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Do you believe in spirits?

footiamfootiam Veteran
edited June 2011 in General Banter
Do Buddhist believe in spirits that go bump in the night?
«13

Comments

  • aMattaMatt Veteran
    Some of them, certainly. Its odd to see you ask for such a sweeping generalization.

    Did you have an related experience, footiam?
  • Mr_SerenityMr_Serenity Veteran
    edited June 2011
    From a young age I've had a connection with spirits. Every now and then I have encounters with them. It's rare, but when it happens, I remember it forever. It tends to happen to me once a year, or once every two years. Sometimes more. So when it happens I observe it. I try to debunk it. I log it. I document it the best I can.

    They take different forms. From looking like a flesh and blood person, a transparent person, a partial figure, to looking like a tall shadow entity that has its own mind, to no formation at all but just interacting with you. There are other ways they can look too. Sometimes people think they encounter a spirit when it can really be debunked. I have debunked a few of my own experiences. But of course there have been those that were genuinely spirit related.

    There comes a time where someone in particular actually encounters a spirit the same way you would see a tiger in the wild. It's almost impossible to see a tiger in the wild. But I guarantee you, that if you go after it enough, you'll find it. Even for those not going after it, they might see it too. It's the same way with spirits.

    I can actually seek spirits out and make them come to me. Very rarely do they show themselves, but it is very possible to get them to interact with you by using the right mediums. Such as an ouija board. That is a very practical tool to learning that spirits exist.

    Energy work, such as Qigong and other energy manipulation is also a tool in attracting spirits to you. It's because they feed off energy like that, and basically we're energy beings. We have electricity in our body, that emits frequencies. Whenever a spirit is interacting with you in this physical plane its using energy. For one to actually manifest and be seen that's a whole lot of energy, it's very rare, but sometimes it happens.

    It's really a special thing to know that there is a supernatural science very unknown, yet real to so many cultures around the world. Maybe I wouldn't believe it if I didn't experience it. But I have. It's definitely real. Anyone who actually wants to seek it out can experience it just by dedicating themselves to that quest with an unbiased mind, open to whatever happens not expecting anything, but what is actually there.

    Just for the record though, I don't call myself Buddhist. I just gather good psychology and apply it for my own benefit. I'm a truth seeker. I try to see things in an unbiased and balanced approach.



    lanieSabby
  • Do Buddhist believe in spirits that go bump in the night?
    Many Buddhists do, some do not. Probably about the same percentage who believe in ghosts of some form in any population.
  • Do Buddhist believe in spirits that go bump in the night?
    Only when it actually happens ;-)

    Spiny
  • TakuanTakuan Veteran
    Depends on what you mean by "spirits". Personally, I have never really had an encounter with such things, but members of my family have. My cousins used to see what they called "shadow people" when they were younger. Judging by their general fear whenever they had a sighting, I believe they actually did see something.
  • They sometimes appear at the corner of my eye. Random faces that I have not seen before, and definitely not my imagination.

    metta
  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited June 2011
    For many, it's not a matter of believing, but knowing, as some of the above testimony demonstrates. Are you asking about Western Buddhists, or Eastern? Have some conversations on the subject with people from different parts of Asia. Spirits are real to a lot of Buddhists. (But I don't know about the "going bump in the night" part. Spirits can appear in broad daylight, too.
  • I did not, even when others related their personal stories. I even babysat a boy who spoke to "the girl who died in his room", and thought "The boy's gone mad". I'm the person in the horror movie who insists everything is in your mind, the results of squeaky floors and hysteria, or swamp gas illusions.
    Then something occurred a couple of times in my teens to make me go "hmmm"? In addition 2 things also occurred in a nursing home I worked at and my current hospital job. (Let me tell you how wonderful it is to go to the lower levels of the hospital at 2am to get some supplies...hells no, someone else can fetch crap from now on!)
    :hair:
    Now I'm on the fence. I went from believing in no personal soul, to questioning my stance. Now I'll just wait for a ghost to literally appear before me and speak... then I'll be a full-time believer, lol.
  • footiamfootiam Veteran
    Dear aMatt,
    No experience, thanks goodness but just read about people who see spirits in the local newspapers. So, do you have experience with spirits?

    Dear Mr Serenity,
    I suppose people of all cultures, not necessary Buddhists believe in spirits. I have heard of people who can see spirits here too; in fact, I know a young man who could see spirits. I wonder if that is a blessing.

    Dear Cinorjer,
    So, do you believe in spirits yourself? If you don’t believe in it, it is not going to affect your life, I am sure.

    Dear SpinyNorman,
    So, has it happened?

    Dear Takuan,
    For most people who can’t see, we’d just have to assume that the spirits are the spirits that are forbidden in the Buddhist Five precepts- the one otherwise known as intoxicants!

    Dear santhisouk,
    Oh, I didn’t know one can see ghosts from the corner of the eyes!

    Dear Dakini,
    The question is for all but now, I wonder if there is any difference between Western and Eastern Buddhists. Westerners, not necessarily Buddhists should believe in spirits too. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be movies like ghostbusters, Exorcists, etc.

    Dear Malachy12,
    I heard that in Buddhism, there is such thing as different planes of existences, including the human and animal planes which you can see and the devas and other planes which you can’t see. There should be spirits lurking somewhere then!
  • jlljll Veteran
    Of course, who else do we share merits with?
    lanie
  • footiamfootiam Veteran
    Dear jll,
    How about with fellow humans and the animals?
  • @footiam Most Westerners don't believe in spirits, because of their scientific education. Movies like Ghostbusters, etc. are for kids, and for adults who want to enjoy a bit of fantasy.
  • ZaylZayl Veteran
    Well I don't NOT believe in them.
  • Good for you, Zayl! An open mind is the best. :thumbsup:
  • taiyakitaiyaki Michigan Veteran
    idk but at times i do see huge random balls of light. only for an instant though.
    i'm open to the idea that spirits exist, idk for sure though. i mean human beings exist.

    lol anything is possible.
  • It arises, remains, and then passes. I find this phrase very universal. :)

    metta
  • SabreSabre Veteran
    Since I follow the 5th precept strictly, I don't see any spirits anymore. :p
    lanie
  • taiyakitaiyaki Michigan Veteran
    Lol! well i'll have a beer just for you then.
  • I believe in devas....
  • I don't know. I think they are possible, but have no evidence of them. I often see movement/shadows from the corner of my eye, but they are probably nothing important.
  • jlljll Veteran
    You cant share merits with people & animals.
    Buddhism 101.
    Dear jll,
    How about with fellow humans and the animals?
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    You cant share merits with people & animals.
    Buddhism 101.

    Well, lots of Buddhists (although not me) think you can, so I wouldn't say it's Buddhism 101.

  • Dear aMatt,
    No experience, thanks goodness but just read about people who see spirits in the local newspapers. So, do you have experience with spirits?

    Dear Cinorjer,
    So, do you believe in spirits yourself? If you don’t believe in it, it is not going to affect your life, I am sure.

    Do I believe there are spirits, ghosts of some sort? No, not at all. Don't believe in UFOs or crop circles made by those UFOs or Big Foot, either. I do believe in the human capacity to combine imagination with unreliable perception to create strange effects in the mind, because I've observed and experienced that. But that's just me. I never seemed to have the knack of believing in the impossible. Might be a failing on my part.
    Ficus_religiosa
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    Do I believe there are spirits, ghosts of some sort? No, not at all. Don't believe in UFOs or crop circles made by those UFOs or Big Foot, either. I do believe in the human capacity to combine imagination with unreliable perception to create strange effects in the mind, because I've observed and experienced that. But that's just me. I never seemed to have the knack of believing in the impossible. Might be a failing on my part.
    I don't necessarily believe or disbelieve. I am open-minded. I think there are things in this world we don't understand.

  • I believe in "spirits". I think that if string theory postulates the existence of many other dimensions, it's possible that spirits inhabit one of those dimensions. And the Tibetan belief in the bardo state would imply that one becomes some sort of spirit entity after death (or that one's "consciousness" makes a journey through the bardo state). I'm thinking mainly about the spirits of deceased people. I don't know about "evil spirits" and other kinds of spirit beings, though.
  • footiamfootiam Veteran
    Dear compassionate_warrior,
    Thanks for the information. I suppose Buddhists would believe in spirits then since you mentioned about the existence of different dimensions. While you said that a scientific education renders the Westerners incapable of believing in the existence of spirits, do you think the same education would make them mindful of the existence of Gods.

    Dear Zayl,
    Not believing in spirits does not disrupt a person’s life, does it?

    Dear taiyaki,
    I’ve heard of people saying that there are such things as balls of light here.

    Dear santhisouk,
    Do you mean spirit arises, remains and passes?

    Dear Sabre,
    I take it that you believe in spirits then. I just heard that not many Westerners believe in spirits. Do you think then that the 5 precepts is the antidote for spirits?

    Dear taiyaki,
    Celebrating with beer?

    Dear Vincenzi,
    If there are devas, then there should be spirits.

    Dear Fran45,
    Why do you think they are possible?

    Dear jll,
    Oh, I thought we can share merits with all beings. If not, then let’s share our food!

    Dear Cinorjer,
    Not believing is not a failing. Believing is!

    Dear vinlyn,
    An open mind is more susceptible to believing.

  • Dear compassionate_warrior,
    Thanks for the information. I suppose Buddhists would believe in spirits then since you mentioned about the existence of different dimensions. While you said that a scientific education renders the Westerners incapable of believing in the existence of spirits, do you think the same education would make them mindful of the existence of Gods?

    No, the Western education is secular, and scientifically-oriented. In public schools, that is.
    Many Asian Buddhists believe in spirits because it's part of the culture. Western Buddhists who believe in spirits probably do so for different reasons, depending on the individual.

  • Spirits are very much a part of cultures that are not Westernized. When I spent time in the heart of Mexico that is actually where I had my best and most undeniable encounters with a spirit. Everyone who I told my encounter to believed me and they had their own stories to share with me as well, that also happened in that house. The only person who didn't believe me was my Grandmother who was in denial out of fear. It took her actually fighting with the spirit physically to confess to my uncle that it was true that her house was haunted and that she had seen it several times. She is very Catholic, and she doesn't like talking about it for some reason.

    But my great grandmother (99) who is also very Catholic very much acknowledges the spirits in her house. She has names for them, that I can't recall. But she has said there are several different spirits there, and she's right.

    There is a male spirit there that wears boots, a female transparent spirit, tall shadow entities that come out at night, and spirits that interact with you physically that do not show themselves, yet according to my great grandmother they're like goblin spirits or small people. It's such a great place to be if you want to meet a spirit. Though the spirits are the least of your worries in that part of Mexico. The drug cartels make it pretty dangerous to be a tourist there.

    still_learning
  • Mr_SerenityMr_Serenity Veteran
    edited June 2011
    One thing I learned about spirits is that they connect and interact with your own bodies energy and even the energy fields around you. I have seen worms crawl out the soil and try to get inside the house after I see a spirit in the garden. I have seen my MP3 player completely freeze up when a spirit begins to physically manifest in front of me. I also have felt electric like needles stuck in my skin for several minutes at a time before I saw a spirit (like acupuncture), yet there was nothing under my shirt.

    So all these things are connected to ones personal energy field. You can actually learn to attract spirits by creating energy balls for them and leaving them as bait. I have done this before, and it works. It can be dangerous though, as they can mess with you physically. I'm talking about manipulating your dreams and even bruising or scratching you.

    But through experiences like that I have learned what protects yourself against spirits as well. You can learn to make your energy into a hardened aura that actually works as a physical shield against spirits and also a dream shield. There are other ways too that deal with getting rid of malicious type spirits.

    But here is the *main trick to getting rid of them. They work off your own energy. The more afraid you're of them, the more you acknowledge them when they're actually there the more power you give them. Everyone has a distinct energy frequency running through their body like a radio station. The spirits are attracted to specific frequencies, which means they show themselves to particular people because of the energy and flow of the chakra that allows them to do it.

    Those who do not believe in spirits at all do not emit energy for them. Because even when they're there they're dismisses and ignored. It's only when one actually makes an effort to see things with heightened awareness and eyes unclouded, basically with a third eye, where they can actually continue to attract the spirits to them. So if you're oblivious to them, or if you pretend they don't exist and just ignore them, they will eventually leave, because there is no benefit for them anymore.

    They're really like people. They have emotions, feelings, have desires, etc. This is where the term "hungry ghost" comes from. Because they're hungry, not all of them, but they tend to be. If you have it in your mind that it's impossible for them to exist they will most likely never use the energy from you that allows them to cross paths with you.
  • ZaylZayl Veteran


    Dear Zayl,
    Not believing in spirits does not disrupt a person’s life, does it?

    Never said it did.
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran


    Dear vinlyn,
    An open mind is more susceptible to believing.

    So having an open mind is a bad thing?

  • footiamfootiam Veteran
    Dear compassionate_warrior,
    I suppose Westerners do still go churches. Do you suppose church goers believe in God?

    Dear Mr Serenity,
    While it is said that most Westerners do not believe in spirits, yet we hear of spirits appearing in the Western hemisphere. Spirits must be very real then!

    Dear Zayl,
    Believing in spirits would also not disrupt a person’s life then.

    Dear vinlyn,
    Do you suppose it is bad in the case of a person who starts to believe in spirits as a result of being open?
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran


    Dear vinlyn,
    Do you suppose it is bad in the case of a person who starts to believe in spirits as a result of being open?
    No, it is what it is. If there are spirits...fine. If there are not...fine.

  • ZaylZayl Veteran
    I shoulda said "Yeah I got a glass of spirits right now" But I'm too slow on the draw this week.
  • footiamfootiam Veteran
    Dear vinlyn,
    Being open to the negative things in life would not be so good.

    Dear Zayl,
    The glass of spirits seems to put you in good spirit. Wonder why they say, Thou should not drink!
  • Dear compassionate_warrior,
    I suppose Westerners do still go churches. Do you suppose church goers believe in God?
    Footiam, I'm not following you. What does this have to do with the OP?

  • ZaylZayl Veteran

    Dear Zayl,
    The glass of spirits seems to put you in good spirit. Wonder why they say, Thou should not drink!
    Haha, true enough. But worry not I'm strictly a social drinker and the life of a party, I just happened to stumble home three sheets to the wind. Drinking isn't wrong, it is your reason for doing so.

  • footiamfootiam Veteran
    Dear compassionate_warrior,
    If you think in terms of Westerners going to school which is scientifically oriented and yet the same group of people go to churches and believe in God, it makes no sense.

    Dear Zayl.
    I see you can laugh over this. That's great. I drink too but not enough to get tipsy.
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    Dear compassionate_warrior,
    If you think in terms of Westerners going to school which is scientifically oriented and yet the same group of people go to churches and believe in God, it makes no sense.

    Wrong. You're assuming everyone has the same belief system you do and that only your belief system is correct. Let's see...is that ego or clinging?

  • footiam- I know that you directed your questions to the Buddhist community, but I hope that you're open to non Buddhist opinions on the topic.

    I was Catholic and left the church to study eastern religions such as Buddhism. I've always believed that there was a part of a person that survived death. I've seen what could be considered ghosts as a child. Once or twice in a shadowy form, many times in frightening dreams, and in contact that some folks would call psychic. I don't believe in the whole "new age" industry. I examine these sort of "communications" carefully before I consider them worth anything.

    I think these phenomena can fall into a couple of categories. Sometimes a traumatic event can leave an imprint that replays and is perceived by people who are sensitive to that type of energy. Sometimes the deceased can make contact through a person's subconscious- in dreams or visions. I don't know if this is accurate or not.

    I've had visits from dead relatives in dreams. The last time I "saw" a ghost was in a hotel room. We were on a short holiday and our children were very young. In the middle of the night, a large woman came into the room and was trying to get to the sleeping children to drain their energy. Don't ask me how I knew this, but it was very clear that I needed to keep her away from them. I saw myself leave my body and stand in the intruder's way. She tried to go around me but I kept chanting and telling her to leave. After what seemed like a long time, she left. She was very angry about it. When I relaxed, I got a flash of a vision. The woman was a drug addict in life and had died in the area where the hotel was built. She now goes from room to room to "feed" on the energy of the sleeping guests. Maybe I had a vivid, lucid dream or maybe I did see a ghost. Who knows?
    It was a disturbing experience just the same.
  • Thanks so much for that testimony, kayte.
  • footiamfootiam Veteran
    Dear vinlyn,
    I suppose I have assumed that all the products from the school have been brainwashed. That is neither ego or clinging. That is misunderstanding.

    Dear kayte,
    A friend of mine has this eye that can see shadowy figures too and he’s not Catholic. Catholic, Buddhist or not – If there spirits, there are spirits. One does not have to believe.

    Dear compassionate_warrior,
    The testimony perhaps suggests that there are spirits even if Science does not prove their existence.
  • zombiegirlzombiegirl beating the drum of the lifeless in a dry wasteland Veteran
    i've known many people who have had very real experiences and i've even had my share of them. but... for some reason, as time goes on, those memories fade and i feel that i don't believe in ghosts again, lol. i once had a ghost run right through me, but it all happened so quickly that, years later, i find myself questioning it. although i know i was 100% convinced at the time. i almost quit my job over it, haha. anyways, i think what i need is to see a ghost moving slowly and not suddenly disappear, then i will believe. until then, i'm rather indifferent.
  • footiamfootiam Veteran
    Maybe, it's good to be indifferent here. As long as the spirits do not interfere with our meditation or other things!
  • I think I do believe, I've had experiences that make me wonder if "spirits" are about. I'm not a "firm" believer, I could be wrong..

    Spirits of what specifically would be my question. :)
  • I dont believe in spirits at all. Unless one pops up and sits down for a cup of coffee and a long chat I dont think ill ever believe.
  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    I agree, footiam, going to a secular school that teaches science, but believing in Creationism and all that Biblical stuff doesn't make sense. But guess what--humans don't make sense! Not everyone is as logical as we are here. Some people set aside what they've been taught in science classes, and believe everything in the Bible when they're i church or at home, reading the Bible. They're able to divide their reality in two.
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    I agree, footiam, going to a secular school that teaches science, but believing in Creationism and all that Biblical stuff doesn't make sense. But guess what--humans don't make sense! Not everyone is as logical as we are here. Some people set aside what they've been taught in science classes, and believe everything in the Bible when they're i church or at home, reading the Bible. They're able to divide their reality in two.
    I have two problems with your statement.

    First, the statement that, "Not everyone is as logical as we are here." Who is this "we"? Or, was that a joke?

    Second, what about the people who believe "everything in the Dhamma"? Or is that different because it is our religion?

  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited June 2011

    First, the statement that, "Not everyone is as logical as we are here." Who is this "we"? Or, was that a joke?
    hahaha! I was thinking of Buddhism's inherent logic. Plus the fact that about 90% of members or more reject anything to do with metaphysics, the paranormal, etc., when those topics come up.
    Second, what about the people who believe "everything in the Dhamma"? Or is that different because it is our religion?
    The Dhamma generally doesn't clash with science, unless you get into the hell realms, the 31 realms. But members here have rejected a literal interpretation of that (those who even knew there was such a thing as metaphysical realm teachings in Buddhism).

    Thanks for the laugh, Vin. ^_^

    P.S> OK, there are schools of Buddhism that have a lot of mythology (Siddhartha's virgin birth, the Buddha's omniscience and paranormal powers), but the bunch of folks here, according to the many threads on these topics at least, don't buy into that. On other forums many, possibly most actually DO believe all the mythology.
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    ...

    P.S> OK, there are schools of Buddhism that have a lot of mythology (Siddhartha's virgin birth, the Buddha's omniscience and paranormal powers), but the bunch of folks here, according to the many threads on these topics at least, don't buy into that. On other forums many, possibly most actually DO believe all the mythology.
    It is very interesting how differently different Buddhist forums are oriented.

    For example, at least when I was on it for a couple of years, the Buddhist forum on thaivisa.com was very much into Buddhism being a philosophy and NOT a religion. Here, it seems to be just the reverse.

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