Cannot believe in magical things

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
Jhana4
Posts: 1309
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:20 pm
Location: U.S.A., Northeast

Re: Cannot believe in magical things

Post by Jhana4 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 3:35 pm

To paraphrase the late Dr. Carl Sagan:

"extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof"

A person who thinks someone is being narrow minded for not believing in unproven things is ignorant of the history and philosophy of science which is basically what humanity has learned about how to reliably find out what is true.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.

User avatar
kirk5a
Posts: 1959
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:51 pm

Re: Cannot believe in magical things

Post by kirk5a » Thu Dec 22, 2011 4:10 pm

Jhana4 wrote:To paraphrase the late Dr. Carl Sagan:

"extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof"
Like, for example: there is only this one life, and after death there is nothing whatsoever. I don't think that's been proven. :tongue:
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

Jhana4
Posts: 1309
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:20 pm
Location: U.S.A., Northeast

Re: Cannot believe in magical things

Post by Jhana4 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:07 pm

kirk5a wrote:
Jhana4 wrote:To paraphrase the late Dr. Carl Sagan:

"extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof"
Like, for example: there is only this one life, and after death there is nothing whatsoever. I don't think that's been proven. :tongue:
I've written this in other threads, but Richard Dawkin's in his book "The Gold Delusion" ( can be downloaded freely and legally via a Google search ), writes about some fascinating suppositions how a drive toward believing things in a religious manner (without proof, just being told ) may have been bred into people via evolution.

I can understand, and.......appreciate the desire to accept the unproven beliefs shared by a peer group of meditators, meditation friends and meditation teachers.

However, I prefer the truth.

Even a broken clock is right twice a day, and even the Christian Bible has its moments. One of those moments is the idea
"The Truth Shall Set You Free"

Even when that freedom is not apparent or knowing the truth reduces psychological comfort, I think there is a certain dignity in living with the truth.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.

Buckwheat
Posts: 960
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:39 am
Location: California USA

Re: Cannot believe in magical things

Post by Buckwheat » Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:43 pm

Jhana4 wrote:"The Truth Shall Set You Free"
Yes, but what is the truth?
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

User avatar
BubbaBuddhist
Posts: 640
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:55 am
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
Contact:

Re: Cannot believe in magical things

Post by BubbaBuddhist » Thu Dec 22, 2011 6:48 pm

kirk5a wrote:
Jhana4 wrote:To paraphrase the late Dr. Carl Sagan:

"extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof"
Like, for example: there is only this one life, and after death there is nothing whatsoever. I don't think that's been proven. :tongue:
The "Extraordinary claim" quote actually originated with my dear friend (sorely missed and may he be free from suffering and its causes) Dr.Marcello Truzzi, one of the co-founders of the original CSICOP. "An extraordinary claim requires extraordinary proof." He was voted out of his own organization when he suggested the organization actually investigate paranormal claims, not debunk them. :tongue:

M4
Author of Redneck Buddhism: or Will You Reincarnate as Your Own Cousin?

User avatar
icyteru
Posts: 98
Joined: Sun May 22, 2011 1:11 am
Contact:

Re: Cannot believe in magical things

Post by icyteru » Sat Dec 31, 2011 3:42 am

about rebirth / remembering past lives, search about Ian Stevenson's Reincarnation Research
or
watch this on youtube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SF3KqGpxXvo" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-KUwz0vodQ" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
The most complete english tipitaka on the internet world. http://realtruthlife.blogspot.com .

User avatar
Kim OHara
Posts: 5006
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:47 am
Location: North Queensland, Australia

Re: Cannot believe in magical things

Post by Kim OHara » Sat Dec 31, 2011 4:57 am

icyteru wrote: Ian Stevenson's Reincarnation Research
It has been discussed here several times - see, e.g.
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 0&start=20
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... &start=920
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 70&start=0
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 36&start=0

Not saying it's right or wrong, just saving people reinventing wheels. :tongue:

:namaste:
Kim

User avatar
ground
Posts: 2591
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 6:01 am

Re: Cannot believe in magical things

Post by ground » Sat Dec 31, 2011 5:41 am

pedro1985 wrote: But even though the suttas contain a lot of wisdom, I still keep finding unbelievable things about:

- a world of gods, deva's
- rebirth
- remembering past lives
- magical powers (angulimala sutta)
Just put it aside for the time being.
pedro1985 wrote: I tried keeping an open mind about that rebirth is true and that gods and deva's who are mentioned in the suttas really exist.
"By & large, Kaccayana, this world is supported by (takes as its object) a polarity, that of existence & non-existence. But when one sees the origination of the world as it actually is with right discernment, 'non-existence' with reference to the world does not occur to one. When one sees the cessation of the world as it actually is with right discernment, 'existence' with reference to the world does not occur to one.

"By & large, Kaccayana, this world is in bondage to attachments, clingings (sustenances), & biases. But one such as this does not get involved with or cling to these attachments, clingings, fixations of awareness, biases, or obsessions; nor is he resolved on 'my self.' He has no uncertainty or doubt that just stress, when arising, is arising; stress, when passing away, is passing away. In this, his knowledge is independent of others. It's to this extent, Kaccayana, that there is right view.

"'Everything exists': That is one extreme. 'Everything doesn't exist': That is a second extreme. Avoiding these two extremes, the Tathagata teaches the Dhamma via the middle: From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications. From fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness. From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form. From name-&-form as a requisite condition come the six sense media. From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contact. From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling. From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving. From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance. From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming. From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth. From birth as a requisite condition, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of stress & suffering.

"Now from the remainderless fading & cessation of that very ignorance comes the cessation of fabrications. From the cessation of fabrications comes the cessation of consciousness. From the cessation of consciousness comes the cessation of name-&-form. From the cessation of name-&-form comes the cessation of the six sense media. From the cessation of the six sense media comes the cessation of contact. From the cessation of contact comes the cessation of feeling. From the cessation of feeling comes the cessation of craving. From the cessation of craving comes the cessation of clinging/sustenance. From the cessation of clinging/sustenance comes the cessation of becoming. From the cessation of becoming comes the cessation of birth. From the cessation of birth, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair all cease. Such is the cessation of this entire mass of stress & suffering."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Kind regards

User avatar
Nibbida
Posts: 466
Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 3:44 am

Re: Cannot believe in magical things

Post by Nibbida » Sat Jan 07, 2012 1:21 am

When one has had the experience of anatta, even if only a temporary glimpse, the issue of rebirth becomes an entirely different matter.

User avatar
manas
Posts: 2464
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:04 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Cannot believe in magical things

Post by manas » Sat Jan 07, 2012 6:22 am

Nibbida wrote:When one has had the experience of anatta, even if only a temporary glimpse, the issue of rebirth becomes an entirely different matter.

Nibbida, could you please elaborate on that?

with metta
Knowing this body is like a clay jar,
securing this mind like a fort,
attack Mara with the spear of discernment,
then guard what's won without settling there,
without laying claim.

- Dhp 40

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 20149
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: Cannot believe in magical things

Post by retrofuturist » Sat Jan 07, 2012 7:08 am

Greetings Manasikara,

Not to put words in Nibidda's mouth, but I suspect it relates (maybe not explicitly?) to what Nanavira Thera was quoted by SDC as saying here - http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 16#p166912" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
The fundamental upādāna or 'holding' is attavāda (see Majjhima ii,1 <M.i,67>), which is holding a belief in 'self'. The puthujjana takes what appears to be his 'self' at its face value; and so long as this goes on he continues to be a 'self', at least in his own eyes (and in those of others like him). This is bhava or 'being'. The puthujjana knows that people are born and die; and since he thinks 'my self exists' so he also thinks 'my self was born' and 'my self will die'. The puthujjana sees a 'self' to whom the words birth and death apply. In contrast to the puthujjana, the arahat has altogether got rid of asmimāna (not to speak of attavāda—see MAMA), and does not even think 'I am'. This is bhavanirodha, cessation of being. And since he does not think 'I am' he also does not think 'I was born' or 'I shall die'. In other words, he sees no 'self' or even 'I' for the words birth and death to apply to. This is jātinirodha and jarāmarananirodha. (See, in Kosala Samy. i,3 <S.i,71>, how the words birth and death are avoided when the arahat is spoken of.

Atthi nu kho bhante jātassa aññatra jarāmaranā ti. N'atthi kho mahārāja jātassa aññatra jarāmaranā. Ye pi te mahārāja khattiyamahāsālā... brāhmanamahāsālā... gahapatimahāsālā..., tesam pi jātānam n'atthi aññatra jarāmaranā. Ye pi te mahārāja bhikkhu arahanto khīnāsavā..., tesam pāyam kāyo bhedanadhammo nikkhepanadhammo ti.)

-- For one who is born, lord, is there anything other than ageing-&-death?—For one who is born, great king, there is nothing other than ageing-&-death. Those, great king, who are wealthy warriors... wealthy divines... wealthy householders...,—for them, too, being born, there is nothing other than ageing-&-death. Those monks, great king, who are worthy ones, destroyers of the cankers...,—for them, too, it is the nature of this body to break up, to be laid down.

The puthujjana, taking his apparent 'self' at face value, does not see that he is a victim of upādāna; he does not see that 'being a self' depends upon 'holding a belief in self' (upādānapaccayā bhavo); and he does not see that birth and death depend upon his 'being a self' (bhavapaccayā jāti, and so on). The ariyasāvaka, on the other hand, does see these things, and he sees also their cessation (even though he may not yet have fully realized it); and his seeing of these things is direct. Quite clearly, the idea of re-birth is totally irrelevant here.
Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

Buckwheat
Posts: 960
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:39 am
Location: California USA

Re: Cannot believe in magical things

Post by Buckwheat » Sat Jan 07, 2012 7:21 am

I don't want to put words in Nibbida's mouth, but what I took that comment to mean is that once you see that there is anatta, that there is nothing to be reborn, and that there is no birth, then rebirth becomes a natural process of aggregates, although not necessarily a physical one, but natural nonetheless. I'm not sure, I have difficulty with rebirth myself, but I see an opening for how it could be a reality, and it's based on that approach. I would like to hear Nibbida's take.

Sorry, Retro. I didn't see your post until just now. I'll leave mine up anyway :)
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

User avatar
Spiny O'Norman
Posts: 851
Joined: Sat May 23, 2009 8:46 am
Location: Suffolk, England

Re: Cannot believe in magical things

Post by Spiny O'Norman » Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:43 am

Nibbida wrote:When one has had the experience of anatta, even if only a temporary glimpse, the issue of rebirth becomes an entirely different matter.
I don't see how it does. It seems to me the basic issue here is about whether consciousness can exist independently of the body.

Spiny

User avatar
Kare
Posts: 766
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2009 10:58 am
Location: Norway
Contact:

Re: Cannot believe in magical things

Post by Kare » Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:47 am

"I can't believe that!" said Alice.

"Can't you?" the queen said in a pitying tone. "Try again, draw a long breath, and shut your eyes."

Alice laughed. "There's no use trying," she said. "One can't believe impossible things."

"I dare say you haven't had much practice," said the queen. "When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

(Lewis Carrol)
Mettāya,
Kåre

Buckwheat
Posts: 960
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:39 am
Location: California USA

Re: Cannot believe in magical things

Post by Buckwheat » Sat Jan 07, 2012 1:51 pm

Isn't it funny how we take the things we already believe to be so naturally true? Think about all the crap people believed in the not so distant past, stuff we now find laughable. And we have the nerve to pretend that right now, this moment, we have actually got it figured out. Not a single delusion in the old collected knowledge. :tongue: So, basically, I'm saying you already believe in some things that are not true, and don't even know it.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Volovsky and 92 guests