Samadhi Chronicles -
Maya Gaia - Evolution Involution
MAYA-GAIA INTRODUCTION & SITEMAP Page Update 08 24 07
Note:My Anthropic Trilogy web-book, 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.
Distinguishing Between Psychic and Transcendent States
in Anecdotes of the Nirvikalpa Samadhi Experience
Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away. Philip K. Dick
It would appear that the constructivism or contextualism (See Steven Katz) principle that holds that all mystical experiences are projections of our cultural and religious preconceptions- fairly applies to those episodes where consciousness is restrained in a state of duality. This would include most NDEs that seldom include non-dual realization and to the transport or introductory stage that often precedes the transformation to authentic non-dual consciousness in Nirvikalpa Samadhi. It is likely that potent entheogens like LSD or psylocybin as well as fervent beliefs (vasanas) may be projected and cause psychic warping of the dual state of the total experience and may also entangle with the memory of the authentic non-dual Nirvikalpa Samadhi. This could account for the great diversity in scenarios that precede the transformation of consciousness to the perennial light, bliss and love of non-duality. In the case of my own samadhi I had no yearning for further experience (as I was convinced death will provide that) and integration became the single-minded effort. I realize that one should not reference one's own experience as a model for uniformity for other's accounts - an issue in some critiques of Richard Bucke's Cosmic Consciousness. Also, that despite romantic notions of uniformity in the dharmic traditions, constructivism comes into play in the great disparity in the shape of the realizer's character and world view that results from Nirvikalpa Samadhi- detached acetic, engaged householder, bhakti sadhu, siddis adept, jnana scholar, new-age guru, ecospiritualist, new scientist, narcissistic megalomaniac, etc.)
Poetry of Contemplation By Arthur L. Clements 1990, [pp6-8]
(mg commentary: Although the following excerpt refers to the contemplative tradition of Christianity and Greek philosophy, it helps to explain the dual and nondual stages of my Nirvikalpa Samadhi journey as well as distinguish between psychic and transcendent components of various samadhi anecdotes presented below.)
"Mystical experiences may be extrovertive, aware of immanent divinity through the redeemed senses, or introvertive, conscious of transcendent divinity beyond all the senses. In his admirable and lucid discussion of world-wide mysticism, Mysticism and Philosophy, W. T. Stace introduces these terms, which correspond to terminolgy used by Rudolf Otto and Evelyn Underhill, and he adds that both the extrovertive or outward and introvertive or inward experiences "culminate in the perception of an ultimate Unity--what Plotinus called the One--with which the perceiver realizes his own union or even identity. But the extrovertive mystic, using his physical senses, perceives the multiplicity of external material objects...mystically transfigured so that the One, or the Unity, shines though them. The introvertive mystic, on the contrary, seeks by deliberately shutting off the senses, by obliterating from consciousness the entire multiplicity of sensations, images, and thoughts, to plunge into the depths of his own [self]. There, in that darkness and silence, he alleges that he perceives the One--and is united with it." [61-62] A serious omission from Stace's account, as R. C. Zaehner remarks, is love, which we will include along with feelings of blessedness, joy, etc.; and a complex mystical experience may exhibit both extrovertive and introvertive elements."
For more on some controversy in the meaning of extrovertive and introvertive states see Credibility of Transcendence and Stace Mysticism an examination of W.T. Stace's originating the definition of two catagories of mystical experience he termed extrovertive and introvertive.
Distinguishing Numinous Vs Psychic An advanced effort to define distinction between mystical transnuminous experience- part of the numinous transcendent continuum culminating in Nirvikalpa Samadhi versus intrapsychic or psychic projections- a diverse body of inexplicable epiphenomena the occult has codified in mythic maths based on pure fantasy.
(mg: commentary: My take is that kundalini events manifest along the faultline between the Magisteria of psychic and transcendent states and like the more potent entheogens can warp the pre-transcendent, dual state of consciousness that is often a precursor to the transformation into whatever authentic (and incorruptible) non-dual Godhead experience may arise. Thus the memory of the entire episode may entangle psychic-inspired vasanas that results in a confused integrative paradigm.)
See also resources about whether all meditation is a form of self-hypnosis.
Psychotic and Mystical States of Being: Connections and Distinctions by
Caroline Brett It has long been recognized that there are similarities between spiritual and psychotic experiences. In this paper, spiritual or mystical experiences are those states in which the form of experience is altered from normal consciousness, resulting in a new understanding of the basic nature of reality, life, and the individual. Psychotic experiences are those states that also flow from alterations of the form of experience, but result in a pathological interaction between the individual and the world. Therefore, according to these definitions, phenomena occurring in a spiritual context may be identical to those traditionally viewed as symptoms of psychosis, but cannot be seen as psychotic in themselves. By examining more closely the phenomenology and the organization of the experience of the psychotic and the mystic, as well as the epistemology of spiritual systems, this paper aims to examine these phenomena in both contexts.
The following links feature first-person anecdotal accounts - alleging spontaneous non-dual realizations - with some illustrating how entheogen-inspired phantasms or religious or metaphysical constructs may be projected into the state of duality and color both the memory and integration of the total event- with some links to auxiliary topics.
Kundalini and Self-Hypnosis by mg. A number of articles examining the similarity in these psychic processes. Also an extensive doctoral dissertation presenting a modern analysis of issues raised since Jung's 1932 Kundalini Seminars- some of his second-thoughts published posthumously- and hermeneutics of Jean Gebser's including his anecdotal account of his samadhi experience- kept secret until after his death.
Perspectives on Entheogen-Inspired Revelations Using mg's one psychedelic experience with magic mushrooms to compare to his Nirvikalpa Samadhi with links suggesting to what extent psychedelic experiences represent a panacea that can reveal all the mysteries of the universe to us. It appears that they are primarily confined to the intermediate rather than light realms, and can also involve large elements of subjective perception and personal psychic projection, which is why they contain such variations in theme.
Samadhi- Strong Medicine with Love from Alan. (mg: This account is of a spontaneous rapture triggered by a perceived revelation concerning Kabbalisic symbolism which unfolds a psychic-rich scenario leading to a transformation into the non-dual experience. Describes a chain of events that results in a spontaneous samahdi journey- starting with a transport in dual consciousness in which dramatic phantasms appear that relate to the author's intense belief in Kabbalistic mysticism.)
A Peak at Enlightenment: A personal account of the experience of conditional nirvikalpa samadhi by Wade Prpich - Journal of Nondual Psychology, Vol 1: Spring 2009 Expressing the experience and subsequent integration in the language of the 7-stage model proposed by Adi Da Samraj.
Awakening to the Obvious by Mark Canter. (mg commentary: Here is a samadhi wherein entheogen-inspired entities and events manifest as significant components in the duality portion of what may have culminated in an authentic experience of non-duality.) When I was 19 years old I was blessed with a wonderful mystical vision. I experienced the light of God. In contrast, I had neither meditated, nor done yoga, nor spent time in the company of anyone who was especially wise and free. After dinner, riding the crest of the moment, everyone but Sean took LSD together. It was my sixth psychedelic trip...Just at the brink of ego-death there was an instant of fear, but I knew there was no turning back, no stopping this dissolution of all form. So I silently prayed, "Have mercy on me," and in the next instant the light became so supremely attractive it absorbed (dissolved) the fear along with everything else into its dazzling singularity.
One of the least ambiguous anecdotes of potent entheogen episodes triggering what I would describe as a 'peak synopsis' of cosmic consciousness is that of Dr. Stanislav Grof describing his first LSD trip. Frontiers Of The Mind interview with Stanislav Grof M.D. by Daniel Redwood D.C.
What happened was that my preceptor was very interested
in EEG [brain wave monitoring], and I had to commit myself to become a guinea pig in the middle of my session. I was wired up, and she was attempting
something that called "driving the brain," which meant that you would be exposed to a very strong stroboscopic, flashing light. The goal was to find out of the brainwaves would pick up the frequency that you were feeding to it. In relation to LSD, she was trying to find out how "driving the brain" was affected pharmacologically.
In the middle of my first LSD experiment, when I watched the flashing stroboscopic light, the nature of it all changed basically what happened was that I was catapulted out of my body. I first lost the laboratory, then I lost the clinic, then Prague, and then the planet. I had the sense that I was a disembodied consciousness of cosmic universal dimensions. I witnessed things that I would describe today as pulsars, quasars, the Big Bang, and expanding galaxies. While this was happening, the woman who was doing the experiment very carefully moved [the strobe light] through the different ranges of frequency -p; delta, theta, and alpha range, all carefully according to the research protocol.
When I came back to my body, I had a very intense curiosity about this experience.
I tried to get hold of all the literature that was available. And psychedelics
became part of my work.
50 years later in The Holotropic Mind (video of a Grand Rounds lecture presented at U. of Arizona, to the psilocybin/OCD research team, 2001) Dr. Grof
described his consciousness as being converted to powerful light "like the light of the Hiroshima bomb" and losing all sense of self and the planet in a state of cosmic consciousness. He also emphasized that this ultimate holotropic consciousness engenders an ecospiritual imperative world view.
A synopsis of the stages of realization that Frank Merrell-Wolff experienced between 1922 and 1936 indicate that rather than anecdotes of samadhi-like numinous experience they were rather like arriving at stages of revelation- as in jnana yoga. Based on his fundamental Realizations, Wolff developed a transcendental philosophy which he distilled into three fundamental propositions. In his chapter "Aphorisms on Consciousness-With-out-an-Object" Merrell-Wolff expresses his discoveries in a series of sutra-like sentences, The culmination of the series is that Consciousness-without-an-object is SPACE. Wolff emphasizes that these propositions, like his philosophy as a whole, are conceptual symbols of an ineffable Reality. Moreover, Wolff acknowledges that the Realizations upon which his philosophy is based are not necessarily ultimate, and are authoritative only for Wolff and anyone who has had similar Realizations.
The Man who Realized God by Vijay Kumar. Story of my Personal Experience: Having perceived the truth I was only to inquire about the Eternal relationship between all beings and lo! On 3rd of August, 1993, at 2.15 a.m. God initiated me. I was sleeping in my bedroom on first floor. At about 1.45 a.m., I felt choking and gasping for breath and an urge within to go out on the terrace. I was obeying commands from within as if in deep sleep.
The Experience of God-Realization by John White.
(mg: Here the experiencer identifies his samadhi as the 'enigmatic' sahaj or sahaja by which one supposedly functions in a state of perpetual non-duality after re-entering phemonenal life.) My exceptional human experience (EHE) is the experience of God-realization. I've been unwilling to say much about my experience before now but this account of my God-realization seems the right thing to do now. My state of consciousness is the condition traditionally described in yogic terminology as sahaj samadhi. Quite simply, I see God in all things and all things in God. Hence I am one with 'the Father' and there is no sense of separation from God in any respect of my existence. I am unconditionally happy. I entered that state permanently in 1979.
Beyond Biocentrism A firsthand experince, as recounted by co-author Bob Berman in 2008 (Excerpted with permission from Chapter 11):
"I was in my junior year of college, cramming for a test. I had breezed through most of my astronomy courses but, philosophically, the universe was still essentially a vast, mysterious entity. I had tried meditating during the past month, but couldn't really say I'd experienced anything revelatory. Now I was discovering for a physiology test when something in the textbook about the visual part of the brain suddenly gave me a split-second insight that the distinction between "external" and "internal" is unreal. Then that intellectual insight abruptly changed into something else.
An enormous weight I'd never realized I had borne was suddenly lifted. An experience began that no words could convey. It was ineffable and life-altering. The best I can say is that "I" was suddenly gone, replaced by the certainty of being the entire cosmos. There was absolute peace. I knew with total confidence, not logically - because, as I said, Bob was no longer present - that birth and death do not exist. That all is perfect eternally, that time is unreal, and that all is one. The joy was beyond anything I could have imagined. The to-the-marrow certainty could perhaps be better described as a recognition, an ancient familiarity of being Home.
When the intense initial experience faded, the room reurned, and my textbooks lay before me. Except, all was now profoundly altered. Let's call this "the second level of the experience". There was still no sense of a separate "me", an observer looking out upon the world. Rather everything was a oneness, and I was whatever my eyes gazed upon. It was as if my consciousness had previously been long confined, like a canary in a little cage, and that a false sense of being a separate, isolated thinking individual had now vanished. Objects were no longer separate items existing in space; instead, everything was the same continuum.
When a person came into view, I was that person. The universe was one entity for all time. There were not billions of humans and animals. There was one living, deathless entity. (And no, in case you're wondering, this experience was not chemically induced.) If this sounds fabulous, well, no words could begin to convey the clarity.
This experience lasted three weeks, during which time no thought flitted across my consciousness. But eventually the ongoing stream of mental chatter, of being an individual, an observer, returned - accompanied by loss of the peace and oneness. It felt terrible.
Afterwards, I went overseas, mostly to the East, traveled in thirty-five countries. I tried everything, read spiritual books. There were times of recaptuing that lower "second level" of perception, but never again that full experience. Those spiritual books said that people in all cultures through the ages have had the same experience, and that it has variously been called enlightenment, awakening and so on."
Personal Experience of Kundalini by Sarah Sourial. This talk is my personal account of a brief psychotic episode that seems to fit with the classical description of a Kundalini spiritual awakening. (mg: Another example of the convoluted psychic math that the kundalini paradigm can inspire.
Kundalini With Papaji Then it happened one morning when Papaji was walking into the room. I took a picture of him without his permission and he gave me a look that sent an energy through me that squeezed my heart until I thought it was going to pop and I would die! I apologized immediately and as soon as he left the room, I stood up and this atomic bomb exploded throughout my entire mind, body and being. This was my first true full blown Kundalini awakening that opened me to having the experience of Samadhi.
Some spontaneous samadhi anecdotes are reported in the first pages in Mystical Encounters with the Natural World - Experiences and Explanations by Paul Marshall, Independent scholar, Oxford Scholarship Online, 2006 Abstract: The present study is devoted to mystical experiences of the natural world and the disparate ways in which they have been explained. Typically, these so-called ‘extrovertive mystical experiences’ are characterized by some combination of unity, deepened knowledge, sense of contact with reality, self-transcendence, altered time-experience, light, bliss, and love.
Spontaneous Spiritual Experiences by Steve Taylor. In this excerpt (Chapter Six) from his new book Waking From Sleep, Steve Taylor examines and explains the temporary spiritual experiences (or awakening experiences, as he calls them) —which give us a glimpse of a permanently awakened state. Steve focuses on what he calls ‘spontaneous spiritual experiences’ which occur in nature, while playing sports, dancing or listening to music, on the point of waking up in the morning, or during sex.
Mystical Experiences of Reality A blog by Keith Hancock - describing what he later discovered were known as bodily and spiritually transcendental experiences. He refers to these episodes as Mystical Experiences of Reality (MER) that arose spontaneously every year from the age of about 15 to 35. His blog is a profound and insightful integration of his MER through examination of Anglicanism, Quakerism, Catholicism, Sufism and related religions and experience. He was initiated into a school of spiritual studies after a year of preparation. Keith is a Mystic, Contemplative and Quietist. Before creating and publishing his blog, He was a Fleet Street journalist and news magazine editor then a senior consultant at J. Walter Thompson. He traveled the world when he became chairman of his own advocacy public relations consultancy in London, then Canada.
Samadhi In Space an interview with apollo 14 astronaut Dr. Edgar Mitchell by Sarah E. Truman
EM: I realized that the molecules of my body and the molecules of the spacecraft had been manufactured in an ancient generation of stars. It wasn’t just intellectual knowledge – it was a subjective visceral experience accompanied by ecstasy – a transformational experience.
SET: You were raised as a Southern Baptist and studied as a scientist. Then you had this visceral, spiritual experience in space: how did you reconcile this with your upbringing and training?
EM: The experience in space was so powerful that when I got back to Earth I started digging into various literatures to try to understand what had happened. I found nothing in science literature but eventually discovered it in the Sanskrit of ancient India. The descriptions of samadhi, Savikalpa samadhi, were exactly what I felt: it is described as seeing things in their separateness, but experiencing them viscerally as a unity, as oneness, accompanied by ecstasy.
Cit-Sakti A chronicle of anecdotes of the bewildering series of symptoms and emotional upheaval which the author ascribes to the release of intense kundalini pranic awakening. Her story begins after suffering 13 years from a Chronic Fatigue-type Syndrome and progresses with relentless episodes of pain and suffering which the author attempts to deal with through the integration of Buddhist, Vedic and Jungian teachings.
New Breakthrough : Schizophrenia Cured! by Byron Fraser: "Then, suddenly, I was propelled in consciousness to the very top of my head. My mind was simultaneously expanded and I seemed to see from "beyond" and "above". I lost all consciousness of time and had the inescapable feeling that I "knew everything". There was also light, an effulgence of light reverberating through every aspect of my being."..."But the most phenomenal thing that occurred was my immediate and unmistakable awareness of an overwhelming and vast conscious presence stretching off in all directions to infinity." (m-g comment: This seems an account of a Nirvikalpa Samadhi - although a culmination of a Kundalini "hypnotic trance - where the feature of 'knowing everything' arose before the transformation to nonduality - a synchronicity with the ephemoral episode in the ascending (dual state) of my nirvikalpa samadhi journey.)
Massive Stroke Neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor had an opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: One morning, she realized she was having a massive stroke. As it happened - as she felt her brain functions slip away one by one, speech, movement, understanding - she studied and remembered every moment. This is a powerful story about how our brains define us and connect us to the world and to one another. (The experience has features resembling a pseudo-samadhi consciousness reported by subjects using various entheogens.)
George A. Boyd Mudrashram Institute of Spiritual Studies. An autobiographical account with anecdotes of psychic/spiritual evolution via direct teachings of a number of high-profile gurus. (mg commentary: My view of the complex body of psychic-numinous experiences and the extrapolations derived therefrom appear to result from highly arbitrary conclusions dependent on whatever guru effects were encountered during the process of the author's ongoing integration. I am skeptical that the spiritual paradigm created by the author is not frought with psychic projections that have little to do with transcendent reality. On the other hand- for all I know- his consultations may provide immense practical value for some who seek spiritual growth.)
Love Bliss by Jan Esmann - A first-person account of a life-long journey for Self-Realization. (mg commentary: It would seem that any one of the many steps in the evolving journey described could be interpreted as an experience of supreme non-duality yet each time the author is left with an acute sense of yearning. I can only suggest that the author's growing inventory of metaphysical paradigms (kundalini) orchestrates an ongoing series of psychic projections (self hypnotism) that progressively create episodes of conscious expectation.)
Near-Death An extensive catalog of NDE anecdotes including: An extremely rare nde account that seems to have raised to a nirvikalpa samadhi state of non-dual consciousness with two synchronicity features (in bold text) in my account: 'panpsychic knowledge' and 'asking to remember'. Olaf Swenson may have seen such a timeless spaceless "Omega Point" when he nearly died of a botched tonsillectomy at age 14. He states that "suddenly I rolled into a ball and smashed into another reality. The forces that brought me through the barrier were terrific. I was on the other side. I realized that the boundary between life and death is a strange creation of our own mind, very real (from the side of the living), and yet insignificant." Olaf felt he was floating in a universe with no boundaries. "I had total comprehension of everything. I stood at the annihilation point, a bright orange light." As I felt my mind transported back to my body, I thought, "please let me remember" this new theory of relativity. Certainly the information that Olaf gained during his NDE was real. He has gone on to develop over 100 patents in molecular chemistry purportedly based on the information from his NDE/samadhi.
Dark Luninosity An Enlightenment experience in the Zen Tradition - The Wanderling describes his enlightenment experience in the context of Zen teachings and in footnotes- compares metaphors with those from other classical and contemporary experiencers including the one following:
The Dazzling Dark a near-death experience caused by ingesting a sweet poisoned by a thief in Thialand opens the door to a permanent transformation by John Wren-Lewis. A vivid and thoughtful anecdotal account by a former spiritual cynic’s experience of being suddenly and unexpectedly catapulted into an altered state of consciousness. Fascinating as a unique expression of transcendent realization, John Wren-Lewis’ description of his powerful spiritual experience is deeply moving and profoundly inspiring. His perspective is unique, he claims, not only because his awakening was thrust upon him without him seeking for it, but also because, for that very reason, he questions many commonly held beliefs about the nature of spiritual awakening.
An Engineer's Story by Arlen Wolpert 2004- The events in the cab and on the plane were the beginning but the Dark Night of the Soul began in earnest when I laid down on my bed. As I have said, the fire in the heart led to the opening of the heart. The heart continued to open slowly and inexorably, step by step, like a flower. As it did, it produced forgiveness - forgiveness of those I felt had wronged me, who had teased and mocked me.
Cosmic Consciousness Experience and Psychedelic Experiences: A First Person Comparison. Charles T. Tart Consciousness Library Online. The intent of this report is to compare the phenomenology of two conditions of consciousness, a series induced by LSD and a naturally occurring incident of CC. Its unique contribution is that the comparison is made by an individual who has experienced both states, so that he can compare phenomena, rather than merely words about phenomena.
Richard Bucke The traits that characterize cosmic consciousness drawn from the author's own experience that led to his life-long efforts for integration.
Marijuana Uses by Dr. Grinspoon. An anecdote by Richard Pisano of a "kundalini episode" triggered by smoking some high-quality cannabis. Describes a spontaneous auto-sexual arousal where the ejaculatory energy is transmuted into a kundalini-like journey through the subtle body where mystical entities and events manifest in a mystical scenario- although restrained in a state of conscious duality characteristic of NDEs.
The Knee Of Listening: The Divine Ordeal Of The Avataric Incarnation Of Conscious Light. The Spiritual Autobiography Of The Ruchira Avatara, Adi Da Samraj Divine Emergence - More formally: Avataric Divine Self-"Emergence". On January 11, 1986, Adi Da passed through a profound Yogic Swoon, Which He later described as the Yogic Establishment of His Avataric Divine Self-"Emergence".
A first-person, transcendental account that contains qualities of both Mellon-Thomas Benedict's and Yogananda's- Emailed to me by Shambo.
Tao Darkness Retreat An anecdotal account asserting a state of consciousness arose in a participant in a Universal Tao Darkness Retreat- [sic] attaining a state beyond samadhi.
Gopi Krishna Extracts from Kundalini: the Evolutionary Energy in Man, 1967 - GK's anecdote of his 1937 "Kundalini awakening" (nirvikalpa samadhi) The illumination grew brighter and brighter, the roaring louder, I experienced a rocking sensation and then felt myself slipping out of my body, entirely enveloped in a halo of light. It is impossible to describe the experience accurately. I felt the point of consciousness that was myself growing wider, surrounded by waves of light. See also: Gopi Krishna interview on Mystical Experience, Drugs, and the Evolutionary Process - Excerpted from The Awakening of Kundalini, 1975. "We have to admit that mystical experience, or Cosmic Consciousness, cannot only be developed by effort, but it can also occur spontaneously. This entirely agrees with my view: that there is a "mechanism" which is called Kundalini, that is carrying all mankind toward a higher state of consciousness, and that all the prophets and mystics known to history had their "mechanism" already active from birth; and also that this mechanism is active in the case of men of genius and extraordinary intellectual talent."
(mg commentary: This commentary by GK is more representative of his primary view of Kundalini as a holistic energy rather than endorsing specific practices of Tantra Kundalini Yoga such as arousing pranic energy as an epiphenomenal Kundalini Kali through chakra centers. Undoubtedly the teachings of Gopi Krishna are of great value in advancing an integrative paradigm involving the event of Cosmic Consciousness- yet, I believe his hypothesing about the causal effects of non dual awakening (advaita experience) ascribing realization to Kundalini and parana energy is unduly used to indorse all the extreme, proprietary (and potentially dangerous) psychic practices of kundalini yoga.) See also Gopi Krishna A first person account of GK's nirvikalpa samadhi provided in Gary Seeman's thesis on Jung's Kundalini Seminar.
LoveBliss by Jan Esmann. (mg: Esmann is an accomplished figurative painter and developer of imaging software and presents this highly unusual account of a kind of punctuated evolution of a kundalini awakening starting in infancy and continuing throughout early adulthood. (mg commentary: I am at a loss to fit his account into anything in my experience other than that realization is an acosmic- but in my case temporary non dual state- of light, bliss and love.)
Mystical Encounters with the Natural World by Paul Marshall (only introduction, and extensive index online) Some experiences of the natural world bring a sense of unity, knowledge, self-transcendence, eternity, light, and love. This is the first detailed study of these intriguing phenomena. Paul Marshall explores the circumstances, characteristics, and after-effects of this important but relatively neglected type of mystical experience, and critiques explanations that range from the spiritual and metaphysical to the psychoanalytic, contextual, and neuropsychological. The theorists discussed include R. M. Bucke, Edward Carpenter, W. R. Inge, Evelyn Underhill, Rudolf Otto, Sigmund Freud, Aldous Huxley, R. C. Zaehner, W. T. Stace, Steven Katz, and Robert Forman, as well as contemporary neuroscientists. The book makes a significant contribution to current debates about the nature of mystical experience. See Introduction pp 14-19: referencing Western scholars of extrovertive mystical experiences and issues with their extrapolation and theorizing about what is normative, constructivism. etc.
"Criticism has Spiritual Value": The Passion of Ken Wilber by Frank Visser - A visit to Ken Wilber, January 1997. The next morning he shows [Visser] -- not without some pride -- a video which has been made of him while meditating attached to an EEG equipment. This machine registers beta waves (ordinary waking), alpha waves (relaxed waking), theta waves (dreaming) and delta waves (deep sleep). He is able to enter a state in four seconds in which all activity drops to zero, except a slight delta activity. "This is nirvana," Wilber says casually, "nirvikalpa samadhi". I hold my breath. Is it that easy? Or not so easy, for Wilber has practised zen for twenty years. This brings him to one of his favorite topics: right up to the highest state of consciousness it is possible to measure physiological processes in the brain, although this measurement says nothing about the subjective side of this experience? Exact scientific research forms an integral part of his approach. (mg commentary: I'm highly skeptical of KW's assertion that he is attaining authentic Nirvikalpa Samadhi willfully or that EEG data could distinguish between his "samadhi" and the states of those under self-hypnotic kundalini effects or adepts performing siddhis none of which, in my opinion, have anything to do with Nirvikalpa Samadhi.)
Ancecdotes From Vedic Literature This was how Sri Ramakrishna described his initial mystic experiences, (second description is of Sri Krishna & Arjuna in Gita):
1. "...The whole scene, doors, windows, the temple itself simply vanished. It seemed as if nothing existed anymore. Instead I saw the ocean of the spirit, boundless, dazzling. In whatever direction I turned, great luminous waves were rising. They bore down upon me with a loud roar, as if to swallow me up. I lost all normal consciousness and fell to the ground. How I passed that day and the next I know not; round me rolled an ocean of unspeakable joy such as I had never experienced before."
2. Sanjaya describes the Vishwa-Rupa (universal form) of the Lord, "Rajan, if one thousand suns simultaneously light the sky, the brightness produced will be less as compared to the effulgence produced when Sri Krishna showed His Vishwa-Rupa to Arjuna." [Gita, XI: 12.]
(mg commentary: In his book Autobiography of a Yogi, Paramahansa Yogananda, a reputed modern-day spiritual saint of India and teacher of Kriya Yoga, offers an anecdotal version of his nirvikalpa samadhi replete with artifacts of towns and solar systems. What at first suggests a literal landscape may be simply metaphors for a shifting quality and configuration of experienced light as consciousness is transformed from duality to the non dual spiritual experience.)
Psychedelic Experiences in a Rational Spiritual Context by Ian Lawton 2005 Conclusion: To sum up then, in general psychedelics (can) produce...initial glimpses of the true nature of the universe and of its essential unity, which are corroborated by both meditative and spontaneous transcendental illumination, and by modern science. To this extent it appears that they can act as a supreme catalyst for opening the eyes of those who struggle to obtain this experience by more traditional meditative practices. Nevertheless, despite the undoubted importance of both of these findings, it seems to be crucial that we also appreciate that in general psychedelic experiences may not represent a panacea that can reveal all the mysteries of the universe to us. It appears that they are primarily confined to the intermediate rather than light realms, and can also involve large elements of subjective perception and personal psychic projection, which is why they contain such variations in theme. For this reason it would seem to be unwise to imbue their more disparate elements with too much significance, or to take them too literally.
The Mystical Information Registry by bodysoulandspirit.net - a portal for exploring spontaneous mystical experiences - with phenomenological perspectives on transpersonal events and archive of autobiograhic anecdotes by ordinary people and
Altered State by Stroke video of a neuroantomist scientist presenting a phenomenological account of a left hemiphere stroke that resembles a kind of samadhic episode- 20 minutes.
Science and Spirituality Heisenberg's Mystical Experience? by Sepp Hasslberger. Did Werner Heisenberg, who was one of the founders of quantum mechanics and who proposed the uncertainty principle, have a little known mystical experience that shaped his views of reality? The question is being brought forward by three Mexican researchers. In the Yoga International magazine (Vol. 3, No. 6, 1994) it was published that Prof. Heisenberg had a spontaneous experience of kevala samadhi, which was also confimed by Paul Brunton and Paul Cash.
Toward the Light (mg commentary: An example of many portals that offer a variety of transcendent accounts and extrapolated paradigms by modern experiencers- most claiming to have experienced direct revelation to ultimate nonduality (Nivikalpa Samadhi). Most are also involved in the New Age commercial community of selling books or offering spiritual seminars and workshops. This in itself should not imply that their insights are not based on authentic experience or that they are insincere - just that their evidence, as with all the notions in revealed religions, dharma, the non-dual traditions, modern integral theory, and the Maya-Gaia website should be vetted with some skepticism.)
Guru Ratings by Sarlo - Recently i have come to learn that there are many visitors to this site and i am considered influential by some people, to the point where i have to take seriously – heh heh – my Role and Position and suchlike. I should consider my Utterances carefully, lest they influence someone in an unhappy way, etc. My Disclaimer is apparently not enough to dispel the cloud of Seriousness and Importance that can accrue to an Authority Figure, bogus or otherwise, which i seem to have become in some respects. Okay. I can accept that i have amassed a great deal of useful information here, and present it in a sort of “cool” way – actually quite uncool by some standards, but that’s another story. Some people out there are impressed. But let’s keep that in perspective, especially since we are talking about a field where intellectual knowledge has no relevance to “success” in the field. In fact, it was the consideration that i must be putting myself above the luminaries in order to evaluate them that led me to list and rate myself, explicitly as bogus. I thought that with that, the matter was done. But Noooooo!
Spiritual Experience - The Infinite Ladder: An Introduction to Integral Religious Studies, Chapter 5 by Dustin DiPerna. The book eloquently takes Wilber's idea of the Conveyor Belt (proposed in Integral Spirituality) and demonstrates examples of each unfolding across two types (moderate and extreme) and four major religious traditions (Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism). A mechanistic hypothesis describing states and stages of mystical consciousness as per Ken Wilber.
Revelations of Chance Roderick Main examines a primary concept of C. G. Jung regarding meaningful experience. - Chapter 3: The Spiritual Dimension of Spontaneous Synchronicities; The spiritual concepts whose relationships to synchronicity I shall discuss are numinosity, miraculousness, transformation, unity, transcendence and immanence, providence, and revelation.
Paradigms of Consciousness During Sleep by Donald J. De Gracia, Ph.D. - Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics, Wayne State University A scientific examination of states of consciousness in sleep and their relationship to lucid dreams, astral projection, OBEs, kundalini and other noumena.
Sahaja Jivanmukta The notion promulgated by Ramana Maharshi that vasanas are permanently destroyed in situ by a higher order of samadhi named Sahaja is subjected to a skeptical inquiry.
MORE LINKS TO INSIGHTS TO SAMADHI- which are essentially distinct from NDEs or OOBs in that consciousness tends to manifest the non-dual and contentless nature that characterizes the state of nirvikalpa samadhi
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