Nick_A wrote: ↑Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:16 am
You don't understand what are altered states of consciousness [ASC] with reference to spirituality and insist so confidently they are like 'colors are not the ultimate truth,' the cave analogy, etc.
I bet you do not understand or have the wrong conception of what is meant by ultimate truths.
The ultimate truth is the quality of truth all partial truths revolve around.
What is ultimate truth is the truth that all truths ultimately is co-dependent with the human condition.
There are no standalone truths, like there is a God that exists independently by itself and for most theists, God created the Universe which is a very problematic proposition.
Note you quoted Needham and I proved and reduced his thoughts to Altered States of Consciousness re Spirituality.
Now you introduced Thomas Merton and mysticism which is also reducible to Altered States of Consciousness re Spirituality, note..
I don’t know who Needham is. I have quoted Jacob Needleman who was included in the link you posted
Principle of Charity?
It is just a spelling error in reference to an earlier context.
Mysticism is the practice of religious ecstasies (religious experiences during alternate states of consciousness), together with whatever ideologies, ethics, rites, myths, legends, and magic may be related to them.[web 1] It may also refer to the attainment of insight in ultimate or hidden truths, and to human transformation supported by various practices and experiences.
I have never heard of alternate states of consciousness. I know of altered states of consciousness. Here is a description of altered states of consciousness.
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog ... sciousness
Altered states of consciousness, sometimes called non-ordinary states, include various mental states in which the mind can be aware but is not in its usual wakeful condition, such as during hypnosis, meditation, hallucination, trance, and the dream stage.* Altered states can occur anywhere from yoga class to the birth of a child. They allow us to see our lives and ourselves with a broader lens and from different angles of perception than the ordinary mind………………...
The trouble with the article is that it avoids the necessary distinction between fantasy and noesis. Yes ASCs can offer alternatives to habitual thought. So do drugs but what value are they for the seeker of truth? The article gives the impression that distinguishing between a conscious noetic experience and fantasy is unnecessary. We create our own reality. Without this distinction based on relative quality the concept becomes meaningless.
Consciousness and imagination are mutually exclusive. They do not exist together in our psych. Imagination replaces consciousness. Taking some drugs, lying back, and flying around Saturn is not the same as having a genuine conscious experience of intuition.
That is your problem.
You pick merely on one article as the full representation of the subject.
I suggest you focus more on altered states of consciousness in relation to spirituality, religion, mysticism, hallucinogens in the spiritual context and other related areas.
Note the mention of "practices" within mysticism as above.
Where is Simone's recommended practices?
She advocated becoming capable of sustained conscious attention. For example from a personal letter written shortly before her death often referred to as her spiritual autobiography:
During all this time of spiritual progress I had never prayed. I was afraid of the power of suggestion that is in prayer -- the very power for which Pascal recommends it. Pascal's method seems to me one of the worst for attaining faith.
Contact with you was not able to persuade me to pray. On the contrary I thought the danger was all the greater, since I also had to beware of the power of suggestion in my friendship with you. At the same time I found it very difficult not to pray and not to tell you so. Moreover I knew I could not tell you without completely misleading you about myself. At that time I should not have been able to make you understand.
Until last September I had never once prayed in all my life, at least not in the literal sense of the word. I had never said any words to God, either out loud or mentally. I had never pronounced a liturgical prayer. I had occasionally recited the Salve Regina, but only as a beautiful poem.
Last summer, doing Greek with T-, I went through the Our Father word for word in Greek. We promised each other to learn it by heart. I do not think he ever did so, but some weeks later, as I was turning over the pages of the Gospel, I said to myself that since I had promised to do this thing and it was good, I ought to do it. I did it. The infinite sweetness of this Greek text so took hold of me that for several days I could not stop myself from saying it over all the time. A week afterward I began the vine harvest I recited the Our Father in Greek every day before work, and I repeated it very often in the vineyard.
Since that time I have made a practice of saying it through once each morning with absolute attention. If during the recitation my attention wanders or goes to sleep, in the minutest degree, I begin again until I have once succeeded in going through it with absolutely pure attention. Sometimes it comes about that I say it again out of sheer pleasure, but I only do it if I really feel the impulse.
The effect of this practice is extraordinary and surprises me every time, for, although I experience it each day, it exceeds my expectation at each repetition.
At times the very first words tear my thoughts from my body and transport it to a place outside space where there is neither perspective nor point of view. The infinity of the ordinary expanses of perception is replaced by an infinity to the second or sometimes the third degree. At the same time, filling every part of this infinity of infinity, there is silence, a silence which is not an absence of sound but which is the object of a positive sensation, more positive than that of sound. Noises, if there are any, only reach me after crossing this silence..................
Prayers as Simone mentioned above is kindergarten stuff with reference to spirituality. Even a child is taught to pray from very young.
The "absolutely pure attention" which Simone mentioned above is more advanced prayers but it is still basic which nevertheless do invoke some basis altered-states-of-consciousness. This is basic meditation practices which are preliminary stuffs of spirituality in most Eastern spiritual practices.
The point is Simone did not establish any tutorial for the above basics.
Note "absolutely pure attention" is a very complicated issue as it is natural for the brain/mind to wander. As such this point need more elaborations and practices on how to deal with and accept the natural 'monkey mind.'
Note the concept of "Pure Awareness" an altered state of consciousness.
http://www.zenthinking.net/blog/beyond- ... eness-only
One cannot simply jump into this state because there are loads of nuances to deal with else one could be astray by the ego.
If what Simone is proposing is merely kindergarten-grade-school level of spirituality, just imagine the range of spiritual practices established by various Eastern schools that cover up to Masters and PhD levels.
When one is stuck at the basic level of spirituality, one is more inclined to an illusory based spirituality, i.e. theism in Simone's and your case.
Btw, I am not saying Simone should have changed or you to change, but one need to understand one's optimal position in the hierarchy of spiritual development.
The problem with you in this discussion is, unaware of your position you keep insisting your approach is 'superior' to others and kept inventing straw man to put others down.