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January 20, 2013


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Thanks Brian,

In your beginnings with RSSB, did anyone with some sort of knowledge of the RSSB spiritual regions, explain the mechanism of how those regions were to be experienced?

Assuming, a particular spiritual region is outside the human brain/mind, and the experience of that supernatural(?) region is accomplished. What is it, that is accomplishing the experience, outside the workings of the brain/mind?

If this accomplishment is actually true, then how does the details of the outside experience, actually (truthfully) get transfered to the brain, so the particular RSSB devotee can record the experience?

Hopefully, I have explained this correctly. So, was there a knowledgeable person, available to you to give all the details of the meditatiion process? If not, then this is a flaw in the RSSB initiation process.

People meditate for many different reasons. I saw an article yesterday about the Marines being trained in mindfulness meditation; they are not undergoing this training to reach enlightenment or to have experiences of mystical quality: they are learning to keep their cool in battle. They are not the first to do this. It would appear to me to be humorously subject to unpredictable results, but for many it will work in the way that is intended. It will help them keep their calm under extreme circumstances.

The Buddhist training that I have seen identifies the search for mystical experiences as an obstacle. Not to say that such experiences are not available through meditation, just that these are not the point of Buddhist meditation. For me, meditation has had the effect of familiarizing me with the activity of my own mind -- rather than identifying myself with the half-crazy bouncing around of the associative mind, to see that process as not definitive of "me", to calm those thoughts and emotions. That is the intent, and it has worked for me. Not by confirming my belief in the reality of my mystical experiences, but by teaching me not to rely on those neurotic processes for self-definition.

What happens "inside" is not just thought, but emotion. Trying to relate a state of internal bliss to a transcendent realm is problematic to say the least. And even if such bliss were universally shared, I do not think that this would be evidence of any such realm as an objective place; it is merely common experience, and for all the confirmation of it that we may receive from others, it is still possible that such experiences are not transcendent of anything except objective reality. Just because we are all crazy doesn't change the basic fact of craziness. Sanity is not a democratic process -- obviously!

I can think of many reasons not to share mystical experiences with others. Pearls before swine comes to mind; if you are simply going to trample on the shared experiences, then turn on and tear to pieces the person reporting them -- I wouldn't recommend anyone sharing them with you. I'm not saying you are a pig, it's just the language Jesus used for this situation.

Another more direct and simple reason: Who speaks does not know; who knows does not speak. Because there isn't anything to accomplish by sharing these experiences. I, for example, already know that I am crazy, and need no confirmation from my peers. Who are also crazy.

To me the interface between internal and external is magical. When I am going to build or make something, I create it in my mind first. Drawings and measurements of the objectively real sort are important, but most of all I go through the entire project mentally, identifying and solving three-dimensional problems of placement and fit, and construction problems related to materials and machining. This process results in the objective reality of my own thought-creations -- as long as I follow through with physical action. It is magic; a hammer is my magic wand. And I don't care what anyone else thinks of this; they can neither confirm nor deny its reality, only my interpretation of what is happening. It is as true as things have ever been in my experience, witness these things I have built.

Scott, nicely said.

I sort of get what you're saying with the "he who speaks does not know" notion. However, this implies that he doesn't speak does know. Or that those who don't speak are more likely to know.

I don't believe that. Personally, I don't have a problem with people trying to describe the indescribable. That's what poetry, painting, and indeed every form of artistic expression is.

Heck, probably every form of every expression. I can't EXACTLY express to you right now what I want to say, what I feel inside me, what I intuitively cognize.

But I try. Why? Because I want to. Because I like to. Where's the problem in that?

My impression is that mystic/Zen/yogi types make this way too complex and self-centered with all their talk about how they can't talk about this or that.

Everybody finds it difficult to express outside what is experienced inside, in one's intimate individual consciousness. Everybody. Some people are better at it than others.

But for someone to feel all special because they consider that THEY have had a unique experience that can't be put into words... to them I say, hey, join the club.

The only difference between that person and everybody else is that most people aren't so egotistically attached to feeling like they've had a special experience.

All experience is special, ALL. Because only the person having the experience can directly experience it. Drinking a cup of coffee is as special as sitting on the right side of God, or in his freaking lap.

Yep, Brian, I like to quote that quote of Lao Tse's because anyone who is paying attention can take it as an admission that I don't know, and I'm proving it by talking about it.

But I also like the idea that a self-inflated person can be made to shut up with that quote, so as to prove to you that they "know"! As long as they will shut up about it. But that only applies to a few thoughtless fanatics. Mostly I like the conversation, as you do.

I completely agree with artistic expression being all about expressing the inexpressible. May we never completely succeed! May we never stop trying.

If I practiced mantra meditation, mine would be "Coffee" -- that creation being the best proof of God's existence and perhaps His Holy Nickname.

"There is a lot more to reality than just the human mind. Worshipping our own mind by believing in the objective reality of our own thought-creations is a form of blasphemy. Not against God. Against what is true."

Yes, but who or what can say what is "true"? If we decree that science shall be the arbiter and we submit to the scientific method on principal, we dismiss the ineffable and inexplicable for the sake of expediency. So what're ya gonna do? You go with yer gut and draw yer conclusions...that's what bloggin's all about, innit?

cc, it is. But with this difference: I don't claim that my ineffable realizations are anything more than my own subjective experience.

However, some people DO claim that their ineffable experience points to an objective reality that they've encountered, yet others haven't.

To me, ineffable connotes "can't say." So if someone can't say, I wish they wouldn't say "my ineffable experience is better than your ineffable experience."

We're all in ineffable land.

Scott, absolutely. Coffee is holy. Check out this blog post I wrote about nine years ago regarding the holiness of combining coffee and meditation:

Technology proves that relative objectivity is possible. Videotape, for instance, demonstrates that what we perceive idiosyncratically exists independently, enabling us to check our personalized perception against that of impersonal means. Before photography was invented, artists achieved a degree of photographic realism that is amazing even today, and they did this by applying the scientific principal of objective observation and examination.

We know we can't help but interpret, twist, if you will, what's "out there" according to our conditioning and peculiar nature, so we've devised means of compensating for this condition. Meditation can bring to conscious awareness our bias and prejudice, and this is good, but I wouldn't trust it to do much more. It isn't magic.

nope Realism, simply put, is what science is based on, which is that reality is mind-independent - that what happens in the cosmos does so without any need for consciousness or an observer. Matter before mind.

Idealism, is the opposite belief, that mind precedes matter and produces it, at the opposite end of the spectrum. What we perceive using the mind, is an echo of reality, a limited distorted subjective perception of it.

Science is based on realism, einstein was a realist.

The closest science comes to idealism, which the mystics go on about, is quantum theory in which things like the observer effect and superposition principle have been skewed to give idealism credence. Wheeler said it was like the universe was trying to look back at itself.

But quantum theory is far from understood and Einstein never liked it, nor thought the copenhagen interpretation was properly understood.

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