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Thread: Can meditation be dangerous (demons)?!

  1. #61
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by David Jamieson
    Scott, are you practicing passive nihilism?

    matter exists whether or not we do. example, my grandfather is dead, but the world still exists despite that he no longer percieves it.

    And thus we enter the great debate of philosophy...

    First of all, David, I belive you have it backwards...

    What Scott is espousing is Schopenhauerian "World as Will and Idea" which comes directly from the Platonic Ideas (The Thing Itself)

    Your response quoted above, is in fact a summed up version of Nietzche's response to and rejection of this concept.

    To Nietzche, the mind was created by the body to serve its needs and not the other way around. Thus the mind being the "plaything" of the body.

    He called this the great mistake, the error from which all philosophy had proceeded.

    Who is right?

    Who is wrong?

    Did the chicken come first or was it the egg?

    Everything is energy, not matter.

    Matter is composed of energy.

    Energy is not composed of matter.


    Just words!

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    just to confuse things more

    The world that your grandfather lived in (as do all of us) was made up entirely of his experiences through sensory input.

    It is these filters which allow us to know of any world at all outside of ourselves.

    We each live in a little world contructed from these experiences and each of us is entirely alone in that world.

    When your grandfather died, his world died with him, and it was entirely unique unto him.

    Each of our worlds is unique, but where we, through our limited ability to communicate with one another, find similarites in our worlds, we call it "reality"

    this is consensus reality... a group construct

    but we each also have our own subjective reality known only to us, and when we die it dies with us.

    imagine if we were all blind, deaf, numb, and lacked the ability to smell or taste...

    what would the world consist of?

    would there still be rocks and trees?

    to us, in our minds and in our concept of "reality" the answer must be no.

    to say that it certainly would still exist of its own is a presumption that is unprovable.

    we define things as existing because they appear to us through our senses, or now through our technological extensions thereof.

    can we ask a rock if it has any objective existence?

    can there be an "objective reality"?

    we can never truly know this.

    all the things we see as real, science now tells us are actually just vibrations and waves...

    now lets consider the existence of "free will"
    Last edited by Crushing Fist; 05-12-2006 at 12:14 PM.

    Just words!

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Columbus, OH, USA
    Quote Originally Posted by Judge Pen
    Interesting. So one can be pre-deposed to suicidal ideations without being pre-desposed for depression? But yet people who are pre-deposed to depression also show a higher rate of suicide, right?
    Pretty much. If you want to discuss the topic further, feel free to PM me or start another thread (maybe in other related arts). At this point the thread has steered so far away from this it wouldn't make sense to continue that discussion here.
    The cinnabun palm is deadly, especially when combined with the tomato kick. - TenTigers

  4. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by dw3041

    Where do you get off calling someone that you've never met insane?!
    Sorry but ain't no such thing as demons.

    Therefore, anybody who believes in demons and possession and all that must be insane. Having dealt with several crazies including my dad and uncle, I can tell you that the people who usually tell you these things are psychotic.

    My uncle is insane from too much drug use, and my dad had a nervous breakdown when I was younger due to stress. My dad claims to have had visions of Satan.

    There are some antipsychotic drugs you can take that can help you out with this. The longer these people wait, likely the worse it will get.

    Seek professional help.

  5. #65
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Columbus, OH, USA
    Amen to that.
    The cinnabun palm is deadly, especially when combined with the tomato kick. - TenTigers

  6. #66
    Hi David,

    It is a presumption that mind ceases to exist when material form dissipates. Just because your grandfather no longer possesses a material form does not require his mind to no longer exist.

    Your view might be correct if mind depended upon matter for its existence however, do not confuse “the brain is composed of matter” with “the mind is composed of matter”. Mind forms matter, matter does not create mind! The brain is the physical interface of the mind allowing mind to manipulate matter directly through the physical interface of the body. The mind utilizes material form for a purpose, but does not depend upon material form for its existence. In other words, mind is independent of matter. This is indicated (pointed to, hinted at) whenever mind creates within the material universe. The idea of a thing exists prior to its manifestation within material form. Whatever man creates begins as an idea within the mind first and is projected upon matter second. Matter does not form without mind to direct it. Therefore, the forming of matter requires mind, but mind does not require matter.

    Inherently nothing exists without a mind to perceive it. Take the question, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear, does it make a sound? The answer is NO! Why? Because sound must be perceived by a mind in order for it to be “interpreted” as sound. You may argue that the waves still exist, but the waves are not the sound, the waves are waves the mind interprets the waves as sound because of the receptive device: the ear, nervous system and brain. These are merely conduits that transmit the information from the waves to the mind. We may say, “well then I will tape record the sound and the tape player will prove the sound exists separate from the mind”. However, all a tape does is store information. It is merely an extension of the receptive device of the body as all measurement and perceptive devices are. There is no sound if there is no mind to perceive and interpret it. There are no waves without mind to perceive them. To a mind without a means to perceive the physical universe the physical universe does not exist. This is because the information transmitted within that universe would not be transmitted to mind. Information does not exist without something to perceive it. Nothing is nothing until a mind measures it, then it becomes something.

    Mind is that indefinable something that perceives and interprets information. Since mind is inextricably entwined with the perception of information we cannot say that information exists separate from the mind that perceives it. For without mind there is inherently no information to perceive. If there is no perceptive system how could there be something to perceive. There two are in interdependent.

    One may try to argue, but these sounds do exist! The universe DOES exist whether I perceive it or not or whether man perceives it or not! Firstly, there is no way to demonstrate this assertion. For to demonstrate it requires a mind to do the demonstrating and a mind to perceive the information. Without mind there is no perception of either one. This of course proves my assertion! Secondly, it is rather self-centered to presume that MY mind or YOUR mind is required. We are not required to presume the MIND of which we speak is the mind of MANKIND!
    Last edited by Scott R. Brown; 05-12-2006 at 11:55 PM.

  7. #67
    Hi dw3041,

    At the very least one could say that the phenomena you cite may be interpreted in many other ways than the way you and your acquaintances have interpreted them. One person’s demon may be another person’s guardian angel. What one person considers alien abduction may be another person’s encounter with leprechauns.

    We cannot escape ourselves. We each have our own way of perceiving and interpreting information. So in some way we project onto our experiences our own biases. These biases influence the meaning we impose on those experiences and thereby the quality of those experiences.

    If I witness a traumatic event during a rainstorm when I am 4 years old the traumatic event will imprint on my psyche. As an adult I may fear rainstorms for some unknown reason. I may have nightmares whenever there is a rainstorm, but not understand why they occur. Since the traumatic event occurred when I was very young I may not consciously remember the event or I may remember the event, but not the rain. However the emotion of the trauma has imprinted upon my psyche and it is associated unconsciously with rain. When rain occurs the emotions I felt during the original trauma are automatically activated. Therefore, I interpret the event of rain as an unexplained, unpleasant fearful event. There is no inherent danger associated with rain. It is what I have projected upon the event from within my own mind that determines the quality of my experience in relation to the rain.

    Another person may have had a pleasant experience during a rainstorm. This might imprint pleasant feelings upon the psyche in association with rainstorms. Consequently rain might stimulate unexplained enjoyable feelings for this individual.

    The same event experienced by these two people is interpreted and experienced differently based upon what each brings to the event.

    The event is just an event it is what the individual brings to the event that determines the quality and meaning of the event.

    Your demons are demons because of what you bring to your experience. They possess no inherent meaning to you other than what you project on to them.

  8. #68
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    he's talking schopenhauer all the way

    and it sounds like he may have attended the "forum"

    hey scott, do you "choose chocolate"?

    of course Nietzsche knew the concept was unprovable from either side, despite the fact that he rejected all mysticism. He pointed out that to living humans "knowledge of any metaphysical world was as useful as the knowledge of the chemical composition of water would be to a sailor facing a storm."

    First Mate: Cap'n! There be a squall blowin in!

    Captain: Aye! But did ye realize that water is made of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom? We'll be fine lad...
    it doesn't do us any good. we still have to live here. when the time comes we all get this riddle solved for us.

    isn't that comforting?

    now from a metaphysical standpoint, the idea that one man's demon is another's gaurdian angel is a bit of a reach as far as analogies go.

    I mean if you believe in that sort of thing at all, its kind of hard to call a negative possesive spirit a "guardian angel" by any standard.
    Last edited by Crushing Fist; 05-13-2006 at 03:49 AM.

    Just words!

  9. #69
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Columbus, OH, USA
    Quote Originally Posted by dw3041

    I didn't think that someone could possibly be so narcissistic (and not to mention stupid) as to believe that their own experiences could dictate what is and isn't possible!

    Just because the cases you've experienced were caused by craziness doesn't mean that it is the only cause possible. Holy Sh!t!!! I feel like I'm talking to a fvcking two-year-old!!! I shouldn't even need to say this to anyone who has the ability to type!

    How about you do yourself a favor and just listen to the experience of someone who never did any drugs and whose family didn't include a bunch of psychos like your's.
    Hey dude. You're the one who came on here asking for help. If your sh!t is so together that you're absolutely confident in the reality/validity of what you're experiencing, then I suppose you probably have some idea of how to rid yourself of these demons. The fact is that lots of people experiencing psychotic symptoms of mental illness have hallucinations and delusions of a religious nature. I've seen it many times. The fact that it is common does not mean these demons have an existence separate from the mind that is conjuring them. Furthermore, you may have to at least consider the possibility that your own senses or facilities for processing information have been compromised.

    Extreme claims require extreme evidence, so the obvious question is, which is more likely? That you are somehow sensitized into being aware of demons that most or all people around you cannot perceive, or that most or all people around you are perceiving reality and that the demons are an illusion (however real they may seem) that is being created by you through processes of which you are not consciously aware.
    The cinnabun palm is deadly, especially when combined with the tomato kick. - TenTigers

  10. #70
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Colorado Springs, Colorado
    Many persons have experienced strange phenomena as they awaken spiritually. I tend to agree with the idea that we simply cannot know the "thing-in-itself" for we do react and respond to what we percieve through a conditioned state. Here we leave western philosophy behind for a moment and travel into Huei Neng's assertion that "from the start, nothing is" and perhaps agree on the difference between "conventional" and "Absolute" reality.

    The Book "Spiritual Emergency" by Stanislav Grof might be helpful here. Contributors to this book are people like Jack Kornfield and R.D Laing.

    Der Arm Wachsend!

  11. #71
    Quote Originally Posted by Shellhammer
    I tend to agree with the idea that we simply cannot know the "thing-in-itself" for we do react and respond to what we percieve through a conditioned state. Here we leave western philosophy behind for a moment...
    That sounded very western to me. Kant, basically.

  12. #72
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Columbus, OH, USA
    Kant or Won't?

    Sorry, couldn't help myself...
    The cinnabun palm is deadly, especially when combined with the tomato kick. - TenTigers

  13. #73
    Hi Crushing Fist,

    I have never read Schopenhauer or Nietzsche! I have never heard of the “forum” and I am afraid I would need to know more about the context of the question before I could answer your query regarding chocolate! LOL!

    I guess I would sort of agree and sort of disagree with Nietzsche. I agree that metaphysical/mystical knowledge cannot be proven through rational argument, but it MAY be indicated and directly apprehended. I also disagree that it provides no useful purpose. In fact I consider it is in many ways the most valuable knowledge since material value is transient while spiritual/philosophical value is eternal. The only thing we take with use when we die is who we are! Metaphysical/mystical knowledge changes the quality of our being. But one must also define what they mean when referring to metaphysical/mystical knowledge and also address the context in which the knowledge is applied.

    First, the demonstration:

    Many forms of knowledge may only be apprehended through direct experience and cannot be demonstrated using rational argument. For example, the taste of an orange cannot be proven using rational argument. To understand/know the taste of an orange one must taste it directly. My description of the taste does nothing more for another person than perhaps allow them to recognize it “might” be the substance they are presently tasting. The description of a thing is not the thing. It is a shadow pointing to the thing. If we cling to the description and ignore what it is point towards….”then we will miss all that heavenly glorrrrrry!!!” (Bruce Lee, "Enter the Dragon”)

    Here is an example using an optical illusion:

    This is the old woman/young woman optical illusion.

    Attachment 3336

    Suppose you are able to perceive the old woman, but not the young woman. I state to you there is also a young woman in the picture. You insist to me that there is no young woman because you cannot see her. I describe the young woman to you and try to point out where she is. You are unable to perceive the young woman and insist that I am seeing things that are not there. You maintain that I am hallucinating because you cannot see the young woman. The young woman is there in the picture regardless of whether you can see her or not. I am not hallucinating. I am merely able to adjust my perspective in order to perceive what you cannot. I cannot PROVE to you the young woman exists, you must perceive her directly for yourself. The changing of your perspective is the only thing that will allow you to perceive the young woman, but this cannot be taught. You must learn how to do it for yourself. No one can demonstrate to you how it is done.

    Some people will eventually perceive the young woman through the persistent effort of looking for her, others will not be able to see the young woman no matter how hard they try or how long they persist but then one day, while only glancing at the picture, they will immediately perceive her. The young woman exists within the picture regardless of whether we can perceive her or not. The picture never changes it is the perspective of the perceiving mind that changes. This perspective change cannot be taught, but it can be learned.

    The young woman cannot be demonstrated to another through rational argument. Either you see her or you don’t. This is one of the messages behind Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave”. Therefore Nietzsche is correct from one perspective in that metaphysics cannot be proven using rational argument, but is incorrect that it cannot be proven at all!

    As to whether mysticism is of inherent value or not:

    Let us consider Nietzsche’s metaphor as cited by you. The chemical composition of water may be useless to a sailor in a storm, but it is not useless to a chemist creating useful compounds with water or its constituents. Usefulness is dependent upon context. Therefore, mysticism or metaphysical knowledge is useless to Nietzsche according to the context with which he approaches the knowledge, but not to others. I may believe a red painted room serves no useful purpose, but perhaps the color is pleasing to another person. This color provides a quality to their life it does not provide to me. So at best I can say that a red colored room serves no useful purpose for me. My determination the red room is useless is as inherently meaningless in an absolute sense as Nietzsche’s declaration that metaphysical knowledge is useless.

    Knowledge of any kind may be considered useless if it is not utilized within a useful context. A cup of water will do me no service when I am trying to start a fire, and heat will do me no service when my throat is parched. Or we may refer to the famous line of a sailor, “Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink!” Because Nietzsche was unable to apprehend the usefulness of metaphysical knowledge for himself does not mean it is inherently useless. But it does mean his opinion is as meaningless as the person who cannot perceive the young woman and so declares with ignorant self-assurance she is not there.

    Your assertion that “the idea that one man's demon is another's guardian angel is a bit of a reach…” has some truth according to a specific context. However it presumes a fixed definition of a demon and its purpose. When you say, “its kind of hard to call a negative possessive spirit a "guardian angel" by any standard” we are assuming much.

    First the let us address the word “negative”. An experience is positive or negative according to the context within which we choose to define the experience. If I grasp a hot ember I will burn my hand. This may be considered a negative experience; however I have learned a positive lesson. I now know not to grasp hot embers thus protecting myself from greater injury in the future. The experience of grasping a hot ember then is open to the interpretation of the experiencer. An experience is negative when we don’t accept the lesson it has to teach. Just as with the old woman/young woman illusion the individual determines the context with which they choose to interpret their experience. I may perceive the old woman if I choose or the young woman if I choose. The choice I make will determine the quality and value of my experience.

    Now let’s look at the intention of the “demon” to possess another. If my 2 year old son attempts to “possess” the cookie I am holding I will not be in fear for I may easily prevent his purpose from being achieved. If a 500 lb. gorilla attempts to possess the cookie I am holding I will be in fear. Why? Because the gorilla is able to pull my arms off in order to get my cookie! The gorilla has greater power to achieve his purpose than my power to prevent him. Therefore, I will live in fear when he attempts to take my cookie. This presumes I value my cookie more than is necessary, however.

    So the fear of being possessed by a demon presumes the demon has the power to possess greater than one’s power to resist possession. Since we are assuming the existence of a demon within this example we must also accept the lore of demon possession which states a demon may not possess what is not freely given. This means the individual possesses greater power to prevent possession than a demon has to take it! The only way a demon may possess a person then is to convince the person they have the ability to accomplish the possession. In this circumstance the individual simply does not resist and possession occurs. The individual accepts they have no power, therefore they have no power.

    So how can this experience be transformed into perceiving the demon as a guardian spirit? If in the long run I learn something of value from the experience the negative experience becomes a positive experience. If I am training a student and continuously slap him in the head, it hurts, it is unpleasant for him. But through the pain of the experience he will learn to cover his openings thus increasing his ability to protect himself from injury during confrontation. The temporary pain creates a stronger fighter. Since in our example we are accepting the existence of demons, within this tradition of thought there is also a presumption of an eternal spirit. Something that is eternal exists forever; therefore an experience of demon possession or attempted demon possession within the context of forever is a minor skin on the knee of time. The lesson learned from the experience will be of benefit in the long run of existence compared to the short term trauma experienced on the local level.

    It is context that determines how we experience a phenomenon and it is the experiencer that has the ability and choice to change the context. Context is changed by changing perspective and changing perspective takes practice.
    Last edited by Scott R. Brown; 09-27-2008 at 03:01 PM.

  14. #74
    Quote Originally Posted by Kapten Klutz
    That sounded very western to me. Kant, basically.
    Hui-Neng preceeded Kant by a thousand years or so, but the concept is not original to Hui-Neng either!

  15. #75
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Scott -

    well said... are you sure you haven't been to the forum?

    as for the chocolate reference, anyone who has been to the forum is laughing right now.

    they use it as an example of free choice versus reactionary decision making... I didn't care for that particular part. But if you ever go...

    they ask you (or a volunteer) "chocolate or vanilla? choose."

    you choose

    they ask "why?"

    this is usually followed with endless rejection of whatever reason is put forth.

    *******!!!!!!!SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!*******

    the answer is you choose chocolate because you choose chocolate

    there, now you have done the forum...

    If you like Plato, you'll love Schopenhauer. Try on "The world as will and idea"

    now as for the usefullness of metaphysical knowledge, saying that it makes one feel good isn't really a use. not in the practical operative sense.

    It makes the captain feel better to know the composition of water, but he's still going to drown.

    now as far as context, certainly everything must be considered in context.

    if humans are to be likened to sailors at sea facing a storm, then this is the given context. A chemist in the lab would (in this case) be more akin to a god-like being tinkering with creation.

    Now if this is knowledge of the eternal which we will have for all eternity, why bother with it in our finite time here? If it does not pertain to this world how is it useful to us here. I can only assume that we will have unfettered access to this knowledge in the next world, so why bother wasting your limited time here on it.

    to consider zen...

    Be Here Now

    we'll have plenty of time on the other side to contemplate the metaphysical

    but our time here to contemplate the physical is limited.

    as for the taste of an orange/young lady

    you are correct, only direct experience of something can allow one to know it, the description is not enough. but how can a physical being directly experience a metaphysical world? even if one seperates from ones body, and as a metaphysical being goes off and experiences the meatphysical world, when he comes back he is now once again constrained to physical reality and any perceptions gained must now be percieved through this physical filter, just as dreams quickly fade away when we return to wakefulness. So, in waking physical life, how can one ever directly experience anything metaphysical?

    Therefore the best we can do is guess at and describe what we think is a metaphysical world, without having this required direct experience.

    you successfully argued that a demon may be kept from having power over one, but you failed to come to where it becomes a guardian angel. It is the intent of this demon/spirit that is to be considered, not the overall effect. To say that this demon means you well and is only trying to teach you a lesson about the universe is going a bit far. We must infer that those who wish us harm do in fact wish us harm.

    But to bring it on back around to Nietzsche and one of his most famous quotes "That which does not kill me makes me stronger"

    You have basically said this. Does this mean there is no real distinction between benefit and harm? good and evil?

    In this you are closer to Nietzsche and his "Beyond Good and Evil" than to Schopenhauer. Shop claims that Good and Evil are clearly defined and easily distinguished, much in the same fashion as Plato does in "The Republic"

    That which is done for one's own benefit without regard for the harm of another is evil.

    That which is done for another's benefit without regard for the harm of oneself is good.

    These would be considered black and white with all shades of gray falling somewhere in between. (to my photoshop compatriots good=255 evil=0)

    Therefore a demonic spirit wants to hurt others for its own gain, and an angelic wants to help others despite danger to itself.

    This is pretty basic morality... something which Nietzsche rejected completely.


    how can one from our perspective here, assuming there is metaphysical existence, know that our metaphysical selves are beyond harm or cannot be destroyed (or rather consumed)?

    p.s. for the record I do like Plato's Cave. It is a good analogy of how we percieve the world through our limited senses./
    Last edited by Crushing Fist; 05-13-2006 at 01:27 PM.

    Just words!

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