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What Happened?
Answer
10/27/19 9:15 AM
A couple weeks ago, I was driving on a long trip with my family and decided to "meditate" with eyes open. Concentrating on the car in front of me, then switching to concentrating on my field of view, then just noticing my awareness and my field of perception. I had been doing this repeatedly for a couple of hours.

For some background, I have been sitting for one year using Sam Haris Waking Up app daily. Three months ago I started practicing TMI method, but stalled between stages 3 and 4, and have had a hard time getting the drive to continue. I recently found the Ingram book and started reading, I believe on the chapter of impermanence at the time of this occurrence, and had been meditating on the "vibrations". I have also been reading Rupert Spira and pondering consciousness during downtimes in my day.

Shortly after this "meditation", I started thinking about consciousness. I am a computer programmer, so I started thinking about what it would be like to "program" a consciousness. What sensors I would need, how the algorithms would work, etc. I thought about the fact that I would essentially need to create a 3D model of sensory data in order to create a sense of spatial awareness.

It was at this point that I realized that my current awareness is essentially a 3D model created based on sensory data provided by the body. I could look around and see the sky, and my field of vision, and notice that my sensation is all a "rendering" of sensory data. It less of a "camera feed" and more of a first person video game. This is when things got weird. I realized that this "rendering" was in fact occurring somewhere within my skull. The very skull which was currently being rendered. So we had a recursive loop - and I've programmed a lot of these, so I know how to work with them.

Then I realized that if I thought "backwards" out of this loop, logically, there is in fact a version of my skull "outside" of my conscious experience. In the same way that there is a solar system and milky way outside of our planet, my current experience is contained within an incomprehensibly "large" version of my body, which is rendering my perception. Even stranger, the version of my body that I perceive would also contain an incomprehensibly "small" version of my body within my head.

As I write this, I feel as if I sound like a philosophy major taking mushrooms for the first time in college. But I was completely sober at the time, driving in a minivan with my wife and kids. The experience is very difficult to articulate, but it has stuck with me. When I look up at the sky, I can still perceive my skull surrounding conscious experience. And I can also perceive my conscious experience within my skull. It's actually very comforting to see how my body is like a "god" to my conscious experience.

Is there a term for this realization? I have been searching high and low for an explanation of this philosophy as it seems pretty rational. I'm also a little afraid to keep reading MCTOB, because if I am only very early in the path, I feel like this could get very very weird. I have always been a very rational person, so I am also a little nervous that I am losing my sense of reality, and could use some encouragement on my path.

RE: What Happened?
Answer
10/27/19 10:14 AM as a reply to Skeptonaut.
Is there a term for this realization? 

"Reality."

<Quotation marks meant to convey that it's all mental intepretation.>

RE: What Happened?
Answer
10/27/19 1:27 PM as a reply to Skeptonaut.
Sounds pretty cool, a good thing to notice and pay attention to.

What your describing happens every now and then to me. I'll just be hanging out and start "leaning into" the feeling that the sense of the body is being fabricated by/within consciousness. This is followed by awareness pooling in the "brain" area, which starts to get really really big. I'll start wondering how the Mind itself is being fabricated, it will seem spookily apparent at that point that the body-mind is some sort of projection by something outside of the body-mind that is somehow untouchable.

I'm also a little afraid to keep reading MCTOB, because if I am only very early in the path, I feel like this could get very very weird. I have always been a very rational person, so I am also a little nervous that I am losing my sense of reality, and could use some encouragement on my path.

Try to notice the impermanence, suffering and emptiness of those sensations and feelings of fear, nervousness and uncertainty.

RE: What Happened?
Answer
10/28/19 6:17 AM as a reply to Skeptonaut.
Analytical folk say mathematicians are the best at meditation/psychedelics because the universe is largely expressed through geometry. But Reality won't fit kindly into the parameters of human logic. It's a convoluted endeavor, maybe you could write the next great work emoticon I'd read that...

The rendering of information in your skull is your brain, silly. What is our greatest delusion? That is. For survival purposes, evolution has denied our brain the quality of diagnosing itself properly. You really could be sent into endless loops trying to figure that out, but thankfully you didn't. The larger processing software outside your body is pure consciousness which the universe just is. 

There are 5 bodies.

The first is the physical body which obviously includes the brain. Buddhism separates the body and the mind but in the yogic sciences, they are two sides of the same coin. This is all of your physique, your individual memories, personality, and constructs of the mind like ego and identity.

The second body is a body of information. This is in your genes, the memory of your forefathers lies here. Your parent's psychological trips are mixed in and have a direct impact on you, as well as the tastebuds that generations before you have influenced. This is karma

The third body is the energetic body. This is your vital force, the electrical system, chakras and what not

The fourth body is the ethereal body, encompassing the subatomic elements that make you up

And the fifth body... is pure consciousness. 

Someone somewhere said "ying & yang", but these days I think its more standard to say "polarities". In a sort of odd way, the universe is expressing itself through each of us, so you're not wrong in feeling God-like. If you do deepen your practice and build an imaginative mind, you can do wonderful things like lucid dreaming, where laws bend to your whim and that kind of ability is definitely God-like in my opinion. If I remember correctly, there was a study done that showed on average, a person spends about 25 years asleep! That's a good second life to develope, sadly lucid dreaming doesn't replace the recovery and maintenance of deep sleep. Sorry, I'm going off on tangents now.

There are terms but unfortunately, they are strewn about and scattered among all philosophies and... emoticon some of the SAME things are given DIFFERENT labels by different cultures. There are steps to overcome this human obstacle, like developing an unbiased view of reality, but after THAT, all the reading and learning falls on you. Yeah buddy, reality is a rabbit hole. Though it's only made difficult if you're strict on understanding it from a human lense. It's fine as long as you're not attached to that perspective.

I can only support you with honesty emoticon If you get good at manipulating consciousness, your awareness can be shifted to that of a cell or a collection of cells. Right now at base level, you are conscious of a large grouping called... you guessed it, the body. It goes deeper, you can "feel" an atom and experience quantum mechanics. Or you can zoom your consciousness out to the cosmos. This can also happen accidentally during practice! That might scare you, which is why some sects have banned forms of meditation for newbies. 

Two good things to remember... 
1. The breath is your anchor!
2. Your intellect follows where you lead the mind. No layer of reality is more or less significant than any other. The human experience may seem boring but thats only because its all most of us know. If you return from a shocking condition during practice, don't ever reject your humanity. The body is real, the people around you are real, the love you may feel for someone else is real. Remember polarities, if you wanna play God, you should also aspire to be a full-fledged human being.

RE: What Happened?
Answer
10/28/19 7:01 AM as a reply to Skeptonaut.
Nothing happened you just were contemplating what it means to be aware. 

Sam Harris btw lol. I guess it may make sense to start reading him but no he seems to not have the deeper insights nor does it seem he  has touched anything on the meditative path which deeply transforms the personality.