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Magick and The Powers

How does one demonstrate his powers to another?

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How does one demonstrate his powers to another? Matan Tsuberi 8/16/19 11:19 AM
RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another? Chris Marti 8/16/19 11:35 AM
RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another? Matan Tsuberi 8/16/19 11:59 AM
RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another? terry 8/16/19 3:12 PM
RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another? Ward Law 8/16/19 1:23 PM
RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another? svmonk 8/17/19 12:31 PM
RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another? S. 8/16/19 2:50 PM
RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another? terry 8/16/19 4:03 PM
RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another? S. 8/16/19 4:26 PM
RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another? terry 8/16/19 4:48 PM
RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another? S. 8/17/19 9:47 AM
RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another? Griffin 8/18/19 11:36 AM
RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/18/19 10:27 AM
RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another? Chris Marti 8/18/19 11:20 AM
RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another? terry 8/20/19 3:57 PM
RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another? S. 8/18/19 12:32 PM
RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another? Jim Smith 8/16/19 2:37 PM
RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another? Milo 8/16/19 3:19 PM
RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another? Sleeping Buddha Syndrome 8/16/19 8:45 PM
RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another? Matan Tsuberi 8/17/19 12:31 AM
RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/17/19 12:40 AM
RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another? Chris Marti 8/17/19 10:40 AM
RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/17/19 11:16 AM
RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another? Chris Marti 8/17/19 11:23 AM
RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/17/19 11:28 AM
RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another? Chris Marti 8/17/19 11:39 AM
RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/17/19 1:14 PM
RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another? terry 8/17/19 1:25 PM
RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another? Jim Smith 8/17/19 12:51 PM
RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/17/19 1:25 PM
RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another? Shaun Steelgrave 8/18/19 8:41 AM
RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another? Stickman2 8/18/19 10:06 PM
RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another? Milo 8/21/19 1:03 AM
RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another? curious 8/21/19 4:00 AM
RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another? Chris Marti 8/21/19 12:08 PM
RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another? curious 8/21/19 8:26 PM
RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another? Stickman2 8/22/19 6:33 AM
RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/22/19 8:29 AM
RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another? Michael 8/22/19 9:33 AM
RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/22/19 10:06 AM
RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another? S. 8/21/19 12:39 PM
RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another? Stickman2 8/21/19 7:54 PM
RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another? Ward Law 8/21/19 12:38 PM
RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/22/19 4:27 PM
I'm a materialist and an atheist, I can unserstand how some people can manifest certain visualizations or experience other halucinations that seems hyper realistic, integrate with external reality and even controllable through diligent concentration practice. But as far as I'm concerned this stuff only happens within the mind of the practitioner and cannot influence "objective" reallity. 

So how can someone demostrate his powers in an objectively (i.e. scientific) verifiable way without requiring the challenger to have the same degree of practice?

RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another?
Answer
8/16/19 11:35 AM as a reply to Matan Tsuberi.
Hmmmm... to start this conversation off on the right foot can you explain to us what "objective reality" is?

RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another?
Answer
8/16/19 11:59 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Well. This is very difficult, I assume I am not talking to a solipsist (otherwise this disscussion is moot) so there's at least the recognition that other minds exist outside your own.

A second natural assumption to make is that those other minds are not entirely disconnected from yours and somehow share access to experieces that at least corrolate with one another on some level (i.e. you see a chair, I see a chair, we can agree that our experiences have some corrolation although we cannot be sure if they are the same).

I would then define "objective" reality as this communication channel or shared information that we all have access to.

Pretty philosophical, but sounds reasonable?

RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another?
Answer
8/16/19 1:23 PM as a reply to Matan Tsuberi.
If said powers do not influence objective reality, then they cannot be scientifically verified.

RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another?
Answer
8/16/19 2:50 PM as a reply to Matan Tsuberi.
My account on this would start with a very different model of objective vs subjective reality.

If you believe in an objective reality, you believe there is an underlying truth to things. Events and forces are in motion in an objectively existing space. Complexity emerges, complexity self-organizes, whatever. Our minds are adaptive and are representational (maybe like a computer, but that metaphor is tortured). We model reality based on information we obtain. We sometimes have a paradigm shift and throw off an old model, we try a new algorithm to describe an event or phenomenon, etc. The meta-model is that we are trying to converge on increasingly powerful or accurate approximations, with predictive validity or explanatory power. The exact notion of what explanatory power means is a bit fussy in practice--simplest explanation, easiest to pass on, works in the most situations, etc. In this theory we never meet true reality with our minds, we just scramble toward it with logic and experiment like prisoners in Plato's Cave who can only infer the real truth through a misleading blitz of perceptions--perceptions that cannot perceive most electromagnetic frequencies, that cannot see gravity, etc. Elaborate theories and narratives of history and biology are developed that ultimately cast human minds as (more or less) accidental, unreliable, un-special. It is common for those who believe in an objective reality to believe that we should rip anything human-like or anthropocentric from our view of the universe. The human being is an unreliable telescope that distorts everything in this view. The ancients explained or related to the behavior of the universe in terms of persons, people, animal-like and human-like gods and spirits. Animism is dated physics in the objective mindset.

If you believe reality is not just perceived in a subjective way but is inherently subjective, you might entertain a different meta-model.

I would suggest that reality is phenomenological, or psychological. Those terms are not very useful alone so what I mean is something like this. I don't mean that reality is passively psychological or phenomenological in that it is just experienced that way. I mean psychology and phenomenology are reality. In terms of the powers, reality is actively phenomenological and psychological, as in created by psychological forces, concentration, belief, and subjective frames.

Take a moment to be in the present. Slow down and consider for a moment that everyone and everything not currently perceived by you does not really exist. You can think about the past and the future, but right now all that exists is you and your surrounds. Oh you can think about plenty of other things. Those items, people, and events have partial existence through your thoughts and beliefs, but if they are not present to you then let's say (for now) they are not real. This is a point of view you can inhabit. We'll come back to that.

If you are a believer in a subjective reality, you might believe that mind creates reality, or is reality, or that belief shifts reality in some way. If you and another person are in the same place then your subjective realities intersect in an intersubjective reality. It is co-created to some extent (although it is valid to perceive it all as a product of your own reality).

Let's develop this meta-model more with some illustrations.

There is an emphasis in many magical traditions that there are no "observers" but only "participants." You can get a bit into research on shamanism or Vodou where even anthropologists have witnessed all kinds of miracles while participating in the mystical experience. There is a whole theory of the "intersubjectivity" of ritual. Perhaps you have to be pulled into the Power Realms (as a state of consciousness), or at least sufficiently open to belief, or the sorcerer's mind is powerful enough to throw away your inhibiting beliefs from your weaker mind, or it's just your karma for that day.

If someone (good at it) pulls a Tarot card for your future and predicts a "Fall" then what does that mean? You have to think phenomenologically. It could be a literal, physical Fall, or a sensation of Falling, or a metaphorical/symbolic Fall--powers operate often at a phenomenological level in this way. Of course it easy to poo-poo that as too subjective and unverifiable or something if you are operating from an objective reality mindset, but if you are thinking about it subjectively the verification is just whether or not you subjectively experience something that would count as a "Fall" in your eyes.

The model of reality here is not necessarily one of occult forces operating like energy moving through space that you can isolate in laboratory conditions. All of reality can be played and the powers can be experienced at arbitrary scoping levels. 

If you do a ritual to meet your ancestors it could happen in all sorts of ways. You might dream about your ancestors. You might find yourself invited to a movie that turns out to be literally about your ancestors. You might find yourself visiting a graveyard. You might catch a glimpse of a newspaper or book that seems to be speaking to you or is oddly relevant. Odd coincidences start cropping up in your life. Etc. 

This might make it sound harder to believe in or it might sound less miraculous than it is. That stuff sounds like it could all be serendipity, make-believe, coincidence, one million different cognitive biases, etc. The objective reality model thinks this stuff is silly and easily explained away. Where are the fantastic miracles? Where are the avatar appearances and the lightning bolts? Where are the fantastic miracles you could try to replicate in a cold lab without extra variables? 

The problem is that if you start exploring magic stuff and the powers that sometimes the miraculous stuff does happen and it just totally blows your mind. Your ancestors might appear in a dream, or they might surround you and fill up the room in a terrifying horde as visible, sober apparitions. Objects might start moving around the room. (I've seen a ghost throw a purse and open and slam doors.)

This gets us closer to your question of verifying the powers, though in this case it is still individual.

Often powers manifest not in a 'physical forces' way that is easily measured but in a 'psychological' way where they screw with your sense of reality itself, like things leaving messages for you. Time and causality can seem broken, like the Mandela Effect. That does sound like the experience of people with 'mental illness' or who are on psychedelic drugs when everything feels like it is dripping with secret meaning, but it is also the experience of energy, magic, and the mandalas of reality described by Trungpa in Journey Without Goal where "everything makes sense" somehow ranging from what shirt someone is wearing to all the factors of the environment stitched together just as they are. I've heard some Tantric practitioners also refer to "destiny power" when the Dharma starts taking over your life (and seems to re-arrange it) especially as an increasingly advanced teacher.

Most magic in most cultures is meant to accomplish goals, not to create some flashy specific effect to convert a non-believer. In this case the many variables of the situation are not a hindrance to knowledge, they are the many strings of the multi-dimensional instrument that the spirits use to play to accomplish their goals and communicate with you.

Extending this to an intersubjective domain (multiple observers), I mentioned already there is research and thinking in this area (you could check out ethnographer Jeanne Favret-Saada). Sometimes things happen that are experienced by multiple people.

I've had a few powers or ritual experiences working with others that led to intersubjective miracles. These ranged from minor appearances: one of two white candles started giving off a kind of dark light, bizarre sounds, etc, to larger experiences. Me: (sees a levitating pitch fork) "Hey what do you see? Do you see that?" Them: "I see a floating pitch fork!" Me: "Yup, yup. Me too." And more objective things like drawing what we saw and comparing: "Ah yes, looks like you also saw a giant eye inside of a star." There are also mind-reading or mind-sharing experiences that I've known people to have with psychedelics, and also seen/experienced with meditation. 

Shinzen Young used to see visions of giant insects around him, but also has clearly experienced Power Realms (seeming to be very intersubjective) in communal settings. You can check out his videos about shamanism or Native American spirituality.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1HpHtzo8ds
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33u14OjeHpE

Daniel Ingram and Michael Taft talk about how they have seen intersubjective miracles in a podcast interview. Daniel describes drawing colored fire in the air that could be seen and identified (down to the color) by others, and Michael Taft seems to have seen many powers in India.

https://deconstructingyourself.com/podcast/dy-008-meditation-magick-fire-kasina-guest-daniel-ingram

Dipa Ma, an important Theravada teacher who lived in the 20th century, demonstrated many powers over years with many witnesses. One of her students was Jack Kornfield. Dipa Ma walked through walls, turned pine cones to chocolate, etc. In my experience Buddhist teachers in the West are typically averse to talking about more 'objective' powers experiences because of the stigma, and those that do promise them often seem to be vastly unqualified and using promises of power for marketing purposes (just my observation).

For a counter case, the Silicon Valley Monk has a book in which he describes failing to be able to demonstrate the powers to others.

The list of miracles (individual or intersubjective) I have seen or known other people to see is huge. 

There is also a concept of consensus reality, or multiple consensus realities. You can imagine that people create whole belief-world-mandalas which they inhabit that somewhat locally confirms their beliefs. The more people you try to show obvious magic the more issues crop up.

From a subjective reality meta-model, people who believe in an objective reality will magically shift reality to more likely experience the confirmations of their skepticism, the dirty pool of scientific materialism. Miracle-chasers (people desperately seeking confirmation but who don't believe it enough) will often fail and will be left to blurry youtube videos and fuzzy bigfoot photos. Then again anything can happen. Some people are hardcore materialists and then have some kind of horrific shamanic initiation or UFO abduction-style experience, or find that one day they can read minds for a couple hours, and then their worldview gets shattered. Most people in the world also are not materialists, despite a certain segment of Western media and intellectual monoculture being big into broadcasting it (along with a healthy dose of witchcraft).

(And let's be honest, most people doing scientific experiments are already skeptical of the powers. That probably impacts things, aside from the issues I already mentioned with scope and scale not being objectively definable or predictable very often.)

I will also add that beliefs are not just one thing. The boundaries between beliefs, thoughts, emotions, feelings in your body, conditioned reactions, etc is blurry as we know from doing so much psychology and vipassana. In this case it's important to consider that sometimes a limit on magic in your own life could be experienced as an emotion or even something physical. Energy. It's weird. This can also be why your beliefs shift if you get into energy work, etc etc etc.

To get to another question: "Why don't people who use magic or who have the spirits/gods on their side use their powers to re-shape reality?" Who is to say this doesn't already happen, or that reality isn't already a magical construction? The implications are horrifying. Would you think that kings and statesmen who built temples and engaged in elaborate rituals to verify their power did not have the gods on their side who they were propitiating? 

Here's the god Mercury, patron of magic, commerce, travel, and communication, at Grand Central Terminal:



Reality is deeply personal. Gods, personality, and psychology are everywhere, and you can interact with reality as if it had an intelligence or was made of many intelligences (it seems). Sometimes those interactions seem mundane or easy to explain away if just a little suspicious, and sometimes they catch you by the neck and throw you into a psychedelic visionary experience (that can have real material consequences) that makes some of your prior doubts look incomprehensible.

One good book along these lines is The Game of Saturn by Peter Mark Adams. Another fun one is The Occult Battle of Britain by Paul Weston if you are feeling open-minded.

https://scarletimprint.com/publications/the-game-of-saturn
https://www.amazon.com/Occult-Battle-Britain-Paul-Weston-ebook/dp/B07NXP3DDY

Phenomenological reality is--perhaps--already heavily manufactured and propagandized?

https://www.amazon.com/John-Dee-Empire-Angels-Enochian/dp/1620555891
https://www.amazon.com/Invisibles-Various/dp/1401234593
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvzZ56ZbWy8

Demons cover eyes and ears, and those demons are both personal/internal and external because internal and external are the same.

On your original definition of minds sharing information, I would say that not everyone is capable of having all information shared with them. They may not be ready or open. To distort the idea of independently existing minds, sometimes all minds are (sometimes experienced) as one mind. Sometimes people are just a model in your head, it seems (that experience is a real experience). Here's the fun story of the National Geographic writer and photographer who met a psychic Amazonian tribe. It's all a little difficult to explain. To say a couple more outrageous things, I am pretty sure that the imagination, the realm of dreams, the realm of ideas, and the afterlife are all the same place. But I'm less sure of that.

This might sound solipsistic, which it could be, but if you also include the Buddhist insights into no-self then you will see that even Mind is empty. emoticon

In this model perhaps a better metaphor for proving the existence of the powers would be proving you are in a simulation.

Anyway, that's just one meta-model that is an alternative to objective reality. Daniel Ingram describes something similar here, and also goes into more detail in MCTB 2.

You can toy with 'adopting' this model by playing with your own beliefs as a psychological experience. Just an experience, or sets of experiences that can be manipulated. See what happens.

If you want to start trying to influence objective reality in a low-level, experimental, playful way (and not necessarily just to experience nutty visions) in the way I described, I'd recommend reading and applying the techniques from this book:

https://www.amazon.com/Chaos-Protocols-Techniques-Navigating-Economic/dp/0738744719

On the simulation note again, here is a fun quote about video game design that I think applies:

It is awe that convinces a rabbi to spend a lifetime decoding Yahweh from the Pentateuch. Awe that sends millions of visitors each year to the Pyramids of Giza, Guadalupe and Mecca. . . . If super power is what people really want, why not just give it to them? Is our imagination so impoverished that we have to resort to marketing gimmicks? . . . Awesome things don’t hold anything back. Awesome things are rich and generous. The treasure is right there.

― Brian Moriarty, The Secret of Psalm 46

RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another?
Answer
8/16/19 2:37 PM as a reply to Matan Tsuberi.
Matan Tsuberi:
I'm a materialist and an atheist, I can unserstand how some people can manifest certain visualizations or experience other halucinations that seems hyper realistic, integrate with external reality and even controllable through diligent concentration practice. But as far as I'm concerned this stuff only happens within the mind of the practitioner and cannot influence "objective" reallity. 

So how can someone demostrate his powers in an objectively (i.e. scientific) verifiable way without requiring the challenger to have the same degree of practice?
I am not entirely sure I understand you question, so I'm sorry if this is not what you are asking but ...

One way is for a psychic to produce verifiable information that she would have no normal way of knowing.


http://www.deanradin.com/evidence/evidence.htm
Selected Psi Research Publications
Peer-reviewed journal articles about psi (psychic) phenomena, most published in the 21st century.

Of course all the controversies in the history of science show that the best explanation for the evidence is an opinion.

And people tend to demand ironclad proof for things that contradict their strongly held beliefs but will accept a tenuous hypothesis to allow them to maintain their beliefs in the face of conflicting evidence. Which makes changing someones mind with evidence very difficult and very unlikely. This is true for materialists, scientists, and believers in psychic phenomena and religion. So a meeing of mind is not really likely. 

RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another?
Answer
8/16/19 3:12 PM as a reply to Matan Tsuberi.
Matan Tsuberi:
Well. This is very difficult, I assume I am not talking to a solipsist (otherwise this disscussion is moot) so there's at least the recognition that other minds exist outside your own.

A second natural assumption to make is that those other minds are not entirely disconnected from yours and somehow share access to experieces that at least corrolate with one another on some level (i.e. you see a chair, I see a chair, we can agree that our experiences have some corrolation although we cannot be sure if they are the same).

I would then define "objective" reality as this communication channel or shared information that we all have access to.

Pretty philosophical, but sounds reasonable?
aloha mat,

   Reasonable, yes, but not materialism. We might also define such a shared information communication channel as "god."

terry

RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another?
Answer
8/16/19 3:19 PM as a reply to Matan Tsuberi.
There are at least some powers claims that are amenable to investigation under a materialist scientific viewpoint. Claims of insight into past lives and supranormal experience during NDEs come to mind. In those cases, researchers have focused on confirming verifiable details and attempting to verify a lack of potential contamination from sources such as something seen on television, etc.

RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another?
Answer
8/16/19 4:03 PM as a reply to S..
S.:
My account on this would start with a very different model of objective vs subjective reality.






To get to another question: "Why don't people who use magic or who have the spirits/gods on their side use their powers to re-shape reality?" Who is to say this doesn't already happen, or that reality isn't already a magical construction? The implications are horrifying. Would you think that kings and statesmen who built temples and engaged in elaborate rituals to verify their power did not have the gods on their side who they were propitiating? 





Reality is deeply personal. Gods, personality, and psychology are everywhere, and you can interact with reality as if it had an intelligence or was made of many intelligences (it seems). Sometimes those interactions seem mundane or easy to explain away if just a little suspicious, and sometimes they catch you by the neck and throw you into a psychedelic visionary experience (that can have real material consequences) that makes some of your prior doubts look incomprehensible.



aloha s,

   That reality is a magical construction seems self evident to me. Hawaii is a magical place. If you look at a globe and place hawaii in the center, all around is only water, all the rest of the land is on the other side of the world. Very far away. "The mainland," mundanity.

   Why don't people who have spiritual power reshape reality? There is a gross misunderstanding of reality (that is, existence) embedded in the question.

   So-called "objective reality" is a delusion caused by ego-centric thinking. Without a subject there are no objects, no objective reality. All objects are like reflections in water, not only distorted but only seen by a unique and ever-changing viewpoint. The delusion is to imagine such objects are "real." Like a rainbow, there is a real colored reflection, only visible from a pair of eyes oriented in space just so, to water droplets and sunlight. Thus what we call "objective reality" is purely subjective, and the more we realize how subjective it is, the more objective we can be.

   People see what they desire, what they want to see. Since the primary interests of the human animal are food and sex, we see objects related to those desires. Ways to make ourselves more attractive and wealthier. When these basic desires become satiated or unavailable, we seek other pleasures, and see other objects.

   Kings and statesmen seek power; it is the nature of politics, to convince others they need to do as they are told. Religion is harnessed to this end. Always. It is what distinguishes religion from spirituality, that religion is diverted to social uses by those who would arrogate the powers of god to themselves. Roman emperors (chinese emperors) honestly believed they were gods (emperors of heaven), and ruled the world by divine right. They created religions (titus created christianity) in their own images and made people worship them, while suppressing competitors (eg jews).

   In truth, it is as our self-professed atheist/materialist mat says, there is only this communication channel that itself creates existence, immaterial and theistic.

     I object (!) to the assertion that "reality is deeply personal." The "person" is a social fiction. All we really have is the dependent co-arising of phenomena. All dharmas are impermanent. All objects, all objectivity, disappears with their subjects. Everything is empty. Objects are such as they are: fluid aspects of reality entire, undivided, nondual. The upshot is that reality is the same for all beings, or they could not exist.

   Thanks for your comments.

terry





Illusion and Reality

What is seen is not the Truth
What is cannot be said
Trust comes not without seeing
Nor understanding without  words
The wise comprehends with knowledge
To the ignorant it is but a wonder
Some worship the formless God
Some worship His various forms
In what way He is beyond these attributes
Only the Knower knows
That music cannot be written
How can then be the notes
Says Kabir,  awareness alone will overcome illusion

RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another?
Answer
8/16/19 4:26 PM as a reply to terry.
I object (!) to the assertion that "reality is deeply personal." The "person" is a social fiction. All we really have is the dependent co-arising of phenomena. All dharmas are impermanent. All objects, all objectivity, disappears with their subjects. Everything is empty.

I would agree with this. emoticon

RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another?
Answer
8/16/19 4:48 PM as a reply to S..
S.:
I object (!) to the assertion that "reality is deeply personal." The "person" is a social fiction. All we really have is the dependent co-arising of phenomena. All dharmas are impermanent. All objects, all objectivity, disappears with their subjects. Everything is empty.

I would agree with this. emoticon


   Ram dass used to say, "If you know who you are and I know who I am, then there is only one of us." Only this agreement, this communication channel. No persons at all; an empty conveyance. A "lone brightness here listening to the dharma" (rinzai). A clump of grass; a stand of pines. One hand claps.

t




Arriving here at this village,
peach blossoms
in full bloom.
Red petals reflect
on the river.

~ryokan

RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another?
Answer
8/16/19 8:45 PM as a reply to Matan Tsuberi.
It has to do with finding access concentration. I recently posted a thread about holidays and access concentration.

RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another?
Answer
8/17/19 12:31 AM as a reply to Sleeping Buddha Syndrome.
I guess I opened a bag of snakes. 

A more concrete question:

In MCTB Ingram tells that Sawadaw U Pandita Jr "demonstrated powers" (https://www.mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-vi-my-spiritual-quest/70-around-the-world-and-finding-home/vimuttimagga-the-path-of-freedom/).

1. Does that mean they had a shared halucination? If that's the case, some information about the halucination must be conveyed from U Pandita to him so he could construct his own mental halucination based on it. It also means that a "normal" person would not be able to perceive the phenomena. It also means that demonstrating a power is simply triggering a certain halucination in another though words or actions.

2. Does that mean something "objective" changed? i.e a "normal" person could perceive an unusual occurance. If that's the case then it can be scientifically verified.

3. Does that simply mean that Ingram was constructing such an impression about U Pandita for himself without that actually being the case? In that case, one cannot demostrate powers to another, one is simply convinced of powers in another by some weird trick of the mind.

RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another?
Answer
8/17/19 12:40 AM as a reply to Matan Tsuberi.
It means that we are all just seeing shared hallucinations, all the time, as we see an ”objective” reality.

RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another?
Answer
8/17/19 9:47 AM as a reply to terry.
Thank you Terry. emoticon

Good stuff.

RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another?
Answer
8/17/19 10:40 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
It means that we are all just seeing shared hallucinations, all the time, as we see an ”objective” reality.

How would that work, do you think?

RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another?
Answer
8/17/19 11:16 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
It means that we are all just seeing shared hallucinations, all the time, as we see an ”objective” reality.

How would that work, do you think?



Part of it is called social constructions, and part of it is the bodily predispositions shared by human beings. The Buddha called it delusion. What did you think I meant?

RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another?
Answer
8/17/19 11:23 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Part of it is called social constructions, and part of it is the bodily predispositions shared by human beings. The Buddha called it delusion. What did you think I meant?

I was just curious about the mechanism you were proposing by saying we all have "shared illusions."

RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another?
Answer
8/17/19 11:28 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
To the extent that we agree upon an objective reality of substance, we share it. To the extent we don’t, the statement doesn’t apply.

Edited to add: Even science suggests that we all live in and are part of a hologram, after all. 

RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another?
Answer
8/17/19 11:39 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
To the extent that we agree upon an objective reality of substance, we share it. To the extent we don’t, the statement doesn’t apply.

Oh, okay.



RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another?
Answer
8/17/19 12:31 PM as a reply to Ward Law.
IMHO, objective reality == probablistic/statistical cause and effect

RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another?
Answer
8/17/19 12:51 PM as a reply to Matan Tsuberi.
The Universe is like a simulation
https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0801/0801.0337.pdf

Running in the mind of God.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2Xsp4FRgas

Since all consciousness is made of the same stuff as God's consciousness,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xki03G_TO4
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2015/03/realizing-ultimate.html

anyone can hack the program.
https://www.thesecret.tv/law-of-attraction/


Personally, I don't do it. The last time I tried it I was in 8th grade and the results freked me out. Afterward I asked an adult why she broke rules to help me and she got this glassy eyed look and said, "I don't know."  I did it thinking I would influence myself and when I saw it influencing several adults I realized this is serious stuff and I could get in trouble messing with it. It is not right to influence people without their knowing it and it is not right to "cheat" when you benefit at the expsnse of other people. It is not for me. Maybe some people are here to use it for an approved purpose, I don't believe I am one of them.

RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another?
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8/17/19 1:14 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
To the extent that we agree upon an objective reality of substance, we share it. To the extent we don’t, the statement doesn’t apply.

Oh, okay.




Yeah, I should have added that qualifier from the beginning. I just took it for granted.

RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another?
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8/17/19 1:25 PM as a reply to Matan Tsuberi.
Matan Tsuberi:
I guess I opened a bag of snakes. 



hisssss....

RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another?
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8/17/19 1:25 PM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Jim, similar things happened to me at about the same age. At that time I didn’t meditate knowingly. I prayed and I thought someone or something was answering the prayers. Still, I was very selective in using it, but not selective enough. I used it to be relieved from having to make oral presentations, as that was traumatic for me. Once I almost completely lost my voice, but it also happened that the teacher was ill. I so hope that it was just a very mild cold and that he enjoyed having the day off and maybe got the chance to finish a good book or something.

RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another?
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8/18/19 8:41 AM as a reply to Matan Tsuberi.
well, until they levitate a pitchfork, summon spirits or demons, or walk through a wall, IN TIMES SQUARE, with hundreds of witnesses, i’ll be in the "powers are nonsense" camp.

but if someone wishes to prove otherwise...

RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another?
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8/18/19 11:36 AM as a reply to S..
Me: (sees a levitating pitch fork) "Hey what do you see? Do you see that?" Them: "I see a floating pitch fork!" Me: "Yup, yup. Me too." 

It would be cool if one of the advanced meditators on DhO, lets say, installs a small camera during fire kasina retreats or at other events with higher likelihood for occurence of powers. That's not really a scientific evidence, but if e.g. Daniel Ingram publishes a video of levitating pitchforks, I would be totally convinced, and many other people here too.

I tend to believe that powers exist, but only because of testimonials of highly advanced meditators that I trust. However, when I listen to arguments in favor of existence of powers, I feel like a piece of the story is painfully missing.

During history, there is a virtually infinite number of examples of 100% proven frauds, scams and lies involving "powers". Whether we believe in powers or not, we must admit that countless people have been victims of con-artists who were just after their money. As you are reading these words, many desperate people around the world looking for help, are being lied to and manipulated in real time. So many investigations during history revealed thousands of different techniques for deceiving people, from spiritualist seances to modern cold-readers.

You may have heard of a notorious war criminal (now in prison), who lived for years with a different identity, pretending to be a spiritual healer. With time he became popular and even stared giving public interviews as a "healer"!

So, from people quitting jobs and relationships because their astrologer said so, to cases of people dying because they relied just on alternative medicine and medicasters, people pretending to have powers have made a cumulative damage of historical proportions.

This is a serious social issue - if I started talking about gurus and praising their teaching capacity without even mentioning all the suffering that was caused by many of them, that wouldn't be OK. It's a practical question - if we become just totally amazed by powers, without any skeptical distance whatsoever - then, we are much more prone to becoming a victim of a charismatic manipulator.

The issue goes even deeper: the emotion of amazement and numinosity that we get from witnessing fake powers and staged synchronicities is THE SAME as the emotion you would get if you witnessed the real thing. That makes things a lot messier, because our emotional reaction to the topic which colors our subjective world and is main source of the feeling of "being convinced" - is an unreliable and irrational instrument.

So, the idea that skepticism is somehow blocking you from seeing the powers may have some truth to it, but it is also potentially dangerous, because throwing skepticism out the window can make you vulnerable, naive and irrational. 

The approach I prefer is: complete skepticism *and* complete openness. Our minds should be open to the possibility of powers being involved in a certain event, but also - lets be open to the fact that it IS possible for a event to seem and feel 100% magical, surreal and synchronicity-like, while while it actually has NOTHING to do with any of those. When we see a card trick, the easiest explanation is - "it's magick", but we know that a carefully planned manipulations is hiding behind the "magic" surface.

(S., this turned into a ramble, sorry, nothing directed personally to you, it's just a reaction I have in discussions like this emoticon  )

RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another?
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8/18/19 10:27 AM as a reply to Griffin.
Well put. And from what I have read about Magick from Daniel, it seems like scepticism might be a safety barrier not only from scams but also from the real thing. That’s probably good. I don’t think humanity in general is ready for magick.

RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another?
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8/18/19 11:20 AM as a reply to Griffin.
Griffin, I appreciate your take on this. This area has a lot of nuance to it. Common sense combined with a morality angle is generally a great lense through which to view the powers.

emoticon

RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another?
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8/18/19 12:32 PM as a reply to Griffin.
I think those are super, super good points.

I think the existence of scams and con-artists and manipulative gurus is a huge deal. It is definitely the shadow-side to a lot of this stuff.

One of the moral lessons I take away from this problem is an argument for the democratization of spiritual power. Same as for insight practice. I probably want more people to try this stuff themselves, to open up to it, etc. All the same rules about finding an ethical teacher apply. Just as with insight, I think magic and spirits can be dangerous or disturbing. I don't think everyone is 'cut-out' necessarily for shamanic experience or viewpoints.

I had a phase of my life in which I had a lot of powers experiences followed by a cool-down where I deliberately avoided them for a couple years to instead focus on vipassana. This was motivated by the factors mentioned here: I was concerned by the ethics of possibly 'manipulating' people and also wanting to heed the advice to keep a long distance from these things.

These days my point of view is a little different. When I look at society, I do see room for the spirit world. I think there is a lot of damage in the West where the spirit world is ignored, or harmed.

It is possible to think that the instrumental destruction of nature has nothing to do with disrespecting and not perceiving or working with the spirits or personalities of these places, but I think they go hand-in-hand.

I think in the West we also have a terrible relationship to death and the dead where on the one extreme people rely entirely on frequently corrupt institutions to take care of their afterlife and on the other extreme people adopt destructive nihilism (I don't think disbelief in life-after-death is particularly Buddhist, or 'cool,' or 'healthy' except in small doses and/or when grounded in very deep fourth path insight where you can see there is no self to be re-born). 

I think opening up to these kinds of experiences is part of trying to be a 'good neighbor' to the spirits. I think the 'spirits' (as I've encountered them) are much more interesting than any gurus or human occultists, and I don't think there is too much value on focusing on human figures at all. I believe the Visuddhimagga tells us also not to worship the virtues of humans, but of symbolic deities. It also tells us how to be friendly to the spirits of trees, and graveyards. I think in the West our bad relationship with the dead is connected to our bad relationship with death (and unhealthy, youth-obsessed and health-obsessed cultures). I don't think this is just about giving people comforting illusions about death. I think cultivating an active relationship to death is a lifetime of work. We have a lot of really hard (and very moral) ancestor work to do in the West as well. There are a lot of sins to work through...

I'm waiting for this book to come out so I can gift it to many people: emoticon

Honoring Your Ancestors
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzmwq8cfhmc

That's my point of view. 

RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another?
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8/18/19 10:06 PM as a reply to Matan Tsuberi.
You lift the X Wing out of the Dagobah swamp, thus demonstrating to all.

RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another?
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8/20/19 3:57 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Griffin, I appreciate your take on this. This area has a lot of nuance to it. Common sense combined with a morality angle is generally a great lense through which to view the powers.

emoticon


perhaps the only lens through which such effects could be regarded as "powers"... the conventional, conditioned, conformist view is that the individual ego possesses (or doesn't possess) "powers"... power is actually diffused and unconditioned...like a current in a river, or a wire...

RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another?
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8/21/19 1:03 AM as a reply to Matan Tsuberi.
Matan Tsuberi:
I'm a materialist and an atheist, I can unserstand how some people can manifest certain visualizations or experience other halucinations that seems hyper realistic, integrate with external reality and even controllable through diligent concentration practice. But as far as I'm concerned this stuff only happens within the mind of the practitioner and cannot influence "objective" reallity. 

So how can someone demostrate his powers in an objectively (i.e. scientific) verifiable way without requiring the challenger to have the same degree of practice?

If I was actually going to try and design an empirical experiment? Have the challenger flip a fair coin a designated number of times. The chalengee must control the outcome of the flip to some pre-determined level the challenger deems acceptable to convince them based on a normal distribution of fair coin flips. Let's say to be convinced I need to see an event that should only occur at random 1/100000 attempts. You can find the number heads out of x coin flips required for that. That or maybe they could just use their powers to win the lottery at even higher odds? emoticon

RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another?
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8/21/19 4:00 AM as a reply to Matan Tsuberi.
So ... just to pop another snake head out of the bag ... what is this objective reality anyway? 

If we take radical positivist physical and materialist view of the world, then objective reality is something like a collection of vibrating energy fields (string theory) coalescing into apparent subatomic particles (quarks) that interact in weird ways to give illusory impressions of solidity and motion and etc. In other words, when we talk about 'objective reality' we actually aren't taling about objective reality at all. What we are really are really talking about is a favoured and comforting yet subjective interpreation of sense data.

Actually 'objective reality' is far weirder and less undestandable than anything talked about on this forum.

emoticon

RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another?
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8/21/19 12:08 PM as a reply to curious.
Actually 'objective reality' is far weirder and less undestandable than anything talked about on this forum.

Do tell!

RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another?
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8/21/19 12:39 PM as a reply to curious.
I had something I shared in a different thread that came out right that might be relevant here. emoticon

(I don't think we know much about an "objective reality," personally.)

- - -

I used to do some astrophysics research. 

I remember that the encyclopedias I had as a kid said giant squid were only a creature in mythology and in the tales of sailors. And that there was no evidence for black holes, and getting some was unlikely. And that dark matter probably did not exist. More excitingly I read that cosmologists seemed confident that the universe had one of only a few possible destinies including contraction and rebirth or slow, inevitable freezing (decelerating expansion).

In my lifetime giant squid have become real, while black holes have become ubiquitous. Astrophysicists now say that conventional matter is actually only a minor player in the cosmos, and that most gravity-bending matter is made of exotic materials (about which we know nothing) that not only comprise most of the mass of the universe but possibly form a vast, invisible spiderweb superstructure connecting all galaxies. Most energy in existence is now apparently “dark energy” ripping space apart at an accelerating rate (although again, further research casts a little doubt on that evidence). This means the most powerful thing happening on a cosmological scale (according to NASA, 68% of the energy in the universe) is mostly mysterious; we can only conjecture about dark energy. Matter and energy are not understood anymore. We can tweak our models wackily to try to understand this better (or reversely with string theory on the smallest scale) but I think a better reason for saying that progress has slowed is because experiments can't be done with sufficient energy or scales. There is a deep epistemological point here.

I know this argument is silly in some ways, but if many of the smartest people on the planet in just the last couple decades have been wrong about literally the
biggest things happening that define the boundaries, future, history, and mechanics of reality itself, then I think bombastically enthusiastic scientists should be more humble about what they claim in general. I don't think we understand physics and I think we understand the brain (and all its weird holisms) less than we understand physics.

. . .

Carroll's examples in that post are that we now know why the sun shines and why tables are solid. We do seem to know why the sun shines and sort of know why tables are solid, but decoherence (all the transitions from quantum to classical behavior) hasn't really been worked out to my knowledge. QED does help with understanding some cool stuff in the everyday world we couldn't a century ago. That said physics can't currently model, predict, or produce most of chemistry beyond very, very simple cases. It's just too mathematically hard. I think saying we have worked out the everyday world is a lot. Physics has almost always been confident we are on the edge of understanding everything and have it mostly worked out. I get that it's a meta-model of convergent approximations, and I still think wild jumps and assumptions of (materialist) deductive necessity are pretty common, and they shouldn't be trusted. I think we know 'less' than we did a few decades ago.

On a more fun note, it is well-known in the math and philosophy worlds that the logician Kurt Gödel proved in 1931 that it is impossible for any set of rich mathematical axioms to prove every mathematical statement that is “true” inside their defined mathematical system. To make this idea more concrete, it is also related to Alan Turing’s proof of the unsolvability of the “halting problem” in computation. No general algorithm can prove whether an arbitrary computer program will run indefinitely or whether it will terminate.

It is less well-known that theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking gave a lecture in 2002 entitled 
Gödel and the End of the Universe, suggesting that a complete theory of physics might be similarly mathematically impossible. I think the concept may have some merit.

Sticking with physicists, I like that Ed Witten (one of the most important string theorists) does not think that physics can explain consciousness at all.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUW7n_h7MvQ
http://wavefunction.fieldofscience.com/2016/08/physicist-ed-witten-on-consciousness-i.html

This is pretty along the lines of the work of David Chalmers and many other philosophers that I think is cool:

http://www.consc.net/papers/nature.html

(unsurprisingly though I reject any epiphenomenal or supervenience or non-reductive physicalist views even of big pieces of cognition, not just subjective awareness/qualia)

Some of my favorite quantum field theorist friends these days are 'giving up' and speculating whether reality is just a simulation. It's an interesting time. emoticon

RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another?
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8/21/19 12:38 PM as a reply to curious.
When the great Marvin Minsky was asked whether the objective world is real, he replied that the question is meaningless.

RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another?
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8/21/19 7:54 PM as a reply to S..
S.:

Carroll's examples in that post are that we now know why the sun shines and why tables are solid.   

Probably safer saying we know how to model sunshine and wood for a couple more decades.

RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another?
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8/21/19 8:26 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Actually 'objective reality' is far weirder and less undestandable than anything talked about on this forum.

Do tell!

Heh.  Well, I think just walking around in daily life is the greatest and most unfathomable siddhi of them all !

RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another?
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8/22/19 6:33 AM as a reply to curious.
curious:
Chris Marti:
Actually 'objective reality' is far weirder and less undestandable than anything talked about on this forum.

Do tell!

Heh.  Well, I think just walking around in daily life is the greatest and most unfathomable siddhi of them all !

That's a really overlooked point. We act like the little things like siddhis are major miracles but ignore the fact that we create this whole universe, but treat it as banal and commonplace. (That's if we create it, anyway). Siddhis are kind of tiddly when viewed like that.

RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another?
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8/22/19 8:29 AM as a reply to Stickman2.
Yeah, that’s a good point. Small kids are good at reminding us, though. I know some grown-up people that are still able to approach the world as magickal, and make others see it as well, without involving any siddhis at all (depending on how they are defined, I guess). Some people somehow just turn everything they touch to a fairy tale.

Then we have the cynical version: The fact that Trump hasn’t pushed that red button is a miracle. The fact that mankind is still around despite all our destructive traits is a miracle.

Personally I prefer the fairy tale touch kind of magick, and the magick of sunlight glistening in the mists that billow upward from a tranquil forest lake in the morning, and the magick in how people reach out to each other in crisis and make everything worthwhile against all odds.

RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another?
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8/22/19 9:33 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
We have powers. We can turn on the cellphone, most of us can walk around, create soundwaves and smell the roses. That's nice. I can also hide a magnet under my t-shirt and attract metal. Pretty amazing, eh.
If evolution or technology got us some new powers they would be quickly normalized and the dreamers would wish for something new beyond that. 

Science and rational understanding are the only things that really brought us foward and give us reliable insight and ways to create and influence. The idea of "levitating" etc. is frankly ridiculous. The only interesting thing about this is a psychological one. Why does one even feel the need for this kind of "power". What are the desires and beliefs behind it?

Sure, technology and science are not that attracive in many regards. You can study chemistry for 8 years but after that you still aren't a level 15 wizard who can kick everybodys ass. Your knowledge is more or less useless in every day life and doesn't give you a real advantage as such (except a pretty high-paying job).

RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another?
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8/22/19 10:06 AM as a reply to Michael.
I don’t know why people would feel the need for powers. I can’t say that I do. Except for the fact that I appreciate being able to relieve my own inflammatory backpain by means of meditation (dissolving the pain with piti) regardless of the fact that science says that I can’t. The way this works may very well be scientifically explained tomorrow. Frankly, I don’t care, as long as it works.

I could be wrong, of course, but I highly doubt that there are that many believers in levitation specifically.

RE: How does one demonstrate his powers to another?
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8/22/19 4:27 PM as a reply to Matan Tsuberi.
Placebo and nocebo effects are scientifically proved, right? They fit Daniel’s definition of magick, if I’m not mistaken.