TWO SPIRITUALLY WRONG ASSUMPTIONS?

Some books on MER are predicated on humans having to make spiritual efforts. That is not my experience. All my spiritual experiences were given. I did not know such things existed. I did not, could not, cannot ask for them. They dominate my life without my effort.

Another assumption of such works is that MER exists solely for human improvement. This is not my experience.

While it is axiomatic that humans who have the Mystical Experience of Reality will automatically conform to Reality so becoming “better” in human terms, the value in becoming better humans is only of value to the human condition, not to Reality.

In my Experiences, Reality has its own agenda without dependence on human goodwill or “help”.

All is well.

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MYSTICISM AND CONSCIOUSNESS

What Does Mysticism Have To Teach Us About Consciousness?

By Robert K.C. Forman, The Forge Institute and Program in Religion, Hunter College, CUNY.

Originally published in Journal of Consciousness Studies, Vol. 5, No. 2, 1998, pp. 185–201.

Excerpts:

“A key strategy for understanding a complex phenomenon is to look at its simplest manifestations. The gene structure of E. coli, for example, has contributed significantly to our understanding of gene functioning in more complex organisms.

“Mystical experiences may represent the simplest form of human consciousness and thus, by the same token, may provide valuable insights into the nature of human consciousness.”

“Not everyone who meditates encounters these sorts of unitive experiences. This suggests that some may be genetically or temperamentally predisposed to mystical ability; borrowing from Weber, the “mystically musical.”

“One might suggest that the mystic’s awareness is categorically different than other peoples’, i.e. that it is connected to the world in an ontologically deep way that the rest of ours is not.

“I find this unconvincing since every mystic I have read says he or she began as an “ordinary,” i.e. non-mystical, person and only came to realize something of what he or she “had always been.”

“Whichever explanation we opt for, however, it is clear that there is some ability the mystics have been able to develop — through meditation or whatever — that most of us have not.”


Publisher’s note: Dr. Forman’s thoughts seem to be predicated on the mystical experience of Reality (MER) being a human emanation. Also that it’s directed to the human condition. In my mystical experiences over several times a year for 15 years, neither of these limited anthropologic conclusions are evident.

I am more inclined to accept there are fields of non-human consciousness some humans experience spontaneously, as in my case, not necessarily by will, and that the brain is a receptor of an outer, non-human consciousness.


smiling bobDr. Robert K. C. Forman is a long-term TM-practitioner and a critic of the constructionist approach to mystical experience. He was a professor of religion at the City University of New York, author of several studies on religious experience, and co-editor of the Journal of Consciousness Studies. (Wikipedia).

THE END OF MATERIALISM?

Are we at the beginning of the next stage of human evolution?

materialismDr. Charles T. Tart explains why he wrote his seminal book: The End Of Materialism – How Evidence Of The Paranormal Is Bringing Science And Spirit Together, published by New Harbinger, USA (2009).

He says The End Of Materialism, is perhaps his most important work:

“The main thrust of The End of Materialism is to give readers the kind of data that allowed me to reach a personal resolution where I can be both devoted to science and trying to develop and practice my spiritual side. If two living people, for example, can occasionally demonstrate telepathic communication under tightly controlled laboratory conditions, something we have considerable evidence for, is the idea of prayer, an inherently telepathic kind of communication with someone/something beyond us inherently nonsensical? I don’t think so!” 

One of many testimonials for Tart’s book reads as follows:

“Prescient! This book represents the next step in the geotransformational processes that are altering modern concepts of borders, social structures, wealth and governance.”  – John B. Alexander, Ph.D., Society for Scientific Exploration


profile_charles_tartDr. Charles T. Tart is internationally known for his more than 50 years of research on the nature of consciousness, altered states of consciousness (ASCs) and parapsychology, and is one of the founders of the field of Transpersonal (spiritual) Psychology. His and other scientists’ work convinced him that there is a real and vitally important sense in which we are spiritual beings, but the too dominant, scientistic, materialist philosophy of our times, “masquerading as genuine science, dogmatically denies any possible reality to the spiritual.” He says this hurts people, it pressures them to reject vital aspects of their being.

 

BOOK REVIEW: Infinite You

infinite you_BOOK REVIEW: “Infinite You, A Journey to Your Greater Self and Beyond” by Pamala Oslie

After decades of living with enhanced abilities, exploring spiritual principles, and delving into quantum physics (see her post on this web site) Pamala Oslie discovered there is more to reality and who we are.

She does not believe we are mere biological machines that age and cease to exist. “There is more to our existence than biology,” she says. We are “infinite beings”.

From the experiences of her consltancy clients she believes everyone reaches a state of “bliss and unconditional love”.

Everything is one consciousness, she says, one mind and one being.

The spiritual experiences give us a knowledge of our true abilities. “We appear to be transforming”.

She approves of the quote by Nikola Tesla (1836 – 1943), the famed futurist, inventor and engineer:

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

She thinks quantum physics seems to be the bridge that is bringing science and spirituality together.

A list of physicists questioning “our old narrow materialistic definition of reality” is published in her book.

She asserts consciousness is not limited to the brain and draws on her observations of her client’s “unusual experiences and phenomena”.

We rely on technology to do things for us now that we are inherently capable of doing without technology at all, she claims. “Our brains have the same capabilities.”

“Holding fast to our old beliefs about reality … prevent us from reaching our ultimate potential.”

She suggests spiritual experiences seem to be introducing us to the wider, deeper, profounder realities of our existence.

However, she gets into the perennial controversy of whether such experiences are spontaneous or taught. My many experiences every year for over 15 years lead me to believe the experience is only spontaneous. It is caught, not taught. You can not evangelise the experience of reality.

Finally, one of the impressions of this readable book is the power and authenticity that comes from the clarity and honest simplicity of its language. This is a true mark of the mystic tradition.

La Penita. 2016.

THE VOID by Dr. Peter Steiner

‘The Void is the mysterious source of all there is, and I am part of the Source.’

Everything comes from the Nothing and I am part of the Everything, along with the Nothing. In the dichotomy of extremes the very definition of being Human is to keep challenging the edge of the envelope, be it the mysteriously small and the mysteriously large.

In the world of extremes the human mind cannot help but be an essential component of the Universe. By virtue of being a part of the whole, the human mind is forever blessed and condemned to the realm of extremes. The brilliant are likely to be manic depressive, the dull are likely to be spiritually even keeled.

The Mozart and the Salieri in us are selected by forces greater than ourselves, and have no choice but to emerge from the depth of our soul. They will battle for survival in our hearts, minds and souls, but the winner is never in doubt.

Salieri can curse God till the cows come home, he will never be Mozart. And similarly, Mozart could never live the life of the disciplined, systematic and ordered monotone existence of Salieri, even if he tried. The Oak and the Willow are what they are. Mozart and Salieri cannot trade places, bodies or souls.

“The strong will always break; the weak will bend and survive on the decay of the broken.”

There is a reason for the existence of all, the brilliant and the ordinary, the strong and the weak. The Universe is the way it is because it is the kind of Universe as IS. It will keep on unfolding the way it always had, whether we like it or not, whether we strive and fight the jihad, or surrender in monastic meditation.

Einstein, Gandhi, a miscarried foetus and I will never understand one another, for we were born and have died or will die for different purposes. Our uniqueness is the purpose, and the Universe made sure of that by mixing up slightly different combinations of base pairs on our DNA strands.

The less than 0.1 per cent difference in the DNA of Einstein, Gandhi, the miscarried foetus and I made us all different with differing paths, goals, and purposes in life. The 99.9 per cent of DNA that is the same in the four of us makes us human.

“The 1.0 per cent of DNA that is uniquely human differentiates us from our evolutionary cousins, the chimpanzees.”

Yes, 99 per cent of our DNA is common between humans and other primates.

Our essential purpose is both the same and unique. This is the dilemma and dichotomy that drives humans to madness and visions of clarity. Our individual purpose is different. The Theories of Relativity (both) could not have been written by Gandhi or I. Einstein or I would have made a very inferior Mahatma.

And a miscarried foetus may have been the change in the life of Einstein’s, Gandhi’s or Peter’s mothers’ lives that allowed for the three of us to be born and grow old. Part of the legacy of the unborn is to allow the rest of us to leave more visible signs of Inuksuk on the planet.

Inuksuk. I was here. Along with Einstein, Gandhi, and millions of the unborn. We have all participated in weaving a tapestry of humanity. Without any one of us the tapestry will survive, but it will not be the same. The way my essence permeated the Universe in an albeit temporary manner caused the Universe to never again be the same.

I have come from the Void, the Source and found both of them inside me. I no longer feel the need to satisfy the existential hunger to find meaning in Life.

“The meaning is Life itself. The Life I live is the meaning. No one else has to prove it or approve of me. The meaning of life simply IS. Those of us who recognize the significance of the insignificant will never self destruct. Life seems to like the extreme along with the average, the multitudes. Those of us who hover on the edges between feelings of insignificance and folie de grandeur will always be at risk of self destruction.”

As denizens of the edge of insanity, the catatonic and Bonaparte of the asylum are two sides of the same coin. The sinner and the saint are the mirror images of each other, just exchanging cards in passing in the course of their lives. The mindless toil of the jihad, however always has the echoes of Zen in the background.

Chop wood, carry water – I reach enlightenment – so now I chop wood and carry water. And if I spout enlightenment, I have probably lost it. Observation affects the outcome – if I know that I am enlightened, I am probably not. If I know for sure that something is right, I am probably wrong.

“I will never see the whole picture. I can never see the world with your eyes or walk in your shoes. I am me and you are you.”

Do we have the power to change? We can tweak our existence by a small amount, but we cannot change our DNA (yet). I will not be Einstein, Gandhi or the unborn foetus. What I do with my mind is up to me – to a degree. So Steinbeck I shall not be. Neither do I want to be. This work was about what it means to be human, what it means to be a man. Not Mice and Men. Just Man. And Hemmingway can write To Have and not Have. I know that I have.

“I accept the Void as the Source of the Everything, and I also accept the Void in me as a natural consequence of being a part of the Universe.”

I do, however keep on being its partner in the ongoing process to create my personal reality. I wont try to eliminate the Void from inside me by trying to fill it with stuff – but I will not ignore it either. My awareness of the Void inside me allows the creative spark to burn inside me without endangering my sanity in the process.

I will continue to tweak this relationship with my inner Void and allow it to provide the space so that creativity can arise in me. This is an act of will that neither ignores the circle of emptiness inside me, nor tries to fill it with addictive stuff and processes.

I gently tweak the empty circle of Void in me in an ongoing manner, and thus keep on changing the circular Void into an ever shifting Ovoid shape. This Ovoid Void in me will keep on changing, without losing its predetermined locus and curvature. I Ovoid the Void. I will neither Avoid it, Denying it nor Fight it.

“This becomes a cooperative venture between the Source (God or the Universe) and the Vehicle of change (Me).”

The Void and I form the Bow and Arrow of Khalil Gibran, working together in creating a process that keeps altering Reality in an ongoing and unfolding mystery. The Universe is the mystery, and I am an active part of it. The mystery is both outside and inside of me. Outer Reality and my Inner Life are inseparable and interactive. I will never understand the Universe completely and neither will I understand my mind and my soul.

And this is all right with me, I am content with understanding 99 per cent of the Universe and 99 per cent of myself, and I am grateful for the ability to have reached so far. The symbolic one per cent of my mind and soul remains a mystery forever for me. When I understand the last 1 per cent, a part of the known will shift and offer a new and different 1 per cent to discover.

“I will never ever understand it all. Neither can you, nor anyone else.”

59764_10152347726215645_1731065167_nThat is about it, my present understanding of the mystery of the Universe and my mind. Tomorrow I will understand a little more, but never all…

Excerpted from the ebook, OVOID THE VOID by Dr.Peter Steiner BSc., DDS.

YouTube Video: HIGHER CONSCIOUSNESS

Clearly the makers of this production have not experienced the Mystical Experience of Reality.

The film is not about Higher Consciousness. It is about the human spirit, not the higher spirit of MER. The Real Experience of the higher reality is completely outside human imagination, as mystics have attested. This video uses human criteria to “prove” higher consciousness, and as such is stuck at the lower, human level.

It’s as if a salesman at the time radio was discovered is introducing wireless programmng as if it’s the radio set that’s doing the programming.

MER is not about how Reality is Experienced. It is about what is Experienced.

This video offering is a distraction to Seekers because it suggests this higher consciousness it talks about can be achieved by human effort. It can’t. The real MER is spontaneous and comes to people without any human attributes that would qualify them for the phenomenon, as history shows and the sudden burst of interest in the worlds of modern scientific and scholarly research since the 60’s is beginning to reveal.

Clearly, there are far more important things in Existence than being merely human.

BOOK REVIEW: ORDINARY PEOPLE AS MONKS AND MYSTICS by Dr Marsha Sinetar (Paulist Press)

Dr Sinetar made a scientific study of individuals who have had the Mystical Experience of Reality. She does not go into the greater consequences of this phenomena, which turns all historical, religious, scientific and scholarly experience of human existence on its head. She concentrates on the Experience itself, and its effects on her subjects and, through them, society. It is a seminal book that should be on your library shelves, as I think you will agree, along with Williams James’ “The Varieties of Religious Experience”, Aldous Huxley’s “The Perennial Philosophy”, Evelyn Underwood’s edition of “The Cloud of Unknowing”,  Dr.Richard Maurice Bucke’s “Cosmic Consciousness”, and “What is Self”, by former nun Bernadette Roberts, all seminal works.

Marsha Sinetar coverIt is a very readable book and has been a best seller since 1986. Dr Sinetar is an educator, organisational psychologist and mediator. Her research and writings have focused on the characteristics, thinking, and work styles of gifted leaders, creative entrepreneurs and the whole, actualised person.

However, as you will see from the last few paragraphs of this review, Dr Sinetar seems to imply you can have the Transcendent Experience (M.E.R.) by your own efforts. That was not how my Experiences happened to me, nor have I seen any evidence in this book or anywhere else that the phenomenon is anything other than purely spontaneous. They are completely outside human experience or human ability to generate, in my experience. Nor does the Experience come to make us better human beings. The M.E.R. is about much more than mere humanity, to which, in fact, it seems indifferent.

Here is a gist of the book, in the words of the book itself:

“Mystics are the ones who hunger and thirst after righteousness .. the ones who yearn for continued or increased union with the other reality they themselves feel is the real reality – the real reality which heals and makes all things new again. Their yearning is their most distinctive mark and has been called by some ‘a deep and burning wound’, because it propels them towards the transcendent nature of life much as a lover is drawn toward the objective of love.

“Anyone who answers the yearning of the inner self is called, has a vocation, in the original sense of that word, which was ‘to be addressed by a voice’. The clearest of such vocations can, of course, be found in those who have a religious calling, or who are driven to express some form of genius. But I believe that the word vocation should have a broader interpretation. Those who are called to find the law of their own being, for example, who answer the call obediently, even if hesitatingly, have a vocation. Those who sacrifice the things of this world, the conventional way of living or perceiving things, have a vocation. Anyone can be called – not just the religiously inclined or the great gifted ones, since many of these may not, in fact, be true to themselves as individuals.

“In order to know what within is true and of most value, whenever these sorts of instincts come, the individual detaches experientially from the rules, customs, belief systems, conventions and various idols of the external world. Social transcendence is a way to answer this inner call – be it a physical response (such as moving one’s home, moving away from a home-town, or changing jobs etc.) or just an emotional detachment from societal conventions and expectations as with a woman, let’s say, who decides not to marry, not to have children, even though that’s what she sees her friends doing and knows that that is what her family expects her to do. These kinds of detachment may be signs that an individual has begun the process of actualisation.

“Fortunately, as time goes by, the demands of the Self are easier to hear.

“It is through hearing – and obeying – the demand to make a life-adjustment that the ability to face oneself grows.

“Thomas Merton: ‘The paradox that one must face, if he really takes the truth seriously, is the pragmatic fact that sincerity means insecurity.’

“It is this individual who ultimately overcomes the feelings of separation, fear and anxiety which are symptoms of powerlessness and an underdeveloped character structure.

“The person can feel inordinately sad, vulnerable or moved. He can be touched instantly by waves of strong emotion at little or no provocation. One person in this study told me that during a meeting, for no apparent reason, some heroic quality in a colleague so moved him that he had to fight back tears.

“… when an individual starts to grow within himself, starts to develop his intuitive, transpersonal self, he may find it necessary to pull back, to learn how to be alone.

“It is often difficult for the true mystic to find rapport with (religious organisations), his own heightened sensitivities to God made profane by the mundane perceptions of those who want to hear about – but who themselves do not experience – the sacred reverence and humility of the Transcendent.

“The remarks of the study participants may lead some readers to think that a physical break with conventional life is necessary in order to become actualised. Nothing could be further from the truth.

“Detachment from the world’s idea of what is good or proper is an absolute requisite in order to be one’s own person. But detachment does not mean withdrawal. Nor does it mean those most common types of non-conformity people use to protest society’s falsehoods: vain little adjustments of dress or diet, neurotic self-involvement and self pity, the psychosomatic inability to function, or, worse, the psychotic, perhaps even criminal, antisocial or insane outlet which so negatively poisons everything it touches.

“Anyone, of any age and any culture, having the sincerity of heart and the strength of intention to identify and express for what for him is true and good, can be whole.

“Three distinct skills of the study participants (are that they are) autonomous and authentic persons; adaptable; intuitive.

“If we cannot make it without old habits, toxic relationships, our addictions – whatever they might be – we are not free to choose our good.

“What we seek, seeks us. The goal of our life – whatever we want to call it – is within us, always present as the very life-source in us. All we need is to recognise, perhaps at first through faith, that inside is a profound, mysterious power which pervades our existence and which can heal, guide and inspire us.

“The inner journey, whatever it costs, and whatever form it may take, is necessary for anybody who wishes to embody in thought, word and action all that he truly loves. In this way, he comes to know and to be his really balanced, most wholesome and generous self: his Highest Self.”

Book reviewers needed.

We can supply the books free of charge as payment for your review of them. To start with we would like to see Dr. Marsha Sinetar’s books reviewed. And Karen Armstrong’s. Douglas Gulfinnan Lockhart has books on and around the Blog’s subject, too. COSMIC CONSCIOUSNESS by Dr. Bucke needs a modern reading. You can suggest others.

The more scientifically or experientially disciplined the reviewed books, studies and commentaries are the better. Every author assertion or conclusion must be backed by references and where they aren’t, or are unsatisfactory, must be exposed in your review. Suspicious words include, religion, soteriology, doctrine, eschatology, evangelism, Christian-gnosis, Judaic-gnosis and suchlike linkages, as well as proselytising, and faith, hope and belief. We do like words such as mystical insight, human destiny, knowledge, and insight. Only a PhD., MA., or Experiencer will be allowed to get away with the word intuition. Even then the usage will be subject to dire scrutiny …

The Experience is challenging to the human condition and to the personal lives of the Experiencers, so the aim is to keep the subject as pure as possible, without extraneous, that is, human, ie: mental, emotional distractions of the times.

Experience in writing reviews will be a big asset, especially if you hold a university professorship in a department of philosophy that includes a wide contextual study of the subject, and/or departments including physics and psychology with similar interests in the Experience.

If you’re interested, pass this request on to your friends, and please leave a comment here with your email spelled out, ie: JonSmithatGoogledotcom so as to avoid spamming bots. Or use the CONTACT box in the top right corner of the Blog. Thank you.