“ALL IS WELL”? Part 2*

QUESTION: When you see the state of the world how can you say All Is Well as you do?

ANSWER: That ‘All Is Well’ message was given to me aurally in one of my mystic experiences of Reality, (MER).  It was my only aural experience in all my MERs. It was a powerful, life changing experience.

So the message, All Is Well, shares its full meaning when each of the words are taken separately into our meditation or contemplation as well as together.

When I use the phrase I am passing it on for those ready for it.

Secondly, my MERs taught me “the state of the world” is not a primary interest of Reality. We have been given all we need for Reality’s purpose. The rest is just human “mind stuff” – it’s all abandoned at death anyway. 

The state of the world is powerless against the destiny Reality has for the whole of all existence, whether far away and near, known and unknown, including the world’s present configuration and contents, even humans.

The process of Reality has been likened to a mill grinding slowly but surely to produce Itself. (Bearing in mind Reality’s time is not our time).

The metaphor of milling is a profound, seminal meditation for those ready to be drawn into it.

MER experience reveals that the milling metaphor is an existential discovery, an acceptance of ourselves in Reality, and Reality as being latently in us.  

For mystics, the metaphor of a mill is the definition of all existence, the answer to the perennial human question, ‘What’s it all about?’.  

* The subject of ‘All Is Well’ was first posted several years ago. Read more

Mysticalexperiences.net

KNOWING YOU’RE CALLED

Q:  How do you know you’re called?

A: I think the description of someone being ‘called’ is an inaccurate human reference to the mystical experience of Reality, (MER), that make some humans into mystics. 

Mysticism isn’t a calling as if it’s some practise/profession of human activity. Mystics aren’t called, they’re absorbed into Reality and released back into humanity.

Q:  Why?

A:  No one knows. Even serious scientists who accept the phenomenon say it’s ineffable, indescribable.

Q:  Why is that so?

A:  Because Reality is not human, it’s nothing to do with humans as humans are now. That’s my intuition. There were no humans in my MERs, even I found myself watching myself disappear eventually. There was nothing biological involved whatsoever.

Q:  The monasteries were said to examine would-be entrants for a personal ‘calling’ before they were admitted. 

A:  I don’t know the entry rules for today’s monasteries but real gurus of today do look for genuine Seekers in order to assuage what the Christian bible calls such people’s “hunger and thirst for righteousness”, (Matthew 5:6).  This passion is unique to true Seekers everywhere.

Q: Jesus said he had faithfully delivered his message to those already prepared by God. Isn’t this what mystics should be doing?

A:  No. I think it was that human desire to spread the word that inexorably made Jesus’ mission fail and finally brought the religions to their end days. Religions lack the real thing, spirituality, because MER is spiritual, and it’s caught not taught. It’s not a social ideology either.

Q: What can I do to find out if I’m really called?

A:  if you are truly called, the posts on mysticalexperiences.net may help you identify yourself as a made, genuine Seeker – separate from about 80% of the human race whether you like it or not. Each post in the blog is as genuine a representation of my MER experiences as I can make them. 

You won’t have to read the whole blog to know if you are in fact a humble, submissing Seeker or not!

All Is Well. Reality Rules.

Mysticexperiences.net

ARE ENLIGHTENMENT AND TRANSCENDENCE ALTERED STATES?

This is the title of an interview on Closer To Truth on YouTube.

I didn’t watch the interview for the following reasons:

‘Enlightenment’, ‘Transcendence’ and ‘Altered States’ are only words, just laden with mere human experience, susceptible as all words are to supposition, prejudice or even bigotry. These words have no mystical meaning.

While the words express human attempts to define mystical experiences, they are empty of the actual experience.

This is because the mystic experience Itself is the only way to know MER. It cannot be described in words. It is ineffable.

Why some experience MER and others don’t has never been explained to humans or even mystics. Experience seems to be the barrier without which we cannot know what cosmic existence and our place in it is all about. There seems to be no other access. Words are not enough.

Mysticexperiences.net

SCIENCE CAN’T EXPLAIN MYSTICISM SO SHOULDN’T BOTHER?

We review an article by Dr Chris Fields, Physicist, multidisciplinary scientist, author, in IAI News – changing how the world thinks, Issue 86, 2nd March 2020

His article begs the question, Are Dr Fields’ views an example of the conclusion science has come to about the source of all human experience in general and, from our point of view, mysticism in particular? Is he saying science can’t explain MER so shouldn’t bother?

DR FIELDS: “The ‘hard problem of consciousness’ (HPC) as originally stated by David Chalmers in The Conscious Mind (1996) is the problem of explaining how experience is possible. How is any experience, anywhere in the universe, possible? From the perspective of the HPC, a single experience of a flash of light is as mysterious as a full human experience of a summer’s day or the most profound mystical experience of the most enlightened monk.” (Our italics).

Dr Fields says there are three responses to the hard problem that reflect different ideas about experience. He asks if the hard problem of consciousness can be solved by either approach:

“The possibility of experience (i.e. consciousness) is derived or emergent from something else … it could be fundamental rather than derived (man made) with only some having it sometimes; all entities have it in different kinds.

He says assuming response #1 we could take either of two tactics.  One is to define consciousness as some other property but this does not  explain how experience is possible. He says it “dodges the HPC instead of solving it. In short, the hard problem of consciousness seems unsolvable using response #1. It can be dodged, but not solved.”

In response #2 the problem is to explain how or why some systems have experiences but others do not. What is the basis for explaining this? What facts could possibly be relevant?

(So far no one has discovered a single common qualification for having the mystical experience of Reality, (MER). (Our italics).

Dr Fields says without such “independent criteria” the question is unsolvable.  “If a system is conscious, it is conscious by its very nature, not for some other reason.”

He says response #3 says that all entities – everything that exists – has experiences. “There is no reason why or how. They just have them. End of story.

“The hard problem of consciousness (MER?) is therefore either unsolvable or unstatable. Knowing this, how should we respond? In my view, we should quit worrying about it. It is irrelevant to any possible science of consciousness.”

Mysticexperiences.net

DISCERNMENT 

Explaining A Mystic.

Me:  Thank you for your introduction to the current affairs essayist. I’m not much interested in worldy affairs. There is much more afoot than being merely human.

Questioner: GONADS! You are SUPER interested in what Trump’s doing, and Boris too… or at least that’s the picture you paint. And the whole Covid melodrama! And what about your sport of choice: sailing!

Me: Confusing I know, but my interest in human affairs is very shallow because with 99% of the people who do manage to get into my life or be in it uninvited, I’ve got used to using such expected conversations of the day to make myself invisible. I have no defining passion for humans. There is nothing of Real value to study in human existence for people like me.

This gift of discernment can upset former friends because I’m reclusive, have drifted out of their lives. I find them irritatingly, wearily superfluous. I increasingly see this discernment focusing me powerfully so as to protect my first hand experiences of a Reality far beyond the human condition.

There are very few people near to me now compared to the hundred or so deliberately pruned out of my existence.

Current human affairs are more and more of a curiosity to me, an entertainment, a shallow archeological peculiarity, a recreation, a time consuming hobby easily discarded.

You’re practically the only one left to experience my small talk when challenged, something I was only gifted with suddenly in my forties – presumbably to make my life with humans less miserable.

This small talk ability worked then but has become much less needed. So resist stirring it up. LOL.

Questioner: That’s a great explanation. I get it.

The apparent contradiction was confusing before. That clears it up.

Thank you.

mysticexperiences.net

OLD FASHIONED UNIVERSITY HYPERINTELLECTUALISING OF GOD VS. AN EVOLUTIONARY REBOOTING? 

“… the hyperintellectualisation and rationalisation of ‘God’ appears to be ignoring the fundamental experiential aspect that MER and other forms of religious experience has revealed to us. Simply put, too many philosophers try to box in Reality to formulaic arguments.”

– An excerpt from an email from a long time follower of mysticexperiences.net who is taking a Masters degree course.

So while this traditional view of the existence of a “God” still prevails in some of the ivory towers of academia the 2013 poll by UPI/Harris showed that only three-quarters of U.S. adults, for instance, said they believed in God –  down from 82 percent in 2005, 2007 and 2009.

More rcent Pew Research found most people in Western Europe say they believe in God but add that believing in God did not necessarily mean belief in the God of the Bible.

Even though all 15 countries surveyed by Pew in 2018 were traditionally “Christian”. Fewer respondents said they believed in God “as described in the Bible” than said they believe in “some other higher power or spiritual force.”

A quick Google search finds many major polls with even more evidence of a general abandonment of the traditional concept of a “God”.

There’s a 6,000 case history archive of experiential “mystical” cases Wales University took over from Oxford University under a Templeton fund. It might change a few minds. Here is an excerpt from the University’s ‘Journal For The Study of Mystical Experience’ :

“Despite long standing theoretical and methodological objections, scholarly research into so-called ‘religious experience’ continues to flourish.’  (Note the challenging, “so-called ‘religious experience’ …”).

See pages 190 and 197 in the new 416-page book, “Mystical Experience of Reality” for more about Wales University’s work in the field.

More than 50 universities around the world responded to a questionnaire about mysticism by philosopher and author Ron Krumpos. Universities now include intrapersonal psychology, metaphysics, spirituality, and mysticism in their philosophy departments. The University of Notre Dame is said to be a leader in this development.

The list of academic and popular literature on the subject takes up many pages of Google’s Play Books eBooks’ research app. alone.

When Dr David Chalmers, the leading physicist, mentions “the hard problem” facing science, is he referring to the ineffable gap between the dead-end experimentation of science into the whys and wherefores of Reality versus the perennial experiential nature of knowing Reality, i.e., mysticism  – and ignoring the religions altogether?

Can we conclude from even these glimpse of evidence, that science and academia are now taking a much more seriously updated view of Reality than some laggard universities might suggest?

What really interests me most in this vigorously renewed approach to the subject of human evolution and the message of the mystics is whether Reality, through modern mysticism, is now beginning to reveal something new, something not just beyond the second hand approach of religions, or the cautious materialistic experimentation of science, or even the current trendy individualistic, human spirituality currently being adopted, but an evolutionary rebooting of humanity?

Certainly my MERs reveal a newer, very different Reality, a newer priority in human evolution than the traditional “hyperinterlectualisations” and “formulaic arguments” of Reality still being used by some universities …

Mysticexperiences.net

ADVICE TO ONE OF THIS BLOG’S FOLLOWERS

I’m sorry if I was cryptic. It was against all my instincts to say anything at all (check out the description of a “silent Buddha” in the Blog).

The cryptic formula I used (as explained in the Blog somewhere) is designed to guide the recipient to their own conclusions rather than have it all spelled out as mere hearsay. So I’m pleased you’re going to persist in untangling my words until you get to the hoped for personal epiphanic arrangement …

(This exercise is profoundly more bountiful than any crossword or version of sudoku, especially for you as the hungry and thirsting Seeker I believe you to be).

As a supposed pratyeka buddha I was diffident about interfering but did so because it seems to me you are on the very edge of Realisation, and indeed, very often experience Its fringes without recognising It. This conflict ruins your inner content.

The tradition is that we do not evoke our “voice”, this incessant passion for Reality, our vocation, with all our heart and soul and strength, Reality chooses us. It will never leave us, It is now us.

So, you ask, what do I do? This is a very typical egoistic human response – to which Reality’s reply is: Nothing.

If you are truly called, have total integrity and sincerity, are a real seeker, then everything will be done for you. Reality takes over. From my own experience I can agree with the taught tradition that you will change – friends, jobs, clothes, eating habits, reading, travel, lust, anger, greed, all personal, cultural and institutional attachments and lastly, and with difficulty, ego. (I see some of these are already working on you quite vehemently!).

I did not find my processing “in the mills of God which grind slowly but infinitely finely” as I’ve heard it called, easy, though looking back I can see how silently effortless, sometimes unnoticed and unremarked the changes were in my life. I am much blessed.

So in your case I would say “simplicity” and “action”, as well as its coconmitant “non action”, are now seeded in you …

What now? In the immediate meantime it helps to go into the silence and stay there as long as you can whenever you can and let the world go by. This facility develops with repetition. It’s a very calming place to be while Reality nurtures you into full fruition. All is well.

I hope this is more helpful in rescuing you from the world. I’m very diffident about interfering in something so personal and hope I’m right in trying.

My very best wishes,

Keith.

MYSTICISM versus THE INNOCENCE OF EVIL?

 

Contemplatives from eight different religious traditions—Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Islamic, Native American, Russian Orthodox, Protestant, and Roman Catholic—met at St. Benedict’s Monastery in Snowmass, Colorado, to define their experience of Ultimate Reality as mystics.

After sharing their conclusions with other contemplatives and mystics they issued what became known as, “The Snowmass Conference Eight Points of Agreement”, as follows:

1. The world religions bear witness to the experience of Ultimate Reality, to which they give various names.

Comment: No, religions do not, as the slightest examination of some religions will show how mysticism is ostracised if not worse, derided, punished and far from accepted as mainstream or even allowable.

2. Ultimate Reality cannot be limited by any name or concept.

Comment: True!

3. Ultimate Reality is the ground of infinite potentiality and actualization.

Comment: For Reality, yes. If the implication is humans can attain it under their own volition, No! There is no evidence humans can achieve this enlightenment on their own. Reading and deep stud might bring humans to a realisation of Ultimate Reality, even a sympathy and empathy, but not the actual experience of this Reality.

4. Faith is opening, accepting, and responding to Ultimate Reality. Faith in this sense precedes every belief system.

Comment: Faith, hope and belief are for those who have not had the mystical experience of Reality. Those who have had the experience, (mystics), have no need of faith, hope nor belief because they KNOW. They do not need to “Fake It To Make it”.

Belief systems may be invented around the experience but with the actual experience these systems will eventuality fall under the weight of their lack of real foundation, as we see today.

5. The potential for human wholeness—or, in other frames of reference, enlightenment, salvation, transcendence, transformation, blessedness—is present in every human being.

Comment: The “potential for human wholeness” is a gift of Reality, comes only by the will of Reality (“grace”?). We are limited by human attributes, abilities, and species evolution in a reality created and nurtured by Reality alone.

6. Ultimate Reality may be experienced not only through religious practices but also through nature, art, human relationships, and service to others.

Comment: There is no “religious practice” nor “human service” or involvement that can create the experience of Reality. It cannot be experienced through artifice, ie., “art”, “nature”, animism “human relationships” or “service to others”.

The experience is caught, not taught. It cannot be evangelised, prosyletised or politicised.

The experience It is not abandoned by Reality to the vagaries of human stewardship, gifting, human effort, or human qualification. It is uniquely spontaneous and non human.

7. As long as the human condition is experienced as separate from Ultimate Reality, it is subject to ignorance and illusion, weakness and suffering.

Comment: Yes. But Reality is taking care of all that. Reality’s expectations are not yet our expectations, nor our current expectations Reality’s. Reality is in overall charge, not us.

8. Disciplined practice is essential to the spiritual life.

Comment: No it isn’t. It is essential for the religious life – concocted however sincerely by humans – but is not a requirement of experiencing Ultimate Reality. That, evidently, has been too important to Ultimate Reality to be left to humans.

… spiritual attainment is not the result of one’s own efforts, but the result of the experience of oneness with Ultimate Reality.

That’s right.

Number 8 seems to contradict itself. There’s muddle.

Summary of Comments

I’m puzzled by the idea these eight contemplative results of the experience of Reality are being associated with the idea religions can now take charge of some implied need for “religious practices”, for “faith”, for the need to worship nature and love each other etc, when the very experience of Reality expunges all need for suchlike human preoccupations.

The mystical experience of Reality (MER) makes it axiomatic we become better human beings while we are human but there is more afoot than being merely human, as MER primarily attests. If we don’t get this we don’t get MER.

The fruits of the experience of Ultimate Reality are not mere human mind stuff, emotion, mythomania or meme. As part of human evolution into Reality, MER rids us of these old, materialistic human rigidities.

The message of Ultimate Reality is that Ultimate Reality is in charge of creation, which includes the human condition, and that humans have been given no stewardship of this reality whatsoever.

Yet I see the same assertive human distortions, (power grabbing?), in some of the eight points that also misled the biblical Jesus and lead to the failure of his mission.

It is sad to see such spiritual hubris persisting to this day by way of religions. It brings to mind the C.S. Lewis tale of the elder Satan comforting the younger Satan for letting his pupil have feelings for “God”. The elder Satan counselled the young Satan to divert his pupil into Christianity.

While these eight points are a welcome demonstration of the human condition emerging from its chrysalis to awareness of its spiritual identity, it’s sad to see it’s still being stifled by the demands of human mindsets like religions. Is this the innocence of evil at work?

Mysticexperience.net

CUTTING-EDGE SCIENTIFIC EXPERIENCE OF TRANSCENDENCE, ENLIGHTENMENT

 

Go to Closertotruth.com then choose ARE ENLIGHTENMENT & TRANSCENDENCE ALTERED STATES?

Then choose Dr. Roger Walsh.

WARNING: Those without experience of a mind under enough disciplined control to unburden themselves of themselves will not discern the spiritual fruit hanging in full view in these two seminal interviews.


Roger Walsh MD., PhD is an Australian professor of Psychiatry, Philosophy and Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine, in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, within UCI’s College of Medicine.

Mysticexperiences.net 2019.

MYSTICAL JOURNEY’S END?

“Things here are but signs that show to the wise how the Supreme God is known; the enlightened sage reading the sign may enter the holy place and make the vision real.

“This Term, attained only by those that have over-passed all, is the All-Transcending.

“There is thus a converse in virtue of which the essential man outgrows Being, becomes identical with the Transcendent of Being.

“He that knows himself to be one with This, has in himself the likeness of the Supreme; if from that heightened self he can pass higher still—image to archetype— he has won the term of all his journeying.”

– Plotinus, “The Enneads” in the Chapter entitled: “The Flight of the Alone”

Mysticexperiences.net

“CLEVER” MER IS NOT A SCIENCE

 

The mystical experience of Reality is not a human science. It isn’t reproducible, as science demands. It does reproduce, but not by human will or experimentation.

For some as yet unknown reason the phenomena is guarded by a ‘key’ made only available to some humans throughout human history who seem not to have any discernible qualification to experience this increasingly scientifically studied phenomena. (Eg., over six thousand case histories were archived by Oxford University and are now archived under a Templeton grant at Wales University). This ‘key’ is: The Mystical Experience of Reality (MER), the EXPERIENCE being the ‘key’

The Experience seems to be fully guarded by the absolute necessity to experience It. Clever.

Everything else but this personal experience is a distraction, a contaminant, I.e.: Conjecture, experiment, logic, reason, books, courses, lectures, studies, practices, religions, foolishness, mythomania, charlatanry and dogma, even being sincere though sincerely wrong.

There is much confusion between understanding the difference between the human spirit and the Ultimate Spirit of Reality. Each are entirely different in my mystical experiences. In many ways the human spirit spins the veils between the two.

Some think that on the growing evidence, the human condition is getting more spiritually evolved as intended. So will science eventually join the exterminated by then anyway?

Mysticexperiences.net

THE SILENT BUDDHA

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.

Mysticexperiences.net

THE INTERNET CHRISTIAN v. “ME”!

That dratted word, “my”.

A Christian on the Internet objects to the use of “my” – as in when I say, “in my experiences” – when I draw on the spontaneous annual mystical experiences of Reality (MER) I had from about 15 to 35 years of age, to make posts on this web site.

He says my use of the word shows ego. Ego, he says, is not found “on the mystical plane”. He asks who am I to offer myself as an authority.

But my use of the pronoun is to say, “this is only my experience”. I use “me” as a qualifier to caution readers as to the identity of the source of my anecdotal, personal experiences. My experiences are the only authority I offer.

Another reason I use the word “we” is because I have to use a human language historically developed to express experience of the material world. But MER cannot be explained or experienced in terms of the material world.

I am trying to share experiences of a spiritual phenomena that cannot be explained by materialism. MER does not exist materially. It has no body or brain, it just is everything and everything is it. It has no need of language or explanation. MER can only be experienced, caught not taught.

So I am just sharing my mystical experiences to help me get as full a comparative understanding of them from others’ experiences, comments, writings, likes and emails – as I now do from among 68 countries including scientific sources around the world I had no idea were taking mysticism so seriously.

For instance, if I had not started this web site I may not have come across the likelihood of being a pratyekabuddha. (Coincidence? I’m not sure).

Apparently a pratyekabuddha, or paccekabuddha, is the so-called “silent buddha” who does not try to share his or her realization with the world.

Pratyekabuddhas are said to achieve enlightenment on their own, without the use of teachers or guides, by “dependent origination”, (spontaneity?).

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

I certainly do not give “moral teachings”, or ethical ones for that matter as they’re man made, not to be found in Reality – according to my experiences.

Nor can I or anyone else so far as I am aware “give” enlightenment. Enlightenment is, as I say above, caught not taught.

Nor do I feel called to be a master, teacher or “authority” on enlightenment or Reality!

Many mystics who felt otherwise and presumably engaged in human affairs because that’s what they thought they were called to do, failed. The material world brought them to very bad ends.

Modern mystics, of which there are said to be many more than there used to be, seem to know better. They keep to themselves.

So the Internet Christian’s misunderstanding I reported in the first sentence above is a reminder to me of the advice I got from a Master with millions of non monetarised followers around the world who few humans even know about.

He cautioned me about posting my experiences to spiritually unqualfied Internet social sites like Facebook etc. So that’s why mysticexperiences.net is not posted to those sites now. Yet the blog grows organically almost daily.

Obviously I shall have to be even more circumspect. Mysticism is clearly only for those who have ears to hear as the ancient saying goes …

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