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Old 01-10-2006, 05:06 PM   #31
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Originally posted by Irvine511

can we regard some as more authentic than others? can we say that "my spiritual experience in Tibet was more authentic than your spiritual experience eating pizza at Pepe's in New Haven?" are there rules?
Okay, so going back to this...I wanted to say "yes and no" but I better not!

I think if someone says they had a spiritual experience, then that's how they feel about whatever it was. But I would also argue that some people call "feeling good" a spiritual experience, or if they cried at a U2 show that was a spiritual experience. Fine--I'm not interested in taking that away from anyone. However, when I refer to "spiritual experiences," I'm talking about the kinds of transcendental experiences that are discussed in esoteric spirituality when the third eye opens. While Christians don't really talk about a third eye, esoteric spirituality interprets this passage from the Bible as referencing this eye:

Matt 6:22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.

and recognizes many of the disciples' experiences as indicative of third eye kinds of experiences. LSD trips can open this eye prematurely but the person cannot maintain that level of consciousness which is why they can get whacked out. However, they've tasted something interesting and will never forget it. For some, it begins a lifetime of serious spiritual seeking and for others, they become addicts because what they experienced through drugs they are not able to experience on their own.

I would also add that the kinds of spiritual experiences I refer to aren't always visions and burning bushes, etc., but whatever it is that changes one's consciousness forever. But no, I'm not going to tell anyone that their experience wasn't a "true" spiritual experience because it isn't for me to know.
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Old 01-10-2006, 05:35 PM   #32
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i just wrote a really long response but somehow lost it.

main point: it seems as if we are hardwired to have a "God shaped hole" and that there are many, many ways to fill try to fill it, even if only fleeting. drugs are a cheat, but they might be able to give us a glimpse that can kick start a lifetime of searching (so long as one does not continue).

but, essentially, if it is the same in all of us, why then would there be only one way to fill it in? there must be many paths.

great post, joyfulgirl.

i had so many other things to say, but they've all been lost.



maybe later.
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Old 01-10-2006, 06:25 PM   #33
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Originally posted by nbcrusader




I'm not sure we can chemically achieve a true spiritual experience.
That is the source of all human experience experience.
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Old 01-10-2006, 07:13 PM   #34
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I think I can see where Irvine is going and I think it is a direction I've headed in for years. I think all of these experiences are subjective, serving our own purposes. I think we are hardwired to look for something other--epiphany, religious experience, ecstasy, hallucination, alpha state, meditative state, visions, sexuality, sensuality, rock concert euphoria or catharsis--whatever guise it takes.

I don't think it is something outside of us calling, but something inside of us driving and the paths will be as individual and multiple as we are. I don't think there is ANY one way, any one destination and I don't think there was ever meant to be. We seek purpose, enlightenment, but that is our need, not someone's or something's destiny for us.

And to take it further, I think for many, we do not seek God (or other). We seek to be god however we view that state.
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Old 01-10-2006, 10:36 PM   #35
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I think I can see where Irvine is going and I think it is a direction I've headed in for years. I think all of these experiences are subjective, serving our own purposes. I think we are hardwired to look for something other--epiphany, religious experience, ecstasy, hallucination, alpha state, meditative state, visions, sexuality, sensuality, rock concert euphoria or catharsis--whatever guise it takes.

I don't think it is something outside of us calling, but something inside of us driving and the paths will be as individual and multiple as we are. I don't think there is ANY one way, any one destination and I don't think there was ever meant to be. We seek purpose, enlightenment, but that is our need, not someone's or something's destiny for us.

And to take it further, I think for many, we do not seek God (or other). We seek to be god however we view that state.




though i will say that this isn't what i had in mind at the outset, though it does seem to be a good summation of where the discussion has brought me.
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Old 01-11-2006, 02:39 AM   #36
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well, that's not very helpful.
I´m sorry I could not give you any other reply.

You asked if there were rules, giving the example of Tibet vs. Pizza.

For certain meditations, there are rules. Most of the time, these rules are not fixed, but there are rules. When you go into a Japanese Zen temple to meditate, you will have to respect the rules.

Contrary to that, there are no rules. Your thoughts are free, they are not bound to a certain perspective. Also, while you meditate, the purpose of doing a perfect meditation (not to be disturbed by the sounds around you, or to have a certain thought, or to let the ego chime in) is lost.

When your path is meditation and seeking light, you will eventually realize that you have to lose your ego. You will have to lose your head. Your thoughts. The experience, some monks say, is like going into a sea of fire. You are dissolved.

How can there be any rules to reach such a state? No, there aren´t any rules.

"yes and no" means that there can be rules and no rules at the same time.

"neither yes nor no" is an addendum to the general respect for the East-Asian tradition: there are four possibilities, not only black or white like in Europe.

Something can exist and not exist at the same time. You´re keen on science? Science will tell you exactly that. Look at the CERN and their research about elementary parts. There are tohus.. and Wohus.. and whatnot. there are elementary parts that exist at the same time that they do not exist. or that do not exist, but still they are there. Nowadays, our modern scientific world often supports the knowledge of meditation. I´m not going to give you all the examples now, but if you are interested, I would strongly recommend a book by Joachim Ernst Berendt, "Nada Brahma - the World is Sound".

The last possibility is that something neither exists nor does it not exist. As to the rules, one could say there are no existing rules for meditation, but at the same time not exclude that there are some.
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Old 01-11-2006, 09:47 AM   #37
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I´m sorry I could not give you any other reply.

You asked if there were rules, giving the example of Tibet vs. Pizza.

For certain meditations, there are rules. Most of the time, these rules are not fixed, but there are rules. When you go into a Japanese Zen temple to meditate, you will have to respect the rules.

Contrary to that, there are no rules. Your thoughts are free, they are not bound to a certain perspective. Also, while you meditate, the purpose of doing a perfect meditation (not to be disturbed by the sounds around you, or to have a certain thought, or to let the ego chime in) is lost.

When your path is meditation and seeking light, you will eventually realize that you have to lose your ego. You will have to lose your head. Your thoughts. The experience, some monks say, is like going into a sea of fire. You are dissolved.

How can there be any rules to reach such a state? No, there aren´t any rules.

"yes and no" means that there can be rules and no rules at the same time.

"neither yes nor no" is an addendum to the general respect for the East-Asian tradition: there are four possibilities, not only black or white like in Europe.

Something can exist and not exist at the same time. You´re keen on science? Science will tell you exactly that. Look at the CERN and their research about elementary parts. There are tohus.. and Wohus.. and whatnot. there are elementary parts that exist at the same time that they do not exist. or that do not exist, but still they are there. Nowadays, our modern scientific world often supports the knowledge of meditation. I´m not going to give you all the examples now, but if you are interested, I would strongly recommend a book by Joachim Ernst Berendt, "Nada Brahma - the World is Sound".

The last possibility is that something neither exists nor does it not exist. As to the rules, one could say there are no existing rules for meditation, but at the same time not exclude that there are some.


thank you for the thoughtful post, but just for clairity's sake, i was speaking about "rules" in relation to being able to discuss things and experiences that might exist beyond language, not necessarily rules for having a spiritual experience.

though those might be helpful too.

but i think it really would be helpful to get beyond phrases that sound fancy -- the presence of an absence is the absence of a presence, for example -- and try to really pin these things down. i enjoy po-mo theorizing as much as the next english major from a liberal arts college, but i think in this thread, i am most interested in hearing about people's spiritual experiences and hopefully trying to put them into words.

i've got an experience that i can point to, though i've come to doubt it in recent years.

will be back later to expound.
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Old 01-11-2006, 11:36 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
but i think in this thread, i am most interested in hearing about people's spiritual experiences and hopefully trying to put them into words.
i've taken LSD in the past, a dozen times or so, and yes, i felt that heightened sense of awareness, that spiritual high, that feeling of finally understanding everything around me. i know exactly what that man in the article is talking about.

i saw clouds for the first time. i heard the ocean speak to me - not in a literal sense, but i heard it alright. it cannot be explained. sunlight on the sand became a blinding universe that i understood with such clarity that it shook me to my core. i touched a flock of birds with my fingers and i easily recognized that every single one of them knew me.

and the funny part is, even as i'm saying this, some thirteen years later, sober as a judge, i still believe that what i experienced was absolutely real.

in fact, LSD is the only drug that i truly miss.

i really do think that those kinds of spiritual highs can be felt in other things as well. giving birth to my daughter, for instance. floating across the lake on quiet days. the smell of my cat after she bakes in the sun. but none of them come close to the awareness i felt when i was tripping on that chemical, or the duration. that's the thing.

the other times are mere glimpses. peeks.

the beauty of LSD is that it let me stay awhile.
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Old 01-11-2006, 03:45 PM   #39
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I was going to write something identical to what Bonosgirl84 wrote.

Naturally, you can FEEL the oneness and connection w/ existance as a whole in glimpses that last mere moments.

But assistance from a checmical such as acid will literally open those doors you never knew existed. You can see, hear, and feel so freaking clearly that it is overwhelming. Unless you are the 1 in 100 million who can tap into parts of the brain that no one else can and have this clarity and connectiveness naturally, then it probably can't be acheived w/o using a chemical enhancement.
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Old 01-11-2006, 04:49 PM   #40
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Unless you are the 1 in 100 million who can tap into parts of the brain that no one else can and have this clarity and connectiveness naturally, then it probably can't be acheived w/o using a chemical enhancement.
Sure it can. Practicioners of meditation have been doing it forever, and self-realization is a level of attainment far, far beyond where LSD can take you.

Suggested reading: Autobiography of a Yogi.
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Old 01-11-2006, 06:16 PM   #41
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Something can exist and not exist at the same time. You´re keen on science? Science will tell you exactly that. Look at the CERN and their research about elementary parts. There are tohus.. and Wohus.. and whatnot. there are elementary parts that exist at the same time that they do not exist. or that do not exist, but still they are there. Nowadays, our modern scientific world often supports the knowledge of meditation. I´m not going to give you all the examples now, but if you are interested, I would strongly recommend a book by Joachim Ernst Berendt, "Nada Brahma - the World is Sound".
Don't you see those example elementary particles do not exist. Secondly the very short existence of virtual particle and antiparticle pairs occurs at a minute level. The threshold of virtual particles does not extend to the level of virtual objects at the macroscopic scale. There is nothing mystical about the science of studying elementary particles, just load them up with a lot of kinetic energy with a particle accelerator and see what results from collisions.

Taking the science of quantum field theory and using the example of say a photon popping in and then out of existence as a result of vacuum fluctuations to justify spiritualism is the same game that any two bit con man can play at and if done properly can make a lot of money off the gullible. Take elements of eastern mysticism then wrap it up in scientific jargon - doesn't matter if it's accurate, who is going to question the metaphysical healing properties of polarised magnetic quantum fields. Then just repeat ad nauseum and charge people $500 to listen. These holistic con men prey on peoples open mindedness and willingness to believe, more scientific literacy and skepticism among in society would be a great thing.

http://www.quackwatch.org/

http://www.skeptic.com/

http://www.randi.org/

Stopping the slide back to the 14th Century
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Old 01-11-2006, 07:40 PM   #42
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"who is going to question the metaphysical healing properties of polarised magnetic quantum fields. Then just repeat ad nauseum and charge people $500 to listen"

what?

I was not talking about quacks. I´m also not getting into a discussion with you whether certain particles exist or not. I think they do, some do not, and some do and do not and some! guess what! are so totally out of our dimensions that mathematically, they are moving from the future (as it is percieved by us) into the past (as percieved by us). Ask someone from CERN if you don´t believe me.

And for further interest, read the book.
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Old 01-11-2006, 07:50 PM   #43
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The particle that moves backwards through time is purely speculative, it is the tachyon, if you have a particle that exeeds the speed of light then it would be predicted to be travelling backwards through time. But there could never be a way of measuring such a particle, it is mathematically imaginary (the squared mass is negative). The hypothetical particle cannot interact with us or else causality would be violated.

There are quite a few areas of theoretical physics where the mathematics describe things that we have not devised a way to measure (for instance string "theory"), I think it is disengeneous to be claiming proof of spiritual elements with science without source and appealing to authority without listing names, who is someone from CERN?
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Old 01-12-2006, 06:32 AM   #44
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without source and appealing to authority without listing names, who is someone from CERN?
Go to www.cern.ch to know more.

Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
The particle that moves backwards through time is purely speculative, it is the tachyon, if you have a particle that exeeds the speed of light then it would be predicted to be travelling backwards through time.
That´s interesting, I didn´t know it was called tachyon.

Quote:
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I think it is disengeneous to be claiming proof of spiritual elements with science
I´m not claiming proof of spiritual elements, where did you read that out? I am saying science should seek to connect to other disciplines. people in the ivory tower of science may be opposed to that, but the point is that many new scientists are stressing the importance of humanity and spirituality.

Ever heard of Victor Weisskopf? I´ll quote a speech about him:

"Viki was a great physicist and he had a passion for physics, which he so much wanted to pass on to others. But when he addressed a wide audience, it could be hard to dissociate his passion for physics from other passions as he often tried to convey his broad love for human scientific endeavour and human culture, physics being only one part of it. This he has done in many essays and in books written for a general audience. As he once said: "I owe much to the cultural tradition of Vienna, from Mozart and Beethoven to Freud and Boltzmann." He did so much to show that physics is not producing an alienated individual in a world dominated by science and technology and in which everything is reduced to impersonal scientific facts.

Science is great, but science is not everything. He once illustrated that through an analysis of the appreciation that one may have for a Beethoven sonata, describing it first in an interesting but limited way in the realm of present science alone but to conclude that there is nothing like the emotion that it triggers in ourselves when listening to it .

(...) As he said on several occasions: "Human existence is based on two pillars: compassion and knowledge. Compassion without knowledge is ineffective; knowledge without compassion is inhuman."

Viki told us that it is a privilege to be a physicist but also that it carries important duties: duties to inform on what science is all about; duties to warn against the dangers that could come from the irresponsible and even evil use of scientific knowledge; duties to feel concerned with the involvement of science in the events of the day; and duties to pass on to the new generation the spirit of research which we so much appreciate. As he once said: "We need basic science not only for the solution of practical problems but also to keep alive the spirit of this great human endeavour." (...)

Viki was much concerned about science and society issues. As he said: "The human problems caused by the ever increasing development of a science-based technology are too threatening and they overshadow the significance of fundamental science as a provider of deeper insight into nature." And he added: "This puts the scientist in the midst of social and political life and strife and he has the obligation to be the guardian, the contributor and the advocate of scientific knowledge and insight." Continuing with his own words, I may add: "Science cannot develop unless it is pursued for the sake of pure knowledge and insight. It will not survive unless it is used intensely and wisely for the betterment of humanity and not as an instrument of domination by one group over another."

Viki magnificently conveyed his passion for research as a great human endeavour. In his essay "The significance of science", he quotes Ecclesiastes : "And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven. This sore task hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised herewith." But, much aware of the dangers that could be brought by an evil use of knowledge, he also summarized his worries quoting again Ecclesiastes: "For in much wisdom is much grief and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow."

In 1944 Viki became one of the founders of the Federation of Atomic Scientists, whose aim was to warn the public of the dreadful consequences of a nuclear war and to support the peaceful use of atomic energy. He soon also became a member of the Emergency Committee of Scientists initiated by Leo Szilard, which, under the chairmanship of Einstein, had a similar goal.

It was only by the late 1970s and early 1980s that the idea of the absolute impossibility of "winning" a nuclear war was recognized, not only by the public but also by governments. By the 1990s Viki could at long last say: "I am grateful to have lived to see our efforts to make this a more peaceful world seem to bear fruit...Perhaps a time is coming when the nuclear arms race of the past decades will be regarded as a serious case of collective mental disease that was cured just in time." By that time, tests in the atmosphere had been banned, the ABM treaty had been brought in and the East-West thaw was paving the way to mutual disarmament. Viki's own and latter important actions towards that lofty goal had strongly used his membership in the Pontifical Academy .

He had been elected to it in 1976, the same year that he was elected to the Soviet Academy of Sciences, something that he considered as keeping a proper balance He used the latter position to support Sakharov and the former one was instrumental in his helping to shape the attitude that the Pope soon took, publicly underlining the great threat to mankind that resulted from the on-going nuclear arms race. I still remember listening to the Pope's New Year address in 1980. I had seen much of Viki just before in connection with his Gregory lectures, and when the Pope came to mention the nuclear threat I could not refrain from exclaiming: "But these are Viki's words!" If I may say that now it is because the Pope himself said that he had come to his stand on that matter by "listening to what his scientists had told him". Viki was of course teased by journalists about his particular role in all that but he would respond: "The Pope is inspired by God and not by a Viennese Jew." His actions were well recognized and he was awarded the Public Welfare Medal of the US National Academy of Sciences in 1991.


(...)


"Art and science", which I took here as an intermediate title, is probably the first of his wide audience essays I read, more than 20 years ago. It is very typical of his style when discussing science in a general context and, in that instance, opposing art and science in a Bohrian way to show that, if there are great differences, there are also important similarities in the two intellectual approaches and that one should rather stress their complementarity. He starts by writing: "What could be more different than science and art? Science is considered a rational, objective, cool study of nature; art is often regarded as a subjective, irrational expression of feelings and emotions." But he adds: "One can just as well consider scientific discoveries as the products of imagination, of sparks of sudden insight, whereas art could be viewed as the product of painstaking work, carefully adding one part to the other by rational thinking." He goes on to discuss points of convergence and divergence, with many poetic and scientific quotes on the way, to conclude on complementarity, a complementarity between reason and passion, mystery being another form of reality and adding: "No wonder scientists are attracted by the fugues of Bach."

He makes the point that science and art both respond to our urge for sense, meaning and hope, quoting Goethe who said: "He who has art and science also has a religion, but those who do not have them better have religion." He concludes with the words: "There may come a day when scientific and artistic meanings will combine and help to bring forth that ground swell of meaning and value for which there is so great a need. The growing awareness of this need is in itself an important element that brings people together and creates common values and even elation." Viki always acknowledged how much he learned from Bohr and his complementarity approach, which he liked to apply to walks of life other than quantum mechanics.

full article: http://www.cerncourier.com/main/article/42/10/24
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Old 01-12-2006, 07:36 AM   #45
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I was watching a crazy Asian lady on Briz 31 (a dodgy local TV station) last night, addressing a public forum and explaining how you could become the Buddha and find God by 'dying and being resurrected every day'. While I think she may be a bit nutty, I think she believes that she did this and it has benefited her no end.

Of course, she then told us that, when you find God and experience her transcendental state you become blissful and patient - but then she got angry at people for asking questions that obviously weren't in the script . . .

And yes, I know that Buddhists don't believe in the Christian God and, in fact, are divided about the existence of gods at all. But I am just regurgitating what she said.
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