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VASISTHA*, A SPIRITUALLY SEMINAL TEXT?

 

From the Introduction to the ancient Sanskrit text, YOGA VASISTHA:

“There is but one consciousness which is pure, invisible, the subtlest of the subtle, tranquil, which is neither the world nor its activities. It is aware of itself: hence this Individual Self-hood arises.

“This Individual Self perceives this unreal body as real. But when the Individual Self perceives it in the light of self-knowledge, this delusion vanishes, and the body also becomes utterly tranquil. Then the Individual Self does not perceive the body.

“The confusion of the body with the self is the greatest delusion, which the light of the sun cannot dispel.

“When the body is considered real, it becomes a real body. When it is perceived with the knowledge that it is unreal, it is merged in space. Whatever notion is firmly held concerning the body, that it becomes.”

* The full Vasistha text consists of six books:

  • The first book presents frustrations with the nature of life, human suffering and disdain for the world;
  • The second describes … desire for liberation and the nature of those who seek such liberation;
  • The third and fourth books assert that liberation comes through a spiritual life, one that requires self-effort, and present cosmology and metaphysical theories of existence embedded in stories. These two books are known for emphasizing free will and human creative power;
  • The fifth book discusses meditation and its powers in liberating the individual, while;
  • The last book describes the state of enlightenment and bliss. (Wikipedia).

Mystic Experiences’ Comments on Vasistha:

The complete text of the Vasistha doesn’t mention the transformative experience as being spontaneous. It claims human effort can gain the experience. That’s not my experience.

My experiences came to me unbidden, spontaneously, every year from the age of about 15 to late thirties. I have no knowledge of anything about me then or now that could possibly qualify me for such non human experiences.Accordingly, I am prejudiced to the acceptance of the Mystic Experience of Reality (MER) being caught, not taught.

Since the Vasistha’s probable arrival in the 6th century it has become generally accepted that these experiences of absolute Reality and its gifts are consistently spontaneous and beyond any human experience or ability to create or imagine and are not accessible even by learning, religious or intellectual effort, practices or physical invocations. The experiences are now generally accepted and studied scientifically and academically around the world.

However, where the experiences come from or their purpose is unknown, or at best only through scientific speculation.

The Vasistha also seems to assert that this state of ultimate knowing (“cosmic consciousness”), is all about human development. Nowadays we’d say, “all about evolution”.

Even if that is so, I have the strongest doubts such a fundamental, primal process of cosmic existence would be left to the stewardship of humans at this stage in human development.

However, in my view, the insights of Vasistha make it a seminal read for the spiritually called and is available as an eBook. Check Wikipedia’s comprehensive entry first for a fuller introduction.

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MIND FROM MATTER: PHYSICISTS ON CONSCIOUSNESS

 

by Daniel Ranard

3Quarksday.com from 1 January 2018

“I am in the world and at the same time in myself: is there geometry more beautiful?” —Abdelmajid Benjelloun

When someone learns you’re in academia, sometimes they ask questions you’re not qualified to answer. An economist friend was asked once: “Oh, so how long do eggs last in the fridge?” And so it is, perhaps, with asking physicists about consciousness. You may as well ask a philosopher, a neuroscientist, or really anyone else – after all, we all have first-hand knowledge of that spark of life inside our skulls.

But I want to write on what physicists think about consciousness. Not because they deserve special authority, but because they provide an important point of reference.

The physicist’s worldview usually contains some aspect of physicalism (asserting the only “real” things are physical things, governed by physical laws), reductionism (asserting all observable phenomena are explicable in terms of their microscopic parts), and positivism or operationalism (asserting that the only meaningful concepts are empirically testable).

And in recent generations more than any others, it seems, this web of attitudes permeates the zeitgeist. It is our inheritance from the success of 20th-century physics.

This inheritance alters the way we frame questions about the mind and consciousness. While Descartes asked how the physical realm interacts with the realm of the mind and soul (his answer: the pineal gland), today we immediately privilege the physical.

If the world consists only of the physical, how does the conscious mind arise? If your brain is a soup of electrons and protons, how does this soup come to harbor an interior experience? What gives rise to thoughts, feelings, and sense of being?

Philosophers have devised an intricate taxonomy of responses to the question of how consciousness relates to the physical world. Where do modern physicists fall within this taxonomy, especially as a community whose attitudes have historically shaped the framing of the question?

We might as well start Edward Witten, a theoretical physicist who already serves as something of an oracle within the field. In fact, when he speaks among physicists, it’s often accompanied by a hush in the room. So here’s Witten, in a video interview:

I think consciousness will remain a mystery… Understanding the function of the brain is a very exciting problem, in which probably there will be a lot of progress during the next few decades. That’s not out of reach… But what it is we are experiencing when we are experiencing consciousness, I see as remaining a mystery….

In short, Witten subscribes to:

View #1: “It’s a mystery – that’s all I can say.”

Anticlimactic, maybe. But a strength of science is that its wisest practitioners only make scientific claims when they are capable of addressing a question scientifically. Witten is careful to distinguish two different types questions about the mind. One can first ask: what are the inner workings of the brain, physically and biologically, and how do these give rise to behavior?

Like most physicists, he assumes that scientists will eventually answer this question. The brain is a complicated physical system, but it’s governed by the same laws as all other matter. Meanwhile, there’s the second question of how the brain gives rise to conscious experience. What is the nature of your interior world, and how is it related to physical matter? This question Witten is unwilling to answer. Many physicists share his agnosticism.

It may seem Witten hasn’t said very much. But at least he maintains there’s some mystery. Compare that with:

View #2: “There’s no mystery – there’s no mind, only matter.”

The physicists’ legacy of physicalism frames popular questions about consciousness. If you believe the world consists of only the physical, then consciousness will present a puzzle: how do you account for the mental realm we inhabit? We have seen that one response is to claim agnosticism. But another is to stick hard to physicalism.

Such hardline physicists account for the mental realm by simply denying it, or denying the validity of the question. Their view is something like what philosophers call eliminative materialism.

It stems from the long and fruitful scientific tradition of only asking questions that can be empirically verified. You don’t ask, “What’s an electron really like?” or “What is the essence of the quark?”

These questions are dismissed as not only useless but also truly meaningless, questions about nothing. Instead, one asks, “What happens when you measure the electron in the following way?”

Likewise, many physicists reject typical questions about consciousness. If the ineffable interior life of conscious beings is not something we can ask valid questions about, then does it really exist?

To these physicists, you can’t ask, “What is Alice really feeling inside her head?” — a question with no verifiable answer. Instead, you ask questions like, “What will Alice say when I ask her what she’s feeling inside her head?”

The second question does have a verifiable answer, and one that you could hypothetically predict using the laws of physics, assuming you can solve the equations governing the particles that constitute Alice, calculating how her mouth will move in response to the question.

Physicists with View #2 will satisfy themselves with questions of the latter nature, while dismissing questions of the former.

To them, the “mind” is just another sort of abstraction, a useful bit of language. The question of how the mind arises from the brain is no more philosophically troubling for them than the question of how a “cloud” arises from a collection of water molecules hanging in the sky.

View #2 can be hard to stomach. To many of us, it certainly feels like there’s something special going on inside our heads. It feels like our thoughts have a special sort of existence that clouds don’t have. If one accepts that intuition, it leads the physicist to:

View #3: “Consciousness is a mysterious property that emerges in certain physical systems.”

For these physicists, it’s possible to admit that consciousness is a special sort of phenomenon that occurs in certain physical systems. Particles arranged in the shape of a table aren’t conscious, but particles arranged in the shape of a person usually are.

Somehow, a particular motion of particles gives rise to a special interior world, a mind. At the same time, one can maintain that this “mind” has no causal control over the matter that composes it: it’s what philosophers call an epiphenomenon, a phenomenon outside of the causal order. Many physicists are somewhat epiphenomenalists, I think.

If you accept that the mind is real and not some simple abstraction, and you believe it’s a consequence of certain physical arrangements of matter, the question becomes: what arrangements of matter give rise to consciousness?

This question may be difficult, but at least it is (some believe) meaningful. One physicist who’s taken a stab at the question is Max Tegmark from MIT, in his speculative paper “Consciousness as a State of Matter.”

I won’t claim Tegmark is an epiphenomenalist of otherwise classify his philosophy, but he does ask the question: which sort of matter is conscious, and why? For a critical look at some related ideas, I also recommend the analysis of Scott Aaronson, a theoretical computer scientist and part-time physicist.

I suspect that Views 1, 2, and 3 loosely cover the majority of physicists. Then again, maybe you’re better off asking the economist how long you can leave your eggs in the fridge.


DanielRanardDaniel Ranard is a PhD Student at Stanford University at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics.

 

HUMAN REALITY VERSUS ULTIMATE REALITY, THE GAP

 

Questioner: Yes, “everything just is” and pain and suffering is an aspect of that, now and forever.

Answer: Pain and suffering are human experiences, mind stuff.

While there is no scientific evidence “mind” with all its human memories, including pain and suffering, even exists scientifically, there is a Sufi tradition that mind is the cause of all human ills and exists largely in default, generally without human intervention, and even survives human death but in its unregenerative state does not achieve Reality.

However, mystic experience is that pain and suffering disappear incrementally as humanity evolves.

Pain and suffering don’t exist in the MER (Mystic Experience of Reality), not in my experiences or anyone else’s so far as I know.

Questioner: The statement is that “mystical experience of reality” imparts the knowledge of Reality’s perfection and that it is only the mind “on the human level” that generates negativity.

Answer: Yes.

Questioner: Then radical duality is posited here: the human level and the spiritual. This is the same divisive duality that religion has insisted upon for millennia.

Answer: The topic is Ultimate Reality, of which the human race and all its comparative inconsequences like religion and it’s primitive, evolutionary mythomanias are a present part, but only an insignificant and passing part in humanity’s present form.

From my MER perspective, Reality encompasses everything, even the lesser realities of humanity. But humanity’s destiny is in Reality, not the other way round.

Questioner: If everything is perfect and the mind is part of everything (how could it not be?), then it would follow that negativity is perfect. Wars, birth defects, painful and disfiguring disease, torture camps, etc are all a part of everything. Calling them perfect is obviously ludicrous, wherein the term “perfect” loses all of its meaning.

Answer: To a mystic everything known and unknown, everything not manifest, everything understood or not, is as it should be.

If you are speaking from a human perspective you are off topic again. This Blog is about MER and its revelations.

The experience of Reality extinguishes human reality, which is temporary anyhow, evolving, ever changing.

Human problems dissolve in Reality. Evidently, humanity has a long way to go – as theoretical physicist and author Dr. Michio Kaku infers when he says humanity is at zero in its evolution.

All is well, whether humanity understands that yet or not, or ever …

Mysticexperiences.net

THE BRAIN AND MYSTICISM: A BRIEF LOOK

 

By David Robertson

– Publisher of A Perennial Follower, where this post originally appeared.

 

Right off the bat, I should strongly emphasise that I’m far from being an expert on neuroscience, I wouldn’t even call myself a layman on the subject. But in my humble defence I’ve just read a book on the subject over the last few days – “The Brain: The Story of You by David Eagleman”, as well as read some other stuff here and there.

I strongly recommend the book as a simple introduction to neuroscience, accessible to anyone who has interest in the topic (and this is coming from someone who frequently gets confused by all the medical and biological jargon!)

Throughout the entire book, there are constant insights and mind-blowing information about the nature of the brain and how it functions.

David Eagleman kept surprising me in the book too, which I found rather refreshing. Instead of presenting the book as absolute fact and attacking anything opposing the current scientific consensus, he was incredibly humble in his claims. He was always open to other explanations, and admitted potential limitations and gaps in current research – a sign of a true man of science. I think this may be partly due to his quite open-minded worldview, which has been labelled possibilianism. This position is essentially a middle ground between atheism and traditional theism that doesn’t commit to certainty one way or the other, but instead chooses to explore multiple possibilities and theories that current science may not be capable of yet.

A simple example of this attitude was in his brief gloss over the free will debate, where he concluded that even though there are signs that we don’t have free will, we’re still a long way off from truly knowing if we have it or not.

So onto some of the stuff covered in the book and how this relates to the findings of those who have followed mystical traditions across time.

The brain is the single most complex thing in the universe (yet discovered). Each brain, in essence, is it’s own universe. Each neuron, (the cell that transmits information gathered from the outside by emitting electrochemical signals) has ten thousand connections to other neurons. And each string of connections creates an aspect of your experience, or helps facilitate a function of the body. The brain has ten trillion connections, more than a thousand times the amount of stars in our galaxy.

Here’s an idea of the amount of information in the brain: there is more of it stored in a single fully developed brain than in all of the data on the internet combined. Truly mind boggling and incomprehensible.

This seeming limitlessness of the mind reminds me of what Buddhists have frequently said across the centuries – the mind is like the open sky. Though the context is a little bit different, Buddhists talk about the limitless potentiality of immediate awareness and consciousness after all the foggy aspects of our mind (like desires, harmful thoughts and feelings and the like) have been cleared away.

Still, I think Buddhists have been onto something about the mind and the brain’s potential. Neuroscience seems to give leeway to this.

Moreover, the Pure Consciousness Experience, one of the types of mystical experience reported, is said to be one where the regular limitations of the mind, namely the sense of being an individual self, are dissolved and one “elevates” into a state of pure, unlimited consciousness. The truly incomprehensible complexity of the brain seems to grant the possibility that such expansive states of being exist on a scientific level.

One of the insights that I was somewhat aware of, largely due to some of my studies in science and spirituality, but was nevertheless still nice to be confirmed by a more mainstream scientist was that the world of our senses is ultimately an illusion.

The world that is projected in front of us, is all contained within the dark chamber of our brain. Really what is in front of us is just energy and matter, and it is our brain that puts on a show through interpreting these signals via electrochemical signals gathered from sensory organs.

*You don’t see, hear and smell through your eyes, ears and nose. These things just collect the information and your brain interprets and projects it. Reality, according to neuroscience, is rather senseless but the brain over millions of years has created this beautiful, detailed cosmos for us to enjoy and experience. An intricate play that the mind has created before us to veil whatever reality actually is.

To me, this immediately reminded me of the sayings of countless mystics, particularly in Eastern traditions, but also somewhat present in Christianity and Sufism (Islamic mysticism), perhaps no more directly stated than in Vedanta (a Hindu mystical tradition), that the reality we perceive is an illusion, a veil behind what reality actually is. This is known as maya, where the mind creates a subjective experience that hinders one from seeing the Ultimate Reality, Brahman, underneath it all.

The metaphysics of Mahayana Buddhism also hold very similar ideas to the “magic show” that is created before our eyes preventing us from seeing reality as it is. Which to the secular neuroscientist is just different concentrations of matter and energy, but to the mystic is something more: the ultimate unifying Principle known as God.

Modern findings in neuroscience are also, in some degree, verifying something that mystics have intuitively and experientially known for millennia – the interdependence and interconnection of all things, the oneness of the universe.

As an earlier post of mine shows, mystics from all traditions constantly emphasise and talk about all reality being part of God, nothing is truly separate. This has been well documented in nature, particularly in ecological studies where removing one aspect of any given environment (a fly for example) would have some sort of detrimental effect to the whole eco-system, throwing the whole thing out of balance until it is able to readjust itself over time. Everything forms part of a unified whole.

The workings of the brain are no different. One brain isn’t in a vacuum, separate from the rest of the brains of the world. We live in enormous networks and collectively, in the words of Eagleman, we are really just one part of a giant mega-organism. Our brain is like one node in this diverse, infinitely complex web we call humanity. And our brains strongly influence the brains of others and vice-versa, so much so that the physical make-up of the brain changes.

I can think of one anecdotal example of my own that highlights this. Over time, as my relationship has developed and transformed with my now fiance, I’ve noticed that both of us have become more like one another in many ways – using words borrowed from her that I’d never used, mimicking her behaviour subconsciously like subtle facial expressions, even feeling what the other is feeling whether its joy or sadness or even queasiness from being a little carsick. And I’m sure many long-standing relationships (not just romantic ones) are quite like this.

In essence, the circuitry of our brains are shaped and influenced by the factors around us like culture, friends, family and so on. All this appears to verify claims of the mystics that we are not really separate, individual selves, an independent bag of skin in a hostile cosmos, but really we are different parts of a whole.

Sometimes when I pick up a new book, particularly something that may challenge deeply cherished beliefs of mine, I get a small feeling of nervous excitement, but I think it’s something we should do if we want to expand our horizons and deepen and strengthen our own perspectives on the world.

In the world of neuroscience, I believe the insights of mysticism and mystical experiences have something important to say about the nature of the mind, consciousness and the brain. And it’s important for researchers in the field to look into this ancient phenomena seriously.

It appears that this is well underway too, a quick Google of “neuroscience and mysticism” will bring a wealth of articles, books and research on this topic, which are providing insights into the structure of the mind and brain.

Given that many findings in neuroscience, psychology and quantum physics seem to have parallels in the writings of ancient mystics, perhaps it is time to rethink or at least delve into different base assumptions of the universe than that of the philosophical position of natural materialism which science has traditionally held.

Mysticexperiences.net


David Robertson is the Publisher of Perennial Follower, perennialfollower.wordpress.com

 

CONSCIOUSNESS WILL REMAIN A MYSTERY?

“I think consciousness will remain a mystery. I tend to think that the workings of the conscious brain will be elucidated to a large extent.

“Biologists and perhaps physicists will understand much better how the brain works. But why something that we call consciousness goes with those workings, I think that will remain mysterious.”

— Edward Witten


Edward Witten is an American theoretical physicist and professor of mathematical physics at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. (Source: Wikipedia)

THE APPEARANCE OF ADVERTISEMENTS ON MYSTICEXPERIENCES.NET

We are NOT monetarised!

Despite the appearance of unrelated advertising subjects on our pages, mysticexperiences is NOT monetarised.

However, as per the standard agreement with WordPress, that hosts us free of charge, WordPress sells advertising space on mysticexperiences and gets ALL the income.

Now, after two years, it looks as if we have become valuable as an advertising medium. The site has grown in readership by the thousands. It is read in Canada, America, Mexico, India, Nigeria, Portugal, Rumania and Scotland and is expanding. So presumably this is what qualifies us as valuable.

However, while glad for WordPress that their investment of expert services are beginning to pay off financially, as the advertisements so far have nothing to do with mysticism we shall keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t begin to pollute our subject with more inappropriate messages.

If they do we can always say goodbye to WordPress and find another web host.

‘Just thought this might be a good time to reassure you.

Best wishes,

Mysticexperiences.net

REVIEW: “AM I A MYSTIC? TEN TELLTALE SIGNS YOU MIGHT BE”

 

A review of Cara Hebert’s article “Am I a Mystic?”, published on GAIA.com

This review précises an article that first appeared in GAIA.com where it can be read in full.

Our review comments appear in bold type. Otherwise everything Cara Hebert writes is supported by my own yearly mystical experiences of Reality from the age of about 15 to my late thirties.

First of all it has to be said, the understanding and clarity of this article is profound, though some hints of individual worldliness may be unhelpful.

However, in all that I have seen, heard and read on the subject, whether religious, laic, secular, or scientific, I haven’t come across such an easily read and understood interpretation of the effects of the mystic phenomenon on mystics.

The author starts off by saying, “Mysticism holds a very loose definition, which can often be complicated, confusing, and nearly impossible to express with mere words.”

She says “direct knowledge of spiritual truth or ultimate reality can be attained through subjective experience and that Ultimate reality is something that is supreme, final, and the fundamental power in all reality.”

“Unlike Christianity, Islam or Judaism, Mysticism is not rooted in faith, principle, dogma, or even belief. This is because you do not “believe” in Mysticism. Instead, Mystics are born.”

The next claim in the article, that to Mystics the world is “expansive” and “magical”, yet also “intricately and undoubtedly connected”, conforms to my experiences, except nothing seemed “magical”, they were all so natural.

The article says, “Free will does not exist. Instead, there is a greater fundamental power that moves every action and decision toward the accomplishment of a greater plan.”

Very true, except for the free will bit …

Mystics do see divine intervention behind their impulses, as the article suggests, and there is a greater power that moves every action and decision towards a greater plan. But the claim free will does not exist is not true in my experience. 

Within their human limits, humans have extraordinary powers of free will. So do beetles within their limits, so do all creatures … I assume a plentiful free will abounds within the individual bounds of all created beings.

The article says, “Because of this natural understanding of the Universe in everything, Mystics feel a need to serve others in order to help guide them through obstacles and critical life decisions.”

No. Not all mystics “feel a need to serve others”. Buddhists, for instance, understand those particular mystics, like me, who feel humanity is a distraction from their path to “Nirvana”. They call these enlightened ones, pratyekabuddhas, or paccekabuddhas, the so-called “silent buddhas” who do not try to share their realization with the world.

Pratyekabuddhas are said to achieve enlightenment on their own, without the use of teachers or guides, by “dependent origination”, (spontaneous rebirth?). For instance, all my experiences were spontaneous.

Traditionally, Paccekabuddhas give moral teachings but not enlightenment. (See unedited descriptions in Wikipedia).

In my experience of the mystical experience of Reality there is nothing to be learned from the study of human beings. Deus sufficit. Or, in mystic parlance, Ultimate Reality is enough.

Another assertion by Hebert is that not everyone can be a mystic, “it is not something that can be learned or taught, therefore those who realize their innate abilities have the responsibility to help those without.”

I agree with everything in this observation except the apparent assertion that Mystics have a responsibility to help non Mystics, thus suggesting Mystics can substitute themselves for Reality! History is filled with martyred mystics who made this mistake.

Finally, Hebert gives 10 ways of telling if you’re a mystic. We précis them here:

1. YOU VALUE EXPERIENCES ABOVE ALL ELSE

Mystics tend to steer clear of strict doctrines and principles. Because of their innate intuition, they have a high level of trust in their own morality and inner self.

Basically, she says Mystics welcome others’ experiences but only rely on their own experiences of Reality to guide their existence, whether this agrees with humanity or not.

True. Reality is enough.

2. YOU QUESTION EXISTENCE

Mystics see and understand more but are not able to fully comprehend how the universe works and why.

Mystics are passengers; not drivers or mechanics, (or physicists!).

Mystics have a curiosity about the world.

Not at all! For Mystics, the world is a spiritual distraction to be avoided.

3. YOU ARE COMFORTABLE WITH UNCERTAINTY

Mystics understand that there is a plan behind every action In The Universe, and therefore trust that every action has purpose, even if they don’t know what the next moment will bring. Mystics also trust in themselves and their connection to the universe that they will be able to interpret any signs and act accordingly.

4. YOU VALUE INTUITION

Mystics rely on knowledge, language and physical senses the same as others do. However, their intuitive perceptions offer a deeper form of insight.

5. YOU ARE UNCOMFORTABLE WITH SPIRITUAL HIERARCHIES

Tenuous rituals or traditions have no place in the world of spirituality for Mystics.

6. YOU HAVE YOUR OWN SET OF RULES

Mystics feel a connection to every living thing and therefore are able to look beyond what may be socially accepted. Mystics have an innate trust in their own morality and intuition and are guided by their experience, rather than by leaders or society.

7. YOU VALUE INTERNAL GROWTH

To Mystics, rituals and traditions are meant to trigger internal insight and transformation, not to appease a higher power. This is another reason why Mystics often feel uncomfortable with structured religions. Mystics feel that personal growth toward the universe’s ultimate plan must come from within. It cannot be dictated or ordered. Mystics feel a responsibility to help others to find their way, however, they cannot tell them what is right and wrong.

Not all Mystics “feel a responsibility to help others find their way”. Many have been martyred for making this mistake. See above.

8. YOU BELIEVE YOU ARE A CONDUIT FOR POWER, NOT THE SOURCE

Because of their connection with everyone and everything, Mystics are often humble and more concerned with understanding and emotion than with power. They see their insights into the universe as a borrowed gift – bestowed upon them by something greater, but ultimately temporary.

I see mystic experiences as permanent. They are developing experiences of Ultimate Reality, not something “temporary” or “borrowed”. This is the first time I’ve heard this suggestion of impermanence.

9. YOU BELIEVE LOVE IS THE SOURCE OF LIFE

Similar to No. 8, Mystics believe that love powers everything. Love is not something that originates in you, rather it is something that flows through every being.

10. YOU DON’T KNOW EVERYTHING

And you don’t think you know everything. Mystics acknowledge that the universe is infinite and mysterious and is far too complex for the human mind to fully comprehend.  They trust in the universe’s plan and see their journey as one of understanding, not preaching.


Cara Hebert is a writer who received her BFA from Boston University. An avid traveller and citizen of nowhere and everywhere, Cara has lived all over the world including North Carolina, London, Massachusetts, Maine, Georgia, Illinois, and Connecticut. 

 

 

 

Mysticexperiences.net

WHAT IS A QUIETIST?

 

I am often asked what Quietism is, presumably because it’s one of the descriptions I gave of myself in this blog’s ABOUT page.

I’m also asked why Quietism is frowned on by religionists (obviously by a questioner who has done some research on the subject).

Basically, Quietism is a description of how some who have had the mystical experience of Reality (MER) become “in the world but not of it” whether they like it or not, who thirst after righteousness to the exclusion of human interference.

I didn’t like it a bit from a human point of view when it happened to me because despite the joy and understanding and other fruits MER brought it was progressively, alarmingly alienating at the time. I kept it secret for over 50 years. Even now I haven’t told everything.

You could say MER ruined my life, and I thank MER for that …

I didn’t fit in. Quietism made me feel like one of philosopher, writer, lecturer Colin Wilson’s Outsiders. That was the name of his first book he wrote at the age of 24 that made him famous worldwide and is still in print since 1956 in over 30 languages.

The Outsider examines the human psyche through the lives and works of notables such as Nietsche, Gurdieff, Hesse, Kafka, Sartre, Blake etc. It studies the effects of their “dislocation” from the human condition, their need for transcendence, the effect these Outsiders had on society and society’s effects on them. Unfortunately I never read the book fully because it seemed at that period of my understanding to be too human oriented, too human polluting of my MER experiences.

There are, on the other hand, others who have had the experience of MER who are not affected by Outsiderism. They engage in human affairs.

For instance, some Buddhist schools recognise the phenomena of quietism in their description of The Silent Buddha: a pratyekabuddha, or paccekabuddha, the so-called “realised, silent buddhas” who do not share their Realization with the world. Traditionally, it’s said, Pratyekabuddhas give moral teachings but not enlightenment.

Like my spontaneous personal MERs, pratyekabuddhas are said to achieve enlightenment on their own, without the use of teachers or guides. (See fuller descriptions in Wikipedia).

Deepak Chopra says in his book, The Book of Secrets, “. . . there are a few people who enjoy stillness more than activity, and they dive as deep as they can to find where the water stops running, a point so still and deep that one isn’t touched by the surface waves at all. Having found this stable centre they experience themselves(?)* to the maximum and the outside world to the minimum.

Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, said “the better part” of the religious life is the one of direct experience (MER).

Carl Jung, the father of psychology, and a proponent of mysticism, is well known for his clear distinction between the superior values of the individual compared to the inferior not to say dangerous values of the collective.

My personal experience is that Quietism is a fruit of MER and like MER is caught not taught – you can’t decide for yourself that you’re going to be a Quietest.

So why have the religionists historically taken such violent, extra judicial, not to say genocidal, even murderous views of individual mystical experience in general and Quietism in particular?

The Catholic Oganisation dictionary has this to say:

“Spiritual knowledge. In a valid sense it is the knowledge of divine mysteries possessed already in this life, though darkly as a “hidden wisdom” (I Corinthians 2:6-16). In a heretical sense it is the recurring error of those who claim to have knowledge of divine things exclusively from their own religious experience and even in contradiction to the Church’s teaching authority.”

Generally, religions are those human organisations that have conceptualised their notion of their original founders’ spiritual experiences into merely human moralities, dogmas, taboos and ethics, creating a lack of distinction between the generality of the lesser human spirit and the superior, focused, individual spirituality of Ultimate Reality that embraces everything known and as yet unknown and is indescribable, unteachable and unpreachable …

So what is the Quietist’s view of humanity?

My conviction is that humanity is a profound spiritual distraction.

The individual is more important to human development than any collective, is at a higher stage of knowing than the popular delusion that the needs of the many come before the needs of the individual.

Human collectivism is cosmically counter productive, a negative, evolutionarily destructive, malignant weed in the cultivation of Reality’s perfection.

Fortunately, collective totalitarianism does seem to be disappearing under the weight of its own irreality as an inconsequential sideline in humanity’s history.

The biblical example of Christianity’s failed attempt to establish communism is in the story of Ananias and Sophira, or more currently, the USSR, China, Cuba, Venezuela, Vietnam, Cambodia are all striking examples of the violent, inhumane failure of collectivism.

Spiritually, there is nothing of lasting value to be learned from studying the human race. Only individually experienced MER presents knowledge of the cosmic permanence from which all existence, including human existence, flows. And this cosmic source is all powerful, totally benign, loving. There is literally infinitely more than just being human, thankfully.

Mysticexperiences.net

* No! In my experiences of MER, if that’s what Dr. Chopra means, Revelation is received from an “outside” completely independent of the self or anything human. Hence the inescapable, unbidden cosmic gift of the spiritual hunger that produces Quietists presumably …

 

WHAT’S THIS WEB PAGE ALL ABOUT? A reminder.

You are at the wrong site if you are just seeking to be a better human being.

However, if you are called as a genuine Seeker then it is axiomatic, automatic, that you will become a better human being whether you read or Follow this web page or not.

Sincere familial blessings to you.

This is a BLOG for Seekers and those who have had the mystical experience of Reality (MER) and are humbly, joyfully dedicated to it – bringing their remaining personal humanity to it.

The Blog is also for scholars and scientists and those others who find themselves compelled to study the phenomena.

Mysticexperiences.net

THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM

By Robert Ringer

An excerpt from the popular blog, Robertringer.com

“When it comes to transforming the impossible into the possible, I believe the most important human will is the will to connect.  Connecting with the Infinite Energy of the universe allows you to transcend secular constraints.

“In other words, when you are connected to Infinite Energy, your life is not at the mercy of luck or coincidences.  Infinite Energy allows you to go beyond dreaming the impossible dream and actually live it.  Though we may never completely understand it, connecting with Infinite Energy appears to give the atoms of which we are comprised the magnetic ability to attract the things, people, and circumstances we need to transform our impossible dreams into reality.

“Which leaves it up to each individual — be he/she a practicing religionist or an atheist — to customize the best way to connect with the Infinite Energy of the universe.  It’s also nice to know that when it comes to this monumental challenge, no one has an advantage over you.  On the contrary, you are on an equal footing with the most learned of theologians, so don’t shortchange yourself because of a lack of specific knowledge.

“And remember:  The issue isn’t how you connect, but whether or not you do connect.”

READ MORE


robert-ringer-2Robert Ringer is known as an American icon whose unique insights into life have helped millions of readers worldwide. He is also the author of two New York Times #1 bestselling books, both of which have been listed by The New York Times among the 15 best-selling motivational books of all time.

SPIRITUAL METAMORPHOSIS?

 

By David Robertson

I was an atheist for most of my life until about five or six years ago. And I was very anxiety ridden, filled with constant concerns for what I wanted to do in the future. I worked endlessly to try and fulfill these goals that I thought I wanted, and was terrified of the prospect of not being able to achieve them. This stopped me from realising the beauty of just simply living life in a more present way. It didn’t make me happy, it didn’t make me a better person, I was just too busy working towards some non-existent future. This is a story for another time, but I slowly became more interested in spirituality and gradually developed a strong belief in a loving God and that the universe was divine (including myself). As a result, a concern for death and the future became less of a factor.

I started to trust in the divine more and more, and countless opportunities started appearing for me. I also realised my early goals weren’t what I wanted in life. A trust in God gave me the courage to simply jump into the unknown, and I just knew in my heart that things would work out for the best. And in the end, it has. I traveled around India and Nepal without planning much; ended up doing jobs that I quite loved; discovered and pursued a passion for writing that was always hidden a little bit below the surface; found myself teaching English in China; and of course, I found the love of my life. For me, the results of trusting in God and the universe speaks for itself.

I wrote this piece today because my partner is going through quite a stressful time, most of it to do with our future plans over the next year and whether she can achieve them. She asked me at one point, “how can you not be so worried about all of this?” So I guess this post is in part an answer to her question, and I hope she finds something of value in it that can ease her suffering, even if it’s just a little bit.

Read David Robertson’s Trust: Surrendering Yourself to God and the Universe in full.

Mysticexperiences.net

THE QUESTION OF SCIENCE AND SPIRITUALITY

By Acharya Prashant

Acharya Prashant is a sannyasi, an ascetic Hindu monk. He has a vision to bring the wisdom of ancient scriptures, words of saints and the rigour of modern science to the help of mankind. Email: requests@prashantadvait.com

Question: Acharya Ji, how is the knowledge of the scriptures different from the knowledge of science?

Acharya Prashant: No scripture ever offers you knowledge. There is a great difference between knowing Science, and Spirituality. Science is knowledge. Science is incremental. A certain fellow does something, and the next fellow takes it forward from there. It’s like a relay race.

Spirituality – everyone has to start afresh. It doesn’t matter, how much your father, your ancestors, your predecessors knew. You will still have to start from where you are. Einstein didn’t have to start from zero. Newton said, “He could see so far, because he was standing on the shoulders of giants.” In Spirituality, you cannot stand on somebody else’s shoulders. You have to stand on your own. So, knowledge cannot help.

In Science, the more knowledge, the better.

In Spirituality, the more your freedom from knowledge, the better.

It has become a trend over the last few decades, to conflate these two – science and spirituality. In fact, certain authors think that it is a mark of their scholarship, if they use scientific terms in the spiritual domain. They would try to bring in quantum physics in Spirituality. There can be nothing more foolish than this. It only shows that you know no Spirituality and you are also revealing that you know no Science. If you know Science, then you would not conflate it with Spirituality. And had you been spiritual, why would you bring in Science?

Science is such a small petty subset of Spirituality. Science is about trying to look at objects, objectively. That’s what Science is – Look at the objects, without prejudice, objectively. That is Science.

Spirituality is about looking at the subject and object together. And hence, a third kicks in, that which you know by the name of witness. When the subject and the object are together, then that togetherness, is a very special thing. Science would never look at these two together. You may have fever, you are still observing a physical phenomenon. You might be in love, you are still observing a physical phenomenon. Your observation, will remain the same. If you are in a laboratory, the reading will not change, if you have fallen in love, or would it?

You are observing a physical phenomenon outside of you. You might be the greediest man ever born. Still, your readings would be the same. In spirituality, that does not happen. In Spirituality, everything depends on “Who you are?”

Science is oblivious to who you are. Science cares only about wening outside of you, in the physical objective world. You might be about to commit suicide, you might be totally depressed, yet the time period of that pendulum won’t change for you. The efficiency of the engine does not depend on your mental refinement, or does it? You may keep blood in your refrigerator, or you may keep liquor, or you may keep some water or some juice. The machine operates the same way.

In life it is not so.

Spirituality looks at the totality of life, which includes that (Object), this (Subject), the observation, and the witness.

Mysticexperiences.net

A ONE-SENTENCE, 125-WORD EXPLANATION OF EXISTENCE AND THE SOUL?

Since Plato and Aristotle disagreed over the soul being spirit or physical, giving rise to the argument among humans ever since, it is my contention Ultimate Reality – which modern science, the way Professor Fred Alan describes it, suggests to me is an “‘intangible, irreducible field of probability; the quantum physical wave function from which all matter and energy arise” – that this Ultimate Reality “wave function” invented the phenomenon of the direct individual experience of MER (the Mystical Experience of Reality), thus explaining spiritual existence accurately and fully once and for all without any human intervention whatsoever, (even avoiding languages to do so, using individual human brains as receivers of MERs) – thus reducing scientific physics and philosophy to the level of mere materialistic technological enquiry …

PS: Perennialists 1, Constructionists 0.

Mysticexperiences.net