September 17, 2014 at 2:55 pm #14890
Richard RoseSeptember 17, 2014 at 10:57 pm #14902
That Whispering Mind intro is RUBBISH ! I wish you would not post rubbish in a serious thread !September 17, 2014 at 10:58 pm #14903
And I think this Richard Rose guy is bullshitting too.
When he says ‘Meditation is thinking hard blablah..’
That is not the usage that anyone else, in other religion, has of the word, and he should know, he’s just causing confusion or ignorant.September 18, 2014 at 12:03 am #14908
If I were to call you out on all the rubbish you’ve posted through the years, I’d have to take leave from work to get through it all.
These are at least trying to THINK CRITICALLY about the brain and mind. I appreciate the effort.
Maybe you could start making that effort, too?September 18, 2014 at 2:27 am #14909
Rubbish. Uneducated American fool couldn’t even bother to get the right opening.
He was talking about Bishop Berkeley, an Irishman, not a Frenchman, and Johnson kicking a rock. I don’t want such inferior stuff on this thread please.September 22, 2014 at 4:46 pm #14938September 22, 2014 at 4:47 pm #14939September 23, 2014 at 1:15 am #14941October 5, 2014 at 3:11 pm #15049
Spiritual bypassing is a very persistent
shadow of spirituality, manifesting in many forms, often without being
acknowledged as such. Aspects of spiritual bypassing include exaggerated
detachment, emotional numbing and repression, overemphasis on the positive,
anger-phobia, blind or overly tolerant compassion, weak or too porous
boundaries, lopsided development (cognitive intelligence often being far ahead
of emotional and moral intelligence), debilitating judgment about one’s
negativity or shadow side, devaluation of the personal relative to the
spiritual, and delusions of having arrived at a higher level of being.October 11, 2014 at 3:32 am #15058
No matter where I am on my spiritual path and/or in my life, that space to truly look at myself and learn who/what I am always brings me great insight, and opens the door to that experience of Oneness with All that we refer to as “enlightenment”. Which, by the way, is completely real, available to anyone who wants to experience it directly and without need of any intermediaries (e.g. priests, gurus, etc.), and has nothing to do with “faith” or “belief” in anything at all. This is one aspect that EIs and Vipassana meditation share: we don’t have to believe anything; in fact, belief hinders the process; we only have to experience ourselves, authentically and without trying to change anything, and that is where the knowing comes from. From there, all the rest of life simply unfolds.October 12, 2014 at 12:27 pm #15065
Hello. I can’t find a way to contact you privately, so a comment will have to suffice: thanks for quoting and linking!November 6, 2014 at 1:51 am #15125
Thanks Skorpion !
What happens when you do a really, really lot of meditation. | Vinay Gupta’s thoughts on enlightenmentNovember 11, 2014 at 7:12 am #15162
Ceramic mushrooms (see above photo) have been excavated from a Jomon archaeological site in Akita prefecture, indicating that the Jomon people as with many cultures elsewhere, probably used “magic mushrooms” (i.e. psychoactive mushrooms) ritually. The mushrooms reproduced in clay were found in a ritual context along with other ritual implements such as ceramic human figurines and as such likely indicate their central function and symbolism attached to shamanic rituals possibly at solstice or other festivals where they may have been distributed to other members of the society. Similar pottery mushroom representations have been found in Native American digs.
Around 30 species of magic mushrooms inhabit Japan and the archipelago is among the category of countries with the richest finds of magic mushrooms (see below)December 13, 2014 at 12:33 am #15290December 13, 2014 at 12:39 am #15291
Introduction: The thirteenth century witnessed an explosion of Buddhist thought that articulated two quite distinct philosophical approaches. One, represented by the two schools of Zen (Rinzai and Soto), stressed self-discipline and the quest for enlightenment; the other, represented by various popular sects (Pure Land, True Pure Land, Lotus Sect,/* or Timely) articulated the philosophy of salvation through external grace. Both of these developments represented a move outside of the framework within which the traditional schools, with their enormous sacral and secular influence, had contained these philosophies as subsidiary currents within their own teaching traditions. Nonetheless, the “older Buddhism” (as it is often referred to), particularly that of the Tendai school centered at Enryakuji on Mt. Hiei, actually weathered the assault rather well. True, Enryakuji’s defense of its position was sometimes conducted in the basest secular terms (the desecration of Honen’s tomb and the attempt to dismember the body and throw the pieces into the Kamo River being perhaps the most graphic example); but the temple complex as a center of theory managed to maintain its overall eclecticism and continued to exercise a strong influence as a viable and integral part of the philosophical world. In otherwords, Kamakura Buddhism was not monopolized by the newer schools which have traditionally drawn the attention of western scholars.
The philosophical world of medieval Japan (here the 12th through 16th centuries, though other periodizations are possible) was a rich and multifaceted one. In the political and ethical realms Chinese thought continued to exercise an extremely strong influence; “native” Shinto thought experienced a strong resurgence; numerous streams of Buddhism (as noted) were in full flow; and in addition there were several widely acknowledged “cultural” concepts—mappo, the age of degeneration; mujo, the idea of impermanence; and michi, the idea and practice of following a particular path through which is revealed universal truths and understanding—which could easily take on lives of their own (this is particularly evident in literature). It is possible, for heuristic purposes, to regard each element on its own, but it is evident that, even should we come across dissonance and contradiction among any of these, they were regarded by medieval Japanese as coexisting without inherent contradiction since it was generally assumed that each represented an equally valid approach to the truths of the world which could be apprehended by humans in their relativity.December 15, 2014 at 9:16 pm #15314
My attitude towards the potential and relevance of science hasn’t changed fundamentally, but my experiences on Baluan have made me more open to an existential and thus wide-ranging exploration of the significance of spirits in human lives — including my own.December 21, 2014 at 7:28 pm #15342
The following translation of the Nei-yeh is by Harold Roth, and excerpted from his book, Original Tao: Inward Training (Nei-yeh) and the Foundations of Taoist Mysticism. By way of introduction to the text, Mr. Roth writes:
“Nei-yeh (Inward Training) is a collection of poetic verses on the nature of the Way (Tao) and a method of self-discipline that I call “inner cultivation” — a mystical practice whose goal is a direct apprehension of this all-pervading cosmic force. It contains some of the most beautiful lyrical descriptions of this mysterious cosmic power in early Chinese literature and in both literary form and philosophical content in quite similar to the much more renowned Lao Tzu (also called the Tao Te ching). “December 21, 2014 at 7:29 pm #15343December 26, 2014 at 8:21 am #15361January 6, 2015 at 11:55 pm #15412
Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies (2014) is a non-fiction book by Oxford philosophy professor Nick Bostrom. The book argues that if machine brains surpass human brains in general intelligence, then this new superintelligence could replace humans as the dominant lifeform on Earth. Sufficiently intelligent machines could improve their own capabilities faster than human computer scientists. As the fate of the gorillas now depends more on humans than on the actions of the gorillas themselves, so would the fate of humanity depend on the actions of the machine superintelligence. Absent careful pre-planning, the most likely outcome would be catastrophe.January 20, 2015 at 12:08 am #15456
The oldest philosphy of India is actually based on the “three gunas” which, I’ve argued, are the same as the principles of Taoism – yang, yin and the Emptiness. And so Buddhism, by defining the infinite through negation, is a reform movement of Brahminism, to stop the previous reification of the I-thought which had become a mass ritual sacrifice materialist attempt to contain infinity, using sacred geometry. Pythagorean philosophy is also very similar to Buddhism, as is Christianity – all basically reform movements. But while Christianity started out as a serious meditation movement using fasting and solitude, it then became part of the Roman Empire so that book knowledge was the new criteria for being “holy.” And so this is how it fused with NeoPlatonic philosophy as again a sacred geometry materialism definition of the infinite. This is not to say that there have not been real attempts at spirituality in Christianity with a handful of real meditation masters along the way, but nothing like the millenial old yoga schools in India and the Taoist training in China.January 20, 2015 at 6:40 am #15458January 21, 2015 at 1:43 am #15464January 21, 2015 at 10:50 pm #15481
This religious and rather hand-wavy position, known as Cartesian dualism, remained the governing assumption into the 18th century and the early days of modern brain study. But it was always bound to grow unacceptable to an increasingly secular scientific establishment that took physicalism – the position that only physical things exist – as its most basic principle. And yet, even as neuroscience gathered pace in the 20th century, no convincing alternative explanation was forthcoming. So little by little, the topic became taboo. Few people doubted that the brain and mind were very closely linked: if you question this, try stabbing your brain repeatedly with a kitchen knife, and see what happens to your consciousness. But how they were linked – or if they were somehow exactly the same thing – seemed a mystery best left to philosophers in their armchairs. As late as 1989, writing in the International Dictionary of Psychology, the British psychologist Stuart Sutherland could irascibly declare of consciousness that “it is impossible to specify what it is, what it does, or why it evolved. Nothing worth reading has been written on it.”January 21, 2015 at 11:28 pm #15482
In the magical universe there are no coincidences and there are no accidents. Nothing happens unless someone wills it to happen. The dogma of science is that the will cannot possibly affect external forces, and I think that’s just ridiculous. It’s as bad as the church. My viewpoint is the exact contrary of the scientific viewpoint. I believe that if you run into somebody in the street it is for a reason. Among primitive people they say that if someone was bitten by a snake he was murdered. I believe that. – William S. BurroughsJanuary 23, 2015 at 4:00 am #15545
Alex Tsakiris: Today we welcome Jack Hunter to Skeptiko. Jack is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Bristol in the UK. He’s the author of a very, very interesting book called Talking With The Spirits, and you may know him from through his publication, his online journal, that he’s done for several years now which is called Paranthropology. Jack it’s been very interesting diving into your work. I’ve kind of heard about you for a couple years and I always thought it was such great, great work that you’re doing, and I’m certainly happy to have you on Skeptiko. So thanks for joining me.
Jack Hunter: Thank you very much.
Alex Tsakiris: You know, as we were just chatting about really briefly there, what I thought we might do is start with some of the basics. First off, a little bit more about your background, about your PhD work there at Bristol, and your work in the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology. And then certainly some background on this very ground-breaking, brave-to-publish journal that you have – Paranthropology. So do you want to kind of kick us off with some background stuff?
Jack Hunter: Yeah, OK, so I first really became active in this kind of paranormal stuff when I finished my first university degree out of the University of Bristol. And for my dissertation for that degree I wrote about a group of spirit-mediums in Bristol and really sort of became interested in the kinds of experiences they were having. Then once I finished my degree, I kind of wanted to carry on working with this group and delving into it a little deeper. So I applied to a PhD [program] to look further at it. Fortunately I was given the opportunity to do it, but it’s all been self-funded. I haven’t’ had any major grants. And then the Paranthropology journal kind of came out of that. At the time my supervisor…was setting up this group called the Afterlife Research Center based at Bristol. And the group was specifically concerned with thinking about the after-life in the cross-cultural context. So looking at afterlife beliefs in different cultures, and it there was quite a heavy emphasis on spirit-mediumship and shamanism. And at one of the meetings of the Afterlife Research Center, we started to talk about the need for a journal in the UK that dealt with these kinds of issues. I mean, in the U.S. is the journal of the Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness, which deals with similar things. But there’s not much in the UK. So I just thought I’d go ahead and do it.January 24, 2015 at 10:13 am #15568January 25, 2015 at 8:37 am #16537
Emotional energy & the cosmic food chainJanuary 25, 2015 at 12:19 pm #16720
Geri Beil of Cologne, Germany, who attended the symposium, recalled his own ecstatic LSD experience on an Indian beach on New Year’s day, 2000. “I was crying from happiness, so thankful to my parents that they created me,” said Beil. “This experience has not disappeared; it has had a lasting effect.”January 25, 2015 at 12:33 pm #16736
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