ANSWER TO A REQUEST FOR A MEETING

 

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

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

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

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

Mysticexperiences.net

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

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

– Plotinus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For Socrates:

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

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

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

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

SIX COMMON ELEMENTS OF TRANSPERSONAL PRACTICES

Ethics

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

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

Attentional Training

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

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

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

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

Emotional Transformation

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

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

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

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

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

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

Motivation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Refining Awareness

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wisdom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Discussion

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

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

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


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


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

 

 

 

REFERENCES / SUGGESTED READING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mysticexperiences.net

FREE WILL? HERE MAYBE, DEFINITELY NOT THERE

 

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

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

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

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

Mysticexperiences.net

JUNG ON THE QUALITY OF THE INDIVIDUAL

 

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

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

— Carl G Jung

WRONG ASSUMPTIONS?

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the meantime what about mystics, you may ask.

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

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

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

Mysticexperiences.net

VASISTHA*, A SPIRITUALLY SEMINAL TEXT?

 

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

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

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

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

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

* The full Vasistha text consists of six books:

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

Mystic Experiences’ Comments on Vasistha:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HUMAN REALITY VERSUS ULTIMATE REALITY, THE GAP

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Answer: Yes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mysticexperiences.net

THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM

By Robert Ringer

An excerpt from the popular blog, Robertringer.com

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

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

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

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

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

MYSTICS AS INTERMEDIARIES? No!*

An excerpt from the conclusion to the book, PATHS BEYOND EGO, by Dr. Roger Walsh and Dr. Frances Vaughan – with a dissenting COMMENT by mysticexperiences.net.

EXCERPT

“Carl Jung spoke of the importance of gnostic intermediaries, those people who transmit a wisdom tradition by imbibing it themselves and then translating it into the language and concepts of another culture.

“Perhaps the transpersonal movement can function as a collective gnostic intermediary, whereby the timeless wisdom of traditional transpersonal disciplines can be translated. tested, and winnowed, and then can inspire and transform contemporary culture.

“Yet the transpersonal movement is more than a gnostic intermediary. For in addition to translating knowledge it is actively involved in creating knowledge. New techniques are being devised, data generated, and both ancient and contemporary claims are being tested scientifically, philosophically, clinically, and experientially.

“The long-term effects of this enterprise may be far more than we can imagine. Already we have seen a shift to a more generous view of human nature and possibilities. We have moved from a perspective that encompassed only a single, healthy waking state of consciousness to a recognition of multiple states; from viewing normal development as our ceiling to seeing it as a culturally determined limit; from denying lucid dreaming to exploring it in the laboratory; from regarding meditation as a regressive escape to appreciating it as a developmental catalyst; from dismissing mystical experiences as pathological to recognizing them as beneficial; and from devaluing non-Western psychologies and philosophies to appreciating that some of them are, in their own unique ways, highly sophisticated.

“These shifts and more may make transpersonal studies an essential cornerstone in the emerging paradigm. These shifts also may change each of us, for what we do reflects our beliefs about who and what we are.

“The transpersonal vision of our possibilities may therefore call forth our individual and collective efforts to actualize them. This actualization may be crucial for the survival of our planet and our species …”

COMMENTARY

If my experiences of these “transpersonal” psychological experiences of Reality (MER) are anything to go by, there were no indications they were meant to make me an intermediary to the human race.

Any direction I got regarding humans was to avoid them as a distraction, counter-indicative to an understanding of the existence of the greater Reality being revealed.

Drs. Walsh and Vaughan seem to see a role for humans in the existence of mysticism despite lack of any evidence it is a human invention, or anything humans can control. No one as yet has any verifiable notion of its purpose.

Mysticexperiences.net


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


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

TIBETAN MASTER PATRUL RINPOCHE OUTLINES THREE UNIQUE PATHS TO ENLIGHTENMENT

By: Lama Lhakpa Yeshe, Tricycle.org

The great Tibetan lama Patrul Rinpoche was a widely revered and much-respected teacher, and people gathered around him to receive his wisdom and insight. His teachings were simple, direct, and profound, and in one way or another the essence of his discourse always led to the practice of compassion.

One day he said to a small group of his students: “The purpose of life is to help all sentient beings to be free from suffering. In order to do this, you need to cultivate unconditional, unlimited, and pure compassion toward all, without any exception.”

Patrul Rinpoche always encouraged discussion, debate, and dialogue, so after making this all-encompassing statement, he asked, “Do you understand?”

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“So follow whichever way comes naturally to you. It is not the external form of practice that matters, it is the inner spirit, the pure mind, that we need to pay attention to.”

HUMANS!

Humans! Who are they, what are they, why are they?

It doesn’t need a book to know the answers. The answers come with birth. Every human has the answers.

Some humans are made suddenly aware of the existence of the answers. Others awaken to them in dribs and drabs. Others don’t seem to be bothered.

However, thousands of years of human experience of this phenomenon have caused those who know to accept there are no failures. Every human comes fully to its eventual fruition.
The phenomena of Reality is benign. Every human is loved and accepted, as is, whatever its stage of development or errors, in its entirety, for eternity, integrated into a joy, a bliss beyond human expression, ineffable.

Whoever is enlightened to the existence of the answers to human existence learns more and more according to their development. They become aware of a reality greater than anything merely human. Humans are loved, guarded and guided. Eventually they know and become that Reality, fulfilled in it.

When the last human becomes fulfilled, human existence will have served its purpose. Humans will no longer exist.

So when the instincts arise in you, they will persist whether you like it or not, are distracted by human life or not. The Mystical Experience of Reality never fails.

So eat less, sleep less, do less. Nothing human is ultimately lasting. Find solitude. Wait, watch and listen. Become and be, forever.

Mysticexperiences.net