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July 07, 2018

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When you describe life as essentially neutral, there seems to be an element of doubt, that life could also be benign or malignant. The creation stories in the Bible have the Deity completing the task and concluding that it is good. Enter man, the apple, and the serpent, and life becomes malignant, with some sort of spiritual chemotherapy for those granted salvation through the Grace of the Deity.

Why can’t you look at life as entropy in action with death being the sudden or lingering progress of the disruption explicit in entropy?

The second law of thermodynamics, describes the limits of what the universe can do (and of what we mere humans can do). The second law is all about inefficiency, degeneration and decay. Doesn’t the second law pretty much describe existence? All we do is wasteful and that there are irreversible processes in the universe. The second law of thermodynamics tells us our universe has an inescapably bleak, desolate fate.

If the universe is meaningless, then the only meaning there is is the meaning you give to your journey, a journey carried out with others, and for you it all ends with death; death, though, adds to the aggregate understanding others have of their own existence. Any good life, any coherent set of values seeks to delay the inevitable disorder that the second law dictates. As we age, or as we watch public policy inject disorder into our existence, we see the second law at play.

Consciousness of meaninglessness is why humans are aberrations of nature. The problem humans face is the consciousness of our consciousness. We are left with the never-ending question of what happens to that consciousness at the point of that sudden increase in entropy we know of as death.

http://theoahspe.org/en/origin-of-oahspe-with-hints-to-the-reader/

It's 30/40 years ago I bought the book OAHSPE

Partly because before initiation
I had practised some Pranayamas
which brought me in the underworld
worse tha Dante, worse than Brueghel, un-imaginable

What struck ed me was the origin
A dentist who like me often saw 'dead' people, . . next
was contacted by an (arch)angel , . . proposing to explain the
history of the local universe

He insisted to be vegetarian for 6 months first !

I asked a friend who was i Beas to ask about
the sense in our consciousness to be vegetarian

Charan said second region ( 2/7th heaven ) time space structure

So I took Oahspe serious and read the 1000 or so pages

Now : here is my point

You read about trillions of clusters containing zillions of Souls
in the astral world
all in hysteric lost psychic situation

Some favorite spots in between, exits for those who want

Read it

and try to think beyond the atoms and where we r coming from


777

It will diminish our pretensions
and we will wonder how in Heaven s Sake : What good luck brought us here

consciousness is somehow active? I don't know, but if so, I know that it acts to no avail.


Now it's my turn to say :
"Ask David Lane"

and 10M minus 13 or so devotees , because you don't know them !

777

@777,.....I also read OAHSPE , cover to cover, years ago. Strange Book. I went back to it a few times, but couldn’t believe much in it, so sold the Book. Then, I bought the Book URANTRA and read it, cover to cover. That Book was more believable to me, and had a big section on Jesus. But it has a present Group that is organized to Study and teach the Book, which has an Internet Site. They are more Cultish than Beasers. I tried to post some Bible thoughts once, but was quickly attacked by one of their Keepers of the Faith Group who hated Bible Quotes, as Brian and all Atheists do. I posted my response on my blog, which I will try to recover, and post here,...for entertainment only. It was quite a few years ago.

Jim

I posted this Rant on another Forum after being attacked for quoting a couple of Bible Verses.

Why does Bible talk make you so angry? You'd be eaten alive if you were a Preacher or Evangelist fishing for lost souls. Before you catch a fish, you first need to apply the right kind of bait that fish like. And there are as many fish looking for food out there as there are lost souls stuck in each of the cults or Sects. Now how in the world would you ever hook one of those hungry fish if you never had the least clue what each of those fish ate for dinner? If you don't know what each cult member believes, and refuse to examine their literature, or hear them out, you won't ever be in a position to win them to the Christ that you worship.
2nd Timothy 3:16 is recorded that Paul wrote that "All Scripture is inspired by God..." Now, considering this Epistle was written LONG before any of the four Gospels were written, who really knows what "Scriptures" Paul was referring to, if he even wrote 2nd Timothy? The word "Scriptures" translates into "Holy Writings" by most Greek Scholars. Now how do you, or anyone else know, just which Holy Writings Paul had read or had access to? Answer: You DON'T! Pure speculation. He could have had just about all of them written to date, including all of the ancient Holy Writings. This "Maze" was not directed at you personally, but the shoe must have sure fit well, because you jumped right into them!! :-} I wrote that to a Blog pit bull who was in a Chat room where I was having a nice conversation with a guy who claims to be the reincarnation of James, the brother of Jesus. His chief disciple started trashing me, and this was my response to him,a couple of years ago. But, in your case, how in the world would you EVER be able to have an intelligent conversation with any member of the cults I listed above, if you were trying to win them to Christ? Don't you understand that The Lord makes room for what ever Gifts his disciples are given? My ministry was not to stay locked into the Bible arguing until my last breath about tongues and trivial matters . When ever The Lord suddenly gives me an opportunity to communicate with ANY soul thirsting for Spirituality, I am ready, able, and willing, to communicate with them on what ever level they happen to be on, because I have "studied, to show myself approved,." Can you just imagine yourself sitting at the Hari Krishna Temple in Laguna Beach, and having a delicious vegetarian lunch with the Devotees there, in their restaurant, and carrying on a nice conversation about The Lord with any of them that visited your table, without your turning red in the face and chocking on your Tofu Burrito?
Didn't Paul say he tried to be all things to all people, and when he was with Jews, he was a Jew, but when with Christians, he was a Gentle?
Think about how you see every other creature you meet in life, even for a brief moment, as some lost soul, that The Lord has put in your Path, or has seen your fishing line, and now has come to taste your bait! Will you start speaking in tongues when they show up, or have a little conversation first, to try and find out what level they are on, and what they know to date? If so, then, you NEED to look at what you refuse to investigate,..... unless you'll be content to be in Heaven all alone! For me, I get lonesome. I'd like a little company, and I fully EXPECT to see many whom I have had something to do with their getting there before me.
Jim's Maze of Seeking God:
As a baby Christian, I was like a lamb being thrown to the wolves, when I first entered the Church arena, after becoming Born Again. In my mind’s eye I considered God the Father in the center of the Universe, with Jesus, the Christ, as the Intercessor between the Father and I. But, as I started to interact with other Christians, I started to add circles in my diagram branching out from the center, where the Father is located. In each of my circles, as I studied the different denominational dogmas, I circled Atonement; Righteousness; Eucharist, or Communion; Justification; Creator; Love; Grace; Faith; Mercy; Eternity; Immortality; Sin; Demons; Angels; Miracles; Church; Temple; Election; Predestination; Fate; Karma, Action or inaction; Reincarnation, Transmigration, Metempsychosis; Incarnation; and Resurrection, and last, but certainly not least, FORGIVENESS.

But, then, I started to venture off the beaten Fundamentalist track, and my search took me in many other directions included in the Maze of seeking God.

I studied Manly Palmer Hall’s writings, and attended many of his lectures, in person, when he was alive. He was the founder of Philosophical Research Society. I studied the writings of Douglas Baker, Barret, The Magus; Maurice Burke; Aurthur Edward Waite, Blavatsky’s Secret Doctrine and Isis Unveiled; Alice Baily, Many Theosophy writings; Lost Continents of Atlantis and Lemuria; I read the entire Tome of the book called Urantia; as well as Eliphas Levi, Lewis Spence; Aliester Crowly, Edgar Cayce, which could all fall under the banner of Occultism.

Then, I studied the UFO Sects, such as Shirley McLean; Schonfield; Erick Von Daniken; The Hollow Earth Theory; Zechariah Sitchen; Dr. Horn; and most of the main stream UFO Sects.

Then, I also investigated Shamanism, starting with Terrence McKenna, progressing out to Spiritualism, Channeling, and even read Anton LeVey’s Satanic Bible!

I checked out most of the Christian Cults, as well. Then of course, I subscribed to the Skeptical Enquirer, and gleaned the wit of Paul Kurtz and The Amazing Randy, while I was honing up on Col. Ingersol’s volumes of Atheist books. I fought my way through the maze of Roman Catholicism, wondering if I had made the correct move, when I ventured away from my Catholic roots, and ventured into Protestantism.

Then, I had to be tossed back and forth as a ping pong ball between the Charismatic Pentecostals and Traditional mainline Fundamentalist Protestants. Then I had to decide between Historicity vs. myth vs. Tradition of the Bible. And, now allegory enters into the mix!

Once I found that Christianity gleaned the writings of Eastern religious writings, I was drawn into the maze of Eastern religions, simultaneously, while I was working through the ten year program of the Twelve Rosicrucian (AMORC) Degrees. Then, I took the Three Martinist Degrees as icing on the cake of the Esoteric Christian Maze.

I had to wade through, or sort out Eastern religions, other then the main stream Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, or Islam, I had to read Ram Dass, Charles Tart; study the drug Altered states of consciousness, read Benjamin Crème’s works; Sri Aurobindo; Nitananda; Yogananda; Dr. Paul Brunton; Muktananda; Satia Sai Baba; The Six Systems of Indian Philosophy; Rama Khristna Vedanta; Khrishna Consciousness; Meher Baba and the Sufi Mystic literature; Tibetan Buddhism and the Dali Lama ( Once saw him in person); Taoism; Confucianism; Shintoism; Essenes; Jainism; Transcendental Meditation; Egyptology; Judaism and the Kabbala; all leading me to the Radhasoami Sect!

Then, after being initiated by Thakar Singh, then Charan Singh, I found myself into the Maze of historical bickering among the various Radhasoami Sects, each saying; My Master is the only Perfect Master, and all others are pseudo masters!”

Along the way, while in the Maze, I had owned and read more Gnostic works than many could even imagine, and I went DEEPLY into both the Mormon religion, as well as Jehovah’s Witnesses.

I own the entire Nicene Church Father’s Series, all 50 plus volumes that ---- quotes from to support his Bible quotes. I have studies the Mind Science religions, such as Religious Science, Unity, and own most of Ellen G. White’s works, including the 6 volume set of when she published editorials in the newspaper while she was alive.

And, my dear friend, the above is only what comes to my immediate mind, of what I remember. I have bought, read, and sold more books, in the past 30 years than the average Christian Church combined! ( Because most of them have not found the liberty to venture outside of their local Dogma.) Thank The Lord alone that my "Karma has run over my Dogma!!
THERE WAS MORE, BUT THIS WAS THE HIGH LIGHT.

Our outlook on life comes from within.
We try to objectify that Outlook and justify our attitude with our logical but not so logical thinking.

It is largely a waste of time.

Because the sky is beautiful or the universe is horrible is not an objective evaluation.

It is a mirror of our own subjective state.

We try to deny it "Oh no I'm being objective and rational."

But that is largely denial. Because we are at all times both, and neither. Our little brains are ill equipped to actually handle full throated rational conception. That has to be built like a house.

If our attitude determines our outlook and our judgment let's just own it.

The sky isn't beautiful. The universe isn't dreadful. Those are beliefs.

But those things are real inside of us.

We can choose where to place our attention.

We can choose what to believe.

If attitude is our only wealth, and attention our only power, and subjectivity part and parcel of what we are, let's own it.

Let's grow our wealth by raising our attitude, by finding the beautiful within ourselves, by choosing that, be believing in that, however our culture bound biochemical mind objectifies it.

Let's honor the mystery. Let's believe in bigger things we know nothing of, rather then try to reduce the role creation to our crayon drawing tiny brain.

If we see the universe as dark, let's own the darkness is in us, and instead find the light.

"“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead —his eyes are closed. The insight into the mystery of life, coupled though it be with fear, has also given rise to religion. To know what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms—this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness.”"
Albert Einstein, Living Philosophies

Hi Brian - personally, though I can understand your current intellectual & philosophical perspective (box?), as I have lived through it myself, I can't help but find it all a little bit heart-breaking. That due to a disillusionment with orthodox, organised religions like RSSB, you feel literally "dis-illusioned" with the mystery of existence and creation itself....and believe me, I suspect it is a far greater mystery than your apparent current perspective believes it to be!

I stand here with a challenge, to reacquaint you to some slight sense of mystery and awe at the magnificence of consciousness and creation. There are two possible routes to this, dependant on your preferences. But, they are CHALLENGES, not easy solutions.

1) To FORCE your consciousness into an "altered state of consciousness", which can shift one's perspective from a linear, causal, materialistic reductionist point of view to another perspective that leaves one in no doubt of the limitation of such views. As somebody who has apparently meditated for decades with no exceptional "altered states" encountered (at least you are honest, there are posters here who incoherently & ignorantly blow up the most minor & universal of human "altered" experiences into incontrovertible proof of the dualistic dogma of their elitist & specific religion!), there is one sure age-old route; entheogens. Terence McKenna once claimed that anybody who takes 5g dried "magic mushrooms" will no doubt no longer remain an atheist, or some such. I would amend this slightly to 7g dried (but best to work your way up, a lot of people, even people who think they are protected by "5 names", listen to "inner sound", regularly "go inside" etc, would have very difficult, challenging experiences with even 2g as it is a forced and rapid transcendence of the body & mind, and a genuine one. If regular RS meditators, as mentioned here & even by Faqir Chand, struggle to remain "conscious" in the dream state (as evidenced by the descriptions of these states as vague, confused, semi-conscious at best states), they will struggle far more to retain clarity and presence during the "peak" of a "heroic trip dose"). But that is the point, and the CHALLENGE - 5-7 grams will provide an experience that will remind you of the magic and mystery of the universe (even if you must go through the existential horror and suffering of shedding the ego forcefully, albeit only temporarily).

So, to sum up, which atheist or materialist reductionist will take 5-7 grams dried magic mushrooms, and see if their materialism and atheism stands the test?

I dare say, none.

2) A more sensible approach, for those with various fears and limits on what they're willing to do to encounter the "mystery" of existence, is the intellectual approach.

Brian - let me know if you ever want to read SCIENTIFIC books, and extremely sophisticated and intelligent philosophical books, which demonstrate the mysteries of consciousness and creation, and how reductionism doesn't explain anything.

From the mystery of consciousness to the "fine-tuning" of the universe to create and sustain life.....miraculous & awe-inspiring are not words strong enough to describe our predicament!

There is also plenty of literature on the scientific evidence for a whole host of "paranormal" phenomena, from "precognition" to the mystery of NDEs - which absolutely no materialistic model has ever come close to even remotely explaining, and even those scientists who are reductionists, atheists, sceptics etc, but have actually bothered to read the research agree (from chemical explanations to lack of oxygen etc, there is a whole host of other explanations that do not actually fit the clear SCIENTIFIC measurements and evidence etc).

Let me know if you want to challenge your current opinions by looking at alternative viewpoints, if you can begin to understand you are merely holding an intellectual set of beliefs and opinions which are not sufficient to explain reality and our existence.

I just finished reading a book called "Other Worlds" by Christopher White - it is a fantastic, a real gem of a book. I'm not sure if it's what you need to read, but you're an intelligent fellow, If you open your mind - it's not a "religious book" or one that makes metaphysical claims by any means - it's entertaining and informative even if you don't "get" what the book is getting at.....the author may not state it, but books like these can re-awaken, potentially, your sense of mystery.....if you understand what they're getting at.

Anyway, I wish you all the best, take care of yourself and don't pay attention to those who hurt & offend!

Manjit

Understanding the subjective nature of our own personal experience, by gentle mindfulness, we see how limited opinion really is, however convoluted our logic, and all our citations to the writings of others, with their biases. And it's natural therefore to accept, rather than reject, the different views of others. We accept the mystey is indeed mystery, and we accept our limited understanding is limited. Yet we honor our experience as part of ourselves. And there is peace in witnessing both realties, as, really, One.

And we wonder why anyone clings to the illusion of scientific objectivity when they insist theirs is the truth and others are therefore wrong. Why do assuredly discount others of different systems of belief, or insist you have fact, which is Truth. In the midst of a mystery that is unscientific.

Sounds like ego.

And we marvel at how much more dogmatic and opinionated people become, when the subject is beyond actual comprehension.

But we accept this also as the human condition.

Why aren't my posts appearing? :(

Oh well - I did send a response to the other thread to Arjuna, G.S. and Spence, but que sera!

G'nite :)

"Terence McKenna once claimed that anybody who takes 5g dried "magic mushrooms" will no doubt no longer remain an atheist, or some such. I would amend this slightly to 7g dried (but best to work your way up, "

Hallucination.

Spencer wrote: "Hallucination".

Yes, indeed. Don't like people judging RSSB, but fine to judge others, even if you are completely ignorant on every possible level of what you talk about.

It's simpler than that; everything you and every other RS/SB meditator has ever experienced is equally a "hallucination", and there is not a single piece of evidence or description of experience that, in any way, suggests anything other than.

You are of course welcome to prove otherwise.

Or remain with your intellectual gymnastics based on dogma, prejudice, lack of experience and ignorance.

PS - seeing as I can post in this thread, here's my second attempt at replying to Arjuna and others, as I lost the first!:

Oh dear, I wrote several responses but it hasn't been posted, I think I may have closed the window before it was sent! :(

Briefly then...

Hi Arjuna - I would take everything Gurinder says so seriously, he is known for "having a laugh", he was probably just teasing you for something you did on the pitch (perhaps he was simply mistaken!).

Hi G.S. - yes, I've posted over at Dave's (now James') Radhasoamistudies forum for 20 odd years now! How old are you? I used to do seva at Haynes Park every weekend and some holidays for several years, around 18-22 years ago (I'm 40 now). I was there when Gurinder played football with some kids....I could have joined in, as I often played there, but decided to carry on with my seva. Plenty of stories from those days :)

Hi Spencer, you wrote: "The mind creates illusions that is for sure.

No where is this more obvious than watching someone, caught up in their illusion of perfect truth, discounting everyone who believes differently than they do as wrong."

Yes, this describes Soamiji's Sar Bachan and RS theology perfectly, but how does it address any of the specific points I raised? It seems instead of realising that you fully & whole-heartedly follow & defend an organisation & theology that does precisely this, you are projecting onto little old me, a random, semi-anonymous person on a comments section of a blog with no organisation, belief, book or anything on any other level to "sell", this elitist mindset that is clearly and transparently laid out in RS theology? In other words, you seem somewhat confused?

Hi Jim & Joe - I think you're being somewhat unfair to David Lane re his association with RSSB and Gurinder, based on gossip and hearsay, and his visit to Beas or a few local satsangs. (though I agree he should make some sort of public information release!)

It is clear that, in context of his work for Oxford University Press and Proff. Juergensmeyer, and his recent postings, for example this brilliant, insightful essay on shabd yoga posted late last year:

http://www.integralworld.net/lane129.html

Or this posted to the RSS forum 4 days ago (I bought my copy from amazon uk yesterday!):

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/radhasoamistudies/conversations/messages/263443

That his visit to Beas or whatever doesn't necessarily mean his views have really "changed" from what he has stated in the past, and continues to state in his public output.

I read most of Terrence McKenna’s Books.,considering he had a Tumor in his brain, of which he sucummed to, it leaves me wondering if that Brain Tumor caused many of his inner visions and hallucinations, in addition to the Plants he injested and experimented with.

@Manjit, ......I never met Katherine, nor knew her, and I know all about the Multiple Personalities of who you named, Ramnam . He is Legion, as we all are, depending on the alignment of the Planets and the full Moon.

Which ever past personality surfaces, at any particular trigger, becomes the dominant Spokesman, using our bodies to communicate.

Ram the Nam hates Christians, so has shot many Bombs at me, when he, Michael Martin and I were at War with each other, and you were just a young reader. But none of them knew where to find God.

I know God rides a Harley. 😇

Jim

Manjit, your comments went in the Typepad spam section. I've published them. It's hard to figure out why some comments are considered spam, or junk, by the Typepad filter. i'll tell Typepad staff about the problem.

Well, several of my replies haven't come through....let's see if this one does!

Dear Spence - in this and the other thread, you once again ignore all the numerous, specific, referenced, quoted, arguments etc, and instead embark on some fantastical imaginary psychological projection and transference party all at my expense :)

You write in the other post, clearly directed at me "No where is this more obvious than watching someone, caught up in their illusion of perfect truth, discounting everyone who believes differently than they do as wrong.".

But you believe in a religion that does PRECISELY that.

You write here: "And we wonder why anyone clings to the illusion of scientific objectivity when they insist theirs is the truth and others are therefore wrong."

But you believe in a religion that does PRECISELY that, and calls it's properties "Science of the Soul" (despite being the only mainstream global religion that has conducted precisely ZERO science on it's meditators!).

Why are you projecting that inanity upon me (that which the very religious organisation you are an apologist for here claims about ITSELF) who has written recently- and no doubt has been read by many posters here?:

"There is no "science of the soul" - despite what modern "spiritual organisations" may claim, profoundly & unwittingly influenced as they are conceptually by the cultural climate they were born in - because science, object-ivity, linear time etc are dualistic, and precisely what shields us from the timeless, eternal truth of "Reality"."

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/radhasoamistudies/conversations/messages/263397

Can you not see how incoherent your responses - blatant examples of psychological transference and projection - are, and how they do not address a SINGLE issue I actually raise, and instead resort to the irrelevant ad hominem attack approach?

This may count as serious, honest intellectual debate, but it comes across as emotional fantasising if you ask me.....

Manjit

Thank you Brian! :)

Hi Jim, you wrote: "I read most of Terrence McKenna’s Books.,considering he had a Tumor in his brain, of which he sucummed to, it leaves me wondering if that Brain Tumor caused many of his inner visions and hallucinations, in addition to the Plants he injested and experimented with."

I think it unfair to portray all of McKenna's life and experiences in context of the brain tumour he died from. Really quite a low shot, if you ask me, but a blow lessened by the fact that McKenna is more intelligent, interesting, articulate even if he did have a brain tumor all his life, than most posters online put together! :)

It is clear you have no experience of this subject, or the experiences being discussed? :) Hypothetical discussions, speculations etc are all good. But ignorance is ignorance nonetheless.

You write: "He is Legion, as we all are, depending on the alignment of the Planets and the full Moon."

Hehehe, thanks for the genuine chuckle :)

"I know God rides a Harley. 😇"

That's one cool dude :)

"Spencer wrote: "Hallucination".

I replied: "Yes, indeed. Don't like people judging RSSB, but fine to judge others, even if you are completely ignorant on every possible level of what you talk about.
It's simpler than that; everything you and every other RS/SB meditator has ever experienced is equally a "hallucination", and there is not a single piece of evidence or description of experience that, in any way, suggests anything other than that.
You are of course welcome to prove otherwise.
Or remain with your intellectual gymnastics based on dogma, prejudice, lack of experience and ignorance."

It is interesting that, in my suggestion to Brian in order to re-ignite some sense of mystery with existence & creation, a challenge which I would bet my bottom dollar Spencer has never undertaken himself (ie. his opinion is mere ignorant & conceptual speculation based on dogma, Spencer replied with the rather tart "Hallucination" response.

No understanding - or apparent even concern - for what was being suggested, that this could reignite one's sense of awe & mystery with the universe. But rather an ignorant & dogmatic dismissal, based on elitist dogma.

Perhaps, just perhaps, another time I will discuss the ancient history and association of "entheogenic" use and spiritual and mystical practices throughout history, in more complete & thorough practices than RS, such as Tibetan Buddhism, which has several secret texts on the use of these substances as tools for spiritual exploration, or the mention of "soma", a clearly physical, entheogenic substance, described in the vedas etc etc, the christian mushroom cults, or the various and numerous actual SCIENTIFIC research on these chemicals, including as aids to cope with depression, terminal illness, addiction etc

We will just reduce it to "hallucination", and pretend that the effects of RS meditation are somehow more "real", and that despite Brian going through some difficult times - as we ALL will at some point of our lives, probably - and having spent decades with the, imo, rubbish and unsophisticated RSSB meditation method, with NO success whatsoever, that you can so readily dismiss a possible alternative, a CHALLENGE, as "hallucination" reveals a lot more about you than the complex history and uses of entheogenic medicinal plants for a lot, lot longer than shabd yoga has been about.

But let's look at tantra, shabd, mystical experiences and "entheogenic substances".

I will reference nothing below, but absolutely everything I write can be researched to whatever length they wish - if they find a single claim made below which is not supported by facts, please let me know:

The active psychedelic ingredient in magic mushrooms is psilocybin, which is almost identical to the substance DMT, except that psilocybin is orally active whereas for DMT (most popularly taken in Ayahuasca form) you need to take a "MAOI" inhibitor for the effects of DMT to work.

DMT is also an endogenous chemical (which it means it is produced NATURALLY within the human body), most likely generated in or in association with the pineal gland (interestingly associated with the "3rd eye"), and is one of the very few chemicals which can pass the brain-blood barrier, which suggests it has some evolutionary purpose.

Natural levels of DMT are apparently at the their most highest during REM sleep cycles - typically the period between 3am and 6am, otherwise known as the "amrit vela" in indian tantric traditions (and now, RS).

Having experienced myself - directly and without any doubt - a "chemical" or liquid of some sort drip down the back of my mouth (this is a very, very long and detailed story cut short) during my own, non-entheogenic "kundalini" experiences years ago, and feeling the absolute ecstasy and intoxication from it, I wonder if this is the "amrit" generally discussed and associated within tantric, kundalini & "kechari mudra" groups? (PS - the Prahlad Jani that vinny often mentions, the "sun-eater", also had a sticky substance drip down the back of this throat, and it is this he alleges he "lives on"!) Nonetheless, there is associations between endogenous chemicals, such as DMT, and tantric meditation practices like shabd yoga. It is very, very possible, that what is actually going on is a natural, slow method of generating a "DMT Release", one that generates mild, easy to cope with "trips"?

But, we don't know, because these "scientists of the soul" refuse to conduct any actual science on their biological state whilst they circumambulate sach khand :)

Either way, there is no more or less proof DMT or mushroom trips are any more or less "hallucination" than RS shabd meditation. Indeed, I actually under-state my hand, as there IS evidence that mushrooms DECREASE brain activity....

https://www.labnews.co.uk/news/mind-expanding-mushrooms-decrease-brain-activity-02-02-2012/

Which suggests, if we believe the brain as "receiver" theory rather than "generator" theory of consciousness, suggests the hyper-real and hyper-intense experiences during their use is more closer to reality than brain generated hallucination (these are stellar arguments for the mystery of consciousness & these altered states, but really bad for the elitism of your religious dogma, so swings and roundabouts hey :).

On the other hand, we have precisely ZERO scientific evidence shabd yoga does anything at all, even generate "hallucinations"?

Manjit

Hi Manjit

When you take hallucinogens, by definition, you get hallucination.

No?

Hi Spencer, you write: "Hi Manjit When you take hallucinogens, by definition, you get hallucination. No? "

Oh dear, this is such a staggeringly superficial, one-dimensional, semantic pedantry approach to take, it kind of beggars belief! It's a shame it's predictable.

Let's re-word your little intellectual, semantic quip, shall we? ;)

"When you take entheogens, by definition, you get to be "full of god". No?"

Definition of entheogen:

"The neologism entheogen was coined in 1979 by a group of ethnobotanists and scholars of mythology (Carl A. P. Ruck, Jeremy Bigwood, Danny Staples, Richard Evans Schultes, Jonathan Ott and R. Gordon Wasson). The term is derived from two words of Ancient Greek, ἔνθεος (éntheos) and γενέσθαι (genésthai). The adjective entheos translates to English as "full of the god, inspired, possessed", and is the root of the English word "enthusiasm." The Greeks used it as a term of praise for poets and other artists. Genesthai means "to come into being." Thus, an entheogen is a drug that causes one to become inspired or to experience feelings of inspiration, often in a religious or "spiritual" manner.[3]"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entheogen

Does that answer your semantic question sufficiently, or did you have a more deeper, more "real" point to make?

Now if you don't mind, I shall try and get some sleep.....those astral and causal realms won't traverse themselves! Or will they? :-/

I don't understand atheists. What gives them hope in desperate situations? How can anyone live without hope? I imagine living in pain and hopelessness and I still think that I would find something to help me survive.

What helps me now is the feeling that this so called reality is not real. Its illusionary and everything eventually comes to an end, our lives, the world, everything. So, for me its a game and I will play it well, to the best of my ability, because one day maybe when I die I will wake up and think, wow that was the scariest game of unknowing but here I am still alive in another form so it was worthwhile. Can't live without hope for something better.

Spencer - you are such a fascinating fellow, the contortions you wrap yourself into....I am inclined to engage further with you :)

You write the use of entheogens - basically another physical, material approach to manipulating the biological organism, much like shabd and other tantra yogas - is "hallucination".

Okay.

But do we not also have more solid, definitive evidence that RS/SB meditation also generates "hallucinations" (by the way, the "hallucinations" are often absent from mushroom, DMT & 5MEO-DMT experiences.....yes, even "hallucinogenic substances" can produce more formless experiences than RS meditation!! But never mind, you pidgeon-hole them based on nothing but your ignorance :), for instance in any of the examples of people I mentioned earlier in the RSSB thread, any of the numerous so called "Satgurus" who claimed sole successorship and denied that of competitors, all based on their advanced "inner experiences" tested by the 5 names? Isn't this proof positive of "hallucination", of one person or the other, using these methods and practices, of egotistical delusion? Or was Kirpal, the highly advanced and respected disciple of Sawan, mistaken when he said Jagat was a pretender, and that his "inner vision" told him so?

Can you explain the precise nature of the difference of the hallucination between these examples and your dismissively labelled - a label used by materialistically inclined people who are ignorant of the actual experience - "hallucinogen" based "hallucinations", even though you've never, absolutely never, taken 7g dried mushrooms in a darkened room by yourself without moving for 6 hours (I am NOT recommending something I haven't or wouldn't do without a second thought, myself), or taken DMT or Ayahuasca (or heard the sound, ringing tone, on these "hallucinogens" which takes you from one "dimension" to another, as experienced by countless people including myself on DMT & shrooms, and written about by Terence McKenna in one of his first books (Food of the Gods or aptly titled True Hallucinations?). He devotes an entire section to his experience with the "sound".....just more connections to shabd yoga, btw).

So, I am curious, just who is experiencing "hallucinations", and what exactly is the nature of these hallucinations and the consciousness that experiences them. What proof or distinguishing feature is there of "hallucination" and "reality"?

Does somebody claiming that a 5 word test proves if a "inner vision" is "real" or a delusional projection of "kal" having two disciples each claiming to be the exclusive successor to this person based on this "5 word test" of their "inner vision", count as a "hallucination" on the part of one of these claimaint "Satgurus"? Because that has happened NUMEROUS times, and continues to happen? Jim posted up quotes from somebody who believes they see Charan's radiant form smoking a cigar, 777 believes he's here to "save Jim's soul", Ishwar Puri claims to hear Sawan whispering into his ear during initiation selection, even though RSSB ejected him from being an RSSB speaker due to inappropriate behaviour.

Where does hallucination begin and where does it begin, Spencer?

Perhaps you can help these fellow initiates of yours?

As for hallucinations on "hallucinogen"....it can be just a simple awe, astonishment at the mystery of existence and consciousness. No need for elaborate, elitist dogmas and cosmologies, absurd tales of perfected godmen and magical 5 word tests.

Simply AWE and astonishment.

Which, to be fair, in my experience, even a half decent meditation practice, more holistic than the simplistic methods of RS, should be able to generate. But there is more than one path up the mountain, and it is ignorant and judgemental to make absolute proclamations about such things with no basis other than dogma which one has read about in a very limited, religious set of books.


Or was Kirpal, the highly advanced and respected disciple of Sawan, mistaken when he said Jagat was a pretender, and that his "inner vision" told him so?

Is there any written confirmation of Kirpal's remark?

@ Manjit,....regarding the late Michael Martin, who is no longer here to defend him self. Just to set the Record straight, Michael did not set him self up as the “ Western Sat Guru. “ He was posting on the now defuct group, Yahoo Exsatsangis, and was preaching his usual , i.e. promoting Sant Mat, favoring RSSB and Charan Singh. Then, with out warning, the Group Administrator, “ Temp”, as I recall, set up a new Yahoo Group, and named it,” Western Sat Guru” , and listed Michael Martin as the Administrator and sole Moderator, then cut and posted all of Martin’s recent posts on Exsat to the new Western Satguru site, and deleted Martin from the Exsat site, after telling all that he had set Michael up on his new Western Sat Guru site, and if any one wanted to continue debating Michael, to go to his new site and do it there. From then on, Michael took on his ASSIGNED Title of Western Sat Guru, and seemed to like it, or at least, played the Role. To my knowledge, ( We PMed for years), he never initiated any one or claimed as his Desciple , other than a Female Named Irene, who was a member of his Light From Sound Oasis Group and who posted there. She is a High Profile person of a Group, of German Nationalists. She has a Face Book site. I had a parting of the ways with Michael about 5 years before he died, because of a disagreement on Moderating the Light from Sound Oasis posters he disagreed with, and I didn’t. But all in all, I believe Michael Martin got a real bad Review, and was the example of what a Fundamentalist RSSB Satsangi was suppossed to be. I challenge any Martin haters to find a single curse word, or the use of foul laguage he ever used in his millions of posts on the Internet over the years. He was obviously, opinionated, in favor of Charan Singh and RSSB, but in my opinion, he was always concerned with giving advice to those he thought were creating negative Karma for them selves, including Lane, when Lane was criticizing Charan, Gurinder, and RSSB, which Lane did not like, especially when Michael once joked that if Lane didn’t repent, he might reincarnate as a Gorilla. I’ll bet Lane still dreams of Gorillas every since. HaHa

Jim

Hi Manjit
Hallucination or not hallucination?
How do you define and distinguish the two?
Are there areas of overlap?

Your thoughts?

Hi Dungeness, you ask: "Or was Kirpal, the highly advanced and respected disciple of Sawan, mistaken when he said Jagat was a pretender, and that his "inner vision" told him so?

Is there any written confirmation of Kirpal's remark?"

Oh my, you really should familiarise yourself with Kirpal's numerous criticisms, direct and implied, about Jagat & Charan, and about who or what a real "satguru" was, and how to be wary of "mayaic insects" (in reference to Sawan's family who essentially faked Jagat & Charan's succession)! These comments are so numerous & well known that it would take too long to summarise! (indeed, so critical were some of Kirpal's comments, I believe Charan took him to court for slander or libel or something, and Kirpal was forced to apologise!)

Hi Jim - you write: "regarding the late Michael Martin, who is no longer here to defend him self. Just to set the Record straight, Michael did not set him self up as the “ Western Sat Guru."

I'm sorry, but I feel this is another narrative you have either mis-remembered or twisted. I read hundreds of Michael's comments clearly implying he was chosen by Charan on the "inside" to initiate people in the west, that he was working with Charan and Gurinder, which is why somebody wrote to RSSB asking for clarification - which they got, saying of course he isn't a chosen successor of Charan for the west, or some such. It is absolutely no surprise he only ever initiated one gullible person despite almost begging for disciples for years & years - he was so incredibly poor at acting the satguru (we won't even discuss the clear pathologies), it is staggering even one person requested initiation from him!

I think your clear misrepresentation or misunderstanding of Michael is best summed up in this comment of yours: "he was always concerned with giving advice to those he thought were creating negative Karma for them selves, including Lane, when Lane was criticizing Charan, Gurinder, and RSSB, which Lane did not like, especially when Michael once joked that if Lane didn’t repent, he might reincarnate as a Gorilla."

Well, as EVERYBODY knows on the RSS forum, Michael wasn't joking - he very rarely, if EVER, made any attempts at humour or joking - and this was actually a clear threat. Much like saying the NASA shuttle disaster was a warning to online posters who criticised him. The "gorilla" threat.....and wasn't it also a pumpkin, too, that Dave would be reborn as, or was that one of the satirical additions? - is a legendary joke on the RSS forum. Regarding Michael not being here to "defend himself", I hope you can remember after he passed away and several posters continued to mock & laugh at the things Michael used to say (albeit in a gentle, kind-hearted nostalgic way), that I was the ONLY person I recall who requested we just let him and his memory be (especially seeing as his wife may read the comments), in peace? I am NOT laughing at him, but pointing out the important issue of "inner delusions" in meditation practice, and specifically within RSSB.

Hi Spencer - you write: "Hallucination or not hallucination?
How do you define and distinguish the two?
Are there areas of overlap?"

For me, I prefer the Kashmiri Shavism conceptualisation of reality, if we must insist on concepts.

All "reality" is shakti (shabd). The forms it takes are irrelevant.

On a more scientific level, I think it greatly benefits us to be able to distinguish the kind of "brain hallucinations" described by Oliver Sacks in his numerous books, the more recent of which "Hallucinations" being almost essential for those with an interest in understanding the kind of visionary experiences one can have due to a malfunctioning brain.

These, of course, are different sorts of "hallucinations" to what we experience every day and every moment.

And then there are another type of "hallucination", those we would classify as "spiritual" or "transcendent" experiences - such as those which can be had via meditation (the manipulation of the body mind; sit still, don't move, concentrate on the pineal gland area, repeat a mantra, block the ears, listen to the sound in time-space "generated" by or received through your brain etc) or certain "entheogenic substances". These types of hallucinations can loosen the grip of the small-ego, and reacquaint ourselves with awe and wonder, and the "closer-than-our-breath" mystery of consciousness.

That entheogens and tantric meditation are intimately connected is proven via two bodies of evidence; the long list of tantric & vedic texts that describe the use of these substances, despite having meditation technologies of exceptional depth & variety, as well as the ancient history, worldwide, of association between their usage by shamans for eg., and mystical understandings. The other body of evidence is the experiential reports themselves, which are generally far more deep, intense, visionary etc than the vast majority of people who meditate using the RSSB method, for example. This is just simple fact. That Soamiji's deepest experience of "Anami" sounds no more impressive or Awe-some than a IV DMT trip speaks volumes, imo.

Hi Jen! - you wrote: "What helps me now is the feeling that this so called reality is not real. Its illusionary and everything eventually comes to an end, our lives, the world, everything. So, for me its a game and I will play it well, to the best of my ability, because one day maybe when I die I will wake up and think, wow that was the scariest game of unknowing but here I am still alive in another form so it was worthwhile. "

How's the simran going? :)

As I happen to be discussing psilocybin mushrooms, your comment, and previous comments you and Tim made about "aliens", reminded me of my last experience with psilocybin....

But first, a quote from the dying words of the well known atheist and sceptic, Roger Ebert. This is what his wife recollected:

"On April 4, he was strong enough again for me to take him back home......
......
The one thing people might be surprised about — Roger said that he didn’t know if he could believe in God. He had his doubts. But toward the end, something really interesting happened. That week before Roger passed away, I would see him and he would talk about having visited this other place. I thought he was hallucinating. I thought they were giving him too much medication. But the day before he passed away, he wrote me a note: “This is all an elaborate hoax.” I asked him, “What’s a hoax?” And he was talking about this world, this place. He said it was all an illusion. I thought he was just confused. But he was not confused. He wasn’t visiting heaven, not the way we think of heaven. He described it as a vastness that you can’t even imagine. It was a place where the past, present, and future were happening all at once."
https://www.esquire.com/entertainment/tv/news/a26606/roger-ebert-final-moments/

Indeed!

Anyway, back to this experience - over the past the 18 odd years since my own "awakening" experiences, I have tried DMT, mushrooms & salvia on around a total of say 10 occassions, as a way to both "test" my current state (For eg., RS meditators, as evidenced both here and for eg. in the writings of Faqir Chand, clearly state they lose awareness and clarity during the dream state. If that is so, how will they retain clarity and presence during the dying state? If the shabd cannot save them from forgetfulness and oblivion during mere sleep, what chance heroic doses of entheogens or during death? See Faqir Chand and read the Tibetan Bardo Thodol for more on this as they understood the issue I hint at). I also have takne these substances as my own "scientific investigation" into how these chemicals may be related to non-entheogenic "altered state" experiences, kundalini awakening etc, as there is extremely little to none information or people out there who are experienced in both - so I had to find out for myself. Anyway, I basically came to the conclusion that psychedelics can transport you to other "realms" and "dimensions" in the mind, but didn't have any potential for "spiritual" use. I wrote all this up at the RSS forum before and after my experiments with DMT, for example. BUT, mid to late last year, I took one heroic dose (8g dried) of pro grown mexican cubensis.......and I have to say I was convinced that at high enough doses, there is POTENTIAL for these to be used as genuine "spiritual" tools if used wisely and selectively. But, I should have known this - the history is vast & wide in support of this idea, it really is, even if a lot of it has been covered up due to current, materialistic, influences. It was pure prejudice and ego that prevented me from realising it. This is a genuine democratisation of "mystical experience", available for all, no 4 decades of wasted meditation needed, and guaranteed! (is any sceptic, atheist, materialist, or confident RS initiate willing to take the challenge and prove me wrong? Or shall we remain speculating, conjecturing based on prejudice and dogma?).

Anyway, I digress.....the point is, at one point during the peak of this rather beautiful and ecstatic trip, there was a point at which I became aware this entire "physical earth planet" was actually a "game" that we had willingly entered....that we all are, in fact, "aliens", on another dimension, who were playing this game by putting on the "masks" that are our physical body-minds!

It was a very clear, unmistakable "realisation".

Now, people associated with un-imaginative, literal, linear, naive & simplistic conceptions of being, time, space, soul & "spiritual experiences", such as those who believe in RS theology, they will be unable to interpret this experience as anything other than literally "true", and hence, based on their "rational" perspective and knowledge, think this experience is a ridiculous and patently "untrue" "hallucination".

What they do not understand is the experience itself - at all - and the delight, awe, astonishment, exhilaration etc this kind of experience can cause in the human mind! It is not about the content of the experience, but implications and feelings of awe, unknowingness and mystery about the nature of existence and universe it can awaken....but such subtlety is lost on people who interpret their inner visions - illusions - as literally true representatives of "reality", rather than playful creations of the potentially infinite mind.

Anyway, perhaps my experience's form was influenced by my awareness of the talks of people like Tom Campbell, Anthony Peake and Terence McKenna (all of whom, Jen, I reckon you would enjoy listening to the talks of, online, they're all very fascinating - McKenna is one of the most engrossing speakers ever!), who talk of the "game" of life, and how mushrooms are like some sort of trans-dimensional portal to our true alien origins, or some such :)

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFKoVqPjt70

Your essay and the communication that prompted it helped to clarify what I know and thus understand. Thank you for sharing it. I also )read through all of the posts that followed (or attempted to). I understand why you modify 'atheist' with 'nihilistic.'

We are all lifelong students.

Now as to your comments about your own experiences, who can question that? I believe in those reports, just as I believe in my own.

But as the recipient of those experiences I'm not in a position to state they are spiritual, only that they are reliable and constituent with those RSSB Saints have documented. And that is because I experienced them on a few occasions years before I came to the path.

That is my own independent verification.

Does that mean God exists or Spirit exists? That is still belief. And that is my interpretation of my experience, not a conclusion.

But if I experienced these things, and others have written about them, they are very likely real. But they might just be real parts of the human mind. Subjective symbolic things we witness might be real parts of the body. Just as some times, when experiencing a sharp pain we also see a flash of light. These are physiological, and real.

If there is peace and joy within us, built in, and this can help everyone cope better, then we should go there within ourselves, even at the cost of answering the ultimate questions. Because the human brain may be unable to digest those answers anyway.

When I was pulled up as a small child it was intensely painful. Intense light. Intense sound. So when Maharaji says the cloth should be taken off gently I get it. Been there.

And now I have a method to learn to do that.

And did that and other things I'm eternally grateful to my Master. But I have no expectations of anything else.

When someone calls Master perfect I know that is simply being in love. And in that context is touching and truthful.

We should all find that love in good teachers. All they need to be are goof human beings who can empart their teachings, nothing more. If we see more, that is for our consumption, for us to digest in silent happiness.

I do thoroughly enjoy the discussions and different viewpoints here on this blog. Thanks very much to all the contributors and especially Brian for giving us this space :)

Manjit, very grateful for your comments. Firstly, about my wanting to do Simran again, that didn't last long, doesn't work for me. I prefer the Zen-like unknowing / emptiness practice.

I've never taken mind altering drugs probably because I realise that my mind is probably too 'out there' anyway and I need to be practical in my everyday life.

I liked what you said about one of your experiences: "... the point is, at one point during the peak of this rather beautiful and ecstatic trip, there was a point at which I became aware this entire "physical earth planet" was actually a "game" that we had willingly entered....that we all are, in fact, "aliens", on another dimension, who were playing this game by putting on the "masks" that are our physical body-minds!
It was a very clear, unmistakable "realisation"."

I have listened to and watched many youtubes by Tom Campbell. His theories have probably influenced me a lot. Such as, we are Avatars here in this Virtual Reality and our true being (the observer) is projecting from Consciousness.

Dear Jen,

We need to be really careful and always ask ourselves,
if we are wasting our time ?
in this precious and short life time.

Watching youtube is not going to lead us anywhere.

My best wishes for you,
to receive the wisdom and clarity of your path sooner than later,
before wasting another decade.

Possibly we are way too optimistic,
to the level of being getting fooled, over and over again,
We might not even have enough contingency.

Yes Jen - what a smorgasbord of views and opinions over these last few posts. Who is G.S.?
I can’t keep up!

In regard to this post, I’ll side with Manjit and say I still believe there is something though it’s hard to put your finger on it…
I found the person’s comments/take on things quite challenging. In regard to suffering and what Brian’s emailer wrote, wasn’t that the nature of the Buddha’s realisation? - All is Dukkha, yet ‘one’ is able to remove/get past it? On a lighter note (no disrespect to the emailer) I’m reminded of the famous poster of religions of the world starting with the Taoist take - ‘Shit Happens’ - down the list, the Buddhist interpretation goes: ‘Shit Happens - but is it really shit?’

In regard to trying to sort this stuff out I’m with Spencer in that we have to do our own research and ultimately find out for ourselves particularly from within. Yet some really good stuff is discussed in this forum that is useful in my view

To Manjit - no I do not know Tara. However, male or female, I thought they wrote clearly and logically most of the time on as Brian says the ‘what’ of the situation before them. Even if a small percentage of this is true, RSSB followers would (even though most do not) at the very least have to ask questions for clarification. Unfortunately it seems this is becoming even harder to do - again raising a flag.

The talk about soma is interesting. I few years back I was looking at a youtube clip of a group of ‘scientific meditators’ at a workshop in New Delhi. One presenter was making a strong case that some religions owe much of their mystical insights/visions to early practitioners utilising local psychedelic herbs. So if shamans and early ‘mystics’ were right into their shrooms/cactus/vines etc then wouldn’t some of all this (i.e. their experience) be left in our communal DNA?

In regard to ancient history - this is a whole area that seems to be opening up. As a truth seeker, I’m interested in all this stuff concerning former hi-tech civilisations in India, Egypt, South America - e.g. perfect drill holes in granite at Egyptian temples- impossible for bronze age tools. Aliens? Maybe. How can the mainstream just ignore it?

Manjit also made reference to Kashmir Shivaism and Shakti. While I have not looked at the former much, when I did try to read some of the literature I recall these writings saying that the teachings culminated in the ‘path’ having to be dropped for the final realisation to occur (this was grace from the (inner?) Master). Made sense to me. And further pertaining to Shakti - I believe one really has to get Shiva in there too (excuse the pun!) It is my view that the symbol/statues of the shiva lingam (very ancient and not just in India) have a deeper meaning concerning that point between ‘being’ and ‘non-being’. I also believe this could be another interpretation of the Christian Cross - the intersection of the vertical/horizontal. Cool representations that point much less to the nature of mind as to the ‘soul’. Yet, it seems hard enough to get a handle on what ‘being’ is, let alone ask the question ‘What the f..k are we when we are ‘not being’?’. Maybe our situation is not unlike that of the famous lost tribe of midgets living in the long grass who when asked what they called themselves answered “We’re thafukawee”! :)


Hi Tim,

Someone mentioned that G.S. is Gurinder Singh heh

Existence does suck but then sometimes I think we do get a bit too serious about the meaning of life and the whole shebang. Had a chuckle at being or 'not being'? also 'the famous lost tribe of midgets' lol

Take heart. It is all beyond our feeble ruminations. And vastly grander. I don't know much. OK, I know almost nothing, but I have had a glimpse. Despite seeming randomness, futility and chaos due to our limited perspective, everything fits.. the pain, the sorrow, the good, the bad, the ugly. life, death, animals, minerals, galaxies, atoms, pollution, harmony, plague, health, joy, technology, savagery, nature, love, torture and ecstasy. It is all moving together to and from an infinite point of magnificent radiance which breathes it out and breathes it in and it is beneficent. No worries. Be at peace.

tuscon

A beneficent infinite point of living magnificent radiance. Cool. Always great to read your comments. Go well.

Hi Tucson & Tim - great posts! Thanks for sharing both :)

Cheers, Manjit....

Tucson said: " I have had a glimpse. Despite seeming randomness, futility and chaos due to our limited perspective, everything fits.. It is all moving together to and from an infinite point of magnificent radiance which breathes it out and breathes it in and it is beneficent. No worries."

This psychological coping mechanism has performed its function for you. This mechanism can only be effectuated when its reality is unquestioned. This part and parcel of the mechanism itself.

Nonetheless, mystical experience is a constructive psychological fiction.

Spencer Tepper said: "We can choose what to believe."

This is the commonplace understanding yet entirely specious upon examination. In regards to a worldview, we believe what accords with our understanding and our experience. One's orientation is comprised of and affected by one's ability to reason, one's education, upbringing, and general life experience.

To assert that one simply chooses what to believe makes belief entirely arbitrary, ungrounded in any antecedent factors. The mere choice to believe in Thor will confer a genuine belief in the existence of the Nordic God of thunder? It's just a choice?

Our worldview is formed for us. We believe what conforms to our knowledge and experience. The contention that belief is simply chosen would entail that one could choose to believe in a worldview that makes less sense to them as compared to alternative worldviews. This is to say, one could choose to believe in a worldview that they feel to be less true than others. This is obviously absurd. Whether or not something makes coherent sense to me is not something I choose, it is something I can only acknowledge.

Manjit said: "which atheist or materialist reductionist will take 5-7 grams dried magic mushrooms, and see if their materialism and atheism stands the test?

It is inaccurate to assert that one's materialism/atheism cannot be maintained after profound psychedelic experiences. Some prominent names off the top of my head that disprove this theory are Susan Blackmore, Sam Harris, Oliver Sacks, et al.

I know of many people that have had "ego killing" trips and it has not changed their understanding as to the material foundation of consciousness, the nonexistence of God, the delusion of "life after death", etc.

Hi "JB", you write to Tucson: "This psychological coping mechanism has performed its function for you. This mechanism can only be effectuated when its reality is unquestioned. This part and parcel of the mechanism itself. Nonetheless, mystical experience is a constructive psychological fiction."

Hmmm. Why is it this comment itself comes across as a "constructive psychological fiction" and "coping mechanism" of someone who has no real depth or continuity of experience or understanding of the "mystical experience" itself?

It is seemingly a nice, neat intellectual model framed within pseudo-scientific & unexamined psychological terminology....yet upon closer examination explains absolutely nothing at all about the mystery of consciousness or creation; even worse, it explains absolutely nothing even on a psychological level! Read "Irreducible Mind" to get some slight handle on why these intellectual conjectures are mere conceptual fantasising, only dreary, mundane & tedious fantasies. We are all delusional; some look up to the stars in their fantasies, some at the earth, missing all the heavenly glory :)

JB writes: "It is inaccurate to assert that one's materialism/atheism cannot be maintained after profound psychedelic experiences. Some prominent names off the top of my head that disprove this theory are Susan Blackmore, Sam Harris, Oliver Sacks, et al."

It is also inaccurate to imply that I said any old "profound psychedelic experience" will do. I understand, all subtlety of communication on blogs like these is lost, so let me try again. I have taken all sorts of psychedelics, including huge doses of "ego-dissolving" LSD, when I was a young teenager and multiple times. I have also taken all sorts of other "ego-dissolving" entheogens such as DMT, where I broke through into an entirely alien, time-space warped dimension with entities. I have taken huge doses of mushrooms and had immensely pleasurable visionary trips. It is with this experience that I make a specific and precise CHALLENGE - not some hypothetical intellectual exercise as you have made it, living vicariously through the words & experiences of others - 7g dried mushrooms in a dark room, eyes closed & minimal movement. Come back and talk after you've done that, and we can then discuss more honestly, REALLY.... hypothetical discussions are boring. Perhaps my challenge will fail, who knows?

As for Oliver Sacks, he only ever took LSD & amphetamines. No, sorry, not my challenge. Again, I have had mind-blowing utter "ego-dissolving" (no vision, no time, forgot my name, my existence, where or who I was etc) on LSD, but I NEVER considered it a "spiritual tool" of any value, myself.

Sam Harris - has he taken, precisely, 7g+ of dried mushrooms in a dark room, by himself? If he has (which I doubt), what were his views in the immediate aftermath? Did he note them down somewhere? Remember, my challenge is to reacquaint you with a sense of awe, mystery, enchantment with the universe......something the deadening, soul-destroying ideology of materialist reductionism & atheism robs from us, and leaves us in annihilistic depression (hidden or not). I do not believe this sense of awe-some-ness & exhiliration with the mystery of consciousness & existence is "permanent" from the use of entheogens.....indeed I am quite certain it is not, they merely give you a "taste", AT BEST. The "spiritual path" & progression involves far more factors than the mere ingestion of plants or fungi.

Ahh, Susan Blackmore! I've been following her and her work for what must be 30 odd years now (she used to appear on TV docs in the UK all the time!). Ah, she who off one, minor & utterly unremarkable "OBE" has made an entire career as an authority on these experiences and a sceptical, materialist view of them! Quite frankly, who knows what she believes, I'm not sure she does herself!? Or, more accurately, how her beliefs and practices accord with here career? The Zen buddhist who likes to get high on LSD & mushrooms! But, 7g dried in a dark room, by herself?

Her experience with "OBE" and "psychedelics" remind me of an acquaintance I made in Mumbai, India. He smoked half a joint of good quality Indian hash (I smoked the other half, nothing unusual with it :), and he was "gone"! Apparently he was having OBEs all over the planet, flying here, flying there, seeing this vision and that vision. When he somewhat recovered, several hours later (at the deep consternation of his friends!), he became coherent enough to speak. He was a journalist, and he kept telling me how remarkable this "hash" substance was, how he must write an article to tell people how astonishing were the journeys one has etc etc. The excitement and exhilaration in his eyes was palpable.

And so it is with this subject, "your mileage may vary", one person cannot believe the experience of having half a joint, another 100mg of LSD, another 4g of mushrooms.....each and every one thinks they've had "ego-dissolving" moments (or at least claims to :) etc etc.

It's simpler than that. Conjecture, hypothesize, claim to understand already through the alleged experience of others etc, or take the challenge, if you dare, then come back and discuss it.

The rest is intellectual & conceptual masturbation.

It may not turn you into a "mystic", or completely shatter your materialist and atheist world view.

But it will at the very least cause you to question them, even if for only a moment or a few weeks :)

Cheers!

Tim Rimmer said: "Wasn't that the nature of the Buddha’s realisation? - All is Dukkha, yet ‘one’ is able to remove/get past it?"

That one is able to remove/get past suffering is unadulterated mythology. The hero, the savior, the enlightened person- these are all variations on a theme. This is the mythical theme that has encapsulated humankind's greatest hope. It is a dead giveaway that the "enlightened masters" are all from the ancient past. Those that claim to be enlightened today are invariably discovered to have the same neuroses and foibles as the average person, sometimes far worse. Instead of realizing that enlightenment is the stuff of legend, we radically redefine enlightenment to accomodate them.

There are no enlightened beings and never were.


JB Writes: "There are no enlightened beings and never were."

So, are you here REALLY stating that YOU have never had any experiences of "enlightenment" or, say a "kundalini awakening" or "absorption in the sound-current" or inner "communion" with "love" or "light", or "astral projection" etc etc?

Because if that's what you're REALLY saying, I find it extremely difficult to understand how there can be any insight in your comment? Is it a bit, perhaps, like the scientists who denied "lucid dreaming" was even a "psychological" possibility because they themselves not only had never had the experience, but couldn't believe in the testimony of countless others, and even worse couldn't even IMAGINE (so deadened had their imaginations become by materialism & reductionism :) such a thing was possible?

Or, are you, more interesting, saying you HAVE had a "non-dual enlightenment" experience, or a "kundalini awakening", and encountered mind-blowing WORLDLY synchronistic confirmations whilst you're having those experiences, entered "jhana" or had fantastic otherworldy journeys through multiple realities whilst listening to the inner sound - and YET, despite that, you make these dismissive claims still?

Because if THAT'S the case, I am certainly interested in what you have to say......it is not the mere petulant dismissal of the child who thinks you can't see them because they hold a hand up to their own eyes......but rather experienced insight & opinion! "There are no enlightened beings" being discussed by someone who is ignorant of the experience of "enlightenment" (as attested to by thousands if not millions of people throughout history) is worthless conjecture, not understanding the experience itself, how can you comment on the misapprehensions of the conceptual, semantic & intellectual representation of it?

So, which are you?

:)

It is one thing to be a depressed nihilist.

It is quite another to have the staggering arrogance to feel they must educate the rest of humanity to share the same sense of miserable nihilism as them.

As Spencer reminded me, we are all "peddling" something here.

It takes a wise person to examine the goods which are being peddled, to see how much they have improved the lives of others by their usage, before buying.

Peace and cheerio! :)

The best argument against there being such a thing as "enlightenment" is that it is entirely possible and valid to have arguments about whether there's such a thing as enlightenment.

There aren't arguments about whether there are rich people, artistic people, musical people, mathematically-gifted people, lazy people, productive people, or a myriad of other kinds of people.

But there are indeed arguments about whether there are enlightened people. Why?

Because there is no way to tell whether someone is enlightened. This is an intellectual concept made up by certain religions and spiritual paths to justify their specialness. They've made up a word, "enlightenment," then claimed that if devotees do such and such, they can become enlightened.

Whatever that is.

Here's a challenge to anyone who believes that enlightenment is real. Describe how it is possible to distinguish an enlightened person from an unenlightened person.

Imagine the spiritual equivalent of a police lineup. You're presented with a dozen, or a hundred, or a thousand, or seven billion, people. Your job is to point out the "enlightened" people.

How would you do this? What questions would you ask them? What answers would you find persuasive, and why? What behaviors or actions they perform would you want to observe? Which of these behaviors or actions would show they're enlightened, and why?

My strong suspicion is that believers in the reality of enlightenment would say that this is an ineffable personal experience, or state of being, that can't be described or observed.

OK. Fair enough.

This sounds like the dreams that I have every night. Or the feelings I have throughout the day. This would make "enlightenment" one of a myriad of personal experiences that only have reality within the mind of the experiencer.

But this means that enlightenment isn't anything special. In fact, it may not even exist as a genuine subjective reality, since it could refer only to a normal state of being that certain religions or spiritual path have elevated to a special experience.

For example, some Buddhists view enlightenment as being totally immersed and accepting of the present moment. I, and everyone else, am capable of doing this. Not always, but often. So this makes me "enlightened" at times, along with everybody else in the world.

The fact that there's no agreement about what enlightenment means is strong evidence that it doesn't really exist except as a religious/spiritual concept.

Yes, religion/spirituality depends on (and exploits) their own vagueness, ambiguity, and unfalsifiability.

Hi Brian, great post.

However, it is clear you are speculating & arguing from the distinctly disadvantageous position of somebody who has not had the "experience" - had by countless people throughout history, affiliated with a metaphysical belief system or not, with spontaneous cases being amongst the most interesting - and are therefore merely conceptually arguing against your own limited conceptual & semantic understanding of the term "enlightenment". It is especially disadvantageous because every single person who has "experienced" it has said it is beyond concepts entirely. I.e., this is mere intellectual shadow boxing. But let's play along with it....

You ask: "The best argument against there being such a thing as "enlightenment" is that it is entirely possible and valid to have arguments about whether there's such a thing as enlightenment.......But there are indeed arguments about whether there are enlightened people. Why?"

This seems a bit selective. We have arguments about the existence of the big bang, evolution, the existence of consciousness, free-will, love, compassion etc. That these are debatable does not mean therefore that they don't exist.

You keep looking for dualistic material indicators of what every single "experiencer" has said is beyond all duality; it is a vain, intellectual, circular type of thinking.....even though nobody has ever claimed thinking can explain it.

People who have "experienced" something resembling what is labelled "enlightenment" have themselves claimed, variously, "there is no enlightenment", "everybody is enlightened", "it is not an experience", "it cannot be put into words, at all, it is beyond, beyond, beyond any form or conceptuality" etc etc....yet you want to be able to measure it, define it (as perhaps a "state of consciousness", certain behaviour, morals or ethics etc), objectify it.....all without any significant experience yourself of what these people are struggling to frame within a coherent semantic structure. So, you pick and choose which concepts....probably from orthodox religions.....and argue against them, without understanding what it is you're arguing against. Personally, I do not think such a thing as "enlightenment" exists, and that it is indeed a purely conceptual & essentially absurd idea.......yet, yet......there is "something" which is ineffable and a peace beyond anything this world can either offer or ever perturb.....

You write: "This sounds like the dreams that I have every night."

So, dreams do not exist either? Can you prove you dreamt at night? Cannot exist then!

Do you see the confusion in your arguments; and why should you not be confused, with all due respect, you have not had sufficient personal "experience" yourself, so you are dealing with fictional concepts and ideas which are utterly incoherent, admittedly! :)

Again, to go back to your idea "In fact, it may not even exist as a genuine subjective reality, "

Well, of course "it may not exist" to YOU, you haven't had the no-experience-experience of "enlightenment", so it is merely words on paper or ether. Just like the scientists who smugly & condescendingly claimed "lucid dreaming" was impossible......it took scientific tools and measurements decades to improve to the point where they were actually able to conduct a viable scientific experiment to prove lucid dreaming's reality. It is not that lucid dreaming never existed prior to those measuring devices being invented, but a case of the limitations of science.

Look, this is all just abstract hypothetical discussion, like discussing how many angels can fit on the head of a pin.

You say there is no objective indicator of these things, so I would ask why it is for several months (3?) before my own "enlightenment experience" (which is an absurd & ridiculous reductionism of something beyond concepts and words) - initiated during my meeting with "Osho Robbins" 18 odd years ago, incidentally - I was forced to leave work with a pain in my throat/palette area (which I was certain was cancer....I could "sense" my "death" was approaching with "certainty") which was so incapacitating that I would almost faint. This pain alternated (either one or the other, not both) with a disabling pain at the base of my spine. I was more or less bed-ridden for at least 2 months. During ALL this time, I at NO point even considered this had any "mystical" or "enlightenment" or "kundalini" associations, I just thought I had cancer! I went for several scans at the NHS hospitals and got fleeced for what little money I had left (being unemployed due to the "illness") by a dentist who said I had gum disease (it certainly wasn't that!). They never found anything wrong with my spine or throat or brain. During this time, I had left RSSB a few years perhaps prior, and I was entirely sceptical, atheist, existentialist, having completely lost my "faith" in any "divinity" (I too like Susan Blackmore came to the conclusion my "OBEs" were "delusions", with my then limited....yet profoundly more so that Susan....experience with visionary states). Basically, I was very much like yourself dismissive of the whole thing.

At this point, an old sevadar friend of mine from RSSB - who I hadn't spoken to or met in years I believe - came by my then parent's house during a time when I should have been at work, and told me about Osho Robbins coming to her place in a few days and would I like to come and see him - if I wasn't in and incapacitated, she said she probably wouldn't have tried contacting me again as she didn't have my number! Anyway, I decided to struggle to get up and go to see this guy, with a sceptical smirk with my new-found scepticism with "mysticism"....well, after about an hour or two of discussion, I had some sort of "experience" that has radically & totally altered my state of being consciousness, permanently, since then. This is indisputable subjective fact - you are entitled to believe my "testimony" or not, but if I even slightly lie or exaggerate, may all I have ever held dear to me be lost forever....I do not and cannot lie about such subjects for all I wish to do is share my own experience honestly and sincerely, and let smarter people than I decipher it.

After that meeting where I had an unarguable experience of what is termed in neo-advaita circles "enlightenent" (I do not believe it is so, indeed as I said before, I think any term for it is absurd and contradictory), I went home and over the subsequent weeks I experienced clear & vivid experiences of bliss, literal chemical "nectar" drip down the back of my throat etc, all by focusing on where this "pain" in my throat previously was.......which, by the way - and I mean this literally and sincerely - disappeared overnight and COMPLETELY....overnight! :-o I was performing prolonged spontaneous "movements" like standing on my head without knowing why, various other ecstasies and trances, visions etc, over a period of several months. There are countless other specific, real world events associated with the "phenomena".

AFTER the experience, I devoured all I could from whatever source I could - as my previous, precious RSSB texts did not describe these phenomena. I learnt, subsequently, my entire experience all the various elements are kind of typical of a spontaneous "kundalini awakening" and "non-dual realisations".

You say how can we objectively measure these things, perhaps they don't even exist. I say you are attempting to measure light with a ruler, and that neither scientific biological & neurological models are advanced or knowledgeable enough *currently* to understand them (again, please read Irreducible Mind), or that they currently have the measuring devices to do so......but that there IS an "objective" neuro-biological component to these experience (the "chemical" dripping down the back of my throat......a complete surprise to me, but described by yogis for millennia....endogenous DMT, perhaps?).

This goes back to the embarrassing claims from scientific circles about the "impossibility" of lucid dreaming in previous decades.

Too much conceptual rigidity, not enough experience, not enough knowledge and certainly not enough imagination.

I really must go now....peace! :)

Manjit

JB "Yes, religion/spirituality depends on (and exploits) their own vagueness, ambiguity, and unfalsifiability."

I can "falsify" materialism & a material explanation of consciousness!

First, prove materially consciousness even exists; do you have some in a test tube?

Secondly, if I can provide you with unlimited amounts of matter (but really, how much would really need?!), can you create, by re-arranging those bits of matter, a "conscious entity"?

If not, that theory has been falsified!

Cheers & good night :)

I asked "JB": "So, which are you?"

S/He replied ".........."

Thanks for your answer!

Speculate away, in your conceptual prisons of thought.....:)

Manjit, When was the last time you took a valid IQ test and what were the results?

Hi Jesse! May I ask what your interest is in such a question?

I don't really like to mention (maybe have mentioned it once, when asked, on the RSS forum many years ago)......but as a young kid, I used to to the IQ tests in the famous book the guy released, I forget his name......as a child (8-12ish) the book results came out around 160. My parents wrote to MENSA and I got the pack.....but I was not interested so never completed it.

Many years later, aged around 24ish say (?), whilst drinking with friends I took the BBC, I scored 134 I believe (I was most disappointed :).

I hope that answers to your satisfaction.

However, I go back to that famous quote from the guy who invented the IQ test; when asked what, exactly, "intelligence" is, he replied "whatever my test measures".

Indeed, such delightfully circular thinking sums up rather beautifully much of the unexamined thinking in this and other threads.....

;)

Whether "near death experiences" (and other related visionary states) are literally true and accurate experiences of a potential "after-death" state (I suspect not, personally.... I agree with the statement John Haldane, the geneticist and evolutionary biologist, once made: "Now my own suspicion is that the Universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose." A lesson for all here, I suspect....), it goes without saying they are, without a shadow of a doubt, highly significant & meaningful human experiences with tremendous psychological import.

I think gives us a peek into the nature of the human consciousness and experience, even if only metaphorically so:

"Hell is a psychological condition which represents the hellish inner thoughts and desires within some souls. In hell, souls become uninhibited and their hellish condition is fully manifested. No demons are there to inflict punishment. Each soul acts out their own anger and hatred by warring and tormenting others." (Emanuel Swedenborg)

"There is no geographic hell. We build our hells right here in our own lives." (Harry Hone)

"Hell is a spiritual condition we create by being away from God until we choose to return to God. Hell is a spiritual condition that is totally devoid of love." (Sandra Rogers)

"Hell is the pain, anguish, hurt and anger that you have caused others or who suffered as a result of your actions/words to others. Hell is what you have created for yourself within your soul by turning your back on unconditional love, compassion and peace." (Tina)

"What people call hell is really a spiritual time-out condition in which souls reflect and work out the things that blocked them from the power of their own light." (P.M.H. Atwater)

""After death people gravitate into homogeneous groups according to the rate of their soul's vibrations much like throwing a small pebble into a threshing machine. It goes into the box that fits its proper size and weight. After death, we are sorted by the high or low vibrations of our soul. Everyone goes where they fit in! High vibrations indicate love and spiritual development, while low vibrations indicate debasement and evil. All one has to do is to love so unselfishly that their soul-vibrations rise high enough to fit into heaven." (Arthur Yensen)

"People who have an orientation of hate, for instance, find themselves unable to appreciate a realm of love and harmony. Therefore, they continue in their state of bitterness and are 'closed' to the glory which exists around them." (Margaret Tweddell)

" "Environments distant from God are said to be dark, cold and inhospitable. Indeed, they reflect the spirits of those dwelling there." (Nora Spurgin)

"We create our own hell within us while we live on earth. After death, we step into this hell." (Kevin Williams)"

""Those with too many negative thought patterns might flee the light of God after death because they are too ashamed or too afraid to have their inner thoughts and negative natures revealed to everyone." (Dr. George Ritchie)

""Just knowing the bad mistakes you made through your carelessness or your selfishness is a hell. You don't need a devil prodding you with a fork." (Margaret Tweddell)

"God does not condemn anyone to hell and there is no eternal damnation. We have the ability to condemn ourselves to the hell we create within ourselves." (Kevin Williams)

"While Benedict was in hell, he called out to the light and the light opened up and formed a tunnel that insulated him from all that fear and pain." (Mellen-Thomas Benedict)

"The way out of these hellish realms is to have a willingness to see the light and seek love for others and God." (Angie Fenimore)

"To escape the darkness, you must cry out to God. Then the light will appear." (Rev. Howard Storm)

"Since I had lived such a totally self-serving existence, I was in a hellish state of indescribable agony and sorrow. I was in shear agony. I still remember being on my knees while this blinding light broke and crushed my false-ego. This breaking process was extremely painful." (Daniel Rosenblit)

https://www.near-death.com/science/research/hell.html

“My experience showed me that there are characteristics common to all the beings of hell: they possess a thoroughgoing materialism, combined with nihilism to varying degrees, and attitudes of hatred, disdain, and utter lack of concern or caring for other beings.”
— NDEr Samuel Bercholz, A Guided Tour of Hell: A Graphic Memoir

" I did not see Satan or evil. My descent into hell was a descent into each person’s customized human misery, ignorance, and darkness of not-knowing. It seemed like a miserable eternity. But each of the millions of souls around me had a little star of light always available. But no one seemed to pay attention to it. They were so consumed with their own grief, trauma and misery. But, after what seemed an eternity, I started calling out to that light, like a child calling to a parent for help. Then the light opened up and formed a tunnel that came right to me an insulated me from all that fear and pain. That is what hell really is.”
— NDEr Mellen-Thomas Benedict

"At my right, a few feet away, stood something that resembled a demon. It was not your average demon, but one made of cardboard. It looked absolutely ridiculous! I knew that whatever I was seeing was not real in the sense of being an individual consciousness. It was a product of my own mind. One part of me wanted to laugh at it; another part of me however wanted to scream in terror. I had never imagined a demon made of cardboard before, but it indeed had a terrifying effect on me. ‘So, you thought it was that easy, huh?’ the demon snarled, as it came bouncing towards me. ‘Oh, I know what this is,’ I thought. This is my fear manifested: This is my own loathing. This is my lack of appreciation for life and the people in it. This is a learned experience as I walked through life, becoming more and more engulfed in despair. The demon is showing me how I treat myself and others when I am affected by the feeling of fear. This is exactly the tone of voice that belongs to me, when I am being mean towards myself and others. Here it is, manifested as my own personal version of hell…”
— NDEr Malla

"“I began to hear noise and what I heard was extremely distressing and eventually unbearable. As the noise grew in intensity, I realized it was voices, the countless voices of many, many souls, saying nothing, only weeping and wailing. It was the most anguished, pathetic sound I had ever heard. With every passing moment it grew until I imagined their numbers were in the millions. It was unbearable. I had to get out of this place. But how? I had no body and no voice. Finally, somewhere deep down in my spirit I screamed as hard as I could. I heard my own voice echoing on and on, ‘GOD, HELP ME!!!’ The next thing that happened was a gigantic hand came down and moved under me and lifted me out of that abyss. I was then taken up and up. The anguished voices faded and all was quiet…”
— NDEr Cathleen C

“As I experienced this horror, I began to have the strong awareness that my life had been very materialistic. Everything had been about me. When I met someone, I always asked myself “what can I get from this person?”.

“The truth dawned on me in Hell that my life on Earth was devoid of love. I was not practicing compassion or forgiveness towards myself or others. I had a tendency to be especially harsh towards people that I perceived to be lower than me in social or professional status or hierarchies. I remember feeling deeply sorry for the lack of kindness in my behavior and wishing I had done things differently.”
— NDEr Dr. Rajiv Parti

“The way out of these hellish realms is to have a willingness to see the light and seek love for others and God.”
— NDEr Angie Fenimore

"“Lamenting my situation, and aching for another chance at life, it dawns on me that the void is a place of my own making. A representation of my apathy; a symbol of the wall I’d spent a lifetime building. Its bricks were ones I’d stacked to keep people out and my feelings in. A barrier of my own construction, built brick-upon-brick with each hurt I’d suffered. My efforts to protect myself had made me less…less real, less vulnerable, less joyful, as impenetrable as the coma I lay in. My physical self in the ICU had no idea how close she was to losing it all.

“When I finally realized the void was a prison of my own design, it split open with a thunderous BOOM! A bright light shone before me. The darkness was still there, but now it was behind and beneath me, being pushed back and down by the brilliant light. I was being pulled, drawn, as if by a powerful magnet, into the arms of a glorious spirit. Am I finally being rescued from this terrible place? Oh, let it be so!”
— IANDS Experiencer

http://the-formula.org/ndes-hell/

"“After a long time, my eyes began to burn so badly, I finally decided that it was worth it to put up with the bad flashes if I could just close my eyes for a while. I began to sob quietly as the flashes of my evil ways rushed in, and I heard a voice. It said, ‘If you ask him, maybe he will save you.'”
Jeffrey asked again and again for salvation.
He was brought before a spiritual being who asked what brought him there. Jeffrey replied that the world is not fair and he didn’t want to be a part of it anymore.
He realized his life has meaning.
The being explained that Jeffrey had begged to be born into the material world. He had even chosen when and to whom he would be born.
He explained also that Jeffrey had been saved when he asked for it, because he still had a spark of belief.
“My belief means way more than I had ever realized. He saw something in me that even I did not see. I began to weep so badly that I was frozen there on the floor with my head in my hands and crying uncontrollably,” Jeffrey said"

https://www.theepochtimes.com/uplift/in-near-death-experience-man-sees-hell-where-he-feels-all-the-bad-things-he-did-to-others_2369214.html

Etc etc etc.

We should be careful of our beliefs, lest we end up in a nihilistic, materialistic "existence is entirely futile" mental hell-hole created by our own selves, one that somehow astonishingly manages to miss the magnificent, awe-inspiring, exhilirating & BEYOND "magical" & mysterious consciousness and reality we have had the incomparable fortune to witness.....

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