Speculation on the Nature of Reality

#1
Hello Everyone :)

Really don't know how to even begin to contextualise the following post. Have an hour or so free, so wanted to jot down some thoughts that have been percolating inside my head for quite a while now without any real outward expression....for my own benefit more than others, sometimes it helps to clarify one's own thoughts by writing them down; I really don't have anyone to discuss these things with in "real life" or even online, the things that possess my thoughts almost exclusively. Don't even know if there is a place for this online/in public, but I've noticed a lot of posters on this site have knowledge & awareness of a lot of the concepts, information, authors and set of experiences the following speculations are a kind of "synthesis" of....

My speculation is in regards to the ultimate nature of reality and it's relation to the human experience.

First of all I will mention, due to where I am posting this, that I personally have found the materialist reductionist / atheist / debunker disciplines approach, as they currently stand, to the phenomena I am taking into consideration here, as utterly irrelevant, passé, an out-dated dinosaur etc. Obviously many will think this comment is the height of woo woo absurdity. As somebody who genuinely believes they have no bias to approaches or outcomes, and as somebody who has found that I generally have more awareness of the actual science, data, literature, history etc of these so-called "sceptical" approaches than many if not most of those who loudly promote or believe the "woo woo" approach to any mysterious aspects of the universe, consciousness & the full spectrum of human experience - I really have no concern, interest or regard for that whole mind-set. So onwards....

Basically, after a deep & intensive immersion in these questions for 25+ years, I believe the following are the 3 most likely scenarios for the ultimate nature of reality and it's connection to the human experience:

1) We are living in a completely un-"mysterious" mechanical reality, initiated & maintained by completely un-intelligent, random & mechanistic processes, and that the entire universe, human consciousness & the full range of human experience will one day be fully explained within this framework. However, contrary to some popular beliefs, we are nowhere even remotely close to such an explanation with our current sciences & understanding. If this case is true, I believe we are at least several centuries short of the revolutions and advances within the sciences for them to adequately explain these phenomena. When I state several centuries of evolution in scientific thought, I fully understand that with our current incredible, exponential rate of scientific advancement, that this is an extremely long estimate - this reflects just how far I believe we currently are from such mechanistic, scientific "explanations"! Personally, of the 3 scenarious I present, I believe this is the most unlikely possibility. The range of phenomena I am aware of, and have experienced, alongside my knowledge of science makes this view of reality, at least currently, completely untenable for me.

2) For the vast majority of my investigations into the nature of reality, I have come at it from a religious, mystical, theological & philosophical approach. I am very familiar with most religious and mystical teachings, to quite a substantial depth, as well as their historical, cultural, linguistic context, and their evolution through time. I have also had many thousands of hours of meditation and other "spiritual" practices, along with an endless & uncategorisable variety of "spiritual" experiences, awakenings, insights, ecstasies, visions etc.

Although this is the area I have most in-depth knowledge & understanding of, for the last several years I have kind of lost interest in this approach, as I feel no current system of mystical theology sufficiently explains the full spectrum of human experiences possible. In view of this, I will make this scenario exponentially briefer than it could have been.

The "theology" I would propose as most likely, in this possible scenario, is that this physical universe & the human experience is a universe created as a kind of school or learning area for individualised aspects of being, or "souls" (perhaps something akin to what Thomas Campbell suggests in his TOE book, or as Seth spoke unto Jane Roberts :)

In this perspective, "Reality" is composed of almost infinite multiple mini-realities or universes on a variety of levels, each with their own teaching "purpose".

Contrary to what most mystical teachings state, it does not seem as if in the human experience we are meant to "know" the grander reality, as that would obviate the entire purpose of physical reality. Ie., if we knew our "real" identity in the grander reality, then the "game" down here would no longer work, and no "lessons" would be learnt. Like enjoying any good movie, we must suspend dis-belief, so we must suspend dis-belief in our current experience of physical reality, ultimately illusory though it may be.

A great of deal of non-religious or non-theologically based "mystical" experiences support this idea, such as the NDE narrative (at least in the last century), mediumship, channeling, the experience of mystics who are entirely unconnected or tainted by a priori mystical, religous, spiritual or cultural beliefs & concepts etc.

The information we have available also suggests, if this scenario is true, that we actively choose to "come here", our (usually) challenging (if not down-right horrific) life circumstances, are to learn and to add to the vast database (God, Oversoul etc) of knowledge & experience. This universe will clearly not be one of the more pleasant "schools" of experience :(

I believe the old concepts of "forced" re-incarnation, found in Hinduism, Buddhism, some schools of Gnosticism, and many related mystical schools, is based on a variety of influences through time, such as misinterpreted "inner experiences/visions" (which I have also experienced), cultural influence, religous doctrine & control, human misunderstanding & fears, conceptual & linguistic evolution of ideas etc etc. However, I really do not feel any kind of genuine mystical experience really supports this idea, especially if it is a matured experience. Even in the writings of these fear-based religions, such as Buddhism, the epitome of these teachings clearly infer that this is ultimately correct, and the narrow fearful view of reincarnation is a human construct.

The main lesson we are here to learn, I suggest, if this scenario is true, is to love one another, and be kind, despite the horrors, abuses, hatred etc we humans like to level at each other...... NOT to escape to some imagined heaven of eternal bliss, or Nirvana etc.

This is a scenario which to fully explain & support with copious reference could take dozens of volumes, but I will leave it here, as I am most currently interested & stimulated by scenario 3, which I think at least has some "truth" to it - though, actually, scenario 3 can co-exist with scenario 2 in many ways, perhaps as one particular dimension of scenario 2, as in the mechanics of the demi-urge of Gnostics, or the "Kal" of Indian mysticism, who would be the regulator or caretaker of this universe...but this would be difficult, if not impossible, to ascertain, as there is literally nothing in our purview which could not be manipulated by this very "force", including our very belief in something "beyond" it.....
 
#2
(cont due to word limits)

3) This is the scenario which has most gripped me over the past 5 or so years, due to a variety of influences. My "mystical" experience has been heavily drawn into this area, but I don't think it would be of any use to describe that, and would be very difficult to describe anyway. But there are several authors whose ideas have become increasingly pertinent to me; Jaques Vallee, George Hansen's concept of the "Trickster" archetype & John Keel, and those of their ilk. This, alongside the most recent ideas in theoretical physics, and the idea we live in a simulated virtual reality (I know some people feel this is another fad in thought reflecting our current age, which it may well be, but it is a useful metaphor at the very least, and at the cutting edge of our current understanding. Besides, whoever said that both cultural & scientific evolution isn't towards a more accurate understanding of reality as a whole? :)


Basically, the idea is that ALL aspects of the supernatural, mystical, other-worldly, anomalous, visionary, including ALL aspects of NDEs, mediumship, channelling, visionary/spiritual experiences, UFO experiences, experience & evidence suggestive of reincarnation etc, and the narrative they either directly impart or at least suggest to us, is actually a vast manipulation/control mechanism. Whether that be a non-sentient, software-like control, or an intelligent demi-urge like control, is, imo, complete undeterminable from our position, as all mystical & visionary experience would be part of that control mechanism.

What is the evidence for this scenario? It is abundant, and scattered throughout the entire history of mankind.

Every single kind of these "paranormal" visionary experiences has hugely & directly influenced the course of history, in ways many people (especially today's so-called "sceptics" and atheists) have no idea of.

Nearly every single religious leader (with the obvious influence over mankind & human destiny), every single war, ever single radical change in philosophy AND SCIENCE (Einstein, Newton, Darwin, Giordano Bruno etc etc) , technology etc has been heavily influenced, if not directly initiated by some kind of visionary experience (which are, actually, very similar in core structures & symbolism). Some people even claim, convincingly, it was the use of psychedelic, visionary plants which caused the great leap in our consciousness evolution some 100-200 thousand years ago, something science currently doesn't really understand how it occured (read Paul Deveraux's book on pyschedelic history).

These experiences have, clearly, directly influenced (manipulated?) the entire course of human history and evolution.

Traditionally, these experiences are interpreted within the cultural climate the person having them is in (ie, Christian, Hindu or Buddhist mythology etc, modern new-age ideals, such as modern NDEs, alien mythology, fairy/djinn mythology, scientific paradigms, political idealogy etc, such as the Nazis or the reformation movement etc).

The problem is, if we take any of these narratives literally, then we are faced with unresolvable absurd contradictions. As this forum has a lot of discussion around NDEs, take that as an excellent example. The fact is, the narrative journey of our souls apparently changes dependant on our location, culture & era, as well as personal idiosyncrasies. The meaning of life as deduced from an NDE narrative from an Indian in 100AD is apparently different to an NDE experienced by a Westerner in 2000AD?. Even within the same culture/religions, the narrative meaning of NDEs changes from century to century, even decade to decade with slight variations/evolutions (read Carol Zaleski's excellent book I forget the name of, for example). The same is also true of all other mystical & spiritual practices, meditation "stages" and visions etc.

Perhaps, as (the fantastic) Jaques Vallee suggests in one of his books (from memory, so will be incorrect), these visionary experiences are like a thermostat, something programmed into reality to guide, control or manipulate human consciousness& evolution? Not too cold, not too hot...

Does this tie in with the universe as information, and as simulated reality? I believe so.

http://www.simulation-argument.com/

Is it animate (demi-urge?) or inanimate (software?) ? Who knows? :)

I've run out of time, so much more I wanted to speculate & expand on!

Thanks if anyone's managed to trawl through this, I would genuinely appreciate any further insights or info anyone here may have, I know a lot y'all are a very knowledgeable bunch. :)
I'll leave with this:

"God may be a crackpot"

John Keel, The Eighth Tower
 
#4
I often muse about what might lie behind my reality... I have lots of ideas... I'm sure I will have lots more...

I often think back to my Spiritually Transformative Event, during which I had a sudden burst of emotion about my earthly life, only to be told internally that nothing that happens there matters, all that matters was that I return. I've come across just a handful of experiences with that message. I know this message applies to me in the present, but I hope it might apply on some other level too.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#5
I want to write more but let me throw out something from a chat with a friend in which I described some "high strangeness" that happened to me:

Once was heartbroken after a breakup, and while working with spreadsheets for a job the girl's name comes up at the top of the spreadsheet. The name is pretty rare in the West - it's "Muska" - so this hit me at the worst time when I still had lots of what the kids call "feels". :-P

So that's part of the synchronicity. I save the spreadsheet and keep it as a reminder of the weird occurrence. Some years later I'm noticing the word Ouroboros seems to come up as a connection over and over again, representing varied interests of mine from the Hand of Fate to Cyclical Time to Gnosticism. Stories in which I see it appear relate to my life in weird ways in a PKDick type of way.

I eventually read something about how synchroncities connect with the idea that we're in a computer simulation of sorts. I'd been thinking of reality as an Idealistic dream for awhile and the notion hits me that Dream & Simulation could be two ways of describing reality. Thinking back to the spreadsheet I search for the girl's name and along with the file a PDF comes up.

The PDF is for Reve Ouroboros, the rpg where everything in the PCs' existence is part of dragons dreaming up creation. Her name is one of the islands mentioned in the game book. I'd bought the rule book at some point and forgotten about it.
 
#6
In my view there must be all sorts of ways to line things up to make sense of reality, I'm not convinced that the way I was brought up to understand the world is the best way.

One thing I now feel quite strongly about, is that it seems that if I keep asking questions about reality, and simply follow the clues where ever they lead, no matter how insurmountable the problem initially looks, eventually I come into possession of a reasonable looking answer.

The more I've searched, the more answers I've found, and the more my views have changed. Now when I look back at things I had already seen in the past - a book, a film etc. I often understand them with new insight, and I often notice (quite strangely) that the signposts appear to have been there all along. Indeed, sometimes I find a series of signposts that are so in my face, that I'm left almost speechless...

It sometimes seems to me that knowing the question, is really the hardest part. Once you have the question and start searching for the answer, it eventually just appears, if you're willing to let go and just follow the clues.

Now I'm not sure whether or not there is something bigger than me out there... but here is something that happened to me 2-3 years ago, which made me think about this question...

A great big bumble bee had got caught in one of our warehouses, and no matter what we tried it seemed unable to find it's way out. During the course of the day it got slower and slower, until that evening as I walked the warehouse just before locking up, I came upon that bumble bee. It was slowly crawling along the floor, and seemed unable to find the energy to fly away when I approached.

Some emotion seemed to rise up inside of me, and I considered that I did not want to leave the warehouse without trying to help that bee. I realized that it would be trivial for me to mix up a some sugar with a little water, and try and get it to feed, and I felt willing to give the bee a little of my time. I knew that the bee could no longer help itself, and that what was an insurmountable problem for the bee, which would certainly lead to it's death, was easily within in my power to solve. It would only mean that I would get home 15 minutes later than usual, but without my help, the bee would die.

So I mixed up the sugar and water solution, went back to the bee, got down on my hands an knees and proceeded to place a small droplet of solution on the floor right in front of its head, which it found, and started to drink. Eventually I had created a small trail of drops as each time the bee moved forward a little to drink. I left the bee drinking, and the next morning was pleased to discover the bee buzzing around the warehouse again, this time at high speed, as if on rocket fuel. I don't know whether it got out, but I never saw it again.

I suppose the bee would have no concept of me, or how I was helping it. It simply found what it needed right in it's path, if it was willing to look for it, and felt better and somewhat recovered if it did. As for myself, I realised that the process of helping the bee, had in some way, also been about helping me.

If there is something bigger out there, I guess the relationship between me and it, might be a little like the relationship between the bee and me. Signposts and help for me, if I'm only willing to recognize and follow them, and absolutely no way of truly understanding the nature of that help.​

Anyway, it was a nice little experience...
 
#7
Thanks for your comments, some replies below....total noob with this quoting system, so apologies in advance for the formatting issues should they occur!

I think I would lean more toward this:
Hi Chuck. BATGP is actually on my relatively select list of bookmarks, which I check for updates every week. Guess it says more about me, where I am now, that I've only listened to 1 or 2 podcasts (can't remember which....oh yeah, Raz Azam or something, re his excellent DMT/Ayahuasca movie was one...) over the last year or so!

I first looked into A H Almaas' "Diamond Approach" some 10+ years ago, as it was being discussed in depth on some forum I can't for the life of me evem remotely remember the name of. I vaguely recall some unpleasant insinuations were thrown about about him and the organisation, but as we all know things written on the internet aren't neccessarily accurate. I never really got into it though. After reading your post, I sat down with a cup of tea and watched the whole video - thanks for linking it :)

Can you be a bit more specific in what regards you would lean towards that view, in relation to my post please?

I have to say it was a great interview, and he really has quite an interesting way of putting things. Though I would add, his insights are kind of the natural off-shoot of a "non-dual awakening", and as such are not really insights I'm not entirely familiar with, intimately :) Basically, he's expressing ideas I was spontaneously coming up with several years ago, so they are taken into account in my speculations above.

I guess my post above is a kind of different perspective, more about the mechanics of our universe & the human experience, in relation to the variety of "mystical" or "paranormal" phemomena.

That we are one "Being", infinitely dividing itself through a variety of mechanisms to create the illusion of seperation or duality, so that Being can experience itself, make known what is un-knowable etc ("Absolute Being") is standard non-dual realisation fare! That all the different ways & traditions of expressing "Ultimate Realisation" or "Enlightenment" (emptiness of Buddhism, Being of Hinduism etc) are different ways of expressing some "perennial truth" or reality is also a well known idea, but I would think the closer and more intimate you become with the details & narrative of these traditions, you realise there may actually be vast distances betweem them? That it is, possibly, some kind of Cosmic Joke is certainely worth pondering, imo.

Re. your comment on the Aardema thread, and your question about astral projection experiences, I will come back to either tomorrow or Monday if that's okay, got a busy Saturday planned, so trying to they this one reply out as quick as I can! :)

Hi Max_B - First of all, your story of the bumble bee is a beautiful & meaning full one. I read it as the kind of powerful, mind-set changing anecdote that somebody like Milton Erickson would use to affect changes in a person, a very powerful metaphor indeed, all the more so that it is a true story. Lovely, thank you so much for sharing :)

Could you please share your STE (assuming that was a different experience?), or direct me to another post where you already have? Many thanks!

Hi Sciborg_S_Patel - Thanks for sharing your wonderful synchronicity, I really "get it", and brought up all kinds of similar genres of synchronicity I've had, almost raising the hairs on the back because I know what it must have been like for you. It's a strange world isn't it!

I have to say here, I really enjoy your posts - and it is probably yourself, your posts, and your tagline "Trickster makes this World" which made me post my OP on this forum. There really isn't many people out there who kind of get where I'm coming from here, as I've obviously deviated pretty wildly from the common approach to these things (blindly accepting the narrative theology from whatever type of mystical/spirtual experience they put stock in, be it religious, meditational, NDEs, mediumship or whatever, despite how many outrageously absurd components they have, especially when looked at as single body of evidence/data :). Anyway, thanks, I enjoy reading all your links!

Gotta go, thanks you all!
 
#8
Hi Max_B - First of all, your story of the bumble bee is a beautiful & meaning full one. I read it as the kind of powerful, mind-set changing anecdote that somebody like Milton Erickson would use to affect changes in a person, a very powerful metaphor indeed, all the more so that it is a true story. Lovely, thank you so much for sharing :)

Could you please share your STE (assuming that was a different experience?), or direct me to another post where you already have? Many thanks!
I put in on OBERF a few years ago... it's a very dry description, it doesn't do the experience any justice at all...

http://www.oberf.org/max_b_dream.htm

I can't remember whether this STE experience occurred before, or after my OBE, but they would be around the same time, perhaps months apart.
 
C

chuck.drake

#9
Yes. I must confess I had only skimmed your two long posts the first time. Now it is Saturday and I have sat down and read them properly.

First about Almaas. I don't know how I began reading his stuff this last winter. Probably someone mentioned him here on the forum. I like Almaas because when you explore his larger Diamond Approach schema he deeply integrates psychology, mainly ego psychology I guess it is called, with a spiritual approach. That appealed to me. His writing, like his speaking, manages to be both clear and enlightening. He is an intelligent guy. I don't really care about the indiscretions of so-called spiritual leaders, whether the rumor be true or not. Kornfield deals with that neatly enough in "A Path With Heart." Basically there are no completely enlightened folks. Your bowling instructor may have a penchant for german shepherd dogs, but that doesn't invalidate his skills on the alleys. I have just this week picked up a used copy of "Spacecrusier Inquiry" and have begun reading it. It covers the practical application of the Diamond Method--the means and methods of exploration, I am guessing. I had previously read his conceptual stuff on the Diamond Approach. I will likely read Almaas for a while more and then move on. Like most of us here, I get keenly interested in something, devour it and then--on to the next. But I like him, especially his willingness to accept all other schools as relevant.

That was a lot of wind about very little. I guess I just wanted to explain that Almaas isn't my life long "guru"--just a current interest.

I'll try to talk through some of my thoughts on the nature of reality now. I understand your comment that Almaas is not really approaching the topic from the same framework as you are in this thread. At right about the two hour mark in the video he did comment really briefly on his work with students who have died and about his plan to meet with various teachers he respects after he passes on. I found that interesting. But that was about as concrete as it got. The rest as you say was from the 100K foot level.

Probably someone like Almaas may speculate about the more mundane mechanics beyond the nature of reality over a beer, but would be loathe to make those kinds of ideas public because they are speculation at best.

That is partly my issue with these exercises as well. It may be entertaining to speculate about the mechanics behind the nature of reality, but my guess is that the answers are unknowable from within our current understanding within this physical reality. Our ability to know could well be limited, especially by language and our embeddedness in a physical space/time continuum.

Aside from our possible inability to accurately conceptualize the true nature of the mechanics of reality, there may well be drawbacks to developing hard and fast intellectual conceptions about the mechanics of reality. It may be the case that some part of our consciousness survives physical death. Also consider the ample "evidence" from any number of different experiences or accounts from non-physical reality that non-physical reality is quite plastic in nature and in many ways intention driven. Consider in this light the often repeated contemporary scenario that after death we attend schools for spiritual learning. Or consider the many accounts of territories of the non-physical existing as belief system locations--Summerland, for instance.

My point here is related to the old adage-be careful what you wish for. But in this case it can be restated as be careful what you conceptualize. I do understand that you are aiming at an understanding of the mechanics of reality that encompasses physical as well as non-physical realities. But if the true nature of this physical reality is in fact unknowable from our current immersion in the time/space continuum, it may also be quite likely that if some part of consciousness survives physical death that we carry with us at least some, if not many of our intellectual conceptions across the veil.

So while I maintain a healthy curiosity about the many interesting mysteries that occur here in this physical reality, I tend lately to rather dwell in a general appreciation of the mystery rather than in exercises of categorization and synthesis.

My practical focus is in actively identifying and destroying my conceptions about the nature of reality rather than trying to construct new ones, be they available for examination in my conscious intellect or only accessible though non-physical states. My gut feeling tells me that some part or all of consciousness survives the decay of the human body. Of that I will never be 100% convinced I don't believe. But if I had my druthers I would cross that veil free of conception and ready to experience the true nature of that reality in a form free from pre-conceived notions about the mechanics behind this world or the next.

So while I think it is entertaining to contemplate the mechanics behind the true nature of reality, I suppose when taken to a level of certainty it can possibly hamper one's true experience of that reality. Obviously what I have written here has encoded within it a conceptualization of the framework of reality as well, and likely not an especially deep one at that.
 
C

chuck.drake

#10
I want to talk a little more about conceptualization and talk about some related things that have been rattling around inside my head.

Related thing number one:
First of all, I want to talk a little bit about a Reddit user who, it appears, is almost a kind of genius lucid dreamer. For reference the user is Johnnyhavoc2 if anyone wants to have a look at his postings. After a couple decades of concentration and visualization exercises, combined with close observation of various dream states, this guy claims complete mastery over the dream state. He claims to be able to become lucid in dreams at will. He constructs dream realms, complete with narration, populated with seemingly autonomous dream characters. He claims to be able to weave basically any story that he fancies throughout various settings within a minutely detailed dream realm he has constructed over time. He can reenter the same dream and pick up a storyline, basically extending dream scenarios over many sessions over the course of years. As well, he claims an understanding and mastery of a kind of mind palace facility for committing enormous amounts of data to memory. He uses this skill to essentially store complete memories of his dreams.

So in that instance you have basically a dream savant. Here is someone who has mastered some corner of the non-physical dream realm. His experiences there are limited only by his imagination, which one assumes is limited by his intelligence combined with his level of creativity and his exposure to whatever media, culture and other physical experiences that have formed the totality of his being.

Related thing number two:
I had a hypnotic past life regression with Carol Bowman some time ago, maybe two years now. Within a fairly shallow suggestive trance state I experienced what she described as a classic past life regression experience. Just typing this sends the jitters into my chest cavity like the feeling when you are really high on weed. Almost immediately after entering the light trance I began to recall this very intense past life instance that was logically and emotionally pitch perfect with my current lifetime. The emotional outpouring and catharsis are unmatched so far in my life.

Related thing number three:
This post from Mike Clelland at Hidden Experience stuck with me. I have a lot of respect for Mike and I think he has worked hard to bring some light to the abduction phenomena. But reading this post of his, I was struck by how he is relating what is in reality a very basic "out of body" experience, but he is wrapping it completely within his conception of the UFO alien abduction schema. This in no way reflects on the amazing synchronistic experiences that Mike has related over the years. But this is a textbook case of someone wrapping what is a very basic human experience, like the OBE, in a schematic conceptual wrapper.

I if were somehow able to make a claylike substance from the above examples, I could easily form experiences that would encompass much of what we find in NDEs and nearly all content derived from hypnotic regressions whether past life, between life or encounter related.

Keep in mind that I am not declaring that these experiences are fictional. I can't know that. But instead I am suggesting that the human mind is both enormously powerful and apparently driven to fit experiences into conceptual frameworks.

I'm not denying the anomalous. I'm just really wary of attributing meaning to it through categorization and synthesis.
 
#11
Hi Max_B - thanks for sharing that, a fascinating read! Don't worry, ALL descriptions are dry compared to the experience itself :) I understand...not sure if you're aware from my first post here, but I used to follow a mystical yogic group whose main purpose is to contact & merge with that "Sound" you heard, until it carries you through all the realms to the "Highest Heaven" or "Godhead", basically generated consciously induced and controlled NDEs.

This "sound" is heard by many NDErs as opening up realms/portals into deeper dimensions (such as Eben Alexander), Psychedelic drug users (is very common amongst DMT users, apparently), read Terence McKenna's classic book (Food of the Gods?) which mentions his experience with sound, in fact some kind of sound as portal is related in almost all types of "paranormal" experience, such as the Virgin Mary apparations, UFOs etc etc.

It is possible to meditate on this sound, which can make all kinds of weird things start happening.....what it all means, I suspect nobody really knows.....:)

Hi Chuck - excellent thoughts, and I tend to agree with most of them. What's hard with internet communications is, all subtlety of nuance in both meaning, and the being of the communicator, tends to be lost.

Quick check list - Kornfield's "From the Ecstasy to the Laundry" is one of my favourite ever books, and I understand about the fallibility of humans, initmately so :). "A Path With Heart" has been sat on my bookshelf for several years waiting to be read! I've been following, meeting, reading up on gurus & mystics since a very young age, and understand the full range of potential problems/abuses with them, and how that may or may not relate to their teachings....

Mike Clelland and his possible predeliction for the abduction narrative rather than the OBE narrative - again, HiddenExperience is on my select list of favourites, and I've been following him for several years and heard almost all his podcast - clearly our interests converge :) As for my perspective, I was speculating (to myself) the alien abduction narrative was actually the lucid dream/OBE experience misinterpreted - 20 years ago when I was not aware of anyone else saying that.....I believe nowadays that's quite a common perspective.

What I'm saying here is, I am not unfamiliar with what you're saying, and your perspective.

I spent several years on a forum, starting about 14 years ago, banging on & on about non-conceptualisation and just remaining as "Being"...years and years of it, after my "non-dual realisation" and associated "kundalini awakening". This understanding, this insight, is not a concept any more for me, it is WHO I AM. I no longer have any interest in banging on about it, or about non-dual realisation, or just "Be as you are"....it kind of seems superflouous and irrelevant to me, nowadays. Some people may want to sell people "non-duality", but for me it is such a simple straightforward thing, that I think this is a nonsense. As mentioned in my OP, it is THIS perspective, these realisations I am most familiar and intimate with. Because I don't emphasise them in my OP, where you are now in your own life-path perhaps, maybe you assume I am not entirely familiar, knowledgeable & experientially aware of them? You really don't want me to get started on mystical experience, realisations, insights, ecstasies etc.....haha :)

Without concepts, no forum or even words would exist.....this forum is a playground of concepts. We are playing here, that's all. If we are too serious about them, or take them as absolute literal truths, then our i-dentity becomes solidified by them. You can rest assured that is not the case with me :)

Anyway, cheers all...
 
C

chuck.drake

#12
Thanks for replying Manjit. I guess what I failed to express at all was that there has to be some middle ground. While it may be ultimately true that we live in, what I think Almaas called "radical non-duality", in reality we live here on Earth, as humans. 6 billion people sitting on a cushion all day in the formless void would leave the planet a much lovelier place to look at, but it would be quite dull.

I suppose I'm trying to find some way to express what I haven't yet fully realized. Some part of it has to do with an earlier thread I tried to start that explored the idea that if "Being" encompasses the hunting leopard and the waterfall eroding the rock, then it also must encompass the most vile human behavior. We consider a bird's nest to be a part of nature, but somehow the creations of man, computers and steel-belted radial tires, are "unnatural."

Who doesn't love the idea that love is the path to the Source? But how much of that sentiment is true and how much of it has to do with being a human being on Earth? We can easily balance a mountain of mystical and spiritual texts against a mountain of corpses. I don't relish the idea of being swept along by a conceptual schema no matter how good it feels.

And yet I can't deny that something not yet understood lies behind the phenomena of non-local information transfer.
 
#13
I often muse about what might lie behind my reality... I have lots of ideas... I'm sure I will have lots more...

I often think back to my Spiritually Transformative Event, during which I had a sudden burst of emotion about my earthly life, only to be told internally that nothing that happens there matters, all that matters was that I return. I've come across just a handful of experiences with that message. I know this message applies to me in the present, but I hope it might apply on some other level too.
Is there some way of not returning?

David
 
#14
Is there some way of not returning?
If I speculate on this purely from a spiritual basis... I have considered that from time to time... :)

...but... I definitely felt like I had returned home, and a little later the implications of what I was told seems to confirm that I had returned home. The sense was therefore that I had come from home before, and had left to go '..there..', and had now returned home again. '..there..' would seem to be well known. I also sensed I was the last to return, at least there were no other spare places which I could see?

When many years later I later came across the 'Hymn of Pearl' in the Nag Hammadi Library, the sequence of events in that verse best described my own STE experience, and certainly evoke similar strong emotions to those I felt. The sense of leaving home, getting lost, then finding my way back. I distinctly remember bursting into tears at Verse VIII where it says "...And this is the counsel they came to: I should not be left down in Egypt..."
I think the 'Hymn of Pearl' is one of the most beautiful things I have ever read, and the message it carries from so long ago is still totally relevant, which I find both amazing, and an indication that the verse contains some sort of profound unchanging knowledge/truth.

So in answer to your question, for me, the only way of not returning, is staying lost...
 
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#15
Hi manjit,

In regards to your scenario #3,would you be open to saying human affairs have been divinely inspired, rather than manipulated. Seems like it could be two ways of looking at the same thing, depending on one's perpsective.

From guys like Meyers, to James, to mystical traditions and folks like Joseph Campbell to Edgar Cayce ... you hear talk of a "super-consciousness" sort of "behind the veil" in each and ever one of us. (You'll often hear of psi being a glimpse of this "realm" coming through our unconsciousness).

Anyhow, I always looked at your scenario 3 more as a divinine inpsiration coming through this "super-conscious channel" that "guides" humanity. If we are all truly divine beings at our core, would not the divine shine through on various levels (from the unconscious to, more rarely, the conscious, and even more rarely the super-conscious levels) and inspire/influence our behavior?
 
#16
Hi EthanT,

Thanks for your thoughts!

This may be like a elephant and the blindmen thing, where we're seeing the same thing from different perspectives and angles?

To clarify my original post, I was really just thinking aloud, playing mental/conceptual games. The basic ground of my perspective/belief/mindset with these questions about the ultimate nature of reality, since a very young age, has been precisely what you're suggesting...to crassly & violently summarise, that there is some sort of loving, benign, compassionate "God" (ground of being, the absolute, energy etc), and that this play on earth, this lila, is some sort of meaningful manifestation of that etc.

It is only the last few years that I've begun to question this worldview which some would say is wishful & idealistic.

What I'm trying to do is question this perspective in view of the full range of phenomenal, experiential & conceptual/theological data & information that we have available. I have personally found a great deal to be cautious & sceptical about in many areas where things are taken at face value by "believers".

One thing I'm personally certain about is that there is certainely *something* odd, unusual, unexplained, "mystical" going on.....that for me is without any doubt, and the whole "sceptic Vs believers" debates is so passé for me that it has gone from being something fundamentally important to me, to being completely & utterly irrelevant. That whole area is an intellectual prison-house that misses the woods for the trees imo. Trying to fathom the nature of these mysteries labelled as "paranormal" by using scientific, logical, linear linguistic concepts & "experiments", is like trying to fathom the brightness of a light with a pipette, or the feeling of love with bathroom scales; the height of folly & absurdity. We are dealing with something far more subtle, far outside our limited & linear thought processes, something meta-conceptual & meta-"physical" (physical as defined by 19th century physics at least :)

Anyways, back to my original post, when I use words like "manipulation" or "control", this can imply I'm coming from a paranoid or negative perspective (like many of those who espouse these kind of views may well be :), however this really isn't the case....I'm having great fun & amusement speculating on these things, just another manifestation of "divine" play....personally I'm too carefree to be concerned, worried or paranoid even if were being manipulated by some malaevolent being :)

The question is, just how "benevolent" or "divine" (with all that term's loaded positive baggage)....or *honest* is the true nature of the many varieties of indisputably related phenomena we are dealing with (NDEs, OBEs, mediumship, reincarnation cases, UFOs, UFO abductions, spiritual practice "inner experiences", visionary experiences, ghosts, after-life communications, djinn/fairie/elementals, channeling, synchronicities etc etc).

Having both experienced & researching these areas to quite some depth, we are certainely left with some uncomfortable questions due to the blatant and often fundamental contradictions, negative after-effects, frauds etc. Without question there is a "trickster" element here....though it is not out of the question this "trickster" element may be a control-mechanism (in a "positive" sense) to prevent our true nature & reality becoming so obvious that it obviates the purpose of this human life (only through conditioned ignorance & forgetfulness can we participate in this world in any meaningful way.....for eg. if a "pure" unquestionable manifestation of the "divine", like Jesus say, appeared in todays small information-driven world, and raised the dead, walked on water etc and then posted it to youtube, then humanity would no longer be as it is, and we would not have the opportunities that we do to live unique individualised lives....even Dawkins would be a "believer", and we wouldn't want that would we!)

Hold on, I feel I've lost my thread here, and I gotta go soon. Point is this, and I will again violently summarise, I personally think the current popular intepretation of NDEs to be rather absurd for several reasons....and I'm sure many would agree with me (including several "deep" NDErs), that the "light" manifests in whatever aspect or symbol that the NDErs can relate to.....very often, deceased family members. I'm hoping people can follow without me unpacking this statement, when I say that it is highly unlikely that the actual literal souls of their deceased loved ones are hanging around waiting for their grandchildren to pass over so they can "guide" them around the afterlife! There is no consistency or integrity to this view, especially when taken together with the narrative from other types of "mystical" or "anomalous" experiences or mystical traditions.

So, whilst we may wish or hope this little trick the "light" plays on us is for our own good, for our own benefit, or because we cannot comprehend the "truth" directly & without symbolic representation (I do, often!), I think we should at the very least question this, errrm, patronising "divine light". Is it at least possible that this "light" is manipulating us, and "sending back with an important purpose", a purpose that most NDErs never work out, a purpose that is more manipulative for society at large than than directly truthful about our true circumstances? Why has the take-away narrative meaning changed from NDEs in the 10th century to the 21st century? etc etc.

This kind of criticism can be levelled at all aspects of these "mystical" phenomena....which is why it has got me thinking, pondering.....but I really haven't got a clue, just playing around :)

Cheers,

Manjit
 
#17
I often muse about what might lie behind my reality... I have lots of ideas... I'm sure I will have lots more...

I often think back to my Spiritually Transformative Event, during which I had a sudden burst of emotion about my earthly life, only to be told internally that nothing that happens there matters, all that matters was that I return. I've come across just a handful of experiences with that message. I know this message applies to me in the present, but I hope it might apply on some other level too.
That's pretty amazing. I've never, ever had any kind of thing like that. Apart from a dream about being in a city and tidal wave coming towards me. I woke up the next day, turned on the radio and heard that a Tsunami had hit Japan. Now it may well have just been coincidence, but that has never happened to be before or again.
 
#18
That's pretty amazing. I've never, ever had any kind of thing like that. Apart from a dream about being in a city and tidal wave coming towards me. I woke up the next day, turned on the radio and heard that a Tsunami had hit Japan. Now it may well have just been coincidence, but that has never happened to be before or again.
Yeah, I've only had a few experiences, but I feel very privileged to have had the ones I've had, and also somewhat humbled that they have happened to me... Your dream sounds very typical of perhaps picking up your own individual future brain state, or, perhaps picking up group-like brain states?
 
#19
Point is this, and I will again violently summarise, I personally think the current popular intepretation of NDEs to be rather absurd for several reasons....and I'm sure many would agree with me (including several "deep" NDErs), that the "light" manifests in whatever aspect or symbol that the NDErs can relate to.....very often, deceased family members. I'm hoping people can follow without me unpacking this statement, when I say that it is highly unlikely that the actual literal souls of their deceased loved ones are hanging around waiting for their grandchildren to pass over so they can "guide" them around the afterlife! There is no consistency or integrity to this view, especially when taken together with the narrative from other types of "mystical" or "anomalous" experiences or mystical traditions.
For me it does not seem absurd that the deceased beings to welcome their dead or near-dead loved ones. In fact this aspect of NDEs is consistent with deathbed visions and the shaman traditions about the psychopomp, so the evidence is more consistent than you think.
 
#20
Hi Haruhi. I''m not sure I fully understand your meaning or perpsective here as your message is very brief and slightly vague!

This can be a very sensitive subject for some people, and my choise of the word "absurd" was perhaps not the wisest. I really have no inclination to challenge anyones views on this who finds some comfort from any particular narrative interpretation of this or any other phenomena. I'm personally just interested in trying to understand the truth of the matter, to make sense of the information.

Several points I'd like to make in response to your post:

1) You wrote "so the evidence is more consistent than you think". I would have to disagree! I am entirely aware of the consistencies. In modern society, since Moody's first book, we constantly get hammered with the "consistencies". I'm sure many of us on this forum have read at least half a dozen books which breakdown the similarities & consistencies to the umpteenth degree, with various charts, graphs, statistics, numbers and percentages demonstrated just how "consistent" NDEs can be.

Your data filter seems to be set on "consistencies" :) How about switching that filter to "inconsistencies"? Perhaps the inconsistencies will tell us more about the real or true nature of the experience?

2) The use of the word "pyschopomp" is interesting, because in many ways it kind of supports what I'm saying, which is why I didn't fully understand your comment.

Pyschpomp is a Greek word that was most associated with Hermes, who is also known as the "trickster" (who you will notice is in my user icon pic :) ). As in my recent post, I was suggesting it may well be something tricksterish which is manifesting in these kind of experiences......I have no difficulty in believing it is something trickster-like (whatever that may be) manifesting as our loved ones during the NDE experience, it is actually what I'm suggesting may be the case!

Also, to again support my recent post, for Carl Jung the psychopomp was a symbolic interface between the individual and the collective unconsciousness. Which is what I wrote too!

3) Out of genuine curiosity, as I really cannot be sure off the top of my head, but how many NDE reports are there more than say 400-500 years old (perhaps even less than that, maybe 250?) which describe deceased loved ones coming to get them? I know there are hundreds of NDEs going back thousands of years, but I don't seem to recall deceased loved ones being quite as "consistent" then as they have been since the Victorian spirtualist period (or whatever it's called, 1800s onwards)? I dare say they were virtually non-existant?

So what has caused the divine architect to adjust the mechanics & narrative of the NDE process over the centuries, and cultures?

4) If it is loved ones that come to get us at death, are we to believe they are emobidied in some kind of identical "astral" counter-part to the last physical existene, only at it's "peak", for decades? Just walking around summerland waiting for their grandchildren to pass? What of reincarnation? Why must they inhabit a body with all the same "physical" characteristics as their last life?

Or is that body the NDEr sees just a symbolic projection of their grandparent's soul's true essence or some such? The question then is, what exactly is their "true essence" without all the symbolic projection? ;)


Anyway, as I'm here, I thought I'd share my own immediate families NDE/death-bed vision, something I don't think I've ever mentioned outstide the family! Not really that exciting, but certainely did happen.

My grandfather (dad'sside) passed away before I was born in the early 70s I think. Apparently he was a very spiritual (not religous) man (lived in India all his life), who I've been told used to constantly repeat a mantra in his head all the time, and often with rosary beads. As I say I didn't know him, but I've never heard any aspect of his life that didn't portray him as a sweet, gentle & spiritual man (2nd had stories mostly, to be fair).

Anyway, when he was on his death bed, in a state of delirium or some such, apparently he kind of got up & alert with a joyous smile on his face and said to all the family around him to "open the windows and doors, can't you see, Guru Gobind's coming on his white horses to take me away". He passed away directly afterwards. (Guru Gobind is the 10th Guru in the Sikh lineage of spiritual teachers)

That's all the detail I've got, and although everyone knows the story, nobody in my family ever really tries to intepret it, or give it undue significance........just that's what he said!

There's another story from my dad's village in India from decades ago, where a local man (think it was the town doctor, can't remember now, I used to get told this story when I was very young) was know to have "died" and come back. His story, which he apparently used to tell everyone, was that he went to "hell" and saw so many unspeakable horrors & torture going on there, and that we should all be good and worship god! Everyone in the village accepted his story as true.....
 
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