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Rreasonable Warnings

The Nobel prizeman George Orwell: "Man . . . cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals."

That is what man thinks.

Orwell also had the idea that "Man . . . does not lay eggs." Granted that, we can still get figurative gold eggs out of Orwell's biography and writings combined if we will. See whether more or less "human eggs" can amount to benefit you eventuelly or somewhat in the long art of living, besides:

HOLD "Prepare for the hard while it is still easy. Deal with the great or big while it is still small. The hard has to be dealt with while still very easy. Everything great [to look at] must be dealt with while it is still small.

"Therefore the wise man never has to deal with the great.

"Who takes things very easy is surely in for dealing with more difficulty in the end. So "many easies" means many a hard. Who makes light of many things could find many difficulties." (Tao Te Ching, Ch 63, passim) -- [More]

Hairy Dolls - Nice? Or: "Check it - it might be true"

Neither habit nor hood make the monk and nun all good.

It is the similarity with a human being that makes the nice-looking doll look nice somehow. However, the doll is more dead than a fully functioning human (Carl Rogers' term) - all of which should not scare anybody.

Those who fostered the Great Inquisition tortured and killed million. Their mantle to cover their brutish crimes was "love for the souls of those they maimed and killed for the sake of conformity, power and earlthy mammon" somehow. Their "godfearing coating" or hood of a sort served a reign of terror and indoctrination once they were in power. Beware of the clown for such reasons too.

Much depends on being upright in the first place and staying upright throughout life. As upright as feasible also.

Such "beware-in-time thinking" is attuned to a saying that Yogananda makes use of in the book The Science of Religion: "It is when we are in trouble we pray to the almighty." The Indian maxim is, "We pray to the Ever-Merciful when we get stuck." [Yogananda 1926:ix]

When the monks and nuns stop praying, they may not feel stuck, like Yogananda, the author of a book of prayers, called Whispers from Eternity. One day he said, "I don't pray. It may be a strange thing to say." (1982, 121). He stood up to hail dictatorship and Benito Mussolini and claimed to have induced Hitler to invade Russia, and monks believed it devotedly . . . (Kriyananda 2011:131)

Granted that, "One swallow doesn't make a summer (Proverb)." One example may not be representative of all the rest. But to the degree Yogananda is representative - which may not have been studied so far, he can at any rate stand as a figurehead of the authoritarian mind-set: First crawling and begging and praying; then, when older, suppressing others, and dropping one's praying and get underlings through a very severe, long-range oath.

Against that: One may drop praying for several good or vain easons.

  • Finding out that prayers seldom work, as seldom as jackpots in lotteries.
  • Getting old and disappointed.
  • Thinking he or she knows better than in childhood.
  • Et cetera (and so on).

The long-range vista should be held. It may confirm this: "Beware of the praying man or woman, for once having power, he or she may become a tyrant" or a home tyrant - and then much nastiness may go on from there. It depends on being held in check too. An interesting theory: "That you pray has much to say" - It could be "stuck," being a budding tyrant of a sort" and better, much better. Let us hope that, since quality education helps a lot.

It follows, but not necessarily, that "the more troubles, the more prayers", and more likely still: "The more prayers, the more troubles". Accordingly, the more show of uncivic devotedness with prayers and cheap, conform enough ceremonialism one may see, the more unholy and maimed id life there may be - or maybe not.

People are not all alike, and some are different . . . perhaps very different. Abraham Maslow has tried do make it clear that some of those very, very different persons are the proper ones to look up to as examples of how humans could be at their best. (1987, Chap. 11)

Now, Jesus publicly denounced show-off praying and hypocrisy (Matthew 6:5-7), sentencing hypocrites to Gehenna, a small valley in Jerusalem . . . literally, that is. "Away from me, you evildoers!" It seems to be his will to "push the false followers into hell". Q.e.d. (Quod erat demonstrandum, loosely rendered as "Now this was to be shown or demonstrated"). [More] (WP, "Gehenna")

The Bible calls hypocrisy a sin. There is a form of hypocrisy that professes belief in something and then acts contrary to that belief. There is also a form where mean guys look down on others when they themselves are flawed. Jesus denounces hypocrites vehemently in such as Matthew 7:15; 23:27; 23:33.

It could boil down to: Being sincere is far and wide largely underrated.

Buddhic Feigned devotion is for pleasing someone. - Jetsun Milarepa, "the cotton-clad one", cf. Evans-Wentz 1969:300

For those who can take it:

Accustomed long to meditating . . . I have forgot all that is said in written and in printed books. - Milarepa, [Evans-Wentz 1969:246]

A most fitting reservation set in many cases so as to come out much cleaner.

EEG Findings

In the 1950s the researchers Das and Gastaut performed electroencephalographic [EEG] examination of seven kriya yogis and observed that as the meditation progressed the alpha waves gave way to fast-wave activity at the rate of 40-45 Hz [i.e., Beta-waves], etc.

[Das, N., and H. Gastaut. "Variations de l'activité electrique du cervaux, du coeur et des muscles squelettiques au course de la méditation et de l'extase yogique [Variations in the electrical activity of the brain, heart, and skeletal muscles during yogic meditation and trance]." Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology, supplement 6. [1955: 211-219]. (French). [More]

The chercheur (researcher) Jean-Paul Banquet found markedly coherent brain waves in many who used Transcendental Meditation. (Jean-Paul Banquet, "Spectral Analysis of the EEG in meditation". Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology vol. 35 (Hollande 1973 pp 143-151). The summary:

Classical EEG combined with spectral analysis was performed on a group of subjects during Transcendental Meditation (TM). The findings were compared with those obtained in a resting control group. (1) Alpha rhythm increased in amplitude, slowed down in frequency and extended to anterior channels at the beginning of meditation. (2) In a second stage, theta frequencies different from those of sleep diffused from frontal to posterior channels. They took the form of short theta periods or longer rhythmic theta trains. (3) Rhythmic amplitude-modulated beta waves were present over the whole scalp in a third stage of deep meditation by advanced subjects. (4) The most striking topographical alteration was the synchronisation of anterior and posterior channels. Therefore EEG records from meditators practising TM distinguish the meditative state from other states of consciousness. The combination of sequential EEG changes in relation to topographical alterations produces a particular pattern. (Ibid, p. 150)


Meditation counsel, Literature  

Evans-Wentz, Walter Y., ed. Tibet's Great Yogi Milarepa. 2nd ed. London: Oxford University Press, 1969.

Kriyananda, Swami. Paramhansa Yogananda: A Biography with Personal Reflections and Reminiscences. Nevada City, CA: Crystal Clarity, 2011.

Mieder, Wolfgang (main ed.), Stewart A. Kingsbury, and Kelsie E. Harder: A Dictionary of American Proverbs. (Paperback) New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.

Parsons, Jon R. A Fight For Religious Freedom: A Lawyer's Personal Account of Copyrights, Karma and Dharmic Litigation. Nevada City, CA: Crystal Clarity, 2012.

Speake, Jennifer, ed. The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs. 6th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.

Williamson, Lola. Transcendent in America: Hindu-Inspired Meditation Movements as New Religion. London: New York University Press, 2010.

Yogananda, Paramahansa. Man's Eternal Quest. 2nd ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1982.

⸻. The Science of Religion. 2nd ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1982.

Harvesting the hay

Symbols, brackets, signs and text icons explained: (1) Text markers(2) Digesting.

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