BLOG

REVIEW: TRANSCENDENT STATES

See below for a review of a paper sent to me by Academia.edu:

“A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW OF TRANSCENDENT STATES ACROSS MEDITATION AND CONTEMPLATIVE TRADITIONS”

By Helané Wahbeh, ND, MCR; Amira Sagher, MSc; Wallis Back, MA; Pooja Pundhir, MD; and Frederick Travis, PhD

View Article

This is a scientific investigation into scientific papers on the subject, plus experiments the authors conducted on hundreds of meditators using many cultural and historical practices to achieve transcendent states.

The authors claim that “… few studies have systematically examined transcendent states during meditation”.

The practices they studied included, Buddhist; Christian; Mixed (practitioners from multiple traditions);Vedic: Transcendental Meditation and Yoga.

The practices varied from transcendental meditation to yoga to contemplative prayer, to other forms of sitting meditation.

Electroencephalography (EEG), electrocardiography, electro-myography, electrooculogram, “event-related potentials”, functional magnetic resonance imaging, magnetoencephalography;respiration, and skin conductance and response were measured.

Twenty five studies with a total of 672 combined participants were included in the final review. Participants were mostly male with a range of years of meditative practice. The authors found the results showed “similar unitive, ineffable state of consciousness.”

They report “transcendent states were most consistently associated with slowed breathing, respiratory suspension, reduced muscle activity and EEG alpha blocking with external stimuli, and increased EEG alpha power, EEG coherence, and functional neural connectivity.”

The transcendent states they found were “a state of relaxed wakefulness in a phenomenologically different space-time.”

The authors concluded that “Future research is warranted into transcendent states during meditation.”

Clearly, the authors did not come across someone like me. I arrived willy nilly at a state of transcendence, partially described here, every year for about 15 years without initially knowing of, or even later following, any practices or meditational techniques whatsoever. I did however practice two hours meditation a day every day for a year or so as part of my much later Sufi school experience. It was not discernibly successful. It did not redeliver me into my original mystical experiences of Reality (MER) or anything like …

View the original article

Mysticexperiences.net

DISCUSSION: THE CASE AGAINST REALITY.

THE CASE AGAINST REALITY, 370 pages,  pub. W.W. Norton. 

By Dr Donald Hoffman, cognitive psychologist, University of California.

According to an anonymous Google Play reviewer of Dr Hoffman’s ebook version of this title, Dr Hoffman is asking if we can trust our senses to tell us the truth about reality.

I take it this only means human reality because he says his theory is based on the theory of realitivity, ie. physical evolution.

Apparently, Dr Hoffman claims human perception is not a window on truth. “Can we trust our senses to tell us the truth? he is quoted as saying.

” No!” the mystics reply. They have been telling us for thousands of years there is a Reality encompassing everything in existence, including humans. Human senses without the experience of Reality are limited to mere human preservation. MER is much more than that.

Is Dr Hoffman bringing science to the edge of a perception of this Reality (MER) mystics say is human destiny? If so, will this mean Science will be permanently reduced to only examining physical reality – a mere study of practical technology, how and why things work? Is this book the beginning of the revolutionary scientific breakthrough that will eventually change science forever?

If you have read this book already, or now intend to, please let us have your comments on Dr Hoffman’s thoughts. He is also interviewed on this subject on You Tube’s CLOSER TO TRUTH.

Let us know what you think. Thank you.

Mysticexperiences.net

“Stanzas Concerning an Ecstasy Experienced in High Contemplation”

“Stanzas Concerning an Ecstasy Experienced in High Contemplation” 
By St. JOHN OF THE CROSS

I only come across Dr. Saint John of the Cross this morning in a paper submitted to Academia.edu by Michael McGlynn, an Associate Professor of Literature at National Taiwan University.

Hitherto I had only ever come across St.John in earnest, turgid religious literature I never bothered to finish. Had I persevered I may have made my first discovery not only of St.John but of the word mystic, as well as my first introduction to the experience of a mystic in this, one of St.John’s most famous poems where he validates the mystical experience of Reality (MER) as transcending all human mental, physical, ability to know or express ultimate existence.

That I didn’t, suggests to me I was not meant to find out and understand for myself the meaning of my direct mystical experiences of Reality until now, much later in life.

I cannot express how profoundly moved, humbled and blessed I am by this late, validating discovery. I recognise every word, in its most metaphysical sense.

Enjoy:


Stanzas Concerning an Ecstasy Experienced in High Contemplation 

By St. JOHN OF THE CROSS

I entered into unknowing
Yet when I saw myself there
Without knowing where I was
I understood great things;
I shall not say what I felt
For I remained in unknowing
Transcending all knowledge.

That perfect knowledge
Was of peace and holiness
Held at no remove
In profound solitude;
It was something so secret
That I was left stammering,
Transcending all science/knowledge.

I was so overwhelmed,
So absorbed and withdrawn,
That my senses were left
Deprived of all their sensing,
And my spirit was given
An understanding while not understanding,
Transcending all science/knowledge.

He who truly arrives there
Cuts free from himself;
All that he knew before
Now seems worthless,
And his knowledge so soars
That he is left in unknowing
Transcending all science/knowledge.
   
This knowledge in unknowing
Is so overwhelming
That wise men disputing
Can never overthrow it,
For their knowledge does not reach
To the understanding of not understanding,
Transcending all science/knowledge.

And this supreme knowledge
Is so exalted
That no power of man or learning
Can grasp it;
He who masters himself
Will, with knowledge in unknowing,
Always be transcending.

And if you should want to hear:
This highest knowledge lies
In the loftiest sense
Of the essence of God;
This is a work of His mercy,
To leave one without understanding,
Transcending all science/knowledge.

Mysticexperiences.net

QUESTION: You Have Said Reality Does Not Use Names

QUESTION: You have said Reality does not use names.

ANSWER: True, Reality does not use names. In Ultimate Reality, where everything is well and perfect, there are no names, or words usually. 

Q: Then how does Reality communicate?

A: In my experience, by intuition, instinct – and once in my case, in words too, i,e.”All Is Well”.  

Dr Tart, the eminent parapsychologist and transpersonal psychologist, seems to claim Extransensory Perception is the way Reality communicates. But I don’t quite know what he means by such a general definition.

I’m not sure he would mean it to describe my experiences, though my MERs were certainly not delivered through ordinary human sense receptors, obviously … But they were extra “sensory” in a human sense. 

(Dr Tart uses the word perception as if the experiences he is talking about are a human choice. MER is not a choice. It takes over whether you like it or not. It never ocurred to me there was a choice in my MER experiences. I simply was).

Q: Can we develop intuition, instinct or ESP ourselves?

A: Dr Tart says we can develop this Extra Sensory Perception he’s talking about. He doesn’t say that about intuition or instinct though, nor have I heard if anyone else does. 

However, it’s not Reality’s method of communication that matters, in my view, it’s the enlightenment MER gives, and the personal lifetime development that follows.

Q: What is that personal lifetime of development?

A: Perhaps preparation for the mystic’s ongoing experience after death.

Q: Why don’t we all experience MER?

A:  Perhaps only mystics experience it because they are ready but need MER as a kick in the rear to higher dimensions to get their attention? Some scientists say the mystic experience is influenced by some early religious exposure. Mine wasn’t. There was nothing “religious” about my MER experiences. That disappointed me in fact. I thought God was calling me. But there was no God, no gods, devils or angels either, nothing human. Even Keith Michael Hancock wasn’t there. 

The majority of humans up to the age of 65 or so are losing the perennial battle of everyday reality of human life based on their physical needs and wants versus the spiritual Reality of their human destiny. 

This spiritual Reality doesn’t make it any easier to discover human destiny either. It obscures itself behind an impregnably clever password: EXPERIENCE i.e.: MER, the mystical experience of Reality.

In my observation of aging and death however I do see signs of a gradual involuntary birthing trend of MER in people as they get to the second half of their lives, a loosening of the grip on the individual by mere human reality, the diminishing power of lust, anger, greed, grief, attachment and even the damndest grip of all, ego. All that’s briefly left at death is body and mind, and they soon disappear forever. Maybe all humans are secretly fixed on the path to enlightenment whether they know it or not.

On the other hand there are people of every age with so many spiritually aimed questions. They suggest to me they are at various stages of being “Called”, are Seekers. The trend towards enlightenment is more obvious in them, especially by mystics who recognise the signs from their own experiences.

I think you, for instance, are a Seeker – on your way to all your questions being answered in MER. 

MER comes and goes we know not from where or to where, “like the wind” as it says in many places in the bible, e.g. John. 3:8. 

You seem to be on your way whether you like it or not. Is Seeking your life purpose, your grail?

Listen to the Utter Silence. It never lets you down. Ever. That which you seek seeks you, as the mystic tradition goes …

All Is Well.

Mysticexperiences.net

BEING

By Anthony Garner, zenothestoic.com (on Weltanchauung):

Sitting in the garden listening to the rain.

There may be no more to be said than that. Call it a koan if you will, or a haiku perhaps. But do not be entangled by words or definitions.

If you must subscribe to any line of thinking, let it be Eastern. I am Zen. Doing nothing.

I am the Tao. I am the Hsin Hsin Ming.

And so are we all, did we but know it.

In the quiet, I have seen my origins. I have witnessed my past and my future. In me as in all of us, there are a million, million years of history.

In meditation, it is not too fanciful to speak to your long deceased father. Or mother. Or any of the millions of things you have been in the past, or will become in the future.

I sense a life in the woods, way back in time. I witnessed my consciousness emerge from all those eons of experienced time. And somewhere a monastery, in more modern times. Always a monastery.

And I saw the way it must end. Or rather, not end. Continue.

As I sense my father in me, my son, if he cared to think about it, would sense me in him. And his mother.

A seeker eventually finds. I have found. The truth, the way, reality – call it what you will.

It is devastatingly simple and of incredible complexity.

The simple part is to be. To feel the waters and flow of time around you and to go, to drift with the gentle current.

There is no more to it than that. If you seek contentment and meaning, then accept the river, the flow and do not try to go against the stream.

If you seek complexity, you will certainly find it, but it will avail you little.

Complexity is to be found in your body and the millions of working parts which make you what you are.

Complexity is to be found in the society and economy we have created.

Let it all pass. It will do so of its own accord in time. All is change, there are no constants.

Being, that is all there is to it. Sitting in the garden and listening to the rain.

_____________________

Comment by Keith:

“Your beautifully expressed experiences are very gratifying to witness. Your voice’s interpretation and communication are perfect for me. Quite an experience.

“If the Hsin Hsin Ming (mind) referred to is consciousness it echoes one of the last experiences I had in MER when I was mystified by observing the back of the body of Keith Hancock from a distance as it stood before an endless void of greyness as if about to make a final movement into it.

“I identified totally with the invisible observer of this scene and often wondered what the observer was in which the ‘I’ was so absorbed, separated from Keith Hancock. I came to recognise this observer as mind despite that conflicting with my experience the human mind as I understood it then does not exist after human death. Now I know it as consciousness. I am beginning to realise this consciousness is what exists in Reality for ever. It becomes clearer to me that consciousness is what the human journey is all about. It never ‘dies’.

“Kindest regards,

“Keith.”

Reply by Anthony Garner:

“I am astounded by the similarities between what you describe and what I felt the other day. Although I did not express it, I too felt that day that death was illusory. I too witnessed my own body, not from a physical distance as such but as separate from my mind and, in a sense, irrelevant. I recognized that it was not “me”, that I was different and in a sense, immortal. I seemed also to sense the end of my body, its death. Some sort of premonition perhaps, or maybe a realization that the body is irrelevant.

“And my consciousness seemed to extend back endlessly in time; I seemed to witness it’s past ands its constituents. Almost a past life (lives) experience. I am not sure where my “beliefs” now lie. What I do know is that I feel a very different person.

“Thank you for sharing that with me Keith. It is gratifying to know that others have experienced similar and equally strange visions of what is or what may be.

“Best

“A”

SEE OTHER COMMENTS ON this post on zenothestoic.com (on Weltanchauung) for very interesting comments by other Anthony’s followers (including two of ours!).

IN REVIEW: The Fifth Dimension – An Exploration of the Spiritual Realm by Dr John Hick

In this excerpt from his excellently illuminating book, The Fifth Dimension – An Exploration of the Spiritual Realm, Dr Hick acknowledges a general, but mistaken, public attitude to the mystical experience of Reality, namely:

Excerpt: “Experience of the natural environment is forced upon us, as we noted earlier, whereas experience of any supra-natural environment seems to be optional.”

No! There was nothing “optional” about my spontaneous MER experiences.

This spontenaity is not generally mentioned in the academic literature on the subject. It is commonly assumed it is experienced after much scholarly reading, the presence of a guru, or a strong adherement to religious doctrines. It is not.

Ancient and modern eastern literature agrees with me. It stresses MER cannot be achieved by learning. It’s “caught, not taught”. Did the biblical Jesus hint at this in his reference to the wind? The Dr Puri who wrote a book about Guru Nanak, (pub. SANT MAT), claimed it is spontanious too. The buddhists recognise this spontenaity, they call it pratyeka. Otherwise I haven’t come across any scholarly works that even mention the word “spontaneous”. But such scholarly works are mostly anthropomorphic anyway. They give the impression they believe the sun and moon only exist to revolve around the earth exclusively for humans ,,.

Dr Hick set out to show there is more than just matter, the physical existence of things, that there is also non matter – a “fifth dimension” not known by science, experiment, religion, philosophy, physics, the senses, logic or reason, only through experience of It: “the spiritual realm”.

All Is Well.

John Harwood Hick (20 January 1922 – 9 February 2012) was a philosopher of religion and theologian born in England who taught in the United States for the larger part of his career. In philosophical theology, he made contributions in the areas of theodicy, eschatology, and Christology, and in the philosophy of religion he contributed to the areas of epistemology of religion and religious pluralism. (Google).

Mysticexperiences.net

HSIN HSIN MING

‘Faith in mind’, is a poem attributed to the Third Chinese Chán (Zen) Patriarch Jianzhi Sengcan.

It is shared here by Anthony Garner, zenothestoic.com. (Anthony is a follower of mysticexperiences.net).


The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences.

When love and hate are both absent everything becomes clear and undisguised. Make the smallest distinction, however, and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart.

If you wish to see the truth then hold no opinions for or against anything. To set up what you like against what you dislike is the disease of the mind. When the deep meaning of things is not understood, the mind’s essential peace is disturbed to no avail.

The Way is perfect like vast space where nothing is lacking and nothing in excess. Indeed, it is due to our choosing to accept or reject that we do not see the true nature of things.

Live neither in the entanglements of outer things, nor in inner feelings of emptiness. Be serene in the oneness of things and such erroneous views will disappear by themselves.

When you try to stop activity by passivity your very effort fills you with activity. As long as you remain in one extreme or the other you will never know Oneness.

Those who do not live in the single Way fail in both activity and passivity, assertion and denial. To deny the reality of things is to miss their reality; To assert the emptiness of things is to miss their reality.

The more you talk and think about it, the further astray you wander from the truth. Stop talking and thinking, and there is nothing you will not be able to know.

To return to the root is to find meaning, but to pursue appearances is to miss the source. At the moment of inner enlightenment there is a going beyond appearance and emptiness. The changes that appear to occur in the empty world we call real only because of our ignorance.

Do not search for the truth; only cease to cherish opinions. do not remain in the dualistic state. Avoid such pursuits carefully. If there is even a trace of this and that, of right and wrong, the mind-essence will be lost in confusion.

Although all dualities come from the One, do not be attached even to this One. When the mind exists undisturbed in the Way, nothing in the world can offend. And when a thing can no longer offend, it ceases to exist in the old way. When no discriminating thoughts arise, the old mind ceases to exist. When thought objects vanish, the thinking-subject vanishes: As when the mind vanishes, objects vanish.

Things are objects because of the subject (mind): the mind (subject) is such because of things (object). Understand the relativity of these two and the basic reality: the unity of emptiness. In this Emptiness the two are indistinguishable and each contains in itself the whole world.

If you do not discriminate between coarse and fine you will not be tempted to prejudice and opinion. To live in the Great Way is neither easy nor difficult. But those with limited views are fearful and irresolute: the faster they hurry, the slower they go.

And clinging (attachment) cannot be limited: Even to be attached to the idea of enlightenment is to go astray. Just let things be in their own way and there will be neither coming nor going. Obey the nature of things (your own nature) and you will walk freely and undisturbed. When the thought is in bondage the truth is hidden for everything is murky and unclear. And the burdensome practice of judging brings annoyance and weariness. What benefit can be derived from distinctions and separations? If you wish to move in the One Way do not dislike even the world of senses and ideas. Indeed, to accept them fully is identical with enlightenment.

The wise man strives to no goals but the foolish man fetters himself. There is one Dharma, not many. Distinctions arise from the clinging needs of the ignorant. To seek Mind with the (discriminating) mind is the greatest of all mistakes. Rest and unrest derive from illusion; with enlightenment there is no liking and disliking. All dualities come from ignorant inference. They are like dreams or flowers in air – foolish to try to grasp them.

Gain and loss, right and wrong, such thoughts must finally be abolished at once. If the eye never sleeps, all dreams will naturally cease. If the mind makes no discriminations, the ten thousand things are as they are, of single essence. To understand the mystery of this One-essence is to be released from all entanglements. When all things are seen equally the timeless Self-essence is reached, No comparisons or analogies are possible in this causeless, relationless state. Consider movement stationary and the stationary in motion, both movement and rest disappear. When such dualities cease to exist Oneness itself cannot exist. To this ultimate finality no law or description applies.

For the unified mind in accord with the way all self-centered striving ceases. Doubts and irresolutions vanish and life in true faith is possible. With a single stroke we are freed from bondage: Nothing clings to us and we hold to nothing. All is empty, clear, self-illuminating, with no exertion of the mind’s power. Here thought, feeling, knowledge and imagination are of no value. In this world of suchness there is neither self nor other-than-self.

To come directly into harmony with this reality just say when doubt rises “not two”. In this “not two” nothing is separate, nothing is excluded. No matter when or where, enlightenment means entering this truth. And this truth is beyond extension or diminution in time and space: In it a single thought is ten thousand years.

Emptiness here, emptiness there, but the infinite universe stands always before your eyes. Infinitely large and infinitely small; no difference, for definitions have vanished and no boundaries are seen. So too with Being and non-Being. Don’t waste time in doubts and arguments That have nothing to do with this. One thing, all things, move among and intermingle without distinction. To live in this realization is to be without anxiety about non-perfection. To live in this faith is the road to non-duality, because the non-dual is one with the trusting mind.

Words! The Way is beyond language, for in it there is no yesterday no tomorrow no today.

MER NOTE: Some schools caution that mind is the enemy of realising Reality.

Mysticexperiences.net

FEMINISM, SIN, ETC.

Q: What is your view of sin?

A: Simple. There is no such thing.

Q: And feminism?

A: There is no such thing. Reality is devoid of all human attributes including gender, male or female. Sin is just a secular disciplinary device dreamed up by religions.

Q: Then why do we take sin, evil, or male and female distinctions so seriously?

A: They are collateral damage from the perennial struggle between the human mind and Reality. Anything human is artificial, mind stuff, not real. The human mind asserts itself by way of ego, lust, anger, greed, attachments and ego because it’s in the vacuum of not knowing Reality, despite mystic warnings throughout history. History is full of warnings that once Reality is ignored Reality reasserts itself, with dire consequences. I can’t vouch for that being true. It was not in my experiences.

Reality on the other hand does seem to ignore the human v. Reality struggle except for popping out mystics now and again. I don’t get the impression Reality is too worried! It’s message to me was unbelievable but undeniable : ALL IS WELL!

Reality is quintessentially existential acceptance, what humanity would inadequately call love, divine love. This acceptance is powerfully life changing as those who have experienced it will attest. Sin, evil, male/female, ego, all suchlike, are dismissed as mere human distinctions. They will be ejected as detritus, eventually disappear along with the human body and brain into the pureness of our destiny, Reality. …

Q: Can we do anything about what you suggest is a spiritual war?

A: There’s no historical evidence we can do anything about it successfully, is there? Eventually the basic trouble-making mythomania that we are all equal will be rejected, replaced by the unquenchable rule of equality of opportunity. Then our present divisive distinctions of culture, languages, countries, might slowly evaporate into peace and contentment, except of course for the occasional historic uprisings of our undeveloped ego driven youth. Such ideological mind eruptions inevitably fall under the weight of their own evil and Reality prevails, as always …

DNA engineering might be of some help in this. It is already being used discreetly. Apparently, agression is one of the things it is adressing already. It might eventually reduce or eliminate other unhelpful human traits – if humans can calmly agree what those are. We’ll see.

In the meantime All Is Well. Reality is in charge, as ever and always, thank goodness. We should be so lucky.

Mysticexperiences.net

DRUGS 2 – an update

This was my original post on the subject of drugs.

The following is an update:

I see the sole purpose of current academic/scientific enquiry into the use or effect of drugs to induce MER merely as a human, ‘what’s in it for me?’ initiative, human curiosity, not a spiritual aspiration.

MER is not about humanity. It is more than that. My experience is humankind is not permanent whereas Reality is and MER selects some people to take them there.

MER will not exist in the next phase of Reality after its introductory work here. All MER does is raise selected individuals’ awareness, consciousness, of Reality. There is no evidence the artificiality of drugs will address this natural process.

Moreover, while MER comes with a lifetime of guidance, teaching and explanation, drugs don’t.

For myself, I know humanity and its concerns are not the be-all and end-all of existence. Everything about humanity is suspiciously artificial, especially compared to Reality,. I doubt even the human perception of a cosmos exists in the formlessness of Reality, or if there is anything physical, material, to which Reality gives much attention. Drugs will certainly be redundant like much of everything else that disappears when humans graduate into Reality.

The real, natural purpose of MER seems to be to draw individuals into Itself. It’s teaching and guidance remain for life, with or without the individual’s awareness or cooperation. Some of the resultant human ‘fruits’ or benefits are immediate, some eventual; but all are destined to become redundant along with humanity itself. Such ‘fruits’ are only human and not needed or taken into Ultimate Reality. Even the process of MER becomes redundant when humanity ultimately. The real, lasting fruits of Reality are an absorbtion of consciousness into UltimateReality Itself, “in which we live and have our being”, (as Acts 17:28 reports verifiably to a mystic).

Drugs are limited to their affect on the human mind and are how such drugs are affected. But even mind itself is irrelevant in Reality. Reality is formless, more than human.

MER is only the portal in my experience to get to the next phase of Reality where it and the body are not required any more in the process of the mind’s experiences/consciousness/soul is harvested. Our future is not human, drugs or no drugs, apples and snakes or no apples and snakes …

For some as yet perhaps deliberately unknown reason MER comes only to individual humans. But drugs bypass this process. Where does drug artificiality fit in with the Reality of mystic experience, our real destiny?

Nothing in my MERs convince me drugs are a natural, lasting portal even to a level of Reality 101.

All Is Well.

Mysticexperiences.net

“SHAKING THE WORLD AWAKE”: AN INTERFAITH MULTIPLE CASE STUDY OF SPIRITUALLY ADVANCED SOCIAL CHANGE AGENTS

by Katherine Elizabeth Coder, Miami University

A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Transpersonal Psychology Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Palo Alto, California.

Review: This paper appears to present Reality as a “spiritually advanced social change agent”. My reading of the Abstract is that it’s suggesting “spiritually advanced social change agents (will) enable positive and healthy transformation” into selves. I presume this means as selves “in (an) increasingly integral epoch.” Ie: a world collective? That is, spirituality being politicised?

Nothing in my multiple yearly experiences of the Mystical Experience of Reality (MER) over 15 years suggests anything of the kind. This smacks of human politics, leftwing politics in particular.

This is at variance with the mystical experience of Reality, (MER).

Humans are in an individual process of development into Reality, not into a “socially engaged spirituality”. Reality is not socially engaged. Reality is going about its own ineffable business, not ours. This individual development is only by Reality, from outside the human condition. Reality’s development is not concocted by human brains or minds.

Is this development into Reality what leading physicist Dr. David Chalmers (‘Facing up to the hard problem of consciousness’) has described as “the hard question” that currently – and possibly infinitely – baffles scientific or political method?

There is an abyss of consciousness between the repeatable experimental methods of science and the individual but similar, at least 12,000 year old culturally non specific experiences of mystics.

Fortunately, if this paper is anything to go by, humans have not been trusted individually or collectively to have any say whatsoever in this process by Reality!  Reality is enough.

The following is the Abstract that comes with the paper. The full paper is available as a free PDF download at Academia.edu.

Abstract: “This dissertation is a qualitative study of socially engaged spirituality as practiced by spiritually advanced social change agents. The research question was “What is characteristic of social change agents identified as spiritually advanced?” This research came on the heels of the burgeoning movement of socially engaged spirituality and its many applications within an increasingly integral epoch.

As a growing phenomenon, socially engaged spirituality is discussed in lay and scholarly theoretical literature but little studied empirically. While advanced levels of spiritual development are theorized and proven to be beneficial to individuals, the combined study of advanced levels of spiritual development within socially engaged spirituality is evenless studied.

This phenomenon was investigated by conducting multiple case studies of 3 exemplar-networks from Buddhist, Christian, and Native American faith traditions. Two female exemplars and 1 male exemplar participated who ranged in ages from 37 to 79 years old and whooriginated from 3 different nations.

The data collected through in-depth semi-structured interviews, documents, and direct and participant observation were analyzed using a synthesis of case study and constructivist grounded theory. Cross case analysis determined the qualities of the phenomenon of spiritually advanced social change agency.

Results included 3 individual case narratives, a cross case report highlighting the major characteristics of spiritually advanced socialchange agency, and a theoretical model of its emergent dynamic. The findings suggested that spiritually advanced social change agents enabled positive and healthy transformation of self.”

Mysticexperiences.net

SEEKING MEANING By Anthony Garner, zenothestoic.com

Deep in meditative trance a voice, my own perhaps, told me that I sought a god and had always done so.

The surprise was that I was surprised. Perhaps it was a sort of “coming out”. If that voice spoke the truth, and I have little reason to doubt it, then small wonder that a commercial life was an anathema to my soul.

I sat listening to the rain, pattering somewhere in my consciousness. There was a door or a barrier somewhere. Perhaps I was the wrong side of the tracks. Just the other side lay the infinite.

Do I anthropomorphize? No but I seek communication, communion if you will. At one stage I was in an empty theater, a Shakespearean image if ever there was one.

All the world’s a stage,nall the men and women merely players;

Was the god I sought the director of such theater I wondered? I thought perhaps he might be. Was there anyone there in that emptiness? Who had built, designed and ran that theater. The answer was always on the tip of my tongue. Like a half forgotten memory, which needed just a little prodding to be brought back into the camera of my mind.

Are we a simulation perhaps, are we the men in Plato’s cave. All seemed possible. God was never quite found, or was he?

“Are we what you are seeking?” I seemed to hear. Yes, you will do I replied. Talk to me, show yourselves.

Were those voices the Omega Point? I rather fancied they were. You see, a technological god will do me just fine.

Anything omniscient, wise, beneficent. Omnipotent would be quite handy too. Something vastly bigger that what we normally perceive in our messed up world of concretized struggle.

Is my god that of Abraham or Mohamed? The question seemed irrelevant. Was I god I wondered, or, more properly put, was I an offshoot of some universal consciousness of which we are all a part.

The joy of meditation is the freedom from convention and thought. I feel, therefor I am. To misquote Descartes.

Out of meditation I still listen for those voices. In the wind, in quiet incantations in a temple, in silence and the panoply of a starry night.

But I am an eclectic sort of fellow and can see beauty everywhere, even in the little maths I am able to grasp. In the wonder of fractals seen in the design of a tree, its roots and leaves. In the bang which we are told kicked us all off and in the whimper they say is our ending.

Were I young again and could choose a different path, it might have been that of the physicist. There is a stark, ethereal beauty there too, a search for meaning of not such a different order.

If there is a god, he hides in the cracks, in letters written in lemon juice between the lines on a page. Perhaps the physicist will discover him silently existing at the center of an ultimate singularity, or wrapped in some exotic field of yet unthought of energy. In a dimension we do not yet know of. A life form divorced from what we conceive of as the physical universe.

Many a physicalist will sneer these days at a such a search. Materialism is the fashion and the universe can only be explained in terms of what it does, not what it means. It was not always thus and there are still physicists who dream with greater ambition, people who are prepared to ask why and not content themselves merely to count and calculate.

At my age I must remain a mere dreamer; the time for doing seems long gone. But where would we be without such dreams? The world will not be bettered by science alone. No “for profit” titan will create a heaven for all, merely a glory for one.

There is a place still for the hermit, sitting in silence and listening for quiet voices in the gentle winds. There is purpose in listening, even in a world where all seems driven by material ambition.

There is meaning to be found by looking with serene detachment and contemplating what is and what might yet be.

zenothestoic.com

Publisher’s note: Anthony is a Follower of mysticexperiences.net

NOT A BUDDHA

QUESTION:  So, you are a buddha?

ANSWER: Certainly not. Why?

Q: I read your old post that said you are a Pratyekabuddha?

A: Ah yes. What I said was:

“A pratyekabuddha or paccekabuddha (Sanskrit and Pali, respectively), literally “a lone buddha”, “a buddha on their own” or “a private buddha”, is the so called “silent buddha” who does not try to share his realization with the world.

“Pratyekabuddhas are said to achieve enlightenment on their own, without the use of teachers or guides, by “dependent origination”.
Traditionally, Paccekabuddhas give moral teachings but not enlightenment.

“I believe this describes my state.

“See Wikipedia for more on the subject”.

Uncannily, this gives my present state of consciousness a name. But a better description would be pratyekamystic. Nevertheless, I am not a buddha, nor even a buddhist. I have of course read about Guatama’s enlightenment and buddhism in its various forms  – East Indian, Tibetan, Japanese, Chinese, but nothing ever sparked stirrings of spiritual recognition. 

In fact one of my experiences long after my 15 years of multiple  experiences of spontanious MER a year when I was a teen, was that personal guidance was alive and active in my destiny without me realising it. For instance, It expressed firm disapproval of me wandering off focus into Sufism. Practices and religions were irrelevant in my case  – Reality was and is enough. It was made deliberately clear to me that Reality is in sole charge. It ignores interpretation or interference. 

Sometime in this hidden development I was given the attributes of a pratyekamystic without any knowledge of what was happening, or effort on my part; without buddhism or sufism or anything else …

However, your question did prompt me to research the name. Now I find there is a buddhist tradition that pratyekabuddhas are put into that state to rest. I have no personal MER experience my pratyeka is a state of rest, or rest from what, so can’t say if pratyeka is a state of rest for me or not. I’d say in my case pratyeka is a state of pure focus on Reality, strictly without distractions from personal involvement in any identity, personal or collective, or any lust, anger, greed, attachments and, hopefully, ego, which is said to be the last to go. 

Q: No effort?

A: None. In my case, just reading, writing, talking and being still, listening for Reality, is enough. Reality is my passion. I try to let go of anything else. Reality is enough.

Q: But if the pratyeka state is about rest, how long does it go on for?

A: I have no idea. But then as the concept of time is merely human, in my MER experiences ‘time’ is not real, so I don’t suppose I’ll ever be given the answer to such a question, or understand it if I was …

Q: Don’t you ever feel lonely?

A: When I was young and in Reality’s development I felt alienated from humanity. I was prompted to avoid the distractions of friendships, even family, so was comparatively unsocial except in the need to earn a living.

Fortunately non-attachment was a strong fruit from my MER experiences so loneliness became meaningless as I aged. It helped I was also gifted with a love of solitude. My pursuits were solo  – sailing, horse riding, reading and writing. The nearest I got to sharing sports was in squash, racquet ball and swimming.  

I was also helped with the continuing gift of a 45 year marriage to an extraordinarily compatible character and personality. So far as loneliness is concerned, my understanding wife has assuaged that, her companionship has been enough …  (I checked for hidden wings on her back but she assures me what I found are just shoulder blades …). LOL.

Mysticexperiences.net 

SCIENCE AND THE FUTURE OF HUMANITY?

Problem: Will Science finally unearth the workings of Reality?

Answer: Not unless it changes its scientific values to the point of extinguishing itself, making what is called Science today extinct.

Question: So no, is the answer by today’s scientific disciplines?

Answer: Yes. Science is just mind stuff, human curiosity, mental masturbation into space, (ie. unproductive self indulgence except for collateral science effects on technology, health care and medications) But there is another answer:

By the time Science gets anywhere near the truth of existence, human existence will have died anyway  – human consciousness will likely have developed and left the human mind and body, become converted into the Ultimate Reality experienced by mystics.

Question: So in the long term Science has no future!

Answer: True. As the remnants of humanity disappear into something beyond Scientific thought or proof, only the scientific remnants of Technology will reign briefly then go the same way, or even continue in material relics, minus humanity and humanity’s Science, like lumps of matter sticking out of the sands of existence for other beings to ponder.

Question: … So no more Science, no more humanity as such!

Answer: None.

Question: So what now?

Answer: All Is Well and proceeding in good order by Reality’s standards, not ours … Being human is not the be-all and end-all of existence.

Mysticexperiences.net

I WAS THAT. I DO NOT INTEND TO RETURN By Anthony Garner, zenothestoic.com

 

Last night was a night of my soul, but not a dark one.

I am aware where true happiness lies and nowhere was that more evident than in the middle of a starlit, cool summer night dreaming in my garden.

I had commented to a friend during the day that my version of life was best summed up by Mathew 6:25-34 in sharp contradistinction to a summary I had read of a book called “Moonshots: Creating a World of Abundance”.

According to that book, it seems that a better world requires that I get up at 4 am every morning, become an “entrepreneur” and run something called a “for profit”.

Instead I lay in the dark and gave thanks that I was as far removed from such a dystopian nightmare as it is possible to get.

It had been a day of intense heat, such as I am not used to and have come to dread. 33% in the shade – nothing for Madrid or Texas no doubt, but enough to induce in me a sense of panic and claustrophobia. Enough to send me off to the beach and take a very unaccustomed John the Baptist.

By evening a coolness had spread, and the middle of the night found me sleeping in the garden. Dozing perhaps, dreaming certainly, meditating.

A sense of calm and gnosis crept over me. I heard a gentle murmuring all around me; I heard night sounds of animals I might have recognized by day, but whose voices were until then a mysterious closed book to me.

The over riding emotion was oneness. I wondered at one stage whether my mind was disintegrating along with my no longer young body. Perhaps my end was coming or was it my beginning? Regardless, it was neither harrowing nor joyous, just intensely peaceful. An overwhelming acceptance of what is. A strong grasp of the infinity all around me and the certain knowledge that all was somehow well, dissolved as I felt in the universal.

More properly speaking I was at the foothills of disintegration but such absorption was felt to be a progress, and achievement of some sort and not an ending.

Above all I was where I should be, where I belonged. I was nature, I was that vastness above. I was that haunting animal cry, I was the coolness of the night and its starry blackness.

There is yin and there is yang, it is said. There is no beauty without ugliness, no goodness without sin. Is that true I wonder? And if so can the whole come to be seen as beautiful anyway?

I think maybe the latter. Perhaps it is a question of acceptance, of letting go. And yet if you are yin I do not think you can survive in a world of yang. Not unless you have managed to transcend the physical and become pure spirit.

Where once I was prepared to try out the world portrayed in that book, to imagine that “for profit” and “entrepreneurship” was the way to go, that was all yang to my yin.

Even as a small child, at heart I realized my yingness but for so much of my life pretended I was yang. Instead of “for profit” my reality was the lilly. Instead of entrepreneurship, my soul was in truth a bird which did not wish to gather in barns. I did not wish to sew nor to reap.

Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin.

And thus in the middle of last night, in the cool and under the canopy of the stars I felt myself; as I am. I looked to the night sky and felt I am that. I heard the night owl cry and that too was me. The quiet susurration of distant waves, the gentle rustle of leaves and branches in a cool night wind. That too was me; I was that.

Do I wax too poetical, do I lose my meaning in a sea of fantasy. No, I think not. I was a part of reality last night and content to exist or not. If there was yin mixed in with yang, I was not seeing it. Or was I seeing a bigger picture altogether – the glory of yin and yang combined in an unblemished whole. I was bathed in a glorious unity and nothing seemed to matter. I did not seem to be body or earthbound, transcendence seemed somehow to have happened.

I do not intend to return.

zenothestoic.com