Wednesday, December 2, 2015

"Spiritual" experiences versus delusional thinking: Not the same thing!

While I've met quite a few people of atheistic and/or skeptic bent, who show enthusiasm toward transcendent experiences and even psychedelic drugs, most seem to show a casual interest if any at all.
` On the extreme other end of the spectrum, I've met those who seem to think themselves "above" subjecting themselves to such experiences for themselves.
Particularly the ones that promise a truly spectacular adventure.
One activist for skepticism and against quackery and religious dogma, outright told me that practicing meditation is a form of "brainwashing".
` I tried to tell him that it is actually an exercise that helps you to control your ability to focus and stop tripping out about so much stuff. It helps decrease stress levels, and thus seems to be good for your health.
` Though increased scientific study is beginning to scrape the surface of such altered states, he didn't want to hear about it.

The need to experience zen consciousness, egolessness, transcendence, or whatever you want to call it, is not in any way the same as the need to believe in a supernatural world. Unfortunately, I have noticed that it is common for those of skeptical leanings to confuse the two concepts.

Considering what I've been studying for the past few years, I'm convinced that so-called transcendental or 'spiritual' states are among the most important and life-impacting states of consciousness that one can achieve.
` As I hope to have shown in previous blog posts, a solid argument can be made that those who don't believe in supernatural or spiritual realms really do crave so-called "transcendence" when they say they don't; it's just that they don't understand what this term refers to.

What is this with the apparent conflation between the desire for transcendent consciousness and the desire to believe? In an email to a number of skeptical activists (none of them Geo), I included the following quotations and points of consideration: