________________________________ From: Xenophaneros Anartaxius <anartax...@yahoo.com> To: FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com Sent: Thursday, August 22, 2013 4:05 PM Subject: [FairfieldLife] Re: How the deluded see the world.... --- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, turquoiseb <no_reply@...> wrote: > > This article/research is not exactly a surprise, and not even new. There > have been similar studies in the past that proved that when it comes to > the question of "Which comes first, perception or belief?," the answer > is pretty much *always* "Belief." > > That is why I was uncomfortable with an exchange here earlier this > month, in which people were throwing around the word "charlatan" to > describe someone (I honestly don't remember who at this point), and > seemingly expecting me to pile on. I can't do that, even with Maharishi > or Fred Lenz - Rama. I don't consider either of them "charlatans" in the > sense that most people use that word, because it describes someone who > knowingly deceives others, and doesn't believe the things he is saying. > > I think both of them believed pretty much every word that they said. I > think they believed it so strongly, in fact, that these beliefs caused > them to delude themselves into "seeing" and "feeling" things that > supported those beliefs. Their beliefs *programmed* their own brains > into "seeing" things that weren't there, and that had no relationship to > reality as most people perceive it. > > MJ has a harsher view of MMY, and seems to favor the idea that MMY was > indeed a charlatan, telling people things that he didn't believe or that > he knew weren't true, just for the money, or for the ego-strokes, or for > the attention, or just because. I don't. I think that he spent so much > time in trance states that he believed were "higher" or "more real" than > other people's perceptions that he could pop himself into one of them > pretty much any time he wanted, and thus "program" his senses into > seeing things that *agreed* with his beliefs, even if those things > weren't really there. > > The classic example is the one-liner that even TBs laugh at, because > (except for a vocal and even more delusional few on this forum who never > spent *any* time around Maharishi) they've all seen it, too. "How many > have had this experience? [Three hands go up in a room full of hundreds > of people] See? Almost everyone." IMO he really DID see a room full of > waving hands, because he believed that was what "should" have happened. > Therefore, for him, it really *did* happen. > > But it didn't. > > Understanding this mechanism of belief driving perception (and NOT > vice-versa) is in my experience key to developing a more compassionate > and balanced view of the world of "holy men" and shysters who > proliferate on this backwards planet. My bet is that even the worst of > them -- like Satya Sai Baba -- *believed* that he was "manifesting" the > vibhuti powder he had so carefully palmed and hidden under a tray before > his cheap parlor magic acts. You can actually *see* him doing this in > videos on YouTube. But just as his TB followers watch those videos and > fail to see the obvious palming, preferring their belief in him as a > "god man" to reality, my bet is that he found a way to delude *himself*, > even as he was palming the objects. The important thing for him was the > belief that he *was* magical; therefore he was. I suspect that his > belief in himself as "special" and "magical" was so strong that he even > found a way to believe that about himself when he was molesting his > followers' young children. > > Part of the secret of developing compassion for such deluded > individuals, again in my experience, is developing a similar compassion > for *oneself*. I can do that easily, because I've been there, done that. > I've listened to Maharishi talk utter nonsense myself, but was such a TB > at the time that I not only believed it, I talked my brain into "seeing" > the nonsense the same way he did. I just got over it. Many here on FFL > never have. > > They have, for example, convinced themselves that the *minor* altered > states of consciousness they experienced as a result of TM or the > TM-sidhis were *major* shifts of consciousness. And why? Because they > were TOLD that they were, and they preferred to *believe* that rather > than deal with the possibility that these were just simple brain farts > that had no inherent "meaning" at all, or that they were very common > experiences that happen to many people who don't meditate at all (such > as "witnessing" during either sleep or waking). > > I think it's more sane, and balanced, to approach one's experiences in > life with an underlying sense of distrust, rather than trust. SURE, you > experienced such-and-such, but 1) did you *really* experience it or did > you just program your brain to make it think you had, and 2) does having > experienced it "mean" what you were TOLD it "means," or do you just > prefer to believe that because it makes you feel more "special?" > > I suspect that some here will react badly to the article and research > that Salyavin posted this morning, and will fly into "defensive mode," > trying desperately to find some way to poke holes in the research or its > methodology or even the "motivation" behind it. To them, the idea that > "belief drives perception" (as opposed to its opposite) is > *challenging*, almost an affront. After all, many of them probably still > believe that their experiences with TM were "innocent," even though they > were TOLD in two introductory lectures not only what to expect with TM, > but what it "meant." > > If some people react this way, I feel sorry for them. They are depriving > themselves of a very liberating experience. The knowledge that belief > drives perception is NOT a "challenge" to their experiences, but just > another way to see them. And another way to see the people who TOLD them > what to expect, and what those experiences may "mean." > > I think that research such as this is potentially as liberating for True > Believers as it is for True Skeptics...IF what they are really seeking > is some sense of truth. For the TBs, it should serve as a reminder to > never trust one's subjective experiences *fully*, because they could > *always* be delusions caused by pre-suggestion or belief. > > For the skeptics, it should free them from having to think of the > teachers who sold these delusions as "charlatans" operating from a > platform of deceit. I don't think they were. They were merely operating > from a platform of belief, which is often even more delusional. Tinkerbell isn't real? Oh my. I think it is good advice to distrust one's own experiences, and not take them too seriously. This can be difficult to do if surrounded by a lot of peer pressure. In spiritual movements it can be very difficult to accept that your experiences are not going the predicted way, or that you had a great experience that then vanished without a trace. Go away Tink, I'm posting.