Ruby posted this... Truly wonderful...
"Surrender to the mystery...
Warmth and trust"
Ruby posted this... Truly wonderful...
"Surrender to the mystery...
Warmth and trust"
Posted at 03:19 PM | Permalink | Comments (11)
Tags: .. Happy holidays, merry Christmas
Philosopher Peter Carruthers insists that conscious thought, judgment and volition are illusions. They arise from processes of which we are forever unaware
...According to a new article in Scientific American.
It's long been know that the brain functions way too slowly to explain real-time consciousness. Peter Carruthers suggests that we are actually observing pre-canned thoughts, and inner dialogue / monologue, rather than generating actual thoughts as things stimulate those thoughts.
You see a stop light turn to yellow and move your foot from the gas to the brake. That's all conditioned. There is no way you can actually think "Ah, this is a yellow light. What should I do? I think I'll get ready to apply the brake...Hm,, I'm moving my foot now...." Even if you have such an inner monologue, that must be simply downstream of the source of all those actions, hidden, unconscious conditioning.
Carruthers says this is all an illusion that this is actually thinking, when it is just another set of cognitive behaviors we are witnessing that are conditioned. Even the thought "what shall I do? What are my options" are all part of a chain of conditioning.
There is no other way to explain how our slow slow brains can keep up. Stuff doesn't even get into working memory for us to become aware and act in anything like real time. So our perception that we are seeing, thinking and acting in real time, "Here and Now" must be an illusion.
I believe that the whole idea of conscious thought is an error. I came to this conclusion by following out the implications of the two of the main theories of consciousness. The first is what is called the Global Workspace Theory, which is associated with neuroscientists Stanislas Dehaene and Bernard Baars. Their theory states that to be considered conscious a mental state must be among the contents of working memory (the “user interface” of our minds) and thereby be available to other mental functions, such as decision-making and verbalization. Accordingly, conscious states are those that are “globally broadcast,” so to speak. The alternative view, proposed by Michael Graziano, David Rosenthal and others, holds that conscious mental states are simply those that you know of, that you are directly aware of in a way that doesn’t require you to interpret yourself. You do not have to read you own mind to know of them. Now, whichever view you adopt, it turns out that thoughts such as decisions and judgments should not be considered to be conscious. They are not accessible in working memory, nor are we directly aware of them. We merely have what I call “the illusion of immediacy”—the false impression that we know our thoughts directly.
In ordinary life we are quite content to say things like “Oh, I just had a thought” or “I was thinking to myself.” By this we usually mean instances of inner speech or visual imagery, which are at the center of our stream of consciousness—the train of words and visual contents represented in our minds. I think that these trains are indeed conscious. In neurophilosophy, however, we refer to “thought” in a much more specific sense. In this view, thoughts include only nonsensory mental attitudes, such as judgments, decisions, intentions and goals. These are amodal, abstract events, meaning that they are not sensory experiences and are not tied to sensory experiences. Such thoughts never figure in working memory. They never become conscious. And we only ever know of them by interpreting what does become conscious, such as visual imagery and the words we hear ourselves say in our heads.
We are only aware of our thoughts when a stimulus event triggers them into conscious awareness, or our internal monologue brings them up, but otherwise they are unconscious. And so we think we are doing the thinking but we, the observer, are just along for the ride seeing thoughts long after they were created.
Comparing the brain's slow functioning to our verbal reports, what we do see isn't the whole picture. We live in an illusion of complete awareness of "here" that is missing a lot and a false sense of immediacy, of "now", that isn't actually "now".
Carruthers very intelligently distinguishes conscious thought with Awareness:
Some philosophers believe that consciousness can be richer than what we can actually report. For example, our visual field seems to be full of detail—everything is just there, already consciously seen. Yet experiments in visual perception, especially the phenomenon of inattentional blindness, show that in fact we consciously register only a very limited slice of the world....
The illusion of immediacy has the advantage of enabling us to understand others with much greater speed and probably with little or no loss of reliability. If I had to figure out to what extent others are reliable interpreters of themselves, then that would make things much more complicated and slow.
If there is a Here and Now, and a truly "mindful" Observer, who can "Be Here and Now", it hasn't been detected in the brain yet. And Carruthers believes it might just be an illusion.
Or maybe it's just not inside the physical organ of the brain?
Posted at 06:50 PM | Permalink | Comments (31)
Tags: behavioral chain, cognition, cognitive perception, consciousness, inner monologue, perception, Perceptual studies, sensory awareness, visual perception, visual stimuli, working memory
Putting aside the literal trappings of religion, is it possible that the early teachers were talking about an internal subjective experience when they speak of Spirit? An audible spirit?
"Well has the all-gracious and Almighty God interposed as it were an intermediate Power between himself and them, even the Divine omnipotence of his only-begotten Word."
Schaff, P. 1997. The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers Second Series Vol. I. Eusebius: Church History, Life of Constantine the Great, and Oration in Praise of Constantine. Logos Research Systems: Oak Harbor
Philo’s writings also describe the Word as the true Savior.
"To His Word, His chief messenger, highest in age and honour, the Father of all has given the special prerogative, to stand on the border and separate the creature from the Creator. This same Word both pleads with the immortal as supplicant for afflicted mortality and acts as ambassador of the ruler to the subject. He glories in this prerogative and proudly describes it in these words "and I stood between the Lord and you" (Deut. v. 5), that is neither uncreated by God, nor created as you, but midway between the two extremes, a surety to both sides."
Philo, Quis rerum divinarum heres sit 205-206, as quoted in The Gospel of the Memra: Jewish Binitarianism and the Prologue to John, by Daniel Boyarin, In the Harvard Theological Review, July, 2001
"This hallowed flock, He leads with right and law, setting over it His own true Logos, His first-born Son, who shall succeed unto the care of this sacred flock, as though he were some viceroy of a great king."
Philo, On Husbandry 12, Phill p. 135, TGHI, pl. 238
An internal experience.
A Deceptive Purchase?
"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field."
Why did the man hide the treasure in the field? Was that honest? Should he have told the owner of the field? Was it fair to the owner to keep him or her ignorant of the treasure?
The man who found the treasure and hid it again appears to have bought the field at a price agreed to by the owner under the pretense that the field contained no treasure. By giving this illustration as a positive example, is Jesus promoting questionable behavior?
Why did the man choose to deceive the owner? Perhaps the man knew that even by selling all he had, he would not be able to afford the true price of the treasure. No one can. Why did he have to have it? As for the owner, who was he? Perhaps the owner was not deceived at all.
Consider what may have been lost through the oral tradition in this rendition of Jesus’ parable. Perhaps the original went a little something like this:
The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a man’s own fields. The man had been away for so long he didn’t recognize his own home. Something inside the man brought him to this field and to the family treasure, his birthright, which the man, as a boy, had helped His father bury long ago. As soon as he uncovered the treasure he knew it was his, but did not understand why. So he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field from his father, whom he also didn’t recognize. His father was so happy to see his son’s return that he played along and sold him the field for trinkets. His father knew that his son was gradually remembering. One day his son realized that the field, the treasure and the father were all his to begin with. He ran through the fields up to the house he hadn’t seen in years. Now everything was clear, everything familiar. He ran into that house, his home, and embraced his father. All that mattered to his father was that day of reunion. This is what the kingdom of heaven is like.
Jesus’ parable has a simple allegorical explanation to today's Meditator: The man found this treasure in the field within himself. He gladly paid his debts to those around him, finished his duties, left his old life, and made his home that field, and the treasure the center of his new life.
Posted at 01:38 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)
Here is another fine article on the positive long-term physiological effects of meditation.
Here MRI brain scans and EEG help reveal the significant changes in how the brain of long-term meditators actually functions. The principle author of the research, Richard Davidson, is also the author of the groundbreaking best seller, Emotional Intelligence.
Davidson tells us that not only does the brain of long term meditators function differently, but the experience during meditation changes the way the brain functions during non-meditation periods.
"...as you continue practicing, the things you saw happening during the state itself become part of your way of being. They become traits.”
And even short-term meditators can experience the benefits:
" Still another study, from the University of California, Santa Barbara, revealed that merely eight minutes of mindfulness practice improved concentration and reduced mind-wandering. The researchers also found that mindfulness had a dramatic effect on working memory—the facility we have to manipulate stored information in order to reason and make decisions in a timely manner. One group of students that underwent a two-week course in mindfulness training boosted their scores on their GREs—the graduate school entrance exams—by more than 30%."
"In one key MIT study, researchers found that volunteers who took an eight-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program had a far greater ability to focus on their sensations than a control group that hadn’t done the training. Another study at the University of Wisconsin showed that only 10 minutes of breath-counting helped offset the damaging effects on concentration of heavy-duty multitasking. ...
"Stress is another area where the evidence is particularly convincing. In one landmark study, researchers at Emory University gave volunteers an eight-week course of mindfulness training, then showed them upsetting photos to see how they responded. The result? A significant lowering of activity in the amygdala, the part of the brain that triggers the freeze- fight-or-flight response....
"A third area with solid results is the study of compassion. According to Davidson, compassion practices, such as loving-kindness meditation, work very quickly, sometimes producing effects in as little as eight days of practice. “That doesn’t mean these effects are going to last,” he says, “but it implies that kindness may be an intrinsic part of the mind. What the practice does is reacquaint us with that quality in ourselves so that we can make it more accessible.”
The experience of meditation changes how you think and how your brain functions, according to this research:
So, what is your practice and experience?
Posted at 01:11 PM | Permalink | Comments (7)
Tags: brain physiology, EEG, meditation, MRI, prayer, research, Richard Davidson, science, spirituality
Does Prayer reshape the brain?
Here is description of the new field of Neurotheology, and a review of work by Neuroscientist Andrew Newberg at the University of Pennsylvania, studying subjects who have prayed intensely for years
"The first thing that got me was I could hear God's voice," the pastor said. "And it so enamored me — I mean, it changed me dramatically. I couldn't wait to pray!" Scott McDermott.
McDermott has prayed at least two hours a day for the past 25 years.
Has prayer reshaped your brain? Or at least your thinking?
Posted at 12:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
Tags: meditation research, neurobiology, neuroscience, neurotheology, prayer research, science, spirituality
Prayer, Worship and Meditation, while each has somewhat different practices, all share unique features of focus on something / someone from either a neutral mindset, as a passive observer, or from a loving mindset, with the object of focus the beloved. Some forms, like the Harvard Meditation, use repetition; others, like Autogenic Training and a variant of mindfulness, focus on parts of the body. The varying combinations of thought focus and heart warmth makes for singular reports of peace and happiness. Mediation reduces distracting thoughts, blood pressure, and anxiety, while improving brain health and even healing DNA!
So what's your practice?
What works for you?
Posted at 06:09 PM | Permalink | Comments (14)
Tags: brain health, healthcare, insight, medical science, Meditation, philosophy, spirituality
In my home in Boston, we're seeing a Renaissance of Enlightenment in the wake of the disasters of blind faith.
Will this happen to religion in other parts of the world? For example RSSB as well?
"Religion isn’t just fading from campus, though—all throughout the city, faith is dying out. It’s a notion that once seemed unthinkable. Not so long ago, religious institutions permeated city life, forming communal centers for the pious and the profane alike; they simply were the community. Increasingly, though, religion’s power is giving way to the church of scientific inquiry. Religion’s importance in people’s lives is on the decline across the country, but the Bay State is on the trend’s leading edge, tied with New Hampshire for the official title of least religious state, according to the Pew Research Center. Massachusetts is tied for third in what statisticians call “religious nones,” people who say they’re not affiliated with any religion, at 32 percent of residents. Compare that to the 33 percent who said religion is “very important” in their lives. Or the 40 percent who told Pew in 2014 that they’re “absolutely certain” they believe in God—the lowest among the 50 states. Or the scant 23 percent who attend a religious service every week."
What have you seen in your community? Has an admiration for the Creation replaced the blind faith in a perfect God or Guru?
And is this good, meh, or bad? In your humble opinion? :)
Posted at 07:13 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)
Tags: catholicism, Humanism, Judaism, philosophy, religion, RSSB, Sant Mat, science
Bayley pays the Singh Brothers some " dividends..." Ouch...
No not those brothers...wait a minute...maybe they have relatives in India?
As the newcasters say "They have a guru in the mix...Yes, Yes, it's a potboiler! Money has been given to the Master of the Radha Soami Satsang! ...This whole mystery ....the biggest problem is that Shivinder wants to be part of RSSB and Movinder wants to run the business...Is this going to be going to the police? Yes, they are going to the police....and then the family and the mother intervened...Gets more murky with each passing month."
Yah, these guys. They are cousins of the Radha Soami Satsang Beas (RSSB) Master, Baba Gurinder Singh. RSSB is an organization teaching pure morale principles of responsible living and spiritual meditation. They also do a lot of charity works. And have lots of land.... donated land that, sometimes they have to sell ...
Together they and some board members of the RSSB were all involved with some pretty odd financial goings on....with the mysterious disappearance of Billions of dollars...
Once connected at the hip bosom buddies, now they have gotten themselves into a physical altercation...
They've got history...
And more history...
And your thoughts?
Posted at 07:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (90)
Tags: Billions, finance, Gurindar Singh Dhillon, Movindar Singh, Radha Soami Satsang, Sant Mat, Shivindar Sing
Welcome! Here is the place for all True Believers and all true Atheists (and the entire range of Sant Mat Mystics, Catholic Priests, Socialists and Anti-Theists to share their views, debate, and learn some new things).
We want to encourage actual communication among completely divergent views for a simple reason:
To learn from each other.
So, if you really love Jesus and hate Atheists, here is the place to provide your views. And to get into debate!
If you think the Sangat, the Church or the Mosque is having a corrupting influence on children, here's the place to share your views.
There are some additional basic ground rules that will allow the nations of the world and all their people to voice their ideas and views here:
Posted at 06:44 PM | Permalink | Comments (28)
Tags: Atheism Sant Mat, Christianity, Judaism, meditation, Mysticism, plato, prayer, quantum, science, socrates, universe