Michele you are simply wrong.
Do you think you are the only one who knows about such things?
I have been places and done things you could not even begin to comprehend.
And I am telling you, these things you believe...these things are all lies......lies told by charlatans to fleece the gullible. Believing their lies is just as evil as believing any other form of superstition. They come from a different culture and that gives them an exotic flavor. But are liars and cheats.
I have sat at the feet and learned from Himalayan priests, lamas, Holy Men. The American, watered down version they sell in this country is just another product. The truth about these men is the same as the truth about any Christian priest or preacher. Religion is about power. Not supernatural power, but real power over people in the real world.
Astral projection? I have Flown the Night. Remote viewing? Meditation?
Meditation is used to dull and silence the rational mind, to prepare an empty vessel into which they can pour any lie they want to.
Glossolalia speaking in tongues, serves the same function in Christianity. It is a means of breaking down the rational mind by breaking down the structure of language in which rationality expresses itself.
Intense prayer, praise services, rhythmic chanting, meditation all serve the same function. To break the minds of the people who engage in them so they will be susceptible to suggestion...whether it's to believe these people can levitate or who to vote for...or to drink the cyanide-laced Kool Aid...or fly a planeful of innocent people into the Twin Towers...
It's all about power. It's all about cruel and ugly men who thirst for control over the minds of others.
I cannot stress this enough.
I know what I'm talking about.
And I know the only way to break freedom from these lies is to reject superstition...to stop looking for some else to tell you what to think...to reclaim your own rationality, to learn to think for yourself...
One of the truest things that has come out of Eastern Religions...one of the things that actually approaches wisdom is the statement:
When you meet the Buddha on the road: kill him.
I have to agree with you on everything you have said in your post here. Sam Harris, in his book, The End of Faith, speaks of meditation in a positive light. While I respect Sam Harris I just don't buy into the whole meditation thing. Harris doesn't refer to astral projection and all that bunk though. Meditation, astral projection, the collective unconscious, etc., is simply repackaged supernaturalism. People think because some idea is old that it has merit. One of the biggest proponents of the collective unconscious was Carl Jung, and he believed that certain books in his library study spontaneously exploded in his absence. It's all just bunk, plain and simple. I have absolutely no belief in anything above nature, i.e., supernatural.
I totally agree with Tony and Philip and Tom. Nature is it. And it's enough for me.~ Melinda
I agree also.
Anthony, meditation is nothing more than a tool to help center one's thoughts. There is no magic, or mystery. Just to sit quietly, in the face of some challenge, helps to sort out the wheat from the chaff, and facilitates clear thinking. There is no formula, although some terrible mythology floats out of it from time to time.
Yes, I suppose you justifiably can state, "Meditation, astral projection, the collective unconscious, etc., is simply repackaged supernaturalism."
But tell me what you do when you have a pesky situation? Do you think and not act, or act and not think, or think & act and then evaluate outcomes? Tools! Nothing more nor less.
Philip and Anthony, I'm with you.
I tell all who will listen, It's easier to change dogmas than to give up the need for a dogma.
I can't argue with anything you wrote, Michelle. You have an interesting frame on "empty the mind" and I must confess, doing nothing and thinking nothing is more like "turn into a plant" than doing Thinking + Acting = Praexis.
I feel disdain for the mysticism of Buddhism, as well as the other processes that give people a false sense of hope or an assigned role by class. There are no heaven and hell, there is no life after death, there are no loved ones waiting for us on another side.
Death is the turn-off of the heart pump, blood flow, end of cardiovascular function as well as pulmonary functions and brain functions plus the end of organ functions. Orifices open and leak bodily fluids. No a pretty sight, smell, or task. Electricity ends, life ends. Period.
"No god is needed." Nor are prayers. Mental health comes from being in the here and now, sharing and observing end-times as part of the process of being alive.
I agree with everything you say about religion and power. Your every word shows your experience.
I meditated for about 15 years and discovered that anything that "comes into my mind" is coming FROM my mind--nowhere else. Thoughts or images enter the mind through life experiences. If we sit still long enough, the mind replays its stored images, often in random and distorted ways. This is absolutely NOT evidence for the existence of any "astral body" or afterlife. When I realized that meditation and oriental religious stories were simply stories, as are occidental religions, I came to my senses. I grew up. I let all the stories be stories. I learned to become a critical thinker. I became a true atheist. I accept only provable facts. No one could or can prove what happens after death, since nothing happens. Afterlife may be a comforting story for some and a danger for others. It makes far more sense to just accept death.
I agree! Well said!
The desperate wish to continue to live either out of fear, or in order to feel better about family or friends who have died young or there being some kind of supernatural justice after death are the three reasons people wish there to be something more, but the only evidence is once brain activity stops, there is no consciousness. Life has ended, period. Promising more is lying and should be ignored and in some cases where money is exchanged for promises people should be imprisoned.
Has anyone else here studied cultural anthropology and heard of cultures who soften the "cruel blow" with a belief that people fully die only when no one remains who remembers them?
We get a kind of immortality if we have the money or connections to have our names attached to all kinds of structures, roads, etc.
Our DNA perhaps lasts longer.