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June 01, 2009

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George: "lol, the elephant, thank you, but am not trying to dismiss the views of Tucson, tAo and Osho - whom have been very patient in their explanations with me - instead i am sincerely trying to question the fundamentals, to play the ball rather than the man so to speak."

I did not imply that you were dimissing their narratives. You are simply and rightly exploring their nature and values by questioning them ... you may eventually come to dismiss them but at least you will have clear reasons to do so ...


For all it is worth (not much), I think Ram Dass was a cool dude but he was not a P3. He talked a lot about the 'state' of being a P3 but his reactions to and the aftermath of his stroke clearly indicate that he was not a P3. And the astrology thing is surely not helping his case!

Maharashi on the other hand, gives all the signs of being an authentic P3. The problem is that, according to David Godman
http://sri-ramana-maharshi.blogspot.com/

almost every written about what he allegedly said comes from transcriptions (someone else taking notes) of talks (without recorders). Godman told on his blog that sometimes when people would compare transcriptions they sometimes, if not often, end up with different meanings and interpretations. Maharshi sometimes looked at the transcripts but he did not seem very critical or interested in getting the record straigth according to Godman ... For instance, sometimes Maharshi approved transcripts that were 'wrong' according to Godman's (and others') best judgment (either for having listened to the talk himself or gathering impressions from different people who were there as well).

Unfortunately, like Tucson alluded to, there are many pitfalls with trusting 'dead masters' ...

P.S. Please don't ask me how and why I dare to say things 'authentic P3' and which rules and principles I follow in order to establish differences between P1 and P3, which has been the heart of the discussions for a while. I cannot make my case in a short amount of time or small amount of words. They are too many subtles issues in play ...


the elephant, I think your arguments are undermined by making an apparent distinction between "genuine P3s" (such as Ramana) and "wannabe P3s" (such as some commenters on this blog).

As George keeps asking, how does one tell the difference? I've read a lot of books about Ramana and other supposed nondual sages, and I can't see any evidence for their realization. They have a certain gift of gab, but so do lots of other charismatic individuals.

So I tend to agree with George that a P3 realization has to be taken on faith, just as a religious assertion does. That said, a P3 could have a profound experience of what reality is all about that seems absolutely true and genuine to them.

No argument there. However, everyone has those sorts of experiences -- of the "Yes, Yes, Yes!" variety. They add a lot of richness to life. But can we elevate them to some sort of universal truth status? I don't think so.

We're all engaged in a personal search for what's good, true, and beautiful (as Plato put it). There's no evidence that relying on metaphysical or faith-based assumptions makes the search more fruitful.

I think George has made it clear through his persistent inquiry that we can never know if someone knows the truth or is realized or if there is anything such as 'realization' or 'truth' or 'god'or a way to 'it'. He has even made it clear that when we subjectively think we see or know truth, it may not be. We could still be deluded.

As long as there is someone, 'a' someone, who hopes that by finding the ultimate answer or realization that they will be happy and at peace, they never will be.

Whatever we really are, whatever truth really is, we will never know it because it is not an object of knowledge. It's hopeless. I think we have reached that point here.

Hopelessness leads to resignation which ultimately diminishes the sense of 'I' and in the loss of 'I' is liberation. Liberation comes when you realize that the idea of truth or realization is just an idea, an idea that can't be found.

What we are (I'm creating concepts for the sake of conversation) can never reach itself because however far it reaches, it can never grab something that was never lost. It is always here.

We have trouble seeing this because it is not an object, feeling, or thought. Therefore you will never know who you are or what truth is. You are unknowable. You can never be reached by something else. Truth can never be reached by something outside of it. You are the reaching, and the key is that no one is doing it.

As long as we think we objectively exist, that here is someone who can have a realization or see truth we will carry the burden of that.

This is the price of conceit and the self-importance of trying to know truth for yourself. Trying to know yourself carries you away from whatever you are.

Brian,

I agree with you on the nature of the problem. And I was actually praising George for not giving up in its pursuit. It is true that I was speaking relatively loosely regarding what is a P3 and P1. It is true that ultimately the problem either undermines a few of my claims or can be tackled by establishing distinctions that does not just rely on pure faith.

It why, acknowledging the necessity and possbility of the latter with respect to some parts of my posts, I included the following PS in my last email

"P.S. Please don't ask me how and why I dare to say things 'authentic P3' and which rules and principles I follow in order to establish differences between P1 and P3, which has been the heart of the discussions for a while. I cannot make my case in a short amount of time or small amount of words. They are too many subtles issues in play ..."

The question/problem is not a new one but a natural one that has been faced and tackled by many. Some have expressed their views on it ... Views that undermine in many ways the superficial conclusions that seem to be ruling the discussions on the matter on this forum.


the elephant

"Please don't ask me how and why I dare to say things (like) authentic P3"

--- LOL, but that is exactly my question. Had a look at that site, thanks. Anyway, Brian's summary seems to sum up my belief, which is there is no objective way of establishing who is a genuine or wannabee P3, and moreover why a P3's intuituve recognition is more valid that a P1's iintuitive recognition.


Tucson,

Your most recent post is truly excellent.

It raises many real issues that appeal more than the moon methaphor and its outstanding at explaining the P3 position simply as well as the seeming paradox of the unrealizable search for meaning by the wannabe P3, P1 or P2.

Some things to think about tho, you say:
"As long as there is someone ... who hopes that by finding the ultimate answer or realization that they will be happy and at peace, they never will be."
--- Understood. Purportedly, its the false sense of self causing this unease.

However, what if the answer is simpler? What if ppl are simply inquisitive by nature (an evolutionary by-product). What if they are simply searching for answers for knowledge sake as opposed to happiness?

Perhaps such discussions are 'hopeless', AND yet we all engage in them, from the P1 believer, to the P2 skeptic to the P3 nondualist. If P3 has the ultimate answer, there's little point in engaging on here.

Perhaps P3s also tend to try refuse conceptualisations, since they are trying to act like mirrors in reflecting the questions so that the questioner might recongise his/her own primordial nature.

Anyway, there is a final question that I have for you, which is what really does P3 get from such an intuituitive recognition?

It is merely peace of mind that there are no ultimate answers, only this? And does such an intuitive recognition by P3 have any affect on his/her's false sense of self in relation to physical death and what might happen to such a direct recognition after the false apparatus for achieving it has ceased?

I think judgments are being made about P1 as in “As long as there is someone, 'a' someone, who hopes that by finding the ultimate answer or realization that they will be happy and at peace, they never will be. “ and “This is the price of conceit and the self-importance of trying to know truth for yourself.”

What if happiness and peace is not the objective?

George is absolutely correct in his reply: “However, what if the answer is simpler? What if ppl are simply inquisitive by nature (an evolutionary by-product). What if they are simply searching for answers for knowledge sake as opposed to happiness?”

For some of us it’s an ongoing process, not a search for peace or happiness, just trying to become more aware.

For anyone to be so sure of themselves and so dogmatic in their own particular formalized philosophy also with the need to be so defensive about it indicates a defence of the ego self.

So here I am expressing my opinions and ego and as long as I realize this its not too bad, but to be unaware of just how full of it we are, well… lol

There should be another P something… someone who is not a believer, nor skeptic, or nothingness dude (whatever)… not full of P… just unknowing

George writes: "Anyway, there is a final question that I have for you, which is what really does P3 get from such an intuituitive recognition?"

--Lots of hot chicks? Groupies? I don't know but I would guess freedom from the burden of self and the seeking for answers is quite a relief?

"It is merely peace of mind that there are no ultimate answers, only this?"

--Well, I can say that 'This' is a whole lot. It is the universe, everything. If I am not, only the universe is. No middleman.

" And does such an intuitive recognition by P3 have any affect on his/her's false sense of self in relation to physical death and what might happen to such a direct recognition after the false apparatus for achieving it has ceased?"

--Now you want me to explain the mystery of death? Heck, I'm just a slob on the blog, not Eckhart or one of the heavyweights, and none of them have done it. Many here seem to respect Ramana Maharshi. When asked where he will be after death, he said "Here, where else could I go?".

This goes with what I have observed in those who are dying. There is a period of struggle, fear and resistance. This survival instinct is natural, but at some point close to the final moment the struggle is given up, the sense of 'I' diminishes into emptiness, clarity and awareness. This clarity is here now but it is concealed by desires, ideas, attachments and so on. But this stuff sort of sloughs off and there is peace, or at least acquiecense, or at the very least the appearance of this.

Perhaps in this moment of clarity there is nothing but pure existence, the here and now, which having never been born can never die.

George writes:

"I use the word believe, since its what the mind (through the human brain) subjectively believes which is all important."

-- Beliefs are concepts, which are simply thoughts. Sense perceptions, intuitions, and realizations are not concepts, not thoughts. So sense perceptions, as well as intuitions and realizations are not beliefs - not a matter of having beliefs. They are perception and understanding. What actually is direct understanding or recognition or realization? And what is perception? Is it merely a concept, or a belief? No, not imo. So I must disagree with you on that basis.

"It is simply not possible to escape the perceptive filter that is the human brain."

-- That is your belief. But I don't think that is true in all cases. Also, the fact that the brain may filter perception does not constitute having a belief.

"intuitive recognition is entirely subjective"

-- We already know that.

"the individual believes that he/she has intutively recognised something, but it remains a subjective belief."

-- No. The recognition is simply perception. Belief enters in later on.

"Such a person intutive recognition might be experience as if it were somehow direct, but it remains a process filtered through the mind and therefore could be illusory."

-- Anything could be illusory. But that does not make perception the same as holding a concept or a belief about something

"This direct intuition therefore remains only a subjective belief."

-- No. It is an intuition, which is a type of perception. There is no belief involved it it. Perception is independent of belief. Intuition is perception. Whereas belief is one or more concepts - mental constructs.

"Thus, P3 does hold a belief. His/her belief is that he/she has made an intuitive recognition."

-- No. You are jumping ahead. An intuitive recognition is like pure perception. There is no belief yet. Any beliefs that may be held about that perception only enter in later on.

"this is precisely the issue here, at least for me, which is to find out how the direct intuition of P3 differs from the purported direct experience of P1"

-- Again, you are mistaken or confused. P1 has NO "direct experience" whatsoever. P1 has only beliefs, and no direct experience. And P3 holds no beliefs... he has only direct experience. This is the difference.

"mind is subjective and capable of illusion and therefore so is any form of intuitive recognition that cannot exist independently of the mind"

-- You are mistaken due too terminlogy. The "mind" is simply thoughts, concepts, duality. Whereas direct recognition/intuition aka 'realization', is not of the mind/duality at all.

"i do believe in questioning things and to do so we often need to conceptualise things."

-- But that... is belief, concepts, the mind. And direct realization is not of the duality of the mind. Intellectual knowledge is entirely within the duality of mind. But Self-knowledge is not intellectual knowledge.

"Now i realise many spiritual traditions and religions have a great problem with this question and the intellect, but that is because they are often fundamentally flawed."

-- There is no actual problem in reality. Only in the duality of mind does there seem to be a problem.

"P3 has almost gone to utmost lengths to search for a spiritual tradition, which is not spiritual, which is not a tradition, which is not conceptual, which is a not a thing, etc, etc. Its gone to perverse lengths to define itself negatively"

-- Huh? That does not make any sense to me. Perhaps some clarification is needed.

"Its very flakey imo, but interesting nevertheless."

-- Beliefs are what is "flakey"... and not realization, nor Self-knowledge.

"Some of those names constantly seem to be revered along with Ram Das and Maharashi. I watched some of Ram Das's videos on utube"

-- I did not post that Ram Dass reading of The Book of the Great Liberation video because I "revere" Ram Dass. I am not into Ram Dass at all. I posted it only because of what he was reading. I don't put Ram Dass (Dr Richard Alpert) in the same league as Sri Ramana Maharshi, Nisargadatta, or other similar sages.


tAo

"You are mistaken due too terminlogy. The mind is simply thoughts, concepts, duality. Whereas direct recognition/intuition aka realization, is not of the mind/duality at all."
--- I don't believe i am mistaken, tho i'm happy to use your terminology and make the mind/brain split. You have told me what direct recognition or realisation is NOT, but you have not said what it IS or how it works.

My assertion is simply that the brain is responsible for all human perception including mind, thoughts, intuitions, awareness, recognitions, realisations, beliefs, feelings, emotions, etc.

When the brain is dead, none of these states are possible. When alive these states are all malleable by drugs that physically affect the brain. Thus, direction intuition or any other perception state is only encountered via the brain, and is therefore prone to all its errors.

Since all perception is via the brain, and capable of error, i have purposefully categorised all human perception as what someone 'believes' they have perceived; rather than as knowledge, truth, direct intuition which is wording many religions, mental patients and charalatans use.

When a person says they've tasted a peach, felt the messiah's prescence, intuitively recognised nonduality, or experienced union with the shabd - these are all subjective perceptions of what the person believes to be true. However, in the absence of any evidence, it is intellectually dishonest to elevate 'intuituve recognition' above any other perception.

"But I don't think that [not possible to escape the perceptive filter that is the human brain] is true in all cases."
--- Intutive recognition has been defined vaguely and only in a negative sense. Almost suggesting some extrasensory perception that avoids the brain (and all its errors), which is then in the realm of the supernatural and faith.

George wrote: "Intutive recognition has been defined vaguely and only in a negative sense. Almost suggesting some extrasensory perception that avoids the brain (and all its errors), which is then in the realm of the supernatural and faith."

-- It is known that the universe is matter- energy-consciousness...ultimately consciousness. I think some physicists acknowledge this ultimate consciousness aspect. This energy/consciousness was present prior to our birth. It took the form of this body/mind and all its sensory apparatus and brain matter that produces thoughts and gets sensory input. Then the body/mind deteriorates and ultimately loses form and organization. But the atoms, quanta, energy, consciousness are not lost. The same consciousness-quanta that formed the body are still present, but they are disorganized as 'I' which has now disappeared. It would seem this conscousness which the universe is, which we therefore are, is available/present regardless of form and actually is more readily perceived when the 'I' organization or structure is dropped along with its commensurate relativistic interpretations. So, maybe pure consciousness and the direct experience of it, the immediate BEING of it, is really not supernatural or in the realm of faith at all?

Tucson,

"Hopelessness leads to resignation which ultimately diminishes the sense of 'I' and in the loss of 'I' is liberation. Liberation comes when you realize that the idea of truth or realization is just an idea, an idea that can't be found."

---I liked, your statement, "when you realize that the idea of truth or realization is just an idea, an idea that can't be found."


Jen,

"For anyone to be so sure of themselves and so dogmatic in their own particular formalized philosophy also with the need to be so defensive about it indicates a defence of the ego self."

---Yes, this is true.


"So here I am expressing my opinions and ego and as long as I realize this its not too bad, but to be unaware of just how full of it we are, well… lol"

---Yes, you are expressing your opinions, which is good. In addition, you are having fun and laughing, this is good too. Keep up the good work. You are OK.

tucson,

No, sorry but good science (verifiable by objective evidence) does not theorize that the universe is ultimately 'consciousness'. In fact, subjective consciousness is not even properly understood despite massive research.

What science knows about the universe is that it consists of fundamental particles and interactive forces, matter. These elementary particles are quarks, leptons and bosons. There is no such thing as 'consciousness-quanta'. The fundamental particles have been objectively proved, while consciousness-quanta has not.

At the cutting edge, scientists are looking at string theory, but this also is not proven despite half a century of effort.

Mystics often go onto speculate in these areas, for obvious reasons and often with an agenda, but there is no accepted objective evidence to support their theories. If there was they'd probably have arrived at the elusive unifield field theory and done what Einstein could not. But no nobel prizes have been handed out for that despite a glut of speculative theories. Similarly, no nobel prized have been handed out for a scientific theory of consciousness, which would almost certainly be worthy of one.

George,

Quanta and quarks are way out of my area of understanding. This is the first I have heard the words boson and lepton...good names for twin celebrity adoptees don't you think?

I was just trying to illustrate how consciousness might exist without the need of a physical aparatus. Why wouldn't a quark or the lepton brothers be a particle of universal awareness? True, not proven by science but I feel the quarks sizzlin' right now and they'll be around long after the tucson appearance is long gone.

LoL tucson, yip sorry about bringing the twins up.

On a metaphysical speculative level, i suppose consciousness might exist without a physical apparatus to perceive or produce it, but it would seem an awful waste of something with no purpose or effect. perhaps that is what 'dark matter' consists of? Perhaps elementary articles like the twins could be imbued with any qualities one wants, for example, awareness.

Anything is possible, but there is no objective evidence for it.

George and Tucson,

"What science knows about the universe is that it consists of fundamental particles and interactive forces, matter. These elementary particles are quarks, leptons and bosons. There is no such thing as 'consciousness-quanta'. The fundamental particles have been objectively proved, while consciousness-quanta has not."

---How have quarks, leptons and bosons been objectively proven? This would be an interesting read.

Thanks for your responses,
Roger

Roger,

I don't know about an interesting read, but an overview of the development of the standard model can be found at:
http://www.symmetrymagazine.org/cms/?pid=1000708

The discoveries of each of these particles and forces have invariably involved a nobel prize and to understand how each disovery was proven you would need to understand the mathematics as well as the physics of the experiments involved, feel free to pursue.

The difference between scientific laws (including quantum physics) is they allow the prediction of observables, which are testable in repeated experiments to a very high precision. Science fiction, metaphysics or speculation does not.

Tao,

"Beliefs are concepts, which are simply thoughts. Sense perceptions, intuitions, and realizations are not concepts, not thoughts. So sense perceptions, as well as intuitions and realizations are not beliefs - not a matter of having beliefs. They are perception and understanding. What actually is direct understanding or recognition or realization? And what is perception? Is it merely a concept, or a belief? No, not imo. So I must disagree with you on that basis."

---Are the "Sense perceptions, intuitions, and realizations" a way of expressing a "Sensory" cognition?
---And beliefs, that come later, would be "Conceptual" cognitions?

George,

Thanks for your reply.

You stated,

"The difference between scientific laws (including quantum physics) is they allow the prediction of observables, which are testable in repeated experiments to a very high precision. Science fiction, metaphysics or speculation does not."

---No need to reference science fiction, metaphysics or religious(?) speculation.
---I did like the term, "prediction of observables" you mentioned.
---In addition, one can create a mathematical equation or equations to assist in such predictions. Data can be entered into these (highly complex) equations, and found repeatable and made into a scientific law.
---However, one still has a "prediction" of observables.
---These terms, "quarks, leptons and bosons" are words that scientists have given to these "predictions" of observables.
---So, what is the "unknowable" name for these fundamental particles.

Correct, science is merely a model of a natural phenomenon proven to such an accurate degree that having made inputs to the model one can objectively make a prediction of the outputs (or observables).

Correct, quarks, leptons and bosons are merely words, you could call them consciousness, awareness and santa clause if you prefer, since these are just terms that have nothing to do with the actual properties of these particles that have been proved in excruciating details.

An uknowable name? could be anything you want, but then you would need to define what you mean by awareness and if its properies do not coincide with a proven fundamental particle then it would not be one.

George,

Thanks again.

"An uknowable name? could be anything you want, but then you would need to define what you mean by awareness and if its properies do not coincide with a proven fundamental particle then it would not be one."

---So, how could there be a name for something that is unknowable? At least, how we have used the term: unknowable.
---I never expressed a meaning of awareness and its properties, as associated with the unknowable.

---Within science, one can create a "Known" term for those fundamental particles. Why would I need to create another type of awareness?

Roger,

Sorry i did not understand what you meant by 'uknowable'?

If a phenomenon (or concept) is uknown, how could it be named since no-one would be aware of it.

If a phenomenon is known, one could name it anything one wanted.

Some ppl claim to know phenomenon subjectively, but science makes the claim objectively.

Within science, evidence for a certain type of fundamental particle is obtained, at which point, it becomes known and then named. The name is of course irrelevant, its the knowledge of the phenomenon itself (i.e. the proprties of a new fundamental particle) that is important.

George writes:

"don't believe i am mistaken, tho i'm happy to use your terminology and make the mind/brain split."

-- Its not just MY terminology. It is words that represent somewhat different things. The brain is the neurological organ that serves as the control center of the (human) body. On the other hand 'the mind' is commonly regarded as being the form and content within consciousness... such as thoughts, feelings, perceptions, concepts, beliefs, and various other abstract non-physical forms and appearances and concstucts within consciousness, that are all aspects of duality. So that is why the mind is said to be synonomous with duality and vice versa. Of course, these MAY all be only due to and limited to the neural activity of the brain (we do not yet know conclusively whetehr consciousness is dependent upon the brain, or is independent of the brain))... but nevertheless these abstract aspects of consciousness are differentiated from the actual physical organ that is called the brain, and so this abstrct mental dimension is considered to be or referred to as, 'the mind'.

The point here is that the brain is simply an obvious physical organ of the human body, whereas 'the mind' is the abstract mental realm, composed of thoughts, ideas, feelings, perceptions, cognitions, beliefs, etc.

"You have told me what direct recognition or realisation is NOT, but you have not said what it IS or how it works."

-- Not so. Direct recognition or realisation or Self-realization has been addressed and explained numerous times over the years, and is also quite well described in various teachings such as that of Sri Ramana and many others. It's more than I care to go into here and now... but briefly, realization (aka Self-realization) is simply a general term that traditionally refers to a direct awakening of, or into, non-dual Self-knowledge (Atma-jnana) which is the discovery and recognition of one's own essential or true nature, as being that of awareness itself. There is nothing mystical or supernatural about it. It is simply dorect knowing of oneself, of on'es true nature, aka Self-knowledge.

"My assertion is simply that the brain is responsible for all human perception including mind, thoughts, intuitions, awareness, recognitions, realisations, beliefs, feelings, emotions, etc."

-- That may be true, but it has not been proven one way or the other yet.

"When the brain is dead, none of these states are possible. When alive these states are all malleable by drugs that physically affect the brain. Thus, direction intuition or any other perception state is only encountered via the brain"

-- Again, that may be true, but it has not been conclusively proven one way or the other yet.

"Since all perception is via the brain, and capable of error, i have purposefully categorised all human perception as what someone 'believes' they have perceived; rather than as knowledge, truth, direct intuition which is wording many religions, mental patients and charalatans use."

-- Yes, as far as we know it seems that all perception is only via the brain... but it may be possible that consciousness (including some form of perception) could also be independent of the brain. But the jury is still out on which one is the case.

"When a person says they've tasted a peach, felt the messiah's prescence, intuitively recognised nonduality, or experienced union with the shabd - these are all subjective perceptions of what the person believes to be true."

-- Yes, they are all appear to be subjective. However, non-duality is not not an artifact of any sort of subjective intuition or perception or recogniton. Non-duality is simply a word and an idea that represents an absolute oneness or non-multiplicity. There is no actual perception of non-duality. Because in non-duality, there can be no observer apart from the observed, no knower apart from the known.

"However, in the absence of any evidence, it is intellectually dishonest to elevate 'intuituve recognition' above any other perception."

-- I have not done that. I do not say that "intuitive recognition" is above anything. Intuitive recognition, Realization, Self-knowledge, awakening, or whatever you wish to call it, is not sense perception (or belief) at all. It is more like understanding. But yes, it does appear to be dependent upon being alive and having a brain. Although we don't know for sure because we are still alive and not dead yet.

"Intutive recognition has been defined vaguely and only in a negative sense. Almost suggesting some extrasensory perception that avoids the brain (and all its errors), which is then in the realm of the supernatural and faith."

-- I have not defined it that way at all. That is your interpretation, not mine. I also was not the one who initiated using the term "intuition" or "intuitive". I don't see it as intuition at all. I have said it is more like a direct recognition, an awakening, an understanding, a realization of Self-knowledge. The awakening into Self-knowledge has nothing to do with anything "supernatural" or "faith" or belief... nor is it "intuitive" either. But no doubt it is a matter of consciousness, and therefore it MAY as you say be dependent upon the brain.

tAo,

The terms themselves are irrelevant.

Call it whatever you wish, what i am asking for is:

a) how this direct recognition is come by?
I am not asking for the different terms such as awakening, understanding, awareness but rather an explanation of the mechanism of perception itself.

b) if done independently of the brain, by what other sensory organ or perceptive mechanism?

If a) cannot be explained, your claim is purely subjective (and prone to illusion the same as any perception).
If b) is purportedly percieved independently of the brain, i would argue this is in the realm of the supernatural.

Thanks for all your comments on this, I am now done on this issue.
I will read up more on Sri Ramana.

Roger,

Yes, I am having fun and laughing and its so good to be able to express oneself openly, many thanks to Brian for this forum.

Having been immersed in RS for such a long time and looking back and seeing how one tends to go along to a satsang meeting and listen to someone give a talk and then there is not much of an opportunity for discussions afterwards, people seem to dive straight back into chit chat and so one can wander around with so many thoughts without the opportunity for expressing them.

I observe now how there seems to be a kind of collective consciousness amongst the followers of RS which in some ways can be uplifting especially when the devotional side is evoked but not so good when the critical self conscious ego bashing is evoked.

I am listening and learning a lot here as well, have found the discussions about non-duality particularly interesting. Also, just “being” and not striving so much has freed me up immensely, so the guys are getting through. Very interesting about the nature of consciousness and how we experience it.

George,

You asked: "what i am asking for is:

"a) how this direct recognition is come by?
I am not asking for the different terms such as awakening, understanding, awareness but rather an explanation of the mechanism of perception itself." ...and... "If a) cannot be explained, your claim is purely subjective (and prone to illusion the same as any perception)."

-- Well, there are different approaches, or perhaps you could call them methods, that are prescribed in various teachings and schools. There is also what you might call the no-method approach. But among the various methods, the one that seems more effective and more direct than the rest, is Self-enquiry (Atma-vichara).


"b) if done independently of the brain, by what other sensory organ or perceptive mechanism?" ...and... "If b) is purportedly percieved independently of the brain, i would argue this is in the realm of the supernatural."

-- I don't claim that it is independent of the brain. I simply cannot say that any approach, or even any consciousness or mental activity etc is independent of the brain.


George,

Sorry, I thought the "known, unknown, and unknowable" discussion, by Tao, was with you. I think now, that discussion, Tao had with Jayme.


Jen,

Keep commenting and having fun. No need for concern, regarding a monitor, monitoring this site.

Best wishes,
Roger

Thanks Roger,

“No need for concern, regarding a monitor, monitoring this site.” So true… at the moment, a lot of letting go, moving on, observing and understanding beliefs and concepts and how they can be so limiting.

Cheers

"Great. Let's put video cameras and neutral scientific observers next to the death beds of advanced Buddhist practitioners and document what happens. Does the physical body disappear?

But this isn't the sort of test Wallace is talking about. It's pretty clear that by experience he means something else -- seemingly a subjective personal "step-by-step path of purification."

Actually I think he is talking about both kinds of tests. The subjective personal test as well as a scientific test. I have read or heard him say that he hopes in the future advanced contemplatives will offer themselves to science at the end of their life, during the dying process.

The Rainbow Body has been documented with photographs and testimonials since the opening of Tibet to the West. The most recent occurrence in 2016 shows a lama's body shrunk down to the size of a small child, while still retaining adult proportions and without mummification processes being evident. (Other instances describe a body vanishing entirely.) I suppose one could claim the photos have been faked, but that would be ascribing a bizarre degree of effort to the reconstruction of a shrunken body a week or so after death and present it as evidence. Not impossible to fake, but improbable.

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