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One thing never explained convincingly to me

JasonJason God EmperorArrakis Moderator
edited February 2005 in General Banter

Interesting article, and for a long time I have also believed in ghosts. I have heard what I believe to be some, as well as seeing some unexplained things. Now, since I have followed Buddhism, I have heard many different explainations for ghosts, which shouldn't really exist since there is no soul that lives apart from the body (Anatta, in the three characteristics of existence: Dukkha, Anicca, Anatta) I have heard various Thai, Tibetan, and other reasons for such things, and none of them truly satisfies me. If they are real, then what made them if not a soul? The left over energy? A picture or memory of someone? Our imaginations? I have even had an experience at a Buddhist monastery where I heard Indian drumming, while at the same time another person staying at the same retreat heard them wisper and walk around the tee pee he was staying in. (We all helped to build an authentic tee pee for people to stay on retreats.) Suposedly, there were at one time Indians living in that very area. So, what did I hear, and the other man experience? The Ajahn there believed us, whether he thinks it was "real" or not, I'm not sure. I just don't buy all the explainations that they give. What can survive death apart from the body? Does anybody believe in ghosts and/or have any ideas about this subject?


  • BrianBrian Detroit, MI Moderator
    edited January 2005
    It's so hard to say. As a kid, I was absolutely --- completely --- convinced that the spirit of my recently murdered cousin visited me. I was very close to him and shortly after he died I thought I saw a misty greenish light and felt it was him (it did not in any way resemble a human - more like a cloud) saying goodbye or "stay cool" or whatever. I was terrified but at the same time comforted.

    Of course this is absolutely meaningless. An 8 year old child has a very active imagination and that was my first brush with highly emotional trauma, so who's to say?

    I guess in a way I believe in spirits and ghosts. There are too many unexplained things. A lot of strange things have been documented in the tibetan mystical tradition, things that are extremely uncanny or just plain impossible to explain without including spirit visits or ghosts.

    As for the nature of ghosts, I can't even begin to speculate. I've read that Tibetans believe up to three years can pass before the kammic energy is reborn as a corporeal being... What happens during that interim?
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited January 2005
    Yeah, of all the traditions of Buddhism, the Tibetans have the most mystical, unexplained phenomena. They believe that after you die, you have up to eight things that aren't souls [but more like energies of you with past lives mixed], and they can all spred with some going to liberation, some following your body, some following other people, and some that can just get lost. Plus, they have many reincarnated lamas [i.e. tulkus], and even tolpas, which are magical doubles of you that are controlled by the creator but that sometimes break free. I don't know how much of these things I believe in, but it makes their religion very colorful to say the least. You know that they say when you're younger you're more open to such things, so maybe your cousin did drop by to say bye. It's definitely hard to seperate reality form imagination when you're that age. *yawn* I feel like a ghost myself today. I worked from 5 am to 1 pm. The whole day went by like a dream and I can't remember anything about it.
  • edited February 2005
    I'm not sure exactly what I believe about "ghosts",but I do believe that the energy that is part of us goes somewhere. I can let you know my experience with it (as someone that was an atheist looking for an explanation to death). My father-in-law lived with me while I was married. During that period, he was diagnosed with cancer. He was given 2-12 months to live. He passed away about 2 months after being diagnosed. Since he lived with me, I became very close to him and took care of him during his last days. Towards the last few days, he was not really coherent and did not speak much. He was on morphine and moaning for the last 24 hours (nurses say this is involuntary and not linked to pain, however, is not comforting when you are seeing a loved way in that way). I was with him when he took his last breathe and while sitting with him asked for some type of sign, I thought it was silly to ask, but I really wanted to know that when you are ill or leave this world that it is not painfull or an awful experience and that it is a natural thing. As I said, I watched him take his last breathe. Then there were many things to be done; calling the paramedics and police, waiting for the undertaker, funeral arrangements, preparing and notifying family and friends, etc. I did not think much again about the question that I asked while doing all these things. The next day, while getting dressed for the viewing, I attempted to iron some clothing. The wall socket in the room where my father-in-law had passed away would not work. I thought it was odd, but didn't think too much about it and went about using another one. However, this was the wall socket that was used everyday since I had lived in the home, and used daily until the passing. To make a rally long story short, that socket worked everyday prior and everyday after that except for the day after his death. (yes, all the fuses were checked, etc)
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