, if you understand what a real illusion is, in reality, is unreal. Such as a phantom city or a thing that isn't really happening, though it seems like it is. I'm not talking about parlor trick magic here but the workings of the illusions in the material world, or Maya for example. We are urged not to get caught in the illusions of this world.
First you said that magic is real....now you say it can be real and unreal.....now you say a real illusion is unreal. You say we are urged not to get caught up in the illusions of this world...is that because the illusions of this world are unreal?. If the illusions of this world should be avoided because its illusions are unreal then what are the real illusions that we should get caught up with? What is the magic that is real?

What you posted has not helped me to understand what you mean by real things and unreal things.....and more importantly how is it that one can be able to distinguish what are real things and what are unreal things....and should we avoid unreal things and seek out real things?....should we void unreal magic and seek out real magic? Does the buddha talk about real magic or unreal magic in the suttas (you said magic is presented in the suttas I think).
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Re: Arahants and magic tricks

Post by chownah »

Bundokji wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 8:12 am
chownah wrote: Sat Sep 26, 2020 3:09 pm Also, you really didn't clarify what I requested.
I think it was included in your previous answer:
I know how some magic tricks work but they still deceive me in that there is the appearance of impossible things happening.....but I wouldn't say that I am impressed.
Would the same thing apply to the Arhahant?
Actually I don't see that you have clarified what I mentioned in that you only refer to me talking about my experience.....are you suggesting that you take me to be an arahant so my experience is the defining one?....I doubt it.
Here is what I am wanting to be clarified:
I think you should clarify what you mean by an arahant being deceived and also what you mean by the trick working on them.
What does it mean for an arahant to be deceived?
What does it mean to say that "the trick worked" on them?
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binocular
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Re: Arahants and magic tricks

Post by binocular »

Bundokji wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 9:08 am
binocular wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 9:02 am Do you really think that an arahant would stop at an intersection and watch a magician perform tricks?
Not necessarily, but your emphasis on this is missing the point.
An arahant would, simply due to being an arahant, not interact with magicians and conmen, at least not on their terms.
Secondly, the trickster that would be on the level of attempting to trick an arahant is Mara. But an arahant is by definition resistant to Mara's tricks.
Bundokji wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 9:06 amThe ordinary person knows in theory that a magic trick is without a substance and still gets impressed by it. Why? because his/her lack of certainty that are constructed phenomena are without a substance.
Perhaps some people are like that. Some people are impressed by the skills necessary to pull off the magic trick, and aren't impressed by the magic trick itself.
However, does knowing that all phenomena are a construct imply knowing how each particular phenomena is constructed? If the answer is yes, then it would be impossible that an Arahant would not be deceived by the magician trick. If the answer is no, then the Arahant senses might get deceived by the magician trick, but that would not affect his/her equanimity.
You still need to explain how an arahant would come to witness a magic trick.


As a supportive tangent, you could explore whether an arahant is subject to optical illusions, audio illusions, and other sensory illusions. Some magic tricks are based on such illusions.
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Re: Arahants and magic tricks

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chownah wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 3:04 pmWhat does it mean for an arahant to be deceived?
What does it mean to say that "the trick worked" on them?
Seconded.

I'd like the OP to give three examples of actual magic tricks and what he means by the audience of the trick being "deceived" and the "trick working on them".
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Re: Arahants and magic tricks

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binocular wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 4:31 pm As a supportive tangent, you could explore whether an arahant is subject to optical illusions, audio illusions, and other sensory illusions. Some magic tricks are based on such illusions.
I mentioned in a previous post that the specifics of the delusion that the Arahant has transcended and the limits of his/her knowledge is a debatable issue. This hypothetical question aims at exploring, among other things, if "delusion" from transcendental perspective means the same thing from a worldly perspective and if there are differences, what would they be.

For example, do you think Arahants are subject to optical, audio or sensory illusions? if not, why not?
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.
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Bundokji
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Re: Arahants and magic tricks

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binocular wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 4:37 pm
chownah wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 3:04 pmWhat does it mean for an arahant to be deceived?
What does it mean to say that "the trick worked" on them?
Seconded.

I'd like the OP to give three examples of actual magic tricks and what he means by the audience of the trick being "deceived" and the "trick working on them".
It has no bearing on whether the arahant is subject to worldly delusions or not!
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.
binocular
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Re: Arahants and magic tricks

Post by binocular »

Bundokji wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 4:52 pmI mentioned in a previous post that the specifics of the delusion that the Arahant has transcended and the limits of his/her knowledge is a debatable issue. This hypothetical question aims at exploring, among other things, if "delusion" from transcendental perspective means the same thing from a worldly perspective and if there are differences, what would they be.
In the Buddhist triad "greed, anger, and delusion" the delusion (or ignorance) refers to ignorance of the Four Noble Truths, and not to just any kind of delusion or ignorance. So it's a very specific understanding of delusion/ignorance. If you want to explore notions of delusion/ignorance in other religions/spiritualities, you need to start a thread in the appropriate subforum.

For example, do you think Arahants are subject to optical, audio or sensory illusions? if not, why not?
If I would have to guess, I'd say they are -- but it doesn't matter for them. Sensory illusions are relevant for people who need to get things done in the world. Assuming that arahants don't have to, for example, build bridges and ships nor measure liquid contents in transparent containers, the optical illusions connected with water and other fluids are irrelevant to them.
Last edited by binocular on Sun Sep 27, 2020 5:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Arahants and magic tricks

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Bundokji wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 4:53 pmIt has no bearing on whether the arahant is subject to worldly delusions or not!
???
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Re: Arahants and magic tricks

Post by Bundokji »

chownah wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 3:04 pm are you suggesting that you take me to be an arahant so my experience is the defining one?....I doubt it.
Why not? Why do you think the Arahant would be different to what you described when it comes to a magic trick?
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.
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