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Consciousness and the Paranormal



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Tyger

Paranormal Adept
NOTE: Older text -

From a dear friend who understands these things -

"Lucid Dreaming takes time, discipline and practice. This is a very good, simple way of how to practice each evening. Be sure your mind is clear of everyday thoughts so that way you can concentrate better."

"Lay down and go to sleep. This works best if you are extremely tired. Lay on your back with your arms at your side and eyes closed. STAY PERFECTLY STILL. You must stay awake. Your brian will send signals to your body to see if you are ready to sleep. These signals include: getting an itch, changing your body position, wanting to blink or move your eyeballs (remember your eyes should be closed). YOU MUST IGNORE ALL OF THESE IMPULSES. After about 20-30 minutes you will feel a weight on your chest; you may even hear weird noises. You are now in sleep paralysis. If you open your eyes you will begin to hallucinate (dream with your eyes open) and you will not be able to move your body. Your body is now completely asleep. Now that you are aware that you are dreaming, you can shut your eyes and begin to dream instantly. You will be fully aware you are dreaming and can now (with some practice) control your dreams."



 
S

smcder

Guest
I'm just going to jump in and babble.

I love table 1 on page 15. Now, the questions that arise in my mind in considering the various levels of consciousness goes something like this, "Which state serves me best? Which states produce the most reliable information about the world and how it works? What is the most useful state to me personally? Can I use these states?

In the past I have actively sought after numerous "spiritual states" using Christian mysticism, mediation, contemplation, and other ...methods. The main motivation being some foolish youthful pursuit of something called truth. Some methods are more effective than others at achieving these states. All of these higher states can be achieved through chemical means as well regardless of what some devotee is going to tell you. Why? Because they are all chemical states in their "natural" expressions to begin with. (Not to start the "your consciousness is a chemical state machine vs. your mind is a career wave" thing again mind you.)

Did I get any useful information out of the whole business, any realization of truth? Although part of me wants to say, "Yes, I learned so much about how the world really works." because, hey all those lost decades must mean something. But no, the answer is "no." I learned more about lies, liars, fantasies, mind games, delusional thinking, and the sorry state of the human condition in general. (I think this is the point, if this were a movie, my character would spit contemptuously on the ground.)

I think we'd all agree that different information about the world is available to us via these different states. Our ability to process and use the information supplied in those states is dependent not only on the reliability of the information itself, but our ability to extract intelligence from it. Information about the "Paranormal", the spiritual, the occult, allegedly originate from states VI, VII, and VIII. However, these states are highly subjective and individualized (contrary to the supposed universal nature of them) resulting in a disparity of details and specifics on what is being experienced and the meaning of it.

Do people reach State VIII and come back with a general feeling that the universe and everything we think of as being in it is just one big thing, or that everything is connected to everything else? Yeah, but what good does that do you in a practical sense? I think it only does you good if it causes you to think of others, the environment, and the world as extensions of yourself and treat them the way you want to be treated. How hard is it to hold some whisper of that state after it has passed? However, using a lower state, the rational one, we can see the truth in the notion that the universe is a system of interdependencies from which humanity or the individual cannot stand apart from and dominate.

Paranormal and Occult literature contain a myriad of world views generated from states VI through VIII, funneled I believe primarily through the fifth state, creativity, rather than the forth state of rational thought.

Can insights into how the world works or into some otherwise inexplicable phenomena be had through so-called spiritual states? I think practical "breakthroughs" are possible through the intelligent use of these higher states, but it takes the understanding that these must be filtered through and realized by the rational mind if they are to be employed.

This reminds me of RAW and Leary's 8 Circuit model, John Lilly . . . and of course the Bard himself - other psychonauts who seem to have returned from their journeys with something like the summation you eloquently provide above . . . what a long strange trip it's been.

I think also of Ram Dass who is still tripping (on pure love). Did you listen to the Psychedelic Salon episode that was the last recordings of McKenna?- an interview, he was dying and noted that he was surprised at the states of mind he got into in the dying process, it had some elements of a confession or admission of some sort . . . I'll see if I can find the post, if you haven't heard it.
 

Tyger

Paranormal Adept
NOTE: Older text -

The evidence of millennia is not enough - backing into the barn with blinders on....

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

LINK: Listen to a choir of crickets slowed down to 'human' pace | Earth Touch Web TV

It's not about thinking. Using the lower mind will get one no where except in a circle. It's about experience.

P.S. I initially got news that the above recording was not solely crickets but involved a human voice. Subsequent to that information I have learned that the above recording is not the recording done in the early 90's with the human singer. The above is in fact just crickets, two tracks.



NOTE: Older text -

I'm not really in this conversation - just on the sidelines - with an occasionally totally off-the-wall comment to make. Kinda like stream-of-consciousness.

In another place there was a discussion going forward and I mentioned astrological influences which got this query: "People don't really believe all this - do they?"

:p

To which I replied - which I know will endear me here amongst the literati -

For myself - yes and no. I do - but not in a superstitious way.

I'm with Shakespeare's Cassius, in Julius Caesar:
"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings."


However, this as well from Hamlet:
"And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."


Even as we note with our modern discursive minds - through pure observation - that certain times of the year produce people inclined in certain observable ways - so one never knows from whence the influences flow. 'Tis a mighty mystery - yet.......

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

Listen to a choir of crickets slowed down to 'human' pace
LINK: Listen to a choir of crickets slowed down to 'human' pace | Earth Touch Web TV

The bottom line is that some people have heard the crickets' choir singing - but some 'heard' far more all along because they possessed keener organs of perception. Perception - and what one perceives in realms finer than the physical is inevitably conveyed in the language of metaphor.
 
S

smcder

Guest
I'm just going to jump in and babble.

In two parts here:
Podcast 262 – “Terence McKenna’s Last Interview” Part 1

also available here:
Psychedelic Salon 262-263 - Terence McKenna's Last Interview Pt 1-2 : Lorenzo Hagerty : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive

and here is part of what I was trying to remember:
“[Before I had cancer] I had no idea that such peculiar states of mind were naturally available to people, and non-lethal. In other words that you could have fairly frequent brain seizures and experience very bizarre states of body/mind dislocation and have it not kill you. So now I see that the spectrum of human experience is a lot broader than I previously imagined.”

“The mind can adjust to a great deal more than that which simply kills it.”

. . . maybe we need a Terrance McKenna thread . . .
 

Tyger

Paranormal Adept
This reminds me of RAW and Leary's 8 Circuit model, John Lilly . . . and of course the Bard himself - other psychonauts who seem to have returned from their journeys with something like the summation you eloquently provide above . . . what a long strange trip it's been.

I think also of Ram Dass who is still tripping (on pure love). Did you listen to the Psychedelic Salon episode that was the last recordings of McKenna?- an interview, he was dying and noted that he was surprised at the states of mind he got into in the dying process, it had some elements of a confession or admission of some sort . . . I'll see if I can find the post, if you haven't heard it.

Would love to hear that recording of McKenna. [Ooopsie - see you've posted it already.]

John Lilly and Oscar Ichazo, the Arica Institute - Esalen, Big Sur - 'what a long strange trip it has been', indeed.
 

Tyger

Paranormal Adept
NOTE: Old Text -

Marcel Proust once wrote, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”

NOTE: Old Text -

Constance had asked: "Do you think reincarnation is always requiered? I've read in several sources (mainly in past and interlife regression accounts) that it's voluntary."

My responding text: Not a simple answer. Probably need another thread to devote to this if you wanted to really explore the many facets of this topic. The history of this idea is long and storied, and ranges from the simple to very sophisticated. Simple answer: it depends - but one must also identify the 'who' that is making the voluntary decision.

Broadly, some of the answer is nested in the concept of karma - or action/reaction - and the force of desire. As long as karma and desire operate - then the 'choice' to return is heartfelt and experienced as voluntary. There is a genuine wish to return - to experience earthly existence yet again and to right wrongs, etc.. If one no longer has karma, no desire, a decision to return is momentous and would have great significance for human evolution. Incarnations of this calibre have occurred - and will occur - but it means that such an individuality has been given a choice that is truly free (no karma or desire involved) and chose to return for exceptional reasons.

The story goes that most human souls cannot maintain consciousness 'at the Midnight Hour' in the long journey of the soul after death - and High Beings [in certain streams called the Lords of Karma, in another stream a very high and singular entity is identified] take over the 'sleeping soul' at this critical juncture and are charged with the task of turning the soul back on the path towards incarnation. It's at the Midnight Hour that the decision is made. Mostly karma 'makes the decision' for the soul (in a sense) - but if the soul has reached the point where consciousness is maintained as far as the Midnight Hour, then the decision to return is made in full awareness. If there is still karma the decision is self-evident and the process of return commences. However, if the state of the consciousness is sufficiently liberated from earthly connections - other choices open up, which may or may not be chosen.

[I hesitate - for very obvious reasons - to ever appear to 'advocate' for any particular Occult book - for this area is fraught with deception pro and con - and also on-going exploration - but a very significant dispensation is the one by Alice A. Bailey. All of her books are worthwhile primers, but 'A Treatise on Cosmic Fire' is an interesting 'take' on this whole area. (I read it decades ago and have only a passing memory of it and all of her books - but I do recall them being as cogent as Sanskrit texts on the matters in question - and potentially far beyond their time when written - a sort of quantum physics of the spiritual realm. You'll be hard-pressed to find a more precise rendering from out of the work of Helena Blavatsky's 'The Secret Doctrine' and 'Isis Unveiled'). If you ever venture forth into those - or similar - waters - keep always in mind the caveat that nothing should ever be believed. Such treatises serve as suggestions - and if true in whole or part will resonate appropriately - but nothing ever supersedes direct experience. Use such works as like a koan - a point of meditation that gets dropped in contemplation. All spoken representations - like drawn representations - are mere approximations, at best. Never believe - seek knowledge through direct experience.]

Certain seers have postulated - based on experiences - that the time between an earthly death and a reappearance in an earthly life - is spent in lives on other planets, for some. This idea has a long lineage - but it's exact 'placement' in the ascent to the Midnight Hour is not clear (does such an incarnation happen before or after the Midnight Hour) - or is the whole idea a misidentification of a level of ascent after death, which might be (mis)identified as a 'planetary' existence. Is this a matter of the same experience called by different names, etc.

BTW - not related to the above [exactly] - it just popped into my head [stream-of-consciousness] because of the title - there is a very famous Occult book called 'A Dweller on Two Planets' by Phylos the Thibetan (Frederick S Oliver) 1894. LINK: A Dweller on Two Planets Index

It's worth noting the blurb on it here - please note the bolded text -

"A Dweller on Two Planets is one of the most important texts of the 19th Century Atlantis canon. The book was 'channeled' by Frederick S. Oliver. Oliver was born in Washington D.C. in 1866 and came to Yreka, California, with his parents when he was two years old. Yreka is just north of Mount Shasta, a huge dormant volcanic peak in Northern California.

"Oliver started to write this book at the age of eighteen, in 1883-4, while surveying the boundaries of his family's mining claim. He found himself writing uncontrollably in his notebook. He ran home in terror, where he sat down and let his hand write. These automatic writing spells continued for several years; he would write a few pages at a time. He completed writing this book in 1886, and died at the age of 33 in 1899.


"A Dweller on Two Planets was finally published in 1905, by his mother Mary Elizabeth Manley-Oliver. There are two editions which are substantially the same, except for a different set of typographical errors and hyphens (although curiously the page numbering in both is identical). The first edition, published in 1905, was reprinted in 1974 by Rudolf Steiner Books; the second, published in 1920 by the Poseid Publishing Company, Los Angeles, CA, was reprinted in 1964 by Health Research. The 1920 version was used as the basis for this etext, as it was printed more legibly.

"A Dweller on Two Planets would be a tour de force for a teenager from rural California in the post-Gold Rush period. Although as a literary work it is weak in many ways, the details of the narrative reveal a well-read and highly intelligent, if inexperienced, author. The plot and pacing is irregular; the characterizations are poorly conceived, and there are far too many melodramatic turns and plot elements left dangling. However, since this is a novel of ideas, these shortcoming should not detract from the enjoyment of the book.

"The real brilliance of this book is as a work of speculative fiction, particularly in the depiction of the high technology of Atlantis, and the afterlife. The book goes into great detail about antigravity, mass transit, the employment of 'dark-side' energy (which today would be called 'zero point energy'), and devices such as voice-operated typewriters. The cigar-shaped, highly maneuverable Atlantean flying machines, or vailx, have an eerie resemblance to 20th Century UFO reports. The personalized heavens, almost like virtual realities, are unforgettable and very compelling.

"This book is openly acknowledged as source material for many new age belief systems, including the once-popular "I AM" movement (whose founder, Guy Ballard,plagiarizedextensively from this book), the Lemurian Fellowship, and Elizabeth Claire Prophet. According to Shirley MacLaine, A Dweller on Two Planets jumped out of a bookshelf into her hands in a New Age bookstore in Hong Kong (and obviously had an big influence on her subsequently). This book is the source of the idea that there is a hidden sanctuary of ascended Lemurian masters under Mount Shasta. This book was also probably the first to propose the concept of of 'America as the modern Atlantis', which was later adopted by writers such as Manly P. Hall."
 

Tyger

Paranormal Adept
NOTE: Old Text -

BTW - referencing the book 'A Dweller on Two Planets' (1894): "The real brilliance of this book is as a work of speculative fiction, particularly in the depiction of the high technology of Atlantis, and the afterlife. The book goes into great detail about antigravity, mass transit, the employment of 'dark-side' energy (which today would be called 'zero point energy'),and devices such as voice-operated typewriters. The cigar-shaped, highly maneuverable Atlantean flying machines, or vailx, have an eerie resemblance to 20th Century UFO reports. The personalized heavens, almost like virtual realities, are unforgettable and very compelling."

Zero Point Energy - LINK: Zero-point energy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Zero-point energy, also called quantum vacuum zero-point energy, is the lowest possibleenergy that a quantum mechanical physical system may have; it is the energy of its ground state. All quantum mechanical systems undergo fluctuations even in their ground state and have an associated zero-point energy, a consequence of their wave-like nature. Theuncertainty principle requires every physical system to have a zero-point energy greater than the minimum of its classical potential well. This results in motion even at absolute zero. For example, liquid helium does not freeze under atmospheric pressure at any temperature because of its zero-point energy.

"The concept of zero-point energy was developed in Germany by
Albert Einstein and Otto Stern in 1913, as a corrective term added to a zero-grounded formula developed by Max Planck in 1900.[1][2] The term zero-point energy originates from the GermanNullpunktsenergie.[1][2] An alternative form of the German term is Nullpunktenergie (without the "s").

"
Vacuum energy is the zero-point energy of all the fields in space, which in the Standard Model includes the electromagnetic field, othergauge fields, fermionic fields, and the Higgs field. It is the energy of the vacuum, which in quantum field theory is defined not as empty space but as the ground state of the fields. In cosmology, the vacuum energy is one possible explanation for the cosmological constant.[3] A related term is zero-point field, which is the lowest energy state of a particular field.[4]"
 
S

smcder

Guest
Wow, I've been away and return to see this wonderful new thread. Excellent thread, Tyger. Thank you for opening it.

. . .

I've come across another paper by Lockley, published in the Journal of Cosmology, which adds some additional perspectives to those he presented in the paper Tyger linked in the OP. Here's an extract from it, followed by the link:

Journal of Cosmology

I found this, there is a series of talks by John David Ebert on Gebser's Ever-Present Origin - it situates Gebser in the history of ideas in relation to Spengler and his idea of structures of consciousness and then goes on to a chapter by chapter "unpacking" of the material:

John David Ebert Unpacks Jean Gebser's Magnum Opus
 

Tyger

Paranormal Adept
NOTE: Old Text -

I am definitely not in this conversation (in the discursive sense) but here is the crux: the assumption is that the physical universe is the only reality. This is an assumption - not an empirical fact. Layers of existence that are not physical - and unable to be measured by physical instrumentation - become 'woo'. (Because the 'instrument' of perception and measure of the non-physical is the human being itself). There will always be traces of the non-physical realms in the physical universe - 'ghosties in the machine'. In point of fact the physical universe is the furthest, densest manifestation of the spiritual universe (just a convenient phrase at this point). An onion is a handy picture of this - the center of the onion being the physical universe. Another way to understand this is to consider that light becomes condensed matter. The onion layers are stages of densification of light.

[Those in the spiritual realms cannot actually see the physical - the physical universe shows up as impenetrable darkness or density - surrounded by what they can see spiritually. As always these words are misleading - especially the word 'see'. Such are always interpreted in physical terms and that is a mistake, but it is the way of it. In point of fact, it is only through physical incarnation that the physical realm can be experienced - and it is only in physical incarnation that we can learn that which we need for our lives in spiritual realms. That is why rebirth is earnestly sought - our after-death journey depends on what we do and feel during our physical existence (less what we think with our discursive mind - in fact such thoughts cannot 'come with us' - any brain-bound thinking, that is). We may have varying attitudes of dismissal regarding physical existence while alive but once 'passed over' the significance of earthly life becomes manifestly clear and we seek to return with resolve and intent.]

In any event - it's a complete non-starter if the playing field is constrained. It's a bit like a religious debate - God is Osiris and no other ideas about God will be entertained. We must forever converse in Osiris-speak.


NOTE: Old Text -

"I awoke, only to see that the rest of the world is still asleep." ~ Leonardo da Vinci

Arguing with only half the brain is no argument at all. Just sayin' - to no one and nothing in particular.
 

trainedobserver

Paranormally Disenchanted
The Oxford English Dictionary (20 Volume Set) / Edition 2 by John Simpson | Hardcover | Barnes & Noble

yours now for the low price of $812.50 . . .

I think the pursuit of the definition of that word is itself a spiritual quest. Wikipedia wisely notes in the first line on its entry "Spirituality"

The term spirituality lacks a definitive definition

and cites two sources to back this statement.

I don't know, I don't think you have to write a white paper or something on it. In my experience the word is used in one of two ways.
1. In connection with an alternate realm of existence with different rules from the physical world where gasoline burns and boats float. Supernatural.
2. An expression referring the the human emotional and mental states that form the inner life. Non-supernatural.

If term is being used to talk about an alternate realm of existence presented by the "higher states" then to "explain it" would require a survey of religious, occult, and philosophical literature probably unsuited for a forum thread do to size. Schools of thought can be categorized however and talked about that way. To insist one is the true version is like descending into a discusion about which is the true gospel message amongst the different denominations and sects in Christianity. You'd be forced to admit that we might as well be discussing why Norrin Radd never thought to attempt to breach the barrier sans board before he finally did. It would be about as useful.

In a broader sense is the perception of supernatural spiritual states explained by the mechanisms of human consciousness or are they independant of it? I think they are explained by it as explained a bit in my previous posting.

Please note: When I refer to States VI, VII, and VIII I am doing so with a realization that these are not higher from a standpoint of being better, more useful, more truthful, or anything of the sort than some other state. My understanding is that these states are in fact unreliable, and not preferred except as inspirations and amusements. Like the so-called lower states, they must be focused and utilized using a rational state of mind.
 
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Tyger

Paranormal Adept
NOTE: Old Text -

LINK To Post: Philosophy, Science, and the Unexplained | Page 34 | The Paracast Community Forums

[...] more assumptions. For someone so very keen on critical thinking you wander off the reservation with alarming frequency.
You said: "Until then it's just brain chemistry relaying realistic dream state perceptions to the conscious mind."

I said: "One of your tenets of belief - because that is what that sentence is. It is as unfounded on 'strict scientific protocols' as you claim a magic-mushroom-ride would be."

Your belief is that drug-induced experiences are "brain chemistry relaying realistic dream state perceptions to the conscious mind" - and they are not proof of 'non-locality of consciousness': what about that statement 'makes no sense'? This is what you are saying and this is what I see as your belief.

You are claiming a drug-induced experience cannot be verified as a 'non-locality of consciousness' on 'strict scientific protocols' - and I am saying that your beliefs about what you are calling 'non-locality of consciousness' is an assumption - a built-in bias - that precludes you from understanding what is taking place in a magic-mushroom-ride - and please don't show your ignorance by assuming anything about what I may or may not be 'indulging'.

There are layers of reality - as there are layers to our being - the 'physical' being but one, as well as the densest, 'sheath'. If you become aware using your life-body sheath (also called the etheric in some streams) you will 'see' differently than if you are 'awake' in your astral (emotional sentient body) and are 'seeing' in the astral realm. Information relayed in either instances will be different - and vary from the physical reportage - so right there are three different 'seeings' - and there are more.

As well, to make things even more interesting - if one is 'seeing' with one's astral body into the astral realm, what one 'sees' will be determined by how refined one's astral body is. We really do 'see' our own creations in that realm. [Why it is essential to have done the 'purification' before any capacities to see the astral are awakened.] How to accurately 'read' that realm takes considerable experience and wisdom. (It's why drug trips that found the 'tripper' in the astral realm often resulted in 'bad trips' - and sometimes permanent derangement. Sad stories. It is why the 'slow and careful wins the race' - preparation is key).

Perhaps you have seen too many films - read too many popularized versions of paranormal occurances. It is not a matter of 'flying around' as a 'spirit' and 'seeing' the physical world as though one has physical eyes. This is where such 'strict scientific protocols' do not apply and are 'nonsense' - non-sense - without sense because 'imagining' using physical senses (and instruments that extend physical senses). To measure with physical instrumentation what is without physical sensibility is bound to produce non-sense. (Had a bit of fun there with the words).

I agree with Nathaniel. I know you have said you have had experiences, so I would say you have a proclivity in this direction. Without adequate (self) training and serious attention to all the cautions, such explorations can - and do - lead to momentary (serious) confusions if not actual derangement. It is not without cause that one is always warned before taking a step onto this path - but also, too, the path in search of phenomenon-for-phenomenon's-sake is overall discouraged. It is a realm of smoke and mirrors more often than not (certainly before purification) - as well as self-delusion (as is too often evident). But that can happen even without the subtler senses in play.

A thorough grasp of human psychology - human nature, through one's own observation of oneself and others - is essential - and above all, common sense and the mastery of fear. [Be aware that the legends of White and Black Magicians are rooted in a reality - the spiritual world is multi-layered and great discernment is needed on the part of the aspirant. 'A word to the wise is sufficient'.]

In point of fact - all religions - shorn of their cultural accretions and human error - teach the primary steps along the path of initiation. A solid religious/spiritual practice leads one to the first initiation one is obliged to take on one's own, a point where we transcend all religions and our journey becomes/is the universal journey of the human soul through the 'heavens'.
 

Tyger

Paranormal Adept
NOTE: Old Text -

LINK: Philosophy, Science, and the Unexplained | Page 35 | The Paracast Community Forums

Well that would be a thread now, wouldn't it? It is complicated by the fact that we would all be starting from different 'points' in a manner of speaking. There would also be certain pre-requisites - 'a healthy mind in a healthy body' kind of thing. I kid you not.

- At optimum weight.
- Eating an optimum diet.
- Optimum daily exercise - gym is good (yoga ideal) - but in the open air, too (a daily walk)
- Significant daily exposure to nature - be it at the ocean, in a forest, or in a garden

Some of the above can be combined - like a daily walk in nature, by the ocean, or work in a garden.

Then there is the 'purification' process of the subtler bodies - this includes -
- A sound habit life (addresses the etheric body)
- A sound emotional life (a sense of reverence is key here, as well as command of all emotions). The astral body cannot become an organ of perception if the body is still 'being used' subjectively. This becomes a very difficult training - I was actually helped in this area by a very gifted Intuitive. For me the first step was identifying where I 'left off 'and others 'began', a very important distinction to come to.
- A sound mental body, best occupied in rigorous pursuits........and so it goes.

The beginning of meditative life that really 'kicks in' does not mean all goes smoothly. Quite the reverse - life can suddenly get speeded up and all hell seems to breaks loose - conspiring to overturn the applecart.

Anyway, a nice idea but fraught with potential problems without adequate preparation and purification.
 

Tyger

Paranormal Adept
I don't know, I don't think you have to write a white paper or something on it. In my experience the word is used in one of two ways.
1. In connection with an alternate realm of existence with different rules from the physical world where gasoline burns and boats float. Supernatural.
2. An expression referring the the human emotional and mental states that form the inner life. Non-supernatural.

Well, that appears to be what I have done through innumerable posts - as I do this copy-and-paste from just one thread.

It is an old term and it has many precise meanings - but it's rare to find an intelligent, well-educated person who does not have an understanding of the term and the myriad ways in which it can be used. Continually asking for a precise definition is - imo - an attempt to corral a discussion down particular chutes. It's a very old debating trick and is usually engaged as a last resort when one is 'losing' - or is on shaky ground.

Getting bogged down in terminology and definitions is a tactic in certain quarters.

In the course of a conversation one may sense someone is using a term in a different way and one might ask for clarification - or not. One wouldn't because it is in the very act of conversation that one's concepts get fleshed out. Being rigid at the outset makes for predetermined results.
 
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Tyger

Paranormal Adept
Now, the questions that arise in my mind in considering the various levels of consciousness goes something like this, "Which state serves me best? Which states produce the most reliable information about the world and how it works? What is the most useful state to me personally? Can I use these states?

Everyone comes back from their journey with varying bits of information. A scholar of Greece traveling to Greece will have a very different experience - and 'see' with very different eyes - than someone going to that place with no sense of history. That must be obvious. It must also be obvious that pre-conceptions can skew the 'seeing' as much as ignorance can.

Some teachers have better maps than others. Depends on both the stream they are working out of and their own knowledge.

Paranormal and Occult literature contain a myriad of world views generated from states VI through VIII, funneled I believe primarily through the fifth state, creativity, rather than the forth state of rational thought.

You are taking the construct of another and working your thoughts around it - exactly what we do in materialist science - no different.

Can insights into how the world works or into some otherwise inexplicable phenomena be had through so-called spiritual states? I think practical "breakthroughs" are possible through the intelligent use of these higher states, but it takes the understanding that these must be filtered through and realized by the rational mind if they are to be employed.

Is that a belief or an experience?

Fact is - in my experience - scientists (in the highly theoretical sciences, as well as mathematics) are generally working at highly intuitive levels. You are not going to understand them using the rational mind. But hey - to each his own.
 

Tyger

Paranormal Adept
Boy, will I be glad to have these old posts done - homeward stretch -

Arguments.......

NOTE: Old Text -

What makes you think I don't respect the scientific method?

And you have to do some thing about your reading comprehension - since the mention of 'self- training' is mentioned solely in regards to the inner development work - not material scientific work, which, however, does require inner work, too, of course, of a kind.

I definitely don't have time to correct all the misunderstandings you seem adept at creating, which I assume is innocent but who knows what you are thinking. Self-training refers to - for example - it is only you that can command your emotions. Self-mastery is a discipline that is only achieved by the self - therefore it is self-training.

My 'political slant' on the so-called psychic research in laboratories - and psychological research in laboratories - with scientists with 'legal rights' (brrrr - shades of horrors past) - is the same time-worn warning every forward thinking writer has been making since Aldous Huxley and before. Allowing the government to have this kind of information is problematic. It was problematic in the 1950's - it is problematic now. Imagine what uses such things can be made of in a Fascist state. You consider that a political slant?

As I've mentioned, the 'Spirit' is the realm of freedom - which does not mean that bad things have not happened in that realm. It is said that Helena P. Blavatsky ('The Secret Doctrine', 'Isis Unveiled') in the late 1800's found herself put into a condition called 'occult imprisonment' in the latter years of her life - and this was done by an Occult Brotherhood in America. [She was making public esoteric material - and starting to teach the occult path openly. What the Brotherhood effected from the subtler realms made her work impossible.]

I am reminded of the stories told of the disagreement that erupted amongst the occult brotherhoods in the 18th/19th centuries. Supposedly the fissure opened along the question of whether to make the occult teachings public and no longer 'hidden' in esoteric by-invitation-only societies. I think with the long lens of two centuries more or less the jury may still be out on whether it was a good idea to dispense with the filtering of applicants to the inner knowledge.

I think everyone can find their own way. There are lots of bread crumbs. I am partial to personal connections made in the flesh, rather than on-line for this kind of work. That's my bias - and I see you have amended your post.

Loving-kindness practices will never get one into any trouble for sure - the Way of the Heart

It's a matter of clearing away - discerning the essential from the non-essential. There are exercises that are preparatory to the path opening up in earnest (when the directions come from within our own intuition).

I subscribe to no one way but this might benefit some -
LINK: ContemplateThis: The Six Exercises for Basic Esoteric Development of Rudolf Steiner

Rudolf Steiner was a Rosicrucian and one of those rare Initiates to make visible in the world his work. He founded Anthroposophy, a spin-off from the Theosophical Society after his disagreement with Annie Besant - then head over the Theosophical Society (founded by Helena P. Blavatsky). Steiner disagreed that there would be a physical return of the Christ - and that Krishnamurti could not therefore be the Christ Being in-the-flesh again. The disagreement resulted in his founding the Anthroposophical Society.

"Rudolf Steiner gave six exercises which are fundamental to his meditative work.

No. 1 - The Control of Thought

The first exercise has to do with the control of thinking. It is designed to keep our minds from wandering, to focus them, in order to strengthen our meditative work. There are several versions of this exercise. Here is one version:

Select a simple object - a pin, a button, a pencil. Try to think about it exclusively for five minutes. You may think about the way the object is manufactured, how it is used, what its history is. Try to be logical and realistic in your thinking. This exercise is best if practiced faithfully every day. You may use the same object every day or a new object each day, as you choose.

No. 2 - The Control of Will

Choose a simple action to perform each day at a time you select. It should be something you do not ordinarily do; it can even be a little odd. Then make it a duty to perform this action at that time each day. Rudolf Steiner gives the example of watering a flower each day at a certain time. As you progress, additional tasks can be added at other times.

This exercise is as hard as it is simple and takes a very strong intention to complete. To start you might think of it as you think of a dentist's appointment - you do not want to be late. It can be helpful to mark your success or failure on the calendar each day. If you completely forget at the time, but remember later, do it then and try to do better the next day.

No. 3 - Equanimity

The third exercise is the development of balance between joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain, the heights of pleasure and the depths of despair. Strive for a balanced mood. An attempt should be made not to become immoderately angry or annoyed, not to become anxious or fearful, not to become disconcerted, nor to be overcome by joy or sorrow. Rather should your natural feelings be permitted to be quietly felt. Try to maintain your composure. This leads to an inner tranquillity and purer feelings of the soul.

No. 4

This exercise is the development of a positive attitude to life. Attempt to seek for the good, praiseworthy, and beautiful in all beings, all experiences and all things. Soon you will begin to notice the hidden good and beautiful that lies concealed in all things. This is connected with learning not to criticize everything. You can ask how something came to be or to act the way it is. One way to overcome the tendency to criticize is to learn to 'characterize' instead.

No. 5

For this exercise, make the effort to confront every new experience with complete open-mindedness. The habit of saying, "I never heard that" or "I never saw that before" should be overcome. The possibility of something completely new coming into the world must be left open, even if it contradicts allyour previous knowledge and experience.

No. 6

If you have been trying the earlier exercises of thinking, will, equilibrium, positivity and tolerance, you are now ready to try them together two or three at a time, in varying combinations until they become natural and harmonious.

For more information see Guidance in Esoteric Training, by Rudolf Steiner"


One of the crucial preparatory initiations requires group work. So at some point there comes a great desire to associate with other like-minded individuals.
 

Tyger

Paranormal Adept
NOTE: Old Text -

It's in orientation - trying to explain from the perspective of the physical is a blind-alley imo. The physical creates nothing of it's own - it is rather (the physical is) the creation of the spiritual universes. The physical is the final 'effect' of spiritual action. Now I am using the word 'spiritual' but these subtler realms can be referenced in any number of ways - and spiritual is a reasonable word to use here.

"The brain puts into reverse, as it were, what the big bang initiated: it erases spatial dimensions rather than creating them. It undoes the work of creating space, swallowing down matter and spitting out consciousness.'"

I agree - I even believe it. Not that I 'believed' it before, I'd never thought of it that way - and it makes perfect sense to me. It resonates. Beautifully put.

The ideas in John Michael Greer's blog hearken me back to the ideas of Rupert Sheldrake and others - particularly the Quantum Physicist Arthur Zajonc - also discussed in the following thread - 'Science Set Free' -

LINK: Science Set Free | The Paracast Community Forums

The physicist Arthur Zajonc is particularly useful discussing the 'problem of mathematics'.

Great stuff - and as Zajonc states: People have a wrong idea about how science works, thinking that scientists calculate their way towards a discovery - but that is not the way it happens. Insight comes in a 'flash' - walking across a bridge in Dublin, Newton seeing the apple fall - the answer is seen intuitively - then the scientist gets busy with the math and the experiments [to prove the answer already divined]. Important to keep in mind - the insight is coming forth from 'higher realms' [beyond the discursive mind].

Nice phrase: 'the poetry at the heart of science' - knowledge is an ephemeral moment - insight happens in one instant. And that the scientist is not a passive observer - the observer is implicated in everything.

'Lived experience' is perhaps the single most important phrase I hear Zajonc using as well as other scientists, like Rupert Sheldrake.

NOTE: Old Text -

Can we solve the mind-body problem? • View topic • Philosophy Discussion Forums

Thank you for this link, Constance. I have joined up!

Listening to Zajonc - and the story of the sophistication of past scientists - and the sanity of the prevailing scientific process and thinking - is refreshing - and a reminder that genuine scientific discourse is liberating, and nourishing. A fresh breeze - thank you both.

In the Zajonc audio-link: At 57:00+ Zajonc talks about the 'spirituality' of light - light itself is invisible, it illuminates, we see it's effects, but never light itself. Important words about the 'world of light' after death.

I think for certain you will appreciate Zajonc's exposition on the difference between Newton's theory and Goethe's theory of light within the audio-link supplied by Steve.

Here is a book you may enjoy - I will post the blurb as well within this post as it pertains to much discussed here (all emphasis my own) -
Catching the Light: the Entwined History of Light and Mind

"In 1910, the surgeons Moreau and LePrince wrote about their successful operation on an eight-year-old boy who had been blind since birth because of cataracts. When the boy's eyes were healed they removed the bandages and, waving a hand in front of the child's physically perfect eyes, asked him what he saw. "I don't know," was his only reply. What he saw was only a varying brightness in front of him. However, when allowed to touch the hand as it began to move, he cried out in a voice of triumph, "It's moving!" He could feel it move, but he still needed laboriously to learn to see it move. Light and eyes were not enough to grant him sight.How, then, do we see? What's the difference between seeing and perception? What is light?

"From ancient times to the present, from philosophers to quantum physicists, nothing has so perplexed, so fascinated, so captivated the mind as the elusive definition of light. In Catching the Light, Arthur Zajonc takes us on an epic journey into history, tracing how humans have endeavored to understand the phenomenon of light. Blending mythology, religion, science, literature, and painting, Zajonc reveals in poetic detailthe human struggle to identify the vital connection between the outer light of nature and the inner light of the human spirit. He explains the curiousness of the Greeks' blue and green "color blindness": Odysseus gazing longingly at the "wine-dark sea"; the use of chloros (green) as the color of honey in Homer's Odessey; and Euripides' use of the color green to describe the hue of tears and blood.

"He demonstrates the complexity of perception through the work of Paul Cézanne--the artist standing on the bank of a river, painting the same scene over and over again, the motifs multiplying before his eyes.

"For the ancient Egyptians the nature of light was clear--it simply was the gaze of God. In the hands of the ancient Greeks, light had become the luminous inner fire whose ethereal effluence brought sight. In our contemporary world of modern quantum physics, science plays the greatest part in our theories of light's origin--from scientific perspectives such as Sir Isaac Newton's "corpuscular theory of light" and Michael Faraday's "lines of force" to such revolutionary ideas as Max Planck's "discrete motion of a pendulum" (the basis of quantum mechanics), Albert Einstein's "particles of light" and "theory of relativity," and Niels Bohr's "quantum jumps." Yet the metaphysical aspects of the scientific search, Zajonc shows, still loom large. For the physicist Richard Feynman, a quantum particle travels all paths, eventually distilling to one path whose action is least--the most beautiful path of all. Whatever light is, here is where we will find it.

"With rare clarity and unmatched lyricism, Zajonc illuminates the profound implications of the relationships between the multifaceted strands of human experience and scientific endeavor. A fascinating search into our deepest scientific mystery, Catching the Light is a brilliant synthesis that will both entertain and inform."

It is all of that - light is the key to it all.
 
S

smcder

Guest
Everyone comes back from their journey with varying bits of information. A scholar of Greece traveling to Greece will have a very different experience - and 'see' with very different eyes - than someone going to that place with no sense of history. That must be obvious. It must also be obvious that pre-conceptions can skew the 'seeing' as much as ignorance can.

Some teachers have better maps than others. Depends on both the stream they are working out of and their own knowledge.



You are taking the construct of another and working your thoughts around it - exactly what we do in materialist science - no different.



Is that a belief or an experience?

Fact is - in my experience - scientists (in the highly theoretical sciences, as well as mathematics) are generally working at highly intuitive levels. You are not going to understand them using the rational mind. But hey - to each his own.

I can't talk about high level work in these fields, but I can talk about learning calculus and abstract algebra and differential equations - and this was an intuitive process, how to decide to tackle a problem or the direction you would go in learning something, even a decision "do I quit hammering away on this problem because it's futile - I'm at a dead end or do I keep pressing because I'm close" - those are intuitive processes, I couldn't tell you how I knew to keep working on something, why I thought I was close to a break-through in understanding (a weird concept to our ordinary state of mind to know that I am close to a breakthrough in understanding an abstract concept) - is this even the same word "knowledge" that we use in every day? And how can a teacher say "keep going, you are close?" how can they know that? Question them later and they'll admit it was "just a feeling". Sometimes I could tell by bodily sensations that I was about make a breakthrough, other times it was purely a sense of confidence "I'm close!" And I don't claim anything unusual about these experiences.

That conscious window is very narrow in ordinary circumstances - and as soon as we bring something to mind, something goes out - anyone learning a complex physical skill knows this, you learn to think with the body, you have to - the mind is too slow to block that jab, but it can gain confidence that the left hand will be there while it's lining up how it's going to get in position for that right cross.

So I think it is easy to insist on a standard of knowledge based on what can be communicated in a fully objective way in written language - and we forget that is just what we're doing - the words disappear and we think it should be able to be made obvious or there is something wrong with it. At least perhaps people without a broad experience of the world fall into this where it seems obvious to others, I'm not sure.

A fully conscious, step-by-step process - a kind of "recipe" knowledge is demanded and then ridicule applied to anything that can't be put into that format. And ridicule is a cardinal sin of the intellect. But it's easy to see this is the exception when it comes to knowledge. I lift weights and used to box and I can tell you no one ever learned how these sports from a book. You might get pointers but in the end you'll have to go into the gym and try it for yourself and then all kinds of revelations come about where you say "oh yeah - now I get it" and only then do the words make sense but you also recognize you'll never convey this in word - it has to be discovered.
 

Tyger

Paranormal Adept
I'm not sure I need to continue with the copy-and-paste. I think the sampling indicates the degree to which I have 'answered' the question of 'what is spiritual' - a 'white paper', indeed.

I'm surprised no one has mentioned G. I. Gurdjieff's thoughts and universal view.

In Search of the Miraculous by P. D. Ouspensky
"A new edition of the groundbreaking spiritual treasure, with a foreword by bestselling author Marianne Williamson .

"Since its original publication in 1949, In Search of the Miraculous has been hailed as the most valuable and reliable documentation of G. I. Gurdjieff's thoughts and universal view. This historic and influential work is considered by many to be a primer of mystical thought as expressed through the Work, a combination of Eastern philosophies that had for centuries been passed on orally from teacher to student. Gurdjieff's goal, to introduce the Work to the West, attracted many students, among them Ouspensky, an established mathematician, journalist, and, with the publication of In Search of the Miraculous, an eloquent and persuasive proselyte.

"Ouspensky describes Gurdjieff's teachings in fascinating and accessible detail, providing what has proven to be a stellar introduction to the universal view of both student and teacher. It goes without saying that In Search of the Miraculous has inspired great thinkers and writers of ensuing spiritual movements, including Marianne Williamson, the highly acclaimed author of A Return to Love and Illuminata. In a new and never-before-published foreword, Williamson shares the influence of Ouspensky's book and Gurdjieff's teachings on the New Thought movement and her own life, providing a contemporary look at an already timeless classic
."
 
S

smcder

Guest
I'm not sure I need to continue with the copy-and-paste. I think the sampling indicates the degree to which I have 'answered' the question of 'what is spiritual' - a 'white paper', indeed.

Have you read any of Algernon Blackwood's fiction? I'm thinking of The Cenataur and Bright Messenger in particular - ? Relevant to this thread.
 

Tyger

Paranormal Adept
Have you read any of Algernon Blackwood's fiction? I'm thinking of The Cenataur and Bright Messenger in particular - ? Relevant to this thread.

No, never that I am aware - I've read a lot and forget a lot but usually not the fiction I've read. Is it scary stuff? I don't like scary stuff. I'm a wuss - but for very good reasons. :)

The blurb on Amazon for The Centaur is enticing -

"We may be in the Universe as dogs and cats are in our libraries, seeing the books and hearing the conversation, but having no inkling of the meaning of it all." —WILLIAM JAMES, A Pluralistic Universe "…

"A man's vision is the great fact about him. Who cares for Carlyle's reasons, or Schopenhauer's, or Spencer's? A philosophy is the expression of a man's intimate character, and all definitions of the Universe are but the deliberately adopted reactions of human characters upon it." —Ibid

"There are certain persons who, independently of sex or comeliness, arouse an instant curiosity concerning themselves. The tribe is small, but its members unmistakable. They may possess neither fortune, good looks, nor that adroitness of advance-vision which the stupid name good luck; yet there is about them this inciting quality which proclaims that they have overtaken Fate, set a harness about its neck of violence, and hold bit and bridle in steady hands.

"Most of us, arrested a moment by their presence to snatch the definition their peculiarity exacts, are aware that on the heels of curiosity follows—envy. They know the very things that we forever seek in vain. And this diagnosis, achieved as it were en passant, comes near to the truth, for the hallmark of such persons is that they have found, and come into, their own. There is a sign upon the face and in the eyes. Having somehow discovered the 'piece' that makes them free of the whole amazing puzzle, they know where they belong and, therefore, whither they are bound: more, they are definitely en route. The littlenesses of existence that plague the majority pass them by." - Ibid (I assume)



Here's a review on Amazon for JuliusLaVallon/The Bright Messenger -

"It's often said that Algernon Blackwood's novels are less successful than his shorter works, but you wouldn't know it from these two rare and (almost) forgotten masterpieces. "Julius LeVallon" and "The Bright Messenger" are both supernatural novels that show Blackwood at his most inspired, visionary, and audacious. Stark House Press is to be thanked profusely for putting these unique works into print once again.

"Julius LeVallon" may well be Blackwood's best novel. It is visionary with a capital "V", presenting (via the title character) a cosmic panorama of reincarnation, karma, civilizations on other planets, nature elementals, magic - plus a little romance. I won't go into the details of the story - it must be read - except to say that it all builds to one of Blackwood's most potent and memorable climaxes.

"The Bright Messenger" is a sequel to "Julius LeVallon" which takes place some 20 years later. It's a little less focussed than the earlier novel and not as powerful, but it is just as visionary, and even more intensely moving. Again, no brief description of the book can possibly do it justice - it simply has to be read. (And if anybody thinks that there's anything "new" about the New Age movement, they should read the hilarious chapters in the middle of the book - written in 1921! - about a group of people known as the "Prometheans"...)


"I can do no better than to quote Mike Ashley's fine introduction: "You will encounter nothing like [these two novels] anywhere else in the whole of fantastic literature." Amen to that. Essential reading for any fan of Blackwood, or of supernatural literature in general."
 
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