I do have a question however. IF it is possible to evoke any entity, is it possible to evoke or invoke Gautama Buddha himself?
No, he exists in a place without the function of the five skandas, he has no consciousness (Pali: vinnana). He cannot be brought out, he cannot be visited, nor can he hear us if we pray to him. Gautauma Buddha spent his short remaining years teaching us about liberation, his teaching (Pali: dhamma) is a raft meant to help us to the other side. He is gone from us now, and though we can go to him, he cannot come back to us.
So in a way, he exists outside of time?
Yes, that would be a good way to describe it. Parinirvana (Nirvana after death) is a place outside of the cycle of rebirth, and consequently time.
I disagree. I think he can be summoned, but not in the same sense as the other entities. And whether or not he’ll answer is also highly unlikely. You’re right in that he chose to get as far away from existence as he possibly can. Of all the transcended masters he seemed to be the most “done” with everything.
Hey man, if that paradigm works for you, go for it!
I used to think this way… that angels, devils, and spirits are just aspects of our own subconscious, like characters we meet in a dream who seem to think independently from us but are clearly just part of our own mind. Now I’m not so sure. Some dream characters are just ourselves, but others appear to have a larger existence, either as archetypes appearing in the collective unconscious or (in various out-of-body experiences) entirely external to the human psyche itself. So too with beings that we can evoke–some are just thoughtforms, internal to our head and our head alone, but others seem much larger.
Now, I do agree to some extent with Lon Milo Duquette’s famous saying “it’s all in your head, you just don’t know how big your head is”, but in the end that’s just a cop-out IMO. Yes, from one perspective, everything is One and our senses of selves are all equally illusory, but from the everyday perspective we use to communicate here on this forum, there is a clear difference between you and me, and either these beings exist just as separately from us as other people do (in this perspective!), or they don’t. Unless you’re willing to say that all of us talking to you right now are also just part of your subconscious, it makes more sense based on the available evidence to describe some spirit entities as separate beings who have their own motivations, agendas, powers, and spheres of influence, at least in ordinary conversation.
Ultimately though, whichever paradigm you follow (spirit model or psychological model), it’s difficult to fully disentangle the problem of their existence since the very act of interacting with them requires a human consciousness as observer. And the spirits themselves don’t seem to be of very much help.
You ask if I am real? I am as real as the world around you, which is not real at all.
I should clarify, that I absolutely do believe in real gods and spirits. I just don’t think that we’re connecting with them in evocation. I have always been clear to state that it’s the evocation (and similar rituals) that calls upon the subconscious.
Here is a test, pick an obscure Greek God like Ascelpius. And without researching evoke hi. and ask him who his parents are, who his wife is, how many children he has and who are they. And when you finish the evocation look him up and see how accurate you are. If you are one-to-one, everything that Ascelpius told you was entirely what Greek mythology states, then I will be convinced that magicians are evoking real God and spirits. Or if by chance you are a Greek Mythology nut and already know all those things about him then evoke St. Catherine of Siena, ask her who her parents are, ask her what her full name is, ask her where she was born and at what age she first began seeing visions of Jesus and ask her who her confessor was. Ask her what divine knowledge she possessed that single-handedly ended the Avignon Papacy (a period of the where the Pope, the Bishop of Rome, was in Avignon, France). Again, because if you’re evoking real spirits, then these should be easy feats, but they aren’t. They are downright impossible, that’s why I subscribe to the psychological theory in regards to evocation, I don’t believe that it conjures a spirit from the æther, all it does is access your subconscious.
The subconscious mind is a powerful thing indeed.