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February 08, 2018

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Brian, if you can read this Classic Book, cover to cover, and still remain an Atheist, than I believe you must really have a hardened heart. ( The Table of Contents are in the back of the Book.)

http://www.allankardec.com/Allan_Kardec/Le_livre_des_esprits/lesp_us.pdf

Jim Sutherland

Brian, I've shared my experience on your blog recently, before.

No I am not better morally than anybody else. I don't claim to be, though I know there are people who claim to experience the Holy Spirit in their lives that leads them away from sinning, and if they happen to be better morally than your average run of the mill person, it may be true but not likely. William James wrote about this subject in Varieties of Religious experience. "Backsliders" are people that are said to have experienced God in their lives but fallen from their faith into a normal consciousness and normal life with sin again.

My experience of God was simply just a glimpse that lasted a few seconds and was over and has never re-appeared since. It could be argued that it was a mystical experience, which James says usually occur rarely and are of brief duration. However, I think a case can be made that mysticism and what is called being "born again" are two different experiences. For example, Born again Christians are against eastern style meditation and mysticism.

My experience didn't give me special knowledge of God, as if I was somehow superhuman and superior to other humans. I don't believe that this is what people's experiences of God are assumed to be by those than do not have it, either. You feel a presence that has a quality of peace, of holiness, of joy, and of light. Some claim to hear God's voice but even among Christians this is said to be a rare occurrence.

I claim no special powers or abilities and am sceptical of such things. especially yogi so-called powers. I do believe that demonic entities exist and they can give people abilities like telepathy and possibly healing of diseases (which are short lived, the illness always comes back), they can enable people in contact with them to know things about others that they cannot possibly normally know, but such abilities are mostly random and fail under scientific testing. In some cases there may be psychokinetic effects.

I do not claim to know anything that is unknown to ordinary people. If you want to know what the Holy Spirit is all about you simply just pick up a book about that subject and read it. There are characteristics of the spirit and qualities and gifts it imparts to people. A conversion starts with a conviction of sin which leads to repentance, regeneration (feeling like your nature has been changed from sin to a clean slate), sanctification (growing in that nature towards a state of freedom from sin but not ultimate perfection). All these stages and qualities are enumerated in many different books and consistent over a wide spectrum of cases of people who have experienced it and felt their lives changed. There's nothing mystical about any of it, no special knowledge (except maybe the gift of prophecy but this doesn't seem to occur much and seems controversial to me personally), though many who have had this experience may make claims to be more moral than others but usually such people are "nominal" Christians who have a heightened state of fanatical belief without really truly being born again and regenerated and changed. You can tell the real from the fake by a person's usage of swear words, violent aggressive tendencies in debates, and so on, compared to a loving, tender approach to others.

D.r, so why do you say this experience was of God? Lots of people, including myself, feel a sense of peace, holiness, joy, light. This happens to me in nature quite frequently. Some (legal here in Oregon) marijuana also can induce such a feeling.

I have a niece who is convinced she feels the presence of Jesus at times during the day. So is this proof that Jesus is with her? Of course not. Being a Christian, she's been told over and over that Jesus watches out for her and loves her, so she interprets her feeling as being caused by Jesus.

Likewise, you interpret your feeling as being caused by God, because you've read books, heard talks, and had other cultural experiences that promote the myth of God. If somehow you'd been raised on an island where no one had any conception of God, I can pretty much guarantee that if you had the same feeling you describe, you wouldn't view it as anything supernatural or divine. It just would be a pleasant feeling.

I'm not impressed with descriptions of pleasant feelings that people ascribe to God. Us atheists have the same feelings. We just don't call them "God." Understand, I'm not dismissing your feeling as being unreal. I just doubt your interpretation that it points to God.

Brian, thanks for your response. I would like to go through it point by point.

1) I say my experience came from God because it was ultra real and didn't come from my own brain. It was an imposition on my mind that wasn't a product of my prayer or intention to address the Ultimate Reality in any way, shape or form. It simply spontaneously happened to me.

2) Nature with marijuana is different to nature without marijuana. It sounds like you toke joints regularly. If you do, you are away and not in front of, reality. Your perceptions and feelings while high have absolutely nothing to do with God's reality or God existing apart from you.

3) People that believe in Jesus without experiencing Jesus or God in a true and real supernatural encounter, simply have blind faith that is a nominal religious belief and a fanatical adherence to concepts and ideas that are easily rationally and logically trashed as the nonsense they are, and who get violent for things they do not fully comprehend or know, against other people.

4) I didn't interpret my feeling of God because I had a visionary experience that was accompanied by "feelings" which were not my own feelings, but imposed upon my mind and being.

5) some primitive tribal peoples have no God conceptions as in monotheism, pantheism, polytheism or animism. They have no religious conceptions whatsoever. Yet they have conscience. Incest is the worst crime to them. Where does that come from, Brian? Random Chance is not an answer but replacing words with reality. We want actual reality here. Let's imagine there is no God. What changes except your ignorance?

6) I had no pleasant experience when God decided to interrupt my life. There was nothing pleasant in that encounter whatsoever. I merely mentioned that some people include joy and bliss as qualities of their experience of God, where it wasn't mine.

7) A feeling is simply just ONE out of dozens of components of the experience of life and God. I already stated this.

If you want to convince other people to be atheists, you need to do more than this. It isn't working on me.

Hi Brian!
Great questions.
You wrote

"(1) Do you claim to know something about reality that isn't known to ordinary people? If so, what is this special knowledge, and how do you know that it is true?

(2) Do you claim to have an elevated sense of morality that isn't possessed by ordinary people? If so, what makes you a better sort of moral person from ordinary people?

(3) Do you claim to understand what God is like? If so, enumerate some attributes of God and how you came to comprehend them."

1. What I know isn't outside reality. It is reality. But reality is different for different people.

2. Ordinary people is an interesting phrase. I don't think there is such a thing. Get to know people better. A lot of them love God.

3. We can't understand God in any accurate way. God is beyond human understanding.

When you try to do so, it's flawed. But if it's the mind that is flawed.

Brian wrote: "One would think (as I do) that anyone who has had a glimpse of God, if not a full- blown vision, would come away from that experience with some special knowledge, special goodness, special morality, special understanding, special something. "

-- Why is it assumed that God is good, or moral or even special? God could be as ordinary as a mosquito landing on your arm and sucking blood. It's not moral or immoral, good or bad. It just is. Nothing else about it except what the relative mind conjures up about it.

The answers I've found here are much better than what I thought I could conjure.

I can only honestly answer Q: #3.

A: I can claim God to be immortallity, sustainer of all creation, and as many have relayed on this blog so constantly; beyond mortal love. Had a NDE, before I even believed in the sehaj path beyond just open-mindedness. So this is an experience as a kid I can only guess doesn't count as sharing an inner experience forbidden by disciples:

During my NDE a powerful entity asked me if I wanted to be able to time jump, teleport, materialize objects, or create galaxies?

I thought, "I must go home first because I know forgot something; to find the present living Sat Guru?" Then that devil vanished..

My bad for the little typo on immortality. Plus, I must clear up what sehaj is for people unfamiliar. Wikipedia has fairly decent entries of what I originally learned to be the 'Simple Path' or 'Easy Way:

"Surat Shabda Yoga is also known as Sehaj Yoga – the path leading to Sehaj or equipoise, The Path of Light and Sound, The Path of the Sants or 'Saints', The Journey of Soul, and The Yoga of the Sound Current."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surat_Shabd_Yoga#Etymology

Hello Brian

That’s one hell of a post - well done.

It’s cleared my mind. I have always wondered that anyone who has direct experience of God would lose interest in this world. Period.

Perhaps even retreat to a cave. As this reality would mean nothing to him. It would be to him like shadows on a wall but not real reality -reference to a philosopher whose band I cannot recall.

Come on all - do you really believe if you saw God you would not be different!

Yes you would - you would want to be left alone and not say a word to anyone. Also people who know you are not normal😀

Enjoy the weekend and forget this nonsense about what the mind generates - any if you seen the mind construct??? Thougt not 😀

Arjuna, yes people do change when they experience God but it doesn't mean they want to go live in a cave.

Sorry all, but it is all down to the brain. All the experiences described by those (including me) are regularly repeated by researches into this field. It's pretty much summed up in many studies, papers and books on science and spirituality instigated by the ideas of William James which was the foundation that modern neuroscientists continue to build on.

A particularly good summing up of these topics is 'The God Impulse' by Kevin Nelson who describes the brain areas and processes necessary for the religious experience. He talks of how NDE's, OBE's, presence, oneness, visions etc. are stimulated by chemicals or perhaps through disease or injury. Also he goes into depth of how the repeated experiments on the brain also produces these feelings. But, he does say that they are important and may have an evolutionary purpose - although as far as the science is concerned such experiences are perfectly natural and do not need 'outside forces'.

The interesting thing I find is why we attribute such experiences to non-physical intervention. What is the agenda on that?

N.B. Appreciative Reader. Will try to reply regarding my thoughts on free will in a few days.

Turan, the universe is not the product of your brain. Neither is God. It's a good way to avoid responsibility by thinking they are though.

You can't have done much research into consciousness studies to hold this already debunked view that the mind is the same thing as the brain.

The work of some self promoting clinical psychologists to label the reports of experiences with brain damage as 'God' unfortunately leaves the definition of God in their hands. It's fake science.

But their TED talks do remind me of several Sunday morning TV preachers. Theirs is simply a different religion with its own prejudices : Atheism.

Here are the scientific problems with their fake research:

1. You must accept their mechanical and limited definition of God to accept their 'evidence' that God is just hallucination. Their testimony are the reports of people who have had brain damage or taken drugs, or undergone some form of artificial brain manipulation.

There are several flaws with this approach.

2. The reports of experience they are using to define 'spiritual' experience, and incorrectly 'God', are from different anecdotal sources none of whom are experienced in meditation or other spiritual practice.


3. They do not incorporate into their testable definition of God the actual writings from classic spiritual literature from individuals who devoted their lives to spiritual development. They simply claim their research is the same thing.

If you buy that, I also have a bridge to sell you.


4. They do not use long term spiritual practioners in their experiments: People who could claim "yes, this is the the same experience as my spiritual practice" or "no this is different" or even "this is only the same as the initial levels of internal mind, and not the experiences of anything beyond mind".

Of course when you are trying to sell your brand of horse and buggy you ignore the testimony of race car drivers, or falsely claim it's all the same mode of transportation.

5. Those individuals in history and current practitioners distinguished between imagination, emotion and sensory impressions of the brain, as separate and 'false' from their experiences of the divine. Plato's Socrates is one illustrious example.

6. Of true validity is the research with long term meditators at Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Oxford and other serious medical research, which has measured results, physiological results, for decades. Nothing like those physiological results have been duplicated in the lab using mechanical or chemical means by these neuroscientists.

7. The fallacy of their method is called, in the scientific methodology, an external validity error. They are conducting controlled experiments on the brain and labeling that 'God' and to maintain their claim of proof they must ignore the contradictory evidence and definitions of spiritual experience from actual practitioners of spiritual experience. Or worse, falsely claim that it is all the same, without involving long term spiritual practitioners in that assessment.

8. Any reader can see for themselves that what a few self promoting Ted talk neuro scientists claim as spiritual experience is the same thing spiritual practioners have written for centuries as merely the spurious works of the mind, which must be surpassed to have experience of the divine.

9. Not a single effort to generate spiritual experience mechanically has generated anything close to the reports of long term meditators on a spiritual path.

10. Spiritual practioners have been making that distinction for thousands of years and still do so today, providing the methodology so that any ordinary and sincere person can see these things for themselves.

11. One more point about Brain and Mind. The argument has been made that there can be no experience outside of the brain. But what we call the Brain is a very complex organ with several parts, including other brains within our brain we understand very little about.

The subconscious mind is a mystery to most people, and science confirms we only use a fraction of the brain most of the time. What is the purpose of these hidden and little understood parts? What are the experiences of them that lay before us hidden, in potential? Then there is the issue of connectivity. We are all connected to this creation and subject to its influence. What subtle forms of connection does our brain have to the world around us which we do not yet know about?

Hundreds of years after Newton gave us the law of gravity today's science still cannot take a photo of gravity waves, and can only theorize about them, working invisibly to connect all matter, but beyond our capacity to see with any instruments. And the same is so with the majority of subatomic particles and waves, which we only know by their effects and must theorize about their probable existence. And this extends as well to dark matter and dark energy which we can only theorize about, but which makes up 70% of our known cosmos. So too our subconscious and the brain. We may not yet have discovered the various ways our brain and the mind that is connected to it is also connected to the rest of creation, especially the parts currently beyond scientific reach. And that connection works both ways. If I can witness a mountain gazing with my eyes, but seeing it only in my head, what other parts of this creation can I witness beyond the reach of current scientific instrumentation?

The answer is the same for all of science....

"More than you know."

A lot of fixed belief expressed in these comments.. Doesn't it occur to people that 'divine experience" is the same as all other experience. It is altered by the ideas and beliefs that you have about what is? In different stages of this life I have most earnestly believed in, and experienced ... hmm.. 'transcendentalness'. It is only when the detached mind looks without belief at what occurs that you can become aware of contradictions in what you have believed. I'm afraid that logic can be very revealing. And you wonder at the way you have deceived yourself. And what then? Will you just seek as new "deep otherworldly / spiritual " waffle to explain it all.
Augh. all this 'spiritual leading to wonders' authority talk, as though the speaker as has been enlightened.
It can sound so wonderful and may express actually good ideas and reasoning and understanding .... but based on a merely assumed picture of reality. Of course the speaker is able to justify their belief to themselves ... just as I have always done.
And so it goes..

signed ... an old cynic

David L,

No.

Regards.

Hi David

You wrote

"Doesn't it occur to people that 'divine experience" is the same as all other experience."

You would have to be versed in that experience to say so.
I would argue that no experience is the same as another, though they may be similar.

And I would argue against the sort of unscientific prejudice that presumes those who believe differently than you are merely delusional.

That's a lot of hubris talking, not actual logic.

Path of Saints / Shabd doesn't claim any supernatural being like Abrahamic religions.
It talks about levels of divine energies starting from lowest to highest.
The frequency of shabd / divine sound current is close to 100 Hz at lower levels of consciousness & closer to 100,000 Hz at higher levels of consciousness. Frequencies of unified field of consciousness in various sub-domains have been validated by scientists. What you are essentially doing is playing diversion tactics to be-fool innocent gullible people, to prevent them from accessing unified field.
The same unified field which is making the electrons revolve & planets move since billions of years.
Its understandable , because by utilizing the unified field any country can bust the american dominance within 5 years.

Hi,
First of all, I completely understand and respect your opinions. I will now tell you the reason as to why I’m specifically a Christian. Also, I’m not here to prove anyone wrong or prove myself right. I would never ask anyone to believe me, because I know that I CANT prove anything. I only know the truth for myself.
(1) Do you claim to know something about reality that isn't known to ordinary people? If so, what is this special knowledge, and how do you know that it is true?
From the ages of 5-8 years old, I had a lot of supernatural experiences happen to me. I’ve only ever told a handful of people on my life. These experiences are the only reason I’m a Christian. Had these experiences not happened to me, I may very well be an atheist myself. I can’t really explain to you how I know they’re “true”. I’ll just tell you what I know the best I can. I had supernatural experiences not once, but consistently for three years. When I met God (I’m not going to go into detail), I was only 6 years old. My entire perception of reality changed, and it still effects me to this day- I’m twenty two years old. When you meet the God of the entire universe, you know exactly who he is and what kind of being he is. That’s just what automatically happens. I know it sounds crazy, which is why I said I don’t expect anyone to believe me.

(2) Do you claim to have an elevated sense of morality that isn't possessed by ordinary people? If so, what makes you a better sort of moral person from ordinary people?
I’m not exactly sure what you mean or how to answer... I’m definitely not better than anyone morally, but I think I’m more accountable for my sins because I’m aware of God’s existence and His standards. I will say, that a lot of temptations are very easy for me to resist. Partially because I have a laid back personality and I’m content just chilling at home, and also because, after knowing who God is, you just don’t want the same things as everyone else. They don’t matter as much, so they’re not as tempting as they are for other people.

(3) Do you claim to understand what God is like? If so, enumerate some attributes of God and how you came to comprehend them.
I do not claim to understand everything about God. I do know that he is extremely loving, and that he is not a bad God (JUST LET ME EXPLAIN please before you roll your eyes). There have been so many times, where I was extremely pissed at God. God... why would you let a five year old girl be raped. Why are people murdered. Why are people sent to hell when they were just believing in what they were raised to believe in. To these questions , i DONT have the answers and I would never claim to. I only know 3 things for sure. 1- God is a good God. I know that doesn’t make sense, but just wait. 2) time passes, and every person who has committed any wrong doing will pay for that if not here, than there. Every rapist and murderer WILL be held accountable, and our troubles won’t be the same there as they are here. Here, a girl or boy who was molested holds on to that their whole earthly life. It hurts them, it scars them. But THERE( meaning, where God physically is) things don’t work that way. It will feel as if that hurt never existed. I know because I’ve been there. Again, not asking anyone to believe me.
3- God has complete and total control over every single thing in the universe, and we, ultimately , have none. So whether or not I get pissed at God, I deal with it. Because it doesn’t matter whether or not I think he’s a bad God or a good one. He’s God, and he’s the one with the power to send people to hell or heaven. I’m not saying that I agree with everything he does. I’m only human, and I could never begin to understand the most powerful person to ever exist. But I’ve realized that know matter times I become angry with him, or no matter how many times people or situations come against me, I have a bond with God that is completely unshakeable. Meeting God changes everything.

I promise, I’m just trying to help.

@ D.R - I wish I could meet someone who has experienced God.

Or experience Him myself - now that would be something

Arjuna, lots of people have experienced God! They probably wouldn't go around telling others about it much though.

I don't believe in performing religious rituals or actions like meditation to somehow produce a God experience. That is a works versus grace approach. Nor do I believe that ingesting psychedelic or other drugs gives people an experience of God (though they no doubt give experiences that people interpret to be so but which are in fact delusional).

Before I experienced God I used to believe in God. Sometimes quite fanatically. But there is a difference between belief and knowledge. In some ways, the game is over for me already because I now know there is something out there, but everything in my life looks the same as it did before that experience. I didn't undergo any lasting change except that my belief turned into knowledge. When it happens to you it is quite exciting thereafter. No more seeking. No striving to reach. There's always the game of improving your lifestyle and learning new things, on the other hand.

Hi Arjuna

Please pardon my response to this... Trying to be helpful...

You wrote

"I wish I could meet someone who has experienced God.

Or experience Him myself - now that would be something."

This is why people seek a legitimate Teacher to help them. And that involves submission to their course, their feedback, whether it's a Pastor or a Guru.

Six short points to consider.
1.If there is a God he won't be found anywhere else but inside you. A good Teacher will provide method and encouragement. That may feel good, or may feel bad, but the effect should be to get you moving.
2. The experience of God must be personally testable. You need to be able to go back to Him and experience Him at any time. The Comforter really does need to be in you as you are in Him. If He is the Good Shepherd, you will be able to go and come as you like. As St. Paul says, "whether in the body or away from it." A Good Shepherd never leaves His Sheep. Sometimes the sheep get distracted and forget He is standing right there.
3. God loves worship. Whether you call it prayer or meditation, your entire heart spending quality time in devotion to God is the point. That's all thought in Him, not your needs or issues. He will give you all you need to deal with those things. So, as with any relationship, more trust, more intimacy, in their natural stages. As Jesus said, we go where our heart is.
4. You will discover that at any time, turning your attention to Him automatically and instantly opens that inner Door. It really was always open. But the attention wasn't connected to it. Like a flag in the distance, someone had to point it out to you but it was always there waving.
5. You can wake up tomorrow and forget the entire relationship, and all your experiences of it, and think "it was all a dream. God doesn't exist" That is the mind at work. At that point you must make that choice to return to the practice of prayer and re-awaken all that you forgot, which can take days, months and years, or walk away saying, "nothing is there."
6. If you choose prayer, worship "in spirit" all your experiences, your entire relationship with Him, and His loving Grace returns. You remember. You weren't alone then. You were in darkness, and those single footsteps were His carrying you until you returned.


5b. When that Grace disappears, along with your memory of it, generally, as you work to return and regain your lost inner memory, you realize in retrospect you did something, usually selfish, to cause it. But the re-awakening is incredible. The reunion is indescribable. He was rooting for you, shouting for you, shedding tears over you the entire time.

I ask these questions because I've spent many, many years
talking to people who believe in God, and I've never met a
single person who had a convincing story about an actual
experience of God.

Frankly, I'm not surprised because it's almost always hollow to
talk about abstractions like God. Unsupported by experience
of an inner reality, strong faith can still promote morality, foster the
common good, and become the underpinning of caring, decent
societies.Yet if existential questions remain unanswered, it's ultimately
blind faith.

The mystic however isn't satisfied and looks for answers and, most
importantly, actual experience of a transcendental reality by
pursuing an inner, meditative discipline. But they can only give hints
of a reality that transcends phenomenology, ...tell stories, ...offer
analogies. How can anyone convey what ultimate reality is? The
mystic can only say "it's not this... not this".

It's always rung true that you believe only what you've experienced
yourself. Absent that, trying to convince yourself or others with
anecdotes, esoteric descriptions, or intellectual debate always falls
short.

So does blind faith. That's why a modern mystic once said in
effect "Don't believe anything blindly. If you can't confirm belief
with actual experience, discard it unhesitatingly. Keep looking. If
you find something better, come back and tell me. I'll follow it too."

Mystics consistently posit we already have the answers to our own
questions. We want to be fed what we already know, what will resonate
with the truth that's already buried in our subconscious. Then when
we experience it within, it becomes real.

From an article about beliefs and imagination...

Imagination Creates Reality

That which you experience in imagination is an actual creative act. It is a fact in the fourth dimension of space and will make its appearance in this three-dimensional world just as surely as planting a seed will result in the growth of a particular plant.

Some people believe in a God or a Master and with their beliefs and imagination create such kind of visions.

Some people believe in aliens and ufos and then manifest them and those interactions seem very real to them.

Hi Jen

You wrote
"Some people believe in a God or a Master and with their beliefs and imagination create such kind of visions."

Most mystics have as their first junior year in the school of meditation the task of seeing and setting aside their imagination.

And actually it is unkind to suggest that those who believe different than you are just imagining things. Why take the role of an omniscient God and pretend to know, judge and label what goes on hidden inside someone else's mind?

It's enough to say "I didn't have that experience." That's honorable because it's honest. It's stoic and spiritual in its own way, because all spirituality is the journey to truth. This is the towering nobility of true Atheism.

Spencer,

I have different inner experiences and I don't believe that its a God who is creating those experiences. I believe its me, my brain, my imagination.

I don't connect with atheism, I prefer the "unknowing" path.

Hi Jen!

Yes the mind and especially the imagination can create all sorts of things. With devotional practice, those imaginings fade out as the mind begins to relax and thoughts subside.

Just learning to sit in the darkness and enjoy the experience can take some time. Focused on your repetition, and your Master, following the instructions you were given, and not on the images your mind creates, they fade away. This is because they need the fuel of your attention to survive and expand.


I find this whole line of inquiry strange. It seems to presuppose that the experience of God will have some specific effect on the individual. I lived in an ashram for a period of time and started having some strange experiences during morning sadhana - formlessness and the like. I had no idea what it was or what it meant. I eventually talked to the "master" and he said, "keep your experiences of God to yourself."

To him God seems to be an ever-present undercurrent. Experiencing it is one thing, recognizing is apparently quite another.

In other words, if your filters are that God doesn't exist, how could you ever recognize God? If on the other hand, if you are sure that God does exist, how will you know that you are or are not experiencing God?

My own attitude was, I have no idea, but there must be something to it since everyone likes to inquire after it.

Some people believe in a God or a Master and with their beliefs and imagination create such kind of visions.

Some people believe in aliens and ufos and then manifest them and those interactions seem very real to them.

I agree totally. What you believe and imagine is there.

From a recently quoted comic strip:

"But then the night Always the night. So love everyone you're with...
And laugh as much as you can."

Originally posted by Spencer
Tepper:

..because all spirituality is the
journey to truth. This is the towering
nobility of true Atheism.

Radha Saomi,

You words strike a chord and also ring true to me. I recollect of a saying I once heard about God..

"If we take one step towards God, God takes thousands of steps towards us."

This quote is saying, to feed another soul is a step towards God, to help clothe yet another, prayer possibly two steps, and even helping an old lady to cross the street we can earn the favor and grace of God.

In meditation, each sitting is but the practitioner taking another step. Small steps as they may be, if we do not deter and continue taking these steps, just like putting together our first jigsaw puzzle eventually we piece the whole thing in no time.

HI Brian, I am a regular reader of your blog. I am also a Radha Soami initiate but could not do the required meditation due to various physical illnesses. I too do not believe in god, as you said, there is no strong proof to satisfy me. But (recently) as a I sit alone, as my consciousness go deep inside, as I feel "I am",and as my consciousness reach some 'correct point', I get extreme happiness, peace, bliss and a full inside view of my 'self'. Though it is brief, it is so exhilarating. What is it? Is it connecting the soul with the creative energy? I am a normal ordinary person and this experience gives me no physical or material betterment.

Quote D.r, February 09, 2018 at 07:51 AM : " ... You can tell the real from the fake by a person's usage of swear words, violent aggressive tendencies in debates, and so on, compared to a loving, tender approach to others. ..."


.


I see.


.


,


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Do you?


Quote Turan, February 10, 2018 at 02:47 AM : " ... Appreciative Reader. Will try to reply regarding my thoughts on free will in a few days."

Absolutely no rush, Turan. Whenever you're comfortable. I've bookmarked that other thread, where I'd written my comment addressed to you, and I'll keep checking it whenever I log in here.

I myself generally turn up here once every few days or so, so please don't mind if there is that delay in my responding back after you post your comment there.

Dear D.r,

Re. my comment addressed to you up there :

Please don't think I'm picking on you. I'm not. In fact, first-hand accounts like your own experience of God, that is one of the things (not the only thing, nor even the primary thing, but most certainly one of the things) that draws me to this blogsite, and normally I'd enjoy hearing you speak about what you've experienced.

It's just that the incongruities in how you seem to think are so very blatant and, well, incongruous! Your rough and rude address to those whose faith and experience are different from yours, for instance, while at the same time your solemn avowal of your own faith and experience. Another instance : your abject and craven surrender of even the pretense of rationality and critical thinking when it comes to your own faith and your own experience, contrasted with your ultra-logical mien when looking at others' experience and faith. (For example : How you cravenly tell me, when speaking about your own faith and experience, that you "don't buy into the idea of 'burden of proof' as that's just something some bloke made up in the past and has no bearing on the God question" ; and then, just a few posts down, you suddenly put on your critical-thinking hat and tell Spencer in all seriousness that "The burden of proof is on you to show that some OM sound has anything to do with Christianity at all".)

This kind of thing is what had led me to think you were trolling. Your repeated protests to me about this have convinced me that you're not ; but you do see, don't you, that your thinking comes across as positively schizophrenic?!

No, I don't think you're literally schizophrenic or psychotic. Merely not self-aware when it comes to your own faith vis-a-vis others' faith.

And no : I myself have no dog in this race, either way -- as you may have gathered from my comments. It's just that the incongruity of your thinking process and the incongruity in your comments strikes me as odd. in fact grotesque.

This comment of mine is my last attempt to see if I might not be able to convey this absurdity to you. Because I'm sure you're capable to contributing positively to the various discussions here, if you can only remove the blinkers that seem to stick to your eyes.

My best wishes,
--Appreciative Reader.

P.S. Contrary to what you've said to me earlier, I have absolutely nothing against either Christianity or against Jesus. If you'll go back and see my comments, you'll find that that impression of yours came to your mind out of thin air, a concoction of your own psyche, and with zero correlation with the content of any of my posts. So, I don't say this to attack your faith. No hidden agenda, I'm saying no more and no less than what my comment reads. Anyway, Cheers to you! Either here or elsewhere, if you'd like to go into the details of your own personal experience of God (beyond what you've already said here), I for one will be all ears.

Quote Dungeness : "... a modern mystic once said in effect "Don't believe anything blindly. If you can't confirm belief with actual experience, discard it unhesitatingly. Keep looking. If
you find something better, come back and tell me. I'll follow it too."


I'll bite. Who was this modern mystic, then? At least he seems sincere. Misled perhaps, deluded perhaps, and perhaps not ; perhaps genuinely "enlightened", perhaps not ; but at least someone with zero hypocrisy and zero charlatanry (basis that quote).

Reply to 7 points from D.r 9/2/18.

1. Yes, it happens regularly, nothing special (unless we make it so), it is a known phenomena of the brain.

2. & 3. Whoa! A bit of a sweeping statement – sounds almost bigoted.

4. Yes, exactly what it feels like when the brain produces such experiences.

5. We are not born with a conscience. A conscience forms in the first few years of life as the brain forms connections with the limbic system and prefrontal cortex. It is a product of one's social environment.

6.Yes, some spiritual feelings arise as joy and bliss (been there) while some may cause pain – often justified in current spiritual terms.

7. Feelings – spiritual or otherwise are all quite natural. As William James states in 'The Varieties of Religious Experiences' - “It is natural that those who have traversed such an experience should carry away a feeling of it being a miracle rather than a natural process”.


From comments of 10/218 - “Universe not the product of brain”.
(Some may argue that it is!) The brain, evolutionary wise, is the product of the universe.

“ Mind is not same as brain”.
Well, mind is the product of experiences since birth that the brain houses and produces as thought and action.


And Spencer (10/2/18.) Hope your not resurrecting the old myth that we only use 10% 0f our brains. You no doubt know that it's totally working all of the time though 96% is unconscious.

I'll bite. Who was this modern mystic, then? At least he seems sincere. Misled perhaps, deluded perhaps, and perhaps not ; perhaps genuinely "enlightened", perhaps not ; but at least someone with zero hypocrisy and zero charlatanry (basis that quote).

The mystic is Ishwar Puri. I've heard several of his talks
on YouTube. He's mentioned this promise several times
in his talks.

Appreciative Reader, I don't claim to be "saved" and never have. I simply said I had one experience of God. So your quoting me about true Christians responding to people with love and tenderness misses the mark here. I see you also make assumptions.

As for the burden of proof comments, it's true that I contradicted myself there. Thanks for pointing that out.

I don't put down other people's faith or experiences. I simply point out that meditation is dangerous and leads to delusions. I do put down atheists though and I don't give a crap what you or anybody else thinks about that. I have zero respect for atheism. I hope you understand.

Again, you can try and portray me as a troll if you want but how are you not a troll? It's easy enough to throw that word around. Anybody can do that. Doesn't make it true though.

I'm still not convinced that you aren't an atheist.

Jen, you seem confused to me. You want to portray other people's experiences of God as simply just "imagination" and you seem to also be a RSS mystic. Now if I am not wrong, RSS believes in God. They call it "sound and light". Perhaps you meditated a lot over the years and imagined sounds and lights. Lots of people do. I think those experiences are delusional. Perhaps real enough, but still delusional. No offense meant.

Turan, it is too much work to go through the 7 points I previously made and compare them with your 7 responses so I won't do that.

I have very little to say to you other than you obviously haven't studied or researched consciousness enough and the difference between the mind and the brain.

I noticed you quoted William James. James wasn't a reductionist or a materialist. He believed in spiritualism and contact with the dead through mediums. He said that materialists compare the mind and brain in a way similar to the liver secreting bile and how their theories are absurd.

I suggest you buy and read the book Irreducible Mind. It's 800 or so pages but don't let that put you off.

Anybody can shut down a discussion by saying that the mind is the brain and that explains God and everything else. It takes more intelligence to get into the details of the problems with that assertion and tackle some of those problems. Something that atheists seem incapable of.

Originally posted by Gopalkrishnan:

I get extreme happiness, peace,
bliss and a full inside view of my
'self'. Though it is brief, it is so
exhilarating. What is it?

Vahiguru,

If you are initiated by the late Maharaj Charan Singh, then you should share your inner experiences by writing to the present living master Baba Gurinder Singh. To quench any new or old questions you may have arising from meditation.

Cheers!

Originally posted by 777:

The only reality is pure Love

I bow to the Creator within you,

Always a pleasure to read your posts, kind sir.

Originally posted by Appreciative
Reader:

In fact, first-hand accounts like your own experience of God, that is one of the things (not the only thing, nor even the primary thing, but most
certainly one of the things) that
draws me to this blogsite

In the spirit of Unity and Peace, I salute you,

Most inner experiences I've heard of, or read from others always help me to continue to believe that there is a God or some unseen Energy.

Yet, some gurus teach that we are that energy ourselves. But this leaves out the pining and the seaching for a Supreme Energy. So in truth there are many dangers beset on the path I practice.

One danger, is trying to find God through meditation without a True Adept. Why? Because if we learn from a novice guru, then he can only share with us his extent of his practice. I've heard accounts of people encountering demons and becoming possessed by dark entities just because they followed incomplete gurus. Gurus who know not of all the dangers within, nor have they clearance to go higher into God guarded realms. The highest realm is actually God Himself and there our soul unites with His Glorious Blaze like a small spark of a single match.

So my point, being the importance in our searches to find a complete Guide/Teacher who we can get all the necessary tools to complete the journey of our lifetimes -the journey of our souls to unite back with that Glorious Blaze. If this is what we truley seek?

"I have very little to say to you other than you obviously haven't studied or researched consciousness enough and the difference between the mind and the brain."


D.r. The mind is different from the brain in that it is mental and therefore not accessible to physical examination though it is the brain that produces the mental experience. No brain, no mind - also for good measure - no self, no little homunculus that is conscious or capable of free will other than what the experiencing brain produces. Natural reasons for us and the universe can be quite liberating leaving us free to carry out our lives and responsibilities to one another without belief based judgements.

As for research, check out 'The God Impulse' by Kevin Nelson - neurologist: 'We Are Our Brains' by Dick Swab - neuroscientist: 'The Great Illusion' by Paul Singh - biochemist: Others researching and publishing findings on consciousness :- Susan Greenfield, Sam Harris, Bruce Hood, Thomas Metzinger, Susan Blackmore, David Eagleman, V. K.Ramachandran, Christof Koch, Francis Crick, Antonio Damasio – oh, so many, all who have written books for the layman to understand. (Brian has mentioned and reviewed many books on these subjects).

And recently from Harvard - “Scientists currently believe that consciousness is composed of two components: arousal and awareness. The first is regulated by the brainstem, but the physical origins of the latter were always a mystery. Now, a team of researchers at Harvard think they may have discovered the regions of the brain that work with the brainstem to maintain consciousness.”

There is a wealth of papers, publications, books and research on consciousness and its origins in the brain. And incidently, Nelson's book 'The God Impulse' might appeal to you (as it does me). In his 'epilogue' he emphasises that the cold, hard clinical facts (OEB's, NDE's, mystical visions etc.) does not “...suck the divine nectar from our spiritual lives”. He stresses their importance to our humanity, feeling as Brian often addresses in his posts (see the latest post on paying attention to small things ... ) that the spiritual is natural, available to everyone – and doesn't need to be dressed up in religious or supernatural beliefs.

Always a pleasure to read your posts,. . . .

I can never stop to kick my ego when receiving a compliment

My wife cannot understand that even

She literally in full consciousness steps
through a NOT VIRTUAL 'wormhole' ( best comparison )
in a lighter universe where She s accompanying our beloved Master Charan
and has conversations she cannot tell me
HE is active in all 7 spheres as long as one of his disciples is on a lower level

Not because they are incomprehensible but because of my 'telling around' attitude

A lot about the future of this earth and the expansion
so well guided by Gurinder

Thank You Karim
the long list of Muslim Sainst
must have been a delight


777


Turan,

I have read Nelson's book, many years ago now, and almost all of the other names you cited and their works. It's quite old now. I see nothing that suggests the mind is the product of the brain or dependent on it entirely. That's probably just a simple fact, not my interpretation.

I'm sure I have read more than that too, and probably more than you. Though that is not quite possible to ascertain here.

In short, you are going to have to do more than say that the mind comes from the brain and doesn't exist independently of it. It is easy to make assertions but much more difficult to make your opinions into fact. You are going to have to do much better than this.

Gopalkrishnan, it sounds to me like you might be realizing a fact known to neuroscience and psychology: there is no such thing as an enduring "self" or "soul." When you concentrate, leaving behind your ordinary ways of thinking and such, the feeling of bliss you have could result from leaving behind the burden of ego, selfhood, whatever we want to call it.

This feeling happens in many other ways also, of course. Being immersed in nature often leaves people with a sense that everything is as it should be. Athletes speak of being in a state of "flow" where everything happens fluidly and naturally. Drugs, including marijuana and psychedelics, leave people with a diminished sense of self and what is not the self. And meditation can do this also.

What you're experiencing is something wonderfully natural. Accept it as such. I doubt very much that it has any supernatural significance.

Hi Turan:

You wrote:
"And Spencer (10/2/18.) Hope your not resurrecting the old myth that we only use 10% 0f our brains. You no doubt know that it's totally working all of the time though 96% is unconscious."

Yes, that is the right correction. The brain is working all the time. But most of that is subconscious. And how it works, the brain waves it generates at different times is quite varied. Deep thought, meditation, the semi-restful mind is where all great ideas emerge. The paradox is that the mind yields its most creative and brilliant fruits when the brain is in gentle focused idle.

And the holographic mind, originally proposed by Pribram, seems to be a theory that is holding up over the decades....consciousness seems to be something that sits in a net of neurons, and cannot be localized in any given areas. Almost like a net holding a piece of fruit! As if the brain were nothing more than a net holding the mind itself, so that the locus of consciousness is not found in the brain, only remote and geographically reflected in varied locations of the brain.

Blogger Brian,

My uncle is also called Brian, and you are both about the same age.

What you might notice is that Christians are often on the side of the skeptics and atheists, not just in paranormal research, but in God arguments and certain pieces of dust.

I have done Pot, hash, skunk, weed, whatever you want to call it, for over 20 years. I have never done psychadelics in any way, shape or form. And I feel sorry for people that have done that. But I can tell you that hallucinations do not come from weed usage, like they do in LSD and psychedelic substances, which derange the brains of those that take them, who often end up doing Eastern meditation practices that create more delusions, like believing that tinnitus is the OM sound, and so on and so forth.

It's better to get back to the real world and from there to get to God. If you get back to the real world independent of God, you are lost and miserable, you have anxiety and depression and mental illness. It won't do to say that is false. You need to explain why.

Brian did RSS meditation methods for over 40 years and experience none of those things. Other people experience lights and sounds the second they are initiated and sit on their butt and from then on until the day they die. And the idea is that light and sounds are God. This is bullshit. God is not some mystic inner light and sound, blindness and auditory hallucinations. DO not insult anybody.

D.r. You Say. "I have read Nelson's book, many years ago now, and almost all of the other names you cited and their works. It's quite old now. I see nothing that suggests the mind is the product of the brain or dependent on it entirely. That's probably just a simple fact, not my interpretation."

Most of the researchers I mentioned are quite recent. Nelson's book was published in 2010, not exactly old. In chapter two, page 55 he states "... The brainstem acts as a primal wellspring of human consciousness. It's pathways carry nerve processes upward from the feet, the gut, the heart, the whole body, to activate the thalamus and cerebral cortex. No brainstem, no consciousness". He doesn't suggest it he affirms it from his research.

There is so much scientific evidence re the brain and consciousness - which reflects my thoughts and observations. It is their research that I value not mere opinion. I don't see the point of bringing in supernatural opinions when natural explanations abound. With the knowledge attained from science over the centuries supernatural explanations have long since been on the defensive. Simply because evolution gave us the ability to think, to conceptualise, we do seem to assume some sort of transcendental specialness.

Hi Turan

You don't need supernatural explanations to explain what you have already labeled from you own experience.

And you falsely claim a scientific platform that doesn't exist when you try to label anyone else's experience.

You would have to be omniscient to claim as much.

If you don't believe in God, pretend to be omniscient?

The research you cited refers to sensory awareness and wakefulness. Those are commonly labeled levels of consciousness. The mistake is common.

Do you not know the difference between sensory awareness, wakefulness, and consciousness?

You seem to be confusing the three. But many of the fake neuro scientists do it.

It seems to be a fad to make claims about soul and God based on neurological studies. That's a violation of external validity.

Nazis did the same when they tried to claim they were the Master race using their own popular experiments merged with their take on Darwinism.

Fake science.


Brain processes are not entirely predictive, even given the same stimulus. It turns out that while higher brain centers are influenced by lower brain stimulus, lower brain functioning is also influenced by higher brain functions. And both by interactions that have no measurable causal location. Causality is not one way in the brain, especially since the interaction of both can't reliably be predicted. Therefore they could readily be caused by both the interaction of the two and any third set of as yet unmeasured influences.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Granger_causality

Sorry to burst the bubble of those who insist the relationship between brain and consciousness is all mapped out as a closed, linear, predictive system. Not.

Start here if you want to follow the historical trail of efforts to understand that consciousness is far more complex, less predictive, and more similar to predictive quantum models than deterministic models of cause and effect...

Pribram's model
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holonomic_brain_theory

Quantum cognition
en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_cognition

The short course is that the brain is more like a physical net around the mind, and mind a nearly independent third level of integration which is affected by the brain, but which also independently effects the brain.

Scientists propose both the Holonomic and quantum models (and the correlographic and other further developed derivative models} because the evidence that exists cannot explain brain accurately, effectively and predictively without needing a model of functioning that is beyond the physical brain. These models propose the integration of a network of interactions acting as a separate element.... But which has no physical evidence,
Only the evidence that the physical elements of the brain itself cannot accurately explain its own functioning. Only a model of a net around the mind can explain why the net does not have complete localization... Because that locus is the mind, not the brain.

Hence, if you think of the physical brain as a net of wiring around a third non- physical entity, you get closer to the truth. The net triggers the mind, the responses of the mind triggers the net, and over time the mind introduces variations in responses on the brain that cannot be predicted by what we know and measure as the brain.

D.r you say: "Jen, you seem confused to me. You want to portray other people's experiences of God as simply just "imagination" and you seem to also be a RSS mystic. Now if I am not wrong, RSS believes in God. They call it "sound and light". Perhaps you meditated a lot over the years and imagined sounds and lights. Lots of people do. I think those experiences are delusional. Perhaps real enough, but still delusional. No offense meant."

Maybe I am somewhat confused. Just trying to navigate my way through life and sometimes I feel very drawn to Sant Mat the way I used to be. Those were easy times, having faith, feeling like I am guided and looked after. Then I started to question and satsangis would say its Kal, the mind, creating difficulties and wanting me to lose my faith.

I actually feel that probably this is a kind of evolving into being more aware, looking at belief systems and how they can control people, and realising how gullible some of us can be.

I have an aversion to the "God" word and so many people seem to love to preach about this God. Which God? If Sant Mat is correct and there are levels of inner spiritual regions, I suppose that each realm has its own God. I'm also over the idea that we struggle along this spiritual journey and eventually merge with the ultimate God, Sat Purush, in Sach Khand and there we are just a drop in the ocean again. Boring.

So D.r, I'm not confused, actually enjoying this life and my journey because there are always surprises on the way.

Hi Jen

You wrote

"I have an aversion to the "God" word and so many people seem to love to preach about this God. Which God?"

Consider, hypothetically, that God is just a left brain concrete metaphor for an ideal, integrating principle within your own brain. Focusing with love and devotion is just a natural mechanism to set aside other thoughts. Result? Rest, peace, pleasure and a subtle understanding of things.

If it is entirely physiological, these various practices may be ways to utilize, to awaken, to integrate all the parts of our own brain, including the opening and Intergration of our subconscious.

And if that happens through a practice internally of love and devotion, then whomever you ideate within yourself is most certainly a higher part of you. If God really exists, He must be in you, and you in Him.

Or maybe the highest part of you is truly God? Even an Atheist can understand and honor, and work to being forth the best that is given within themselves. Rest, single minded devotion, focus, contemplation with calm observation. Simply exercising that qualities... Devoting time to do so.

Take the Path as best you understand it. If it is anything, it is simply bringing you to meet the Stunning YOU.

I'm also over the idea that we struggle along this spiritual journey and eventually merge with the ultimate God, Sat Purush, in Sach Khand and there we are just a drop in the ocean again. Boring.

I feel the same and I'm no drumbeater for any path. To me any
discipline that turns inward to understand consciousness itself is
good.

One mystic's story of "soul drops merging into the Ocean" did
resonate with me though. He related "they kept telling me I
was a little drop and I had to merge in the ocean with the
other drops. To my young mind that was lose-lose. The ocean
didn't gain anything with one more drop and I would lose what
little bit of self I had! Then after years of dread one day I realized
I had never left the ocean at all. I had simply contracted my
awareness so I thought I was only a drop of it."

So, I would infer that if you merge back and get bored, you can
just pretend you're a little drop again....

-


About in how far somebody might give a burden of proof :

A God that could be proved ( 'ad fundum' ) is by definition NOT

Not even Brahm/Yaweh can be scrutinized haha


777

ps
Starting doubting Brian's definition "Existence" . . . It's NOT enough!

Sant Mat 101 is a Gnostic belief Philosophy. Just substitute “Christ-Logos” with “ Shabd”, and its asy to recognize.

“For Gnostics the material world
is a
creation of an evil Demiurge. That is why the physical body is seen as a prison for the soul. Our soul got caught in an angel trap, split up, and dispersed over dimensions and planets. Thus God sent his own spirit as savior - the CHRIST-LOGOS. He is the the good shepherd and the Paraclete, our advocate. Through him man finds his way out of this demiurgic maze. The CHRIST-LOGOS guides us home safe.
HE IS INVINCIBLE SPIRIT WHO CAN'T BE CRUCIFIED”

Jim Sutherland

Hi Dungeness and Appreciative
you wrote
"I'll bite. Who was this modern mystic, then? At least he seems sincere. Misled perhaps, deluded perhaps, and perhaps not ; perhaps genuinely "enlightened", perhaps not ; but at least someone with zero hypocrisy and zero charlatanry (basis that quote).

The mystic is Ishwar Puri. I've heard several of his talks
on YouTube. He's mentioned this promise several times
in his talks."

Ishwar is actually citing what his own Master, the Great Master, Sawan Singh Ji, told him. Ishwar tells this in his own narrative of his childhood experiences with the path.

Sawan Singh repeates this teaching in His own discourses. Find what works.

Originally posted by Blogger Brian:

So I've got some simple questions
for religious believers -- a number of whom are regular readers of this
blog (which is kind of weird; it's sort of like avid meat-eaters frequenting a vegetarian web site).
I understand that many religious
believers just have faith that God
exists.

May the Cosmos be pulled by the gravity of Nature fulfilling your every wish,

"..take a pledge from today that whether your mind likes it or not, you will give a full two and a half hours to Simran and Bhajan every day, most regularly. Never let a single day go by without it, and try to meditate at an appointed time every day, preferably in the early morning hours. Regularity is most essential for Spiritual progress. You must do your duty without asking anything in return.

Do not mind whether you see any light within or not, or whether the Sound is audible. You simply do your duty and leave the results to the Master. When a man pays wages to one who works for him, do you think that the Lord would not do so? He alone knows what is good for us and when it is to be given. He will pay in abundance. Have faith in Him."
-Master of Shri Gurinder Singh, Maharaj Charan Singh

Quote D.r : “I contradicted myself there.”


No shit you contradicted yourself there! “There”, indeed! You say that as if that is the one single contradiction that you’ve made, and which single instance I now point out to you. Your contradictions, friend D.r, are truly legion! My longish comment to you, addressed to you in that other thread, was a compendium of sorts of a whole host of them. All clearly documented and clearly demonstrated. I refer to Open Thread 11 : go back and refresh your memory if you wish by re-reading the unbelievable comments you have posted there. After reading that comment of mine (addressed to you, and posted on January 29), what you do is to abjectly, cravenly, throw your hands up in surrender, eschewing even the barest pretense of rationality, eschewing even the appearance of critical thinking ; you retreat entirely from that particular discussion without showing any signs of having even understood what was being said to you ; and you respond there, instead, with some out and out non sequiturs, plucked out of thin air. What is one of to think of someone whose comments appear practically half-witted when the discussion moves to their own faith, their own beliefs and their own irrationalities ; and who, paradoxically, suddenly turns around and writes sharp and intelligent comments, all awhirr with critical thinking, when examining the irrationalities within others’ belief systems? As has happened here again and again and again?

Take these short responses you’ve made to me, right here on this thread :

I tell you clearly in so many words that, basis your repeated protestations, I no longer think you’re trolling, that I do not, repeat DO NOT, think you’re trolling ; to which you respond by complaining that I’m trying to show you up as a troll! God above, man, can you not READ? That’s, like, textbook strawmanning!

Then you go on to say : “I don’t put down other people’s faith or experiences” -- and, amazingly, astonishingly, go on, in that very same sentence, to say “I simply point out that meditation is dangerous and leads to delusions”, by which you mean, as is clear from your other comments, you mean not to highlight dangers (real or imagined) in this endeavor, but to imply that all of those whose experiences are predicated on meditation are deluded. It is but a short step from there to, for instance, describing Jim Sutherland as mentally deranged, and, to take another instance, to peremptorily dismissing the heart-felt and sincere personal observations of Manjit, which he was kind enough to discuss here specifically on my request.

(And here’s the thing : if some out-and-out atheist were to do this sort of thing, I’d call them plain-spoken to the point of being obnoxious, but nevertheless consistent ; and especially in a “Churchless” blog their plainspeak, although perhaps unkind, may not really be out of place ; but for someone that claims that God “touched” them, for someone who solemnly claims they’ve actually had visions of God, for such an out-and-out apparent nut job to try to so peremptorily and rudely dismiss other people’s experiences, while continuing to gibber on about their own experiences and pet beliefs, that is … well, words fail me as I look on the grotesquely unhinged mentality that can make such comments in all earnestness.)

Here’s another gem from you : ”I do put down atheists though and I don't give a crap what you or anybody else thinks about that. I have zero respect for atheism. I hope you understand.” Well, I’m afraid I myself don’t have an overabundance of respect myself for people who do not treat others with respect. Even when such disrespect is not necessarily directed at me personally. I hope you understand!

And then, finally, you round off your comment here to me with that perfectly absurd gem of a non sequitur, where you say to me “I’m still not convinced that you aren’t an atheist”. That’s breath-taking, the sheer irrelevance and absurdity of that last nonsensical non sequitur.

And in that original sentence I quoted in my first comment addressed to you here (where you say that you can tell the real from the fake, etc), while your premise itself appears to have been mined from some deep dark recess within your own physiology, nevertheless that premise is yours ; and you seem unable to comprehend that single-line premise that you yourself hold, and what that premise, coupled your well-documented past conduct on here, says about the nature of your own experience. (Hint : that word, “fake”! Per YOUR standards and basis YOUR thinking, basis YOUR premise, not mine!)

#FacePalm!# ------ How can someone be so consistently bipolar in their commenting, alternatively apparently half-witted (when talking about their own beliefs, seemingly unable to parse simple sentences) and then, next moment, suddenly all razor-sharp and rational and logical (when talking about others’ belief systems)? I’d mentioned schizophrenia only in jest in my previous comment, but perhaps you do need to go get yourself tested!

Anyway :This discussion with you, across threads, was singularly unprofitable, but at least it was, in retrospect, not without some entertainment value! God knows I’ve tried to reach out to you more than once, including right here on this thread, despite your absurd and often obnoxious commenting on here! I’ll know better henceforth than to risk my sanity by trying to engage with you any further on this subject!

.

.

It occurs to me that you may be wondering why I’m wasting so much time with you. I was just now about to press the “Post” button, when that same question occurred to me : why, I found myself asking, have I wasted so much time thinking about you and talking of you? It’s an interesting question in itself, because I generally like to keep well away from the bickering that is so common in Internet forums. I think the answer is, apart from the entertainment (which after all is only fleeting), I think in a weird sort of way, getting to interact with you was an instructive process. Your mind is the perfect epitome of religious fanaticism. What passes for thought with you, where this subject is concerned, is classic : my own religious delusions are gospel truth, to be respected and revered, and anyone who doubts the authenticity of my spiritual experiences and my religious faith is wholly wrong and misguided ; and what is more, others with their own spiritual experiences and religious thoughts and beliefs are also equally misguided ; and both these categories of people are fair game for peremptory dismissal as well as unprovoked rudeness and insults. Logical rational thought have no place where my pet delusions are concerned ; and yet, where others’ cherished beliefs are concerned, logic is a sound tool, as long as it can be used to swat those beliefs down. That’s you in a nutshell, D.r, when it comes to this particular subject : fascinating, isn’t it? Your tragedy is, you’re born in the wrong time and the wrong place. You’d fit right in, had you been born some four to five hundred years ago (or earlier). I’m sure getting to live during the Inquisition would be your idea of heaven. Had you been born in those times, you’d get to not only insult those who don’t share your delusions, you could even end up physically hurting them by snitching about them to the authorities. Even in present times, had you been born in, say, Syria, even then you’d probably fit right in with some of the folks there (always provided your delusions were of the Islamic variety, as opposed to the Christian variety). How do you like that idea, incidentally : I may have just now charted out the perfect calling for you : as long as you’re prepared to junk your current delusions and to embrace the One True Faith (Islam) and the One True God (Allah), you can always book a one-way ticket to one of those places that you read about in the papers, and you’ll find yourself in the company of your spiritual brothers, people who think exactly like you do.

Incidentally : I’m usually a stickler about being just as courteous online as I am in real life. But being less than perfectly polite with the likes of you is fine, at least at times. Jesus may have advocated turning the other cheek : but I am personally fine with reciprocating in some measure the rudeness of those who are gratuitously contemptuous of and discourteous to others. It is as good a means as any of keeping people like you in check.

Anyway : I was talking, in the latter half of this comment, about why I’m spending so much time on you. I’ve listed two reasons already. The first was entertainment (albeit of very questionable taste). The second was instruction about how the mind of the religious fanatic works. But I come now to the third and most important reason of all, and that is : it is important that fanatics like you are everywhere called out and held to scrutiny and even, when appropriate, to ridicule. A very large portion of the world’s misery is due to fanaticism ; and if we don’t immediately step on fanaticism the moment it raises its ugly head, then we are indirectly facilitating the growth of the cancer of fanaticism. Every time that fanatics like you open your mouth to pour invective and ridicule on other people’s sincerely held faith while at the same time blithely claiming respect for your own pet delusions , every time that fanatics like you pollute rational and courteous discourse with your malicious and discourteous proselytizing, if we can immediately and firmly call out your bullshit (even if we personally are not necessarily being targeted), then we will have contributed in some small way towards making the world a slightly saner and safer place.

Quote Spencer : “The mystic is Ishwar Puri. … Ishwar is actually citing what his own Master, the Great Master, Sawan Singh Ji, told him.”

Thanks, Spencer.

Ishwar Puri is the head of a non-RSSB RS lineage, isn’t he? I’ve heard Ishwar Puri’s name often enough on this site, more in the comments than in the articles proper I think, although to be honest I can’t recall any of what I read about his views or how they differ from RSSB.

That reminds me of something I read in Julian Johnson’s book on RSSB. He quotes his own RSSB Guru (perhaps this same Sawan Singh Ji whom Ishwar Puri cites, I’m not sure) as replying, when asked how he knew there are no higher spiritual ‘levels’ than what RSSB teaches, something like this : “These levels are what I’ve seen myself. To my knowledge there’s nothing higher. If you or anyone else can tell me about levels higher than this, and point me towards some tradition that teaches one to access those, then I’ll go become a disciple there myself!” Something like that.

And that’s as fair and straightforward as anyone could want!

Appreciative Reader, you do like the sound of your own voice don't you? Tons of text that is vitriol against me and what for? You must have spent hours going over previous posts and typing this last one up. Well done! I find it hard to believe your memory is that refined, though your words certainly are.

Do you want to answer my question about whether you are an atheist or not? No, you will probably not do that. Too much is at stake for you. And your anger against Christ shows (though I see you have tried to hide it).

Having been a meditator for nearly two decades and found it wanting, I am in the unique position of pointing that out. But you might not have read my posts where I mentioned this. Never mind. Go on hating. Seriously, I'm looking forward to your next diatribe against me and how much of a fanatic I apparently am. It's also interesting that you apparently have the ability of telepathy and omniscience - you can really get inside people's heads based on a few things they have written on the internet. Bravo! That's certainly a great ability to possess. Keep up the good work.

I won't stoop to personal attacks against your character. It's called ad hominem and it's something atheists are brilliant at. But please do keep up the good atheist work brother!

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