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How a nonspiritual person might have a spiritual experience

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posted on Jan, 27 2011 @ 11:23 PM
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I've been on this board a while, dropping hints here and there that there is more to this world than meets the eye.

I have never really elaborated. One reason for this is because, as a former hardcore materialist and empiricist, I know what it takes to convince such a person of something, and frankly I cannot offer anything but anecdotal evidence, and there's plenty of that hanging around already. If anything, the more anecdotes there are, the more the empiricists see contradictions and become even more solid in their convictions.

I can offer a little bit of logic, and I've tried that on some threads. Strict materialism in particular is logically almost worthless; it's actually embarrassing that I once subscribed to it so wholeheartedly while considering myself a logical person. However, usually my posts on ATS related to the spiritual are defensive; defending those who have had such experiences. I know that the only thing that will convince you is a personal experience. That's what it took for me.

So this isn't another "let's try to convince the atheists" thread. But there are some empiricists out there who have a certain "yearning of the soul", a lurking existentialism. For those who fall into this category, their belief about the world is that it's all fundamentally meaningless, but their attitude toward that belief has a certain wistful quality about it, even if that quality is barely detectable. They wish there were more, that they could come up with a good reason to take life seriously. It's as if, even if there isn't in factual reality any meaning and we invent it purely out of biological programming, experientially speaking it'd still be nice if there were. This thread is dedicated to this particular type of atheist. If you are not this particular type of atheist, I would like to kindly ask that you just move on along and please refrain from spamming my thread with irrelevant flame. Thanks in advance for this favor.

This thread has one main purpose, but I might write a supplement thread later with an auxiliary purpose. The main purpose is to propose a possible way for an atheist to increase their chance of having a spiritual experience. I can't guarantee that it will, but I know what for me not only produces interesting insights, uplifting "fuzzies", highly meaningful dreams, and obvious synchronistic phenomena in the external world, but also gives me a sense of being on a "path" and continually being "given" more things to accomplish, and so I will be going on that. So basically this thread is saying "This works for me; you're welcome to try it." That is all.

The secondary purpose (probably reserved for another thread if I get around to it) is to make an attempt at providing a theoretical background for this. After all, you don't get converted from hardcore empiricism without trying to integrate the undeniable experiences you've had on the one hand with your former worldview on the other. At the very least you try to ponder why your philosophy was so off the mark. I know what they say about pouring new wine into old wineskins, and I have a decent feeling for why, but I cannot at this point follow that doctrine without giving my old worldview a fair trial (so perhaps I will come to regret this, but regret is part of the learning experience).


So how do I experience the spirit? The one line answer is, by actively growing as a human being.

More specifically, to start out, try something like this: Identify some things in your life that would make you healthier or a better person. Maybe you should exercise more. Maybe you should eat less or better. Maybe you should stop drinking, stop smoking, stop doing drugs. Maybe you should clean up your apartment. Maybe you should end a relationship you already know is doomed. Pick one of those things (no need to try to conquer the world all at once), and make a valiant effort to accomplish it. Pretend for a moment that that one thing is the very meaning of life itself, and get it done.

It's important that this is something you have a hard time with, a genuine bad habit, that you have never really actively tackled and which actively tackling would therefore be uncomfortable and feel undesirable at first. Simply keeping up a good habit is not the same. What's important is that you make a change in your life. Because that amounts to a change in what you are, and causes you to grow.

If you're having trouble discovering things to do, it helps to try to picture yourself objectively. Pretend you're someone else, and someone has installed a camera in your house. What sort of person do you see? What things about this person is respectable? What isn't? Listen to your emotions; listen for embarrassment feelings. This helps to identify the problem areas.

Continue struggling with this one issue until you beat it. Establish the good habit. Then, while keeping the good habit, move on to another.

With me so far? Okay, here's where it starts to get freaky.

While doing all this, pray (to "whatever's in there" if you have to) to show you some signs, to reveal itself to you. I say "in" because there is a spirit within you, an entity which is not the same as you. Being within you, it wants you to grow, to become stronger, healthier, more conscious, so you can better fulfill the aims it has for you. Before it will reveal itself to you, you need to show it that you are ready, willing, and able to make changes in your life. If your life is pure reaction and desire-slavery, pure go-with-the-animal-flow, there's not a whole lot it can do with you, because what it ultimately wants out of you is not quite parallel with your neural robot instincts.

If it's too early to be thinking of spirits, this "spirit" is also identical to what some psychologists have called the "inner child" and described as essentially a neural phenomenon. Nevertheless, whether spirit or neural phenomenon (actually the two are identical; more on that if I make a "theory" thread), it has a life of its own. Psychologists have long acknowledged the existence of "autonomous complexes", even empirical philosophers-of-mind (such as Dennett) do, and heck anybody with an inkling of self-reflection realizes that there's stuff going on in their head that they have no control over. It's not a tough thing to admit really. You don't have to call it a "spirit" until you have seen sufficient power from it to warrant it. But at least acknowledge its existence.

So that's basically it. Let me break it down into the steps:
1.) Acknowledge, if only tentatively (you don't have to give up critical thinking), the existence of a spirit within you, whose interests are mostly unknown for the time being but definitely coincide with you being as healthy a person as you can be.
2.) Humbly submit to its will (the part of its will which you already know, which is becoming a better, healthier person). And it may seem silly at first but frankly this works best when done with such "trappings of religion" as repentance for not doing its will up to this point, prayer for forgiveness, and genuine commitment to improve.
3.) Pray to it to reveal more of the truth to you and more of its will to you, and to give you more tasks, as you succeed in completing the tasks it has already put before you.
4.) Succeed in completing the tasks.

Even more basically, it's the path of doing all the things you know you should do anyway. And there are always some such things. Get on them. When they're complete, you'll realize there are even more such things, and as you get past the more basic ones (i.e. quit drinking), the later ones get more noble (i.e. take correct, mindful action in a family problem). It becomes like a "path". And it's one thing at a time, so it doesn't have to be overwhelming. Just do one thing at a time.

That's it. Otherwise, feel free to keep a healthy doubt. Never believe in anything blindly. But closing yourself off and not even bothering to experiment is resigning yourself for good to a meaningless life (or a life of "self-created meaning", which I contented myself with for a while but frankly pales in comparison). If you're happy with that, great, this thread is not for you. But if you're the sort who is willing to be a bit intrepid and say "Hey, what the hell, it's worth a shot" then this thread is for you.

And if it doesn't work, you've still made yourself a better and more respectable person through your actions to improve yourself. You'll have more self-esteem. Can't argue with that.

But if it does work, you'll slowly get to know your Divine Mother (that spirit who lives within you, comforts you, and wants you to grow healthier) and your Divine Father (that spirit who has a purpose for you in this world and through your step-by-step disciplined actions unfolds it within you). You'll start to discover in a personal way the benefits of various "weird" practices like meditation that currently don't make any sense. A whole new world opens up.

So it's win/win. There's really no reason not to try this.


As an aside now, let me say something else really weird but nevertheless I need to say it because of the significance it's had for me. I've also found this works a lot better if you avoid masturbating during this process. I haven't exactly figured out why theoretically, but took a suggestion to try it for kicks, and, well, trust me, you'll want to fight the urge to wank while you're doing this; the results are a lot better. This gets much easier to do after a week or so. I don't know about partner sex; I have not had a partner since before all this stuff started happening to me. And aside from spiritual things, there are some "secular" benefits like finding myself attracted to more respectable women, and improved self-confidence in talking to them.

Laugh all you like.


edit on 27-1-2011 by NewlyAwakened because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 27 2011 @ 11:27 PM
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The only way is if they're at some point meant to and even then they still have say most of the time, hence free will. I'm a spiritual one myself but pushing beliefs onto atheists or anyone for that matter is immoral. If they wanted to have one, they'd search around.

And to answer the question/statement that's already flawed: a near death experience or a spontaneous awakening.



posted on Jan, 27 2011 @ 11:30 PM
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Originally posted by OneLife
The only way is if they're at some point meant to and even then they still have say most of the time, hence free will. I'm a spiritual one myself but pushing beliefs onto atheists or anyone for that matter is immoral. If they wanted to have one, they'd search around.

And to answer the question/statement that's already flawed: a near death experience or a spontaneous awakening.

I'm not pushing anything. I'm inviting those who are seeking to try something if they are so inclined. Read the whole thread.

I agree (with some serious reservations) that they must be meant to in some sense. But that doesn't mean we cannot be the vehicles.


edit on 27-1-2011 by NewlyAwakened because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 27 2011 @ 11:43 PM
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Thank you so much for posting this.

Please instruct me on how to astral project.

I have episodes of sleep paralysis very often, and sometimes I attempt to leave my body but I can never do it.

Yesterday it happened, and I recall feeling some weird vibrations. I can't tell if they were physical or if that's any relevant.

I will really appreciate it.




posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 12:01 AM
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Good post S&F. I also think that killing your ego is a vital step, but i feel as if thats what you meant to say. Got me thinking , i appreciate you taking your time out to post you should do so more often.



posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 01:51 AM
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Meditation is a very interesting experience. If you keep up with it and even if you don't get anything spiritual out of it, you'll get some good health benefits. I used to be really spiritual then became materialistic minded and I've now become very spiritual because of the intense bad feelings I would get. That's just my experience.



posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 02:04 AM
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I would like to experience proof....i would like to have a spiritual experience. One that would leave no doubt there is something more than the physical. I was raised with the belief of spirit...but lack faith. I have overcome many personal challenges....yet i still want to reach out and touch faith.



posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 02:06 AM
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reply to post by NewlyAwakened
 


Laugh all you like.

I'm not laughing.

As you know – for you and I have crossed swords in our time – I am a committed scientific materialist. Oddly, enough, though, I recently, and of my own accord, embarked on a project exactly like the one you have described.

I don't expect a spiritual experience from it, but I do hope to recover something valuable that disappeared from my life around the time I ceased to accept the possibility of 'things unseen'.

Star. Flag. And – although I'm not exactly sure why – thank you.



posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 03:33 AM
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How a nonspiritual person might have a spiritual experience


I love the way you phrased this.

Brings a smiling recollection of Carl Jung saying on the one hand, that all religion (presumably including the big spiritual traditions of the world) are nothing more than a defence mechansim against having an authentic spiritual experience - and on the other, that the only way the individual, relative to what he called the "mass man", something very pronounced these days, especially in the nuthouse called the USA (don't take offence all ye patriots) - might be authentically free, and self expressed, individuated, self realized whatever you want to call it and actively engaged in a forward leaning creative and optimistic fasion, is to have a functional and workable theological framework or perspective, not just a token one however, but one capable of moving the whole person, and through them as a creative process, the world at large. After all what is power is not the power to choose?

At the same time, principals must be proven right by their application, and so any kind of theological or spiritual framework, to have any validity, must be testable, the experience itself, both accessible, and available to experiencial evaluation, and there's no other kind of knowing, than that which is experienced by the human being. A purely materalist realist position cannot explain the entire breadth of human experience in a way which deals with the "qualia" of human experience and therefore consciousness and awareness. It's also impossible to scale up to the experience of consciousness in an upward causation of increasing complexity and epiphenomenon of matter, and explain the quantum reality, of the absolute uncertainty we are faced with, that is when the ego is no longer a consideration, having been dismissed or integrated with the laughter of ego cognition.

This guy explains it so much better than i do - imho, this three part interview, however "boring" you might find it to be at first glance, is well worth the watch/viewing, and the potential "grokking" most fully of, in terms of its implications for the human being in the creation, in a way which both "jives" with modern science and, which makes available as a point of access, all the very best of all the spiritual traditions of the world, and that's something, that's quite the bridge or keystone in the royal archway, over or under which (as long as we reach the destination) humanity might one day soon begin to pass into everlasting freedom, even the gnosis or felt experience of eternal life and the end of time so to speak, a unitive experience.

So aside from making this three part interview available, let me just say that any "nonspiritual person might have a spiritual experience" simply by being authentically non spiritual, or by being entirely true, honest, willing, open minded, curious, and perhaps even amuzed, because there's a joke lurking somewhere for the human being, when they reach the end of the drama in the space of nothing, which somehow is not nothing either, and what it is we cannot say, cannot even begin to imagine, only recognize that it's there and that we are very much an intrinsic part of it, by far more than we'd realize, and certainly something completely outside the realm of materialist realism.

And then the nothing that we took to be something is dissolved so to speak in the authentic human experience and in God as the "everything already always now and forever", and that. is, by it's very nature, a spiritual experience, making of the experience of life itself as an authentic human being,an authentic spiritual experience.

Think about it, we can only be "spiritual" if we are being authentically ourselves as we really ARE! Therefore, even the "spiritual" to BE spiritual, would have to be, like the nonspiritual person, authentically non "spiritual" as some sort of aspiration which we are seeking or striving for, how absurd! .
That by it's very nature is not spiritual at all! lol

Here's the three part Goswami Interview (hang in there with it, it's worth the time imo)




Things that make ya go hmmmm.... and then
and then




edit on 28-1-2011 by NewAgeMan because: typo, another damn typo, oh well what can ya do, it could be worse.



posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 03:37 AM
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if you're looking to have an out of body / spiritual experience, the best place to start is with experimentation of '___'. It's been proven for years to awaken a persons spiritual outlook on life and come to reason with things they could never understand prior too.



posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 03:45 AM
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reply to post by mrcheezel
 


They say there isn't an atheist alive who's ever taken it, because once they take it, if they were an atheist heading into the experience, then can no longer hold that position coming out, because once the mind changes shape it can never go back to it's original configuration. We cannot unlearn or unrealize truth, since it was never something taught to begin with, only discovered, being already there to begin with..



posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 03:59 AM
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reply to post by NewlyAwakened
 


What is the difference between a spiritual experience and a peak experience? Is one a subset of the other? I believe the sheer variety of experiences that as dubbed spiritual strongly mitigate against the a nonspiritual person having a spiritual experience and acknowledging it as such.

Now if you were discussing supernatural experiences that may be a different experience as this ha a clearer definition.

I am not being mean to you.

Rgds

T



posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 04:12 AM
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okay then, newlyawakened.

lets just say that there is a person who has been through all that and got crapped out the other side.

if it has been shown, at least to this person's own satisfaction, that all that lies on the other side of that long climb is yet another deep and treacherous valley...

...can you honestly say that it was worth the climb?

i do not think so.


it is much better, in my view, to toss meaning aside completely and deal as competently as possible only with whatever happens to be directly before you. setting yourself up is only asking to be torn back down. if there truly is "a path" and you are only able to go "one step at a time", what is the purpose of constructing the grand mythology? if there truly is anything "inside", it will reveal itself without any ultimatum attached. as natural as a smile on a sunny day.





posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 04:16 AM
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reply to post by tiger5
 


Perhaps the thread ought to have been entitled:

How can a "spiritual" person have an authentic spiritual experience?

We cannot try to "go beyond", or to seek within, or seek a spiritual experience for the one within, or even identify one's self in relation to a conceptualized super God-self, it just doesn't work that way, and how could it, since any such attempt is already by its very nature, inauthentic.




posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 04:37 AM
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reply to post by NewAgeMan
 


They say there isn't an atheist alive who's ever taken ('___'), because once they take it, if they were an atheist heading into the experience, then can no longer hold that position coming out, because once the mind changes shape it can never go back to it's original configuration.

You are saying, essentially, that '___' causes brain damage. Which it does, of course. And then the poor brain-damaged drug fiend comes out of his trance gibbering that he's Found The Light.

Meditation, by the way, is another great way to damage your brain. Just as good as drugs.



edit on 28/1/11 by Astyanax because: of gibbering



posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 04:44 AM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
reply to post by NewAgeMan
 


They say there isn't an atheist alive who's ever taken ('___'), because once they take it, if they were an atheist heading into the experience, then can no longer hold that position coming out, because once the mind changes shape it can never go back to it's original configuration.

You saying, essentially, that '___' causes brain damage. Which it does. And then the poor brain-damaged idiot comes out of his gibbering that he's Found The Light.

Meditation, by the way, is another great way to damage your brain. Just as good as drugs.

Nope, that's not what I was saying at all.

The substance already resides in the body and brain, and the brain metabolizes it almost instantly, like brain food, but it does cross the bloodbrain barrier, and poof, it's absorbed and like I said, already resides in the body, and in animals and many many plants at some level.

Apparently what occurs can be likened to a neurological Bose Einstein condensate, where brainmind becomes one with universal mind.

I am also referring to 5MEO, the cousin of normal '___'.

If you read a book called Tryptamine Palace by James Oroc then you'll have everything you need in terms of understanding the nature of the experience but not the experience.

I have not had the experience either, from from what I know it validates everything that I've learned or untuit.

It is not correct to think of it as a drug, nor the change of mind and heart "brain damage", as these people are entirely functional in every way afterwards, perhaps even more intelligent and certainly wiser and no none of this presents a poke or a jab at anyone, no should, not any sort of coercion, just reporting.



posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 04:51 AM
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reply to post by NewAgeMan
 


If you read a book called Tryptamine Palace by James Oroc then you'll have everything you need in terms of understanding the nature of the experience but not the experience.

I have better things to do than read books written by brain-damaged people, thank you very much indeed.

The OP presents a sensible programme for taking the self in hand – spiritual discipline, if you like. It has nothing to to with drivelling nonsense about dangerous drugs.



edit on 28/1/11 by Astyanax because: because some hippies are okay.



posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 04:59 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 

All I said was there isn't an atheist allve who's returned from the experience an atheist, that's all. They are not brain damaged, and these are people from all walks of life, there's plenty of research including Rick Strassman's study on it, and from what I understand, it's not dangerous when done in the right setting and only lasts about fifteen minutes, it just changes their point of view is all, and they say things like death has no meaning or significance and we're all nodes in one giant interpenetrating intelligence. It's the same experience of the ego dissolution of Samadhi enlightenment, at which point, from the spiritual disciplines, the same substance is probably released! It's also the substance which floods our brain at birth, death and at other traumatic moments. There's no need to go on the attack because I commented on it, it's just interesting that's all.

In fact, it fits almost perfectly with this type of conception of the nature of reality


"The God Theory" by Bernard Haisch
www.amazon.com...=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1249274834&sr=8-1

Haisch is an astrophysicist whose professional positions include Staff Scientist at the Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory, Deputy Director for the Center for Extreme Ultraviolet Astrophysics at the University of California, Berkeley, and Visiting Fellow at the Max-Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching, Germany. His work has led to close involvement with NASA; he is the author of over 130 scientific papers; and was the Scientific Editor of the Astrophysical Journal for nine years, as well as the editor in chief of the Journal of Scientific Exploration.

an excerpt


If you think of whitte light as a metaphor of infinite, formless potential, the colors on a slide or frame of film become a structured reality grounded in the polarity that comes about through intelligent subtraction from that absolute formless potential. It results from the limitation of the unlimited. I contend that this metaphor provides a comprehensible theory for the creation of a manifest reality (our universe) from the selective limitation of infinite potential (God)...
If there exists an absolute realm that consists of infinite potential out of which a created realm of polarity emerges, is there any sensible reason not to call this "God"? Or to put it frankly, if the absolute is not God, what is it? For our purposes here, I will indentify the Absolute with God. More precisely I will call the Absolute the Godhead. Applying this new terminology to the optics analogy, we can conclude that our physical universe comes about when the Godhead selectively limits itself, taking on the role of Creator and manifesting a realm of space and time and, within that realm, filtering out some of its own infinite potential...
Viewed this way, the process of creation is the exact opposite of making something out of nothing. It is, on the contrary, a filtering process that makes something out of everything. Creation is not capricious or random addition; it is intelligent and selective subtraction. The implications of this are profound.

If the Absolute is the Godhead, and if creation is the process by which the Godhead filters out parts of its own infinite potential to manifest a physical reality that supports experience, then the stuff that is left over, the residue of this process, is our physical universe, and ourselves included. We are nothing less than a part of that Godhead - quite literally.

Next, by Ervin Laszlo

Science and the Akashic Field, an Integral Theory of Everything, 2004
www.amazon.com...=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1249275852&sr=8-1

And, his other seminal work
Science and the Reenchantment of the Cosmos: The Rise of the Integral Vision of Reality
www.amazon.com...=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1249275852&sr=8-6

Ervin Laszlo is considered one of the foremost thinkers and scientists of our age, perhaps the greatest mind since Einstein. His principal focus of research involves the Zero Point Field. He is the author of around seventy five books (his works having been translated into at least seventeen languages), and he has contributed to over 400 papers. Widely considered the father of systems philosophy and general evolution theory, he has worked as an advisor to the Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. He was also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in both 2004 and 2005. A multidisciplinarian, Laszlo has straddled numerous fields, having worked at universities as a professor of philosophy, music, futures studies, systems science, peace studies, and evolutionary studies. He was a sucessful concert pianist until he was thirty eight.

In his view, the zero-point field (or the Akashic Field, as he calls it) is quite literally the "mind of God".

Naming Hal Puthoff, Roger Penrose, Fritz-Albert Popp, and a handful of others as "front line investigators", Laszlo quotes Puthoff who says of the new scientific paradigm:


[What] would emerge would be an increased understanding that all of us are immersed, both as living and physical beings, in an overall interpenetrating and interdependant field in ecological balance with the cosmos as a whole, and that even the boundary lines between the physical and "metaphysical" would dissolve into a unitary viewpoint of the universe as a fluid, changing, energetic/informational cosmological unity."

an excert from Science and the Akashic Field, an Integral Theory of Everything


Akasha (a . ka . sha) is a Sanskrit word meaning "ether": all-pervasive space. Originally signifying "radiation" or "brilliance", in Indian philosophy akasha was considered the first and most fundamental of the five elements - the others being vata (air), agni (fire), ap (water), and prithivi (earth). Akasha embraces the properties of all five elements: it is the womb from which everything we percieve with our senses has emerged and into which everything will ultimately re-descend. The Akashic Record (also called The Akashic Chronicle) is the enduring record of all that happens, and has ever happened, in space and time."

Laszlo's view of the history of the universe is of a series of universes that rise and fall, but are each "in-formed" by the existence of the previous one. In Laszlo's mind, the universe is becoming more and more in-formed, and within the physical universe, matter (which is the crystallization of intersecting pressure waves or an interference pattern moving through the zero-point field) is becoming increasing in-formed and evolving toward higher forms of consciousness and realization.



edit on 28-1-2011 by NewAgeMan because: I am an ok hippy too! : )



posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 05:48 AM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
reply to post by NewAgeMan
 


T

Meditation, by the way, is another great way to damage your brain. Just as good as drugs.



edit on 28/1/11 by Astyanax because: of gibbering


Well I would like to know how meditiation damages brains. Do you have any proof to back it up? I would like scientific proof but would like to hear your anecdotes.

On a different note I do not share the current rage for chemical shortcuts to enlightment. I stick to the tried and tested methods that take time but there is neither a rush or a race.



posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 06:35 AM
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reply to post by NewAgeMan
 

Please! Do you really expect me to read all that?

I read all the drug apologiae I shall ever need to back when I was a young man, thank you very much. They all sound wonderfully highbrow and they are all, without exception, drivel. I am old enough to remember when people actually thought a genuinely intellectual drug culture was viable. It took about fifteen years, I reckon, for reality to bite. It's tragic to realize that the lesson – for some of you, at least – has to be repeated generation after generation.

*


reply to post by tiger5
 

Meditation causes mild hypoxia. Hypoxia causes brain damage. It is also well known that meditation creates abnormal brainwave patterns and changes people's behaviour.

Notice, moreover, that the parts of the world where meditation is most popular are usually poverty-stricken and riddled with disease, crime and corruption, and often war-torn to boot. And what do the meditators do? Just smile blandly through it all and focus their minds on 'higher things'. If that isn't brain-damaged, what is?

Besides, have you heard the twaddle these people spout?



edit on 28/1/11 by Astyanax because: I don't want to be an absolute jerk.



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