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  #101  
Old 01-29-2019, 05:01 PM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
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That doesn't really get at the point about subjectivity that I was making. Why it's hard for me to shake is that on some level it is true.
It's trivially obvious to show that everyone's experiences are subjective - the images being presented to my eyes right now differ from the images being presented to yours.

It's also trivially obvious to show that human senses are limited and somewhat innaccurate - all I have to do is take off my glasses, or to notice the signals can get to a cell phone without me observing the signals in flight.

What isn't trivial to show is that the reality underlying our subjective perceptions is "empty". What's that mean? What's it empty of? We know for a fact that reality is real - it's too persistent and consistent not to be. Is it supposed to be empty of spiritual juice? Ectoplasm? Fairy dust? Some undefined 'meaningfullness'?

Pheh, made up nonsense. Reality is real, it's there, and it's what keeps you from dropping straight through the floor to the center of the earth. It's full enough to do that.
  #102  
Old 01-29-2019, 05:56 PM
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It's trivially obvious to show that everyone's experiences are subjective - the images being presented to my eyes right now differ from the images being presented to yours.

It's also trivially obvious to show that human senses are limited and somewhat innaccurate - all I have to do is take off my glasses, or to notice the signals can get to a cell phone without me observing the signals in flight.

What isn't trivial to show is that the reality underlying our subjective perceptions is "empty". What's that mean? What's it empty of? We know for a fact that reality is real - it's too persistent and consistent not to be. Is it supposed to be empty of spiritual juice? Ectoplasm? Fairy dust? Some undefined 'meaningfullness'?

Pheh, made up nonsense. Reality is real, it's there, and it's what keeps you from dropping straight through the floor to the center of the earth. It's full enough to do that.
I think by empty or pictures they mean what we think something is. Like good or bad, better or worse. In the case of people it would be strong, smart, wise, etc. in short our personal judgment that result from experience, that is what they are getting at. My guess is they claim that reality is free of our judgements and perceptions of it.

Like I said it’s like nihilism. That life is empty of the value judgments we assign.
  #103  
Old 01-29-2019, 06:13 PM
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I think by empty or pictures they mean what we think something is. Like good or bad, better or worse. In the case of people it would be strong, smart, wise, etc. in short our personal judgment that result from experience, that is what they are getting at. My guess is they claim that reality is free of our judgements and perceptions of it.

Like I said it’s like nihilism. That life is empty of the value judgments we assign.
Humans derive opinions of things via a few different approaches:

1) They observe things through their senses and build impressions based on those impressions.

2) They have imaginative flights of fancy and mistake those imaginations for reality.

3) Other people tell them things and they believe the other people.


(Approach 2 is the source of monsters under the bed and Buddhism.)



When you get your opinions based on approach 1, or from people who came by their opinions via approach 1, the impressions are based on observed reality - which is based directly on actual reality. There's a solid underpinning to these opinions, so there's a chance they're right - particularly if you have conducted thorough and unbiased observation of the objective facts. For example I observe that my mother cares about me - which I have come to believe because she acts like she does, and has done so consistently and over a long period of time.

Now, is it possible to be wrong about what we observe, or to draw wrong conclusions? Of course! (Though using stuff like the scientific method helps.)

Opinions you come up with out of your imagination, though, those are empty. This of course includes all woo.
  #104  
Old 01-29-2019, 08:02 PM
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I guess I follow that. I can believe someone to be nice if their behavior is consistent enough. Of course things can change but there is usually a reason for it. People who hurt others usually have something behind the hurt.

But I guess in the post where I first talked about it they make it sound like this mind full of pictures taken through personal experience is false. That the truth mind is revealed through their method and your dirty lens that you see the world don’t true but they can offer a way to see reality as it is without our judgments.
  #105  
Old 01-30-2019, 08:35 AM
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And that’s what troubles me. The whole “seeing” reality as it is without our judgments.
  #106  
Old 01-30-2019, 08:37 AM
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Machinaforce, have you heard of the Bayesian Brain model?
  #107  
Old 01-30-2019, 11:43 AM
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And that’s what troubles me. The whole “seeing” reality as it is without our judgments.
Why?
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  #108  
Old 01-30-2019, 01:16 PM
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And that’s what troubles me. The whole “seeing” reality as it is without our judgments.
Wellllll, it's actually sort of valuable to sometimes step back and try to assess a situation as it would appear to somebody without the raging prejudices you happen to have about which flavor of cheese is best (or whatever). It's entirely possible to have wrong ideas, and reviewing whether your ideas are wrong is valuable.

I'm not convinced that this is the kind of "seeing" they're proposing. As best I can interpret your interpretation of their woo, they think that reality is somehow inferior and want out. (Why they want this is not entirely clear to me.) So I suspect that they "truth" they want you to see isn't truths about reality, but instead some other "truth" about how heaven is better, or how buddhist annihilation is better, or how spending money on their advanced meditation program is better.

I don't see much value in such "truths".

Last edited by begbert2; 01-30-2019 at 01:16 PM. Reason: typo
  #109  
Old 01-30-2019, 06:57 PM
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"Life is bristling with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to cultivate one's garden."

Don't try to resolve the Capital "T" Truths until you understand and can be productive in a small, concrete way. Don't reject reality as a sham until you have some dirt under your fingernails and have grown a plant or three from seed. Embrace the humble and the mundane, then transcend.
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  #110  
Old 01-31-2019, 11:47 AM
Machinaforce Machinaforce is offline
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"Life is bristling with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to cultivate one's garden."

Don't try to resolve the Capital "T" Truths until you understand and can be productive in a small, concrete way. Don't reject reality as a sham until you have some dirt under your fingernails and have grown a plant or three from seed. Embrace the humble and the mundane, then transcend.
Transcend what exactly? It doesn’t sound like transcendence since your aren’t transcending anything. It’s more like creating another reality.

From what they say the true mind is not clouded by our experience and judgment, that it is true because it isn’t conditioned by experience. The mind of experience is false because it is as a result of conditioning, it is made. That’s what I guess they are saying. Sounds too much like Buddhism. But when they say you can find out what you really are they don’t refer to the “false” self based on experience or conditioning. Of course there’s no guarantee that’s what you really are. Evidence seems to suggest you are little more than a body, not the universe.

From what I read about meditation it alters your brain, which is the cause of the experiences people notice. It’s nothing spiritual or transcendent, in fact it can be replicated in a lab by stimulating the same areas. Makes me wonder if Buddha in a sense built a religion without knowing that, it sort of takes the wind out of Eastern mysticism then. But if I try to tell them that people just write it off as a story made by he mind or ego (even though it’s true).
  #111  
Old 01-31-2019, 11:52 AM
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I can’t help but giggle a little when people talk of transcendence. It’s more like an idea or arbitrary metric they have for greatness or something else. Really it’s just a different view. Discarding everything doesn’t give a clearer view just a different one
  #112  
Old 01-31-2019, 12:43 PM
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Just my random thoughts

1. I think when they talk about imagining your life as a series of pictures, they are just trying to force you to reimagine defining moments of your life from the perspective of an objective third party, it’s a common meditation/ self-therapy technique,

2. If you don’t have a job, get one. Work changes the way your brain works. Too much navel-gazing is unhealthy.

3. I find it highly amusing when some people, after allegedly transcending their egos and attaining perfect enlightenment, immediately run out and proclaim themselves to be the wisest person that ever existed. I guess that ego always finds its way home.

Don’t get me wrong, I think that meditations are awesome. I’ve taken vacations based around them. They break down some of the neural pathways and patterning that become reinforced through constant use. They nuke my anxiety and depression better than any drug ever did. But there’s no magic involved.

Last edited by Ann Hedonia; 01-31-2019 at 12:46 PM.
  #113  
Old 01-31-2019, 01:17 PM
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For me meditation had the opposite effect. Disconnecting me from others and those I love, and my life. I grew apathetic. Depressed. I mean part of it talks about detachment for crying out loud. They have sing about abaonding your family, friends, desires, pursuit of wealth and status, pretty much things that make you human, even personality, for some perceived state of invulnerability.

The problem with your number 1 is that there is no such thing as an objective third party, just an uninformed one. Being truly objective would be like saying that it doesn’t matter, that nothing matters. Those defining moments happened but they have no meaning or significance. They are just events. It’s like draining the color from a picture, which would explain the sign they hung up.

Being objective would require you to not be human. Which doesn’t necessarily give a clear picture.
  #114  
Old 01-31-2019, 02:33 PM
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The problem with your number 1 is that there is no such thing as an objective third party, just an uninformed one. Being truly objective would be like saying that it doesn’t matter, that nothing matters. Those defining moments happened but they have no meaning or significance. They are just events. It’s like draining the color from a picture, which would explain the sign they hung up.

Being objective would require you to not be human. Which doesn’t necessarily give a clear picture.
It's possible to be more objective, though, which I strongly suspect was what was meant. It's not about pretending you're ignorant of the situation, it's scanning your brain for the list of possible perspectives others might have and trying to use them to notice your skewed biases, and imagine how things would look without those biases, or with different biases.

Remember, there is an objective reality. My opinion upon whether a dress is black and blue, or white and gold, is personal and skewed by my assumptions, but the dress itself does have objective reality and its materials reflect and color the lights that hit it in a definite way.
  #115  
Old 01-31-2019, 03:44 PM
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It's possible to be more objective, though, which I strongly suspect was what was meant. It's not about pretending you're ignorant of the situation, it's scanning your brain for the list of possible perspectives others might have and trying to use them to notice your skewed biases, and imagine how things would look without those biases, or with different biases.

Remember, there is an objective reality. My opinion upon whether a dress is black and blue, or white and gold, is personal and skewed by my assumptions, but the dress itself does have objective reality and its materials reflect and color the lights that hit it in a definite way.
That’s not what they refer to though. They are talking about cleansing the false mind which is the pictures based on experiences and your senses. In short they talk about a fabricated self and that the true one is what you get by letting go of everything.
  #116  
Old 01-31-2019, 04:27 PM
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If that is actually what they are saying then they are bullshitting their audience.
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  #117  
Old 01-31-2019, 06:22 PM
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That’s not what they refer to though. They are talking about cleansing the false mind which is the pictures based on experiences and your senses. In short they talk about a fabricated self and that the true one is what you get by letting go of everything.
Right, I was talking about what I believe Ann Hedonia was talking about (as I believe that person to not be insane). These loons, on the other hand, are coming from the perspective of a fictional construct where reality is inferior to some other nonsense thing that they made up. They claim that all of reality is garbage compared to their fictional construct and suggest you put your energies into following that fictional construct rather than whatever else you might be doing at the time.

And then some of them ask you for money.
  #118  
Old 01-31-2019, 10:12 PM
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The problem is that on some level I wonder if it is right. They say some dumb things like if Alzheimer’s patients are most present (which is idiotic, having no memeory isn’t a good thing it’s awful). Or how in the case of Amnesia where the self is forgotten and how without your memories there is no you. That you is just a story you carry but not a permanent core. I know people change though.

I think it’s also the argument that people are born blank slates, even though they aren’t. But they think that by cleaning our preferences, likes, dislikes, etc (which they judge to be false because they are conditioned) you see the truth. Which explained the contrasting pictures on their posters of colored pictures followed by empty sketches (like a blank coloring book).

I don’t like to think that my while life, my desires, likes, dislikes, etc are false and have to be purged. But part of me doesn’t want to be wrong either and even though it hurts and leaves me hollow I have unwillingly be doing so just to be “right”.
  #119  
Old 01-31-2019, 10:24 PM
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Or to put it one way, since it was “learned” it’s not “who you really are” it would be a lie. If that was “who you really are” then you would be so always.

Something about not being inherent that makes it false. Even though you don’t get to choose what you like.
  #120  
Old 02-01-2019, 03:47 PM
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I just wish I had a good response to all their words.
  #121  
Old 02-01-2019, 03:57 PM
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I just wish I had a good response to all their words.
Apathy and silence works just fine.
  #122  
Old 02-01-2019, 04:09 PM
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Mockery satisfies me.
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  #123  
Old 02-01-2019, 05:09 PM
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My response is that if they want me to believe it they have to prove it's real. I've read hundreds of fiction books in my like and don't accept them as reality even though they don't start with "this is a work of fiction". I don't believe everything I see in a commercial. Why should I believe these yahoos? Why should they be held to a lower standard of evidence than George Lucas?

So I treat them like I do George Lucas - I'll cheerfully discuss the fictional worlds they propose, but I don't internalize them as part of my belief system any more than I worry about midichlorian infections.
  #124  
Old 02-01-2019, 11:43 PM
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Apathy and silence works just fine.
Im getting that I’m terrified that the whole life I built and considered to be the real “me” is just fabricated and illusory. That my likes and dislikes are not unique or real but just a result of programming and conditioning. That “i” am just an illusion. A construct and not inherent. That the real “me” according to them is empty.

Like how you don’t really like what you like or you don’t really like your “interests”, you are just conditioned to. Your interests aren’t inherent otherwise they would not be dependent on where or when you were born. It’s like the idea of a “me” that I believed I was (with likes, dislikes, and interests) is a fabrication and not the truth of what you are for real (empty).

Apathy doesn’t work because it doesn’t refute their point. So far I have been trying to work out for myself something that negates their claims but I end up proving them. I haven’t seen anything either on here or other people/places I ask. Plus in my mind the fact that such a place still does business must mean there is some truth to it, right? Or no?

Last edited by Machinaforce; 02-01-2019 at 11:46 PM.
  #125  
Old 02-02-2019, 12:02 AM
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Okay then. Embrace their bullshit because you lack the intellectual vigor to deny it,
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  #126  
Old 02-02-2019, 02:05 AM
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Okay then. Embrace their bullshit because you lack the intellectual vigor to deny it,
THat's kind of why I am on here because from what I see I can't find a flaw in my reasoning.
  #127  
Old 02-02-2019, 08:10 AM
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They are not using reason to reach their conclusions, so they cannot be reasoned out of them, nor is reason the tool to use to counter them.
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  #128  
Old 02-02-2019, 10:54 AM
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For me meditation had the opposite effect. Disconnecting me from others and those I love, and my life. I grew apathetic. Depressed. I mean part of it talks about detachment for crying out loud. They have sing about abaonding your family, friends, desires, pursuit of wealth and status, pretty much things that make you human, even personality, for some perceived state of invulnerability.

The problem with your number 1 is that there is no such thing as an objective third party, just an uninformed one. Being truly objective would be like saying that it doesn’t matter, that nothing matters. Those defining moments happened but they have no meaning or significance. They are just events. It’s like draining the color from a picture, which would explain the sign they hung up.

Being objective would require you to not be human. Which doesn’t necessarily give a clear picture.
There are lots of different practices that fall under the umbrella of meditation. But if any meditation practice is doing you harm, stop doing it. One of my favorite stories is about a friend who decided to do a particular meditation daily for 40 days. But a few weeks in, she started to feel depressed and disconnected. She went to the teacher that recommended the meditation and asked for advice. He said “don’t do it anymore”.

I’m still trying to parse your sentence about singing about abandoning your family, wealth and status and the stuff you think makes you human. But that should be a huge-ass red flag and you should run away fast if anyone suggests that as part of the path to anything. There is a meditation retreat I go to every couple of years. One of the things they do is make you pledge NOT to make any major life changes for at least 60 days after the retreat.

Then there is the idea that “attachment and resistance are the root of all suffering”. But, to me at least, that’s about how you RELATE to the things and people in your life. It’s not a wholesale rejection of having things and people in your life. It’s about not attaching to thought patterns and reactive behavior that doesn’t work for you anymore. It’s about understanding how you “attach” to some emotional states and resist others. It’s about how you attach to the idea of what you want a relationship to be without examining the reality.
It’s not about literally giving away all your worldly possessions, it’s about just having them without attaching to them, just letting them be them and you be you, without letting them define you and your place in the world. It’s about not attaching emotional significance to your worldly belongings.

And, really, you need a job, a hobby, something. You need to get out of your head more. And, just for emphasis——- If anyone tells you that you need to make a wholesale break with your family, friends and worldly possessions in order to be happy or complete, run away. Some of these extensive meditation practices are very psychologically powerful and there have been a lot of unscrupulous people and organizations that have taken advantage of that.

Last edited by Ann Hedonia; 02-02-2019 at 10:57 AM.
  #129  
Old 02-03-2019, 12:22 AM
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There are lots of different practices that fall under the umbrella of meditation. But if any meditation practice is doing you harm, stop doing it. One of my favorite stories is about a friend who decided to do a particular meditation daily for 40 days. But a few weeks in, she started to feel depressed and disconnected. She went to the teacher that recommended the meditation and asked for advice. He said “don’t do it anymore”.

I’m still trying to parse your sentence about singing about abandoning your family, wealth and status and the stuff you think makes you human. But that should be a huge-ass red flag and you should run away fast if anyone suggests that as part of the path to anything. There is a meditation retreat I go to every couple of years. One of the things they do is make you pledge NOT to make any major life changes for at least 60 days after the retreat.

Then there is the idea that “attachment and resistance are the root of all suffering”. But, to me at least, that’s about how you RELATE to the things and people in your life. It’s not a wholesale rejection of having things and people in your life. It’s about not attaching to thought patterns and reactive behavior that doesn’t work for you anymore. It’s about understanding how you “attach” to some emotional states and resist others. It’s about how you attach to the idea of what you want a relationship to be without examining the reality.
It’s not about literally giving away all your worldly possessions, it’s about just having them without attaching to them, just letting them be them and you be you, without letting them define you and your place in the world. It’s about not attaching emotional significance to your worldly belongings.

And, really, you need a job, a hobby, something. You need to get out of your head more. And, just for emphasis——- If anyone tells you that you need to make a wholesale break with your family, friends and worldly possessions in order to be happy or complete, run away. Some of these extensive meditation practices are very psychologically powerful and there have been a lot of unscrupulous people and organizations that have taken advantage of that.
Unfortunately I cannot get out of my head. School, work, even my hobbies and sleep, nothing puts a stop to it.

But not attaching significance to worldly belongings is painful. Most people have something that means a lot to them, like a memento. If I am not attached to the people I care or love then apathy comes in. Without attachment you get indifference and that seems to be the result of abandoning everything or “no attachment”.

Even the bits about “you are the universe” or how the mind maintains the illusion of separation haunts me. Granted I haven’t seen proof of it, but they just claim that advanced meditation reveals it by “stilling the mind” and notice vibrations.

In the end it’s still about not wanting to live a lie or delusion, which is what Buddhism or most meditation places say we are. That when you still the mind you see life as it really is, well I did it once and it’s not a place I want to be. But anything else would be a lie. As much as I want to say no to all that I can’t without a good reason or else it’s just confirmation bias.
  #130  
Old 02-03-2019, 01:27 AM
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That when you still the mind you see life as it really is, well I did it once and it’s not a place I want to be.
It seems that you had some kind of profound experience. Can you please tell us more about it?
  #131  
Old 02-03-2019, 02:12 AM
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It seems that you had some kind of profound experience. Can you please tell us more about it?
Simply put it was one in which nothing people usually say about meditation happened. It was like nothing mattered anymore and I lay there paralyzed but feeling nothing. No joy, no sadness, nothing at all. Followed by a disconnect from a “me” and things seemed to bleed.

But to put it to one word, void would describe it well. But listening to them didn’t improve my life and I never filled recovered from that moment. Motivation is difficult and even getting out of bed is a chore, just like living is. When I tell them what happened from meditation all I get is “I’m sorry”. Like that helps.
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Old 02-03-2019, 04:55 AM
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Simply put it was one in which nothing people usually say about meditation happened. It was like nothing mattered anymore and I lay there paralyzed but feeling nothing. No joy, no sadness, nothing at all. Followed by a disconnect from a “me” and things seemed to bleed.

But to put it to one word, void would describe it well. But listening to them didn’t improve my life and I never filled recovered from that moment. Motivation is difficult and even getting out of bed is a chore, just like living is. When I tell them what happened from meditation all I get is “I’m sorry”. Like that helps.
Thanks. If it was an experience where "nothing people usually say about meditation happened" then the conclusion is that it simply wasn't the same experience that people talk about in meditation.

Bear in mind that there are many different types types of meditation which have different effects. All meditation is not the same. You could say that the term 'meditation' is like the term 'exercise'. Excercise could be weight training, or jogging, or swimming, or going for a long walk, or many other types of exercise. The objects of different kinds of exercise are different, and the experience is different.

To repeat something I said on another thread, different types of meditation have different measurable effects on the brain.
A paper in the Journal of Consciousness and Cognition proposed three categories of meditation techniques based on EEG signatures:

- Focused attention:
e.g. Tibetan Buddhist (loving kindness and compassion), Buddhist (Zen and Diamond Way), and Chinese (Qigong).
Characterized by beta/gamma activity

- Open monitoring
e.g. Buddhist (Mindfulness, and ZaZen), Chinese (Qigong), and Vedic (Sahaja Yoga).
Characterized by theta activity

- Automatic self-transcending
e.g. Vedic (Transcendental Meditation) and Chinese (Qigong).
Characterized by alpha1 activity

Qigong includes several different meditation practices, which is why it appears in all three categories.
Your experience doesn't sound like the object of any kind of meditation I've ever heard of. It was an experience of emptiness and lack of fulfillment. All meditation aims at a positive effect.

I don't know much about Buddhist meditation techniques, but I do know about Vedic or Hindu techniques. The object of Vedic meditation is samadhi, which can be described as easily by fullness as by emptiness, both being just words. Samadhi is said to be characterised by three qualities together, though a verbal description is inadequate:
* Sat - purity, simplicity, no shadow or impurity.
* Chit - pure consciousness, awareness or alertness itself without thought or movement of the mind.
* Ananda - bliss, fulfillment, fullness, pure satisfaction.
Buddhists talk of emptiness, but I wonder whether this is the wrong English word for what the various Buddhist techniques are aiming at. I defer to experts on Buddhism.

Your experience... sounds like an experience from abnormal psychiatry. It's not a meditation experience, and it is not a revelation of 'reality'. It's an abberant experience of detachment from reality. I understand that it was a very powerful experience, but it is certainly not an insight into reality. The mind can sometimes get into all sorts of unusual experiences.

I think you are wrongly attaching to your experience to descriptions of meditation that mean something different.
  #133  
Old 02-03-2019, 03:03 PM
Machinaforce Machinaforce is offline
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Thanks. If it was an experience where "nothing people usually say about meditation happened" then the conclusion is that it simply wasn't the same experience that people talk about in meditation.

Bear in mind that there are many different types types of meditation which have different effects. All meditation is not the same. You could say that the term 'meditation' is like the term 'exercise'. Excercise could be weight training, or jogging, or swimming, or going for a long walk, or many other types of exercise. The objects of different kinds of exercise are different, and the experience is different.

To repeat something I said on another thread, different types of meditation have different measurable effects on the brain.
A paper in the Journal of Consciousness and Cognition proposed three categories of meditation techniques based on EEG signatures:

- Focused attention:
e.g. Tibetan Buddhist (loving kindness and compassion), Buddhist (Zen and Diamond Way), and Chinese (Qigong).
Characterized by beta/gamma activity

- Open monitoring
e.g. Buddhist (Mindfulness, and ZaZen), Chinese (Qigong), and Vedic (Sahaja Yoga).
Characterized by theta activity

- Automatic self-transcending
e.g. Vedic (Transcendental Meditation) and Chinese (Qigong).
Characterized by alpha1 activity

Qigong includes several different meditation practices, which is why it appears in all three categories.
Your experience doesn't sound like the object of any kind of meditation I've ever heard of. It was an experience of emptiness and lack of fulfillment. All meditation aims at a positive effect.

I don't know much about Buddhist meditation techniques, but I do know about Vedic or Hindu techniques. The object of Vedic meditation is samadhi, which can be described as easily by fullness as by emptiness, both being just words. Samadhi is said to be characterised by three qualities together, though a verbal description is inadequate:
* Sat - purity, simplicity, no shadow or impurity.
* Chit - pure consciousness, awareness or alertness itself without thought or movement of the mind.
* Ananda - bliss, fulfillment, fullness, pure satisfaction.
Buddhists talk of emptiness, but I wonder whether this is the wrong English word for what the various Buddhist techniques are aiming at. I defer to experts on Buddhism.

Your experience... sounds like an experience from abnormal psychiatry. It's not a meditation experience, and it is not a revelation of 'reality'. It's an abberant experience of detachment from reality. I understand that it was a very powerful experience, but it is certainly not an insight into reality. The mind can sometimes get into all sorts of unusual experiences.

I think you are wrongly attaching to your experience to descriptions of meditation that mean something different.
Except I am not. You don't really hear about the negatives that result from meditation. When I tried loving kindness,it didn't work. Open monitoring and focused attention somehow ended up giving me this current state I live in. Some people do end up suffering from dissociation and depression because of meditation. You just don't hear about it.

Then you get others who say that Buddhism's claims from meditation are wrong, that they have the actual insight and it is not "fulness" or contentment. In short for every one that says X another says Y. Meditation teachers tend to blame adverse effects on the person and not the method. Meditation isn't exercise but more like "medicine" and like medicine it can have adverse effects on some people. Some on "nonduality" say that at the deepest levels you realize that everything is pointless. So I don't trust the studies or claims of mediators that much. Meditation isn't a universal good.

But this is not the point. I'm telling you what happened and what some people said, and looking to resolve this. Because waking up and not wishing to leave bed isn't a way that I want to spend my life, but the words and "teachings" of many of these people still haunt and sap me of energy and motivation.
  #134  
Old 02-03-2019, 03:05 PM
Machinaforce Machinaforce is offline
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Not to mention their weird stuff that taunts my brain like how "god is playing hide and seek with itself", or " the illusion of self and other", or "how the world is suffering from a crisis of consciousness."
  #135  
Old 02-04-2019, 12:34 PM
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Additionally there is the “there is no you just the universe” which has disconnected me from the rest of humanity. Instead of people or animals I care about it’s just “universe” or “god” (from what they say). Without seeing individuals I don’t really have anymore compassion or care for them or what happens. I don’t know how that’s supposed to build empathy and compassion, the opposite seems the case. It makes friends and relationships complicated.
  #136  
Old 02-04-2019, 02:20 PM
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The various viewpoints you've relayed from this outfit come across as a jumble of disparate ideas. I'll remark on one of them for now.

"god is playing hide and seek with itself" — this is the theme of many writings and talks by Alan Watts. If you would like to pursue this line of inquiry further, I can recommend Watts because he talks about it with an impish sense of humor, doesn't take himself too seriously, and keeps it all quite sane. Maybe it would help keep your mind on the rails. Even though this stuff has been poisoning you, I recommend Watts because he sets an example of staying sane and lighthearted about it that may help you assimilate the strangeness easier. Kind of like steering into a skid to regain control of the vehicle.
  #137  
Old 02-04-2019, 05:36 PM
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The various viewpoints you've relayed from this outfit come across as a jumble of disparate ideas. I'll remark on one of them for now.

"god is playing hide and seek with itself" — this is the theme of many writings and talks by Alan Watts. If you would like to pursue this line of inquiry further, I can recommend Watts because he talks about it with an impish sense of humor, doesn't take himself too seriously, and keeps it all quite sane. Maybe it would help keep your mind on the rails. Even though this stuff has been poisoning you, I recommend Watts because he sets an example of staying sane and lighthearted about it that may help you assimilate the strangeness easier. Kind of like steering into a skid to regain control of the vehicle.
That’s a terrible idea as reading this stuff is what caused it in the first place. Anymore would just push me over the edge, it nothing like steering into a skid (which is proven to work).

What they are talking about with the mind is kind of a threat to how I live. I mean “cleansing the false mind” would be like removing the meaning I assign to the things I love and enjoy. It would be viewing things “as they are” which is empty of whatever I assign or judge them to be. If hat happened then I would be in stasis since I wouldn’t be able to make a choice. It would be “peace” at the cost of figurative “death”.
  #138  
Old 02-04-2019, 06:26 PM
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Im getting that I’m terrified that the whole life I built and considered to be the real “me” is just fabricated and illusory. That my likes and dislikes are not unique or real but just a result of programming and conditioning. That “i” am just an illusion. A construct and not inherent. That the real “me” according to them is empty.

Like how you don’t really like what you like or you don’t really like your “interests”, you are just conditioned to. Your interests aren’t inherent otherwise they would not be dependent on where or when you were born. It’s like the idea of a “me” that I believed I was (with likes, dislikes, and interests) is a fabrication and not the truth of what you are for real (empty).

Apathy doesn’t work because it doesn’t refute their point. So far I have been trying to work out for myself something that negates their claims but I end up proving them. I haven’t seen anything either on here or other people/places I ask. Plus in my mind the fact that such a place still does business must mean there is some truth to it, right? Or no?
My perspective on this is that they're saying that if you take a patch of land and build a house on it, the house doesn't exist because it wasn't originally part of the land.

This is nonsense, of course - the changes you make to a thing are real, and they matter. Suppose you actually were conditioned to like something - for example, spicy food. I think that nobody naturally likes spicy food - it's painful. You have to acclimatize yourself to it. So in my opinion the liking of spicy food is a good example of a conditioned preference.

The proposed theory is that being a conditioned preference, a preference not part of the original clean slate they're claiming everyone once was, makes the conditioned preference somehow 'less real'. The problem with that is that it's obviously untrue - people who like spicy food really do like spicy food! It's not some act they're putting on - you can't fake that. It's a real preference. Learned or not, unoriginal or not, it's still real.

So them claiming that the changes you've undergone in your transformation from a zygote are unreal or a fabrication is bullshit. Straight up bullshit.
  #139  
Old 02-04-2019, 06:54 PM
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Additionally there is the “there is no you just the universe” which has disconnected me from the rest of humanity. Instead of people or animals I care about it’s just “universe” or “god” (from what they say). Without seeing individuals I don’t really have anymore compassion or care for them or what happens. I don’t know how that’s supposed to build empathy and compassion, the opposite seems the case. It makes friends and relationships complicated.
This sounds like they're saying that we're all just hand puppets that God/the Universe is playing with - like you can just pull the puppet off of us and find God's fingers waggling around inside. Or equivalently we're all just characters in a story God is telling - we think we're individuals but in actuality everything everyone says or does is dictated by a single controller.

In my opinion Cogito Ergo Sum defeats this. Were we puppets, the guiding intelligence behind our actions would be aware of this, and would also aware that it controlled everything else - as the puppeteer it can't possibly control two puppets without knowing it's doing so. But we have self awareness, and the self we're aware of isn't puppeting everything else. This means that our awareness isn't just God pretending to be us - God would see things differently than we do.

I'm sure it's possible to meditate or take drugs in ways that make you feel like our mind is being spread out through the whole universe, but if you were really a dungeon master playing the Machinaforce character in a tabletop game, you'd be aware of it.
  #140  
Old 02-05-2019, 03:28 PM
Machinaforce Machinaforce is offline
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My perspective on this is that they're saying that if you take a patch of land and build a house on it, the house doesn't exist because it wasn't originally part of the land.

This is nonsense, of course - the changes you make to a thing are real, and they matter. Suppose you actually were conditioned to like something - for example, spicy food. I think that nobody naturally likes spicy food - it's painful. You have to acclimatize yourself to it. So in my opinion the liking of spicy food is a good example of a conditioned preference.

The proposed theory is that being a conditioned preference, a preference not part of the original clean slate they're claiming everyone once was, makes the conditioned preference somehow 'less real'. The problem with that is that it's obviously untrue - people who like spicy food really do like spicy food! It's not some act they're putting on - you can't fake that. It's a real preference. Learned or not, unoriginal or not, it's still real.

So them claiming that the changes you've undergone in your transformation from a zygote are unreal or a fabrication is bullshit. Straight up bullshit.
I don't know why they call it false though. The idea seems to be that because it's a construct that it's not the "Real you" just a mask. But preferences and taste change across our lives, and humans don't fully develop until many years. Making a statement like "being pure like a child" (which is what they say although that isn't true and depends on their idea of it) would be false, since children don't know much. I know as a kid I was afraid of things that as an adult I know are silly, children are also gullible too. Why try to emulate a stage of our lives where we aren't finished growing? It's like calling a caterpillar pure when it's not the final stage. Not to mention children today are different than in the past.

IT seems to be based on the idea that if it changes then it's not real or true, when the reality is that life is nothing but change.
  #141  
Old 02-05-2019, 03:39 PM
Machinaforce Machinaforce is offline
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This sounds like they're saying that we're all just hand puppets that God/the Universe is playing with - like you can just pull the puppet off of us and find God's fingers waggling around inside. Or equivalently we're all just characters in a story God is telling - we think we're individuals but in actuality everything everyone says or does is dictated by a single controller.

In my opinion Cogito Ergo Sum defeats this. Were we puppets, the guiding intelligence behind our actions would be aware of this, and would also aware that it controlled everything else - as the puppeteer it can't possibly control two puppets without knowing it's doing so. But we have self awareness, and the self we're aware of isn't puppeting everything else. This means that our awareness isn't just God pretending to be us - God would see things differently than we do.

I'm sure it's possible to meditate or take drugs in ways that make you feel like our mind is being spread out through the whole universe, but if you were really a dungeon master playing the Machinaforce character in a tabletop game, you'd be aware of it.
The claim is that when the mind is stilled and rested then the illusion of self and other disappears, since they claim that the mind is something that is actively generating the illusion. But "stilling" it would just create the experience of no-self or other, it wouldn't really prove it. Just like meditation creates the impression of oneness.

From what I can tell I am a body. Though they claim that before you there was the universe, that doesn't make me the universe. It just means I was born of it (which is more believable). Of course some branches of philosophy might argue otherwise. Plus they are admitting a "me". Doubtfully, if they were referring to the atoms that makeup my body (which I don't think die) then maybe, but I still doubt it. Then there 's the "body is an illusion" which isn't really explained just stated as some fact without support.

I won't doubt that believing said things gives one a sense of relief and peace. In the moments where I believed it to be so there was a sense of peace and ease, but also no love or compassion. Well I guess you could call it warmth. Anyway it was interesting, but it was more like a product of believing their words and not knowing if they were true. It seems like the main strength behind all this is personal experience. But personal experience isn't really proof, just a sense.
  #142  
Old 02-05-2019, 03:51 PM
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Then there is that small bit about how we are all just "expressions of the universe", but aren't we born of it but not the whole? But considering they say there is no self or "unchanging core" of you (or little man in the head pulling strings, like how you say you have a body instead of you are a body). But even if we abide by the "no self" bit that doesn't make you the universe, just a body.
  #143  
Old 02-05-2019, 05:03 PM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
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IT seems to be based on the idea that if it changes then it's not real or true, when the reality is that life is nothing but change.
You say you're unable to disprove their claims, but it looks to me like you just did.

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Then there is that small bit about how we are all just "expressions of the universe", but aren't we born of it but not the whole? But considering they say there is no self or "unchanging core" of you (or little man in the head pulling strings, like how you say you have a body instead of you are a body). But even if we abide by the "no self" bit that doesn't make you the universe, just a body.
I should disclaim again that I haven't ever actually listened to these people, so I'm just reacting to your descriptions of your interpretations of what they say.

But it sounds to me like they're not going as deep as "You are a member and resident of the universe whose molecules existed in it before they were part of it." That's science, and they're not doing science - and it's erroneous to assume that their made-up claims and principles align with reality.

And they can devalue and denigrate human existence all they like, but it's the only existence any of us have got. They're not the whole universe, no matter what they imagine in their heads.
  #144  
Old 02-05-2019, 08:30 PM
Machinaforce Machinaforce is offline
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You say you're unable to disprove their claims, but it looks to me like you just did.

I should disclaim again that I haven't ever actually listened to these people, so I'm just reacting to your descriptions of your interpretations of what they say.

But it sounds to me like they're not going as deep as "You are a member and resident of the universe whose molecules existed in it before they were part of it." That's science, and they're not doing science - and it's erroneous to assume that their made-up claims and principles align with reality.

And they can devalue and denigrate human existence all they like, but it's the only existence any of us have got. They're not the whole universe, no matter what they imagine in their heads.
If by that they meant that you are connected to other things and don't exist in a vaccum (then I believe it). Because I wouldn't exist without parents, without the Earth, food, water, the molecules from first stars. I am made up of the same materials as other things in the universe, and I might be generous enough to say that one is an expression (but not really) of the universe. But to say I am the whole is not true, even by my most generous concessions. Just like atoms and molecules are components of bigger structures I am a part of the whole, but not the whole.

I think in meditation you lose the sense of "seperateness" which might explain a few thinks in Eastern mysticism. Seems like much of their claims rest on the result of practices. But that's just a result of a practice, not proof of it.

What still bothers me is the "pictures" bit. That there isn't anything inherent (no inherent value) and therefor it doesn't exist, it is just a phantom. But if that were true then they wouldn't preach compassion or liberating sentient beings, because that is technically a value. If there is no "inherent" good or bad then letting suffering persist or "illusion" would be the same as liberation. There would be no difference or preference. In a sense it's like calling subjectivity an illusion or false, or that something or someone is empty because if they were X or Y then they would be so all the time and without influence. But seeing how life is change I don't understand. Our reactions and stances on things change all the time.

Last edited by Machinaforce; 02-05-2019 at 08:34 PM.
  #145  
Old 02-05-2019, 09:11 PM
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I mean for being "eternal" you could argue that the atoms that make you up don't die so you don't die. But that seems iffy to me, at best.
  #146  
Old 02-05-2019, 11:14 PM
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Although the you are the universe bit might work if you don't think of people as people and reality is just one big clay world.
  #147  
Old 02-06-2019, 01:45 AM
Machinaforce Machinaforce is offline
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And then there was some bit about "you driving through you to get to you", or "god pouring a cup of god to serve god". It's an extension of "you are the universe" but it doesn't make any sense.
  #148  
Old 02-06-2019, 03:03 AM
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And then there was some bit about "you driving through you to get to you", or "god pouring a cup of god to serve god". It's an extension of "you are the universe" but it doesn't make any sense.
So some random guy on the internet, on some website, said something that doesn't make sense?

Why is this a problem? Why do you take this guy as having any authority?
  #149  
Old 02-06-2019, 06:39 AM
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So some random guy on the internet, on some website, said something that doesn't make sense?



Why is this a problem? Why do you take this guy as having any authority?
We have been advising him for years to see a professional in regards to his unproductive obsession but he prefers to just talk at us.
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  #150  
Old 02-06-2019, 05:04 PM
Machinaforce Machinaforce is offline
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So some random guy on the internet, on some website, said something that doesn't make sense?

Why is this a problem? Why do you take this guy as having any authority?
Because my mind registers it as some kind of cryptic wisdom from a sage. Like it’s some kind of riddle. Of course that leads to me believing all sorts of nonsense.

Like the bit about “pictures” and how things and people aren’t what our experiences say they are (or better yet what we believe them to be based on experience).
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