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.
LINKS TO SAMADHI- INSIGHT AND SPECULATION
Religious and metaphysical tradition have provided an outline for the spectrum of mystical consciousness, yet the supreme experience that the Sanskrit term Nirvikalpa Samadhi refers to remains a divine enigma. Modern accounts of mystical episodes, from NDEs to Advaitic-like transcendence by individuals with no religious or spiritual preparation afford new perspectives on the cause and character of such experiences. The following links relate to both traditional and anomolous episodes that manifest some aspect of the Advaitic non-dual experience. They are essentially distinct from NDEs and OOBs that typically are accounts of mystical experiences manifesting dual consciousness.
See Playing Guru- where I exhibit an overweening hubris in offering answers to ultimate questions that should only be addressed by fully realized sages.
Samadhi Anecdotal Accounts Examples of the variety of scenarios that manifest in the state of duality that precurses the transformation of consciousness into the non-dual state of Nirvikalpa Samadhi and how these projections can color whatever realization paradigm the experiencer may compose.
Nirvikalpa Version of the Wikipedia article after my extensive editing but since completly replaced by subsequent editing.
Raising Heaven by Timothy Ferris National Geographic, November, 2007 This essay is a beautiful meditation on what we know and how we know it. In science, instruments can trump arguments.... Galileo's contemporary Johannes Kepler, whom Immanuel Kant called "the most acute thinker ever born," was quick to grasp that straightforward observations using scientific instruments could sweep away centuries of intelligent but ignorant discourse. (m-g: There is an anology here if we were to replace "the telescope" with "the direct experience" of unified consciousness in regards to the value of all the intelligent discourse about samadhi.)
Upanishads say that "only once in a thousand thousand years does a soul wake up."
Forum discussion of Materialism of the Gaps The fact that no state of consciousness - in fact, no subjectively experienced mental phenomenon of any kind- is detectable using the instruments of science means that, strictly speaking, there is no scientific, empirical evidence for the existence of consciousness or the mind. The only experiential evidence we have for the existence of mental phenomena consists of reports based on first-person, introspective observations of one's own mental states. The science of measuring samadhi is in its early stage. Right now it is still like a snake chasing its tail- Subjectively, the subject says, "OK I am in samadhi", and the subject is measured. Then the measurement becomes evidence of the state.
The Dangers of Pseudo Advaita- Introduction from a paper by Aziz Kristorf
Samadhi by Michael Comans: Samadhi itself has two stages, samprajana-samadhi, or an enstasis where there is still object-consciousness, and asamprajata-samadhi or nirbija-samadhi, where there is no longer any object-consciousness (asamprajnata-samadhi became known later in Vedanta circles as nirvikalpa-samadhi). The point to be noted about yoga is that its whole soteriology is based upon the suppression of mental fluctuations so as to pass firstly into samprajnata-samadhi and from there, through the complete suppression of all mental fluctuations, into asamprajnata-samadhi, in which state the Self remains solely in and as itself without being hidden by external, conditioning factors imposed by the mind (citta).
The Question of the Importance of Samadhi in Modern and Classical Advaita Vedanta By Michael Comans, Ph.D. Although the importance of concentration is evident from the early Upanisads (BU 4.4.23), a form of yoga practice leading to the absorptive state of samadhi is only in evidence in the later texts. We have seen that Sankara does speak of a type of concentration upon the Self which is akin to yoga insofar as there is the withdrawal of the mind from sense objects, but he does not advocate more than that and he does not put forward the view that we find in classical Yoga about the necessity of total thought suppression.
Varieties of Nondual Realization: Divine Play as One/Many by Timothy Conway 2006. A concise overview of how a strong recent movement of nondually-oriented psychotherapists interfaces with a nondual and "neo-nondual" spiritual movement in Asia, Europe and America featuring more-or-less enlightened teachers and students in lineages of eastern and western religions who have increasingly integrated the traditionally mystical-spiritual perspective of Pure Solid Awareness - the profound Truth or Reality of whatever experience/experiencer arises. This is Nondual Realization, the quintessential mystical experiencing. One of the Internet's most comprehensive and integrated resource on Spirituality, awakening to nondual Awareness, mystical traditions, powers of Consciousness, and more.
The attainment of Samadhi is not a sufficient cause to eradicate false knowledge, and since false knowledge is the cause of bondage, Samadhi cannot therefore be the cause of liberation. From the evidence of the above we suggest the role of Samadhi is supportive--or purifying--and is preliminary to, but not necessarily identical with, the rise of the liberating knowledge. As is well known, Sankara considers that knowledge alone, the insight concerning the truth of things, is what liberates... To this end he places great emphasis upon words, specifically the words of the Upanishads, as providing the necessary and even the sufficient means to engender this liberating knowledge... The modern Vedantin, on the other hand, has overlooked, possibly unknowingly, the importance which sacred language and instruction held in the classical Vedanta as a means of knowledge (pramana) and has had to compensate for this by increasing the importance of yogic Samadhi which is then put forward to be the necessary and sufficient condition for liberation.
In asampranata samadhi (nirvikalpa-samadhi) all 'consciousness' vanishes, the entire series of mental functions are blocked. 'During this stasis, there is no other trace of the mind [citta] save the impressions [samskara] left behind (by its past functioning). If these impressions were not present, there would be no possibility of returning to consciousness.' ...The second class comprises only a single 'state'-that is, unprovoked enstasis, 'raptus.' No doubt, even this asamprajnata samadhi is always owing to prolonged efforts on the yogin's part. It is not a gift or a state of grace. One can hardly reach it before having sufficiently experienced the kinds of Samadhi included in the first class. It is the crown of the innumerable 'concentrations' and 'meditations' that have preceded it. But it comes without being summoned, without being provoked, without special preparation for it. That is why it can be called a 'raptus.' [My experience explicitly contradicts assumptions regarding prerequisites.]
For his part, Vacaspatimishra says that the 'fruit' of samprajnata samadhi is asamprajnata samadhi, and the 'fruit' of the latter is kaivalya- liberation.
Nirbija-samadhi is a natural progression from sabija-samadhi once the sense of self has begun to lose its power. It often occurs spontaneously in life as a result of the direct and open spaciousness cultivated in the mind by practice.
Abhishiktananda's Non-Monistic Advaitic Experience
by John Glenn Friesen; Submitted in accordance with the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Literature and Philosophy in the subject Religious Studies at the University of South Africa. An intimate examination of how philosophy shapes religious concepts regarding the description and relevance of divine revelation with particular focus on the teachings of Bagavad Sri Ramana Maharish. (mg perspectives on selected excerpts)
Cosmic and mystical consciousness by Erik van Ruysbeek. Ruysbeek studied German philology and has for years been deeply involved in Oriental and Western traditions of wisdom. "Just as the present-day physicists are confronted with the puzzle of what there could have been before the Big Bang, so the intellect of the mystic is confronted with the puzzle of the origin, of the nature of reality which is no longer reducible to anything else."
(m-g commentary: Ruysbeek offers insightful perspectives on many spiritual issues such as on reincarnation: "Every ego has come to being out of the same universal essence and goes back to that, where it could indeed come to experience again some of the elements from the egos which have previously existed, but not, or at least very seldom, the total, individual egos from a previous time. I am in this respect rather a Buddhist." His ontology seems in need of Occam's Razor in regards to his theme in making cosmic consciousness and mystical experience distinct. The challenge of modeling reality is to bring the primitive instinct of curiosity which prompts us to divide objects and single concepts into sync with our spiritual impulse towards connectedness to evolve a plausible holistic paradigm. He also seems conflicted in writing extensive essays about advaita yet embracing axioms such as: "Thereafter one really experiences it, the complete advaita, which cannot be brought under words. For every word would remove the experience from the advaita. Every word would be an interpretation from the non-advaita and destroy the advaita. "Those who know do not speak, those who speak do not know" said Lao-Tse five centuries before Christ. And to the present day this is still the case." My take on what motivates such pronouncements is to perpetuate proprietary rights to esoteric wisdom by priests, tathagata and jivamukta and believe Nirvikalpa Samadhi is graced to reveal immanent/transcendent Brahman freely unto our collective mind to fulfill God's desire to be known.)
The Awakening Experience in the Modern Era Presented by: ...the Wanderling
....the accounts of ten individuals that experienced Awakening in the present day world. By Awakening, we are talking Enlightenment as described in the historic texts and Sutras of the masters, BUT with everyday people going about their everyday business. True, two had particpated in more formal religious contexts, one being a Buddhist Monk, the other of the two being a "non-traditional Advaita Zen Master," but the rest were just "regular" people. One was a teenage boy, three were women, of which one was with child waiting for a bus one day and one was an American business woman in a hotel waiting to start her days work. However they all had one thing in common, when Attainment occured for all it was outside the Doctrine.
Satori is the spiritual goal of Zen Buddhism. (in Chinese: wu.) Satori roughly translates into individual Enlightenment, or a flash of sudden awareness. Satori is as well an intuitive experience. A brief experience of Enlightenment is sometimes called Kensho.
Wisdom for the Soul- Five Millennia of prescriptions for Spiritual Healing- Compiled by Larry Chang: All of us encounter, at least once in our life, some individual who utters words that make us think forever. There are men whose phrases are oracles; who can condense in one sentence the secrets of life; who blurt out an aphorism that forms a character, or illustrates an existence. ~ Disraeli ~ The Logos is digging a channel for water to reach the next generation. During every generation there is one who brings the word of God; Still the sayings of those who have come before are helpful. ~ Rumi ~
About Big Mind by Genpo Roshi
A crash course of opening your small mind to Zen's big mind in 24 hours. Pro: Enthusiastic review Ken Wilber, Integral Community, et al. Con: HardCoreZen Skeptical review. Con: Doubt Boy Skeptical review.
The Divine Light and the Mystery of Existence Sutapas Bhattacharya p 43- Surrender and Death: Grosso’s clarification of supposed experiences of Jesus by Western NDErs indoctrinated into Christian culture actually confirms the partial validity of the Constructivist thesis that mystical experiences are culturally-indoctrinated. However, the constructivists argue that they are all mere imagination whereas the projection of the Christ-form onto the Pure Light again underlines the universality and centrality of the Divine Light as the common, underlying core of all mystical traditions. In Hindu philosophy, the form projected by the mind onto the Light or Godhead is known as the Ishta Devata, the Chosen Deity. Any image, not only anthropomorphic ones, can perform this function of representing the Godhead.
(mg note:) So long as there is awareness of form (object) in the light comprehended by subject it is an experience of duality as in virtually all NDEs and conforms to savikalpa samadhi (with seed) and not to the non-daul state of Nirvikalpa Samadhi (without seed) or temporary oneness with Brahman.
The Oneness/Otherness Mystery By Sutapas Bhattacharya. This is a work about our very existence, about Reality, about the relationship between the individual personality and the cosmos in which that personality exists, showing how the person is a microcosm, a little part of the cosmos, subtly reflecting his `world` however autonomous or independent he may believe he is. See also preview in Google books.
Update: 04 30 2013 Sutapas Bhattacharya writes: "Having spent 7 years writing my new book The Brainstem Brainwaves of Atman-Brahman: The Synthesis of Science and Spirituality, I just published my website preview that includes the essay The Tacit Racism of Western Academia.. For obvious reasons I am searching for an Indian publisher." End Update
Mystical Encounters with the Natural World- Experiences and Explanations by Paul Marshall. The present study is devoted to mystical experiences of the natural world and the disparet 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 reality, altered time-experience, light bliss, and love.
Psychotherapy East and West The following text consists of excerpts from Alan Watts' book, Psychotherapy East and West selected by Heron Stone. Contents: 1. Psychotherapy and Liberation; 2. Society and Sanity; 3. The Ways of Liberation; 4. Through a Glass Darkly; 5. The Counter-Game
The Experience of Samadhi: An In-depth Exploration of Buddhist Meditation By Richard Shankman Shambala 2009 Dharma teacher and longtime meditator Richard Shankman unravels the mix of differening, sometimes conflicting, views and traditional teachings on how samadhi (concentration) is understood and taught.- This is a five-star book. Actually, six stars."—Christopher Titmuss, author of An Awakened Life.
Credibility of Inner Experience
So this issue of inner experiences as proof of a guru's status raises a very important epistemological question: how do we know that what we perceive in mystical practices is truthful or accurate? Now we may come up with any host of supporting evidences, but the fact remains that what one experiences individually in the privacy of meditation is circumscribed by exactly that same feature: private, personal experience. What we convey in writing, or what we convey on the telephone, or what we convey by conversation face to face is not evidence of our inner experiences on the spiritual planes, but merely testimony which one can either believe or disbelieve.
Rational Mysticism by John Horgan - generous online content of book by an acclaimed- often skeptical but open-minded journalist investigating the ways in which scientists, theologians, and philosophers are attempting to formulate an empirical explanation of spiritual enlightenment.
The Dark Night of the Soul or Purgation by Arlen Wolpert 2005- An anomalous extrapolation of a transcendent realization. An 8-step iterative sequence that describes the way a knot was released from my heart during Stage 11: Stage 11 is known variously as the Dark Night of the Soul (John of the Cross) or Purgation (Malachi 3:3) or Refiner's Fire (Malachi 3:2), or overcoming either seals or knots or original sin or nafs or samskaras or samsara (Suzuki 1959) etc. The opening or unfoldment of my heart during Stage 11 prepared me for mystical union. The various aspects of my consciousness associated with the opening and purification of my heart during stage 11 had a cyclical characteristic. This is described by means of the following 8-step iterative sequence. Each iterative sequence removes one knot. It took roughly 12 of these 8-step iterative sequences to remove the 12 knots in my heart:
Grace in Vedanta and Kashmir Shaivism
Divine Grace is anugraha in Vedanta and shaktipaata in Kashmir Shaivism. Both the philosophies understand it to be unconditional. They are in complete agreement on this point. Vedanta says that intellectual power, study of the Vedas and even spiritual instruction are persuaded by divine grace alone :
'It is by Lord's grace that one is led to monistic practices.' Again, the Upanishads declare:
'Atma can be realized by him whom He favours and to whom He reveals Himself.'
In Shaivism also it is Shaktipaata that makes self- recognition possible.
'One is directed towards the preceptor as if tethered with a rope'.
'There is no human effort to earn shaktipaata'.
It is the independent will of Lord Siva to grant shaktipaata or divine grace to any one at any place and at any time.
The two truths of Nagarjuna by Edward Berge- An example of the intellectually rarified dialog that members of the Integral Community are engaged in at the Open Integral Forum with Alan Kazlev, Andy Smith, Jim Chamberlain, Chris Dierkes, Tusar N. Mohapatra, Marko Rinck and Ray Harris. (One of the few comments that I could actually comprehend- ef) "They are not saying that Spirit does not exist, but simply that any finite statement about the infinite will categorically not work- not in the same way that statements about relative or conventional truth will work. Spirit can be known, but not said; seen, but not spoken; pointed out, but not described; realized, but not
reiterated. Conventional truths are known by science; absolute truth is known by satori. They simply are not the same thing."
Perennial philosophy Wikipedia - Perennial philosophy also referred to as Perennialism and perennial wisdom, is a perspective in modern spirituality that views each of the world's religious traditions as sharing a single, metaphysical truth or origin from which all esoteric and exoteric knowledge and doctrine has grown. See also: The Perennial Philosophy by Aldous Huxley - The Perennial Philosophy may be found among the traditional lore of peoples in every region of the world, and in its fully developed forms it has a place in every one of the higher religions. Drawing on a diverse array of faiths, including Zen Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Christian mysticism, and Islam, Huxley examines the spiritual beliefs of various religious traditions and explains how they are united by a common human yearning to experience the divine. See also: Critical Comments on Perrenelist Philosophy by Kevin R. D. Sheperd - Updated March 2013 - How much history is there in popular "perennial philosophy"? In this respect, my own views and conclusions do not converge with those of well known writers like Frithjof Schuon or Ken Wilber. Briefly, Schuon represents the "traditionalist" model of "religio perennis", while Wilber represents the neoperennial "integral" approach. These two exponents are generally considered to be at opposite ends of the spectrum of exegesis.
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy...in general, 'mysticism' would best be thought of as a constellation of distinctive practices, discourses, texts, institutions, traditions, and experiences aimed at human transformation, variously defined in different traditions. Under the influence of William James' The Varieties of Religious Experience, heavily centered on people's conversion experiences, most philosophers' interest in mysticism has been in distinctive, allegedly knowledge-granting "mystical experiences". Philosophers have focused on such topics as the classification of mystical experiences, their nature in different religions and mystical traditions, to what extent mystical experiences are conditioned by a mystic's language and culture, and whether mystical experiences furnish evidence for the truth of their contents.
Ten Classical Metaphors of Spiritual Transformation- In Mysticism and Meditation Practice by Iona Miller, 1985: Among the myriad forms, expressions of the One in the Many, are the tales which permeate mystic discourse. Their forms are many, but their message and meaning are essentially One. They are, of necessity, a pale reflection of the experience they intimate. The mystical and religious literature of East and West and the secret oral traditions of esoteric spiritual schools have used myths, parables, similes, symbols and metaphors to allude to that strange process that somehow changes or transforms our deepest selves. Through this means they have addressed the problem which can be stated as, "How can we know or describe anything about the changes we have not yet experienced, changes that by universal consensus take us beyond the realm of everyday reality, for which our words and concepts have been fashioned?"
Probably a major reason the numinous experience has remained ineffable over the past millennia is the acute problem of putting the 'feelings' that are its essence into a coherent language. Leon Schlamm addresses the issue in his essay
Numinous Experience and Religious Language An examination of Rudolph Otto's The Idea of the Holy regarding intelligibly communicating transcendent experience- with comparison to other philosophers and
phenomenologists (William James, Steven Katz, Henri Bergson, Martin Buber, etc.) who have agonized over, or asserted, the inexpressible tremendum, fascinans and ineffable
mysterium moments of numinous experience.
Spirit and Flesh multiple websites, articles, symbolic digital graphics by Jack Hass and friends examining the interface of Gaia and Brahman in wholeness as in: "That I am Before Abraham was, I am is the self, and what the Hindus call the Brahman, and the Chinese call the Tao. And the Tao is curious. The basic idea is that life is a flowing dance that consists of going on and stopping what the Chinese call yang and yin" Alan Watts (Zen and the Beat Way)
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.
This site is an attempt at providing an easy and structured online introduction to the philosophy of advaita vedAnta, as taught by SankarAcArya and his followers. It is not meant for religious propaganda. This website represents a serious attempt at exploring philosophical issues in advaita vedAnta, as handled by the leading philosophers themselves, and in the
context of their times. At the end, I think it should be obvious that the core of the teaching has a timeless quality to it, making it relevant to all humankind even today.
The Experience of Samadhi By Richard Shankman Shambhala Publications, 2008 This book offers an in-depth look at the soteriological foundational aspect of Buddhist meditation known as samadhi, or concentration: the ability of the mind to remain calm and settled without distraction. In part one of the book, Richard Shankman looks at the range of views and understandings about the experience of samadhi and offers a comprehensive examination of it using teachings attributed to the Buddha as well as later commentaries. He compares the diverse descriptions and presentations of samadhi and jhana in order to present a broad understanding of it and its place in meditation practice. He examines different, often conflicting, views and how these various views are related.In part two, he presents a series of interviews with prominent contemporary Buddhist teachers, including Jack Kornfield, Sharon Salzberg, and Christina Feldman, that focus on the practical experience of samadhi. This section of the book brings the theoretical to life, offering a range of approaches to and applications of the different meditation techniques.
Joseph Cambell and the Sacred Function of Mythology (an excerpt from The Basket of Tolerance) by The Ruchira Buddha, Avatar Adi Da Samraj: However, in the Great Tradition of mankind, the sacred Ordeal Itself is the province of Teachers who are actual Realizers (of Samadhi). Of these, there are Gurus (spelled with a capital "G") who (in the context of any or all of the fourth, fifth, and sixth stages of life) have (at one time or another) experienced Samadhi, and who, therefore, can (in the context of their own stage or degree of Realization) give first-hand Guidance (including Revelatory explanations, and, in some cases, a degree of Spiritual Transmission) relative to the techniques, processes, stages, obstacles, and goals of the self-transcending Way. And, beyond these Gurus, there are Sat-Gurus (also often referred to by the simpler reference "Guru"), or those who are presently (and constantly) in Samadhi (in the context of any or all of the fourth, fifth, and sixth stages of life, and, especially, or in the Ultimate case, in the context of the seventh stage of life), and who are unique in their Ability to fully Transmit their own (uniquely developed) Wisdom, Spiritual Power of Realization, and (in the Greatest of cases) also their own State of Realization (or Samadhi) directly to others. Rather, it is a Call to ecstasy, and (thus and thereby) to Divine Realization (or Samadhi) Itself, and to the Recognition (and transcendence) of all conditions in Samadhi (and, Thus, in the Realized Divine Condition Itself.).
Raja Yoga Samadhi by Sri Swami Sivananda: In the Asamprajnata Samadhi, all the modifications of the mind are completely restrained. All the residual Samskaras are totally fried up. This is the highest Samadhi of Raja yoga. This is also known as Nirbija Samadhi (without seeds) and Nirvikalpa Samadhi. In this Samadhi, the Yogi sees without eyes, tastes without tongue, hears without ears, smells without nose and touches without skin. His Sankalpas can work miracles. He simply wills and everything comes into Being. This state is described in Taittariya Aranyaka-I-ii-5: "The blind man pierced the pearl, the fingerless put a thread into it; the neckless wore it and the touchless praised it."
Transcendent Experiences by Louis Roy. Introduces major classical thinkers- Kant, Schleiermacher, Hegel, James and Otto as well as more recent ones- MarTchal, Rahner and Lonergan.
Enlightenment in Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta - Are Nirvana and Moksha the Same? by David Loy: This paper will not attempt to resolve the contradictions between three metaphysical systems that are irreconcilably different. Samkhya-Yoga is dualistic, early Buddhism may be considered pluralistic, and Advaita Vedanta is monistic. The issue is whether it is possible to understand these various systems as describing the same phenomenon from differing perspectives. These three philosophies are among the most important metaphysical systems, and they may be considered as representative of Indian philosophy as a whole. But they are representative of something else too. They may be seen as the three main ways of trying to resolve a perennial philosophical problem: the nature of the relation between subject and object.
Nirvikalpa - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This is the last version of my rewrite of the Nirvikalpa article (as of 16:53, 6 August 2007) which was essentially gutted by subsequent editing by members of the Wiki Hinduism Project who are aggresively biased as to what kind of content and references are appropriate for any topic over which they can technically claim jurisdiction. They show little tolerance for ecumenical or Neo Hindusism perspectives and the only way to inject such concepts into any article over which they have assumed executive editing privilages is to create an Analogous Concepts section which is the only refuge where there is at least a chance that views outside the pervue of Hindu fundamentalism will survive. (this version is subject to updating with maya-gaia's ongoing edits.)
3rd Millennium Gateway FAQ on Non-Duality by Dennis L. Trunk: What Is Enlightenment? - What Are the Signs of Enlightenment? - Can Enlightenment Come About Gradually? - How Does One Become Awakened? - What Is the Shift? - What Is the Difference Between "I," "I Am" and "I-I"? - Why Do Nondualists Claim There Is Consciousness In Deep Sleep? - What Is Liberation? -What Is Presence? - What Is the Heart? - What Is Non-doership? - Do Nondualists Believe in God? - Etc.
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.
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.
Epiphany: a sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something; an intuitive grasp of reality through something usually simple and striking.
Waking From Sleep Why Awakening Experiences Occur and How to Make Them Permanent excerpt from chapter 6 of book by Steve Taylor, lecturer in psychology at Leeds Metropolitan University and a researcher at Liverpool John Moores University: 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. Hopefully through understanding awakening experiences, a permanently awakened state will become more accessible.
Non-duality FAQ website by Jerry Katz: Non-dual stories abound at this website. Among the most accessible are those of Jan Barendrecht, Greg Burkett, Douglas Harding, Harsha, David Hodges, Gene Poole, Phil Servedio, John White, John Wren-Lewis. There are others, but many of the names listed are people one can actually write and talk to.
The Non-Dual Experience: A Phenomenological Hermeneutic Investigation of the Seeker's Journey Towards Wholeness by Brian Theriault. A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies of the University of Lethbridge. A research format was used to investigate the particular themes that emerged from the co-researchers/subjects stories.
Three Forms of Mystical Experience Philip J. Ivanhoe, Stanford University. Essay compares Catholic, Buddhist and Daoist views of reality and the distinct nature of the mystical experiences each engenders. (Conspicuously absent from the discussion is a comparison for the experience of those who either have no knowledge of or have never bought into ANY religious or spiritual concept.)
Open Integral An example of the kind of facinating discussions that are ongoing in (Alan Kazlev, Andy Smith, Marko Rinck, Edward Berge, etc- much revolving around the concepts of Ken Wilber and generally a bunch of really keen minds trying to gather numinous and mystical realms into a comprehensible model through the integration of all the cutting-edge intellectual and ecumenical spiritual metatheorising that proliferates as we speak.
A cautionary maxim from the Buddhist Platform/Altar Sutra (of the Sixth Patriarch)- p. 48
All lacks anything authentic at all, So hold no views about the "authentic."
If you hold views about the authentic, All you see will not be authentic.
Comparative Samadhi In this interview- Marinus Jan Marijs (The Netherlands) talks about the phenomenology of nirvikalpa samadhi, turiya and turiyatita, and bhava samadhi. He gives detailed descriptions based on his personal experiences and extensive comparative research.
The Experience of God-Realisation in Noumenon - A Newsletter for the Nondual Perspective, Summer 1997:
by John White- author in the fields of consciousness research and higher human development. He has published 15 books, including The Meeting of Science and Spirit, What is Enlightenment? and A Practical Guide to Death and Dying.
Perspectives on Non-Duality from A Brief History of Everything by Ken Wilber- Chapter 13: Realms of the Superconcsious, Part 2. Excerpts from a doctoral thesis: "Non-Duality in Ken Wilber's Integral Philosophy: A Critical Appraisal and Alternative Physicalist Perspective of Mystical Consciousness", 2009 by Jeremy John Jacobs. (Where I first appreciated Wilber's grasp of the subject and ability to explain non-duality.) "When you "feel" your pure Self and you "feel" the mountain, they are absolutely the same feeling. In other words, the real world is not given to you twice--one out there, one in here. That "twiceness" is exactly the meaning of "duality." Rather, the real world is given to you once, immediately--it is one feeling, it has one taste, it is utterly full in that one taste, it is not severed into seer and seen, subject and object, fragment and fragment. It is a singular, of which the plural is unknown. You can taste the mountain; it is the same taste as your Self; it is not out there being reflected in here--that duality is not present in the immediateness of real experience. Real experience, before you slice it up, does not contain that duality--real experience, reality itself, is "nondual."
Buddhism Concepts of Nirvana.
Mathematics: The Bridge to an Integral Science of Experience by Thomas J. McFarlane
Toward a Science of Consciousness- 1998. There is no such thing as knowledge apart from, or outside of, our experience. Thus, all scientific knowledge is fundamentally grounded in our experience. All science, therefore, is the inquiry into the nature of our experience constrained by the essential principles of the scientific method. In particular, a genuine science of consciousness must take experience itself as its ground. More recently, the 20th century Western philosopher Franklin Merrell-Wolff (Wolff, 1944, 1973, 1995) has provided a detailed first-person account and philosophical analysis of the activation of non-conceptual inner knowledge. In particularly systematic and rigorous Eastern contemplative traditions such as Tibetan Buddhism, this type of knowledge has been cultivated and subjected to centuries of exhaustive philosophical scrutiny and refinement.
Transcendence and Epistemology by Paul Tyson. Where epistemology and transcendence are considered compatible, two approaches to truth are pursued. A Platonistic approach sees transcendence as the grounds of all true knowledge, whilst an Aristotelian approach sees natural human knowledge as providing inferential lodging places for speculative knowledge about transcendent truth. This paper argues: firstly, that the Aristotelian approach does not work;
secondly, that the Platonistic approach does work; thirdly, that the failure of the
Aristotelian approach has resulted in the death of truth at the hands of modern
epistemological foundationalism, and; fourthly, that the Platonistic approach is able to
displace post/modern scepticism regarding knowing transcendent truth.
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