Why can we not observe God?

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Kafei's picture
@CognosticDefine MYSTICISM

@Cognostic

Define MYSTICISM AND SPIRITUALITY.

I've done this. I've said mysticism is defined by what it involves, primarily engaging mystical states of consciousness, refining the various techniques to access mystical consciousness, and the integration of the insights of those experiences into the daily life of a mystic, that's mysticism in a nutshell. Now, spirituality is being defined synonymously with these mystical experiences. To be concerned with the spiritual, means to be concerned with these spiritual teachings and experiences as opposed to the material and physical things.

Cognostic's picture
@Kafei: You are defining Woo

@Kafei: You are defining Woo Woo with Woo Woo. "Mysticism" (undefineid) is defined by "mystical states" (undefined) of consciousness, "refining various techniques" (undefined amorphous verbiage), integration of "insights" (undefined), "Mystic" (undefined) and that is mysticism in a nutshell. WTF? Do you actually think you said something?

Spiritualiy (undefined), is being defined synonymous with mysticism (undefined). "Mystical Experience" (undefined) To be concerned with spiritual, means to be concerned with these "spiritual teachings" (undefined). And you are using the word spiritual to define spiritual. How did you ever come to the idea that Spiritual and material or physical are opposite or opposed to each other? Can you provide any evidence at all for that assertion. Can you demonstrate that spiritual or mystical are not physical? You keep making one woo woo assertion after another and only back up your comments with more woo woo. Do you even know what a "fact" is? I am beginning to wonder.

All you have here is just one big "Fallacy of definition." "Definitions that fail to have merit because they are overly broad, use obscure or ambiguous language, or contain circular reasoning are called fallacies of definition."

In short you have absolutely nothing of value. Complete and utter woo woo. Please cite a "Concrete Definition." You made the assertion that there were "concrete definitions" for mysticism and spirituality. Either provide the definitions or admit that you are incorrect.

Cognostic's picture
1. Mysticism involves

1. Mysticism involves mystical states. THIS IS NOT A DEFINITION IT IS A TAUTOLOGY.

tau·tol·o·gy the saying of the same thing twice in different words, generally considered to be a LOGICAL FALLACY.

Synonyms: : repetition, repetitiveness, repetitiousness, reiteration, redundancy, superfluity, periphrasis, iteration, duplication; ....

Mysticism = mystical consciousness = mystical states = life of a mystic = spirituality which is synchronously (NOT DEFINED).

Defining one amorphous concept with another is also a FALLACY. A FALLACY OF DEFINITION. "Definitions that fail to have merit because they are overly broad, use obscure or ambiguous language, or contain circular reasoning are called fallacies of definition."

Spirituality: to be concerned with spiritual.

HOW MANY TIMES MUST YOU BE ASKED TO Define MYSTICISM AND SPIRITUALITY. You asserted you had "concrete" definitions. WHAT IN THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? Until you define your concepts the only people responding to you are those who like you assume they know what the fuck all the woo woo is you are talking about. WHAT IN THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?

Cognostic's picture
@Kafei: "definition is quite

@Kafei: "definition is quite elaborate" And it either holds up against critical inquiry or it does not. So what is it? We are still waiting. It is your fault that you have not yet given an operational definition of the bullshit you are spouting. It is not my job to go looking for definition for the crap coming out of your keyboard. Provide a definition or admit that you have no idea at all what in the hell you are talking about.

Perennial wisdom" Not a definition - an inane assertion. Eternal Wisdom? WTF???

Perhaps you are not providing a definition for no other reason than you have no idea at all as to what the fuck you are talking about.
Do you not understand the videos you are referencing?

Kafei's picture
@Cognostic"definition is

@Cognostic

"definition is quite elaborate" And it either holds up against critical inquiry or it does not. So what is it? We are still waiting. It is your fault that you have not yet given an operational definition of the bullshit you are spouting. It is not my job to go looking for definition for the crap coming out of your keyboard. Provide a definition or admit that you have no idea at all what in the hell you are talking about.

I have provided definitions for you.

Perennial wisdom" Not a definition - an inane assertion. Eternal Wisdom? WTF???

Well, read up on it. I mean, it sounds like you're just being introduced to this stuff. I've been following the research for about a decade, and I study comparative religion as a hobby. I don't know what you think you're going to find, none of this is going to be boiled down to some bumper sticker definition. Your understanding is going to require some patience, some studying, and some research.

Perhaps you are not providing a definition for no other reason than you have no idea at all as to what the fuck you are talking about.

Of course, I know what I'm talking about.

Do you not understand the videos you are referencing?

Yes, every video I've posted here I've already seen in its entirety, some multiple times. I'm asking you to give a chance.

Kafei's picture
@CognosticYou are defining

@Cognostic

You are defining Woo Woo with Woo Woo. "Mysticism" (undefineid) is defined by "mystical states" (undefined) of consciousness, "refining various techniques" (undefined amorphous verbiage), integration of "insights" (undefined), "Mystic" (undefined) and that is mysticism in a nutshell. WTF? Do you actually think you said something?

No, I'd say you're misinterpreting this as "woo-woo." Mysticism, which I have defined, but to address again simply, is defined by the individual, and the individual's engagement with spiritual disciplines and techniques such as meditation or asceticism aimed at eliciting very concretely and specifically defined transformation of consciousness which neuroscientists are calling a "complete" mystical experience.

Spiritualiy (undefined), is being defined synonymous with mysticism (undefined). "Mystical Experience" (undefined) To be concerned with spiritual, means to be concerned with these "spiritual teachings" (undefined). And you are using the word spiritual to define spiritual. How did you ever come to the idea that Spiritual and material or physical are opposite or opposed to each other? Can you provide any evidence at all for that assertion. Can you demonstrate that spiritual or mystical are not physical? You keep making one woo woo assertion after another and only back up your comments with more woo woo. Do you even know what a "fact" is? I am beginning to wonder.

Once again, this is merely your own misconceptions and misconstruing. That's all.

All you have here is just one big "Fallacy of definition." "Definitions that fail to have merit because they are overly broad, use obscure or ambiguous language, or contain circular reasoning are called fallacies of definition."

Like I said, I think you're just being introduced to this research. Y'ever tried searching "mystical experience" in Google scholar?

In short you have absolutely nothing of value. Complete and utter woo woo. Please cite a "Concrete Definition." You made the assertion that there were "concrete definitions" for mysticism and spirituality. Either provide the definitions or admit that you are incorrect.

I've left links that elaborately define this stuff. Have you looked through them at all? It doesn't seem like it, because you're still quite confused about these topics.

Matt Fulkerson's picture
This question reminds me of

This question reminds me of Einstein's search for hidden variables that would explain that quantum mechanics is not all about chance. He did not succeed. (It is enough that he discovered special and general relativity. You can't solve every problem even if you are Einstein!)

Bell came along and came up with a test of hidden variable theories, called Bell's inequality. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell%27s_theorem

Many physicists have done the experiments, and they all come up with the result that hidden variable theories cannot be true.

What does this mean regarding God? I'm not sure. But Einstein insisted that God cannot play dice. In fact, if God exists, he does play dice. Chance is built into the universe. Think evolution.

Cognostic's picture
@Kafei: I can not

@Kafei: I can not misinterpret something that has not been defined in the first place. There are no misconceptions when your concepts are not clear. "Elaborately Defined" You are either joking or just trolling. You have defined absolutely nothing. Either give a clear and accurate operational definition of "Mystical" and another for "Spiritual" or admit you are trolling and full of shit.

Kafei's picture
@Cognostic I can not

@Cognostic

I can not misinterpret something that has not been defined in the first place.

However, you can if you overlook the definitions as you've done thus far.

There are no misconceptions when your concepts are not clear.

The lectures I've presented, the excerpts, etc. that aim to define these things have been quite clear.

"Elaborately Defined" You are either joking or just trolling. You have defined absolutely nothing. Either give a clear and accurate operational definition of "Mystical" and another for "Spiritual" or admit you are trolling and full of shit.

Well, I've explained this to you in several different ways. I'll try again, but if it goes over your head or you cannot fathom it, then go ahead and consider me anything you'd like, because that's just an intellectual defense mechanism on your behalf. Is it really my fault that you cannot grasp what this scientific research entails, how God is viewed from the Perennialist standpoint, etc.? In a nutshell, once again, mystics have claimed an experience with the so-called "Absolute" which has many names throughout history and culture. Mystics have recognized this absolute by direct experience, by this very phenomenon in consciousness the researchers are calling a "complete" mystical experience. The Absolute is a sense of the Totality of nature, not all things right here and now, but all things that ever have been and ever will be; for the mystic all time collapses into a single moment, and the Totality or the Absolute is directly experience, the mystic temporarily dissolves into the Absolute, and returns from that experience spiritually reborn when they come back to an ordinary state of consciousness. That video I linked there of Leo is a two part series, and if any of this is confusing for you, I recommend both parts. Otherwise, if you're just skimming through here, not reading the posts I link, ignoring the lectures, etc. Then, there's a good chance you're going to have a great difficulty grasping this stuff.

Cognostic's picture
WHAT DEFINITIONS! - YOU HAVE

WHAT DEFINITIONS! - YOU HAVE DEFINED NOTHING. DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT THE WORD DEFINITION MEANS?

1. a statement of the exact meaning of a word, especially in a dictionary. The act of defining, or of making something definite, distinct, or clear.

You have done no such thing. You pile woo woo on top of woo woo and pretend you are talking about something real. Utter Utter Bullshit.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Cog

@ Cog

He is doing the theist Humpty Dumpty...you know the one: “When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’
’The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’
’The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.”

Fact is Kaffei's obtuse and verbose 'definitions' are not definitions at all...mystic and mysticism is already adequately defined in English dictionaries.
He just chooses to ignore any rational discussion in favour of his "all thingy god word means what I want it to" and "lots of people say so too...especially when they are high as fuck on mushrooms"...sheesh. I'm done.

We KNOW chemical reactions in the brain cause hallucinations, no amount of anecdotal witnessing will change that fact. So whoopy de doo...get high, have trip, come down...yep. Cool. Evidence of what now? That's all Kaffei can argue. It doesn't matter how many studies or Spinozas argue about it, there is not one shred of actual evidence for the all encompassing god thingy from these studies.

Mystics and mysticism are a thing...so are mysteries. And they are clearly defined in Websters, Oxford English and every other dictionary. They bear no relation to Kaffei's addled maundering.

Kafei's picture
I did mention these

I did mention these psychedelics only mimic what can happen naturally if you engaged in a discipline like meditation or asceticism and the mystical experience is also speculated to occur in near-death. They've been well defined despite the opinions expressed here. I left more than enough material for anyone to satisfy themselves with how it's used in the research. Even Matt Dillahunty admitted he was unfamiliar with William James' definition of mystical experience which is the very basis of how this term has been defined and refined throughout decades of established scientific research. So, if you're looking in a dictionary, the dictionary hasn't caught up with the science. Look to how it's defined in the research. Matt asked me to call again, and he'd look into it and perhaps we can discuss his new understanding of the term.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Kafei

@ Kafei

I did mention these psychedelics only mimic what can happen naturally if you engaged in a discipline like meditation or asceticism and the mystical experience is also speculated to occur in near-death

Yes, I know, I have said that in my previous posts. Non drug induced mental phenomena are well documented. As I explained I have experienced them (after much practise myself). The fact remains it is NOT evidence of your woolly god thing that you are unable to define.

You have attempted to railroad an idea through without any evidence save personal anecdotal drug induced recollections. That is all you have. It is unmitigated bollocks to make claims based on that..

New definitions are not needed as they only obfuscate the reality and confuse the issue completely. It is a tried and true method to bypass actual evidence and reason. A favourite tool of charlatans, and those unable to provide actual evidence for their claims.

There are a couple of thousand years of personal anecdotal stories of those practising deep meditation and physical practice of many arts. The ingestion of psychedelic drugs are not needed to conduct this research. Deep meditation coupled with physical exercise can and does produce chemical changes to the brain. This is well proven and not on the edges of woo. Training of the mind and the body produces some amazing results.

Maybe you should try that route, it requires real mental effort and less making up of verbose contradictory nonsense. It also requires discipline and some rigorous exercise.

Come back when you have done it for a few years...like twenty or thirty, and have just learned how to learn.

Shortcuts are for tyros and frauds.

Kafei's picture
@Old man shoutsYes, I know, I

@Old man shouts

Yes, I know, I have said that in my previous posts. Non drug induced mental phenomena are well documented. As I explained I have experienced them (after much practise myself).

Well, if you've had experience of such, then all this shouldn't be ill-defined or vague to you. Unless you merely practice such disciplines, but never have engaged a mystical experience from them. Monks in temples will practice these disciplines for 30 years in some cases before they finally have a mystical experience, I'd wager some never receive it, and perhaps they finally encounter it prior to the moment of death since it's speculated to occur in the near-death experience.

The fact remains it is NOT evidence of your woolly god thing that you are unable to define.

I've said the term "God" is understood within the context of this research via the Perennial philosophy. If you don't think I've defined it, that's simply because you've never read up on Perennialism, that doesn't necessarily mean that "I can't define it." The definition is there, if you actually take the time to study it.

You have attempted to railroad an idea through without any evidence save personal anecdotal drug induced recollections. That is all you have. It is unmitigated bollocks to make claims based on that..

Well, there's the exegetical work of Dr. Ralph Hood which has found that the psilocybin-induced experiences at Johns Hopkins are virtually identical to those naturally occurring mystical experiences reported by mystics throughout the ages. I don't know how many times I've repeated that.

New definitions are not needed as they only obfuscate the reality and confuse the issue completely. It is a tried and true method to bypass actual evidence and reason. A favourite tool of charlatans, and those unable to provide actual evidence for their claims.

I wouldn't necessarily say a "mystical experience" is a "new definition." It was originally laid down by William James in the early 1900s and has been refined since over decades of scientific research. It has existed in the literature prior to William James' work in the work of Richard M. Bucke as "Cosmic consciousness" which is a term that Alan Watts used as well.

There are a couple of thousand years of personal anecdotal stories of those practising deep meditation and physical practice of many arts. The ingestion of psychedelic drugs are not needed to conduct this research. Deep meditation coupled with physical exercise can and does produce chemical changes to the brain. This is well proven and not on the edges of woo. Training of the mind and the body produces some amazing results.

Sure, and they have done that with Tibetan monks who do not use drugs and engage this experience naturally, likewise the Carmelite nuns were also studied for their natural propensity to enter into these states. Here's the issue, the naturally occurring mystical experience via meditation and contemplative techniques are not very reliable. The rate at which a nun or monk might achieve it is erratic and spontaneous, so this fact sort of makes it cumbersome for the researchers which is why psychedelics became popular. Psychedelics don't depend on the rigorous mastery of one's advancement into meditation, instead they can produce this experience on-demand whether a person is familiar with meditation or not. They can reliably reproduce the state in which the Tibetan monk enters without psychedelics. That's why the study of mystical experience shifted to psychedelics, because they produce these experiences far more facilely.

Maybe you should try that route, it requires real mental effort and less making up of verbose contradictory nonsense. It also requires discipline and some rigorous exercise.

I meditate everyday, and psychedelics is rather an annual practice of mine. I only do 'em once a year, but I meditate for the rest of the year.

Come back when you have done it for a few years...like twenty or thirty, and have just learned how to learn.

I've actually been at it for about that long.

Shortcuts are for tyros and frauds.

I wouldn't necessarily call it a short cut, I don't think that's the proper analogy, and I believe Michael Pollan says something quite similar to what I've said in Athena's stream. In one sense, it can certainly seem that way, but that doesn't make the experience any easier to withstand.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Kafei

@ Kafei

I will only quote one part of this overlong and risible post

Well, there's the exegetical work of Dr. Ralph Hood which has found that the psilocybin-induced experiences at Johns Hopkins are virtually identical to those naturally occurring mystical experiences reported by mystics throughout the ages. I don't know how many times I've repeated that.

Really? Why are you wasting our time? We agree that there is a long tradition of meditation and exercise proven techniques that can enhance performance. We agree that they can also cause behavioural changes and personal (note personal) hallucinations and visions including, but not exclusively those that you describe.

We know that various natural and artificial chemicals can also cause similar changes to the brain chemistry causing much the same illusions.

What the fuck is your point?

None of it is evidence for a god/deity/absoluteness, specifically not for anything you have touted.
It is only evidence of what I have explained above.

The rest of it is conclusion based on false definitions and a mound of word salad, coupled with a lot of wishful thinking.

Please don't "but the research"...because the research Does NOT bear out your conclusions.
The facts are that all the experiences, drug induced or by more natural means are intensely personal, and as such, even though they may have similarities for a variety of unknown and sometimes obvious reasons...personal internal revelation is NOT acceptable evidence for your claims.
Personal internal hallucinations especially when drug induced with "heroic" (read dangerous) doses are just not reliable for any purpose except studying the effect of the drug.
Subsequent changes (witnessed or not) to the participants behaviour is only evidence of the effect of the drug. It is NOT evidence for the god/deity/absolute or even a fucking Rainbow Farting Unicorn Called Eric Who Lives in my Garage.

The research you quote fails to address several holes in the theory that YOU offer and has many areas where statistical error is apparent.

I am glad you meditate, that you take drugs to enhance your process of internal growth is, in my view, redundant and likely to, as it has, lead you into error.

Meditate on that.

Edit: missing words

Cognostic's picture
@psychedelics only mimic what

@psychedelics only mimic what can happen naturally
HEY FINALLY YOU SAID SOMETHING THAT IS ACTUALLY INTERESTING. This is true as far as what I understand.... How is it Mystical or Supernatural? ITS NOT! An oxygen deprived brain in a near death reaction is not MYSTICAL. It is a biological reaction to being oxygen starved. NOTHING "MYSTICAL" HAS BEEN DEFINED. "Mystical" literally means "I have no idea." You have said NOTHING AT ALL about how the term Mystical is used in research.,... Please give us the CONCRETE definition you spoke of. How many times must you be asked. All you do is assert woo woo.

"In these lectures, James attempts to define mystical states of consciousness as "real" experiences, that is to say a valid topic of investigation and study, and to show them as available to most people. He begins with the crucial point of definition; without a clear idea of what is being discussed, misunderstandings are bound to occur. Many things can be referred to as mystical, but James uses the term "mystical states of consciousness" to encompass a spectrum of experiences, from the non-religious to the most religiously profound. " THIS IS NOT A DEFINITION!!!! WHY IS THAT NOT OBVIOUS TO YOU?

"Due to its subjective nature, the experience is much like state of feeling. James asserts that these two qualities (noetic AND Ineffable "entitle any state to be called mystical." ANY STATE NOTHING MYSTICAL OR SPIRITUAL HERE!!!

http://theg6group.com/james.html

There is nothing in any of this that gives a CONCRETE definition of Mysticism or Spirituality. NOTHING!

Cognostic's picture
@Old man shouts ... Yep!

@Old man shouts ... Yep! It's obvious to me, obvious to you, obvious to anyone reading the posts. He has done nothing at all to actually define his terms and yet continues posting woo woo bullshit. I have an office mate who has a degree in anthropology and believes a lot of the same BS but takes a much more realistic approach. He studies drug interactions on consciousness and asserts many developments in conscious for the human species were due to the use of hallucinogens. (A much more tenable position than asserting it had something to do with spirituality or mysticism.) There is even evidence many of the early Christian faiths used hallucinogens. He too, likes to talk a lot about the role of mysticism and spirituality in the human species; however, psychologically these are not different from "peak experiences" and have no "mystical" meaning other than the fact they are self reported as mystical or spiritual (amorphous concepts directing us towards an internal state of some sort of significant meaning). This is also the tract that Sam Harris is taking. He appears to believe there is something about human consciousness that allows us to have these experiences, whatever they are, and science should begin exploring them. No that appears to be a valid position. How would any reputable scientist begin doing that? BY CLEARLY DEFINING HIS TERMS AND THE PARAMETERS OF HIS OR HER RESEARCH. Nothing our friend has posted has come close to that.

LogicFTW's picture
@Kafei

@Kafei

What is the end goal of mysticism? What are followers of it striving for? Some form of inner peace and greater understanding of their place in the universe?

Why should people be interested in mysticism? Is there a benefit they get? Why are mystics interested in teaching others, even skeptics like where you will most certainly find here?

I fully admit I do not know much about this, I don't think I am very interested in joining in on this (seen no reason to so far,) but I am curious how these people think and what their motivations are just to further my own knowledge and curiosity and learning of others and how they operate.

 
 

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Kafei's picture
@LogicFTWWhat is the end goal

@LogicFTW

What is the end goal of mysticism? What are followers of it striving for? Some form of inner peace and greater understanding of their place in the universe?

I don't think there's necessarily an "end goal" of mysticism. I believe the insight as mystics have often recognized is to enjoy the moment, yes, in peace, in greater understanding, etc., but the point is to dance while the music is being played.

Why should people be interested in mysticism? Is there a benefit they get?

There's myriads of benefits, and I believe that they're even showing this to be true of the studies at Johns Hopkins, there's a quantum shift in individual's personalities. People become more patient, more empathetic, more open-minded, etc. They've shown that the terminally-ill cancer patients completely overcome their fear of death. We're not talking about a diminished fear, but the complete disappearance of fear so that these terminally-ill cancer patients can actually enjoy whatever time they have left. Tobacco addicts are able to quit their addiction without recidivism, and it also holds promise for Alzheimer's disease, dementia because these experiences also cause neurogenesis. It's even been shown beneficial in healthy volunteers.

Why are mystics interested in teaching others, even skeptics like where you will most certainly find here?

Not all mystics are like that, but if you had an experience of enlightenment, you may want to share it with the world. You'd feel compelled to share it. I believe that's why the founders of the major religions became the founders of the major religions, because once they had a mystical experience, this is what ultimate led each one of these men to alas become the founder of a religion.

I fully admit I do not know much about this, I don't think I am very interested in joining in on this (seen no reason to so far,) but I am curious how these people think and what their motivations are just to further my own knowledge and curiosity and learning of others and how they operate.

If you don't follow the science relative to these topics, then there's a good chance you probably won't know much about this. I mean, one thing I'd like to make absolutely clear is none of this is about "woo-woo bullshit" or "pseudo-science." If it was about any of that, I assure you, I would have abandoned my own research into all of this a very long time ago.

LogicFTW's picture
@Kafei

@Kafei
Thanks for take the time to answer my questions.

I don't think there's necessarily an "end goal" of mysticism. I believe the insight as mystics have often recognized is to enjoy the moment, yes, in peace, in greater understanding, etc., but the point is to dance while the music is being played.

I am a strong believer of "being in the present" but don't think anything special is needed to do that. Just be in the present by not dwelling on the past or unnecessarily worrying about the future. Fortunately you answered what I was really asking in your next paragraph.

There's myriads of benefits... ...People become more patient, more empathetic, more open-minded, etc. They've shown that the terminally-ill cancer patients completely overcome their fear of death... ...Tobacco addicts are able to quit their addiction without recidivism, and it also holds promise for Alzheimer's disease, dementia because these experiences also cause neurogenesis. It's even been shown beneficial in healthy volunteers.

Those are some mighty claims will have to look into the research on that and see how much it exceeds the placebo/suggestion effect. If any of these are even partially true, definitely an area worth further study/testing.

You'd feel compelled to share it.

Compelled? By what? Yourself? A compulsion perhaps to share what someone has learned to perhaps validate what they have learned, but also perhaps more altruistic: "this has helped me, and I hope by sharing it, it can also help you." Or likely some combination of many reasons.

I will have to say: compared to organized religion and the major god concepts practiced in the past and today, this definitely seems better, if anything because I do not see how anyone other then possibly personal validation "benefits" from sharing/discussing this. No money is collected, no power given etc. that I know of. Where all the major religions are highly suspect right off the bat simply because of the wealth/power concentration that happens at the top. But! me saying it is better than religion is a very low bar to clear as I consider religion these days to be a scourge on humanity that holds us as a race back from greater things.

If it was about any of that, I assure you, I would have abandoned my own research into all of this a very long time ago.

You mentioned in a different post on this thread you have spent at least 20 years studying/practicing this. That is a huge commitment of time. Ever worry about confirmation bias? Especially when humans in general do not like to abandon ideas/practices they spent enormous time on? When I first started discussing and spending time thinking about god/lack of in a serious manner, I spent a fair amount of time questioning if I was falling into a sort of self confirmation bias loop that I see so many others do, and I have even done my self in things like highly sensitive political issues. Or perhaps more obviously on the growing divide between liberal and conservative in the US. I struggled with that for a while but with help of people on this site and few others plus my own reading and thought processes I realized the only way to sort this stuff is with careful study of the facts where available. Start with the facts and careful study and things actually quite often simplify rather than get complex on what is the "correct" (reality,) answer.

 
 

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Cognostic's picture
LogicFTW: Mysticism is not

LogicFTW: Mysticism is not a dogma... it has no goal. Religions have goals. Mystical thinking is woo woo.

"Why should people be interested in mysticism?" Get away from the term "mysticism." Example: There are many books written about OBE (Out of Body Experiences). This is something I taught myself to do when I was a teen and heavy into Martial Arts and meditation. NOTHING MYSTICAL ABOUT IT. - though I though there might be at the time. The last time I did this was about a week ago.

There are three primary occurrences in the OBE. (This is how I make sense of it.) 1. Sleep paralysis. 2. Phantom Limb Syndrome and 3) keeping the brain conscious during sleep paralysis.

Sleep paralysis is a temporary inability to move or speak that occurs when you're waking up or falling asleep. This occurs because your body turns off motor functions when you sleep. If it did not do this, you would dream of running and end up waking up miles away from your home. There is a disconnect between the brain and the body during sleep. If you maintain, keep alert, your conscious mind, and allow yourself to fall into sleep paralysis (allow the separation to occur) a phantom body is created by a stimulation starved brain.

The phantom body is no different than a phantom limb. A phantom limb is the sensation that an amputated or missing limb is still attached. People who end up missing a limb will actually continue feeling pain in their missing hand or find themselves reaching for something with a limb that is not there. The first time I really experienced this was when I was in the hospital for knee surgery.

I was given a spinal and my body was numbed from the waist down. At the end of the surgery a screen was removed that blocked my view from the actual surgery site. The doctor had my right leg up on his shoulder and was wrapping my knee with gauze. The leg he had on his shoulder was not mine. My leg was on the operating table directly down in front of me. I knew it was there because that is where I felt it. My brain would not accept the fact that the leg on the doctor's shoulder was mine. My leg was where my brain last saw it. For about 10 minutes as my leg was being wrapped, my brain insisted it was not my leg and that my leg was on the table in front of me. This is exactly the experience of an OBE. My body is not the one laying on the floor (always on the floor, the bed is too soft and results in sleep.) but the one standing.

I have done this my entire life and there is nothing at all mystical about it. NOTHING. It is a state of consciousness. It is not magical. It is not spiritual. It is something anyone can do with just a little training. It is my own mind chewing bubble gum and nothing more.

The term "mystical" only means "we don't know." The same definition applies to "spiritual." That is why our friend is completely unable to define the terms. He has no idea at all how to operationalize them. THERE IS NOTHING "CONCRETE" ABOUT MYSTICISM OR SPIRITUALITY. NOTHING!

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Cog

@ Cog

Exactly. As I was trying to get through to Kafei when you meditate and go into deep meditation coupled with exercise (like I did with Kendo) I was fortunate on a couple of occasions to reach the state of "no mind'. That is only possible after years of training where my body, without conscious volition reacted to my opponent, even before he had signalled intent.
I could have described that as a "no time event" which, to me, inside my head it was. I 'saw' every move before my opponent made it. I saw the consequence of my blow before he felt them....
But here's the rub, ANYONE can do it with training!
Like Cog's OBE I was a timeless observer of myself, my brain insisting it was a mere passenger in a body that was fighting hard, but seemed to to my brain to be in slow motion.
ANYONE Can be trained to do it. Sure it requires discipline, training and inner fortitude, something you do not get from 'heroic' (aka stupid) doses of drugs.
Yes I have an 'experience' where I felt that I was on the edge of a great understanding, but that is a result of deep meditation, it is NOT proof of the undefined god/deity/oneness 'mystic' shite Kafei dribbles.

Cognostic's picture
@Old man shouts ... Fighting

@Old man shouts ... Fighting is just so damn interesting as a "state of consciousness. It's one of the reasons I loved doing it and continue to stretch and try even though I am older now. Getting over that butterfly in the stomach and knee knocking reaction was amazing. Discovering that getting hit and not consciously being their to receive the pain was possible and is one of the weirdest experiences associated with fighting. Pulling a nose hair is more painful than getting punched square in the face. And if you get knocked out... well you still never feel the punch or kick. That's weird but so true. When the "assessment" of the opponent leaves, all plans for techniques vanish, and you abandon yourself to pure action and response, amazing things begin to happen. Nothing mystical. Nothing Spiritual. Just human. I think a whole lot of human experience is labeled spiritual or mystical for no other reason than people do not understand it and do not practice it. I got into the OBE stuff by studying dream cultures. I had been doing it for years before I read my first book on it. I could not believe the bullshit being put out there by the mystics and spiritualists. Complete horseshit. Much like the assholes that knock people down with their "chi" / "Ki". Phony mystical bullshit is rampant in Martial arts.
One of my all time favorite videos.....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGtUytD3Vx4

Here is another fucking dipshit woo woo artist...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Z0_n7tGnK0

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Cog

@ Cog

Yeh I love those guys. Some Dojo's are just full of shite. Fraudsters and woo merchants.
Yep when I was fighting the butterflies and sometimes stink of my own fear filled my nostrils but years of practice in calming and I could recite my own version of the Bene Gesserit Litany against Fear...and it worked...for me....
My Kyudo practice helped in that,all style and little function but you had to be in a 'no mind' state to really make it work. I could never get in the proper frame to do it on horseback with the shorter bow but I admired those who could....

But, as you know it has to be accompanied by persistent training to come off in a competition/combat situation. That is why I have no fucking time for woo merchants. Half assed, get it backwards fuckers who cannot string an intelligible brief sentence together whilst jabbering about fucking 'mystic' concepts FFS.

It is NOT fucking mystical, it is hard work, discipline and, in the end, entering a state of heightened mental awareness. Nothing to do with gods, woo or mystics. Shit, man has been doing it for thousands of years. It is nothing unusual. As I said ANYONE can do it.

Proof of the divine it aint.

LogicFTW's picture
@Cognostic

@Cognostic

Mysticism is not a dogma... it has no goal.

That trips me up, why would people do something that has no goal? I actually think people don't, that they do have a goal, even if they do not recognize what it is. Even if the goal is to "enjoy" the journey/learning experience, that in itself is a goal of sorts to me.

Get away from the term "mysticism."

I actually suggested that to Kafei. To me if it was rephrased to: exploring the capabilities of the mind through meditation etc. to learn more about oneself. It would be met with less skepticism, especially by atheist, (that tend to be skeptical.)

I learned some new things today about OBE, thank you for sharing that... Not only in this post but in the subsequent conversation that followed your post.

 
 

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Cognostic's picture
@LogicFTW: It can't have a

@LogicFTW: It can't have a goal when it doesn't even have a definition. There is nothing called "mysticism." The same is true of the word "Spiritual." There is no action a person can take that is called mysticism. There is no action a person can take that is called spiritual. It's all woo woo nonsense. If you think there is something called mysticism you should be able to find a clear definition of it. "Good Luck With That."

RE: "During an out-of-body experience (OBE), the experient seems to be awake and to see his body and the world from a location outside the physical body. A closely related experience is autoscopy (AS), which is characterized by the experience of seeing one's body in extrapersonal space. Yet, despite great public interest and many case studies, systematic neurological studies of OBE and AS are extremely rare and, to date, no testable neuro-scientific theory exists." (THIS IS ACTUALLY ABOUT AS GOOD AS ANY DEFINITION GETS. ) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14662516

Kafei's picture
@LogicFTWI am a strong

@LogicFTW

I am a strong believer of "being in the present" but don't think anything special is needed to do that. Just be in the present by not dwelling on the past or unnecessarily worrying about the future. Fortunately you answered what I was really asking in your next paragraph.

"There's myriads of benefits... ...People become more patient, more empathetic, more open-minded, etc. They've shown that the terminally-ill cancer patients completely overcome their fear of death... ...Tobacco addicts are able to quit their addiction without recidivism, and it also holds promise for Alzheimer's disease, dementia because these experiences also cause neurogenesis. It's even been shown beneficial in healthy volunteers."

Those are some mighty claims will have to look into the research on that and see how much it exceeds the placebo/suggestion effect. If any of these are even partially true, definitely an area worth further study/testing.

Yes, this is only the tip of the iceberg in regards to the science that's been done.

"You'd feel compelled to share it."

Compelled? By what? Yourself? A compulsion perhaps to share what someone has learned to perhaps validate what they have learned, but also perhaps more altruistic: "this has helped me, and I hope by sharing it, it can also help you." Or likely some combination of many reasons.

No, I think you may have misconstrued what I said. I said when a person has this "complete" mystical experience, they often are compelled to share it. I've read some of the descriptions of how people have been attempting to relate to this experience, but it's definitely not what I'm talking about.

I will have to say: compared to organized religion and the major god concepts practiced in the past and today, this definitely seems better, if anything because I do not see how anyone other then possibly personal validation "benefits" from sharing/discussing this. No money is collected, no power given etc. that I know of. Where all the major religions are highly suspect right off the bat simply because of the wealth/power concentration that happens at the top. But! me saying it is better than religion is a very low bar to clear as I consider religion these days to be a scourge on humanity that holds us as a race back from greater things.

Some atheists like Matt Dillahunty would rather see religion end, others believe it can evolve, and so I see the latter far more feasible than the former.

You mentioned in a different post on this thread you have spent at least 20 years studying/practicing this. That is a huge commitment of time. Ever worry about confirmation bias?

No, not at all, because once you have an understanding of what false spiritual knowledge is, you can never be led astray.

Especially when humans in general do not like to abandon ideas/practices they spent enormous time on? When I first started discussing and spending time thinking about god/lack of in a serious manner, I spent a fair amount of time questioning if I was falling into a sort of self confirmation bias loop that I see so many others do, and I have even done my self in things like highly sensitive political issues.

Oh, sure, it's very easy for an atheist to fall into a self-reaffirming biased loop, I see it happen a lot. People identify with the word atheism, and then it becomes part of every facet of their life, and they become so emotionally-attached to the title, that they will ignore evidence to defend it.

Or perhaps more obviously on the growing divide between liberal and conservative in the US. I struggled with that for a while but with help of people on this site and few others plus my own reading and thought processes I realized the only way to sort this stuff is with careful study of the facts where available. Start with the facts and careful study and things actually quite often simplify rather than get complex on what is the "correct" (reality,) answer.

Well, that's all I present here. The facts, the science that's been done.

Kafei's picture
@Old man shoutsYeh I love

@Old man shouts

Yeh I love those guys. Some Dojo's are just full of shite. Fraudsters and woo merchants.
Yep when I was fighting the butterflies and sometimes stink of my own fear filled my nostrils but years of practice in calming and I could recite my own version of the Bene Gesserit Litany against Fear...and it worked...for me....
My Kyudo practice helped in that,all style and little function but you had to be in a 'no mind' state to really make it work. I could never get in the proper frame to do it on horseback with the shorter bow but I admired those who could....

But, as you know it has to be accompanied by persistent training to come off in a competition/combat situation. That is why I have no fucking time for woo merchants. Half assed, get it backwards fuckers who cannot string an intelligible brief sentence together whilst jabbering about fucking 'mystic' concepts FFS.

It sounds more like you're explaining what Jamie Wheal calls STER in the "Flow state," which is definitely not what I'm describing as the "complete" mystical experience induced by psychedelics. You wouldn't even be able to perform martial arts in this state because hanging on to the ground will be the major program to be executed.

It is NOT fucking mystical, it is hard work, discipline and, in the end, entering a state of heightened mental awareness. Nothing to do with gods, woo or mystics. Shit, man has been doing it for thousands of years. It is nothing unusual. As I said ANYONE can do it.

It's considered a mystical experience insofar as it's been defined within the context that William James originally laid out. If you're defining the experience outside of that, you're simply not referring to James' definition which is the definition that originated this research.

Proof of the divine it aint.

Well, according to the professionals, it's evidence of the Perennial philosophy, and the divine is more properly understood within this context.

Tin-Man's picture
Re: Kafei - "You wouldn't

Re: Kafei - "You wouldn't even be able to perform martial arts in this state because hanging on to the ground will be the major program to be executed."

Ah-hah! THAT explains it! Now I know one of my cats has been having mystical and spiritual experiences! Ya see, every time my wife puts catnip out as a treat, one of our cats (Zeus) takes a few bites and then - SHA-ZAM! - he flattens out on his belly, puts both paws outstretched and slightly to the sides, furiously tries to grip the tile floor, and then starts mewing with a wild-eyed look as if saying, "HELP! Somebody! Anybody! Help! I'm about to fall off the Earth!" By golly, my little kitty is a fucking Zen MASTER! Who knew? Awesome!... *celebratory fist pump*...

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Kafei

@ Kafei

Well, according to the professionals, it's evidence of the Perennial philosophy, and the divine is more properly understood within this context.

Then you aint been reading what Cog and I have been writing. As a student of zen for more than 30 years I am well aware of the 'void", the state of "no mind" and I described them lucidly and clearly in the context of combat or, note, in the context of training mind and body.

It seems you are so wrapped up in this drug induced state of consciousness malarkey that you cannot see that it is not necessary to over indulge in any chemicals to have a "Complete Mystical Experience" ( which is a meaningless phrase) or, enter the "void" as it is more properly experienced. It is a function of training and deep meditation that causes chemical changes to the brain, causing an altered cognitive experience. Yes, it is a profound state but it is evidence of nothing except the power of your own mind.

It is not 'proof' of anything except that, it is especially not evidence of Huxley's famously drug addled statements.

I know you want to have some sort of universal meaning of life, but there just isn't one unless you make it yourself. Self knowledge being the first goal of mediation.
In all your postings there is not one skerrick that indicates any self awareness on your part, rather a mad rush to regurgitate these studies as proof of concept. Which we have all explained they are not.

We have defined "mystic " and "mysticism" for you as used in the english language but you want to redefine a perfectly good word so it agrees with your solipsism.
If you need to redefine a word, it normally means your concept is wrong to start with, or you are incapable of explaining it.

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