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Issue #1396 - Tuesday, April 8, 2003 - Editor: michael Overview%202/Overview%202.htm

From Gene Poole on the MeditationSocietyofAmerica list:

Spiritual Hierarchy

Offered as help, this illustration of the
imaginary hierarchy of spiritual rankings...
and the temptations of AVERSION...
lest we forget.

Remember, this hierarchy is imaginary...

Spiritual Hierarchy: Ranked from top to bottom

God (or the Ultimate Deity of your choice)

Fully Realized Beings (Saints, Masters, Gurus)

Beings Now Ascending (Successful Seekers)

Beings dedicated to correct devotion and practice

Beings of Innocence

Beings who mean well, but victimized by deceptions of others

Ordinary ignorant Beings (Average person)

Beings who indulge in non-spiritual acts

Beings who deliberately choose to ignore spiritual precepts

Beings who tempt and lure the innocent to ruin

Beings who have lost all virtue

Beings who take joy in harming others

Beings whose only purpose is to harm (Demons)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

What this imaginary hierarchy does:

It gives permissions...

To harm those, who are perceived to harm;

To feel superior, to those seen as below;

To ignore and deny, one's own harmful acts;

To justify, speaking against others;

To manipulate, (via speech and acts) others to harm a targeted person, as in 'witch trials';

To create artificial divisions, between persons and groups of persons for the purpose of giving advantages to some and denying to others;

To create from nothing, your own fear and grief, as you see yourself in some lower region of the hierarchy... or as you fear that there is a force which will bring you down and down...

The list goes on...

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Flaws in the model above, are corrected below:

Entire hierarchy is a popularized concept, and not real. It is imaginary, yet it is widely believed, because it gives permissions.

The 'believer' in the above hierarchy, gets a payback, reinforcement for belief, and this can be done very slyly. All reinforcements gained, are for purpose of nourishing the acquired identity, reinforcing it to make it 'real'.

The 'Realizer' understands that there are no 'persons', no 'Beings', and that there is only SELF BEING.

Correct practice and teaching, which may include meditation and study, is designed to ERADICATE the imaginary hierarchy, and to FREE of attachments which perpetuate the imaginary hierarchy.

SELF BEING subsumes (takes to itself) all apparent factors. Perceived 'disharmony' is always 'harmony' in SELF; our 'job' is to let go, of attachment to all perceived disharmony.

'Proof' of this concept is found in the "Tibetan Book of the dead"... in which, is revealed the schema of the 'Bardo', a realm in which our very thoughts and feelings, create the reality which we assume is real...

(The newly dead) dwellers in the Bardo are advised, to strictly avoid reacting to anything perceived, by either aversion or desire...

Modern 'seekers' and 'students' may know or understand the 'dangers of desire', but are usually completely ignorant of the dangers of aversion...

The imaginary hierarchy, gives permission to act in aversion... in 'righteousness', against those perceived to be lower, and it is this very thing, which has created the very 'hell on Earth' which we now decry...

Choose your hell, and start complaining...cursing, lynching, killing... justified by your insane belief in a spiritual hierarchy...There is no spiritual hierarchy; it is a concept of the mind, a model which should never be used to give permissions.

==Gene Poole==

Help stamp out, eliminate, and abolish redundancy.

Brain of Brian

From Karta:

> > For more on brain centers related to religious belief and fervor see
> > Cingulate system.
> >
> > K
> the name and domain of the Professor is here
> Vilayanur Ramachandran.
> Here is the link about illusions:
> Ramachandran has explored religion as mental sickness.

He found astonishing parallel facts with epileptics.
> Ramachandran explores people in deep meditation,
> people with spirituel phenomens like enlightenment.
> In the computerized tomography of the brain he has demonstrated

astonishing parallel pictures.
> The question in the SPIEGEL-Magazine was concerned:
> Is religion and spirituel phenomens a form of brain-sickness?
> n
> ....could be a key for deeper and better understanding for several sister=
> and brothers in beliefs.

Dr.Persinger wrote about the subject

"Persinger speculates that our left temporal lobe maintains our sense
of self. When that region is stimulated but the right stays
quiescent, the left interprets this as a sensed presence, as the self
departing the body, or of God."

But exactly how are these religious states produced? Our "sense of self"
says Persinger, "is maintained by the left hemisphere temporal cortex.
Under normal brain functioning this is matched by the corresponding
systems in the right hemisphere temporal cortex. When these two
systems becomes uncoordinated, such as during a temporal lobe seizure
or a transient event, the left hemisphere interprets the
uncoordinated activity as 'another self', or a 'sensed presence' thus
accounting for subjects' experiences of a 'presence' in the room.

Sometimes, it seems to be God, angels, demons, aliens, or ghosts.
Sometimes, one has a sense of leaving one's body, as in near-death
and in out-of-body experiences.

The Power of the God Experience "In general, the more severe the
disturbance, the more intense the God Experience. . . .

The power of the God Experience shames any known therapy. With a
single burst in the temporal lobe, people find structure and meaning
in seconds. With it comes the personal conviction of truth and the sense
of self-selection." -- Michael A. Persinger, Ph.D. Neuropsychological
Bases of God Beliefs, p.33 and 17

When the amygdala (the deep-seated region of the brain involved with
emotion) is involved in the transient events, emotional factors
significantly enhance the experience which, when connected to spiritual
themes, can be a powerful force for intense religious feelings."

However, when one has such experiences in a cold, clinical
laboratory, the psychological impact of the induced "presence"
is greatly reduced. The set and setting of the triggering experience
is of overwhelming importance for its self-interpreted context and
can even determine whether or not the experience occurs. This is
akin to the difficulty in having a primal feeling in such an

Thus, having spiritual feelings in a religious location such as in a
church, mosque or even in one's home without the helmet and without
being hooked up to laboratory equipment, could easily convince
the experiencer that he is being favored with God's presence. Having
a far less intense experience, as one lives one's day-to-day life,
can have a much more intensely persuasive effect.

This is what happened to St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa of Avila,
St. Thérèse of Lisieux and all of the Christian and other
religious mystics in and out of convents and monasteries during
periods of isolation and prayer.

Such "God experiences" when combined with unitiveness have
even resulted in the martyrdom of some Islamic clerics (e.g.,
Hallaj in the tenth century) for their claiming that they were
one with God. In the Catholic Church, Meister Eckhart's writings,
for this reason, were condemned as heretical by Pope John XXII.9

Osama bin Laden:

"I was ordered to fight the people until they say there is no God but
Allah and his prophet Muhammad."
-- Osama bin Laden - in the Dec. 21,2001 video about the WTC terrorist
attack "Not surprisingly, their...behaviors and psychological
experiences are predominated by a sense of personal destiny, the
most supreme form of infantile egoism.

Each one has been selected to give a message to the world. Like the
committed preacher or the proselytizing prophet, they have
a sense of the special - their experiences are somehow exceptional."

-- Dr. Michael A. Persinger, Neuropsychological Bases of God
Beliefs, p. 20

He writes,
"The notion of God is not only there to quell our Pains but to fulfill
our key, unfulfilled needs (to be listened to, protected, watched
over, loved, etc.). It is the notion that begins to produce the
endorphines that literally answer our prayers for surcease. The idea
of God is the real power, yet we imagine that the relief is the
workings of a deity. We ourselves bring on the relief by fiats of
faith and hope.

Those two psychological factors arise out of Pain and suppress it.
The power is inside of us; positive belief has the power to tranquilize

"In spite of these two radically opposing viewpoints concerning
spirituality, could Persinger's technique be used to supplement or
expedite the therapeutic efficiency of different forms of regressive psychotherapies?

What would be the effect of having regression therapy sessions under
the stimulus of electro-magnetic energy fields? Of the two
psychotherapies, Grof's holotropic breathwork, at least theoretically,
would seem better

peace, Karta

From Pete on the AdvaitatoZen list:   A Zen detective investigates Being Work/Work4.html

“I know I exist, but when I look into this existence, I can’t pinpoint exactly
the core of my identity.”

“How do you know you exist?” The Zen detective asked.

“I think, therefore, I am.”

“Ah, yes, Descartes famous dictum. Do you consider it true?” He said with a


“Thinking is just comparing information. Computers do that, don’t they? But
they are not conscious of this process? So, what you really mean is that you
are conscious of your thoughts, so therefore, you can pose a question regarding
your existence. Consciousness, rather than thinking, is the proof of existence.
But can we really extend this proof to an “I” different from this awareness?”

“I think we could.”

“I’m not so sure. Let’s look into it. When you say, “I am aware” you are
posing an entity that is conscious of awareness. By saying this, you are
claiming, two awareness simultaneously conscious of each other, when in
reality, there is only awareness of a memory. The ‘I’ is a very intricate
mental contraction resembling a spider web knitted by memory. It’s a magical
spider web and anything it traps becomes a memory. It’s this magical spider web
reflecting the light of awareness, which gives the illusion of
self-consciousness. When we say we are aware, it’s only awareness trying to
catch itself in the act of being aware. Awareness chasing its own tale gives
birth to the ‘I feeling’, and to that peculiar activity called spiritual
search. In trying to unearth the core of the self, you will only expose endless
layers of thoughts, and memories.”

“So must I give up the search for my true self?”

The detective laughed, “ There is no ‘I’ to give up anything, when awareness
stops chasing itself, then endless luminous openness is there. This openness
can neither be defined nor possessed. It just is.”

Pete About_AT.html

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Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
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The wind carves shapes into the beach sand

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