Meditation Experiences

for discussing science, relationships, religion or non-BK spirituality.
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sorova

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Meditation Experiences

Post18 Apr 2024

So I am a person who begins a sentence with so! But that apart I have a Scientific academic background and first discovered the BKs in around 1978 ish I think in London. I did The Knowledge (I was about 19) in a few days solid so it did not imbibe but I found it interesting. (I later did it again some 20 years later). What knocked me out was the power of the meditation. When I used to leave the centre in Kilburn it was as if I was at complete peace and nothing in the world mattered any more. I wanted to shout it from the rooftops.

Now I hadn't then or even later or now accepted the full knowledge. I was happy with much of it about being peaceful and imbibing values and even Karma made sense if nothing but from a practical point of view. I couldn't accept the 5000 year cycle thinking if it had to be true they were out by many billions of years! However that did not matter as the experience was out of this world. I did not get too close to the BKs later in that I did not "surrender" whatever that really means. I did not go to India either but I maintained contact for about 5 years almost daily or every other day. Attended morning class for a while too. (Never the 4Am one).

I hear many negative things about them and I can fully understand that if a person did get 100% hooked they might end up wasting some opportunities in life. In small enough doses though they were superb. I came to the conclusion that like the old joke about the horse shoe in the scientist's lab. That it works whether you believe in it or not!!

But what is it that causes that incredible feeling of wellbeing? Is it indeed a powerful soul waving his/her power upon us or just a state of mind? Also is there any likelihood it could be true, ie The Cycle? I don't know any more than the next person but maybe if we live in a computer simulation it may well be. This is the only circumstance I could see that makes sense. We still don't understand the quantum world and some interesting experiments with laser light seem to suggest the maybe the future can affect the past. The Noble prize was won (2022?) by the theory and proof of that the Universe is not locally real. What is it we really see with our own eyes?

When I was very young I remember floating into my own body from being floating through the air. I saw a small boy and then I was that small boy. Even then I thought that all of us were not really here in the physical and that the earth was like an illusion. We were somewhere else all together and we just experience reality this way like a play. The Murli is not all to be trusted as it has been tampered with, as we all know, but there are some passages that talk of us being able to see past present and future or ourselves and other souls (I think near the end of The Cycle). There rings a bell of truth about that which I cannot get out of my mind.

As the BKs themselves, it is patently obvious they are evolving into a religion. Irony is that they don't like religion or blind faith. It is interesting if you were a scholar of religion to study them in this way. I imagine that after Christ (assuming he existed) there would be similar goings on. Ritual creeping into things and the true meaning being slightly bent. Things added later etc. But let me finish by quoting a Prof I once heard talk in India who said he had a Dog. That dog was great, his best friend who could fetch balls and do the usual dog things! However, if he had to explain what the moon is and earth and sun to that dog, not only could that dog not understand, he would never be able to understand and neither would any dog!! Then he got to thinking what if humans are the same. Maybe there are things that humans not only cannot understand now but are incapable of ever understanding. That is probably how it is.

I treated the BKs like I would examining anything, by trying not to get too involved and keeping a safe distance where possible. Picking from The Tree what fruit I enjoy most and leaving the rest of others to consider. But there is no doubt I met some incredible people that left a lasting impression on me.
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ex-l

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Re: Meditation Experiences

Post21 Apr 2024

Welcome back to the forum, Sorova.

In truth, many of your questions are unanswerable until we die and find out what life is all about (or not). I prefer not to speculate on spiritual matters any more and so, until the veil is lifted from my eyes, I am just an old dog and the world consists of balls to chase after, bigger dogs to run away from, and traffic to dodge.

Others here will argue, as you suggest, that the BK experience is just some kind of universal, spiritual experience that the BKs have branded and monopolised. I am not so sure about that because of what you describe, the intensity and variety of it in comparison to other practises.

The sociological questions you raise are however more worldly and, yes, it might be interesting to ask, "what if the BKs ditched the religious aspects of their religion, and just focused on the peace/high?"

Largely because, of course, that is the way they are going; wrapping the experience up in a load of fairly harmless New Age twaddle instead, even giving business and relationship advice instead. It would also be a good question to ask, "how many BKs actually believe in BKism at all?". In my day, we'd have to sign affidavits saying that we believed (even if, in our hearts, we did not), just to go on retreats or to India.

It was most about submission to the authority of the leadership, really.

We said we believed in order to be rewarded, or in a "fake it until you make it" attempt.

Putting aside the big "who is" or "what is" questions, my response would be, is it good, is it healthy, is it what people really need; to space out, to get high, to escape reality etc? Or is what they need to do, would benefit most from doing, getting into life and becoming more dynamic and successful, engaging with others and the society that they were born into?

I'd guess that if I looked at why I threw myself into BKism, it was largely hopeless and damaging escapism. And, yes, it was a really big mistake which cost me decades and social/professional/academic development etc. It was really the opposite of what I needed.

From which I'd develop my other response to you suggesting that the "peace" is no so benign and that secondary or tertiary level individuals such as yourself, were and remain useful to the BKs, serving to soften the edges of how they appeared to the rest of society. Edges which they've increasingly softened, as their financial security and success has been acquired.
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Pink Panther

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Re: Meditation Experiences

Post22 Apr 2024

Two well-written intelligent posts. Thanks Sorova and ex-l. A pleasure to read.

Sorova, your experiences and conclusions/suppositions are not uncommon ... for those who got something out of the meditation. However, it reminds me of the Black Swan example that is used to show that nothing can proven absolutely, only disproven absolutely. Do you know the one?

The Black Swan example says [paraphrasing] Observation shows us (subjectivity right there) that every swan we've ever seen is white. Therefore we conclude that all swans are white (ie if they're not white, they cannot be swans)"
However, in 1697, Dutch explorers led by Willem de Vlamingh became the first Europeans to see black swans, in Western Australia. The term subsequently metamorphosed to connote the idea that a perceived impossibility might later be disproved. - Black swan theory - Wikipedia

Many BKs and ex-BKs have said, both here on the forum and verbally to me, that they never had those experiences in meditation. For many, what they got from BKs was a sense of community with people on a similar journey, or they liked the lifestyle, or they found the Gyan, including the 5000 year cycle, made "sense" of a world full of corruption on a precarious "two minutes to midnight" countdown to nuclear apocalypse (now including climate change) clock.

Different kinds of hope in a hopeless world?

Many of them enjoyed the silence of meditation groups but never had any "extraordinary" experiences, often hoping that, if they stuck at it, then one day they too may be blessed and see "the auras and the lights" or have the intense "tapasya" experiences they hear about ...

I am of the school that ex-l referred to when he said
Others here will argue, as you suggest, that the BK [meditation high] experience is just some kind of universal, spiritual experience that the BKs have branded and monopolised.

I will tell you why.

I had those experiences before I met the BK, based largely on what I'd read about third eye meditation, Buddhism and some Yoga stuff I'd gotten into. After leaving BKs, and with effort, i have been able to have similar experiences in meditation without associations with BK thoughts or ideas (although they do sometimes pop into mind, memories. I deconstruct them and let them go).

And I did, in my own way, what I think you were doing in your way: associating and rationalising the experience through my subjective experience, because BKs were the first actual group I encountered in life who were "into it". They were close by where I lived so I had no reason to go elsewhere to compare. Over time I became convinced that all swans are white (wear white saris :D ).

Hopefully I am not projecting with what i am writing here.

You experienced "it" with the BKs as I did, so we associated with the BKs. For you, it seems you found enough "wiggle room" in other things that excite you, such as scientific theorising around quantum entanglement, space-time relativity etc to be able to put the mysteries and unproveables together into a working hypothesis.

My working hypothesis at that stage of first and ongoing BK meditation highs, joining the BKs, investing man, tan aur dan (mind, body and wealth - includes time and energy) was also linked to "Time" but differently to yours.

As I said, I had "BK meditation" experiences before meeting or joining the BKs. But when I had those same experiences while doing the "7 Day Course", I explained it to myself as the earlier ones being "premonitions" or vision/experiences of a future me.

My experiences were often very "visual" (nb I had spent the previous few years experimenting with altered states of consciousness via psychotropics in which I developed many "theories" myself which sat well with BK Gyan. And when I decided I need to do it "naturally" and took up meditation, had more profound experiences.

I was a 19 year old with curiosity and intelligence but still with a yet-to-be-fully-matured brain when i encountered the BKs .In short, I was a smart arse. And, as at the time Western BKs were essentially a bunch of hippies, living in urban communes, something I was into, that lifestyle appealed to me.

The highs kept coming, I became a teacher and gave the experiences to others who became BKs (some still are) and like any "creatives" who become BKs, I enjoyed having an appreciative "captive audience" for the artistic endeavours I was interested in. I was once even offered by senior BK Karuna Shetty a job and accomodation in Bombay/Mumbai if I stayed there and created BK PR material at facilities in one of the Bollywood studios where he had "co-operative soul" contacts. I had never liked Mumbai so I turned it down.

In summary, the BK experience is intangible and amorphous enough to be able to take the shape of the rationalising "container" we create for it. Some of us spend a lot of time reconciling and resolving seeming contradictions with whatever other "logic" we live by. Others who are less educated or more emotionally or intuitively driven simply accept the BK "History and Geography of the World" at face value and have no trouble adopting and living according to its jargon and paradigms.

Yes, some are very sweet and nice (sometimes too cloyingly so for my taste) but too many are religious nuts who view the modern world in the same way that Dark Ages or early Christian fundamentalists did, full of demons and Maya to be warded off while waiting for salvation and a better afterlife after the second coming/apocalypse/transformation/end of this life.

The fact that the BKs encourage this way of thinking and living, anything that makes them more dependent on the organisation and more willing to "donate" - or simply be a bum on a seat that confirms for others this is all good, rather than encouraging people to take what they learn and move on in life, is one marker of a cult mentality. As is the fact that they are secretive of their beliefs, history and raison d'être.

So, where are the black swans?

It is realising that my pre-BK experiences, both chemically and non-chemically enhanced, were my own. They were from own efforts, qualities and choices.

Not everyone who takes laudanum/opium becomes a Coleridge or Shelley, not everyone who takes acid becomes a John Lennon or Paul McCartney, not everyone who does BK meditation/Gyan have the same experiences or reasons to continue with them. (The BKs like to use this fact as an appeal to ego, those who don't stick around aren't among the "chosen few").

Yet so many great poets who never took laudanum, so many great songwriters never dropped acid, so many yogis and meditators who had similar profound and mystical experiences who were never BKs, many of them from non-eastern traditions, ie we find mystics, shamans, etc in all traditions be they Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Indigenous, Animist etc. And so many atheists & non-spiritually-minded people are good, generous-hearted and ethical people.

Do not give away what is yours.

As Alan Watts puts it, many of these "gurus" are pickpockets. They steal what's yours then sell it back to you. But, he cheekily adds, many of us did not even know what we had till they did that.

As Frank Zappa puts it, who you jivin' with that Cosmic Debris?

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ex-l

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Re: Meditation Experiences

Post22 Apr 2024

Pink Panther wrote:As I said, I had "BK meditation" experiences before meeting or joining the BKs. But when I had those same experiences while doing the "7 Day Course", I explained it to myself as the earlier ones being "premonitions" or vision/experiences of a future me.

Aye, and in that, is the BK 'back to front' gotcha! The future is the past and the past is the future. Everything is connected to Baba.

I've heard many BKs claim to have had "Baba giving them an experience", leading to them becoming BKs, or confirming their faith in BKism; dreams, visions etc. One would need to be a psychologist to unpack that. Memories change when new information is entered into the brain. Ultimately, we just won't be able to tell, until after we die, which will be too late to do anything about it. I am certainly not continuing to have experiences post-BK, but then I also avoid meditational experiences.

Oh, perhaps I still get that "pressure between the eyes behind the forehead" that arises sometimes and many put down to "third eye" somethings. From BKism, it does not appear to correlate to what they would call soul. It seems to be more out front, like a headlight on the old BK car driver illustration, rather than the driver.

Anyway, Sorova, what will you be doing in 2036 when Krishna and the Golden Age doesn't appear (yet again)? Will you make it through to then? I hear the BKs are already changing their predictions once again. It's down to earth, factual evidence such as that which leads me to be suspicious and condemn whatever spirit is behind BKism however high it makes you feel. A true soul wouldn't peddle such maleable nonsense.
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Pink Panther

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Re: Meditation Experiences

Post24 Apr 2024

ex-l wrote: I've heard many BKs claim to have had "Baba giving them an experience", leading to them becoming BKs, or confirming their faith in BKism; dreams, visions etc.One would need to be a psychologist to unpack that. Memories change when new information is entered into the brain.

Yes, true. However, I'd say when it comes to such things as this, a lot simply comes down to what we want to be true, what "explanation' serves us, our needs, our ego, at the time.

I think for me at the time, I was happy to interpret what i was experiencing as choosing to play with a mind experiment uncritically, and just enjoy the results. I was less concerned about "the truth" of it than for the "buzz" of it. Later there was the need to determine "the truth of it" and a lot of time and energy is expended on it trying to make sense of it in a way that doesn't betray one's previous choices (no one likes to think they made a mistake, no one in a cult admits they belong to a cult).

It's a bit like accepting whatever hypothesis or explanation is offered by the salesperson for why their product is the one you should choose because you want the results that are promised (in this case, extraordinary meditation experiences) without checking whether there are other products, more likely explanations or other ways of achieving it.

It reminds me of how people go online and gladly pay $hundreds to be told which " Surgery Free Natural Remedy! " can help them avoid surgery for gall stones without realising that this knowledge is "traditional" and freely available elsewhere using what they probably already have in their kitchen. They come across the well-placed paid google ads and never scroll down to see that the same thing is explained on other sites for free.

Being told you need to be a fully committed - dan man tan - BK to really have deep meditation experiences is not that different to that old internet scam " Send me $100 and I will teach you how you too can make money from the internet in just a few minutes a day." ... nudge wink.
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