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.


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