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Magickal Thinking

lobsterlobster Veteran
edited April 10 in Mindfulness

Previously ...
http://newbuddhist.com/discussion/comment/515872#Comment_515872

As we sometimes are aware, the mind, body, life the universe and everything has its own magick. Us little creatures try to make sense of this pattern we are born into. Cue gods, yidams, Allah knows best, cosmic and comic gurus and the Four Noble Trooth Fairies ™️ :p Not much use there?
https://simple.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dharma

Being aware of how we are entranced, enchanted and beguiled by our little pattern, we may not find the empty pattern, the Buddhist Enlightenment ...
Or maybe we prefer to follow a non-pattern/template? Is dharma the closest to this?

I certainly find the practices of mindfulness, mantra, meditation etc good for my health both mental and physical. Is that sufficient? For me it is. Dharma works.
For you? If not any solutions?

Snakeskin

Comments

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    For me, science plays a big role in how I think about the world. I know enough biology to think about water-carrying pipes, thicker bark cells and the transport of sugars when I see a tree. All of what we see and hear seems to be governed by physical processes, and so for me the world is empty of “magick”.

    If there is a magick that I subscribe to, it is the wonder of the natural world. The beauty of birdsong, the magnificence of whales swimming in the ocean, the grandeur of a tiger in the jungle.

    The last frontier for me is the mind and consciousness, where meditation takes you. The most difficult part I find is knowing how to focus my awareness, in achieving awareness of my inner self. That is my journey, and each time I read an insightful article about vipassana I come a little closer to finding the right key.

    SnakeskinShoshinlobster
  • I find magical thinking useful for manipulating mental states. But you gotta know how to bluff. And just like poker, "You gotta know when to hold 'em. Know when to fold 'em. Know when to walk away, when the dealing's done." I'm into quoting songs today. :lol:

    Shoshinlobster
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited April 10

    We are what we think ( no magic thinking involved there) ...But we are not our thoughts (Magical thinking with a big "M")

    At first I would easily bend to thought's will....(their charming nature)

    But now thoughts are starting to bend to minemind :)

    That's mindfulness for ya :)

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited April 11

    I feel science has useful insights into our nature. For example it might explain how bias is a problem as much for wizards, Buddhas and scientists.

    We have to 'learn to think'. In dharma, just as in science we have to develop critical and objective thinking. For example can we jump out of our identities as Neo-Buddhists, Neo-Alchemists, Neo-Samsara devotees or other comfort zones ...

    I find magical thinking useful for manipulating mental states

    Snakeskinpersonyagr
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @lobster said:
    I feel science has useful insights into our nature. For example it might explain how bias is a problem as much for wizards, Buddhas and scientists.

    We have to 'learn to think'. In dharma, just as in science we have to develop critical and objective thinking. For example can we jump out of our identities as Neo-Buddhists, Neo-Alchemists, Neo-Samsara devotees or other comfort zones ...

    It is true we have to learn how to think. But ultimately that just leads your thinking to reflect what we are. It allows you to model in the mind a bit more of what’s true and what isn’t. I feel magical thinking is again akin to dreaming, it opens certain doors of the imagination, leading one to blend what is with what is not. It also leads to a certain disorganisation.

    There also comes a point where one has to step beyond thinking, into being. It is more difficult to do, the more magical one’s thinking is.

  • yagryagr Veteran

    @lobster said:

    >

    We have to 'learn to think'. In dharma, just as in science we have to develop critical and objective thinking. For example can we jump out of our identities as Neo-Buddhists, Neo-Alchemists, Neo-Samsara devotees or other comfort zones ...

    I find magical thinking useful for manipulating mental states.

    ~nods~ I enjoyed this way you've described this. I don't know if you meant the same thing I heard when I read it, but internally I tend to think of it as alchemy when I take anger and convert it to joy. Magickal thinking manipulating mental states et al...

    Kundo
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Hi Yagr <3

    Daka and Dakini are the twins of Tibetan Magickal Dharma. They are mind doctors, soul wizards, wise women, part yak (talk/mantra), part dharma lama and part reality itself.

    Changing anger to joy, sounds good sky walking to me ...
    http://dakiniasart.org/

    The passive, mystic, meditation, step based Dharma path does not require too much artistry. However when as impeded as most of us are (well me at least) a vajra bolt through the head is a constant requirement ...
    https://studybuddhism.com/en/buddhism-in-daily-life/how-to/8-buddhist-tips-for-dealing-with-anger

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    I have an internet acquaintance who is quite into alchemy and magical systems of thought. It has led to some interesting discussions...

    Such as, if you believe in magical occurrences, where do you draw the line? You may have heard of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, which was originally thought up as an argument against religion along the lines of, if you can believe in an all-powerful bearded man in the sky, then why can I not believe in a Flying Spaghetti Monster and wear a colander on my head to honour it?

    The belief in dakini’s and gods and levitating monks is all very good and comforting, but where is the proof? You could argue it is harmless, but in a way it is filling the mind with dreams, and worse, dreams that could demand obedience...

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited April 12

    "Believe those who seek the Truth; Doubt those who find it."

    André Gide, French Author, winner of the Nobel Prize for literature.

    lobsterpersonkando
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    I have an internet acquaintance who is quite into alchemy and magical systems of thought. It has led to some interesting discussions...

    Such as, if you believe in magical occurrences, where do you draw the line? You may have heard of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, which was originally thought up as an argument against religion along the lines of, if you can believe in an all-powerful bearded man in the sky, then why can I not believe in a Flying Spaghetti Monster and wear a colander on my head to honour it?

    The belief in dakini’s and gods and levitating monks is all very good and comforting, but where is the proof? You could argue it is harmless, but in a way it is filling the mind with dreams, and worse, dreams that could demand obedience...

    @Kerome
    From what I gather(thus have I heard), for the most part they are just tools for helping to focus and train the mind...Some practitioners may find them useful aspirational tools (keeping them on track) for others they are not relevant....

    However...

    Different strokes for different folk

    Whatever floats one's raft ....and keeps it afloat...I guess :)

    Kundo
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran
    edited April 12

    @Shoshin said:

    @Kerome said:
    I have an internet acquaintance who is quite into alchemy and magical systems of thought. It has led to some interesting discussions...

    Such as, if you believe in magical occurrences, where do you draw the line? You may have heard of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, which was originally thought up as an argument against religion along the lines of, if you can believe in an all-powerful bearded man in the sky, then why can I not believe in a Flying Spaghetti Monster and wear a colander on my head to honour it?

    The belief in dakini’s and gods and levitating monks is all very good and comforting, but where is the proof? You could argue it is harmless, but in a way it is filling the mind with dreams, and worse, dreams that could demand obedience...

    @Kerome
    From what I gather(thus have I heard), for the most part they are just tools for helping to focus and train the mind...Some practitioners may find them useful aspirational tools (keeping them on track) for others they are not relevant....

    However...

    Different strokes for different folk

    Whatever floats one's raft ....and keeps it afloat...I guess :)

    Thanks @Shoshin for the very peaceful answer :)
    Namaste

    But I have to say I find the way some texts are constructed with dakini’s, teleportation, and flying to be against the spirit of ehipassiko, independent inquiry.

    If one is truly meant to be able to verify the teachings, then these kind of tales do not stand up without postulating some kind of spiritual reality in which they could happen. It seems like someone blended a fairy tale in with serious dharma. At best these texts are unclear and misleading, and need a rewrite.

  • SnakeskinSnakeskin Veteran
    edited April 13

    @Kerome said:
    You could argue it is harmless, but in a way it is filling the mind with dreams, and worse, dreams that could demand obedience...

    I see it like so: Magical thinking is a dream within a dream. Realism is a dream within a dream. Nibbana is the cessation of ALL dreaming, the experience of which is bodhi, awakening. Until then, for me, there's no question of whether or not it's a dream but whether or not it's lucid.

    KeromeShoshinperson
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @Kerome said:

    Thanks @Shoshin for the very peaceful answer :)
    Namaste

    But I have to say I find the way some texts are constructed with dakini’s, teleportation, and flying to be against the spirit of ehipassiko, independent inquiry.

    If one is truly meant to be able to verify the teachings, then these kind of tales do not stand up without postulating some kind of spiritual reality in which they could happen. It seems like someone blended a fairy tale in with serious dharma. At best these texts are unclear and misleading, and need a rewrite.

    You're welcome @Kerome ....

    The way I see it is, what is true and what is not true , will all come out in the ever changing mind wash....

    What I find interesting, is how flexible the Buddha Dharma seems to be, it's as if this flexibility allows it to permeate foreign ancient cultural beliefs, blending in and gradually drawing out the wholesome/commonalities of those beliefs, but never losing its core...

    Unsatisfactoriness (which is central to universal suffering), its causes, the solution, the plan that leads to the solution.....

    Everything evolves ...will come to mean nothing is true
    Hence why.....
    Change is inevitable ...suffering is optional

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Thanks everyone <3

    ~nods~ I enjoyed this way you've described this. I don't know if you meant the same thing I heard when I read it, but internally I tend to think of it as alchemy when I take anger and convert it to joy. Magickal thinking manipulating mental states et al...

    Changing internal reality, effects outside reality ... as we know and hopefully experience. Peaceful being, calmed reality. Open heart, opens a more caring magick. Nothing too mysterious really ...

  • kandokando northern Ireland Veteran

    Art and words are magickal to me, and taoism is full of alchemy and elixirs, the concept of transformation has multiple levels. It's all pebbles and pretty shells on the beach according to Newton, secret alchemist supreme scientist!

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited June 8

    The belief in dakini’s and gods and levitating monks is all very good and comforting, but where is the proof? You could argue it is harmless, but in a way it is filling the mind with dreams, and worse, dreams that could demand obedience...

    Indeed.
    For example Isaac Newton the well known early Apple user (it fell on his head) spent much of his noodle on alchemy, his insights into gravity were almost incidental. He was a useless alchemist. No gold, no elixir, no great mystical insight. Scientist outstanding though ...

    The proof of the dharma apple pudding is in the eating. <3

    Most of us with a maturing practice do not practice or experience levitation, just levity. We have woken up a capacity for rationality, compassion, emotional and psychological balance etc. Increasingly stories, dream lamas, fantasy constructs just float away ... Iz magick? Not really ...

    Om mani peme humour :p

    personBuddhadragon
  • kandokando northern Ireland Veteran

    Newton also invented the cat flap (not many people know that) and was such an incomprehensible tutor students jeered! One of those all round British eccentrics :)

    person
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @kando said:
    Newton also invented the cat flap (not many people know that) and was such an incomprehensible tutor students jeered! One of those all round British eccentrics :)

    (Nice to know I'm in good company... :D)

  • VimalajātiVimalajāti Whitby, Ontario Veteran

    @kando said:
    Newton also invented the cat flap

    I kept reading this as "cat flip". I kept wondering, "what could a cat flip possible be...?".

    I found this: http://www.sciencepodcastforkids.com/single-post/2017/04/12/The-Puzzle-of-the-Flipping-Cat-with-Greg-Gbur by Googling "cat flip newton". I was getting desperate.

  • kandokando northern Ireland Veteran

    Makes me glad I'm not a cat 🐱 @Vimalajati! Tried to find some web info about the cat flap but there seems to be controversy and discord - I read it years ago somewhere, it was so his cat could get away from students quickly, which seems to have been his aim also :)

  • kandokando northern Ireland Veteran

    Very good company @Federica :)

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @Vimalajāti said:
    I kept reading this as "cat flip". I kept wondering, "what could a cat flip possible be...?".

    A friend today was explaining how he had informed one of his work colleagues about how cats flip and land on their feet when dropped. She went home to test this and her two prize and no doubt overfed pussies both landed on their backs.

    Stupid moggies? Nope, probably not dropped from sufficient height?

  • kandokando northern Ireland Veteran

    Fat cats don't flip! Just flop 😃

    Kundo
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran

    An interesting fact about cats that seems magical. They can fall from very high places and not only live but often walk away relatively unharmed.

    They reach terminal velocity at 60 mph (96 kph) or at about 9 stories. At that point they relax some causing their legs to splay some increasing wind resistance. Then their strong legs compared to body weight allows them to absorb most of the impact. In fact it appears they have a harder time surviving falls between 5 and 9 stories than those above that height.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-17492802

    kando
  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @Kerome said:

    But I have to say I find the way some texts are constructed with dakini’s, teleportation, and flying to be against the spirit of ehipassiko, independent inquiry.

    If one is truly meant to be able to verify the teachings, then these kind of tales do not stand up without postulating some kind of spiritual reality in which they could happen. It seems like someone blended a fairy tale in with serious dharma. At best these texts are unclear and misleading, and need a rewrite.

    Don't forget that a lot of these texts weren't written for skeptical western minds. They were written in the East, by Easterners for Easterners. Could they be rewritten for Westerners? Sure. But I think it's somewhat cheeky of us Westerners to tell other people their texts are fairy tales and bunkum (my paraphrasing).

    And as for rewriting spiritual teachings you need to proceed with caution - look how that worked out for other religions......

    Socair
  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran

    I might add - I'm not having a go at you @Kerome in any way and I apologise in advance if it appears that way.

    I'd like to add that Buddhism is not the only path that has people wanting revisions to it. Christianity, Judaism, Islam - mostly all paths have people who undertake revisions. My point was - and probably not as clear as I'd have like - most of us here weren't raised as Buddhists. We chose this path to tread. The beauty of Buddhism is that we are told by the Buddha himself we can take what works for us and leave what doesn't. This would extend to the teachings so you shouldn't feel you are expected to believe in teleporting, dakinis and the like. After all, there are schools of Buddhism that don't. Secular and Western Buddhism certainly don't.

    This is just my take on it.
    _ /\ _

    Socairkando
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Reminds me of the thing my wonderful Catholic parish priest once said to me:
    "I think everyone would like to get to Heaven, they're just hoping for a change to 10 suggestions...."

    Kundokandolobster
  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran
    edited June 12

    My personal formula for as much a dukkha-free life as possible has been to see reality "as it is," with all its factical bluntness and rough edges, while also leaving room for some lyricism, awe and magic.
    I am not thinking of Newton while gazing up at the starry night.

    lobsterkando
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @Kundo said:
    I'd like to add that Buddhism is not the only path that has people wanting revisions to it. Christianity, Judaism, Islam - mostly all paths have people who undertake revisions. My point was - and probably not as clear as I'd have like - most of us here weren't raised as Buddhists. We chose this path to tread. The beauty of Buddhism is that we are told by the Buddha himself we can take what works for us and leave what doesn't. This would extend to the teachings so you shouldn't feel you are expected to believe in teleporting, dakinis and the like. After all, there are schools of Buddhism that don't. Secular and Western Buddhism certainly don't.

    Very true. But I think we have to keep in mind the zeitgeist, the spirit of the times. The enlightenment of the 17th century is long past us, but it’s influence is still slowly pervading society. More and more people have difficulty sticking with old religious teachings, as the decline of Christianity is showing.

    In the same way, I think it is clear that the old and mythical parts of Buddhism are also losing some of their appeal. People no longer seem to connect with deities, and instead seem to be connecting with the mystical in a new way. Look at the resurgence of yoga and secular mindfulness.

    If Buddhism wants to move with the times, it needs to find ways to make the best of its traditions available to a modern, technological audience, both in the West and in the East. Perhaps secular Buddhism is that solution, perhaps it will be something else.

    But a big part of Buddhism is in the strength of the sangha, so I hope that some of the bigger groupings will make a progressive leap and join the likes of the Dalai Lama in taking on board science and it’s ways of thinking about the natural world.

    KundoScottPenpersonlobster
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    What came first, the Chicken Buddhism or the egg Science....?

    Kundo
  • ScottPenScottPen Maryland Veteran

    @Kerome said:

    @Kundo said:
    I'd like to add that Buddhism is not the only path that has people wanting revisions to it. Christianity, Judaism, Islam - mostly all paths have people who undertake revisions. My point was - and probably not as clear as I'd have like - most of us here weren't raised as Buddhists. We chose this path to tread. The beauty of Buddhism is that we are told by the Buddha himself we can take what works for us and leave what doesn't. This would extend to the teachings so you shouldn't feel you are expected to believe in teleporting, dakinis and the like. After all, there are schools of Buddhism that don't. Secular and Western Buddhism certainly don't.

    Very true. But I think we have to keep in mind the zeitgeist, the spirit of the times. The enlightenment of the 17th century is long past us, but it’s influence is still slowly pervading society. More and more people have difficulty sticking with old religious teachings, as the decline of Christianity is showing.

    In the same way, I think it is clear that the old and mythical parts of Buddhism are also losing some of their appeal. People no longer seem to connect with deities, and instead seem to be connecting with the mystical in a new way. Look at the resurgence of yoga and secular mindfulness.

    If Buddhism wants to move with the times, it needs to find ways to make the best of its traditions available to a modern, technological audience, both in the West and in the East. Perhaps secular Buddhism is that solution, perhaps it will be something else.

    But a big part of Buddhism is in the strength of the sangha, so I hope that some of the bigger groupings will make a progressive leap and join the likes of the Dalai Lama in taking on board science and it’s ways of thinking about the natural world.

    While some people consider the following phrase to be lacking in nuance and incendiary as a result, I stand by it: "conservatives are always wrong eventually."

    I admit that in the past I had a mischievous glee in the ruffled feathers I caused by saying it, and I'm glad I've moved past that immaturity. However, the meaning of it is simple, and is something that everyone in this forum can surely get behind: Change is inexorable. Clinging to the ideas of the past just because they've persisted for so long is like trying to give a cat a bath. You might hold on, but all you get for your efforts is stress and pain.

    I just had a new idea about a zoological simile that represents the middle way, I think I'm gonna start a new thread for that one.

  • kandokando northern Ireland Veteran

    @person said:

    They reach terminal velocity at 60 mph (96 kph) or at about 9 stories. At that point they relax some causing their legs to splay some increasing wind resistance. Then their strong legs compared to body weight allows them to absorb most of the impact.

    Now, don't try this at home, kids!

    person
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