Jun 17, 2007

Mindhacker 101

A number of readers have emailed me to ask that I blog more about mindhacking. Separately, I have noticed that some of my readers seem to be fervent Buddhists (see readers comments' over here). So today I will blog about mindhacking, and inject some Buddhist perspectives into it.

As our starting point, we'll use karma, as explained in Buddhism. If you think that karma is superstitition or hogwash, this is not a post for you and you can stop reading right about here (because the rest of the post is predicated on the basis that the Buddhist explanation of karma is correct).

For the rest of you, let's proceed.

Buddhism tells us everything in the universe comes into being purely as a result of the combination of causes and conditions. In other words, there are natural causal laws that operate throughout the universe.

Karma is just one of those natural causal laws. The distinguishing feature is that karma is based on intention. For example, suppose you drive a car and knock someone down. The karmic consequences depend on your state of mind. Did you accidentally knock him down, or were you deliberately plotting to kill him? The physical effect - a dead man - may be the same, but the karmic consequences will be very different.

Buddhism tells us that there is no escaping karma. It is not something that operates only from Monday to Friday; it does not close shop or stop work after 6 pm. Every intention, every thought has karmic consequences.

Let me say that again, because the point is very important - every intention, every thought has karmic consequences. Everything happening in your life now is the consequence of some combination of thoughts and intentions you have had, sometime in your past.

It is a universal law, you see. Even death is not an escape. Accumulated karma that hasn't fully expressed itself in this lifetime will simply follow you into the next.

Actions (or more precisely, deliberate actions) can, in Buddhism, be broadly categorised into three groups. There are positive or virtuous actions (which will lead to positive and desirable consequences, such as experiences of happiness). There are negative or nonvirtuous actions (which will lead to suffering and pain). Then there are actions which are neither virtuous nor nonvirtuous (these lead to neutral feelings and experiences).

Buddhism understands that the average mortal has little control over his mind. Intellectually, we may know that it is a good time to be kind, compassionate, patient, loving, forgiving, peaceful etc etc. In reality, we find it difficult to be kind, compassionate, patient, loving, forgiving, peaceful all the time, or even some of the time.

Thus Buddhism teaches a systematic process towards enlightenment. The earlier steps of the process focus on guarding our body, speech and mind from engaging in negative actions (for example, lying, stealing etc).

At this point in time, we'll stop to look at the basic proposition again - every intention, every thought has karmic consequences.

For example, if you are a kind, loving person who constantly thinks kind, loving thoughts, the universe will deliver into your life the karmic consequences of those kind, loving thoughts. If you are an angry, violent person who constantly thinks angry, violent thoughts, the universe will deliver into your life the karmic consequences of those angry, violent thoughts.

Every intention, every thought has karmic consequences. The universe will always ensure that.

Now suppose you are a perfectly "average" person, with an average family, an average job, average wealth, average health, average sex life, average friends, an average home, with an average everything, and if you were asked to honestly describe yourself, you would say:

"I am quite an ordinary person, with average levels of ability, my luck is neither very good nor very bad, and I expect to have an average number of successes and failures in my life. I suppose I can't say that my life as a disaster, but of course I am not particularly happy or I don't feel completely fulfilled either."
So those are your self-beliefs. Those are your thoughts about yourself. Next, suppose that through mindhacking you manage to rip this set of beliefs out of your head. Maybe not all at once, but step by step, over weeks, months or even years - through mindhacking. So that you end up believing, say, something like this:

"I am a highly successful person, furthermore I am extremely lucky, I am always in the right place at the right time. I have outstanding ability, I have a wonderful family, I am a happy person, everything is always working out fine for me, in fact, better than I expected. I'm really grateful for all the good things I have, and I feel blessed."
Now, let's go back to the basic Buddhist propositions again - every intention, every thought has karmic consequences. This is a universal law of cause and effect. Your thoughts and intentions are the cause of everything that happens in your life. The karmic consequences of your thoughts will always be delivered into your life. Because the universe will always ensure that.

How would your life change, if you held on to that new set of thoughts described above?

154 comments:

zhixiang8787 said...

ah...the wonders of our human minds. the billions of billions of possible connections among the billions of cells in our brain alongside with a human mind.

mindhack your way to happiness and success (:

Anonymous said...

Distraction that will not alter the gist of what you said:

Actually, from Buddhism's perspective, it is not true that every intentional action/thoughts has karmic consequence i.e. for some type of (minor) action or thoughts, if you were able to skilfully prevent the arising of the conditions that are necessary for the karmic consequence to occur, then your action, while having the potential to lead to a particular consequence, will not in fact result in that consequence, ever (i.e. even rebirth after rebirth)!

The analogy provided by Buddhism is: If you plant a seed (analogous to an intentional action), now if you provide it with sunlight and water (the conditions), surely the seed will grow into a plant and bear fruit (analogous to karmic consequence). BUT suppose, you do not provide it with sunlight and water, then the seed will not bear fruit, even though it has the potential to bear fruit.

The question then arises: how do you have the skill to know what the conditions are for each corresponding karmmic consequence and how do you skilfully prevent such conditions from arising.

This is where we can get religious: the answer being that the Buddhas, having acquired supreme meditative power, are able to look into the past and present lives of people and hear and see beyond the normal range of normal humans, thus able to tell exactly HOW such and such an action will lead to such and such a consequence, given such and such a condition, and hence how to prevent such conditions from arising. Likewise, so can many Buddhist Monks do so.

But interestingly, Buddhism claims no monopoly to the power of meditation, meaning that it accepts that many meditation experts (even if non-Buddhists)are able to do such things , if they have acquired high meditative power, though the belief is (of course!) that their abilities are limited and do not come close to the supreme meditative power that the Buddhas have.


As an example to illustrate all these, there is this Buddhist story: A 7-yr old novice monk has an experienced teacher with the meditative power to see into the future (but only in a somewhat limited way). And the teacher sees that this little boy is going to die soon. This teacher cannot do anything about it. But knowing the boy's imminent death, he send the boy home to see his parents.

Surprisingly, the boy came back to the teacher after the visit, way past the predicted date of dying! The surprised teacher looked (via meditation) into what the boy did during the journey and realiased that the boy had, on his way, saved some ants from drowning in a pool of puddle, and that this life-saving action must have somehow gave rise to some conducive result that impeded the occurence of the conditions that would have led to his death otherwise. (Analogy:. say, you planted a 2nd seed in your garden and this new seed grew into such a hugh plant that it overshadowed the 1st seed, such that the 1st seed no longer receive the sunshine that it needed to bear fruit).

This story illustrates several Buddhist concepts:
1. Some karmmic consequences (sn untimely death, in this case), can be prevented from occurring (note however that this may only be temporary. When the conditions are ripe again, that consequence will occur unless, of course, the conditions can be prevented from ever occurring till the person concerned achieve enlightenment. Hard due to lack of skillful teachers who can tell the conditions, plus too many rebirth resulting in a much greater chance of conditions occuring than not occuring).

2. The teacher, not being a Buddha, may be able to know the future, but not know how to prevent/change course.


Note: the above refers to some actions. For other actions, nothing can prevent the action from bearing fruit. Eg. Patricide, Matricide etc. A person who intentionally commit such an action has a mind that is so deluded and clouded that nothing or anybody (including Buddha and the various Gods - yes, Buddhism has Gods too, though not the same concept as other religions) can save these people from the consequence (reborn in Hell for a finite but very long time). The analogy would be a seed that is so potent that it will grow even with minimal water and sunshine and nothing can stop it.


I hope the above provide some clarification about Buddhism and will not be regarded as being preachy. Cheers!

Henry Leong said...

Shakya taught some causes we create may not appear in this lifetime, but many lifetimes later.

Anonymous said...

> If you think that karma is superstitition or hogwash, this is not a post for you

Personally, I do not think anybody of any religious inclination will think that Karma, in its broadest and most general meaning (i.e. certain intentional actions lead to certain consequence) is superstitious. After all, we can find examples in our everyday lives eg. I study for exam, I pass. I don't study, I fail. And so on.

However, different religious beliefs will differ as to how much personal effort is possible to eradicate Karma - the consequence of intentional action.

Eg. a Christian will say: yah, exams and such are small worldly stuff. When it comes to really really bad actions, namely, the sins against God, the consequence cannot be removed via personal effort but only through Christ.

A Buddhist will go the opposite way. He will say: yeah, prayers and reliance on external entities such as Gods are useful, but only in mitigating minor actions and consequences such as letting you go heaven or hell, but for ultimate release (i.e. to stop rebirth altogether so that there is no more intentional actions and hence karmmic consequence), external sources cannot help and only self-help is possible.

Therein lies the difference. I think.

Mind said...

"Mind is the forerunner of (all evil) states. Mind is chief; mind-made are they. If one speaks or acts with wicked mind, because of that, suffering follows one, even as the wheel follows the hoof of the draught-ox.

Mind is the forerunner of (all good) states. Mind is chief; mind-made are they. If one speaks or acts with pure mind, because of that, happiness follows one, even as one's shadow that never leaves"


- the opening two verses of The Dharmmapada.

Anonymous said...

Karma explains why good things sometimes happen to bad pple and bad things sometimes happen to good people. It's because of what the good and bad people of this life that we share had done in their past lives. A simpler and Xian explanation is that the rain falls on the just and the unjust.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes we wonder why some people continue to enjoy a good life with wealth, power etc after all the crimes they committed. So we may say, see, doing bad things does't affect them. That is because of the good Karma which they brought into this life from their previous lives, perhaps through all the good deeds that they performed. But if they, in this life, instead of continuing to do good, regress to doing bad, they will suffer in their next rebirth.

Conversely, it is also true that some people continue to lead a miserable life despite all the good things they do at present, it is because of the bad Karma that they brought into this life from their past lives.

Buddhism therefore teaches us to continually do good so that in your next rebirth you will be a step or two nearer to avoiding rebirth.

Henry Leong said...

My comments at no 3, explain why good people suffers.

Mr Wang Says So said...

Aha. I see that my readers so far are shying away from the massive implications of what I have been leading them to.

Let's look at this again:

"For example, if you are a kind, loving person who constantly thinks kind, loving thoughts, the universe will deliver into your life the karmic consequences of those kind, loving thoughts. If you are an angry, violent person who constantly thinks angry, violent thoughts, the universe will deliver into your life the karmic consequences of those angry, violent thoughts."

Now suppose you are an average or below-average employee, and you don't really like your job.

What would happen if you consciously identified a series of thoughts which you imagine that an outstanding employee might think, eg:

"I am excellent at solving problems at work"
"My clients really love me"
"I have so much natural talent for this kind of job"
"I know I can really contribute to my organisation" ...

and you constantly, deliberately thought those thoughts?

What are the karmic consequences that the universe will then deliver into your life?

Career is one example. Select any other topic, any other area of your life. And imagine that you could constantly hold a different set of thoughts on that topic/area, a set of thoughts which are much more positive than what you currently hold.

What are the karmic consequences that the universe will then deliver into your life?

Now, now. Don't run away from the implications. If you're a true Buddhist, you must accept that all your thoughts have karmic consequences (subject to the "conditions" point raised by the second commentator).

Therefore, on ANY area of your life (eg health, wealth, your relationships with your family, your hobbies, your home, your social activities etc etc)

when you consciously and regularly hold a set of thoughts different from what you're currently holding,

you MUST be bringing about a change in the karmic consequences.

It's a universal law, you see.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr Wang, nice to see you moving on to the mindhacking aspect and even incorporating Buddhist concepts.

"I am a highly successful person, furthermore I am extremely lucky, I am always in the right place at the right time. I have outstanding ability, I have a wonderful family, I am a happy person, everything is always working out fine for me, in fact, better than I expected. I'm really grateful for all the good things I have, and I feel blessed."

Won't a Buddhist point out that one goal of Buddhism is also to detach oneself (i.e. cease attachment towards) from things which are conventionally often regarded by our society as a sign of success e.g. money, material goods and even family. Won't intending for these things actually be a step backwards in one's path towards enlightenment, or less ambitiously, inhibit one's aim to reduce one's attachment towards transcient objects?

I am by no means an expert in Buddhism, not even practising, so all corrections to my post are most welcome.

heng said...

IMO, all this talk about buddhism and kharmic consequences is just diluting the message, so here's a quick summary from Micheal Jackson, "Man in the Mirror"

I'm starting with the man in the mirror
I'm asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change

Mr Wang Says So said...

You are correct. However you are assuming that the person is, in the first place, interested in achieving enlightenment, which clearly is a big assumption (for example, there are many people out there in the world who do not even believe that there is such a thing as "enlightenment", or for that matter, "heaven").

Furthermore, you may note that this set of thoughts:

"I am quite an ordinary person, with average levels of ability, my luck is neither very good nor very bad, and I expect to have an average number of successes and failures in my life. I suppose I can't say that my life as a disaster, but of course I am not particularly happy or I don't feel completely fulfilled either."

is no likelier to help you attain buddhahood than this set of thoughts :

"I am a highly successful person, furthermore I am extremely lucky, I am always in the right place at the right time. I have outstanding ability, I have a wonderful family, I am a happy person, everything is always working out fine for me, in fact, better than I expected. I'm really grateful for all the good things I have, and I feel blessed."

.... while the latter set of thoughts may attract karmic consequences which are very desirable, at least to the average non-enlightened human (that means most of us).

Anonymous said...

Most Buddhists ultimate hope is to achieve enlightenment and as a Buddhist you naturally believe in it. Of course there are many people out there who do not believe, same as non-belivers of other religions. If people of other faiths also believe in it, then it would not be neccessary to have so many different religions in this world.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr Wang,

I was anonymous 4.54pm. You make a very good point. I have always found it hard to reconcile the acquisition of wealth with the need to do away with craving and attachment.

Perhaps the answer lies in the Middle Path concept. Regarding riches, we should work for them but not to an extent of having to sacrifice an inordinate amount of time and energy for spiritual progress. Clearly extreme ascetism by itself isn't the answer too, as the Buddha found out early on after he left his cushy life in the palace.

Today I still remember something you said some posts ago- that people who enter monkhood to seek enlightenment are indeed the most ambitious people of all, in a way. To me they are also very brave, and probably the conditions that allowed for their transition could have been laid out by karmic transactions in their previous lives.

Mr Wang Says So said...

"Most Buddhists ultimate hope is to achieve enlightenment"


They even use mindhacking. Their preferred mode is meditation.

In fact you could think Buddha's extended meditation under the bodhi tree as a very extreme form of mindhacking.

Anonymous said...

"you could think Buddha's extended meditation under the bodhi tree as a very extreme form of mindhacking."

You are entitled to think so. But that is NOT how Buddhists think of their leader. During his "extended meditation", the Buddha was able to recall all of his own past lives. Then, he was able to see the past lives of all living beings. Then from these, he can see clearly how suffering arise, what causes rebirth, what determines where one is reborn etc etc and thus, having understood all these based on what he can see due to the high meditation attainment, he become enlightened. This is what Buddhists believe.

That is very different from someone sitting under a tree, psycho-ing himself to think good of himself, which is more or less your definition of mind-hacking.

Thank you.
(The 2nd commentator from the top down)

Mr Wang Says So said...

No, you misunderstand my idea of mindhacking. My idea of mindhacking is that you're going to deliberately alter the way you think.

The actual processes are varied. As I mentioned before, meditation, hypnosis, NLP etc could be some of those ways.

Altering your mental processes through meditation, such that you transcend your ordinary perceptions of "reality" and thereby attaining enlightenment ..... DEFINITELY meets my definition of mindhacking.

Mr Wang Says So said...

"I have always found it hard to reconcile the acquisition of wealth with the need to do away with craving and attachment."

You may want to reread my post on Maslow.

There are at least three ways to go about dealing with a desire to acquire wealth:

(1) Transcend it. Become content to live very simply, eg like a monk.

(2) Satisfy it. Earn so very much that the desire is satisfied.

(3) A combination of (1) and (2). Eg do your maths, set a goal to acquire $X by ____, and by then, you can place money very low on your list of priorities and focus on other things.

None strikes me as inherently easier than the other 2. It may depend on the individual's circumstances and personality.

2nd commentator top down said...

"I see that my readers so far are shying away from the massive implications of what I have been leading them to".

What shying away are you talking about? I don't understand. It is OF COURSE good to have positive thoughts about yourself, your own ability etc. That's almost a COMMON SENSE and a GIVEN. Especially for a Buddhist whose leader said: "mind is the fore-runner of all states" (the very first verse of the Dhammapada). So in what way does your positive-thinking idea contradict Buddhism, such that your Buddhists readers have to "shy away"?

In fact, what is there for your Buddhists readers to add? your positive thinking idea is already in full compatibility with Buddhism.

No, wait, more than that! I may as well add: you are already "preaching" (an impt aspect) of Buddhism - the aspect that mind is the fore-runner of all things. So what do you expect a Buddhist (me for eg) to say so that I wont appear to be shying away: "Mr. Wang, Well said! We Buddhist agree completely with you"?!?!?!? I mean, must say until so obvious meh? :)


(the "Buddhist" reader whom you quoted in your post has mis-interpreted Buddhism, as you correctly point out. The rest of us am not shying away because what is there to shy away from a writer that is "preaching" what we believe in?).

Anonymous said...

"on ANY area of your life... when you consciously and regularly hold a set of thoughts different from what you're currently holding, you MUST be bringing about a change in the karmic consequences."

True - from a Buddhist's perspective. (to repeat: the "Buddhist" reader you quoted has misrepresented Buddhism)

But want to add: actions have much greater karmic consequence than "mere" thoughts e.g. Committing rape has much much greater karmic consequence than fantasizing about raping a woman!

The main karmic consequence of a positive thought is mainly that it helps clear the mind, put the mind in a better frame to carry out the right ACTIONS. By itself, positive thoughts hardly result in good (material) karmic consequence. Eg. If I think I am capable of achieving this or that, but I stop at the stage of thinking without actually taking any ACTION, then of course I won't reap the material karmic consequence of achiving this or that。

Henry Leong said...

Shakya already attained enlightenment in his past life.

Anonymous said...

No, the Buddha attained enlightenment in his last rebirth i.e. his last life. That's what Buddhists believe, though of course non-Buddhists are entitled to their views of Buddhism :)

Mr Wang Says So said...

Wow, if you already agree with me, that's cool. :)

But in case we're not understanding each other properly, let me spell it out more explicitly.

EVERYTHING in your life,

from the big to the small to the very important to the trivial to the obvious to the subtle,

is the result of your thoughts and intentions.

Therefore if you are sufficiently skilled and adept at choosing and controlling your thoughts, the universe will deliver to you what you want.

You may hold a certain intention; you may have no idea of what to do to make it come true; you may in fact not even have gotten around to taking a single step of concrete action to make it happen;

but if you are sufficiently skilled at holding that intention,

the universe will make it happen, in the same way that it makes every other karmic consequence happen -

by sending the relevant events, circumstances, people, opportunities, miracles etc

straight into your life, on your doorstep.

In my next post, I may proceed to write about Christianity and mindhacking. Specifically, Matthew 7:7:

"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye, then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?"

The promise of the Christian God to give you exactly what you ask for.

Provided that you know how to ask for it.

Faith is the key in Christianity, utter belief, and if you had faith and utter belief, you would not have doubt, worries, fears, anxieties, insecurities etc.

And if you did not have doubt, worries, fears, anxieties, insecurities etc ...

... heheh, you must be practising positive thinking.

It is like the universal law of karma. You always get exactly what you think about ...

... but do you know how to think?

Mr Wang Says So said...

"By itself, positive thoughts hardly result in good (material) karmic consequence."

Oh, I see that you do not believe in prayer. :)

Unsurprising, since you're a Buddhist, but any moment now, a Christian is going to appear on my blog and tell you that prayer, and prayer alone, with no further physical action, can result in miracles.

2nd said...

Examples and Definitions

Mind-hacking - psycho yourself to think that you are highly successful and extremely lucky when in reality (defined by comparing statistically to the success and luck of other people) you are of average success and average luck

Possible actions taken by such a mind-hacker:
1. Laze around everyday because he thinks he is already very successful.

2. Gamble indiscriminately because he thinks he have very good luck.

Possible Karmmic consequences:
1. Achieve nothing in life in the eye of those around him: a good for nothing person with heads in the cloud, thinking he is successful though he is underachieving.

2. Bankrupt.


Possible actions taken by a NON-mind hacker:
1. Since of average success, so work even harder than other people to achieve success. People laze around at home, he work day to night to achieve the success that has eluded him till now.

2. Conduct due diligence before taking actions because he knows he cannot afford to be reckless due to his not-so-good luck. Also, do not gamble (at least not a lot of money).

Possible Kammic consequences

1. Achieve success.

2. His business boom. He accumulate wealth instead of squandering it away.


Conclusion:
A. Buddhism is about understanding reality of life, of yourself, etc.

B. Mind-hacking (as defined and examplified above) is NOT part of Buddhism.

C. Such mind-hacking will lead to BAD karmmic consequences as illustrated above.

D. Accepting reality ***AND*** then working to achieve whatever your goal, taking into account reality will lead to GOOD karmmic consequence, again as illustrated above


(I take back what I said earlier about you. Apparently, I did not read carefully. Your idea of mind-hacking is not about "positive-thinking" (the word I used earlier). It is more like creating an illusion for yourself, as per my example in this comment!!!)

angry doc said...

"Therefore if you are sufficiently skilled and adept at choosing and controlling your thoughts, the universe will deliver to you what you want.

You may hold a certain intention; you may have no idea of what to do to make it come true; you may in fact not even have gotten around to taking a single step of concrete action to make it happen;

but if you are sufficiently skilled at holding that intention,

the universe will make it happen, in the same way that it makes every other karmic consequence happen -

by sending the relevant events, circumstances, people, opportunities, miracles etc"

Wow. Do teach us how to think, Mr Wang, because I've got patients who are dying of AIDS and cancer and it would great if they can think themselves out of their diseases.

2nd said...

"if you are sufficiently skilled at holding that intention, the universe will make it happen..."

"intention" is completely different from the mind-hacking you defined (by ways of examples) in your post:

"I am a highly successful person, furthermore I am extremely lucky" - that's the example you gave for mind-hacking. It is not an intention. your mind-hacking is about psycho-ing oneself to create an illusion that contradicts reality and this leads to BAD kammic consequence, as explained in previous commen.

"I am NOT highly successful, and I am NOT extremely lucky, but I have the intention to become highly successful (and will work very hard towards it) and I intent to achieve success by doing more networking and be friendly to everybody I know, so that more potential people can come help me, thus in a sense, change my luck from its current unlucky state which I fully acknowledge (no influential people to intro me to good lobang), to become very lucky (walk on the street, also can bump into someone I helped before, wanting to return me a favour by introducing me to a great job)" - that is not mind-hacking using your definition. It is intention and yes, holding such intentions is helpful and they are helpful precisely because one understand the reality that one is neither highly successful nor extremely lucky, and take that into account when working to achieve one's intended goal!!!

Mr Wang Says So said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mr Wang Says So said...

"Apparently, I did not read carefully. Your idea of mind-hacking is not about "positive-thinking" (the word I used earlier). It is more like creating an illusion for yourself"

Heheh. I knew the implications weren't getting through.

Still remember what Buddhism tells you about reality?
"In Dzogchen, perceived reality is considered to be unreal. According to contemporary teacher Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche, all appearances perceived during the whole life of an individual, through all senses, including sounds, smells, tastes and tactile sensations in their totality, are like a big dream. It is claimed that, on careful examination, the dream of life and regular nightly dreams are not very different, and that in their essential nature there is no difference between them."

In other words, you may have no clue what mindhacking is about; you may know nothing about meditation or hypnosis;

your beliefs about yourself are nevertheless mostly illusion. Whether you believe yourself to be "average" or not.

Remember the 7th consciousness. In Buddhism, the very belief that you are a "self", a separate, distinct being from the rest of reality .... is already false.

Kwongheng said...

I think I know what you are trying to ask. However, let me qualify something first. Since we are talking about a Buddhist perspective.

From it, not EVERTHING in your life is a result of karma or your thoughts and actions. Karma is only on of the 5 natural laws that were discovered. The reason why karma (or we can call it the ethics law of nature) is a focused for Buddhist is that karma is only law of nature that we can affect ourselves and its karma the create the cycle of rebirths.

Buddhism do make a distinction between mind and action. Just thinking itself may not result in any karmic consequences. You will need to have the action for karmic consequences to come about, but then it can be positive, negative and neutral or a mix of any of these. Of course, the mind or intention is important because usually with intention comes action. That is why its important to guard the mind of negative intentions so that it does not translate to negative action.

Now back to your question of Joe average thing positive thoughts about himself. In a way, we can say that thought follows action. If Joe average does psyche himself to belief that he is successful, the thoughts could translate to actions on his part to become successful. However, the caveat here I guess would be whether or not he actually takes the correct action to become successful.

Some people may think or want to think they, e.g. have a wonderful family, but if its only from their perspective, but the family members may be suffering, then the overall effect is a "negative karmic" consequence still. For example, he may have kicked out his gay son or send him to some Christian-based anti-gay group to become "normal", then as an overall, his family is still dysfunctional, no matter how much he think that its successful or happy.

However, let's not think that karma and hence, cause and effect is works in a linear fashion. Its incorrect to think that there is always a one to one correspondence of karmic consequences. Because you did this, you get this. Its more accurate to describe it as a web of causes that converge to a effect, i.e. an effect will have a multitude of causes.

Mr Wang Says So said...

""intention" is completely different from the mind-hacking you defined (by ways of examples) in your post:"

Oh, let me explain that part.

In mindhacking, one of the quickest ways to achieve what you want is to simply plant the thought that it has already happened.

Eg suppose you are lacking in self-confidence and you are afraid of standing up to your boss who is a bully. You resolve to solve this problem.

The less-effective approach to solve this problem is to think thoughts like:

"I am not a confident person. But I must try. I am damned scared of my boss. But tomorrow I will do my best to try to feel less frightened. I hope I can do this. I really want to do this."

Generally the MORE effective approach is to immediately plant the thought:

"I *am* a confident person. I am VERY bold. I am feeling bold and confident and powerful RIGHT NOW. Immediately I will walk over to my boss and discuss this with him and I will be calm and cool. In fact I am calm and cool RIGHT NOW."

The technique is always to reach for the most positive state that you can, in your current state, effectively manage to imagine.

2nd said...

"if you are sufficiently skilled at holding that intention, the universe will make it happen, in the same way that it makes every other karmic consequence happen - by sending the relevant events, circumstances, people, opportunities, miracles etc
straight into your life, on your doorstep."



Since you are talking about Buddhism in this post and seem to claim that this is how Buddhists think, I want to tell you that this is NOT a true understanding of Buddhism.

Buddhism:
1. Has intention

2. Carry out ACTIONS to achieve the intention.

3. relevant events, circumstances, people, opportunities, miracles etc occured


3 is a direct result of 2 which in turn is the result of 1. 3 does NOT and will NOT occur directly from 1, without 2 - you cannot jump from 1 to 3, which is what you seem to be saying in the quoted passage.


Eg.
1. Intention: I want to be highly successful and extremely lucky.

2. Action: I (a) befriend lots of people and try to network with everyone even my enemies, (b) have loving kindness for all, help the sick and the poor etc.

3. By 2(a), relevant people arises: people who are grateful to me appear at the right moment。 Most of the time, I don't even know how "what goes round comes around". I am good to person A, person A as a result of my help, is able to do things C D E that he would otherwise be unable to do had I not been good to him, and event E somehow lead to F, G, H and so on and eventually, by the amazing way that karma works, my good deed benefited me be leading relevant people to me.

By 2(b), "miracles" occur (in quotation marks, because once you know how it works, it is not really a miracle). Eg. It is law of kamma that if I love all, all love me (unless impeded by my previous hatred for others, for eg. A simplification, but you get what I mean). The various Gods (higher Beings) love me too and look out for me, helping me when I am in great danger (but since nobody knows, they call it a miracle). SARSed occur but I escape unharmed while those around me died because kammic law is that people of very great loving kindness will be immune to such things. Sounds like miracles, but future science may tell us: full of love = body not stressed = immune system good = fight bacteria better than stressful people = others succumb to SARS virus, I didnt even get it etc.


Anyway, bottom line: intention alone is not sufficient. Action (based on the intention) is needed. And I have outlined above how intention -> action -> relevant people and miracles -> success

Mr Wang Says So said...

What you're trying to do is get something planted in your subconscious mind, even if your conscious mind cannot accept it or believe it.

Hypnosis is an example of the conscious mind is bypassed, such that something can be planted directly into your subconscious mind.

Commercial advertising, unfortunately, is another example. That's why you sit down in a kopitiam, the auntie asks you what drink you want, and your mouth automatically opens and you say, "Coke".

Of course in mindhacking, you choose the message that YOU want to plant in your subconscious. Such as "cigarettes make me wanna puke". This will help you quit your smoking habit - you WILL want to puke the next time you stick a cigarette in your mouth. Once it gets into your subconscous mind, your conscious mind may say: "Hey but I've been smoking happily for the past 10 years, it NEVER made me feel nauseous before", but aha, too late, once it gets into the subconscious ...

Mr Wang Says So said...

Anon 17 June June 17, 2007 11:54 PM:

I think that your comment is in accordance with everyday common sense.

Your comment is not in accordance with karma as explained by Buddhism though.

Consider this. A man is walking on the sidewalk. Out of nowhere, a drunk driver suddenly speeds by on the road, the car jumps off the road onto the sidewalk and hits the man from behind. The man becomes paralyzed.

Buddhism would say - this is karma. Correct? Because EVERYTHING that happens to you is a result of karma. This man has done something, or somethings, in his present life, or his past lives, that leads to this state of affairs. His thoughts have led to this state of affairs.

In fact, in Buddhism, we would say that the very fact that this man has been born a man, and not a pig or cow or butterfly, is the result of his past karma.

Therefore explanations like this:

Eg.
1. Intention: I want to be highly successful and extremely lucky.

2. Action: I (a) befriend lots of people and try to network with everyone even my enemies, (b) have loving kindness for all, help the sick and the poor etc.

3. By 2(a), relevant people arises: people who are grateful to me appear at the right moment。 Most of the time, I don't even know how "what goes round comes around". I am good to person A, person A as a result of my help, is able to do things C D E that he would otherwise be unable to do had I not been good to him, and event E somehow lead to F, G, H and so on and eventually, by the amazing way that karma works, my good deed benefited me be leading relevant people to me.


are, as I said, in accordance with everyday commonsense, but NOT addressing the point of my post which is predicated on the assumption that Buddhism correctly explains karma.

Mr Wang Says So said...

"Since you are talking about Buddhism in this post and seem to claim that this is how Buddhists think,"

You're mistaken. I use Buddhism only as a starting point.

I use the karma concept to show that thoughts and intentions affect your reality, down to very small details.

From this, I extrapolate to the idea that since thoughts and intentions affect your reality, then simply by changing your thoughts and intentions, you can change your reality, down to very small details.

Buddhism is concerned mostly with the different types of thoughts, intentions that will lead to happiness, or suffering, or enlightenment.

I'm taking things at a more down-to-earth level, and pointing to the idea that different types of thoughts, intentions will, by extension, affect any area of your life, eg health, career, family etc.

And I argue that this goes beyond the simple cause-&-effect of

your intention ---> your acts --> people's reaction to your acts --> desired result coming into effect

(see example above about the random traffic accident, and the man being born as a man, not as a butterfly)

2nd said...

I am puzzled. Can you explain just what we are debating about i.e which part is it that we (i.e. Buddhism versus Mr. Wang) disagree on? Aren't we all in agreement?

You wrote:
"In mind hacking, one of the quickest ways to achieve what you want is to simply plant the thought that it has already happened".

Borrowing your example, thie means:
1. 1st, you recognise the truth, the reality, which is that you have no confidence and is afraid.
2. Then, you mind hack yourself that you are already a confident person, and already calm and cool.

Clearly, for you to even want to do 2, you must recognise first that you are 1. Else, why would you even carry out 2, right?

So this is no contradiction at all to what I said about having to recognise and accept reality. It in fact, is the pre-requisite before any mind hacking can occur.

Also, clearly, if you mind hacked but took no action (i.e. did not go confront your boss), then your mind hack leads to no concrete result.

This again is in agreement with what I said: intention must be followed by action and it is action that leads to the miracles etc, not intention alone.

So what is it that I or Buddhism disagree with you that lead you to say: "Now, now. Don't run away from the implications. If you're a true Buddhist..."? What have we run away from?

I see no contradiction? Mind hacking is a "worldly" technique that you claim can achieve this or that goal, and it has nothing much to contribute nor does it contradict, to Buddhism which is to recognise the realities of the cuase of suffering, put down craving, etc etc so as to achieve ultimate bliss etc.

Why are you even linking mind hacking to Buddhism? One is to achieve worldly gain, the other is to achieve enlightenment. Where do they cross sword with each other?

2nd said...

Buddhism would say - this is karma. Correct? Because EVERYTHING that happens to you is a result of karma. This man has done something, or somethings, in his present life, or his past lives, that leads to this state of affairs. His thoughts have led to this state of affairs.


NO!!!!!!!!! *horror*

One: Not everything is due to Karma. Earthquake for eg is not due to Karma. Karma is but one of X number of forces. Just like we have gravitational force, electromagnetic force, nuclear force PLUS from Buddhism's pt of view, Karmic force. "PLUS" is the key. I think KwongHeng has explained this well.

Two: It is his ACTIONS that lead to such a thing (assuming it is caused by Karma), not mere thoughts

Thoughts -> ACTIONS -> bad karmic result.


I am too lazy to go search out the relevant scriptures and quote them. But I am sure if you do that, you can verify what I said :)

Mr Wang Says So said...

"Do teach us how to think, Mr Wang, because I've got patients who are dying of AIDS and cancer and it would great if they can think themselves out of their diseases."

Hey, I'm good, but not that good. Try asking Jesus.

He does seem, though, to also have a mindhacking requirement for the blind and crippled that He heals.

They must have faith. They must have clear, utter belief & conviction that this guy standing in front of them is the Son of God, and when He touches them, they're going to see again, they're going to walk again etc.

No room for doubt, anxiety, worry or fear. Absolutely positive thinking seems to be essential.

Since you specifically mentioned cancer, I thought I'd mention the only exception I've found to this general rule. He's Matthew Manning, a psychic healer who claims that his patients need not have faith in anything - he will just heal them anyway.

Matthew's very interesting because he's the only self-professed psychic healer who's regularly demonstrated his abilities under clinically controlled conditions. Among other things, he demonstrated under laboratory conditions his ability to influence the rate of degradation of human blood cells and enzymes, the growth rate of mould samples, the death rate of cancer cells (which is why I mentioned him to you - since he specifically mentioned cancer), and the remote influencing of another person's brainwave patterns.

But I digress, this really has nothing to do with karma.

Mr Wang Says So said...

Heheh. Tell me then -

the man is born a human being, not a butterfly, or a pig or a dog.

Is this the effect of karma?

If you say no, then I think we both know that your answer is inconsistent with Buddhism.

If you say yes, then clearly karma is much more than the kind of cause-&-effect relationship you explained using your Friend A, Event B, C, D etc.

2nd said...

"Your comment is not in accordance with karma as explained by Buddhism though."

Let's recap. My comment (June 17, 2007 11:54 PM) is,
QUOTE:
bottom line: [from a Buddhist's perspective] intention alone is not sufficient. Action (based on the intention) is needed. And I have outlined above how intention -> action -> relevant people and miracles -> success
UNQUOTE

You used the following example to counter my assertion:
QUOTE
Consider this. A man is walking on the sidewalk. Out of nowhere, a drunk driver suddenly speeds by on the road, the car jumps off the road onto the sidewalk and hits the man from behind. The man becomes paralyzed. Buddhism would say - this is karma... This man has done something, or somethings, in his present life, or his past lives, that leads to this state of affairs. His thoughts have led to this state of affairs.
UNQUOTE

In the 1st sentence, you supported what I said: He has done something - action!
Then in your second sentence, you suddenly say his thoughts (alone) caused this!!!
It seem to me that you are simply contradicting yourself. This example did not counter my comment at all.


Then you gave a second counter example:
QUOTE
In fact, in Buddhism, we would say that the very fact that this man has been born a man, and not a pig or cow or butterfly, is the result of his past karma.
UNQUOTE

Correct. And how does this contradict what I said? The state of rebirth is determined by a combination of ACTION and/or final THOUGHTS. I can elaborate if you are interested: Good action + good final thoughts = long good rebirth. Good action + bad final thought = short bad rebirth (eg. reborn as animal but only for a short while). Bad action + good final thought = short good rebirth (eg. reborn as human but died even while in the womb!). bad action + bad final thought = long bad rebirth.

But hmm, why are we going into such religious details? How has your example contradict my comment which is NOT about rebirth, but about intention -> action -> miracles/ meeting relevant people/ success

In fact, how does your example (now in light of my detailed explanation of what determines rebirth status), support your idea that intention -> miracles/ meeting relevant people/ success?

Mr Wang Says So said...

I just checked one of my books on Buddhism, and I do not think that your explanation of right action is correct.

This is taken from "The Essential Dalai Lama", edited by Rajiv Mehrotra. The Dalai Lama explains:

"In terms of the actual nature of karmic actions, there are principally two different types: mental acts - actions that are not necessarily manifested throught physical action - and there are physical acts, which include both bodily and verbal acts. Then from the point of view of the medium of expression of an action, we distinguish actions of the mind, actions of speech and actions of the body."

There.

A few paragraphs later, we have this:

"... the scriptures discuss four types of karma: karma which is carried out but not accumulated, karma which is accumulated but not carried out, karma where the act is both carried out and accumulated, and karma where there is an absence of both accumulation and the actual execution of the act."

Eg you plot to murder someone; but by chance, you fail - he just happened to have flown to another country that fateful day when you broke into his apartment carrying a deadly knife.

The act of killing is never done; you only had the intention of killing - nevertheless you DO accumulate some very bad karma here for the murderous intention.

In other words, the thought alone attracts the karmic consequence - the deed need not necessarily be done.

Same for other kinds of thoughts - positive, negative, virtuous, non-virtuous, neutral etc.

Mr Wang Says So said...

Hey, talk to you tomorrow (or rather later today). Going to sleep now.

2nd said...

I use the karma concept to show that thoughts and intentions affect your reality, down to very small details.

thoughts and intentions by themselves = affect reality a bit.

Taking actions (based on these thoughts and intentions) = affect reality the other bit.

Together, they affects to small details. But by themselves, (i.e. without taking action), thoughts and intentions cannot affect reality to small details.


From this, I extrapolate to the idea that since thoughts and intentions affect your reality,

True, some thoughts and intentions by themselves do affect reality directly to a certain extent - place of rebirth being an example. But, precisely becuase of the "some" and "certain", when you say:


then simply by changing your thoughts and intentions, you can change your reality, down to very small details.

this is not true. Must have action to form the other half of the equation. Rebirth is an example, as I explained in earlier comment.

Buddhism is concerned mostly with the different types of thoughts, intentions that will lead to happiness, or suffering, or enlightenment.


Happiness/suffering = ACTIONS. good action -> good karma -> happiness. Bad action -> bad karma -> suffering.

Enlightenment = mostly "thoughts" - put down craving, eradicate delusion (that worldly things are permanent etc), having right understanding, do not cling on etc.


I'm taking things at a more down-to-earth level, and pointing to the idea that different types of thoughts, intentions will, by extension, affect any area of your life, eg health, career, family etc.

to a certain extent, but without taking actions, it will not affect to a large degree.


And I argue that this goes beyond the simple cause-&-effect of your intention ---> your acts --> people's reaction to your acts --> desired result coming into effect

The part in bold is a simplification. But no matter what, minus the bold part, the arrow wont work. Buddhism does not go from intention ---directly--> desired result coming into effect

Mr Wang Says So said...

". Where do they cross sword with each other?"

Heeey .... I just noticed this comment (missed this, cos we were both posting so many comments).

I think you utterly misconstrued my point.

I am not saying that Buddhism & mindhacking contradict each other or cross swords in any way.

Quite the contrary. I am actually using Buddhism (or its explanation of karma) to support the idea that thoughts affect reality;

and therefore by changing your thoughts, you change reality;

and I go one step further (this is the interesting bit) by suggesting that you would change reality not merely in the "logical" way of Friend A, Event C, D, E etc,

but that thoughts ALONE can change reality (a convenient example would be prayer, if you subscribe to any religion with an idea of a God).

Though I would say that in practice, holding strong thoughts on anything is very likely going to translate into direct action on your part.

2nd said...

"The act of killing is never done; you only had the intention of killing - nevertheless you DO accumulate some very bad karma here for the murderous intention."


The key word here being "SOME"! You would accumulate much much greater Karma if you had murdered the other chap. Hence I disagree with your idea that thoughts and intentions alone can affect reality to "very small details". I said that for such thing, actions need to have occurred and your Dalai Lama example has just shown that I am correct :)

Mr Wang Says So said...

And before I proceed to my next point, tell me, how do you classify meditation:

as "thought", or as "action".

Mr Wang Says So said...

"The key word here being "SOME"! You would accumulate much much greater Karma if you had murdered the other chap."

I think we've ended up quibbling over small details. Yes, of course if you actually murdered the other chap, there would be more bad karma.

But suppose you tried to kill someone five times, and five times you failed. Well then what you accumulated is "some" bad karma multiplied by five times.

Once you see that thoughts alone can affect reality, then you see that the same thoughts, multipled in intensity, repeated many times, will have even greater effect.

Many common mindhacking tools work on some variation of that basic idea (whether you believe in karma or not). A simple self-hypnosis, for instance, doesn't last for more than 24 - 48 hours, when you first start doing it; therefore you have to keep repeating it, until it "sinks in". Then you no longer need to do it.

ted said...

Hi Angry Doc,

maybe you would like to check this out as an aid for your patients.

URL:http://www.shanyou.org.sg/aboutus/Annual_Report_for_FY_05_06___for_web.pdf

"Audio CD for People with Cancer: Complementary Cancer Care
Shan You Counselling Centre, with the support of our board of advisors, produced a set of
audio CDs in English and Mandarin respectively for people with cancer with the support of
funding from Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple. These were additions to Shan You
Counselling Centre’s current series of evidence-based mind-body medicine public education
material, i.e., a set of booklets with guided imagery CDs in English and Mandarin produced
with the Singapore Psychological Society and Singapore Society of Clinical Hypnosis, as
well as an audio CD with relaxation techniques and evidence-based therapeutic imageries for
people with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, jointly produced by the Singapore Psychological
Society and the Lupus Association (Singapore). These material included information about
psycho-neuro-immunology that is founded on more than 40 years of scientific research and
how this can help to increase our quality of life.

The production of the audio CDs for people with cancer was Shan You Counselling Centre’s
further attempt to raise our community’s awareness of the benefits of evidence-based mind-
body medicine techniques. This audio CD was our agency’s attempt to inform the public
about how guided imagery techniques can improve the immune system in safe, natural and
effective ways while people continue with conventional medical treatment. The material
compiled was based on what had been founded on more than 40 years of scientific research.
The self-management audio CD included scripts for relaxation, for managing pain,
maximising the benefits of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and helping people with cancer
to experience greater confidence and meaning of life."

2nd said...

"clearly karma is much more than the kind of cause-&-effect relationship you explained using your Friend A, Event B, C, D etc.

My "friend A, Event B" thing is to explain how Karma works with respect to how "CAUSE:being nice to people", lead to "EFFECT:relevant people coming to help one". And that's to answer your "miracle, meet relevant people" part.

You cannot quote me out of context to talk about rebirth! Now with regard to rebirth, you are correct that it is more complicated. Rebirth is determined by a mixture of final thoughts, habitual thoughts, weighty wholesome/unwholesome actions, habitual actions etc. In fact, the realm of rebirth (animal, heaven etc) is determined mostly by THOUGHTS (final thoughts esp unless counteracted by very weighty ACTIONS (eg. patricide lead straight to hell, no amt of good final thoughts is of use)), whereas
one's "luck", wealth/poverty etc is more determined by previous life's ACTION rather than by THOUGHTS.

And since you are talking about worldly things like wealth/poverty, of course it is determined more by ACTION rather than by THOUGHTS alone mah!

Rebirth is kind of an "exception", in my opinion. In terms of worldly gains and loss, it is mostly actions not thoughts, or at the very least, a mixture of the two. To say that thoughts by itself can lead to very small details...hmm.. i personally disagree lor.

ted said...

Mr Wang, somehow your mindhacking thingy reminds me of this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_Attraction

Mr Wang Says So said...

It is quite natural that you would disagree, really. But there are some interesting schools of thought that suggest otherwise - I will blog about them in future, all in good time.

I have to move slowly here - this crowd is mainstream. See earlier posts - even when I just say "Oh you can be much more successful than you currently are", this ALREADY attracts disbelief and incredulity .....

Mr Wang Says So said...

Slowly, Ted, slowly. ;)

2nd said...

>"I am actually using Buddhism (or its explanation of karma) to support the idea that thoughts affect reality;"

Of course CERTAIN thoughts do. And one Buddhistic example is simply the loving-kindness example that I give earlier: A person who has supreme loving-kindness can become immune to poison. (And I have attempted to demystify this "miracle" by explaining how habitual + pure + super-high thoughts of loving kindness may lead to a better immune system)


>"and therefore by changing your thoughts, you change reality;"

The "therefore" does not hold. CERTAIN other thoughts, by themselves, do not change reality! (thinking one is successful does not lead one to become successful, and may in fact be harmful (leading to procrastination as I detailed in previous comment)

Buddhism simply teach that some thoughts by themselves can change reality (eg. the loving kindness thing). But you cannot "therefore" this concept to say that Buddhism support the idea that the specific thought of "i am already successful" will lead to success!


>"and I go one step further (this is the interesting bit) by suggesting that you would change reality not merely in the "logical" way of Friend A, Event C, D, E etc, but that thoughts ALONE can change reality (a convenient example would be prayer, if you subscribe to any religion with an idea of a God)."

Again, not all thoughts can do that and just because Buddhism say some thoughts can, we cannot jump to the far-fetched conclusion that Buddhism supports the proposition that mind-hacking (esp the "I am successful" eg) can change reality!

2nd said...

<"But suppose you tried to kill someone five times, and five times you failed. Well then what you accumulated is "some" bad karma multiplied by five times."

The bad karma is that your mind is now full of hatred, reinforced 5 times! And the effect of this 5X hatred is that it will become 5 times more difficult for you to gain enlightenment because you must put down hatred and cultivate love to gain enlightement!

The cause is a thought. The effect is also in the thought realm. Nothing in "reality" (the physical world) has changed! So I dont understand how you can jump to this conclusion:

Once you see that thoughts alone can affect reality,

I dont see how you can jump like that, based on this Dalai Lama eg.

Anonymous said...

>how do you classify meditation: as "thought", or as "action".

Meditation is a thought process, and it CAN affects reality. When a powerful meditator radiates loving-kindness throughout the universe, it can affect those who receive such radiation.

BUT, you cannot say that because Buddhism teaches this powerful effect of loving kindness (thoughts -> reality), therefore you can make the logical leap that Buddhism support that certain other kind of thoughts (to recap: "I am already extremely sucesssful") will lead, by itself, with no accompanying action, to certain kind of effect ("I will change from average to success"). In this case, it should be thoughts -> action -> change reality.

Ok, talk another time.
night night.

Meditation said...

Mr. Wang,
You said: "My idea of mindhacking is that you're going to deliberately alter the way you think" And then you say "attaining enlightenment.. DEFINITELY meets my definition of mind hacking"

May I know what you think a Buddhist originally think, and what does he deliberately alter that thinking to become?

That not how Buddhism works at all. So, for eg, if you think "everything in this world is permanent and there is no rebirth", you don't meditate by deliberately altering your thoughts to become "everything is impermanent, there sure is rebirth"! You don't repeat that new idea 1000X till it gets into your mind!

That's not Buddhism

The purpose of Buddhist meditation is to cultivate mindfulness, concentration, attain ability to see, hear, recollect, way beyond what the normal human mind can do.

And then, having acquire such ability, to use this highly trained mind to SEE (even things that is not physically in the line of sight eg. things far away, in another dimension etc) for oneself that indeed everything in this world is impermanent.

And also to REMEMBER all of one's past lives as well as to be able to read the minds of others, so that one can see their past lives, thus verifying for oneself that rebirth is a fact.

It is hardly appropriate to associate this kind of meditation with mind hacking where you "deliberately alter the way you think"!!

Anonymous said...

I agree with 2nd about this. Like most things man-made, Buddhism is but a label. Consciously, your train of thoughts percieves the nature of things 'empty' or 'that', then that's it. The mind-hacking as you put it is a way of perceiving things consciously, not 'seeing' things in the past or present. Albert Einstein will be distrustful of this 'seeing' things in the past. Because there is no such thing as the past (It is an illusion of the mind). Osho has this: neither born nor dead, so where is your future & your past? Define these notions.

Further, how do you verify that this human called 'Buddha' taught about rebirth etc. It is said that 'Buddha' insisted that ones has to verify things by first hand before you can (with high probability) say that this is so & so.

As correctly pointed out by Mr Wang, mindhacking is no doubt useful. However, it should be pointed out that the post's more relevant along the line of belief/perception on 'Law of Attraction', rather than be interpreted using terminologies in Buddhism, which may lead to confusion.

Henry Leong said...

Buddhism is more profound then positive thinking, it can eradicate negative karma.

Mr Wang Says So said...

May I know what you think a Buddhist originally think, and what does he deliberately alter that thinking to become?

Oh basically he starts off with the same flawed thinking as most of the rest of the human race. The flaws include the perception of the "self" as a separate self from everything else, and ignorance of what reality is, our inherent tendency to attach etc.

To transcend that flawed thinking, he needs to meditate. However, most people's minds are too messed up for them to effectively meditate.

The Buddhist prescription therefore is that firstly you have to guard your mind against at least the obvious enemies. Therefore you have to practise right speech, right action, right occupation etc.

In other words, you first practise not being abusive in speech; not being violent; not stealing; not lying etc etc and over time, this helps your mind to develop calm and clarity up to a certain point, when it is not so vulnerable to impulses such as greed, lust etc.

(This already is a kind of minor mindhacking.)

Upon reaching that stage, the Buddhist becomes ready for the major mindhacking stuff. That's meditation. The ultimate goal, of course, is enlightenment.

And that's the ultimate mindhack. You're going to go deep, deep, deep into yourself .... and if you go deep enough, you'll meet the void, and beyond the void, you'll meet the bliss, and beyond that you'll experience that the self is an illusion, you're just reality itself.

The enlightened person's thinking is altered ...... among other things he will no longer commit the errors of attachment.

mr.udders said...

Interesting to see how zealots exist in every form, in every place.

Anonymous said...

Karma is Good. Karma is Bad. Good and Bad exist in the state of minds.

Let it go. Let it go. Why continuously hold on to it. Let it go.

angry doc said...

ted,

Certainly the audi-CDs may teach the patients how to

"increase our quality of life"

and may be good

"for relaxation, for managing pain"

and

"and helping people with cancer
to experience greater confidence and meaning of life."

These are subjective parameters.

However, claims like:

"improve the immune system"

and

"maximising the benefits of chemotherapy and radiotherapy"

while framed in a imprecise form, suggest benefits which can be measured in objective parameters, and require evidence to back them up.

Anonymous said...

The Christian equivalent of the final thought concept in Buddhism is simply the belief in Jesus as saviour and the path to eternal life.

In Buddhism, life (or rather, consciousness) is already pretty much eternal, to begin with.

In that sense, Buddhism & Hinduism go together; Islam and Christianity go together.

Mr Wang Says So said...

""improve the immune system"

You mean something like this? A study showing that negative thinking lowers the level of antibodies in the blood of test subjects, in response to a flu shot?

http://psychologytoday.com/articles/pto-20040105-000018.html

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=health&res=9806EFDF1538F931A3575AC0A9659C8B63

Is this what you mean by measurable parameters?

Or do you mean things like measuring heart beats of phobic patients, in experiments like these:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=1484767&dopt=Abstract

angry doc said...

Mr Wang,

I cannot find any scientific paper on Matthew Mannings' abilities, but as you said, it has nothing to do with karma.

Cancer aside, I am interested in knowing how much you think mind-hacking can go towards altering not so much how one perceives his reality, but towards altering the everyday common objective reality.

Will mind-hacking, for example, allow someone to fall from a 10-storey building and survive?

Also, if mind-hacking can be shown to consistently allow those who practise it correctly to achieve success, it may still be a phenomenon independent of karma or faith or religion if it (apparently) works for people of all religions (including exclusivist ones) or no religion.

angry doc said...

Yes, Mr Wang, studies like those.

And if the sellers of the audi-CD wish to make a claim that their audio-CDs can "improve the immune system" or "maximising the benefits of chemotherapy and radiotherapy", they should likewise conduct studies using their CDs to determine their efficacy.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4.21 18th said "how do you verify that this human called Buddha taught about rebirth etc".

In the same vien how do you verify that there was such a couple as Adam & Eve being the first humans. More than a billion Buddhists in this world do not believe that.

Anonymous said...

> how do you verify that this human called Buddha taught about rebirth etc


To call Buddha a human, is like to call God a human. Likewise to call the man who attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree a human, is like to call the man who died on the cross a human. Does it make sense? Your sentence sound like this:

How can we verify that this human called Jesus....

Anonymous said...

I'm Anon 4.21 18th. I don't need to verify Adam & Eve, just because I have heard it from somebody's mouth. Of course, I'm a living human, and don't need to have the notion of 'Mr Adam & Ms Eve'.

Let me suggest this experiment:
People who read too much about Buddhist scriptures or books should stop doing that. It can be an addiction that reinforces your mind. There is no such thing as mainstream Buddhism. Tear it apart as you would tear the 'deluded self' when you first came across it.

That is tweaking the mind.

2nd - trading insults said...

Anon of 4:21am,
You did not agree anything with me. In fact, you are disagreeing with everything I said!


"Like most things man-made, Buddhism is but a label."

That's a wonderful way to insult my religion. Take it back: You know what, I think the Jesus (or whoever) you worship is also MAN-MADE and your religion but a label :)


A"lbert Einstein will be distrustful of this 'seeing' things in the past."

Is it? Prove it! I thought it's the other way: Albert Einstein held Buddhism in high regard. I am too lazy to search out a quote for you. Type "Albert Einstein" and "Buddhism" into google and go find it yourself.


"Further, how do you verify that this human called 'Buddha' taught about rebirth etc."

Simple. You can verify rebirth for yourself! Go meditate till your mind is very still, concentrated, and skillful and see if you can see into your own past lives. Also, in this world, many people (even without meditating skill) can, and it is documented. While you may not believe them, they provide some kind of verification.

But, wait, there is no point in talking abt Buddhism alone. Religious beliefs are all relative. So if you provide me the name of your religion or non-religions belief, we can compare it side by side and see if yours is more verifiable. In that way, we can also trade insults better - I will start with naming the figure head of your religion a "human" and your religion Man-made, and we can go from that! :)

2nd said...

Mr. Wang,
On "improve the immune system", it's well known, right? some thoughts alters physiological parameters. It's all of what you linked plus things like patients showing measurable improvement after taking placebo etc.

So yeah, of course *some* thoughts can alter *some* reality (and can even be measured on medical instruments). But you stretch it way too far when you (a) give a specific thought ("I think I am very successful and extremely lucky" though I am actually not), and (b) claim that this thought, by itself can lead to the universe sending relevant people and miracles to you, AND (c) claiming that this is in line with and taught by Buddhism!!!

It is the combination of (a)(b)(c) (esp (c)) that I disagree with.

Apart from specific exceptions (and I cited 2 - rebirth and loving kindness), in general, thoughts alone merely result in some *mental* karmmic consequence (eg. hateful thoughts giving rise to the consequence of an unclear mind making meditation more difficult).

Thoughts must often be combined with ACTIONS in order to change reality (see my 11:54 PM comment, which I think IS in accordance to Buddhistic view of karma).

Anonymous said...

jeesh, you have not perceived the essence of Buddhism or it's not in your bone yet, if you feel even a tiny bit that an insult has been made against this label "Buddhism".

1)Is Buddha a human being? Of course.

2)Is his teaching man-made? Follows from Q1.

BTW, his teaching is very clear, unlike the dominant teaching in India at that time. Now fast forward to 2007, jeesh, it's still the same; people cannot look beyond labels.

Anonymous said...

I'm I'm Anon 4.21 18th and I'm Anon June 18, 2007 1:03 PM.

Einstein was aiming for a cosmology belief/perception that is all encompassing, where compassion arises naturally.
Albert Einstein's thinking was much more sophisticated than the common men, because I believe he thought it out himself, not reading books on Buddhism (since there were few translated copies during his times). But he conversed with thinkers who are along that line, and he can perceived and judged for himself.

It's perhaps better not to mix Buddhism in this, because the article projects differently to everyone's mind. That is that.

2nd said...

Mr Wang,
No lah, your interpretation of how Buddhists view Enlightenment is not how Buddhists view it.

You think Buddhists regard enlightenment as (1) achievable by meditation alone (after keeping some moralities) where "You're going to go deep, deep, deep into yourself" and (2) merely an "experience that the self is an illusion, you're just reality itself."

I reiterate yet again: Enlightenment comes about when a person can see (i.e. verify for himself) via high meditative power the truth of the world and having understood the truth, no longer cling to the world and hence will not be reborn again.

By 1, you are in effect saying that Buddhists believe that Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration (i.e. meditation) by themselves leads to enlightenment. Don't you know that Buddhists talk about Right UNDERSTANDING? It is the understanding that things are impermanent, craving leads to suffering, blah hblah blah that leads to a enlightenment. And meditation is just a tool that allows one to SEE and to understand this. Meditation by itself is not and will not lead to enlightenment!

By 2, you do not understand that Buddhists believe Enlightenment is a "physical" and verifiable thing: it results in no more rebirth. It is not just an experience in the mind of the meditator that lead to nothing verifiable and physical!

Of course, non-Buddhists won't agree with what I say, but you seem to be saying that your version is how Buddhists think, and I am telling you it is not.

Anonymous said...

"1)Is Buddha a human being? Of course."

This is as stupid as saying: "Is God a human Being? Of course!"

I think there is a word for it. It is called Oxymoron!


"2)Is his teaching man-made? Follows from Q1."

This is as ridiculous as "Is Albert Einstien's teaching man-made? Yes".

Albert Einstein is teaching the law of Physics - not some law that he or some other man made themselves! Similarly, from a Buddhist's perspective, the Buddha is teaching the law of nature.

Anonymous said...

I am the anon of 1:33pm. I will ask and ans a few more questions to make things clearer:


Is Jesus a man?

Christians: No! He is born in human form, but he is God and God is not equal human - God created humans.


Is Shakyamuni (otherwise known as Siddharta Gautama) a man?

Buddhists: No! He is born in human form, but upon enlightenment, he is Buddha and Buddha is not equal human - Buddha is the teacher of Gods and Humans. Having been free from rebirth, he is able to teach Gods that they are not creator but simply higher beings who live a long long time but will still die one day, there is no creator, blah blah blah. Likewise, he teachers humans.

I hope this clarification in response to an anon's assertion will not be regarded as preaching. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

....

and I thought topics about Buddhism will be a peaceful conversation...

Rob

Anonymous said...

It is well known that our subconscious minds are 10 times greater than our conscious minds.
So if one can tap one's subconscious mind, then one can improve on one's abilities within limits. To tap into one's subconscious mind is not that difficult. Auto suggestions with ur eyes close or better still go into shallow level concentration meditation to plant your desires. Make sure ur desires are not beyond the bands of your present karmic limitations. No matter how hard one may wish it is impossible for a Singaporean to become President of USA. These are nothing more than self motivation technique. It is not difficult to achieve greater success in life if one work harder and are more focus. Working on one's subconscious mind is just that - self motivation.
These are not the teaching of Buddhism. These are the modern creative applications of one of the concept of Buddism which is karmic consequences of one's thoughts and actions.
Buddhism taught one to seek to escape from the sufferings of the cycle of death and rebirth by letting go of one's earthly desires. So implanting more desires into your subconscious will inhibit this ultimate goal of escaping from this cycle of death and rebirth.
Even the desire to achievement enlightenment is an inhibition if one has reached a high level of meditation. This is where the Taoist concept of what will be will be comes in.
For young Singaporeans my advise is to pursue a moderate lives between material acquisitions and spiritual pursuits. As you grow older, wiser and when u have set aside enough to take care of your family and your future, then go deeper into the spiritual path.

angry doc said...

"It is well known that our subconscious minds are 10 times greater than our conscious minds."

Interesting. What do you mean by 'greater', and how did you arrive at the figure of 10 times?

Mr Wang Says So said...

I am interested in knowing how much you think mind-hacking can go towards altering not so much how one perceives his reality, but towards altering the everyday common objective reality.

Actually, the question is not quite right, because there is no common objective reality. Time itself is an illusion, and if you type the words "Time is an illusion" into Google, you'll end with hits on Albert Einstein, not Buddha.

But I know what you mean to ask - so my short answer is, surprise, thoughts have quite a lot of ability to alter what we commonly regard as "everyday common objective reality".

I think you might be surprised at the range of examples I could give you, from diverse fields and schools and disciplines etc.

But maybe let's start with this, something which you must be familiar with, if you're Singaporean.

Why isn't this man bleeding? Why isn't he in pain? Why will he have no scars after this experience?

This shouldn't be part of our understanding of how ""everyday common objective reality". If I stick a metal skewer through your cheek, through your tongue, and out through the other cheek, you ought to be screaming in pain.

Why are there SO MANY of these people in Singapore, year after year after year?

What is the difference between their human flesh, and yours?

http://www.asiaphotostock.com/Places/Singapore/Festivals/thaipusam.jpg

Anonymous said...

"Do teach us how to think, Mr Wang, because I've got patients who are dying of AIDS and cancer and it would great if they can think themselves out of their diseases."

1. Accept what you are as a consequence of your karma or like what Dr. K K Tan said G-Plan.
2. Do not be afraid of death. Birth and death are natural occurances.
3. There is a better life after one leave one's physical body. The astral world is more wonderful than earth.

Mr Wang Says So said...

http://www.asiaphotostock.com /Places/Singapore/Festivals/thaipusam.jpg

Mr Wang Says So said...

Link is not getting through. It's actually a picture of Thaipusam. you can google and find your own.

Mr Wang Says So said...

"Interesting. What do you mean by 'greater', and how did you arrive at the figure of 10 times?"

The chap wasn't very precise, but he was actually referring to Sigmund Freud's well-known iceberg model of the unconscious, pre-conscious and conscious mind.

Freud put the conscious mind at about 10% of the sum total of these three minds.

There's a helpful diagram here:

http://wilderdom.com/personality/L8-3TopographyMindIceberg.html

Mr Wang Says So said...

By 2, you do not understand that Buddhists believe Enlightenment is a "physical" and verifiable thing: it results in no more rebirth. It is not just an experience in the mind of the meditator that lead to nothing verifiable and physical!

No, I accept that enlightenment means no more rebirth (unless the chap chooses to come back).

I think you think you're disagreeing with me, but you're not.

Simple way to look at it:

1. Before enlightenment you think in a certain way

2. Then you actively seek enlightenment.

3. Assume that you succeed.

4. You no longer think the same way, correct?

Of course. Your thinking has changed drastically. If buddhas thought just like the rest of us, they wouldn't be buddhas.

Mindhacking successfully completed.

Anonymous said...

Quote :Interesting. What do you mean by 'greater', and how did you arrive at the figure of 10 times? Unquote.

The fig 10 times is just an illustration of a more capable mind at a higher level of consciousness. Different states of conscious here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transcendental_Meditation
I am sure u must expereinced sudden insights to solutions to problems which u have been working on. These are indications of your subconcious mind at work.

Anonymous said...

i feel there are bigger questions about this karma thing. like ...
who administers it?
why does it work?

i can see the cause and effect part but not the more esoteric stuff.

u murder, steal or asault ... then in a law based socity like ours u will very likely get caught and punished. thinking accomplishes little apart from clearing or clouding the mind.

karma seems like something invented to keep us in line. a scare tactic that makes us do the right thing.

now rebirth is an entirely differnt animal. i have much respect for the concept.

in fact rebirth is the underlying principle that keeps us in line. u try not to mess up too much because u know u're coming back. you'll see all ur enemies again. so it is best to have more friends.

rebirth is education taking to its limits. eons of life will give u the oppourtunity to learn what is good or bad. not by reading books or hearing it from someone else. u'll know from personal experience. u'll know because u have seen its effects and what caused them.

angry doc said...

Yes, I am aware of Thaipusam. Pain is by and large a subjective experience and people's threshold for and perception of pain can be modulated. Certainly there is no reason to assume that the fact that the devotees can tolerate the pain of cheek piercing means the beliefs which they base their faith are necessarily true.

More importantly, it doesn't answer my question of whether mind-hacking can allow one to survive a 10-storey fall. Now if Thaipusam devotees routinely survived 10-storey falls, or recovered completely from eye-ball piercing...

There is, in practice, an everyday common objective reality. It is the reality you used to deal with when you went to court, and the reality I have to deal with when I am in an operating theatre. Certainly we may be able to change our perception of the situations of our existence and how much importance we place upon them, but even the Buddha was not known to survive a 10-storey fall. Thought alone do not change this reality, and an amputee cannot think himself up a new leg.

As for the 10-times figure, I think if one wants to use the ice-berg metaphor for the subconscious mind, one should state that it is but a metaphor and not state categorically "10 times" as if it were a scientific fact. Man is not an ice-berg, and the bottom 90% of an ice-berg is no "greater" than the top 10% ther than in mass and volume.

Mr Wang Says So said...

"Also, if mind-hacking can be shown to consistently allow those who practise it correctly to achieve success, it may still be a phenomenon independent of karma or faith or religion if it (apparently) works for people of all religions (including exclusivist ones) or no religion."

Certainly, I agree. I myself am a follower of no particular religion, but I am interested in all of them. As well as many other things which are not religious in nature.

For example, I see meditation, hypnosis and prayer as all interrelated, really.

And anyway how else can we know anything about reality except through our minds?

Mr Wang Says So said...

Certainly there is no reason to assume that the fact that the devotees can tolerate the pain of cheek piercing means the beliefs which they base their faith are necessarily true.

That wasn't my argument, by the way.

I do know that if your cheeks are pierced like that, you will, at the very least, bleed and develop scar tissue.

Why don't they?

What did they and you do differently? They underwent a certain preparatory phase involving prayers etc.

It does not necessarily mean that the specific content of their beliefs is correct.

It does mean that whatever they did, must have had some effect on their blood clotting mechanism; their heparin; their skin etc etc.

In other words, "common everyday objective reality" has been altered. Skin is no longer behaving like skin. Flesh is no longer behaving like flesh.

Their prayers are the reason why. What actually happened as a result of their prayers? I don't know. But SOMETHING must have happened, yes?

And what's prayer, if not thoughts?

Mr Wang Says So said...

Waitaminit. You're not telling me that you think that

1. bleeding; and
2. scarring

are subjective experiences, are you?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Wang,

Methinks you have confused "wishful thinking" with "intention."

A cow can wish all it wants but alas it won't run like a thoroughbred and win the Kentucky Derby.

Karma is "cause AND effect" not unlike the sayings in the bible that "Ye reap what ye sow" and the more contemporary saying, "What goes around comes around."

If there was no victim in the murder plan that couldn't be executed, as in your example, where then is the bad effect/consequence? No one died! So where is the murderer?

Puzzled

angry doc said...

Cheek piercing is also done as a 'cosmetic' procedure and is not typically associated with much bleeding or scarring.

Their state of mind must have something to do with their perception of pain, but how much can thought alter reality?

You stated earlier that:

"if you are sufficiently skilled and adept at choosing and controlling your thoughts, the universe will deliver to you what you want."

I disagree with that, and brought up three challenges so far:

Can mind-hacking

1. Allow one to survive a 10-storey fall?

2. Allow one to recovery from eye-ball-piercing?

3. Allow an amputee to grow a limb?

If we accept cheek-piercing as a lower limit of what mind-hacking can do, what is the upper limit? Or do you think there is no limit?

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, this topic has becoming a debate on Buddhism.

Anyway, Mr Wang, I think your mindhacking might be similar to Lojong or Mind Training. Tibetan Buddhists use this technique to train the mind and transform attitudes towards Compassion and Bodhicitta. But, of course, your mindhacking is more towards personal worldly success.

One more thing, I remember reading one of the comments by your reader saying that earthquake is not due to Karma. Sometimes natural disaster in a country is caused by the negative thoughts, actions and speech such as ignorance, anger or greed of the people living in it. So, it is due to the group/national karma of the country that the natural disaster happen.

"From the simplest teachings of Buddhism, you can understand where hurricanes and earthquakes come from. They come as a result of the ten non-virtuous actions ...." By Lama Zopa Rinpoche.

MC

Mr Wang Says So said...

"Man is not an ice-berg, and the bottom 90% of an ice-berg is no "greater" than the top 10% ther than in mass and volume."

Freud's idea is that the conscious mind actually holds much, much less content than the unconscious.

Eg where were you and what were you doing on 5th Dec, 1983?

You don't "remember". Your conscious mind can't retrieve it. But the details are actually still there in your unconscious. A high percentage of everything you've ever thought about or experienced is still stored in your unconscious - and just like the thoughts in your conscious mind, they influence and control your behaviour.

Except that you don't know it.

Unless, of course, you go play with your unconscious. Eg through mindhacking.

Simple example - you may have a phobia of deep water. You don't know why. But it definitely affects your behaviour - you won't go near the sea; you do not want to be in a swimming pool.

Under hypnosis, you recall that when you were a young child, you had a frightening experience in a bathtub. Since then you've been afraid of deep water. Your conscious mind does not "remember" this incident at all, but your unconscious mind still does, and this affects your behaviour even today. You only realise this when you poke into your unconscious mind using hypnosis.

This extends far beyond phobias. A lot of your behaviour, Freud says, your likes, dislikes, preferences, choices, attitudes etc etc are driven by things which you're not even conscious of. They're not ordinarily accessible by your conscious mind - they're hidden in your unconscious mind. But the effects on your behaviour are very real.

angry doc said...

OK, let me limit my question to just one:

Can mind-hacking let an amputee grow a new limb?

Mr Wang Says So said...

"what is the upper limit? Or do you think there is no limit?"

I think that the upper limit for homo sapien is probably something we can discern by considering folks like Jesus and Buddha, actually.

To me, arguments (see above) as to whether they are human or divine are a bit presumptuous because it's presumed that the human cannot be divine

(this seems at odds with, for example, the Jainist idea that "God is everywhere and is all things" - including all human beings - or the Buddhist idea that there is ultimately no such thing as a self separate from everything else).

Eg the Bible says - Jesus walked on water. Either this is true, or this is not true. If it is true, then many other seemingly impossible things must be possible; because the laws of physics which we commonly think of as immutable, must either be mutable, or simply wrong.

And if it is not true, well then the next question is which, if any, of his other miracles are true (and those would then be indicative of the upper limit). 5000 loaves of bread, anyone?

In more mundane, practical terms, though, the upper limit is simply what an individual can successfully engineer his mind to accept as reality - which is a lot, a lot less than things like walking on water or the 5,000 loaves of bread trick.

Of course, if you reject all "miracles" ever recorded in the history of mankind, and insist on strictly relying on what can only be scientifically proven, well, that is one approach, and it comes with its own flaws.

Eg electricity and viruses have always existed, but prior to them being scientifically proven, you would be foolish to believe that they existed. But then you would be foolish and right; as opposed to being smart and wrong.

angry doc said...

Thank you, Mr Wang.

My point was simply that your statement:

"if you are sufficiently skilled and adept at choosing and controlling your thoughts, the universe will deliver to you what you want."

was too general and overstates what can be achieved by mind-hacking alone.

The scientific method may not be perfect, but if you choose to believe in things without requiring evidence, then you may be 'foolish and right' some of the time, but more likely you will be 'foolish and wrong' most of the time.

Mr Wang Says So said...

Well, the point is that science is particularly backward in this area. Simple example:

1. Visualise your mother's face.

2. Next, mentally calculate this:
4 x 12 - 5 = _____.

3. Next, think of three small things that start with the letter "b"

If you have done as I asked, you have just engaged in three very distinct and different kinds of thoughts.

You know it - you don't need scientific proof that you just thought these 3 things.

But the simple fact is - there is no way to scientifically prove that you just did these three things.

If science can't even prove what thoughts you had in your head, how is it going to find out what effect, if any, they had?

THAT is how primitive science is, in this particular area of inquiry.

Would you say that Mr Wang is incapable of thinking about, say, fruits, because science is unable to PROVE that there are any thoughts about fruits in his head?

Sounds like a silly example, but really, it just tells you how very limited science is, in this area.

Science doesn't even have any clear explanation as to why human beings need to sleep.

It's a mental state in which we spend about one third of our lives, and science doesn't even really understand it.

Mr Wang Says So said...

"Can mind-hacking let an amputee grow a new limb?"

I don't know. I suppose you're well aware that limb regeneration is quite common among certain members of the animal kingdom -

salamanders, newts, starfish, lizards (if you count the tail) are some examples

and among mammalian species, finger tips, antlers etc can regenerate;

and in human beings, liver tissue can regenerate.

In one case I read about, a boy lost one side of his brain in an accident (either left or right, I can't remember) and the remaining half then spontaneously split into a "right" brain and "left" brain.

But anyway - maybe the liver tissue example is most pertinent. Does this regeneration have anything to do with the brain? (After all, many bodily functions have something to do with the brain).

If liver tissue regeneration has something to do with the brain, then by controlling / adjusting our brain functions, can we affect this regeneration in some way? Seems possible.

If we can use the brain to augment the regeneration process for the liver, is it possible that we could do the same for other organs? Sounds more plausible to me than the idea that we could clone entire human beings (yet we're getting there - we've done it with sheep, mice etc, haven't we?)

If we could do it for other organs, could we do it for a plain old limb? Hmmm.

angry doc said...

Well, we may not be able to prove that I thought of those things, but there are surrogates.

1. Neuro-imaging can demonstrate that I have activated the part of my brain that is associated with visual memory, or I may be able to draw a sketch of my mother's face.

2. I can give the answer to the question (43).

3. I can name three things that start with the letter b (boy, ball, bee).

But this is an entirely different issue from your statement that

"if you are sufficiently skilled and adept at choosing and controlling your thoughts, the universe will deliver to you what you want."

which implies that mind-hacking can produce concrete outcomes.

Science may not yet be able to explain why we need to sleep, but it doesn't mean that we can or should abandon the scientific method and the need for evidence when we try to come up wth an explanation.

Anonymous said...

Surely the few animals in the animal kingdom do not need mind-hacking to grew new limbs or tails

angry doc said...

I guess not. Nor do livers only regenerate in people who intend their livers to do so - livers regenerate even in those people who are not aware that they have an organ called the liver.

Come now, Mr Wang: will you not simply admit that your statement on the powers of mind-hacking was an exaggeration, and we can all stop at that?

Mr Wang Says So said...

I'm going to give you another example of the raw power of the unconscious mind versus the conscious mind.

Close your eyes now and try to mentally calculate this:

17312 divided by 7.

If you think like most people, what you probably tried to do is mentally visualise the calculation, exactly the way that you would have done it if you had a piece of paper and a pen.

You probably found it quite difficult to visualise this (unless you're very good at maths) because the figures are not neat and round (as opposed to, say, 20,000 divided by 20).

Yet when you are SLEEPING, you will dream, and in your DREAM, your brain has no difficulty continuously generating a plot, characters, speech, action, movement, emotion, bizarre images, background scenery ..... practically like a 30-minute movie.

That's an example of the raw computing power of your unconscious mind.

Meanwhile your conscious mind has difficulty visualising 17312 divided by 7.

LOL.

Now - what if you could tap that raw power of your unconscious mind?

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang said:

"Sounds like a silly example, but really, it just tells you how very limited science is, in this area.

Science doesn't even have any clear explanation as to why human beings need to sleep.

It's a mental state in which we spend about one third of our lives, and science doesn't even really understand it."

__________________

Mr. Wang,

Methinks there is now a great digression from the original thread but just to rebut the point I think you are making.

There are some questions that science not only can't answer, but doesn't want to answer, things like, "What is right? And What is wrong?" or "How shall we be comforted?" Science has nothing to say about "right" or "wrong." Moral philosophy does. There's another whole category of questions that science may not be able to answer -- the really deep questions of existence, like, "Why is there something, rather than nothing?" or "Where did the laws of physics come from in the first place?" It's an open question at the moment whether science will ever be able to answer questions like that.

Physicists, in particular, are working on questions like, "Where do the laws of physics come from?" But it's a fallacy to say that because science can't answer such a question, therefore religion can. Much more realistic to say, "Well, if science can't answer that deep question, nothing can."

Puzzled

Mr Wang Says So said...

will you not simply admit that your statement on the powers of mind-hacking was an exaggeration, and we can all stop at that?

LOL. To be honest, I actually like Hugh Everitt's Many Worlds theory. It fascinated Einstein too.

Everitt is a quantum physicist. The basic proposition is that every time I throw a dice and observe the results

(the observation is critical - it implies the necessity of consciousness or mind)

six new universes are created. In one universe, the die shows "1". In the next universe, the die shows "2". And so on.

Sounds crazy? But these are quantum physicists. These are scientists on the leading edge of Science, which you probably respect a lot.

Do google it. You could think about it this way - the mind is constantly creating new universes. This is one of the big ideas in quantum physics.

Me - I'm pretty tame. I explain my mindhacking with reference to one universe only.

Unlike Everitt and Einstein and Schrodinger, who go into Many Universes, 4th dimension etc etc.

You see, Angry Doc, Buddha really really got it right. Reality is not what it seems at all.

Mr Wang Says So said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Many-worlds_interpretation

Everett's theory as explained on Wikipedia.

Mr Wang Says So said...

And in case you think Mr Wang is just trying to muck things and confuse you, I should mention the Dalai Lama is constantly meeting with quantum physicists to exchange ideas on the nature of reality.

I read this before, don't have the book any more, but it was very ineresting

http://www.amazon.com/Physics-Cosmology-Dialogues-Dalai-Lama/dp/0195159942

angry doc said...

I may dream in Technicolour, Mr Wang, but my dreams do not make an amputee grow a limb.

Not is it any comfort to an amputee in this universe that he does grow a limb, but only in another alternate universe.

Mr Wang Says So said...

livers regenerate even in those people who are not aware that they have an organ called the liver.

Your heart beats faster and your palms sweat, when you see a certain situation and your brain perceives it as stressful or frightening (eg you have to give a public speech).

Your heart beats faster and your palms sweat, even though you did not think, "Heart, beat faster now, and palms, now sweat."

But clearly your brain had a lot to do with the situation.

If you did not think that speaking in public is stressful, your heart would not beat faster, amd your palms would not sweat, would it?

Mr Wang Says So said...

I may dream in Technicolour, Mr Wang, but my dreams do not make an amputee grow a limb.

That was addressing another point - it stems from the commentator talking about the power of the unconscious mind versus conscious mind.

Mr Wang Says So said...

If we accept cheek-piercing as a lower limit of what mind-hacking can do,

Naaah. Clearly that's not where the lower limit lies. There are other interesting examples. Eg in this Harvard medical study, hypnosis makes broken bones and flesh wounds heal faster.

http://www.hno.harvard.edu/gazette/2003/05.08/01-hypnosis.html

angry doc said...

Hypnosis may accelerate healing, but it's a leap to go from that to saying that by practising mind-hacking, "the universe will deliver to you what you want."

Blogter said...

"Of course, if you reject all "miracles" ever recorded in the history of mankind, and insist on strictly relying on what can only be scientifically proven, well, that is one approach, and it comes with its own flaws.

Eg electricity and viruses have always existed, but prior to them being scientifically proven, you would be foolish to believe that they existed. But then you would be foolish and right; as opposed to being smart and wrong."

This is a fallacious argument, especially if youre using it to prove that miracles, as written about in religious books, do occur. The burden is on religionists to prove miracles, and not the other way round. It's wise to assume aliens and fairies do not exist, unless otherwise proven that they do. It would be unwise to assume that fairies and ghostly monsters like Men In White (the new Singapore ghost movie) exist just because it can't be proven that they do not. In that case, you will have to believe that Jumbo the flying elephant may exist too.

Btw, congrats on starting to blog about religion. I just posted in my blog a few days ago that nobody in Singapore blogs about religion. But you've proven that wrong.

blog reader said...

- this comment isn't related to this blog post topic -
- apology for disrupting ur discussion -
- no reply to this comment is needed or appreciated -

Thank you Mr Wang & all his readers for creating this interesting blog/comments.

Just a thought..maybe all those who wrote a comment, should also give a nickname - for easy references.. hehe

Lastly, I would like to end with this quote I read a few months ago.
"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

ted said...

Angry Doc:

I have provided the link because you said something about your AIDS/Cancer patients, now, I do think that you are an intelligent man and can sufficiently do your own homework on Pyschoneuroimmunology research.

As for the CD, it is clearly stated that it was produced jointly by the Shan You Counselling centre, Singapore Psychological Society and the Singapore Society of Clinical Hypnosis. The qualifications of the people who presented the various Guided Imagery Scripts in the CD range from the MBBS to PhD in the Psychology field. Perhaps you might want to indulge in an exchange of medical jargon with these highly qualified people rather than demolishing a lay person like me.

By the way, I am not in anyway professionally associated with the CD or the various associations cited.

angry doc said...

ted,

I hardly think my reply was jargon-filled or that it 'demolished' you.

Nevertheless, I apologise; the cancer and AIDS bit was not a real appeal for help from Mr Wang, but a challenge to his claim. Obviously you have in your kindness took my words at face value. I am sorry.

blog reader said...

Hi Mr Wang,
sidetrack a bit..Have u read this book " The power of your subconscious mind " by Joseph Murphy ?

I think what u have discussed is very similar to the book.. If u haven't read before, I highly recommend it to u.. =)

Anonymous said...

1.Please do not mixed up Enlightenment with extraordinary physical abilities. When a person reaches a high level of meditation he can chose to cultivate these abilities but he is advised against it as they are distractions from his goal. So an Enlightened person may or may not have extraordinary abilities. And someone who has extraordinary abilities need not be Enlightened though it is a good indication that he has reached a high level of meditation.
2. Inside this documentary "Ring of Fire : East of Krakatoa " there is a small section showing a man igniting a fire with his bare hands and without touching the paper. I have met this man and I can tell u he is capable of greater physical feats. However because he publicised and displayed his prowess, I also know that he has lost plenty of his power. One is not allowed to mention about one's extraordinary abilities let alone display it. Such actions is an indication of an inpure mind. He is only at level 17 of 72 on the Taoist scale.
U can get this documentary here :
http://www.amazon.com/Ring-Fire-East-Krakatoa/dp/B00000I1TH
3. Lee Koon Choy, Singapore's ex-Ambassador wrote a book in which he told of his experiences in seeing Indonesian mystics making kris fly.
4. A better understanding of karma here :
http://www.kktanhp.com/reincarnation_htm.htm
5. Go read up on the documentations of the extraordinary psychic Edgar Cayce.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edgar_Cayce
There are too many things in this world which science still has a long way to catch up. Read the Tao of Physics to see how the latest physics discoveries confirmed some of the concepts of Taoism.
http://www.amazon.com/Tao-Physics-Fritjof-Capra/dp/1570625190

Hope this helps to clear up your minds.

Jimmy Mun said...

angry doc,

I read somewhere that a drunk will do better in a car crash compared to a sober man, because his muscles are in a relaxed state. Even if we disbelieve the supernatural aspects of mindhacking, I dont think it is beyond scientific reasoning that the mental state can alter the outcome of a 5 storey fall (10 stories may be too challenging to hack). Besides, we have all heard of stories of babies surviving multi-storey falls.
------------------------------
As a Catholic, I often feel that we are too obsessed with the supernatural. Christians tend to fuss too much about the afterlife and miracles. If following the teachings of Jesus didnt make one a happier person, right now, irregardless of heaven and hell, then Jesus would have failed. And if miracles are the only reason to believe, then one should be worshipping Harry Houdini or David Copperfield.

If we discard the supernatural aspects, Buddhism and Christianity really isnt that different.

Indeed, I find it tickling funny that some Buddhist get so sensitive if the Buddha ever existed. If the Buddhist teachings is working for you, why worry if the Buddha is fabrication or not?

Similarly for me, I know my religion makes me a better person, so I couldnt care less to disprove someone suggesting Jesus married ten wives and had a hundred kids.

Anonymous said...

Jimmy mun,
If we discard the supernatural aspects, Buddhism and Christianity really isnt that different.

I don't think this is true. Correct me if I am wrong, Buddhism basically springs from a concept or a way of life whereas Christianity generally comes from the idea of God. Personally, I don't think it's a big deal if Buddha existed or not. It shouldn't impact much of how a buddhist lives his/her life. But if I say God doesn't exist, can I still be a Christian?

Rob

Sam said...

If you've ever read the last chapter of the book The Dilbert Future by Scott Adams - the multimillionaire creator of the Dilbert comic strip - he talks about his unlikely success and attributes it to a form of mindhacking.

Basically, he would write down a series of affirmations every day as if his goal was already achieved, something like:
"I, Scott Adams, have the number one comic strip in America"
He claims that this allowed him to achieve a series of incredible goals, like improving his score on the GMAT test with no additional effort, getting rich in the stock market, having his books reach the top of the New York Times bestseller list, and even curing himself of cancer.

His explanation in the book is that thoughts and mindhacking affect reality via chaos theory, where the simple act of focusing your mind on a goal causes minor adjustments to the universe which results in your goal being achieved.

What scientific evidence is there for this? Absolutely none, as far as I know. But it's fun to think about :)

You can read more about it at this link, which is appropriately at the site mindhacks.org Scott Adams Affirmations

Mr Wang Says So said...

"Hypnosis may accelerate healing, but it's a leap to go from that to saying that by practising mind-hacking, "the universe will deliver to you what you want.""

I told you you should have stopped reading. As I said, the post is predicated on the assumption that the Buddhist explanation of karma is correct.

Although that anonymous commentator and I have some differences on what karma means, we all agree that karma begins with thought (thought in fact is the essential element).

All your present and future experiences simply depends on the sum total of your karma. Such experiences may be seemingly random, but all of them are simply a result of karma.

Therefore adjust your thoughts, and your karma must change. Therefore your present and future experiences MUST change.

You see, Angry Doctor, you are a participant in this universal law, whether you like it or not. You cannot opt out.

The universe is ALREADY delivering to you, every month, every week, every day, every hour.

What the universe is ALREADY delivering to you, is the result of everything you have THOUGHT.

Change your thoughts, and _____.

Heheh.

Mr Wang Says So said...

Thanks for that post about Scott Adams.

I've read his main blog before, and he is a heavy user of mindhacking techniques.

The problem with his blog (which is always a fun read and he talks about all sorts of other things apart from mindhacking) is that he always shows only the last 3 months' worth of his entries.

Henry Leong said...

A person at present lifetime, can create the good causes to be reborn as a successful artist, musician or sportsman etc in his next lifetime at his will.

Mr Wang Says So said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mr Wang Says So said...

A common misunderstanding that many people have is that karma is about how the things you do and the thoughts you think will affect your NEXT lifetime.

This isn't precise.

Karma is at work all the time. It isn't postponed till your next lifetime.

What happens to you in this lifetime isn't necessarily due just, or mainly, to karma accumulated in your past lifetimes either.

A lot of what you do in this lifetime will attract karmic consequences in this lifetime.

A lot of what you do today will attract karmic consequences TOMORROW.

Or even today.

Whatever accumulated karma you have at the point of death will simply carry over to the next lifetime.

Because karma is perpetually at work! Simple as that.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that not everyone is born equal. Why are some born into wealthy families and some into very poor families? Why are some people born physically arractive and some not so? Why are some born intelligent and some stupid? All these are the result of our Karma.

Blogter said...

Jimmy Mun said:
Similarly for me, I know my religion makes me a better person, so I couldnt care less to disprove someone suggesting Jesus married ten wives and had a hundred kids.

In that case, Jimmy, you're not really a Catholic, certainly not the mainstream type. The Pope would not approve of your doctrine.

But it's interesting that there are more liberal Catholic types like you around these days. Perhaps it shows that traditional Christianity is on the wane. Fundamentalistic biblical christianity is just not viasble any more.

Anonymous said...

The main difference between Buddhism and Christianity is that the former don't believe in the existence of a God whereas the later worship the son of God - Jesus.
The true Buddhist don't care a dam if the statue of Buddha is destroyed. Infact in one school of Zen Buddhism, u r supposed to kill the Buddha if u see him in ur meditation. The reason is this is only an illusion. A famous Chinese Zen monk even went to the extent of smashing a Buddha's image in front of his disciples just to make the point.
How will a Christian react if the cross is defaced ?
Of course there are other differences as well as similarities.

adam said...

hi mr wang,

I'm a big fan of your blog and appreciate your insights especially regarding local issues.

But lately your topics of choice kinda worry me because stripped away it's just wishful thinking.

These so-called universal laws of attractions have no empirical proof. And by saying that the universe works in such-and-such a way is an extraordinary claim. And for that you really need to provide extraordinary evidence. Concrete evidence.

The danger of this kinda beliefs isn't as destructive as say islamic or christian fundamentalism. But because this 'thoughts-create-reality' beliefs require no proof, you can basically make anything up. And that's when faith healers and psychics come in to fleece people dry.

Anyways, I've always found your posts to be most interesting. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

It's about as provable as God, I would suppose. In other words, I don't think it's provable. I also don't think it's necessarily wrong.

Caveat - God, like any such theories, may be provable to yourself, through personal experience satisfactory to yourself.

Well, you know what Buddha said. He said, "Don't take anything I said to be automatically. Instead listen to it, understand it, and then test it against your own experience, to see whether it is true or not."

Anonymous said...

""Don't take anything I said to be automatically TRUE".

I missed a word

Anonymous said...

1.What we can see and measure with our scientific equipments account for less than 10% of the universe.This is based on calculations using Einstein's theory. What happened to the other 90% of the universe has been a mystery of the scientific world. So the theory of dark matters and enegries were put forward.It is generally believed in the scientific world that 20% of the missing universe are dark matters and 70% dark energies. Recently a group of scientists think they have found some dark matters somewhere out there.
2. String theories are forcasting over 10 dimensions.
3. Thousands of years ago, the wisdom of Taoism :
The Tao is Formless and Vague
It is Hidden, Dark and Mysterious
It is the source of all things.

Anonymous said...

When the superior man hears of the Tao, he practices it
When the ordinary man hears of the Tao he ignores it
When the interior man hears of the Tao, he laughs at it
If it were not laughed at, it would not be the true Tao

random said...

When the superior man hears of the Dharma, he practices it
When the ordinary man hears of the Dharma he ignores it
When the interior man hears of the Dharma, he laughs at it
If it were not laughed at, it would not be the true Dharma

When the superior man hears of the Gita, he practices it
When the ordinary man hears of the Gita he ignores it
When the interior man hears of the Gita, he laughs at it
If it were not laughed at, it would not be the true Gita

When the superior man hears of the Koran, he practices it
When the ordinary man hears of the Koran he ignores it
When the interior man hears of the Koran, he laughs at it
If it were not laughed at, it would not be the true Koran

When the superior man hears of the gospel, he practices it
When the ordinary man hears of the gospel he ignores it
When the interior man hears of the gospel, he laughs at it
If it were not laughed at, it would not be the true gospel

When the superior man hears of the the scientific method, he practices it
When the ordinary man hears of the scientific method he ignores it
When the interior man hears of the scientific method, he laughs at it
If it were not laughed at, it would not be the true scientific method

I could go on, but I think I've made my point?

Sam said...

I really enjoyed this post. A group of people can't really decide what's best for their nation or community unless they have an accurate view of reality, and this post is a step in the right direction in terms of working towards a better understanding of what reality truly is.

If people had an accurate view of reality, wouldn't they be able to get everything they wanted? The fact that most people don't have everything they want means that they don't have an accurate view of reality.

I was watching a program about Warren Buffett on CNBC. Warren Buffett said that when he met Bill Gates for the first time, they talked all day and found that they had very similar views on how the world operated.

2nd said...

Issue 1: Upper limit of influence of mind on reality

From Buddhism's perspective, a person with a highly trained mind should be able rise up into the air, walk on water, go from one location to another (anywhere in the universe) without physically being transported there, hear sounds far away, see things that are way too far away (eg. on other side of the earth, or on another planet or another dimension), determine when he wants to die (to a certain limit subject to biological forces (eg. how sick he is, how damaging the virus is etc), karmmic forces, all of which may act in contrary to his mental power to prolong/shorten his life - >karma is NOT the only force in the universe - there are biological forces (virus etc), physical forces (the earth's magna causing volcanoes etc)

BUT
1. Buddhism believe that this is achievable by ANYONE with high meditative power, not just reserved to (a) Buddhists (though certain influence on reality require such great mental power that only Buddhas can do so), OR (b) Gods etc.

2. Such Miracles are a by-product of high meditation but is not the reason for meditation (which is to gain enlightenment).

3. Ability perform such miracles is simply a confirmation that the chap who can perform it has high meditative power but is no indication of his "God-ness or of his morality (though generally immoral people has too unclear a mind to be able to perform such concentrated task), or of how advanced he is towards understanding truth and hence gaining enlightenment

[to be continued...]

2nd said...

Issue 2: Evidence for the above-stated upper limit

1. Historical records
A. During the Buddha's time, many highly acomplished meditators (even non-Buddhists) can perform such things.

B. Likewise during Jesus' time - Sorry if I offend any Christians, but just as you guys view the Buddha as "just a human", the Buddhists also view Jesus as "just an accomplished meditator who having acheived high mind concentration (in past lives) and thus is able to perform those many miracles that ANY acomplished meditator can achieve".


2. Present Records.
There are numerous present records of people who can alter reality with their mind power. It's just a matter of whether you choose to be skeptical and to ignore them or to accept that they provide evidence that perhaps with even greater mind concentration, even more reality can be altered.

3. Scientific Studies
I think there are some (many?) scientific studies of the effect of meditation on physiology of the human body (which is part of "reality"), some done with MRI etc. Of course, these do not *prove* that reality can be altered to the LARGE extent that I stated previously, but it provide some *confidence* that current scientific knowledge is limited and that one day, science may advance to the state where it will be able to demonstrate and explain HOW the mind can alter reality (to the large extent that I stated in the previous comment).

[to be continued...]

2nd said...

Issue 3: From a Buddhist's perspective, can the mind **alone** alter reality to such extent as to achieve "worldly" success eg: power, money, status etc?

No!!!! For various reasons:

1. If you read my "Issue 1" comment, you can see that the realities that are altered has nothing much to do with the "worldly success" stated in this "Issue 3".

2. Once you start applying the mind's ability to see or hear or predict things, to give you an advantage to achieve worldly stuffs, the mind become impure (due to craving, greed), and an impure mind will no longer be able to perform such "miracles".

3. Action is important and I would argue, MORE important, than mind hacking in achieving such worldly stuff. A simple common-sense counter example will suffice:

You can mind hack yourself that you are very brilliant. But, regardless of whether this affects or do not affect your actual IQ (and personally, I think it does NOT increase your IQ, but we can agree to disagree on this since it is immaterial because), if you don't take the actual ACTION of studying for your exam, you won't pass it.

In fact, since hard work can compensate for stupidity, ini that sense ACTION contributes much more than mind hacking (even if we assume mind hacking does increase the IQ).

[to be continued...]

2nd said...

Issue 4: Can mind-hacking let an amputee grow a new limb?

The past 3 issues, I talk about Buddhism's perspective on various things. Here, I talk from a purely non-religious point of view - my personal opinion - that has NOTHING to do with Buddhism:


There are already numerous scientific studies and/or personal patients' records (that cannot be explained in any other way) about how important the mind's role is when it comes to physiology/health:

- How placebo really altered the physiology of the body,

- how mind-hacking (willing the body to not feel pain) really helped in reducing pain (and verified physiologically by the pain hormone released by the body).

- how mind hacking ("cancer cells are no big deal. My body is now producing lots of white blood cells to eat them up. In fact, I can visualise it, I can see them doing that just right now...") has helped cancer patient to have their cancer go into remission.

- how laughter alone cured humans pronounced as incurable by doctors (and I believe quite a few such things, if we care to go read up).

etc etc.

While all these are not conclusive scientific proof, it provide some "backup" or basis, or "starting point", to the idea that...


...since these things can be achieve by a relatively slightly concentrated mental effort, perhaps with very highly concentrated mental efforts (none of which yet exist in this world (or perhaps it exist, but either unreported, or dismissed as superstitious, or reported only in gossips tabloid etc), the human body can be willed/psychoed by a highly concentrated mind to regrow a body part!

I think it would be foolish to dismiss such a possibility just because it is not proven by our limited scientific capability right now.

Foolish because:
1. History showed that many things that were regarded as superstitious turned out otherwise, once science catches up.

2. There are already some highly surprising evidence to suggest that the mind can alter the way the human body behave. so as I explained above....

Henry Leong said...

The buddha's enlightenment is beyond a common mortal comprehension.

2nd said...

> The true Buddhist don't care a dam if the statue of Buddha is destroyed.

This is not true. Buddhists are concerned - very concerned - with such disrespect and destruction of things that symbolise their leader and their beliefs.

A simple test: it would be outrageous if a religious fanatics were to go about setting fire to
temples to burn down the statues of Buddha, on the ridiculous excuse that Buddhists won't mind! Of course Buddhists will mind - I personally would be outraged!


> In fact in one school of Zen Buddhism, u r supposed to kill the Buddha if u see him in ur meditation.

That's a highly metaphorical way of saying that you should not cling on to anything, not even the image of the Buddha itself.

It should not be misconstrued to become that it is ok to, for example, burn down all Buddhists statues since Buddhists won't mind! Of course Buddhists will mind. I will be, EVEN THOUGH, of course, enlightenment does not depend on such statues and EVEN THOUGH, the Buddha has taught that we should not be angry when others wronged us, burnt down what we put up, destroy the statue/image of what symbolises our beliefs etc etc :)

Anonymous said...

>Well, you know what Buddha said. He said, "Don't take anything I said to be automatically true. Instead listen to it, understand it, and then test it against your own experience, to see whether it is true or not."

He said that *specifically* to the people of Kalamas, who asked him: "why should we believe you."?

That should NOT be interpreted as Buddhism discouraging people of another type of affinity (i.e. those that are less skeptical than the people of kalamas) to believe in things that they are unable test against your own experience.

Faith has a (BIG!) role in many other sect of Buddhism which are more faith-based eg. the pure-land type who believes that reciting the name of Amithaba habitually result in a greater probability of being reborn in the pure land where conditions are better for training towards enlightenment.

Point is: Buddha preaches in many different ways to people of different characters. To those who are scientific and skeptical, he invited them not to believe first until they have satisfied themselves as to the truth, as you quoted. To those who are more inclined for a faith-based approach, he prescribed otherwise...

...like a doctor who prescribed different pills and diff approach to patients with diff type of body, even though the illness to be cured is the same. You cannot take the pill prescribed to person A, and say, this same pill should and must be taken by person B just because person B suffer from the same illness as person A. They are other differences in their body and they need diff treatment

Mr Wang Says So said...

Hi 2nd:

Thank you for your latest comments. I find that we actually agree on many more things than we disagree.

Henry Leong said...

The buddha preach different sutras according to the nature and capacity of different persons.

Anonymous said...

1.Why should u care if whoever has bad intention will be punished by the law of karmic repercussion ?

2.If u care then it only shows that u r still very much attached to ur emotions which means u have not gone very far yet. Meditate deeper and u will see my insight and those of the Zen Masters. When u have reached a certain stage of meditation, u will encounter illusions including seeing the Buddha. Some Zen masters call it the zone of the devils. That is why u r advised to even kill the Buddha to overcome the illusions and move deeper.

3.The intention in the mind is more important than the physical actions. The monk who smashed the image of Buddha to drive home a point to his disciples has good intention. The Taliban who destroyed the huge statue of Buddha has bad intention.

4. Read more about meditation and Buddhism here. This Dr. is a good and knowledgeable man with deep understanding of mediation and spiritual issues.
Mr. Wang is nothing more than an amateur who only confused and frightened his readers. He is too absorbed with his ego.
http://www.kktanhp.com/index.htm

Mr Wang Says So said...

He definitely knows much more than me about Buddhism. In fact, I previously used to attend his talks.

However my personal preference is not to bind myself to any particular school of thought, on matters like this.

As mentioned before, I am interested in all religions but I follow none.

I think that everyone has, or can have, a direct connection to the spiritual.

Intermediaries, in the form of teachers, gurus or religious persons, can be helpful ... or a hindrance.

All things considered, I think that in the end, the divine is meaningless if you have no personal experience of it. God isn't a bible or a statue or a set of prayer beads. These things have their purpose but they are no substitute for the direct connection.

2nd said...

Anon of June 20, 2007 12:23 PM,
I assume you are talking to me?

Your point 1 - I didn't say that. I repeat: "You are wrong to say that 'The true Buddhist don't care a dam if the statue of Buddha is destroyed'... A simple test: it would be outrageous if a religious fanatics were to go about setting fire to temples to burn down the statues of Buddha, on the ridiculous excuse that Buddhists won't mind! Of course Buddhists will mind - I personally would be outraged!". I don't know how this simple common sense would lead you to ask question 1, which is totally different from what I said.


Your point 2 - you wrote: "Meditate deeper and u will see my insight and those of the Zen Masters". Taken into context with what you wrote earlier, it means that your "insight" is that you won't care a damn if some religious fanatics were to destroy your place of worship and the statue of your leader!! I can't even be bothered to refute you. That is no "insight" at all!

And please do not anyhow interpret those Zen Master. They WILL care a damn if their religion is persecuted. They spoke out against what the Taliban did too. All common sense people will "care a damn" when religious places are burnt and statues destroyed -- even when it is not their religion! Clearly your common sense is lost somewhere when you misinterpret the Zen teaching and I repeat what I wrote earlier for your benefit:

"That's a highly metaphorical way of saying that you should not cling on to anything, not even the image of the Buddha itself. It should not be misconstrued to become that it is ok to, for example, burn down all Buddhists statues since Buddhists won't mind! Of course Buddhists will mind."


Your point 3: I know. And I repeat, that pertains to meditation and should NOT be mis-interpret to become "A Buddhist should not care a damn if Buddhists temples are burnt down and the Buddha statue is destroyed" <-- is that how you would behave if a religious riot broke up in Sg and you wake up to find that situation tomorrow? "Won't care a damn"? That is not Buddhism - you misinterpreted it.

I may as well tell you the correct interpretation: "A Buddhist should not harbour revenge, anger etc, but he should speak up and care a lot if that happens in sg tomorrow" <-- especially lay Buddhists. In fact, he should care "a lot of damn" even if it is Churches or Mosques that are destroyed.


your point 4: That man doesnt know what he is talking. I attended once, and realise that what he taught (whenever he sway from Meditation to touch on Buddhism per se), is highly different from what main stream Buddhism teaches. Anyway, that was years ago, I may be wrong to draw that conclusion...

Anonymous said...

2nd, u sure have plenty of anger and other bad emotions stuck in ur mind.
Please do urself this favour by getting rid of them. Then perhaps u will be better person. That there are Two main streams of Buddhism with a potential third, goes to show the diversities in interpretations. That Buddhist monks fight and even killed one another over interpretations is all the more reason that we should get rid of our emotions.
To u one should be react when one's place of worship is burnt.
To me if u react then it is an indication that u r still atttached to ur emotion. The only way I will react is to feel sorry for the person who burn down my place of worship. Love ur enemy is not an easy thing to accomplish but it is the only way to break the cycle of violence on earth.

2nd said...

Anon above,
You do have a liking in putting words into other people's mouth, don't you? You write about monks "fighting and killing" each other, as if that is how I said we should REACT. You talk about "stop the cycle of violence" as if I said we should REACT with violence.

But how did I define "react"? Did I say go and kill, or punch or get angry?
I said clearly: "A Buddhist should not harbour revenge, anger etc, but he should speak up and care a lot if that happens in sg tomorrow"

So stop trying to confuse my proper and justified REACTION with your invention of violence and fighting and killing and then say we should not react with violence and fighting and killing.

Can you get the logic?

And by the way, I don't remember reading about Buddhist monks fighting and killing each other over interpretation? Your invention again? Smearing religion is your hobby?

Anonymous said...

Anon of 1:41pm,
No wonder I see Buddhism becoming completely marginalised in sg. Now I know it's thanks to pple like you. keke. A month back, I read about some Buddhist (or is it taoist?) temple being marked by URA to be torn down to build some condo. The temple committee wrote many letters to plead, and one of the argument is how come URA can spare the church (or maybe it is a hindu temple, cannot rem) next door, but insist on destroying the temple. They wrote to the MP as well, but URA turned a deaf ear to them.

Of course deaf ear lah. Not enough mass support mah. Must be many "Buddhist" are like you - confusing speaking up with fighting and killing and violence and hence keep quiet about everything lor.

Oh, how come you say "love your enemy". You Christian? Well, I don't see Christian keep quiet if the statue of Christ is burnt. I will see them speak up even though they were told to "love your enemy". SO if you a christian, why preach the opposite? Zzzz

2nd said...

>2nd, u sure have plenty of anger and other bad emotions stuck in ur mind. Please do urself this favour by getting rid of them


I think you should do Buddhism (and religion in general) a favour by keeping your misinterpretation to yourself:

1. Because some Zen master say that if you see Buddha during your meditation, you should "kill" it (i.e. don't cling to this image), you misinterpret it to become Buddhists should "don't care a damn" if statues of Buddha are burnt down.

2. Because Buddhism teaches non-violence and Christianity teaches "love your enemy", you misinterpret these to means that followers should shut up "dont care a damn" if their religion is persecuted (i.e. statues burnt down and places of wordship destroyed).

Now contrast this with my "should not harbour revenge, anger etc, but he should speak up and care a lot", and I think we can see clearly who sure have plenty of wrong ideas and other bad interpretation stuck in his mind. I think you should do yourself this favour by getting rid of them.

Really. I am saying this not out of anger, but simply for your benefit: right understanding (that teachings of love and compassion is NOT equal "shut the F up" aka "couldnt give a damn" when outrageous things occur) is important for advancement in any religion because till now I have not come across any religion that tell its followers to behave the way you interpret. So take my advice :)

Anonymous said...

If someone burn your house.
The natural reaction is anger and revenge. Right ?
ThinK.
1. Can anger bring back ur house ?
2. What can anger do ?
a. induce ur glands to send poisons into ur blood streams.
b. lead u to take drastic actions like burning down the house of the culprit and perpetuate the cycle of violence.

See, there is no benefit to reacting with negative emotions.