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Scientific Model of Awakening

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Scientific Model of Awakening Lincoln Nguyen 5/16/16 3:04 PM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening Drew Miller 5/16/16 4:40 PM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening Daniel M. Ingram 5/24/16 5:19 AM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening Kim Katami 5/24/16 10:33 AM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening Dada Kind 5/24/16 11:23 AM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening Lincoln Nguyen 5/24/16 3:38 PM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening CJMacie 5/26/16 6:45 AM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening Stirling Campbell 5/16/16 6:04 PM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening Matt 5/16/16 10:48 PM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening Derek 5/16/16 7:01 PM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening neko 5/16/16 7:21 PM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening Lincoln Nguyen 5/23/16 4:09 PM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening Kim Katami 5/25/16 4:56 AM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening CJMacie 5/25/16 6:21 AM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening Kim Katami 5/25/16 6:53 AM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening Chuck Kasmire 5/25/16 4:22 PM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening Kim Katami 5/26/16 12:43 AM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening CJMacie 5/26/16 7:04 AM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening Kim Katami 5/26/16 8:11 AM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening Lincoln Nguyen 5/26/16 9:05 AM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening neko 5/26/16 10:18 AM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening Chris Marti 5/26/16 10:40 AM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening Lincoln Nguyen 5/26/16 12:53 PM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening Chris Marti 5/26/16 1:11 PM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening Kim Katami 5/26/16 3:40 PM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening neko 5/26/16 6:34 PM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening Kim Katami 5/27/16 12:26 AM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening CJMacie 5/27/16 6:12 AM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening Noah 6/2/16 9:35 AM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening J C 2/16/17 2:13 PM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening Oochdd 5/26/16 10:02 AM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening Lincoln Nguyen 5/25/16 12:37 PM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening Lincoln Nguyen 6/1/16 11:58 AM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening Kim Katami 6/1/16 2:08 PM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening Lincoln Nguyen 5/23/16 5:57 PM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening neko 5/23/16 5:51 PM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening Lincoln Nguyen 5/23/16 5:57 PM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening gonflable 5/27/16 10:41 AM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening neko 5/27/16 12:18 PM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening Stirling Campbell 5/27/16 1:45 PM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening neko 5/27/16 6:28 PM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening Stirling Campbell 6/1/16 11:47 AM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening neko 6/2/16 3:57 AM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening Robin Woods 6/2/16 9:03 AM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening Noah 6/2/16 9:21 AM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening shargrol 6/2/16 11:53 AM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening J C 2/16/17 2:23 PM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening Alex Smith 2/16/17 11:32 PM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening CJMacie 2/17/17 2:39 AM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening Stirling Campbell 6/2/16 11:24 AM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening neko 6/2/16 6:34 PM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening Stirling Campbell 6/3/16 11:52 AM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening Lincoln Nguyen 6/1/16 12:11 PM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening Chris Marti 5/16/16 7:34 PM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening Kim Katami 5/17/16 12:29 AM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening tom moylan 5/24/16 11:26 AM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening CJMacie 5/25/16 6:26 AM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening neko 5/25/16 11:54 AM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening neko 5/25/16 12:03 PM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening CJMacie 5/26/16 6:51 AM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening neko 5/26/16 6:59 AM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening CJMacie 5/27/16 5:52 AM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening Ernest Michael Olmos 5/27/16 8:52 AM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening Chuck Kasmire 5/25/16 8:29 PM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening CJMacie 5/26/16 6:53 AM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening neko 5/26/16 7:11 AM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening Banned For waht? 6/30/16 7:46 AM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening neko 2/16/17 3:52 AM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening Banned For waht? 2/16/17 5:41 AM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening neko 2/16/17 7:34 AM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening Banned For waht? 2/16/17 9:38 AM
RE: Scientific Model of Awakening Niklas 2/16/17 2:05 AM
Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/16/16 3:04 PM
Does anyone know of any scientific models for awakening that clearly show the mechanisms leading to stream entry?

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/16/16 4:40 PM as a reply to Lincoln Nguyen.
Hi Lincoln,

Here is one perspective for you. Science is familiarization with phenomena and is ultimately a collective form of meditation. We are familiarizing, or meditating, on natural phenomena which include all objects of awareness, deepening our experience and/or understanding. I think of science as simply meditation.  From this perspective, all of the models of awakening are scientific, although some are more detailed than others.  If you are looking for a model of awakening that uses materialism as it's basis or reducing the process of awakening to the processes of the body, then it doesn't seem that it would provide us with enough detail to accurately describe the entirety of the process of awakening.  The Theraveda four path model seems like a pretty good scientific model to me, although there are many.  Daniel Ingram, in his book Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha, describes many of the models that are out there.  All of them are scientific, to me, in a sense, although all of them may also benefit from further scientific inquiry to deepen our understanding of them. 

metta,

Drew

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/16/16 6:04 PM as a reply to Lincoln Nguyen.
Science tends to want to show changes to the brain structure as advancement, when it's changes in the nature of mind that cause them. Science has it's place, but practice is about things that are qualitative and unprovable to anyone who doesn't understand what we are working on. You sort of have to consider this an alternate science where those with realization are the ones who can properly diagnose progress, and that can be tough for those who haven't seen enough to completely trust the technology of the method.

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/16/16 10:48 PM as a reply to Lincoln Nguyen.
lincoln nguyen:
Does anyone know of any scientific models for awakening that clearly show the mechanisms leading to stream entry?
I have an opinion, based on my experience and the way I've heard other people talk about it:

The brain is chocked full of automatic mechanisms that serve as buffer between real-world sense events and the way we experience ourselves and the world around us.  Central to those mechanisms are many layers and aspects of negative emotion states that sufuse our daily existance with some degree of misery.

Well-taught vipassana meditation execises and strengthens our awareness of each of those mechanisms.  With awareness comes separation from the negative states and lower-reactivity.  With continued practice, the automatic reactions reduce their primacy, to various degrees.  

Stream entry is a neuological shift, wherin a chunk of those unplesent/automatic mechanisms loose out in various degrees to awareness of present moment events,  some forms of awareness becomes the automatic process.  When automatic awareness of present moment events replaces misery, the subjective experience is bliss.

Continuous awareness is taxing, the brain needs rest, stream enterers need frequent 'rest' in the form of blissful meditation, you can't avoid it.  Before Stream Entry, access to those blissful states takes careful setup and practice in the form of meditation.  After Stream Entry access to those states is almost effortless.  (All this changes over time, but anybody who's 'been there' before will verify that this is what it's like at least to some degree, for some amount of time, disagreement with the way I explain it not withstanding)

I'd think this stuff is easy to measure with EEG's, before and after Stream Entry.  The fact that I'm the only guy responding in this way to this post (so far) must mean that I'm probably out in left field somewhere, so disreguard my input. emoticon  Since this is DhO, I await having my phenomenological ass handed to me.

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/16/16 7:01 PM as a reply to Lincoln Nguyen.
I don't know how scientific you want, but here is my perspective from the point of view of developmental psychology: http://xpu.ca/bc/sgse14.html

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/16/16 7:21 PM as a reply to Lincoln Nguyen.
lincoln nguyen:
Does anyone know of any scientific models for awakening that clearly show the mechanisms leading to stream entry?

If by "scientific" you mean something along the lines of the scientific method based on experimentally verifiable / falsifiable statements, as it is understood in fields such as physics, biology, chemistry, medicine, neurology, then the answer is a flat "no". Currently, there is no way to measure whether someone is awakened or not. At the moment, there is no experimental or even theoretical definition of what awakening is in this strict sense of "scientific". Therefore, as of today there is no way to approach the question of what the "mechanisms" should be of something that is not well defined in the first place.

This does not mean that awakening does not exist, of course. And it does not mean that it will not be possible, in the future, to find the signature(s) of awakening(s) through some form of brain scanning technique, for example. But we seem to be very far from anything like that.

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/16/16 7:34 PM as a reply to Lincoln Nguyen.
Does anyone know of any scientific models for awakening that clearly show the mechanisms leading to stream entry?


I've heard of no such thing. Maybe you'll find it and, when you do, let us all know where it is.

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/17/16 12:29 AM as a reply to Lincoln Nguyen.
lincoln nguyen:
Does anyone know of any scientific models for awakening that clearly show the mechanisms leading to stream entry?

Yes, here: http://www.en.openheart.fi/113

Some here will disagree whether the Open Heart-definition of stream-entry is valid as the theravada stream-entry. However, all 60 people (out of 62) who have awakened with the help of this formula (most with guidance, some without it) during the past two years, have seen through the illusion of subject-self which has resulted in a significant shift in their lives. Some of these people had none prior training while some had a lot but to all this shift was meaningful, central. I have inquired whether the sense of subject-self ever came back to them and all of them who answered me said that it hasn't. So it is a permanent shift with no turning back.

This does not mean however that one would be "fully awakened". It's just that the central piece of the cart wheel of delusion is gone. There are many spokes (subconscious mind) left which requires further training.

Those two persons who did not awaken in my guidance was because when giving the first 10-15 guidances I was inexperienced in guiding. During the last 50 guidances everyone has gone through the barrier.

Scientific can mean many things but if by it we mean something like logical or "works like a machine", this can be said of the two-part formula. It is like a mathematical equation.

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/23/16 4:09 PM as a reply to neko.
I'm talking about an interpretive model that shows WHY people wake up. I'm specifically interested in the eradication of the "self view" which in early Buddhism characterizes a stream-enterer. This is the disidentification from the separate solid invidual self.. the Sotapanna. I believe this is also characterized by the  first Bodhisattva Bhumi in Bon and Tibetan Buddhism.

It's my feeling that different methods from different traditions utilize some underlying mechanism that are the same. A person who utilizes Advaita Vedanta self-enquiry to investigate self-hood and a Theravadin Buddhist who methodically dissects the 5 aggregates through noting may use the same mechanism of awareness. What about the cases of people who spontaneously wake up to this insight after periods of immense depression? If we find what is the same between people who reach this insight across different traditions and techniques, perhaps we can begin to explain why it happens. 

YEs. I do mean a scientific method which is based on experimentally verifiable hypotheses. 

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/23/16 5:57 PM as a reply to neko.
neko:
lincoln nguyen:
Does anyone know of any scientific models for awakening that clearly show the mechanisms leading to stream entry?

If by "scientific" you mean something along the lines of the scientific method based on experimentally verifiable / falsifiable statements, as it is understood in fields such as physics, biology, chemistry, medicine, neurology, then the answer is a flat "no". Currently, there is no way to measure whether someone is awakened or not. At the moment, there is no experimental or even theoretical definition of what awakening is in this strict sense of "scientific". Therefore, as of today there is no way to approach the question of what the "mechanisms" should be of something that is not well defined in the first place.

This does not mean that awakening does not exist, of course. And it does not mean that it will not be possible, in the future, to find the signature(s) of awakening(s) through some form of brain scanning technique, for example. But we seem to be very far from anything like that.

I don't think we're not that far off...

Zoran Josipovic for example has done a lot of work in investigating the neural correlates of nodual awareness in meditation. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/256608212_Neural_correlates_of_nondual_awareness_in_meditation

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/23/16 5:51 PM as a reply to Lincoln Nguyen.
Hello Lincoln, this link does not work for me:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1

Maybe because I am on mobile? Could you check again? I am curious emoticon



RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/23/16 5:57 PM as a reply to neko.
Fixed!

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/24/16 5:19 AM as a reply to Drew Miller.
To the best of my knowledge we are not there yet. First, you would need to operationalize a definition of stream entry with clear, scientific criteria. Second, you would need measurement capabilities that could verify those criteria physiologically. We currently have neither, though we appear to be getting closer.

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/24/16 10:33 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
I'm getting a bit allergic of this word "scientific" these days in the context of dharma practice. Before my further comments, I'd like to ask what does scientific mean regarding this topic? In plain English, thank you.

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/24/16 11:26 AM as a reply to Lincoln Nguyen.
howdy lincoln,
scientific..hmmm.

i do like Shinzen Young's take from 'The Science of Enlightenment'.  He doesn't bother to (or is incapable of) showing causal steps to stream entry but frames the entire question of 'spirituality' from a meta standpoint.

He posits (and I paraphrase) that despite our abilty to describe the mechanism of enlightenment, there are nevertheless millions of described, similar and strange experiences over vast stretches of time and geography in complete isolation from one another. 

This is a pretty good argument that there is something to all of this IMO, but falls short of your repeatable, causal link up.

cheers

tom

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/24/16 11:23 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
I agree with you there Kim. I think the situation just gets more complex the farther you go into the philosophy of science, the history, etc. I think any one definition of science is problematic. DhO members are no doubt used to this pattern.

I think you'd avoid a lot of arguments by instead saying scientific/empirical stance/disposition/orientation/commitment, etc.

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/24/16 3:38 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Kim Katami:
I'm getting a bit allergic of this word "scientific" these days in the context of dharma practice. Before my further comments, I'd like to ask what does scientific mean regarding this topic? In plain English, thank you.

By "scientific", I mean a model of stream-entry that can survive the scrutiny of the scientific method through careful observation, measurement, and experimentation. Such a model would have to define WHAT stream entry is, HOW it occurs, and especially WHY.

Take the simple example of photosynthesis in plants. A variety of causes and conditions have to be present for it to grow. Sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide all need to be there for the plant to transform light into chemical energy for it to grow. 

So far, all I've heard is a whole lot of speculation. Some interesting theories come out of the field of neurophenomenology. James Austin writes about his in his book Zen Reflections. Judson Brewer has a theory that involves downregulation of the posterior cingulate cortex. 

I want to make clear, by "scientific" I don't mean some materialist, reductionist, or even neurophenomenological theory. What I'm really after is finding out the mechanisms that lead to stream-entry that are generalizable across all traditions.

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/25/16 4:56 AM as a reply to Lincoln Nguyen.
Lincoln Nguyen:
I'm talking about an interpretive model that shows WHY people wake up. I'm specifically interested in the eradication of the "self view" which in early Buddhism characterizes a stream-enterer. This is the disidentification from the separate solid invidual self.. the Sotapanna. I believe this is also characterized by the  first Bodhisattva Bhumi in Bon and Tibetan Buddhism.

It's my feeling that different methods from different traditions utilize some underlying mechanism that are the same. A person who utilizes Advaita Vedanta self-enquiry to investigate self-hood and a Theravadin Buddhist who methodically dissects the 5 aggregates through noting may use the same mechanism of awareness. What about the cases of people who spontaneously wake up to this insight after periods of immense depression? If we find what is the same between people who reach this insight across different traditions and techniques, perhaps we can begin to explain why it happens. 

Yes. I do mean a scientific method which is based on experimentally verifiable hypotheses. 

Hi Lincoln,

>the Sotapanna. I believe this is also characterized by the first Bodhisattva Bhumi in Bon and Tibetan Buddhism.

- Can you offer a source on this? This is how we see it at Open Heart but I'd also like to know if this view is shared by schools of Tibetan buddhism.

tom moylan:


i do like Shinzen Young's take from 'The Science of Enlightenment'.  He doesn't bother to (or is incapable of) showing causal steps to stream entry but frames the entire question of 'spirituality' from a meta standpoint.

He posits (and I paraphrase) that despite our abilty to describe the mechanism of enlightenment, there are nevertheless millions of described, similar and strange experiences over vast stretches of time and geography in complete isolation from one another. 

This is a pretty good argument that there is something to all of this IMO, but falls short of your repeatable, causal link up.
cheers
tom

I'd like to see some photos of people who have been verified stream-enterers in traditional theravada. I mean looking at this from the Open Heart Bhumi Model-standpoint which has been discussed here on a couple of threads.

I've critisized Shinzen Young on his view of awakening here: http://openheartopenheart.blogspot.fi/2016/02/shinzen-young-on-quickest-way-to.html

On the same page you can find few other texts which deal with the same topic.
Lincoln Nguyen:

By "scientific", I mean a model of stream-entry that can survive the scrutiny of the scientific method through careful observation, measurement, and experimentation. Such a model would have to define WHAT stream entry is, HOW it occurs, and especially WHY.

Take the simple example of photosynthesis in plants. A variety of causes and conditions have to be present for it to
grow. Sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide all need to be there for the plant to transform light into chemical energy for it to grow. 

So far, all I've heard is a whole lot of speculation...

I want to make clear, by "scientific" I don't mean some materialist, reductionist, or even neurophenomenological theory. What I'm really after is finding out the mechanisms that lead to stream-entry that are generalizable across all traditions.
During the last 25 months, I've used this two part formula to help people awaken. 97% of them have (62/64). This has included people of all ages, both genders and many nationalities from Western "educated" part of the world. There has been people without training history, people with some exposure ti direct experience (healing, natural therapies, meditation) and some with quite extensive histories ranging from hindu meditation, physical yoga, TM, popular mindfulness, vajrayana, zen and so on. A common factor to all of them was that after studying the presentation (dialoques, explanations and videos), they realised that here is explained the very matter that has been bugging them in varyng lengths of their lives, for some since childhood, for others since youth, for some since becoming adults. Some said they felt intuitively that the solution to their problem can be found through processing the two part formula. 

The two part formula means

1. recognising open awareness that is without a self or me and from that open mind and
2. doing affirmations of self by purposefully bringing back the sense of subject-self on the level of thought and narrowing it down to mean "I/me" (not including all possible emotions and mind stuff that comes up with the subject-self).  

Processing of the formula means going back and forth between these two modes, that alternate in the minds of men anyway. It is a direct technique for seeing that the "I" is only a deeply grooved and persisting thought-emotion-hassle which can be seen fully through.

People in my guidance have done it ranging from just a few hours to three weeks. Some have awakened just by reading the online materials and trying the formula on their own.

>...wake up...This is the disidentification from the separate solid invidual self...

- No, awakening is not achieved by disidentification. Awakening is when you realise that sensing, doing and living are without a self or "me". That me is only something fictional, you have created and added in your imagination in your life, in numerous different situations. Disidentifying from this self and knowing oneself as knowing awareness (open awareness) is only the first part of the mentioned formula. Disidentification is widely practiced in many forms of meditation around the world but this, however, does not but rarely result in awakening.

>What about the cases of people who spontaneously wake up to this insight after periods of immense depression?

- People who are deeply depressed are greatly pressured by their sense of me-ness. This can be simulated with the second step of the two part formula. Everyone says that when they affirm "I, I, I" or "me, me, me" in their mind, in a moment they begin to feel restricted, unfomfortable, strange emotions, aches and pains, lack of openness and expansion. Try it out and see. Depression is just a long version of this that has crawled up insidiously. I suppose most people experience depression to some degree. It is a form of self-delusion.

- So when some people, like Eckhart Tolle, have awakened spontaneously, without planning and without having a concept for it, they have squeezed into this self-saturated state... which *snap* has reached it's limit and disappeared. Through this process their sense of me-ness, to some degree, has become powerless, transparent and clear. Hence, awakened people are no longer blinded by the false concept of existing as "me". They are free of it. I've met about 10 people who have awakened spontaneously but I don't remember if any of them awakened because of depression. However, awakening of these people is the same as those who applied the mentioned formula. 

>If we find what is the same between people who reach this insight across different traditions and techniques, perhaps we can begin to explain why it happens...What I'm really after is finding out the mechanisms that lead to stream-entry that are generalizable across all traditions.

- Precisely! It's a universal thing. Not the property or right of any single person or a group. As far as I know, there are no requirements for it either (other than not having a very serious mental health condition). Way to go, huh? emoticon

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/25/16 6:21 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Thanks, Mr KK, for reminding us yet again of all you have to offer, and what an amazing authority you are.

The more persistant the self-promotion, the stronger the sense of the insecurity that lies beneath it all.

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/25/16 6:26 AM as a reply to Lincoln Nguyen.
"Science" as from "scientia" (Latin) just means "knowledge" – in different senses across more than two millennia of Western culture. Modern Western "science" is much more specific, and works splendidly in areas (the "hard" sciences) like physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, etc. The "soft" sciences, especially related to psychology, are a mess – a recent report / analysis found that the majority (60% or more) of studies make claims on suspicious, if not completely ungrounded statistical methods. "Confirmation bias" runs rampant. Especially in the area of "meditation science".

A problem is that 1st-person data is basically inadmissible, or at least highly problematic, in the current scientific paradigm. The strength of science rests on the objective perspective – essentially "having no skin in the game", such as prior beliefs, religious or otherwise. Doing science from the "pragmatic" motivation ("applied science") is also problematic, arguably not "pure" science (knowledge for knowledge's sake), but rather a "what's in it for me?" enterprise.

"Awakening" is an individual life experience, and, as some traditions have it, comes with irrefutable certainty, in a radically phenomenological sense. (long story…)

Question/challenge: How much is this obsession with "scientific model", or whatever, related to deep uncertainty, searching for external validation, on the part of the methods and individuals who pursue it? How much is just fadishness – can't be "true", worthwhile, if it's not proven scientifically?

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/25/16 6:53 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
CJMacie:
Thanks, Mr KK, for reminding us yet again of all you have to offer, and what an amazing authority you are.

The more persistant the self-promotion, the stronger the sense of the insecurity that lies beneath it all.

For some reason you keep getting upset or pissed off by my posts. No need to become impolite. If you don't like what I write, bypass.

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/25/16 11:54 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
CJMacie:

Question/challenge: How much is this obsession with "scientific model", or whatever, related to deep uncertainty, searching for external validation, on the part of the methods and individuals who pursue it? How much is just fadishness – can't be "true", worthwhile, if it's not proven scientifically?
There is certainly this, I grant you that.

However, imagine a day in which there is some kind of instrument (say a brain scan) reading the degree and type of awakeness that one has, providing feedback on the kind of practice to make this or that, allowing us to tell true meditation teachers from cult leaders and psychopaths... wouldn't it be a useful thing? Wouldn't it be fun?

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/25/16 12:03 PM as a reply to CJMacie.
CJMacie:

"Awakening" is an individual life experience, and, as some traditions have it, comes with irrefutable certainty, in a radically phenomenological sense. (long story…)


Let us take this for granted. So we have

if one is awake => then one knows for sure


However, do we have...?

if one thinks he knows for sure he is awake => then he is really awake


Clearly not! Actually, it is the hallmark of certain stages (and practitioners) to believe that they have achieved something that they actually haven't. So, in addition to the problem of a student diagnosing a master's actual skill, there is the problem of self-diagnosis. And the two problems are bundled up. A teacher might be honestly overestimating his "qualifications". I am pretty sure that happens...

Plus, there is the curiosity. Some of us find it fascinating to know how, say, colour or sound information is elaborated by the brain. What's wrong with being curious about how the "non-dual stuff" is processed by the brain?

And, last but by far not least: take all the "wars" about, say, no-self vs. true self. How much of it is about using a different linguistic and philosophical interpretation of the phenomenology, and how much of it is actually a different phenomenology? The idea of being able to answer these questions with an instrument is fascinating, I think emoticon 

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/25/16 12:37 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Kim Katami:
Lincoln Nguyen:
I'm talking about an interpretive model that shows WHY people wake up. I'm specifically interested in the eradication of the "self view" which in early Buddhism characterizes a stream-enterer. This is the disidentification from the separate solid invidual self.. the Sotapanna. I believe this is also characterized by the  first Bodhisattva Bhumi in Bon and Tibetan Buddhism.

It's my feeling that different methods from different traditions utilize some underlying mechanism that are the same. A person who utilizes Advaita Vedanta self-enquiry to investigate self-hood and a Theravadin Buddhist who methodically dissects the 5 aggregates through noting may use the same mechanism of awareness. What about the cases of people who spontaneously wake up to this insight after periods of immense depression? If we find what is the same between people who reach this insight across different traditions and techniques, perhaps we can begin to explain why it happens. 

Yes. I do mean a scientific method which is based on experimentally verifiable hypotheses. 

Hi Lincoln,

>the Sotapanna. I believe this is also characterized by the first Bodhisattva Bhumi in Bon and Tibetan Buddhism.

- Can you offer a source on this? This is how we see it at Open Heart but I'd also like to know if this view is shared by schools of Tibetan buddhism.
Thanks for your thoughtful response. Lots to unpack here.. Lets start with your first question. 

Tempa Dukte Lama in "Journey to Buddhahood" very clearly explains the Ten Stages of Compassionate Beings in the Tibetan Bon tradition. It's based on the Sa Lam books and other ancient Bon writings. These Ten Stages are pretty much synonymous with the Ten Bodhisattva Bhumis in the Tibetan Buddhism. 

The first stage is called the Path of Seeing, where you see the true nature of reality directly. The fruit of this stage is the joy felt from seeing the lack of inherent existence of self and phenomena. It's a direct knowing that is free from conceptual mind. 

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/25/16 4:22 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Kim Katami:
CJMacie:
Thanks, Mr KK, for reminding us yet again of all you have to offer, and what an amazing authority you are.

The more persistant the self-promotion, the stronger the sense of the insecurity that lies beneath it all.

For some reason you keep getting upset or pissed off by my posts. No need to become impolite. If you don't like what I write, bypass.

It's a discussion forum. If we all just skip posts we disagree with, the place would turn into one big I'm OK, You're OK fest – which probably sounds great for anyone coming from a marketing perspective – but that is of course not why we are here. So challenging and debating views is part of the deal. And when things do get to be impolite, it is usually the result of a group effort.

How would you like to go to a party where someone is constantly going around self aggrandizing, putting down others, and on top of all that trying to sell you something? – it would be kind of irritating, right? It doesn't matter how 'polite' that person is because the way they act in itself is impolite in a more general sense.

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/25/16 8:29 PM as a reply to CJMacie.
CJMacie:
"Science" as from "scientia" (Latin) just means "knowledge" – in different senses across more than two millennia of Western culture. Modern Western "science" is much more specific, and works splendidly in areas (the "hard" sciences) like physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, etc. The "soft" sciences, especially related to psychology, are a mess –...

I completely agree with your post here but just wanted to borrow this little snippet to bring up a somewhat related topic.

Ken Wilber in his Marriage of Sense and Soul makes a point regarding mathematics and logic:

...the author subsequently outlines what he regards as empirical science's two primary objections to an integration of science and religion:
  • That "there are no irreducible interior domains that can be studied by different modes of knowing, there are only objective ITS (atomistic or holistic) studied best by science. In short, interior domains have no reality of their own; thus there are no "interior" modes of knowing that cannot be explained away, literally."
  • "Even if there were other modes of knowing than the sensory-empirical, they would have no mean of validation and thus could not be taken seriously."[36]
In addressing the first objection Wilber reasons that if "empirical science rejects the validity of any and all forms of interior apprehension and knowledge, then it" must also reject "its own validity as well". This is so because "a great deal" of this knowledge itself, already "rests on interior structures and apprehensions that are not delivered by" and hence can't be confirmed by, "the senses (such as logic and mathematics, to name only two)." Likewise, "(i)f science acknowledges these interior apprehensions, upon which its own operations depend, then it cannot object to interior knowledge per se. It cannot toss all interiors into the garbage can without tossing itself with it." - source

Always thought that was an interesting observation.

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/26/16 12:43 AM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Chuck Kasmire:
Kim Katami:
CJMacie:
Thanks, Mr KK, for reminding us yet again of all you have to offer, and what an amazing authority you are.

The more persistant the self-promotion, the stronger the sense of the insecurity that lies beneath it all.

For some reason you keep getting upset or pissed off by my posts. No need to become impolite. If you don't like what I write, bypass.

It's a discussion forum. If we all just skip posts we disagree with, the place would turn into one big I'm OK, You're OK fest – which probably sounds great for anyone coming from a marketing perspective – but that is of course not why we are here. So challenging and debating views is part of the deal. And when things do get to be impolite, it is usually the result of a group effort.

How would you like to go to a party where someone is constantly going around self aggrandizing, putting down others, and on top of all that trying to sell you something? – it would be kind of irritating, right? It doesn't matter how 'polite' that person is because the way they act in itself is impolite in a more general sense.
If we are on a discussion forum, there should be discussion, not just negative commenting without any relevance to the topic. I'm totally fine with challening and debating views but some people like Chris Macie have been posting many similar comments which are simply impolite. And off topic.

I discussed self-promotion with Daniel recently. He said he totally gets it because he does it himself. Anybody thought of that? I've suggested sticking with the topics before.

If we get stuck in these issues again, I'm out of that discussion. I've said enough about them.

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/26/16 6:45 AM as a reply to Lincoln Nguyen.
re: Lincoln Nguyen (5/24/16 3:38 PM as a reply to Kim Katami)

"I want to make clear, by "scientific" I don't mean some materialist, reductionist, or even neurophenomenological theory. What I'm really after is finding out the mechanisms that lead to stream-entry that are generalizable across all traditions."

Two difficulties in this statement of goal:

1) "Mechanisms" implies a machine model. Like an algorithm? What sort of machine-model do you have in mind? Like Newtonian mechanics? This might seem to imply a completely understood, predictable model – defining states and transformations between them. How to map the human mind to any such model, without in fact "reducing" it to such terms?

2) "Stream-entry" (sotāpanna) is a term that historically belongs specifically to Buddhist traditions. It's s/w loosely borrowed all over the place (especially in DhO), and treated as-if "generalizable across all traditions". That smacks of "perennial philosophy" (of Indic-Brahmanic origin) which tends to fashion itself as an all-inclusive and authoritative view. For instance, as a certain "Baba" (big-daddy Indic-modeled authority persona) asserts: "It's a universal thing."(Kim Katami 5/25/16 4:56 AM as a reply to Lincoln Nguyen). Having run across this view a number of times in "spiritual" or the like teachers, it often, if not always, turns out (from evidence of teaching pattern and general behavior) that what the person means by this universal truth – "what all the great masters teach" being another version I've encountered – is their own particular view.


Theravada versions of the Buddha's teachings (the Pali Canon, i.e. the most original record thereof) depict him specifically and radically differentiating his path from the Vedic-Brahmanic view. Contemporary scholars as well as Theravadan apologists (recently and notably Thanissaro Bhikkhu and Bhikkhu Bodhi, for instance) are quite clear that Buddha dhamma does not fit the mold of that perennial-philosophy view. "Awakening" is used widely, but rarely following the meaning of (Buddhist) stream-entry or stream-winning.


There may, or may not, be some way of modeling this general view of "awakening". Insisting that such subsumes stream-entry reflects a remarkable degree of reductionism, if not pretension. Somehow, it's become fashionable to associate this or that "awakening" system with Buddhism, or as having "roots in the Buddhist tradition" (e.g. the "Monastic Academy"), in some way equivalent. That's simply marketing, me-to-ism, parasitic.

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/26/16 6:51 AM as a reply to neko.
re: neko (5/25/16 12:03 PM as a reply to CJMacie)

"…wouldn't it be a useful thing? Wouldn't it be fun?"
"The idea of being able to answer these questions with an instrument is fascinating, I think"

Surely. When Bhumi-reading is published as an iPhone app, we will have such a parlor-game. emoticon

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/26/16 6:53 AM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
re: Chuck Kasmire(5/25/16 8:29 PM as a reply to CJMacie)

Another way of looking at Wilber's analysis is that empirical science is grounded in a belief system; if that's not acknowledged and thoroughly understood, it is, in effect, just another form of religion.

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/26/16 6:59 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
CJMacie:
re: neko (5/25/16 12:03 PM as a reply to CJMacie)

"…wouldn't it be a useful thing? Wouldn't it be fun?"
"The idea of being able to answer these questions with an instrument is fascinating, I think"

Surely. When Bhumi-reading is published as an iPhone app, we will have such a parlor-game. emoticon

haha emoticon 

If you are skeptical of the idea that it might be possible, in principle or any time soon, I concur. emoticon 

But you sound like you wouldn't like for it to happen, or you'd rather that it weren't possible. Amirite? :p 

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/26/16 7:04 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
re: Kim Katami(5/26/16 12:43 AM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire)

"I discussed self-promotion with Daniel recently. He said he totally gets it because he does it himself. Anybody thought of that?"
That's political. Daniel is, as a matter of fact, quite politically astute. But his behavior on DhO is quite different; he even listens to others at times. Shall we survey his modes of participation here with yours in terms of the actualpostings?

"I've suggested sticking with the topics before."
You've demonstrated "sticking with" it – 9 out of 10 of your posts simply reiterate your topics, often word-for-word, attempt to steer the "topic" to your self-promotional themes.

"If we get stuck in these issues again, I'm out of that discussion. I've said enough about them."
You can say that again! You have repeated, again and again, the virtues of your analysis and teachings, the statistics "proof", the "bhumi" scheme, etc. (Shall I compile some statistics on your posts and the "topics" they raise?) Where's give-and-take discussion, consideration of other's views, other than ignoring or dismissing them. "Discussion" means where ever you find an opening just dishing-out the same stuff?

You seem an intelligent, personable guy, frankly, but the behavior here seems to reflect some impulsive addiction to this "baba"-authoritarian front.

Earlier you stressed how you're so misunderstood, people haven't gone through and digested all the stuff at your websites (much of which you mirror on DhO). I, for one, have gone through all that, the background, the various methods and directions you've taken over the past 3 or 4 years. Shall I publish here an analysis of that?

(btw: That paper you put-out -- Awake_Second_edition_2016 -- has some serious editing problems in the "Case 1" study-- I can forward the details if you want.)

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/26/16 7:11 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
CJMacie:
re: Chuck Kasmire(5/25/16 8:29 PM as a reply to CJMacie)

Another way of looking at Wilber's analysis is that empirical science is grounded in a belief system; if that's not acknowledged and thoroughly understood, it is, in effect, just another form of religion.


It is a belief system of course. But it requires a smaller number of hypotheses than most religions. You could actually say that the axioms of most scientific theories are a subset of the axioms of most revealed religions.

Christianity and General Relativity both assume that apples exist. Both observe that they fall from trees.

Christianity, however, also assumes the story of the rib-woman being advised by a taking snake to steal an apple, which enraged a Creator that had to have himself crucified by the rib-woman's descendents to pardon them for having an apple-stealing great great grand granny. It is a beautiful metaphor of the human condition and I really like it from one point of view.

However, taken as truth, this hypothesis is not necessary for General Relativity. GR is agnostic when it comes to talking snakes - or reincarnating Dalai Lamas.

I cannot think of a scientific hypothesis that is not shared by Christianity, however. Pretty much everything follows from the idea that apples exist - and if they look as though they fall from trees, it must be because they fall from trees.

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/26/16 8:11 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
CJMacie:
re:

Earlier you stressed how you're so misunderstood, people haven't gone through and digested all the stuff at your websites (much of which you mirror on DhO). I, for one, have gone through all that, the background, the various methods and directions you've taken over the past 3 or 4 years. Shall I publish here an analysis of that?

Hi Chris,

If you think this is constructive and have nothing else to do than to throw those small stones at me, go ahead. I suggest you start another thread for it. I've seen enough times how you interpret what I say, and the tone how you do it, so personally I have no interest in it, unless you do it properly and professionally.

In regards to this thread, I answered Lincoln Ngyuen to his question from what I know first hand, in enough detail.

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/26/16 9:05 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
This discussion is really going off the rails here. If you two (KK and CJMacie) want to trade personal barbs take it somewhere else. It's a huge turnoff for others who want to contribute to the discussion in a meaningful way.

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/26/16 10:02 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
Earlier you stressed how you're so misunderstood, people haven't gone through and digested all the stuff at your websites (much of which you mirror on DhO). I, for one, have gone through all that, the background, the various methods and directions you've taken over the past 3 or 4 years. Shall I publish here an analysis of that?
I for one would be interested!

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/26/16 10:18 AM as a reply to Lincoln Nguyen.
Lincoln Nguyen:
This discussion is really going off the rails here. If you two (KK and CJMacie) want to trade personal barbs take it somewhere else. It's a huge turnoff for others who want to contribute to the discussion in a meaningful way.

I agree that the tones could always be more skillful then they are (human nature). But if someone states that they have a 97% effective method for awakening, it is only normal --- and even desirable IMHO --- for someone to step up and question the claim. If you take away the personal beef, I think that the exchange about Kim's claims is perfectly in-topic in a thread about the "scientific" side of awakening emoticon 

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/26/16 10:40 AM as a reply to neko.
Chiming in to agree... the argument is really not a huge turnoff. I find it entertaining. A good flame war is usually good for business, er, web traffic.

emoticon 

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/26/16 12:53 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Chiming in to agree... the argument is really not a huge turnoff. I find it entertaining. A good flame war is usually good for business, er, web traffic.

emoticon 
Well i guess the peanut gallery has spoken. Flame on..

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/26/16 1:11 PM as a reply to Lincoln Nguyen.
On a different note -

Lincoln, it appears that you've been a member of DhO for about two weeks now. What you are witnessing on this topic is a long standing issue between some longer term members. Some folks dislike the self promotion that Baba, er, Kim Katami does here... a lot. Others don't seem to mind so much. Getting to the bottom line on the thing it doesn't amount to a hill of beans, though getting upset about it might be a way to examine what pushes your buttons, and why. And it might also be a way to allow your sense of humor to show itself.

Welcome.

Seriously.

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/26/16 3:40 PM as a reply to Lincoln Nguyen.
Lincoln Nguyen:
This discussion is really going off the rails here. If you two (KK and CJMacie) want to trade personal barbs take it somewhere else. It's a huge turnoff for others who want to contribute to the discussion in a meaningful way.
I've heard from a couple of serious dharma practitioners that they have enjoyed this forum until they got fed up with the negative comments and left. Like Dan said there is a bunch of alpha males (men) butting heads together (I should have left these parts of our discussion to the published recording but I edited them out). I wonder how many people turned on their heels already on the doorstep... Of course we are people here as people on any other forum but seriously speaking dharma practice should show from comments, especially from seasoned practitioners. Fortunately, often it also does.
neko:

I agree that the tones could always be more skillful then they are (human nature). But if someone states that
they have a 97% effective method for awakening, it is only normal --- and even desirable IMHO --- for someone to step up and question the claim. If you take away the personal beef, I think that the exchange about Kim's claims is perfectly in-topic in a thread about the "scientific" side of awakening emoticon 
In my first post in this thread, I wrote, among other specs:
Kim Katami:
lincoln nguyen:
Does anyone know of any scientific models for awakening that clearly show the mechanisms leading to stream entry?
Yes, here: http://www.en.openheart.fi/113

Some here will disagree whether the Open Heart-definition of stream-entry is valid as the theravada stream-entry. However, all 60 people (out of 62) who have awakened with the help of this formula (most with guidance, some without it) during the past two years, have seen through the illusion of subject-self which has resulted in a significant shift in their lives. Some of these people had none prior training while some had a lot but to all this shift was meaningful, central. I have inquired whether the sense of subject-self ever came back to them and all of them who answered me said that it hasn't. So it is a permanent shift with no
turning back.


I realise this is a huge claim in the dharma culture of today. None has showed a similar "scientific model of awakening" here yet. Even for vipassana/theravada people, who I'd expect to be specialists of awakening/stream entry, this statistic might be somewhat a shock, somehow outrageous or something. I haven't yet figured out what the problem is when some people get so passionate and cynical about this. But now when recalling, I was quite nervous about it myself when guiding the first couple of dozen people because I also had become conditioned by the thought that even with the best enlightenment techniques awakening is sort of an accident or random. Now I know otherwise.

I've seen what happens to people, all 62 of them so far during the last 25 months, when they awaken. My own awakening (1st bhumi), wasn't any different to theirs, i.e. a very significant and long sought life changing shift. If anyone wishes to study this formula, it's online and so are many texts and videos related to it. If you wish to check it out, just for studying it, by all means check it out. If you wish to try it out, by all means do. The whole instruction is there, no money or "memberships" involved.

Honestly and sincerely, I've seen the formula work in so many cases. Awakenings of these people are not different than kenshos, stream-entries or what was it again they call it in mahamudra tradition. And I'm speaking of practitioners/awakenings from other traditions whose cases I know well enough to say this.

Maybe some people don't simply want to admit that this could be true. I just hope the word gets out to help people, that's all. Had I known this formula back in the day, I surely wouldn't have wasted so much time doing all the stuff I did in traditional training. If other guides or teachers from any tradition wishes to use this formula, please do (!) because it works. One doesn't have to be involved with me in anyway. It's not my property nor do I intend to trademark it or whatever it is that business people always do.

What I'm trying to do with this topic (and with Open Heart Bhumi Model-posts) is to pop up some old habits of the dharma culture, within my limited understanding. If this is self-promotion and seen as something bad here, OK.

I asked about this directly from Dan, the founder of this community. He was perfectly fine with what I have done here and added that he perfectly understands because he has done the same thing and has gone through the same battles with people back in the day. Daniel, please correct me, if I am misquoting you.    

Anyway. Have a nice day all.

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/26/16 6:34 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Kim, just to be clear: When I say that it is a good thing that your claims are questioned, I mean just that. I don't mean to imply that your claims are invalid. Just that questioning is a good and necessary thing for practical practice emoticon 

As for "admitting that your claims are true", I just haven't taken the time to analyse your method in sufficient detail to have any definitive opinion about your claims at the moment. 

I practically only comment on the methodological aspects of what constitutes "proof" and what the means might be to verify a proof independently and/or to make a proof stronger emoticon

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/27/16 12:26 AM as a reply to neko.
Sure thing Neko-chan.

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/27/16 5:52 AM as a reply to neko.
re: neko (5/26/16 6:59 AM as a reply to CJMacie)

"If you are skeptical of the idea [answer these questions with an instrument] that it might be possible, in principle or any time soon, I concur.
But you sound like you wouldn't like for it to happen, or you'd rather that it weren't possible. Amirite? :p
 "

More along the lines of "skeptical", as in "been there, done that". That is to say, having spent decades in computer science and software design and development (during the "golden age" – 1960s-1990s), I know well the enthusiasm behind such projections. But the overall experience indicates that the darker sides of samsara most often prevail, as in greed and hybris.

On the one hand, extrapolating from some exciting discovery to the full realization of a brave new world – that's for the young and ambitious. I've seen too many brilliant, promising ideas (and proven implementations) go by the wayside while the likes of Microsoft dominate with half-assed ideas rolled-out with ace marketing, cut-throat competition, and a product policy geared towards virtual enslavement of the consumer public. The likes of Google and Facebook are still in the idealistic stages, but there's so much money involved that the future developments will surely follow the same pattern. (To quote Friedrich Nietzsche, "the flies in the marketplace" take over – buzzing around the decaying produce and excrement (a traditional metaphor for money).)

In a less nakedly mercenary way, the weekly scientific research press announcements of some in fact minor discovery projected to the level of a major break-through, just around the corner now. (Admittedly, these folks are forced into this by the necessity to continuously generate funding for their work.)

(There was a brilliant and famous analyst and science-fiction writer, Jerry Pournelle, I got to know in the Hacker's Forum – died years ago; was science advisor to Pres. Reagan on the star-wars defense system – who had a catchy phrase characterizing the promises of the typical game-changing software or other technological break-through: "REAL SOON NOW!".)

So it's not like I "wouldn't like for it [instrumentalization] to happen", but rather seeing again and again that meaningful human skills and achievements come about through brilliant and dedicated individuals, mentored in a lineage by like-minded predecessors. This in science, in scholarship, in medicine, and, yes, in technology. Gadgetry tends inexorably to commercial and other devious exploitation. For instance, the DaVinci robotic (it's really not robotic, but prosthetic) surgical device works wonders in the hands of a master surgeon, but it's being sold to hospitals across the land and manned often by wonks, leaving a trail of seriously damaged patients. Or the key people who oversee the hyper-critical steps in digital wafer fabrication (say at Intel) are actually more artists – their skill has more to do with intuition and "touch" than mechanical technique.

In the "awakening" arena, the task is similarly one of individual, and internal, effort, and is proven to succeed, traditionally cultivated and transmitted, person to person; mentor to student in long-term relationship. When, as currently, there's fashion and commerce involved (the "mindfulness" craze) more facile methods and devious operators proliferate.

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/27/16 6:12 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
re: Kim Katami (5/26/16 3:40 PM as a reply to Lincoln Nguyen)

Thanks for refreshing our memories, yet again, as to your remarkable claimsemoticon.

1) An attempt at discussion:

"…Even for vipassana/theravada people, who I'd expect to be specialists of awakening/stream entry, this statistic might be somewhat a shock, somehow outrageous or something…"
Another possibility is that equating your brand of "awakening" with Theravadan stream-entry etc. is in fact misled; the pretension is what gives one pause.

"…I also had become conditioned by the thought that even with the best enlightenment techniques awakening is sort of an accident or random. Now I know otherwise."
That conditioning was admittedly unfortunate and I'm glad (seriously) you overcame it.

There is, to simplify a bit, a spectrum of ways 'it' is said to occur – from sudden out-of-the-blue 'random' (Paul of Taurus aka 'St. Paul' falling off his horse; or maybe in the cases of Mr. Tolle or Katie Byron); to sudden but eccentrically conditioned practices (popular Zen take that it's an 'accident', but curious methods like Koan practice make one more "accident-prone"); to, for instance, Theravadan more long-term 'gradual' practice/path, systematically honing concentration and insight to potentiate a transformation that can't be predicted exactly, nor programatically coerced, but tends to come about with ernest application and with good guidance.

I see no reason not to accept that what you (Kim) have experienced, and your method to help others towards, is a genuine, beneficial transformative change. That it can be equated with 'stream-entry' or final 'unbinding' is less substantiated, resting on assumptions and abstractions (akin to scientific 'reduction'). Btw, this critique I would also apply to much of the way the MCTB approach is understood and applied.

2) Curious pattern noticed here – for the third time on DhO in the last 20 months (my tenure here): someone shows up claiming an unusual degree of authority, and eliciting critical (and, yes, s/t s/w rabid) responses; then becoming themselves reactive, dismissive, in turn, and in particular citing how people are driven away from the forum and directing blame for that.

(Posters come and go all the time, for a variety of reasons. That recent media article citing 5000 followers of DhO is likely a cumulative, s/w misleading statistic. At any giventime I would guess no more than a couple hundred viewers are active, often far less. Active postings range from ca. 80 per day (as I measured, at the height of the rather dramatic 1st episode cited below) to 15-25 per day recently – it's been rather slow lately.)

1) First episode, Jan-Feb 2015, Kenneth Folk shows up, apparently leveraging off a just released BATGAP interview, and offers himself to answer questions, in a s/w authoritative, controlling manner. Various critiques emerge (starting with his perceived motive of drumming up business), and eventually it goes ballistic on all sides. (Most of the excitement -– the thread "Money and the Buddha" -- was subsequently deleted from the accessible DhO archives.) Kenneth also stressed that people were being driven away; he even attacked moderation efforts, and called for some kind of general overhaul of DhO, which he, by the way, offered to lead. Anyway, that all passed; not without some extensive follow-up re-consideration of the DhO rules and moderation setup.

2) 2nd episode, Sept-Oct 2015 (see thread "It Has Happened"). One "Ven Dharmasar Thero" shows up (who had also appeared here in 2014 as "Ven.Nyanasara Thero" and otherwise aka "Buddha Dave", "Gaurahari Dasanudas Babaji", and "David Bruce Hughes"), claiming profound attainments and advertising his website and services. His approach turned heads, and it turns out there were some were some rather unsavory skeletons in his closet, so to speak, and even threatening statements. Things got exciting, the moderators got involved, and eventualy he gave up.
Two quotations to illustrate the tone:
(bernd the broter non-gluten-free resident jester) "So, if it's still not obvious for anyone: Here some random psychopath/delusional Bro/13-year old troll/... comes along and intends to use DhO as his own stage. He succeeds by getting positive feedback from Daniel Ingram himself. This is where his mission was basically complete.
As soon as some specific questions come up, he goes all "Nirvana is unknowable. By the way, I know it. Now shut up, small minds around me."
"
And Dharmasar's own parting words:
(replying to bernd) "Right. It's beyond humor into the realm of the genuinely absurd. Here is a forum that is supposed to be a serious, or at least understanding, discussion of alternate views on Buddhist attainments. Yet the venomous acidity found here would be more apropos of Reddit. Haven't you heard of the precept of renouncing harsh speech? Anyway I have better things to do than debate things that are, in any case, totally subjective and unverifiable. Keep your sarcasm to yourselves, I do not accept it."
This case was rather extreme, and this character's background and behavior is mentioned here in no way to reflect on Kenneth (episode 1) nor Kim (episode 3). The point is the recurrent pattern: perceived pretension of authority – reaction, turmoil – dissing DhO or placing blame for driving people away.

3) (back to Kim Katami (5/26/16 3:40 PM as a reply to Lincoln Nguyen))
"I've heard from a couple of serious dharma practitioners that they have enjoyed this forum until they got fed up with the negative comments and left. Like Dan said […] I wonder how many people turned on their heels already on the doorstep... Of course we are people here as people on any other forum but seriously speaking dharma practice should show from comments, especially from seasoned practitioners."
(Well put, btw, the last sentence.)

Maybe it could be called a "karmic" pattern that I discern here, meaning not Therevada kamma (intentional action), but an impersonal samsaric pattern that just gets reborn periodically, has, so to speak, a life of its own. emoticon

Btw: planning to get to work on a new thread "Dharma Bazzar" (son of "Dharma Marketplace") to comment on reviewing the websites "Guru's Light" and "Open Heart" (and the blog), and trying hard to put a priority on perspective among viewpoints, rather than polemic.

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/27/16 8:52 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
In my opinion we'll have devices that measure brain activity with detail, and a lot more understanding about it from 10 to 15 years (2025-2030) from now.

Not only the stages of enlightment will be documented but also a lot of other things.

I don't think meditation will be a "success". Like many things, while very rewarding, it requires a lot of effort, and the trend is clearly towards less effort.
More and more, the effort, the push, the doing, will be done by machines.

My 2 cents.

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/27/16 10:41 AM as a reply to neko.
Plus the works of the scientists require (a lot of) money and a strong faith, in what they call ''scientific realism''. Of course, the (logical) positvists have utterly failed towards their goals, which constraints the remaining rationalists who still cling to scientific realism to adapt their old faith to a faith in their notion, newly created, of ''inter-subjectivity''.


RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/27/16 12:18 PM as a reply to gonflable.
It is so funny of you to say that it's what they (the scientists) call scientific realism. When actually the average scientist won't even know what the expression "scientific realism" means.

The fact is, you talk about science like a philosopher would. "Faith" in scientific realism is by no means needed to do science. That's the kind of stuff you will hear all the time in a Philosophy department but practically never in a Physics or Chemistry one.

It is an issue (or, better, a non-issue) that has nothing to do with actual science. You will never hear a physicist talking in a paper about whether atoms really exist - it would be considered silly and not publishable. All that matters is experience, and the ability of theories to predict and postdict experience. Everything else is fluff.

You see, science is pretty easy actually. It is just about testing ideas against experience and discarding ideas that do not match experience. Like "so you say chemical substance X cures illness Y? Well then it must mean that if I give 100 patients with illness Y substance X, and 100 patients some sugar water, surely patients that got X must be better off in the end, on average."

Then the philosopher steps in and says "you must be assuming something about the ontology of substance X!"

To which the scientist replies "GTFO philosopher we are trying to cure an infection here!" emoticon 

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/27/16 1:45 PM as a reply to neko.
All of that said, there is no real way to measure someone's enlightenment. It's a measure only reliably made by someone of similar attainment. The idea that scientific method works perfectly well in the proof of any phenomena really fails when it comes to these sorts of non-quantitative characteristics.

I'd suggest anyone looking at this issue beware of the secular bias and tendencies toward scientism. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientism

Remember that with science we are trying to measure characteristics of a non-samsaric phenomena that most people that have experienced non-dual reality will tell you does not make any sort of sense as something describable with our thin symbolic languages. Enlightened people are likely to tell you that trying to measure that point of view from within this "dream" is a fools errand.

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
5/27/16 6:28 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
Stirling Campbell:

Enlightened people are likely to tell you that trying to measure that point of view from within this "dream" is a fools errand.
These enlightened people you are talking about might well be wrong. Enlightened people have no specific expertise in neurology. How can they know that their perceptual shift does not show up in a brain scan if some kind?

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
6/1/16 11:47 AM as a reply to neko.
neko:
Stirling Campbell:

Enlightened people are likely to tell you that trying to measure that point of view from within this "dream" is a fools errand.
These enlightened people you are talking about might well be wrong. Enlightened people have no specific expertise in neurology. How can they know that their perceptual shift does not show up in a brain scan if some kind?
The brain scan happens in samsara - an awakened mind would see it for what it is - part of the illusory reality of samsara, or as construction of mind. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reality_in_Buddhism

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
6/1/16 11:58 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
During the last 25 months, I've used this two part formula to help people awaken. 97% of them have (62/64).

Of the majority of the 64 people, what was the most common meditation practice they utilized before awakening? Did they use many different techniques before having success with your methods? I'm interested in the common patterns.  

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
6/1/16 12:11 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
Stirling Campbell:
All of that said, there is no real way to measure someone's enlightenment. It's a measure only reliably made by someone of similar attainment. The idea that scientific method works perfectly well in the proof of any phenomena really fails when it comes to these sorts of non-quantitative characteristics.

I'd suggest anyone looking at this issue beware of the secular bias and tendencies toward scientism. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientism

Remember that with science we are trying to measure characteristics of a non-samsaric phenomena that most people that have experienced non-dual reality will tell you does not make any sort of sense as something describable with our thin symbolic languages. Enlightened people are likely to tell you that trying to measure that point of view from within this "dream" is a fools errand.

A lot of work is already being done to create a methodology to describe first-person subjective experience. Francisco Varela who was a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner and neuroscientist in the 90's did a lot of work towards this goal. Today, Claire Petitmengin is doing some great work to create a precise method to describe subjective first phenomenology which applies to meditation experience ((http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11097-006-9022-2)) 

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
6/1/16 2:08 PM as a reply to Lincoln Nguyen.
Lincoln Nguyen:
During the last 25 months, I've used this two part formula to help people awaken. 97% of them have (62/64).
Of the majority of the 64 people, what was the most common meditation practice they utilized before awakening? Did they use many different techniques before having success with your methods? I'm interested in the common patterns.  
Howdy,

About 25% of these people are regular students of Open Heart. The rest have very varying backgrounds. I mentioned this earlier. Few of them have been meditation "professionals" having several decades of a lot of daily practice behind them and some have no prior practice history at all, maybe just reading books and websites. Then the people in the middle are like a jungle, meaning, no pattern there.

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
6/2/16 3:57 AM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
Stirling Campbell:
neko:
Stirling Campbell:

Enlightened people are likely to tell you that trying to measure that point of view from within this "dream" is a fools errand.
These enlightened people you are talking about might well be wrong. Enlightened people have no specific expertise in neurology. How can they know that their perceptual shift does not show up in a brain scan if some kind?
The brain scan happens in samsara - an awakened mind would see it for what it is - part of the illusory reality of samsara, or as construction of mind. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reality_in_Buddhism
I think you are overestimating enlightenment by miles.

"Samsara" is a thought. Thoughts happen in the mind. The mind resides in the brain. There are no nerve endings inside the skull, so the mind, enlightened or otherwise, cannot know anything about its physical support, the brain, without resorting to external tools, such as a scalpel and knife, or a brain scan.

The enlightened mind is of course welcome to falsify the above statements, by, for example:
- exhibiting a mind that does not reside in a brain;
- self diagnosing the location and size of a brain aneurism or tumour inside the skull within which it resides;
- showing how the enlightened mind grows additional nerve endings and sense organs that the non-enlightened mind hasn't got.
Pending such falsification, this non-enlightened mind here will go with Ockham's razor, assume reality exists, and exit its flat through the lift (elevator) in the morning,  not its seventh-floor windows. emoticon 

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
6/2/16 9:03 AM as a reply to neko.
I hope I'm not derailing this topic and that this is at least a related question......

Does anyone have any idea if there's any science on the Progress of Insight Cycle itself? 

Like, the fact that it's a real phenomenon is the strangest thing I've ever encountered - didn't believe A WORD of it when I first came here.  

Aside from Daniel's brief but illuminating discussion of the possible fractal nature of it in MCTB do we - even amongst ourselves - know anything about it?

could we even establish:
  • That it is typically experienced most intensely around 1st path? (my suspicion)
  • Is it really a universal and invariant pattern that the human mind goes through once it starts paying attention to sensory - rather than conceptual - experience for an extended period of time? Why? Why don't babies or 'idiots' activate it?
  • Does the cycling progressively drive the sense of duality+agency out of an organism in the way that the sea erodes the shore? Why?
  • Why did evolution select for this as an inbuilt (but dormant) tendency of the human mind? Is that even a meaningful question? 
Does anyone have any ideas? Thanks

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
6/2/16 9:21 AM as a reply to Robin Woods.
Robin:
Does anyone have any idea if there's any science on the Progress of Insight Cycle itself?

I think there is not. 
Like, the fact that it's a real phenomenon is the strangest thing I've ever encountered - didn't believe A WORD of it when I first came here. 

Same here.  I didn't believe it until I started noting out loud for a teacher, who would then outline my experience in very precise terms.
Why did evolution select for this as an inbuilt (but dormant) tendency of the human mind? Is that even a meaningful question? 

The nanas are like naturally equal and opposite reactions to the previous actions of the mind.  In and out, light and dark, up and down.  Bubbling up, then dissolving down.  Fizzling out than trying to become solid again.  Unable to become solid, then settling down.  Settled down, then drying out.  Gone.

The more of a purposefully positive bent you have, the less the purely negative aspects of these 'fizzling out' and 'grasping at solid' phases manifest.  Buddhism-with-samatha, Bhakti Yoga, Magick with the HGA, all would help mitigate this.  However, this does not mean that the shockwaves do not take these basic forms, on an energetic level.
Does the cycling progressively drive the sense of duality+agency out of an organism in the way that the sea erodes the shore?

Cycling + Right Effort + Right Intention do it, not cycling alone.  Meaning, some dude who crossed the a&p on an acid trip 20 years ago and has since had Misery as his cutting edge is NOT gaining any benefit from those effects.

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
6/2/16 9:35 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
@CJMacie (5/27/16 4:12 AM as a reply to Kim Katami)

This is really good investigation & vipassana (usage?).  It was helpful for me, since I have been an active poster for approx. 3 years and a lurker for 4.

Although this has not happened during my tenure here, I think the DhO does best when there are people who meet the following criteria:
          1) They do contemplative practice daily.
          2) They are open about the details of this practice, on a semi-regular, or regular basis.
          3) They ask others for advice on their practice.
          4) They follow the advice that is given.
          5) Later, they follow-up by explaining whether the advice did, or did not, work.

I'm sure people come on here, gain tons of benefit, and then go off practicing on their own again.  What makes it a community is the initial openness, and the willingness to take the time and follow-up, once the initial romance has worn off.  

To see how far its really fallen, all one needs to do is strike up a private conversation with a veteran from DhO or KFD from between 2007 and 2012.  

All compound phenomena are subject to decay. 

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
6/2/16 11:24 AM as a reply to neko.
neko:
"Samsara" is a thought. Thoughts happen in the mind. The mind resides in the brain. There are no nerve endings inside the skull, so the mind, enlightened or otherwise, cannot know anything about its physical support, the brain, without resorting to external tools, such as a scalpel and knife, or a brain scan.

The enlightened mind is of course welcome to falsify the above statements, by, for example:
- exhibiting a mind that does not reside in a brain;
- self diagnosing the location and size of a brain aneurism or tumour inside the skull within which it resides;
- showing how the enlightened mind grows additional nerve endings and sense organs that the non-enlightened mind hasn't got.
Pending such falsification, this non-enlightened mind here will go with Ockham's razor, assume reality exists, and exit its flat through the lift (elevator) in the morning,  not its seventh-floor windows. emoticon 
...and I think you are underestimating it. emoticon  

I don't know that I completely agree with you that Samsara is a thought, but I think it's close enough. If thoughts happen in the brain, I'm sure you can show me one? I would say the same about MIND. Can anyone show me MIND in the brain? No. We can see what happens after a thought has passed, however - we can see the result of MIND operating in the brain.

Have you read Flatland? The enlightened mind isn't going to be able to demonstrate where MIND comes from in Samsara any more than the sphere can demonstrate where it comes from to the square.

http://demonstrations.wolfram.com/ASphereVisitsFlatland/

Non-duality is not properly expressable in Samsara, only as an analogy. This is why there are long, strange treatises in Buddhism that go something like: "It is like this, but not like this" etc. etc. The rest of your examples are about our "hardware" in Samsara and wouldn't prove anything about MIND.



RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
6/2/16 11:53 AM as a reply to Robin Woods.
Robin Woods:
Does anyone have any idea if there's any science on the Progress of Insight Cycle itself? 

I think of it as a very good example of historical science. Imagine having generation after generation of monks and nuns practicing meditation and the institutional wisdom that was developed over time. Basically these maps are very good models for the >subjective< experience of meditators.

Obviously there is a lot of variation in how things are experienced, so there are a number of different ways that each stages is described. Daniel does a good job of prortraying the stages. Other expressions of the stages are also interesting (e.g., http://www.vipassanadhura.com/sixteen.html) in how a range of different experienced are grouped in the stages.

It's only recently that these maps are broadly shared across traditions. Modern science needs to do two things: determine if there are any objective indicators/models for progress in meditation... as well as a modern attempt to see if there are any subjective markers that hold contant across traditions.

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
6/2/16 6:34 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
Stirling Campbell:


...and I think you are underestimating it. emoticon 
I don't know that I completely agree with you that Samsara is a thought, but I think it's close enough. If thoughts happen in the brain, I'm sure you can show me one? 


Actually, yes. There are direct brain-machine interfaces, through which one can control a cursor on a screen, or an artificial limb, by using thoughts. This means that the machine is able to read certain thoughts. Not only that, a brain scan can predict what someone will decide... 7 seconds before they actually take the decision, under certain circumstances:

http://exploringthemind.com/the-mind/brain-scans-can-reveal-your-decisions-7-seconds-before-you-decide

Amazing, right? Do you think an enlightened person would be exempt from this weird effect?

If yes -> then we have found a test for enlightenment! Great! emoticon

If no -> then maybe this enlightened mind you are talking about doesn't really transcend its three-dimensional support, unlike your flatland metaphor!  emoticon

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
6/3/16 11:52 AM as a reply to neko.
neko:

Actually, yes. There are direct brain-machine interfaces, through which one can control a cursor on a screen, or an artificial limb, by using thoughts. This means that the machine is able to read certain thoughts. Not only that, a brain scan can predict what someone will decide... 7 seconds before they actually take the decision, under certain circumstances:

http://exploringthemind.com/the-mind/brain-scans-can-reveal-your-decisions-7-seconds-before-you-decide

Amazing, right? Do you think an enlightened person would be exempt from this weird effect?

If yes -> then we have found a test for enlightenment! Great! emoticon

If no -> then maybe this enlightened mind you are talking about doesn't really transcend its three-dimensional support, unlike your flatland metaphor!  emoticon

So, this is the thing - these machine are reacting TO a thought. The thought has passed. A machine reacting to an electric impulse neither shows us a real thought or proves where the thought originates. Just because we can the brain reacting to a thought before we become conscious of it doesn't mean we are seeing thoughts. Electrical impulses are not thoughts, any more than something like an audio tape or PCM audio file is music.

Another example: You and I can go outside and look at my car. We can sit in it, drive it, turn the stereo on and off. It is a (seemingly) substantial thing (leaving aside the whole argument that there is no car since it is composed of parts). We can refer to the car and see it. A thought does not enjoy this substantiality. Nor does an electron/electricity or any subatomic particle, for that matter, for the same reason. We can't see them. We can see where they have been, possibly, or what they impact when they act in the world as we see it ONLY.

Full Disclosure: My BA is in Consciousness Studies. Not that I'm an expert exactly, just that I've thought about this all a substantial amount. I'll also add that I now think, aside from the fact that it helped lead to where am today, it was largely a colossal waste of time that isn't going to get anyone closer to the truth.

BTW, I appreciate and enjoy your willingness to reasonably discuss this - I can only imagine how divisive personal attachment and ownership about "truth" or scientism would have derailed this ages ago on Reddit. emoticon

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
6/30/16 7:46 AM as a reply to Lincoln Nguyen.
Enlightenment is predictable. It can be measured, calculated, proved, controlled.
Check out fetters model. So you have definite results to draw conclusions and hypothesises. Ignore muddled path what can't be proved, measured in reality.
...
E=mc2. More kinetic energy you have the less you weight in relation to lightspeed, speed of light is constant. There is definite amount of power you will aquire before you can disappear but first you will be able to fly or jump really high but these are for boss level achievements, there are little signs too, but defenetly(i think) a brainscan or blood consistent needs to show something.

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
2/16/17 2:05 AM as a reply to Lincoln Nguyen.
Lincoln Nguyen:
Does anyone know of any scientific models for awakening that clearly show the mechanisms leading to stream entry?

I happen to develop my own model of "scientific", and based on that, there are numerous scientific models of everything, including "awakening". I have scientific to equal "intelligent", and intelligent to mean "creating alternative interpretations to factual input". That is, intelligence cannot accept the such-ness of what is encountered, but instead asks "What if this actually is that?
That is an intelligent response because it enables creative thinking and what we usually refer to as "subjectivity".
Science demands such an operation or it doesn't work scientifically. Science is about questioning reality as percieved/observed. It generates new questions while providing only approximate answers. Definite answers has no place in science, by definition.
Definite/absolute answers are indisputable. To science, such answers are faith based and indeed questionable.
Reality is such, but scientific mind doubts it.
It believes only in doubt.
No problem.
Next question.

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
2/16/17 3:52 AM as a reply to Banned For waht?.
Must Do:
Enlightenment is predictable. It can be measured, calculated, proved, controlled.
Check out fetters model. 

This is a very good point indeed. The fetters model is testable and contradicts experiment. So it is false. But since a wrong model is better than an untestable one, it is actually good news for the science of enlightenment: One less bullshit theory to think about! emoticon 

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
2/16/17 5:41 AM as a reply to neko.
Any skill or anything you claim can be tested scientifically.

The simple test can show that there is capacity in powers is when you can show that you can extinguish "fires of passion". It can be measured, and visually observed, you can get data.
Craving is fire. And when there is no fuel for fire anymore, then it is cessation of craving. It is liberation.
4 noble truths

[url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bh%C5%ABmi_(Buddhism)]Third bhumi. wikipedia.org:

even if someone...cuts from the body of this bodhisattva not just flesh but also bone, not in large sections but bit by bit, not continually but pausing in between, and not finishing in a short time but cutting over a long period, the bodhisattva would not get angry at the mutilator.

..you can make scientific obesrvations. Fetters models descriptions are down to earth, but the capacity or how far they go is superhuman-like.

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
2/16/17 7:34 AM as a reply to Banned For waht?.

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
2/16/17 9:38 AM as a reply to neko.
What is done is heavy watering down, that you need microscope to detect changes in brain when cessation happens.

When buddhahood is attained then the World quakes many times. So you have those descriptions.

emoticon

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
2/16/17 2:13 PM as a reply to CJMacie.
First episode, Jan-Feb 2015, Kenneth Folk shows up, apparently leveraging off a just released BATGAP interview, and offers himself to answer questions, in a s/w authoritative, controlling manner. Various critiques emerge (starting with his perceived motive of drumming up business), and eventually it goes ballistic on all sides. (Most of the excitement -– the thread "Money and the Buddha" -- was subsequently deleted from the accessible DhO archives.) Kenneth also stressed that people were being driven away; he even attacked moderation efforts, and called for some kind of general overhaul of DhO, which he, by the way, offered to lead. Anyway, that all passed; not without some extensive follow-up re-consideration of the DhO rules and moderation setup.


Wow, really? That's crazy. What happened? I thought Kenneth was on our side here? How did the rules change? I wish I could read that thread.

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
2/16/17 2:23 PM as a reply to Robin Woods.
Robin Woods:
I hope I'm not derailing this topic and that this is at least a related question......

Does anyone have any idea if there's any science on the Progress of Insight Cycle itself? 

Like, the fact that it's a real phenomenon is the strangest thing I've ever encountered - didn't believe A WORD of it when I first came here.  

Aside from Daniel's brief but illuminating discussion of the possible fractal nature of it in MCTB do we - even amongst ourselves - know anything about it?

could we even establish:
  • That it is typically experienced most intensely around 1st path? (my suspicion)
  • Is it really a universal and invariant pattern that the human mind goes through once it starts paying attention to sensory - rather than conceptual - experience for an extended period of time? Why? Why don't babies or 'idiots' activate it?
  • Does the cycling progressively drive the sense of duality+agency out of an organism in the way that the sea erodes the shore? Why?
  • Why did evolution select for this as an inbuilt (but dormant) tendency of the human mind? Is that even a meaningful question? 
Does anyone have any ideas? Thanks

Old thread, but a really fascinating one. I have all these questions as well - it is the strangest thing and most interesting thing I've ever seen and I wish we had any science at all on it.

Regarding evolution, it's important to note that just because something exists doesn't mean it was selected for. The cycling is likely just a side effect of something else. Emotions are influenced by things like neurotransmitter levels and activation of the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems, so whatever process is actually going on may just accidentally nudge something to trigger those emotions in sequence.

My biggest question is how abstract vs. concrete all this is neurologically. That is, is there a specific neurological change the paths trigger or correspond to, or is it more of a general systemic thing?

It's so tantalizing to know that these questions - some of the deepest spiritual questions humanity has pondered for thousands of years - could be answered in a few years in a lab with enough funding. Right now all we can do is guess.

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
2/16/17 11:32 PM as a reply to J C.
In this presentation, Frank Heile, PhD, proposes a model of conscousness to explain enlightened states: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPi_K1QKYR0  Seems to have merits. 

RE: Scientific Model of Awakening
Answer
2/17/17 2:39 AM as a reply to J C.
J C:

Regarding evolution, it's important to note that just because something exists doesn't mean it was selected for. The cycling is likely just a side effect of something else. Emotions are influenced by things like neurotransmitter levels and activation of the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems, so whatever process is actually going on may just accidentally nudge something to trigger those emotions in sequence.

My biggest question is how abstract vs. concrete all this is neurologically. That is, is there a specific neurological change the paths trigger or correspond to, or is it more of a general systemic thing?

Given further decades of careful research, it would seem likely that some better understanding will emerge of the co-relates between specific experiences and neurological activities.

A bit short of "path" experiences, but experience with absorptive states ("hard" jhana-s) does seem to come with a clear sense of physical-mental state change. Something palpably shifts, distinctly alters both mental and physical "feeling" -- meaning not simple vedana / feeling-tone, nor complex emotional processes, but rather the tone of awareness. It's trainable too, gets easier and opens into more interesting directions the more it's practiced, so there must be corresponding "growth" or "development" of neurological patterning, perhaps even tissues.

Like some say in a medical context: the human body is less a given, fixed thing that allows, engages in certain activities, but rather the functioning (practice, if you will) shapes the physical organism.