December 8, 2012 at 1:54 am #605832
PBS (KBTC) aired a highly unusual program last night as a feature of their current listener support campaign. Any tube watcher has caught some of their other such programs pitching health, nutrition, folk music, etc.
This documentary featured an East Indian educated, now retired professor from the University of Oregon, Dr. Amit Goswami. Dr. Goswami is a physicist who supports the most popular theory of how life is structured, called Quantum Theory. The theory contends that at the basis of life there is nothing, i.e. no things, just an unmanifest field of possibilities or potentialities. Relative to the human experience, it says that, at our core, we are not our bodies, we not our minds, we are not our memories, we are not our egos, we are not our emotions. At our essence we are unrestricted, unlocalized consciousness, devoid of matter.
As humans, we see the relative world of objects and events and we mistake it for reality. When we use the mind to rationalize that only what we can see is the ultimate reality, we can’t help but fall victim to the results of a false understanding. That is why we often experience life as a struggle and unfulfilling. It is like the gardener who tends to the health of a tree by attending only to the surface values, i.e. the leaves, branches and trunk. Although we can’t see the roots of the tree, the wise gardener knows it’s most valuable to water and fertilize at the level of the roots.
Although Dr. Goswami comes from an evidence backed, scientist’s perspective, he advocates regular contact with that which can’t be seen or measured, the inner state of Being or pure consciousness. By contacting that field which is most fundamental and the ground state from which everything manifests, our thoughts, actions and achievements will be more powerful, successful and fulfilling. At this point, he stole a line from a Sinatra song, “Do, be, do, be, do”. In other words, alternate your doing with being. Find a way to experience Being, and alternate it with your regular thinking and actions. As Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was fond of saying, “Water the root (and then) enjoy the fruit.”
This point of view is controversial and Goswami said many of his fellow Quantum Theory physicists still fall prey to the illusion that reality is that which is perceived through the senses. But who can be blamed? The experience of pure Being or pure consciousness has been elusive. Dr. Goswami does not offer a means of contacting that field of life within.
If you are interested in pursuing this subject, here is a link to Dr. John Hagelin, another Quantum physicist, corroborating the conclusions of Dr. Goswami. He also suggests a way to contact the “Be” within all of us.December 8, 2012 at 5:31 pm #779259
Very thought provoking. This world view goes a long way toward explaining why people spend so much time chasing their tails. But it still leaves open the question, What is the right thing to do?
–To which you might reply: Meditate and it will come to you.
I dunno. Maybe that’s good enough. If people would just take more time to reflect on what they’re doing, the world would surely be a better place.
Good karma to you, reva-remo.December 8, 2012 at 10:26 pm #779260
thanks this is good. do you know where we can watch the whole thing – for us who don’t have tvs?
one thing that helps me see the non-reality of material world is to just make my job the Observer… “I am here to observe, nothing more, I will see and hear all of it as a camera & microphone would, that’s my job.” Observing, without labeling either this or that and without reacting – just watching and listening, more as a scientist would do, and keep myself full of curiousity about what I may see, that I couldn’t see or hear before when I used labels. As If I am in alien world, and I had absolutely no context.
p.s. someone else posted almost exactly same thing, with topic “upset the mental apple cart”. can’t find it now.December 9, 2012 at 1:42 am #779261
Way to go.
You’ve answered your own question of “What is the right thing to do”. You said it perfectly: “Meditate and it will come to you”. More precisely, all you have to do is to regularly contact the field of pure consciousness within and then come back out into activity and find that your thoughts are clearer, more intelligent and more in line with the universal laws of nature. And it’s a culturing process that takes place over time. Each time you come out of meditation, a little more of your full human potential becomes available for your enjoyment and success.
Yes, and it would be helpful “if people just took more time to reflect” but the hard evidence makes it clear that its the contact with the field of all possibilities at the basis of consciousness that really supercharges our powers of thought.
Don’t know where to find a rebroadcast of the PBS program. But when I googled Dr Amit Goswami, I found many youtube videos of his, parts of which were used in the TV show. You should be able to get a very accurate account of what he is proposing.
Here is another video link to Dr. John Hagelin:December 9, 2012 at 4:44 am #779262
Quantum mechanics is a strange, mindbending, and difficult theory. So it’s tempting to find parallels in its language to other strange and difficult phenomena, like human consciousness. The trouble is that the real language of quantum mechanics is mathematics; the peril of trying to express it in verbal language is that inevitably one resorts to metaphor, and that invites inapplicable comparisons with other difficult and abstract concepts such as human consciousness.
Google “Quantum Flapdoodle”December 9, 2012 at 5:36 pm #779263
Human beings are profoundly self-centered, but they can also be profoundly social. Each person must find their own balance between the inner and outer selves.
In some cases, ‘inner peace’ might be found by looking up from one’s iPad and asking, “What am I doing here?”
In others, it might be found by looking up from one’s navel and asking, “What am I NOT doing here?”December 9, 2012 at 9:00 pm #779264
The desire to describe the ultimate reality is a task that is always bound to come up short. Words are going to fail to capture that which has been postulated to have no boundaries.
But if the analysis of that level of life, by whatever name you use to describe it, could have an impact on the quality of human life, then let’s keep trying. And what is even more vital is that the ancient texts, the mystics and many recent experiences report that there is a quantum state of the mind, contact with which changes how the brain functions. Over the past 40 years, the scientists have substantiated the anectodal evidence. Most often this evidence has come from people practicing a technique that facilitates automatic transcending of the active thinking mind. They report a settling down of mental activity culminating in the experience of pure consciousness, that is, when the mind is alert but is not conscious of anything or who knows, maybe conscious of everything. Whatever the exact nature of this experience, when they resume their regular activities, they say their minds are working better. They’re better able to focus, they’re better able to comprehend and they see improvements in their intelligence, academic performance and creativity. It seems that they are increasing their ability to draw from and utilize this quantum, unified field of life/ consciousness. We may have a technology of consciousness that can bring satisfaction to our pursuit of knowing who we are, where we’re going and how to acheive it.
You might check out the last video link to Dr. Hagelin above.December 9, 2012 at 10:54 pm #779265
Can you give us a concrete example of how this has worked in your own life? What’s a life change that you were able to make as a result of meditating?
Follow-up question: How do you know that the change you made was the result of meditation and not something else . . . like simply deciding to try a new way of doing things?December 9, 2012 at 11:38 pm #779266
A chance to use ‘flapdoodle’ in a sentence! Surely that’s a karma point or two right there.December 10, 2012 at 1:19 am #779267
Nice play, DPB, and I second the quote of ol’ blue eyes.
Sure, DBP, my pleasure to share my personal experience and if it sounds too good to be true, I’d be glad to have several others chime in.
First off, it is enjoyable and easy to meditate such that I have sat and done this virtually twice a day every day since 1971.
My very first experience was defining. I clearly remember dropping into a very deep state of mental and physical rest. Mental chatter reduced to silence as I was left “watching” occasional thoughts come and go harmlessly. My breathing became nearly imperceptible. All tension in my body evaporated, replaced by an overwhelming sense of calm and relaxation.
When did this experience repeat itself? The following morning during the next meditation and every time thereafter.
But you first asked about how it changed my life. The short answer is in all ways and the benefits in daily life continue to grow with my regular practice. Mentally, my thinking stays on task while my creativity is greatly expanded. Coming up with a viable, wholistic solution to any problem has become the norm. A few decades ago when I was in school, my academic performance went up a full grade point.
Health wise, I began to experience more energy and slept better at night. I now have the ability to shed stressful situations like water off the proverbial duck’s back while operating a remodeling business. I was a drug user when I started meditating. I quickly lost my desire to use drugs and cigarettes. I still enjoy a beer on a hot day. My poor doctor will never get rich as he invariably sees me only for a physical.
I was diagnosed with depression when I saw a psychologist in the ’70s in an attempt to get out of the draft. It was true at the time but that cloud dispersed after a few years. I now have an unflappable sense of positivity, happiness and well being. I’ve adopted the feeling that the world is my family such that I invariably consider what works best for me and my world when deciding what course of action is best.
To your second question asking whether or not the changes could be due to some other effect:
When I started this meditation I was looking for anything that could provide me with an answer to life’s ultimate questions. As my life and this exploration continued, the meditation was the only thing that seemed to make a difference and the only thing I stayed with over time. With no other changes, I started to sleep better, my energy went up, and my inner gloom started to lift. I could attribute my improved school performance to the UW putting dumber students in my classes but I’d put my money on my increased mental functioning.
Would like other stories from West Seattle or any place from Berlin to Buenos Aires?December 10, 2012 at 1:42 am #779268
I am not questioning the benefits of meditation (which are, I believe, quite well researched and documented), only the supposed “quantum theory” explanation.December 10, 2012 at 1:52 am #779269
Yep, it’s a long way from those pesky kleptons to actual life. On the other hand…
Mr. Remodeler was evading the draft and using drugs in 1971, when he started meditating. And probably about 19? Later he was clean and happy and getting better grades.
Theory #1: meditation saved him
Theory #2: he put down the bong and grew up a little.
Cause and effect is so tricky… Anyway, Julie’s exactly right: it’s the quantum mumbojumbo that’s being…doubted.December 10, 2012 at 6:33 pm #779270
Note to Julie: It doesn’t matter to me that re-va-rem thinks he can explain consciousness on the quantum level. I take all such claims with a grain of salt and I assume most other people do too.
What I’m more interested in here is the cause-effect relationship between meditation and better life outcomes, which I believe many people here can speak to. (And I hope they do.)
Sir, I thank you for that candid response, and I congratulate you for kicking drugs and depression!! I’ve been going through a similar process of making changes, but even after decades I still struggle with temper tantrums – ask anyone here – and still feel like an emotional wreck much of the time. Plus I can’t sleep.
I have a devil of a time meditating, because I can’t seem to get my mind to a point where I can screen out the “interference” that constantly bombards my brain. I do find that getting away from the computer and getting out of the house helps for a time, but this is apparently not getting at the root of the problem.
What I need to work on is learning how to recognize when I’m headed into a downward spiral and to interrupt that, replacing negative thoughts and emotions with positive, constructive ones.
Yeah, baby!December 10, 2012 at 9:27 pm #779271
Just finished up a nice bowl of quantum soup. That’s where the presence of an observer affects the outcome.
Note to self: do not leave the stove unattended, or else a roomful of smoke may appear. I don’t know who got the roomful of antismoke.December 10, 2012 at 9:42 pm #779272
Very witty JKB. Really.
So anyway, what motivates you? The beauty of science and logic? If so, I think that’s dandy. But I wouldn’t want to live in a world peopled entirely by scientists.
Throw in some gurus, politicians, a few artists, and yeah, even a bum or two . . . then you’ve got a world.December 11, 2012 at 5:07 am #779273
Back at DPB:
I agree with your thoughts about scientists and science in general. My experience as a teacher of the most researched meditation is that people pay little to no attention to their findings anyway. How else do explain the fact that about 700 studies have been performed on this type of meditation, more than 300 of these fall into the select category of peer reviewed and yet people generally step forward when they hear Howard Stern, Russell Brand or Oprah vouching for it.
If you end up at one of my presentations, I’ll show you the scientific charts and/or the seven volumes of collected research papers, but you’ll probably choose to give it a try because your buddy is meditating and he’s stopped beating his wife as often or he’s saving money because he’s down to less than a pack of Marlboros a day.
Thanks for your story about how stress is affecting your life and your experience with trying meditation. It is not the brand I teach. This technique allows for effortless transcending of the interference you reported. In this practice the activity of thinking spontaneously settles down as your mind seeks out the area of life that is the big enchilada: the source of all intelligence, happiness, creativity and energy. Call it the quantum field or call it the cat’s meow, it doesn’t come any sweeter.
I still encourage to scroll up to post #4 and check out the video.
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