What causes bad trips?

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Lou Gold
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Re: What causes bad trips?

Post by Lou Gold »

Lou Gold wrote: Wed Sep 15, 2021 1:45 am
Soul_of_Shu wrote: Wed Sep 15, 2021 1:07 am
Lou Gold wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 11:29 pmI'm always intrigued when Ramana Maharshi says that 'enlightenment' feels like being wide awake in deep dreamless sleep.
It is intriguing, but I don't find it surprising since the notion that there was some 'Ramana' that was other than That which, paradoxically enough, is awake in deep dreamless sleep had been dispelled. Why That dreams up such a notion, only to have it dispelled, is perhaps even more intriguing ;)
OK, I confess my stupidity. I honestly don't grok what you are saying. Can you simplify? Kid simple would be best.
Is this what you are saying Dana? >>> "Having dispelled the dualistic distinction asleep/awake (either/or), one can be both asleep/awake and feel as such (both/and)."
Be calm - Be clear - See the faults - See the suffering - Give your love
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Soul_of_Shu
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Re: What causes bad trips?

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Eugene I wrote: Wed Sep 15, 2021 1:13 amBecause the only way for That to know and experience life from Ramana's perspective is to allow such perspective to be.
Hmm ... Where would we be if not for the allowance of the 'self'-perpetuating Dream of Us?
Here out of instinct or grace we seek
soulmates in these galleries of hieroglyph and glass,
where mutual longings and sufferings of love
are laid bare in transfigured exhibition of our hearts,
we who crave deep secrets and mysteries,
as elusive as the avatars of our dreams.
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Lou Gold
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Re: What causes bad trips?

Post by Lou Gold »

Soul_of_Shu wrote: Wed Sep 15, 2021 2:26 am
Eugene I wrote: Wed Sep 15, 2021 1:13 amBecause the only way for That to know and experience life from Ramana's perspective is to allow such perspective to be.
Hmm ... Where would we be if not for the allowance of the 'self'-perpetuating Dream of Us?
... and from Rumi's perspective:

Come to the orchard in Spring.
There is light and wine, and sweethearts
in the pomegranate flowers.

If you do not come, these do not matter.
If you do come, these do not matter.
Be calm - Be clear - See the faults - See the suffering - Give your love
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Adur Alkain
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Re: What causes bad trips?

Post by Adur Alkain »

Soul_of_Shu wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 12:01 pm
Adur Alkain wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 9:08 am I also know it happened because I remember myself sitting on the floor of my bedroom, feeling my awareness dissolve ...
Yes indeed, any personified, i.e. 'my', awareness is dispelled, and what remains is irreducible Awareness. To say that the fundamental nature of that Awareness is 'nothingness', is only to say that Awareness remains in the absence of 'thingness', and as such so-called 'Nothingness' and Awareness are inextricable and irreducible. And while some apparency of personified awareness can be said to arise and 'dissociate' from it, in essence one is never other than, or apart from the Irreducible. Naming that 'nothingness', well, makes no difference to this experience.
After watching those two videos of Rupert Spira and Almaas in conversation, my take is that Rupert has never experienced Cessation, the total cessation of awareness Hameed (Almaas) was talking about. Hameed didn't push the topic further, because it is pointless to try to convince somebody that an experience they've never had and that they can't even conceive is possible. And from the point of view of Awareness (which is Rupert's point of view), Rupert is of course right. Awareness can't experience the absence of awareness. That's an impossibility. So, Awareness can only conceive the "awareness of absence", meaning the absence of everything but awareness itself. This awareness of absence is in itself a very profound spiritual experience, and it is deeply liberating in its own right. But it's not the same as the Cessation Hameed was talking about.

I think you can trust me on this. I took part in a 9-day online retreat this summer, in which Hameed (A. H. Almaas) talked at length about Cessation and the Absolute, contrasting it with other kinds of nondual realization (like Formless Awareness), and we did practical exercises exploring these topics. I don't mean to say that Almaas is right and Rupert Spira wrong, what I'm saying is that they have different views, and that in that conversation Almaas didn't pursue the discussion because it was clear that Rupert wasn't familiar with this kind of realization (Cessation).
Sorry, I have no trust in this take. I just find it putting a spin on that discussion that buttresses what you are reading into it. Can you show me where Almaas actually states that Spira has yet to know what Almaas knows? Alas, as before, it seems unlikely this will be resolved any further, so I'll leave it at that.
I don't understand what you are saying, Dana. Do you mean that Rupert Spira does know about Cessation? Or do you mean that Almaas doesn't know about Cessation, because such thing is impossible? Or do you mean that I'm making things up?

I will go back and watch those videos, to see if I misunderstood what they were saying. I'm not that familiar with Rupert Spira's teaching (as I'm with Almaas's), but I seem to recall that he was saying that there is no absence of awareness because that's impossible, there is only an awareness of absence. Did I misunderstand him?

Like I said, I'm not claiming that Almaas is right and Rupert Spira is wrong. I'm only saying that their views on this topic (Cessation) are different. You may think that Almaas is deluded because Cessation is impossible (and that therefore all his students, including me, are deluded too). That's fine. But if you think that in that conversation they were both saying that Cessation is impossible because Awareness is the ultimate reality, then you will have to conclude that Almaas is contradicting himself, or is just babbling inanities without knowing what he's talking about (on those YouTube videos you can find hundreds of comments saying exactly this). But Almaas himself has explained many times that in these conversations with other teachers he is only trying to show that there are many different views about spiritual reality, and that all those views are equally valid and true. And that it's not necessary to think "My view is the ultimate truth; therefore, all other views must be describing the same thing with different words, or otherwise must be incorrect." He is trying to show that it's possible to have different views about spirituality, and different experiences of spiritual realization, and that it's possible and enriching to have open conversations about these different views and experiences, without trying to convince the others that our views and realizations are better than theirs.

I must admit, I'm personally guilty of saying things like "Rupert Spira's understanding and experience are limited, Almaas's view goes much deeper and is more complete". I sometimes feel compelled to defend Hameed (Almaas) in that way, because I love his teaching and I find it very liberating, and get frustrated when people talk dismissively and disparagingly about him. But he doesn't need defending. And like I said, his own view is that all spiritual teachings are equally valid.

You once said that he's my guru. He's not my guru. There are no gurus in the Diamond Approach. But I have benefited enormously from his teaching, and I like to think that maybe somebody reading these posts will become interested and check him out. (Like I've become interested in Rudolf Steiner and checked him out, for example.)

I'm pursuing this conversation not because I'm trying to convince anybody, but because I feel it's important to realize that it's perfectly possible to have different experiences and different views of reality, all of which can be equally true without being the same. This is difficult to grasp for most of us. Either we think that one view is right and the other wrong (or incomplete), or we think that all views are talking about the same spiritual reality, but seen from different pespectives. Almaas has developed what he calls "the view of totality", which says that different people can experience different spiritual realities, all of which are equally real and true, and that different spiritual paths lead to different spiritual universes, and that that's fine.

I'm trying to apply that view (which offers a much needed solution for any kind of dogmatism or fundamentalism) in this forum. For example, in my conversations with Ashvin and Cleric. They don't seem to get it, but it's understandable. They are completely convinced that their own view is truer and more liberating than all others. So of course, they feel compelled to try to convince others of this. They are trying to be helpful. I totally respect that. But I'm going to continue offering this other perspective (the view of totality), which I personally find more open-minded and liberating than theirs.

You may still think that I'm making things up, or misrepresenting Almaas's teaching in some way. Here is a quote from his amazing book The Inner Journey Home:
Cessation

Beyond this experience, all light disappears, all awareness ceases. There is no perception of anything; there is simply no experience. When the soul is completely concentrated on the absolute there is nothing to perceive, for to perceive total darkness is not to perceive. Light is the awareness that arises out of this total darkness, revealing that the absolute is prior to light, awareness, and consciousness. This experience of cessation is the experience of complete ego death, for it is going beyond the world of manifestation, beyond even awareness of the world of manifestation. There is no awareness of self or soul, for there is no awareness at all, without this being unconsciousness or sleep.

When awareness looks out again, which we experience as the return of awareness, the manifest universe reappears. With the return of awareness the logos appears as the displaying of time and space, and all the phenomena of the universe. We are here the absolute, the luminous night, witnessing appearance arising within it, out of it, but we still experience ourselves as the immense stillness and stupendous silence underlying all existence and all appearance. We feel fresh and clear, as if our consciousness has dipped into the cleansing energies of the source, and returned renewed and rejuvenated. This is similar to the rejuvenation we experience after deep sleep, except we are here clear and awake, bright and lucid.

Almaas, A. H.. The Inner Journey Home: The Soul's Realization of the Unity of Reality . Shambhala. Kindle Edition.
You may think he is talking here about the same experience Rupert Spira calls "awareness of absence". Well, I disagree.

I'll finish with two quotes about the view of totality, from his book Runaway Realization:
Almaas introduces us here to the view of totality, a view that holds all possible views as valid without limiting reality to any one of them. Rather than holding fast to any one ultimate truth, the view of totality recognizes that no single view or combination of views can exhaust the richness of reality. The view of totality includes all possible views—the dual, the nondual, the unilocal, the theistic, the scientific, the philosophic, and others—without reducing them to mere iterations of a single truth (as do the perennial philosophers). Although each view is a complete understanding of its own particular truth, none of them is a complete understanding of all of reality because reality is inherently free and cannot be fully captured in any view.

Almaas, A. H.. Runaway Realization . Shambhala. Kindle Edition. (From the preface by Zarina Maiwandi.)
What we learn from this ever-expanding experience of time, which is an example of recognizing the subtle implications of realization, is that what is important for realizing freedom is the freedom of view. That is to say, we realize that true nature, in manifesting different views, is not directed toward any ultimate view. The view of totality illustrates this freedom of view. It is open to all views and contains all views, which means that it signals the freedom to have any view. We can have the view of compassion, we can have the view of emptiness, we can have the view of awareness, we can have the view of time or timelessness, and we can also have all these views available at the same time, which is what is most useful for acting in the world. The more we are able to hold multiple views at once, the more we will be able to adapt to the actual conditions of our life. We can’t apply the view of one dimension to all situations and all people at all times and places. The view of totality expresses the freedom to hold any view necessary. But it is not itself a particular view. It can hold just the dual view or just the nondual view when needed, without being fixed as either—which means it holds those views but is free not to. It can also hold two views at once without having to hold all views. Thus, the view of totality allows us to take any view or combination of views, or not take any view at all and simply let Total Being determine which view manifests at each moment, without it being our choice.

This freedom of view—neither being beholden to any ultimate view nor being attached to any particular view—is vital for liberating the dynamism of Being to manifest the different possibilities of Total Being. We don’t have to adhere to any ultimate truth and can feel comfortable in whatever our experience is. We are at peace and we are free because we don’t have to say that anything is the ultimate truth. When we posit something as the ultimate truth, we lose our freedom. In fact, that is the story of the ego. The ego takes one thing or another and declares it the final truth. Freedom basically releases us from one structure after another, one position after another, one concept after another, until, at some point, we don’t need any of them. We experience this freedom as an imperturbable kind of peace.

Almaas, A. H.. Runaway Realization (pp. 236-238). Shambhala. Kindle Edition.
Physicalists hold two fundamental beliefs:

1. The essence of Nature is Mathematics.
2. Consciousness is a product of the human brain.

But the two contraries are true:

1. The essence of Nature is Consciousness.
2. Mathematics is a product of the human brain.
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Soul_of_Shu
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Re: What causes bad trips?

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Adur Alkain wrote: Wed Sep 15, 2021 10:27 amYou may still think that I'm making things up, or misrepresenting Almaas's teaching in some way. Here is a quote from his amazing book The Inner Journey Home:

Cessation

When the soul is completely concentrated on the absolute there is nothing to perceive, for to perceive total darkness is not to perceive ...

There is no awareness of self or soul ...
I don't think you're misrepresenting the above at all, as it is no more clear than what you're offering. But again, this is clearly not going to be cleared up here, so I see little point making the same points over and over again.
Here out of instinct or grace we seek
soulmates in these galleries of hieroglyph and glass,
where mutual longings and sufferings of love
are laid bare in transfigured exhibition of our hearts,
we who crave deep secrets and mysteries,
as elusive as the avatars of our dreams.
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Soul_of_Shu
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Re: What causes bad trips?

Post by Soul_of_Shu »

Lou Gold wrote: Wed Sep 15, 2021 2:08 amIs this what you are saying Dana? >>> "Having dispelled the dualistic distinction asleep/awake (either/or), one can be both asleep/awake and feel as such (both/and)."
Just to say that deep dreamless sleep is still a state of irreducible, uncaused Awareness awake to its knowing of its Being, regardless that there is no objectified phenomema of awareness, i.e. dreamscapes, dazzling darkness, or any prior realm from which Awareness is born.
Here out of instinct or grace we seek
soulmates in these galleries of hieroglyph and glass,
where mutual longings and sufferings of love
are laid bare in transfigured exhibition of our hearts,
we who crave deep secrets and mysteries,
as elusive as the avatars of our dreams.
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Cleric K
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Re: What causes bad trips?

Post by Cleric K »

Adur Alkain wrote: Wed Sep 15, 2021 12:55 am Cleric,

My apologies for the misunderstanding, the things you were saying about the psychedelic experience seemed so outlandish to me that I assumed you had never tried psychedelics. Sorry for that! I sincerely admire what you did, taking mushrooms again out of pure scientific honesty. And the fact that you didn't get the "rollercoaster ride" anymore clearly shows that you have attained a great degree of "higher development". Congratulations!

Now I can see more clearly than ever how different our paths are. It seems like we are moving in completely opposite directions. By the way, I recently started reading Steiner's Philosophy of Freedom, and the more I understand spiritual science the less attractive I find it. What Steiner calls "freedom" is almost the polar opposite of what I would call freedom. It has no appeal to me. (I can see how powerful this "spiritual science" can be, though.)

I guess it all amounts to personality types. Different types are drawn to different kinds of spiritual work. That's the way it should be.

I think the psychedelic experience has a lot of value, if approached in the right way, and by the right people (it certainly isn't for everybody). I've learned a lot from my psychedelic trips. And what I've learned has given me more freedom. But I don't feel the need to prove this to anybody. The freedom I'm talking about is not the freedom you are seeking, so I think we better leave it there.
No need for apologies, Adur. I very well know that what I say about psychedelic experiences don't seem to fit well. But it really is about what we try to extract from the experiences. Even when towards my 18-19s I tried cannabis, my own experiences already were 'outlandish' in the eyes of my peers. While for them it was all about laughing and having fun, for me it was like an introspective window for the workings of the brain had opened.

I don't mean to sound hypocritical when speaking about psychedelics. In fact I have romantic feelings for them, they are for me like high school sweetheart that I still have the warmest feelings for, even though our paths have long diverged. My point here is to fully confirm that psychedelics can be a powerful trigger for those who are already near the edge anyway. They can give a powerful nudge for overcoming the tipping point and show that there really is something more. But as far as actual spiritual development is concerned, they become counter-productive.
Hedge90 wrote: Mon Sep 13, 2021 12:33 pm My intuition is that psychedelics basically just do forecefully what the meditator does through slow training, i.e. while a psychedelic just tears the veil from over your mind's eye, meditative practice is a slow unbounding of the same veil.
This is the kind of things that we must get straight. There truly is something that psychedelics do forcefully. They do open up our bodily organization towards the dream realm. Just as narcotics forcefully knock us out of consciousness, so psychedelics forcefully pump dream imagery in our waking consciousness. This is pretty much it. Everything else depends on the individual. So when it's said "psychedelic just tears the veil from over your mind's eye, meditative practice is a slow unbounding of the same veil." we must be clear what we're talking about. If it's about to experience pumping of dream imagery - yes, psychedelics can do that. But in all ages, the veil has always had much more profound meaning. To pull the veil in the true sense means to understand, to have knowing experience in the higher worlds. And this is something that nothing can ever give us in external manner.

This is also the greatest danger of psychedelics (in contrast to their positive triggering effect). I've stated this numerous times already - the danger is to believe that this pumping of dream imagery gives us some true picture of reality. I can give many analogies: it's like staring at math formulas without understanding even the numbers. It's like listening to glossolalia without even having a hint that there may be actual meaning behind the sounds. It's like having a glimpse of a grand piano without knowing how to play even a chord. The list can go on and on. Anyone who has the good will to do so, will most certainly grasp what's being talked about. Conversely, those who insist on viewing themselves as complete and polished beings, will find a whole bunch of 'clever' rebuttals of the above simple analogies.

Unless we have the inner humility to at least be open for the possibility that our average human state is actually a completely chaotic patchwork, a kitsch artwork of ideas, opinions, prejudices, likes and dislikes, and that this artwork must be consciously worked upon, gradually and effortfully attuned, as a musician attunes his instrument, we'll always by definition see ourselves as atomic and complete beings, that have nothing to be added to.

This is also the kind of situation we find ourselves when we speak here about the threshold of deep dreamless sleep.
Adur Alkain wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 9:08 am I know it happened because that experience changed me completely. It liberated me from fear of Death. And it marked the end of an unconscious striving that had been pushing me all my life. I finally found what I was unconsciously looking for. I found my true Home.
This is most certainly the case. I can confirm it too. Yet where one unconscious striving ends, there could be the beginning of another fully conscious striving. This depends entirely on what was said above - whether we at least admit as a possibility that there could be much more to reality, than our satisfied personality which has experienced its waking consciousness breathing in and out of the luminous darkness. Let's consider "It liberated me from fear of Death." What is fear of death? The concept of death exists entirely in relation to our embodied existence. The conscious experiences of the average man of today are always related in one way or another with the physical body and its sensory relations to the environment. Fear of death can only exist because we can't conceive of any other type of consciousness which is independent of the physical instruments. If we can experience a kind of consciousness which is free from the physical instruments, this automatically renders such a fear void.

If we look at things objectively we should say: the whole journey through the first three gates leads us to the actual threshold of physical death. When we cross the third gate (with our gaze 'downwards', witnessing the dissolution of our personal consciousness), even though we have no recollection, of any events beyond it, we still have the unmistakable experience that we existed in a more fundamental tone of reality and all the contents of our personal consciousness are only like subharmonics of that tone. In this sense, our whole conscious life, with the addition of the dream spectrum (which psychedelics can pump into our waking consciousness) is like the inflation and deflation of the sphere of our personal consciousness. Here some may argue that the personality is transcended even at the first gate - the dissolution of the linear intellect. But this is simply not true if we observe more closely. Adur is much more correct to say that even crossing the second gate, where our sensory life dissolves in addition to linear thinking, doesn't really liberate us in a knowing way from death. I say knowing because we don't need to have crossed even the first gate in order to have unshakable faith that our soul transcends bodily life. The actual knowing liberation from the fear of death happens when we cross the threshold of the deep dreamless sleep. This is also what Lou quoted:
Lou Gold wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 11:29 pm Ramana Maharshi says that 'enlightenment' feels like being wide awake in deep dreamless sleep.
So I guess we more or less established that the spectrum of conscious life, including up to the threshold of deep dreamless sleep (which can be consciously traversed) is in fact the volume of our Earthly personality. If that was not the case, it wouldn't be at the upper bound of this spectrum that fear of death is knowingly overcome.

But what about consciousness after the actual physical death? We must be clear that we can never know anything of such consciousness in the volume up to the border of deep dreamless sleep. So the only reasonable thing would be to seek consciousness that continues beyond the threshold of death (that is, above the point of absolute nothingness where all our personal consciousness dissolves). If we are to attain consciousness in this higher world we can expect to have direct knowledge of processes and beings that work in the higher order octaves of spiritual existence, within which the octave of personal volume of consciousness is 'holographically' embedded.

At this point we have the greatest split in opinions, clearly seen in this forum too. There's no need to comment on materialism - its position is clear. The spiritual views are more peculiar. The farther back we go in history the more incredible everything becomes. Who can deny that some of the grandest Cosmologies belong to the ancient Hindus? We see there the mighty pictorial revelations of higher worlds, divinities, the path of the human souls between incarnations and so on. As time progressed it was as all of this was slowly dimming down and remained only as tradition. When Bhagavad Gita was written (which Ashvin nicely covered in his essays) the Cosmic vistas of the ancient Hindus were already only a dim memory. When Gautama Buddha gave his teachings this process had gone so far that one could only focus on the perfection of inner life. The path from sensory consciousness to Enlightenment is precisely the volume that we've spoken above - it's the overcoming of personal consciousness. Yet nowhere along the path, within this personal volume, we ever encounter anything of the marvelous Worlds that the ancient cosmologies speak of. It's clear that the kind of consciousness which revealed these Cosmic images no longer existed. Even though Buddhists have their cosmologies, they are in a sense borrowed. The pure dissolvement of the personal volume that Buddhism seeks, simply doesn't allow for some direct knowledge of higher worlds. Any pictures of such higher worlds would have to be considered as belonging to the domain of illusions just as everything else. And in a sense this a needed development. The ancient pictorial consciousness had to be obliterated, one was to become free even from any ideas about higher worlds.

Here we come at a fork in the road. One possibility is that this trend continues on and on. Ramana is a good example to the extents this process can go. The process practically leads to complete spiritual nihilism. Now saying that will probably outrage many here. But I'm not saying that as kind of superficial insult. It's what the teachings are really all about. It's not that a person in they Earthly life should become neglectful, cruel, etc. - quite the contrary - compassion, caring are all there. But as far the spiritual side, all goals are really to tear down the illusion - there's no death because there's no birth. There's no reincarnation because that only results from ignorance and clinging to bodily existence. There's no before or after. And so on and so on. Everything in this teaching aims to put as at the upper boundary of the personal volume, where we find bliss and sense of home, while everything below us belongs to the world of things manifested.

The other possibility is to realize that the whole development process of humanity was going in such a direction that it was in the order of things that the Buddha had to obliterate all traces of the ancient imagery. Only in this way the road could be paved for the free Spirit. One was not supposed to obliterate the World Content just in order that the bliss of nothingness can be found but in order to prepare the grounds where in this nothingness, the negative thingness can begin to flow. This is the turning point, the inversion from involution to evolution. Now all the grand Cosmic vistas of the ancient time can be found again, although in very different type of consciousness.

Today we're in position to know something of the higher worlds. This can only happen in the right way if we conceive that consciousness can exist even above the threshold of deep dreamless sleep, although in quite a different way. We can only approach this rightly if we realize that above the threshold we live in a spiritual world. This doesn't mean 'fantastic' world but a world consisting, for a lack of better terms, of thought essence. Yet even at this early point a large portion of the auditory will already misunderstand what's here being talked about. As long as we understand thoughts simply as floating words and images, we'll be completely wrong. There's nothing of this kind in the state of consciousness that we're pointing at - all this has dissolved upon crossing the threshold. We can only form a proper idea of this if we experience livingly and vividly our own thinking process. We need to get an immediate experience of our ideating activity, of which the sensory-like thoughts are only imprints. Now imagine that through the methods of meditative concentration we succeed to refine our inner being to such an extend that we can live comfortably only with the meaning that we actively will, without ever allowing it to reach the stage of becoming perceptible. We can imagine this as a state completely devoid of the sensory-like contents that we normally know, which would make it similar to the deep dreamless state. Yet in this state we are fully awake with our spiritual activity which is entirely of the essence of thought-meaning and doesn't at all reach the perceptibility of ordinary thoughts. Naturally this would be quite impossible to imagine clearly for anyone who can't experience the thought essence without the support of perceptible thoughts. Yet this is precisely what spiritual training leads us to, and what a psychedelic experience can never give out of itself. Neither it is something that we can find in the deep mystical state of the absolute nothingness or Ramana's enlightenment. In both these cases, crossing the threshold of deep dreamless sleep leads to a kind of uniform knowing, spreading over the totality of the Cosmos. A cosmic undertone of being beyond the dissolution of the personal volume.

Yet this higher world is not at all built of uniform knowing (that is, the general knowing of luminous darkness, containing all potential). It is only our conscious or unconscious striving to end all pursuit of higher knowledge at the threshold, that makes us to seek the bliss of uniformity, out of which the personal volume manifests. If we encompass without prejudice the whole course of historical human development and still want to maintain the uniformity, we're placed in the strange situation that we must increasingly declare all ancient cosmologies and mythologies as childlike fantasies. We are obliged to do that if we are to support the idea that the general potential is the top boundary of existence and directly from it emerges the personal volume. Interestingly, this already indirectly admits that there's a kind of evolutionary development - humans have gone from a childlike state of dreaming about the Cosmos to a much more mature view where all these images are annihilated and one remains with the pure nothingness-potential at the top boundary. We need simply be more unbiased about these facts and they'll speak for themselves, without us needing to reject them in order to support our position.

Western development has probed the thinking strata of existence. When these thoughts are experienced more and more in their meaning, as we actively think them with our spiritual activity, the more we'll become accustomed to live in ideas, even if at some point the sensory-like counterpart of thoughts (words, symbols, images) is dropped. In this way we begin to see in the spiritual world. We don't see visions that we are yet to interpret with our intellect - we live in the actual landscape of ideal essence. There we find not simply our own activity but activity of beings. I'll just quote this:
Steiner wrote:While we live in our physical bodies here, our thoughts, our feelings, our impulses of will are restricted to ourselves alone. But when we pass through death, these flow out into the world, into the other spiritual beings who then live in us. We reproduce ourselves; our consciousness expands. From a single unit we become a multiplicity, a oneness in the many, and the multiplicity reveals itself as it absorbs our oneness.
In other words, our subjectivity expands to encompass Cosmic space which is not empty vacuum but the living spiritual (of ideating essence) activity of beings. We still experience unique perspective within this spiritual Cosmos but we can no longer speak of personal thoughts and feelings. We find ourselves within a hierarchy of beings. Only when our activity is preoccupied with the bodily senses, the brain structures and astral elements related to them, the thoughts attain their personal coloring. And this is truly the case, because no two brains are exactly the same. Spiritual activity reflected by two different brains is bound to feel differently, in other words - having a personal coloring. Yet above the threshold the Cosmic Thoughts are not personal. They are the creative forces that underlay everything we encounter in the World Content.

We should really get a good thinking-feel for the above. And there's nothing above that can't be understood by healthy and unprejudiced thinking. If the above is understood it will be perfectly clear why all this 'all paths are just alternative ways to the same goal' is such a waste of time and energy. From all that we speak here it should be glaringly obvious that on one hand we have types of spirituality that declare the nothingness-plenum at the threshold of deep dreamless sleep as the ultimate grounds of existence and all manifested consciousness unfolds as a personal volume below it. On the other hand we have the recognition that in the course of humanity's development something has been added which allows for the Spirit within us to have consciousness above the threshold.

The mystic may overcome the fear of death in the experiences at the threshold but there's another fear that is not yet overcome - it's the fear of the Spiritual World (which is most easily suppressed by denying the existence of Spiritual World altogether). The chilling prospect is that in our subjective world we live in a common spiritual reality. We can face this fear when we meditate on the fact that the thought and feeling content of our own subjective (personal) consciousness exists within the consciousness of higher beings. We should try and feel that there's presence within us. We're constantly being observed. Not judged but observed by intelligences of the most various grades. Observed not as we observe an external object but as we observe our own thoughts and feelings. These beings don't have bodies with which they stand beside us. We live in them and they in us. These intelligences have real interest in us because in our common work we harmonize the gradient of the whole Spectrum of Being. In certain way, through our fragmented and meaningless existence, we're depriving them from the possibility to have full consciousness of details in the lower realms because we are the senses for these realms. At the same time we deprive ourselves from consciousness of the higher worlds. The difference is that the higher beings don't strictly need consciousness of the details of the lower realms. Through their spiritual activity they support the higher order structure of these realms so they don't exist apart from them. What exists out-of-phase with them is human consciousness. From their perspective it's like part of the Cosmic Organism is constantly threatened by the process of dying and dissipation. It is their greatest joy to have reciprocal relations with our consciousness, so that we can live in them and they in us, in full consciousness and freedom. As a matter of fact it's even more sorrowful for the beings when humans cross the threshold with gaze completely 'downwards'. It's sorrowful because we're so close and yet at the same time so infinitely far away. We can probably get a very faint echo of this state if we imagine that we're a parent and our child comes home from a long journey, yet it keeps looking at its feet and doesn't notice our presence. Of course, we need to remove any egoic feelings from this analogy. These beings are not sorrowful because we're disturbing their wellbeing. In fact it is very difficult to find anything from our human experiences that comes close to the reality (almost all our human emotions have egoic undertone). We can only approach this state through the experience of completely disinterested, sacrificial Love.

I guess all the above sounds quite absurd for most. And this is in a sense the point. If one has the courage and honesty to pursue these ideas in their depth we inevitably arrive at the feeling of dread, actual fear of the spiritual world. One would much more readily experience the dissolution of the personal volume into the void, rather than realize that in our thinking and feeling life we live together with other beings. So it's completely true that different personality types are drawn to different types of spiritual work. Yet, as Ashvin noted, it simply makes no sense to say that these are equivalent paths. It makes no sense to say that beyond the threshold there's simultaneously spiritual world and the non-existence of it. That reincarnation exists for those who believe in it and not for those who don't. That karma exists for those who are too conscientious and can't eradicate their emotional and thoughtful attachment to their deeds and the memories of them, but doesn't exist for those who are able to deidentify from their deeds. The consciousness we attain to above the threshold puts all these things into proper perspective. Everyone can be their own judge for why the possibility of such consciousness is denied.
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Soul_of_Shu
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Re: What causes bad trips?

Post by Soul_of_Shu »

The Self Is Known To Everyone

The Self is known to every one but not clearly.
You always exist.
The Be-ing is the Self. ‘I am’ is the name of God.
Of all definitions of God,
none is indeed so well put as the Biblical statement
‘I AM THAT I AM’ in Exodus (Chap.3).
There are other statements,
such as Brahmaivaham, Aham Brahmasmi and Soham.
But none is so direct as the name JEHOVAH = I AM.
The Absolute Being is what is – It is the Self.
It is God. Knowing the Self, God is known.
In fact God is none other than the Self

~ Ramana Maharshi


I see nothing in the above that precludes whatever activity of the Self may be spoken of here as 'spiritual activity'.
Here out of instinct or grace we seek
soulmates in these galleries of hieroglyph and glass,
where mutual longings and sufferings of love
are laid bare in transfigured exhibition of our hearts,
we who crave deep secrets and mysteries,
as elusive as the avatars of our dreams.
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Cleric K
Posts: 708
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:40 pm

Re: What causes bad trips?

Post by Cleric K »

Soul_of_Shu wrote: Wed Sep 15, 2021 12:14 pm The Self Is Known To Everyone

The Self is known to every one but not clearly.
You always exist.
The Be-ing is the Self. ‘I am’ is the name of God.
Of all definitions of God,
none is indeed so well put as the Biblical statement
‘I AM THAT I AM’ in Exodus (Chap.3).
There are other statements,
such as Brahmaivaham, Aham Brahmasmi and Soham.
But none is so direct as the name JEHOVAH = I AM.
The Absolute Being is what is – It is the Self.
It is God. Knowing the Self, God is known.
In fact God is none other than the Self

~ Ramana Maharshi


I see nothing in the above that precludes whatever activity of the Self may be spoken of here as 'spiritual activity'.
Shu, is this in response to my latest post or something else?
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Soul_of_Shu
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Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2021 6:48 pm

Re: What causes bad trips?

Post by Soul_of_Shu »

Cleric K wrote: Wed Sep 15, 2021 1:12 pmShu, is this in response to my latest post or something else?
Just an observation. My take on Ramana's teaching is that while it does emphasize establishing the indelible foundational Realization of knowing ThySelf, it's not meant to be the end of exploration, since as far as I can tell that doesn't preclude whatever exploration may proceed from that Realization being fine, insofar as it is ancillary to that indelibly established Realization. However, insofar as such explorations proceed without that indelible Realization as the foundation, then they can very much be a distraction from first establishing the Realization.
Here out of instinct or grace we seek
soulmates in these galleries of hieroglyph and glass,
where mutual longings and sufferings of love
are laid bare in transfigured exhibition of our hearts,
we who crave deep secrets and mysteries,
as elusive as the avatars of our dreams.
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