30 June 2015

BOOK RECOMMENDATION

For those interested in the medical management of mood and other psychological disorders, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety and depressive disorder, and obsessive/compulsive disorders, I recommend getting John Preston's Clinical Psychopharmacology Made Ridiculously Simple,the eighth edition.  You can get it for about $14 on Amazon.


I personally use Preston's more detailed and deeper Handbook of Clinical Psychopharmacology for Therapists, the seventh edition. which costs about $34 at Amazon.


Both books cover side effects as well as the various types of resistances people have to taking medications, even for severe mental disorders. Some obsess even about minor side-effects, and discontinue the meds, others worry about dependency, even though few psych medications are addictive.  Some feels meds are a crutch, and they shouldn't need to rely on meds to function, while others stop taking meds if they don't find immediate benefit, even though most take weeks to take effect.

Yes, meds can take away emotions and make you feel more dead, but for a short term fix on an anxiety disorder or severe depression, they give respite.  Medications can always be changed until one is found that helps best.

The Handbook, at least, talks about differing racial and ethnic responses to psych medications, and interactions between the meds and also with supplements like Omega-3, etc.

There is a very interesting discussion of medications used to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.




29 June 2015

SPIRITUALITY VERSUS PSYCHOTHERAPY VERSUS MEDICATIONS

PART ONE: SETTING THE STAGE FOR AUTHENTIC HEALING AND AWAKENING

Because I am back into the field of psychology, and have been reacquainting myself with therapy and psychotropic medications, I will be writing frequently about how psychology, psychopharmacology, and the pursuit of peace, enlightenment, wisdom, and Self-Realization, all fit together.

I first began my spiritual career through self-study of Zen and Ramana Maharshi in about 1966, almost 50 years ago.  I have lived in or been a member of endless Zen, Tibetan, Kundalini, Vedantic and other centers for at least 30 of those years.  I have treated people with psychological problems such as depression, manic-depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and schizophrenia directly for maybe 20 years, and for 30 years I have been a consultant to psychiatrists and psychologists defending their treatment of individuals according to ethical and medical standards for the court system.

I have also taught Zen and Self-Realization spirituality at the Extensions at UCLA, UCSD, UC Irvine, and UC Santa Barbara.  I was a teaching monk at the International Buddhist Meditation Center for years, and studied under six Zen masters learning hundreds if not thousands of koans and their answers.  Finally, I spent eight years with Robert Adams—a student of Ramana Maharshi—and five with Jean Dunn, one of two disciples that Nisargadatta named as successors.

During this almost 50 years of exposure to these diverse spirituality modalities and psychotherapies, I have been exposed to many, many thousands of people walking one path or another and have reached many conclusions, the most important of which is as follows.

Most people walking spiritual path do so as a result of psychological problems and the mistaken belief that spirituality can resolve psychological problems.  For them, they hold the false idea that if they were to awaken, all mood disorders such as anxiety and depression would disappear, as well as fear, such as fear of losing a loved one, or fear of death itself.  They also pursue enlightenment to increase self-esteem, decrease pessimistic and obsessive thinking, while others suffering from pre-psychotic or frankly psychotic intrusions of other-worldly states, visions, visitations from entities, hallucinations, hearing voices, or else being hyper-aware and bother by noises, smells, light, and energetic currents, seek respite through meditation, Kundalini, Chi-Gong, or other practices.

However, “awakening” and enlightenment have nothing to do with resolving psychological problems.  It works in entirely different spheres, yet people, out of fear of engaging in psychotherapy or taking psychotropic medications, spend years self-treating through spiritual practices, or reading about various famed spiritual teachers such as Ramana Maharshi, Rama Krishna, Krishnamurti, U.G. Krishnamurti, etc., and try to emulate or attain through book-learning what they think these teachers have attained, whether it be peace of mind, enlightenment, bliss, or total, benign indifference to suffering in this world.

But relief from major psychological distress and suffering cannot be obtained through typical spiritual practices except for one way: learning how to observe one’s thinking and emotions.  Self-observation can create a psychological distance between a person’s sense of self and the distressing symptoms they want to end.  They wall off their sense of self from the intrusive emotional and even physical pain.

Unfortunately, after a while, users of this technique often find they have walled off portions of their own self, from themselves, and are no longer fully functioning people without a full-spectrum of emotional richness, and without a wide range of human interactions, enjoyments, and ability to feel and to tolerate both joy and suffering.

Go to any coffee shop and you will invariably find cadres of people obsessively reading the Bible and taking notes.  They often sit together and hold Bible study classes in Starbucks or Coffee Bean establishments.

Christianity is a religion of learning how to tolerate suffering and overcoming fear of death through belief in a benevolent God in the form of God the Father and God the Son, to whom you give your suffering, and the belief if you lead a good and moral life you will live in heaven forever, free from suffering, and living in joy at Christ’s side.  For some this holding onto belief—Faith—actually works for a time, and sometimes for a long time and even a life time.  Others, not so much.

Buddhism in its original Theravadin form is profoundly pessimistic, holding that life itself is suffering, but there is a way out of suffering and that is the Eightfold path or right thinking, right living, contemplation, meditation, etc.

For most with energy gurus and many New Age spiritualities, the path usually consists to trying to attain permanently altered states of mind, such as endless bliss, joy, internal energies, Sahaja or Nirvakalpa Samadhis, where you forever dwell in states of endless bliss, peace that passes by understanding, or one dwells in the Void, emptiness, or pure awareness, the pure I Am, or some other state.  Many do obtain such states that last a long, long time, and are sustained through constant practice, mindfulness, etc.

Examples of this are the energy gurus who claim to have attained constant bliss such as many of Muktananda’s swamis, Hari Krishna swamis, the author of The Most Rapid Means to Eternal Bliss, Michael Langford, Jan Esmann, and many others, who practice Kundalini, pranayama, visualizations, and other exercises for many years in order to awaken one’s Kundalini energies and keep it awake.  Another is Eric Pepin who teaches mostly about navigating through various astral states and energy fields.

However, feeling bliss does not really resolve psychological problems, it is just that their experience is mitigated by the feeling of bliss.  Some of these energy teachers can become profoundly narcissistic and even frankly psychotic, such as Da Free John and Osho as he decompensated into frank psychosis after long-term extreme drug use. Muktananda himself died as a result of too-fast withdrawal from Valium which causes a plummeting of his blood pressure and heart failure.

I know this previous paragraph will draw huge amounts of critical comments from  former students of these teachers, as well as readers of these teachers who hold onto belief that these figures were the greatest, happiest, and wisest of beings, when in fact, many were closing in on insanity in the form of malignant narcissism. 

As my  own primary teacher, Robert Adams, said, “Insanity and enlightenment walk hand in hand.” Robert himself was profoundly withdrawn from  life and the world, finding profound peace by ignoring the world, its suffering, and activities.

This is the first introductory post on founding a truly integrated modality of healing psychological problems and finding awakening to one’s own self, or Self-Realization to both the Manifest Human Self, and to the Self as the ultimate Witness.

I will post about medications and the unfounded fears that people have about medications, such that they foster dependency, make you into a zombie, make you feel that you are sick, that therefore something is very wrong with you, further reducing self-esteem, or the belief that psychotherapy (and drugs) are a crutch, and no self-respecting person should ever seek help from a therapist, or from medications, and that one should  only life oneself by one’s own bootstraps.  This is pure poppycock.

I myself, as admitted above, have submitted myself not only do many spiritual teachers over 50 years, but also to eight years of twice a week psychotherapy in several different modalities, from Gestalt to psychoanalysis (4 X week), taken medications for depression and for anxiety, and have practiced and taught many types of meditation and of self-inquiry.  I still take a sleeping pill, sometimes several, to get to a deep sleep state because sleep apnea otherwise makes deep and REM sleep impossible.

In addition, the deep sleep, dream, and waking are all temporary states that come and go as they will,and are all affected by the health of the body as well as how long and well one has progressed in meditation.

Over the next few months I want to give you insights gained after having done it all for a half century.  I want to tell you what works, what does not, what practices or beliefs actually make for more suffering or delusion than the disorder one is trying to overcome.

Like I said near the beginning, most people practicing or even interested in spirituality, are doing so to escape suffering, and usually as an escape from psychological suffering such as depression, manic-depression, severe anxiety or persistent fears of death or pther events, escape from a pervading dread of the worst happening, low self-esteem, psychotic phenomena, or from physical pain, or even “imagined” of psychogenic pain.

These people want to do it all themselves and not take psychotropic medications, see therapists, or even go to  a spiritual teacher.  They think they can resolve their dis-ease and distress purely through the mind, book learning, self-talk, positive affirmations, belief in the Bible or Buddha, Christ or Osho, or Krishnamurti.

These people do not have any idea of how complex the problems of psychological pain and suffering are, and the many, many ways there are to resolve the suffering, but the fears of following those methods prevents true relief of that suffering.

As a taste, I will  say only one thing, one hint of what is to come.  Medication cannot resolve a deep depression, if anything, it will worsen it by divorcing yourself from feeling even more than the depression does.  The moist effective way out of depression is a combination of medication and appropriate psychotherapy.  This holds true for other mood disorders, such as manic-depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, obessional disorders, and even Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

I certainly cannot give all the answers to resolving these disorders all by yourselves, because even major depressive disorders have many different causes, and it takes a good medical evaluation to best determine the way to mitigate this type of suffering.  But psychotropic medications can often assist the spiritual seeker by freeing them of a depression, anxiety state, violent mood swings that undermine our ability to be steadfast and persistent in any successful spiritual practice.

Also, as an additional understanding I want to convey, it is almost impossible to lift yourself out of a Major Depressive Episode without psychotropic medications or psychotherapy.  It literally cannot be done through spiritual methods.


Often Major Depressive Episodes end just by the passage of time, as do strong periods of deep anxiety and panic disorders, but each untreated episode changes brain function and neurologic chemistry to the extent that there is a much higher chance of subsequent episodes, and each new episode further changes brain function and chemistry until the disorder can become chronic, and no longer requires an external trigger, such as death of a loved one or loss of a job or home.

28 June 2015

LIFE AFTER DEATH

One of the greatest realization one can have is realization of yourself as spirit, as Consciousness versus a lifeless body.  Some, like Robert Adams, Nisargadatta, and Ramana after a while even want to forget their corporeal cloak, and call  the body illusion.  But they do not say that after they are dead.

Spirit and matter are identical. No body,no Consciousness.In any even in their later days as they are dying of cancer,their bodies are of utmost concern because of pain and limitations on movement.

No matter how they talk before their final days, in their final days they have utmost concern about their bodies, and with the body's death, they  are no more.  That individuality is gone forever, for that individual's Consciousness died even before the body was dead.

If their is anything that "survives" death, it had to be their before life, because that which is born always dies. The "soul" if it survives, must be there even before birth.

Yet, is that our experience?  Do we remember being 6 months old, ten months old, being an individual? No.

Do we even remember being a soul, a person, in deep sleep?

So really, our individual existence is a once and for all experience.

However, there is that mystical connection of Consciousness and matter, or embodied spirit that lies at the core of all of us.  Life and awareness arising out of embodiment.  This is where God and matter meet to create individual life forms, and it is out of this matrix were arise, and to this we return.  Nisargadatta called it Parabrahman, that principle that knows both existence and non-existence.

27 June 2015

TO ME FROM MARK:

I wonder then if people like myself who have a supplemental Medicare program(in my case it being the AARP United Healthcare insurance) are still hurt as much by the ACA?

I bet they are and this will be particularly problematic in future years because of the Boomers swelling the ranks(which I also am).

Mark




Yes Mark, everyone over 65 is in the same boat now.

My mother has Medicare and United Health Advantage plan.

I also thought it was better to have Supplemental or Medigap insurance, but asking around, everyone gives a different answer.


At the rehab where my mom is, Sun City Health and Rehabilitation, I was told 
that the Advantage plans, outside of the restrictions on doctors and hospitals, actually provided more care, especially the ARP United HealthAdvantage,  Some plans, like Blue Cross Arizona API and Banner Health variants, are much more strict on restricting length of stay.  So you have to ask around.

My mom feel about 11 years ago and broke her leg.  Back then she was allowed to stay in a rehab unit for three months until fully recovered. Now, just a few days are allowed under current Obamacare.  That is why national medical care costs are down: few services and length of stayfor everyone covered by the plans, but more people are covered.  A lot of Obamacare is covered by the $700,000,000,000 taken from Medicare and spread around to a larger number of covered people.



24 June 2015

OBAMA LIED TO US ABOUT THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT!!

My 97 year-old mom is in the hospital after a fall 11 days ago.  She was released the same day as the fall 11 days ago because she did not break any bones and there was no detected internal bleeding.

Yesterday she went back to the ER because of increasing pain in the right abdomen.  She has had all kinds of tests, and one possible problem is a precancerous lesion lacted in the stomach 2 years ago, but most docs there think the pain is secondary to the fall.  They can’t find the source, but are being forced to release her even though she has been on her back for ten days and can’t sit up because they can’t find anything that requires hospital treatment under the new, Affordable Care Act guidelines.

All are released from the hospital because patients can’t stay in the hospital if they can be treated on an outpatient basis.

The docs tell me this is especially true with elderly Medicare patients, and the doctors have no say as to how long a patient stays.  If nothing is found that MUST be treated in a hospital, they must be released, even with pneumonia, open wounds, and other conditions for which they would have been kept in the hospital and treated before Obamacare.

The docs said that the most severe restrictions are on the Medicare elderly, likely due to the $700,000,000 billion taken out of Medicare to fund Obamacare (ACA).

These docs universally say this is the new state of Medicare and the new medical system created by Obama—they have no control over patient care.  Care provided is all a matter of government restrictions on stay and treatments, which are most onerous on the age and conditions of the elderly.  These doctors are angry and say the system is not treating the elderly as they should be treated, and were treated before Obamacare destroyed Medicare.

In a sense, we have a “gentle form” of “Death Panels” that the Republicans warned about, but they are living people that are making decisions not to treat the elderly, but the words and regulations written into the Affordable Care Act.

Obamacare may cover more people now than before, but it has done soon the backs of Medicare and the elderly.

22 June 2015

There is a huge difference between adopting what Seung Sahn called a “Don’t Know Mind,” where he encouraged students to be dumb as a rock, and becoming totally passive, constantly resting in silence, doing nothing, going nowhere.  The latter is really a path of giving up, or denial of the problems and tribulations of the flesh, and more or less just waiting either for peace or for some sort of awakening.

Over and over my Zen teachers said the action is in the living, in daily life, work, family, problems and solutions. But Zen and Seung Sahn both emphasized diminishing thinking about the problems, ruminating, pondering, and instead, just act, and the first impulsive action is probably the correct one.

Then, over a period of time, doing this trains you to trust your instincts more than obsessive thinking.

This not to say that many situations  that most people encounter do not require a great deal of attention and thinking, but the training was aimed at acquiring a greater trust in instinct, one’s gut, rather than one’s head.

On the other hand, other spiritual paths emphasize increasing one’s trust in their hearts’ as opposed to their head.  These are the paths of love and compassion.


Once one has gained good access to one’s gut and heart, along with the a decreased dependence on thinking, one can use heart, gut, and head in an integrated, total way.

But, having access to Self, one remains curious about one's own beingness, as well as the world.  The complete Zen man enjoys problems, enjoys pains, enjoys exploration, life, family, etc.  He or she finds sheer joy in life, even the downsides.

21 June 2015

THE KNOW-IT-ALL ZOMBIES

What I find now adays are far more people that think  they know everything about spirituality, enlightenment, and what enlightened beings are like based on a couple of years of reading books, and maybe a year or two of haphazard practice of meditation.

They know it all and speak in abstract platitudes about silence, truth, the divine, no-self, non-dual, Consciousness, emptiness, etc.  You know just by the abstractness of the terms they use that they are parroting authors they have read.

The largest segment of this population is young males from their teens to maybe 35.  Very dependent on intellect they like to argue and prove everyone else wrong except for their favorites, like Ramana or Nisargadatta, or else they preach the opposite that everyone is right and all viewpoints are equal.

These poor people really don't know that they really don't know.  They have no idea that they think they know who they are because they have read Ramana and Nisargadatta talk about reality and illusion and those ideas alone are just a map, and not a true grasp by direct experience of the real.

IT IS SO HARD TO ESCAPE RELIANCE ON CONCEPTS SO THATWE CAN LET GO OF THEM AND SEEK TO EXPERIENCE OURSELVES DIRECTLY, WITHOUT CONCEPTS OR MIND, WITHOUT AN INTERMEDIARY OF TEACHINGS.

When you first grasp who you are by a direct experience of Self everything changes.  For the first time you know something in a way entirely unmitigated by intellect.  You know your own Self directly, as a whole, as an entity existing within you, within your body, within  your sense of presence, within your energy fiekl, and you know it as the life force itself, as I, as I Am, as "I am alive"!

For the first time your really know what direct knowing is.  You realize that basically you are Knowledge itself, and also the Knower of Knowledge.  As Knowledge, you are the Manifest Self consisting of your body, your breath, your sense of I, also your emotions, thoughts, tactile sensations, sounds, taste, smell, etc.

And, if you are a long-time meditator, you also know your Manifest Self as emptiness, the Void, which some call silence.

But then you will also know that which lies beyond Consciousness, beyond the body, which is the Witness: that which experiences both existence and non-existence.

For most people, they cease existing when they go you sleep.  The sense of I disappears.  And in the morning they awaken and exist again. But they do not doubt that  they existed during sleep because they have an inner sense that they existed while asleep, and can even manage to have a sense of the amount of time that passed while they slept.  A few people remain aware of being asleep even while sleeping, so they are less aware of the non-existence of the normal person because they are centered in the principle of knowing itself, the Witness.

So profound are these states of realization that they change everything for you. You become totally alive because you do not live in your head like the 25 year-old, know-it-all-from-books-person.  This person is not alive; he lives in his mind which is comprised of his ideas of what he thinks Ramana, Nisargadatta, or Jesus meant or experienced.  They are shadow people living in their uninformed imaginations, inflexible, not open to tenderness or gentler and sweeter emotions.  And, they are oh so self-assured, and also so very, very wrong.

15 June 2015

JOB OPPORTUNITY

1. Historian for taking information from patients regarding background, history, and injuries, psychological and physical, received while working. And also for family litigation.  This will be in Los Angeles.

2. Medical Records reviewer. Do preliminary review of medical records regarding a patient to serve as reading material for busy physician to review before submitting a final report.  This person can be located anywhere in the world with access to the Internet.

It does take time to learn these skills, especially the historian job. 

Trainee can use own typing skills or learn Dragon Naturally Speaking to dictate and edit results.

Preferred candidate will have a background in psychology, medicine, pharmacology, or biology.  Pay will depend on proficiency in all the skills required and will start as part-time and can eventuate in full time.

PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE AS A HISTORIAN OR MEDICAL RECORD REVIEWER HIGHLY DESIRED.

Contact:         edwardmuzika(at)gmail(dot)com   ASAP

14 June 2015

FROM SANZO KATORI; HE DESCRIBES AND INITIAL REALIZATION OF THE MANIFEST SELF EXPERIENCE:

Sanzo Katori I'm sorry but I feel the need to elaborate to answer your question. When I was 19 I had a glimpse of what I believe was the Self or god. One day I felt a lot of anxiety and depression and a great sense of death riding me the whole morning. My body was vibrating more than it ever had during meditation. It felt like my whole personality and being was being sucked into this infinite void. It kept feeling like oi was going unconscious so I had no choice but to lie down.

I fought not to for at least a half hour in extreme fear until I simply passed out. I remember being in black as simply awareness(though I didn't know it at the time) and getting random sensations from my body. Like it was black, black, black..then the sensation "cold"... Black, black, black..then a sensation of " thirst". And it went on like this for an unknown amount of time with different sensations.

When I came back to my body, everything within my body and out in the world was buzzing with blissful energy. Colors pulsing through me and everything in the world. I was an nihilist/athiest/Buddhist until that day.

No self and Facebook talk and all the books I read on religion fell flat. My worry about my life and DEATH which had sapped every ounce of joy and love from my soul until that day disappeared.

My stomach was a soft ball that my true being resided in and it felt like the deepest sweetest rest that I can never truly put into words. Please understand I do not just mean mentally, my whole and entire being felt like it had finally found its home with a bed to rest in after traveling a desert alone for eons. Somehow though as powerful and separate as this energy felt, it intimately felt like it was myself. It was like I was me experiencing god and being that god simultaneously. Like the same humility love and grace as a human seeing god, but somehow being that power energy and bliss. That is what drew me into your teaching because it is the same way I would have described that day.

I felt like the energy had always been pulling me along and decided our actions in a sense or at least gave direction to them. I didn't have to hold the reigns to my existence any more. This lasted for the rest of the day, and when I awoke the next morning I felt empty and hollowed. Extremely human and extremely fragile. I stayed in depression for a few weeks after losing that. But that day changed my life. Since then its been all meditation and following you as my guidance.

I believe that was the "explosion of bliss and love" you speak about. It HAS been more of a low level constant version of that since then as long as I am consistent enough with my meditation. Sometimes when I am injured or sick, I am more human than energy, but I can say that yes especially when it is more powerfully coursing through my body that I feel without a doubt that I am this energy that is somehow condensed into the experience of this world, my body/mind, and emotions.

I do not understand the mechanism of my experience. I can just feel and see my body as a conduit for sensations and emotions, with thoughts wisping through my head and an underlying current of fluctuating energy that is sometimes colored by my emotions or energies from the world. And this energy sometimes feels separate like it is part of my body and the world being witnessed by me and sometimes I feel like i simply am the energy experiencing the sensations of my body and world. Sometimes the energy is low and I am just watching my empty shell of bones and blood in this world as a human, just never strictly identified as a human.

So I've just been continuing waiting for another explosion, sometimes it feels like I will again and I still get a little afraid since its been so long and it was so powerful of an experience. But either way, I only see darkness inside for now, but I feel the self massaging me and letting me know of her presence through the darkness and I'm just here waiting for her to burst from my inner darkness again and show me her greatness and beauty. She's giving me gifts and trials along the way.

By god I hope any of that makes any sense. And sorry for the length.

ED'S RESPONSE:

It makes complete sense. What you describe is a self-realization experience that needs to be repeated to make it permanent. Each time you experience it, it leaves a deeper trace as an after effect.

But do not struggle to bring that experience of again.

Instead, just relax and love whatever arises in yourself from coldness and darkness, to anger, to love.

AND, LISTEN TO SACRED MUSIC A LOT! Chanting, Muktananda style, Krishna Das, Yogananda.

SANZO TO ME AGAIN:

Sanzo Katori: Thank you so much for validating these experiences for me. I had a strong intuition that this was the case. I will do as you say and not try to force or expect the experience, and continue onward . One of the surprises for me along the way has been the amount of love and bliss given even before it becomes permanent. I really hope more people try it out for themselves, because this existence is laden with suffering in my eyes, and this is the only succor that softens that pain for me.

13 June 2015

MATTI ASKED ME TO DESCRIBE MY EXPERIENCE OF BEING SELF AS BEST I CAN. HERE IT IS, THE BEST I CAN DESCRIBE SOMETHING SO DEEP AND PRECIOUS THAT ALWAYS WAS INSIDE OF ME, BUT LITERALLY  EMERGED ONE DAY AS AN EXPLOSIVE EXPERIENCE OF SELF-RECOGNITION:

SELF-REALIZATION is not anything you could dream of before it happens because everything is transformed.

Before Self-Realization you are filled with ideas about spirituality, self, Self, ego, Consciousness, emptiness, healing, self-actualization, identification, spirit drumming, astral projection, no-self, etc.

After Self-Realization you are filled with Self and all searching ends with the certain knowledge felt throughout your entire being, as to who and what you are.
Before Self-Realization you have a million ideas of who and what you are garnered from ready many books, listening to dozens of teachers and gurus, but you are filled with doubt or confusion no matter how strongly you hold onto ideas about Self derived from reading Ramana, Nisargdatta, Tolle, Zen, Buddhism, Advaita, Christianity, etc.

When Self explodes forth from within your heart and gut, for the first time it seems, you know you are alive, that you exist.  The life force spills out into the world from your heart and gut.  The Self is alive in you. Pure energy; oure experience; pure life itself; sentience; and you are That life force and sentience, and you also witness that life force and sentience.

For many, the "true self" is the Witness of the life force, That which is beyond Consciousness or is ontologically prior to Consciousness, and the Manifest Self is illusion.  But for someone who first experiences the Manifest Self, suddenly everything in life becomes clear: there is something within you as you had "thought" you were, that is far greater, far more powerful, yet far more vulnerable and undefended than you had ever been.  There is a 100% openness to al experience, from the greatest joy and bliss, to the deepest sorrow and grief.

And, you know absolutely, positively, who and what you are as an almost infinite spiritual elements within, a core of energy and light that permeates and suffuses every moment of your bodily existence in a radiant energy felt most strongly in your gut and heart.

And when you look within, or feel within, you see and feel a core of life force, or energy every changing in terms of its form and outline, ever interacting with the world through exchanging energy fields and tendrils. The Self reaches out through your heart and gut contacting the world with gentleness, tenderness, lovingness, and yet you are always grounded from within, attached to this core of life-force, which often is experienced as bliss, often as energy patterns, and often as pure tenderness and vulnerability.

The Self is alive and palpable as a physical force, a manifestation within one's subjective field that exists alongside that witness of Self, Parabrahman, the Unmanifest Self existing prior to Consciousness.  Manifest Self and Unmanifest Self coexist in inseparable duality and symbiosis.  Where one is found, so is the other. You are both Manifest and Unmanifest Self known directly.

At first the Manifest Self is experienced as other to you, who until this point had no identity except for ideas given to you by others, by teachers, by family and society.  I am a man; I am a child; I am Caucasian; I am strong, weak, confused, intelligent, stupid, worthless, etc.  All idea about who and what I am.  This is the false self that is destroyed by the initial experience of no-self, of emptiness, of the Void nature of internal existence found in unity experience of no separate self.

But within that emptiness, deeper, Self is found through loving that emptiness and all that emerges from it, such as painful emotions, memories, and emergent vulnerability.  Love is the key to experiencing the Self, for Self is first felt within, then observed with one's inner vision as light and energy patterns.

That inner Self is alive, ebullient, joyful mostly, but with times of grief, sorrow, anger and fear passing through Self, like light passing through a prism, or a cloud passing through the sky, not touching the emptiness that I am, but touching and caressing the energy being that I am--the Manifest Self.  

This Manifest Self can better be described as having found one's soul, one's most secret heart of heart's, heretofore well hidden and protected behind many layers of psychological defenses, but now totally open and exposed to the world.  

Now it announces itself loudly, insistantly, saying, "I am alive!  I have come alive, ready to receive and experience every iota of human experience, joyful or painful, for now I am complete.  Now I am grounded in myself.  Now I am most powerful because I am open and vulnerable, and as such I cannot be fooled any more by all the ignorance hitherto forced on me by teachers, books, scriptures, family or society, because I know who and what I am directly in my heart, as life itself."

10 June 2015

I spent the first 27 years of my life learning useless scientific, political, and economic theory--all bullshit.  It was all mindstuff, what my friend Lee Werth calls “convenient fiction.”  Yet all  during this accumulation period, beginning at about age 18, I had extreme doubts about all the scientific, academic, and political “knowledge” I was learning.

Then, from age 27 until age 53, I spent a painful amount of time both learning spiritual bullshit, and then shedding it.

At age 53 I experienced deeply complete emptiness and No-Self; without Self there is no external world, and the rest of knowledge fell away, leaving me pristine without all the bullshit spiritual “truth” one finds on FB and from popular gurus.

Then at age 67 “I” became self-aware of the identity of me, I, God, Self, and the world, simultaneously, and I now live in the Self all the time. That Self-awareness did not come as a result of self-inquiry, knowledge, ideas about infinite mind, thought vortexes, Krishna, chanting affecting DNA strands, spirit drumming, Sahaj Samadhi, Shakti, Kundalini awakening, etc.--those had all been experienced, understood, and dropped long before.

I became Self-Realized simply because I fell in love with a real woman, and my heart opened in a way as never before. I was then able to leave emptiness, the Void, the Absolute, Witness,  and become a human living in the same exciting world that I knew when I was 12 years old: a world of real people, real problems, real responsibilities, real pain, real bliss, real love, real external objects, a real body--and most of all Self-Knowing.

Anything you find in science, in economics, in political theory, must help you in real everyday life otherwise it is just useless junk cluttering up your life.

You need to escape from Ramana-fixation and understanding; escape from Nisargadatta’s disappearance into the Absolute Witness; escape from emptiness and no-self, escape from multidimensional realities, astral worlds, escape from politics; monetary and fiscal theory, escape from special relativity and quantum mechanics, spirit drumming and demon possession and just dwell in your own experience of Self, living lovingly and compassionately, also aware of the pain, suffering, and the ignorance of all others that dwell in teachings and any kind of head knowledge, whether physical or spiritual--it is all bullshit.

Only the experience of Self is real.  Beware even of this statement, because it too is only bullshit, useless knowledge, until you experience your Self for yourself.

Freedom from knowledge is a lifelong affair, whether scientific, spiritual, or political, and when even partially attained, allows for the possibility of true knowing of Self.  Then for the first time, you will experience what knowing truly is: pure knowledge without the coloring of ideas and intellect; it is knowing from the body and heart, and knowing yourself as pure knowing itself.

Of course, if you believe like Buddhists and the neo-Advaitins that there is no self, Self, or separate self, you will never find Self.  You have to be open to experience something within what you had thought to be self, and find something so new, so magnificent and so mind-blowing than you could ever have imagined.

HUANG PO:

"The only truth s that there is no truth; beware even of this truth."


07 June 2015

ROBERT ADAMS

"You have created a teacher to wake you up. The teacher would not be here if you were not dreaming about the teacher. You have created a teacher out of your mind in order to awaken, to see that there is no teacher, no world - nothing. You've done this all by yourself."

MY RESPONSE:

This is convenient bullshit that sounds very profound, but in fact is just another theory that had an origin in time and space, and will pass away like all others.

Yes, emptiness is everywhere, inside and out, as well as objects, and ideas. Robert stated all were unreal because they were impermanent and that only the subject that was permanent. This is just another theory--one among thousands.

Don't limit yourself to this one "thuth," nor any others. But your own light, but don't go it alone until you have awakened. After awakening you can be your own light. Before that all is confusion, mystery, darkness.

06 June 2015

SCIENCE OF CONSCIOUSNESS
I recently stated I have dropped the pursuit of finding a science that embraces an understaning of the inner and outer worlds together.  I stated that both share certain observables like a sense of space and objects in them, but inner space is not measurable, and inner objects are fleeting and unstable.  I further stated that any commonality that would explain features common to both would likely reside in the Witness who existentially stands prior to both.  That is, to understand commonality between the inner and outer worlds, it would be necessary to investigate the witness itself.
This can be done in many ways and is being done in many ways, such as neurologists investigating brain functions and identify areas of the brain associated with different processes in consciousness.  Other THEORIZE that consciousness is an artifact of quantum level processes.
But both approaches are external to consciousness itself.
Science of the external world is all theories, mathematical equations, assumptions about causality, etc.  Theories come and go.  They are like clothing fads.  In large scale physics, the models and theories have changed wildly over time, and many scientists over the last three centuries have felt we were on the verge of understanding everything.  Then something happens....
New experimental data comes in that harms that understanding, or a new Einstein or Newton comes along with new ideas that seem to explain that which hitherto has not been expalinable.  Scientific theories come and go and are based on underlying assumptions and the mathematics that describe this understanding, which themselves predict new results that need to be checked, and if confirmed, becomes the newest and latest "truth" about the world.  But these truths constantly change, and we are forced to make more and more absurd and anti-intuitive assumptions about the nature of the universe and the nature of the elements that compose it--atomes, quarks, bosons, etc.
There is no stability in science.  There are no invariant truths in science.  
Science consists of assumptions and matheatics, and checking against obseravbles, which themselves have become increasingly distant from the observables of everyday life.
However, there are many other ways of exploring consciousness.  Meditation, self-inquiry, Kundalini Yoga, Zen, Buddhism, etc., are all about ways to understand the world from the inside, using consciousness to explore consciousness.
Also, psychotherapy has its roots in many differnt disciplines, from developmental psychology investigating the evolution of the ego and self from infancy through adulthood, and the consequences of various failures to reach developmental milestones.  Then there are various theories of dreams and archetypes, and various attemtps to understand consciousness through brain functions, medications, and even hallucinagines. 
I propose a different way.  My way is just a constant focus on the self within, in all its many aspects, from the self as body feelings, self as emotionsor experiencing emotions, self as one's sense of presence, the energy field that fills the body and extends into space, various internal energies and images, the experiences of actually knowing something, and what that feels like.  Then, actually finding for oneself, who you are as a totality: knowing both your human self from inside, but also the Self of all--the basic sentience that allows you to know, experience, and understand in the first place.

I don't like Ken Wilber's theoretic approach and never have.  It is all mind and bending other people's theories to fit his concepts.
The exploration must come from within each of us exploring our own awareness of both our inner and outer worlds.
What I find the biggest barrier to understanding who and what we are are the concepts we have beforehand as to who and what we are.  
Most people cannot just observe what is going on in themselves, or even feel what isgoing on in themselves, because they are constantly talking to themselves about what they see,feel,hear, touch, or smell.  Their inner world is filled with self-talk, ideas fostered by reading about Ramana Maharshi, Nisargadatta, Osho, Jesus, the Bible, Jan Esmann, and others who purportedly tell us about the nature of our inner and outer worlds.

I find few willing to abandon self-talk and all these theories and fantasies, and feely look and feel inside without stories, which requires great openness, courage, and an ignoring of self-talk by having an attitude of: What is really within me? I want to know for myself, firsthand, who and what I am.

Yes, you can have guides that supply methods, helpful hints gained from their own explorations of their own consciousness, but the center of your exploration has to be you and you alone.
Doing this kind of exploration in groups can be very valuable as you relate to others what you have found and what you think that experience means. Others tell you of their explorations and each bounce off ideas about tactics to explore within.  In addition, as a person within a group, you naturally develop ideas about othersand develop emotions and feelings about others that need to be shared/  This helps develop intimacy and vulnerability which enhances one's ability to explore unconscious areas.

I have tried over the years to form such a group but it really requires physical and emotional closeness.  An ashram-like, or community-like situation that allows immediate feedback in real time as opposed to strangers giving feedback on Facebook.  The group has to slowly grow together, gradually get to know each other, and develop a closeness and trust that all exposures will be accepted if not criticized at some point, or denied by others.  

This group effort really provides a supportive network to do deep self-exploration with all working together, helping one's own self and the other.

I did this for many years at the International Buddhist Meditation Center in the early 1970s with Ed Wortz, a Geestalt therapist and Zen student, with Song Ryong Hearn, Thich Thien An, Maezumi Roshi, and then with Swami Shankarananda and Muktananda ashrams in the late 70s, then into individual psychotherapy for six years with a genius psychotherapist, Eric Reitz, now living in Northern California.

31 May 2015

MORE TOWARDS A THEORY OF CONSCIOUSNESS

MORE TOWARDS A SCIENCE OF CONSCIOUSNESS

My recent brush with the hard sciences in an attempt to confirm or disconfirm an underlying identity between our inner subjective and observable world, and our outer observable world, as well as the "laws" that underlie relationships within external observables, such as quantum mechanics, has led me to adopt a new attitude towards creating a science of spirituality--a rigorous discipline as opposed to comfortable beliefs that make us feel good.

From this point of view spiritual concepts that do not have any observables, or potential observables attached are useless impediments to finding truth. 

Concepts such as Kali, God, Chi, Shakti, Kundalini, resonance, entrainment, Self, self, ego, Shiva, Christ Consciousness, karma, rebirth, spiritual evolution, non-dual, Sahaj Samadhi, no-separate-self, etc., need to have some repeatable experiences or predictions associated with the use of that term, otherwise we are filled with a melange of concepts that are just unverifiable beliefs rather than truths to live by.

Most of these terms have their early origin in tribal and naturist folktales of three to five thousand years ago, folktales that were invented to make people feel they understood the world to a degree and made them feel more comfortable and at peace.

Kali is a delightful concept used to describe certain feminist traits ascribed to the universe itself, but how is it used by people today?  It is used as a comforting symbol to make us feel we have grasped by mind and heart some small truth about the universe or life or death.  But have we?  Of course not. We just have an idea that makes us feel certain emotions, or a sense of peace through understanding.

The problem with any new science of spirituality is to define "observable."

In outer science we can define exactly what an observable is: what instruments are used, what energies, what frequencies, what weights and measures.

With the inner sciences we speak about inner observations that are not generally accessible to all, but are found through certain kinds of "experiments" such as methods of meditation, self-inquiry, prayer, chanting, drugs, silence, Shikantaza, Koans, etc.

Now, different "brands" of spirituality have different methods of exploration and therefore should be expected to reveal different observables.

For example, Soto Zen emphasizes a meditation called Shikantaza, or just sitting, not letting the mind focus on any one thing.  In its rigid sitting, the attention gets global, embracing everything, until the boundary between inner and outer world disappears and you have pure, non-dual awareness or consciousness.  The world over time, becomes brighter, more alive, and one's sense of self becomes more attuned to the external world.

On the other hand, we have monasteries where Christian monks practice silence, various types of prayer, worship, thinking about surrender, visualizing Christ--whatever.  And what kinds of experiences can we generalize are the results?

In Soto Zen, one rarely hears about Self.  Self does not exist in a non-dual world. Nor will you hear about Witness, the Absolute, etc.

Rinzai Zen, on the other hand, tends to be more focused on direct teaching about the nature of reality and human existence through the use of the Koan system of about 25,000 original and checking situation conumdrums, such as, "What is the sound of one-hand clapping," or short stories of ancient confrontations where the monk is asked to demonstrate the meaning of certain pertinent elements of that story.

The result are monks that are far more action oriented and not much given to pondering the meaning of phrases, philosophies, etc., but who find language untrustworthy, and instead lead to life led from the gut by intuition.

Then we have the naturistsic spiritualities of shamnisms various forms, and Toaism.  We have spiritual entities, spirit guides, spirit possessions, magic, alchemy, potions, astral projection, etc.

And we have my favorite, Advaita as explained by Nisargadatta's teacher, Siddharameshwar who posited four levels of consciousness: body/world; Subtle Body (thoughts, images, energies, emotions); Causal Body (experience of non-existence, non-knowing); and Turiya (the body of I-ness, Self, Satchitananda, the ground of beingness underlying all other bodies, AKA the Atman)). Beyond these four phenomenal  bodies lies the Witness, the Absolute, the subject which lies entirely beyond Consciousness which Nisragadatta calls the Self.

I make the distinction more clear by calling all levels of our phenomenal existence centered around the experience of a core self, the Manifest Self, while I call the noumenal witness the Unmanifest Self, the pure subject. In the end they are seen as being the flip sides of each other.

The point I am making is that different religions and spiritual disciplines explore vastly different sets of observables often sharing almost nothing in common. 

There is not just one Truth that all masters from these differing disciplines adhere to.

However, just to meet a lesser definition of a path or discipline, we just need to propose there are sets of potential observables that one can be made aware of by following certain practices, such as Shikantaza, self-inquiry with its many variations, prayer, Koans, Tantra, etc.

A first step then towards a science of consciousness would be to list all the potential observables each discipline reveals, and what practices or methods are required to experience those observables.

Lastly, we need to list the belief systems associated with religion or discipline, however relevant or irrelevant they are to the actual observables.

With this approach which presumes a great deal of effort by many people working in concert, we would really have a handle on a science of spirituality, and the overall nature of consciousness, or at least its limits, its explored universe of discourse.

Of course my own emphasis is on Self-awareness, one's own experience of personal existence, of the I-sensation, and how that fits in with our other inner experiences, such as emotions, internal energies such as Chi and Kundalini, my awareness of the Witness, thoughts, etc., and how they relate to the world, which itself requires another great deal of investigation.

30 May 2015

My Self, as I perceive it, is difficult to describe. Words are too poor. I could describe it as feeling life or Life Force within me--pure beingness. But it is also almost experienced as a separate "other," as Krishnmurti described it, yet I know it is me.

It has incredible energy, dancing, turning, moving, and when I look within, in my subjective inner space, it is an amorphous white light expending from below my belly to my neck and fills my gut and chest. 

But it's boundaries are always changing, sensitive to me and to the world, sending filaments of awareness into the world around,feeling it from my heart.

I identify with it.  It is I.  It is me. It is me more than my body is me.  Emotions pass through it leaving ripples in the light and energy field.  Feeling myself is pure delight.  The constant circulation of energies and light is fascinating to behold and even more fascinating to feel.  I need no companion because I know myself.

Besides that core of Self, around me is my sense of presence that fills the space around my body and extending into the room like an electromagnetic field sensing the room's own sentience.

But for the life of me, I cannot see how the world can be a projection of the Self. Yes, the Self is visual, the Self has a tactile sense and emotional feelings.  But even after 45 years of no-self and unity experiences my basic state is still that of a separately embodied Self, and I wish that all separately embodied Selves could get to know their own Self, for when they do, everything changes. It is the same Self of everyone.  It is divinity itself.

So, I as witness can observe the world, the human Ed with his body, mind, and emotions, and the Self.  Conceptually they can be separated, but experientially they are one experience.

When the mind, I as mind, turns its attention towards the external world and then the internal, there are similarities, but I cannot perceive any direct mapping or mechanism of one into the other.

But then, who actually believed that such connections can actually be felt or intuited.  It is just as likely as that which lies prior to Consciousness, which includes both the internal and external worlds, is the author of both worlds, that is why we have the similarity that we do have between the two, and thus the basic structures will never be directly observable, they can only be indirectly inferred based on experience, hypothesis, experiment, and proof.

29 May 2015

Just because everything happens in the now, does not mean it does not take time to explore and understand what is happening in the now.

Exploration of the now through introspection and meditation reveals vast inner dimensions that open when the inner world is made the object of our attention which are not evident upon just cursory attention.

The same with the external world.

You can attend to it as Krishnamurti advises by being highly attentive to it alone without the intermediary of thought and conditioning, which gives the external world a new rawness, a new boldness, and great beauty.

Or, we can explore the external world in a million ways with a million disciplines such as physics, chemistry, geography, sociology, anthropology, genetics, neural sciences, medicine, zoology, oceanography, astronomy and cosmology, metalurgy, ornithology, geology, and forestry.  Millions of ways and methods exist to explore the world and all take time and thinking.

Yet many, many, gurus of the stupid eschew mind and the value of thought in exploration of either the outer or inner world and say all searching and exploration take you from a place of peace and rest.  So they say, "Just stop thinking and exploring, and just be," as if that sentence alone helped anyone stop doing anything or solved any problem.  It doesn't.  It just sets you on a new course towards the goal of doing nothing, and I saw what that did for Robert's Sangha.  It resulted in a deadening of interest in the external world as well as the internal world.

For other New Age or neo-Advaita gurus it can mean an intense focus on external world experience in the now, or internal world experience in the now but without the time-binding glue of understanding.  Mere observation only creates a duality and makes it impossible for any experience to be entered in the Self---our subjective heart of hearts, our essence, our vulnerability.

Thus the crux of my teachings is focused on how to allow experiences into our hearts, where it moves us, sweeps us away, caresses us, touches us deeply, magically, tenderly.

Keeping this state of tenderness is the hardest thing for most.

28 May 2015

Many spiritual traditions speak of one non-dual experience.  If there is no separate self witnessing experience, there is only experience. Generally they to not speak of a difference between inner and outer experience despite the fact our inner, subjective worlds are private to us, while the collective public world is "out there" and is measurable, with laws of science, motion, etc., all of which can be described and measured.

Strangely, many of these same unity-experience people will say we create our own public or outer world based on our internal beliefs and attitudes.  Some even say the external world we live in is really a "projection" of our inner world.  The outer world is a proection of who and what we are.  Absolutely none of these people can speak to the question of who is projecting (conscious or unconscious), how is the projection accomplished (what are the mechanisms), and how real then is the external (public) world?

Certain Advaitins hold that there is no external world, there is only us, either as one unity experience, or us as witness, which creates a duality between witness and the witnessed, which could be either the internal/external world, or just the external world.

You see, there is such loose thinking here that everything stated in such generalities just does not make sense.  If the external world is in any way connected to our internal world, what are the mechanisms? Does the term "projection" really mean anything?  What is projected, the external physical world somehow comes out of our inner world? That chair in the corner of this room was created by me?

How on earth can I create an external world?  How could I do this? How could all that vast external space and world come out of me, as when I look inside, I see/feel nothing like what is in the external world. If I am creating the external world, how am I doing it?

Science says there is an external world which we perceive through our senses and they speak to the complex mechanisms of light, sound, touch, odors, and tastiness are the way we perceive that world based on nerve impulses caused by external objects impinging on our eyes, ears, nose, etc.  There is a whole science that explains how our bodies and minds perceive the external world.

Anyone who claims that the external world is created by us, especially created by our ideas and attitudes, need to posit explicit mechanisms so that this theory is helpful in any way, or can lead to predictions of any sort.

I have seen them present no theory other than we create the world we live in, and we can change our external world by changing ourselves--somehow.

Often they mean our attitude and mood can change what happens in our external world.  That is, if we are positive thinkers, somehow our external world will better in some general way. Better how?  Happier? More productive?  More money and sex?  More possessions?  Bliss?

They do not go into detail nor present a theory about mechanisms.  So whatever they say is just a useless, unprovable, pep-talk: think positive and you will be happy, productive, inherently lucky, and wealthy.

They would say there is no need to look within to fnd a self, because there is no separate self; even a cursory 3 minute investigation proves there is no inner self.  They would say further that just looking for a self or seeking truth in the external or internal creates a tension that is inherently stressful and prevents happiness and rest.

So they say, "Do nothing; just be who and what you are."  Of course this goes against 3,000 years of Western Philosophy that said, "The unexamined life is not worth living," and the Greeks who said, "Know thyself."

It also goes against the great Eastern traditions of Buddhism, where Vipassana, Mahayama, Theravadin, with complex methods of meditation, created dozens of generations of spiritual masters and monasteries. Ditto the Advaita of Shankara, the Hindu and Buddhist Tantric traditions, Confucian exploration of the moral, Christian and Muslim mysticism, etc. None said there was no need for intense spiritual effort. For most finding their truth of their own Self was the only thing that mattered and they spent most of their lives to find it, unlike the bevy of New Age twenty-something gurus who know only showbiz spirituality.

Krishnamurti, of course, rejected all those traditions, but recommended an even more difficult path, one where you needed to become extremely attentive, globally aware of everything, and disbelieved any theory taught to you.  You were the single explorer and had to shed all that you have been taught.  His was not just a sitting around and doing all that you did before.

But these new teachers are saying, "Be dumb; do not explore; do not look within; do not seek out gurus. I this way, you will be complete and happy." No wonder they have a large following; they speak of instant spirituality requiring no effort. It works for a while, but after a few months or years they see it was immature narcissism.


21 May 2015

SUGGESTIONS FOR A SCIENCE OF THE INNER WORLD


A PROLEGOMENA TO ANY FUTURE SCIENCE OF CONSCIOUSNESS

The high point of my career in physics was in 1962 as a sophomore at Western Reserve University, later changed to Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, where I had a full scholarship in physics. At that time I had a physics guru in the department named Joseph Weinberg who had been black-balled by Senator McCarthy, who suspected Weinberg of being Dr. X who leaked to the Russians, information from the Manhattan project which allowed them to build an atom bomb in 1949.

Joe was brilliant, and like me, was able to destroy the credibility of any actual physical experiment just by standing near it. We both shared a distain for experimental physics and the results. In fact, in both High school physics and freshman physics at WRU, my lab experiment results never were what they were supposed to be.

I had self-taught myself General Relativity, tensor calculus, and Riemannian Geometry, and in 1962 taught tensor calculus to incoming fellows who had summer felowships to study under Gerald Tauber, who was the department’s expert in cosmology and relativity. Joe was mostly a quantum physicist who used to regale me and other students with tales of directing battleship cannon fire using slide rules during WWII.

But I doubt he had ever been on a battleship, as he was a protégé of Robert Oppenheimer, and was a mathematician on the Manhattan project which Oppenheimer ran during that same period of time.

1962 was near the low point of General Relativity research as Einstein had just died 7 years before, and his last 20 years was spent mostly in seclusion at Princeton. His peers thought Einstein was lost in a dead end of creating a Unified Field Theory to bring electromagnetic theory into General Relativity. Little effort was being expended on Relativity or cosmology, as most everyone was exploring quantum mechanics because that is where the money and interest was: atom bombs, H-bombs, nuclear energy, particle theory, etc. Relativity research was mostly dying, and there was little interest in it in our physics department.

The big breakthroughs that resulted in string theories, brane theories, and Hawking’s research on black holes were still a decade or two away. Since not much was going on in this area, and the department was not much interested in Relativity, spacetime, cosmology, etc., I gradually lost interest and moved on to study economics, seduced the elegance of Keynesian economics, the bane of all conservatives who would soon embrace Friedman’s monetary theory and later the trickle down economics of Ronald Reagan that has effectively destroyed the vitality of America’s economy by shifting wealth to the top 1%, leaving not enough money in the economy to support the consumerism necessary to sustain a manufacturing economy. This, along with the horrible trade deals such as Bill Clinton’s NAFTA free trade legislation (and the upcoming Obama new trade legislation), has broken America’s economy.

However, I did learn one thing from both fields: there was really nothing there! There is no "truth" in these theories.  That real truth is found by going within.  This is a discussion for another time and place. Here I am stating a case for developing a science of the inner worlds we each share.

In both fields many, many very bright people spent an inordinate amount of time speculating, hypothesizing,and mathematizing these speculations. For them, it was all about imagination and speculation based on physical intuition, and then mathematical manipulation of field theory equations, such as imagining the shape and energy/matter density of the universe, and plugging in parameter values in field equation matrices. That is, there were few observables to check the rampant imaginings, allowing for all kinds of unchecked or uncheckable worlds. 

(This leads once again naturally to the question of why mathematics used to explain the world, actually explain so well?  Is it that the structure of the way we perceive also structures mathematical intuitions and logic?)

This was the result of the dominance of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity with its Einstein Field Equations and the necessity of making simplifying assumptions in order to come to exact or even approximate solutions. For almost 100 years physicists and mathematicians have been fighting over reconciling physical laws, such as Maxwell’s electromagnetic theory and equations, quantum mechanics and its laws, with the “truth” of General Relativity, then later attempts to subsume Relativity within a larger Unified Theory, such as string theory.

Really, there was very little there but imagination and mathematics, and once in a while a predictable outcome which then refocused interest in a new theory of the week that was heralded to be a coming breakthrough that would explain everything in the world. Hawking had even stated in the late 1970s that the search for the knowledge about everything could be had by the end of the century.

Could it be that imagination about the nature of the universe and time, in fact explained how we experienced space and time?  That mathematics told us as much about the structure of ourselves as it told us about the world?  Is it built not only into our DNA so-to-speak, but into how we perceive the world, and perhaps ourselves?

If you look into it deeply, what one sees is that physics has two languages: mathematics and physical intuitions expressed in terms of visual models such as Einstein thought experiments about the identity of gravity and acceleration, his so called-elevator thought experiment. It also has the precedent of established truths of physics that usually challenged the current models, such as the problem of extending laws of thermodynamics, well established for a century, to black holes, which created the famous tussle between Hawking and Susskind.

Physics is all intellectual speculation mixed with ways to express its speculations in terms of mathematics and in terms of expressed physical intuitions.

Against the results of such ruminations, each “solution” hopefully predicts something measurable by experiment or observation, such that the “real world” is compared against the theory. Sometimes as theory will lay fallow for 30 or 40 years because it did not generate any testable observations when originally formulated.

In other words, most of modern theoretical physics from early quantum mechanics and most of Relativity has consisted of attempts to simplify or make solvable complex equations, which when solved by making assumptions, creates models of space-time, or of quanta, continuous or discrete space and time, etc., which then can be tested against observations in experiments or astronomically. Even if observations failed to verify, even that could be explained away as insensitive instruments, or else a new variable could be thrown into the equations to explain what was observed.

Physics was very, very messy from the 1980s on really because of the lack of observables. It was all talk, equations, yelling at each other, and a great lack of observables. And when the observables began to come in hot and heavy through satellite data and Hubble among others, the storms that swept through physics went through the roof because there was so little there that was anticipated, and so much data results that were totally unexpected.

There are literally thousands and tens of thousands of physical theories that have come and gone, based on observations, simplifications of boundary values on tensors, simplifications on assumptions of the distribution of mass and energy throughout a galaxy or the entire universe, and quantum principles. Theories arise, have their day in the sun, then fade as observations provide no proof or no observables are predicted.

There is no rigorous science anywhere. The mathematician Hilbert had attempted to create such a rigorous mathematics in the 19th Century, called the Hilbert Program, which was to require all mathematics to be provable based on a set of axioms agreed upon in the beginning. Nothing would be regarded as “real mathematics” unless it had this logical basis.

Kurt Godel, one of Einstein’s closest friends proved there were always an infinite number of exceptions within any such “real” mathematical schema, of demonstrably true theorems that were not provable within any given set of assumptions. This destroyed the Hilbert Program, but also allowed mathematics the freedom to escape the bonds of rigid logic, and science could add any fanciful variable to make equations balance.

(I was very fortunate while at Case Western Reserve to have three graduate students in philosophy as roommates including Judson Webb who knew more about Godel's Theorem than anybody wanted to know. Judson's intellect was like a huge, inpenetrable mountain, infinitely dense, and usually plodding in his exposition of theory.  But if you got him going, and had him speed up his pace, listening to him was like listening to Bach in the flesh.  My hair actually stood on end, feeling the bliss of celestial music as his impeccable logical mind just rolled on and on. This was true mathematics, not the stuff peddled by the physicists.)

The assumptions, the simplifications of equations in order to reach solvable sets of equations, the ad hoc adding of variables to make the theory fit observations make the whole endeavor subject to derision.

In my opinion, the whole purpose of theoretic explorations in thought and mathematics is to predict something in nature that had not been seen before. Without that, theoretic physics is intellectual masturbation.

WITH REGARD TO SPIRITUALITY, DOES THIS MESS IN MATHEMATICS AND PHYSICS HELP US UNDERSTAND HOW WE COULD BETTER PURSUE INVESTIGATIONS OF THE NATURE OF CONSCIOUSNESS, OF OUR RELATION TO BOTH CONSCIOUSNESS AND THE WORLD?

I say yes!

To escape all the useless infighting found in a hundred years of physics, it is better to focus research first on the observables and leave the theorizing and building binding scaffolding until later. Comparing brain based theories of Consciousness to idealists’ theories of Consciousness opens the way to endless theory argumentation and speculation. We should first focus on exploring our inner worlds directly, through observation, meditation, self-inquiry, and self-experiments. Everything begins with the subject, the I, the me, the observational perspective, gradually ferreting out not-me from the me experience,and perhaps later experiencing new phenomena and bring them into the I-sense and watch it grown and expand.

Physics deals with space, time, and all the observables in space and time. It deals with the structures found in space, like curvature and whether space is continuous as it appears to us at the level of human observation, or is it discrete, packages of space and time, not unlike a particle.

Then it deals with objects from sub-atomic particles, which are now legion, to atoms, to molecules, to planets, stars, galaxies, black holes, and the distribution of such throughout spacetime and what these things mean.

So, spirituality has three things in common with external science in terms of observables: space, time, and observables.

Science uses two modes of language to state it case: mathematics and physical intuitive speculations expressed graphically or in ordinary language

Now science deals with external space and external objects that is shared by one and all, while spirituality mostly deals with one’s inner world of emotions, inner energies, internal feelings of our bodies, and our separation from other observers and then the observation of more exotic things, like God, grace, the I-sense, unity consciousness. 

External science assumes there is one common external world (this world as opposed to the many alternative realities predicted by string and brane theories), while spirituality generally accepts that each of us is the sole observer of our own autonomous and localized viewpoint delimited by our skin, versus someone else’s experience within their own skin. Our subjective worlds are legion, yet we can look for similarities if not identities in our separate and individual worlds of experience and discourse.

Within this inner and separate universe of each of us, what matters is this: what is the nature and are the structures, if any, within our separte experiences of emptiness and time?

We can also then explore similarities of the observables within the container of inner or “imaginal” space, from emotions and moods, to memories, to visualizations, to thoughts, to energies variously called chi, Kundalini, Shakti, meridian, etc., out of body experiences, the experiences of physical pain in illness and injury, humor, depressive features, grief, joy, bliss, confusion, desires and impulses, and finally meditative states like Sahaj Samadhi, unity experiences, the causal body, Nirvana, and ultimately the Witness supposedly prior to Consciousness..

All of these have been experienced by some people and not others. The inner and outer world experienced by one person may be entirely different from another’s. 

Science says there is only one common external world and they struggle to better understand that one world, while a spiritualist may say that while we all share identical sentience variously called beingness, the Witness, the subject, etc., (which unifies us in the small sense) the objects experienced, or the experiences themselves are entirely idiosyncratic to each specific individual, and perhaps to their location in the one common external universe..

That is, each of us lives within our own subjective universe, and look out into the common external universe, the rules of which are defined by Newtonian or Einsteinian mechanics universally.

However, we come to two problems when comparing an inner science to external science: 1. what is the language of inner science as opposed to mathematics and thought experiments about physical intuition; 2. how is it that our inner worlds differ so much between people?

We are not equally sensitive to inner phenomena. Some people are exquisitely sensitive and aware of emotions, others may almost totally lack emotional awareness (we call these Republicans). Some are aware of inner emptiness, the Void of Zen, others are not. Some are aware of an inner light or transparent clear light associated with the opening of the Third Eye. Some are exquisitely aware of the feeling of their bodies from within, and others, not so much at all.

Some of us are acutely aware of inner energies that vary from a slight tingling in the extremities, to violent shaking, to the various intensities and durations of ecstasies and bliss. Some feel the Kundalina “snake” rising in their spines. Some feel Chakras. Most people don’t feel either.

We have to realize there exists this variability of sensibilities and sensitivities regarding the experience and thus reality of various inner phenomena. We also have ro realize that various spiritual practices, from the endless variety of meditations, the various practices of self-observation and self-inquiry, practicing chanting, japa, etc., can lead to experiences most people don’t experience. There are explorers of the inner world, who by using various types of meditations and perceiving energy practices, open up inner worlds for exploration that are entirely real for them, but not within the observation space of others. 

These may or may not be verified through testing or observation. So far, for example, there has been no major study using double blind methods and a large sample that proves the effectiveness of energy healing, such as Reike or Quantum Touch. What we have are a lot of ad hoc and separated incidents of healing or the failure to heal, that has not proven healing at any rate better than the placebo effect.

Therefore I propose the following:

The emphasis for spiritual exploration (of self and Consciousness) and discussion should be what has been or can be perceived or experienced by different observers using different self-investigation techniques from meditation, to self-inquiry, to auto brainwave investigation, flickering light frequencies, on the experience of emptiness and of time, and perhaps even drugs..

Then, we can begin, or it can begin in parallel, the investigation of what exists internally, such as recognizing the differing experiences of emotions, visualizations, thoughts, memories, healing energies, chi, Kundalini, and the experiences of the body from within and how that varies based on our meditation practices, beliefs, and health.

The language we should use is NOT mathematics in any form, but descriptive language as devoid as possible of theoretic baggage such as God, generics such as Shakti, Kali, or the Void. All these terms initially have too much theoretic or theistic baggage that would hinder understanding in the long run.
We might each describe how we experience the void within, and how our experience of emptinesschanges over time based on meditations practiced, observations, and guided inquiry. I suggest we use as a basis for starting our inquiry, accepting a text, or set of texts by Buddhists who have specialized in investigating emptiness and time such as in the text Progressive Stages of Meditation on Emptiness (Link removed. 

(I just removed the link to this text.  Max looked at it and found mostly theory. I looked again. I remembered it wrong.  It is actually a Buddhist polemic, and very little is devoted to actually experiencing emptiness directly.  It is about the Buddhist theory of emptiness.)

There are many Buddhist texts that describe these multiple emptinesses based on observations of emotions, and also theories about perception itself, or the reality, or lack thereof, of the observables, such as continuous or discrete time. Zen spends an amazing amount of energy exploring the void and inner and outer observables.

Look at Amazon and find books about the experience of emptiness including those by me and Bernadette Roberts.

Let us concentrate first on how various inner explorers actually experience emptiness, and leave alone for now their theories about what those experiences mean in terms of the reality either of the emptiness, the observer, or of objects within the emptiness.

In this way we are following Einstein by focusing on the nature of spacetime itself as opposed to the objects in spacetime. There are other approaches, but my intuition is there is a lot to be found here by focusing on the experience of inner space and inner time, and then talk about conjectures about what these experiences mean when we generalize or in terms of “reality.” Let us stick to observables as much as possible and not get lost early into speculations of what they mean.

Also, psychologists have been investigating emotions and self for over 100 years from Freud and Jung, to the object relation theorists, which would be separate tact to take as a line of investigation in order to come up with a better understanding of the inner world, or our subjectivity, and then to find a better understanding of the relations between out inner experiential world and the outward observed world, and lastly, to the speculative worlds of theoretical physics and mathematics.

A third approach would be a similar experiential investigation of energy workers of their own experiences of energies, and begin to catalog them.

With this as a base, we can also more productively explore the various kinds of alleged awakening experiences and various meditative states, such as Sahaj Samadhi, various non-dual states of unity, the experience and meaning of Zen Kenshos, the experiences of embodied spirituality of Christ and Muzika, the experiences of No-self, the experiences or descriptions of any state prior to Consciousness, and any new understanding of the nature of Consciousness and its relation to awareness or to an ultimate Noumenal Witness.

What would really assist in understanding of Consciousness and ourselves, is not a lot more funding of research studying Consciousness as being an artifact of the brain, but studying in from the inside, and assuming for research purposes that the “one universe” outside, which science explores, is also an artifact of our Consciousness, and the structures of our inner space, time-sense, and rules of thinking, as well as externally applied mathematics and the science found in the one common universe, as well as the speculative universes of scientific imagination, are really the subjective structures comprising who we are. That is how the left brain operates as opposed to the right brain.

Maybe eventually we will discover the subjective rules of our inner world mirror the mathematics and logic of the external world.  This would be one remarkable discovery if true.  Self-realization and many new gates to knowing ourselves would probably also be opened.

I want to open the door to a re-exploration of the experience of Self and God, or the world and spacetime in ways not done in 500 years in spirituality so that we understand ourselves as the center of the universe as easily and readily as we understand ourselves to be tiny blobs of protoplasm floating around in an infinite physical universe. That infinite universe also floats around within the consciousness sphere of all sentient beings.