Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Welcome home! Please contact lincoln@newbuddhist.com if you have any difficulty logging in or using the site. New registrations must be manually approved which may take up to 48 hours. Can't log in? Try clearing your browser's cookies.

The world as a magical place

KeromeKerome Certainty is the enemy of wonderThe Continent Veteran

I was watching this video in which Terence McKenna is talking about some of the weirdest things he has ever encountered, on psychedelics or off them. I think it really appealed to me because I needed to free my mind of a few more straitjackets of scientific and materialist thinking.

There are some great stories there, like how he and his daughter encountered ‘the Jackalope bunny’ in the gardens of Esalen in California, or how his brother and his brothers wife went walking while high on mushrooms and were rescued by their car’s headlights mysteriously coming on in the parking lot on the other side of the valley, or about Terences encounter with the ten-ton beast from above.

The thing is, I’ve encountered a few things myself that were rather mysterious, and have heard first-hand tales of others. I always dismissed these things in favour of a very scientific viewpoint but now I am starting to wonder whether I might not have been mistaken, and the world is at least a little bit magical.

Of course Tibetan Buddhists see the world as much more magical 🧙‍♂️ but I was wondering, how magical do you think the world is?

BunksDavidTheEccentric

Comments

  • how magical do you think the world is?

    Magical experiences are wonderfull experiences and (thus have I heard) a beginner's mind is full of wonder...each moment presents a magical/mystical experience.....if the mind is not too pre-occupied with other things...

    The world is full of magical/mystical moments ....for example have you looked at a leaf lately, I mean really looked at its make up, the journey it has taken to reach this moment...

    However the ego can conjure up spectacular illusions of make-believe.....to please itself. in an attempt to reinforce its dominance ...

    lobsterKeromeRen_in_black
  • ... how magical do you think the world is?

    Totally.

  • KeromeKerome Certainty is the enemy of wonder The Continent Veteran

    But seriously, an attitude of seeing the world as including some magical elements is very liberating for the mind. If you think everything is completely scientific and explainable, you are trapped into finding logical explanations for everything, and you end up thinking that you know the way to understand everything... which I don’t think is healthy, it kills wonder, and eventually even poetry.

    Science is the antithesis to the idea that we know nothing. It is a very safe thing to attach yourself to, the ego loves it because it thinks it is in control. Stories about psychedelics have a way of showing you that we are not truly in control, that perhaps everything we thought was wrong. It’s funny that you can learn from just the stories of those who take psychedelics, without even attempting the substance yourself.

    Of course this also affects the dharma, which is also one of these constructs in the mind. But it is a great way to move forward when you have gotten stuck in your mind.

  • Rob_VRob_V North Carolina Explorer

    I don't know about 'magical' per se. I certainly believe in some aspects of what might be considered 'supernatural'. I think that any Buddhist must if they profess to believe in rebirth and enlightenment, realizing of course that not all Buddhists do. I also am rarely disappointed at the wonderment this existence has to offer. But I draw the line at miracles and magic.

    Much of my frustration with the Pali Canon is the flights of fancy some have deemed necessary to include. I have yet to witness a human being levitating, reading minds, consistently gleaning the future, healing the sick, or walking on water. As my experience changes, so too will my faith in such things.

    To be honest, there is enough magic in radio transmission, thunderstorms, snow, and bumblebee flight to keep me amused for a lifetime; no magic required.

    (My sincere apologies to any Wiccans, or others who may practice Magick. Your Magick is in a different category)

  • KeromeKerome Certainty is the enemy of wonder The Continent Veteran

    @Rob_V said:
    Much of my frustration with the Pali Canon is the flights of fancy some have deemed necessary to include. I have yet to witness a human being levitating, reading minds, consistently gleaning the future, healing the sick, or walking on water. As my experience changes, so too will my faith in such things.

    I was of a very similar persuasion. I would have called myself rational, but I think in hindsight I took it to more of an extreme, going so far as to poo-poo the beliefs of others that I felt to be irrational. My ego felt compelled to defend its secure position in science when a threat came along.

    And that isn’t a very Buddhist attitude to take. It seems to me that ‘is that so?’ Is a much more middle way approach. In the end, what do we truly know.

    To be honest, there is enough magic in radio transmission, thunderstorms, snow, and bumblebee flight to keep me amused for a lifetime; no magic required.

    Truth, but also a good example of wanting to be secure in knowledge.

  • Rob_VRob_V North Carolina Explorer

    @Kerome said:

    And that isn’t a very Buddhist attitude to take. It seems to me that ‘is that so?’ Is a much more middle way approach. In the end, what do we truly know.

    Truth, but also a good example of wanting to be secure in knowledge.

    Don't misunderstand; I'm perfectly willing to believe whatever my own experience shows me, which I believe is a sound Buddhist doctrine, it's just that I have yet to experience these things for myself. Note that I never said that they were ridiculous or beyond belief. I too have had experiences that I cannot explain, which is to say that I have flights of fancy of my own - but I don't expect others to believe them.

    lobster
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran

    I try to keep a balance between being open to possibilities and a skepticism that truth claims require evidence.

    Having said that a scientific mindset isn't necessarily the same as a hard skeptical, physicalist mindset. Science also isn't simply a list of verified facts about the world, it is a way of thinking.

    There is so much we don't know still and often new discoveries upend the way we conceive of the world.

    lobsterDavidKerome
  • Well quoted @Shoshin1 <3

    • 3 magic jewels
    • untold awakenings
    • flowers and precious insects
    • food alchemy
    • hear and now conjured up

  • DavidDavid Just another unique aspect of the same old thang The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited January 27

    Einstein said there are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle, the other is as though everything is a miracle. I seem to go back and forth.

    When I was younger I was known for having a psychedelic experience or two. In fact, tripping out while listening to Alan Watts, Aldous Huxley and Timothy Leary is what sparked my interest in the dharma. It was a very fun way to be introduced to the Way but unsustainable and too easy to get lost in added confusion. As my practice grew I left the acid gurus behind and my mindfulness was better for it.

    Now, I have always been a vivid dreamer and sometimes I have lucid dreams. Actually they are what sparked my interest in psychedelics but anyways. I still remember a good portion of my dreams and a part of me still feels there is something at play there. I still wouldn't use the word "magical" but maybe "wonderful".

    I had a dream the other night where a multiversal timeline was implied and every single version of my conventional self had to "move over one spot" on the timelines. I've had dreams of other lives, like once I was an African-American woman in the heart of a busy city, trying to get my teenage son ready for school, looking in the bathroom mirror and asking God for the strength to get us through whatever it was we were going through.

    The problem for me as that if I let myself see these types of things as " magical" it puts the understanding out of reach because as you say, when we see magic, we don't trust science so much and start relaying on beliefs and beliefs can lead to clanging to views to the detriment of understanding. Even H.H. The Dalai Lama says that if science ever disproves Tibetan Buddhism wrong about something then Tibetan Buddhism would have to change. If I let them simply be wondrous or wonderful then I leave the interpretation open to unfold on its own and I get to watch.

    lobsterKeromeRob_Vperson
  • KeromeKerome Certainty is the enemy of wonder The Continent Veteran

    @David said:
    Einstein said there are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle, the other is as though everything is a miracle. I seem to go back and forth.

    It is a good quote, although treating everything as a miracle is leaving aside the question of reason and cause-and-effect.

    It was a very fun way to be introduced to the Way but unsustainable and too easy to get lost in added confusion. As my practice grew I left the acid gurus behind and my mindfulness was better for it.

    There seems to be a new generation of them on YouTube. I’ve been looking at the forum of a man called Leo Gura who is a serious advocate of using psychedelics to attain enlightenment. If you want to take a look see the forum at Actualized.org.

    I’ve never yet tried psychedelics myself, though it sounds fun.

  • Rob_VRob_V North Carolina Explorer

    @David said:
    Even H.H. The Dalai Lama says that if science ever disproves Tibetan Buddhism wrong about something then Tibetan Buddhism would have to change. If I let them simply be wondrous or wonderful then I leave the interpretation open to unfold on its own and I get to watch.

    That begs a number of questions, like WOULD it change? Who is to say it should or should not? How many new factions or sects would ensue if some chose to and some not? Protestant Christianity grew from one minor monastic having a difference of opinion from the Church.

    And who is to say the science is correct? Some days caffeine is bad for you, other days it's beneficial. Newtonian Physicks was law until Einstein came along - and HE didn't believe in quantum physics.

    None of this deals with magic. Perhaps we need to enquire of the OP a tighter definition?

  • DavidDavid Just another unique aspect of the same old thang The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited January 28

    @Kerome said:

    @David said:
    Einstein said there are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle, the other is as though everything is a miracle. I seem to go back and forth.

    It is a good quote, although treating everything as a miracle is leaving aside the question of reason and cause-and-effect.

    I see it as an invitation to look deeper. I think you will find if you take that invitation that you may come to see the difference between the mundane and the divine or even perhaps the magical depends entirely on perspective. Think of all the conditions that had to come together just for us to have this conversation. Nothing short of miraculous.

    It was a very fun way to be introduced to the Way but unsustainable and too easy to get lost in added confusion. As my practice grew I left the acid gurus behind and my mindfulness was better for it.

    There seems to be a new generation of them on YouTube. I’ve been looking at the forum of a man called Leo Gura who is a serious advocate of using psychedelics to attain enlightenment. If you want to take a look see the forum at Actualized.org.

    I’ve never yet tried psychedelics myself, though it sounds fun.

    For me it's a case of been there, done that. I am not interested in trying any new psychedelics or finding merit in other peoples trips. That's for the new generation.

    Of course I do have a half dozen doses hidden away for my golden years, lol. I doubt I'll ever eat them though. Even though I'd be using them spiritually, it does go against my training.

  • DavidDavid Just another unique aspect of the same old thang The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited January 28

    @Rob_V said:

    @David said:
    Even H.H. The Dalai Lama says that if science ever disproves Tibetan Buddhism wrong about something then Tibetan Buddhism would have to change. If I let them simply be wondrous or wonderful then I leave the interpretation open to unfold on its own and I get to watch.

    That begs a number of questions, like WOULD it change? Who is to say it should or should not? How many new factions or sects would ensue if some chose to and some not? Protestant Christianity grew from one minor monastic having a difference of opinion from the Church.

    Thats beside the point. It is refreshing to see that attitude in a religious figurehead and it is enough that his view would change. Good luck to anyone disproving reincarnation though, lol.

    And who is to say the science is correct? Some days caffeine is bad for you, other days it's beneficial. Newtonian Physicks was law until Einstein came along - and HE didn't believe in quantum physics.

    Not sure how to respond to that except that science is a method of discovering what is true and what isn't based on measurements and other observations. As our means get more advanced, we will get more information which could change our findings. When a scientist puts forth a theory, other scientists go on to see if they can either prove or disprove it. There are more rewards in disproving a theory than in proving it right so there is no good reason to fear advancements and proving the most current theory wrong.

  • ...each moment presents a magical/mystical experience.....if the mind is not too pre-occupied with other things...

    Seems like a plan B)

    Some daka, dakini and Theravada monks are methodical and suck all the joy out of muggles.

    Developing a sense of wonder, awe and appreciation of the magical is part of some scientists processing.
    For example, Einstein, Carl Sagan, Neil deGrasse Tyson etc.

    Bonus track (based on a true story)

  • KeromeKerome Certainty is the enemy of wonder The Continent Veteran
    edited January 28

    Well, the world is magical insofar as there are sometimes unexplained happenings, things which one would scarce credit except that they do come from a creditable source. Science tries to find an answer but sometimes there is just weird stuff.

    I’m a fan of those popular scientists who manage to communicate a sense of wonder as well, people like Carl Sagan and Neil Degrasse Tyson and Brian Cox are great. I always really enjoyed places like the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum.

    But in the realms of mind and meditation things are a lot more fluent... you see that with psychedelics, where all kinds of weird experiences come to the fore. You can’t transpose science into the changeable realms of the mind. Dreams too are like that.

    Even to try and apply the scientific method and the laws of constancy of the world to the mental realm is a bit futile in my experience. Often clear thinking is extraordinarily hard, and I am not sure that it is even desirable. One could view dreaming as a skill, and try to be a capable dreamer, maybe that is a better path.

  • Rob_VRob_V North Carolina Explorer

    I have my magic for the day; in a part of the globe known more for hurricanes, we woke up to 4 inches of winter wonderland.

    Shoshin1Davidlobster
  • DavidDavid Just another unique aspect of the same old thang The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    I love this one.

    KeromeShoshin1
  • KeromeKerome Certainty is the enemy of wonder The Continent Veteran

    Absolutely there is wonder in science and in nature. I have thought so for many years, and I think it is a great pity that so many nature documentaries these days are focusing not on the wonder but on how big animals often eat little animals.

    Still in the mind the rules are different, and science and reason only get you so far. It reminds me of a vision I once had in meditation. I was sitting with my eyes closed, I was a little tired so somewhat sleepy, while what appeared in my mind’s eye was a fully decked out Central American shaman... he was wearing a golden mask that appeared Aztec, with a very colourful feather dress erupting all around it. Later a voice said to me, “so you met the king eh?” But he seemed so real.

    In Terence McKenna’s stories I felt something similar, the weird and the wonderful erupting.

  • The Magical Mystical Quantum World

  • The Word truly is a wonderful, magical, mystical mundane place.It is a place where seeming random patterns and actions blend to become the harmony, the magic of a flower or the pattern of a tree or the mind of a child. We can awaken to the mystery and wonder of this life we are immersed in and surrounded by or we can remain ignorant and unaware of this magical treasure perceiving it as mundane, dull in it's drab ordinariness. We each one will choose to celebrate, to embrace life with all it's glory and all it's pain or to merely exist.

    Peace to all

    Shoshin1lobster
Sign In or Register to comment.