Well Xeno here I am again, awash in the clear blue waters of your writing. Hanging on to my question like a branch I grabbed as it floated by:
If indeed "you lose instead the pursuit of an unreal dream" how is it that you still have what you call pesky delusions and residual delusional thinking? Maybe the delusion is thinking they're delusions (-: Am I being nit picky? ________________________________ From: Xenophaneros Anartaxius <anartax...@yahoo.com> To: FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com Sent: Saturday, March 9, 2013 3:19 PM Subject: [FairfieldLife] Re: Meditation Hijacks Achievment? [was MUM kid expelled for pot....] --- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, "curtisdeltablues" <curtisdeltablues@...> wrote: > --- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, "emilymae.reyn" <emilymae.reyn@> wrote: > > > > Does meditation work to balance out the chemical makeup of one's > > physiology? Does it release our natural feel good chemicals within the > > body? Or, maintain balanced levels of serotonin, dopamine, etc. > > My experience with TM meditation and its associated practices is that it is a > way to hijack our usual brain reward system for achievement in our lives. > And this was Maharishi's stated goal, fulfillment divorced from achievement. > If you keep mediating you cultivate the mind to trigger highly pleasurable > states. It becomes very addictive. Many meditators show signs of extreme > irritation if they miss a mediation once they get hooked on it just like any > other addict. So IMO mediation can become a problem like any other form of > hijacking the pleasure states, meant to reward our species for doing things > that promote our survival or express our creativity. I believe there is no > neuronal free lunch, every pleasure state has a cost. > > Of course this is a highly heretical view in circles where regular meditation > and more meditation are both seen as only positives. But for me the balance > is trickier. I use meditation when I need some of what it does for my brain, > but regular meditation just leads to me getting hooked on the mental states > it produces. And for me these states do not produce my optimum functioning. > > They are as advertized, very charming to our minds. But they can easily lead > to an end in themselves since our brains are inherently lazy and getting the > quick reward is neurologically preferred. Unfortunately that does not lead to > my fullest creative potential any more than hitting the slot lever again and > again. Although they say that meditation is a preparation for activity, and > I don't doubt that for really impulsive people it is a real benefit, for > people like me who have perhaps cultivated this functioning a bit too much, > it can become a real distraction. I get a lot more done with my eyes opened! > > This understanding is still just a work in progress. I am fascinated that > some like Barry maintain that other forms of meditation do no exhibit some of > what I see as downsides of TM's passive bliss states style. > Curtis, I found this little post really interesting. While I found TM blissful to some extent, and the tendency to want to be regular on that basis, there was always in the 'back of my mind' a remembrance of the experiences that led me into meditation, which were, for want of a better way to say it, 'mini-awakenings', brief flashes of insight. The memory of these experiences acted as a kind of mental rudder in what developed subsequently in experience. After about a half-decade of meditation an experience similar to the description of CC developed. One day it vanished. I did not even realise it had vanished. Several months went by, and one morning I awoke and realised that the inner silence was completely absent. The witnessing was just gone. Now I continued to meditate, but that experience never returned; something like it developed, almost like a ghost, a sense that whatever meditation was doing, it was not localised as a still awareness inside. Also during this period, which lasted a long time, my attention, which for most of my previous life had been pretty inner directed - not because I was spiritual, but because I liked to think about things and lived in my head a lot - pretty much went to things outside, girls, food, movies. There were certain kinds of spiritual yearnings, what I think were the remains of early religious programming, and these became rather diffused over time. Sometime before 1990, those yearnings came to an end: they just stopped dead. I continued to meditate, all the while grumbling about it not working out. That CC experience had been very intriguing, a sense of interior invulnerability walled off from the world, and being identified with it rather than the ego, which nonetheless continued to seem to be real as a sense of a separate entity. By the mid 1990s my ties to the movement pretty much ended; I seem to have survived primarily on luck. During this whole period after the first five years of meditation, I did not round much, and even if I had the opportunity, I did not always take it up. By the mid-2000s something odd happened, life seemed, psychologically, to be easier. I was unemployed at the time, it just seemed I was lucky. I am not saying here I was somehow in accord with the laws of nature and they were supporting me. It was more just dumb luck. There was also a sign of some shift in meditation, the tendency to not want to pick up the mantra, but just to sit quietly. After a couple of years, I developed a strange unrest - I kept remembering an event from the early 1970s, over and over, day after day. It went on for a couple of weeks and then I remembered a phrase from a book I had read on Zen about that time; I looked it up on the Internet, found an essay which I read, and then concluded on the basis of no insight or understanding whatsoever, that this had something to do with my unrest. A half month later, this unrest broke, I was outside walking, and suddenly it was as if a veil had lifted. It was stunning. My experience suddenly became just as it was before I started meditation; before I had any spiritual experience whatsoever. The corollary to this experience developed over time: What I had thought all that meditation was leading to was just imagination. Ordinary everyday experience, which for the most part I had had every day of my life, was it. This was what 'absolute being' was, just what has always been going on. No hyped up 'states of consciousness', just ordinary life. The really interesting thing is it is fulfilling, because all the imaginary expectations were gone, kaput, unreal. What a trip. You do not gain a thing from this, you lose instead the pursuit of an unreal dream. This was basically the same quality of experience I had had in the years before TM, but vastly clearer. All this did seem to correlate with practicing TM. As the years have passed since that realisation, the tendency to just sit still in meditation rather than use the mantra has increased dramatically, because my experience now is, there is hardly any inner value of life; the field of experience ('consciousness and the content') is integral and it is impossible to think of there being anything more and take it seriously. I still meditate quite a lot, but not on a fixed schedule, and just how I meditate depends on how I feel. TM seems to work better when I am fatigued in some way, and a Zen type of meditation seems to work better when I am fresh, but in neither case do I meditate because I want to be blissful; that does not mean anything anymore. In the early years of the movement M would say that if something worked in this spiritual sense, it had to be TM, in other words he spoke of TM as a general principle rather than as a specific methodology. Some additional comments. A moment of realisation is brief, it is the implications that settle in subsequently that are really transforming, learning how to live without the dreamy fantasies of previous life. It really makes no sense to say there is an empirical world and a world beyond that. The empirical world is the 'transcendent' one sought; there is no difference between consciousness and its content. Psychologically the day to day experience is variable, but at the same time it's all rock steady - experientially this is not paradoxical, though separating it out in the intellect is. But then one does not take one's thoughts with any of the gravity that one did before. Life goes on, and one's commentary on it is like a novel, a fictitious story, that from time to time has some value in grasping the nature of what it going on. It is the residual delusional thinking that I am working on now. For me, like many others, waking up is not usually a clean sweep, there is still clutter here and there, but as time goes on it gets harder and harder to sweep these pesky delusions under the rug. But the main thing is I do not gravitate to bliss or away from it. If things are pleasant, this feels 'better', but if it is not, that is what is going on, and one lives it; any resistance makes it worse. Nonetheless, if I were in a burning building, do not expect me to stay within and get char-broiled. Common sense is the rule. In all these years I have found three kinds of meditation useful: 1. Guided Meditations 2. TM 3. Zen, Vipassana, mindfulness kinds of meditation where instead of a mantra, one comes back to the breath if one drifts off, and attempting to be as physically still as possible (with minimal effort). I could not do this kind of meditation four or five decades ago, but now is more or less the pervasive quality of most of my meditations, even if I start with TM. If everything is 'transcendence', one cannot meditate to transcend, one meditates because among other things, it is something to do or not do. Meditation is really culturing not doing anything, that mysterious quality of letting the world get it on and having a ball. As for creativity, I feel meditation and the release of various impediments allows it to flow better; I have never felt meditation enhances creativity. Whatever creativity we have is already there. Believing strongly that meditation enhances creativity seems to be a good way to banish creativity from experience and replace it with a veneer of creativity platitudes. Creativity just comes if it is there and there is no resistence. There are people in this world who really do lack creativity. Unblocking that results in the same lack of creativity. I often think these people gravitate to bureaucratic jobs. MUM administration comes to mind. Experiment. Be curious. Think. You cannot learn about your own life by sitting back and letting someone else tell you how to live it. Make use of advice, but do not get sucked into it. Do not believe a word I say.