Success is not Easy…
Failures Don’t Matter,
Patience will be Tested
Your Dream will Shatter,
Listen to Your Heart,
But Remember Soul Speaks Better!!!
– Vinayak Gupta
Success is not Easy…
Failures Don’t Matter,
Patience will be Tested
Your Dream will Shatter,
Listen to Your Heart,
But Remember Soul Speaks Better!!!
– Vinayak Gupta
Is this where we went wrong?
These seven gifts of the Holy Spirit (MER?) are excerpted from an article by Frank X. Blisard in the December 1 1960 edition of Catholic Answers magazine:
1. “Wisdom is both the knowledge of and judgment about “divine things” and the ability to judge and direct human affairs according to divine truth (I/I.1.6; I/II.69.3; II/II.8.6; II/II.45.1–5).
COMMENT: So, is this the very heart and soul, of where religions get it wrong? Is this where the devil, so to speak, thwarts MER by diverting the truly divine into the merely human fabrications of “faith, hope and belief”? These three myths signify that those who practise them are ignorant of Reality. When you have experienced MER you don’t need “faith, hope and belief”, you know.
2. “Understanding is penetrating insight into the very heart of things, especially those higher truths that are necessary for our eternal salvation—in effect, the ability to “see” God (I/I.12.5; I/II.69.2; II/II.8.1–3).
3. “Counsel allows a man to be directed by God in matters necessary for his salvation (II/II.52.1). ***
COMMENT: No one needs salvation. Salvation is an irrelevant manipulative human concept, nothing to do with a sinless Ultimate Reality. It is an oxymoron, an ignorant unspiritual presumption.
As for “the ability to to see God”, I expected to see “God” in my MER experiences, though I was disappointed when I didn’t. I was however humbled by the joy of Ultimate Reality’s acceptance of me; and by the awe of its revelation of Existence.
But if by “God” this “gift” means Reality, then there is nowhere Ultimate Reality isn’t and we ARE Reality – whether Reality is seen, known, realised or not. In so far as we are chosen then we experience Reality AS us, and we are Reality.
4. “Fortitude denotes a firmness of mind in doing good and in avoiding evil, particularly when it is difficult or dangerous to do so, and the confidence to overcome all obstacles, even deadly ones, by virtue of the assurance of everlasting life (I/II.61.3; II/II.123.2; II/II.139.1).
COMMENT: Seekers not yet fulfilled will find fortitude a necessary discipline perhaps, but not those who have experienced MER, to whom fortitude is no longer relevant. There are no obstacles of manmade “spiritual” inventions, not even human darknesses like “evil”, in Reality.
5. “Knowledge is the ability to judge correctly about matters of faith and right action, so as to never wander from the straight path of justice (II/II.9.3).
COMMENT: “Judge”, “faith”, “right action” and “path of justice”, are clear intentions to direct the experience of MER into mere human concerns. This is purely ignorant human religious devilry, however innocent; an attempted coup against Ultimate Reality.
6. “Piety is, principally, revering God with filial affection, paying worship and duty to God, paying due duty to all men on account of their relationship to God, and honoring the saints and not contradicting Scripture. The Latin word pietas denotes the reverence that we give to our father and to our country; since God is the Father of all, the worship of God is also called piety (I/II.68.4; II/II.121.1).
COMMENT: The Reality experienced in MER cannot be reduced to any concept of “fillialness”, “piety”, “worship” or “duty”, “(national) patriotism”, or “saints”. These are man-made words; mindstuff. The god that requires such obeissance is insignificantly small, a human fiction. There are no names or descriptions in Reality.
7. “Fear of God is, in this context, “filial” or chaste fear whereby we revere God and avoid separating ourselves from him—as opposed to “servile” fear, whereby we fear punishment (I/II.67.4; II/II.19.9).”
COMMENT: Fear of Reality is another oxymoron, a spiritually ignorant human supposition. MER is humbleness (not humility), joy, bliss, acceptance, belonging, complete oneness in everything that exists. Fear is a product of human darkness. It does not exist in Reality.
By David Robertson
I used to be very much interested in a life of academia. I quite liked the idea of spending my days, researching and writing about my passions, either at a university or perhaps even a think tank. However, there were a few things that disillusioned me from pursuing that path (for the time being at least) – but maybe this is a story for a later post. Nevertheless, I’m always interested what professors have to say about any given issue, and a year or two ago I was delighted to find that mysticism is a topic of intellectual debate.
This was surprising to me because although the followers of the numerous mysticisms of the world offer profound insights on the nature of humanity, the soul, the mind, the universe and God, it has never really been considered an intellectual pursuit in a conventional sense. Across the mystical traditions within the world’s religions, undergoing the mystical experience – union with God, cosmic consciousness, Self-realisation, annihilation, whatever the label – has never been achieved using the everyday mind.
Thinking about the experience, rationalising it, analysing it, using your will to acquire it, has never been a means by which to participate in the ultimate experience a human being can have. For lack of better words, it’s always been regarded as a natural, spontaneous, occurrence or a gift from God’s grace. Different mystical traditions and teachers have debated about how to achieve the mystical experience, but it’s fairly unanimous that you can’t think your way to it.
Which is why I found it interesting that there is so much academic debate about the mystical experience, and whether it is a genuinely true phenomenon or if it’s just an interesting happening of the mind that differs considerably from culture to culture.
This division has generally been labelled perennialist and constructivist. Perennialists hold that the mystical experience is a real union with the divine, or an experience of universal consciousness, or some sort of Absolute Principle. This perspective has been taken from the term Aldous Huxley gave for mysticism: the Perennial Philosophy (also the name of a favourite book of mine!). Whereas constructivists argue that the differences in reports from various religions and cultures suggest that they are social constructions imposed on a neurological phenomenon. In other words, our mind creates an incredible experience and we attribute that to God or other cultural concepts to explain it.
In the current discourse, the latter school has become dominant among academics. Unsurprising, due to the secular nature of modern universities whose professors typically don’t like to include in their work anything that isn’t within the realm of the physical universe. A bit of a shame, since many universities now don’t offer much relating to spirituality or religion, depriving students of quite a useful and fascinating realm of intellectual pursuit. Seeing that secular approaches are the current trend in academia, it doesn’t suggest to me that the perennialist school is inherently wrong or outdated, it’s just not popular.
Anyway, both schools of thought see the experience as real in a certain sense, but it is the origin of the mystical experience where the divisions arise. At the end of the day, as hinted, it largely depends on one’s individual beliefs to determine which school one belongs to. If you believe in God or something beyond the physical, you’ll be more inclined to accept the perennialist school, whereas if you’re an atheist, the constructivist school has a greater appeal. As to anyone who has read any of my other posts (or seen the name of this blog) I fall into the perennialist camp.
My perspective, by no means unique, is that both sides of the debate have quite valuable things to say. Constructivists argue that the mystical experience is only a phenomena of the mind because each purported mystic reports the event almost exclusively in terms of the culture and religion in which he or she has been raised – Christians will relate the experience to God and Christ, Hindus to Brahman and other gods, Buddhists to Nirvana and so on. This has the effect of “verifying” the truth of their religion, but it’s really just a product of their culturally conditioned minds, and suggests that instead of witnessing an objective reality, they are experiencing something more subjective and relative.
This is quite a valid point, though to me it is a little misguided. Firstly, it seems to ignore the fact that all mystics have reported the state of being as beyond words, incomprehensible, greater than any experience imaginable. Since this is the case, when the mystic attempts to translate this phenomena into speech, he or she will inevitably have to use inadequate terminology to convey it in a language that others (and probably himself included) can understand. For example, a Sufi is going to relay and understand his experience in the context of Islamic terms and concepts, rather than something culturally inappropriate.
Secondly, regardless of whether there is a divine reality or not, the relativism involved in the constructivist approach denigrates the commonalities between human beings, and alludes to us being incapable of having shared experiences because of cultural differences. There simply seems to be something universal about the experience.
And finally, the idea that the mystical experience is a culturally subjective illusion potentially undermines the messages that often come from those who have had it. Ideas of unity and love, of harmony in the universe, as well as desires to do good for humanity, and to break down social constructs that pit us against each other. In essence, even if the mystical experience is ultimately an illusion (which I don’t believe it is), it is certainly just about as benign as they get. So with these points in mind, apart from my belief, this is why I’m more inclined towards the perennialist school.
So that’s about it, here’s a gloss over the academic debate about mysticism and the mystical experience. It’s not my typical post, a bit more “academic” than I usually like. But I’ve been meaning to write about this since I began my blog. Please let me know if you’re interested on some articles regarding this and I can email you some of the sources below!
Randolph T. Dible II, The Philosophy of Mysticism: Perennialism and Constructivism
Michael Stoeber, The Comparative Study of Mysticism
Adam Tyson, The Mystical Debate: Constructivism and the Resurgence of Perennialism
David Robertson is the Publisher of Perennial Follower, perennialfollower.wordpress.com
Any suggestion that mystical realisation of Reality is “within you” would be limiting if true. There was no suggestion in my experiences that the mystical experience of Reality (MER) is limited to coming from “within”.
We are equipped to receive it but not gift it to ourselves, or to anyone else.
If this “within you” description were true the conclusion would be that human existence, probably only human existence, is necessary to experience MER. That isn’t my experience of the mystical experience of Reality (MER). It’s OUT there and it applies to everything known and as yet unknown, including humans.
The bible puts it well when it refers to the veils lifting (2 Corinthians 3.16). Does this mean yes, that our ability to experience spiritual Reality is real, but latent, can only be triggered from outside ourselves? Yes, that’s my experience. It’s not within the gift of any human to achieve MER by their own efforts exclusively. Humans didn’t invent MER.
My experiences suggest that human beings are developing an ability to evolve into an Ultimate Reality that already exists as the foundation of all existence – of which humans as they are now are not necessarily a significant part.
Also significant to note is that this experience only comes to individuals, which is an important point in view of humanity’s current tribal, totalitarian, community and political instincts that work to the contrary.
The Jesus of the Christian bible evidently mistakenly believed MER is about making better humans. Is this why, when this premise failed even in his day (even with his disciples exhibiting complete ignorance of Jesus’ spiritual significance, Luke 9:46), humanity was only left with teachings of morality and ethics for the human spirit, not the Real, spiritual “holy” spirit of MER?
MER, as Jesus said, comes and goes like the wind, from where, and to where, nobody knows … ( JOHN 3:8), the implication being that there’s not much humans can do about it.
Is that why Jesus’ mission failed, because he still misinterpreted his own spiritual experience and thought it could be evangelised, prosyletised from his own MER?
My experience is that the mystical experience of Reality (MER) is caught not taught. If this is generally true, is this why Jesus’ mission was eventually limited to being merely anthropomorphic, no more than the teachings of morality and ethics of the Boy Scouts or social service clubs?
MER is a gateway to an existence more important than being or remaining merely human; in my experience of the phenomena.
The good news is that seeking or even studying this “Holy Spirit”, MER, even if we don’t experience it yet, makes us better human beings – axiomatically, automatically. MER reveals that all is well. We are loved, guarded, guided, helped, directed and protected. We are not abandoned. We are not left to our own devices “within us”.
– Sadhguru, Mystic’s Musings
This Blog is coming near to its end I think. It seems to have fulfilled its primary purposes.
I started it because I wanted to clarify and understand my experiences of what I call, The Mystical Experience of Reality. I wanted to research and write about others’ experiences of the phenomenon.
It’s done all that and a lot more I hadn’t expected.
In fact, I had no idea that what I thought was my personal spiritual “condition” was so universal and had spiralled into such an important place in physics, theology, and philosophy.
The condition of MER, is now internationally, historically widespread, known, and studied in depth. So much so I’m almost at the stage of NOT putting the 100 or so posts from the Blog, all the comments and contact material, into an edited, coherent narrative like a book.
Oxford University entrusted its thousands of case histories on the phenomenon to Wales University. The archive there has grown to over 6,000 cases. They have sent me a questionnaire to add my experiences. There doesn’t seem any immediate need to do anything more. It’s not as if MER, or what Christians might call the Holy Spirit, can be evangelised. The experience is caught, not taught.
The physicists seem to have come to the conclusion their approaches by ‘experiment’ are never going to match the scientifically unreachable ‘experience’ of the mystics. It does, after all, seems to come and go like the wind, to and from where and for what certain purpose nobody knows …
I’m still getting some encouragement to produce the book, enlarged with added material, detailed commentary and references, but I remain unconvinced. As my wife says, “The Blog says it all for those who’re interested.”
I’ve also concluded the ego is now the only thing that would compel me to organise and write the Blog into a book. Thankfully, my ego seemed to have lost that part of ego years ago, when my MERs began.
And anyway, most importantly, the human race has not been abandoned. It is in good hands with or without such a book. All is well.
So I’ll not let the idea of a book bother me for now. I’ll just never say never …
KH. Nanaimo. February 2017.
Dr. 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
Dr. 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.
Between them, Oxford University and The University of Wales have archived more than 6,000 case histories of first hand spiritual or religious experiences.
Now the collection is archived with The Religious Experience Research Centre at the University of Wales.
Please go to the link on our Home Page to find their questionnaire about any experiences you may have had and how to register them with this important, groundbreaking international archive.
Q: How to communicate about such things if what one experiences in MER is altogether beyond communicating?
A: MER’s source, purpose, penetration and utility is ineffable – deliberately defying all human access and meddling. It is spontaneous, comes for no apparent logic or reason known to man and cannot be induced, evangelised or proselytised, in my understanding.That’s been my conclusion for a long time. Very frustrating for the merely curious.
Q: In my experience of what you call MER, all thinking ceased in terms of thinking about anything of my own volition. There was, suddenly, and with little warning, complete and utter emptiness within which perception continued, but it was perception without cognitive hooks; that is, perception did not trigger thought or internal dialogue at any level. If I were to attempt a description, I would describe it as an internal/external silence that had nothing to do with absence of sound. A ‘thought’ could arise, I remember, but it was alone and by itself in relation to what was required in any given moment, otherwise there was nothing. It was not my thought; there was no personal aspect, no sense of self, no sense of identity. Thought was not even an option; it was no more than an occurrence. There was just a continuum of silence carrying its own curious signature. I think this is where Merrell-Wolff made the mistake about High Indifference; it’s got nothing to do with ‘indifference’, which is a value-laden term with strong ego connotations. It has to do with experience, any experience, in terms of pure cognition rather than reflective, reflexive cognition: one simply becomes the stream of experience beyond the needs of conscious identification. What I perceived had nothing to do with trees or street; it was everything at once, and that included insights into things utterly beyond my conscious mind’s capacity to grasp. There was no sense of ‘grasping’ anything mentally; just a seeing into the very nature of existence. There was, I realised later, the possibility of a wholly new type of consciousness developing on the planet within which the limited perspective of the human mind had altogether vanished. That, I suspect, is somewhat near to what you mean by MER being experientially ‘nonhuman’, although I may be quite wrong in thinking so.
A: I had no sense of consciousness, or of being humanly conscious, in my experiences of MER. This makes me wonder if I was even human when I had them. What I was getting from the MERs was certainly not anything that could in any way be associated with or understood by the humankind I knew then or since.
I like your, “There was, I realised later, the possibility of a wholly new type of consciousness developing on the planet within which the limited perspective of the human mind had altogether vanished”. This conforms with some Sufi traditions about humanity’s evolutionary future. A philosopher friend of mine told someone else I’m hundreds of years ahead. I presume he mean’t because of my MER experiences. I just hope humans know more in a few hundred years than I do now …
Q: I refuse to teach; it attracts the needy to their detriment. I’m quite willing to talk when such talk is permissible and appropriate, but not at any other time except in the most general of terms. And so my life continues as it has always done, in the moment as best I can.
A: I’ve come to the conclusion real spiritual teachers can only relate to genuine Seekers, those who are readied almost despite themselves, who have begun to shuck the veils of humaness, presumably under the influence of the source of MER? This is another conundrum – what makes a Seeker, why them? Are they the ones who “hunger and seek after righteousness and truth” (whether they like it or not if my own experience of being a Seeker is anything to go by).