Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Jun 4, 2013 - 06:20pm PT
. . . some of us are content . . .


(How lucky you are.)

As an educator, I hear that all the time. "I'm happy. Why change?"

There should be no reason at all, except if you feel yourself being pulled forward to some distant omega point. Unless my students are Hindi, I don't say that. Instead, I tell my students (god love them) is that when they get just exactly they want, they'll find themselves coming up wanting. I think that problem goes all the way to the end of the line. Attractions and aversions. Ugh. Our lives are run by them.

(Most folks report a dull feeling of dissatisfaction (dukkha) in their lives, and it never seems to leave them until their final minutes.)


Hey, waitaminute. . . come to think of it, this is where I got on this train way before the "What Is Mind?" thread when someone asked whether meditation would be good for climbing. I think I said that spiritual meditation had some other personal inciting motivations. I think I made reference to Phillip Kapleau Roshi, who said that a person begins to sense two related things. One, a growing feeling that they are being duped somehow by something or someone. Two, that which they see around them begins to look absurd and unreal.

But if you don't have those experiences, then you don't. Sounds like a great excuse for a party. You appear to be in exactly the right place.

Funny how that happens.
jogill

climber
Colorado
Jun 4, 2013 - 06:32pm PT
One, a growing feeling that they are being duped somehow by something or someone. Two, that which they see around them begins to look absurd and unreal

Shades of Philip K. Dick . . . Funny, I never noticed.

Why is it I now feel the need to apologize for being satisfied?

Instead, I tell my students (god love them) is that when they get just exactly (what) they want, they'll find themselves coming up wanting

I suppose this is some sort of criticism of being satisfied in life - if so it falls short. Satisfaction is more about adjusting to "wants" and not letting them predicate your actions.

Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 4, 2013 - 06:40pm PT
That's a good point, John, and Mike. Some of us were stymied by what was being presentd as the bottom line, as some kind of enduring truth, and in our guts we sensed a grater land out there Somewhere.

Two things became very clear once we stopped just thinking about it and started the rigors of the work. One, we could NEVER have guessed what was involved before the fact, and two, religiomyths like "enlightment" were detriments and road blocks that had to be negotiated to make any real progress.

JL
jogill

climber
Colorado
Jun 4, 2013 - 06:47pm PT
Good points Mike and John.

Human nature has an entertaining complexity. It's good we're not all alike!


;>)
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 4, 2013 - 08:13pm PT
JL
Maybe you should link to it.^^
I don't remember the occasion

I'm still not convinced that you can't evaluate something
Something or nothing, there are ways to that we can take a look at it.
to say that there is something that Can't be experienced/observed/measured may be true, but if you can't prove that it is real, then we can say it doesn't exist, and it's up to you to prove it exists.

So far, there has been no proof, only words.

at the core, it is saying that it's all about God, finding purpose in an otherwise meaningless life, because God set it up for us to reach him!
That we are special in some way, a rejection of us being a product of a natural evolution, an avocation of Intelligent design, by God.


Do the rest of you Now get the spell check here on ST??
It started a ~week ago, maybe it's just my computer

cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Jun 4, 2013 - 08:53pm PT
Why not leave off on this and try and contribute something useful to the conversation, instead of pot shotting from the peanut gallery? It's safer there, I agreee, but this kind of counterpunching, masquerading as truth seeking, is in fact passive aggressive and adds little to coversation....

Bottom line is if you talk nonsense about things you don't really understand, you're going to get called out for it sooner or later, whether by an expert or a quick fact-check. You know you've got a tough crowd here, so do yourself a favor by cutting back on your signal-to-noise deficit, and the "big picture" will be a lot clearer to everyone.
MH2

climber
Jun 5, 2013 - 12:47am PT
JL,

Is this what you were talking about?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spike-and-wave





My post about white noise is a contribution to this discussion, though a small one. You are free to ignore it, criticize it, or take it into consideration.

I have no interest in undercutting you. I know that you are a smart well-read person with experience and insight into meditation. I say what I want to about your posts and you say what you want. That is all that is happening, here.
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Jun 5, 2013 - 01:47am PT
Why is it I now feel the need to apologize for being satisfied?

Oh, no, no, no. My bad. What could be more perfect than contentment with the way things are? (I thought for sure that you were going to say that a feeling of duplicity and out-of-place weirdness are sure signs of paranoia.)

What I wrote is not a criticism of satisfaction, John. It's the Buddha's First Noble Truth. (I'll bet you really knew that.)

And thanks for the help with my grammar.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jun 5, 2013 - 03:48am PT
Back to jogill's question about meditation sickness. In the various spiritual traditions, there are many kinds of meditation sickness - the desire for escapism, meditating for material gain, and so on. The most dramatic form of meditation sickness however, involves energy patterns gone wrong. I would suspect from what is said above about neural oscillations that part of this could be oscillations in the spinal cord which are prematurely set in motion or with too much energy for the inexperienced.

In meditational language these are premature arousals of a mysterious force labeled the kundalini in the Indian traditions. It is said to reside at the base of the spine and to only be able to rise, once blockages in the spine (chakras) are cleared. If it rises before this clearing, it gets blocked, builds up to dangerous levels and can create sensations of heat, pulsating internal energy, nausea, dizziness, and if persisting over a prolonged period, mental illness. The cure is having a more advanced meditator (the traditional role of the advanced guru) who can redirect the energy back down to the base of the spine until the proper time for its re-arousal.

All of this sounds completely fantastic to those who have never experienced it but I can attest from personal experience that it exists. Luckily I had a guru who laid hands on the top of my head and pushed the energy back down through some unknown process which involved countervening energy, not the use of physical force. Now today, I read an article in the NYT about the alignment of the organs in a developing embryo which involve oscillating cilia moving in a clockwise direction and immediately wondered if some remnant of this does not continue to reside in the spinal cord and account for the clockwise motion of the kundalini energy?
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/04/science/growing-left-growing-right-how-a-body-breaks-symmetry.html?ref=science&_r=0
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Jun 5, 2013 - 01:06pm PT
Ha-ha, Jan.

I've been at it for decades, and I've not heard of the term "meditation sickness" before.

I think "meditation sickness" accounts for 2-3 years of meditation effort sometime ago for me. I had one of those kundalini experiences (just happened), and the experience was so impressive that I tried to find it and run the program again and again. Very addictive stuff. Wonderful feeling. I wanted to yell out, "woo hoo!" It felt like my spine was a warp drive engine like you see in Star Trek movies, with pulsing energy flows running from the base of my spine right up into my head. Boom, boom, boom, boom. My spine straightened up on its own, and I felt like I was about to levitate. Then everything got an aura to it, no matter where I looked. All this happened during a group meditation outside under a big redwood, and the first thing I said when we finished to the teacher was, "Hey, can I do this whenever I want?"

Funny, really.


I also get the most remarkable set of experiences when I eat lots of spicy foods late at night.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 5, 2013 - 02:32pm PT

Bottom line is if you talk nonsense about things you don't really understand, you're going to get called out for it sooner or later, whether by an expert or a quick fact-check.
--

Have you noticed how often I am accused of not understanding this or that, and yet when we venture into the subjective arena, where the path is slippery as snot even for those who have adventured there for 30 years, people are wont to say, "I have no idea at all - ZERO," and instead start yelling about JuJu and magic and delusions.

My ham fisted efforts to try and use other metaphors, most of which are borrowed from friends in the scientific community, have been more the focus than the meant and potatoes of the whole works, which is, What the hell is this life that we have unfolding before and inside of us. When we hear objective descriptions it's not really addressing the question at all, and we all know it in our gut.

So maybe that's where we need to go - right into the gut. That would require heroic honesty from all, and we all like to hide behind masks, most of them cognitive. I do, anyway.

JL

jogill

climber
Colorado
Jun 5, 2013 - 06:18pm PT
So maybe that's where we need to go - right into the gut

Probably many if not most of the participants on this thread don't feel that need, but if they do your previous instructions seem good. I think that where you are "going" there are deep mysteries, and to speculate metaphysically is not the best course of action. And when Mike talks about the many "infinities" around us (mine being a simple abstraction) I'm not sure it's terribly convincing. Leave the mysteries in their indescribable state and provide simple instructions, like you have done.

Just my thoughts. You do really well when you keep it simple.

Is there anyone visiting or participating on this thread who feels like making these efforts?

MH2

climber
Jun 5, 2013 - 07:47pm PT
Leave the mysteries in their indescribable state and provide simple instructions, like you have done.


Second to that. I do agree that what JL is doing is heroic and from that perspective I withdraw all my nitpicking objections to his choice of language and cheer him on.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 5, 2013 - 08:13pm PT
Actually, I am and have never suggested that we chuck the evaluating mind. My whole drive is that you need to FIRST spend a good long time listening to and surveying the terrain with no attempot to evaluate, then later, start trying to approximate the whole shebang. Teying to evaluate Mind from the outside is, IME, like trying to guess what the experience is like to drive an Indy car from photos you've seen on line. For one, the descriptions are static, and secondly, they're not based on driving the car, but on speculation about what the drive might be like, given reams of info. So long as our lives are experiences in process, and not things (a corpse is a thing), you've got to jump into the current to really get a feel for the work.

But after the fact, sounding off about it is part of the fandango, and is why music, dance, literature, philosophy, and many of the arts and even some of the sciences came about in the first instance.

Again, imagine running an experiment and before you have collected any of the data, yu start guessing about what's going on. You have to close the pie hole and later, after getting some perpective on the work from the inside, then work on describing it from the outside. Trying to do so in re verse means that you're not really talking about Mind (our actual, tangible subjective lives) at all, but objective functioning.

JL
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jun 5, 2013 - 09:27pm PT
MikeL obviously has better karma than I do and was ready for the full blown kundalini experience the first time. I had several false starts before the real thing. At one point I felt like one of those old sardine cans where you have a little key that winds the metal strip around itself until the can is open. For me it felt like there was a key at my waist which someone was using to wrench an incredible energy up my spine that was getting more and more taut and painful, and making me dizzy and nauseous.

For the first and only time, my meditation instructor lost his cool and was accusing me of doing secret yoga positions to force it. He doesn't speak English and I don't really speak Japanese, so I looked up the word spontaneous in my dictionary and when he saw that, he suddenly became very sympathetic and put it back down again.

Another time at a gathering of Okinawans and a British follower of Sai Baba, the British man put the palms of his hands on my back at the heart chakra and I felt a powerful spiraling energy move from my waist to my heart chakra. I understood instantly why the ancient Indians had labeled it the serpent power whereas I would have described it as a powerful electric current. Then it was at least two years later that I had the experience that Mike describes. Later I read that there are three knots in the spine that have to be undone before the energy can flow smoothly. They lie at the waist (will power chakra), the heart chakra and the throat (speech) chakra.

The main point I would like to make however, is that there are energetic forces in the body that science knows nothing about but are so powerful that no disbeliever is ever going to convince someone who experienced them that they didn't happen. And since the person with the experience ends up happier and more functional than before, writing it off to mental illness doesn't apply either (for over a hundred years anthropologists wrote off shamans as schizophrenics).

I think it's easy to see however how someone having these experiences who was also part of a religion with lots of dogma could become a fanatic. Meanwhile those of us without the dogma, are left wondering what the process is and frustrated that the science types who could answer some of these questions are either sure they don't exist or think they might but don't want to ruin their reputation by dealing in woo woo. Thus the two sides are at an impasse.
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 5, 2013 - 10:40pm PT
Kundalini
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Physical and psychological effects

Physical effects are believed to be a sign of kundalini awakening by some,[26] but described as unwanted side effects pointing to a problem rather than progress by others.[25] The following are either common signs of an awakened kundalini or symptoms of a problem associated with an awakening kundalini (commonly referred to as Kundalini syndrome or physio-Kundalini syndrome):
Involuntary jerks, tremors, shaking, itching, tingling, and crawling sensations, especially in the arms and legs
Energy rushes or feelings of electricity circulating the body
Intense heat (sweating) or cold, especially as energy is experienced passing through the chakras
Spontaneous pranayama, asanas, mudras and bandhas
Visions or sounds at times associated with a particular chakra
Diminished or conversely extreme sexual desire sometimes leading to a state of constant or whole-body orgasm
Emotional upheavals or surfacing of unwanted and repressed feelings or thoughts with certain repressed emotions becoming dominant in the conscious mind for short or long periods of time.[27]
Headache, migraine, or pressure inside the skull
Increased blood pressure and irregular heartbeat
Emotional numbness
Antisocial tendencies
Mood swings with periods of depression or mania
Pains in different areas of the body, especially back and neck
Sensitivity to light, sound, and touch
Trance-like and altered states of consciousness
Disrupted sleep pattern (periods of insomnia or oversleeping)
Loss of appetite or overeating
Bliss, feelings of infinite love and universal connectivity, transcendent awareness


a lot like taking drugs, but doing it with just your mind.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jun 5, 2013 - 11:24pm PT
Whether it's the product of the mind or the spinal cord is surely one of the questions.
And if it's the product of the mind, then why does it happen unexpectedly?
Likewise, if it's a product of the mind, then how come mainstream western psychology knows nothing about it?
WBraun

climber
Jun 5, 2013 - 11:29pm PT
how come mainstream western psychology knows nothing about it?


Because they're stooopid.

Because they rubber stamp Phd on their foreheads.

They guess all the time and make up stooopid theories that they never ever solve.

On and on and on.

Cave men they are, ..... acting as advanced .......
jogill

climber
Colorado
Jun 5, 2013 - 11:58pm PT
Four Duckies: Offspring of WB Duck
Four Duckies: Offspring of WB Duck
Credit: jogill


Now daddy !!
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jun 6, 2013 - 12:09am PT
"Did someone say " Duck"?"

Duck Dynasty
Duck Dynasty
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