You see Terry,
your reply says so much about your approach to things of the mind. You seem to be stuck in one gear playing the same song over and over. That is to say you approach all of life’s challenges in the same way like a mechanic who thinks that he can fix anything with his tool kit. Anything that does not fit in with your preconceptions is attacked and dismissed.
You have done what you were trained to do as a Jehovah’s Witness. You find an obscure and remarkable story of someone with a grapefruit sized tumour in his brain and then by association rubbish the idea of meditation. You then add that, ‘Smiling, drooling and utter bliss come at quite a cost no matter how you get there.’
Where on earth did you get your idea of meditation from?
The fact that meditation has been abused by religious gurus and not benefited a man with a brain tumour is not a rational argument for avoiding meditation or other altered states of consciousness. The young hippie guy who went to a Hare Krishna commune find his bliss, was clearly misguided.
The purpose of mindful meditation is not to find bliss but to place the mind in a state of heightened awareness and concentration that allows greater access to our whole mind and emotional responses. Our mind has many gears and there are many types of meditation.
I have worked for many years as a psychotherapist using among other things the tool of hypnosis. I can assure you that your fixed idea of how your brain works is very limited and ignores your total minds potential.
I take many highly intelligent, yet sceptical people like you through therapy. They come to me because their lives have led them into a cul-de-sac and are unable to think their way out of the pain and frustration that they live with.
Cognitive therapy, which would appeal to you, is very useful. At the same time, teaching the person concerned to expand their mind allowed them to approach their problems from a different perspective. Teaching them to be able to put their mind into a different state of consciousness helped them to change their lives. They do not drool or grow brain tumors.
The changes they achieve are so outstanding that my clients come to me through recommendation from many professional people including doctors.
You are able to dismantle and rebuild most of the illusionary ideas that this world likes to entertain, with stunning clarity and logic. This though is only one brain function - the application of logic combined with a good memory.
It is shame that you have such fixed views about how the mind works. To be intelligent with a highly developed logical mind is commendable. To be brilliant requires engaging the whole mind which is more than just linear thinking.
I shall continue to enjoy your posts and the ‘logic absolute’ that your type of mind brings to this board.