virus: (gods and other) Imaginary Friends

Robin Faichney (
Wed, 24 Mar 1999 08:51:47 +0000

In message <>, Eva-Lise Carlstrom <> writes
>I've experimented with meditation on a medicine wheel arrangement of
>personal fetishes (miniature animals of one sort and another, in this
>case), and received advice from each of them, some of it novel and
>surprising to my usual conscious mind. I understood throughout that these
>spirit guides were imaginary friends, but that didn't negate the value of
>their collective viewpoints to my coming to some decisions. Gods and
>spirits can be useful focuses for thinking about personal questions,
>whether or not one actually Believes in one's phetishes.

I don't think it can be emphasised too often around here: that is exactly the basis on which many "religious" people operate -- fundamentalists are the only entirely literal believers.

Though I've yet to complete the book, I get the impression that Sue Blackmore thinks Zen Buddhism superior to (e.g.) the Tibetan variety because of all the gods, demons, etc., in the latter, not appreciating the extent to which the symbolic nature of these is acknowledged by Tibetan Buddhist teachers. (Which is just about the only criticism of anything she's written I've managed to come up with!)

Robin Faichney