From: "Xenophaneros Anartaxius [FairfieldLife]" 

To: "" <> 
Sent: Thursday, October 23, 2014 4:34 PM
Subject: Re: [FairfieldLife] Re: Belief in God is a form of mental illness

I think you hit on something here I never considered. Social interaction. I do 
not think there is any objective measure by which one considers such 
experiences valuable. There are certain things I like, certain things I do not, 
and I go for the ones I like. While I do not know why, those things I like I 
sometimes like to share with others. A piece of music, a movie. Why did you 
post about Bruce Cockburn's music, his book? I am not sure there is any 
reliable objective measure why one likes something other than a general 
propensity to avoid pain and to maintain comfort. Now if you recall Maharishi 
said the mind seeks a greater field of happiness. Because he was hawking TM, he 
skewed the concept to correspond with his metaphysic (the transcendental field, 
the unified field). You do not need a field. Basically I think it comes down to 
you like stuff, and don't like other stuff. The rationalisations come later. If 
there is any objective evidence for that
 previous sentence it might be split brain experiments. When one side of the 
brain of people with this condition are asked to explain why the other side of 
the body did something, it makes up an explanation. 

The whole spiritual trip is a post hoc explanation fabricated to explain why 
something you like, in this case some kind of meditation for example, or the 
experience that is supposed to result from that, should be valuable to someone 
else. Spiritual endeavours are really quite a complex bother, all these things 
that one has to practice or think about, so to get someone to get involved in 
it really requires a real snow job. You have to bury them with advertising 
about how great things will be if they do this. You need an intellectual 
framework to explain why doing such atypical things will benefit. To get 
someone to come around to your ideas about what you like, it may not matter if 
it doesn't really work. You make up this because you are socially wired to a 
certain extent, and a successful social interaction results in feeling good. So 
there really is not much of a reason for saying such experiences as spiritual 
experiences are valuable, you hawk them
 that way, just as you would a certain artist, a good restaurant, a walk on a 
nice evening. Because social interactions are on an individual level, I would 
say the ego is involved, that level of personal identity that thinks it is 
running the show. The ego provides the explanations. From a scientific level, 
the experiments that indicate the brain comes to decisions often as far as 7 or 
8 seconds prior to that decision comes into conscious awareness. That would 
mean you are not really in control of anything. Life goes on this and that way. 
Stuff happens, you think you do stuff. Hawking TM or hawking Bruce or hawking 
Hawking resuls in satisfaction. Whatever floats your boat.

As for experiences of unboundedness, I really don't think of them that way any 
more. The spiritual trip is the strangest con in the universe. Suppose I put it 
this way: How would you like to be exactly the way you are for as long as you 
are? This is what I am offering you. It will take you about 40 or 50 years, and 
you will have to do all these different things, adopt crazy ideas, do 
exercises, sit quietly, eat special foods, take weird medicines. Want to jump 
in an try this out? In order to get people to do what you like, you have to be 
more devious in your enticements.

It all comes down to 'I like this, and I want you to like it too'. Psst, I have 
some secret stuff that other people do not know, and if you let me tell you, 
and you do what I say, you will be able to say every day 'I'm gonna help 
people! Because I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and, doggonit, people like 

Two travelers are on a road, looking for Ixtlan. 
They ask a passing bird for directions. 
He gives them, then flies off.
Do the travelers go in the direction he pointed them to, or not? 
Whatever their choice, do they ever get to Ixtlan? 
However long their journey, did they ever leave it?

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