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Old 29th March 2004, 01:25 AM   #1
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Default On snake oil and personal experience..

It's been observed that some people are more inclined to experiment with some "exotic" concepts and don't automatically reject everything that is suggested to them, while others classify it as "snake oil".

Well, last night I was reading "Transforming the Mind" by His Holiness The Dalai Lama and this paragraph drew my attention, as I noticed certain analogy:

Quote:
...you might think that it all sounds fairly rational and seems to make good enough sense. But what evidence do we have to show that these arguments are valid and that their logic is meaningful? Is there a proof we can observe or experience?
According to Sakya teachings (one of the four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism, PD), there are four valid factors of knowledge, namely valid scripture, valid treatises or commentaries, valid teacher, and valid experience.
In terms of their origin, of course, the valid scriptures were taught first, and the valid commentaries were elaborated on them later. Then, on the strengths of their study, valid teachers emerged who became masters of those commentaries. This led to their having valid experiences. However, from the point of view of the development of one's personal conviction it is suggested that this order is reversed - in other words, one must first begin with some kind of personal experience. If we take the case of reflecting upon the empty nature of phenomena, or the benefits of altruism, unless we have some taste or personal experience of the theme, that is, unless we have a glimpse of its truth, it is less likely that we will be inspired deeply enough to persist in our practice.
There are profound levels of realization, which I for one may not have, but there is also a beginning level which we all have. In my own case, whenever I contemplate on the virtues of compassion and altruism I feel deeply moved. But how can we know that such experiences are valid? One way is to look at the effects they have upon us. When we reflect on certain spiritual qualities and cultivate them, and when we begin to feel deeply inspired, this creates a sense of inner strength. This experience makes us more courageous, more expansive, and less prone to worry or insecurity. All those are indications of the validity of our experience.
It seems to me that those who interpret everything (they don't understand) as "snake oil", simply didn't experience that "glimpse of the truth" yet
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Old 29th March 2004, 01:53 AM   #2
Magura is offline Magura  Denmark
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Ive been making a few experiments during tests lately.

The biggest factor to me was the power of suggestion. Once i didnt know what was what and actually had to tell the difference, the result of most tests turned out random.

It was particulary bad during cable and capacitor tests (actually so bad that i have not dared making any conclusion to the taiwanese "super" caps i had to test) that i had to admit to myself that i could hear no difference, what so ever. Cables were the main reason for all the testing to begin with, during a discussion in another thread about the difference between silver and copper cables, i stated that i can hear difference between silver and copper cables....many objected to that. I made a test of a set of silver and a set of copper interconnects of exactly matching resistance and construction. I had a friend swapping the cables on the inputs of the amp, i had the remote to switch between two identical cd players connected with each a set of cables. In this situation i knew that one had to be silver, wich made it a 50-50, had it been done with a bigger number of cables, in order to make it possible to connect both cd players with the same type of cable, the results would have been even more obvious.....

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Old 29th March 2004, 02:01 AM   #3
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Default Re: On snake oil and personal experience..

Quote:
Originally posted by Peter Daniel
It's been observed that some people are more inclined to experimant with some "exotic" concepts and don't automatically reject anything that is suggested to them, while others classify it as "snake oil".

Well, last night I was reading "Transforming the Mind" by His Holiness The Dalai Lama and this paragraph drew my attention, as I noticed certain analogy:

*snip*

It seems to me that those who interpret everything (they don't understand) as "snake oil", simply didn't experience that "glimpse of the truth" yet
Hmmm. Not quite sure what you're saying here.

Does the person who declares placing photographs of yourself in your freezer to improve the sound of your system "snake oil" lack understanding?

Has the person whose system sounds better after placing photographs of themself in their freezer caught a "glimpse of the truth"?

Sorry to bring up the frozen photographs again, just tyring to get some idea of what you're meaning by "truth."

se
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Old 29th March 2004, 02:09 AM   #4
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It's up to you to interpret that anyway you want. It's a loose analogy and nothing really to be concerned about. Just something I felt could be interesting to others.

I'm not saying anything, it's only food for thought
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Old 29th March 2004, 02:44 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Peter Daniel
It's up to you to interpret that anyway you want. It's a loose analogy and nothing really to be concerned about. Just something I felt could be interesting to others.

I'm not saying anything, it's only food for thought
Ah. I'd just stuffed myself with eggrolls before I read it. Perhaps that's why I didn't get it.

*bbbrruuuuuuuuuurrrrp!*

'Scuse me.

se
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Old 29th March 2004, 10:31 AM   #6
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Default Re: On snake oil and personal experience..

Quote:
Originally posted by Peter Daniel
Well, last night I was reading "Transforming the Mind" by His Holiness The Dalai Lama
I am not sure why anyone would trust Dalai Lama, a person at the helm of a regime that so brutalized his own people for many many years. A simple trip to Tibet and see the contrast between the monks and the average people should be sufficient to convince you he is no "holiness",

Quote:
Originally posted by Peter Daniel
It seems to me that those who interpret everything (they don't understand) as "snake oil", simply didn't experience that "glimpse of the truth" yet

it seems to me that we shall find out what you were drinking and get some of the same stuff ourselves too.
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Old 29th March 2004, 01:25 PM   #7
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I was drinking water from a fountain
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Old 29th March 2004, 01:36 PM   #8
Prune is offline Prune  Canada
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This sort of lame *** eastern philosophy is no better than the new age crap we have over here. Written to sound deep and profound, in reality it contains not an iota of sense. It may be poetic, even artistic, but if you do manage to find some truth when reading it, it comes from your interpretation (vagueness allows the text to be interpreted to suit any view) and not because it was there.
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Old 29th March 2004, 02:22 PM   #9
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Inspire, provoke to think, not instruction, nor order to follow. When I like to think for a bit I prefer movies like The Deer Hunter, when I just want to escape from reality I prefer The MASK or in the world of Skywalker.

Regards,
Chris
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Old 29th March 2004, 03:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Prune
This sort of lame *** eastern philosophy is no better than the new age crap we have over here.
Not better for what exacty?
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