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Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gold?

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Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gold? Joshua, the solitary 10/24/12 1:49 PM
RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol Fitter Stoke 10/24/12 2:02 PM
RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol End in Sight 10/24/12 2:03 PM
RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol John P 10/24/12 3:51 PM
RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol This Good Self 10/24/12 10:49 PM
RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol (D Z) Dhru Val 10/24/12 11:57 PM
RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol Tom Tom 10/25/12 12:12 AM
RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol (D Z) Dhru Val 11/2/12 11:46 PM
RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol Tom Tom 11/3/12 4:31 PM
RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol (D Z) Dhru Val 11/3/12 5:01 PM
RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol Joshua, the solitary 11/5/12 12:59 PM
RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol Robert McLune 11/6/12 3:51 PM
RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol Florian 11/7/12 12:22 PM
RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol Robert McLune 11/7/12 2:59 PM
RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol Robert McLune 11/7/12 3:34 PM
RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol Florian 11/7/12 4:05 PM
RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol Robert McLune 11/7/12 4:38 PM
RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol Florian 11/7/12 11:30 PM
RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol Robert McLune 11/8/12 2:08 PM
RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol Florian 11/9/12 2:42 AM
RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol Robert McLune 11/9/12 9:43 AM
RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol Florian 11/9/12 1:51 PM
RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol Robert McLune 11/9/12 5:36 PM
RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol Adam . . 11/9/12 7:52 PM
RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol Robert McLune 11/9/12 9:31 PM
RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol Florian 11/10/12 4:55 AM
RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol Robert McLune 11/10/12 7:01 PM
RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol Florian 11/7/12 3:49 PM
RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol Robert McLune 11/7/12 4:15 PM
RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol Tom Tom 11/9/12 9:25 PM
RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol Florian 10/25/12 5:47 AM
RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol Jasmine Marie Engler 11/18/12 4:40 PM
In the simplest sense. Dreams don't count nor do random coincidences. I mean straight up, holding out your palm, and it appearing there, as much a gold bar as any other.
I'm aware a question like this is as close to taboo as possible as it is really quite mundane compared to enlightenment yada yada. But I have read a rather old (theravada I think) text which said it was a rather good way for an enlightened teacher to prove their attainment to a rather closed group of disciples.

Replies like 'define this or that' ad absurdum or 'what is your motivation for beginning this thread' are understandable but please do refrain from it, as it would quickly divert from the clearly put question: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize a gold bar?

I have read another thread where somebody expressed their desire to win a lottery. Daniel Ingram replied with a guide on how to do it. But isn't this at odds with
Q: Can I give you a donation?

A: I answer this one with a qualified "no". I make a pretty good living working as a doctor, and one of the reasons for that is to keep the money aspect of my dharma clean, meaning that I have no real financial temptation to water the thing down for mass appeal as is so common, as the chances of any normal donation that someone would give me making even a scrap of difference in my financial life are basically none. Thus, use that money to go on retreat, buy some good dharma book, support some local teacher who lives on donations, give it to some monastery or retreat center, or whatever. That said, if you just happened to be completely loaded (say $10,000,000+ range), overwhelmed with gratitude for my book or some email, and can't be talked out of giving me some huge chunk of change that you can easily afford, alright, you win... ;)


Okay, I suspect some of you may be saying come on, it's a joke or the like, but I don't follow. So an arahant as defined here does not have the generally accepted powers, such as materialisation? Is the classical arahant with powers some stage far beyond current discussion even a possibility? I'm aware I may well be completely in over my head talking of such things, though if that were the case, you could at least see some of these issues from a mundane view.

Since I'm here, I'll pose a separate little question. Whilst I am always continuing insight meditation whatever, I am concerned that several so called 'fourth pathers' and arahants seem by their own admission, to feel anger and lust and the whole lot, perhaps turning to so called 'actual freedom' or something else. Whenever anybody says, 'what has this to do with dharma', they are responded with 'shouldn't you be asking, how to end suffering'. So to my mind (which may be baby-level to you guys) the whole thing is absolutely unclear right now.

So, powers arent possible, enlightenment only ever reveals more work to do and anything such as complete peace and eradication of lust is just dusty dogma.

Oh, and one more thing. Several accomplished meditators on this forum have said reincarnation is part and parcel of the dogma, you get one life, that's it. Now I see karma and reincarnation are such infinitely vast subjects for discussion but, if the whole once-returner, non-returner thing is also dogma, why even strive for enlightenment? According to that, once you're dead, you're dead like an enlightened man whether you were a worlding or no.

Of course, my questions dissolve in meditation, but still, at least in reading this forum these are some thoughts.

Joshua

RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol
Answer
10/24/12 2:02 PM as a reply to Joshua, the solitary.
No.

RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol
Answer
10/24/12 2:03 PM as a reply to Joshua, the solitary.
Joshua Sw.:
In the simplest sense. Dreams don't count nor do random coincidences. I mean straight up, holding out your palm, and it appearing there, as much a gold bar as any other.
I'm aware a question like this is as close to taboo as possible as it is really quite mundane compared to enlightenment yada yada. But I have read a rather old (theravada I think) text which said it was a rather good way for an enlightened teacher to prove their attainment to a rather closed group of disciples.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.070.than.html

But, I strongly doubt that anyone here has the power you're talking about.

I believe that touching gold is against the Vinaya, so I assume that the text you read isn't a Theravada one. But I could be wrong.

Since I'm here, I'll pose a separate little question. Whilst I am always continuing insight meditation whatever, I am concerned that several so called 'fourth pathers' and arahants seem by their own admission, to feel anger and lust and the whole lot (etc.)


My experience, which may be relevant to you, is that when I got to what I thought was the end of insight practice according to MCTB, I eventually found there was still lots of insight work to be done, and the suttas started to make a whole lot of sense only after that.

So, to me, it seemed like it was just a matter of where people want to plant their flag. Do I think there's always ever-more work to do? No, but for now there's more.

RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol
Answer
10/24/12 3:51 PM as a reply to Joshua, the solitary.
Joshua Sw.:
Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize a gold bar?

Once I stumbled upon a video that gives you the answer to almost the same question you asked: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKqmPSToWUU&feature=plcp#t=08m04s
I linked to the part where it answers what you want, but I recommend watching since the beginning for a more complete answer.
I don't know much about this guy, but from some videos that I watched of his, he seemed quite sane.

Joshua Sw.:
So, powers arent possible, enlightenment only ever reveals more work to do and anything such as complete peace and eradication of lust is just dusty dogma.

I don't know for myself, but I don't think it's that simple or correct...

Joshua Sw.:
Oh, and one more thing. Several accomplished meditators on this forum have said reincarnation is part and parcel of the dogma, you get one life, that's it. Now I see karma and reincarnation are such infinitely vast subjects for discussion but, if the whole once-returner, non-returner thing is also dogma, why even strive for enlightenment? According to that, once you're dead, you're dead like an enlightened man whether you were a worlding or no.

Kalama Sutta to the rescue!
Your answer is in the last section: The Four Solaces

RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol
Answer
10/24/12 10:49 PM as a reply to Joshua, the solitary.
Hi, that was me wanting to win lottery.

The thread was quite good for me to do. I tried lots of things and the best, most reproducible bit of info I can pass onto you is this: mood tends to dictate outcome. In other words, if you took 1000 people and assessed them for mood, then put them all in a lottery, the person with the best mood would win it. I'm pretty confident on that point.

The rest of the stuff about spells, incantations and so on didn't work at all. Maybe the instructions were wrong or incomplete or just hoo-haa, but that was my experience.

So if your motivation for asking the question is that you want to experience more wealth, then I applaud that! Do whatever you can to feel happy, and you'll find that it follows you.

RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol
Answer
10/24/12 11:57 PM as a reply to Joshua, the solitary.
Joshua Sw.:

So, powers arent possible, enlightenment only ever reveals more work to do and anything such as complete peace and eradication of lust is just dusty dogma.


A few points, all my opinions, noting authoritative:

- Powers aren't possible in terms of violating the laws of physics. (if they are I would love to know about it).

- A vastly increased level of peace is very much attainable.

- At a certain point increased inner peace and awareness does result in trans-formative external behavioral consequences. By being able to be aware of your past habit pattern in kind of a psychotheraputic way. Not a power, but it is a benefit that I don't see this talked about much here.

- Don't confuse 4th path in the MCTB with the 4th path in other texts. The 4th path in the MCTB is the end point of a particular type of noting meditation. But not of all practice.

RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol
Answer
10/25/12 12:12 AM as a reply to (D Z) Dhru Val.
Powers aren't possible in terms of violating the laws of physics. (if they are I would love to know about it)


Read the post I wrote here: http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/3485413

RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol
Answer
10/25/12 5:47 AM as a reply to Joshua, the solitary.
Hi Joshua,

Joshua Sw.:
In the simplest sense. Dreams don't count nor do random coincidences. I mean straight up, holding out your palm, and it appearing there, as much a gold bar as any other.


I'm a skeptic at heart. Thus, I don't think so.

Joshua Sw.:
So an arahant as defined here does not have the generally accepted powers, such as materialisation? Is the classical arahant with powers some stage far beyond current discussion even a possibility? I'm aware I may well be completely in over my head talking of such things, though if that were the case, you could at least see some of these issues from a mundane view.


The powers are interesting. You didn't rule out this particular answer, so I'll say it: "Go ahead, and have fun exploring the powers! Form your own views based on your own experience instead of relying on other people's views."

Joshua Sw.:
Since I'm here, I'll pose a separate little question. Whilst I am always continuing insight meditation whatever, I am concerned that several so called 'fourth pathers' and arahants seem by their own admission, to feel anger and lust and the whole lot, perhaps turning to so called 'actual freedom' or something else. Whenever anybody says, 'what has this to do with dharma', they are responded with 'shouldn't you be asking, how to end suffering'. So to my mind (which may be baby-level to you guys) the whole thing is absolutely unclear right now.

So, powers arent possible, enlightenment only ever reveals more work to do and anything such as complete peace and eradication of lust is just dusty dogma.


Your little question was never explicitly stated in the above two paragraphs, but I get this drift of "Why Bother?".

If that was your question: here's my answer: "Because you absolutely can't stand not to."

While I don't claim Arahant-ship, I do claim to have seen through the "tornado of self", the spinning, tail-chasing, self-referring, fearful, painful, mental posture based on the delusion that it is something special. I absolutely couldn't stand not working on seeing through this. And now the irresistible urge to see through this is gone.

If you resonate with this, there's your reason.

Apart from this, nothing changed, though. Life's immediate challenges of getting fed, clothed, sheltered, staying healthy, and providing for my family, didn't automatically go away. The less immediate challenges of emotional life didn't go away either: openness, vulnerability, compassion...

The moment where there's no more work of this kind to be done is called "death" in my dictionary.

Joshua Sw.:
Oh, and one more thing. Several accomplished meditators on this forum have said reincarnation is part and parcel of the dogma, you get one life, that's it. Now I see karma and reincarnation are such infinitely vast subjects for discussion but, if the whole once-returner, non-returner thing is also dogma, why even strive for enlightenment? According to that, once you're dead, you're dead like an enlightened man whether you were a worlding or no.


Sure. But can you stand it until you're dead? If the answer is "yes", then obviously, don't bother.

Cheers,
Florian

RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol
Answer
11/2/12 11:46 PM as a reply to Tom Tom.
Tom A Vitale:
Powers aren't possible in terms of violating the laws of physics. (if they are I would love to know about it)


Read the post I wrote here: http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/3485413


Was this different from the sort of experience that you have written about here ?
http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/1909651

Otherwise that is not the sort of thing that I am talking about.

RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol
Answer
11/3/12 4:31 PM as a reply to (D Z) Dhru Val.
Yes

RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol
Answer
11/3/12 5:01 PM as a reply to Tom Tom.
Tom A Vitale:
Yes


OK. In what sense were they different ?

I am asking out of genuine interest, because I have had experience with visions and halluciations even ones that had a tactile component.

With a non-dual state of mind it is difficult to tell what is 'real' and what isn't. Due to some horrific experiences I had playing around with that stuff where I felt I was loosing my grip on reality (realistic hallucinations outside of a meditative state).

I mostly just try to ignore it and focus on compassion, equanimity etc. But sometimes I do wonder if there is value in inclining the mind towards that type of thing.

RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol
Answer
11/5/12 12:59 PM as a reply to (D Z) Dhru Val.
It seems there is basically a consensus that powers that break the laws of physics are not possible. But there are many texts that are hard to follow any other way than literally, as is.

Ramana Maharshi said he once turned onto a mess of pure light in front of his mother. She started crying, believing he was gone forever. He then returned in the guise of Krishna, with snakes around his neck, before returning to his usual form. He told his mother he only did this to show her the superficiality of form. Were they both tripping balls or was Maharshi making it up to make another point?

Ramakrishna sometimes warned of occult powers, recounting a story. A man of spiritual accomplishment was sitting on the beach and did not like the weather. He wished for it to change to something more pleasant. His will was so strong that nature could not resist and a storm subsided and it was now sunny and clear, but out at sea, directly due to his actions, a ship sunk. Ramakrishna tells us he would have taken on the karma of killing all those men. Why would he bother speaking of occult powers if they were fairy tales? Once again, it may be an insignificant afterthought, but why include it otherwise?

The section of Patanjali's yoga sutras on powers. By samyama on this and that, one can pass through the ground, through mountains. By samyama on something else, one can float like a feather, or see the stars in the middle of the day. How else could this be understood? Why bother writing this? As incentive for the yogi to get going? Or is it a secret code? Or perhaps all these things can be done, but only after drinking a bucket of LSD by yourself.

Gautam Buddha is said to have reluctantly performed great feats that would break the mundane laws. From what I understand, the yogi begins to see subtler and subtler phenomena through practise. Surely at some point at the other end of the wedge, it would make sense to see the subtle laws of everything, and then perhaps manipulate them?

Joshua

RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol
Answer
11/6/12 3:51 PM as a reply to Joshua, the solitary.
Joshua Sw.:
It seems there is basically a consensus that powers that break the laws of physics are not possible.

That's just not remotely true, even by laws of physics standards . Such "laws" get broken all the time.

But the point is, we then just make up new ones, or modify the existing ones. Just because someone does something unexpected that isn't properly predicted by the existing laws, we don't conclude "Ooooh, a witch is among us". We conclude, "Shit, Einstein! Now we're going to have to fix Newbloodytonian mechanics. That's going to take ages, and I wanted to go out for pizza. You b*st*rd."

In fact, because of Schroedinger and pals, we've had almost 100 years of no pizza because we've been dealing with the aftermath of their pretty comprehensive breaking of the *entire* *prior* *set* of "laws" of physics.

So in the face of that, what exactly would a real, genuine, Samantha-in-Bewitched-wiggling-her-nose "breaking of a law of physics" look like? Remember, it needs to be sufficiently repeatable and objective so we can believe it's actually there and not just my friend's, grandma's, uncle's imagination. But also remember, as just described, as soon as something gets sufficiently repeatable and objective so we can believe it's actually there and not just my friend's, grandma's, uncle's imagination, all we do is submit a paper to the easiest physics journal to get into so we can shove it on our resume in our attempt to get tenure before they realize we spend most of our day reading DhO. emoticon

RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol
Answer
11/7/12 12:22 PM as a reply to Robert McLune.
Robert McLune:
So in the face of that, what exactly would a real, genuine, Samantha-in-Bewitched-wiggling-her-nose "breaking of a law of physics" look like?


Materializing a Perpetuum Mobile (edit: perpetual motion machine)

(edit: thought up two more)

While standing on ice skates on a freshly prepared ice field: being able to push away someone your weight and also on skates, without being pushed back yourself (skates of both of you are aligned).

You are on a beach, there's a buoy in the water some way up the shore away from you (i.e. the water line and the line between you and the buoy are not at right angles). You'll break a law of physics if you reach that buoy faster by running a straight line towards it, across the beach and through the water, rather than by maximizing the distance across the beach and minimizing the distance you have to travel in water (where you're slower).

(edit: another one)

You throw a ball twice, as hard as you can. The first time, you throw it straight forward, that is, from the moment it leaves your hand its trajectory can not go up any more. The second time you throw it so its trajectory can take it up at first (but not straight up, just at an angle). If the first throw goes a longer distance than the second, you're breaking a law of physics.

(edit: another one)

You sit on a swiveling chair, holding a pair of small weights in your hands (not strictly necessary, just for emphasis). With your arms extended out, someone gives the chair a spin. Now you quickly pull your arms in, until you are holding the weights against your chest. If your rotation is slowed by this rather than speeding up, you are breaking a law of physics.

(edit: confusing the planes by mixing high-energy physics with spiritual practice is a pet peeve of mine... as is the myth that Quantum Mechanics somehow "broke" our prior understanding of nature instead of extending and refining it)

Robert McLune:
In fact, because of Schroedinger and pals, we've had almost 100 years of no pizza because we've been dealing with the aftermath of their pretty comprehensive breaking of the *entire* *prior* *set* of "laws" of physics.


In fact, the above examples 1 (conservation of energy), 2 (conservation of momentum), and 5 (conservation of angular momentum) are "classical" physical laws which were not at all "broken" by Quantum Mechanical results. Rather, they are quite central to QM. 3 is also kind of applicable to QM if you see it as a way of visualizing what happens in optical refraction, i.e. a photon passing through a medium.

Cheers,
Florian

RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol
Answer
11/7/12 2:59 PM as a reply to Florian.
Florian Weps:
Robert McLune:
So in the face of that, what exactly would a real, genuine, Samantha-in-Bewitched-wiggling-her-nose "breaking of a law of physics" look like?


Materializing a Perpetuum Mobile [and other examples...]

But these would all be treated simply as yet more examples of what has happened throughout science, be it phlogiston, miasma, the luminiferous aether, or the absolute nature of time, to name but four, when observation doesn't fit with theory.

Take your ice skating example. So I stand on ice and push my opponent away, and I don't recoil. What happens next?

Well, I'd be asked to do it again a few times. Maybe vary a few parameters -- like force of push, angle of push. Maybe we'd try ceramic blades on my skates, in case I'd hidden a magnet under the ice. As we test harder, attention grows, and the experiments become more and more refined. We look for quantitative as well as qualitative data. But as we experiment, what is happening in the minds of the observers?

They are looking for explanations. They're hypothesizing, then testing, and repeating. Over and over. The more things they check -- "It's a magnet!" Fails. "OK it's a very thin string then!" Fail -- the more sophisticated their hypotheses need to become. The more they fail, the more they furrow their brows and think "WTF!?". Think uncertainty in conjugate variables, or delayed choice quantum eraser stuff, or even just time dilation. Those had plenty of "WTF!?" going on. It's happening today. Aspect Experiment? WTF? I mean, really, WT*F*?

But -- and this is the key point -- there are only three "halting conditions" for the above "search for an explanation" algorithm. They are:

1. Finding or constructing a new set of "laws of physics" that is consistent with all prior observations *and* with the new one (in most cases the new set is merely the existing one with a micro tweak, but sometimes we need a pretty big overhaul)
2. Collapse of the effect such that we conclude something like "Ah, We must have imagined it". For example, Fleischmann/Pons and Cold Fusion
OR
3. There is no 3

And that's the point. There is no 3. "Ah, finally. We have found magick" is never *ever* a conclusion.

And it's not an ontological issue. It's not even about bloody-minded skepticism on the part of scientists. It's a function of the meaning of the concepts at play. "Magick" surely means an effect that is "sufficiently repeatable/observable/etc for us to know it is there but that doesn't fit into the laws of physics". But "the laws of physics" *Just Is* that collection of effects such that for each of them, "sufficiently repeatable/observable for us to know it is there" is true.

In other words, "Magick" is "Things that satisfy the requirements for being a law of physics but which do not satisfy the requirements for being a law of physics".

RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol
Answer
11/7/12 3:34 PM as a reply to Robert McLune.
Oh, and I should add:

Florian Weps:
(edit: confusing the planes by mixing high-energy physics with spiritual practice is a pet peeve of mine...

If you're talking about trying to explain spiritual practice and its effects *in terms of* high energy (or any energy) physics, I probably have a similar peeve.

as is the myth that Quantum Mechanics somehow "broke" our prior understanding of nature instead of extending and refining it)

Well in my case it is not a myth because it sure as shit broke mine. In fact, it went further. It broke my understanding of what "understanding" is; of what an "explanation" is; of what "science" is. And I do know I'm not alone in that.

RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol
Answer
11/7/12 3:49 PM as a reply to Robert McLune.
Robert McLune:
Florian Weps:
Robert McLune:
So in the face of that, what exactly would a real, genuine, Samantha-in-Bewitched-wiggling-her-nose "breaking of a law of physics" look like?


Materializing a Perpetuum Mobile [and other examples...]

But these would all be treated simply as yet more examples of what has happened throughout science, be it phlogiston, miasma, the luminiferous aether, or the absolute nature of time, to name but four, when observation doesn't fit with theory.

Take your ice skating example. So I stand on ice and push my opponent away, and I don't recoil. What happens next?


You spend the rest of your life on that ice field, because you're unable to move any more. As much as you wedge your skates against the ice and try to push it away - you don't move. As much as you wave your arms in order to propel yourself, you stay put. People try to push you, but you can't pick up momentum. They tie a rope around your waist and pull you, but while the force sqeezes you almost in half, you can't pick up momentum from it. Soon the kids figure out a new amusement and pelt you with snowballs, stones, and other projectiles: they bounce off you and hurt like hell, but you don't move. Then, as the earth moves onward on its journed through space, it starts to push against you, but you won't move. You are run over by a planet as you can't pick up momentum from it pushing against you. You die.

"Magick" is "Things that satisfy the requirements for being a law of physics but which do not satisfy the requirements for being a law of physics".


That's saying, "Magick is not Magick". Interestingly paradoxical, but not very useful. I like the "change in conformity with will" definition better, because it actually implies there's something to do beyond endlessly theorizing about it.

Cheers,
Florian

RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol
Answer
11/7/12 4:05 PM as a reply to Robert McLune.
Robert McLune:
as is the myth that Quantum Mechanics somehow "broke" our prior understanding of nature instead of extending and refining it)

Well in my case it is not a myth because it sure as shit broke mine. In fact, it went further. It broke my understanding of what "understanding" is; of what an "explanation" is; of what "science" is.


Sounds quite dramatic, how are you doing now? Is your confidence in your ability to get your bearings in your environment restored? This kind of disorientation can be a bit much.

I'm curious, you don't have to answer: How did you learn QM? What assumptions about Nature did you have prior to it, that were so thoroughly incompatible with QM?

And I do know I'm not alone in that.


In case your faculty of understanding and explanation is still broken, how do you know that?

Cheers,
Florian

RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol
Answer
11/7/12 4:15 PM as a reply to Florian.
Florian Weps:


"Magick" is "Things that satisfy the requirements for being a law of physics but which do not satisfy the requirements for being a law of physics".


That's saying, "Magick is not Magick". Interestingly paradoxical, but not very useful.

It's not really. That -- the form "p is p" -- is, as you say, not very useful. But it's because it's tautological, not paradoxical.

I'm saying that Magick invokes something of the form "p is not-p". That is paradoxical, but precisely because of that it *is* useful. It shows that Magick, by that definition anyway, is not a well-formed concept. In other words, the answer to the question, "Does Magick exist?" is not "Yes" or "No" but rather, "Huh?"

Florian Weps:

I like the "change in conformity with will" definition better, because it actually implies there's something to do beyond endlessly theorizing about it.

Well that may be right. And if you recall, the thing that triggered my entry to the thread wasn't really magick anyway. It was simply the assertion that powers that break the laws of physics are not possible.

RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol
Answer
11/7/12 4:38 PM as a reply to Florian.
Florian Weps:

Sounds quite dramatic, how are you doing now? Is your confidence in your ability to get your bearings in your environment restored? This kind of disorientation can be a bit much.

If you think it sounds that bad, I may not be being clear in my meaning. For example, I never lost any ability to get my bearings. Why would I? (I did however lose the illusion that a belief in a Newtonian-style reality was required or even useful for such bearings.)

Florian Weps:
I'm curious, you don't have to answer: How did you learn QM?

How? Through reading books, attending lectures, performing experiments, and so on. The usual way one learns stuff. (Am I missing the point of your question?)

What assumptions about Nature did you have prior to it, that were so thoroughly incompatible with QM?

That the thing I had been referring to as Nature or Reality was observer independent. I thought electrons, for example, were "real".

And I do know I'm not alone in that.


In case your faculty of understanding and explanation is still broken, how do you know that?

If you're using the word "know" in the common, non-technical sense (i.e. the way I used it in that statement), then all I was saying in the above is that there are other people who share my views.

But if you're intending a more technical use of "know", perhaps connected with the brokenness of my understanding of "understanding" and of "explanation", let me know (ha emoticon ) and I can answer in that context.

RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol
Answer
11/7/12 11:30 PM as a reply to Robert McLune.
Robert McLune:
Florian Weps:

Sounds quite dramatic, how are you doing now? Is your confidence in your ability to get your bearings in your environment restored? This kind of disorientation can be a bit much.

If you think it sounds that bad, I may not be being clear in my meaning. For example, I never lost any ability to get my bearings. Why would I? (I did however lose the illusion that a belief in a Newtonian-style reality was required or even useful for such bearings.)


Good to hear that. I was reading your statement about losing confidence in your ability to understand and explain a bit too literally, then.

Florian Weps:
I'm curious, you don't have to answer: How did you learn QM?

How? Through reading books, attending lectures, performing experiments, and so on. The usual way one learns stuff. (Am I missing the point of your question?)


No, that's fine, sounds like solid training. It's just that there is a huge amount of badly-informed stuff about QM and other modern (i.e. century-old) physics floating around.

What assumptions about Nature did you have prior to it, that were so thoroughly incompatible with QM?

That the thing I had been referring to as Nature or Reality was observer independent. I thought electrons, for example, were "real".


I see. Well, the "observer" is the interesting bit, isn't it? The drawings always seem to imply that it is "real" or somehow not of the same nature (ha!) as the rest of the experiment.

If you're using the word "know" in the common, non-technical sense (i.e. the way I used it in that statement), then all I was saying in the above is that there are other people who share my views.

But if you're intending a more technical use of "know", perhaps connected with the brokenness of my understanding of "understanding" and of "explanation", let me know (ha emoticon ) and I can answer in that context.


No, just more of the "over-estimating your loss of confidence in understanding/explaining the world around you" above. Sorry about that.

Cheers,
Florian

RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol
Answer
11/8/12 2:08 PM as a reply to Florian.
Florian Weps:
... there is a huge amount of badly-informed stuff about QM and other modern (i.e. century-old) physics floating around.

Indeed. It's a pity because among the dross (Quantum Healing, Quantum Management, Quantum Cheesecake, etc) there is a core of substance that I personally believe is tugging at the same loose thread Buddhism does. The trick is figuring out how to throw away the bathwater without throwing away the cheesecake (to completely entangle -- bows for pun applause emoticon -- my metaphors).

Personal example. I used to think Deepak Chopra was a nut. And at that time, had I seen the "Enemies of Reason" interview between Chopra and Richard Dawkins, I'd have felt even surer that Chopra had indeed left the rational building. But I watched it more recently and found myself if not completely siding with Chopra, at least being more on the fence (although not specifically in the context of his use of the word "Quantum").

BTW -- it may be a century old, but at its heart it is as bizarre as the day it was born, and it's as bizarre as we've seen this side of Galileo. How many other systems of scientific laws find themselves in need of an "interpretation". When Newton talked about gravitation, no one had to ask, "Sure, the maths is cool and really useful. But what does it *mean*?" We had a little bit more of an issue with Maxwell. Someone could reasonably ask, "Yes, magnetism, yes electric charge. But what do those things *mean*?" Nevertheless, we managed it. But QM? It's so weird it even raises the question (a la Copenhagen Interpretation), "What do you mean 'What does it mean?'?"

RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol
Answer
11/9/12 2:42 AM as a reply to Robert McLune.
Robert McLune:
Florian Weps:
... there is a huge amount of badly-informed stuff about QM and other modern (i.e. century-old) physics floating around.

Indeed. It's a pity because among the dross (Quantum Healing, Quantum Management, Quantum Cheesecake, etc) there is a core of substance that I personally believe is tugging at the same loose thread Buddhism does. The trick is figuring out how to throw away the bathwater without throwing away the cheesecake (to completely entangle -- bows for pun applause emoticon -- my metaphors).


Quackum-Mechanics can serve as a spiritual teaching leading to genuine awakening, that's true. The dogma of the most deranged suicide cult can also serve in that role. Buddhism can. Birds taking off from a tree-branch can.

The trick is to awaken before you die because you believe you can heal cancer by Quantum, or before they pass around the cyanide-laced kool-aid, or before you keel over from old age in your beautifully decorated Zendo, or before the cat eats the birds.

Personal example. I used to think Deepak Chopra was a nut. And at that time, had I seen the "Enemies of Reason" interview between Chopra and Richard Dawkins, I'd have felt even surer that Chopra had indeed left the rational building. But I watched it more recently and found myself if not completely siding with Chopra, at least being more on the fence (although not specifically in the context of his use of the word "Quantum").


Here, the trick is to realize that anything you read is your own personal story happening in real-time, anything Chopra says is not about Chopra but about you, that it's your clock that's ticking, not Chopra's. Life is not a spectator sport. Thinking about the quantum-quackery kool-aid is drinking it. Find out what it does to you, don't assume you're somehow un-involved in anything you perceive.

BTW -- it may be a century old, but at its heart it is as bizarre as the day it was born, and it's as bizarre as we've seen this side of Galileo. How many other systems of scientific laws find themselves in need of an "interpretation". When Newton talked about gravitation, no one had to ask, "Sure, the maths is cool and really useful. But what does it *mean*?" We had a little bit more of an issue with Maxwell. Someone could reasonably ask, "Yes, magnetism, yes electric charge. But what do those things *mean*?" Nevertheless, we managed it. But QM? It's so weird it even raises the question (a la Copenhagen Interpretation), "What do you mean 'What does it mean?'?"


If I remember correctly, my maths profs were thoroughly unhappy with the physicist's fast-and-loose understanding of calculus. They were indeed asking "what does it mean" of "approaching infinity" or "approaching zero" expression and would seriously wrinkle their brows at any attempt to gloss over them.

Also, Newton proposed the "Field". What does it mean?

Cheers,
Florian

RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol
Answer
11/9/12 9:43 AM as a reply to Florian.
Florian Weps:

Quackum-Mechanics can serve as a spiritual teaching leading to genuine awakening, that's true. The dogma of the most deranged suicide cult can also serve in that role. Buddhism can. Birds taking off from a tree-branch can.

emoticon Quackum. I'm going to use that! But while I thought we were converging, maybe we're not. Or maybe we are -- let's see. (Although I realize I'm veering way off the original gold thread. Just roll your eyes and ignore me if this isn't fun or useful for you. I'll understand.)

Yes, I agree that even madness can be helpful, provided one is careful not to *become* mad. You can actually make money from a stock market bubble. But I wasn't talking about QM madness -- the Quackery -- being useful in the contemplative path. I'm talking about the *non* madness being useful. For me at least, the fact that when you observe which of two slits a photon passes through you stop it acting as a wave -- i.e. hard core, non-quackish, orthodox QM -- is one of the most profound things I have ever encountered, and if it tells me anything at all it tells me that in a very true way, nothing around me in the "physical" world is as it seems. What we think is "real" isn't real. The whole thing is one huge illusion[1]. I'm not being figurative here; I mean it exactly as it looks. We are, quite literally, in a Matrix.

As I say, for me -- scientifically trained, and probably as hard-core skeptical of fluff as you'll find -- that is profound. And I didn't actually "get" it until *after* I'd finished shoving around problems with the Time Dependent Schroedinger Equation, eigenvalues of system of particles, and so on. It's only when I noticed the increasing volume of chatter among the hoi polloi (and by that I mean a large subset of biologists and neuroscientists emoticon ) about how "the universe is all there is" or "one day science will explain everything" or "consciousness is an emergent property of the brain" that I began to gather together the set of thoughts that, combined, now say: "WTF are you people talking about? Go read even some basic physics and you'll realize that what you're saying is worse than wrong, it's just non-sense!" [2] (That is, of course, a bit rich on my part because, as I say, I myself didn't get it via basic, or even moderately advanced (doctoral level), physics.)

Incidentally, the reason I find this relevant to Buddhism is probably obvious. The profundity being hinted at by QM may already been spotted 2,500 years ago by some bloke in India. WTF!? It's like reading the reading the book of Leviticus and finding something that smells suspiciously like references to P being equal to NP in computational complexity. It's like finding Fermat's famous marginal note in his copy of Arithmetica. That's tantalizing.

But actually, it's more than that. The *concepts* present in QM may have been spotted by the Buddha. And of course he probably wasn't the first, nor is he the only "old dead guy" (as Daniel calls them) to have pondered such things. The Greeks not long after him were not devoid of an idea or too. What's tantalizing is not that the Buddha pondered such things, but that he may actually have *seen* them -- experienced them.

As I've said elsewhere, it's like a bunch of musicologists who had only ever worked with musical scores, and then for someone to walk in one day and put on a CD of Beethoven's 5th. I don't know if that's actually the case here. Maybe it is, or maybe the Buddha was just the Chopra (in the bad sense) of his day. But I'm sure as hell not going to sit around and not try to find out which it is.

Wait! No, I *am* going to sit around and thereby try to find out which it is. emoticon

If I remember correctly, my maths profs were thoroughly unhappy with the physicist's fast-and-loose understanding of calculus. They were indeed asking "what does it mean" of "approaching infinity" or "approaching zero" expression and would seriously wrinkle their brows at any attempt to gloss over them.

I'm surprised any self-respecting maths prof would deign to get her hands soiled with such uncouth matters emoticon I think it's true to say that as "purity" of the maths tends to infinity, then the meaning of:

"The limit, as x tends to zero, of sin(x)/x is one"

tends to:

"The limit, as x tends to zero, of sin(x)/x is one"

Also, Newton proposed the "Field". What does it mean?

Pretty, tricksy lights. That's all any of physics means; pretty, tricksy lights. But, to quote Gollum, in LoTR:

"Careful, or hobbits go down to join the Dead ones and light little candles. Follow Smeagol! Don't look at the lights!"
Robert

[1] Careful. I'm not saying that there is no reality at all. Just that it's muddle-headed to think that the stuff of physics -- electrons and planets and bears (oh my!) -- is it.

[2] I wish I could do a good Mr. T impression. I always imagine myself being interviewed by someone on my views on the scientific materialism of people like Dawkins and so on and saying, "Ah pity the fool who believes that consciousness supervenes on the so-called physical brain! Ah pity the fool!"

RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol
Answer
11/9/12 1:51 PM as a reply to Robert McLune.
Robert McLune:
Yes, I agree that even madness can be helpful, provided one is careful not to *become* mad.


And we do that by observing it closely, so we can avoid it or, more likely, notice it in ourselves.

The whole thing is one huge illusion[1]. I'm not being figurative here; I mean it exactly as it looks. We are, quite literally, in a Matrix.


I'm the Woman in Red. You are Agent Smith, trying to pacify some annoying troublemakers so he can finally escape the Matrix.

Go read even some basic physics and you'll realize that what you're saying is worse than wrong, it's just non-sense!" [2] (That is, of course, a bit rich on my part because, as I say, I myself didn't get it via basic, or even moderately advanced (doctoral level), physics.)


It's not about appearances. The important thing is getting it, not how fast one gets it, or how much on one's own one was. That's just more illusion.

Incidentally, the reason I find this relevant to Buddhism is probably obvious. The profundity being hinted at by QM may already been spotted 2,500 years ago by some bloke in India. WTF!? It's like reading the reading the book of Leviticus and finding something that smells suspiciously like references to P being equal to NP in computational complexity. It's like finding Fermat's famous marginal note in his copy of Arithmetica. That's tantalizing.


That's the Parable of the Blind Men and the Elephant. Don't get led to believe that the most recently discovered body part of the old pachyderm (QM in our discussion here) is a more accurate representation of the entire beast.

If I remember correctly, my maths profs were thoroughly unhappy with the physicist's fast-and-loose understanding of calculus. They were indeed asking "what does it mean" of "approaching infinity" or "approaching zero" expression and would seriously wrinkle their brows at any attempt to gloss over them.

I'm surprised any self-respecting maths prof would deign to get her hands soiled with such uncouth matters emoticon I think it's true to say that as "purity" of the maths tends to infinity, then the meaning of:

"The limit, as x tends to zero, of sin(x)/x is one"

tends to:

"The limit, as x tends to zero, of sin(x)/x is one"


Heh. Yeah, those were old-school maths profs, in a small European uni. They actually talked to us and took an interest in our assignments.

Cheers,
Florian

RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol
Answer
11/9/12 5:36 PM as a reply to Florian.
Florian Weps:
That's the Parable of the Blind Men and the Elephant. Don't get led to believe that the most recently discovered body part of the old pachyderm (QM in our discussion here) is a more accurate representation of the entire beast.

I ... ehm ... I ... hmm ... I ... yep, you win. No idea where you went there emoticon

RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol
Answer
11/9/12 7:52 PM as a reply to Robert McLune.
maybe this will help

"'Very well then, I say, show the blind people an elephant.'

"Responding, 'As you say, your majesty,' to the king, the man showed the blind people an elephant. To some of the blind people he showed the elephant's head, saying, 'This, blind people, is what an elephant is like.' To some of them he showed the elephant's ear, saying, 'This, blind people, is what an elephant is like.' To some of them he showed the elephant's tusk... the elephant's trunk... the elephant's body... the elephant's foot... the elephant's hindquarters... the elephant's tail... the tuft at the end of the elephant's tail, saying, 'This, blind people, is what an elephant is like.'

"Then, having shown the blind people the elephant, the man went to the king and on arrival said, 'Your majesty, the blind people have seen the elephant. May your majesty do what you think it is now time to do.'

"Then the king went to the blind people and on arrival asked them, 'Blind people, have you seen the elephant?'

"'Yes, your majesty. We have seen the elephant.'

"'Now tell me, blind people, what the elephant is like.'

"The blind people who had been shown the elephant's head said, 'The elephant, your majesty, is just like a jar.'

"Those who had been shown the elephant's ear said, 'The elephant, your majesty, is just like a winnowing basket.'

"Those who had been shown the elephant's tusk said, 'The elephant, your majesty, is just like plowshare.'[1]

"Those who had been shown the elephant's trunk said, 'The elephant, your majesty, is just like the pole of a plow.'

"Those who had been shown the elephant's body said, 'The elephant, your majesty, is just like a granary.'

"Those who had been shown the elephant's foot said, 'The elephant, your majesty, is just like a post.'

"Those who had been shown the elephant's hindquarters said, 'The elephant, your majesty, is just like a mortar.'

"Those who had been shown the elephant's tail said, 'The elephant, your majesty, is just like a pestle.'

"Those who had been shown the tuft at the end of the elephant's tail said, 'The elephant, your majesty, is just like a broom.'

"Saying, 'The elephant is like this, it's not like that. The elephant's not like that, it's like this,' they struck one another with their fists. That gratified the king.

"In the same way, monks, the wanderers of other sects are blind & eyeless. They don't know what is beneficial and what is harmful. They don't know what is the Dhamma and what is non-Dhamma. Not knowing what is beneficial and what is harmful, not knowing what is Dhamma and what is non-Dhamma, they keep on arguing, quarreling, & disputing, wounding one another with weapons of the mouth, saying, 'The Dhamma is like this, it's not like that. The Dhamma's not like that, it's like this.'"

RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol
Answer
11/9/12 9:25 PM as a reply to (D Z) Dhru Val.
OK. In what sense were they different ?

I am asking out of genuine interest, because I have had experience with visions and halluciations even ones that had a tactile component.

With a non-dual state of mind it is difficult to tell what is 'real' and what isn't. Due to some horrific experiences I had playing around with that stuff where I felt I was loosing my grip on reality (realistic hallucinations outside of a meditative state).

I mostly just try to ignore it and focus on compassion, equanimity etc. But sometimes I do wonder if there is value in inclining the mind towards that type of thing.


One was what people refer to as "astral" and the other was obviously purely alteration of the "physical." The powers aren't strictly limited to the "astral." People who frequent the dharmaoverground aren't "Milarepa's" - meditating for their entire lives in caves and thus I would trust what a Tibetan in a cave says over anyone on this site when it comes to the powers. I have no doubt that these people were able to walk through walls or perform other such feats.

it is difficult to tell what is 'real' and what isn't.


What is happening is what is happening. "Real" or "non-real" does not apply whether the person recognizes reality as "non-dual" or not.

RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol
Answer
11/9/12 9:31 PM as a reply to Adam . ..
Adam . .:
maybe this will help
Very well then, I say, show the blind people an elephant.'

Thanks. But I know the story. I just don't know where Florian was going with it.

RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol
Answer
11/10/12 4:55 AM as a reply to Robert McLune.
Robert McLune:
Florian Weps:
That's the Parable of the Blind Men and the Elephant. Don't get led to believe that the most recently discovered body part of the old pachyderm (QM in our discussion here) is a more accurate representation of the entire beast.

I ... ehm ... I ... hmm ... I ... yep, you win. No idea where you went there emoticon


This isn't about winning. You've noticed a deep feature of human existence expressed in many different ways over many centuries. That's cool. I'm saying, "don't get lost playing with the surface features, dig deeper". But, judging from some of your other posts, that's what you're doing anyway, so I'll just shut up and let you do your thing.

Happy Insights ("mudita") and Cheers,
Florian

RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol
Answer
11/10/12 7:01 PM as a reply to Florian.
Florian Weps:

This isn't about winning.

Heh, I know -- it was just a figure of speech. And no need to shut up. Personally I like this kind of discourse. Provided people are calibrated -- and I think we were getting there -- it is, for me anyway, enjoyable and useful. That said, it drives my wife nuts, so reasonable minds may differ :-)

Best,
Robert

RE: Can an arahant (as defined here or otherwise) materialize gol
Answer
11/18/12 4:40 PM as a reply to Joshua, the solitary.
Technically, as all that gold (Au) is is a defined rather unstable element, anyone can technically create it. It's not as easy as purifying coal to create a diamond, but hey, it could be done, using SCIENCE, and logic, not mysticism. And it would be damn expensive to perform the experiment. But there are laws within the universe. One of these is that matter, while it can be changed, can never disappear nor appear randomly. AKA- you need the correct amount of parts to equal the whole, for any chemical equation. It's known as balancing the equation. Secondly, you need the correct release of energy (you know, explosions and the like can get out of hand fast, especially when dealing with ionically charged metals).
So, it's not worth the damage. And dharma, from what I understand, is about seeing the truth about yourself and the world around you. It shouldn't include any material desires; desires of any sort will surely overwhelm you, and keep you at the state you're already in. Then, of course, there's the need for naivete and harmlessness. If you are creating matter, you're destroying another type of matter. Know that money your winning in the lottery could be money that someone else needs. Any time that you come across something tempting, it may be wise to ask yourself, "Why the attachment? Do I need this? Are all my base needs met? What needs does this correspond toward filling? Is this a solid, permanent, harmless way to fulfill this need, or is there a better, more long-lasting option? What is it I'm truly after?" Food for thought, anyway.

Love and Happiness,
Jazzi