WHY THIS BLOG?

Q: What does Mysticexperiences.net bring to this age’s understanding of mysticism?

A: The Blog started as an aid to help me understand my experiences of what I thereby discovered were Mystical Experiences of Reality.

My exploratory writing alone was hugely validating, So were all the helpful Comments  Likes, Followers and emails the Blog prompted from around the world from Seekers, writers, professionals, academics – from over 70 countries.

Q: So it worked?

A:  Yes. It still is working.

After hiding my experiences for nearly 60 years, by starting this web site, I discovered I am a mystic and that the subject is studied in universities around the world with vigour and enthusiasm by physicists, theologians, philosophers, psychologists and students.

I learned that Oxford University alone archived 6,000 case studies. This archive is now growing and being studied and added to under a Templeton Foundation grant at Wales University.

One of the Blog’s Followers, a Philosophy Master, questioned universities on a technical question about mysticism and got personal correspondence from published professors in 58 universities.

As a result, I learned I was not alone, nor mad … So I could have “come out” of hiding as a mystic years ago with no one raising an eyebrow; at least in learned circles.  Among my friends, not so much …

Friends’ reactions have ranged from politely ignoring the subject to one sideways muttered suggestion my MERs were psychotic. Others have become Followers of the Blog.

Also, I was warned by a Sufi school I was eventually initiated into that my friends, colleagues, acquaintances, that even my reading matter and lifestyle would change dramatically. They did, almost without me noticing. I am now a friendly recluse.

I feel uncomfortable with most humans, particularly with the unrealised ones (see prophecy 15 below …).  However, I do seem to have developed empathy, tolerance and patience with Seekers. I avoid the merely curious.

I also feel the web page joins the challenge of updating the limited understanding of previous generations. And it is meeting the questions by Seekers bewildered by their unbidden, unremitting passion to know the truth of existence.

Little do some Seekers know )they seek the Reality experienced by the mystics, or that Reality planted their passion in them and is drawing them to Itself. Seekers are different to the commonality of humans; emerging.

Their destiny is assured and more immediate than most, bearing in mind the focus they need to respond to their calling.

Bearing all this in mind, here is what I know so far:

  1. Reality contains everything known and unknown. Nothing exists outside It, including humans;
  2. It is not human;
  3. The experience of Reality is caught, not taught.
  4. It is knowable by direct individual experience within the parameters of the individual’s development. (Eg: as humanity developed it reached the ability to go from seeing in black and white to the qualia of seeing colour; so mystics seem to be chosen in like manner, without obvious qualifications;
  5. It is Consciousness emerging;
  6. It is benign, totally accepting (ie: inexpressibly loving);
  7. It is constantly creating and developing;
  8. It does not allow anything to interfere in Its purpose, (including humans);
  9. It is everything in Reality; it provides, guards, guides, nourishes, replenishes, aids, observes, asserts its purpose;
  10. It is all powerful; destroys, rebuilds, recreates;
  11. Reality’s form is non material; non human, though everything shares Its ingredients as It shares ours. We are It;
  12. It has given humans all they need and rarely if ever reacts to human wants;
  13. It gives, never wants;
  14. Reality is only interested in individuals;
  15. Humans are at a very primitive, early stage of existence;
  16. Prophecies can arise from the mystical experience, but such prophecies rarely get their timing right, (ie: “the kingdom of heaven is at hand” …).
  17. However modern mystics can prophesy that religions, ideologies, lust, anger, greed, nations, isolated and isolating cultures, tribes, families, dependencies, attachments to anything but the development of the individual, are withering and dying in the timely fashion Reality has of asserting Itself.  Human ego will also disappear as a disposable appendage. It will be tamed and anyway doomed to permanent death with the disposable brain and body.
  18. If some eastern schools of mysticism are to be believed, Reality develops Itself, absorbing everything into It, including humans, to become pure spirit like Itself. I certainly was not human in my experiences. I resisted desperately every time I was returned from my experiences into being human again. Now, I hope with all my body, mind and strength that being with Reality is my destiny after death.
  19. All who experience Reality will come to know ineffably that All Is Well. We’re under better stewardship than we can provide.

Mysticexperiences.net

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THE TRUE MEANING OF WISDOM – Deepak Chopra

By Deepak Chopra

“Wisdom has grown scarce for the simple reason that it follows no model. Socrates made the point, and it got him into a great deal of trouble, that wisdom cannot be taught. You can teach data collection, the amassing of facts, and many branches of knowledge, but wisdom stands apart. True wisdom leads to such things as insight, intuition, depth of experience, self-awareness, and humility before mysteries that will never be fully comprehended.

“Because wisdom contradicts the certainty that models try to give us, it has had a hard time in society, as the death of Socrates shows. Society defends its favored and cherished models (which can be mythical, religious, animistic, scientific, and so on) with ferocity; certainty is not to be flouted.

“Wisdom calls for a totally different way of looking at reality. I will argue in the next post for taking the road back to wisdom. It is the only way to fulfill the infinite potential that human beings possess, and on a global scale, it is the only way we will reach desperately needed solutions.”


Deepak Chopra MD, FACP, founder of The Chopra Foundation and co-founder of The Chopra Center for Wellbeing, is a world-renowned pioneer in integrative medicine and personal transformation, and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Endocrinology and Metabolism.  He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and a member of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists.

Chopra is the author of more than 85 books translated into over 43 languages, including numerous New York Times bestsellers.

His latest books are The Healing Self co-authored with Rudy Tanzi, Ph.D. and Quantum Healing (Revised and Updated): Exploring the Frontiers of Mind/Body Medicine.

 

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.

PERSONAL QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Message of the Mystics.

A Consuming Passion.

Its meaning.

 

Q: Refined to its very basic premise, what is the message of the mystics?

A: It’s not clear that mystics are messengers if my experiences and readings are anything to go by. What mystics experience is exclusively for them, however similar the experiences seem.

Q: Well, if you will allow me to be personal, how would you as a mystic advise someone like me?

A: Someone like you? What is that someone like you?

Q: To use a phrase of yours, ‘Through no fault of my own’ I am a passionate Seeker. I have been all my life.

A: How does this affect you?

Q: I guess it seems to consume my life to the exclusion of everything else almost.

A: It’s your only passion?

Q: Yes, underneath everything else, it’s come to define me, isolate me, alienate me … I seem to have been born with a persistent ache to know what it’s all about. I feel worn out by it all, even though I sculpt, write, paint, play the piano, but my heart’s not in any of it really, though it is relaxing and time consuming.

A: It sounds as if it might be appropriate to share my own conclusion about the purpose of life. It might be helpful. You seem ripe for the experience, ready for the demands it makes.

The purpose of human life if my experiences are anything to go by, is to examine what you can of the Process of existence.

Do this by relaxing and watching, letting go, accepting how things unfold, grow and change, how they are veiled behind the inconsequential hullaballoo of being human.

This will be much like the early days of learning a musical instrument, how to sculpt, paint, and develop your writing to express the inexpressible. (Bearing in mind all these things by the way are art, artifice, not the real thing …).

Let discovering this Process channel your Seeker passion.

The growing knowledge of the Process of existence will reveal itself in ways profoundly new to you. Eventually it will take you beyond all human understanding, give you profound peace and contentment.

I see tears! You’re puzzled. Big sighs too! These are a good sign. They could mean the task has already taken, that it’s already working on you. Take a deep breath. That’s a good smile. Well done.

What I’ve told you isn’t meant for everyone. You had to be ready and I think you are. This advice may take you on a short journey or a long one, but there will be more help than you know working on you as you work on knowing this Process.

Eventual discovery of the meaning of what I have said will tell you more than everything, not just about your purpose in life.

This eventual discovery is like a captivation perpetrated on me in a different way in one of my MER’s (Mystical Experiences of Reality). It sharpened my awareness too. It baffled me at the time as I had not asked a question, and could not have asked anything to justify such an answer. Over time however, 50 years in my case, that mystifying, apparently meaningless message of captivation has revealed a continuing abundance of meanings and certainties.

Q: May I ask what your specific ‘captivation’ was that took you on, what it said?

A: Yes. It said:

“All Is Well”.

This was repeated three times.

Q: What have you concluded about it’s meaning after all these years?

A: That ALL, everything known and unknown, everywhere, on all levels, is well, in good order, as it is meant to be. Humans don’t have the answers. Nothing human is of much spiritual consequence. My probing into all the meanings arising from this enigmatical assertion sensitised me to all manner of truths and revealed why humans did such evil things to mystics and why mystics have historically learned to keep their revelations to themselves and how humanity is in such a primitive state of existence. Reality is all there is. Reality is enough.

Experience of it is the beginning of wisdom.

All is well.

Mysticexperiences.net

INNER DETACHMENT AND ISOLATION

“The feeling of inner detachment and isolation is not in itself an abnormal phenomenon but is normal in the sense that consciousness has withdrawn from the phenomenal world and got outside time and space.

“The development … is the meaning and purpose of all life’s wisdom to go along with natural developments that spring from the functioning of the whole personality.”

– From Carl Jung by lewislafontaine

Mysticexperiences.net

SELF-HELP GURUS?

 

Oh boy! This reblog could be contentious.

It’s somewhat bigoted and prejudiced in my view. I cannot accept whopping generalisations, though in this case the author does provide some light provenance for his assertions.

As the article is a needed heads-up on the subject though, it’s re-posted here for you to decide:


SELF-HELP GURUS

by Zeno The Stoic April 12, 2018

Self help gurus are guaranteed fakes. So are all other self anointed gurus. Avoid them – run for your life and keep your purse locked.

I have parked this article under the category “health”, since I find self help gurus the most insidious but you will find this species of pariah in every walk of life and every area of commerce.

I first noticed them in finance: such people are a huge danger to your wealth. They promise you will make millions in up and down markets by buying their absurd courses. It is likely they have never traded in the financial markets and that if they have the exercise was a failure.

It is all about money: getting yours.

The Dalai Lama doesn’t need to peddle books, nor does the Archbishop of Canterbury. They may be worth listening to, they may not. But at least they are not looking for you to finance their expensive lifestyles. Much the same can be said for qualified doctors or therapists. At least they have (usually!) had a rigorous training in a recognised discipline.

The real con artists are those who sell books, courses and seminars telling YOU how to achieve happiness and contentment when THEY have singularly failed to achieve any measure of well being and are as far removed from nirvana as it is possible to be.

READ MORE

Reblogged on Mysticexperiences.net

INNER DETACHMENT AND ISOLATION The mystic in a nutshell?    

“The feeling of inner detachment and isolation is not in itself an abnormal phenomenon but is normal in the sense that consciousness has withdrawn from the phenomenal world and got outside time and space.

“The development … is the meaning and purpose of all life’s wisdom to go along with natural developments that spring from the functioning of the whole personality.”

From Carl Jung by lewislafontaine

Mysticalexperiences.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 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.

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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

THE DIVINE ESSENCE

“Using Allah, (celestial) Buddha, God, ha-Shem, Ishvara, or other words does not change eminent Reality as the holy One in All and All in the wholly One. Soul is simply a word for our spiritual essence, now separated from the ocean of Reality by a cloud of ignorance. Like rain, it does come from that ocean and it will eventually return to it. The billions of souls on Earth are just as surface ripples in the vastness of the universal One.” — Ron Krumpos*

*From his eBook, The Greatest Achievement in Life: Five traditions of mysticism, Mystical approaches to life, 2012, pub.

COMMENTARY

This book is deeply researched, produced out of experience and spiritual study, from worldwide travel, living mystics, and ancient and modern texts. It is well accepted academically, and to those who have had the mystical experience of Reality and are finding what is left of their humanity thereby a sometimes tedious daily challenge, this work is a seminal, validating comfort.

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.