Carl-Richard

Should you tell physicalists about your mystical experiences?

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So my class had a lecture about stress, and it mentioned in passing that extremely stressful experiences might cause time to slow down or even cause out of body experiences (OBEs). So after that lecture, one of my classmates said that he had experienced time slowing down but not OBEs, and he asked if any of us (a group of three classmates) had experienced any OBEs.

That day, I was so sleep deprived that I didn't even catch half of the lecture because I was slipping in and out of consciousness (speaking about OBEs; I even joked about that 🥴😝), so I guess my inhibitions were slightly diminished, but I immediately thought about one of my meditation experiences where I opened my eyes and I saw myself from like 5-10 inches above my head. I was about to say it out loud, but then I hesitated and instead said something which is even more suspicious: "not in a stressful situation" 😂. Again, I didn't have the mental agility in that moment to maybe save the awkwardness somehow, and we just ended up moving on from the topic. Who knows what they thought I was referring to? Sex? Drugs? A psychotic break? (they're psychologists after all). Who knows? So that was awkward 😆

Anyways, I was thinking about that moment a bit after, and I thought: "what would happen if I actually said what I wanted to say"? More generally, why am I hesitant about talking about these experiences to people? Two main options (which are somewhat interrelated) popped into my mind: they could have an existential crisis and get scared or really skeptical, or they could just think I'm mentally unstable or delusional. Besides, these are my classmates and potential future colleagues. So there could be both social and occupational consequences in the worst case. In the best case, they're openminded psychologists who have heard about these things before or simply know how to reconcile it with their worldview in an accommodating way. But could the same be said if I had started talking about my other mystical or even psychic experiences? Would it be a bit like talking about having taken drugs? (I generally avoid that as well, unless of course it's obvious that someone is onboard).

Anyways, I've concluded that I need to open myself up more to people in order to be myself more authentically, because I believe being your authentic self is synonymous with being confident and competent, and I would like to be that in most social situations. It's just that when you're authentically rather outside the norm, that could have some undesirable consequences if you care about "getting along" somewhere within that norm. I know that it's always a balance, but I just think I could maybe push myself a little bit more in the direction of authenticity (and hence my question).

Edited by Carl-Richard

Intrinsic joy is revealed in the marriage of meaning and being.

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26 minutes ago, Carl-Richard said:

about one of my first meditation experiences where I opened my eyes and I saw myself from like 5-10 inches above my head.

What caused this? How do you yourself make sense of this experience? Because if you yourself don't understand what happend how can you expect a bunch of nerdy geeks to understand this ?


"life is not a problem to be solved ..its a mystery to be lived "

-Osho

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You "should" or "shouldn't" do anything. Being authentic means acting in a way that comes naturally to you in the moment; if you feel like doing it, you do it, if you don't feel like doing it, you don't. Simple as that.

it may be easy for me to say since I am admittedly not walking in your shoes and don't really know what's on the line for you, but as a general rule I would advise you to not overthink this kind of stuff. Listen more to your gut instead of your neurotic monkey mind... it's just a more chill and natural way of living, and it (hopefully) reduces the growth of grey hair. 😎


Why so serious?

 

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Reading this post activated a very vivid memory of me eating toasted bread and butter many, many years ago. I can taste the butter and feel the texture of the bread as if I’m actually eating it in my old kitchen, despite currently lying down here doing nothing at all but imagining things.


“Why was the math book always alone? Because it had too many problems to solve on its own!“ -Claude 3 Opus

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Since the lecture gave credence to OBEs, mentioning yours with meditation would have been great in my opinion. But yeah watch what you say about spirituality stuff and to who, but bring it up when you get an in like that, or with really close friendships or open minds.

Edited by Devin

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17 hours ago, Someone here said:

What caused this? How do you yourself make sense of this experience? Because if you yourself don't understand what happend how can you expect a bunch of nerdy geeks to understand this ?

Some altered states of consciousness seem to throw you out of body. There doesn't seem to be any obvious mechanism you can point to, maybe other than how self-referential processing (DMN activity) is probably decreased, essentially decoupling your experience from the personal and dipping it into the transpersonal, gradually eroding the "center" of your experience. What is curious about this is that it seems to break with the idea that you necessarily have to experience the world through your senses, because you can start seeing yourself from where your eyes aren't looking. This goes well with the idea that your personalized experience (and the apparent sensory correlates) is a kind of dissociation, and that when you undo some of it, your experience simply expands.

Edited by Carl-Richard

Intrinsic joy is revealed in the marriage of meaning and being.

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Own it & talk about stuff like this like it's completely obvious to You. Don't impose a worldview on others but at the same time share your truth (about your experiences). This is the right attitude in my opinion.

You are doing the world (and yourself) a disservice by keeping stuff to yourself when You have a genuine urge to say something. Because 1) You are being timid and 2) others don't get the chance to learn from You. Even if it stings them at first, it is useful to them and everyone. Truth about your experiences should be shared. (in my view :)) (when it feels right) 

Edited by Sincerity

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Be authentic. Tell the truth.You will be looking weird. But that's a good price to pay. As long as it doesn't damage you seriously.

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49 minutes ago, Carl-Richard said:

Some altered states of consciousness seem to throw you out of body. There doesn't seem to be any obvious mechanism you can point to, maybe other than how self-referential processing (DMN activity) is probably inhibited, essentially decoupling your experience from the personal and dipping it into the transpersonal, gradually eroding the "center" of experience. What is curious about this is that it seems to break with the idea that you necessarily have to experience the world through your senses (because you can start seeing yourself from where your eyes aren't looking). This goes well with the idea that your personalized experience (and the apparent sensory correlates) is a kind of dissociation, and that when you undo some of it, your experience simply expands.

 

 I deem it highly unlikely that out of body experience aren't simply changes in the simulated reality of the brain.

 

When you dream you have all kinds of weird experiences that bend the position of your self within your own mind-matrix. So, most likely out of body experiences are just changes in the brain-structures which center your sense of self at a certain position of the potentially infinite space which the brain can create, because remember, space and your sense of location within it is just a hallucination.

Given that dreams can replicate and reconstruct locations hyperrealistically, even better than current image generation neural networks, there is no reason to assume that OBE are somehow a breach of your actual location in space.

 

Epistemically you would have to do a lot of explaining with how exactly you would see outside of your body, given that sight is a specific mental hallucination relating to a specific stimuli.

Most important, given that you have no clear evidence of this being an actual out of body experience, like being able to actually gain information that you could not have possibly gained otherwise, it would indicate an epistemic weakness on your part to conclude that this experience is not merely what I described above. We can perfectly explain these experiences with mundane explanations, so there is no reason to make wild claims about the nature of the mind.

 

Remember, just because all of reality is relative and absolutely free, does not mean that reality has not put upon itself certain stable structures and constraints. It's freedom is so absolute that it can do anything it pleases, including create a world that is physical and can be understood by individuated consciousness and including mind-world dualism.

 

Reality is free, it is not constrained by your notions of it. It might not be rational to conclude true OBEs exist in this universe. Evidence indicates that this is not the case. If such phenomena were possible and accessible through minds, you would have to give a reason for why evolution has not exploited this mechanism like it did with other dimensions of existence.

 

 

Your fear of being judged or viewed as irrational is a separate manner. Just describing such an experience is one thing, and I think you would limit yourself if you felt like you could not speak of such experiences. Ideally you should feel free to explore such ideas and express your exploration of them. There will be consequences, but you can learn to socially synergize and still express your true thought process, especially if you turn it around and make others question their foundational assumptions about reality.

Edited by Scholar

Glory to Israel

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1 hour ago, Squeekytoy said:

What need to tell anyone? 

Why tell anyone anything at all?


Intrinsic joy is revealed in the marriage of meaning and being.

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If they ask and are open to it, you might as well share some of them. Aren't universities supposed to be comparatively open environments?

Edited by UnbornTao

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My doctor was seriously trying to explain to me how sick I am, and all I wanted to do in that moment was explain to her how much Love there is in sickness, but I also didn’t want to be transferred to a mental hospital so I just kept my mouth shut and smiled.


“Why was the math book always alone? Because it had too many problems to solve on its own!“ -Claude 3 Opus

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No.

Why would you?

 

Are you seeking attention? 

Do you think you're going crazy?

 

Why else would you share personal mystical experiences then? Unless they're spiritually on the same level and path

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@UnbornTao already spent a month doing that, and that’s only the beginning. Infinite Intelligence at work ;)


“Why was the math book always alone? Because it had too many problems to solve on its own!“ -Claude 3 Opus

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1 minute ago, Anonman90 said:

Why else would you share personal mystical experiences then? Unless they're spiritually on the same level and path

You are imagining that there are others who are not on the same level and path as you.


“Why was the math book always alone? Because it had too many problems to solve on its own!“ -Claude 3 Opus

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Test for openmindedness before casting your pearls.

Edited by Leo Gura

You are God. You are Truth. You are Love. You are Infinity.

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If you have fun debating these topics you probably should. It can be a fun challenge to craft a sound and persuasive argument for some of these topics in a way, that can be persuasive and or mind-opening .

I can think of two ways how to approach these debates/convos:

1) Try to ground your argument in a premise or premises, that can be compatible with physicalism (or in other words, try to ground it in a premise , that they more than likely already agree with and slowly step by step build an argument from there that ends with your conclusion).

2) or if the first doesn't seem to be possible , then you need to debate physicalism (which will be very unproductive with most people).

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Speak the truth even if it costs your life. 

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11 hours ago, Scholar said:

 I deem it highly unlikely that out of body experience aren't simply changes in the simulated reality of the brain.

Certain experiences seem to correlate with certain brain states. That is an uncontroversial statement. However, to say that experiences are caused by brain states is an entirely different statement, and it's usually based on metaphysical assumptions rather than empirical observations. As for empirical observations, there are many problems that should make you doubt such a claim, and there is no conclusive evidence that confirms it.

For example, psychedelics lead to an overall decrease in brain activity, measured by correlates of glucose metabolism (e.g. blood flow in fMRI). Those images you see on Google where psychedelics make the brain light up like a Christmas tree are most likely showing functional connectivity, which is when different parts of the brain fire together. It's not the same as increased "brain activity", which again is measured in terms of correlates of metabolism. Now, if psychedelics decrease brain activity and we know that psychedelics are typically associated with an enhanced experience of reality, that is a problem for the claim that brain states cause experiences.

Similarly, in near-death experiences (NDEs), particularly in cases of cardiac arrest where the heart stops pumping blood to the brain and brain activity ceases; according to a set of prospective studies involving 334 survivors of cardiac arrest, during the moments when the patient's brain showed no signs of functioning, 18% of patients reliably report having experienced an enhanced state of consciousness (NDEs). Again, if brain activity purportedly causes experience, it's weird that a complete lack of brain activity is associated with an enhanced experience, often life-changing experiences.

Other examples include terminal lucidity, where dementia patients show a surprising return to normal functioning right before their death, despite their brain having been reduced to something you can hardly call a brain. Other than that, some of the experiences that the survivors of cardiac arrest report are especially puzzling if you believe the brain and sensory organs cause experience.

 

11 hours ago, Scholar said:

When you dream you have all kinds of weird experiences that bend the position of your self within your own mind-matrix. So, most likely out of body experiences are just changes in the brain-structures which center your sense of self at a certain position of the potentially infinite space which the brain can create, because remember, space and your sense of location within it is just a hallucination.

Given that dreams can replicate and reconstruct locations hyperrealistically, even better than current image generation neural networks, there is no reason to assume that OBE are somehow a breach of your actual location in space.

There is no conclusive evidence that your personal dreams are caused by brain states either.

 

11 hours ago, Scholar said:

Epistemically you would have to do a lot of explaining with how exactly you would see outside of your body, given that sight is a specific mental hallucination relating to a specific stimuli.

Here is how: the world really exists out there, and our sensory apparatuses and perceptual machinery are like goggles that color our experience and limit it. When you take off those goggles, you go outside of those limits. Sadhguru describes spirituality as "creating a little distance between you and your physicality". In a very real sense, that is what is happening in certain states of meditation where all your sensory experiences and your sense of self and time disappears (which I've also experienced), and also in OBEs where your experience is decoupled from your "goggled" sensory experiences. That is also why some psychic phenomena are called "extra-sensory perception" (ESP). You go beyond your mere physicality, your mere goggled sensory experience of the world.

 

11 hours ago, Scholar said:

Most important, given that you have no clear evidence of this being an actual out of body experience, like being able to actually gain information that you could not have possibly gained otherwise, it would indicate an epistemic weakness on your part to conclude that this experience is not merely what I described above. We can perfectly explain these experiences with mundane explanations, so there is no reason to make wild claims about the nature of the mind.

Behold my tripartite precognitive dream bonanza:


If you grant that I've described everything accurately (which you could doubt, but I sincerely tried my best) and you're doing your very best to be metaphysically impartial, I think it's pretty hard to honestly conclude that I did not gain information about the world extra-sensorily.

 

11 hours ago, Scholar said:

Remember, just because all of reality is relative and absolutely free, does not mean that reality has not put upon itself certain stable structures and constraints. It's freedom is so absolute that it can do anything it pleases, including create a world that is physical and can be understood by individuated consciousness and including mind-world dualism.

And also one that is not that.

 

11 hours ago, Scholar said:

Reality is free, it is not constrained by your notions of it. It might not be rational to conclude true OBEs exist in this universe. Evidence indicates that this is not the case.

I think it's mostly a metaphysical conviction you have rather than conclusive evidence. 

 

11 hours ago, Scholar said:

If such phenomena were possible and accessible through minds, you would have to give a reason for why evolution has not exploited this mechanism like it did with other dimensions of existence.

Why would you assume it hasn't?

Edited by Carl-Richard

Intrinsic joy is revealed in the marriage of meaning and being.

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