[ExI] better self-transcendence through selective brain damage

Aware aware at awareresearch.com
Fri Feb 12 16:15:32 UTC 2010

On Thu, Feb 11, 2010 at 10:07 PM, Damien Broderick <thespike at satx.rr.com> wrote:
> Links to Spirituality Found in the Brain
> By LiveScience.com Staff
> Scientists have identified areas of the brain that, when damaged, lead to
> greater spirituality. The findings hint at the roots of spiritual and
> religious attitudes, the researchers say.
> The study, published in the Feb. 11 issue of the journal Neuron, involves a
> personality trait called self-transcendence, which is a somewhat vague
> measure of spiritual feeling, thinking, and behaviors. Self-transcendence
> "reflects a decreased sense of self and an ability to identify one's self as
> an integral part of the universe as a whole," the researchers explain.

It's probably worth pointing out, despite a high probability of being
misunderstood, that these experiences of "spirituality" and
"self-transcendence" and other phenomena such as great joy or bliss
orient one's thinking in a manner virtually opposite and certain to
exclude that of Zen enlightenment (which never claims to be religious
or spiritual.)  Such misconceived expectations are key impediments to
those who aim to attain a *coherent* understanding of the relationship
of the observer to the observed (even, and especially, when the
observer IS the observed.)

Zen awakening is accompanied by none of these phenomena, and quite
likely only by a laugh or smile at the realization of how simple and
how close it was all along.

"Before I had studied Zen for thirty years, I saw mountains as
mountains, and waters as waters. When I arrived at a more intimate
knowledge, I came to the point where I saw that mountains are not
mountains, and waters are not waters. But now that I have got its very
substance I am at rest. For it's just that I see mountains once again
as mountains, and waters once again as waters."
— Ch'uan Teng Lu
The Way of Zen, p126

- Jef

- Jef

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