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Happy New Year TheMandarin!
Thanks for all of your contributions to improve the encyclopedia for Wikipedia's readers, and have a happy and enjoyable New Year! Cheers, 10:53, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
For a long time, I was thinking to prepare something like this. If you read the 'Please do not judge" (3rd section of the article), you may understand the joke. 07:21, 11 May 2014 (UTC)
Once you know it, you see it... Read Jiddu Krishnamurti#Life-altering experiences. And also, from the same article:
- "A few days before his death, in a final statement, he declared that nobody among either his associates or the general public had understood what had happened to him (as the conduit of the teaching). He added that the "immense energy" operating in his lifetime would be gone with his death, again implying the impossibility of successors."
And here's another candidate, Ramana Maharshi:
- "My fear of death was some six weeks before I left Madurai for good [...] At the time there was a flash of excitement; it may roughly be described as ‘heat’, but it was not clear that there was a higher temperature in the body, nor was there perspiration. It appeared to be like some avesam or some spirit possessing me [...] That fear was only on the first day, that is, the day of the awakening. It was a sudden fear of death which developed, not merely indifference to external things [...] ‘This body is going to die,’ I said to myself, referring to the gross physical body [...] I came to the conclusion that when it was dead and rigid (then it seemed to me that my body had actually become rigid as I stretched myself like a corpse with rigor mortis upstairs, thinking this out) I was not dead. I was, on the other hand, conscious of being alive, in existence [...] I felt that there was a force or current, a centre of energy playing on the body, continuing regardless of the rigidity or activity of the body, though existing in connection with it. It was that current, force or centre that constituted my Self, that kept me acting and moving, but this was the first time I came to know it. I had no idea of my Self before that. From that time on, I was spending my time absorbed in contemplation of that current [...] I had no idea at that time of the identity of that current with the personal God, or Iswara as I used to call him [...] Later, when I was in the Arunachala Temple, I learned of the identity of myself with Brahman, which I had heard in the Ribhu Gita as underlying all. I was only feeling that everything was being done by the current and not by me, a feeling I had had ever since I wrote my parting note and left home. I had ceased to regard the current as my narrow ‘I’. This current, or avesam, now felt as if it was my Self, not a superimposition." [http://sri-ramana-maharshi.blogspot.nl/2008/05/bhagavans-death-experience.html
What's more, from Ramana Maharshi: "It is reported that in 1912, while in the company of disciples, an episode occurred where Ramana's vital life signs ceased for approximately 15 minutes, after which he displayed an enhanced ability to engage in practical affairs while remaining in Sahaja Samadhi:"
- "The landscape in front of me disappeared as a bright white curtain was drawn across my vision and shut it out. I could distinctly see the gradual process. There was a stage when I could still see a part of the landscape clearly while the rest was covered by the advancing curtain. It was just like drawing a slide across one's view in a stereoscope. On experiencing this I stopped walking lest I should fall. When it cleared I walked on. When darkness and faintness came over me a second time I leaned against a rock until it cleared. The third time it happened I felt it safer to sit, so I sat down near the rock. Then the bright white curtain completely shut off my vision, my head was swimming and my circulation and breathing stopped. The skin turned a livid blue. It was the regular death hue and it got darker and darker. Vasudeva Sastri, in fact, took me to be dead and held me in his arms and began to weep aloud and lament my death. I could distinctly feel his clasp and his shivering and hear his words of lamentation and understand their meaning. I also saw the discolouration of my skin and felt the stoppage of my circulation and breathing and the increased chilliness of the extremities of my body. My usual current of awareness still continued in that state also. I was not in the least afraid and felt no sadness at the condition of the body. I had sat down near the rock in my usual posture and closed my eyes and was not leaning against the rock. The body, left without circulation or respiration, still maintained that position. This state continued for some ten or fifteen minutes. Then a shock passed suddenly through the body and circulation revived with enormous force, and breathing also, and the body perspired from every pore. The colour of life reappeared on the skin. I then opened my eyes and got up and said, `Let's go'. We reached Virupaksha Cave without further trouble. This was the only fit I had in which both circulation and respiration stopped. I did not bring on the fit purposely, nor did I wish to see what this body would look like after death, nor did I say that I will not leave this body without warning others. It was one of those fits that I used to get occasionally, only this time it took a very serious form. (Arthur Osborne, Ramana Maharshi and the Path of Self-Knowledge, pp. 60-62)
So, a "current" or "force" took possession of him. Initially, he didn't know what was beholding him; only later did he frame his experience in terms of Saivite and Advaita spirituality. "This body is going to die" - did first the thought come, and then the "stiffening of the body"? Or was it that first something happened in (the perception of) the body, and that then the thoughts came? The second account also reminds me of near-death experiences, which can be very vivid, and convince people that there's life after death. My, nearly thirty years of searching and recognition, 'entzauberd' by a sobering neurological approach... Best regards, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 14:23, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
And as an appendix:
- "Some of the enlightened, as J. Krishnamurti and Ramakrishna, probably had a form of temporal lobe epilepsy as an aid to their expanded consciousness. Temporal lobe epilepsy is known to cause hyperreligiosity and mystical experiences. Science has proven that DNA forms the human brain, not some immaterial soul. Rajneesh, Ramana Maharshi, J. Krishnamurti, and many other sages became enlightened between the ages of 17 and 21, just when their brains and central nervous system became fully developed." 
- And a second appendix. You're going to love this one:
- "After this event, [Ramana Maharshi] lost interest in school-studies, friends, and relations. He was absent-minded at school, "imagining and expecting God would suddenly drop down from Heaven before me." Avoiding company, he preferred to sit alone, absorbed in concentration on this current or force, and went daily to the Meenakshi Temple, ecstatically devoted to the images of the 63 Nayanars and of Nataraja."
- Nataraja, Shiva, is dancing on Apasmara,
- "a dwarf who represented ignorance and epilepsy. In order to preserve knowledge in the world, Apasmāra could not be killed; to do so would throw out the balance of knowledge and ignorance, as to kill Apasmāra would mean attaining knowledge without effort, dedication and hard work."
- Sudden enlightenment, without effort, and epilepsy... This is divine irony.
- Which reminds me of another irony: William James and religious experience, c.q. mystical experience, c.q. conversion experience. The kind of ecstatic experience that William James and the likes are looking for, seems to be these (possibly) epileptic experiences. Which can be found in, exactly, (possibly) epileptic persons. Was William James aware of this?
- Freud's "oceanic awareness," based on Ramakrishna: idem dito. Freud himself of course became famuus by his writings on hysteria, which may also have been epileptic fits. And De Michelis, "A history of modern yoga," notes that Vivekananda was familiair with Mesmerism, and based his prana-theory (streams of cosmic energy) on this. Mesmerists thought that epilepsy was caused by fluids streaming to the brains...
- "The sacred disease," indeed. Best regards, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 07:46, 31 October 2015 (UTC)
- Also check-out this one: G.K. Pillai (2015), Monks are from Meditating Monkeys: Unravelling the Algorithm of True Spiritual Awakening: "He candidly admitted that the second incident was a "fit", which was the common parlance reference for an epileptic seizure." Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 22:24, 31 October 2015 (UTC)
- @Joshua Jonathan: Thanks for all the info, just logged in after a small break. --TheMandarin (talk) 13:45, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
- @Joshua Jonathan: Having read some of James Randi's works : Flim-Flam and Faith Healers (in progress) Mesmerism sounds like pseudoscience to me :) --TheMandarin (talk) 13:49, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
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