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July 20, 2014

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I'll second that Brian. In my 20 years on the path, which included a huge amount of daily meditation, I never once encountered anything that couldn't be explained away by being produced within my brain

Jeremy

Thanks Brian

I was initiated and did RSSB meditation for about 2.5 decades. I was not a great meditator and sometimes skipped days or did less than the required time. However, there were periods when I did a lot of meditation. Once every few years or so during that time I would imbibe an intoxicant or perform a prohibited act, but these were few and far between. I never ate meat or eggs (I do now) and I was honest in my dealings and methods of livelihood. I had some "worldly" interests mostly related to business, sports and horses. So, overall, Charan probably would consider me an unworthy dog. Hence:

I never had any significant "inner" experiences. Not once. I did hear a few sounds and saw some light but no big deal. Probably just some nerve synapses firing in random ways.

Hi Brain, Since you shared your honest experiences, here is what I first posted on Exsat many many years ago. I no longer meditate at all, but pay more attention to Lucid dreaming. Haven't visited a Satsang since around 2002, the last one But, the only difference between you and I, and many others here, is I have not thrown the baby out with the bath water, as I am unable to accept the brain/mind is all there is to it, or it all ends here, this time. But, each to their own. Any way, here is what I considered my "Peak" meditation experience, way back when I posted it. Jim,

Now, for what I found and did not find, in my Space Cadet tours:

As stated before, I never saw any light nor heard any sound before initiation. At initiation, and being free of flesh foods for 90 days, alcohol and drugs for 10 years, I did see a few small "sparks" of light and did hear some "conch or sea shell" sounds when Thakar stuck his thumb in my ear! ( I don't know if the video on Lane's web sight is true, but if so, I'd have been a lot more cautious after I saw it to make sure it was only his thump he was stickling into my ear!!!)

After I got home and started to practice on my own, using the simran and Bajan technique, I saw flashes of light that lasted longer, and heard sound that was louder. I took my lessons from Sawan's book, "Spiritual Gems." I spent two years meditating under Thakar's regime, both home and with others at his meetings, but was never able to get any further then the flashes of light nor hear any sound without plugging my ears with my thumbs. Many of Thakar's disciples carried around "bajan sticks" everywhere with them. It was a stick shaped like a cross or tee about 3 ft. high. you could sit down in a chair and put or rest your arms on the cross at the top of the stick, and plug your ears with your thumbs for long periods, without exhausting your arms. It seems not very many meditators I saw in Thakar's group spent much time in bajan. they mostly used the sticks, or just sat in chairs plugging their ears, and many used real ear plugs. I tried all of the above, but never got beyond the flashes of light, nor conch sound only when the ears were plugged. So, boredom sat in after a couple of years, and I was either ready to jump the fence to greener pastures, or quit, altogether. I talked to many Kirpal initiates who had come to Thakar, and most of them were on the same experience level as I, i.e. bored!! I can't ever remember meeting Thakar on the inside. During my early attempts at meditation, I did see many phantom like people I didn't recognize, and even demon like creatures who taunted me! I also felt like I was always off balance, or was ready to lift off my meditation chair, but never really did. I would seem to fall asleep, and my head would fall forward onto my chest, and I would wake up choking or gasping for air, as my wind pipe would be cut off. I read where a master tied his hair to a tree, so his head would stay up, but, I am bald, so that wouldn't work for me! So, I tilted my recliner chair I was meditating in just back far enough, so that my head would not fall on my chest, but my spine would stay straight. But, as XXX testified about her meditation experiences, there was mostly a lot of snoring. At the satsang meeting, we would meditate as a group, and there would be many snoring! so, doubts began to set in for me, and I started to explore new possibilities. I read Darshan Singh's books, went to a couple of his meetings. I didn't like his looks, and his talks never got a hook in me. I read Ajaib Singh's books, and liked them, and sent for his tapes. He didn't speak English, so needed an interpreter, and I just couldn't feel any heart strings pulling me in his direction. As I said, I was reading Agra books, and enjoyed them, but RSSB books really moved my soul the most! I began to feel I wanted to find how I could get initiation from Charan. ( Before I forget, when I finally did get initiated by Roland DeVries by proxy for Charon, I was first surprised that the simran was the same, but he went into more detail about the bajan posture. The reading of the initiation ceremony from Charan was moving and interesting for me, but in all, I was disappointed in the simplicity of the initiation itself, as it seemed to be just a carbon copy of Thakar's and I had already wasted two years using that method without any significant or satisfying results. I left there actually not very encouraged that I would get any more then I already had.
I went home and started the same old meditation routine, but just changed my visualization from Thakar to Charan. It was difficult to make the transition at first, because I had seen Thakar many times in person, and even had been laser beam zapped by him, but had never seen Charan in person. But, I bought his videos at satsang, and every cassette tape that was available and began to view the tapes. The transition began to really take a hold on me, and after listening to hundreds of his tapes with all the usual Q & A sessions in India, I became an "Arm Chair Disciple." I can't really say I fell in love with Charan, long distance, because he had already left the body before we had a chance to establish any real relationship such as most of you core satsangees had with him, but I did really develop a very strong fondness for him. ( I will try and describe my present feeling for him and reasons in a later post.)

I must say, after what I considered the boring initiation by Roland DeVries,( I have always wondered if he reads these posts, or if he might even be an Xer or at least a Lurker on the fence?) I must confess my meditation experiences took off in leaps and bounds as I applied the time sitting. I religiously sat from 4:30 AM until 7:00 AM for seven years. My job schedule allowed me the liberty of doing so, but, I changed jobs, and could no longer keep any definite schedule, and until now, my meditations were hit and miss, 30 min. to an hour here and there.
But, I progressed to large flashes of light, even like lightning bolts, as Sawan said would happen. I first saw bright light, bright as the sun, a golden color. Then, beyond the sun, I saw a silvery white sphere, that looked like the moon, Sawan said that would be there. Please note, I never saw everything all at once, and it took about five years before I progressed past the moon. Then, after the moon, I saw what I think Sawan referred to as The Star. For me, the star was not 5 pointed, but it actually looked like a glittering diamond, to a silvery white glittering lotus flower. There was a black center in the star, and I fought to keep my focus on the center looking at the black hole. Suddenly, either the star started moving towards me real fast, or I started to be sucked into the vortex of the black hole in the star. I don't know which, to this day. But, with a lot of practice, I finally was sucked through the center of the star, and that's when the real experiences began! Don't ask me what plane of level or realm I was on, I just don't know.
But, after I broke through the "Black Hole" of the Lotus, I seemed to be in outer space, but the sky was a very bright blue, more blue then any blue sky I have ever experienced. Plus, I was traveling at a very high rate of speed. I felt like I was still sitting in the meditation position, and like I was on a magic carpet. I fought to maintain my balance as it felt like I kept slipping off the carpet and would turn on my side or up side down. I kept focusing right at the center but, was able to see a round planet of some type on my left far ahead, and also another larger planet, (round) on my right, far ahead of me. I was moving so fast, that I actually felt (or seemed to) feel the wind in my face and my hair, (what little I had left) blowing in the wind. When the speed increased to WARP speed, I started to panic, and looked back from where I came from, and as God is my witness, I actually saw the earth back there with all the water and land masses, just like we see from the space shots. I really panicked, then, and.......,ZAPP! I woke up back in by body, or back from the space cadet trip, at least. Now, if all those experiences were the results of just brain neurons firing, I sure seemed to have a lot of input and control on the methodology of having taken the trip. This was my peak experience, and I only went that far out once. But, I spent many more years trying to get there and beyond, with out the success again. I was able to (and am still able) to get to the star, but am never allowed to go through the black hole, or portal again. ( Guess after giving away my experience to y'all, I won't even see any more flashes or specks of light, but, I'm OK with that, too.)
Jim

I also had many OBEs, and went through walls, ceilings, through the roof, and rode my magic carpet over the houses in my neighborhood. It seemed I always kept picking up speed to WARP until I paniced, and ZAPP! I landed back in my body in my meditation chair with a noticeable THUD.

Well, that's the high lights of my meditation experiences, for what ever its worth to the club. I trust I may also be put into the "Lunny" catagory by some here, along with other past posters who chose to bare more of their expiernces than some are ready to hear, but, that's OK. As they say, "different strokes for different folks."

I must say, before I move on, none of these past experiences presently make me feel any more spiritual nor stroke my ego. I only witness that they happened to me, and I am still able to get at least to the star, using the RSSB

Brian, This was another of my early posts, and may be of interest here to any who got taken in by looking into the master's "Magic Eyes." Jim

The Truth shall set us free! I also was always intrigued by disciples of various masters exposing the magical benefits of looking into the master's eyes. I only got the laser buzz when looking into Thakar's eyes, ( when he gave me individual personal eye contact) ONLY when they were video taping him and he was giving Darshan. Other times, I was face to face with him, and looking into his big brown eyes produced nothing for me. I had a difficult time sorting out why, he could zap me long distance, from a stage at a distance, with me being mixed into a crowd of hundreds, but being with him face to face and looking into his eyes produced nothing but more questions in my mind.
Anyway, here is what I found out. I was home in my living room with my wife, sitting on the sofa, and she was in a chair 10 feet away from me. We had a post lamp on, which reflects from the sofa spotting the chair. We also had the living room light on and were watching TV and chatting. A show came on I was really interested in, and I shut off the living room light, but left the spot light on, reflecting on the chair she was sitting in. I asked her something, and as she turned, making eye contact with me, VOILA!!!! When her eyes met mine, a laser light beam shot out of her eyes into mine! The mystery of the Guru's laser light shows was solved, for me at least. The same , or similar setting was there at Thakar's video taping. He was sitting on a chair on the stage, with a portable movie screen at his back, I guess to give him a lighter back ground so he would stand out better. There were several bright spot lights aimed directly at him, on the bottom of the stage. The lights in the satsang hall were on, but quite low, or dim. If you look at any human or animal that has had their photo taken and was looking right into the lenses, you will usually notice a white or silvery spot right in the center of the pupil of their eye after the flash has went off. It appears, the pupil of the eye is a mirror, or perfect reflector of light. So, when Thakar had the spot lights on him, when they were video taping him, the full concentration of the reflected light projected from his "reflector eyes" and went where ever he aimed it! After my accidental light beam from my wife's eyes at home, I went to the next meeting in LA where Thakar was, and sat in the front row. The same set up was there again. And, when he looked at me again, making eye contact....., VOILA!!!!! The same laser light beam hit me square in the eyes again, and left when he directed his gaze to the next person. But this time, I had his number, and the mystery was solved, for me. (This is the only place I have ever shared this discovery, on this club.) I find the experiment to be sound, for me, and duplicable, therefore, scientific, and not supernatural or mystical. Just as you can take a glass magnifying glass, and let the sun shine through it, keeping it in one spot, you can literally burn a hole right through a piece of paper. I would even venture that if enough spot lights were aimed at Thakar, and the light concentrated in his eyes enough, he could literally blind someone if he made eye contact with them long enough! (Perhaps that's why I no longer can see squat with out my glasses?
I trust that clarifies the methodology of the "Mystical eye contact" of the Gurus. ( There is also the faint POSSIBILITY that Thakar doesn't even know what takes place at his video tapings and really thinks he has some mystical power.)
Jim

Jim Sutherland's experience above with the star reminded me in some respects of an experience I had during my RSSB days but not while I was meditating a la RSSB, rather while I was asleep and dreaming.

I too passed through a star which started as a regular disco ball hanging from the ceiling in an auditorium-like place where a satsang was going on. Roland deVries was giving it. The disco ball became immensely bright, colorful and large like a star. I felt a great pressure in my forehead or perhaps in the center of my head and then I was sucked into the light and then launched at a super hyper speed through the cosmos. I can't come close to describing the speed which seemed much faster than the speed of light. I passed through/by many galaxies and universes. I finally came to rest at a place where there were vast colorful "gardens" with unfamiliar features and colors. That was what really struck me. New colors! What? How? I could not hold my stability there due to being overwhelmed by what was happening. I felt a great pulling in my solar plexus which was almost nauseating and then I sort of "snapped" back into my body and woke up lying in bed.

I also, took initiation from Thakar. I saw some pretty ordinary blue light in my awareness, but in my interview with him we slipped into a wordless communion which happens with certain people and is very nice. It is communicated through the eyes and is the consciousness/awareness/beingness we all share.

Like Jim Sutherland, I also do not feel any more spiritual or different from anyone else. I feel quite the same as everyone else who really aren't "else". In my case such events occur at random. I am unable to duplicate them at will except that I notice some correlation with studying and handling certain gems and crystals. Sometimes a gem or crystal will appear in my awareness, expand and then something is revealed to me.

I consider all this just part of the show of life and not any more or less important or real or unreal than events in everyday life. Just passing phenomena. The microcosm is in the macrocosm and the macrocosm is in the microcosm. They say this and I find it is true but not in every moment. I can't hold the undifferentiated state for very long after it comes. It is more like an instant. We all have it at times, even the corner crack dealer, but it goes unrecognized. It is subtle but profound. In fact, trying to hold it or own it just makes it slip away that much quicker and then things like politics and plumbing issues occupy the thoughts as usual.

The light reflected from the guru's eyes is our own, not that it is possessed in any way. It just is.

Brian, thanks for that very detailed answer to my question.

I’m really enjoying reading your blog (and the occasional comments-fest as well, which are interesting and sometimes extremely thought-provoking). Like I said, I’ve just about gotten started. Finished up to Feb 2005 the other day, and read through some random articles today.

You’re right, I could well have dug up those articles by consulting the oracle at Google myself. Didn’t think of that, somehow. My bad. Again, thanks for taking the trouble to reply in such detail.

tucson, Jeremy and Jim Sutherland, thanks to you too for sharing your experiences here.

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I enjoyed reading all of what you said in your article, Brian, but I have to say one thing. Despite your bemoaning your (and others’) “lack of mind-blowing experiences”, I for one found your descriptions of your experiences nothing less than mind-blowing! I refer here to your own brief mention of the “bell sounds”, and “other glimpses of inner light and inner sound” ; to Jim Sutherland’s and tucson’s absolutely amazing and very detailed descriptions of what they saw and where they travelled “inside”, as well as their equally remarkable experience with “gazing”.

Now you yourself feel, as does Jeremy, that all these may have been produced in the mind and/or brain. Okay, fine, perhaps they may. Further, the general feeling here seems to be that these experiences are not necessarily, nor even necessarily helpful, for actual enlightenment. Again, that may be. Still, nothing can detract from the sheer enormity of your experiences. The role of these experiences in getting towards enlightenment (whatever that is) is a separate discussion. I mean, it’s a very important discussion, perhaps the most important discussion there can be, and I’d love to engage with that as well, but in the interest of talking of one thing at a time may I just leave that aside for the time being?

Here’s what I mean : I remember reading about either Swami Vivekananda or his guru Sri Ramakrishna, I forget which, who when told of a yogi who’d perfected the art of crossing the local river by walking on water, said that it was a pity, because that yogi took a whole lifetime’s effort to do something that could as easily be achieved by paying the boatman a few pence. Probably apocryphal, but nice story. So what I’m saying is, that illuminary’s point of view is very insightful, but if I saw an authentic case of someone actually walking on water, I for one would be impressed. I wouldn’t necessarily emulate that yogi, but I’d be a fool not to be very impressed. And all your experiences impress me very much indeed.

Your theories on enlightenment are hypotheses. Perhaps correct, perhaps not, but no more than hypotheses. (Unless one of you would care to pronounce yourself actually enlightened and all-wise already?) What you’ve experienced, on the other hand, that is fact. Subjective fact, but fact. Unless they were hallucinations. So that’s what I’d like to ask you : do you think they were hallucinations?

If they were hallucinations, they would be random, and therefore different from what you each ‘saw’. In this case, there seems to be a fair amount of correlation between what you each experienced. Also, these specifics that you mention, things like that have been spoken and written of in ‘spiritual’ literature of many different schools : Kundalini Yog, Kriya Yog, Nad Yog, even some Muslim (Sufi) mystics’ writings. Bells ringing, the sound of conches, seeing entire galaxies “inside”, cutting the moon with a sword (I’m paraphrasing here) and moving on beyond to the sun, all that. And in the course of my admittedly scattered reading, I’ve come across both types of gazing that you refer to, tucson and Jeremy, as part of Sufi tradition. Those guys do both types of gazing : at a Master or Shaikh, as well as gazing at a friend or beloved. Shams for more friend and beloved than Master to Rumi.

I find your accounts nothing less than amazing. (I’m ignoring the possibility that all this may be an elaborate hoax, a practical joke. While possible, you’d all have to be insane to be going to so much trouble just to flummox the random visitor on this blog. Plus in that case this whole blog and everything in it I’ll have to mistrust and leave aside. So I’ll just ignore that possibility.)

- - - - - - -

Whew, what a monstrously long comment I’ve typed here! TLDR summary : I found your experiences (taken at face value) remarkable by any standards, and would like to know if you think they’re hallucinations. Specifically, are they random, or do your individual experiences validate one another? Because if it appears that you’ve each hallucinated the very same or similar things, and if these are further validated by external references, then chances are they’re not hallucinations at all.

I’d appreciate it if you guys (Brian, Jim Sutherland and tucson, and anyone else who wouldn’t mind talking of the specifics of their experience) can answer two specific questions please :

1) Did you really have such similar experiences? Similar to one another, and also similar to what is in your ‘holy books’ (provided that is the case). What I’m asking is : Is it at all possible that you hallucinated, as a result of your meditation or otherwise, and ‘saw’ different and random things : but, through suggestion, were later on led to believe that you saw similar things?

2) Had you been told to expect these very same experiences at wherever you got your instructions, prior to having got them?


Thanks much for your sharing such personal and intimate experiences with a very impressed and very interested (but at the same time an inveterately skeptical—skeptical not so much of you but skeptical on general principles) outsider.

New reader, here's my general take on your question/comment. It's based on my own meditation experiences, many conversations with other people about their experiences, lots of reading in various spiritual traditions (Christian mysticism, Zen, Sufism, Vedanta, Taoism, Neoplatonism, etc. etc.)

There really isn't much commonality to so-called "spiritual" experiences. Christians experience Jesus and the love of a personal God. Hindus, other beings. Muslims, still other experiences. Many books have been written about going to heaven. Others, about supernatural happenings in the Yogananda vein. Some people speak about losing their self; others about finding their essential self as soul.

In the Sant Mat tradition there are indeed many stories about hearing the sound and seeing the light of spirit, or shabd. Yet this is much less common among Christian mystics. And there is no demonstrable proof that any mystical experiences reflect contact with an objective reality outside of the human brain.

Those of us who experimented with psychedelic drugs know how the brain can produce all sorts of sensations that feel like they are real, yet are temporary manifestations of an altered neurochemistry. Meditation is more natural, arguably, yet also is directed at changing how the brain functions.

There also is the consideration of "set and setting" (as Timothy Leary, I believe, put it). In other words, effect of the outside environment and internal expectations. Religious believers are immersed in a culture where people around them share a certain world view. Not surprisingly, this can have big effects on the brain.

You believe something will happen in meditation. Then it does. We all are familiar with how dreams can seem completely real while we are having them, then wake up and realize the dream only had a subjective reality.

I'm fascinated by tales of experiencing altered states of consciousness, or reality. But unless or until there is some solid evidence that these experiences are caused by contact with something beyond the brain, an objectively real realm of reality, I am deeply skeptical of their validity.

People in every spiritual tradition love to compare experiences, finding commonalities between what various people see and hear. I have a relative who knows that Jesus exists, because she feels his presence. Lots of Christians agree with her. But Buddhists feel a difference presence; Hindus, also; Muslims, also; etc. etc.

It is possible to cherry pick experiences from different religions and come up with a "common core" of supposed objective spiritual reality. But this requires ignoring a whole lot of divergent experiences. This best explanation, to my mind, is that unlike this world, which does indeed have many different geographies, the spiritual terrain only exists as subjective human experiencing, nothing else.

To New Reader: You're perhaps too easy to impress. There are as many explanations and differences in beliefs as there are humans alive on the planet, as you will see after reading all the up to date posts here. We, what ever "we" are, if we even are, change moment by moment, not only in beliefs, depending on past, and present conditionings, but our human vehicles change as they age, as well. I am now 72, and surely have ridden the Roller Coaster chasing the Spiritual Path since I was 35, where I can actually document becoming interested. I jotted a few ideas down in my old Blog, only before I forget what I wanted to share, because Dementia is setting in rapidly for me, as it runs in my family as DNA. Feel free, ..or not, to scan my blog to see how supernatural my thinking really has been.

http://eternaloasisofsouls.blogspot.com/

But, the above Peak meditation experience I posted here was not a Hallucination, in my opinion, because of the spontaneity of my high speed launch into outer, or, .....Inner??? Space, traveling so fast it scared the crap out of me! And, verified by Tuscon, i.e. the high rate of speed launched out of body. But, the rest of the Icons, i.e. Sun, Moon, Star, flashes of light, etc. etc. may have been the result of expectation, or Auto-Suggestion from the Sant Mat books, especially Sawan Singh's "Spiritual Gems." But, regardless, I KNOW what I saw inside, and saw the same many times this side of the Star. But, regardless of what any successful Meditator experiences, inside, it only lasts for such short periods of time, that it is hardly worth the continued effort to get there, once we witness what's there for our selves. For me, at least, I am convinced it goes beyond the brain, and that "It" that observed what I described, is the Soul that was created in the past, and is Awareness, or Consciousness, and has lived many past lives in various characters, which have now been forgotten, by the Observer animating this physical worn out 72 year old bag of flesh, blood, and bones. But, when this body dies, I now KNOW that the Observer animating this body is going to take a VERY fast ride back to the Blue Sky and if that Observer looks back and sees planet earth again left behind, than that Observer will not Zapp back to this worn out body, but, "perhaps".....a brand now one, ??? But, This Observer is no longer worried about not being taken care of. Hope this helps, and Good luck on your search! But don't forget to enjoy each moment, right NOW, because that's all "we" are can be sure of experiencing.

New reader,

I don't think anyone is putting you on here. I'm not. I did put someone on in another thread in regard to a post about marked souls. I was in a satirical mood. I really don't know anything about marked souls.

Your questions:

1) "Did you really have such similar experiences? Similar to one another, and also similar to what is in your ‘holy books’ (provided that is the case). What I’m asking is : Is it at all possible that you hallucinated, as a result of your meditation or otherwise, and ‘saw’ different and random things : but, through suggestion, were later on led to believe that you saw similar things?"

-- The experience I described above was not a hallucination in that, if anything, it seemed more vivid and "real" than my everyday waking state. There are more details but I think the gist is sufficient. Of course some will say that of course it was a hallucination. Fine. I can understand that, but they weren't along for the ride.

So called spiritual experiences such as OBE's, UFO's and visions I have had do not reflect any formal teachings or initiations I have been exposed to. They have been unique and unexpected. I wrote about a couple just now but decided to erase them. I just didn't feel comfortable sharing them under these circumstances where the value and power may be squandered. The "whole" of such experiences can never be expressed adequately anyway.

2) "Had you been told to expect these very same experiences at wherever you got your instructions, prior to having got them

--I think I answered that above.

Best wishes

Dear Jim,
My old friend... we have not connected in quite sometime. I would much like to speak with you by phone, so please email me, and we can exchange phone numbers again.
omsatnam (@) hotmail.com
I sincerely hope all is well with you and yours.
-JD

PS: For some entertainment you may enjoy, here are some infamous acquaintances of mine in San Diego...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9f8g7pswEg4

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Deadbolt

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Deadbolt/180907808679682

Tucson,
email your phone number to me and I will call you. I'm sorry for my delay. I'll explain later. Tnx


Hi tau JD, "old Friend??" If I recall, in your last conversations to me, if you treated all of your friends like you treated me, Then I am amazed you still have any friends left. Your refrerenced San Diego Dudes look too rough for me. I left that scene in 1977 and never looked back. Check out my referenced Blog, to see where I'm at presently, I'm too old and burnt out to argue about Casper the Spook, and similar hot button issues. As you must have heard, our mutual Pal, MM departed this world, and Lane hasn't turned into a gorilla yet! ( maybe next time around. ) best to you and your lovely Lady, ....( assuming you are still together? ) I am traveling since retirement. I have visited 44 countries in the last 2 years. Meow to your cats! I still have my same 2 old Guys. Jim

I have visited 44 countries in the last 2 years. Meow to your cats! I still have my same 2 old Guys.

Mmph. I've visited 75 countries in the last 2 weeks and I have twelve tigers.

Hi tAo,

Good to see you pop-up now and then. Brings back memories of dogmatizers brutally torn to shreds and sent off licking their wounds, as well as insightful and articulate commentary.

I hope life is well for you and yours in the north central part of your state and that you are enjoying your interests in health, nutrition and survival. Survival is cool because you learn so much practical stuff for everyday life. At this point survival doesn't concern me very much in a future context. It always seems like the whole house of cards is about to collapse. I used to think about this often until I realized it is already has. If you aren't ready already it's already too late. Stability and predictability are like twigs and debris scattered by the wind, used for a bird's nest, and ultimately scattered again by the wind.

Not much has changed with me, as you can see, to the chagrin of some. Later.

Brian, thanks for your reply. You’re right, there are far more divergences than similarities if we look at all mystical experiences across all religious systems. I note and understand your current view-point, that perhaps there is nothing objective about these experiences. You’re saying that different experiences, whether dramatic and outlandish or mundane and everyday, are equivalent in terms of their ultimate significance.

Jim and tucson, thanks again for your replies to my follow-up questions. Jim, I did check out your blog, Bounty Hunter! You know, I used to love those Ghost Rider comics when I was a kid.

Yes, I’ve got my answers : First, your individual experiences were not hallucinations. They were ‘real’—in so much as anything essentially subjective can be thought of as real. Second, you yourselves do not think these experiences have necessarily taken you closer to enlightenment. That is, you do not tot up your out-of-the-world experiences as things to be put on the assets side of life’s balance sheet. And third, after your long years of hands-on spiritual ‘quest’, you believe that the answer probably lies more along the lines of Buddha’s anatta—no self—than anything else.

Meanwhile I’ve read some more your Churchless blog posts (and the accompanying comments). I hope it isn’t breaching blog etiquette to keep on raining questions, but I did have three specific things to ask. I’ll note them down anyway, and will be grateful for your responses.

1. If it does turn out that true enlightenment is no more than the quashing of an illusory sense of self, and further that all spiritual experiences and all consciousness emanate only in the brain : What, then, is the point of meditation and the whole spiritual endeavour? Is it then best to forget about all this? (Side effects like peace of mind and general feeling of centered-ness don’t count : because those can be got from other sources and activities as well, and with far less investment of time and effort, and with far less risk of obfuscation and derailment.)

2. From your experience of different spiritual practices and paths, what would you say would be the best way to proceed : suppose one short-lists three kinds of meditation practices as worth trying out, then should one try doing all three simultaneously (after taking instructions from a reliable source in that tradition)? Religious/spiritual instructors generally liken this to straddling two canoes simultaneously, and generally advise taking up one system at a time : but the problem is, first, that life is short (or may be), and one would not want to invest two or three or four years on exclusively doing one thing only ; and second, why should one not look at this as studying, say Medicine and Philosophy and Mathematics, all at the same time (provided one can spare that time and effort, and has the brains to absorb it)? Basis your life-long immersion in things “spiritual”, what would be your opinion?

and

3. Psychotropic drugs are known to sometimes induce psychoses. Now you seem to be of the view that spiritual experiences emanate from neural impulses and/or the brain. And also, you say you’ve ingested lots of psychedelic drugs at one time. So might it be possible that your spiritual experiences (your bells tolling, and tucson’s and Jim’s amazing sights and sounds) might merely be a delayed reaction/effect of those drugs, not quite strong enough to be a full-blown psychosis, but strong enough to yield remarkable visions? One way to answer this would be to ask a doctor, or to ask someone who has close knowledge of how the mind reacts long-term to these drugs. Another equally valid way to answer this question would, I expect, be to consider if most people who’ve had dramatic experiences (like you three, for instance, have had) also have a history of drug use in the past.


(Disclaimer : this last question about the drugs is NOT a trolling attempt or an attempt to mock anyone in a round-about way. Just to be very clear, and to prevent any misunderstandings, I’m really interested in these things, and ask your opinion on this in all seriousness. And absolutely no offence meant : I don't do drugs myself, but have heard of schools in different parts of the world that use drugs as legitimate means to induce spiritual experiences.)


P.S. Brian, you’ve got a very thought-provoking blog going. And my personal reaction to this blog seems to be a whole deluge of long-winded comments (I’ve made four longish ones already today). I generally dislike empty talk, and that’s where I myself seem to be going here on this blog! So I think I’ll keep my mouth tightly zippered after this, while I quietly “lurk” and read up more of your posts, and get back to commenting only much later, when I’m no longer a “new reader”. But I do look forward to your answer(s) to these three questions I’ve asked, above.

New Reader, You might check this recent Youtube Interview out to see a convincing Non-Spiritual experience to verify survival of Consciousness. Even CC might not scoff at this way, considering there are no Gurus, Preachers, or Dogma.? Also, you might Google "Solfeggio frequency Scales, and see where that leads you in the Chat Rooms, where "Sound" is mentioned as the Vehicle to discover "Self".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlZNmwCD1pA

I know this is 'new-agey' but such an excellent youtube imo, about being the observer and dealing with creepy critics.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_33ekO3NyA


This Bashar character is a bully. He's so emphatic, assertive, and sure of himself, that when he apends his every pronouncement with, "You see?" or, "Understand?", his timid, submissive questioners wouldn't dare say No.

I found him too obnoxious to listen to for very long, but if there's a video of someone questioning or challenging his authority, I'd like to see it.

"This Bashar character is a bully. He's so emphatic, assertive, and sure of himself... "

Yup, remind you of anyone? lol

Its about how we create our own reality - a kind of shadow play.


Fence sitter here. I've been meditating (RSSB style) for around 3 months now and have 0 experiences. Honestly I feel a bit stupid just sitting there mentally repeating some words while nothing happens. And I still don't know where my eye centre is! Is it inside the head? Behind the eyes or above and in front of the eyes? Pineal gland or forehead?

The only thing worth noting is that sometimes the mind does come to complete standstill and during those times it can feel a little bit otherworldly and bizarre.

The RSSB folk also call themselves "Science Of The Soul". So, if one were do to "The Experiment" which is meditation and then finds out that the experiment doesn't work, the only rational conclusion is that the premise or thesis is incorrect. Also, trying to repeat the same failed experiment expecting different results is the definition of madness.

Captain No-Name wrote: "Also, trying to repeat the same failed experiment expecting different results is the definition of madness."

--- Yes, it would seem that after a few months or years of effort that some evidence of the experiment working would be forthcoming. Certainly after ten years of valiant effort. Never mind that I know of followers who have not had success after 20, 30 or even 40+ years of experimentation using the scientific method given by the Master.

You see, they have an answer for that little problem with the experiment not seeming to work. You are just a crappy jiva with a shitload of karma and you may have to wait for as much as three more lifetimes (that's lifetimes, not months) before the results of the scientific experiment manifest.

All you have to do is do your duty of sticking to the vows including 2 1/2 hours of meditation every goddamn day until the end of your life and leave the results of the scientific experiment to the Master. He knows best how the experiment should go. That should be scientific enough for anyone.

Take comfort in knowing that you are chipping your way through a mountain of karmic crap and at any moment in the next 50-60-70 years you will break on through to the other side and see the light, unless you do something really, really dumb like eat some eggs.

It has been scientifically proven that eating eggs stimulate "lower" base passions and desires that interfere with spiritual progress and may lead to eating an actual fertilized egg which will add to your already really crappy karmic load. Give the Master a break, man, he's already doing you a favor taking on your karmic load in the most scientific manner possible. So, baring that, rest easy.

The Master is with you helping you chip away at this mess you have gotten yourself into over many lifetimes of doing dumb shit, even moving some of it out of the way himself, thus making the scientific experiment easier. Sometimes while sitting in bhajan you can hear him chipping away at it with you...chinkachunk, chinkachunk, chinkachunk. Remember that this is one of the holy sounds you were told about at initiation. Yes, the holy Chinkachunk sound emanating from a quasi-astral sub plane radiating light like 50,000 lit cigarettes.

Rest assured that scientific factors such as Grace, Mauj (will) and guidance of the "inner" Master are all working unseen in your favor, turning each karma into a pinprick, to make your scientific experiment succeed.

It would be madness to think that with such factors working in your favor that your scientific experiment will fail. Right?

Anyone who "meditates" deliberately, that is, with some goal in mind, has missed the boat so completely that they're swimming upstream through their own stupidity.

If meditation is anything, it's mental equanimity, an unintentional state of mind that is its own immediate reward. If you think you're doing it, you're doing it wrong.

Sant Mat is a path of love. Feel a connection with the inner Master? Thats the key, the spiritual attraction. Scientific experiment? I'm a 68 year old female and was drawn to the path and initiated over 45 years ago and it certainly wasn't because I thought of the path as a scientific experiment.

Just another point of view here. I'm pretty hopeless at meditation but I live my life now in giving thanks, feeling appreciation and just doing the best I can. I takes a long time just to realise we have to be patient.

Observe the mind and the games it plays, its not who you really are.

Observe the mind and the games it plays, its not who you really are.

Au contraire, it is precisely who you are. If you think you are something other, or nothing at all, the burden of proof is on you. If you scoff at the need for proof, your game is religion.

Cc you think you know everyghing just because you say so it has to be your way aj? Your way is right and others is religion . You are religious as the biggest fundamentalist. Your thinking is the core for religion. You think you are open minded but you are not . You are closed and kissing your holly thinking pattern, have a nice time you and your thinking sample. Get a room you two.

Observer,
Even in my days of faith in RSSB the terminology "Science of the Soul" seemed a little disingenuous or deceptive and more of a marketing tool to make the teachings more palatable to Westerners. So, I made a little fun of it. Like you, I didn't feel like the path was a scientific experiment. In retrospect it was a very un-scientific experiment. I wished it was a little more scientific and predictable.

I agree that we are not our thoughts.

Funny post Tucson, yet I believe what you wrote is literally true--but no where in Sant Mat does it say ALL karmas are reduced to pin pricks.

I agree that we are not our thoughts.

Denial is the most salient aspect of religion. Pretending to know and understand more than you really do is actively denying how ephemeral, uncertain, and ignorant you really are. Pretending you are not your thoughts is actively denying what you obviously and ineluctably are.

"Pretending to know and understand more than you really do is actively denying how ephemeral, uncertain, and ignorant you really are."

--You said it, not me.

dj wrote:
"... I believe what you wrote is literally true--but no where in Sant Mat does it say ALL karmas are reduced to pin pricks."

--Literally true?...the holy Chinkachunk sound emanating from a quasi-astral sub plane radiating light like 50,000 lit cigarettes? Perhaps in your case the light radiated is like 50,000 lit joints ;)

But hey, you're right. No where does it say in Sant Mat that ALL karmas are reduced to pin pricks. Some remain sword thrusts although you don't know which is which since the Master works his magic from a position in the inner regions, I assume, where he is somehow able, single handedly, to administer the karmas of millions of initiates.

Ah, the "scientific teachings" of Sant Mat.

--You said it, not me.

Translation: "I'm rubber, you're glue. Everything you say bounces off me and sticks to you. Nyah, nyah".

When your religious beliefs don't stand up to scrutiny and are shown to be without any rational or evidentiary basis, resort to schoolyard tactics.

Brian I am just curious and just wanted to ask you the following question,
You said that you followed the RSSB path for around 30 years and you had doubts whether you were on the right track, but now that you have left the RSSB path do you ever have any kind of doubts that you might have left the right track? Has this thought ever entered your mind?

"" Very few, perhaps none, had experienced
what they were told to expect.""

Why do you say that ?

I wrote almost 100 comments,
positive on the RSSB technics and results from its awesome meditation

777

WOW CC


with
If you think you're doing it, you're doing it wrong.

like the disciple slapped by his master
and said AUW, I was meditating - Why do you do that

Master
No, you were developing on how to wear this pair of new shoes
you plan to buyps
ps
Good text Observer !

stranger, the thought of having wrongly left the right track rarely, if ever, enters my mind. Meaning, I'm virtually totally content with my current "spiritual" beliefs, and lack of beliefs.

Your question could apply to anything in life.

Is anyone 100% sure that the car they bought is the very best one for them? Is anyone 100% sure they wouldn't be happier with a different spouse or life partner? Is anyone 100% sure they wouldn't be better off with a different job?

Uncertainty is part of life. But I'm certain, because I'm experiencing this directly, that I'm pleased with my current outlook on spirituality.

In brief, I feel that any spiritual teaching founded on the premise of an enduring self or soul is almost certainly incorrect. Meaning, non-relgious Buddhism and neuroscience have it right. Believers in a supernatural self or soul have it wrong.

Given this assumption, any practice -- like Sant Mat meditation -- aimed at "Self-realization" or "God-realization" can't succeed. There is no self to realize. All the effort devoted to becoming a soul-drop that is supposedly going to merge into a god-ocean is wasted, because the effort is being directed in a fruitless direction.

Brian thanks for the reply.
But I am confused by your response, you say the thought rarely enters your mind that sounds like it has a few times. Then you say if ever, that sounds like you can't remember if it has or has not?
Then you talk of uncertainty and how it is a part of life and then you say you are certain because you are pleased now.
But one time you were pleased on RSSB path were you not then how can you be sure you will stay pleased and certain with your current beliefs? So I am confused by your answer.

stranger, I think you're trying to make "gray" into "black and white." I'm never 100% certain about anything, especially my own mind. We all are prone to forgetfulness and selective remembering. So that's why I said "rarely, if ever."

I never said I'm sure I'll always be pleased and certain with my current beliefs. In fact, I'm almost certain I won't be. I certainly hope so. I want to keep on growing, evolving, changing, learning.

This analogy isn't perfect, but it might help you understand how I feel.

Up until a year or so ago I had a big Burgman 650 scooter. I rode it happily for three years. Then I decided to sell it. It wasn't practical for most of my trips into town. I had to take time to put on protective gear every time I rode it. Riding could be cold in winter and hot in the summer.

So I sold it. I'd really liked the scooter, though. Until I didn't like it as much. It wasn't that I went from 100% Like to 100% Don't Like. My degree of liking just gradually slid downhill until I decided to sell the Burgman.

Today, I sometimes miss it. I'll see someone on a motorcycle and remember how much fun it is to do what that person is doing. This is an emotional response. Then I'll think about why I sold the scooter, and how the same reasons apply today.

This will make me realize, "It was a good decision to sell it. I really don't need or want another scooter."

Do you see what I'm talking about? It is possible to feel some fondness for something you once had, without wanting that thing back again. We humans are complex creatures.

Brian, Thankyou for your reply.
I was just curious thats all, and if your happy thats okay.
But I don't fully understand what you are trying to say.

I don't fully understand what you are trying to say.

Religion is a scooter.

Disciple is a scooter, and the driver or owner is the Almighty Master.

a lot to read here but little to do with RSSB (Beas)

Referring to Thakar, Kirpal, Vivekananda, Ramakrishna

is the same as introducing Dr Phil

777

Satguru told repeatedly in his books to first confirm about the path you want to take. it doesnt matters if you spent most of your whole lifetime in doing so. then when you have found the right way, go on it at your full speed . dont stop at points and ask people if you are on the right path. neither take pursue any other direction. Didnt you heard that Brian ?

Dear Brian,
Just like Sukhdev(I hope you have heard about him in our books) crticising Satguru leads into losing what you had learned on the path. And you are doing so being so senior a initiate(well but unless you were asked by the guru himself too do so,,, just what is being said in "I HATE CHURCH OF THE...")
Do you feel same as MICAYON of THE BOOK OF MIRDAD ? Do you feel the great nostalgia ?

Read this fragment of The Book Of Mirdad :
"And Faith shall lift you high above the stagnant, stifling world and carry you across the dreary emptiness and up the Rugged Mountains where every faith must needs be tried and purified of the last dregs of Doubt.
And Faith so purified and triumphant shall lead you to the boundaries of the eternally green Summit and there deliver you into the hands of Understanding. Having discharged its task, Faith shall retire, and Understanding shall guide your steps to the unutterable Freedom of the Summit which is the true, the boundless, and all-including home of God and the Overcoming Man.
Stand well to the test Micayon. Stand well, you all. To stand but for a moment on that summit is worth enduring every kind of pain. But to abide forever on that Summit is worth Eternity..... Where I breathe freely, there you gasp for breath. Where I walk lightly, there you pant and stumble. Keep you hold on Faith; and Faith shall perform the gigantic feat.
So taught I Noah. So I teach you. "


So you did had some doubt within Brian which where unknown to you that the master had revealed by not giving you the powers of inner faculty

Pankaj, you are wrong. I was taught not to take anything on faith, but to "conduct the experiment of meditation" in the "science of the soul." I was taught by my guru, Charan Singh, to have "provisional faith" just as a scientist does -- to have faith to conduct the experiment, but not to prejudge the results.

So you are absolutely wrong that Sant Mat, or any religion, requires that someone know the truth before seeking the truth. So someone already knew that what they were seeking actually existed, and was in their possession, why would they seek it?

You have a false, dogmatic understanding of what spirituality and mysticism are all about. I followed the instructions of my guru lovingly and devotedly for 35 years. I did my meditation, followed the vows, did lots of seva (volunteer service).

I was an excellent disciple. I did the experiment. I obtained results. Now, like the scientist of the soul I was taught to be, I am acting in accord with the results I have experienced. If your experience is different, fine. Just don't presume to know what I have experienced, because I'm the only one who knows what this is.

The question is this - did the experiment work yes or no?

If the answer is no, then state it expressly.

Have you heard the story of Hukum Singh ?
Would you like to go throught all the books you have again like you knew nothing ?
Have you written a letter to the present guru about all this ?
If yes then what was his reply ?
Well there seems to be a little... So well then what do you think Mirdad is saying over here ? What does he means ?

Hey Brian !! Check this out !! It speaks things which... like dark night of the soul and... just tell me what you get from here ! Take your time for all my questions. I would return here after 25th october.
http://simonarich.com/meditation-dangers

Brian/To all the users whoever it may concern,

I am not an RSSB initiate. I did not know anything about the sound current or any of the experiences which are promised.
My friend introduced me to RSSB and through him and the RSSB books, I got to know about the philosophies of RSSB.
But, before visiting the RSSB satsang even once, I had started listening to the sound current.(I am not being egoistic). This sound remains with me all throughout the day, even while working, driving,eating (obviously not when its too loud outside, when it is too loud, I just need to close my ears to listen to the tune).

What I want to say is : -

1. Listening to the sound is not at all related to the Master. I don't know how deeply this listening is related to the Initiation process, but in the book ("The path of the masters"), it has been clearly stated that "only a few get the music after being initiated, It requires cleaning one's mind and astral body before you start listening to it all the time." Also, It has been quite clearly mentioned that you can attach yourself to it anytime, the moment you close your ears (this is when you are too involved in other activities).

2. The philosophies of RSSB are true. They were designed to help people clean themselves. It is people who have mislead themselves by expecting spiritual experiences.

Now, coming to the cleaning part :-
I really don't know what they have referred to in the book "The path of the masters", but as per my understanding, it is dropping the judgments and conditioning one is carrying. That definitely makes one feel very light. It is simple because all the judgments and prejudices we carry, they come back to hurt and haunt us. (for eg. If I judge you for the kind of clothes you wear, it will also prevent me from exercising a free choice when I will be selecting my clothes, hence, in a way, haunting me)
This is something which has been referred to in almost other religions as well. This is basically called Ignorance : - Judging or assuming that one thing is better or worse than the other (as mentioned in Buddhism).

No Satguru can do this for you. He can only show you the path, but one has to understand and work on it oneself. And as all the gurus preach about the difficulty of the path, they are all right just because its difficult to understand how our mind is at the moment and being aware of all the thoughts of our mind is really something difficult to manage.

We all talk/read/discuss about being still, but we need to understand how to be still. Stillness automatically comes only when one understands the thoughts and the reason they are lurking in ones mind.

A simple way to do this (which I read in the book "The power of Now") is by being aware of all the moments you feel resisted to throughout the day. This could help one find out the reason which prevents ever lasting happiness.

Before concluding, I would say that the only way to achieve this is by total surrender to the present moment. That does not mean not putting in any effort. Total surrender means putting only effort i.e when there is no thought, no expectation since when the effort is like that.. It is complete.. perfect and it gives one joy. This is something everyone would have realized in Meditation and this is the goal of meditation. To still the mind while keeping it alert and aware. :)
One last thing, wanting spiritual experiences is no different from wanting Wealth, Love (things we consider materialistic) is a mere illusion and the biggest one. Because, the main purpose of meditation is to still your mind which cannot come if one has desires , then be it spiritual or materialistic. Actually, all this is again our beliefs and judgments, classifying things are materialistic and spiritual. :)

Thanks
Feel free to correct me. :)

it is dropping the judgments and conditioning one is carrying.

You can't do anything about your conditioning because "you" are the current condition of the ongoing conditioning effect of experience.

Life is conditional. There is no such thing as "unconditional" anything, and you can't be "unconditioned", despite what your religious experience has convinced you of. You can come to an understanding of conditioning and its effects, attain some insight into your own conditioning, but you are a conditioned condition undergoing further conditioning until death. There is no "you" apart from conditioning.

CC,

If you call removing all the conditioning or being aware of the conditioning a Condition, i dont really mind.
And by that, i meant the same. It is being aware of how you react not only through your actions but also in your mind. And awareness is without Judgment. It just observes and this very observation makes the mind still which opens one up to Love.


Regards,
Saurabh

I would say that the condition of being not conditioned or understanding your present Conditioning and it effects is the natural condition to be in which eliminates all the suffering.

Also, this is precisely what all the spiritual leaders have been explaining over the years : - To drop judgments and conditioning and being fully present to whatever you do.

Conditioning here means : - The way we react to situations, esp in our mind. This could be understood if you observe your reaction to the happenings around you. The moment anything is experienced through the 5 senses, it produces a sensation and the Mind immediately tags it as good or bad. This is judgment as well as a conditioning which has made human beings a compulsive thinker and a judge which needs to be dropped totally. This also means surrender to whatever is happening.

This is simple because whatever we observer depends on how our mind is. Analysis of no 2 persons is same and hence we are always in conflict with ourselves as well as others. So, its better to not do that... and that is the only way to get freedom. :)

There is no "you" apart from conditioning.

There is a "you" apart from conditioning which just watches, observes. That is the silent awareness or consciousness or whatever you may call it. That allows every situation, experience to arise and pass by.

The problem only arises when we start thinking about what happened with us. One should think, but not take life too seriously. Because even if we lose, win, that should not really affect us and if it is doing, it is only because of us. :)

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