Almost every religious prophet, mystic guru, spiritual sage, revered master, elevated yogi, or other supposed knower of what lies beyond everyday appearances shares a common denominator:
They were essentially clueless about the human brain with which they made their pronouncements about divine reality.
So they had no idea about how the knower of their purported knowledge works.
I'd realized this before, but the factiness of this fact hadn't really hit me until I started reading Patricia Smith Churchland's "Brain-Wise: Studies in Neurophilosophy."
In the Introduction, Churchland reminds us how neuroscience has only come into its own very recently. By contrast, advances in physics, astronomy, and such were able to be made much earlier.
By the end of the nineteenth century, physics, chemistry, astonomy, geology, and physiology were established, advanced scientific systems. The science of nervous systems, however, was a much slower affair.
...The crux of the problem is that brains are exceedingly difficult to study. Imagine Hippocrates observing a dying gladiator with a sword wound to the head.
...Remember, in 400 B.C. nothing was understood about the nature of the cells that make up the body, let alone the special nature of cells that make up the brain. That cells are the basic building blocks of the body was not really appreciated until the seventeenth century, and neurons were not seen until 1837 when Purkyne, using a microscope, first saw cell bodies in a section of brain tissue.
...Figuring out how neurons do what they do requires very high-level technology. And that, needless to say, depends on an immense scientific infrastructure: cell biology, advanced physics, twentieth-century chemistry, and post-1953 molecular biology.
...Bit by experimental bit, neuroscience is morphing our conception of what we are. The weight of evidence now implies that it is the brain, rather than some nonphysical stuff, that feels, thinks, and decides.
That means there is no soul to fall in love. We do still fall in love, certainly, and passion is as real as it ever was. The difference is that now we understand those important feelings to be events happening in the physical brain.
It means there is no soul to spend its postmortem eternity blissful in Heaven or miserable in Hell. Stranger yet, it means that the introspective inside -- one's own subjectivity -- is itself a brain-dependent way of making sense of neural events.
The ancients did as well as they could with the knowledge they had.
Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, Taoist sages, Hindu seers -- everybody who sought to understand reality before the advent of neuroscience did so with a big handicap:
Not knowing the nature of the knower, the human brain.
So we live in exciting times. We're nowhere near the end of the path that leads to full knowledge of the knower. Heck, we may have barely taken a few steps along that path.
But we're vastly more knowledgeable than everyone who has lived before these modern times. Including those revered as spiritual, religious, and mystic adepts. Many of them left us marvelous inspiring insights into the nature of life, living, and the cosmos.
However, we mustn't forget that those accomplishments lacked one important bit of understanding: how the human brain works.
Chuang-tzu says: ‘My life is limited, but knowledge is unlimited, if I pursue unlimited knowledge with my own limited life, the result must be dangerous. If one has realised this but still does so, the result must be even more dangerous!
"A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, of the manifestations of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which are only accessible to our reason in their most elementary forms—it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute the truly religious attitude; in this sense, and in this alone, I am a deeply religious man" Einstein
Posted by: Shawn | February 27, 2013 at 04:08 AM
My gurus know everything there is to know about my brain, they know it inside out. You might argue that all brains are unique and subject to individual stresses and causal factors. But don't worry! They instantaneously contact the Akashic Field, telling them everything there is to know about me! Far from abusing this power, instead they use it with infinite benevolence, never second guessing what is I think or feel; why would they need to? They're omniscient! Some of my friends are gurus too! The kinds of friends who when you are standing on the spiritual cliff will tell you to 'jump! Jump!' I feel so lucky to have these people in my life.
Despite this irrefutable knowledge, I somehow still think this is a great post. Thanks Brian, appreciated.
Posted by: Anonymous | February 27, 2013 at 05:28 AM
Knowledge of neuroscience isn't necessary for self-knowledge; for understanding duality and its effects. An uneducated person sensible enough to cast off all beliefs, and inquiring enough to attend to the process by which raw sense data becomes useful or misleading information, can see how the illusion of self and separation comes about, and this insight is crucial.
Posted by: cc | February 27, 2013 at 08:46 AM
cc, I pretty much agree. However, not knowing how the brain produces experiences is sort of like admiring a volcanic eruption without understanding the geology of what lies under the ground.
It's still beautiful and awe-inpiring even if all you're aware of is what is visible. But knowing what is under the surface can make the experience even more meaningful.
Posted by: Brian Hines | February 27, 2013 at 01:02 PM
Anonymous, what "irrefutable knowledge" are you talking about? Usually when people say something like this in connection with spirtuality, it really means "I don't have any evidence for what I'm claiming, but don't ask me for it."
Since your gurus know everything about the brain, please ask them some questions on behalf of neuroscientists. For example, what area(s) of the brain are central to conscious experience? Neuroscientists have some good ideas. I'm curious to learn if the gurus agree with them.
Posted by: Brian Hines | February 27, 2013 at 01:06 PM
A description of the brain and its processes:-
The Brain. The human brain has evolved to the point where it can create concepts – ideas and images – and it can focus and reflect on them.
The Mind. This mental activity is called the mind. The mind is not a ‘thing’, an actuality; it is the name given to the thinking process. Our minds are our memories and experiences (contents); we tend to feel or believe these contents are who we are.
The Ego. One aspect of the mind is called ego. The ego/mind is thought that carries the concept of an ‘I’, a ‘Me’. From this concept a ‘person’ is assumed.
Contents. The contents which are our minds are purely arbitrary and accidental; they are determined by the time and place we were born, by our parents and peers, the local religion and beliefs – and so on.
Identity. Our identities are derived from the contents of the ego/mind and appear to inform us who we are. The contents are memories and experiences; the building blocks of the imaginary ‘self’
Attachment to identity. The ego/mind maintains the belief of a separate ‘me’ by overly attaching itself to identities that strengthen the illusion. Religious and national identities are among the more prominent ones, but an attachment to a ‘self’ identity through being a member of a group, gang or even football team can be equally as strong. The result is a ‘me and them’ or a ‘them and us situation’.
Ego maintenance. The ego/mind identifies with beliefs and thought structures (concepts) to maintain its apparent existence. The attachment to such identities is the source of all conflicts. It is only the ego/mind that needs to be special and different. To this end it will seek out differences where and when it can to maintain and justify itself which is sustained through creation of the ‘other’.
Unity. Being an integrated part of everything and on a local level seeing ourselves as simply part of the human family does not feed the ego. We will of course still have our interests, support the place we happen to be living in along with our projects and teams and our spiritual practices, but the divisive ego/mind, the ‘me’ will not use these as vehicles to promote its separate importance.
Freedom. Being aware of the mind-ego-identification process is the beginning of freedom. To ‘see’ that we are not separate ‘individuals’ or ‘persons’, and indeed, not separate from anyone or anything, is the only freedom.
Life. As we see through the many illusions of who we assumed we were, only one thing remains – Life. We know we are alive, we are aware of our existence*, we can sense life within us and around us. Call it God, Brahma, Allah, One, Tao, Self, Nature or whatever, it is all there is – and we are that.
Posted by: Turan | February 27, 2013 at 01:26 PM
"...not knowing how the brain produces experiences is sort of like admiring a volcanic eruption without understanding the geology of what lies under the ground.
It's still beautiful and awe-inpiring even if all you're aware of is what is visible. But knowing what is under the surface can make the experience even more meaningful."
Yes, I agree. I was just reacting to the headline about the cluelessness of ancient sages and gurus. For all that we can learn about the brain, without understanding the relationship of the finder to what's found, the mystery of how this illusion, this trick, is performed, we haven't learned the first thing about the brain.
Ten thousand years ago, a thinking human brain asked itself why it feels separate and isolated from everything but its own content, and in inquiring into that question comes to find out that the very act of inquiring is the culprit. Yet, when the thinking human brain realizes that it can't help but inquire, i.e., separate, that realization is the end of continuous solitary confinement.
Long before science put religion, superstition, and ignorance in its place, the human brain discovered how its need to know extended to knowing what knowledge is.
Posted by: cc | February 27, 2013 at 01:45 PM
Nice and interesting message.
"Unity. Being an integrated part of everything and on a local level seeing ourselves as simply part of the human family does not feed the ego. We will of course still have our interests, support the place we happen to be living in along with our projects and teams and our spiritual practices, but the divisive ego/mind, the ‘me’ will not use these as vehicles to promote its separate importance."
----The "seeing ourselves" and the "ego/mind, the me" seem like two separate somethings. And, what is the "we" that does or does not feed the ego?
Posted by: Roger | February 27, 2013 at 02:35 PM
Thanks for your well thought out comment. Good stuff.
Roger, I can't speak on Turan's behalf but I think when he is mentioning "we", he is speaking through the duality eye perspective. We sometimes can't help but speak in those terms to refer to what we are saying. There doesn't seem to be any harm done or misguided notions when we speak from the duality world. It seems very human. It is sort of like "living in the supposed world of duality but not of it". If you step on my foot and ask me how "I" feel "I" will say "I" hurt. In saying "I" hurt, is that inappropriate? Or how about when one says when "we" see this? I get what you have been trying to do by asking, and asking, and asking, probing further, and further, and further, but sometimes this kind of agenda leads to the unnecessary motion of the splitting hairs.
If you comment and I don't get comment back it is because I am going to be busy the next few days. Please don't take my silence back as anything but what it is.
Posted by: Shawn | February 28, 2013 at 09:15 AM
You are correct regarding the "I" speaking through the duality eye perspective, etc. When I come here to blog, I (Roger) me, myself is engaging in blogging and asking questions. I am a real person that engages in dualistic activity. I don't think I am an illusion. Dualistic activity can be good and/or bad. The use of the "illusion" word does have a place in duality and nonduality discussions.
That said, is the splitting of a hair bad?
LOL.....it probably is......hahaha...
Shawn, enjoy your days off, see you when you come back. Roger
Posted by: Roger | February 28, 2013 at 10:53 AM
"is the splitting of a hair bad?"
Only on a bad hair splitting day.
Posted by: cc | February 28, 2013 at 11:19 AM
Roger and Shawn
Many thanks for your interest and comments; the mind/ego/self issue that is of great interest to me and which I have been studying for many years and is why Brian’s blog about the brain attracted me.
My understanding of the mind is that it is not a thing, an entity in its own right but the accumulation ‘stored’ in the brain of memories and experiences – most of which are, of course, very useful to us. These I refer to as the ‘contents’. As we quite naturally (and usually unconsciously) identify with our contents they become what we call my ‘self’, ‘I’, ‘me’, ‘ego’ etc.
If I identify for example with a particular belief system my sense of ‘self’ is maintained through that structure. If that structure is threatened in any way it is as though my ‘self’, my life is threatened. The mind appears to have usurped the survival instincts of the body; in effect we – our brains – have been tricked into protecting a series of concepts. And the sad thing is we will fight and kill each other for these ‘ideas’. Any concept Roger that separates us from each other feeds the ego in that it is ‘I’, the ‘me’, my ‘self’ that is important as opposed to the ‘other’.
We (all of us) can only communicate from a dualistic position (as Shawn points out) because whatever the mind throws up is a series of abstract concepts that do not reflect the reality of direct perception (a can of worms here!). Paradoxically we have to use the mind to see and explain the processes that are the mind.
I would say that from my studies the important thing is to observe the processes that form the mind and to allow our natural intelligence to ‘see’ how we form attachments to them – and let the ones that are life negating to drop away.
Posted by: Turan | March 01, 2013 at 12:24 AM
"We (all of us) can only communicate from a dualistic position (as Shawn points out) because whatever the mind throws up is a series of abstract concepts that do not reflect the reality of direct perception (a can of worms here!)"
Perception is the response of memory, the meaning ascribed to raw sense data, so I don't know what you mean by "direct perception". Perception is always sensation processed; the past responding to the present. That's as direct as it can be.
Posted by: cc | March 01, 2013 at 09:00 AM
You wrote a good message. Glad you are around. The direct perception question from cc, is very good. Would one need 100% free will to engage in a direct perception, with no attachment? Sounds like another fascinating discussion. Turan, write something, based on your readings, regarding free will. Best wishes, Roger
Posted by: Roger | March 01, 2013 at 11:36 AM
Hi cc. This is what I mean.
Direct perception is perceiving before the mind comes in with its contents of values and judgements - that is before memories intervene. Perception is seeing the 'what is' spontaneously as it arises. It is only after the the act of perceiving that the sensation is processed by the mind - and the contents of the particular mind determines the response.
The aim of many meditation disciplines is to lengthen the moment before the mind arives on the scene. Perhaps though, just seeing the process of perception, registering the sensation then the mind activity shows one the extent to which the mind automatically dictates our lives and is enough to allow negative concepts (beliefs etc.) to drop away.
Posted by: Turan | March 01, 2013 at 12:03 PM
Turan, neuroscientific experiements have proven that what you claim to be possible is wrong: unconscious processes in the brain affect perception right from the start.
This morning I was reading about this in a chapter called "Self and Self-Knowledge" in Patricia Churchland's book "Brain-Wise." Some excerpts from this and a following chapter:
"Incidentally, if one supposes that sensory systems essentially mirror reality, with no top-down coloration, Steven's result is a brilliant falsification of that supposition.
...Notice that this effect also demonstrates again that experience itself can be altered by the cognitive representation of an intention.
...The various adaptive effects reinforce the point that what we experience is always mediated by nervous-system structures, with their own peculiar response patterns and organization. These species-specific features are shaped by evolutionary pressures.
...Seemingly direct knowledge is always a product of prodigious nonconscious processing. Because empirical research on perception, learning, and reasoning was assumed to be irrelevant to the business of philosophy, little if any attention was paid to empirical research showing that our "noninferential perceptions" such [as] seeing a set of lines as forming a specific shape, or smelling the odor of a rotting carcass, are in fact the results of highly complex processing even though conscious inferences are entirely absent."
So there is no such thing as "pure perception" of "what is." This is a pre-scientific mistake. I realize that it is a big part of Buddhism and other belief systems. But it is simply wrong, just as belief in a flat Earth was proven to be wrong.
The mind "arrives on the scene," as you put it, right away, There is no way to eliminate mind from perception, because mind is what perceives not the senses. This is proven by people with severe brain damage. Their sense organs can be fine, but they won't be able to perceive the world.
Posted by: Brian Hines | March 01, 2013 at 12:25 PM
"Direct perception is perceiving before the mind comes in with its contents of values and judgements - that is before memories intervene. Perception is seeing the 'what is' spontaneously as it arises. It is only after the the act of perceiving that the sensation is processed by the mind - and the contents of the particular mind determines the response."
This is what Krishnamurti taught, but there's no way to explain how it is possible, nor any evidence that there is such a thing. Everything is arising constantly every moment, but none of it makes any sense without the mind, the background, the content that responds to it. Krishnamurti believed otherwise and got a lot of people to believe along with him, but neither he nor any of his followers could show that there is any perception prior to subjective response.
Posted by: cc | March 01, 2013 at 12:38 PM
""Direct perception is perceiving before the mind comes in with its contents of values and judgements - that is before memories intervene."
---This would be a non-conceptual cognition. With the half second "gap" before the mind begins its conceptual cognition activity. The gap is where, supposedly free exists. If one does not react to the mind's conceptualization, then one has this free will. Sounds good, but who really has this ability?
Again, the claim that meditation can achieve this free will "gap" is interesting. Further discussion is in order. People, talk away!!!!!
Posted by: Roger | March 01, 2013 at 01:20 PM
"Further discussion is in order. People, talk away!!!!!"
Thanks, maestro Roger, for conducting this discussion.
Yes, a mountain of nonsense has been built in this gap, this gaping hole of wishful thinking. Once you question the notion of perception that bypasses memory, it becomes clear that present sensation makes no sense without past experience. What's more, there's no evidence that any brain has this miraculous ability to perceive what is without knowledge of what was.
Perception is the past responding to the present, and despite what the gurus may say, this is not a problem, not something that can or need be transcended by means of meditation magic.
Posted by: cc | March 01, 2013 at 06:54 PM
Lets not forget Krishnamuti was not a Guru.
He was the most outspoken critic of Gurus
of all time.
He was an anti Guru and said
you yourself are the Guru.
Jiddu might say, "can you watch
a bird fly by, without naming it
a bird ?"
Jiddo was saying look at the facts
without a preconceived notion.
Look at everything as if it was new.
Is the bird ... a bird ?
Bird is a name, it is not the bird.
If it is not really a bird, what
is it ?
Jiddu Krishnamurti: In The Present Is The Whole Of Time .
Posted by: Mike Williams | March 01, 2013 at 08:20 PM
But he pose like one.period
so the same
Posted by: Rummenigge aka Rumi the nigga | March 02, 2013 at 04:46 AM
Brian, I said Direct Perception was a can of worms!
There are champions of both direct and indirect perception. Some now call Direct Perception Ecological Psychology – see James J. Gibson. It is also known as Naïve Realism. Also check out Robert G. Hudson of Concordia University, Montreal in his paper ‘In Defense of Direct Perception’ where he says “one 'directly' peceives an object if one's perception of this object is not mediated by beliefs”.
As a fan of neuroscience I am happy to see that much of their findings support some of the ancient philosophies such as there being no separate ‘me’ or ‘I’ and ‘no self’ – therefore no free will. I do tend to lean toward the neuroscience hypothesis that the brain determines our reality – but I have to draw the distinction between brain and mind. When you say “There is no way to eliminate mind from perception, because mind is what perceives not the senses” I agree with Hudson in as much as the mind, being the mass of information we continue to accumulate is still the brain.
I realise of course that our brains interpret reality in order for us to make sense in a universe of atoms and to live in it – but what our particular brains perceive is our only reality which we must live and survive in. The meaning of direct perception that I previously wrote about is that as the brain receives information through the senses this is the natural world it sees. The mind, being past information stored the brain in the form of concepts habitually imposes its beliefs on the reality it perceives.
I can only offer a simple example: Hold two sticks together, one vertical and one horizontal and ask people what they see. Those from a Christian culture will say a cross or crucifix whereas the reality is – two sticks.
Posted by: Turan | March 02, 2013 at 05:32 AM
"Lets not forget Krishnamuti was not a Guru.
He was the most outspoken critic of Gurus
of all time."
He presented himself as an iconoclast, an anti-guru, but, thanks to the Theosophists, it was part of his own grandiose delusion. He believed his brain had undergone a radical transformation, but he was as authoritarian, sanctimonious, and platitudinous as all the gurus who preceded him. He spoke of freedom, of being a light to yourself, but his followers parrot these words and cling to his teaching as if it was holy scripture.
Posted by: cc | March 02, 2013 at 08:48 AM
How could a mouse describe in mouse-language to another mouse what it was like to be chased by a human being? Could it be proven within the sphere of mouse-world that this mouse experienced this experience?
Communicating within the world of thoughts and words about the world of no-thoughts and words (direct experience) will always lead to miscommunication and misunderstandings. That is guaranteed. Besides the impossible task of explaining what Tao or Mystery is, the efforts of using that which is totally inadequate to explain mystery goes through the accumulated historical filter of content of the receiver of these words, further distorting the attempted explanation of the topic at hand (non-being or non-content experience). We have Brian as he is reading Turon's comment, churning these words written through his mind's historical filter, speaking about scientific factual opposing views. We have Roger bringing up the subject of freewill as if this has relative vital extreme importance. Thoughts arise from CC, Turon, Mike, me, etc,, all running these words through each individual collective historical experiences, with each their own subjective interpretations of these experiences, projecting this information out to each other. The more we go down this subjective tunnel of distortions, the more we experience the Tao that can be explained is not the Eternal Tao. Or rather with this specific situation, we begin debating the undebatable. How could we talk about that which cannot be talked about? Or how can one prove the unprovable?
I think maybe it is similar with direct experience in relationship to one's own mind. Direct experience may happen but mind will "after the experience", always misunderstand and try to bring this no-thingness into the somethingness of cognitive thinking. We can only default back to the world of words, symbols, science, dividing lines, past experiences,-the restraints of the mind's collective experiences. The finite's attempt to understand and explain the infinite. All sorts of distortions, misunderstanding, and misfires of miscommunication will take place. That is a given. Is it possible that science can only record this "after the experience" brains activity? Is this maybe possible?
The question arises that if mind cannot understand or comprehend the experience of a gap into the timeless, how would one's mind know if oneself experienced this without-time in-between thought direct experience? Where is this historical knowing information of direct experience located within, since we only have mind to work with that cannot relate to this experience? Go ask a rat.
Please don't get me wrong. We should question things like a belief that God helped a boxer knockout another boxer in the eighth round. We should question the idea that God is a personage. We should indeed question everything. I am not saying that we shouldn't question. But to "absolutely conclude" as scientific fact that a human being cannot experience the mystery of untethered direct experience is as dogmatic as when the Catholic Church once believed the world was flat. That dogma is what I question. To say that science has "absolute proof" holds no eternal authority. Science is constantly changing and adjusting its conclusions. And please don't get me wrong here again. I agree with Einstein when he said, “I maintain that the cosmic religious feeling is the strongest and noblest motive for scientific research."
And Brian, please forgive me because I can only judge and project through my limited puny experiences. My limited experience tells me that because of your past experiences with spiritual bullshit, that it emotionally has sent you on a subconscious reactionary trajectory agenda of determination. A determination to only see what you are determined to see. I don't have any scientific test tubes to prove this as it is just a gut feeling but from what I understand there are scientist that are beginning to think that there is mind in the gut.
There is a rigidness and stiffness to your assertions. Anonymous picked up on this "irrefutable knowledge". With Roger's comment he asked a question in the spirit of meekness. With you, you proclaim absolute reality, and refer the reader of your words to read certain books as proof. Brian, please, you explain, thy irrefutable assertions. I hope you don't misconstrue this inquiry. I have much respect for your efforts in trying to "figure it all out".
I am sorry that if anyone comments I might not be able to respond back in a timely manner. I have been busy enjoying and helping in the amazing miracle of a child being born. Little precious Brynn, our first grandchild, just came into the world that we all live in and my blog time is limited. I am juggling more plates than normal though the plates are all full of joy unspeakable.
Posted by: Shawn | March 02, 2013 at 09:40 AM
I personally knew Jiddu for
over two decades. He was
literally my friend.
Most people who know me know
that. I don't talk about him
much because what he was saying was
so advanced not many can grasp it.
The greatest sin a person can make
is to defame someone telling the
You will have to live with yourself
the rest of your life for what you
have just said here.
Posted by: Mike Williams | March 02, 2013 at 10:14 AM
Thanks cc, Turan and Mike,
All very good comments.
Yes, we decide through various ways to classify the bird as a bird. However, take away all concepts of biology, zoology, cateloging of flying animals, the bird is just a thing-in-itself. Another term could be noumenon, or non-thing.
In non-duality, the absolute, it would be fascinating to unravel what the bird absolutely is. But to engage in "unraveling" involves the use of the brain, the mind, the conceptualization from divided mind/ego, etc.
So, who the hell absolutely knows what the bird is, and other stuff. All the supposed Sages and gurus probably never knew either.
ALL THIS IS THE MYSTERY!!!!!!! I just enjoy embracing mystery, kinda fun to do.
Guys, keep up the great comments. Roger
Posted by: Roger | March 02, 2013 at 10:29 AM
I agree with the general point about direct perception. Yet I think it is valid to acknowledge a distinction between 1: a state where we filter perception through elaborate conceptualisation and narrative and 2: a state of real-time raw experience. I'm not sure that Churchland would object to this distinction.
Research shows that in meditation (or the mindfulness of present actuality) the networks in the brain that deal with memory and narrative in general can start to give way to networks that relate to direct experience (though there is some crossover.)
This (which I originally found on this blog) is from Psychology Today:
".....When you experience the world using this narrative network, you take in information from the outside world, process it through a filter of what everything means, and add your interpretations. Sitting on the dock with your narrative circuit active, a cool breeze isn't a cool breeze, it's a sign than summer will be over soon, which starts you thinking about where to go skiing, and whether your ski suit needs a dry clean."
".....The Farb study shows there is a whole other way of experiencing experience. Scientists call this type of experience one of direct experience. When the direct experience network is active, several different brain regions become more active. This includes the insula, a region that relates to perceiving bodily sensations. The anterior cingulate cortex is also activated, which is a region central to switching your attention. When this direct experience network is activated, you are not thinking intently about the past or future, other people, or yourself, or considering much at all. Rather, you are experiencing information coming into your senses in real time. Sitting on the jetty, your attention is on the warmth of the sun on your skin, the cool breeze in your hair, and the cold beer in your hand.
A series of other studies has found that these two circuits, narrative and direct experience, are inversely correlated. In other words, if you think about an upcoming meeting while you wash dishes, you are more likely to overlook a broken glass and cut your hand, because the brain map involved in visual perception is less active when the narrative map is activated. You don't see as much (or hear as much, or feel as much, or sense anything as much) when you are lost in thought. Sadly, even a beer doesn't taste as good in this state."
Posted by: Jon | March 02, 2013 at 10:48 AM
Jon, actually Churchland would very much object to the notion that there is such a thing as 'direct experience" or unmediated intuition. Probably I'll explain the neuroscientific reasons in tonight's blog post.
Yes, there is "slow brain" and "fast brain" processing. There are sensory experiences and thoughts. The mistake lies in assuming that just because it SEEMS that one is simple and direct, there isn't a lot of pre-conscious brain processing going on beforehand. In truth, there is.
Posted by: Brian Hines | March 02, 2013 at 11:05 AM
You will have to live with yourself
the rest of your life for what you
have just said here.
Uf uf the punisher now Mike where is the humility now
That is not Something Else Mike that is Same Shit now
Come on Mike be that humble Mike that you presented before don't be angry that quick.
Posted by: Rummenigge aka Rumi the nigga | March 02, 2013 at 12:34 PM
Hi jay, Rummenigge Rumi,
How many of them are in you
and what are their names ?
Why do you torture this
poor soul ?
Has not this poor devil been
thought enough ? Look at his
Posted by: Mike Williams | March 02, 2013 at 02:00 PM
There is instantaneous recognition
by the brain, before it hits consciousness.
You know instantly it is a bird, there
is no way to stop it.
But, once you realize the bird is not the
bird, the subconscious thereby after
instantaneously does not project the
name bird any longer.
You will look on the bird as it is.
Like a child who has never seen a bird,
nor heard the word.
When the self is seen as a falacy, it
can no longer project actions. The myth
of the self dominates all our actions.
But, when the self shatters, as a myth,
it cannot react to real life.
Once the self is seen as an illusion,
it can no longer function.
Something Else must fill the vacuum.
Not must, but is a real possibility.
Posted by: Mike Williams | March 02, 2013 at 02:23 PM
"I personally knew Jiddu for
over two decades. He was
literally my friend."
I knew him, too, and the two of us used to laugh about all the idiots who worshipped him.
Posted by: cc | March 02, 2013 at 02:33 PM
As you know, the demons are not the sharpest
knives in the drawer.
Not only has RS history been destroyed,
but most histories of most Guru groups.
See Rick Ross.
May I venture to say, you demons are
not doing a good job.
A tidal wave has swept in.
The results are apparent to everyone.
There is no longer a debate.
May I assume your words are the last
dying gasp from little devils ?
Go to any bookstore and go in the
religious section. There are more Krishnamuti books there then anything else.
It has been this way for 20 years.
May I suggest you demons go back to
the nether regions and get some sleep.
You tried your best. Every rotten dirty trick possible.
It was not from lack of effort on you guys part, from the dark regions.
You fellows simply lacked intelligence
and underestimated mankind.
"The Truth Always Wins"
Posted by: Mike Williams | March 02, 2013 at 03:53 PM
"...you demons are
not doing a good job."
Yeah, well, but we're at a disadvantage to you angelic folks that get so much support from the self-righteousness twits, so give us a break, okay?
Posted by: cc | March 02, 2013 at 07:10 PM
Mike you should be aware that your insults are big, your subliminal anger is very strong i mean how can you say to me how many are there in me, that is only your anger not entities in me.first of all i don't even opose you i don't even have you for crazy person but you came with immoral insults about demons in us others.You talk about humulity and than on the other side you insult people with demons that was i trying to say and remember i even don't opose you or Jiddu.You only care for your searches your conclusions and than you preach of humility and Something Else and calling many of us here demons and stupid and hypnotised.Actualy i was the one who listened you carfuly and i was getting to trust you and now with my first doubt expresed you come to me with this, how many are there in me. Let me remind you that you always react like that with attack and insult but in my case you attacked the one who does and will not harm you and if you were really with Something Else and humble you would never attack a person only questioning and if i am really hypnotised and possessed i trusted you to save me but now you came to me with judgement about demons. You are more importan you you you and who care about us we are possessed and stupid for you Mike and that tells many things about person. I trusted you Mike and now i know from you that i am stupid demon wau thanks for Something Else i did not know that It will tell me that i am demon i thought it will save me. Before i thought i have life problems and now i know i am possessed thanks,Mike
Posted by: Rummenigge aka Rumi the nigga | March 03, 2013 at 01:46 AM
Hi Rumi the nigga and Gaz
Yes ECKANKAR is Radhasoami. The first ECKANKAR center I ever saw was a few decades ago in Bellflower, CA.
I go to a place called Ricky's Pizza,
in front of a strip joint the Lakers
used to frequent.
Across the street was the first ECKANKAR center I had ever seen. It closed down
I read the TIGER's Fang by Paul Twitchell
as soon as it came out and had a good laugh.
But, did Twitchell visit the places he claimed ? Was Twitchell caught exposing himself in public ?
The answer is yes to both questions.
Twitchell did indeed enter the inner worlds.
But, did he meet all the people he claimed ?
Not quite. He altered their names. The inner
worlds change, they are not static. So, you and I agree go to these inner planes and meet each other. And, in fact we will.
But, when we both come out, we will have different opinions on what we said to each other.
The Inner Planes are the Devil's playground.
THEY ARE MEANT TO DECEIVE.
Kirpal's adventures into the akaskic records
are indeed proof he was fooled himself.
Posted by: Mike Williams | March 03, 2013 at 01:18 PM
To Rumi the nigga,
I have heard the plea from the person
This is WHAT YOU MUST DO.
I do not know where you live, or
Go to a shopping mall, even if it is hundreds of miles away.
Sit on a bench in this shopping mall.
Wait for a woman with a small girl child
to walk by you. Wait for this tiny girl
to look up into your eyes.
Even if it takes days, just sit there and wait for this tiny girl to look you
directly in yours eyes.
It will only be a spilt second. So, you
must be very alert.
When this little girl looks up into
your eyes ................
at that exact moment you will be free.
I swear to you this is the truth.
Posted by: Mike Williams | March 03, 2013 at 01:58 PM
Mike why you think you need to preach to other people. Just because i liked your writings and when i saw you attacked witth your classical 'how many are there in you' i just said to you you don't need that and than you came with demons upon me.Mike if you talk about humility you need to admidt sometimes that you missed that you are wrong and with saying about demons in me you where very wrong.Mike people have families children and loving ones and you say things like that it is the most subliminal and occult insult and if you saw me in person you would find one of the most nice persons around you would be ashamed to what kind of people you say such things.And Mike i need your realization that you were wrong with 'how many of you are there' Mike seriously please don't do that any more and please don't give me advices which i didn't asked for.Mike as i said i never attacked you never thought you were ad or crazy but i said you react too quickly with your anger and i will not copy paste now your reactions from all over the net forums when you react with very same tactics.Mike remember again i am not against you i am not laughin at you i respect your writings and i find you great man, but Mike consider your quick anger cause it makes you blind,please Mike admit to your self and go further,peace my Friend
Posted by: Rummenigge aka Rumi the nigga | March 04, 2013 at 12:08 AM
About these demons. I won't make general statements but in my case the demons I dreamed of where in fact about a person that did not have a conscience like most do. We were not allowed to call him evil in his face because he did not think himself evil. He did not know anything else and if someone dared accusing him that he was a dangerous tiger to us he would not allow that. So we had to invent demons to dream about and to give everything a place. I wonder how many demons are in fact just ways to give a name to the evil that we experience from or loved ones but are not allowed to name. Probable this explanation is to simple ;)
Posted by: nietzsche | March 04, 2013 at 07:01 AM
Yes, I am a diehard atheist (desperately
in search of God).
I have not found God, but have studied demons for a few decades. There are many
Psychologists are astounded when they watch an excorcism for the first time.
See Malachi Martin.
We are all taught there are no angels and
no demons when we are young.
But, we have a repttilian part of our
brain which still functions. From millions
of years ago.
From this dimension enter all sorts
of stange beings.
Today mathematicians confirm at least 12 dimensions are possible we are not aware of.
So, there may be no God, yet there may
be prankster demons.
Kirpal said God cannot talk to you. He was
scientifically correct. Kirpal said only the master can talk to you within.
We can find satan and his nest, but we cannot find God.
Posted by: Mike Williams | March 04, 2013 at 12:16 PM
I have learned a way to transfer life to carbon and from my observations this far I see it stays connected to me (positive and negative) and I can instruct it on every distance. There is a lot more to it but the principle is that I think we all derive from the same source that put it's life into different bodies. What you wrote about Krishnamurti is simple one part learning to reprogram itself. About the demons, they might be the parts of a negative entity and yes they are probable stupid and can be reprogrammed like anything. Just my observations and you must be able to see that they are true ;)
About Krishnamurti, seeing without having an image works for me. I was able to change my own program a little with it. Thanks.
Posted by: nietzsche | March 05, 2013 at 01:34 AM
Krishnamurti was an extreme revolutionary.
He was like Galileo and Copernicus and
Sir Issac Newton.
He was against all religions, all
Gurus and politics, the self and Gods.
His method of change was very simple.
Look at things as they are. Re examine
everything you have taken for granted.
Throw away old opinions and reconsider
with a fresh outlook.
An extremely scientific and pragmatic way
of dealing with the human condition.
Posted by: Mike Williams | March 05, 2013 at 08:44 AM
Turan, I took a quick look at Hudson's paper:
I should read it more closely, but my first impression is that Hudson doesn't reference studies about how the brain works at all. This seems ridiculous.
It's akin to arguing that it's possible for a human to leap 100 feet into the air, unaided, without discussing the human anatomy and physiology that supposedly makes this possible.
Posted by: Brian Hines | March 25, 2013 at 02:46 PM
Does it matter whether the sages knew how the brain works, or not? Does it matter whether we know how the internet works, or not? What matters is how you use the brain, or the internet...not how they work ultimately!
Furthermore, simple, and complex visions/"mental imagery" are not the same as neuron nerve nets, and neuron nerves firing in the brain....However, there is a close connection between the physical brain, and the non-physical mind which is not fully understood.
Posted by: Robert Searle | March 27, 2013 at 04:38 AM