+ Reply to Thread
Page 147 of 148 FirstFirst 1 47 97 137 147 148 LastLast
Results 2,921 to 2,940 of 2941

Thread: The Higher Self and transcendent experience, including OBEs

  1. Link to Post #2921
    Canada Avalon Member Ernie Nemeth's Avatar
    Join Date
    25th January 2011
    Location
    Toronto
    Age
    64
    Posts
    5,172
    Thanks
    23,206
    Thanked 32,499 times in 4,900 posts

    Default Re: The Higher Self and transcendent experience, including OBEs

    I think the idea that God create an 'environment' in which all phenomena are manifest, the 'slot of space' you mention, is the misleading factor. I would agree that we co-create reality to some degree, but since our perception of reality and our knowledge are limited, the co-creation happens mostly beyond our awareness.

    The 'slot of space' is actually that 'slot of consciousness' in the mind of God that we each have been allotted. It is the miracle of life. Being the only miracle, it is the progenitor of miraculous events in perception that will catalyze a slow return to full integration with the godhead. That is to say. Perception gives way to Vision.

    Such Vision is attainable in momentary glimpses for any conscious entity who wills it by the very fact that vision is fundamental to consciousness. Perception, on the other hand, is a useful device employed by the self-deluded to substitute illusion for reality.

    To simplify: The difference between perception and vision is whose eyes are used to see with and whose mind is used to decipher what is seen.

    In the deepest reverie, it is the stillness that impresses the most. That massive, silent, surety of infinite completion and unbroken repose instills a sense of calm and serenity and belonging. A Be-longing...

    This is the longing of the questing heart, which is at the secret core of every heart: to get over the doing and get on with the being.

    This longing sets the universe in motion...
    Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water...Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. Bruce Lee

  2. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Ernie Nemeth For This Post:

    Harmony (31st October 2022), Johnnycomelately (30th October 2022), TraineeHuman (31st October 2022), Wind (30th October 2022)

  3. Link to Post #2922
    Avalon Member TraineeHuman's Avatar
    Join Date
    22nd March 2010
    Posts
    1,922
    Thanks
    4,526
    Thanked 11,873 times in 1,823 posts

    Default Re: The Higher Self and transcendent experience, including OBEs

    Well, Vedanta quite explicitly espouses an "it's all in the 'mind' of God" view very similar to yours, I believe, Ernie. That includes the view that really it's the one same consciousness operating in everything, in every creature and lifeform and whatever. So yes, the Divine consciousness then has a "slot" for every thing to fit into, within itself.

    To go further, one issue here, though, is that the mind of (the ordinary) man/woman is limited in the sense that he/she is taught by our education system to consider anything existing at a higher level than conceptual mind to be just an abstraction, in the sense of not something real. (The abstract artists would vehemently disagree, but they're a minority group.)

    Westerners usually seem to have no understanding that some things lying beyond ("above") the mental world are more real ("closer to God") than any mental idea or name/label/description of them. This takes us to the beginnings of the realm of the unsayable, but most unfortunately that seems too much for the average Westerner. We see unsayable things through "vision", just as you say, Ernie, and not through concept-based "perception".

    I think I would usually prefer to talk of something like "creativity" rather than "vision", Ernie, but otherwise I'm fully in agreement with you. Creativity is a higher mode of knowing than using the intellect, but one has to actually get engaged and immersed in it in order to understand it. "God", of course, is proverbially more steeped in it than any other being/consciousness/Force.
    Last edited by TraineeHuman; 31st October 2022 at 01:04.

  4. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to TraineeHuman For This Post:

    Ernie Nemeth (31st October 2022), Harmony (31st October 2022), Johnnycomelately (31st October 2022), Wind (31st October 2022)

  5. Link to Post #2923
    Avalon Member TraineeHuman's Avatar
    Join Date
    22nd March 2010
    Posts
    1,922
    Thanks
    4,526
    Thanked 11,873 times in 1,823 posts

    Default Re: The Higher Self and transcendent experience, including OBEs

    I'd like to offer a few brief reflections about what the nature of Divine Mind might be like.

    For starters, I consider it's important to think of Divine Mind as something much more like a verb (or a relation) than a noun.

    Secondly, some New Age people talk about Ascension. Well, I believe that a very profound and transcendental type of "Ascension" of our human mind -- with its rather blind instincts and vague conceptions and off-the-cuff intuitions -- is the first stage of what the Divine Mind is ultimately seeking to bring about. Even that is a transformation into something that right now seems almost utterly "other". For we -- our ordinary human mind-and-heart -- simply can't even fully imagine or envisage what perception with and through the Divine Mind would be like. The human mind-and-heart probably just aren't built that way. (Though at least we know it would be very blissful.) However, the human mind-and-heart can no doubt become transformed, and yearns to be transformed, into something else, I believe, something that isn't dazzled by the blinding bigness and infiniteness of the greater Light. Probably then that can grow into and be absorbed into the Divine, which at that point somehow in certain ways will completely transcend the distinction between individuality and totality.

    Mind, even the Divine Mind, is ultimately just a boat, just a journey to a state of complete consciousness simultaneously of all that is implied by both individuality and totality. Who knows? The Divine Mind may itself well not have reached that turning point yet -- and that's assuming that that's a point in time. But I strongly suspect, however, that we're dealing with something so wholistic here that it's a point in something that's more fundamental than time itself.

  6. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to TraineeHuman For This Post:

    Ernie Nemeth (1st November 2022), Harmony (1st November 2022), Orph (1st November 2022), Wind (1st November 2022)

  7. Link to Post #2924
    Avalon Member TraineeHuman's Avatar
    Join Date
    22nd March 2010
    Posts
    1,922
    Thanks
    4,526
    Thanked 11,873 times in 1,823 posts

    Default Re: The Higher Self and transcendent experience, including OBEs

    In all forms of meditation, the primary instruction is to attempt to (in effect, by one means or another) empty one's present conscious awareness of all, or nearly all, of its prima facie content. This inevitably makes room for a certain portion of the content of one's subconscious or unconscious mind to rise into the surface of conscious awareness, whether we then even notice that this has happened or not.

    This means that over time, the fruit of effective meditation becomes like reclaiming land from the sea. The conscious issues lessen in their significance for us as the deeper, formerly subconscious issues, which all along have driven so much of who we have believed we really are, take over even more and more of our behavior in everyday life -- except that now we are becoming ever more conscious of them.

    After a long period of time, glimpses of the soul, which at first largely lies "buried" deeper than the subconscious, gloriously start shining through. The soul is also what is ultimately the whole miraculous driving force towards allowing our subconscious content to become more "normalized" and gradually more integrated with our conscious awareness. Such integration means a gradual but ultimately huge reduction in the opposition between our conscious and our subconscious sides, plus a transformation of that inner conflict from something conflictual to something creative, plus into something that unfolds our true individuality. In "normal" life we had usually strived to keep that entire huge inner conflict subdued and repressed.

    In such ways as these, then, in the long run meditation means (effective) self-psychotherapy.

    This transcendent and transformative function of the soul doesn't operate only in the realm of tension of opposites but also all the time in the whole yearning within the self’s drive towards wholeness, where conscious and unconscious elements of the psyche are in a relationship of complementarity and compensation. Here, over time, the fruits of meditation mediate and facilitate a wonderful fusion between inner and outer experiences. This does require, however, both a strong willingness to face reality and at the same time a strong imagination. Together, these gradually enable the inner changes and the outer life in the world to be wonderfully assimilated to each other. Everyone yearns for such wholeness one day, such a life in both the inner and outer worlds where they are fully integrated with each other.
    Last edited by TraineeHuman; 4th November 2022 at 05:49.

  8. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to TraineeHuman For This Post:

    Harmony (4th November 2022), Orph (4th November 2022), Wind (4th November 2022)

  9. Link to Post #2925
    Avalon Member TraineeHuman's Avatar
    Join Date
    22nd March 2010
    Posts
    1,922
    Thanks
    4,526
    Thanked 11,873 times in 1,823 posts

    Default Re: The Higher Self and transcendent experience, including OBEs

    The Spirituality section of this Forum primarily presents, inevitably, of course, just ideas or thoughts or descriptions about spirituality, rather than any actual direct spiritual experiences. However, it's possible to use critical discussion or appropriate concepts to dispel various false illusions about the nature of reality (and of spirituality). At the same time, in deep spiritual experiences or insights we (or someone) may directly uncover major truths about the nature of reality. The descriptions of that may help others to also directly see what is truly there, for those who can look. You read the description, then you look and you see something you hadn't been able to before.

    In particular, such spiritually derived truths may provide at least some direct insights into exactly why the physical world as we conceive it to be turns out to be, in part, a flat-out illusion that we need to be liberated from. In other words, we can get a direct description or two of what causes the illusoriness. That is what I intend to very briefly present a little of here, but we need to have some (if not a lot of) background explaining done first.

    I tried to cover some small or scattered parts of this territory in the "Comparative philosophy" thread that I initiated a while ago in the Spirituality section. This time, I'd instead just like to briefly discuss aspects of the philosophy of A.N. Whitehead, and particularly to do so in terms of explaining some of the reasons why we ultimately need to be liberated from
    the physical. Whitehead's view was that reality is made out of "processes" (i.e., relations) (or also out of "events") but not out of objects as the Western-educated person in the street unfortunately believes the real world to be to this day.

    Since Whitehead formulated his philosophy, it has been conclusively proved that the subatomic world certainly isn't built out of objects (i.e., it's certainly quite unlike, say, the way a building is built out of bricks and whatever related objects and substances). Rather, it is indeed built out of quantum processes. (Think "processes equals verbs (or, better still, equals modes of being related), but certainly not nouns.") In this post I'm trying to eventually but briefly explain why, if we look hard enough and meticulously enough, we'll see the fabric of the world (the macro universe) is also in fact actually built out of processes, and not in fact ultimately out of any objects at all, -- at a macroscopic level, and not merely (as is now already well known) at the microscopic (subatomic) level of quantum phenomena! Indeed, in the quantum world, quarks, leptons, gauge bosons, etc. were proved to be always not localizable or distinguishable from the field in which they moved, and from which they appeared and disappeared. At least in physics, then, activity was not a byproduct of stability any more, but the other way around. The elemental was from now on conceived as an expression of the perturbed. "Substances", i.e. objects of any kind, on close inspection, turned out to "merely" be stabilized processes. Hence at the macro level also. The foundations on which Western thought (and most certainly scientism) was built were literally and metaphorically shaken, about a century ago.

    Another component of the "reality is made of objects" worldview (which has to go) is reductionism. Reductionism relies completely on expectations that it's possible to make sense of the whole purely by studying its parts. But quantum physics has already demonstrated in various ways that the reductionist program is utterly unattainable. The universe is just too
    holistic.

    Moreover, holistic interaction with the environment goes on absolutely everywhere in the universe, at all macroscopic levels also -- as Whitehead pointed out long ago. For instance, something more specific that Whitehead also pointed out here is the false assumption of what he called “simple location”. By this term he meant the assumption that the nature of things is exhausted by their intrinsic or internal properties (so you need to "save your soul" because the soul is supposedly quite internal). But, Whitehead pointed out, this notion doesn't take into account relations or dynamic or internal properties that denote “togetherness.” In a word, then, Whitehead pointed out that although things aren't totally isolated from all other things, reductionism often requires us to treat them as if they were all so isolated.

    It was also Whitehead who pointed out that the entire edifice of scientism and even of empiricism rests on the assumption that "simple location" is true. This includes the entire philosophical systems (or theories) of all the British empiricist philosophers (Locke, Hume, Berkeley, and so on). In turn, the validity of scientific measurements and experiments rests
    wholly on the assumption that whatever is common (i.e., agreed upon by all those empiricist philosophers) in those philosophers' accounts of what makes valid reality is true and complete. But Whitehead pointed out that that all rests on the assumption that "simple location" is true. Let me now explain what "simple location" means, and then I'll provide a
    simple knockdown argument which proves that "simple location" is absolutely a false notion. (Not that some of Whitehead's arguments against the validity of "simple location" weren't also altogether valid.) "Simple location" is essentially the notion that an object is real (it really exists) and is unique simply by virtue of ‭occupying a unique physical location at any given time.

    My refutation of this notion is as follows. From the theory (and the fact) of relativity, the position or location of any object is never absolutely well-defined (and hence never coherently describable in any absolute sense), nor can it ever be. Instead, it is always relative. (I've also got a second, somewhat similar simple refutation , that draws on Heisenberg's uncertainty principle instead of on the theory of relativity.)

    (I hope the subtlety of philosophical argument at this very abstract level doesn't seem unreal to some readers. It's about the very nature and basis of what constitutes reality itself.)

    One thing to also notice here is that all attachment to a physical body carries with it a certain degree of reductionist isolation, and therefore something quite false that keeps us trapped. If we want to be liberated from having to come back to the physical world, we'd better let go of seeing ourselves as an isolated being that therefore craves attachments when in reality interconnection is our very essence at a deeper level of consciousness, and without interconnection we could not have individuality.

    Turning now to questions about what survives death, we'd have to open up Whitehead's version of Pandora's box with regard to the gigantic philosophical question of what is identity. I don't mean at the superficial level of what is your name. You are not your name, and anyway we've already seen that your true identity is not that of an object but of something more like a process, which interconnects with possibly all other processes in "the" universe. ("The" universe is not isolatable or isolated either, hence my inverted commas.)

    The whole notion of identity (of what "I" means) is much more complex and problematical than it may at first appear to us to be. So I'd better leave that to a future post.

  10. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to TraineeHuman For This Post:

    Ernie Nemeth (22nd November 2022), Harmony (22nd November 2022), Orph (22nd November 2022), samildamach (23rd November 2022), Wind (27th November 2022)

  11. Link to Post #2926
    Canada Avalon Member Ernie Nemeth's Avatar
    Join Date
    25th January 2011
    Location
    Toronto
    Age
    64
    Posts
    5,172
    Thanks
    23,206
    Thanked 32,499 times in 4,900 posts

    Default Re: The Higher Self and transcendent experience, including OBEs

    Everything that stands alone, stands within an encompassing structure, whether that is a mind or a physical space.

    Consider the quanta, which itself denotes a 'quantity'. The quanta is akin to the semi-conductor of electronics, in that it quantifies reality before expressing it: there is a threshold that must be attained for change (action) to occur. Until the threshold is reached no prediction can be made, only approximations. Reality remains constant (stability) until a threshold is reached at which point a cascade of many alternate non-contiguous, incongruent, realities could manifest, but only one does. This process happens every instant, over and over.

    Absolutism is a problem in the world of the finite (materiality). Every detail of an object can be scrutinized and further reduced and further isolated to infinite specifics. So even as an object is being dissected, it only leaves behind more to dissect. And the dissection can be dissected again as well. There is no end to reductionism.

    There is no way to bridge the gap between the world of the material and the world of the immaterial, even though the two are intertwined and inseparable, until a threshold is reached. At that point, the gap is breached, a choice is made, and reality begins anew once more.
    Last edited by Ernie Nemeth; 22nd November 2022 at 20:18.
    Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water...Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. Bruce Lee

  12. The Following User Says Thank You to Ernie Nemeth For This Post:

    Harmony (23rd November 2022)

  13. Link to Post #2927
    Avalon Member TraineeHuman's Avatar
    Join Date
    22nd March 2010
    Posts
    1,922
    Thanks
    4,526
    Thanked 11,873 times in 1,823 posts

    Default Re: The Higher Self and transcendent experience, including OBEs

    It seems to me that talk of the infinite versus the finite is largely irrelevant to the topic here, Ernie. That topic being, how Whitehead's "processes" provide an account of what reality actually is greatly superior to any and every account of reality as being ultimately made up of "objects". I'm glad, though, that you described "qanta" (which I assume by the way are "objects", so in this discussion that would then pretty much be a no-no as a concept for Whitehead, and for me) as operating solely under the control of a "process".

    (I also didn't exactly understand why you believed you needed to state that reductionism needs to be rejected. I had already argued in my post that it absolutely needs to be rejected, though I'm glad you agree for whatever different reasons.)

    The concept of infinity is significant when one is considering an infinite number of objects of whatever kind. But not so much when one is considering processes (in Whitehead's sense). Many processes have no single "starting point", and many (most) are always in flux and so it isn't necessarily clear when we could say the process is or isn't perhaps undergoing infinitely many repetitions, or alterations. I suppose there are in principle infinitely many potential kinds of interrelations between different processes. But the whole emphasis on counting is a form of attempted objectification. The universe needs more emphasis on quality and fewer "bookkeepers" trying to exert forms of control over it.

    I don't agree with (or maybe I don't understand) why you believe that there is "the world of the material" and also "the world of the immaterial". I would prefer to say that there's one world (well, one mega-process), and the physical world is part of (if not contained in) that.

  14. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to TraineeHuman For This Post:

    Ernie Nemeth (23rd November 2022), Harmony (23rd November 2022)

  15. Link to Post #2928
    Canada Avalon Member Ernie Nemeth's Avatar
    Join Date
    25th January 2011
    Location
    Toronto
    Age
    64
    Posts
    5,172
    Thanks
    23,206
    Thanked 32,499 times in 4,900 posts

    Default Re: The Higher Self and transcendent experience, including OBEs

    Infinity versus the finite is at the crux of every philosophical discussion, if only inferred. The same could be said about science, mathematics, physics.

    It is the unsolvable riddle.

    I do not believe there is a material world, but I accept the reality my eyes report back to me. It is that acceptance that I war against.


    Sorry about the poor post. Got called away before I could edit the draft...

    In no way am I trying to derail your thread. I hope you understand that.
    Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water...Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. Bruce Lee

  16. The Following User Says Thank You to Ernie Nemeth For This Post:

    Harmony (6th December 2022)

  17. Link to Post #2929
    Avalon Member TraineeHuman's Avatar
    Join Date
    22nd March 2010
    Posts
    1,922
    Thanks
    4,526
    Thanked 11,873 times in 1,823 posts

    Default Re: The Higher Self and transcendent experience, including OBEs

    There's a major reason why I brought up Whitehead's philosophy that everything that's real is ultimately a process, and not a thing or an object. That notion that everything is ultimately a process is (or is at) the very deepest core of ancient Taoism and of Zen Buddhism, and is also very central to all of Buddhism. (Most scholars agree that Zen Buddhism would more correctly be called "Zen Taoism", by the way.)

    Many Alan Watts videos are somewhat packed full of major Taoist/Zen concepts of reality. In the teachings of Jesus, the meaning of, for example, the admoniition to "take no thought for tomorrow" refers in some way or other to having profound trust in life as a process.

    Let me turn to my response to some of Ernie's most recent assertions. Most professional philosophers today actually don't agree that explaining and understanding infinity is the biggest problem of philosophy at all, despite what Ernie apparently believes. It is however true that a good ten percent of professional philosophers are fans of what is known as the philosophy of Absolutes (and usually at the same time they are fans of other philosophical worldviews as well). An Absolute is anything that's infinite or that's the Universe or God. Absolutes have some very interesting qualities. For example, whatever you add to them simply gets absorbed into them, and becomes a part of them. I would say that Absolutes simply have some very interesting properties, rather than their existence (or apparent existence) being some kind of (supposedly) unsolved problem.

    Advaita Vedanta teaches that absolutely everything is already divine. The problem then is how has the absolute perfection and freedom of the Divine (think "the (Infinite") become so imperfectly expressed and so disguised as the ordinary reality we believe we see. Similarly, A Course In Miracles teaches that we and everything are already in heaven.

    Most mathematical systems or theories do involve a (so-called) infinite number of numbers or mathematical objects (which are "infinitely large" or "infinitely small"). In the twentieth century various famous figures in the world of mathematics were asked whether they believed they were dealing with "real infinity" in their work. The unanimous answer was no, and that in reality what mathematicians are dealing with are just marks on paper which in themselves are in many ways ultimately meaningless, but at any rate certainly aren't part of the meaning of what is (true) infinity in reality, other than in minor, mathematical ways, when it comes to metaphysical significance. In other words, mathematical "infinities", both gigantic and microscopic, are a certain type of controlled fantasy objects. I don't see any good reason to believe it's some sort of unsolved mystery, as Ernie perhaps seems to imply.

    Physicists use mathematics as in many ways their primary "language". They take it for granted that they can safely pretend there is an "infinite" supply of all types of objects, but they don't normally question whether this assumption makes sense or is valid. So, for most physicists an infinity of particles (or of whatever other entities) is just an unquestioned assumption, rather than a problem.

  18. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to TraineeHuman For This Post:

    Ernie Nemeth (7th December 2022), Harmony (6th December 2022), Orph (6th December 2022), Wind (6th December 2022)

  19. Link to Post #2930
    Canada Avalon Member Ernie Nemeth's Avatar
    Join Date
    25th January 2011
    Location
    Toronto
    Age
    64
    Posts
    5,172
    Thanks
    23,206
    Thanked 32,499 times in 4,900 posts

    Default Re: The Higher Self and transcendent experience, including OBEs

    Everything in our world as we normally perceive it is transient, including our own perception of self. Science tells us that even the most stable element decays, dissipates, and disappears given enough time.

    Our world is temporary.

    Yet in this temporary state we find ourselves in, we 'know' our souls live forever - even though we have no reference we can apply to make that assertion.


    This is because there is one thing that has no entropy that we are very familiar with - the mind. The mind as opposed to the brain that is, which, again, is only temporary.

    This mind has no limits. It is a fount of inspiration. It is capable of any calculation or expression. It has a language that is universal. It transcends understanding and leapfrogs to comprehension. In fact, the mind is transcendent in nature because it has no limits.

    All our experiences have occurred within this mind whether we believe there is a world 'out there' or not. All experience is sorted and made sense of by the mind, which then reports these conclusions to the brain. And since experience is cumulative, the mind contains the mechanism that converts the temporary into the permanent. More rightly put, the mind corrects the flawed perception of a self that believes it is not what it is in truth.

    This in turn proves that the temporary is an illusion created by a delusional being lost in self-deception.
    Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water...Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. Bruce Lee

  20. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Ernie Nemeth For This Post:

    Harmony (28th December 2022), TraineeHuman (26th December 2022), Wind (26th December 2022)

  21. Link to Post #2931
    Avalon Member TraineeHuman's Avatar
    Join Date
    22nd March 2010
    Posts
    1,922
    Thanks
    4,526
    Thanked 11,873 times in 1,823 posts

    Default Re: The Higher Self and transcendent experience, including OBEs

    It's a mistake for anyone to say the mind isn't important. The mind is one part of our being human, so we all need to face and embrace and integrate that fully. We are beings with many sides to us, and the ordinary mind is certainly one of those.

    On the other hand, my own and others' experience and understanding is that the mind can lead us (how wonderful!) to see that something much greater than it certainly does exist, and can indeed potentially become activated in us, permanently. And should be activated. Then you get the real Christmas, on an innermost level -- regardless of what may be happening externally around you.

    The mind can point to that something greater, but not make it real. (And by the way, this includes being greater than the part of the mind that we call "intuition".) The mind is "only" a finger pointing at the moon. However, that "moon" is the soul or spirit in its truest and most wonderful essence (and is ultimately the Divine). It is the real "us", yet the paradox is that in our present form we're usually (almost all of us) quite out of touch with it. Maybe, if we work hard at it, we'll get occasional flashes of its brilliance. And yet, we need to go much further than that. Becoming successful at this is the ultimate quest for us all, and burns deep inside us all.

    We need to somehow create the conditions inside us, in and through our pure consciousness, that are conducive to its (gradually) releasing itself and taking us over so that then, at last, we constantly see the real "us" turns out to have been this all along.

    This is a huge topic, but I'd like to think that's an introductory summary of the quest.

  22. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to TraineeHuman For This Post:

    Ernie Nemeth (27th December 2022), Harmony (28th December 2022), Orph (26th December 2022), Wind (26th December 2022)

  23. Link to Post #2932
    Avalon Member TraineeHuman's Avatar
    Join Date
    22nd March 2010
    Posts
    1,922
    Thanks
    4,526
    Thanked 11,873 times in 1,823 posts

    Default Re: The Higher Self and transcendent experience, including OBEs

    What is "mind" really? I suggest it's certainly quite fully beyond any scientific explanation. The proof that this must be so is simply that the scientific method always presupposes that there is an enquiring mind there and complete already from the start. Kind of, underlying all science: "Before we can understand about in the beginning, before the universe and time ever were, we first have to presuppose the independent potential full activity of some form of the questioning and exploring mind." That assumption alone makes mind something quite mysterious and "beyond". Also, it makes many questions to do with what mind is in the first place be undecidable questions, or in the "too hard" basket, or at best incompletely explained. At least, that's true as far as all the established ways of Western thought are concerned.

    In the twentieth century, two of the most famous and celebrated discoveries in mathematics and logic were, firstly, that the truth or falsehood of some mathematical statements is absolutely and necessarily undecidable, indeterminable; and secondly, that the nature or essence of what truth is is itself absolutely indefinable (conceptually). These discoveries prove that truth and mind can never be fully captured or described by computational means alone, i.e., not by any AI, ever. At that point, only pure (human) experience can lead the way forward.

    Considerations like these make it refreshing for us to seriously consider the accounts of mind coming from The Eastern meditation traditions and great teachers. These accounts are based on concrete experiences by masters of so many "higher" levels of mind and intuition, and not primarily based on theory or just intuition, but on higher reality, no less. And they are generally holistic, rather than regarding the mind as something that breaks reality up into pieces.

    And if human enquirers can't legitimately use the mind now and then to explore "everything" a little, then what's the point of being human?

  24. The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to TraineeHuman For This Post:

    Ernie Nemeth (30th December 2022), Harmony (28th December 2022), onevoice (28th December 2022), Orph (28th December 2022), Peace in Oz (29th December 2022), Wind (28th December 2022)

  25. Link to Post #2933
    Avalon Member TraineeHuman's Avatar
    Join Date
    22nd March 2010
    Posts
    1,922
    Thanks
    4,526
    Thanked 11,873 times in 1,823 posts

    Default Re: The Higher Self and transcendent experience, including OBEs

    Ernie, I would emphasize that we are souls, and we are not mind or minds. It's important not to confuse soul with mind.

    Certainly, though, the seeking of ever greater or better knowledge of higher reality is very much one of the core motivations and one of the core behind-the-scenes activities and characteristics of the human soul. It is that sublime thirst somewhere deep within us all. And it does lead to at least some level of true satisfaction for at least some of us -- should we be so lucky as to find it (permanently). Somehow, though, that soul knowledge -- or perhaps I should say that knowing, or that higher consciousness -- is only useful to us to the extent that we manage to integrate it into our ordinary life; at least, that is, into our own rather private experience of daily life. But always also, here, that has to be into our whole perception of what simply "being alive" means or feels like to us. Notice I did say "whole" and "total".

    The problem is, the mind continually and forever tries to construct its own little framework of understanding, its own rules of action, its own blinkers on itself. By doing so, it cuts itself off from the profound openness to penetrating into and "feasting on" the truth lying naturally deep within each individual situation and thing. The mind misses out. In this way the (thinking) mind is never at one with all there is. So it cannot act at a universal level like the soul does.

  26. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to TraineeHuman For This Post:

    Ernie Nemeth (30th December 2022), Harmony (30th December 2022), Orph (30th December 2022), Wind (30th December 2022)

  27. Link to Post #2934
    Canada Avalon Member Ernie Nemeth's Avatar
    Join Date
    25th January 2011
    Location
    Toronto
    Age
    64
    Posts
    5,172
    Thanks
    23,206
    Thanked 32,499 times in 4,900 posts

    Default Re: The Higher Self and transcendent experience, including OBEs

    To me, when I use the term 'mind', I am speaking of the soul. I use the term mind because the soul is the thing under scrutiny.

    Mind is other than 'brain', which is that 'thinking' organ that gets into all sorts of trouble because it often confuses itself as our identity. It is not the brain that emulates the soul, it is the mind that does.

    This is rather a sticking point, and it is where I veer away from the 'thinking' of most. 'Thinking' is a misnomer, in terms of its definition. Thinking is more like guessing, more like one's preference or bias. The mind does not think because it knows. The brain must think because it does not know. Thinking is linear. Knowing is global.

    The thing that knows created the thing that thinks. That is the order of creation. The Father has no father. The son is like the father, in that it can be a father itself.
    Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water...Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. Bruce Lee

  28. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Ernie Nemeth For This Post:

    Harmony (2nd January 2023), TraineeHuman (31st December 2022), Wind (31st December 2022)

  29. Link to Post #2935
    Avalon Member TraineeHuman's Avatar
    Join Date
    22nd March 2010
    Posts
    1,922
    Thanks
    4,526
    Thanked 11,873 times in 1,823 posts

    Default Re: The Higher Self and transcendent experience, including OBEs

    Well, in Yoga/Vedanta the soul is the highest grade of the mind in its purest and clearest form. So there's no clear dividing line between the soul and the mind, and yet the two are different though very interconnected. On the other hand, the beyond-mind state is of course the part we need to develop more and more strongly, and is certainly the most important part of the soul. Also, what you believe you are experiencing or having insight into or knowledge about is different according to what level of the soul-mind you are using to do so.

    And so, in Vedanta meditation is often seen as nothing but the overall purification of one's consciousness, i.e. of one's whole mind-to-soul continuum.

  30. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to TraineeHuman For This Post:

    Ernie Nemeth (1st January 2023), Harmony (2nd January 2023), Wind (31st December 2022)

  31. Link to Post #2936
    Canada Avalon Member Ernie Nemeth's Avatar
    Join Date
    25th January 2011
    Location
    Toronto
    Age
    64
    Posts
    5,172
    Thanks
    23,206
    Thanked 32,499 times in 4,900 posts

    Default Re: The Higher Self and transcendent experience, including OBEs

    When we use our brains to rationalize, we often must first short circuit the mind - ignore it. This is because the world of man is false. In order to even perceive the world as a human does one must first accept many half-truths and unformulated assumptions. The mind cannot function in such a state. Actually, the mind never ceases to function. Instead, the person must set it aside and willfully ignore it.

    This ignoring the mind in favor of the story of reality humans tell themselves requires active suppression. It is this active suppression that is eased during meditation. This easing of the suppression is the purification of one's consciousness. As the suppression is let go, the truth of the mind can express itself in a comprehensible manner.

    What is a mind? Is there more than one?
    Does not a mind denote consciousness? Do we share consciousness, or do we each have our own?
    If we share the characteristics of our Creator, does our Creator have a brain?

    These sorts of questions quickly answer themselves during meditation. The love, the stillness, the blazing light, eradicates the false human condition in a flash. Sadly, most often the experience only lasts as long as the meditation.
    Yet on occasion, the transformation is so profound that it lasts for minutes, hours, days!

    That is the transcendental part.
    Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water...Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. Bruce Lee

  32. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Ernie Nemeth For This Post:

    Harmony (2nd January 2023), TraineeHuman (2nd January 2023), Wind (2nd January 2023)

  33. Link to Post #2937
    Avalon Member TraineeHuman's Avatar
    Join Date
    22nd March 2010
    Posts
    1,922
    Thanks
    4,526
    Thanked 11,873 times in 1,823 posts

    Default Re: The Higher Self and transcendent experience, including OBEs

    Well, Ernie, I agree that meditation is based on in some way instantly and continually wiping away the conscious mind and emptying its contents. To me, though, talking of one's "story" seems to me like it could in some ways, possibly, sound too much like what the ego is all about. That needs to be sacrificed, forgotten.

    I also would say that higher kinds of "mind" come in only when one is "leaving no footprints behind". The latter involves staying profoundly true to one's own inner self, one's own original nature. Never mind what suits anyone else. I suppose that whatever one sees strictly and honestly just with one's own eyes does have that originality, and hence has one's original nature.

    Don't leave any footprints behind, and then there's no track of you, no story of "you" to bother about.

  34. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to TraineeHuman For This Post:

    Ernie Nemeth (3rd January 2023), Harmony (2nd January 2023), Wind (2nd January 2023)

  35. Link to Post #2938
    Canada Avalon Member Ernie Nemeth's Avatar
    Join Date
    25th January 2011
    Location
    Toronto
    Age
    64
    Posts
    5,172
    Thanks
    23,206
    Thanked 32,499 times in 4,900 posts

    Default Re: The Higher Self and transcendent experience, including OBEs

    There is so much we do not understand.

    If that statement can go undefended because it is obvious, then it might become evident that we were not designed to understand.

    Understanding a thing (or anything) presupposes many undetermined parameters to just be without scrutiny. It is this inscrutability that is our bane. The inscrutable is not understandable. Yet we seek to understand a myriad of things simultaneously, each with its own set of inscrutable qualities. And we think that by combining these 'things' we can circumvent their inscrutable parts and understand them.

    In meditation we do the same thing. The understanding, the rationalization, of the meditative state brings forth its inscrutable nature. In its purest form, meditation is passive. It happens to us. It is an experience. In the moment, it is a feeling, nothing more. As it happens, the state is interrupted by an inquiring brain that puts words to those feelings. But the words are not the experience. The words are the 'thing' that is happening, the feeling is the happening itself.

    They are separate and distinct from one another. They are also exclusive in that if the experience is described, the experience itself is suspended for that time. It is impossible to both have the experience and describe it at the same time.

    Somewhere along the way we have been convinced that thinking is natural. But if we were actually capable of this 'thing' called 'thinking' we would understand the 'things' we think, which we don't.


    In the so-called human world, in the state of perception, where we walk through a realm of indistinct 'things', we are consumed by a need to understand so we can take appropriate action. And whether we act or react we merely guess at what motivates us really.

    Yet when we drop the act, when we stop 'thinking', we can know what it means to be human.

    We cannot ever understand it because the words are too slow, too small, and there are not enough of them to ever explain anything, not completely. Until we drop the pretense of 'thinking', of acting as if properly informed, we can never realize our true nature.

    If any were ever to truly suspend their thinking in a meditative state, even for a split second, a mere pico-second, they would cease to be perceivable to the rest of us.

    For once one's true nature is revealed to them in a moment of pure experience, the persona, the ego, the little self alone and vulnerable, is revealed as meaningless and dissolves into the unreality it always was.

    If 'thinking' is suspended, and the need to understand recognized as a false premise, one becomes ready to comprehend and know. That knowledge is provided instantaneously in the meditative state.


    There is so much we don't understand because in truth we don't stand under it, but all is available to any who wish it sincerely.
    Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water...Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. Bruce Lee

  36. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Ernie Nemeth For This Post:

    Harmony (8th January 2023), TraineeHuman (8th January 2023), Wind (7th January 2023)

  37. Link to Post #2939
    Avalon Member TraineeHuman's Avatar
    Join Date
    22nd March 2010
    Posts
    1,922
    Thanks
    4,526
    Thanked 11,873 times in 1,823 posts

    Default Re: The Higher Self and transcendent experience, including OBEs

    Well, Ernie, I would say understanding (and insight), in its fullest sense, is such a broad and fundamental topic, it defies being properly covered by any discussion or book. In traditional Eastern thought and culture, it was considered the supreme virtue. And not "intellectual understanding" such as what you seem to be largely using the word "understanding" to stand for throughout your post. In Western culture, of course, "love" was traditionally touted as the supreme virtue, but hypocritically so (usually). Today the worldwide culture is heavily influenced by "information gathering" and various related "virtues". Not that convenience and efficiency aren't in themselves practically useful things.

    So, then, in our age, I believe one major and unavoidable challenge for spirituality is to develop powerful, categorical ways of "silencing (turning down the "volume" knob in) the thinking mind" that then open the doors for us to go well beyond, or very radically reinterpret, what was achieved in the traditional spirituality of the past. It involves the safe and permanent dismantling of the mind's filter. This amounts to achieving some kind of genuine ascension of the entire human consciousness, no less -- quite beyond anything that many psychics etc seem to be expecting. Somehow, quite a few of us need to take the leap "upwards" into a level where our new-type minds operate very accurately on pure intuition. And I don't mean the skill of making accurate blind guesses like many "New Age" psychic readers do. I mean the type of "mind" that operates daily through things like inspiration that's all coming out of the highest (the buddhic) levels of mind. This will do away with the need for any lower levels of mind to even exist at all. The question is, how are we going to get there -- or when?
    Above all, always refuse to cut your life in two: nonduality/duality, matter/Spirit, etc
    A mind which is not crippled by memory has real freedom. ~ J. Krishnamurti
    (True, deep) stillness is the way.

  38. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to TraineeHuman For This Post:

    Ernie Nemeth (8th January 2023), Harmony (8th January 2023), Wind (8th January 2023)

  39. Link to Post #2940
    Avalon Member TraineeHuman's Avatar
    Join Date
    22nd March 2010
    Posts
    1,922
    Thanks
    4,526
    Thanked 11,873 times in 1,823 posts

    Default Re: The Higher Self and transcendent experience, including OBEs

    The more we can learn to see ourselves as deeply being a process rather than a desire-dominated self, or as being naturally quite caught up in such a giant process, the closer we (our soul) will be to complete liberation from bondage.

    That, at least, is absolutely the position that's taken by Vedanta / Yoga and also by Zen and the non-magical variety of Taoism, and by Mahayana Buddhism.

    That great process is the Divine Big Mind in play, and our desires become transformed into individualized expressions of its all-encompassing will.

    This is why I find Whitehead's philosophy of processes (of reality as being all made out of processes) interesting.

  40. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to TraineeHuman For This Post:

    Ernie Nemeth (27th January 2023), Harmony (27th January 2023), Orph (27th January 2023), Wind (27th January 2023)

+ Reply to Thread
Page 147 of 148 FirstFirst 1 47 97 137 147 148 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts