In the West, the Buddhist tradition is typically viewed as more intellectual and legitimate than many other other Eastern religious traditions. But many of our impressions of Buddhism in the West are based on the the presentation by famous Western proponents of Buddhism and the way in which they packaged the varied traditions as sometimes more monolithic as well as devoid of anything not already accepted and explainable by Western models and paradigms.
In the East, it is not uncommon to hear Buddhist claims that defy our understanding of science. Whether they are true or not is another story, but in the Buddhist world, such claims of solid, crystalized salis in the lower abdomen, of healing, spirits, levitation and the like are hardly unheard of.
In previous articles we have presented numerous accounts, documented by Western sources, based in such Eastern traditions. Our purpose was not to endorse these views and practices as legitimate, but to cause readers in the West to consider something outside of their paradigm. If not, then the purpose is at least hoped to be one that causes a reevaluation of Western assumptions regarding such traditions.
We would be hard-pressed to discredit a Harvard Study Finds Buddhist Meditation Can Produce TREMENDOUS HEAT Drying Wet Sheets in Freezing Temperatures, but we are also at a loss to fit the findings of this study within the framework our existing understanding of science. Other reports, like that of the Buddhist Monk Who Died in 1927, being “alive” (sort of), are perhaps more easily explained. Maybe this was the result of how his body was preserved, but would that have preserved the body so well? Without studies that replicate this process it is premature for us to assume a conclusion rather than a hypothesis.
What if there is something else going on? Are such accounts legitimate? Is there a way to quantify such claims of “Qi” and “magic” within a scientific model? Perhaps not… but perhaps they are. And if they are, can the Western viewer find a way to reframe what they are seeing as possible within the framework of science, and within the boundaries of Natural Law, rather than against it: “natural” rather than “supernatural”? Initially, of course, the discoveries of Einstein were rejected, not because he had not made his case, but because they required a complete overhaul in how we looked at physics. Might this happen again as Western science and Medical Studies continue to discover the benefits of various Eastern methods of bio-energy training, such as Tai Chi and Qi Kung?
In the video that follows, illusionist Dan White seeks out a reclusive Buddhist monk, in Nepal, who he claims is not himself an illusionist (like White), but has legitimate powers of levitation.
See the full-length documentary below.
This is not the only example of such things. This isolated monastic hermit did not seek out skeptics, or illusionist Dan White for that matter. What’s his angle? On one hand, if he was looking for fame, glory, money or the like, we should not expect him to hide away and refuse demonstration.
But on the other hand, one could argue that there are tricks which some who are deeply invested in meditation use to “inspire” lay folk into practicing their disciplines of the mind. Perhaps they feel that by creating such an illusion they are doing something good, getting people into a path of inner discipline and spirituality, so that eventually, when they find out there is nothing to the illusions they were shown, they will still be happy that such illusions got them to embark on their path of spiritual refinement…
If that is true, however, it would seem illusionist Dan White is the most unethical, for going along with the trick and promoting it as real, even while admitting his own illusions are not as they are perceived… Perhaps he isn’t in on it, and he is being tricked too… But perhaps there is something else going on beyond all of that, something scientific which Western models have not had enough data to fit within our existing scientific paradigm.
Once again, we are just presenting this unusual case, we are not here to make up your mind for you one way or the other. Is it real, or an elaborate hoax? You decide.
This post was written by Nadia Vella