ANSWER TO A REQUEST FOR A MEETING

 

“I don’t think you would get much out of me in your human quest to thrive and survive.

“My interest in being merely human is waning by the hour nowadays as a quick read of my Blog, mysticexperiences.net will show you, unless you have a proclivity for such experiences, in which case you will understand my existence better by looking at the 6,000 studies of people like me made by Oxford University, now archived at Wales University.

“Without understanding what I am, you and I would only get mired in human banalities, much of which you seem to be intuiting yourself through anyway.

“You sound like a wonderful person. I send you todos bendiciones, todos!

Mysticexperiences.net

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THE ART OF TRANSCENDENCE: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE COMMON ELEMENTS OF TRANSPERSONAL PRACTICES

We must close our eyes and invoke a new manner of seeing … a wakefulness that is the birthright of us all, though few put it to use.

– Plotinus

By Dr. Roger Walsh MD., PhD.,& Dr. Frances E. Vaughan PhD., from The Journal of Transpersonsal Psychology, 25:1 – 10, 1993.

When historians look back at the twentieth century, they may conclude that two of the most important breakthroughs in Western psychology were not discoveries of new knowledge but recognitions of old wisdom.

First, psychological maturation can continue far beyond our arbitrary, culture-bound definitions of normality (Wilber, 1980; Wilber et al., 1986). There exist further developmental possibilities latent within us all. As William James put it, “most people live, whether physically, intellectually or morally, in a very restricted circle of their potential being. They make use of a very small portion of their possible consciousness …. We all have reservoirs of life to draw upon, of which we do not dream.”

Second, techniques exist for realizing these “reservoirs of life” or transpersonal potentials. These techniques are part of an art and technology that has been refined over thousands of years in hundreds of cultures and constitutes the contemplative core of the world’s great religious traditions. This is the art of transcendence, designed to catalyze transpersonal development (Walsh, 1990; Walsh & Vaughan, 1993). As such it is based on two fundamental assumptions about the nature and potentials of the mind.

The first assumption is that our usual state of consciousness is suboptimal. In fact, it has been described in terms such as clouded, distorted, dreamlike, entranced and largely out of control. This has been recognized by psychologists and mystics of both East and West (Huxley, 1945; Mikulis, 1991; Tart, 1986). For Freud (1917) it was the culture-shaking recognition that “man is not even master in his own house … his own mind,” that echoed the Bhagavad Gita’s despairing cry two thousand years earlier:

Restless (the) mind is,
So strongly shaken
In the grip of the senses:
Gross and grown hard
With stubborn desire …..
Truly, I think
The wind is no wilder.  (Prabhavananda & Isherwood, 1944)

In the words of Ram Dass (1975), “we are all prisoners of our own mind. This realization is the first step on the journey to freedom.” Or as Pir Vilayat Khan put it even more succinctly, “The bind is in the mind.” The second asswnption is that although the untrained mind is clouded and out of control, it can be trained and clarified, and this training catalyzes transpersonal potentials. This is a central theme of the perennial philosophy.

For Socrates:

In order that the mind should see light instead of darkness, so the entire soul must be turned away from this changing world, until its eye can bear to contemplate reality and that supreme splendor which we call the Good. Hence there may well be an art whose aim would be to affect this very thing (Plato, 1945).

Likewise, according to Ramana Maharshi (1955), “All scriptures without any exception proclaim that for salvation mind should be subdued.”

Although practices and techniques vary widely, there seem to be six common elements that constitute the heart of the art of transcendence: ethical training, concentration, emotional transformation, redirection of motivation, refinement of awareness, and the cultivation of wisdom.

The purpose of this paper is to provide a synoptic introduction to the art of transcendence and its common elements in the hope of stimulating appreciation, research and practice of them.

SIX COMMON ELEMENTS OF TRANSPERSONAL PRACTICES

Ethics

Ethics is widely regarded as an essential foundation of transpersonal development. However, contemplative traditions view ethics, not in terms of conventional morality, but rather as an essential discipline for training the mind. Contemplative introspection renders it painfully apparent that unethical behavior both stems from and reinforces destructive mental factors such as greed and anger. Conversely, ethical behavior undermines these and cultivates mental factors such as kindness, compassion and calm.

Ultimately, after transpersonal maturation occurs, ethical behavior is said to flow spontaneously as a natural expression of identification with all people and all life (Radhakrishnan, 1929). For a person at this stage, which corresponds to Lawrence Kohlberg’s (1981) highest or seventh stage of moral development-a stage that Kohlberg felt required transcendent experience-“Whatever is … thought to be necessary for sentient beings happens all the time of its own accord” (Gampopa, 1971).

Attentional Training

Attentional training and the cultivation of concentration are regarded as essential for overcoming the fickle wanderlust of the untrained mind (Goleman, 1988). As E.F. Schumacher (1973) observed of attention, “No topic occupies a more central place in all traditional teaching; and no subject suffers more neglect, misunderstanding, and distortion in the thinking of the modem world.”

Attentional training is certainly misunderstood by Western psychology, which has unquestioningly accepted William James’ century-old conclusion that “Attention cannot be continuously sustained” (James, 1899/1962). Yet James went further: “The faculty of voluntarily bringing back a wandering attention over and over again is the very root of judgement, character and will. No one is compos sui if he have it not.

An education which would improve this faculty would be the education par excellence …. It is easier to define this ideal than to give practical direction for bringing it about” (James, 1910/1950). Here, then, we have a stark contrast between traditional Western psychology, which says attention cannot be sustained, and the art of transcendence, which says that attention can and must be sustained, if we are to mature beyond conventional developmental limits.

Being able to direct attention at will is so important because the mind tends to take on qualities of the objects to which it attends (Goldstein, 1983). For example, thinking of an angry person tends to elicit anger while thinking of a loving person may elicit feelings of love. The person who can control attention can therefore control and cultivate specific emotions and motives.

Emotional Transformation

Ethical behavior and attentional stability facilitate the third element of the art of transcendence: emotional transformation. There appear to be three components to emotional transformation.

The first is the reduction of destructive emotions such as fear and anger, a process which is well known in mainstream Western therapy. Of course, what is implied here is not repression or suppression but rather clear awareness of such emotions and consciously relinquishing them where appropriate.

The second component is the cultivation of positive emotions such as love, joy and compassion. Whereas conventional Western therapies have many techniques for reducing negative emotions, they have virtually none for enhancing positive emotions such as these.

In contrast, the art of transcendence contains a wealth of practices for cultivating these emotions to an intensity and extent undreamed of in Western psychology. Thus, for example, the Buddhist’s compassion, the Bhakti’s love, and the Christian’s agape are said to reach their full flowering only when they unconditionally and unwaveringly encompass all creatures, without exception and without reserve (Kongtrul, 1987; Singer, 1987).

This intensity and scope of positive emotion is facilitated by a third component of emotional transformation: the cultivation of equanimity. This is an imperturbability that fosters mental equilibrant and as such it helps emotions such as love and compassion to remain unconditional and unwavering even under duress.

This capacity is analogous to the Stoics “apatheia,” the Christian Father’s “divine apatheia,” the Buddhist’s equanimity, the contemporary philosopher Franklin Merrell-Wolffs “high indifference,” the Hindu’s samatva which leads to a “vision of sameness,” and the Taoist principle of “the equality of things,” which leads beyond ”the trouble of preferring one thing to another.”

Motivation

Ethical behavior, attentional stability and emotional transformation all work together, along with practices such as meditation, to redirect motivation along healthier, more transpersonal directions. The net effect is a change in the direction, variety and focus of motivation as well as a reduction in its compulsivity.

Traditionally it is said that motivation becomes less scattered and more focused; the things desired become subtler and more internal. Desires gradually become less self-centered and more self-transcendent with less emphasis on getting and more on giving. Supportive findings from contemporary research suggest that psychological maturity is associated with a shift from egocentric to allocentric (concern f{}r others) motivation (Heath, 1983).

Traditionally this motivational shift was seen as “purification” or as “giving up attachment to the world.” In contemporary terms it seems analogous to movement up Maslow’s (1971) hierarchy of needs, Amold Toynbee’s process of “etherealization,” the means for, and result of, a life-style of voluntary simplicity (Elgin, 1981), and the means for reaching the philosopher Kierkegaard’s goal in which “purity of heart is to will one thing.”

In addition to redirecting motivation, the art of transcendence involves reducing its compulsive power. The result is said to be a serene disenchantment with the things of the world which no longer exert a blinding fascination or compulsive pull.

This is the Buddhist nibbidda and the yogic viraga and is the basis of the Athenian philosopher Epicurus’ claim that the way to make people happy is not to add to their riches but to reduce their desires.

This claim is explicitly formulated in the Buddha’s Third Noble Truth which states that the end of craving leads to the end of suffering. The reduction of compulsive craving is therefore said to result in a corresponding reduction in intrapsychic conflict, a claim now supported by studies of advanced meditators (Walsh, 1993; Wilber et al., 1986).

This is not to imply that redirecting motives and relinquishing craving is necessarily easy. In Aristotle’s estimate, “I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is the victory over self’ (Schindler & Lapid, 1989).

Refining Awareness

The great wisdom traditions agree that in our usual untrained state of mind, awareness-both perceptual and intuitive-is insensitive and impaired: fragmented by attentional instability, colored by clouding emotions, and distorted by scattered desires. Accordingly, we are said to mistake shadows for reality (Plato) because we see ”through a glass darkly” (St. Paul), a “reducing value” (Aldous Huxley), or “narrow chinksn (Blake).

The fifth element of the art of transcendence, therefore, aims to refine awareness. Perception is to be rendered more sensitive, more accurate, and more appreciative of the freshness and novelty of each moment of experience. Likewise, intuitive capacities, usually blunted or blinded, are to be cultivated (Vaughan, 1979). One of the primary tools for this is meditation.

Meditators notice that both internal and external perception becomes more sensitive, colors seem brighter, and the inner world becomes more available. These subjective experiences have recently found experimental support from research, which indicates that meditators’ perceptual processing can become more sensitive and rapid, and empathy more accurate (Murphy & Donovan, 1988; West, 1987; Shapiro & Walsh, 1984; Walsh & Vaughan, 1993).

As the psychiatric historian Henrie Ellenberger (1970) observed, “The natural tendency of the mind is to roam through the past and the future; it requires a certain effort to keep one’s attention in the present.” Meditation is training in precisely that effort. The result is a present-centered freshness of perception variously described as mindfulness (Buddhism), anuragga (Hinduism), the “sacrament of the present moment” (Christianity), the “draught of forgetfulness” in which one forgets the past and comes anew into each present moment (Steiner), and characteristic of self-actualizers (Maslow, 1971).

Refinement of outer perception is said to be accompanied by a refinement of inner intuitive capacities. Contemporary researchers report finding “introspective sensitization” (West, 1987) whereas ancient wisdom traditions speak metaphorically of the development of an inner perceptual organ or the opening of an inner eye: the eye of the soul (Plato), the eye of the heart (Sufism), the eye of the Tao (Taoism), the third eye (Tibetan), or the Western philosophers’ nous or intellectus. For an excellent review see Hustom Smith (1993).

When we see things clearly, accurately, sensitively and freshly, we can respond empathically and appropriately. Thus, both ancient wisdom traditions and modern psychotherapies agree with Fritz Perls (1969), the founder of Gestalt therapy, that “Awareness per se-by and of itself—can be curative.”

Wisdom

The sixth quality cultivated by the art of transcendence is wisdom. Traditionally, wisdom is regarded as something significantly more than knowledge. Whereas knowledge is something we have, wisdom is something we must be. Developing it requires self-transformation.

This transformation is fostered by opening defenselessly to the reality of “things as they are,” including the enormous extent of suffering in the world. In the words of the Psalms, this is the recognition that “our lives are only toil and trouble; they are soon gone, our years come to an end like a sigh” (Psalm 90 HRS). “Who can live and never see death?” (Psalm 89 HRS).

In our own time it is existentialism that has emphasized this recognition most forcefully (Yalom, 1981). With its graphic description of the inevitable existential challenges of meaninglessness, freedom and death it has rediscovered aspects of the Buddha’s First Noble Truth which holds that unsatisfactoriness (dukkha) is an inherent part of existence. Both existentialism and the wisdom traditions agree that, in the words of Thomas Hardy (1926), “if a way to the Better there be, it exacts a full look at the Worst.”

Whereas existentialism leaves us marooned in a no-exit situation of heightened awareness of existential limits and suffering, the art of transcendence offers a way out. For existentialism, wisdom consists of recognizing these painful facts of life and accepting them with authenticity, resoluteness (Heidegger), and courage (Tillich).

However, for contemplative traditions this existential attitude is a preliminary rather than a final wisdom and is used to redirect motivation away from trivial, egocentric pursuits toward the contemplative practices that lead to deeper wisdom.

Deeper wisdom recognizes that the sense of being marooned in a no-exit situation of limits and suffering can be transcended through transforming the self that seems to suffer (Vaughan, 1986). This transformation springs from the development of direct intuitive insight-beyond thoughts, concepts or images of any kind-into the nature of mind, self, consciousness and cosmos.

This insight is the basis for the transrational liberating wisdom variously known in the East as jnana (Hinduism), prajna (Buddhism), or ma’rifah (Islam), and in the West as gnosis or scientia sacra. And with this liberation the goal of the art of transcendence is realized.

Discussion

These, then, seem to be six essential, common elements, processes or qualities of mind that constitute the heart of the art and technology of transcendence. Of course, different practices and traditions focus more on some processes than on others. For example, Indian philosophy divides practices into various yogas (Feuerstein, 1989).

All of them acknowledge ethics as an essential foundation. Raja yoga emphasizes meditation and the training of attention and awareness; Bhakti yoga is more emotional and focuses on the cultivation of love; Karma yoga uses work in the world to refine motivation, and Jnana yoga hones the intellect and wisdom.

However, the capacities of mind developed by the art of transcendence are highly interdependent and the development of one fosters the development of others. This interdependence has long been recognized by both Eastern and Western philosophers who held that “every virtue requires other virtues to complete it” (Murphy,1992, p. 558). Therefore, to the extent a tradition is authentic-that is, capable of fostering transpersonal development and transcendence (Wilber, 1983)-to that extent it may cultivate and balance these elements of the art of transcendence. Hopefully it will not be long before this art is better appreciated, and its study and practice are widespread.


rogerwalsh1ROGER WALSH graduated from Australia’s Queensland University with degrees in psychology, physiology, neuroscience, and medicine, and then went to the United States as a Fulbright Scholar. He is now at the University of California at Irvine where he is professor of psychiatry, philosophy, and anthropology, as well as a professor in the religious studies programme. He is a proponent of the development of “transpersonal psychology” that includes phenomena such as MER (Mystical Experiences of Reality).


vaughanbw-210-expFRANCES VAUGHAN, Ph.D. is an author, educator and retired psychologist in Sonoma County, CA.

 

 

 

REFERENCES / SUGGESTED READING

ELGIN, D. (1981). Voluntary simplicity. New York: William Morrow.

ELLENBERGER, J. (1970). The discovery of the unconscious. New York: Basic Books.

FEUERSTEIN, G. (l 989). Yoga: The technology of ecstasy. Los Angeles: J. Tarcher.

FREUD, S. (1917). A general introduction to psychoanalysis. Garden City, New York: Garden City Publishers.

GAMPOPA. (1971). The jewel ornament of liberation. (H. Guenther, transl.). Boston: Shambhala, p. 271.

GOLDSTEIN, J. (1983). The experience of insight. Boston: Shambhala.

GOLEMAN, D. (1988). The meditative mind. Los Angeles: J.P. Tarcher.

HARDY, T. (1926). Collected poems of Thomas Hardy. New York: MacMillan.

HEATH, D. (1983). The maturing person. In Walsh, R. & Shapiro, D. J. (Eds.), Beyond health and normality: Explorations of exceptional psychological well-being (pp. 152-205). New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.

HUXLEY, A. (1945). Tire perennial philosophy. New York: Harper & Row.

JAMES, W. (1899/1962). Talks to teachers on psychology and to students on some of life’s ideals. New York: Dover.

JAMES, W. (1910/1950). Principles of psychology. New York: Doubleday.

KONGTRUL, J. (1981 ). Essays on moral development. (Vol. I ). The philosophy of moral development. New York: Harper & Row.

KONGTRUL, J. (1987). The great path of awakening. (K. McLeod, Transl.). Boston: Shambhala.

MASLOW, A. (1971). The farther reaches of human nature. New York: Viking.

MIKULUS, W. (1991). Eastern and Western psychology: Issues and domains for integration. Journal of Integrative and Eclectic Psychotherapy 10: 229-40.

MURPHY, M. (1992). The future of the body: Explorations into the further evolution of human nature. Los Angeles: 1. Tarcher, p. 558.

MURPHY, M. & DONOVAN, S. (1988). The physical and psychological effects of meditation. San Rafael, CA: Esalen Institute.

PERLS, F. (1969). Gestalt therapy verbatim. Lafayette, CA: Real People Press.

PLATO. (1945). The republic. (F. Cornford, Transl.). Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 516.

PLOTINUS. (1964). The essential Plotinus. (E. O’Brien, Transl.). Indianapolis: Hackett, p. 42.

PRABHAVANANDA, S. & lsHERWOOD, C. (Transl.) (1944). The Bhagavad Gita. New York: New American Library.

RADHAKRISHNAN. (1929). Indian philosophy (Vol. 1, 2nd ed.). London: Alan & Unwin.

RAM DASS. (1975). Association forTranspersonal Psychology Newsletter, Winter, p. 9.

RAMANA MAHARSHI. (1955). Who am I? (8th ed.) (T. Venkataran, Transl.). lndia.

SCHINDLER, C. & LAPID, G. (I 989). The great turning: Personal peace and global victory. Santa Fe: Bear & Co.

SCHUMACHER, E. (1973). Small is beautiful: Economics as if people mattered. New York: Harper & Row.

SHAPIRO, D. & WALSH, R. (Eds.) (1984). Meditation: Classic and contemporary perspectives. New York: Aldine.

SINGER, I. (1987). The nature of love (3 Vols.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

SMITH, J. (1993). Educating the intellect: On opening the eye of the heart. In L. Rouner (Ed.), On Education. University of Notre Dame Press.

TART, C. (1986). Waking up: Overcoming the obstacles to human potential. Boston: New Science Library/Shambhala.

VAUGHAN, F. (1979). Awakening intuition. New York: Doubleday.

VAUGHAN, F. (1986). The inward arc: Healing and wholeness in psychotherapy and spirituality. Boston: New Science Library/Shambhala.

WALSH, R. (1990). The spirit of shamanism. Los Angeles: J.P. Tarcher.

WALSH, R. (1993). Meditation research: The state of the art. In R. Walsh & F. Vaughan (Eds.) Paths beyond ego: The transpersonal vision. Los Angeles: J.P. Tarcher, Inc.

WALSH R. & VAUGHAN, F. (Eds.) (1993). Paths beyond ego: The transpersonal vision. Los Angeles: J.P. Tarcher, Inc.

WEST, M. (Ed.) (1987). The psychology of meditation. Oxford: Clarenden Press.

WILBER, K. (1980). The Atman project. Wheaton, IL: Quest.

WILBER, K. (1983). A sociable God. New York: McGraw-Hill.

WILBER, K. ENGLER, J. & BROWN, D. (Eds.) {1986). Transformations of consciousness: Conventional and contemplative perspectives on development. Boston: New Science Library/Shambhala.

YALOM, I. (1981). Existential psychotherapy. New York: Basic Books.

The authors would like to thank all those who contributed to the writing of this article, especially Sonja Margulies, Ken Wilber and Bonnie L’ Allier.

Mysticexperiences.net

GURU OR NO GURU?

 

An excerpt from a memoir of Dom John Chapman, Order of Saint Benedictine, Abbot of Downside Abbey, by Dom Roger Hudleston, O.S.B., in the paperback, “Spiritual Letters”, first published 1934, current pubs., 2003 and 2004 by Burns & Oates, London, New York:

“A good Director, he held, must be a nurse, no more. He should confine himself to the task of teaching his penitent how to walk alone and unaided. That done, he should be ready to retire into the background; only emerging on rare occasions when unusual circumstances or some particular crisis called for his attention. Directors of this kind would be of no danger to simplicity or humility, while an over dogmatic or too eager Director, giving unsuitable or unnecessary advice with relish and impressiveness, would harm both his penitent and himself.”

First published in 1935, the timeless spirituality of these letters are straightforward expressions of a committed truth seeker impatient of religious cant and “stupidity”, steeped in “omnivorous” scholastic reading and analysis.

As a notable Church establishment figure, Dom Chapman’s knowledge of and acceptance of mysticism is a surprising discovery.

Mysticexperiences.net

A MEDITATION INTO THE ALPHA AND OMEGA*

The energy of the world, of the human spirit, is not compatible with the development of the spirituality of the ultimate reality of the Mystical Experience of Reality (MER).

Any human meditation on this sentence will eventually lead to a renunciation of the energies and manifestations of the human spirit, making way for the in-pouring of the ultimate experience of all existence, known and unknown; without books or instructions, taboos, hope, faith or belief.

Listening, meditation, will eliminate lust, anger, greed, attachments and ego so as to guide, guard and awaken you to what you are not who you are.

What you seek seeks you. It gives everything and asks for nothing.

*Revelation 22:13

A HUMBLE HEADS-UP FOR SEEKERS (In My Experience)

 

If you are involved as a spiritual Seeker in a religion, in science or other human inconsequentia, you are not a mystic, not yet.

If you are still in the morass of politics or other demanding human mythomanias you haven’t even got far with real evolvement, not even to Seeker stage.

But, if some Sufi tradition is right, then evolution will ensure you will move away from human distractions and such self identifications.

There is not much you can do about it when Reality calls to complete you. There are no failures in Ultimate Reality, however long it takes.

You probably think you are seeking Reality but you will come to realise that Reality is reaching out for its own, for you.

(Sufis ‘discovered’ this evolutionary process before Darwin. They recognised it went further than the physical limitations of his time).

Ironically, by the time you get to being a mystic it wont matter anyway – there are no names in Reality …

So, there are two things you can do to assuage your hunger and thirst for the truth of your being:

Let go. Be still. Keep letting go. Listen. You are being helped. Keep listening. Remain still.

Lust, anger, greed, your myriad human attachments, even your ego, will be lifted like invisible veils, almost without you noticing because you will be experiencing revelation

Or you can wait for religions, science, human stuff, to eventually release you as they wither away anyway. This could take time!

All Is Well.

Mysticexperiences.net

Physics and the Evidence for Non-Material Consciousness

Ruminations

selfie

There is an old story of the net and the fishermen. A net having a weave that lets any object smaller than 10 inches long slip through it. Fishermen cast the net in the lake and harvest fish always ten inches long or longer. The fishermen mistakenly conclude that there are no fish in the lake smaller than 10 inches. Philosophy 101 students easily recognize the fishermen’s mistake. If there were fish in the lake smaller than 10 inches they would slip through the net.

Now imagine that there is some constraint on these fishermen that prevents them from weaving nets any more finely than they have. Is there any other means by which they might acquire evidence of fish smaller than ten inches long? As it happens there is. They can take some of the larger fish, keep them alive in captivity, and mate them. If successful, they would…

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MYSTICISM: Defining Mysticism by Carl McColman

Despite reducing mysticism to the anthropormorphic mythomania of the existence of a God, this is a useful introduction to a subject much more profound than religions in general and Christianity in particular.

KH. Mysticexperiences.net 2018

The Value of Sparrows

From The Big Book of Christian Mysticism

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.
(Isaiah 55:8)

What, then, is time? I know well enough what it is, provided that
nobody asks me; but if I am asked what it is and try to explain, I am baffled.
(Augustine)

Some people think mysticism means having powerful spiritual experiences, like seeing Heavenly visions, or hearing supernatural voices, or feeling a sense of communion with God, or undergoing profound shifts in consciousness.  Others see it as a spiritual dimension to (and beyond) religion, in which the cultural, ethical, and theological differences between religions are somehow resolved in a trans-verbal state of unity.  Still others dismiss it as the fuzzy, illogical, and irrational element that makes religion and spirituality so distasteful to those who prefer to conduct their lives according to science rather than faith…

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“UNDERSTANDING LETTING GO AND GOING WITH THE FLOW”

What has to happen inside a person before he can let go of attachments that are harming him? The attachment can be physical, such as a house or keepsake; it can be emotional, such as resentment about an incident or fear of an unwanted outcome. Attachments can be needs—the need to understand everything completely, or the need to force things into an order he can manage. Attachments can be relationships or jobs, or even dreams.

By the time we’ve reached midlife, most of us have had to grapple with an attachment that needed detaching. We will go through this many times before we’re done with our journeys. It might help us to reflect on what the process of detachment is for us because each of us has a process that is unique to our personality, history, and situation.

”When I let go of what I am, I become what I…

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“Mysticism”

Mysticism can be defined as the pursuit of communion with (or conscious awareness of) an ultimate reality, divinity, spiritual truth or God through direct experience, intuition or insight, or any practice intended to nurture such an experience or awareness. It usually refers to beliefs and practices which go beyond the liturgical and devotional forms of worship of mainstream faith, often by seeking out inner or esoteric meanings of conventional religious doctrine.

The term “mysticism” originally comes from the classical Greco-Roman mystery cults, in which the “hoi mystikoi” were those who had been initiated into the secret rites and rituals (“ta mystika”). The ancient philosophical traditions of Pythagoras, Plato, and the Neo-Platonists can all be considered mystical in nature, as were Gnosticism and early Christianity and later occult traditions such as Alchemy, Hermeticism, and Rosicrucianism.

Because of its implicit belief in the existence of realities beyond perceptual or intellectual apprehension, which…

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THE DIVINE ESSENCE

“Using Allah, (celestial) Buddha, God, ha-Shem, Ishvara, or other words does not change eminent Reality as the holy One in All and All in the wholly One. Soul is simply a word for our spiritual essence, now separated from the ocean of Reality by a cloud of ignorance. Like rain, it does come from that ocean and it will eventually return to it. The billions of souls on Earth are just as surface ripples in the vastness of the universal One.” — Ron Krumpos*

*From his eBook, The Greatest Achievement in Life: Five traditions of mysticism, Mystical approaches to life, 2012, pub.

COMMENTARY

This book is deeply researched, produced out of experience and spiritual study, from worldwide travel, living mystics, and ancient and modern texts. It is well accepted academically, and to those who have had the mystical experience of Reality and are finding what is left of their humanity thereby a sometimes tedious daily challenge, this work is a seminal, validating comfort.

Mysticexperiences.net

FREE WILL? HERE MAYBE, DEFINITELY NOT THERE

 

Throughout this Blog there are references to free will. Does the human race have it?

From my experience of pure consciousness in my mystical experiences of Reality there was no need for such a human concern as free will. It did not exist there.

In Reality, everything just is, in one satisfied determination, without further necessities.

Consideration of free will is only a human occupation. It does not need to exist in Ultimate Reality, where there are no names even, where nothing outside Itself exists, where everything in Itself is in place and All Is Well.

Mysticexperiences.net

REALITY, CONSCIOUSNESS, NOT PHYSICAL OR MATERIAL !?

 

“The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.” — Nikola Tesla

 

“I incline to the idealistic theory that consciousness is fundamental, and that the material universe is derivative from consciousness, not consciousness from the material universe… In general the universe seems to me to be nearer to a great thought than to a great machine. It may well be, it seems to me, that each individual consciousness ought to be compared to a brain-cell in a universal mind.” — Sir James Jeans

Mysticexperiences.net

JUNG ON THE QUALITY OF THE INDIVIDUAL

 

“Ultimately everything depends on the quality of the individual, but our fatally shortsighted age things only in terms of large numbers and mass organizations, though one would think that the world had seen more than enough of what a well disciplined mob can do in the hands of a single madman… 

“People go on blithely organizing and believing in the sovereign remedy of mass action, without the least consciousness of the fact that the most powerful organizations in the world can be maintained only by the greatest ruthlessness of their leaders and the cheapest of slogans.”

— Carl G Jung

A Spiritual Interpretation of “The Truman Show”

A Perennial Follower

The other night, I watched with my fiancee an (nowadays) old classic movie, The Truman Show, released in 1998 and starring Jim Carrey at perhaps the peak time of his career in cinema. For those of you who have never seen or heard of it, it centres around a man, Truman Burbank, whose entire life has been recorded on live TV since before the moment of his birth. He lives in the artificially created town of Seahaven, which in reality is situated within a giant dome situated in Los Angeles.

Even though this analysis may be twenty years too late, I’m going to write it anyway! A quick plot summary is forthcoming, so spoilers ahead for those who don’t want anything ruined.

The plot basically follows Truman’s gradual realisation that his entire world is an illusion. As the movie progresses, he finds more and more strange happenings around him…

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WRONG ASSUMPTIONS?

 

MER seems to have its own as yet unknown purpose and only reveals proof of itself to individuals.

In the many ancient and new books and papers on mysticism I’ve tried to comfort and validate myself with over the years there seem to be two underpinning assumptions that are aggravatingly wrong:

  • The mystical experience of reality (MER) exists solely for the benefit of mankind;
  • MER can be induced by humans.

If my direct experiences of MER several times a year from the age of about 15 to late 30’s are anything to go by, those two conclusions are wrong, because:

  • MER does not exist to make better human beings, (ignoring for the moment the ever changing historical notions about what being acceptably ‘better’ is anyway …)
  • Nor is there any evidence MER can or has ever been induced by human beings (though the experiment that produced Krishnamurti might be worth rigorous modern examination …).

Again, MER seems to have its own as yet unknown purpose and only reveals proof of itself to individuals. So all that can be suggested about MER’s contact with humans is that it appears to be addressing individuals exclusively, not even human groups, ideologies or nations, only individuals.

MER does not seem to be interested in, nor respond to any collective human interaction. It seems impervious to evangelism, nationalism, tribalism, culturism, religions, prozelizations, logics, reasons, politics, governances, moralities or ethics etc.

Some scientific books and papers make their spiritual errors of collectivism, communalism and socialism despite more vigorous applications of unbiased scientific endeavours elsewhere, particularly in the fields of physics.

These other, more neutral scientific fields seem to be inching their way by pragmatic experiment to a convergence of scientific method and mystical experience without unsupported worldly assumptions.

For instance, some scientists are already saying there is mathematical indication the human race is going to turn into something beyond our present understanding of the human race, when most of our social assumptions will be long gone. Non religious Sufism claims to have known that for thousands of years.

Raymond Kurzweil, described as “the restless genius” by The Wall Street Journal, said in a Closer To Truth video interview, “humans will transcend their biology”. He is an influential American best selling author, computer scientist, inventor, futurist and Google executive.

Dr. Owen Gingerich, is professor emeritus of astronomy and of the history of science at Harvard University and a senior astronomer emeritus at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. He said in a similar interview on Closer To Truth, there will be no more humans eventually.

He said species are changing because of rapidly developing consciousness and that we’re changing every year.

Professor Donald Hoffman, Cognitive Science, University of California, says the physical world isn’t final reality. He suggests natural selection drives our perceptions to extinction.

My very personal perspective is that we’re outrunning impoverished worldly assumptions such as religions, monetarised gurus, new agers, hippies and the latest establishment of social mythomanias. Is spiritual consciousness being asserted?

If so, that leaves us with scientific physicists. They are the ones left with the perennial need to scratch the human itch to know the Whats, Where’s and Why’s of human existence.

In the meantime what about mystics, you may ask.

What about them? If my situation is anything to go by, mystics only know Reality, not what Reality’s about.

The only good news mystics bring to humans is confirmation that another, non-ending Reality actually does exist.

This Reality is not merely a subjective experience. It is benign, loving beyond human experience, caring, imparts a joy otherwise unknown to us, gives a certainty that we are a part of it and that All Is Well – societies or no societies, books or no books. Maybe even humans as they are now wont be around in future and need to get over themselves?

Mysticexperiences.net