Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist

Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist Pavel Pek 7/12/22 2:38 AM
RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist Sigma Tropic 7/12/22 4:11 AM
RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist Pavel Pek 7/12/22 5:14 AM
RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist Dream Walker 7/12/22 5:48 AM
RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist Olivier S 7/12/22 7:28 AM
RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist George S 7/13/22 10:12 AM
RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist Olivier S 7/13/22 10:47 AM
RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist George S 7/13/22 12:43 PM
RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist Olivier S 7/14/22 7:26 AM
RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist Martin 7/13/22 2:36 PM
RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist Edward Prunesquallor 7/16/22 7:31 PM
RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist Noah D 7/16/22 11:17 AM
RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist Edward Prunesquallor 7/16/22 12:17 PM
RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist George S 7/16/22 12:59 PM
RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist Edward Prunesquallor 7/18/22 9:37 PM
RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist George S 7/19/22 2:45 PM
RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist Edward Prunesquallor 7/20/22 5:14 AM
RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist Chris M 7/20/22 9:20 AM
RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist George S 7/20/22 9:21 AM
RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist Edward Prunesquallor 7/21/22 12:54 AM
RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist Chris M 7/21/22 8:54 AM
RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist Edward Prunesquallor 7/21/22 12:32 PM
RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist Chris M 7/21/22 1:38 PM
RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist George S 7/21/22 11:11 AM
RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist John 7/23/22 9:14 AM
RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist Chrollo X 7/24/22 3:33 PM
Pavel Pek, modified 4 Months ago at 7/12/22 2:38 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/12/22 2:38 AM

Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist

Posts: 18 Join Date: 8/22/21 Recent Posts
Kenneth Folk claims that the "Sainthood Arahatship" aka even being a saint who would live as I like to call it in the present moment 24/7 pretty much doesn't exist as he has never met anyone who would fill the requirements. As I come from Christianity, there are MANY saints who do fill the requirements. Not only do they describe similar experiences to what for example Kenneth Folk describes, but in all other aspects (with all respect to Kenneth) they seem so far ahead that Kenneth in comparison seems like a child to them, or it's more like Gandalf versus Ron Weasley in the first grade. There are saints, mainly from Orthodox Christianity, who would make all the contemporary Buddhist branches arahats such as Frank Yang pale in comparison. The accounts of these are very well documented through many people who met them and in their own words and books. In addition to all the things we read about here, they had immense love for all beings, they could make wonders and they were truly saints, not just laymen who would get enlightened. My favorite is Father Paisios from Mount Athos, Greece who died in 1994. I believe Kenneth's way is great as not everyone wants to be a saint. But I have to disagree strongly with his "there are no saints" claims as that is simply not true. Of course, he could say well, show me one of these saints, how can you prove it? But in the same way, he cannot prove anything he claims as it's verified only by personal experience, and yet I believe him, he cannot disprove anything these men said. On the account of recording their miracles on Youtube, I highly doubt they would show any on the camera, as they know it's not about the miracles and as they know that's just a very secondary thing.
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Sigma Tropic, modified 4 Months ago at 7/12/22 4:11 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/12/22 4:11 AM

RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist

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Thanks for bringing this up, and I also agree that there is a need for standards and bringing back some decent spiritual principles into spiritual practice. I don't know too much about Kenneth other than his students who I have had significant interactions with over the years. So I can't comment on his teachings specifically, but I remeber him saying that he was still depressed at what he calls 3rd path. I don't know how that is consistent with the definitions of awakening as the Buddha lays out. And I routinely see a narrative here that suggests that we are bound to our sexual desires and our desire for wine and that jhana is spiritual bypassing. I attempted to shed light on this elephant in the room and was decisively pummelled by everyone who could get a word in. I have heard those exact narratives here time and time again I learned firsthand in quite dramatic fashion that one should not even attempt to claim the Buddha's awakening, people will not believe you. At best. And there are people on this sub who are talking real dharma and people on that person's thread who can't even tell a noble person when they are right in front of them. 

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Pavel Pek, modified 4 Months ago at 7/12/22 5:14 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/12/22 5:14 AM

RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist

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I wholeheartedly agree. I really don't like watering down religions as I feel that this day and age of great nihilism is what is killing a lot of people's souls. I work as a psychotherapist and see the lack of meaning every day. To me, I like the idea of contemplative fitness, but I miss what I feel the saints had in it - a full circle thing. Just as Buddha said that he revered a man who was really high in morals just as much as someone who would achieve great insights in wisdom, I believe it's not even important to have morals just as great as insights, but that it's a necessity because saints do exist. That's why I meditate, but I also follow Christianity, as I just don't share the modern-day scientist who's also enlightened by years of meditation being the "pinnacle of human excellence" in terms of spirituality. What do you please mean by Jhana being a spiritual bypassing, as some people claim? Do you mean that they only want to go on the journey of insight and see any bliss-oriented anything as just a means to spiritually bypass all your problems? Anyway man I am sad about your experience. I want to travel to Mount Athos in Greece next year, where there are still many modern day saints and I want to see it for myself. I can then post here how it was. Also, I see saints as people who yes, oftentimes are hermits and seek solitude but then are really there for people in a different way than modern dharma branches offer it. Yes, they also offer help to people, but to me, it seems like a gym membership rather than something that I feel is really holy and a service to others done for others and not just for one's self. 
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Dream Walker, modified 4 Months ago at 7/12/22 5:48 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/12/22 5:48 AM

RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist

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Pavel Pek
Kenneth Folk claims that the "Sainthood Arahatship" aka even being a saint who would live as I like to call it in the present moment 24/7 pretty much doesn't exist as he has never met anyone who would fill the requirements.
Please be so kind as to point out a link to your claims of Kenneth's claims.

As I come from Christianity, there are MANY saints who do fill the requirements.
According to whom? Please delineate the requirements as such so that we may all be educated thereof.

There are saints, mainly from Orthodox Christianity, who would make all the contemporary Buddhist branches arahats such as Frank Yang pale in comparison.

All? such as one dude?, um, ok.
But I have to disagree strongly with his "there are no saints" claims as that is simply not true.

Can we discuss things without being as inflammatory as you are? Why do you care so much what someone else thinks? How does it effect your personal opinion? Someone else might be wrong....so what?
Good luck,
​​​​​​​~D
Olivier S, modified 4 Months ago at 7/12/22 7:28 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/12/22 7:20 AM

RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist

Posts: 783 Join Date: 4/27/19 Recent Posts
 Dear Pavel,

The reason I'm writing to you is to say a word about Athos. I have been there for a week or back in 2016. I'll share a few practical things about my experience and give you som heads-up. This will assume it is your first time there and that you don't have contacts with insiders who will guide you better than I could.

First : I would advise you not to idealize the place too much, lest you be disappointed by what you find. 

Remember that even if we believe there are saints there, definitely not all of those you will meet are. This is a place where only men are allowed - even female animals are not allowed - because this is the "garden of the virgin mary" and so she is the only female allowed there. They also live without electricity (mostly) and in conditions that are similar to what they were 1000 years ago. That is really cool, and it has been a memorable experience for me to get there, even if just for the natural beauty and true darkness of the electricity-devoid sky in the night, etc. But this also means that the monks living there are living in very, very difficult conditions.

The first monk that approached me when I arrived said I had nice rosy cheeks and looked beautiful, proceeded to pinch my cheek, and then invited me to stay at his place that night. Kind offer ? It felt really weird. I should say that many monks there did not act with the sort of kindness that most regular people do and that you would expect from a saint. That just may be my own unreasonable expectations of what a saint would be like, of course.

But then again there is also, quite simply, the time factor. Keep in mind that to get admitted in this country, which one can only get access to by boat - one is not allowed to cross by land, there is a wall that bars access. You have to take a small ferry from the adjacent city of ouranopolis (the city (polis) of the sky (ourano)), which is still in greece. This is also where you get your "diamonitirion", your authorization to stay for three days, after having reserved a spot through the internet or phone. If you want to stay for more than three days, you have to go the the administrative building in Karyes, the capital city, and ask for an extension (mine was granted rather easily, you just have to say why you want an extension). So I had around 7 days.

Now, there are many people who go to mount athos every day... This is to Orthodox christianity what Vatican city is to Catholicism. You will not be the only person there looking for saints. The monks are used to there being "tourists" coming for a few days, while they themselves are committed to the hard life of the place for the rest of their lives. Their committment is profound and difficult. I assume they feel they must guard themselves.

This means : will you be able to find what you are looking for in 7 days ? Would the saints there be the ones to mingle with all the worldly pilgrims come here for a taste of sanctity ? 

There are hermits who live in caves and smaller houses, mostly at the south of the peninsula, on the south slopes of the Athos mountain (which I would really advise you climb up to as the view is just incredible... You can see mount olympus in the west, and some turkish islands in the east...)
Probably some uniquely interesting people there - how would you get access to these people in 7 days though ?

I met one young monk who I happened to run into randomly, who I asked where I could sleep this night. He spoke english well (unlike many of the monks) and he immediately called someone and then said - "come on, I will take you to the house of my friend Pater Theologos and we will sleep there tonight". We immediately started talking about Nietzsche and Theological considerations and why one would become and Monk here and Demons and the Face of God, etc. That was a highlight of my stay.

The house he took me too was a small house very close from the water at the very end of the south slopes of the mountain. It was the house of Pater Theologos who spoke french, surprisingly (I'm french). There was also an American man with his american Orthodox Pater who he was traveling with.

Anyways, long story short : the place was beautiful, eating dinner with candlelights enjoy the delicate olives from the pater's terrassed garden was great, there were the skulls of all the paters who had been the heads of this house since it had ben built several centuries in a small shelf at the back of the house...

But then there also were cheap Armenian laborors working in the gardens there for lower wages than greek workers would have taken...

So, although he was nice, Pater Theologos was probably not a saint, did not strike me as such anyways. A lot of dedicated men looking for sainthood do not find it and sometimes appear to our laymen expectations, very hardened and not particularly joyful. That was not the case in this house, though, everyone was welcoming and nice.

So, if you want to meet with exceptional monks in the short time that you will be granted there, I would advise coming up with some sort of strategy. 

Let us know how it goes, I'm genuinely curious.

Whishing you the best,

O
 
George S, modified 4 Months ago at 7/13/22 10:12 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/13/22 10:12 AM

RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist

Posts: 2596 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
 For me growing up Mother Teresa was the epitome of sainthood. However some former members of her order described it as “a hive of psychological abuse and coercion”:

https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/people/children-tied-to-beds-nuns-who-flogged-themselves-filthy-homes-was-mother-teresa-a-cult-leader-1.4573449

That’s not to denigrate the amazing things she did, but people are complicated. We want our saints to be superhuman, all good qualities and no bad qualities (just as we want our psychopaths to be subhuman, all bad qualities and no good qualities). We don’t want to see that they might just be humans like us, a mix of qualities both “good” and “bad”.

It’s easier to consider someone to be a saint from a distance, the less we know about their personal lives, or if we are otherwise invested in their sainthood. I haven’t known any saints personally, however when I was 19 I spent a year teaching English in a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in the Solukhumbu region of Nepal. In the course of living and working there I spent quite a bit of time with the lama and other monks. When tourists and seekers would come to sit at their feet, it was interesting to observe the dichotomy between what they saw (or wanted to see) and what was going on “behind the scenes”.
 
Olivier S, modified 4 Months ago at 7/13/22 10:47 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/13/22 10:47 AM

RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist

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"Viewed through a contemporary, secular lens, a community built around a charismatic founder and dedicated to the lionisation of suffering and the annihilation of female selfhood doesn't seem blessed and ethereal. It seems sinister."

Certainly, but from a traditional monasticism perspective, it seems pretty normal. Cultural norms have changed and one wonders if it makes sense to use modern, mainstream values to judge such movements. After all, the gospel is pretty radical, and martyrdom is reveared within catholicism. Martyrdom means dying for your faith. Obviously psychopathology from a contemporary perspective ; sanctity from another. Which one should prevail ... is no easy question. What rules were her movement based on anyways ? Monastic rules (benedictine rules for instance, which are the basis of the majority, i think, of christian monastic orders) are pretty hardcore - can't own anything, as per Christ's command, can't refuse to obey your superior, etc. Does it make benedictine orders cults ? Similarly, the Vinaya is perhaps even more hardcore. A monk is not allowed to sleep under the same roof as member of the opposite sex, etc. It's just different norms...

I would say that ethically, it comes down to the question of informed consent.
George S, modified 4 Months ago at 7/13/22 12:43 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/13/22 12:43 PM

RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist

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This was only 30-40 years ago. According to the article, 'They were expected to flog themselves regularly – a practice called “the discipline” – and were allowed to leave to visit their families only once every 10 years.'

Informed consent is a tricky question. Many of them joined as disadvantaged teenagers, far away from home, sold on the dream of working for a "living saint". I doubt they knew that they would have to flog themselves and be completely cut off from their families. It's very hard for someone to back out of something like that once they've given their life over to it.

'A former Missionaries of Charity nun named Colette Livermore recalled being denied permission to visit her brother in the hospital, even though he was thought to be dying. "I wanted to go home, but you see, I had no money, and my hair was completely shaved – not that that would have stopped me. I didn't have any regular clothes," she said. "It's just strange how completely cut off you are from your family." Speaking of her experience, she used the term "brainwashing".'
Martin, modified 4 Months ago at 7/13/22 2:36 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/13/22 2:36 PM

RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist

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Technically, Kenneth Folk is right. Saints do not exist. Saint is just a word that points to a collection of thoughts, and those thoughts differ from individual to individual and from time to time. There is no existent thing being pointed to. What we might say is that there are some people who, at times, fit the definition of a saint for some other people. 

But Pavel raises an interesting point about attainment labels. I have noticed that I don't find a strong correspondence between claimed attainment and observed traits. I agree with Pavel that it seems reasonable to expect an anigami not to be depressed. I would also expect an arhat not to get angry or have sex with people who are likely to be upset by the experience. And, again agreeing with Pavel, I think there are people out there of which this can be said. In fact, many such people have not claimed any attainments and, in fact, do not have any particular spiritual practice.

Here again, though, someone else might point out how much worse an individual's depression would have been had they not become an anigami, or they might point out that the happy people who do not engage in sexual misconduct who I am thinking of are diluted and therefore not as happy as they could be. That's all valid. 

Seen through this lens, what I find interesting is the question of how describing people (including ourselves) in terms of attainments is useful. It clearly is useful at times, and I think that it can also be harmful at times. At the moment, these things do not seem very important to me but I am glad that they exist as concepts and are discussed because, without them, it's hard to find a foothold for planning and evaluation.




 
Olivier S, modified 4 Months ago at 7/14/22 7:26 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/14/22 7:24 AM

RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist

Posts: 783 Join Date: 4/27/19 Recent Posts
Well, the question of what practices are ok or not is again a difficult one - native americans see the Sun Dance as their most sacred practice, and it consisted in piercing their flesh with hooks and attaching themselves to a pole around which they circled in the sun until the hook came off tearing off the flesh. Other native cultures did even more hardcore coming of age rituals. Flogging and various types of mortification were practiced in medieval and renaissance christian europe ; similarly in various other religions. Certainly the buddha advocated for a middle way between ascetic practices and indulging into sensory stuff. But what he calls "non-ascetic practices", ie the Vinaya, is pretty freaking ascetic from my perspective, which is based on a cultural habit of attempting - and succeeding - to fulfill needs and desires rather than on attempting to transcend and get rid of them. Take the example of monks from the monastery of La Grande Chartreuse, who live in silence in their monastery, in constant prayer or work, and are only allowed visits by family members once a year for a few hours of walking around the premises. To somewhat who wasn't there wilfully, that would be extreme torture...

Again, it comes down to a question of informed consent, in my view. If people indeed expected soething else, were coerced or forced into staying, wanted to leave but could not, then that is terrible and unethical... It is indeed what the article suggests, but as is, it doesn't really provide the information in a neutral and decisive way, I find, so I'm left unsure whether it is a hit piece that distorts the facts, which is sort of the vibe I'm getting, or if it's truly based on substantiated accounts. Anyways...

​​​​​​​Cheers
Edward Prunesquallor, modified 4 Months ago at 7/16/22 7:31 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/16/22 9:19 AM

RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist

Posts: 55 Join Date: 10/11/14 Recent Posts
 Dreamwalker posted,
According to whom? Please delineate the requirements as such so that we may all be educated thereof.
 
​​​​​​​According to the Ramana Maharishi, a saint can be identified by the sense of peace one feels when in their presence.

When the Buddha's father heard of him, after his enlightenment, and sent out his servants seeking him, several of them failed to return to report because they were captivated by the Buddha.

​​​​​​​I certainly do feel an amazing sense of peace and a strange power pulling me inward to concentration when sitting in the Ramanasramam hall, even more intense in the hut up on the hill and most intensely in the cave on Arunachala. My mother and aunt reported the same. 

I may believe a teacher only when I have similar experiences when entering their presence.
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Noah D, modified 4 Months ago at 7/16/22 11:17 AM
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RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist

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This can be an inconsistent indicator. Swami Muktananda famously had so much shakti that skeptic pre a&p muggles would see blue lights & go into trances in his presence immediately.  He gave shaktipat to thousands around the world & was acknowledged by the great saint Bhagawan Nityananda as a successor. Muktananda was also later revealed to be a pedophile.  How do you reconcile these things? 

edit: wanted to clarify that Muktanandas presence famously nudged many people into permanent lasting awakenings , as we talk about on the dho. So it was not just a hypnosis.
Edward Prunesquallor, modified 4 Months ago at 7/16/22 12:17 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/16/22 12:08 PM

RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist

Posts: 55 Join Date: 10/11/14 Recent Posts
Ofcourse, morality is a qualifier too.

BTW, I'm not sure if Muktananda could be called a pedophile. AFAIK, he did not have sex with prepubescent girls. But his actions were definitely something explicitly condemned by the Buddha.
George S, modified 4 Months ago at 7/16/22 12:59 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/16/22 12:50 PM

RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist

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I don't think teachers should be in the business of encouraging people to believe them, which fosters dependence. The whole point of waking up is to see for yourself, so you don't have to take anyone else's word for it. U.G. Krishnamurti gave a very clear-eyed account of meeting Ramana Maharshi. No special energy tranmissions or beliefs, just a very pertinent question ... one which set him on a path of self-enquiry which actually led to awakening.

Then somebody came along, and we were discussing all these things. He found me practically an atheist (but not a practicing atheist), skeptical of everything, heretical down to my boots. He said "There is one man here, somewhere in Madras at Tiruvannamalai, called Ramana Maharshi. Come on, let's go and see that man. Here is a living human embodiment of the Hindu tradition."

I didn't want to see any holy man. If you have seen one, you have seen them all. I never shopped around, went around searching for people, sitting at the feet of the masters, learning something; because everybody tells you "Do more and more of the same thing, and you will get it." What I got were more and more experiences, and then those experiences demanded permanence -- and there is no such thing as permanence. So, "The holy men are all phonies -- they are telling me only what is there in the books. That I can read -- 'Do the same again and again' -- that I don't want. Experiences I don't want. They are trying to share an experience with me. I'm not interested in experience. As far as experience goes, for me there is no difference between the religious experience and the sex experience or any other experience; the religious experience is like any other experience. I am not interested in experiencing Brahman; I am not interested in experiencing reality; I am not interested in experiencing truth. They might help others; but they cannot help me. I'm not interested in doing more of the same; what I have done is enough. At school if you want to solve a mathematical problem, you repeat it again and again -- you solve the mathematical problem, and you discover that the answer is in the problem. So, what the hell are you doing, trying to solve the problem? It is easier to find the answer first instead of going through all this."

So, reluctantly, hesitatingly, unwilling, I went to see Ramana Maharshi. That fellow dragged me. He said "Go there once. Something will happen to you." He talked about it and gave me a book, Search in Secret India by Paul Brunton, so I read the chapter relating to this man -- "All right, I don't mind, let me go and see." That man was sitting there. From his very presence I felt "What! This man -- how can he help me? This fellow who is reading comic strips, cutting vegetables, playing with this, that or the other -- how can this man help me? He can't help me." Anyway, I sat there. Nothing happened; I looked at him, and he looked at me. "In his presence you feel silent, your questions disappear, his look changes you" -- all that remained a story, fancy stuff to me. I sat there. There were a lot of questions inside, silly questions -- so, "The questions have not disappeared. I have been sitting here for two hours, and the questions are still there. All right, let me ask him some questions" -- because at that time I very much wanted moksha. This part of my background, moksha, I wanted. "You are supposed to be a liberated man" -- I didn't say that. "Can you give me what you have?" -- I asked him this question, but that man didn't answer, so after some lapse of time I repeated that question -- "I am asking 'Whatever you have, can you give it to me?'" He said, "I can give you, but can you take it?" Boy! For the first time this fellow says that he has something and that I can't take it. Nobody before had said "I can give you," but this man said "I can give you, but can you take it?" Then I said to myself "If there is any individual in this world who can take it, it is me, because I have done so much sadhana, seven years of sadhana. He can think that I can't take it, but I can take it. If I can't take it, who can take it?" - -- that was my frame of mind at the time -- you know, (Laughs) I was so confident of myself.

I didn't stay with him, I didn't read any of his books, so I asked him a few more questions: "Can one be free sometimes and not free sometimes?" He said "Either you are free, or you are not free at all." There was another question which I don't remember. He answered in a very strange way: "There are no steps leading you to that." But I ignored all these things. These questions didn't matter to me -- the answers didn't interest me at all.

But this question "Can you take it?" ... "How arrogant he is!" -- that was my feeling. "Why can't I take it, whatever it is? What is it that he has?" -- that was my question, a natural question. So, the question formulated itself: "What is that state that all those people - - Buddha, Jesus and the whole gang -- were in? Ramana is in that state -- supposed to be, I don't know -- but that chap is like me, a human being. How is he different from me? What others say or what he is saying is of no importance to me; anybody can do what he is doing. What is there? He can't be very much different from me. He was also born from parents. He has his own particular ideas about the whole business. Some people say something happened to him, but how is he different from me? What is there: What is that state?" -- that was my fundamental question, the basic question -- that went on and on and on. "I must find out what that state is. Nobody can give that state; I am on my own. I have to go on this uncharted sea without a compass, without a boat, with not even a raft to take me. I am going to find out for myself what the state is in which that man is." I wanted that very much, otherwise I wouldn't have given my life.
Edward Prunesquallor, modified 4 Months ago at 7/18/22 9:37 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/18/22 5:21 PM

RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist

Posts: 55 Join Date: 10/11/14 Recent Posts
The Buddha spent most of his adult life wandering across India preaching. He encouraged people to believe in him. What do you think 'Buddham saranam gacchami' means? The Buddha also said that pilgrimage to certain sites in India would be beneficial (Lumbini, Bodh Gaya, Sarnath, Kushinagar).

The Ramana Maharishi spoke about the value of meeting a saint (look it up yourself. And the saint does not have to be in a body at present).

Also, what you wrote has little to do with my post.
George S, modified 4 Months ago at 7/19/22 2:45 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/19/22 12:09 PM

RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist

Posts: 2596 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
I think the Buddha's teaching style was more like 'if you repeat similar experiments then you should get similar results' rather than 'believe in me'. Obviously one needs a certain amount of confidence to proceed with such an investigation, but I think it's the kind of confidence that builds from seeing other people get similar results and then with practice starting to see oneself get similar results.

Sainthood is just a concept in the mind. If someone really wants to meet a saint then I'm sure they can.
Edward Prunesquallor, modified 4 Months ago at 7/20/22 5:14 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/20/22 5:14 AM

RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist

Posts: 55 Join Date: 10/11/14 Recent Posts
George S wrote -
"Sainthood is just a concept in the mind. "

I've already explained that it's not. Read the original post and stop derailing the thread with your digressions.
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Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 7/20/22 9:20 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/20/22 9:20 AM

RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist

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Edward, this thread is pretty much on-topic based on the responses. People can disagree with civility and you can, too. Please stop policing the others' replies.

- Chris
DhO Moderator
George S, modified 4 Months ago at 7/20/22 9:21 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/20/22 9:21 AM

RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist

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I hate to break it to you Edward, but everything is in the mind. No need to take my word for it, here's Ramana:

40 Verses on Reality - "Ulladu Narpadu"

6. The world is what the mind conceives through the senses.
The world is but the fivefold sense-objects, which are the results of the five senses. Since the mind perceives the world through the senses, is there a world without the mind?

This is Buddhism 101:

SN 35.23 Sabba Sutta: The All

"Monks, I will teach you the All. Listen & pay close attention. I will speak."

"As you say, lord," the monks responded.

The Blessed One said, "What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range."
Edward Prunesquallor, modified 4 Months ago at 7/21/22 12:54 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/20/22 4:44 PM

RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist

Posts: 55 Join Date: 10/11/14 Recent Posts
All I said in my reply to Dreamwalker is that the presence of a saint has a palpable effect on others.

You can bullshit around that fact with digressions all you want.
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Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 7/21/22 8:54 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/21/22 8:53 AM

RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist

Posts: 4595 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
You can bullshit around that fact with digressions all you want.

​​​​​​​What George S. posted wasn't BS. It was a description of reality  emoticon
George S, modified 4 Months ago at 7/21/22 11:11 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/21/22 10:46 AM

RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist

Posts: 2596 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Edward Prunesquallor
All I said in my reply to Dreamwalker is that the presence of a saint has a palpable effect on others.

You can bullshit around that fact with digressions all you want.

I searched for what Ramana says about saints:

Be as you are – The teachings of sri Ramana Maharishi

Q: What are the fundamental tests for discovering men of great spirituality, since some are reported to behave like insane people?

A: The jnani's mind is known only to the jnani. One must be a jnani oneself in order to understand another jnani. However the peace of mind which permeates the saint's atmosphere is the only means by which the seeker understands the greatness of the saint.
His words or actions or appearance are no indication of his greatness, for they are ordinarily beyond the comprehension of common people.

It looks like he (or the translator) uses "saint" as a synonym for jnani (self-realized or awakened).

There seems to be a bit of a divergence there. On the one hand the "saint" can only be detected by the peace of mind they exude, but on the other hand their appearance is no indication of their "sainthood".

I don't disagree that some people can have a strong effect on others in their presence, I'm just adding the qualifer that to some degree that also depends on the expectations that the seeker brings to the encounter (which I think is what the Krishnamurti story points to).

In another passage he acknowledges that the saint-other distinction is not "reality":

Q: Would it not be better if saints mixed with other people in order to help them?
A: There are no others to mix with. The Self is the only reality.
Edward Prunesquallor, modified 4 Months ago at 7/21/22 12:32 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/21/22 12:32 PM

RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist

Posts: 55 Join Date: 10/11/14 Recent Posts
Chris M:
You can bullshit around that fact with digressions all you want.
​​​​​​​What George S. posted wasn't BS. It was a description of reality  emoticon


Sure, whatever you say. 
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Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 7/21/22 1:38 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/21/22 1:38 PM

RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist

Posts: 4595 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Edward, you can find out for yourself. through a dedicated and thorough mediation practice. There's no need to rely on someone else's opinion about this. Mine or anyone else's.
John, modified 4 Months ago at 7/23/22 9:14 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/23/22 9:14 AM

RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist

Posts: 51 Join Date: 7/11/14 Recent Posts
So what? Yeah there are beings in whose presence you feel bliss and peace but the path to their attainment is basically uncharted. 
Chrollo X, modified 4 Months ago at 7/24/22 3:33 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/24/22 3:33 PM

RE: Kenneth Folk is wrong, saints do exist

Posts: 61 Join Date: 1/11/22 Recent Posts
Is saying "Sainthood Arhatship" doesn't exist a watering down of the dharma? I think it might be. But, I also wonder, what does it take to reach sainthood?

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