I've spent the morning with your website -- just finished your Hedonistic Imperatative. I congratulate you on your energies, your insights, and your positive-leaning into a sunny future for all species. At the same time, I wonder if perhaps you also wish to take a closer look at some of the classical 'get-happies' such as yoga, meditation, tantra, etc. Buddhism especially faces the conundrum of human suffering in detail. Of course you could argue, "Well, these have been around a long time and for the most part are too difficult for the average person -- and it's the average person we need to permanently eudaimonize if we're going to avoid decimating the planet in one of a number of drastic ways."
I agree, but also feel that if you dig back through the accumulated dreck and accretions of the centuries laid over the original teachings of the Buddha, you can find in the so-called 'wet' Vipassana teachings that bliss is definitely encouraged and in fact 'required' if you're going to move up the scale of 'jhana' levels. If this interests you at all, you could check out Jeff Brooks' ecstatic Buddhism list at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Jhanas/
Jeff claims to be 24 hours 7 days in high bliss states, and although I have not yet met him (will do so on May 1) I don't think he's kidding when he says he's passed kidney stones without feeling pain, and remains in awareness even in deep sleep. He takes a dim view of what he calls the 'dry' Vipassana mostly taught these days, which puts down emphasis on bliss as merely creating 'bliss bunnies,' although a planet of bliss bunnies seems to me a definite improvement over the martyr brigades we have at present.
Regarding the latter, I'm surprised the CIA hasn't flooded Iraq with crack cocaine or MDMA or something equivalent to cool out the testosterone-crazed terrorist groups. I've always suggested half seriously that a steady spraying of Nitrous Oxide across the Middle East - or some equivalent or better substance - is probably the only solution to the ongoing insanity.
However, although I acknowledge the potential in BLTC, I also wonder if we shouldn't keep investigating the built-in highs. As I think I mention in my O-BE-ATA mission statement (again with a tip of the hat to yours). I do think Mother Nature intended us to keep that beatific and blissful state that accompanies us onto the planet at birth and remains on high as long as we are wetnursing -- well, even on through the Binky pacifier stage, and I believe there are built-in methods to re-activate that experience (meditation and entheogenic experiences in my view basically being a regression back to the bliss of the womb and then 'out' through the white light of conception.)
One you MIGHT try, which I've foisted off on close friends -- without much success I might add -- is Uvula-nursing first thing upon awakening in the morning. I describe this in some detail at: http://www.raysender.com/smile.html and include variations in some of the e-correspondence on the same website. Also, the brief exercise on my front page you might check out. It doesn't take long. http://www.raysender.com/godsname.html Both derive from the assumption that in deep sleep each night we experience NIRVANA, but just are not conscious to enjoy it. So then the possibility exists that if we copy some activity that we do in deep sleep, such as snoring, we may be able to duplicate the state while awake. I'm at a point now that even doing a few so-called 'Henri's here at the office just now triggers a very pleasant total-body tingle. Of course, I may be just a 'cheap bliss bunny,' but if so, then I'm a lucky guy. Right?
Anyway, I much appreciate all the effort and energy you've put into your research and writing! But what it always comes back to for me is: "What if I were stranded on a desert island without my pipe and bong and a goodly supply of ____________ ?" (fill in the blank) I'd like to be able to stay high without props - i.e. samadhi without support - "asamprajnata" (and this is where all these built-in exercses come in handy. If nothing else, OM-ing like crazy for 20 minutes on the resonant frequency of my chest is pretty good - and when I did it on-camera for our local TV station lo some 38 years ago, I ended up in a full snore, same place as mentioned above. Why? Because it's TOTALLY Blissful to vibrate the soft palate and uvula. Speaking of the latter, I'll inflict my uvula poem on you also: http://www.raysender.com/rabbit.html Wishing you nothing but the most ecstatically best in the easiest way possible...
P.S. Had the pleasure of meeting the Shulgins when they launched their first book, and will see them again at the ASSA conference here in San Francisco next month: http://www.assacon.com
P.P.S. As long as we're talking technology, here's another one that interests me: http://www.sensora.com I'd like to be able to lie on a waterbed over a set of subwoofer transducers and OM in a manner that would vibrate my body through the transducers while I'm resonating it on the inside. I have the feeling that if I balanced the inner and outer resonances, I could 'disappear' myself for a period of time. Another possibility would be to set it up in some similar manner in a Samadhi (sensory isolation) tank.
P.P.P.S.: An optimistic read: The Field : The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe by Lynne McTaggart (Author)
2 April 2004
> Greetings Fellow Traveler; I found an unread file from you and I'm glad
> I am reading it now. What Jhana is a person in when they are born?
> Seems like we are born in ecstatic union with the divine or Nirvana.
Yes, we all incarnate as buddhas (Ken Wilber disagrees), totally blissfull beings,
but it all washes out pretty quick via various 'bring-downs...'
The great early wake-up teachers are abandonments and
betrayals of our open trust and love. Very hard to stay high when you're dependant
on someone else for physical nourishment and comfort.
> Its the flesh and as it grows we lose it and we spend lifetimes trying
> to regain it.
I'm not sure it HAS to be the flesh, so to speak. I don't think incarnation -- which after all means 'enfleshment,' de facto implies loss as we grow. Of course that's the whole parental challenge - to nurture the little buddhas so they don't lose it. Very hard yoga, considering what the culture does to kids. I just read something about how very few hours of TV watching in an infant's life screws up the neural circuits.
>Where I'm at now I don't want to have to relearn again....and I don't have to.
I feel exactly the same way, very determined to not come around again, at least for some millennia.
> Don't worry I am OK and God loves and
> accepts me always, its just me (the flesh) that interferes. The mind is
> so malleable.
> the last time I talked to JB he stated
> ...not pushing but advising, that I spend years studying these Sutta's.
> I understand now what the Ashtavakra Gita meant by, "You are bound
> only by the habit of meditation." It just wasn't about me. My line is,
>"meditation is necessary only when the mind is distracted."
There ultimately does come a point when, if you're happily connected 24/7, even meditation as MEDITATION is no longer necessary except perhaps for an occasional relax. After all, the only thing necessary is to let go into our own true 'face before we were born.' But I also think it's easy to fool oneself, which is where I appreciate Master Aziz Kristof's words to the aspirant.
> As for JB, he's learned how to work it, but
> that attitude of spending all day meditating as the thing to do is
> not for me.
JB has found his life work helping others within the wet Vipassana
framework, and it's very valuable because he's popping the balloon
of traditional encrustations around the dry version of the teaching.
Email thunks 3April 2004
> From: JB
> Subject: A critique of the Aziz "method" by JB
> I am somewhat curious, if you are happy with this
> man's teaching method, why are you not speaking with
> him, working through his method to realization, and
> being empowered by him into teaching, instead of
> coming to me?
JB, regarding your 'If you're happy with Aziz's approach:' I think if you read my essay on 'having eight feet,' you will understand how I'm traveling via a homemade integral 'Mad Max' vehicle. Maybe I should re-title the essay "On Having Eight Wheels!"
I see no reason not to approach a variety of teachers, and to learn from each whatever is necessary to speed me along and thus avoid various 'potholes.' I know the traditional method requires 'surrender' to the guru, allowing him/her to kill your ego for you, and then imprint his/her particular persona, but out of this tradition has evolved a whole cluster of situational difficulties that I'm sure you more than understand.
I have learned a great deal from you, and before I found you, I learned from Master Aziz to relax into the 'I Am' State of Presence in the center of the brain whose physical location I identify as the third ventricle ('Ocean of Self'). For a map: http://www.raysender.com/diagram3.html
Once 'Present,' I can enter the pineal 'temple' that I identify as the 'stargate' to the higher realms that we enter every night unconsciously in deep sleep. I always have been interested in correlating the physical (material) and non-material aspects of various paths because matter and spirit are just different frequencies of the same energy, in my opinion, with the subtler reflecting down into the more gross the same basic truths - perhaps in a manner similar to what we now have learned about fractal replication.
Thank you so much for making the effort to offer your input on Master Aziz's teaching. Very helpful, and your openness to _most_ of his views means a lot to me. I also have wondered about his sleep-state opinions, but this is too advanced for me to be able to make an experiential judgment. The only other person aside from you I've ever read who makes a claim to retaining self-awareness in the sleep state is Ken Wilber, and he admits to having lost that access in the past years.
Again, I wish to express my enormous gratitude for the efforts you make to bring others to the same state of absorption you experience. Your openness to viewing other teachers' methods bespeaks your having dropped any attachment or 'guru ego' to your role.