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Video of New Buddha Ram Bomjon Here

Earlier this morning, I reported that Ram Bomjon, the teenager from Nepal who is supposed to have proved his merit as a new Buddha or great enlightened teacher by sitting under a pipal tree for ten months straight without moving, eating, or drinking has been found by his followers, after he suddenly went missing earlier earlier this month. (Why didn’t Mary Grace on CNN do some special outraged coverage of this missing teenager?)

Well, here’s a video of Ram Bomjon’s appearance to his followers. Isn’t it interesting how, while “searching” for Ram Bomjon out in the woods, his followers just happened to be carrying a video camera? I know that every time I go out searching for a missing teenager, I make sure to bring at least two camcorders along [sarcasm, sarcasm].

It seems that Ram Bomjon appeared only to announce to his followers to say that he would be gone for the next six years, in a secret place one could reach by five days and five nights of walking. Like all good hoaxsters, Ram Bomjon and his inner circle of followers know better than to let their illusion appear long enough to be closely examined. Note also in this video the clever use of Ram Bomjon’s long hair – as it was used during almost the entire time Ram Bomjon was purported to be meditating under the tree. Can you really tell who that boy is? Do we know for sure it’s the same Ram Bomjon all the time, or could it be more than one boy, switching the role back and forth? Only the wig knows.

Ram Bomjon was, though, good enough to tell his followers that they should set up a new camp on the spot where he appeared to them, for pilgrims and worshippers to come to… and make donations… and buy souvenirs. The Buddha did that too, right?

348 comments to Video of New Buddha Ram Bomjon Here

  • James

    A lof of people around the world these days carry with them cell phones that include a video clip recording capability. This also applies to some PDA devices that are easy to carry and commonly ARE carried. I don’t think it is so unusual that they would carry some kind of device that supports taking video clips. In addition, all the tourists, devotees and others around him have brought video recording devices every month and day for nearly a year “in case” they encounter any special circumstance, movement, speech, or whatever that might occur. It would seem more unusual in that context if they DID NOT – one of them – have some recording device with them.

    Who knows, maybe he asked one of his friends to bring this group to that clearing for a short liason so he could apologize for disappearing unexpectedly and then return to private meditation for six years free of his concern that he left to abruptly. Maybe they chose to bring a video device because they expected a meeting in that kind of circumstance. Plenty of reasonable qualities can be imagined just as plenty of unreasonable circumstances can be imagined.

    It is abundantly common in those areas for sadhus, yoga practitioners and others to avoid cutting their hair according to beliefs they have about very long, natural hair. Any one who has seen photos or visited Kumba Mela or India generally knows long hair is common among those given to meditation and yoga practice over there.

    His “handlers” have not concealed the fact that he spoke after a snake bite, or that he moved a little now and then under various cicumstances in the ten months intervening. I think a reasonable person would not interpret so literally their words about non-movement as you have on your website. Only by construing their words so literally are you able to make them appear to have a unreasonable and inconsistent quality. Why don’t you chill a little and allow that this guy might just be someone interested in daily meditations more than you, and is simply doing that.

    James

  • James

    Most press reports about this new meeting with the boy, after his brief disappearance, only say that
    he asked for others to include him in their prayers. Nothing has been said that I’ve seen elsewhere, that he asked others to set up commercial ou’re wanting to make a young, religiously minded boy who’s manner is foreign to you, and make fun of him, right?

  • James

    A common practice among advanced yoga practitioners, meditation masters, etc. in India and the Himalays generally involves these persons spending a long time, i.e. one to five years, in total isolation. It is common for them to live as a recluse for that period of time in a cave, or beneath temples in the mountains, etc. in total silence without speaking. This has been a normal and common practice for those reclusive monks for many centuries. In that context, the fact that this boy would “disappear” to some quiet, private setting is nothing but typical. That is what anyone from that part of the world and that culture would normally expect. To do otherwise would be questionable. That solitude is considered essential for the deep concentration and personal transformation they hope for.

    So, I suggest that much of the inclination by westerners to assume this is a scam because the disappearance, the long sitting meditation looks strange and unusual – is only a product of cultural ignorance. If you want to understand the normality of this stuff over there, then research the background of other well known figures like Yogananda, Sri Yukteswar, and others who have spent portions of their lives in total solitude. They are “recluses” for pete’s sake. That’s what they do.

  • No, James, I’m quite willing to make fun of religious hucksters of all cultures, not just ones that are foreign to me. Take a look around the web site, and you’ll see exactly what I mean.

    What makes you think that religous figures should be above this kind of questioning, James?

  • James

    My sense is that in the course of you making fun of people you label as religious hucksters, you make up or exagerate certain details to dramatise your point. In that case, you’re making fun of an imaginary huckster of your own fabrication, not the same person one would know from a more objective description.

    You can question religious figures all that you want, just as others should question your motives and purported “facts” in these pages. Your website seems to be based on hyperbole, story telling, cherry picking some facts and leaving others out. If that’s what you intend to do, that’s fine with me. It just inspires others like me to spend a few minutes questioning some of your writings, that’s all. No big deal. Here today, gone tomorrow.

  • James

    Jclifford, would you please post here the source where you got this video clip from…of Bomjon?

    Readers here may like to assure themselves that the version you show here is the same and as complete as the original.

    Thank you for your time.

  • Source: BBC

    Cherry picking facts may include your not mentioning that it is physiologically impossible for a person to sit still for 10 months, even if they fidget a bit, without eating or drinking or going to the bathroom, and maintain the kind of muscle tone that Ram Bomjon shows in the pictures and video.

    Cherry picking may include your omission of the fact that no one was allowed to examine Ram Bomjon or see where he was at night during his whole meditation.

    Cherry picking may also include your failure to discuss the very long and very rich tradition of fake gurus in India and Nepal, people who use various magician-style tactics to perform supposedly miraculous acts in order to gain followers.

    Show a little bit of critical thinking, would you? Question what I write, yes, but please show some of the same questioning attitude toward this Ram Bomjon nonsense.

    Yes, I feel free to have a bit of fun writing about a group of teenagers in Nepal who perpetrate an obvious hoax on a world with many people to believe anything that seems miraculous.

    What the heck is wrong with that?

  • James

    Bears are known to hibernate for months, during which time they don’t eat and their metabolic processes nearly cease for all practical purposes. Perhaps a similar principle applies in the case of someone like Bomjon when meditating for months with advanced techniques. Just because the potential explanation isn’t known, that doesn’t mean it is impossible. Before Bears were known as a matter of fact to hibernate, someone claiming they do would sound like a quack. But just “sounding like a quack” doesn’t make that person a quack.

    I accept that you can’t explain what physicological principle might make that possible. I don’t accept that the only explanation is that it is a scam. It’s too early for that. Besides, if that kind of thing is possible, it would be great to see it more broadly learned. Maybe those who can slow metabolic processes like that could slwo progression of diseases like aids until better treatments are available. That’s more fun to consider than the dry, simple guess that only a scam is possible here.

    I’m sure that if Bomjon is legitimate, he could care less whether doctors want to eexamine him to develop there understanding of physiological processes. And, if he’s not legit, a theory like yours applies that he avoids an exam to perpetuate a scam. We don’t know. That’s the most that can be said with certainty.

    The rich tradition of fake tactics doesn’t meant that all gurus in India are fakirs.

    Just because some guy named Ted Bundy is a criminal doesn’t mean all guys named Ted Bundy are criminals….. Etc. Etc. Etc.

  • Jim

    Well, James, don’t stop there. It could be space aliens! It’s too early to say whether space aliens were involved! We don’t know. That’s the most that can be said with certainty. That we’ve never seen a space alien doesn’t mean that Ram Bomjon is not in league with the space aliens. Etc. Etc. Etc.

  • James

    Sure. make fun of being open minded. No skin off my back. I simply drew
    an analogy between the known phenomenon of hiberation wherein life forms lower
    their metabolic rate and go without food for months. I didn’t mention space aliens,
    some guy named Jim did….again…for fun. Does it seem impossible that a human being
    could somehow trigger a hibernation type of state, given that animals/mammals
    are already known to do so?

  • Jim

    Nobody has ever seen a human being hibernate.
    Nobody has ever seen a space alien.

    Does it seem impossible that a human being could somehow trigger the ability to fly, given that animals/mammals are already known to do so?

    Why aren’t you being “open minded” about this?

  • James

    Speaking of hiberation…..a cancer research website published a recent article asserting that mice can trigger a state of hibernation on demand. Mice are mammals. Scientists suspect humans may have this latent ability, and if so it could aid research and increase options for coping with disease. Here is a part of that article. I think it is plausible that meditation could for some people lower metabolism radically, as hibernation does.

    James

    ————-
    Buying Time Through ‘Hibernation on Demand’
    Landmark finding in mice may lead to new approaches for cancer and trauma care in human
    Media Toolkit

    SEATTLE — April 21, 2005 — Scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have, for the first time, induced a state of reversible metabolic hibernation in mice. This achievement, the first demonstration of “hibernation on demand” in a mammal, ultimately could lead to new ways to treat cancer and prevent injury and death from insufficient blood supply to organs and tissues.

    “We are, in essence, temporarily converting mice from warm-blooded to cold-blooded creatures, which is exactly the same thing that happens naturally when mammals hibernate,” said lead investigator Mark Roth, Ph.D., whose findings will be published in the April 22 issue of Science.

    “We think this may be a latent ability that all mammals have — potentially even humans — and we’re just harnessing it and turning it on and off, inducing a state of hibernation on demand,” said Roth, a member of Fred Hutchinson’s Basic Sciences Division.

    During a hibernation-like state, cellular activity slows to a near standstill, which reduces dramatically an organism’s need for oxygen. If such temporary metabolic depression could be replicated in humans, it could help buy time for critically ill patients on organ-transplant lists and in operating rooms, ERs and battlefields, Roth said.

    “Manipulating this metabolic mechanism for clinical benefit potentially could revolutionize treatment for a host of human ills related to ischemia, or damage to living tissue from lack of oxygen,” said Roth, also an affiliate professor of biochemistry at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

  • James

    Jim claims:
    Nobody has ever seen a human being hibernate.
    Nobody has ever seen a space alien.

    James replies:
    I think it is more true to say that YOU don’t know of anyone who has seen a human being hibernate.
    and YOU don’t know anyone who has seen a space alien (humanoid looking or dust mite looking).

    Just because YOU don’t know of something doesn’t mean that others don’t know of it. See article below by scientists who theorize that humans have a latent ability to hibernate. By simple hypnosis, humans can be made to lower their metabolic rates dramactically for surgical purposes. Lowering metabolic rate via some meditation technique may be a logical extension of the same principle. When you fall asleep at night, which doesn’t require knowledge or intelligence on yoru part, you lower your metabolism radically. Meditation is just a concious method of lowering metabolic rates.

    James

  • Jim

    How did they do that in mice? Hmm? Well, let me find that website you reference. Oh, dear. Oh, dearie dear dear. Reading down in that press release, it says that “They achieved this by placing the mice in a chamber filled with normal room air laced with 80 parts per million of hydrogen sulfide.”

    Did Buddha use hydrogen sulfide to reach enlightenment?

    And why are you ignoring my question about human flight? Isn’t your mind open to it?

  • James

    Yes. I am open to human flight. I don’t know what the context is of what you suggest, or what may be.
    Let’s see, if they keep fiddling with genetic programming, could they someday put wings on humans? I don’t know….seems unlikely, but *maybe.* I don’t need to say it will happen to be open minded. I can just say that I don’t know, not make a judgment to foreclose it, and that leaves me with an open mind. Not a very big jump there.

    Just because they induce a state of hibernation ONE WAY in an experiment, doesn’t mean other ways are not also possible. When you fall alseep at night, your metabolic rate lowers. I don’t think it is an enormous step to imagine that some people can use hypnosis or meditation to lower metabolic rates radically. . . such as a hybernating state. I just see no reason to take a position that it is an impossibility. I simply maintain that it is an unexplained possibility. That state of affairs doesn’t *prove* a scam.

  • James

    PBS, the public broadcasting network, presented a special show on hibernation. In it, they quote scientists who think it is plausible that humans can hibernate, and claim there is no evidence to show that humans cannot hibernate.

    Here are some excerpts:

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/satoyama/hibernation.html
    Black bears do no exercising of any sort during the winter months, prefering to lie rolled into a tight ball, with their heads between their forepaws and their heavily furred backs exposed to the worst of the cold
    Once a black bear begins hibernating, it can doze for many months with a body temperature of 88°F or higher, which is within 12°F of summer levels.
    Using telemetry, Edgar Folk of the University of Iowa monitored the heart rate of a captive bear in Alaska as it slept. In the early fall, its heart beat 40 to 50 times a minute for most of each night. By December, when the bear was deep in hibernation, its sleeping heart rate had slowed to as few as eight beats a minute.

    some individuals can revive disconcertingly quickly. Rogers again:

    On January 8, 1972, I tried to hear the heartbeat of a soundly sleeping five-year-old female by pressing my ear against her chest. I could hear nothing. Either the heart was beating so weakly that I could not hear it, or it was beating so slowly I didn’t recognize it. After about two minutes, though, I suddenly heard a strong, rapid heartbeat. The bear was waking up. Within a few seconds she lifted her head as I tried to squeeze backward through the den entrance. Outside, I could still hear the heartbeat, which I timed (after checking to make sure it wasn’t my own) at approximately 175 beats per minute.

    Even though a hibernating bear drinks no water, it does not become dehydrated. In a 1973 study published in the American Journal of Physiology, hibernation expert Ralph Nelson and colleagues at the Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation found that the three hibernating bears they studied were in “almost perfect water balance” after about 100 days of hibernation, during which they swallowed not a single drop of water.
    Evidence is mounting that hormone-like substances in hibernating bears may control all these physiological tricks. When injected into other species, both those that hibernate and those that don’t, these substances engender hibernation-like effects. Who knows? If people can be made to hibernate, perhaps sufferers of seasonal-affective disorder, or SAD, will find the ultimate relief: a winter-long snooze.

    Human hibernation may not be as far-fetched as it sounds. In December 2000, Gerhard Heldmaier, a professor at the University of Marburg in Germany and chairman of the International Hibernation Society, announced the discovery of two genes that are thought to trigger hibernation. These genes direct enzymes to burn fat rather than carbohydrates, thereby equipping the body for hibernation. “There is no real reason,” Heldmaier told London’s Independent on December 3rd, “to say that humans are so different from other mammals that they are unable to enter hibernation.”

    Although it’s possible that people may one day be able to nod off for the winter, the most likely applications of human hibernation involve medicine and perhaps space travel. Doctors might be able to preserve transplant organs longer if those organs could go into hibernation, as a true hibernator’s organs do. The U.S. Army is reportedly eager to look into the potential of using hibernation to preserve wounded soldiers during transport from battlefields to hospitals. And NASA has sponsored research on using hibernation for long-distance space travel.

  • James

    I found this additional news item discussing how humans appear to enter hibernation accidentally. Although it doesn’t offer a theory or example of willful, on demand hiberation, it does suggest the viability from a physiological standpoint in humans:

    LiveScience.com – New Hibernation Technique Might Work on Humans
    http://www.livescience.com/humanbiology/050421_hibernation.html
    Tuesday, March 21, 2006 2:00:58 PM GMT-8

    Humans have been known to hibernate by accident, Roth and his colleagues point out.
    A Norwegian skier was rescued in 1999 after being submerged in icy water for more than an hour. She had no heartbeat and her body temperature was 57 degrees Fahrenheit (normal is 98.6). She recovered.
    Canadian toddler Erika Nordby wandered outside at night and nearly froze to death in 2001. She wore only a diaper and T-shirt. It was minus 11 Fahrenheit (-24 Celsius). When found, her heart had stopped beating for two hours and her body temperature was 61 degrees. She suffered severe frostbite but required no amputations and otherwise recovered.
    “Understanding the connections between random instances of seemingly miraculous, unexplained survival in so-called clinically dead humans and our ability to induce – and reverse – metabolic quiescence in model organisms could have dramatic implications for medical care,” Roth said. “In the end I suspect there will be clinical benefits and it will change the way medicine is practiced, because we will, in short, be able to buy patients time.”

  • James

    This below article explains that scientists have found at least two human genes which enable hibernation. One of the genes appears to enable the body to reserve most nutrients for use by the brain and nervious system only. It mentions that metabolic rates/oxygen consumption can drop to 2% of normal. With such slow metabolism, the idea of a person like Bomjon going for months without food or water seems more plausible.

    Biology – Hibernation
    http://www.crystalinks.com/hibernation.html
    Tuesday, March 21, 2006 2:07:07 PM GMT-8

    Biology – Hibernation
    Scientists have discovered genes for hibernation in humans.

    February 8, 2000 – London Times
    The discovery could pave the way for human hibernation of the kind foreshadowed for astronauts in the 30-year-old film 2001: A Space Odyssey.
    Human hibernation would make ultralong-haul space travel feasible, with crews effectively put to sleep for months, or even years, by triggering the hibernation genes that man’s distant ancestors used millions of years ago to sleep through hostile winters.
    The American army, which has been funding the research, is interested in the concept of inducing protective hibernation in battlefield casualties to keep them alive when medical help is not at hand.
    Researchers in Britain are also investigating the role of genes in the mini-hibernation of Siberian hamsters, with the aim of triggering similar genes in humans to help people lose weight.
    But the first use of hibernation technology is likely to be in transplant surgery, where donor organs would be preserved on shelves for weeks or months by putting them into a state of deep sleep.
    After a five-year project, Matthew Andrews, associate professor of genetics at North Carolina State University has identified two genes – PL and PDK-4 – which appear to mastermind hibernation.
    One stops carbohydrate me-tabolism, which ensures that the glucose that animals have stored in their body from their last meal is preserved for use by the brain and central nervous system. The second gene controls the production of an en-zyme that breaks up stored fatty acids, and converts them into usable fats for fuel. As a result, the animal can tick over on its stored fat.
    Hibernation in animals is characterised by huge drops in heart rate, body temperature and metabolism, resulting in long-term dormancy. In this state, body temperature is only a few degrees above freezing, oxygen consumption is down to 2% of normal, and the heart rate drops from up to 300 beats a minute to just three or four.
    Researchers found the genes can be made to work in similar ways in humans. The PDK-4 gene, for example, is switched on by starvation, when its job is to conserve glucose.
    The next target is to track down the triggers which start the genetic process that leads to the seasonal shutdown. One theory is that melatonin, the hormone whose production responds to light, may be involved.
    At the Rowett Institute in Aberdeen, director Dr Peter Morgan and his team have been working on the role of melatonin in the mini-hibernation of the Siberian hamster.
    “We think that the central mechanisms which regulate body weight are finely tuned by melatonin, that they respond to the changes in the length of day, the photo period, and make the changes that control food intake, body weight, and energy expenditure,” he says.
    The research aims to identify what genes are involved in triggering the loss of body fat, and to find a way of kick-starting the same genes in humans as a way of losing weight.

    BIOLOGY INDEX
    PHYSICAL SCIENCES INDEX
    ALPHABETICAL INDEX OF ALL FILES
    CRYSTALINKS MAIN PAGE

    Search crystalinks.com Search web

  • Jim

    Yeah, problem: all of Roth’s examples are frozen. Bomjon wasn’t frozen, and he wasn’t put in a chamber of hydrogen sulfide.

    The additional news item isn’t an additional news item. It’s about the same item of news, with the press release rewritten somewhat by a news service.

  • Jim

    You can also find “proof” of the “plausibility” extraterrestrials and crystal healing on that handy crystalinks.com site. There is a difference between proof of plausibility and proof of something actually happening. I can prove it’s “plausible” that Martians were behind 9/11 if plausible means, as you mean in your standard, that it could be. I’m not going to play the game of telling you that Ram Bomjon absolutely couldn’t be truly doing what is claimed. But “could be” is nowhere near “probably is.” Because, frankly, as much as you hem and haw, nobody but nobody has been shown to be able to sit under a pipal tree for ten months without eating or drinking without a) dying and b) suffering enough atrophy to not be able to walk five days and further gambol about as Ram Bomjon reports having done.

  • James

    Bomjon wasn’t frozen, but his human body is affected by hormones. Perhaps through a yoga like practice persons like Bomjon regulate their hormones to produce low metabolism similar to hibernation.
    These researchers say they believe that hormones or hormone-like substances trigger the hibernation response, and that humans have the requisite genes to probably make this possible.

    See above for:

    “Evidence is mounting that hormone-like substances in hibernating bears may control all these physiological tricks. When injected into other species, both those that hibernate and those that don’t, these substances engender hibernation-like effects. “

  • Jim

    Perhaps, may, maybe, could be, might, believe, probably.

    Whatever.

  • James

    The journal SCIENCE is a respected journal…if you don’t like that other website mentioned above.

    Roth’s study was published in SCIENCE, and in that journal he is quoted as saying that there’s every reason to believe the human body can sustain a hibernation-like state of low metabolism.:

    “There’s every reason to think this can be done in humans as well,” said Mark Roth, a cell biologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and lead investigator of a study published in today’s edition of Science magazine.

    So here we have a scientist, with more “hands on” study and knowledge of human physiology than probably an of us have here. His study is deemed worthy of publication in a respected journal. And my take on his comments are that he wouldn’t stop at saying it is merely possible (but unlikely) that humans can sustain a hibernation state. When he says “there is every reason to think this can be done in humans”….I think that in effect he’s saying it more likly that it is possible than that it isn’t possible. And that isn’t based on freezing people. It is based on hormonal and enzyme changes.

    Thus, it is “likely” that the human body can do what it appears Bomjon is doing…..what those around him claim he has done. They are not claiming that he is doing something that is considered impossible or even unlikely in light of Roth’s studies. To me, it is jumping the gun to conclude and publicize that he’s involved in a scam simply because what he seems to have done is so uncommon – historically.

  • Jim

    WITH A GASEOUS BATH OF HYDROGEN SULFIDE!

  • James

    Roth’s studies used gaseous hydrogen sulfide to bring on a state of hiberation in mice. Roth said also that he would expect to use an injectable form for humans, and that there is every reason to believe that humans can be brought into a state of hibernation. That is the key, that the human physiology is believed to be able to sustain a hibernating state. The question left open, is what are the array of methods that can bring it on, and is yoga or meditation one of such methods?

    As for the hormones, the PBS study referenced above mention a Mayo clinic study. Two key hormones were considered key to enabling hiberation. That does not suggest a dependency on hydrogen sulfide or freezing as the sole methods of brining on hibernation.

    I think what all this information points to is that hibernation may plausibly be experienced by humans, and that meditation may involve conscious, deliberate hibernation…

  • Oh, this is brilliant insanity! Are we now to believe that Ram Bomjon’s teenage followers in Nepal are watching PBS, reading the journal science, and have learned to anticipate Roth’s research, devising a method to inject Ram Bomjon with gaseous hydrogen sulfide at night, when nobody was looking, thus enabling Ram Bomjon to enter a state of induced hibernation?

    NO!

    Therefore, all this research must be cast aside, for none of it replicates in any way the conditions in which Ram Bomjon performed his stunt.

    You are claiming that Ram Bomjon entered a state of hibernation through meditation. Is there any research showing THAT is possible?

    NO!

    The studies you have cited has nothing to do with meditation WHATSOEVER.

    The best you can come up with is this canard: “there is no evidence to show that humans cannot hibernate”.

    James, sir, there is no evidence to show that humans cannot fly using meditation.
    James, sir, there is no evidence to show that humans cannot spontaneously transform themselves into elephants using meditation.
    James, sir, there is no evidence to show that humans cannot shoot lightning bolts out of their fingertips using meditation.
    James, sir, there is no evidence to show that humans cannot turn their entire bodies inside out using meditation.

    SO WHAT!?!

    James, you are using the most loose standards of thinking possible. Your every argument is a demonstration of extreme credulity.

    You have supposed, without any evidence whatsoever that such a thing is possible, that Ram Bomjon has done a thing that no human being, NOT EVEN THE BUDDHA HIMSELF, has ever been observed doing.

    In fact, not even Ram Bomjon was observed doing it, because Ram Bomjon was often obscured from visitors’ sight, not only during the nighttime, but during the day.

    Ram Bomjon’s claims, and they are his own, defy not only centuries of knowledge gathered by Western and Eastern scientists, it defies the principles of Buddhism as well. For that matter, Ram Bomjon’s claims defy what every mother knows about her baby – that he must eat to live.

    This strange, loose thread you have strung is nothing but plain humbug, and it covers up one of the most clear cases of charlatanism that has ever been perpetrated upon crowds of eager human being since the touring of the Cardiff Giant.

    Will you please sit down and consider why you are willing to make yourself so gullible?

  • James

    You’ve mistated what I am trying to show. I have limited goals here.

    In general, I think you’re holding that there’s no way, by any theory or circumstance, that a human being can remain still without food and water for months, that this is a preposterous impossibility.

    I just want to add highlight a theory, and some supporting evidence, of how a human may accomplish what Bomjon seems to have done.

    Key features of Bomjon’s situation are that he’s been substantially still for many months without food or water, and he doesn’t seem to have suffered the nearly total loss of muscle tone that would be expected for such profound inactivity.

    Scientific studies do show that these combined elements of being substantially still for months, and not eating or drinking, preserving most muscle tone, and avoiding urination, are typical features of a known condition, namely “hibernation.” Hibernation is known to appear naturally in many animals, and a few mammals. Scientists involved in the research of hibernation have expressed their impression that humans may have originally had a hibernation ability but lost it through evolution. Recent research suggests that humans still have the basic genetic ingredients to be able to experience hibernation. Hibernation is known by scientists to be triggered by a variety of conditions, including freezing, hydrogen sulfide. Hopefully we can agree that the points in this paragraph is supported by scientific literature.

    This much information offers at least a theory which is NOT preposterous as to the physiological conditions that could allow a person to do what Bomjon appears to have done. What is NOT shown yet is whether a human can conciously trigger a state of hibernation. I agree that this isn’t shown by that research.

    I am suggesting, as theory, that he might be able through meditation to trigger a hibernation like physiological state – which is a state known to exhibit those qualities. We already know that humans can alter their metabolism willfully by – for example – falling asleep wherein heart rate and oxgyen consumption drop greatly.

    We know that Bomjon could continue to be still and not need food if he can lower his metabolic rate to a point like hibernation. That would explain all those weird features like not needing food or water and no toilet use. Only time and future research will show whether humans acquire or re-acquire the ability to trigger their own hibernation state – which some of these scientists believe is built into our systems.

    For me, this means Bomjon type situations aren’t just preposterous impossibilities. This kind of information makes me see it as a plausible, unexplained possibility. It’s sort of where on a continuum of credulity one chooses to put this case, given the ambiguity. You put it all the way at the end….impossible. I put it closer to the middle, and keep an open mind. I don’t consider it proven, haven’t said so, so stop claiming I did.

  • Layla

    There are two separate questions here: whether Bomjon is sincere and whether his handlers are sincere.

    I find it a lot easier to believe that Bomjon is really meditating in some way, or is following some religious path typical in his culture. There are traditions about monks sitting motionless, going high into the mountains to meditate in extreme cold, and even of Yeti attempting to achieve enlightenment with the monks. There is also a tradition of monks having a chela or disciple to interpret the monks’ religious abilities in order to beg food for the monk.

    The Bomjon thing reminds me of the stories my parents used to tell about how far they had to walk through the snow to get to school. When I actually saw the school, it didn’t seem nearly as far as the description. So the whole thing happened, but not quite in the way I had imagined.

    I find it chilling that Bomjon would withdraw from public view right before the Marxists launched an offensive where unknown numbers of people have died. He is known to have links with the Marxists, so anyone who can find Bomjon can also find the Marxists. The real question is whether Bomjon is a devout person who is being used or a cynic who is willing to use religion to achieve political power.

  • James

    Not everything I wrote is “humbug,” whatever that word means.

    For example, science studies I’ve mentioned explain that hibernation is an actual physiological state that exhibits the same key features as what is alleged for Bomjon, i.e. many months of stillness, with no food or water, and substantial preservation of muscle tone.

    Science studies I’ve mentioned document that hibernation occurs in many animals, some mammals, and humans in some cases like when they are cold. Bears are known to hibernate for months, during which time their oxygen consumption falls to two percent of normal. During that time they don’t eat or drink or urinate. They have a system for converint urine to proteins. All this is a matter of science, not “humbug.”

    The science studies I’ve cited above show that some scientists believe humans are capable of being deliberately put into a state of hibernation, and that human genetics include the core genes required to support hibernation. This much is not humbug either.

    Science also has shown, as we know from our own experience, that during sleep humans naturally lower their metabolic rate, oxygen consumption, etc. dramatically. Thus….humans are KNOWN to be able to alter their own metabolic rates to some extent.

    What remains unknown and unstudied is whether humans can deliberately place themselves into hibernation through some technique. This part of what I mentioned is a theory I’m offering just for consideration. So long as a human could somehow lower their metabolic rate at will and go into a hibernative state, normal hibernation phyusiology would enable them to be still for months without food, etc. This element of doing it willfully is just conjecture on my part. The rest of it is not.

    Given whats known about hibernation so far, it doesn’t strike me as “preposterous impossibility” that a person could somehow trigger their own hibernative state. You seem to put this factor of credulity at the END of a continuum whereas I would only but it in the middle somewhere…… and keep an open mind. All that I have argued for is there are some known facts that justify keeping an open mind as to whether Bomjon could do what he seems to have done.

    I am still asking you to cite exactly the articles/websites where it is shown that Bomjon himself has made claims of what he is doing and how. As I said, I’ve seen press reports about what those around him claim. I haven’t seen reports that include interviews with him and quotes of his own explanations, other than that he wants to meditate for six years in private.

    Also…. people do not need to see PBS or science shows to be able to lower their metabolism at will, they just naturally fall asleep. That capability is built into them. I’m suggesting people may be able to place themselves into hibernation using a built in mental process analagous to sleep….i.e. deep meditation. Not that they watch PBS as you hypothesize. There IS research that shows people can lower their metabolism, oxygen consumption, and brain wave function through meditation. There is not research I know of to show that meditation carries someone all the way into hibernation – not yet any way.

    Your comment that I assume without any evidence whatsoever that hibernation is possible….is false. I offered evidence that hibernation exists, has features like reported for Bomjon, and is believed by some scientists to be a state that humans probably have genetically if not in practice. That is not direct evidence that Bomjon did exactly that. But it is evidence that a physiologic state similar to that claimed exists and is plausible.

    Here you are twisting what I say again in order to make my comments appear preposterous, which is the method you seem to favor for handling many people you write about.

  • James

    Layla wrote:

    I find it chilling that Bomjon would withdraw from public view right before the Marxists launched an offensive where unknown numbers of people have died. He is known to have links with the Marxists,

    James asks: Can you please show me some websites or other specific sources showing that he has connections to marxists? I’m not claiming he doesn’t. I just haven’t seen any. When you say he has “connections”, what does that mean, just that he lives in a village in the vicinity where marxists have done attacks? or he’s an alleged “ring leader” or what?

    Thanks for your time.

  • Layla

    James,
    You are absolutely correct to question this. My information came from jCliff and I simply assumed it was true without bothering to check his sources myself, something that has produced very illuminating results in the past. Here is the link to jCliff’s article that asserted the connection with Marxists:

    http://irregulartimes.com/index.php/archives/2006/03/08/the-ten-commandments-of-god-in-the-bible-but-not-really/

    Here is the link to jCliff’s source of his Marxist info:

    http://www.kantipuronline.com/feature.php?nid=63824

    An anonymous security officer is the source of the Marxist info. What jCliff forgets to mention is the local people who formed the committee to do some crowd control deny any of the money goes to Marxists.

    So here’s what I think happened. You know how crowds can gather around tourists with potential money. The kid is sincere, his mother says he is unusually religious; some of his family is around him, and maybe they make some profit. The anonymous security guy was probably right about the Marxists. The boy was removed 1)When the family realized the boy was becoming a political rather than a religious statement 2) the family wasn’t getting the money if it was being siphoned off by Marxists 3)the government did something behind the scenes. Either the Marxists were controlling him and still are and took him away, or the family is depending on this income to feed the rest of the family and the boy doesn’t have a choice, or we are looking at a sincere religious expression. I think the last is true, even if some other stuff is going on too.

    Has anyone lived in this culture and have some insight about what families in poverty might be willing to do with their children? My impression of visiting Nepal is that someone is always willing to scam the tourist, but they are basically naive rather than Machiavellian.

    Yes, jCliff does like to misinterpret people’s positions; he has done it with me. I think a certain amount of overstatement makes good copy in a forum like this, and gets people to clarify their views, but he can be a nuisance at times and a little over the top. Perhaps he just needs to read more carefully.

  • James,

    You’re completely missing the point.

    If the story of Ram Bomjon was just this: Boy sits down a lot, mostly stays still – would we be reading anything about Ram Bomjon at all? No. The reason we’re reading about Ram Bomjon is because of the extraordinary claims.

    Your trouble thinking clearly is shown, James, by the way that you can’t even rephrase my argument correctly.

    You claim that I have commented “that I assume without any evidence that hibernation is possible”. No, that’s not what I’m saying at all. What I said, in fact, was this: “You are claiming that Ram Bomjon entered a state of hibernation through meditation. Is there any research showing THAT is possible?”

    I’m not just talking about evidence that hibernation is possible. I’m talking about evidence that entering hibernation through meditation is possible, as you suggest Ram Bomjon has done.

    THERE IS NO EVIDENCE FOR THAT, AND YOU HAVEN’T EVEN CLAIMED THAT THERE IS.

    You’re making huge logical leaps, James. Bigger than the Grand Canyon. I suggest that you sit down and map out the logical argument that you’re making. If you just look at what you’re saying, you’ll find huge gaps.

  • Layla

    James, the other thing jCliff likes to do, besides mis-stating someone’s position, is namecalling. If he can’t think of a good argument, he doesn’t try to find some common ground with the person, he starts a personal attack. For instance, in the above post #32, jCliff uses the word “you” 12 different times. Maybe a matter of too much caffeine. Personally the whole thing is starting to bore me.

  • James

    Yes. I agree that extraordinary claims have attracted a lot of attention. But…so what does that prove. Is that your answer to my request to show me news sources proving that Bomjon himself made the extraordinary claims you attribute to him personnaly? If so, that’s no response at all. I ask AGAIN, please list specific sources where I can read that Bomjon himself made this claims, each major claim. I haven’t seen those yet, only claims by people in his vicinity. I have made this request three of four times so far. No response.

    You attack me, saying ” You are claiming that Ram Bomjon entered a state of hibernation through meditation. ….. I’m talking about evidence that entering hibernation through meditation is possible, as you suggest…. ”

    If you look at the above texts, I freely volunteered that I offer only as a theory thathe could enter hibernation through meditation. I admitted I know of no evidence, tonight, that this is proven/possible.

    I’m not making a logical leaps. I summarized some information showing that scientists believe hibernation is a state humans could viably experience, that it has features similar to the claims surrounding Bomjohn, and I offered a theory that such a hibernation state MIGHT be entered via meditation. Since I haven’t attempted to prove te latter, there is no big leap in logic. I have an intuitive impression. Intuition isn’t logic.

    Although I admit I don’t know of evidence that *proves” Bomjon specifically could enter hibernation through meditation, I do know of evidence that humans can control deep, fundamental body processes via meditation, including slowing their heartbeats to once per minute………..which is dramatic, surprising, and looks very suggestive of a hibernation state to me. Here’s one bit of evidence by an M.D. with the Menninger Foundation.
    —————————————–
    Psychophysiological Approach
    http://pages.britishlibrary.net/blwww3/health/psychophys.htm
    Wednesday, March 22, 2006 2:29:55 AM GMT-8

    While visiting Green at Menninger, I was able to view his experiments wherein Swami Rama demonstrated his ability to throw his heart into and out of atrial fibrillation at will. I also watched a movie that Green had made in India of an Indian yogi being buried alive for eight hours. He was able to slow his breathing to less than once every few minutes, and to decrease his metabolic rate to such a low level that the meager amount of air in the coffin was able to sustain him.
    ————————————————–
    See also this physician’s blog which discusses Menninger Clinic tests showing control of the heart, ability to stop the heartbeat completely:

    Richard G. Petty, MD: January 2006
    http://richardgpettymd.blogs.com/my_weblog/2006/01/index.html
    Wednesday, March 22, 2006 2:42:00 AM GMT-8

    Much of this interest grew out of some extraordinary experiments conducted at the Menninger Clinic in 1969, when it was still in Topeka, Kansas. An Indian Yogi named Swami Rama was shown to be able to voluntarily stop his heart for between 16.2 and 20.1 seconds, and subsequently others were shown to be able to control temperature, pain and bleeding.

  • James

    Here are summaries of more studies showing that some yoga practitioners and meditators control
    very fundamental physiological processes in the body, feats suggestive of an ability to enter hibernation like states via meditation…..even if for limited periods of time.

    James

    ———————

    Meditation
    http://www.purifymind.com/MeditationIntro.htm
    Wednesday, March 22, 2006 2:52:08 AM GMT-8

    Elmer and Alyce Green, with their colleagues at the Menninger Foundation in Topeka, Kansas, also observed exhibitions of yogic heart control. Their subject, Swami Rama, while sitting perfectly still, produced an atrial flutter of 306 beats per minute that lasted for sixteen seconds. During a fibrillation of this kind, a section of the heart oscillates rapidly while its chambers do not fill and its valves do not work properly, but Swami Rama gave no sign that the maneuver caused him any pain or heart damage. The swami also produced an IIF difference between the left and right sides of his right palm. While he did this, the left side of his palm turned pink and the right side gray (Green and Green, 1977).
    Yogis frequently use abdominal contractions to slow their heart rate rather than intervening more directly through the central nervous system. Curiously, though, an earlier study had examined a man with no yogic training at all who could stop his heart without such maneuvers, simply by relaxing and “allowing everything to stop.” By this procedure, he could induce a gradual slowing of his pulse until he started to faint, at which point he would take a deep breath. When EKG tests showed that his heartbeat did indeed disappear, the doctor who examined him concluded that the man’s cardiac arrest was induced through some mechanism which, although under voluntary control, is not known to the patient himself. Careful observation did not reveal any breath-holding or Valsalva maneuver. Apparently the patient simply abolished all sympathetic tone by complete mental and physical relaxation (McClure, 1959).
    Like heart stopping, the live burial of yogis has excited the interest of several researchers. A physician, Rustom Jal Vakil, published an account in the British journal Lancet of such a confinement that was witnessed by some 10,000 people near Bombay in February 1950. According to Vakil, an emaciated sadhu named Ramdasji sat cross-legged in a subterranean 216-cubic-foot cubicle and remained there for sixty-two hours. His pulse remained steady at eighty beats per minute; his blood pressure was 112/78; and his respiratory rate fluctuated from eight to ten breaths per minute. Though he had some scratches and cuts, Vakil wrote, Ramdasji appeared “none the worse for his grueling experience.” (Vakil, 1950).
    In June 1956, a more closely observed study of yogic confinement was conducted under the auspices of the All-India Institute of Mental Health in Bangalore with a Hatha yogi, Krishna Iyengar. Hoenig, a psychiatrist from the University of Manchester, witnessed the experiment and described it in a review of yoga research published in 1968 (Hoenig, 1968). According to Hoenig’s report, a pit some two by three by four feet was dug on the institute’s grounds and covered with wire meshing, a rubber sheet, and cotton carpet. An electrode junction box connected to an EEG and an EKG was placed in the pit along with instruments to measure temperature and concentration of gas. The yogi was confined for nine hours. When he was released he immediately walked about the grounds, according to Hoenig’s firsthand account, and demonstrated athletic feats including a headstand with his legs in the lotus position. The percentage of carbon dioxide in the air in his enclosure, which was 1.34% at the beginning of the experiment, was only 3.8% at the end, lower than would normally be expected. Iyengar’s heart rate gradually slowed from 100 to 40 beats a minute in recurring twenty- to twenty-five-minute cycles, but his EKG record did not register any other abnormality and the cycles did not coincide with his breathing or brain-wave patterns. The yogi’s EEG showed a normal waking record for the full nine hours, characterized by a stable alpha rhythm of 50 microvolts with no evidence of sleep or interference caused by physical movement. From these records, the experimenters concluded that their subject lay motionless and wide awake, without the active cognition that would have reduced or eliminated his alpha rhythm. Iyengar said he had maintained the shavasana, or corpse pose, using ujjaya breathing while remembering the names of God. He was surprised that his heart had speeded and slowed, and could not explain why it had done so. It beat normally, however, after the experiment.
    Because the earthen pits used in most yogic confinements leak oxygen and carbon dioxide, Anand, Chhina, and Singh tested a yogi named Ramanand in an airtight glass and metal box, once for eight hours and again for ten hours. The yogi’s average oxygen use during the first experiment decreased from the basal rate of 19.5 liters per hour to 12.2, and during the second experiment to 13.3 liters per hour. His carbon dioxide output went down during both experiments. Ramanand, moreover, did not exhibit any rapid breathing or speeded heart rate as the oxygen in his box diminished and carbon dioxide increased. “Sri Ramanand Yogi could reduce his oxygen intake and carbon dioxide output to levels significantly lower than his requirements under basal conditions,” Anand and his colleagues wrote. “It appears from this study that [he] could voluntarily reduce his basal metabolic rate on both occasions he went into the box.” [30]
    During a remarkable experiment reported by L. K. Kothari and associates, a yogi was buried for eight days in an earthen pit and connected by leads to an EKG in a nearby laboratory. After the pit was boarded up, the subject’s heart rate sometimes went as high as fifty beats per minute, until a straight line appeared on the EKG tracing when the yogi had been in the pit for twenty-nine hours. There had been no slowing of his heart immediately before the straight line appeared, nor any sign of electrical disturbance, but the experimenters proceeded with certainty that their subject had not died. Suspecting that their EKG leads had been deliberately or accidentally disconnected, they checked their machine and continued to monitor its tracings. To their astonishment, it started to register electrical activity some seven days later, about a half hour before the yogi’s scheduled disinterment. “After some initial disturbance,” they wrote, “a normal configuration appeared. The [speeded heart rate] was again there but there was no other abnormality.” When the pit was opened, the yogi was found sitting in the same posture he had started in, but in a stuporous condition. In accounting for his remarkable EKG record, the experimenters argued that a disconnection of the EKG lead would have produced obvious markings on the tracings in their laboratory, as they found when they tried to simulate ways in which the yogi might have tinkered with it.

  • Jim

    Layla,

    jclifford is not engaging in any personal attacks in the statement to which you refer. He does not refer to any supposed quality of James, but only refers to James’ arguments and the large problems with them. You’re very, very far off base; if you think questioning someone’s argument is somehow a “personal attack,” perhaps you’d like to change your position regarding cartoons of Mohammed, which certainly would qualify as “personal attacks.”

    On the other point, you’re also coloring what you write. The journalist refers to several sources, not one. And you neglect to mention that the committee controlling Bomjon is also the committee through which the money goes, so they have an interest in not being exactly upfront.

  • Layla

    oops, wrong link. here is the link to the original bomjon article asserting Marxist influence:

    http://irregulartimes.com/index.php/archives/2005/11/25/ram-bomjon-investigation/

    And who is the President of the committee controlling Bomjon, and the committee through which the money goes that jim refers to? Bed Bahadur Lama, Bomjon’s uncle. Then there’s that pesky five hundred thousand pounds in a bank account frozen by the town’s mayor, who presumably must cooperate with the governemnt.

    If you want to understand it you have to follow the links yourself and not depend on the Unfit News for your primary interpretation of events. But mybe I should be letting the writer of the articles speak for himself on this.

  • James

    Layla,

    I also checked this additional link you just posted, and still don’t seem to find the word “marxist” on that page.

    I am still hoping to see a source for the contention that marxists are affiliated with Bomjon in some way.

    Also, I am still waiting to see if JCliff or anyone will post a link here showing press interviews with Bomjon in which he asserts, himself, that he has accomplished what is claimed, i.e. ten months with no food, no water, no use of the toilet and etc. I have seen article reporting claims by people in his vicinity, which seem more like rumors. But, I haven’t seen reports of him directly claiming some of these things. I’d like to see what he himself claims.

    Thanks for you time.

    James

  • James

    I don’t understand jclifford’s opening remark about “merit.”

    In the first sentence of this post, jclifford says:

    “Earlier this morning, I reported that Ram Bomjon, the teenager from Nepal who is supposed to have proved his merit as a new Buddha or great enlightened teacher by sitting ”

    However, “merit” is not a word I have seen in any of many news articles about Bomjon. In fact, I haven’t seen articles mentioning that Bomjon says his ten months have shown or meant or accomplished anything at all. He’s said to have said he is not a Buddha reincarnation and doesn’t want people to say that.
    He hasn’t said anything like “the value or importance of me doing these ten months of meditation is x….”

    Maybe jclifford can explain or offer a source for using that word “merit”……

    James

  • James

    I don’t understand jclifford’s opening remark about “merit.”

    In the first sentence of this post, jclifford says:

    “Earlier this morning, I reported that Ram Bomjon, the teenager from Nepal who is supposed to have proved his merit as a new Buddha or great enlightened teacher by sitting ”

    However, “merit” is not a word I have seen in any of many news articles about Bomjon. In fact, I haven’t seen articles mentioning that Bomjon says his ten months have shown or meant or accomplished anything at all. He’s said to have said he is not a Buddha reincarnation and doesn’t want people to say that.
    He hasn’t said anything like “the value or importance of me doing these ten months of meditation is x….”

    Maybe jclifford can explain or offer a source for using that word “merit”……

    James

  • Layla

    Jim,
    jclifford says:
    “You are claiming that Ram Bomjon entered a state of hibernation through meditation.” By my reading, James makes no such claim. He thinks it is pausible, based on preliminary research which he himself does not find conclusive.
    jclifford says:
    “Your trouble thinking clearly is shown, James, by the way that you can’t even rephrase my argument correctly.” James is making his own argument. It seems that jclifford is the one who is not rephrasing someone else’s argument correctly. The tipoff word here is “even,” making this an emotional personal attack rather than a discussion of the issues.
    jclifford says:
    “You’re making huge logical leaps, James. Bigger than the Grand Canyon. I suggest that you sit down and map out the logical argument that you’re making. If you just look at what you’re saying, you’ll find huge gaps.” A bunch of “you” statements, the semantic tipoff of a personal attack, rather than discussion of the issues. And BTW, what were those “gaps”? We’ve forgotten about that subject since it’s now been overwhelmed by the personal attack.
    jclifford says:
    “I’m not just talking about evidence that hibernation is possible. I’m talking about evidence that entering hibernation through meditation is possible, as you suggest Ram Bomjon has done. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE FOR THAT, AND YOU HAVEN’T EVEN CLAIMED THAT THERE IS.” At last jclifford seems to recognize james’ initial argument, but the emotional and personal nature of the statement is again revealed by the word “even” and the stickiness of jclifford’s caps lock key.

    James is certainly willing to consider things that go beyond the orthodox, and perhaps orthodoxy needs to be challenged, within the framework of the scientific method. James is certinly on the edge of what i regard to be credible, but that edge is where the new scientific discoveries are possible. James seems well aware of the edge he is walking on, but also seems to be able to engage in the type of creative brainstorming that gives birth to new ideas. jclifford’s destructive fighting style stifles that discussion of ideas.

    I was a lot nicer to jclifford than I thought he deserved, Jim, mostly becasue I know you don’t like a lot of flaming rhetoric.

    The argument about Mohammed not close, no cigar. Prophet was a public figure, and open to public discourse and cartooning. As far as we know james is not, at least not in this forum.

  • mackers

    what kind of coversation is that jim,Huh,,, trying to show something that you guys are intellectual egoistic nonsence you guys are out of reality.you better join scott out of that conversation i missed him.

  • Fruktata

    James and Layla, you guys are really out on a limb, defending this obvious fakery, claiming that it’s plausible. Give me a break.

    And Layla, you’ve got a weird idea that if someone uses the word “you”, it must be an attack. You must feel beseiged all the time. Hm. Taking a look at your comments around this web site, it seems that you do. Oh, damn, I said You! I must have been attacking you! Damn. I said it again. Another attack against poor Layla.

    What do you want J. Clifford to say? Do you want him to write like Queen Victoria?

    “When one engages in claims about extraordinary affairs, the standards for proof that one would offer would be expected to be extraordinary, or else one would appear as if one had one’s foot in one’s mouth.”

    Come off it, you guys. This Ram Bomjon stuff is a crock, and you know it. Anyone with a little of bit of grey matter in their skulls can figure that out.

    You are wrong. You! You! You! There, I attacked you. No, why don’t you get a band aid and nurse your wounds.

    You! Oh, I’m so sadistic.

  • Scott

    “…you guys are out of reality.you better join scott out of that conversation i missed him.”

    Hey now… How I get dragged into this?

  • Jim

    kicking and screaming, I imagine!

  • Layla

    http://irregulartimes.com/index.php/archives/2006/02/27/latest-news-on-ram-bahadur-bomjon-scientists-denied-access-maoist-bomjon-shopping-spree-continues/

    James,
    Here is a link to one of Jim’s pieces with “Maoist” in the title. The five links at the top of the piece are just internal links to jclifford’s other articles in the series, but the Kantihar link is in this piece. If you look about five paragraphs down to the one starting with “Fourth,…” you will see the Maoist reference.

    I don’t see the reference to Menninger Clinic in the Richard Petty link, but it’s an interesting link.

    It would be nice if something in the Bomjon experience could give us a better clue to the mind-body connection so well documented in the placebo effect and give us more tools for managing medical conditions. I just had a visit from an old friend back east who hadn’t seen me since Christmas and was alarmed by the changes in my physical appearance I am experiencing with inhaled steroids for COPD. Years ago, my friend took inhaled steroids for asthma with the same effects, but was able to stop taking them with a guided imagery tape by Belleruth Naparstek, along with aspirin and licorice tea. The underlying pathophysiology for both conditions is inflammation, but I just went through weaning myself off the steroids and found I badly needed them after all. But once I reach a level of pharmacological control of the inflammatory process, perhaps this emerging field will allow me to live with lower dosages….

    A detail: while Bomjon has been meditating, the weather in Nepal has been usually cold, resulting in deaths across the region. Remember the link between hypothermia and some near-drowning recoveries after lengthy submersion in very cold water? I wonder if a change in temperature accompanied Bomjon’s sudden mobility.

  • HareTrinity

    Okay, hibernation of a sort (well, not Winter so Easternation or whatever is the word, no?) is probably possible in a fair few animals given the right conditions.

    That said; humans are the ONLY animals that naturally suffer back troubles (certain dog breeds excluded due to inbreeding).

    Worst position for a human’s back: Sitting down

    Mostly animals get comfy to hibernate, as is understandable, but for a human to hibernate whilst sitting? For how long, now?

    His back would be killing him, and gravity isn’t slowed by hibernation, so I have trouble imagining how he would have got into such a state whilst in that position.

  • HareTrinity

    By the way; please cut back on the copy and pasting; it takes up a lot of space and a summary of what the study shows is all that’s really needed.

  • Layla

    Fruktata, by my dictionary “plausible” means “superficially fair, reasonable, or valuable”. Plausible “implies reasonableness at first sight or hearing usu. with some hint of a possibility of being deceived.”

    Fakery has not been proved here, neither has authenticity. James is much more open-minded than I am on the subject, and I appreciate having my presuppositions challenged, especially since he is using some respectable research to postulate future areas of possible scientific inquiry. It is indeed ‘plausible’ that there is some scientific explanation for the Bomjon phenomenon that we do not yet understand.

    Jclifford as Queen Victoria? Is he so much of a control freak then, and proper? I love it.

    My point about jclifford is to discuss the ideas and not the person. There is a technique called an “I statement” that is found in all kinds of self-help literature from anger management to marriage fighting styles. Basically the person instead of making statements that begin with “you” as in “you make me angry” learn not to displace and disavow their feelings, and make statements starting with “I” in order to own their feelings and needs as in “”I am angry with you.” If you need to know more, get either a book or a shrink.

    Haretrinity, the word you’re looking for is ‘estivate’ a state of torpor that happens in the summer

    Taking martial arts classes well into my 30’s I can tell you some positions, such as the classic sitting on the heels with toes extended is actually quite comfortable for extended periods of time, once you practice it. If Bomjon is young and flexible he will have even less problem than an aging ex-runner with bad knees. In the East they have no end of yoga positions.

  • James

    Layla,
    Thank you for additional link info.

    I would not, myself, assume cooler weather triggered him to get up and go. I would assume he wanted a quieter place with fewer people standing around gawking. Fewer cars and trucks and noisy motorcyles reving engines and filling the clean air with exhaust fumes and all that. When first sat down to meditate, I imagine he thought he’d be in a quiet setting. Those studies I cited mention that some of the tested yogi’s were able to control and increase or decrease their body temperature at will. Some sects in that area include an ability to alter body temperature and sit for days in snow as a “test” of mastering self control. If Bomjon is applying those techniques, and is accomplished with them, I would suppose the cold wouldn’t bother him.

  • James

    Fruktata wrote:

    ““When one engages in claims about extraordinary affairs, the standards for proof that one would offer would be expected to be extraordinary, or else one would appear as if one had one’s foot in one’s mouth.”

    James replies:

    In my case I am not really asserting extraodinary claims. My posts primarily involve two elements. First, citations to scientific studies and news of a factual nature, such as research on animal hibernation and the published opinions of scientists who believe human hibernation is going to become possible. Second, I advanced a theory, a hypothetical scenario labeled as such, that persons such as Bomjon might be able to sit for months without new food by greatly lowering their metabolic rate, etc…..in the manner of hibernation. To the extent that I cite scientific research or qote opinions of scientists, I am not asserting claims, let alone extraordinary claims. To the extent that I offer an opinion or theory, and qualify it as such, it isn’t purported to be fact and doesn’t require supporting facts as though it is asserted as factual. I think people are too excited about the simple exercise of imagination and free speech.

  • James

    Regarding the assertion by JIM of a connection between Maoist rebels
    and Bomjon, the most JIM seems to know and say is that some unknown security officials
    made some statement in an unknown context about money going to Maoist rebels.

    I think it is important not to jump to conclusions on such little information. Keep an open mind.
    It is possible that, if any money actually goes to Maoists that it is survival or extortion money.
    The rebels regularly fund their activities by seizing people, blocking roads, kidnapping, robbing, etc. Below are a few Googled headlines about that sort of thing.

    James

    Asian Political News: Maoist rebels rob trekkers in Nepal, paper saysFull text of the article, ‘Maoist rebels rob trekkers in Nepal, paper says’ from Asian Political News, a publication in the field of News & Society, …
    http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/ mi_m0WDQ/is_2000_Sept_11/ai_65731084 – 26k – Cached – Similar pages – Remove result

    Nepal – news – topic by NewsXSSuspected communist rebels rob bank in Nepal despite heightened security (

  • James

    Haretrinity writes:

    “Worst position for a human’s back: Sitting down
    Mostly animals get comfy to hibernate, as is understandable, but for a human to hibernate whilst sitting? For how long, now?”

    James replies:

    I suspect you are probably right that as a generality sitting for most people that long would be a problem for the back. But that is a generality. Yoga practitioners are specificly trained to do just that. Bomjon had several years of training before this phase. It is possible that he’s an exception due to prior training and conditioning.

    Also, muscle tone comes into play. In the course of studying hibernation in bears and other animals, scientists have studied how they maintain 75% of muscle tone after hibernating in the freezing temperatures for many months. One thing learned is that there are suble waves of electrical current cycling through the muscles of the bears. Scientists believe this is one aspect of how muscle tone could be maintained. It gives a baseline stimulation to muscle tissue, which contributes to toning. Periodic shivering of muscles is another suspected explanation.

    Yogic training inherently involves the practioner’s learning of controlling energies within the body, including the back. I would surmise that a yoga practitioner in the positiion of Bomjon enjoys relaxation and subtle stimulations that preserve the condition of the back. Sitting in the “lotus posture” as he seems to be doing has been a classic long term sitting position for yogis for centuries, and depections of the Buddha show that.

  • James

    Fruktata writes:
    *one explanation* of how a human might accomplish what Bomjon appears to have done, ie. by consciously lowering metabolic rates to a point near a hibernative state. Expounding a theory, identified as such, isn’t fakery. Humans already deliberately lower their metabolic rate every day when they fall asleep. That’s not complicated to do but it is very complicated to explain. It involves a natural and latent capability humans have, which they can generally do without thinking of any method, even though they still don’t fully understand the how and why of sleeping. In a like manner, I theorize that humans may be able to go further than the low metabolism of deep sleep into a hibernative state with techniques offered through yoga. I have already listed studies above in which yoga practitioners have been shown to deliberately stop their own heart and otherwise control bodily functions normally considered beyond conscious control. Those studies also show that some practitioners could lower ther heart rate dramatically for days. When the whole metabolism slows so much there is less digestive activity, less consumption of oxygen and nutrients. This points to a direction of thinking that may plausibly explain situations like Bomjon.

  • James

    In order to understand Bomjon’s desire to move to a quiet place, try putting yourselves into his shoes with this imaginary exercise:

    Pretend you want to take an afternoon nap in a pretty park in your town. You choose a secluded spot, lay down, and begin to snooze after you feel you’re secure and it is pleasant/quiet.

    While you’re asleep, the park begins to fill up with noisy, smelly cars and people. To your surprise, the county fair is scheduled to be set up in that park near your sleeping spot. Over the course of a few hours, more than a thousand cars, motorcycles, RV’s buses and taxicabs wind their way in to the park, choosing adhoc parking places, revving engines, slamming car doors shut. Kids and others playfull shout now and then, a tension fills the air as parking space is limited and people press against each other. Your friends come to protect you from being disturbed, but end up asking you questions about if you’re OK staying here, this and that. After first trying to ignore the change in the setting, you might eventually decide it just isn’t worth it to stay in that spot.

    Similarly, Bomjon is described as a person who looked for a quiet place to sit down and be alone and meditate restfully. More and more people and cars and RV’s etc. have shown up there every day for months. The lines of people are long and impatient. People come with their own agendas and set up little shops to sell trinkets and profit off the fact that others want to see him. There isn’t enough parking space to go around. Roads are clogged up. There are a few videos on the Internet that show the chaotic scene that has emerged around him. If one goes as far as acknowledging that he’s known to have studied meditation and buddhism for many years, traveled to other places to get his training, put himself out in order to advance personally….then one can imagine that he would exert himself to go find a more private and suitable place than the one that became chaotic and noisy without his intention.

    James

  • James

    In articles I have read, Bomjon has traveled to places where the original
    Gautama Buddha had traveled, studying all that would be necessary for accomplishing
    enlightment in a manner similar to Gautama’s pathway. After researching what is known of the factual history of the original Buddha’s life, it was interesting to see certain parallels, such as the six year period for austere life and long meditation, denial of food and water, etc. Here is a passage:

    Buddhist Psychology
    http://www.ship.edu/~cgboeree/buddhapers.html
    Wednesday, March 22, 2006 6:26:54 PM GMT-8

    At the age of 29, Siddhartha came to realize that he could not be happy living as he had been. He wanted more than anything to discover how one might overcome suffering. After kissing his sleeping wife and newborn son Rahula goodbye, he snuck out of the palace and into the forests of northern India.

    He then began to practice the austerities and self-mortifications practiced by a group of five ascetics. For six years, he practiced. The sincerity and intensity of his practice were so astounding that, before long, the five ascetics became followers of Siddhartha. But the answers to his questions were not forthcoming. He redoubled his efforts, refusing food and water, until he was in a state of near death.

    For six years, he practiced the ascetic life, eating only what he found on the ground, drinking only rain water, wearing nothing but a loin cloth. When the answers he was seeking wouldn’t come to him, he tried even harder. But Siddhartha realized that these extreme practices were leading him nowhere, that in fact it might be better to find some middle way between the extremes of the life of luxury and the life of self-mortification.
    Outside of the town of Bodh Gaya, Siddhartha decided that he would sit under a certain fig tree as long as it would take for the answers to the problem of suffering to come. He sat there for many days, first in deep concentration to clear his mind of all distractions, then in mindfulness meditation, opening himself up to the truth. On the full moon of May, with the rising of the morning star, Siddhartha finally understood the answer to the question of suffering and became the Buddha, which means “he who is awake.”

  • James

    A 2003 CNN story at the below link describes an Indian man who went for ten days without food or water and didn’t urinate. The doctors in the hospital kept him in a sealed room with special toilet facilities to verify his claims. The did verify that for at least ten days he went without food and water. Typically, it is estimated that people cannot go more than two to four days without water. Here is the story, one of many I found reported.

    James

    CNN.com – Mystic’s fast baffles doctors – Nov. 26, 2003
    http://edition.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/asiapcf/south/11/26/offbeat.india.fast/
    Wednesday, March 22, 2006 6:53:14 PM GMT-8

    Mystic’s fast baffles doctors
    Thursday, November 27, 2003 Posted: 0335 GMT (11:35 AM HKT)

    Prahlad Jani says his fasting ability is divinely inspired.

    (CNN) — David Blaine eat your heart out.

    The magician’s recent stunt of going 44 days without food is child’s play compared with the alleged efforts of India’s Prahlad Jani.

    This 76-year-old Indian mystic claims to have survived the past 68 years — yes, years — without eating, drinking or going to the toilet.
    It’s an astonishing claim, and one which is being investigated by a team of doctors at the Sterling Hospital in Ahmedabad in India’s of the state of Gujarat.
    So far, doctors have subjected Jani to a 10-day trial under 24 hour surveillance and have been astonished by their findings.
    The reclusive Jani — who normally lives in a cave about 120 kilometers north of Ahmedabad — did not eat, drink or relieve himself for 10 days.
    “Jani has not passed urine since he was brought here on November 12. He has not taken anything by mouth or by any other route not even water during this period,” Dr Urman Dhruv of The Association of Physicians of Ahmedabad, told The Times of India.
    “All his parameters are within the normal physiological range. Initially, the project was to continue for seven days but his health allowed us to extend it,” said Dhruv

  • James

    Here is another study of a similar situation, where it is claimed that a man was scientifically observed – by doctors – to have gone for many months without food and water. Although I find websites reporting skeptism in general terms, and outrage at the idea, I haven’t been able to find a website offering specifics of how they debunk it. Instead of a general disbelief, I’d rather find a website that specificly debunks the specific doctors involved who vouched for this study, or the hospital, or lays out the method of deception. I didn’t find any of the latter after an hour of hunting on the Internet, so I give up for now and publish this excerpt here. Maybe it is related to the means by which Bomjon goes without food and water – if he does. Maybe not. Here it is:

    (link)
    Wednesday, March 22, 2006 8:01:03 PM GMT-8

    ………one may personally come and himself or herself check & scrutinize; as we doctors have done all these months & fellow men have been staying with him all throughout. Several visitors also see him throughout the day and night. No body ever had encountered even a doubtful situation. All of them have been satisfied with the genuinity. Even he was kept in a nursing home for more than a month for a critical checking as well as medical tests. He has been isolated from his relatives who are staying at Calicut . He is kept in a two room flat, which is totally devoid of any kind of food.

    Several doctors from India, Gujarat, Ahmedabad and abroad have from time to time examined and are unable to explain the scientific basis from current clinical knowledge, while declaring the genuinity of fasting. A team of medical doctors have supervised (medical examination as well as laboratory tests) throughout these fasting. This comprise of Dr. Sudhir Shah M.D.,D.M.(neuro), Dr. Nalin Gheewala M.D., Dr. Viresh Patel M.D., Dr. Navneet Shah M.D.(Physician and endocrinologist), Dr. K.K.Shah M.S. Gen.Surgery, Dr.Kalpesh Shah M.D.Radiologist, Dr. Gaurgey Sutaria Radiologist, Dr. Jayesh Sheth, Dr. P G. Shah, Dr. Prakash Doshi , (family physician) and several others.
    Today, it is 411th day of Shri Hira Ratan Manek’s fasting. (on Dt. 14th Februry 2001) He started fasting from 1.1.2000. He is on total fasting as per Jainism. He is consuming only boiled water daily between 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. only and no other liquids and just no other food, No IV or IM injections. Medical checkup commenced few days before fasting programme & is continued till to day. It consists of daily written record of pulse, blood pressure, respiration, Temperature, water intake, urine output, weight etc. Relevant Hematological and biochemical (basic and few advanced) tests are done periodically i.e. monthly or fortnightly. ECGs are taken regularly. Ultra Sonography, EEG, CT.Scan and M.R.I. Brain have been taken at the end of one year and a team consisting of general practitioners physicians, surgeons, Cardiologists, endocrinologist and a neurologist have been examining him regularly and periodically from first day of fasting. Except for loss of 19 Kg weight, (Which is now stable with no further weight loss for last 3 months) a slight reduction of pulse rate and B.P. and definite reduction of respiratory rate (from 18 to now 10/minute) amazingly, there is no other medical abnormality. Even the brain and mental capacities are absolutely normal. There are hardly any findings. He has stopped passing stool after 16th day of fasting and urine output is maintained at around 600 to 800 c.c. His blood sugar is between 60 to 90. Rest of the parameters are all normal.

  • Layla

    James,
    I did not mean he left because it was cold. If he was hibernating, triggered by cold, it would make more sense that he left because it got warm, like the bear leaving the cave in the spring. When others were dying because of cold, he sat down under the tree and hibernated or meditated.

    Your writing is really long. It’s hard to read.

    All the anecdotal stories of Buddhists and Yeti have the monks in the high mountains meditating in extreme cold with little clothing. Even if Nepal is at the same latitude as Egypt, it is high on a plateau next to the highest mountains on earth. So even if you get a sunburn here, because of the high altitude, and get outstanding photos in the sunlight, you are still freezing your butt off. I was there in I think March, and I slept in layers including a wool sweater and asked for extra blankets. If you leave anything with water in your room, there will be a layer of ice on it in the morning.

    There were never any Maoists when I was there in the nineties. I moved freely wherever I wanted with no fears of kidnapping. Western women could go trekking alone, hiring only one scrawny guide. It was indeed a Shangri-la where time stood still in the fourteenth century. Now it appears they are entering the nineteenth century and no one can stay there safely.

    “In articles I have read, Bomjon has traveled to places where the original
    Gautama Buddha had traveled, studying all that would be necessary for accomplishing
    enlightment in a manner similar to Gautama’s pathway.”

    Where did you read this about Bomjon? The reference you gave is about Sidhartha, another name for the Buddha, a story that is well-known in the west.

    I don’t believe the story from India. In this part of the world it is too easy to bribe someone. What are the reports from the U.S. or Canada or England medical establishment?

    Is there a way you could determine physically whether someone was hibernating? What would the signs be? Do you think this is something special or genetic that has evolved only in this part of the world with certain people? If you could discover how this lowering of metabolism was accomplished, would there be a practical medical application for it, for instance could you teach it to sick people in a hospital? How would you go about proving what is happening if you could be next to Bomjon?

  • Layla

    Body temperature-you can lower someone’s body temperature externally with an alcohol bath. They used to use this for dangerously high fevers, but now they just use tylenol. The body temp will actually measurably come down several degrees in less than an hour.

    Water intake-I have only seen people go for a day or two without water before they die. There are no tears in the eyes and the mouth is also dry. Of course these people were already quite ill.

  • James

    Re: water and dehydration.

    I saw a website earlier claiming the longest survival period for someone without water was 18 days, although 3 days is typical under average circumstances.

    Here’s what a biology professor wrote on the Scientific American website:

    Science & Technology at Scientific American.com: Ask the Experts: Biology: How long can the average person survive without water?
    http://www.sciam.com/askexpert_question.cfm?articleID=000AEAC0-93EC-1DEF-A838809EC588F2D7
    Wednesday, March 22, 2006 11:36:27 PM GMT-8

    Randall K. Packer, a professor of biology at George Washington University, explains.
    It is impossible to give an answer to this seemingly simple question because many variable factors determine a person’s survival time. Under the most extreme conditions, death can come rather quickly. For example, a child left in a hot car or an athlete exercising hard in hot weather can dehydrate, overheat and die in a period of a few hours. An adult in comfortable surroundings, in contrast, can survive for a week or more with no, or very limited, water intake.

  • mackers

    Well evrybody that was nice conversation, James you’ve got a lot of works in there, your obsesion of searchin the facts are pretty amazing and acceptable well some people denied to cover up the truth in their concience and pretty hard to accept for them the facts of reality just because of their own false ego.

    Well for me this blogs are awsome colourful and dramatic ,(art of bloggin) I play my role as “Mackers” rude character i really accept that im troll confused wanderer incredulous pretty hard to accept the facts of believing, but in someway i like the idea of bloging, i observed the comments of bloggers in different state of mind (awsome) one of them touch my inner self, I think it’s about time for me to accept the facts of changing my life in the rigth direction.

    So Jim, jclifford, Scott I dont wanna say sorry for you guys but i think is automatic,,I leaved you alone guys Thank you, and Have a nice Day & Night.

    Mackers,

  • etct

    Jim…. you are one sad dude, whats worse is you absolutely know that your arguements got shot to pieces but you are so sad you just continue to make up rubbish arguements to continue your one-eyed opinion. Don’t forget your ignorance of all the facts could fill a whole universe… and beyond. If all people thought like you then this would be a sad and backward world. However your mission is simple and obvious… its a common psychological problem that people try to drag people down to their level and thats exactly the sort of person you are… just because you are so ignorant of so many things you try to portray that opinion onto others… get a life man and open your mind you’d be surprised how much there is in this world that isn’t contained in your uneducated and closed off little brain.

  • James

    etct said to Jim:

    “…get a life man and open your mind…”

    James: agrees.

  • Scott

    1. Mackers, thanks for listing me in the same sentence as Jim and jclifford. I’m only an occasional visitor, but I’ll take the compliment nonetheless. Gotta admit I rarely understood a single sentence you wrote.
    2. ectc, just what is this open mind that so many people keep praising? Jim’s a big boy and can speak for himself, but your reasons for calling him a “sad dude” also apply to me, so I’m going to rush to his defense. From what I’ve read from Jim in the few months I’ve been visiting here, it seems to me that Jim measures his beliefs according to reason and evidence. This is (or ought to be) the definition of an open mind. When confronted with a new idea or phenomenon, don’t arbitrarily choose to believe or disbelieve, give the idea/phenom the respect it deserves and weigh it with an open mind.
    If you take issue with this approach, it seems to indicate that an “open mind” is one that rejects reason and eviddence in favor of…
    I’m not sure how to finish that sentence as there are too many possibilities.
    – the belief that would be most comforting if true
    – the belief that would make me happiest if true
    – the most popular belief
    – the belief my parents held
    – the belief that allays my fears about life/death
    – the belief that accords with my racial/sexual biases
    – the belief that matches my economic and political needs
    If I were inclined I could spen the rest of the day listing reasons that folks choose beliefs. Sadly, none of the above have any value as “truth detectors” (to borrow a phrase from Clinton/Limbaugh).
    Inherent in the concept of belief is the assumption “I believe X to be true.” If your reasons for choosing beliefs offer no justification for believing them to be true, then they are illegitimate means for adjudicating beliefs.
    Is this whatis meant by “open mind?” I am willing to believe unjustified and unjustifiable propositions?
    As for me and my house, we will accept Jim’s view of the open mind.
    3. James, no you don’t agree. Not at all. If you agreed with the irrational notion of an open mind as one that rejects reason and evidence, why did you spend so much effort arguing (reason) and offering research (evidence) to support your position?
    Why? Because you are a rational person who happens to disagree with another rrational person. That’s why.

  • Layla

    etct and James,
    Jim’s facts and arguments are completely correct, but spirituality is not about facts. It is about the truths that cannot be understood with the mind.

    Number 3 in the eight-fold path is “Right Speech”, yes? Avoidance of anger, gossiping, boasting…

    I think we have to “open our minds” to his ideas, even if he doesn’t respect spirituality.

    The anger will keep you tied to samsara. He is an illusion anyhow, right?

  • The Dou

    illusion means fake not real, hoax is part of illusion, so Layla the way you understand the truth is illusion, youre dreaming, “Mackers”says you guys are out of reality, i think he is right. if you can define illusion is truth you are in the ignorant state of mind. jim argument is very shallow, and then you claim that cannot understood by mind, holly molly what kind of mentality you have in your mind. you better wake up you dont know what you are talkin about.

  • James

    Scott wrote:
    “……….This is (or ought to be) the definition of an open mind. When confronted with a new idea or phenomenon, don’t arbitrarily choose to believe or disbelieve, give the idea/phenom the respect it deserves and weigh it with an open mind…..”

    James: reples:
    That sentence is illogical and meaningless. You attempt to define the term “open mind” by ultimately
    referring back to it……. i.e. an “open mind” means weighing an idea with an open mind??…. I don’t think so.
    I’d call that circular reasoning but there’s no element of reason in that sentence, just emptiness.

  • James

    Scott wrote:

    “… it seems to me that Jim measures his beliefs according to reason and evidence. This is (or ought to be) the definition of an open mind. …. ”

    James replies:

    In my view an open mind isn’t something that depends at all on using reason or evidence. For example,
    a person may be said to have an open mind about God if he relies upon his sense of faith in the existence of and his rapport with God. No evidence per se in any traditional sense is used to prove the existence of God, yet the open mind is key to perceiving God, to “knowing God” as they say.

  • James

    Scott wrote:

    “…Inherent in the concept of belief is the assumption “I believe X to be true.” If your reasons for choosing beliefs offer no justification for believing them to be true, then they are illegitimate means for adjudicating beliefs. Is this whatis meant by “open mind?” I am willing to believe unjustified and unjustifiable propositions?
    As for me and my house, we will accept Jim’s view of the open mind….”

    James replies:

    The notion of “an assumption” is something important in rational logic, but not necessarily in all forms of belief.
    I may believe God exists because of my perception of God, my sense of faith, and the counsel of my intuition. That kind of belief doesn’t require me to make any assumptions, and it is thus wrong to say that “inherent in the concept of belief is an assumption that.xxxxxxfill in the blanks here.

    Also, Jim never once offered his own definition / view of what an “open mind” is in this topic. So it seems misguided to say that you’ll accept Jim’s view of “open mind.” That is another circular bit of non-reasoning.

    Your other proposition also seems to lack logic and foundation. i.e. that people need to have reasons for holding their beliefs. Many beliefs in life are not based on reason or evidence or any reasoning process, and yet such beliefs are widely held as legitimate regardless of your personal views here. Again, if a person believes in God because of his sense of faith, his internal perceptions of God, and the guidance of his intuitions, such belief in God is legitimate…. to me….and to most of society I suspect.

  • James

    Layla wrote:

    : ….Jim’s facts and arguments are completely correct, but spirituality is not about facts. It is about the truths that cannot be understood with the mind.
    ….”

    James replies:

    I agree that spirituality is not constrained to facts and science and rationality. But, I don’t know what you mean
    when you say that all of Jim’s facts and arguments are completely correct. Which are those??

  • Michael

    Open http://video.yahoo.com
    and put the name: Ram Bomjon

    You will find a better video here

    Regards

  • James

    Jim wrote:

    “…….Well, James, don’t stop there. It could be space aliens! It’s too early to say whether space aliens were involved! We don’t know. That’s the most that can be said with certainty. That we’ve never seen a space alien doesn’t mean that Ram Bomjon is not in league with the space aliens. . . . ”

    James replies:

    Jim’s above comment reveals his lack of an open mind by implying that “space aliens” are nonexistent because we haven’t seen them – yet. But such absolutist skepticism about existence of aliens is outdated in view of modern scientific research. Some rational, respected scientists now believe it is very plausible, and perhaps likely that life on Earth was originally seeded with ingredients and life forms from “outer space.” Scientists find that microbes can withstand long periods in space-like harsh conditions without oxygen, and with extremes of cold or heat, and appear to be found on chunks from other planetary bodies knocked of during collisions and subsequently landing on earth. It is easier to consider the possibility of space aliens when we stop expecting them to looks like humans or humanoid-like monsters. Space aliens may actually resemble things like microbes and bacteria that can survive during movement thorugh space from one planet/object to another. As I read Jim’s article he sort of turns up his nose at the idea of space aliens, i.e. life from outer space existing in reality because we haven’t seen them….a point he makes apparently to mock my efforts to keep an open mind toward Bomjon.

    Here is one article of many reflecting “big bucks” and scientific viewpoints such as the above:

    http://www.palmbeachpost.com/business/content/local_news/epaper/2006/04/03/c1a_MARS_0403.html

    They’ve spent as much as $65 million a year trying to solve a mystery that has underpinned religion and inspired thinkers from Seneca to Carl Sagan: How did life on the lonely Earth begin? And is Earth really the only source of life in the universe?

    With the help of modern tools such as the genome, high-powered computer modeling and robotics, they’re finding some out-of-this-world answers, ones that may lead to Mars and beyond.

    During an astrobiology conference in Washington last week, scientists debated the newest evidence and worried that funding for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration is vaporizing, just as their cross-disciplinary work is unearthing extraordinary discoveries, such as the organic matter in bits of Jovian comet dust recently collected by NASA’s Stardust probe.

    Many scientists favor the theory that life began as oxygen-loathing microbes in superheated deep-sea vents 3.8 billion years ago, when water probably covered the planet. Others suggest life’s assembly could have occurred along the crystal face of damp volcanic rock.

    And then there is the theory known as panspermia. Once the province of science-fiction novels and cartoons, the notion that the vital ingredients of life came from outer space has garnered respect from some lofty places of late.

    A few scientists think there’s evidence that humans actually descended from Martian microbes, not exactly what the author of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus had in mind.

  • James

    Michael wrote:

    Michael Says:
    April 3rd, 2006 at 3:45 am
    Open http://video.yahoo.com
    and put the name: Ram Bomjon

    James comments:

    Thanks for that video link. Among other things, it shows the very heavy and noisy traffic surrounding the site wheer Bomjon was seen to be sitting for some ten months. Motorcycles everywhere speeding around with noisy engines and exhaust fumes. Busloads of people stacked high and perilously with people coming to stand, talk and gawk. In my view, those scenes are consistent with the idea of Bomjon feeling there is “no peace” in that location anymore, and having a bona fide reason to go find a quiet place where people won’t follow him, build businesses, bring more traffic and noise and air pollution. While it doesn’t furnish a proof of issues like what Bomjon did at night, or didn’t do, it does furnish evidence of the noisy, unpeaceful environment that could legitimately motivate him to leave. Imagine if you were Bomjon in that place. Imagine that, even if you did fidget in the day a little and eat at night, imagine what it would feel like to sit essentially still in one place in a tree trunk’s opening with insects and all crawling around – for ten months. Imagine having thousands of people come to stand near you and video tape and gawk and gossip while you’re sitting with your eyes closed, still, for ten months. It’s hard to believe that someone would be motivated to do that just for the outside chance that somehow thousands of people would come to gawk and somehow you’d make money by sitting there for that long. A person would seem to need substantial personal commitment, focus, patience, and character to sit still under those circumstances for so long – even if at night he eats and moves – which none of those thousands of people have reported seeing. Given the thousands of people gawking there for any little bit of news and new sights, I wonder why none of those thousands seem to have watched at night and reported something unusual?

  • Scott

    James,
    Wow, I don’t know where to start. If you were one of my logic students…well I still wouldn’t know where to start.

    Post #68. The second time I used the phrase “open mind” is was meant as a short-hand summary for what I’d said. You really couldn’t catch that from the context.

    Post #69. Simply ignoring an argument and asserting the opposite does not count as arguing for one’s point.

    Post #70.
    “The notion of “an assumption” is something important in rational logic, but not necessarily in all forms of belief.”
    (i) the concept of assumption is not under debate
    (ii) are you trying to tell me that you can believe X, but not believe X to be true. Then what the hell does it mean to say I believe X?
    – essentially you are trying to claim “I believe in the existence of God” but you don’t believe the statement “It is true that God exists?”
    (iii) “[my belief in God] doesn’t require me to make any assumptions”
    – seriously?!?! you can’t see the big fat hairy assumption right there in the middle of statement waving it’s arms and shouting “Hey, over here, look at me, I’m a assumption!”? You can’t see it?
    (iv) “Jim never once offered his own definition / view of what an “open mind” is”
    – so freakin what? You’ve been reading the posts on this site. You know as well as I do what Jim’s standard of belief is. Like you, I often disagree with Jim, but rational people can disagree.

    Post #71. Like I did in post #65, Layla was making a statement of support or agreement with you. Are you just determined to disagree for the sake of being disagreeable?

    If you take exception to me calling you rational person, I apologoze, and withdraw my assumption.

  • Layla

    #72 Michael,

    thanks for the video, for a moment I was back in Nepal, the magical kingdom.

    #71 James,

    Jim’s article I agree with is the one I made the link to in #37. This is well reasoned and well written. Jim asks the right questions and is sceptical in the right places, but like many of us in the west he has little spiritual understanding. Also he is very playful and likes to talk in a joking way in order to entertain people and make them think. I think it is very funny even when I don’t agree with him.

    Back in the 1970’s some people doing transcendental meditation published a picture of someone they said was levitating–essentially flying in the lotus position. No one was ever able to prove the flying thing. We knew someone who was doing TM and we thought he was a crackpot. Now TM is accepted as a valid exercise for relieving stress, but people had a hard time accepting it because the TM people said they were flying when they weren’t.

    I don’t understand the place of miracles in Buddhaism, are they necessary for the religion? Couldn’t Bomjon just be a very religious person?

    It is what it is.

  • James

    Scott wrote:

    “…Post #68. The second time I used the phrase “open mind” is was meant as a short-hand summary for what I’d said. You really couldn’t catch that from the context….”

    James replies:

    Right, I could not see what you meant by “open mind” earlier, and I still do not after reading this post that
    says by “open mind” meant a “summary of what you had said.”

    This doesn’t help me understand what you have said, i.e. what your complete definition is for the term “open mind.” Exactly where is the text you’re referring to which you meant to be a summary of your description of open mind? I don’t see something from you that looks like a clear “definition” of “open mind.” In summary/paraphase, you seem to have written above that:

    “What is this open mind that everyone praises?”

    “Jim measures his beliefs according to reason and evidence
    …….and this ought to be (in Scott’s view) the definition of open mind.”

    ” This (following text) is (or ought to be) the definition of an open mind.
    …… “When confronted with a new idea or phenomenon, don’t arbitrarily choose
    to believe or disbelieve, give the idea/phenom the respect it deserves and weigh it with an open mind….”

    “……If you take issue with this approach, it seems to indicate that an “open mind” is one that rejects reason and evidence……..”

    It sounds to me as though you may be a teacher or professor of a formal logic class somewhere, hence your comment about your “logic students.” Maybe this explains why you frequently revert to concepts of reason and evidence, and seem to think that beliefs cannot exist in the absence of a prior logical analysis leading to some belief. And, as you seem to say you don’t think any belief can be “legitimate” if it is not the product of a prior logical analysis and some kind of (presumably) empirical evidence/study. I respect reason and logic, personally. I use them often because they can sometimes shed light, yield knowledge, discover falsities, etc. Yet, I do not believe that legitimate human understanding is limited to what their logical faculties and analyses yield. There are legitimate forms of understanding, insight and belief that can be independent of logical analyses. Take music for example. A musican can sit down at a piano and perform an improvisational jass work that listeners believe is “right on”, expressive, emotionally up, down, meaningful or abstract. Listeners may as a group all believe they have experienced an emotionally relevant, upbeat, worthwhile piece of music without logic being involved in the formation of their belief. They listen, they perceive, they feel emotionally and physically, they observe the interplay of the music and their inner experiences. They do not, generally, engage in a logical deductive or other form of reasoning process to know or believe what they experienced. I think many people have a belief in God because of an inner intuitive and emotional experience, not from logical analysis. The legitimacy of faith in God has historically arisen from faith, and not from logical analysis. Is it presumptuous for you to suggest that not one of millions of people in the world has a legitimate belief in religion or God if they have not completed a proper empircal study, performed a logical analysis of some kind? As far as I know, logical analysis cannot deliver the goods as to certains kinds of knowledge, one being creation of music, and another the experience of God, and the belief in God’s existence. In my own view, one does not need to reject logic, reason and evidence in order to have a belief arrived at without logic. One can embrace one’s intuitive knowledge, while also collecting and incrementally taking notice of emerging logical analyses and empircal study results. What science knows about God is something that has been evolving for many centuries, and I assume it will take many more centuries before science feels it has truly finished gathering and evaluating new evidence.

    The fact that you do have your own view of what an “open mind” distinguished from everyone else…doesn’t make the merit of your view comprehensible to readers, nor does it seem obvious why your view is “right” and the views of others are “wrong”, if indeed that is your belief about it.

    At the moment, I am still of the view that you never offered a proper definition for “open mind,” and engaged in circular bit of non-reasoning by saying

    “…….This is (or ought to be) the definition of an open mind. When confronted with a new idea or phenomenon, don’t arbitrarily choose to believe or disbelieve, give the idea/phenom the respect it deserves and weigh it with an open mind…..”

    It is circular because you use the undefined term “open mind” as a key part of your description of what an “open mind” is or ought to be. That is not rational, nor is it really a solid reasoning process, so thus I said it was circular non-reasoning. Although you have since said that “open mind” was a short hand summary for what you said, ….that itself can’t be found, or comprehended from these writings. Your definition of “open mind” remains unsaid.

  • Scott

    James,
    To quote myself:
    “it seems to me that Jim measures his beliefs according to reason and evidence. This is (or ought to be) the definition of an open mind.”
    You quote it yourself.
    James says:
    “Take music for example. A musican can sit down at a piano and perform an improvisational jass work that listeners believe is “right on”, expressive, emotionally up, down, meaningful or abstract. Listeners may as a group all believe they have experienced an emotionally relevant, upbeat, worthwhile piece of music without logic being involved in the formation of their belief.”
    When you listen to music you may “know” that you’ve enjoyed it. You may find agreement with everybody else, you may all “know” that you’ve enjoyed it, and “know” that you shared the experience. Whatis the reason for accepting the conclusion that you liked the music? You enjoyed the experience of listening to it. Do I have your analogy right?
    I’m afraid this form of reasoning won’t be very convincing to most people. Your belief in something is your justification for believing in something. I believe in God, and my reason for believing in God is that I believe in God. Maybe the fact that so many people believe in God is my justification. The Flat Earth Society thanks you. Sure…then God will continue to exist until 50%+1 are agnostics or atheists.
    Look, I am more inclined than not to believe in God, but I’m not going to base my beliefs on arbitrary criteria.
    Here’s a thinker for ya. You get to heaven and God says “I gave you rationality for reason. You chose to believe based on the fact that you believed.
    Yeah James, I’M guilty of circuar reasoning.
    Yes, I do teach the subject. I try to instill in my students good thinking skills, and try to convince them not to choose beliefs arbitrarily based on what makes feel best.

    “Man prefers to believe what he prefers to believe.”
    – Francis Bacon

    “Facts are facts and will not disappear on account of your likes.”
    – Jawaharlal Nehru

    “I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended for us to forego their use.”
    – Galileo Galilei

    “I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may he mistaken. . . .”
    – Oliver Cromwell in a letter to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland

    “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.”
    — Carl Sagan

    “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
    – Charles Darwin

    “What we need is not the will to believe, but the will to find out.”
    – Bertrand Russell

    “I can’t believe that,” said Alice. “Can’t you?” the Queen said in a pitying tone. “Try again: draw a long breath and shut your eyes.”

  • Scott

    “Is it presumptuous for you to suggest that not one of millions of people in the world has a legitimate belief in religion or God if they have not completed a proper empircal study, performed a logical analysis of some kind?”

    You are correct, it would be presumptuous, if I had EVER said such a thing. Please note that I point out that intelligent people can disagree.

    “What science knows about God is something that has been evolving for many centuries, and I assume it will take many more centuries before science feels it has truly finished gathering and evaluating new evidence.”

    I follow with great interests all the latest breakthroughs in God Science–Godology I think it’s called.

  • Layla

    James says,

    “Yet, I do not believe that legitimate human understanding is limited to what their logical faculties and analyses yield. There are legitimate forms of understanding, insight and belief that can be independent of logical analyses.”

    I like that. Spirituality is hard to explain. The music analogy is a way to put it that the western mind can get itself around. Jazz has its own internal math that satisfies the spirit.

    James says,

    “What science knows about God is something that has been evolving for many centuries, and I assume it will take many more centuries before science feels it has truly finished gathering and evaluating new evidence.”

    I don’t think so. Science knows nothing about religion and religion knows nothing about science. They don’t try to answer the same questions. Religion tries to answer “boundary” questions about unfamiliar territory (who am I, what is the meaning of my life, what happens when we die?), to answer the unexplanable, and to give us rituals to pass between life’s changes that require decisions (birth, marriage, death). Science cannot tell us these things becasue they are unknowable. Religion cannot tell us about science either, and makes itself ridiculous when it tries to tell us there was no evolution, no dinosaurs, etc.

  • James

    James wrote:
    “………“[my belief in God] doesn’t require me to make any assumptions”

    Scott commented:………….”- seriously?!?! you can’t see the big fat hairy assumption right there in the middle of statement waving it’s arms and shouting “Hey, over here, look at me, I’m a assumption!”? You can’t see it?”

    James replies:

    I don’t want to put words in your mouth. If you don’t feel you said something I accept that.

    One possible reason we look at the involvement of assumptions in formation of belief might be
    due a difference between implied assumptions and explicit assumptions. A point that I was focusing on is
    that few people go through an explicit logical analysis making explicit assumptions to learn
    if they have a belief in God (or other things). Many people just have a (“gut feeling,” or “feeling in the heart,” or direct “cognitive perception”…or call it whatcha want) about existence of God, for example.
    If you ask them what reasoning process, what logical steps and so on they conducted before forming
    their belief, they will often say “none.” Yet, an observer of them, such as yourself, may decide that
    you/they (observer) perceived an implied set of assumptions in the behavior of the perceiver or
    claims a belief in something. Anyone may have an opinion about another person’s belief, and
    have an opinion that this or that assumptions is implied.

    In my comments above, I am mostly disregarding implied assumptions. I’m focusing on concious, deliberate
    mental processes when I say that many people have a belief in God (for example), did not examine any logical arguments or assumptions to come to their belief, and yet they and most other people would regard their
    belief as “legitimate.” That’s my opinion.

    My sense is that you are arguing in earlier sections that absent a conscious, logical analysis
    that logicall supports a belief, together with “evidence,” no belief can be “legitimate.”
    I disagree with that notion, if that has been your (implied) position.

    I don’t think people should need to sit in one of your classes on logical thinking methods in order to
    qualify as holding some belief “legitimately.” Your class in logic may enable them to communicate
    reasoning viewpoints more effectively in regard to their belief, but I don’t think they need to do that
    no have a legit belief.

    I believe that people can behold music, or art, or other subjective situations in life, such as religous matter, and have a belief about them without approaching it in a logical or empirical manner.

    Could some other person behold the same music or art and hold a different view than the first observer and still
    have a belief which is “legitimate?” Sure, yes in my view.

  • James

    Scott wrote:

    “…………I have your analogy right?

    James replies: ………NO.

    Scott also wrote:

    I’m afraid this form of reasoning won’t be very convincing to most people. Your belief in something is your justification for believing in something. I believe in God, and my reason for believing in God is that I believe in God. Maybe the fact that so many people believe in God is my justification. The Flat Earth Society thanks you. Sure…then God will continue to exist until 50%+1 are agnostics or atheists.
    Look, I am more inclined than not to believe in God, but I’m not going to base my beliefs on arbitrary criteria.

    James replies:

    If I understand you, you’re saying that my “form of reasoning” won’t be very “convincing” to most people.
    i.e………in other words, Scott believes that most people won’t feel convinced/persuaded to share my belief in God if all I can tell them is that “the reason James believes in God is that James believes in God.”

    You know Scott, I agree with your comment that such a statement would not persuade many people to share my belief.
    But I think the fact that other people would not share my belief in that case is irrelevant to the issue of whether my own belief is “legitimate.” I also agree with your view, if you feel it is implied, that it is not a strong show of logical argument as far as logic classes or philosphy classes go…… to say that “I believe because I believe. ”
    But, in my view the “legitimacy” of my belief in God isn’t lessened by the fact that I cannot persuade other people to share my belief, or cannot present to them a logical analysis and objective evidence of the existence of a God, or cannot imbue them with a cognitive experience I may have had of perceiving God, or otherwise subjectively knowing Him.

    In my view, it is exactly the experience through much of history that people acquire a belief without any express or explicit making of assumptions, an no logical analysis, based more on subjective and intuitive knowledge…… that belief of such people being deemed “legitimate” by themselves and many other intelligent people.

    So I guess I am wondering at this point what it takes in your view for people to have a “legitimate belief” in things such as God, heaven, hell, nirvana as a spiritual existence, etc.
    Do they need to take your class in logic?

    James

  • James

    James wrote:

    “The notion of “an assumption” is something important in rational logic, but not necessarily in all forms of belief.”

    Scott then replied:

    (i) the concept of assumption is not under debate…”

    James now replies:

    I certainly have viewed the concept of an assumption as being implicitly under dabate as soon
    as you began using that term. You have used that word in your comments and arguments, and
    whatever its meaning and appropriatness, you made it an implicit part of our discussions (debate.)

    So, I again suggest that although the concept of assumptions is a part of logical thinking, the making of assumptions, especially express/explicit assumptions is not an element of the formation of many kinds of “legitimate” beliefs. Intuitive and subjective knowledge is, often, the core of a belief without logical assumption making a part thereof.

    James

  • James

    Scott wrote:

    “………Maybe the fact that so many people believe in God is my justification. The Flat Earth Society thanks you. Sure…then God will continue to exist until 50%+1 are agnostics or atheists.
    Look, I am more inclined than not to believe in God, but I’m not going to base my beliefs on arbitrary criteria.”

    James replies:

    Nope. You’re putting words in my mouth that I didn’t say or intend, i.e. that because a majority of people have a belief that something is that it is “true” until that majority dissipates. That again presupposes that my belief is based upon an analytical process, logical in nature – which is not my case….and not the case of others that I try to describe.

    The ned to “justify” why you have a belief is a nearly inherent result/by-product of that rational approach to life and belief that you start from. If I was in your logic class, every belief I hold would need to be something that I can communicate to others and persuade them with in order to qualify as “legitimate” to you, right?
    And, if a person can’t logically justify with evidence and a deductive or other reasoning process why they hold a belief, then their belief is not “legit,” right…that’s your view.

    Some things just not can be explained, but are true anyway…so I believe. Up to a certain point in history, people believed generally that the earth was flat. They continued to believe this until the point in time when an alternative view, roundness, could be proven and that proof communicated. Does the fact that until that conversion point…. no one could prove roundness or explain it logically…. does that mean that the earth was actually flat until roundess could be explained between people in a logical manner? No…I think the earth was probably round long before that belief /concept could be rationally explained. The fact that i cannot convince other people of the truth or falsity or something doesn’t inherently mean my belief is true or false. . . in my view.

    James

  • James

    Scott quoted all the below statements of other people for some unknown reason,
    to which James replies as follows in CAPS:

    —–

    “Man prefers to believe what he prefers to believe.”
    – Francis Bacon

    JAMES: SOUNDS RIGHT, BUT SO WHAT. BECAUSE ONE PREFERS A CERTAIN BELIEF SHOULD BE TAKEN AS A SIGN OF FLASE BELIEF.

    “Facts are facts and will not disappear on account of your likes.”
    – Jawaharlal Nehru

    JAMES: AGREED. AND FACTS WILL NOT DISAPPEAR BECAUSE ONE CANNOT EXPLAIN OR PROVE THEIR CAUSE, NATURE OR BEHAVIOR.

    “I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended for us to forego their use.”
    – Galileo Galilei

    JAMES: AGREED. BUT NEITHER DO I BELIEVE GOD INTENDED WE FOREGO USE OF INTUITION GIVEN HE ENDOWED US WITH THAT TOO.
    SOMETIMES THAT WHICH WE BELIEVE INTUITIVELY AT FIRST BECOMES SUSCEPTIBLE TO REASON AND PROOF AFTER TIME.

    “I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may he mistaken. . . .”
    – Oliver Cromwell in a letter to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland

    AGREED. BOTH YOU OR I COULD BE MISTAKEN TODAY, OR BOTH.

    “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.”
    — Carl Sagan

    MAYBE. EXTRAORDINARY CLAIMS REQUIRE EXTRAORDINAR PROOF TO GET OTHERS TO BELIEVE THE CLAIMS TRUE. THAT ISN’T ALWAYS THE CASE FOR ALL EXTRAORDINARY CLAIMS.

    “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
    – Charles Darwin

    AGREED. BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN THAT CONFIDENCE IS A SIGN OF IGNORANCE, OR EVIDENCE OF IT. WE SHOULD NOT JUST LOSE
    CONFIDENCE IN ANOTHER PERSON BECAUSE THEY HAVE SOME CONFIDENCE.

    “What we need is not the will to believe, but the will to find out.”
    – Bertrand Russell

    BULL (AS A GENERALITY). PEOPLE TRULY NEED BOTH, EXCEPT PERHAPS IN THE CONTEXT THAT RUSSELL SPOKE THOSE WORDS.

    “I can’t believe that,” said Alice. “Can’t you?” the Queen said in a pitying tone. “Try again: draw a long breath and shut your eyes.”

    THE QUEEN MAYBE SEEKS TO SEDUCE ALICE INTO DECEIVING HERSELF WITH WILFULL BLINDNESS, WHICH PEOPLE DO EASILY. FUN FAIRYTALE.

  • James

    jclifford initiated this topic/thread by trying to present Bomjon as
    a crook, con man, someone pretending to meditate when he sits, pretending to
    sit day and nite without taking food, all this with a purpose from the get go
    of fraudulently accepeting gifts and money from those who belief Bomjon is
    sincerely meditating and actually not taking food for months.

    A part of jcliffords attack on Bomjon involed the claim that Bomjon himself has made multiple
    false statement to the public about how much food he has or has not had, and other things.
    I contested that line of discussion because I had not yet found these alleged statements *directly made by Bomjon*
    to the press or public. If these can’t be proven has his direct statements then to that extent Bomjon
    may be innocent of these sarcastic accusations repeated here….and jclifford would be guilty
    of inflating world wide anger and contempt for Bomjon based jcliffords false accusations.
    The longer that time goes on without the issue being clarifed, about the accuracy of jcliffords’ accusations
    ..the longer and greater his injustice to Bomjon goes on, and on, and on. I have the feeling that this entire website
    is meant to sell the idea that jclifford is very interested ingegrity, truthfulness, fairness in public communications.

    With all this, it would be helpful if jclifford could now disclose, list all the statement by Bomjon
    made directly by Bomjon to the public or to the press, not those by people just hanging around him.
    I haven’t seen that yet, and hope it will show up here soon.
    Thanks.
    James

  • James,

    That’s a complete distortion of what I wrote in the article, and you know it. Luckily, the article is still here, so that people can look at it for themselves instead of just listening to you talk about what it says.

  • Scott

    James,
    You seem to think that you are arguing against what I have said, but as I read your points, you don’t seem to make any coherent arguments that can be argued against. One way of “winning” an argument is to be so vague and ambiguous that when somebody critiques your points you can turn around and say “that’s not what I meant.”
    As far as I can tell, you are disagreeing simply for the point of disagreeing, and as I review the posts in this thread it appears that lots of people might have reached the same conclusion and simply given up–but I don’t presume to speak for everyone.
    If you are willing to strategically give up rationality to save selected beliefs then there can be no common ground for rational discussion.

  • James

    jclifford wrote:

    “………………..That’s a complete distortion of what I wrote in the article, and you know it. Luckily, the article is still here, so that people can look at it for themselves instead of just listening to you talk about what it says. . . . ”

    James replies:

    Your comment, whether by accident or intention, is so vague and general that there is no way to know if you’re right. If you quote portions of what I wrote, and then explain why you believe it is inaccurate, that would help.
    In any case, you did not respond (again) to the simple request I made to list specifically every statement you believe Bomjon has made directly between himself any the press or any third person. You have previousl asserted that Bomjon “said this” and said that…. when during my readings I always found such statements coming from people merely in his vicinity….not him directly. So please list all his public statements and the source for your quotes of him.

    Thanks

    James

  • James

    Scott wrote:

    “……….You seem to think that you are arguing against what I have said, but as I read your points, you don’t seem to make any coherent arguments that can be argued against. One way of “winning” an argument is to be so vague and ambiguous that when somebody critiques your points you can turn around and say “that’s not what I meant.”
    ……….”

    James replies:

    Your own comment herein quoted is so vague I am not able to understand which portion of what I’ve witten in totaly that you’re now referring to. For example, do you think there is a difference between implied and explicit assumptions? I made that point. Do you believe that before people can be considered to have a legitimate belief in anything… they need to make and communicate explicit/express assumptions that are logically coherent?
    Do you believe that there is no such thing as “faith” in God? Do you believe there is such a phenom as “intuitive knowledge?” (Side note: In a graduate course I took in college finance years ago, the professor, a practicing venture capitalist, said that genereally they prefer to fund when the CEO tends to make qick decisions with intuitive knowledge vs. express knowledge. Those who lack skill in regularly deciding on intuition are too slow and methodical to make it through the rapid changes of a startup business……… I wonder if you think his reference to intuitive knowledge is a reference to a non-existent type of knowledge?).

  • James

    jclifford claims now that he has not tried to make Bomjon out to look like a crook or some kind of
    con man, etc. as I wrote above.

    jclifford wrote at the beginning:

    “.Earlier this morning, I reported that Ram Bomjon, the teenager from Nepal who is supposed to have proved his merit as a new Buddha or great enlightened teacher by sitting under a pipal tree for ten months straight without moving, eating, or drinking has been found by his followers, after he suddenly went missing earlier earlier this month. (Why didn’t Mary Grace on CNN do some special outraged coverage of this missing teenager?)………..

    James replies:
    You say…. “who is supposed to have”….. and “why didn’t CNN do some “outraged” coverage of this missing teenager.

    This is the start of you casting doubt on the integrity of the fellow in my view….. “supposed” to have…
    “outraged”…….

    What did you imagine should form the basis of CNN being outraged about??

    In your next paragraph JCLIFFORD writes:

    “…………..Well, here’s a video of Ram Bomjon’s appearance to his followers. Isn’t it interesting how, while “searching” for Ram Bomjon out in the woods, his followers just happened to be carrying a video camera? I know that every time I go out searching for a missing teenager, I make sure to bring at least two camcorders along [sarcasm, sarcasm]……………”

    James replies:

    What justifies you adding “sarcasm sarcasm” to that paragraph? I gather from this paragraph that you feel the fact of them bringing a camera to a meeting is some how deserving of sarcasm…. and perhaps they didn’t meet at all as claimed or perhaps met for a nefarious purpose with that camera.

    jclifford wrote at the top:

    “………….Like all good hoaxsters, Ram Bomjon and his inner circle of followers know better than to let their illusion appear long enough to be closely examined…..”

    James replies:

    “hoaxters” ……….You called Bomjon a “hoaxter” and ALL of his inner circle “hoaxters.”

    The term hoaxter certainly suggests to me that you think he is “a con man”, they are “con men”. It sounds like you mean their entire situation from the get go is a hoax….. i.e. a con job.

    So jclifford. Given these quotes you obviously did make, why do you claim today that I totally distorted your statements about Bomjon and his fellows? What specifically is wrong?

    Do you now feel that Bomjon is NOT a hoaxter?

  • James

    jclifford wrote at the below cited URL as follows:

    http://irregulartimes.com/index.php/archives/2005/12/26/ram-bomjon-antichrist/
    Tuesday, April 04, 2006 10:53:37 AM GMT-7

    Ram Bomjon may be a huckster. But does that make him the antichrist?
    ——

    James replies:

    You’ve characterized him as a hoaxter in one post, and now as a “huckster” on a different page of this website.

    According to WORDNET at Princeton, a “hoax” is the same as a “fraud.” A “hoaxter” is someone perpetrating a fraud on some audience. So you have called Bomjon a fraud. In my book, that is the same as calling him a “crook” or “conman.”…..which you seem to have denied doing in your earlier post today. This makes clear the extent to which yo have smeared him and his inner circle with the taint of criminal conduct.

    Do you still deny this?

    James


    Definitions of hoax on the Web:
    fraud: something intended to deceive; deliberate trickery intended to gain an advantage
    subject to a playful hoax or joke
    wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn
    A hoax is an attempt to trick an audience into believing that something false is real. Generally there is some material object involved, which is actually a forgery. …
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoax

  • Scott

    James,
    No seriously I can’t be bothered.
    If I try to mine out some coherent conception of what you mean by intuitive and/or implicit knowledge, you’ll bait and switch again. I know what these concepts are. Some of my degrees are in psychology. From what you’ve said, you seem to have some “intuitive” idea of what they are. Go ahead and look up dfinitions or something, but, seriously, yawn. Stop arguing for the sake of arguing.

  • James

    jclifford said Bomjon is like the convicted criminal/pastor Jim Baker…. and highlighted existence of an investigation on use of funds by Bomjon’s colleagues:

    Irregular Times: News Unfit for Print » Blog Archive » Ram Bomjon’s Handlers Under Investigation
    http://irregulartimes.com/index.php/archives/2005/11/25/ram-bomjon-investigation/
    Tuesday, April 04, 2006 10:57:06 AM GMT-7

    The local Chief District Officer has announced that an official investigation has begun into where all the money that has been donated by Bomjon’s followers has gone. The investigation will also examine whether Bomjon’s claims of six months of pure meditation are true. If Jim Bakker weren’t still alive, I’d suspect that this Ram Bomjon kid might be Bakker’s reincarnation.

    —–

    James replies:

    First, it seems to me that by saying you suspect Bomjon is Baker’s reincarnation, you are in effect saying that
    you suspect he is a convicted criminal – in reincarnated form. This again seems to taint the reputation of Bomjon with criminality…… you’re hanging that taint on him before all the world in this public blog.

    Second, it is worth noting that the referenced investigation has not turned up any wrong doing, and was not initiated because of wrong doing. So far as I can tell from many articles, it was set up as a precautionary effort to avoid the risk of wrong doing occuring . We have a small, ancient village in the forests of Nepal, and ancient country. We have many people traveling to donate money who could potentially be taken advantage of, and local police who want to stay close just in case something starts to go wrong, but that doesn’t mean that any wrong has actually happened. It seems to me that jclifford and many news reporters mention the fact of the invesigation in a tone and manner that suggests some wrong doing has been found which led up to the investigation

    So far as I know for now, locabe close to the situation to make sure these bunch of kids and local villagers don’t make stupid decisions in the midst of all the tourist traffic. Does anyone here know of the investigation actually finding some wrongdoing?

    James

  • James

    Scott wrote: that he is bored with the idea of writing about “implicit knowledge” or intuitive stuff

    James replies:

    Well, Scott, if those one or two items bore you, how about responding to the rest of my questions to you…repeated below. If you want to dodge all of them, that’s ok too.

    James

    —–

    For example, do you think there is a difference between implied and explicit assumptions? I made that point. Do you believe that before people can be considered to have a legitimate belief in anything… they need to make and communicate explicit/express assumptions that are logically coherent?
    Do you believe that there is no such thing as “faith” in God? Do you believe there is such a phenom as “intuitive knowledge?” (Side note: In a graduate course I took in college finance years ago, the professor, a practicing venture capitalist, said that genereally they prefer to fund when the CEO tends to make qick decisions with intuitive knowledge vs. express knowledge. Those who lack skill in regularly deciding on intuition are too slow and methodical to make it through the rapid changes of a startup business……… I wonder if you think his reference to intuitive knowledge is a reference to a non-existent type of knowledge?).

  • James

    If I am not mistaken, the British newspaper TELEGRAPH claimed that
    the amount of money in the bank account of the “Bonjon group” was
    500,000 British pounds, which is a LOT of money. However, when one examines further, the vast majority of sources claim the amount is 500,000 Nepalese rupees, which is far less…about $7,000.
    Unfortunately, many news organizations have picked up and repeated this errant notion.

    James

    Telegraph | News | Deepening mystery of missing ‘Buddha boy’
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/03/21/wbomjon21.xml&sSheet=/news/2006/03/21/ixworld.html

    Santaraj Subedi, the chief official in the district, said yesterday that the bank account that he had insisted the committee open had been frozen after Ram’s disappearance. It contained more than £500,000.

  • James

    jclifford has repeatedly indicated that Bomjon’s committee prevents people from seeing
    Bomjon, in a manner suggesting their purpose in denying access by the public is
    a matter of their preference and for the purpose of blocking public inspection of him for prolonged time periods.

    However, other news sites indicate that the decision to put up a screen around Bomjon to block viewing of him, and also the decision to turn people away from the site, resulted from a government order because no financial activity is permitted in that forest area – not a unilateral choice by Bomjon’s friends/committee. Further, the government order to block viewing and turn people away was strict, and considered violated by Bomjon’s group when they slightly deviated from it by taking the screen down to satisfy demands of thousands who traveled there for a sighting of Bomjon. This suggests that Bomjon’s committee has a legal duty, backed up by specific orders, to restrict viewing of Bomjon and minimize time spent there by tourists. It was said that “millions” of people had come by over many months to view him, thus disturbing the state of that forest, the roads and traffic capacity, and village life.

    See below quote:
    —–
    eKantipur.com – Nepal’s No.1 News Portal
    http://www.kantipuronline.com/kolnews.php?&nid=63824

    “…..The meditating boy became a headache for the local administration after tens of thousands of people started thronging the meditation site……

    “…..Thing, who claims that the committee has not given a single penny to the Maoists, says both the security forces and the Maoists have been asked to accept the meditation area as a zone of peace……”

    “…..A joint meeting of the district administration, security bodies and representatives of the committee held at the Zonal Administration Office on November 18, last year, had decided to screen the meditating boy and stop visitors from seeing him. Before this, the District Administration Office of Bara had ordered the committee to furnish its income-expenditure details. . . . Chief District Officer (CDO) of Bara, Shanta Raj Subedi says the district administration had to take this decision as settlement and business activities are prohibited in the jungle area. CDO Subedi also complains that the committee violated the decision and lifted the screen around Bomjon . . . “

  • James

    A survey of more websites for information about Bomjon reveals that more than one team of specialists have gone to “inspect” him. In addition, there are reports of at least one broadcast televsion team who obtained permission to video tape him for 48 hours continuously. Both of these two groups concluded that Bomjon was in fact meditating throughout the nights….. during an 8 day/night survey by the first team, and during a 48 hour period by the latter…TV team.

    See quotes below:

    From : Saptahik Janmabhumi (Vernacular Weekly) Dec. 31, 2005

    Palden
    http://www.buddhadharma.com/Palden.html
    Tuesday, April 04, 2006 3:21:56 PM GMT-7

    a team of the
    professors of science of Tribhuvan University has visited the site. This team has
    suggested the government and the concerned bodies the need to make an
    investigation into the matter.
    The study, observation and inspection team was formed by Nepal Tamang National
    Federation on Mangsir 7, 2062 (Nov. 22, 2005). The team consisting of nine
    members paid visit to the actual site and made a study. The team had also a
    suspicion whether the ascetic Bomjon in meditation for a long time was alive. But, this
    observation cleared the doubt and he was alive.
    Local and foreign press have covered the news. In course of the study, the team
    also analysed the press reports and materials contained therein. Among the
    materials we studied, one was the article by Gauri Bahadur Karki entitled “Without
    food for six months” published in Kantipur daily. The article gave us the solid basis of
    believing that one could live without food for months. On the basis of the logic of that
    article and our study we found that ascetic Bomjon is meditating without food.
    It has also been rumoured that Bomjon used to take food and water in the night and
    meditate all the day. Some, however, suspected that an image of Bomjon was
    erected. Different sources of mass to find out the reality. The team made the study
    for eight days day and night without interruption. The team found that Bomjon was
    meditating without any movement. This finding proved that Bomjon did not take food
    at night, too.
    Incidentally, the same day, a team of Indian news channel named Sahara headed by
    Mukesh Kumar came to that site. They also had video recording of the activity there
    for 48 hours. The team met the members of the family of Bomjon and local residents.
    The latter did not have any doubt about Bomjon’s meditation.
    The team had sought permission to do video-recording of the activity of Bomjon.
    They had rejected our request on the ground that the video light might disturb the
    ascetic. But, later they agreed.

  • Scott

    I reiterate
    “If you are willing to strategically give up rationality to save selected beliefs then there can be no common ground for rational discussion.”
    and
    “James,
    No seriously I can’t be bothered.
    If I try to mine out some coherent conception of what you mean…you’ll bait and switch again.”
    Call it dodging if you like.

  • James

    jclifford began this posting with an apparently misleading first setence, as follows:

    “…..Irregular Times: News Unfit for Print » Blog Archive » Video of New Buddha Ram Bomjon Here
    http://irregulartimes.com/index.php/archives/2006/03/21/ram-bomjon-video/

    Earlier this morning, I reported that Ram Bomjon, the teenager from Nepal who is supposed to have proved his merit as a new Buddha or great enlightened teacher by sitting under a pipal tree for ten months

    —–

    James replies:

    What is jcliffords source of info to effect that Bomjon “earned merit as a new Buddha?”

    All other news reports show that Bomjon NOT to call him a Buddha, that he had not progressed to that level, and would need to meditate at least six more years to maybe do so. (By the way, Bomjon has more time invested than 10 months…. News reports say Bomjon received six years of training in Buddhist monistaries, was formally accepted as a Buddhist monk, prior to his desire to sit for six years more for enlightmenment.) See below quote:

    Ram Bahadur Bomjon – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ram_Bahadur_Banjan

    “….. on November 8, 2005 Dorje arose and said to the public, “Tell the people not to call me a Buddha. I don’t have the Buddha’s energy. I am at the level of rinpoche.” He has said that he will need six more years of meditation before he may become one……” (The UK TImes Online and BBC websites report similar statements.)

    “…..According to his followers, Bomjon could be a Bodhisattva, a person on the path to attaining full enlightenment.”

    “…..According to Buddhist beliefs, Bomjon is not a reincarnation of any previous Buddha. Once a person reaches the state of enlightenment (bodhi) and becomes a Buddha, he is never reincarnated. To become a Buddha means ending the continuous cycle of birth, death, and rebirth that it is believed the mind goes through until reaching enlightenment. Any human being can become a Buddha by realising the true nature of existence but when one reaches this point, by definition, the cycle of reincarnation is extinguished……”

  • James

    jclifford seems to doubt the legitimacy of Bomjon’s meditation effort, in part
    because of a magic person who can throw lightening bolts. No kidding. You can check the below
    citation to another page of jcliffords website to verify this.

    jclifford argues that in the case of the original Buddha, he was able to carry on with his meditation in spite of having lightening bolts hurled at him by a magical entity or God called Mara. The fact that Bomjon, who says he is NOT a Buddha, wanted a quieter place to meditate doesn’t jive well with jclifford’s story about how a “real Buddha” ought to behave when lighten bolts are thrown at him.

    Since even Bomjon says he is not an accomplished meditator or Buddha, and is still just a student, is it fair to compare him to the Buddha’s ability to withstand lightening bolts? Or is jclifford being too tough
    in judging Bomjon’s integrity?

    James

    See quotes:

    Irregular Times: News Unfit for Print » Blog Archive » Ram Bomjon and Temptation
    http://irregulartimes.com/index.php/archives/2006/01/31/ram-bomjon-temptation/
    Tuesday, April 04, 2006 4:37:23 PM GMT-7

    who could meditate while being looked at, talked to, and prodded?
    On consideration, I remain skeptical. Who could meditate while being looked at, talked to, and prodded? Well, according the stories, Siddhartha Gautama the Buddha could.
    The legends of Gautama’s enlightenment say that, while he was meditating, Mara, the magical lord of desire and attachment, came to tempt him. Mara talked to him, to persuade Gautama to return to his wife and child. Mara shouted at Gautama, made distracting presentations of fear and lust in front of him, and even hurled lightning bolts at him. Still, the Buddha did not budge, and remained steadfast to his purpose of gaining enlightenment.
    Now, if Siddhartha could withstand temptations of lust, of family loyalty, and of the most intense terror possible, are we really to believe that the New Buddha cannot keep his concentration if viewers are allowed within 15 feet, if people make noises, or poke at him gently with a stick? Of course, an ordinary teenager could not withstand such temptations and distractions, but a Buddha could.

  • James

    Here is another example of why I question the integrity of jcliffords writings about Bomjon…..jclifford knows fully well that Bomjon has told his followers NOT to call him a Buddha….saying he’s just a student on the path…… yet with great sarcasm and smirkiness, jclifford writes the following passage elsewhere in this website……. imploring readers to hold him to the standards of the original Buddha Gautama. How hypocritical is that, or insincere? Is jclifford truly a guy out to dig hard for truth and verified facts or just a guy firing off kneejerk opinions and slander? Do these writings indicate he really cares about the feelings of people or does he just use them as “objects” for writing to call attention to himself and his ego?

    James

    Irregular Times: News Unfit for Print » Blog Archive » Ram Bomjon and Temptation
    http://irregulartimes.com/index.php/archives/2006/01/31/ram-bomjon-temptation/
    Tuesday, April 04, 2006 5:06:03 PM GMT-7

    jclifford ………There’s something very suspicious about a group of people who claim that they have a new Buddha, but are unwilling to hold their Buddha to the same standards that Buddhism has had for Buddhahood for centuries. If you’re going to call Ram Bomjon the Buddha, and say that he hasn’t moved or eaten for two-thirds of a year then allow him to be examined by physicians to verify the truth of the matter. If Siddhartha Gautama could withstand lightning bolts hurled at him from the spirit of temptation incarnate, then surely the new Buddha can keep his meditation intact while physicians take a blood sample. Surely, as Buddha did not need to be covered and protected at night, Ram Bomjon does not…
    … unless Ram Bomjon is not a new Buddha. Unless Ram Bomjon is a fake.

  • Layla

    James,
    The wikipedia article is a good summary.

    For something about “acquiring merit” look at Rudyard Kipling’s classic little novel “Kim”. In the book the lama says “I know nothing,-nothing do I know,-but I go to free myself from the Wheel of Things by a broad and open road.” He smiled with most simple triumph. “As a pilgrim to the Holy Places I acquire merit….” a few pages later the lama says..”I will take the alms-bowl and thus enable the charitable to acquire merit.” The theme of merit goes all through the book and no doubt is an English rendering of Buddhist practices in escaping the wheel of reincarnation.

  • Carlos

    Re: James post #102…

    jclifford’s asking you to be suspicious of extraordinary claims. you’re asking people not to be. you tell me which is the more tenable position.

    jclifford wrote: “There’s something very suspicious about a group of people who claim that they have a new Buddha…”

    this is accurate. Bomjon acquired the nickname “Buddha Boy” for a reason. You yourself have described Bomjon as on the road to Buddhahood.

    james, your own posts are circular in their logic, are internally inconsistent, and are therefore not worthy of my trust.

    please stop trying to “win” this argument by swamping the boards with multiple redundant posts. It’s annoying, irresponsible, and inconsiderate of others.

  • James

    Carlos (probably jclifford in disguise), wrote:

    jclifford wrote: “There’s something very suspicious about a group of people who claim
    that they have a new Buddha…”……………this is accurate. Bomjon acquired the nickname
    “Buddha Boy” for a reason. You yourself have described Bomjon as on the road to Buddhahood.

    James replies:

    I think you post is just silliness Carlos. Obviously, you truncated most of my post in order to quote it
    way out of context and turn it to your point….. Taken in its full context, jclifford said it is suspicous
    for people who claim they have a new “Buddha”……(all his followers were long since corrected by Bomjon
    that he IS NOT A Buddha)……………….and jclifford wanted people to hold Bomjon to the standards
    of a fully enlighted Buddha…..when he himself disclaims that status saying he needs SIX MORE YEARS
    to have a shot at it. Who do you think you’re kidding by taking things so far out of context? Dummy.

    It is inaccurate to say I ask people to not be suspicious of extraordinary claims. I have said all along that
    I favor an OPEN MIND….reserve judgment while gathering more information. By extensively collecting and
    including citations in tis topc area, I demonstrate my belief which is facts need investigation, claims need investigation, and I carefully investigate and share the results of it. To imply as youdo that I favor being
    blind and dumb….. turn away from opportunities to dig for facts….it is patently false.

    I believe that a patient and inquisitive mind will see that my many posts contain increments of new links, sources,
    collateral authorities, related but tangential information, etc. Only to a closed and impatient mind will all of my posts look identical to one another.

    James

  • James

    Carlos wrote:

    “………this is accurate. Bomjon acquired the nickname
    “Buddha Boy” for a reason. You yourself have described Bomjon as on the road to Buddhahood….”

    James replies:

    The only thing suspicious about the group of people claiming they have a new Buddha in form of Bomjon is that it such a claim ignores what he himself said…that he is NOT “a Buddha,” and will require at least six years to maybe realize enlightenment.

    Just because he is on the road to becoming an enlightened person/Buddha six years from now, doesn’t mean that he is that today. If he is not a Buddha today, it is not suspcious if he fails to act like a Buddha….whatever that is supposed to involve.

    The term Buddha Boy may have been passed around by the press stories around the world, in spite of Bomjons disclaimer. So the moniker of Buddha Boy is irrelvant to the issue of whether people must hold him to the standards of the original Buddha…

    Maybe tourists who came to see him by the thousands began using this short hand phrase “Buddha Boy”….
    in spite of Bomjon’s disclaimer of being a Buddha. But so what? Just because that phrase became popularized doesn’t mean zip in terms of the actual level of self-improvement claimed by Bomjon. It certainly doesn’t mean that his integrity or sincerety should be doubted.

    Why seize on such a meaningless, irrelevant, disclaimed moniker to prove some point?

    It’s clear that you are posting without having studied the issues and postings carefully.

  • James,

    You’re completely out of hand.

    I’m not coming here, onto a website on which I myself write, and offering a comment under the name of Carlos. I’ve been working on other things today.

    It comes down to this: You’re more willing to give the benefit of the doubt to a bunch of teenagers who say that one among their number has been defying everything that is known about human life than you are to engage in a little bit of skeptical inquiry.

    If you want to think that a teenage boy can sit under a tree without moving, eating, or drinking for over half a year and still retain good muscle mass, then go ahead. Just don’t be surprised if people think you’re pathetically mistaken.

  • Scott

    Carlos,
    Don’t take Jameseses bait.

  • James

    jclifford wrote:

    “……….You’re more willing to give the benefit of the doubt to a bunch of teenagers who say that one among their number has been defying everything that is known about human life than you are to engage in a little bit of skeptical inquiry….”

    James replies:

    If the totality of your posts about this 15 year old, quiet boy, not here to defend himself, was limited to
    just inquiry aimed at discovery of truth, I would agree with you. But, your approach has included charactrerizing him and his friends as criminals, fraudsters, hoaxsters. You imply that they’ve arranged a show to steal money of those who come to see him. You mock his simple personal appearance, long hair. You go beyond an effor tto learn truth to “thrusting your knee into his face” for amusement’s sake. That kind of rudeness earns more attention from me, and perhaps others. This young man has spent at least six years of his life in a quiet pursuit of religious knolwedge. Six years out of a short life of 15 years – devoted to monastical life. The best you can do is insult and libel him on a world wide basis. Given his many years of quiet good behavior, and nothing more than minding his own business beneath a tree, your pummeling of him is “out of hand.”

    James

  • The Dou

    I agree with you james youv’e got the facts and reasons that’s very matured and intelligent,explanation Im on your side.

  • Layla

    James is writing the same thing over and over on all the boards. He complains about Jim then keeps posting links to articles written by J. Clifford. This is not worth my time.

  • James

    Layla wrote:

    “…..James is writing the same thing over and over on all the boards.”

    James replies:

    Actually, I learned that the subject of “Buddha Boy” has been discussed on multiple boards
    by various different writers, including jclifford and Jim. I found that what was said on other boards was in part the same and in part different than what is written on this board. I’ve attempted to participate
    in dialog on the Buddha Boy subject on multiple boards because others have do so.

    If some have the belief that its “right” for jclifford to discuss Buddha Boy on multiple boards but not “right” for me to participate in those other boards, I don’t see the sense of fairness of that.

    James

  • etct

    Self- evident is the fact that James’ faith gives him far greater conviction than does Scott’s Logic class… since Scott is currently giving up the discussion under the pretext that James is incapable of being open minded to what Scott is saying… which is in fact the opposite of what is happenning … since Scott is locked within the walls of the preconception which is his logic class.
    Faith was the motivating force that prompted the discovery that the world is not flat…. since (whoever really was the first to discover it) someone originally had to have faith that the world was indeed not flat and instead round…. this faith lead to the finding of the Facts…. where would we be if we all believed Carlos’ “jclifford’s asking you to be suspicious of extraordinary claims. you’re asking people not to be. you tell me which is the more tenable position.” stance! surely the world would still be flat…or at least would have remained so in your logic class.
    Congratulations on a very enlightened discussion of your “open mind” James… I must say I genuinely am in 100% agreement with your enlightened viewpoint on the “open mind” and it is obvious to me that one has far more power in his mind when it resides nearby his faith.
    Scott I think the students in your “Logic” class would be far better off if you didn’t use it as an excuse to force facts down peoples throats as the only possible “Logical” conclusion.
    p.s. Scott… “Dont take etct’s Bait”!

  • Francoise

    Oh, sure, etct.

    Science is therefore an outgrowth of faith, since someone once had to have the faith to try to be rational instead of having blind trust in old books, right?

  • Jim

    Etct:

    You’re actually describing a myth. It is not the case that people didn’t know the world was round when Columbus sailed. Myth! Myth! (yeth?)

    Aristotle demonstrated long ago that the world was round using a combination of logical reasoning and empirical observation, and this knowledge has been transmitted through the generations ever since. Faith had nothing to do with it.

  • etct

    Francois… science must have existed prior to books or we likely wouldn’t have been writing books… right! and no doubt… faith existed before that and was the instinct which we used to survive until we decided to write Science journals…. so your point is?

    Jim… you are denying the bleeding obvious to yourself to cut off your nose… whatever you say… by your own definition still faith had to exist before the proof did… since at the very least (Columbus was the first??? in your history books or as an indisputeable FACT!!) he must have had Faith in the findings before he could translate them to facts! It is probably in fact fairly safe to say that all solid facts are preceeeded by some level of faith

    sidenote… there is a legitimate desire for some further faith induced reasoning when you consider that all races of human being on the planet no matter how remote have initially believed in “Gods” and some desireous demand of science has tilted reasoning to deduce that this belief is in some way inferior to fact.

  • Jim

    Dear me.

    Is that all you’re saying — that people have ideas before they’re demonstrated true through the employment of logic and observation? Well, of course they do.

    But that’s not an argument for faith. Aristotle’s logical and empirical proof of Earth’s spherical nature is what established that understanding. It is Aristotle’s proof that matters, not Aristotle’s belief.

  • etct

    It is silly to reduce the motivation to simply being an idea, we have ideas all the time and they rarely lead to anything… however when we have faith a whole chain of events can be set in place…Therefore faith is in fact a pre-requisite for ideas turning into faith… I think you miss my point which is to establish the importance of faith and the ignorance of a lack of it.

  • etct

    *for ideas turning into facts
    please insert where relevant in my previous post. sorry

  • etct

    also without aristotle’s belief there would never be any proof… since if he didnt believe.. he wouldn’t waste his time trying to prove.

  • Jim

    Why stop there, etct? How about fucking?

    Fucking is what makes the world go ’round, since without fucking, there’d be no babies who grow up to believe things that some of them later prove through empirical observation and the use of logic!

    Yay, sex! The nookie is what really matters!

    End snark.

    Seriously speaking, a lot of people believe a lot of things about the world. Some have a great faith in their beliefs. What made Aristotle different, what made him have an impact on the world, was that he assessed his beliefs in the uncompromising crucible of empirical observation and logical thought.

  • James

    Jim wrote:

    What made Aristotle different, what made him have an impact…. was that he assess his beliefs in the
    uncompromising crucible of empirical observation and logical thought.

    James replies:

    Aristotle is also included “intuitive reason” (or “faith”) as one of several forms of knowledge and wisdom.
    Importantly, Aristotle believed INTUITIVE REASON enables people to grasp/perceive “first principles”,
    and logic/empirical processes come afterward. Below are some short quotes which demonstrate
    Aristotle’s inclusion of “intuitive reasoning” as an essential form of human knowledge/learning.
    Aristotle used an elaborate and specialized vocabulary relating to his philosophy of knowledge, wisdom,
    learning, science, and one needs to study those terms to extract relevant concepts from the mountain of writing
    about Aristotle.

    Nicomachean Ethics of Aristotle: Book VI. Intellectual Virtue:
    Chapter 6. Intuitive reason–knowledge of the principles from which science proceeds
    http://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/ari/nico/nico060.htm

    ARISTOTLE: “it is intuitive reason that grasps the first principles.”

    i.e. knowledge of the principles FROM WHICH SCIENCE PROCEEDS

    ARISTOTLE: “Therefore wisdom must be intuitive reason combined with scientific knowledge–scientific knowledge of the highest objects which has received as it were its proper completion.”

    Nicomachean Ethics of Aristotle: Book VI. Intellectual Virtue: Chapter 6. Intuitive reason–knowledge of the principles from which science proceeds
    http://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/ari/nico/nico060.htm

    Intuitive reason–knowledge of the principles from which science proceeds.
    Scientific knowledge is judgement about things that are universal and necessary, and the conclusions of demonstration, and all scientific knowledge, follow from first principles (for scientific knowledge involves apprehension of a rational ground). This being so, the first principle from which what is scientifically known follows cannot be an object of scientific knowledge, of art, or of practical wisdom; for that which can be scientifically known can be demonstrated, and art and practical wisdom deal with things that are variable. Nor are these first principles the objects of philosophic wisdom, for it is a mark of the philosopher to have demonstration about some things. If, then, the states of mind by which we have truth and are never deceived about things invariable or even variable are scientific knowlededge, practical wisdom, philosophic wisdom, and intuitive reason, and it cannot be any of the three (i.e. practical wisdom, scientific knowledge, or philosophic wisdom), the remaining alternative is that it is intuitive reason that grasps the first principles.

  • James

    Francoise wrote:
    “……………Oh, sure, etct. . . . Science is therefore an outgrowth of faith, since someone once had to have the faith to try to be rational . . . ”

    James replies:

    Since this thread led to views of Aristotle, I highlight that Aristotle phrased this as
    “science is an outgrowth of “intuitive reasoning” andn perception of “first principles.” I believe that
    for many people “faith” proceeds from and reflects intuitive reasoning in Aristotle’s sense.

    Nicomachean Ethics of Aristotle:
    Book VI. Intellectual Virtue: Chapter 6. Intuitive reason–knowledge of the principles from which science proceeds
    http://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/ari/nico/nico060.htm

    Intuitive reason–knowledge of the principles from which science proceeds.

    “………….If, then, the states of mind by which we have truth and are never deceived about things invariable or even variable are scientific knowlededge, practical wisdom, philosophic wisdom, and intuitive reason, and it cannot be any of the three (i.e. practical wisdom, scientific knowledge, or philosophic wisdom), the remaining alternative is that it is intuitive reason that grasps the first principles…..”

  • Anti Clifford

    I think it might be great if James and Scott will take over this blogs.For me thats the best combination of chemistry ,it makes a lot of sence, huh, jclifford the boomerang shot of your fabricating word is getting closer now, hold on tight you gonna loose your job.

  • Jim

    James #122,

    What you write is nice and flowery and wordy, and it has a lot of quotes in it, but what it still comes down to is that Aristotle believed that science (the combined employing of logic and empirical observation) is necessary. Aristotle himself believed, and showed, that intuition is insufficient outside of philosophy.

    I refer you to the biological theories of Galen if you want to find the results of intuition without observation.

    You write that “I believe that for many people “faith” proceeds from and reflects intuitive reasoning in Aristotle’s sense.” Gosh and crackers, that’s nice, and of course anyone can have faith in whatever they want, but the problem is that their “faith” isn’t followed upon by logic and observation. If it would be, then it wouldn’t be faith. If it isn’t, then there’s no reason for me to give their faith any special credence when deciding how to run my own life, and they shouldn’t expect me to believe that their faith reflects anything that is really real outside anything resembling their imagination.

    And hence we return to the case of Ram Bomjon, whose handlers have made conveniently unverifiable (unless you’d like to verify them here, which you haven’t, although you’ve waved your hands about the “possible”) and extravagant claims. You have the right to have faith that Ram Bomjon is who he says he is and has done what his handlers say he has done. But until these claims are proven, don’t expect me to buy the baloney.

  • etct

    The Baloney is in fact the tripe you are serving up…. since the circumstances indicate that what was stated is what apparently happened .. the only indication that it didn’t happen as described is the lack of faith of a load of inept non-believers who actually have ZERO evidence to back up their refusal to accept it as it appears. Since so much scrutiny was placed upon Ram one would expect some evidence supporting the sceptics to have surfaced…. however you have absolutely nothing to offer except your ignorant refusal to accept the apparent facts..
    Therefore the brunt of my earlier arguement is served within your own words, when someone has faith they will find motivation and they will see for themselves whether it is true or not…. As many people with some varying amounts of faith either have believed it or have gone to see for themselves. These people with some form of faith have obviously come much closer to finding out the FACTS than you have Jim …. since you are still sitting here without a sceric of proof, remaining ignorant of the facts, spouting how your facts are more relevant than the faith that motivates people to actually get off their “closed mind” and achieve something.

  • Jim

    Oh, ok. So the new standard is that you have to believe something happened unless you can prove it didn’t happen?

    Oh, good.

    Here we go then:

    I am controlling your thoughts with a secret invisible ray.
    The Cubans killed Kennedy.
    You mother is sleeping with your uncle.
    Ron Bunyan is the new Buddha.
    George W. Bush is a space alien.
    Joseph Smith is the latter-day prophet of God.
    You owe me $24,000.00.

    You must believe these things unless you can prove them false.

  • etct

    nobody said you had to… thats your own freaky perception of controlling others coming into the play.
    One only has to look back at the entirety of this thread as a conversation to see that the faithless are reaching blindly into their malnurished bag of facts and achieving no advantage for anyone and through their own personality complex they waste their time attempting to dispossess others of their faith with their mating call of ignorance.
    With that course of action you wont discover anything new…you’ll just maybe occassionally disprove the occassional thing that probably wont benefit anyone anyway… However those with their faith will pursue positive new things because they believe they can. enjoy

  • Jim

    etct writes: “the only indication that it didn’t happen as described is the lack of faith of a load of inept non-believers who actually have ZERO evidence to back up their refusal to accept it as it appears.”

    Jim writes: “Oh, ok. So the new standard is that you have to believe something happened unless you can prove it didn’t happen?”

    etct writes: “nobody said you had to… thats your own freaky perception of controlling others coming into the play.”

    Reread what you yourself wrote. Also see the very same comment #128 where you cite the standard again.

    What is the mating call of ignorance? Awwwwwwk? or is it more like OingoFrrrraaaaping? Maybe Boboboboboboboborraaapppa!

  • James

    Jim wrote:

    “………….And hence we return to the case of Ram Bomjon, whose handlers have made conveniently unverifiable (unless you’d like to verify them here, which you haven’t, although you’ve waved your hands about the “possible”) and extravagant claims. You have the right to have faith that Ram Bomjon is who he says he is and has done what his handlers say he has done. But until these claims are proven, don’t expect me to buy the baloney.”

    James replies:

    I haven’t purported to verify or prove beyond reasonable doubt what his handlers have claimed, and I don’t
    yet do so. I don’t expect you to buy it or anyone. I do think you should be more courteous and open minded toward people whose claims have received the level of attention his claims have…..pending decisive proof one way or the other. Avoid slander, avoid ridicule, admit it is at least not “impossible,” avoid presumption of a fraud and criminal activity abset clearer proof.

    I have consistently urged merely openmindedness and cordial discussion….and the ideas that:

    1. Those claims ought to be considered as possible, not impossible – pending clear evidence.

    2. It is premature to say those claims are so unlikely that it is fair to presume they’re all lying
    or fabricating those claims

    3. It is premature to say that the handlers and Bomjon are hoaxters, hucksters, crooks, fakers.

    4. There are a variety of individuals who have claimed to not eat/drink, or at least not eat for months
    or longer, such claims being verified by reputable scientists who continuously observed those
    involved. Such incidents add plausibility to such claims for Bomjon.

    5. There are examples of animals such as bears which are known, scientifically, to be able
    to lower metabolism to such a slow state as to live months without food, who do not suffer major muscle
    loss through inactivity, who are nearly fully functional quickly upon arousal from hibernation. Scientists
    who specialize in hibernation studies have determined that humans have the genes and other
    physiological qualities necessary to make human hibernation plausible. These factors add a bit of
    plausibility to claims that a human might survive as long as Bomjon appears to without food.

    6. Bomjon is not known to have said himself whether he’s gone without food or water or other necessities
    for months, such claims generally being made by people in his vicinity. Nothing seems to have been published
    about such persons that would discredit their integrity or credibility.

    7. There are reports in multiple media sources, some of which I’ve reported here, saying multiple scientific
    teams have gone to observe him, and that at least one of those certified that for a period of days he ate
    no food and did meditate throughout the nights.

    8. Given that potentially millions of people, but at least tens of thousands have been motivated to
    travel there to observe him, one would expect more reports of shenanigans to come out by now if it is all a hoax.

    9. jclifford Cook has knowingly misreprested multiple facts about Bomjon, and made an effort to
    discredit him using such fabrications (such as insisting repeatedly that he knew that Bomjon ahd made all
    these claims himself, including the claims that Bomjon is NOW a Buddha.) This adds a level of deliberate malice
    and meanness to his writings well over and above mere “skeptical inquiry” as he defensively claims.
    Such fabrications and refusal to acknowledge and apologize him is a more obvious fraud by writers
    at this website than is the alleged frauds they write about in Nepal!!!

    10. No investigations have instigated based upon police awareness of actual wrongdoing. Investigations have
    been instigated only as a precaution to ward off wrongdoing, if any should emerge.

    Given human population growth problems likely to come in future decades, it would be handy for skills like this
    of getting by with little food to be learned more generally by the populace if that were possible. It is more
    likely that people who know such things might share them if they were less subject to massive ridicule, and so
    people ought to reserve judgment and ridicule out of both courtesy and respect for things that may aid mankind.

  • James

    Jim wrote:

    “…………but what it still comes down to is that Aristotle believed that science (the combined employing of logic and empirical observation) is necessary. Aristotle himself believed, and showed, that intuition is insufficient outside of philosophy….

    James replies:

    I agree that Aristotle said and is famous for holding that logic and empirical observation is necessary.
    You appeared to hold earlier that he also said there is no place for intuitional reasoning, i.e.
    you’re claiming he excluded any role for intuition. If that was your meaning, then I disagree. I have only highlighted that he believed there are some things that ONLY intuition can know, that science proceeds from such things, and there is a role for both intuition and logic. Again, I had written these words that you now seem to oppose:

    “”…..Importantly, Aristotle believed INTUITIVE REASON enables people to grasp/perceive “first principles”,
    and logic/empirical processes come afterward. Below are some short quotes which demonstrate
    Aristotle’s inclusion of “intuitive reasoning” as an essential form of human knowledge/learning.”

  • Jim

    1. I’ve never said it’s impossible.

    2. Bullshit. Sorry, my mind is not open enough to buy that someone can go without food or water for eight months. (see #4) Impossible, no. Highly implausible? You bet.

    3. I don’t believe I’ve ever used the words you use. Your choice, which makes it seem you are yourself considering that possibility.

    4. The episodes I’m aware of regarding cases like Bomjon involve exposure of fraud and inability to engage in such activities when put to the test.

    5. And rocks have been known to do so, too. Some organisms (bacteria) survive for thousands of years. So what? Speak of humans. And speaking of humans you are being facile, not showing the parts of the work that specifically show that the necessity for a gaseous cloud of hydrogen sulfide or some other specific form of intervention.

    6. That’s facile: you know Bomjon hasn’t spoken to reporters. “People in his vicinity” refer to his handlers, the only ones to speak to the press. Stop mincing words.

    7. Cite the scientific teams source directly, please, and show me the reports. I have only found reports of scientific teams permitted to observe for short periods at a distance of many yards.

    8. Not if nobody could come within fifty feet.

    9. You have not demonstrated that. jclifford never said he knew Bomjon. This is facile, desperate bullshit you are now spouting.

    10. I don’t know whether what you are saying is true or not, but that is a small point.

    It sure would be handy for human populations to be able to subsist without food or water. It would also be nice if we could fly or sprout gills. Also grow money from our fingertips, and poop gold.

    I have no animus toward people who say they believe these things. I reserve the right to laugh when such people expect ME to swallow the same load the bullshit they’ve swallowed. You’re in the second category.

  • James

    Jim wrote:

    James replies:

    I don’t see any special credibility or insight that mere THEORIES of old Galen bring to this discussion.
    His thinking is generally ancient, outmoded and doesn’t contribute any empirical studies to prove anything about
    intuition. A glance at Wikipedia’s profile of him shows that his thinking is centuries old, is widely known as inaccurate, lost favor in the 16th century, and can’t possibly offer any scientific certainty.

    —–
    Claudius Galenus of Pergamum (129-200 AD), better known in English as Galen, was an ancient Greek physician.

    He studied medicine for a total of twelve years. When he returned to Pergamum in 157, he worked as a physician in a gladiator school for three or four years. During this time he gained experience of trauma and wound treatment. He later regarded wounds as “windows into the body”.

    From 162 he lived in Rome where he wrote extensively, lectured and publicly demonstrated his knowledge of anatomy. He gained a reputation as an experienced physician and his practice had widespread clientele. One of them was the consul Flavius Boethius who introduced him to the court where he became a court physician to Emperor Marcus Aurelius.

    From the modern viewpoint, Galen’s theories were partially correct, partially flawed. He demonstrated that arteries carry blood, not air and made first studies about nerve functions, and the brain and heart. He also argued that the mind was in the brain, not in the heart as Aristotle had claimed.

    However, much of Galen’s understanding is flawed from the modern point of view. He did not recognize blood circulation and thought that venous and arterial systems were separate. This view did not change until William Harvey’s work in the 17th century. Since most of his knowledge of anatomy was based on dissection of pigs, dogs, and Barbary apes, he also assumed that rete mirabile, a blood vessel plexus of ungulates, also existed in the human body. He also resisted the idea of tourniquets to stop bleeding and vigorously propagated blood letting as a treatment.

    Galen’s authority dominated medicine all the way to the 16th century.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galen

  • James

    Jim wrote:
    “…..I reserve the right to laugh when such people expect ME to swallow the same load the bullshit they’ve swallowed. You’re in the second category. ”

    James replies:

    So now you put me in this second category…..i.e. people expecting you to “swallow”…… claims about Bomjon.

    You seem to have ignored what I wrote minutes ago……. i.e. “I don’t expect you to buy it – or anyone.”

    This is an example of you (a) ignoring a plain fact, (b) putting words in my mouth opposite to what I clearly say, and (c) using your own misinformation as a platform to attack me when the basis of your attack is nonexistent. You are lying about this. This is similar to jclifford’s practice of publishing false facts, then attacking on such grounds.

    I wrote above … minutes ago…. “I haven’t purported to verify or prove beyond reasonable doubt what his handlers have claimed, and I don’t yet do so. I don’t expect you to buy it or anyone. I do think you should be more courteous and open minded ”

    What can I think except that you have a ravaging desire to write fast and care little about details and accuracy.

    In addition, you’re implying again that I have decided the claims about Bomjon are true and beyond doubt. I have never said that. I have only said I felt it was possible, and perhaps plausible. Why can’t you live with the cautious position I’ve actually taken?

  • James

    In #132, Jim says:

    “…..I’ve never said it is impossible.”

    James replies:

    My list of points weren’t meant as a summary of my discussion only with you, but in this entire topic generally.

    jclifford said it was impossible. My comments therefore generically respond to his assertion. Specifically,
    jclifford Cook wrote this:

    J. Clifford Says:
    March 21st, 2006 at 2:28 pm
    Source: BBC

    Cherry picking facts may include your not mentioning that it is physiologically impossible for a person to sit still for 10 months, even if they fidget a bit, without eating or drinking or going to the bathroom, and maintain the kind of muscle tone that Ram Bomjon shows in the pictures and video.

  • James

    Jim says he doubts he has used the words “hoaxster, huckster, crook, etc.”

    James replies:

    Again, Jim, my list of points was an effort to summarize my overall position in this whole topic,
    not meant as only a list of what you have said or me to you.

    Specifically, jclifford Cook has used the words “hoaxster” and “huckster.” Those are synonums for crook etc.
    You’ve just said that bit is “bullshit” for me to say it is premature to say Bomjon’s group is lying,
    so you pretty much associate yourself with jcliffords position that, impliedly, they are hoaxsters and hucksters.

    You have certainly never disagreed with anything jclifford said in that regard.

    Out of fairness to you, I do feel that you’re position has been somewhat more thoughtful and qualified than jclifford’s, and it is primarily his level of malice and disregard for facts that mostly irritates me.

  • James

    Jim wrote that the cases (of people claiming to live months without food)
    that he is aware of have been proven to be frauds. Jim then links to a lengthy Wikipedia
    article discussing Breatharianism. The article lists many people with claims of this sort. Some of those people
    were shown to be frauds, but as to some others listed nothing at all is said about proof of fraud.
    I quote one such entry from Wikipedia below (Hari Manek). In addition to the fact that the Wikepedia article is silent about any fraud in the case of Manek, I personally wrote to the head of neurosurgery for the hospital at which tests were run on Manek. The hospital provided me with two reports. That physicians still stands by their observations, and are thus planning to study three more people who live who appear to live on tea alone.

    This is another instance in which Jim has offered some authority, link, source which does not stand for the principle or proof that he claims that it does.

    Jim claimed that all the cases he’s aware of were shown as frauds, and offered this Wikepedia article, apparently intending us to believe that all people listed therein were shown as frauds. But that is false.

    I expect that Jim has read this entire article, including all of my posts, when he says “all the cases” he’s aware of have been shown as frauds. Thus, Jim is impliedly aware of my post number 58 above in which I referenced this fellow Hiri from India, studied by doctors there…who hasn’t eaten for months. Jim is aware of that case, and that case has not to my knowledge been shown to be a fraud. Jim seems to be mistaken when he says all the cases he knows of are frauds….. there is at least no showing in my post or the Wikipedia article of fraud in that case.
    —–
    Post Number 58: includes this text…….
    Several doctors from India, Gujarat, Ahmedabad and abroad have from time to time examined and are unable to explain the scientific basis from current clinical knowledge, while declaring the genuinity of fasting. A team of medical doctors have supervised (medical examination as well as laboratory tests) throughout these fasting. This comprise of Dr. Sudhir Shah M.D.,D.M.(neuro), Dr. Nalin Gheewala M.D., Dr. Viresh Patel M.D., Dr. Navneet Shah M.D.(Physician and endocrinologist), Dr. K.K.Shah M.S. Gen.Surgery, Dr.Kalpesh Shah M.D.Radiologist, Dr. Gaurgey Sutaria Radiologist, Dr. Jayesh Sheth, Dr. P G. Shah, Dr. Prakash Doshi , (family physician) and several others.
    Today, it is 411th day of Shri Hira Ratan Manek’s fasting.

  • James

    Jim wrote:

    “…..6. That’s facile: you know Bomjon hasn’t spoken to reporters. “People in his vicinity” refer to his handlers, the only ones to speak to the press. Stop mincing words……”

    James replies:

    Press reports about Bomjon show that reporters have gathered information about him by talking with his parents, his family, monks who have known him for most of his life, police from that locality, national security forces in the vicinity dealing with Maoists, government officials, tourists who have come to observe Bomjon, scientists who came at various times to observe Bomjon, specialists who have not visited Bomjon but comment on a general basis.

    Claims about how long he has been meditating, whether and when he has moved or spoken, etc. come from all these sources, i.e. people in his “vicinity.” Since it is difficult to attribute each specific claim to one single individual, I have used the term “in his vicinity.”
    That is accurate. I don’t know what “minching words” truly means, but my comment is reasonable.
    James

  • James

    Jim asked me to provide a source for my comment today that more than one team of specialists have
    visited Bomjon, and that he was observed (to their satisfaction) to meditate and go without food as further
    described.

    This is perhaps a third or fourth time that Jim seems to ignore something I’ve already explained in posts here. I am getting the idea that he doesn’t carefully read/check out what I post, but opposes it anyway.

    I already provided this same information in prior posts here….see item no. 98.
    In part, that point says:

    A survey of more websites for information about Bomjon reveals that more than one team of specialists have gone to “inspect” him. In addition, there are reports of at least one broadcast televsion team who obtained permission to video tape him for 48 hours continuously. Both of these two groups concluded that Bomjon was in fact meditating throughout the nights….. during an 8 day/night survey by the first team, and during a 48 hour period by the latter…TV team.

    See quotes below:

    From : Saptahik Janmabhumi (Vernacular Weekly) Dec. 31, 2005

    Palden
    http://www.buddhadharma.com/Palden.html
    Tuesday, April 04, 2006 3:21:56 PM GMT-7

    a team of the
    professors of science of Tribhuvan University has visited the site. This team has
    suggested the government and the concerned bodies the need to make an
    investigation into the matter.

  • Jim

    Not eating, drinking or going to the bathroom, AND maintaining muscle tone necessary for long walks for over half a year?

    jclifford said that?

    OK, then. Yes. I revise my comments in light of your reminding me of jclifford’s comments:

    EITHER Rom Bomjon is a live human being untouched by divinity, in which case such behavior is, come on, IMPOSSIBLE according to medical observations of the range of human physiological processes of billions of people over the years, implying that people who say he has done this are full of BULLSHIT

    or

    Rom Bomjon is a deity or touched by the supernatural, in which case, WHAT THE FUCK, why believe in any rational process if this kind of freaky shit can happen for no natural reason bounded within the physical and physiological processes observed

    You seem to believe that the latter is more likely. With history’s ledger full of hoaxsters and hucksters (there, now I’VE said it) I believe the latter is more likely.

    You’re entitled to believe the former. I’m entitled to believe you a loon for going along with it.

    And that seems to be our impasse.

  • Jim

    You leave out the bit where, until the 16th Century, doctors did things because Galen said it was true, following their intuition and failing to engage in actual empirical studies of anatomy.

    Also tell me about Galen’s intuition-based theory of the lungs.

  • James

    Jim wrote:

    “………Not eating, drinking or going to the bathroom, AND maintaining muscle tone necessary for long walks for over half a year?.

    James replies:

    OK. I clearly have the idea that you’re not actually reading the materials that have provided and sourced here.
    But that aside, let me ask as different question.

    Do you accept that bears and other animals hibernate, and that hibernation involves them
    not eating, drining or going to the bathroom for months….and also that they preserve
    at least 80 percent of muscle tone after all that time of inactivity.? Do you accept that
    or do you also reject that?

    I understand that you reject these possibilities in a human, but what about for animals?
    I have provided references in support of this stuff here, in case you were going to ask for some.

    James

  • James

    Jim do you accept as true these following two points?

    1. jclifford Cook claimed that Bomjon is (supposedly) PRESENTLY a Buddha, such as
    his first paragraph of this topic saying:

    “………….Earlier this morning, I reported that Ram Bomjon, the teenager from Nepal who is supposed to have proved his merit as a new Buddha or great enlightened teacher …”

    2. News media widely report before jclifford wrote the above that Bomjon denied that he is a Buddha, and specifically asked that he not be called a Buddha.

    Do you accept these two above statements as true? If not, why not and to what extent?

  • Scott

    James,
    Have you bought stock in Ram Bomjon ltd?

  • Jim

    As MSN’s Encarta Encyclopedia puts it:

    Technically, bears don’t hibernate. They sleep a lot in winter, but their body temperature doesn’t drop much. Also, they wake up on most days to putter about the cave. What bears do is called “daily torpor.”

    So no, bears don’t hibernate, and they do putter about.

    Little technical details like this matter, because it’s the little stuff that permits hibernation, or daily torpor to occur.

    Little physiological stuff about how different animals work.

    Like this: the reason bears can manage to engage in their torpor is that they gorge themselves, building up huge stores of fat. They burn the fat, not protein or carbs, which keeps the body from producing urea. Urea, if it builds up, poisons the body.

    Problem: Ram Bomjon appears to have not had massive stores of fat before sitting under that pipal tree and getting conveniently obscured from time to time.

    If you want to explain Ram Bomjon as a hibernator, or as someone engaged in daily torpor, you have to deal with this and other physiological issues.

    If you want to explain Ram Bomjon as someone who isn’t bound by the laws of physical reality, well, then we’ve left the plane of reality and heck, anything can happen if you wish hard enough for it and clap for Tinkerbell.

  • James

    Jim:

    You omitted interesting info from that article you cited, and see below.
    Many animals do hibernate although bears do torpor. The point is that animals do hibernate.

    My question rephrased due to your “dodgeball”:

    Do you agree that some animals hibernate, and that during hibernation they don’t eat food or drink, and don’t urinate for months?

    ……….
    Here is some interesting info from that article which you omitted:

    …..
    When bats hibernate, their breathing slows down so much it can only be detected with instruments. They feel cold to the touch, and drops of dew form on them. Because they hibernate above ground, people have seen them in this state. No wonder bats are associated with stories of “the undead.”

    Some animals go even further. The Arctic ground squirrel hibernates at a body temperature below freezing–and yet doesn’t freeze. The ground squirrel is able to do this because before hibernation it goes through a sort of internal purification that gets rid of any particle that might seed the freezing process. Liquids require such a particle (sometimes called a nucleus) in order to freeze. By purging itself the squirrel avoids becoming an ice cube, even if the temperature drops below freezing.

    Want even more? Try this on for size: There is a type of Alaskan beetle called the carabid that creates its own internal antifreeze (known as a glycoprotein, if you’re interested). This beetle hibernates in tree stumps when the temperature drops to 40 degrees below freezing. In the spring it wakes up, and it’s fine.

    Wouldn’t it be great if humans could hibernate? They might … someday.

    In fact, NASA is looking into it. Hibernation might be a way to send a crew of astronauts to another solar system–a journey that could take centuries.

    Doctors are also interested. They’d like to be able to hibernate a single organ. It would be a way to preserve a heart or a kidney for transplantation.

    Want to Learn More?–On the Web
    Everything you wanted to know about Groundhog Day and perhaps even a bit more.
    The United States Army is the most interested of all. No, they’re not looking for a weapon that could put the enemy out for the winter. Rather, they think hibernation might be useful for transporting wounded soldiers from battlefields to hospitals.

    And that day might be close. Thanks to army-funded research, scientists at the University of Minnesota have identified the hibernation gene. What this gene does is produce an enzyme, and what this enzyme does is switch the body over from burning carbohydrates to burning fat. Long-term human hibernation, the kind we’d need for space travel, is still a long way off, according to Dr. Matthew Andrews, a leader in hibernation research. But the technology for short-term human hibernation? Coming soon.

  • Jim

    James,

    Well, yes, duh. Bomjon HAS been supposed to be the new Buddha. BBC News itself reports that he’s known locally as the “Little Buddha.” People are supposing him to be the new Buddha.

  • James

    Scott wrote:

    James,
    Have you bought stock in Ram Bomjon ltd?

    James replies:

    No. The subject is interesting, and I’m curious to find out how much energy writers at this website will invest to discredit Bomjon using distorted facts, etc. Quite a bit it seems. The site has a veneer of truth seeking, but
    often fabricates facts to increase the intensity of their storylines.

    James

  • Jim

    I linked to the article so you could read the whole thing, so yeah, I read it already. So what?

    The possible hypothetical maybe some day example to which they refer, if they developed it in the future, would require GENE THERAPY, and would also require BUILDING UP STORES OF BODY FAT.

    Are you insinuating that Bomjon has undergone gene therapy and built up stores of body fat, despite no evidence to support that and further, despite photos that clearly show a skinny kid even at the beginning of his show?

    ‘Cause that’s what it looks like you’re sayin’ here, and that looks pretty nutty from where I sit.

  • James

    Jim says:

    Well, yes, duh. Bomjon HAS been supposed to be the new Buddha. BBC News itself reports that he’s known locally as the “Little Buddha.” People are supposing him to be the new Buddha.

    James:

    OK. Now I am getting the idea more clearly that you’re intentionally avoiding admitting facts that are on the tabl
    That would change my view of you to being a lowlife instead of a mere reasonable skeptic.

    Do you agree that Bomjon has said he is NOT a Buddha and has asked NOT to be called a Buddha?

    Unless that part of the story is included, it is misleading to say that he is “supposed to be the new Buddha.”

    Lowlife.

  • James

    Jim (a lowlife) wrote:

    “………Are you insinuating that Bomjon has undergone gene therapy and built up stores of body fat, despite no evidence to support that and further, despite photos that clearly show a skinny kid even at the beginning of his show?

    James replies:

    No. I am not insinuating anything, and merely quoted interesting info from the article you linked to.

    When I hear reports that a person might go for months without food, it makes me curious about whether
    under any circumstances such a phenomena occurs at all for animals larger than….say microbes and bugs.
    I’m interested to know if metabolism of larger animals can, under any circumstances, slow metablolism
    so dramatically as to survive months without food and without major muscle loss. No urination.
    If some animals can do that, it interests because it shows nature has built into them some kind of
    a mechanism, some throttle if you will, which works.

    If no animals, no major life forms could hibernate or otherwise slow metabolsim that much, and live so long without
    food, I would be more inclined to think it is impossible in all of life, not just humans. When it is possible in
    large lifeforms I’m am then more inclined to think a similar “throttle” on metabolism might exist in
    humans but not be generally known yet. I don’t consider it as a proof. I consider it as
    a better point on a continuum of plausibility. The fact that I fight for “an open mind” on such a thing
    doesn’t mean I consider it proven already, just an interesting possibility some some “models” at hand
    to further study.

    James

  • Francoise

    Veneer of truth????

    James, you’re defending a bunch of kids who say that one of them has supernatural powers to go without food, drinking, or taking a poop or pee for over eight months.

    Who has the veneer, James?

  • James

    Jim wrote:

    “………..tell me about Galen’s intuition-based theory of the lungs.

    James replies:

    No. You dig up the info you think is relevant and post it here with appropriate explanations.

    Now that you’ve revealed what a lowlife you are, refusing to admit even the most simple things, I realize
    what a dud you are.

  • James

    Francoise says:

    “……Veneer of truth????
    James, you’re defending a bunch of kids who say that one of them has supernatural powers to go without food, drinking, or taking a poop or pee for over eight months. Who has the veneer, James?

    James replies:

    I have defended them against jcliffords fabrication and distortion of facts in the course of trying to discredit them.

    I have defended them by offering citations to objective third parties, scientists, TV station, and others who have witnessed some of this stuff…. not all of it..some of it.

    I have defended them by citing to scientists who say they think humans have a gene that would support
    human hibernation once the triggering method is discovered…..and that hibernation involves the same
    remarkable absence of meals etc. as is claimed for Bomjon.

    I think my defenses in these ways have been reasonable, and cautious, and I have not said I consider
    any of it proved, nor that people are obliged to believed it proven.

    The veneer remains on this website. You and others seem unconcerned by the examples of fact fluffing
    and bad faith info used while trying to discredit him. Those wo do that and defend that are just lowlifes in my book, boosting their egos by parading around as quasi-journalist “writers.”

  • Jim

    You’ve been cornered, James, so now you’re pouring on the frustrated words, like “lowlife.”

    Hibernation of the sort that mammals do require stores of body fat, which Ram Bomjon does not have.

    Humans do not hibernate.

    Facts like these stare you straight in the face, and you avert your gaze.

    You have the right to believe what you want to believe.

    You do not have the right to assume I will take you seriously.

  • Jim

    James,

    Of course I acknowledge the existence of the reports saying that Ram Bomjon has said he IS not the Buddha.

    I have focused on what you referred to as a “lie,” that jclifford said Bomjon is supposed to be a new Buddha. I have focused on these claims of yours because they are what you have asked me to focus on. Don’t be surprised, then, when I do. I’ve repeatedly addressed that point. You’re dissembling.

    These reports also go on to say that he has told people he is on the road to Buddhahood. They quote him as giving time frames.

    Reports also invoke his handlers and followers as calling him the new Buddha, Buddha Boy, and trying to give the encampment the name of New Buddha.

  • Jim

    James,

    You demand to be taken seriously. You’re just not going to get it from me as long as you attempt to assert that it’s plausible that Ram Bomjon is in a state of hibernation despite having no fat stores, despite calling people “liars” when you misread words like “supposed.”

    What is your goal here? What is your goal?

    For me to say it’s plausible that Ram Bomjon went for the better part of a year without eating and drinking and then went on what his handlers refer to as a solitary five-day journey on foot?

    You’re just not going to get that, no matter what name you call me, or jclifford, or francoise, or scott, or layla, or hare trinity, or any of the other people who have tried to talk to you.

    Because it’s not plausible.

    Go ahead now, continue to call me, the latest person to try to confront you on this, a “liar,” or a “lowlife,” or maybe some new name,

    What ever you say it won’t change that to go on five-day walks, people need more nutrition and hydration than a multi-month fast permits, especially if they don’t have the fat stores necessary to somehow manage to hibernate like a chipmunk.

    It’s not plausible.

    And if that makes me a “lying lowlife,” well then I guess I’ll just have to lie low.

  • James

    Jim wrote:

    You’ve been cornered, James, so now you’re pouring on the frustrated words, like “lowlife.”
    Hibernation of the sort that mammals do require stores of body fat, which Ram Bomjon does not have.
    Humans do not hibernate.
    Facts like these stare you straight in the face, and you avert your gaze.

    James replies:

    “Lowlife” is not a reflection of frustration, but of resignation to your lower than expected integrity.

    You haven’t shown here how much fat mammals may require when hibernating, whether and how that
    would apply to humans – if they could hibernate – and so you have shown no relevance of your comment.

    I think the most you can say is that you don’t know of any humans who can hibernate, unless your position
    is that you’re omniscient.

    You haven’t put any “facts” on the table, let alone any that can stare someone in the face.

  • Jim

    Maybe he hibernates using the light that glows through his forehead as a power source! Yeah, that’s the ticket.

  • James

    Jim wrote:

    “……..Of course I acknowledge the existence of the reports saying that Ram Bomjon has said he IS not the Buddha.

    James replies:

    Excellent. The key admission.

  • Jim

    I’ve decided to take a deep breath, and take a whole new approach to this:

    Oh, you are sooooooooooooooo right.

    I kneel down to you!

    How did you come to acquire this great knowledge?

    Tell me!

    Why don’t you start by telling me how a human can hibernate using body stores of fat without having body stores of fat?

    Next, I’d like to know how Ram Bomjon managed to walk for five days after hibernating.

    I’d also like you to tell me how Ram Bomjon shone a light out of his forehead.

    I am ready to be impressed by your eminent correctness in all things.

  • Jim

    You haven’t told me yet.

  • Jim

    You still haven’t told me.

    (See, I can write large volumes, too!)

  • Jim

    Still waiting to be enlightened by your majestic intellect.

  • James

    Jim wrote:

    “…And if that makes me a “lying lowlife,” well then I guess I’ll just have to lie low.

    James replies:

    You’re a “lowlife” in my eyes for reasons other than those you give.

    It is fine with me if you don’t think any of these things are plausible. My goal is to share information
    here for the sake of any who may be interested in additional perspectives, and to highlight what I think are misunderstandings, bigotry, bullying, arrogance, and lying by jclifford in particular.

  • Jim

    Well then, tell me! Tell me! Tell me all of your amazing understanding of this situation!

    How did you come to acquire this great knowledge?

    Tell me!

    How can a human hibernate using body stores of fat without having body stores of fat?

    Next, I’d like to know how Ram Bomjon managed to walk for five days after hibernating.

    I’d also like you to tell me how Ram Bomjon shone a light out of his forehead.

    I am ready to be impressed by your eminent correctness in all things.

  • James

    Jim wrote:

    “…I’ve decided to take a deep breath, and take a whole new approach to this:
    Oh, you are sooooooooooooooo right.
    I kneel down to you!

    James replies:

    YAWN.

  • Jim

    No! Don’t sleep! I need to know!

    You say it’s all POSSIBLE. And you are clearly in the know.

    So tell me!

    How can a human hibernate using body stores of fat without having body stores of fat?

    Next, I’d like to know how Ram Bomjon managed to walk for five days after hibernating.

    I’d also like you to tell me how Ram Bomjon shone a light out of his forehead.

    I am ready to be impressed by your eminent correctness in all things.

    I’m sure you’re just pausing for dramatic effect.

  • Layla

    James, finally with post #130 you’re starting to dig yourself out of the mud and make some sense. This should illustrate to everyone the value of English 101 courses that insist on topic sentences, reasons and examples, and a 250-word limit.

    Did anyone else notice in James’ buddhadharma link that Bamjon himself believes he is eating? “I asked him why he did not take any food. I also asked him if he was not hungry. He replied that two Nagas (snakes) would sit here on the right and left side and the Naga sitting on the right side would give him milk and that was enough for him.”

    From the same site on whether Bamjan is a Buddha: “In the 75th day of meditation, he opened the eyes and asked his elder brother Ganga Bahadur Bamjan to call him by the words ‘Om Namo Buddha Gyani.’” Near the town of Dhulikhel about two hours by bus east of Katmandu, there is an important pilgrimage destination for Buddhists: a shrine to Namobuddha. A three hour trek though breathtaking scenery bring you to a white stupa with the eyes on the outside and inside several pictures of a tiger swallowing a Buddha whole. According to Lonely Planet, “A legend relates that a Buddha came across a tigress close to death from starvation and unable to feed her cubs. The sorrowful Buddha allowed the hungry tigress to consume him.”

    Jim’s BBC link gives a further clue, “Tired from the decade-old armed conflict that has already claimed more than 13,000 lives, followers of Bomjan claimed that he was an incarnation of Lord Buddha who was born in Nepal more than 2,500 years ago.” If Bamjon is 16 (and I’m sure James or someone will set me straight here) and the conflict has been going on for 10 years, Bomjon has been living with war since he was 6 years old. Isn’t that enough to make someone who believes in the Compassionate Buddha sit down under a tree and become anorexic? If political expression is dangerous, who would not turn to religion to express their deepest frustrations and hope for divine intervention?

    Finally, James calling someone a “lowlife” is an example of the “argumentum ad hominem” fallacy.

    http://atheism.about.com/library/FAQs/skepticism/blfaq_fall_abusive.htm

    Specifically see #6 regarding the word “twit.”

  • James

    Some more interesting material involving Western Scientists witnessing
    radical changes in metabolic rates via yoga:
    ———-
    The study of this phenomenon, as mentioned, is scheduled to be conducted at the Autonomic Physiology Laboratory of the Columbia-Cornell Medical Center within the next several months. With the present author as Principle Investigator, the study has been designed by him and the above-mentioned researchers. HC Heller, Chairman of the Biology Department and Dean of Students at Stanford University, is an authority on mammalian hibernation, and R Elsner, formerly of the prestigious Scripps Research Institute, is one of the world’s leading experts on the physiology of diving mammals. The study of this phenomenon, far from merely representing an exotic, anomalous sideshow technique, actually represents part of the spectrum of enhanced physiological functioning that constitutes the true potential of human nature as understood empirically in the advanced yogic science of India.

    several previous preliminary clinical investigations, including by members of our own research team, have shown that dramatic voluntary control over respiration and metabolism may in fact be involved. In these several studies, the yogis agreed to perform the samadhi under controlled conditions while being monitored physiologically (Anand, Chhina, & Singh 1961; Heller, Elsner, and Rao 1987; and see also Benson et al 1990, who studied a similar practice in Tibetan yogis). In these several cases, the yogis demonstrated an unprecedented voluntarily-induced state of profound hypometabolism, ranging from 40-64% below resting baseline. Such states are generally only encountered in profoundly hypothermic individuals close to death.

    Furthermore, Mahayogi Pilot Baba has purportedly demonstrated the more extreme variation of this practice, the underwater or jala samadhi, for four days (see for example, CNN World News, November 5, 1992). If such a feat proves to be possible under controlled conditions – as is soon to be tested – this indeed would constitute a revolution in Western physiological science. Such a feat would require, among a number of critical adaptations, the survival of extended respiratory suspension and circulatory arrest. Although human survival of circulatory arrest for briefer durations has been conclusively documented – in, for example, cases of medically induced hypothermia for surgery and cold-water near-drownings – the voluntary induction and survival of such a phenomenon is scientifically unprecedented. (See Bushell, in preparation, for comprehensive review of this data and discussion of allegedly demonstrated heart-stopping by yoga practitioners. On the genetic relevance of hibernation for primates, including humans, see Andrews et al 1998, Srere et al 1992).

    Two of the members of our research team are leading experts on CR and its comprehensive health-enhancing, brain-rejuvenating, longevity-promoting effects: Roy Walford, MD, of UCLA Medical Center, a pioneer in this field for over four decades, who is a Founding Board Member of the National Institutes on Aging and recent recipient of the distinguished Ipsen Award for Longevity Research (Paris, 1998); and Leonard Guarente, PhD, Novartis Professor of Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who was recently profiled in the New York Times (September 26, 2000) as a leading figure in the emerging field of longevity biology.

    3.The spectacle of the underground (bhugarbha) samadhi that I was privileged to witness at the Kumbha Mela camp of Mahayogi Pilot Baba was truly impressive. Performed by his student, Yog Mata Keiko Aikawa, a Japanese woman, the yogini was buried in an underground pit for 72 hours. She emerged on the afternoon of January 23rd in apparently excellent condition after having entered the pit, which was covered over with earth, on the afternoon of January 20th.

    William C Bushell, PhD is affiliated with the Anthropology Program at MIT and is currently a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University. Dr Bushell received his degrees in medical and biological anthropology from Columbia University with Honors, and was a Fulbright Scholar and a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard. His research is focused on the health-enhancing effects of cognitive-behavioral (C-B) practices such as mediation cross—culturally and physiologically, and he recently presented a paper on C-B induced stem cell activation and regeneration at the Salk Institute. Dr Bushell co-directed a previous conference on the health-enhancing effects of meditation with His Holiness the Dalai Lama (1998).

  • Jim

    Wow! That’s incredible!

    Unfortunately, it’s all tentative and yet to be confirmed and purported and “soon to be tested.” But I’m SURE that you’ll inform me when the actual science is actually done and the reports come out. And stuff.

    And gosh, there’s no physiological mechanism specified. Just “looky looky neat.”

    But I’m sure you knew that, being so smart.

    You must be building the suspense further! So I’ll play along.

    Here are the questions again:

    How can a human hibernate using body stores of fat without having body stores of fat?

    Next, I’d like to know how Ram Bomjon managed to walk for five days after hibernating.

    I’d also like you to tell me how Ram Bomjon shone a light out of his forehead.

    I am ready to be impressed by your eminent correctness in all things.

  • James

    Here are interesting excerts from physiological studies on yoga / meditation practioners
    in which similarities to hibernation are found..

    James

    http://physiologyonline.physiology.org/cgi/content/full/13/3/149
    Meditation as a Voluntary Hypometabolic State of Biological Estivation
    John Ding-E Young and Eugene Taylor

    J. D.-E Young is Adjunct Professor, Laboratory of Cellular Physiology and Immunology, Rockefeller University, and President of Inteplast Corp., Livingston, NJ, USA. E. Taylor is Lecturer on Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, and Core Faculty member, Saybrook Graduate School.

    meditation can have a significant influence in the treatment of hypertension, high cholesterol, and ischemic heart disease and has been found to be effective in the management of acute and chronic pain. Meditation has been shown to have a beneficial effect on a spectrum of human behaviors, ranging from alcohol and drug addiction to creativity and school performance. All of these effects represent significant attempts at increased adaptation to exigencies in the natural as well as man-made environment. Also, because it is a voluntary activity and can be induced at any time, meditation cannot be considered solely as either a hibernating or an estivating response alone. We have chosen to call it an estivating response only because the summer activity of reduced metabolism connotes a condition that is not usually permanent throughout the season but rather varies, and, although the feats of exceptionally advanced meditators look more like hibernation, the normal practitioner of meditation exhibits milder changes that are more like the estivating response.

    Some freshwater turtles are able to stop their heartbeat for as long as 6 mo while buried on the floor of a vernal pond. During his 8-day stay in an underground pit, Yogi Satyamurti exhibited a marked tachycardia of 250 beats/min for the first 29 h of his stay. Thereafter, for the next 6.5 days, the ECG complexes were replaced by an isoelectric line, showing no heartbeat whatsoever (see Fig. 1). The experimenters at first thought he had died. Then, 0.5 h before the experiment was due to end on the 8th day, the ECG resumed, recording normal heart rate activity. Satyamurti also exhibited other behaviors similar to hibernating organisms. One of the most economical methods of preserving energy during hibernation requires animals to bring their body temperature down to that of the surrounding environment. Satyamurti, brought out of the pit on the 8th day, cold and shivering, showed a body temperature approximately equal to that maintained in the pit, namely, 34.8°C (see Table 1).

    Tibetan monks studied in their natural environment in a Himalayan monastery practicing G Tum-mo yoga have been shown to first enter any one of several states of quiet meditation, after which they are able to generate such body heat that they can dry wet sheets on their back in freezing weather (1).

    It is interesting to contrast this with Indian yogis studied under laboratory conditions of simulated pit burial. One yogi went into a state of deep bodily rest and lowered metabolism and was able to remain in an airtight box with no ill effects and no sign of tachycardia or hyperpnea for 10 h. In a different study done in a more naturalistic setting on a different adept, Yogi Satyamurti (70 yr of age) remained confined in a small underground pit, sealed from the top, for 8 days. He was physically restricted by recording wires, during which time electrocardiogram (ECG) results showed his heart rate to be below the measurable sensitivity of the recording instruments (see Fig. 1).

  • Jim

    Neato! Of course, you know that the authors say, “In fact, true hibernation is seen only in small animals,” in the very same paper. So that doesn’t answer question #1. Oh darn. But I know you’re building up to it! ! So I’ll play along.

    Here are the questions again:

    How can a human hibernate using body stores of fat without having body stores of fat?

    Next, I’d like to know how Ram Bomjon managed to walk for five days after hibernating.

    I’d also like you to tell me how Ram Bomjon shone a light out of his forehead.

    I am ready to be impressed by your eminent correctness in all things.

  • James

    Jim asks for answers to three questions he’s created.

    James replies:

    We’ll have to wait and see. I haven’t read of the answers to your questions anywhere yet,
    and I don’t make them up.

    It’s possible that some of the people who claim to have seen a light around him just imagined that.

    If the ice cream is top quality at his new location, he may have had superduper desire to overcome his weakness
    for the five day walk. Or…. maybe his friends walked, and they carried him there – sitting on something.

    These few studies I’ve read about science studies of yogi’s indicate that some of them
    radicall change their need for calories, burning carbohydrates vs. protein somehow.
    But I haven’t seen much detail on that topic.

    True, true hibernation is seen only in small animals, and it says that there are parallels between
    deep hypometabolic meditation and hibernation. All I have suggested myself is that
    Bomjon may accomplish those things via a hibernation-like metabolic slowing. Look in my writings and you’ll see I’ve qualified my references generally with “hibernation-like” and words to that effect.

    James

  • James

    A paragraph that I find very interesting is the following one. In spite of the comment about small animals have
    hibernation, they also write that meditation is iberation in the case of the most advanced
    meditators. Note that they say advanced meditators appear to hibernate while less advanced meditators look more like they are estivating. They seem to say that since meditators can voluntarily enter this hypometabolic state, features of both hibernation and estivation are seen. I have mentioned hibernation throughout this topic no as the sole explanation of what is going on with hypometabolism but as a useful model for analysis. This article and these specialists seem to view hibernation in that light too. That’s good enough for me. These guys seem to be saying that they consider advanced meditators to be volluntarily entering into hibernation.

    Wikipedia offers this explanation of estivation:

    Estivation or aestivation (from Latin aestas, summer) is a state of dormancy similar to hibernation. Animals that estivate spend a summer inactive and insulated against heat to avoid the potentially harmful effects of the season.

    James
    —–

    Also, because it is a voluntary activity and can be induced at any time, meditation cannot be considered solely as either a hibernating or an estivating response alone. We have chosen to call it an estivating response only because the summer activity of reduced metabolism connotes a condition that is not usually permanent throughout the season but rather varies, and, although the feats of exceptionally advanced meditators look more like hibernation, the normal practitioner of meditation exhibits milder changes that are more like the estivating response.

  • Jim

    So far, answers to the questions:

    How can a human hibernate using body stores of fat without having body stores of fat?

    No answer providing a mechanism. And confusion in the past two posts about whether hibernation is responsible (two posts ago) or not (one post ago). If not, there must be something else. What is it?

    Next, I’d like to know how Ram Bomjon managed to walk for five days after hibernating.

    No answer except to say that maybe he didn’t walk. But a member of Bomjon’s handling committee who said Bomjon spoke to him said specifically that “He also said that he has camped in an undisclosed place where he reached after walking for five days and five nights.” And a joke about ice cream.

    I’d also like you to tell me how Ram Bomjon shone a light out of his forehead.

    No answer except that maybe someone imagined it.

    I am ready to be impressed by your eminent correctness in all things. I know you’re just waiting to spring it on me, because if you can’t arrive at a possible explanation, I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t accept the simpler explanation, ready-to-go and in alliance with what’s known about laws of physics and patterns of human physiology, that it likely didn’t happen. And if the committee surrounding Bomjon made up one story about something extraordinary happening that didn’t happen, it would be reasonable to question the veracity of all the other extraordinary claims the committe of handlers has been making.

    I’ll just keep waiting for the answers that tell me how this is all possible. Because the antonym of possible is … um …

    Well, nevermind. I know the answers are forthcoming to make it all clear and help me clear this pesky cloud of cynicism once and for all.

  • Jim

    Ooooh! Ooooh! I have more questions! And I know you will explain it all.

    Since you took this website as a good source of information, I will too. I want to know, to add this all to the three previous questions:

    4. How does Ram Bomjon manage to have a source of light emanate not just from his forehead, but also from his left side… AND have it enter his chest? They say this is captured on VIDEOTAPE! Wow! How does that work?

    5. Is it six months or ten months that Bomjon didn’t take food or water?

    6. How did it happen that one of Ram Bomjon’s sisters became unable to speak after she said she doubted the veracity of Ram Bomjon’s meditation without food or water, and remained unable to speak for 22 days? How does that work?

    7. How did the previously speechless boy Rajesh Mahat gain the power of speech after seeing Ram Bomjon? How does that work?

    8. Is it true that more than 100,000,000 rupees of revenue has been generated from sales surrounding Ram Bomjon? If this is not true, are the other claims in the website true? How do you know the difference?

    9. How did one of Ram Bomjon’s ancestors learn how to fly?

    10. Is Ram Bomjon an incarnation of Lord Krishna?

    11. What did Ram Bomjon mean when he said he had yet to acquire the Buddha’s energy?

    12. How will Ram Bomjon bring peace to the world, as he says, through six years of meditation? How does this work?

    13. When Gyansagar Lama, “the famous Guru who preaches non-violence,” declares Ram Bomjon to be the reincarnation of Buddha, do you believe him? What’s the standard by which you believe or do not believe him?

    14. If, before his meditation, Ram Bomjon “could not walk straight. He limped,” then how could he manage to emerge from (six?) (ten?) months of meditation without eating or drinking and walk for five days and nights to an undisclosed jungle location?

  • James

    Jim asks James 14 questions:

    James replies:

    1. I have many more questions after reading all this material than the mere 14 you listed.

    2. In the material I’ve read so far, I haven’t noticed answers to your short list of questions.

    3. My questions seem more interesting than yours!

    James

  • Jim

    Surely you’re going to answer my questions, since you implied I was a “lowlife” for what you perceived to be my not answering yours. Why clam up now?

    But of course you won’t clam up, because you know about Ram Bomjon and have that strong intuition that this is “possible.” So surely explanations exist!

    I’m waiting with great anticipation!

  • James

    Jim wrote:

    “…..Surely you’re going to answer my questions…..”

    James replies:

    When I read new and credible, interesting information relating to your questions,
    I’ll consider sharing it then.

  • Anti Clifford

    Jim your done you start loosing your nuts off you just keep repeating same questioned like a brocken records, your allways twisting the situation huh, how about your BALLONY the Ron Bunyan thing that idea is provoking, Mockery doesnt make any sense, do you think we bite that piece of your ballony No No that’s phatetic, your world is getting smaller now, you have just limited knowledge compare to MR. James intellect, he has an exellent reason, Scott your ideological knowledged is not even pretty matched up, to james rational facts evidence and matured reason, you better be thankful to James he is not just being selfished with you guys,he shared, besides you gained a lot of knowledged that you guys dont know might as well grasp the knowledged.,That’s the smart way you can do. I will tell you something guy Jim, Scott, jclifford, I know that you cannot accept the facts that you loose this argument as far as my observanced is concerned in every details of your owned writings,you guys are done.

    If you guys can’t accept this argument you gonna be a looser for ever
    But if you guys accept that you loose as a matter of rational facts,evidenced and reason you never gonna be a looser, thats the key.

    The way i looked at jclifford writing is like a frown Clown, he has a lot of fear and insicured being covered up with his own denial, hey jim you should take care of this jclifford guy before his soul burnt to Hell. save him, the fruits of his negative actions thougts and ideas are getting closer now.

    Thank you anyways I was entertained with this wonderful arguments

    So long
    Anti Clifford

  • Jim

    And… James is gone!

    Like the wind, swiftly passing over the plains.

    No answers?

    But you said the Ram Bomjon phenomenon was possible! I just want to know how.

    Why won’t you illuminate the situation further? Maybe with your forehead? If Ram Bomjon can do it…

    I know you won’t let me down. I know you’ll come back and clarify all this. Because you’re right — we should have an open mind about forehead-lit, light absorbing, hibernating, speech-giving, muteness-imposing, world-peace achieving kids who don’t eat or drink for six (ten?) months, go on a five day and night hike although they are gimpy and are descended from levitators. Yes, I’m keeping an open mind, and I know you will explain the plausibility of it all.

  • Mackers

    Jim your pathetic sad lonely being stop crawling on the ground,holly molly.

  • Jim

    Don’t change the subject. It’s not about lowlife me. It’s about the miracle of Ram Bomjon. Where are the answers? Will I need to go into the forest for six years to find them? I don’t think so; I’m sure James will promptly explain how this all this apparent bullshit is really a beautiful flower. I have faith and an open mind!

  • Alan

    So that’s the whole show? Thousands and thousands of keystrokes later, and what did they all come up with–skepticism is easier than spirituality? We already knew that.

  • Alan

    Isn’t Krishna one of those gods that tells people they have to kill someone?

  • Alan

    Chomsky says, “A standard technique of belief formation is to do something in your own interest and then to construct a framework in which that’s the right thing to do.”

  • Scott

    I just want to agree with Alan, the Chomsky quote is insightful.
    But just so people don’t misunderstand, Chomsky is saying that this is a bad thing to do–not an appropriate means of arriving at accurate beliefs.

  • etct

    Jim… you are a pathetic crawler… and no-one really cares if you continue to suck mud through your nostrils.
    Some far more creative and intelligent people have tried to lift you from your pathetic one-eyed views but when you are mind-locked such as you are then there is no need for faith…I am sure you have won the faith of no-one on this board. You can’t look around at all the billions of things you have no explanation for and recognise the need to appreciate the virtues of faith… instead you think its important to only believe what you have already managed to stuff into your pathetically malnurished bag of facts and that with this attitude you can unloch all of lifes mysteries. Well thats about how pathetic you are… and I’m not surprised if James has finished wasting his time on your deaf ears and your empty soul.

  • Jim

    Funny thing, etct: all I see you do is call me a mud-sucking, pathetic, one-eyed, mindlocked, faithless, pathetic (again), deaf and empty person. That, and to say that I don’t appreciate faith because I don’t have faith and need faith.

    If you want to insult me, congratulations: you’ve done that.

    Want to offer some more words of insult? They’re usually good as defense mechanisms. If it makes you feel better, go ahead. I suggest you progress right to “asshole fagmouth motherfucker.” Say it five times fast, and I’m sure you’ll feel cleansed: Jim is an asshole fagmouth motherfucker.

    If you have enough faith, perhaps that will make it true.

  • Alan

    “Lowlife.” You forgot lowlife again.

  • James

    Alan and Scott wrote:
    —–
    Alan Says:
    Chomsky says, “A standard technique of belief formation is to do something in your own interest and then to construct a framework in which that’s the right thing to do.”

    Scott Says:
    I just want to agree with Alan, the Chomsky quote is insightful.
    But just so people don’t misunderstand, Chomsky is saying that this is a bad thing to do–not an appropriate means of arriving at accurate beliefs.
    ————–

    James replies:

    So what? It would not be justified to believe that “Chomsky said X, so X is true.”

    or even….”Comsky said X, so X is relevant…..or insightful.”

    And who cares if Chomsky thought something was right or wrong?

    Chomsky is a linguist, whose linguistical insights are controversial – not universally accepted.

    The Wikepedia and other encyclopedias have sections on the theory of knowledge, an belief formation.
    Chomsky’s beliefs are not usually a part of such sections, and certainly not dominant parts thereof.

    He’s a relative nobody in that domain of philosophy.

    —————————-

    James

  • James

    In comment no. 65, Scott says:

    “…………If your reasons for choosing beliefs offer no justification for believing them to be true, then they are illegitimate means for adjudicating beliefs.

    James replies:

    Scott’s above statement, that without proper justification a belief is not “legitimate” sounds
    much like the theory of JUSTIFIED TRUE BELIEF as outlined in a Wikipedia article on that topic.

    The Wikipedia article summarizing the theories of BELIEF and KNOWLEDGE/KNOWING
    mention that JUSTIFIED TRUE BELIEF cannot offer a complete picture of knowledge.

    The fact that Scott’s view of justified true belief is contradicted by other theories
    was omitted from Scott’s discussions here. The Wikipedia discusses both sides
    of that concept, while Scott, a teacher, only mentions part of the story.

    WIKIPEDIA:

    Knowledge is often defined as justified true belief, in that the belief must be considered to correspond to reality and must be derived from valid evidence and arguments. However, this definition has been challenged by the Gettier problem which suggests that justified true belief does not provide a complete picture of knowledge.

    Belief – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belief

    Knowledge is often defined as justified true belief, in that the belief must be considered to correspond to reality and must be derived from valid evidence and arguments. However, this definition has been challenged by the Gettier problem which suggests that justified true belief does not provide a complete picture of knowledge.

    In the religious sense, “belief” refers to a part of a wider spiritual or moral foundation, generally called faith;

    The concept of belief presumes a subject (the believer) and an object of belief (the proposition) so like other propositional attitudes, belief implies the existence of mental states and intentionality, both of which are hotly debated topics in the philosophy of mind and whose foundations and relation to brain states are still controversial.

  • James

    In no. 78, Scott wrote:

    “…………….I am more inclined than not to believe in God, but I’m not going to base my beliefs on arbitrary criteria..”

    James writes:

    Scott, is you belief in God justified, and if so how, by what justifier?

    James

  • James

    Chomsky the linguist, with strong opinions against America, has been recogised as “wrong” in many contexts, including
    his tendency to defend murderous communist regimes:

    —–

    When the Khmer Rouge took over Cambodia in 1975 both Chomsky and the New Left welcomed it. And when news emerged of the extraordinary event that immediately followed, the complete evacuation of the capital Phnom Penh accompanied by reports of widespread killings, Chomsky offered a rationalization similar to those he had provided for the terror in China and Vietnam: there might have been some violence, but this was understandable under conditions of regime change and social revolution.

    Kiernan was an author who disagreed, and later went on to write The Pol Pot Regime: Race, Power and Genocide under the Khmer Rouge 1975–79, a book now widely regarded as the definitive analysis of one of the most appalling episodes in recorded history. In the evacuation of Phnom Penh in 1975, tens of thousands of people died. Almost the entire middle class was deliberately targeted and killed, including civil servants, teachers, intellectuals, and artists. No fewer than 68,000 Buddhist monks out of a total of 70,000 were executed. Fifty percent of urban Chinese were murdered.

    Kiernan argues for a total death toll between April 1975 and January 1979, when the Vietnamese invasion put an end to the regime, of 1.67 million out of 7.89 million, or 21 percent of the entire population. This is proportionally the greatest mass killing ever inflicted by a government on its own population in modern times, probably in all history.

    Chomsky was this regime’s most prestigious and most persistent Western apologist. Even as late as 1988, when they were forced to admit in their book Manufacturing Consent that Pol Pot had committed genocide against his own people, Chomsky and Herman still insisted they had been right to reject the journalists and authors who had initially reported the story.

  • James

    Chomsky was reportedly wrong or careless or both in another context:

    He told a reporter from salon.com that he now had credible statistics to show there were many more Sudanese victims than those killed in New York and Washington: “That one bombing, according to estimates made by the German Embassy in Sudan and Human Rights Watch, probably led to tens of thousands of deaths.”

    However, this claim was quickly rendered suspect. One of his two sources, Human Rights Watch, wrote to salon.com the following week denying it had produced any such figure. Its communications director said: “In fact, Human Rights Watch has conducted no research into civilian deaths as the result of US bombing in Sudan and would not make such an assessment without a careful and thorough research mission on the ground.”

    Chomsky’s second source had done no research into the matter either. He was Werner Daum, German ambassador to Sudan from 1996 to 2000

  • James

    Chomsky is reported to be a big hypocrite:

    Noam Chomsky
    http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/issuesideas/story.html?id=1385b76d-6c34-4c22-942a-18b71f2c4a44
    Sunday, April 09, 2006 11:31:26 PM GMT-7

    One of the most persistent themes in Noam Chomsky’s work has been class warfare. The iconic MIT linguist and left-wing activist frequently has lashed out against the “massive use of tax havens to shift the burden to the general population and away from the rich,” and criticized the concentration of wealth in “trusts” by the wealthiest 1%. He says the U.S. tax code is rigged with “complicated devices for ensuring that the poor — like 80% of the population — pay off the rich.”
    But trusts can’t be all bad. After all, Chomsky, with a net worth north of US$2-million, decided to create one for himself. A few years back he went to Boston’s venerable white-shoe law firm, Palmer and Dodge, and, with the help of a tax attorney specializing in “income-tax planning,” set up an irrevocable trust to protect his assets from Uncle Sam. He named his tax attorney (every socialist radical needs one!) and a daughter as trustees. To the Diane Chomsky Irrevocable Trust (named for another daughter) he has assigned the copyright of several of his books, including multiple international editions.
    Chomsky favours massive income redistribution — just not the redistribution of his income. No reason to let radical politics get in the way of sound estate planning.
    When I challenged Chomsky about his trust, he suddenly started to sound very bourgeois: “I don’t apologize for putting aside money for my children and grandchildren

  • James

    Simon says/Chomsky says:

    Chomsky more ready for “irrational beliefs” than Scott??

    Science & Theology News – Challenging false prophets
    http://www.stnews.org/news-2748.htm

    People have a right to believe whatever they like, including irrational beliefs. In fact, we all have irrational beliefs, in a certain sense. We have to. If I walk out the door, I have an irrational belief that the floor is there. Can I prove it? You know if I’m paying attention to it I see that it’s there, but I can’t prove it. In fact, if you’re a scientist, you don’t prove anything.

  • James

    Simon says/Chomsky says:

    Chomsky said that the world is not intelligible.

    Science & Theology News – Challenging false prophets
    http://www.stnews.org/news-2748.htm

    Humans, as far as we know, are unique in the animal world in that they’re reflective creatures. That is, they try to make some sense out of their experience.
    There are all kinds of ways of doing this: some are called myth, some are called magic, some are called religion. Science is a particular one — it’s a particular form of trying to gain some understanding of our experiences, organize them. It relies on evidence, coherent argument, principles that have some explanatory depth, if possible. And that mode of inquiry, which has been, particularly in the last couple hundred years, extremely successful, has its scope and its limits. What the limits are we don’t really know.
    In fact, if you look at the history of science seriously, in the seventeenth century there was a major challenge to the existing scientific approach. I mean, it was assumed by Galileo and Descartes and classical scientists that the world would be intelligible to us, that all we had to do was think about it and it would be intelligible.

    Newton disproved them. He showed that the world is not intelligible to us.

    James comments:

    Well….if Chomsky says the world is not intelligible, then I suppose that
    no part of the world is intelligible to him either. Nor is the “formation of beliefs” intelligible to him, as Alan and Scott suggested.

  • Alan

    Simon says, “…in a large organization with complex interrelations between members, a restricted span of control inevitabley produces excessive red tape, for each contact between organization members must be carried upward until a common superior is found. If the organization is at all large, this will involve carrying all such matters upward through several levels of officials for decision and then downward again in the form of orders and instructions-a cumbersome and time-consuming process.” -Herbert A. Simon

  • Jim

    Wow, James, that sure is a lot of interesting Wikipedia material! You are very well read.

    However, since

    a) I know you are not a “lowlife”
    and
    b) You told me I was a “lowlife” for not answering your questions (and haven’t taken that back since I indeed answered them),

    I’d like to know the answers to the following questions about the Ram Bomjon alleged phenomenon, which you say is possible to be true. If you know the Ram Bomjon phenomenon to be possible, then the following questions should be no sweat to address.

    Since you’re not a lowlife by any means, since you’ve demonstrated that you’re very well read, and since you’re a very smart cookie, I know that you will answer these questions:

    1. How can a human hibernate using body stores of fat without having body stores of fat?

    2. Next, I’d like to know how Ram Bomjon managed to walk for five days after hibernating.

    3. I’d also like you to tell me how Ram Bomjon shone a light out of his forehead.

    4. How does Ram Bomjon manage to have a source of light emanate not just from his forehead, but also from his left side… AND have it enter his chest? They say this is captured on VIDEOTAPE! Wow! How does that work?

    5. Is it six months or ten months that Bomjon didn’t take food or water?

    6. How did it happen that one of Ram Bomjon’s sisters became unable to speak after she said she doubted the veracity of Ram Bomjon’s meditation without food or water, and remained unable to speak for 22 days? How does that work?

    7. How did the previously speechless boy Rajesh Mahat gain the power of speech after seeing Ram Bomjon? How does that work?

    8. Is it true that more than 100,000,000 rupees of revenue has been generated from sales surrounding Ram Bomjon? If this is not true, are the other claims in the website that you took as a legitimate source of information true? How do you know the difference?

    9. How did one of Ram Bomjon’s ancestors learn how to fly?

    10. Is Ram Bomjon an incarnation of Lord Krishna?

    11. What did Ram Bomjon mean when he said he had yet to acquire the Buddha’s energy?

    12. How will Ram Bomjon bring peace to the world, as he says, through six years of meditation? How does this work?

    13. When Gyansagar Lama, “the famous Guru who preaches non-violence,” declares Ram Bomjon to be the reincarnation of Buddha, do you believe him? What’s the standard by which you believe or do not believe him?

    14. If, before his meditation, Ram Bomjon “could not walk straight. He limped,” then how could he manage to emerge from (six?) (ten?) months of meditation without eating or drinking and walk for five days and nights to an undisclosed jungle location?

    Looking forward to those answers to explain how this all is possible. I look forward to being educated.

  • Scott

    James,
    Post 192: [Chomsky is] a relative nobody in that domain of philosophy.
    I don’t know if I want to do this, as I’m sure you’re going to say “but I meant something else” but here we go…
    – as you recognize, he is a linguist, not a philosopher
    – he is widely respected amongst philosophers
    – being controversial does not equal not being respected
    – being controversial does not equal not being influential
    – in the philosophy of language, Chomsky is widely cited, and highly respected.
    – he is the most important theorist in linguistics. Is he wrong–probably. It is in the nature of academics to put forth conjecture to be refuted. This is how scientific knowledge advances.
    – personally, I disagree with him in most of what he says about linguistics, and a large part of his political views. Do I respect him any less? Not at all.
    * as a side note, some of us were recently making fun of “intellectuals” for referring to Chomsky for just about everything:
    link
    Post 193:”he fact that Scott’s view of justified true belief is contradicted by other theories
    was omitted from Scott’s discussions here. The Wikipedia discusses both sides
    of that concept, while Scott, a teacher, only mentions part of the story.”
    Are you suggesting I’m being deliberately misleading for not discussing Edmund Gettier?
    Granted, I haven’t looked up the Wikipedia sites on Gettier, the JTB definition of knowledge, belief, or epistemology.
    My limited experience with Wikipedia suggests that in fairly technical subjects, it can be somewhat misleading.
    (I marked a large number of papers on Utilitarianism, Bentham, & JS Mill over the weekend, and those students that used Wik as a primary source did not get it right)–but as I said, I haven’t looked at the entries you have mentioned. And I’m not going to either. I do know the material.
    So why did I leave out Gettier?
    When I teach Introductory Logic or Introductory Philosophy, I don’t mention it there either. This is a discussion board, not a senior undergrad class on epistemology. There are multiple possible avenues of epistemological discussion, some far more significant than Gettier. It’s not necessary to understand the totality of epistemological theory to understand the points I made above.
    Most avenues of epistemological theory only achieve significance in light of the JTB theory of knowledge.
    That said, my own views are more alethic and Humean.
    Now, the important question–
    Your contention has been that your internal truth detectors (my term, not yours–I am not putting words in your mouth) are more accurate than your senses, observation, science, rationality and logic.
    Does the Gettier problem offer your position support in any way? if you think it does, you haven’t made your case.
    Gettier argued that one can hold a JTB, and it not count as knowledge. He makes an interesting case, but a common critique of Gettier is that he is using a weak definition of justification. He says nothing about your internal truth detectors.
    Gettier has earned a place in the history of epistemology. His place is a footnote. An interesting footnote, but a footnote.
    From what I can tell, it appears that your sole reason for bringing up Gettier is to make it look like I’ve been deliberately misleading.
    Post 194: “Scott, is you belief in God justified, and if so how, by what justifier?”
    Good question, I was unclear in what I’d said earlier. I didn’t say I do believe in God, I said I’d prefer to believe in God. My view is that the only intellectually honest position has to be between (and not include)atheisand theism, i.e. agnosticism. Having said that, all things being equal, my bias is to hope. I know that I’d like to believe in God, not that I do believe. I do not think that my hope/preference/bias counts as a good enough reason to say “I believe.”
    Hopefully somebody else will respond to your critique of Chomsky–suffice it to say I think you are (mostly) unfair in your criticisms. I’m afraid I’ve still got stacks of marking to do.
    Best,
    Scott

  • Alan

    Scott,

    I’m afraid linguists consider Chomsky to be primarily a philosopher. Linguists claim Chomsky made an original contribution to the field of linguistics, but they can’t really explain what it was. They leave it to students to copy the explanation out of the textbook, then quickly move on to some other theory that actually has some practical application in the classroom.

    I don’t think James has an original point of view. He seems to be just pasting large amounts of material from online sources without reading it or reflecting on it. If he wants to play Google Roulette to amuse himself, that’s one thing, but other readers don’t find it interesting to read and have repeatedly told him so.

    James is presenting himself as either a Buddhist or someone who knows something about Buddhaism. He seems to be asserting that the so-called Buddhist ‘miracles’ actually occur as claimed and that they have a scientific explanation. He doesn’t seem to be able to support his opinion, though, which is when he starts shooting from the hip and pasting a lot of random stuff written by other people about whatever subject someone happens to mention, instead of addressing the questions about Buddhaism he has stirred up.

    James,
    The Chomsky citation was actually a fake Chomsky quote that Chomsky himself made up so he would have something philosophical to put on his door in case any linguists passed by.

  • Patricia

    From Ram Bomjon to Noam Chomsky? Oh, ick.

    Cult figure to cult figure.

  • Scott

    Alan,
    Ain’t it fun playin’ the fake “Chomsky says” game.
    The reason I think Chomsky is influencial in linguistics–and this may be convoluted, and deiberately simplified, but–is that he is pretty well the starting point for everybody. Everybody learns–tries to learn–his theories, digest them, figure out why they disagree with them, and (bibbidy bobbidy boo) there’s a new theory of linguistics.
    By analogy, the person who has most influenced my views on the philosophy of mind is Dennett. I disagree with virtually everything he said, but I arrived at my views largely by using Dennett as a whetstone.
    I agree that Chomsky’s method of analysis is quite philosophic, but I would still lump him in more with the linguists than the philosophers.
    Patricia,
    Sure Ram Bomjon and Chomsky are somehow on par with each other.

  • Patricia

    Well, I don’t blame Noam Chomsky so much as those liberal dittoheads who have to say a “Noam Chomsky said…” in every darn meeting they go to.

    Hey, I’m a liberal, and it bugs me.

    They aren’t on par with eachother, but for some liberals, Noam Chomsky is a kind of cult figure way beyond what reason would dictate, and no, I don’t get it.

  • Scott

    Sorry, I actually figured you meant it sarcastically. I should have mentioned that.
    I’m a great admirer of NC, but you are right, the sycophantic ravings of pseudo-intellectual on the left is a bit over the top.
    — though, yes, I did have three NC quotes on my door a couple of weeks ago. I always have a couple of quotes about open mindedness, freedom of expression, or epistemology. Just happened to like 3 from NC at the same time’s’all .

  • Patricia

    Oh, I never go out on a cold winter’s day without having at least one quote about epistemology on me.

    Just in case, you know.

  • Alan

    I think I’m starting to get the hang of the Chomsky thing, yes, it’s great fun, but I see it can annoy people. I’ve always tried to avoid annoying people, but maybe there’s a use for that too.

    I’m afraid my training in linguistics was more practical; as I recall Chomsky’s liguistics theory said we are hardwired for language, something like that. If you take some kids from Timbuktu and plop them down in the middle of Outer Mongolia, they will learn to speak Outer Mongolese, but monkeys do not exhibit this behaviour. Of course, NC says it in a more profound way. I don’t remember any of the other theorists, and i didn’t bother to save the text. There’s the communictive approach now in favor, the Silent Way, and my personal favorite, the audio lingual method which is out of favor. I hear phonics is also out of favor, which is why America’s reading scores have dropped and everythihg that used to be college level is now written on a ten-grade level in the Great Dumbing Down of American education. but don’t get me started on phonics, or i’ll get cranky.

    Dennett I don’t remember ever coming across, he doesn’t seem to have the same wealth of info on the web as NC.

    I think Chomsky fascinates becasue he seems to open a window of understanding into something profound, then after reading a few paragraphs, you figure out he is talking about something completely different from whatever insight you thought he had. Then suddenly you’re in this very intriguing world where everything is internally consistant, and all the dots are connected, but nothing bears any resemblance to the real outside world. Sort of like the Ram Bomjon world where snakes talk in your ear and feed you milk, as they have been doing for thousands of years. A world of icons. Sort of like Carlos Casteneda’s Path With Heart. Then if you want to be able to function effectively, you have to come back out of that world.

  • Scott

    Awesome analysis of NC, both in your summary and critique.
    I highly recommend Daniel Dennett’s “Consciousness Explained.” Has little to do with language, but in philosophy of mind, one of the best books ever.
    I spent my undergrad thesis trying to figure out what’s wrong with it.

  • Alan

    Wow, I did a summary, critique, AND analysis? I hope I wasn’t too rough on him as I haven’t read him extensively.
    The biggest problem I see with Chomsky is that there is no way to test if it is true. The next problem is even if you know what is true, there is no use for it.

    If you are sitting there with a classroom full of either Timbuktuines or Outer Mongolians who want to learn English, you have to know model sentences, realia, grammar, when to do error correction, on and on. Then you have to be able to spot what you are doing wrong (are the students doing most of the talking or the teacher, which is bad for language acquisition) and correct it on the fly or for the review in the next class session, all of this while watching the time so you can have them practice to reinforce what they just learned. You’re not going to wonder about whether monkeys or even Mongolians can do this, because Mongolians pay and monkeys don’t.

    Starting to look at Dennett online book reviews:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316180661/ref=dp_return_1/102-1756695-1925704?%5Fencoding=UTF8&n=283155&s=books

    One reader says the whole book (Consciousness Explained) can be summed up in a 15-page article by Dennett and Kinsbourne: “Time and the observer, the where and when of consciousness in the brain.” Here’s the link:

    http://ase.tufts.edu/cogstud/papers/time&obs.htm

  • Mackers

    Hey Scott you read that book and you say it Awesome’ha ha ha awsome to be a hypocrites and plastic? im not impress that’s pretty corny.

  • Alan

    Mackers, what is the meaning of Mediator, you say Bomjon is Mediator?

  • Scotty

    A ten cent bet says that Mackers’s reference to “mediator” is a simple
    typo error. That is as petty and worthy as calling out here as….well as
    Alan’s spelling errors.

    Take the spelling error Alan makes in point number 210 above, for example,
    where he wrote the pseudo word “communictive.” What did Alan mean by that?

    Macker made an innocent error that isn’t evidence of anything but a moment of
    inattention.

    Alan’s writing, however, is evidence of inattentiveness, pettiness, and hypocrisy.

  • Mackers

    Bulls eye ha ha ha ha Hey Scotty/Allan i can tell that you guys are weak person and unhealthy being don’t mess with wiked person like Mackers, Hey guys that spelling shot can’t break a popcorn. Booyeah

  • Alan

    Scotty, you’re on. Ten cents says Mackers means something by “Mediator”.

    Macker had ONE moment of inattention? I don’t understand anything Mackers writes; mostly he seems to be angry. I think he does not speak English as a first language, but speaks some other language and cannot explain things in English.

    Mackers says “you never comprehend it, it is all about experienced of the Meditator,” in what I interpret as a moment of lucidity in post #22 below:

    http://irregulartimes.com/index.php/archives/2006/04/06/ram-bomjon-a-shining-light-before-men-useful-in-case-of-blackouts/

    It’s clear to me Mackers has 1) an experience of something 2) comprehension of the experience 3) an explanation for the experience that he calls ‘Mediator’. Maybe he is praying to Bomjon. I think he understands something, but I don’t think he can explain it.

    It’s really easy to avoid spelling errors if you write posts on a Word document with spell check. Then highlight, copy, and paste in the box. It’s all too true the physician does not heal herself and the shoemaker’s children do go barefoot.

    For communicative method http://www.cal.org/resources/digest/rodgers.html and scroll to schools of language.

    “inattentiveness, pettiness, and hypocrisy”? Not “lowlife” ? Why not “lowlife’? You can’t break a popcorn, Scotty, beam yourself up. Booyeah

  • Scott

    Hope it goes without saying, but Scotty is not me,

  • Scotty

    Alan, because you mock people who don’t speak english as their first language,
    the term “lowlife” seem especially applicable to you. it is clearly more polite to
    show patience and indulgence to those who struggle to communicate in that case.
    Yours is a prime example of the arrogant American (or Parisian) who nitpicks inconsequential
    language errors. You routinely seek to both mock and bait him over such trivia. Shame to you.

  • Scott

    Mackers,
    Bingloob ob sinhgsnurf. Obataybee ozsnoff in the farfur lootnes?
    Cangaling orby “Ssneeferlingering?”
    Yes, I repeat “Ssneeferlingering!”
    Yumulitiziws Urprif; Yumilitiziws Urprorif.
    Fringlehorps,
    Scott

  • Alan

    Scotty is not me either.

    Mmmmmm….fringlehorps. Lunchtime.

  • Mackers

    Obviously you guys are piss off and throwing bombed on me ha ha ha that’s a No no, I wasn’t been damage anyways. You know what guys? Im not interested of all the crap that you guys write against me it means to me that you guys are uncivilized but civilized,person. Im not making any bullshit here, right, you didnt get my point there huh, because i drive you crazy, I know how your mind works but not mine, Can i have a Question with you Guys? Seriuosly the world is watching us. You MUST have to answer this YES or NO.

  • Scott

    Mackers,
    Here’s the thing.
    You haven’t made one single point. You haven’t tried to convince anybody of anything. All YOU do is call people names. You haven’t asked any questions. You simply tell everybody they are wrong without offering any reasons why they are wrong.
    And it’s not a language problem. I assume you are ESL, but I can usually understand your English just fine, it’s that the ideas behind the language don’t make any sense.
    You yourself summarize the problem succinctly:
    “I know how your mind works but not mine.”

  • mackers

    Jim/Scott/Allan/Jclifford
    I know that you guys are Educated and Respectable Person ,but things that i dont understand is why? you guys are insulting & mocking Ram bomjon, Why you make fun of him, did you guy’s know where he goes in his Meditation?Well im not educated as you are but i have principle in my life that no one can break except the TRUTH. I have Highly Respect for the Meditating boy, even though you convicted him as Hoax and call him Anti Christ Which is not proven. We all know that this is unresolved claim. and you guys keep pushing your luck to convinced people out of your Negative Ideas, Which is Not Fair, so dont blame me if i load something that offended you. When i tried to disagree whith your idol N.Chomsky youve’d got piss. i think you should figure out my point there Scott. Do i have to Respect you for some Reason?

  • mackers

    Im not intimedated with your mother tounge , and im not copying any single word you wrote, do you really knows how my mind works? I dont think so.

  • Scott

    post 255. You said that YOU don’t know how YOUR OWN mind works. I certainly don’t have the foggiest idea how your mind works.
    Post 224: “why? you guys are insulting & mocking Ram bomjon… did you guy’s know where he goes in his Meditation”
    –If I’m making fun of anybody (can’t speak for the other guys), i’m making fun of people who are willing to believe anything and everything without warrant.
    “i have principle in my life that no one can break except the TRUTH”
    –Jolly good for you. I have no idea what you’re talking about, but it sounds peachy.
    “I have Highly Respect for the Meditating boy”
    –even though you have no reason to believe the veracity of the claims about him; and even though it goes against all that we know about biology. Again jolly good for you. You must be a person of tremendous will power because to maintain such irrational claims takes a tremendous amount of will.
    “call him Anti Christ”
    –Nobody said any such thing. This is a misunderstanding on your part, probably due to your being ESL.
    “When i tried to disagree whith your idol N.Chomsky youve’d got piss”
    –1. You can’t disagree with someone if you don’t understand it well enough to know what you are disagreeing with. 2. I don’t even remember you disagreeing with NC, that’s how devastating your critique was. 3. I disagree with Chomsky more than you do.
    “Do i have to Respect you for some Reason?”
    –intelligent people can respect each other even when they disagree. I respect you enough to tell you why I disagree with you. You just call me names.
    –I’m done responding to your trolling.
    Best wishes,
    scott

  • Alan

    Does anyone remember the old adage in the catholic christian tradition that says if a priest is sinful and still does holy communion, the transubstantiation or physical change from wine and bread into blood and body still happens? The ritual is meaningful even if the person performing it is flawed. I think we have to look at the believers separately from Bomjon. I don’t know if Mackers is drunk or crazy or ESL or all three. But he keeps talking to us so I think he cares about bomjon and I think he understands something we don’t understand. He doesn’t paste thousands of words of random quotations either. I want to know what Mackers understands. I don’t know if Mackers can explain anything.

    Mackers says, “you guys are insulting & mocking Ram bomjon,”
    Yes, I think some guys are insulting and mocking Ram Bomjon. Not all. Some people read this but do not write anything. They just read and think.

    Mackers says, “We all know that this is unresolved claim.”
    I think Mackers does not believe in Ram Bomjon. He has many questions.

    Mackers says, “you guys keep pushing your luck to convinced people out of your Negative Ideas,”
    Not all of us. Some of us want to understand. Some people push negative ideas to make people think and talk and ask questions. If they have negative ideas, give us positive ideas.

    Mackers says, “When i tried to disagree whith your idol N.Chomsky..”
    I did not see you disagree with anything. Chomsky is not our idol. He has interesting ideas, maybe crazy ideas. It is a game. His idea gives us a new idea. We play with the ideas. Maybe we will understand the truth, or maybe we will only have fun.

    Mackers says, “Do i have to Respect you for some Reason?”
    Yes. If you call people bad names, they will think you are crazy and they will not talk to you. You can disagree with them and tell them the idea is bad and say why the idea is bad. If someone calls you a bad name, you must tell them not to talk like that. If they say your idea is crazy, no problem. Show them how and why the idea is not crazy.

    Mackers says, “I know that you guys are Educated.”
    Yes. Very educated. All of us, I think. Before, we were not educated, so we understand that. Now we are educated, so we understand that too. But we still do not all agree with each other all the time.

    You have to be yourself, who else can you be?

    Mackers says, “Can i have a Question with you Guys?”
    Where is your question?

    Here is my question for Mackers: 1) are you Buddhist 2) what is the meaning of Bomjon for your life 3) what is mediator and is bomjon mediator?

  • Alan

    Scotty,

    You are a troublemaker and a hypocrite.

    You guessed wrong. Je ne parle pa Francais, but I can tell you I know for a fact that el corazon tiene razones que no tienen razon.

    You want to get all anal about the way I spell ‘communicative’, but it seems you are living in a glass house. Since it seems you ARE a native speaker, and you are overbearingly concerned about my correctness of usage, you will not mind if I point out the following not-so-inconsequential errors in your post:

    1) “English” is always capitalized.
    2) “The term ‘lowlife’ SEEMS…” (‘term’ is third person singular and takes the singular verb ‘seems’)
    3) “it is clearly more polite…” Capitalize “It” at the beginning of a sentence.
    4) “in that case” is a dangling modifier and does not belong in the dependent clause at the end of the sentence, but rather in the first part of the sentence which it modifies.
    5) “shame to you” –the correct usage is “shame on you”.

    If you had bothered to use spell check, you would have caught 3 of these 5 errors. But I think you already know that. As I said, you’re a troublemaker.

    But since you are willing to regard me as a “lowlife” I can cut you some slack this time. Besides which, that dime is as good as MINE.

  • James

    Scotty wrote to Mackers:

    “……………..–even though you have no reason to believe the veracity of the claims about him; and even though it goes against all that we know about biology. Again jolly good for you. You must be a person of tremendous will power because to maintain such irrational claims takes a tremendous amount of will.”

    James replies:

    Strikes me as wild exageration on Scott’s part to say there is “no reason” to believe the veracity of claims
    about him.

    First, my recollection is that Mackers has generally indicated he believes such claims are “possible,”
    and he hasn’t stated unequivocably that he believes the truth of those facts is a “proven fact.” I think Macker’s may have an opinion similar to mine, which is that he thinks it is possible and it certainly is not “impossible” that those claims are true. Aren’t you trying to pin him to a position that he hasn’t pinned himself to?

    Second, unless you are a clairvoyant, you can’t know all the reasons that Mackers may have considered in coming to
    believe that claims about Bomjon are possible or true. Mackers might have reasons to believe that are drawn from other websites, or the reason may be that his intuition supports his belief. How can you reasonably conclude that
    Mackers has “no reason to believe” the veracity or the possibility of veracity of claims about Bomjon?

    Third, prior posts I have made offer information that Mackers may deem sufficient reasons to believe that claims are possible or true. I’ve listed sources in which scientists indicate they think yoga practitioners may lower their metabolism by means similar to hibernation, and such low metabolic rates require less food, water, urinary activity, etc. These may be valid reasons for belief in Mackers view even if in your view they’re insufficient. To say that he has no reason to believe because you find no reason to believe is inaccurate and quite arrogant and presumptuous, i.e. you’re in effect implying that only your views of “good reasoning” are valid in the world.

    Fourth, It is wrong to say that those claims go against everything known about biology. Part of what “we” know (meaning the totality of what all we here and all scientists and other humans) about human biology in this context comes from these advanced yoga practitioners who seem to hibernate. While some of those people have been shown to be frauds in Wikipedia and other sources, not all referenced yoga practitioners have been shown to be frauds. Scientists who have studied that topic have expressed that claims about not eating food for months is consistent with what is known about the biology of hibernation.

    In sum, I believe that Mackers could well have reasons to believe those claims are possible and/or plausibly true.
    I also think you’re grandly grandstanding to suggest that HE has no reason available.

    James

  • James

    Scott said that the claims about Bomjon go against everything “we” know about biology.
    Below is one of several posts I made earlier showing that human hibernation is NOT deemed
    against everything we know about biology, and to the extent Bomjon uses a hibernation like metabolic state……
    those claims about him do not go against “everything ” we know about biology.
    —–
    No. 21
    After a five-year project, Matthew Andrews, associate professor of genetics at North Carolina State University has identified two genes – PL and PDK-4 – which appear to mastermind hibernation.
    One stops carbohydrate me-tabolism, which ensures that the glucose that animals have stored in their body from their last meal is preserved for use by the brain and central nervous system. The second gene controls the production of an en-zyme that breaks up stored fatty acids, and converts them into usable fats for fuel. As a result, the animal can tick over on its stored fat.
    Hibernation in animals is characterised by huge drops in heart rate, body temperature and metabolism, resulting in long-term dormancy. In this state, body temperature is only a few degrees above freezing, oxygen consumption is down to 2% of normal, and the heart rate drops from up to 300 beats a minute to just three or four.
    Researchers found the genes can be made to work in similar ways in humans. The PDK-4 gene, for example, is switched on by starvation, when its job is to conserve glucose.
    The next target is to track down the triggers which start the genetic process that leads to the seasonal shutdown. One theory is that melatonin, the hormone whose production responds to light, may be involved.
    At the Rowett Institute in Aberdeen, director Dr Peter Morgan and his team have been working on the role of melatonin in the mini-hibernation of the Siberian hamster.
    “We think that the central mechanisms which regulate body weight are finely tuned by melatonin,

  • James

    Regarding Scott’s assertion that Mackers had “no reason” to believe the claims
    about Bomjon are “possible” or “true.:”

    Mackers could have read my above post number 170 etc. and found there a reason sufficient to him…..to believe…
    Therefore, your claim that he had “no reason” could be wrong.

    In post 170, I reported on studies of yoga practitioners by credentialed scientists. They personally observed
    some of those extraordinary events. An excerpt of their comments follows:

    “…Two of the members of our research team are leading experts on CR and its comprehensive health-enhancing, brain-rejuvenating, longevity-promoting effects: Roy Walford, MD, of UCLA Medical Center, a pioneer in this field for over four decades, who is a Founding Board Member of the National Institutes on Aging and recent recipient of the distinguished Ipsen Award for Longevity Research (Paris, 1998); and Leonard Guarente, PhD, Novartis Professor of Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who was recently profiled in the New York Times (September 26, 2000) as a leading figure in the emerging field of longevity biology.

    3.The spectacle of the underground (bhugarbha) samadhi that I was privileged to witness at the Kumbha Mela camp of Mahayogi Pilot Baba was truly impressive. Performed by his student, Yog Mata Keiko Aikawa, a Japanese woman, the yogini was buried in an underground pit for 72 hours. She emerged on the afternoon of January 23rd in apparently excellent condition after having entered the pit, which was covered over with earth, on the afternoon of January 20th.

    William C Bushell, PhD is affiliated with the Anthropology Program at MIT and is currently a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University. Dr Bushell received his degrees in medical and biological anthropology from Columbia University with Honors, and was a Fulbright Scholar and a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard.

  • James

    When SCOTT says that MACKERS has “no reason to believe,” it is important to consider
    the several proper meanings of the word “believe” ….and some of these meanings are
    shown below……which I found in the MSN Encarta Dictionary online.

    Based on the various definitions permitted, to “believe” can mean “to accept as true”

    Did Mackers have “any reason” to “accept as true” some of the claims about Bomjon?

    It is Macker’s choice what reason he thinks is enough to “accept as true” such claims..For
    example, information in earlier posts here may give Mackers a reason that is OK to him
    to accept as true some of those claims.

    There is a difference between “proving as true” and accepting something as true.
    Mackers has not purported to “prove the truth” of such claims, but only to “accept as true”
    by his own standards that those claims are either “true” or “plausible” or “possible.”

    believe

    be·lieve [ bi lv ] (past and past participle be·lieved, present participle be·liev·ing, 3rd person present singular be·lieves)

    verb

    Definitions:

    1. transitive verb accept something as true: to accept that something is true or real
    I don’t know which story to believe.

    2. transitive verb accept somebody as truthful: to accept that somebody is telling the truth
    Nobody will believe you!
    I don’t believe him.

    3. transitive verb credit somebody with something: to accept that somebody or something has a particular quality or ability
    No one believed her capable of such a malicious remark.

    4. intransitive verb think that something exists: to be of the opinion that something exists or is a reality, especially when there is no absolute proof of its existence or reality
    believe in reincarnation

    5. intransitive verb have trust: to be confident that somebody or something is worthwhile or effective
    We all believe in you.

    6. intransitive verb think something is good: to be of the opinion that something is right or beneficial and, usually, to act in accordance with that belief
    believed strongly in freedom of expression

    7. intransitive verb have religious faith: to have a belief in God or in a religion’s gods

    [ Old English belyfan, alteration of gelēfan

  • James

    When Scott says above that Mackers had “no reason to believe”, another key word
    to known the meaning of is the word “reason.”

    According to this dictionary, Scott’s question can be said like this:

    1. Mackers had no justification” for believing…”

    2. Mackers had no “motive or cause” for thinking the way he did

    It would be reasonable for Mackers or anyone to interpret Scott’s post these several ways. All are
    based on a proper definition of the word “reason.”

    Below are some of the several proper meanings of the word “reason” according to the MSN Encarta dictionary.

    MSN Encarta – Dictionary – reason definition
    http://encarta.msn.com/dictionary_/reason.html
    Friday, April 14, 2006 10:09:15 PM GMT-7

    rea·son [ rz’n ]

    noun (plural rea·sons)

    Definitions:

    1. justification: an explanation or justification for something
    refused to give a reason for her behavior

    2. motive: a motive or cause for acting or thinking in a particular way
    His only reason for going was that she would be there.

    3. cause that explains something: a cause that explains a particular phenomenon
    What’s the reason for grass being green?

    4. power of orderly thought: the power of being able to think in a logical and rational manner
    use reason rather than force

    5. ability to think clearly: the ability to think clearly and coherently

    6. philosophy intellect as basis for knowledge: the ability to think logically regarded as a basis for knowledge, as distinct from experience or emotions

  • Scott

    James,
    First, I won’t mistake you for Jim. Don’t mistake me for Scotty.
    Now, was the above for the benefit of Mackers because of his language issues.
    Otherwise it was a huge waste of your time.
    I have only one point to make.
    I have read all of your comments, looked at the links, and can see no foundation for your claim that you have offered reasons for believing the claims regarding RB.
    The claims regarding RB are claims of the miraculous. Your evidence/research has been about the natural. I’m going to paraphrase your argument, expecting full well that you will cry foul and say you meant otherwise, but as far as I can extrapolate, this is your case:
    1. make an analogy between a miracle and a non miracle.
    2. point out similarities between the miracle and the natural phenomena
    3. conclude that because the natural phenomena are plausible, so is the miracle.
    i.e. hummingbirds hover–>therefore claims of levitation are believable; doctors can revive somebody who has been trapped under the ice for 30 minutes–>therefore it’s plausible to believe in bodily resurrection.
    i.e. you are trying to use the natural to prove the supernatural
    i.e. you are using science/laws of nature to prove that science/laws of nature are incorrect.
    James,
    You’ve been to grad school. You write coherently, make well structured arguments…You are smarter than this.

  • Alan

    Scott, nicely reasoned. I can’t imagine a reason for cutting and pasting huge chunks of dictionary definitions either, unless it’s meant to be annoying. I too have read all the links James has supplied, but do not accept his conclusion for the explanation of the RB phenomenon. The experience is clearly not within the realm of science.

  • Alan

    Mackers, what is the meaning:
    Mackers says, “you never comprehend it, it is all about experienced of the Meditator,”
    Mackers, what experience? do you speak about ‘mediation’ (making peace between two beings) or ‘meditation’ (thinking). Who has the experience, you or Bomjon? Is this experience important? What is important?

  • James

    Scott wrote:

    “……….The claims regarding RB are claims of the miraculous. Your evidence/research has been about the natural. I’m ……….”

    James replies:

    I didn’t use the word miraculous, and didn’t conclude that a miracle was involved – while noting that term
    hasn’t been defined here. I’m not intended to argue in terms of miracles. That is your own conclusion, and it isn’t really relevant in my view. The suggestion was made that Mackers had “no reason” to believe. I have pointed
    out that it is perfectly reasonable for him to believe using either skimpy or solid proofs, modest or thorough evidence, objective or subjective justification / reason for having a belief. He isn’t limited to believing only that which is scientifically proven to a certainty. Knowing this, he would be reasonable in considing earlier posts I’ve made as a sufficient reason to believe that RB claims are either possible, plausible or true. Or he can have reasons to believe unrelated to anything posted here. You’re statement stating that he has no reason doesn’t make it so, and is even presumptuous.

    James

  • James

    Scott:

    Come to think of it, your comments about a miracle seem almost too vague to comprehend.
    For example, here are some of the definitions for the term miracle, each of which can alter the nature of
    your comments quite a bit. Something can be “amazing” (one meaning of ‘miracle’) yet be the subject of
    a scientific proof too.

    1. act of God: an event that appears to be contrary to the laws of nature and is regarded as an act of God

    2. amazing event: an event or action that is amazing, extraordinary, or unexpected
    It’ll be a miracle if we get there on time.

    3. marvelous example: something admired as a marvelous creation or example of a particular type of science or skill

  • Scott

    So we’re agreed?
    1. Nothing special is happening in the case of RB
    2. Mackers’ reason to believe is that he simply chooses to believe.
    If you agree with me, why keep arguing, other than for the sake of being disagreeable?

  • Scott

    And BTW, yes, I noticed that
    1. you claimed I mis-represented your position, and
    2. you continue to play the same game of pretending that you don’t understand what I’m saying so that you can focus on some irrelevant part of it and pretend to have argued against me.
    I’m not playing anymore. As you say, I’ll be dodging the question.

  • James

    Scot wrote:
    So we’re agreed?
    1. Nothing special is happening in the case of RB
    2. Mackers’ reason to believe is that he simply chooses to believe.
    If you agree with me, why keep arguing, other than for the sake of being disagreeable?

    James replies:
    1. That’s ridiculous and unfounded. I con’t know how you come up with your strained conclusions.
    I’ve never said or implied that I didn’t think RB’s claimed stuff is not “special.” I think that he
    is quite special. He’s somewhat unique, very interesting, and perhaps impressive.
    By listing some definitions of the words above, I was not indicating I thought him not special.

    2.. No. I don’t agree with you the reason for Macker’s belief is/was. If he has any belief, which hasn’t been confirmed, all I have done is to discuss why I think ample “potential” and reasonable reasons exist
    that he may rely on in order to have some reason for his belief. I have NOT characterised my opinion as
    equal to his personal belief.

  • James

    Scott wrote:

    “….2. you continue to play the same game of pretending that you don’t understand what I’m saying so that you can focus on some irrelevant part of it and pretend to have argued against me.

    James replies:

    First, I am not pretending anything. I listed definitions that Mackers could consider in replying to you, if he wishes. I have no way of knowing what he might suppose you meant by the word “miracle” or “reason.” These words have
    several legitimate meanings in those definitions. And I don’t know which sense you meant. So why don’t you explicit say what you mean instead of hiding behind vague language?

    Go ahead…explain what you meant by “miracle” and “miraculous.”

  • mackers

    James thanks for supporting me to clarify my direction about expressing my emotion on post#224 that has been misunderstood by these intelectual & Educated person,like Scott/Allan I dont want to explain that to you guys Scott/Allan in every details like the way you did. if you guys are intelligent you can grasp that easy. The things you understood my expression is false, why em my say it false? because you guys are out of anger,and one track minded thinnker so pls. try not to manipulate me in your own thinking, because i have my own way of understanding my own thinking,out of my feeling, what im trying to say on post#224,Was 1)I know that you guy’s are educated and respectable person, im not talking one person here,it could be Scott/Allan/Jim/Jclifford.2)But the things that i dont understand is WHY? (that is my question/Allan)you guys are insulting and Mocking RB,( Allan can i used abrebriation pls.or you want me to put the whole name of Ram Bahadur Bomjon.)and making fun of him. im not talking one person here it could be Scott/Jim/Allan/ jcliford.What i meant for that is if you guys are educated you should understand R.B.by open minded Reason like James, but no you dont actually understand him but to critized him and comdemed him.it means to me that you guys are closed in this topic and making fun of him. That is my Question Allan/Scott/Jim/jclifford, can you pls. give me a Logical Explanation for that Question, before i proceed to another question.

    Pls.Educated and respectable person like Scott/Allan/Jim/Jclifford, Explain What you Meant for “Miracle & Miraculous” By James post# 243 first, Pls. give me an impressive,ideological convincing intellectual reason that you think can satisfy the viewers including me & James PLs.

  • Jim

    Mackers,

    Read a definition of “circular reasoning,” and reconsider #244 in that light.

  • mackers

    Scott says posted# 239
    2) Mackers reason to believe is that he simply chooses to believed

    I did not choose to believe, but im trying to investigate the belief, Out of curiosity, I have interest of knowing this boy life, before he went to a deep Meditation, I choose the Palden Djore information, And some sort of Bhudist principles and philosophy, so i find out, not to believed, in him, in my own translation of my knowing their philosophy,But I have deep RESPECT for the courage of what he does from sitting in lotus position from dusk to dawn, without food and drink, the claim was unproven until now, I admire him for his strong will & determination to be a BHUDA. According to what i read, was, the meaning of Bhudah is “the enligthen one”.

    What i meant for not to believed in him, According to what i read,(somewhere on the website just type Bhudist Philosophy) that we are the “Bhuda” what i meant for that in my own translation is we have the right to be a Bhuda (Enlightend one) So to believe in him out of curiosity is to find out the beliefs of the believer, out of examinating the concept,of their principle and philosophy. “I think is not simply’for me Because im not Bhudist but i am the bhudah that’s what i have to seek. is not easy, Holly smoke’
    i have to digest the meaning of their philosophy. That’s all

    Allan Posted #236 just behave your self, I will answer your question ok. Iam Really practicing how to behave my self here in good manner and right conduct, just be cool all right see you later I have something to do,

    pls. answer first on the above post.#243/244

  • Alan

    Mackers,

    Thank you for your answer. I understand you better now.

    #243 James talks in circles. I think James’ definition game is stupid. James says Bomjon is hibernating, which is sleeping for long periods, like an animal in the winter. So James says this is science, what RB is doing, and not religion. But James has no proof for hibernating. I do not believe RB is hibernating.

    I am not insulting and mocking RB. Scotty is the one mocking him.

    I also have respect for RB sitting in lotus position from dusk to dawn. Everyone saw that he did this. Many people were there all day, also cameras. There can be no question. I have fasted from dusk to dawn during Ramadan and it is very difficult even without sitting in a meditation posture.

    There is more question about whether he eats or drinks. At night no one saw him. Also many people say impossible things about him, maybe lies. If there is one lie, where do the lies stop? It is possible all of it is a lie, especially because of the money and the politics.

    Mackers, if you are looking for something intellectual, educated, convincing and intelligent about RB, you will not find it. This is not about proof and thinking and reason and logic. It is about the heart. As you said, about expression and feeling. Our education does not teach us about the heart; it teaches us how to question and look for truth.
    Yes, I have heard we can become Buddha, also we can find god in other people, and people see god in us.

    But Buddha is the Middle Path, yes? If the string is too loose, it will not play, if it is too tight it will break. Buddha as Siddhartha– the prince was too rich, as an ascetic with the monks he was too poor, only by having compassion for those stuck on the wheel of rebirth did he become Buddha. This troubles me about RB, that he is fasting too much. This extreme fasting (look at his arms) how can this be Middle Path?

    I will wait for you to answer.

  • Alan

    Scotty, perpetual slime,
    said he would bet me a dime
    mackers was droll
    but he wasn’t a troll
    pay up, Scotty, you owe me big time

  • James

    Alan – Scotty offered a ten cent bet on different terms (in point 215), and
    you’re recharacterizing that offer here in your poiont 247. It seems to me
    that to win the bet, you’d have to show that Mackers doesn’t believe he made a typographical,
    spelling error…..i.e. if Mackers actually meant to write the word “meditator” and mistakenly wrote “mediator,” then he made a simple typo error and you win nothing. Your new comments about a bet of troll and droll
    words is baseless. In what point did Mackers mention those words as to a bet?

    Scotty’s offer is quoted below:

    PER NO. 215: “…..A ten cent bet says that Mackers’s reference to “mediator” is a simple
    typo error.

    Also, Scotty said he thought you were being petty.

  • Alan

    Scotty indeed did call me many ugly names. That he would stoop to an ‘ad hominem’ argument demonstrates the weakness of his position. Why would he do this? Because I defend Mackers. I am the ONLY one who defends Mackers. I said Mackers is ‘lucid’. If you don’t know what lucid is, go to your famous dictionary that you read all day long.

    Scot says Mackers just uses “big smart sounding words” in order to make himself sound more reasonable. Jim says Mackers is just a critic. Scotty says Mackers just types things by accident. And by the way, who IS Scotty?

    Look again at what Mackers said in #22:

    http://irregulartimes.com/index.php/archives/2006/04/06/ram-bomjon-a-shining-light-before-men-useful-in-case-of-blackouts/

    Mackers says 1) there is esoteric knowledge 2) the knowledge comes by experience 3) you can not reach the knowledge by ideological concepts 4) Mackers does not claim a light comes out of Bomjon’s forehead; that is someone else’s claim

    Mackers does not type things by accident. He is lucid. Scotty owes me ten cents.

  • Scott

    “Mackers says 1) there is esoteric knowledge 2) the knowledge comes by experience 3) you can not reach the knowledge by ideological concepts”
    Thanks Alan, I think that that is a fair assessment of Mackers position. This post ctitiques Mackers position as summarized by Alan.

    This amounts to an admission that there is no common ground for discussion. There is no way that A can convince B of his/her beliefs because of the impossibility of shared experience.
    Remember when you were anout 12, and you had the realization that there is no way that you could ever find out if your experience of, say, green, is the the same as my experience of green.
    Would I be justified in criticizing you because when you describe green you use different words than I do?
    Certainly we could examine the neurophysiology and behavioral disposition associated with the experience of green. There could be objective knowledge in these areas.
    If you were discussing the neuro and behavioral correlates of green, would it be reasonable to say that you are incorrect in your objective quest because green feels a certain way to me?
    When one claims esoteric knowledge, he/she is describing qualia (internal subjective qualitative mental states and events) which by definition are ineffible (can be conveyed from one to another).
    When one is claiming esoteric knowledge, it follows that he/she is essentialy removing himself/herself from the realm of objective discourse and negates the possibility of a common ground upon which he/she can criticize meaningfully.
    So when Mackers accuses others of mocking and taking cheap shots, his discourse is necessarily meaningless to the neophyte.
    If you think I’m mocking or taking cheap shots, you are mistaken, it’s called being objective. With the possible exception of post 220 (which was actually trying to make a serious point) all of my contributions to this discussion have been such that there is a possibility of refutation–you could, if you tried, show how or where I’m wrong.
    The following link is from another thread where I also address the issue of esoterica.

    http://irregulartimes.com/index.php/archives/2006/04/14/lra-10-commandments/#comment-109456

  • James

    Alan wrote:

    “……….Mackers does not type things by accident. He is lucid. Scotty owes me ten cents.”

    James replies:

    You can try to reformulate wording on what Scotty’s bet was all you want. If Mackers writes here that
    he intended to write the word “meditator” instead of the mistaken spelling of “mediator”….then that shows
    a simple typo error, and Scotty probably owes you nothing. Scotty suggested Mackers made a rare and innocent typing mistake of “mediator” instead of “meditator.” You are wrongly changing Scotty’s comment to make it sound like he said that all or most of Macker’s writings are “accidents.”

    I used to think you were showing intellectual honesty here. Now I’m not so sure. Humor us some more.

  • Scott

    “And by the way, who IS Scotty?”
    Once again, I want to reiterate, regardless of the similarity in mames, Scotty is not moi.

  • James

    Scott wrote:

    “…………Once again, I want to reiterate, regardless of the similarity in mames, Scotty is not moi.

    James comments:

    What does that word “mames” mean??? I conclude that Scott communications here are accidents.

  • Scott

    You have found me out.
    Scott, per se, does not exist. I am actually a conglomorate of a near infinite collection of monkeys banging away randomly on a near infinite number of typewriters.
    Scotty, on the other hand, is actually a half dozen aardvarks banging away on a half dozen Atari 3200’s.

  • Alan

    And james is really a litter of hibernating hedgehog cubs who keep knocking up against the dictionary paste key as they trundle about the cave in their cold-induced torpor.

  • Alan

    Scott, I follow you so far. I agree that when we talk about esoteric knowledge, feeling, and experience, we do not think objectively. We think subjectively. This is not a bad thing. After all, we are not aardvarks or machines. We want to know the meaning of life, what happens after death, celebrate the major changes in our lives with some appropriate ritual, and maybe know something like how to become more like Buddha. None of these is part of the tradition of western criticism, at least that I know of.

    If there is no common ground for discussion of subjective things like mental states (like maybe the experience of meditation), then we need to find one.

    Can we be so sure we can’t know if one person’s experience of green is the same as another’s? I think we all experience green in about the same way, except for color-blind people, but of course this would be hard to prove.

    We can point to the color and use a word for it. Someone else will point to the same color and use the same word. But of course there are people who are green-blind. They lack the ‘cones’ in the back of the retina that transmit ‘green’ information to the brain. But that does not mean they can’t see something they call green. How do you think they drive? Green traffic lights are not pure green but have some blue in them. Color blind individuals can differentiate this from a red or yellow light.

    What about hunger, thirst, cold, happiness, anger, love, grief,…I would be willing to say we also experience these in similar ways and have words that mean about the same thing to many people.

    So now we come to meditation and the idea of becoming a Buddha. I never meditated, or was interested in the idea. But Mackers is very interested. Maybe he can understand meditation and the reason for it in the same way someone else understands green. Maybe I am ‘meditation-blind’ and cannot experience this myself. But if we can find the way to discuss this, maybe I can learn to experience meditation myself, or at least find something similar so I can understand it the same way color-blind person sees the blue/green traffic light and drives in the green world.

  • James

    Alan wrote:

    “…………..They lack the ‘cones’ in the back of the retina that transmit ‘green’ information to the brain. But that does not mean they can’t see something they call green. How do you think they drive? Green traffic lights are not pure green but have some blue in them. Color blind individuals can differentiate this from a red or yellow light.

    James replies:

    It so happens that all males in my family are “red/green color blind.” That includes me.
    Usually, I look for changes in “intensity” of the three lights in a traffic signal, and
    also their position. I can’t reliably discern “red/green/yellow” light per se. I add
    to this collateral sensory data like whether traffic around me seems to be slowing down collectively for
    a potential “red light.” If I’m uncertain, I sometimes slow down enough to safely stop at a light if
    that is what everyone else does, but keep an ear open to see if other drivers look agitated that
    I am slowing down – which fact points to a possible green light.

    My uncle, who was very handsome, was though of as a classy dresser. But he had a clothier but
    numbers on his garments and dressed by the number.

    Color blindness affects social life too, as one sees less differentiation by skin color.

  • James

    Alan wrote:

    “……I agree that when we talk about esoteric knowledge, feeling, and experience, we do not think objectively. We think subjectively. This is not a bad thing. After all, we are not aardvarks or machines. We want to know the meaning of life, what happens after death, celebrate the major changes in our lives with some appropriate ritual, and maybe know something like how to become more like Buddha. None of these is part of the tradition of western criticism, at least that I know of.

    If there is no common ground for discussion of subjective things like mental states (like maybe the experience of meditation), then we need to find one………

    James replies:

    Wow, an authentic, thoughtful, open-minded, constructive posting. What a pleasant surprise.

    I would suggest that we do not always think subjectively when we talk about esoteric knowledge,
    For example, if two meditators discuss their subjective experiences during meditation…after the fact..
    their disucssion might typically be subjective and relative to their experience.

    But, those meditators may also be graduate students in the hard sciences, and doing a thesis on
    the physiological correlates of meditation, for example changes in alpha waves or theta waves.

    “Talking about”…… could go either way. Another objective form of discussion “about” meditaton could involve instructions for initiating a meditation session. “do x, then y, then z.” However, a discussion of
    what one feels or seems to perceive visually or otherwise in the course of a meditation session would probably be subjective.

    It is a fairly common shared understanding among meditators that absent a prior set of personal experiences
    during meditation – there is no shared realm of knowledge that can serve as a common denominator for meaningful discussion of some experiences. Not all things lend themselves to meaningful verbalization, let alone
    objective communication.

    I have practical experience personally with meditation over a period of many years. So I base my comments on my personal experience.

  • Scott

    Thanks Alan and James for your replies.
    The way that you have responded demonstrates exactly what I was talking about in post 251, when I tried to emphasize what is wrong with the Mackers approach.
    I have tried to formulate my position and my arguments in such away as there is something that could count as a counter-argument (though James doesn’t always agree that I do). You have both replied constructively to the arguments presented indicating success in my approach.
    BTW, I think you’re wrong, but I have 6 hours of lecturing ahead of me (almost back to back), so a reply will have to wait.
    Tuedays bite big time.

  • mackers

    Alan posted#236
    very intelligent question
    Anyway thank you for summarizing my post#252 pls. take my compliments
    Im humbly apreciate it.
    Mackers says you never comprehend it is all about the experience of the meditator

    Allan:(Q) What experience?
    Mackers:(A)Esoteric experienced that not supposed to be revealed by the witness or by the doer of this experience it is very difficult to understand.
    Allan:(Q)Mackers who has the experienced you or Bomjon?
    Mackers:(A)Tek Bahadur Lama has the experience.
    Allan:(Q)Is this experience important?
    Mackers:(A)Yes it is very important Because it will lead to a bunch of skeptic reasons or it could be Mythical,or Hyphotetical imagination.
    Allan:(Q)What is important?
    Mackers:(A)What do you mean Important, you want me to answer the meaning of important or?

  • Alan

    I don’t understand all of Macker’s post. This is a summary of what I understand:

    Mackers says, The knowledge from the experience is secret. Tek Bahadur Lama says he saw a light came out of RB’s head. Because of the light some people think the Bomjon story is not true. Maybe the lama did not speak about a real light, but spoke in symbols.(?)

    “What is important?” My last question is about values. For example, in my religion, we say people go to heaven when they die. But heaven is not a big deal. It is important to make heaven on earth so everyone can have a good life now. Why do people watch Bomjon? What do they want? What do they hope Bomjon will do for their life?

    “The knowlege from the experience is secret.” I think this is like the study of martial arts. People think the teacher knows something valuable. If it is valuable, the teacher needs money to live. At the lower level of karate, there is no secret. But the high level students pay much money for many years to learn the advanced techniques.

    Bruce Lee wanted to learn advanced techniques from many types of Karate to make films, but he knew if he went to a famous school he would have to study and spend money for years and years to learn one small secret. So he paid a top student in the same class to teach him only the advanced techniques. In this way he learned the karate system very quickly without playing the games.

  • Scott

    257; Alan: “If there is no common ground for discussion of subjective things like mental states (like maybe the experience of meditation), then we need to find one.”
    –I have spent considerable mental effort on this question, undergrad thesis, and one of my MA theses. “We need to find one” is a noble sentiment, but a little trickier than one might think.
    “we also experience [multiple things] in similar ways and have words that mean about the same thing to many people.”
    “but of course this would be hard to prove.”
    –Well this is the question isn’t it. It boils down to the irreducible subjectivity of conscious experience.
    If we take the terminology and conceptual apparatus of one conceptual system, say chemistry, and try to translate it into the conceptual apparatus of another system,physics, can you have a smooth translation? Or are there some elements at one level irreducible to the other? When one makes the translation to a more basic level of reality (economics to psychology; neurophysiology to biochemistry; chem to physics) there will be some “left overs” than don’t translate smoothly.
    When one tries to reduce the experience of “warmth” to “mean molecular motion” or “smell” to the physiology and chemistry of the olphactory epiyhelium, something is lost. What is lost? The “what is it like” to experience warmth, or smell, or runner’s high… that’s lost. The inner subjective experience.
    I’m not, like some, denying these inner qualitative subjective mental states and events exist, all I’m arguing is that they can’t be reduced smoothly to neurophysiology.
    Therefore one cannot reduce the language of esoterica into a language or conceptual scheme that can be conveyed without losing the esential element of the esoteric experience. Esoterica are, by definition, ineffible.
    259; James: “I would suggest that we do not always think subjectively when we talk about esoteric knowledge,
    For example, if two meditators discuss their subjective experiences during meditation…after the fact..
    their disucssion might typically be subjective and relative to their experience.”
    Again I go back to analogy of whether your green is the same as my green (sorry, not poking fun at your “disablity”).
    Prior to about 10, the “green” question is pretty well meaningless. Why? Because I can point t a green thing and you can point at a green thing, and agree that we are both pointing at a green thing. Issue settled. But pointing at something external does not settle the issue at all of what the inner subjective experience is like.
    In your example, you and I are both meditating, we now take that inner subjective innefible experience and translate it into our shared language. The shared language will seem objective and similar to one another, but is it? If the essential element of the meditation is necessarily lost in the reduction, then the similarity of our shared language system tells us nothing about the similiarity or disimilarity of our meditative experience.
    “It is a fairly common shared understanding among meditators that absent a prior set of personal experiences
    during meditation – there is no shared realm of knowledge that can serve as a common denominator for meaningful discussion of some experiences. Not all things lend themselves to meaningful verbalization, let alone
    objective communication.”
    I couldn’t have said it better myself.
    And so I reiterate.
    Mackers position (which he now assents to (post 261))amounts to an admission that there is no common ground for discussion. There is no way that A can convince B of his/her beliefs because of the impossibility of shared experience.
    When one is claiming esoteric knowledge, it follows that he/she is essentialy removing himself/herself from the realm of objective discourse and negates the possibility of a common ground upon which he/she can criticize meaningfully.
    So when Mackers accuses others of mocking and taking cheap shots, his discourse is necessarily meaningless to the neophyte.

  • Scott

    What’s the deal with moderating comments?

  • Scott

    I spent quite some time writing a response to Alan & James. For a while it was awaiting moderation, and then it disappeared.
    Second time it’s happened.

  • Alan

    Scott, thanks for the warning.

  • Alan

    I have two comments “waiting moderation,” one of them a response to Mackers on this board. I just did a highlight/copy/paste-to a word file in case they disappear.

  • Scott

    As I mentioned elsewhere, I’m freakin insanely busy. To spend 45 minutes on a post here is quite a serious time investment.
    It’s not like I was posting porn links.

  • Scott

    I should’ve done the same, Alan, but as the site is not censored, I thought the first time was simply an error or a glitch and didn’t think it would happen again.

  • Alan

    I will try to post a smaller file. Here’s part one of the comment waiting moderation, a summary of Mackers comment.

    April 18th, 2006 at 5:48 pm

    I don’t understand all of Macker’s post. This is a summary of what I understand:

    Mackers says, The knowledge from the experience is secret. Tek Bahadur Lama says he saw a light came out of RB’s head. Because of the light some people think the Bomjon story is not true. Maybe the lama did not speak about a real light, but spoke in symbols.(?)

  • Alan

    I have had several comments disappear; it usually happens in batches, the first time when they did the software upgrade. I now have a 28 word comment posted, but a 77 word comment waiting. How about I try to post 57 words to test the limitations of the system? That leaves us at least with limerick capability.

  • Alan

    Here’s the summary of Macker’s post again.

    Mackers says, The knowledge from the experience is secret. Tek Bahadur Lama says he saw a light came out of RB’s head. Because of the light some people think the Bomjon story is not true. Maybe the lama did not speak about a real light, but spoke in symbols.(?)

  • mackers

    The esoteric Experienced is not supposed to be Revealed, That was pure MISTAKE blog in here Mr. Lama Break the Curse.

  • James

    Alan says:

    Why do people watch Bomjon? What do they want? What do they hope Bomjon will do for their life?

    James replies:

    The term people refers in this context to some tens of thousands (or more) of people that have cycled through Bomjon’s location over many months. The people are all varied in country of origin, religious background, educational level, purpose in coming, etc.
    For example, I know Americans and Europeans who visited the Bomjon site, as well as citizens from Nepal and India, etc. Some of those Americans and Europeans came to visit out of curiosity since they were traveling in that part of the world, heard of an amazing tale, and wanted to see what they might see. I know one American who is a highly trained Buddhist monk, a resident of the Himalayas for more than a decade, who came to pay respects to someone he suspects is an advanced meditator. I believe many thousands of persons came to receive what is termed “darshan,” a sanskrit and urdu word……i.e. receive a divine blessing by seeing a divinely blessed person. Other persons came for various administrative reasons, including the police, security forces, the Nepalese army, and then there are the officials from local villages and multiple media outlets from various countries. With all this diversity, it would be difficult to offer a single reason or sentence to explain why people come to see Bomjon….what do they want.

  • James

    Alan says:

    “The knowledge from the experience is secret.” I think this is like the study of martial arts. People think the teacher knows something valuable. If it is valuable, the teacher needs money to live. At the lower level of karate, there is no secret. But the high level students pay much money for many years to learn the advanced techniques.

    James replies:

    First, I assume that Mackers has not met Bomjon or the Lama, and is thus offering pure speculation about what they’re doing, and whether it involves any particular secret.

    Second, Granted that some secret knowledge is valuable, and that some valuable knowledge is sold for money. But that certainly doesn’t mean that all valuable knowledge is sold for money, or that Bomjon is using knowledge that is sold for money.

    Third, in the field of meditation training, knowledge conveyed may be secret for reasons not contemplated here yet. For example, some meditation instruction is usually incremental so that only if and when a student has a particular subjective experience will another increment of knowledge be conveyed. Some students may never have certain experiences that would qualify them for additional increments of certain kinds. The yoga treatises from thousands of years ago speak in terms of the need not to feed students knowledge they are not equipped to use and comprehend. Still true today. Avoid confusion. Also, avoid risk to the welfare of the student. If certain meditation practices enable the student to gain unusual control over the autonomic nervous system, the knowledge must be used wisely. A teacher is unlikely to impart knowledge that is powerful to a student that is unwise. There’s more to it in the view of that culture than the money angle that is of interest in Alan’s paradigm. If students seem unwise they may never receive certain training.

  • James

    Mackers wrote:

    “….Maybe the lama did not speak about a real light, but spoke in symbols. ”

    James replies:

    Yes, the lama may have spoken “figuratively”, or literally, or he may simply have become
    excited and had a hallucination. There are many reports of groups of people reporting that they
    see a halo around the head of a holy person, or see Jesus, or etc. Sometimes the circumstances
    suggest some kind of a group hallucination resulting from shared beliefs, expectations, and excitement. That is not to say that this particular lama did hallucinate. He may have really seen some light. Throughout history there are many anecdotal reports of lights near the heads of people who are religious or spiritual figures. I have never seen scientific explanations of such light. Personally I just suspend judgment and leave it as an open question to be observed further until better understood.

    From the standpoint of meditation teachers, it is a common experience that eager students visualize or hear things that to them seem inspiring. Very often a meditation teacher will advise the students to disregard such weird phenomena. It is not encouraged, usually, and is often assumed to be the product of some excitement.

  • James

    Scott wrote:

    “……….Mackers position (which he now assents to (post 261))amounts to an admission that there is no common ground for discussion. There is no way that A can convince B of his/her beliefs because of the impossibility of shared experience.
    When one is claiming esoteric knowledge, it follows that he/she is essentialy removing himself/herself from the realm of objective discourse and negates the possibility of a common ground upon which he/she can criticize meaningfully.
    So when Mackers accuses others of mocking and taking cheap shots, his discourse is necessarily meaningless to the neophyte. …”

    James replies:

    It seems to me that Scott’s take is overly general. Mackers may have spoken in brief sentences to save time in expressing himself here. But I surmise that if he intentions were further expressed, he would agree that for meditators and meditation, portions of that experience is subjective, esoteric, and not easily communicated, whereas other aspects of it can be communicated. Some aspects would be difficult to get others to believe in, while other aspects would pose little difficulty. For example, a meditator may in his five year of similar seeming meditations suddenly have the unique experience of gaining control over the autonomic nervous system, yet find that hard to discuss – how he got there. At the same time, he may have been hooked up to a EEG machine that takes an objective reading of the physiological correlates of the meditation episode. Reduced heart rate, predominantly alpha or theta waves in the brain, suspension of breathing for a minute or three. We have here one span of time, one meditation episode, involving both inner experience hard to discuss and outer phenomena of the latter that one can discuss and demonstrate to others. One might persuade others that he altered his brain waves X way, suspended breathing for Y minutes, and had P change in galvanic skin response. None of this may go further to convince others of the generality that for a few moments the meditator acquired brief control over the autonomic nervous system, which is not normally open to conscious control. That is a common thing for advanced yogis. Thus, this meditation episode has not in toto removed one from objective discourse, but perhaps not ALL aspects can be conveyed objectively and convincingly. How does one describe the feeling and process of “thinking from the brain stem” so as to bring breathing down to zero or close? That is something rarely seen in books, but practiced by some meditators. Absent certain prior subjective experiences in consciousness, there’s no meaningful frame of reference to begin to discuss or conceive of that, even if it can be done and effected in practice.

  • James

    Alan and Scott say such things as:

    “……………….I spent quite some time writing a response to Alan & James. For a while it was awaiting moderation, and then it disappeared.
    Second time it’s happened.”

    James reples:

    I’ve seen my comments moderated quite often.

  • James

    Scott wrote in No. 263:

    “…………..The “what is it like” to experience warmth, or smell, or runner’s high… that’s lost. The inner subjective experience.
    I’m not, like some, denying these inner qualitative subjective mental states and events exist, all I’m arguing is that they can’t be reduced smoothly to neurophysiology.
    Therefore one cannot reduce the language of esoterica into a language or conceptual scheme that can be conveyed without losing the esential element of the esoteric experience. Esoterica are, by definition, ineffible.”

    …..WAIT….WAIT …. I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE ABOUT TO SAY………

    James replies:

    There is a lot of discussion here about the importance of language and verbal communication to
    sharing of knowledge. An implication seems to be that ineffable knowledge cannot be communicated.
    It is said my some meditation and yoga teachers that certain elements of training are conveyed
    directly, mind to mind between teacher and student, to the extent the student has a receptive
    capacity. This in the manner usually termed mental telepathy. Sometimes people suspect they may experince this is short moments, and we sometimes hear them say such as “Wait…… I know what you’re about to say…”

    Those who feel they can communicate in this manner don’t usually lose their sense of that just
    because other people don’t experience it or believe in it.

    Mental telepathy has been scientifically studied, as Wikipedia briefly summarizes.
    The studies are sometimes positive sometimes not, and on a meta-study basis appear
    somewhat inconclusive.

    Also, where he wrote: “one cannot reduce the language of esoterica into a language or conceptual scheme “,
    I might instead phrase it as “…… one cannot reduce the EXPERIENCE of esoterica into a language
    or conceptual scheme………..etc. “

  • James

    There is such as thing in psychological and other science literature of “pre-verbal” thinking / communication.
    In science literature, pre-verbal thinking and communication is often associated with certain circumstances such as babies, mathematics, and etc.

    When one talks about an inabililty to reduce experience of esoterica into a language or conceptual scheme,
    I don’t think that needs to imply that no communication or knowledge is in play. Pre-verbal is one place to “go” with that line of discussion.

  • Jim

    James,

    They don’t get moderated in an active sense. We have automatic spam filters to catch hundreds of automatic advertisements that get posted here each day. Some posts get caught in them, and we have to fish them out.

  • Scott

    Thanks for fishing mine out Jim.

  • mackers

    This is very hard to explain but im trying to do my best in my own view that this Esoteric experienced that happen to Tek B.Lama And R.B. are real experiences of both Mystic Meditator and the Followers of Bhudist principles, Im talkin about R.B.here as Mystic Meditator why? am i say Mystic, because He is the controler of the mind and sences, R.B. reached the realm of super conciuos mind. The light emanates from Ram Bahadur Bomjon fore head was true experiences, that was witness by Tek B.Lama, It must be kept secret.other wise the pure experience will be contaminated. But the thing is MR.Lama reaveal out of his exitement he shared it, he is not aware of this esoteric experienced could be turned in to impurities, The news spread all over the gloved. I dont blame those people who has Negative Comments who did not understand this esoteric experienced, That turned in to a solid CURSE.

    penalty is over out of the cage guys, On Behalf of Jim & jclifford, Thank you very much for being part of this wonderful intelectual Blog discusion.

    Mackers

  • mackers

    I dont know how to explain this Esoteric experience but i will try my best to express it, in my own view. The Esoteric experiences between the Followers of bhudist principles which is Tek Bahadur Lama, and the Mystic meditator Ram Bahadur Bomjon are real experienced (Mystic meditator is the controler of Mind and Sences)

    Tek.B.Lama was witness the phenomena of esoteric pure light emanates from Ram Bomjon forehead which is must to be keep it secret, other wise it could be turned in to impurities, But the thing is T.B.Lama reaveal and shared this experienced which is not supposed to be. Out of his own exitement he tell the people around him. The isue was spread like a wild fire all over the globe. Some sort of people of the globe take this isue as Myth,or Hyphotetical imagination. sprouting many skeptic doubt & negative ideas like elaborated hoax fake etc. I dont blame those people to have their own negative comments to Critized this isue and condemed Ram Bahdur Bomjon and turned in to a solid CURSE.

    “Mackers”

  • mackers

    “Out of the cage guys penalty is over”. On Behalf of JIM & JCLIFFORD Thank you very much for being part of this Wonderfull Intelectual Blog Discussion.

    Im out of here
    MACKERS ?

  • Alan

    A while back one of the guests on Charlie Rose made a comment about overlaying worldviews. If someone could completely understand Marxism as a system he said, then completely understand capitalism, then go on to understand 20 other systems, how much closer would they be to completely understanding how complex systems actually work, and in trying to affect that complex system for some purpose, say, to end world poverty.

    With that in mind, last week I picked up three used books to amuse myself. Charles Bates’ “Pigs Eat Wolves: Going into Partnership with Your Dark Side,” examines the fairy tale of the three little pigs with a Jungian twist. The wolf is the symbol culturally unacceptable behaviour: fear, anger, revenge, greed, sexuality, and violence. The most interesting sentence is near the end, when the wolf goes down the chimney, falls into the pig’s soup cauldron, and is assimilated by the pig in a sort of religious eating ritual. The Pig does what others have found virtually impossible; he deliberately stands in the face of the gods. “Many have sought to avoid it, looking to religion to mediate on their behalf and render the divine harmless.”

    Diane Stein’s “Pendulums and the Light” promises to show you how to use pendulums in a way similar to dousing. By establishing communication with a spirit guide or Being of the Highest Light and using the pendulum to ask ‘yes’ and ‘no’ questions you can diagnose car problems, find lost objects, and determine whether a particular job is right for you. The being will even make shopping decisions for you at the supermarket if you take your pendulum with you and hold it over various items you consider purchasing. In fact, the being that communicates with the author seems to be a bit of a shopaholic, and gets her to buy stuff like pre-cooked lobsters. I haven’t finished this book yet, so I don’t know if I can communicate with a Light Being once I have assimilated my Dark Side from the previous book—or how to get the Dark Side to inoculate me from the intrusiveness of these spirit creatures.

    Edward de Bono’s “Six Thinking Hats” rips apart the Western habit of argument, critical thinking, and dialectic, saying it was refined and developed by medieval monks as a means of proving heretics to be wrong. “Usually, the only people who are very satisfied with their thinking skill are those poor thinkers who believe that the purpose of thinking is to prove yourself right-to your own satisfaction.” De Bono differentiates between ‘reactive thinking’, which involves listening to an opponent’s case only to attack it and to expose its weaknesses–moment to moment you are attacking or defending– and detached ‘mapmaking thinking’ that is generative and creative and capable of producing proposals, initiative, plans, and action. De Bono values emotions, saying they give relevance to our thinking and must be put forward without justification. “If emotions and feelings are not permitted as inputs in the thinking process, they will lurk in the background and affect all the thinking in a hidden way.” Once we have used thinking to make a mental map, emotions provide the final link between our values and our current needs. Decisions are emotional in the end, as no project will be carried to completion without enthusiasm

  • James

    Alan discusses de Bono and others:

    James replies:

    As to the first two, I know people who would say that one playing with the “dark side” or “spirits”
    are playing with forces within themselves and otherwise that are “clingy,” not easily disposed of once flirted with, and dangerous.

    As to de Bono, he’s an interesting guy. I like his six hats paradigm. Personally, I would agree with those who
    view emotions, intuition, etc. as an integral aspect of the thinking process, and not (as de Bono implies)
    something external to thinking. Western, analytic thinkers tend to view their discrete, “logical” mental process as “thoughts,” and emotions as something they “think about” and optionally “give weight to” as de Bono recommends.

    A different perspective, which I think many meditators may subscribe to, is that the thinking process, thoughts,
    are comprised of a range of “stuff” diverse in nature, including those “logical mental activities,”
    emotions, gut feelings, physical sensations, wispy dreamy visions, all of them. In this view,
    those “Western thinkers” have a tendency to “divorce” parts of their own mind or consciousness,
    regarding all but those neat little logical activities as irrelevant “otherness” and nonself.
    Those with this view, support de Bono’s notion of paying attention to and using all facets of the mind
    (the “six hats”) and go further to understand them as the different “voices” of one’s whole self.
    I like this latter viewpoint.

    As to the final sentence that “emotions provide the final link between our values and our current needs,”
    its interesting to note that when one seems unable to fashion a complete moral framework to
    intellectually decide right from wrong, our intuitive or emtional self will often step forward
    with its “voice of conscience” so that we “feel good” or “feel bad” about the rightness of something.

  • Jim

    Hey, James, welcome back! You must have been thinking about my fourteen questions in all this time, and that’s why you haven’t written back. I know that’s why, because

    a) I know you are not a “lowlife”
    and
    b) You told me I was a “lowlife” and huffed and puffed and ground your teeth for not answering your questions (and haven’t taken all that back since I indeed answered them),

    I’d like to know the answers to the following questions about the Ram Bomjon alleged phenomenon, which you say is possible to be true. If you know the Ram Bomjon phenomenon to be possible, then the following questions should be no sweat to address.

    Since you’re not a lowlife by any means, since you’ve demonstrated that you’re very well read, and since you’re a very smart cookie, I know that you will answer these questions:

    1. How can a human hibernate using body stores of fat without having body stores of fat?

    2. Next, I’d like to know how Ram Bomjon managed to walk for five days after hibernating.

    3. I’d also like you to tell me how Ram Bomjon shone a light out of his forehead.

    4. How does Ram Bomjon manage to have a source of light emanate not just from his forehead, but also from his left side… AND have it enter his chest? They say this is captured on VIDEOTAPE! Wow! How does that work?

    5. Is it six months or ten months that Bomjon didn’t take food or water?

    6. How did it happen that one of Ram Bomjon’s sisters became unable to speak after she said she doubted the veracity of Ram Bomjon’s meditation without food or water, and remained unable to speak for 22 days? How does that work?

    7. How did the previously speechless boy Rajesh Mahat gain the power of speech after seeing Ram Bomjon? How does that work?

    8. Is it true that more than 100,000,000 rupees of revenue has been generated from sales surrounding Ram Bomjon? If this is not true, are the other claims in the website that you took as a legitimate source of information true? How do you know the difference?

    9. How did one of Ram Bomjon’s ancestors learn how to fly?

    10. Is Ram Bomjon an incarnation of Lord Krishna?

    11. What did Ram Bomjon mean when he said he had yet to acquire the Buddha’s energy?

    12. How will Ram Bomjon bring peace to the world, as he says, through six years of meditation? How does this work?

    13. When Gyansagar Lama, “the famous Guru who preaches non-violence,” declares Ram Bomjon to be the reincarnation of Buddha, do you believe him? What’s the standard by which you believe or do not believe him?

    14. If, before his meditation, Ram Bomjon “could not walk straight. He limped,” then how could he manage to emerge from (six?) (ten?) months of meditation without eating or drinking and walk for five days and nights to an undisclosed jungle location?

    Looking forward to those answers to explain how this all is possible, or to explain how some of it is bullshit, but not other parts, but all from the same source that you took as legitimate, and how you can manage to tell the difference. You don’t have to be coy, James: end that dramatic pause! I’m sure you’re not a “lowlife,” and so I’m sure you’ll answer these questions about the “special” Ram Bomjon phenomenon. I look forward to being educated.

  • James

    Jim asked a bunch of questions again.

    James repeats his same answer given several times before:

    At such time as I feel I have useful answers to your questions, I will consider
    spending time to post something here. The number of questions I have about your
    points are more numerous, then yours. My questions seem more interesting to me too.

    James

  • Jim

    The questions I asked are in parallel to the questions you raised and regard phenomena parallel to those you felt were necessary to address. When I even took half a day to pause before answering them, you called me a “lowlife.” But you’ve had weeks now and you won’t bite, despite the fact that these questions pertain to material that you took as authoritative.

    This is the path, then, of the credulous believer who won’t say “bullshit” to accounts of flying people. Thanks for your lack of an answer. It’s been really illuminating to this “lowlife.”

  • Scott

    Jim, you are never going to get a satisfactory answer.
    Here’s why:
    Post: 286: “A different perspective, which I think many meditators may subscribe to, is that the thinking process, thoughts, are comprised of a range of “stuff” diverse in nature, including those “logical mental activities,”
    emotions, gut feelings, physical sensations, wispy dreamy visions, all of them. In this view,
    those “Western thinkers” have a tendency to “divorce” parts of their own mind or consciousness, regarding all but those neat little logical activities as irrelevant “otherness” and nonself.”

    Jim,
    Being a western thinker, you simply don’t recognize how “wispy dream visions” are as legitimate a source of information as say, experience or rationality. In fact, they are more legitimate as they can override experience and rationality.
    Your internal truth detectors are not as finely attuned as James’ are.

  • Jim

    Scott, you may be right. I suppose I am a lower form of life than those who have transcended mere rationality. Perhaps I should dream of wispy things more. That may help! ;)

  • Alan

    James,

    De Bono is saying the thinker gets bogged down when trying to use emotions, logic, information, hope, and creativity all at the same time, and shows a method of dealing with them separately. I think he is not applying the paradigm just to the self, but to group process (like the blog-o-sphere) as well.

    I think what you are putting forward is the ‘logical positive’ or constructive type of thinking that uses ‘speculation without justification’. Optimism may be displaced. “We may choose never to back a long shot, but that long shot needs to be on the map.” Debono also talks about creativity, which Western thinking is not very good at: “In the excercise of creative thinking, it may be necessary to put forward as provocations ideas that are deliberately illogical..”

    The kind of thinking Jim is putting forward would be mostly the ‘logical negative’, which protects us from mistakes, risk-taking, and danger. De Bono points out the following about the logical negative or “black hat thinking”,

    It is much easier to be negative.
    It is more fun to be negative.
    The logical negative often uses ‘childish negative indulgence’-the sample is absurd therefore the whole is absurd (for an example of this see Jim’s 14 questions!)
    Proving someone wrong provides immediate satisfaction.
    Offering a constructive idea does not provide any achievement until someone likes the idea or you can show that it works(which takes time).
    Attacking an idea gives an instant feeling of superiority.

    So, James, what about calling Jim a lowlife? You didn’t really mean it, did you? I don’t agree with name-calling; I’m not enough in touch with my dark side just yet. But Jim called Layla a “twit” and never did apologize for it, so I’m sure Jim has no problem with name-calling. Maybe his dark side is sticky and he finds it hard to dispose of after flirting with it. Just the same, Jim keeps bringing up that “lowlife” thing, so I think you should say something about why you said that. Also the 14 questions are all about Bomjon’s miracles. Maybe you could say whether you believe in the miracles. I myself do not believe in the miracles, but I think they are a code for some deeper spiritual and political values.

  • Jim

    A “twit” is defined by Merriam-Webster as “a silly annoying person.” Layla was at the time being that to me, so I won’t apologize for using the word. When she stopped being annoying to me, I ceased using the word “twit.”

    Alan, read James’ text on “lowlife.” I’m confident he meant it. Oooh, he was pissed off, pissed off because I wouldn’t answer one of his questions after a short period. James got his knickers in a twist because I wouldn’t answer his question, so I decided to ask him a series of questions — questions he won’t answer. Yes, I am rubbing his face in the inconsistency, because he won’t look at it otherwise.

    Alan, read James on the miracles of Ram Bomjon not eating or drinking for six (ten?) months and then traipsing off through the woods. James defended the possibility of this with reference to a, hmmm, unique theory of human hibernation, during the course of which he cited the website I refer to in my 14 questions as a reputable source. If James is going to believe that it’s reasonably possible for Ram Bomjon to be hibernating, then he’s going to have to explain the other magical behaviors of Bomjon too.

    Look, here’s my point: if you’re going to go out on a limb and say, “Gosh, I really think that Person X might be onto something when he is said to have not had a bite to eat or drink for six (ten?) months,” you might at least want to pick a Person X for which a whole host of other patently ridiculous claims have NOT been made. Ram Bomjon’s followers have made a whole host of patently ridiculous claims about him — so why on this green Earth would you believe any one or two of them? There’s a much simpler answer to all this: Ram Bomjon’s followers are making shit up.

  • Jim

    Now about you, Alan, I think you’ve just called me a “childish negative indulger.” Go ahead, call me names. I don’t care. Just don’t get all up on your high horse about being above insults. Please, call me names, but be willing to back them up.

    De Bono wrote a book (!) but despite writing a book (!) has it wrong. It’s easier to think that people can hibernate, or fly, or not eat or drink for six (ten?) months and then go on a five-day hike while having a light shine out of their forehead. It’s emotionally comforting to think that, because gosh, then we’re all special and magic and we won’t die and rot and we can defy the whole universe and, gosh, we are the darling center of it all. It’s harder to open your eyes and to herald what is actually there.

  • Scott

    Come on Alan,
    What is harder?
    (i) To do your best to hold your beliefs to some kind of standard that would filter out beliefs unlikely to be true and accept true beliefs?
    (ii) To believe whatever will make you a happy camper?

  • Scott

    It makes some people happy to believe that if they commit suicide, the big UFO hiding behind the comet will take them to wherever it was they wanted to go.
    It makes some people happy to believe that there are WMD in Iraq.
    It makes some people happy to believe that they are superior to others because of the color of their skin, or born in a particular country.
    It makes some people happy to believe that women are property and can be dealt with as such.
    It makes some people happy to believe that God will give them more virgins than can shake their stick at if they crash a plane into a highrise.

    You may say that you would not assent to any of these beliefs, but eliminating a standard of belief makes each of these beliefs equally valid. And if you reject them you are just being negative.

  • James

    Alan wrote:

    “………. I think he is not applying the paradigm just to the self, but to group process (like the blog-o-sphere) as well.”

    James replies:

    Alan…. I did read some of the “Six Hats” material, including looking over de Bono’s webiste at:
    http://www.edwdebono.com/. I also read an interesting interpretation of how to apply de Bono’s views at the “mind tools” website http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTED_07.htm.

    My take on that issue is that de Bono talks about applying the “Six Hat’s approach in group meetings, but also individually. I agree that he recommends applying Six Hats process sequentially, one “Hat” at a time. That certainly implies that he may think there is less clutter and/or more purity in applying each Hat if done one at a time.

    But does this mean that the thinking styles signified by the Six Hats are naturally applied that way by people. I happen not to think so. I think that people do have certain inclinations to think in one of the Hats he outlines, but I don’t buy that people do so to the total exclusion of all other Hats. Rather, I think that there is a constant ebb and flow of these multiple thinking styles from moment to moment in people. Often, people try to suppress those thinking styles that are not their strong point, thus denying a part of their self almost subconsciously.

    Bottomline, as de Bono suggests, people can try to deliberately try on each Hat by
    trying to apply a given thinking stule discreetly, in preference to the other styles,
    rotating each one…..and do so either in a group context of on one’s own.

  • James

    Alan wrote:
    “.I think what you are putting forward is the ‘logical positive’ or constructive type of thinking that uses ’speculation without justification’. ”
    James replies:
    I tend to think your take is an oversimplification, and bit of a forced application of his categories.
    If one looks back over the totality of my posts on this one web page, which I suspect is the matter you’re characterizing, it is a mixed bag in my view. In many instances I described my hunches, frankly as such. In other cases I called attention to specific scientific and other web sites containing information that proves, supports, or enlarges on themes I wrote about. In other cases, I’ve offered a few opinions about the logic, or analyses, or attitudes of writers here. I’ve offered the cautious viewpoint that with regard to a lot of this stuff, it seems best to me to suspend a judgment about its reality or credibility until more information and experience comes in – perhaps in a distant future. I don’t think all this behavior can be labeled just “speculation without justification,” especially given all my efforts to cite to sources that lend a justifiying perspective or context to my own opinions.

  • James

    Alan wrote:

    “…..So, James, what about calling Jim a lowlife? You didn’t really mean it, did you? I don’t agree with name-calling….”

    James replies:

    Yes. I did mean it. I think that “name calling” is a bit of a misnomer. Lowlife is shorthand sometimes to describe what one thinks of another’s values, even though vague it suggestions a dislike. I disliked the kind of behavior and attitudes I saw from Jim in this setting. I disliked the values that seem to underly his attitudes and behavior.

  • Alan

    Jim,
    I am deeply sympathetic with your plight because I too have been called a lowlife, yes, on this very thread. And I am sad to say I am not immune from the general madness as I have called another poster a ‘hypocrite’ and a ‘troublemaker’ once again on this very thread. The Dark Side is indeed sticky and hard to get rid of once you flirt with it.

    I don’t think you’re annoyed with James because he doesn’t agree with you. I think you’re annoyed with James because he pasted thousands and thousands of words from other websites after the other posters asked him not to and he pasted multiple copies of stuff on other converstions. It would bring out anyone’s Dark Side.

    If you reread his posts 152 and 155 James says pretty clearly he is just raising a point and doesn’t consider anything proven. I’m not trying to speak for James, he can speak for himself, but it seems to me that’s what he’s saying. You should look again at what he really said.

  • James

    Alan asked James to comment a little about Jim’s 14 questions.

    James responds as follows:

    How can a human hibernate using body stores of fat without having body stores of fat?

    I HAVE SEEN STUDIES ON THIS ISSUE.

    Next, I’d like to know how Ram Bomjon managed to walk for five days after hibernating.

    I HAVEN’T SEEN ANY CREDIBLE INFO ON THIS ISSUE.

    I’d also like you to tell me how Ram Bomjon shone a light out of his forehead.

    I HAVEN’T SEEN THAT LIGHT, ONLY REPORTS OF TOTAL STRANGERS WHO BELIEVE THEY SAW SUCH LIGHTS. AS I’VE ALREADY WRITTEN EARLIER, THIS MIGHT BE A HYPERACTIVE IMAGINATION, A FORM OF “SELF-HYPNOSIS” STEMMING FROM THEIR EXPECTATION OF SUCH PHENOMENA, OR IT MAY BE SOMETHING ELSE ENTIRELY.

    How does Ram Bomjon manage to have a source of light emanate not just from his forehead, but also from his left side… AND have it enter his chest? They say this is captured on VIDEOTAPE! Wow! How does that work?

    I HAVEN’T SEEN ANY VIDEOTAPES SHOWING LIGHT. I DON’T HAVE ANY INFORMATION ABOUT SUCH LIGHTS.

    Is it six months or ten months that Bomjon didn’t take food or water?

    I WOULDN’T KNOW FROM MY OWN PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE. BUT IF THESE POSTING SHOW SOME CONTRADICTION IN YOUR MIND, GO BACK AND READ ALL THE VARIOUS NEWSPAPER ARTICLES ON HIM, GOOGLE IT, DECIDE FOR YOURSELF WHICH TIME REFERENCES MAKE SENSE.

    How did it happen that one of Ram Bomjon’s sisters became unable to speak after she said she doubted the veracity of Ram Bomjon’s meditation without food or water, and remained unable to speak for 22 days? How does that work?

    I DON’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT HIS SISTER OR HER SPEAKING EXPERIENCES.

    How did the previously speechless boy Rajesh Mahat gain the power of speech after seeing Ram Bomjon? How does that work?

    I DON’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THE ALLEGEDLY SPEEHLESS BOY. I READ THE NEWS REPORT AND HAVE NO OPINION ABOUT IT. I SUPPOSE THAT IF HIS PROBLEMS STEM FROM SOME EARLY CHILDHOOD PSYCHIC TRAUMA, PERHAPS HIS EXCITEMENT, RELIEF, INSPIRATION, OR FAITH SEEING BOMJON BROKE THROUGH HIS PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGICAL LIMITATIONS – OR TEMPORARILY DID SO.

    Is it true that more than 100,000,000 rupees of revenue has been generated from sales surrounding Ram Bomjon? If this is not true, are the other claims in the website that you took as a legitimate source of information true? How do you know the difference?

    THIS SEEMS LIKE A PETTY QUESTION. IF YOU DOUBT AN ITEM OF INFORMATION, GOOGLE UP YOUR OWN SET OF NEW SOURCES AND FORM AN OPINION YOURSELF.

    How did one of Ram Bomjon’s ancestors learn how to fly?

    I DON’T KNOW ANY OF HIS ANCESTORS, AND HAVEN’T HEARD ANY DETAILS OF HOW HE WAS ABLE TO FLY. PERHAPS WHEN THE BRITISH WERE DOMINANT IN INDIA HE TOOK FLYING LESSONS WITH SOME GURKAS.
    Is Ram Bomjon an incarnation of Lord Krishna?

    I DON’T KNOW IF BOMJON IS AN INCARNATION OF ANYTHING.

    What did Ram Bomjon mean when he said he had yet to acquire the Buddha’s energy?

    SINCE I HAVEN’T SPOKEN WITH BOMJON, I DON’T KNOW WHAT HE SAID IN FACT….OR WHAT HE MAY HAVE MEANT. I WOULD SURMISE THAT HE MEANT “BUDDHA-NATURE”. THIS IS DISCUSSED SOMEWHAT IN WIKIPEDIA AT:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddha-nature

    How will Ram Bomjon bring peace to the world, as he says, through six years of meditation? How does this work?

    I DON’T KNOW HOW BOMJON DESCRIBED HIS BELIEF, IF ANY, THAT HE CAN BRING PEACE TO THE WORLD. I IMAGINE HE MEANT A VERY SIMPLE PRINCIPLE OF IMPROVING ONE MAN AT A TIME. IF ONE PERSON IS THOROUGHLY PEACEFUL AND HARMONIOUS WITH MANKIND IN HIS DEEPEST NATURE, HE WILL HAVE A MORE PEACEFUL INFLUENCE ON THOSE AROUND HIM THAN IF HE WERE NOT LIKE THAT. BY IMPROVING HIS NATURE, BOMJON BELIEVES HE’LL BE A BETTER INFLUENCE ON PEACE IN THE WORLD. IN ADDITION, IF THE PEACEFUL MAN LEARNS A METHOD FOR BECOMING MORE PEACEFUL, AND CAN SHARE THAT METHOD WITH MORE PEOPLE MORE SUCCESSFULLY FIVE YEARS OUT….. HIS EFFECT AS A TEACHER WILL PRESUMABLY ENHANCE PEACE IN THE WORLD. THIS JUST SEEMS LIKE COMMON SENSE TO ME.

    When Gyansagar Lama, “the famous Guru who preaches non-violence,” declares Ram Bomjon to be the reincarnation of Buddha, do you believe him? What’s the standard by which you believe or do not believe him?

    I DON’T KNOW THAT LAMA, SO I DON’T HAVE AN OPINION.

    If, before his meditation, Ram Bomjon “could not walk straight. He limped,” then how could he manage to emerge from (six?) (ten?) months of meditation without eating or drinking and walk for five days and nights to an undisclosed jungle location?

    THERE ARE MANY POTENTIAL EXPLANATIONS FOR THIS, AND I DON’T KNOW WHAT ANSWER IS CORRECT. I HAVEN’T SEEN HIS LIMP PERSONALLY AND HAVEN’T DISCUSSED IT WITH ANYONE. PERHAPS HIS LIMP RESULTED FROM KIND OF STRESS RELATED MUSCLE CRAMPING AND HIS LONG MEDITATIONS RELAXED THESE PROBLEMS SO HIS LEGS SERVED HIM BETTER. STRESS CAN INDUCE A “FROZEN SHOULDER SYNDROME” FOR EXAMPLE, ADHESIVE CAPSULITIS. YET THIS CAN PASS ON ITS OWN AFTER A YEAR OR SO. IF HE WALKED FOR FIVE DAYS WITHOUT FOOD AND WATER, HE MAY HAVE DRAWN UPON SOME RESERVOIR OF ENERGY NOT YET SCIENTIFICALLY UNDERSTOOD. I DON’T KNOW AS A FACT THAT SUCH AN ENERGY RESOURCE IS UNAVAILABLE OR IMPOSSIBLE, SO SUSPEND MY JUDGMENT FOR NOW.

  • James

    Jim wrote:

    ..If James is going to believe that it’s reasonably possible for Ram Bomjon to be hibernating, then he’s going to have to explain the other magical behaviors of Bomjon too.”

    James replies:

    Nonsense! Presumptuous. I don’t *have* to do a single thing that you wish I would do. Any person is free to post as little or much, as complete or as partial an exposition as they feel like doing.

  • Alan

    Jim says,

    we can defy the whole universe and, gosh, we are the darling center of it all.

    If I remember my Hinduism correctly, Lord Vishnu the Preserver is actually at the hub of the universe. We are the spokes, and we help maintain the universe by upholding the social order (caste system). See Bhagavad Gita XVIII:61 This is right after Arjuna complains about being expected to kill everyone he loves in a war and Krishna talks him into fighting, since after all Arjuna does belong to the warrior caste. According to the commentary “disappearance of the individual in a featureless Absolute…is devotion to the Supreme Lord.” And the whole point of Buddhaism is detachment…from anger, from lust, from envy,… becasue it is our emotional attachment to the world (which doesn’t really exist but is illusiion), that keeps us being reincarnated. The whole point of the religion is how to stop being alive (undesirable) and go to heaven (desirable).

  • Alan

    Scott,
    #295 “true beliefs”???

    Is this like military inteligence? Student teachers? It sounds like an oxymoron.

    A belief by defintion can’t be proven, otherwise it would be called a “true fact”. Is this in refernce to something?

  • James

    Alan wrote:

    If you reread his posts 152 and 155 James says pretty clearly he is just raising a point and doesn’t consider anything proven. I’m not trying to speak for James, he can speak for himself, but it seems to me that’s what he’s saying. You should look again at what he really said.

    James replies:

    Alan, I would say that your take is pretty accurate. After all, in point number 152 I wrote:
    “………….I don’t consider it as a proof. I consider it as a better point on a continuum of plausibility. The fact that I fight for “an open mind” on such a thing doesn’t mean I consider it proven already, just an interesting possibility …”

  • James

    Scott wrote to Jim:
    “………….Being a western thinker, you simply don’t recognize how “wispy dream visions” are as legitimate a source of information as say, experience or rationality. In fact, they are more legitimate as they can override experience and rationality…..”

    James comments:

    This bit of snide sarcasm doesn’t reflect my own thinking, if Scott thought that it did.
    “Dreamy visions” can be of a thousand different things, and aren’t necessarily rational, irrational, comprehensively insightful, or modestly insightful. But can a dream of vision even give us any useful insight at all, any creative idea, fresh look, connecting of dots unavailable yesterday? I merely include it for what it is, one state/aspect of the mind that may or may not have value from day to day, moment to moment. But, nonetheless, it is a part of the mind with its own language and nature and value to contribute to the aware person. Certainly, I see no need to mock the suggestion that “visions” are useful or feed useable information to the brain.

    Recent psychological studies hold that dreaming is an essential aspect of how humans learn, even though they’re asleep dreaming involves the brain shifting information from the day into long term memory parts of the brain and other forms of mental organization. It’s no wonder that as a byproduct of that ordering people sometimes wake up with fresh insights, have such insights while dreaming. These insights can be combined with further rational thought processes and so on to see if they lead to something new and valuable. One needn’t admit the value of dreamy visions only if they override all rationality.

    In a new and different vein on the topic of how the human mind perceives……
    “a growing body of research indicates that the tongue may in fact be the second-best place on the body for receiving visual information from the world and transmitting it to the brain. …”
    “….. Interest in enhancement of the senses has come primarily from the military. While Bach-y-Rita and his colleagues were using external skin as a receiver of light-derived images, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in Arlington, Va., funded them to develop a sonar-based system to help Navy commandos orient themselves in pitch darkness. The prototype worked, Bach-y-Rita says….”
    http://www.sciencenews.org/articles/20010901/bob14.asp

  • Alan

    Jim,

    ‘childish negative indulgence’

    If I understand the author correctly, it is a technique where you say the sample is absurd therefore the whole is absurd. The way i interpret your 14 questions is that bomjon (sample) is absurd therefore buddhaism and hinduism (they kinda blend together in nepal)(the whole) are absurd.

    This is not name-calling, since it refers to a type of “black hat thinking” or logical negative thinking. You may or may not be this kind of person in real life–I don’t know you personally–but is only a particular type of thinking. They call it a “hat” becasue you put it on or take it off depending on the task. The black hat thinking is valuable becasue it protects us from mistakes and danger. You would put on a white hat for neutral information-gathering and a red hat to express feelings without needing to justify them (in order to keep hidden emotions from interfering with the logic).

    But these are all western type thinking styles, and without the constructive positive and the creative, the black hat types will just be sitting there with nothing to do waiting for someone to come along they can tear down. For western style ‘critical thinking’ to work, someone has to actually make proposals, so we need the “constructive positive”, creative logical viewpoint, and we need to protect that viewpoint from the black hat types long enough to map it and develop the ideas, then we need the logical negative to find the weak points and the neutral information to get the facts necessary to make decision, so we can either make it workable or work on something else.

    James ,
    The review you posted isn’t very good, I don’t think the reviewer even read the book. Amazon has a better review. The book is old–it predates blogging for sure, but i think you can draw some parallels.

  • James

    Jim wrote:

    “..De Bono wrote a book (!) but despite writing a book (!) has it wrong. It’s easier to think that people can hibernate, or fly, or not eat or drink for six (ten?) months and then go on a five-day hike while having a light shine out of their forehead. …”

    James replies:

    I is not easy to think that humans may be able to hibernate, , plus defend oneself against people who mock and make fun of the idea, plus seriously try to come up with rational and scientific information supportive of that possibility.
    Compared to that…….it does seem easier to me for someone to simply mock it as unheard of and odd, and probably crazy. Actually, it just involves making a bunch of easy to write negative, snide, sarcastic potshots.

  • James

    Jim wrote:

    “…….De Bono wrote a book (!) but despite writing a book (!) has it wrong. ”

    James replies:

    How much of de Bono’s book did you read before dismissing his book as wrong Jim?

  • Jim

    James writes:

    Jim wrote:

    ..If James is going to believe that it’s reasonably possible for Ram Bomjon to be hibernating, then he’s going to have to explain the other magical behaviors of Bomjon too.”

    James replies:

    Nonsense! Presumptuous. I don’t *have* to do a single thing that you wish I would do. Any person is free to post as little or much, as complete or as partial an exposition as they feel like doing

    I beg your universal pardon. I should have written “going to have to explain the other magical behaviors of Bomjon too” if he wants to be consistent.

    I understand now from your answers that consistency may not be important to you. I understand now that you are comfortable picking and choosing magical phenomena to endorse. I understand now that you are interested in being credulous at extraordinary claims.

    You have the right to all of the above.

  • Scott

    Alan,
    “Scott,
    #295 “true beliefs”???

    Is this like military inteligence? Student teachers? It sounds like an oxymoron.

    A belief by defintion can’t be proven, otherwise it would be called a “true fact”. Is this in refernce to something? ”

    –this sounds like something Jim would say.
    If you really don’t think that “I believe X” entails “I believe X to be true” then I don’t know what to say to you.

    James:
    “Recent psychological studies hold that dreaming is an essential aspect of how humans learn, even though they’re asleep dreaming involves the brain shifting information from the day into long term memory parts of the brain and other forms of mental organization. It’s no wonder that as a byproduct of that ordering people sometimes wake up with fresh insights, have such insights while dreaming. These insights can be combined with further rational thought processes and so on to see if they lead to something new and valuable. One needn’t admit the value of dreamy visions only if they override all rationality.”
    -Did you read any of this research. You are conflating two different things to suit your conclusions.
    (i) The neurophysiological “housecleaning” that occurs during REM sleep
    (ii) The content of dreams that occur during REM sleep.
    Two separate phenomena.
    It’s like saying that the sound of your heartbeat (a by-product of the function of your heart) makes blood pump around your body.

  • Alan

    Scott,
    #295 Is this in refernce to something? ”

    I think you mean to continue from #262, which I stopped trying to digest in order not to be intrusive when you had so many papers to grade?

    You’re comparing me with Jim? Eeewwww.

    Since I seem to be more enamored with de Bono than with Chomsky, at least for the moment, maybe because it is practical rather than theoretical, this is what de Bono says about true beliefs:

    -Much of what passes for fact is simply a comment made in good faith or is a matter of personal belief at the moment.
    -The important point is the use to which the facts are to be put. Before we act upon a fact or make it the basis for a decision, we do need to check it. So we assess which of the believed facts could be useful and then proceed to try and verify it.
    -Believed facts v checked facts

    I’m not sure what this is in refence to, subjective mental states of #262 or the happiness list in #296 that doesn’t seem to connect to anything. Were we talking about religion? If this is about religion, we’re in bad shape, becasue people often base their actions and decisions on religious beliefs, which by definition can’t be checked. I mean they can be checkd internally, to see if they are in agreement with scripture or the belief system, but the entire belief system can’t be checked and is accepted on faith. that’s why they call it faith, it can’t be checked.

    My computer has also declared war on me and refuses to paste anything to a word document. I have tried the usual WMD: diskcleanup, defragger, and spybot program, but the computer just lobs back a bunch of page faults and fatal exceptions. This cramps my ususal writing style of pasting someone’s post onto a word document, highlighting salient phrases, and writing with spellcheck with the post I’m talking about in front of me, and means I can’t save anything from internet to disk. Mabe it’s time to dig out my software guy and rebuild everything, but these wars always cost money.

  • James

    Scott wrote:

    “…..-Did you read any of this research. You are conflating two different things to suit your conclusions.
    (i) The neurophysiological “housecleaning” that occurs during REM sleep
    (ii) The content of dreams that occur during REM sleep.
    Two separate phenomena.
    It’s like saying that the sound of your heartbeat (a by-product of the function of your heart) makes blood pump around your body.

    James replies:

    I agree that I am conflating and condensing material relating to dreaming, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
    My take on what had been written about dreaming here was that it is is only valuable if it totally overrides rationality and experience. I felt that it is important to show that dreaming is at least useful, even if it does not override rationality. It is not simply a zero. Sleep and dreaming accomplish a lot, and a lot of diverse stuff. A part of that stuff impacts our mental health, our capacity to be rational, our capacity to learn, our memory, the organization of information in our brain, our ability to be creative. The effects of REM sleep include the “housecleaning” you reference. Dreams can also have content which people sometimes find to include inspirational matter, sometimes, an appearance of “ready made” answers to problems they’ve been wrestling with, and sometimes other useful stuff. It’s a soup mix of useful stuff. It’s appropriate to condense and conflate this overall info into a short paragraph to give a response in this forum that doesn’t take up a lot of my time and yet
    records at least a partial and relevant response to the implication that “wispy dreaming visions” are useless if
    they fail to overcome rationality and experience. Anyone who wants to perceive meaning in what I’d written will do so, and anyone who wants to find fault with it will do so. Each will find what they want to find, as you have.

  • Alan

    Jim,

    #310 (to James) “you are comfortable picking and choosing magical phenomena to endorse.”

    #301 (James’ answers to the 14 questions) James doesn’t appear to ascribe a supernatural or miraculous cause to any of the Bomjon phenomenon, but where he attepts to explain them, he attributes them to hallucination or natural phenomenon, however improbable. Unlike Mackers, I don’t think James is personally religious, but is willing to mine fringe religious experiences for possible personal enrichment.

  • Scott

    Post 312: “You’re comparing me with Jim? Eeewwww.”
    I had intended to say “Sounds like something James would say.”

  • Alan

    I’m not Jim and I’m not James either. Maybe Jim and James is the same person.

  • Scott

    Only if he’s suffering Dissociative Identity Disorder.

  • Jim

    Why, if that were true, Alan, I’d just hate myself!

  • Alan

    Then Jim, if you annoyed yourself, you could always call yourself a ‘twit’. http://www.sex-lexis.com/Sex-Dictionary/twit
    but only a lowlife would do that.

    No, they’re separate people. James has creative imaginatation, Jim has discernment, but I doubt if either one of them has any new oxymorons.

  • Scott

    I’ll give him his due, James certainly has a creative imagination.

  • James

    Alan says in regard to James:

    “…..#301 (James’ answers to the 14 questions) James doesn’t appear to ascribe a supernatural or miraculous cause to any of the Bomjon phenomenon, but where he attepts to explain them, he attributes them to hallucination or natural phenomenon, however improbable. Unlike Mackers, I don’t think James is personally religious, but is willing to mine fringe religious experiences for possible personal enrichment….

    James replies:

    What is a “supernatural” or “miraculous” cause???

    That’s quite interesting and amusing. Actually, I am quite religious, born to a family who raised protestant children. However, having lived in the east (India, Himalayas, etc.) and having practiced meditation, yoga for
    years, and scientific research in these areas generally, my notions of God, religion, “self,” spirituality have expanded, morphed, relaxed and become more inclusive. I respect science for what it is and what its good at and feel it shouldn’t be whimsically disregarded. Yet, I don’t think science has or can have all the answers and am quite ready to step off of that “canoe” in the river of life and wander about by other means if I think there may be something worthwhile/interesting to pursue before getting back into the “canoe,” a comfortable default mode.

    My characterization of Bomjon Miracles: In a way, I think once a person feels something is a miracle, they inherently suggest it is unreal. Once something suggestive of a miracle is believed as a real experience and fact, it is presumably part of some context that can be understood from some standpoint, scienfific, or analytical, or something. So I’m not inclined to use the term miracle much because it doesn’t seem to lead anywhere. I did not presume miracles occurred as to Bomjon per that list of 14 points, because I have so little
    basis in personal knowledge/experience to assign credibility to most of those as being anything more than ordinary.

    However, other aspects of Bomjon’s surprising feats involve things I have at least a little confidence in based on experience or other things, and so I was willing to venture out and sketch out a possible explanation for those, or at least a potential framework in which it may later be understood. I’m not thereby saying I “believe” or deem them “proved.”

    When I was very young I began reading books on the medical uses of hypnosis. I learned and practiced it with friends. I was able to use hypnosis in my mid teen years to bring about fairly remarkable physical feats, a friend lifting an extremely heavy mahagony queen sized bed with his little finger, and other things. I’ve noted some of the scientific studies of yogi’s who appear to do dramatic things like stop and start their hearts, live on one breath a minute, stop breathing for extended time. I have some personal experience with things related to this which I’m not going to describe here. These and other experiences through my life have made me cautiously comfortable viewing humans as capable of surprising feats like the allegation of Bomjon not eating for months, walking a long distance with no food, etc. I can readily imagine how some people who lack certain experiences I’ve had wouldn’t see any basis, intuitive inclination, or intellectual honesty in giving “benefit of the doubt” perspective to such things as the Bomjon story involves. But I’m not compelled to evanlgelize or persuade others to adopt my views. People have their own finite sets of experiences, and thus views of what is plausible intuitively.

  • James

    Jim wrote in no. 310:

    “…………. understand now from your answers that consistency may not be important to you. I understand now that you are comfortable picking and choosing magical phenomena to endorse. I understand now that you are interested in being credulous at extraordinary claims.

    You have the right to all of the above.

    —–

    James replies:

    Yes. Of course I have the right to all the above. And, I’d be crazy not to use that right.

    Consistency: consistency is important to me, but obviously it is important to balance consistency
    with many other factors.

    You seem to imply that in order to be “consistent” I had to believe in a miraculous nature for all
    curious events surrounding Bomjon if I believe that one was “miraculous.” And, you seem to imply that in order to be consistent I had to believe that all circumstances alleged to have occured around Bomjon did occur in fact….. if I admit that any one circumstance occured (i.e. those circumstances being characterized as “miraculous.”)

    But why is that so? Why must am I only consistent in that context and manner? Doesn’t it beg the question of “to what principle” am I being consistent when forming my judgments/opinions of what has occurred or which occurrence is miraculous?

    What if I feel obliged to be consistently cautious and “evidence-based” in deciding what has happened with Bomjon.
    If that is the principle I am trying to be consistent with, then I am indeed consistent to admit as fact
    or plausible that which I perceive some credible evidence or explanation for, or witness of, and to
    disregard as factual that which I perceive a lack of credible evidence, explanation or witness for.
    The type of evidence, explanation, or witness that tips the balance of credulity for me may vary on
    what the type of circumstance/alleged miracle is. For example, if I have a personal friend who personally visited Bomjon and observed him for two weeks, I may consider his testimony adequate evidence sufficient to
    believe Bomjon didn’t eat for weeks and remained still. If my witness also saw Bomjon get up and walk after weeks of no food, water and sleep, I may not be able to explain how he did that physiologically but I may be comfortable regarding the alleged faiure to eat and walking with out food as factual (pending further info). Yet,
    as to an allegation that he had some distant relative who flew through the sky, I may have no source of information about that act, that person, and that class of behaviors to justify any confidence at all. In that setting, I may feel more comfortable defaulting to very ordinary explanations as most plausible, such as “flying” means piloting an airplane, or that “flying” was perceived by an opium smoking bunch of people back then.

    The suggestion that in order to be “consistent” I MUST agree that all ten alleged miracles occurred because
    I’m receptive to the suggestion that one or two happened, is preposterous to me. It seems to imply that
    consistency is a unidimensional and simple thing….i.e. anytime one believes in one of a class of events one must believe in the entire class without consideration of any data or issue other than items in that class. That’s frankly a stupid way of seeing consistency in my view.

    I believe that any thinking and aware person would “pick and choose” by various standards among all described events before suggesting that one believes that one, two, five or ten occurred, or occurred as described.

  • Jim

    Wow, your friend watched Bomjon night and day for two weeks? Really and truly? That’s incredible!

    Wow, your friend personally watched Bomjon get up and walk away after weeks of no food, water and sleep? Saw no food, no water, no sleep? For weeks? Then personally watched Bomjon get up and walk away? Really and truly? That’s incredible!

    Look up the meaning of the word incredible.

  • James

    Jim wrote:

    “…..Look up the meaning of the word incredible.”

    James replies:

    Yawn. All you’ve got is sarcasm. That’s not worth anything to me.

  • Jim

    Oh, I’ve got sarcasm aplenty. But that’s not all. No, I’ve got new questions for you:

    Did your friend really watch Bomjon night and day for two weeks?

    Did your friend really watch Bomjon get up and walk away after seeing him have weeks (actually, months) of no food, no water, no sleep?

  • Alan

    James,
    Jim always has plenty of sarcasm, but that’s his own special cynical way of trying to get more information by insinuating that you’re an idiot and trying to get you to prove you’re not. He’s adopted the black hat position on this and he’s not going to take off the black hat anytime soon.

    But if you know an eyewitness to Bomjon events, yes that’s worth telling. What did you hear?

  • David Brown

    James is teh awesome. GO JAMES!!!!!! some people are unable to realize or admit when they have been beaten. the “logic” escapes them.

  • does not matter

    weather the boy is a fraud or not is pure speculation to anyone other than the boy and those that are close to him.there was an article in GQ magazine about him and the reporter that went to interview him spent the night. His tale of the time was that about the pure agony of spending hours on end sitting in complete stillness, not to mention in silence and eyes closed….. NOw the reporter was a grown man not a boy of 15, how many kids do U know that age with that type of attention span or dedication…… He also spent the night out side with a couple of monks and the article says that the government was handing out firewood to prevent people from freeezing…. this kid has not only spent all day in perfect stillness/silence but has also spent the night outside with nothing but a cloak there again in perfect stillness….at least thats what the article says….the author george saunders claims to have almost frozen that people were dying in that type of cold yet this young boy sat outside all night with little more than a burkapacloak… neways the point is how do U ever expect to find your own rite without faith in the incomprehensible…… there are well documented articles on th internet of incorruptibility….. that which classifies a saint….. men and women that have been dead for 75 150 2-300 years but their bodies remain the same as the day they died…. skin still soft and flexible not cold…..no signs of physical decay… some buried in conditions ideal for rot yet remain in perfect shape…….I don’t think the buddah boy claims to be a buddah I think he only wants to meditate I think its his town that has become impressed with his feat, which bythe way is more than most would ever attenpt… I don’t think the town is just pouring in prosperity…….but my opinion is just speculation from an article i read….. have faith because with faith men can move mountains

  • Nithya

    There is a documentary on this boy that was telecast on Discovery Channel. It clearly showed the boy in meditation continuously without food and water for more than 4 days(after this the boy didnt stop but the cameras had to). It clearly shows that there are so many aspects of this universe that are
    1. Difficult to comprehend
    2. Even if comprehended, cannot be articulated through language
    James ,
    You tried your best to bring some sense in to the “typical” western attitude of “know-all rationalistic” approach.
    Fortunately,the entire scientific community (western /eastern) is not biased.Thats the reason we have theories like relativity,Quantum mechanics to explain the inexplicable.
    For a person who asks so many questions (MrJ Clifford), has he ever thought how can matter be in two places at the same time (Quantum mechanics makes u believe)?
    This is the same kind of attitude that has made even the greatest of scientists like Einstein to eat back his words “God does not play dice with the world”.

    There are several examples of Yogis in South of India like Sambandhar,who spontaneously composed beautiful verses praising the nature of God at the age of “Four”. This is well known in the western world also. Please refer to any literature on this.Do you think this is within human rationale?Saints like Manikkavachagar and karaikkal ammaiyar just dissolved themselves in the divine grace leaving behind only ashes.

    To cut the long story short, science has lot of unknowns than knowns.
    To question everything with an open mind is fine.You may end up with something brilliant like relativity/Quantum theory.But to question something ,thinking that the solution will exist within your current limited solution space, is stupidity.

  • Scott

    Hooray, just this week I was was wondering when this was going to come up again.
    Don’t you think it’s spooky that I was thinking about it, then it happened.
    Prove to me that it wasn’t a psychic premonition.

  • Jim

    Scott, I can’t prove it wasn’t a psychic premonition, therefore it must have been!
    And anybody who disagrees with me is just another intolerant asshole who doesn’t understand the deep, mystical scope of the universe.

  • Iroquois Honky

    I could spontaneously sing “Jesus loves me” at the age of “Two”. I doubt very much whether the editors of this fine forum think this is within human rationale. My mother has proof of this on tape. Where is the proof of the poetry-spouting four-year-olds? I am not quite hot enough to dissolve myself into ashes yet, but am working on being in two places at once. As soon as I figure out how to collect two paychecks for the same hours, I’ll let you know how it is done.

    IH and IH’s Evil Twin

  • Why do you people have to be so cynical about this? You make fun of him. You’re making fun of a boy that’s inpiring thousands of visitors worlwide! You’re making fun of a “hoaxer” (I dont think it’s a hoax) that could very well be on his way trhough his OWN form on enlightenment. So what if it’s a hoax? BIG. FREAKING. DEAL. He’s making the world a better place! He’s introducing a bit of hope into a hungry world’s eyes! Don’t you see? This boy is sending a message of peace out to the world, and he’s not afraid. Like I said, even if it WAS a hoax, he’s making people happy. Why do you have to ruin a nice moment? It’s so typical of most people to make fun of things they clearly don’t understand, and I guess this is a perfect example of exactly that.

  • phil_w

    Hmm… I wonder about your motto: “In a time of darkness, inching towards the light…”

    In reality, you appear to be so benighted that you can’t even design a website that can be viewed in a half-decent browser (for example, Firefox). Your article displays several thousand pixels wide, requiring a lot of tedious horizontal scrolling in order to read it. It may have looked OK in Internet Explorer – I wonder if you bothered to try it out in anything else? Perhaps we could “improve” your motto (so that it applies to your opinions as well as your site): “In a time of darkness, fuck the light… stick with what you know”.

  • Jim

    I browse in Firefox all the time, phil_w. It’s my primary browser. Check the other portions of this website — they look fine in FireFox. Somebody must have added a 1000 pixel image in the hundreds of comments here. This is the only post which I can find behaving like this.

    And I find myself not caring overmuch. I care less about the style of design than the matter of content.

  • Jim

    Yeah, somebody added in a 1000px-long line of text in the comments.

    Sorry, phil_w, but I’m not going to add in widget AJAX blahdeeblah functionality that uses 100 lines of code to break it up.

  • Pauly

    Gosh, Phil_W. I’m using Firefox, and I have no problem viewing the site.

    Maybe the problem is that YOU don’t know how to set up your computer.

  • KK

    Hey Guys,

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/3236118.stm

    After reading so much about James and Jim’s comments I was forced to atleast quote this article in BBC. JIM, what is your argument to this? 10 days under scrutiny day and night, without food and water. Would be very interested in knowing what levels of reasoning can explain this.

    Kesavan

  • Iroquois Honky

    I can’t speak for anyone else, but did you notice this “news” item is from in India? Stories of official bribery in India have persisted from Kipling’s day to the present. This is like asking the Vatican to analyze the Shroud of Turin. if you know anything about medicine in India, they do use a lot of enemas, especially herbal ones, I think for vermifuge, and it’s common to have them in a hospital. At any rate medicine is absorbe more effeciently when introduced into the intestine. It is a poor country, perhaps the ayervedic mdicine is more cost effective. They don’t say the poor guy didn’t have any enemas.

    Damn this page is too hard to read because of the page width. Someone should go up to post #58 and break that long link. Its just a search string and it doesn’t link to anything anyhow. Grrrrr.

  • Since then

    Ten days not equaling ten months. Or, can Ram Bomjon defy time as well?

  • Anonymous

    1.Does any one have any idea of what ram bomjan can do???
    2.If he wastes so much time, how can he compete with people who utilise time to do wonderful things in the world.
    3. If he does this for self realization what does that have for the rest of the world??
    4.I hope he likes sex

  • punit

    Well, you must read ‘the monk who sold his ferrari’its a great book by Robin Sharma.this book tells you the true meaning of happiness and how you can acheive it. true(Inner)Happiness doesn’t come by having expensive cars, big house etc, instead it comes when you are at peace with your self, u r enlightend and when you acheive ‘NIRVANA’.Nirvana is a state in which you get lasting happiness and pleasure its the ULTIMATE GOAL OF LIFE.This Pleasure is far more sexual pleasure or anything else. Ram Bomjam is meditating to achieve the state of nirvana and one can actually achieve it by meditating.

    you may be having gr8 sex or would be the richest but somewhere at the bottam of your heart you know that somthing is missing in ur life , something is wrong somewhre in ur life. and if u still cant Appreciate that fact then tell me ‘do u have any kind of fear’?? are u afraid of anything in this world??? if yes then u haven’t acheived nirvana yet……way to go buddy!!!

  • Soul of Vision

    Why in these tumultuous times of tyranny and poverty do you fear hope? Why do you see this boy as such a hoaxster? Can he not simply be a boy in search of self, and inner peace? And intern can that search not deliver hope to a world in tremendous need of it? You claim that this boy has acted in some sort of offense to the ways of Buddha for fleeing a crowded mass to find peace, but if you remember the tale of Guetama Siddhartha (Buddha),you would be wise to remember that when he first found suffering and death, he had fleed his family of a wife and son and his royal line, to search out peace. He did not have such crowds following his every move and doctors trying to examine him through his meditation. No, Buddha found Nirvana in solitude and only then returned to combat suffering with enlightenment. So let this boy take the steps needed into finding his Nirvana, and instead of mislabeling him Buddha-Boy, let us simply call him a boy in search of something divine in world so lost of such things. Also according to him Buddha is not what he believes himself to be (yet), as stated “Tell the people not to call me a Buddha. I don’t have the Buddha’s energy. I am at the level of rinpoche [lesser divinity].” Considering Buddha is just a term meaning enlightened one, I would say he is more of Buddha then you sir!
    Thank you,

    Soul of Vision

  • It´s amazing: all your 345 comments, all antagonizing, arguing, debating… at the end its all about the opposite: quiet contemplation… SILENCE, the silence u can only think of because u are now (we are now) used to click and destroy every second…
    THINK ABOUT IT

  • One last thing before i go, fuckers (yeah, í´m a mere grotesque mortal):
    this kind of skepticism (sorry dont know how to spell that word, but i know u will understand it, fuckers) is the same that got jesuschrist into a cross.
    the central point is: nowadays a religious figure would have much less value than a barrel of oil.
    motherfuckers all of u.

  • Ken, does that kind of statement bring you enlightenment?

    Soul of Vision I don’t fear hope. I fear hype.

    Casanova, there is nothing in the historical record that verifies that Jesus ever actually was crucified. The evidence for Jesus is of the same nature as the evidence for Robin Hood – there is none.

    Skepticism never got anyone executed. In fact, skepticism is what has saved innocent people from being executed by those who used their faith to presume guilt.

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