Here's a new Open Thread.
Remember, off-topic comments should go in an Open Thread. I'll copy in some examples of off-topic comments that I unpublished recently and included in this new Open Thread.
If you don't see a recent comment, or comments, posted, it might be because you've failed to follow the above rule. Keep to the subject of a blog post if you leave a comment on it. And if you want to use this blog as a "chat room," do that in an open thread.
As noted before, it's good to have comments in a regular blog post related to its subject, and it's also good to have a place where almost anything goes in regard to sharing ideas, feelings, experiences, and such. That place is an Open Thread.
Leave a comment on this post about anything you want to talk about. Personal attacks on someone are an exception, as is hate speech. Argue with ideas, not insults.
Though I haven't been doing too well on this, I'll try to remember to always have an Open Thread showing in the Recent Posts section in the right sidebar. If one isn't showing, I've added an Open Threads category in, naturally, the Categories section. You can always find an Open Thread that way.
So if you're a believer in some form of religion, mysticism, or spirituality, this is where you can put your "praise God," "praise Guru," or "praise _______" comments.
These are comments Karim submitted on another post that were too preachy and off-topic to fit with that post. So I've included them in this new Open Thread.
Before I took some time off the inter-network, I shared what I call the Secret of the Flame. The method was given by the old Masters before Seth Shiv Dayal Soami Ji. I know that was my last focus here but I never shared the full method. Because I must warn it is NOT the method of RSSB. But it IS a beginner's meditation. A meditation anyone could practice to PREPARE or use to DECIDE if they want to further their meditations with the extremely SERIOUS not to be taken lightly method of my Master, Sri Gurinder Singh Ji Dhillon; Surat Shabd Yog.
With that said, here's the Flame method: "One must first find a quiet space or room. Preferably dark, but if light can enter make sure your back is positioned to block the light. Next, you need a controlled Flame. A carousel lantern, candle, or even a butane burner will do -as long as the flame will burn safely and not injure the practitioner nor the household. One you got your controlled Flame going, you put it somewhere (safe) where you can sit in a chair, on the floor, or anywhere you can still see your Flame. Next, all you are to do now is to stare at that Flame. No looking anywhere else, no thinking of how hot it looks, and no using it for warmth. For how ever long that you can keep it up, do nothing else just gaze upon that Flame. This medthod was give as a beginner's method to help bring One Pointed attention, also called Concentration or Focus." So there it is, the old beginner's method. I can attest that this method helps the wandering mind.
"..[********] lantern, candle, or even a butane burner will do -as long as the flame will burn safely and not injure the practitioner nor the household." Posted by: Karim W. Rahmaan | December 10, 2022 at 09:26 AM [Edit] A kerosene lantern, candle, or even a butane burner will do..
I should add.. If you were to find someone posting the Sahaj meditation method online or elsewhere. A long time ago, I read a warning about that. Could be just a superstition, but the warning clearly stated: "One may just bypass the Master and get a hold of the meditation technique. But beware, only a true Sat Guru can properly impart that meditation. Poser or imitation Gurus can only lead their students to as far as they achieved. Furthermore, the meditation may also bring about a blissful charging effect but the many dangers lurking on the inner realms are sure to capture those not qualified to initiate directly or via 'representative authorization only'. Jaam Doot, (Dark Force) only function is to eventually devour any stray soul entering the inner realms not under the protection of Sat Purush's sole representative."
[Original Thread] "..I have difficulty understanding the difference between God having a plan for me and the universe having a plan.." The difference is the universe won't exact justice nor judgement. But according to most scriptures God does. Makes it easier to go with God, and not take the chance the universe will send me to oblivion. "Jot niranjan/ kaal then take the soul and as sex demons do all sex acts, as kammasutra, your then harvested and thrown back into this hell planet, ie reincarnated.. Haha" Posted by: Kranvir | December 09, 2022 at 01:39 PM This is Sant Mat/RSSB philosophy, at least part of it. My last three posts spoke of a great warning on the path for stragglers or young seekers. It was deleted, possibly in err. Anyhow, beware of the works of 'kaal'. His methods are only to deluded, confuse, and to lead souls astray. And even satsangi are not fully guaranteed a free ride.
Posted by: Karim W. Rahmaan | December 11, 2022 at 09:37 PM
Brian Hines still has amended his wild and indescribably ugly claim that Gurinder Singh had his wife murdered.
On October 14, Brian posted:
"The questionable timing of Shabnam's death. Her body was cremated. Will the truth ever come out?"
"The timing and circumstances of her death are indeed curious, leading to questions."
"It's also perplexing why her husband, the RSSB guru, reportedly carried on with his previously scheduled program in New Delhi just two days after his wife died. That's a really brief mourning period. "
"The timing of her death raises other questions, since Shabnam was part of the financial scandal involving her husband. I wrote several 2019 blog posts that mentioned Shabnam Dhillon."
"On November 27, 2019, Shabnam Dhillon died in a hospital following surgery on November 20. Now, naturally it could be a coincidence that her death occurred 13 days after she was supposed to appear at a hearing before the High Court of Delhi regarding fraudulent transfers of large amounts of money."
"But the timing of her death definitely raises questions."
Quite a load of sinister innuendo, that. It turns out that there a death certificate was produced, there is no evidence that Shabnam or her husband Gurinder Singh engaged in any financial malfeasance, and certainly no evidence whatever to back Brian Hines sick claim that the Guru of Beas had his wife murdered to keep her quiet.
But we all make mistakes, and credit is certainly due to those who amend their mistakes.
Yet, on November 21 of this year, Brian posted on this topic:
"If the inquest knew that [Shabnam Singh] was due to appear in court and that her appearance would be hugely detrimental to RSSB and the guru, I am sure the inquest would look at this in a different light."
So it appears that Alex Jones I mean Brian HInes (gosh, I get the 2 confused) is sticking with his theory that Shabnam was somehow murdered to keep her silent.
Posted by: Upyourgame | December 12, 2022 at 08:48 PM
Upyourrgame, you need to up your game of truth-telling and reading blog posts. Here's the truth: I've never accused Gurinder Singh of murdering his wife. I've said that her death was suspicious and raised questions. I answered some of those questions by paying for and getting a death certificate, which I've shared on this blog.
The quote about the inquest that you included in your comment didn't come from me. It came from someone else, as I noted in the blog post. So you're wrong on various fronts. In fact, just about everything you said in your comment was wrong. But since it was put in an open thread, where people can be wrong about whatever they want, pretty much, your comment will stand as a testament to your wrongness.
Next time, read more closely and think more deeply before you accuse me or anyone else of doing something that didn't actually happen. I realize that the truth isn't respected by religious believers, but people like me who are devoted to truth do care a lot about it. And so should you.
Posted by: Brian Hines | December 12, 2022 at 10:17 PM
"Brian HInes ... is sticking with his theory that Shabnam was somehow murdered to keep her silent."
Posted by: Upyourgame | December 12, 2022 at 08:48 PM
I don't think he is? That is, I don't remember he's ever actually said that; and in any case, after having seen (and published) the lady's death certificate --- which he himself went to some trouble and expense to procure, and then publish publically --- he clearly said that there's no case for murder, at least on the face of it, basis that evidence.
All he's ever said is that the it's a suspicious coincidence, rather convenient for GSD who's cat-on-hot-tin-roof dancing away to somehow avoid having to come clean about the details of his financial affairs, to his followers to whom he's lied that he'll soon tell them (and he hasn't, so far, although it's already well beyond "soon"), and also to the courts.
Certainly it is ...suspicious, suspiciously convenient for him, any unbiased objective reader can see that. The reasonable person, rather than spinning fairy tales around those suspicions --- whether exonerating the man, or directly indicting him, without evidence --- investigates, and strives to arrive at objective evidenced facts. That's what Brian's done, as best he could while sitting in a different continent.
What more can you possibly ask for? Sure, a more complete investigation, leading to either near-100% exoneration, or else finally indictment, would necessarily involve gumshoeing away at location, detective story style, in the UK, and also, maybe, in India and in Singapore. Sure, be cool if he did it, or some enterprising reporter did it. Or, for that matter, the law enforcement agencies. You yourself can do that, if you care to clear GSD's name even more cleanly than Brian's amateur stay-at-home armchair-detective efforts have.
I'm afraid it's you that's Alex-Jones-ing away, throwing up accusations that are unevidenced and plain wrong.
Posted by: Appreciative Reader | December 13, 2022 at 06:19 AM
True, commenters here have sometimes hinted at such, at times even directly claimed such. Haha, commenters here often go further, and accuse GSD of being Lucifer incarnate, not to forget those lovely accusations about him being some incubus-ish "sex demon", and much else. Sure, you can protest such extravagant accusations and claims; but shouldn't you be taking *them* to task over those comments, rather than Brian?
Unless your gripe is that he's allowed this platform to be used to publish such nonsense? But then don't forget, he's also allowed your own unevidenced and wrong accusations against him to be published. And much worse, much much more colorful stuff, if you'll look up that "I hate Brian Hines" (or some such) link he's got on here somewhere. So well, while sure, he could've clamped down on claims of GSD being an actual murderer, or a sex demon, as well as about he himself (Brian I mean) being all kind of unmentionable things: but he does it differently, and lets people have their say. I think it's kind of cool, this free speech thing; but even if you don't, at least you'll grant him that he's fair about how he goes about it, right?
Posted by: Appreciative Reader | December 13, 2022 at 06:28 AM
It is certainly more of a conspiracy that a bafoon of a baba of beas is regarded as a god in human form , a saviour figure with zero evidence.
A true vessel of god has no needs, he is fully content , and is the embodiment of truth and clarity that is crystal clear. He would also be persecuted by the very religious / cults that rely on human ignorance for their very existence. He will come with a sword , and tell the truth at all costs, and has no interest in lies. He will only be interested in freeing humans with truth, that your soul is part of god, and empower them. He will have no interest in creating a cult following and won't create institutions. Yet he will be a beacon of positivity and happiness. Where ever he goes there would definitely be an air of positivity.
GSD is the very opposite, a desperate needy man, constantly needing attention, hell bent on acquiring billions, hiding his true self by creating a fake narrative and image. His life is a complete lie and contradiction. He has a manic fascination on expanding his empire at all expense, and he has made death to many that stand against his will. He is a only a counterfeit copy of the truth; his questions and answers leave the sangat confused, there is no depth and no real compassion just quick dismissals to answers or comedy sketches and diversion tactics. The only reason the sangat flock is because he uses a kind of magic. The sangat lives are worse off out side the deras, a large proportion are depressed or suicidal...
In conclusion GSD is more of an the anti christ figure, a satan's child, and vessel for Lucifer. He is a king of sex demons on the inner realms where he has his sicko nasty ways on innocent souls. look at his actions outside the satsangs , as within satsangs he's on his best behaviour. You have been warned
Posted by: Kranvir | December 16, 2022 at 03:02 PM
Posted by: swami umami | December 17, 2022 at 10:40 AM
Listening to the monotonous sound of a train on Youtube, the thought came that mystics, as far is i understand, never approached their fellow human beings as they have nothing of value to share with them and for that reason, when they start out, tend to withdraw themselves from the streets of the world into seclusion of forests, caves, mountains etc.
THEY are in no way interested in the affairs of the world and certainly not in creating an religion that carries their name. What they are after is to be found in darkness and silence of their own self ....peace of mind
Then the question arise, why are there so many religions, mystic movements, that are named after them.
If they did not went into the world preaching uninvited this or that, people must have seeked them out for this or that reason.
The answer than might be quite simple. If individuals or groups facing problems they cannot solve, they tend to turn to those to whom magical powers are attributed.
How do I know, well, have a look at the spiritual movements and religions you know of. Then you will find that the birth of these movements are all related to great social cultural problems of those days.
So for example .. there would never have been a Christian religion if the Hebrew tribes of those days were not suffering from an occupation by the Romans, tribes that were also waiting for the messiah to come ... there would never have been an saying .. that the KINGDOM they were seeking was to be found inside and not with the restoration of Hebrew sovereignty by a victory over the romans with the help of a divine person being the messiah.
Religious and/or mystic interest is always born from the two innate instincts the survival of the individual and his tribe.
Sought Welfare, in whatever form it exists, is ALWAYS an expression of these instincts.
Life ... be it this life or eternal life ... actually all and everything humans do, think and feel is born from them.
Posted by: um | January 05, 2023 at 03:07 PM
swami umami: "On the mystic path some are trains, some are trolleys, some are handcars. Some are subways, and the light at the end of the tunnel is only Times Sq-42nd St. O umami, stay on track."
Posted by: umami | January 06, 2023 at 07:20 AM
Well, my dearly beloved pinda dwellers, it seems serendipity has reunited us again. Let us embrace like long lost lovers.
SantMat64 wrote, amongst several other astute questions: “Was the Sant Mat were were taught a corruption of earlier teachings? I'm starting to wonder if it was.” & “Kabir and Namdev's songs suggested the divine is within oneself, its non-duality, its presence and oneness in everyone and everything. In their extant teachings we can't find anything similar to the vast inner neo platonic cosmology of Swamiji's teachings.”
Yes, you are most definitely onto something here, SantMat64. Having spent more or less my entire life, 40+ years, deeply obsessing over this and related subject matter, I think it more or less demonstrably certain that the “mysticism”, or experience and understanding of the “spiritual path” of a Kabir, Nanak or Namdev is radically divergent from the narrow, dualistic, elitist & ego-centric interpretation and representation of “the spiritual path”, “Godhead” or absolute reality that Radhasoami Mat teaches. Even your nom de plume, the term “Sant Mat”, is a manipulative neologism, a sleight of hand, that creates the mere illusion of continuity with these Indian 15th century and prior “mystics”, despite the term being a fairly modern invention and being a euphemism for & exclusively associated with “Radhasoami Mat”. There is no such thing as a blanket “Sant Mat” under which cosily snuggle the old famous mystics, their beliefs, practices and most importantly experience/s. Indeed, there are many, many clear, obvious & unreconcilable differences between “Sant Mat” or RS teachings, and what Kabir, Nanak, Namdev etc taught and practiced, be it their use of breath control as THE main technology/yoga to listen to inner sound, the importance of kundalini, or their reference to various, so-called by RS ,“lower” deities in the highest regard (as one would expect from their socio-cultural context), to their either having no known guru worthy of the name, or guru’s from traditions that RS consider “lower” or of “Kal”, such as Namdev’s gurus and associates for eg.
But beyond even these fairly obvious differences, there are subtleties we cannot comprehend, and only those deeply familiar, or at least somewhat familiar, with deeper levels of “mystical” consciousness can even begin to make sense of what they wrote, said or did……….we simply cannot fathom the socio-linguistic, geo-political, and cultural belief context within which these human beings had their experiences and insights, nor can we comprehend their output because it is deeply embedded within that specific time, culture and language. And I am saying this as somebody who’s literal mother’s tongue is Punjabi. I hope it is not too offensive to state, westerners have almost no chance of grasping subtleties of meaning, so they simply accept the mis/interpretation of groups like RS.
For me – and this is based on my, errrm, you can either call it “bias” or “advantage”, depending on your predisposition to what I am suggesting (;o), own experience/s, which, as has been almost universally agreed by all “experiencers”, to be utterly incommunicable, beyond the domain of language, thought or any other dualistic limitation – I am inclined to believe groups like RS, a religion for masses of people like it very clearly is, are sifting the chaff from the wheat….and keeping the chaff, or “Sant Mat” as it’s more widely known ;). People like Namdev or Nanak were born into and DEEPLY embedded within a world view of karma, reincarnation, lots of worldly suffering, their spiritual experience/s and insights, and more importantly here, how they are EXPRESSED in their poems, are inextricable from that context. What I mean to say is, if one reads their entire corpus of writings/poetry one gets a sense that they had transcended the limitations of these beliefs in karma, reincarnation, or even of a spiritual path….especially in their most ecstatic states. What confuses matters is when they refer to these other, classic traditional Indian philosophical concepts such as karma and reincarnation, or “chaurasi”. It is very easy to misunderstand the essence, because we do not understand the context.
For me, Kabir here is clearly criticising every single RS satsang guru & speaker worldwide, calling them pandits, implying they are not experiencers. Think!:
“Pandit, you've got it wrong.
There's no creator or creation there,
no gross or fine, no wind or fire,
no sun, moon, earth or water,
no radiant form, no time there,
no word, no flesh, no faith,
no cause and effect, nor any thought
of the Veda. No Hari or Brahma,
no Shiva or Shakti, no pilgrimage
and no rituals. No mother, father
or guru there. Is it two or one?
Kabir says, if you understand now,
you're guru, I'm disciple.”
― Kabir, The Bijak of Kabir
You simply will never hear a Gurinder Singh come out with such an evidently genuine, ecstatic outpouring.
But, how on earth can you expect any clarity on such questions from a Radhasoami Group? The above exhilarating verse (at least for those who understand the experience it is referring to) is from the Bijak of Kabir, about as close as we can get to certainty that it is indeed by Kabir. On the other hand, one of the foundational texts of the RS religion (read the history of the early gurus closely, you will see how it was handed from guru to guru as an instruction manual for reality) is the Anurag Sagar – FALSELY attributed to Kabir (yes, that’s right, these perfect living masters mistakenly believed one of the foundationally important texts of their faith was written by Kabir, when it wasn’t). Alas, this wasn’t written until probably 3 centuries after his death, and imo Kabir wouldn’t want to have anything to do with the utterly batshit crazy, magical and mythical, nay infantile dross contained within it. Stick with the Bijak, which rings of genuine mystical experience, not the astral fantasies of the deeply delusional fantasist who authored the Anurag Sagar and falsely claimed it was written by Kabir…... aka prototype RS guru ;)
SantMat64 wrote: “That is, these satsangs are never occasions of rejoicing on inner spiritual confirmation of the indisputable reality of the spiritual worlds upon worlds, but rather a pep talk to not lose faith in having sat on one's butt for 3 hours a day for 20 years and not really have experience anything that merits secure knowledge of transcendental realities.
So what does this signify? For one thing, we are always working from belief, not knowledge.”
That does indeed appear to the case, at least for the vast majority of satsangis. But that is, in my opinion & experience, merely the first layer of incongruity. Having just been over to the RSS forum, I see a recent film the reverend David Lane has made called “vertical ascent” or something, and whilst a feast for the eyes, I was struck with just how radically disconnected from the entire RS view and conception of “spirituality” I now am, just how silly this path of “vertical ascent” really seems to me. Two things stood out, 1) the complete disconnect or dissonance between the first part of the film where he lists a wide variety of the world’s meditation or prayer methods, and the second part which is a description Soamiji’s visual and auditory journey, as if there is some sort of connection or relation between them…..I found this baffling, seeing as Soamiji’s description has no relation at all to the purpose, aim or resultant experiences within any of these other traditions. And, lest we forget, Soamiji is at great pains to remind us of the supremacy of his spiritual path and how every single other “path” or approach to the divine is lower and of the negative power.
Secondly, I was struck by how utterly meaningless and vacuous the descriptions of “higher regions” were…..banal and devoid of any useful properties that relate on any level whatsoever with the human experience. To be clear, I am not speaking as someone who is sceptical such experiences occur, or as somebody who hasn’t been utterly obsessed with having such experiences for most of their early life, or indeed as somebody who hasn’t spent long, long periods themselves, saturated in such experiences. But really, are these not childish pursuits? Is it not obvious these experiences are conferring nothing other than sensational, ego(or self)-centric exhilaration & inflation……….even if just that tiny fraction of initiates who actually have some level of visionary inner experience? It is evident from Soamiji’s own words….purely descriptions of visionary sights, and I am aware of the exhilaration, bliss and intoxication that occurs alongside…...but these are like Big Macs in the world of cuisine, cheap thrills, fairly easy to get, but really not very good for you. These are visionary experiences embedded within a neo-gnostic, life-denying cosmology, where of course their content seems to affirm their world view, as do all dualistic visionary phenomena, or mayaic fantasies as I prefer to think of them :)
I do not believe Soamiji’s visionary fantasies in any way represent, or reflect, what I consider to be the genuine “perennial philosophy”, non-dual mystical experiences, which those like Nanak, Kabir
Namdev may well have experienced. The oft-emphasised idea that they are somehow more superior to every other experiencer of the divine, religion, path or practice to my now grown-up mind simply evidences the level of delusion, ego-centricity and juvenility in his entire world view and dualistic visionary experiences. It is so obvious it’s cliché, to my mind at least.
These satguru cats have gained nothing with these fantasy, visionary experiences, which are more common than satsangis may suspect. Their real pleasure is, evidently, in having their toes sucked, people giving them their own power, making huge amounts of money, and the other really rather obvious human motivations that only the blindly devoted cannot see in their own guru’s behaviors. So, these experiences, either via their complete absence in the vast majority of satsangis, or via their complete uselessness in transforming the day to day state of consciousness in any healthy manner in the few who do experience them are completely useless unless bound to a cosmology and theology which makes claims and promises for “future” “incarnations” which remains, perpetually and always, for pooran sant satguru and seeker alike, merely an article of faith, because no visionary experience any RS initiate has had has ever proven otherwise, because visionary experiences are notoriously unreliable….and RS history perfectly demonstrates this.
The truth is, we don’t know what ANYONE else has or is experiencing, be it Kabir, Nanak, Soamiji, Gurinder, Twitchell or Thakar. In fact, there is very little any of us know about anything…...other than our own state of consciousness.
My view and experience is clear; Life should be lived as if the afterlife was having to life your life over again, infinitely. I don’t mean in the reckless way, as if every day was your last, but as if you had to live your ENTIRE life over and over again. There is always time for redemption; I have spent large parts of my life in despair, dark nights of the soul, depression. Yet, for me to live my life over and over again would be a slice of heaven sublime – to be clear, I am fairly poor, am not married or even have a partner, do not have kids, do not have a great job, do not own my own property, and by every normal materialistic marker am a complete loser!
A true glimpse of the “non-dual” should confer, imo, not glittering vistas of crystal palaces or lakes of nectar, but simply a deep, and authentic sense of gratitude, joy, awe, astonishment, love and compassion, and an almost absolute absence of fear, greed, enmity etc. There are no stories of higher and lower paths, of bondage, karma, sin and elitist redemption for the very few. Authentic, spontaneous prayer isn’t the robotic repetition of meaningless words from a foreign culture and time with the sole intent to escape this region of suffering so we can secure personal eternal bliss in heaven and sip amrit-mohitos whilst the masses suffer in eternal torment, but the heartfelt beseeching of a higher power, any power, to ease the suffering of others who are unable to see how we are all connected. It is absolutely impossible to pray for one’s own “self”, or to even have any thing one could ask for, for there is no “self” for desires to alight upon, There is absolutely no question of personal liberation, of any kind of fear of chaurasi or the “afterlife”, of higher and lower paths, or even any paths at all…….such things are rendered as meaningless and banal human stories in the blinding light of the so-called non-dual experience. It is not an escape from reality, from this world, from the here and now, but a more meaningful, loving, compassionate and joyous engagement with the here and now. Something that seems, imo, completely absent from the RS religion’s escapist, life-denying world view. And, given our current climate predicament, that seems like an awfully dangerous trait for a religion in the 21st century to have. Luckily, I don’t think RS will be trending anytime soon with the newer generations :)
There is no visionary experience…...no matter how “high” the “vertical ascent”…..which transcends this, just “this”. For even in the midst of the most glorious visionary experiences…..lurks just “this”, which was there, here and everywhere all along.
This is my experience and understanding anyway.
Blessings my dear pinda dwellers, Blessings.
Posted by: manjit | February 03, 2023 at 03:20 PM
Grandma, may her light shine forever and ever, told me repeatedly at very young age:
"Little man, you see the heads of people, you will never been able to look inside"
Can you look inside the heads / minds of other people?
Posted by: um | February 04, 2023 at 04:25 AM
Where were you when I needed you most?
Posted by: X | February 15, 2023 at 06:47 AM
Dearest Um, you wrote "Doing well, Thank you ...:-)
You are right not having so called inner experiences, neither "received" nor "DIY, homemade in one way or another, I have nothing to say about inner experiences only about how people deal with it in this world."
I would contest you are always having "inner experiences", and indeed know of no other reality but "inner experiences" :) I think it is the nature of our inner experience that is being discussed here, and indeed everywhere else anyone is discussing anything. We just need to listen more closely.
Genuinely happy to hear you're doing well :)
Dearest Appreciative Reader - you wrote "I’m a bit curious about what you describe as your apparent aversion to skepticism, or at any rate Brian’s flavor of it."
Ahh, well, yes, dearest AR. When I write anything, there is like a sub-conscious process going on of analysing the "truthiness", accuracy, hyperbole, context, intention etc of every word I write (I'm a fast typer, so that process is no slouch!)....and yes, you are right....when I wrote "sceptical meanderings of our esteemed host", alarm bells did indeed ring!! But in the context of me just passing through, I saw no purpose in the more antagonistic, yet imo exponentially more accurate, "pseudo-scepticism"....;) Regardless, well spotted!!
You write "Should one want to stay away from skepticism, then the only other thing that might obtain is loose-jawed goggle-eyed imbecilic dogma: the relaying of it, and the swallowing wholesale of it. Can’t imagine why anyone would ever want that, assuming their intent is sincere and honest --- which I’ve not the slightest doubt yours is."
One man's "loose-jawed goggle-eyed imbecelic dogma" is another's belief that the universe was created ex-nihilo, like a rabbit out of a hat, or that life & consciousness are the product of the random, purposeless, accidental bumping together of inert matter, as if putting some oil and pigment in a bag, giving it a good shake for 10 seconds, then throwing it at a canvas could create a perfect replica of the Mona Lisa, and assorted other credulous and magical beliefs. Humanity has a long history of conflating the cultural status quo with reality itself, and implying anyone who challenges it is a "loose-jawed goggle-eyed imbecelic" dogmatist. Very often they're more right than wrong. However, very often they're more wrong than right.
You ask "why anyone would ever want that" - but aren't we all just following our natures? Why would anyone ever want to watch a Baseball game? Eat escargot? Go to an atheist meeting? Beats me!
We've been here before and I have very little interest in re-treading old ground, and I get your point; that rationalism is the infallible tool whereby we can sift the woo from the true.
I wish you good luck with that, I really do.
But this is not "mysticism" or anything to do with it; mysticism is an adventure in ontology, not epistemology. I think one of your incorrect understandings of mysticism is that there is anything rational, logical or scientific about it. It is easy to be enabled in this mistaken view of the mystical experience on a blog predominantly populated on the "pro" mysticism side by those who follow a religion calling itself a "science of the soul", where "mystics" are defined and "chosen" based purely on generational family lineage (often where even having a basic level of human decency is apparently not even a consideration), and who teach a very black and white tale of what the spiritual path is, it's signposts, and infallible markers of "objective" progression. No matter that, in black and white, time and time again, they have failed their own criterion.......the tale is so entrancing, the mind so seductive, that one believes regardless.
The problem is this, dearest Appreciative Reader......all of this is a nonsense! There is no "objective" path, there is nothing you must do, and, dear oh dear, if you feel that all this magnificent life, consciousness, creation, REALITY has been created solely for you to desperately escape it by the one "true" path, religion, meditation method, guru or other childish, egotistical fantasy......my commiserations on your inner experiences! :)
I would not conflate the conceptual-ideological-socio-economic-cultural-linguistic beliefs and related "mystical experiences" of followers of Eastern religions and metaphysics with the mystical experience in toto, or reality-at-large at all, personally. But I guess one's perspective is guided by both knowledge and experience.
Once there was a truly great Guru, one of the greatest to have ever blessed humanity. He told the Secret in the form of a joke.....but really it was the greatest Satsang ever recorded in human history. But as the great Philip K Dick once wrote, "the symbols of the divine initially show up at the trash stratum.".
In this Satsang is contained the entire secret to life, consciousness, god, reality, EVERYTHUNG. It explains what every discussion here is about, what every RS Guru is about, what every disciple, sceptic, atheist, dog, cat and flower are all about......the PURPOSE of it, and why there can never be any scientific, rationalist evidence for it, any why it doesn't matter. All one needs to do is really imbibe the essence of this Sacred Satsang with humility.
Often on this blog, the owner and several like-minded posters speak of the artificiality of "mystical" experiences, the transience, as if seeking them is not "reality".....that is when they are gracious enough to even allow those who have them are not lying or delusional. That is understandable when one is conflating all "mystical" experience with the phantasmagoria of RS's dualistic, conceptual, astral fantasies, along with all the accompanying literal interpretation of the visions therein.....but what about those who experience reality and being itself to be something a little more universal, non-conceptual, ONTOLOGICAL:
How about a positive LSD story? Wouldn't that be news-worthy, just the once? To base your decision on information rather than scare tactics and superstition and lies? I think it would be news-worthy. 'Today, a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration. That we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively. There is no such thing as death, life is only a dream and we're the imagination of ourselves' . . . 'Here's Tom with the weather.”
― Bill Hicks
OM SHANTI OM!!
Posted by: manjit | February 23, 2023 at 03:50 PM
As ever, pleasure to read your thought-provoking comment.
You think Brian’s approach pseudo-scientific. I’m afraid I don’t agree, at all. I’m kind of curious why you think *that*, but I’ll let it pass, because there’s way more meat in your comment, that I’d like to address, and that I’ll be glad if you’re able to answer, whenever you are able. (I’ll bookmark this thread, so that I don’t miss it, should you end up responding after awhile.)
I’ll resist the temptation of addressing much of your comment, in the interests of (relative!) brevity, and instead focus on just two things, on which your thoughts will of great interest to me.
The first, and most important, of where we disagree is where you say this: “I think one of your incorrect understandings of mysticism is that there is anything rational, logical or scientific about it.” I’m very interested in how you can possibly have arrived at that conclusion, especially in context of how I see this, which is as follows:
I agree, the mystical experience itself is not rational or logical, in and of itself. Nothing subjective ever is. If we’re content to experience whatever mystical experience we have, and simply stop at that, then, agreed, there’s no reason for reason, rationality, logic, or science to intrude in there. But the moment we incorporate that experience into our worldview, immediately it is subject to all of these things.
And nor is this peculiar to mystical experience, I’d say this applies to any and every subjective experience. You see the sun rise in the morning. Or, say, you feel that kind-of-painful-yet-pleasant pump in your bicep after working out. Both those mundane, non-mystical experiences, if you’re content to register them, and simply let them be, then that’s the end of it; and there’s no call to bring in logic, reason, rationality, or science into it. However, the moment you incorporate these experiences into your worldview, even in the slightest bit, then your surest way to arriving at a worldview, a model, that comports best with reality, is by following logic, and reason, and science.
Likewise with mystical experiences, surely? If you’re content to simply have those experiences, and then leave them be, well then, sure, that’s the end to it. But if you go worldviewing your way with those experiences, no matter how much or how little, no matter how concretely or how vaguely --- even if only negatively, in questioning the veracity or the completeness of what we know about the world --- well then, right then, right there, is when it becomes subject to rationality and to science. (To be clear, I’m not saying mystical experiences might not occasion reason to question, maybe even revise, our worldview. They well may. My point is, the moment you do even that much, the moment you do anything other than simply register that experience, completely passively and completely without any thoughts about it at all; the moment you incorporate that experience into your worldview [no matter how much or how little, no matter how concretely or how vaguely], right then, right there, is where science becomes the surest way of ensuring that that worldview, that model, those thoughts, comport best with the actual reality.)
Which is why I cannot see how you can possibly state, as you did, that there’s nothing rational, logical or scientific about mysticism.
My other point of disagreement is where you say this (and I’ll quote that paragraph of yours in full here):
“One man's "loose-jawed goggle-eyed imbecelic dogma" is another's belief that the universe was created ex-nihilo, like a rabbit out of a hat, or that life & consciousness are the product of the random, purposeless, accidental bumping together of inert matter, as if putting some oil and pigment in a bag, giving it a good shake for 10 seconds, then throwing it at a canvas could create a perfect replica of the Mona Lisa, and assorted other credulous and magical beliefs. Humanity has a long history of conflating the cultural status quo with reality itself, and implying anyone who challenges it is a "loose-jawed goggle-eyed imbecelic" dogmatist. Very often they're more right than wrong. However, very often they're more wrong than right.”
Well said, that. I agree with much of what you’ve said there. But the essence of it, the actual point of it, that is what I disagree with completely; and, again, wonder whether you might not end up changing your mind about this on thinking a bit more about it.
Haha, agreed, things popping into existence out of nowhere does sound crazy. That goes for lots of things, and indeed most things QM, agreed, absolutely. But why do we imagine that reality must necessarily comport with our native intuition about what makes sense? After all, our intuition itself is shaped by our evolution, and is no more than what we needed to deal to best survive while running around naked in the wilds of Africa. Whether something *sounds* reasonable to our intuition, can hardly be the touchstone for evaluating whether something is *real*.
So then, if not intuition, then how *do* we make sense of the world around us, and within us? By following the evidence. By using reason and logic. In short, science. Even if that, for the present, leads us to such apparently goggle-eyed and imbecilic --- read “counter-intutive” --- explanations, as well as non-explanations, like things popping in out of nowhere, and quantum superposition, and the rest of it.
That is, there is a huge huge huge difference between the “goggle-eyed imbecilities” that science reveals to us, and the other extravagant explanations we think up about the world by means other than scientific. And what's more, basis what I’ve said just now, perhaps you’ll agree that if there’s apparently a double standard at play here, then it’s entirely warranted, in fact it is the only thing that *is* warranted, in this context.
Yeah, my two points are up, I know, and my comment’s bloated up to a huge size already. But still, one last question: What was that joke, then? Didn’t quite get it. (Did you mean that Philip K Dick quote itself? If you did, then sure, agreed, with what that quote conveys; but I still don’t see how it adds up, as far what you’ve said there in your comment.)
Posted by: Appreciative Reader | February 24, 2023 at 08:32 AM
The only difference between rationalism and skepticism is speed and scale.
Humans are not *born* with the brain capacity of a supercomputer. That’s why mysticism looks like voodoo to most “rational” people.
🐌 🧠 🤔
Posted by: 808 | February 24, 2023 at 12:08 PM
Good news ♐️
Posted by: Kansha | February 25, 2023 at 02:14 PM
Curious what the Native Americans think about this:
Some of the media is trying hard to simply bring awareness to how many Native American women and girls go missing every year. But they still haven’t received the support required. And no one has even begun to talk about reparations for Native Americans.
Posted by: Life is Unfair | March 15, 2023 at 02:44 AM
@ Life is unfair
Are the history books [and the bible] you used at school not an endless series of one people invading the land of another people?
Sicily, England and the Balkan have been [brutal] invaded many many times.
How far should we go back to repair faults of the past??
Did not the indigenous people of the Americas before they were invaded do the same?
The problems arise when the invadors do not mix with the people they invade becomeing another people as happened in Sicily, the Balkan and now England.
Only where there is segregation after the invasion these problems arise:
New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the USA and South Africa etc. Palestine
Posted by: um | March 15, 2023 at 03:17 AM
What is this strange public need that hovers over the world in many forms, "me too" "colonial repair"etc etc?
- "mea culpa"
- "this protestant calvinistic outcry "I am a sinner / we are sinners"
- "the chines revolutionary guilt pleading ... I am a wrong doer"
Does it serve the interests of those who suffered from misbehaviour or criminal activity?
Is a just something else, ...USING the wrong doing .,... as a stick to beat certain people and for reasons that are not at all related to the wrong doing.
It has been a common thinking in many psychotherapies and even in karma theory related teachings ... if we can correct what went wrong in the past happiness will be found.
That is an illusion
Posted by: um | March 15, 2023 at 03:52 AM
Next we’ll have to seek reparations for women and Latinos and the Japanese in America during WWII.
I’m alive now—how about passing a law that backpays women for all the hours they worked making less than a man who was payed more to do the same job.
It’s going to get expensive. 😂
I’m just really annoyed that the average American is still clueless about “our role” in the suffering of Native Americans and how extensive it is.
Posted by: 808 | March 15, 2023 at 05:04 AM
For the past 15 years I’ve worked on jobs where I was often the only female. I was discriminated against in the way that my colleagues treated me, but I was paid less than men who played the same roles that I did.
But that’s not the most pressing issue. I think we should prioritize the reparations process and start with the groups who were oppressed first (and continue to be oppressed). That’s why I’m disturbed that we’re not prioritizing reparations for Native Americans.
Posted by: 808 | March 15, 2023 at 05:18 AM
correction: I was NOT discriminated against in the way that my colleagues treated me (only in pay). But again… my problems are NOTHING compared to the Native Americans.
Posted by: 808 | March 15, 2023 at 05:20 AM
Many things that are these days labeled as "don't" were once common practice.
Even yesterday I watch a documentary on how in the previous asian communities, being part of the USSR, women are treated by mothers in law. Often an slave would be better off.
BUT ... what changes are just and only the form at the outside, the need to control subdue, dominate etc etc, are going to be there in the human and will always be there.
Do not applaud for these so called changes for the better as often the new forms are more cruel and gave a more lasting negative effect
For that reason are more difficult to prove before a judge.
Posted by: um | March 15, 2023 at 05:44 AM