State of scientific research into meditation & consciousness

Scientific challenges to the beliefs promoted by the Brahma Kumaris so called "World Spiritual University"
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Pink Panther

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Re: State of scientific research into meditation & conscious

Post25 Jul 2019

Dawkins and other "activist atheists” are, IMO, whether they know it or not, really arguing mostly about language.

That is, like ex-l said, although their main gripe and argument is with dogmatic organised religions that propagate fantastic stories as literal and historical truths, fair enough when looked at scientifically, they also seem to lack the ”poetic sensibility” of understanding mythology as metaphor, arguing instead that in the modern age we really don't need that language.

However, I have heard Dawkins and the late Christopher Hitchens at times concede they appreciate that way of viewing it. I have not yet heard them argue against the idea of Immanence of God (i.e. the universe as a manifestation) or Pantheism (All is God) other than to say it is unnecessary language, i.e. a semantic argument.

Mysticism is, by definition, about that which is ineffable, experiences which words can only diminish and even mislead the listener and even the speaker*. Hence the emphasis in mystical traditions on personal practice. "A little less conversation and a little more action" as the great 20th C. mystic Elvis Presley once chanted. ;-)

To talk about subjective mystical experience is fraught and also probably, in the end, moot.

I would however agree with the proposition that religions (generally) are a malignant influence when they insist on the literal truth of their way of describing the indescribable, imposing their ”is” onto what can only ever really be an ”as if”. And their ”is” is more ”is” than the other guy’s ”is”!

Human beings tend to apophenia (finding patterns and connections where none exist, often due to subjective biases and wish fulfilment) and pareidolia (interpret a vague stimulus as something known to the observer, such as seeing shapes in clouds, seeing faces in inanimate objects, hearing hidden messages in music.)

As for ”soul” - if we mean an ineffable ”something” that is not material but identifiable in the living person, things like character, aesthetic responses, innate morality or instincts, or even merely being ”alive”, that is one aspect.

But if we extrapolate that to a never-ending continuation of the individual after this life, that's another whole game in another ball park. Is it so? Is it wishful thinking with a touch of apophenia? Is it an evolution of conjectures built on ideas that never intended to go there? e.g. the Hebrew word nowadays used for ”soul” originally only meant ”breathing/living being”.
from Wikipedia: One view is that nephesh relates to sentient being without the idea of life and that, rather than having a nephesh, a sentient creation of God is a nephesh. In Genesis 2:7 the text is that Adam was not given a nephesh but "became a living nephesh." Nephesh then is better understood as person, seeing that Leviticus 21:11 and Numbers 6:6 speak of a "dead body", which in Hebrew is a nép̄eš mêṯ, a dead nephesh. [4] Nephesh when put with another word can detail aspects related to the concept of nephesh; with רוּחַ rûach ("spirit") it describes a part of mankind that is immaterial, like one's mind, emotions, will, intellect, personality, and conscience, as in Job 7:11. [5][6]
Most Jewish ideas about the afterlife developed in post-biblical times. The Bible itself has very few references to life after death. Sheol, the bowels of the earth, is portrayed as the place of the dead, but in most instances Sheol seems to be more a metaphor for oblivion than an actual place where the dead “live” and retain consciousness. The notion of resurrection appears in two late biblical sources, Daniel 12 and Isaiah 25-26. - from https://www.myjewishlearning.com/articl ... ter-death/

The greek word for spirit ”pneuma” originally meant breath, and we use it today for, e.g. pneumatic - and for matters to do with the lungs

The word spirit itself is the Latin word originally meant breath too - respire ( breathe again) inspire (breathe in) expire ( breathe out, last breath).
from WIKIDIFF - As nouns the difference between inhalation and inspiration is that inhalation is the act of inhaling while inspiration is the drawing of air into the lungs

The point being that if we find the starting point, we can follow the evolution of the ideas into their current meanings and ask "have we gone off target?” (originally the word sin meant ”missing the target”).

Silence in meditation is about stripping away all the misleading and limiting definitions which prevent us going into a non-dual being. People can have wonderful experiences.

But then they want to describe that to themselves so they look for the words that suit that ”talking mind" consciousness, the need to chatter and narrate, to articulate and put into words. In Pali, it is called - takka (which sound like a loud American saying ”talker"! ) - takka means thinking in a particular way, and vittakka - thinking analytically, dualistically, comparitively.

*Maybe you too have had an experience, a meal, a relationship, a meditation, where it was ‘what it was’ but then you describe it to yourself or to another person, and from then on, it’s the description that is remembered and the memory ”feel” of the experience is affected, or even replaced?
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ex-l

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Re: State of scientific research into meditation & conscious

Post25 Jul 2019

One criticism I read of the activist "new atheists" (which is probably just a branding exercise by their publishers, that that they are missing the point of religion. That even if they were to empirically prove or disprove god, the soul, spirits and so on ... that religion would still be there to explain the meaning of it all.

As you point out, we still have a habit of looking for signs, and needing fairy stories and legends (psychological archetypes) to inspire us.

Which is what BKism offers its needy adherents and, as a well polished tool, the ambitious exploiters of others labour who rise and become its leaders.

I think it's something we've seen many times here ... they don't care of it is true or not. They probably even know in their heart of hearts it is rubbish ... but it works sufficiently well for them to allow them to carry on, largely - as I've long argued - as a mental plug to all the mental noise that distracts us.

Who am I, why am I here, is there a god, what is the purpose to life, what should I do with my life ... etc etc etc. It works to protect them from at least the sub-conscious dispair of not knowing and being a tiny, insignicant speck in a huge and largely random uncontrolled universe.
GuptaRati 6666 wrote:In the group of scientists who talk about soul and God in their investigations, I will include Winkleman, Null; Gary Null.

It strikes me that Gary Null is fairly fringe, or an extreme outlier.

This is not a criticism, just an observation. It seems to me that the body of US science reflects its geography, that is to say, it's far broader and more spread out that British/European science and although it has hugely wealthy concentrations, that reach unmatched heights like its great cities, it's big enough to have entirely independent elements expanding into new frontiers.

There's a metaphor into there, somewhere, to be polished better.

In the UK, for a lack of available wealth and investment, I'd say we have one "imperial science" protecting its historical legacy - and nothing else but a few hobbits working away in their tatched cottages as 'craft' ideas.
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GuptaRati 6666

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Re: State of scientific research into meditation & conscious

Post26 Jul 2019

The physiological response, which is elicited during meditation and other similar altered states of consciousness, and later called the relaxation response in humans was initially demonstrated in cats by W.R. Hess (Shampo, Kyle, & Steensma, 2011). The Swiss neurophysiologist classified the analogous response in felines as the trophotropic response (Moniz, 2019), arising from the parasympathetic nervous system as an antidote to the ergotropic response arising from the sympathetic nervous system.

Do animals meditate? They have analogous experiences, suffer from stress, and can become addicted to psychotropic agents.

References
Moniz, E. . (2019). Walter Hess-Nobel lecture. The Nobel Prize. Retrieved from https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/medic ... s/lecture/

Shampo, M. A., Kyle, R. A., & Steensma, D. P. (2011). Walter Hess—Nobel Prize for work on the brain. Mayo Clinic proceedings, 86(10), E49. doi:10.4065/mcp.2011.0560
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GuptaRati 6666

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Re: State of scientific research into meditation & conscious

Post31 Jul 2019

I have unearthed some of these papers for readers interested in the current directions of research into meditation at the bench. EEG especially quantitative EEG and magneto EEG have their place in the investigations of mind body interventions, including all forms of meditation.

Stetka (2014) provided a generalized overview on the influence of altered states of consciousness on DNA chemistry. Current meditation research including float tank research is investigating mechanisms at the level of cell to cell communication or cell signal transduction (Buric, Farias, Jong, Mee, Brazil, 2017; Conklin et al., 2018). It is complex, but exciting research and quite fascinating.

We cannot help mentioning Sapolsky, who studied stress on baboons in the wild in Kenya. He commenced his field studies as a doctoral student and now has a special professorship at Stanford University. I am not sure if Oxford, Cambridge, or the University of London would have offered Sapolsky a similar professorship. The university offering a PhD in applied psychophysiology is not GB's top three, nor is it Harvard. It's Saybrook University in California. There are those differences between the British universities and American institutions.

During my post-graduate medical studies at the University of London, there was a seminar conducted by Cambridge professor, who went to great lengths to trivialize the pioneering studies on stress by Hans Selye. This was in the late 1990s. Around that time, an ex-BK and specialist in aquatic veterinary medicine who had studied dolphins was warned by a world authority on marine mammal medicine to avoid any contacts with John Lilly, because of his heterodox thinking in the medical sciences and natural sciences.

Studies on the biophysics and neurophysiology of altered states while inside a float thank is undergoing increased investigations by academic scientists. The Aquatic veterinarian recently completed doctoral studies on altered states induced by flotation. The models used by all scientists who investigate mind body interactions have aspects of the soul and God, and whether you believe in the soul or not, as a scientist you just have to use the models to formulate your hypotheses and experimentally test them.

About Dr. Null, he has authored more than 72 books, directed scores of award winning documentaries and has a similar status as Howard Hughes. For sure, he is not mainstream but surely he is not fringe. The quack busters and the corporate world will be happy when the general public or professionals think Gary is in the fringe zone.

References
Buric, I., Farias, M., Jong, J., Mee, C., & Brazil, I. A. (2017). What is the molecular signature of mind-body Interventions? A Systematic review of gene expression changes induced by meditation and related practices. Frontiers in immunology, 8, 670. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2017.00670

Conklin, Q. A., King, B. G., Zanesco, A. P., Lin, J., Hamidi, A. B., Pokorny, J. J., ... Saron, C. D. (2018). Corrigendum to “Insight meditation and telomere biology: The effects of intensive retreat and the moderating role of personality” [Brain Behav. Immun. 70 (2018) 233–245]. Brain, Behavior & Immunity, 73, 736–737. https://doi-org.tcsedsystem.idm.oclc.or ... 018.07.015

Stetka, B. (2014). Changing our DNA through mind control? Scientific American, Retrieved from https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... d-control/
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Re: State of scientific research into meditation & conscious

Post05 Aug 2019

This may be related.
Study identifies brain areas altered during hypnotic trances

Brain activity and connectivity

Spiegel and his colleagues discovered three hallmarks of the brain under hypnosis. Each change was seen only in the highly hypnotizable group and only while they were undergoing hypnosis.

First, they saw a decrease in activity in an area called the dorsal anterior cingulate, part of the brain’s salience network. “In hypnosis, you’re so absorbed that you’re not worrying about anything else,” Spiegel explained.

It’s a very powerful means of changing the way we use our minds to control perception and our bodies.
Secondly, they saw an increase in connections between two other areas of the brain — the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the insula. He described this as a brain-body connection that helps the brain process and control what’s going on in the body.

Finally, Spiegel’s team also observed reduced connections between the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the default mode network, which includes the medial prefrontal and the posterior cingulate cortex. This decrease in functional connectivity likely represents a disconnect between someone’s actions and their awareness of their actions, Spiegel said. “When you’re really engaged in something, you don’t really think about doing it — you just do it,” he said. During hypnosis, this kind of disassociation between action and reflection allows the person to engage in activities either suggested by a clinician or self-suggested without devoting mental resources to being self-conscious about the activity.
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Re: State of scientific research into meditation & conscious

Post07 Aug 2019

The investigations of Spiegel 's laboratory at Stanford University is interesting and demonstrate that some areas of the brain associated with meditation, such as the default mode network are also associated with hypnosis.

There has always been questions about whether the BK vocalizing in guided meditation is not a form of hypnosis. I am convinced, after studying graduate courses in hypnosis and conducting research on hypnosis, that the BK guided vocal meditation is a form of hypnosis. Most likely if BK participants are willing, carefully controlled studies will determine whether their guided meditation with vocal commentaries are forms of hypnosis.

The brain mapping in hypnosis is of interest to me as a psychophysiologist.
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Re: State of scientific research into meditation & conscious

Post07 Aug 2019

BKs are certainly use some kind of hypnosis technique, I have observed certain kind of tone and gestures they use while addressing there followers. Sometime I feel to listen to some of the lectures without even any admiration.

Some of these BKs I think they use hypnotism; BK Usha, BK Shivani and BK Suraj. They all use cringe worthy tone and language. Especially BK Shivani that fake American accent in Hindi.
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Re: State of scientific research into meditation & conscious

Post09 Aug 2019

In traditional cultures, hypnosis is used by shamans for healing. In the case of the BKs, they would frown on shamanistic practices, though they may be using such practices for objectives, which may not be as altruistic as they profess them to be.

Here is a link to a paper by Holroyd (2003): The Science of Meditation and the State of Hypnosis.

While suggestibility or susceptibility is a major factor in whether a person can be easily hypnotized or not; susceptibility is not an issue in meditation. Holroyd's qualitative study provides clear differences between concentrative meditation, mindfulness, and hypnosis. A qualitative study or Holroyd's phenomenological approach is useful in preliminary investigations of rare occurrences and set the stage for subsequent quantitative, studies or the traditional deductive approaches are used.

Whether deductive or inductive methods are used in the investigations of BK Raja Yoga, there is a major question.

Is BK Raja Yoga a hybrid of hypnosis and concentrative meditation?
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Re: State of scientific research into meditation & conscious

Post09 Aug 2019

GuptaRati 6666 wrote:Is BK Raja Yoga a hybrid of hypnosis and concentrative meditation?

That is a big question. Another theory that I posed a while ago was that used hypnosis to induce states in which some kind of spiritualistic overpowering or overshadowing could happen. I appreciate that such an idea, although within the shamanistic realm, is several steps too far for science.

Into the pot of this discussion, I throw Freud's conception of psychoanalysis done properly as involving a hypnotic element where there is a joining (Yoga = cathexis?) of the analyst and analysand, with the analyst appearing to need to subtly overpower and take control of the analysand to guide them.

It took many a long time on these forums, as an already ex-BK, to accept that BK Raja Yoga might be hypnosis. Or at least involve hypnosis. Only by reading up on hypnotic practises - of which I knew nothing before - did I realise how almost 'word-for-word' similar it was ... up untl the introduction of their god spirit.

Even there, I now concede that others have artificially induced "god" experiences merely through the power of suggestion and hypnosis. (Very early on, I lnked to a Derren Brown video - a stage hypnotist - where he did just that to several atheists).

Even after I left the BKs, clearly my ego wanted to hold onto a belief that it was in someway special, mystical, exceptional. I still wanted it to be, and presented it to others, a sincerely dedicated religion. Others might say I still hold onto that wanting there to be a mediumistic level ... what and how ever we understand that to mean, as in it could well be a possession by disincarnate being or beings (a spirit, a god, the deceased Lekhraj Kirpalani etc) or it might just be a tapping into and "possession" by the group spirit of the community. The egregore being the term someone used for that.

I would then ask - and this is the great shame of BKism - how and when was form developed and adopted, the history of the practise, as it was clearly not part of the early group activities. A hypnotist might say they involved rapid inductions (including Sensory overload technique), the modern practise being a slow induction (involving Visualisation and Eye fixation techniques).

One thing hypnosis is good at, and often exploits, is the recall of memories and experiences, a theme much prevalent in BKism. For example, someone is a hopeless state will be relaxed and then led back to a time when they were happy and carefree, and become able to tap into that stored experience again.

Is that not what a large part of BKism is about? In the first place, the Seniors remembering and reliving their early BK experiences, "remember the days of your childhood"; and then adherents remembering and reliving their early "honeymoon" experiences. In my opinion, there is a pattern established where the individual is 'given' some peak experience in meditation and then told to remember or keep chase it, even though for most they never appear to ever catch it again.

In my day, there was a nascent awareness that one's meditation developed through various stages. I cannot remember them specifically but something like; contemptation (thinking), concentration (beyond thought), absorption (final, overpowering Yoga with the god spirit). I remember the introduction of the very first formalised and recorded guided meditations from Jayanti and then Diane (?), both of whom adopted a very hypnotic tone.

Latterly some of the products they have received have become so abstract that I have to wonder what on earth they have to do with BK Raja Yoga at all. They appear just to be colorful imaginations. Distractions.

I have no idea the current state of art beyond them having multiple poduct lines in their shops to sell to the curious middle classes.

From the point of view of both hypnosis and spiritualism/shamanism/mediumship an ethical question arises where people are being induced into states without their understanding or acceptance of what is being done to them.

This I also remember from my days and it has not change. The game was to get people in through the door by any deception, to blow their minds away with "an experience", and then keep them in and exploit them.

Even at that time, I realised there was clearly something wrong appealling to distressed people seeking "peace of mind" ... and then instead of the calming and introspection they needed, dropping the BKs' atma bomb on them.
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Re: State of scientific research into meditation & conscious

Post10 Aug 2019

Investigators such as Winkleman and a professor at Saybrook have a collection of studies on hypnotic states and shamanism. Some researchers have been brave enough to get into the delicate realms of shamanism. I do remember those 3 steps of BK Raja Yoga meditation. I also remember at least 5 years after my exit from BKism believing the BK stuff was all good and super.

A few years ago after I presented one of my studies in psychophysiology at an international conference, a youthful seeker asked me to recommend institutions in India for spiritual studies. I hesitated and thought carefully, ensuring I did not recommend the BKs. A decade earlier, without hesitation, I would have recommended the BKs as a walking on water spiritual institution for seekers.

I would also add, that one the hypnotic state is induced, it is important for the health and safety of the hypnotized to take them out of the hypnotic state. May be the BKs have in their meditation commentaries parts for enabling the guided to get back into the 3D world of the 5 senses.
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Re: State of scientific research into meditation & conscious

Post10 Aug 2019

ex-l wrote:In my day, there was a nascent awareness that one's meditation developed through various stages. I cannot remember them specifically but something like; contemptation (thinking), concentration (beyond thought), absorption (final, overpowering Yoga with the god spirit).

These are part of the 8 limbs of Pantanjali's Yoga Sutras.
YAMA - Restraints, moral disciplines or moral vows.
NIYAMA - Positive duties or observances.
ASANA - Posture.
PRANAYAMA - Breath work.
PRATYAHARA - withdrawal of attention from sense object to the sensor.
DHARANA - unwavering steadiness of mind, containment.
DHYANA - Meditation, illuminated mind.
SAMADHI - Equanimity. Oneness.

The BKs like to pretend that they only practice the highest Yoga, the royal aspect of Yoga, that all that other is physical stuff and a waste of time, or at best, only good for physical health.

But look again at that list of the 8 limbs - what particularly is ”physical” about any of that”?

A person has four limbs, a tree has many limbs. Is there a hierarchy of limbs? They all co-exist. Even posture and breathing co-exist with all the others - even if it be bad posture or poor breathing practices! Can you be in samdhi in a cramped uncomfortable posture? Only if you were numb. And becoming numb is not what Pratyahara means.

Raja Yoga they call it. But whom does this raja, this king, serve?

The limbs could be viewed in reverse - that one who has achieved that state of equanimity will also show themselves as having clear concentration, certain quality of breath, manifest a good posture. As within so without, as above so below.

There is no higher self without a foundational self. There is no samadhi when there is two/duality. The BKs liek to teach that they have distilled the essence of Yoga. They have decapitated wholeness, put the head on spike and said, we’re not "body conscious” (while many of them compulsively eat ”comfort" foods as they unconsciously seek grounding).

That’s the science needed here. The proof is the pudding and the pudding in this case are the practitioners of this ”theory”. The BKs are good at putting their best foot forward with their BK celebrities, but we should look at the majority, the bell curve of practicing BKs.

The BKs have put up their various hypotheses in various forms over the decades which produce certain inadequate results. They adjust that hypothesis (Gyan) and they (obviously) get adjusted results.

The question is - did the results prove the hypothesis, a ”revelation” put forward by a divine "omniscient almighty authority”? ?

I suggest that what the results indicate is that after the first couple of hypotheses didn’t prove to be true, they have, like a corrupt research body, adjusted their hypothesis to suit the preferred result - whatever which brings in more funding for their institution!

But a divine revelation needs no proof. It can disregard evidence, it need not accept logic. The BKs have caught, possibly were carriers of, the modern disease of prioritising feelings and opinions ahead of facts and reality.
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Re: State of scientific research into meditation & conscious

Post10 Aug 2019

The BKs may claim that their practice is above the 8 limbs of Patangali, because they practice all aspects of the 8-limbs at the higest spiritual levels, including spiritual asanas, meant to be above the physical postures of hatha Yoga. They may also claim that their students have to master 8 types of Yoga over a period of decades, including:
Buddhi Yoga, Yoga of intellect;
Sanyas Yoga, Yoga of asceticism;
Gyan Yoga, Yoga of knowledge and wisdom;
Bhakti Yoga, Yoga of devotion;
Kundali Yoga, awakening the chakras;
Karma Yoga; Yoga of action while remembering God;and
Yoga of equanimity

Tantra Yoga may be dismissed by the BKs as full of sin and gTumo Yoga a way of life for Tibetan monks to body conscious, since the BKs may not see the need to use mental powers of melt ice cold frozen robes on a person's body.

Benson at Harvard did a controlled study of gTumo Yoga in Tibet and there are some recent papers on similar studies. Excluding the TM studies conducted under laboratory conditions, many of the controlled or scientific studies in meditation were conducted on Tibetan monks or Buddhist practitioners.

Since the Janki study in Texas, the BKs have been playing catch up in terms of validating raj Yoga through scientific investigations.
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Re: State of scientific research into meditation & conscious

Post11 Aug 2019

Gupta, one can redefine terms to suit one's ideology anytime, espoecially when dealing with abstractions and non-tangible concepts.

The BKs have done that not only with those limbs/types/stages of Yoga you refer to (which I could question but won’t - it'd just be playing the ”definitions” game) but also, BKs syncretise then redefine anything and everything to suit themselves, even that which many religions say cannot truly be defined by humans - God.

So what we have is like the famous scene of Spartacus where the Roman soldier asks the mob of slaves, ”Which of you is Spartacus?” and one by one they step forward and say, ”I am Spartacus, so how to know?

So, which God is actually God?

Each steps forward and says, ”I am God” or "Ours is God” or ”God is unknowable” or, as I'd say, ”Define your terms please, then maybe I can answer intelligently”!
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Re: State of scientific research into meditation & conscious

Post11 Aug 2019

Guptarail re the ‘Dadi Janki study in Texas’ the actualities of that occurrence, well ... the story behind the story, is on full reveal at ''THE MOST STABLE MIND' RESOLUTION.

Worth a darshan!
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Re: State of scientific research into meditation & conscious

Post11 Aug 2019

Pink Panther wrote:Each steps forward and says, ”I am God” or "Ours is God” or ”God is unknowable” or, as I'd say ...

”Define your terms please, then maybe I can answer intelligently”!

Look, a heretic!

Quick, let's stone him to death!!!

Or as the great mahatma shri shri Bob Dylan wrote, just so Pink Panther does not feel so all alone, we believe that
Everybody must get stoned

Regarding the Dadi Janki "Most Stable Mind in the World" debacle, and the moreaboutbrahmakumaris article, how would they know she was the most stable mind in the world without testing all the minds in the world? OK, that is facetious but did they, for example, compare her with the Saddhu that could remain buried underground for 40 days, or some advanced Tibetan Lamas?

I am pretty sure Janki would not survive buried underground for 40 days, but would be very happy to arrange the experiment for them.

I have to say, I find the moreaboutbrahmakumaris article a little disappointing and note it still remains based on beliefs.
It has also been claimed on websites and elsewhere that such 'tests' never took place

I have never heard of anyone claiming such tests never took place and we are the BKs strongest and most attentive critics. What has been stated is that the results were not as the BKs claimed. That they are entirely unscientific in nature (No scientist worth his or her salt would make such a statement. Science is not the Limca Book of World Records).

What has been said in the past, variously, is that it was an informal experiment - an unofficial 'out of hours' or 'Saturday afternoon job' - and that the scientists said something like, the most stable mind they had seen. The BKs being the BKs ... everything has to be exaggerated to being "GLOBAL".

The problem with the BKs being that they are from marketeer or merchant background, not academics or even religious. They have not even a clue how science works, who can say what, how a university or institute puts its name behind papers, peer review and so on.

Was it a "written statement", or just a polite thank you letter? I suspect the latter.

If the BKs are so sure, why don't they have Janki or someone else re-tested? They could afford to commission such investigation now.
This unusual finding is open to various interpretations. To me it suggested that she had achieved constant soul-consciousness since the soul detaches itself from the body in deep sleep.’

- Dr Harold Streitfield

There again, we see the problem with BK thinking. Does "the soul detach itself from the body in deep sleep"? It's self-referential circular logic even from Doctored adherents. It's an unproven BKism to suggest that soul detaches itself from the body in deep sleep, therefore he's basically saying, "it's true because we say its true".

I don't question that Janki exhibited some kind of effect, I just question the value of it.

There's no point being the most stable mind in the world when you just use your "stability" to lie, manipulate, exploit and encourage ignorance and false faith while you are being "stable".

I'd rather be and suggest there is more value in being unstable ... but being honest, doubtful, and having a little integrity.
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