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Flying Monks!

 
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peter
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2019 7:03 am    Post subject: Flying Monks! Reply with quote

A few years ago I was fortunate enough to visit the Tibetan plateau and drive with eight other westerners from Lhasa along what is known as 'the friendship route', to Katmandu in Nepal.

Along the route we visited a number of lamasaries and monasteries which though ancient and venerable, were firmly rooted in the reality of their life under Chinese 'occupation', and by no means beyond the reach of modernity in respect of the tech they were prepared to embrace in their mountain fastnesses (the sight of young novices sneaking crafty looks at their mobile phones as they sat in rows Om Manne Padme Homing under the watchful eyes of their elders did not escape us). Yet these are the places from which emanate stories of adepts performing miraculous feats of endurance and levitation, of lamas with superhuman powers of physical control and longevity, numerous in the writings and accounts that have passed down to us over the years.

What are we to make of these?

Easy as it is to brush these accounts aside with explanations featuring a mixture of deception (on the part of either the writer, the observer or indeed the performer of the 'trick') and or hallucination, at least some thought must be given to the (metaphorical) mechanics at work behind all of this. I once heard something of the nature that, in order to believe an account of the miraculous, one had to establish in ones mind whether the teller (assuming them to be of sound mind, granted) would have more to loose by the telling of a fantastical yarn than than by the not telling of one. If such an individual stood to loose more (in terms of reputation or indeed more tangible effects such as future promotion, societal standing etc) than they stood to gain by such a telling, then this would have to add weight to the idea that they at least, were in full belief of the veracity of the accounts they were giving.

Two eye witness accounts in particular I think worthy of note in respect of the above. The first I read in a newspaper some months before leaving for Tibet and concerns a British Army officer visiting a remote Lamasary in the nineteenth century. Informed that a highly respected elder was to visit the monastery in short order, the officer questioned how the elderly visitor would cope with the arduous journey and difficult prevailing weather conditions in order to make his visit. Told not to concern himself about this, later that morning he was summoned to a viewing platform high on the side of the mountains from which a vast vista of mountains and plateau could be seen. To his amazement he saw, in the distance, a diminutive figure approaching, to all intents and purposes leaping in huge steps from cloud to cloud until it arrived, in the form of a venerable lama, calm and dignified on the platform beside them.

The second somewhat similar story was told by no lesser a person than the current Dali Lama to an interviewer who had asked about the amazing feats reported to be possible to Buddhist adepts of high level. He reported that an eighty year old Buddhist nun, in sound mind and who he could not believe would have any reason to lie to him, had five years earlier shortly before her death, told him that as a younger nun she had visited a Lamasary and had witnessed the younger monks in training, jumping from one hill peak to another across the expanse of a wide valley.

In neither of these cases can I see that it would be likely that the tellers would be deliberately trying to deceive with their stories, and the one assumes hard headed army officer could only have had a somewhat cool reception to his tale; on this basis we must look then for a different explanation other than insincerity on the part of the teller.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2019 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My natural skepticism finds both stories beyond belief... I think that miraculous events of all varieties are born of faith and wishful thinking.

Its amazing what humans believe... truly believe.. some claim to have seen gods and angels, spirits and the dead raised.

When I was religious of mind I believed Id seen such things and heard the still small voice of god.


There is incredible power in the human will. Ive done things powered by my own will .. that I thought were acts of the supernatural.

Humans are capable of doing extraordinary things. Plus fuelled with faith and ideological people readily mythologise events witnessed.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2019 3:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Flying Monks! Reply with quote

peter wrote:
at least some thought must be given to the (metaphorical) mechanics at work behind all of this. I once heard something of the nature that, in order to believe an account of the miraculous, one had to establish in ones mind whether the teller (assuming them to be of sound mind, granted) would have more to loose by the telling of a fantastical yarn than than by the not telling of one. If such an individual stood to loose more (in terms of reputation or indeed more tangible effects such as future promotion, societal standing etc) than they stood to gain by such a telling, then this would have to add weight to the idea that they at least, were in full belief of the veracity of the accounts they were giving.


The problem with that is that you [any outsider/listener/observer] have no real basis for judging the help or harm to reputation or anything else to that person, FOR that person.
Sure, there might be a set of possible results that most would agree were likely to come from it [the officer gets separated from service, his kids commit him to an asylum and claim all his stuff]...but even if you're correct----

S/he might not consider any of the possible gains/losses YOU see as serious or even relevant. You can't know what they want from it---and, in fact, THEY might not know, either. People are regularly blind, not only to possible consequences [nearly always, every one of us, every time, blind to SOME possible consequences], but to their own desires/wants/positions/motives for particular actions.
That's all the case whether they believe what they're saying or not, whether it is true/real or not, whether they're deceiving you on purpose or not.

It's the case, though, that adepts of various kinds in many human fields/endeavors can exhibit powers/abilities that seem inexplicable/superhuman. Many aren't, if you know enough...
pretty much anyone can learn to break a brick with the palm of their bare hand. You don 't even have to be strong. I know a couple dozen people who can do it. You DO need precise alignment and timing between movement and contact AND enough physical conditioning of the hand and forearm that you don't break yourself, but even that's not much---conditioning takes less time/effort than getting the other parts. And, of course, brick-breaking is an almost entirely useless thing by itself...

It's not only things like that, either.
The brilliant in almost every field---math, music, dance, almost everything---ESPECIALLY the most creative/original...what they make/do isn't fully explicable at this time.
Heh...what does one make of the guy that---I think it was Hashi??---first brought up somewhere. He got whacked in the head, and now he's brilliant at math [geometry in particular IIRC?] and never was before. I believe the whack made him not only math-whiz, but a synesthetic math-whiz?? that might be bad memory, or mixed with something else].

Some are not convincingly/demonstrably explicable YET, but I'm sure they'll be explained once enough is known about them. [[people made and used fire, if I recall correctly for AT LEAST 100,000 years, and perhaps for ten times that plus...a million years or more... before they had the slightest idea how to explain it]].

heh---though by "explanation" I still mean something lacking---there will always [probably] be missing elements/knowledge between the things/stuff outside and the things stuff inside. And the mode of most of our knowledge of outside will [probably] always be descriptive/abstract. A difference in kind between all the properties/descriptions of a right triangle in the math and a physical triangle that fits those properties/that description.

Some, like the cloud and mountain leaping, I don't believe at all. I [sometimes] don't doubt the storyteller believes it, and/or that they witnessed SOMETHING...but not leaping on clouds or peak to peak across miles of valley.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2019 5:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Flying Monks! Reply with quote

Vraith wrote:

It's not only things like that, either.
The brilliant in almost every field---math, music, dance, almost everything---ESPECIALLY the most creative/original...what they make/do isn't fully explicable at this time.
Heh...what does one make of the guy that---I think it was Hashi??---first brought up somewhere. He got whacked in the head, and now he's brilliant at math [geometry in particular IIRC?] and never was before. I believe the whack made him not only math-whiz, but a synesthetic math-whiz?? that might be bad memory, or mixed with something else].


There have been a handful of documented instances of cranial trauma causing savant abilities, but most savants are born that way. Cranial trauma has also caused people to have different personalities--sometimes even different memories--and in at least one case the person now spoke a foreign language that they did not speak before the trauma.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 2:19 am    Post subject: Re: Flying Monks! Reply with quote

Hashi Lebwohl wrote:


There have been a handful of documented instances of cranial trauma causing savant abilities, but most savants are born that way. Cranial trauma has also caused people to have different personalities--sometimes even different memories--and in at least one case the person now spoke a foreign language that they did not speak before the trauma.

Yep, most are born that way, no doubt.
Trauma altering personality is one thing...it makes a fair amount of sense even with current understandings...
Different memories is a little fuzzier/stranger, but not totally beyond the current.
But new knowledge...like the language, like the math I mentioned [apparently it wasn't you who brought it up originally? I wonder who it was?], like assorted other instances involving music, painting...even machinery/engineering.
Like the recent pair of experiments where they trained people to be synesthetic...and after a while [[I think it was about three months]], the people had GLOBAL intelligence increases...which lasted for months afterward for those who stopped training...and continued to increase [though more slowly] for all those who kept training.
WHY would training someone to "see" letters or words or numbers as also having colors make them smarter at EVERYTHING??
And it didn't scale normally.
Like, if you have an average person, and a strong person...ordinarilly, for a given regime, the average person will increase more...usually significantly more...than the already strong person.
In these, the average gained significantly...but the already smart gained even more [and the difference held whether measuring relative gains or absolute gains---that's the real oddity.]
SOME of the transcranial stimulation experiments---which I'm pretty sure you've talked about---showed similar [but smaller, and less well-demonstrated/consistent] effects...more like the trauma ones, specific talents/abilities. Not aware of any that showed any global effects like the syn-training.
[[[Sin is GOOD!!! Laughing ].
More Monkish/return to topic [[but I insist, there is a ton of deep connection]] Cloud Leaping is a fantasy....but a guy swings a club and a monk blocks it with his wrist, and it's the CLUB that shatters? That's real.

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Sig-man, Libtard, Stupid piece of shit. change your text color to brown. Mr. Reliable, bullshit-slinging liarFucker-user.

the difference between evidence and sources: whether they come from the horse's mouth or a horse's ass.
"Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation."
the hyperbole is a beauty...for we are then allowed to say a little more than the truth...and language is more efficient when it goes beyond reality than when it stops short of it.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 3:13 am    Post subject: Re: Flying Monks! Reply with quote

Vraith wrote:
Like the recent pair of experiments where they trained people to be synesthetic...and after a while [[I think it was about three months]], the people had GLOBAL intelligence increases...which lasted for months afterward for those who stopped training...and continued to increase [though more slowly] for all those who kept training.
WHY would training someone to "see" letters or words or numbers as also having colors make them smarter at EVERYTHING??


Intelligence is a combination of an increased number of interconnected neural pathways and the ability of those neurons to process information. Transcranial magnetic stimulation is the key not only to improving mental performance in people who have existing mental disadvantages but in anyone else--the magnetic fields help create electrical circuits in the brain which did not previously exist.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 3:33 am    Post subject: Re: Flying Monks! Reply with quote

Hashi Lebwohl wrote:
Vraith wrote:
Like the recent pair of experiments where they trained people to be synesthetic...and after a while [[I think it was about three months]], the people had GLOBAL intelligence increases...which lasted for months afterward for those who stopped training...and continued to increase [though more slowly] for all those who kept training.
WHY would training someone to "see" letters or words or numbers as also having colors make them smarter at EVERYTHING??


Intelligence is a combination of an increased number of interconnected neural pathways and the ability of those neurons to process information. Transcranial magnetic stimulation is the key not only to improving mental performance in people who have existing mental disadvantages but in anyone else--the magnetic fields help create electrical circuits in the brain which did not previously exist.


pretty much what I originally surmised when I got interested in this.
But it doesn't actually work that way according to scans...but it's getting late. I'll try and remember to come back and talk about the problems with it [which have no current answers, far as I know].

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Sig-man, Libtard, Stupid piece of shit. change your text color to brown. Mr. Reliable, bullshit-slinging liarFucker-user.

the difference between evidence and sources: whether they come from the horse's mouth or a horse's ass.
"Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation."
the hyperbole is a beauty...for we are then allowed to say a little more than the truth...and language is more efficient when it goes beyond reality than when it stops short of it.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fascinating 👍 ... the thing with neural pathways is that the human body is phenomenally adaptive and reflexive ... damaged areas of the brain are very often circumnavigated by the development of new neural pathways AROUND the damaged areas.

Back in the day if you suffered a brain injury .. it was believed there were no repairing it ... till they discovered brains re routing pathways.

Yeah Im with V ... there is a lot of stuff that sounds all twilight zone ... but when you break it down .. in reality its the awesome power of human imagination.

Humans imagine gods, angels, afterlives, resurrections, reincarnations and all manner of impossible possibilities... 🤷‍♀️

The fact of the matter is that humans get caught up in religious and ideological ecstasy and euphoria ... it is indeed an ACTUAL thing. As such they actually SEE things and DO things that seem supernatural ... and inexplicable.

The Mormon church is literally built on a lie .. that Jo Smith had a vision of God the Father and his son Jesus Christ. Jo Smith claims to have seen angels and the heavens themselves. Thats the lie .. and exposed by the numerous conflicting descriptions of what indeed he claimed he saw. ... but so powerful was the lie in the extant climate and sooo charismatic was he in the various telling that he convinced a great following of its truth. So much so that a group of them saw the very same angel who came to collect the gold plates allegedly entrusted to Smith to translate.

Beyond that incredulous experience, many followers claimed a bevy of supernatural visions.

Also miracles. I experienced miracles my good self 😉 I had a rough trot a while back when I was still a churchy sort ... and received healings .. that worked. 😱

Yup I got better. Pain disappeared as if a miracle had occurred.

Did the healings work? They did because of one thing and one thing only .... my faith .. my belief .. my conviction ... my will.

Doctors today acknowledge the incredible power of the human mind over pain, illness and disability.

Today if you suffer from chronic pain associated with chronic debilitating conditions like I experienced.. you can go to a pain clinic and they will teach you to exercise that very power 😉 or ability 😉.

Of course I did not know I had overcome my own pain. I believed it was the healing power of the priesthood laying on of hands.

But so very interestingly is it ... that not all benefited from healing laying on of hands. Almost a 50 50 chance of it resulting in positive effect. And yet if it were a healing power ... wouldnt you expect it would have an almost perfect hit rate? 🤔

Curious no?

Of course not .. because without the recipient BUYING in to the process AND in so doing committing personally to it .. the ordinance was never likely to have any impact at all.

Religions would answer this .. with the explanation that it takes faith. And theyre right. It does. But Christ allegedly performed successful miracles on people who had no faith, knew nowt about the ideology.

The less known truth is that humans do not need any intermediary to experience powerful life changing, healing, body building events. The power is not external to us because IT IS us.

In many ways we are our own gods 🤷‍♀️

Ive survived traffic accident when hit by a car when I was on my road bike. Prior to the accident... I was swept up in euphoria of a preceding spiritual experience that Id just had ... and I believed at the time that it was god himself that had protected me... but if we unpack what actually happened... I was totally relaxed .. when the car failed to see me and hit me .. I bounced and rolled with the impact. Well to be fair I ended up sprawled across the bonnet of the car that hit me ... 🤷‍♀️

Years later as a patrol cop I attended an accident where a pedestrian was hit by a car. What saved him was the fact that he was seven sheets to the wind ... completely and utterly inebriated. As such he was relaxed .. did not tense on impact ... and did not break a single bone.

A miracle? No.

Jumping from hill top to hill top is beyond believability and lacks Prima facie credibility ... sure research it, unpack it ... but I wager London to a brick a very natural explanation ... for what actually happened will result.

I too do not doubt for one second that those who claim such amazing feats ... 100 percent believe what they claim to have seen or done.

I believed my deceased daughter wrapped her arms around her grieving mother because thats what I wanted to believe. Not because that is what happened.

I believe I saw dead members of my husbands family appear to me in a temple ... because I was caught up in the euphoria of my experience and my imagination cultivated that incredibly vivid and imaginative response ..

It cannot be underestimated.. the power of a faith. Having unpacked my journey I understand so much better and clearer the things I believed I experienced.

Its kinda like this ... for me now ... the likelihood of the existence of gods and angels is sooooo remote ... that supernatural explanations to me seem unsound, baseless OR of questionable basis ... and as such another explanation or a multitude of explanations are more likely the reality.

Is the assertion intelligence led, evidence based? Is there a reasonable explanation? Can the claim be tested? Proven?

Such an exploration is more reliably capable of resulting in the an ANSWER.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2019 6:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes - I simply can't get my head around the laws of physics being suspended for Tibetan monks, adepts or otherwise, but agree that there is at times way more flexibility - wrong word, say scope in those laws than we normally allow for.

But some points of interest remain - there is the striking similarity of the two accounts for one. I think we have to take it as read that both people believed what they had seen (although yes, I can conceive of reasons why both might say these things with underlying agendas), and this brings us neatly into another area of deep interest. Why do people often believe that the evidence of their senses has provided them with sights etc that we all know are impossible? That they believe is beyond question; what they believe is another matter.

A fascinating case in point would be the very unsettling account of the goings on at Hinton Ampner. Involving highly respected members of the UK establishment of the day, the correspondences between whom are collected and retained in the British Library, the story was related by the then Archbishop of Canterbury to the author Henry James and became the basis for his story The Turn of the Screw. I won't go into the details here, but the point is that the prominent members of the Government and British Society involved whose eyewitness accounts are given, beyond question believed what they were saying to be true. Accepting even this much we are led into a place where it becomes difficult to apply the normal rules of our understanding.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

it's very likely that if you asked the monks, they would tell you that they have spent an inordinate amount of their lives on these plateaus and "viewing platforms" saturating themselves with all the features of the immediate environment. every pore and crack in the stone, the touch, feel, sight, sound and smell of every inch of the location and surroundings in states of supreme stillness and concentration for hours if not days at a time in order to "saturate" their beings with visceral memory.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mystics...can't trust 'em. Wink

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
Mystics...can't trust 'em. Wink

--A


And doesn't that, assuming it's correct, make it a little weird how often mystics are the heroes in fiction...[and not just in SF/F].
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Sig-man, Libtard, Stupid piece of shit. change your text color to brown. Mr. Reliable, bullshit-slinging liarFucker-user.

the difference between evidence and sources: whether they come from the horse's mouth or a horse's ass.
"Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation."
the hyperbole is a beauty...for we are then allowed to say a little more than the truth...and language is more efficient when it goes beyond reality than when it stops short of it.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As humans, we have an in-built need to believe the "other" is real in some form or another.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

esmer wrote:
As humans, we have an in-built ability to realize the "other" in some form or another.

--A


takes one

to

know one



Wink
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And yet indeed true .. humans are drawn to the other ... mystical explanations over actual reality.

And thats funny right there isnt it ... cos what is reality? Whos reality? Is reality more accurately perspective? Whos perspective? And how was it formed?
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

But why? Are we not the one and only example we have in the universe of a being capable of true ratiocination? Yet our collective unconscious (?) seems still looks toward belief in the 'other'. At it's most trivial it is manifest in the desire for the stories of flying monks to be true - we want the world to still have mystery in it! - at it's most serious it is exemplified by men willing to both kill and die for deities that science precludes (and these people know this) and of who's existence they have not one shred of proof. Why does this need to believe still persist in the face of our developing rationality? Perhaps 'developing' is the key word here.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 5:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting isnt it. I think it was something Brian Cox said that made me think about this. That humans wont enlighten or progress till the death of religion. My words. He said it far more eloquently... but humankind is innately primative .. however breeding the primative out by genetic design I dont think will produce an enlightened or progressive human .. it will produce something altogether different imv.

Belief is a strange pull ... we love our stories and escapism FROM reality ... which can sometimes offer a sterile vista lacking in romance or magic.

We love both .. and we can have both even in a rational world or existence.

Its a funny one
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