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
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.”
Robert 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.
Since Plato and Aristotle disagreed over the soul being spirit or physical, giving rise to the argument among humans ever since, it is my contention Ultimate Reality – which modern science, the way Professor Fred Alan describes it, suggests to me is an “‘intangible, irreducible field of probability; the quantum physical wave function from which all matter and energy arise” – that this Ultimate Reality “wave function” invented the phenomenon of the direct individual experience of MER (the Mystical Experience of Reality), thus explaining spiritual existence accurately and fully once and for all without any human intervention whatsoever, (even avoiding languages to do so, using individual human brains as receivers of MERs) – thus reducing scientific physics and philosophy to the level of mere materialistic technological enquiry …
PS: Perennialists 1, Constructionists 0.
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
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.
“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 …”
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.
ROGER 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).
FRANCES VAUGHAN, Ph.D. is an author, educator and retired psychologist in Sonoma County, CA.
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”.
Q. I would like your blessing.
A. You are blessed beyond imagining. So go away, be silent, ignore humanity, ignore yourself, just listen. That which you listen for will do the rest. It is benign beyond understanding to you now whether you know it or not but you will know real, true love beyond human knowing, you will be guarded, guided, uplifted, and taught and will have all knowledge, humility, kindness and acceptance, now and forever.
This experience is real, not man-made, and eventually is for all creation.There are no failures.
Go alone to this thing and listen. You will be given everything and asked for nothing. This is the painless, enduring path of Ultimate Reality.
Well-meaning advice of a seemingly spiritual nature is not available to ordinary humans in practice. It does not succeed because by its nature Reality is caught, not taught. Spirituality is an experience of Reality. Anything else is mere religion or speculation, not spiritual.
The ones who catch Reality are probably born already prepared to experience Reality, to succeed spiritually. They are the ones noted for their “hunger and thirst for righteousness”. This hunger and thirst is a lifelong gift, a passion.
Spiritual awakening, as opposed to the mere human improvement sought by well-meaning “spiritual” advice, is believed to be seminal, an intrinsic part of our evolution.
The experience of Reality comes to everyone eventually though not, apparently, necessarily in one lifetime.
Though spirituality is not for everyone yet, finally there are no failures.
Does God exist?
No. But for some, for the time being, yes.
No, because the name God is a human word and in Reality, where all things are perfect and known, there no names.
(If you are a mystic you know that of course because you experience that).
If you have not had the mystic experience but seek such knowing, then until you are a mystic you have to become used to human words to at least start addressing the questions about Reality that arise from your inner promptings as a Seeker.
(If you are not a Seeker you wouldn’t be reading this).
On the other hand, you should know that one aspect of the mystical experience of Reality is that there’s nothing about the human condition that’s worth studying. Reality is beyond that, which might be one of the reasons humans are recycled so quickly …
Just bear in mind that religions and their gods/God have to rely on faith, belief and hope that the gods/God actually exist in the absence of any real spritual as opposed to religious experience.
The word God is just a pointer, not the real thing, just as a menu is not the food. Menus don’t nourish – the food does.
Though the word God is probably used in its various formats more often than any other word in any human language, that usage is very limited because it can’t deliver the experience of Reality.
Also, whatever way the word God is used by humans, it’s describing a small god with human attributes, not the immensity and power of Reality that has no known human attributes. Religious gods are too small. They’re limited to human understanding.
Even the title of Creator carries no evidence of a human-like creator. So far as science is concerned, for instance, all creation is caused by the existence of not always identifiable parts following rules that bring them together or take them apart to re-form infinitely as something else beyond “rules”. Science follows this procedure in the hope when they understand everything they will know everything. This is not the mystic experience.
As impressive as this spectacle of scientific effort can be to humans, the process and its results are not proof of human-like involvement by what humans like to think of as a god or even an ultimate God.
Take love for instance. Human love is made up of lust, anger, greed, attachments and ego. You can see evidence of these attributions to God in religions. But the mystics know that Reality’s love is a total, irreducible, benign acceptance of everything, conveying a joy so beyond mere human experience as to transform all such existence. Reality is by its nature benign, accepting, inexorably powerful, knowing and caring. This historically undeniable experience defies full human expression or description.
By comparison, religions are mired in belief, trust and hope – each of which is admitting religion doesn’t know – doesn’t have spiritual experience. Their resultant gods/God are small, weak, powerless, uncaring and unknowing. Whatever humans eventually become will only ever be a shadow of Reality.
Remaining human is not the ultimate destiny.
Humans are becoming whole, becoming realised in a Reality that was, is, and will be forever. Reality is, and we are That. We are not merely human.
Reality orders our existence as no human gods/God can. All is well.
Wisdom is a word for those mired in their humaness. It’s a distraction to the true spiritual seeker, of little consequence.