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The Development of the Four Bases of Paranormal Powers.


Copyright © 2023 Tomás Morales y Duran. All rights reserved


The Buddha tells us how he developed the four bases of paranormal powers. These are concentration endowed with drive, concentration endowed with energy, concentration endowed with reasoning, and concentration endowed with investigation.

To develop paranormal powers, a directed, energetic concentration is required but, at the same time, reasoned and investigated.

SN 51.11: Before


In Savatthi.

—Bhikkhus, before my enlightenment, when he was not yet awake, but destined to awaken, I asked myself: "What is the cause, what is the reason for the development of the bases of paranormal powers?"

Then it occurred to me: A bhikkhu develops the foundations of paranormal powers through concentration endowed with drive. I considered: “My impulse to achieve contemplation will not be too lax or too strong. And it will not be subjectively restricted or objectively dispersed.

And I remained aware of the before and after: «As it was before, so it is after, as it was after, so it was before, as it is below, it is above, both above and below, as it is by day, so it is at night, as it is at night, so is the day." In this way, having a clear purpose, I developed a luminous mind.

I developed the foundations of paranormal power through concentration endowed with drive. I developed the foundations of paranormal power through energized concentration. I developed the foundations of paranormal power through concentration endowed with reasoning. I developed the foundations of paranormal power through investigative gifted concentration. I thought: My investigation will not be too lax or too energetic. And it will not be subjectively restricted or objectively dispersed.

I increased the bases of paranormal power through concentration endowed with impulse. I increased the bases of paranormal power through concentration endowed with energy. I increased the bases of paranormal power through concentration endowed with reason. I increased the bases of paranormal power through investigative gifted concentration.

And I remained aware of the before and after: «As it was before, so it is after, as it was after, so it was before, as it is below, it is above, both above and below, as it is by day, so it is at night, as it is at night, so is the day." In this way, having a clear purpose, I developed a luminous mind.

When the four bases of paranormal powers have been developed and trained in this way, I exercised the many types of paranormal powers: multiply and become one again, appear and disappear, pass through a wall, a rampart or a mountain without hindrance as if traversing space, diving in and out of the earth as if it were water, walking on water as if it were land, flying cross-legged through the sky like a bird, touching and caressing the sun and the moon with my hand, so strong and powerful, controlling the body up to the realm of Brahmā.

When the four bases of paranormal abilities have been developed and cultivated in this way, I heard both types of sounds, human and divine, whether they were near or far.

When the four bases of paranormal abilities have been developed and trained in this way, I understood the consciousness of other beings and individuals, having understood them with my own mind. I understood the mind with greed as "mind with greed" and the mind without greed as "mind without greed." I understood mind with hate...mind without hate...mind with delusion...mind without delusion...mind constricted...mind scattered...mind expansive...mind unexpansive...mind not it is supreme... mind that is supreme... consciousness immersed in contemplation... consciousness not immersed in contemplation... liberated consciousness... I understood unliberated consciousness as "unliberated consciousness."

When the four bases of paranormal abilities have been developed and trained in this way, I remembered many kinds of past lives. That is to say: One, two, three, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, one hundred, one thousand, one hundred thousand rebirths, many aeons of the world contracting, many aeons of the world expanding, many aeons of the world contracting and expanding . I remembered: «There, they called me that, my clan was that, I saw myself like that, and that was my food. That's how I felt pleasure and pain, And that's how my life ended. When I passed away from that place, I was reborn in another place. There they also called me that, my clan was that, I looked like that and that was my food. That's how I felt pleasure and pain, And that's how my life ended. When I passed away from that place I was reborn here."

When the four bases of paranormal abilities have been developed and trained in this way, with a purified and superhuman clairvoyance, I saw beings die and be reborn, despicable and excellent, beautiful and ugly, in a good or bad place. I understood how beings are reborn according to their acts. “These beings surely did bad things through body, speech, and mind. They spoke ill of the nobles, had a wrong belief, and chose to act on that wrong belief. By breaking their body, after death, they are reborn in a place of misfortune, a bad place, the underworld, hell. However, these beings did good things through body, speech, and mind. never speak With the evil of the nobles, they had the correct belief, and they chose to act from that correct belief. When their bodies are broken, after death, they are reborn in a good place, a heavenly realm."

And so, with a purified and superhuman clairvoyance, I saw beings die and be reborn, despicable and excellent, beautiful and ugly, in a good or bad place. I understood how beings are reborn according to their acts.

When the four bases of paranormal abilities have been developed and trained in this way, I realized the release of consciousness through the episteme in this very life. And I remained having experienced it myself because of the end of the underlying tendencies in consciousness.

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