Edited with extra findings
Is scientific research into the human condition unable to compete with MER?
According to Dr. Jeffery A. Martin* being interviewed at Closertotruth.com, there are 20 names scientists around the world have discovered for MER, (Mystical Experience of Reality):
(Dr. Martin’s name submission is, “Persistent non symbolic consciousness”, the name of his centre to study the subject).
Based on this study of the phenomenon, he says MER (Mystical Experience of Reality) is about:
Designing human experience,
Taking us on an evolutionary track, (see Dr. Marsha Sinetar and Dr C.M. Bucke), and
Being a transitional life form,
The human race might be in rehab.,
Is a positive state,
The greatest state,
A developmental continuum.
He doesn’t say if he has had MER himself, but he has been very influential in setting up the worldwide study of 1200 subjects who have had MER. His study criteria is scientifically severe. (His conclusion MER can be taught however is doubtful if my spontaneous experiences are anything to go by … see http://www.skeptiko.com). Some conclusions he has come to so far include:
There is no emotion in MER,
MER produces tremendous wellbeing,
MER offers no choices,
It is freedom,
There is dissipation of individual self,
There is a sense of being an agency as humans.
There is also a suggestion that MER is brought on by individual volition, such as personal disatisfaction for instance, but that’s not my experience. I believe there is an ingrained propensity in MER experiencers to “seek”, “knock” (as some religions aver), or to “lust after righteousness” that comes with them when they’re born.
Interestingly, Dr Martin suggests that meditation might be the only human thing worth doing. I find this astonishing from a scientist. Does this mean Dr. Martin has given in, that he sees an end to scientific progress in understanding consciousness? (See the ABYSS post).
* Dr. Martin is a Harvard trained psychologist and author. Over the last 10 years or so he has conducted the largest international study on persistent non-symbolic experience (PNSE), which includes the types of consciousness commonly known as: enlightenment, nonduality, the peace that passeth understanding, transcendental consciousness, unitive experience etc.