MAYA-GAIA INTRODUCTION & SITEMAP       Update 11 01 08

Note: My maya-gaia website, evolving since 1997, is a chronicle of my passing all considered opinion
through the lens of my Nirvikalpa Samadhi with both an open-mind and healthy skepticism.

My correspondence with the author of- Self Hypnosis for Cosmic Consciousness: Achieving Altered States, Mystical Experiences, and Spiritual Enlightenment by Ronald A Havens.

Dr. Havens' view is that the entire body of "mystical experiences" are products of the brain and that all notions of connecting with some external God or cosmic consciousness "is to enter the fanciful land of elves, ghosts, the Easter Bunny and the tooth fairy".

I am in partial agreement with Havens in that I have already proposed that a majority of mystical experience are probably derived from psychic projections and that practices such as Kundalini produce effects that resemble those attained via self-hypnosis. However, where Haven utterly denies any "other" cosmic source of consciousness, I hold that a transcendent reality overlaps our psychic states and that although the majority of mystical experience are entangled with psychic projections- that Nirvikalpa Samadhi is the incorruptible evidence of that dual/nondual, 200% reality.

At first I compared Havens' position on mystical experiences to Richard Dawkins' on theism but whereas Dawkins argues from the view that theism offers nothing of value to understand, Haven believes he is advancing a methodology to attain self-projected mystical experiences so that we can- "benefit from the enormous potentials they seem to offer". So arguing whether cosmic consciousness is something created within our brain or is the conscious matrix in which our brain is suspended (in the brain-in-a-vat analogy) may compare to harmless discourse over duality/non duality or determinism/free-will philosophical enigmas. I am concerned however that with all good intention, Haven's promotion of self hypnosis as a means for attaining mystical states could arouse all the psychic projection that manifest in Kundalini yoga. Because of this I am compelled to issue a caution that his methods may create similar distortions and risks.

Transcript of our Emails:

From: ed fisher
Sent: Sun 10/19/2008 1:45 PM
To: Havens, Ronald
Subject: hypnosis cosmic consciousness

Ron Havens Ph.D.
Emeritus Professor Psychology
West Virginia University

Hi Dr. Havens,

I created a link to the Amazon page for your book: Self Hypnosis for Cosmic Consciousness: Achieving Altered States, Mystical Experiences, and Spiritual Enlightenment as a resource for exploring the topic of self hypnosis and kundalini yoga in my webpage. Firstly if there is anything that you may suggest to add or correct in the link's description I'd appreciate your letting me know. Secondly since I haven't read your book I wonder if you have any opinion as to my view that of all the forms of meditation or yoga- that kundalini most resembles a process of self hypnosis and that its intricate scenario is fraught with potential for raising up particularly dangerous psychical pathways? Also wonder if you have advanced any theory regarding mystical experience that can distinguish between psychic projection and transcendent immanence?

Best Regards, Ed Fisher


From: "Havens, Ronald"
To: "ed fisher"
Subject: RE: hypnosis cosmic consciousness
Date: Thu, 30 Oct 2008 20:30:39 -0500

Dear Ed: Thank you for your correspondence and interest regarding this fascinating and significant topic. Here is a quote from the Cosmic Consciousness book that probably will provide an answer to your question regarding my opinion on psychical pathways and such.

"At the same time, however, I also want to make absolutely sure that my enthusiastic commitment to the topic is not mistaken for a na´ve acceptance of supernatural spiritualism. I want to make it clear that the approach presented in this book does not involve, accept or even acknowledge, much less depend upon, concepts such as ESP, psychokinesis, channeling, psychic powers, clairvoyance, reincarnation, past life regressions, ghosts, gods, poltergeists, fairies, angels, elves, alien abductions, spirit guides, magnets, crystals, or copper bracelets. I am firmly convinced that the alterations of consciousness dealt with throughout this book merely involve a different (although in some ways perhaps a more open or valid) way of perceiving the world, not a way of tapping into some mythical external Universal Mind and are most certainly not a source of superhuman powers or supernatural energies. My foundation position is that the experiences described in this book are generated by and occur totally within the brain. I do not believe that we are tapping into some external source of light, energy, or wisdom, nor do I believe that we are opening a connection to one god or another or communicating with the spirit of some ancient guru or ancestor - although that obviously is how many people have interpreted such experiences in the past. No matter how it "feels" or what it reminds us of, I have no reason to believe that what we are experiencing during a mystical episode (or during any type of so-called "psychic" or "supernatural" event for that matter) is anything other than what the brain is inherently capable of generating and experiencing on its own. In my opinion, to suggest otherwise is to move into a delusional realm that has the potential to be counterproductive at best and, at worst, encourages us to overlook and even deny the incredible power, intelligence, and wisdom lying dormant within the unconscious of us all.

On the other hand, I recognize that my opinion is not going to change the mind of those who believe in the supernatural origins of such experiences any more than their opinion is going to change mine. My puny skepticism is not going to seem very persuasive to someone who believes that "God" came to them during a profound mystical episode. My belief that what they experienced was an awareness of the untapped "godliness" within us all just does not have the same pizzazz or appeal as an encounter with the Creator. I understand that and respectfully suggest a truce, therefore, a peaceful coexistence. Instead of wasting time and energy debating the underlying nature or source of such experiences, let us focus, instead, on how to help everyone access these experiences and benefit from the enormous potentials they seem to offer.."

Ronald A. Havens, Ph.D.


From: ed fisher Sent: Fri 10/31/2008 10:29 AM
To: Havens, Ronald
Subject: RE: hypnosis cosmic consciousness

Dear Dr. Havens, Thanks for the synopsis but I am somewhat puzzled by the title of your book that infers that it proposes a methodolgy of self-hypnosis FOR ATTAINING cosmic consciousness, etc. If in you opinion everything occurs within the brain (as distinct from the mind) then all concepts of cosmic consciousness or extrovert states have no reality- either transcendent or manifest, so there is nothing to attain. This rather resembles the position of Richard Dawkins. In any event I'll compose a brief summary of what you've shared in the description of your link- thanks again.

Ed Fisher


From: "Havens, Ronald"
To: "ed fisher"
Subject: RE: hypnosis cosmic consciousness
Date: Fri, 31 Oct 2008 12:54:32 -0500

Using hypnotic techniques for experiencing cosmic consciousness (attaining the experience of it, if you prefer) does not imply that it is anything other than a state of mind...it has no existence apart from the experiencer. To suggest that there is a mind floating around out there separate from the actions of my brain that I can potentially figure out how to connect with is to enter the fanciful land of elves, ghosts, the Easter Bunny and the tooth fairy, in my opinion. Reality is mystical enough for me, thanks.

Ronald A. Havens, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology


From: "ed fisher"
To: "Havens, Ronald"
Subject: RE: hypnosis cosmic consciousness
Date: Fri, 31 Oct 2008 16:18:22 -0500

OK thanks- although Richard Bucke would be somewhat disturbed at your use of the term he originated and as to the state it refers to. We have no argument that reality is indeed mystical enough.

Ed Fisher


From: ed fisher
To: Havens, Ronald
Subject: RE: hypnosis cosmic consciousness
Sent: Sun 11/2/2008 9:24 AM

Dr. Ronald Havens,

In the interest of contributing to perspectives on what you have described as "...this fascinating and significant topic" -I've created a tentative webpage that functions as a thread from the link to your book . Since you may object to my publication of your Emails I wonder if you could look over the page and let me know if you want me to omit anything you wrote or add any additional commentary?

Thanks and Best Regards, Ed Fisher


From: "Havens, Ronald"
To: "ed fisher"
Subject: RE: hypnosis cosmic consciousness
Date: Sun, 2 Nov 2008 21:00:50 -0600

Hi again Ed: Thanks for the opportunity to review your comments. I do appreciate it and I also appreciate your even handed presentation. I still think that the only thing we need to worry about is that the mind (i.e., brain) can create just about any experience we tell it to, or tell it not to in a lot of cases, or warn it about in this particular case (kind of like telling someone to be careful to not trip over that imaginary log), but you certainly are entitled to your perspective. Thanks again,

enjoy, Ron


From: ed fisher
To: Havens, Ronald
Date: Mon, 3 Nov 2008

Ron:

May all philosophical/religious discourse proceed so amicably- Living Words by Terence J. Martin

Cheers, Ed

Update 02 20 10: In my original work, I now distinguish between two catagories of transpersonal states with my terms intrapsychic and transnuminous (the last combines both of Stace's extrovert and introvert - detailed here.

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MAYA-GAIA INTRODUCTION & SITEMAP

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