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.
Significant Transpersonal Episodes I Experienced in My Life.
Up to the Culmination of my Nirvikalpa Samadhi Transcendence
Assorted Transpersonal Projects
The original (1997) idea of this page was to introduce an interactive forum for sharing transpersonal experiences and related subjects. Because there are an almost limitless number of sub-categories within this general field I had intended to try to narrow the focus to specific domains which I could relate to personally, presented in synopsies below. I've left these accounts in as they form a preface to the account of the major transpersonal episode in my life.
There are now so many sites on the web which are better attended than mine, which provide open forums, that I've abandoned the idea for this kind of forum and refer you to two I can relate to at Institute of Noetic Science and Science and Nonduality.
Brief Personal History of "Mystical" Events
Event l. A Perennial Vision of God
When I was about 7 or 8 years old, just before falling asleep, I remember having a vision of a long, dark tunnel in which, at the farthest end, silhouetted against a bright light, was a lean, figure wearing a conical hat dancing. I thought I had seen God and it gave me a kind of icky feeling. (I could now compare that memory with Hindu images in bronze of Nataraja.) I can think of no possibility that I had ever been exposed to that kind of symbol in my very ordinary protestant environment. I'm not going to try to make anything of this beyond the obvious similarity to the light-at-the-end-of-a-tunnel feature which is a included in many descriptions of near-death experiences.
Update 04_08_09: In creating my page about synchronicity between the episode in my samadhi of returning through a funnel tube and the concept of a consciousness wormhole- I realize this vision was highly symbolic of that reality. End Update
Event 2. The Mysterious Track of Ball Lightning
At the time of this episode, circa 1939, the phenomena of ball lightning was as scientifically paranormal as flying saucers are considered today. Now it is better documented and scientifically recognized as a form of lightning.
I was about 12 years old and shopping downtown in my hometown of Rockville Centre on Long Island, NY. A sudden rainstorm with wind gusts and lightning caused me to duck into the entrance arcade of a drugstore where a elderly black man had already found refuge. In a short time the storm subsided and I moved out near the sidewalk to peek down the street to see if the rain was stopping. What I saw through the drizzle, some hundred feet distant, was a small animated ball of brilliant, bluish light floating a few feet above the ground. It was approaching somewhat erratically at a walking pace right up the middle of the street. I was transfixed just inside the entrance and as it came closer could see details of swirling electric-like currents and sparks that composed the ball. As it was about to come abreast of my position, where I expected it to pass by on its course down the middle of the street, it instead made a deliberate turn directly towards me causing me to back into the arcade. I watched in fear with the black man on one side of the arcade and me on the opposite side separated by no more than eight or ten feet as the ball, about the size of a large cantaloupe, floated just below my eye level right into the middle of the arcade entrance. Without hesitating it passed directly between us and seemed to purposely aim at the center of the plate glass of the metal-framed drugstore door and when it struck there was a deafening blast but only slight shock wave. I had apparently shut my eyes just before it connected so have no memory by which to visually describe the moment of contact but other than being badly shaken there appeared to be no injury to either of us or even any visible damage to the store door. At no time did I feel enveloped by any electric-like sensation but was aware of a soft hissing and crackling sound as the ball passed by, less than 3 feet from my nose. The black guy and I never spoke but just looked dumbly at one another after the event totally mystified and relieved.
Update 09 20 08: It is of some interest that ten years after I wrote about this ball-lightning episode, I Googled the term- ball+lightning+cantaloupe and was surprised how often reports of sightings used that fruit to describe the size of the electrical ball and more synchronicity in a poem I Found a Flashlight The Lantern - Ursinus University poem by Ian O'Neil (see page 93 of 100)
...A ball of lightning crowned the tower
Like a radiant cantaloupe...
Update 07 02 09: My sighting of a fireball meteor at age ten and the implications that it may have been a harbinger of my Nirvikalpa Samadhi and a synchronicity in the mission I've assumed to help fulfill God's desire to be known. End Update
Event 3. UFO Sighting by top Scientists
Back around 1964 I was a Photo Technician on an oceanographic research ship drifting on station somewhere south off Bermuda. It was a cloudless night and I was on an observation deck with about six other members of the scientific team. We all became focused on a rather inexplicable point of light which was approaching us from the north at what appeared to be a speed faster than any aircraft. We were passing two pairs of binoculars back and forth and when I got a turn to look at the object I saw what looked like an array of various colored jet-like sources of light (about six)- then I had to pass the glasses. What I observed then with my naked eyes was this now rather, elliptical-shaped light making its course directly over our heads and just as it reached our zenith suddenly split into two beams which flashed at "warp" speed at right angles in exactly opposite directions from one another...one to the east, the other west...and no light continuing forward on the original course. The whole observation from the start took perhaps two or three minutes while at the flash, the objects vanished in streaks of lights which lasted no more than a few milliseconds. In the excited "huddle" which immediately followed there was complete agreement as to the basic scenario of the event as I have described it, although there were minor differences as to what each of us observed through the binoculars.
A scientific approach to explaining UFO sightings see Semi-trance, Mental Illness, and Altered States of Consciousness by M. Pitkanen at the Department of Physical Sciences, High Energy Physics Division, U. of Helsinki, Finland referencing The Origin of Consciousness- in the breakdown of the bicameral mind by Julian Jaynes.
I have not communicated with any of the other team members about this incident since it happened, however three of them were top-level scientific minds (two became world-renowned marine geologists) so I plan to try to locate them and see what their conclusions about this incident are. I plan to publish whatever insights those who experienced the event with me can share after all these years, assuming some are still living.
First Update: Sadly I learned that Dr. Cesare Emiliani, one of the observers referred to in this "sighting" had recently died. See Cesare Emiliani- bio of his illustrious career including his pioneering the concept of global warming. I have never been able to locate Dr. Enrico Bonatti, another of the observers, who was a life-long friend and associate of Cesare. I've learned that another observer, Shale Nisken had also died some time ago. There remains one other observer- Joe Richards, and I hear he lives somewhere in North Florida so I'll try to track him down and get his perspective- Update...no luck so far.
Event 4. A Collective Ecstatic Dance/Drumming Episode
This has to do with the subject of ecstatic ritual which in my case happened when, one Saturday evening, I had joined a high-energy group of black street dancers and native drummers at a Goombay Festival in Coconut Grove back around 1961 (Miami, FL) As I boogied with a particularly energized and alluring girl, the drumming seemed to reach a crescendo and I suddenly felt swept up in an ecstatic force which caused everyone in our immediate group, perhaps thirty or more individuals, to spontaneously switch to a highly-orchestrated ritual "jump-dance" accompanied with a synchronized whooping cry (later it reminded me of the Masai jump-dance) except we all threw our arms high over our heads as we whooped at the height of each jump. We all did this while the drummers reached a frenzy for about l5 or 20 seconds and then...as if awakened from a dream, suddenly stopped...stumbled around for a few seconds (the drummers briefly stopped) and soon everyone (looking a little dazed and sheepish) got back to the regular level of music and dancing. Later I assumed I had shared some archetypal episode triggered by the creation of some primeval OVERMIND precipitated out of our ecstatic drumming/dancing. According to Edwin Peddie, Maroon percussionist and Goombay drummer from Jamaica, observations in Accompong revealed that drums are not only used as musical instruments to convey messages but also to connect to the ancestors. The Goombay was also used to induce a trance dance. See also: Jamaican Maroon Music Drums of Defiance by Michel Conci. by Julian Jaynes.
Pakistan's Sufis Preach Faith and Ecstasy - By Nicholas Schmidle Photographs by Aaron Huey - Smithsonian magazine, December 2008. An experiential, first-hand report on the status of the spiritual tradition and living example of a collective drumming meditation that evokes behavior similar to my Goombay episode. Believers in Islamic mysticism embrace a personal approach to their faith in stark contrast to the social and political authoritative militancy of jihadist movements.
The fact that I, as a white guy, became perfectly synchronized with this all-black orchestration, lends credence to the notion that our collective subconscious overrides all our phenomenal human differences regarding culture, religion or race. How wide is the spectrum of commonality? Maybe it goes beyond our own species so that in some future time we'll re-learn to dance with the orangs or dolphin or stars.
A scientific approach to explaining trance episodes see Semi-trance, Mental Illness, and Altered States of Consciousness by M. Pitkanen at the Department of Physical Sciences, High Energy Physics Division, U. of Helsinki, Finland referencing The Origin of Consciousness- in the breakdown of the bicameral mind
Consciousness and Creative Trance by Eric Allen Bell, 2011 An examination of the rave dance environment, characterizing states of altered consciousness both with and without the influence of the synthetic empathogen MDMA commonly known as ecstacy (as distinct from the entheogen ayahuasca) and noting similarities and distinction to trance states that manifest in archaic traditions of shamanism, ecstatic rituals and some modern techniques for inducing liminal states of consciousness.
Event 5. A Spontaneous Neo-Tantric Nirvikalpa Samadhi
In 1970, I experienced what Crookall (The Interpretation of Cosmic and Mystical Experiences, 1969) described as an ultimate transcendent experience after having had the most terrific sex in my life! I went from orgasmic ecstasy to spiritual ecstasy and experienced a classic transcendent journey complete with dying and being One-With-God and back. A year after it happened, I described the episode in a small pamphlet entitled- A Mystical Experience subtitled- Ecstasy Beyond Orgasm, written (1972) after I had some time to somewhat research and integrate the experience, since when it happened I was in an almost completely naive state about mystical or transpersonal subject matter. Thorough sporadic subsequent research during the following years I came to realize I been graced with an extraordinary memory of a Nirvikalpa Samadhi based on internet resources about the nondual traditions of Vedanta, Buddhism and Daoism. Since creating the Maya-Gaia website in 1997 I created another site in 2006- Cosmic Consciousness which explores scientific evidence suggesting that we are part of a conscious universe. There is an analysis of my transcendent experience focusing on how it may be an expression of a universal electromagnetic matrix entangling with my neurophoton field and another page presenting a closer examination of the metaphysical implications. I've continued to create pages that examine specific aspects of both non dual tradition and postmodern metaphysical and transpersonal theories that I pass through the lens of my samadhi experience that are listed in the Maya-Gaia Sitemap.
Transpersonal Psychology and
On Broadening the Participatory Meanings of Transpersoanl Phenomena:
Discussed In Relation to Transpersonal Theory and to the Work of Ken Wilber, Jorge Ferrer, amd Robert Nozick
By Wayne H. Williams, 2004. Jorge Ferrer, an important up-and-coming transpersonal philosopher and scholar who suggests a
broadened understanding of transpersonal phenomena in his (2002) work,
Revisioning Transpersonal Theory, A Participatory Vision of Human Spirituality.
We are talking about such thinkers as have argued that transpersonal structures build on the same or similar structures that are already present
in assumedly pre-transpersonal stages. I believe this would include such thinkers as Jung (1968), Bohm (1982), Washburn (1988),
and Kelly (1998). In addition, we believe our work follows on the heels of those who have argued for a relational approach to the study of transpersonal phenomena such as Rothberg (1993), Achterberg (1998), Welwood (1990, 1996), and Haule (1992). We will identify three essential areas of interest to our particular study. These deal with 1) the nature of certain conceptualizations of metaphysical depth within both consciousness and "R/reality" 2) the potential broadness and plurality of our participative transpersonal experiences, and 3) the subsequent challenge of conceptual inclusiveness of such a plurality of broad participative phenomena in terms of a representative map or model of consciousness, transpersonal phenomena, or Reality as a whole.
Heuristic Inquiry Differentiated From Descriptive Phenomenology and Aligned With Transpersonal Research Methods The Humanistic Psychologist, 2019 by Gabi Mihalache and Gabriela Mihalache - Heuristic inquiry has been classified by many qualitative researchers, as a phenomenological approach, whereas transpersonal psychologists consider it a transpersonal research method. However, Moustakas, the creator of heuristic inquiry, distinguished heuristic research from descriptive phenomenology, and labeled it personal, instead of transpersonal. The differences between heuristic research and descriptive phenomenology are highlighted in this article for methodological clarity, and evidence from Moustakas's writings is presented to support the argument that heuristic inquiry could be considered either a personal or a transpersonal research method. Distinguishing phenomenological characteristics such as a grounding in philosophy and the application of the psychological-phenomenological reduction are missing from the heuristic inquiry design. In addition, heuristic inquiry is a person-centered approach, whereas the phenomenological method is a phenomenon-centered approach. Keywords: heuristic inquiry, qualitative research, descriptive phenomenology, transpersonal research methods, transpersonal psychology