A hypothesis

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avisitor
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Re: A hypothesis

Post by avisitor » Tue Oct 13, 2020 7:46 pm

It is common to believe whatever chemical or neurological action that happens to the brain will also affect one's consciousness
And while it may be true for most people, there are some who can experience another plane of existence which have nothing to do with the body.
Some called it out of body experiences.
Others experience things like temporary death. Clinically no brain waves and no bodily functions.

So, to say that Zazen is just activating certain neurological agents in the brain
That is akin to seeing the moon in certain phases and saying that only what one sees is real or all that exist.

This is not to say that one can not use certain drugs to achieve a state of heightened consciousness
Just that it is not the whole picture.
Much like the tale of the three blindmen answering the question of what is an elephant.
Each one only gets a portion of the whole.

Turtle Clan
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Re: A hypothesis

Post by Turtle Clan » Tue Oct 13, 2020 8:11 pm

michaeljc wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 3:46 am
Your minds are playing tricks.
It’s all a mental game ...

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jundocohen
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Re: A hypothesis

Post by jundocohen » Wed Oct 14, 2020 1:05 am

avisitor wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 7:46 pm
It is common to believe whatever chemical or neurological action that happens to the brain will also affect one's consciousness
And while it may be true for most people, there are some who can experience another plane of existence which have nothing to do with the body.
Some called it out of body experiences.
Others experience things like temporary death. Clinically no brain waves and no bodily functions.
Of course, that is always a possibility. And yet, the insights of researchers such as brain researcher, and long time Zen practitioner, Dr. Susan Blackmore also have to be taken into consideration.
In a New Scientist article in 2000, she again wrote of this:

It was just over thirty years ago that I had the dramatic out-of-body experience that convinced me of the reality of psychic phenomena and launched me on a crusade to show those closed-minded scientists that consciousness could reach beyond the body and that death was not the end. Just a few years of careful experiments changed all that. I found no psychic phenomena—only wishful thinking, self-deception, experimental error and, occasionally, fraud. I became a sceptic.
Some of her lectures (many more available online):

The Science of Out of Body Experiences - Dr Susan Blackmore
https://youtu.be/VOty4bUPTPQ

Susan Blackmore: Scientific Evidence and the Near-Death Experience
https://youtu.be/SM1IEobgw0Y

Gassho, Jundo

avisitor
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Re: A hypothesis

Post by avisitor » Wed Oct 14, 2020 2:37 am

jundocohen wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 1:05 am
Of course, that is always a possibility. And yet, the insights of researchers such as brain researcher, and long time Zen practitioner, Dr. Susan Blackmore also have to be taken into consideration.
In a New Scientist article in 2000, she again wrote of this:

It was just over thirty years ago that I had the dramatic out-of-body experience that convinced me of the reality of psychic phenomena and launched me on a crusade to show those closed-minded scientists that consciousness could reach beyond the body and that death was not the end. Just a few years of careful experiments changed all that. I found no psychic phenomena—only wishful thinking, self-deception, experimental error and, occasionally, fraud. I became a sceptic.
These phenomena of out of the body experiences can not be verified by scientific experiment
Just as Kensho can not be explained. Only experienced. Then one knows that it has always been there.
And it is not something new or added.

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jundocohen
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Re: A hypothesis

Post by jundocohen » Wed Oct 14, 2020 7:49 am

avisitor wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 2:37 am
jundocohen wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 1:05 am
Of course, that is always a possibility. And yet, the insights of researchers such as brain researcher, and long time Zen practitioner, Dr. Susan Blackmore also have to be taken into consideration.
In a New Scientist article in 2000, she again wrote of this:

It was just over thirty years ago that I had the dramatic out-of-body experience that convinced me of the reality of psychic phenomena and launched me on a crusade to show those closed-minded scientists that consciousness could reach beyond the body and that death was not the end. Just a few years of careful experiments changed all that. I found no psychic phenomena—only wishful thinking, self-deception, experimental error and, occasionally, fraud. I became a sceptic.
These phenomena of out of the body experiences can not be verified by scientific experiment
Just as Kensho can not be explained. Only experienced. Then one knows that it has always been there.
And it is not something new or added.
So, whatever someone experiences, and seems very real to them, is necessarily always there and what they think it is?

For example, if someone has a mystical experience, feeling that God is speaking to them, then God is speaking to them. Like so? I have a Christian friend who often claims many voices, premonitions, speaking in tongues and such which "cannot be explained by science" (except, of course, most can).

I have had experiences such as I believe you are pointing to, but I don't think that the brain is uninvolved, or anything besides central to the whole event (not the only factor, of course, because literally the whole universe, time and space, is felt as swirling in through the senses and in our mind). I am quiet content, as wonderful as the experience is, to conclude that it isnot anything but a monkey wrench tossed in our usual way of interpreting sense perceptions which turn them inside out, and drop spatial and temporal barriers created between the ears.

However, I look forward to whatever evidence you can present for your hypothesis besides subjective interpretations.

Gassho, J

michaeljc
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Re: A hypothesis

Post by michaeljc » Wed Oct 14, 2020 6:43 pm

What ever I experience or ponder cannot be disproven therefore I am free to believe as I see fit

Right? :113:

Right through the hundreds of posts I have read on Zen forums I see certain practitioners making judgements on what is bona fide Zen and what is not. Their experiences and perceptions are always on the top. I see a great deal of superiority complexes. Yet I don't see it in their attitudes or behavior. Under pressure they crack

Lets rumble! :116:

p22
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Re: A hypothesis

Post by p22 » Wed Oct 14, 2020 7:59 pm

Superiority isn't dependent upon not knowing- And if wisdom is the application of knowledge, it's not dependent on that either .. So imagine it can only be held up by a load of crap .. :106:

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jundocohen
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Re: A hypothesis

Post by jundocohen » Thu Oct 15, 2020 1:25 am

Of course, anyone is free to believe what they want.

It may be true, or maybe not.

If there is no evidence for something, and considerable evidence against, I tend to think that something is likely not. However, faith in a matter is free and available to anyone. Anything could be. My Christian friend may be right, you may be right, I could be right, or (most likely) all of us wrong is some way. Of course.

I tend to think that what is the real "miracle" is how much we do understand about the brain, the human body and these phenomena. What a structure has been handed us by nature, and how amazing that we are alive, not only to live the experience, but to try to understand how it actually works.

Gassho, J

p22
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Re: A hypothesis

Post by p22 » Thu Oct 15, 2020 1:57 am

I prefer evidence and yet trust that someone's experience is what they thought it was -- even if it wasn't-

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desertwoodworker
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Re: A hypothesis

Post by desertwoodworker » Thu Oct 15, 2020 3:30 am

Legs do so much for us, in seated postures. On sesshin, it's very clear. But we should be no slouch in daily practice, either.

Our customary posture may become refined on sesshin or intensive Ch'an retreat, as the days go on. It's a matter of survival.

Spinal position is crucial, fundamental, and elementary (foundational to the practice of zazen). One's teacher should help to establish suitable posture, no matter in what customary position (variations of Lotus, or seiza; chair-positions I don't use, but I suppose there too!).

The small cushion is our friend: one must learn to use it!

Aitken Roshi said, "Zazen teaches zazen". Yes, but sometimes one needs -- and doesn't know what to ask -- about POSTURE. Find a compassionate teacher and sangha, and take suggestions on posture improvement (my advice; my opinion -- to All).

Best,

--Joe

avisitor
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Re: A hypothesis

Post by avisitor » Thu Oct 15, 2020 4:00 am

What one believes to be true .. is true for them
You can call that faith if you want.
Lions and the Christians ... they put their lives on the line for what they believe to be true.

What one teaches and can be verified by those who learn .. is true for those who teach and learn
The scientific method expounded and taught so well
It holds a footing bigger in one's mind than this building I am in.

Whatever Michaeljc proposes is fine for him and those who wish to believe such
I tend to listen to many stories and believe the strange and unusual to be only a portion of the human experience
The human experience is ... as Shakespeare wrote, there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy
So one may say there is light in darkness or darkness in the light .. does it make one wrong?
We go by our human experiences and understanding, however limited they may be.
And update them by what new thing we share.

To side step these issues of what is real and what is not
Life is suffering, there is a truth of suffering, there is the truth to the end of suffering, and the path that leads to the end of suffering
We start with where we are now and go from there.

michaeljc
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Re: A hypothesis

Post by michaeljc » Thu Oct 15, 2020 5:06 am

Whatever Michaeljc proposes is fine for him
Its a hypothesis. Belief has nothing to to do with it

Now lets look at Hakuin - the extreme Rinzai

He pushes himself to the maximum, "gritting his teeth" in determination, sitting right through days and nights until eventually he starts reporting multiple Kensho

Some time later he is found writhing in the mud of a street. Later still he falls into a river and nearly drowns

"This is it!" he proclaims then falls into a serious bought of "Zen Sickness"

Do I have to spell it out?
An epileptic seizure is a transient occurrence of signs and/or symptoms due to abnormal excessive or synchronous neuronal activity in the brain
Source: Epilepsy Foundation

Near on 50 expressions of seizure have been recorded

The hypothesis: ALL of you are only experiencing abnormal excessive or synchronous neuronal activity in the brain. There is nothing Zenny about it.

Get over it

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jundocohen
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Re: A hypothesis

Post by jundocohen » Thu Oct 15, 2020 6:05 am

michaeljc wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 5:06 am
An epileptic seizure is a transient occurrence of signs and/or symptoms due to abnormal excessive or synchronous neuronal activity in the brain
Source: Epilepsy Foundation

Near on 50 expressions of seizure have been recorded

The hypothesis: ALL of you are only experiencing abnormal excessive or synchronous neuronal activity in the brain. There is nothing Zenny about it.

Get over it
It could very well be. I think that it is very possible. The book Zen and the Brain has a lot on epilepsy/epileptic/seizure if you search those terms

https://books.google.co.jp/books?id=8yw ... re&f=false

You may find this paper of interest ...

https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio ... s_Epilepsy
Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky is one of the best Russian novelists. It is also known that he had been suffering from epilepsy―one can find many descriptions of this particular condition in Dostoevsky’s novels. These writings are most probably based on his personal experience. There are numerous neurological hypotheses about the type of epilepsy with which Dostoevsky suffered, the most notorious feature of his type of epilepsy being the so-called “ecstatic aura.” In fact, the type of epilepsy Dostoevsky experienced is often termed “Dostoevsky’s epilepsy with ecstatic aura.” In the current article, I offer a review of the literature on Dostoevsky’s epilepsy. Subsequently, the notorious feature “ecstatic aura” is compared with mystical experience, and a conclusion is reached: the two states are in fact identical in the sense that mystical experience can occur during ecstatic aura. A neuroscientific explanation of the experience is presented as well. Finally, a philosophical analysis is performed.
And I just want to celebrate someone's experience and their interpreting it as they wish. An experience, of course, is a real experience, whatever the cause. If I imagine in a dream or epileptic seizure that I am tasting ice cream, it is a real taste of ice cream even if a dream or seizure. In fact, much of this fantasy of a mind interpreted and largely created life is so. So much of what we take as solid and sure and "really out there" before our eyes is mostly fashioned by the ideas developed between our ears.

michaeljc
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Re: A hypothesis

Post by michaeljc » Thu Oct 15, 2020 6:12 am

Now, lets pull apart the other end of the spectrum to Hakuin: Shikantaza, the "gentle practice"

Perfect peace in the moment. It hardly fits the classic perception of a seizure. But, it is only another mind-state that can be induced through Zazen, for some !

I fall into this mind-state after around 30 minutes during almost every sit. I don't use it as a method. I don't need to. "Thinking of no-thinking" is natural and normal component of this state. So is following the breath. On one occasion I stayed in this state for around 48 hours after falling flat on my face during a sit (alone). No big deal. It happened. It is over

I have also experienced extreme ecstasy on the cushion on a number of occasions, other marrow-deep experiences too. They can take several days to get over. They were only mind-states

Whatever, my following of forums over the last 10 years tells me that Zazen has very different effects on different people and the experiences are not exportable

Neither, can they be ranked or judged (by anyone!) in terms of importance

Zen practice is not a competition

M

p22
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Re: A hypothesis

Post by p22 » Thu Oct 15, 2020 10:47 am

Not exportable and yet there's transmission..

avisitor
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Re: A hypothesis

Post by avisitor » Fri Oct 16, 2020 12:01 am

michaeljc wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 5:06 am
Whatever Michaeljc proposes is fine for him
Its a hypothesis. Belief has nothing to to do with it
Belief have everything to do with it.
If you did not believe then why would you export your thoughts and ideas about it?
On whatever scale you want to put it on, you do believe.
Call it a hypothesis if you want. It does not change the facts.
michaeljc wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 6:12 am
I have also experienced extreme ecstasy on the cushion on a number of occasions, other marrow-deep experiences too. They can take several days to get over. They were only mind-states
Such states are traps.
One finds extreme ecstasy and then stops the practice to find the truth of oneself

Your hypothesis is much like two people who see the same picture but notices different things in the picture
And from those points of views, the brain can conjure up facts and fictions.
Some lay in foundation of truth but only show portions of the whole elephant

p22
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Re: A hypothesis

Post by p22 » Fri Oct 16, 2020 12:18 am

How much of itself does the elephant see?

michaeljc
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Re: A hypothesis

Post by michaeljc » Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:09 am

Belief have everything to do with it.
If you did not believe then why would you export your thoughts and ideas about it?
On whatever scale you want to put it on, you do believe.
Call it a hypothesis if you want. It does not change the facts.
Wrong - totally wrong

Its a hypothesis - an idea that is open for discussion and dependent on validation

I am trained in science. It is not based on belief. It calculates probability based on evidence

It is a hypothesis!

avisitor
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Re: A hypothesis

Post by avisitor » Fri Oct 16, 2020 6:58 pm

michaeljc wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:09 am
Belief have everything to do with it.
If you did not believe then why would you export your thoughts and ideas about it?
On whatever scale you want to put it on, you do believe.
Call it a hypothesis if you want. It does not change the facts.
Wrong - totally wrong

Its a hypothesis - an idea that is open for discussion and dependent on validation

I am trained in science. It is not based on belief. It calculates probability based on evidence

It is a hypothesis!
Like a child who asked their parent if they know who cooked dinner
Obvious the child cooked dinner or would not ask
You present the hypothesis only because you have a belief in it
Call it whatever you want. Your actions proves my point.
You would not present your hypothesis if there was no belief in it, one way or another.

You may be trained in the scientific method but have no wider picture of the human condition
Much like the fish who lives in water and goes searching for the ocean.
You can not separate yourself from the ideas that you present.

You want to call yourself the messenger and independent of the ideas.
Delusion.

Hypothesis?? Based upon your experiences, your thoughts, your observations, your accumulated knowledge, your emotions (read your OP)
And you want to say you are separate from your hypothesis?? No bias at all?? No belief??
A hypothesis is a proposed explanation made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation.
Evidence you present .. of which you have a belief due to your experiences.

Yeah, I am totally wrong.
Last edited by avisitor on Fri Oct 16, 2020 7:36 pm, edited 5 times in total.

avisitor
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Re: A hypothesis

Post by avisitor » Fri Oct 16, 2020 7:21 pm

p22 wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 12:18 am
How much of itself does the elephant see?
And this is where metaphors and similes and comparisons break down
Carrying things to the smallest detail

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