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

Post12 Aug 2019

ex-l wrote: 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".

Well, I'd take that line of reasoning one step further and say - even if the BK God is actually the one true God "he" claims himself to be, and all the other ideas of God are mistaken, what good is God?

If God says he is Omniscient and Trikaldarshi but changes his teachings, equivocates why things don't work out as ”He” said they would, this God is either sincerely mistaken, a delusional trickster or a blatant liar, untrustworthy. What good then is God? If this is God, I’ll gladly be a heretic.

If the true God creates division and breakdown in families, aggregates wealth to fund his propaganda machine and his propagandists so that they can aggregate more wealth for the same purpose, milking true believers who end up destitute, isolated from society and family, psychologically dependent, occasionally and sometimes successfully suicidal, ”He” may actually be God but so what? That is a needy God.

Some people may need to feel needed, maybe God fills the role nicely for them.
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GuptaRati 6666

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Re: State of scientific research into meditation & conscious

Post13 Aug 2019

It was the summer of 1978, Denise and Chandru had officially opened the San Antone center in the later winter or early spring of '78. Kumarka had visited North America and other parts of the West in the summer of '77. Janki was visiting the Americas for the first time in the late summer of 1978. She had survived a cardiovascular crisis due to her co-morbid condition.

A Brother from Guyana, a veterinary student at Tuskegee, spent the summer at the San Antone center and was assisting in the service there. Being a heterodox thinker in mathematics and physics, he would read Yoga Journal and there was an article on Diana Nyad who was using meditation techniques as she trained for her oceanic swim from Cuba to Florida. Diana a few years ago did accomplish the dream of successfully swimming from Cuba to Florida.

Inspired by Diana's use of Yoga and his interest in the biophysics of meditation, the Brother suggested that Janki be tested. San Antonio is a military medical town and the Brother was able to arrange for the testing of Janki with the full support of Denise, due to his contacts at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antone. At the time, Denise was a bit more radical, liberal, though a feminist chauvinist. The veterinary student was interested in the LASING effects of meditation analogous to a laser beam when a yogi or meditation participant experiences the seed form stage.

Janki is said to have reluctantly agreed to be tested and the initial findings were exciting to Denise, who immediately after Janki's visit relocated on to San Fran with Chandru. The veterinary student returned to Tuskegee for his studies and assisting in service in the South Eastern USA. He spent many of his summer holidays in San Antonio and San Fran assisting in service while pursuing clinical externships and research internships.

In summer '83, prior to his graduation from veterinary school, he was part of the team of 3 BKs who visited the physician-scientists who conducted the EEG and other psychophys studies on Janki. The Guyanese BK was completing a veterinary externship in San Antone and was also assisting in service at the Texas center in '83. Simon and another Brother, who was an army veterinarian, were the other team members.

The physician-scientist [at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center] told the BK team that the data from the Janki study were unremarkable, except in one instance, in which some of the wave forms were indicative of senility and not altered states of consciousness demonstrated by expert yogis. The physician-scientist also declared that some of the remarkable results of stress testing when added to the unremarkable findings were not scientifically convincing.

Hansa at the time was busy with her work as an army physician and divorce proceedings.
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GuptaRati 6666

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Re: State of scientific research into meditation & conscious

Post13 Aug 2019

Pink,

I will not disagree with your response. Yes, the BKs are great at spinning ideas, repackaging them. Then as you indicate, there are questions of the contents and constructs of their repackaged products.

Even if there are ayurvedic effects when settling karmic accounts through illness, there are positive health benefits the BKs should statistically demonstrate as a sub-population, when compared to the total population or the global population, or even groups such as the TMers or Tibetan monks.
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ex-l

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Re: State of scientific research into meditation & conscious

Post13 Aug 2019

GuptaRati 6666 wrote:If there are ... positive health benefits the BKs should statistically demonstrate as a sub-population, when compared to the total population or the global population, or even groups such as the TMers or Tibetan monks.

Excuse my paraphrasing of your comment.

You raise a good point, GuptaRati ... however, the BKs will quickly equivocate and respond with something like, "Ah, yes, but the reason there is so sickness and ill health within BKism - [i]even taking the Dadis as examples - is caused by karmic settlements and so good/unavoidable[/i]".

I don't know where things stand at present but I remember they had such a problem with heart diseases, blood pressure, diabetes, obesity etc - all diseases of affluence in India - that they started specific health programmes to address them. Indeed, even established hospitals to do so.

As you will well tell us, life is broadly random and that random noise needs to be removed from any findings to see what is really going on, random noise that would involve, eg the luck of good genes, of good childhood nutrition etc.

The problem with BKism is that the "benefits" they claim are ultimately invisible and unprovable. It's all about earning and storing up imaginary good karmas, to be spent only after Destruction of the world in the Golden Age. Any real world, present day benefits - of which there may be a few - are accidental and of a secondary nature or cause, eg giving up smoking, stress reduction, the regimented lifestyle.


BKism is not about physiological or even psychological benefits. In my generation and earlier, it was specifically anti-health. Anyone concerned about health and exploring health regimes, anything from diet to sport, was considered to be a "health Bhagat" (health worshipper. "worshipper" being a put down). Doing sport was practically a betray on a par with having sex! (Something that had to be done alone and in secret). A waste of time and opportunity to do more "service" and, hence, earn more good karmas.

It is as if they did not accept any immediate connection between diet and activity and health, and conceived both health and sickness as relating only to one's karmic/kalpic status ("impurity" unavoidable, only improvable via their meditation).

I do not have any hope ever of any collective analysis of BKs because they are so institutionally prone, indoctrinated, into lying. Of providing what they believe to the right answer, rather than the real answer.

Interesting studies could be made of the effects of meditation on intelligence, eg does meditation increase intelligence? Or, one would hope, at least on depression and anxiety reduction ... but does the BKs' "positive thinking" actually reduce anxiety, or just change the nature of one's anxiety?

If you were to survey BKs they would all say, "Yes, 100%!" because not to - to admit weakness and failure - would be disservice to Baba and "the family".

Then the question would be, does the degree of benefit offset the deficits of the regimented lifestyle, eg bad diet, overeating, lack of exercise, institutionally and philosophical stresses, lack of physical contact?

Typically, I think the BKs' response would be a kind of psychological denial and a denial of science, "We are not about real world benefits, we are above science and about other wordly (unprovable/unquestionable) benefits".

In short, "I am benefiting because I believe I am benefitting (despite all and any evidence to the contrary)". They have always a way out.

My bottomline would be, do all their efforts and philosophies make them any more honest or increase their integrity?

And in those departments, they are clearly failing badly.
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Pink Panther

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Re: State of scientific research into meditation & conscious

Post14 Aug 2019

ex-l wrote: I do not have any hope ever of any collective analysis of BKs because they are so institutionally prone, indoctrinated, into lying. Of providing what they believe to the right answer, rather than the real answer.

They do sometimes provide the real answer but they will just as readily equivocate or mislead with other answers, according to the audience and situation, the ”right” answer for those circumstances - which they would say is being ”yukti yukt”.

The ”true answer” and the ”rigth answer for the audience can even be directly contradictory, as is also the case often with Murli points. I heard Dadi Janki give opposite answers on different days, and was reprimanded in a class when I put up my hand and said so, her response was implying I was the one who wasn't able to see subtle differences. In retrospect, I can see that she did not like being caught out and questioned (she is no philosopher!) and she was pulling rank, expecting me to return to mine, which at the time I did.

Today black is black, tomorrow black is white, next day - don't worry about black or white just make sure you are not well- read ;-) .

Just like US President Trump, if you keep saying contradictory things, you are bound to be right sooner or later and you can refer back to that as justification. Keep predicting someone's death, one day you will be right! Blame the devil or body consciousness or immigrants for a person's problems and certain people will accept that because it fits what they want to be true.
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GuptaRati 6666

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Re: State of scientific research into meditation & conscious

Post14 Aug 2019

Last year a Brother told me that he attended his girl friend's graduation for her PhD in mind/body medicine at one of the universities on the West Coast of the USA. He indicated to me that one of his girl friend's class mates who was also receiving her PhD dissertation studies on the behavioral effects of BK raj Yoga on cancer and received a special award. His girlfriend also received a special graduation award for her PhD research on mind/body medicine.

There was a poster session displaying the research of the recently minted PhDs. The Brother was unable to take a picture of the poster displaying the raj Yoga study, since the posters were only on display for 2 days. I'll ask him for the booklet of the graduation ceremonies; it may have the list of graduates and titles of their dissertations.
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GuptaRati 6666

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Re: State of scientific research into meditation & conscious

Post14 Aug 2019

Rita, ex-I, and Pink,

There are two health areas connected to life style of the BKs, which the BKs should be investigating. One is jet lag and the other is shift work. Both have been demonstrated to be linked to dis-regulation of the circadian clocks in humans and animals. The dis-regulation happens at the level of the circadian clock genes and mind body interventions, including meditation have potentials as adjuncts for the treatments of bio-rhythmic disruption due to jet lag and working at night.
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Pink Panther

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Re: State of scientific research into meditation & conscious

Post14 Aug 2019

GuptaRati 6666 wrote:Last year a Brother told me that ... one of his girl friend's class mates ... was also receiving her PhD dissertation studies on the behavioural effects of BK raj Yoga on cancer

I’d be asking for the research to be published and peer reviewed. Unless you mean BKs causing cancer to themselves through "dis-regulation of the circadian clocks” or through stressing out their families and friends by their changed behaviour.
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GuptaRati 6666

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Re: State of scientific research into meditation & conscious

Post15 Aug 2019

Pink,

Your response tickled me and I am currently laughing; it's not in mockery of the BKs.

For sure, circadian clock disruption among shift workers, including health care providers is a serious problems. It is a problem for those jet set folks who have to deal with jet lag. I'll see if the list of graduates have been published on line and identify the author of the dissertation on BK raj Yoga and cancer. The Brother was telling me that once he heard the word raj Yoga, he could only think of the BKs and after the graduation ceremonies, when he looked at the poster, there was pictures and scripts from the BKs.

Stress, including the BK lifestyle, can contribute to chronic immunology-suppression, telomere disfunction and increased susceptibility to many forms of cancer, including cancers induced by environmental contaminants.
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GuptaRati 6666

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Re: State of scientific research into meditation & conscious

Post16 Aug 2019

Vieten et al.(2018) extensively discuss areas of future research in meditation, including the more metaphysical or mystical aspects. We still need a more unified model for explaining and understanding the interaction of the soul with the brain.

References
Vieten, C., Wahbeh, H., Cahn, B. R., MacLean, K., Estrada, M., Mills, P., ... Delorme, A. (2018). Future directions in meditation research: Recommendations for expanding the field of contemplative science. PloS one, 13(11), e0205740. https:/doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0205740
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Pink Panther

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Re: State of scientific research into meditation & conscious

Post17 Aug 2019

GuptaRati 6666 wrote: We still need a more unified model for explaining and understanding the interaction of the soul with the brain.

We know objectively and clearly that the brain exists. We know that mental activity takes place.
What we don't know is if there is a soul, or even what people mean by that.
    Is it the ”atman” that Gita 2:23 talks about? Unaffected by action, does not affect action.
    Is it more like the sikh idea, stolen and taught by the BKs?
    Is it life itself - a name we give to the difference between a living person and a dead person?
    Is it independent of physical life or is it co-dependently arisen with physical life?
    Is it an entity that reincarnates forever or a thing that, one day, may be shown to have reincarnated many times in the past but may cease to reincarnate in future?
Very unscientific to conjecture on such fuzzy terminology.
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GuptaRati 6666

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Re: State of scientific research into meditation & conscious

Post18 Aug 2019

My research in the laboratory and life experiences have empowered me to move away from the soul in the brain BK model to the quantum field theory of consciousness.
Here are two links on the subject matter:
https://www.scienceandnonduality.com/ar ... -the-brain

https://www.ecstadelic.net/top-stories/ ... sciousness
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ex-l

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Re: State of scientific research into meditation & conscious

Post18 Aug 2019

Pink Panther wrote:We know that ... What we don't know is ...

I just realised that I am 'all souled out' by this point, and don't care any more. Whether I am, have or don't, or am going to end up back in the great cosmic soup makes no difference; I still have to do the housework and washing up.

The question has long since deceased being a tradeable commodity for me, or a knowing that I can use to overpower and control others with.

I realise that the BKs invest such an importance into their specific concept of it as a tribal definer for them, and as a method of controlling others for them so they do the housework and washing up for them instead.

So until science can sustain consciousness separate from a body, no one will know for sure. And no one will ever be able to know for sure whether we go back into a cosmic soup or reincarnate or what.

It's probably not scientifically provable in any direction. Am I correct or not Guptarati?

There's an old Zen saying I am going to paraphrase something along the lines of
"before enlightenment, housework and washing up; after enlightenment, housework and washing up.

The question I have is, how do I tell enlightenment apart from mild depression, because I sure as depressed at having to do all the housework and washing up.
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ex-l

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Re: State of scientific research into meditation & conscious

Post18 Aug 2019

Are things all quiet on the BK front because it's a long time since we've heard anything from them.

Have we dropped down the Google search ratings because we don't have an SSL website, or something?

They still have not caught Virendra Dev Dixit despite cash rewards for information about him.
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Re: State of scientific research into meditation & conscious

Post19 Aug 2019

Guptarati

Yes, I have read up on holographic universe/brain and other similar paradigms before etc. Fascinating area.

The worst thing, the most harmful thing, about the BK view of soul is how they essentially get people to live their lives in "soul consciousness" where the ”soul" is essentially a replacement word for ego. True ego or pure ego is how it has been sometimes put in Murli.

Then they’ll use the word ego to also mean arrogance or pride, ie impure ego.

What this does, along with the other co-factors of the belief system, is to set up a cage where if things are going well for you (where servants wash your dishes ;-) or you are content to wash other people’s ), you are being correctly soul conscious - affirming the BK ego, and if things aren't go so well for you, if discontent or a sense of something’s ’not-quite-right’ then it’s you doing it wrong.

All credit for the good times go to the BKs and ‘god’ while all responsibility, liability and problems goes to the individual - or if thats too hard to bear, detach a bit blame it on your past karma.

You either succeed numberwise or fail numberwise.

BK thinking is what sustains you while everything else is gonna stain you.

Life is lived within a washed, bleached and neatly pressed 2 dimensional universe.
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