Doubting supernatural side of Buddhism

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
Ryan95227
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Doubting supernatural side of Buddhism

Post by Ryan95227 » Sun Jan 17, 2016 6:22 am

Hello, I was wondering if any of you actually believe in hungry ghosts, hell realm, magic, or other seemingly "supernatural" part of buddhism. I just can't imagine Buddha actually talking about this stuff. These stuff makes buddhism seem like other religions.(i.e jesus walking on water) Do you guys actually believe in this? I'm just very confused because I thought Buddhism was mainly about ending the cycle of suffering for human beings. Idk why Buddha would even mention those. It just seems like made up myth.

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robertk
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Re: Doubting supernatural side of Buddhism

Post by robertk » Sun Jan 17, 2016 7:00 am

I am a believer. :D

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Kim OHara
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Re: Doubting supernatural side of Buddhism

Post by Kim OHara » Sun Jan 17, 2016 7:34 am

Ryan95227 wrote:Hello, I was wondering if any of you actually believe in hungry ghosts, hell realm, magic, or other seemingly "supernatural" part of buddhism. I just can't imagine Buddha actually talking about this stuff. These stuff makes buddhism seem like other religions.(i.e jesus walking on water) Do you guys actually believe in this? I'm just very confused because I thought Buddhism was mainly about ending the cycle of suffering for human beings. Idk why Buddha would even mention those. It just seems like made up myth.
There's a whole movement called "Skeptical Buddhism" for (and by) people who share your doubts about 'supernatural stuff'. Visit http://secularbuddhism.org/tag/skeptical-buddhism/ to learn more about it. However, most Buddhists in Buddhist countries do believe (most of) this stuff, i.e., it is a genuine part of historical Buddhism.

:namaste:
Kim

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Doubting supernatural side of Buddhism

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun Jan 17, 2016 10:30 am

If you don't know, then you have to believe, but you need to understand that disbelief is also based on not knowing.

A wise man should not be credulous, i.e. believing anything without making a proper inquiry.
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Sein
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Re: Doubting supernatural side of Buddhism

Post by Sein » Sun Jan 17, 2016 11:16 am

I think you need a step by step approach. But then, believing the paranormal is not a necessary part to practice.
The non-doing of any evil,
the performance of what's skillful,
the cleansing of one's own mind:
this is the teaching of the Awakened.

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The Thinker
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Re: Doubting supernatural side of Buddhism

Post by The Thinker » Sun Jan 17, 2016 12:13 pm

We all doubt and question! The fact is that many objects are first conceived (born)in the mind which later come to fruition, nearly all inventions may well be associated to the natural world around us, from conscious observation and unconscious observation comes fresh insight, how on earth did the mobile phone come to fruition? How can we communicate with such large distance between ourselves, with almost exact replication of voice recognition? The imagination and application of imagination surely a big part of the soil of our unconscious reality, which is triggered by our conscious senses from the nature that surrounds us in the now? Future prediction, best guess, is born of the past and present and the contemplation that goes on within the mind, if the mind can think it up,then it is possible that much can come to fruition, but some things can't if they are untruths of the natural world(universe), so much of the universe is yet unexplored, therefore we have not cognized some potentials, The buddha was before his time, he was a clever chap, with much insight that we can now see, is truth, Craving is the unseen driving force of the universe, craving for anything is perhaps better than nothing, in the dark matter of the abyss? :namaste:
Last edited by The Thinker on Sun Jan 17, 2016 12:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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HumbleThinker
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Re: Doubting supernatural side of Buddhism

Post by HumbleThinker » Sun Jan 17, 2016 12:18 pm

Ryan95227 wrote:Hello, I was wondering if any of you actually believe in hungry ghosts, hell realm, magic, or other seemingly "supernatural" part of buddhism. I just can't imagine Buddha actually talking about this stuff. These stuff makes buddhism seem like other religions.(i.e jesus walking on water) Do you guys actually believe in this? I'm just very confused because I thought Buddhism was mainly about ending the cycle of suffering for human beings. Idk why Buddha would even mention those. It just seems like made up myth.
If these were a part of the Buddha's experience, then he certainly would talk about them. How you think these were a part of the Buddha's experience, if they were at all, is up to you to determine and act on yourself. Perhaps he literally experienced these things, perhaps he was using established parts of the culture he was in to assist in delivering the dhamma to the particular audience he was talking to at the time. Buddhism certainly has many aspects that religious and areligious people are incredulous over, so in this respect it is like other religions. Mahayana Buddhism in particular, which I know isn't the topic of this forum, quite often co-opts aspects of the local religion into itself. I would not be surprised if Theravada did this to a lesser extent.

Personally, some of the stuff I accept as literally true, and some of it I accept as being metaphorical. Some of it I accept as being important to my practice and some of it I accept as not being important.
"I know that I know nothing" -Socrates

IOW, take what I say with a grain of salt, for I likely know as little or less than you do.

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Khalil Bodhi
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Re: Doubting supernatural side of Buddhism

Post by Khalil Bodhi » Sun Jan 17, 2016 1:09 pm

Ryan95227 wrote:Hello, I was wondering if any of you actually believe in hungry ghosts, hell realm, magic, or other seemingly "supernatural" part of buddhism. I just can't imagine Buddha actually talking about this stuff. These stuff makes buddhism seem like other religions.(i.e jesus walking on water) Do you guys actually believe in this? I'm just very confused because I thought Buddhism was mainly about ending the cycle of suffering for human beings. Idk why Buddha would even mention those. It just seems like made up myth.
I believe these things as well but, really, you can practice without worrying too much about them. Don't get hung up on them either way, practice well and you'll see for yourself.
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

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The Thinker
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Re: Doubting supernatural side of Buddhism

Post by The Thinker » Sun Jan 17, 2016 1:36 pm

146

What laughter, why joy,
when constantly aflame?
Enveloped in darkness,
don't you look for a lamp?
"Watch your heart, observe. Be the observer, be the knower, not the condition" Ajahn Sumedho volume5 - The Wheel Of Truth

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Kusala
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Re: Doubting supernatural side of Buddhism

Post by Kusala » Sun Jan 17, 2016 1:38 pm

Ryan95227 wrote:Hello, I was wondering if any of you actually believe in hungry ghosts, hell realm, magic, or other seemingly "supernatural" part of buddhism. I just can't imagine Buddha actually talking about this stuff. These stuff makes buddhism seem like other religions.(i.e jesus walking on water) Do you guys actually believe in this? I'm just very confused because I thought Buddhism was mainly about ending the cycle of suffering for human beings. Idk why Buddha would even mention those. It just seems like made up myth.

I was initially skeptical and still to a certain extent, but now I'm starting to believe that there's more to life just the material world". There's this wonderful Dhamma talk, Buddhism And Psychic Phenomenaby Ajahn Nyanadhammo https://dhammaloka.org.au/home/item/687 ... omena.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" , which I highly recommend...
Image

"He, the Blessed One, is indeed the Noble Lord, the Perfectly Enlightened One;
He is impeccable in conduct and understanding, the Serene One, the Knower of the Worlds;
He trains perfectly those who wish to be trained; he is Teacher of gods and men; he is Awake and Holy. "

--------------------------------------------
"The Dhamma is well-expounded by the Blessed One,
Apparent here and now, timeless, encouraging investigation,
Leading to liberation, to be experienced individually by the wise. "

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khlawng
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Re: Doubting supernatural side of Buddhism

Post by khlawng » Sun Jan 17, 2016 4:13 pm

Ryan95227 wrote:Hello, I was wondering if any of you actually believe in hungry ghosts, hell realm, magic, or other seemingly "supernatural" part of buddhism. I just can't imagine Buddha actually talking about this stuff. These stuff makes buddhism seem like other religions.(i.e jesus walking on water) Do you guys actually believe in this? I'm just very confused because I thought Buddhism was mainly about ending the cycle of suffering for human beings. Idk why Buddha would even mention those. It just seems like made up myth.
you cannot lump everything that sounds supernatural as unbelievable.
take for instance hungry ghost (peta) and hell realm whivh you mentioned,
they are a essential part of the buddha's teaching because it describes a never ending cycle of rebirth as different beings depandant on conditioning in a cosmology without beginning and end of time.
hence the never ending suffering which must be comprehended and path to its cessation developed.
if you set this concept aside as unbelievable, then you fall into the nihilist camp which is wrong view.
I am surprise at the number of post here that seems to not set this part straight.

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Dhammabodhi
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Re: Doubting supernatural side of Buddhism

Post by Dhammabodhi » Sun Jan 17, 2016 4:17 pm

Kusala wrote: I was initially skeptical and still to a certain extent, but now I'm starting to believe that there's more to life just the material world". There's this wonderful Dhamma talk, Buddhism And Psychic Phenomenaby Ajahn Nyanadhammo, which I highly recommend...
Thanks for that wonderful Dhamma talk!

:thanks: :anjali:
"Take rest, take rest."-S.N.Goenka

santa100
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Re: Doubting supernatural side of Buddhism

Post by santa100 » Sun Jan 17, 2016 6:14 pm

Ryan95227 wrote:..why Buddha would even mention those. It just seems like made up myth.
Of course it seems that way to us worldlings. There's nothing surprising or confusing about it. Imagine yourself somehow was able to travel back in time and lived among the people from a primitive society during the Dark Ages. If you tell those folks that you're able to see people and objects miles away at pitch-dark night with a pair of "magic eyes" (night vision goggles), or talk to people oceans away thru an ear "stone" (cell phone), or fly from continent to continent within hours on "iron birds", etc. then obviously to them, everything that you say is made up myth! Now repeat the same thought experiment, but instead of traveling back in time, you go forward 10 or 15 centuries into the future, imagine the kind of things you'd be able to see for yourself that you used to think were all made up myth before..

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seeker242
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Re: Doubting supernatural side of Buddhism

Post by seeker242 » Mon Jan 18, 2016 2:20 am

Yes I believe in them. One reason is because I can't believe the Buddha would lie about such things.

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Kusala
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Re: Doubting supernatural side of Buddhism

Post by Kusala » Mon Jan 18, 2016 10:18 am

Former skeptic talks about his experience...

Image

"He, the Blessed One, is indeed the Noble Lord, the Perfectly Enlightened One;
He is impeccable in conduct and understanding, the Serene One, the Knower of the Worlds;
He trains perfectly those who wish to be trained; he is Teacher of gods and men; he is Awake and Holy. "

--------------------------------------------
"The Dhamma is well-expounded by the Blessed One,
Apparent here and now, timeless, encouraging investigation,
Leading to liberation, to be experienced individually by the wise. "

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