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Oneness


scitsofreaky
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I'm going to start this with something I read just the other night (I'm glad I waited to start this topic).

 

 

A man goes to an enlightened sage and asks, of course, for the meaning of life. The sage gives a brief summary of the Vedanta view, namely, that this entire world is nothing but the supreme Brahman or Godhead, and further, your own witnessing awareness is one with Brahman. Your very Self is in a supreme identity with God. Since Brahman creates all, and since your highest Self is one with Brahman, then your highest Self creates all.

 

Off goes the gentleman, convinced that he has understood the ultimate meaning of life, which is that his own deepest Self is actually God and creates all reality. On the way home, he decides to test this amazing notion. Heading right toward him is a man riding an elephant. The gentleman stands in the middle of the road, convinced that, if he's God, the elephant can't hurt him. They fellow riding the elephant keeps yelling, "Get out of the way! Get out of the way!" But the gentleman doesn't move-and gets perfectly flattened by the elephant.

Limping back to the sage, the gentleman explains that, since Brahman or God is everything, and since his Self is one with God, then the elephant should not have hurt him. "Oh, yes, everything is indeed God," said the sage. "so why didn't you listen when God told you to get out of the way?" (from A Brief History of Everything Revised Ed. by Ken Wilber, pg 289)

 

 

With that story in mind, I want to discuss Oneness and when/how it is "achieved."

As a child, we believe that everything is a part of us. So it seems that we are born with the sense of Oneness. But, just like the gentleman, a child does not see all as one, but all as a mere extension of the ego, that is, they have not differentiated themselves from others. For example, a child cannot take on the perspective of another. I've heard of a study, which I can't find because I can't remember who did it :ugh: , that demonstrated this very clearly: a child sat across from the scientist and they placed a ball that had two colors in the middle of the table with one color, let's say red, facing the child, and the other, let's say green, facing the scientist. They asked the child which color he/she saw, and he/she responded, obviously, red. But when asked what the scientist saw, the child gave the same response-red. This demonstrates a child’s inability to take on the view of another; they assume that what he/she sees is what is being seen. This is purely egocentric, and egocentrism is not Oneness, it is Me-ness. There is only my ego, all else is an extension of it.

 

Oneness transcends Me-ness. It first differentiates my ego from your ego, realizing that the elephant is not an extension of my ego and it can trample me. Once it has done this, it can then integrate all egos into a greater context, realizing that all egos, while on one level are separate, on a greater level they are a part of a greater whole. And then they find that whole is also part of a greater whole, and so on until they realize the ultimate Whole: Oneness.

 

Notice that this process is not repressing or holding back the ego, but putting it into a greater context. As an ego, I exist as a separate entity from all other egos. But all egos are an integral part of a greater whole, the greatest Whole where you and I cease to be you and I.

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With that story in mind, I want to discuss Oneness and when/how it is "achieved."...Oneness transcends Me-ness. It first differentiates my ego from your ego, realizing that the elephant is not an extension of my ego and it can trample me. Once it has done this, it can then integrate all egos into a greater context, realizing that all egos, while on one level are separate, on a greater level they are a part of a greater whole. And then they find that whole is also part of a greater whole, and so on until they realize the ultimate Whole: Oneness.

 

Notice that this process is not repressing or holding back the ego, but putting it into a greater context. As an ego, I exist as a separate entity from all other egos. But all egos are an integral part of a greater whole, the greatest Whole where you and I cease to be you and I.

 

Great topic Scitsofreaky. :)

 

I posted a link to this paper in the True Followers thread, and am posting the link again because it directly relates to this topic.

 

http://www.uleth.ca/edu/grad/pdf/thesis_theriault.pdf

THE NON-DUAL EXPERIENCE: A PHENOMENOLOGICAL

HERMENEUTIC INVESTIGATION OF THE SEEKER’S

JOURNEY TOWARDS WHOLENESS

BRIAN THERIAULT

B.H.Sc., University of Lethbridge, 2001

 

Following is an excerpt in his discussion of the ego....

 

It is a deep relaxation and surrender into selfless inner spaciousness, which reveals the subtle structure of ego activity not the particular egoic expressions, but more importantly, the activity itself. The ego is facing its own death and thus will begin to intensify its activity as a means for survival. The idea of having to give up the inner ego activity is seen as a defeat resulting in narcissistic depression, a state of “… hopelessness and despair about the possibility of existing authentically, and about receiving support for one’s authenticity” (Almaas, 1996, p. 340). Thus, narcissistic depression acts as a filler against being nothing at all. Release from the incessant activity of the ego attempting to reinvent itself, again, comes through a deep surrender. Surrender at this point is deeper because it requires a deep trust in letting go and allowing a sense of helplessness to surface, and at the same time, embracing a non-doing state. The understanding becomes “… that not knowing what to do in order to be is not a deficiency, for being is not a matter of doing anything” (p. 342). Dropping all ego activity and creating a holding environment where all will be well and taken care of, outside of any personal involvement, is certainly more difficult then it seems. Absolute cessation of ego activity is terrifying, and the self is constantly attempting to identify and rebuild itself to attain an ideal. The ego ideal can never be attained but the self will go to all extremes to do so (Almaas, 1996).

 

As the barriers to self-realization are explored it becomes clearer that allowing and accepting emptiness plunges one into the dimension of Being, which, after all the narcissistic tendencies have been worked through, reveals the quality of love. It is not a personal kind of love but a universal love. This boundless quality of loving presence, when maintained assists in ceasing ego activity. It becomes evident that it is this love that acts and not the individual self (Almaas, 1996). Once ego activity ceases it becomes easier to rest in the experience of selfless openness which allows for the Essential Identity (the point) to emerge. One is now familiar and comfortable with the absence of the separate self.

 

Most mystic traditions recognize a period in which one must let-go of the ego - or in a sense experience the death of the ego - on the path to Oneness.

 

You wrote:

 

I want to discuss Oneness and when/how it is "achieved."...Oneness transcends Me-ness. ..... Notice that this process is not repressing or holding back the ego, but putting it into a greater context. As an ego, I exist as a separate entity from all other egos. But all egos are an integral part of a greater whole, the greatest Whole where you and I cease to be you and I.

 

I agree with you that "all egos are an integral part of the greater whole". And yet - in the passing through to this stage of awareness, there is very often a sense that's one's sense of "self" is indeed "dying" (for lack of a better term). The traveler is finding a new sense of "self" where self-awareness is integrated into the whole.

 

It is actually a period of great growth to pass from the sense that the world is an extension of "self" to the awareness that "self" is an integral part of a greater whole. But - it does NOT always FEEL like growth. Often - it FEELS like death. To me Oneness cannot be achieved unless one is willing to go through periods of FEELING as though one's ego is "dying".

 

In the end the ego does not die - like you I believe it is integrated into the whole. But - in passing from one stage of ego awareness to newer stages - it can often FEEL as though ones sense of self is dying.

 

Does this make any sense at all? :grin:

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Does this make any sense at all?
Wow, that was a great reply, thank you. And thank you for the link to the paper, it looks very interesting.
In the end the ego does not die - like you I believe it is integrated into the whole. But - in passing from one stage of ego awareness to newer stages - it can often FEEL as though ones sense of self is dying.
In a sense, there is a death. At each level, what is harmful must die so that the next level starts healthy. But since we associate our "self" with not just the good, but the bad as well, part of our "self" is dying, must die. This is what makes the transcending difficult, we have to allow the good to enfold into a greater good, but to do so we must disassociate part of our "self," a part that does not want to die.

That is probably horribly repetative.

 

I guess we should also talk about "self" since it is integral to our discussion. Here is something I wrote a while ago:

Self

 

What is the "self"? This is a question that I have posed not only here, but elsewhere as well. I had learned from experience that just asking "what is the self" usually leads to confusion, so here I also allowed people to answer "what makes you you?" It is interesting that everyone automatically assumes that these two questions are asking the same thing. Equally interesting are the people that answer the first question with the second question (you are yourself). Both of these questions are deceptively difficult for most anyone who is totally honest with themselves (not that if it isn't difficult you aren't being honest, but for most it is difficult). Why is this difficult? One reason may be that we live our lives with the feeling of separation from everybody and everything else, and we never question this separation. But once we do, we find it hard to articulate, or possibly even know where we end and everything else begins.

 

Humans understand the universe by splitting it up into groups (eg stars, planets, animals, plants). But we forget that our divisions are exactly that, our divisions. Every time we create a group, we are creating a boundary that is splitting up the true whole into false wholes: one group containing the subject of our grouping, one containing everything else. But the Universe contains no such separations, but we forget this and we get lost in our own boundaries.

One place this is very obvious is with the self. We split "self" into "ourself" and "yourself," but like all other boundaries, this is illusionary. Without "yourself" there would be no "ourself." As Chris pointed out when he answered my question, we define ourselves only in relation to others. So the "self" dilema is the same as the subject-object relationship (or observer-observed relationship). We consider "ourselves" as the observer and "yourself" as the observed. But these cannot exist without the other: no observer can exist without something to observe, and nothing is observed without an observer. So "ourself" has no identity separated from "yourself." So "self" contains both "ourself" and "yourself" which has obvious implications, not the least of which is that you and I are both part of the same "self."

To find what "self" is, we need at least a tentative definition to test. I define "self" as that which has an identity unto itself, ie is not defined in relation to something else. This seems simple enough, but it really isn't. You may automatically think that "you" or "I" are self defining, but they are not, "you" does not exist without "I" and vice versa. Not even "IS" is defined only by itself, it exists only in relation to "IS NOT." So "self" has to be that which contains all as well as not-all. In summation, "self" contains all duality.

From here, and you can find what I was refering to with Chris here.

 

And, in relation to God, I think that Oneness does have the capacity to utterly disprove the existence of the traditional it-God. In the nondual state of Oneness, you realize that there is but One, and nothing can exist outside of that Whole, so no God out there exists because there is no "out there." But, it does seem to go well with pan and panen beliefs (panendeism is my particular label of choice currently). Oneness is both the divine foundation (creator, if you will), as well as the divine goal (heaven, where one is always in the presence of the divine). And I chose deism instead of theism because theism usually refers to a personal god, a god that appeals to the ego, but Oneness is transpersonal, it goes beyond the ego.

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Thank you for your post Scitso...that has cleared some issues up in my mind. I remember the elephant also. I just loved that when I saw it.

 

Maybe it's more like the innocence of the child instead of the oneness?

 

I'm reading up on a few things and will get back to your thread.

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I was reading up on oneness and came across this yesterday:

 

The Non-dual Experience

 

I still haven't finished it because it is rather long, but I came across the "ten basic structures of consciousness" that Ken Wilber addresses in Transformations of Consciousness.

 

Prepersonal (pre-ego)

1. Sensoriphysical: The realms of matter, sensation, and perception.

2. Phantasmic-emotional: The birth of the emotional self

3. Rep-mind: The birth of the conceptual self.

Personal (ego)

4. Rule/Role mind: The development of rules and roles to belong.

5. Formal-reflexive: The development of the mature ego.

6. Vision-logic: The existential level.

Transpersonal (Trans-ego)

7. Psychic: Characterized as the opening of the “third eye.” Also known as

the gateway to the transpersonal.

8. Subtle: Direct apprehension of deity-energy form.

9. Casual: Witnessing the abyss.

10. Non-dual: Integration of form and formlessness and previous levels.

 

I went on to read about these early levels and ran accross this:

 

Successful development through the first level occurs when the infant goes

through what Mahler et al (1975) calls the “hatching phase” and separates itself from the

physical world, giving birth to the body-ego where it begins to recognize personal bodily

movements (Mahler et al, 1975; Wilber, 1999a). A disturbance in this stage results in the

self failing to delineate the marked separation of the body and the physical environment,

causing most adult schizophrenia and depressive psychoses (Wilber, 1999a). It is when

“consciousness fails to seat in the physical body; thoughts of self and other are confused”

(Wilber, 1996a, p. 163). Given that this level is quite primitive in its manifestation and

difficult to treat, Wilber (2000) recommended physiological or pharmaceutical

therapeutic interventions.

 

I noticed the word 'schizophrenia' and a little bell went off in my head. I had listened to a speaker (CD) that would give speeches on schizophrenia and was asked to give his insight to enlightenment proponents. I can't recall his name...I would have to look in my car and find it. Anyway, that lead me to look for the corellation between oneness and schizophrenia. I ran accross this:

 

Consciousness

 

Here they are directly comparing enlightenment to schizophrenia and the differences are minor.

 

Perhaps we can distinguish between the experience of schizophrenia and the experience of enlightenment by recalling that the enlightenment experience is prepared for by training in what to expect. The initiate in meditation is told in one form or other to expect a loss-of-self phenomenon, and is prepared for this by being made to follow the prescriptions that would have him regulate his desires and fears, assume an attitude of non-attachment to objects and adopt a stance of non-involvement in his feelings.

 

The schizophrenic may simply be ill-prepared for this novel state of consciousness and complain of loss of feeling, loss-of-self, etc.:

 

Perhaps the most marked contrast between the two ASC's (schizophrenia and enlightenment) is in the ability of the individual to deal with the dissolution of the ego and with his break with outer reality.

 

What I am understanding here is that a child is not born with an ego, but it develops over time and if it doesn't develop properly at the early stages, the person continues with the sense of oneness although it is looked upon as a disease (schizophrenia). In which it is a disease if the person is to function in society. The schizophrenic person doesn't have any guidance or any idea what to expect. So, we try to guide them back into 'reality' only to have them try to attain this state again later on. Maybe if teachers of enlightenment can help these people, they won't have to be pulled away from a state that is later desired. Or, maybe it is necessary for people to go through all these levels in order to reach that state. It seems rather redundant to me, but I am by far (very far) an expert.

 

Now going on down to number 5 on the list: Formal-reflexive: The development of the mature ego, this is said:

 

Formal-reflexive development is the fifth level in the spectrum. As the self

develops healthy social rules and roles, it reaches a state in which it tires living merely a

conventional, moral, sociocentric position. It moves beyond the confines of societal

bondage and begins to develop a highly differentiated, reflexive self-structure

characterized by a reliance on its own individual principles of reason (Wilber, 1999a).

Now the individual can conceptualize future possibilities, and move through personal

fears and desires. In essence she becomes a “philosopher, a dreamer in the best and

highest sense; an internally reflexive mirror, awestruck at its own existence” (Wilber,

1999, p. 125). Pathologies existing at this level involve “identity neurosis” where the self

attempts to negotiate its own stance in existence, thinking and learning for itself. It

challenges conventional norms, honouring and accepting the newly emerging self

structure while adopting the beginning stages of a worldcentric, post conventional

existence. In addition to philosophical problems, the transition from the previous

conformist social space to an individual global space is not fluid. It is necessary to work

through this to facilitate movement to higher levels of consciousness (Wilber, 1999a).

When the self embraces its own position in the world and becomes grounded in its

mature egoic expression, the individual encounters vision-logic or what is commonly

referred to as the existential level where the experiences of body and mind are integrated

(Wilber 1999a). Here, the self encounters this “personal life [as] a brief spark in the

cosmic void” (Wilber 1999a, p. 126), in which awareness has shifted away from

exclusive social identity. As a result, the individual feels the pull to move away from

conventional securities and distractions, no longer being able to “tranquilize itself with

the trivial” (Wilber, 1996a, p. 193). The self has experienced all it can handle in the

personal egoic realm. He sees the world as unappealing, where all meanings, hopes, and

desires have dissolved before him, moment-to-moment, while the “skull grins silently

over the whole affair” (Wilber, 1996a, p. 195). The work of the existentialists details an

individual’s confrontation with apparent meaninginglessness, death, anxiety, freedom and

aloneness (Frankl, 1972; May et al, 1958; Yalom, 1980), being and non-being

(Heidegger, 1962), dread and angst (Kierkegaard, 1944), and self-actualization (Maslow,

1968, 1971; Rogers, 1961, 1980). It is here, at the level of vision-logic that recognized

Western psychology fails to honour development beyond the personal ego realm into the

transpersonal, trans-ego levels of development.

 

This is where us "westerners" must dwell because anything after that is seen as fluffy or non-sense. Here is what happens when we get stuck and can't move on...not that the transpersonal level doesn't have its own problems!

 

Pathologies at this level result in the individual’s inability to manage conscious

movement through complete self-actualization needs, while at the same time embracing

the realization of its own mortality. This results in the following problems outlined by

Wilber (1999a):

1. Existential Depression: Depression as a result of attempting to find

meaning in a world void of apparent meaning.

2. Inauthenticity: The struggle in accepting one’s own mortality.

3. Existential Isolation: A highly developed self-structure that feels out of

place or “not at home” in the world.

4. Aborted Self-Actualization: The individual neglects to actualize his or her

full potential. He consciously “sells himself out.”

5. Existential Anxiety: The loss or death of one’s capabilities or ways of

being in the world.

Ultimately, one is left with oneself in the face of death and total meaninglessness,

a place void of groundedness and definition, a plane of existence abandoned of all hope.

The personal realm has melted away, leaving the individual self with nowhere to go but

beyond the body and mind and venture into the realm of the transpersonal (Wilber,

1999a). The self begins to transcend its separate-self identity and open up to higher levels

of conscious awareness. The Western mystic Krishnamurti (1970) observed, “There is

something vast and immeasurable beyond the mind, a loveliness which the mind cannot

understand” (p. 246). In order to experience that which is beyond comprehension one

must transcend the individual body mind.

 

Personally, I don't like being stuck in this level, bit I fear the next. :shrug: Of course, these are pathologies and many are able to integrate this fine initially. But once they do, the next level of consciousness should be attained. We are not encouraged to go to the next level, so I would think that all of us would suffer from this pathology.

 

I'm going to try to finish that article now. :grin:

 

(Sorry about the boxes...when I edited it, it turned all the quotations and apostrophies into boxes and I'm too lazy to fix it! Okay...there all gone now and I didn't do it. What the heck? Okay, they're back. I guess I need to stop edited this post! hehe)

 

OMG! I just noticed your screen name relates to my post. Does your choice of names have anything to do with what I'm talking about?

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Maybe if teachers of enlightenment can help these people, they won't have to be pulled away from a state that is later desired. Or, maybe it is necessary for people to go through all these levels in order to reach that state.
If we are going by what Wilber says, which I am, then one must go through all levels or parts of your being, what I think he calls small selves, are left at lower levels, which at best hinders growth and at worst completely stops it.

Schizophrenia is a good example. Instead of a sense of Oneness, the person keeps more of a sense of Me-ness. Without a good sense of the ego, we are unable to separate our self from the biosphere and physiosphere. The way to remedy Me-ness is to develop the proper sense of ego. Once the ego is developed, the self (can) follows the stages until it reaches Oneness. So even if it is done rapidly, one still must enter and transcend each level.

A good, serious read that explains Wilber's view of this is Sex, Ecology and Spirituality (aka SES). But, it is rather time consuming, it took myself, as well as everyone else I know that read it 3 months to finish.

OMG! I just noticed your screen name relates to my post. Does your choice of names have anything to do with what I'm talking about?
No, actually my name comes from my confusing MPD and schizophrenia. I've actually had my screen name for a long time now.
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Maybe if teachers of enlightenment can help these people, they won't have to be pulled away from a state that is later desired. Or, maybe it is necessary for people to go through all these levels in order to reach that state.
If we are going by what Wilber says, which I am, then one must go through all levels or parts of your being, what I think he calls small selves, are left at lower levels, which at best hinders growth and at worst completely stops it.

Schizophrenia is a good example. Instead of a sense of Oneness, the person keeps more of a sense of Me-ness. Without a good sense of the ego, we are unable to separate our self from the biosphere and physiosphere. The way to remedy Me-ness is to develop the proper sense of ego. Once the ego is developed, the self (can) follows the stages until it reaches Oneness. So even if it is done rapidly, one still must enter and transcend each level.

A good, serious read that explains Wilber's view of this is Sex, Ecology and Spirituality (aka SES). But, it is rather time consuming, it took myself, as well as everyone else I know that read it 3 months to finish.

OMG! I just noticed your screen name relates to my post. Does your choice of names have anything to do with what I'm talking about?
No, actually my name comes from my confusing MPD and schizophrenia. I've actually had my screen name for a long time now.

Thank you!

 

You are starting to freak my out a little...I was just wondering what the difference between MPD and schizophrenia was. :twitch: Stop that!

 

Now off to learn the difference...

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Maybe if teachers of enlightenment can help these people, they won't have to be pulled away from a state that is later desired. Or, maybe it is necessary for people to go through all these levels in order to reach that state.
If we are going by what Wilber says, which I am, then one must go through all levels or parts of your being, what I think he calls small selves, are left at lower levels, which at best hinders growth and at worst completely stops it.

 

Yes, it is necessary to go through the process of first gaining and then letting go of the ego. The reason for this - is because when a person looses the sense of "self" it can be very unsettling. If one hasn't first had a sense of self, then one will not be able to stay "grounded" during the "dying" process.

 

I've led a meditation group now for several years. Some people in our group have gone through these types of transitions. They are not easy transitions to go through - and they do mimic mental disorders.

 

One woman - who has been meditating since she was a young adult (she's now in her 40s) went through a transition like this and ended up in the Psych unit for 3 days. During the process she was quite lucid - and able to explain to her husband and the doctor that she thought she was going through a mystic experience. She asked that they call myself and the pastor. As I said, this woman was very lucid - she was having visions of all sorts though. But, even in the state of having visions she was able to remain grounded enough to stay with us while we sorted out a way to deal with things. Her husband was frightened to have her at home in this state (they had 2 young children and the whole situation was frightening for the children). She decided to stay in the hospital and the physician (after talking with the pastor and myself and this woman) agreed to withhold any medication for a few days - to see what happened. The visions did quiet down in 2/3 days and she was able to go home. But, this whole episode ushered in an abiding state of oneness for her.

 

She has often said that if she hadn't had 20 years (or more) of meditation experience, she would not have been able to stay grounded enough during that experience to help manage it. You don't want to suppress these experiences with medication (if it is at all possible).

 

I've been involved in helping others navigate through these types of transitions. But, this was by far the most intense experience I've ever been involved in.

 

My point is - if she had not had a healthy sense of ego (of self) before entering this episode - she would not have been able to stay with us during the decision making process regarding her health care. She would have lost all touch with reality.

 

Also - about going through every level - in succession. Every experience is individual - some people do "skip levels" so-to-speak and then must go back and cover that ground. It's not like a ladder - it's more like a winding path. So - it's important that people not measure their progress in a linear way. :grin:

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Thanks O_M...I'm learning a lot of new stuff here. Awesome!

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Thank you for sharing the story OM, it's great to hear a real life account.

Also - about going through every level - in succession. Every experience is individual - some people do "skip levels" so-to-speak and then must go back and cover that ground. It's not like a ladder - it's more like a winding path. So - it's important that people not measure their progress in a linear way
I agree. Wilber describes the levels as a ladder, but the climber, ie the self, is a blob that covers more than one rung at a time, with peak experiences and regressions throughout the entire process. "What level you are on" is basically just what your center of gravity seems to be focused on. And really, levels seem to be more important on a conceptual basis than in practice.

It is only "linear" when you look at the entire path without any of the details: Me-ness to Oneness.

You are starting to freak my out a little...I was just wondering what the difference between MPD and schizophrenia was. Wendytwitch.gif Stop that!

 

Now off to learn the difference...

Well, I am 'freaky' hehe. It is my understanding, and please correct me if I am wrong at all, that MPD can be associated with schizophrenia, but they are not synonomous. Not all schizophrenics have MPD, and I don't think everyone with MPD has schizophrenia.
I'm learning a lot of new stuff here. Awesome!
Same here. This is the first time I've gotten to really discuss this.
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I agree. Wilber describes the levels as a ladder, but the climber, ie the self, is a blob that covers more than one rung at a time, with peak experiences and regressions throughout the entire process. "What level you are on" is basically just what your center of gravity seems to be focused on. And really, levels seem to be more important on a conceptual basis than in practice.

It is only "linear" when you look at the entire path without any of the details: Me-ness to Oneness.

 

What does Wilber say about people having spontanious experiences of ONENESS? I know people who do NOT and never have used meditation that have these experiences.

 

These people may be artists, muscians or especially connected to nature. Over the years I have come to the conclusion that the discipline of music and art may have the same benefits as the discipline of meditation. And nature - nature is just an entirely different realm. If one spends a lot of time in nature and truly "takes it in", "contemplates it" then nature is a window into this ONENESS as well.

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What does Wilber say about people having spontanious experiences of ONENESS? I know people who do NOT and never have used meditation that have these experiences.
He calls those experiences "peak experiences." Anyone at any level can have a peak experience, but more often then not they will interpret the experience within the level they are at. In fact, I see some of this in the Bible. For example, when Jesus says something to the effect of, "I and the Father are one." This reminds me of the gentleman in the story (parable?) I gave in the OP, a magic-mythic/egocentric interpretation of nondual: the divine is me, not the divine is One.

Peak experiences are temporary, and they don't represent an actual move to that level. He argues (briefly) that many people can even be talked into a nondual experience. Peak experiences are part of the blob that is transversing the ladder.

These people may be artists, muscians or especially connected to nature. Over the years I have come to the conclusion that the discipline of music and art may have the same benefits as the discipline of meditation. And nature - nature is just an entirely different realm. If one spends a lot of time in nature and truly "takes it in", "contemplates it" then nature is a window into this ONENESS as well.
It depends on what you mean by "nature." He would disagree if you mean nature as just empirical-(inter)objective reality, like a forest. That is certainly part of it, but not the whole story. "The window" would also contain the nonempirical-(inter)subjective "in here." When these four are combined he calls it Nature, as opposed to nature. Nature is, and always has been, nondual Oneness because subject and object are not separate, one hand clapping if you will.

Now I'm just rambling, so I'll stop.

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He calls those experiences "peak experiences." Anyone at any level can have a peak experience, but more often then not they will interpret the experience within the level they are at..... Peak experiences are temporary, and they don't represent an actual move to that level. He argues (briefly) that many people can even be talked into a nondual experience. Peak experiences are part of the blob that is transversing the ladder.

 

Does he feel people can reach an abiding awareness (abiding state of Oneness) through any other means, besides meditation?

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He calls those experiences "peak experiences." Anyone at any level can have a peak experience, but more often then not they will interpret the experience within the level they are at..... Peak experiences are temporary, and they don't represent an actual move to that level. He argues (briefly) that many people can even be talked into a nondual experience. Peak experiences are part of the blob that is transversing the ladder.

 

Does he feel people can reach an abiding awareness (abiding state of Oneness) through any other means, besides meditation?

Umm, that's a good question. In the books I have read so far, he focuses more on the concepts and a general view of spiritual evolution. He doesn't ever say, "This is how you reach Oneness." I know from his worldview that meditation would only be a part, I just don't know if he considers it essential.

Just thinking about it, it seems that meditation would be necessary. But I don't mean meditation in the cross-legged, Ohm sense. I think that there are as many ways to meditate as there are people.

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Does he feel people can reach an abiding awareness (abiding state of Oneness) through any other means, besides meditation?

Umm, that's a good question. In the books I have read so far, he focuses more on the concepts and a general view of spiritual evolution. He doesn't ever say, "This is how you reach Oneness." I know from his worldview that meditation would only be a part, I just don't know if he considers it essential.

Just thinking about it, it seems that meditation would be necessary. But I don't mean meditation in the cross-legged, Ohm sense. I think that there are as many ways to meditate as there are people.

Yes.... I think you're right. There are an infinite number of ways to center - to settle the inner chatter (so-to-speak). :)

 

This issue is important to consider in your exploration. Human beings are human beings - and all of us have our bias. People can be just as elitist about this type of spiritual journey as fundamentalists of any religion.

 

More than once - I've read books by authors - who are quite elitist about the path to Oneness. In fact I used to buy into the idea that only certain people were meant to take this journey. I no longer feel this way - life has taught me otherwise.

 

I don't understand the science of it all - what is happening in the brain during meditation vs. what happens in the brain during disciplined practices of music/art/etc... or vs. what happens in the brain during an intentional "sinking into" nature. But, I have come to believe that what ever the physical science behind the brain processes - the end results are very similar. And one's experience should not be disregarded simply because a person took another path besides a meditative discipline.

 

The only thing I think is essential - is the willingness of a person to regularly seek a sort of intentional silence. And I do not mean silence as in no sound (music is sound - nature is full of sound). I mean silence as in seeking a settling of the continous inner chatter. If a person consistently practices intentional inner silencing of this chatter - then I think the brain will find its own way towards this ONENESS that we speak of. - That's just my opinion, however. I've no facts to back it up.

 

Did any of that make any sense? :):scratch:

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More than once - I've read books by authors - who are quite elitist about the path to Oneness. In fact I used to buy into the idea that only certain people were meant to take this journey.
Honestly, I'm glad that I didn't read any authors that are elitist. It probably would have just turned me off to the enitre idea, it would make them no better than any other religious "chosen." I am glad that I read Wilber, while he may (or may not, I'm really not sure) personally like one path or another, he uses expamples from many paths, not just eastern, but also christian mysticism and such. Besides, if something he says doesn't jive, then don't use it.
The only thing I think is essential - is the willingness of a person to regularly seek a sort of intentional silence. And I do not mean silence as in no sound (music is sound - nature is full of sound). I mean silence as in seeking a settling of the continous inner chatter. If a person consistently practices intentional inner silencing of this chatter - then I think the brain will find its own way towards this ONENESS that we speak of. - That's just my opinion, however. I've no facts to back it up.
It isn't just your opinion, it is the opinion of others as well. I've had some very good chats with a taoist teacher, here is his website in fact, and he explained that the purpose of meditation was to silence the chatter (I think he used the same wording as you). It makes sense because chatter doesn't seem to go well with Oneness.
I don't understand the science of it all
Me neither. I haven't read the article NBBTB (you still there?) linked to because I haven't gotten it printed out yet. I can't read anything too long on the computer. Hopefully that will give some interesting insights into the science of nondual. If not, I'm sure it will still be interesting, I'll just have to keep looking for the science is all.
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Me neither. I haven't read the article NBBTB (you still there?) linked to because I haven't gotten it printed out yet. I can't read anything too long on the computer. Hopefully that will give some interesting insights into the science of nondual. If not, I'm sure it will still be interesting, I'll just have to keep looking for the science is all.

Hi there! Yep...I'm here, but I haven't read it yet either. I always have good intentions of reading something and then I get sidetracked. I'll have to read some more...

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More than once - I've read books by authors - who are quite elitist about the path to Oneness. In fact I used to buy into the idea that only certain people were meant to take this journey.
Honestly, I'm glad that I didn't read any authors that are elitist. It probably would have just turned me off to the enitre idea, it would make them no better than any other religious "chosen." I am glad that I read Wilber, while he may (or may not, I'm really not sure) personally like one path or another, he uses expamples from many paths, not just eastern, but also christian mysticism and such. Besides, if something he says doesn't jive, then don't use it.

 

Yes... I know what you mean. Over the last 25 years (or so) I've done a lot of reading on this topic - and you're right, elitist attitudes held by anyone makes one "no better than any other religious 'chosen'". It becomes apparent rather quickly that "enlightened" they are NOT. :grin:

 

Anyway ... another thing you may want to explore - if you are intent on researching this dynamic is - Life beyond the initial experience of ONENESS.

 

So often writers - spend enormous amounts of energy exploring the actual experience - or what percipitated the experience - but do not give any serious consideration to what comes next.

 

Life changes dramatically for people who go through these transitions - and one needs to be prepared for the long-term results of these "awakenings".

 

In my experience - these events are coupled with increased compassion, love and wisdom in regards to the rest of creation. This inevitably means change in the way we approach life. On all levels this is a good thing. But think about the details.

 

If we are aware of an inate ONENESS in all, through all, and beyond all then we are more acutely aware of the pain in the world as well. It cannot be helped -- it's part of the whole picture. At first a person may not realize the full implications of this - but as time goes on and the initial intensity settles down and it becomes a part of ones daily life, then the full implications start to become more apparent.

 

An individual will find that compassion is flowing from within the depths of their being for people they used to avoid and wanted nothing to do with - and in time they will see that this compassion is there because they somehow sense or intuit anothers pain. They are somehow able to see underneath the masks we all wear to avoid showing the world our pain. They may not know the details, but this experience of oneness gives them the wisdom to see that another persons actions may be coming from a pain. This is part of ONENESS as well - and it takes time to learn how to live with this.

 

It is not always easy to be aware of this ONENESS.

 

Scitso .... I'm not writing these things to dissuade you from your pursuits. It's just that authors don't like to write about these things. It's a bit messy - it means going through these experiences does not relieve one from being human.

 

One can still feel elitist (a trap any person can fall into) and one can still feel pain in the world. In fact one is highly likely to feel more pain because being aware of this ONENESS means being aware that we are all interconnected and that another person's pain is our own as well.

 

Sorry to be such a downer. :)

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Scitso .... I'm not writing these things to dissuade you from your pursuits.

Thankfully I am aware of the "down side." What I don't understand is why people would think Oneness is all sunshine and rainbows, do they not realize there is pain and suffering? True Oneness includes pain and pleasure, good and evil because "it" is all, there is nothing that exists outside of this Oneness.

But thank you for the warning, and for making sure I'm not diluding myself ;)

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Scitso .... I'm not writing these things to dissuade you from your pursuits.

Thankfully I am aware of the "down side." What I don't understand is why people would think Oneness is all sunshine and rainbows, do they not realize there is pain and suffering? True Oneness includes pain and pleasure, good and evil because "it" is all, there is nothing that exists outside of this Oneness.

But thank you for the warning, and for making sure I'm not diluding myself ;)

 

In part, people may think these experience are all "heaven" because human beings historically don't want to talk about the downside. Authors are no exception. It's easy to find books about the ecstatic parts of the journey. In fact - it's too easy - some of the books I've read are just pure poppy-cock.

 

But, finding books about the nitty-gritty daily living of life on the journey are few and far between.

 

The woman I wrote about earlier (the one who ended up in the psych ward because she was having so many visions) - she was on a pure high when I met her at the hospital. I'm not kidding you. If I hadn't known her as well as I did, I'd have sworn she was doing drugs. :)

 

Even though her husband had called 9/11 because the visions were so un-nerving to him (they'd been married 15 years at this point) and he'd never seen her act like this before. She is a very verbal person and she was naturally verbalizing her visions. Her husband was understandably un-nerved, but their young children were completely at a loss and very concerned for their Mom. So, he called 9/11 and she ended up at the hospital.

 

When I saw her later in the day, she was very compassionate about the reasons she was there. She wasn't trying to convince me or anyone else that she was sane. She was very comfortable with what was happening, even serene. And she was very compassionate with her husband and his own fears. She was compassionate about his concerns for their children, that they didn't know what to make of all this.

 

My point is - where most people would be livid if their spouse called 9/11 and asked that they stay in the psych ward until things "calmed down" this woman was displaying no anger at all. She was on a high that I can't even explain - it was obviously different than something induced by drugs because it was mixed with real (and very deep) compassion and real love for other humans. It was mixed with lucidity and wisdom - she was able to explain - in a very lucid manner - what she thought was happening to her.

 

For authors and doctors it is fun to explore these events. It's fun to figure out what is happening in the brain to cause these events.

 

But, who wants to explore the first year of life after this intense event? It's just nitty-gritty daily work learning how to live in the world and stay "grounded". Very few people are willing to explore the work of staying grounded and so these things aren't written about.

 

In addition to this - who wants to write - or read - about the ONENESS of pain and suffering? Yuk - I might reach a stage of spiritual growth in which I can feel the ONENESS of everything and see beauty and love in all, through all, etc.... but don't tell me that I may also feel the ONENESS of suffering - how can there be any good in that?

 

But, you are right, Scitso...

 

True Oneness includes pain and pleasure, good and evil because "it" is all, there is nothing that exists outside of this Oneness.

 

And you are wise to recognize this. :grin:

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In addition to this - who wants to write - or read - about the ONENESS of pain and suffering? Yuk - I might reach a stage of spiritual growth in which I can feel the ONENESS of everything and see beauty and love in all, through all, etc.... but don't tell me that I may also feel the ONENESS of suffering - how can there be any good in that?

Well, me. I am interested in all sides of the story: the good, bad, beautiful, ugly, biological, social, cultural, personal, all of it. But I'm abnormal ;)

But I still haven't read that friggin' article because I keep forgetting to bring the file to work to get it printed out.

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GGGAGAARRRRRARARARARRAAGHAHGAGAHHHARRRRRRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!

 

I want to castrate myself.

:Hmm:

Would we have to start calling him HuaiDana? :shrug::wicked:

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