As a critical philosopher I was eventually inspired to study Indian philosophy, and subsequently Indian religion - especially various forms of advaita philosophy/''spirituality'. This is an extremely sophisticated system of thought, though I have discovered it ultimately to be a form of labyrinthine and extended circular reasoning, being unattached to any form of empiricism and based entirely on subjective and uncontrollable experiences. Some of the many themes which are becoming far too popular in the West in so-called 'new spiritual philosophies' are examined in considerable detail on my several websites. I would appreciate constructive comments on my deconstructive article "The ultimate fallacy: God is inside, God is all and everything"

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Thanks, I agree with your basic view of Eastern religions, even though there can be good works and some social progress involved in the less delusional variants, and even in some of the sects that are rationally 'lost cases'.

BTW, I wrote the article about the SB cult to which you refer me!

As to the Australian who had an 'advaitic-type' experience whose name I forgot, he is John Wren-Lewis (deceased) and one can learn a lot from this UTL:
BTW, I wrote the article about the SB cult to which you refer me!

Haha! That's funny. My apologies, I didn't notice the author.

Time to wake up and have some coffee :-)

Thanks for the link I'll take a look.
Thanks Trance Geminin,

Due to my own ignorance. I was not aware that there were Indian thinkers that followed an atheist or non-theist school of thought. I just didnt equate non-theism with Indian thought processes. So, I am glad to know that there were ancient materialists in India!!!
According to Amartya Sens India may have had more materialist thinkers than anywhere else in the world.

You might find his book, The Argumentative Indian quite interesting.

He has written on the topic in some of his other books as well.

I believe he's a Nobel Prize winning economist.

Or, google "Carvaka".

It's quite fascinating stuff but not nearly the amount of information available that I'd like.
As a former occultist who subscribed to such 'new spiritual philosophies' I am very thankful for this.
I'd love to hear about your experiences.
Glad to hear it! I have also been involved with mysticism a lot. Perhaps you will write about how you discovered what was wrong and how you broke free?
I never delved too deep into Eastern philosophy except for Buddhism, but for a long time I did find Vedic teachings on the existence of atma somewhat sound. My (limited) knowledge of Vedic philosophy comes from the ISKCON teachers (which are very partial to their version of Vedic spirituality) and some other articles that i read on my own.

From what I remember, the main argument for the existence of the soul, or atma, had to do with there being an observer (the purusha, or presence, the experiencer or witness) and that which is observed (prakriti or nature, that which is experienced, maya or matter). And the reason why this resonated with me is because I know that quantum experiments had documented how phenomena being observed are affected by the process of being observed, in other words the observer helps shape his reality.

These experiments are mentioned in the movie 'What the Bleep Do We Know', of course with a New Age slant, but this does not make the experiments less valid. We still have to contend with the repercussions of the quantum experiments. There is SOMETHING that happens when we observe phenomena, which changes reality.

I used to think quantum sciences would eventually lay the ground for a new spirituality but now I'm seeing that most of what they're unveiling about the ultimate nature of reality is in line with the buddhist conception of the universe, where the universe lacks a personal Godhead or creator and the self itself is void (Buddhism teaches that we are made up of aggregates or various elements).
I think, it good way to...profit!
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I also used to think physics might explain the many phenomena which many scientists deny out of hand. Such phenomena I experienced led me into 30 years of searching for the answers. I went very deeply into this and, though there are a number of unanswered questions in my mind today (a good sign, as I see it?), I returned to the investigations of sciences after systematic disillusionment with the entire 'spiritual world'. There I find the most amazing advances in almost every field since my focus of interested shifted at about age 35. I think neuroscience - though regarded as in its infancy - is extremely promising. It is clear that even what we know of the brain nowadays is sufficient to show that so-called mystical experience (Satchitananda) can arise from such causes as - a bleeding in the left lobe, which enables the right lobe to take over. (Jill Bolte Taylor, US neurologist who experienced this herself and recovered. Very interesting!) THIS) Also the ingestion of a poison - as experienced by an Australian who recovered in hospital and found he was in a condition as described by mystics... he began to research the whole issue and concluded that it was simply a change in the brain functioning that caused the nirvanic consciousness. His name slips my recall at the mo. I shall find it later). I also have a fired - one of 6 persons in the world known to have lost his entire memory of his life to date but while retaining all his skills. He experienced the world as simply most fascinating and without any fear or unhappiness - for a long time, but when he recovered it was found he probably had a fall which affected his brain. In time, he began to get a much more down to earth awareness again. Then there is the increasing understanding of sleep/dreams and especially the neurological conditions of 'sleep paralysis' (which can explain the majority - if not all - of experienced visitations and the like - the age-old 'hag phenomenon')
In short, there are thousands of interesting cases of brain changes - including psychedelic agents - which cause all the phenomena described by mystics but attacked by them to some religious dogma, teaching doctrine and/or any number of fanciful theories (kundalini being one such).
Francis Crick, Gerald Edelman, V.S. Ramachandran, Paul and Patricia Churchland, and John Searle have variously tried explain how the brain gives rise to our self awareness. I would prefer to see more and more far-reaching and inclusive scientific researches into the so-called 'paranormal' (which is basically a fancy term for the unknown or for uninvestigated phenomena which are probably natural enough, though uncommon) Demythologising all the spiritual speculations and teachings though scientific proof has only been going on to any real extent for a couple of centuries and it will surely continue to narrow down the unexplained on which mystical theories so depend.
By the way, this thread might be of interest on the Indian Atheists group.

Just a suggestion but you could post a link to it there.

You don't have to be Indian to join. :-)
I am about to sign up to the Indian group. Thanks




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