My source for this idea -- Predominantly in S.Korean religion

My basic argument -- Wherever popular media is found, be it film or literature, the sacred as a locus of misfortune, in need of reconciliation, is always portrayed through horror fiction, and this comprises the body of the greatest writing, and should therefor be the emotional timbre ascribed to religious ritual or general interest. i.e., Religion is sad, melancholic, tragic. The counter to this argument would be that spirituality is for ecstasy, and I would counter that by saying those emotions are alien, and have more to do with possession , i.e. the ecstasy is not your's. That last concept flies in the face of all religious ontologies that I know of, save for Korean shamanism, and english weird supernatural horror fiction, and I'd like to speculate if this was the dominant mood of ancient "gnosticism", though I figure determining that would be difficult. I hypothesize that Korean shamanism is gnostic in some sense because they have a conception of the trinity, and these two spheres of religious influence were in fact in heavy contact. So if you wanted a good representation of modern gnosticism, Korean shamanism is what it would have looked like. Korean shamans still use clootie wells like you would find in Scotland or Ireland. I make those further suggestions just to contextualize well what is like what I am trying to study. 

Recommended films..

Nang Nak (Thailand)

The Master's Sun (S.Korea, series) 

Stir Of Echoes 

Mushi-Shi : The Cure Lies In The Curse (Japan, series) 

two recommended books, religious specialists as professional pessimists ,

Journey Of A Healer : Mediums and Sorcerers Of South Viet Nam by Hien Van Nguyen

Korean Shamanism : The Cultural Paradox by Chongho Kim

In The Dust of this Planet by Eugene Thacker

The Conspiracy Against the Human Race by Thomas Ligotti 

Dr. Jeffrey J Kripal is of the opinion that the paranormal is characterized by tragedy , lament, and trauma. 

Two brief lectures, 

Jeff Kripal at TEDxHouston

Course Preview: A Brief History of the Soul 

I find a lot of solace in that point of view, and I dislike the dominant opinion that esotericism is a self-betterment rat race, that instead, the esoteric is closely associated to spine injuries 

I was wondering how welcome a purely pessimistic point of view would be in theosophy. I really vehemently disagree that religion as a locus / or realm or area of interest or attention (in the Heidegger sense) would not be characterized by tragedy and misfortune 

the classics of that idea would be … Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Coleridge , Dante's Inferno, and John Milton's Paradise Lost 

so I would suggest, the greatest literature expresses this. 

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I follow the general concept here, but am a bit lost due to my ignorance of S. Korean Religion and Shamanism. Could you expand on that? I am unsure of where the films can be located (I probably just need to google it :) )

I forgot to add that the Dr. Kripal clips are very good!

the following may interest you:

# After every happiness comes misery; they may be far apart or near. The more advanced the soul, the more quickly does one follow the other. What we want is neither happiness nor misery. Both make us forget our true nature; both are chains--one iron, one gold; behind both is the Atman, who knows neither happiness nor misery. These are states, and states must ever change; but the nature of the Atman is bliss, peace, unchanging. We have not to get it, we have it; only wash away the dross and see it.

-- Vivekananda

This is a good overview, a clip from a S.Korean television show, of beliefs and general outlook of Korean shamanism. To be a shaman is not just to die but to get killed, and to marry one will curse you, it's a tradition closely associated with nigh-mares , sleep paralysis.. experiences that create artists and point of view like H R Giger. They believe that a shaman is an ascetic that is low class, because they serve higher powers. Theosophy probably goes against that view, but indigenously in english culture this tends to be the ontology of horror fiction. so i find there to be familiarity in that. 

Bride of the Century Episode 7 [Eng Sub] 백년의 신부 

When Marnie Was There Official US Release Trailer #1 (2015) - Ghibl...

the english trailer has just been released a couple days ago and I'm really excited to finally get to see it. I was blown away that there is a Japanese movie done of a British gothic novel that takes ego death outside of genre and more into the real world, something you'd associate more with Thailand or S.Korea 


BTW - The Korean Shamanic tradition is a legit religion so on this site we just treat it as another theosophy and have no issue with it.

I can't follow korean shamanism as my personal religion but I do think some of their perspectives are applicable or at least I had found some sincerely expressed mystical experiences.. such as the self-loss offering of ki to hungry ghosts , also in Vietnam or like in that Thai horror movie.. that I think there is some truth to, and I was gratified reading about that because it seems to freak most people out too much and information about that seemed difficult to track down. Dr. Jeffrey J Kripal also talks about an experience that he had in Calcutta where a deity descended down upon him like a magnet.. anyway.. is what you said generally true about Theosophy in fraternities? . My concern is only that Theosophists might have very specific ideas about spirituality that won't align with mine. 

"My concern is only that Theosophists might have very specific ideas about spirituality that won't align with mine. "

The Theosophical Societies have there own systems. We are not limited as they are. The Societies may find your view ok. I am unsure. Some members would definitely disagree with you and some may be ok with it. You can always try :)

I forgot to add that Wikipedia has summaries of the Society's Theosophy you can peruse and make up your own mind to see if this fits.

People who have mystical experiences aren't reincarnated. I thought Buddhism was pretty clear about this. Why? Enlightenment means you've killed yourself to hungry ghosts. When I've tried talking to Buddhists about enlightenment, that it was experienced by Buddha expressed through the story of a communion with Mara's demons in charnel grounds, and they told me I knew nothing about buddhism , and they didn't seem to believe that enlightenment existed. 

Enlightenment is not just a conceptually negative experience, it is a negative experience period. Japanese people after the tsunami were "enlightened", when they got possessed 

the english word "enlightenment" has beatific connotations, and it's often a beatific experience to reconcile with the dead , however the cause of enlightenment is alien, and destructive. that is why it leads to "emptiness", it's therefor NOT fulfilling 

I can't seem to square what that means for someone interested in religion with the predominant view that religion is good for you, because the science says, and the academia says, well technically religion is clearly bad for you. 

"Enlightenment means you've killed yourself to hungry ghosts"

Can you give a reference (primary Buddhist text/sutras) for this? I am not a Buddhist, but it is strange to me. I would like to check a source.

Also - there are many schools of Buddhism. They can differ on many views.

There's an allegory about Buddha lying to get children out of a burning house. You're not meant to know that enlightenment has to do with ghosts. You're meant to go back to Buddha's enlightenment story afterwards and see the fact that when Buddha was enlightened, what was actually happening? He was communing with the spirit world. 

A clip of Buddha's moment of enlightenment from a BBC documentary , this is his encounter with Mara's legion of demons 

Haunting The Buddha by Robert DeCaroli looks at possession as the means of enlightenment in Mahayana buddhism

an obvious film recommendation to do with this is, Nang Nak (1999, Thailand) and Ghost In The Shell . 

The Blessed One said: “Gentlemen, why do you run away?”
They said: “Blessed One, hungry ghosts are coming.”
The Blessed One said: “You must come back! These are your own relatives! If you consent, I could assign the reward in their name.”

Mulasarvastivada Vinaya  



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