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Spiritual Transcendence As A Function Of The Brain

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posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 03:21 PM
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Let us see high states of consciousness, including spiritual or transcendental states, in terms of the brain’s functioning. First let us understand that that virtually every sense-perception, as well as bodily sensation, is mediated by the nervous system. This means that all of these require a certain amount of neural activity to be dedicated to it. Let us consider the individual’s neural capacity to be fixed.

The primary factor I am going to be discussing is the potential of consciousness being largely determined by dividing total capacity by the amount of neurons required to mediate perceptions. Regardless, all perceptions and bodily sensations are mediated by neural activity, as I stated previously. The more sensations you experience, and the more neurons directed towards mediating them, the less capacity you have for experiencing expanded states of consciousness.

John Lily devised a brilliant device for dealing with this fact, and allowing expanded states of consciousness to be accessed more easily; I am speaking of the isolation tank. Here virtually all perceptions and bodily sensations cease to be. All of your neural potential that would have been directed towards these perceptions, is now freed for new activity. Because of this, your potential for experiencing expanded states of consciousness is greatly increased. This is the basic principle behind meditation, as well as the monk-lifestyle. Through meditation, or leaving the societal life altogether to live in a monastery, or a cave, or whatever, this same basic principle is applied.

(CONTINUED IN POST BELOW)
edit on 20-9-2012 by TheJourney because: (no reason given)




posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 03:21 PM
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A technique for addressing this specific problem is meditation with what are called asanas. This is where you pick a position in which to put your body, and during the time of meditation you do not move your body AT ALL. Perhaps slowing the mind would be good as well, but that is not the primary purpose of this mediation. The purpose is to keep your body absolutely still throughout the meditation. You cannot itch, you cannot address any discomfort, you cannot move at all.

Now, your nervous system/brain works largely through feedback loops. This means that feedback is a cue for persistence of the existing processes. If you address the itch, or do any movement in response to some physical sensation, you are giving your brain a cue to continue these sensations. Through absolutely ignoring them, keeping your body absolutely still in the asana no matter what, your brain can learn to basically close these bodily feedback loops down.

This is the attainment of the asana. If you can accomplish this, your nervous system will basically cease sending signals to your body, and there will be no distractions while you are in the asana. Because of this, intense physical bliss is possible. Also because of this, high states of consciousness, and intense spiritual or transcendental experiences become possible. These states come by your brain not being distracted by routine functions. The more these distractions are removed, the more of your brain’s power can be directed towards intense experiences in consciousness.

Looking deeper yet, detaching from conceptual or emotional responses can close down deeper feedback loops in your cognitive functioning, which can open up even deeper states of consciousness, even more transcendental experiences. Note that in this view, spirituality and science are reconciled. Spiritual experiences are seen as being legitimate functions of the brain, which can be induced by specific techniques, and that our knowledge of all of this can be expanded through scientific analysis.



posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 03:34 PM
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Well said.



posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 03:38 PM
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Thanks for sharing.




posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 03:55 PM
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reply to post by TheJourney
 


When I am reading a good book I can sometimes get to a point you've described. I do not feel hot or cold, tired or wide awake. I am not hungry or thirsty. It's as if I cease to exist, and the world has completely topped. The story I'm reading becomes everything and I become nothing.

At work, I stand at a machine and feed cardboard into it with my right hand, and remove the cardboard with my left. I am a die cutter and I make the spools you see in a hardware store that carry chain. The chain is wrapped around this spool. The machine is on automatic, opening and closing at a very fast pace all day long. Anyway, I can do this job blindfolded, which means that I am able to think of other things and other places. Everyday I do this, and a whole hour can go by in what seems a few minutes.

Here's the thing though, from ice fishing on Europa, to stopping all the nations from blowing us all to hell, everything I think of is just a dream! I don't spiritually go anywhere, and I can't think of higher thoughts that go beyond my own intelligence.

So, where are these special people that have discovered the secrets of the universe and the cure for everything through spiritual transcendent mumbo-jumbo?



posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 04:34 PM
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reply to post by TheJourney
 


Very good post TheJourney.

"Higher states of consciousness" is merely the suppression of the bodily senses and the nervous system. The ironic thing is, once someone suppresses his own senses, he is, by definition, less conscious.

Great thoughts.

edit on 20-9-2012 by LesMisanthrope because: used wrong word



posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 04:52 PM
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reply to post by TheJourney
 


Nicely worded.

Made me think about lucid dreaming



posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 04:53 PM
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Originally posted by Taino
reply to post by TheJourney
 


Nicely worded.

Made me think about lucid dreaming


Meditate in the lucid dream state...believe me, you can have some intense experiences of consciousness doing that...



posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 04:59 PM
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Originally posted by TheJourney

Originally posted by Taino
reply to post by TheJourney
 


Nicely worded.

Made me think about lucid dreaming


Meditate in the lucid dream state...believe me, you can have some intense experiences of consciousness doing that...


Now that sounds intresting. Will try it.
I was reading a thread on Tibetan singing bowls. Nice to meditate with their sound.





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