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What could this mean?

Discussion in 'Meditation Chatter Box' started by InfiniteHalo, May 4, 2010.

  1. InfiniteHalo

    InfiniteHalo Member

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    I will now recount what I wrote down after coming out of my meditative state yesterday morning:

    "Meditated around 9:30 a.m. this morning. I walked across a small desert plane, following a woman in white, who I thought was my mother. Followed her into a building, chasing her through corridor after corridor. Eventually came face to face with her in a room that looked like a "Jules Verne-like" library. She was not my mother at all. I asked what the room was, she said, "The Hall of Thoughts." I then asked what building this room was contained in, "eternity" she said. "Eternity is a place, not time."

    I was then drawn out of the meditative state by a sound in my car, which was parked and not running. A few minutes passed and I tried to go back.

    I then regained my meditative state, and ended up right where I left off before I was drawn out.

    I continued speaking to the woman in white, but I cannot recall any of that conversation. I only remember her voice changing from soft and feminine with no particular accent, and then to a male voice with a husky British/Irish accent. After this I fell completely unconscious."

    ANY insight on this would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. Ta-tsu-wa

    Ta-tsu-wa Member

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    This means you have a good imagination that likes to express itself and finds it especially easy to do so when you are in a relaxed state. This is what a psychologist would label an example of "active imagination".

    It is different than an ordinary daydream only in that you were very relaxed, and that relaxed state makes it feel as though the daydream is running more on autopilot and less on willed intention. Active imagination of this type is what many creative artists strive for when they are in the process of creation. The conditioned mind is less likely to interfere and block their creative impulses in this state.

    If you're a musician, a poet or a writer this is a wonderfully useful gift to have available to you. But it isn't meditation.

    In a meditative state the mind slows down more and more the further into the state you immerse yourself. The ability to follow an orderly script such as the plot line of an active fantasy becomes less and less possible. This level of "scripting" in which your mind is so active that you can think up and ask detailed questions and imagine detailed, relevent answers in response requires a fairly high level of beta brainwave activity. This is exactly the opposite of what is experienced in meditation.

    It's a nice gift to have on call for creative purposes, but if you're looking for experiences in meditation you might want to consider following the free meditation technique Michael has provided or browse around the forum a little to see what techniques others have successfully employed. The common factor they will have is that each of them serves to gradually still the thinking mind rather than indulging it in narrative-type experiences.
     
  3. InfiniteHalo

    InfiniteHalo Member

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    That is very strange though, because when I was "drawn out" of my state, I felt like I had been right in that between consciousness and sleeping, which would presumably mean that my brain had to be producing theta waves. I find it very interesting, and forgive my ignorance, but can the brain actually produce multiple waves at the same time?

    If not, what the heck?

    Another point, this could technically be considered "lucid dreaming" too. However, my responses and questions were, as you said, on autopilot...very intriguing...

    Have you ever heard of something like this befiore?
     
  4. Ta-tsu-wa

    Ta-tsu-wa Member

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    Yes, its quite common in fact, especially, as I mentioned, among those engaging in artistic, creative expression.

    When I was somewhat new to meditation I used to sometimes have the experience of seeming to "hear" voices inside my head. I would not consciously be creating this mental chatter, it just seemed to spontaneously come up. It was so autonomous in nature that sometimes I would become conscious of the voice saying something and I'd miss it. Then I'd hope it would repeat what had been said so that I could pay more attention and get the meaning of the words in case it had been something interesting. I knew words had been used but I had no idea at all what they had been. Sometimes I would become aware that two different voices were speaking, holding a dialog between them, and I was simply a neutral observer, or at least so it seemed. It was as though another mind or minds were speaking into mine.

    But that's not what was actually happening. The autonomy of these voices was merely an illusion. They were nothing more than subtle levels of mental chatter that had probably been going on like an undercurrent in my mind all the time, but that I was now becoming aware of because I was sitting in silence and they had to compete less with other thoughts to get my attention. Of course at the point I began noticing the voice had arisen I was no longer in a state of meditation. I was in that world of active imagination. I learned to use this as a tool when I needed to exercise creativity, and to let it pass me by without paying it much attention when it came up during meditation periods. Eventually it stopped appearing at meditation time.

    There are many states of consciousness of which meditation is one (perhaps the single most important one.) Perceptions of all sorts are possible within these states. Brainwaves, too, do not necessarily guarantee you are in any particular state of consciousness. There are many activities you engage in every day that promote increased Alpha brainwaves, for instance. So just because you have Alpha waves predominating does not mean you are in meditation. It could just as easily mean you're listening to relaxing music. If you Google around a bit looking for You Tube videos that relate to EEG machines you'll eventually find a young man who demonstrates a particular EEG machine. He's in his bedroom, laying on his bed, and he demonstrates to you how he can induce increased Alpha waves, then Theta, then Delta, all while he's talking to the microphone and telling the viewer what he's trying to do. And to the degree his relatively basic EEG machine is accurate, he's fairly successful at directly manipulating his brainwaves to the frequencies he is aiming for. But he is clearly not in any state of meditation at any point during the demonstration. He's just manipulating brainwaves, nothing more.

    Now, with some practice a person could certainly use the ability to manipulate brainwaves in this way to aid in meditation, but the brainwaves in and of themselves tell you nothing about his state of consciousness. They only tell you this fellow has learned a bit of conscious brainwave control.

    Your active imagination experience may have value in various aspects of your life, but meditation isn't one of them. Meditation reduces mental narrative while active imagination generally does exactly the opposite. When this sort of thing arises during your actual meditation practice time, simply acknowledge it is there, let it know you'll give it time later to express itself, then let it go on its way and return to your meditation technique until you get into meditation, then let that technique go as well. Repeat that process each time you find for any reason your mind has reinserted itself into your practice time.
     
  5. myriam

    myriam Member

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    not always

    experiences like that are not always "imagination" I had some experiences with tantra practices in the past were those "images" proved to be very accurate in this plane of existance, and do not have special gifts or so this can happen to anyone certainly people practicing kundalini awakening. So often indeed it is active imagination but I would not generalize that. Or do you mean by "active imagination" the release of subconscious contents? Sometimes you're subconscious mind is talking to you or you see colors or hear sounds. When I practised tantra there was a brief period were there was clairaudience. In the veda's it is called siddhis. These things are side effects of meditation but they do not last and should not be payed to much attention to. In the vedas (hindou scriptures) meditation is often regarded as a form of mental purification or releasing of mental and/or emotional "stuf".:)
     
  6. Ta-tsu-wa

    Ta-tsu-wa Member

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    Myriam, our newest Belgium acquisition! Welcome. I don't think I've chatted with you yet but I'm looking forward to hearing more from you.

    The seeming independent elements of active imagination experiences arise primarily from a level of mind that is below ordinary waking consciousness. Call it subconscious, unconscious, or whatever your pleasure is. It's below the level of mind where we are ordinarly accustomed to having our thoughts come at us from, but it is still within the realm of mind. That's why these snippets of thought carry such a strong impression of having been autonomous events.

    However, a person who interacts with other figures and objects in the daydream in rational, calculated ways, such as question and answer sessions, working out imagery puzzles, deliberately looking around to assess what is there in a logical fashion, etc., is willingly participating in the experience on a conscious level as well. Both conscious and less-than-conscious impulses are playing out. The result takes the form of a narrative-type episode not too dissimilar to the scripting of a play.

    To quote from the source of all true wisdom, Monty Python, "It's a duck!" More prosaicly, if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, flies like a duck and tastes like a duck, there's still an infinitesimal statistical possiblity it might turn out to be a unicorn. But if you have money riding on the wager, bet on the duck. Every time.
     
  7. myriam

    myriam Member

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    Hello Ta-tsu-wa

    Thnx. I try to follow your frame of thinking. Indeed, it is true that from the source of our unconscious mind a lot can come up. But sometimes in my experience it is difficult to distinguish the duck from the unicorn. Let me explain an experience which made me uncertain about what is real and what is not. When I was about 29 (now I am 50) I took up meditation to “relax”. When I came back from NY I met a stewardess in the airplane and we started talking about meditation. She told me she was practicing a technique called Sahaja Yoga. It involved the awakening of Kundalini. I did not have a clue what this was at the time. Because I really needed to relax I decided to give it a try. It was a very intensive technique, 2 times one hour meditation a day with the use of Sanskrit mantras of several gods and goddesses. It was completely free, you did not have to pay anything and still don’t I think, because I do not practice that anymore. The teacher or Guru was an Indian lady from a mixed hindou-christian family. She is called Shri Mataji. We were supposed to meditate in front of her picture and a candle. So far so good. The first month strange things started to happen; I had the feeling I was going to faint while meditating which made me very uncomfortable. There was an intense cold running through my spine and my whole body, cool wind was blowing out of my hands. I did not understand what was happening at all. When I asked for help I was told to meditate with open eyes and to look at the photograph of this Lady. So I did, suddenly I started to see a light coming out of the photograph (and no I never ever took any drugs in my life and I never drink alcohol!). I am quite curious and I moved closer to see what this was. When I moved there was something weird about my movement, it felt like a slow motion movie. Suddenly I felt like my body started to vibrate, the light went bigger and bigger I saw my furniture disappear in a blase of light and became aware of the vibration of my own atoms! To be honest I have never been so scared in my life, no ecstasy just fear. Actually I was so afraid I started to pray to stop it (idiot that I was now I would absolutely not stop!) and it did. I called the stewardess to ask what happened and later on she showed me a picture of the light I did saw during that meditation, it was exactly the same there was no way they could know this. In the beginning I was convinced it was a vision of some kind but you do not photograph visions! To this day I still do not understand how this can be taken with a camera. But this was more than more my subconscious playing games, this was real! I stopped Sahaja yoga al together. Since I still meditate and practiced several techniques and now I am experimenting with lifeflow. So you see where does the “imagination” stop and other realms (I loved that expression) begin or could it be there actually is no difference?

    Kind regards:)

    PS. You are lucky to live in such a beautiful country, Alaska that must be great to live there
     
  8. Ta-tsu-wa

    Ta-tsu-wa Member

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    That's an intriguing question, Myriam. Where does imagination stop and other realms begin?

    I suppose there could be a bit of overlap in some cases. But on the whole, the process of active imagination is largely subject to conscious, willful control and manipulation. In other words, as I mentioned about those voices I heard during meditation, I was fully able to wonder about them, speculate about them, wish I could hear them again, etc. Though the voices had the illusion of independence, I was still there consciously, more or less in control all the time. At any moment I chose I could have opened my eyes and banished them entirely. Or I could have attempted to initiate a dialog with them, whether or not I was successful being another matter. The point is, I was there with awareness, even if the voices were something that had the appearance of coming from outside my awareness.

    As for esoteric abilities in general, I've no doubt that some exist. I've experienced a thing or two myself and witnessed them in others enough to be confident in the reality of the phenomena.

    On the other hand, for every time I've seen something I'm satisified is totally genuine, I've probably seen thousands of examples of others that were just mind generated curiosities and nothing more.

    One tool that is highly underused in matters of esoterica is Occam's Razor. It basically states that an explanation for something that fits the known facts and requires us to rely on the fewest assumptions is more likely to be the correct explanation.

    I would say this is the advanced version of the "It's a duck" rule. Of course it does not always lead to the right answer all on its own. Other tools may have to be brought to bear on the matter after the application of Occam. But it should generally be one of the very first principles we apply, if for no other reason than to narrow down the field of possibilities we have to consider. Quite often though, it will settle the matter quite well on its own.
     
  9. myriam

    myriam Member

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    do we all have split personalities?

    thnx for that very intersting reply :) you could ask yourself if the voices you are hearing are sub personalities? In bouddhism they see people as programmed by education, culture etc. There is no fixed person, there is a sum of experiences who can have their on lifes. So when you were a child that was one aspect of you, teen an other and so on. Those parts of you actually never die. The most simple example is when you have an inner dialogue you are talking to who?:confused: So would your say the voices were something your could control or did it look if it had it's own mind? The difference between the two maybe very subtle. According to your what you experience as 'the observer' when you meditate would fall under wich category? Meditation great isn't it:D

    Kind greetings
     
  10. InfiniteHalo

    InfiniteHalo Member

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    Ta-tsu-wa, I totally understand every bit of information that you have provided. However, I'm still baffled by this, as you say that I was in control. Everything that happened after I finally encountered the woman in white in the library, everything became fluid, no thinking, no wondering, just very direct.

    Part of me thinks that I somehow combined meditation, as I was focusing on my breathing very much before it all happened, and that I fell into a lucid state due to the relaxation. The beta and theta/delta waves helped put me there I'm sure, but there has to be some sort of explanation for the things that took place in "my state." I also feel that this has significance because of how fast and direct everything was. I don't recall ever thinking about what to say, it was just said. I don't think that I would blatantly give myself such a mysterious message and be this intense on figuring out what it means.

    "Eternity is a place, not time." That is definitely something I would not be telling myself from my subconscious. It wouldn't make any sense to do that in my mind.

    I think I just had a very awe inspiring experience, and there may not be an explanation. Which is unfortunate.
     
  11. Ta-tsu-wa

    Ta-tsu-wa Member

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    I could ask such a question, yes, but there is no need. Doing so would serve only to muddy up an issue that is absolutely clear already. The experience of the voices is merely the unconscious/subconscious rising to the surface. Nothing more. As I indicated, in subsequent years I learned to use the ability quite routinely for my own creative purposes. It is familiar, useful, completely normal, and wholly unrelated to anything esoteric.

    The principle of parsimony fully applies here as it does or should in all such questions. This is a duck. Just a duck.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2010
  12. Ta-tsu-wa

    Ta-tsu-wa Member

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    Never lose your sense of awe and wonder. At the same time, frustra fit per plura quod potest fieri per pauciora. To do so is a fruitless expenditure of time and life. Ask Don Quixote. Anatis est.
     
  13. GilesC

    GilesC Member

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    *faint*

    Ta-Tsu-Wa! That has got to be your shortest post ever! :D
     
  14. Ta-tsu-wa

    Ta-tsu-wa Member

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    I hereby make a solemn vow I will do my best never to post anything shorter than a novella again.
     
  15. Ta-tsu-wa

    Ta-tsu-wa Member

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    Aw, bother! I think my vow already broke my vow...
     
  16. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    and again....:rolleyes:
     
  17. Ta-tsu-wa

    Ta-tsu-wa Member

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    Doh!!!!!!!!!!!
     

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