Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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MH2

climber
Sep 20, 2013 - 11:31pm PT
Very few scientists or engineers would say that artists and musicians waste their time and are deluded and should do something else, yet feel free to say that to meditators.


In the absence of an example, I was trying to think of a counter-example. From a person who was unconcerned about practical utility or frankly in favor of uselessness:


A science is said to be useful if its development tends to accentuate the existing inequalities in the distribution of wealth, or more directly promotes the destruction of human life.
~G.H. Hardy in 1941


If we look at it that way, meditators should thank any scientist or engineer who says they are wasting their time. It is praise.


Hardy thought of his own work as art done with ideas.

Nothing I have ever done is of the slightest practical use.

He was wrong about the absence of practical use for his work, but his feeling that utility is a poor measure of worth is widely shared.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Sep 21, 2013 - 12:02am PT
Did JL become a Buddha? Did I miss something?

Experience is where it is at. Mind training sounds cultish, even if it is a thousand years old.

Don't train your mind. Get outside and do it. Train your mind by having experiences. At this stage in life, that's my advice. I've been driving my brain for fifty years, and the experiences that I've sought out are the most cherished things in my life. They changed who I am and how I look at things, that's for sure.

Are you motivated by unhappiness, Largo? Unhappiness, or a type of unhappy boredom, has motivated me to seek out new experiences many times.

I would rather experience being fifty miles from anyone in the Sonoroan desert than sit in a room with a bunch of other adults meditating. Seriously. I was born to play. If I had it all over again, I would have played even harder, and that is saying something.

Really. It is all right there in front of us. Just take that first step and go seek out new adventures. Just like the starship Enterprise. I've collected such a quiver of experiences that I have a hard time connecting with people who are content to never take a walk and see what is on the other side of that ridge.
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Sep 21, 2013 - 12:11am PT
I've collected such a quiver of experiences that I have a hard time connecting with people who are content to never take a walk and see what is on the other side of that ridge

As the Duck would say,"He speaks truth."


Oil Well Hunting


Bible guys, I'm still waiting . . .
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Sep 21, 2013 - 12:19am PT
From JL's link:


// The discovery of the multiple selves that
inhabit the psyche and run our lives without
our knowledge is the number one task of
consciousness //

Perhaps, but debatable. Psychotherapy.
WBraun

climber
Sep 21, 2013 - 12:37am PT
Base104 -- "Don't train your mind."

Yeah just let it run amok, like an untrained horse to ride without any reins.

The mind will go everywhere and you will be it's slave.

The unintelligent class of humanity never trains their mind.

The intelligent class always trains the mind to follow their soul .......
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Sep 21, 2013 - 12:41am PT
Dr. Lorin Roche, a meditation teacher, says a major problem arises from the way meditators interpret Buddhist and Hindu teachings. He points out that meditation techniques that encourage detachment from the world were intended only for monks and nuns. He has spent thirty years doing interviews with people who meditate regularly and says many were depressed. He says they have tried to detach themselves from their desires, their loves, and their passion. "Depression is a natural result of loss, and if you internalize teachings that poison you against the world, then of course you will become depressed."

The Dalai Lama has said that Eastern forms of meditation have to be handled carefully: "Westerners who proceed too quickly to deep meditation should learn more about Eastern traditions and get better training than they usually do. Otherwise, certain physical or mental difficulties appear."

Hideous. And frightening.

http://www.thehumanist.org/humanist/MaryGarden.html


Arthur Chappell, a former devotee of Guru Maharaj (also known as Prem Rawat), points out that meditation starves the mind of stimulus (sensory deprivation) and he wonders whether desensitizing the mind to stimuli may actually "affect one's ability to react properly with the level of fear, love, and other emotions required in any given social situation." Chappell says minds can atrophy--just like limbs do--if they aren't used for a wide range of purposes:

Many meditation practitioners have complained of difficulty doing simple arithmetic and remembering names of close friends after prolonged meditation. The effect is rather like that of Newspeak's obliteration of the English language in George Orwell's 1984.


I myself came to these conclusions independently as recorded on this thread.


Dr. Solomon Snyder, head of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University, warns that during meditation the brain releases serotonin. This may help those with mild depression but too much serotonin can cause, in some, a paradoxical relaxation-induced anxiety. Instead of relaxing during meditation, these people become distressed and may even have panic attacks. Snyder says that in some cases of schizophrenia, meditation can launch a person straight into psychosis.

Dr. Michael Persinger, a professor of neuroscience at the Laurentian University in Canada, studied 1,018 meditators in 1993 and found that meditation can bring on symptoms of complex partial epilepsy such as visual abnormalities, hearing voices, feeling vibrations, or experiencing automatic behaviors such as narcolepsy. Note that epileptic patients who suffer from seizures in the temporal lobes have auditory or visual hallucinations, which they often interpret as mystical experiences. Some are convinced that they conversed with God.

http://www.thehumanist.org/humanist/MaryGarden.html
Malemute

Ice climber
the ghost
Sep 21, 2013 - 12:41am PT
old news
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Society_of_Mind
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OHdAHWhPwQ
http://www.scribd.com/doc/7202533/Minsky-Marvin-the-Society-of-Mind

define a cat
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Sep 21, 2013 - 12:55am PT
I'm not a Bible guy, but I'll give jgill's question a stab. I think that the feeling of connecting with something outside of yourself more powerful than you and the chemicals that experience releases into the brain must be similar to various stages of enlightenment and being born again (both are processes), while the differences in interpretation between the two, surely results from the discursive brain.

Usually these breakthrough experiences only happen after the discursive mind has been exhausted through lack of sleep, fasting, intellectual effort, the rational insolubility of a koan, the monotony of repetitious mantras or whatever else or combination of things works for the particular individual.One is then able to have an aha moment and an experience. This aha moment may be solving a koan, receiving the answer to a puzzle or problem,a spiritual or artistic insight, or simply turning one's life and problems over to a higher power than the discursive mind.

The common denominators seem to be getting the discursive mind out of the way, having a unique breakthrough of some sort, and realizing that the discursive mind representing the ego and will, is not the ultimate mind.

Then if one is not careful, one almost immediately falls back into the same discursive, judgemental mind, deciding that one is a spiritual genious, has found the ultimate truth and worst of all, needs to begin converting others to it etc. This form of the discursive mind seems to afflict just about everyone on the earth plane although there are rumors that the truly great ones have managed to avoid it.

Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Sep 21, 2013 - 01:06am PT
As for meditation being bad for you, I suspect that in most cases, the person had psychological problems to begin with. One thing that eastern teachers have had to learn in the West is the number of people here who are afflicted with mental problems and how to recognize them and steer them to psychologists and psychiatrists rather than meditation.

One of the best arguments against meditation being harmful is the number of Tibetan masters who did things like lock themselves in completely dark rooms for 3 years or say hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions of repetitious mantras, yet were able to function at an extraordinarily high level of efficiency and effectiveness when they came to the West.Stepping out of the middle ages armed only with their meditations and medieval theological educations, they have managed to establish self supporting universities, printing presses, and monastic establishments while rallying the political support of many western governments to their cause.
WBraun

climber
Sep 21, 2013 - 01:14am PT
truly great ones have managed to avoid it.

They are the maha-bhagavatas, nitya-siddhas.

They never fall down to the region of the material atmosphere, even though they sometimes come onto the material plane to execute the mission of the Lord.

They are ever liberated souls from birth and not ordinary living entities.

The western materialists rarely ever know anything about them.

The most famous of these the westerners know is Jesus Christ.

He's Saktyavesa Avatar .... ever liberated and never ever falls down.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Sep 21, 2013 - 01:25am PT
....and anyone who seriously tries to understand, hears and chants the verses of the Bhagavata Purana with devotion to Lord Vishnu, becomes completely liberated from material bondage and attains moksha or liberation from the cycle of births and deaths in the material world.[5]

WBraun . Do these dudes attain moksha?
WBraun

climber
Sep 21, 2013 - 01:27am PT
You will have find that answer for yourself.

Start your journey ......
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Sep 21, 2013 - 01:33am PT
I have the same curiosity for all religions.

I have read The Autobiography of a Yogi and various Vedic texts.The Bhagavad Gita of course.

Some close friends were intimately associated with the Self-Realization Fellowship
I've been to this place many times:

Credit: Ward Trotter

Once I thought I saw this individual floating through the garden without his feet touching the ground. I rubbed my eyes and then he was gone.

Of course I was just a spiritual tourist there...still.

Hey, let's go to India and mess around. If I only had the dough...

We can get there cheap in a row boat.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Sep 21, 2013 - 01:50am PT
Now Werner. I said train your mind by doing things.

Live life. Check out everything. If I had sat around praying away every day, it would have been much less rich. Even JL writes about one very narrow period of his life all of the time. He must have had some rich experiences.

Too bad we have to leave Never Never Land eventually, like Peter Pan.
WBraun

climber
Sep 21, 2013 - 01:57am PT
I said train your mind by doing things.

In order to do something successfully one must first control the mind.

Largo's treatise in this thread is rooted and based on that.

How will one run it out infinitely without controlling the mind .......
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Sep 21, 2013 - 02:01am PT
In order to do something successfully one must first control the mind.

Watch out there. You could go nuts.
paul roehl

Boulder climber
california
Sep 21, 2013 - 02:02am PT
"It might seem so, logically. However witnessing alone happens all the time: it's called seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, etc."

Error: Witnessing requires a witness. The great failure of eastern thought is the denial that the witness is always present.

To declare the absence of the self is to bathe in the delusion that the self can escape its necessary conclusion: the pain of annihilation.

Good luck.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Sep 21, 2013 - 02:06am PT
To declare the absence of the self is to bathe in the delusion that the self can escape its necessary conclusion: the pain of annihilation.

Paul, you are much like the Freud of death: instead of sexual repression being at the center of human life it is instead, for you, the chronic, obsessional fear of death, hey?

Well, if you have to put a phobia at the center of the cosmos it might as well be death. It sure is worthy of the distinction.
Knock yourself out Bro.
You can join all the other "one note johnnies" around here.
WBraun

climber
Sep 21, 2013 - 02:17am PT
Witnessing requires a witness.

Yes

The great failure of eastern thought is the denial that the witness is always present.

You have it wrong.

The witness is always present as paratma ......

damo62

Social climber
Brisbane
Sep 21, 2013 - 02:26am PT
Ward ..check out Ernest Becker
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