Today I got an email from someone who said:
Well, here in your blog itself, you have all of these people sharing their experiences. Huge voluminous paragraphs detailing all kinds of dramatic experiences, with stars and moons and spatial flight and GIHFs [God In Human Form] popping up with personal guidance and what-have-you. My question is : Why do you ignore them now, now that you do see these experiences spoken of, quite plainly?
This was my response.
As you might expect, I consider that people who say they’ve had experiences of a supernatural reality are either deluding themselves, or other people. Both are possible, of course, if someone believes they’ve had a genuine experience, then tries to convince others that it was real.
I’m reading an interesting book, Selfie.
The author notes that culture is a key ingredient in human experience. This is obvious, of course, when it comes to so-called mystical experiences. How often do Christians have a vision of Krishna? Very rarely, if at all.
Likewise, how often do Sant Mat devotees have a vision of Jesus? Very rarely, if at all.
The only way I could begin to accept that “supernatural” experiences are real would be if everyone who reported that sort of experience had virtually identical descriptions of it. But they don’t.
A few minutes of Googling turned up some examples. Here’s some people who had visions of Jesus.
I wouldn't go as far as saying that there is no evidence. I think there is a lot of evidence, but it happens to be weak evidence that certainly doesn't approach truth beyond the subjective truth of the one who experienced it.
This is where most contemporary indic religions fail imo. They attempt to apply the label of "science" to everything to legitimize their prescriptions, but it's not even possible to study in a scientific setting. The term science is in most cases a bad PR stunt.
The strength of Christian and Islamic mysticism, to me at least, is the aspect of mystery. At least in translation, Hafiz constantly talks frequently about the fact that he doesn't know. He's in rapture and that's what matters. Not that he's "making progress" or seeing checkpoints on a path.
The experiences are or at least should be valuable to the aspirant for their own sake. Not because they're true, real, repeatable, or "scientific." RSSB, ISKCON et al have totally misused the term 'science' and at this point it should be embarrassing to them to continue using it.
Posted by: Jesse | July 13, 2018 at 09:20 PM
Electrons have been revolving around nucleus since billions of years without any motor or generator there. Any atheist if says that this is natural would be lying blatantly. It is validating sant mat's universal energy. But unfortunately for hindus, sikhs and moslems ; all the modern physics has been developed by Christians and these cunning breeds have stolen science developed by Christians without paying a penny.
Posted by: vinny | July 14, 2018 at 12:33 AM
@ vinny - totally disagree with you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Christian Crusaders in the 12 and 13th centuries burned and stole. They burned evidence of Arabic algebra and calculus.
Sorry but the west have been thieves as well.
East India company was a prime example of stealing!!!
It is what makes the world spin around - have a fabulous day!!!!!
Posted by: Arjuna | July 14, 2018 at 03:48 AM
@ Brian - OMG that book Selfie is mind blowing.
I recommend every one of this blog to read that - it may clear some of the cobwebs from a few of you who live in la la land😀
See the world and your own as it is- read that book and you will realise - none of have a clue - much love as always 😀
Posted by: Arjuna | July 14, 2018 at 03:51 AM
Truth is a linear progression from what is known to what is not known. When the revelation of what is not known relies upon the evidence of the one who has had the revelation, then there ceases to be that linear progression and it becomes circular. To this sclerotic western mind, a 'truth' is only true if it can be validated.
Posted by: veeper | July 14, 2018 at 05:53 AM
“i” am NOT God! I never was, am not now, and never will be!
“i” am not a drop of the Ocean, WHO IS God. “i” am a creation of God, The Ocean, that unlike God, Who had no beginning, Alpha, nor will have no end, Omega, HAS had a beginning, when God, the Ocean created “me”, the Soul that now temporarily manifests as the identity of Jim Sutherland.
That created Soul, had a beginning, but it has no end. It is now Eternal since creation, but has, and will continue to manifest through unending multitudes of impermanent, changing, Vehicles of Consciousness , using Containers, manifesting in The Wheel of 84, The Hindu Charausi, i.e. 8,400,000 possible physical Species in the Universe.
The Created Soul that has manifested and lived in The Wheel of 84 since being created by God, from Amoebas to the present Container Temple of Jim Sutherland, and will continue to manifest in future unknown Containers, for Eternity, is unknown by “me”, the Soul , and is only known by The Creator, Who is Christ, Who is also known by other Names and Identities, such as Anami Purush,
Radhasoami, God, Source, Universe, etc, with a List that is unending, depending on individual imagination.
“i”, the Soul presently manifesting as Jim, will NEVER completely merge with God, or become a drop merging back to the Ocean, as Vedanta Advaitist teachers mistakingly teach, because “i” was never the Ocean, or God, “i” was only an individual creation by God, that became a drop in the Mind of God, as Kal was also created by God, to become Universal Mind, the Agent of ALL minds, including not only mine, but every mind in The Wheel of 84, Charausi!
Any Drop that merges in the Ocean, is annihilated, as far as individual duality is concerned, and commits Spiritual suicide be claiming to be God in human form!
No doubt, God is in all of us, as Christ, and We are in Him, but will always remain in Duality for Eternity as created Individual Souls have lived in Charausi progressing to present, with out ever being sentenced to Annihilation by God as drops merging completely back to the Ocean.
God has a Chain of Command He uses to draw his created Souls back to back and enjoy His Ocean of Glory, with out annihilating Duality.
Spiritual Seekers are those created souls who have tired of experiencing the adventures in the Play of Consciousness, and are becoming detached from the impermanent enticements of the Sensory pleasures of the material world of Duality.
But, escaping the world of Duality, permanently, with out being annihilated, as taught by Vedanta Advaitists, is impossible, because according to the Bible, only God Alone knows all the secrets, and the Prophets, Masters, Avatars, only know the secrets God reveals to each of them, in Duality, as individuals.
If this is not so, there would be no secrets, and we would all know each other's thoughts and desires, actions, histories, since bring created, and we don’t, NONE of us, including Masters.
I consider “my” self, as the present culmination of all of the same Soul that has lived numerous past lives in Charausi since being created by God , a projection of my Higher Soul Self, that is now a Multidimensional Consciousness, with the present identity of Jim Sutherland, now in Duality, as having started in Duality at the time “i” was created by Christ, i.e. God, Anami Purush.
“I” will Eternally remain in Duality, as long as Consciousness of awareness is retained, but have been given the Keys of Knowledge , which is the Technique of The Science of The Soul, which may be used to escape the horrors and suffering of Charausi , when ever “i” choose to use the Prescription administered by Master to rest in the Glory of Bliss in Anami.
Drops never merge in the Ocean with out becoming annihilated.
But, Drops may sail on The Ocean enjoying the Sights, Sounds, Lights, Bliss, by taking refuge in various Cruise ships, which are Masters of various Lineages or Cruise lines.
The Masters are the Cruise Ships escorting Spiritual Seekers on Adventures enjoyed and experienced ON, the Ocean, but not IN the Ocean, unless those souls manifesting in human forms desire to become souls in Aquatic Sea living forms.
Individual Saints, or Spiritual Seekers, on individual Paths of Duality, seek God by sailing the God Ocean Ocean sailing on the Surface in Kayaks, Canoes, Rafts, Yachts, err.
But Masters, are the Cruise Ships, that escort and ferry Seeker Souls through the Multidimensional Planes of Consciousness on the Ocean of Christ.
I consider my self, the soul that is acting as Jim, to be a Booking Agent, for all Spiritual Masters escorting and ferrying Spiritual Seekers to experience the adventures on the Ocean of Christ, i.e. Anami Purush.
My Booking Fees are FREE, as my payment and rewards from Christ are held in Trust for me, in The Book of Life, Archived in the Highest Pinocle of Causal Mind, where the Avatars of Christ all reside together and Eternally remain to carry out the Plans of God.
Kal, i.d. Satan, is Time, in Duality, which is annihilation in the Ocean , as drops are obviously, timeless, also sails and rides the Ocean of Christ as Battle Ships, Submarines, loaded with demolition to annihilate Souls in Duality wanting to enjoy the Play of Consciousness with out loosing Awareness or Individuality.
Kal’s Agents are Vedanta Adventist Oneness Preachers.
Booking Agents for Christ know who they are, and recognize them right away, so are enemies of Kal.
Caveat Emptor! ( let the Seeker Beware )
Sent from my i Pad -- Jim Sutherland
Posted by: Jim Sutherland | July 14, 2018 at 06:30 AM
Really it is none of your business what other people's spiritual experiences are. Your job is to have your own if you can. I don't see how it is possible any other way to know if God exists. Certainly it cannot be done objectively through science. You may now say that individuals have different experiences and how does a person know whether it is God or not or even the correct God? Unlike every other religion, the Bible is a guide as to knowing which God is the true God because it is an objective text that have tests. You test the spirits to know if they come from God or from Satan.
Kal is not Satan. Satan is a biblical concept. Kal is sikh. Just to prove what I mean, the word Satan isn't underlined in red autocorrect spelling, and Kal is.
Posted by: D.r | July 14, 2018 at 07:16 AM
If we use your system then I guess ever schizophrenic in the hospital who sees a bunch of things that are true to him should be considered a scientist.
Anything else would be "sclerotic."
Just believe, man.
Posted by: Jesse | July 14, 2018 at 08:08 AM
Don't mistake my comment as an acceptance of Jim's theological treatise, but saying that spell check not recognizing the spelling a foreign word is certainly not proof of the concepts of Kal and Satan being different let alone proof of the validity of your competing theological claim that the Bible is true.
There are various schools of thought within Christianity, and even more in Judaism, which deal with the subject of who or what Satan or "the" Satan is. Some do align with the Sant Mat concept of a Kal like character who does it's job to keep us away from God.
As to everyone's ever so confident theological claims, all I have to say is that billions of people disagree with every theological claim that isn't the one they were raised in or taught. That you think you know anything at all is sort of mind boggling to me.
A lot of you read a couple books from some Indian dude about various gods and things like "karma" and decided you'd figured out existence and the meaning of life. Many other Indian dudes write contradictory things about karma, devis and devas and what yog is the TRUE Yog™. Why do you believe one but not the others?
Posted by: Jesse | July 14, 2018 at 08:27 AM
I have to tediously point out that all these 'problems' of spiritual experiences stem from the fact that we think. Thinking is merely the ability to plan and solve problems – originally applied for the purpose of planning ahead mainly in the pursuit of finding food and shelter. We have now employed our thinking (as useful as it is for practical purposes) to invent a whole host of issues that are irrelevant to our survival.
As we evolved we have assumed a separate 'thing' called a mind and formed from this store of information a self. So important has this mind constructed 'self' become to us we now protect it through our beliefs, opinions and concepts. We mistakenly feel it to be as real as our physical bodies. But, it has become so real and important to us our mental health practically relies on it.
Whether we hold religious, scientific or secular beliefs about such issues is not important, what is important (to the individual) is the fact that his/her particular mindset in some way maintains his physical and mental life. If a particular mind-set in its present social/cultural/mental environment employs supernatural thinking to render his 'self' secure then so be it.
We are far from being able to live in this world together intelligently – and it is saddening to see beliefs continually being used against one another.
Posted by: Turan | July 14, 2018 at 08:36 AM
Truth hurts so badly that people either become cunning liars or lame apologists. Greatest truth of modern times is that atomic structure validates sant mat's universal energy. Cunning liars are those who don't want this secret to reach laymen, lame apologists are those who stole science from Christians to think that they have become equal to them in intellect. But modern Christian weapons are so dangerous that they can wipe off countries without using a single bullet like weapons of celestial beings
Posted by: vinny | July 14, 2018 at 08:59 AM
Cool post. Souls bobbing along on the ocean of spirit is it, I think. The existence of the individual unit of awareness does seem to be something denied by certain popular advaita advocates. They seem to mistake the elimination of ego - the no self experience, as it is commonly called - with annihilation of individual awareness even though it is obvious that it is individual awareness having the experience. At the same time, what they don't seem to recognize, is that the "absolute" God can not be fully understood or experienced and that has always been recognized in Indian spirituality. It is is a degeneration of established knowledge that suggests otherwise.
Posted by: Joe | July 14, 2018 at 09:53 AM
A lot of you read a couple books from some Indian dude about various gods and things like "karma"
and decided you'd figured out existence and the meaning of life. Many other Indian dudes write c
ontradictory things about karma, devis and devas and what yog is the TRUE Yog™. Why do you believe one but not the others?
I agree. We tend to see the "light" after reading and go off
merrily pontificating without the slightest clue. The true mystic
is much more circumspect. He asks you to follow a simple but
exasperatingly difficult discipline: a lifetime of looking inside,
observing the mind's thoughts, repeating a mantra, following
a diet, and reining in the ego. He will insist you experience
markers along the way and verify at every step.
Instead of instilling fear as in cult, he will offer help. Answer
questions. There are no guarantees of instant progress, no
time tables. He offers hope and a practice he himself has
experienced. There's no disparagement of other teachers
or paths either. He doesn't tout his practice as the only path,
never says "This is the only way. Forget anyone else. I'm the
It's true. You find contradictions, philosophical differences,
strange and fantastical cosmologies even among legitimate
seeming paths. Throw into the mix thousands of fakes and it's
easy to discount all of them.
But, something within us resists that impulse. It's that same
thing which recognizes truth in a sea of falsehoods. And if
we never start the journey within, we lose no matter how
many fakes we find and lies we expose.
Posted by: Dungeness | July 14, 2018 at 04:55 PM
"The true mystic
is much more circumspect. He asks you to follow a simple but
exasperatingly difficult discipline: a lifetime of looking inside,
observing the mind's thoughts, repeating a mantra, following
a diet, and reining in the ego. He will insist you experience
markers along the way and verify at every step."
According to Sant Mat, yes. But not all paths ask that you repeat mantras, follow a certain diet, or experience anything let alone trust what you might experience.
You're proving my point for me and repeating RSSB dogma without realizing it. You've been told "THIS is mysticism" without looking around to see 100 other conflicting opinions from mystics and traditions who are routinely misrepresented by RSSB.
This is why I say RSSB is the perennial philosophy run amok. Its attempt at proving a common ground always comes at the the expense of the truth. Printing books that say "Christians don't understand Christianity. Check out this one quote from obscure heretic as proof" is insulting to say the least, and of course ignorant as well.
Brian wrote about this a while ago in response to the Buddhism book I think, and during a time when I was still in the cult haze more than I am now. If I remember correctly I argued with him about it. But I agree with him now.
One of the last times I was in a Gurdwara I had a discussion with a RS member and explained to him that no Sikh believes in his view on the Guru Granth Sahib. He couldn't accept that Sikhs knew more about Sikhism than non-Sikhs or that they interpreted lines from the Granth differently. He just KNEW that all religions are the same. Somehow every religion on earth, all their scholars, and all their mystic missed this important point and need to be corrected by Punjabi business men who like shopping for expensive watches and taking photos of flowers.
But imo all theological arguments are stupid and unworthy of our attention, especially if we have desires for mystical experiences.
Posted by: Jesse | July 14, 2018 at 07:52 PM
You've been told "THIS is mysticism" without looking around to see 100 other conflicting opinions from mystics and traditions who are routinely misrepresented by RSSB.
Jesse, as I mention, RSSB doesn't "disparage other teachers or
their paths". Can you provide an actual citation from RSSB
literature? Are you referring to uninformed remarks made by
Its attempt at proving a common ground always comes at the the expense of the truth. Printing books that say "Christians don't understand Christianity. Check out this one quote from obscure heretic as proof" is insulting to say the least, and of course ignorant as well.
I agree that remark is arrogant, overly broad, and certainly
doesn't reflect the level of faith and understanding of all
Christians. An equivalent claim could be made that not all
RSSB followers understand RSSB. ( replace "not all" with
"very few" and most would agree )
Posted by: Dungeness | July 14, 2018 at 09:54 PM
I consider it a bit disparaging to other religions for Charan Singh and Sawan Singh to say that they are greater than Jesus, Buddha etc and that Jesus was actually a failed yogi (paraphrasing obviously) to be completely retarded. Or for them, in their own books, to say that some woman will never make "progress" because she practices the Hindu forms of worship that her ancestors have for millennia.
I had nearly every book ever published by RSSB. Read them all. Can't remember exact quotes, but if you're not aware of their comparisons which they use to place themselves above others, you're not familiar with RSSB literature which explicitly and repetitively claims to be higher, and the highest path and that things like prophets and yogis were lesser evolved beings.
Religion is dumb. RSSB is no exception.
Posted by: Jesse | July 14, 2018 at 10:50 PM
Inb4 anyone accuses me of being a hypocrite.
I can say anything I want about religion. I can curse Jesus and Sawan Singh in the same sentence because I'm not the one claiming to be God. I've printed precisely zero books with my own picture on an insert with the title "Perfect Living Master."
Posted by: Jesse | July 14, 2018 at 10:55 PM
Jesse wrote: "I can curse Jesus and Sawan Singh ... "
Good to know at least you are not that retarded.
For a change, instead of always criticising and cursing,
why don't you share some of your details, Jesse ?
Are you still meditating ?
How long you've meditated in a stretch and span ?
You've anything to share about your SELF ?
Posted by: One Initiated | July 15, 2018 at 06:55 AM
There is no self. Only the ONE. A flowing stream of consciousness where all things come together in perfect harmony. We just have to bhajan super hard and see it.
Just kidding. Don't ask me about myself. It's irrelevant and I only tell personal details to people I respect.
Posted by: Jesse | July 15, 2018 at 10:28 AM
I am so happy to observe three things in your last comment:
1) that you can still do kidding with the ones you disrespect
2) that you DO know/have some people you respect
2) that you didn't disrespect the Masters, at least in this comment
I love you too.
Posted by: One Initiated | July 15, 2018 at 10:52 AM
There are no "masters" to me, so it wouldn't be possible to insult them. It's not a title I accept as having any validity whatsoever.
They started calling themselves "perfect living masters" because as I've mentioned before, there is a big race in India to compete for who supposedly goes to the highest heaven. And I guess now the ascension-claims disease has spread to the far east and west as well with that supreme master chick and various europeans all claiming that they are gods.
Prabhupad said that perfect living masters are scoundrels, because only he was the perfect living master. Krishna Lok is higher than Sach Khand aka Devil Land. If you follow Gurinder, you're supposedly insulting the REAL god of Hare Krishna Bengali faction.
So, isn't this whole thing sort of embarrassing to be part of? I personally feel shame that I ever believed that some dude was god or made some sort of attempt to assess the merits of godman claims. Plus, I'm initiated, so contrary to gurinder's claims that all his predecessors are liars, I've been told by said liars that I'll be born here as a human a few more times and then go to sach khand anyway.
Nothing to lose I guess
Posted by: Jesse | July 15, 2018 at 11:12 AM
@ Jesse - you got any ideas as to how I can achieve salvation? I’m curious.
I don’t believe in Brian’s view that there is no creator at all.
So what’s you take?????
Posted by: Arjuna | July 15, 2018 at 11:14 AM
No I don't have any answers. Sorry.
I've been attending Orthodox Church services lately, but probably won't receive baptism or chrismation because unlike a lot of Catholics and Orthodox, I took the time to read about heresies and can't honestly reject them all. Some heresies are outright political garbage and the Church has basically painted themselves into a corner with all their linguistic trickery.
The heresy I despise the most is the syncretic heresy. Christianity is a syncretic religion. It borrowed the entire holy book of another religion, borrowed their liturgy as well, "sainted" pagan gods and gave them local names etc.
But, I do think that there is something about tradition that has value. What is useful might get sussed out of a lot of trash over the centuries. When I go to a Church, I feel I'm taking part in something greater than myself, which is the opposite of something like RS meditation in which you're supposed to covertly self-obsess.
The north indian neo-bhakti movements are nothing but mishmash of rootlessness.
I'm guessing from your name that you're Hindu. One of the most beautiful things about Hinduism is its acceptance of personal forms of worship. You can do meditation, chant, sing, do service, take care of your family. All these things are acceptable forms of worship to Hindus.
It's sort of like that old Be Here Now book. You're free to do anything you want if you think it brings you closer to what you think is divine. I'd use that freedom liberally.
Posted by: Jesse | July 15, 2018 at 11:29 AM
@ Jesse - thank you for your response. I loved it. And yes I’m a Hindu
Posted by: Arjuna | July 15, 2018 at 11:59 AM
"The author notes that culture is a key ingredient in human experience. This is obvious, of course, when it comes to so-called mystical experiences. How often do Christians have a vision of Krishna? Very rarely, if at all.
Likewise, how often do Sant Mat devotees have a vision of Jesus? Very rarely, if at all."
It's classic Sant Mat teachings that the inner experience at some point includes meeting Jesus along the inner path, and in fact every realized soul in history. It is actually part of the path.
As Maharaji said to an initiate, " Sister, we are all following Christ."
But also we can be deluded.
There is a distinction between illusion and inner reality. That's why the focus on one's own Teacher is emphasized.
As for believing anyone else, it is culture and conditioning bound, and your, Jesse and other's willingness to believe unverified reports is also evidence of that.
You believe any disclosure of inner experience is false.
And any rumors about corruption around RSSB are true, in the absence of verifiable fact.
Neither the mystic nor the scientist believes on the surface what anyone says, and is only interested in expanding their own understanding of truth.
Reports of rumors, slander and others ' inner experience without personal verification from their own sources are all equally of poor quality and cannot be taken at face value as fact.
However, they might serve to encourage an individual to seek corroboration and verification if they so choose.
But not choosing to do so leaves one only in the state of belief.
One who stakes their support for some accounts and criticizes others without verification in either case are not making statements of Truth, just opinion.
That is personal opinion, not verifiable truth. And unfortunately, within the realm of opinion is also bias, prejudice, ethnocentricism, and in some cases racism.
When we accuse someone of making false statements based on our opinion, that is actually false.
When we say "I choose to believe that rumor / report of inner experience is true / false and anyone who disagrees is simply being untruthful. " that isn't truth. It's still just opinion.
It is truthful to say, "I choose not to accept it as Truth. It doesn't meet my standard."
You can see that we will each tend to believe different things based on our different conditioning, education, association, education and sentiment.
But what distinguishes opinion from prejudice is the willingness to accept similar standards for truth.
If we are willing to take the time to verify what we can, then of course, we might learn an actual truth.
There is a cost to it. Effort, willingness to refine one's approach, to take feedback, to seek help in our search for truth and to do some actual investigative research.
And the willingness to give up a favorite opinion when facts prove otherwise.
Posted by: Spencer Tepper | July 15, 2018 at 06:01 PM
Hi Brian, you write, in a blog post with the word "supernatural" in the title:
"I’m reading an interesting book, Selfie."
Will Storr, the Brit author of "Selfie", has coincidentally also written another book titled "Will Storr Vs the Supernatural", which I have read in the last year or so:
Now, whilst Will is a very entertaining JOURNALIST (one whose books & opinions never go any deeper than "pop" and superficial), and I personally consider this book to not even be in the top 1,000 books persuasive of the existence of "supernatural" phenomena (does anybody here have a very clear definition of what "supernatural" even means?), it seems you have, coincidentally in a post about the "supernatural", given him credence as an observer with insight into humans & reality. Perhaps you should read this book of his, written as a sceptic, and his encounters with phenomena which "When journalist and ghost sceptic Will Storr heads to Philadelphia to meet Lou Gentile, a demonologist, he expects a little fun with an amusing eccentric. What he gets are terrifying experiences of spectral lights and horrific demonic growling - and all of his safe, adult preconceptions about ghosts instantly vanish."?
Brian writes: "So why should I believe Sant Mat devotees who claim to have visions of the radiant form of their guru, or some supernatural realm that's part of the Sant Mat dogma? Why should their visions be given more credence than the people who have visions of Jesus or of fairies?"
I think you're missing the point. You are still locked into the dualistic, egocentric narrative of RSSB!
Faqir Chand says:
"What is the sadhana I do now? I leave the mind.
.....I have realised that all these stages of sahansdal kanwal, Trikuti, Maha-Sunn are the play of this mind. Visions are based on the thoughts one keeps. The play of whatever one sees within (i.e. visions) is based on samskaras (impressions and suggestions). They are not the same for everyone. Visions or images vary from person to person."
Baba Faqir Chand's Illuminations, The London Satsangs, page 55
And to expand on this, I question your apparent dismissiveness of the silliness that must be "faeries"; is this dismissal based on a thorough understanding of the history and theories regarding faeries, the undeniable & almost "supernatural" patterns of phenomena across various times and cultures going back as far as all known history?
Have you read all of the respected anthropologist W Y Evans Wentz's writings on the subject, those of the brilliant scientist Jacques Vallee, who brought into pop-consciousness the PROFOUND connections between "demons", "faeries" and today's modern "alien encounter" phenomena, or more modern writers such as Joshua Cutchin who cast a very intelligent, open-minded, sceptical long-view on such phenomena, and highlight the eerie, almost "supernatural" similarities between "faerie encounters" and numerous other "supernatural" phenomena, where there ought to be none? I assume you have read all these, and more, works on faeries to be so knowingly dismissive of them? (I have, btw :). I also assume you have made the connection between some of these "faerie" experiences with those in other cultures by eminently honest & sincere people like Faqir Chand, who used to think he saw the form of Krishna (who once told him to eat some dung, which he did....this was one of the things that caused him to question his visions!), or Papaji who used to also Krishna and numerous other "otherworldly" beings, as attested to by numerous witnesses from his childhood?
I assume you have also taken into account a whole host of undeniable, scientifically documented phenomena going back centuries which clearly seem to relate to these & connected phenomena, such as hypnotism, automatic writing, channeling, mediumship, Virgin Mary apparitions, schizophrenia etc etc
Or, at the very least, you must have at least read a basic blog entry or two on the subject, before dismissing it so casually?:
Now, I understand it easy to dismiss this all as "fantasy" or "delusion", but that would be a disingenuous approach to a subject that is so ubiquitous throughout human history, and one that beggars all sorts of fantastic & mind-blowing questions about the human consciousness and experience, regardless of what the ultimate explanation may be! And, it goes without saying, an approach inevitably taken only by those who are ignorant of the actual experience itself.
But to each their own dis/enchantment with being and reality.
Posted by: manjit | July 19, 2018 at 12:55 PM
Manjit, I like most of what you write, but I can't tell if your comment was a joke or not.
"Papaji who used to also Krishna and numerous other "otherworldly" beings, as attested to by numerous witnesses from his childhood?"
How could you possibly attest to things that only I see? The only thing you could do is to say that I told you I saw something, which is worth precisely nothing.
Posted by: Jesse | July 19, 2018 at 01:54 PM
You write: "How could you possibly attest to things that only I see? The only thing you could do is to say that I told you I saw something, which is worth precisely nothing."
Well I think the restrictions of type and time hinder effective communication.
What I suggest is, in context of David Godman's 1300 page bio of Papaji, and the dozens of testimonies from numerous people, family, friends etc, that he tirelessly collated with great difficulty, paint a fairly convincing picture of what he experienced as it accords with his own testimony. Childhood stories confirmed by several witnesses which suggest Papaji was indeed "seeing" some sort of "entities", interacting with them, talking etc (what those "entities" or visions are is not being mentioned here, just the facts of his experience)
Further - and perhaps this is where I lose you - there is a HUGE body of similar anecdotal evidence (anecdotes count as "evidence" in court :) spanning vast times & cultures that do not make Papaji's claims at all unique or unusual, so I do not take such issue and exception to what I wrote there. Chand - of impeccable honesty - said he saw the form of Krishna, and once met some white haired fellow in the middle of a jungle but wasn't sure "if he was really there or not"....experiences almost identical to Papaji.....patterns between the random 2 examples I chose, out of thousands of sources......
Perhaps you are suggesting all these thousands if not millions of people who claim to have experienced such phenomena (ahh, I don't want to start listing down all the many, many influential, greatly admired & respected and important people throughout history who have! :) are not to be believed, but are being dishonest?
I would find that incredulous, myself. And perhaps a little stuck in one's own head and experiences, if so......
Anyway, I of course do not suggest Papaji's family members also shared the same visions...in fact they make numerous points & anecdotes which showed they didn't, and which confer an element of honesty, realism etc to his experiences, that he himself was experiencing something "unusual".
If you want to talk about "shared visions", that's another topic, and also with copious anecdotal evidence by people of impeccable and respected character! F W H Myers books, and others from the SPR etc from that time, are replete with them. Or, for an entertaining read, how about Raymond Moody's "Shared Death Experiences" book?
Posted by: manjit | July 19, 2018 at 02:30 PM
So in short your position is that people see things.
I agree since I once had a schizophrenic roommate who saw things.
I didn't find much of what he saw or spoke about to be useful, which is how I feel about so-called mystics.
Posted by: Jesse | July 19, 2018 at 03:02 PM
Interesting comment, thanks, it explains much!; "I didn't find much of what he saw or spoke about to be useful, which is how I feel about so-called mystics."
Great, you have your own interests!
It is, of course & without the slightest shadow of a doubt, incredibly ignore-ant, arrogant and dismissive, but you are entitled to your own views.
It appears that neither yourself or Brian are aware that most of the greatest innovators, scientists, philosophers, world leaders etc etc were "mystics" or had "mystical experiences".
That is okay, you have been conditioned by the "suggestions" of modern culture and mass media, who can blame you for being brain-washed so; you do not have the time, energy or interest to look into these things deeper, instead satisfying yourself with unexamined and essentially vacuous of meaning dismissals such as "I once had a schzophrenic roommate who saw things", as if that is proof or evidence of anything, demonstrating insight, understanding or experience, when it clearly is merely a statement of prideful & self-indulgent ignore-ance masquerading as insight.
What is schizophrenia, Jesse? I was reading volumes of Abnornmal Psychology and DSMs as a teenager, and that is merely the tip of conscious-experience iceberg, for psychiatry and neuro-science really hasn't got, self-admittedly, the foggiest idea - yet you dismiss it so readily, "knowingly"? You will understand if I read this as mere petulant ignorance :)
Your disenchantment is palpable even through the ether; and that is why your criticisms of RS/SB will not affect so many people, because they have experienced and understood things you haven't. You do not understand them.
I wish you find peace my friend,
Posted by: manjit | July 19, 2018 at 03:17 PM
It appears that neither yourself or Brian are aware that most of the greatest innovators, scientists, philosophers, world leaders etc etc were "mystics" or had "mystical experiences".
Lol what? A few random quotes exist, but what you said is an amazing overstatement. And I don't care if world leaders see things. I've seen things. Are you gonna listen to everything I say now?
Get over your self. Show me something of value.
Posted by: Jesse | July 19, 2018 at 03:38 PM
"you have been conditioned by the "suggestions" of modern culture and mass media"
-Knows literally nothing about me
-Claims to know my life experience
-calls me arrogant and not himself
You're a genius manjit.
Posted by: Jesse | July 19, 2018 at 03:40 PM
Jesse: "Lol what?
Indeed, that sounds just about perfect for this level of discussion! :)
Well, where shall we start Jesse - it seems you are entirely bereft of contextual knowledge? (hence, the "claim" to know your "life experience"; there is only one way you could make the clichéd statements you made, if one IS in understanding of the history and evolution of "mystical" experience in human history and development & it's relation to modern pop-culture. It is a "logical" & informed conclusion......It is NOT mind-reading "genius" or arrogance of the level where you claim to know Spencer "lied" about speaking to the Indian embassy, and that you "trust yourself" in that regard....that would be a strange claim to make as it would be based on absolutely nothing other than your own intuition/bias :)
Where to begin though, Jesse, when someone is clearly ignore-ant of the ENTIRE history of mysticism, science and philosophy, and gets all their information from the modern ideological distortions of pop-media sources? Honestly, where would you begin!? Nearly every single philosopher, religious leader, scientist who made major discoveries/ideas (ever heard of "alchemy", Jesse? :-o), artists, poets & authors throughout history - the main influences on all human activity (I omit how influential "mystical" experiences have been on the global political stage, as you seem so dismissive of that!) - were either heavily influenced & guided by "mystical" experiences and practices, or otherwise directly made their major discoveries via infrequent or singular "mystical" experiences. Yet you appear to not be aware of ANY of it? :-o
Shall we start with Socrates, considered the father of all western philosophy? You are no doubt aware he was in life-long contact with an "inner daemon" that he spoke to, interacted with, received instruction from (in ways similar to Papaji :)?
Of course, it goes without saying that nearly all the ancient greek philosophers - founders of all western philosophy - were or had "mystical" experiences? Oh yes, goes without saying! Ask Brian.....
Shall we take the example of Giordano Bruno - the alleged by scientists such as Neil de Grasse Tyson as "a martyr for science against the irrationality of religious belief"?
Well, having read quite a few translations of his work and his life story, how surprising to find he was an occultist, whose cosmological views came to him through his visionary and mystical experiences?
Hey, Tyson - get your facts straight, don't play propaganda with the truth; Giordano Bruno was an occultist and mystic extra-ordinaire, and it was from THAT mindset all his theories came!
How about Newton? Obsessed occultist & alchemist.
Carl Jung? Had a "daemon" he interacted with for most of his life and considered his teacher, called "Philemon".
Einstein's theory of relativity? Revealed in a visionary/imaginal experience. Read his writings to get a sense of the "mystical".
Crick's discovery of the structure of DNA? Allegedly via an LSD experience.
Mendeleev's discovery of the "periodic table" structure? In a dream vision.
Theory of natural selection in evolution by Alfred Wallace? In a visionary period of fever and visions.
Finding the structure of Benzene molecule by Kekulé? Visionary dream experience.
Formulation of brilliant new mathematical ideas by Srinivasa Ramanujan? Through visionary experience of a Hindu Goddess.
Quantum theory? Revealed by it's founders by using, tellingly, copious quotes from mystical texts such as the Vedas.
Rene Descartes, one of if not THE most influential philosopher on modern thought of the last 500 odd years? Most of his best ideas he claims were imparted to him by an "angel" during visionary experience/
The creation of the internet and other recent technologies? LSD.
Etc etc etc etc etc etc.
I have not even mentioned, of the top of my head, even 1% of the overwhelming body of evidence that suggests "altered states of experience" influence mankind on all levels of society, ubiquitously, almost life water to fish. But, it is getting late here, and I cannot recount the entire history of mankind and science!
And so we're here, fishes arguing against the existence of water.
What you gonna do?
PS - all the arguments that attempt to rationalise or re-frame these blatant "mystical experiences" into more mundane, psychological models (it is merely the subconscious processing information....as if a single person here knows what the "subconscious" is any more than they know what a "faerie realm" is! :) are trite and clichéd, and in no way take into context that we don't yet even have a remotely coherent model of consciousness, sense of "self", "subconsciousness", mystical experience actually IS....so we are left with these vacuous moving around of unexamined concepts, as if we actually understand what is going on, what the nature of reality and consciousness is......locked into a conceptual fantasy
Posted by: manjit | July 19, 2018 at 04:24 PM
A beautiful and scholarly listing.
Thanks for raising the discussion.
Posted by: Spencer Tepper | July 19, 2018 at 04:28 PM
Many it, if you haven't noticed, ive made reference to Sikhism, Hinduism and esoteric Christianity repeatedly. To say I'm ignorant because I don't think the milk coming out of your Ganesh statue is real is an indictment on you, not me.
People see things. People experience things. It doesn't make them real.
You re a superstitious person who thinks I watch or have been brainwadhed by tv simply because I doubt stigmata claims.
And Quantum theory is not the product of the Vedas, YouTube scholar.
Posted by: Jesse | July 19, 2018 at 04:35 PM
Manjit, here is a totally scientific paper for you to study. Deep stuff. Might change the world.
Posted by: Jesse | July 19, 2018 at 04:43 PM
Spencer - thank you!
Hi Jesse, you write: "YouTube scholar."
Hehehe, priceless, thanks :o)
You write: " simply because I doubt stigmata claims."
Seriously, dude, please acquaint yourself with some actual science. The effects of "stigmata" have been proven beyond any reasonable doubt. The cause of it, nobody knows. It seems you do and that it doesn't even exist, or other "miracles" like bleeding Virgin Mary statues, or milking Ganesha statues......judging by your comments, it is clear you have researched and looked into all these phenomena personally and in depth, and not merely basing them on modern pop-culture sensibilities. Of course......
Honestly, you really are merely highlighting the level and depth of your knowledge here.
I recommend the psychological tome "Irreducible Mind", as off the top of my head, it presents plenty of referenced scientific literature on the subject. Even if it doesn't, it must be incredibly easy to find as it really is a documented and proven phenomena that is doubted by nobody who has even the slightest awareness of the medical reports:
Again, by your comments you reveal the true nature and depth of your understanding of this subject which you have chosen to comment so forcefully on. To call it superficial would be to do a disservice to the word superficial.
But, as a "YouTube" scholar, what else would I say :)
Goodnight and sweet dreams, my beloved.....;)
Posted by: manjit | July 19, 2018 at 04:50 PM
Jesse: "And Quantum theory is not the product of the Vedas, YouTube scholar."
Ahh, so the only pedantic response to the over-whelming body of evidence which contradicts your claims is this ONE incorrect rebuttal, and complete ignorance of the rest? That suggests disingenuous on your part, which should be quite clearly visible to anyone not emotionally invested with one side or the other of our discussion.
I never claimed Quantum theory is the "product of the Vedas". Reread what I wrote...I wrote with understanding and clarity about the subject. I said it was "revealed" by it's founders using quotes from mystical texts like the Vedas...which they DID do. Having read many excerpts from their diaries, the history of quantum theory (very little on youtube, incidentally :), their personal lives etc....I know what I meant and I what I wrote is factually correct. I did not say it was a PRODUCT of the Vedas, but rather was communicated to people via passionate usage of paragraphs from it. They also has "mystical" beliefs in their personal lifes, and believed in such odd things as the "Pauli effect"....
Either way, as you say, "LOL"
Posted by: manjit | July 19, 2018 at 04:57 PM
Hi Jesse. Well, this discussion has taken a strange turn, hasn't it? :) (I respond here to your numerous comments in several threads).
It's really difficult to have an intelligent & constructive discussion about a subject with somebody who is not only clearly way out of their depth (lacking ANY knowledge, insight or information whatsoever!), but also arrogantly and ignorantly remains argumentative based on nothing but unexamined & erroneous ideas.
This discussion evolved out of your comments: "I didn't find much of what he saw or spoke about to be useful, which is how I feel about so-called mystics." & "Lol what? A few random quotes exist, but what you said is an amazing overstatement...... Get over your self. Show me something of value.".
To which I responded by providing a brief list of "so-called mystics" and their "supernatural" experiences which intersected with some if not all of the MOST influential scientific & philosophical findings in western history in ways that we as a society and culture literally are unable to escape as our culture has been built on these foundations (I omit the influence of "mystics" on geo-politics as you seem to think they don't matter, despite being the bed-rock of human society & culture!).
Then, co-incidentally, again in your mocking yet staggeringly ignorant & uninformed tone: "If you think the Vedas or the Bible or baba whoever inspired space travel". I then immediately provided you with an example of an extremely important person in US space travel history whose occult experiences were INEXTRICABLY linked to achieving space travel (your lack of knowledge of this subject somehow causes you to believe that all the connections I made between mystics and science are co-incidental rather than causal.....again highlighting your lack of knowledge of any of this history. The mystical experiences were fundamental in their intellectual & scientific realisations, according to their own words. But you must know best, right?!). Funnily enough, there is a current pop-media TV show about his life story....as superficial as it is (I'm not sure to what extent it will touch on Crowley or Hubbard's involvement in Parson's scientific visions, for eg.), I suspect it is the only way you would get even a remote understanding of the association between the mystical, occult and breaking the limits of previous human achievement.
You then respond: "You're dealing with a tiny fraction of important things in the world and attempting to make it look like an intrinsic link exists between ALL important things and supposed astral projecting mystic voodoo." & "Yes Manjit, I get it. Some people who see things invent important things sometimes. Who cares?".
You also wrote, to Spencer: "Either way,you're a terribly dishonest debater and YOUR goalpost is definitely in constant motion. You change the subject every time you need to.".
That sounds familiar.... Your constant shifting of goalposts, swinging from not being interested in any mystic, to show me "some" examples, to stigmata, milk drinking statues, voodou, astral projecting, to now only arguing against the idea there is "an intrinsic link exists between ALL.....", to "who cares" etc etc. It all comes across as incredibly dishonest, insincere, arrogant and ignorant to me. But, I like all sorts of people, life would be boring otherwise :)
In a previous comment you say you "doubt stigmata claims", but then I inform you of the FACT that the phenomena has been scientifically verified as real beyond any shadow of a doubt & that not a single person, sceptical or otherwise, who actually knows the data & research on the subject doubts that the phenomena actually occurs (the EXPLANATION for which, obviously, is debated....but fraud is out of the question). Easily researched online, for sure....there must be some "YouTube scholars" out there you can at least learn the most superficial data from? Yet, despite telling you this unarguable FACT, you again in subsequent comment mention "stigmata" dismissively & sarcastically. This demonstrates, imo, an incredible lack of sincerity in you comments, and rather an interest in creating some sort of show or pretence, where "fake news" is more important that truth or real knowledge?
Don't you realise that when you make these "witty" dismissive comments about stigmata, astral projection or voodou etc, that what you're actually doing is merely loudly proclaiming your unwarranted pride in your own utter ignorance & lack of experience and understanding of these things?
You are clearly out of your depth here with absolutely no understanding of the history and evolution of human thought and science through the millennia. Keeping in mind how this discussion began (your dismissal of the entities or beings people such as Papaji or Chand), and your complete ignore-ance of the fact that the father of modern western philosophy Socrates - whose influence, via Plato & Neo-Platonism you are literally unable to escape as it influences all aspects of subsequent western culture - also had an "inner daemon" that he interacted with, would go into trance for hours at a time whilst "discussing" with him.....ignoring all this, I want to address your other comment to me.
You wrote: "You're a genius manjit."
Ah, I see! Thank you :) But, do you ACTUALLY understand what you have written here? Ahh, the delicious irony in context of this particular discussion. Have a little look at the etymology of the word "genius", Jesse, maybe it will somewhat enlighten you to how out of your depth you are in this discussion, and why you do not understand the ubiquitous influence of mystical experience on human culture:
late 14c., "tutelary or moral spirit" who guides and governs an individual through life, from Latin genius "guardian deity or spirit which watches over each person from birth; spirit, incarnation; wit, talent;" also "prophetic skill; the male spirit of a gens,""
The same sort of "tutelary spirit" or "guardian deity" Socrates had (or Papaji, Chand etc).
The association of mystical experience and "spirits" with human intelligence, philosophy, science, art, literature goes so deep, so wide, that you are not even aware of it. To a not so thoughtful & informed fish, there is an absence of water!
Posted by: manjit | July 20, 2018 at 08:14 AM
Manjit, I'm over this garbage. Go pray in front of Ganesh milk statue and invent something. I don't care.
Posted by: Jesse | July 20, 2018 at 08:32 AM
Jesse: "Manjit, I'm over this garbage. Go pray in front of Ganesh milk statue and invent something. I don't care.
Of course, you have revealed all you had to reveal, what more is left?
Peace my friend :)
Posted by: manjit | July 20, 2018 at 08:44 AM
jesse > The north indian neo-bhakti movements are nothing but mishmash of rootlessness.
You want salvation
First : do no harm
Where ever it is calm , listen above your eyes
When you hear it - try to love it
That s all
if u want go fast , . . ask for help from a connaisseur , connesseuse
Posted by: 777 | July 20, 2018 at 02:25 PM
A skeptic is someone who examines a belief more closely than a believer
Posted by: adam balm | August 31, 2018 at 11:33 AM