dawg

Eye witness accounts of the spirit world

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Hello !

 

I feel like I already “know” many people here, because I have been reading the threads for months. But I have just registered as a member, and have spent a couple of days looking at everything trying to figure out how things work.

 

I am an American and I am currently living half way up a mountain in the north of Thailand, just south of the Mekong River… I just spent a year meditating at a Buddhist monastery in the forest east of me. At the moment I am meditating alone in solitude. But I will return to the monastery when my dharma teacher returns from Europe and Australia.

 

The internet connection of the computer I use to get on-line, is “flakey”. It is a satellite dish aimed at a satellite owned by a government monopoly. The service is over subscribed, so it is sometimes impossible to get on-line, or I am suddenly bumped off-line. If that is not bad enough, it will crap out if there are too many clouds, or if it is raining… and it is presently the “rainy season”… But thanks to my meditation, nothing really bothers me anymore… I just tell myself that its’ my karma, and go and do something else… As a result, my presence in the discussion forums might be very irregular.

 

I registered as a member, because I wanted to start a discussion forum with the topic title… “Eye witness accounts of the spirit world”… I have been to the spirit world more times than I could count (I once spent more than three weeks when I could see and roam off into the spirit world every time I closed my eyes, no matter where I was or what I was doing)… I shall describe realms and spirit beings that I have seen and interacted with (also any conclusions), and would like to hear other people describe their “eye witness” accounts of realms and spirit beings that they have seen and interacted with (and any conclusions) in the spirit world…

 

Spirit World & Physical World

The "Spirit World" and "Religion" are two completely different things. The "Spirit World" is what "is", "Religion" is what we "imagine" the spirit world to be. The "Physical World" and "Science" are two completely different things. The "Physical World" is what "is", "Science" is what we "imagine" the physical world to be ... The Spirit World and the Physical World are unassailable Cosmic Realities... Religion and Science were created by men, so are riddled with flaws and mistakes...

 

Our spirit lives eternally in the "Spirit World", and we are born with a physical body into the "Physical World". When our spirit leaves our body in the "Physical World", we are still alive in the "Spirit World". We never die… it is impossible to “die”. When we are physically alive, we are living in both worlds simultaneously. Our spirit inhabits and controls our physical body, which is what makes our physical body "alive". When we are awake, the physical world of physical senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, touch) totally engages our spirit, so that we are unaware of the spirit world, but when we sleep we return to the spirit world. That is why we need sleep, and why it refreshes our body. When we are asleep and dream, our dreams take place in the spirit world. If when we are asleep and dreaming, and we are aware that we are dreaming, we can take control of our dream (by simply walking away from whatever is happening in our dream), and use our awareness that we are in a dream to explore the spirit world... This is what is called "Lucid Dreaming". This is the "Dream-time" of ancient cultures like the Australian aborigines, and of the native American tribes, that knew the spirit world as a normal conscious part of their everyday lives. (Note: a person can meditate and sit in “Samadhi” for days without “sleeping”, because “Samadhi” is essentially a form of “lucid sleep”).

 

Our religious beliefs, or affiliations, are totally unimportant in the spirit world... It doesn't matter whether we are a Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist, Agnostic, Atheist, etc, etc, etc... There is nothing contradictory in being an atheist, yet believing in an afterlife in a "spirit world". Believing or not believing in a God or Gods, in no way determines our fate in an afterlife in a spirit world. We will go to a heavenly realm if our "thoughts", "words", and "actions" were motivated by "good intentions"; or go to a hell realm if we had "bad intentions". No one "judges" us except ourselves. In the spirit world, our thoughts are “actions” and create realities. Our own mind knows everything that we have done in our life, so that our own thoughts send us to whatever spiritual realm that is full of people like ourselves (we end up there for the same reasons that other people ended up there). This is why religion says that it is important to, "Do unto others as we would have them do unto us"... Because the other people in that spirit realm that we go to, will do to us what we have done to others while we were alive... "We will reap what we have sown"... Our "actions", "words", and "thoughts" in the physical world, create realities for us in the spirit world that effect our "mind", "body", and "spirit" (and so our dreams) even while we are still physically alive. Then when our physical body dies and drops away from our eternal spirit body, and we find our consciousness back in the spirit world, we will then have to live with these realities that we have created while our body was alive...

 

The physical world and spirit world are places of simple "cause & effect"... The "intention" of our thoughts, words, and actions in the physical world are the cause, and the realities that they create will first determine what happens to us in the physical world... Then when our body dies, the spiritual realities that our intentions have created while alive in the physical world, will determine what happens to us in the spirit world. No religion can "save" us from the intentions of our thoughts, words, and actions... They determine our fate in both worlds... Only by having "good" thoughts, words, & actions can we "save" ourselves, because our intentions create our reality (fate) in both worlds... We "are" the "intention" of our thoughts, words, and actions.

 

The Spirit World or Universe is a Cosmic Reality, beyond the understanding of man... Religion is a simple childlike description of the spirit world, invented by man... The various Religions are based on the individual experiences of different highly spiritual men (prophets), who tried to describe and explain the Spirit World or Universe, as they saw it, with words... words that were later interpreted by other men who had never seen the spirit world, or talked to spirit beings. But there are no words that are really capable of describing the actual experience of the spirit world. If a person has not experienced the spiritual world for them self, all the words for describing it have no meaning and are empty... It is like trying to describe to a blind person, what it is like to see with your eyes, and to watch a beautiful sunset... It is like trying to explain to a deaf person, what it is like to hear, and to listen to beautiful music...

 

No religion "owns" the "Spirit World or Universe", any more than any country "owns" the "Physical World or Universe"... The Spirit Universe, and the Physical Universe just "are", and "have been" in existence eons before man and religion appeared... Religion and Science are just man's limited attempts to describe the cosmic reality of the Spirit Universe and Physical Universe.

 

"My teaching (Religion) is like a finger pointing to the moon (Spirit World)... Do not mistake the finger for the moon”... Buddha

 

Everyone is familiar with the "Physical World", because it is the world of senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, touch), the world that our physical body lives in. This is the world that "Science" studies. This is the world that science "observes" and tries to "describe" in logical terms. It is because "Science" is so focused on the Physical World of our senses, that Science is so blind to the Spirit World. The Spirit World is too ephemeral and intangible for science to "measure", "weigh", or do any of the things it does with the Physical World. "Scientists" are usually so focused on the world of the senses, that they have no awareness of the Spirit World, and because they are unable to experience it, they dismiss it as non existent. And because no one can give them tangible (physical) "proof" that a Spirit World exists, they then think that the Spirit World, and Religion by association, are just a lot of nonsense. But for scientists to demand "physical evidence" for the existence of the spirit world, is as clueless as asking scientists to provide "spiritual evidence" that their science is real. Both the Spirit World and the Physical World have "natural laws" that explain how they work, both are based on simple "cause and effect", but they are totally different...

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Hi Dawg, Welcome to the 'bums.

 

I'll move this post into the forum to see if we can get some discussion going for you.

 

Have fun (and good luck with your net connection)

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Welcome,Dawg - I'm happy that you have found the forum, particularly given your location and current endeavors. We are still back here in the western world, each of us walking up hills of our own. I did read your URL link and the biblical history was nicely put together. Thank you for the time and trouble of sharing that. (A suggestion: please consider removing the quotes key from your keyboard - it becomes pretty distracting).

I couldn't agree more with the current conclusions of your evolution. You mention atheism several times and I marvel at how closely atheism is aligned with the road to enlightenment. The removal of mental structure, in my experience, is key to eliminating preconceptions which get in the way of pure knowledge. Another requirement is to 'go inside', an element often missed by those of us who grew up in this western world, a world where most of our needs have been met immediately and we have lived so very far away from the earth. But removal of our own character defects and arrogance about our own spiritual knowledge are absolutely key to becoming a pure channel for the Tao spirit(or whatever you want to call it); it creates the ability to look to each and every moment without fear or trepidation and supplant those conditions with a kind and loving spirit. To be here now in a true and pure sense.

I like to try and remember to dwell in the room where all paths meet. There is such a room, but my attendance within it is intermittent. After all, life does get in the way. Of course, there really is no difference between that room and life in general; it's only my own mindset that gets in the way; the mindset that thinks it's capable of judging whether something is good or bad for me, for my husband, for my country, for the world in general. My higher self knows there is no good or bad, it merely is. Judgment is counterproductive and cuts me off from seeing truth, which is self-evident once the internal cleaning process has been put into play and you've made it down the road a ways.

It seems to me that the road to enlightened thinking is served well by developing a knowledge of the beauty of all paths and looking for the commonalities. The truth seems to be between the lines, yet the desire that is implanted within each of our hearts to want to know more about where we came from is common to all spiritual persuasions. It seems to be this implant of desire that separates us from the animals (although I wouldn't swear to that, do I really know?) We seem to be possessed of a self-consciousness or a reflective ability which has manifested within our hearts,but who really knows why? Was it because it was implanted by a higher authority, or did it merely grow out of fear and need for survival?

Perhaps there is no higher authority than the thing that binds all our hearts. Perhaps we are the higher authority manifesting from the inside to the outside. Maybe the first higher authority within observable life forms manifested within micro-organisms and continued to its current evolution. It doesn't appear that we've come all that far, when we observe the current state of geopolitics in this day. I happen to live in a part of the U.S. where spiritual arrogance runs rampant (the bible belt of Ohio); a place where folks will fight to the death to make sure every baby is born, even into squalor; and yet these folks will also fight to the death to make sure they don't have to pay a dime for that baby's health care. The temptation back here is to wear Jesus on the lips (and loudly at that), but not in the heart. My four year stint in this part of the country has done as much to heighten my spiritual understanding as 20 years of studying different translations of the Tao Te Ching. It has done a lot to polarize me into an unstructured mindset, and to see the potential for mean-spiritness contained within religious zealotry. I do readily share these opinions with the godly-folks-without-temptation when they take the time to knock on my front door and want to save my pagan soul. We're not actually very popular around here.

If I recall, you mentioned something about Jesus and shamanism in your article. Yeah baby!! What a cool shaman he must have been....talk about one who could manipulate energy, assuming any of the passed-down information is remotely correct if we regard the bible as any sort of a viable historical document. I like to think that Jesus (and other Essenes of the day) did a lot to break the glass ceiling to show us Who We Really Are. It's up to each and every one of us to find what (and who) is hidden inside of us. He had the courage to practic 'do-nothing' up until the end. Damn!

Washte, Shaman. Thanks for the post - I look forward to reading more....

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But for scientists to demand "physical evidence" for the existence of the spirit world, is as clueless as asking scientists to provide "spiritual evidence" that their science is real.

 

I've been saying this for years. No one gives a crap. Everyone already knows what's true and what's not and argumentation is only applicable in case someone actually cares for it. Still, arguing with hard materialists correctly arouses a lot of cognitive dissonance in them and torments them nicely. And this is a good thing. They need to be honest with themselves and cognitive dissonance is a signal that they've been lying to themselves somewhere. Still, arguing takes a lot of energy and time. It might be more selfish to avoid arguing, just save one's energy for oneself. The selfless thing to do is to provide a mirror when the chance arises, but you really have to be good at reasoning to do so in a legitimate manner.

 

The moon the Buddha's finger points to is not really the spirit world. That's a mistake. The fingers points to Nirvana, or a non-dual reality beyond both the spirit world and the physical world. In this case reality is also a special kind of view. In spiritual systems of thought realities and views are not two distinct things. In non-spiritual systems of thought reality is often separate and distinct from views.

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Hi Dawg, Welcome to the 'bums.

 

I'll move this post into the forum to see if we can get some discussion going for you.

 

Have fun (and good luck with your net connection)

 

***********************************************************

Hello Mal,

Thanks for the welcome, and for moving this post into the forum.

Metta,

Dawg

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(A suggestion: please consider removing the quotes key from your keyboard - it becomes pretty distracting).

*******************************************************

Hello Manitou,

Thanks for the welcome... And regarding all the quotes, I plead guilty as charged... I used to use upper case type, but I kicked that habit by switching to quotes... I thought it was a little less offensive... I can't remove the quote key because I need the other symbol on the key... but I will try to restrain my finger every time it starts reaching for the "quote" key.

Metta,

Dawg

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The moon the Buddha's finger points to is not really the spirit world. That's a mistake. The fingers points to Nirvana, or a non-dual reality beyond both the spirit world and the physical world. In this case reality is also a special kind of view. In spiritual systems of thought realities and views are not two distinct things. In non-spiritual systems of thought reality is often separate and distinct from views.

**************************************************************************************

 

Hello Goldisheavy,

 

Thanks for your comment...

 

I almost didn't put the Buddha quote in the paper (I took it out, then put it back in). But within the context of the paper (Spirit World & Physical World), I decided to use it to convey the idea that a religion (the finger pointing) was only a road map or set of instructions (part of the physical world, and not the main event)... That reaching the highest level of attainment (that you are capable of) in spirit world (the moon)was the main event...

 

I have listened to a lot of Dharma talks and discussions at the monastery where I have been meditating, and it is my understanding that a person who reaches nirvana goes to the Buddha Realm which is the highest realm in the spirit world... and people who are "on the path" to nirvana (who will have no more than 8 reincarnations before they reach nirvana), are reincarnated no lower than the human realm, but usually in a heavenly realm... you may reach nirvana while still alive (like the Buddha), but nirvana is not really a condition of the physical world, that you are already in the Buddha realm at the top of the spirit world even though you still have a body... To me the Buddha's finger pointing at the moon, is the Buddha pointing out the spiritual path (road map) you have to follow to reach nirvana, which is the highest realm in the spirit world... And to get there you have to be aware of the spirit world first, and then understand that the spirit world is more important than the physical world...

 

Metta,

 

Dawg

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They way I've always understood it was that classical Buddhism views even the heavenly planes and hellish planes (as well as our waking reality) as other forms of samsara/illusory realities and that the goal was to transcend these in favor of absolute reality/nirvana. That in of itself makes Buddhism seem to me like a very high level spiritual path as compared to other more theistic practices. It chooses not to acknowledge any kind of God and declares that we are responsible for our own actions and their results; in other words no Freudian "Big Daddy Complex" were we beg God for mercy or forgiveness, or place our baggage on His shoulders, only that we acknowledge ourselves as being in oneness/Buddhahood.

I only seem confused by the Buddhist concept of Nirvana...is it annihilation of ourselves, the epitome of advancement or is it another completely different reality with its own rules (nonduality for instance?) and "levels" where spiritual advancement continues onward?

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Some people are in touch with the spirit world and some are not. They will never see eye to eye, because their eyes don't work the same way.

 

In shamanic cultures, people who were in touch with the spirit world could prove they were, and the ones with the strongest ties to the spirit world became shamans. How did they prove it? By servicing the community on a daily basis -- with a little help from their spirit friends. The members of the tribe relied on the shaman for healing, weather modifications, hunting success, finding lost or stolen items -- and once the shaman's credibility was established (it's impossible to fool all people all of the time if you live a common shared life with them and interact with them for years and decades on end), bigger problems could be addressed -- e.g. major visions that dictated a migration and resettling, whether somewhere nearby, somewhere far, or even transcontinental, or in extreme cases, trans-dimensional.

 

If the shaman could deliver when presented with smaller tasks, the tasks might keep growing. If the tasks kept growing, the shaman's power kept growing. Spirits are attracted to strong authority figures, just like most ordinary folks. I've heard from a shaman that the prerequisite for successfully interacting with spirits is authority -- the same root as in "author," creator. If you approach the spirit world with no clear idea as to what you are going to do there and what for, the spirits are pretty much guaranteed to ignore you. If you approach the spirit world with the agenda of proving it doesn't exist, they won't bend over backwards for you to prove they do... just like YOU (any generic "you") won't bend over backwards for ME (any generic "me") to prove me wrong if I were to announce that you are merely a computer virus. You're just not that invested into arguing against a belief that doesn't affect your livelihood in any shape or form whatsoever.

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Fascinating topic. :)

 

What is it however that determines whether spirits see you as an authority? Is it your virtue, consistency, clarity of vision or something similar?

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Fascinating topic. :)

 

What is it however that determines whether spirits see you as an authority? Is it your virtue, consistency, clarity of vision or something similar?

 

Well, in classic shamanism as well as much of authentic taoism, in most cases it was (and occasionally is) a vision quest of some sort or other that determined if you have what it takes. It was extremely challenging, dangerous, difficult, and quite often life-and-death. In many shamanic societies, every male and in some every female too had to undergo a vision quest merely to become a "legitimate adult." You gained authority by braving austerities, conquering your fear, stoically tolerating pain, uncertainty, loneliness... whatever it took... leaving your weak childish ways behind and re-entering the tribe as a new, authoritative adult member who has proved his or her strength of spirit. I have an old Native American book, "The Indian How," which describes some of these quests. (For some of the taoist ones, read Opening The Dragon's Gate -- the ones Wang Liping went through are a serious example.) If the vision quest failed, authority was lost, and the author of "The Indian How" asserts it was the greatest tragedy. It meant you failed to gain respect in the spirit world and this spilled over into the attitude of your own tribe -- your brothers and sisters had pity and compassion for your plight but you were never in the position to command respect and authority, in either world -- as above, so below.

 

Today, people gain or lose authority "below," in this-here world, for all kinds of reasons that have nothing to do with the strength of their spirit OR humanity's core values... and that's a far bigger tragedy for humanity as a whole, far as I'm concerned. This authority "below" that is not supported by authority "above," in the spirit world, is usually a form of abuse of power. The one supported in both worlds is use of power without abuse.

 

At least that's what the spirits told me...:lol:...I'm not kidding :ninja::)

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Here are some things I have been curious about lately. Mythical creatures, fairies, gnomes, ect... from folk lore. Do they have any basis in the actual spirit world? If so what are they, what do they do? Are they simply beings living out their existence seperate from ours, or do they interact with us, or what? Do we through our various incarnations exist in these various realms? What does it mean to be in the human realm? What are the advantages and disadvantages to being human as opposed to something else?

I have also pondered lately that Jehovah of the Old Testament seems to be a rather powerful being, but does not strike me as enlightened due to his jealousy, and temper. So what was/is he?

So I guess my overall question is I want to know more about the various life forms in these various realms, what are they, what do they do, how did they get there (if such questions are even answerable).

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They way I've always understood it was that classical Buddhism views even the heavenly planes and hellish planes (as well as our waking reality) as other forms of samsara/illusory realities and that the goal was to transcend these in favor of absolute reality/nirvana. That in of itself makes Buddhism seem to me like a very high level spiritual path as compared to other more theistic practices. It chooses not to acknowledge any kind of God and declares that we are responsible for our own actions and their results; in other words no Freudian "Big Daddy Complex" were we beg God for mercy or forgiveness, or place our baggage on His shoulders, only that we acknowledge ourselves as being in oneness/Buddhahood.

I only seem confused by the Buddhist concept of Nirvana...is it annihilation of ourselves, the epitome of advancement or is it another completely different reality with its own rules (nonduality for instance?) and "levels" where spiritual advancement continues onward?

 

Hello Observer,

 

Thanks for your comment.

 

As I understand nirvana (enlightenment):

When you reach enlightenment you have achieved total unity (non duality), you no longer create any new karma, but while your physical body is still alive you are still subjected to your old karma, then when your body dies your old karma dies with your body... But you will never die again, and need to be reborn again... You are an "indestructible unity"... totally complete, needing nothing and wanting nothing... Total "emptiness"... But not emptiness in the sense of nothingness... Your awareness is emptiness in the sense of infinite potential... your awareness is an empty stage that you can fill with anything of your choice, or leave empty.

 

Buddhism recognizes that the gods (plural) exist, and one of the heavenly realms is a "god & goddess realm"... But all beings in the spirit realms including the gods (but not those in the Buddha realm), were born in that realm and must die and be reincarnated again in whatever realm that their karma sends them to... The gods are not immortal, nor all powerful... They are just beings who probably started out as humans, and worked their way up to the god realm. They have a lot of power, and a very long life span, but in the end they are mortal and subject to the same natural (spiritual) laws of the universe as us.

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Hello Observer,

 

Thanks for your comment.

 

As I understand nirvana (enlightenment):

When you reach enlightenment you have achieved total unity (non duality), you no longer create any new karma, but while your physical body is still alive you are still subjected to your old karma, then when your body dies your old karma dies with your body... But you will never die again, and need to be reborn again... You are an "indestructible unity"... totally complete, needing nothing and wanting nothing... Total "emptiness"... But not emptiness in the sense of nothingness... Your awareness is emptiness in the sense of infinite potential... your awareness is an empty stage that you can fill with anything of your choice, or leave empty.

 

Buddhism recognizes that the gods (plural) exist, and one of the heavenly realms is a "god & goddess realm"... But all beings in the spirit realms including the gods (but not those in the Buddha realm), were born in that realm and must die and be reincarnated again in whatever realm that their karma sends them to... The gods are not immortal, nor all powerful... They are just beings who probably started out as humans, and worked their way up to the god realm. They have a lot of power, and a very long life span, but in the end they are mortal and subject to the same natural (spiritual) laws of the universe as us.

 

 

That is interesting. Ok this raises a question I have wondered about. When you read old accounts of the 'gods' you read a lot about animal sacrifice. Was there a real reason for this? Did this actually do anything for the gods? I did not realize that the gods were mortal, I assumed they were immortal.

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They way I've always understood it was that classical Buddhism views even the heavenly planes and hellish planes (as well as our waking reality) as other forms of samsara/illusory realities and that the goal was to transcend these in favor of absolute reality/nirvana. That in of itself makes Buddhism seem to me like a very high level spiritual path as compared to other more theistic practices. It chooses not to acknowledge any kind of God and declares that we are responsible for our own actions and their results; in other words no Freudian "Big Daddy Complex" were we beg God for mercy or forgiveness, or place our baggage on His shoulders, only that we acknowledge ourselves as being in oneness/Buddhahood.

I only seem confused by the Buddhist concept of Nirvana...is it annihilation of ourselves, the epitome of advancement or is it another completely different reality with its own rules (nonduality for instance?) and "levels" where spiritual advancement continues onward?

Hi there Observer...

 

I have found this site very helpful whenever there was a need to get a better perspective on certain Buddhism-related topics > http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/index.html

 

I trust that you too will find it useful as a source of reference.

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Some people are in touch with the spirit world and some are not. They will never see eye to eye, because their eyes don't work the same way.

 

In shamanic cultures, people who were in touch with the spirit world could prove they were, and the ones with the strongest ties to the spirit world became shamans. How did they prove it? By servicing the community on a daily basis -- with a little help from their spirit friends. The members of the tribe relied on the shaman for healing, weather modifications, hunting success, finding lost or stolen items -- and once the shaman's credibility was established (it's impossible to fool all people all of the time if you live a common shared life with them and interact with them for years and decades on end), bigger problems could be addressed -- e.g. major visions that dictated a migration and resettling, whether somewhere nearby, somewhere far, or even transcontinental, or in extreme cases, trans-dimensional.

 

If the shaman could deliver when presented with smaller tasks, the tasks might keep growing. If the tasks kept growing, the shaman's power kept growing. Spirits are attracted to strong authority figures, just like most ordinary folks. I've heard from a shaman that the prerequisite for successfully interacting with spirits is authority -- the same root as in "author," creator. If you approach the spirit world with no clear idea as to what you are going to do there and what for, the spirits are pretty much guaranteed to ignore you. If you approach the spirit world with the agenda of proving it doesn't exist, they won't bend over backwards for you to prove they do... just like YOU (any generic "you") won't bend over backwards for ME (any generic "me") to prove me wrong if I were to announce that you are merely a computer virus. You're just not that invested into arguing against a belief that doesn't affect your livelihood in any shape or form whatsoever.

 

 

Hello Taomeow,

 

Thanks for your comment,

 

Almost anyone can see the spirit world and communicate with spirits, if they are serious about meditation, and can reach "one pointedness"... That is no big deal... At that point there are many paths that a person can follow, depending on their goal...

 

Some who meditate seek powers... but my belief if that "powers" are seductive and give you a high, and as such they are like an addictive drug... I also think that if a person is actively practicing trying to attain powers, that they have already been seduced by those powers... and even if they achieve those powers, they are no closer to enlightenment... and my goal is to reach enlightenment, or get as far along the path as I can... If I reach enlightenment, powers would come as a byproduct and I would be beyond seduction.

 

The universe is a very big place full of all kinds of beings, who came from the spirit world when they were born, and return to the spirit world when they die, just like us... Some spirits are benevolent and some are predators (such as energy vampires)... I only trust a spirit that I can see, and can hear their tone of voice, because then it is impossible for them to deceive me... I trust beings in the heavenly realms, except the earth devas (nymphs, satyrs, nagas, earth spirits), because they are bummed out by the human race (that they share earth with) and can be very tricky... But it is impossible for my spirit guide and the beings in the other heavenly realms to lie to me (their high attainment level prevents it, they must speak the truth)... I have experienced automatic writing, but don't trust it (and shun it) because I don't know what kind of spirit I am dealing with... I don't trust shamans because they have chosen "powers" instead of "enlightenment", and they can be very tricky (suck you in, then lie to you), and because I don't know what spirits (usually earth spirits which I don't trust) that they are involved with... Although a real shaman has powers to manipulate the physical world, for good or evil.

 

"I also don't trust the person who says that they want to "save the world"... that is the biggest "ego trip" and "power trip" a person can have (a cosmic sized delusion)... they should save themselves first... then they would realize that the world doesn't need saving, and that what other people do is none of their business anyway... and that you can't save people who don't want to be saved... and that the only way to save people is by setting a good example, so that others can save themselves..

 

My dharma teacher (a Buddhist monk) tells me not to spend too much time in the spirit world... that the spirit world is for "spiritual tourism", that it is a side show that in no way advances my practice... So my interaction with spirits is not an important part of my practice... It is just something that happens, when it happens... I don't pursue it in any way.

 

Although my path is Theravada Buddhism, I have been reading threads in The Tao Bums Forum because the posts and comments are made by people on a spiritual journey (like myself)... I am learning about Taoism by reading what you write, and following links... I started this topic to share my experiences with you, in return for you sharing your experiences with me... When you read what I write, bear in mind that I am speaking from the point of view of Theravada Buddhism, not Taoism... It seems to me that the biggest difference between the Theravada and Taoism is that in Theravada, there is only one path with one goal which is enlightenment... And in Theravada meditation, the physical body is considered loathsome and disgusting, so that when you die, you will not want another body and be tempted to reincarnate...

 

Metta,

Edited by dawg
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Fascinating topic. :)

 

What is it however that determines whether spirits see you as an authority? Is it your virtue, consistency, clarity of vision or something similar?

 

Hello Enishi,

 

If the intentions of your thoughts, words, and actions are good; you will attract good spirits... If the intentions of your thoughts, words, and actions are evil; you will attract evil spirits... even if you are unable to see them, they will be there...

 

And you have an ever present spirit guide (or guides) who can come to you instantly from any place in the spirit world, and protect you, if you call them... the more you are good, the more they will come to you and protect you... the more you are evil, the more they will ignore you and leave you to your fate (karma)... Christians call your spirit guide "your guardian angel...

 

Authority is used by shamans with powers, to control the dangerous spirits that they are dealing with, and ordering about...

 

Metta,

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Guest paul walter

Hi Dawg. Thankyou for all this, it has a clarity and integrity that I really appreciate and resonate with. Paul

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Hi Dawg,

 

It seems to me that the biggest difference between the Theravada and Taoism is that in Theravada, there is only one path with one goal which is enlightenment... And in Theravada meditation, the physical body is considered loathsome and disgusting, so that when you die, you will not want another body and be tempted to reincarnate...

 

This is the single best description of buddhist attitudes to the human body I've ever read here. Thanks for that! Honesty is the gateway drug to the truth.:lol:

 

Needless to say that as a taoist practitioner I understand the physical and the non-physical as two sides of the same coin (tao-in-stillness and tao-in motion, the unmanifest and the manifest), and do not believe that removing one side of the coin, the physical side, is either possible, necessary, desirable, or realistic. To a taoist, "being and nonbeing create each other" (Laozi), "to and fro goes the Way" (I Ching), "the pattern of tao is motion and the pattern of this motion is return" (Yuandao), so separating one part (being) from the other (nonbeing) is considered a mental experiment with no de facto counterpart in reality. Of course there's sects of taoism that historically cross-polinated with buddhism that might be somewhat skewed in the direction of accepting this mental exercise as actual experimental data, but the ones closer to original taoist thought don't maintain the theory and therefore do not derive their practices from it. To them, the physical body, whether human, animal, plant, planetary, or stellar is never loathsome and disgusting. It is actually magnificent. Their theory and practice are therefore aimed at unlocking and unblocking its potential rather than discarding it. Immortality in physicality (as a choice, not as an error of judgment or morality) being understood as one of these potentials -- we call it the Triple Treasure of Perfection, Nondecay, Immortality. (Of course there's a whole bunch of other desingations for other "triple treasures," taoists like the number three, the number of creation that gives rise, at the next step, to the whole world of magnificent manifestations.)

 

By the way, there's influential sects of buddhism (particularly Tibetan, e.g. Dzogchen) that are way closer to taoism in their view of the physical body than to Theravada buddhism. So it's a spectrum of sorts... and looks like you and me are at the farthermost opposite ends of this spectrum. Let's keep that in mind for future reference -- I mean, I'm not here to convert you, and you're not here to convert me -- if we remember that, we'll get along fine!:lol:

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Oh, forgot the most important point...

 

I have the same attitude toward shamanism-bashing as toward racial hatred, crusades, extermination of native cultures, witch hunts, and the rest of the goodies that always, at all historic times, were one package deal with shamanism-bashing. The only way these practical feats of human bestiality could be justified theoretically was by belittling, negating, marginalizing, bad-mouthing the victims of the crime of genocide, pillage, plunder, totalitarian control and mass destruction all aimed at, and resulting in, redistribution of power structures in favor of the perpetrator.

 

Indigenous native cultures, shamanic all of them without a single exception, constituted a power structure as natural and organic as the power of the forest to generate itself without killing the ocean, the power of the ocean to use not a drop of its stupendous life-giving might toward turning forests into deserts... Thus they constituted power structures that competed with the one we all know and love as our current set-up. Hence the pattern of anti-shamanic brainwashing established by our religious, educational, political institutions. If these peoples are so backward, why not cut down their rain forests with impunity? Why not rape their lands for crude materials? Why not explain to the public that we're actually enlightening them while at it?

 

Authority is used by shamans with powers, to control the dangerous spirits that they are dealing with, and ordering about...

 

This is so... how shall I put it... so poorly informed on so many levels...

 

Level 1: I have personal experience with shamans and shamanism -- do you?

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a power structure as natural and organic as the power of the forest to generate itself without killing the ocean, the power of the ocean to use not a drop of its stupendous life-giving might toward turning forests into deserts... Thus they constituted power structures that competed with the one we all know and love as our current set-up.

It seems those who ought to be morally and ethically responsible are not, and that which weak humans attempt to exert governance over are operating at levels beyond human moral and ethical standards, in short, could do without any 'intelligent' (lacking in wisdom?) interference, for this larger system is by its very nature self-governing. No wonder the general idea is that we as humanity are doomed - how dare we pitch our puny little acorns against the force of total, relentless yielding? Nature never hits back in direct fashion, nor in expected patterns and/or times when we think it might. Well, as the saying goes, God does work in mysterious ways...

 

Just curious TM.. Have you ever heard anyone mention that among the Chinese, those who are able to 'see' beyond this dimension into the spirit realm, possess what they call 'yin yang eyes'? Generally observed that those in possession of such visions have one eye larger than the other... the smaller one being that which enables the owner to see into the netherworld. Myth perhaps? Where i come from its an apparent fact that is simply acknowledged without question, so i thought maybe, just maybe, there could be some truth to it. No fire without smoke eh? :D

Edited by CowTao

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Hello Observer,

 

Thanks for your comment.

 

As I understand nirvana (enlightenment):

When you reach enlightenment you have achieved total unity (non duality), you no longer create any new karma, but while your physical body is still alive you are still subjected to your old karma, then when your body dies your old karma dies with your body... But you will never die again, and need to be reborn again... You are an "indestructible unity"... totally complete, needing nothing and wanting nothing... Total "emptiness"... But not emptiness in the sense of nothingness... Your awareness is emptiness in the sense of infinite potential... your awareness is an empty stage that you can fill with anything of your choice, or leave empty.

 

Buddhism recognizes that the gods (plural) exist, and one of the heavenly realms is a "god & goddess realm"... But all beings in the spirit realms including the gods (but not those in the Buddha realm), were born in that realm and must die and be reincarnated again in whatever realm that their karma sends them to... The gods are not immortal, nor all powerful... They are just beings who probably started out as humans, and worked their way up to the god realm. They have a lot of power, and a very long life span, but in the end they are mortal and subject to the same natural (spiritual) laws of the universe as us.

Thanks for the reply Dawg!

So there is nothing above or beyond this state of nonduality? Or do we simply not know?

 

Hi there Observer...

 

I have found this site very helpful whenever there was a need to get a better perspective on certain Buddhism-related topics > http://www.berzinarc...b/en/index.html

 

I trust that you too will find it useful as a source of reference.

 

Oh and thank you for the link! Ill make sure to read it through Cowtao!

Edited by The Observer

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