I'm not trying to change anyone's beliefs. This is just what I know/experienced/believe. Another Indonesian may explain something totally different. Further please excuse the terms I use since I NEVER talk about this in formal English, thus don't know the right term for them (my bro and I simply call it "mumbo jumbo"). But I'll do my best to be understood.
I believe ALL religion and beliefs are GOOD. And they all have a spiritual aspect in their teachings.
I believe ALL "One God religion" came from the same origin. The later is merely an update of the former (Eg - Christianity and Islam).
There are a number of levels in religion (at least in Islam as I know it).... BTW in Islam, the learning of spirits is also forbidden like in Christians.
A worldly level - the lowest level - only things as we know it. No spirits, nothing. A fanatic (Islam) of this level will condemn anyone who talks about gifts/psychic abilities.
Sorry, I'd better not continue since I'm not sure (forgot) the levels and don't want to mislead anyone. All I can say is that there are about 3 - 5 levels. The highest level can make direct contact with the devine/god.
I'll use the term "gift" for psychic abilities.
There are a few ways of obtaining gifts.
- Inherited from parents/ancestors
- Given by someone who has it - both through a learning process or direct
- Learned - a. by a person who has psychic back ground - b. by someone with no back ground.
*** People with a background often obtain the gift easier than those that don't. But it also depends on the individual's faith.
There are a lot of Gifts, often grouped into bad/evil (black magic, voodoo, martial arts, etc) and good (white gift - healing, reading, etc) IMO it all depends on how it is used.
Every individual has a spiritual guide (?)/protector. But their presence will slowly fade as the person begins to do sin (except for the ones inherited) - as a baby grows. Only through religious praying/chanting will these guides remain noticeable to the individual.
Anyone holding any religion/belief can learn this if they want. If you praise (at least), ask for forgiveness, etc. your creator (say 500 - 1000 times) every night, eventually you will be guided to learn more. Add fasting and or meditating will make the process faster. I'm sure every religion has chants(?).... in my language there is "pray" (sembahyang/sholat) as in the church for Christians and there is "pray" (doa) as in wishing/chanting (eg; I'm going to the temple to sembahyang ...... I "doa" that you succeed)....... the key to learning gifts is faith and our "sacrifice". Not sacrifice life like in the old days. But sacrifice our time, our hunger, etc.
Pray for (not to) .... say a gifted prophet (Solomon's ability to command spirits, Abraham's wisdom, Joseph's ability to understand dreams, or who ever you believe in).... eventually you will be taught the gift. It may take years for some but may also take months for others..... depends on the level of faith and background.
Keep in mind that if you learn from scratch without guidance (whether directly or indirectly through books), what ever gift may come in accordance to your character. You will have to filter what you learn. Eg. A rough character will most probably be approached by spirits offering to teach martial arts. While a gentle character will be approached by healing, reading, etc gifts. ANd as I once experienced, each level of gift will be tested in real life. eg; If you learn martial arts, you will be challenged or face situations where you have to fight. Or if you are trying to control your desire/patience, you will encounter events that will test your patience.
Here, there is a different chant for every gift. And depending from whom you learned from, the process can be unbelievable and dangerous ........ eg - buried alive (the most extreme example).
I believe it is better and safer to earn gifts through our religion/beliefs (whether you have a background and especially if you don't). This will ensure that we are trying to communicate with our creator and hopefully what ever bad spirits will stay away. I believe bad spirits will always try to "sneak in".
For anyone who tries this - try learning/practicing gifts; NEVER allow any spirit, whether good or bad, enter your body. If you do, it may become a .... habit (don't know the word) and any spirit may come in and out as they please. Always keep them around you....
AS a note: I no longer or very seldom practice these gift. Though from time to time I still experience them.
Indjo - you're from Indonesia? I can't wait to hear your take on all this.
Many years ago I had a teacher who'd lived in Jakarta with his Indonesian wife for a long time, and basically just got back to Aus when he took our class. It was meant to be literature, but ended up being mostly about Indonesian art and culture (no mention of fish-keeping, sadly!). It was very interesting! He did say that spirituality was a very big part of life. My favourite part of that course was learning about the wayang kulit.. I've seen it on film, but I've always wanted to experience it in person.
Yes spirituality is a big part of our lives, well for many of us anyway. Some don't actually practice it but they ask other gifted people to do their bidding. Believe it or not, voodoo still exist and people end up dead.
Many Wayang players used to have gifts.... not sure what they're like today. I'm not sure how it works or how it effects the wayang. All I know is that I would never mess with elder wayang players. LOL
You like wayang kulit??? .... It's IMO the most boring of all wayang. LOL. And wayang kulit uses Javanese, which I can't understand...... explains why I don't like it. But it contains the best philosophy of all wayang because very little to no joke/comedy (?) is added.
All wayang characters is from Hindu. If you know Hindu stories or philosophy, you will understand our wayang.
Thanks, Indjo, for sharing your insights/information.
And yes, I do like the wayang kulit.. can't understand a word, lol, but I do know the Hindu stories so it isn't that hard to follow. My favourite Hindu stories are those with Hanuman in them, he's really entertaining.
I recall my teacher telling us how respected the old wayang men are, and a little feared maybe... because they are maybe seen as having the ability to channel spirit/holy voices, that's why I mentioned it. I'd still love to see a wayang of any kind in person, my teacher said it's something we'd never forget.
Wayang kulit - made of cattle/goat skin/leather (kulit) - goes on till dawn .... you won't forget it indeed. LOL This is Javanese and until today it uses that dialect. I have never seen wayang kulit brought in Indonesian language.
Wayang wong is basically a play, by people (wong). It's also Javanese.
Wayang golek is West Javanese/Sundanese (me) - made out of wood - the show goes on for a few hours but may also last til morning. Too much comedy added. A good player (dalang) could make the puppets look live. This is my favorite because it's never boring, even though I don't understand the story. LOL
All wayang are less popular nowadays. Young generations prefer movies. And it's quite expensive to hold - too many people involved - dalang (wayang player), the musicians of a "gamelan" orchestra, the singers and backup voices, etc.
I've heard and read Hindu stories a number of times but for some reason I can't seem to remember who's who. Well Hanoman is a monkey, so he is easy to remember. But I don't remember the story.
I remember the embassy having an angklung orchestra exhibition in Canberra. But we never held a wayang exhibition - we only had the puppets on display.
One more off topic post! (sorry!) I love to hear about faraway places. Because of my health condition I can't fly, and of course this happens after I plan to travel when I'm older.. so now I can never go to see the places I've read about all my life.
So I ask a lot of questions and travel by armchair!
I think I need to make a new thread, for the next lot of questions..
But thank you for talking about the wayang and your spirituality, too. :)
One really scary thing that happened to me yesterday (Idk if I already posted about it....too lazy to sift through!!)
Ok so across the street from me there is an unsightly trailer that my neighbor used to live in. He moved and now, since the trailer is on his dad's property, it's just been sitting there. Now, normally the door is shut TIGHT. It is a regular door that will open easily, but the handle and the works are metal so sometimes the knob sticks.
I was in the front yard on the driveway looking around, when my eyes rested on the trailer. The screen door slowly opened itself, then closed just as slowly. It wasn't even hesitant between opening and closing. After that the door knob was stuck I guess, and now the door keeps flapping open with the wind. It did not do that before...
And about a minute later I saw a spirit walking down the road from the trailer. I only saw a glimpse of legs because the big lilac tree was blocking it, but it was definitely there.
A few minutes after THAT I heard someone/something moving around something that sounded like metal.
It was sooo beyond creepy. I feel sooo weird writing this right now....