posted on Nov, 27 2012 @ 09:00 AM
Enlightenment: Is Science Ready to Take it
I’m not given to making grand predictions, but in this case I can’t resist: the very real spiritual transformation at the heart of mysticism
is about to explode into the secular mainstream, and the consequences may just revolutionize our scientific understanding of the mind.
For expediency’s sake, I’ll define enlightenment as a complex and multi-faceted process by which the mind comes to know – and over time rest
more securely in – its own ground. As this happens, our habitual sense of being a separate and bounded self begins to fade. Ultimately, the person
for whom this happens no longer feels themselves to be an autonomous entity looking out at an external world; rather, they feel themselves, more and
more, to be an intimate part of that world’s humid expression, an unfolding natural process no different than anything else in nature. As a result,
practitioners report a liberating sense of freedom, ease, spontaneity. The volume of self-referential thought often decreases, although, since
enlightenment happens along a deepening continuum, they are still routinely trapped in old habits of dualistic thinking.
Despite the fact that this transformation has been painstakingly described in virtually every contemplative tradition – from Buddhism, Taoism and
Hinduism through to the mystical branches of the Western Abrahamic religions – and is the central drama in the lives of thousands of lucid and
intelligent human beings, here in the West there is zero mention of the phenomenon in any of our bastions of intellectual respectability. You’ll
never read about spiritual enlightenment in a Malcolm Gladwell book, or the pages of The New York Review of Books. This is true even in most Western
Buddhist books, where enlightenment may be mentioned as a general principle or orientation, but almost never as a tangible transformation that happens
to real 21st-century human beings.
In the multidisciplinary world of consciousness studies, the buzzword is nonduality, a translation of Advaita (literally “not two”), an ancient
branch of Hindu philosophy. I’ve presented at two ‘Toward a Science of Consciousness’ meetings, a terrific annual assembly of the biggest names
in neuroscience and philosophy of mind, among them Antonio Damasio, David Chalmers, Wolf Singer, Susan Greenfield, Stuart Hameroff and others. For the
past few years nonduality has been a popular subject of discussion. There is even a dedicated ‘Science and Nonduality’ conference - now in its
fourth year – that features some of the same speakers, many of them offering straight-to-the-bone “Direct Path” instruction in books and DVDs
and weekend workshops.
Science might be beginning to wake up to the fact that enlightenment is real!
Solar, lunar, galactic cosmic events can and do help people to achieve enlightenment. Gaining enlightenment isn't just about sitting around meditating
and chanting and so forth. Opening up to the cosmos can help one to gain it! Celestial events can put us on a path of RAPID spiritual growth.
The upcoming winter solstice is not about disaster. It's an opportunity for people to make significant progress toward enlightenment. OPEN UP...don't
let fear or anger shut you down!
edit on 27-11-2012 by BlueMule because: (no reason given)