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 Ken Wilber Stops His Brain Waves

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Aaron
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PostSubject: Ken Wilber Stops His Brain Waves   Wed Jul 11, 2007 9:47 pm

This is pretty cool. afro

Quote :
You already knew that Ken has no heart, now we find out that he has no brain, either!

That's right, Ken can stop his brainwaves on demand. Actually—and in a more serious vein—this is the famous EEG machine recording where Ken enters various meditative states, one of which is a type of "thoughtless," "image-less," or "formless" state, whose correlate is that his brainwaves come to an almost complete stop, as clearly recorded on this portable electroencephalograph (EEG) machine. (This video is discussed in One Taste, April 10 entry.)

We asked Ken to do a short 10-minute commentary on these various meditative states and the corresponding brain-wave patterns that are shown on the EEG machine in the video. Ken enters four meditative states (nirvikalpa closed eyes, nirvikalpa open eyes, sahaj, and mantra-savikalpa), each of which has a very distinctive brain-wave pattern. In his commentary, Ken emphasizes that the patterns shown on this machine may or may not be typical, but they do emphasize that profound consciousness states can be evoked at will, and these show immediate correlation in brain-wave patterns.

If nothing else, seeing somebody's brainwaves flatline in about 4 seconds is a sight not easily forgotten! It also explains why we once heard Ken's girlfriend say, upon delivering news that she thought might not be happily received, "Now, um, honey, make your brain waves go to zero...."

More seriously, as Ken often says, "If you want to know God, you've got to get your brain out of the way first. It's just one big stupid filter...."

http://youtube.com/watch?v=LFFMtq5g8N4

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Travis Clementsmith
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PostSubject: Re: Ken Wilber Stops His Brain Waves   Thu Jul 12, 2007 12:36 pm

You know who would love this? Averrroes, he should see this! Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Ken Wilber Stops His Brain Waves   Fri Jul 13, 2007 12:53 am

Now, now. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Ken Wilber Stops His Brain Waves   Sun Dec 16, 2007 8:41 pm

Quote :
More seriously, as Ken often says, "If you want to know God, you've got to get your brain out of the way first. It's just one big stupid filter...."


Alright folks, I saw the video.
Woopeedeedoo!

And I'm afraid I wasn't impressed at all. First of all, the quote from Wilber, above, shows the making of a cult leader and while this may not be true for anyone over here, however, it would appear that the kind of new age mystics that've come to surround him at his Integral Institute are the kind of people looking to be saved by a savior and the only difference is that they are probably under the illusion that they are too liberal or too much of a free thinker to confine themselves to the guidance of a preacher with his convictions in the one true lord/savior, and so in their openminded quest they end up joining restrictive and distintegrative cults that superficially sound enlightening and liberating because their leaders generally accept all saviors and lords and are not fixated upon only one of them. I'm sorry, I find this kind of mentality rather pathetic. More so than that of a traditional religionist, for atleast a traditionalists is deluded by one fiction, however a mystic/integralist/yogic/theosophist/neo-ager is deluded by all fictions. Shocked


Anyways, so Mr. Wilber can stop his brain waves for a few second; wow!

But what does that mean? Did any of you really think about it? Did he reach God by doing so? Has he attained somekind of permanent bliss that no one else has unless they are at his level of guruship (this is the least objectionable claim in my view)? Just because he has developed talent for controlling brian wave patters, does that mean that now whatever he says about the objective world, based upon his strictly internal subjective experience, must be true?

C'mon! If such parlor tricks impress anyone, then I'm really unimpressed by them. I've been in the presence of genuine miracles, and I still don't believe in them (as miracles, although I don't deny that such phenomenon took place); it'll take a lot more to convince me than mere showboading by some spiritual guru--and his being white and residing in Colorado with references to white skinned mystics in his writings does not change the fact that I vehemently disagree and resent him just as I do those with brown skinned derelicts, comming out of (Vedantic) India or (Muslim) Persia, referencing their lineage of mystics or proclaiming their esoteric paths that are setup as the only recourse towards absolute knowledge; and of course, the same goes for pale skinned baldheaded monks comming out of the Far East.

So they can alter their consciousness, and somehow I'm supposed to believe that this is a genuine transformation, a real advancement, of their consciousness? afro Peace
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PostSubject: Re: Ken Wilber Stops His Brain Waves   Sun Dec 16, 2007 9:58 pm

(Averroes, this sounds like a conversation we don't want to have with Bernie!)

Yes, I agree with you. This is no more impressive than those who can regulate their pulse rate at will. So what? We know that the brain is responsible for controlling our bodies, and we should hope we are in control of our brains! That most people don't, only proves that most people have better things to do. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Ken Wilber Stops His Brain Waves   Mon Dec 17, 2007 12:13 am

Paul wrote:
(Averroes, this sounds like a conversation we don't want to have with Bernie!)

Laughing
I swear to you that I wasn't thinking of him when I wrote it; but with all honestly, given the tone of my post, it could've been an unconscious manifestation of one of those intense discussions that grew around his half truths....
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PostSubject: Re: Ken Wilber Stops His Brain Waves   Mon Dec 17, 2007 10:25 am

Who's Bernie?

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PostSubject: Re: Ken Wilber Stops His Brain Waves   Mon Dec 17, 2007 11:13 am

Averroes wrote:
Quote :
More seriously, as Ken often says, "If you want to know God, you've got to get your brain out of the way first. It's just one big stupid filter...."

And I'm afraid I wasn't impressed at all.

I think he made that comment somewhat tongue in cheek. Of course he doesn't think we should stop thinking at all times. The point of the demonstration was that despite the fact that he was able to calm his brain activity down to the point where it wasn't being picked up on his (admittedly basic) EEG machine, he was still able to maintain conscious awareness.

I think a display like this (outside of being pretty cool to watch IMO) acts as evidence that awareness transcends much of the "monkey mind" brain activity that most people associate with it. Perhaps it can also help to shed light on things like NDEs and other phenomena that are currently considered paranormal by many people.

On a more philosophical level, I think Wilber is trying to make the claim that we can increase our connection to the "noumenal" world by removing some of the "phenomenal" categorical structures that our "rational" brain constructs, and in this way, overcome so of the limitations of reason that people like Kant have pointed out.

If this is true (and based on personal experience I think it is) then perhaps we can take another step closer to "ultimate truth" or "the absolute" even if it's something that is ultimately beyond us.

Averroes wrote:
But what does that mean? Did any of you really think about it? Did he reach God by doing so?

I guess that depends on how one defines god. Some people define god in such a way that god becomes impossible to ever have any kind of connection with. I don't understand why this needs to be the case. Why does god need to be so inaccessible? Creation is omnipresent. So why is it so hard to see that perhaps god is also be omnipresent? Especially if the word god is so closely related to creation.

Averroes wrote:
C'mon! If such parlor tricks impress anyone, then I'm really unimpressed by them.

The video is not a parlor trick anymore than someone like Carl Lewis jumping 29 feet is a parlor trick. It's a display of an ability that is the result of years of training and hard work.



Averroes wrote:
It'll take a lot more to convince me than mere showboading by some spiritual guru--and his being white and residing in Colorado with references to white skinned mystics in his writings does not change the fact that I vehemently disagree and resent him just as I do those with brown skinned derelicts, coming out of (Vedantic) India or (Muslim) Persia, referencing their lineage of mystics or proclaiming their esoteric paths that are setup as the only recourse towards absolute knowledge; and of course, the same goes for pale skinned baldheaded monks coming out of the Far East.

What does the color of his skin have to do with anything and why do you resent him? Because he meditates and has opinions about the world that happen to differ from yours?

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PostSubject: Re: Ken Wilber Stops His Brain Waves   Mon Dec 17, 2007 11:22 am

Paul Anthony wrote:
Yes, I agree with you. This is no more impressive than those who can regulate their pulse rate at will. So what? We know that the brain is responsible for controlling our bodies, and we should hope we are in control of our brains! That most people don't, only proves that most people have better things to do. Smile

Some people have more control over their brains than others, just as some people have more control over their ability to jump than others. THAT is the answer to the "so what" question. This control isn't something that we are born with. It's something that needs to be worked on and exercised over time.

Of course most people will feel that they have better things to do, but then again, most people prefer to sit on the couch rather than exercise and they prefer to reject natural theology for dogmatic theology. Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Ken Wilber Stops His Brain Waves   Mon Dec 17, 2007 11:35 pm

Aaron wrote:
Who's Bernie?

Sorry for the private joke...

Bernie is a member of a group that meets at an Internet cafe once a week.
Think of it as a forum without computers, where the posters actually - get this - talk face-to-face! I know, it's a radical idea, and I'm sure it will never catch on. Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: Ken Wilber Stops His Brain Waves   Tue Dec 18, 2007 10:34 am

Paul Anthony wrote:
Aaron wrote:
Who's Bernie?

Sorry for the private joke...

Bernie is a member of a group that meets at an Internet cafe once a week.
Think of it as a forum without computers, where the posters actually - get this - talk face-to-face! I know, it's a radical idea, and I'm sure it will never catch on. Laughing

Face to face! Shocked You can do that. Shocked And without punching each other. Shocked tongue Wink

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